2011 is Year of the Nerd

Nerds never realize that they’re nerds. They have it pointed out to them by their classmates, and usually not in an affectionate manner.

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When I was lonely kid my father (to his everlasting regret) dragged home three large boxes of comic books (a store on his way home was closing up shop and he asked if he could take them.) And that’s my origin story.

Even though those first three boxes were mostly western, war, horror, and Batman comics, I soon found my way to the bold world of the Superhero.

The nerds at my school found each other and we began to not only talk about comic books (and this was long before the advent of the dedicated comic book store) but we began to trade them! I remember trading two measly Batman comics for Fantastic Four #200. I still have that issue and it’s a GREAT story to this day.
This year will be see five (5!) big time comic book to screen adaptations. If they never made another superhero movie after The Dark Knight, I would have been satisfied. Not only is that just about perfect, I’m in it as a cameraman in the courtroom scenes. So there’s that. I wonder if Maggie remembers me.
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This is the first Thor comic I ever owned. Look at thing– that’s a great cover. I love words and both lead characters speak with a lot of “thee’s” and “thou’s” which to a kid was so interesting and I think it prepped me to love Shakespeare. 
The Silver Surfer is tricked into thinking Thor is a badguy so SS goes to Asgard (that’s where Thor lives when he’s getting his god on) and accuses him to his face! Thor’s friends are outraged and (some physically) leap to his defense.

In an instance, the Silver Surfer realizes his error (“Could an evil being inspire such loyalty?”) Great question. The two fight over many pages and godcity blocks but in true comic book tradition they settle their differences and have a new respect for each other. 

Thor is an interesting character. He’s not from here. He’s not wearing a disguise or pretending to be a Norse god– He’s Thor, the God of Thunder! and he throws a hammer at villains while shouting, “Have at thee!” And that might be the best superhero battle cry ever. 
To a kid, Thor was not just “the good guy.” Thor was truly noble; he fought and protected Earth because that was his chosen duty. He sacrificed his homeland and his family to protect the people he loved. Also, he was crazy strong and sometimes he had weird powers (he flies by throwing his hammer so hard, he just hangs on it!)
I hope the movie gets it right. 
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This is an iconic scene from the Green Lantern/Green Arrow comic book in the Sixties. Even though he has a super-powered ring that enables him to fly through space and create just about anything (just as long as it’s green) he’s powerless against his own liberal guilt.
To be honest, even though I love Green Lantern, the character is a bit of a bore/boor. He’s a bit of a womanizer, can’t hold a job, arrogant with no real personality. Even today, the Green Lantern comic is one of the most popular titles but it’s not because of Hal Jordan, Green Lantern, it’s because of the scope and size of the stories. The Green Lantern Corps patrol and protect the known sectors of the Milky Way. They’re space-cops and they deal with threats to the entire fabric of space/time. Their adventures are BIG Sci-fi madness. Ryan Reynolds seems a good fit; a pretty boy blank slate. 
I hope the movie gets it right.
I’m excited for the Thor movie. I’m excited for the Green Lantern movie. I am giddy for the Captain America movie. I adore the Captain. Maybe it’s because of all those WW2 comics, but a “super-solider” with an indestructible shield seemed just about right to me. Or maybe it was because scrawny Steve Rogers was chosen by the government to be transformed into Captain America.

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This is one of the first issues of Star-Spangled Avenger that I owned and in it, he agrees to be put in prison and try to escape in order to test it’s effectiveness. “But you’re friends with the Warden, how do we know you’ll try your hardest?”
Because I give you my word.”
“Captain America’s word! That’s good enough for me!”

To me Cap has always been the embodiment of the American Dream and the ideal American. In the comics, he is absolutely the most popular, most trusted superhero and is the leader of the Avengers. The character himself was created in March, 1941. On that cover he was punching out Hitler. It doesn’t get more old school cool than socking it to Adolph on your first cover. 
Also, I like that he has just a regular old belt. 
Captain America is the American Dream, but not the politics and bureaucracy that sometimes accompanies such claims. He frequently fights all manner of nazis and fascism, but in the past few years he’s been up against his own government as they tried to force all the superheroes to register and reveal their secret identities. Cap’s “Live Free or Die” motto bore bitter fruit as he was “killed” and is just now back in our reality. Of course, once, a third party political group asked him to run for President. He eventually turned them down, but he gave this great speech.
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He’s smart, resourceful and fervently believes in the American Dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Once, he was wracked with guilt when a sentient computer tricked him into destroying its CPU, thus killing it… suicide by shield. 
I hope the movie gets it right. 
And don’t get me started on Game of Thrones!

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