Tag Archives: comics

Jack’s Comic Gems: Fantastic Four Season One

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. This is video a fresh entry in my ongoing “Jack’s Comic Gems” collection. And this gem highlights a modern retelling of Marvel’s First Family. Back in the mid-2010s, Marvel launched a series of graphic novels that retold the classic origins of iconic characters in a more contemporary setting.

Naturally, the Fantastic Four were one of the first titles to come out and they set an incredibly high bar. Most already know the story of the Fantastic Four, but Season One re-told that story in a way that made it a true gem. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Jack's World, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, superhero comics, superhero movies, YouTube

Gorr The God Butcher: How And Why He Became A Great Villain

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. This video is a deep dive into Gorr the God Butcher. He is, in my opinion, one of the best villains Marvel has created in the past two decades. He challenged Thor and every god in the Marvel universe in a way no character has before. Now that he’s set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor: Love and Thunder, I think the time is right to explore and celebrate this menacing butcher of gods. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Jack's World, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, superhero comics, superhero movies, YouTube

Jack’s Comic Gems: Darth Vader Volume 1: Vader

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. This is video a fresh entry in my ongoing “Jack’s Comic Gems” collection. And this gem takes us to a galaxy far, far away to the world of Star Wars. Back in 2015, Marvel Comics launched a fresh line of Star Wars comics. These books took place between the events of A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, expanding significantly on the lore between.

There were a lot of notable moments during this emerging era of Star Wars, but one of the best came courtesy of Kieron Gillen with Darth Vader Volume 1: Vader. This simple, but impactful story gave us more than just the Empire’s most feared Sith Lord doing what he does best. It laid a new foundation for the character while giving us a bold new face in Dr. Aphra, as well. It turned out to be a hell of a gem and one I’m eager to talk about. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Jack's World, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, superhero comics, superhero movies, YouTube

New York Comic Con 2021 Afterglow

New York Comic Con Announces 2021 Ticket Plans - Geek Anything

I don’t have much to say this morning. I’m still exhausted after all the festivities, but in the best possible way. We may have lost a year because of a global pandemic, but I can safely say that the New York Comic Con is as awesome as ever.

There’s a lot I’d like to share.

I have plenty of awesome pictures.

I also have some souvenirs that I can’t wait to frame and mount on my wall.

For now, though, I’m just too exhausted.

Thank you, New York Comic Con!

Thank you for putting this on after such a rough couple of years!

We needed it.

Leave a comment

Filed under New York Comic Con, superhero comics, superhero movies

On My Way To New York Comic Con 2021!

New York Comic Con Will Return With In-Person Convention This Fall

It’s finally here! After an agonizing two-year hiatus, as well as a global pandemic, the big day is finally here. The New York Comic Con has arrived!

As we speak, I’ve got my costume laid out. I’ve got my stack of comics that I want to get autographed ready to go. Words simply cannot do justice to how excited I am. I’ve already belabored how agonizing it was to see the New York Comic Con cancelled last year. After today, I hope I can completely put that behind me.

If you also lucky enough to go, I hope you’re as excited as me. I intend to get plenty of pictures to capture the moment. For now, though, I’m off to the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

New York Comic Con, I’m on my way!

Leave a comment

Filed under Comic Books, Jack Fisher, Superheroes, Jack Fisher's Insights, New York Comic Con, superhero comics, superhero movies

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Fanciful Fights and Marvelous Drama

The following video is from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It is my full review of “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” Please note that this video has major spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie, you have been warned. Also, it’s a great movie! You should definitely see it the first chance you get. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Jack's World, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Movie Reviews, movies, superhero comics, superhero movies, YouTube

Why Superhero Secret Identities Are More Relevant Than Ever

Superman

You don’t have to be a lifelong fan of superheroes to know the role that secret identities play in their over-arching narrative. It’s one of those story elements that often goes hand-in-hand with a hero’s journey. Part of becoming a hero involves forging an identity and, more often than not, this identity can’t function alongside the one they start with.

It’s a story that has roots in the early days of modern superhero comics. It wasn’t just a common plot point. It was practically a given. It was as necessary as capes, colorful costumes, and punishing masked criminals.

From a practical standpoint, having a secret identity has some legitimate merit. There are things Bruce Wayne can do as Batman that he cannot do and vice versa. The same goes for Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, and many other iconic heroes. In “Batman Begins,” Bruce Wayne set the stage for his secret identity by crafting Batman as a symbol, one that conveyed an idea that went beyond the person in the costume.

In recalling that scene, I think that idea was more prophetic than Christopher Nolan initially intended. When I look at how secret identities have come to define many characters, I believe they’re more important today than they have been in any other era.

I don’t just say that as a long-time fan of superhero comics who has used his knowledge of the genre to explore serious issues. I believe that we, as a society, are entering uncharted territory when it comes to how we manage our identities. The influence of the internet, social media, and an increasingly connected world is more powerful than any fictional hero. It’s already finding its way into superhero media.

This topic became especially relevant for Superman fans because back in late 2019, the release of “Superman #18” officially revealed Superman’s identity as Clark Kent. Now, it wasn’t not the first time Superman’s identity has been exposed, but this time it wasn’t a gimmick. Now, Superman had to learn how to be Superman without a secret identity.

Over the past decade, the value and vulnerabilities of secret identities have been under fire. One of the most jarring moments of the original “Iron Man” movie was the very end when Tony Stark didn’t attempt to hide the fact he was Iron Man. For those not familiar with the comics, it might not have seemed like a big issue. Trust me, it was a major shift.

While Tony Stark debuted as Iron Man in 1963, his identity didn’t become public until the early 2000s. That’s nearly four decades of him operating with a secret identity. In the context of his journey, this was not a trivial decision.

What happened to Spider-Man at the end of “Spider-Man: Far From Home” was even more jarring. While his secret identity has been revealed many times in the comics, it’s almost always retconned. Like Batman and Superman, he has to have a secret identity. He has to have a civilian life that’s separate from his superhero life.

There’s even a notable episode of “Superman: The Animated Series” in which Superman flat out admits that he’d go crazy if he couldn’t be Clark Kent. Think about that for a second. Superman, one of the most powerful and iconic superheroes of all time, admits that can’t handle a life without a secret identity. This is someone who can handle Lex Luthor, Darksied, and Brainiac. If he can’t handle it, then what hope do we have?

That question might not have been too relevant 20 years ago. Before the age of smartphones, broadband internet, and social media, a superhero might have been able to get away with having their identity exposed. You could say the same for anyone who happened to have a dirty secret or a double life. Whether it was an affair or a secret hobby, you didn’t have to work that hard to keep it secret.

Back then, not everyone had a fully-functional camera in their pocket or a means of sharing their media on a mass scale. Even if someone did manage to take a compromising picture or video, it wouldn’t be a huge revelation unless it was published by a major news source and even then there was no guarantee it would have staying power, especially if other major stories broke at the same time.

Now, anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection can capture compromising footage of anyone and share it with the world in seconds. In the world of superheroes, it makes keeping an identity harder than ever. Spider-Man found that out the hard way at the end of “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Ordinary people and major celebrities are finding that out as well in the real world.

The internet and social media has created an unusual, yet potent system that skews the dynamics of having an identity, secret or otherwise. On one hand, it’s easier than ever to create an anonymous persona on the internet. With that persona, people are unbound by the propriety of real-world interaction.

It’s part of why the comments section of any website or social media feed is full of deplorable rhetoric that highlights the worst in people. Ordinary people can use the anonymity of the internet to say thing they would never say to another human being face-to-face. At the same time, celebrities and people of influence have the opposite problem.

In this hyper-connected world, every word and every action is permanently archived and subject to greater scrutiny. Every mistake or misstep is amplified and blown out of proportion. Every bit of subtext and nuance is completely lost in the various biases and agendas of the public. In essence, public figures have little to no control of their identity. They are very much at the mercy of how others perceive them.

That kind of scrutiny can have benefits and drawbacks. You could argue that the added scrutiny of social media has held celebrities and people of influence to a higher standard. They can no longer operate in the shadows with impunity. Dirty secrets will come out. Bad behavior will be documented. The O.J. Simpsons and Bill Cosbys of yesteryear could not get away with their deplorable behavior in today’s environment.

That may be a good thing on some levels, but it comes at a cost and not just for those who have had their lives ruined by the internet. In a world where anonymous identities are easily created and valued identities are easily ruined, how can anyone hope to maintain a balanced perspective? Whether you’re an accomplished celebrity or just some random blogger, don’t you still need a persona that feels true?

For people who are stuck in difficult situations, such as those belonging to racial, religious, or LGBTQ minorities, having that secret identity might be the only one that feels true or genuine. If that gets exposed, then those individuals could be in legitimate danger. There are parts of the world who will punish these individuals in ways far more serious than online trolling.

In the past, these kinds of people didn’t have an outlet or a means of connecting with others who share their struggles. They either had to organize in secret or set up their own communities, which often meant making themselves real-life targets. The ability to create an identity, secret or otherwise, can be a powerful mechanism for helping people forge an identity that feels true to who they are.

To some extent, superheroes embody the importance of these identities. They can’t do what they do without them. They can’t remain connected to the people and the world they’re trying to protect if they’re always in costume, trying to maintain this persona they’ve created. Without it, they become disconnected and overwhelmed. As a result, they can’t be the heroes they need to be.

For people in the real world, having these identities is more important than ever. You don’t have to be a superhero to appreciate their value, but as our world becomes more connected, it’s become a lot easier to understand why Spider-Man and Batman work so hard to preserve their secret identities.

The fact they still struggle, despite having super-powers and billions of dollars, is a testament to just how difficult it can be. As the world becomes increasingly connected and increasingly tribal, it’s only going to get harder.

Leave a comment

Filed under Current Events, Marvel, media issues, outrage culture, political correctness, politics, psychology, Spider-Man, superhero comics, superhero movies

Jack’s Comic Gems: Duke Nukem Glorious Bastard

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It’s the latest entry in my ongoing Jack’s Comic Gems series in which I highlight a quality gem from the world of comics. This one brings to light a gem from the world of Duke Nukem, a video game character who hasn’t been relevant since the 90s. However, he still managed to be part of an unexpectedly good comic. I was surprised too, but in a good way. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under comic book reviews, Jack's Comic Gems, Jack's World, YouTube

Jack’s Comic Gems: Superman Unchained

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It’s another entry into my ongoing series, Jack’s Comic Gems. In it, I highlight some of the brightest gems of the comic book world. This entry is “Superman Unchained,” a rare blockbuster of a comic that had the highest production values, but still delivered. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Jack's Comic Gems, Jack's World

A Wholesome Comic Strip To Brighten Your Day (Featuring Mr. Rogers)

Every now and then, we need something simple, uplifting, and wholesome to boost our spirits. Whether you’re a child, an adult, or a teenager struggling through the rigors of puberty, we just need something positive to cling to, if only briefly.

I certainly need that from time to time. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t. The world can be a chaotic, ugly place. It’s easier than ever to focus on the bad and overlook the good. However, that good is still out there and, in the spirit of sharing that good, I’d like to present a small comic strip that always brings a smile to my face.

I’ll give everyone a minute to wipe the tears from their face or manage their “allergies.”

Yes, that was a comic strip featuring Thor and Fred Rogers.

Yes, that’s the same Fred Rogers from “Mr. Rogers. Neighborhood.”

There are already many unbelievably wholesome stories about Fred Rogers and the impact he had on countless children. The legend of this man’s uncanny kindness, empathy, and compassion is certainly a story worth telling and it has in a number of recent movies.

Like many, I grew up watching Mr. Rogers’ show. In recent years, I’ve rediscovered his remarkable story and his amazing acts of humility. When you need something uplifting to boost your spirits, those stories just find a way to touch my heart on a profound level.

This comic strip doesn’t just reaffirm that. It makes a perfect case that, regardless of how you define worthiness, Mr. Rogers shows just how far true humility will take you. It’s a message I think we can all appreciate right now.

3 Comments

Filed under Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, noble masculinity, superhero comics, superhero movies, Uplifting Stories