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Dark Horse Day: The Death Star

'Star Wars #1'. 'The Greatest Space-Fantasy Film Of All!'
 
The Death Star surrounded by space ships in space with Yoda talking.
The Death Star.

Today, we talk about the be-all end-all of science-fiction modes of transportation. Star Wars is replete with advanced modes of transportation, space ships, refined weaponry and methods of warfare. I present to you, the Death Star!

BIO

Death Star was a gargantuan space station armed with a planet-destroying superlaser.”

-“Death Star“, Dark Horse Database

The Death Star is a moon-size space station created by the Galactic Empire “to be the most powerful force in the galaxy.” The Death Star is able to destroy an entire planet as demonstrated “by a test firing on Princess Leia’s [planet] of Alderaan at full power and the prison planet of Despayre at [half] power.” (Death Star)

Commanded by Grand Moff Tarkin of the Galactic Empire with a crew of over 250,000, the Death Star can house around 700,000 personnel once: gunners, troops and support staff are included, It also boast an impressive arsenal including: TIE Fighters, strike cruisers, blast boats and assault shuttles. It also has defense weapons ranging from turbo blasters to ion cannons and tractor beams.”

-“Death Star“, Comic Vine

Creation

The Death Star was created by George Lucas in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977). The Death Star first appeared in Marvel Special Edition Featuring Star Wars #2 (1978).

Visit Death Star on Comic Vine.

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Marvel Day: Dr. Strange

 

Hi guys! After a long hiatus, we pick things back up with one of the most under-celebrated characters in all of comic-dom! He just got a new movie green-lit! He has starred in two ‘Avengers’ movies to date, and has had a solo movie that has performed well with general audiences! Without further ado, I present, Dr. Strange!

Dr. Strange’s origin

Dr. Stephen Strange was once a gifted but egotistical surgeon who sought out the Ancient One to heal his hands after they were wounded in a car accident. Instead, the Ancient One trained him to become Master of the Mystic Arts and the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth.”

– ‘Doctor Strange‘, Comic Vine

Stephen Strange is the eldest of three children born in 1930 to Eugene and Beverly Strange while in vacation in Philadelphia. At a young age, he dreamed of being a doctor from a young age. At the age of 11, he aided his younger sister Donna when she was injured, a formative episode in his journey towards becoming a doctor.

Strange soon entered medical school upon finishing high school. Unable to help his sister when 19 from drowning, made him lose confidence in idealism though he did continue on his career choice.

Strange rapidly finished medical school at a young age and soon became a successful neurosurgeon. He displayed phenomenal talent and skill and “attained wealth and notoriety.” His skill won him cases, which, with each victory, increased his ego and made him more proud. He became estranged from his family and from his fiancee a United Nations translator, Madeline Revell. He even refused to visit his father on his dying deathbed.

After a car accident damaged his nerves in his hands, Stephen Strange’s life changed forever. He was on the way to becoming, Dr. Strange and with a concurrence of events, the Sorcerer Supreme (Doctor Strange).

Creation

Dr. Strange was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko and made his first appearance in ‘Strange Tales #110’ in 1963.

Major Story Arcs

‘Civil War’ and ‘World War Hulk’

Be sure to check out ‘Civil War’ and ‘World War Hulk’. Dr. Strange is encountered to be a founding member of the Illuminati, a secret organization of superheroes formed after the Kree-Skrull War to stop further threats. The members are: Iron Man, Namor, Mr. Fantastic, Professor X, Black Bolt and Dr. Strange (Illuminati).

Powers and Abilities

Dr. Strange possesses mystical artifacts to channel mystical energy, two of which are The Eye of Agamotto and The Cloak of Levitation.

Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange is one of the most powerful sorcerers in the world. Dr. Strange uses mystical energy invoked upon by spells/incantations or by the power of divine beings to manipulate forces of the universe including projection of mystic energy as bolts, slashes, binds, shields, or a scattered array of energy appearing like electricity, manipulating matter and various energies (physical or spiritual) even transmutation of matter, controlling the elements, opening or sealing mystical portals to other realms, teleportation or dimensional travel, reality warping and control over dimension, seeing through or casting illusions, invisibility and intangibility through astral projection, vast mental powers such as telepathy and telekinesis, communication with the dead and spiritual entities, seeing the future or past, manipulating dreams, removing spirits or placing them back into bodies, summoning supernatural beings, or using the powers of supernatural items.

Many of Doctor Strange’s powers are a function of his ability to manipulate the ambient mystical energy of the Marvel Universe. With this ability Dr. Strange can perform many functions. Commonly this is seen as energy attacks that range from low power to planet destroying, transmutation, telekinesis, teleportation, protective shields, etc. He uses this mystical energy to cast spells of a near infinite variety” (Doctor Strange).

SUPER FEAT: Dr. Strange Frees Eternity From Extra-Dimensional Villain Dormammu

In the pages of ‘Strange Tales #146‘ (1966), Dr. Strange performs the super feat of freeing the abstract entity Eternity from extra-dimensional villain Dormammu. Dr. Strange represents the cunning of the human spirit and the ability to triumph over overwhelming odds with skill and strength.

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DC Day: Super Flare vs Black Hole

 

Can a Super Flare Defeat a Black Hole?

In Superman #38, Superman in his battle with Ulysses unleashes the super flare, that releases all the energy stored in his cells and makes him human for 24 hours. Photo/DC Comics

In Superman #38, Superman in his battle with Ulysses unleashes the super flare, that releases all the energy stored in his cells and makes him human for 24 hours.

From IGN:

In the pages of today’s Superman #38, Superman’s discovered he has a new “super flare” power where he expels all of the energy in his cells to create a bright, powerful blast capable of incinerating everything within a quarter mile. The downside — aside from the mass destruction — is that using the super flare ability depletes his cells, essentially making Superman human for 24 hours.

– ‘Superman’s New Super Flare Power and Costume Revealed’, IGN

During his fight with Ulysses, a meta-human who can absorb energy, Superman blasted Ulysses with heat vision that Ulysses absorbed which resulted in Superman unleashing his Super Flare, as he started to glow. (Superman’s New Super Flare Power and Costume Revealed)

The fight resulted in the destruction of Superman’s armor costume in the New 52 multiverse which was created as a Kryptonian nano-tech armor that would cover his body, and the creation of a new costume.

At the end of the comic book, Superman reveals his secret identity to Jimmy Olsen: “I’m Superman Jim.”

In Superman #38, at the end of the comic book, Superman reveals his secret identity to Jimmy Olsen: “I’m Superman Jim.” Photo/DC Comics

Can a Super Flare Defeat a Black Hole?

In JLA Vol 1 #77 (2003), Superman holds ” a black hole no bigger than a speck of dust that is contained by a magnetic field”. Photo/DC Comics

In JLA Vol 1 #77 (2003), Superman holds ” a black hole no bigger than a speck of dust that is contained by a magnetic field”. The black hole is named Mnemon, it steals memories and causes the Justice League to fight among itself. Superman contains the black hole and with the help of Green Lantern John Stewart flies it “to a desolate stretch of space and hurl[s] it away.” (JLA Vol 1 77)

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Dark Horse Day: Conan the Barbarian

 

“Know, O Prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars… Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.”
– The Nemedian Chronicles

Today, we talk about war! War is a fact of life, a tale of glory, a battle for power and no one embodies this more than Conan the Barbarian.

Conan’s origin

“It may sound fantastic to link the term ‘realism’ with Conan; but as a matter of fact – his supernatural adventures aside – he is the most realistic character I ever evolved. He is simply a combination of a number of men I have known, and I think that’s why he seemed to step full-grown into my consciousness when I wrote the first yarn of the series. Some mechanism in my sub-consciousness took the dominant characteristics of various prize-fighters, gunmen, bootleggers, oil field bullies, gamblers, and honest workmen I had come in contact with, and combining them all, produced the amalgamation I call Conan the Cimmerian”.

– Robert E. Howard

Conan is a warrior-born who was born among the Cimmerians who migrated east of Atlantis some time before it sank to the ocean and was destroyed. Conan is a warrior-born as said, and was actually born on a battlefield between the Cimmerians and the Vanir. Conan’s father and his tribe encircled Fialla, his mother, as she was giving birth to Conan. This was an omen that Conan would become a great warrior.

Before the age of seven he crippled Donal, a bully in his own tribe, who was much older and bigger than himself. By age eight he was wielding an ax well enough to chop firewood for the tribe, and he was also training with the longsword, spear, and dagger. He was officially accepted as a man of the tribe that year when he rescued the tribe’s war chief from a hungry pack of wolves – killing one of the wolves with his bare hands and teeth in the process!

– ‘Conan’, Comic Vine

Conan eventually became a fighter, a mercenary, a thief, and a King wandering exotic and supernatural lands during the Hyborian Age. (Conan)

Powers and Abilities

Conan is an expert hunter, unarmed combatant, swordsman, horseman and archer. He is one of the most accomplished swordsmen in the Hyborian Age. (Conan)

Conan has a high level of strength, speed, and agility for a human and is able to lift very large objects. He has dealt over the years with magicians, sorcerers, and witches and has built a resistance to magical spells. He is also a master tactician who is able to lead armies into battle. (Conan)

SUPER FEAT: Conan Defeats a Frost Giant

Conan is a warrior-born, one born from battle lust, supernatural power, and the desire to conquer. He exemplifies the power to overcome the human condition with physical power and intelligence.

Visit The Cromcast: A Weird Fiction Podcast.

Episode 15: Savage Sword of Comics! (Or, Conan vs. Sequential Art)

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Marvel Day: The Power Cosmic

 

Today is Marvel Day! Yay! Today, we talk about an important super power in the Marvel universe, an ambient cosmic energy called The Power Cosmic.

The origin of The Power Cosmic is told in the Galactus Trilogy (1966). It is associated with a powerful figure, the Devourer of Worlds, Galactus.

The Galactus Trilogy (1966) tells of the origin of Galactus. He was formerly Galan, a scientist from the planet Taa and the last survivor of the previous universe. He merged with the sentience of the universe, the Phoenix as the universe was born from a new Big Bang. Galactus was born!

The Galactus Trilogy (1966) tells of the origin of Galactus.
The Galactus Trilogy (1966) tells of the origin of Galactus. Photo/Marvel Comics

Galactus was born with a hunger, an insatiable hunger to feed on planets with living energy. It was conceived to be a part of the cosmic order of things, a natural part of evolution: that the strong prey on the weak!

The Power Cosmic is an ambient energy of the cosmos that grants its wielders several super powers:

The Power Cosmic is a limitless power that can allow the user to do many things such as resurrect the dead, manipulate the user’s size and mass, teleportation, telepathy, creation of force fields, travel through time, superhuman strength, immortality and much more. The Power Cosmic can be used in a powerful blast or in small doses to change the color of a plant. The Power Cosmic can also be infused into the human soul giving them a portion of the Powers of the Universe.

– “Power Cosmic”, Comic Vine

The Power Cosmic is “power that of the endless cosmos” (Silver Surfer #4).

Silver Surfer, Skyrider of the Spaceways

In 'Silver Surfer' (1968) #1, In a desperate attempt to save his planet from destruction at the awesome power of Galactus, Norrin Radd swore to become the Silver Surfer.
In ‘Silver Surfer’ (1968) #1, In a desperate attempt to save his planet from destruction at the awesome power of Galactus, Norrin Radd swore to become the Silver Surfer. Photo/Marvel Comics

In a desperate attempt to save his planet from destruction at the awesome power of Galactus, Norrin Radd swore to become the Silver Surfer, a Herald of Galactus to seek new worlds for the Devourer of Worlds to consume and spare his home world.

He was granted the Power Cosmic, a silvery coating to protect him from the rigors of space and a silvery surfboard mystically linked to him, in order to assist him in his space travels and reconnaissance missions in search for suitable worlds.

SUPER FEAT: Silver Surfer’s cosmic blast keeps Mjolnir away from Thor.

Silver Surfer's cosmic blast keeps Mjolnir away from Thor.
In ‘Silver Surfer’ (1969) #4, Silver Surfer’s cosmic blast keeps Mjolnir away from Thor. Photo/Marvel Comics

Silver Surfer has been one of the most shining sentinels in the universe. He represents a nobility, and a purity of character that is held in contempt by the most fearsome foes – such as the Devil Mephisto.

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Super Power: Maxima’s Ferrokinesis

 
Maxima

Do you want to move metal, manipulate metal, manipulate iron?

Today, we talk about an interesting power. Called ferrokinesis.

Ferrokinesis is the ability to manipulate metal. It is different from magnetism which is the super power to manipulate magnetic fields. Dr. Polaris from DC comics has the power of manipulating magnetic fields.

User can create, shape and manipulate metal, a solid material (an element, compound, or alloy) that is typically hard, shiny, and features good electrical and thermal conductivity. Metals are generally malleable—they can be hammered or pressed permanently out of shape without breaking or cracking—as well as fusible (able to be fused or melted) and ductile (able to be drawn out into a thin wire).

– ‘Metal Manipulation’, Fandom
‘Maxima’, Comic Vine

Maxima, is a case of a character with the super power of ferrokinesis. Maxima was an imperial ruler on Almerac who sought to continue of the Almeracian tradition of inter-racial breeding with other worlds.

When Sazu, her handmaiden, intercepted a “subspace transmission” of the gladiatoral feats of Superman on Mongul’s Warworld, Maxima sought him as his mate. Superman resisted her advances and Maxima became his enemy. (Maxima)

As the peak of Almeracian gene pool, Maxima possesses various super powers such as super strength, flight, super speed, optical force beams, ferrokinesis, matter manipulation, illusion casting, force field projection, teleportation, mind bolts, enhanced empathy.

Maxima has exhibited immense telekinetic control over metals at the molecular level. She can cause metal to melt with a thought, or rearrange the molecules of scraps into anything she chooses, such as weapons or armor.

[…]In Justice League America No. 73, Dr. Destiny was responsible for making several Justice League members act very much out of character. The rogue heroes were capturing, torturing, and maiming super-villains. When one of the prison ships that they were using to capture super-villains attacked Maxima, she focused her ferrokinesis into a beam, and disassembled the ship into its separate components without incinerating the men inside. Later, in the same story-arc told in Justice League America No. 75, Maxima directed this ability on the Red Tornado, easily pulling him apart.

– ‘Maxima’, Comic Vine

SUPER FEAT: Maxima pulls apart Red Tornado.

In 'Justice League of America' #75, Maxima pulls apart Red Tornado.
In ‘Justice League of America’ #75, Maxima pulls apart Red Tornado. Photo/DC Comics

Super powers are the new thing! We must be willing to develop our super powers and believe that we all have the super power of moving metal, or at least, that we can affect metal with technology. We simply have to work at it! And apply our God-given talents!

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Image Day: Supreme

 
Supreme and Radar

Today we talk about a character that is lesser known. Supreme was created by Rob Liefeld for Image Comics as a violent and angry Superman analogue. He was taken over by Alan Moore who created him as a “tribute to [the] Silver Age Superman”. (Supreme)

A bit on his origin.

Supreme, Radar, and Suprema

Ethan Crane, the son by adoption of Joe and Joanne Crane of Littlehaven. Supreme gained his super powers through exposure to Supremium radiation in 1925. “The radiation caused his hair to turn white” and granted him formidable super powers such as:

super strength, flight, invulnerability, super speed, durability, heat vision, ice breath, x-ray vision, energy absorption, atom manipulation, immortality via superhuman adaptation, regeneration, the ability to come back from death, skill with alien technology. (Supreme)

Supreme is vulnerable only to Supremium radiation.

He served in the military during World War II and joined the Allied Supermen of America, the first superhero team. He became a founding member of the Allies, “the premier superhero team of the 1960s”. (Supreme)

SUPER FEAT: Supreme averts floods in India by pushing the continent of Asia “from the path of a tidal wave”

Supreme averts floods in India by pushing the continent of Asia "from the path of a tidal wave."
Supreme averts floods in India by pushing the continent of Asia “from the path of a tidal wave.” Photo/Image Comics

Supreme’s origin story is recounted in “The Origin of Supreme” in Supreme #42.

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DC Day: Green Lantern Corps

 

Today, we talk about the Green Lantern Corps! The Green Lantern Corps is an inter-galactic police force set up by the Guardians of the Universe.

The origin of the Green Lantern Corps is told in History of the DC Universe. Following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Harbinger gathers data on the Monitor’s files in order to tell the History of the DC Universe.

The origin of the Green Lantern Corps is told in History of the DC Universe. Photo/DC Comics

We begin our story with scientist Krona on the planet Oa at the beginning of the young universe. Despite legend that attempting to discover the origin of the universe would lead to calamity, Krona did experiments on the origin of the universe. He showed results to the Guardians on Oa and calamity ensued.

“…and the Universe exploded.”

This led to the creation of the positive matter and the anti-matter universes: a multiverse.

“-and with the unleashing of the anti-matter universe there came a wave of evil that spread throughout fifty million worlds, corrupting what had been a paradise.”

The Guardians saw it as their responsibility to safeguard the multiverse from the evil that one of them had created. At first, they experimented on genetics in order to create “the perfect warrior”. They created a race of “genetically transformed lizards” known as Psions which was a failure.

Afterwards, they created the Manhunters, “a corps of android soldiers” whose purpose was “to combat the evil”. In the end, the Manhunters rebelled and “their legions disbanded”.

The Guardians of the Universe finally met success with the Green Lantern Corps. They harnessed the energies of the Emotional Spectrum from the emotional energy of will which the Guardians of the Universe stored in the Central Power Battery on Oa. It was to create green power rings to equip “the bravest from each sector of space”. (History of the DC Universe #1)

The Green Lantern Corps is directed by the Guardians of the Universe and derives its power from the Central Power Battery on Oa. Each green lantern is given a green power ring and is tasked with re-charging it after a 24 hour day with a power battery or the Central Power Battery on Oa. The green lantern is tasked with a sector of space which he or she patrols. There are 3600 space sectors.

In 'History of the DC Universe' #1, the Manhunters rebelled and "their legions disbanded".
In ‘History of the DC Universe’ #1, the Manhunters rebelled and “their legions disbanded”. Photo/DC Comics

The green lantern power rings have great power and have been described as “the most powerful weapon in the universe“. They have the ability to generate green light constructs based on the wielder’s willpower. The power rings can also create energy blasts, detect energy signatures, protect its wielders from the rigors of interstellar travel, and generate a protective aura around the green lantern, finally, enable to translate all languages and have access to the Central Power Battery on Oa, a computer in this regard.

The green lantern power rings enable the green lanterns to perform super feats such as Kyle Rayner holding Solaris the solar computer in a green light construct “plasma bottle” in the 853rd century in DC One Million with the help of Superman One Million’s force vision.

SUPER FEAT: In ‘DC One Million’ #4, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner holds Solaris in a plasma bottle helped by Superman One Million’s Force Vision.

SUPER FEAT: In 'DC One Million' #4, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner holds Solaris in a plasma bottle helped by Superman One Million's Force Vision.
In ‘DC One Million’ #4, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner holding Solaris in a plasma bottle with Superman One Million’s Force Vision. Photo/DC Comics

Hal Jordan of Earth, Space Sector 2814, is regarded as one of the most powerful green lanterns of the Green Lantern Corps, or at least its greatest. His willpower is unrivaled and his power is immense, as well as his heroism.

Visit Emotional Spectrum on Comic Vine.

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Super Power: Super-Strength

 

What super power do you want?

Today, we take a look at super strength. In DC comics, there what is called the “superhero brick type”, an assortment of Superman-type characters that have various powers such as super strength, super speed, flight, invulnerability, and energy projection.

These characters include Superman, Captain Marvel/Shazam, and Martian Manhunter, as well as members of the Captain Marvel family.

In the case of Captain Marvel, his super strength is a gift of the Olympian gods. He is blessed with the powers of the gods by speaking the name SHAZAM which stands for the Wisdom of Solomon, the Strength of Hercules, the Stamina of Atlas, the Power of Zeus, the Courage of Achilles and the Speed of Mercury.

Captain Marvel owes his super strength to Olympian magic, derived specifically from the demi-god Hercules. He is on par with Superman physically, and able to perform similar feats such as in Superman Beyond #1 lifting with Superman in Limbo the Book of Limbo, a book with infinite pages.

SUPER FEAT: In ‘Final Crisis: Superman Beyond’ (2008) #1, Captain Marvel helped by Superman lifts the Book of Limbo, a book with infinite pages.

In 'Final Crisis: Superman Beyond' (2008) #1, Captain Marvel helped by Superman lifts the Book of Limbo, a book with infinite pages.
In ‘Final Crisis: Superman Beyond’ (2008) #1, Captain Marvel helped by Superman lifts the Book of Limbo, a book with infinite pages. Photo/DC Comics

Super feats of super strength are par for the course in comic books and they are displayed everyday by everyday people. We must always remember that we are all super strong, or at least, strong enough to overcome any challenge. We simply have to work at it! And apply our God-given talents!