comScore Alan Kistler | The Mary Sue
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Posts by Alan Kistler

Supergirl, Superwoman & Power Girl Historical Timeline Part 2: 1988 – 2015

Last week, we rocked out PART 1 of our timeline tracing the history of the various Supergirls and Superwomen of DC Comics, along with two ladies who called themselves Power Girl. Now, we're continuing with the Post-Crisis DC Universe all the way up to the current New 52 reality. Enjoy!

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Supergirl, Superwoman & Power Girl Historical Timeline Part 1: 1938-1986

June is Superman Month. Last week, we presented a two-part timeline on the hero's evolution. But almost since the beginning of Superman's career, there have been women calling themselves Superwoman or Supergirl, the most famous of whom is Kara Zor-El, Last Daughter of Krypton. As June winds down, and as we get closer to the premiere of the new Supergirl TV show starring Melissa Benoist, let's remember the history and evolution of these various women heroic women in colorful costumes.

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Celebrate Superman Month with a Historical Timeline! Part 2 – 1970s to 2010s

You know you love nerdy lists and timelines, people!

For those just joining us, June is often considered Superman month. The hero debuted in the 1938 June issue Action Comics #1. The real town of Metropolis, Illinois officially became "Superman's hometown" in June. And in some comics, the hero celebrates his birthday one June 1o (the day he landed on Earth) and Clark Kent's birthday on June 18 (the day he was adopted by the Kents and also the birthday of Bud Collyer, the first Superman actor).

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Celebrate Superman Month with a Historical Timeline! Part 1 – 1930s to 1960s

Because nerdy lists and timelines are part of what makes fandom fantastic!

June is a lot of things for different folks. For some, it's Superman month! It was in the June 1938 debut issue of Action Comics that the Man of Tomorrow first appeared. Some Silver Age comic books even say Superman celebrates his birthday on June 10 (the day he landed on Earth), while Clark Kent celebrates his birthday on June 18 (the day the Kents legally adopted him). With that in mind, how about a timeline of his amazing history?

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Avengers: Age of Ultron – Annotations and Easter Eggs!

They called me mad. But they don't understand. I just like writing annotations, people. So when I went to see Avengers: Age of Ultron, you knew this was coming. I mean, it was either this or (perhaps I mean and) record a commentary track. So let's dive into this. And if you haven't already realized that there are spoilers, I do not know how you internet.

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Agent of S.T.Y.L.E. – Marvel’s Vision, Son of Ultron

The Android Avenger's Apparel!

Thanks to the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, much of the world now understands the same thing I learned as a child: the Vision is cool.

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Review: Gene Ha’s Fantastical, Female-Led MAE

What if Dorothy had just stayed in Oz?

Gene Ha's record in comics is pretty damn impressive. Since winning a the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award in 1994, he's won four Eisner awards, become a New York Times best seller, and worked on such comics as Batman: Fortunate Son, Global Frequency, The Shade, Superman, Top 10 and others. Now, assisted by artists Rose McLain and Anette Nam, he has put together an original graphic novel with a Kickstarter campaign behind it.

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The Mary Sue Interview: Dean Haspiel on Archie Comics’ New Dark Circle Series The Fox

The Fox can't run away from his past.

April 15 sees the start of a new ongoing Dark Circle series from Archie Comics: The Fox! Emmy Award winning writer/artist Dean Haspiel and Eisner Award winning creator Mark Waid, the critically-acclaimed creative team behind the recent mini-series The Fox: Freak Magnet, now bring you more strange adventures featuring Paul Patton Jr. AKA the Fox.

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CW’s The Flash is a Great Superhero Adaptation But Iris West is Getting Left in the Dust

A good character with overlooked potential.

I truly love CW's The Flash. It's my favorite live-action comic book adaptation TV series, largely because it embraces its own absurdity with a great sense of fun. Telepathic, sentient gorilla? We got that. Villains with the guts to call themselves Captain Cold and Pied Piper? Sure, we'll include them and more. But it's possible, and sometimes necessary, to also acknowledge that things you enjoy might have a thing or two to criticize. Ikeep scratching my head over Iris West.

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AGENT OF S.T.Y.L.E. – Black Widow Goes To The Movies

It's all about the details!

A while back, we did an Agent of S.T.Y.L.E. dedicated to the many comic book costumes worn by the Black Widow. Natasha Romanova has had a long history in the comics, so it's natural that she's felt like changing her suit now and then.

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Agent of S.T.Y.L.E. – Aquaman’s Aquatic Apparel

Fish scales are so in this year!

Last week, we got to see an image of how Jason Mamoa will appear when he portrays Aquaman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The largely monochromatic image has largely been met with approval for showing Momoa's Aquaman to be someone who most of us would not want to fight, one who is ready to unite the seven seas or seven core members of the Justice League or the seven Horcruxes perhaps. Let's look at what's led us to this point in costuming history...

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The Secret to Superman Stories is NOT Super-Flare

(Though Super-Flare IS fun!)

Last week, Superman developed a new super-power. Sort of. This ability, which Batman calls "super-flare," is an extension of heat-vision, expelling the solar energy in Superman's body in one destructive blast, then leaving him powerless for about twenty-four hours. There have been several who have suggested that such a power is good because it is the key to making Superman more interesting and more human.

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[UPDATED] Why is Rape in Batwoman More Interesting Than Marriage to DC Comics?

DC Comics' Batwoman title has made waves once again, but probably now how they intended.

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Wonder Woman’s New 52 Origin Should Not Be Used in Film (or At All)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice producer Charles Roven says they'll be using Wonder Woman's DC Comics' "New 52" reboot origin rather than the story imagined by her original writer and creator William Moulton Marston. I think using the New 52 origin in general, much less in these films, is a mistake which diminishes the character and goes against why she was created in the first place.

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Agent of S.T.Y.L.E. – Answering the Question

Missing you, Renee Montoya.

There is a faceless vigilante who has stalked comics since the late 1960s. They started with Vic Sage and continued with Renee Montoya, a Gotham City detective who marveled at superheroes and then became one herself. Both of them, when wearing a faceless mask and a fedora, were called the Question. Who are they, and what is their connection to Watchmen, a near-forgotten Batman villain, and a strange man called Mr. A? Glad you asked. Read on!

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We All Benefit From Better Representation

C'mon, people, it's not rocket science.

It's 2014, and I keep asking myself: Why aren't we farther than this? I don't just mean the lack of space colonization, sarcastic robots, and hoverboards that films promised me would be here by now. I mean representation in pop culture and storytelling. Seems we should be better about that, especially when the explanations for why we're not all sound pretty crap.

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Agent of S.T.Y.L.E. – The Swashbuckling Nightcrawler!

Agent of S.T.Y.L.E. - Nightcrawler

Almost since I learned what an X-Men was, my favorite mutant hero has been Kurt Wagner (pronounced "Vaug-nerr") aka Nightcrawler. A devout Catholic swordsman who looks like a demon and buckles swashes with the best of them, Kurt won me over with his affable nature, his flamboyant humor an

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Agent of S.T.Y.L.E. – Captain Atom’s Atomic Ensemble! Part 2

Agent of S.T.Y.L.E.

Welcome back, loyal readers. Last time, in Part 1, we discussed the different incarnations of Captain Atom that existed up until 1986 (along with Grant Morrison's version, who'll show up again soon in Multiversity). We saw how the Charlton hero Captain Allen Adam was caught in a nuclear blast and then impossibly rematerialized as an atomic-powered man. Now let's check out how DC Comics has portrayed the hero called Captain Atom and what other characters were spawned from his creation. Ready? Sweet!

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What Do the Stars and Original Creator of Doctor Who Have to Say About a Female Doctor?


This past Wednesday, many of us chatted about Steven Moffat's remarks concerning casting a female in the titular role of Doctor Who. It seemed like a good idea to delve into the opinions of other people who have been involved in the program, as well as some of those who've played the Time Lord hero who makes a habit of transforming his body in order to avoid death.

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Agent of S.T.Y.L.E. – Captain Atom’s Atomic Ensemble! Part 1

Agent of S.T.Y.L.E.

For generations, humanity has been fascinated by the power and destructive force of atomic weapons. Tapping into this, multiple comic book publishers have featured heroes who have taken the name Captain Atom. You may know about Nathaniel Adam, the DC Comics hero who wields incredible quantum power. But what about the versions that preceded him? Let's take a look at the history of the heroes called Captain Atom, and a few related characters, from 1948 up to 1987. 

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