Patron Saint of Superheroes


A mild-mannered professor’s mission to unlock the mysteries of the multiverse.

Patron Saint of Superheroes

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Superheroine Dress Code

Superheroine Dress Code

“We just happen to show a little more skin when we get to the ladies,” says Image Comics artist Todd McFarlane, explaining that the portrayal of women as sex objects in comics is a natural byproduct of the genre’s generally exaggerated style. “As much as we stereotype the women, we also do it with the guys. They are all beautiful. So…

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Superhero Anatomy

Superhero Anatomy

They don’t make superhero figures like they used to. I’m looking at Marvel’s latest Mystique statuette. Only a mutant could maintain proportions so inhuman. The shapeshifting supervillain has taken the form of a softporn supermodel, Marvel’s answer to DC’s so-called “Bombshell” series. Artist Ant Lucia says he took his inspiration from vintage pin-up illustrations. That explains why Batgirl’s breasts bulge from her…

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Time To Move On

Time To Move On

Imagine if George W. Bush had been forced to stay in office till he had personally gunned down Osama Bin Laden. Or if Obama can’t leave till he bags his own arch-nemesis, Edward Snowden. What would that sort of megalomaniacal mission do to a guy?

It turns him into Batman.

“The spiritual theme of Batman,” writes E. M. Forster in Aspects of…

Confessions of Electro Woman

Confessions of Electro Woman

“I know a woman whose internal electrical field escapes autonomously. Her basal low level charge kills small batteries: watches, pagers. Her moderate level charge creates worse havoc, even the death of computers. She has high charge levels, as well. The electrical system of at least two cars have not survived the rare but severe escapes of her internal charge.”

The above…

Children of Chaos

Children of Chaos

Bob Kane first drew the villain Two-Face in 1942 (Detective Comics #66). But it wasn’t till 2008 that the Nolan brothers got his origin right. My favorite scene from The Dark Knight is Heath Ledger’s Joker convincing Aaron Eckhart’s brutally disfigured Harvey Dent to embrace the dark side. How’s he do it?

With the flip of a coin.

Javier Bardem made similar use…

Elephant Man

Elephant Man

What makes a loving husband and father-of-two go on a shooting rampage, murdering sixteen people in their homes, most of them women and children? I don’t know, but Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty of it in June. He dodged the death penalty with a life sentence, but hearing this week will determine whether he can ever earn parole.

Dr. Jekyll…

Puberty Can Last a Lifetime

Puberty Can Last a Lifetime

“I grew up in Indiana,” writes Chris Huntington, “and saved a few thousand comic books in white boxes for the son I would have someday. . . . Despite my good intentions, we had to leave the boxes of yellowing comics behind when we moved to China.”

I grew up in Pennsylvania and only moved down to Virginia, so I still have one…

Matt Damon for President 2154

Matt Damon for President 2154

“He broke up with me,” Matt Damon said about President Obama. “There are a lot of things that I really question, the legality of the drone strikes, and these NSA revelations. Jimmy Carter came out and said ‘we don’t live in a democracy.’ That’s a little intense when an ex-president says that, so he’s got some explaining to do,…

Never Die Young

Never Die Young

Best thing to be said about The Wolverine came out of my daughter’s mouth in the parking lot afterwards: “I forgot I like superhero movies. I always think they’re going to be stupid. But that was good. I want to be a superhero!”

She’s sixteen. She also did a good parody of Hugh Jackman’s lumbering walk as we looked for our car.

My twelve-year-old…

Why We Lazy Americans Need Cowboys with Capes and British Accents

Why We Lazy Americans Need Cowboys with Capes and British Accents

So my wife and I are streaming Skyfall—which, to our mutual surprise, was her idea not mine–and M is explaining to her jury of clueless politicos why they shouldn’t gut her antiquated, Cold War, killer spy agency. Why, in other words, does the 21st century still needs good ole 007? I’m no Judi Dench (or Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, or John Logan, the screenwriters),…

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