Archive for November, 2013

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH DR. WHO

Posted: November 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

In honor of the 50th birthday of my favorite TV show, here’s an amazing essay from Film Crit Hulk!

FILM CRIT HULK! HULK BLOG!

YOU SHOULD GO TO BEGINNING OF CURRENT ITERATION OF DR. WHO AND START WATCHING IT.

RIGHT NOW.

WHY?

BECAUSE DR. WHO MIGHT BE HULK’S FAVORITE TELEVISION SHOW.

EVER.

… THAT A PRETTY GRAND STATEMENT, FULL OF ALL SORTS OF HYPERBOLE AND WHATEVER, BUT IT TRUE. A LOT OF AMERICANS MAY BE CONFUSED BY HULK’S RECOMMENDATION, WHEREAS A LOT OF HULK’S U.K. READERS WONDERING WHY AMERICANS WOULD BE CONFUSED AT ALL. SEE, WHILE DR. WHO AN INTRINSIC PART OF YOUR TELEVISION HISTORY AND A CULTURAL TALKING POINT, IT NOT REALLY THAT WELL-KNOWN OVER HERE IN THE STATES.(1) AS OF JUST A FEW MONTHS AGO, EVEN HULK JUST KNEW A BIT OF THIS HISTORY OF THE SHOW AND ITS IMPORTANCE AND NOT MUCH MORE. IT TOOK THE OUTRIGHT INSISTENCE OF A FEW FRIENDS TO CONVINCE HULK TO STARTING WATCHING AND, OBVIOUSLY, HULK VERY GLAD HULK DID.

BUT SERIOUSLY, FAVORITE???

CONSIDERING THE DEPTH…

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75 YEARS OF SUPERMAN

Posted: November 9, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Superman_All-Star_Superman_001

The year is 1938 and two Jewish immigrants named Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster are about to create something no one had ever seen before. Something that combined science fiction with the great heros of mythology. Something called “the superhero.” Every publisher turned the idea down except for one. The company that would later be known as DC Comics published the first issue of a magazine called Action Comics. What came from that issue changed the world forever.

We are introduced to a character called Superman. A man that had the strength of ten men and had the ability to leap small buildings in a single bound. A man who was a social crusader before he became the American Way. A man who disguised himself as the mild mannered reporter Clark Kent when he wasn’t wearing his blue and red costume. In the years to come, we learned about Krypton and it’s radioactive rock Kryptonite. We visited the fields of golden wheat in Smallville. We scoffed at the villainous Lex Luthor. We became Jimmy Olsen’s friend. We longed for a dog as loyal as Krypto. And we fell in love with Lois Lane.

And over the years, we have forgotten what Superman means to us. We insist that our heros be “tortured” and have “real world problems” in order to sympathize with them. We have forgotten that Superman’s problems are just like ours but blown to Paul Bunyan scale. When Superman walks his dog, he walks it just like we all do, but to the moon. When Superman has family reunions, he has the same family reunions as we do, but his involve family members coming from the future or from another dimension. The key to understanding him is in the title alone. He is a man just like us. The only difference is that his dreams, his loves, his fears, his worries, are all super sized.

It’s interesting to think of an American icon such as he was created by non-Americans. Born on a distant planet with the foreign name Kal-El, he is adopted by two earth people and raised in the heart of  America. He adopts the very plain sounding name of Clark Kent and fuses the values of his country and the strength of his birth place to create a persona that is both human and non-human. Many scholars have made the analogy to this story to the those of Moses and Jesus. Every culture creates their own version of a man that represents the best of themselves. Superman is ours.

But a hero is only as good as his villain. And Lex Luthor is one of the best. Brilliant, vain, and cruel, Luthor sees himself as the modern Alexander The Great. Building the best machines and weapons to straighten the human race. And like most great villains, he is an empathetic one. Even if we don’t wish to admit it, we see a little piece of ourselves within Lex. We’ve all seen someone that has done a better job than us and say, “that should be me.” We’ve all seen the outsider and felt threatened by them. If Superman represents what human beings should be, Lex Luthor represents the worst of us.

A number of fans and writers alike have subscribed to the theory that Superman and Wonder Woman should be in a relationship. After all, at least the Amazon princess can match his power. But they are missing the point. Lois Lane is what grounds Superman. She is just as strong, kind, and smart as he is but without the powers. She is the light that Superman sees in the darkness. She is his hero.

Before the first sword was forged, it was an idea. Before the first bullet was loaded into the first gun, it was an idea. Before the first atomic bomb was dropped on to a city, it was an idea. All the things that have been created to destroy, was an idea we created. But we have created ideas of peace. Angels, Gods, and superheros. The idea that we can be something better than ourselves. The idea that we can improve as a species. So I ask you, why not make Superman a reality? Why not make that S symbol stand for something more than just a comic book character, but as a way of life? I’m sure Joel and Jerry would be very proud if we did.