Tom Strong

I’d just like to focus on the fact that Ron Swanson is such a great role model for men everywhere. Like if you want to be masculine, you can do it without being sexist, racist, or homophobic. You can be a strong man without denying the value of strong women. You can be antisocial and grumpy but you can be a good partner and father. You don’t have to be a douche to be a real man.

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Hiddlesweek Day 4: Favourite Role

  • The new boss - Jaguar campaign
Advanced English Vocabulary

jubilant (adj.) - extremely joyful, happy (The crowd was jubilant when the firefighter carried the woman from the flaming building.)

knell (n.) - the solemn sound of a bell, often indicating a death (Echoing throughout our village, the funeral knell made the grey day even more grim.)

lithe (adj.) - graceful, flexible, supple (Although the dancers were all outstanding, Joanna’s control of her lithe body was particularly impressive.)

lurid (adj.) - ghastly, sensational (Barry’s story, in which he described a character torturing his neighbour’s tortoise, was judged too lurid to be published on the English Library’s website.)

maverick (n.) - an independent, nonconformist person (John is a real maverick and always does things his own way.)

maxim (n.) - a common saying expressing a principle of conduct (Ms. Stone’s etiquette maxims are both entertaining and instructional.)

meticulous (adj.) - extremely careful with details (The ornate needlework in the bride’s gown was a product of meticulous handiwork.)

modicum (n.) - a small amount of something (Refusing to display even a modicum of sensitivity, Magda announced her boss’s affair to the entire office.)

morose (adj.) - gloomy or sullen (David’s morose nature made him very unpleasant to talk to.)

myriad (adj.) - consisting of a very great number (It was difficult to decide what to do on Saturday night because the city presented us with myriad possibilities for fun.)

nadir (n.) - the lowest point of something (My day was boring, but the nadir came when my new car was stolen.)

nominal (adj.) - trifling, insignificant (Because he was moving the following week and needed to get rid of his furniture more than he needed money, Kim sold everything for anominal price.)

novice (n.) - a beginner, someone without training or experience (Because we were allnovices at archery, our instructor decided to begin with the basics

nuance (n.) - a slight variation in meaning, tone, expression (The nuances of the poem were not obvious to the casual reader, but the teacher was able to point them out.)

oblivious (adj.) - lacking consciousness or awareness of something (Oblivious to the burning smell emanating from the kitchen, my father did not notice that the rolls in the oven were burned until much too late.)

obsequious (adj.) - excessively compliant or submissive (Donald acted like Susan’s servant, obeying her every request in an obsequious manner.)

obtuse (adj.) - lacking quickness of sensibility or intellect (Political opponents warned that the prime minister’s obtuse approach to foreign policy would embroil the nation in mindless war.)

panacea (n.) - a remedy for all ills or difficulties (Doctors wish there was a single panacea for every disease, but sadly there is not.)

parody (n.) - a satirical imitation (A hush fell over the classroom when the teacher returned to find Magdalena acting out a parody of his teaching style.)

penchant (n.) - a tendency, partiality, preference (Fiona’s dinner parties quickly became monotonous on account of her penchant for Indian dishes.)

perusal (n.) - a careful examination, review (The actor agreed to accept the role after a three-month perusal of the movie script.)

plethora (n.) - an abundance, excess (The wedding banquet included a plethora of oysters piled almost three feet high.)

predilection  (n.) - a preference or inclination for something (James has a predilection for eating toad in the whole with tomato ketchup.)

quaint (adj.) - charmingly old-fashioned (Mary was delighted by the quaint bonnets she saw in Romania.)

rash (adj.) - hasty, incautious (It’s best to think things over calmly and thoroughly, rather than make rash decisions.)

refurbish (v.) - to restore, clean up (After being refurbished the old Triumph motorcycle commanded the handsome price of $6000.)

repudiate (v.) - to reject, refuse to accept (Tom made a strong case for an extension of his curfew, but his mother repudiated it with a few biting words.)

rife (adj.) - abundant (Surprisingly, the teacher’s writing was rife with spelling errors.)

salient (adj.) - significant, conspicuous (One of the salient differences between Alison and Helen is that Alison is a couple of kilos heavier.)

serendipity (n.) - luck, finding good things without looking for them (In an amazing bit of serendipity, penniless Mark found a $50 bill on the back seat of the bus.)

staid (adj.) - sedate, serious, self-restrained (The staid butler never changed his expression no matter what happened.)

superfluous (adj.) - exceeding what is necessary (Samantha had already won the campaign so her constant flattery of others was superfluous.)

sycophant (n.) - one who flatters for self-gain (Some see the people in the cabinet as the Prime Minister’s closest advisors, but others see them as sycophants.)

taciturn (adj.) - not inclined to talk (Though Magda never seems to stop talking, her brother is quite taciturn.)

truculent (adj.) - ready to fight, cruel (This club doesn’t really attract the dangerous types, so why was that bouncer being so truculent?)

umbrage (n.) - resentment, offence (He called me a lily-livered coward, and I took umbrage at the insult.)

venerable (adj.) - deserving of respect because of age or achievement (The venerable High Court judge had made several key rulings in landmark cases throughout the years.)

vex (v.) - to confuse or annoy (My boyfriend vexes me by pinching my bottom for hours on end.)

vociferous (adj.) - loud, boisterous (I’m tired of his vociferous whining so I’m breaking up with him.)

wanton (adj.) - undisciplined, lewd, lustful (Joanna’s wanton demeanor often made the frat guys next door very excited.)

zenith (n.) - the highest point, culminating point (I was too nice to tell Emily that she had reached the absolute zenith of her career with that one top 10 hit of hers.)

Ivory Icon V Marvel of Millennium

So I’ve been meaning to get on Tumblr for a while, and the main reason I think I put it off was that I wanted a really solid first post. A statement of intent. Something deep, something on the problems in superhero comics, and where we need to go for a viable future.

So naturally, I figured I’d talk about why I think Tom Strong is better than Supreme.

Most of you probably don’t need the background, but for completion’s sake: Supreme is the 20+ issue Alan Moore run on Superman the world always wanted. Taking an existing 90s Superman pastiche by Rob Liefeld and sweeping everything that had already been established off the table on the first page of his first issue (a condition for taking on the character as he was, in Moore’s own words, “Not very good” – a request that didn’t disqualify him, because when Alan Moore wants to write your comic, you let him write the comic), it’s a tribute to all the weird fun that had been essentially discarded from the actual Superman books since John Byrne’s revamp in 1986. Rebuilding Supreme’s world from the ground up with Joe Bennett, Keith Giffen, Rich Veitch, and later Chris Sprouse, Moore filtered in a new origin, tone, and context for the character, along with analogues for Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Supergirl, Jimmy Olsen, Krypto, Perry White, Superboy, Batman and Robin, the Justice Society and Justice League, the Legion of Superheroes, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Bizarro, Metallo, Mxyzptlk, the Fortress of Solitude, Kryptonite, and Kandor. It’s basically Alan Moore doing Silver Age Superman fanfiction, and just as you’d expect from that description, it’s an absolute blast.

Tom Strong’s a little more obscure, which is a shame, since it was clearly built as an evolution on the same formula Moore applied to Supreme. A sort of Doc Savage meets Tarzan born on the island paradise of Attabar Teru to a pair of scientists at the turn of the 20th century, Strong was reared in a gravity chamber to become a physical and mental superman, and raised by the island natives after his parents untimely death (he ends up bringing electricity to the island as an adult – while Moore clearly tries to dance around the ‘white savior’ problems of the 20s and 30s pulp stories he’s homaging, he doesn’t fully succeed). Journeying out into the world at large to fight crime with brains, brawn and an extended lifespan courtesy of Attabar Teru’s mysterious Goloka Root (he’s nearing his 100th birthday by the series’ opening without looking a day over 50), Tom ends up building a family with his wife Dhalua, including daughter Tesla, robot butler Pnuman, and talking gorilla Solomon. With Supreme collaborator Chris Sprouse handling the pencils (with additional artists like Dave Gibbons, Gary Frank, Kyle Baker and Jerry Ordway backing him up), it essentially ends up being Moore’s final word on superhero comics before giving up on the subgenre altogether, and it’s phenomenal.

They’re both justifiably considered some of the best superhero comics of all time, and both are huge personal favorites. That I say Tom Strong is better is in no way a put-down; Supreme was one the first comics I ever read, and along with one of Moore’s other Superman stories, The Jungle Line, was a huge formative influence on my taste in superheroes. But I think in the end Strong comes out ahead, and while I could argue that it’s because of the more consistently gorgeous artwork, or that since it’s a few years later Moore had refined his craft a bit further, it really comes down to something far more fundamental.

Supreme is the best celebration of superhero comics’ past that I’ve ever read. But while Tom Strong’s roots reach even further into history, it’s also one of the best basic models I’ve ever seen for how to take superhero comics into the future.

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