* Due to the economic struggles being experinced aorund the world and in the markets, I thought I’d bring some light-hearted humor to help ease you into the day. Below is a fictional conversation between two billionaires. The first two people to correctly identify our speakers will receive a free signed copy of my book. Enjoy.
Good to see you buddy, how long has it been?
Not sure, quite some time though. I saw you in the news the other day … nice suit.
Oh yeah, which one? The MK II, or the Mark III?
Couldn’t tell you, but it was bright, shiny, & red. Great way to get noticed … like you need the attention.
Look who’s talking, mister, I just pulled up in a Lamborghini. By the way, who was that super model by your side?
No way – you and the cat? You dog! How long?
I don’t know, been on and off for a number of years now. We’re just good friends.
Friends with benefits, am I right.
Grow-up. How about you? I thought I saw something about you and Danvers getting back together.
Yeah, she’s simply marvelous, full of energy, isn’t she? Nothing serious, but she does have her perks – gives new meaning to the mile high club, if you know what I mean.
I’m sure I don’t and there’s no need to explain yourself.
You’re loss. So where’s your little protégé, Robin was it?
He ventured off on his own, I’m going solo now.
No offense pal, but I think you’re better off. I never understood his need for stating the obvious under times of duress. Holy this and holy that. Must have driven you crazy.
A little annoying, yes.
By the way, who dressed that guy?
Personal choice, I suppose. A little too flashy for me.
Yeah, yeah, I know, all black, all the time. You might think of adding some color to your wardrobe. Nice tux by the way. You want a drink?
I don’t touch the stuff, and frankly, neither should you.
Hey, I don’t tell you what to do in that man cave of yours. Lord knows what you’re looking at on that computer, don’t judge. So how’s the portfolio?
Tell me about it, Europe is killing me. First the Greeks, then the Italians, these guys need to get their act together. The market’s up one day and then smacked down like a joker the next.
I thought you’d appreciate that. You still hanging with that Cub Scout, Clark?
Hey, he’s a pretty super guy, don’t bash him. Speaking of Cub Scouts, how’s that goody two-shoes all American doing?
Steve? He’s chilin. He’s trying to form some new club. He feels there’s a pressing need to avenge a lot of wrongs going on in this world. You hear about this occupy Wall Street?
How could I not? Protestors are squatting right next to my building. I wish I knew what they really wanted so we could end this thing and send everyone home. It’s looking more and more like a social gathering than a cause. It makes keeping the streets clean, well difficult … would it kill them to take a bath?
I hear ya pal. By the way, who’s getting your nod for the republican’s nomination? Let me guess … pizza man?
Ha, good one. No, the man can’t be trusted, too much baggage and a poor memory. Frankly, I don’t care much for the whole lot of them. Won’t matter though, I can’t see them winning anyhow.
I agree, party’s a mess.
By the way, you have anything to do with the withdrawal of our troops? If so, nice.
Well, I don’t like to take all the credit, but let’s face it, I did give them enemy number one on a silver platter. Pakistan, go figure.
Took them long enough.
Agreed. I always thought they should’ve just given me the assignment long ago. I mean who knows the area better than I do? Am I right? Any who, I got a thing. Good to catch up with you. Try and stay out of trouble.
Very funny, you do the same. Give my regards to Jarvis, good man.
Will do. Tell Alfred the same. And hey, if you see Diana, give her my number. She can lasso me in anytime. She’s wonderful.
Fat chance on that one. She likes the honest ones.
Well, you can’t blame a guy for trying. Hey look out there, I think you’re being paged.
No rest for the weary.
Amen brother, until next time.
Normally I’m not a fan of reboots, as you may have seen from a previous blog I wrote entitled, ‘Take Two’. Things don’t always work out for the best when you try and reproduce the original format. Take New Coke for example, ugh syrup in a can. How about the Netflix/Quickster experiment? Can you say down over $40 points in one day of trading? Hmm, alright, what about Charlie’s Angels? I think this may go down as one of the biggest bust reproductions in television history … excuse me, next to Night Rider that is. I think it’s safe to say that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and if it’s dead, leave it buried.
The latest example in the field of entertainment came in the form of DC comics when they decided to give a reboot to the entire super hero community. I’m not just talking Superman here, but the entire DC nation: Aquaman, Batman, The Green Lantern, even the entire Justice League received a touch of new paint. Was it worth the effort? Most definitely. I personally have always preferred the Marvel comic heroes to DC comics, but after this latest round of re-writes, I may be changing my tune. Time to pick it up Disney.
Is Superman still a boy scout? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you want to mess with him. Is Batman still a bad ass? You bet he is, and even more intimidating than before. Is Aguaman still a dork? Heck, they make fun of him in his own comics. Is it fun to see the group re-assemble to create the Justice League? Why yes, yes it is. Considering how old each series is and the fact that I never fully enjoyed the story from the beginning it was refreshing to get a new perspective on how these characters came to be. Granted, everyone saw the movies and knows the back-story, but the comics are so much better.
The best example I can give to try and compare the old from the new would be to use Batman as an example. This is probably DC’s most acclaimed character (sorry Superman). They’ve released shows, movies, books, video games, and of course comics to express his story. The new Batman character portrayed in the latest version of his comic book is much like that of the character in the new Arkham Asylum video game (awesome, in case you were wondering). If you’re not too familiar with the game and would prefer an actor comparison, it would be like comparing Christian Bale to Adam West. Kick-ass to campy.
Frankly, I gave up on the Batman series long ago. The story line lost its appeal and I thought they were really reaching for ideas. I never really bought into the Batman in outer space thing, even though I know it’s a huge part of the DC universe story line. The new series starts off back in gritty Gotham City where Batman is facing off against his number one nemesis, the Joker. If you thought the Joker was all fun and games, you couldn’t be more wrong. This villain is out right vicious. For once, Batman truly has a adversary worthy of battling. He ‘s giving it all he has and is still coming up on the short end.
DC, I applaud your effort. You took a major risk by trying to reboot your entire collection, but unlike Coke, and Netflix, you pulled it off. For those of you who enjoy the superhero genre, but feel you’re too old, or mature to read comics, give it a try. Go back to the good old days. You remember them … don’t you? The days in where you would roll out of bed at eleven on a Sunady morning, crack open the comic section, and have a nice bowl of Captain Crucnh cereal. Well, just flash forward thirty some odd years later and simply relax. You won’t be disappointed.
In the beginning …
Where would we, true believers of fantasy and sci-fi, be without the worlds we live in? Whether you’re talking about life on Middle Earth, Pandora, or Tatooine, each one of these wonderfully created planets help to take us away from the mundane and into the spectacular. Who among us didn’t imagine sharing a pint with the hobbits at The Prancing Pony, or joining Luke and Han in the Mos Eisley Cantina? I know I certainly have. The only difference was that when I was there, I was the dashing hero, getting drinks on the house, and turning down advances from all the ladies, err hobbits, and space aliens, but I digress. The point being, without the creation of these truly imaginative worlds, there would be no fantasy.
Imagine Harry Potter, not going to Hogswart, but to Harvard. Instead of taking a train departing from platform 9 ¾, he’d pull up to school in an old Volkswagen Beetle. Or imagine how you would feel if I told you that Batman didn’t drive the bat mobile and he didn’t have a secret bat cave. No, instead he drove a Hummer (he still is Batman after all) and his secret lair was a warehouse somewhere in Newark, New Jersey. Does this work for you? If so, you’re reading the wrong type of novels. It certainly doesn’t work for me. When I look to escape, I don’t want to see something that I can find right outside my window. I want to be taken to a world of mystery and explore the unknown.
One of the things that inspired me to write my novel, Mayhem’s Fountain, was being able to create a world of my own. Now granted, I kept my world on good old mother earth, but I placed my world undersea. Inspired by the master originator, Plato, I decided to tackle the mythical city of Atlantis itself. In creating my world, I wasn’t interested in trying to create some lost ancient civilization that perished ‘in a single day and night of misfortune’. No, I wanted to create a living, thriving civilization filled with mermaids and mermen that not only existed, but also dominated the seven seas. I devoted myself into taking you into the lives of the Atlanteans as they live and breathe, (yes, they breathe). I did my best to bring you into their world, to show you how it would feel to cross an Atlantean.
Who am I to take such liberties? Why, I’m just like you … a fan of the genre with a wild imagination. As a matter of fact, most of my stories originate from my dreams, and boy do I have some wild dreams. No, I’m not trying to imitate the great J. R.R. Tolkien, George R. R. Martin, or even J. K. Rowling, although I do admire them all greatly. I’ll be the first to admit that I was truly inspired by their work. That stated, I’m just another fan of the written word trying to do his best at capturing an audience that has an interest in the lost city. A tale, in my opinion that has been long overdue of a remake for quite some time.
Are you like me, always looking for that new, great superhero show that will capture and entertain you for seasons to come? If The Cape (NBC) is the best that television has to offer, then I suggest we keep looking. Why can’t television executives find a decent superhero program to air? Do they not understand their real audience? Is making a realistic superhero program too costly? Are good writers simply not available, or interested in writing these types of programs? Whatever the answer, fans of the comic book genre have been deeply disappointed with all the potential hits and misses that they’ve had to endure over the years.
Below, I’ve listed my Top 10 Superhero Programs that have aired on television since Batman entered the game in the late sixties. Although there have been numerous shows aired over this time frame, I’m only going to rate the shows I have actually viewed. My criteria are simple: either they had to be about a comic book superhero, or they must have possessed superhuman abilities. All cartoons were eliminated in this current ranking.
10 – The Cape (NBC): Here today, gone later today. David Lyons stars as Vince Faraday a.k.a., The Cape. Have you ever watched a show so bad that you simply viewed it for the cheese factor alone? If so, this was that show. Another way of putting it … have you ever watched something so bad that you wished it to end simply because you felt sorry for it? Again, this was that show. The show was so bad that it couldn’t even last one full season. The season finale apparently will be aired on the Internet, not television … enough said.
9 – Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (ABC): Starring Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher. The show did manage to last four seasons, running from 1993-1997, but if anyone viewed it in the hopes of finding some Superman action, they were in for a major disappointment. This show was based more on Clark Kent and his attraction toward Lois Lane than any kind of Superman adventure. Why they chose to go this route after all the hype surrounding the show was a bit of a mystery to me. When one reads a Superman comic, they certainly don’t read it for the adventures of Lois and Clark.
8 – Smallville (WB, CW): See above, only a younger version. Now in defense of this show, it is the longest running comic book based series, now in its 10th and final season. Tom Welling stars as a young Clark Kent. Unfortunately, for me at least, this show chose the motto: no tights, no flight. Good for them, bad for superman fans once again. One viewing of this show was more than enough for this die hard superhero fan to never watch it again. Enough Lois and Clark, we already had Lois and Clark. Now we have them with pimples. They’re lucky they even made this list.
7 – Wonder Woman (ABC): Starring Lynda Carter as the one and only Wonder Woman. The show only lasted 11 episodes back in 1976, but I guess when you’re competing against Charlie’s Angles, that’s a tall order. Don’t get me wrong, Lynda was easy on the eyes, but she was no Farrah. Who of us doesn’t remember those lightning fast, bulletproof wristbands, or her golden lasso of truth … good stuff. I wonder, if only she dated Clark Kent, she might have stood a better chance.
6 – The Six Million Dollar Man (ABC): Starring Lee Majors as Steve Austin. Ah, the bionic man. This one, although maybe not your typical superhero, was a lot like Iron Man to me. Who can forget that famous wah – wah -wah – wah – wah noise he made whenever he had to use his super human strength? I still hear it in my head right now. I’ll never forget how jealous I was of him when I heard he married Farrah (see above).
5 – The Tick (Fox): The non-animated show first aired back in 2001 and starred Puddy, er, Patrick Warburton, as the Tick. I personally loved the animated series and had a lot of high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, the program was never as funny as its animated partner and the show never really took off. I think most people thought Puddy, er, Patrick would have looked better dressed as Superman than a Tick. Hey, maybe he should have dated Lois … never mind.
4 – The Greatest American Hero (ABC): William Katt played Ralph Hinkley, a reluctant superhero that received his super powers from an alien suit he managed to lose the instructions to operate. The show aired back in 1981-1983, or 2 full season. I both loved and hated this show. As a kid I used to be teased for looking like this guy, which at first I didn’t understand. I thought it was pretty cool to look like a superhero. Then I found out how much of a buffoon he really was. I loved the theme song. Believe it or not … I bet your singing this song right now, aren’t you.
3 – The Incredible Hulk (CBS): Speaking of theme songs, who among us didn’t get depressed listening to the goodbye theme as you watched Bill Bixby hitching his way out of town after his counterpart, The Hulk, managed to destroy yet another happy home. Thanks Hulk, guess I gotta move on; yet again… and I was just getting comfortable. No one looked meaner in green than Lou Ferrigno. Never understood his anger issues though. Hulk, you’re the strongest man in the world, why so angry? “Ugh, Hulk have no game. Steroids damage man parts. Hulk only have purple pants, and ladies no like moldy green complexion. Hulk smash!”
2 – Heroes: (NBC): The program was created by Tim Kring and lasted a full four seasons running from 2006-2010. I tell you, this one had real promise. I thought they finally found a program that I could enjoy for some time. They had good guys worth rooting for, a bad guy you loved to hate, and a cheerleader. What went wrong? I’ll tell you what went wrong, season one eventually had to end and they ran out of good ideas. I think once they tried to introduce a multitude of new characters all at once the audience lost interest. You no longer got to root for the people you tuned in to watch in the first place. Season two had an interesting twist, but I was gone by season three. Frankly, if not for season three and four, this would have been number one on my list.
And now for my number one … drum roll please!
1 – Batman (ABC): Starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as his sidekick Robin. This show, although it only aired from 1966-1968 released 120 action packed episodes. Bap, Bam, Wham, this show had it all, action, comedy, suspense, what a wild ride. By far the best villains on any program ever released, Cat Woman (rrrr), The Riddler, The Penguin, The Joker, the list goes on and on. What about that Bat Mobile, coolest car ever. You want gadgets, what didn’t this guy have in that utility belt of his? Although I was too young to watch the show when it was first released, I do recall racing home from school just to watch the reruns. Man I wished I was Batman, he was the coolest superhero ever. I only have one question, why can’t you get this series on DVD?