Flash’s Powers Raise Problems

The only other superhero who I believe could rival the completely horrible aspects of Superman’s life would be the Flash.

I say this as the Flash could also attempt to stop every single crime but unlike Superman the Flash probably could do it. In certain DC proposed futures the Flash has ceased being a person able to interact with mankind and has become just a blur that is separated from the world yet saves everybody. He is the entire police force of a heavily populated Mercury in one future.

Yet the fucked up aspects of the Flash do not deal with his not stopping all crimes it really revolves around the effects his speed would have on his own time stream. Thanks to the Speed Force various incarnations of the Flash can travel at or beyond the speed of light which plays havoc on their time relativity.

He has to experience each of his relative seconds in order to perform the actions that he does. But in order to perform so many actions he must live through and remember each. In times when he has run around the world hundreds of times in a minute he must remember and have experienced each step. While he was only gone for a minute in a normal persons time frame, from his perspective he might have been gone for years. His subjective time is completely off from everyone he loves and interacts with. Each day he goes off to fight a villain he may not return for hundreds of his own subjective years.

In addition to this he always has to live with the fear of finally losing touch with reality. In the Kingdom Come miniseries the Flash lives in another plane of existence and the only being who can even slightly communicate with him is Superman due to Superman’s speed and heightened senses. Imagine being trapped in a state of super-speed where you are still attempting to do what you believe is right and just yet having no contact with anyone. That fact that he doesn’t lose it and simply destroy everything or lose his mind is remarkable.

Superman’s life is messed up

Superman has to live with more pain and horribleness than nearly any other super hero.

I am going to ignore the standard discussion over the pain of losing an entire civilization versus seeing your parent shot, which inevitably arises when discussing the dark life that is Superman. Instead I want to focus on the psychological trauma and pain caused by his powers.

First off, he can hear everything going on in Metropolis. Every single thing that occurs Superman can hear. He has to hear all the negativity of the city, all the hate and all the bigotry. But more importantly he can hear everything that goes wrong. Every time a domestic abuse occurs Superman can hear the woman being hit, every time someone is raped or mugged Superman can hear the screams. Superman is forced to hear ever single horrible occurrence in Metropolis.

Now if his powers were as simple as Super Hearing then this would be torturous in and of itself but Superman’s array of powers make the situation much worse, as he could go out and try to stop everything. He could constantly be moving, trying to stop anything bad from happening. But he can’t. Either because he has to deal with something else or the more painful times when he simply needs time to recover psychologically. He can’t always be out fighting evil and stopping criminals or he would go insane. So he has to ignore cries for help.

Superman has to make a conscience decision not to save someone. He has to try and damper his super hearing knowing that do so could cost someone their life. He has to prioritize everything he does. He has to continually ask himself should he stop criminals from robbing a bank or prevent a child from being abused? Which is more important? Which can he more easily life with if he lets it occur? Most heroes stop crimes whenever they see them, but Superman has to decide what he stops. Every second of his day is deciding who lives and who dies.

At the same time he is separated from the rest of world by his powers. He is living in a world of cardboard and if he loses control for even a millisecond he could destroy half a city. If he punches one super villain too hard he could push the villain through ten buildings. Causing thousands of deaths. One shout in rage could send shock waves the permanently deafen thousands. Every action has to be controlled. More popular heroes like Wolverine can lose themselves in the moment. Fight with passion or embrace their emotions. Not Superman. He is never free. The cries of millions are constantly ringing in his ears and ever single action he takes matters.

Zombies, The Simpsons, Unifying Culture

For a long time I had a theory.

A crazy theory ( but it being crazy is irrelevant as most theories are legally required to be insane or at least off kilter)

…. now back to the point.

The crazy theory regarded when zombies would eventually be created (it is a given that zombies will eventually be created so the only question is when)

After deep consideration on this topic at the age of twelve, I decided the when was whenever the Simpsons are canceled and subsequently brought back.

The Simpsons have been going since 1989 and it was my belief that due to the show having been on air regularly for most of my memorable life that it had an unholy hold over it.

My friends and I were all raised on the show and it played such a large part that I came up with the idea that if the show were ever canceled we would all simply drop dead. How zombies are involved is simple, if the show were brought back to the air for a new season after the original cancellation we would regain life.

Now since we would have been legally dead for quite awhile we would obviously come back as zombies. Risen from the dead to consume more marketable television and maybe enjoy a few morsels of human flesh if it struck our fancy.

Simpsons as Zombies

Now, I came up with this silly idea when the Simpsons was in its twelfth or so season and all my friends had a good chuckle over it. We were all fully ingrained into the Simpsons at that point, being kids raised on television. Hell, most of our families hovered around the poverty line so television was the de facto babysitter on certain days and always in the morning. Additionally, all of our parents let us watch the Simpsons and other supposedly adult orientated cartoons from a young age so we had a long relationship with such shows.

Due to this I find the idea of not growing up with the Simpsons unimaginable. I have fond memories of watching the Simpsons on Sunday night since the age of five or so.

Not sharing such a basic element of popular culture is hard for me to comprehend. I am used to people being in other social classes or having different regional backgrounds but I have often taken for granted the Simpsosn as a unifying force amongst people my age. Without the Simpsons what other unifying force is there or are we all elements of different cultures.

On a side note, I should challenge people to some Simpsons trivia and easily bring in some money.

Mr. Fantastic is a jerk

Cartoon Theme Songs part 3

The Best Cartoon Theme Songs

part 3. Numbers 10 – 1

10. Arthur and the Knights of Justice


- King Arthur mythos. High school jocks. Magic. Hair Metal. These four things should have been combined years ago.

9. Arthur


- A good uplifting theme song that fits the show and has a positive message for kids. Though I am curious if speciesism exist in their world.

8. Justice League and Justice League Unlimited (Both Intros)


- I cheated and included both theme songs, but damnit there is no way for me to choose my favorite between these two. They are exceptional theme songs to an exceptional DCAU show.

7.Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers


- This song stays in my head for weeks at a time after I hear it. It is memorable and fun.

6. X-Men


- The raw power released by this theme song could relight the sun if it ever goes out.

5. Animaniacs


- Explains the entire plot, has visual and audio gags for children and adults, has everything any theme song could ever need.

4. Spider-Man (1967 Cartoon)

- Two things. 1. The Ramones covered it. 2. “Spider-pig. Spider-pig does whatever a spider-pig does”

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


- I grew up in the early 90s, I am legally required to know this theme song and praise it whenever possible. Also darn the real intro being blocked due to copyright issues.

2. Batman the Animated Series


( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEx9r5enZsk&feature=related
Sadly embedding was disabled for this better quality version)
- One of the single greatest shows ever created. The mood it sets correspondence exactly to the show. And the animation fits the theme perfectly.

1. DuckTales


-Honestly, what else was going to be number one?

Cartoon Theme Songs part 2

The Top 30 Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time

Part 2. Numbers 20 – 11

20. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe


-  80s commercial style cartoons at its finest. What child could resist from begging their parents for actions figures after seeing that intro.

19. Darkwing Duck


- Our first representative of the Duck Universe in cartoon form. The pace of this makes it for me.

18. Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure


- George Carlin’s voice is all I need to approve of a theme song, though it didn’t hurt having such an over the top fun montage of adventures.

17. Batman Beyond

- I am sorry but I was unable to embed the proper animated intro. This is the music which while impressive does nothing without the animation that goes with it. The music establishes the tone of the show but the animation is required to drive it home. Please watch the proper intro at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlobFExM-UM  to experience the show.

16. George of the Jungle

- Happy, Silly, and Upbeat. This theme song is simply a good mood lifter.

15. Tiny Toon Adventures

- The song tells the entire plot of the show succinctly and manages to give a brief overview of the history of the Looney Tunes.

14. Gargoyles

- This is a theme song where I am not sure if I independently enjoy the theme song or if I just associate the amazingness of the show with its intro.

13. TaleSpin


- No description. I just love this song.

12. Freakazoid


- The only song appropriate for such a original show. References numerous cultural tropes and concepts while still being enjoyable for kids.

11. Pokemon


- I have never even seen this show yet I know the theme song, some powerful influence right there.

Cartoon Theme Songs part 1

Discussion of Carl Banks and the Duck Universe leads me to instantly begin thinking about DuckTales. And by thinking about DuckTales I mean loudly singing the theme song and hoping someone else in my house hears me so they can join in. Since…

“Life is like a hurricane here in Duckburg
Race cars, lasers, aeroplanes – it’s a duck blur
You might solve a mystery or rewrite history
Duck Tales, Oo-oo”

It is easily one of the best cartoon theme songs of all time, but the question arises of what are the other challengers for best kids cartoon theme song. How do we resolve this issues, obviously we gotta examine cartoons and their themes in the manner of the early 21st cetnury internet nerd with a blog.

Thats right…Time for a partially nostalgia based list.

The Top 30 Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time

Part 1. Numbers 30 – 21 .

30. The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (And Friends)

- A bit drawn out but you have to love the early establishment of the announcer as an integral component of the show

29. Captain Planet and the Planeteers

- 80s environmentalism at its best. Unrelated to the theme but the kid with the heart ring could totally have taken over the other four and stolen their rings using the power of heart. If only he had gone evil, it would have been a great episode.

28. Danger Mouse

- A British cartoon most people are not familiar but it has a short, sweet and to the point intro. I highly recommend this show for people who have never seen it, especially if you like James Bond or spy characters parodied by this show.

27. Scooby Doo, Where Are You

- I hate this show and have since I first saw it as a young child, but there is something about its calm catchy theme song that has made me sing it for the past two days ever since I first thought about writing this list.

26. The Tick

- The first of the intros without real lyrics. Where the other themes get stuck in your head and are repeatable, The Tick’s establishes a mood quickly. Also the show is just fantastic and it is hard not to love something featuring The Tick. SPOON!

25. Pinky and the Brain

- Nearly excluded simply because I am tired of people thinking they are clever when they say “maybe Pinky is the genius, and Brain is insane.”

24. Mighty Max

- Not a bad theme considering the show is based on an offshoot of the Polly Pocket toyline. Also, as one without words the intro for Mighty Max really focuses on the animation showing a variety of Max’s adventures.

23. Sonic the Hedgehog

- Tells you everything you need to know about Sonic.

Sonic! He can really move!
Sonic! He’s got an attitude!
Sonic! He’s the fastest thing alive!!

22. The Super Mario Bros

- Kids cartoon rapping intro. Nintendo comes out ahead of Sega once again.

21. Samurai Pizza Cats

- A meta theme song.

Bonus


- Cant mention Nintendo cartoons without including this clip

Animation serving Music?

While watching Fantasia, I came to the realization that I do not like animation inspired by music. I may enjoy what is created but I do not like it as animation. Attempting to express the way music makes you feel through animation or putting a classical song into some sort of framework is commendable but I do not necessarily view it as good animation. It is animation serving music instead of animation and music working together to create a new experience. You can imagine the artists and animators closing their eyes while listening to the music and just drawing what they imagine. The only problem is I could close my eyes while listening to the music and possibly imagine something more satisfying or beautiful. If it is only the animator interpreting the music instead of adding to it with other pieces of animation, what purpose does the cartoon serve? In actually, of all the segments of Fantasia, the only one I felt functioned even remotely as a collaboration between the animation and music was The Sorcery’s Apprentice.

Additionally, I especially find Fantasia disappointing when I think back on the animation of the 1930s that combined music and cartoons. Max Fleischer’s creation Betty Boop teamed up with Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway in the early 30s to make memorable cartoons combining animation, live action, and music.

I just find these two pieces of animation far more satisfying than anything in Fantasia. Where Fantasia reminded me of a college student’s experimental film, which I will appreciate but not really care about, these examples of earlier animation remind me of nothing besides good entertainment.

Bigots angry over fictional characters

Article from Comics Alliance. Read it now.

I do not feel capable of summing up this wonderful little article properly so instead will post my favorite quote from it.

“To Houston and his reptilian kind, such a fictional man is by definition unsuitable for the job of being a fictional superhero because the fictional child of fictional Arab immigrants is not a proper Frenchman and Muslims are congenitally evil.”

Gotta love how much racism still exists in America and around the world. Fun to realize that amongst us nerds who get worked up over random things in comics, like whether Spiderman has organic or mechanical web-shooters, there exist racist and xenophobes(who may or may not be nerds) who send death threats over casting decisions in movies and the presence of non-white superheroes.

Really, I am kind of left a bit ill over the whole situation. Time to read some more Transmetropolitian to learn how to work off that disgust and anger.

Voice-actors in my mind

I am beginning to believe I have watched too many animated shows and films featuring superheroes. I say this because as I was reading Marvels and New Frontier certain characters had their quintessential voice actor voices in my head.

I do not think I can read a story featuring Batman and not read it with Kevin Conroy’s voice in my head. Of course that may not be a bad thing, but I found it quite startling when I realized it was occurring. The separate medias of comics and animation have begun to combine in my mind when it comes to characters voices. Not only does Kevin Conroy’s voice appear in my head while reading Batman comics, but whenever anyone else voices Batman in DC animated features it just doesn’t feel right.

This is ignoring live action, but that is just because Christian Bale’s voices would not feel proper no matter what other experience I have had with Batman. There is no excuse for sounding like a pre-teen trying to do a scary voice when voicing Batman or really any adult character. What a poor bit of voice acting….

Well, now that I am past that little rant (physically in this blog post not mentally) I am curious if anyone else has encountered this issue. Have other voices invaded your mind during attempts at reading comics? Or do you find it odd when a character’s voice in a cartoon is not what you imagined while reading the comic? And honestly, who thought a pathetic rumbling growl was a good voice for Batman?