Unassuming Barber Shop: In Search of the Fantastic Four

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On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin became the first human being to achieve Earth orbit, effectively winning the space race. At NASA, scientists sighed, poured more coffee, and redoubled their efforts. In New York, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the Fantastic Four. With a new FF movie coming out, readers and fans […]

Unassuming Barber Shop: Who is the Scarlet Witch?

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From the time the Scarlet Witch first appeared in X-Men #4 (March 1964), her fictional adventures have been pretty complicated. Now a new, eventually billion-dollar incarnation of the character has debuted on the big screen in Avengers 2. But why did the Scarlet Witch get the nod for superstardom? What about her resonates with so […]

Unassuming Barber Shop: Salvador Dali’s Sub-Mariner

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In a previous post, we looked at how Carl Burgos’ original Human Torch might have been inspired by helldivers at the 1939 New York World’s Fair (Unassuming Barber Shop is all about that “might”). But you can’t talk about the Torch without his elemental counterpart: the Sub-Mariner. There are multiple accounts of how Bill Everett […]

Unassuming Barber Shop: The Fabulous Fantasti-car

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With New York Comic-Con upon us and Fantastic Four rumors aswirl, I found myself thinking about one of my absolute favorite things about the FF: The Fantasti-car. FF #1 marked the beginning of New Marvel. That book, as we know, launched what we would come to know as “Stan and Jack.” Whatever the methodology used […]

Unassuming Barber Shop: The Watcher

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If you’ve been reading Marvel’s latest summer event series Original Sin, you know that (spoiler alert) the Watcher is dead. Uatu will no doubt return someday. Until then, I wonder how many Marvel writers are furious. I would be. The Watcher is the perfect cliffhanger. Spider-man: “Hey Shocker, this is just a run-of-the-mill bank heist, […]

Unassuming Barber Shop: Batman Country, Part Two

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In case you missed the first portion of this special two-parter, it was revealed that Batman has conquered America and has established his black Bat-capital in a cave in Branson, Missouri.

That is not entirely true, but I do hope something of the story of the Bald Knobbers (cringey name aside) rang true for Batman fans. The vigilante story is old and real in America.

Unassuming Barber Shop: Batman Country, Part One

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Today is Batman Day. It is also Comic-Con week, meaning that local newscasts all over the country will end their broadcasts with “It’s Comic-Con week!” and proceed to show B-roll of cosplayers and grown men dressed like Doctor Who.

But look closely at that footage. There in the back, you will see someone dressed like Batman or Batgirl. And you’ll say “Cool.” After the horrible real news on every given day, Sailor Moon costumes eventually look silly. But not Batman. He has power over all the others. Why? Why did five-year-old leukemia patient Miles Scott dress up as “Batkid” last November in San Francisco? Because he wanted to hit something.