Monthly Archives: February 2010

A League of My Own

A while back, I threw together my dream Avengers roster. Because I don’t want to play favorites–and because from what I’ve seen the current team was created by a six-year-old–I’ve decided to put together my dream roster for DC’s Justice League.

There are a few rules I operated under. First, no sidekicks. I love Bart, Cassie, and Tim. But, they’re sidekicks and will remain as such. Second, characters who are widely associated with another established group were not in the running. Therefore, no Power Girl, Hawkman, or Captain Marvel. Whether or not I like these characters is irrelevant, in my mind they belong on the Justice Society of America. (This second rule may or may not be broken when it serves my own nefarious purposes.)

The Big Three:

Just like I wouldn’t want an Avengers team without Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man, I don’t want a Justice League without Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

Superman/Clark Kent

He may lack the tactical expertise of Bruce and Diana, but you can’t deny that Clark is one inspirational bastard. All you really need to succeed is Clark believing that you can.

Batman/Bruce Wayne


He’s Batman…why wouldn’t you want him on your team? Master tactician. World’s greatest detective. Paranoid freak. Plus, he can single-handedly defeat a clan of White Martians with a book of matches.

Wonder Woman/Princess Diana of Themyscira

Diana equals Clark in power and Bruce in tactics and hand-to-hand skill. She is, in every sense, a born warrior.

Aquaman/Arthur Curry

I like Aquaman. I have no problem mocking him, but I like him. I also have no problem with magic-water-hand Aquaman. As long as it’s Arthur, I’m happy.

Martian Manhunter/J’onn J’onzz

Just like every Avengers team needs Vision, every Justice League needs J’onn. ‘Nuff said.

Green Lantern/Hal Jordan

For the longest time, I never really liked Hal–mostly because of all those lame boxing gloves from the old Super Friends show. But, I confess to having a weakness for these kinds of devil-may-care cowboy types.

The Flash/Wally West

I’m a firm believer that every team needs a speedster. Wally is, and always will be, “my” Flash.

Green Arrow/Oliver Queen

If you’re going to have Hal, you need Ollie. These guys are awesome together. (Part of me kinda wants Barry on the team to complete the second trinity, but I’m a Wally guy all the way.)

Black Canary/Dinah Lance

I like that Canary can not only hold her own next to folks like Batman and Wonder Woman, but also that she’s always ready to call Ollie on his shit.

The Atom/Ray Palmer

Ray comes from the generation of down-to-earth heroes that included Barry Allen and Ralph Dibny. On a team that includes aliens, space cops, and Amazon princesses, Ray serves as a constant reminder of the power of the human spirit.

Zatanna Zatara

What?!?!

Metamorpho/Rex Mason

Having Metamorpho on a team with Martian Manhunter may be redundant, but I just love this guy. Also, I know this violates Rule #2, but I don’t care.

#FridayFlash: The Hunt, Part One

The Hunt, Part One

The summer was waning and the cooler air of autumn had already settled in the forests of the north. Wrapped in a heavy wool cloak and armed with the longbow he had made long before his arms had the strength to draw it, Admund had taken to the wilderness shortly after dawn. Fog hung above the ground, wrapping the trees and underbrush in a cool mist that would surely burn off before too long. He followed the Daen River west, until the elms and beech trees grew thick.

Admund was certain he was alone—at least, that is, if he did not count the hart that he had been tracking. Through a break in the trees, Admund watched the beast pause by the edge of the river. The hart drank, stopping once to sniff the air. Admund knew he was downwind of the creature—years of experience on the hunt had made avoiding detection second nature—so he knew there was no reason to fear discovery. He slowly drew one of the broadhead arrows from the quiver that hung from his belt. Keeping his eyes on the hart, Admund nocked the arrow and drew the string, taking silent aim.

He was about to release the arrow when the hart lifted its head once more, ears twitching, and bounded across the river and into the thicket on the far side. Admund swore at his misfortune. It was then that the sounds of horses intruded upon the otherwise silent morning.

Having lost his quarry, Admund turned his attentions to the approaching sounds. He was deep in the forests of Aradorn, over a full day’s journey from the nearest city or village and far from even the least-traveled roads. It was possible that they were simply travelers who had lost their way in the pre-dawn hours. It was, he decided, equally possible that they were bandits or highwaymen.

They came from the west, from the direction of the coast. A single courser and rider led the way, followed by three older draft horses pulling a large enclosed wagon. About half a dozen men walked beside and behind the wagon. The men were large and brutish, the product of long lives of hard work. They had leathery, sun-bronzed skin and black hair that they wore in either long braids or ponytails. Golden hoops adorned their ears and noses and curved, broad-bladed swords hung at their sides. Several of them bore large tattoos on their necks and exposed arms.

The rider wore brightly-colored silks under tarnished, mismatched pieces of plate armor; his men, however, were all dressed in homespun, leathers, and buckskin. They appeared to be corsairs, similar to those who raided the islands and coastlines of the southern kingdoms. However, corsairs rarely ventured this far north, especially with Woten longships crewed by bloodthirsty, battle-hardened marauders regularly sailing the frigid waves of the Northern Sea.

Corsairs also rarely ventured this far inland. They were currently several leagues from the coast and seemingly intent on journeying even further into the forest. And that wagon. Something about it gnawed at the pit of Admund’s stomach, an instinctual reaction that he had long ago learned to heed. Of simple construction, but with a single door built into the side that was secured with a heavy wooden bolt.

“By Kernow’s bow.” They weren’t corsairs, after all. They were— “Slavers.”

* * * * *


Let’s Cast…RUNAWAYS

Fact: Whenever I hear someone talking about the upcoming Joan Jett biopic, I get super-excited. Then I realize it isn’t about the real Runaways. But, rumor has it that a movie based on Marvel’s popular series may, in fact, be on the way. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I’d be to see a feature film based on Runaways: the story of six kids who learn that their parents are honest-to-god supervillains and how they band together to defeat them.

I think it’s probably a no-brainer that the movie should be based on the first arc of the series. But, who should play each of the principal characters?

Percy Daggs III as Alex Wilder

Daggs was great as Wallace on Veronica Mars. He’s proven he can play funny, sweet, and loyal…I can’t imagine he’d have a problem tapping into darker characteristics to play the Runaways de facto leader.

Amanda Seyfried as Karolina Dean

Seyfried may be too old to play a teenager, but look at her. She’s the spitting image of the Runaway’s resident alien.

David Gallagher as Chase Stein

The son of mad scientists, Chase is the team’s resident hot-headed jock. He wears Fistigons–powerful, flame-producing gauntlets–stolen from his parents and is the only one who can control the Runaway’s ship, Leapfrog. I kind of remember Gallagher from 7th Heaven, and he sufficiently impressed me with his recent role on Smallville, so let’s give the kid a shot.

Devon Aoki as Nico Minoru

Not gonna lie: one of the reasons I’d cast Aoki as the daughter of dark wizards is that Nico is a very emotional character and I’d like to see Aoki have more than three lines of dialogue in one of her movies.

Abigail Breslin as Molly Hayes

Go on…tell me I’m wrong. Do it. I dare you.

Tina Majorino as Gertrude Yorkes

Gertrude’s my favorite Runaway–well, tied with Molly at the very least–and she’s always kind of reminded me of Majorino’s character from Veronica Mars. Maybe I’d ask Stan Lee to play Gertrude’s genetically engineered dinosaur Old Lace. Or maybe not.

The Pride

Idris Elba and Michael Michele as Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder

Ewan McGregor and Rachel Weisz as Dale and Stacey Yorkes


Joel Gretsch and Jeri Ryan as Frank and Leslie Dean

Alan Tudyk and Stephanie Romanov as Victor and Janet Stein

Jeffrey Donovan and Carla Gugino as Gene and Alice Hayes

Daniel Dae Kim and Ming-Na as Robert and Tina Minoru

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As the series progressed, the Runaways encounter other kids in similar situations. Since this movie would kick ass, there would totally be a sequel. Runaways 2: Still Runnin’ would introduce

Rick Gonzales as Victor Mancha

Gonzales seemed capable of dealing with devils, demons, and reapers on Reaper, so I imagine he’d be able to handle playing technopathic cyborg Victor Mancha.

Dana Davis and Lee Thompson Young as Xavin

Those wacky Skrulls, always with the shapeshifting. Dana Davis (Bones, Heroes) and Lee Thompson Young (Friday Night Lights, Smallville) would have to share the role of the Skrull prince who also happens to be Karolina’s betrothed.

#FridayFlash: Claws That Catch, Blood That Burns

There was talk of sci-fi today…so, here’s something a little different for FridayFlash.

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Claws That Catch, Blood That Burns

Cooper led the way towards the stasis chamber’s aft hatchway, pulse blaster drawn and ready. Laura and Shaard followed, covering the rear. He had decided the best tactic was to rendezvous with Wyatt and Bug near the derelict ship’s reactor and then proceed to the airlock as a single unit.

He stopped at the circular hatchway and put his free hand on the locking mechanism. The others gathered around him. Shaard kept his keen predator’s eyes focused the way they had come. Cooper unlocked the hatch and slowly pushed it open, the metal hinges squealing in protest after one hundred years of inactivity.

“Coop,” Shaard barked. “Hold up.”

Cooper looked back down the dark chamber. He wasn’t positive, but he thought he could see movement in the shadows. “Am I seeing what I think I’m seeing?”

The Venntak nodded. “There’s at least six of ’em,” Shaard reported. “I have no idea what they are, but from what I can see, they look pretty nasty.”

They emerged from the stasis chamber and turned into the ship’s main corridor. Two lanky figures were waiting for them at the junction. One of them turned its single glowing eye and flashing sensor indicators in their direction and waved.

“Bug, what are those things?” Cooper asked.

The mech shook his head and shrugged as best as his mechanical joints would allow.

“No idea, Coop. I ran some scans on the cocoons or whatever those things we found back in the reactor chamber were but I’ve never seen anything like it before. It looks like some kind of organic metal.”

“And why didn’t we notice it before?” Laura asked over her shoulder, her carbine aimed back the way they had come.

“Not sure,” Wyatt said. “We found the things attached to the underside of the plasma conduit, partially hidden by the port distribution tube. The radiation probably masked it. Sorry”

“Doesn’t matter,” Cooper said. “Let’s just get the hell out of here.”

“Easier said than done,” Laura groaned.

They all turned and looked down the main corridor. Pairs of glimmering eyes appeared in the shadows, one at first, followed by others.

There was a raspy hiss as the first creature appeared. Two meters long, not including a serrated, whip-like tail, the creature’s muscles rippled beneath its shimmering, purple scales. Rows of needle-like teeth dripped with milky white saliva. Hissing, the creatures filled the corridor, their metallic skin glistening under the dim emergency lighting. Their flat, pointy heads moved from side to side, jaws snapping, flickering tongues tasting the air. As they approached, their sharp claws click-clacked against the ship’s metal deck plates.

The nearest one lunged towards Bug, its claws and fangs ready to rip the mech to scrap metal. Acting out of reflex, Bug swung his spindly arm, and the heavy toolkit he was holding, at the attacking creature.

The metallic reptile hissed as it fell back onto the deck. Before it could attack again, a supercharged bolt of energy hit it squarely in the stomach. The dying creature shrieked in agony as the smell of ozone and burning flesh filled the corridor.

“One down,” Laura said, leveling her carbine.

“About two dozen to go,” Bug said. He reached into his toolkit and pulled out a plasma cutter, which he gripped like a club.

Another hissing monster jumped forward, but was cut down by a swipe of Shaard’s hooked claws. The Venntak roared in agony, a patch of his thick, brown fur smoldering and sizzling. “What the–?”

“Watch out,” Cooper called over the sound of blaster fire. “These things have acidic blood. You okay, Shaard?”

The Venntak just grunted an affirmative. His heavy repeater roared as he started spraying the corridor with sizzling bolts of super-charged death.

“So,” Laura said, swinging her carbine to knock a leaping creature back to the deck before shooting it between its narrow red eyes. “What’s our best bet?”

“We stand here and pick them off one by one,” Cooper said, firing at a nearby reptile.

“Anything less messy?” Laura asked, kicking a wounded creature aside and hitting the one behind it with a precise shot to the heart, or where she assumed the thing’s heart was located.

Cooper fired randomly down the corridor, sending a pack of the creatures scattering for cover. “We can charge the buggers and try to beat them to the airlock.”

Laura shrugged. “Sure. Why not? No reason to start thinking rationally now.” She raised her carbine, took aim and fired off a pair of precision shots. “How about a plan that we might survive?”

“You know,” Cooper said, “you’ve been awfully negative lately.”

“Really?” Laura dropped her carbine and drew her pulse blasters, firing one, then the other, down the corridor. “Must be this sudden sense of impending doom.”

Cooper shook his head. “Okay,” he said, “I think I have a better plan. I’ll hold these things off while you and the others double back to the ship.”

“That’s a better plan?”

“Sure,” he said, checking his blaster’s power level. “You need to get back to the ship and power up the main guns. There’s no way I’m letting these things get anywhere near an inhabited planet.”

Laura nodded. “And you can handle a dozen of these single-handedly?”

“I have two hands,” Cooper corrected. “Two hands. A pulse blaster. And Shaard’s grenades.”

Go, Wests! My True Geek Confession

In the grand tradition of Scott & Jean Day, the geeks of the Internet have returned to bring you True Geek Confessions.

Unpopular opinions: we all have them. Sometimes you stand alone in loving a super niche-y run of a popular comic book series. Sometimes you’re the only person on the entire planet to ’ship a certain ’ship. Sometimes you simply Do Not Get a movie the rest of your geeky brethren is falling all over themselves about. And because a lot of fandom is about sharing loves and hates and communing with your fellow geeks, this can feel awfully lonely. But perhaps if we confess our most unpopular opinions for all the internet to see…well, we’ll feel just a little bit better.

This is an interesting topic for me to write about, mostly because I don’t believe in guilty pleasures and I don’t believe in apologizing for things you like or don’t like. A lot of life seems to revolve around concealing the former and a lot of fandom seems to involve the latter.

Anyway…here goes…

I love the Wests.

There, I said it. When I started reading comics, Wally West was The Flash. Sure, I knew who Barry Allen was from the awesome ’90s TV series, but Wally has been (and will always be) my Flash. And what I love most about Wally is that, probably more than any other hero in the DC Universe, he embodies the down-to-earth, blue-collar American dream. Even though Wally’s been a superhero for his entire life, he’s the quintessential everyman. And, what’s more everyman than settling down with a wife and kids? And, Wally’s had to fight for his family, too, whether it’s asking Uncle Hal Jordan/Spectre to magically erase knowledge of his secret identity or whisking his wife and newborn twins off to the safety of an alternate reality.

Normally, I’m anti-relationship. I think relationships between fictional characters prevent them from doing their jobs and that’s why I read books, go to movies, watch TV shows: to see people do things. But, as one of DC’s legacy heroes, the Flash is all about family and heritage, so it makes sense that Wally would eventually get married and have kids. And, if you have to get married, why not get married to a doctor/journalist:

Of course, kids aren’t always such a hot idea for superheroes, either. The biggest problem I had with Superman Returns was Bryan Singer trying to push that little hybrid tight-stain on me. I’m pretty sure the worst possible phrase to say in front of a Spider-Man fan is “Spider-baby.” And, don’t even get me started on that test-tube freak Damian Wayne. But, I’m not gonna lie, I love Iris and Jai West.

Sure, they aren’t perfect. For starters, Jai’s hyper-speed-force muscles were pretty damn creepy–but, I’ve always assumed the decision to give him that power was an attempt by DC Comics to avoid any comparisons between Jai West and Dash from The Incredibles. Also, the hyper-aging sub-plot never really worked for me, other than as a way to get the twins from newborn to pre-teen without signing Wally and Linda up for their AARP cards. However, credit must be given for coming up with the concept of the West twins sharing a link to the Speed Force, explaining all the problems that they’ve experienced since returning to the main DCU. And, while I’m a little fuzzy on what actually happened in Flash: Rebirth*, how goddamn sweet was it when Iris became the new Impulse?

Now, I’m not entirely sure if this counts as a “True Geek Confession.” I have seen quite a bit of negative reaction to the West twins on the Internet (although, the Internet has been known to say bad things about oxygen…so, take that with a grain of salt), but I don’t know if that’s the dominant opinion or just the louder one. Either way, I don’t care. I love the West family.

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*: Here thar be possible SPOIL-ARRS!

In Flash: Rebirth, we learn that the West twins share a connection to the Speed Force. And, since they’re basically both feeding off the same tether, each sibling only has a 50% connection, which explains why they’ve had issues with their powers and all that crazy hyper-aging. Anyway, to save both twins, one of them had to accept the full connection. As I read it, Iris gave up her half of the connection to take away her brother’s pain, but the Speed Force decided to give her the whole enchilada, instead. Now, others have read it as Iris making the conscious choice to take her brother’s half of the connection for herself. Guess we’ll find out what really happened when the mini-series (eventually) concludes.

Separated at Birth?

Well, maybe not “separated at birth,” per se…but, at the very least, I think I’ve just single-handedly given birth to The Bear Jew-as-Sylar’s-grandfather fanfic.

Let’s Cast…CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

There’s been a shit-storm of news about Marvel’s next big project this weekend. Rumors are flying around about who may or may not be auditioning, who the Big Bad will be, and whether or not Captain America’s origins will somehow be connected to the USO. I have neither the desire nor the inclination to recap all of them here.

What I do have the desire to do is climb atop my tiny virtual soapbox and declare, as loud as my little fingers can type, who should–nay, must–be cast in Captain America: The First Avenger. (Thank god the Powers That Be saw the wisdom in setting the movie in both the present and during WWII…at least I don’t have to worry about that.)

Let’s spur this iron space-pony on, shall we?

Ryan McPartlin as Steve Rogers/Captain America

There are rumors that Chuck‘s Captain Awesome may be auditioning to play Captain America. He certainly looks the part–as Rich pointed out–and, after hearing he’d done a guest spot on Mad Men, any fears I had that he couldn’t do period work were quickly soothed.

John Simm as Johann Schmidt/The Red Skull

Red Skull is the Nazi’s answer to Cap: the physical embodiment of the Third Reich. I think Simm did such a kick-ass job as Doctor Who uber-baddie The Master that, if he can do a convincing German accent, I’d like to see what he could do with Hitler’s favorite little goose-stepper.

Kyle Gallner as James “Bucky” Barnes

Steve’s sidekick during WWII, poor Bucky would seemingly die in the same accident that would freeze Cap in a block of ice for twenty years. The once optimistic Bucky would later return as the Soviet Union’s ruthless super-assassin the Winter Soldier. Gallner still kinda looks like a kid, but in a few years would probably look old enough to play a tortured version of Bucky in Captain America 3: In From the Cold.

That pretty much takes care of the three main characters from the World War II part of the film. When we fast-forward to the present, it’s a safe bet to say that Sam Jackson will be back to play Nick Fury and, more than likely, we’ll see more of the super-awesome Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark. But, what about the rest of Cap’s modern-day supporting cast?

Howabout…

Yvonne Strahovski as Sharon Carter/Agent 13

McPartlin’s Chuck co-star was the first name that popped into my head to play SHIELD Agent Sharon Carter, but I thought it could be a little confusing. But, after careful consideration, I decided what the fuck…this is my movie and I can cast it however I want. If Sherlock Holmes can outrun an explosion, than Sarah Walker can be Sharon Carter.

J. August Richards as Sam Wilson/Falcon

I’ll be completely honest, I have no idea if Richards would make a good Sam, I just really like the guy and want to see him get as much work as possible. Besides, if he can handle roles on both Angel and The 4400, I think he can handle Captain America.

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Now, I’ve already said that Bucky’s return as the Winter Soldier should come in the third movie, so that leaves us with one question: What happens in Captain America 2? Well, I’d like to see the story of the first Captain America–Isaiah Bradley–including both his grandson Eli “Patriot” Bradley, plus Rikki “Nomad” Barnes (we can explain Rikki away as a relative of Bucky, rather than a refugee from a parallel universe).

I’d cast Avery Brooks to play Isaiah Bradley in the present.

I’d be okay with CGI trickery to take care of any flashbacks we’d need (I think the plot should stay in the present as much as possible, focusing on Eli and how he’s struggling with the legacy that was stolen from his family).

I’d cast The Wire‘s Tristan Wilds as Isaiah’s grandson Eli Bradley, aka Patriot.

And Allison Scagliotti as Rikki Barnes/Nomad.