Archive for May 10, 2020

The REAL Reason Spider-Man’s Bully Is Named “FLASH” Thompson

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Since Spider-Man was introduced in Amazing Fantasy #15, his most persistent foe has been his high school nemesis Flash Thompson. Thankfully, Flash matured greatly over time – even befriending Peter Parker and serving as his best man in his wedding to Mary Jane Watson. Later stories had Flash join the military and lose his legs in battle, only to regain them (in a fashion) by becoming the symbiote superhero Agent Venom.

One aspect of Flash’s character that even long-time Spider-Man fans don’t know, however, is the story behind his name. While “Flash” was later revealed to be a nickname, few writers delved into its origins – until one popular Spider-Man animated series finally gave a hilarious explanation for the name – and an even more surprising revelation about just who gave Flash his name.

Related: Spider-Man’s Worst Enemy Was Never A Marvel Supervillain

Interestingly, Flash was one of the few members of Spider-Man’s supporting cast to even have a full name in Amazing Fantasy #15. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko initially intended the issue to be a one-shot story and didn’t put a lot of thought into creating a fully realized cast of characters (even recycling Aunt May and Uncle Ben from a previous story they did in Strange Tales). Once Spider-Man took off, however, many of the background characters suddenly increased in importance as later writers fleshed out their personalities and histories.

In Flash Thompson’s case, this led to him becoming an unexpectedly humorous character as he idolized Spider-Man – even starting Spider-Man fan clubs – but bullied Peter Parker. Flash regularly got into trouble in the early issues by dressing up as Spider-Man and getting captured by his enemies, requiring Peter Parker to reluctantly save his bully. Later stories, however, gave Flash a bit more depth and pathos. Flash later admitted he had an abusive father who drank too much, behavior that Flash later emulated when he also succumbed to alcoholism. Peter eventually developed some sympathy and even respect for Flash, and later came to regard him as one of his best friends.

Eventually, Flash also revealed his real name – Eugene Thompson. While neither Flash nor his friends used this name most of the time, the origin of his nickname “Flash” became a source of speculation for many fans. Some wondered if Flash had been named after the science fiction hero “Flash Gordon” or even the DC Comics speedster “The Flash.” Considering Flash was a high school football star and a popular kid, “Flash” could easily refer to either his speed or his “flashy” attitude.

However, in the Spectacular Spider-Man animated series episode “First Steps,” it turned out that neither of these theories were correct. In the episode, Peter revealed that when they were in nursery school, he and Flash were actually best friends. During this time, the young Flash apparently had a tendency to… run around with his pants off. The episode even shows his mother kept a picture of 4-year-old Flash frolicking around pants-free (with a strategically placed flower hiding his nether regions). “Who do you think gave Eugene his nickname?” Peter quips to his friends. “It wasn’t because he ran fast.”

It’s a hilarious explanation of how Flash acquired his nickname by basically “flashing” people in his younger years – and possibly another reason why he hated Peter Parker for giving him the name. Given that Marvel regularly retcons its stories, Flash may start giving out different origins for his nickname – but given how humiliated he was about the story behind his name in Spectacular Spider-Man, it’s still more than likely this is the true reason that Spider-Man’s biggest bully was named Flash Thompson.

Next: Could The MCU’s Flash Thompson Become Venom?

The REAL Reason Spider-Man’s Bully Is Named “FLASH” Thompson

0

Since Spider-Man was introduced in Amazing Fantasy #15, his most persistent foe has been his high school nemesis Flash Thompson. Thankfully, Flash matured greatly over time – even befriending Peter Parker and serving as his best man in his wedding to Mary Jane Watson. Later stories had Flash join the military and lose his legs in battle, only to regain them (in a fashion) by becoming the symbiote superhero Agent Venom.

One aspect of Flash’s character that even long-time Spider-Man fans don’t know, however, is the story behind his name. While “Flash” was later revealed to be a nickname, few writers delved into its origins – until one popular Spider-Man animated series finally gave a hilarious explanation for the name – and an even more surprising revelation about just who gave Flash his name.

Related: Spider-Man’s Worst Enemy Was Never A Marvel Supervillain

Interestingly, Flash was one of the few members of Spider-Man’s supporting cast to even have a full name in Amazing Fantasy #15. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko initially intended the issue to be a one-shot story and didn’t put a lot of thought into creating a fully realized cast of characters (even recycling Aunt May and Uncle Ben from a previous story they did in Strange Tales). Once Spider-Man took off, however, many of the background characters suddenly increased in importance as later writers fleshed out their personalities and histories.

In Flash Thompson’s case, this led to him becoming an unexpectedly humorous character as he idolized Spider-Man – even starting Spider-Man fan clubs – but bullied Peter Parker. Flash regularly got into trouble in the early issues by dressing up as Spider-Man and getting captured by his enemies, requiring Peter Parker to reluctantly save his bully. Later stories, however, gave Flash a bit more depth and pathos. Flash later admitted he had an abusive father who drank too much, behavior that Flash later emulated when he also succumbed to alcoholism. Peter eventually developed some sympathy and even respect for Flash, and later came to regard him as one of his best friends.

Eventually, Flash also revealed his real name – Eugene Thompson. While neither Flash nor his friends used this name most of the time, the origin of his nickname “Flash” became a source of speculation for many fans. Some wondered if Flash had been named after the science fiction hero “Flash Gordon” or even the DC Comics speedster “The Flash.” Considering Flash was a high school football star and a popular kid, “Flash” could easily refer to either his speed or his “flashy” attitude.

However, in the Spectacular Spider-Man animated series episode “First Steps,” it turned out that neither of these theories were correct. In the episode, Peter revealed that when they were in nursery school, he and Flash were actually best friends. During this time, the young Flash apparently had a tendency to… run around with his pants off. The episode even shows his mother kept a picture of 4-year-old Flash frolicking around pants-free (with a strategically placed flower hiding his nether regions). “Who do you think gave Eugene his nickname?” Peter quips to his friends. “It wasn’t because he ran fast.”

It’s a hilarious explanation of how Flash acquired his nickname by basically “flashing” people in his younger years – and possibly another reason why he hated Peter Parker for giving him the name. Given that Marvel regularly retcons its stories, Flash may start giving out different origins for his nickname – but given how humiliated he was about the story behind his name in Spectacular Spider-Man, it’s still more than likely this is the true reason that Spider-Man’s biggest bully was named Flash Thompson.

Next: Could The MCU’s Flash Thompson Become Venom?

The REAL Reason Spider-Man’s Bully Is Named “FLASH” Thompson

0

Since Spider-Man was introduced in Amazing Fantasy #15, his most persistent foe has been his high school nemesis Flash Thompson. Thankfully, Flash matured greatly over time – even befriending Peter Parker and serving as his best man in his wedding to Mary Jane Watson. Later stories had Flash join the military and lose his legs in battle, only to regain them (in a fashion) by becoming the symbiote superhero Agent Venom.

One aspect of Flash’s character that even long-time Spider-Man fans don’t know, however, is the story behind his name. While “Flash” was later revealed to be a nickname, few writers delved into its origins – until one popular Spider-Man animated series finally gave a hilarious explanation for the name – and an even more surprising revelation about just who gave Flash his name.

Related: Spider-Man’s Worst Enemy Was Never A Marvel Supervillain

Interestingly, Flash was one of the few members of Spider-Man’s supporting cast to even have a full name in Amazing Fantasy #15. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko initially intended the issue to be a one-shot story and didn’t put a lot of thought into creating a fully realized cast of characters (even recycling Aunt May and Uncle Ben from a previous story they did in Strange Tales). Once Spider-Man took off, however, many of the background characters suddenly increased in importance as later writers fleshed out their personalities and histories.

In Flash Thompson’s case, this led to him becoming an unexpectedly humorous character as he idolized Spider-Man – even starting Spider-Man fan clubs – but bullied Peter Parker. Flash regularly got into trouble in the early issues by dressing up as Spider-Man and getting captured by his enemies, requiring Peter Parker to reluctantly save his bully. Later stories, however, gave Flash a bit more depth and pathos. Flash later admitted he had an abusive father who drank too much, behavior that Flash later emulated when he also succumbed to alcoholism. Peter eventually developed some sympathy and even respect for Flash, and later came to regard him as one of his best friends.

Eventually, Flash also revealed his real name – Eugene Thompson. While neither Flash nor his friends used this name most of the time, the origin of his nickname “Flash” became a source of speculation for many fans. Some wondered if Flash had been named after the science fiction hero “Flash Gordon” or even the DC Comics speedster “The Flash.” Considering Flash was a high school football star and a popular kid, “Flash” could easily refer to either his speed or his “flashy” attitude.

However, in the Spectacular Spider-Man animated series episode “First Steps,” it turned out that neither of these theories were correct. In the episode, Peter revealed that when they were in nursery school, he and Flash were actually best friends. During this time, the young Flash apparently had a tendency to… run around with his pants off. The episode even shows his mother kept a picture of 4-year-old Flash frolicking around pants-free (with a strategically placed flower hiding his nether regions). “Who do you think gave Eugene his nickname?” Peter quips to his friends. “It wasn’t because he ran fast.”

It’s a hilarious explanation of how Flash acquired his nickname by basically “flashing” people in his younger years – and possibly another reason why he hated Peter Parker for giving him the name. Given that Marvel regularly retcons its stories, Flash may start giving out different origins for his nickname – but given how humiliated he was about the story behind his name in Spectacular Spider-Man, it’s still more than likely this is the true reason that Spider-Man’s biggest bully was named Flash Thompson.

Next: Could The MCU’s Flash Thompson Become Venom?

PlayStation Network Store Down In China Over “Security” Problems

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Players in mainland China were greeted this morning by the PlayStation Network Store being down, as Sony has indefinitely suspended the service over "security" problems. While major inconveniences similar to this one happen on a frequent enough basis to not warrant significant alarm, the Chinese government's historical oppression of its populace, along with recent signs of another crackdown on online gaming, make this sudden development mildly concerning.

Until very recently, game consoles were entirely prohibited in China over the authoritarian CCP government's concerns about the medium's potential to introduce dissenting political opinions and ideas to citizens, guising the ban as an effort aimed solely at curbing gaming addictions in young people. It was lifted in 2015, but the CCP still holds an iron grip over the industry's efforts to enter the country's lucrative market. Fears of another crackdown recently sparked when the government had Animal Crossing: New Horizons pulled from the region's censored Nintendo Switch - which notoriously only plays three other first-party games - over a single act of in-game defiance by a Hong Kong player, shortly thereafter announcing plans to severely limit or totally restrict online play between China and the rest of the world.

Related: PlayStation Plus Free Games May 2020 Are Less Exciting Than Fans Hoped

The justifications for those domestic and international concerns may have just been further proven, as games industry analyst Daniel Ahmad reported last night that "The PlayStation Store (PSN) has been temporarily suspended in Mainland China" as of the morning of May 10. The official PlayStation China tweet's gave the official reason for the abrupt stoppage of PlayStation Store services of a "security" update, but Ahmad says it's "unclear what this means exactly." As the store is still down at the time of writing, it's even more unclear what kind of security update takes a full day to implement before turning such a critical service back over to players.

Players skeptical of that response from Sony are right to remain wary, although there is the possibility of the nationwide PlayStation Store outage being due to particularly troublesome issues like exploits or hackers. However, as was the case with yesterday's Nintendo Switch Online server outage, these sorts of large-scale network complications are often felt across the board, not just in one arm of a wider offering of interconnected services. When a trusted industry analyst like Ahmad, who recently predicted the proximity of next-gen reveals in E3's absence accurately, is expressing doubt about the official excuse being given by PlayStation's China division, it probably can only be bad news for Chinese players.

With the hotly anticipated PlayStation 5 right around the corner, it's not hard to imagine that Sony's hoping for an eventual and successful release of the next-gen console in China. As proven by the utter failure of the neutered Switch that Nintendo was allowed to put out by the CCP, though, Chinese players' hopes for a robust next-gen games library are looking bleaker with each passing month.

Next: Chinese Delivery Company Looks Like It's Straight Out of Death Stranding

Source: Daniel Ahmad

Into The Spider-Verse Producer Shares Inspiration For Kingpin

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse producer Chris Miller shares his inspiration for the movie’s version of Kingpin. Frequently cited as the best Spider-Man movie ever made, and one of the best films of the 2010s in general, Into the Spider-Verse is primarily credited for popularizing the universality of Spider-Man’s central themes. Peter Parker was a part of the Academy Award-winning animated film, albeit in a supporting capacity, with the focus shifted to Miles Morales. The inclusions of Gwen Stacy, Peni Parker, and even Peter Porker brought a myriad of Spider-Man characters into one film. Though humorous on its face, the bevy of protagonists served to highlight the point that anyone could be a hero so long as they were willing to persevere and fight for what’s right.

Though discussed less frequently, Into the Spider-Verse took a similar approach with its villains. It showed that, with nefarious intent, anyone is capable of being a criminal mastermind. This is most notable in its depiction of Doctor Octopus, who was presented as a woman voiced by Kathryn Hahn. It was also evident in how the film portrayed Kingpin as utterly evil, despite the sympathetic backstory of losing his family. Created by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr., with the real name of Wilson Fisk, Kingpin first made his first comic book appearance in 1976. He’s since been portrayed by John Rhys-Davies, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Vincent D'Onofrio.

Related: Before Spider-Man, Kingpin’s Enemy Was… Gwen Stacy

Liev Schreiber voices Kingpin for Into the Spider-Verse, serving as the movie’s main villain. The character has proved very memorable, appropriately intimidating, and ruthless. Into the Spider-Verse producer, Chris Miller shed some light on the comic book insights for the character in a recent post on his Twitter account, noting that it was Bill Sienkiewicz’s work with Kingpin that helped inspire Into the Spider-Verse’s iteration of Kingpin. Miller added that he included an homage to Sienkiewicz’s style in the film. Check out the tweet below.

The flashback that Miller mentions has an oil painting quality in parts of it, which is an approach that Sienkiewicz is known for favoring. The flashback captures Kingpin’s heartbreak at the loss of his loved ones, tapping into the reasons that the character turned completely to the dark side, and the use of one of Sienkiewicz’s trademarks helps to reflect that.

Into the Spider-Verse is filled with references, some serving as playful winks to a knowing audience while others work on a deeper level. The nod to Kingpin’s comic book roots fits into the latter category, painting a sad portrait of a malicious crime lord. It’s the combination of beautiful artistry and smart writing that has made Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse an instant classic.

More: Spider-Man: Every Into The Spider-Verse Cameo That Was Cut

Source: Chris Miller / Twitter

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