Marvel comics deny the 21st century

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Iron Man coverI grew up reading superhero comic books, like many boys my age.  I was always partial to Marvel’s comics, but I read some DC heroes too, being drawn to artists and interesting stories as opposed to just being tied to specific characters.  My interest hung on longer than some, lasting well into my adulthood; and even though my primary tastes evolved to science-fiction-themed graphic novels and stories, I still occasionally returned to my superhero roots in order to enjoy a good capes-and-spandex yarn.

It had been years since I’d spent much time looking at superhero books, when I discovered something new from Marvel: The Ultimates line was essentially Marvel’s plan to update its familiar characters for the 21st century, to bring some more modern relevance to them.  The first books I saw were an updating of the Avengers, now dubbed The Ultimates.  We were being given new or slightly modified origins for Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Giant Man and The Wasp, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, the Falcon, and even a new Nick Fury and SHIELD headquarters… all of which had more resonance with a post 9/11, terrorist-infested, nano-developing, metal-fiber-wearing, cyber-hacking and genetically-experimenting world.  And I, for one, thought this was a fantastic way to make superheroes more popular with modern kids… and adults like me.

So I was disappointed when it ended up dying. Continue reading

Something to look forward to…

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Steven Lyle JordanI was informed yesterday that the Kickstarter for the Heroes superhero anthology managed to squeak past the stretch goal (why do I keep wanting to say stretch mark?!?) that would include the short story I submitted, The Never Ending Battle, into the book.

Frankly, I wasn’t expecting the kickstarter to make enough beyond the original goal to include my story; it looked to me like a long shot.  Part of me was expecting to throw the story onto the Free Reads page as soon as it was confirmed that it hadn’t made the goal.  But then I got the email from Silence in the Library Publishing that informed me that they made it… with 3 hours to go in the campaign!

This will be the first short story of mine that will go into an anthology… which, I’m told, should be a great marketing boost for my other books.  Hopefully there will be more (short stories for anthologies, and marketing boosts).

For now, though, it’s back to TV script writing: My earlier TV project is being looked at my another network; and my latest TV project breakdown has been OK’d by the producer, giving me the thumbs-up to start writing the first scripts.

Redemption in The Incredibles

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Mr. Incredible, trademark and copyright Disney-Pixar.

Mr. Incredible, trademark and copyright Disney-Pixar.

Well, here we are in another period of summer blockbuster superhero films to wade through.  And as much as I enjoy them, I often find myself thinking about The Incredibles, Pixar’s animated superhero family.  Since the movie was released, it has gone to my list of favorite movies and stayed there.  I watch it frequently when I’m alone in the house and have a few hours to spare, securing myself in the basement with the lights low and the drinks and snacks ready and soaking it in like a guilty pleasure.

But is it just because I like superhero movies?  Is it because of my fondness for animation?  No, it’s much more than that.  In fact, more than the live-action superhero movies, more than most adventure movies, The Incredibles deals with adult themes that I find I identify with… most notably in the character of Robert Parr, aka Mr. Incredible. Continue reading

Media catches up to the myths

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Thor's Chris HemsworthI just came from seeing the movie “Thor” this afternoon.  Being a superhero fan from way back, watching the characters’ transition from comic books to live action on the big screen always fascinates me.

Witness “Thor,” which featured quite a lot of action taking place in the otherworldly realms of Asgard and Jotuheim (the homes of the Norse Gods and the Frost Giants, respectively).  To say that Asgard looked like the penultimate Realm Eternal is like saying that Miss Universe is pretty… it was jaw-droppingly beautiful, went on for miles and miles, and was placed in the most incredible celestial backdrop ever conceived by man. Continue reading