Why Dr. Doom is Awesome

For my blog series, "Why ___ is Awesome," I'm writing about one of Marvel's greatest villains: Dr. Doom, Victor von Doom.

1. Background

As a child in Latveria, his mother was killed when she called upon Mephisto. Not long after, Doom's father left the family and dead, leaving Victor by himself. Although it may not seem like it on the surface, but after some digging, you learn that Dr. Doom is a complex and tragic character. Left without his parents, he sought out to bring his mother back from Mephisto. In doing so, with his arrogance as his downfall, he scarred his face, got expelled from college, and created a long-time rivalry against Reed Richards. He is an example of tragedy and competition slowly destroying the character of someone.

2. Perfection

I have to admit, Dr. Doom has a lot of reasons to boast. Starting as an orphan in the small country of Latveria, he used his brilliant mind to become one of the world's greatest humans. He learned sorcery and had the intelligence to achieve greatness. Like Batman, he possesses the willpower to strive towards perfection and would probably have been one of the greatest heroes if he was good. Doom's amazing brain and dedication attributed to his success. Despite not having superpowers or anything like that, he built himself up from the bottom all the way to the top!

3. Reed Richards

His rivalry with Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic, is legendary. The two most intelligent humans on Earth, competing against each other. In a way they are so similar, yet so different. The two always make more dramatic and interesting confrontation and it's always awesome seeing them clash. Doom really hates Reed but there's almost a little bit of fear, mutual respect, and jealousy for each other. He has a rivalry with the Fantastic Four as a whole, but mainly Richards, and it's a relationship that should be explored even more.

4. Latveria

Dr. Doom is the ruler of his home country, Latveria. An example of his greatness is him putting himself as the ruler of Latveria, through a dictatorship. Through fear and intimidation with his Doombots, he has made the country into a safe place, surprisingly. And the small country has become a greatly feared and powerful country in the world. He has willed himself into a powerful commander and leader. I'm not saying that I'm supporting his dictatorship, but I'm saying that unlike most villains who want to take over someplace, Dr. Doom has actually done it and has been leading Latveria for quite some time.

5. Doom

Because he's Doctor Doom. And he's a badass with confidence and crazy arrogance. He has fought against powerful foes and has come out on top. Everyone is scared of him and rightfully so.

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Why James Gordon is Awesome

For tonight's blog of my series "Why ___ is Awesome," I'm writing about someone a little different from the type of character I'm used to writing about, Commissioner James Gordon.

1. "Normal"

Gordon doesn't have powers. He doesn't even have amazing fighting skills or intellect. He's just the police commissioner of Gotham City, who's not afraid to fight for the city. He's no vigilante, but just an ordinary folk standing up for what's right, dedicated to his job. It's hard not to love James Gordon because he's relatable. There are times when we feel powerless and that there's nothing we can do, caught in a world of higher powers (and in his case, aliens and monsters), but he shows that we can still fight.

2. Ally

Commissioner Gordon is a long-time supporter and ally of Batman. He's a partner in crime, and also one of Batman's best friends. The two share a love for protecting the city, although they believe in different ways of doing so. He's an ordinary man living in a strange time and rightfully so, a time to be scared. Yet he stands alongside Batman and has aided him many times. The two have a unique bond and mutual respect for each other and what they do. I also feel like sometimes Gordon actually knows who Batman is, but doesn't care. All the matters is that Batman is doing good, and he trusts that. Batman gives Gordon hope that encourages him to help Gotham City. Gordon gives Batman hope that ensures him that one day the city won't need Batman anymore.

3. Mistakes

He is as human as you can get. His imperfection adds onto a layer of depth onto him. He may Gotham's finest cop and a righteous hero that the public loves, but he has does things that he isn't so proud of. For example, cheating on his wife, Barbara. It has been through hard times, arriving in Gotham City and rising all the way to Commissioner. He's had to make tough choices and has endured much, like in "The Killing Joke" (even though that isn't exactly canon). But time and time again, he rises above it all and puts it all behind him in order to save the city.

4. The Family

Gordon's family is pretty dang abnormal. His daughter is vigilante Batgirl, sharing both her father's and Batman's ideals. His son is a psychopathic murderer. He's cheated on his wife and they divorced some time in their marriage. Background stories, particularly family, add a deep aspect to characters. He struggles with whether or not Barbara should be Batgirl, and struggled with her losing her legs. He struggles with his son, who he doesn't want to hurt but yet needs to bring to justice. Gordon is ashamed of how he treated his wife. All of these tough decisions and interactions with his family makes him who he is, which is a compelling character.

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Why Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel) is Awesome

Tonight I'm writing about maybe the greatest Marvel superheroine, Ms. Marvel (currently Captain Marvel), as part of my blog series: "Why ____ is Awesome."

1. Redemption

Carol has been through a lot. Since she was young, she endured sexism from her father. She was always told that she couldn't be successful like men. In her history, she has been raped and had an unexpected pregnancy. Carol has lost her memory, lost her powers, kicked off the Avengers, and was an alcoholic. But most importantly of all, she redeems herself. In House of M, with reality warped, she realizes her full potential and becomes a greater hero. When reality is back to normal, she works hard to be the best hero she can be. She fights against all that she's been through and serves as an amazing inspiration to anyone in tough times.

2. Natural Leader

Even without her powers, Carol is a kick-ass lady. She was a fighter pilot, and served in the U.S. Air Force, CIA, and NASA. She's a very capable hand-to-hand fighter, as well. At one point, she was the leader of the New Avengers. It's hard not to like someone as strong as her, capable of inspiring and leading many. She's courageous, and caring.

3. Great Power

To me, Ms. Marvel (or Captain Marvel) has some of the best powers in the Marvel Universe. She's super strong, fast, and durable. She can fly, and absorb and project energy blasts. Carol possess an interesting ability called Danger Sense, or her Seventh Sense, which meant she could sense danger before it actually happened. On top of that, her powers were greatly augmented when she was Binary. Something important about Ms. Marvel is her potential. She's already a great heroine but somehow we can all expect even more in store for her in the future.

4. Human

Even though Carol has cosmic/alien abilities. She's an incredibly down-to-earth woman. She is someone that you could go out and have a drink with. She has fun and simply wants to help others. We've seen her get angry and make tons of mistakes. As I mentioned in reason #1, she has gone through a lot of tough times yet endures. She's not perfect, not by a long shot, but I think that's why I adore her. Carol Danvers is lovable, tough, beautiful, intelligent, powerful, yet human.

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Why Green Arrow is Awesome

Tonight I'm writing about one of my favorite heroes, Green Arrow, as part of my blog series, "Why ____ is Awesome."

1. Good ol' Bow & Arrow

I'm a big fan of arrows. I don't know why. Maybe because they aren't noisy like guns and have room for creativity. Ollie is the best archer in the DC Universe and I love seeing him shoot arrows. Writers have the chance to give him loads of different arrows for the readers' enjoyment. I find myself wowing more at Green Arrow's amazing accuracy feats with the arrow, than people shooting guns.

2. Team-Ups

Green Arrow is a generally likable guy who can interact well with others. I loved his friendship with Hal Jordan (read Green Lantern/Green Arrow!), with Barry Allen. He and Harley made a great on-panel duo in Injustice. He plays off nicely with Batman, and has great chemistry with Black Canary. Ollie also has a decent relationship with his son, Connor Hawke.

3. Supporting Cast

Green Arrow has a strong family. I like characters that have a "family" in comics. It really makes them stronger characters. The family includes Black Canary, Roy Harper, Mia Dearden, and Connor Hawke. Along with his family, his supporting cast includes his villains. He's never been one to have a well-known rogues gallery, and it is quite small. However, I personally like it because it has loads of potential. Villains like Count Vertigo, Merlyn, Onomatopoeia, Brick, Clock King, Komodo, and Cupid are interesting and should be explored more. Add in Deathstroke, Doctor Light, and sometimes the League of Assassins, and you could have a great rogues gallery.

4. Black Canary

One of the most charming blondes in comics, and Green Arrow has her. They have fantastic chemistry and are always fun to see. Ollie truly cares for his "pretty bird."

So many feels

5. We Understand Him

Ollie is relatable. And by that, I don't mean that we all can connect with his archery skills, his badassery, or his wealth. What I mean is that Ollie is human and it's easy to root for him. Like most street level heroes, he has absolutely no superhuman powers. He's made many mistakes in his vigilante career and isn't perfect. He's humble and down to earth. He's not afraid of voicing his concerns, which can be hilarious because we understand him. Ollie, angry, killed Prometheus and had to deal with the consequences. Green Arrow is just someone who wants to help people.

I should also probably mention that green is my favorite color and no one rocks facial hair better than Green Arrow!

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Why Deadpool is Awesome

Today I'm writing about Deadpool for my blog series, "Why ____ is Awesome."

1. He's an Amazing Mercenary

For the most part, Deadpool is a hero, and can be pretty heroic when he needs to be. But sometimes he aligns himself with the bad guys and has absolutely no problem with it. What I love about Wade is that he's not really judgmental. For the most part, you don't see him hating on others, as he could get along with anyone, good guys and bad guys alike. That is why he's an anti-hero, because he doesn't really care.

2. He's Neutral

Deadpool has been a hero for the most part, but he doesn't have much problem going on the side of the bad guys. I think this is because he's not very judgmental. Usually, he doesn't hate on people or judging their actions, morally. He's a fun wildcard in the group where you don't really know what he's going to do next. Either way, he interacts well with both heroes and villains. Deadpool just doesn't care, which is why he's an anti-hero.

3. He Breaks the Fourth Wall/Unusual

I don't really like it when characters break the fourth wall, but I'll make an exception for Deadpool. He does it all the time, and it's always very funny when he does. He makes hilarious references to contemporary topics, confuses the heck out of those around him, and talks to you personally. It's engaging and makes him a wildly unique character.

As you can tell, he's very unusual. Wade is a parody of superheroes, who loves eating chimichangas, and is in love with Death herself.

4. Bob, Agent of Hydra

Because his sidekick, Bob, is also funny and completely incapable, unlike most sidekicks. He's a coward and is the perfect compliment to Deadpool.

5. He's Funny

At the end of the day, the biggest reason why Deadpool is awesome is because he's one of the funniest, if not the funniest, character in comics. He just almost never shut ups and has some kind of clever joke to pop out.

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Why Shazam is Awesome

Tonight I'm writing about Billy Batson, known as Shazam or formerly Captain Marvel for part of my blog: Why ____ is Awesome.

Don't we all wish we had the power to knock down Superman?

1. Childlike Heart

Shazam is a kid, as you should probably know by now. He possesses the pure heart of a child, to love and care for all. He has the idealism and boy scout attitude to have hope and fight for justice. He's not power hungry or corrupted by this. Billy isn't selfish and does things just because "it's the right thing to do." I think that it's great that in Trinity War, Billy specifically flew to Kahndaq to bury his enemy, Black Adam's, ashes.

2. SHAZAM!

It's everyone's dream to simply say some magic word and become this powerful superhero. Billy feels real to me because he's not just some superhuman with immense powers, but he has a dimension of awe to him. I don't really know to explain this (I guess the picture on the right would be a better explanation), but I guess what I'm saying is that he has the joy that we would have if we had powers. It's harder to connect with heroes who look at their powers as something common or nothing spectacular. When I see Billy smile as he soars in the air, I know he's someone that I can connect with. Just think of Superman's flight scene in "Man of Steel." His reaction and joy from flying make him human and this is something that Billy always brings to the scene.

3. Black Adam/Supporting Cast

Black Adam is one of my favorite villains. I like Billy because of his clashes with Black Adam. They are similar in powers but they are so different from each other. It's fun to read about Shazam because you always know that Black Adam is always nearby, and you know that they're going to end up fighting. Among his Black Adam, Billy has the entire Shazam family. You can probably create story after story focusing solely on Shazam's family, along with his villains+Black Adam's family. A strong supporting cast makes for a strong character, which is yet another reason why I like him. Plus, he has a freaking tiger.

4. Kingdom Come (Spoilers)

Maybe the most memorable scene of Billy Batson in DC Comics, is his fight against Superman in "Kingdom Come," beautifully drawn by Alex Ross. Superman said it best when you stated that Billy was both superhuman and man, living in both worlds and should be the one making the decisions for both. After fighting hard against Superman, he ultimately overcomes the brainwashing of Lex Luthor, and sacrifices himself in the bomb. It's such a great moment because it shows the potential he has as a hero. He's both human and superhuman, with a caring personality. He should represent humanity.

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Batmannflash's Top 20 DC/Marvel Comics of 2013

Taking a little break from my usual blog posts, Why ____ is Awesome, with the end of 2013 almost here, here are my favorite comic book series of this year.

For the sake of this list, I don't care if the issues released before this year were great or not. I am only taking into account the issues released THIS YEAR and using that to judge my favorite series. Agree or disagree, this is my personal opinion. This is for Marvel and DC comics ONLY (Vertigo counts). I will probably make a list for best non-Big Two comics of the year in the future.

20. Animal Man by Jeff Lemire

Starting from issue #16. Animal Man by Jeff Lemire has always been the underrated series of the New 52. He does a great job of bringing an element of creepiness to this series, for sure, as well as making Animal Man a hero everyone would want to read about. In 2013, Animal Man concludes the fantastic Rotworld story-arc crossover with Swamp Thing and has Buddy Baker facing the consequences. It's a unique series, and that alone gives it an edge. Issue 25 also has Buddy going to space!

19. Scarlet Spider by Christopher Yost

Starting from issue #13. 2013 has Kaine fighting wolves in "In the Midst of the Wolves," Wolverine himself in "Wrath," and Kraven the Hunter in "Into the Grave." By the end of this year, Scarlet Spider would have ended and it's sad it being over. That being said, this series has always been fun and gives us a tough, anti-hero Spider, accompanied by good art. The issues with Wolverine and Kaine teaming up were my favorite, and Kaine quickly shot up to one of my favorite Marvel heroes, thanks to this series!

18. Batwoman by J.H. Williams III

Starting from issue #16. A beautifully drawn comic series, written by J.H. Williams III. It presents Batwoman as a very intriguing character, with 2013 covering the final two issues of "World's Finest," and the story-arc of "This Blood is Thick," as well as the Zero-Year tie-in. It's sad to see this creative team go, but they ended it strongly. Each page is absolutely beautiful, doing a great job of portraying the protagonist as a compelling character.

17. Batgirl by Gail Simone

Starting from issue #16. Barbara Gordon is still Batgirl! Gail, who has always been skilled with female characters, continues to write consistently good stories. Batgirl's tie-ins to Death of the Family are some of my favorites tie-ins to the story arc. Later on, she deals with her psychotic brother, James Gordon Jr., and deals with some serious family issues with her father, the Commissioner. He wants to hunt down Batgirl! Simone reinvents the Ventriloquist to be a very creepy villain, creating much intensity in the panels. Barbara's emotions are explored more deeply this year with the story arc "Batgirl: Wanted." I should also add that the cover art has always been amazing.

16. Batman and Robin by Peter J. Tomasi

Starting from issue #16. The year 2013 has been quite the year for the Batman and Robin series. After a significant event in Batman Inc #8, Batman has been going through hell. I give this comic lots of props for Batman and Robin #18, which is one of the most emotional issues of this year. Following that, this series takes Batman through the five stages of grief, and watching him interact with the Bat family is precious, especially since it's not as common in the New 52. Then it's followed by four villains issues, Two-Face, Ra's al Ghul, Court of Owls, and Killer Croc, which did better than most of the other titles in that month. Batman & Robin has the Batman & Two-Face issues recently, which you might want to read.

15. Deadpool by Brian Posehn

Starting from issue #4. As you would expect, this is a fun and entertaining series. Deadpool is hilarious as usual. In 2013, he fought Abraham Lincoln and many other dead Presidents (what?). He teams-up with Benjamin Franklin and encounters many types of adversaries. It's definitely an odd series that I enjoy reading all the time. His most recent story arc, "The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly" was very, very good and something I probably will want to read again soon. Posehn has been doing fantastic work with Deadpol and I can't wait to see more.

14. Thor: God of Thunder by Jason Aaron

Starting from issue #4. Thor: God of Thunder's stories of 2013 include the final two issues of "The God Butcher," the entire "Godbomb" arc, and the first three parts of "The Accursed." The Godbomb was spectacular, and I'm sure that most would agree with me. Esad Ribic's art is a masterpiece and Thor is truly written well by Jason Aaron. Though I'm not liking "The Accursed" too much, it's still an enjoyable series. Thor had an overall great year with the Godbomb arc and Thor: The Dark World coming to theaters in November.

13. Batman Inc. by Grant Morrison

Starting from issue #7. Issue #8 may be the single most important Batman issue in 2013. And from there, things get really heavy has Batman and his crew battle against Talia and her Leviathan. It's an epic conclusion to Grant Morrison's long and legendary Batman run. You really don't want to miss this one, because Batman really is pushed to the edge and important things happen here! I do dock this down a few points because I'm really not fond of the art.

12. All-New X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis

Starting from issue #5. I'm treading on thin ice here because I know a lot of people hate what has been going on with the X-Men as of late. But I like it. I've grown fond of the O5 X-Men from the past, especially young Jean and Scott. This series near the top when it comes to art. It covers the O5 X-Men and their time trying to adapt in the Post-Schism present. All-New X-Men contains Chapter 2 and 6 of Battle of the Atom, which for the most part hasn't received positive reviews. However, unlike most, I thought that it was still enjoyable despite the many flaws. And I do like the direction in which the title is going to, having the O5 stand alongside Cyclops' X-Men.

11. The Flash by Brian Buccellato & Francis Manapul

Starting from issue #16. Barry Allen is my second favorite hero, behind Batman, so naturally I love this series. Manapul & Buccellato are a great writing duo and produce stunning art. 2013 consists of the final two parts of "Gorilla Warfare," villains issues for: Gorilla Grodd, The Rogues, and Reverse Flash, the story arc "Reverse," and the Zero Year tie-in. 2013 marks the end of their Flash run (I'm shedding a tear). This series introduced an interesting new Reverse Flash, had thrilling fights with no shortage of amazing splash pages, and The Rogues & Flash fighting Gorilla Grodd. The Flash's Zero Year tie-in was a personal favorite of mine (Team Iris!) and The Flash had the best villain issues.

10. Justice League by Geoff Johns

Starting from issue #16. Justice League had a great year, with awesome Shazam back-up stories, Throne of Atlantis, and Trinity War. This series really picked up steam in 2013, accompanied by Ivan Reis' art. Shazam's back-up stories make me hope for a Shazam ongoing one day soon. Throne of Atlantis is forever established as one of the greatest Aquaman stories of all-time. And Trinity War is one of my favorite events in recent memory. However, I would have to argue that the villains issues were weak (but then again, so were most) except Darkseid's, which was great. Now with Trinity War over, and Forever Evil in place, this series has ended the year strong.

9. Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello

Starting from issue #16. This series has been very consistent, since its inception in the New 52. Azzarello continues the loooong story arc from last year and this year is where it gets really intense. Orion becomes a fairly regular member and the baby is born. The First Born is finally introduced, as well as a preview toward the New Gods. There are lot of great things to say about this series, on top of its villains issues (Cheetah and First Born), which were okay. My only issues about this series is the apparent overpowering of Orion and vague power levels of the First Born. It isn't clear how powerful he is, as he is a new character, and he's already throwing both Wonder Woman and Orion around like rag-dolls. There's so much else to learn about the villain. Another complaint is that the entire series has been focused on one series, and while it does feel like a long epic story, it would be refreshing to finally start a new story arc.

8. New Avengers by Jonathan Hickman

Starting from issue #1. This is an underrated title that I think deserves recognition. I love the Illuminati members in here so of course I like this one. Black Panther and Black Bolt are two characters that I love and really enjoy reading about them. Vol. 1, titled "Everything Dies," starts out the series strong, and it doesn't stop being wonderful. The last few issues have been Infinity tie-ins and I should mention that the New Avengers tie-ins to Infinity are my favorites. This series is blessed with an awesome cast, Hickman's writing, and Steve Epting's art.

7. Green Arrow by Ann Nocenti (issue 16), and Jeff Lemire (#17-present)

Starting from issue #16. It's a shame that before Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino took over the title, it hasn't been good at all. But with Lemire & Sorrentino coming to the scene starting from issue #17, Green Arrow's series hasn't been the same ever since. In this year, they have written "The Kill Machine," "Shados," and Book 1 of the new arc, "The Outsiders War" (which came out today). 2013 also included Count Vertigo's villain issue and the Zero Year tie-in. Andrea Sorrentino has become of my favorite artists out there and Lemire has totally been killing it with his writing.

6. Batman by Scott Snyder

Starting from issue #16. Batman has been great this year. In 2012, we had The Court of Owls, City of Owls, and the first half of Death of the Family. This year includes mainly Zero Year, the conclusion to Death of the Family, and villain titles for The Riddler, Penguin, Bane, and the Joker. Although this series may not have done as well as it did last year, it is still a very strong title, as Zero Year as been amazing in the last couple issues despite (in my opinion) having a slow start. Add in Greg Capullo's art, and you're all set. Since Batman is my favorite character, I really wanted to put this as number one, I can't. Death of the Family had an anti-climatic ending, Zero Year had a slow start and the villains titles weren't that great (most villains titles weren't that great, so I can't put too much criticism on that). Joker's villains issue was sadly disappointing. Nonetheless, it has been one of my favorite series.

5. Green Lantern by Geoff Johns, later Robert Venditti

Starting from issue #16. This is Geoff Johns' epic conclusion to his revolutionary Green Lantern run, "Wrath of the First Lantern." After Johns left, the series was left in the good hands of Robert Venditti. We got the treat of the story Lights Out, and four villain titles: Mongul, Sinestro, Black Hand, and the new villain Relic. The end of Wrath of the First Lantern was bittersweet and absolutely beautiful and Lights Out was a refreshing story with interesting developments in the Green Lantern mythos (I'm won't spoil anything for you, don't worry!). I give major props for Venditti introducing a new villain, Relic, with strong execution. Without spoiling anything for those who haven't read Lights Out yet (which I recommend you do), let's just say that I am excited for the future of all lantern ring-wielders. GL has been an underrated title.

4. Infinity by Jonathan Hickman

Starting from issue #1. Infinity is a 6 issue mini-series covering the recently-ended Marvel event: Infinity. It's an exciting story of Thanos' evil plans and it's up to the Avengers to depend Earth. I have to admit, I've never really been a big fan of Marvel's events, but this one does it for me. It has fantastic art and Hickman has some cool ideas that he puts into play here. Most of all, many different characters share the spotlight, especially Black Bolt and the Inhumans (which is my top reason why I liked Infinity). Infinity established my interest in Black Bolt and Thanos. It introduced a new character, Thane, who could be a big player in the future and it initiates the start of the new event, Inhumanity. The first issue came out today, and I loved it.

3. Injustice: Gods Among Us (Digital Comic) by Tom Taylor

Starting from issue #1. The only digital-only comic on this list. Based on the video game of the same name, Injustice: Gods Among Us is a fantastic else-world story. Tom Taylor has an absolutely fantastic job with writing characters, including Green Arrow, Harley Quinn, and Superman. It's very exciting and I'm anxious to see what happens next. This is one of the most emotional series out there about the breaking of Superman's morality after horrible tragedy. I suggest this series to anyone. My only complaint is that it hasn't I've had to wait a long time between issues recently.

2. The Wake by Scott Snyder

Starting from issue #1. The Wake is Vertigo mini-series written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Sean Murphy. It is different than the other titles of this list. It's not a superhero story. It introduces Lee Archer and her crew going under the depths of the sea, where they encounter mysterious creatures. It's incredibly intense and I highly, highly recommend that everyone reads this. The end of "part one" was issue 5, where I felt major chills. It's an emotional and mysterious ride and I can't wait for the entire story to wrap up. I can't say too much without spoiling it but I suggest that you go and check this out.

1. Aquaman by Geoff Johns

Aquaman started this year with issue #16. 2013 has consisted of Chapter 4 and Epilogue of "Throne of Atlantis," the "Death of a King" story arc, villains issues for Black Manta & Ocean Master, and Geoff John's epic conclusion to his Aquaman run. Since its inception at the New 52, this series has been nothing short of phenomenal. Geoff Johns has made many more comic book fans respect Aquaman. Both Death of the King and Throne of Atlantis will go down as some of the greatest Aquaman stories ever. I can only count Chapter 4 and the Epilogue of Throne of Atlantis, since the rest of the story took place in 2012, but both issues were stunning. With Death of the King, Johns introduced the Dead King, who could be a formidable foe once again in the future. The Ocean Master and Black Manta villain issues are on the better side of the Villains Month titles. Ivan Reis' art on this series is top-notch and he has risen to be one of the best, if not the best, comic book artist currently. It is sad that Johns is leaving, but he did end his run on a fantastic note. Not to mention, Aquaman's beard came back momentarily this year!

There you go! To me, Aquaman's series is the best series of 2013!

Respect the King!

Notable mentions: Forever Evil (only 3 issues in), Superman/WW (only 2 issues in), FF, Superman Unchained (only 4 issues in), Inhumanity (only 1 issue in), Hawkeye

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Why Barbara Gordon is Awesome

I have time tonight so I'll write another one. I've written about Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain already. So, here, I'm writing about Barbara Gordon in my blog series "Why ___ is Awesome."

1. Admirable Personality

I always loved Barbara. As Batgirl, she was fun, happy, yet extremely mature. She has a caring heart. Babs isn't a hero out of dark tragedy or obsessive behaviors, but she wanted to fight bad guys and help people. It was said really well in "Batman: Hush" well Batman described Barbara as wanting to "seek justice" and "to rid the city of the evil that manifests itself here, even though she knew the risks." She is a confident, loving, dedicated young woman who is attractively intelligent and mature and has grown much over the years. Part of why she's such an enduring character is that fans, like me, are fond of her, appreciate her, and feel great sympathy for her when she was crippled.

2. Oracle

An essential part of her time in comics was when she was crippled by the Joker and became Oracle. Even though she had a major disability, Barbara was dedicated to fighting crime even if she couldn't do it physically. She is one of the smartest major characters in the DC Universe and she uses her skills to the best of her abilities. As Oracle, she became a crucial member of the Bat-family and leads the Birds of Prey.

3. Relationships

Because of her lovable personality and her lack of tendency to shut off everyone from her life, she creates great interactions and relationships with those around her. She served as mentors for Cassandra Cain, and Stephanie Brown, and leads the Birds of Prey. She has a strong relationship with Batman and caught the heart of Ted Kord and Dick Grayson. No one likes a character that can only work alone and has terrible, boring interactions with other characters. Fortunately, Barbara isn't like that, which is a strong reason why she's awesome.

4. Dick Grayson

An expansion upon the previous point, is that I love her relationship with Dick Grayson. It is one of the most realistic, natural relationships in comics that I find myself always rooting for. They are two long-time friends who worked together, been together romantically, and trust each other completely. Dick has helped her "fly" again when her legs didn't work. And Barbara has always been the one to help him from going overboard and obsessive in his vigilantism. She's Dick source of humanity and a real life. This relationship that the two create makes both characters great.

5. Family Matters

An interesting dynamic added to Barbara Gordon's background is her family, which consists of her crime fighting father, James Gordon, her never-present mother, Barbara, and her psychotic killer brother, James Gordon Jr. Like her father, she wants to fight for justice and help Gotham City. It isn't hard to see that Barbara has received a lot of her admirable qualities from him. Her psycho brother has, in the last couple years, called for intriguing stories and tough decisions for Barbara, making her a stronger character.

6. Red-Heads, man.

Well? Do you love Barbara as much as I do? Comment below!

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Why Thor is Awesome

Unfortunately, I haven't seen "Thor: The Dark World" yet but tonight I'm writing about Thor for my blog series, "Why ___ is Awesome."

1. Lesson of Humility

I am a big fan of Thor's origin. Many superheroes have to find, create or earn greatness (like Spider-Man, or Iron Man) but Thor is a god. He was born with greatness. The problem was that he let it all go to his head, and a young, prideful Thor was banished to planet Earth. I thought that the live action Thor movie did a fantastic job of this, so go see it if you haven't. He was an arrogant hothead and later became a selfless hero. I think we all can learn from this lesson. Thor is admirable because he had to go through a period of humility to become the man (god) he is today.

2. He's Just So Dang Powerful

Make comments about his inconsistent combat speed in comics, but there is no denying that he is super-powerful. It is a thrill to see him go toe-to-toe with powerful foes. I should also add that he doesn't have glaring weaknesses, *cough cough Superman* (nothing against Superman, I honestly like him more than Thor). Mjolnir is known to be one of the coolest weapons in comics and who doesn't want to smack punks around with a hammer? He is a god and I love immersing myself into Thor's stories of fantasy.

3. Loki

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple years, you should know who Loki is, whether or not you read comics. He's been undoubtedly the greatest villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the comics as well, Loki is a compelling character who has an absolutely classic rivalry with his brother Thor. It is a rivalry that talked about along with Joker/Batman, Sinestro/Hal, and so on. The Thor movies did an amazing job of making us feel sympathy for Loki and creating such an interesting character. The dynamic between him and Thor adds to how awesome Thor is.

4. Thor: God of Thunder

I would have to admit, I haven't read much on Thor. I've read Thor: the Mighty Avenger by Landridge and some of Walt Simonson's run on Thor (both of which I enjoyed). What really caught my interest in Thor, though, was the current Marvel NOW series "Thor: God of Thunder," by Jason Aaron. Partnered with Esad Ribic's stunning art, the series' God Butcher and Godbomb story arcs are stories that I recommend every should read. Good stories makes an awesome character, and here's another reason why Thor is awesome. It's a fun, adventurous series that shows just how great he is.

5. Internet

Picture 1: Thor has a thor-ough resume. Picture 2: Miley wat r u doin'? Stahp!

Umm...what? A fun, not-really-serious point I want to say is that Thor has hilarious puns and internet memes. In our day and age of social media, it's always nice to have some laughs off the internet.

Like it? Read more! :) Why ___ is Awesome

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Why Cassandra Cain is Awesome

Hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving! Today, I'm writing about a character that I am thankful for: Cassandra Cain, as part of my blog series, "Why ___ is Awesome." (for a lack of a better title).

1. Special

Cassandra Cain stands out because she's so different from most of the Bat-family. For starters, she's Asian. She was raised by the League of Assassins (like Damian). Her costume was frightening and different from the other Batgirls. Cass doesn't even care much about her secret identity or having a social life. She didn't know how to talk earlier in her career. She always had an air of mystery to her since she was never one to talk a lot. Cass has a tough girl attitude with a kind heart. She is one of the most famous Asian comic book superheroes and the first Batgirl to receive a solo series because she is so special and unique.

2. Character Depth and Background

Cass is a girl with a troubled past. She is the daughter of deadly assassins David Cain and Lady Shiva. From birth she was raised to become the perfect bodyguard for Ra's al Ghul. She was raised to be a killer, with an almost inescapable fate. What I love about Cass Cain is that she is a poor girl running away from her past, trying to change, and trying to put it all behind her. As a kid, she never got choices. But now, she's able to make choices, and she chooses to be a vigilante, part of the Bat-family. I see great character depth in her, knowing that it hurts her to not have a "real" childhood and be bred into a killer. She's constantly seeking redemption and putting the past behind her. I always feel sympathetic for her, which is why she's such a compelling character.

These scans are all you need. Cass vs her father, Cass Cain in Batgirl (Vol. 2) #6

3. Hardcore Ninja

What more can I say? Her fights are some of the most entertaining fights among the Bat-family because of just how impressive she is. Cass never learned how to speak as a child, but instead was taught by her parents to develop an uncanny body reading ability, able to read body language and react accordingly. Throughout the years, she has shown incredibly feats of speed and hand to hand combat that even impresses Batman himself. Cass possesses a tough attitude and has many times been completely unfazed in the heat of the moment when shot by guns.

4. Indomitable Will

Something that really got my respect was Cassandra's extreme dedication and indomitable will. When a psychic rewired her brain, she could finally talk, but at a cost. She had lost her amazing body reading ability and had to start from scratch. There's this one panel (see right) that really sticks to me, which was when Batman was helping her regain her body reading ability. He would fight her, in hopes that Cass would be able to predict his movements. Unfortunately, she got punched in the face again, and again. But she took Batman by shock when she would not stop the exercise, not even giving up after being hit so many times. Her strong sense of will is something that makes her really special. Something else I recall was when she was training immensely for an upcoming fight between her and her mother, the great Lady Shiva. No one thought that she could do it. But guess what? Cass trained harder than anyone. In the end, she finally beat Shiva.

Cass vs Shiva in Batgirl (Vol. 1) #73

Well? What are your thoughts on Cassandra Cain? Like what you've read? Read more: Why _____ is Awesome

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