For squirrel appreciation day, we're honoring arguably one of Marvel’s most powerful characters, the unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
Think you've got what it takes to be an Avenger? Or an X-Man? Maybe even a Teen Titan? Take this quiz below to find out!
Scholastic now has a multi year deal with Marvel to produce Orignal Graphic Novels featuring Marvel characters. The new content will launch the Scholastic Graphix Media line. This launch started with the graphic novels that were released earlier this year, which included iconic characters, Shuri, Kamala Khan. and Miles Morales.
Image via Shop. Scholastic
According to editor of Marvel’s juvinelle publishing, Lauren Bisom, Miles Morales has struck a chord with fans and how his life experiences, culture, and his inner strength tells that classic coming of age story of Spider-Man. It also makes him an inspirational hero to anyone who reads the novels.
Next spring, there will be a new novel featuring Morales, titled, Miles Morales Shockwaves, that will be written by Justin Reynolds. In this new adventure, Miles is juggling going to school and being a spider-hero. His mother’s home, Puerto Rico suffers from an earthquake, so he quickly sets up a fundraiser, but then a student’s father goes missing. It doesn’t take long for Miles to make a connection between his fundrasier and the disapperance. Sounds like a great story!
Image via Amazon
Another great character is Shuri, she was introduced in the Black Panther movie that was released in 2018. Earlier this year a graphic novel featuring her was released titled, Shuri: A Black Panther Novel, it was written by best selling author Nic Stone. The novel recieved critical acclaim and it was the first novel to launch the collaboration between Scholastic and Marvel. The next novel will be Avengers Assembly: Orientation and the author will be Preeti Chhibber, which will be released this August.
This is just the begginning, more titles will be released later this year. This collaboration will definitely encourage children to read. What kid doesn’t love to read about their favorite superhero?
Featured Image via ChipandCo
Ever since Avengers premiered in May of 2012, Marvel fans all around the world have asked the age-old question: “who’s in your top 5?” and I myself have battled with it constantly. Always torn between two iconic characters; or constantly debating with my friends why some newcomers should be added to the list. However, I’ve decided to not to make a top five but a top seven and on National Superhero Day nonetheless! For decades Marvel’s heroes have charmed us with their wit, warmed us with their hearts and reminded us that being different is okay. Everyone on this list defines what is to be a hero in their own way. Not everyone has the gift of strength or flight, but they all keep pushing forward even when things look uncertain.
I hope you see a couple of familiar faces and maybe I can even introduce you, to some of my favorites. If anything, I hope this list reminds you that we all have the ability to be super.
This might be controversial to many, but for me it’s a complete no brainer! Yes, I’m completely aware that Shuri’s older brother is the Black Panther, Marvel’s first black superhero. T’Challa is another one of my favorites, but when I saw Shuri in Black Panther she lit up the screen. Her intelligence places her amongst the best minds in the MCU; whether it be upgrading her brother’s suit, finding new uses for vibranium or using her inventions to aid in battle. No she doesn’t have super-human powers, but the princess of Wakanda has proven herself to be a valued member of the team. Insulting her brother’s shoes with beloved memes just solidified her place in my heart. Not only is she the voice for younger siblings everywhere (me Included!), Shuri shines a light on the lack of representation of WOC in the STEM field. Shuri showcases what the future can look like with equal representation. Shuri gets even more deserved attention in her first solo series, Shuri: The Search For The Black Panther written by Nnedi Okorafor. In Shuri, T’Challa has gone missing and it’s up to his determined sister to find him. Not to mention she’s expected to step up to the throne during his absence. Paired with beautiful illustrations this is an amazing way to follow up with Shuri’s story.
2. Black widow
It wasn’t until her heroic death in Avengers: Endgame was the general public finally giving Natasha Romanoff her much deserved flowers. However, I’ve been obsessed with Black Widow since I saw her in Iron Man 2. Trained as a master fighter in various forms of combat, hosting incredible levels of agility humanely possible and recognized as an amazing hacker Natasha is a formidable opponent. With her first solo movie slated for later this year, all I can say is finally!! Natasha is as resilient and determined as the boys on her team; so her solo movie will only show more of that. Her lack of super powers doesn’t make her less of a hero, not by a long shot.
What makes Black Widow special to me is her ability to rise above her checked pass and her willingness to turn over a new leaf. First introduced as a villain in Marvel’s Tales of Suspense #52, her rough past and complex history could’ve led her down a permanent dark path. However, after befriending the Avengers she switches sides. Not only does she show redemption is possible, but that all of us struggle to do what is right at times. Now that is extremely relatable.
3. Spider-Man (Miles Morales)
Were your Spidey senses tingling? Well they should’ve! You can’t have a superhero list without your neighborhood Spider-Man, but sorry Peter Parker, I’m talking about Miles Morales. I can go on and on about why I love Miles Morales, but to put it simply, when I came across his story I felt like I was hearing Spider-Man’s story for the first time. The simplicity, originality, and freshness in Miles’ story is enough to breathe some more life into the legacy of a fifty-seven year old super hero. His first solo movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is nothing short of captivating; the animation looks like a comic book coming to life. Miles is an Afro-Latino preteen who hails from Brooklyn, New York and like the Peter Parker before him, he hosts powers like agility, strength plus Spidey senses. As well as some new personal touches, Miles can channel electric energy that can paralyze his enemies by touching them.
Miles is extremely cool to say the least, but what’s remarkable about Miles to me is how much he wishes to stay normal. Even with his newly acquired powers (those pesky genetically engineered spiders!) Miles doesn’t rush into the role of the hero. Partly because in his universe Peter Parker is still alive, but it’s not until Peter’s death does Miles realize his new path. Even though he didn’t want this path at first, when New York needed him he showed up. Miles represent New York’s diverse melting pot and he should definitely be your favorite Spider-Man. Dive deeper in Miles’ origins in Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man: Volume 1 written by Brian Michael Bendis.
4. Scarlet Witch
Arguably one of the most powerful beings in the MCU (seriously top three material); Scarlet Witch has proven herself to be to be a formidable foe, but an even better ally. Similar to Black Widow, Wanda Maximoff started off on the wrong side of the tracks; her early years were spent in a life of crime. Powers such as telekinesis, mental manipulation and energy blasts were taken advantage of by evil influences (*cough* Ultron *cough* Magneto). However, Wanda found a better path and lifelong friends with the Avengers. She eventually fell in love with Vision and even tried her hand at married life.
Scarlet Witch’s arc is truly remarkable; to see her grow into her own woman, her own hero is nothing short of inspiring. Scarlet Witch’s upcoming show WandaVision, which is supposed to premiere later this year on Disney+, honestly looks like nothing Marvel has ever done. A Wanda and Vision sitcom, with a dash of nostalgia? Sign me up!
5. Doctor Strange
Keeping up with the theme of magical power, Doctor Stephen Strange had to be on my list. I’m ashamed to say the first time I saw Doctor Strange was in Avengers: Infinity War, and he had me starstruck from the moment I saw him. Seeing his powers, intelligence, and amazing sarcasm I was sold instantly. Am I the only one who wants a sitcom with him and Ironman? I immediately went home to watch his solo movie and mentally kicked myself for not knowing him sooner. After making a successful career as a surgeon Stephen Strange got into an accident that injured his hands horribly. He attempts to save his hands by going to Nepal to find cures outside of modern medicine. It’s when he finds the Ancient One he learns the way of the Mystic Arts and eventually the Master of the Mystic Arts.
Strange gave up his selfish and egotistical ways in order to become Earth’s protector. Plus, his cloak of levitation has to be one of the coolest accessories in the MCU. See Strange’s first appearance in Strange Tales #110 written by Stan Lee.
Now I know this may be considered a wild card and even a deal breaker for some, but hear me out! I’m aware of Nebula’s turbulent past, but should that exclude her from being called a hero? If you’ve made it this far you should know I’m a sucker for a good redemption story and Nebula is no exception. When I saw her, I immediately thought ‘this girl means business’ and I wasn’t wrong. Adopted by Thanos, Nebula was trained by him and would be forced to battle her adopted sister Gamora. By being pitted against each other, Nebula craved a relationship with her sister. Even with the odds against her, Nebula persisted; ultimately becoming one of the best fighters in the galaxy, an expert pilot, and a fierce warrior. Eventually going after her abusive father Thanos, she even aids the Avengers in Avengers: Endgame.
7. Iron Man
A Marvel list without Iron Man? Completely unheard of, unorthodox, and frankly not done! I had to wrap my list up with the man that kicked the MCU off twelve years ago. I remembering dragging my mom to see the first Iron Man in 2008 and I walked away completely in awe. Every hero I named earlier is able to grace your movie screens now because enough people loved and believed in Iron Man twelve years ago. He’s a billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, genius, and heavy sarcasm user; what’s not to love? Whether he’s facing off Captain America (was totally on Iron Man’s side) or being a father figure to Peter Parker, his stamp on this universe can’t be erased. Iron Man’s death signaled the end of an era and that can be scary for some; for a decade we had a witty father figure, but now he’s gone (I’m still grieving).
Thanks Iron Man for giving me a childhood full of adventure, I love you 3000.
Ultimately this day isn’t defined by your favorite comic book heroes’ abilities. On National Superhero Day you should reflect on the lessons your favorite heroes have taught you. Everyday, but especially on this day, let us acknowledge the heroes that inspire and challenge us (Thanks Mom!).
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In the past decade, we’ve seen a meteoric rise in popularity of comic book movies. Especially thanks to the success of films like The Dark Knight Trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan and that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Since it’s December and there’s no announcement of any other films of the genre being produced before the year’s end, let’s take some time and rank the top ten comic book movies of the past decade starting from 2010 all the way to 2019.
10. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises is the final movie of the critically acclaimed Christopher Nolan directed Dark Knight Trilogy about DC’s caped crusader, Batman. This movie has Batman (played by Christian Bale) face off against one of his most famous villains, Bane (played by Tom Hardy.) The movie borrows inspiration from three different Batman story-lines, Batman: Knightfall, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and Batman: No Man’s Land. In this film Batman deals with the consequences caused by his nemesis, Joker (played posthumously by Heath Ledger.) Eight years have passed since then, and organized crime is a thing of the past because of the Dent Act giving the police more power. However, this peace is disrupted by the sudden appearance of Bane who plans to destroy Gotham and the rest of the world.
9. Wonder Woman (2017)
Although not the first ever female-led comic book movie, Wonder Woman was the movie and hero that we needed in this era dominated by blockbusters and comic book movies. The movie is an origin story of one of DC’s most famous characters and arguably the most famous female superhero, Wonder Woman (played by Gal Gadot). The movie’s plot discusses her origins in Themyscira, the island of the Amazons, and her eventual departure from the island to try and protect the world during World War 1 from the threat of Ares the God of War. The movie was a critical and box office success that succeeded in proving that female-led superhero movies can be a success, potentially opening doors for more female directors and female-led blockbusters in the future. Despite brilliant performances and amazing sequences, the film’s final act holds it back. The film rushes to the finish and eventually devolves into a stereotypical fight against a giant CG Monster that is too dark to see well on screen. However, Wonder Woman’s final speech about fighting for love rather than hate is an empowering speech that anyone should take a chance to listen to.
8. Black Panther (2018)
In the past decade, there are few films that reached the magnitude of Black Panther. The movie was a cultural phenomenon that can only be found once every couple of years. Coincidentally, we got two films like this in back-to-back years, with Wonder Woman in 2017 and Black Panther in 2018. A nearly all black blockbuster/ comic book movie was exactly what was needed at the time, even if it wasn’t the first of its kind. Rolling off the success of the introduction of the character in Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) returns in his first standalone film as the King of Wakanda where he faces the struggles of becoming a King before he believes that he’s ready. To make matter worse, T’Challa also faces the addition of a new external threat in the form of Killmonger (played by Michael B Jordan) that threatens to start an worldwide uprising due to his troubled past. The massive success of this film led to more doors being opened to more black superheroes and blockbuster movie leads as well as making Michael B Jordan and Chadwick Boseman superstars in Hollywood.
7. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Captain America: Civil War is the followup to the critically acclaimed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where members of the Avengers find themselves at odds with one another and with governments around the world because of their involvement and culpability in recent large scale threats. In this film, we are given an on-screen adaptation of the famous story-line of Marvel’s Civil War comic book. The movie’s crossover story-line has many of the characters and their story-lines interacting with people taking either the side of Captain America, who chooses to resist governments’ intervening with the heroes, or the side of Iron Man, who chooses to stand with those governments. The film follows a similar plot line; however, the inciting issue seems to be the the Sokovia Accords, a document that is signed by many countries of the UN demanding that the Avengers have all their actions be monitored and dictated by the UN.
6. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
We finally reached the Endgame. All roads that we took led us to this movie. The third film MCU film that was directed by the Russo Brothers, solidified them as A-List Directors that could possibly do no wrong. After the smash hit of Infinity War and the big box office but weak critical response of Captain Marvel, we are given the final film in what is now called the Infinity Stone Saga. In Avengers: Endgame, The Avengers face off once again against the Big Bad of the Universe, Thanos. The film is huge, it’s loud, exciting, emotional, tense, and beautiful. It was a jaw-dropping spectacle that could only be fully felt after enjoying the journey that were the 22 films that preceded it. Disney and Marvel outdid themselves in this film by doing the impossible: making this dream of a large-scale universe of separate stories that eventually intersect a reality.
5. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Now, I know that I just took time to drool over Endgame. However, I feel like the story of the Endgame is only as good as it is because the climax of the story was so groundbreaking and breathtaking. ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ fully introduced us to Thanos, the big bad that was hyped up for viewers of these movies since the first Avengers film. Endgame couldn’t be as powerful if it wasn’t for this film. In this film, the Avengers face their biggest threat, The Mad Tyrant Thanos whose goal is to collect all the Infinity Stones to help finally enact a plan. It also takes a step back and makes the main character of the film not the Avengers, but the villain Thanos. We follow him for most of the movie and learn what drives him to achieve his goal of acquiring all the stones. Portraying Thanos less as a Monster that just seeks destruction and more as a person that wants to help the Universe. A man with a noble cause however feels the ends justifies the means.
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is my favorite film in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. This movie, while not as big as some of the other films on this list, was still financially successful and critically acclaimed. It was also the first film the Russo Brothers directed for the MCU. Winter Soldier takes the typical comic-book movie and spins it on its head, making it a political spy thriller. The film follows Captain America (played by Chris Evans) two years after being thawed out after being frozen for seventy years and helping stop Loki from taking over the world with the Tesseract, with him still trying to get acclimated to life in the 21st century. But things turn weird when someone attacks Nick Fury, nearly killing him. This new threat arrives: The Winter Soldier. The film is a fun and smart way to place the traditional Captain America character in a modern world. I recommend that everyone who loves comic book movies see it, because it’s shrouded in mystery, action and social commentary that’s timeless.
3. Joker (2019)
Joker is a creepy, tense and breathtaking movie that drives inspiration from films like Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. The movie is directed by Todd Phillips, who is known primarily for directing comedies such as the Hangover Trilogy. The film is an origin story for the most iconic comic book villain The Joker (played by Joaquin Phoenix) that takes us through the life of Arthur Fleck, a socially inept man that suffers with some psychological issues, that dreams of one day becoming a famous comedian in hopes to put a smile on everyone’s face. However, he lives in Gotham, a rough and tough city that resembles New York City in the 1980’s. The film is a combination of masterful acting from Phoenix, proving that he is clearly one of the best actors working today, and Todd Phillips who proves himself to be a multi-talented director in his own right. It’s a smart, dark and gritty film that is unafraid to take risks and play with expectations. I’d highly recommend it.
2. Logan (2017)
Logan is another one of those comic book movies that transcend the genre for its plot. It’s one of those films that say, ‘This is what a comic book story can be.’ Logan discusses topics that aren’t usually discussed in comic books, especially since comics are usually a medium only for children. But this film tackles topics like, old age, death, loss, mental issues, depression and stagnation. The film is shot and feels like an old western film even down to the Johnny Cash song, ‘Hurt’ as the main theme for the trailer. The movie is heavily inspired by the comic-book story-line of ‘Old Man Logan’ which is an alternate story-line that is about a world where all the heroes that we know aren’t exactly how they used to be. At the center of the story is Old Man Logan aka Wolverine. I should preface that this movie isn’t as powerful without seeing the previous X-Men and Wolverine movies that preceded it. However, I will argue that this movie still stands up on its own because of the timelessness of the story. This film was marketed as the last film that we will see Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) and Sir Patrick Stewart (Professor Charles Xavier) portraying their characters in the Fox X-Men Franchise. So when I saw it in theaters when I finished I couldn’t help but cry…. I mean sob, because it’s the end of an era because these actors have portrayed these roles for nearly 20 years.
1. Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse (2018)
Alright, let’s do this one last time. Let me end this list off with Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse, an animated comic-book movie that’s the first ever appearance of Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), one of the newest additions to the Spidey Family. This film is the origin story of Miles Morales, a half Puerto Rican and half African American teen who becomes Spider-man in an alternate time-line to the one with Peter Parker that most people know. He’s bitten by a radioactive Spider and is just as riddled with insecurities, struggles and a knack for quips Parker is. Into the Spider-verse also introduces other members of the Spider family, such as Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir, and Peni Parker: all alternate timeline Spider-Man incarnations. This film surprised everyone who saw it, because who would have thought that the best comic-book movie to come out since 2010, would be an animated film that featured a talking pig. I know that when the movie was announced and people saw the trailer, many thought it would be a good movie, but no one expected it to be as amazing as it was. It tackles topics such as taking risks, family life, and resiliency. Even discussing the idea that anyone can be great, that anyone can be spider-man. That reinforces the idea that greatness is something achievable as long as we work for it and aren’t afraid to take a leap of faith.
Featured image via ConsequenceofSound.net