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Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes…now on DVD! (for the first time of probably several)

AEMHvol1OK, so…the first DVD package of Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is out/out soon.

And of course, it looks like it’s going to be your average $15-ish purchase, with a handful of episodes from the first season.

Thing is…are these actually a merging of all those little “shorts” that were put out just before the series itself officially started last year? Or part of the “main” season itself? I can’t tell that from the package…which is certainly not going to sell me on BUYING this thing.

Also, of course…in a day and age where most tv shows seem to be put out on DVD…seems to ME the vast majority are put out as…FULL SEASONS. You air a season on tv, do whatever with advertising and web streaming and all that…and then when the show’s season is available on DVD, you have the full, entire season.

Yet for some reason, it seems like more and more lately, I’m noticing shows doing PARTIAL seasons. Even a HALF season–if it’s rushed out as the show goes on a mid-season hiatus–makes sense. But just taking a handful of episodes like this, billing the first DVD with content as “volume 1” actually turns ME off to the thing. (I think I know just enough to be stupid regarding this, and don’t know enough to have the “full picture.”)

I recall seeing periodic releases of DVDs for Wolverine and the X-Men a couple years back. But then late last year…the entire season/series was put on one DVD set. I wasn’t going to pay $15 for 3-5 episodes ($3-5/episode), but when 20ish episodes were released for roughly $25 (around $1/episode), I was all over that, and I think I probably watched the whole thing in about a week and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Huge trouble I’ve noticed, though, for the DisneyXD stuff–and it was part of the problem I had with Wolverine and the X-Men that led to me ignoring it on regular TV after a handful of episodes.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a SCHEDULE. There’ll be a couple new episodes, then reruns, then maybe a new episode, then a slew of reruns. Plus, the show re-airs stuff at various time-slots, and it winds up becoming this huge mess to try to keep track of.

And then people wonder why I decide that I’ll “wait for the DVD.” And in this case–I’m not JUST waiting for the DVD–I’m waiting for the better-value edition that better reflects the series as a “season set” instead of some bimonthly allowance of episodes.

Favorites of Walt: The Comic Shops #12 – JC Comics and Cards

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JC Comics in Cuyahoga Falls, OH should not be confused with JC’s Comic Stop in Toldeo, OH. I find it’s quite a small world, though, that I’ve experienced two totally unrelated comic shops with virtually the same name.

JC is mainly a "backup" shop for me–if something’s not on my pull list at Kenmore and they’re out, I’ll stop by JC to see if he has the issue. Occasionally I’ll stop in to check out the bargain bin stock–I’ve acquired some decent issues from that, and a couple good runs–most of my Archer & Armstrong run came from JC’s bargain bins.

The shop has a decent selection of back issues, though I’ve never really had occasion to poke through it much. Recent issues make up a large portion of the store, with a section for the current week’s issues, and then a wall of recent weeks’ issues, grouped by Vertigo, Misc, Kids, Marvel, and DC…with a few superhero stuff from other publishers mixed in between DC and Marvel’s fare. There’s also an X-Men section.

They have a double-shelf row of collected volumes above the recent issues, with quite a good selection. I’ve found a couple classic Captain America TPBs there for cover price that would run $40+ via Amazon or other internet sellers.

The shop has for the last couple years been a GREAT location for Free Comic Day, attracting a solid crowd. The owner dressed as the Joker for 2010, and Batman showed up at one point.

The shop is a good one, though generally sells through on new stuff very quickly–the last several times I’ve been in, there are more "holes" than not on the current week’s releases, and this the day OF release.

All in all, I like the shop…just that it’s not a "primary" or "home" for me. Never have had bad service, and it’s well worth stopping by to check out the bargain bins, at least.

The Man in the [Man of Steel] Mask: Clark Kent vs. Superman as "Real"

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While going through some old stuff I recently uncovered, I found this old essay I wrote for a class in my undergrad days…probably 2002 or so. Figured I’d share it on this blog, as it’s at least some “new” content, and I’ve obviously not been posting much lately.

A lot has changed in the intervening years since this was written–including the fact that the Superman in the comics today is NOT the same Superman referenced throughout this essay (as of 2006 and the end of Infinite Crisis).

As I formatted this to post, I spotted a bunch of glaring errors and issues…but left ’em in here, to maintain the integrity of the original document. And…this could become a monster of a project if I were to play editor to my 8-9-years-younger self. 


In Superman comics since 1986, Superman’s identity has been changed—most notably in the portrayal of the Clark Kent portion as “true” while Superman is portrayed as a “mask.” Despite nearly sixteen years since the change, this portrayal of the character has had little impact on the way he is seen. Many people—fans, scholars, and the general public—see Superman as the “real” character while Clark is the fiction. “Superman differs from his predecessors in science fiction by being able to exist within society by disguising himself as the self-deprecating and mild-mannered Clark Kent. It is the Kent alter ego that is supposedly a fiction, while the Superman personality is taken as real.” (Thomas Andrae “From Menace to Messiah” 1987.) Using the Superman comics themselves, I will show Clark Kent as the primary character while Superman is the mask.

In the essay “The Good, the Bad, and the Oedipal” (1987), Lester Roebuck suggests that “The Man of Steel’s heroic stature depends on his ability to keep the Clark Kent portion of his psyche carefully segregated.” I believe that it is actually the maintaining of his Clark Kent psyche that allows for the heroic stature of Superman. Raised as Clark Kent from birth by adoptive parents Jonathan and Martha Kent, and instilled with a sense of American values inherited from them, Superman as a hero is merely Clark Kent in a costume. In The Death of Superman (1993), this is explicitly stated: “The raised him to be a hero…to know the value of sacrifice. To know the value of life.” In World Without a Superman (1993), the reader is shown a flashback to Jonathan talking with a young Clark, and Clark explains “You’re the one who taught me how to care!” Additionally, in 1986’s Man of Steel, after revealing to Clark the rocket that brought him to earth, Jonathan tells him “Whatever this thing really is, wherever you came from, you’re our son now. You’re an American citizen–and that means you’ve got responsibilities.” When Clark prepares to leave Smallville, he shows acceptance of parental guidance when he tells Martha “After all the times you and he have talked to me over the years . . . You told me all those times that I should never use my special abilities to make myself better than other people–to make other people feel useless . . . It’s time for me to face my responsibilities.” With that, Clark began several years of secretly helping others, before he was discovered. He worked in secret, seeking no glory or fame for himself, simply wanting to help his fellow man, as his parents had taught him to do.

After the world’s discovery of this super-man, Clark returned to his parents for advice. Explaining his concern:

“They were all over me! Like wild animals. Like maggots. Clawing. Pulling. Screaming at me. And it was all demands! Everybody had something they wanted me to do, to say, to sell! It was as if my first public appearance had unleashed the worst, the greediest, the most covetous part of everyone . . . They’d taken everything you’ve ever taught me and ripped it apart . . . I know I still have to use my powers to help people who really need me…but now they’re going to be looking for me. Expecting me. And I just don’t know how to deal with it!” (Man of Steel)

Working with his parents, the costume and identity of Superman is created. Years later, Jonathan reflects to Martha “I had the idea . . . The costume. The secret identity.” (World Without a Superman). After the costume is created, Clark proclaims “The whole thing works just fine! It’s got exactly the symbolic look I wanted. So, from now on, whenever there are people who need my very special kind of help, it won’t be a job for plain, ordinary Clark Kent…It’ll be a job for Superman!” (Man of Steel). This illustrates that Superman is intended as a “mask” to be worn in public. As Clark tells Lois in The Death of Clark Kent (1997): “I’m Clark Kent first and Superman second! Superman is the mask I’ve worn all along to have a private life!”

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