The Golden Age Superman was a Badass Vigilante (Part 1 of 2)

Superman Action Comics #1

I had the good fortune of picking up Superman: The Golden Age, Vol. 1while it was on sale at Comixology.com a few weeks ago. I like the Golden/Silver Age stuff as a historical artifact of how comics shaped pop culture. In the case of Golden Age Superman, the results were really eye opening.

I knew that Superman’s early days were very different from the Man of Steel we know today. He didn’t have heat vision, couldn’t fly, and kryptonite wasn’t a thing yet. However, I didn’t realize how fully early Superman embraced his role as a man of the people – or how well the stories serve as middle-class wish fulfillment.

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The Many Worlds of D&D, part two

Oriental Adventures

Dungeons & Dragons started as an offshoot of wargaming, but it grew quickly. TSR, the company that owned the game, soon saw that people wanted more than just dungeons and wilderness areas for their heroes to explore. They wanted a semblance of a living fantasy world filled with history, personalities, and adventure.

The earliest settings, which I described last time, grew at the speed of adventure – new information got added as needed for a given module rather than in an atlas-like book. By the 1980s, though, D&D was realizing its media crossover potential. This led to a new wave of campaign settings that had a reach far beyond gaming tables.

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Derrezen the Dragon-God

Derrezen the Dragon-God

Known to many as the great dragon-god, Derrezen is a legendary terror that even demon lords and divine beings try to avoid. With a wingspan that approaches 200 feet in length, tales of the great wyrm blotting out the sun as he flies overhead are barely exaggerated. Fortunately for most, the dragon-god spends most of his time atop his hoard of treasure, and can sleep for years at a time.

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The Many Worlds of D&D, part one

Dungeon Master

Dungeons & Dragons has never been about one single fantasy world. In fact, beginning in the 1980s, the game spawned a multiverse that stands on par with anything churned out in the comic book industry. Through the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition years especially, D&D became home to dozens of parallel fantasy worlds.

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Pathfinder Rogues Gallery: Samuel the Hunter

Samuel the HunterIn life, Samuel was a mortal bounty hunter. Originally self-serving and hard of heart, he grew less selfish with age, ultimately settling into a code of his own and never straying from that. When he died and found himself before the goddess of death, he received not a judgment but an opportunity to serve the goddess. He now serves as the huntsman of death, tracking those who alter the wheels of fate.

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The Greater Deck of Many Things

Deck of Many Things

This artifact looks and functions very much like an ordinary deck of many things. The back of each card featured an intricate and ever-shifting ink pattern that seems at once to represent a viewer’s secret desires and a mocking grin. Those who look at the pattern for very long can almost hear a whispering voice urging them to draw a card.

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4 Great Character Introductions in Film

Casablanca

You’ve got a great film hero and you’re just dying to make audiences fall in love with the character. How do you make that happen effectively? Introducing a character is no easy task, but it helps that there are dozens of examples of great introductions in film.

The best character introductions have a few things in common. They are efficiently shot, with nothing in the frame going to waste. They tell the audience the essentials about the character, usually without a lot of dialogue. And they get viewers invested not only in the character, but the film as a whole.

The list below is by no means comprehensive, but it represents what comes to my mind when I think of great character introductions. This being a purely subjective list, it is tinted heavily by my love of pop culture. That said, I do think that each of them stand out as great moments in cinema.

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