Archive for the ‘In Actuality’ Category

Welcome to Day 9 of Jessica Jones Month! Time and time again, I’ve mentioned how Purple Man has the ability to control the minds of others and force them to do anything he wants. I’ll do a bio post on him eventually, but for now, I wanted to answer one specific question: can anyone resist the control of the Purple Man? Turns out, yes, a ton of people have resisted him over the years. The reason? Sheer force of will.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 7.59.05 PM

Image taken from Daredevil #4, via marvel.com

So who’s been able to best the control of Purple Man? For starters, his arch-nemesis Daredevil. During their first confrontation in 1964’s Daredevil #4, Daredevil found that he could ignore the villain’s commands, knocking him out instantly. However, this wouldn’t last; over the years, Purple Man’s power grew naturally, to the point where even Daredevil would fall to his will. However, Moon Knight was able to beat him this time around due to the use of ear plugs (a sound system, given to him by the Kingpin, boosted Purple Man’s voice, and therefore his power).

Speaking of the Kingpin, he too proved strong enough to resist the will of the Purple Man. During their first encounter, after Purple Man was brought to him, Kingpin was nearly coerced into committing suicide before shaking off the mind control. Afterwards, he set up the encounter between Purple Man, Daredevil, and Moon Knight as mentioned above.

Probably one of the most impressive feats of willpower comes from Victor von Doom. In the graphic novel Emperor Doom, the good doctor found Purple Man relaxing on a beach and kidnaped him, intending to use him in a plot to control the world. Before Doom activated the machine intended to boost his power, Purple Man claimed that even Doom would obey his commands if the armor weren’t in the way. Removing his mask, Doom stands inches away from Purple Man, and…does nothing. Shocked, Purple Man claimed that “No one has a will that strong!” before Doom calmly flipped the switch on his machine, enslaving the entire planet.

In the same story, Simon Williams, aka Wonder Man, also proved resistant to Purple Man. Thanks to his unusual metabolism (his body being made of pure ionic energy), Wonder Man helped those in the Avengers with the strongest wills, including Captain America, Iron Man, and the Wasp, to break free and take down Doom. This is despite the fact that Doom’s use of Purple Man’s power was actually beneficial for humanity (war was made obsolete, nuclear weapons were destroyed, and everyone lived happy lives). Thanks a lot Wonder Man.

Do you think you could beat Purple Man’s powers? Let me know, either in the comments below or with a tweet through that widget on the left. Better yet, like the Comic Books vs The World Facebook page, and subscribe to the official Youtube channel to keep up with all the latest on Comic Books vs The World. Keep coming back for more of Jessica Jones Month!

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Image taken from moviepilot.com

Welcome to Day 4 of Jessica Jones Month everyone! Remember when Alias, Marvel’s first title in the Marvel MAX series, was set to star Spider-Woman, aka Jessica Drew? Remember how Jessica Jones didn’t even exist until writer Brian Michael Bendis needed a much better replacement?

Back when Alias was first being thought up, Bendis originally had both a totally different story for the comic, as well as starring Jessica Drew because of her hair. Wait, what?

I was at one time toying with doing Jessica Drew because she has the best hair of any superhero in comics, but this book is entirely different than what that idea was to be.

-Brian Michael Bendis, Powers #11

Okay, so apparently he loves Spider-Woman’s hair. But that still doesn’t explain how different his first version of Alias was. Bendis does offer some clues though, claiming that the development process changed his Spider-Woman title into what we know today as Alias, and that Drew’s placement in said title was an “urban legend”. Supposedly, it wasn’t until he was a ways down the road developing the comic into something Marvel could sell, he had already created the Jessica Jones character, giving her her own personality and character growth arc.

Originally, Alias was going to star Jessica Drew, but it became something else entirely. Which is good, because had we used Jessica, it would have been off continuity and bad storytelling.

Think about this though: had he actually pushed for Spider-Woman to be in Alias, rather than making up a completely new character (who also has ties to pretty much everyone in the 616 universe), we definitely wouldn’t have seen Killgrave, aka Purple Man, at his worst. We wouldn’t have seen Luke Cage become a father, or have to track down a rogue Skrull after an alien invasion. All of this is, of course, not mentioning how we wouldn’t have had an unnecessary character shoehorned into the Ultimate Marvel universe either, but I think we would’ve thanked Bendis for that one.

What do you think about the twists in the development of Alias? Let me know, either in the comments below or with a tweet through that widget on the left. Better yet, like the Comic Books vs The World Facebook page, and subscribe to the official Youtube channel to keep up with all the latest on Comic Books vs The World. Keep coming back for more of Jessica Jones Month!

Warner Bros. and comic book publisher DC Comics are set to expand their shared universe (currently limited to a single film) with at least 11 new films over the course of the next five years. By now, we all know about Marvel Studios and their hugely successful lineup of shared universe films, including recent release Ant-Man. For the longest time, many people, fans and filmgoers alike, criticized DC for allegedly ripping off Marvel’s idea for their own gains.

However, did you know Marvel actually wasn’t the first between the two rival companies to attempt a crossover between their superhero characters on film? Actually, that honor goes to DC Comics, who tried for years to have previously unseen characters share the silver screen with those who have already had a successful run at the box office.

Believe it or not, Warner Bros. previously tried at least three times to get a cinematic universe off the ground, each time failing until 2013’s Man of Steel. The first attempt started in the late 1990s, with the then upcoming film Superman Lives. Written by Kevin Smith and to be directed by Tim Burton, the film was supposed to crossover with Burton’s Batman franchise by featuring a cameo by Michael Keaton’s version of Batman, as well as a reference to the alien world of Thanagar through the inclusion of a “Thanagarian Snare Beast” (aka a giant spider). However, due to the film’s script being a pile of garbage (no fault on Kevin Smith’s part, since, as he’s explained, it was due to “studio interference” that led to the overly goofy script), Superman Lives was shelved.

The next attempt was with 2006’s Superman Returns, starring Brandon Routh. By this point in time, Christopher Nolan’s largely successful Batman Begins film had already been released, leading Warner Bros. and DC Comics to begin building connections for a crossover at some point down the line. In Superman Returns, as the camera pans across newscasts discussing Superman’s return to Metropolis and taking on all criminal acts throughout the city, one anchor specifically mentions Gotham City, home of the Batman. However, these plans were eventually scrapped when Superman Returns proved to be unpopular with moviegoers, leaving Batman to continue on as a solo franchise.

The third time involved the Ryan Reynold’s 2011 disaster Green Lantern. Before the film was released, Warner Bros. hired writers to draft a sequel, as many studios do. However, the studio and writers confirmed that Green Lantern, should it have performed well, would have been the start to a cinematic universe. It is unknown what would have happened though, since the film turned out to be terrible, and nothing else happened with it. Even so, it’s fun to think that Ryan Reynolds could have shared the screen with Brandon Routh and Christian Bale if everything worked out.

I realize I skipped past a number of scripts while making this list, including Superman: Flyby, the first Batman vs Superman, and 2007’s Justice League, but keep in mind, I was looking for spin off films that would lead into a full blown cinematic universe. Still, if you have a favorite DC film crossover, whether it’s long canceled, heavily rumored, or even on this list, let me know either in the comments below or with a tweet through that widget on the left. Better yet, like the Comic Books vs The World Facebook page, and subscribe to the official Youtube channel to keep up with all the latest on Comic Books vs The World.

Image taken from marvel.com

For years, comic book fans have argued and counter-argued about statistics and feats their favorite heroes and villains have been, and are currently, capable of. Case in point, Thor’s mystical hammer Mjolnir. There’s been a number of misconceptions, thanks to movies and misguided attempts at describing the hammer in a real life sense, that have led fans into believing that, among other things, anyone superhumanly strong can lift the hammer and that the hammer is unbelievably heavy (thereby requiring the superhuman strength).

Truth is though, neither of those things are the case. In this first “In Actuality” post, let’s take a look at exactly what it takes to wield the hammer of Thor, the god of thunder.

You Have to be Strong?

No way. Many people of varying strength levels have lifted Thor’s hammer before, and I’m sure even more lower strength level people will lift it in the future.

In actuality, the hammer carries an enchantment on it by Thor’s father Odin, which is stated as:

Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of … Thor.

The misconception stems from the “heavy” myth (discussed below) and scenes like this one from Ultimate Avengers, where Hulk is able to lift the hammer after a slight period of intense struggling. While admittedly a cool scene, it makes no sense, due to Bruce Banner’s alternate form not actually being considered worthy after the beliefs and numerous actions against humanity the Hulk has undergone.

This is partially referenced in the animated film, as seen with Hulk struggling to pick up the weapon. But with the way the scene plays out, it actually looks like the writers of the film thought –

It’s Too Heavy!

Image taken from news.ncsu.edu

Not true. In fact, the hammer actually only weighs 42.5 pounds. No, seriously. Mjolnir’s true weight can actually be seen on the back of a trading card from the 1990s.

This misconception about Thor’s mystical hammer weighing too much comes from modern day sources like Death Battle and Neil deGrasse Tyson, both of which describe Mjolnir as weighing over 1 billion tons.

Even without the proper evidence, we can see that this isn’t true. How could characters like Captain America or Black Widow (both of whom have been shown to pick up the hammer in the comics when necessary) even remotely move Mjolnir if it weighed that much? Should you want a modern visual, feel free to use this clip from the Age of Ultron movie, which is clearly taking reference from the hammer’s proper enchantment background, rather than the incorrect “it’s too heavy” point of view.

Thor v Celestial

Celestial example #1

Funny enough, both of these sources also make the same error in creating their calculations. Thor’s hammer was never forged from a dying star (or neutron star matter), as many misquotes would have you believe. Actually, the hammer was forged in a dying star, killing the dinosaurs on Earth in the process, as seen in issue #80 of Thor vol 2.

The hammer is actually made up of a fictional metal called ‘Uru’, which, despite being lighter than aluminum, can crack open Celestial armor (for your consideration, this is something so tough it withstood all of the forces of Asgard without a scratch).

Speaking of tough, I actually found an interview with Suveen Mathaudhu, a NC State professor and a fellow comic book enthusiast. Along with the above “lighter than aluminum” calculation, he also presented a theory about the Uru metal being something along the lines of “metallic hydrogen”, giving the material both great power and a super light weight. You can read more of Mathaudhu’s thoughts here.

Thor v Celestial 2

Celestial example #2 (same issue as before)

All in all, it takes more than being really strong to lift the hammer of Thor. But what did you think? Was this an eye opener? Or did you know most of this off the top of your head already? Don’t forget to leave a comment below, follow me on Twitter, and also check out the Comic Books vs The World Youtube channel.