Sweepstakes: Second Annual

Sweepstakes details
Enter now!

Our second annual Halloween Sweepstakes is on route to a winner, in the distant future. You still have plenty of time to enter not only for the $500 grand prize, but the weekly $50 drawings as well! Should you win, your Halloween will become a storied affair, fit to be remembered for years to come. Two grand prizes of $500 certificates — large enough to purchase even the most fabulous of costumes — will be given to lucky entrants following October 17th, while the smaller prizes will be chosen weekly from those entered. If you win a $50 weekly prize you will still be eligible for a grand prize!

We’re happy to offer this opportunity to you. Last year’s sweepstakes was a smashing success, but don’t take our word for it:

A weekly winner from last year, Bernardo, wrote: “I have received the email you sent me about winning the weekly drawing. I can’t believe it, I have never won anything online before . . . Thank you so much for letting me know.” Another winner Erin said “I’m so excited to have won anything.”

Last year’s grand prize winner Diane said: “Before I go to bed, I just want to thank you for this enormous gift. You have no idea what your generosity means to us, and how happy you have made our very special son. Thank you so much!!!” In a later email, she went on to say: “Just wanted to wish you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas. I couldn’t let the holiday go by without thinking of you, your kindness and generosity is so appreciated. Thank you again.”

Don’t wait! Our weekly drawings begin on September eighteenth; enter the Sweepstakes before then to make sure your chances of winning are as high as possible. This great offer won’t be around for ever!

Thanks for reading. Be sure to check back next week for more fun Superhero information, both for fans and for the Halloween devotee!

Superhero Do-it-Yourself Costumes

Do-it-yourself Superhero costumesDuring Halloween, there is something many are driving for. Individuality. Nobody wants to be the one hundredth Peanut M&M dressed to look like a Power Ranger, or whatever. How many people do you think have dressed up as Wonder Woman, or Batwoman, or Supergirl? I’d say millions, or even billions. Would we be so far off if we said trillions? These costumes run the gamut from a sheet over your body to multiple-piece ensembles, endless in form. But sometimes they do not rise to the level of Halloween finery you have held yourself to the past years. Well, heroine, we are here to help. Official Superhero Costumes is happy announce our new do-it-yourself costume service!

There are numerous examples of how select Superhero accessories will appear. Wonder Woman with a cape, skirt, and thigh-high tights? You can see how it’ll look. Want to be Supergirl with a tube dress? You can see the result. Batgirl with a cape and corset, or Catwoman with a whip, mask, and long black gloves? Find out how it looks right here. Even The Riddler or Robin can emerge from the choices you have at your fingertips!

None of the examples given fetching your fancy, or something like that? No need to fear. We have huge number of accessories you can use to create any outfit you’d like. You can see what it’d be like if Catwoman become the next Batgirl, if Supergirl got Wonder Woman’s powers, or . . . if . . . Riddler . . . turned into Robin? Well, who knows what DC will do next. All we know is your Halloween will never be stale again when you browse the accessories and pre-formed Superhero outfits available for you.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to browse our selection for the perfect costume, come back next week for more fun Superhero information, and be sure to enter our Halloween sweepstakes!

Fourth Wall: Deadpool’s Dominance

Deadpool's Fourth-wall breaking continues
Deadpool’s Fourth-wall breaking continues

A few weeks ago or whenever a new Deadpool trailer was released. The famous merc with a mouth, besides being a tremendous goofball within the work he occupies, has a special power, or perhaps trait: knowledge of the fourth wall. Not sure what this means? Simple: Imagine a movie where a character looks straight at the camera and addresses you, the viewer. For example.

It happens often. Phineas and Ferb talk about how they’re in a cartoon. Newspaper Comic Pearls Before Swine has the writer as a recurring character. Neo, in a strange meta sense, is aware the Matrix is false but isn’t aware he’s in a movie. It’s a common trait in works that are less serious than their brethren that don’t break the fourth wall. It is the ability to be aware one’s universe is fictional, and use this to act in otherwise impossible ways.

Deadpool works with this ability greater than most. Why? My theory is, since breaking the fourth wall is an inherently silly idea – it is rarely used for anything other than humor – a comic book character benefits from it the most. Deadpool assures us of this, thanks to classic moments like: Deadpool breaks the Fourth WallDeadpool talks to the yellow boxes. He mentions the size of the issue you’re reading. In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Deadpool rips the health bar off the top of the screen and beats the opponent with it in a special move. He yells at Wolverin to “snikt” him. He rips open the issue and shouts at himself in the past. He takes something many others have done to elevate himself above his comic book siblings. Comic books, except for, perhaps, the cool factor, elicit very few emotions. Characters die but you know they’ll either come back to life or appear in the next reboot. The bad guys will make you angry but you know they’ll be defeated in the end. Only humor actually resonates in the comic book, and this is why Deadpool rose in the ranks of heroes so quickly – he knows the comic book is about humor, and for that end he breaks the fourth wall.

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

Deadpool Character Corner

Deadpool ApprovesA Deadpool movie trailer was released last week (in green-band and rated R red-band versions). So why not have a Deadpool character corner?

History:

Little is known about Wade Wilson before he joined Weapon X, though it is known he was a mercenary in Morocco, Japan, and the U.S. before learning he had contracted cancer. He was offered hope by Canada’s Department K, a branch of Weapon X. Thanks to the healing factor taken from Wolverine, Deadpool’s cancer was halted and he began working for the government. He killed his partner and was sent to “Hospice,” actually a place for demented Doctor Killebrew to experiment. Deadpool formed a romantic attachment to the entity Death, as one does, attempting to kill himself to be with “her.” Killebrew’s assistant ripped out Deadpool’s heart, jump-starting his healing factor. He became the mercenary we know and love after escaping from the Hospice with the other patients.

Deadpool’s adventures take him around the world, fighting with and against heroes and villains. Groups with exciting names like The Genesis Coalition, X-Force, Heroes for Hire, and more vied for his attention and skill. He became famous for cruel depravity, endless hilarity, and a penchant to discuss things with beings no one else can see – becoming a hero famous for his abuse of the fourth wall.

After a fight with Wolverine, Deadpool met up with Mercedes Wilson, his wife, whom he believed had died. A man named T-Ray, her killer, told Deadpool he was the original Wade Wilson, in an attempt to break Deadpool down mentally, though the plan failed. T-Ray and Mercedes departed quickly. Deadpool took a sidekick named Kid Deadpool, though the group was short-lived (The kid blew up).

After teamups with Cable and Agent X, Deadpool was held captive by the Skrull, escaping when they turned on each other. He was later captured by zombies, but he tasted terrible so he got away. He, tried to join the X-Men, but was turned down. However, the X-Men understood his strength, so they told him he had probationary membership. After tricking the X-Men into giving him a real membership, he visited alternate dimensions, assembling a team comprising of himself, Lady Deadpool, Kidpool, Dogpool, and Headpool.

But nothing stays the same in Deadpool’s world. He unsuccessfully committed suicide, survived atomic bombs, and battled the Hulk, and is sent to an English prison of Crossmore – this ends with him taking the Queen of England hostage. He meets an evil Deadpool at their favorite chimichanga restaurant and they fight, both kidnapping children to try and draw the other out.

Discovering a serum existed to neutralize his healing factor and allow him to finally die, Deadpool hatched a plan to come into contact with it. His plan succeeded, he lost his healing factor and other powers, and his scarred face healed. However, as things do, it all returned to normal when Evil Deadpool showed up again after having been hit with the serum, telling Deadpool it wasn’t permanent. Deadpool went on to fight zombie presidents, and steal Dracula’s wife.

Just as Wade decided to give up his life as an anti-hero, Earth-616 and Earth-1610 collided, obliterating both.

Powers:

Not counting Deadpool’s unique humor and fourth-wall knowledge, Deadpool has a number of powerful abilities. Chemical resistance, disease immunity, telepathic immunity, and straight up immortality, as well as possession resistance, and the flying brick abilities: superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, and reflexes. He is a master martial artist, assassin, linguist, and, most dangerously, is wildly unpredictable.

He has lovely handwriting, as Elektra says, and has a fear of cows. He was once cursed by Loki, making him look like Tom Cruise and rendering his face invulnerable. The curse ruined his life.

Deadpool showed up in the Wolverine Origins movie, portrayed by Ryan Renolds (who will also play him in the upcoming movie), though he is the character only in name.

Deadpool

Deadpool thanks you for reading his Character Corner. Come back next week for more fun information!

Costume Buyer’s Guide 2015

Superheroes are having a bull year. There are more big budget superhero movies coming out in the next twelve months than most people watch movies during the year. It’s been the same for our costume selection, which has added Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, and a great number of other products and themes.

Now that summer is over and all the superheroes have been unleashed until 2016, we’re listing out most popular costumes leading into the Halloween season. Take a look and don’t miss the sweepstakes at the end!

This classic feminine heroine is a constant figure for girls to look up to, it’s no wonder the Deluxe Kids Wonder Woman Costume is one of our most popular looks! Bring the old patriotic fervor with reds and blues to your next Halloween!

Girls Wonder Woman Costume

Tony Stark has pulled himself out of the superhero gutter since his big-screen inclusion, going from a strong B-lister to one of the biggest names behind a mask. The Supreme Quality Iron Man Adult Costume is one of the greatest ways to become the red-and-gold hero this Halloween!

Supreme Quality Iron Man Costume

Kids love the heroes. They love ’em, I say. And kids are full of energy! What better way to combine their two main traits into a perfect costume than with the Deluxe Muscle Chest Flash Kids Costume? It’s a classic move, and the popularity of this costume is proof.

Kids Flash Costume

The Supreme Captain America Adult Costume, with its straight-up bursting at the seams patriotism, also lets you masquerade as a popular and well-known hero from his recent Avengers adventures. a full-body outfit helps you lead the Avengers!

Supreme Quality Captain America Costume

The beautiful, dangerous, unstoppable super spy is ready to make her appearance with the Black Widow Womens Secret Wishes Costume! This costume is one of our most popular, and there’s no surprise thanks to its alluring figure and incredible looks!

Secret Wishes Black Widow Costume

It’s also no surprise what one of our most popular costumes is. Batman has been at the top of the super-heap for years thanks to his realistic character and . . . recent portrayal at the movies. So our most popular costume, the Deluxe Muscle Chest Batman Brave and Bold Kids Costume, takes not only Batman’s base popularity, but adds in the following from the Brave and the Bold television show.

Kids Batman CostumeThanks for reading! Don’t miss out on entering our second annual sweepstakes for a chance at great prizes every week until Halloween!

James Bond: Superhero?

James Bond: Superhero?
James Bond: Superhero?

Last week a trailer for the newest James Bond movie Spectre was released. Speaking personally, this was an exciting moment – I’m a big fan of Bond. It got me thinking: Is James Bond a superhero? He doesn’t have super powers – other than Doctor-esque actor-shifting ability, and a superliver – and doesn’t wear any kind of recognizable costume, unless you count suits and tuxes. And yet he fights bad guys, saves the world, and is presented as the hero, though often a flawed one. However there has been a great deal of flawed heroes, even those with powers.

Had the term been around longer, characters such as Robin Hood (who inspired Arrow) and Zorro (the inspiration for Batman) would have been coined as such. These characters didn’t have super powers in the classic sense, and while Zorro dons his black cape and mask for effect, Robin Hood’s green tights were nothing more than traditional clothing before becoming an essential part of the character. Comic book grandfather Popeye gained super-strength stemming from the liberal application of spinach. Are any of these characters (or are they not) superheroes?

Let’s investigate some traditional superhero traits, and apply them to James Bond as a test. Wikipedia states some common traits of superheroes: Extraordinary powers or abilities, a strong moral code, a motivation, a secret identity, a distinctive costume, a motif or theme for the superhero, a supporting cast, a rogues gallery, independent wealth, a base of operations, and a backstory.

Right off the bat Bond is failing the super-SATs. He has no extraordinary powers or abilities, not a very strong moral code, secret identity, distinctive costume, motif or theme (like Batman or Spider-Man, not musical), he doesn’t present himself as wealthy, or at least it isn’t made apparent, and his backstory – when an actor’s Bond is given a backstory it is rarely similar to other actors. This leaves a motivation (It’s his job), a supporting cast (Q, M, Moneypenny, a few other characters movie-by-movie), a rogues gallery (this is even a sort-of; most opponents show up but once), and a base of operations (the headquarters of MI6).

So by the numbers, Bond is four-elevenths hero, which falls under the Kirby-Lee line of fifty percent. No, I kid, but Bond does not seem much like a superhero. Many of the aspects are cosmetic or incidental, but his M.O. speaks out against the term the most. Bond, in most of his incarnations, is a brutal killer who does not hesitate removing someone from the picture should he or she be revealed as a nuisance, enemy, or no longer needed. There are many ways to go about this discussion, but I believe this is the most telling. Batman may brood, but he doesn’t kill. Superman is more powerful than anything on Earth, but he doesn’t kill his enemies. Even the Punisher, who is one of the most famously violent superheroes, only guns for criminals. Bond seems to not care who is hurt as long as his mission is successful.

But still: James Bond saves lives! He fights the bad guys! He protects the world! Do the ends justify the means if the end is bringing down someone with the ability and desire to cause wanton destruction, theft, and even murder? Does a superhero’s aspect come from his methods, or from his goal?

Thanks for reading! Tell us whether you agree or disagree, and come back later for more fun superhero info!

Videos for the Lacking Fan

Superhero fan videos
Superhero fans make their own

Fans are rabid for superheroes. They froth at the mouth for them. Recently we’ve been buried under superhero movies, but for some it does not move quickly enough. They have taken to creating – forging – their own shareable videos to help themselves through the lean months. There are far too many here to count, but we present for you a select few.

Be Kind, Rewind, an indie movie released in 2006, gives us the term “sweded.” The straight-up site for the term (SwededMovies.org) defines it as “the summarized recreation of popular pop-culture films using limited budgets and a camcorder.” This term is well-liked for fans of superhero movies, which traditionally have high budgets and incredible CGI. Taking the spectacle and reducing it to cardboard and flashlights is enjoyed by many. For example, the videos on this page (which include a number of non-superhero trailers for extra flavor).

Lego fans have their very own term, Brickfilms, for movies made in stop-motion brickery. It was no doubt a certainty superhero movies (or more accurately, their trailers) and Legos would meet, with trailers like the following:

This page has a bevy of other videos, but be warned — this rabbit hole goes deep. Where will you be when you climb out again?

It’s nearly set in stone that a DC vs. Marvel film will never occur. There is too much politics, too many issues about creative rights and such forth. But still, doesn’t the following video just rock the house?

It does. It makes one sad to think, for reasons this simple blog could never comprehend, we will never be able to have a full movie with such grandeur. But how could it possibly live up to our expectations? The build-up would be too great, the team assembled would have names vying for top billing – how could any movie made by mortal hands assuage us after being assured of its holiness for so long?

Or maybe it would rock!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this short list of videos, for the fans and by the fans. Tell us your favorite fan-made superhero creations, and come back here for more cool stuff!

Ant-Man Through the Years

Three of the Ant-Man
The first three Ant-Men

There are generally two kinds of superheroes. The first, more common, and more popular, is a character locked in stone: Batman is always Bruce Wayne, Superman is always Clark Kent, Spider-Man is always Peter Parker. The second is a rarer variant, used to portray a more realistic setting: Generational heroes, when one hero passes the mantle down to another. One of the more well-known heroes with this attribute is the Flash, wherein multiple people have been subjected to terrible scientific accidents, all of which give them super speed and associated abilities. Ant-Man, whose movie comes out today, is one of these superheroes. Here’s how the history goes:

Ant-Man prime was Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym. His discovery of a chemical substance he dubbed “Pym particles” urged his becoming a superhero, as the particles could allow him to alter his size while maintaining his strength. Sharing his discover with then-girlfriend, later wife Janet van Dyne, he became Ant-Man and she became the Wasp, also able to fly. They became founding members of the Avengers, and Pym was, in the comic series, the original creator of omnicidal robot Ultron. He took on a number of other titles, such as Giant-Man, Goliath, and Yellowjacket. He is present as the next Ant-Man’s mentor (and perhaps more?) in the Ant-Man movie, portrayed by Michael Douglas.

The second, Scott Lang, was a thief who became Ant-Man after first stealing the Ant-Man suit to help his sick daughter. With the encouragement of Pym, Lang became the hero, reforming his thieving ways. In true Marvel tradition, he was killed and brought back to life, his daughter became a heroine, and he joined the Avengers for a period. He is present as the main character and hero in the Ant-Man movie, played by Paul Rudd.

Eric O’Grady, not present in the film (Probably), is the third Ant-Man and, like his predecessor, came into possessions of the suit by stealing it from S.H.I.E.L.D. A man of few morals and even fewer scruples, O’Grady used the suit to primarily seduce women. He had a short-lived comic series, and ended up joining the Avengers and then The Thunderbolts, and then Secret Avengers (It has the name because nobody wants to admit their on the team) before dying at the hands of a villain named Father.

The final (though not current, as he exists only in a separate universe – and dies like right away) Ant-Man is Chris McCarthy. He appears first in the Irredeemable Ant-Man #1 in 2006. In this story, he’s friends with Eric O’Grady. He and O’Grady knocked Hank Pym unconscious, stole the suit, and McCarthy shrunk, getting lost in the helicarrier at the one-inch size. The helicarrier is attacked, and McCarthy dies. O’Grady takes the suit from him.

With rumors that Ant-Man already has a sequel in the works, will we see more of these names, especially since this info apparently comes from the future.

Ant-Man can time travel
Picture taken July 15th, 2015

Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed this trip back through history. Ant-Man comes out today, in theaters, and we’re sure at least a few people will go see it.

Strange, Hugo: Character Corner

Hugo Strange
Hugo Strange

Batman’s villains are many and varied. The Joker’s chaotic jokes, Two-Face’s split-personality shenanigans, and the Riddler’s deadly games are just a thin slice of the delicious villain-cake that Batman has to eat (battle) endlessly. These enemies have their personalities set in stone; their origin stories, though perhaps approached with different details, result equally: Joker is an insane clown, the Penguin is a malformed mobster, Mr. Freeze is in his suit, searching for a way to help his wife. Most of the villains have this attribute, but not all of them.

Hugo Strange, mad-scientist-psychologist extraordinaire, is not one of the simple villains.

“Original” History

Strap in. We’re about to take a ride through the fourth dimension.

Hugo Strange first appeared in 1940, in Detective Comics #36, as a scientist that used a concentrated lightning machine to create a dense fog, in which he would rob banks. He escapes from the city’s asylum (before it was dubbed Arkham) and uses a growth hormone to turn a number of other escapees into mindless monsters. Batman beats him. This version maintains Strange’s bald head, glasses, and enviable neckbeard. He returned in the ‘70s: Strange is found running a private hospital, which Bruce Wayne checks in to for radiation burns. Strange discovers Wayne’s secret identity and attempts to auction the knowledge. A crime boss named Rupert Thorne tortures Strange to death before he can get the information out of him, but it was really a yoga technique to slow his heart, and later plots against Batman and Thorne, “haunting” Thorne and trying to weaken Wayne before taking his place. He is killed, perhaps for real, when his replica Wayne manor explodes.

Strange seems to be truly dead. In that universe, at least.

The above version is known as the “Earth-One” version. In the Earth-Two version, the origin is the same, up to his apparent death in the forties. Having barely survived the fall, Strange is left crippled and unable to enact his revenge, during which time the Batman of Earth-Two dies. He finally regains his health, and uses his earlier weather machine to take revenge on Batman, Robin, and Batwoman. I know I just said Batman died, but it was the Earth-Two Batman. The Earth-One Batman joined with the other two somehow. Strange was defeated, and ended up using the Cosmic Rod to commit suicide. These events were erased from existence in the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline in 85-86.

We’ve all had days like that.

The next version of Dr. Strange is the “New Earth” version. His origin is similar, but he discovers Batman’s secret identity even quicker – it quickly becomes the running theme for later versions of Strange. He makes his own version of the Batman suit to try and defeat him, attempts to turn public mind against Batman, and kidnaps the mayor’s daughter. He is shot twice and dumped into a river. Having faked his death, he makes his triumphant return by murdering a millionaire. He vows to destroy Batman, in mind and body, using Scarecrow’s toxin. He is nearly successful, but falls into the ocean while fighting Scarecrow.

Sure you are, Strange
Sure you are

Deciding he must kill Bruce Wayne if he wishes to become Batman, he kidnaps Catwoman and confronts Bruce Wayne, who maintains his innocence, escaping and returning as Batman. During the fight, the Batmobile explodes, seemingly killing Batman for once. Strange broke into the Wayne manor wearing his Batsuit, fighting Nightwing and Robin, escaping quickly. The explosion did not kill Batman, but did temporarily confuse Wayne, making him forget he was Batman. Strange suffers a breakdown, voluntarily checking himself into Arkham. He participates in a few smaller adventures, featuring Strange in secondary roles, land him on another planet with a number of other villains.

We’ve almost got the threads unraveled.

In 2011, DC combined all of its existing franchises into one continuity. The Hugo Strange in this continuity – dubbed “Prime Earth” – worked at Arkham Asylum, alongside Harleen Quinzel. His first appearance was in 2012. He hasn’t done much of interest, but is a presence nonetheless.

Extras

Hugo Strange grew in the public eye thanks to his magnificent presence in the Arkham City video game. He is able to discern Batman’s true identity, and gets Wayne interred as a result. This kicks off the events of the game. His appearance in the game tracks with his comic book look, but otherwise he is an unknown entity.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this strange character corner. Come back soon for more fun fan information!

July Fourth Superheroes

July Fourth Captain America
You’re welcome

Two of the most well-known superheroes, Captain America and Superman, are both patriotically-minded. Captain America’s red, white, and blue fandom is well-known, and Superman (who, some would say, is the Ur-example of a superhero) was raised on all-American values straight from the vein of the land, by Mr. and Mrs. Kent. So, what adventures do they, and other classic capes, do during this summer holiday, July Fourth?

First off, there’s a likely supervillain attack during these dates. There’s actually a Batman villain named Calendar Man, who pulls heists based on holidays. There are so many villains, in both universes, that the idea these characters have a day off – especially during July Fourth – is almost unthinkable. But not completely.

DC:

As Superman is the star-spangled boy scout, he likely enjoys July Fourth a trifle more than the others (even though Wonder Woman’s outfit is red, white, and blue from beginning all the way until nowish), and so it’s up to him to make it fun. Sometimes he has it at the JLA watchtower, address: the moon. There, it’s a tasteful cocktail party, during which they view the simultaneous firework shows all across the U.S. in a glorious panorama of flashing colors that only the super-privileged few can witness.

He also might invite the other superheroes down to the farm. John and Martha Kent know a thing or two about feeding superheroes a healthy home-cooked meal. As long as he can handle a healthy dose of Diana-is-so-nice-you-two-should-get-together, Superman no doubt enjoys having his brightly-dressed and patriotic friends over for dinner.

Marvel:

Depending on what version of Captain America we’re wrestling with (either the movie version, recently awoken and still with one foot in the forties, or the comic book version, which was thawed from the ice in the sixties and is now a little more caught-up). Given the first version, Cap will probably love the classic arrangements of July Fourth, the bbqs and the fireworks and Off, a spray which usually fails to fulfill its promise in relation to bugs and their distance from you.

If we have the comic version of Cap to manipulate, he’ll see the normal trappings and want to kick it up a notch. He’ll set up the fireworks himself, plan the buffet in immaculate detail, and have the SHIELD lab boys develop a powerful new anti-insect toxin which is safe for humans. Since comic books must have a conflict, this will result in a powerful, dangerous new villain that arises, somehow, from the chaos of the event, and must be put in his place by the assembled Marvel cast, be they Avengers or otherwise.

Of course it’s hard to tell what any given character would do for July Fourth, but we can at least be certain we’ll be enjoying ourselves as well. So go on, have a great weekend.