THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 92

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 92

…“And what happened to Lois Lane?”

“You mean Sweet Polly Purebred,” Roy’s corrective cartoon analogy…

For Roy, sleep come mercifully quick; dreams not so sweet. —

“Mr. Crippen,” the day custodian had been dispatched to look for the New Mayflower Mission Director, “wake up, they are looking for you.”Image result for the seventh day

He looks at the blood splattered wearable tech on his wrist, “Okay its 0630, even God rested on the seventh day.”

“It isn’t that you aren’t supposed to sleep sir, it’s that no one knew where you were, after what happened and all…”

Francine  I mean Miss Bouchette and I were taking a blow, she has left, I am here and New Mayflower is safely on its way to Mars, right my friend?”

Related image

Iconic still from the 1902 Georges Méliès silent film Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon)

“Last I heard it absolutely dusted the moon on the way by and Commander Stanley reports that spirits are high… except he was curious about what all the fire and explosions were.”

“Just a big-bang sendoff compliments of our friends from Korea and Talibanistan.” This guy still doesn’t know what Roy was talking about, as Sunday bleeds into Monday.

“Oh, by the way, Braden King checked in at 0600 and he would like you call him when you have time.”

“Time—so precious so fleeting and he seems to work through every second of it.”

Call him Double Duty King… and Roy is advised to answer any call, any time.

Roy brings himself into the flow of the daylight reality, tips his imaginary hat to the custodian and completes the circuit that sends his image and voice out to King Ranch, the finest 2500 acres this side of Venus.

Braden is waiting on his end of the 5×5 screen, “Is the Roy Crippen Action Hero?” He has seen the raw security video of the brouhaha early this morning. “And what happened to Lois Lane?”

“You mean Sweet Polly Purebred,” Roy’s corrective cartoon analogy; Superman’s girlfriend downgraded to Underdog’s poochie pal.

“OOOooo easy buddy, I just happened to see you protecting her from that copter-full of bad guys.”

“You mean there is a digital record of that stuff?”die-hard-001

“Don’t you dare act like nothing happened Crippen! That was the greatest footage ever, needs a title, like DIE HARD MARS.”

“Oh swell, we have real heroes waiting for us to pick them up and I am a candidate for the Medal of Honor, come on?”

“Leave your modesty behind in your office Roy, ‘cause right now you are the hottest thing going, every device on Earth has your image #1 on iTunes 10G,” in an instantaneous society, word travels at the speed-of-light. “Every network morning news show has been bugging me to get you to appear on their show and you can blame Sweet Polly for the pub. Missy Bouchette’s been on the air here in the Tri-county for two hours, giving her up-close-&-personal tale of intrigue, danger, and heroism.”

Roy does not respond; Braden cannot keep still….



Episode 92

page 87

Awesome Animals – WIF Supreheroes

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of the

Animal Kingdom

Superpowers may be the stuff of science fiction, but certain animal species possess superpowers–or at least engage in activities that we might attributeto superheroes or, sometimes, supervillains. From starting fires, strategically bleeding from the eyes, protecting other species at sea, living as a snake that gets airborne, and being a walking incendiary weapon, here are some freaks, special operators, and rogues of the living world that will certainly expand our view of critter “can-do.”

10. The Firebird Hunters

Winged and feathered pyromaniacs hunt by fire, according to some rather hot theories put forward based on Australian ornithological observation. While further hard scientific investigation is warranted, it appears that certain raptors such as kites will pick up small smoldering or flaming sticks and then drop them in strategic areas to advance grass fires in their favor. Work published in the Journal of Ethnobiology describes the account of a firefighter who witnessed a Whistling Kite in Australia restarting and spreading fire by picking up burning sticks.

What does the apparent advantage of spreading fires appear to be? Fires flush out or burn prey, allowing easy capture or scavenging of dead remains. Animals fleeing the advancing face of a fire have nowhere to go but away from the bank of flames, which would allow birds taking advantage of this apparently planned situation a relatively easy meal. Birds of many species are naturally adept at gathering small sticks to build well-engineered nests, suggesting that this same stick gathering aptitude may be harnessed by select birds of prey and applied for more… shall we say… high stakes and extreme purposes. It’s already known that birds feed along the face of fires, while many species drop shells strategically to break them open. Using fire to create a hunting opportunity presents a profound twist of ornithology deserving further investigation.

9. The Whale Guardians of The Perilous Sea

Whales may be enormous, but true whales tend to be gentle giants, with the majority of species concentrating their feeding efforts on plankton and small fish. In contrast, Orca–or Killer Whales–are actually giant, hyper-intelligent predatory dolphins that hunt almost anything in the ocean, depending on the type of Orca in question. Transient Orca populations are known as ravenous eaters of whales larger than themselves, while all Orca are apex predators.

And where that danger to other sea life posed by Orca hunting behavior exists, a surprising phenomenon of apparent protection of intended prey–including species as random and diverse as sunfish, seals, and other the young of another whale species–has been to be carried out by “guardian” Humpback Whales. Apparently perceiving the carnage of Orca hunts in a negative light, these determined Humpback “Citizens on Patrol” have been acting as oceanic bodyguards to species finding themselves on the menu for Orca dinners. In one case, a seal was sheltered from a predatory Orca attack, while in another instance, Humpback Whale adults gave up a favorite food that they were themselves targeting (a swarm of shrimp-like krill) to focus instead on defending a Grey Whale calf from a hungry Orca pod.

8. The Bleeding Lizards

Crocodile tears may be a physiological reality, but a number of species belonging to a group of smaller reptiles, the diminutive and dragon-like horned lizards native to North America, take things a step further. Predators might want a mouthful of lizard meat, but apparently a mouthful of squirted blood, or a mess of blood on a would-be hunter’s face, is a fair deterrent. The bizarre superpower of squirting blood from the eyes in an act of strange self-defense is held by eight or more horned lizard species, thanks to special blood filled sinus cavities located around the reptile’s eye sockets.

Upon perceiving a threat such as a coyote or bobcat wanting the lizard as a meal, horned lizard species squirt distasteful blood from the eye sockets with great force, discouraging the meal. Specialized muscles tighten to concentrate blood flow from large veins into thin membrane-bearing ocular sinuses. With sufficient force, the membrane will burst, launching sprays of blood to a distance of up to four feet. Resembling a tiny triceratops dinosaur with its horny adornments behind the eyes and armored body, horned lizards with blood squirting capabilities enjoy excellent compensatory defense considering their small size. Interestingly, the vein flow to the sinuses can be controlled to flush debris away from the desert dwelling animal’s eyes, swelling the membranes.

7. The Flying Snakes

Dragons may be creatures of legend, but something that makes even the thought of pigs flying seem possible exists and thrives after millennia of evolution in rain forests extending from India to Indonesia. Flying snakes spread out the skin on their body by extending their ribs, allowing them to glide magically from one tree to another in pursuit of food and to avoid larger hunters. (Oh, and also to feed your nightmares.) There are five species of flying snakes that exist, all having the ability to slither through the air at high speeds in a beautiful glide.

Ranging between two and four feet in length, flying snakes are venomous predators but pose little threat to humans, as their fangs are positioned toward the back of their jaws and cannot easily deliver an effective bite. Flying snakes prepare to get airborne by hanging suspended in the shape of the letter “J” at a strategic point on a tree branch. Next, the snake uses its rear muscles to “spring” from the tree, moving its body into the shape of the letter “S” once in the air. The snake then forms a concave shape with the cross-section of its body while stretching laterally to twice its original width. The resulting aerodynamic shape traps air under the snake’s body as it glides through the air. Researchers think the precise purpose of this flying ability is either for easy travel between trees in the forest canopy, predator avoidance, or to catch up with prey.

6. Hairy Frog

A frog with sharp claws might seem scary, but even more horrible but remarkable is the way in which the Hairy Frog, named for its weird body bristles, shall we say… procures its weapons for self-defense. The grotesque looking Hairy Frog, native to Central African regions including the country of Cameroon, actually has specialized musculoskeletal adaptations in its hind feet which allow sharp bone pieces to protrude through the frog’s flesh as sharp spikes once released.

Scientists from the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, who were studying the frog’s disconcerting adaptation, reached the conclusion that the behavior was a strange form of self-defense. Specialized muscle contractions in the frog’s hind feet allow a razor sharp fragment to detach from the main toe bone section by breaking bone-joining collagen tissue, subsequently slicing right through the frog’s skin, creating dangerous claws while avoiding any catastrophic blood loss. While injury and pain would seem to be inherent in the action, the balance of risk and harm seems to be in favor of the frog, and against the predators. Essentially, this frog is the Wolverine (the character, not the actual animal) of the animal kingdom. The Hairy Frog is a formidable predator in its own right, having sharp teeth and a habit of seizing a variety of small animals as prey.

5. Bombardier Beetle

Molten lava comes from the Earth, while chemical weapons are seen as the domain of certain mad scientists or military plotters not concerned about facing the consequences of violating international law. Yet among the incredible variety of insect species found on this planet, formidable chemical weapons are unleashed in a burning, acrid furnace of directed attack by a different group of species that belongs to the uniquely diverse and familiar taxonomic group: beetles. Over 500 species of bombardier beetles go about their daily business on all continents (save for Antarctica), appearing like a normal insect. Hidden inside their hard abdomen are two separate compartments of highly reactive chemicals, consisting of hydrogen peroxide in one section and hydroquinone in the other.

Already well protected by a highly developed exoskeleton, bombardier beetles react to provocation and potential predatory attacks by shooting out the two chemical components in streams that mix and react furiously in a boiling mixture of acrid horror that may reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit, burning with both heat and chemical causticity. Burns to everything from the faces of predatory insects to human skin may result if the beetle is approached too closely. In one research project, over 40% of bombardier beetles swallowed by toads were vomited out alive after successfully “going off” inside the toads, calmly struggling back to their feet and walking off as a survivor of the attack by the amphibious predator. Some survivors had been inside the stomach of a toad for over an hour.

4. The Sand Striker

Worms may be thought of as soft, or a lowly form of life. However, it might come as a disturbing surprise that giant, carnivorous, horrendous worms lie submerged below the waves and buried in the sand, with only their formidable slicing jaws protruding. Known as the Sand Striker or Bobbit Worm, Eunice aphroditois occurs in warmer oceanic waters around the globe. The predatory worms are known to reach 10-feet in length, far larger than the popular imagination of a worm. And these jaws are razor sharp, bone-hard fangs with dentition that snap and simply chop prey in half upon the launch of a surprise attack.

The fangs inject a venomous concoction allowing disproportionately large prey to be digested. Equipped with sensory systems that allow passing prey to be detected with ease, the worms lie motionless in deep burrows only to burst forth when their prey “sensor” system is triggered by a creature that happens to stray to close. Lacking brains, these worms make up for their lack of intelligence by A) having the bone-like fangs which cut prey with surgical precision and incredible force and B) their size. Additionally, they can inflict an awful bite on humans should one accidentally put a finger or hand in the vicinity of their strike.

3. Climbing Perch

Perch are generally seen as the classic lake-dwelling fish, but one family of air breathing relatives of the famed Betta, or Siamese fighting fish, is named after typical perch but actually can move about effectively on land. Not perches proper, but simply forming a family of fish in the order Perciformes, which includes true perches, the various species of climbing perch (also known as climbing gouramis) are handsome little fish with a compact, rounded build and innocent appearance. Climbing perch measure between four inches and one foot in length, depending on the species and use their terrestrial locomotion abilities to find new water when their home pools dry up.

Native to tropical regions of Asia, including parts of China, the fish actually hoist themselves out of the water and proceed to “climb” using their gill covers as resting points. With the gill covers providing a point of leverage, the fish then propel themselves forward with the locomotive power of their tail fin. The typical fish requirement of water in order to breathe is bypassed by the air-breathing organ known as a labyrinth that climbing perch possess. While claims have been made that the fish can climb into vegetation such as trees, such a degree of adaptation allowing a transition from terrestrial to arboreal activity has not been proven.

2. Hoatzin

A bird with clawed hands might seem to be the very definition of prehistorically-themed science fiction, but that is exactly what the hoatzin juvenile represents. When young, this species uses clawed “hands” protruding from its wings to climb trees in swampy areas. Native to extensive northern regions of the South American continent and significantly established in the Amazon River Basin and Orinoco River Basins, the Hoatzin looks somewhat like a pheasant or certain mythical depictions of a phoenix with its peculiar hues of color, as well as its crest, elongated body, and stout bill.

Unlike most birds, the Hoatzin can digest leaves, which form a significant portion of its diet along with fruits and flowers. In order to effectively digest leaves, the Hoatzin possesses an enormously large crop which limits its flying abilities but allows the bird to ruminate in a manner akin to cattle. When a predator attacks a group of Hoatzins, the fluffy-looking young birds will drop into the water below their mangrove or riparian forest home and then scramble back up into the canopy using their wing claws (each wing has two) once the threat has abated. The only species in its order, the primitive bird remains a strange tangent of avian evolution with superpowers of juvenile survival.

1. Mantis Shrimp

Shrimp might be a synonym for a small or simply weak animal. Yet the bizarre and dangerous crustaceans known as mantis shrimp are seemingly normal looking, albeit colorful, marine crustaceans that can combine the hardness of their exoskeleton with a “karate punch” of unbelievable speed and force. And what is the function of this ability to hit with unimaginable strength? To crack open the nearly rock hard shells of clams and other shellfish that the mantis shrimp wants to devour.  Striking with a force exceeding 330 pounds at more than 23 meters per second (or 50 miles per hour) using specially adapted club-like appendages, mantis shrimp can shatter almost any protective armor to take down prey. A locking mechanism and spring allow incredible energy releases.

Unfortunately for aquarists or researchers, a mantis shrimp blow could also destroy a glass aquarium or a finger bone on impact. The blow is powerful enough to produce cavitation bubbles as well as sonoluminescence, which consists of light flashes generated by bubble collapse. The shockwave alone associated with a blow can cause prey to die even if the mantis shrimp does not make physical contact. Other varieties of mantis shrimp use spearing appendages to capture prey instead of blunt force. While not technically falling into the category of decapod shrimp (which includes the type served commonly for dinner), mantis shrimp have a shrimp-like appearance and impression, hence their name. More than 400 species of mantis shrimp occur globally, mostly in tropical waters. Most commonly mantis shrimp grow to just under four inches in length, though a massive 18 inches has been attained.

Awesome Animals –

WIF Supreheroes

Marvel/DC Comic Mashups – WIF Graphic Novels

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Marvel-DC Mashups

from contributor 

What would happen if you took elements of two famous comic book characters, one from Marvel and one from DC, and mixed them together? Would the two powers complement each other and make the hero better? Or would having two powers be a hindrance to the character? Well, we wondered the same thing, so we had several artists develop mashup characters using characters from the two dominant comic book universes, the Marvel Universe and the DC Universe. Now we want to know which ones you like the best; please vote up for your favorites and down for ones you don’t like. Also, in the comments below, please feel free to share any ideas you have for Marvel-DC mashups that we don’t have on the list.

1. Captain Bat

 The mashup of two characters that both have an unbeatable, indomitable will is a nice character trait. But think about this, Batman uses the bat to instill fear and the Captain America uses the American flag for inspiration. Together they inspire fear like no one else.
Illustrated by Doubleleaf.

2. FlasHulk

 The Flash & The Hulk may not come to mind as good combination superhero, but super-speed and super-strength actually make him…um, Superman….if he couldn’t fly and was green and had anger management issues. Sounds like a good guy to have at parties, “Flash smash fast!”
Illustrated by Doubleleaf.

3. Wonder Phoenix

 The mashup of two powerful super-heroines, Wonder Woman and Phoenix (Jean Grey) is a natural combo of two heroes with great hair. An Amazon combined with the Phoenix Force would be a hot date unless you are blue-haired, asparagus-looking aliens.
Illustrated by Rick Marin.

 4. Iron Robin

Even I’m not sure how I came up with Iron Man and Robin as a good mashup. Maybe I was going for a mashup that really makes no sense. They are such opposites. Metal armor vs. tights. Solo hero vs. sidekick. Cool name vs. bird name. Playboy vs. just a boy. I better stop, Robin might be reading this and the differences are quite depressing from his point of view.
Illustrated by Felle.

 5. Captain Crawler

 Blending Nightcrawler’s distinctive features with the wholesome good looks of DC’s Captain Marvel (Shazam) gives us a dashing guy in a hoodie who can teleport and stand toe-to-toe with Superman. Does he remind anyone of Ezio Auditore da Firenze from Assassin’s Creed? Yeah, me too.
Illustrated by Doubleleaf.

 6. CyThing

 Two loveable, but sometimes brooding characters who would rather have the body they were born with rather than the body fate gave them. The Thing and Cyborg are more alike than either probably realized, so better to mash them up into CyThing! The Thing would be even more badass with a cannon for an arm, yes?
Illustrated by Rick Marin.

 7. Thor Hawk

Two guys that swing a deadly, blunt instrument, a hammer for Thor and a mace for Hawkman. Seems like a good mashup of beings from other worlds who came to defend earth or Midgard.
Illustrated by Kelly Ishikawa.

 8. Green Wolverine

(Green Claw?)

 Mashing up a blood thirsty killer turned hero and a hero who went insane probably isn’t a good combination for mental stability, but you know he will keep it interesting at the JLA or X-Mansion. You must admit that having claws made out of green energy is pretty cool.
Illustrated by Doubleleaf.

 9. Aquadevil

 Daredevil, the Man Without Fear combined with Aquaman, the King of the Seven Seas is a typical fish out of water story mashup. Doesn’t ol’ hornhead need buildings to bound from? Well, at least he has something to throw, and this “billy club” has dangerous barbs. They both share a sonar capability for navigating dark waters.
Illustrated by Doubleleaf.

 10. Amazing Super-Spider

Red and blue superhero costumes never looked better than when worn by Spider-man and Superman. Mashing up Marvel and DC founding superheroes, who seem to be just a bit more of a hero than anyone else, just feels right. And who didn’t want to see Spider-man in a cape with webbing and Superman shooting webs, even though the webs are redundant when he can fly?
Illustrated by Rick Marin.

Marvel-DC Comic Mashups

WIF Graphic Novels-001

– WIF Graphic Novels

Spy vs. Spy – WIF Espionage Handbook

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Fascinating Facts

about Spies

Spies have long captured the public imagination. Books and movies have been based around the imagined lives and exploits of secret agents. Sometimes, these tales stray far from reality. But sometimes, the truth can be stranger than fiction. Below are 10 facts that detail the real drama, and some surprising truths, about the world of spies.

10. Spies’ Families Often Don’t Know Their Real Identities

It’s pretty obvious why spies have to conceal their true identities from the general public, but often their subterfuge goes much further. Spies’ own family members, including parents and children, may have no idea about what their loved ones actually do for a living. One ex-CIA agent told his parents and girlfriend that he was a low-level salesman to cover his 8 years of undercover work. Covering up his double life involved thwarting attempts by his parents to visit him in Hawaii, where he supposedly worked (he was actually in Afghanistan) and fielding girlfriends’ accusations of infidelity and illicit behavior when they found gaps in his stories.

Even that degree of deception pales in comparison to keeping your true identity from your own children. This situation isn’t just a construct of The Americans, a TV spy drama where KGB agents pose as husband and wife, complete with two unknowing kids, to spy on the US government. In fact, the show’s premise is based on a real-life dilemma many spies who are parents face: when, or if, to tell their children who they really are.

 In one illustration of how this situation can play out, in 2010, 20-year old Tim Foley and his 16-year old brother Alex discovered, after their family home in Cambridge, MA was raided by the FBI, that their parents were part of a Russian spy operation. The Foley brothers claim they had no idea that their parents had any vocations outside of consultant and real estate agent. They knew their parents had been born outside the US, but thought they were from Canada (as both brothers were). They were shocked to discover that the parents they knew as Donald Heathfield and Tracey Foley, were actually Russian nationals whose real names were Andrei Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova.

9. Sex is a Tool of the Trade


We all know sex sells, but evidently, sex also spies. There are numerous examples of spies using their feminine (and masculine) wiles to dupe targets, create blackmail material, and occupy the enemy. One of the most well-known spies to have employed seduction is Margaretha Zelle Macleod, better known by her stage name,Mata Hari. Depending on which side of the contested story is believed, Mata Hari, a Dutch national, was either passing French secrets to the Germans, or passing false information to the Germans in hopes of abetting the French. Either way, in 1917, a French court declared Mata Hari, “one of the greatest spies of the century,” sentencing her to death. She retained her sexuality to the moment of her death, reportedly forsaking a blindfold and blowing a kiss to the firing squad that executed her.

More recent examples include the seduction of CIA clerk Sharon Scranage by Ghanian official Michael Agbotui Soussoudis, a relationship that allowed him to acquire a list of all CIA employees in Ghana. The information acquired through this “honey trap” is believed to have resulted in the death of at least one CIA informant in Ghana. While there are no facts and figures around the commonality of the use of sex in espionage, government spies in Russia, China, and the United States are reported to have employed hanky-panky in the service of their nations.

8. Not All Spies are Adults

Clearly, not all spies are going to fit the James Bond mold. It’s critical for a spy to blend into his or her environment seamlessly. A suave, handsome man in expensive suits and cars would surely stand out far too much to take on, say, the role of a clerk in a foreign tax office. But in some settings, any adult would stand out. And, at least on occasion, governments and insurgent groups around the world have relied on child spies to get the information that adults cannot reach.

Generally, when children are used as spies, the situation is pretty bleak. Recruiting and using children under 15 to support armed forces/groups in any capacity is against international law. Children from 15-18 are only allowed to serve voluntarily. Nonetheless, children have been employed as spies in numerous conflicts, recently serving as informants to the Somali government on the identities of insurgents and as messengers, spies, and suicide bombers for the Taliban in Afghanistan. In some cases, as in North Korean gulags or under the East German Stasi intelligence agency, children are encouraged to report to the government on friends and family members’ actions and ideologies.

7. Suicide is Sometimes Part of the Job


Obviously, capture is a bad situation for both the spy and the government he or she represents. The spy faces the very real possibility of torture to gain intelligence details and the names of other operatives, and perhaps execution. The spy’s government faces the fallout from the loss of any sensitive information its agent gives up. But as bad as being caught spying is, is it really a fate worse than death? The existence and use of suicide pills by some spies suggests that at least some (and/or their sponsors) view death as preferable to capture.

In 1987, after planting bombs on a South Korean passenger plane, an attack that took the lives of all 115 passengers on board, the two North Korean agents behind the act of terror were taken in for questioning in Bahrain. Following the instructions of their regime, the pair promptly bit into cyanide capsules hidden in their cigarettes. Kim Hyun-hee, one of the agents, described her decision, saying, “I knew when an operation failed, an agent had to kill themselves. So I bit down on the cyanide ampoule.” Kim survived her suicide attempt. While the South Korean government initially sentenced her to death, she was later pardoned under the view that she had been brainwashed by the North Korean State.

6. There are Celebrities Among Their Ranks


At first glance, a career in the spotlight would appear to appear to be the polar opposite of the covert work of espionage. However, there are some famous people who have worked as spies, both before and after they became famous.

Before her career in the kitchen, chef Julia Child worked as a typist, then research analyst for the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the US intelligence agency during WWII. She earned the “Emblem of Meritorious Civilian Service” for her work. Before becoming a US Supreme Court Justice, Arthur Goldberg also served in the OSS, where his work involved organizing European labor unions and dissident groups to resist the Nazis. Children’s author Roald Dahl earned a reputation as a ladies’ man during his undercover work with the British embassy in Washington D.C., as part of the British campaign to draw the US into WWII.

While, for obvious reasons, there are more spies who later became famous than celebrities who later became spies, there are still several famous people who also worked as secret agents. Jazz Age performer Josephine Baker used her travel schedule and position as a star to support the French Resistance during WWII. She reported on the identities of French Nazi supporters, conversations she overheard from German officers in her audiences, and even smuggled secret documents written in invisible ink on her music sheets.

US baseball catcher Moe Berg was known for being one of the smartest men to ever play the game. A Princeton graduate, Berg spoke 8 languages and had passed the bar before turning to baseball and joining the Washington Senators. Berg’s intelligence career began when he traveled to Japan as part of an all-star baseball exhibition tour. During his tour, he took home movies of Tokyo’s skyline and shipyards, which were reportedly used to help plan US bombing raids during WWII. After leaving baseball, Berg joined the OSS, where his work included parachuting into Yugoslavia to evaluate resistance groups and evaluating Nazi progress towards a nuclear weapon.

5. Not All Spies are Human


Spies often need to blend into the background and to be able to quickly get in and out of tight spaces to get the information they need without being detected. In some cases, the spy who best fits the parameters of the mission may have four legs, flippers, or even wings and a beak. Robert Wallace, who led the CIA’s office of Technical Services in the ’90s notes the appeal of turning to other species for espionage dirty work: “Animals can go places people can’t Animals are unalerting.”

Animal spies have been trained for a variety of roles, dependent on both the capabilities of their species and the intelligence needs of the country. Homing pigeons were used during WWI to dispatch messages between divisions, and in a pilot program, to take aerial photographs using automatic cameras. The US Navy, through the ongoing Navy Marine Mammal Program (NMMP) has trained dolphins to detect and report underwater mines. An outfit called Animal Behavior Enterprises(ABE) worked with the CIA and Army during the Cold War, employing animals including ravens and cats to retrieve documents and serve as living listening devices.

While ABE has ended its intelligence work and one of its former employees suggests that technology has rendered many applications of animal spies superfluous, the same employee continues to work training dogs to perform tasks for European security agencies. Their ranks may be diminished, as the NMMP shows, but there still continue to be some intelligence roles that are best filled by non-human agents.

4. Spy Agencies Can Employ Very Aggressive Hiring Practices


It doesn’t come as a surprise that authoritarian regimes can have very heavy-handed methods of persuading their citizens to become spies. One former North Koreanagent says she was simply plucked from her school as a teenager to become a spy: “One day a black sedan showed up at my school. They were from the central party and told me I’d been chosen…I was just told to pack.”

However, even democratic countries can make potential spies offers they can’t refuse. When describing how the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, pressured his brother, Eli Cohen, to join their ranks and spy on Syria, Maurice Cohen noted, “Even as the Mossad was recruiting my brother, they secretly went to his employer and got him fired. He had a wife and kids to support.”

In 2002, the Russian Security Service accused the US of using drugged drinks and cookies to try to recruit a Russian defense worker who visited the US Embassy in an ex-Soviet Republic. Russia insisted that the ploy had backfired, with the defense worker subsequently working with Russian intelligence to feed misinformation to his US handlers.

3. Spies Sometimes Assume the Identities of the Dead


How does a spy come up with a believable cover identity? Some spies maintain their existing identities, just disguising their real professions. Most US spies overseas operate under “official cover,” which is to say they are given fake jobs in US agenciesor embassies that offer diplomatic immunity. “Non-official cover” is more dangerous, requiring the use of an assumed name and profession, without the protection of diplomatic immunity in the event of discovery.

 In cases where spies need to assume a realistic identity, assuming the identity of someone else, usually someone who died as a child, can be a useful shortcut to create a backstory and official documentation to support the cover identity. In Britain, undercover police seeking to infiltrate protest groups used the identities of 80 dead children between 1968 and 1994. The identities of these children served as cover identities for officers, allowing them to easily obtain drivers’ licenses and passports that would stand up to scrutiny if anyone checked.

A similar strategy, the theft of the identity of a dead Canadian infant, appears to be how a Russian spy (mentioned in #10) created his cover identity, Donald Heathfield. This practice is reportedly on the decline due to the digitization of death records.

2. Spies May Kill Their Own to Protect Their Cover


You’d think that spies working on the same side would try to help each other out, or at least not hurt each other. Usually, that’s what happens, but sometimes things go awry, and the life of one agent is deemed to be less important to the mission than the cover of another.

When British intelligence was attempting to infiltrate the IRA, their agent Freddie Scappaticci (pictured above) managed to work his way up to head the IRA’s internal security force. In that role, he was responsible for the death of a number of people. British press reports say as many as 40, and a former British handler says, “well into the tens.” Among those deaths were at least a few fellow British agents. The blood on his hands helped bolster Scappaticci’s credibility within the IRA, since it was believed that no one who had killed for the cause could be a British agent.

Kevin Fulton, another undercover British asset within the IRA, believes he almost became another casualty of Scappaticci’s cover story. As an an article in The Atlanticputs it, “his handlers decided he would make a good sacrifice: another mark of credibility for their prize agent.” Fulton escaped death at the hands of his fellow British spy by fleeing and going into hiding.

 1. Even When Spies Retire, They May Not Die of Natural Causes


Once their spying days are over, some agents enjoy a quiet retirement. Ex-CIA spy Jason Matthews recently described his decision to spend his retirement writing spy novels to counter the restlessness he felt when his intelligence career ended, saying that, “Being in the Agency is a very experiential career, like being a policemen or a fireman or a jet pilot, and when it stops, it really stops.”

However, some spies don’t share that experience. Remnants of their professional lives follow them into retirement, and perhaps, to their unnatural deaths. In 2002, 17 years after defecting to Russia, former CIA agent Edward Lee Howard met his end in Moscow, after reportedly breaking his neck in a fall down the steps in his house. The death that was ostensibly accidental, but certainly raises questions.

In the case of ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvenenko, the evidence of murder is incontrovertible. Litvenenko published an expose of the misdeeds of the Russian intelligence service before fleeing to the UK in 2000, where he was granted asylum. However, in 2006 he died after being poisoned with radioactive polonium, allegedly while meeting two former agents for tea. For some spies, retirement isn’t a respite. It’s just another terrifying chapter in their danger-filled lives.

Spy vs. Spy

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– WIF Espionage Handbook

Defeating Superman – WIF Marvel Comics

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10 Marvel Comics Characters

Who Could Defeat Superman

As we’ve discussed, Superman isn’t necessarily the strongest superhero in the DC canon, but he is considered the yardstick by which other physically robust characters are measured. The question is, who from the Marvel Universe would be able to defeat the Last Son of Krypton? Superman has actually met up with some Marvel characters, and went head to head with Spider-Man, for example. We bring this up entirely to point you to the most hilarious image you’ll ever see of Doc Ock and Lex Luthor just having a grand old time.

10. Ant-Man


Out of all the Avengers, Ant-Man seems the least likely to take on Superman and win. However, Ant-Man has some unique abilities that may give him the edge. Sure, Superman is great at beating up people his own size, but he may have a problem fighting a hero who is the size of an insect. For example, try punching a fly and see what happens. Of course, Superman can just swat him, but this is when Ant-Man’s second power comes into play. If Ant-Man were able to bombard the Man of Steel with enough insects, even better if they were covered in Kryptonite dust, then Superman would be distracted enough for Ant-Man to get close.

Once Ant-Man got close enough, he could climb into one of Superman’s ears or up his nose. Ant-Man, who maintains super strength while small, could hopefully start pounding away at the inside of Superman’s head, and again, this would be even better if Superman was dealing with dust covered insects because this would weaken him. If the insides of Superman’s head are as tough as his exterior, then Ant-Man would need to get Pym particles to shrink down a weapon made of Kryptonite and cut away at the inside of Superman’s head. Superman would have no way to get at Ant-Man while he is inside his head, and let’s see him regenerate from an attack like that.

And heck, we haven’t even touched on the fact that Ant-Man can also become Giant Man. So yeah, we’re thinking he’d do just fine against our old friend Clark Kent.

9. The Destroyer


Strictly speaking, the Destroyer isn’t exactly a character; he is more of a weapon. But if he was being controlled by a powerful being, like Odin, then we think he could beat Superman in a physical fight.

The Destroyer was created on the orders of Odin to protect Earth from the Celestials, an alien race with incredible cosmic power. Once he was created, Odin and the other Earth Gods bestowed part of their powers to the Destroyer. With so much power, Destroyer has seemingly limitless physical strength.

Another advantage that the Destroyer has is that his suit is near impenetrable. When Thor, who is one of the strongest Marvel characters, hits Destroyer with his hammer, which is one of the most powerful melee weapons in the Marvel Universe, Destroyer usually doesn’t even show a crack. So it doesn’t sound like Superman and his fists could fare much better.

Also, this is just hand-to-hand combat; Destroyer also has the ability to wield cosmic weapons, like the Odinsword. Finally, the Destroyer has a disintegrator beam, which is a buildup of energy that he fires from where his eyes should be. The beam can supposedly annihilate anything, meaning the Destroyer could conceivably destroy the Man of Steal more thoroughly than Zack Snyder.

8. The Incredible Hulk


A battle between the Incredible Hulk and Superman is like the unstoppable force meeting the unmovable object. The Hulk, who is arguably the physically strongest character in the Marvel Universe, has shown some incredible feats of strength, most notably destroying an entire planet. Also, when Superman was “killed” it was byDoomsday, a very-Hulk like creature from the planet Krypton.

Something else to consider is that as long as there is oxygen, then the Hulk is strong on any planet. Superman doesn’t have that advantage. He is powerful because of Earth’s yellow sun. If they were to fight on a planet other than Earth, in a different solar system, like in Planet Hulk, then the Hulk would definitely get the win.

We should also point out that the Hulk and Superman did meet in 1996’s DC vs. Marvel #3, and Superman was the one who came out on top. However, that is one fight, on one day, and Superman barely edged out the Hulk in that meeting. While he did lose, the Hulk definitely proved that he can go toe-to-toe with Superman, which makes us pretty sure that, on any given day, the Hulk could smash the crap out of Superman.

7. Black Bolt


Luckily for Lois Lane, one of Superman’s powers is his super hearing. When she yells for help, he appears out of nowhere and saves her. However, that very same superpower is a problem when Supes is facing enemies who weaponize sound, or have supersonic powers. For example, in The Dark Knight Returns series, Batman uses supersonic sound to hurt Superman. In Injustice Gods Among Us Year 2 #1, Black Canary yells so loud that Superman’s ears bleed. Finally, Wonder Woman cupped him on both ears with her Bracelets of Submission in Wonder Woman #219 and it completely immobilized Superman.

This is why we think Blackagar Boltagon, aka Black Bolt, might actually have a chance at beating Superman. Black Bolt, who is the ruler of the Inhumans, has a voice is so powerful that even a whisper is enough to physically move the Hulk. Then, in Black Panther Vol. 4 #7, an inaudible whisper completely annihilates the ultra-powerful Apocalypse.

In case you’re wondering, yes, sound can kill a normal, everyday person. An incredibly loud sound, between 185-200 decibels, would cause an air embolism in the lung, which would travel to the brain or the heart. That would be deadly for humans, and Superman’s hearing is even more sensitive than ours. If Black Bolt’s scream is like a nuclear bomb going off, we’re guessing that, at the very least, he could permanently deafen Superman, if not outright kill him with his voice.

6. Jean Grey/The Phoenix


Superman is really good at punching people and throwing them around, but his mind strength is a whole other matter. One of the biggest downfalls of having Superman around is that he might fall under someone’s control and do something devastating. It has happened before when Poison Ivy put him under her hypnosis, and Starroessentially hijacked his body.

In the Marvel Universe, Charles “Professor X” Xavier and Zebediah “The Purple Man” Kilgrave both could probably control Superman’s mind. Once under their control, there are any number of ways they could kill him. They could make him commit suicide, or they could make him a homicidal maniac, which will turn other superheroes against him. Or, they could just make Superman sit and cry in the corner until they’re bored with him.

However, arguably the strongest psychic in the Marvel Universe is Jean Grey. She is an omega level mutant, and her strength is increased even more when she becomes the Phoenix, or the Dark Phoenix. When she is the Phoenix, her powers are at a cosmic level and she can assemble and disassemble objects at the subatomic level. Punch as hard as he likes, there is no way Supes will be able to take on a powerful psychic, especially one that has melded with a cosmic entity with near infinite powers.

5. Deadpool


You may be wondering how Deadpool, whose special ability is regeneration and longevity, may be able to take on one of the most powerful comic book characters ever. Well, to be honest with you, we don’t know. That’s part of the beauty of Deadpool – he is very unpredictable.

What we do know is that Deadpool has an impressive kill list to his name. Notably, he killed the entire Marvel Universe. This includes some notoriously hard to kill characters like the Hulk, Wolverine, Luke Cage, and the rest of the Avengers and the X-Men. One of the main reasons that the Merc with a Mouth is so lethal is because he’s dedicated to killing his targets. Where Superman refuses to kill, that is all Deadpool wants to do. This is exactly why Deadpool is the ultimate anti-hero.

In the end, Deadpool will win because he won’t fight fair; he’ll be clever and deadly. He could do something like trick Superman, get Kryptonite handcuffs on him, and then drown him. Or he may very well shove some Kryptonite into orifices that Superman definitely doesn’t want Kryptonite shoved. Deadpool would probably make a joke while sticking Kryptonite where the Earth’s yellow sun doesn’t shine, such as, “this is how I felt when he watched Ben Affleck’s acting in Batman v. Superman!”

Because Deadpool is so inventive, breaks so many rules, and is just straight up deadly, we’re sure Deadpool will kill Superman if he ever makes his way to the DC multiverse.

4. Dormammu


One of Superman’s biggest weaknesses is magic, and this is why magic users in DC, like Captain Marvel and the Green Lantern, can usually fight it out with Superman. Marvel also has some powerful magical characters, notably Doctor Strange andMephisto, but the strongest of them all is Dormammu. In fact, according to the Marvel website, he is one of the most powerful entities in their universe.

Debuting in 1964, Dormammu is often an enemy of Doctor Strange. He was born in a different dimension and is made up of pure cosmic energy. Not exactly something Superman can clobber the way he normally takes on his foes. Besides just not having a body in the same physical way, Dormammu can change shapes, teleport, travel between dimensions, use telepathy, create artificial beings, raise the dead, and summon demons. These are not exactly the type of problems that Superman is known for tackling.

With magic being such a weak point in Superman’s armor, the most powerful mystical being in the Marvel Universe seems like the ideal being to take Superman down.

3. The Sentry


A relatively new Marvel character, introduced in 2000, Robert “Bob” Reynolds got his powers from drinking a special serum that made him the Sentry. In terms of physical strength, the Sentry is one of the most powerful Marvel characters, and his powers easily rival those of Superman. The Sentry has super strength, he can fly, he is nearly invincible, he can shoot energy fields, and he controls light. In other words, his powers are very similar to Superman’s. The major difference is that the Sentry’s powers seem limitless. In his bio on Marvel’s database, it says that he has the power of 1,000 exploding suns. In World War Hulk, the Sentry and the Hulk go toe-to-toe, and it was ultimately a tie, so the Sentry is certainly as strong as Superman.

But what really gives the Sentry an edge over Superman is that the Sentry’s mind is much more advanced. The Sentry has a heightened sense of consciousness and telepathic abilities, which allows him to do things like remove and implant memories. So not only would the Sentry be able to physically beat down Superman, he could also psychologically attack him. This means that even if the Sentry didn’t want to physically fight Superman, he could still beat him by wiping out all his memories, which would have devastating effects on Superman. After all, would you be the same person if you had no memories?

2. The Beyonder


Not a whole lot is known about the Beyonder except that he is an omnipotent, interdimensional being that lives in a completely different multiverse than the Marvel multiverse. In his, he is essentially God. He is everything, and everything is him.

After a hole opened up in the multiverse, the Beyonder found Earth, which made him curious about humans and the war between good and evil. To satisfy this curiosity, in 1984’s Secret Wars storyline, the Beyonder kidnapped superheroes and supervillains from Earth and teleported them to a galaxy far away, to a plant called “Battleworld.” There, he would make them fight for his amusement, and to understand humankind.

Had Superman been in the Marvel multiverse, or had the Beyonder found the DC multiverse, Superman would certainly have been one of the kidnap victims. After all, the Beyonder kidnapped some of the mightiest of Earth’s heroes and villains, including the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and Magneto, Spider-Man, Doctor Doom, and Doctor Octopus. If he could kidnap all of them, there is a good chance Superman might not have had much of a chance.

To defeat Superman, the Beyonder would only have to transport him to Battleworld, and without Earth’s sun, he would just be Clark Kent. From there, Beyonder probably wouldn’t even have to defeat Superman himself. Instead, he’d watch a supervillain beat him to a bloody pulp.

1. Galactus


When you compare the powers of Galactus, Devourer of Worlds, to Clark Kent, Superman, it really isn’t fair. Galactus, whose real name is Galan, is the sole survivor of a universe that existed before the Big Bang, and he literally eats planets to survive.

Galan’s process of becoming one of the most powerful Marvel entities began when he flew his ship into the event horizon of the Big Bang. Once there, he merged with an entity called the Sentients of the Universe. After the Big Bang, Galan floated around in space for billions of years before he was accidentally awakened and emerged from his capsule as a being of pure energy. Galan, now known as Galactus, built a suit to contain his body (including one heck of a fancy hat!) and began to consume planets.

Galactus wields the Power Cosmic, which is one of the most powerful forces in the Marvel Universe. Just for some perspective, Galactus gave the Silver Surfer his powers by giving him a little bit of the Power Cosmic, and it is arguable that the Silver Surfer is so powerful that he could defeat Superman.

Also, Galactus has consumed many worlds, including planets with advanced and powerful beings. It would not be surprising if he has already consumed planets with beings as powerful as, or even more powerful than, Superman. The only reason Earth wasn’t destroyed by Galactus was because, during his attempt, the Silver Surfer took pity on humans and helped the Fantastic Four. Even then, they didn’t exactly beat him up, they just threatened him with a weapon the Silver Surfer helped them steal, and Galactus agreed to stay away. When Galactus returned to Earth in Fantastic Four Vol 1 #243, he was weak and tired after being double crossed by Terrax the Tamer. In a weakened state, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and Doctor Strange were able to defeat him.

The only way that Superman would survive a fight with a healthy Galactus would be because Galactus lets him live.

Defeating Superman

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– WIF Marvel Comics

DC Comics Supervillains – WIF Graphic Novels

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Underrated DC Comics


But villains and anti-heroes are all the rage these days, with Deadpool destroying at the box office and the aforementioned Suicide Squad generating solid buzz leading up to its release. If Suicide Squad is able to do strong business, it might open people’s eyes to the plethora of outstanding villains at DC’s disposal, including these 10 truly underrated (and, when it comes to Hollywood, underutilized) baddies.

10. Mongul


Mongul was once the ruler of his race, but due to a revolution, he was exiled into outer space. Ever since Mongul has had an incurable hunger for power. Mongul is stronger than Superman and almost totally invulnerable to harm. Superman has defeated him by foiling his schemes, but only once has he defeated Mongul in hand-to-hand combat. Mongul also has the ability to teleport, has limited telepathy and telekinesis, and can project blasts of energy from his eyes, hands, or chest.

Mongul can also use advanced alien technology to shrink his enemies and place them in dimensional-inversion cubes designed to prevent escape by warping their interior reality and absorbing any power used against them from within. Superman once said that Mongul is about as strong as Darkseid. That is quite the complement.

9. Superboy-Prime


Superboy-Prime is from a parallel Earth called Earth-Prime. There, Superman and the other comic superheroes were fictional characters only seen in comic books. The Earth-Prime universe was erased during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and Superboy-Prime ended up in a “paradise” dimension where he slowly lost his edge and became insane. Over time, his convictions and morals became twisted and warped, and he came to believe that Earth-Prime is the only proper Earth. Prime firmly believes that becoming Superman is his calling despite the fact that he has become a psychotic and murderous villain. Superboy-Prime has all the basic abilities of any Kryptonian except at a much higher level. Like Superman, Prime loses his powers when exposed to a red sun.

Because of this, Prime built a power suit based on the one worn by the Anti-Monitor (we’ll get to him shortly), that collects and feeds him yellow solar energy so he can maintain his power levels even when exposed to a red sun. Where most versions of Superman have a weakness to magic, Prime does not. He also has no weakness to Kryptonite due to the fact that he is from another universe. Prime has a fear of the Flash Family though, due in large part to them pushing him into the Speed Force, where they imprison him under red sunlight to depower him for several years until he eventually breaks out. Massive amounts of quantum energy have also been shown to injure Prime, as seen in his battle with Monarch.

8. Hush


Dr. Thomas “Tommy” Elliot was a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, and was also born into a wealthy family. Tommy despised both his parents and, driven by his desire for independence and wealth, severed the brake line of his parents’ car, causing a crash that killed his father and injured his mother. When Bruce’s parents were murdered, Tommy resented him for inheriting the Wayne family fortune, just as he had hoped to do with his parents’ money. Later, Tommy killed his mother by smothering her with a pillow so he could inherit the family fortune. Although he went on to Harvard University and became a successful surgeon, Tommy continued to harbor an irrational grudge toward his childhood friend. Hush has spent most of his life honing his skills enough to be a match for the Dark Knight.

Elliot has an incredible, genius-level intellect and is also a master planner, with tactical skills rivaling those of Batman. Hush’s greatest asset is his talent for thinking like his opponents and using their abilities against them. Hush is also an expert marksman, able to shoot two batarangs out of the air and set off C4 explosives using twin M1911 pistols, his weapons of choice. While not possessing the kind of martial arts training that Bruce Wayne acquired, Hush has proven his ability to fight hand-to-hand and is almost on par with Batman. One of the finest surgeons in Gotham, Hush is also able to perform plastic surgery on himself, using minimal anesthetic and sheer force of will. He has the ability to grant himself the appearance of someone else, such as Bruce Wayne, using only a long series of planned surgeries on his own face, and the aid of a simple mirror.

7. Anti-Monitor


Anti-Monitor was the product of a universe creating experiment gone wrong by the scientist Krona, who is one of the Guardians of the Universe. Anti-Monitor is one of the most formidable foes ever faced by the heroes of the DC Universe. He is directly responsible for more deaths than any other known DC supervillain. He was powerful enough to kill a distracted Supergirl. He consumed thousands of positive-matter universes to increase his power, and was able to personally battle scores of the multiverse’s strongest heroes simultaneously. Anti-Monitor was also responsible for the death of Barry Allen (the most famous Flash, for those who don’t know).

In addition to possessing vast size, extreme superhuman strength, extraordinary durability (he is able to effortlessly withstand blows from Superman, and even survive a blue star going supernova), he also has the ability to project destructive bolts of energy, and absorb another being’s powers. Anti-Monitor also possesses reality-warping abilities and commands an army of Qwardians and shadow demons, and has access to highly advanced technology capable of shifting, merging, or destroying entire universes. Anti-Monitor is not immortal, however, but may be ultimately indestructible so long as the anti-matter universe exists. He is one highly powered badass.

6. Parallax


Following the complete destruction of his home town Coast City by the villain Mongul, Hal Jordan descended into madness, and destroyed the Green Lantern Corps, killing his friend Kilowog and all of the Guardians except for Ganthet. After this, Jordan assumed the name Parallax and became a supervillain. While Kyle Rayner became the primary Green Lantern of Earth for the next decade, Hal Jordan terrorized the DC universe as the villain Parallax. It was later discovered that Parallax was actually a parasitic entity dating back to the dawn of time and born from the yellow of the emotional spectrum. He was the cause of Hal Jordan’s destruction and insanity and took over his body and mind when he was devastated by the destruction of his city. The parasite is the sentient embodiment of fear, traveling from world to world and causing entire civilizations to destroy themselves out of paranoia.

Parallax has immense fear-casting and mind-control powers and can take possession of someone’s body when they feel even the slightest fear. It is strong enough to easily frighten and control the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman, and even someone like Spectre. However, he is not able to control those who are capable of understanding and conquering inner fear such as Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, or Batman. Parallax is also capable of creating solid light constructs, such as creating a convincing duplicate of Sinestro. Parallax can also create both green and yellow objects or creatures. As a being of pure energy, Parallax has no true physical form of its own and it generally changes into forms that will instill fear in its victims.

5. Amazo


The android Amazo was created by the scientist Professor Ivo, who became obsessed with immortality. The Justice League discovered that their powers had been drained and appeared to be used in the theft of certain long-lived creatures. Attempting to guard the remainder of the creatures and discover the perpetrator, the League was defeated by Amazo.

Amazo is capable of duplicating any of the powers of metahumans, including members of the Justice League (such as the strength of Superman or the speed of the Flash). The android retained the abilities of the Justice League and is capable of simulating other characters’ weapons, such as the power ring of Green Lantern and the Nth metal mace of Hawkgirl. He is, however, eventually defeated by the Justice League and has actually helped them a few times.

4. Lobo


Lobo is a Czarnian with exceptional strength and fortitude. He enjoys nothing better than mindless violence and intoxication. He is arrogant and self-centered, focusing almost solely on his own pleasures. Lobo is the last of his kind, having committed complete genocide of his own people by unleashed a violent plague of flying scorpions upon his home world (and, good lord, that is a crappy way to die). Despite him being a psychotic asshole, Lobo has a strict personal code of honor in that he will never violate the letter of an agreement. He possesses extraordinary strength of undefined limits. Throughout the comics his powers have varied: in some instances, he is depicted as being barely stronger than a human while, in others, he demonstrates physical strength on a similar level to Superman. Lobo also possesses superhuman durability, which varies greatly as well.

Lobo is depicted, in some situations, as being injured by conventional bullets while, in other situations, he has the physical resiliency to stand toe to toe with Superman, survive unprotected in deep space, and withstand powerful explosive blasts without sustaining injury. Lobo is pretty much immortal. After he died and went to hell, he proved too much for the demons, and when he was then sent to heaven, he wreaked so much havoc that he was permanently banished from the afterlife. Not even Hell can deal with him. If Lobo sustains injury, his accelerated healing factor enables him to regenerate damaged or destroyed tissue with superhuman speed and efficiency and little pain, and he is immune to the effects of aging and disease. He can also regenerate out of a pool of his own blood by recycling the cells. Lobo possesses an amazingly developed sense of smell, which allows him to track objects between solar systems, as well as a separate tracking ability, enabling him to track an individual across galactic distances. He also has a sweet motorcycle that he flies through space on.

3. Nekron


Nekron is an embodiment of Death and ruler of a region much like Hell, known as the Dead Zone. The Dead Zone seems to border on Limbo and Purgatory within the DC Universe. It is where the souls of the dead await passage to their final residence in either the Silver City or Hell. Nekron draws his power from the souls and spirits of all those who have ever died. The limitations of Nekron’s powers are unknown. Geoff Johns, DC writer, has described him as the most powerful dark force in the DC Universe.

He has the ability to raise the dead, kill with a touch (even Guardians), fire bolts of black lightning and grow without limit. He is also capable of fighting against universal forces like the Life Entity. The Spectre was even powerless against Nekron, as Nekron has no soul. Nekron also has incredible durability and reality warping powers, as was able to withstand a blast from the Anti-Monitor and send him back to the anti-matter universe. Also, he will probably give you all nightmares tonight. Sorry about that.

2. Black Adam


Teth-Adam is the son of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II. The wizard Shazamgave Teth-Adam the power to become the superhero, Mighty-Adam, by speaking the name “Shazam”. Mighty Adam served as Egypt’s champion for many centuries, but became corrupted by the charms of a mysterious woman. The bewitched Adam was convinced that he and his mistress should have ruled Egypt, so he killed the Pharaoh and appointed himself as ruler. The wizard learned of this and striped him of his powers. The wizard buried him along with a scarab necklace that held his powers inside a tomb.

Thousands of years later, during the late 20th century, an archaeological aide named Theo Adam found himself assigned to an expedition financed to excavate the tomb of Ramesses II. Adam uncovered Teth-Adam’s tomb in a secret passageway, and lead his superiors, C.C. Batson and his wife Marilyn (parents of Billy Batson, who is the current Shazam), to the discovery. Upon first sight of Teth-Adam’s scarab, Adam became obsessed with the artifact, and killed both Batsons in order to steal it. When Theo says the magic word “Shazam”, he is transformed into Black Adam and is granted super strength, speed, flight, the works, from ancient gods. He has recently acquired the Power of the Goddess Isis, making him stronger than ever. When Black Adam utters the magic word he not only gains his usual powers but all of his original powers are greater in strength because of the extra power he gains from Isis.

1. Eclipso


Bruce Gordon was a scientist specializing in solar energy. While in the African jungle to view a solar eclipse, Gordon was attacked by a tribal sorcerer. Before plunging to his death, the sorcerer wounded Gordon with a black diamond. Afterwards, Gordon would be transformed into the villainous Eclipso whenever an eclipse occurred. A blue-gray or purple circle would cover the rightmost two-thirds of his face, resembling a partial eclipse. Gordon would experience many Jekyll-and-Hyde transformations. Eclipso was not simply Bruce Gordon’s dark half, but a vengeance demon who had possessed Gordon. His soul had originally been bound inside a giant black diamond called the “Heart of Darkness”, and he is the manifestation of God’s wrath and a magical being of incalculable strength.

Eclipso has the powers of flight, immortality, invulnerability, super speed and stamina, advanced intellect, and the ability to emit deadly rays of dark light from his left eye and a powerful burst of paralyzing black light from his right eye. Eclipso possesses vast magical powers that allow him to perform godlike feats such as manipulation of the weather and seas to cause natural disasters, increase his size to that of a giant, absorb the powers of the Spectre, and project powerful energy from his hands that can stun or kill opponents. Eclipso is able to possess anyone who touches or comes into contact with the cursed Heart of Darkness gem, controlling the host’s powers, behaviors and memories. Despite his power, he is still bound by the divine laws of the Presence and is subject to even greater punishment from the Presence himself if these bounds are crossed.

DC Comics Supervillains

– WIF Graphic Novels

DC Superhero Super Teams 1960-1980 – WIF Graphic Novels

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DC Superhero Teams

You May Never Heard Of

(Circa 1960s-80s)

From the Cowboys and the Steelers of the 70s, to perhaps the greatest professional football team of all time in the 80s, the 49ers, throughout history there have been the existence of some truly great teams but perhaps none greater than DC’s greatest superhero team of all time, The Justice League. But what about the other greatest superhero teams you’ve never heard of? Below is a list of the top 10 greatest DC superhero teams you’ve never heard of from the late 1960s to the decade of my childhood, the 1980s. Enjoy.

10. The Wanderers


The Wanderers made their first appearance in Adventure Comics #375 in December of 1968. While they have been considered by many as a smaller version of the Legion of Super-Heroes, they actually started out as a group of villains. Led by Re-Animage, their group has consisted of several members including Dartalon, Elvar, Aviax, Psyche and the Quantum Queen. Their biggest storyline came when they were presumed dead after being killed by their arch nemesis’ mad wife, Clonus. But, after the dust had settled, we came to find out that they were cloned and were able to live on through their clone selves and even solve their own murders.

9. The Forever People


After appearing in February 1971 in the comic of their own name, the team held several adventures throughout New Genesis while traveling on a huge Super-Cycle that could fly, pass through objects and teleport.

Throughout the years members have included Mark Moonrider, who carries the Megaton Touch, which emits energy; Big Bear, who not only has a ferocious look but superhuman strength; Beautiful Dreamer, a pure knockout that can create illusions; Vykin the Black with his magnetic powers; and Serifan, who can create force fields and anti-gravity waves with his Cosmic Cartridges.

Among some of their greatest adventures include the time they found themselves stranded on the planet of Adon. And along the way, love found its way into connecting Beautiful Dreamer with not one but two members of the team, Big Bear and Mark Moonrider.

8. The Freedom Fighters


Although the Freedom Fighters may be a team you have never heard of, their leader is unquestionably someone you have, unless you are un-American. Uncle Sam, a DC version of the government figure created to instill the red, white and blue spirit in all of us, leads a ragtag group of superheroes including Hourman I, Magno, Red Torpedo and Miss America.

They made their first appearance in Justice League of America #107 in October of 1973 when Uncle Sam put the group together for a failed attempt at turning back the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the event that brought the U.S. into the second World War. Sadly, during the attack, not only were Red Torpedo and Hourman I captured, but Magno and another member, Neon The Unknown were killed.

7. All-Star Squadron


Don’t let the name fool you. The All-Star Squadron has had some of the biggest name in DC history, but the team itself is one you’ve probably never heard of. Over the years, members have included several Justice League members, such as Green Lantern, Plastic Man, Hawkgirl and Hawkman. But their longest standing and most associated members include Commander Steel, Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle.

They made their first appearance in Justice League of America #193 in August 1981, not to mention a more youthful incarnation that debuted in June 1987 in Young All-Stars #1. Among the younger version of the team were the atomic punching Dyna-Mite, the powerful Fury and the furry winged Flying Fox.

Although they have had many great adventures, one of the greatest stories ever told happened a little over a year after their debut. In a multi-issue arc that saw the All-Star Squadron team up with the Justice League of America to prevent the Squad’s arch nemesis, Per Degaton, from unleashing a nuclear nightmare and altering the course of history.

6. The Global Guardians


The Global Guardians have had some great stories written about them and their adventures, but their original claim to fame was becoming the first truly global super hero team. Debuting in June of 1982 in DC Comics Presents #46, their members have been from all over the world.

Most of their members debuted as stand alone super heroes nearly thirty years before joining together. When I say that this team was truly global, there really is no better way to describe them. Over the years, their members have been from Denmark, Ireland and Africa, just to name a few locales.

What has been most amazing, as comics tend to try and do, these global super heroes, some from opposing countries, have been able to put aside those differences and put Earth’s needs first. During the 80’s, as the Cold War was heating up, DC was able to successfully join together Owlman from the United States of America and Tundra from Mother Russia. Perhaps comics had a bigger part in ending the Cold War than we previously thought.

5. Young All-Stars


I touched on them a bit earlier, but they do truly deserve their own spot on this list. As previously mentioned, The Young All-Stars made their debut in June 1987 in issue #1 of Young All-Stars. Like The Global Guardians, The Young All-Stars also made history, by becoming the first teen super hero team.

Even though The Young All-Stars debuted in 1987, their timeline was set during World War II during 1942. Dan the Dyna-Mite, Fury 1, Flying Fox and Neptune Perkins are just a few of their members over the years. The team was originally assigned to simply sell war bonds during the Second Great War, but that changed quickly as they began fighting such villains as Per Degaton, Deathbolt and the Ultra-Humanite.

4. The Hero Hotline


The Hero Hotline is just exactly what it sounds like. While other super heroes are off fighting super villains like Lex Luthor or The Joker and are not available, all anyone needs to do to find a substitute superhero is simply dial 1-800-555-HERO. The Hero Hotline first debuted in Action Comics Weekly #637, in January of 1988.

Based out of New York City, the hero hotline includes such heroes as Diamondette, Hotshot, Microwave Mom, Mr. Muscle, Private Eye, Stretch, Voice-Over and 500Z-Q. The Hero Hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and handles emergencies beyond the normal range.

The Hero Hotline was originally founded by Tex Thomson and has since been maintained by the mysterious Coordinator. After hours emergencies are handled by the more than capable night crew which includes Chlorino, Marie the Psychic Turtle, Rainbow Man, Thunderhead and Zeep the Living Sponge.

3. The Blasters


The Blasters made their debut back in 1988 in Invasion #1. During an alien invasion of Earth, scientists kidnapped 50 humans and forced them to walk through a minefield. The humans that were able to survive this event did so by manifesting latent metagene powers. Those that did survive formed a wandering superhero team that came to be known as The Blasters.

The group cruised the the galaxies, piloted by the attractive, feline humanoid alien known as Churljenins. The group which was led by Lucas “Snapper” Carr, also consisted of Dust Devil, Looking Glass, Crackpot, Jolt, Frag, Gunther and Mrs. Levy.

During one of their more famous missions, they were able to foil a plot by a criminal organization known as The Spider Guild as they were attempting to sell black market weapons on Earth. During a near fatal attempt to help fellow superhero Valor escape from being imprisoned, The Blasters decided to disband. Shortly after this, Lucas “Snapper” Carr, after being captured Khund thugs, had his hands cut off, which robbed him of his super power of teleportation. Although his hands have since been restored, the team has yet to join back together for any further adventures.

2. The Newsboy Legion


At this point, there have been a couple iterations of the young superhero team, known as The Newsboy Legion. The original Newsboy Legion first debuted in Star Spangled Comics #7 in April of 1942. That original team consisted of Anthony “Big Words” Rodriguez, John “Gabby” Gabrielli, Patrick “Snapper” MacGuire and Thomas “Tommy” Thompkins.

Interestingly enough, the second Newsboy Legion, which debuted in 1988 during Superman Annual 2nd Series #2, consisted of clones of all four original members of the original Newsboy Legion in addition to new members, Roberta “Famous Bobby” Harper and Walter “Flip” Johnson.

The Newsboy Legion members were adopted by police officer Jim Harper, as he hoped to help them avoid a hard knock life of living on the streets in Metropolis’s Suicide Slums. Throughout their adventures, The Newsboy Legion found themselves being rescued on more than one occasion by fellow super hero, The Guardian. The interesting part in that, is that The Guardian was none other than Jim Harper, the same man that had rescued the team from a life on the streets. He turned out to be their guardian in more than one way.

1. The Secret Six


The Secret Six first appeared in Action Comics Weekly #601 in May of 1988. The Secret Six were an undercover operative team consisting of LaDonna Jameal, Tony Mantegna, Mitch Hoberman, Dr. Maria Verdugo, Luke McKendrick and Vic Sommers.

The team spent most of their time fighting crime and defendingdemocracy, ultimately serving a covert U.S. government group known as The Agency. After many successful missions, the team retired, but then several years later, rejoined in order to help train a new group of operatives. While on a flight, heading to their new training mission, the flight went down, as it was later learned to be sabotaged. Only one of the six survived.

DC Superhero Teams

You May Never Heard Of

(Circa 1960s-80s)

Superhero Twins – Doppelgänger Edition

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Superhero Doppelgängers

from contributor 

Need some evidence? Let’s get started.

10. Green Arrow and Hawkeye


What makes them twins?

Two superheroes, both of whom have a bow and arrow as their primary weapon against legions of criminals, mobsters, robots, and aliens? Pretty distinctive feature. Add in the fact that both of them are cocky, self-assured, and blond, and, well, come on now. Not to mention that both of them have been known to use so-called “trick arrows,” which tend to involve such strange things as boxing gloves.

Who they are:

Green Arrow, now most famous as the star of the CW series Arrow, is Oliver Queen, a billionaire playboy who, after being stranded on an island at sea, came back as an arrow-slinging vigilante. Hawkeye, of course, is Clint Barton, the resident wisecracking sharpshooter of the Avengers.

Who came first?

When one thinks about it, it’s kind of strange that both the Avengers and the Justice League have archers, isn’t it? But both of them are terrific characters with loads of great stories, so it works out.

Green Arrow arrived first, premiering all the way back in 1941. Though he was originally little more than a Robin Hood-themed Batman knockoff, the character truly came into his own when Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams recreated him as a liberal crusader in the 1970s, and he then took a darker turn with the 1980s limited series Longbow Hunters, by Mike Grell.

Hawkeye is now most famous for his appearances in the Avengersmovies—particularly the second one, where he managed to nab most of the best scenes.

9. Flash and Quicksilver


What makes them twins?

Super speed is a power that many characters possess, but these two are particularly focused on the whole running aspect of it. Both have a lightning bolt motif, and both are the central speedsters of their respective universes.

Who they are:

Many people have assumed the identity of the Flash, but the most famous ones have been Barry Allen and Wally West, who at different times have raced around their respective cities, facing off against a truly distinctive rogues gallery. Quicksilver, brother of Scarlet Witch and son of the infamous mutant terrorist Magneto, began his career as a villain and grew to become one of the classic Avengers. Due to their ties to both the Avengers and X-Men mythologies, these two are the only characters to cross over between both movie franchises.

Who came first?

The Flash, of course, though the Flash that premiered in the 1940s was actually a character named Jay Garrick, whereas Barry Allen didn’t appear until over a decade later.

Interestingly, Quicksilver wasn’t Marvel’s first Flash twin. That honor belongs to a bizarre, yellow jump-suited character named “the Whizzer,” created in 1941, whose super-speed abilities were the result of an emergency transfusion of mongoose blood. Not an experiment to duplicate at home, kids.

8. Man-Thing and Swamp Thing


What makes them twins?

Heroic monsters who live in swamps, and whose bodies are composed of the swamp itself. Both have served as the inspiration for low budget B-movies. Both were also scientists at one point, back before the whole, uh…swamp-monster-thing.

Who they are:

Once a promising young biochemist named Ted Sallis, an experimental super soldier formula transformed him into the slow-moving plant creature known only as Man-Thing. Now he protects the Nexus of All Realities, hidden inside a swamp within the Florida Everglades. DC’s Swamp Thing was botanist Alec Holland, who became an avatar of the Green following his death in a swamp. Now, he is a humanoid construction of vegetable matter who fights for his home and the environment.

Who came first?

Actually, interestingly enough, both were created at the same time. Though Man-Thing did premiere two months before his twin, both were developed simultaneously. However, the two characters do owe a debt to an earlier character, the Heap, who predated them.

7. Black Cat and Catwoman


What makes them twins?

Antihero femme fatales with a feline theme, each one attached to their publisher’s most popular hero; Catwoman haunting Batman, and Black Cat with Spider-Man.

Who they are:

Catwoman is Selina Kyle, who has been both a whip-wielding thief and a heroic vigilante, depending on what mood suits her (and who is writing her). Though originally conceived as a Batman villain, Catwoman has grown to become a fan-favorite protagonist in her own right. Black Cat is Felicia Hardy, one of Peter Parker’s most significant romantic interests, as well as being his partner-in-crime-fighting for a period of time.

Who came first?

Catwoman has been lurking around since Batman #1 in 1940, whereas Black Cat didn’t sink her claws into the webhead until 1979.

6. Namor and Aquaman


What makes them twins?

Both of them live under the sea. Both are the kings of Atlantis. Both of them breathe underwater and telepathically communicate with sea life. Need we say more?

Who they are:

Namor, the Sub-Mariner, is the son of a human man and an Atlantean woman, though his loyalties have always sided with Atlantis. Many times, Namor has waged war against the surface world, riding on a thin line between antihero and villain. Aquaman, when he’s not getting his hand torn off and replaced by a hook, is a bit less angry—though not much.

Who came first?

Though most people would be quick to say Aquaman, it’s actually Namor who holds the official title of first underwater superhero. In addition, the Sub-Mariner is actually the first Marvel Comics character,making his first appearance back in 1939.

5. Deadpool and Deathstroke


What makes them twins?

Come on, one’s named Slade Wilson, and the other Wade Wilson? Both highly skilled assassins with awfully similar uniforms…

Who they are:

Slade Wilson, AKA Deathstroke, is a former US soldier turned mercenary, originally introduced as the archnemesis of the Teen Titans, and has since come to be a prevalent figure across the DC Universe. Deadpool—now remember, that’s WADE Wilson—began as a pretty straightforward New Mutants villain, and has since evolved into a bizarre, lunatic anti-hero with a healing factor, a wacky sense of humor and a penchant for breaking the fourth wall. Right now, you probably know Deadpool best (outside of his comics, of course) from a wide variety of memes as well as the upcoming ultra-violent, extremely vulgar Ryan Reynolds movie due out next year.

Who came first?

Deathstroke, obviously. Though Deadpool as first conceived was a pretty obvious spoof/ripoff, Marvel deserves props for reworking him into the fourth-wall breaking, laugh-out-loud antihero that he’s now become—which, ironically, has turned him into one of the most unique characters in comics.

4. Killer Croc and the Lizard


What makes them twins?

Scaly reptile men who have lived in the sewers and have, on occasion, both been depicted as eating people.

Who they are:

Killer Croc is Waylon Jones, a young boy born with an unfortunate skin condition that resembles scales, who went on to become a mob boss in Gotham City… and thus, a frequent foe of Batman. The Lizard is the painful result of experiments performed by family man Dr. Curt Connors, who while attempting to re-grow his lost limb accidentally transforms himself into a vicious reptilian beast.

Who came first?

The Lizard came first, by nearly two decades. The annoying thing about this, however, is that Croc, as originally conceived—as well as the way he was portrayed in the classic Batman: The Animated Series—was not in any way a Lizard clone, and it’s only subsequent creators who have transformed him into one.

The original Killer Croc, who still appears now and again, was simply a disturbed man with a deformity, who had regular human proportions. Unfortunately, later writers and artists have since exaggerated Waylon’s deformities to the point of him having a crocodile-like head, a long tail and so on, thereby making Croc himself more of a cartoon and less of an interesting character. The good news is that the upcoming film Suicide Squad, which will be Croc’s first big screen appearance, looks to be taking its inspiration more from the original depiction.

3. Ant-Man and the Atom


What makes them twins?

Two scientists whose primary superpower is to shrink, while retaining the same strength that they possess at their regular size.

Who they are:

Ray Palmer is a physicist who, will studying the molecular density of a white dwarf star, gains the ability to reduce his molecular density. Ant-Man is originally Hank Pym, a troubled genius whose discovery of the “Pym particles” enables him to reduce his size—or to expand it, and thus become “Giant-Man.” Later on, Scott Lang would assume the role of Ant-Man. Both characters have emerged in pop culture in the past year, with former Superman actor Brandon Routh playing Ray Palmer on the show Arrow while Paul Rudd suited up as Scott Lang in this summer’s Ant-Man feature film.

Who came first?

The Atom beat Ant-Man by a couple years. Both characters have since then gone on in entirely different directions, but one would imagine that if inter-dimensional crossovers were easier to perform, the two of them would regularly grab a tiny beer together.

2. Batman and the Shadow


What makes them twins?

Though the world knows both Bruce Wayne and Lamont Cranston as wealthy socialites, in reality they are dark, mysterious loners who prowl the streets at night, terrifying the criminal underworld. Also, both of them happen to have learned these talents from traveling across the world.

Who they are:

Everyone knows Batman. Orphaned at a young age, Bruce Wayne travelled the world and came back to Gotham to save the city from the criminal element that had overrun it in his absence. The Shadow was originally Kent Allard, a famed aviator, who faked his death and, studying overseas, gained the ability to “cloud men’s minds,” and render himself invisible to them. He then came to the shores of New York City, where he assumed a variety of aliases.

Who came first?

Believe it or not, the Shadow existed before comic books. Originally created a hero for pulp magazines, the Shadow gained much of his fame from a series of Orson Welles’ narrated radio dramas. As the Shadow existed before superheroes were really a “thing,” it’s not hard to see how this shadowy figure—along with Zorro and the Lone Ranger—may have served as one of the primary inspirations behind the Dark Knight.

1. Superman and Shazam (Captain Marvel)


What makes them twins?

Caucasian, dark-haired, super-powered “boy scouts” that fly, with more powers than you can shake a stick at—and capes, of course. There’s plenty of other characters that could fit into this category—Sentry, Hyperion, Marvel Man, the list goes on—but these two are the originals.

Who they are:

Superman is Kal-El, last son of Krypton, rocketed to Earth when his planet blew to smithereens and raised on a farm by the Kents. Shazam—formerly named Captain Marvel—is Billy Batson, a young boy who can speak the word “shazam” and transform himself into a super powered adult.

Who came first?

Superman was the first, but Shazam—originally published by Fawcett Comics—came out only a year later, and was at one point actually outselling the original superhero. Both DC and Fawcett engaged in a fierce rivalry, with both characters constantly one-upping each other; interestingly, it was actually Captain Marvel who flew first, back when Superman was still jumping tall buildings in a single bound.

Today, both characters are owned by DC, so the rivalry has died down quite a bit. But hints of it still linger every time the two characters interact, and when it comes to superhero twins, these two are the ones that set the standard for everyone else to follow.


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– Superhero Twin Edition

Cartoons: Small Screen to Big Screen

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WIF Production-001

1980’s Cartoons

That Still Need To Be Made

Into Live Action Films


We are headed into a world in which there is actively a fourth Transformers film being made as well as a third G.I. Joe film. Films are now being made based on amusement park rides as well as video games. Given all the attendant nostalgia which now grown up geeks have for their youth, there are still quite a few properties from a magical time in cartoons which have yet to get the live action treatment. Some of these may yet become a reality. Some of them are stuck in a fan’s dream. Here are the Top Ten 1980’s cartoons that still need to be made into live action films.

10. Silverhawks


A team of galactic crime fighters in the far flung 29th century are given metal bodies and wings to fight inter-galactic organized crime. Silverhawks was made by the same people who did the Thundercats(Rankin/Bass.)  As a result, many of the same actors who did Thundercats also spent a few minutes hammering out voices for Silverhawks. You will be happy to know that in roughly a thousand years, people will still carry around guitars without a hint of irony or apology.

How Likely Is It To Be Made Into A Movie?:

A little over a year ago, there was a single internet report stating that Jon Favreau (Iron Man and Elf) was attached to write and direct SilverhawksThis may come as surprising news to Favreau who was last reported to try and secure funding for an independent comedy called Chef.  Also, Favreau might not be so ready to go back into the genre of  Space Cowboys. The last movie which he directed was Cowboys and Aliens and that underperformed at the box office. This would mean that Favreau would be making a more expensive movie covering basically the same material that did not work once before. It is possible but highly unlikely.

9.  BraveStarr


BraveStarr was about a Native American law enforcement officer in space. He kept ideals and principles handed down throughout the generations. BraveStarr also fought crime in a Western/Space setting with a horse who could stand on two legs and fight alongside him.

How Likely Is It To Be Made Into A Movie?

You never actually want to say never to anything. There are a few people on the internet who absolutely would buy tickets to a live action BraveStarr movie the moment that it came out. On the other side, Hollywood is all about trends. The current trend is that Cowboys and Aliens underperformed and The Lone Ranger flat out tanked. Convincing a studio to green light the project would require at least one movie proving that a cowboy can give you a blockbuster. Recently, Django Unchained and True Gritproved westerns might have an audience, but fantastic elements have not successfully spun into box office gold.

8.  Dungeons and Dragons


Dungeons and Dragons was a Saturday morning cartoon about teenagers who got on an amusement park ride and ended up in an alternate magical dimension. Most people who saw the cartoon tend to remember it fondly. It was based loosely on the role playing game of the same name. The teens were led by a mysterious Dungeon Master with the promise of one day getting home.

How Likely Is It To Be Made Into A Movie?

Ardent fans of the original cartoon would love to see it. However, there was a movie based on Dungeons and Dragons (though not the cartoon) was made in 2000. If you don’t remember all of the merchandising, that is because the film was a loss by any stretch of the imagination. It actually only recouped about a third of what it cost to make it. The fantasy elements might play out like a younger themed Lord of the Rungs, however it might be hard to get traction for the project.

7.  Thundarr The Barbarian


After a collision from space, the Earth is left in ruin. After thousands of years, a new civilization on Earth has grown up from the debris of the old. The Earth has become a lawless society  infused with sorcery in which the ‘ancient ruins’ are our modern day cities. Heroic crusaders including Thundarr, the magical Princess Ariel, and beastly Ookla The Mok are attempting to restore order.

How Likely Is It To Be Made Into A Movie?

On the plus side, you would be combining some of the best elements of Planet of the Apes, Conan The Barbarian, and Star Wars. If made, the movie would be visually stunning and possibly quite popular. For the record, this Princess Ariel actually pre-dates the Disney version. On the minus side, there is virtually no discussion about bringing Thundarr back in any form. As cool as it was, Thundarr did not last very long and there have not been any even animated revivals. Still, you should never really discount a property which could potentially give you Conan with a light saber.

6. Galaxy High


Two human high school students (naturally one boy and one girl) attend an intergalactic high school. They meet and try to understand all sorts of weird aliens and races. Along the way, there is a little more than a hint that they might actually be falling in love.

How Likely Is It To Be Made Into A Movie?

There might be some signs of life to this one. There was a report that Vanguard Films along with 1492 Pictures and Dreamworks signed a deal to produce Galaxy High into a film. Of course, Disney recently re-acquired rights to Ghost Rider. While the rights exist to make a movie and there may be a script in development, that does not necessarily mean that we will see a picture. The fact that a studio president will come out and talk about it as well as having a screenwriter is a good first step though.

5. M.A.S.K.


M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) was a group which fought crime with enhanced vehicles as well as actual masks which provided special weapons. Their main opposition was a criminal syndicate called V.E.N.O.M. (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem) who left little doubt as to their intentions. V.E.N.O.M. has similar weapons as M.A.S.K. in both autos and masks.

How Likely Is It To Be Made Into A Movie?

Done right, we are talking about Mad Max meets G.I. Joe. You have to love the internet. The only people really trying for it are 2 people that wrote a fan script and trying everything that they can to get the word out. Beyond that slim chance, it seems pretty unlikely. However, this is a franchise that not only once spawned a cartoon as well as toys and video games. Done right, the property could be re-launched without really reminding people that it existed once before.

4. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe


Prince Adam wields a sword with all the powers of  Castle Grayskull to become the most powerful being in the Universe. As He-Man, Adam must thwart the eternal threat and scourge of the planet Eternia against the evil  Skeletor and his minions. He-Man had a cartoon, toys, video games as well an animated revival. As a property, it is almost instantly recognizable to most people.

How Likely Is It To Be Made Into A Movie?

Well… funny story. It was. Once. Ever since then, there has been rumors of another one as a sequel or a full out reboot of the franchise. At one point, John Woo was attached to direct. After Transformers came out in 2007, the rumors only intensified. When people saw G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, it seemed like aHe-Man movie would be imminent. As of this writing, even that was over four years ago now.  Every now and again, some one will ask the question and a new rumor will pop up on the internet. While it always seems likely, no firm information on an actual production has surfaced.

3. Thundercats


In an attempt to start a new civilization from the dying planet Thundaria, the Thundercats took off in a starship headed towards a new home and world. Unfortunately, the new Earth was inhabited with dangers all its own. Those dangers included a vile mutant population as well as an ancient evil named Mum-Ra. Complicating life was the fact that their prince had the body of a man but the mind of a boy.

How Likely Is It To Be Made Into A Movie?

Fans have been clamoring for a movie of  the Thundercats for years. They have implored online. They have made fan trailers. The fan base has actually gotten a new cartoon series on Cartoon Network based on the property. However, the exact nature for the studio of how to make such a movie would be a bit in doubt. There was a preliminary study on doing it as a CGI movie but the scenes did not come out to satisfaction. While there is definite studio interest in making a movie out of the property, the details of exactly how seem to be up in the air. Of course, they might want to visit a few conventions to see realistic versions of anthropomorphic cats walking around on hind legs.

2.  Voltron


Technically, there were three different Voltrons. They defended the Universe against galactic threats. Usually, the property that most people are referring to is the Lion Force. The Lions were operated by pilots and could work individually or collectively as one giant robot. Voltron was popular in both the United States as well as in Japan where it originated. The second force consisted of air, sea, and land vehicles. The third was a three part Voltron which was never a cartoon in America.

How Likely Is It To Be Made Into A Movie?

It would honestly depend. Given the relative success of the Transformers, it would seem like a no-brainer. There has been talk of a movie for years. The recent lackluster performance of the movie Pacific Rim would be seen as a detrimental factor towards a potential Voltron movie. It would probably practically have to be directed by Michael Bay in order to get the movie done. Of course, even that scenario might depend on the success of the upcoming Michael Bay produced Ninja Turtles which similarly has fans worried.

1. Robotech


Robotech is short for Robotechnology. It refers to alien technology found on Earth which was then used in order to make weapons as well as robots. These weapons would then be necessary to fight off extra-terrestrial invasions. The cartoon series followed not only the war between the planets but also the personal interactions between the soldiers and crews working the alien technology.

How Likely Is It To Be Made Into A Movie?

Originally, an animated movie was tested on audiences in the United States in the 1980s. It did not test well. Recent discussions have been revived though. Reportedly, Leonardo DiCaprio stopped negotiations on the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII because of a desire or commitment to work or on a potential Robotech movie. Leonardo’s attachment would certainly move along the process. Of course, the alternate issue would again be the poor performance of Pacific Rim which did cover similar ground. However, this does seem like the most likely franchise to be seen in full glory at the local Cineplex.

Cartoons –

WIF Graphic Novels-001

Small Screen to Big Screen