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Christmas gift ideas for action figure lovers

Funko popped up on my radar several years ago with their “Pop” vinyl collectibles. Over the past couple of years, they have added other styles to their repertoire, and I really love the DC “Primal Age” figures and Thundercats and horror icon “Savage World” collections. While I have seen some negative reviews on these MOTU-style figures, we did purchase some last year and did not have any issues with them. Read the reviews and proceed at your own risk.


DC “Primal Age”

Tygra Thundercats

Thundercats “Savage World”

Jason Friday the 13th

Horror Icons “Savage World”

Random Awesomeness (part 2019.12)

Random Awesomeness

Purchase Let’s Rock by the Black Keys!

Beyond Smallville


One of my favorite television shows of all-time is Smallville, which follows a young Clark Kent in high school discovering his superhuman abilities. It aired for ten seasons on The WB/CW networks. The final episode aired in May 2011, but I still go back and watch episodes from time to time on DVD or Hulu.

Michael Rosenbaum recently wrapped up “Smallville Week” on his podcast, “Inside of You.” His guests during the four episodes were the creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, Kristin Kreuk, John Glover, and Tom Welling. While the language and subject matter gets a little saucy, it was fun to listen to these old friends reminisce about their days on the show and catch up with what is going on at this point in their lives.

I got to thinking about what the actors are involved with today. Rosenbaum seemed to take offense at this question, thinking that sites are just looking for clicks when asking these questions. And perhaps some of them are, especially when the articles mislead readers or give false information. However, I’m asking from a point of interest in that I might like to check into some of their current projects, and perhaps other Smallville fans would like to do the same. So if you will indulge me, let’s look at some of the leading actors and actresses from Smallville, what role they played on that program, and what they’re doing now.

  1. TOM WELLING played Clark Kent on Smallville and was perfect in the role. Others who auditioned for the role include Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki of Supernatural fame. Welling has appeared in three movies since the end of Smallville: Parkland, Draft Day, and The Choice. Most recently he could be seen in the role of Marcus Pierce in the third season of Lucifer and is currently involved in a production called The Professionals as Vincent Corbo, starring opposite Brendan Fraser. Per , ten episodes of The Professionals are planned to air on Scandinavian outlet Viaplay.
  2. MICHAEL ROSENBAUM played a brilliant Lex Luthor. Others considered for the role were Zachary Levi and Anson Mount. As with Welling, I think the casting of Rosenbaum was genius and I can’t imagine anyone else in the role. He graduated from my alma mater Western Kentucky University about the time I started there. There is a very slim chance I met him as I spent about a week as a theatre major, although as a lowly freshman I doubt he would have paid me any mind. As already mentioned, Rosenbaum has a podcast called “Inside of You” in which he interviews other celebrities. Besides his Smallville mates, past guests include Kristen Bell, Colin Hanks, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Dax Shepard, Henry Winkler, Zachary Levi, and Jon Cryer. More than sixty episodes have aired so far, and the podcast shows no signs of slowing down. Other than his podcast, Rosenbaum has stayed busy since leaving Smallville in 2008. His most prominent role on the small screen was as the main character on TV Land’s Impastor. He also appeared in Breaking In and was the narrator for Hunted, and wrote and directed a movie called Back In The Day. He has voiced The Flash on a couple of video games, a role he started in Justice League in 2001. He also appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Martinex, one of the Ravagers.
  3. KRISTIN KREUK played Lana Lang was the first main character cast for Smallville. Her role as Lana ended in 2009. In 2010, she appeared as Hannah in four episodes on the brilliant Chuck with Zachary Levi, and as Tirzah on the Ben-Hur miniseries that aired on CBC in Canada and ABC in the States. She then starred in The CW’s Beauty and the Beast for five years as Catherine Chandler, and can currently be seen on Burden of Truth as Joanna Hanley.
  4. ALLISON MACK was Clark’s best friend Chloe Sullivan, an inquisitive journalist and later “Watchtower” who ran the operations of the mini-Justice League. After Smallville, Mack starred in the Canadian film Marilyn, appeared in nine episodes of Wilfred and four episodes of American Odyssey. Her last credit was in 2015. She is currently facing legal trouble due to her association in Keith Raniere’s Nxivm cult.
  5. SAM JONES III played Clark’s other best friend, Pete Ross. Jones also faced some legal trouble following his departure in 2004, but did not let it derail his career. He appeared as Chaz Pratt in 16 episodes of ER, Craig Shilo in 13 episodes of Blue Mountain State in 2010 and the movie in 2016, and most recently Adam in All Light Will End, the 2018 horror film.
  6. JOHN SCHNEIDER was the reason I started watching Smallville. I was flipping through the channels and saw the actor who played Bo Duke on Dukes of Hazzard, and immediately stopped channel surfing. The pilot episode hooked me. On Smallville, Schneider played Clark’s adoptive dad, Jonathan Kent. He was the heart and soul of the show for several seasons until his character’s death, and his influence was felt even after he left. He has appeared in dozens of movies since leaving Smallville, and is a series regular on Tyler Perry‘s The Haves and the Have Nots on the Oprah Winfrey Network. IMDB also shows several other titles currently in post-production and pre-production. In addition to his acting career, Schneider is also a musician with several country albums to his name. In 2018, he released 52 brand new songs over five albums. They are called The Odyssey: Vagabond, The Odyssey: Awakening, The Odyssey: Crossroads, The Odyssey: Wanderlust, and The Odyssey: Beginnings. He also released a new collection of older material, Greatest Hits: Still, and a holiday album, Merry Christmas Baby. Dude was busy!
  7. ANNETTE O’TOOLE played Lana Lang on the big screen in Superman III back in 1983; on Smallville she appears as Martha Kent, Clark’s adoptive mother. Her role on the show became less regular the older Clark became, only appearing in a few episodes the last few seasons. In recent years, O’Toole can be seen on Halt and Catch Fire, The Punisher, The Incoherents, and Blow the Man Down.
  8. JOHN GLOVER was Lionel Luthor, Lex’s father. Though Lex left the show after the seventh season, Lionel kept popping up from time to time, and Glover is brilliant in the role. Since Smallville has ended, Glover has guest starred on several television programs, including The Blacklist and Agent Carter. Earlier this year he was on the big screen in Shazam!, and has been active on stage as well according to his recent interview on Rosenbaum’s podcast.
  9. ERICA DURANCE was introduced as Lois Lane at the beginning of season four of Smallville. It took a long time for me to warm up to her, mainly because I wanted Clark to end up with Lana, even though I knew that went against the comic’s storyline. After the show ended, Durance could be seen on the lead character on Saving Hope, Dr. Alex Reid from 2012-2017. Several other actors who appeared on Smallville appeared on Saving Hope, including Eric Johnson, Michael Shanks, and Benjamin Ayres. Durance returned to the DC Universe in the third season of The CW’s Supergirl in 2017 as Alura Zor-El.
  10. JUSTIN HARTLEY played Green Arrow on Smallville, and was one of the best side characters on the show. I have never watched The CW’s Arrow, partly because I simply can’t imagine anyone but Hartley in the role. He has appeared in several shows since Smallville, including Emily Owens M.D., Revenge, Mistresses, and The Young and the Restless. You most likely know him as the adult Kevin Pearson on This Is Us, one of NBC’s top-rated shows.
  11. I miss Smallville, but I’m glad most of these actors and actresses have found continuing success beyond the show.


Random Awesomeness (part 2019.6)

Random Awesomeness

What I’m Reading Right Now: Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe written by Tim Seeley and illustrated by Freddie Williams III.

Purchase American Rock ‘n’ Roll by Don Felder!

Random Awesomeness (part 2019.5)

Random Awesomeness

What I’m Reading Right Now: Firefight: The Reckoners, Book Two by Brandon Sanderson. (Yes, still working on it.)

Purchase Feral Roots from Rival Sons!
(Greta Van Fleet is great, no doubt, but Rival Sons rocks harder for my money.)

Is DC Universe worth the price?

Doom Patrol DC Universe

Marvel rules the world folks, but that doesn’t mean others don’t want a piece of the comic book world pie. DC, the home of Superman, Batman, and the rest of the Justice League, recently launched their own streaming service ahead of Disney/Marvel called DC Universe. $7.99 a month doesn’t seem like a terrible deal, but what is actually available currently at that price?

Exclusive programming: Two brand new series are being produced for DC Universe. Titans has aired 11 episodes so far, while Doom Patrol just premiered over the weekend. The trailer for Titans looked amateurish, but Doom Patrol‘s trailer looked good and has some talent in the cast with Brendan Fraser and Timothy Dalton.

Live-action television: Wonder Woman (starring Lynda Carter), The Flash (with John Wesley Shipp, not Grant Gustin), the old Superman series (with George Reeves), and Lois and Clark are probably the most well-known programs being offered. DC Universe also offers Superman Serials, The Adventures of Superboy, Birds of Prey, Constantine, and Human Target. What’s missing? Adam West’s Batman, Smallville (which is currently on Hulu), and the various CW programs (most of which can be seen on Netflix).

Movies: There are quite a few animated Batman and Superman animated movies, as well as some Justice League cartoon titles. As for live-action, you can see Michael Keaton, George Clooney, and Val Kilmer all dressed up as the Bat, and the first Superman film starring Christopher Reeve is there, as well as the 1974 pre-Lynda Carter Wonder Woman. What’s missing? The rest of the Reeve films, Superman Returns, The Dark Knight trilogy, Green Lantern, Supergirl and the current Justice League-related films.

Animated Series: Eighteen different titles here, new and old. The one I am most interested in is the nine seasons of Super Friends. I couldn’t begin to tell you what’s missing here.

So, is it worth $7.99 a month? I’m going to say no at this point. Marvel will have the advantage of partnering with Disney, and will likely have many more titles to choose from. I can only hope the price is not astronomical.

Christmas gift ideas for your aspiring DC Comics writer/artist

Now that Halloween is over, is it safe to start talking about Christmas gift ideas? A couple of years ago I did a series of posts highlighting some ideas that might delight fans of various topics, and one of the most popular posts in that series related to comic book art. That particular post continues to get hits today, so I thought I would follow it up with a more streamlined version: Christmas gift ideas for your aspiring DC comic book writers/artists. Take a look at these titles in this series of “DC Comics Guide” books:

I have not personally reviewed any of those titles, but they seem to be geared toward an older, more serious dreamer. If your aspiring artist is a beginner, or is just getting his feet wet with sketching, the following books may be more his or her speed:
Wonder Woman

Star Wars > Dawn of Justice, but still…

Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice

The new trailer for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has been leaked. Assuming it hasn’t been taken down yet, here it is. Enjoy, fanboys.

Superman: The Ultimate Guide to the Man of Steel by Daniel Wallace (2013)

Superman Ultimate Guide to The Man of Steel book review

Superman: The Ultimate Guide to the Man of Steel
by Daniel Wallace
DK, 2013
200 pages

The most enduring figure in American mythology has been, without a doubt, Superman. Regardless of the quality of the past few theatrical releases telling the Man of Steel’s story, his legacy is firmly entrenched through his comic book appearances. Author Daniel Wallace takes readers on a journey that begins with the superhero’s first appearance in Action Comics in 1938 on through the more recent adventures in DC’s The New 52 series. Superman’s friends and foes are spotlighted, as well as his collaborations with other heroes and his human friends.

Wallace does not bore the reader with details from every comic book published, but highlights the most important in Superman’s 75-year history, filling in the blanks between those issues with other key events that made him who he is today. Superman: The Ultimate Guide to the Man of Steel is a must-have volume for fans of the hero who is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Learn more about DK.

Purchase Superman: The Ultimate Guide to the Man of Steel by Daniel Wallace.

Am I late to Tom Smykowski’s party?

Video mash-ups are great, and this has to be the funniest one I have ever seen. Read the rest of this entry

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