From Superhero-Fiction
Authors Trish Heinrich and Jeremy Flagg Geek Out Over Superhero Pop Culture

S1E04 - Book Club: April Daniel’s Dreadnought & Chris Claremont’s X-Men: The End

February 27th, 2020

Trish is attempting to survive with two girls home from school this week and a flu that won’t go away.

Jeremy is working on a superhero romance for an anthology. He’s going to attempt writing in some steamy scenes even if it makes him blush.

This month in Pop-Culture History

  • 1940 the radio show The Adventures of Superman first premiered
  • 1960 The Justice League first premiered in The Brave and the Bold #28, written by Gardner Fox
  • Wayne’s World premiered in theaters in 1992 and became the 8th highest-grossing film of the year, and is the highest-grossing film based off of a skit from SNL (Saturday Night Live)

Geek Outs: The Book Club Edition!

Trish's Geek Out!

This month I read Dreadnought by April Daniels

It’s the story of a Trans girl who comes in contact with the hero Dreadnought in the moments of his death and she receives his powers. Her gender identity has been a secret until Dreadnought’s powers transform her into the ideal version of herself, and she suddenly has the body of a sixteen-year-old female. She is then faced with the responsibility of being a teenager with all the incredible powers of one of the worlds’ most famous heroes, along with the transmisogyny of her father, the unwanted advances of her best friend and discrimination from a terf in the city’s superhero team. This is an incredible coming of age superhero story with some of the usual tropes that don’t feel dusty or worn out. The scenes of discrimination and transmisogyny were hard to read at times because it was so real, you could tell that the author has been there. Ultimately, this is a story about living as your authentic self no matter what and finding fulfillment by doing so. And, it’s just a really good superhero story.

I give it five out of five stars. 

Jeremy's Geek Out!

This month I read X-Men: The End by Chris Claremont & Sean Chen

The End is Claremont’s farewell to the franchise and and characters he brought into the limelight. The X-Men have aged and we’re seeing their legacy play out. Bishop and Deathbird’s daughter liberates one of the most iconic characters, Jean Grey. The rise of the Phoenix (a story line originating in Claremont’s Phoenix Saga) forces the Shi’ar to unleash the War Skrulls, who attempt to exterminate the X-Men and nearly succeed. We watch beloved characters sacrifice themselves in moments of emotional heroism. Plot points from the Dark Phoenix Saga, Inferno, and the Mutant Massacre weave together beautifully to give us the closure Marvel denied its fans. It’s a brutal goodbye, while unfilled questions set up in the 80’s and 90’s are finally answered. Ultimately, if this were the final arc for the X-Men, it’d be tough, but I would say it couldn’t have unfolded any other way.

I give it five out of five stars.

Want to Join our Book & Comic Review for March:  

Trish Reviews

Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor. Available on Amazon

Jeremy Reviews

Daredevil: The Man Without Fear by Frank Miller & John Romita Jr. Available on Amazon

S1E03 - Black Heroes, Scotland’s Champion, and Birds of Prey

February 20th, 2020

Trish is continuing to work on healing her knee pain so she can get back to training for a 5k, something she’s been wanting to do for years now. 

Jeremy is working on a pitch proposal for a non-fiction book catered toward authors and how to make websites more effective selling tools. Taking twenty years of website design he’s hoping to help authors discover how to spend their time more effectively and do away with wasted efforts.

This month in Pop-Culture History

  • MASH aired its last episode, a two-hour special watched by a record 77% of the TV viewing population
  • Laura Kinney aka X-23 snikt onto the scene in 2004
  • Nina Simone, an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist, was born on the 21st. Her music spanned a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.

Geek Outs 

Trish's Geek Out!

Super Black by Adilifu Nama is a book about black superheroes. It places their appearance alongside broad and sweeping cultural trends in politics and pop culture. It’s definitely a scholarly work but not so dense that it can’t be enjoyed. Examining Black Panther, Black Lightning, Storm, Luke Cage, Blade, the Falcon, Nubia, and others, the book explores how powerful black superheroes are as a source of racial meaning, narrative, and imagination while also talking about them in the broader context of racial assumptions, politics, and black identity.

Buy Super Black on Amazon

Jeremy's Geek Out!

Saltire. Created by Diamond Steel Comics, Saltire is a hero born from Scottish origins. Focusing on Caledonian folklore and myths, creator John Ferguson and illustrator Claire Roe bring to life the spirit of Scotland. A peaceful land is being disturbed by inhuman legends and a growing power to the South and the clans must come together to create a being powerful enough to protect the land. Saltire is born. It takes the superhero dynamic and molds it into the mythos of a people and does an outstanding job representing Scotland and its people. The artwork is beautiful, alluring and the story weaves itself into history in a way that makes it a page turner.

Watch the Trailer for Saltire: Legend Eternal

Buy the Comic on Amazon

Deep Dive (Spoiler Alert)

Birds of Prey (And The Fabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

 “...the first superhero movie both written and directed solely by women, as well as the first modern R-rated superhero flick since Tank Girl.”

What makes this movie so much fun? Women. Trish and Jeremy gush about how much they love the crazy over the top action. However, the thing they both agree on is the outstanding storyline that ties the five women together. There is some great conversation about differing views of the Bechtel Test. 

Their fights aren’t about “wow look at me, I’m a girl taking charge of this situation, please give our corporate sponsors credit for this,” but rather, just women fighting to survive... these women are not just powerful, but they also care...Female empowerment doesn’t have to be an in-your-face moment but rather is in the subtlety of female strength.” - The Mary Sue

Question of the Week:  

What superhero are you tired of seeing on the screen and who would you like to see instead?


S1E02 - Becoming Sith, Children Superheroes, and Break Apart the Sky

February 13th, 2020

Trish is trying to juggle her daughters’ insane extracurricular schedules of dance classes, voice lessons and play practices while making a dent in Heroes of High Tide book two.

Jeremy saw the first pages of his comic. It’s called “I Am the First” and features a gay lead growing up in northern Maine and explores the trauma derived from being different in a small town. When will it be done? It’ll be a while, but they’re making progress.

This Month in Pop-Culture History

  • In 1940 Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Oscar for her performance in Gone With The Wind
  • 2018 Ryan Coogler’s film adaptation of Black Panther marks the first time a female cinematographer was hired for a film with this size of a budget. 
  • Levar Burton is born on February 16th. Burton is famous for his roles as Kunta Kinte on the miniseries Roots (his first acting role), Geordi La Forge on Star Trek The Next Generation and for producing the beloved show Reading Rainbow, one of the most successful PBS shows of all time.

For deeper dives into black superheroes you can read these articles:

Geek Outs 

Trish's Geek Out!

I am geeking out about the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic or SWTOR as it’s lovingly called.  I LOVE video games and since my girls monopolize our Nintendo Switch, I tend to play more online MMO’s. I love the role play aspects and the fact that you accumulate a crew as you adventure in the galaxy. Each NPC you encounter is an actual conversation where you have to make choices in how you interact. Each choice has consequences for your light or dark side points and your influence with your companion. There are class-specific storylines that you follow as well as world quests, daily quests, heroics, flashpoints (aka dungeons) PVP and so much more! I could create one character for every class, and have a dozen or so completely different gameplay experiences due to the class storylines ALONE. If you want to check it out, there is a free to play option, it is limiting in terms of the bells and whistles of the game, but gives you a good idea of the core mechanics and gameplay. You can also check out Swtorista, a YouTuber who is THE person to check out for anything and everything about the game. Her videos will give you a good idea of what’s involved. 

Download and Play Free

Check out Swtorista’s YouTube Channel


Jeremy's Geek Out!

Raising Dion is a superhero show that defies the typical superhero action themes. In a nutshell, the series follows single mom, Nicole and son Dion, a typical story until her son starts to exhibit powers. The best part of the show, the powers are secondary to the family storyline. Alisha Wainright does an amazing job of not only playing the mom, but also a woman navigating life after the death of her husband. Ja’Siah Young does an outstanding job, not only as a young kid trying to navigate the complexities of life, but add some superpowers and now he has a whole new list of problems. This series proves that not all superheroes need to have big budgets or over-the-top battle scenes. The best part, Netflix received Jeremy’s emails and they’ve renewed it for a second season!

Deep Dive (Spoiler Alert)

Fast Color

We are used to large, loud, epic stories when people have powers, not quiet, small stories with depth. This is a sparse, simple story about three generations of women that is felt very deeply. 

The world is running low on water and it’s stopped raining. Other than this fact, the movie focuses on Ruth trying to find her way back into her mother and daughter’s life. There is a sense of betrayal, of longing and most of all, a bit of worry about being rejected by the ones you love. There are amazing moments that really emphasize the emotion that has been missing in many stories lately. While not a huge box office hit, it has enough popularity that Amazon is moving forward with a series. Will it answer the cliffhanger at the end of the movie? We can only hope the stories answers some big questions while still focusing on the characters.

Question of the Week:  

What non-big-budget and non-action superhero film or series would you recommend?

S1E01 - Murder Mysteries, Starfleet Admirals, and Crisis on Infinite Earths

February 6th, 2020

Trish is working on the release of the first book of her new series, The Heroes of High Tide, as well as making a dent in writing the second book of the series. All while juggling her daughters’ insane dance class schedules!

Jeremy is working on the prequel trilogy to his first series in the Children of Nostradamus Universe. He is also collaborating with Amanda Kahl (author of Age of Night) on his first comic book.

This month in Pop-Culture History

  • The first issue of Batman Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli hit the shelves in 1987
  • In 1997 the Simpsons made history by surpassing the Flintstones as the longest-running animated show on TV
  • Deadpool the Merc with a Mouth, celebrates his birthday.

Geek Outs 

Trish's Geek Out!

Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries: This show is the swanky, sexy cousin of Agatha Christie. Miss Fisher is a rich socialite living in Australia post WWI and is a licensed PI who solves murders. The supporting characters are three dimensional and interesting in their own rights with character arcs that make you almost wish a few of them had their own show. Miss Fisher is sexy, smart and adventurous, with a traumatic past that has left her strong and sympathetic to those weaker than her. It’s actually refreshing to meet a heroine who has suffered great loss and abuse and has risen to the top without shame about those scars. The slow burn romance between her and the inspector is one of the most delicious things I’ve seen in a long time. I dare anyone to watch and not swoon over Inspector Jack and his hound dog eyes and gravely, dry humor. These two better get together at the end of all this!

A movie is coming out this year as a kind of season four and looks like it should continue the fun, danger, romance and mystery this show has been known for.

Check out the Season one Trailer

Jeremy's Geek Out!

Picard. The Star Trek decades in the making and the series geeks have been screaming for. Sir Patrick Stewart reprises his role as Jean Luc Picard, but twenty years after The Next Generation. Not all is well in Star Fleet as a near catastrophic event threatens to wipe out the Romulans. The backstory is beautifully woven into our reintroduction to Picard, a former admiral. But what is the actual story? With a ban on synthetics, we discover there is a new form of artificial intelligence, the daughter of our beloved Data. 

The series promises an empire level look at the status of Star Fleet and their allies and even foes. But ultimately, Picard’s duty to do right in the face of impossible odds will be the driving force. For those former Star Trek fans, we’ve already had one cameo, and by the looks of it, this will be the show that brings the all stars back together. 

Picard releases on Thursdays on the CBS app. However if you hurry, you can watch the first episode on YouTube.


Deep Dive (Spoiler Alert)

The Crisis on Infinite Earths Crossover and the end of Arrow

The end of an era has wrapped up. The show that started the DC / CW craze, Arrow ended in a five episode crossover event. While it’s a bitter sweet ending and Trish mourns the death of Oliver Queen, the overarching reaction is a resounding “meh.” Sloppy writing is coated over with fan service as the CW brings in nearly every incarnation of previous superhero shows including Lucifer, Smallville, animated voice actors, Brandon Routh’s Superman and the Flash. The ultimate surprise however was the connection to DCU’s cinematic universe as the Justice League’s Flash had a brief cameo possibly connecting the two. Despite the jagged plot, poor use of characters, it did allow for a unifying of all CW shows into a singular universe and a soft reboot of the Flash and Supergirl (shows threatening to go stale.) So where does it leave us? Hopeful.

Question of the Week

If you could have any superhero brought to television and done well, who would it be?

Geekorama Teaser

February 1st, 2020

Authors Trish Heinrich & Jeremy Flagg promote their upcoming podcast, Geekorama. Subscribe now to get weekly podcasts about superheroes, pop culture and geekery.

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