Random Stuff

Batman Socks!

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I just added these socks to my collection of superhero stuff.  Evil-doers beware!

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Be Like Batman, Support Local Businesses

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Why does Batman do what he does? Why does he throw himself out into the night only to be rewarded with bruised ribs and torn flesh? There must be a reason. There must be a rationale that justifies his pain, sacrifice, and unrelenting commitment. Some say that it was the tragic experience of witnessing his parents’ murder that caused Bruce Wayne to take up the cape and cowl. Or that it was the evil and decrepit nature of his city that drove him toward desperation.

But I like to think of things a little differently. To me, it wasn’t the evil in Gotham that lead Mr. Wayne to become Batman, it was the good stuff. The people. The history. The culture. Bruce took a long hard look at his city, and he found something worth fighting for.

Today is the 75th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in comic books. Throughout the years, Batman has established himself as one of the most popular superheroes in the world. Every day more and more people across the globe are falling in love withe the caped crusader. And I’ll be the first to admit that I’m one of them.

He is my favorite comic book character, and in my opinion the greatest super hero of all time. What is it that makes him that great? Easy. He’s so damn relatable. We look into his dark eyes, and we can’t help but see a piece of ourselves. From the child dressed in a Batsuit for Halloween, to the weekend-warrior with a Batman t-shirt stuffed in his gym bag, we have all fantasized about what it would be like to be Batman.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, here’s your chance.

All over the world, cities and towns just like Gotham need your help. Local businesses play a huge role in the economic and cultural development of a city. Unfortunately these local establishments often get ignored.  Instead of buying from a local bookstore, people will get their books online. Instead of eating at a local sub shop, people will hit-up the McDonald’s drive-through.

I’m here to tell you that buying local and supporting local small businesses is incredibly important. Yes, it may cost you a few extra dollars for your dry cleaning, but the benefits that your support has on your hometown are priceless.

Not sure where to start? Hundreds of local comic book shops and book stores across the country are offering free promotional items today in honor of Batman’s anniversary. Find a participating store close to you and check it out! Get some free stuff and while you’re there, maybe think about buying something that catches your eye.

If Batman has taught us anything, it’s that it only takes one person to change the world. Get out there and be like Batman. Stand-up for your city!

Batgirl Redesign Falls Short

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DC Comics and MTV News just announced that a new creative team will take over the Batgirl title in October.  I wish that I could say I’m a fan of the new direction, but unfortunately, I have some issues with it.  Fan-favorite writers Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher joined artist Babbs Tarr to create a drastic revamp of a classic character.

The goal behind this revamp is to re-invent Batgirl as a lighter, happy-go-lucky character.  Apparently, she’s set to break-off all of her previous connections in Gotham, move to a hip/trendy neighborhood, and “live the life of a young, single girl in the city.”  My inner fanboy is weeping.

But before I get to the criticism, let me just say that I am 100% in favor of the movement to get the younger female demographic interested in comics.  The joy of comics should be given to everyone, and young girls do need strong female characters that they can look up to!  What I’m not happy about, however, is one of my favorite characters in all of comic book history getting carelessly wiped-out like a discarded drawing on an Etch-A-Sketch.

Overall, I don’t like the art style but there are a few things that I do like about the new character design.  This version of Batgirl features a much more practical costume with a leather jacket as opposed to spandex and combat boots as opposed to heels.  On the other hand, I find the artwork overtly juvenile.  I’m usually not a fan of comics that are drawn to resemble doodles in a high school art student’s notebook.

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Rumor has it that Barbara will make this new costume herself out of items she finds at various vintage boutiques and thrift stores. I guess I can see the folksy, light-hearted charm, but the problem is Batgirl isn’t really a folksy, light-hearted character.  She’s gritty and dark, and that’s what makes her so interesting.  She is (or at least was) a shining example of determination and unrelenting will, with a splash of vengeance. Think about it: Barbara has seen her friends and family members die, she witnessed her own brother become a mass murderer, she has been beaten and tortured countless times, not to mention she was put through all the events of Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke…  Oh and did I forget to mention that she was paralyzed for years, but still managed to fight for good despite of her handicap!

That’s the character I want to read about, not little miss trendy’s adventures in Gotham city.

The new creative team will start their run with a fire burning all of Barbara’s previous possessions.  I think that’s an accurate symbolic representation of the new direction; all of Batgirl’s great history and character development going up in smoke.

Like I said, it’s great that the industry is recognizing the younger female demographic and writing heroes for them.  It’s just a shame that DC had to destroy one of my favorite characters in the process.

 

If Superheroes Could Play In The World Cup…

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The World Cup is a great opportunity for different nations of the world to come together and engage in multiculturalism, sportsmanship, and overall unity… unless your team gets knocked-out by Belgium with a heartbreaking loss in extra time.  That was a hard loss to take.  Still, I can’t help but wonder what might have happened if the United States had a few superheroes on the roster.

In today’s post I’m picking 11 heroes that I think would make the perfect World Cup team.  My picks are all coming from the Marvel comics universe, and they must all be United States citizens.

Team Captain:  Captain America
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Cap is an obvious choice for my team. His speed, strength, agility, and strategic skills make him an incredible athlete and competitor as is, but he also has the fiercest leadership skills out there. Can you imagine the pep-talks he would give in the locker room? With Cap as team captain, all of the players would be sure to give 110%.

Hawkeye
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Hawkeye’s marksmanship earns him a spot on this team.  He is able to use various weapons with pinpoint accuracy, so his shots on goal would be very accurate.

Spider-Man
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I think that Spider-Man is a good pick because he’s another fast and agile character.  Also, his spider-sense might allow him to know where the ball was going and if it was coming his way.

Iron Fist
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Iron Fist is a martial arts expert.  This means that he has incredible speed, balance and agility.  He’s also accustomed to using his legs for kung-fu kicks.  Kicking a soccer ball would be easy for him.

Cloak
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Teleporters have the potential to change the game.  Because Cloak can teleport, he could be anywhere on the field in a matter of seconds.

Hank Pym
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His Pym Particles let Hank Pym become Giant Man and grow to massive sizes.  This means he could cover the entire distance of the field in a matter of seconds.  It would also make him a tough defender.

Quicksilver (naturalized citizen)
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So Quicksilver wasn’t technically born in the United States, so he is not technically a US citizen.  However, I’m still including him on the list because he has naturalized US citizenship according to Marvel Wiki.  And naturalized citizens are allowed to play for their new countries in the World Cup.  Quicksilver is one of the fastest heroes in the Marvel universe, that fact alone gets him a spot on my team.

Invisible woman
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What?! A woman on the World Cup team?  Yup.  Actually, I picked a few lovely ladies for the team. Gender is not an issue when we’re talking about about superheroes with this much power, and the Invisible Woman’s power is especially useful in this case. Think about it.  She can become invisible and therefore be anywhere on the field.  She can also put up invisible force-fields for defense and turn the ball invisible.

Jean Grey
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My team needs a telepath, and Jean Grey is one of the strongest ones ever. She would be able to telepathically communicate with her teammates. She also has telekinetic abilities, which would give her great control over the ball.

Blink
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Blink is another teleporter. But hey, you can never have too many teleporters!  What attracted me to her character is she has the ability to throw teleportation portals like javelins.  So if she could hit the ball with one of these javelins, she could teleport it into the opponent’s goal.

Goalkeeper:  Mr. Fantastic
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Mr. Fantastic can contort and stretch his body to any shape. His stretchy abilities make him the perfect goalie.  Just try and get one past a man who can make his body the exact size and dimensions of the goal!

So there you have it, that’s my team! And I think the US would stand a much better chance in the World Cup with a few of these guys on the roster.  Who would you pick for your team?  Maybe someone could put together a superhero roster for a different country’s team.  Canada could be interesting…

Like always, let me know what you think in the comments section below.

 

 

 

Superhero Pancakes!

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Every good crime fighter knows that a balanced breakfast is the best way to start the day!  I had a little extra time this morning, so I figured I’d indulge my geeky urges and attempt something that I’ve been eager to try for a while now.  Superhero pancakes!

There was a problem, though.  I’m not very artistically inclined.  I wish I was, but the sad truth is that even my doodles end up lopsided.  And, as I soon found out,  pancake batter is a hard medium to work with!  Nevertheless, I’m not the type of person to let my profound lack of skills stop me from trying something that requires advanced techniques.  So I rolled up my sleeves, preheated the griddle, and got to work.

My first attempt was an Iron Man pancake.

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I guess it kind of looks like Iron Man if you squint a little… Okay, I’ll admit it, this pancake was a failure.  But I like to think of failure as “practice for success.”  And the more I practiced, the better my pancake art got! My next attempt was wolverine.

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I think this one turned out a little better. At least you can see his ears and sort of tell who it is. You get the sense that this pancake is best at what he does, but what he does isn’t very nice.

Next up, the Avengers symbol:

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Avengers Assemble!  I’m proud of this addition to my pancake portfolio, mainly because I successfully got the “A” to be darker than the rest of the pancake.  The trick is to do it in stages.  Make an “A” out of batter and let it brown up before pouring the rest of the pancake around it.

The last pancake that I made is my favorite…

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It’s a pancake Batarang!  Isn’t that cool?!  I think it’s cool.  And it was definitely easier to make once I got the hang of manipulating the pancake batter.

 

Have you ever made unique pancakes? Let’s talk about it in the comments section!