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Wonder Woman Done Right

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There’s a good chance that by now you’ve seen the teaser image of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. And if you’re anything like me, you may have nearly spit out your morning coffee the first time you saw the picture.

Yep, this version of Wonder Woman is coffee-spitting good, and it’s making me even more excited for Batman v. Superman.  Our favorite Amazonian princess is finally getting some time to shine on the big screen and her character design is outstanding! The boots, the bracelets, the weapons… Everything about her costume just works. The pieces all come together to make an incredible ensemble.

Personally, I think this costume does justice (no pun intended) to Wonder Woman’s true essence. It has hints of the classic comic book design, while still fitting in with Zack Snyder’s gritty universe. Gadot is not overly sexualized in this costume, but she still maintains an aura of that special brand of Wonder Woman sexual magnetism.

But the thing I like most about this Wonder Woman is she is tough. The dark color scheme and rigid metal features of her costume help to emphasize her strength.  There is nothing more infuriating to me than artists and directors portraying Wonder Woman as weak.  Diana is a warrior, an Amazon, and one of the toughest characters in the DC universe! This costume hits the nail on the head in terms of getting that point across.

My one small criticism is that Gadot is not very muscular in this image. I would like to see her bulk up a little bit before the actual filming starts (after all, Wonder Woman is an Amazon!), but overall I’m very satisfied with this character design.

What do you think about the new Wonder Woman?  Leave your opinion in the comments section below!

 

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!

Marvel Premiers Female Thor on “The View”

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On this morning’s episode of The View, Marvel Comics released some big news.  Popular comic book character Thor is being replaced by a female predecessor!  It is still unclear as to whether character change will take place in an all new title, Thor: God of Thunder, or a different project.

The only thing we do know is that Thor will make a foolish mistake, and that will cause him to lose his hammer. He is no longer worthy of wielding Mjolnir (his magical hammer), so he must pass it on to a female character.  The identity of the new character is unknown.  It is rumored that she is someone who Thor saved in the past, so she chooses to model her own identity as a superhero after him.  She will even keep the name ‘Thor’ despite her gender.

More to come on this breaking story as details emerge!

Update:  The new character is part of a brand new series simply titled Thor.  Marvel’s “Thor #1” will debut in October, from the creative team Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman.

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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.

 

Winter Soldier vs Red Hood: Who Would Win?

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What’s better than one sidekick brought back from the dead as an antihero? Two sidekicks brought back from the dead as antiheroes! This match-up features the Winter Soldier against the Red Hood.

These two characters are somewhat similar in their skills and abilities, which means that this fight is going to be a good one! I want to thank Gamer Ramble for suggesting this match-up. If there are any specific fights you would like to see, let me know in the comments section.

Here’s the scenario for this fight:
Both Winter Soldier and Red Hood are contracted to take out an unidentified target. Little do they know that the contracts are actually a set-up for them to take out each other! They both arrive at an abandoned warehouse where a deadly confrontation ensues. Red Hood is armed with dual 9mm pistols, and Winter Soldier has an AR70 assault rifle with one clip. The first person to incapacitate his opponent wins.

Throughout comic book history, there have been several versions of both of these characters. But we’re going to stick with the most famous versions for this fight.

Bucky Barnes was Captain America’s sidekick during World War II until a tragic plane crash caused him to lose his life (or so we thought). Come to find out that Bucky had actually survived the crash and suffered torture and experimentation at the hands of Russian scientists. The experiments give Bucky amazing marksmanship and fighting skills as well as a bionic arm. His memory was erased and he came to be known as the Winter Soldier.

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Red Hood has a lot of similar skills, he is also an expert marksman and fighter. And he also began his career as a sidekick. Jason Todd was Batman’s second Robin. That is until Joker managed to kill him by beating him with a crow bar and then setting off a bomb. But have no fear, Todd was also somehow miraculously resurrected from the dead! He took up the mantel of the Red hood and began fighting crime through lethal force.

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The similarity between these characters is uncanny. They both have similar skill sets, training, experiences, and moral codes. So it ultimately comes down to who does what they do better. On the other hand, firearms are the weapons of choice for both guys, which means this match-up could potentially be ended by a lucky shot. This one would definitely be close, but here’s how I think it would play out.

The fight begins with both characters entering the warehouse. Bucky sets himself up in the rafters, taking aim with his rifle. He spots a target moving below. Jason enters through the main gate and surveys his surroundings. He senses that this might be a trap and jumps back towards cover. Just as he does, a round from Bucky’s assault rifle screams through the air and shatters a wooden crate. Jason peeks out long enough to lay down some suppressing fire. Surprised that his target has weaponry, Bucky vaults down from the rafters and switches his weapon to automatic fire. He begins spraying rounds in Jason’s direction. Jason fires a few shots of his own, two of which ricochet off of Bucky’s bionic arm. Bucky continues to shoot bursts towards Jason until his magazine runs out of ammo. When Jason hears his enemy’s magazine click empty, he seizes the opportunity and rushes towards Bucky. He attacks with a flying kick. Bucky anticipates the attack and hits him hard with his metal arm. The force of the blow causes Jason to drop his guns. Jason quickly rises two his feet and lands a few blows to Bucky’s back, but it is too late. In the brief moment Jason was on the ground, Bucky retrieved one of his 9mm pistols. He fires two rounds into Jason’s chest and one into his head.

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Winner: Winter Soldier!

Like I said, these guys are similar in terms of their skills. So it comes down to who is a better marksman and a better fighter. I think Bucky wins in both these categories. He is a trained, hardened killer with extreme marksmanship abilities. Also, I think his bionic arm gives him the edge in hand-to-hand combat.

Who do you think would win? The Soviet sleeper soldier or the once-dead sidekick with a huge grudge and anger management issues? Give me your opinion in the comments!

Daredevil vs Scarecrow: Who Would Win?

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The Man Without Fear squares off against the master of terror in this edition of Cure For Kryptonite. Can Daredevil overcome his darkest nightmares, or will Scarecrow’s fear gas prove to be too much for him?

I can already feel the tension building! A Marvel hero who is praised for his courage goes up against a DC villain with a weapon that induces fear, this should be good… Let’s start with the parameters of the fight:

(Since Scarecrow is outmatched physically, I’m giving him home-field advantage)

Daredevil is tracking Scarecrow after a recent outbreak of a new narcotic in Hell’s Kitchen. He is lead to an abandoned warehouse in Gotham City a few blocks away from Arkham Asylum. This warehouse has served as Scarecrow’s lab and base of operations for the past few weeks. Daredevil has his billy club and Scarecrow has fear gas. Daredevil’s sonar shows him that Scarecrow is inside, but as he approaches the warehouse, he trips a silent alarm alerting Scarecrow of an intruder. So both men know a fight is coming, but neither knows anything about his opponent. No calling for back-up. The first person to incapacitate his opponent wins.

For those of you that don’t know, Daredevil is a blind superhero in the Marvel universe. He suffered a terrible accident while saving a blind man from being hit by a truck. The accident caused him to lose his sight, but it also heightened his remaining senses to super-human levels. His hearing is so acute that he can use even the most minor sounds to create a sort of metal sonar. So it’s kind of like he can see, even though he can’t see.

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Daredevil’s heightened sense of touch gives him amazing balance, flexibility, and agility. He also has enhanced strength and a healing factor. And to top it all off, he’s a martial arts expert. (Side-note: Daredevil is one of my personal favorites! I mean, come on… A blind superhero? How cool is that!)

In this match-up, Daredevil is going up against a psychologist who fell off the deep end. Dr. Jonathan Crane was known as a brilliant psychologist before becoming a super villain. As Scarecrow, he uses a wide variety of psychotic drugs and psychological tactics to exploit the fears and weaknesses of his adversaries.

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Scarecrow is also an expert chemist. He was able to develop and manufacture an entire arsenal of fear toxins by himself. But other than that, Scarecrow doesn’t really have any outstanding powers or abilities. He has shown that he can hold his own in terms of hand-to-hand combat, but he is no where near in the same league as Daredevil.

That’s a brief overview of the two characters, now let’s get back to the fight.

Our battle begins with Daredevil entering the warehouse through a broken window. He is expecting to be undetected, but to his surprise, Scarecrow charges at him, wielding a syringe filled with some sort of liquid. Daredevil dodges the attack with an acrobatic flip through the air. Turning on his heels, Daredevil tosses his billy club and hits Scarecrow directly in the throat. Scarecrow collapses to the floor. Daredevil moves closer towards the body of his apparently unconscious foe, but just as does, Scarecrow springs up and sprays a triple dose of fear gas directly in Daredevil’s face. Daredevil becomes incredibly disoriented and stumbles backward, his sonar sense begins to fade. While Daredevil is struggling to regain his composure, Scarecrow injects him with the syringe full of fear toxin. Daredevil jerks backward, the overdose of fear inducing drugs floods his system and overloads his enhanced senses. He writhes on the ground in agony, and his mind slips slowly into madness.

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Winner: Scarecrow

Ultimately the outcome of this fight comes down to what kind of effect Scarecrow’s fear gas would have on Daredevil.  I could be wrong about this, but I think that Daredevil’s heightened senses (particularly his enhanced sense of smell) make him more vulnerable to toxins and inhalants. That means the fear gas would be extra effective against Daredevil, so I’m giving my vote to Scarecrow.  In a hand-to-hand combat only fight, Daredevil would destroy Scarecrow. But I see the fear gas as a big enough wild card to turn the tables.

Who do you think would win this fight? Tell me your opinion in the comments section below!

 

 

Batman vs. Captain America: Who Would Win?

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Who would win in a fight between Batman and Captain America? This is a topic that  has been debated by comic book fans for decades, with opinions evenly torn between the two sides. Some suggest that the match would result in a draw, but for Cure For Kryptonite stalemate is not an option. One man must come out on top. The question is, who will it be?

Both of these guys have their own advantages and disadvantages, but before going into detail about the characters, I want to set up the parameters of the fight:

Cap and Batman meet each other on an average city block. They are both aware that they are fighting, so there are no sucker punches right from the start. It is night time and very dark, but neither person is familiar with the city where they are fighting. Cap has his shield and Batman has a fully equip utility belt. No vehicles and no calling for back-up. The first one to incapacitate his opponent wins.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about Captain America. He’s a soldier straight out of World War II and the leader of the Avengers. This dude had some serious street cred. He also has some serious fighting skills. The super soldier serum that he was injected with back in the 40s gives him super-human abilities such as enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and agility.

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Physically speaking, Captain America is Batman’s superior. He’s stronger, faster, and able to fight longer than Batman. He also carries a shield made out of Vibranium (which is a super strong metal capable of absorbing vibrations). In the hands of Captain America, that shield is a deadly weapon. He is able to throw it with pinpoint accuracy including ricochet shots off of walls and other objects. He even used his shield to fight a shark once.

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So far things aren’t looking so good for Bats, he’s up against one tough son of Uncle Sam.

But wait… what’s this?! Batman has fought sharks too!

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Dang, Aquaman is going to be pissed…

Batman’s shark whooping abilities are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his strengths. For starters, he’s a martial arts master and stealth expert. He has mastered just about every martial art there is and he’s able to disappear while in plain sight. Captain America is a great fighter, but he is outmatched against Batman in terms of fighting skill.

Batman also carries an arsenal of weaponry. His utility belt is stocked with batarangs, freeze pellets, smoke bombs, various gasses, a grapnel, and about 100,000 other nifty little gadgets.  (I promise he doesn’t have any anti-patriotism spray, though).

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His suit itself can also be considered a valuable asset because it serves as body armor. The Batsuit helps Batman take a punch, even from someone as strong as Captain America. Plus, his cape allows him to glide.

Now let’s get back to the hypothetical confrontation!

I think that Captain America would make the first move in this fight, maybe a shield throw.  Bats would probably dodge it and Cap would move in to retrieve his shield. That would cause the two men to get closer and fight hand-to-hand. After taking a few blows, Batman would quickly realize that his opponent is stronger and faster than he is and does not tire easily. Cap would use the close encounter to gauge what fighting style Batman was using, he would determine that he’s dealing with a master.

But before Cap could try and use his strength and speed to finish the fight early, Batman would use a smoke bomb to disappear. Once he was lost in the shadows, he would hit Cap with every gadget he’s got: stun grenades, sonic disruptors, freeze pellets, batarangs, nerve gas… Cap would try to use his shield to defend, but it would be useless against a majority of the attacks (especially the gas attacks).

This barrage of weapon-based attacks would not incapacitate Captain America, but it would severely disorient him. From there, Batman would glide back in and resume hand-to-hand combat. Cap would still be a tough fight, but it would be a completely different scenario now that he was disoriented. Strikes would be exchanged by both men. Eventually, Batman would manage to land a few pressure points. This would give him the brief opportunity to hit Cap with a few electro-shock batarangs.

That would be the end of the fight. Captain America would fall to the ground incapacitated, and Batman would walk away with blood in his cowl, a few cracked ribs, and a dislocated shoulder.

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Winner: Batman! But keep in mind, you have to take my verdict with a grain of salt because the above scenario is hypothetical and entirely based on my opinion.

The reason that I think Batman would win comes down to his stealth abilities and weaponry. If this were strictly a hand-to-hand fight with no weapons or armor allowed, it would be a lot more difficult to judge. But the fact that Batman can disappear and hit Cap with a variety of attacks that a shield cannot defend against is a major game changer for me.

Also, Batman has fought and beat genetically modified adversaries in the past. A few examples that come to mind are Bane, Deathstroke, Man-Bat, and Clayface. I’m sure there are others, the point is he’s no stranger to fighting modified super people. In fact, he has held his own against a few super super people like Superman and Darkseid.

So I stand by my decision and give the edge to Batman. Who do you think would win? Let me know in the comments section!

All Things Considered

 

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Happy Father’s Day to any fathers out there, and welcome to a special Father’s Day edition of Cure For Kryptonite! In today’s post, I wanted to write about my dad’s favorite superhero: the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing.

If you ask the average comic book junkie who their favorite superhero is, you’ll probably get some long, drawn-out answer about how it’s impossible to judge different characters in different comic book universes. If you ask my dad, you’ll get a very different answer. How do I know? He gives the same answer to anyone who asks about his favorite superhero, and it goes something like this:

“My favorite hero has to be The Thing. He’s the reluctant hero. That which gives him his strength, also makes him ugly and alienates him from society.”

I’ve heard my dad say those words hundreds of times. And the more I think about it, the more I realize he’s right. The Thing is an interesting character with a deep personality.

In 1961, The Thing was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He made his first comic book appearance in Fantastic Four #1 that same year. Since then, The Thing has skyrocketed in popularity. He’s had a huge impact on everything from comic books to movies and video games. In fact, a new Fantastic Four reboot movie featuring The Thing is scheduled to be released in June 2015.

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But his popularity as a character isn’t what makes The Thing special, it’s the layers to his personality that set him apart. On the one hand, we have Ben Grimm the brawler from Yancy Street with some serious power. (And when I say serious, I mean serious. Sometimes people don’t give Thing enough credit, you’ve got to remember, he’s got enough strength to stand toe-to-toe with the Hulk.)

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However, there’s also a very different side to The Thing. Deep down, underneath his rocky exterior, he has the heart of a man. Thing wants nothing more than to be accepted by a society that sees him as an outcast. He craves acceptance so much that he would gladly give all of his strength just to be seen as normal.

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The tragedy of his character is that society doesn’t accept him. People tend to treat The Thing poorly, they stare at him and call him names. But when hordes of Doombots are attacking the city, he’s still the one they turn to. And regardless of everything society has done to him, The Thing doesn’t hesitate to stand up and protect the very same people that look at him with disgust. That’s powerful stuff… even for a comic book character.

So why does The Thing continue to fight for people that sometimes hate him? Easy, he has an unbreakable spirit. We can see another example of his unrelenting will in the iconic fight with Champion. For those of you who don’t know, Champion is an omnipotent character that satisfies his lust for fighting by traveling across the universe and challenging the heroes of a planet to a boxing match.

When Champion traveled to Earth, he went up against some heavy-hitters in the Marvel universe. Namely Thor, Hulk, Colossus and a few others. He was able to defeat/disqualify all of them with ease. Then, Champion came to his final opponent: The Thing. In my humble opinion, this was and always will be one of Thing’s shining moments in comic book history.

Champion hits him hard, and Thing goes down right off the bat.

Wow, maybe that wasn’t as epic as I remember. Oh, right, here’s the epic part!

 

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He get’s back up! Do you know what happens next? Champion knocks him down again… and again, and again, and again. But each time he gets knocked back on his rocky butt, Thing gets back up. After two rounds, Thing’s jaw is broken and he’s crawling across the ring. And yet he continues to fight…

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At this point, Champion realizes that he’ll never beat The Thing without killing him. He yields the fight, remarking that he might break The Thing’s body, but he could never break his spirit.

Well, there you have it folks, a brief analysis of my dad’s favorite superhero. What do you think about The Thing? Let me know in the comments section below! Oh yeah, and one more thing….

IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME!!!