Barack Obama’s comics collection, Will Eisner, and the Magneto film in Everyday Hero headlines


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Today’s handpicked headlines for the fanboy universe in our Everyday Hero report ...

The Air Force One reading list: President-elect Barack Obama is a fanboy, at least according to Jon Swaine, who reports that the next leader of the free world will apparently be lugging a box of Marvel Comics with him when he moves into the White House. Swain has a tally called ‘Barack Obama: The 50 facts you might not know,’ and right there at the very top of the list it says: ‘He collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics.’ Wow, we need more information here. Is he a Steve Ditko fan or more of a Todd McFarlane man? Does he prefer the black suit or classic red-and blue Spidey? Does the future first lady get upset when he lingers too long on the Red Sonja issues of Conan? Can he recite the ‘crush your enemies’ speech from the Conan movie? So much to know. The list also says he’s read every ‘Harry Potter’ novel, that he has eaten roasted grasshopper, he benches 200 pounds and that he once had a pet ape named Tata. I’m not even making this up ... [Daily Telegraph]

Will Eisner on war: Four years before his death in 2005, Will Eisner talked about his military years with Brian Jacks, who apparently had the interview in his filing cabinet until today. It went online today to mark Veterans Day and also as a nod to the upcoming Christmas Day release of ‘The Spirit’ film. Here’s a bit of Eisner’s recollections: ‘I landed at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, which was just outside of Baltimore. And the Baltimore newspaper carried ‘The Spirit.’ So I was something of a celebrity I suppose ... my drill sergeant was a sadistic S.O.B. [laughs]. I remember standing there in line and he came over and looked at me and stuck his nose in my face, as all drill sergeants do. And he said to me, ‘S---, man, you don’t look like the character you draw’ [laughs]. So he was really kind of nasty on me. Picked on me because The Spirit was a heroic character and I looked a little less than that. But when the basic training was over, the camp newspaper editor came by with his assistant and asked if I’d be willing to come on their staff and do artwork, and do cartoons and so forth. And I said yes.’ [Splash Page blog, MTV]


Magnetic properties: With all the attention on the Marvel Studios’ slate of projects (Captain America, Thor, the Avengers and another Iron Man film) there hasn’t been much talk about ‘X-Men Origins: Magneto,’ the Sony project that is still percolating out there. David Bentley has an update based on a Production Weekly update and a script he’s seen: ‘Here is the official synopsis for the movie, as listed by subscription trade mag Production Weekly: ‘The original X-Men film began with a prologue that showed the character as a child being led to a concentration camp by Nazis and that is the period in which the Magneto film will take place. This setup will allow a future villain to at least flirt with the designation of protagonist since the character will be seen almost exclusively in his formative years.’ This essentially means that the young Magneto is a hero who battles the Nazis. The synopsis continues: ‘The storyline will heavily involve Professor X, the wheelchair-using X-Men leader. That character was a soldier in the allied force that liberated the concentration camps. The professor meets Magneto after the war and while they bond over the realisation that they are alike in their special powers, their differences soon turn them into enemies.’ The screenplay I saw didn’t include Xavier (played by Patrick Stewart in the X-Men films) as a member of the Allied Forces; he was working in Israel at a hospital where he helped war survivors from both sides to recover and rehabilitate.’ [Geek Files blog, Coventry Telegraph]

-- Geoff Boucher

Barack Obama image drawn by Alex Ross; Magneto image courtesy of Marvel Comics.