Of Hancock, and black superheroes

From Carrie Rickey's "Flickgrrl"

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In film, there have been a handful of black supers, including Robert Townsend's

The Meteor Man

(1993), about the inner-city teacher who finds an emerald that makes him invincible; Damon Wayans'


(1994); Samuel L. Jackson's Frozone in

The Incredibles

(2004); and Halle Berry's Storm in the


franchise. (The charitable might also cite Berry as Catwoman. Call me uncharitable.)

Still, it's fair to say there have been no superstar black supers (unless you're willing to count the superhuman - though not superpowered - Shaft and Superfly, Sweet Sweetback and Sheba of

Sheba, Baby

- blaxploitation stars of early 1970s vintage).

This is not for lack of comic-book heroes: During the 1960s there were Black Panther in the Fantastic Four comics, Black Lightning, and also the Falcon (a social worker/crimefighter who was, if memory serves, an ally of Captain America). In the 1990s, the supers Icon and Static could be found in the comix bins, and more recently the hip-hop Blak of Blokhedz, whose rhymes have supernatural effect.

Can you think of other black supers? Who would you like to see as a super on screen?

Do you think Hancock's eagle insignia is inspired by a certain NFL franchise?

Sailing onto the Mall

From Inga Saffron's "Skyline Online"

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If you were too busy Friday enjoying the waves and the fireworks to read The Inquirer, you may have missed my "Changing Skyline" column on Erdy McHenry Architecture's newest building, a ship-tight, 28-foot-long, open-air cafe on Independence Mall. . . . Their new Independence Al Fresco Cafe is a taut piece of architectural craftsmanship, unlike any of the über-conservative structures that have been built on the mall. . . .

Erdy McHenry has been on a tear in Philadelphia since they completed One Hancock Square, the apartment building on Second Street in Northern Liberties, for developer Bart Blatstein. They've completed so many complex projects since then - Avenue North, a Drexel University residence - that it was a surprise to stumble upon a feature about the already-familiar Hancock Square in the June issue of Architectural Record. . . .

And there's more coming: the controversial and humongous Radian near the Penn campus and yet another student housing project for Drexel, now going up at 34th and Race Streets. The tower is a circular structure that appears to spin as it rises and looks to be their most daring project yet. Its faceted opening will have views of Center City. Pretty nice digs for student housing. No wonder they don't call them dorms any more.

For his ears only

From Dan DeLuca's "In the Mix"

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James Bond wants to be The Boss. Former 007 star Pierce Brosnan, having essayed Abba in

Mamma Mia!

(opening here July 18), in which he stars opposite Meryl Streep, now wants to do a musical made up of Springsteen songs: "His songs have got such imagery and poetry," the would-be Bruce Springsteen told BANG Showbiz. "I would like to star in it - I'd have a crack at it," Brosnan went on. "I really enjoyed doing

Mamma Mia!

so why not? In for a penny, in for a pound!"

Somehow, I'm shaken by this. Not stirred. Though it is, perhaps, not as frighteningly dreadful a notion as Springsteen fan Colin Firth's thankfully tongue-in-cheek idea to do a musical based on the songs of Radiohead. Please, someone call the Karma Police. What's next? Nathan Lane in a musical based on the songs of the Notorious B.I.G.?