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National Post

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Cultural Lessons of 2013: Thor is the new SupermanThor smiles; naturally, even. The new Superman smiles with sad eyes, like it’s a bone thrown to the audience to let them know that this isn’t just a flying Batman. Thor battles the bad guys with a sense of fun, even though, and here’s the interesting part, he’s a warrior who surely kills people. So, do I have a double standard here? Why is it OK for fictional alien do-gooder No. 1 to kill people and not the other guy? Well, it’s all in the execution, so to speak. Superman unleashed holy hell in a dark, painfully contrived, no-win scenario, culminating in a disturbing snapping of a person’s neck. Thor threw his super-hammer at a rock monster in a daylight battle, smashing it to pieces, and then delivering a fun quip. Did that rock monster have a rock family? A little rock monster at home, wondering where rock daddy is? I don’t know. Who cares? It was gleeful and ludicrous and unreal, like a comic book. Bloodless and bright: natpo.st/1f0nkYS
[Illustration by Steve Murray]

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Cultural Lessons of 2013: Thor is the new Superman

Thor smiles; naturally, even. The new Superman smiles with sad eyes, like it’s a bone thrown to the audience to let them know that this isn’t just a flying Batman. Thor battles the bad guys with a sense of fun, even though, and here’s the interesting part, he’s a warrior who surely kills people. So, do I have a double standard here? Why is it OK for fictional alien do-gooder No. 1 to kill people and not the other guy? Well, it’s all in the execution, so to speak. Superman unleashed holy hell in a dark, painfully contrived, no-win scenario, culminating in a disturbing snapping of a person’s neck. Thor threw his super-hammer at a rock monster in a daylight battle, smashing it to pieces, and then delivering a fun quip. Did that rock monster have a rock family? A little rock monster at home, wondering where rock daddy is? I don’t know. Who cares? It was gleeful and ludicrous and unreal, like a comic book. Bloodless and bright: natpo.st/1f0nkYS

[Illustration by Steve Murray]

nationalpostphotos:

Batman joins protests in Rio — A protester (R) is dressed as Batman while standing at the Lapa arches on October 31, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Protesters called for an end to police violence and corruption and voiced demands for better public services. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

nationalpostphotos:

Batman joins protests in Rio — A protester (R) is dressed as Batman while standing at the Lapa arches on October 31, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Protesters called for an end to police violence and corruption and voiced demands for better public services. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Tagged with:  #news  #Rio de Janeiro  #Batman  #superheroes

postarcadenp:

Scribblenauts Unmasked combines comics, words and players’ imaginations

By Chad Sapieha

http://bit.ly/18UDkUI

It may seem strange, but Nintendo Co. Ltd.’s still new-feeling Wii U – which hit shelves less than a year ago – has now been around long enough to host sequels to its launch titles.

Among the first of these is Scibblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure, follow-up to the imaginative 2D adventure Scibblenauts Unlimited, one of the stand-out games gobbled up by the system’s early adopters last November.

Truth be told, though, it doesn’t really feel like a sequel so much as an expansion.

nationalpostphotos:

Super-Loonie — The Royal Canadian Mint in Toronto, Ontario has released seven new coins to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the worlds most celebrated Super Hero, Superman.  Co-created by Canadian Joe Shuster and his American collaborator Jerry Siegel, the Man of Steel is now honored on collector coins which were unveiled on September 9, 2013 at Torontos Yonge-Dundas Square by Canadas Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Mr. Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. The generations of young people who grew up reading Superman comics may not have fully appreciated the story behind them, said Minister Alexander.  Our government celebrates Canadas history and heritage and the very values and strengths that Superman embodies. ROYAL CANADIAN MINT-HO/AFP/Getty Images

postarcadenp:

Haven’t you ever wanted to be the President. With super powers? Fighting aliens? Of course you have. 

That’s why Daniel Kaszor thinks you’re going to love Saints Row IV. 

http://bit.ly/14LA9Sl

Here’s a taste from his review:

It isn’t that Saints Row is silly, it’s just that the entire world, the entire universe, centres around the wants and desires of you as the player.

Of course, most games at least try to be like this. After all, the world of the game exists for your enjoyment. However, in the world of Saints Row, and in Saints Row IVespecially, the entire fiction is reflexively aware of this fact.

It makes sense in this world that you’re the President because wouldn’t it be badass if you were the President?

It makes sense that you get superpowers, because wouldn’t it be cool if you had superpowers?

It makes sense that cult-movie legend Keith David (playing himself) is your vice-president because wouldn’t it be absolutely perfect if cult-movie legend Keith David (playing himself) was your vice-president?

This singular focus on giving you awesome moments manifests itself in a few ways: the first is that the story warps itself to fit your id. And it seems to have an almost preternatural sense for what would be the most cheesily appropriate garnish to whatever you’re doing, be it a perfectly timed musical nod to Armageddon, a “dubstep gun” that charges up but doesn’t fire until the drop, or an entire radio station DJ’d by Riff-Raff.

How superheroes saveWe asked a comic book expert, a financial planner and a senior wealth management advisor to look at how superheroes and villains rank in the financial literacy department.Click thorough for the details.

How superheroes save
We asked a comic book expert, a financial planner and a senior wealth management advisor to look at how superheroes and villains rank in the financial literacy department.
Click thorough for the details.

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First-ever Superman comic sells for record $2.16-millionA copy of the first issue of Action Comics, in which Superman was unveiled to the world, has sold in an online auction for a record US$2.16-million. It cost 10 cents when it was published in 1938.The comic, featuring a picture of the “Man of Steel” lifting a car above his head as people around him flee, had been valued at just over US$1-million by auction site ComicConnect.com.

nparts:

First-ever Superman comic sells for record $2.16-million
A copy of the first issue of Action Comics, in which Superman was unveiled to the world, has sold in an online auction for a record US$2.16-million. It cost 10 cents when it was published in 1938.

The comic, featuring a picture of the “Man of Steel” lifting a car above his head as people around him flee, had been valued at just over US$1-million by auction site ComicConnect.com.

Margaret Atwood: How a love of comics started a love of reading I learned to read early so I could read the comic strips because nobody else would take the time to read them out loud to me. The newspaper comics pages were called, then, the funny papers, although a lot of the strips were not funny but highly dramatic, like Terry and the Pirates, which featured a femme fatale called “The Dragon Lady” who used an amazingly long cigarette holder, or oddly surreal, like Little Orphan Annie — where were her eyes? The funny papers raised many questions in my young mind, some of which remain unanswered to this day. What exactly happened when Mandrake the Magician “gestured hypnotically”? Why did the Princess Snowflower character go around with a cauliflower on either ear?Where did we kids discover the knowledge of flying capes, superpowers, other planets, and the like? In part, through the primitive comic-strip superheroes of the times, the most popular of which were Flash Gordon, for space travel and robots; Superman and Captain Marvel, for extra strength, superpowers, and cape-based flying; and Batman, who was a mortal, with a non-functional cape — one that must have encumbered him somewhat as he clawed his way up the sides of buildings — but who nonetheless shared with Captain Marvel and Superman a weak or fatuous second identity that acted as a disguise. (Captain Marvel was Billy Batson, the crippled newsboy; Superman was Clark Kent, the bespectacled reporter; Batman was Bruce Wayne, the very rich playboy who lounged around in a smoking jacket.)Excerpt from In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination Copyright © 2011 by O.W. Toad Ltd. Published by Signal, imprint of McClelland & Stewart Ltd. (Photo: (Tyler Anderson/National Post)Related:Margaret Atwood: The stories we tellBook Review: In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood: How a love of comics started a love of reading
I learned to read early so I could read the comic strips because nobody else would take the time to read them out loud to me. The newspaper comics pages were called, then, the funny papers, although a lot of the strips were not funny but highly dramatic, like Terry and the Pirates, which featured a femme fatale called “The Dragon Lady” who used an amazingly long cigarette holder, or oddly surreal, like Little Orphan Annie — where were her eyes? The funny papers raised many questions in my young mind, some of which remain unanswered to this day. What exactly happened when Mandrake the Magician “gestured hypnotically”? Why did the Princess Snowflower character go around with a cauliflower on either ear?

Where did we kids discover the knowledge of flying capes, superpowers, other planets, and the like? In part, through the primitive comic-strip superheroes of the times, the most popular of which were Flash Gordon, for space travel and robots; Superman and Captain Marvel, for extra strength, superpowers, and cape-based flying; and Batman, who was a mortal, with a non-functional cape — one that must have encumbered him somewhat as he clawed his way up the sides of buildings — but who nonetheless shared with Captain Marvel and Superman a weak or fatuous second identity that acted as a disguise. (Captain Marvel was Billy Batson, the crippled newsboy; Superman was Clark Kent, the bespectacled reporter; Batman was Bruce Wayne, the very rich playboy who lounged around in a smoking jacket.)

Excerpt from In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination Copyright © 2011 by O.W. Toad Ltd. Published by Signal, imprint of McClelland & Stewart Ltd. (Photo: (Tyler Anderson/National Post)

Related:
Margaret Atwood: The stories we tell
Book Review: In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, by Margaret Atwood

Put a ring on it In the new movie Green Lantern, Hal Jordan is the only human to wield a power ring. In the comics however, rings are a little easier to come by. Click through for the interactive version.

Put a ring on it
In the new movie Green Lantern, Hal Jordan is the only human to wield a power ring. In the comics however, rings are a little easier to come by. Click through for the interactive version.