Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Festivus

Let's continue with some rarely heard holiday songs. Here's one from the Polish Blue Velvet master himself Bobby Vinton called The Bell That Couldn't Jingle:

When I went to YouTube to find this is was only the third time I had ever heard the song. That rare enough for ya?

I actually have this song on CD but I know for sure I've never posted it on the blog before. Once you hear it you'll have the title line stuck in your head:

Have only heard this song a few times over the years as well. Getting rarer and rarer as I dig further.

The next one, well I've heard Melissa Ethridge perform several times. This was the first time hearing Pat Benetar's version when I went looking for the version I was familiar with but I might like this version better.

Will be posting a few more before I'm done.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Start Making With The Merry

I've been at this for six Christmases' now so I decided it was time to do a little something different. This year I am going to play some holiday songs that I haven't played before.

Let's start off with this one from one third of the group Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.

This one brings back the day when Christmas was sponsored by a cigarette:

Stop for a minute and think how important this next video was. The year is 1969 it is near the end of the civil rights movement and a white man and black woman appeared together on national TV to sing a song together.

A beardless Willie Nelson sings a classic:

For those of you that love The Monster Mash I would hope you have heard this holiday offering from Bobby "Boris" Pickett:

We'll be back with more holiday songs that have never graced my blogs before. Jingle your bells baby!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Year In Television Part 2

2011 had several great moments that I myself found to be entertainment gold. Here is the second half of the list. Again, they are in no particular order.

14. While growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandmother and I remember us watching Erica Kane along with the rest of her friends (as well as enemies) from Pine Valley on a soap opera called All My Children. This year AMC closed down production as the show was cancelled. I will remember seeing the final episode of the show because I watched it in a hospital room with Denise (my better half) right after having her left knee replaced. The episode featured many returning faces as well as a surprise cliff hanger. While it is still in doubt if we will ever go back to the small Pennsylvania town to see what happened after the gun shot, I’m sure that if we do, right after we find out if the bullet found it's target, Erica will announce her 137th engagement.

15. During 2000 a new summer replacement show aired. The show was called Survivor and Richard Hatch was the first ever winner. 11 years and 22 seasons later Survivor: Redemption Island saw the return of fan favorite Rob Mariano. Rob currently holds the record for most days spent on Survivor and is also married to Amber Brkich, another Survivor contestant and million dollar winner of the “All Stars” season. After his fourth try, Rob was declared the sole Survivor and won the million dollar prize. He was also the winner of the fan favorite vote which got him an additional hundred grand.

16. On a show called American Horror Story, one of the characters is Moira who is played by two different actresses; one older (around 50-ish) and the other version a younger 20-something. Men are the ones that see her as the young and seductive red-headed maid. One man decides he wants a tour of the house to see if he wants to buy the place. Moira, not wanting the house to be sold, uses her womanly ways to dirty talk the man into letting her give him oral sex. Yeah, go ahead, twist my arm. A few moments into it and she bites off his penis. Ouch!

17. During the 2011 Golden Globes host Ricky Gevais raised both eyebrows and ire with some of his comments during the show. Most people, including me, actually liked him. It was the “political correctness” police, who basically hate everything, that were up in arms about it. How much did the Golden Globes people like him? He’s coming back for 2012.

18. Cantankerous news writer and reporter Andy Rooney did a feature on 60 minutes called “A few minutes with Andy Rooney” for over 30 years. On October 2, at the age of 92, he called it a career. One month later he called it a life. While I was never a fan of his, or 60 Minutes for that matter, I can appreciate his contributions to the media no matter if I agreed with his opinions or not. While not without controversy, one other thing he wasn’t short on was respect in and out of the newsroom. Rest well you miserable bastard.

19. Getting a mention on this list is difficult enough. Getting on it twice should be damned near impossible. Not for The Walking Dead, though. Earlier I spoke about them shooting and nearly killing a child on the season two premier episode. At the mid-season finale (where did this horse shit idea come from? A finale in the middle of a season? Is this LOST‘s fault?) they did it again. Sophie, the daughter of one of the other survivors of the show had been missing for most of the season. In the "mid"- season finale they find her. Turns out she was holed up in the barn with a bunch of other walkers. Seems the writers found a successful way around that “you can’t show children getting killed on your television program”. Kudos to you, you sick demented fucks, I loved it!

20. Season 6 of Dexter, the serial killer series on Showtime starring Michael C. Hall features The Doomsday Killer storyline. The episode A Horse Of A Different Color featured the very creative move by killer Tom, er Colin Hanks. The victims bodies were chopped up and then sown back together but not to their original parts. Then they were super glued to the saddle of horses and rode into town representing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The show continues to come up with new and creative ways to kill people even if it doesn’t always hit on all cylinders.

21. Yes, I watch The Jersey Shore on MTV. Now before you start calling me a douche-bag and sending off hate mail, let me tell you I watch it in spite of myself. I often feel like I need a shower after watching it. Also coming from someone who lives in New Jersey and has been to the Jersey Shore more times than I can count I have that interest in the show as well. Let me say that these a-holes and ho’s do not represent the people I know that live in Jersey nor do I see them at the shore I go to. Maybe I’m just not lifting up the correct rocks but either way, this show has me hooked. A report earlier in the year claimed that Mike The Situation had to be rushed to the hospital after getting in a fight with Ronnie and being knocked out. All of the action was of course caught on film and would be shown during the fourth season of the show. Finally, on a special Jersey Shore episode that aired right after the 2011 VMA’s we were to get the entire story of how Mike ended up on the wrong end of a Ronnie bashing. The fight finally began and right there in living color I saw The Situation get knocked out! By a wall and by sheer stupidity. Nice going jackass!

22. Also leaving the boob tube this year was Regis Philbin. The talk and game show host, actor, author, singer, personality holds the Guinness Book Of World Records record for most hours spent in front of a television camera. The 80 year old decided to call it a career after completing 50 years of television. Nothing but respect for Reeeeeeeeg. If he ever decides to come back to TV in a reduced roll I hear that 60 Minutes has an opening.

23. The Walking Dead wasn’t the only show to get a double mention on this list. True Blood also did it twice. Eric, as I mentioned before was suffering from amnesia. Not only could he not remember anything but his personality changed as well. Enough that Sookie, who mostly hated the undead Viking before he lost his memory, began to fall in love with him. The sexual tension had built up between these two for so long that it was almost anticlimactic but it was the biggest “Finally!” moment since Sawyer and Juliet remembered each other in the flash-sideways world of LOST.

24. Boardwalk Empire, the prohibition era drama on HBO starring Steve Buscemi has always been on my radar as "must see TV", albeit dimly. The storyline between Nucky Thompson (Buscemi) and his leading henchman Jimmy Darmody (who at times looked up to Nucky as a father figure) seemed to take a turn for the better when Jimmy offered to make amends for almost getting Nucky killed earlier in the season. Jimmy, along with myself, falls for Nucky’s plan to assassinate him for his part in trying to overthrow Nucky’s leadership of Atlantic City’s underworld. Michael Pitt, who played Darmody often stole the scenes he was in, even with mob veteran actor Buscemi. Now I'm left wondering about the direction the show will take in season 3 without the presence of one of my favorite characters on the show. Strong move though killing off the second biggest characters on the show. Seems like an even stronger move than when they killed off Big Pussy on the Sopranos.

25. Even though I couldn’t have really given less of a shit about it, I felt I would be remiss if I didn’t include Miss Harpo herself on the list. In a year that saw the departure of both Andy Rooney and Regis Philbin, ABC’s daytime programming lost it’s cash cow when Oprah said goodbye to her show. After 25 years at the top of the ratings and becoming the first ever (and only) female black billionaire she decided to hang it up. Literally going out on top and one thing I can say always pops into my mind when I think of Oprah Winfrey is one word “Class” even if at times it all seemed over done and over the top.

And that wraps up the year that was 2011. With 2012 looming over us I hope TV continues to wow, shock, surprise, and above all else, entertain us.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Year In Television

I want to give something new a try so I am going to see if I can present the top moments in TV this past year. At least the best moments on TV that I witnessed and/or viewed myself. These are listed in no particular order.

1. The first moment was an episode of the NBC sitcom Community. The episode, titled Remedial Chaos Theory featured seven different time lines of the few minutes of show. Each version began with a different person going to pick up pizza for the group. Each version showed how reality split in many different threads which was decided by a toss of the dice and what happened in each version. It worked, it was entertaining, and it was fairly intelligent by today’s standards which is exactly why NBC had considered cancelling the show. Anybody else remember a show in the 70’s on ABC called Soap that was taken off because executives felt the show was too smart for it’s viewers? Yeah, that old fatal flaw.

2. Back in October while flipping through channels I saw this beauty of a campaign ad for Herman Cain done by his campaign manager. The cigarette proves he means that shit! Herman Cain’s smile at the end means he thought he just got a peek at some nipple.

3. A little show on AMC about zombies called The Walking Dead, perhaps you’ve heard of it, featured one of the oldest rules in Hollywood getting broken. You’re not supposed to show a kid getting shot on TV like that. Well, things have changed and this was a huge “WTF??” moment for me.

4. On MSNBC, political commentator Mark Halperin called President OBama a “dick” on live TV. Even though Mr. Halperin in the one with the potty mouth, he did ask ahead of time if they had a finger on the dump button. After being told to go ahead and say what he wanted, he does. Guess what? The didn’t have their finger on the dump button and then give him shit about it. How many times do I have to say: Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!

5. American Idol stopped being a singing competition sometime during the second season. All it is now is a popularity contest and we know that most of the voters are tweenagers and most of them are females. This season, Casey Abrahms was one of the favorites to go far into the competition. So when he was voted off on week two of the competition everyone including me knew the judges were going to use their one and only “Save” (don’t get me started on this new bullshit rule) they get each season now. Everyone, that is, except for Casey himself. For a second I thought he was going to puke. It was an honest reaction on a show that has been pretty much one big lie since around 2003.

6. Was it or wasn’t it? During an episode of Dancing With The Stars on ABC, total bitch Nancy Grace seems to have what we here at The Man Hole call “A Nip Slip”. If you look at the video around the :30 mark you will see at the top of her right milk cannon something that looks like it may just be upper aureole. If it is she has some serious big and brown type nipples more commonly seen in Guatemala. Take a look and you be the judge. Perhaps the bigger question though should be: “Do we really give a fuck?”!

7. Late in the evening of May 1 I was watching a Phillies/Mets baseball game. The game was in the 13Th inning when the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed began to circulate in the crowd at Citizen’s Bank Park. A “U-S-A” chant began and like the commentators say as the news made it’s way around the stadium the chant grew louder. Suddenly the game didn’t seem to matter anymore. This will serve as an answer for a lot of people when the question is asked in years to come: “Where were you when you found out Bin Laden was dead.”. A nice moment in Philly sports fan history who usually get a bad rep.

8. On HBO’s vampire drama True Blood, Nordic vampire Eric Northman suffered from amnesia at the beginning of this past season. He also hasn’t had much to eat recently. Add in the fact that fairy blood is like heroin to vampires and the woman talking to Sookie (Anna Paquin) is her fairy godmother, and you have a great moment. Eric drains her dry and then with the fairy’s blood still dripping from his mouth, Sookie tries to chastise him. His apologetic smile at the very end made me poop and pee myself a little!

9. During his show Anderson 360, while reporting on Gerard Depardieu being removed from a plane for urinating in the aisle, Anderson Cooper looses it. I think he would have been OK if he hadn’t added the poop part of the editorial. He giggles like a teenager until tears fall from his eyes. What I want to know is did anyone collect those tears? They may just be the tears of joy from a homosexual that we will find out cures cancer or gout or something like that. And all along I thought his best work was behind him when he was the host of The Mole.

10. Let’s get one thing straight: Zooey Dechanel is absolutely a-DORK-able. Her new show New Girl is getting a nice push by FOX so hopefully it will be around for a little bit longer. Even if the show isn’t here to stay she should be. The race is on to see if she will play Katy Perry in the Katy Perry story or vice-versa. Guess we have to see which one dies first. If Zooey can do an English accent maybe she can play Amy Winehouse in her Lifetime biopic.

11. Watch and listen to this clip of Bob Costas interviewing Jerry Sandusky after his arrest for sexually assaulting a few dozen kids in the shower at Penn State. Do it quickly though before the interview is confiscated as evidence. Did this guy want to give the prosecution a leg up when they go to trial? Was he trying to see how close he could get to a confession without actually giving one? Someone want to call OJ so he can give this guy some tips, he could use the help.

12. The Apprentice sucks, I can’t stand the show. Celebrity Apprentice, however, is a different creature all together. This past season, while trying to see who is the better business man or woman (at least in Donald Trump’s opinion anyway), contestant and celebrity (at least he still was the last time I checked), Meatloaf was having a bad day. Meat thinks his teammate Gary Busey is trying to sabotage him by hiding his portion of the art supplies they just went to the store to buy. Best part of the whole thing was Gary had nothing to do with it. The supplies were just moved by another teammate; John Rich. You can’t make this shit up!

13. Comedy Central (remember when the channel actually WAS funny? Yeah, me neither) knows how to throw a roast. When Charlie Sheen went all Tiger Blood and Duh, Winning! earlier in the year I thought his career was done. Shows how much I know. Turns out it may have been the best thing he could have done. While it still remains to be seen if attempting professional suicide is a good idea or not, we got some good television. Comedy Central brought us The Roast Of Charlie Sheen. It featured the comedic talents of Mike Tyson, Steve O (wait, the names get better, I promise), Patrice O’Neil (who recently passed away and oddly enough was filling in for Greg Giraldo who had died earlier this year), Jeff Ross (dressed as Gaddafi), William Shatner, a lot of other people I never heard of, and Seth McFarland hosting the festivities. The entire thing was pretty funny and the best part: no Mike “The Situation” on this one!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

2011 - The Year In Images

Well, it's been awhile since I posted here at The Man Hole but like the Prodigal Son I have returned. Sorry for any separation anxiety you may have experienced while I was hanging out on the poor side of town. We should just all be glad I made it back alive. It's good to be home.

So what I wanted to do first was go through the year that was 2011. Here are some of the more memorable images from the past 12 months.

President Obama surrounded by the national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House on May 1.

In September the nation marked the ten year anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Two beams of light shone into the sky in remembrance of the towers.

A before and after shot of a street corner in Joplin, Missouri. The photos were taken before and after a massive tornado that devastated the town on May 22.

Aerial photo of damage almost immediately following the tsunami that struck Japan.

Students get pepper sprayed by a police officer during a sit-in outside of The University of California Davis that took place during the "Occupy" movement.

Air traffic cancellations were caused across South America, New Zealand, and Australia after a volcano in Chile erupted. It also cause over 3,000 people to evacuate the Puyehue commune.

On 9/11 Ladder Company 4 lost seven firefighters. On May 2 they sat together watching the news crawl that announced the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Hawkeye, the dog of slain Navy Seal John Tumilson lies next to his masters casket during the funeral service. The Rockford, Iowa native was one of 30 soldiers who lost their lives when the helicopter they were in was shot down in Afghanistan on August 2.

Chicago's Lake Shore Drive was jammed with abandoned cars back in February during the "Snowpocalypse".

An Iraq war vet helped save the life of an 84 year-old woman who would have been otherwise trampled to death during a march in Seattle, Washington. The woman, Dorli Rainey, was peacefully protesting during the "Occupy" movement before she was pepper sprayed by local cops.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canadians rioted in protest of the Canucks loosing the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins. The woman was knocked to the ground by police causing her boyfriend to run to her aid where the two then decided to make out of something like that.

The satellite radar image of Hurricane Irene as she battered nearly the entire east coast at once.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Final Impresssions Da Third Part

What movies feature these final scenes?

Unintentional Porn Part 4

"And did he that wouldst be the man who came to another man who did hast before him splayed ... Ahh, fuck it, just suck it kid!"

"Heyah, I needa to sucka you cocka!"

Suuuuuuure she works at Home Depot, unless that is the oddest name for a tittie bar that I've ever heard of.

Even without opposable thumbs they are still better than a 50 year old toothless hooker from Northeast Philly!

Kinda brings new meaning to the phrase "Suffer the little children" doesn't it.

"...and suddenly Santa realized he was carrying around his own Yule Log right here in his pants!"

Dude!! Look Out!!! There's a snow cock heading straight for you!

Meanwhile the best man and the maid of honor couldn't wait any longer and gave into their lust!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011



Origin - The planet Krypton was going to explode, and married scientists Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van determined to build a rocket that they could use to save their unborn son Kal-El in his gestation chamber. They sent him to the less highly advanced planet Earth, where exposure to the yellow sunlight would supercharge his cells into living solar batteries and give him incredible powers, wanting him to reclaim the fullness in life denied by the sterility of Kryptonian culture. He was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent in Smallville, Kansas; the kindly couple decided they would adopt and raise him, announcing the child as their own after months of seclusion during a blizzard and naming him Clark Kent. Clark's abilities increased steadily as he grew up, with super-strength and invulnerability at an early age and the power of flight developing during high school. His adopted parents finally revealed the rocket and his foreign heritage when he was 18. During his teen years he is visited in this time by Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl of the Legion of Super-Heroes from the 30Th Century, an organization of super-powered teens inspired by his legacy; they take him to the future and show him a world where he isn't different than everyone else. His rocket is also followed by another one, containing Krypto the Superdog. Clark decides that he would become a hero in secret and use his powers to protect innocents without ever revealing himself. He operated this way for seven years in Metropolis until he was forced to save a space-plane in front of crowds of people, then meeting the reporter Lois Lane for the first time at age 25. Deciding that it was time for him to become a public figure, Clark and Jonathan designed a symbol for him to wear while Martha created a costume. In his secret identity, he would drastically change his physical appearance and mannerisms while wearing spectacles so that nobody would suspect he led a double civilian life. During his first costumed adventures in Metropolis, he was given the name Superman by Lois Lane. Clark began his new career as a reporter for the Daily Planet working underneath chief-editor Perry White alongside Lois and cub reporter Jimmy Olsen with Superman's first exclusive interview. The media coverage would eventually attract the attention of corrupt business mogul Lex Luthor. Repeated attempts to murder him eventually led to LexCorp developing an imperfect clone named Bizarro. Returning to Smallville after many years and sorting out childhood best friend Lana Lang's feelings for him, he is exposed to the rocket once again. This time he receives a message from his birth parents Jor-El and Lara, learning of Krypton for the first time when centuries of knowledge are implanted in his brain. Superman considers his dual heritage, and decides that no matter where he's from, his life on Earth has made him a Human and an American. Luthor begins spreading paranoia by claiming to the public that Superman is an advance alien invader. This climaxes in a staged Kryptonian invasion of Metropolis using real troops and holograms to discredit him, led by a fictional warlord named Van-Gar. Lois inspires him to fight back through Kryptonite poisoning, and Jimmy rallies the populace to his side with pictures of his heroism during the war. Superman is ultimately able to end the attacks, exposing Luthor's fraud and proving himself as a hero to humanity. The JLA was formed by Superman (Clark Kent), Batman (Bruce Wayne), Wonder Woman (Diana Prince), The Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter after Applaxians attacked Earth. Superman became one of the first members of the team, along with Batman and Wonder Woman, after the team was first formed. Superman and Wonder Woman met during the Legends event, and Superman was surprised to find that she was in his thoughts a lot. Eventually the two came together, discussing their mutual attraction, but after a crisis involving Darkseid and the Olympian gods was resolved, they decided they were not right for each other and would just remain friends. However, Superman did trust Diana enough to reveal his secret identity to her. Luthor accidentally released General Zod, Faora, and Quex-Ul, three Kryptonian criminals, from the Phantom Zone. The Kryptonians proceeded to destroy the atmosphere of the Pocket Earth, killing everyone on the planet, save for a handful that Lex protected in Smallville. Superman was unable to stop them from killing the rest and badly injuring Supergirl. Superman exposes the criminals to gold Kryptonite, taking away their powers, and then, taking on the role of judge, jury and executioner, decides that they must be punished for their crimes--he exposes them to green Kryptonite, killing them. He then takes Supergirl and leaves the dead world. The guilt of taking life weighs heavily upon Superman. He has a minor psychotic break, which manifests itself in the form of him blacking out and fighting crime in the guise of Gangbuster. Guardian discovers this after a brief fight. Superman decides after what he's done that he has to leave Earth. After seeing to a few things and saying good-bye to his parents, Superman begins a self-imposed exile into space. After finding peace over executing the three criminals in the Pocket Universe, Superman returns to Earth. Mister Mxyzptlk decided to have some fun with Superman through Lex Luthor for a change. He gave Lex a piece of red kryptonite, which removed Superman's powers. It would work so long as Luthor did not tell Superman about it. When Luthor told Clark Kent, he inadvertently broke the spell and restored Superman's powers. Clark proposed to Lois Lane at this time and she accepted. Dying of cancer, Lex Luthor decides to fake his death in a plane crash. On the day of Luthor's flight, Jimmy Olsen decides to throw Lois and Clark an engagement party at the Daily Planet. Clark ducks out so that Superman can investigate the remains of the crashed jets. He finds a mangled body, complete with Luthor's prosthetic hand, and it's enough to convince him (and the world) that Lex Luthor is dead. Superman eventually discloses to Lois the secret of his double life. A young man named Lex Luthor II, the alleged son of the late Lex Luthor, turns up in Metropolis and lays claim to his father's empire. Superman helps investigate the man's claims and he appears to be the genuine article. No one suspects that it is really the elder Luthor in a cloned new body! Arguably Superman's greatest foe, however, apart from Lex Luthor is Brainiac. Brainiac was originally a Coluan scientist named Vril Dox whose body was destroyed and who sought refuge in the body of a human illusionist, Milton Fine "The Amazing Brainiac." He attacked Superman, but Fine was able to temporarily overcome Brainiac's control. Brainiac was subsequently captured by Luthor and experimented upon, resulting in his appearance changing to more closely match his original body, before he escapes and battles Superman again. Superman is unable to defeat him, and Brainiac escapes into space aboard a custom made "brain ship". A monstrous alien beast called Doomsday emerged in eastern Ohio and began to march towards Metropolis. The beast single handed defeated the Justice League when the team rallied to stop it; the lineup consisted of Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Bloodwynd, Maxima, Fire, Ice, and Guy Gardner. Superman battled the creature across several states, eventually drawing the line in Metropolis itself. After a desperate battle, Superman managed to put down the monster--but collapsed as he did so, dying in Lois's arms. All attempts to revive Superman fail, and he is pronounced dead while Clark is discovered to be MIA as well (one of several hundred people missing and presumed dead in Doomsday's rampage). Superman was buried with full honors with hundreds of heads of state and several hundred thousand onlookers beneath a large statue in Centennial Park. The Justice League and other heroes marched behind the casket, following their leader (official or not) one last time. Lois, Lana, and the Kent's were all devastated. When Superman was finally revived in the Fortress, he was weak and powerless, so he used a Kryptonian battle suit to get to Metropolis. The war suit arrives in Metropolis and is met by Lex Luthor II, Lois, and others, who are shocked when a black-suited Superman emerges and tells them all that he is the real deal. Upon learning that Coast City has just been destroyed by the Cyborg Superman (and that he plans to obliterate Metropolis next), he joins with Superboy, Supergirl, and Steel and heads for the site, which is now the location of Engine City. Before they leave, he has a brief talk with Lois, who becomes mostly convinced that this man is the original one she fell in love with. Superman, with the help of the shape shifting Supergirl, manages to come up with a plausible way of "resurrecting" Clark Kent, who had not been seen since Superman's death (one of several hundred people unaccounted for because of Doomsday's rampage). Supergirl takes Clark's form and Superman "finds" Clark in the rubble of a destroyed building. Jimmy gets another picture of Superman and Clark side-by-side. As time went on, Superman's grip on reality began to break down, causing his behavior to be even more erratic. All of this was because the real culprit was Brainiac, who had recovered from his vegetative state on New Genesis and was returning to Earth. When Superman finally learns what is going on, he confronts Brainiac in the streets of Metropolis, battling the villain until Brainiac is convinced he is about to lose, at which point the personality of Milton Fine reasserts itself and the villain is lead away. After a near death because of the Joker and Superman's extensive periods of being removed from her, Lois breaks off their engagement. Superman reluctantly accepts that their relationship is over, although in frustration and despair he heads home to Smallville to talk to his parents. While there, he has to help save Smallville from a string of deadly tornadoes, although he gets some help from Flash (Jay Garrick). Lois returns to Metropolis immediately after the Final Night storyline and reconciles with Clark. The two decide to get married quickly. Something odd strikes Superman as his powers begin to fluctuate. A trip to Kandor only seemed to make things worse. Superman found himself as pure energy, needing a containment suit from Dr. Emil Hamilton (the material of which was mysteriously donated by LexCorp). Superman's new form was a blue and white energy being who could still fly (faster than ever) but who possessed far different abilities than those traditionally associated with the Man of Steel. Furthermore, when he changed back into Clark Kent, he was rendered powerless. Superman is able to make the most of his new powers. With Lex Luthor's criminal trial approaching, Superman is appealed to turn in the Kryptonite ring Luthor used to have (which Superman has entrusted to Batman). Batman reluctantly turns over the ring to Superman (and in the process, Superman learns that he is not vulnerable to Kryptonite in his new form) and Superman allows the ring to be tested by Luthor's defense attorneys. Luthor switches the real ring for a fake and returns the fake to Superman (who gives it back to Batman). The Cyborg Superman and the Toyman join forces in an attempt to destroy Superman's energy form, but instead Superman is split into the aggressive Superman Red and the calmer Superman Blue. Fortunately, not only is the Earth saved, but Superman is restored to his old form and powers (and into a singular being once again) much to the happiness of everyone (especially Lois). Hard times had fallen on the Daily Planet, and the owners reluctantly sell the great newspaper to Lex Luthor who promptly closes the doors of the great old paper, firing nearly everyone. Convinced he is having prophetic dreams (and that the disasters being foreseen were getting worse), Superman's behavior begins to get increasingly erratic. He stays on patrol nearly constantly. Lois, the Kents, Superboy, Supergirl, Steel; all try talking to him, but no one can get through. As he steps things up, he decides to bring Superboy to the Fortress of Solitude and share with him some of Krypton's history. Afterwards, he offers the Kid the Kryptonian name of a distant relative of his, "Kon-El," saying he feels like they are family. Superboy gratefully accepts. Lex Luthor, regarded as a national hero for his perceived role in the Final Night was elected President of the United States. Krypto proves a little too much for life in Metropolis, however, and after a fight with Mongul where he almost kills the alien villain, Superman decides to take the dog to the Fortress and have a Super-Robot look after him. Clark is visiting his parents in Smallville when he learns Sue Dibny, wife of the Elongated Man, has been murdered. Superman attends her funeral in Central City before getting to work at helping tracking down her killer. Like most of the other superheroes, he is shaken at the murder. Superman responds to a JLA alert, flying to the Watchtower only to find it in ruins. Shifting through the ruins of the Watchtower, Superman can find no trace of J'onn J'onzz. Wonder Woman and Batman both turn up. Batman coldly tells Diana to leave, that she has no business there after killing Lord. They are interrupted by Mongul, and they are so fractured that they barely are able to take him down. Afterward, Batman tells Superman how the whole world is afraid of them because of Wonder Woman, and that the last time he truly inspired anyone is when he died. All three go their separate ways. As the Infinite Crisis continued, Earth-Two was brought back into existence. Superman heard a scream from that world, and flying there found Kal-L from Earth-Two, standing over the body of Earth-Two Lois Lane, who had just died. Kal-L blamed Kal-El for her death and attacked him, leading to a brutal fight across the Earth-Two Metropolis. As they battled, their lives flashed before each others eyes in an instant. Due to this, Superman would realize that Earth-Two was too "soft" for Earth-One's actions. The fight was finally stopped when Wonder Woman arrived, grabbing Kal-L in her Lasso. She and Kal-El helped him see the truth; that Alexander Luthor was really manipulating the strings. Alexander Luthor is stopped from creating his "perfect universe" when his tower is destroyed by Kon-El during a battle with Superboy-Prime. Unfortunately, Kon-El dies of his injuries just before Superman, Kal-L, Wonder Woman, and Batman arrive. Superman is deeply affected by the loss, but is determined to put an end to the madness that Luthor has created. Superboy-Prime, driven totally insane by this point, decides the only solution is to destroy this universe completely by flying straight through Oa at lightspeed. J'onn J'onzz, aware of his plan, alerts everyone who can fly to try to stop the insane Prime, but he is too fast. In deep space, Guy Gardner and a coalition of Green Lanterns manage to stop him long enough for Kal-El and Kal-L to grab him. Not fast enough to take him back to the speedforce, the two Supermen fly him to Krypton's solar system--and straight through its red sun. After they fly through it, they crash on Mogo. Prime's suit was destroyed and his powers were failing, but he still managed to beat Kal-L, fatally injuring him. Kal-El tore the S-shield off Prime's chest, and managed to knock him out before collapsing (there was Kryptonite all around them). The Green Lanterns swoop down, destroying the kryptonite fragments and incarcerating Prime. Kal-L dies in Power Girl's arms, and a powerless Superman is taken back to Earth. Batman and Wonder Woman decide to take some time off. Superman is not discouraged, however, knowing that his powers will return in time, and in the meanwhile, the Earth is in good hands. After living a normal human life as Clark Kent for a year, they suddenly came back. When he returned to action as the Man of Steel, there was much public speculation as to whether or not he was an impostor. When General Zod and numerous other Kryptonian criminals broke free from the Phantom Zone, he sent Superman there. Zod was defeated when Superman was able to break free of the Zone. Zod was stunned to find that his own biological son Lor-Zod rejected him, preferring Kal-El and his wife as his parents. Confronted with this betrayal, Kal-El decided to accept the boy as his own and along with his wife Lois are raising the boy on Earth as their own. Later, Chris sealed himself in the Phantom Zone to prevent Zod from conquering Earth. Superman is transported to the 31st century by the Legion of Super-Heroes. As he arrives in the Legion clubhouse, the Legionnaires show him an image of Takron-Galtos with an S shield burning in its surface, explaining that a riot caused every prisoner to be released. Cosmic Boy tells Superman that a similar incident happened in Smallville. Then, Phantom Girl shows him an image of the culprit, and Superman realizes that it is Superboy-Prime. Superman explains to the Legion about Prime's origins, saying that he is from a parallel universe. To combat this new threat, Brainiac 5 suggest contacting the Legions from two parallel worlds. Mon-El supports the plan, but Superman believes that the only way to stop Prime is by redeeming him. Some of the Legionnaires, including Lightning Lad, disagree with this idea. Lightning Lad suggests breaking the Legion code and killing Prime, but Cosmic Boy disagrees. Superman tries to reason with Prime, reminding him of his life in Earth-Prime before the First Crisis, but Prime burns a hole in his hand with his heat vision and continues attacking him. Suddenly, Brainiac 5 appears with the Post-Zero Hour Legion and the Earth-Prime Legion. M'Onel and Andromeda help Superman in the fight against Prime. However, Prime escapes them. Suddenly, a portal opens behind Superman and a giant hand grabs him along with Lighting Lad, Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl, taking them to the end of time. there, they encounter the Time Trapper, who reveals that since the First Crisis, he wanted to destroy Superman, and although he attempted to erase any true memory of Superboy from the Legion, he still could not erase him. So he decided to replace him, and he has brought the three founders of the Legion to witness the end of the Superman dynasty. Suddenly, the Time Trapper blasts them with an energy burst. Superman then witnesses Superboy's return to life and encourages the Legionnaires to fight the Time Trapper. After the four attack the Time Trapper, Superman rips his hood and the four heroes discover that the Trapper is in fact an aged Superboy-Prime. Superman and the Time Trapper fight, and Superman tells him that he won't gain anything by holding onto hate. In the 31st century, Superboy blasts Prime in the chest, causing a burn to appear in the Time Trapper's chest. Lightning Lad and Cosmic Boy bring the three Legions to the end of time, and they all knock the Time Trapper out. Superman and the founding Legionnaires then return to the 31st century with the Time Trapper. As soon as he sees the Time Trapper, Prime becomes repulsed by what he will become, so he punches the Trapper, causing both to cease to exist. Superman and Superboy reunite and the two Legions return to their respective universes. Superman, Superboy and Kid Flash return to the present, where they are reunited with their teammates. When he returns to the present, Superman finds that Darkseid has taken over Earth. In a fit of desperate rage, Superman attacks Darkseid's bunker, finding Batman's charred corpse within. During Blackest Night, Clark spends Thanksgiving with Martha, Conner and Krypto in Smallville. While Clark, Conner and Martha talk at the table, Krypto hears something outside. Superman and Superboy go to investigate, telling Krypto to stay in the farm and protect Martha. The two heroes go to the graveyard and find Kal-L, who has been transformed into a Black Lantern. Kal-L attacks them, but Superman and Superboy fight back. As Superman and Superboy fight Kal-L, Martha is held hostage by Earth-Two Lois Lane, who is also a Black Lantern. Superman tells Superboy to save Martha while he fights Kal-L. Superman tries to reason to Kal-L, but he refuses to listen. Suddenly, Psycho-Pirate, also a Black Lantern, appears and brainwashes Superboy, telling him to attack Superman. Superman is forced to fight Conner while defending himself from Kal-L. Superman tries to reason with Conner, but he simply keeps fighting. However, just when Kal-L is about to kill Superman, Superboy breaks free of Psycho-Pirate's control and attacks Kal-L with his tactile-telekinesis. Then, Krypto meets up with Superman and Superboy, after having defeated Earth-Two Lois. Superman and Krypto fight Kal-L while Superboy takes Psycho-Pirate's mask and uses it to disintegrate Kal-L. Although Kal-L is destroyed, the mask is destroyed as well. Superman believes that what happened in Smallville is happening across the world, so he, Superboy and Krypto decide to investigate.

Powers and Abilities - Superman's cellular structure is more dense, resilient and biologically more effective than human tissue. Strangely enough, he does not seem to possess superhuman strength levels despite his enhanced cellular ability without his cellular structure charged with yellow solar energy. Without such charging, his strength seems on par for a human of his height and weight who engages in regular physical activity. As an alien he possesses several organs whose functions are not yet disclosed or understood but are believed to be part of and perhaps even the source of his bio-matrix force field and reclamation aura. The exact magnitude of Superman's strength is unknown. This is because Superman's strength, like his other powers, has fluctuated over time, however, his strength should effortlessly range into the multi-megaton level at the very least. Arguably the strongest being on the planet and one of the strongest beings in the Universe. Superman has shown feats of strength such as; being seen lifting an enormous pyramid and flying it to Mars without any strain; which can weigh millions and millions of tons depending on their size. Superman's body is nigh-invulnerable. This ability's levels have changed over time. He has taken a blast equivalent to a million nuclear war heads point blank and remained conscious. Currently he is even more durable than in the past. He has entered the Sun and emerged completely unharmed. In addition, his immune system protects him from all toxins and diseases. The most common explanations for his invulnerability are Superman having a super-dense molecular structure and/or a supercharged bio electric "aura" which acts as an invisible "force field" around his body within a few millimeters from his skin, and presumably within his body as well. The proximity of this field to his skin means that loose clothes, for example, may be burned off of him, while cloth that is close to his body is protected by the "aura;" This phenomenon is sometimes cited as Superman's reason for wearing a skin-tight bodysuit. Superman can live almost indefinitely. Superman has the ability to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an undefined period. Superman, like other Kryptonians, does not get tired and does not need to eat or sleep and can be sustained on Solar energy alone. He can also hold his breath for an undefined duration. Under Earth's gravity Superman is capable of flying at faster than light speeds. He tends to fly at speeds of Mach 10 in the atmosphere. His control of his flight is perfect and he can perform aerobatic feats such as hovering, flying backwards and even lifting great weights while flying. Superman can fly at speeds many times faster than light. Superman has the ability to fly in outer space. He has been seen to fly to the moon in minutes so we can assume that he can fly faster than that outside of atmospheric interference. Superman is capable of enhanced reflex action and the ability to move at incredible speeds by sheer force of will. While not nearly as fast as the Flash (Wally West), Superman can move at speeds much faster than light and is one of the fastest beings in the Universe. He also possesses super hearing and smell. In one instance, Superman was shown to have the ability to project a "super scream" from his vocal cords. In the extreme event that Superman is harmed, either by an alien matching his own strength or other occurence, he has been shown to have the ability to heal almost instantaneously from any wound, assuming that the process is not impeded from some outside factor i.e. Kryptonite. He has the ability to create hurricane force winds by blowing, and to chill his breath in order to freeze a target (this latter ability has also been called "freeze breath" and "arctic breath"). His super vision includes heat, microscopic, telescopic, electromagnetic, and x-ray. He has been trained by both Wildcat (in Boxing), and Mongul in the fighting arts. Superman has fought and learned from Wonder Woman. He has also learned more advanced martial arts techniques from Batman. Superman has shown incredible intelligence and computational abilities; his mind works sharply and with extreme speed relative to earth-humans. Superman has shown to have a powerful Force of Will, completely free of evil or temptation. Having been raised by a kindly Kansas farmer and his wife, Superman was taught to protect life and help others. He is very optimistic and never gives up, even when things look bad. Superman has proven many times over his ability to command respect and inspire others with his charisma, ardor, and idealism. He often serves as the leader of the Justice League.

Weaknesses and Limitations - Superman's biomatrix is his most powerful asset, but the strength of this field is also its greatest weakness. It's permeability to certain wavelengths makes Superman vulnerable to certain radiations, particularly magical energies whose chaotic electromagnetic or extradimensional signatures disrupt this forcefield. Superman's vulnerability to magic varies on the special effects of the magic. No magic seems to be able to directly destroy him unless it comes from a semi-divine or divine source. He can be injured and worn down by magical entities. Magic can have powerful and unpredictable effects on Superman and his magical enemies have often proven to be the most dangerous. Recently, Superman has learned more about magic with the help of Zatanna and he is able to counter almost every spell. Magic has unknown effect on him. He was able to survive when he had a magical sword in the chest and a magical arrow in his back. Since the destruction of Krypton, its remains (rendered radioactive by the explosion) have been spreading throughout the universe as Kryptonite, a crystalline substance whose specific radiation is lethal to Kryptonians native to this reality. The most common form of Kryptonite is Green Kryptonite, and its effect is directly poisonous. Kyrptonite from other realities does not necessarily have the same effects on all Kryptonians. For example, Kryptonite from the Pocket Universe is not as lethal to Superman as Kryptonite that comes from his native reality. Superman was able to survive inside a Red Sun that was surrounded by Kryptonite. On the rare occasions where he has battled other Kryptonians, they seem more easily able to harm one another as well. A noticeable observation is that other Kryptonians appear to develop superhuman abilities immediately upon entering a yellow star system, whereas it took Kal-El many years living under a yellow sun for his powers to develop. (This may be because he arrived on Earth as a toddler. Had he been an adult or perhaps adolescent his powers would likely have manifested themselves much more readily.) Superman cannot see through lead with his vision powers. Superman has a weakness to psionics, meaning beings that use telekinesis or other types of mind control powers aggressively. Many times his mind has been taken over by those with great mind control abilities causing him to do their bidding. Superman abilities will eventually weaken without replenishing his energy reserves with normal (yellow) sun radiation. When exposed to the same red solar radiation as Krypton's red sun Rao, it causes Superman to lose his powers within a large amount of exposure until the exposure to yellow sunlight will reverse this effect.

It is a remarkable dichotomy. In many ways, Clark is the most human of us all. Then he shoots fire from the skies and it is difficult not to think of him as a god. And how fortunate we all are that it does not occur to him. - Batman


Ambush Bug




Origins - As a young child, Bruce Wayne watched his parents murdered before his eyes. Thomas and Martha Wayne were walking home from the theater one night with their son, when they were held up at gunpoint by a mugger who demanded the pearl necklace that Martha was wearing. When Dr. Wayne refused to surrender it, both he and Martha were shot dead in the streets. He was then raised on the Wayne Manor estate, with help from the wise and loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Bruce had very few friends during his childhood. Bruce Wayne swore an oath to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives. He spent his youth traveling the world, training himself to intellectual and physical perfection and learning a variety of crime-fighting skills, including chemistry, criminology, forensics, martial arts, gymnastics, disguise, and escape artistry. Bruce Wayne returned to Gotham City after many years of study and training with his body and mind developed to perfection. Despite having all of the skills and methods to fight crime, he felt that he was still something missing to complete his physical and psychological arsenal. Wayne discovered the answer late one night while sitting in his manor. He recalled his fear of bats as a child after a large one crashed through one of the windows; he ultimately decided to theme his appearance off of a bat. Wayne designed himself a costume equipped with experimental technology and set out against the crime and corruption that thrived in Gotham City. Wayne's tactics to oppose crime as a vigilante at night proved successful leading him to become an urban legend in Gotham City. He would reveal himself at a dinner of the most influential and corrupt figures in Gotham City promising them all that their reigns on the city would eventually end. Wayne's first ally is assistant district attorney Harvey Dent. Most of the Gotham City Police Department is sent in force to capture him. He gained his most powerful ally when he met police officer James Gordon, one of the few honest cops on the force. The two developed a working relationship operating outside of the law when they needed to. Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent first met while they were forced to share a room on a cruise ship. They are made aware of each others secret identities when both are called upon to fight threats including Deathstroke and the Crime Syndicate. Superman later introduced him to Wonder Woman when they teamed up against Ra's al Ghul and Bizarro, and she disliked Batman at first for his methods. She later gained respect for him after they fought together as a team for the first time. Eventually they would decide that they could better protect the planet if they permanently joined forces and they helped form the Justice League of America. Bruce Wayne was on an excursion to the circus when he witnessed another tragedy that would shape his life. The parents of a young acrobat named Dick Grayson were murdered. Although Bruce knew he could never replace Dick's father, he adopted Grayson as his legal ward to help him and provide guidance where he didn't have any when he was that age. He eventually revealed his secret identity as Batman. Dick wanted justice for his parents, and he agreed to a regiment of rigorous physical and mental training so that he could become Batman's partner. After several months Dick was finally ready to take to the streets as Robin, fighting crime alongside his mentor. Batman quit the League when they refused to help him rescue Lucius Fox from Baron Bedlam in Markovia for political reasons. Determining that he needed a new team more concerned with justice than the way they were viewed by the world, he created the Outsiders as a black ops super-team to go where they couldn't. Some weeks after firing Dick and him becoming Nightwing, it's the anniversary of Bruce's parent's death. He makes his annual visit to Crime Alley to pay his respects. The alley is remarkably quiet; it seems word of this regular visit has got around the criminal fraternity. Despite this, Batman discovers that a young kid named Jason Todd has stolen the tires from the Batmobile. Impressed with Jason, Batman decides to take the boy on as the new Robin. Batman gathers Black Canary, Blue Beetle, Captain Marvel, Doctor Fate, Doctor Light, Guy Gardner, Martian Manhunter and Mister Miracle and agrees to take leadership of them as a team. Maxwell Lord convinces the United Nations to grant them an international charter and they become Justice League International. Batman begins having problems with Robin's attitude, when the boy gets increasingly violent and careless during their crime fighting. The boy is still grieving over the deaths of his parents Catherine and Willis Todd, and Bruce takes him off active duty until he can keep himself in check. Jason learns through old records that the mother he knew was actually his step mother, and his estranged birth mother is still alive. Searching across several countries eventually leads them to a doctor named Sheila Haywood, and Jason is reunited with her at last. Jason is betrayed by his mother when he tries to rescue her, and the Joker beats him within an inch of his life using a crowbar. The two of them are tied up in a warehouse set with a time bomb and it explodes before they can escape. Batman arrives moments too late, and finds to his horror that both of them were killed in the explosion. Bruce feels responsible for the death of his young partner, having endangered him by bringing him into this lifestyle. Following the death of Jason Todd, Batman becomes much more violent and aggressive while coping with the tragedy without someone to balance him out. A young man named Tim Drake figures out his secret identity using detective work, and determines that he needs a Robin to keep his darkness in check. Tim is taken into the Batcave where it is suggested that he become the new Robin. Batman (at the onset of a personal psychological mid-life crisis) is forced to deal, in rapid succession, with the returning villain Black Mask and his gang (who target Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox), a crazed killer called Metalhead, and a sharpshooter assassin hired by Vincent Morelli to murder Commissioner Gordon. Batman begins to feel he has lost his edge, especially after his failure to capture Black Mask. He finds himself unable to meditate or even focus. Bane comes to Gotham City, a brilliant tactical mastermind who has trained his body to physical perfection and dedicated himself to destroying Batman and taking over his territory. This villain is more driven and powerful than anyone he has ever faced before, and wants to prove himself by defeating the best and breaking him. Bane begins his assault by organizing a massive break out at Arkham Asylum with the help of his henchmen Bird, Trogg and Zombie. Aware that he would lose in a direct assault against Batman, Bane's plan consists of weakening Batman by forcing him to deal with the deadly villains simultaneously. Bane finally confronts him by breaking into Wayne Manor when Batman is at his weakest, beating him nearly to death in his weakened state and breaking his spine. After his defeat, Bruce Wayne enlists Jean-Paul Valley, Azrael, to take up the mantle of Batman so that Gotham has a protector. Jean-Paul, in his new mechanical Batsuit, confronts Bane in a vicious battle and prevails, although many innocent citizens were put at risk. Jean-Paul leaves Bane broken mentally and physically, although he struggles with the choice of whether to simply kill Bane or hand him over to the police. Stating that he will let Bane go to Blackgate Prison, Jean-Paul continues to watch over Gotham after the fight, but grows increasingly unstable. Bruce Wayne realizes that his skills are gone after spending so much time in his wheelchair, and he must undergo a serious training regiment before he is ready to take his position back from his dangerously unstable successor. Once returned to his former glory, he puts on his costume once again to take back his city from the impostor. The final battle of the Knightfall saga takes place between Jean-Paul Valley and Bruce Wayne in the caverns surrounding the Batcave. Rather than beating Jean-Paul at hand-to-hand combat, Bruce outwits him by escaping into a passage too narrow for Jean-Paul to go through in his armor, thus forcing him to remove most of it. Bruce then opens a hatch to the outside, which covered the very hole he fell into as a child, allowing sunlight to enter the night lenses in Jean-Paul's helmet. After being momentarily blinded, Jean-Paul removes his cowl, sees Bruce standing over him in the original Batman costume and concedes defeat, saying "You are Batman and I am nothing." Bruce comforts Jean-Paul, who leaves to wander the streets of Gotham, homeless and destitute. Bruce decides not to take Jean-Paul to the police because it was his decision to make Jean-Paul the Batman. Brought together through a fight against Doctor Destiny, Aquaman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Superman and Wonder Woman realize that Earth needs its greatest heroes working together and reform the Justice League of America. Their first challenge is to prove themselves against a new superhero team called the Hyperclan who attempt to discredit them. They are revealed as White Martians, and the League stops them from taking over the planet. Realizing how dangerously wrong things could go if any of his friends were mind controlled or manipulated into doing evil, Batman begins to study their weaknesses and develop contingency plans to neutralize them. Soon, he realizes that his plans have been stolen and warns everyone else. Recovering from defeat, they save their aggression towards Batman's controversial actions and fight back. After saving the world, they vote to dismiss Batman from the League on grounds of distrust. Superman eventually convinces him that he needs to regain the team's trust to be accepted again though, and Batman returns by revealing his secret identity to the rest of his allies. Jason Todd is resurrected as an amnesiac and crawls out of his own grave, eventually taken in by Talia al Ghul who restores his personality through a Lazarus Pit. Distraught to find that Batman had not cared enough to avenge his death against the Joker, he takes on the identity of Red Hood as his own man. During a climactic fight between the two men, Jason reveals himself to Bruce and explains his intention to change the face of crime-fighting. To prevent hundreds of unnecessary tragedies, he will bring death to those who deserve it. Alfred asks if the old Robin costume should be removed from the Batcave, but Bruce insists that this doesn't change anything at all. During the Infinite Crisis, Batman nearly broke his most sacred law. When it appeared that Alexander Luthor may have killed longtime ally Dick Grayson, Batman knocked down Luthor and threatened to kill him with a gun. Fortunately, Dick was still alive, and Batman avoided making what would have been the worst decision of his life. Having virtually eliminated all super-crime in Gotham with the energy from his recent vacation, Bruce goes abroad. Alfred explains that he's become so consumed by Batman he's forgotten how to act as Bruce Wayne, and must relearn. Talia al Ghul takes him prisoner and reveals that they had a son together she never told him about, introducing him to Damian Wayne. Bruce must take care of the child and teach him respect while figuring out her plans, as Damian proves to be spoiled and petulant. Raised by the League of Assassins he is a master martial artist and proves extremely difficult to control, beating up Tim Drake. Batman agrees to let Damian fight at his side rather than leave him alone, with the understanding that he will follow their no killing rules and obey orders. Batman must solve the murder of a New God when Orion is killed in Metropolis by a Radion Bullet. Libra, prophet of the Religion of Crime, kills Martian Manhunter. At the funeral, he pays his respects by placing a Choco on his departed friend's grave. Investigating the killings, he was taken prisoner by another dark servant Granny Goodness posing as Kraken of the Alpha Lantern Corps. They intend to use Bruce Wayne to create a clone army of Batmen, using his body and mind as the template for perfect soldiers. Batman goes to the Command D bunker and challenges Darkseid, the ultimate personification of evil, as the Anti-Life destroys reality around them. Although he made a very solemn vow about firearms, he says that he is making a once-in-a-lifetime exception and shoots Darkseid in the chest with the Radion Bullet. This is a reversal of the moment when evil struck down his parents in the streets and this time, Batman stands with his smoking gun pointed at evil himself. The last thing he says is "gotcha." Right before dying, Darkseid blasts Batman with an Omega Sanction that seemingly kills him. Arriving moments too late, Superman recovers Batman's skeletal burnt corpse. Bruce Wayne is shown to have survived the Omega Sanction, and his body has been flung backward thousands of years in time. He is trapped in the Prehistoric Era, where he is present for the death of the first man Anthro, and draws cave paintings of his own insignia. Feeling a combination of obligation and hesitation, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake Wayne, Alfred, and Damian Wayne debated as to what the future of the Dark Knight should be, until an estranged Jason Todd turned up as having taken a twisted cowl (which seems reminiscent of Jean-Paul Valley) for himself. Todd decommissioned an arrogant Damian, making Dick, Tim, and Alfred feel an even greater sense of urgency to send the Caped Crusader back on the streets. However, Dick still refused, prompting Tim to hijack an old Batsuit himself and seek out Jason and his twisted Batcave. Jason managed to defeat Tim and severely injure him, leaving only Dick and Jason as the the heir to the cowl. The conclusion of this struggle found Dick accepting his role as the new Batman, with the darkest Robin yet, Damian, by his side. Tim, however, is far away from Gotham, believing that Bruce is not actually dead. He has taken the mantle of the Red Robin, and is currently exploring the globe for clues as to where his adoptive father was. Superman later returned the cowl on the remains to Nightwing and Robin, to be left in a memorial similar to the one Batman made for Jason. At Alfred's insistence, no public funeral was held for Batman, and Robin, refusing to believe he was dead, prevented them from declaring Bruce Wayne dead. Wayne's body was buried in an unmarked grave next to Thomas and Martha Wayne. After the Blackest Night, Hal and Barry return to Bruce's grave to talk about what transpired. After stating that "dead is dead from here on out," Hal says that Batman is the exception because the Black Lantern Batman they fought did not recognize any of them and was not really Bruce, proving that Tim Drake was right; Bruce is still alive, somewhere. Trapped in the past with no memory, Bruce is forced to fight his way through time back to the present day. Having come to a new conclusion about the direction of his fight against crime, Bruce reveals in a press conference that he has been privately financing Batman for years and goes public with Batman Incorporated. Batman gathers his closest associates in the Batcave and gives them all new assignments as they start an army against crime. Bruce tries Damian out and determines that they will not work well together on missions, insisting that he continue his position with Grayson as the Batman and Robin of Gotham City.

Powers and Abilities - Although he has no superhuman powers, Batman's unstoppable determination and strength of will make him an extremely formidable opponent. This makes him able to function while tolerating massive amounts of physical pain, and also allows him to resist telepathy or mind control. His willpower is strong enough to operate a Green Lantern Ring which should not be possible for one not chosen to be a Green Lantern. It is widely known that Batman has the ability to instill fear in others, even the people that know him best are intimidated by him. Even those who aren't afraid of the likes of Superman fear Batman. Batman is adept in interrogation techniques, often using law enforcement methods as well as torture. Several methods seen include hanging a person over the edge of a building by one leg or chaining a person upside down and beating them. He usually just plain uses his frightening appearance to get answers. "Fear is an excellent motivator" he once said. Through intense training, specialized diet, and biofeedback treatments, The Batman represented the pinnacle of human physical prowess. His physical attributes exceeded that of any Olympic level athlete that has ever completed. Strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes and coordination were at peak human perfection. Batman began his physical and mental conditioning when he was 11 and then intense physical training and weight lifting at age 12. He has mastered full body control by the time he was 18. Bruce Wayne, since the age of 15, has created a strict diet to enable his body to develop and operate at its most proficient, along with biofeedback treatments (using portable/non portable machines to stimulate muscles to contraction. Batman has performed amazing physical feats due to his superior physique. He engaged in an intensive regular regimen of rigorous exercise (including aerobics, weight lifting, gymnastics, and simulated combat) to keep himself in peak condition, and has often defeated opponents whose size, strength, or other powers greatly exceeded his own. He has spent his entire life in pursuit of physical perfection and has attained it through constant intensive training and determination. Batman regularly bench-presses at least 1000 lbs during his exercise routine. Bruce's reflexes were honed to such a degree that he has caught one of Green Arrow's arrows in mid flight when he tried to shoot him. He has also been able to dodge point blank gunfire. Wayne is one of the finest human combatants Earth has ever known. Through his martial arts training, he has become an expert on all melee weapons. Wayne has displayed exceptional sword-fighting capability and proficiency with knives, sticks and various other weapons. He practices during his combat sessions to keep his skills intact, but he prefers unarmed combat. Batman is a brilliant, virtually peerless, detective, strategist, scientist, tactician, and commander; he is widely regarded as one of the keenest analytical minds on the planet. Given his lack of superpowers, he often uses cunning and planning to outwit his foes, rather than simply "out fighting" them. He is widely considered as the World's Greatest Detective, capable of observation, forensic investigation, and inductive and deductive reasoning of the highest caliber. Human intuition is an unlearn-able trait and one of Batman's most effective tools. Given any mystery, he can arrive at the correct conclusions with a fraction of the data. He commonly utilizes cunning tactics to outwit his foes. He is an excellent leader and at times commands the Justice League and the Outsiders. He has been described as second only to Mister Miracle as an escape artist. Has mastered the art of disguise by the time he was 23. Batman has many aliases he uses to infiltrate the underworld or just to go undercover in public situations. His current aliases are: Matches Malone, Thomas Quigley, Ragman, Detective Hawke, Sir Hemingford Grey, Frank Dixon, Gordon Selkirk, and Mr. Fledermaus. Batman is able to project his voice to sound as though it is coming from other places. The costume Batman wears is composed by kevlar and a little percentage of titanium; it's bullet proof and resistant to various types of attack (explosions, impacts, falls, etc). It's also flame-retarding and insulating. The gloves and the boots are reinforced to rebound the impact of punches and kicks. The gloves have also some metallic blades on their sides. The cape is super-light and it can be used to glide. Batman keeps most of his personal field equipment in a signature piece of apparel, a yellow utility belt.The utility belt has a button to call the car in a few appearances on Justice League, the belt has a button teleportation. Over the years it has contained items such as plastic explosives, nerve toxins, batarangs, smoke bombs, a fingerprint kit, a cutting tool, a grappling hook gun, and a "re-breather" breathing device. Superman had entrusted Batman with a ring made of kryptonite, to be used should the Man of Steel ever need to be reined in.

Weaknesses and Limitations - Due to the fact that Bruce Wayne does not possess any superpowers he has the same limitations and weaknesses a normal man in peak physical condition in his mid to late 40's would have. It is even suggested that Batman is in better shape than any human being has ever been in therefore making him equivalent to ten or more years younger physically than his age would suggest.

Sometimes, I admit, I think of Bruce as a man in a costume. Then, with some gadget from his utility belt, he reminds me that he has an extraordinarily inventive mind. And how lucky I am to be able to call on him. - Superman


Wonder Woman

Origin - Diana was the daughter of Queen Hippolyta, the first child born on Paradise Island in the three thousand year history that the immortal Amazons lived there. The Amazons had been created around 1200 B.C. when the Greek goddesses drew forth the souls of all women who had been murdered by men. One soul was left behind, the one that would be born as Diana. When she was a young woman, the gods decreed that the Amazons must send an emissary into Man's World. Queen Hippolyta ordered a contest to be held, but forbade Diana from participating. Diana disobeyed and did so anyway in disguise, easily winning the contest and being named the Amazon's champion. Before embarking on her mission, Diana was given the Lasso of Truth, forged by Hephaestus himself. She was also given the Sandals of Mercury, which allowed her to instantly traverse great distances in seconds. Diana's mission was one of peace, but part of it initially involved defeating a mad plot by Ares to destroy the world. She spent the next several months touring the world, conducting interview and learning a lot about the world. She also met most of the Justice League, and after meeting Superman she realized that she was instantly enamored with him. Diana and Superman eventually agreed to go on a date, which included a battle to free Olympus from the grip of Darkseid after he had laid waste to it. Superman and Wonder Woman decided it would be best if they just remained friends, but Superman trusted Diana enough with the secret of his dual identity. Wonder Woman is one of the few people who affectionately refers to him as "Kal". After returning to her home for a short while, Diana returned just before the day of the Death of Superman. Diana gathered with past and present JLA members to mourn the death of their friend. She held a place of honor during his funeral procession, and was one of the ones who actually closed the lid on the sarcophagus. Diana gathered with the other heroes to pay a last respect. The Justice League was in need of being rebuilt after Doomsday's rampage, so Wonder Woman agreed to come aboard as the new field leader. Diana would continue to battle against evil with the JLA as well as on her own. Diana, never one to stay away from her Amazon home would return often. At times she would need to defend her actions while in the world of man as her mother at times felt she was not doing enough to bridge the gaps between her home and the world of man. The Greek Gods themselves would often put her to tests in order to make her stronger so she could fulfill her duties better. It was decided that a new contest would be held to possibly crown a new champion. The contest came down to Diana and Artemis. Artemis herself believed it was a simple formality that Diana would again become champion. This was not the case however as at the last moment of a footrace Diana tripped and Artemis won. The JLA did not take well to having a new Wonder Woman and Diana herself returned to her home in Boston with a new costume calling herself Ms. America. Artemis would eventually fail in her attempt to replace Diana as Wonder Woman and would pay with her life. Once again Diana would be the rightful owner of the Lasso of Truth. During a battle in Hell with Neron the demon lord was able to injure Diana almost to the point of death. Diana was taken to the hospital. Donna Troy came, herself having just lost her son and ex-husband in a car accident. One by one, the other members of the Justice League showed up. They tried to heal Diana, but they could not, and she was all but dead. As her friends, both in and out of the League kept vigil, her recovery looked bleak. It only reconfirmed what they had dreaded, however, Diana seemed truly dead. The gods intervened, however, answering everyone's prayers. Diana was resurrected, not just as a mortal, but as the new Goddess of Truth. Queen Hera told Diana her days as Wonder Woman were over. Diana was uneasy in her new role, being told by her fellow goddesses that she can only aid those who call on her help. It was at this time that Donna Troy was kidnapped by Dark Angel and forced to live a thousand lives, all of them ending in tragedy. Thanks to Diana's intervention, Donna Troy was restored to life (with some help from the Flash), but Diana was punished for her interference by being made back into a mortal again. Her mother, who had filled in as Wonder Woman, eagerly stepped aside to let her resume her role. While under the mind control of Maxwell Lord, Superman brutally beat Batman and engaged in an all out violent fight with Wonder Woman, thinking she was his enemy, Doomsday. Lord also tried this with Diana and failed as she is immune to this kind of power. Wonder Woman put up a valiant fight with the Man of Steel using her amazon skill, powers, and intelligence to fend off the raw power of Superman, who by now was completely insane with rage. When Superman was stunned, she realized that he wasn't her real enemy and held back her attacks sustaining a broken wrist because of it. She created a diversion after grounding the Man of Steel that lasted long enough for her to race back to Max Lord and demand he tell her how to free Superman of his control. Bound in her lasso of truth Max replied, "You will have to kill me," and Wonder Woman snapped his neck! This causes her relationships with both Superman and Batman to become strained as they are both shocked by her actions. One Year Later Donna Troy has taken up the mantle of Wonder Woman, after a year in which Diana was missing. Diana re-appears in the familiar guise of Diana Prince, secret agent, complete with a white jumpsuit. Diana joins the Department of Metahuman Affairs, and is partnered with Nemesis. Diana goes before the Federal grand jury to determine if she should be tried for the murder of Maxwell Lord (even though she has been exonerated by the World Court). With the help of Sasha Bordeaux of Checkmate, the defense obtains a video of Wonder Woman killing Maxwell Lord which proves that Max was in control of Superman when she killed him. However, Wonder Woman will not allow the evidence, as it would lead people to distrust Superman. Upon concluding their deliberations, the grand jurors refuse to indict Diana. The World Court has dropped the charges against Diana for the killing of Maxwell Lord. Diana, Superman, and Batman meet to re-form the Justice League. After a battle against Solomon Grundy, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Black Canary offer membership to those involved in the last mission. During the Blackest Night storyline Diana is possesses by a Black Lantern ring. Eventually a Star Sapphire ring attached itself to Diana expelling the black ring and turning her into a member of the Star Sapphire Corps.

Powers and Abilities - Superhuman strength granted by Demeter (Goddess of the Earth). Diana is literally as strong as the Earth because of her link to the planet granted to her by Demeter. She is said to be 'stronger than Hercules'. It is obvious her strength is magical in nature, given her height and weight. Wonder Woman is known to be one of the strongest beings in the DCU, often shown to be in the same class as Superman himself and to physically over-match other beings such as Supergirl without too much effort. She is considered to be the strongest super-heroine in the world. After Superman, she is the strongest superhero in the DCU. Diana, possesses a high resistance to damage and magical attacks. She has considerable resistance to human weaponry, though this is not absolute. Bullets can cause minor to moderate injury, but never life threatening. And her ability to heal rapidly, makes up for this set back. She can easily survive under extreme pressures, cold, and heat. Wonder Woman has been able to traverse space, undergo submergence into lava, and withstand a direct explosion from a nuclear warhead unharmed. The ability of flight was given to her by the God of messengers Hermes. Wonder Woman is capable of flying at speeds of greater than escape velocity. She has been clocked at Mach 5 (hyper-sonic) traveling in sustained flight and can go much faster if need be. Super speed which was also granted by Hermes allows her to think, react and move at superhuman speeds. Her top speed is high hypersonic and according to Flash, she can easily keep up with him but it should be noted that the Flash does not usually go at his nearly max speed which is light-speed, unless the situation is severe and calls for it. Wonder Woman is most likely faster than Superman. Wonder Woman possesses reflex abilities similar to speedsters, such as Jesse Quick and Max Mercury, and has been noted as being faster than Superman's. She is able to keep up with Jesse Quick with ease, referencing her patron deity of speed and messenger of the gods, Hermes, as the source of her powers. Like the Earth, Diana is constantly renewing herself, allowing her to quickly heal mild to moderate injuries at an amazing rate. Her normal regenerative abilities allow her to recover from injury within seconds to minutes. She possesses an incredible immunity from poisons, toxins, as well as disease. In rare cases where she was gravely injured or where another has managed to severely poison her, Diana showed the ability to physically merge with the Earth, causing whatever injuries or poisons to be expelled from her body as she regains shape. Wonder Woman does not age like a regular human either. She is immortal while on Paradise island. She has enhanced sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. Diana is the finest warrior ever born among the Amazons of Themyscira. She is a master of armed and unarmed combat, proficient with nearly every weapon ever made (especially the bow and the javelin) and the exotic martial arts styles of the Amazons. Batman once remarked that Wonder Woman is the best melee fighter in the world. Diana is also an accomplished strategist and tactician, trained in the arts of leadership, persuasion and diplomacy, and possesses a great deal of courage as well. She is a gifted leader. Granted by Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, Diana possesses great wisdom and intelligence. She is among the smartest and wisest members of the Justice League of America, along with the Martian Manhunter and Batman. She is an expert pilot. She wields the lasso of truth as both a weapon of offense as well as defense. Wonder Woman is generally seen and known to be as beautiful as any supermodel.

Weaknesses and Limitations - Wonder Woman is somewhat vulnerable to piercing weapons, such as projectiles. Rifle or top notch machine-gun fire can cause bruising to slight penetration wounds, WHEN NOT blocked by her bracelets. Knives and swords of magical nature, as well as the attacker, will only cause pain and maybe, a temporary cut. Given her vast strength, it would be obvious that piercing weapons such as bullets, may penetrate her skin, but not her muscle tissue. Over the years, there have some inconsistencies in this weakness. She has been shown to be greatly weak against these forms of weaponry, and at other times has been able to ignore the impact. It should be noted that as she spends more time in Man's world, she becomes more powerful.

Of all people you know who I am. Who the world needs me to be, I'm Wonder Woman.