Monday, October 22, 2018


Not too long ago there were rumors of Tyler Hoechlin's Superman being considered for a potential spin off TV series. While the CW and Warner Bros have denied this as being accurate but truthfully I think this is worth considering. True we have Supergirl and that show is wonderful but I think there is a lot to mine from Superman's 80 year history. There's a reason that every several years there is a new Superman series either live action or animated (including the Justice League animated series). I think the CW would be wise to try their hand at a full fledged Superman series. Here are a few suggestions I have on how to make a new Superman series different from its predecessors.


On The Flash, the producers and writers have done a wonderful job of exploring alternate timelines and the multiverse. The other shows don't really go there too much, save for Crisis on Earth X, and I think that would be where a Superman show could be really exceptional. Throughout DC Comics history there have been multiple fascinating versions of alternate Superman - there's Kingdom Come, Red Son, Val Zod on Earth 2, Calvin Ellis (a Superman based on Barack Obama), and many others. I'd love to see a Superman series that wasn't afraid to bring all these different Supermen to life and show Clark how different his life could be under different circumstances. Or worse yet . . . 


One thing I've been advocating for since the first time the Multiverse was mentioned on The Flash has been the arrival of the Crime Syndicate of America. Granted we got a version of this group during Crisis on Earth X we have yet to see a fully fledged Crime Syndicate. A Superman series would be perfect to explore not only heroic alternate Supermen but evil ones as well. Ultraman is an amazing character. I'd love to see this inverted Superman invade Clark's world and really mess things up. Tom Welling played a version of this character on Smallville but I'd love to see an all out brawl between the heroic Clark Kent and his monstrous doppelganger. Plus the one from Geoff Johns's (my man) Forever Evil was a really twisted Superman. He snorted Kryptonite for strength and is allergic to sunlight. It's pretty bizarre but I'd expect nothing less from Johns. That's the Ultraman I want to see challenge our heroic Kal El. 


One of the best characters to come out of DC's Rebirth is definitely Clark and Lois's son, Jon. While he's taken on the mantle of Superboy he's nothing like Clark was when he was a kid or Conner Kent. He's his own young man trying to find his place in the world. He's wonderfully naive but has a good heart. In the early issues of Superman Rebirth, Jon struggled to control his powers but eventually found a way to use them to help others and fight by his father's side. One of the most praised elements of Black Lightning is showing an older superhero with young daughters that he's training to carry on the good fight. I'd love to see a Clark Kent have to train his son on how to be a hero in a similar fashion. But not like The Flash where he is time displaced, I'd love to see Jon that's actually Lois and Clark's son and is working on getting a good handle on his powers. 


Now I'm not saying we need to get into the whole Death of Superman storyline (although if a Superman show exists it will definitely explore this territory) but I'd love to see some of these characters done on the CW. Granted David Harewood played Cyborg Superman but I gotta say that it was written poorly. Considering how great his Hank Henshaw was in flashbacks in season one, it's disapppointing that one of Superman and Supergirl's greatest enemies was reduced to a thug for hire during season two. Plus we have yet to get a great portrayal of Steel in any live action iteration. 

I rest my case

Supergirl could easily introduce Natasha Irons or even John Henry Irons to the show. It's surprising to me that they haven't done that yet. Also the Eradicator is an awesome force to be reckoned with. I'd love to see him done on screen as a super-big-bad. These are such great characters that haven't been used yet in the Arrowverse. I'd say I'd love to see Conner Kent but if rumors are true we'll be seeing him soon enough on Titans


Soooooo . . . this is probably a super (pun intended) long shot but how great would this be? There are always rumors that Superman will appear on this show or that show but honestly it seems almost inevitable on Krypton. The show is all about protecting Superman's legacy so it seems inevitable that Kal El will meet up with Seg El at some point, probably during the last episode. But I'm greedy and impatient and I'd love to see that happen sooner rather than later. Plus the actor that plays Seg El, Cameron Cuffe, is such a huge nerd that he might campaign for a role on a potential Superman show. And you know what? He's a damn good actor. I'd cast him in a heartbeat. Even if it wasn't a Superman/Krypton crossover. 


I had a previous blog post about how Lois Lane deserves her own TV show, and here we have an opportunity to give Lois the spotlight. Granted we had Lois and Clark where Lois really drove the action of the series due to her investigative journalism, but I think a new Superman show is where we can see Lois shine again. She's one of the strongest, best characters in all of DC Comics and I still think she'll get her due soon enough. This year's annual Arrowverse crossover Elseworlds will include Lane in a sizable role. I'm hoping that she and Clark will headline a new series. Lois definitely deserves more time in the spotlight as a hero and I'm hoping to see her on the small screen sooner rather than later. 


I think I speak for all Superman fans when I say it's very irritating that Lex Luthor is constantly the go-to for Superman bad guys. For me it was refreshing watching season one of Supergirl and Lex was nowhere to be seen. I don't even think he was mentioned (but I could be wrong). If a Superman show were to be greenlit I'd love see Lex Luthor as far away as possible at least for a few seasons. I'll be the first to admit that I love Lex Luthor and he's an amazing character but I think it's better to treat him like the Joker in the Dark Knight trilogy. The first film, Batman Begins, didn't need the Joker to make it a compelling film. He was saved for the sequel and it was worth the wait. I think that should be how Lex is treated. Like I've said previously, there are so many Superman concepts that haven't been used in the films or TV shows so holding off on Lex would be a smart move. Plus, let's see more alien or super-powered threats that could go toe to toe with Superman physically as well as mentally. Speaking of . . . 


One of the oldest and best tropes used in Superman storytelling is the idea of "Is Superman a god?". During Kingdom Come and the psuedo-sequel in Justice Society of America's Thy Kingdom Come the characters of Magog and Gog challenge the very notion of Superman and the other superheroes. In Kingdom Come, Magog kills the Joker and the public sides with him causing Superman to question his role in society. In Thy Kingdom Come, Gog shows up and starts solving all the problems in the world and demands to be worshipped. The Justice Society refuses and Gog flips his shit and starts killing off people. I think that story has potential to be really captivating in today's society where it seems like faith and religion are used as excuses to do terrible things. Those types of stories like God vs the Devil are always fascinating to me and I love seeing Superman as a supposed god figure that he tries to refute. Christ imagery is constantly used in Superman stories but it's never tackled head on. Supergirl tackled this type of story during season three in an exceptional episode but I think a season long arc seeing Clark struggle with this idea of the public treating him like God would be excellent television. 

Granted a Superman series is unfortunately a long shot at this point but I gotta say that Kal El, Lois Lane, and all the Daily Planet staff are ripe for television. Plus there's the recent "legacy" casting that happens with these shows nowadays and I think Brandon Routh, Dean Cain, and Tom Welling would be amazing guest stars. Superman adventures have always made for great television shows so why stop now? Plus Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch would be great as this generation's Clark and Lois! So what are we waiting for CW? Let's make this happen! 

Till Next Time!

JJ - the Comic Junkie! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


It's a really exciting time to be a DC fan. Two years ago DC did a whole Rebirth thing (you might have heard about it) and every comic got a much needed shot in the arm. I was enjoying a lot of the New 52 run but I'm glad that the comics got back on track. After the success of Rebirth, DC has gone all in on their branding in the same way that Marvel has and honestly, I think that's awesome. I've been a DC fan my whole life. You probably guessed that since most of my posts are DC posts. And I'll admit that the films that have been put out recently haven't been . . . shall we say the best DC can offer. Honestly, I've enjoyed all the films I've seen (yes even Green Lantern).

While the films may not always hit the mark it's safe to say the TV shows have been absolutely mind blowing. For me, it started with Smallville 17 years ago (holy shit I'm old) and has continued with Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Black Lightning, and so on and so forth. Even the shows I'm not watching like Preacher and Lucifer I still get excited about because I go to Comic Cons and see fans cosplaying as those characters and that makes me happy.

With the launch of DC Universe, DC has taken it upon themselves to produce their own content free from any corporate mandate. They're getting to tell the stories that they're excited about and that's awesome. At the time of this writing, Titans has had it's first episode. While the trailer might have turned people off, I'd encourage them to give it another shot. I loved it and I'm excited to watch these characters grow over the next several episodes. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! Between the exclusive content on DC Universe to a few upcoming shows on other networks, DC is primed to continue knocking everyone's socks off! Here are the shows I'm most excited about:

This has the potential to be one of the most interesting and ground breaking shows ever. Just like the Watchmen graphic novel was so groundbreaking for it's time, the show should be the same way. As I'm sure you know, the graphic novel was a deconstruction of the superhero genre. Given that so many comics have been adapted to television and film in the past 15 years, some more than once, Watchmen is in a position to comment on all of it and transcend the genre. With an amazing cast assembled including Regina Hall and Jeremy Irons plus Damon Lindelof as writer/producer, I have a feeling we're going to see something special. Hell, I'm even considering signing up for HBO just to check it out!
Ok, ok, ok. Hear me out! This show kind of sounds ridiculous. I mean, why does it even have to exist in the first place? Are any of us really excited about seeing the origin story of Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's faithful butler? Well, EPIX got excited enough to greenlight the damn thing so somebody is doing something right!
Seriously though, after reading Scott Snyder's run on All Star Batman, specifically the arc titled "The First Ally", I actually have some hope that this show will be really cool. As long as they keep the Bat-references and easter eggs to a minimum. I mean, Thomas Wayne is supposed to be the co-star and that's all well and good, but I'm not interested in seeing Alfred take on any Bat-rogues. I'm interested to see his origins as a bad ass British special forces guy with medical training and fighting styles that make us say, "Oh shit! That's where Batman gets it from!" I think that's the route they are going to go and with the producers of Gotham behind the camera, I think we're in good hands.

I'll be the first to admit that I was not excited about this show. I mean, it's cool that DC is able to produce it's own content but Doom Patrol? Seriously? I didn't give it much thought. I figured I would watch it anyway because Geoff Johns (my man) kept talking about how excited he was for it. And to be fair I wasn't a big Green Arrow fan before Smallville and of course Arrow. So maybe it would be cool.
While I was at New York Comic Con earlier this month, I went to the DC Universe panel. Geoff Johns (my man) was there talking about the show and how it's based on Grant Morrison's run from the 80's. He said those comics still hold up and recommended we all check them out. Well, since Johns is practically a walking DC encyclopedia I figured I'd give it a shot. Well, I bought the first volume and read it while waiting in line the next day. I couldn't put it down! It was so exciting and fun and the characters, especially Robotman, hit a chord with me. When I finished that volume I immediately bought the second volume and devoured it. If the show is anything like the comic, which Johns says it is, then we are all in for a real treat! Plus with a great cast including Brendan Fraser, Timothy Dalton, and Matthew Bomer, we're in for some powerhouse performances!
At New York Comic Con, I was lucky enough to attend the Titans premiere. Before they showed the first two episodes (yay!) they gave us a sneak peak at Harley Quinn. Even freaking Kaley Cuoco came out to announce it! It was pretty exciting! The clip we saw is online now and it's really funny. Sam Humphries, current writer of the Harley Quinn comic book, says that he thinks of Harley as Bugs Bunny. She can go anywhere or do anything in her stories. She interacts with everyone the same way and is just a lot of fun to watch get into crazy adventures. With that in mind, Harley is perfect for a wacky animated series, especially a mature themed series. Plus the cast sounds awesome with Cuoco as Quinn, Christopher Meloni as Commissioner Gordon, Diedrich Bader as Batman, and Lake Bell as Poison Ivy! It sounds like a lot of fun and I can't wait to see what sort of hijinks Harley takes us on!

The first comic that Geoff Johns (my man) wrote at DC was Stars and Stripe where he created the character Stargirl. He based her off of his late sister. I read the first volume of that comic and you can feel the passion and love he had for this character right off the bat. The show sounds like a great legacy series, which Johns excels at. Courtney, Stargirl, finds her stepdad's old superhero uniform and decides to have some fun with it. Along the way she learns about the Justice Society of America and all the heroes that were apart of that generation. I'm so excited to see characters from the JSA on a TV show! Granted we've seen some of them guest star on Smallville, the Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow but seeing them get the spotlight in a new TV show? That's just too awesome to pass up! Plus Johns has promised a lighter tone for the series to balance out the darker Titans and Doom Patrol. It's refreshing to hear that DC is willing to put all kinds of content on their streaming service so that fans can get a variety of content. And Stargirl just sounds like so much fun!
I've already written about what I think would make for a great Batwoman series. The truth is that I'm not too worried about it. With Greg Berlanti and the awesome producers at the CW at the helm, I have no doubt Batwoman will be an excellent series. The recent costume reveal, pictured above, only solidified what I was thinking - Kate Kane and Gotham City are in excellent hands! I'm looking forward to seeing her debut in the annual DC CW crossover this year. I read the first volume of her solo series by Greg Rucka and, if the series is anything like that, it will be epic and exciting! Plus the CW has a knack for making us fall in love with people behind the masks. What more can a fan want?
Like I said, it's an amazing time to be a DC Comics fan. From the upcoming Aquaman and Shazam films to all the shows I've mentioned plus the returning shows like Young Justice we've got so much to look forward to! I say keep it coming! And if anyone at DC is reading this - please review my suggestions for what to add to your streaming service. I'm only an e-mail away! :)
Till Next Time!
JJ - the Comic Junkie! 

Monday, September 17, 2018


With the DC Universe service having just launched this weekend and news of Lois Lane being cast in Supergirl (to be played by Elizabeth Tulloch), I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the Metropolis series that was ordered and then put on hold. The show was first described as Lois Lane and Lex Luthor investing bizarre situations on the fringe of science. Or . . . something like that. Whatever that means. ANYWAY! I personally think the show could be interesting and exciting. It just needs to be about Lois Lane. Lex and other Superman supporting characters will have their roles to play of course, but Lois should be the star. Let's dig into why she would be a perfect protagonist.


Throughout her lifetime in comics, movies, TV, etc, Lois has always been second fiddle to Superman. There have been plenty of stories about Clark Kent and Superman without Lois as a supporting character but to my knowledge there haven't been many stories about Lois Lane without Superman. A show all about her rise to prominence in the journalism world is unexplored territory. Lois is a strong enough character to hold her own series without needing a lot of winks and nods to Superman or even Clark Kent as a supporting character. She doesn't need Superman to make her an interesting character. All she needs is a passion for finding out the truth and the guts to go after it at all costs. She don't need no man looking out for her! 


Metropolis was already going to be about Lois and Lex. Instead, I think the focus should be shifted away from Lex (but not completely, more on that later) and the spotlight given to Lois Lane. Having Lois be the sole star gives the writers and producers more room to give Lois a brand new supporting cast. A rival reporter, a boss, a plucky sidekick, all the tropes that these types of shows always have. Lois and Clark actually did a good job of having all of those things. Metropolis can be like that but without Clark Kent being introduced until maybe the last episode or two. Lois is qualified enough to run a series on her own. She was a reporter long before Clark showed up in Metropolis and had made a name for herself. I think that show would be interesting.


Smallville told the story of Clark Kent growing up, Lois and Clark told the romance between those characters, Krypton is about Kal El's ancestors now I think it's time to tell a story without mention of Kal El, Krypton, or any of those elements. Keeping the story on Earth and human threats would be something we haven't seen in the Superman side of the DC Universe. Granted I still like the idea of Lois investigating the fringe science . . . stuff. But there's plenty of stories to tell with all kinds of weird experiments, other aliens, the multiverse, all that crazy DC stuff without even a mention of Krypton or the survivors. While that may sound like blasphemy, I like the idea of Lois's story being more Earth-bound and then when Superman arrives, that's when the Kryptonian elements come in. There's plenty of story to tell about Lois and the rest of the Daily Planet and the stories they uncover.


One type of story that is forever timeless is family drama. Whether it's a supportive family, a dysfunctional family, or somewhere in the middle, everyone can relate to some type of family. Lois's family, father General Sam Lane, mom Ella Lane, and sister Lucy, have been portrayed as either being on the outs with Lois or supportive or somewhere in between. It all depends on what the writers think is the best place to go. Personally, I've always liked the family being supportive but Sam has secrets with his military units. It's another type of story that recent comic book series have done well which is the loving parent or parent-figure with secrets that could hurt the hero. Arrow and The Flash had those going into their first seasons with great success. I think that's the way Metropolis should go with Lois and her father. That type of story will give them a lot of mileage especially in a first season. But there's always a different type of antagonist . . . 


While I think Metropolis will be just fine without Superman, I don't think it would do so well without Lex Luthor. Not because he's a recognizable face or foe, but because he's always boasted about being the one who built and reshaped Metropolis. It would be interesting if the series showed us Lex's empire growing in Metropolis. Of course, he would come into conflict with Lois and the Daily Planet. Granted, maybe it's too easy to make Lex the antagonist yet again for Metropolis and it's residents but given a certain commander-in-chief's penchant for calling the media "fake news" it's not out of the realm of possibilities for people to fall under Lex's charm and believe whatever he tells them over the facts presented by the journalists at the Daily Planet. Lois is all about discovering the truth no matter what the cost and Lex would do anything to protect his empire. Maybe that would hit close to home, but as I've said before comic books and sci fi always have a way of being topical without beating the audience over the head with morality or politics. 


As I've said, Lois is all about reporting the truth. In today's world with the term "fake news" being shouted at every turn, the truth seems to be relative. It's important that people, especially young women, see that the truth is not relative. Truth is truth. There's no such thing as alternative facts. The truth speaks for itself and the people who are afraid of the truth are probably guilty. Lois Lane has always been a journalist first. Her devotion is to the truth and making sure that the public knows what is real and what is not. She's a role model that our world desperately needs right now. Someone willing to dig for the truth no matter the consequences. For decades she's played second fiddle to Superman but she's a hero without super powers. She's just damn good at her job. But to her it's not just a job, it's her life.

So far, I'm loving DC Universe. It's full of classic and even some contemporary DC content that a fan like me can spend hours and hours gobbling up. I'm most looking forward to the new TV series they have to offer. I'm hoping Metropolis gets off the back burner and becomes something special to inspire us all the way Superman does. Excuse me . . . I mean the way Lois Lane WILL.

Till Next Time!

JJ - the Comic Junkie! 

Saturday, September 15, 2018


Today is DC's annual Batman Day! Your local comic book store and probably a few other geek-ish stores will be having various Bat-related sales and such. Also, is having a sale on digital Bat-comics for your enjoyment. But what other ways can you celebrate? Well . . . I have a few suggestions . . .


You all know it! It's one of the most iconic and well known songs of all time. Even if you've never seen a minute of the original TV series you know how this song goes. NA NA NA NA NA BATMAN! It's perfect and fun to (kind of) dance to. Legend has it that if you say Batman three times in the mirror, Adam West appears and does the Batusi with you. 


I'm not saying put on a costume and fight crime. I mean you can but without years of rigorous training you might get your ass kicked. I mean stand up to a bully, donate to charity, compliment someone, I don't know dude! Do something good in the world! What have you done lately? Probably nothing but complain about how tired you are! Do something good for crying out loud! Batman can't do this alone! 


What if you don't have one? Well, take advantage of DC's sale on their website or get off your butt and visit your local comic book store and find one! I highly recommend a few classics such as Batman: Hush, The Dark Knight Returns, The Court of Owls, The Killing Joke, Death of the Family, or whatever you consider to be your favorite! There's 79 years of comics to choose from. Choose wisely . . . 


I mean if you don't feel like getting off your ass then pick one or two (or more . . . whatever) of your favorite Bat-movies, heat up some popcorn, grab a soda or a beer and sit back and relax! There's the excellent animated films to choose from or the varying degrees of quality live action films. Wanna laugh? Batman and Robin! Wanna cry? Batman: Mask of the Phantasm! Wanna cheer? Batman Begins! Dealer's choice, man! Go for it! 


I don't care how old you are - Batman Legos are fun and awesome. Go to your local toy store, not Toys R Us of course (too soon?), and pick up some bad ass legos and have fun! If you think they're too pricey then pull out your Bat credit card and pay it off later! "Never leave the cave without it!" 


This one was obvious right? If you're like me, you have a whole drawer literally overflowing with various Bat-shirts. I've walked into stores wearing a Batman shirt and bought a different Batman shirt. Because I'm a devoted Bat-fan and I'm not ashamed of that! (anymore)


Batman has been in so many various animated series throughout the decades it's hard to keep track! There's the Adventures of Batman from the 1970s, Batman: the Animated Series, Batman Beyond, The Batman, Beward the Batman, Justice League, Justice League Action, Batman Unlimited, Batman: the Brave and the Bold, Superfriends, I mean the list goes on! It's crazy! Fun fact about me - that aforementioned Adventures of Batman was one I discovered at Blockbuster when I was a kid and watched the hell out of so many times. When the DVDs FINALLY released a few years ago I gobbled those up. It's so much fun to watch. Hopefully, DC Universe will add it to their collection. OH! And speaking of which . . . 


Oh it's so cool! So much of what I mentioned is already on this thing! From classic Batman movies, to the wonderful animated series, to great comic books, this streaming service is so incredible. It's the kind of thing I never knew how much I wanted. And yeah yeah yeah I already own all these things but with so many upcoming new series and more content it's worth it. I'm sure over the next few months we'll see their catalog get bigger and better. But for now, there's plenty to enjoy. And for just $7.99 a month it's a pretty sweet deal! 

Well . . . what are you waiting for? Get out their and enjoy the Bat-Day!

Till Next Time! 

JJ - the Comic Junkie! 

Thursday, August 30, 2018


Last night, DC Universe streamed their first episode of DC Daily, or rather an episode 0 if you will, talking about the awesome stuff that the new streaming service is going to offer. Honestly, it was a lot of fun to watch. I felt like I was spying on old friends as they gushed about all things DC Comics. The one question host Kevin Smith asked everybody was "What's in your universe?" Meaning what brought you into DC Comics in the first place? Well for me, the list is long. I started off as a Batman guy and then as the years went on more and more things took me out of just Gotham City and into the wider DC Universe. I'd like to share those things with you now.


This film is probably on everybody's list and there's a good reason for that. It's a damn good movie. Sure some of the effects and stunts are severely outdated but the performance that Christopher Reeve gave as Clark Kent/Superman still holds up today. I remember my mom taking me to Blockbuster and I rented all the Superman movies one summer and watched them all. They were so much fun. Back then as far as Superman went I had Lois and Clark, which I loved, and Superman: the Animated Series, which I also loved. I remember my dad talking to me about it and saying he saw it when he was younger and liked Christopher Reeve a lot. I learned a lot about him and felt bad about his accident. He was a great actor and is definitely missed. But these films, especially the first one, hold in my memory as pillars of why I love Superman so much. 


I'll keep this brief because I've talked about this film ad nauseum on this blog. But more than anything else, this version of Batman is cemented in brain as definitive. The opening scene where Michael Keaton growls, "I'm Batman" is the moment I fell deeply in love with the character. I mean I was scared shitless, but it stayed with me forever. The costume, the subtle movements and dialogue from Batman, the Batmobile, the city, I mean this movie perfectly captured Batman's world to me. I rewatch this movie at least once a month and I never grow tired of it. 


Another one that's probably on everybody's list but again with good reason. This show is not only a landmark in pop culture and animation history, but it's really, really good. If you go back and rewatch the series, as I do quite often, the stories hold up. Batman is set in a timeless world. It could be the 1940s, it could be the present, it could be the future, it's never directly stated. Even it had been the stories are still amazing. Visually they are stunning, the performances are top notch, and the stories range from mature to more family friendly and it never feels out of place. The show defied what traditional "cartoon superheroes" looked like and just about every animated action series since then has taken a cue from it. Plus it gave us Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as Batman and the Joker. I mean . . . that alone makes it great. 


When I was a kid my sisters and I were already big Batman fans but this show kind of brought us together. We've always been close but it was kind of a ritual watching Batman Beyond together. I remember we were all sucked in with the first episode and would stop everything to watch it when it was on. To me, the show was a logical continuation from Batman: the Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. Visually the show was different than the other shows but felt the same style. Plus there was emphasis on building Terry up as a great character and not just Batman Junior which I always appreciated. Plus, again, the show holds up. The stories are exciting, mature, and damn good fun. Hopefully my dream will come true of seeing this in live action some day. 


If you've read this blog before then you know my love of Smallville. I mean heck, when I got Hulu I started rewatching the series despite owning all the DVDs. That's . . . that's me. Big ole geek man . . . ANYWAY! This show means a lot to me and my evolution into a super geek you all know and love. I remember hearing about this show being made and I thought it sounded like such a cool idea. I mean back then there weren't a lot of outlets for live action superhero stuff. Smallville was the closest thing I got to a Superman TV show and I was not disappointed. I didn't mind the slow burn into him putting on the costume because I felt like the show was maturing along with me. I was about the same age as Clark when the show premiered and could relate to being in love, growing up, and feeling like an outsider. Granted, I'm not an alien from another planet but the show's metaphor held up well and I could enjoy it. Plus the show laid the foundation for the Arrowverse and each of those shows holds a special place in my heart. Man, just writing this makes me want to watch the show again . . . 


This comic series meant the world to me as a growing geek. I'll never forget seeing ads for Green Lantern: Rebirth in other comics and thinking, "That looks cool!" It was the image of Hal as the Spectre holding his lantern. At the time, I only knew a little about Green Lantern from the Justice League animated series but for some reason those ads called out to me. And clearly I wasn't the only one. The first issue was sold out when I got to the comic book store! I had to wait till they had a THIRD PRINTING to get a copy. I was not disappointed. It was worth the wait and I became a lifelong Green Lantern fan. The series followed me to my move to North Carolina where, when I was struggling to make friends in a new city, there were new issues every month that I could get excited about. The series never failed to put a smile on my face even when Geoff Johns left. Getting to meet him at New York Comic Con was a highlight for me. It was like meeting a rock star. That comic got me into Infinite Crisis, Teen Titans, and many more comics as the years went on. But my real expansion into the DC Universe came from this. 


Most Bat-fans will tell you their gateway Bat-comic was The Dark Knight Returns or Batman: Year One or something like that. While I definitely read those and loved them, Batman: Hush was the one that truly got me into monthly comics starting with Batman. I remember my sister coming over and telling me there was this comic coming out that sounded cool and I should check it out. I ended up picking up the first issue and falling head over heels in love with it. It's one I revisit frequently. It felt like I was watching a new Batman film I had never heard of before. It flowed so well and started my love affair with the Bruce/Selina relationship. The story was so exciting and fun. From fights with Superman, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, and so many other Bat-rogues it set the stage for so many other stories like Jeph Loeb's Superman/Batman, Batman: Under the Hood, and even Infinite Crisis. So while Green Lantern took me across the universe, Hush started me off in Gotham City where I was familiar. It's one comic I always recommend to friends looking for great Bat-stories. 

What's in my Universe? Well that's quite a loaded question. I could go on and on and about individual episodes, comics, and film scenes that turned me into the proud geek I am today. These are the things I grew up with that inspired me to make this blog in the first place. I'm so excited that most of these things will be available on DC Universe. I've preordered my subscription and I'm counting down the days till I can go nuts watching all my favorites plus a bunch of new things to whet my appetite even more!

Till Next Time!

JJ - the Comic Junkie! 

Thursday, August 23, 2018


Today is a bit of a rough day for me. My mom passed away this past Christmas. Today is her birthday and it's the first birthday we'll have without her. Rather than wallow in pity or grieve her loss again, I decided to put some thoughts down into this blog. She always encouraged my writing and acting. Well, since I can't act out this type of thing (I don't even know what that means), instead I'll write a cool little tribute to her.

My mom was a big geek. My favorite memory of her is her taking me to see The Mask of Zorro. I thought the movie looked really cool but for my mom, she grew up loving the old Zorro TV show. To her, this was a huge deal. It was her childhood hero she could share with me. She was literally cheering and jumping up and down in her seat. At 11 years old, at the time I was super embarrassed, but looking back I realize how much I'm like her. I mean I was cheering during Batman Begins and The Avengers. Who am I to talk? (Sorry, mom haha)

This got me thinking that throughout comics, our favorite heroes have been inspired by their moms to not just be good people but to be heroes in the first place. In some cases, motherhood wasn't an option but the characters stepped up to take on the hardest job in the world. I'd like to share my thoughts on some of comic book's best moms.

Let's put aside any thoughts you might have on Man of Steel for a moment and instead focus on Lara. Lara was given a little bit more of a spotlight than she normally does in Superman adaptations. Usually, the stories focus more on the relationship between father and son, Jor El and Kal El, but this time Lara had a little bit more to do in that she is literally the one that sends Kal El to Earth. She agrees with Jor El that the system Krypton has in place is broken and they conceive their child naturally. Lara is a great mom because she's willing to not only have a child that will have free will to be whatever he wants, she's willing to save his life by sending him to a planet where he will be able to protect himself. Lara never gets much to do, but it says a lot that every story ends with her willing to sacrifice herself to save her only son.

Here's one you may not have heard of. In the recent Marvel comics as written by Brian Michael Bendis, before he moved to DC, Tony Stark discovered that he was adopted and took it upon himself to find his real parents. Turns out his mother was a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent/musician, now music producer living in London. His father was a Hydra agent trying to convince his mother, Amanda, to switch sides to Hydra and they would protect her and the baby. She wanted to keep the baby safe from Hydra so Howard Stark agreed to adopt the baby. Years later, Tony found her and they reunited. Then, as these things go, Tony fell into a coma at the end of Civil War II and Amanda took over Stark Industries.
It takes a brave woman to admit that she can't keep her child safe and is willing to let him go. Then to have him find her, she wants nothing more than to be a part of his life. In Dan Slott's new series Tony Stark: Iron Man, she remains a big part of the comic, supporting Tony with everything he does. Just like a loving mother should.

Those who know me know that more than any other comic Ultimate Spider-Man was my jam for many many years. More than any other Spider-Man story I wasn't just excited to read the fight scenes and the new interpretations of Spidey's rogues, but I loved the drama and the fun of the high school setting. Also, I found myself genuinely tearing up many times whenever Peter would interact with Aunt May. May is a character that is extremely integral to Spider-Man's adventures. In the Ultimate Comics she was portrayed as slightly younger than in the regular Marvel books. This was to "update" her I guess. Either way, more than I had ever seen, she was a fully fleshed out character. She had hopes, dreams, fears, all made that much more dramatic and scary when she found out her nephew was Spider-Man. She didn't take it well at first, but then after a long talk with Peter she saw him for the hero that he is and embraced her new relationship.
There's a scene where May has had a heart attack and is lying in the hospital and Peter pours his heart out to her saying that she's his mom and he thinks of himself as her son. She wakes up and hugs him and says, "My boy." I'm tearing up just writing that up. Their relationship was just about perfect.

Hey, another Bendis one! I guess I kinda liked that guy's Marvel stuff! Now most of you probably know Jessica Jones best from her self titled Netflix series. While that is a great show and Krysten Ritter absolutely nails it, the Jessica I first met was from the New Avengers comic book where she was on the run from the government for failing to register with the Superhuman Registration Act with her husband, Luke Cage, and their newborn baby. You might be thinking, "Jessica Jones? The hard ass detective with the chimp on her shoulder and a drink constantly in her hand?" And I'd say, "Yepp!" She may not seem like the maternal type but trust me when I say she stepped up to take care of her baby when needed.
She's a great mom because despite having a less than ideal life, at least for a while, with her husband and other Avengers friends on the run, she stood up for what she believed in and wanted to make that clear to her child. She wants to be a role model for her child. A hero not just because she has superpowers but because she stands up for what she believes is right. A damn good role model if you ask me.
Lois Lane is another character that I definitely wouldn't have thought of as maternal. However, given that she married the world's biggest softie, Clark Kent, it was expected that they would have a child. Not just any child but another Superboy, Jon Kent. Raising a child with superpowers is essentially like having a special needs child. It's a lot more complicated than just having a normal son. This one comes with special requirements and a much more caring hand as he grows up with powers and abilities that will take time, patience, and endurance to control and embrace. It'll take a strong woman to be able to deal with that kind of workload on top of being the world's leading investigative journalist. Luckily, she has an ever dependable partner with Clark/Superman. But Lois has proved time and time again that she's more than capable of tackling any challenge. She's a great mom because she never gives up on the people she loves.
I think this one speaks for itself. The Fantastic Four are commonly referred to as "Marvel's First Family." More than other characters in the Marvel Universe they are defined by their relationship to each other. While I've read comics with the characters spread out among other groups, it's never quite the same. The Fantastic Four are at their best when they're with each other. And Reed and Sue have never shined brighter than when they became parents. Reed was already a nerdy dad to begin with and Sue always seemed like a woman ready to raise kids to be heroes/explorers like herself. 

Sue is amazing because she puts the ones she loves above everything else. She is protective of her children but isn't afraid to let them have their own adventures because she knows they can take care of themselves. She's a hero to the Marvel Universe and one of the greatest moms a kid could hope to have.
Most of the best heroes we look up are forged in tragedy. For Captain America/Steve Rogers, he had to watch his loving mother suffer at the hands of an alcoholic and abusive husband. Back then, if you recall, Steve wasn't the Cap we all know and love. Back then he was a scrawny, shrimp of a man, even smaller as a boy. He watched helplessly as his mom would be smacked around by a terrible man. She reminded him that he should never back down from a bully. She says, "You always stand up." Those words stayed with Steve his entire life and informed his mantra when he became Captain America. Sarah is Steve's hero and he is the man he is today because of her.

It's crazy to think that Batman: the Animated Series was made for children because there were plenty of very mature stories that were told throughout it's run. Early in the show, it's established that after Bruce's parents were murdered, he was looked after by his father's close friend, Leslie Thompkins. Leslie was also a doctor and acted a bit as Bruce's personal therapist when he was younger. In his older years as a crime fighter she works as his personal M.D., tending to his wounds when he's near her clinic. She's not afraid to look at him and tell him that what he's doing is dangerous, but she never turns down a patient in need. She's a constant, caring figure in Bruce's life. She treats him like her own son. She loves him and wishes he would give up his violent life but she still cares for him.
When it comes to all time hero moms - Nora Allen might just take the cake. She was Barry's hero as a kid due to her seemingly unending wealth of wisdom and love. But then Eobard Thawne, a crazed scientist from the 25th century who became obsessed with the Flash, went back in time and murdered Nora for no other reason than to piss Barry off. Barry had finally had enough and went back in time to stop the Reverse Flash. Technically speaking, Barry succeeded in saving his mother. Unfortunately, he messed up everyone else's life and created an alternate, nightmare timeline where Atlantis and Themyscira are at war and have decimated half the planet, Bruce Wayne is dead and Thomas Wayne is a murderous Batman, Kal El has been captured by the government and experimented on his whole life, and Barry is not the Flash.
When Barry finally gets his powers back and realizes the hell he's created he tries to think of a way to fix everything including saving his mom. Barry confides in her and she says, "You have to let me go." It's a heartbreaking moment but Nora is a brave woman. She's willing to die to save billions of lives and inspire a hero in the Flash. Lucky for Barry, he was able to keep the memories of his life with her when everything was put right so he'll always have her close to his heart.
Superman is who he is because of his parents. Two humble farmers that were blessed with a child from the heavens that would one day grow up to be Earth's greatest savior. But when you're raising a young man with powers that he can barely control on top of the usual hormones and growing pains, the job is a lot harder. Martha was more than up to the task. The moment she laid eyes on Kal El she fell in love with him. She said that "he found us." Throughout all of Clark's trials and tribulations as a teenager into young adult she was standing behind him, encouraging him. She's a great mom because she was patient, loving, kind, and Clark's biggest fan. The love that she had for her son was stronger than anything else in the world and she proved that on a regular basis throughout the series. 
My mom always encouraged my geekiness. We actually used to watch Smallville together and she seemed to be more excited about it than I was on certain nights. I know she's out there somewhere looking out for me. Thanks for taking the time to read this, Comic Junkies. Y'all are the best.
Till Next Time!
JJ - the Comic Junkie!