Kneel before me!

While checking the top stories in my Facebook news feed, I came across a post with this fun meme:

My super villain name is Devil Wizard and the Reviled of Knowledge is my title. Technically, if you go by my birth certificate (and any official documents with my name), my super villain name would be Red Wizard. Hmmm, I like them both, so which to go with? And what to do with that silly, nonsensical title?

What the heck. As a super villain, I can do what I please. I am bound by no rules. And so, to paraphrase Jean Grey (or, to be accurate, a Phoenix Force creation that copied Jean Grey down to her DNA):  Now and forever, I am the Red Devil Wizard!

Now what villainous acts should I engage in?

Robbing a bank? Nah. I want politicians, world leaders, and gods to respect me. To kneel before me. What god kneels before a bank robber? Gotta think bigger.

Oh, I’ve got it! I’ll mastermind a bunch of disasters in my quest to discover my arch-nemesis. Just think of the destruction and death I’ll cause. Wait-that’s not gonna work. I’m not keen on causing death and destruction. Not mention, the motivation of Mr. Glass was one of the things I disliked about the movie ‘Unbreakable‘.

Ok. I think I’ve got it. I’ll take over the world! I wonder what kind of competition I’ll have. After scouring the Internet, I have discovered my only rivals:

A pair of genetically modified anthropomorphic lab rats are my only competition for world domination? I’ll simply have my minions distract them with an endless supply of fruits and veggies. With Pinky & the Brain preoccupied, my victory is assured. From now til the end of time, the Earth belongs to the Red Devil Wizard!

Oh dear. That will most definitely NOT work. As fictional super villain Karla Sofen aka Moonstone aka Meteorite once said:

She’s right. Ruling the world is a lot of work. Far more work than I’m willing to put into a work week. I like sleep, lazy time, dancing, going to the movies, and long walks on the beach. No time to do any of that (or anything else fun) as ruler of the world. Crap. Shortest super villain career ever.

Kneel before me!
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Pop Culture Link Round Up 12.7.14

I have fond memories of playing Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario 2, and even Super Mario 3 (though I never beat that game; wish I still had it).  In my Internet wandering today, I stumbled upon this site by illustrator and designer Christopher Lee.  Lee has created a 5-print series based on the world of the Mario Brothers as seen in aforementioned games, as well as Super Mario World and Super Mario Land 2:  Six Golden Coins (neither of which have I ever played).  The prints look really nifty:

These prints (and more) can be purchased here.

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In comic book movie news, DC Comics’ Suicide Squad will be getting the live-action treatment in 2016 as part of Warner Brothers’ efforts to expand its cinematic universe.

Variety is reporting that the cast for Warner Bros / DC Entertainment film Suicide Squad has been set. Jared Leto will play the Joker, Will Smith as Deadshot, Tom Hardy as Rick Flagg, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Boomerang and Cara Delevingne as Enchantress.

The film will be directed by David Ayer, produced by Charles Roven and will begin shooting next April in Toronto. The film is set to open August 5, 2016.

The role of Amanda Waller has yet to be cast but it’s said the studio is considering Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Oprah Winfrey for the part. Also, speculation is that Jesse Eisenbergwill reprise his role as Lex Luthor from Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice but that has yet to be confirmed.

To the best of my knowledge, the Joker was never a member of the Squad in the comics (not that the movies have to follow the history of the comics), and he seems really out-of-place here bc he’s such a wild card.  Perhaps that will lead to some movie magic. We’ll see.

For those unfamiliar with the Suicide Squad, here’s some backstory:

The title was resurrected by writer John Ostrander following the success of DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths event and subsequent soft-relaunch (The new Squad made their debut in a mini-series titled Legends, which also introduced new takes on the Flash, Wonder Woman and the Justice League). Keeping the name and little else, Ostrander introduced the concept of “Task Force X,” a secret government agency headed by Amanda Waller, a character who remains almost unique in superhero comics: a black woman in a position of authority whose morality is murky at best, but whose ability to get things done is unparalleled (Following her introduction, Waller quickly assumed a position of power throughout the entire DC line, and was often portrayed as an equal to Batman in the badass stakes, to give you an impression of how powerful she was).

Task Force X was a program that worked on the simple understanding that there are some missions that are too dangerous for even the most capable spies or soldiers — and so they should be carried out by convicted supervillains instead, because (a) they have superpowers, and (b) it’s not a big deal if they end up getting killed in the process. Even if they get captured, Waller figured, it wouldn’t be a problem because in the unlikely possibility that someone would believe anything a supervillain had to say, all of them were fitted with remote control explosive devices that could kill them at the flick of a switch. Win-win, surely…?

I’m sure the racist bigots of the Internet have already gotten into a tizzy over the casting of Will Smith as Deadshot (he’s white in the comics, but as with so many characters in comic books, his race is not so innately tied to his character that it can’t be changed).  My only issue with that casting bit?  So not a fan of Will Smith.

One thing I really, really hope they get right is Amanda Waller.  She is a bad-ass black woman.  She’s also one of the few female characters in comics who has traditionally been plus-sized (her nickname ‘The Wall’ stems from that somewhat, but also the fact that she’s tough and unyielding–you pretty much have to be to stand up to Batman). I say traditionally because Amanda Waller used to look like this:

In 2011, the DC Universe was rebooted (you may have read of my disdain for the reboot more than once).  One of the changes they made was to Amanda Waller. She looks like this now:

See anything different?  When it comes to representation in comics, plus-sized people are among those groups who are least represented.  The world is not made up of thin super models.  Comic book readers have been demanding better representation of minority groups, and the comics industry has been making strides. While I think Marvel is doing better than DC, the latter has made a few good moves.  Since the reboot, DC has introduced Cree superhero Equinox, Arab-American Simon Baz (Earth’s newest Green Lantern), and Brazilian ally of Aquaman, Ya’Wara. Despite this welcome influx of diversity, it saddens me that DC decided to change Amanda Waller from short and stout to tall, thin, and sexy.  We see enough of the latter in comics already. For those of us interested in more diverse comic book characters, characters who represent the diversity inherent in the human race, the change to a sexualized Amanda Waller is a huge step backwards (along with eliminating Barbara Gordon as Oracle, this was one of the biggest alterations that I, and other readers, disliked).  Here’s hoping the Suicide Squad movie sticks to the original intent of her creator, John Ostrander.

(speaking of Ostrander, he penned a column in which he expressed his disappointment at the changes to Amanda Waller)

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6/23/17

And now the Gal Gadot starring Wonder Woman movie has a director–Michelle MacLaren:

According to insiders, MacLaren will work with the project’s writers, who remain unnamed at this stage, to lasso together a script for the movie, which would star Gal Gadot. The actress will make her debut as the heroine in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Charles Roven, Zack Snyder and Deborah Snyder are among those producing the Wonder Woman movie, which is set for a 2017 release.

MacLaren was a top choice for the project due to her muscular work on Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, although she is perhaps most associated with her directing and executive producing work on the much-loved Breaking Bad.

MacLaren’s signing caps off a director search that began in the summer, and her deal culminates an on-and-off-again dance with the Amazonian princess.

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I think this would be the perfect Xmas present for Two-Face

This is who to thank if your next phone has two screens

I can’t seem to copy/paste the article, so click the above link for more info on this two-faced phone.

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I’m sure I was the only person who, as a kid was curious about fire.  Yep. Only men.  Seriously though, I liked doing so, though I wasn’t a pyro.  It was stuff like lighting napkins or straws on fire using the stove top burner.  As I got older sometimes I’d burn two straws together in a restaurant while waiting for my food to arrive (this was in the days when smoking was allowed in restaurants; I’d burn straws over an ashtray). Burning stuff is just cool you know (I ain’t talking about people, animals, private property or anything like that though).  In light of that (see what I did there), the following is just beyond bad-ass:

The wristband that turns you into PYRO: Gadget lets you shoot fireballs from your hands like the superhero

From balloon-popping lasers to Wolverine-style claws, there are numerous concept and protoype weapons designed by wannabe superhero inventors.

But, a magician has not only created a wristband that turns the wearer into Pyro from the Marvel comics, he is selling it for $174 (£111) online.

Named after the comic book mutant, the Pyro band features four chambers that fires four fireballs, and it can be controlled from the wrist or remotely. 

Its inventor, Adam Wilber explained: ‘Fire. Since the dawn of time it has been the reward at the end of man’s quest. Both creator and destroyer, it has historically been the element hardest to control.

‘Until now. Your quest is over. The power of fire in the palm of your hand. That’s the power of Pyro.’

It is available from the Ellusionist site, and ships internationally.

The band resembles a watch and can be concealed under a sleeve.

Pressing a button on the device shoots the fireballs, or a remote control can be used to fire them from a distance of up to 30ft (nine metres) away.

It uses so-called Flash Cotton, or Flash Paper that fits inside the barrels.

A heater coil then ignites the material when the button is pressed, forcing the flame to fire from the chambers.

The pack contains enough of this material for up to 50 uses.

Refills then start at $8 (£4).

Flash material is used by magicians to create fast burning flames for tricks.

Mr Wilber describes Pryo as a ‘badass professional device’, and as a result only over 18s are allowed to purchase or use the fire shooter.

The site ships internationally, but a disclaimer stresses that the device ‘contains dangerous elements’ that are governed by the laws of the country in which is it bought.

Buyers have to agree to the terms and conditions, and watch an instructional safety video by Adam Wilber, before buying the device.

It is recommended, and has been built for, magicians.

Pop Culture Link Round Up 12.7.14