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No Super Comic Place is complete without a mention of the Superhero called Superman.

INTRODUCTION

Superman is a comic book superhero who wears a blue costume, a rep cape and an ‘S’ on his chest. Superman fights crimes and super villains in order to save the people, the city and the world. He lives and operates in the city of Metropolis as Clark Kent. He is a journalist and a reporter for the Daily Planet.

 

SUPERPOWERS

Superman has superhuman strength, superhuman speed, superhuman reflexes, superhuman senses, superhuman durability and superhuman intelligence. Also, Superman can fly, has x-ray vision and heat vision. He is bulletproof and his skin is nearly impenetrable. So he has all the powers anyone could wish for. He is superior to any human being ever born and is a power equivalent to a God.

 

WEAKNESSES

But, just because he is a super almighty creature doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any weakness. His weaknesses include Kryptonite, Magic and his Good Heart. He gets in a lot of trouble because he doesn’t anyone to get hurt. Kryptonite is material from his native home planet, Krypton, which has the capability of draining all of his powers. Kryptonite makes him vulnerable, even weaker that a human.

 

COSTUME

The costume Superman wears is a Kryptonian Armor. It is almost indestructible. The armors bond with the superman and has healing capabilities. The ‘S’ symbol on the chest means ‘hope’ in Krypton. This is also the family logo of El.

 

ORIGINS

Superman was born on a planet called Krypton. Kryptonians are highly advanced species in the universe. His parents were Jor-El and Lara. He was named Kal-El there. He was just an infant when their planet, Krypton was about to be destroyed completely. Just before the planet was about to explode, his parents, Kal-El and Lara, managed to send him into space in a space rocket. The space rocket was instructed to find and land on the nearest, safest and habitable planet. The space rocket, then found its way to the Earth.

On Earth, it landed in a town called Smallville in Kansas. Kal-El was there found by a married couple, Jonathan Kent and Martha Kent. They adopted and raised the little boy. They named him Clark Kent. Clark had superhuman capabilities from earliest childhood. But he discovered more about his while growing up. Jonathan and Martha eventually told him the truth about him. His parents told him not to reveal his powers to anybody. They also taught him morals and values, which made him the good man he is.

After graduating from high school, he moved to Metropolis and became a journalist in the Daily Planet. He met Lois Lane, who is a co-worker and the love interest of Clark Kent. In Metropolis, he started fighting petty crimes and saving people. He then started fighting the organized crime and corrupt businessmen. This eventually led him to become Superman and fight bigger enemies, and save the world.

 

ENEMIES AND SUPER VILLAINS

His arch enemy is Lex Luthor. Lex is a billionaire industrialist, a great scientist and extremely intelligent.

His other enemies or super villains include Brainiac, Bizzaro, Doomsday, Darkseid, General Zod, Solomon Grundy, Toyman and Kryptonite Man.

 

Personal Stuff:

I just wanted to share that my boyfriend Eric is a die hard Superman Fan. He still has his Superman Cape from when I think he was in kindy. Even watches all the movies although I havent been a huge fan. For his birthday, I got him an ultra cool tungsten ring which is considered like a super metal, with a logo of superman on the outside. Must admit these look super cool, thanks to these guys at Simply Suave whom Id totally recommend if you are looking at shopping rings for men in nz totally amazing.

 

Erics Superman Ring

 

Superman Photo source: http://www.reidlitchfield.com/

AArchies

The Archie comics are published by Archie Comics Publications whose headquarters are in New York. They are based on a humor genre and transcend all literate age sets. The publication house was founded in the year 1939 and the publisher and creator of the fictional comic character Archie was John L. Goldwater. Archie first appeared in Pep Comics edition number 22 in 1942. Later on, the character was accorded his own series in the form of “Archie comics” in winter of 1942. The pilot comic was issue #114 and was written by Bob Montana and Vic Bloom. The title was later shortened to “Archie”. The comic series came to an end in June 2015 with the last issue being #666 and was replaced by a new series “Riverdale Reborn”.

The comic series is based on five main teenage characters and is set in Riverdale. The main characters include Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle and Jug head Jones. Incidentally, the creator of the series, Mr. Goldwater studied at Horace Mann School situated at the Riverdale area of the Bronx in New York.

ARCHIBALD “ARCHIE” ANDREWS

Is the main character in the comic series and is the only son of Fred and Mary Andrews. He is an affable redheaded teenager who is mild mannered, generous to a fault though he can get clumsy at times. He is the center of a love triangle with Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper. His archival is Reggie Mantle. Whatever the timeline Archie always lives in the present unlike other characters.

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BETTY COOPER

Is a lovable teenage beauty with blonde hair, she is confident, loving, caring and is clearly the center of Archies love and affection. She is Veronica’s best friend and ironically’ she is part of a love triangle involving her.

VERONICA LODGE

Veronica is a brunette teenage girl who is a rich, selfish and spoiled brat. She is the daughter of Hiram Lodge. She has the habit of using her father’s wealth to draw Archie away from her completion in the form of Betty Cooper.

JUGHEAD JONES

Is a funny character and is Archies best friend. Archie is always by his side and is constantly trying to cheer him up. His trademark look is a “clubhouse beanie” that is fashioned from an inverted fedora hat. He usually has a closed eye look.

REGGIE MANTLE

He is Archie’s rival and he is constantly embroiled in romantic tangles over Veronica Lodge. He enjoys playing pranks and has a knack for sarcasm. Reggie’s prowess as a capable athlete manifests in many of Archies novels. Reggie Mantle is a vain character who tends to believe he is “God’s greatest gift to women”. His vanity becomes clear in his tendency to constantly sport a comb and mirror. He expresses this attribute in his tendency to date a string of women to assert himself.

MINOR CHARACTERS

There are a number of minor characters in Archies series of comics and include Hiram Lodge, who is Veronica’s father and has a love-hate relationship with Archie. He is a wealthy character and has a streak of grey hair in the middle of his largely black hair. Mr. Flutesnoot is a chemistry professor at Riverdale High School where the principal is the pompous Mr. Waldo Weatherbee. Other fictional female characters in the comic series include Sabrina Spellman, a half witch, Cheryl Blossom and Valerie, a member of Josie and the Pussycats. Valerie is the songwriter of the band, a tomboy with a quick temper. She also features in Archie’s love life.

Cheryl was introduced in 1982 in the Betty and Veronica comic series #320 as Archie’s third love interest but was later withdrawn because she was deemed to be too sexual a character for children’s comics.

 

In the Archies comics, there are several themes that are constant in the series particularly an anti-drug campaign where readers are advised that they do not need drugs to be happy. Campaigns against smoking and illegal drug use are constant features of the comic series. The fictional comic characters also promote the need to be considerate and care for one’s environment.

Flash

Flash first appeared in 1940. The comic’s creation is credited to the writer Gardner Fox in a joint effort with artist Harry Lampert. Since, there have been three incarnations. All of them have super speed as their defining character in addition to other abilities like superhuman reflexes and the capability to violate certain laws of physics. To be protected from air friction as he runs, The Flash has an invisible aura around him. To date, there have been four characters who have ascended to the becomes their time’s flash. These are Jay Garrick who was first, Barry Allen who appeared in the silver age, Wally West who was Barry Allen’s and Bart Allen. They are nicknamed The Scarlet Speedster, The Crimson Comet, The Blur and The Streak in respective order.

Flash has appeared in three ages namely the golden age, the silver age and the modern age. As is obvious, Jay Garrick appeared in the golden age and the very first one. He acquired his abilities after inhaling hard water vapors although the origin of his powers is altered later in a re-introduction where he gains his abilities after being exposed to heavy water. In the silver age of comic books, Barry Allen became the new Flash. He got his abilities after he was bathed in chemicals. This happened after the shelf they were placed in was struck by lightning. When his new abilities became apparent to him, he adopted the Flash title after reading a comic which featured Jay Garrick.

Barry Allen became the first superhero to crossover between two worlds to meet his predecessor. In an issue entitled Flash of two Worlds, Barry Allen crosses over to meet Jay Garrick and following the event, the two superheroes become good friends. After this first crossover, there were several others by members who belonged to the Justice League of America. This is a team of superheroes formed in the Silver age. Allen’s adventures ended in 1985 when he died heroically in an issue entitled Crisis on Infinite Earths #8.

In the modern age, we have Wally West being introduced as the third Flash. However, he is not entirely new as he had appeared in issue No. 110 of December 1959 as Kid Flash. West who is Barry Allen’s nephew acquired his powers and abilities in a fashion similar to his uncle’s. He ascended to the mantle of Flash after the death of his uncle. Most of the issues which featured the Wally West begun with the catch phrase; “My name is Wally West. I am the fastest man alive.”

Another notable character is John Fox who is expected to carry the mantle of flash in the future. In order to defeat a radioactive villain called Mota who surfaces in the 27th century, he was sent back in time to get the assistance of Garrick, Allen or West. The Flash has raced against Superman who is another popular superhero several times. Sometimes races between superman and the Flash were to merely to determine who is faster while other times, they were combining efforts to eliminate a threat. They tied most times when they run to compete but eventually, The Flash proves that he is indeed “the fastest man alive”.

Xmen

Established in 1939 by Martin Goodman and kept alive by Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, and the immortal Stan Lee, Marvel comics has become a powerhouse comic publisher of epic proportions in the seventy plus years since. With iconic characters like Spider-man, Wolverine, Iron Man, and The Punisher, and some of the most amazing super-teams in comic history like The X-men, The Avengers, The Marvel Knights, and The Fantastic Four, Marvel Comics has forever changed the face of the industry in its own image. Not only is Marvel Comics one of the original super-hero story tellers, but the company itself tells the super-powered story of a small business building into one of the biggest franchises in the world.

When Marvel comics began as a tiny pulp publisher known at the time as Timely Publications, the comic book medium in America was just beginning to catch fire. In Timely’s first book, Marvel Comics #1, they would introduce two characters the Human Torch and the Sub-mariner, now established members of comic book lexicon, that would prove to be the big bang of the Marvel Universe. Years later in 1961, now operating under its modern name, Marvel Comic’s would again revolutionize the superhero comic when writer-editor Stan Lee released issue #1 of The Fantastic Four.

When Fantastic Four proved to be a hit for the company, Marvel began publishing a multitude of would-be comics classics such as Spider-man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Ant-man, DareDevil, Iron Man, and The X-men. At the time, Marvel was highly regarded for their features of “superheroes in the real world” often depicting superheroes as misfits and freaks, such as The Hulk and The Thing, unlike their major competitor DC, whose biggest heroes at the time were a billionaire playboy and a perfect alien being.

During the Comic book boom of the early nineties Marvel would begin to establish many of the staples of the Marvel Universe today. With the X-men introducing the iconic character of Wolverine, who would later on get his own title, the extremely successful 2099 line, featuring many of Marvel’s most famous characters like Spider-man and The Punisher one hundred years in the future, and the expansion into animated television, with both The X-men and Spider-man becoming hugely successful cartoons, Marvel introduced business and creative innovations that once again put them far ahead of their competition.

Today, Marvel Comics is bigger than ever with many of its heroes seeing the big and small screen treatment. Characters like Wolverine, Ant-man, The Punisher, Jessica Jones, and Rocket Racoon, have become household names thanks to Marvel’s annual summer blockbusters and Netflix series’. With well written scripts, continuity between movies and series’, and the portrayal of superheroes by big name actors, Marvel has moved out and filled up the movie and television industry. With their comics lines seeing reboots and continuing story arcs Marvel still holds true to the medium that it knows best having incorporated many unconventional comics experiences that have now become the norm in the industry, such as digital comics and application software. With a multitude of mediums on which to enjoy Marvel Comics’ continuing story arcs such as television, movies, video games, and, of course, comics, it’s a great time to be a true believer!

Spiderman is one of the most well-known hero characters from the marvel world and there are over 50 years of comic book literature for fan enthusiasts out there. The first comic officially appeared in 1963, but spidey made his first appearance in amazing fantasy issue #15 back in 1962. Spiderman was the brainchild of both artist Steve Ditko and the more popular Stan Lee. The comic book character became so famous that numerous movies, TV shows and plays have been spanned from your friendly neighborhood spider.

Marvel Universes

Stan Lee came up with the brilliant idea that some of the other characters from the marvel comics book could team up to fight all the baddies, so once in a while you would get a mash up of Spiderman and X-men or Spiderman and incredible hulk or Spiderman and the now popular avengers franchise. But to understand this wonderful world, you need to first comprehend that the marvel universe isn’t linear. Two worlds were formed the original marvel universe 616 (from 1963 to 2014) and the ultimate universe 1610(from 2000 to 2015). Eventually, the world ends up merging into secret wars but we will explain that a little bit later.

Marvel universe 616

This is when the amazing Spiderman franchise was born, in fact, issue no #1 is one of the bestselling debut comics in the marvel universe. Peter parker, a high school teenager, is bitten by a radioactive spider that gives him supernatural abilities that he uses for good to protect the people in his city.

Spidey goes toe to toe with amazing villains like Chameleon, Vulture, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Lizard, Electro, Mysterio, Green Goblin, Scorpion, Rhino, Shocker, Jackal and many more. Did you notice the theme here? Most of the villains in the marvel universe back then used to be of an animal themed nature, but there are some who could control the elements such as Electro and sandman.

Along the way, Peter parker gets to meet two great loves in his life

  • Gwen Stacy– This is his first serious girlfriend, but it only lasted a year and was cut prematurely when she was killed by Green Goblin.
  • Mary Jane Watson. – She was friends with Gwen Stacy and got into a relationship with peter a little bit after Gwen died, eventually they would end up married but at some point in the comics the villain Mephisto alters Peter’s reality.

Peter does get into other relationships with Betty Brant, Black Cat, Carlie Cooper, Anna Maria Marconi, and Michele Gonzales.

Ultimate Universes 1610

This universe was launched back in 2000 and those new to the comic book world can begin here because it serves as a fresh start. Here Spiderman will meet up with other comic book superheroes but from the same Ultimate universe. For example, Ultimate X-men, The Ultimates and Ultimate Fantastic Four. Villains in this universe don’t seem to have powers that originate from the same place. A great example is Venom, in the marvel universe he is an extra-terrestrial but in ultimate universe, the suit powers come from an experiment by Peter Parker’s and Eddie Brock’s fathers.

Ultimate Universe also saw the creation of Ultimate comics Spiderman (2011), this time the main character is Miles Morales.

After Secret Wars (2015)

This arc concentrates on Peter Packer from 616 and Miles Morales from the ultimate universe.

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Batman: The Dark Knight of Gotham City

When the bat signal appears in the night sky over Gotham City, billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne dawns the cape and cowl of one of the most recognized comic book heroes in the world to become his famous alternate identity- the Batman. With a plethora of utilities, accessories, weapons, vehicles, and a hidden cave hideout beneath his mansion, Batman goes to war with some of the most infamous super criminals of all time. Killer Croc, The Riddler, The Penguin, and Batman’s arch nemesis The Joker are all out to do in Gotham City’s most prolific protector in some of the greatest battle sequences ever put on the pages of DC comics.

Making his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in May of 1939, Batman was created and brought to life by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger. In his first appearance Batman was already a fully formed hero of the night, defending the innocent people of Gotham against a myriad of super villains, but as told in Detective comics #33 Bruce Wayne was not always the strong caped crusader he was introduced to us as. Born the son of Dr. Thomas and Martha Wayne, Bruce lives a happy and privileged childhood at Wayne Manor until one night at the age of eight when returning home from the theater with his parents (after seeing the film The Mark of Zorro, another masked hero on which Batman is based) they are viciously gunned down by a petty thief in front of Bruce. That night while laying in bed Bruce vows his life to fighting crime. When a bat flies in his open window Bruce takes it as a sign and begins the intense physical and intellectual training that would lead to his becoming Batman.

Throughout the next seventy years, the story of Batman would be told time and time again, adding multiple layers to the character, and teaming him up with several partners such as Robin, Nightwing, and Batgirl as well as serving as the leader, and in some stories founder, of The Justice League of America. Batman was transformed into perhaps one of the most famous superhero television shows of all time in 1966 with Adam West playing the title role. Though the 60’s batman was full of campy fun, in 1989 when Batman got the Hollywood treatment, director Tim Burton introduced a grittier more violent version of the hero to audiences worldwide. Burton’s original Batman movie went on to spawn three sequels Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin, and is generally the basis for the modern batman character.

Today, Batman is bigger than ever with a re-launched line of comics under DC’s New 52 title, as well as a successful line of video games based on the character, the Arkham Asylum series, and the star of a very successful reboot film franchise directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne and Batman. In 2016 Batman will co-star with long time rival and friend Superman in a superhero showdown for the ages, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. For over seventy years the story of Bruce Wayne and his alternate identity has continued, and with Batman hype stronger now than ever, the bat signal is sure to be shining in the skies of Gotham for a long time to come.

 

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Heroes and villains once recognized solely by comic book readers are now household names as blockbuster movies, and popular television shows have attracted a new, much larger audience. With more people engaged in comics and the unique worlds created by their writers and artist the question for long term lovers of this art form is how the attention from broader audience affect their favorite characters?

The Worlds of DC and Marvel

Two of the biggest publishers in the comics world are DC and Marvel. DC started out as Detective Comics in the 1930’s and was well known for its roster of beloved heroes including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the Flash. DC’s characters became hugely popular during World War II, especially Superman as readers thrilled to the Man of Steel’s American ideals, and his alter-ego’s Clark Kent’s modest humility. Batman comics on the other hand, appealed to readers in the 1950’s for their darker story lines, and the character’s mental abilities. Both characters found their way to television, but without the high concept story lines, and well developed characters this media failed to appeal to adult audiences. Marvel started in the 1930’s as well, but no one hero was able to leap off the page into the public’s imagination like Spiderman. Entering the comic universe in 1962, Spiderman also had several runs on television, but these attempts never saw the same level of fan worship as the Wall Crawler enjoyed among comics fans.

Animation and Film

Animation gave the characters of both Marvel and DC a fresh look, but sadly this media was for many years considered the realm of younger viewers, so the characters of both heroes and villains remained undeveloped. Both publishers incorporated with other media franchises, offering them new opportunities for reaching a broader audience. Characters of several long running, popular comics were revamped several times for television and film. With the improvements in special effects and CGI Superman could truly appear to fly, stop bullets and runner faster than a locomotive. Directors, writers, and studios updated characters like Spiderman and Batman, giving audiences fully flushed out, realistic heroes. These new versions of superheroes and super villains thrilled movie audiences, but where do these changes leave their comic book counterparts?

Comics and New Audience

Many of both Marvels and DC’s characters saw few changes before the shift to movies and T.V. This left some comic book favorites in a “time bubble” with publishers afraid to tweak the characters too much and disappoint longtime fans. There is no doubt the need to satisfy new fans of older heroes has modified the direction of comic book content. In the past, while comic books have always contained some aspects of real world events it’s seldom brought dramatic changes to the characters themselves. Now, with a greater demand from a broader readership comic books are not only incorporating controversial topics, they are updating backstories, and giving many heroes a complete, and often controversial makeover. For most true fans these changes are acceptable, and proof that this art form like the heroes in its pages are indestructible.