Karl Heitmueller
Starpulse Contributing Writer
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Raised in the wilds of Amish Country PA, currently based in Jersey City NJ, writer / illustrator / cartoonist Karl Heitmueller Jr. has been spouting about pop culture and how society relates to it for decades, in print, online and at the bar. He’s not sure whether he’s more passionate about his loves (Superman, Sinatra, Schulz, the Clash, Hitchcock, SCTV) or his hates (Disney, Judd Apatow, Emo rock, Diablo Cody). He’s been published by MTV, Warne

'Smallville' Recap: "Masquerade"

2/19/2011 12:56pm EST
No blur here
SMALLVILLE Recap: 10.14: “Masquerade”: At the Daily Planet, Lois is on the phone with Clark, discussing the complications surrounding their impending nuptials. She’s concerned that, with the VRA repealed and the league out in the open, someone might recognize that the groom’s side is filled with superheroes. Perhaps, then, she shouldn’t be using cardboard figures of Green Arrow, Aquaman, Impulse, et al in their costumes as she plans the church seating (?) in a public place? Further complicating matters is the fact that the Blur’s new non-blurring public persona is showing up on the internet...

HYDRA, Nazis, what's the difference who Captain America fights? We'll tell you.

2/18/2011 3:20pm EST
Captain America: The First Avenger
As a rule, I steer clear of internet message boards, both posting and reading. The usually banal, petulant, grammatically challenged, unedited blatherings of the highly opinionated (yet oddly often uninformed) denizens of the virtual world just depress me as we wind our way quickly and decidedly towards Idiocracy. But every once in a while, I’ll forget my rule and toss a few thoughts on some pop culture related board, usually regretting the foray into the troll-crammed morass.

A few weeks ago, when Marvel Comics killed off Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch of their cornerstone superhero gr...

Smallville Recap: 'Beacon'

2/13/2011 10:34pm EST
Bloodied Lionel
SMALLVILLE Recap: 10.13: “Beacon”: The Lionel Luthor from the parallel world is on our Earth, and ready to claim his doppelganger’s dynasty, starting with a takeover of Tess’ managing editor’s office at the Daily Planet. But there’s no love lost between Tess and the alt version of the man she’d recently discovered was her father. Lionel (who’s convinced everyone that he faked his own death) is searching for the last surviving Luthor clone, Alexander, to reign at his side.

The reunited Chloe and Oliver are lolling on an air mattress at the shuttered Watchtower when they see a story about a...

'Smallville' Recap: Collateral

2/5/2011 6:46pm EST
Chloe returns
When we last saw our heroes, they were lying unconscious on the floor of an Egyptian temple at Hawkman’s funeral. And yet somehow, we pick up in the Kent farm kitchen, where Lois is on the phone with the Vigilante Registration Act Hotline (really?) desperately trying to find information on her fiancée’s whereabouts. Clark walks through the door, announces he’s been released by the VRA (does the A now stand for Administration?), but the reunion is bittersweet as he reveals that the government has somehow found a way to take away his super powers.

And Clark’s not the only one; Black Canary (...

'Smallville' Recap: 'Icarus'

12/11/2010 2:06pm EST
Clark proposes
The last episode of the year opens with another of Smallville’s final season big bangs: Clark Kent proposes to Lois Lane on a rose-petal-strewn sidewalk. Lois says yes.

But all is not sunshine and molasses in Metropolis; The ever-widening scope of the Vigilante Registration Act now demands a midnight-to-7am curfew and TSA-echoing security checks at all office buildings. At the Daily Planet, Lois receives a letter congratulating her on her “fated” happy ending... from Chloe. The letter contains a necklace, the meaning of which will surely become clear at some point.

The still-grating Kat...

'Smallville' Recap: 'Luthor'

12/5/2010 4:10pm EST
Lionel and Clark
Tess, still coping with the realization that she’s a Luthor, receives a box containing a Kryptonian “mirror box” artifact. A call from Clark beckons her to Cadmus labs where she’s told that one of the Lex clones escaped the fire that destroyed the complex. Tess, of course, knows that it’s Alexander and asks if maybe even a Luthor deserves the benefit of the doubt. Clark says Luthors are born bad, and discovers Tess’ deception via a note left for her from the now-grown Lex clone. Clark becomes further enraged when he sees the Kryptonian mirror box in Tess’ bag, but before she can explain, a...

'Smallville' Recap: 'Patriot'

11/20/2010 4:06pm EST
At Fort Ryan, Kansas, Colonel Slade Wilson (“Battlestar Galactica” vet Michael Hogan) is preaching the gospel of anti-vigilantism. The more people put their faith in superheroes, the less they turn to their elected leaders. But Slade’s certain that once the secret vigilantes come into power, they’ll become malevolent dictators. Appointed by the President to oversee the Vigilante Registration Act (for which not one hero has yet signed up), Slade has a plan.

Meanwhile, off the coast of Florida, two figures speedily swim towards an offshore oil rig. Orin, aka Arthur Curry aka AC aka Aquaman (...

'Smallville' Recap: 'Abandoned'

11/13/2010 2:31pm EST
Clark and kryptonite
SMALLVILLE Recap: 10.8: “Abandoned”

Tess is having a nightmare: She’s a little girl, hiding from a foreboding presence in a huge, gloomy house. If only that darn ballerina music box would be quiet! The girl is dragged from her hiding place by a shadowy lady in granny shoes and Tess awakens with a start. But the nightmare might not be over, as Tess still hears the Nutcracker playing and discovers the music box from the dream in the library…

At the Kent farm, Lois is hesitant to go through a box sent by her father. It’s been sitting in the back of a closet for 15 years, and is full of keep...

'Smallville' Recap: 'Ambush'

11/7/2010 10:24pm EST
Sam and Lucy Lane
Suicide Squad leader Rick Flag and team member Emil LaSalle (aka Warp) are in an armored vehicle headed towards Smallville, where at that moment Lois (clad only in an old football shirt of Clark’s) and Clark are lustily reveling in their now full-on relationship. But a proposed romp on the porch swing is interrupted by the sudden arrival of Lois’ father, no-nonsense army General Sam Lane (Michael Ironside) and her impulsive, reckless sister Lucy (Peyton List).

The Lanes have dropped in for an early Thanksgiving, but Lois suspects there’s an ulterior motive: The General’s need to give his...

'Smallville' Recap: 'Harvest'

10/31/2010 2:36pm EDT
Lois and Clark are heading to the boonies to cover the “Cherry Festival” (really?) when they get a double blowout. Clark heads to the nearest town to get a new tire while Lois hangs back with Charlotte Cavanagh, a little farm girl straight out of “Little House on the Prairie.” But when Clark returns to the car with a fresh tire, Lois is nowhere to be seen.

Even weirder, as Clark puts the tire in the trunk, he cuts his suddenly not-indestructible hand. A local constable agrees to help Clark search for Lois, who is taking a horse-and-buggy carriage ride with Charlotte back to her Amish-looki...