X-Men by Wren Emerson

For a lot of kids comic books offer an escape from every day life. It’s an opportunity to live out incredible fantasies about people who started out as ordinary as these kids, but suddenly find themselves powerful, and always heroic. For a lot of kids comic books are one of the most ingrained memories from childhood. I’m not one of them. I knew about comic books, of course, who didn’t? Even way back then during the 80’s and 90’s when I was growing up there were already dozens of movies and TV shows about super heroes. For some reason nothing caught my eye until I was in high school and they showed an animated series about the X-men. I was way too old for cartoons in my opinion (which has changed drastically over the years), but every week I tuned in. I was captivated. The X-men, for those of you that might have missed the comics, TV shows, and movies that feature them, are a group of Marvel super heroes. They’ve been around since some time in the 60s. The basic premise is that in an alternate reality of the world evolution had a sudden hiccup and mutants were born with powers beyond those of normal humans. The powers are pretty much as diverse as the different writers who work on the series, but my favorite was always Rogue. Rogue’s power was more of a curse, as some of the powers are in this series. Whenever she has skin to skin contact with someone she starts to drain them of their power. If they are a mutant, she absorbs...

Iron Man, Your Man, My Man by Shay Fabbro

Iron Man, Your Man, My Man I admit, I don’t know much about comics. *slinks away* But I have enjoyed some of the movies that have come out. The one I watch over and over again is Iron Man (I and II). As a scientist, I love the idea of a man that is a super genius inventor that creates super awesome equipment rather than magical powers. How many of you watched Iron Man and wished that you could have a suit like that?!? Sweet!!!! And even though he’s kind of a cad, Tony Stark IS charming, or at least Robert Downey Jr.’s version is 😀  You can’t help but be drawn to this charismatic playboy with the seriously awesome house and truly bad ass cars. He gets invited to the best parties, hangs out with all the beautiful people, and has his own private lab that puts Batman to shame. But what I really loved about Tony Stark is his change of heart after suffering the injury that eventually leads him to make the transformation into Iron Man. Tony’s company, Stark Industries, makes military weapons, and BOY were they advanced, state-of-the-art, full of “kill-the-bad-guy” mojo! On a trip to show off his latest creation (Jericho), Tony is injured and taken prisoner by a terrorist group. Tony awakens to find himself the proud owner of a nifty electromagnet that keeps shrapnel from reaching his heart. The terrorists informl Tony he will be released when he hands over the Jericho. Rather than give in the demands, Tony and fellow prisoner Yinsen, build an arc reactor to power the electromagnet and...

I am Iron Man by Jeff Wills

Iron Man and his alter ego (are they alter egos if they have no secret identity?) Tony Stark get a lot of grief from a certain camp. After all, Iron Man debuted in 1963, and a certain, reminiscent character from a rival comic book company premiered some twenty-five years prior. Both orphans (are you an orphan if you lose your parents as a young adult?), both geniuses, both tormented in their own ways, and both with hoity-toity English butlers, for heaven’s sakes. It is difficult to defend good ol’ Tony Stark’s originality. Then again, none of Stan Lee’s lasting creations are terribly original in concept. Even Spider-Man, arguably his most unique and iconic superhero, comes from the thread-worn “radioactive magic” and “small-town boy makes good” tropes. Where they shine is in the execution. It’s a standing joke amongst DC Comics fanboys that in order to make a good Marvel character, one just has to take a DC one and give him a girlfriend and at least as much standing around talking about his feelings as combat. I’m one such DC fanboy, and I’m here to say we’re just a bit envious. From the first transition from masked avengers to caped crusaders, comic books were about power fantasies. That made for rolicking good adventures and a couple of decades of perfect paternal propaganda (I still occasionally fantasize about what it might’ve been like to sock Hitler a good one in the mandible) but a power fantasy does not a good story make. Man can not live by bread alone. The milk of human kindness needs to break in here and...

Batman is a way of thinking By Mosno Al-Moseeki

We all have our favorite superhero(s), some fly, some walk through walls, some transform, but there is only one who I think has the power to defeat any foe. Batman. There are SO many things I can say about his sheer bad-assery, lets start from the beginning. He combined the tragic death of his parents, his fear of bats, & turned them into an unstoppable force of justice. I believe his superpower is his intelligence, he is more like a super detective than anything else, & I would have to say that out of all the superheroes, I think he is the most believable one. He’s a wealthy man, who does a lot of push-ups, & has the coolest toys on the planet. He doesn’t fly, or shoot lasers from his eyes, AND his alter-ego has a normal name “Bruce Wayne”, not some rhyming mambo jumbo. And yes, I refer to “Bruce” as the alter-ego, because if you watch/read carefully, Batman is always present, putting the puzzles together, making sure everyone who is supposed to be there, is there, which is one more reason for me to relate to him. As a musician, I’m constantly alert to new surroundings, because you never know what will inspire you to write a song, or a poem, or lyric. Have you noticed that most of Batman’s villains have super powers? Or have been infected by some kind of toxin that warps their perspective of reality? & Batman always finds a “logical” way to defeat them. I personally think that is a powerful statement, it shows that you can defeat any obstacle, if...

The People Vs Batman by David Brown

Ladies and gentleman of the jury, the case before us is the most important you will ever consider. It has been brought to our attention that the defendant Batman, also known as Bruce Wayne, has come under scrutiny. The prosecution would have you believe that Batman isn’t the best superhero of them all, that he doesn’t have the amazing powers of Superman, he can’t fire webs from his hands like Spiderman and he just isn’t as tough as Iron Man. It is down to me to convince you otherwise. Batman isn’t your typical superhero. He has no special powers he can hide behind. He’s all man, albeit a man in one very cool suit. Batman’s alter ego Bruce Wayne was a victim of crime, seeing his parents murdered, and his guise as Batman is born of that moment in his tragic past. Bruce trained himself to be strong and athletic, compensating for his lack of superpowers. What he is missing in this department he makes up for in intelligence and some pretty nifty gadgets. Batman knows a thing or two about franchising too. Everything in his mansion is pretty much bat-themed. His plethora of vehicles includes the Batmobile, Batcycle, Batwing, Bat-boat and Bat-sub. Let’s not forget the batarang as well which goes to show no commercial item is safe from the bat name but again that is the genius of Batman. He isn’t content to head to his local retail outlet and find some decent weapons, he makes them all himself. Batman is a born survivor. He first appeared in comic books in 1939 and has been on something...

“I’m the Goddamn Batman.” by Jeremy Rodden

“I’m the Goddamn Batman.” With one stroke of the pen in 2005, Frank Miller and Jim Lee escalated Batman to a new height of awesome (many critics may disagree, but memes don’t lie http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/im-the-goddamn-batman). The truth, though, is that Miller’s Batman of All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder captures an alternate reality Batman, answering the question, “Who would Batman have become if he allowed his anger and thirst for vengeance to consume him?” I started writing this guest post in honor of Pavarti Tyler’s Shadow on the Wall release to describe why I like Batman so much. As a lifelong comic fan (I don’t consider myself an expert . . . just a fan), I’ve historically been more a fan of Marvel. The only DC property I ever really cared about was Batman. I always thought of Batman as one of the first, if not the first, real antihero in comics. A funny thing happened during my research for this blog post. I’m beginning to question whether or not Batman even is an antihero. Some argue that he is a “dark hero” http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/DCMARVELLOVERS/news/?a=5709 and not an antihero, but it’s a narrow distinction. He most certainly is very different from early superheroes such as Superman or Captain Marvel. Maybe Batman is not as far into the antihero spectrum like the ever-popular Wolverine or Punisher characters, but it’s important to note that those two characters weren’t created until the 70’s–decades after The Caped Crusader’s debut. Another favorite–Deadpool–wasn’t created until the 90’s. Some people like to immediately omit Batman from antihero lists because he has a no-killing policy (even though he...