Monday, August 22, 2016

The Legacy of Superwoman

While most people know Supergirl, Superwoman isn't as well known. And there have been quite a few of them. A side note, this post will focus on the Superman-related Superwomen and not the Earth-3 evil counterpart of Wonder Woman known as Superwoman. The first Superwoman appeared in a dream where Lois Lane gained the powers of Superman. The first official Superwoman to appear was Luma Lynai, Superwoman from the planet Staryl. She possessed powers similar to a Kryptonian, but only under an orange sun. She tried to live on Earth with Superman but found that yellow sunlight was toxic to her. Later, Kristin Wells, a time-traveling descendant of Jimmy Olsen, would take on the mantle of Superwoman, using futuristic technology to emulate superhuman powers. Dana Dearden was the the next to take on the identity of Superwoman, however the public called her Obsession. Dana was an obsessed Superman fan who used stolen magic artifacts to obtain the powers of gods and goddesses so she would be his perfect match. While not officially called Superwoman, Sharon Vance was the female version of Superman's electric blue phase. A childhood friend of Clark Kent from Smallville, Sharon became Strange Visitor (a being of living electromagnetic energy) and had to wear Superman's old electric containment suit to control her powers. Lois Lane's little sister Lucy became the next Superwoman, after the military gave her a costume that allowed her to mimic Kryptonian abilities until the suit was taken from her. Lisa Jennings was a school teacher who became the next Superwoman after gaining Superman-like powers from exposure to radiation from a Kryptonian sunstone. In the new 52 continuity, Lois Lane and Lana Lang both became Superwoman when the two women gained superhuman powers after they absorbed energy released from the dying body of the New 52 Superman. Lois developed Kryptonian-like powers similar to those of Superman while Lana developed solar-fueled electromagnetic powers similar to those Superman possessed during his electric powers phase. In another reality, Lois Lane became Superwoman for a day when Superman gave her a serum that gave her his power for 24 hours. In a reality where every DC character was the opposite gender, Laurel Kent was Superwoman, a gender-reversed version of Superman. In the 31st century, Elna Kent is the descendant of Superman and Lois Lane and the Superwoman of her timeline.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Harley Quinn Costume History

After Harley's Quinn big screen debut in Suicide Squad, some people were less than thrilled with Harley's "costume" of a red jacket and short-shorts. Let's look at the actual costumes Harley has worn in the comics and video-games. Harley Quinn began her career as a cartoon character in the Batman animated series in the 90's. A criminal psychiatrist turned villainous sidekick, Harleen Quinzel's love for the Joker led her to don the now iconic red-and-black jester costume of Harley Quinn. Her popularity resulted in Harley being added to the pages of DC comics. In the New 52 continuity, the Joker threw Dr. Harleen Quinzel into the same vat of acid that Batman threw him into. The chemicals bleached her skin and gave her two-toned red-and-blue hair. Donning a skimpy red-and-blue bodice with matching stockings, Harley Quinn was the Joker's girlfriend. However, his increasingly sadistic behavior drove Harley away from Gotham city. Harley strove to create her own identity and redesigned her look into a roller-derby uniform with elements of the original Harley Quinn jester costume. She also died the blue parts of her hair black. Later, Harley was made part of the Suicide Squad and sported a more militaristic version of her roller-derby costume. She also died her hair back to blonde. In the Injustice video game/tie-in comic continuity, Harley's look is a combination of her classic and new 52 costumes. Harley first sports red-and-black hair along with a jester themed red-and-black vest over two-toned stockings. Later she dies her hair back to blonde and dons a two-toned red-and-black jacket and with matching leather pants. In the Arkham Asylum/City/Knight games Harley first wears a modified nurse's uniform. Then she wears a red-and-black leather halter top with matching pants. Finally Harley wears a black Gothic Lolita-style dress over what appears to be the leggings of her classic jester costume.

Friday, August 5, 2016

May "Mayday" Parker Spider-Girl/Woman costume history

Like her father, Spider-Man, May Parker has also worn quite a few costumes. May's first Spider-Girl costume was the Spider-Man costume worn by her "uncle" Ben Reilly. When her costume was badly damaged, May bought a black-and white version of her Spider-Girl uniform from a costume shop. After the death of her father, May wore his classic Spider-Man costume as Spider-Woman. Realizing the costume made her dwell her father's death, May designed a new Spider-Woman costume that embodied both the Ben Reilly and Peter Parker Spider-Man costume with a few new elements thrown in, such as large webs under her arms. In the Earth-X reality, May is Venom, and the symbiotic costume she wears is black with red web/vein patterns and a large red spider-symbol. In the year 2020 AD, May wears a Spider-Girl costume that combines the costume of Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) with that of Spider-Man.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Superheroines who should be added to the MCU

Despite the success of the Marvel movies, one of the complaints is the lack of female heroes with actual powers. While Marvel is adding Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel to their cinematic universe, here is my top 10 list of characters who could definitely add some girl-power to the movies. Side note; since Fox still owns the movie rights to the X-Men I won't be including mutant characters on this list.

1. Spider-Woman. A former Hydra agent turned hero, Jessica Drew isn't just a female version of Spider-Man. Her powers of flight, venom blasts, and pheromone manipulation already set her apart from Peter Parker, and she isn't your average superhero. Her day job of being a private detective/bounty hunter means that she fights crime almost 24/7. And lets be honest, despite her popularity she hasn't even been on TV since her short-lived cartoon in the late 70's. Spider-Woman deserves some screen-time folks.

2. Madame Web. Julia Carpenter aka Spider-Woman II, aka Arachne II, aka Madame Web II, is another Spider-based character who has no connection to Spider-Man save the name. A single mother who underwent government experiments to earn money and ended up with psionic spider-powers, Julia shows that being a mom doesn't mean you can't be a superhero. In fact she has even been a longtime Avenger. Her current powerset of precognition and psychokinetic webs would give the MCU their first psychic superhero.
3. Spectrum. The first woman to be called Captain Marvel (and later Photon and Pulsar), Monica Rambeau was a New Orleans Harbor Patrol officer who gained the power to become any form of electromagnetic energy (from light to x-rays). Her wit and determination and unique powers would make her a welcome addition to the MCU.
4. Crystal. With the rise in popularity of the Inhumans, Crystal seems like a perfect candidate for a movie adaptation. A former member of the Avengers and Fantastic Four, Crystal is no stranger to superheroics, and her power to control the four elements (wind, water, earth, and fire)  make her a literal force of nature.
5. Firebird. Bonita Juarez gained the power of pyrokinesis from contact with alien matter. Able to psychically create and control flames, Firebird really does bring some much needed firepower to the MCU.
6. She-Hulk. Jennifer Walters is the cousin of the Incredible Hulk and has a similar powerset. But unlike her cousin, She-Hulk retains her intellect and humor even when she is green and smashing.

7. Black Cat. With Spider-Man being brought to the MCU, hopefully that will mean we will get a movie adaptation of his love interest/enemy/crimefighting partner Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat. Her cat-like speed and agility combined with her supernatural power to cause bad luck (and her hi-tech arsenal of cat-themed gadgets) ensure it would be amazing to see this super-powered cat burglar on the big screen.
8. Sister Grimm. Nico Minoru's magical ability to cast one-time usage spells with a single word combined with her Gothic style would be a cool addition to the MCU.
9. Ms. Marvel. Kamala Khan is such a popular new addition to the Marvel universe, this Inhuman-borne polymorphing hero (who was given her codename by Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel herself) would do well in the movies.

10. Angela. Aldrif Odinsdottir is the sister of Thor who actually started her comic book career as a supporting character in the Image Comics' Spawn series. Now part of the Marvel Unvierse, this avenging angel was revealed to have been the daughter of Odin and Freyja trapped in an realm called Heven by the Queen of Angels and raised as one of their own. Now free and aware of her Asgardian heritage, Angela explores the Nine Realms. Her ties to Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy give the angelic war goddess multiple movie properties to be a part of.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The animated appearances of Julia Carpenter aka Spider-Woman aka Madame Web

Over 20 years after the first animated appearance of Julia Carpenter, the second Spider-Woman, we now have Julia's next animated appearance as the second Madame Web. So lets compare the two animated depictions of one of my favorite Marvel characters.
Julia's first animated appearance was her role as Spider-Woman in the 1994 Iron Man the Animated Series.  She was on a team known as Force Works along with Iron Man, War Machine, Hawkeye, and Scarlet Witch. She wore a slight variation from her classic comic costume, with her spider-symbol having 6 legs instead of 8 (this was corrected in the second season of the show). She served as an alternative to Pepper Potts, acting as Iron Man's love interest and business partner when not being a hero.
Ultimate Spider-Man vs the Sinister Six marked the second animated version of Julia, this time as Madame Web. In this continuity, Julia was a S.H.I.E.L.D agent who displayed precognitive powers and was recruited by Nick Fury into being his secret weapon. This version of Julia wore a crimson-and-red costume that was virtually identical to the costume shown above, only the reds are more muted.
Their powers of enhanced strength, speed, and agility remain pretty much the same between the two version of Julia, with the only difference being the usage of her psi-webs. The Iron Man Julia generated psychic energy from her hands that would explode outward into a solid web-net that wrapped her enemies. The Ultimate Spider-Man version of Julia generated a glowing psychic web that displayed possible futures and timelines between its threads, allowing Julia to pick the event with the most likely chance of occurring.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

2017 Power Rangers Ninja Steel

So when Dino Charge ends, the next Power Rangers series will be Power Rangers Ninja Steel, based on Shuriken Sentai Ninninger. Lets meet the rangers.

Red Ranger controls the NinjaZord
Blue Ranger pilots the DragonZord
Yellow Ranger pilots the TruckZord
Pink Ranger pilots the TrainZord
White Ranger pilots the WolfZord
The sixth Ranger is the cowboy-themed Gold Ranger who pilots the RodeoZord
The Lion Ninja Star turns Red Ranger into the Red Shogun Ranger and allows him to control the LionZord.

It finally happened, a female Green Ranger. While she appears as a movie exclusive in the Ninninger V-Cinema movie, she might be adapted as well into Power Rangers. She would pilot the ElehantZord, who can morph into battle mode.
The Ninja, Dragon, Truck, Train, and Wolf Zords combine into the Ninja Steel Megazord
The RodeoZord morphs into the Sheriff Megazord
The RodeoZord can combine with the Ninja Steel Megazord to form the Steel Sheriff Megazord.
The LionZord can transform into the Shogun BattleZord
The LionZord can combine with the Ninja Steel Megazord and RodeoZord to form the Shogun Steel UltraZord
The ElephantZord can combine with the Ninja Steel Megazord to create the Jungle Steel Megazord.