Geekorama

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

S1E23 - What to Read While You Wait for WW 1984

July 16th, 2020

Geekorama is Produced by Superhero-Fiction.com
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For this week’s episode of Geekorama, we’re discussing what you can read to tide you over until Wonder Woman 1984 (hopefully) gets released in theaters.

Pop-Culture Trivia - 1965 Wonder Girl: Donna Troy

Originally there is a bit of confusion about this character because, in an effort to make Wonder Woman more palatable after the publication of Seduction of the Innocent, they did a series of Impossible Tales showing WW as a child who was called Wonder Girl. Then in a July 1961 WW comic, Wonder Girl is referred to as a separate person from Diana. The first time Wonder Girl appeared as a separate person from WW was in The Brave and the Bold #6. Commonly connected with Teen Titans, she is considered a founding member of the team. 

Her most iconic iteration has to be the George Perez and Marv Wolfman run on Teen Titans in the 1980’s. Donna has a SLEW of weird, retconned origins including: being a magically brought to life reflection of Diana so the young Princess had an age-appropriate playmate, a golem brought to life by Wally West’s incomplete memories of her from a previous iteration who is then forced to relive all her previous lives, resurrected by Titans of Myth so she can be exploited as an anomaly that existed prior to the Crisis. Recommended reading: Teen Titans by George Perez and Marv Wolfman.

GEEK OUTS

Trish - Warrior Nun! A great Netflix show that has an interesting approach to a female dominant cast. The acting is top notch. The topics get dark and there is plenty of humor. Netflix shoots itself in the foot with a tragically abrupt ending that is bound to be unresolved knowing how easily they cancel shows.

Jeremy - The perfect marriage of comics and graphic design can be found with HelloMuller. The designer who created the design behind Powers of X and House of X is nothing short of visual eye candy. The best part is, he has a long history with comics. To see more of his work (and an amazing video that punches you in the face) check out: https://hellomuller.com

 

Deep Dive - What to read while waiting for Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman #9 by George Perez - The Essential Wonder Woman Story

Wonder Woman #3, 5, 7, 8 - The Rebirth Storyline (involves some crazy plant gods!)

Max Lord: too convoluted and spread out over a bunch of cross over issues to give really good comics to read, basically here’s a quick rundown of the character: a successful businessman, he starts out as a very weak hero during the Crisis on Infinite Earths mega comics cross-over. Post Crisis he ends up putting together because the world needs heroes. It’s revealed later that he’s doing this for nefarious purposes and all hell breaks loose. He’s now, canonically, a villain. Portrayed in both Smallville and Supergirl, he makes his big-screen debut in WW 1984.

 

QotW: What do you hope to see in the WW 1984 movie?

 

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S1E22 - The Legacy of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine

July 9th, 2020

Geekorama is Produced by Superhero-Fiction.com

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For this week’s episode of Geekorama, we’re discussing the legacy of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, where it started, where it went, and what we hope for the future...

Pop-Culture Trivia-Green Lantern: Alan Scott

  • He was a railroad engineer who came into possession of a magic lantern that spoke to him and said it would bring power. From this, he crafted a magic ring which gave him a wide variety of powers. The limitations of the ring were that it had to be "charged" every 24 hours by touching it to the lantern for a time and that it could not directly affect objects made of wood. Alan Scott fought mostly ordinary human villains, but he did have a few paranormal ones such as the immortal Vandal Savage and the zombie Solomon Grundy.  He was part of the Justice Society of America, had his own comic as well as appeared in Comics Cavalcade and All-Star Comics. At the end of WWII Supers fell on hard times and his comic was canceled. He never again had his own title and later his character was revamped and renamed to Sentinel to avoid confusion with Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern.

GEEK OUTS

Trish - Lucifer!!! OMG gimme the fifth season NOW!

Jeremy - I’ve been obsessed with Jamin Winans’ soundtrack for the movie Ink. In my pursuit of indie movies I found this amazing low-budget film that relies on high concept and creative execution. With no money for SFX or music, Jamin Winan had to execute it himself. 

Check out the Trailer: https://youtu.be/ZBGeErufQdY 

Deep Dive - The X-Men’s First Wolverine

Trish’s fave Wolverine moments: XMen First Class “Go fuck yourself” and the rage he felt after Xavier was murdered in Logan.  Worst moment? The entirety of Days of Future Past.

Jeremy’s fave Wolverine moments: The ultimate Wolverine moment is in X-Men when he gives Cyclops the finger with the middle claw. How can you not love him from that moment on? Sorry Cyclops, you brought this on yourself. Worst moment? Can we pretend that Wolverine: Origins never happened? Please?

 

Confused about Wolverine’s timeline? You’re not alone, but this video might help.

 

QotW: What is YOUR favorite Hugh Jackman Wolverine moment or film?

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S1E21 - Superheroes As a Means of Propaganda

July 2nd, 2020

For this week’s episode of Geekorama, we’re discussing the role that propaganda has played in the history of superheroes.

Pop-Culture Trivia- Batwoman: Kathy Kane

  • July 1956 Batwoman aka Kathy Kane made her debut. Here’s a little trivia about this interesting addition to the Bat-family: There are really two different women who have worn the moniker of Batwoman, the first was Kathy Kane who was introduced as a potential love interest for Batman to help combat accusations that Batman was gay propaganda. In spite of the fact that she became quite popular with readers, in 1964 the character was shelved and Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl took over as the female counterpart to Batman. In 1977, thanks to pressure from fans, Batwoman was brought back to assist Batgirl with defeating Killer Moth and Cavalier. Soon after she was killed off by the Bronze Tiger. Finally, in 2011 she was returned to the original continuity of the comics, revealed to be Bruce’s aunt who fought crime by his side after she was widowed and that they had become lovers before it appeared she was killed off

GEEK OUTS

Trish - A Blade so Black by L.L. McKinney. It’s like Buffy and Alice in Wonderland had a baby. SO good, world-building that is vibrant but not overdone in exposition. A female protagonist that is three dimensional and avoids the ‘strong female character’ tropes. LOVED IT, going to buy the sequel.

Jeremy - I’ve been binging the latest season of the 100 on the CW. It marries some of my favorite things: regressed society with advanced technologies, tribalism, and a whole lot of bad decision making. It’s been a great show and really delved into the brutal nature of survival, however, the newest season is struggling. Really, you’re trying to work in a Back to the Future plot?

Deep Dive -Superheroes in the Propaganda Machine

In recent years we’ve heard the ongoing criticism, “Keep politics out of comic books,” and the people shouting that, you’re incredibly stupid and seem to forget that the very nature of comics is rooted in political propaganda. However, let’s start this dive into history with an English lesson:

Propaganda
noun

  1. : the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person

 

WWII (The Obvious Starting Point for Many of our Modern Heroes)

  • Superman - Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (both Jewish) met at Glenville High School in Cleveland Ohio and in March 1938, 
  • Captain America - Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby (both Jewish) through Timely Comics. While Simon created the identity of “Super American,” later changed to “Captain America”, 

Utilized in other forms of Propaganda

  • Wonder Woman - The engine of American ideology drives Wonder Woman, which is in the end a movie about violence...And so the surreality at the heart of American identity gets recycled, producing comic book movies to feed our least noble hungers. https://newrepublic.com/article/143100/wonder-woman-propaganda
  • Wonder Woman & Superman - In Deadly Legacy, DC joins forces with UNICEF to create a story line that specifically addresses “landmine awareness” for children. She along with Superman step outside their patriotic roots to delve into a much different message than national pride.
  • Green Arrow & Green Lantern (Drug Addiction) - Written by Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams, the story line focuses on the duo combatting muggers who are robbing to score money for drugs. Amongst them, Green Arrow’s sidekick and now heroin addict, Speedy. 

HIV/AIDS Awareness

  • Superman / Wonder Woman - The French organization AIDES created two images depicting Superman and Wonder Woman with AIDS and the caption of, “Protect Yourself.” 
  • X-Men - 1993 during X-Cutioner’s Song, Stryfe unleashes a virus that infects mutants at random. This runs parallel to the mounting worry surrounding HIV and comes to a culmination when it kills Illyana Rasputin on the page in Uncanny X-Men 303.

 

QotW: What superhero do you love who also has a problematic origin story?

 

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S1E20 - Snacking with Supers: A Foodies Guide to Superheroes

June 25th, 2020

For this week’s episode of Geekorama, we’re always thinking about superheroes. We’re also experts in the snack department, so of course, we have to combine our love of food and heroes. So today we’ll be talking about which food pairs with your favorite heroes.

Pop-Culture History - Summer Blockbuster Edition-the 10’s

  • 2010 Iron Man 2 Trivia: Tony Stark's car was supposed to be Iron Man red but in a very in-character move, RDJ insisted on driving the blue and white one. Scarlet Johansen dyed her hair red before she was offered the part because she wanted it so badly. She also trained for the six weeks leading up to filming as well as the entire six months of filming. 
  • 2019 Avengers End Game Trivia: RDJ was the ONLY  actor that read the entire script (whether due to overachiever OR the fact that everyone didn’t get a complete script), much of the dialogue about time travel was from actual quantum scientists, Evangelin Lilly and Paul Rudd filmed this and Ant-Man and the Wasp at the same time.

GEEK OUTS

Trish - Lucifer on Netflix. Only criticism (and it’s a big one) is that there are not enough people of color who are NOT antagonists.

Jeremy - R.I.P Ian Holmes. In tribute, I watched the first Alien (in 4K) and spent nearly the entire thing reading trivia about the story behind its creation. My love for H.R. Gieger persists.

Deep Dive - Superhero Personalities as...Snacks

We talked about twenty supers, but here’s a quick taste:

  • Wolverine
  • She-Hulk
  • Spiderman
  • Blade

To find out what their snack personalities are and to see the whole list, tune in!

QotW:  What snack will you be eating when you watch WandaVision?

 

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S1E19 - Superhero Battle Royale: Teams vs. Solos

June 18th, 2020

Today we are going to be pitting our favorite superhero teams and solo heroes against one another, and discussing the victors. But first, a little Pop Culture History.

POP CULTURE HISTORY - Summer Blockbuster Edition-the 00’s

  • 2000 X-Men is released and becomes one of the summers’ top blockbuster films. Trivia: Rebecca Romijn was isolated in a windowless room between takes to keep her look a secret, she endured nine hours of prosthetic makeup application to 60% of her body every day of filming, the contacts were so irritating to her eyes and limiting to her vision that she could only wear them an hour at a time before needing a break. She describes her experience filming this movie as “hell”. Bryan Singer rather infamously was angry that she couldn’t be “more naked” during filming (because he's a toxic douche bro).  Also: Hugh Jackman’s testicles got caught in his harness after jumping off the sets Statue of Liberty during filming. OUCH!

 

  • 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine is released and is one of the summer's blockbusters, (though no one knows why). Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds were disappointed with this film (you weren’t the only ones!) Reynolds got a second shot at playing Deadpool when the X-Universe was reset (thank god!) Hugh Jackman was offered the role of Tony Stark/Ironman and turned it down to do this film, so Robert Downey Jr. was cast instead. Magneto and Professor X were going to get origin story films but those were scrapped for X-Men First Class.

 

GEEK OUTS

Trish - I’m late to the party again and have just discovered Avatar the Last Airbender on Netflix. This show is so good! Complexe storytelling, funny, sweet with beautiful world-building.

Jeremy - I’ve been watching some award-winning indie films. The one I’d recommend is Starfish, an apocalyptic end of the world movie starring Virginia Gardner (who you might know as Karolina Dean from Marvel’s Runaways.) 

DEEP DIVE - Team-Up vs. Team-Up & Lone Wolf vs. Lone Wolf? 

Teams:

Guardians of the Galaxy vs. X-Men
Young Justice vs. Justice League
Avengers vs. Fantastic Four Surprise Win to Franklin Richards
A-Force vs Birds of Prey

Lone Wolves:

She-Hulk vs. Supergirl
Wonder Woman vs. Ms. Marvel
Black Widow vs. Batwoman
Emma Frost vs. Harley Quinn 

QotW: What superhero do you want us to pair up with a food that represents their personality? (Superman would totally be carrot sticks)

 

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S1E18 - What Makes a Great Villain?

June 11th, 2020

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This month in Pop-Culture History- Summer Blockbuster Edition 1990’s

 

  • 1993 Jurassic Park is the third highest-grossing film of the decade. The T. Rex occasionally malfunctioned, due to the rain. Producer Kathleen Kennedy recalls, "The T. Rex went into the heebie-jeebies sometimes. Scared the crap out of us. “
  • 1994 Forrest Gump is the fourth highest grossing film of the decade. Tom Hanks was not paid for the film and instead took percentage points which netted him 40 million dollars
  • 1997 Men In Black is the ninth highest grossing film of the decade. Vincent D’Onofrio researched bugs for his role, he wore knee braces and taped his ankles to get the iconic gait that he had. Also, Will Smith did not believe that Steven Spielberg was on the phone offering him the part.

 

Geek Outs!

Trish- Schitt’s Creek: frigging HILARIOUS!!! This show featuring a real life father and son team is both outlandish and humorous. It’s a feel good watch that keeps it light. This is a family you love to loathe.

Jeremy- To celebrate Pride Month, Jeremy is binging Queer Eye. It’s the perfect feel-good show that has plenty of moments that cause happy tears. It’s a great offset to rewatching every X-Men animated series ever made (he’s obsessive, he knows that he needs help.)

Deep Dive- What Makes a Great Villain?

Note: We want to include a trigger warning as one of the villains discussed has a horrific rape plot point.

It’s not enough to have an outstanding hero, there needs to be an antagonist that can truly stand out in the plot. We remember these duos long after we forget about plots. This is just as important in superhero novels, sometimes even more so since the villain must shine beyond their powers.

When a villain is executed poorly, we gravitate toward the other characters. We delve into the female villains who gain agency and command their sexuality. Then there is a lengthy discussion about villains designed to be hated versus villains with an almost redeemable quality. 

QotW: What hero would you want to be, and what hero would you most likely be?

S1E17 - What Makes a Good Superhero?

June 4th, 2020

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Trish- Still working on Fire and Ice, but seeing progress!

Jeremy - Finished the Eleanor Trilogy and has begun editing. But why focus on that, he’s already a quarter of the way into a futuristic sci-fi novel!

This month in Pop-Culture History- Summer Blockbuster Edition!

  • 1975 Jaws, one of the highest-grossing films of all time, was released. It is considered one of Hollywood's first true blockbuster films and is thought to be the birth of the Summer Blockbuster
  • 1981 Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark premiered. It is the fifth highest-grossing film of the decade and the highest-grossing film of 1981. 
  • 1982 E.T. is released. To this day it holds the record for most weekends spent at number one in the box office: 16. It is also the top-grossing film of the decade at $435 mil
  • 1989 Batman starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson premiered. It’s the fourth highest-grossing film of the decade. Actors considered for the role of Batman included: Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, Tom Selleck, Bill Murray, Harrison Ford, and Dennis Quaid. For the Joker: Tim Curry, David Bowie, John Lithgow, Ray Liota, and James Woods. Robin Williams is reported to have lobbied very hard for the part.

Geek Outs!

Trish- Hannah Gadsby, of Nannette fame, has a new comedy special called Douglas on Netflix. It is damn near perfect. 

Jeremy- On Saturday Jeremy watched the SpaceX launch, sending Bob and Doug into space. It was amazing to see the advances in technology both from the launch room to the spaceship itself. Jeremy will admit, the space suits were pretty epic sci-fi technology.

Deep Dive- What Makes a Good Superhero?

There are a lot of things that go into making a unique character, but there are some things that get emphasized when the hero has uncanny abilities. For this we decided to pick a couple of the traits we find interesting as readers. We found we loved a flawed hero who finds their moral compass sometimes sending them off course. We also love a hero who doesn’t always see things as black and white and walk a comfortable space in between right and wrong. Lastly, we delve into the duality of heroes and specifically heroes in juxtaposition with their abilities. Some Mentions: Wonder Woman, Squirrel Girl, Magneto, Colossus, Captain America, and Jessica Jones.

 

QotW: What hero would you want to be, and what hero would you most likely be?

S1E16 - Book Club: Soon I Will Be Invincible & Wonder Woman Odyssey

May 28th, 2020

Trish- Revising Fire and Ice and starting to write some short stories for subscribers. She may be starting to like writing some steamy scenes into her superhero stories!

Jeremy - Put “The End” on the Eleanor Valentine trilogy and now digging in to edit three books back-to-back.

This month in Pop-Culture History

  • 1980 Friday the 13th is released and becomes a major Box Office success. It was the first Indie film of this kind to secure this kind of distribution by a major studio.
  • Batman made his first appearance in comics. Co-created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger and published by DC Comics. The character made his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939).
  • 1993 Cheers ended after 11 seasons with a three-part feature-length send-off. It was watched by 80.4 million people; roughly the population of California, Texas, and NY combined. Fun Facts: Cheers was a complete flop it’s first season, the songwriters that created the Cheers theme also wrote the Punky Brewster theme, and the spin-off Frasier is one of the most successful television spin-offs of all time, lasting 11 seasons.

Geek Outs!

Trish- She-Ra and the Princess of Power One of the most inclusive w/o being cheesy, impressive reboots of a classic 80’s cartoon. The show is so different from the source material that it really can’t be compared. I bawled at the end of the final season.

Jeremy- Been reading the relaunch of the X-Men series after House of X and Powers of X. It’s well-drawn, but honestly, it’s already suffering from the same problem earlier X-Men books had, too much cross over and not enough distinct storylines. It’s worth checking out if you like the characters, but seeing Apocalypse as a good guy is a hard pill to swallow. Hopefully, we get a better clue where it’s going in the next six months.

Deep Dive Book Club

Trish’s Selection: Soon I Will Be Invincible
By Austin Grossman

DNF, not because I didn’t like it, but because I got obsessed with a Superhero Romance series and read four books in two and a half weeks! From what I read, I do very much recommend it if you want a different take on supers and villains. As a bonus, check out the Romance series that has captivated my attention here. 

5 stars out of 5

Jeremy’s Selection: Wonder Woman - Odyssey
By Michael Straczynski (Writer) & Don Kramer (Artist)

For the first foray into Princess Diana, it is an interesting premise. Meeting with an oracle found under a New York bridge, she learns that "what is is not what was." Something about history has changed and rewritten the plot to Wonder Woman. Her home was destroyed as a child and she was raised by Amazons on the run from modern day men. It takes an old story and makes it current and there is a ferocity in the justice Wonder Woman dispenses. It maintains her ethos, but she has no problem getting brutal. There is more blood than one would associate with the Princess. The first half of the plot is interesting and tells a nifty tale, but after that it spirals into a weird magical backstory that just feels as if it went off the rails. It might have gotten an extra half star except for the self congratulating blabbering about the redesigning of Wonder Woman's costume that sounds more like a bunch of dudes patting themselves on the back than actual redesign. With that being said, it's worth checking out for a new spin on an old classic.

4 stars out of 5

QotW:  What superhero and villain combo is your favorite?

Bonus Episode - The Origins of a Superhero

May 25th, 2020

Visit Superhero-Fiction for the Full Shownotes

The authors at Superhero-Fiction.com decided it was time to get together and hold a convention of our own. For five nights twenty authors go together to talk about the world of superheroes. We'll return to regularly scheduled episodes of Geekorama next week. Until then, enjoy these amazing panels.

The Origins of a Superhero

What makes a good superhero origin story? Adopted aliens, orphaned children, and teams assembled by a bald mentor, we’ve seen just about every origin story possible. What makes them compelling and leave us wanting to see them as they grow?

Featuring Authors:

Bonus Episode - Superheroes On Screen

May 24th, 2020

Visit Superhero-Fiction for the Full Shownotes

The authors at Superhero-Fiction.com decided it was time to get together and hold a convention of our own. For five nights twenty authors go together to talk about the world of superheroes. We'll return to regularly scheduled episodes of Geekorama next week. Until then, enjoy these amazing panels.

Superheroes On Screen

The world has exploded with superheroes. Whether it be on the big screen or the silver screen, heroes with super powers are everywhere. What has taken these comic book properties and made them so accessible to new audiences? What might the future hold for these stories?

Featuring Authors:

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