Q: Has there ever been a more notable or successful reinvention of a villain than the transition from Mr. Zero to Mister Freeze? -- @spacetimeboss
A: Friend, you are not kidding about Mr. Freeze. As much as heroes and villains change over the years, and as much as they have to change to stay relevant as hundreds of creators work on their ongoing stories, I honestly don't know if there's any bad guy who made a change that dramatic, both in terms of theme and quality. He goes from being a one-note crook with an ice gun to one of the most compelling and tragic figures in Batman's entire Rogues Gallery. I'd even go as far as saying that aside from Two-Face, he's the easiest of the major villains to sympathize with --- and he probably works in a whole lot more stories besides.
Many of comics’ most popular heroes have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.
With this feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most beloved characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at the best Catwoman comics.
You might not realize it, but we're currently living in a Golden Age of licensed crossovers. I mean, really, you can go out right now and pick up a comic about the Ninja Turtles hanging out with the Ghostbusters and it'll be a rewarding experience that ties in logically to both ongoing series about those characters, and when you really think about it, that's mind-blowing. There was, after all, a time not too long ago when the big boom brought us a new installment of Such-and-Such vs. So-and-So almost every month, and getting excited for any of them was almost always a recipe for disappointment.
Except, that is, for the time Frank Miller and Walter Simonson decided to do a book about RoboCop fighting the Terminator and gave us the greatest crossover of all time.
Starting this fall in the Marvel comic book universe, Spider-Man will be a half-black, half-Latino teenager. Starring in the character’s flagship series by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli, Miles Morales has given a new generation of comic book readers a superhero that reflects our diverse culture. But fans also learned recently that the newest iteration of the web-slinger on the big screen will once again be Peter Parker, as British actor Tom Holland, the third white actor to play the character since 2002, was announced as the new Spidey.
The success of Jurassic World means that superhero movies are over! Forever! Why, we wouldn't be surprised if Fantastic Four and Ant-Man went straight to DVD and studios pulled the plug on the dozens of superhero movies already in production. Dinosaurs are the new superheroes, and in the future we expect all big-budget, would-be blockbuster films to be dinosaur movies.
Does this mean that comic books and graphic novels will lose their coveted place as the breeding ground for Hollywood's favorite source material? Not at all; there are plenty of dinosaur comics, ripe for film adaptation. Let's take a look at some of the more popular ones, and how likely it is that they may be coming to a theater near you... instead of Wonder Woman, Doctor Strange, or Justice League.
Airboy is a four-issue miniseries written by James Robinson and illustrated by Greg Hinkle, and published by Image Comics. Its premise is that Robinson and Hinkle, portrayed as fictionalized versions of themselves, are tapped to revamp an obscure Golden Age character. Robinson suffers writer's block, which hanging out with Hinkle doesn't help; the two of them wind up injecting, inhaling and eating the equivalent of a small pharmacy and go on a bender. When they awaken, they find that the creation they were tasked to revamp, Airboy, has sprung to four-color life, and he sees much wrong with the world – possibly rightly, possibly wrongly.
So far, so good. It's metafiction, but speaking as someone whose shelves groan under the weight of Grant Morrison and Terry Pratchett, there's nothing wrong with a good metafiction that blurs the line between creation and creator. But there's a dark side to blurring that line, and that dark side is that it makes it difficult to tell where the fictional character ends and the real person's opinions begin – and that's lent an odious air when the opinions ventured in the narrative are wrongheaded and harmful.
Our round-up of the All-New All-Different Marvel titles concludes with the books that don't quite fit anywhere else. This is the catch-all category that Marvel tends to call things like 'Marvel Universe', or 'Marvel Knights', or 'Marvel Heroes'. That makes this sound like a clearing house, and the presence of Agents of SHIELD supports that case, but you'll also find some of Marvel's most important titles here; titles that just don't quite fit elsewhere.
Our rundown of the All-New All-Diffrent Marvel books moves into outer space with a look at the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe, where we find all the Guardians of the Galaxy books (all three of them, four if you still count Angela), and all the Inhumans books (both of them, not counting Kamala). Is the universe expanding or contracting?
We've covered six X-Men titles, seven Avengers (and related) team titles, and eight of the many Avengers solo titles, so it's time to look at the nine Spider-Man books coming your way in October, featuring Peter Parker, Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy, a couple of symbiotes, and more! There are so many Spider-people now! How is one of them not also a Wolverine?
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