Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for Zatanna

Day 26 - A to Z Challenge - "Z"

Z is for Zatanna
Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Skilled and Powerful User of Magic, Reality Warping, Probability Manipulation, Immortality
Occupation: Former Stage Magician
Real Name/Secret Identity: Zatanna Zatara

Origin Story:
Zatanna is the daughter of adventurer John Zatara and Sindella, a member of the Hidden Ones (a mystic tribe of sorcerers).  
Zatanna inherited her mother's ability to manipulate magic and her father's heroism.

Early in Zatanna's life, her mother fakes her own death to return to the Hidden One's sanctum in Turkey.  She is left traveling the world with her father.  It is during this time, John teaches her to control her magical abilities and gives her a strong moral center.

Unfortunately, an evil witch, Allura, curses Zatanna...
...the curse prevents her from being able to see her father.
Zatana is left to fruitlessly search for her parents.

It is with help from the Justice League, that she is able to lift Allura's curse and reunite with her parents.

Interesting Tidbits:
-Zatanna makes her first comic book appearance in 1964.
-In newer versions, Zatanna and Bruce Wayne have a friendship that dates back to childhood.
-Zatanna usually does spells by speaking them backwards.

My Observations:
I have seen this character several times in a few different series and I always quite liked her.
I really liked the magic story-lines that went along with her appearance in an episode. (Magic is something that I've always found interesting.)  I also found her relationship with Bruce Wayne/Batman fun to watch.  They seemed to have a brother/sister dynamic and that helped to add yet another dimension to both characters.


Well, the challenge is done!
I can't believe it is complete and another month has come to an end.  I hope everyone enjoyed my posts and truly appreciated each and every comment.  

I had a lot of fun participating in the challenge and I will definitely consider doing it again.
(I will write more and show the finished alphabet in my reflections post.)
The only thing I did miss was finishing my ornaments for the month. (Well, I may try and get one finished today.)  But, other than that, this challenge was a blast!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y is for Yorick Brown

Day 25 - A to Z Challenge - "Y"

Y is for Yorick Brown

Character Facts:
 Real Name/Secret Identity: Yorick Brown
Occupation: Magician and Escape Artist

Origin Story:
Yorick Brown was an amateur magician/escape artist and trainer of a monkey (Ampersand).  He was also deeply in love with this girlfriend Beth...
...when the plague hit.
Every male creature on Earth died a sudden, bloody death. (They all died simultaneously on July 17, 2002.)
Now Yorick is searching for his girlfriend Beth and trying to stay one step ahead of the spies and ninjas that have been sent after him.

Interesting Tidbits:
-Yorick is training Ampersand (the monkey) to do domestic chores for quadriplegics.
-The source of the plague that kills all the mammals with a Y chromosome is never fully explained, but there are numerous theories as to why it happened.
-One of the theories mentioned in the book series was..."The Earth cleansing herself of the Y chromosome, as believed by the Amazons."

My Observations:
Again, I don't really have any observations about this character, since I had never heard of him until this alphabet project.
The story does sound like an interesting one, though.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X is for Lex Luthor

Day 24 - A to Z Challenge - "X"

X is for Lex Luthor

Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Genius-Level Intellect, Inexhaustible Wealth, Political Influence
Alignment: Villain
Occupation: CEO of LexCorp

Background Information:
Lex Luthor is a power-hungry billionaire, business magnate, scientist, inventor, philanthropist (to the city of Metropolis) and one of the most intelligent people in the world.  He is a charismatic and well-known public figure, that is intent on ridding the world of the superhero Superman.  Luthor views Superman as an obstacle to his "megalomaniacal" plans and a threat to the existence of humanity.

Interesting Tidbits:
-Traditionally Lex Luthor has no superpowers or dual identity, but periodically, he wears his "warsuit".  The "warsuit" gives him enhanced strength, flight and advanced weaponry.
-Lex Luthor made his first comic book appearance in April of 1940.
-In earlier comic book appearances, Lex Luthor had red hair, but due to an artistic mistake, Luthor is depicted as completely bald in a newspaper strip. (Apparently, the look stuck!)

My Observations:
Since I don't have a ton of background with Superman, I don't have a lot with Lex Luthor either...
From what I have seen of the character, he is one of those villain that you just love to hate.
At times, I have difficulty watching him, because I get very frustrated by characters that "act good" and fool people into believing them. (It just gets under my skin.)
Of course, those types usually get what is coming to them in the end, but Luthor always seem to escape the inevitable...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W is for Wonder Woman

Day 23 - A to Z Challenge - "W"

W is for Wonder Woman
Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Super Strength, Invulnerability, Flight, Combat Skill, Combat Strategy, Superhuman Agility, Healing Factor, Magic Weaponry
Occupation: Amazon Princess
Real Name/Secret Identity: Diana Prince

Origin Story:
Princess Diana of Themyscira (Wonder Woman) is a demigod and warrior princess of the Amazons.  She received her superhuman powers as a blessing from Olympian goddesses and her Amazonian training has gifted her with a range of exceptional skills/supernatural abilities.  She also possesses an arsenal of weapons, like the "Lasso of Truth", indestructible bracelets and tiara (which can be a lethal projectile).

Wonder Woman won the right to return Steve Trevor (a US intelligence officer) back to "Man's World", after his plane had crashed on the Amazons' homeland.  She stays in this new world, to help fight crime and evil.
Wonder Woman eventually joins the Justice League.

Interesting Tidbits:
-Wonder Woman made her first comic book appearance in December of 1941.
-Diana's mother is Hippolyta.
-Steve Trevor is often a love interest for Wonder Woman.

My Observations:
I hadn't actually seen any shows featuring Wonder Woman, until recently. (Kinda surprised I never caught any reruns of the Lynda Carter series...)
I did really like the character in the animated Justice League series.
She is a bit abrasive at times, but I quite like her personality and convictions. (I also liked the relationship that formed between her and Batman.  I think that would be a really interesting pair.)
I also loved the Greek mythology stories that would appear from time to time...
...Greek mythology has always been a hobby of mine. (Too bad I don't remember more of it now.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V is for Victor Freeze

Day 22 - A to Z Challenge - "V"

V is for Victor Freeze

Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Genius-Level Intellect, Cryogenic Weaponry, Enhanced Strength and Durability
Base of Operations: Gotham City
Real Name/Secret Identity: Dr. Victor Fries

Origin Story:
Victor Fries' fascination with cryonics began when he was a boy and witnessed his mother falling through the ice and into a frozen lake.  The ice kept her preserved long enough for help to arrive.  It was this event that sparked Victor's lifelong obsession with the cold.
Nora was a woman born in 1943 and when she turned 23, she was diagnosed with an incurable heart disease.  Her family placed her in cryogenic stasis, hoping that one day a cure would be found.

Fries wrote his doctoral thesis on Nora and took a position as a cryogenic researcher/technician at Wayne Enterprises to be close to her. (It was here that her body was housed.)
Eventually, Victor fell in love with Nora and became dedicated to finding a reliable method for slowly thawing cryogenic subjects.
However, Bruce Wayne ordered the project to be shut down, because he was getting uncomfortable with Fries' obsession with Nora.  
Angered by the news, Fries throws a chair at Bruce, who dodges the attack...
...the chair smashes into an array of cryonic chemical tanks, which spray onto Fries and transform him into Victor Freeze.

Interesting Tidbits:
-Mr. Freeze was originally called Mr. Zero.
-He made his first comic book appearance in February of 1959.
-Any form of heat can cause him to have heat stroke.

My Observations:
Well, another Batman villain, so I have seen the character before...
I quite enjoyed the interpretation of the character in The Batman cartoon, since it was a bit different then the other stories.
I honestly wasn't a huge fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze character in the Batman & Robin movie, but on the list of things I didn't like about that movie, Mr. Freeze is pretty low.

Monday, April 25, 2016

U is for Ultra Boy

Day 21 - A to Z Challenge - "U"

U is for Ultra Boy

Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Superhuman Strength, Superhuman Speed, Flight, Durability, Flash Vision and 'Penetra-Vision'
Place of Origin: Rimbor
Real Name/Secret Identity: Jo Nah

Origin Story:
 Ultra Boy gains his powers when his space-speedster is swallowed by an ultra-energy beast (a "space whale"), exposing him to radiation while inside.

Interesting Tidbits:
-His real name is derived from the biblical figure Jonah, who also survived being swallowed by a whale.
-Ultra Boy's first comic appearance was in July of 1962.
-Ultra Boy is a skilled actor and often goes undercover to infiltrate criminal groups.
-Ultra Boy is affiliated with the Legion of Super-Heroes.
-Ultra Boy can only use one of his powers at a time.

My Observations:
I honestly don't have any observations for this character, since I have never heard of him. 
Researching him didn't really shed a whole lot of light on him either...

Saturday, April 23, 2016

April WIPocalypse...

Just a quick WIPocalyspe update...
...I don't have a lot to show, since I have been posting each day with my progress, but I thought I would share a photo of the whole alphabet...

Six more characters to go!
(I think I might run out of the satin floss that is used for the letters, though.  Good thing I need to make a floss order for some upcoming projects.)

And, I do have a new start to share...

This piece is by Stitchrovia on Etsy and it is the "You are my Sunshine" project.

There are 3 pieces "You are my Sunshine", "Happy When Skies are Grey" and "How Much I Love You"...
I plan to make all three for my husband and I.
(He loves to sing to me and a long time ago, he sang that song to my answering machine after I had moved.  I've never forgot it and just fell in love with these patterns.)

Well, I am off to get some work done and hopefully another character finished!

T is for Two Face

Day 20 - A to Z Challenge - "T"

T is for Two Face
Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Criminal Mastermind, Weapons Expert, Complete Unpredictability
Base of Operation: Gotham City
Real Name/Secret Identity: Harvey Dent

Origin Story:
Harvey Dent, an upstanding district attorney in Gotham City and an ally to Batman, just wanted to make the city he loved a better place.  Unfortunately, the criminal underworld just wouldn't let him do it.
Mob boss Sal Maroni threw acid at him during a trial, scarring the left side of his face.  The Harvey Dent that people loved and trusted was gone and he was replaced by the unpredictable criminal mastermind Two Face.
Now armed with a set of .22 caliber guns and his trusty coin (to help him decide to either do good or spread evil), he is out to take over the criminal underworld, that he once fought to destroy.

Interesting Tidbits:
-Two Face made his first comic book appearance in August 1942.
-In more recent years, writers have portrayed Two Face's obsession with duality and fate as the result of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and dissociative identity disorder.
-Two Face was ranked #12 in IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time.

My Observations:
I actually don't have a lot of experience with this character...
...the only version of the Two Face character that I am familiar with is the Tommy Lee Jones portrayal in the Batman Forever movie.
I am a fan of Tommy Lee Jones, so I did like his version...
...but, it wasn't my most favorite Batman villain and I would certainly like to see some other versions. 

Can you believe only 1 week left to go...
I have to be honest, the wheels are starting to slip a bit...
...I am able to stay pretty up-to-date with the writing portion of the posts, but the stitching part is getting a lot harder.  
But, I am determined to finish the challenge and stay up-to-date with my stitching!

So, back work for the final 6 posts!

Friday, April 22, 2016

S is for Superman

Day 19 - A to Z Challenge - "S"

S is for Superman
Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Super Strength, Flight, Invulnerability, Super Speed, Heat Vision, Freeze Breath, X-Ray Vision, Superhuman Hearing, Healing Factor
Occupation: Journalist
Real Name/Secret Identity: Kal-El, Clark Joseph Kent

Origin Story:
Kal-El (Superman) was born on the plant Krypton to parents Jor-El and Lara, unfortunately, shortly after his birth, planet Krypton was on the precipice of destruction.  Kal-El's father, a scientist, placed him (as an infant) in a spaceship that takes him to Earth.
Kal-El's spaceship lands on a Kansas farm, owned by the Kents.  The Kents adopt Kal-El, name him Clark and raise him as their own.
The Kents teach Clark to conceal his alien origins and only use his powers to do good.  They provide him with a moral compass and code that Superman adopts and lives by.

Interesting Tidbits:
-In the original Superman stories, his personality was rough and aggressive.  That Superman had a much looser moral code than what we see today.
-In his first appearance, Superman was considered a vigilante and fired upon by the authorities.  By 1942, though, Superman was working side-by-side with the police.
-Today, Superman is seen as a brave, kind-hearted hero with a strong sense of justice, morality and righteousness.

My Observations:
"It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman!"
I think everyone knows who Superman is and probably has had some experience with character (in varying degrees, of course).
I was never a huge Superman fan.  I certainly remember watching Superman movies with my parents, but I never had a huge desire to learn more or see more of Superman.  (I guess my bad boy obsession started early!)
To me, Superman represented the ideal standard, what everyone should aspire to be...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

R is for Robin

Day 18 - A to Z Challenge - "R"

R is for Robin

Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Exceptional Martial Artist, Combat Strategy, Advanced Technology, Gymnastic Ability
Base of Operations: Gotham City
Real Name/Secret Identity: Richard "Dick" Grayson

Origin Story:
Dick Grayson, an 8 year old acrobat and the youngest member of the circus family act the "Flying Graysons", witnessed the death of his parents at the hands of gangster Boss Zucco.  Zucco had been extorting money from the circus and killed John and Mary Grayson as a warning not to defy him.  
Batman investigated the crime and Bruce Wayne (Batman's alter ego) took custody of young Richard Grayson.  Bruce saw a lot of himself in the young boy and knew Dick wanted revenge for the death of his parents.  So together, they investigated Zucco and collected the evidence they needed to bring him to justice.
Dick Grayson took on the alter ego of Robin and continued to learn and to help Batman bring more criminals to justice in Gotham City.

Interesting Tidbits:
-The first version of Robin (Dick Grayson) debuted in April of 1940.
-The torch of "Robin" has been passed to several young apprentices, including Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne.
-Jason Todd was actually murdered by the Joker in 1989. (Jason was brought back to life and would become the Red Hood.  No one ever truly stays dead in comic books.)

My Observations:
Well, since I am a fan of Batman, I am also a fan of Robin...
I have mostly seen the Dick Grayson version of Robin, but I believe I briefly saw a bit of the Tim Drake character.  Either way, I have always enjoyed the dynamic between Batman and Robin.  I liked seeing a more "fatherly" side of Batman (and Bruce Wayne), it added another dimension to the character and made him much more "human".

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Q is for Harley Quinn

Day 17 - A to Z Challenge - "Q"

Q is for Harley Quinn

Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Superhuman Agility, Enhanced Strength, Intelligence
Alignment: Villain
Real Name/Secret Identity: Harleen Quinzel

Origin Story:
Dr. Harleen Quinzel, a promising psychiatrist becomes fascinated with the Joker, while interning at Arkham Asylum.  She volunteers to analyze him and falls hopelessly in love with him during their sessions.  Harleen helps the Joker to escape from the asylum multiple times.
Following one such escape, the Joker is returned to Arkham after an encounter with Batman and the sight of her severely injured patient drives her insane.  She quits her job as a psychiatrist, dons a jester costume, changes her identity to Harley Quinn and becomes Joker's sidekick.
Later, she becomes friends with Poison Ivy, who injects her with an antitoxin, which gives her increased agility and immunity to toxins.  More powers, so she cause more mayhem in Gotham City...

Interesting Tidbits:
-Harley Quinn first appeared in September of 1992, on the Batman: The Animated Series. 
-Her name is a play on the name "Harlequin".
-Harley Quinn is often depicted as having a very pronounced New York accent.

My Observations:
A relatively new character, I hadn't really heard of her, until watching The Batman TV series... 
She was an interesting character, that seems very content to follow the Joker's lead, no matter what happened. (Although, she could be jealous at times, if the Joker paid attention to another female villain.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

P is for Penguin

Day 16 - A to Z Challenge - "P"

P is for Penguin
Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Genius-Level Intellect, Engineer, Self-Taught Judo and Bare-Knuckle Boxing Techniques 
Occupation: Criminal, Stock Trader, Fixer, Nightclub Owner
Real Name/Secret Identity: Oswald Chesterfield Copperpot

Origin Story:
Bullied as a child and shunned by his family, aside from his mother, Oswald grew up to dislike people, but adore birds.  His favorites were the pet birds that his mothered owned.
Following the death of his mother, he was forced to sell the precious birds, to pay his mother's debt.  
He decided to turn to a life of crime, in order to elevate himself into the high society of Gotham City. 
(His mother (an eccentric woman) had filled his head with ideas of grandeur and that he was entitled to a fortune, that they no longer possessed.) 
So now, armed this his trusty umbrella, tuxedo, top hat and monocle, he is set to try and take over Gotham City.
(This origin story is an amalgamation of all the different stories that are present.) 

Interesting Tidbits:
-The Penguin was first introduced in December of 1941.
-The Penguin fancies himself a "gentleman of crime".
-The Penguin runs a nightclub called the Iceberg Lounge, which proves a cover for criminal activity.  At times, Batman uses the nightclub as a source of information about the criminal underworld.

My Observations:
Once again, a character that I enjoyed from the 1960s Batman TV show...
Burgess Meredith played the role of the Penguin and I always enjoyed hearing his signature laugh. (Did you know, one of the causes of the laugh was the cigarettes the character always smoked, which irritated Meredith's throat, since he was a non-smoker.) 
I didn't mind the Danny DeVito version of the character from the movie Batman Returns, but he was definitely creepier than previous versions.  I did enjoy the backstory they gave the Penguin in the movie.

Monday, April 18, 2016

O is for Oracle

Day 15 - A to Z Challenge - "O"

O is for Oracle
Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Computer Hacking, Intelligence Gathering, Great Intellect, Skilled Martial Artist (Eskrima)
Alignment: Hero
Real Name/Secret Identity: Barbara Gordon

Origin Story:
Barbara Gordon is the daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon and becomes Batman's sidekick (other sidekick) Batgirl.
In her non-superhero life, Barbara has a doctorate in library science and is the head of the Gotham City Public Library.
Barbara becomes the Oracle after she is shot and paralyzed by the Joker.
(The Joker does this in an attempt to drive her father crazy.)

Interesting Tidbits:
-The Oracle has been called Batman's intellectual equal.
-The Oracle often works with Black Canary and ends up leading the team, Birds of Prey.
-In 2011, Barbara Gordon regains her mobility.

My Observations:
I have very limited knowledge when it comes to the Oracle character, as I have only seen her in one episode of The Batman animated series. (I honestly didn't know who she was at first, but by the end of the episode knew she was Barbara Gordon.  Of course, I had to research and find out how/why she had a new persona and was in a wheelchair.)
I found the Oracle character to be very interesting and it added another dimension to the Barbara/Batgirl character. 
I really wish they would come out with a Birds of Prey TV show, as I find the combination of the Oracle, Black Canary and the Huntress to be an interesting one.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

N is for Nightwing

Day 14 - A to Z Challenge - "N"

N is for Nightwing
Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Exceptional Martial Artist, Combat Strategy, Advanced Technology, Brilliant Deductive Skills, Gymnastic Ability
Real Name/Secret Identity: Dick Grayson
Base of Operation: Gotham City

Origin Story:
Nightwing is the superhero persona that the first Robin (Dick Grayson) takes on, once he turns 18 and strikes out on his own.  
He is no longer Batman's sidekick and becomes a well respected member of the superhero community.

Interesting Tidbits:
-The original Nightwing identity was assumed by Superman, when he was stranded on the Krytonian city of Kandor. (His friend Jimmy Olsen was with him during this adventure.)
-The story of Nightwing (the Superman version), inspired Dick Grayson's choice of name, when he leaves behind his Robin identity.
-In 2013, Nightwing was ranked 5th on IGN's Top 25 Heroes of DC Comics.

My Observations:
 Nightwing was a character that I had briefly heard about and I knew who he was, but I didn't know a lot about him. (I knew about his past as Robin, but didn't know much about his life as Nightwing.)
Honestly, doing research on the character was quite confusing...
The comic book universe is so vast and it can be very overwhelming.  I will definitely be revisiting my sources when I have a bit more time.
Otherwise, I did watch Nightwing on the animated series Young Justice and I really liked the character.
(Nightwing stars in the 2nd season.)  He declined entering the Justice League, to stay and be the leader of the Young Justice group.  I thought he made a very good leader, but he was a little too good at keeping secrets from his team...
...sometimes too many secrets lead to great downfalls.

Friday, April 15, 2016

M is for Martian Manhunter

Day 13 - A to Z Challenge - "M"
Half way point of the challenge...
...kinda bittersweet...thrilled to have made it this far, but still 13 more days to go!
I really appreciate all the wonderful comments and I am trying my best to reply to them. (Hopefully I can get caught up this weekend.)
Anyway, hope everyone will stick with me for the next 13 characters.

M is for Martian Manhunter
Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Flight, Super Strength, Invulnerability, Enhanced Speed, Shape-shifting, Invisibility, Telepathy, Telekinesis, Intelligence, Intangibility, Optic Blasts
Weakness: Fire
Real Name/Secret Identity: J'onn J'onzz

Origin Story:
A scientist on Earth, named Dr. Saul Erdel was secretly experimenting with alien (presumably Martian) technology, when it accidentally pulled J'onzz from Mars to Earth.  The sudden appearance of the seven foot tall alien caused Dr. Erdel to have a heartache and die.  With the death of the doctor, J'onn found himself stranded on Earth. (The teleportation technology no longer functioned.)
J'onzz decided to use his time on Earth to help others, upholding the ideals of truth and justice as he had done on Mars.

Interesting Tidbits:
-Martain Manhunter first appeared in November of 1955.
-J'onn loves Oreo cookies. (They are called something different, though.)
-J'onn sometimes appears as a human detective, named John Jones.

My Observations:
I actually quite like J'onn and find him interesting to watch.  He seems to have a very calm demeanor and always knows just what to do in any given situation.
I have really enjoyed the episodes featuring J'onn and the Flash, since their personalities are so different.  Their interactions have lead to some very funny moments.  

Thursday, April 14, 2016

L is for Lois Lane

Day 12 - A to Z Challenge - "L"

L is for Lois Lane

Character Facts:
Occupation: Reporter at the Daily Planet
-Love interest of Superman (Clark Kent)

Origin Story:
Lois Lane is the daughter of Ellen (Ella, depending on the version) and Sam Lane and older sister to Lucy Lane.  She grew up on her parents farm in the town of Pittsdale.
Lois always had a love of writing and journalism and as an adolescent, she won a contest (run by the Daily Planet), which allowed her to work as a cub reporter (for the Daily Planet) and travel to Metropolis.  This is where she first met Clark Kent. (He was the winner from Smallville.)  A friendly rivalry began between the two, with Lois besting Clark and getting more "scoops" than him.
Lois graduated from high school, attended college and then began working at the Daily Planet, where she quickly rose to the status of star reporter.

Interesting Tidbits:
-The Lois Lane character first appeared in June of 1938.
-At some point in her career, Lois Lane was a winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
-In one story line, Lois and Clark did get married.
-In more recent incarnations of the Lois Lane character, she is described as tough-as-nails, strong, opinionated, yet sensitive. 

My Observations:
I was surprised to discovered how much information there was about the character of Lois Lane.  I had no clue about her back story or how important she had been to the Superman story line.  I'll be honest, I always thought of her as the "damsel in distress", that needed Superman to constantly come and save her.
It has been a while since I have seen anything involving Superman/Lois Lane.  
I remember watching the Christopher Reeve's Superman movies with my parents and I have seen a few episodes of Lois & Clark and Smallville, but that was quite a long time ago.  I would love to go back and re-watch all this stuff now that I have a better understanding of the characters.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

K is for Killer Frost

Day 11 - A to Z Challenge - "K"

K is for Killer Frost
Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Cryogenic Ability, Fatally Absorbs Heat from Living Creatures
Alignment: Villain
Real Name/Secret Identity: Caitlin Snow

Origin Story:
(This is the origin story for the Caitlin Snow version of Killer Frost.)
Dr. Caitlin Snow, a scientist is sent out to a S.T.A.R. Labs outpost in the Arctic to work on a thermodynamic engine, because the engine's creator committed suicide. She quickly discovered that the outpost had been infiltrated by H.I.V.E. (super-villain organization) agents.  The agents attempted to kill her inside the thermodynamic engine.  Snow ripped off the coolant system, which merged her body with ice.  She was transformed into a heat vampire and then preceded to kill the H.I.V.E agents.
She was now left to search for other sources of heat, which is how she discovered that the super hero Firestorm could temporarily heal her with one of his blasts.  Unfortunately, Firestorm was declared dead by the Crime Syndicate, which led Killer Frost to lose all hope of finding a cure.

Interesting Tidbits:
-Caitlin Snow is the third Killer Frost incarnation.  The first Killer Frost character was Crystal Frost and the second was Louise Lincoln.
-Killer Frost is described as a sociopath; she feels no remorse when taking another's life.
-Crystal (the first Killer Frost) is said to be entombed below the Hall of Justice.

My Observations:
I honestly had no idea who this character was, when I began my research.
After reading a bit about her, I do remember watching her in a few episodes, but I don't really have any opinions on her. (I guess she was kinda forgettable, at least she was for me.)
I think if I had more understanding of the comic book world, she would have definitely left a much bigger impression.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

J is for the Joker

Day 10 - A to Z Challenge - "J"

J is for the Joker
Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Complete Unpredictability, Intelligence
Alignment: Villian
Base of Operations: Gotham City

Origin Story:
There are several back stories for the Joker, but a true, definitive one has not been set yet.
The Joker himself sums it up pretty well, "Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another...
...if I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!"
(One of stories said that the Joker was a laboratory worker who becomes the Red Hood (a masked criminal) and tries to steal a million dollars from his employer, so he can retire.  He falls into a large vat of chemical waste, when his plan is thwarted by Batman.  When he emerges from the vat, his skin has been bleached white, his lips are cherry red, his hair is green and he now wears a permanent grin.  And of course, he is completely insane.)

Interesting Tidbits:
-The Joker made his comic book debut in 1940 and was originally set to be killed after only a couple appearances.  Thanks to the editor of the comic book, the Joker was given a reprieve and remained in the world of the Batman.
-The Joker is said to be Batman's archenemy.
-The Joker has several nicknames, including The Clown Prince of Crime, The Jester of Genocide, The Harlequin of Hate and The Ace of Knaves.

My Observations:
Definitely one of the creepiest characters around!
No matter the type of media, comic books, TV, movies...
..the Joker is always unpredictable and extremely entertaining.

I really enjoyed watching Cesar Romero portray the Joker in the 1960s Batman series, where he is more prankster, than psychopath.  I found him quite funny and loved watching the banter between him and the Penguin. (They would often team up together.) 
I think I prefer the funnier side of the Joker character, to the serial killer side.

Monday, April 11, 2016

I is for Poison Ivy

Day 9 - A to Z Challenge- "I"

I is for Poison Ivy

Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Control over Plant Life, Intelligence, Immunity to Toxins, Pheromone Usage, Secretes Deadly Toxins
Base of Operations: Gotham City
Real Name/Secret Identity: Dr. Pamela Isley

Origin Story:
Pamela Isley grew up wealthy, but with parents that were emotionally distant.
As a young adult, she decides to study advanced botanical biochemistry at university with Alec Holland (Swamp Thing).  Their professor was Dr. Jason Woodrue (Floronic Man).
Pamela is a shy and timid woman, that is easily seduced by her professor and becomes his "experiment".  Dr. Woodrue injects her with poisons and toxins, which cause her transformation.  She nearly dies twice due to the injections, which drives her insane.
While Pamela is in the hospital, Woodrue flees from authorities.  Pamela is so enraged by his betrayal, that she suffers violent mood swings, being sweet one moment and evil the next.
When her "boyfriend" has a car accident after suffering from a mysterious fungal overgrowth, Pamela leaves school (in Seattle) and eventually settles in Gotham City.

Interesting Tidbits:
-Poison Ivy was modeled after Bettie Page.
-Poison Ivy made her first appearance in June of 1966.
-Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are often depicted as best friends and are at times partners-in-crime.

My Observations:
One of my favorite incarnations of Poison Ivy was on the animated show The Batman...
In this version, Poison Ivy starts out as a high school student (Pamela Isley) and environmental activist.  She befriends Barbara Gordon (Commissioner Gordon's daughter) and the two get into some minor scraps, protesting companies that are polluting Gotham City. 
Barbara wasn't aware that Pamela was actually using their "outings" to scout these companies and then had a corporate saboteur (Temblor) destroy them.
During one of Temblor's "missions", Pamela gets in the way when Batman is fighting him and a plant mutagen falls on her.
When she awakens in the ambulance, she discovers her new powers and decides to take on the persona of Poison Ivy, so she can continue her career as an ecoterrorist. 

I just found it to be an interesting take on the character and I liked how it introduced Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) into the show.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

April TUSAL...

A couple days behind with my TUSAL update...
...but I finally remembered to take a picture of my ORTs and jar.

The jar is getting pretty full!

I just love all the pretty colors!


And, I thought I would share a picture of the whole alphabet piece that I've been working on.

I think it is looking really great!
(You can find the pattern for this piece at Fangirl Stiches.  It is a great pattern and a lot of fun to work on.)

Just a small update today...
I need to get some more stitching done, so I don't fall behind next week!
Hope everyone has a wonderful afternoon.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

H is for Hawkman

Day Eight - A to Z Challenge - "H"

H is for Hawkman

Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Flight, Enhanced Strength, Weapons Expert, Combat Skill
Alignment: Hero
Real Name/Secret Identity: Carter Hall

Origin Story:
Hawkman is another character that has had numerous back stories over the years, so I picked the one that seems to be most current (and is the easiest to understand).
Hawkman comes from the planet Thanagar and seems to be some sort of alien policeman.  His wings and trusty mace have been forged with the mysterious Nth metal. (A material that can only be found on the planet of Thanagar.)  Thanks to this odd metal, Hawkman has the power of flight, enhanced strength and healing.

Interesting Tidbits:
-Hawkman is described as hot-headed, impatient and single-minded.  
-Hawkman made his first comic book appearance in 1940.
-Hawkman and Hawkgirl are usually connected in some way, most of the time it is a romantic connection.

My Observations: 
Once again, a character that I knew nothing about...
I honestly haven't seen much of the Hawkman character, but I have watched quite a bit of the Hawkgirl character.  Her personality seems to be very similar to Hawkman; she is quick to anger, impulsive and a bit pushy.  I actually quite like her!  She is far from perfect, but she seems very comfortable in her own skin.  I am looking forward to watching the rest of the Justice League Unlimited series, to see if/how they incorporate the Hawkman character.

Friday, April 8, 2016

G is for Green Lantern

Day 7 - A to Z Challenge - "G"

G is for Green Lantern

Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Hard Light Constructs, Instant Weaponry, Force Fields, Flight, Durability, Alien Technology
Occupation: Test Pilot
Real Name/Secret Identity: Hal Jordan

Origin Story:
(This is one of the more difficult origin stories to write, because there have been numerous Green Lantern characters.  I have chosen to use Hal Jordan's story for this entry.)
Hal Jordan was born into a military family.  His father, Martin Jordan was a pilot and member of the Air Force.  Hal had a close bond with this father and loved to watch him fly.
Martin unfortunately was killed during a test flight gone wrong.  Following the death of his father, Hal's mother forbade him from having anything further to do with the world of aviation. 
At the age of 18, Hal disobeyed his mother's wishes and joined the Air Force.  
Several years after joining the military, Hal's mother took ill.  Hal planned to visit her, but was told by his brother that she did not wish to see him.  He knew that his mother didn't want to see him, because of his affiliation with the Air Force.  Hal decided to enact a plan to get discharged from the military. (He did so by punching his commanding officer.) 
Hal's mother passed away, though, before he could see her.
Later, while Hal was testing a flight simulator, an energy field surrounded him and took him to Abin Sur (a member of the Green Lantern Corps, which is an intergalactic peace keeping force).  Abin Sur was on the verge of death and needed to find a worthy successor, by passing over his ring of power.  Hal Jordan was chosen one and became the next Green Lantern of Sector 2814 (Earth).

Interesting Tidbits:
-Green Lantern Corps. (an universe wide peacekeeping force) has over 3600 members.
-The first Green Lantern (Alan Scott) was created in 1940.
-The Hal Jordan Green Lantern character was created in 1959.
-Other prominent Green Lanterns, who have had starring roles in books, movies, etc include Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner and Simon Baz.

My Observations:
Most of my experience with this character comes from watching the animated series Justice League Unlimited and John Stewart was the Green Lantern on the show.  I found his character to be very focused on his duties and seemed to be the defacto leader of the group. (He seemed to always know what to do in any given situation.)  I quite enjoyed the character.
Honestly, I had no idea how vast the world of the Green Lanterns was... amazed me to find out how many there were and how far they reached.  Definitely enjoyed learning more about them.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

F is for the Flash

Day 6 - A to Z Challenge - "F"

F is for the Flash

Character Facts:
Abilities/Powers: Super Speed, Intangibility, Superhuman Agility
Occupation: Forensic Scientist
Real Name/Secret Identity: Barry Allen

Origin Story: 
When Barry Allen was a young boy, his mother was murdered and his father was falsely accused and convicted of the crime. (Barry's father eventually died in prison.)  Barry never believed that his father killed his mother and dedicated his life to finding the real murderer.
Barry studied forensic science in college and found work with the Central City Police Department, as a forensic scientist, where he had a habit of slowness and lateness.  One night, while working late in the lab, a rack of chemicals that he was working near were struck by lightning.  Barry was doused in the chemicals, but was surprisingly unharmed.  
Soon after the accident, he discovered his abilities of super speed, phasing through solid objects and processing information at the speed of light.  Barry decided to use his abilities to fight crime.

Interesting Tidbits:
-Barry Allen is actually the second Flash, Jay Garrick was the first Flash. (Barry actually got the idea to use his powers for crime fighting from reading the original Flash comics.)
-Barry Allen made his first comic book appearance in October of 1956.
-The third Flash in line is Wally West, Barry Allen's nephew.

My Observations:
This is another character that I wasn't really familiar with. (Pretty much everything I knew about him came from watching The Big Bang Theory.)
I have recently seen the Flash in The Batman animated series (2004-2008), where he made a few appearances in the 4th and 5th seasons.  There wasn't a lot of information given about the character and he seemed very impulsive in the episodes. 
My favorite portrayal of him was in the show Young Justice (2010-2013).  In the show we meet the Flash (Barry Allen) and his nephew Wally West (Kid Flash).  I really enjoyed the episodes that depicted his home life, as the family seemed to be a happy one. (Quite different from his comic book origin story.)  I am assuming that the family in these episodes was the West family (Barry Allen's wife's family), but they were all aware of Barry and Wally's superhero identities and seemed very proud of them.  It was just nice to see some happiness when it came to a hero's home life, since so many of them have tragic back stories.