Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Top Ten Best DC Comics Characters

Comics Should Be Good! have recently run a poll to find the Top 100 Marvel & DC Characters. Of course I voted. Like all superhero comic fans I'm insufferably arrogant and believe that I know better than every other fan, so I thought I'd present my own personal list.

This is the DC list. Check out my Marvel list here.

10. Green Arrow (Oliver Queen)

Where did Ollie come in CSBG's list? #10

Who was #10 in CSBG's list? Ollie!

Oliver Queen has often been referred to by fans as the "socialist" super-hero but his self reliant, libertarian views have always struck me as more right wing than left, albeit in a vague way. Ollie has typically clashed with characters who represent "the state", like Hawkman, the alien space-cop, and also the Guardians of the Universe, who have taken it upon themselves to police all of creation with their Green Lantern Corps. He always seems more concerned with what the individual can do to help the world, rather than what the government, or even his fellow Justice Leaguers, can do. While Ollie has modeled himself after Robin Hood, who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, it's worth remembering that Robin is often depicted in popular culture opposing excessive taxation. 

That said, I'm sure it's possible to argue that Ollie's anti-authoritarian leanings have more in common with the left if you were so inclined. I think the reason Ollie's politics are difficult to pin down are part of his appeal - he's a thoroughly complex, almost contradictory character. Despite this, his defining characteristics remain a social conscience, a fierce sense of justice, and of course an unparalleled skill with a bow and arrow.

9. Starman (Jack Knight)

Where did Jack come in CSBG's list? #42

Who was #9 in CSBG's list? Barbara Gordon

James Robinson's Starman is a masterpiece that creates a world of nostalgia, horror and wonder, filled with characters that are simultaneously both believable and fantastic. The series is seeped in DC Comics nostalgia yet also manages to feel fresh and relevant. And yet this amazing world just wouldn't have worked if it didn't have Jack Knight at it's centre. Jack is an avid collector of 20th Century antiques and kitsch, something it's hard not to identify with as a comics fan. He also has a difficult relationship with his father Ted, the original Starman. This relationship is the heart of the series and it sucks you in so much that by the end Jack feels like your best friend and Ted feels like your own dad. 

A fan who wished to experience the DC Universe for the first time could do a lot worse than immerse themselves in the world of Starman. It's a story of superheroes, horror, sci-fi, romance, wonder, nostalgia, and family.These things pretty much sum up what DC Comics is all about.

8. Sandman (Wesley Dodds)

Where did Wes come in CSBG's list? Not in the Top 100!

Who was #8 in CSBG's list? Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)

Before the late '80s Wesley Dodds was a Golden Age superhero best remembered for accidentally turning his sidekick into a sand-monster and then keeping him locked in a giant bell-jar for decades. When Neil Gaiman created his version of Sandman he threw in a one panel reference to Wes as a tip of the hat. Matt Wagner, Steven T. Seagle and artist Guy Davis ran with this reference and created Sandman Mystery Theatre. The series is set in New York in the 1930s. It's a crime thriller, and the tone is noir-ish and ugly. The crimes are brutal, the criminals are grotesque, the cops are racist, everything seems covered in a layer of grime and cigarette smoke, and WWII is an ever looming threat. Even Wesley himself is depicted as short, podgy, and owlish. 

Among the ugliness however is the relationship between Wes and his partner and lover, Dian Belmont. Wes and Dian together are quite simply beautiful. Their relationship is one of the most realistically depicted romantic relationships in comics. It has ups-and-downs, and doubts, and fears, and break-ups and make-ups, and that makes it all the more beautiful.  It's a true partnership and it's beauty contrasts with the world around it, and makes you want to stay in that ugly world with Wes and Dian a bit longer.

7. The Flash (Jay Garrick)

Where did Jay come in CSBG's list? #71

Who was #7 in CSBG's list? The Flash (Barry Allen)

James Robinson described Jay Garrick as "the everyman character that we all like, that we all want to be, want to hang out with. He's the likable guy, the one you care about." That sums up Jay, he's just a really nice bloke. He's warm, comforting, and reassuring, like if your favourite cardigan became a superhero. But that's not to say he's bland. After all, he's traditionally depicted as being active in WWII and he embodies the greatest generation more than any other super-hero, apart from Captain America. So, he's more like if your favourite cardigan became a superhero, liberated Europe, and then punched Hitler in the face at super speed.

6. Aquaman (Arthur Curry)

Where did Arthur come in CSBG's list? #11

Who was #6 in CSBG's list? The Flash (Wally West)

Aquaman is just one of those superheroes that people love to mock. He’s a perpetual pop culture punchline and it can be a bit disheartening if you happen to be a fan. There’s a lot of defences of the character on the internet that basically amount to “he’s so badass! He’s really strong!”, and while yes, he is a double-hard bastard (he once punched death in the face), I think there's more to the character than that. For example, unlike other heroes Aquaman is a world leader. If you upset him he won’t just send you to jail, he’ll invade your country. This means that Aquaman is usually involved in plenty of political intrigue, not to mention epic battles with other nation's armies. His tempestuous relationship with his wife Mera has made for lots of soap-opera, and his ancient, underwater home has been the setting for many mystical, fantasy tinged adventures. 

How many other superheroes can boast the potential for such diverse stories? There's no other super-hero quite like Aquaman, except maybe Marvel's Namor, and let's face it, Namor's a wanker.

5. Lois Lane

Where did Lois come in CSBG's list? #45

Who was #5 in CSBG's list? The Joker

Lois Lane is a human being in a Universe of super-gods.  She's ambitious, competitive, bloody minded, and a lousy speller. She's a gifted investigative journalist with a passion for justice, who hates bullies. She only ever writes the truth and will risk her life to get to it. She's worked twice as hard as her co-workers to get where she is. She's had military training from a father who wanted a son. Her cat is named Elroy.

It's only right that the most human character in the DC Universe should be the one, true love of a god-like alien who's so in love with the human race that he's dedicated his life to a never ending battle to defend it.

4. Lex Luthor

Where did Lex come in CSBG's list? #16

Who was #4 in CSBG's list? Wonder Woman

Lex Luthor manages to be the ultimate foe of the most powerful super being on the planet, despite having no superpowers of his own. He walks among other villains who can grow to giant-size, move at the speed of light or live forever, and yet they all defer to him and they all fear him.

Lex hates Superman, and a character completely driven by hate is easy to relate to. We all know what its like to feel resentment towards someone who is our superior in some way. As far as Lex is concerned, in a world without superheroes men like him would be the heroes. If he can just get rid of Superman then he'll get everything that he's due.

Lex hates Superman because he believes that everyone, deep down is as selfish and cruel as himself. Superman exposes Lex's world view as a lie. Superman, on the other hand, does what he does because he wants to inspire the best in the people of Earth. Lex displays only the worst humanity has to offer - greed, cruelty, hate. Lex is the one man who refuses to be inspired by Superman and so he exposes Superman's world view as a lie. 

They could never be anything other than perfect enemies.

3. The Flash (Barry Allen) 

Where did Barry come in CSBG's list? #7

Who was #3 in CSBG's list? Dick Grayson

Barry Allen's super power isn't super speed. Well it is, blatantly, but that's not what makes him special. After all, any old Whizzer or Quicksilver can run fast. Barry's real power is imagination. Your average Joe gains the ability to run at light speed and he might go running across the planet, catching bullets and fighting crime. But Barry gets super speed and like a good scientist he thinks "What's next?" The incredible gift of super-speed leads to further wonders. Frictionless fabrics that fit in a ring and expand on contact with air, parallel worlds, time travel on a treadmill, complete molecular control of the body, and racing death itself.

Barry Allen has so much imagination that becoming the Fastest Man Alive was just the sound of the starter pistol.

2. Batman (Bruce Wayne) 

Where did Bruce come in CSBG's list? #1

Who was #2 in CSBG's list? Superman

Batman is the orphan who made himself into the ultimate Dad. It's no accident that Batman has acquired a family of Robins and Nightwings and Red Hoods and Batgirls and Spoilers and Bluebirds over the years. He may have begun as a wish fulfillment/revenge fantasy/Shadow rip-off, but as soon as Robin first joined him the final piece of the puzzle clicked into place. He's the cleverest guy in the world and the toughest guy in the world, just like all dads. He lives in a giant toy box and takes you with him in his car (the fastest car in the world of course) to beat up bullies. Then it's back to the toy box where Grandad the butler has made sandwiches. His best friend is not just a policeman, he's the boss of all the police. His other best friend is Superman! He's a moody sod but that just makes it mean all the more when you win his approval.

1. Superman (Clark Kent)

Where did Clark come in CSBG's list? #2

Who was #1 in CSBG's list? Batman

Everybody, at some point in their life, will experience power over others in some form or another. More often than not, even if our intentions are good, we will misuse or abuse that power, sometimes without even realising it. After all, power corrupts, right? 

Superman is a person who will never abuse his power over others. Superman embodies the belief that when given absolute power a man won’t be corrupted by it, but rather he’ll do everything he can to make the world a better place. It’s the belief that maybe we human beings aren’t such a bunch of scumbags after all. Superman is hope for the human race.

On top that he can fly and shoot lasers out of his eyes. Bullets bounce off him. He's super strong and super fast. His childhood friends live in the 31st Century and his dog has a cape. All his friends think he's a nerd but he knows he's secretly awesome.

He's the greatest fictional character of all time.

Monday, 11 January 2016

David Bowie Memories

(I resisted the temptation to name this blog post "Stardust Memories".)

David Bowie has passed away. Here are some of the ways he's popped up in my life.

  • When I was about 9 or 10 my dad made my youngest sister a tape of some songs from his record collection. Me and her used to listen to it together. The tape had Laughing Gnome and Love You Til Tuesday on it. I had never seen a picture of Bowie and based on those songs I pictured him as an aging crooner in a tuxedo.
  • After listening to Nirvana: Unplugged in New York I dug out my dad's vinyl of The Man Who Sold the World. By the end of Width of a Circle I was completely hooked. I dug out my dad's other Bowie records and made tape after tape of my favourite songs from each album.
  • In 1995 Bowie co-presented Mark Radcliffe's Radio One Show to promote Outside. They played Heart's Filthy Lesson and it soon got added to one of my Bowie compilation tapes. Radcliffe also played Pulp's Sorted for E's & Wizz because he thought Jarvis Cocker sounded like Bowie. Bowie said "It's in the genes, Mark" which made no sense. Radcliffe opened the show with Iggy Pop's Lust for Life. It was the first time I'd ever heard it and it blew me away (Trainspotting wouldn't be out for another year). 
  • I listened to Heroes for the first time over my Gran's house. Beauty and the Beast and Joe the Lion make me think of staying over my Gran's.
  • I used to listen to Bowie: the Singles Collection while playing on the Sega Mega Drive with my sisters. Bowie's rubbish cover of Alabama Song makes me think of playing The Lion King.
  • When I was 15-17 a group of us used to hang around a friend's house most Saturdays and drink cider and alcopops (it was mainly me on the alcopops). We would listen to The Man Who Sold the WorldHunky Dory, and Ziggy Stardust a lot. We had the CD versions that had songs like Holy HolyBombers, and Velvet Goldmine as bonus tracks. Those songs still make me think of my mate's living room in Trethomas and the smell of Strongbow.
  • During my first year of Uni Bowie released Hours. I would listen to it while hiding in my room and thinking of all the fun, crazy, drug and sex fuelled antics I probably should have been participating in. Years later me and my friend Tony would sing songs from that album to each other in work, usually in a comedy Bowie voice. Tony and I would also try to sneak the names of Bowie songs into our live science shows. Tony was the undisputed master of this, managing to describe the sparks from a Van Der Graaf Generator as looking like "two trains going from Station to Station."
  • I owe most of the friendships I made in Uni to bonding with people over Labyrinth.
  • In a London club over ten years ago my friend John and I worried that Bowie had died after the DJ inexplicably played all of Aladdin Sane (the album not just the song). Absolute Beginners is also a song I associate with John, as I watched him perform a cracking version of it for Karaoke one New Year's Eve in an East End boozer. 
  • Let's Dance is forever associated with my friend Llyr, who completely owned the song once at Karaoke, despite being confused by an extra long version of the song that I have never heard before or since.
  • I bought Bowie at the Beeb in a record shop in Prague while on a wonderful holiday with a now ex-girlfriend. Every time I listen to it I think of that holiday. 
  • When two of my best friends Emma & Rob, got married to each other they played A New Career in a New Town as they signed the register. I always think of them when I listen to Low, and that song in particular.
  • Recently I bonded with one of the wonderful new friends I have made since moving to Sheffield by discussing our favourite Bowie tracks while we were supposed to be taking part in a pub quiz. I think our team did pretty well but it was no thanks to us.
These are some of the memories that have been going through my head today.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Is Doctor Who still for kids?

"Blah, blah, blah, blah!"

I was discussing Doctor Who (as I often do) with my sister today and she told me she hadn't enjoyed the past two series very much. My sister has always been a fan of the show since it's 2005 revival, albeit a casual "Saturday night telly" kind of fan rather than a scarf-wearing, DVD owning "moaning about it on the internet" kind of fan like myself. My sister remarked that my seven year old niece doesn't watch it much any more as "she doesn't understand it". I was about to launch into my well-rehearsed and spirited defense of the show when my niece actually chipped in to correct my sister.

"I do understand it, it's just boring. All they do is talk, and talk, and talk."

It wasn't the fact that she didn't like it any more that worried me. After all, kids go off stuff all the time. It was the reason she'd gone off it that worried me. "It's boring." Doctor Who should not be making kids bored! Now I'm not claiming that my niece is representative of all children in the UK. But it's hard to deny that the tone of the show has changed over the past few series. Is the show getting too 'talky'? Is Doctor Who in danger of losing what has always been the most important part of it's audience - kids?

Once upon a time, Russell T. Davies' era as head writer (2005-2010) was full of rousing speeches and emotional exchanges, but it was always balanced with a healthy dose of explosions, running, and visual humour. The Doctor's emotional farewell to Rose at the end of series 2 for example came only after a tense, climactic battle between the Daleks and the Cybermen which resulted in them all getting sucked into a big, inter-dimensional hole. The Doctor and The Master had many a character defining back and forth at the end of series 3, but it was all centred around a very visceral victory for The Doctor, as the prayers of the world transformed him from a wizened goblin into a shining, floating saviour. (Hey, I'm not saying it made sense, just that it was visually exciting.)

Compare those climaxes to the end of series 8 or 9. Series 8 finishes mainly with a lengthy conversation in a graveyard. The army of Cybermen don't actually do anything apart from explode in the sky and Missy is dispatched by a Cyberman who we're told is a character who is only significant to viewers familiar with the classic series. Series 9 ended with a long talk about feelings between Clara and The Doctor, followed by The Doctor losing his memory for vague reasons, followed by another talk about feelings between The Doctor and Clara, this time in a diner. It's not exactly the stuff kids dreams are made of is it. Of course, the RTD era was full of long talks about feelings too, but they were always balanced with action, and visual thrills, and I don't think that's still the case.

If you think that this criticism means that I hate current head writer Steven Moffat's era of Doctor Who you couldn't be more wrong. I have absolutely loved the past two series and Peter Capaldi has swiftly entered my list of top five favourite ever Doctors. I've found Series 9 to be particularly enjoyable, with The Doctor's impassioned anti-war speech in The Zygon Inversion and Peter Capaldi's solo performance in Heaven Sent among my favourite moments.

But I'm a 34 year old man and when it comes to Doctor Who my opinion should not be a priority!

Doctor Who is a family show, it always has been. It's not something for nerds like me to watch alone in our bedrooms and then bitch about on our blogs (much like I'm doing now). It's something for families, like my sister and her kids, to watch together. If you target the families then nerds like me will still watch it, but if you target nerds like me you lose the families. If you target families then the kids grow up and watch it with their kids, and the show endures, as it should!

The weird thing is, Steven Moffat knows all this! In one interview to promote the show's 50th Anniversary he remarked
"I love Doctor Who fans, and I am a Doctor Who fan, but the show is not targeted at them. And to be fair most of them say: 'For God's sake don't make it for us.' They want it to be successful. They don't want it to be a niche thing, because then it would die."
Why then would the man who said this fill his episodes with emotionally charged, character driven speeches that are perfect for fans who want actors to reenact them at conventions but not so great for retaining the attention of your average 7-8 year old? Again, I'm not saying that these speeches shouldn't be there, but for god's sake, let's have an explosion and some running straight after it.

I must emphasise that I'm not one of these critics who say that kids can't follow Steven Moffat's labyrinthine plots. As Moffat has rightly said "We're dealing with children who can read long, complicated books while tweeting and playing computer games all at the same time. You've got to be ahead of them." So I'm definitely not saying that the show should dumb down, or that kids only like explosions. I'm just saying that for the past couple of series, Doctor Who has put exposition and emotional character moments above action and it means that the show may be in danger of losing it's younger audience.

An impassioned speech about the horrors of war is great, but it's not going to resonate with a child in the same way as it is with an adult. Is it possible to make it the centrepiece of an entire episode and retain the interest of your younger audiences? I'm not so sure it is. Why can't we have the best of both worlds? Something emotionally resonant for the older fans to immortalise in gif and meme form AND something for the younger fans to reenact in the playground. Russell T. Davies managed it for four series and a bunch of specials. With episodes such as The Eleventh Hour, and Day of the Doctor, Moffat has managed it too, and I'd love to see him keep on doing it.

I've really loved series 8 & 9, but the moment Doctor Who becomes all about people like me is, as Moffat has said, the moment it dies. With the BBC insisting on scheduling the show at later, less appropriate times it's more important than ever that Doctor Who keeps the kids. Doctor Who must endure and it will only do so by attracting the whole family, not just the uncles.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Monday, 21 December 2015

The Best Stuff of 2015 (according to me)

(Click here for The Best Stuff of 2014)

Best comic of 2015: 
Dan Jurgens & Lee Weeks' Superman: Lois & Clark

Only two issues in and I just love this book!

The New 52 has given us some brilliant Superman stories (as well as some stinkers). But this book, which features the pre-reboot versions of the titular characters, hearkens back to the days when the Super-books had the one thing the New 52 Superman has been lacking - consistency! Consistency of tone, characterisation, and quality. This book feels like it's come straight out of those days! Jurgens has really made me feel like I'm meeting two old friends again for the first time in years, and Weeks' art is beautiful. But that's not to say that Lois & Clark is just a big nostalgia wank-fest. The characters have moved forward since the '90s; not only are they trapped in a world they never made but they're raising a son too! They're currently trying to keep their heads down so as not to be mistaken for their New 52 counterparts while also trying to use their knowledge of their world's events to avert future threats before they happen. That's quite a clever, compelling status quo that will hopefully hook a few newer Superfans as well as 80s/90s kids like me. But, as I said, we're only two issues in. Will this series be able to maintain the consistency of the era that inspired it?

Runner Up:

There's no sign of the quality dipping on last year's entry in this slot. Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo may have put Jim Gordon in the Bat-Suit, but they're still managing to keep us immersed in a new Bat-Golden Age!

Most underrated comic of 2015:
Benjamin Percy and Patrick Zircher's Green Arrow

When the fantastic writer/artist team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino left Green Arrow it seemed that DC were going to let the book fade into mediocrity once again. Luckily Percy and Zircher soon came on board and gave us a mature, and unique take on Oliver Queen that's wonderful to look at and feels just like the legendary Mike Grell run of the '80s. The character of Oliver Queen has never been portrayed this young in a contemporary setting, and yet I recognise him. He seems just as Grell's middle-aged Oliver would seem if he had been a young man. The whole macabre, flirting-with-the-supernatural tone of the book feels exactly like a Vertigo book from the early days of Sandman, Hellblazer, Doom Patrol, & Books of Magic. And yet bizarrely, I hardly ever see anyone talking about this book, and there are even rumours that it's facing cancellation. If this is true it's a damn shame.

Best event of 2015: 
Jonathan Hickman & Esad Ribic's Secret Wars

This series has yet to finish as it's been plagued with delays, but it's worth the wait. I originally wasn't going to bother with it as I'd found Hickman's build up to this event in Avengers and New Avengers to be an admirable but complex and depressing experience. About half way through Secret Wars I realised that it was basically the "final" Fantastic Four story disguised as a Marvelwide event and so I quickly caught up and haven't regretted it. It's a testament to Hickman's writing that I feel I can follow his story quite easily without having read the years of build up and multiple tie ins. Also, Ribic's art is beautiful and fits the story perfectly. Sometimes it's murky and dreamlike, a style that's entirely appropriate for a planet of 'What-If's held together by the imagination of a madman. On other occasions it's full of cold, hard detail, like the now famous panel that depicts Dr Doom's scarred face for the first time ever. Late it may be, but Secret Wars is also the best Marvel event since Civil War.

Runner up:
Paul Cornell & Neil Edwards' Doctor Who: Four Doctors

After reading the first issue I dismissed this series as "a fan-wanky mess of bickering Doctors." I'm glad I gave it a second chance. Once the separate voices of the different Doctors start to emerge it's actually loads of fun.

Most disappointing comic of 2015: 
Superman - Truth

Like last year's entry for this slot, Superman- Doomed, this arc started off well. Extremely well in fact. Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder's Action Comics chapters in particular were full of wonderful moments, including Superman playing with the children of a Metropolis neighbourhood, before protecting that neighbourhood from police brutality in a spectacular fashion. Meanwhile, over in the main Superman title Gene Luen Yang gave us lots of focus on Lois and Jimmy, something that's been missing for a while. Like Doomed however Truth has pretty much said all it has to say and now seems to be repeating the same beats over and over, waiting for March when the story is set to conclude. There's only so many times you can see Superman punch a shadow demon, or seethe in frustration at his current predicament. Worse still, Superman's been possessed by shadow demons over in Action, leaving us with exactly the same tired old "must...fight....it" stuff we got sick of in Doomed. This story arc is actually a great idea, but like Doomed it needs to have been tightened up instead of dragged out. Having said that, Howard Porter has taken over art duties on Superman and he's phenomenally good, so it's not all bad.

Best Comic Book Film of 2015: 

Both Ant Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron were two of the weaker entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but both were still lots of fun, and Ant Man in particular seemed a lot better on second viewing without the weight of expectation. Tragically Fantastic Four seems like it could have been better than both of them had it not been butchered by Fox.

Best non-comics related film of 2015: 

Even if the rest of the film was rubbish, the opening scene alone would make this one of the best films of the year. Thankfully the rest of the film isn't rubbish. Far from it! This film combines the best aspects of Daniel Craig era Bond with the best aspects of "classic" Bond. It feels like Skyfall and You Only Live Twice have been spliced together by an expert to make a Bond fan's dream film. It was such a high-note for Craig to end on that I actually hope he doesn't come back for one more, despite the fact that he's absolutely perfect as Bond.

Runner Up:
The Martian

Such an amazing film! It blew me away. I love how the message of the film is essentially, the human race is awesome. Yeah, a lot of what we do is horrible but we do amazing things too.

Best TV show of 2015:
Doctor Who

I almost didn't put Doctor Who in this slot this year (see the Runners Up) but then I remembered two things:
1. DAVROS!!! He's my favourite Who villain and I had no idea he was coming back, it was a wonderful surprise. Davros' two-parter allowed Peter Capaldi and Julian Bleach to have an extended Doctor/Davros face off that really highlighted the strengths of the actors and the characters. Jenna Coleman's Clara and Michelle Gomez' Missy also made a very entertaining double act.
2. Heaven Sent. What an episode! Arguably the greatest actor to play the Doctor gets an episode all to himself, with a plot that builds up the momentum beautifully to an elegant and satisfying climax.

Runners Up: 
Daredevil and Jessica Jones

Arrow, The Flash, and Gotham may be soapy and fun, but Daredevil and Jessica Jones are the real thing. Proper grown up telly! The Breaking Bad of superhero shows. Both are brilliant in different ways. Daredevil has the most thrilling action scenes and the most cathartic climax, but Jessica Jones has the most powerful characters. David Tennant's Kilgrave is a particularly superb character. He embodies male entitlement, rape culture, and even depression itself, all in one horrific package.

Best things I discovered in 2015 that everybody else already knew about:
Tim Seeley, Tom King, and Mikel Janín's Grayson

Wow! The critics weren't lying about this were they?! Grayson is something quite special. I recommend it to anyone who likes spy stuff, superhero stuff, Batman/Nightwing stuff or just tightly written, superbly drawn comics with an engaging, likeable lead character.

Best things I did in 2015:

I met Colin Baker, Peter Purves and Nicola Bryant. I had a long chat with a brilliant comics artist, Lew Stringer, who drew me Suicidal Syd from Viz. I met three real life superheroes.  I got Margot Kidder's autograph. I went to a Morrissey concert and he was on top form. I sort of went viral with a Youtube video I made. Then I did it again. I argued with a comics creator on Twitter. It's been a pretty good year.

In 2016 I'm moving to Bristol and Batman V Superman is out, so if Western Civilization doesn't collapse it should be a great year.

What have been your geeky highlights and lowlights of 2015?


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