Superheroes v Supervillains A-Z: The Ultimate Guide to the Greatest Superheroes of All Time

Superheroes v Supervillains A-Z: The Ultimate Guide to the Greatest Superheroes of All Time

by Sarah Oliver

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Overview

A comprehensive guide to the world of Superheroes and Villains, a real must have for comic book fans and film buffs. Inlcuding Thor, X-Men, Wolverine, Captain America and Green Lantern

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781843587682
Publisher: John Blake Publishing, Limited
Publication date: 07/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 539 KB

About the Author

Sarah Oliver is a writer from Widnes in Cheshire. She was the author of Miley Cyrus A-Z and is the most prolific One Direction biographer. She also wrote the Rihanna biography - The Only Girl In The World and appeared in the documentary, One Direction - All For One. Sarah has been a Smiler from the beginning and loves chatting to Miley's biggest fans on Twitter. Why not follow Sarah - @SarahOliverAtoZ - and join the conversation!

Read an Excerpt

Superheroes v Supervillains A-Z


By Sarah Oliver

John Blake Publishing Ltd

Copyright © 2011 Sarah Oliver
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-84358-784-2



CHAPTER 1

Superheroes A-Z


The Ultimate Guide to the Greatest Superheroes of All Time


This book is jam-packed with the biggest and best Superheroes there have ever been. We've carefully selected over 60 of your favourite Superheroes to be in this Superheroes A–Z!

It includes all your DC favourites like Batman and Superman, and all your favourite Marvel heroes like Iron Man and Spider-Man. There are plenty of new Superheroes that you might never have heard of before but who will be appearing in the new Superhero movies that are coming to cinemas soon!

If you want to learn about the new X-Men mutants or find out more about the Green Arrow Corps, then you'll find it all inside. You'll discover all the behind-the-scenes secrets, including how they made sure that Ben Affleck couldn't see during Daredevil, why Samuel L. Jackson was disappointed the first time he saw Iron Man and what happened when the Batmobile was being driven to the set.

You can read this book from start to finish, or dip in and out of it, as you prefer. Once you've read all about the greatest Superheroes of all time, flip the book over and learn all about their enemies in Supervillains A–Z.


A IS FOR ...


Abe Sapien

* Appears in: Hellboy (2004) and Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

* Powers: Can survive under water for long periods of time; telepathy

* First comic-book appearance: 1994


Abe Sapien is a merman-type creature who has psychic powers. He works for the B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence), which is a secret US Government Agency, alongside Hellboy. The agency's mission is to protect the USA from the paranormal, supernatural and the occult. He has a strange appearance, with a head shaped rather like a dolphin and a body almost like a man. Abe goes by the nickname 'Blue' and Hellboy goes by the nickname 'Red'. He needs to be in water to survive but can walk around normally if wearing a special helmet that supplies water to his gills. He doesn't eat normal food and instead prefers to munch on eggs that are thousands of years old. He spends a lot of his time in his aquarium in Professor Bruttenholm's office.

The actor who plays Abe in the Hellboy movies is Doug Jones but his voice was not used for the first film. Instead Frasier actor David Hyde Pierce's voice was chosen. David felt that Doug alone deserved to be known as Abe, so he refused to be credited. He didn't take part in any press interviews and didn't even turn up to the premiere. Doug was very grateful for the kindness David showed him although they had never even met. He was even happier when he found out that he was being allowed to provide Abe's voice in the second Hellboy film. The part was 100 per cent his own!

Abe wasn't the only character that Doug played in the Hellboy movies. He also played the Angel of Death and Chamberlain.


Angel (Warren Worthington III)

* Appears in: X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), X-Men: First Class (2011)

* Powers: Ability to fly; enhanced senses, endurance, speed and reflexes

* First comic-book appearance: September 1963


Warren is the son of a rich industrialist who seeks to develop a cure for mutants. Warren first discovered that he was a mutant when he was a young boy and tried to cut off the stumps that would become his wings. He is a prisoner and he is going to become the first mutant to receive the cure, until he decides that being a mutant might not be that bad after all. He breaks his chains and knocks over those trying to administer the drugs to cure him. He talks to his father before leaping through the window and flying to Xavier's School for the Gifted.

Later, Angel is forced to rescue his father who is thrown from a roof by an enraged Arclight, Quill and Psylocke during the final showdown.

Two actors were chosen to play Angel in X-Men: The Last Stand. Ben Foster played the older Angel and Cayden Boyd played the younger James in the flashback.

Ben was thrilled to be chosen to play Angel and told TheCinemaSource.com what it was like to be on the X-Men set: 'Coming to work, it's like coming to work in an amusement park. We get to get tied to wires and dropped out of things, except they pay you do it. It's a good gig.'

He didn't actually get to fly because those parts of the film were computer generated, but for the scenes where he is walking about he had giant wings strapped to his back.


Angel Salvadore

* Appears in: X-Men: First Class (2011)

* Powers: Ability to fly, can create an ultrasonic sound

* First comic-book appearance: 2001


Angel is a mutant who doesn't have an alias. She just uses her real name. Her abilities are similar to those of a housefly: she has wings that she can use to fly and to create an ultrasonic sound that deafens her enemies. She also lays eggs and can produce an acid-like liquid from her mouth which allows her to digest her food.

In the comics, she didn't have a good childhood thanks to her step-father, and left home when she was 14. She lived in the woods and was captured by a group of humans called the U-Men. The U-Men didn't care about mutants and killed them for their mutant parts. They admired Angel's wings and wanted them for themselves. Thankfully she was rescued just in time.

The actress chosen to play Angel was Zoë Kravitz. We will have to wait and see how Angel is portrayed in X-Men: First Class and whether her backstory is the same as it is in the comics.


Avengers

* Appear in: The Avengers (2012), and various movies as individuals

* Powers: Various

* First comic-book appearance: September 1963


The Avengers are a team of superheroes who have to work together to defeat their enemies, who are too powerful to be defeated by one superhero working alone. In The Avengers film, the members of the Avengers that will be focused on are: Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Captain America, War Machine and Hulk. In the comics there have been a lot more members over the years. The most important ones have been Iron Man, Thor, Wasp, Hulk, Ant-Man I and II, Wonderman, Captain America, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Quicksilver, Black Widow, Black Panther, Hercules, She-Hulk, Black Knight, Pulsar, Crystal and Quasar.

The group was originally formed a short time after the Fantastic Four started working as a superhero team. Members join and leave all the time, depending on the situation in hand. Their base is the Avengers Mansion, which used to belong to Tony Stark. Over the years they have faced some horrible supervillains, the worst being, Kang, Space Phantom, the Mole Men, the Lava Men, Baron Zemo, Electro, Madame Hydra, Sauron, Grandmaster and Collector. Occasionally they call on the Fantastic Four to help them.

The Avengers movie is due to be released on 4 May 2012. Studio bosses at Marvel have been planning since 2005 to bring out the film but wanted to release films about the individual members first.

It was not known when the film was first discussed whether Captain America or Iron Man would be leading the team. Chris Evans told MTV after he was cast as Captain America: 'I don't know if they're going to make him [Captain America] the boss ... I don't think anybody tells Downey [Robert Jr] what to do, and that's what makes [him] Downey.'

All the cast felt under pressure to make sure The Avengers movie was the best it could be. They didn't want fans of the comics to be disappointed.


Aquaman

* Appears in: Various cartoon series

* Powers: Telepathy, magical hand, ability to communicate with sea life, breathe underwater and swim 3,000 metres in a second

* First comic-book appearance: November 1941


Aquaman is King of the Seven Seas. His mother was Queen Atlanna and his father was Atlan. His people sentenced him to death once he started communicating with animals because they believed it was a sign of the monster Kordax. Before he could die on Mercy Reef he was found by a dolphin called Porm, who looked after him until lighthouse keeper Arthur Curry rescued him. He learned a lot from the man, who became his adoptive father and even started to call himself Arthur Curry.

Years later, he witnessed a fight between Flash and the Frankster. The Flash encouraged him to go with him the USA, which he did, and became one of the first members of the Justice League of America. He returned to his kingdom a superhero and became the King of Atlantis.

In November 2010 it was revealed that an Aquaman film is being planned but it won't be released until 2015 or 2016 because Warner Bros want to bring out the Flash and Wonderwoman movies first.


B IS FOR ...


Banshee (Sean Cassidy)

* Appears in: X-Men: First Class (2011)

* Powers: Sonic scream

* First comic-book appearance: January 1967


Banshee is a mutant from Ireland with the ability to emit a 'sonic scream'. His scream can thrust him into the air, cause the things around him to shatter, as well as affecting the mutants around him. His scream can knock them out cold.

He was played in the film by virtual unknown Caleb Landry Jones, an actor from Texas. Caleb is a talented songwriter and musician too, but not many people have heard his music.


Batgirl (Barbara Wilson)

* Appears in: Batman & Robin (1997)

* Powers: Strong fighter

* First comic-book appearance: April 1961


Barbara Wilson is Alfred Pennyworth's niece, and after learning that he is ill she travels to Gotham to see him. She has been attending an English boarding school for many years after her parents were killed in a car crash. She is very close to him and wants to help him leave his butler days behind. She is devastated to learn that he has MacGregor's Syndrome and that there is no cure.

Bruce invites her to stay at Wayne Manor and she soon discovers his secret identity. Alfred hands her an encrypted disc containing all of Batman's secrets and she manages to hack into it. She wants to help and turns herself into Batgirl, wearing a suit that Alfred had specially made for her. It's a good job Alfred thought of his niece becoming a female superhero because it isn't long before Batman and Robin are in trouble. They have to defeat Mr Freeze, Poison Ivy and Bane, so need Batgirl to help them. Batgirl and Robin team up to defeat Bane, and Batgirl defeats Ivy single-handedly.

After Mr Freeze is defeated he hands over a cure for MacGregor's Syndrome, which ultimately saves Alfred's life. Barbara is over the moon that her uncle will no longer die.

The actress Alicia Silverstone played Barbara/Batgirl. In the film, Barbara has a crush on Dick Grayson/Robin, and this may have been developed had the next movie Batman Triumphant not been cancelled. Batman & Robin did not do as well as expected and critics hated it. They didn't like Mr Freeze's one- liners, the overall child-friendly approach and the acting of the main actors. Alicia ended up getting the Razzie award for Worst Supporting Actress, which must have been very disappointing for her. She did win a Kids' Choice Award, though, because kids loved the film even if adults didn't!

She found the whole experience of being in a Batman movie really fun and told interviewers it was like being at a big party. After filming finished she wanted to slow down, catch up on sleep and spend time with her dogs.


Batman (Bruce Wayne)

* Appears in: Batman: The Movie (1966), Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), Batman & Robin (1997), Catwoman (2004), Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

* Powers: Trained in all the different martial arts; high-tech body armour, gadgets, weapons and vehicles

* First comic-book appearance: May 1939


Batman is one of the most loved superheroes of all time. He is the protector of Gotham City and fights for justice. The character of Batman first appeared in a comic book back in 1939 and since then there have been many more comic-book appearances, TV series, radio dramas and films on the caped crusader.

The first Batman movie came out in 1966 and saw Batman and Robin taking on the Joker, the Riddler, Penquin and Catwoman. Adam West played Batman in this film. The next one didn't come out for another 23 years. Batman was directed by Tim Burton and saw Michael Keaton play the lead role. There was no Robin this time around and his enemy was the Joker.

This film was a huge success and even won an Oscar!

Michael Keaton wasn't an obvious choice to play Batman but he showed those who had objected to his being cast that they were wrong. He made a great Batman. He found wearing Batman's suit difficult because he doesn't like being in enclosed spaces and the suit was very tight and overpowering. Being stuck in the suit for hours at a time did help him get into character.

Michael also played Batman in the next film, Batman Returns, but decided not to play him for a third time because he didn't think the script for Batman Forever was strong enough. In the second Tim Burton/Michael Keaton movie Batman has to face Catwoman and Penguin. He was originally going to be joined by Robin but the decision was made to drop Robin from the cast because it was felt there were too many characters.

Batman Forever saw Val Kilmer play Batman/Bruce Wayne. In this film, Robin finally made an appearance and the villains were Two-Face and the Riddler. It is thought that Val Kilmer agreed to play Batman without having read a script. He did really well to secure the part because lots of other big names wanted to play Batman – Johnny Depp, Daniel Day-Lewis and Ralph Fiennes were considered before Val Kilmer got the big thumbs-up.

The director for this movie was Joel Schumacher and he didn't enjoying working with Val Kilmer. He found the actor difficult and didn't like the way he treated some members of the crew.

A different Batman was found for the next movie, Batman & Robin. George Clooney took on the role and had to defeat Mr Freeze, Poison Ivy and Bane ... with the help of Robin and Batgirl. George filmed the movie alongside his ER commitments. He was able to film the hospital drama and the movie at the same time because they were filmed at the same studio lot. This movie wasn't a hit and the planned follow-up Batman Triumphant was never filmed.

The next Batman film saw a move back to the origins of Batman. The focus was no longer on the rivals that Batman would be facing but on the man himself. The scriptwriters and producers wanted people to understand who Bruce Wayne and Batman really were. Christopher Nolan was brought on board to direct Batman Begins, and Christian Bale was cast as the leading man.

Christian Bale was seen as the perfect actor to play Batman and Bruce Wayne because he could play both characters equally well. Michael Keaton had been best at playing Bruce, whereas Val Kilmer's strength had been playing Batman – Christian was the first actor to excel in both roles.

In the film, it is revealed how Bruce fell down a well, witnessed his parents' murder, was imprisoned in Bhutan and is after revenge. He wants the people behind his parents' murder to pay for what they have done. After travelling the world he returns to Gotham, joins forces with Sergeant Jim Gordon and becomes Batman. He wants to clean up the city. In this movie Batman's enemies are Carmine Falcone, Ra's al Ghul and Scarecrow. The young Bruce in the flashback scenes was played by child actor Gus Lewis.

To prepare for the film Christian had to firstly gain around seven stone because he had lost a lot of weight since being cast. He had been playing an emaciated man in The Machinist and had been starving himself for months, so he looked like a skeleton. Producers on that movie had been so concerned by his weight loss that they had banned him from losing any more weight. Once The Machinist wrapped he started eating properly and working out with a personal trainer. He actually put on too much weight in the end, and looked too strong to play Bruce Wayne, so he had to lose a bit of weight before the people behind Batman Begins were happy.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Superheroes v Supervillains A-Z by Sarah Oliver. Copyright © 2011 Sarah Oliver. Excerpted by permission of John Blake Publishing Ltd.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Title Page,
SUPERHEROES A-Z,
A IS FOR ...,
B IS FOR ...,
C IS FOR ...,
D IS FOR ...,
E IS FOR ...,
F IS FOR ...,
G IS FOR ...,
H IS FOR ...,
I IS FOR ...,
J IS FOR ...,
K IS FOR ...,
L IS FOR ...,
M IS FOR ...,
N IS FOR ...,
O IS FOR ...,
P IS FOR ...,
Q IS FOR ...,
R IS FOR ...,
S IS FOR ...,
T IS FOR ...,
U IS FOR ...,
V IS FOR ...,
W IS FOR ...,
X IS FOR ...,
Y IS FOR ...,
Z IS FOR ...,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR,
SUPERVILLAINS A-Z,
A IS FOR ...,
B IS FOR ...,
C IS FOR ...,
D IS FOR ...,
E IS FOR ...,
F IS FOR ...,
G IS FOR ...,
H IS FOR ...,
I IS FOR ...,
J IS FOR ...,
K IS FOR ...,
L IS FOR ...,
M IS FOR ...,
N IS FOR ...,
O IS FOR ...,
P IS FOR ...,
Q IS FOR ...,
R IS FOR ...,
S IS FOR ...,
T IS FOR ...,
U IS FOR ...,
V IS FOR ...,
W IS FOR ...,
X IS FOR ...,
Y IS FOR ...,
Z IS FOR ...,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR,
OTHER A-Z BOOKS BY SARAH OLIVER,
Copyright,

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