Category Archives: Comics

Posts about comics

Who Are The Thunderbolts?

Who Are The Thunderbolts? by Jerry Whitworth

With the return of Baron Zemo (played by Daniel Brühl) in the upcoming The Falcon and Winter Soldier and Thunderbolt Ross’ (portrayed by William Hurt) role in Black Widow (2020), rumors have swirled that the Thunderbolts are being brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The hero hunters who played a critical role in 2006’s Civil War Marvel comic storyline and ascended Norman Osborn from Spider-Man foe to global threat, the Thunderbolts have drawn comparisons to DC Comics’ Suicide Squad. However, both groups owe much of their genesis to the Dirty Dozen. A 1967 film based on the novel of the same name by E. M. Nathanson, The Dirty Dozen featured a star-studded ensemble cast including Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, Telly Savalas, and Donald Sutherland. The film presented Project Amnesty, a secret mission during World War II where the Army’s worst prisoners (including those on death row) were trained to be commandos and take on a suicide mission where those that do their job and survive would have commuted sentences. Prior to the creation of the Thunderbolts, Marvel adapted the concept for the team Freedom Force.

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Marvel: Phase Six

Marvel: Phase Six by Jerry Whitworth

Marvel Studios has become the most dominant brand at the box office and with its phase four across the years of 2020 and 2021, it looks to similarly take over streaming. While movie theaters will feature the Eternals and Shang-Chi and continue the brands of Black Widow, Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, and Thor, Disney+ is going to expand the Falcon, Winter Soldier, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Loki, and Hawkeye while introducing Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk (as former Disney CEO Bob Iger let loose two other series have yet been announced). It’s also rumored the various streaming television series will introduce the Young Avengers and Thunderbolts while setting the stage for the multiverse to be the next realm the company will tackle after the Infinity Saga (perhaps even setting up an adaptation of the 2015 Secret Wars comic book crossover). Marvel Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige went so far to even tease the Fantastic Four, Blade, and mutants in the future leading to rumors of their forming the basis of phase five (though not named by Feige, rumors persist Nova and Namor the Sub-Mariner will also be adapted). It is also known the yet announced phase five will continue to expand Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and Captain Marvel (as it’s likely the next Avengers film will come along as well, with Norman Osborn rumored to be the villain). With what we already know about phase five, it begs the question what a phase six might entail.

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Rise of the Sinister Six

Rise of the Sinister Six by Jerry Whitworth

Since at least the time of Marc Webb’s Spider-Man films, Sony Pictures has desperately wanted to produce a Sinister Six movie. Toward that end, the Gentleman (who organized the Sinister Six in Adam-Troy Castro’s Sinister Six trilogy) was introduced in Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) teasing Dr. Octopus, Vulture, and the Black Cat as the series featured the Lizard, Electro, Green Goblin, and the Rhino (subsequently, Webb confirmed the group would have included Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio). For the latest iteration of Spider-Man films, the likes of the Vulture, Shocker, Tinkerer, and Mysterio (whose elementals were based on the Sandman, Hydro-Man, Molten Man, and Cyclone) have been introduced as the civilian identities of the Scorpion, Prowler, Darter, and the Chameleon also emerged. While Venom 2 is filming featuring Carnage and Morbius is coming this summer, Kraven the Hunter is heavily rumored for the next Spider-Man film (as Norman Osborn is rumored to be in other Marvel Studios projects) leaving a wide breadth of Sinister Six candidates. Lets take a look at some of these characters.

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Who Are The Young Avengers?

Who Are The Young Avengers? by Jerry Whitworth

When Avengers: Endgame (2019) introduced an older Cassie Lang (portrayed by Emma Fuhrmann) from the Ant-Man films and brought back Ty Simpkins as Harley Keener from Iron Man 3 (2013) for the movie’s ending, speculation ignited of Marvel Studios tackling Young Avengers. With news of a Disney+ Ms. Marvel series, Kate Bishop being adapted in Hawkeye, what appears to be Wiccan and Speed emerging in WandaVision, Spider-Man seemingly remaining in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the foreseeable future, and Carl Lumbly being cast in The Falcon and Winter Soldier allegedly as Isaiah Bradley, the evidence has only continued to grow toward this conclusion. But, who are the Young Avengers?

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Legends of Tomorrow: Where Are The DC Characters?

Legends of Tomorrow: Where Are The DC Characters? by Jerry Whitworth

When DC’s Legends of Tomorrow debuted on the CW as a quasi-Justice League-lite series about time travel, the show tackled characters like Vandal Savage, Chronos, Manhawks, Ra’s al Ghul, Per Degaton, Jonah Hex, Justice Society of America, Legion of Doom, Captain Nazi, Grodd, and even B’wana Beast. However, with its fourth season, the series departed from being a superhero action/adventure to a much more comical series (which it had gradually moved toward) with a monster-of-the-week formula. Likely, this was in part an attempt to provide a reason for the character of John Constantine to become a cast member. While Batwoman is featuring Alice, Hush, Magpie, John Doe, Rifle, and Nocturna, Supergirl has Lex Luthor, Malefic, League of Ancients, Breathtaker, Rip Roar, and Mr. Mxyzptlk, Flash features Bloodwork, Pariah, Black Hole, Dr. Light, and Mirror Master, and Black Lightning stars the Outsiders, Gravedigger, and the nation of Markovia, Legends has adopted an evil-historical-figure-of-the-week again seemingly in service of Constantine. Even the upcoming Stargirl series has released a trailer with the Justice Society and Injustice Society and Green Arrow & the Canaries, which hasn’t formally been picked up yet, teased the Outsider clans. With little doubt, production of the now canceled Swamp Thing series likely tied the hands of Legends‘ writers in regards to what magic characters it could adapt (just as Stargirl gobbled up the JSA), there’s still a depth of characters the show has chosen to ignore. Lets take a look at them.

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Make It So: Disney+ The Invaders

Make It So: Disney+ The Invaders by Jerry Whitworth

Recently, NerdfectStrangers.com discussed in “Make It So: Disney+ Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD” the two mystery Marvel Studios television series yet announced for Disney+ with Nick Fury as a candidate for one of them. Noted in the article, these series will likely be used to help generate brands that will branch into the films. With this in mind, another viable candidate could be the Invaders. Created in 1969 by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema, the Invaders were an Avengers-like team of heroes active during the second World War. The prototype for this group was the All-Winners Squad in post-WWII 1946 which featured Timely’s big three heroes (Captain America, Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner, and the Human Torch), their sidekicks (Bucky Barnes and Toro), and Miss America and the Whizzer (characters likely inspired by Wonder Woman and the Flash, respectively). The Invaders expanded on this roster greatly adding the likes of Union Jack, Blazing Skull, and the Vision. Thomas also created other teams of WWII heroes in the pages of The Invaders in the Liberty Legion which included the Patriot, Red Raven, and Thin Man and the Kid Commandos where Bucky and Toro lead a team of fellow costumed teenagers (prior to the All-Winners Squad, Bucky founded a team of young heroes called the Young Allies in 1941). However, in the time since the creation of the Invaders, a number of legacies of various characters have emerged either placing present day characters in the second World War or their predecessors. With this mind, lets see what a Invaders series for the MCU could mean.

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Make It So: Disney+ Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD

Make It So: Disney+ Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD by Jerry Whitworth

In a recent earnings call with investors, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that in addition to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Loki which are in various stages of production for streaming service Disney+, seven more Marvel Cinematic Universe series are currently in development. With What If… ?, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk already announced, speculation has emerged what the two yet revealed projects could be. Rumor has it that in order to make the shows ‘must see,’ an effort has been made to make them integral to the next stage of the MCU in the wake of the Infinity Saga. Among these rumors is the multiverse as the new interweaving theme and a desire to set-up the Young Avengers, Thunderbolts, and Kang within the stories of the Disney+ shows. However, the original announcement of the forthcoming shows stated their intended purpose was to tell stories for an ever expanding cast of characters that couldn’t possibly all be given the proper time and attention in the confines of the films. In this spirit, a viable candidate for such a character is Nick Fury.

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The Toys That Made Us S3: Interview with Brian Volk-Weiss

The Toys That Made Us S3: Interview with Brian Volk-Weiss by Jerry Whitworth

The latest season of The Toys That Made Us debuted on Netflix on November 15th and the third installment features episodes “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Power Rangers,” “My Little Pony,” and “Professional Wrestling.” We contacted series creator Brian Volk-Weiss to talk about the recent offering, the show’s future, its spin-off The Movies That Made Us, Discontinued, and the feature length documentary emerging from the third season.

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What Won’t Be in Crisis on Infinite Earths

What Won’t Be in Crisis on Infinite Earths by Jerry Whitworth

With the Arrowverse’s upcoming “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” the most ambitious crossover in television history continues to grow by leaps and bounds every day. The Arrowverse, which already touts Arrow, Flash (including the 1990 series), Constantine, Vixen, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Freedom Fighters: The Ray, Black Lightning, Batwoman (which has hinted at being part of the Dark Knight film series), and Deathstroke as series making up its multiverse, will allegedly be adding Batman (which includes Legends of the Superheroes and the Batman ’66 series of comics), Wonder Woman (which has been connected to Batman in the comics), DC Animated Universe, Smallville, Birds of Prey (which has hinted at being part of Tim Burton’s Batman films), Superman Returns (which is considered a spiritual successor to the Richard Donner Superman films), Lucifer, and Titans (which has its own spin-off in Doom Patrol) to the mix. As an aside, if this seems difficult to keep up with, search “Tommy Westphall Universe” or “St. Elsewhere Universe,” which many of these shows are already linked up into, to really make your brain spin. That’s over five decades worth of DC Comics’ adaptations rolled into five hours of television aired across a span of two months. At this point, there may only be a handful of adaptations that won’t be mixed up into the event. Before we take a look at what likely won’t be included and why, it should be noted while the crossover appears to in some manner be incorporating the DC Animated Universe, we won’t include animated series (though, as noted, several animated shows are part of the Arrowverse already). If you wanted to learn more about DC’s animated products prior to the DCAU, check this out. Now, onto what won’t be part of Crisis on Infinite Earths!

 

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Top 10: New Characters for Young Justice

Top 10: New Characters for Young Justice by Jerry Whitworth

 

The latest season of Young Justice introduced dozens of new characters. From front-and-center heroes like Halo, Cyborg, Geo-Force, Forager, and Terra to villains like Cassandra Savage, Lady Shiva, Holocaust, and the Shade to new Justice Leaguers in Steel, Batwoman, Metamorpho, Katana, Elongated Man, and Hardware to the Super-Sons Damian Wayne and Jon Kent to entire teams with the Doom Patrol, Suicide Squad, Newsboy Legion, and Infinity, Inc., Outsiders was loaded with new faces. There were even two versions of the Thunder and Lightning duo, one as Vandal Savage/Genghis Khan’s sons as well as Black Lightning’s daughters! So, it should come as little surprise that the coming fourth season is sure to grow its cast that much larger (especially considering the final scene examined in detail here). Lets take a look at some likely candidates.

 

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Young Justice Season Four Tease

Young Justice Season Four Tease by Jerry Whitworth

Young Justice: Outsiders, the third season of Young Justice available exclusively on the DC Universe streaming service, finished its run toward the end of August with a significant tease toward whats to come in the upcoming season (which was confirmed to be in development in July at San Diego Comic-Con). For those who haven’t seen the season finale yet, major SPOILERS are ahead. In the final moments of “Nevermore,” which featured Darkseid’s failed bid to conquer the universe, some of Earth’s heroes were celebrating their victory at Bibbo’s Diner when a blonde-haired waitress is shown pouring coffee while wearing a Legion of Super-Heroes flight ring. As the name implies, the ring is given to every member of the 30th/31st-century superhero organization allowing them a number of capabilities including flight, travel through outer space and underwater, and communication with each other. Undoubtedly, the scene was included to get people talking about what could be coming in the fourth season so by all means, lets talk.

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What Could Have Been: Secret Wars the Animated Series

What Could Have Been: Secret Wars the Animated Series by Jerry Whitworth

The success of the Star Wars toyline from Kenner almost single-handedly jump started the collectible action figure market that helped give rise to Hasbro’s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and Transformers and Mattel’s Masters of the Universe. DC Comics wanted to capitalize upon the growing phenomenon and courted toy companies to develop a line adapting its properties. Previously, the Mego Corporation produced the World’s Greatest Superheroes line which incorporated characters from both DC and Marvel (which later evolved into Pocket Super Heroes following Kenner’s success with Star Wars). By 1983, Mego had gone out of business and Kenner snagged DC’s license. On the chance that superheroes might be the next big fad (as Tonka rushed production of GoBots to set the stage for Transformers to dominate toy aisles the following year), Mattel sought Marvel to have its properties competing for space against Kenner’s Super Powers toys. Previously, Marvel had worked closely with Hasbro to develop its G.I. Joe and Transformers brands including comics and cartoons to promote the lines. With Mattel, Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter envisioned a limited series bringing together the company’s most prominent heroes and villains. The toy company’s test groups demonstrated the words “secret” and “war” were popular with boys providing the name Secret Wars for the comic and toyline. Sadly, the series only spawned two waves of figures (with three figures dropped exclusively in Europe to dump them), ending a year before the action figure market bubble burst in 1986. However, could the line have performed better had it been accompanied by an animated series?

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Imps, Imps, Imps: The Many Miniature Magical Mischief Makers of DC Comics

Imps, Imps, Imps: The Many Miniature Magical Mischief Makers of DC Comics by Jerry Whitworth

When Mister Mxyzptlk made his debut in 1944 in the pages of Superman, he heralded a wave of magical allies and enemies of DC’s various heroes. An imp hailing from the Fifth Dimension, Mxyzptlk originally sought to conquer Earth but quickly became an annoyance to Superman every ninety days with the ability to remake reality as he sees fit. Just as Superman developed a family of friends and allies, Mxyzptlk would be joined by various other members of his race. The first of these annoyances was Bizarro Mxyzptlk, the creation of Bizarro No. 1’s son Bizarro Junior while playing with the Duplicator Ray (Super Friends introducing their version of the character as Mr. Kltpzyxm). Mxyzptlk V, the original’s descendant who troubled the Legion of Super-Heroes in the future (in the Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon, they faced a similar threat in Zyx) and Nzykmulk, the original Mxyzptlk’s older deranged cousin, followed in the ensuing decades. Superboy had to contend with the imp Gazook who became involved with fledgling hero Yellow Peri. Superman and Power Girl faced a godlike being from another dimension called Maaldor the Darklord. The Superman animated series in the ’90s finally delivered a romantic partner for Mxyzptlk in the vivacious Ms. Gsptlsnz. All-Star Superman introduced Klyzyzk Klzntplkz, a Fifth Dimension descendant of Superman, while Ultraman of the Anti-Matter Universe faced his own imp in Mixyezpitellik. As what occurred fairly regularly in the Silver Age, what was good enough for Superman was good enough for Batman bringing about the creation of Bat-Mite.

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Filmation vs. Hanna-Barbera: the Golden Age of DC Comics Animation

Filmation vs. Hanna-Barbera: the Golden Age of DC Comics Animation by Jerry Whitworth

With hits like The Flintstones, Jonny Quest, and the Yogi Bear franchise grown from series like The Ruff and Reddy Show and The Huckleberry Hound Show, Hanna-Barbera was a powerhouse in the burgeoning animated television series market. As shows like Atom Ant, Sinbad Jr. and his Magic Belt, Space Ghost, and Frankenstein Jr. and The Impossibles reached airwaves, the studio was quickly making superheroes a popular sight on Saturday mornings. DC Comics, who had previously seen its most popular character Superman animated for theaters in the 1940s and was about to take the nation by storm with the Batman television series, looked to edge into the lucrative market. In the 1950s, Adventures of Superman was a cultural phenomenon derailed by the untimely demise of its star George Reeves. A planned spin-off in the Adventures of Superboy never made it past the pilot but animation looked to be new ground to tread with the brand. Mort Weisinger, Superman editor for DC Comics and story editor for Adventures of Superman, approached young studio Filmation to tackle the project.

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How I Fell in Love with CHIKARA

 

Welcome wrestling fans, and join me as I introduce you to the fantastical universe of CHIKARA Pro Wrestling.

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