But don’t skip Howard the Duck.

§ June 17th, 2019 § Filed under question time § 10 Comments

Okay, let’s start dipping into some of those questions you all left me…if you want to join in the fun, or “fun,” feel free to add your own ’til the comments section there shuts down automatically after how ever many weeks I set it for. Look, I can’t remember everything.

Roger Owen Green ties everything together with

“I were to watch all the MU movies in order which one(s) could I skip?”

Hoo boy. That’s a toughie. I mean, if you just want the core “state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe” flicks, you could just watch the Avengers films, since everything either leads into or ties into that. If you are just looking to skip the…well, none of them are particularly bad as such, but certainly some are less essential viewing than others, I guess. But if you’re committing to watching them all anyway, you might as well not skip the second Thor movie, right? What’s two more hours?

I mean, if you’re really pressed for time, skipping the second Thor momvie and the second Iron Man movie would probably not affect your MCU world-building too much. Also, I’d say “skip that second Avengers movie, too” but like I said, that’s kinda part of the backbone of the whole thing. Maybe fast-forward through it.

• • •

Paul Di Filippo falls out of bed with

“How can you account for the virtual extinction of Welsh Rarebit and the lack of dreams derived from the consumption thereof?”

Sir, I would blame the lack of sufficient newspaper space for the funnypages to properly contain the brilliance of Winsor McCay. Imagine this, sequeezed down to three tiny boxes right next to, I don’t know, Marvin. Do they even make Marvin any more? I mean, don’t tell me, I’m not that interested, but then again, strips do exist that can fit their weird genius into limited space. Who knows what McCay could have done?

• • •

ScienceGiant looms over me with

“Has Superman ever brought up Lori Lemaris to Aquaman, or is he all now-I’m-just-somebody-that-you-used-to-know?”

I don’t know that he’s ever specifically mentioned his mermaid friend to the King of the Seas, but I do recall that DC established fairly early on that there were two…Alantises? I don’t know that both their realms were called “Atlantis” specifically (though in the early Silver Age Lori and Aquaman each claimed to be part of the Atlantis home team. But when Marvel started breathing down DC’s neck with their own slightly more consistent shared universe, I think the official DC continuity explanation was that they were both of Atlantis origin, but there was a split of some kind into “mer-people” and “people-people what could breathe underwater.” Pretty sure Peter David’s Atlantis Chronicles covers this, if I recall correctly.

You know, I bet the Wikipedia entry covers this somewhere. Let me look.


Okay, I did find this page which lists a couple of times that Lori met Aquman (and I also forgot about this Justice League of Atlantis thing) so they totally me. And there’s a reference in the Lori Lemaris Wiki entry to the character looking for other lost Atlantean cities in her first post-Crisis appearance, so there’s your textual support for that.

So unfortunately I haven’t read every Lori Lemaris appearacnce, so I don’t know if there is specifically a panel somewhere with Superman bringing her up to Aquaman and asking “so where’s YOUR fishy half?” but I suppose there’s something like that somewhere.

ª ª ª

Chris works the room blue with

“While they always shuffle around the reasons depending on the era, I always wonder why a super smart race like the Kryptonians really whiffed at the whole exploration/colonization of the stars. Has there ever been a satisfactory reason/story as to why DC’s cosmic realm is so fraught with danger, despite space mall cops in every sector?”

I think the main reason is so we don’t have a universe populated with super-Kryptonians. Keeping all down on the farm when the planet exploded establishes the main premise, that Superman is the Last Son of Krypton and we’ll never see any other Kryptonians, ever (except for Supergirl, and the Phantom Zone villains, and Krypto the Superdog…). The in-univesre excuse I seem to recall was that there was some genetic problem in them, that kept them from being able to leave the world’s orbit without dying (which somewho Kal-El was able to avoid)…that may have been in one of Elliot S! Maggin’s novels. I also assumed there was an implied xenophobia in John Byrne’s portral of Krypton in his 1966 Man of Steel mini-series. My guess is that the reasons given for the Kryptonias didn’t split their plenet tend toward “there’s something wrong with them” rather than “the universe is terrible so let’s stay home.”

Okay, had to once again look at a Wiki page (“Hello, and welcome to ‘Mike Rewrites Portions of Wikipedia for His Blog'”) and it brings up “xenophobia” and a genetic inability to leave the planet as well, so I was remembering some of that correctly.

Also, I’d bet after Brainiac showed up and stole Kandor, the Kryptonins were all “NOPE TO SPACE, THANK YOU,” and who could blame them?

• • •

ENOUGH QUESTIONS FOR NOW. More answers in…the future!

10 Responses to “But don’t skip Howard the Duck.”

  • Daniel says:

    “If I were to watch all the MU movies in order which one(s) could I skip?”

    The only ones you need to watch are:

    Iron Man
    Iron Man 2
    Captain America
    The Avengers
    The Winter Soldier
    Age of Ultron
    Civil War

    Those seven films make up the core narrative backbone of the MCU (e.g., the story of Howard Stark’s two “sons,” Tony and Steve). All the rest are unessential.

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    I always had the impression that the Kryptonians were something like the Chinese Empire prior to the 19th century–an arrogant attitude of “we have everything we need from our own superior civilization, who needs anything those barbarian outsiders might offer?”

    I suppose that would fit under the general heading of xenophobia. I’m not the biggest Superman fan, however, so those with a lot of Superman reading experience might know better.

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    Roger Owen Green’s question isn’t clear whether he means what does he need to watch to get all the themes and main plot points of the MCU (no matter the quality), or which ones should he skip because they aren’t very good?

    Daniel answered the first question pretty well above, so I’ll tackle the second–which movies were pretty forgettable, quality-wise?

    the first two Thors
    Incredible Hulk
    Iron Man 2
    Avengers 2

    All the others ranged from silly fun (the Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy movies) to actually quite good (the first Iron Man and Avengers movies, Thor: Ragnarok, all three Captain Americas).

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    I would include Spider-Man: Homecoming as an essential and rewatchable part of the series, given the surrogate father-son relationship between Stark & Parker that adds to the emotional core of the Thanos films.

  • Signal Watch says:

    There have been a few reasons given for Krypton’s lack of reach, including: actually, they did. Daxam has occasionally been a Kryptonian former colony or sister planet. Some have been a bit like “British Empire 1890 v British Empire 2019” – ie: retraction of space faring and colonies. The 90’s-era leaned into the idea that Kryptonians were Krypton bound. The past two decades have basically relied on Kryptonian isolationism – and Zod and Co. being really into that above mentioned notion that Krypton is great, but stay away or we kill you. I think the implication in the Silver Age comics was that they were just getting out of their own solar system and Jor-El’s rocket was a work of genius, necessity being mother of invention, etc…

  • Signal Watch says:

    I’ll also argue that the Infinity Stones show up all over the place starting with Thor, so you might as well just watch all of the Avengers/ Marvel movies. Because even Thor 2 has a few puzzle pieces that Thor himself covers in Endgame, speaking for all of us about how that was handled.

  • Paul says:

    The Lori Lemaris – Aquaman comic you are looking for is DC Comics Presents #5.

    That’s where the 2 cities thing comes from and the 2 cities are tricked in going to war.

  • Brian says:

    I had the same thought as Thelonious_Nick, figuring that there was something akin to the Haijin (Sea-Ban) that the Ming and Qing Dynasties instituted between the 1360s and the 1720s: progressively making private overseas trade, then all maritime trade, then all overseas travel in and out of Chinese ports illegal (to bolster the internal economy and philosophical traditions against Japanese incursions, as well as keep fiat currency’s value in check by strictly limiting the movement of bullion in and out of the market).

    Krypton is always presented as becoming hyper-advanced quite early. One can imagine it dominating neighboring systems culturally and economically for centuries, much as China did across Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean rim. However, just as China pulled back into a strict isolationism when its “partners” had advanced to a point where there began impacting Chinese culture and economy as potential equals, a supremicist Krypton (especially with all the sci-fi tech that would allow effective autarky) could very easily be driven to a Haijin principle, closing off space travel to keep itself pure and in control of its own resources (and, over the resultant centuries, effectively forgetting the true nature of the universe beyond their borders as that history ceased to be taught).

  • This is probably the nerdiest thing I will ever write BUT —

    For a long time at least some of Superman’s powers were explained by Krypton having a stronger gravity than Earth. (Presumably they meant it was more massive, but since antigravity exists in the DC Universe it’s also possible that there might be things that could give a planet a deeper gravity well than its mass would usually produce.)

    Higher gravity would mean it would be that much more difficult to reach escape velocity, so it might not have taken much to make Kryptonians say “You know, we’re probably all right staying down here.”

  • De says:

    Mr. Johnson,

    This former physics major genuinely appreciates your explanation.