A bit of escapism, a bit of comradery… and a whole lot of fun!

I promise I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth. (Yet, at least… with how crazy the world has been the past couple of years, I wouldn’t be surprised if gravity spontaneously stopped.)

So why haven’t I been writing? Well, like I said previously, I’ve been working on some new ideas for how the blog will be organized. But mostly… the past few weeks were spent enjoying a little bit of escapism. (Because we all need some of that these days, right?)

Recently, I attended the Cincinnati Comic Expo. My husband and I have a tradition of going every year, and after having to skip 2020 (for obvious reasons)… boy, were we excited to go back!

But attending a comic convention isn’t as simple as just… you know, going to to the convention. Oh no. If you’re a comic collector, like me, and if you have a nice little room that you’ve dubbed “nerdvana” specifically for nerdy memorabilia… well, you have to plan.

So the week prior was spent analyzing my collection and pinpointing which classic comics would be a part of my search. (Which also involves checking various prices, because a FAIR comic and a FINE comic have very different values… and if you don’t want to overpay–because who does?–then you need to really know the cost spectrum.) Then there was figuring out which Funko Pops I would search for, if I wanted to look for any action figures… etc., etc.

If you didn’t believe I was a nerd before… well, there’s no going back now, is there?

After the con, there’s time spent re-organizing collections (and wishing you had more shelf space) and updating Excel spreadsheets (because I’m not just a nerd… I’m also a dork… AND PROUD!)

So, yes, while I’ve been working on my plan for Word-Maleerie, Phase 2… I’ve also just been… well, being wholly and unabashedly nerdy.

Which I would recommend. 5/5 stars.

If you’ve never wandered through a convention hall filled to bursting with all things comic, fantasy, sci-fi, and anime; if you’ve never wandered through crowds, elbow to elbow with fellow nerds dressed in quippy t-shirts or decked out as their favorite characters; if you’ve never sat in a hall as costumed fan after costumed fan strode onto the stage, with the audience cheering and applauding their skills; if you’ve never haggled over a comic right after a long conversation over DC and Marvel’s movies….

In short… if you’ve never let yourself just totally be among other people who are also just letting themselves be themselves… then please do. The first chance you get.

And it doesn’t have to be at a comic convention. It can be at a sporting event. Or in a gym. Or at a restaurant. Or in a theme park. People tend to think that nerds only exist “in a galaxy far, far away” or in Gotham City.

But we don’t. “Nerd” is really just a word that means passionate. I’ve met my fair share of sports nerds. Or roller coaster nerds. Or food nerds. They just tend to go by different titles: Jocks, or adrenaline junkies, or foodies.

But it all means the same thing: Loving what you love. Being who you are. And loving other people who are also just being who they are.

We need more of that. I’d say “especially these days,” but let’s be real: Humans have always had a tendency toward selfishness, or arrogance, or violence–or a million other pitfalls.

The good news is, we also have a tendency toward comradery and kindness.

And believe me: When you’re watching a costume contest, and every single person in the audience is showering the person on stage with love and with applause that says: “Wow, you made that yourself? You look incredible!”

That moment there is when a little bit of faith in humanity comes back.

So, yes, these past few weeks have been a time of escapism. But they’ve also been a time of so much more.

I’ll be writing more soon. I haven’t forgotten this blog or all of the wonderful people who read it. Truly from the bottom of my heart: Thank you.

But in the mean time… here are some Comic Expo pictures! (Specifically the costume contest because… yeah, that’s the most fun part. Also, please forgive if the photos are blurry…. You’d be surprised how fast people move on a stage!)

No One Does ‘Terrifying’ Like the Joker

From Goodreads.com

“Death of the Family” spans multiple titles: Batman, Batman and Robin, Teen Titans, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Nightwing, and Batgirl. A MASSIVE story in which the Joker attacks every member of the Bat-Family in an attempt to prove to Batman that they are weakening him–that he is better off without support or love, that the only person who truly understand him is the Joker himself. Deeply psychological–not just because of the villain–but because the story also takes the time to dive into the darkest corners of each Bat’s psyche. Oh… and did I mention that Joker’s face has been cut off and he’d sewn it back on? Yeah… no one does “terrifying” like the Joker.

From Batman, Vol. 3: Death of the Family

Creepy Quote

“No, no, no, it’s darkness–it’s like that eclipse the other day, don’t you see? The Bat is the sun–the fiery star–you and the others are the moon–blocking his light–he can’t shine on me and me on him if you’re all in the way of his ray!”*

Similar Books

Dark Nights Metal (If you think the Joker is scary… imagine a Jokerized Batman!) The Killing Joke and Batman: Death in the Family (More tragic takes on the Joker’s influence. Have some tissues ready, especially for Death in the Family. But if you’re wanting landmark Joker stories, both of these fit the bill.)


Sources:

Snyder, Scott. Batman, Vol. 3: Death of the Family. Burbank, CA, DC Comics, 2014.

*Tomasi, Peter J. Batman and Robin: Vol. 3: Death of the Family. New York, DC Comics, 2013.

The Darkest Reflections

2) Batman: The Black Mirror

From Goodreads.com

A chapter from Dick Grayson’s time as Batman. This is a mystery to the extreme: A perfect example of Batman being a detective first, and a superhero second. So I don’t want to say too much. But I will say that imagery and plot work hand-in-hand to deliver a story full of chills culminating in the reader being held captive by the musing of a psychopath.

From “The Black Mirror”

Creepy Quote

“You see, this place is special, Dick. It is a city of nightmares. And I’m yours. I’m the face you see in the glass. A man with no conscience. No empathy.”

Similar Books

Hush(Another great Batman mystery–probably my favorite Batman story. Not exactly scary, but it will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat.) Batman: The Long Halloween (I mean… it has Halloween in the name. It didn’t make my list of scariest graphic novels, just because I thought other stories either had scarier imagery or implications. But it’s still a great read.)


Source:

Snyder, Scott. Batman: The Black Mirror. Burbank, California. DC Comics. 2018

Aliens, and Heroes, and Zombies… Oh My!

3) DC’s Blackest Night

From Goodreads.com

The Black Lanterns are death incarnate–and they’re coming for everything. Can Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps stand in their way? And what about Earth’s other heroes–many of whom have been touched by death themselves. What happens when the Black Lantern takes over those heroes? Does Hal Jordan have enough willpower (and Barry Allen Flash enough hope) to fight–and save–these friends-turned-zombies?

From “Blackest Night”

Creepy Quote

“Death takes us all. And the universe will finally be at peace.”

Similar Books

Night of the Living Deadpool (If you want zombies, but with Deadpool.) Final Crisis (A confusing book, and not one of my favorite comics–but the end of it has a direct correlation with this story arc. I won’t say specifics because… spoilers.) Green Arrow, Vol. 1: Quiver (Ties into themes of life, death, and resurrection, but with a more supernatural element.)


Source:

Johns, Geoff. Blackest Night. New York. DC Comics. 2010

You Can’t Outrun Misery….

What makes a comic scary? As I start this countdown, I looked over the many (and I mean MANY) graphic novels I’ve read. Some of them were exciting, and there were even a few that were disturbing… but which comics really best fit with Halloween themes? In the end, I decided that a scary comic had either one, or both, of two criteria: (1) Unsettling imagery, and (2) A story that leaves you with chills.

So, here we go: The Top 4 Scariest Comics I’ve Read, starting with….

4) Doctor Strange, Vol. 4: Mr. Misery

From Goodreads.com

“Mr. Misery” is the result of Dr. Stephen Strange’s attempt to circumvent the “price” that comes with using magic. A monster literally made out of suffering, he is nothing short of a nightmare on paper. The creepy levels of this comic are off the chart!

Creepy Quote:

“Misery loves you too, Doctor.”

Similar Books:

Doctor Strange Vols. 1-3 (These stories lead up to the above volume and also have some creepy imagery.) Marvel 1602 (Also includes Doctor Strange as a major character. Though “creep factor” isn’t a driving force in this story, it’s still there and when it is, the imagery is more intense.)


Source:

Aaron, Jason. Doctor Strange: Mr. Misery. New York. Marvel Comics, 2017.

Rainbow Batman and Super-Mullets: Strange Superhero Fashion

Comic books have been around for decades–in that time, a lot has changed. You can see how the writing styles became more serious and complex, and how the stories began to tackle larger issues than just “good guy beats bad guy.”

But today, I don’t want to talk about any of that.

I want to talk about superhero style: the yesteryear fashions and hairstyles that have us rolling our eyes and snorting.

Let’s take a journey with….

5 of the Strangest Superhero Fashion Choices

(5) Robin’s Short Pants

I don’t think I need to say anything here. I’m just really glad Robin has actual pants these days.

(4) Tim Drake’s Electrocution Hair

Ah, the ’90s. You really didn’t know what you were doing style-wise, did you? Not long ago, I was reading a comic when Tim’s hair stopped me cold. I laughed out loud and snapped a picture.

(3) Batman of Zur-En-Arrh

I get that Grant Morrison was trying to tie in Batman stories from the ’50s (which were particularly odd since they were trying to add sci-fi elements to revitalize the then-at-risk-for-cancellation Batman comics), but there is just something about Batman in red, yellow, and purple that doesn’t work. He looks more like a fast food mascot than the Dark Knight.

(2) Disco Nightwing

Dick Grayson… how did you manage to end up on this list twice? First as Robin, and now as Nightwing. Your first costume as a solo act was… bold, to say the least. What makes it even funnier is the bravado with which you introduce yourself: “Are you people ready? Say hello to Nightwing!” The good news… your costume did become more subtle in later years.

(1) Super-Mullet

I don’t know what part of “mild-mannered reporter” says mullett, but in the ’90s… that’s apparently what DC though Superman needed. Watch out ladies, here comes Super-Fabio…..

There you have it: Five of the craziest superhero styles that I’ve come across. I know there are tons more–comics are nice little time capsules of culture–but I tried to keep this list to what I’ve actually come across myself while reading.

Have you read comics with other bizarre super-fashion? Share them in the comments! We all need laughs nowadays… and I’ve heard tell of Thor in a crop top????


Sources:

Finger, Bill. The Batman Chronicles, Volume 3. New York, DC Comics, 2007.

Batman Arkham: Penguin. New York, DC Comics, Burbank, CA. 2018.

Morrison, Grant. Batman: R.I.P., Deluxe Edition. New York, DC Comics, 2009.

Wolfman, Marv. The New Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. Burbank, CA, DC Comics, 2003.

Jurgens, Dan. Superman #83: Funeral For a Friend/Epilogue. New York, DC Comics, 1993.

What I’ve Learned from Super-Ladies

“All the super ladies, all the super ladies, all the super ladies… Now put your hands up!”

Let’s talk about women in comics. This can be a controversial issue: Are they truly represented, or are they just eye candy? Are they well-written characters or are they simply catalysts for the male hero’s evolution?

The answer of course is… Yes. It depends what you’re reading, as well as who was writing it and the era in which it was written. You might have a Wonder Woman comic form the ’60s that is oddly progressive and full of girl power. You might come across a recent comic featuring the alien princess Starfire and roll your eyes at her outfit (or, more specifically lack of an outfit).

The fact is, making a blanket statement about women in comics is like making a generalization about… sidekicks in comics. Or families in comics. Or villains in comics. Characters of all sorts have changed and evolved depending on when they were written and who was writing them.

In a weird way, comics are a microcosm of society: As we become more enlightened, so do comics. Of course, true enlightenment never really stops–we’re always learning and growing, and comics reflect that, too.

Is there still misrepresentation? Sure. But I’m happy to say that at least this female reader spends more time feeling empowered than rolling my eyes.

And today, I want to talk a little bit about that empowerment. Today, I want to share a bit about what I, as a fellow woman, have learned from super-heroines.

Batgirl

From “Batgirl, Vol. 4: Strange Loop

I described Barbara Gordon before in my “Top 10 Sidekicks” list. She’s strong and insanely smart, but above that, she has more perseverance than just about any other character. Not only did she decide to become a hero fighting for truth and justice, but after she was paralyzed by the Joker, she found a new niche for herself in the superhero community–as Oracle, the super-hacker and computer wizard. She eventually regained her ability to walk and returned to the mantle of Batgirl. And, just like you’d expect, she continues to tackle every problem and obstacle with grit and intelligence.

Ms. Marvel

From “Ms. Marvel: Teenage Wasteland

I adore Kamala Khan. She has strong family and community values, and she has the wide-eyed optimism that only comes with youth. And honestly… if we adults adopted just a bit of that kind of attitude, the world would be a better place. She stumbles and has doubts, but she always, always does what she believes in her heart is right. Her support system–friends, family, and the community of Jersey City–is a reminder to everyone that “lone wolf” is overrated. As strong as she may be, she reminds us all that we are ultimately, always, stronger together. She is a shining example of a comic book hero and a super-lady that I would be thrilled to have my future children see as a role model.

Squirrel Girl

From “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Power

Oh, Doreen Green. I’m pretty sure you were created just to be a throwaway, comedic character… but with your spunk and optimism, you’ve found a way into comic book history. Though your stories aren’t always canon (they exist in a special place that connects to the larger story without actually impacting it), you teach us again and again that you don’t always have to fight to save to the day. SG’s motto is that she’s here to “eat nuts and kick butts,” but more often than not, she and her similarly punny friends (Koi Boy, Chipmunk Hunk, etc.) save the day by just… talking to the villain. Why are you doing this? Is there another option you hadn’t considered? She once even convinced Galactus–the Devourer of Worlds–to not eat Earth, not through an intense, nail-biting action scene… but because she found a planet of nuts for him to enjoy. And when that doesn’t work… then it’s time to kick butts. But SG never falls victim to the “doom and gloom” of superheroes. She’s here to save the day and love every second of it!

Mera

From “Mera: Queen of Atlantis

What isn’t there to say about Mera? She is–literally–a force with which to be reckoned. She can use her powers to control the oceans, and even though she could be terrifying… she remains selfless and strong. While her skills as a warrior are nothing to be ignored, her heart and moral compass are what set Mera apart from others. After all, she first met Arthur Curry (Aquaman) when she was sent to assassinate him. What happened instead? She fell in love with the genuinely good man and tried to help bring the surface and underwater worlds together. When that failed, thanks to a coup in Atlantis, she took on the mantle of queen herself to save, not only the man she loved, but also the two worlds he was from–whether she truly wanted that power or not. A woman who understand power and responsibility, Mera is the quintessential leader from whom we can all learn something.

Wonder Woman

From “Wonder Woman, Vol. 2: Year One

Speaking of quintessential…. Wonder Woman is the female superhero. Diana is an Amazon, raised on the island of Themyscira–where there are no men. She comes to our world when Steve Trevor washes up on the shore. After nursing him back to health, the Amazons decide to send a champion to “Man’s World” to help guide them. Diana is known most often as a warrior, but in truth she is a diplomat first. Her compassion and desire for the truth–specifically what truly makes up the hearts of man–compels her forward on her mission of peace. She fights when she must, but she ultimately believes that goodness is humanity’s strongest trait. And so she fights for it–endlessly and tirelessly reminding us that we can fight the good fight, too.

While writing these, here’s a crazy thing I just noticed: All of these lessons aren’t just for women. We can all persevere, support our communities, be optimistic, be a force of nature, and be compassionate.

Humans have a habit of wanting to label anything and everything. The universe is confusing and terrifying, so the more we can organize it the better, right?

Right?

Maybe. We are all unique and those special traits and differences should be celebrated. But when does celebrating become just another form of labeling? When is it best to celebrate that a woman did this–broke the glass ceiling, defied the patriarchy–and when is it best to simply celebrate that a person did this? That–regardless of gender, background, age, or any of the other million labels we assign each other–this one person, with their unique personality and skills, with their special brand of bravery and perseverance, has accomplished something great?

I don’t know the answer. What I do know, however, is that humans have a habit of adopting an “us vs. them” mentality. So maybe saying that these super-ladies have taught me so much doesn’t matter as much as saying that these super-people have helped me understand, just a little bit more, what it means to be part of the human story.

Of course, female representation in comics–and in all media–is a debate that’s been going strong for decades upon decades, and I doubt it will end any time soon. And it should continue: We can’t get better if we don’t question. My only hope is that, above all else, people remember to be kind.

After all, as Wonder Woman once said:

“Because no matter how small an act of kindness or generosity or simple positivity you put out into the world, it will make a difference.”*


Sources:

Larson, Hope. Batgirl, Vol. 4: Strange Loop. Burbank, CA, DC Comics, 2018.

Wilson, G. Willow. Ms. Marvel: Teenage Wasteland. New York, Marvel Comics, 2018.

North, Ryan. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Power. New York, Marvel Comics, 2015.

Abnett, Dan. Mera: Queen of Atlantis. Burbank, CA, DC Comics, 2018.

Rucka, Greg. Wonder Woman, Vol. 2: Year One. Burbank, CA, DC Comics, 2017.

*https://www.cbr.com/dc-comics-inspirational-quotes-wonder-woman/#:~:text=As%20the%20hero%20herself%20said,and%20be%20better%20for%20it.

Holy Holiday, Batman!

I wouldn’t be much of a nerd if I didn’t take a moment to get excited about this upcoming Saturday. What’s so special about Saturday, you ask?

Well…it’s…. BATMAN DAY!

Which got me thinking… what is the best way to celebrate the Dark Knight? The Caped Crusader? The World’s Greatest Detective? (Wow… I’ve never realized before how many aliases the guy has….)

And, being the total nerd that I am, I came up with a whole list of celebratory options. After all, as Batman has said: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” So here it is:

Holy Holiday, Batman! 10 Ways to Celebrate Batman Day

(10) Make Bat-cookies! You can find bat-shaped cookie cutters online. Decorate them however you like, though I would recommend some dark chocolate ganache icing for the Dark Knight.

(9) Play a Batman-themed board game. Yes, there are Batman board games. But if I had to recommend one in particular, it’s actually an expansion of the popular DC Deckbuilding card game. This special “Rivals” set is designed for two players and pits Batman against the Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker. (For extra fun, use a Batman voice if you’re playing as Batman, and if you’re playing as Joker, throw in a few “Batsys.”)

(8) Action figures. If you have kids (and, heck, even if you don’t have kids–no judgment here), play out your own adventure. Or… just admire and/or catalog your collection. Mint-in-box, anyone?

(7) Cosplay. Another good one with kids: Have a costume contest for everyone in the family. See who can dress up as the best Batman character. The winner can pick the next Bat-activity.

(6) Say it with style. I’m not saying you have to wear your favorite Batman t-shirt today… but I am saying that a Batman t-shirt automatically makes someone 10-percent cooler.

(5) Brackets. Who is the strongest villain? Who’s the best actor to play Batman? What is the best Batman comic? This list can go on and on. Make a March Madness-style bracket and debate with your friends!

(4) Read your favorite comics. Whether you look back over your own collection, or head to the library and check out a compilation, today is a great day to revisit some of Batman’s greatest mysteries. (Looking for a good compilation? Try one of these: Batman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, Batman Adventures collections, and Batman: Arkham collections.)

(3) How about a novel? Yes, there actually are Batman novels, too. Try out: Wayne of Gotham by Tracy Hickman or Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu. (I’ve not had the chance to actually read either of these myself, but they’re both regularly checked out at my library… and also totally on my to-read list.)

(2) Cartoon Marathon: Batman: The Animated Series is a classic, but it’s definitely not the only choice. There are a plethora of DC animated movies. (Note: not all of them are for kids!) Whether you choose something more mature, or get nostalgic with a favorite from your childhood, you’re sure to get lots of Gotham action.

(1) Movie Marathon! Lots to choose from here: You could go for the hardcore Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, or you could opt for a lighter, funnier Caped Crusader with Lego: Batman and Adam West. You really can’t go wrong either way.

So there you have it–ten ways to celebrate Batman.

Here’s to the Dark Knight: The hero who teaches us that you don’t need powers to be super. You just need willpower, intelligence, (if we’re being honest, a lot of money), and the desire to do good.

Batman’s been around for over 80 years. Here’s to 80 more!

It’s a Good Time to Be a DC Fan

A couple weeks ago, the teaser trailer dropped for The Batman (starring Robert Pattinson and directed by Matt Reeves). It wowed audiences and pretty much shut-up anyone who thought the former Twilight star couldn’t pull of a dark Batman. It was edgy and engaging… and is just one element of an onslaught of memes celebrating all of the many, MANY DC movies on the horizon.

From DC Universe Rocks My World (Facebook page)

Ah yes… it truly is a wonderful time to be a DC fan. While I’m particularly excited about The Batman (mostly because the antagonist is going to be my favorite Batman baddie, the Riddler!), here are a few other projects that have fans talking:

(1) Wonder Woman 1984

This film was originally supposed to come out in June, but… you know, COVID-19. It’s now set to premiere on Oct. 2. (Fingers crossed!) The first Wonder Woman movie was a record-breaker, making the most of any movie ever directed by a woman. Full of empowerment simply because Wonder Woman is a force with whom to be reckoned–as strong as she is compassionate, as much diplomat as she is warrior. Wonder Woman was a clear favorite among other recent DC properties. (Man of Steel had its haters; Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was divisive in the fan community; and Suicide Squad just seemed lackluster and typical.) Needless to say, Wonder Woman’s sequel has been highly anticipated, especially since it will include one of her most iconic villains, The Cheetah.

(2) Justice League Snyder cut

Unlike most people, I didn’t hate the Justice League film that was released in 2017. In fact… I kind of liked it. (*hides from the tomatoes being thrown*) I know, objectively, it’s not technically that good of a film. There are plethora or problems, but… I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel the world mourning Superman during the opening segment; or that I enjoyed the interactions among all the League members; or even that I wasn’t excited throughout the climax. Still… this movie was a production nightmare. Switching directors from Zack Snyder to Joss Whedon halfway through, fans were certain that Snyder had more of his original vision filmed and that the result would be a far more engaging and complex story. Well… three years later (and endless cries of “Release the Snyder cut!” on social media), we’re finally getting Snyder’s version. With original actors returning to film, the cut will reportedly be four hours long–released in four, one-hour parts on HBO Max. Reportedly, this will be a film with a lot for comic fans to enjoy, including Black Suit Superman, an appearance from Darkseid, and more background set-up with the Flash and Cyborg. In short… this is going to be a passion project and magnum opus of a superhero film…. and all of us fans can’t wait!

(3) Suicide Squad 2

Like I said before… the first Suicide Squad movie was pretty lackluster. It felt like every other superhero/action movie, complete with a big shiny portal/hole in the sky. The teaser trailer for the new one just released and, as director/writer James Gunn says in it: “It’s gonna be different from any superhero movie ever made.” If the name James Gunn sounds familiar, it should: Gunn gave us the wildly popular and unique Guardians of the Galaxy. I’ve never been a particular fan of the Suicide Squad, but the teaser–which promised action alongside something new and exciting–has me pumped and ready for this movie!

Sounds like plenty of excitement, right? No need for any more?

WRONG! Those are only three of the DC projects in the works–just the three that are getting the most attention right now. Also in the works: An untitled Black Adam movie, a sequel to Shazam! (which has me particularly excited; Shazam is one of my favorite superheroes!); a Flash movie which will introduce the multiverse, and also, reportedly, include appearances by Ben Affleck’s Batman AND Michael Keaton’s Batman; Aquaman 2; and the video game Gotham Knights.

All of that… and, honestly, I’m probably forgetting something. Or somethings.

With the way 2020 has been, we all need a reminder now and again of some good news. DC fans have gotten a WHOLE LOT OF IT here recently. I haven’t been following Marvel as closely, but I hope all of you Marvel fans have fun stories on the horizon, too. And if you’re not a comic fan… then I hope whatever fandom you love has some awesome projects coming, too.

Whatever you love, let’s all love it and “nerd-out” together!

Yes… That Actually Happened

I thought it would be fun to end August with a nerdy blog all about some of the strangest moments to ever happen in comic books! (Or, at least, the strangest I’ve come across….) If you have something that can top one of these–and with 80 years of material, I’m sure someone out there does!–then add it in the comments! I’d love to read some more super-absurdity!

(5) JFK once helped Superman keep his secret ID safe!

Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman, Deluxe Edition (2018)

In Action Comics #309, Superman was being celebrated and thanked in a TV special. The only problem… all of his friends were supposed to be there! How could Clark Kent and Superman appear in the same place at the same time? Easy–just call the president!

(4) Thanos really didn’t care about balance. He was just head-over-heels for Death!

The Infinity Gauntlet (2011)

Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame both paint Thanos as a villain who believes himself to be a hero: He truly think that overpopulation is causing agony and destruction. If no one else will fix that problem, then he will. In the comics, however… Thanos knows he’s the villain. In fact, his entire motivation is simple: He has the hots for Death (who, yes, is an actual character), and he wants to wipe out half the population just to woo her. That’s one way to be romantic, I guess…..

(3) Loki ran for president… and almost won!

Vote Loki (2016)

Deciding that, if the American people were going to be lied to anyways then they might as well enjoy it, Loki runs with a platform so deliciously political it’s laugh-out-loud hilarious: I’m going to be honest about being completely dishonest. He came pretty close to winning, too… but I won’t give away specifics because no one likes spoilers.

(2) Superman’s powers were all replaced with electricity!

Superman Blue: Volume 1 (2018)

A mishap leads to Superman developing energy-based powers. Because nothing says “Up, up, and away!” like an all-blue man surrounded by lightning. (In all honesty, this wasn’t a terrible storyline…. just a really, REALLY weird direction to take the character.)

(1) That time Joker became emperor of reality.

Superman: Emperor Joker (2007)

And it was just as chaotic and dark as you’d imagine. Despite the artwork being a bit more cartoonish, the story actually went to some pretty intense places. That dichotomy made for a strange experience while reading the story. Plus, you know… being trapped in a fantasy dreamed up the Joker. Talk about nightmares!


Sources:

Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman, Deluxe Edition. Burbank, California. DC Comics. 2018

Starlin, Jim. The Infinity Gauntlet. New York. Marvel Comics, 2011.

Hastings, Christopher. Vote Loki. New York. Marvel Comics, 2016.

Jurgens, Dan. Superman Blue, Volume 1. Burbank, California. DC Comics, 2018.

Loeb, Jeph. Superman: Emperor Joker. New York. DC Comics, 2007.