The world will always need a Superman.

The more things change...
Superman #7, 1941

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PROLOGUE, PART THREE

Cobryn opened the throttle all the way. He'd never piloted an exploration buggy before, but the fundamental principles had to be the same as piloting a starship: faster was always better. The four-seat buggy surged forward, nearly tossing its passengers from their seats. Oops. Maybe that was too much throttle.

"Wheeee," Quig shouted gleefully over the roar of the engines and the howl of wind through the open cockpit.

Sahara was less enthused. "I thought you said you knew how to drive one of these things!"

"Obviously he does," answered Striker One. "We are already overtaking our quarry."

It was true, Cobryn noticed. The goblins were slowing their buggy down to navigate the rough-cut path – it didn't even deserve to be called a road – through the forest. They simply weren't willing to take the same risks he was. Of course, taking chances is what had gotten Cobryn into this situation in the first place.

He had taken a chance when he accepted a smuggling job for a client he didn't already know. The pay was great, but it turned out the cargo wasn't. Cobryn might be a lot of things, but he was no slave trafficker. The client hadn't liked Cobryn's change of heart. One thing had led to another, and Cobryn had lost his ship, his reputation, and his freedom. With no better options, Cobryn had taken another chance on a mysterious message. One thing had led to another, and now he was on the other side of the solar system chasing goblins with an annoyingly cheerful ysoki, a humorless android, and a lashunta woman who just might be a bigger gambler than he was.

"What are we going to do if we catch them?" Quig asked.

Cobryn scoffed, "What do you mean 'if'? I out-maneuvered that space pirate, didn't I? I think I can handle a couple of goblins in a go-cart."

"When we get close, I'm going to put this grenade in their driver's face," said Sahara.

Striker One was skeptical. "That may be unwise. Our mysterious benefactor has insisted on secrecy, but those goblins were clearly surveilling our arrival before they fled. It would be useful to know why and where they are headed."

"Whatever you're going to do, you'll need to do it quickly," said Cobryn. It certainly didn't take a pilot of his skill to catch these goblins; they could barely keep their buggy moving. Cobryn relaxed the throttle and pulled alongside them, coming eye to eye with the goblin in their passenger seat. It grinned. Only then did Cobryn notice the plasma pistol in its hand. His reflexes saved his life. (Again.) He jerked the wheel, and the pistol bolt blasted the buggy's windshield frame instead of his head.

"Decision made," said Sahara. She lobbed the grenade.

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57/2066. Piccadilly (1929)
Nine-tenths of this silent movie plays like a love-triangle drama with thriller elements. Then, at the last minute, it becomes a murder-mystery/courtroom drama. My biggest complaint about it is a complaint I have with many silent films: the scenes of people "talking" that pad space between the dialogue cards is just wasted time. Fast forward through those, and it's reasonably watchable.

58/2067. New York Ninja (2021)
This 1984 movie footage was re-discovered, edited, and released for the first time in 2021. The plot barely makes sense, but that's not really the point of these sorts of these indie 1980s martial arts flicks. If you like that sort of thing (and I do), you'll like this.

59/2068. Do the Right Thing (1989)
True confession: I'd never seen a Spike Lee joint before this. For whatever reason (probably related to my early dislike of Spike's 1980s Nike sneaker salesman character), I didn't think I would like them, that he wasn't going to create anything I wanted to see. I admit now that I was very, very wrong. This film is genius and really does have some very important things to say about American (and human) life. Sorry about that, Spike.

60/2069. Varisty Show (1937)
This is a pretty typical Warner Bros. musical of its era: a thin melodrama plus some very stage-bound performances. It's short enough not to be a waste of time, but it's also hardly must-watch territory.

61/2070. Daughter of Shanghai (1937)
In the first scene of this crime drama B-picture, human traffickers very graphically throw their cargo out of a plane to their deaths. That certainly sets the stakes! I wish they'd kept the identity of the evil mastermind secret for a bit longer, but there were still a couple of enjoyable late twists.

62/2071. The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947)
What's shocking about Miss Pilgrim is that she thinks women should be treated as equal to men. What's charming about this is that she doesn't change her mind when she falls in love with a chauvinist.

More to come.

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America so enjoyed its two-decade war in Afghanistan that it has now installed the Taliban as our Supreme Court.

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Earlier this week, General Mills issued a press release promoting Simone Biles appearing on Wheaties boxes. In March, they announced new Sonic the Hedgehog fruit snacks, and in January, they alerted fans that Ice-T loved Honey Nut Cheerios. Cleary, they love telling us about their marketing synergy.

Yet somehow they failed to notify the public that this was coming:

The packaging tells us "Strong Berry" cereal is really Cap'n Crunch. I suppose this tastes the same as Crunch Berries, just with all of the pieces shaped like little diamonds. In other words, you're going to need a Mouth of Steel to survive eating this.

Amusingly, in keeping with the comic book theme, there is also a variant of this cereal with Supergirl on the cover box, all the better to sell the same cereal to little boys and little girls. Sorta makes you wonder why there isn't a female Cap'N Crunch, doesn't it.

We're currently living in a dystopia of infinite inflation, but you can get this at Target for a measly $3.49. Superman is all about helping the little people!

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Mom bought it at TJ Maxx for $7 and would love a reason to go shopping again

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To be continued...

 

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