Tagged: novel

Mindy Newell: Who Are You?

“Whooooooooo are you? Who? Who? Who, Who?”

Composed by Pete Townsend
The Who, 1978

Picking up from last week

All our super-powered mythic creations, whether hero or villain, man or woman, are avatars—whether we realize it or not.

Superman, of course, is the Big Kahuna avatar of comics. Every corrupt politician that Superman put in jail, each mobster who pulled a gun and watched the bullets bounce off Superman’s chest, every misogynistic wise-ass jerk who insulted a woman and was punished by Superman was really being punished by these two bookish, nebbishy, and schlemiel-y kids from Cleveland, Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, who weren’t able to fight the anti-Semites or win the gorgeous goyishe blonde.  I doubt very much either of them were consciously aware of the psycho-sociological underpinnings of their alien hero who would capture the world’s imagination, but it’s all there, as many critics and writers, including Danny Fingeroth, Jules Feiffer, Grant Morrison, Scott Bakutman of Stanford University, and A. C. Grayling of The Spectator have noted.  Grayling’s article, “The Philosophy of Superman: A Short Course”, discusses the need for a Superman over the decades since his creation in the 1930’s, including the early 21st century and events post-9/11, stating that:

…caught between the terrifying George W. Bush and the terrorist Osama bin Laden, America is in earnest need of a Saviour for everything from the minor inconveniences to the major horrors of world catastrophe. And here he is, the down-home clean-cut boy in the blue tights and red cape.

Others more erudite than I am may have used more polysyllabic pronouncements when analyzing the characterization of the Man of Steel, but I will say that he is a fugue, an escape, an exodus into a world in which, simply put, the good guys win.

Depending on your definition of “the good guys,” of course.


Glenn Hauman: Like “Sandman” Through An Hourglass

George Harrison once said to Eric Idle, “If we’d known we were going to be the Beatles, we’d have tried harder.”

That’s the phrase that comes to mind when I look back on that fall day when the pages first came into the darkroom at DC Comics. I’d been working there no more than a month or two.

Back in the day, pages of art that had bleeds were drawn on 12×18″ boards, which were too big to photocopy. To make copies for the colorist, every page had to be shot on a stat camera. Hundreds of pages a week. With photochemicals. It was a mind-numbing job, and I know one person who simply left one day for lunch and never came back.

And so one day, this book came in to be shot. Great, an oversized book, and it looked double-sized– 40 pages. There goes my break. I started to shoot the book.

Ooh, Sam Kieth art. I knew his pencilled stuff from an APA in the early 80’s, but I mainly knew him as the inker for Mage and later, penciller on Manhunter. Mike Dringenberg I knew from Adolescent Radioactive Black-Belt Hamsters (Don’t ask. Please.) And the writer– Neil Gaiman? That new guy, the one who wrote Black Orchid? Hmm…


REVIEW: The 300 Spartans

The 300 SpartansWe have Frank Miller to thank for reminding us of the valiant tale of the Battle at Thermopylae as 300 Spartans fought off an invading force from Persia. His 300 graphic novel is a wonderful retelling of the tale and a pretty damn fine film from Zack Snyder. With the film sequel forthcoming any second now, 20th Century Home Entertainment has wisely issued the Blu-ray debut of the film that inspired Miller when he first saw it as a kid. The 300 Spartans may lack the visual panache of Snyder’s version but it makes for compelling viewing.

Oh, the script is nowhere near interesting although it does a nice job of sticking to the historic facts as Leonidas (Richard Egan) is asked by Themistocles of Athens (Ralph Richardson) to lead the army against King Xerxes (David Farrar). Not a single soldier is as ripped as Snyder’s army nor is Gorgo (Anna Synodinou), Leonidas’ wife, given as much to do as Lena Hedley, but fills the screen nicely. There is some other soap opera elements, though, as Leonidas’ niece Ellas (Diane Baker) learns her fiancée Plylon (Barry Coe) has been dishonored and cannot marry her. And Xerxes has a gal pal of his own, Artemisia (Anne Wakefield).

An interesting historic note here is that a religious holiday kept many of the soldiers at home so Leonidas takes his person squad of 300 to defend all of Greece, a suicide mission under any circumstances.

The pacing is slower but it gives cinematographer turned director Rudolph Maté a chance to make the landscape beautiful to watch. He’s ill-served by the script and its leaden expository dialogue although we get the immortal “Then we’ll just have to fight in the shade!” Geoffrey Unsworth’s cinematography is gorgeous here, displaying all his skills making you long for more of the European locales to be better used.

This presentation of the cult film is sharp, which makes up for a lot. Like the 2004 DVD release, it has rich colors and excellent sound. Unfortunately, like the DVD, the bonuses are limited to a trailer and television spots.

Dennis O’Neil: Tabula Ra’s al Ghul

Well now, I just don’t know.  When I finished last week’s blatherthon I thought we were al done with the al Ghuls. Excuse that and where were we… oh yeah, Talia and her sister Nyssa and their father, Ra’s. Batman’s nemeses.  The family might be worth a bit more copy.

As I observed last week, the family name is not “al Ghul” or “Al Ghul” or anything like that.  The Al Ghul label is a kind of honorific – ”head of the demon” if you must know – maybe laid on the old man by someone he wronged, kind of like “Vlad the Impaler.” It was provided by the late and great Julius Schwartz and I regret never having asked Julie where he got it.

So what’s the real moniker? (more…)

Jen Krueger: Breaking Down the Breakdown


Shia LaBeouf claims that the other guy is a stunt double and that he’s the one being copied here. We don’t believe it either.

By spending six days last week wearing a paper bag emblazoned “I am not famous anymore” on his head as part of an art installation entitled #IAMSORRY, Shia LaBeouf became the latest celebrity to very publicly seem to have…let’s see, how do I put this gently…”lost it.” The installation itself is the culmination of nearly two months of behavior questionable enough to make people wonder if the actor is in the midst of a mental breakdown, yet it conveniently also began not long after LaBeouf came under fire for plagiarizing a graphic novel by Daniel Clowes, and is apparently only ramping up as the release of LaBeouf’s latest (and most controversial to date) movie draws nearer. It’s this timing that makes me think every bit of the bizarre behavior is entirely calculated for publicity purposes, which happens to be my default reaction nowadays whenever I hear about any celebrity acting remarkably strange.

Maybe I should blame my skepticism on Joaquin Phoenix. (more…)



Now if they tie this in with the Marvel one shot villain Crazy Eight, I’ll be impressed.

Marvel Entertainment and ABC Studios are proud to announce REVENGE: THE SECRET ORIGIN OF EMILY THORNE, an all-new graphic novel inspired by ABC’s popular television series, “Revenge.” This 112-page hardcover hits comic shops and bookstores everywhere on September 3rd, 2014.

In “Revenge”, Emily Thorne is a recent addition to the Hamptons social scene – a beautiful, wealthy woman who appears to be nothing more than a good-natured philanthropist. She’s moved next door to the powerful Grayson family, and has begun immersing herself in their world.

But there is more to this girl than meets the eye.


The Point Radio: Fairy Tale Fantasy In WINTER’S TALE

It’s a fairy tale, it’s a fantasy and it’s a romance. WINTER’S TALE covers a lot of territory as it makes the jump from novel to film. Director and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman and star Colin Farrell talk about how the magic strings it all together. Plus Bryan Singer picks up a comic property and you can get set to binge watch STAR WARS CLONE WARS in just a few days.

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

Watch the first clip from “Justice League: War”

When the powerful Darkseid and his massive, relentless forces invade Earth, a group of previously unaligned super heroes – misunderstood and, in some cases, hunted by the authorities – discover the only way to fend off the attack will be to work together as a cohesive unit. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Shazam and, in his origin story, Cyborg combine their respective talents in an all-out battle to save the planet. Based on the 2012 graphic novel, “Justice League: Origin,” by Geoff Johns & Jim Lee, Justice League: War provides a glance into the world before the Justice League was created, and offers the initial animated incarnation of DC Entertainment’s “The New 52.”

The clip features Batman and Green Lantern meeting for the first time while simultaneously dealing with both a renegade parademon and the local police. Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova) and Justin Kirk (Weeds) provide the voices of Batman and Green Lantern, respectively.


Justice League: War arrives via Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on February 4, 2014.

Summit Reveals 2014 Slate

Summit Entertainment has released details on their 2014 slate of films including some that appeal to our readers. Check out the details:


In the epic origin story THE LEGEND OF HERCULES, Kellan Lutz stars as the mythical Greek hero – the son of Zeus, a half-god, half-man blessed with extraordinary strength.  Betrayed by his stepfather, the King, and exiled and sold into slavery because of a forbidden love, Hercules must use his formidable powers to fight his way back to his rightful kingdom.  Through harrowing battles and gladiator-arena death matches, Hercules embarks on a legendary odyssey to overthrow the King and restore peace to the land.


In a future world where people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities, Tris Prior is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group.  When she discovers a conspiracy to destroy all Divergents, she must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it’s too late.

On the day of the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver (Costner) has the opportunity to save football in Cleveland when he trades for the number one pick. He must quickly decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with dreams of playing in the NFL.


STEP UP ALL IN – July 25

In the next exciting chapter of the international phenomenon STEP UP, all-stars from previous installments come together in glittering Las Vegas, battling for a victory that could define their dreams and their careers.

CHILD 44CHILD 44 – Fall 2014

Based on the first novel in author Tom Rob Smith’s best-selling trilogy, CHILD 44 tells the story of a man fighting to reclaim his humanity from a system that requires him to sacrifice it in order to survive.