Happy Easter! Even if it is a bit late. The sunshine has been out and so, of course, I’ve been making the most of it (hence the delaying of this week’s post). And if this weekend has been hectic then this post will be even more so as I try to fit in everything! And so like all good things (Lord of the Rings, the real Star Wars etc.) I’ve decided to split today’s post into three parts. Part 1 I’ll let you in on all what a Mormon Ninja gets up to at Easter. Part 2 I’ll look at the ever changing face of the modern superhero . And in Part 3 I’ll delve into this week’s comic and the unexpected arrivals in it. So bear with me and if you can’t manage I hope you at least enjoyed this week’s particularly large installment of the Adventures of Ninja Phil!
Part I – A Mormon Ninja’s Easter
As a Christian, Easter is primarily a celebration. A celebration of sacrifice and new beginnings (to express it in its simplest terms) with Jesus Christ as the focus of it all. Now I’m not going to get all religious-y on so you don’t worry, unless you want me to, in which case I’m sorry and I hope the provided link will do. But as part of my Easter celebrations I attended an Easter activity on Saturday afternoon which involved many of those traditional Easter games, one of which was egg decorating and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to create an egg version of my superhero alter ego…
“Tah-Dah!” doesn’t really cut it I don’t think. I’m sure I’ll be hearing from the Louvre soon. But just by way of an Easter treat for all of you Ninja followers I reveal: Find the Ninja! Simply click on the thumbnail below to get to a larger version of this collage of pictures. In each of them you’ll see Teenage Ninja Egg Phil – see if you can find them all! (bonus points for those that don’t use the zoom ability) Some of them are easier than others!
Have fun and again Happy Easter! I hope you all had a treat (in both senses of the word)!
Part 2 – The Modern Superhero
In this week’s comic there’s an unexpected appearance from our good friend Batman. Batman has always been a hero that has interested me. Shunned by many (myself included at times) for his lack of super powers, Batman has undergone all sorts of changes over the last few decades. Now before I proceed I must confess that even though I have a comic blog the focus of which is a Superhero I’m by no means a Superhero expert and my limited experience with the Marvel and DC universes (as examples of the most mainstream producers Superhero related things) is confined mostly to the world of TV and cinema (and I’m by no means up to date either). Sorry comic fans.
However, I’d like to provide a few examples to show what unusual career Batman seems to have had. The first is Spiderman…
My first encounter with Spidey was in the 1994 animated version of Spiderman, which I loved. From that point on he has been by far my favourite Superhero. But from animation to Toby Maguire to the current Andrew Garfield, Spiderman is essential the same character as he’s always been (perhaps oversimplifying things but nonetheless true I think). He’s still the high school/college/freelance photographer geek bitten by a spider and able to do what ever a spider can and prone to the mood swings often common among adolescent/young adult males.
Next case Superman…
Although I perhaps experienced Superman in the reverse order (I grew up watching the New adventures of Superman) the representations of Superman which I’ve been able to see haven’t changed all that much over the years either. I’m yet to have seen the Man of Steel and so cannot comment on that one, but from what I’ve seen (oversimplification again) Superman has changed little over the years. He’s still that same old Clark Kent with his underwear on wrong and seemingly endless super powers which make him really unstoppable (hence the need to create Kryptonite – another plot development but I’ll get on to that)
Finally Batman. When I first saw Batman this is how he appeared…
Cheesy, slightly overweight, accompanied by his hilarious 14 year old companion Robin and his “Holy [insert seemingly random word here]” catchphrase. His method of fighting his criminal adversaries involved ‘Pows’ and ‘Whams’ so the viewers didn’t have to witness the final blows of the comical fist fights. And then there was whole climbing up the wall thing (aka walking along the floor to make it look like you’re climbing a wall) and what always seemed to be velvet gloves!? Batman was a laugh-a-minute adventure that was never serious!
In 2008 it all changed (if it hadn’t already with Batman Begins)…
I loved the Dark Knight when I first saw it in cinema. It was thrilling, with its constant twists and turns. But above all, compared to the jolly jaunt that was the original series, it was about as dark as dark can be! I often wonder whether the catchphrase of “Why so serious” used by Heath Ledger’s depiction of the Joker wasn’t in fact a plea for the sunshine and antics of the original series. I can’t really comment on why Batman has undergone such treatment in the last years when others haven’t experienced such similar upheavals. All I can say is that even though I thoroughly approved of the latest three films, Batman will always be that funny old man with his Kapows to me! Feel free to air your thoughts in the comment section below!
Part 3 – Unexpected Arrivals
So E.T. appears to save the day and Batman appears to get in on the Kapow action. Some may say it’s all coincidence or just convenience, I say plot development, and where would we be without it! Superman films would intensely boring if there was no Kryptonite since there would be no way to defeat that guy without it. And would Jurassic Park really be the same if when the power failed they had happened to be parked outside the Microceratus enclosure instead of the T-Rex one. In essence, without these “convenient” events story telling would be distinctly uninteresting. What makes it more entertaining is trying to make these coincidences not so obvious (something I’ve not tried in today’s comic)
Of course, E.T.’s response to those who would level the claims of convenience at today’s comic would be he doesn’t think that it’s very convenient at all that he’s now trapped inside some Russian prison. (And yes before anyone asks Ninja Phil did take the key). Of course, I’m sure there’ll come a point when I require some more plot development and will make sure he gets out… Whatever the reason for E.T.s appearance Ninja Phil is now free to embark on a quest to save his friends (who we’ll learn more about over the coming weeks).
For those of who endured through all that see you next week when I’ll be unveiling an exciting opportunity for you the reader!