JLA/Avengers is Canon

The Epic Crossover Event

JLA/Avengers, written by Kurt Busiek, is described on its Amazon page as “perhaps the most eagerly anticipated and memorable crossover of all time, as the Justice League of America unites with The Avengers. Superman, Batman, and the other members of the JLA join forces with Captain America, Iron Man, and the many other Avengers to fight a threat so immense it threatens two entire dimensions.” This was the ultimate Marvel/DC event, featuring hundreds of character cameos as well as headlining bouts like Superman vs Thor!

But are the events that played out in this adventure considered canon?

What is canon?

In regards to fictional universes, canon refers to everything that is judged to be included in the history, setting, circumstances, and overall makeup of the property. When the property is written by a single creator, then that person is responsible for acknowledging what is or is not canon. When it comes to much larger properties, the publisher sets the guideline that keeps contributing authors writing stories in the universe that “fit” in the continuity of what is expected for characters and events.

When ranking the validity of different types of evidence, I’d consider the following in order:

  1. Direct Comic Page Reference
  2. In-house Published Sourcebooks
  3. Off-hand Author/Publisher Comments
  4. All Third-Party Sources

Now, let’s get to the evidence…

The DC Evidence

This one is pretty easy since the author of JLA/Avengers also wrote a JLA arc that included overt references to the events of the crossover in its story. Kurt Busiek wrote it. DC published it on its comic pages. JLA/Avengers is clearly canon in DC.


The events of JLA/Avengers is referred to in JLA #107.

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In JLA #111, also written by Kur Busiek, Owlman explains that the Crime Syndicate reboot is a result of the events of the JLA/Avengers crossover.

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In addition to this, DC used the Cosmic Egg that appeared at the end of JLA/Avengers. In Trinity #7, John Stewart refers to the Avengers as “Others.”

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Marvel Evidence

Marvel repeatedly acknowledged the canonicity of the events that took place in JLA/Avengers in their 2008, 2011, and 2012 sourcebooks. These were all titled the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, published by Marvel themselves.


The Terminus entry states, “In a distant cosmos, he arrived on another Earth and began to rampage across its USA attracting and battling a league of justice-seeking superheroes. Though Terminus easily resisted even their mightiest warrior, their detective correctly deduced the importance of Terminus’ power lance. Combining their minds via their telepath, the heroes assaulted Terminus on several levels, then dumped him into thinking they were trying to steal his lance. As Terminus unleashed a potent blast of power through the lance, one of the heroes channeled the energy back at Terminus, blasting a hole in his helmet and incapacitating him. A being of high power from that universe then dispatched Terminus back to the Earth-616 reality.”

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In Monica’s entry, it mentions “the will-powered energies” of an “emerald gladiator.” That’s a reference to a GL (Kyle Raynor) who she fought in JLA/Avengers.

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The Galactus entry reads that he was “assaulted by yet another extra-dimensional powerhouse, who sought the origins of the universe, but he recovered via the actions of the Avengers and a league of heroes from another reality.”

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Avengers’ entry says that they “teamed with the league of heroes from a divergent cosmos to save both their universes from a cosmic scholar turned semi-omnipotent destroyer.”

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The Grandmaster’s entry recounts nearly the entire plot of JLA/Avengers.

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The Verdict

The events in JLA/Avengers is canon because it is acknowledged in publications from both Marvel and DC since its release.

3 Reasons Why King Kong vs Godzilla is a Terrible Idea

There are a ton of rumors about the sequel to the 2014 Godzilla movie, one of which being that King Kong will step up to face him.  As a cynic, I have a few problems with this fight.

Before I say anything, I have to admit that I love all types of monster movies.  I grew up watching the Godzilla movies from the 1960s and 1970s.  The original King Kong movie was amazing.  Even the recent remake was pretty good.  I’m looking forward to more films like those and Pacific Rim in the future.

I just have some issues with this specific fight.

#1 Size Matters

King Kong ranged in height from 18 to 60 feet.  In their first meeting, King Kong had to be swelled to a massive 150 feet just to meet Godzilla eye to eye.  The modern King Kong from Legendary Pictures is back to his 60-foot stature.

The original Godzilla was about 50 meters (approx. 164 feet) tall.  The one from the most recent film is considerably taller, approaching 150 meters (approx. 492 feet) in height.    fb4fe81ffed1bd2f72b91b7d9c89534dKing Kong would have a long way to go if he were going to get that tall.  If not, then the fight would look something like this.GodzillavsKingKong

#2 Abilities

According to Wikizilla, Godzilla’s abilities include:

  1. Atomic Breath
  2. Nuclear Pulse and Magnetic Powers
  3. Durability and Regeneration
  4. Immense Strength
  5. Other powers, such as Flight, Laser Beams, Intelligence, and Amphibiousness (The quote from the page is “Though not an amphibian, Godzilla has an amphibious lifestyle,” whatever that means.) are lesser known but relevant.

Again, according to Wikizilla, King Kong’s abilities are:

  1. Immense Strength
  2. Acute Intelligence
  3. Agility
  4. Immunity to Electricity

Even if they were to be the same height, the comparison still doesn’t seem to line up in King Kong’s favor.

#3 Story

Yeah, I know that I shouldn’t be worried about story in a monster movie, but I’d like to enjoy the action without injuring myself from rolling my eyes too often.  The best way to set this up that I’ve heard came from a YouTube video.  Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Picard is Still Trapped in the Nexus

This is a theory I have held for a while:  Captain Jean-Luc Picard is still trapped in the Nexus from Star Trek: Generations and everything we’ve seen afterward has been a part of his ideal reality.

Background on the Nexus can be found on the always amazing Memory Alpha site.

My Argument

In Star Trek: Generations, Picard was taken by the Nexus before a shockwave destroyed the planet and everyone else on it.  It was said that the Nexus allows whoever is in it will live out their fantasies.  This was initially projected as a family life for Jean-Luc, but that’s not who he is.  He has to save the day.

Instead, he teams up with the iconic Jim Kirk and prevents the disaster from happening in a “redo” type of adventure.  How many of us would want a redo on our biggest failures, especially the one that took all of our closest friends’ lives?

In Star Trek: First Contact, the movie immediately after that, he deals with his unresolved issues with the Borg while playing an integral part in Earth’s history in the galaxy.

Star Trek: Insurrection finds him on a planet that stabilizes and prolongs the aging process, which helps him deal with his thoughts on mortality and companionship, two issues that would rightly affect an unmarried man in his fifties/sixties.

Star Trek: Nemesis is actually one of the better examples.  It literally puts Jean-Luc face-to-face with a younger version (clone) of himself, forcing him to again come to terms with his past and his life choices.

I’m Not Alone

While doing my research for this post, I found a great article on Reddit by WilliamtheV that helps articulate this theory further.  Check it out, because as he wrote: “The Nexus gave Picard what he wanted. A world where his actions have consequences, but he still got to live out his dream life.

Building an Audience Means Taking the Next Step

People won’t just come to you.

Now that there are so many entertainment options choose from, people (rightfully) feel that they should to be courted by creators who want them to read/watch/hear their work.

In truth, it may have always been this way.

Selling the First Wheel

So, if these systems have been in place for millennia, then what can I do to compete?

Building An Audience

Step One:  Blog Regularly

The weekly blogging schedule I’ve taken up has helped keep me sharp and focused.  It doesn’t hurt that I changed my branding a little bit to better fit my personality and interests.  The Writing Teacher was fun and I liked the dual usage of the word “Writing” in the title as both an adjective and a verb, but it didn’t allow me to comment on the topics that most engaged me.

Cynical Sci-Fi gives me some range and helps me be truer to who I am, which is important.  This authenticity has contributed to an increased follower-ship on my Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Step Two:  Broaden My Market Base

It is hard to find new ways to promote old work.  Captain James Hook and the Curse of Peter Pan has had thousands of readers and I am very proud of how it has influenced the Peter Pan mythos, but it is a three-year-old book among many, many, many newer similar titles.

Therefore, I am working with the Audiobook Creation Exchange to make both Captain James Hook titles available on Audible and iTunes.  As of this post, I have one audition already submitted and I am using my audience base to promote this opportunity to others.  (Expect to get updates on this process as it unfolds.)

Step Three:  Collaborate With Others

Working with others in a creative field can be a real pain.  Many will actively try to cut you down so that you do not get a leg up on them or will try to rip off your ideas while discouraging you from pursuing them.

It is important to find a partner (or group) that will encourage you while being constructively critical.  I am fortunate that my writing partner is as talented as he is insightful.  Hundreds of thousands of words have passed between us:  read, commented, and revised.

This isn’t for work that we share credit for either.  These are solo titles, made better through joint effort.

The followup step is to get myself into book talks, social groups, and conferences.

Step Four:  Create New Work

This is often the hardest part.  You tweet.  You post.  Distractions pull you this way and that until hours have passed and you find that your daily word count is under 1000.  It doesn’t have to be this way, though.

  1. Develop new ideas
  2. Set a schedule
  3. Stick to it

This simple process has given me two new series of short fiction, the first titles of which are already done and ready to go.  More are on the way as July and August are typically big drafting months for me (teacher’s schedule).

Step Five:  Experiment

I’m taking a different route with the new titles.  Their lengths allow them to be submitted to genre magazines and I feel that they have a good shot, so I’m trying that first before diving into a self-publishing model.

As with the audiobook creation process, expect that future posts will include updates on which magazines each title will be submitted to and what the responses are.

New is only new for so long, then you have to learn what comes next.  These are both new journeys for me and I’m excited to take them on as a lifelong learner.

 

Are We Doomed to Live Out Our Horrific Fantasy Futures?

Is it just me or are there a ton more articles about our imminent demise lately?

It could be an organized campaign to keep us clicking on these and related links, but I can’t help but I think that there may be something to it.

Earth ‘entering new extinction phase’ – US study (Regarding the unfolding Sixth Mass Extinction.)

Big Five mass extinction events (In case you were wondering what the first five were all about.)

Okay, so we’re done.  It’s been a hell of a ride, but what happens on our way out?  Unlike the dinosaurs, we’re not expected to die off right away.  What does our slow death as a species look like?

The History Channel made a documentary called Life After People (followed by a series with the same title).  The original documentary is embedded below, but the timeline of the collapse of our bridges, buildings and achievements is pretty clear.  Between one and three hundred years, most of our steel and concrete icons are gone.  After 1000 years without consistent and organized upkeep, there would be very little evidence that we existed.

That’s the thing about this.  The structural decay and neglect described in the documentary would happen even if mankind wasn’t totally wiped out.  The rapid loss of 85% of our population due to hunger and mass murder would destabilize governments and throw us into anarchy.  I doubt that people would be concerned with maintaining bridges and buildings while they are foraging for food and picking each other’s bones clean.

0-300 Years After Our Fall

A REVOLUTION/MAD MAX/THE WALKING DEAD/DIVERGENT/HUNGER GAMES style world will happen pretty quickly.  Nations will break up into territories.  Roving bands of survivors will scrape along, dying off one by one.  Psychopaths and their cults have a grand old time hoarding resources and killing everyone they come across.  But our buildings are still there.  People tell stories of our culture and our history.

Chicago in DIVERGENT looks to be in pretty good shape, maybe under 100 years without upkeep.

Chicago in DIVERGENT looks to be in pretty good shape, maybe under 100 years without upkeep.

10,000+ Years After Our Fall

As terrible as it would be, think of life as it is shown in GAME OF THRONES as our best case scenario.

Ignore the magic and dragons and White Walkers for a minute and follow me on this.  (Those could all be remnants of whatever scientific advances in genetics and self-replicating nanotechnology we make between now and our fall anyway.)

All structures and physical markers of the past are gone and a new “ancient” history is being recorded.  Whichever bands of humans survive create fiefdoms and monetary systems.  War is everywhere, which is a sure sign that we’re not done killing ourselves yet.

Most importantly, the GAME OF THRONES world features a global climate that is in a constant state of change.  As a point of reference, this environment that we live in currently is different in air composition and seasonal makeup than the environment the dinosaurs thrived in 100 million years ago.  Perhaps whatever environmental shifts that nearly wipe us out in the Sixth Mass Extinction are still in the process of changing 10,000 years from now.

We live on.  I’m just glad that I won’t live long enough to witness any of it.  Good luck.

Is Even STAR TREK Capable of Overcoming Racism?

I intended on writing a post about how Star Trek is the ony Sci-Fi I can think of that has a positive standpoint on us and our future, but recent events reminded me of our very human faults.  

Star Trek boasts no hunger and no poverty, but is even this utopia able to eradicate racism?

Sadly, no.  Not on a basely human level, anyway.  

Earth, itself, seems to be alright.  Some episodes of DS9 point to major class upheavals in the 2020s, but the human-specific racial issues take place before then and are alive in thier awareness, which is important when trying to avoid repeating the horrors of our collective past. 

But that doesn’t mean that racism is solved.  We, as humans, just needed some other to marginalize and discriminate against.  

“‘Speciesism’ is the idea that being human is a good enough reason for human animals to have greater moral rights than non-human animals. …a prejudice or bias in favour of the interests of members of one’s own species and against those of members of other species.” – BBC 

Spock is the most obvious example, being bi-racial (bi-speciel? bi-special?) in heritage.  Oh how we laughed and laughed as the good country doctor spun some good old country racism at the half-breed.  

Although he was the most repeated (and most passive) victim of offense, Spock was by no means alone.  Cardassians are called spoon-heads and Klingons are often referred to as smelly and loud.  

Humans have a need to categorize and differentiate.  It is what set up our language and systems of contextual understanding.  

This doesn’t mean that we need to label other as lesser, but we still do it. 

Memory Alpha has more on racism in STAR TREK.

SUPERMAN IS DUE FOR A LOSS

Superman is like Floyd Mayweather.  He never loses.  And much like the undefeated boxer, there are many who would like to see Superman knocked on his cape.

But who is going to make it happen?

Superman vs the DC Universe

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Let’s start with the first hero on everyone’s mind.  Superman and Batman have had a long history together.  However, in spite of recent hype, they are more often seen working together than at each other’s throats.

There were many tense moments between these two heroes and they have fought at times.  Batman tried to attack Superman without much success until he started carrying Kryptonite with him everywhere he went. This evened things up, but not always.

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In the end, these two are best friends. One’s strengths balances out the other’s weaknesses.  Besides, Batman even admitted in Hush that, despite having Kryptonite and a plan, “He (Superman) can’t be stopped. But he can be stunned.”

This may be why they settled their differences, at least until the next marketing push. 1374342468_bats_supes

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The iconic Amazon Princess is often seen as Superman’s equal in physical strength.  Depending on which story you are reading, she has one of two origin stories.

Option One: Hippolyta wanted a child so badly that she created one out of clay.  Hera blessed it with life and that child grew to be Wonder Woman.

Option Two: Hippolyta was one of Zeus’s conquests and Wonder Woman is the demigod child of that union.

Either way, she is divine in birth and trained in war.  She has defeated Hercules and Ares on several occasions.  Her fights with Superman are epic.

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They have knocked each other out and even nearly killed one another in fits of rage.  Superman has the edge in the number of victories, however, and is considered to be slightly stronger and faster than she is.

Again, these two are great friends and seem to have found a way to get along.superman_wonder_woman

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Billy Baston is a young orphan who is granted the powers of the gods so that he could be their champion.  He says “SHAZAM” out loud and is transformed into Captain Marvel.  Each letter in the name SHAZAM represents one divine gift.  S – The wisdom of Solomon. H – The strength of Hercules. A – The stamina of Atlas. Z – The power of Zeus. A – The courage of Achilles. M – The speed of Mercury.

He and Superman have had wars, so many that it came to the point in which he and Superman decided it would be best to determine who was the strongest in an arm wrestling match.

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Superman and Captain Marvel don’t like each other.  It may be out of mutual jealousy that their powers and station in the DC Universe are so similar.  It could also be that there are just some people who don’t get along.  Everybody gets one.  The Hero Envy blog has a full tally of their fights here.

Gods in the DC UniverseGodwave001

Superman has beaten men, monsters, and demigods.  So how does he fare against actual deities in the DC Universe?

Pretty damn well.

In War of the Gods, Superman defeats the Aztec God, Quetzalcoatl.

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Atlas and Samson challenge Superman to an arm wrestling match in All Star Superman.  He accepts both of their challenges at the same time.

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Superman’s biggest victory in the god division is over Darkseid.  There are many, many fights between these two characters as Darkseid has quickly become Superman’s #1 adversary (even over Luthor, who can’t seem to get the job done after nearly seventy years).

Darseid is one of the New Gods, a race of beings that make up the top pantheon in the DC Universe.  His power is on par with Zeus, Odin, and other chief gods of their realms.  He is the architect of so many horrible things that he has earned his place as the ultimate evil in the DC Universe.  He has beaten Superman in their early meetings, but not lately.  Superman has grown beyond even Darseid’s ability to defeat.

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So what happens when the hero of your universe has overcome all challenges, godly or otherwise?  The same thing that happens when you are the champion of your division, he starts taking challenges from the other league.

Superman vs the Marvel Universe

Think of it like the Superbowl or the World Series.  The top teams are already champions where they come from.  Now it is time to determine who is the overall best of the best.  The same is true for comics characters.

The first one up to bat…

Spider-Man

After Lex Luthor blasted Spider-Man with a power-boosting ray, he was doing pretty well against Superman.  Then the effects wore off and “The Battle of the Century” turned out to be a dud.  Sound familiar, boxing fans?

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Just because you are the most popular character in your company doesn’t mean that it is a good idea to fight the most popular character in the other company.  Maybe try to find someone in your weight class next time.

The Incredible Hulk

The hype was out of control over whether the Hulk was stronger than Superman.  It culminated in a fight in book three of the Marvel Versus DC collection in which Superman put the green monster down.

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Some argue that this fight shouldn’t count because the winner was voted on by the fans.  I disagree.  Who better to decide these type of arguments than those who are invested in keeping the characters alive and thriving as a part of our culture?  These two have fought a few more times and the Hero Envy blog has those listed here as well.

The Mighty Thor

Marvel’s resident god of thunder has it all:  strength, toughness, magic, centuries of hardened combat experience.  Again, the comic world was hyped for a huge showdown between Thor and Superman.

It finally happened in Avengers vs. Justice League #2.  Both teams were in a “capture the flag” style competition and were busy fighting each other for the various prizes.  At one point, Superman and Thor found each other on the battlefield and went at it without holding back.

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As usual, it ends with Superman standing over his challenger as the clear winner.  Many, many Marvel fans were upset.

Why Does Superman Always Win?

This is a hard question to answer.  My guess is that it has to do with the combination of his powers.  His faster-than-light-speed movement and planet-crushing strength are just too much to overcome when used together.  Most characters are either strong or fast, not both and usually not at his level.

So Who’s It Going To Be?

Someone has to be the one to put Superman down.  It happens to all great champions eventually.  There is just that one guy who has your number.

Tito Ortiz took out Ken Shamrock.

Buster Douglas took out Mike Tyson.

___________ will take out Superman.

As of right now, the top contenders are…

Son Goku Goku-Wallpaper-hd-for-PC-1

With his ultra fast martial arts, mountain-crushing punches, and planet-destroying energy blasts, Son Goku is a famous Manga and Anime character who is a much-debated challenger to the Man of Steel.

The gaming company, ScrewAttack, came out with a video detailing and predicting this fight.  Although they use a good deal of math to come to their conclusion, the video seemed to create more controversy than already existed before its release.

The Silver Surfersilver_surfer_wallpaper_by_nickhrh-d5sx3ng

The Silver Surfer is a herald of Galactus, a world-devouring cosmic being.  He travels at speeds well beyond light, is incredibly strong, and manipulates energy.  It is that last part that makes him dangerous to Superman.

Superman absorbs solar radiation as food and uses that energy to power his abilities.   The Silver Surfer can manipulate all types of energy, including solar and kryptonite radiation.  Even if the Silver Surfer is not as strong or as fast as Superman (which he may not be considering his losses to Thor), he potentially has the ability to drain Superman of his power source, weakening him to a manageable level.

The problem is pulling this off before catching a beating and waking up a statistic on Superman’s bout sheet.

SUPERMAN IS DUE FOR A LOSS

The question is:  Who is going to be the one to do it?

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