When you start a blog you are imbued with great thoughts. I will write such and such and so and so will see it and the world will change. Peace will encompass the planet and the redhead will want to do many wrong things for all the right reasons. As time goes on you discover that no such great thing will happen, or not during your lifetime anyway, so you start paying attention to who really is reading your stuff. And this is a soul searching moment. Because, while you will find those who enjoy and share your efforts you will also find those who loathe the air you breathe. If you were to die in a horrible accident tomorrow these people wouldn’t be happy until they saw slow motion video of the event. Preferably in 3D with Surround Sound. That’s disconcerting to say the least. If the redhead were just to touch the back of your hand you’d feel better at that point. But then you come to realize that the haters don’t really hate you. They hate everything. They live in fear, hidden from human interaction by self made barriers. They hate themselves, they hate their families, thy hate anyone who doesn’t hate as they do. They would rather embrace a proven lie than even acknowledge simple truths. So you learn to relegate them to background noise, your heart rate stabilizes and you hope that the redhead will hold your hand and kiss you.
We all need hope.
Yesterday I got some news that made me want to write some important stuff. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan asked, in a very demanding sort of way, that President Obama and anyone else around open all the secrets of Area 51 to the public. This is despite the fact that not one single shred of possible anything points to anything going on there other than military research. You remember military research, right? That stuff that keeps our country safe. President Obama, who is smarter than a box of rocks, has thus far declined to play along. I imagine that will continue to be the response, official or otherwise, until Hell freezes over or the Cubs win the World Series. Whichever comes first.
So why does Reverend Farrakhan want Area 51 turned into a tourist trap?
Farrakhan has often referred to a UFO he calls the Mother Wheel, which according to The New Yorker, he describes as a “heavily armed spaceship the size of a city that will rain destruction upon white America, but save those who embrace the Nation of Islam.”
In his recent sermon Farrakhan said, “We believe our words that we have shared on the presence of the Wheel could help the president and America to avert Allah’s warning of chastisement and destruction if America does not bow down.”
If you hit that New Yorker link copy it into a text editor. That is the most poorly designed web page ever. Which is a shame. It’s a fascinating article.
So, we have a great set up; a clearly delusional man with goo gobs of cash who wants to kill all the white people (hey, who among us hasn’t felt like that?) but who doesn’t realize that he’s a mirror image of the Koch brothers, who are trying to exterminate anyone who isn’t white, and preferably Christian in name only, although without the space ship, and that the world has passed them all by long ago.
Really, it could be interesting.
So what’s filling my inbox today?
“Why does Chicago have such weak ass superheroes?”
David Welch, of Technorati, clearly has too much time on his hands or has not met anyone to have sex with. Both could be involved, I guess. One causing the other, as it were.
And, as it turns out, my readers care about this kind of stuff. So, here we go.
Metropolis, Gotham City, and New York City. Superheroes tend to congregate around the major cities in America, fictional and real, that supply them with an endless criminals to beat up and villains to apprehend. After all, you’re not going to find many megalomaniacal geniuses trying to take over the world from Tulsa. But what superheroes can you name hailing from Chicago, Illinois – America’s third most populated city?
While everyone moving to Chicago should know that the city provided the backdrop for Gotham City on both of Christopher Nolan’s first two Batman films, as well as Metropolis on the Lois and Clark television series, it turns out the real Windy City’s roster of superheroes is surprisingly slim.
However, there are still a handful of great heroes representing Chicagoland in the funny books. Here are the top 10.
10. Heavy Duty – This “Real American Hero” serves as heavy ordnance specialist for the G.I. Joe team. A Chicago native, Lamont A. Morris, otherwise known as “Heavy Duty” enjoys cooking, classical guitar, and rapping.
9. Toy Boy – This super-powered prankster is a member of the Honor Brigade and star of his own title published by Indie comic creator Tom Stilwell. Toy Boy defends Chicago with an arsenal of hilarious gadgets and witty quips.
8. The Spaceknights – Almost nothing is known about this team of government sanctioned superheroes created during the Fifty States Initiative and designated to defend Illinois with super-human muscle. The member roster has not been revealed, but just knowing that an entire team is looking out for Chicagoans earns it a spot on this list.
7. Reuben Flagg – Born on Mars, the protagonist of American Flagg! Lives battles a giant, interplanetary union of corporate and government interests called the Plex in a futuristic, sci-fi Chicago.
6. Katar Hol and Shayera Thal – This incarnation of the superhero alien of Thanagar, Hawkman, was sent to Earth with Hawkgirl, Shayera, where they fought against Chicago’s Netherworld – a neighborhood of metahumans, paranormals, psychics, and mutants in the old Union Stock Yards on the south side of the city.
5. Jimmy Corrigan – This titular “smartest kid on Earth” isn’t exactly a superhero, but is the star of a widely-acclaimed graphic novel by Chris Ware. Jimmy escapes the unhappiness of his lonely, middle-aged life with an active imagination that gets him into awkward situations.
4. Tigra – Greer Grant was born in Chicago where she attended UIC before a lab experiment gave her the combination of science, magic, and mental energy of the Cat people. Now as Tigra, she sports a sleek coat of orange fur and black stripes and uses her feline powers to help the Avengers.
3. Luke Cage – Although not a Chicago native, Power Man had a brief stint in Chicago during the 90s as a Hero for Hire. In the Windy City, Cage teamed up with detective Dakota North and uses his superhuman strength and durability to clean the streets of Chicago.
2. James Gordon – Batman’s resourceful police commissioner buddy wasn’t always a resident of Gotham City. According to his character back story, Jim spent more than 15 years with the CPD foiling criminals and acquiring the incredible detective skills that would make him one of the Caped Crusader’s greatest allies when he returned to Gotham.
1. Savage Dragon – Big. Green. Finned. The Savage Dragon isn’t your typical Chicago cop, but he’s got the emerald muscle to take on Chicago’s mutants and superfreaks. Considered to be one of the greatest comic characters of all time, Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon has been defending the Windy City for nearly 20 years.
Now that you are familiar with Chicago’s finest meta-humans, you’ll fit right in at the Chicago Comic Con. But am I leaving out any major heroes in this list? The comment section below is your chance to correct me with your superior comic book knowledge.
Okay, in some semblance of order. first we have to straighten out the facts. Comic Con is called Wizard World and is held in Rosemont. It caters to the more conservative fans of graphic novels. Anyone with a pulse knows that the real comic book celebration in Chicago is C2E2 which is held in the city, features local, as well as national, artists and is where the two cosplayers at the top of this page came from.
Tigra helps the Avengers in New Freaking York and Billy Corrigan’s super power is to bore people to death. The only people reading that self absorbed piece of crap were pot smoking pseudo-intellectuals. You know the kind, 13 years in college with no degree and no job.
Anyway, one thing I do know is that David is white, painfully so judging by that article, and lives on the North Side of the city. God knows the poor bastard may be a Cubs fan too.
Well, let’s not pile on.
Anyway, way back in 1999 a guy named Jiba Molei Anderson began a company called Griot enterprises which began releasing work from African American comic book artists. In 2002 he began releasing the company’s seminal series, Horsemen, and after it began hitting the streets it began garnering a huge following.
Now, transparency alert. I have been a fan of Jiba’s work for a long time and have been asked to be a contributing writer on the re-boot that is coming this summer.
Gunsmith Cats, one of the better anime cartoons around, is set here. If you read the story I’m not sure that the authors have been here but that could also just be difficult translations. They do feature a ton of beautiful sky line shots and a hot mustang.
I like Mustangs. My first car was a 1973 Stang.
And, last year, Batman’s favorite Robin, a/k/a Nightwing, moved here and took up crime fighting. Well, not everyone knows how to make pizza.
And Power Man a/k/a Luke Cage and Iron Fist seem to like our Chicago style dogs and deep dish pie as well. Their Heroes for Hire pairing spent a long time here.
While it’s most certainly true that Chicago has not seen the plethora of heroes that New York, both fictionalized and not, has seen it isn’t like we’ve been ignored.
Plus, if you ever wondered how Superman could leap a tall building (pre-flying era), or what the effects of gravity and wind would be on the Flash, you would need to come to Chicago, where all the coolest and smartest people are, to listen to Dr. James Kakalios, from the University of Minnesota but we don’t hold that against him, explain it all at Fermi Lab.
While you’re laughing, I’ll take this moment to remind you that Miguel Alcubierre came up with the math for faster than light travel by watching Star Trek.
Oh, and while I knew most of this I was able to fill in the blanks using Google in under 10 minutes.