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When comics fan Stephen Merrill passed away suddenly Feb. 12 at age 31, his family and friends didn’t know the cause of death when it came time to write the obituary. So they made one up: an “uppercut from Batman.”
According to WFTS Tampa Bay, the Lakeland, Florida, newspaper The Ledger won’t publish an obituary without a cause of death, leaving Merrill’s relatives to improvise.
Eleven-year-old Rowan Hansen attracted a lot of attention online last month for her letter asking DC Entertainment to “please do something” about the lack of comics, movies and toys featuring female superheroes. The publisher responded, tweeting, “We agree, we’re working hard to create more superhero fun for girls!.”
However, DC didn’t leave it at that.
After 50-year-old Renato Garcia found a Green Lantern costume about a month ago among some discarded clothes, he began wearing it around his neighborhood in San Juan, Puerto Rico. When he passed away last week, Garcia’s family and neighbors thought it was only fitting that he continue to be a superhero in death, complete with power ring.
So, they had his embalmed body dressed in the costume and displayed, propped up, at his wake. “I know he would have liked it,” his sister Milagros Garcia said.
Let’s get this out of the way: This story contains photos of a dead body in a Green Lantern uniform leaning in a corner, so be warned.
When lifelong Star Wars fan Gordon Deacon lost his battle last month with cancer, his wife Marilyn decided to send him off in style: with an escort of stormtroopers.
They marched ahead of the horse-drawn funeral carriage today as it made its way to St. Margaret’s Church in Roath, Cardiff, in Wales. Gordon, 58, was also a fan of the Liverpool Football Club, so the horses were adorned with red feathers and the coffin with a Liverpool and “Star Wars floral tribute.” Even the mourners were asked to wear red or Star Wars costumes.
As you may have guessed by the absence of an early-morning address from the White House, the organizers of the petition to have Feb. 11 declared by President Obama as “Flash Appreciation Day” fell short of their goal. However, it wasn’t for lack of trying.
No, they contend, the blame falls squarely on the Reverse-Flash. It seems the WhiteHouse.gov petition actually received the 10,000 signatures required for consideration, promptly leading to a presidential declaration. However, Reed Beebe of Nothing But Comics writes that the Scarlet Speedster’s arch-nemesis “went back in time and changed history so that none of that happened. In our altered timeline, the petition still received an impressive amount of signatures (over 700), and a lot of fan support, but just not enough to merit official consideration by the President.”
Three-year-old Sophia Sandoval of San Antonio, Texas, was diagnosed in May with medulloblastoma, a brain tumor, leading to months of chemotherapy. On Friday, the Wonder Woman fan celebrated her final treatment by dressing up as one of her favorite superheroes, much to the delight of Lynda Carter.
In a photo posted Tuesday on the Jessie Rees Foundation Facebook page and then widely circulated through social media, Sophia strikes a pose while standing in her bed at San Antonio’s Methodist Children’s Hospital holding a sign that reads, “My Last Day of Chemo. It Was Tough But I Was Tougher.”
In a story that seems ripped from the pages of Weekly World News, or maybe just Captain America, we now learn of a comics fan who’s had subdermal implants, tattoos and part of his nose removed in an effort to make himself look like the Red Skull.
Suddenly, that Superman fan who’s undergone numerous plastic surgeries to resemble the Man of Steel doesn’t seem so extreme, does he?
(Fair warning: Actual photos follow.)
Eleven-year-old Rowan has the same complaint that a lot of fans do — that there simply aren’t enough comics, movies and toys featuring female superheroes. So she wrote a letter to DC Comics, saying, “Please do something about this. Girls read comics too and they care.”
Today, DC answered.
The letter, posted Wednesday this week on the blog of family friend David M. Perry, garnered a lot of attention on Twitter. “I love superheroes and have been reading comics and watching superhero cartoons and movies since I was very young,” Rowan writes. “I’m a girl, and I’m upset because there aren’t very many girl superheroes or movies and comics from DC.”
The goes on to point out the disparity between the number of toys based on male heroes and those based on female heroes, not to mention the lack of a Wonder Woman television series. “Marvel Comics made a movie about a talking tree and raccoon awesome,” she notes, “but you haven’t made a movie with Wonder Woman.”
Danish officials have dashed the hopes of a Copenhagen toy store owner who wanted to call himself Superhero. However, like a true superhero, he isn’t giving up without a fight.
BBC News reports that 26-year-old Benjamin Preisler Herbst hoped to tack “Superhero” onto the beginning of his name, as so much of his life revolves around comic book characters. But after a four-month review, authorities rejected his request, writing, “The word superhero is a term for a fictional/non-existent figure. We don’t believe that Superhero lives up to the criteria for being approved as a boy’s name.”
Following Marvel’s Secret Wars press conference on Tuesday, fans were left to speculate what a combined Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe might look like. We already have some pretty intriguing ideas, courtesy of an enterprising cartoonist named Calvin.
Getting the jump on the official announcement, he’s reimagined the Marvel Universe in a series of of illustrations called Supreme Marvel. Described as his “own little reboot” of Marvel, Calvin comes to this with a mission in mind: “One of the main driving points of this project was to introduce more diversity in the Marvel Universe, as well as highlight existing diverse characters!”
Just when you had moved past your envy of the proud owners of than that custom Groot swing, Super-Fan Builds comes along with another, even cooler project: a one-of-a-kind Batmobile stroller, designed to look like the Tumbler from the Christopher Nolan films.
Constructed by Hollywood pop company Tim Baker Creations as a surprise for father-and-son Batman fans, the stroller is on a steel frame, making it well-suited for those danger-filled walks through Gotham City Park or, I don’t know, Toys “R” Us.
Of course, as Toyland notes, figuring out how to transport the thing — not to mention store it — may require the mind of the World’s Greatest Detective.
If Central City can honor the Fastest Man Alive with “Flash Appreciation Day,” why shouldn’t the entire country? That’s the thrust of a new We the People petition that asks President Obama to pay tribute to the superhero on Feb. 11.
It’s an idea hatched by the contributors to the blog Nothing But Comics, who note the date is already celebrated annually by some Flash fans, who drew inspiration from a Season 2 episode of Justice League Unlimited. In “Flash and Substance,” which originally aired on Feb. 11, 2006, the Rogues team up and threaten to ruin Central City’s first “Flash Appreciation Day” by, well, killing the Scarlet Speedster. They don’t succeed, naturally.
A six-year-old boy in Kansas City has donned a cape and cowl to become Batman. KSHB in Kansas City has reported that a pay it forward group called BOOST and the Kansas City Police Department have teamed up to make Isaac Walker’s dream of becoming Batman come true.
With the Riddler and the Joker on the run, Isaac and his cousin became Batman and Robin to assist the police in apprehending the two supervillains. The dynamic duo received a police escort to a warehouse in the West Bottoms district of downtown Kansas City where they spotted their dastardly foes and rescued two innocent bystanders in the process.
In between uncovering Hydra plots and facing homicidal robots, Captain America took time to surprise a 9-year-old fan who’s embroiled in a battle of his own.
Kenny Botting, who underwent surgery in September for a brain tumor, has spent the past three weeks at Christopher’s Haven in Boston, which provides a home away from home for young cancer patients and their families while they undergo treatment at nearby hospitals (Massachusetts General Hospital is just next door).
A 52-year-old prison guard from Australia is counting on the 203 Simpsons characters tattooed on his back to earn him a place in Guinness World Records.
According to the Daily Mail, Michael Baxter has spent 130 hours and more than $9,900 in the past years to have Springfield’s residents, and even some of its landmarks, inked on his body. There’s the power plant on his right shoulder, Moe’s Tavern on his left, and anchorman Kent Brockman venturing south of his waistband.