All posts by Official Superhero

Hela in Thor: Ragnarok

Hela in Thor: RagnarokThor: Ragnarok comes out on November third in the U.S. This movie promises Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo reprising their roles, but another classic Thor character is joining the mix as well. Cate Blanchett, famous for her portrayal of Galadriel in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy, will become Hela, the goddess of death.

Hela: Goddess of the dead

In the original Norse mythology, Hel was a being who presided over a realm of the same name and received a portion of the undead, yet was not allowed to rule the honored dead. She ruled Hel and Niflheim. Niflheim is where the dishonored dead are sent, whereas Hel contains souls neither specially honored nor dishonored. The final place of eternal rest was Valhalla, the place of the victorious or courageous dead. In the Marvel universe, Hela is Loki’s daughter (more on that in a bit), who looks to expand her influence to Valhalla, usually through open conflict with Odin and Thor.

Hela, is not the current Loki’s daughter. Yes, it is confusing. The idea of Ragnarok is one of cycles and incarnations—she is the daughter of a previous incarnation of Loki. When she came of age (unsure how one can survive the entire rewriting of the universe) Odin appointed her goddess of two of the three realms of the dead. As a result she ended up turning into a villain powerful enough to not only kill Thor, but Odin as well.

In addition, her parenthood may give us a clue as to her part in the new movie. As she is from a previous cycle of Ragnarok, she may be aware of its implications. She could have a desire to bring it about, prevent it, or simply survive. Either one of those, or she could also look to expand her power over Valhalla and Asgard. We will know it due time.

Thanks for reading! Come back next time for more fun fan information. Also, don’t forget to enter our third annual Halloween sweepstakes!

Suicide Squad: Primer

Suicide SquadOn August 5th, the Suicide Squad movie hits screens. Intelligence officer Amanda Waller will take jailed criminals and throw them all together for a mission. Learn more about the Suicide Squad, known and unknown, with this handy list.

Harley Quinn

Oddly, the most popular character is the youngest. The Suicide Squad movie focuses on this criminal psychologist turned Joker fangirl thanks to Margot Robbie’s…fetching smile. Honor student and gymnast, Harley was unfortunately no match for the Joker’s villainous charm. Her first appearance was in the Batman animated series, a mere fourteen years ago, and has skyrocketed in popularity since.

Deadshot

Gun-for-hire Floyd Lawton taught himself marksmanship, and his single missed shot—aimed at a Senator in Gotham City—thanks to Batman. After having a bomb planted in his brain like all the members of the Suicide Squad, he took charge of the operation, proving himself a ruthless and driving leader. His original bio has him as the originator of the Suicide Squad name, because of a disregard for his own life.

Katana

Tatsu Yamashiro, nominally a hero, is gifted in martial arts and with a sword, Tatsu’s brother-in-law killed her husband, whose soul was trapped in the sword she carried. The sword, called Soultaker, stores souls and communicates with her, meaning her husband remains with her in a way.

Captain Boomerang

George “Digger” Harkness, from Australia, battled with the Flash on numerous occasions after honing his skills with his eponymous weapon in poverty and the Australian bush. His proficiency with his hand-crafted weapons makes him a dangerous opponent—in addition to his lack or moral compass.

Slipknot

Christopher Weiss is his name, and rope is his game. A brilliant chemist, he developed a powerful adhesive for his ropes and became yet another supervillain. The ropes are nigh-unbreakable, and he’s trained himself in an extremely violent method of attack. Tying up, maim, or especially hanging–nothing is out of bounds.

Rick Flag Jr.

Son of World War II hero Richard Flag, Rick Flag Jr. has multiple conflicting origin stories. In one, he was a pilot during WWII, and in another, he was born after the way. In a third, an unrelated soldier Anthony Miller was brainwashed consequently believed he was Rick Flag Jr. Invited to join the Suicide Squad without the pressure of a brain bomb, Rick added much-needed structure, in addition to strong military skills.

Enchantress

June Moon must keep herself in control at all times, because otherwise the Enchantress gets out. Her powers are only available when she’s “released” the Enchantress, who is always trying to escape. She stays with the Suicide Squad, and as a result gets help from Amanda Waller on controlling her evil side.

El Diablo

Chato Santana worked for the mob in addition to tattoos curling all over his skin and pyrokinesis at his fingertips. After setting a building on fire to collect a debt he realized there were many innocent children and woman killed in the blaze. He turned himself in, and was inducted into the Suicide Squad after a loyalty test.

Killer Croc

Somewhat well known nowadays thanks to his annoying level in Batman Arkham Asylum, Waylon Jones suffers from a strange condition. He’s over seven feet tall, six hundred pounds, and is therefore the Suicide Squad’s main muscle. He’s tangled with Batman plenty of times, and love the taste of humans.

It’s likely the movie will give us new backstories for a number of characters, but now at least you have the basics. Come back next time for more fun fan information!

Netflix Blade, Ghost Rider, and Moon Knight Shows

New Netflix ShowsWe live in a golden age of Superhero media, and it’s going to get even more golden-ier soon. Three new Marvel properties have been announced as Netflix series (though it’s technically just a rumor): Ghost Rider, Blade, and Moon Knight.

You’re likely familiar with Blade, the half-human, half-vampire (also known as a “dhampir”) vampire hunter who had a series of movies in the late nineties and early 2000’s. While not universally loved, they did well at the box office and currently possess a cult following. High action and fantasy danger would be a welcome addition to the Marvel oeuvre, running alongside the supernatural elements of the Daredevil series, and could do very well in a Netflix lineup.

When Johnny Blaze, a stuntman, sold his soul to the devil he was transformed into the spirit of vengeance, a man with a flaming skull who rides a hellfire-powered motorcycle. Previous played by Nicholas Cage in two movies (released in 2007 and 2011 to…mixed reviews), the rights for the franchise reverted to Marvel in 2013.

You may remember Moon Knight from the Character Corner we did some time ago, but if not, now is a great time to become acquainted to this little-known character. With the spirit of an Egyptian deity residing inside him, Marc Spector gains incredible speed, strength, and durability as the moon grows brighter. However, the deity—Khonshu—residing in Moon Knight gives him what many would call dissociative identity disorder, making him hear voices, see things not there, and have entire conversations with figments of his imagination.

Again, so far Marvel and Netflix have made no official announcement; these are just rumors, though we hope them to be true. There is no information about release dates, actors, or even project leads, so we must be patient. We do know the Luke Cage series will debut September 30th, but no other dates have been mentioned.

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Doctor Strange Character and Movie

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange

In July of 1963, Marvel debuted a character named Doctor Strange in Strange Tales #110. A world-famous surgeon, Doctor Strange remained a vain, uncaring, and selfish man, until a car accident left his surgical skills a thing of the past. Desperate for a cure, Strange traveled to Tibet and found the Ancient One’s palace. He began to study the magic arts, and discovered he was destined to become the next Sorcerer Supreme. He would defeat powerful beings in their own mystic realms, clash the Ancient One’s other apprentice, and defeat a test given by death itself, giving him near-immortality and endless magical strength–as well as selflessness.

Returning to New York, Strange began his career as a superhero, battling alongside other Marvel heroes such as Spider-Man, Daredevil, the Fantastic Four, and many more. He participated in the fight against Thanos, Dormammu, and many more over his long career.

Now we have the chance to see Doctor Strange on the big screen. Benedict Cumberbatch, famous for playing Sherlock Holmes, “John Harrison,” and for having the most British name possible, is going to star as the titular Doctor. Only a teaser trailer has been released so far, but we know the path Doctor Strange follows is the same as in the comics: selfish surgeon, car accident, goes looking for Ancient One to cure himself, gets magical powers instead. The movie will be released on November 4th.

Also appearing the film will be Mads Mikkelsen playing a yet-unnamed sorcerer, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Solomon Northrup in 12 Years a Slave, the Operative in Serenity) will play Karl Mordo, the Ancient One’s other apprentice (who is an amalgamation of several characters from the comic book series). Rachal McAdams will appear as a fellow surgeon, Michael Stuhlbarg as a rival scientist, and Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One.

Swinton’s casting created controversy, as the Ancient One was presented as an old Tibetian man.  Co-writer C. Robert Cargill described it as a Kobayashi Maru-esque situation: “More about which way you’re willing to lose”—Cargill explained the character was a racial stereotype at its creation, and couldn’t risk using an actor from a different Asian country due to the political tension involving Tibet, or even a Tibetan one. Director Scott Derrickson decided to “use this as an opportunity to cast an amazing actress in a male role.”

Comic Doctor Strange
Comic Doctor Strange

Filming has concluded (baring possible pick-up shots), and has scenes shot in Nepal, the United Kingdom, and New York City. It’s also been revealed James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy, provided notes for the script, beyond the normal amount of conversation between directors of Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

We’re eager to see the finished product. Thanks for reading, be sure to come back next time for more fun fan information!

News for Gambit, Thor, and More

Superhero news
Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice comes out in March of 2016

Some interesting Superhero movie news abound this week! With Phase three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe beginning in May of 2016 with Captain America: Civil War, we’re being drop-fed bits and pieces of other movies, including Gambit, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Batman v Superman, and Thor: Ragnarok.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is prepared to be one of next year’s biggest films. Coming out on March 25, the movie pits DC’s biggest names against each other, with a healthy dose of extras: Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Lex Luthor, and more. Such a huge production usually ends up with a lot of extra film, which producer Charles Roven said could end up in an extended edition of the film: “I don’t know if you’ll ever get the 4-hour version, but there may be something that’s coming along that might be slightly less long than that.”

Less happy news from the Marvel side: Channing Tatum will indeed play his favorite superhero as the star of Gambit, but production has stalled for the film about our Ragin’ Cajun. With an original release date of October 2016, initial director Rupert Wyatt left the project after creative differences. Doug Limon, director of Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Edge of Tomorrow joined, with production starting in spring. Producer Simon Kinberg said the film will be like a “heist movie and a sexy thriller in a way.”

Thor: Ragnarok is the third movie in the Thor Franchise, and will feature the only two Avengers not present for Civil War: Thor, natch, and Hulk. Moreover, the movie is set to introduce a major female villain, as well as Valkyrie, a heroine related to Asgard but not fully understood. As far as the plot of this film, it’s possible Surtur, leader of the fire demons of Muspelheim, is the next big bad.

With scripts delivered to actors, shooting looks to begin for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in February. News headlines say Matthew McConaughey turned down the role of the main villain which – for good reason – some suspect could be Peter Quill’s father, though this is far from confirmed. The story is supposed to be emotional, and “about fathers”; it deviates enough from the comics to make Marvel executives call it “risky.” It will almost certainly feature Star-Lord’s dad, as well as a possibility for other relationship conflicts, such as Gamora and Nebula’s relationship with Thanos, or even Drax’s assumed-dead daughter Moondragon.

Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed this news dump of upcoming Superhero goodness. Come back next week for more fun fan information!

A Costume for Every Superhero

Superhero CostumeHalloween, now being concluded, means your costume must return to whatever closet they inhabited for the last eleven and a half months. The candy bags may finally be empty, the ghosts and vampires have been taken down and replaced with decorations for whatever next holiday you consider most worthwhile, and the Holiday season has begun in earnest. The sugar-addled weekends since then got us thinking: what outfits would Superheroes wear if they went trick-or-treating?

Superman:

Being a classic himself, Superman is a fan of outfits from the days of yore — simple looks that everyone can recognize. Now, nothing could possible scare Superman, save perhaps someone dressed up as Kryptonite or Darkseid, and that seems like asking for trouble, but he did grow up in Kansas. Know what else is from Kansas? Corn. Lots of corn. Even more, Dorothy Gale from the Wizard of Oz is from Kansas. And who does Dorothy meet on her way to meet the wizard? Superman’s costume would be a scarecrow. The answer is simple.

The Flash:

Flash’s ability gives him a number of interesting options. He could, conceivable, dress as the wonder twins or two people doing a mirror routine. For the fastest man alive, the options are endless. However, Olympic figures like Usain Bolt, Pietro Mennea, or Jessie Owens would probably suit him better.

Black Widow:

There’s no shortage of red-haired figures Black Widow could become: Ana from Frozen, Merida, Jessica Rabbit, Poison Ivy, Raggedy Ann. But what is Black Widow? A spy. Spies go undetected. They blend in. They don’t stand out. What would Black Widow be for Halloween? Anything except a red-haired character. The best costume for Black Widow is probably an Iron Man suit.

Thor:

The God of Thunder’s lack of subtlety is well-known. For Halloween, his costume will end up being something either ham-fisted or simple . . . or:

Thor costume
I really hope you get this

Wonder Woman:

Since she hails from a female-dominated society, Wonder Woman would undoubtedly choose a famous woman from history to emulate like Amelia Earhart or Cleopatra. Or maybe she really likes soccer and dresses as Mia Hamm or Cristiane Rozeira.

Batman:

Can YOU think of something scarier than Batman? We can’t!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this Superhero costume list. Come back next week for more fun fan information!

Jessica Jones Character Corner

Jessica JonesReleasing all at once on Nov 20th, Jessica Jones is the second Netflix-Marvel creation (the first being Daredevil, of course). The series, spanning thirteen episodes, will play out much like the comic book series Alias. Today, we’ll take a look at the classic Marvel character, her painful past, and her connection to the enigmatic Purple Man – played by David Tennant in the Netflix series.

Jessica Jones (Originally introduced as Jessica Campbell) went to school with Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man, apparently witnessing the spider bite resulting in Peter’s powers. While riding in the car with her family, they were struck by a military convoy carrying radioactive chemicals. Her family was killed and Jessica fell into a deep coma, recovering only after several months. The time she re-awoke coincided with the Fantastic Four’s battle against Galactus, during which heavy amounts of cosmic radiation were released.

Adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Jones after spending time in an orphanage, Jessica discovered she possessed numerous abilities: strength, durability, and flight. She was enrolled at Midtown high but ostracized by her classmates except for Peter Parker, whom she falsely believed only pitied her. She lashed out at him and flew away, only to lose control and crash into the Hudson River, eventually rescued by Thor.

After witnessing a fight between Spider-Man and Sandman, she felt urged to use her powers to help others. She named herself “Jewel,” and became a super heroine, but her career was less than stellar. While simply trying out her powers, she crash-landed on Scorpion while he was robbing a Laundromat, stunning him enough to be apprehended.

David Tennant's Purple Man
David Tennant’s Purple Man

Sometime later, she came upon a fistfight in a restaurant, discovering Zebediah Killgrave – AKA the Purple Man – had demanded the men fight. Killgrave overpowered Jessica using his pheromone-based mind control, telling her to take care of the police while he finished his meal . . . among other things. She was captured by the Purple Man and kept prisoner for eight months, eventually sent to attack Daredevil due to the Purple Man’s rage. Once out of range of his pheromones, Jessica began to reclaim some semblance of control, though still focused on her mission. She ended up attacking the Scarlet Witch simply because she wore red like Daredevil, but after the first hit she regained control and was nearly killed by the Vision and Iron Man.

Jean Grey of the X-Men helped Jessica wake up from another coma, and after a period of recovery became a violent, hardened vigilante known as Knightress, bitter about her time spent under the Purple Man’s control. She broke up a crime meeting between the Owl and a Mafioso, meeting Luke Cage for the first time (whom she would later marry). One of the thugs at the meeting had brought his children, and Jessica ended up looking after them for the night after revealing her identity to the police. Luke Cage later joined her, and the two talked long into the night.

She soon retired from the superhero life, becoming a detective at the firm Alias Investigations, specializing in super hero activity. After a number of interesting investigations, some involving characters like Captain America, Spider-Man, Daredevil, and more, Jessica is alerted to the presence of the Purple Man, who again turns her world upside down.

It’s probable this is the timeline where the Netflix series will pick up, though details are sparse. Tennant’s Purple Man promises to be a chilling character, Krysten Ritter (Jane Margolis from Breaking Bad) looks to stun as the titular character, and Mike Colter (whose biggest role is likely boxer Big Willie Little in the film Million Dollar Baby) will appear as Luke Cage, setting up his own Netflix series.

Krysten Ritter on the set of Jessica Jones
Krysten Ritter on the set of Jessica Jones

We hope you’ve enjoyed a rundown of Jessica Jones! Come back next week for more fun fan superhero information!

Jessica Jones: Netflix’s New Series

Jessica Jones Netflix titleFollowing the success of Daredevil, Marvel and Netflix announced a new series based on the comic book series Alias. Set to debut on Netflix on November twentieth of 2015. The premise of the show is the main character played by Krysten Ritter (Jane Margolis from Breaking Bad), and also features David Tennant, Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor, and Carrie-Anne Moss.

The premise, identical to the comic book series, is Jessica Jones as a former superhero, retired after a brief and tragic career. She know works as a private investigator using the name Alias Investigations. Layers of her past and personality are revealed, especially when Tennant’s character Kilgrave (also known as the Purple Man) appears in her life. Not a great deal is known of the scope or plot of the series yet, though if it is similar to the comic book series it will deal with Jessica Jones coming to deal with the events of the past.

Similar to Daredevil, the series will be released all at the same time, in thirteen hour-long episodes. There are said to be several cross-overs with the Daredevil series, though instead of events or characters, the shows will use similar settings, such as the same police station or hospital. Show runner Melissa Rosenberg said though the shows exist in the same universe, they are very different shows, and she didn’t want people looking for Matt Murdoch on the street while Jessica is walking.

This series is the second in a number of planned Marvel/Netflix productions, with Daredevil being the first, and followed by Luke Cage, Marvel’s Iron Fist, and the miniseries Marvel’s The Defenders, which could bring the characters together. In 2013, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated if the characters were popular enough, they could appear in a feature film. He then talked about the characters appearing in each other’s series as something to earn, such as how characters began appearing in each other’s movies (for example, when Captain America appeared in Thor 2).

Thanks for reading! Come back next week for more fun fan information, and don’t forget to enter our annual Superhero sweepstakes!

Goodness’ Mirror

Superman and Batman GoodnessSuperheroes are generally presented as the good guys. Both parts of the word mean good, in one way or the other. Some of them are anti-heroes (such as the Punisher, Daredevil, or Moon Knight), but they are almost always presented as good. Their goodness is on display. No two heroes show this as much as Superman and Batman, though their methods could not be more different.

It begins with their upbringing. Superman lost his parents before he knew them and was adopted, believing the Kent’s to be his biological parents for many years. They cared for him like only they knew how, raising him to be one of the most enduring heroic figures in pop culture today. Bruce Wayne’s parents, on the other hand, left him during his formative years, leaving a young boy crushed by the weight of a world firmly on his shoulders, even though Alfred tried to help.

These critical details bring to life two heroes whose method is different, though their end goals remain the same: Goodness.

Superman was instructed on goodness as virtue, goodness as a power. He is dressed in bright colors, takes heroic stances, and shows up with flash and fervor and does away with the evil-doers and villains with a smile on his lips and the wind in his hair, backed by blue skies and to the cheering of the crowd (this leaves out, of course Batman vs. Superman). Batman, on the other hand, was shown the world is a hard place. He dresses in dark colors and stays to the shadow. He breaks legs. He leaves people hanging from gargoyles. He refuses to let anyone know his secret identity and usually ends up pushing away the people trying to help him. He uses goodness only as a end, and his means are severely dark.

In any Dungeons and Dragons game, Superman is the Lawful Good and Batman is the Chaotic Good. Their differences create a dichotomy, combined with their popularity, elevating them to superhero stardom. It is these two heroes, with their mirrored approaches to goodness, who paved the way for all other superheroes. These two heroes create both important archetypes: the bright and shining hero, and the dark hero.

Thanks for reading! Come back next week for more Superhero information, and don’t forget to enter our Halloween Sweepstakes!

Netflix Daredevil Season Two

Netflix Daredevil season 2The Netflix Daredevil series was a smashing success, garnering a 98% on rotten tomatoes and a weighted average on Metacritic of 75/100. Approximately four point four million people viewed at least one episode using various Netflix-connected devices. The episode “Speak of the Devil” was nominated for two Emmys: Outstanding Visual Effects in a Supporting Role, and Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series (The results are still pending), and Charlie Cox was honored by the American Foundation for the Blind with the Helen Keller Award, for those men and women who have “demonstrated outstanding achievement in improving quality of life for people with vision loss.”

It’s not unexpected, then, that Netflix and Marvel have announced a season two, set to premiere some time in 2016 (presumably all at the same time, as did the first season). What will change? For one, the cast will get a big addition: Jon Bernthal will join the other main actors and actresses as Marvel’s dangerous vigilante killer, Punisher. Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez are replacing Steven S. DeKnight as the showrunners. Both men worked as writers on the first season and worked closely with DeKnight and series creator Drew Goddard. Finally, actress Élodie Yung joins the cast as Daredevil’s comic-book love interest Elektra.

Daredevil’s part in a bigger Marvel New York scheme — which includes Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and the Defenders — was hinted by previous showrunner DeKnight (and the first season itself), who also said there are things planned for the second season he “can’t even hint at.” New showrunner Ramirez referred to the second season as Daredevil verses Punisher. Filming began in July of 2015 in East Harlem under the name Ringside. Surely, Netflix looks to impress even further.

Thanks for reading! Check back soon for more Superhero fact and fiction. Don’t forget to enter our annual Halloween sweepstakes for a chance to win great Halloween costumes!