Why The Black Panther Is Marvel’s Answer to Batman

As most comic book fans are aware, the success of an adaptation — be it a live action film, a television series, or a cartoon — can prove to be a game changer for the superhero protagonist and their standing in the comic book universe.

A little exposure can result in minor throwaway characters becoming heavy hitters overnight.

This is yet another reason I’m excited about the forthcoming Black Panther movie. This is a character who hasn’t always been properly utilized and this has resulted in more than a few missed opportunities. The highly anticipated film may finally alert the public to one fundamental truth about the Wakandan superhero. For all intents and purposes, the Black Panther is Marvel’s answer to Batman.

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NOC Recaps Daredevil: aka Law & Order Hell’s Kitchen

I brought this up in my recap for “Into the Ring,” but “Rabbit in a Snowstorm” is where we really get the Law & Order: Hell’s Kitchen portion of the show. We can break this one down into three parts too: bowling alley/back alley; Karen, Ben, and the devious corporation formerly known as Prince Union Allied; and the murder trial. There’s an up, then down, then back up wave feel in terms of rhythm in this one.

This being an outstanding ensemble drama, the writing and acting sparks get passed around nicely. I’m going to start giving out (drum roll…) “The Golden Broken Arm for Best Performance per Episode.” Appropriate, right? The best performance from “Into the Ring” goes to Charlie Cox, and “Cut Man” is all Rosario Dawson. This episode, though, is actually tougher, but I’m going to go out on a limb. (Ha, “limb” — more on that later).

Let’s begin though, with Sason Jathom. Who?

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R.I.P. Francis Tsai

Last night, the SIUniverse family was rocked when we learned we had lost one of our own. Francis Tsai, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2010, passed away after a long battle with the disease — just one week after celebrating his 46th birthday. In 2009, Francis became part of the SIUniverse by illustrating the story “Taking Back Troy” in the first Secret Identities volume. Though ALS slowly took away his ability to draw with his hands, he never let the disease stop him from creating art. First, he trained himself to draw using his feet, and when that was taken from him, he pioneered special technology using his eyes to create art.

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The NOC Review: Donnie Yen’s Back in Kung Fu Killer

As a rabid martial arts film nerd, I’m not easily impressed. It’s one of those things where if you’ve seen one film, you’ve seen them all. So a movie has to really step outside of the box to garner my attention.

The premise of Donnie Yen’s latest action flick, Kung Fu Killer directed by Teddy Chen, did exactly that in grand fashion.

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Star Wars Celebration Anaheim Recap

There is something to be said for having a shared experience with over 6,000 people sitting in an arena in Anaheim, California. A single, solitary moment when a giant video screen fades to black and you hear a voice that you recognize but can’t quite process quick enough before the visual hammers it home, “Chewie, we’re home.” Everybody around me immediately jumps up, fists pumping up high, cheers deafening, not quite processing everything about the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer. Luckily, we are able to see it again and are able to focus more on what we just saw.

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NOC Recaps Game of Thrones: Arya Gonna Go My Way?

Last week on Game of Thrones, we witnessed various examples of people dealing with their demons, either literally (as with Dany and her dragons) or figuratively (Tyrion dealing with his new role as Dadslayer). This week’s episode, “The House of Black and White,” continues the first episode’s pacing and purpose: we pay visits to the characters we hold dear, but we also get treated to new glimpses of new countries and cultures.

If I had to guess at one overarching theme of this episode, I would say it was the struggle for female empowerment. Arya, Brienne, Cersei, and Daenerys took huge steps this episode into taking a seat at exclusively-male-dominated tables. Ellia Sand seems eager to lead an army to war. Even Gilly is learning how to read! It is becoming very apparent that the future of Westeros, no matter who comes out on top at the end, can very well rest in the hands of a woman.

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NOC Recaps The Flash: Bee-ing Truthful or Why Lies Sting

Central City buzzed with excitement this week when Team Flash teams up with Team ATOM  (Team ATOM consisting solely of Arrow‘s Felicity Smoak and Ray Palmer) to tackle CC’s new bee problem. The bees, however, aren’t the only stings felt by our favorite Central citizens: Barry hesitates whether or not to talk to Cisco and Caitlin about his Wells theories,  Eddie and Iris are on the road to couples counseling, and Cisco is feeling some bad vibes concerning Dr. Wells. Are we sure that bees are the only bug problem? Surely, there have gotta be spiders, too, because everyone is tangled in a GOTDAMB WEB OF LIES.

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Dismantling the Master’s House of Cards with the Master’s Tools

Being an author, understandably more than a few people have wanted my thoughts on the Hugo/Sad Puppies controversy. For those of you just joining us, this piece by fellow Nerd of Color Arthur Chu gives an excellent summary here.

Before I go any further, let me preface by saying this. As a writer, awards and accolades don’t even rank in terms of priorities. Don’t get me wrong, they’re awesome and I appreciate the the honor as much as the next person but it goes back to a point my friend Pauline Trent and I discussed one day. There are generally two types of artists — and by artists I mean visual artists, writers, musicians, dancers, etc. The first type of artist is one who wants to be world renowned as a great artist. The second type of artist simply wants to produce as much work as they can possibly produce. More often than not, the latter leads to the former.

Whether it’s an essay, a social media update, or a novel, whenever I write, I have three objectives in mind: to enlighten, to entertain and to empower. So while awards may not be a priority for many writers, we still acknowledge the huge accomplishment in having one’s work recognized by industry peers and fans alike. Over the years, the Hugos have recognized some truly gifted authors. I’m honored to call a couple Hugo nominees good personal friends of mine. But as this fiasco just illustrated, the Hugos are yet another symptom of a corrupt system that is the publishing industry.

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Batman Vs. Robin: Now with Color Commentary

So last week I provided live-streaming color commentary while watching Batman vs. Robin.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, my color commentary is essentially done in the spirit of Mystery Science Theater 3000, you know if it was narrated by Dave Chappelle and Paul Mooney.

The commentary is pretty much spoiler free.

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NOC Recaps Daredevil: I’m Bleeding, Save Me Rosario!

This one’s amazing. Holy shit. Wow!

Okay, I think we can break it down into three acts: Matt and Claire, Battlin’ Jack, and the beat down at the end. I guess there’s also the Karen and Foggy bender that’s cute and light. Enough on that? Okay, good. Ding, ding, there’s the bell. Let’s get in to episode two of Daredevil, “Cut Man.”

Fight!

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