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The year was 1997 and I was cruising around “Downtown Neon Saturday Night”, one of the approximately eighteen hundred million arts festivals that my hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana holds every year right around the red riverfront.

I was looking fantastic, thanks for asking.

At the time of this writing, the Xbox One game console has been available for just over 13 hours (thanks to some stores allowing their pre-ordered models to be handed out at Midnight on November 11, 2013). Today would be a good day for a critical analysis of the device, one would think, however the device itself has been criticized in the press and in online comments so mercilessly for the last several months that one might assume every potential consumer on earth had a crystal ball to see the future of the console wars and found Microsoft’s eighth generation game system decidedly in the failure cemetery directly between the headstones marked “Betamax” and “Red Ray HDDVD”.

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How do you not cry when you hear that final movement of Beethoven’s 9th for the first time? It’s probably equally hard to fight back the wonder when you see Derren Brown’s orchestra suddenly starts to play a single tune. Between fighting back the tears, and fighting your way through to the wonder, you’ll find yourself in exactly the country Kurt Busiek describes in Astro City.

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW

There’ll be chaos and destruction in the later pages of H’el on Earth, what else could there be with a full-blooded Kryptonian (in the personage of H’el) arriving on Earth? But before the coming mayhem, writer Scott Lobdell makes the far more interesting creative choice of framing the physical coming-to-blows as an external metaphor of Kal-El’s internal battle to make a home for himself in Metropolis, and more broadly on Earth. In doing so, Lobdell seems to parallel the conflicts involved in Mozart writing his 38th Symphony, “Prague.”

With the Iron Man films breaking records since 2008, movie fans everywhere know who James “Rhodey” Rhodes is. Tony “Iron Man” Stark’s best buddy, the Air Force Colonel who went on to don his own suit of armor to become “War Machine”. Tony Stark’s first appearance was 1968 and while Jim Rhodes wasn’t introduced until eleven years later in Iron Man #118, Rhodey was retconned to be integral to the origin of Iron Man. It was later revealed that Rhodey himself was the man who helped Iron Man escape from Vietnam when the wounded Stark had just completed his first suit of armor (see Iron Man #144 for details). Long after that first meeting, but long before he went by the name War Machine, the man went by a different name. Not “Rhodey” or “Jim Rhodes”... for a time the name he went by was “Iron Man”.

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