Sometimes, when you need a snappy name, it doesn’t matter if it’s for a car, a cocktail, or a superhero. And when it comes to films? Well, you’re about to see! Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Supers As Movie Titles!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and the life and art of Edward D. Wood, Jr., Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN SUPERS AS MOVIE TITLES!
A 2009 horror flick, Orphan features an unnerving young woman who is more than she seems, acting much older than the nine years old she claims to be. Another character who seems to be much more experienced than her youth would imply is Cassandra Wu-San of Earth-16, as seen in the Young Justice cartoon. An adaptation of the comics’ Cassandra Cain, Orphan was never Batgirl in this reality, but was trained by her mother, Lady Shiva, to be the ultimate killing machine. As a member of The Team (siiiigh), she was recruited by Batman himself, working well with Robin/Nightwing, a plus since her mother intentionally took away her power to speak.
9) RUSH HOUR
The first of several flicks to pair Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker as a Wunza team (“Wunza a decorated Hong Kong policeman, Wunza loose cannon from the LAPD”), Rush Hour has spawned two sequels, with threats of a third circulating a few years ago. The super-hero Rush Hour is Aaron Lanebo, who uses his powers of flight and super-breath to remind the good people of LA to follow traffic laws. After an encounter with the villainous Emperor King that led to the death of popular hero The Accelerator, Rush Hour was thrust into the public eye. He’s now one of the most popular supers of his world, especially after losing his arm and getting a cool bionic replacement.
A so-so action thriller starring Jim Caviezel from The Passion of the Christ, the 2012 flick Transit is one of several movies to use the same rather generic title. Dana Wilson’s super-hero alter ego is just as bland and forgettable. A member of the Mavericks, a short-lived team from Dagger Comics, she and her fellow heroes live in a mansion owned by a mysterious mastermind who gathers them together because of their unusual, genetically carried powers. A powerful teleporter, Transit is involved in a romantic tangle with the team’s tough guy/loose cannon, who loves sharp things and snarls a lot. Her hot pink costume is pretty cool, but she might as well wear Jeans and have Grey hair, if you know what I mean.
7) THE FIREBALL
Mostly known for comedies, Mickey Rooney took a shot at drama in 1950 with The Fireball, the story of a young man who left an orphanage to become a top roller derby star. A few years earlier, MLJ Comics (the company that would eventually become Archie Comics) gave us Ted Tyler, a firefighter who was doused in random chemical compounds while trying to put out a fire. Discovering that he was both pyrokinetic and immune to fire, he became The Fireball to take down the arsonist known as The Bug. Ted appeared in fewer than a dozen issues back in the ’40s, and a single issue of the 1960’s Mighty Crusaders series, but his son Alex was an important member of the New Crusaders team in 2012.
A Belgian techno-thriller starring THE Matthias Schoenaerts, Pulsar is the tale of a man targeted by hackers who are intent on dismantling and destroying his whole life. Former football hero Eddie Manson likewise had his life torn apart, but in this case, it was due to his being gifted a hyper-charged metabolism and super-human physiology from one Doctor Pomeroy. His strange chest plate cybernetically enhances his heart, keeping the process from bursting it like an overripe tomato. Pulsar isn’t happy with the hero Megaton, who went through the process later, but that’s another story.
I’m not at all sure how I feel about the digital modeling used in his few adventures to date.
5) THE UNHOLY 3
1924’s The Unholy Three is a really good film, for a change, with the one-two punch of Lon Chaney, Jr. in the lead role, and director Tod Browning in their first collaboration. It was successful enough that I’m quite certain that Chesler Comics’ 1941 trio is an intentional reference to the film, nearly two decades later. The team of Dale, Pearl, and Flash were known for their ability to disguise themselves and blend in to solve crimes. Thanks to his stature, Dale is able to pose as a child, though he’s not particularly thrilled about it, while Flash is a tough-as-nails fighter, and Pearl is both smart and observant. They only made two appearances, as detectives were quickly being eclipsed by those new-fangled superheroes.
In the world of the future, the most popular drugs are called “Mems,” narcotics that also allow you to live another person’s downloaded memories, or so says 2015’s Synapse. There are several familiar cyberpunk elements in play here, as with the hero, best known for her stint with the Avengers Unity team. An Inhuman telepath, Emily Guerrero was empowered by the same Terrigen Bomb that created Ms. Marvel, and was brought into the Avengers to provide Inhuman representation. That was a point of contention for teammate Rogue, who was being slowly poisoned to death by Terrigen mist and wasn’t entirely trusting of the Inhumans who unleashed it on the world.
3) SUPERMAN II
Shot simultaneously with Superman in 1977, Superman II had an incredibly difficult journey to theatres, losing a director, undergoing extensive reshoots without Gene Hackman, and giving Superman the amazing power of CELLOPHANE! In the comics, Superman 2 is the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane (real name unknown), genetically engineered to replace his pops. Appearing ever-so-briefly in the pages of All-Star Superman, Superman 2 was a member of the Superman Squad, with consciously chosen visual elements of both Captain Marvel and Miracleman. A previous Superman II was seen in 1971, a precursor of future hero Superman III, living on Earth-399, but he was already dead by the time of that issue, appearing only posthumously.
2) THE WOMAN IN RED
Directed by and starring Gene Wilder, The Woman In Red is also the acting debut of Kelly LeBrock, whose career would blow up the following year thanks to her star turn in Weird Science. The movie is pretty okay, but the hero known as The Woman In Red is a forgotten icon. The first masked female crime fighter (The Magician from Mars predates her, but her superhero bona fides are a bit wobbly), Peggy Allen is an ace detective who dispatched crime with her mean right cross and a way with a gun from 1940 through 1945. This updated, more cleavage version of The Woman In Red appears as a member of the Agents of E.A.R.T.H. (Emergency Anti-alien Response Team Headquarters), working with updated versions of Nedor Comics’ other heroes.
A 2008 Tom Cruise vehicle directed by Bryan Singer, Valkyrie is best-remembered as the movie that made Germany denounce Tom Cruise, and caused protests due to his association with what we’re going to call “Happyology”, as getting sued is a real bummer. Marvel Comics’ Rūna is one of the original nine Valkyries of myth, but was trapped in some sort of stasis loop by Knull, the god of the symbiotes. She escaped during a war between Knull and the supers of Earth during the King In Black crossover, joining Brunnhilde and Jane Foster, both of whom are also known as Valkyrie, which might be confusing if there weren’t two of everyone active on Earth-616, from Spider-Man to Nova to Marvel Girl and back.
Once again, this week’s topic, Ten Supers As Movie Titles, is all me, but feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra to suggest a topic of your own! There’s always more Ten Things madness on my Twitter! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, especially since we didn’t even touch on Top Gun Woman and Gone-With-The-Wind Man. Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!