12th Level Intellects: Mar-June ’19

12th Level Intellects— the geek news podcast co-hosted by myself, Ted Kendrick, and James Strecker– is continuing steadily forward on its bi-weekly schedule with the Watchtower Database, available for listen on Apple, YouTube, and several other podcast platforms. Ironically for this batch of episodes, we lived in a world where superhero cinema received two Captain Marvel movies in one month; the Marvel Studios entry with Brie Larson and DC Entertainment’s SHAZAM!, though the character stopped using the name Captain Marvel within the last decade.

We took a swerve in topic to discuss the launch of GAME OF THRONES season 8 with my friend and GOT expert John Morse, which ended up getting one of the lowest listening counts in the podcast’s history. I suppose the audience didn’t transfer into wanting to hear us talk about GAME OF THRONES. The rest of the world didn’t seem satisfied with how season 8 ultimately played out either. After that flop of an episode, we stuck to discussing AVENGERS: ENDGAME and going through THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES episodes like the fanbase truly wants.

X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX was the final chapter in FOX’s X-MEN franchise after its acquisition by Disney, the film landed with a more expensive flop after an attempt to recreate the same storyline from X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, regarded by many to be the worst installment of the series. On a more positive note, 12th Level Intellects tried its first livestream video podcast, which went pretty well after about 15 minutes of technical difficulties, to chat about the release of the latest LEGACIES OF THE DCAU webcomic issue, “Anno Domini: Prebirth”, the first installment of stories set specifically in the canonical year of 2019 in the DCAU.

MillarWorld 2017 Annual Contest

I’ve made the habit now of participating in various writing contests over the last three years, though comic contests have always been my favorite. MillarWorld’s 2017 Annual Contest was both the second year it’s been held and my second year to participate. MillarWorld is an imprint of comics from writer Mark Millar, known for the KICK-ASS series, Marvel’s CIVIL WAR, and SUPERMAN: RED SON. Millar is also the creative liaison between Marvel Comics and 20th Century FOX’s superhero film franchises such as X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR, and DEADPOOL.


MillarWorld’s Annual Contest asks writers and artists to take Mark Millar’s intellectual properties and write a short story set around the events of the original series. Though I suspect the contest is an avenue for MillarWorld to sell more comics, I have always found it a satisfying test in terms of the research involved required to write characters who are slightly more obscure and unfamiliar to the casual reader. In 2015, I entered a script entitled CHRONONAUTS: THINK DIFFERENT about a pair of time travelers who give Steve Jobs the idea for the iPod.

This year, I wrote about HUCK, a small-time superhero composite of Superman and Forest Gump. HUCK was originally created by writer Mark Millar and artist Rafael Albuquerque. The series log line is described as such: “In a quiet seaside town, Huck uses his special gifts to do a good deed each day. His neighbors return the favors by keeping his abilities a secret. But when a newcomer alerts the media, a firestorm erupts, sending Huck on an adventure that will change everything.”


My entry entitled HUCK: FROM SOUP TO NUTS featured Huck in a soup kitchen where he serves everyone at super-speed. One man asks for monetary assistance, and Huck obliges only to watch him throw it away on pointless pursuits. It was difficult to present Huck in a light that didn’t come across as bully, but genuinely upset that people waste his help. Fortunately, I was lucky to have constructive feedback from editors Jason Buchanan, James Strecker, and Adam Mullen.

HUCK: FROM SOUP TO NUTS was not a winner, but I still found it a worthy effort and challenging assignment. The script is available to read upon request.