s3e9 Save Henry


s3e9 Save Henry.  This time Molly, Martha and Rob discuss the 9th episode from the 3rd season of Once Upon A Time.  Learn more, subscribe, or contact us at www.southgatemediagroup.com.You can write to us at southgatemediagroup@gmail.com and let us know what you think.Be sure to rate us and review the episode.  It really helps other people find us.  Thanks!


Check out this episode!

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Barry Allen & The Silver Age


By  Phil Perich for The Flash Arrow Power Hour Podcast

 

Hi.  This week’s focus will be on the 2nd (and probably most well known) Flash, Barry Allen.  Barry first appeared in Showcase #4 (October, 1956).  This issue is considered by fans and creators as the start of what is known as the “Silver Age”.  



Barry worked as a police scientist (years later his title was forensic scientist).  Working late in the lab one night, a lightning bolt hit the shelves full of chemicals behind Barry, covering him in the electrified mess.  The forever slow and late Barry Allen soon discovered he could move at superhuman speeds (later clocked at the speed of light).  Barry decides to become a crime fighter and invents many things to help with his war on crime, such as the ring he kept his uniform in which would expand on contact with air, and the cosmic treadmill that allowed Barry to time travel with pinpoint accuracy.  Barry eventually married his fiancé, news reporter Iris West.  Iris learned Barry’s secret identity after they were married due to him talking in his sleep.  Iris’s nephew Wally West became Kid Flash after finding himself in an identical accident to Barry’s.  Barry was a founding member of the Justice League of America.  Barry’s rouges gallery of villains is vast and probably only second to Batman’s.  Barry faced crooks such as Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard, and more Sci-Fi threats like Gorilla Grodd and time travelers Abra Kadabra and Professor Zoom, the reverse flash.  It was hatred for Barry and jealous of his love of Iris that drove Zoom to kill her (for a while).



Barry hunted down his wife’s killer and thought him dead or lost in the time stream.  Barry attempted to get on with his life and eventually met Fiona Webb.  After a short love affair, Barry proposed.  Then on their wedding day, Zoom returned and threatened to kill Fiona as he had killed Iris.  Barry accidentally kills Zoom attempting to stop him.  Barry as the Flash is put on trail for murder and is eventually exonerated thanks to Iris.  Yes, Iris!  It is shown that when Iris’s body died, her essence was drawn to the 30th century.  Unknown to everyone, including Iris, Iris was sent to the 20th century as an infant.  Upon her death, her parents pulled her essence back to the 30th century and a new body (not to complex, huh?).  With the trial over, Barry traveled to the 30th century to live happily ever after with Iris…for a while.  1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths involved the Anti-Monitor attempting to destroy all alternate realities.  Barry foiled one of the Anti-Monitor’s plans when he ran around an antimatter cannon, containing its energies and destroying the cannon, at the cost of his life.  



With Barry Allen dead, his sidekick, Wally West assumed the mantle of the Flash (more next week).  In 2009 (23 years after his death), Barry Allen outraces death to return to help save the universe in Final Crisis #2.  Barry Allen began to rebuild his life in the 6 issue Flash Rebirth. 



To explain his years old absence, Barry told old friends that he had been in witness protection.  Professor Zoom returns and reveals to Barry that he had traveled back in time and killed Barry’s mother.  Barry discovers that the speed force, the extra dimensional energy field that powers all super speedsters comes from him using his speed.  In 2011, the Flashpoint miniseries shows Barry attempting to go back in time and save his mother from Zoom, which creates an altered present.  Seeing the world devastated, Barry goes back and attempts to put things right again.  This reboots DC continuity again with the New 52.  All DC characters and there histories are altered and start at issue #1’s again, including Flash #1



In this new reality, Barry was never married to Iris, never had a sidekick, and is dating his coworker, Patty Spivot.  The only Reverse Flash shown so far has been Daniel West, Iris’s brother.  Will the real Professor return? Only time will tell.  Next week I’ll focus on 1986-2009, with Barry Allen dead, someone had to be the Flash.  Come back next week and meet Wally West! Have any Flash or Green Arrow ideas or thoughts? Let me know:

FlashArrowpodcast@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/FlashArrow-Power-Hour-Podcast/543505192421436

@FlashArrowpod on twitter

Southgatemediagroup@gmail.com

Until next week, I’ll be…back in a FLASH!

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Dark Knight Returns Batman Action Figure Review


DKR Batman (1)
DKR Batman (2)

This figure was released in 2004 by DC Direct and based on the artwork of Frank Miller from the awesome Dark Knight Returns graphic novel. I didn’t purchase mine when it was released as my action figure collection hadn’t really jump started at that point. However, I knew this was one that I needed to have. There has been an updated set that was released in 2013 based on the animated feature of the same name but my figure is the one released in August 2004. The updated version appears to have more subdued coloring and lost the right leg utility belt. One of the factors that really appeals to me about this figure is it gives me a closer to real life vibe on an aged Batman. He is muscular and in great physical shape for being older the figure depicts that he has a hunched over posture. I love the added leg utility belt as I would imagine as the threat of Gotham has changed over the years you would need extra gadgets to fight the evolving crime landscape along with older rogue gallery elements that he would have had to still fight.

I love the facial features of this figure as it depicts forehead wrinkles that you would expect from an aging Bruce Wayne but the very characteristic grimace of the Batman. Unlike most other figures of Batman this one appears longer in the jaw line giving the further impression of age and works very well to characterize the source material.

I am a fan of the bright yellow circle surrounding the chest emblem as I love the contrast this has of the bat suit with dark subdued colors. As the same color is on the utility belts this really makes those elements “pop” on this figure.


DKR Batman (3)

Why is this figure cool to me?

I was a late adopter into comic book reading and collecting. By late, I mean 18 years old. In 1989, it was the summer of Batman, with the huge marketing for the Tim Burton movie being releases, you couldn’t go far without being confronted with the Batman emblem. At that point of my life I was in my fledging days in the Navy and was attending technical school for my chosen Navy career. School didn’t fill every hour so we had nightly and weekend liberty. My technical school was located in San Diego, California. In 1989 I got the opportunity to visit what is now a very tough ticket and that was the International San Diego Comic Con. One of my introductions that summer was to the graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. My view of Batman has never been the same since that summer as he ceased to be the “campy” version from the old TV show reruns I thought he was. This figure brings me back full circle to a never ending passion in my adult life.

Jason Todd (Red headed stepchild or just #2?)


By  Phil Perich for Before the Bat: The Gotham Podcast

 

Hello hello.  I thought that this week we would continue our Robin series.  This week focus is on Jason Todd, the second Robin.  Jason first appeared in Batman #357 (March 1983).  At this point, he had an identical origin to Dick Grayson.  Jason was the son of circus acrobats that were killed by a criminal seeking protection money.  The red haired boy was taken in and trained by Batman, then decided to dye his hair black so the public would assume he was the first Robin.  Jason did not appear as Robin until Dick Grayson gave him the suit and identity in Batman #368 (February 1984).



The new Robin was well received.  Until 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths.  The universe altering event merged multiple alternate realities and changed character origins.  Some characters got small changes.  Jason’s origin was radically altered.  Jason was now an orphan living on the streets, stealing to survive.  When Batman first meets him, he is attempting to steal the tires off the Batmobile

(Batman #408, June 1987).  



After attempting to enroll Jason at a boarding school, which later turns out to be a haven for teen thieves, Batman takes Jason as his ward (like he did with Dick Grayson).  This version of Jason Todd seemed to rub readers the wrong way.  The angry teen just seemed to get angrier.  He learned his father had been a criminal killed by his boss, Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face.  Later, after attempting to protect an abused woman from her boyfriend, the woman kills herself.  An angry Jason confronts the boyfriend, who falls (or is pushed) from a balcony.  When questioned by Batman, Jason’s only reply is:



Around this time then Batman editor Denny O’Neil had the idea that readers might like more input in the creative process.  He had the idea of voting via a phone call. But DC Comics and O’Neil wanted to save the gimmick for a BIG event.  When the decision was made that Jason Todd might die, O’Neil decided this was the event.  Voting was close, but in the end Jason Todd was murdered by the Joker.  And that was the end of Jason Todd…until the year 2005.  A mysterious figure appeared in Gotham as the new Red Hood.  The original Red Hood was an unknown criminal, who after falling into a vat of chemicals, become known to the world as the Joker.  This new Red Hood was a vigilante who planned to protect Gotham by decapitating criminals and attempting to control the drug cartels.  After several encounters, Batman finally learns the identity of the new Red Hood is…



Jason Todd!  It was later revealed that Jason was brought back to life still in his coffin by cosmic means (Alternate Superboys, it’s a long story…).  In later retellings of his resurrection, it was Talia Al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul, who steals Jason’s body and immerses him in a Lazarus pit to bring him back to life.  After  failed attempts to kill the Joker and replace Dick Grayson as Nightwing, Jason gets swept up in the reemergence of the multiverse.  It’s in an alternate universe that Jason receives the costume of Red Robin



(An identity he quickly discards once he is back home.  Tim Drake the third Robin takes this identity and wears it to this day.  He’ll be the next chapter in our Robin series).  Jason reassumes the identity of the Red Hood and continues to cause trouble for Batman and his allies until 2011.  DC comics rebooted all their comic titles in 2011.  Jason Todd, as the Red Hood, starred in the new title, Red Hood and the outlaws, alongside Arsenal (Roy Harper, Green Arrow’s first partner) and Starfire.  



This version of Jason Todd was a somewhat lighter anti-hero.  While at first pronouncing his dislike all things Batman, Jason began to work occasionally with his former teammates, especially now with everyone except Batman thinking Dick Grayson is dead.  Jason has stepped up, especially in the title Batman Eternal, as the “next oldest son”.  That’s it for this week.  Send me any Bat thoughts through the following:

beforethebat@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/Beforethebatpodcast

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Batman-Incorporated/148988678488215

https://twitter.com/BeforetheBatPod

Southgatemediagroup@gmail.com

 

Until next week, be good. Remember the cautionary tale of little Red Hood.

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Where the MCU fails: And how Hawkeye can be saved


From the blog  Super Connectivity

by Charlie Esser for the Nuff Said Podcast

Like any card carrying member of the Merry Marvel Marching Society, I tend to wax joyfully about the MCU, part of that is because I am old enough to know what the MMMS is, which means that my Marvel Movies looked a lot like this growing up.



or this



This was as good as it got



But the thing was, we were just happy to have these films and T.V. Shows.  We loved them.  They were flawed, broke continuity and altered character origins dramatically, but they were ours, and they were all we had.

Then came Bryan Singer’s X-Men, and Sam Rami’s Spider-Man after that.  And Suddenly Marvel Super Hero Movies weren’t the sad pantomimes we grew up on anymore, sure there are always liberties, but liberties taken for story and for love of the source material.  When we got an Iron-Man film that follows the origin with a slight move to a modern war zone for location, we didn’t worry about the complete reconstruction of Obadiah Stane, because the story worked.




You can really see the difference.

The liberties taken didn’t bother us because the story provided was so much better than we ever got in the past, that suddenly it felt like we could just enjoy the MCU as its own thing.  

But not everything in the MCU is perfect, and I thought today I’d talk about where Marvel Studios has dropped the ball, and hampered their own future by doing so.

In The comics, Hawkeye has one of the most unique origins of any Super Hero.  He was a petty, and jealous show boater, who didn’t like Tony Stark getting all the attention.  If you aren’t old enough to remember this origin you likely do recognize that this is normally the origin of a Super villain.  The Wingless Wizard was Jealous of the Human Torch, Mysterio was Jealous of Spider Man.  But what differentiated these characters was that Hawkeye chose to beat Iron Man at his own game, rather than just defeat him.

Of course, super heroism is harder than it looks, especially if you just have a quiver of Non-Lethal Arrows.  And after trying to thwart a robbery, Hawkeye gets mistaken for the robber, and then starts his short but colorful career as a super villain and foil of Iron Man.  This rapid face heel turn was due in no small part to the ever seductive Natasha Romanov (then a typical Honey Pot Spy Master serving the Soviet Union), it didn’t last, however.  After the original Avengers disband, Hawkeye, Quick Silver and the Scarlet Witch attack the Avengers to prove their worth to join the team under Captain America.  So in what amounts to a Proto Thunderbolts, the first reformation of the Avengers is 80% former villains wanting to make good, and 20% Captain America.



The Avengers later bring in former foe the Vision, and also on the recommendation of Hawkeye, allow Black Widow to do a heel face turn as well (that ends poorly, but they work it out eventually).  This early embrace of the anti-hero trying to do good, while still being bound by their former selves and personalities is what came to define much of Marvel’s story telling even to this day.   Even when he becomes known primarily for his heroism, Hawkeye hold on to this petty need to be the center of attention which leads him to establish his own counter Avengers on the West Coast, just to get out of the Shadow of Captain America.

It took decades for D.C. to sow tension between their premier heroes, where as marvel always had these big personalities at each other’s throats, even as they always worked together to save the day.

This complex and beautiful history of Hawkeye has been pretty much washed away in the MCU, where he is now, just a world class assassin.  That he is a world class assassin  is in truth part of the problem.  For all his personal flaws, Hawkeye was always the first to declare that heroes don’t kill.  That there was a moral line that he would never cross.  But his first appearance in the MCU is to put cross hairs on Thor and pull the trigger when commanded.

This carries on through the Avengers, and in an early Draft of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it is Hawkeye who is sent to bring in a Rouge Cap when Hydra makes their move. 

At this point, there are a number of reasons to criticize the Hawkeye character in the MCU, but whatever blandness you want to ascribe to the character, the fact that the character was never given his proper back story leaves him with nothing other than a quiver of arrows which at this point aren’t even trick.

So how do we fix Hawkeye?  How can you take this simple bland character, and make him into the interesting hero he is in the comics?  The answer is simple, and has already been done in Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.   Just like Ward who was a fairly generic assassin character at the start of S.H.I.E.L.D. suddenly became incredibly more interesting once we learned he was really Hydra all along.  So the answer is, we make Hawkeye Hydra, and this, quite frankly has already been set up if we want to explore it.



When Loki commands Clint to acquire scientists and equipment to allow Dr. Selvig to use the Tesseract to open a portal for Thanos he has no trouble contacting and putting into place all the right things.  This parallels Lorelei’s direction to Ward to find her a palace, which again he has no trouble doing.  Hawkeye explains it by saying S.H.E.I.L.D. had no shortage of enemies, and Ward simply suggests that these are secret S.H.E.I.L.D. assets he is using.  But if these were all just enemies of S.H.I.E.L.D. why would they necessarily trust Hawkeye, unless he was known to them as a shadier character than he appears.

Exactly what Hydra is in the MCU is still something of an open question.  It was clear in Winter Soldier, that even those persons in Hydra felt they were the heroes of their story.  Who is to say that Clint Barton more talented than any in the world with his bow at a young age, might not be recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D. as a way to get the recognition he deserved.  Maybe even then he saw himself as a Super Hero, hence explaining his purple (though understated) costume, different than the standard S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform.  That an easily lead young man might find himself associated with darker elements in S.H.I.E.L.D. is in keeping with the origin of Hawkeye. 



More importantly, making Hawkeye Hydra, gives him something he doesn’t yet have in the MCU, red on his ledger.  It puts him in a place like  Black Widow, where he now has something to make up for, and a reason to throw himself fully into the Avengers, and perhaps a reason to adopt the no kill policy that defines Hawkeye in the comics. 


Left as he is, Hawkeye is not that interesting, but rebuilding him as a Hydra dupe trying to prove himself, gives him back what he has in the comics, and what was lost in translation to the MCU.
At least that is my thought on it.  We’ll see how it plays out in Avengers 2.


(Source: southgatemediagroup.com)

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Batman Through the Ages (or WOW He Looks Good for 75)

Bonjour Batfans!  I was thinking today that I haven’t talked specifically about Batman in this blog since week 1.  With this being Batman’s 75th year and the mini-poster DC comics put out with Batman history on it a week or so ago in some of its comics, I figured we’d have a Batman history lesson this week (and maybe longer).  Our Batman class begins in the year 1939…  Continue at BatFan Cave

Captain America: The 98 Pound Weakling of the Marvel Universe

Captain America, like many of the Heroes in the Marvel Universe of late is undergoing a grand story shift.  Robbed of his super soldier serum by the Iron Nail not only is he back to his old 98 pound weakling physique but the past 70 years have caught up with him as well.  Now, in truth, the de-serumed Cap, and the old Cap have all been done before, and there is little doubt that in time Cap will return to his regular vim and vigor if not before…image

Continue at Super-Connectivity

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