Friday, February 26, 2010

Superman movie update

So... word is that David Goyer is writing a new script for a new Superman movie. Goyer helped kick-start this superhero renaissance with Blade in 1998 (after writing the horrible Nick Fury movie starring David Hasselhoff, but you can't blame Goyer for that). Goyer's more recent prolific work includes both of the new Batman films and [Batman director] Christopher Nolan will be around to give him a hand.

On top of which, Grant (All-Star Superman) Morrison and Geoff (Superman: Secret Origins) Johns have recently been made the official comic book consultants on all DC superhero films.

I hate to get excited about a superhero film (especially this early) because its often like being in a room full of hot women and then realizing they are all born again. Very disappointing... but if I ever heard news to get excited about, this is it.

But then, all they need is one bad actor or director to topple their house of cards.

A thought

A relationship is a negotiation between who you think you are and who they want you to be; an experienced player knows how to balance both sides of the equation, not holding too tightly to the former nor too generous with the latter, savoring the ability to navigate between these two poles.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ideal casting for superheroes

Probably the hardest part of casting comic character is finding someone who is just the right age, but it raises an interesting question: Who would have been the perfect, all-time casting choice for some of the biggest icons in comic book history?

Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

Superman - Gregory Peck

Shown here in To Kill A Mockingbird, Gregory Peck's role as Addicus Finch won AFI's award for greatest film hero of all time. It isn't hard to imagine him as America's greatest hero or his mild-mannered alter ego.

Supergirl - Marilyn Monroe

As for Superman's cousin, I can't imagine anyone better than Marilyn Monroe. Aside from being an unparalleled beauty, the woman had a sense of presence that would make it easy to believe her as a demi-goddess from another world.

Batman - Orson Welles

Years ago, Mark Millar perpetuated a hoax that Orson Welles was a big Batman fan and he had nearly made the ultimate Batman movie. Although it was exposed as such in the same day, it was still a beautiful fantasy and ever since, I cannot escape the idea of Orson Welles writing, directing, and starring in a Batman feature film.

Wonder Woman - Paula Prentiss

Always a tough one to cast, but I'm going to have to go for sixties icon and the original Stepford Wife, Paula Prentiss. Prentiss has the grace, poise, and maturity that we no longer seem to value in our actresses.

Green Lantern - Harrison Ford

For the original Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, my mind immediately goes to Han Solo, another hotshot pilot with an abrasive demeanor. But if you want me to believe a man is fearless, well, I believe Harrison Ford. I believe he can do anything... and not just because he was Indiana Jones... though it helps.

The Spirit - Bruce Campbell

For Will Eisner's comedic, lantern-jawed hero, I would choose the incomparable Bruce Campbell. Best known for the Evil Dead series, he can now be seen on USA's Burn Notice. Campbell utilizes both heroism and comedy in all of his roles and he never fails. With the right director, he would have made an incredible Spirit.

Captain Marvel - Patrick Warburton

If Superman is a boy scout, Captain Marvel is a Care Bear. He has the powers of Superman with a demeanor so wholesome that he makes Clark Kent look like a neo-Nazi. To play him, I'd go with the huge actor with a great sense of humor, Patrick Warburton. Warburton is probably best known for his voice work in Venture Brothers as Brock Samson, in Family Guy as Joe Swanson, and in a series of Superman commercials starring Jerry Seinfeld, however his live acting work can be seen in Seinfeld, Newsradio, and Get Smart, the movie.

Joker - Willem Dafoe

There are several actors that could probably do an incredible Joker. Dennis Leary remains one of my top choices, but I have to say that Willem Dafoe would be perfect. Heath Ledger's Joker was an entertaining psychopath, but the Joker needs to be more than that. He is a symbol, much like Batman, and I think Willem Dafoe could convey that bone-chilling terror with nothing more than a painted face and a smile.

Riddler - David Hyde Pierce

I was watching a movie (Wet Hot American Summer) with David Hyde Pierce and thinking, "Huh... he could play Professor X." My roommate said, "How about the Riddler?" Yeah. Without a doubt. He may not be a big name, but he is perfect for the role.

Poison Ivy - Angelina Jolie

I've heard Angie's name tossed around to play Catwoman a lot... and while she isn't a bad choice, she is the perfect choice for Poison Ivy. Catwoman is a thrill-seeker, but Poison Ivy is an insane seductress and (in a very real sense) a plant goddess. She should be death that you might walk toward willingly because she is that fucking sexy.

Penguin - Joe Pesci

For this character, I had a lot of options. Internet buzz seems to put Philip Seymour Hoffman in the lead. For a long time, I had WC Fields as my favorite. Certainly Danny DeVito and Burgess Meredith were good choices, but for my money, no one can beat Joe Pesci. Now that is a Penguin that we can all get behind.

Daredevil - Dylan McDermott

Jumping over to Marvel Comics for a bit, as I said before, I'm a big fan of The Practice where star Dylan McDermott plays a Catholic defense attorney who could easily double as the man without fear. Sadly, that time is passed, but I can still dream.

Longshot - Johnny Depp

My favorite superhero is the third-string character, Longshot, who is something of a male ingenue. He is beautiful, clueless, and fearless. His original comic is drenched in '80s nostalgia, so it isn't hard for me to imagine what a period Johnny Depp film would be like. Awesome, that's what! One of Longshot's powers is his extreme beauty and I can't think of any man who is more universally attractive than Johnny Depp.

Punisher - Sylvester Stallone

Go watch First Blood and any other Rambo movie that suits your fancy. I have reason to suspect that the Punisher was inspired by the literary Rambo about a Vietnam vet who takes the war home with him. Sly Stallone, in his heyday, would have been the perfect Punisher. Can he act? Probably not, but he doesn't really need to for the role.

Magneto - Rutger Hauer

I didn't care for Ian McKellan as Magneto. He was a great Gandolf, but as Magneto, he just struck me as a dirty old man. Magneto needs to look like a hero, in a way, but a dark hero... because that is who he is. He isn't taking over the world for glory or power. He is doing it to save his people and that sort of messiah complex would be conveyed better through the hard-set jaw of Rutger Hauer.

Storm - Angela Bassett

And, of course, no one liked Halle Berry as Storm. When I saw Strange Days, I knew that Angela Bassett was the perfect choice for Storm. Not only tall, Bassett is statuesque and can deliver her lines with the confidence and conviction to convey a woman who spent her youth worshiped as a goddess.

Beast - Kevin Smith

This one was a recent revelation, but I'm convinced that Kevin Smith would be the ideal Beast. Too often, this role is cast as dull and bookish, but the Beast is actually incredibly funny and versatile. Kevin Smith has the perfect demeanor and voice to play this role, and he has the comedic writing ability to ad lib his own lines. Being a big comic fan, I have to imagine that he would jump at the chance.

Jean Grey - Anne Hathaway

For the role of Marvel Girl/Phoenix, I am captivated by Anne Hathaway. Not only is she gorgeous, she is a terrific actress. With her cast as Jean Grey, it wouldn't be hard to imagine why she is the girl that both Scott and Logan obsess over.

Black Panther - Denzel Washington

For a long time, Wesley Snipes was in talks to follow up his work on Blade with a Black Panther feature film, but I never thought Snipes was right for the role. He is good at being a bad ass, but when I think African prince, I think Denzel Washington. The man is as smooth as James Bond, but he has the incredible acting range to play powerful, charismatic leaders. While I doubt he would play a superhero, I hope he would make an exception for this one.

Well, that's all for now. What do you think? Do you know any actors that would be perfect for a comic role? Let me know!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's nice to have your opinions confirmed

So Matthew Goode says that he shouldn't have been cast a Ozymandias in the Watchmen film.

I agree... but apparently we were hardly alone in this opinion.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I had a dream the other day.

Well, not a dream exactly, but close. I was in a very plain Japanese style room sitting at a low table drinking tea with a beautiful young woman. We sat in silence, speaking only in eye contact and smiles.

After the tea, we lay on the table spooning. I flow into her and she flows into me until there is only the vaguest and most arbitrary distinction between us. Together, we form two halves of a seed and I watch as we grow.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Eight unlikely characters I'd like to see in the new Avengers movie

Well, the Avengers movie is on its way. First, we will see a Thor and Captain America movie, but after that, all eyes are on the Avengers.

Now, we know this movie will feature what comic fans call "The Big Three" (Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor) as well as Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury. There is a fair chance that Hulk will be in it as well as Black Widow (played in Iron Man 2 by Scarlet Johansson). And there is a lot of speculation that the script will include Avengers mainstays Giant Man, Wasp, and Hawkeye.

Now, I'd like to see all of these in the Avengers movie and as long as we get most of them, I should be happy. But just for fun, I'd like to look at what characters I don't expect to appear in these movies, but would be pretty awesome. All of the picks are (or were) Avengers so there is sufficient justification to add them to this film. And with a superhero team movie such as this, it would be easy to add or remove characters from sequels, as we will assume they have their own personal heroing to get to.

So without further ado...

8) Vision

One Avengers character that has always intrigued me is Vision. He is the android of the team with the ability to alter his mass (thereby gaining super-strength or intangibility). Maybe its his name, his garish costume, his powers, or his relentlessly stoic demeanor, but I'd love to see him in a film. Just maybe not this one. He would be best in a future film with Ultron as the villain.

Like Data from ST:TNG, Vision is an outsider looking in on humanity with a mixture of envy, confusion, and disappointment.

7) Beast

Throughout the seventies, Hank McCoy left the X-Men and became an Avenger. With his acrobatic abilities, wise-cracking demeanor, and scientific brilliance, it was a really good fit. I'd love to see him introduced into the Avengers movies, but hopefully not played by Kelsey Grammer. I love Kelsey, but he was too dry for Hank. Once again, I'd cast Kevin Smith.

I doubt Beast will ever be in an Avengers movie. With Iron Man around, his skills are a bit redundant (unless the plot specifically requires a geneticist). The furry makeup would be a pain in the ass and probably wouldn't look good on screen (at least, it didn't on Kelsey). As one of my favorite characters, I really hope I'm wrong and he does appear.

6) Spider-Woman

Marvel has recently been giving Spider-Woman the star treatment. She is actually in no way related to Spider-Man. Even her origin is entirely different. She was genetically design with mixed spider genes as part of a super-soldier experiment by the team of terrorists known as AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics). It would be interesting if the villain of the movie was a terrorist group like HYDRA or AIM, and if so, this could be the best way to introduce Jessica Drew to a wider audience.

5) Black Panther

The king of the mythical and technologically advanced nation of Wakanda would make a great addition to the team. I think of him as the African Batman... if Batman ruled his own technologically advanced country. Maybe he would be better served with a film of his own, but I'd love to see him in the Avengers. Wakanda actually had a cameo in the Wolverine film when they stole the sacred metal (vibranium) from the African tribe. Vibranium is one of the key compounds to create adamantium... which is what Captain America's shield is made out of.

4 & 3) Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch

These twins are the children of Magneto and that alone should mean that it is unlikely they would appear in Avengers. However, they never appeared in the X-Men films, so I have to wonder if their licensing rights are part of the "Avengers package" and not the X-Men one. Quicksilver's super-speed would be awesome on film while Scarlet Witch's hex bolts aren't so film friendly, but they can enable all sorts of interesting twists to the story.

2) Spider-Man

Well, with the Spider-Man franchise getting a reboot, this one seems extremely unlikely, but I'd kind of like seeing Toby Maguire's swan song in this film rather than Spider-Man 3. I imagine that the new teenage Spider-Man wouldn't fit well in the Avengers, but Toby's grown-up Spidey could really work.

If they don't think they'd want him in future films (for whatever reason), he could simply be a part of the crisis in this one and decline membership at the end. The same could be said for...

1) Wolverine

This choice surprised even me, but what wouldn't be awesome about having Hugh Jackman's Wolverine in the Avengers? With the X-Men receiving a similar teenage reboot, Wolverine will probably be absent (fingers crossed) or the Scott/Jean/Logan love triangle will be particularly uncomfortable. So what better answer than to move the character to the Avengers? Sure, I want him to leave the Avengers in the comic... but those are the comics.

Also, Wolverine is a great counterpoint to some of the other characters. You could start the movie with Wolverine being sent to track down the Hulk (much like in his original comic appearance). Captain America always teams up well with Wolverine because they have radically different experience being in the military... and Nick Fury would be somewhere in the middle. And just try to tell me that the chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Hugh Jackman wouldn't be awesome. If Wolverine saw a self-important rich boy in his own battlesuit, he would make it his goal in life to bug the crap out of him.

The more I think about it, the more I think that the only reason not to do it would be if they can't afford Hugh Jackman's salary.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Six things Wonder Woman needs to compete with Superman and Batman

Ahhh, Wonder Woman. I love to pick on you. There is just something about a character with an unwarranted degree of popularity... By this I mean that Wonder Woman is undoubtably a major superhero icon and the yard stick by which all superheroines are measured, but she really has never really taken off with a popular comic or movie or cartoon. The best she's had is the campy TV show that helped young boys realize they were gay.

But I firmly believe that there are no poor characters, only poor writers. The fact that Wonder Woman has survived and thrived this long without quality material just goes to show that there is something about this character that people gravitate toward. The trick is to keep them there. Usually they just leave disappointed...

So what does Wonder Woman need to receive the same cred as her closest counterparts? Below are six things that are essential to making Wonder Woman a success.

6) A better secret identity

No, I don't mean the fact that "Princess Diana" goes by the alias of Diana Prince, although it's a worse cover than Clark's glasses. What I mean is that the princess needs to get a life.

Why do we identify with Superman? Because he was raised by a loving family on a farm in Kansas. He's as American as apple pie... literally. Why do we identify with Batman? Because if we were rich and lost our only family as a young child, we may have ended up just like him.

But there is nothing to identify with about Diana. She was raised on an island of ancient Greek warrior women worshiping Greek gods and living in a Greek sapphic paradise! Not that there is anything specifically wrong about this aspect of her character; it is pretty much essential to her character, but it marks her as being culturally alien. While Superman may be literally alien, his values and upbringing are solidly American.

Furthermore, a secret identity is used to contrast the heroic identity of the protagonist thereby creating a depth of character. The god-like Superman is mild-mannered Clark Kent. The dark, brooding Batman is playboy, billionaire Bruce Wayne.

But Diana Prince (in the latest incarnation) is a secret agent... Why? What does secret agent contribute to the character? That's like Thor's alter ego being James Bond. My recommendation: make her a college professor. First of all, it establishes her as an intellectual and accomplished professional woman. Second, it is a job that pretty much no other superhero has. Third, it gets her involved with a wide variety of people. Fourth, it creates an environment where you can comment on your themes directly (i.e. class discussion).

What should she teach? Women's studies and mythology? Too obvious and limiting. How about psychology? She was created by a psychologist and many of her themes fall into the realm of psychology (i.e. gender and truth).

5) Her own city

What else do Superman and Batman have that Wonder Woman doesn't? Their own city.

While the Marvel universe keeps all of their heroes in one overcrowded city, DC tends to invent a fictional city for each of their heroes. The advantage to this is that they wear their city like a second pair of tights. Gotham City defines Batman. It is dirty, violent, and corrupt, but with a good heart deep down. She is a whore with a heart of gold. Metropolis, on the other hand, is the city of the future just as Superman is the man of tomorrow. It represents the best and brightest of America, much like he represents the best and brightest of Americans.

But Wonder Woman has never had her own city. For a brief time, she was located in Gateway City. Apparently created for Mr. Terrific and the Spectre in the golden age, this city was a stand-in for San Francisco and was never distinct enough to hold anyone's interest, so Diana continued bouncing around to places like New York and Washington DC, but she never really had a home except for Themyscira. Consequently, when she "goes home," it isn't like Superman going back to Kansas or to the Fortress of Solitude. It's more like weekend trips back to Krypton; that is, completely unrelatable.

Personally, I would put Diana in Opal City. First of all, it has a beautiful art deco cityscape with Parisian influences in the architectural design. Second, it is a bit mystic and odd, much like Diana herself. It is a city that just sort of popped up in the middle of nowhere and it has no suburbs. Third, a lot of fans love it and since Jack Knight left it at the end of Starman, it's up for grabs. I say Diana should put down some roots there.

(Note: Pictures are of Opal City.)

4) A stable supporting cast

Along with Diana not having a city or a real alter ego is the fact that she doesn't really have a supporting cast. Except for her Amazonian mother and sisters, no one has been a constant presence in Diana's life. In the original comics, she had her romantic interest, Steve Trevor, and her chubby best friend with the appropriately inappropriate name of Etta Candy, but these were mere ciphers who only really made sense when Diana's alter ego was a military secretary... which only made sense during World War II. She has had a few main supporting characters since, but no one really stuck around. And it isn't surprising since nothing about Diana has remained consistent.

Superman has Lois Lane, Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, and Ma Kent not to mention interesting minor characters like Bippo (his biggest fan), Cat Grant, and Steve Lombard. Batman has Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, Robins 1-5, Oracle/Batgirl, Lucius Fox, and even kindly Dr. Leslie Thompkins.

No woman is an island, Diana. You need to get out more. Find a city to call home, make a life for you there, and surround yourself with interesting people. That's all any of us wants and we live vicariously through these comic book adventures.

3) Better villains

Who is Batman's arch-nemesis? What about Superman? Now what about Wonder Woman?

If you answered Cheetah or Circe, you are not only a geek, you are wrong. Superman and Batman have chemistry with their antagonists. They are perfectly incompatible figures. Where Superman is selfless, Lex is self-obsessed. Where Batman is relentlessly serious, Joker doesn't take anything seriously. In seeing these heroes battle their ideological counterpoint, the themes of their stories take on shape and develop a symbolism all their own.

Perhaps the one Wonder Woman villain who almost fits this definition is Ares. He is the god of war to Diana's princess of peace, but really, Ares isn't all that interesting and he certainly isn't original. Any fight between them will be little more than the usual examples of pure good versus pure evil.

There is no easy answer here. Old villains should be retooled and new ones should be introduced, but a good superhero comic depends on good villains. It's no surprise that the best comics have the best villains (Batman, Spider-Man, X-Men).

2) A personality

Oh sweet god in heaven, Wonder Woman needs a personality! I mean, Superman is bad, but Wonder Woman is worse. Superman is a boy scout, but Wonder Woman is bipolar. Her two states are maternal nurturer and hardened warrior. She will hold you while you cry, then snap your neck if you turn evil.

Seriously, does any one really believe this character? When a writer starts to write Wonder Woman, do they just think "warrior" and "woman" then start typing? Who is she? I don't even know. What TV shows does she like, or does she watch TV? Does she read? If so, what? What are her stances on feminist issues like abortion, pornography, and prostitution? Does she like Hillary Clinton or hate her?

Speaking of feminism, what type of feminist is she? Paglia or Steinem? If I use the word "bitch" around her, will she get mad? Does she get upset over objectification of women? In that outfit, I would think it somewhat hypocritical.

Even if every writer has their own interpretation of the character, there still should be enough consistency so that when the next writer comes in, they aren't just thinking "warrior woman" and starting from scratch.

1) One great comic

Ultimately, what Wonder Woman really needs but has never had is one great comic. If you want to make any superhero succeed, you need to have at least one definitive comic that I can hand to someone and say, "This is who [blank] is!" It needs to require absolutely no previous knowledge, illustrate the characters defining principles, and leave the reader eager for more.

The best comics featuring Wonder Woman are not Wonder Woman comics. Mostly, they are Justice League comics like JLA, Kingdom Come, or New Frontier. While these certainly help, Wonder Woman needs to learn to stand on her own if she is ever going to be in the same league with DC's leading men. While Wonder Woman may have a handful of good stories (maybe even really good stories), she has nothing that comes close to modern classics like Batman: Year One, All-Star Superman, The Dark Knight Returns, or Superman: Birthright.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Second generation superheroes

There are two things that superheroes rarely do that real people do all the time: get married and have children. The reason they don't do it is because marriage ties the hero down and children tend to point out the unnatural relation superhero comics have with the passage of time. Consequently, superhero children tend to come from the future, bizarre experiments, or a hidden past.

Included below are just some of the most notable second generation superheroes/

Jon Kent (Superman/Lois Lane)

Featured in The Son of Superman by Howard Chaykin, this tells the story of Lois Lane as a single mother after Superman disappeared and the boy's realization that he is the son of the world's greatest hero. However, growing up in a more complex world dealing with terrorism on one side and fascism on the other, Jon begins to question if his father is really the hero the world needs.

Damian Wayne (Batman/Talia Al Ghul)

Like the Emperor in Star Wars, Ra's Al Ghul wants his enemy to inherit his empire and in Son of the Demon, Bruce Wayne did just that. Taking over the League of Shadows, Batman briefly ran an international terrorist organization and actually did a lot of good. The evenings he spent with Ra's Al Ghul's daughter, Talia, and the story ends with Talia revealing her baby. Only recently, with the Batman and Son storyarc have we gotten to see the product of Bruce's loins... and he is a deadly little brat.

In recent comics, Bruce Wayne is dead and Damian has become Robin to Dick Grayson's Batman.

Huntress (Batman/Catwoman)

The original progeny of Batman, Helena Wayne was also the daughter of Catwoman. She came from the alternate universe of Earth-2 based on the golden age of DC Comics. Although her universe was destroyed and parentage was retconed, she continues to be a popular character and ally of the Bat family.

Black Canary II (Black Canary I)

One of the most notable second generation superheroes is Black Canary who recently married Green Arrow. Her mother was the golden age Black Canary who fought villains back during World War II. Try not to think about the timeline too much and it almost makes sense. She was perhaps the first legacy hero to appear regularly in new comics.

Daken (Wolverine)

Another long lost son, Daken (whose name means "bastard dog" or "mongrel") was born to a Japanese woman who Logan thought dead. Years later, Daken was made into a weapon, not unlike his father. In addition to his father's powers, he has powerful pheromones which suppress his scent and alter the emotions of others. He recently killed Punisher and has his middle claw popping out of the bottom of his arm instead of the top.

Why? I'm not sure. Doesn't seem very effective.

As a sidenote, Daken is supposedly bisexual. Is it homophobic for me to find that frightening? Maybe it's just that seeing the blood lust he has for eviscerating people, it's not that unlikely to imagine him as a serial rapist as well.

If I was Spider-Man, I would be paying a lot of attention to my spidey sense when he is around.

X-23 (Wolverine [clone])

Wolverine also has a recent daughter, though as I understand it, X-23 is actually a clone that duplicated his X-gene to create a more stable female model. Like her dad and brother, she was created and trained as a weapon. Her own variation on her father's claws: two claws each on her hands and one on each of her feet.

Biggest downside? Like her brother, she has a crappy codename.

Phoenix II/Marvel Girl (Cyclops/Phoenix)

I always thought it was interesting that the two most uptight and conventional X-Men produced a punk like Rachel Summers. I guess it makes sense since she was raised in the post-Apocalyptic Days of Future Past and (once again) turned into a weapon by her enemies. She gained a new lease on life when she traveled back in time to fight alongside the X-Men and Excalibur.

She recently returned from the future again, this time with the name and costume of Marvel Girl... since no one was using it anyway.

Cable (Cyclops/Madelyne Pryor)

What happens when you have a baby with the evil clone of your one true love? You get a 'roided-up Leifeld gunslinger with a Dirty Harry attitude just made for the '80s and with unwarranted popularity in the '90s. Cable wasn't created as the son of Scott and Madelyne, but somehow it happened...

... now it cannot unhappen... although I'd overlook the retcon if it did. Promise.

Stryfe (clone of Cable)

What happens when you clone the baby of the evil clone of your true love? You end up with an evil clone who sports the most awkward costume I have ever seen.

Makes me wish there was some place you could banish comic ideas to where they would never return from. I think its a magical land called "litigation" and it never happens to characters who deserve it... because no one wants them enough.

Nate Grey (cloned son of Cyclops and Jean Grey from an alternate universe)

What happens when... You know what? Fuck it. Alternate reality teenage Cable. NEXT!

Ruby Summers (Cyclops/Emma Frost)

Ruby is a recent creation by X-Factor scribe Peter David. Although it may add more wrinkles to the continuity of the Days of Future Past storyline, Ruby was shown as her father's soldier in a rebellion against genetic oppression. Her body is ruby quartz in a manner similar to Emma Frost's diamond form, but she also possesses her father's trademark optic blasts.

Wiccan & Speed (Scarlet Witch/Vision)

Now here is one of the weirdest ones. Scarlet Witch is the daughter of X-Men villain Magneto. Her power is to alter probability with "hex bolts." While this originally meant she could alter the fortune of small objects in her favor (i.e. causing an enemy to trip, the roulette ball to land on black, or cause a mounted TV to fall on someone's head), in recent comics, it was revealed that this has quantum implications meaning that basically, she can do anything.

Well, a long time ago, Wanda fell in love with the robot Vision and inadvertently created in him the ability to reciprocate those feelings. At one point, her powers actually enabled her to have twin boys with the man-bot, but when someone pointed out that she made them up out of pure crazy, they ceased to exist.

They later returned for no apparent reason having been adopted and lived pretty much normal lives and possessing powers of their own. The most notable of these children is Billy "Wiccan" Kaplan, most notable for being one of the few homosexual male superheroes. The other is Tommy Shepherd, a less developed character based on Quicksilver who goes by the name "Speed" which is a terrible name, movie, and drug.

Bad choice, kid, but considering your upbringing, you got off light.

Franklin Richards (Mr. Fantastic/Invisible Woman)

The first born of the Fantastic Four, Franklin possesses the latent psychic abilities of GOD apparently. He makes AKIRA look like Rasputin. After the FF and the Avengers were killed fighting Onslaught, he created a pocket universe inside his little blue ball and recreated them with his imagination. While he is currently just a kid, those god-like powers can crop up at any moment.

Incidentally, he is destined to meet and fall in love with Rachel Summers in Days of Future Past.

Valeria Richards (Mr. Fantastic/Invisible Woman)

Their second born is arguably creepier. Barely more than an infant, she is already smarter than her father making her possibly the smartest human being on Earth. Imagine if your child invented a time machine while munching Fruit Loops and watching Spongebob. That's Valeria.

Spider-Girl (Spider-Man/Mary Jane)

An alternate future, female version of Spider-Man, May "May Day" Parker ended up inheriting her father's powers and legacy as Spider-Girl. Somehow, she managed to have a long running series that avoided death more inexplicably than Kenny. The character was uninspired and every other character in the story was a slightly less interesting twist on one or more pre-existing Marvel character.

Starman III (Son of Ted Knight, the original Starman)

Jack Knight is the son of the original, golden age Starman. He wasn't supposed to carry the mantel, but after his brother was shot by a sniper, Jack had to rise to the occasion to save his father and his family. Jack is the only second generation hero here to surpass his lineage. The Starman series was massively popular and is still considered one of the best examples of the genre. If it weren't for Jack Knight, the name "Starman" would just be another hokey superhero long forgotten.