Date published: July 27, 2011
Thanks to a decadelong inundation of seasonal blockbusters, comic-book superheroes are an inextricable part of the cultural landscape, just like Kardashians and equine herpes! And just like Kardashians and equine herpes, just because you don't "get it" doesn't mean you can just ignore it. But who has the time to sit through all those sucky superhero movies just to be able to talk knowledgably with the water-cooler hordes? Read this handy guide, and you'll be superhero literate without spraining your geek-bone!
Star: Ryan Reynolds
Story origin: DC Comics
Superpower: Magic wishing ring that makes anything you want, as long as anything you want is green
Nemesis: A fl atulent, screaming cloud of sentient fear named Parallax
One-liner: "DC übernerd Geoff Johns kept all the stultifying trivia from the comics and forgot to make anyone likable."
THE GREEN HORNET
Star: Seth Rogen
Story origin: Old-time radio serial and Bruce Lee-starring TV show
Superpower: He's rich as fuck
Nemesis: Bad 2-D to 3-D conversion
One-liner: "It's cute that Rogen played GH as an asshole, but unfortunately this is the fi rst boring Michel Gondry fl ick."
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
Star: Chris Evans
Story origin: Marvel (or, more accurately, Timely) Comics
Superpower: Steroids and "Vita-Rays"
Nemesis: The Red Skull
One-liner: "Director Joe Johnston got his Rocketeer mojo back in this fun adventure movie!"
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
Star: Shia LaBeouf and an ambulatory Realdoll(TM)
Story origin: The Hasbro toy line and a thousand raging coke habits
Superpower: Cars that transform into robots
One-liner: "The 3-D visuals are terrifi c, but next time a script would be nice."
Star: Chris Hemsworth
Story origin: Marvel Comics
Superpower: God of thunder
Nemesis: His adopted half-brother, trickster god Loki
One-liner: "The terrifi c Kirbyesque design and sharp supporting actors save Thor from its occasional roteness."
PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL 'PUSH' BY SAPPHIRE
Star: Gabourey Sidibe
Story origin: The novel Push by Sapphire
One-liner: "That's not funny."