Whole Wide World

So Much Potential!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen I dissed you last week to watch Spiderman 3....

I should have known better!

Let me first say that it was a decent movie at best, no I didn't compare the movie to the comic, and yes I did like all the crazy action scenes. But... And this is a big BUT I just wasn't feeling the story. Was I the only one or am I just swallowing crazy pills? The movie just felt rushed, like wrapping everything up in some neat little package. If you agree or don't agree, let me just say this...

Wasn't Bruce Campbell Fookin' Amazin?

My Hero

Bruce, is by far one of my many favorite Bruces. Although the role he played was an obnoxious French steward, which will offend many a Frenchmen! But who cares...

I live in Mudder F@*king America!

Chinese Red Hots!

Since we last spoke I mentioned the Almighty Commie Beater Thor was off defendin' democracy by going to India and car jacking Chinese Tanks.


And since the Chinese didn't have any insurance on those tanks, they got together and try to form a Zerg Rush against Thor! So who's going to lead the Chinese to victory? Who would stop that blonde beauty from bullying Chairman Mao? This guy wants the job...

Comrade, Chen Lu

Mad Communist Scientist Chen Lu decides to step forward and is willing to risk his life for Mother China... or is he? We slowly find out that Chen's plan is to use his fancy technology to rule the world and he's going to use Thor's defeat as his symbol of The New World Order. So he goes back to his lab which is a converted Buddhist monastery, where they've replaced Ass Kicking Shaolin Monks with...

Azn Robots

Made from recycled Honda Accords, these robots do the day to day work for Chen. Maybe by day these robots do complex math algorithms and solve mysterious chemical equations, but by night they hold really crazy rave parties. Whatever, you simply have to guess how Chen figures he can beat our Blonde Bombshell...

Bathing in Radiation

Most people I know get cancer when they expose themselves to too much radiation, not Chen! Most people use small amounts of radiation to cure themselves of cancer, not Chen! Chen's Special! Apparently, if you expose yourself enough times you can tame this deadly mistress and gradually make it your bitch! Yes, Chen is granted with the powers of controlling all forms of radiation and without all the bad side effects: Hair loss, Loss of appetite, and of course Tumors! However, Chen does develop a healthy green hue that emphasizes his tremendous power!

Go Science!

Had I known that small amounts of radiation would grant you unlimited powers, I would have started licking batteries a long time ago =(

Good Role Model

Any how, Chen doesn't waste any time and heads for American soil to declare Thor a challenge of wits. And what a better way to address himself as the ominous Radioactive Man, wasn't that Simpson's character? Of course if you've seen one villain, you've seen them all... the best reaction is to RUN!

Thor sees all this and we get to see a Thunder God versus a Science Freak. Which brings the aged old question of Science Vs. Religion to the ultimate test of superiority! But time and time again science seems to win out, especially when Chen finds that with enough light and Thor's twirling hammer can cause a hypnotic effect!

Dropin the Hammer!

Chen makes Thor throw his hammer away, as it is his source of ultimate power. But remember kids: "Its not the size of the hammer, its how you swing it!"

Go Religion!

What Chen doesn't realize is that he's only hypnotized our favorite blonde, but not lame'o Donald Blake. You remember Don? Thor's alter ego! And without the hammer, Thor goes back to being Donny. Which by all logic is not affected by Chen's light show. So not long after, the hammer is recovered and Thor is once again in control! And with the power of swinging, he sends Chen back to China where...

You Sploded!

The End of Radioactive Man

Well you think an Atomic Explosion would spell the end of Chen Lu, but guess again! Next week we'll see the evolution of Radioactive Man and I promise it does not end with him getting cancer! Until then folks...

Go ahead watch Spiderman 3... but if it disappoints you don't blame me and you can cry yourself to sleep!


A Happy Customer

I happily visited the city of Geneva, IL last weekend. It was a weekend filled with days spent frolicking in the grass and nights watching the stars. However, nothing could have prepared me for the picture above! I was coming out of the Geneva Commons bathroom and was stunned by this captured beauty! My first thought were...

Hey, if I was a proud father I would have the same reaction, NO! Seriously, the guy freaks me out. Its almost as if he's listening to whale songs or awaiting for the rebirth of some Unholy Beast! Maybe he's awaiting the day when he himself will be reborn anew. If you take a closer look you can see the reflection of a real baby. Kind of creepy, which makes me believe the following...

Could this be the coming of Armageddon as told to us by the masterful and enchanting Ghostbusters II. I hope not, but this really could be the end and this picture says it all...

God Bless America!

Speaking of Ragnarök

So, I picked up Essential: The Might Thor Vol. 1 and last week I discussed Essential: Fall of Communism Vol. 1! And so now we continue on with our Journey Into the Mystery with more thoughts from this graphic novel...

Worry not Comrades, the Fall of Ameri-con-skis is Soon!

To recap: Thor the might and handsome Norse god of Lighting, Commie Hating, and Ass Kicking decided to bond with All American, frail, and man pansy, Donald Blake. Together they defended the American Way by beating foes with a mighty Hammer! However, Communist Russia wasn't the only Red Foe that the mighty Thor had his sight on. In issue 93 of Journey Into Mystery, Thor decided to head east to defend India from the Communist grasp of Red China!

In India, Donald Blake joined America's Fighting Force to help maintain democracy for our eastern brothers and sisters! The Chinese are invading and secretly Don's brought back up. Back up being a magical Cane!

You're thinking, "What will a silly shillelagh do?"

Well, with one might stomp it can summon the power of Thor! Is that fine with you or do you require some kind of large gun?

Any way, Don doesn't hold back and as soon as he sees the opportunity to drop the hammer he's on the Chinese like railroad spikes. Thor is no stranger to the battlefield and makes a mockery of his opponents by stealing their tanks.

Yes stealing tanks...

Bad Ass!

If you have ever been hassled or embarrassed by a Bully, well your first thoughts are... "I'm so going to get you, mark my words!"

The Red Chinese are no different and so they plan on getting the Blonde Thunder Lord back by holding, to what I think is a pretty sinister internet forum! Of course this is neither the time nor place for the internet, but they did have a forum and this picture sets the degree of seriousness in the air:

Anyone got any 10+ HP gear?

This scene totally reminds me of a WoW group joining together to vanquish some Level 99 adversary! All the pissin' and moanin' attracts the attention of (Level 40 intelligence) Chinese scientist, Chen Lu. He seems to have a way to stop Thor, of course his government is really enthusiastic about all this:

Failure = Death

Talk about Deal or No Deal! Sadly, this is where we must stop for this week. Sorry, I'm a sucker for cliffhangers and you can thank Heroes for that. But I will leave you with these parting words...

Next week we got a sale on Radiation and at Home Hypnosis


Going Old School

They Still Exist!

On a recent adventure to Fox Valley Mall, I noticed this childhood gem: Orange Julius. This place was the ultimate chill spot, where the general masses saw the first appearance of smoothies and energy drinks! However, when you're 10 years old it came with a heavy price! Only the cool kids got to hang out at the OJ.

And its a good thing those cool kids didn't hang out with the real OJ, who knows what kind of violent youth gangs they would have joined. Alas! I did not get my chance to cause havoc, gossip with the ladies of middle school, or taste the sweet orange nectar of the gods! When I turned 13, I was denied access because my archenemies, The Man, decided to close the place down. Damn him! Didn't he realize that Orange Julius would be my claim to fame? Did he even think about how many poor acne infested teens would be out of a job? I mean, who'd you think would pay for all those gallons of Aqua Net hair spray, Mommy and Daddy?

*Sigh, by the time high school came along, I was just another face in the sun! Come to think about it, when I saw this place I didn't even bother to get a drink there. I figured it was a good time to let it go, it would be my white whale, my holy grail... just seeing it was worth it all. I can die now!

Seeing Red

I'd like to thank the many cool kids of NIU for coming out and checking out my workshop. It was good turn out and I got to get into a debate about Psylocke, what more could a comic book geek want!

Last week I bought a copy of Essential: The Mighty Thor Vol. 1 This graphic novel highlights Thor's earlier adventures. The book presents a modern audience to simpler times, when ladies wore skirts and men wore suits all year round! But what I find most entertaining about this book is the blatant Anti-communism propaganda. That's right! Thor wasn't just the Norse god of Thunder and Ass Kicking, but also a defender against those...

Damn Commie Bastards!

For the Love of Lenin!

Just like a bull is to a matador, every time Blondie saw Red he'd charge forward making sure to deliver his brand of ass whoop in a bottle! I mean look at the picture above, he couldn't even fly but that wouldn't stop him from smashing the crap out of that Russian Jet!

The Commies couldn't even figure him out! I mean if you were attacked by a Six foot tall, handsome, blonde haired man who just happens to speak Old English, wouldn't you be a little confused. Not to mention he's swinging his Hammer like a yo-yo, I'd be a little hesitant to fire a gun on this guy! Plus, it doesn't help that he's (at least by 60s standards) a dream boat. I mean even if he saying all those: Nays and Thys, the man is the original Mc Steamy! I think it his blue eyes or maybe its that look he has, you know the one that makes you feel like everything is going to be okay... enough! I'm comfortable with my manliness, are you comfortable with yours?


At any rate I think the following picture just sums it all up:

Farewell! I no longer believe in our American way of life! I'm going behind the iron curtain to serve the Reds -John

Talk about the worst way to break up with your significant other. I mean you could have ran away with her best friend or ended up being in love with her father. Instead you run away with your lover, Communist Russia!? Wow, that's going leave that woman with a serious complex and something to talk about at the beauty parlor:

Sylvia: That's right he left me for Mother Russia.

Beautician: Honey, You can do better! I know of this Blonde Hair guy who's not only handsome, but he can also swing a hammer... if you know what I mean.

I'll leave you to ponder that for a moment, because as we can continue on next week I'll be showing you another unsung hero of the Red Menace! And don't worry Thor will be there too. So for now sleep tight and just dream about You, Thor, and a walk on the beach... not saying there's anything wrong with that...

Okay! Bye...


Coming Soon!
NO! Batman he's too young to be your new Ward!

Above is a scene from the Easter Weekend, bring with it choc bunnies and whole armies of peeps. Although the weather here was not forgiving and I don't have that Spring Time feeling. Global warming is making the future very barren and bleak. Its the perfect environment to raise highly evolved rats and cockroaches, and only I shall rule them with an Iron Fist. Sorry! I was just dreaming again! But at least my nephew makes me proud by following in my footsteps as another solider in the Batman Family.

Folks! I've been working really hard this week and I am proud to announce that I, Benhur "The Defender of Asia" Calaguas will be heading over to NIU. For those of you who missed my workshop at MAASU now is your opportunity for your eyes to gaze at majesty that is my vast geek knowledge. Don't believe your eye's then check out the NIU Events Calender!

Here's the info:
Date: 4/11/2007 | Time: 9:00 pm
Location: Asian American Center
Speaker: Benhur Calaguas
Calendar: Speakers, Cultural/Diversity/International, Asian American Resource Center (AARC)

Details: Journey back in time to discover the history of comic books through the Asian American perspective by Benhur Calaguas a DePaul University Alumnus and comic book enthusiast.

Sponsor/Contact: Asian American Resource Center | http://www.niu.edu/aac
Contact: Michelle Bringas | Phone: (815) 752-1177
E-mail: AsianAmericanCenter@niu.edu

I'm not good with directions or even where exactly I'm going to be in Dreamy DeKalb. So be sure to contact the very awesome Michelle Bringas and please tell her that you're coming! The more the merrier!

I would like to thank a Special Friend for making this event happen! And you should thank this person as well! Alright folks! Let me be as I refine my teaching skills for appeasing you guys is a cruel mistress!

You shall not be forgotten, good tidings ahead!


A Delay Today...

The heart warming tale of Radoactivity and China will be told soon!

Congradulations to me, The Might Benhur B. Calaguas, for tonight I have an opprotunity to meet yet again meet my real life heroes! Yes, yes! Yours truly will be spending the evening hanging out with the editors of Giant Robot magazine. I'll explain the how and why later.

I just wanted to let my minions know that there will be a delay in posting this week. So, feel free to look at my older post, bask in my splendor, or arrange verbal attacks through comments. What ever the case maybe, do not fear! Your leader will not abandon you, so says... THE HUR!

Don't mind me, I'm feeling very villainous today!

A pox on thoes who dare not believe my claims, my return is swift and deadly!


Meeting Heroes

Comic Book Enthusiast Vs. Justin Lin

Last night I got a chance to check out a Q&A session with famous Asian American director Justin Lin. In true comic fanboy spirit, I had to capture his essence through photography. Also in true comic fanboy spirit, I stuttered most of my sentences and I think I soiled my pants! Oh well!

It was a good chance to meet with someone who inspires me to keep doing what I'm doing. As well, I find that it is at those moments I can place the human side to those heroes I perceive as being myth and legend. If you want a chance to meet Justin Lin, check out The Chicago Asian American Film Festival. Tomorrow night is the premier and you can meet Asian American celebs and of course, Benhur B. Calaguas. Although I'm not very famous, I'll be a mere spectator... but with a devilish plot to spread the good news of comic books to all those innocent mortals!

May the Nations of the World Tremble!

Its been two weeks but I'm still in awe by the fact that I finally got to teach my workshop at MAASU. I feel like that family that passed all the physical challenges in Double Dare. I did get some prizes like a fancy motel room and two bags of m&m, a bounty fit enough for the Sub-Mariner!

But seriously, it was a good time. My workshop was pretty packed and the students were a lot of fun to talk with. Plus, lots of love goes out to the awesome U of I staff who were always so kind and putting up with all my crap.

if you ever need Benhur again, do not be afraid to summon me again!

Back to the Grid Iron

You guys don't know how good you have it, 2x the posts this week. I will admit this post is to make up for the lack of posts from last week. Perhaps, this simple offering will quell your thirst for knowledge, if not I'll buy you a pizza.

So last time we met we got to talking about the origin of Iron Man, a classic Silver Age character. And what we discovered were some of the horrible characterization of Vietnamese people during the early stages of the Vietnam War. But this would not be the last time Iron Man would be facing foes from Eastern shores.

In fact, one of Iron Man's greatest foes would be another brother from Communist Asia...

The Mandarin!

You'll notice a common look to The Mandarin:

1. Long Skinny Mustache
2. Evil, mad scientist
3. Cat like, slanted eyes
4. Residual hair loss that makes his head look more skeletal

If I didn't know any better I would have mistaken him for Fu Manchu. Yes, the stereotype for all Asian villains lives on and most proudly on The Mandarin.

Premiering in Tales of Suspense #50 The Mandarin was spicier than General Tso's Chicken and he had a little help from his Ten Rings of Power.

Although, I will say those ten rings did not help to improve his costume. I mean here's a simple rule:

NO Shirt!
NO Shoes!
NO Pants!


But for some reason Iron Man allows it! As the story goes: The Mandarin was once a powerful Chinese government official, until ol' Charmian Mao and company decided it was time for a change. That's when Mandi took a walk around a haunted valley and found himself an alien ship that housed Ten Golden Rings and a dead alien dragon man, talk about hitting the jack pot.

With his new bling, Mandi took over a small village and established a plan to take over the world. Thanks to Ironsides, democracy overcomes and Mandi high tales it to some other desert fortress to scheme once again.

And this would go on for years people, years! He even manged to take on the Hulk which to no one's surprise he chalks up another loss.

Its the Hulk... did you really think you could win?

It would also be no surprise that The Mandarin would be the main villain in two of Iron Man's animated features:

Also, the new Iron Man movie will have the Mandi as the main villain. Seriously, I just think we are beating a dead horse. And more than I love beating horses so that I can consume their flesh to continue my youthful immortality, kidding! I just think Iron Man has more pressing foes to battle, like alcoholism or Stilt Man.

He will be missed!

Well the point still remains, we are knee deep in the Silver Age and still no sign of any Asian or Asian American hero coming to our rescue. What ever shall we do? Well don't look at me folks, I'm still doing my best right now to recover all of the Mandarin's Ten Rings of Power!

One more to go!

Join me next time folks when we take a look at another Chinese Super Villain... or wait is he a hero?

The Radioactive Man Cometh!


And Yellow Peril Strikes Again!

I thought we went over this?

Good eve ladies and gents, above is Asian Hero Radioactive Man in the latest issue of Civil War: The Initiative. Check out the face on that guy. Does this look seem a little familiar? Maybe something to the likes of this...

Thanks Wing! What a nice set of choppers you got there!

I really don't hold a grudge a against the artist who drew this rendition of our Jade Emperor, I'm simply going to label this blatant ignorance. But you must know that I, Benhur Calaguas, can't just let this go without saying something. After many years of believing that Yellow Peril art was slowly disappearing, something like this appears and it makes me feel like Asian and Asian American Heroes are set back another hundred years! That is why I must continue to write in the hopes you, the few who can tolerate me, will inspired to write, create, or tell your own stories of Asian and Asian American Heroes! We must not let this stand! So I decided to write to Marvel and Joe Quesada about this and I'll try not to seem too jerky, wish me luck!

Setting us back another century!

Let's get educated again

Okay, so lets talk about Iron Man Again! Last time we spoke I told you of his plan to check out the sites and sounds of war torn Vietnam! You see million dollar man Anthony Edward Stark decided to go on a little business trip to show compatriots of democracy some new fangle transistors! Until this man ruined his Champagne Dreams and Caviar Wishes...

Oh Wong Chu... when are you ever going to learn!

Thats right folks, the scourge of North Vietnam... Wong Chu! Although I cannot say I'm very knowledgeable about the culture or naming traditions Vietnam, but I don't think Wong Chu is a common Vietnamese name. Well let me just say, "The Research" wasn't all there.

Any how, if it hadn't been for Wong Chu's love for American Billionaires and Boobie traps then ol' Tony wouldn't have gotten that piece of shrapnel stuck to his chest. But it gets better check out the old Vietnamese sage who comes to his rescue...

Yinsen! Sounds like something my parents made me drink when I got sick last week

So with his mentor's help, they make the suit of armor and KABOOM! Tony's mentor gets shot and it ends with him giving Wong Chu a new one...

Okay, so I didn't make Iron Man's story too dramatic. The point is... even during the Silver Age no one could put heads or tails together on Asians. So through shoddy research and stereotyping, a loose based Oriental culture was formed thus categorizing every Asian person as a member of Super Asia Land. Wow, its a nice place to live but I wouldn't want to visit.

But wait there's more, join me later this week as we take a closer look at Iron Man's classic foe, The Mandarin!

*Side Note For an unbiased interpretation of Iron Man's origin check out Scott Tipton's Comics 101. I stole some of his pictures, I do not take credit for the work he did to upload them. He is allowed to hurt me, but remember "Imitation is the best form of flattery... suck on that cliché"!

Food, folks, and Mandarin Chicken!


Tragedy, Befalls our Heroes...

Rest in peace, you will be missed!

I didn't know Tommy or Cindy for very long, and I'm not one to best tell their story. However, I did get the opportunity to meet these great individuals and I will miss them and share my condolences to their families.

I don't even think I'm fit enough to tell their tragic death but if you want to get an idea of what happened you can look at this:

Fatal Crash

Let's Talk About Death, oops!

Although this week I wanted to write about my experience at MAASU (I'll get back to that later in this post) and touch base with the Silver Age, this event has really impacted my perspective on life and I just want share. So lets all gather by the computer, hold hands, and read some of my rants.

You can consider this post one of those Special Episodes. You the ones that talk about sex, drugs, rock music, ect. For instance, who remembers the Save by the Bell episode where Zack found out about his Native American roots or when Jessie started doing caffeine pills? Well today is that special episode day, so get some Kleenex it will do you some good.

In comics we take death for granted want to know how, well just check out these two Iconic treasures...

The good die so young... especially after 100 issues

The comics above depict our most beloved Superheroes in the worst scenario: Their Death. I feel we take that kind of death for granted, because we know that in the end they'll come back. Usually its through some kind of miracle of science and magic. Or they are replaced by someone who can fill in that void, like the Blue Beetle.

We either get tired of a character, need to re-con their story, or we just need time apart..."Its not you, its me". What ever the case maybe, we take our heroes for granted. We love them for only so long and then next week they are gone. I guess if your like Thor here, you get that second chance, otherwise you can cheat death like Wolverine and the crowd will never get enough of that!

But in real life we don't get that chance for a second issue, I know I'm shooting out bad puns get over it! Seriously, I've never really experienced such a tragic event so its been an eye opener. I just would like point out the following and share some thoughts.

1. To the families of the departed, my prayers and sympathy go out to you.

2. Life can be long or short, doesn't matter live every day like a Klingon:

Today is a good day to die!

3. Don't forget to say, "I love you!"

Okay, not very anti-hero-esque but hey I don't care if you make fun of me! One thing I know for sure is something I heard in that new Batman movie: "And why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up."

I know corny, cheesy stuff. But you're talking with a comic book fan, we live for quotes like that like the Ghost Rider needs souls of the damned! In all, I'm not letting this tragedy get the best of me and I'm picking up the pieces and gluing them all back together. I wish they were more like Legos.

Lets Remember...

I met Tommy and Cindy about two months ago at NIU. Really nice people, my friend would say "Its so rare to meet such nice and wonderful people". I got a chance to really get to know these two at the MAASU conference last weekend, which might I add was a really good weekend (Thanks to all those who attended). And what really gets me is that weekend was not to long ago, such a short time and yet I'll remember and keep remembering till the end.

At any rate, if you are reading this post and know of these Heroes or if you yourself are missing someone who has recently passed away, my biggest suggestion is to keep their story alive. Don't fear telling yourself or others what you best remember of them. It keeps not only their memory alive, but it can keep you sane and alive as well.

With that, join me next week as I will tell you more about my MAASU experience and I'll finally get to tell you all about Iron Man, gosh I'm such a procrastinator. Forgive me? This is not the last you heard of the Diabolical Benhur!

Please feel free to write a comment...