Batman V Superman - Christopher Reeve

Christopher Reeve Decides To Fix Batman V Superman

Friends, a couple of months ago, a tongue in cheek video hit YouTube. Entitled Christopher Reeve’s Superman responds to Batman V Superman. Fellow Retroist author, Justin M. Salvato, sent it my way. The video gave us a glimpse of a world where the Superman of the 1978 – 1987 films reads something troubling. He sees in fact the reviews of the Batman V Superman movie from 2016.
Batman V Superman - Daily Planet

So with that in mind, the Christopher Reeve version of Superman takes it upon himself to fix the problem. Namely in going back in time and changing history. Attempting to ‘save’ the film by finding another Director. In this particular case for this alternate universe that would have been Matthew Vaughn. Who about 9 months ago was in talks to helm the sequel to Man of Steel. Over on the CinemaBlend site, the Director was quoted about his vision of what a Superman film should be:

“Weirdly if I did do Superman – and I made the mistake of telling someone yesterday I have spoken about it and then wallop (laughs) – I think my main take would be, it’s really boring but make a Superman film. I just don’t feel a proper Superman – I think Donner did it to perfection for that time. Just doing the modern – I wanna do a modern version of the Donner [version]. Go back to the source material… For me Superman is color, feel-good, heroic. He’s a beacon of light in darkness. And that’s what I think Superman should be.”

Which for myself struck pretty deep because that is kind of the problem I had with the Man of Steel reboot of the films. Which is why Justin agreed to have a little chat with me about his thoughts on both films. Now it is important to bear in mind, if you enjoyed both films. We are indeed happy, for us though we had issues with the portrayal of Superman.

However, before that, how about you watch Christopher Reeve’s Superman responds to Batman V Superman.

[Via] Adeel of Steel

Spoilers Ahead for Man of Steel as well as Batman V Superman.
Vic: Justin, I certainly want to live in that universe where Matthew Vaughn directed Batman V Superman. Now please don’t get me wrong. Up until Man of Steel I supported Zack Synder in all of his films. In fact I feel he did the impossible by delivering not only a fantastic remake of Dawn of the Dead but he delivered a very loyal film adaptation of Watchmen.

It’s just that I don’t think he gets what makes Superman…so super.
Batman V Superman - Zack Synder - Henry Cavill

Justin: I was impressed with Watchmen, but feared Man of Steel would use too many digital special effects. While Man of Steel did have an amazing amount of effects, it didn’t have that purposely fake scenery that we saw in 300. However, taking the color saturation down and making the tone of the movie depressing & dark really bothered me.

V: I totally agree with your take on the stylistic choices to mute not just the colors of Man of Steel. But in Snyder’s effort to, pardon the pun, ground the movie to make it more serious. It is altering the core of what makes Superman special. I will admit that when I was in the audience watching Man of Steel I was entertained. However there were moments that rubbed me wrong to be sure. Case in point the scenes between Jonathan Kent and young Clark. I hope no one will misunderstand me, this isn’t a matter of doubting whether Jonathan loved his Son – not in the least. I get that his Father is so torn with fear that Clark will be taken away from them that he has to not just sacrifice himself…needlessly….but even suggest that innocents should perish to keep the secret.

[Via] Flashback FM

Obviously there is the matter of Superman’s fight with General Zod too that really upset me. I’ve heard the arguments from the filmmakers as well – this is before Clark learned to control all his powers. This is a Clark Kent that has yet to master all of his superhuman abilities.

Sure. But he also is a Superman that doesn’t quite mind costing taxpayer’s between 10 and 400 million dollars by shooting down spy satellites as a point. As I was walking out of the theater after seeing Man of Steel, I really started to get upset at what I had seen. Yet again, I really don’t think Snyder gets what makes Superman a hero.

Clark cares, he truly wants to help those in need. He feels a responsibility to not be a superhero but be a good person. If he had no super powers he would still be helping others. Simply by following what should be at the heart of the character. That any of us can help make the World a better place, every single day, just by caring for others.
Batman V Superman - Why Superman Matter

J: Hadn’t thought about Superman blowing taxpayer money like that, but it sounds like the money was wasted the moment the government had decided to make a satellite to spy on an ally.

The writing in Man of Steel was very questionable. As you stated, Jonathan Kent died needlessly. And for him to suggest that innocent people may have to die to protect Clark’s secret is… Going against canon. That questionable writing was carried over into Batman Vs. Superman. The court room scene… Superman couldn’t have prevented the explosion?

[Via] Kaptain Lukasz

V: I definitely don’t want to sound like I’m ragging on Snyder, like I mentioned already I really have enjoyed his filmography until Man of Steel. I felt so strong about that in fact I refused to see Batman Vs Superman. Which is truly against my personal ethos, do not judge a film until you’ve seen it for yourself.

However it just looked like more of what I disliked about the first film. I certainly wasn’t finding my opinion being changed by the reviews that were coming in at the time of the movie’s release. Having said that, I can deal with Batman being dour and dark…it’s kind of his calling card, right? Superman however, there is a reason he has been labeled as the ‘Great blue boy scout’. I understand though how Snyder and the writing team of David Goyer as well as Christopher Nolan wanted to not just update the character but make him a little more ‘real’.

To me though they weren’t being true to the actual character of Superman nor Clark Kent. Justin, since I’ve not seen the sequel, maybe you can point out some things that stood out for you?

J: Besides a confusing plot that tried to wedge in Wonder Woman, the movie made Superman seem a lot more ordinary. Of course there’s the Martha debacle. That was simply terrible writing. I also didn’t care for the changes they made to Doomsday.
Batman v Superman - Doomsday

It was a film that tried to fit in too much. Marvel films can do it. That’s not to say there weren’t some good things. Batman was cool. His toys, car, and suit used to fight Superman were pretty sweet. Acting was good, but Lex Luthor… I don’t know. To be frank, if Patty Jenkins directed Man of Steel and BvS, DC films would be on par with Marvel.

V: I most certainly agree that Patty Jenkins would have probably delivered a film that was more true to the character of Superman. I hope we’ve not sounded too negative in our discussion, Justin. I think that with Justice League we saw Warner Bros. and DC attempting to fix some of these very issues. Friends, I suppose that only time will tell how that plays out, right?

Now that you’ve seen how Christopher Reeve fixes Batman V Superman. Why not look back at the many ways Superman has been portrayed for 80 years?

[Via] DC Kids

Digi-Comp I - Manual and computer

1963’s Digi-Comp I Was The First Home Computer!

Yesterday I had a bit of time off from the Vault. I had intended to go check out Incredibles 2 but the showings were sold out. So instead I settled on visiting my local Barnes and Noble and picked up a new book. Entitled A History of Video Games in 64 Objects it does what it says on the tin. Which is how of course I was introduced to the Digi-Comp I for the first time. While I will indeed write a review of the book at a later date. I was certainly captivated by 1963’s Digi-Comp I to say the very least.
Digi-Comp I - Mechanical Digital Computer

In a nutshell, the Digi-Comp I is functioning digital computer. Albeit one that is completely made out of plastic and is dependent on a human hand to ‘clock’ it’s processing. While back in ’63 E.S.R. Inc. was focusing on the education aspect of it all. The truth is they ended up delivering the first home computer. All thanks to some plastic flip-flops operated by hand.

[Via] Perkiert

While still basically a toy, the addition of teaching a child how to program this mechanical digital computer, is pretty amazing. In addition as the book points out, it did certainly teach kids to think in binary terms. As well as the aspects of Boolean logic. Which is why, right on the box you had:
“Now for the first time see and understand the operations hidden in the circuits of a giant computer and learn the language of the computers.”

Keep in mind of course that the Apollo 11 wouldn’t launch from Earth for another 6 years. So surely the Digi-Comp I was a pretty magical sounding toy. Furthermore it explains why some of the game programs were so NASA themed. You had a program that allowed you to pretend to launch a rocket from Cape Canaveral. There was one to calculate a satellite re-entry. Or as described in this comic book ad. You could also double check your parent’s bank balance!

Digi-Com I - Electronic Computer Brain ad - DOuG pRATt

Image courtesy of DOuG pRATt.

Not too shabby for a device that is controlled by wires and plastic flip-flops. In addition to blocking some of the calculations by way of cylindrical pegs. It was popular enough that it spawned a second version appropriately named the Digi-Comp II. However this 1965 version used rolling marbles to perform it’s calculations.
Digi-Comp II - Box

Now the Digi-Comp I was amazing and something I need to obtain for myself. On the other hand how can it stack up to a GIANT Digi-Comp II?!

[Via] Evil Mad Scientist

Case of the Missing Mother - The Muppets

Retro Records: The Case Of The Missing Mother (1984)

Welcome back, friends, to a new Retro Records offering. This time since it’s Father’s Day…we are sharing The Case of the Missing Mother? While the timing certainly isn’t working out, this book and record features Jim Henson’s Muppets at least. Released back in 1984 it seems like this read along story is long out of print. Which is a shame as The Case of the Missing Mother most assuredly possesses that Muppets charm.
Case of the Missing Mother - The Muppets - Fozzie - Tough Pigs

For what it might be worth, I believe The Case of the Missing Mother marks a first for Retro Records. What I mean is that it was originally released in 1983 as a book by Random House. Written by James Howe and masterfully illustrated by William Cleaver. But that was it. A book and record as well as tape version were produced a year later.

If James Howe’s name sounds familiar, that is indeed for a good reason. Not only did he write an additional Muppet story with The Muppet Guide to Magnificent Manners. He was also the writer for a very popular series of children’s books. Along with his late Wife Deborah Howe, they co-wrote 1979’s Bunnicula.
Case of the Missing Mother - Bunnicula - Deborah and James Howe

William Cleaver, whose art totally fits both The Muppets and the story. Would go on to do some illustrations for the Sesame Street Magazine in 1988.

Case of the Missing Mother - Sesame Street - William Cleaver

Image courtesy of the Muppet Wiki.

Yet another curious thing about The Case of the Missing Mother is with the book and record. It turns out there are some changes between the original book and the read-along book and records. This might be because of the cast of those recordings.

Case of the Missing Mother - The Muppets - Tough Pigs

Book pages courtesy of Tough Pigs

Jim Henson provides the voice of Kermit the Frog. Frank Oz performs Fozzie, Miss Piggy, as well as Animal. With Jerry Nelson Floyd and Dave Goelz as The Great Gonzo. In addition to Richard Hunt as Scooter, Janice and LaVerne…Animal’s Mother!
Case of the Missing Mother - Animal's Mother - Tough Pigs

Which brings us to the plot for this book and record offering. The Muppet gang can’t help but notice that Animal is acting strangely. More manic than normal…for Animal that is. Then everyone’s favorite drummer up and disappears. It turns out he has lost his Mother’s address and with it approaching Mother’s Day he is frantic.
Case of the Missing Mother - The Muppets - Animal - Tough Pigs

Will The Muppets be able to solve The Case of the Missing Mother?

[Via] Maxwell Zinck

Apollo - Book Cover - Self Made Hero

Self Made Hero Releases Apollo Graphic Novel

When it comes to history there are a few time periods I wish I could visit. To see historical moments or if we daydreaming, to be part of them. Well, I certainly refer to the brighter moments in history. Case in point the launch of Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969. A moment when the country, the World held it’s breath. As Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and ‘Buzz’ Aldrin left the Earth behind to travel to the moon. Furthermore Apollo 11 allowed Armstrong and Aldrin to stride across its surface. Sadly I cannot visit such a moment in time myself. So instead I can enjoy the new graphic novel Apollo.

Beginning tomorrow you can pick up Apollo for yourself. Written by Matt Fitch and Chris Baker. Illustrated by Mike Collins of Transformers, Slaine, and Spider-Man to name a few. The graphic novel gives us an emotional look at the three astronauts that made history nearly 49 years ago.
Apollo - Lift Off - Self Made Hero

While I certainly didn’t think the book was going to be filled with a dry retelling of the events. I have to say I wasn’t quite ready for how moving it was. Obviously the point of Apollo is to give us some insight of what it was like for the astronauts. Pressure, the fear, the pride of being part of the first moon landing. At the same time giving us a glimpse at their varied backgrounds. Those moments that helped make them capable of changing the World.
Apollo - Abort

Apollo also shares how Family members, President Nixon, as well as soldiers in Vietnam felt about the event. Although having said that the main gist of the story resides with Collins, Aldrin, and Armstrong. These were brave men but still men, doubts and fears were just as important as their professionalism and drive to do the impossible.
Apollo - Armstrong - Aldrin - Collins

I will admit that I might be an easy mark for this type of graphic novel. With my love for space exploration and NASA. I was one of those watching when the Falcon Heavy was launched. Not in person sadly, but online with Earl Green – both of us cheering through our messengers.

[Via] The Telegraph

So if you too are a fan of space exploration and it’s important history. Pick up Apollo when it is released on Tuesday. For more information make sure to visit Self Made Hero. Or to pre-order your copy you can visit ABRAMS official site.

I would add that the graphic novel is intended for mature audiences. The language used throughout might be better suited for older teens and adults.

Now you know about the new Apollo graphic novel. Why not watch the historic moon walk by Neil Armstrong?

[Via] Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum