Half the Battle: A Throwback Review of ‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’

With Magic Mike XXL about to hit theaters in a couple weeks, Channing Tatum has been making the media rounds to promote the film. Recently, the star was on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show and expressed his displeasure with one of the key movies in his filmography. Talking to Stern, this week Tatum said in reference to the 2009 film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra:

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The Many Faces of Robin

Last week, twitter was all, well, atwitter when artist Sean Murphy tweeted out a loose pencil sketch of Robin — Batman’s trusty sidekick — with an African American teen under the mask. Needless to say, the internet pretty much exploded when the initial tweet went out. Two hours later, though, Murphy and Scott Snyder deflated many a nerd’s bubble when they clarified that this “new” Robin wasn’t actually meant to be “in continuity.” Instead, the sketch Murphy sent out was only meant to be a brief glimpse into an alternate future in one of the anthology pieces in a special issue celebrating the 75th anniversary of Detective Comics #27 next year.

Still, all the swirl around “the first Black Robin” — and the fact that cross-racial casting of superheroes has been a popular topic on the blog recently — got me thinking about comics’ prototypical superhero sidekick. Few headlining superheroes are as indelibly iconic as the Boy Wonder. He’s also one of the few “legacy” heroes — that is, heroes whose mantles have passed down to different characters over the years — who has successfully navigated through several different and distinct identities without losing any of the iconography (while developing ardent fanbases for each version of the character). He’s also one of DC Comics’ most enduring multimedia stars as well, having been portrayed in several incarnations in very different media.

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The Superhero Legacy of In Living Color

in living colorOver the weekend, Jamie Foxx spilled some pretty spoilery secrets about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and a potential Sinister Six spin-off movie. Foxx plays the supervillain Electro in the upcoming superhero sequel, and it got me thinking about the comic book movie legacy of In Living Color, one of my favorite shows growing up.

The year was 1990. I was a shy, nerdy 10-year-old living in Newport News, Virginia. Like my origin post said, I was practically raised by television because my mother was constantly working. When I wasn’t watching horror shows like Tales from the Crypt, you could find me watching anything that would make me laugh. My favorites were sitcoms like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Family Matters. Since there were no Asians to look for on television, I turned to these shows to find any kind of cultural connection — and to laugh uncontrollably. And no other show made me laugh harder than In Living Color.

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