Category Archives: DC Comics

The Technological Marvels Of Yesterday: A Hacker Files Podcast

 

Hello Legions of the Unspoken!  Have a listen as Dean Compton welcomes newcomers Jesse Starcher and Chris Armstrong to the site to discuss the forgotten DC Comics gem of the early 1990s, The Hacker Files!  It’s non-stop computer action in the DC Universe, and you can goddamn hear all about it right here, right now!!!

[Audio File Below Covers]

 

The Hacker Files #6 (1993) - Page 1The Hacker Files #11 (1993) - Page 1The Hacker Files #1 (1992) - Page 1The Hacker Files #12 (1993) - Page 2

 

Dream Come True (Part 3)

MidsummersNightmare

Greetings and salutations, fans of the Unspoken! Tis I, your loyal Symbifan, back as promised to deliver the third and final part of my look back at the “Justice League: A Midsummer’s Nightmare” storyline! Well, it didn’t take me nearly as long to get this part out to you as part 2, but I do apologize for the wait. I know how beloved I am by all of you out there on the net. (You may roll you eyes sarcastically starting….now!) Anyway, shall we finish this puppy? Let us begin.

RCO004_w_1467649128-1.jpgLast time, despite the odds, the Justice League found each other in a universe gone mad and banded together! The final issue begins with the soon-to-be-JLA fighting a group of everyday people granted with superpowers. The metahumans are being schooled by our heroes, but time grows short. They must discover if Dr. Destiny is in fact behind this or if a new threat has emerged. The metas may have no chance of winning this battle but they do have the numbers. To be blunt, this is taking forever to beat a bunch of cannon fodder. (Hey, Superman called them that, not me! I know, right?! And he’s usually such a goody-two-shoes!)

So, what does Martian Manhunter do? Only the most awesome Martian mind trick ever! He performs a mass telepathic assault that causes all assembled, except the good guys, to suffer seizures and pass out! (Don’t tick off a Martian! Well, unless you have a Zippo lighter. Lol! Ah, I amuse myself!) Moving on, after this display of mental might, the group discusses whether or not they even have the right to stop the world from gaining super-powers. I mean, they have tons themselves. Hardly seems fair. But it’s finally agreed that letting everyone on Earth posses godlike powers just might be a bad idea in the long run. So to stop this, they need to discover the root of the problem. But how to locate the villain in a world of powered-up peeps?

RCO012_1467649128-1That’s when Martian Manhunter comes to the realization that only one man knows Dr. Destiny’s location….Kyle Rayner AKA Green Lantern! After all, wasn’t he drawing this in a comic book all the way back in issue one? Manhunter then invades Kyle’s personal space and does his whole Martian “laying-of-hands” trick with poor Green Lantern’s head and enters his mind! He does find out exactly what he wants to know, and faster than the Flash does dishes, they’re off! It doesn’t take long for them to reach their destination.

Superman wants to rush right in swinging, but Batman reminds him that no one on this Earth knows who they are or that they are, in fact, good guys. He talks them all into staying put while he does his thing, and in no time they have access to the installation. (Never ceases to amaze, does he? Except when keeping the inmates of Arkham off the streets! Ooooooh! Burn!) The team is faced with several illusions along the many corridors but soon make it to the most secured room. Smashing their way in, they discover Dr. Destiny, held captive and being drained of his power! With little effort,  he is freed and starts to spill the beans on who has been using him to make the world the way it is when….the villain arrives!

RCO022_1467649128The being calls himself Know Man! (I know! Sounds like what Sheldon Cooper from “Big Bang Theory” would call himself  if he became an evil mastermind!) But I digress. The heroes begin their assault, but to no avail. Even Supes is knocked into the ionosphere by the guy! That’s when Batman comes up with a risky plan. He removes the mind-reaching equipment from Dr. Destiny and slaps it onto Martian Manhunter and Aquaman with the hopes of mentally reversing it’s evil effects! (That’s right! Aquaman has telepathic powers that can be used on more than just fish! He’s a total badass! That said, I expect an autographed picture any day of Jason Momoa for my girlfriend for typing that sentence.) As the two heroes reach out with their minds to an entire planet, the others are getting seriously kicked around by the villain!

RCO027_w_1467649128-1That’s when Know Man performs his most heinous act….he monologues his origin story! It turns out that the guy used to be an honest-to-Flintstone caveman! You heard me right! Long ago, a race called the Controllers decided that the universe was such a dangerous place that an anti-war deterrent was needed in every sector of space to keep everyone safe. One of these Controllers crash landed on the Earth and was discovered by the being that would become Know Man! The caveman was chosen to continue this mission, as the Controller was dying. He soon gained entrance into the spaceship and began to evolve, both mentally and physically. He was even gifted with immortality! Know Man witnessed many horrors throughout his long life. And when superbeings started surfacing, he decided it was his time to act. He would me remake the Earth into an entire world of super-powered humans. He would make the heroes and villains of old obsolete! (Whew! Long-winded fella, huh?)

RCO029_1467649128The group listens to all of this in near silence until they decide they’ve heard enough. Superman leads the charge! But before an attack can be made, the heroes suddenly find themselves transported into their own personal Hells, based on their own fears about themselves! All seems lost until Martian Manhunter frees himself with the surprising help of….Dr. Destiny! And, just like that, the people of Earth begin to return to normal! Mission accomplished, but he still needs to free his friends. That’s when he spies Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth! Using its power, combined with his mental willpower, he reaches out to each hero and makes them see the truth about themselves. They are heroes. Superheroes.

RCO042_1467649128-1Returned to their senses, the heroes attack! But Know Man no longer wishes to fight! Even though they have thwarted his plans, they have only succeeded in dooming the human race to a future threat he has forseen! (Yeah! Like that’ll ever happen! It’s not like comic writers lie in bed at night and dream up new and more powerful villains all of the time! Right?) Anyway, Know Man then disappears, leaving the big question: Where do they go from here? It is decided that if bigger threats do in fact exist out there, they are way stronger together than they ever were apart. And so, The Justice League of America is born! Yes, to us comic fans, it truly was a dream come true.

RCO047_1467649128(Dedicated to my bestfriend, Tim Osborn, for showing me the wonder of the traditional superhero.)

RCO001_1468801164

 

Dream Come True (Part 2 )

MidsummersNightmareThat’s right! The Symbifan has officially come out of retirement to bring you not one, but two parts of the monumental storyline known as Justice League: A Midsummer’s Nightmare! (In two articles that is. I’m  not a machine!) Umm…sorry about that. Now, where was I about six months ago? ….Ah yes! I was about to give my insights on the second installment of this titanic tale. (Talk about a long build-up! Sheesh!)

We last found ourselves with the “World’s Finest” as they were slowly beginning to regain their memories. It was decided that this new threat would require more than just the two of them this time. It would require a team with experience and abilities the likes of which the world has never seen before. (See how I did that? I just excited you with my words! You’re welcome.) Anyway, that said, we join a green alien child, presumably on Mars, scratching typical children’s artwork into the side of a cliff. The father calls to the child to rejoin him at the top. Being a good little Martian kid, she does so without hesitation. (Ahh. If only this worked so easily on Earth! Am I right, parents?! These kids today….) But I digress. As the girl meets up with her parents topside, there is a back and forth about alien worlds and the lifeforms or lack thereof that might inhabit them. It’s then that a lens falls from the father’s telescope thingy. As he drops to the bottom to retrieve it, he sees his child’s artwork. The symbols seemly oddly familiar to the martian!

RCO005_1467649047

Meanwhile, back on Earth, we find ourselves in the Batcave where Batman and Superman decide their next move. It is still unknown exactly which villain they face, but they decide it would have to be a telepath of the highest order to affect the entire world so completely. As if the population of the planet were dreaming in unison. They then wonder where on Earth the Martian Manhunter could be. After all, who better to fight a telepath than another telepath? Batman brings up a list from his computer listing the whereabouts of the “big-hitters” in the superhero community. (Convenient, huh? I want a super-computer like that! Maybe if I’m a good little Symbifan this Christmas….Nah. you’d probably have to be an adult version of a spoiled rich kid to get toys like that. You know, the type that is in his thirties and still can’t cope with the deaths of his parents from age eight! I mean, come on, Bruce! Grow up! Oh, slam! I just insulted everyone’s fav “bat-guy”!) Well then, back to the story. The two decide to assume their civilian identities and seek out their super friends.

It should be noted here that the long-time Justice League villain known as Dr. Destiny is pictured sitting in a high-tech chair of some sort with several wires sticking out of his armored headpiece. He speaks to himself of growing quite full on the dreams of everyone the world over. But, he then speaks of another he calls “Know Man” who seems to be pulling even his strings! (Insert shocking/dramatic music here!)

RCO019_1467649047The first candidate on Bruce Wayne’s list for the most epic of superhero teams is Arthur Curry AKA Aquaman! Bruce, never being one for wasting any time, forcibly dunks Arthur’s head into his fishtank where, to Arthur’s amazement, he can breathe! This seems to do the trick and Aquaman returns to his senses. (Score one for being straight to the point, eh kiddies?!)

We then join Wally West as he tries to forcebly enter the apartment of Kyle Rayner. West begins shouting at Rayner that he hasn’t slept in weeks and that Kyle’s comic book, Green Lantern, has something to do with it. Kyle, thinking Wally to be a crazed fanboy, starts to get angry at this intrusion. (Ah. We’ve all been there, haven’t we, fellow fanboys?!) The situation grows heated until, to both of their amazement, a beam of green energy blasts from Kyle’s ring finger! Instinctively, Wally dodges this attack, but he does it at super speed! The Flash and Green Lantern have returned.

RCO024_1467649047

Meanwhile, the world has gone completely nuts as everyday people the world over suddenly develop superpowers. This of course causes mayhem and carnage. As the news reports on this in all languages and networks, a strangely garbed man smiles. Yes, things are going completely as he has planned. While this is happening, Clark Kent pays a visit to Diana Prince AKA Wonder Woman. Being Batman’s polar opposite, Superman takes a more peaceful approach to awakening Wonder Woman to her true identity. He simply shows her that she can fly like him. (See Bruce, things can be done nicely. Damn!)

 

RCO028_1467649047

Anywho, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman meet up atop a skyscraper and discuss their present situation. They come to the common consensus that this all has to have been perpetrated by their old nemesis, Dr. Destiny, and that the Martian Manhunter will probably  be needed to defeat him. The only problem? No one can locate the green-skinned powerhouse! (Seriously, have you Googled Martian Manhunter’s list of powers?! It’s insane! I mean, Superman ain’t got nothin’ on this guy!) Just then, all hell breaks loose in the city streets below! Being that they are heroes, this gives them little choice but to help. They leap into action against some new superpowered humans and do what they do best! But the numbers are against them and they soon begin to falter. That is until The Flash and Green Lantern arrive on the scene! The soon-to-be-complete team makes short work of these super wannabes and take a moment to catch their collective breath. Just then, Superman shoots off into the sky. The others follow and soon discover the source of the Last Son of Krypton’s haste….he has found the Martian Manhunter!

RCO044_1467649047

The thing is, he is discovered not on Mars at all, but hidden within an Air Force base on Earth! The heroes are relieved to find their Martian friend and offer him freedom not only from military custody, but from this lie he has been living. There’s only one problem….he doesn’t want to be freed! Having lost his entire species once, he is unwilling to surrender to reality. Who can blame him? In this dream, he is a husband, a father again. Before the others have time to protest his decision, the base is attacked by superhuman terrorists. Springing into action, our heroes begin to prepare to battle. But, before much can happen, an explosion sounds throughout the base. Looking, all concerned see flames erupt from where the Martian family is housed! That’s right. Fire. The weakness of the Martian race! (And y’all thought a green rock was stupid for a Kryptonian!) All of them then hear an unearthly cry of anguish. Martian Manhunter holds the remains of his “family”.

He then turns to the attackers, enraged! He marches past his allies and demands who has done this. The superhumans not only don’t deny it, they proclaim credit proudly! Big mistake! With the addition of the Martian Manhunter, the Justice League stands united and ready for action!

TO BE CONCLUDED….

Dedicated to my sweetheart, Renee Grill, without who this article would never have been written. I love you and happy anniversary!

RCO048_1467649047