Captain America, Wolverine, ‘Lost,’ all in Everyday Hero headlines
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Welcome to a presidential edition of Everyday Hero, your roundup of handpicked headlines from across the fanboy universe...
HEROIC POLITICS: There’s a fun historical piece about comic-book characters claiming the White House through the years and it includes an early 1980s Marvel cover (above left) that I had sorta forgotten about and that immediately brought a smile to my face when I saw it. The piece was written by Matt Brady (an appropriate name for someone dabbling in the area of presidential imagery) and here’s what he wrote about that ‘Mr. Rogers Goes to Washington’ plot: ‘Captain America as President was turned into a story for Marvel’s alternate reality series What If? with 1981’s issue #26. In the story, Cap runs as the candidate for the New Populist Party with Andrew Jackson Hawk (an African American Senator) as his running mate. Keeping things real, the ‘America-Hawk’ ticket ran against Carter and Reagan (both of which had things to say about Cap’s political experience and the trust the public has for a masked man) and won in a landslide. Keeping a campaign promise, Cap took off his mask on Inauguration Day, and got to work -– one of his first jobs –- a comprehensive new energy policy in order to ‘[free] America from the tyranny of foreign oil.’ One South American plot hatched by the Red Skull later, and Captain America is killed by one of his administration’s own solar satellites, but the country is saved.’ [Newsarama]
WOLVERINE, CONSIDERED: What’s up with ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine'? There were plenty of rumors burning through cyberspace that the production was experiencing considerable turbulence after the crew and some cast gathered to do reshoots. There was fanboy-press speculation that Fox was ‘clearly trying to salvage one of the summer tent-poles of 2009’ and much handwringing about the fate of the most popular mutant character. So what’s the real deal? Sources close to the production tell me the reshoots were scheduled all along but they also concede that director Gavin Hood is reworking some sections of the film to get precisely the right tone for the long, dark tale of the ultimate Marvel Comics loner. So we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, star Hugh Jackman, known as one of the real troupers of Hollywood, has sought to quiet any fan worries. Jackman sent this note to Harry Knowles: ‘Hey everyone -- It’s Hugh Jackman, sending this note from freezing Vancouver. I have read a lot of your online comments regarding the footage that we are currently shooting and I share your passion for the Wolverine character and the movie -- I owe it all to you guys! I wanted to reach out and let you know that due to scheduling conflicts with certain cast members and location/weather considerations, we had to wait until now to shoot a couple of scenes. Please rest assured that WOLVERINE will be badass and hopefully meet all of your expectations. I am stoked by the positive response to the teaser, which clearly reflects the tone and scope of the film. If you like that, we’ve got much more in store!’ [Ain’t It Cool News] Also, here’s some Hollywood Reporter-supplied video of Jackman in the reassurance mode...
AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO’S ‘LOST’? Television critic Robert Lloyd has written some great pieces lately, including a wonderful appreciation of the late Patrick McGoohan and fall-down funny appraisal of the Powerpuff Girls (which includes this line: ‘From a preschool perspective, the series might be called transgressive, since it is a cartoon in which the characters beat each other up and destroy a lot of property. Collateral damage, thy name is Powerpuff.’). And today he has a great take on ‘Lost’ a show that, for him, is certainly living up to its name: ‘'Lost,’ which returns for its fifth season tonight on ABC, is like a troublesome but attractive friend who comes into your house and talks a lot of nonsense that you tolerate because it’s entertaining and because you aren’t completely sure it is nonsense. It might make sense in some form of the language that you do not personally understand. You can either let this annoy you, or you can try to work out the meaning, or you can just enjoy the flow in a noncommittal way that does not preclude your being stimulated, shocked or held in suspense -- like a fun-house ride. I am of the third disposition, and have also been of the first. (I wager that even people who love ‘Lost’ a lot more than I do have at times wanted to reach right through the TV screen and give it a good slap.) As to the second, attempting to resolve all its clues, bread crumbs and loose ends into a workable whole is more than my time is worth. More important, it’s a drag on the show: The more that the writers find explanations for the myriad strange phenomena that plague the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 -- the surviving survivors -- the less interesting those phenomena become. The mysterious becomes the merely preposterous. The weirdness of a polar bear on a tropical island is more satisfying than any reason you can provide for it.’ [Los Angeles Times]
ON THIS DATE: It was on this day in 1926 that actor Steve Reeves, who would bring considerable muscle to Hollywood, was born in Glasgow, Montana. After his father died in a farming accident, 10-year-old Reeves moved west to California with his mother and, in high school in Oakland, developed an interest in weightlifting. After a stint in the Pacific in World War II, he became a pioneer of the nascent bodybuilding scene and then a star of the screen, most memorably as Hercules. He died in 2000. To celebrate his birthday, let’s all flex a new muscle today. To see some video of Reeves in action, continue to the bottom of this post...
Hey Hercules, how strong are ya?
Reeves vs. a buffalo!
Reeves vs. a tiger!
-- Geoff Boucher
CREDITS: ‘Lost’ photo courtesy of ABC. Steve Reeves photo from the Los Angeles Times archive. Wolverine artwork courtesy of Marvel.