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Posts by Christopher Holden

Stan Lee’s Romeo and Juliet: The War and the Strong Female Characters Question

Excelsior!

Recently, I attended a book signing in Los Angeles hosted by none other than the name among names, the one and only Stan Lee. The living legend was there promoting one of his most recently completed works, Romeo and Juliet: The War, a futuristic adaptation of William Shakespeare's arguably most renowned play. Previously available primarily at conventions, this graphic novel was sold in a hard cover coffee table book styled special collector's edition.

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Ravagers and World’s Finest: A Closer Look at DC’s New Team Books with Female Leads

Great Hera!

DC comics has revealed details for their second wave of comics to come out of the rebooted new 52, and a handful of titles promise the return of some fan favorite characters as well as the presentation of female characters in the fore-front. Namely in the former of Ravagers, featuring a new Terra and Beast Boy; and Worlds' Finest, a title that used to be about Batman and Superman (it also used to be World's Finest, a feat of punctuational distinction that excites your humble editor), is now housing the triumphant return of Powergirl and The Huntress to the DC Universe.

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The New 52 in Review: Week 4

Review

Christopher Holden continues a series reviewing the New 52 with… ALL-STAR WESTERN All-Star Western opens with Jonah Hex and Amadeus Arkham teaming up to solve the mystery of a slew of Jack-the-Ripper-like murders in 1880’s era Gotham City. As per usual, Jonah Hex is portrayed perfectly by Gray and Palmiotti. However, Hex seems somewhat out of place in Gotham, regardless of the time period. If he remains the main protagonist, I hope the stories return to the plains. Arkham’s internal commentary provides an interesting perspective on the situation, as well as a deeper examination of Hex’s motivations, but ultimately Arkham’s presence proves as annoying to the reader as he seems to Jonah. The story picks up at the end with revalation of the involvement of what appears to be the Skull and Bone society. If you’re a Jonah Hex fan, I would suggest skipping this opening story arc and waiting for a more traditionally western tale to be released.

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The New 52 in Review: Week 3

Review

Christopher Holden continues a series reviewing the New 52 with…
WONDER WOMAN
Editor's Note: If you buy one New 52 comic this week, I hope it's Wonder Woman #1. I hope it excites many of you when I say: If you like Sandman, or Hellblazer you will finish the issue in what feels like way too soon and be begging for more. Unlike many of the other new 52 relaunches, there is no retelling of Diana’s origins. She simply IS Wonder Woman, and she is not one to be trifled with. Connections to the Greek gods are still an important aspect of the story, although given the looks of Hermes and Apollo, there may be more to the Greek Pantheon than meets the eye. Like any great Greek tale, the story begins in medias res, and although there is not a lot of focus on Diana, she is presented as a warrior who has been thrust into a new adventure of many. Wonder Woman has been reinvented several times over the last couple years, and I think this is the best interpretation we have seen since DC: The New Frontier.

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Spoiler Alert For the New 52… By Which I Mean Stephanie Brown is the Spoiler in the New 52

Great Hera!

With Barbara Gordon reclaiming the mantle of Batgirl in the rebooted DCU, it was uncertain whether the most recent Batgirl, Stephanie Brown, would remain part of continuity. However, just as Dick Grayson has once again reverted to the persona of Nightwing, it seems that Stephanie Brown has similarly been returned to being Spoiler. This is revealed in passing in the recent solicitations for Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes. It reads:
“Guest stars galore! Batman and Spoiler team to face the School of Night while Batman Incorporated travels to a sinister Cold War interrogation facility to face the mind-bending menace of Doctor Dedalus for the last time while the true identity of Leviathan is finally revealed, with shocking consequences for the Dark Knight.”

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The Flamboyant New Addition to Teen Titans

Who He Is and How He Came to Be

Reports came from Bleeding Cool yesterday that Brett Booth and Scott Lobdell will be introducing an outwardly gay character in their upcoming re-launch of Teen Titans, as a member of the team. Seen in solicitations under the moniker of the Wall, the character’s name has since been changed to Bunker. His powers are as yet unknown, but given his names and the cover of Teen Titans #3, it appears that they are defensive in nature, with the hero being able to create barriers and other constructs.

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New 52 in Review: Week 2

Christopher Holden continues a series reviewing the New 52 with… BATMAN AND ROBIN In this first issue of Batman and Robin, the main focus is the budding relationship between Bruce and Damian; both as a father and son, and as crime fighting partners. Expecting development primarily in Damian’s personality, I was surprised to find a great deal of growth in the character of Bruce Wayne. Coming into acceptance that he is now a father, Bruce is finally able to let go of the tragic death of his parents and begin to cherish the life they lived instead of focusing on how they died.

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New 52 in Review: Week 1

Review

Christopher Holden kicks of a series reviewing the New 52 with... ACTION COMICS “Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.” This is the depiction of Superman generations grew up with during the Golden age of comics and through Max Fleischer cartoons. In Action Comics #1, Grant Morrison is making that Superman canon again.

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Sign of the Times: Nike Leaks Back to the Future Shoes

Just What You've Always Wanted

Remember in Back to the Future Part II, when Marty McFly gets those awesome sneakers that, as if by magic, tie themselves and tighten; and then he remarks “Cool, power laces”? Well, soon we may all be able to get power laced shoes. That’s right, Nike is making Nike Air Mags, the exact same shoes and name from the movie.

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Review: Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1

Review

At midnight releases around the country last Wednesday, DC fans (at least those who had not already pirated the issues) were able to purchase the last issue of Flashpoint, and the first issue of the DC reboot, Justice League #1. These two comics were the only ones released by DC this week, in an attempt to symbolize the end of one era, and the commencement of the next.

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Interview: Frank Cho at Baltimore Comic Con

Interview

Our contributor Christopher Holden happened to be going to Baltimore Comic-Con this past weekend, and graciously volunteered to be on the job while he was there! While at the Baltimore Comic-Con, I visited Frank Cho’s booth, and spoke with him about his work. Specifically we discussed the Ultimate Marvel Universe and his work on 50 Girls 50 which is best summed up in this description from the first issue: “After discovering Y-chomosomes were incompatible with wormhole travel, an all-female crew was assembled consisting of some of the greatest scientific and military minds our world has to offer, regardless of gender.” Me: Why is your comic “50 Girls 50” only 4 issues long? Do you have any hopes of turning it into an ongoing? Frank: We decided to go the Hellboy route and release a mini, see how that goes, and if people like it then maybe adapt it into an ongoing series later.

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Interview: Amanda Conner at Baltimore Comic Con

Interview

Our contributor Christopher Holden happened to be going to Baltimore Comic-Con this past weekend, and graciously volunteered to be on the job while he was there! Amanda Conner (whose comics work resume is so prestigious you should probably just go read about it before we quote the entire Wikipedia article) agreed to speak with me at the Baltimore Comic-Con while she meticulously worked on a custom portrait of Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) for a fan, which she agreed to draw for $100. TMS: You’re famous for your work on Power Girl. The DC reboot is right around the corner and Power Girl has noticeably been missing from and news or solicitations. What are your thoughts on this, and do you know anything the rest of us don’t?

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Sneaky Gail Simone Slips Adorable Polygamous Lesbian Marriage Into Secret Six Before Reboot

To Boldly Go

In Secret Six #36, Gail Simone writes her last issue on the series, as well as the last issue before the company wide reboot of DC Comics. In an attempt to give the villainous characters she had worked so hard on a proper sendoff, Gail ties up loose ends between characters, then pumps the team full of Venom and sends them out in a blaze of glory against an army of superheroes in a fashion that would make Cassidy and Sundance proud.

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Everything You Need to Know About Fear Itself and Flashpoint …So Far

If you liked it then you should have put a Lantern Ring on it

The summer is halfway over, and Marvel and D.C.’s annual crossover events are well underway. Both companies boast their usual claims that following their event, things will be changed irrevocably in their respective universes. Previous “Crises” and “Secret Wars” have proven otherwise, with continuities returning more or less to the status quo in the months following the end of the big event. Flamboyant, flashy (no pun intended) covers once again adorn seemingly necessary companion titles to the earth-shattering summer series that seek to empty our wallets and purses. Thus, the annual debacle arises over whether our hard earned money should be spent on these events, when they demand their own importance, but more often than not result in general frivolity. Although it is not my place to tell you what to buy or not to buy, I can at least inform you of the nature of each event, and fill you in on what’s been going on; so that if you find yourself browsing your local comic book store this week, you will be well informed.

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon–Not Much More Than Meets the Eye

Review

The latest and final installment in Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise lives up to its promotional hype and meets expectations. That is to say: it is an action packed visual spectacle that is a wonder to behold, but is devoid of either a meaningful plot or strong characterization. Also, occasionally it showcases fighting robots. Originally based off the  children’s toy line and it’s subsequent cartoon show, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is not for children. It earns its PG-13 rating through a plethora of violence and death that would make the movie seem far darker, if it was not constantly counterbalanced by the goofiness of many of the characters and situations.

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Revamped Teen Titans Releases First Image

Great Hera!

In the torrent of news regarding D.C.’s upcoming reboot/re-imagination, the first image and description of the upcoming Teen Titans reboot has released. It was stated earlier that none of the new members of Teen Titans will have met each other before, which is emphasized in the description:

Tim Drake is forced to step out from behind his keyboard when an international organization seeks to capture or kill super-powered teenagers. As Red Robin, he must team up with the mysterious and belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl and a hyperactive speedster calling himself Kid Flash in TEEN TITANS #1, by Scott Lobdell and artists Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.

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First Trip To The Doctor: Doctor Who 101 and Why You Should Watch

It Goes Ding When There's Stuff

If you've ever wondered why The Mary Sue doesn't post much stuff about the current season of Doctor Who, there is a simple, shameful reason behind it: the editorial staff is only three seasons in love with the Doctor and is terrified of spoilers. We would just watch it all day and not post anything to bring ourselves up to speed, but you'd probably prefer that even less… so when contributor Christopher Holden, also a new Who convert who's actually had the time to catch up, offered to write a post on how and why one should follow everyone else down the swirly worm hole after that twirling TARDIS, we welcomed it. If only to create even more people who, despite their expectations, find themselves learning to love that completely artificial synth-whine of a theme song. My primary source of geekdom has always been comic books. That is the source from which all my other interests branch out. Thus, my first exposure to Doctor Who came from the random attainment of 1970’s Marvel Doctor Who Comics in my youth. The bright covers depicting a curly-haired English man sporting a long scarf seemingly made from Joseph’s Technicolor dream coat did not pique my interest. Although others may have enjoyed his comics, because the Doctor was not part of the canonical Marvel Universe, to me he was simply Doctor Who cares?

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DC’s Newest Movie Project is For the Birds

In Which We Make A Terrible Pun

Which costumed hero is D.C. optioning for a movie next? Could it be the long fabled Flash movie? With the Wonder Woman pilot cancelled, could they be bringing Adrianna Palicki instead to the big screen? Or perhaps is there a noir-ish Martian Manhunter flick in the making? The answer may surprise you. Coming from waaay out of left field, D.C. has begun searching for writers to helm a new Hawkman movie.

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