Category: Superheroes


Every year industry group The Toy Foundation unveils its annual Toy of the Year Awards (see the 22nd annual award winners here) and this week it announced the finalists for the 23rd annual honors, this time representing the past two years in 17 categories, with the final awards coming in November.  Altogether that’s 122 toys vying for top honors, selected from more than 600 nominees by a panel of judges comprising play experts, journalists, academics, retailers, and other toy authorities, and now it’s up to the voters to determine the winners.  All are invited to visit ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorites in each category through September 2, 2022.

Links, links, and more links… check out the full slate of finalists:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Just as the classic 1970s first responder television series Emergency! is celebrating its 50th anniversary today on COZI TV (with a new documentary and appearances by stars Randy Mantooth and Kevin Tighe), the medical/rescue genre is getting adapted to superheroes in a new comic book series.

It’s a time of conflict.  One faction is open-minded and willing to take on anything that comes its way with arms wide open.  The other is ready to shut the door on those who aren’t the same.  It all happens in a world where some people have superpowers and some don’t.  In the tradition of Dark Horse Comics’ The Ward, with the action of Hotel Artemis, and the secrecy of The Star Chamber, the new monthly medical thriller Crashing from IDW Publishing follows a doctor in triage addressing patients who are “different” in the emergency room.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

While other kids were “making mine Marvel,” I couldn’t get enough of the 1970s Justice League of America, and spent many an hour memorizing Superman’s family ancestry back on Krypton.  Tentpole icons Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, the Hall of Justice, and the exploits of battling thousands of villains produced more monthly books than a single person could ever read (although a few have claimed to do so).  Writer Randall Lotowycz has amassed some of the basics but even more of the extremes, lists of “Who’s Who?” and “What’s What?” and the stranger side of DC Comics in the new book The DC Book of Lists: A Multiverse of Legacies, Histories, and Hierarchies An indispensable sourcebook for DC fans, it’s also proof you can’t get through more than 80 years of continuously publishing content and not have some very quirky characters and situations.
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Arguably no player of fictional roles did more to further science and the future than Nichelle Nichols.  The actress who played Star Trek crew member Uhura for 54 years in the original series, six movies, and fan films passed away today at age 89.  I first met her in San Francisco in the 1990s and later at other events, and she always was gracious, embraced fans, and was always laughing, smiling, and enjoying her time recounting her personal story.  She probably has the most familiar story of any science fiction actor, as she became an icon of television, science fiction, and science fact.

Her greatest story was recounting how she had decided to leave the Star Trek series until she had a conversation with Martin Luther King, Jr., who informed her just how important it was that a black woman was being seen by an entire nation on television.  She was an equal crew member serving in a prime-time network series, and would go on to help expand the boundaries of race relations, participating in the first on-screen inter-racial kiss, with co-star William Shatner’s Captain Kirk.

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As we predicted last season, it appears Joel McHale’s Starman is going to find his way back to his family and superhero status in the third season of CW’s StarGirl How will that fare for Brec Bassinger’s Courtney, her mom (played by Amy Smart), and her husband–and Starman’s former partner, Luke Wilson’s Pat Dugan aka the steel giant S.T.R.I.P.E.

Seems like the entire cast from last season is back.  The second season wasn’t as powerful as the first, so hopefully Greg Berlanti & Co. and get some of the magic back with the original Seven Soldiers of Victory back in costume–along with another guest appearance (we hope) by John Wesley Shipp as The Flash.  Here’s the new trailer for season three of StarGirl:

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He’s certainly the most overdue of 80 years of Marvel characters to make it into the live-action world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, created by writer-artist Bill Everett in 1939, was Marvel’s first mutant and the leader of the undersea world of Atlantis, frequently forgotten in recent years because of his DC Comics counterpart, Aquaman.  That’s Namor and Everett above as depicted in a fantastic tribute by artist Alex Ross.  Along with Captain America and Human Torch, the original Big 3 included Prince Namor.  He’s also the first superhero anti-hero, so it probably makes sense Marvel is sneaking him into the MCU as they did Silver Surfer in the second Fantastic Four movie.  Audiences internationally who have not followed the comics of eight decades past or only know of the character in spotty revisits over the years will now meet him this year in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, as what appears to be the villain.

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Leaning into the humor instead of giving audiences another heavy drama, the new Disney/Marvel series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, also reflects some improvements on its CGI, which wasn’t quite as convincing in the first trailer.  In the pages of the comics, Tatiana Maslany’s title character is known by day as Jennifer Walters, Bruce Banner’s cousin, who gets a dose of Banner’s blood after an accident.  This gives her slightly different, less overcharged reactions, but the big difference is she’s fully green–not turning back to her normal self like Banner usually did.

And Tim Roth is back as Emil Blonsky from that CGI-challenged Hulk movie everyone forgot about, 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. 

Check out the San Diego Comic-Con trailer for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law:  

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At this weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con, DC Comics’ Jim Lee announced that there are no plans for Zack Snyder to return to the DC franchise movies or for the “SnyderVerse” Justice League to continue.  This was followed up with two big trailers that open up the DC Comics universe to return to the fun of the comics.  Zachary Levi’s spin on the original Captain Marvel opened the gates for a renaissance for DC at the movies with his new Shazam in 2019, back again this year in the sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and Dwayne Johnson is taking DC to the next level in his big fall release Black Adam.

And another show with a dragon!  Seems like you can’t find a trailer this summer without one.  Thanks, Shazam!

Neither of these movies could look better, and these trailers have a lot of promise.  Can Shazam and Black Adam save the DCU?  Check out the trailers for Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of the Gods: Continue reading

 

Review by C.J. Bunce

Who knew Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars could feel like a blend of Doctor Who, Life on Mars, Quantum Leap, and the Skrulls and Black Order of Marvel Comics?  Dynamite’s new comic books series John Carter of Mars is, of course, very different from the 1911 original and subsequent novels, but this modern update is all high adventure, all fun.  Gone is the painted artwork of past graphic adaptations–this is clearly an effort to make the 111-year-old Civil War veteran accessible.  It works.  And where John Carter goes, Dejah Thoris is soon to follow.

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Back in 2017 we previewed a line of superheroines in Mattel’s longstanding, ongoing line of its famous Barbie dolls.  The first featured Wonder Woman characters from DC Comics, and two years later from over at Marvel Mattel released a line of X-Men figures featuring Mystique, Storm, and Dark Phoenix (there has been a Tomb Raider Barbie, too).  In 2018 Mattel rolled out the first 17 figures in an Inspiring Women role model series, but we think the latest Barbie celebrates the greatest superheroine of them all.  Recognizing decades of dedication, ground-breaking research, and heroic achievements as a conservationist, Mattel has revealed its next Inspiring Women Barbie: Dr. Jane Goodall–and she’s the first Barbie ever to be made from recycled materials (75%).

And it includes a lovely sculpt of her long-time friend David Greybeard.

You can order the set now here at Amazon or pre-order the set now here at Entertainment Earth.

But Dr. Goodall isn’t the only environmentalist and animal rights champion coming to Barbie.

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