Aquaman??? I didn’t see this coming but I am excited.

I was browsing the Source this evening and came across this cover for Brightest Day.

I know this doesn’t necessarily mean a for sure return of Aquaman but Blackest Night reinvigorated me with the possibilities of his return. I am 100% behind more Mera storytelling. I was a huge fan of the Peter David run on Aquaman and really loved the character ever since. The Sub Diego stuff that introduced Aquagirl was good fun as well.

Atlantis is always an interesting place to read about because of the politics involved. This is a different nation with VERY different concerns from the surface world. This often leads to deep conflict over different ideologies. Combat is also quite different under water and there are some interesting chances to bring the vastness of the sea to life.  The fantasy style of the most recent version began to explore some of this.

Will this be the same Aquaman that had the hook hand? Will this be the Silver Age version? Will I know it is technically the same guy but what will still be considered part of his past?

Will Dolphin and Tempest also return?

If this preview is a hint at his possible return, it also makes me wonder what other characters that were Black Lantern’s might come back?

Biting the Bullet: Bruce Wayne covers and Heroes Finale (UPDATED)

Updated with covers from issue 5 and 6. Bookmark the Source, if you haven’t already.

If you are a Batman fan, check out the Source. They have some VERY cool covers from the upcoming Bruce Wayne mini.  I am really excited to follow the journey of Bruce. This is an interesting story because I had no doubt Bruce would eventually return. The part I am anticipating is going on his journey with him. I want to know what the Omega Effect did to him. I want to see what it will take for him to overcome it. The covers have only added to that build.

Heroes Finale

I am a big fan of the show Heroes. Season 1 was steller and the rest of the seasons have been enjoyable. This season is worth checking out on DVD or Blu Ray if you missed it. I truly felt it was a return to the excitement that I felt with Season 1.

Samuel made for an interesting villian. What worked for me was that you were never quite sure if he was a hero, villain or something more complicated. In the end, while his intentions were evil, his story was tragic. The tale of lost love that was found and lost again. I have to wonder if he didn’t bring some of that upon himself by trying to force her into his world. The boy who didn’t fit in, wanting to be something more, in his brother’s shadow, and never quite escaping, even in the brother’s death. Just truly engaging elements to a complex character.

While I knew he was gathering the carnival for his own purpose, I do think he wanted their love. The problem was that he put his own interest of being an all powerful leader, before what was best for them. He could have had so much more power if they truly were embraced as a family of equals. Samuel never got that and it was his undoing. I loved that. It felt real.

Peter was really “fixed” this season. I felt like he was returned to the likable, accessible  character from Season 1. Peter should be the character you admire because he keeps trying. He tries to find solutions when most wouldn’t. Sure, he makes mistakes, but he ultimately picks himself back up and comes at the problem from a new angle. He always felt the most like a comic book hero in this real world.  A bit of that was lost along the way, but came back big time this season.

Sylar was the MVP of the last two episodes. I want to see more of his transition to trying to be a hero. He hurt a ton of people along the way. They will want him accountable for what happened. I have to admit there is something cool about seeing this “formerly” evil man use his powers on the bad guys for a change. I am also interested to see if he really can maintain that change.

Hiro and Charlie resolved, Noah surviving, Claire revealing them to the world, it gave me hope for some more stories that interested me this season.

I hope Heroes gets another season. I know there has been some net write ups of numbers dropping this season but I think the quality of the show was so much better this go around.  If marketed right and kicked off with an accessible opening, I think it has a lot to offer the audience members that left.  It’s a show that I hope gets the chances to be bookended for DVD and Blu Ray viewing. I’m sure I’ll share more thoughts in the future but it was a very satisfying end to this season.

New Justice League : Crisis on Two Earths Trailer


Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is an original story from

award-winning animation/comics writer Dwayne McDuffie (Justice League)

rooted in DC Comics’ popular canon of “Crisis” stories depicting

parallel worlds with uniquely similar super heroes and villains. Bruce

Timm (Superman Doomsday, Green Lantern) is executive producer. Lauren

Montgomery (Wonder Woman, Green Lantern) and Sam Liu (Superman/Batman:

Public Enemies) are co-directors.

The movie features an all-star voice cast led by Mark Harmon(NCIS) as

Superman, James Woods(Ghosts of Mississippi) as Owlman, Chris Noth

(Sex and the City, Law & Order) as Lex Luthor, William Baldwin(Dirty

Sexy Money) as Batman, Gina Torres(Serenity, Firefly) as Superwoman

and Bruce Davison(X-Men) as the President.

Warner Home Video will distribute the full-length animated Justice

League: Crisis on Two Earths on February 23 as a Special Edition

2-disc version on DVD and Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def, as well as single disc DVD,

and On Demand and Download.


Episode 197a is up!

Episode 197a: Friend of the show, Chris Kendel joins us as we go indepth on the Smallville : Absolute Justice episode. We also have a few emails and a voicemail about the episode.

Show Notes:

0:00 Show opening,,,,  our ongoing contest (,,, show voicemail line 1-440-388-4434 or drnorge on Skype,and more.  

6:37 Smallville : Absolute Justice

2:28:51 Show Closing

We’ll be back in a few days our next episode.  Check and the forum for regular updates.

Summit City Convention


David Baron’s Blog and Twitter for the contest

Jonah Hex 52

I love Jonah Hex. It’s edgy, gritty and always full of amazing art. This creative team crafts issue after issue of atmosphere and mood that feels like an old west movie. Yet, it manages to use modern storytelling sensibilities.

I often am amazed how a writing team can switch gears so drastically during the month. Power Girl is very upbeat and fun, while Hex has such a dark tone. Both are excellent offerings. I adore how easily Hex works in a larger arc or in the “done in one” format.

Issue 52 is a story full of lies and half truths. Most of these paint the picture of a world where such lies are necessary for survival. Hex turns up on the doorstep of a woman with a bullet wound. He doesn’t completely reveal how he got it. It turns out later we learn that a boy shot him while trying to rob him. Hex had to kill the boy to escape with his life.

This of course sends the family of killers after him. They are basically the “mob” of the swamp an no one in the area defies them for fear of repercussions.

Hex’s escape is very well put together. They are trailing him and he sends his horse running off to try and throw the men hunting him off his trail. They turn out to be too smart so he hides in the swamp, where there is a danger of gators getting him. “Too Mean to Die” is a great title for the issue because Hex takes down a Gator, even with his bullet wound and manages to survive the encounter.

This takes us back to the present, where the woman who rescues him realizes that the “mob” will come to her house now looking for him.  This forces her to kick Hex out a moment too late and she has to defend her child from the men.  Her lies are revealed as they turn out to be her family.

 Imagine if Hex had told her the truth about the boy? Would she have killed him? Would she have realized the boy was trying to rob him and let the man go? The old west was often a hard world and this creative team always delivers. If you aren’t reading Jonah Hex, pick it up. It’s really easy to jump on this book and it is well worth the ride. With the movie coming this summer, there has never been a better time to enjoy this great, well produced comic.

Sean “DrNorge” Whelan

New content up by David Faust, more site updates this weekend, and show news

We have a frame work for the next few shows. Episode 197 will be Smallville/JSA and Raging Oscars. For 198, we are finishing Preacher and looking at some current comics. As we head into 199, we’ll be doing JLA/Avengers with Kent Hare and looking at new material. Episode 200 is our anniversary show. We’ll be discussing the greatest DCU stories of all time. Feel free to call us at 1-440-388-4434 or drnorge on Skype to add your voicemail comments into the show. You can also email us at

David Faust sent us some excellent submissions. I posted them on this new version of the site. I will be moving the rest of the columns over here this weekend.

Note: The new site continues to be a work in progress. I have some fun plans for it.

Here’s a link to some of the old site until I move the content.


Twilight of the New Gods

Death as a Beginning.
Both Ragnarök and Final Crisis begin with the unthinkable: the death of a god. For Ragnarök, it is the death of Baldr that signifies that something is very wrong in the world and that a great change is about to take place, as LoCicero says, “[t]he tragic death of Baldr was the single event that set the wheels of the Norse Apocalypse into motion” (LoCicero 142). O’Donoghue agrees, taking not also of the narrative shift that occurs in the story:[t]he death of Baldr is recounted just as the volva moves from recollection to prophetic vision, and his killing is presented as a decisive event in the inexorable progress to Ragnarök (O’Donoghue “What“ 87). For Final Crisis it is the death of Orion in the first chapter that portends the great disasters about to happen.
The deaths of both Baldr and Orion take place at the hands of family. Baldr was killed unwittingly by his blind brother Hod. For some time, Baldr had been having dreams about his impending death. Baldr’s mother Frigg petitions all things on earth to keep Baldr from harm, all things that is save for mistletoe, which she did not see as a threat. To celebrate his invulnerability, all of the Gods attempt to hurt Baldr with anything they can find. Hod, Baldr’s brother does not take part in the festivities because he is blind. Loki, the Norse trickster god and agent of chaos chides Hod for not participating and then gives him a spear of mistletoe and guides his aim. Baldr is struck by the mistletoe and immediately falls dead. The gods then go to Hel, the goddess of the underworld and the dead and ask her to return Baldr to life. Hel says that she will do so only if everyone on earth sheds tears for Baldr. The gods send messengers all over the world and ask everyone to weep for Baldr and all do except for Loki in the guise of a giantess and so Baldr must remain dead. Ultimately, Baldr is reborn after the events of Ragnarök and he reconciles with his brother Hod and they become gods of the new world (Sturluson 65-68, 77).
Because one of the main points of Final Crisis is that time and space have become distorted and are gradually breaking apart, the death of Orion is fragmented. Orion is shown dying in chapter one, where he warns detective Turpin that Darkseid and the other evil New Gods are hiding on earth. The moment when the bullet strikes Orion is shown in chapter three and Darkseid is seen firing the bullet in chapter ten. Incidentally, because of the time distortions, when Darkseid fires the bullet he is on the verge of death from being shot earlier by Batman in chapter nine with the very same bullet. Like Baldr, Orion dies at the hand of family, in this case, his father the tyrant god Darkseid. But unlike Baldr whose brother Hod unwittingly kills him, Orion’s murder is deliberate. Orion is killed by his father, presumably because Darkseid saw his son as being the only one who could stop him. After all, when addressing the other members of the Justice League in chapter one, Superman speaks of the power wielded by the New Gods with a kind of awe, saying that they are “capable of cracking the planet in half” (Morrison Chapter 1).
Each death in its own way contributes to the destruction that follows. Although Baldr is killed by his brother, the murder is Continue reading Twilight of the New Gods

And Yet his Story is Rather Grim

And Yet his Story is Rather Grim

The influence of Sigmund Freud’s ideas on the cultural landscape of the twentieth century is incalculable. Because of Freud, the human mind became a vast, complex dimension of its own– a world not unlike an iceberg where only a small part can be readily identified. The importance of dreams and their interpretations, once belonging solely within the province of shamans or mystics gradually moved toward the accepted realms of science. The actions of a person and the experiences of childhood were seen to have long lasting consequences. All of these things (and many others) which have shaped the way the western world perceives itself can be credited to Freud.
Nowhere is the impact of Freud’s theories seen more clearly than in the arts. Film directors like Fritz Lang, Ingmar Bergman, Alfred Hitchcock, and Woody Allen have made acclaimed films that incorporated Freud’s theories into the plots as well as the characters and sets. Literature, both on the part of writers as well as critics used Freud to create new methods of storytelling as well as new ways to examine the classics. Freudian themes also permeated the world of visual arts as well. Cubist painters like Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp created images that seemed to have been broken apart and reassembled, as if the paintings themselves had been psychoanalyzed. Surrealist painters like Salvador Dali and Max Ernst filled their canvases with dream imagery and symbols as a way to represent the subconscious.
Like Sigmund Freud, the ideas of American psychologist George Herbert Mead have also permeated our world in our never-ending quest to understand ourselves and those around us. While Freud’s theories helped us to see our mind as an infinitely more complex mechanism than previously thought, Mead’s theories on the self and identities helped us to see that we can only really know ourselves through our reactions to and interactions with others, not unlike Hegel who said of the self-conscious: it is only by being acknowledged or recognized (Hegel 11). Regarding the self, Mead said:

The individual possesses a self only in relation to the selves of the other members of his social group; and the structure of his self expresses or reflects the general behavior pattern of this social group to which he belongs, just as does the structure of the self of every other
member belonging to this social group. (Mead 40)

Continue reading And Yet his Story is Rather Grim

Annotated Bibliography and Influence Study on selected works by Grant Morrison

Annotated Bibliography and Influence Study on selected works
by Grant Morrison.

**note** This is in no way a comprehensive list of the books Grant Morrison has written. Rather, it is a (very amateurish) attempt at cataloging stories by Morrison where certain themes seem to be present as well as and authors that have influenced these themes.


Grant Morrison is one of the most acclaimed and controversial comic book writers of the past twenty years. Along with fellow UK comic book writers Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Warren Ellis, he was approached by DC comics in the 1980’s to revitalize their properties and inject some “new blood” into mainstream American comics, which had become pretty stale and rote by that time. The results of course were Watchmen (Moore), Sandman (Gaiman), Stormwatch and The Authority (Ellis) and many of the books that are included in this annotated bibliography. These books changed forever the ways that comics are both read and written.
I first encountered Grant Morrison’s work around 1989 or 1990 when I picked up his Batman hardcover graphic novel Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. It was unlike anything I had read up to that time. It was mysterious, dark and crammed full of symbolism that I couldn’t yet (and still today do not quite) understand. Over the years as I read more of Morrison’s books—becoming quite a fan in the process–I began to see that there was something more to them than just the typical super hero action that I’ve always loved. That “something more” is what ultimately separates Grant Morrison’s work from that of most other comic book writers.
With a few notable exceptions, most of Morrison’s work is centered around non-traditional heroes. In fact most of his protagonists cannot really be called heroes, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead they are deeply flawed characters with familiar problems who react to situations very differently from traditional comic book super heroes. This focus on non-traditional protagonists both brings the reader closer to the character since they are seen as being more “human,” while at the same time creating a world or scenario outside of the comfort zone of established comic book
storytelling. This is but one part of Morrison’s overall hypothesis which is that with all of his books, from his earliest to most recent, Morrison has been tackling the same basic themes of the universe being in a constant state of conflict, or war, of perceptions as well as the spiritual or gnostic awakenings of his protagonists to this conflict. These themes of perceptual conflict and awakenings quickly evolved out of the traditional good versus evil conflicts and characterizations so prevalent in many comics as well as Morrison’s earliest work Zenith, into an infinitely more complex meditation on paradigms, memes, metatextuality and of spirituality.
This bibliography will attempt to both catalog the comics written by Morrison that tackle these themes, showing a progression or evolution of said themes as well as cataloging the disparate sources from literature, science, and the occult that have influenced Morrison’s writing over the years. In addition, this bibliography also groups together texts about comic books, specifically texts relating to the work of Grant Morrison. This bibliography is divided into five parts: first, books by Morrison, second, books about Morrison’s work, third, literary influences on Morrison’s work, fourth, philosophical texts that have influenced Morrison’s writing and fifth, esoteric books that have informed Morrison’s writing. The Morrison entries will be presented chronologically from first publication while the other entries will be alphabetical.
This bibliography will be of particular interest to scholars who are interested in the use, appearance and juxtaposition of disparate influences in a fictional context and how those influences grouped together create a bold and exciting method of storytelling in an often marginalized medium. For anyone interested in pop culture and the incredibly complex world that exists just below its surface as well as the limitless possibilities for storytelling that exists within the comic book medium, this bibliography will be very helpful in understanding the ideas of one of the most interesting writers currently working in the comic book medium.

Annotated Bibliographic Entries
Texts by Morrison

Continue reading Annotated Bibliography and Influence Study on selected works by Grant Morrison

Site changes

I am changing the web site over to a wordpress site. This will give me some freedom and speed in how I update and eventually add some convenient features for listeners in the coming months. Pardon our mess, this is a work in progress.

I will be gradually be adding back links and content to the new site over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for your patience,