I was six years old when I developed my first crush. Linda Carter as Wonder Woman. It would still be some seven years or so before I would hit puberty, but even at such a tender age, when I knew nothing at all about girls (or girls’ bodies), I knew there was something about her that I liked. That I liked a LOT. Four decades later Ms. Carter is still a beautiful and classy woman. I really dig Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, don’t get me wrong. But Linda Carter will always be the definitive Wonder Woman for me. And, oh, that smile…

Shifting gears, I make no bones out of my contempt for PC culture. These losers sit around wringing their hands over such nonsense as their perceived racism in Disney cartoons or the new Tarzan movie, yet pay no heed to the REAL racial problems that confront us as a society every day. Sure, people can care about things both mundane and magnitudinal, but these losers typically DON’T. I think it’s because they know they’re powerless to effect any real change in the world, so they want to pick apart pop culture to make themselves feel important and enlightened. They are beyond worthless, and I wish we could ship them all to Hyperborea. They argue that Wonder Woman just CAN’T be a feminist icon, because—Gasp! (Cue hand-wringing)—she wears a skimpy outfit(!). Ms. Carter recently shot them down, and did so with style. If only these brainless jerk-offs would STAY down, but they’re too stupid to learn from any such public excoriation. A bunch of turkeys, staring up at the rain with their mouths open, drowning themselves. Pathetic.

This news gave me goosebumps. (Sorry. I had to.) Noted children’s Horror author R. L. Stine has announced that he will be writing a new MAN-THING series for Marvel, set to debut in March. To quote Mr. Stine: “I’m going to do a lot of action and a lot of great violence and make it creepy, but I’m going to make it funny at the same time. It’s what I try to do in my books.” Sounds like a recipe for some great comics to me!

I’ve loved Man-Thing since I was a wee tyke. It was a natural fit. I loved old monster movies, and I learned how to read from comic books (true story), and here was a monster starring in his own comic series! Yes, as an adult I can appreciate that Manny has always been a tough sell; it’s hard to keep readers engrossed with a character that has no personality and never speaks, but if anybody call pull it off Stine can. He’s so groovy, there was once a crusade to have all his books removed from Walmarts across the land because they were spreading satanic propaganda. (This was back in the days when people were really, really stupid. They’re not any smarter nowadays, but we have snopes.) And Stine is making one big change to the character to fix that problem I just mentioned. This new version of Man-Thing can TALK.

There are a bunch of high school kids in New York who spent three days in the presence of Spider-Man, and they never even knew it. Spidey even tipped off one kid, revealing his secret identity, but the kid didn’t believe him. How close were the experiences of actor Tom Holland to those of Peter Parker? One hopes Tom wasn’t bullied and that there was no equivalent of Flash Thompson running around. The whole secret identity thing, though, that was the same.

Holland, who played the new Marvel Studios version of Spider-Man in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR and who gets to headline in the perfectly named SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING in June of 2017, spent three days undercover as a high school student to research his role. How cool is that? “…I was enrolled in a high school in New York, in the Bronx, as a secret,” says Holland. “No one knew who I was or what I was doing. I had a fake name and a fake accent.” Just imagine all those poor high school girls, who missed their chance to mack on Spider-Man. Think they’re liable to be kicking themselves right about now? What I wonder is, were the teachers and the principal in on it? How exactly does one go about enrolling in high school undercover, anyway? In 21 JUMP STREET (the show, not the godawful movie) the police department always set things up for them. Did Stan Lee make a few phone calls? Or maybe Tony Stark set the whole thing up?

It’s a challenge, no doubt, but there’s no doubt that Marvel is up to it. The challenge is how to update Spider-Man after—how many movies has it been, now? Five? And two of those five REALLY sucked. Fortunately Marvel is golden right now. I suppose it’s inevitable that Marvel Studios will make a bad picture at some point, but right now they sure got the juju, and I entertain no uncertainties that their version of Spider-Man will be the best yet, and the most accurate to the character’s origins and depictions in the comics. Those folks at Marvel Studios know what they’re doing.

As far as faithfulness to the comics, we can say one thing for certain already: this rendition of Spider-Man will be the most accurate ARTISTICALLY. They’re basing the design for his costume on the original artwork of Steve Ditko, back in 1963 when he and Stan “The Man” Lee first introduced Spidey to the world. What’s different about that, you ask? Aren’t all Spider-Man’s costumes the same? Nope! This one is gonna have the traditional UNDERARM WEBBING! As in, web wings! As a longtime reader who always enjoyed the “webbings” part of Spidey’s costume, I am stoked to see them as part of the Wallcrawler’s onscreen get-up. What, you’re not?

Somebody with a hand on the gravy tap must have rapped author Bret Easton Ellis (most famous as the writer of AMERICAN PSYCHO) on the knuckles. First Ellis starts a rumor that Warner Brothers has lost all faith in the upcoming film THE BATMAN, which is set to star, be written by and be directed by Ben Affleck, and are in fact actively trying to sabotage the project. (One has to wonder why they, or anyone, would choose to cost themselves money. It seems a tad implausible.) Then he immediately turns around and announces that nope, he didn’t know anything after all, that he was misquoted (maybe he was and maybe he wasn’t; you never know with interviewers), that it was all just a rumor and probably untrue to begin with. I’ll go one further and say that it IS untrue. How can we know this? Because it doesn’t make sense. If you had a dueling set of studio bigwigs, and each one was trying to cut the legs out from beneath the other one, then it’s possible that yes, you might end up with a situation like what happened to JOHN CARTER over at Disney, a decent film offered up as a sacrifice to petty business bickering. But there’s no evidence this is going on at Warner Brothers.

In the future, Bret, try to remember the sage advice offered by the Timex Social Club: “How do rumors get started? They’re started by the jealous people. They get mad seeing something they had and somebody else is holding…Stop (Stop) spreadin’ those rumors around! Stop (Stop) spreadin’ lies!”