Nerd Factor: Shazam!

Dr Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication

This weekend, Shazam makes his first return to the big screen since his 1941 movie serial. Here are some useful things to know about thunderous homecoming.

He is the Original Captain Marvel:  Shazam’s name is a tricky tale of corporate skullduggery and trademark carelessness.  When the character debuted in Fawcett Comic’s Whiz Comics #2 in 1940, Bill Parker and C.C. Beck’s creation had already faced a number of name changes and finally settled in as “Captain Marvel.”  That seems strange to us today because we habitually divide the superhero universes up between DC and Marvel. But back then, DC was mostly called National Comics and Marvel was known as Timely.  

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Nerd Factor: Thanos’ Big Dumb Idea

Dr. Mike Robinson, UofL Communication Studies Professor~

By now, you’ve probably seen Avengers: Infinity War. Or you’ve had someone tell you what happened in the end. If not, stop reading now.

Thanos killed half of the population of the universe.  With a snap of his fingers—and the unimaginable power of the Infinity Gauntlet—Thanos’ will was enforced and a number of beloved Marvel Cinematic Universe characters crumbled to dust. Read More


Nerd Factor: Fear of a Black Panther Planet

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Professor~

Earlier this month, the Rotten Tomatoes review site headed off an attempt to sabotage the scores of Black Panther and committed itself to eliminating hate speech in viewer comments. This weekend, reports surfaced of a number of falsified stories about black audience members attacking white viewers at showings of Black Panther.  Spread across social media, these accounts repurposed or altered other images already on the internet to imply that physical violence was being rained down upon white viewers who had dared to see a movie not for them. What is the cause of all of this?  Simple, it’s the fear of a Black Panther planet. Read More


Nerd Factor: Santa’s Resume

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

Way back in Sensational She-Hulk #8, writer/artist John Byrne introduced Nick St. Christopher to the Marvel Universe.  Nick was an interesting fellow, because he could tell who was naughty or nice.  He could enter any residence with a chimney, and he could travel anywhere in the world almost instantly.  As such, his powers were uniquely suited to private detective work, but mostly during the summer months when he was not doing his main job.   Read More


Nerd Factor: Satellite Operations

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

Not every superhero has a hideout or a headquarters.  Both Daredevil and Batman battle crime on the mean streets of their respective home cities, but only Batman has taken the time to build a lair.  Of course, he has to make a Batcave.  Where else is he going to keep all that Bat-stuff?   Read More


Inhuman Conditions

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

The Inhumans are not going to happen.  Oh, there will be a series called Inhumans and it will presumably air on Friday nights on ABC.  It’s just not going to “happen” in the more contemporary, “stop trying to make fetch happen” Mean Girls sense of the term.  And the reason for that is fairly simple.  The Inhumans never have really managed to happen.   Read More