Showing posts with label DCU. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DCU. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

In Her Satin Tights, Fighting For Your Rights - "Wonder Woman '77" coming to comics

Over here at The Signal Watch, we don't "binge-watch" much TV.  When I hear someone watched an entire season of a TV show over a weekend, I think maybe that person has a butler who runs their errands, walks their dogs and amuses their friends and family in the hours when they aren't at work.  For me, "binge-watching" is watching an episode or two of a show a night, maybe 3-4 days a week.  I've done it with maybe 4-5 TV series, and haven't even finished most of those (sorry, Breaking Bad).

pew!  pew! pew! ping! ping! ping!

At the end of the summer and through the fall, we watched all 3 seasons of Wonder Woman.   We did so out of order and it took a while to do it, but we did finish.  And now?  I kind of miss it.  But I know it would be weird to watch the whole show over again so immediately.*

Monday, January 5, 2015

So, What Have I Been Up To? Me and Comics Since June 2013

I really don't know how to write this post, because, if you've been following me for any length of time - and, in particular, if you've been here because of comics, this is where I disappoint you.

I am no longer a "read 20 comics per week" kind of guy.  I'm more of a "I'll knock through a trade once a week or so" kind of guy.  My comics reading and collecting was changing before this site was frozen in carbonite, and it's continued to mutate.

y'all buckle in, because it's about to get pedantic and ornery up in here

I kind of quit trying to keep up with Marvel as a universe around Secret Invasion, which was several years ago now.  I've tried to keep up here and there with Captain America and a few other titles, but Marvel's insistence on the cross-over stunt has made that exceptionally difficult.  Pair that with the fact I read Marvel in trade collections rather than floppies or digital comics, and their "all new #1's all the time" marketing strategy, and I literally gave up trying to understand what was happening at Marvel as a Universe.  But I will be picking up some of the Star Wars books for a few months and see how I like a Marvelized Star Wars U.

DC and the New 52 kind of sent me screaming.   The quality of DC hasn't really improved much over the past two years, and it was in the basement with the launch of the New 52.  I recently read that by Spring, DC will have canceled 60 titles since the launch of the New 52, which is an indication that I'm not crazy to think they have some problems and maybe they aren't serving their audience very well.

In the past year, it's safe to say my habit of reading comics has greatly reduced.  At least the reading of new comics.  When I do buy floppies, I collect them for a couple months and read a few at a time, unless it's something that's self-contained.  And I'll talk about what I'm buying as floppies, which isn't much.

The other day I mentioned that I've recently also sold off a huge portion of my collection.  Well over half my stuff has been dispensed with since August, something like 15-20 boxes (short and long), something like 4-5000 comics.  I've also sold a huge number of my action figures, graphic novels and other items.

And - you know - I don't miss them.  I have more than a room full of great stuff that I like and feel like showing off from time to time, and it's a lot more focused than it once was.

So What Happened?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Supermarathon: All-Star Superman

Thanks to what's looking to be a busy week, this is the last installment of the Supermarathon as I'm booked pretty solid until Thursday night.  I hope I did us proud.

All-Star Superman adapts the 12 issue series that ran unevenly for years back when DC was playing havoc with schedules and you never really knew when a comic was coming out.  The art and story were worth it, and both were savaged at the time of the series' start, with the usual complaints about Morrison's writing drawing confusion and fans of the Jim Lee or Kubert school of illustration baffled by the stylized work of Frank Quitely.

You can view the film at Netflix Streaming.

No sooner than the series ended than word leaked that this comic was truly something unique, and - in what I've since come to simply expect when it comes to Superman - be it this comic or early reactions to Man of Steel, its fascinating to see the audience react to the core of the character and ask "why isn't the character usually like this?" or "where did this come from?" to ideas that were 40-50 years old at the time of the comic's publication.

That said, it took Morrison's storytelling and the voice he imbued in Superman and Luthor to make the series shine.  And, I'd argue, it took the clear, concise, character-driven storytelling of Dwayne McDuffie to take the comic and turn it into a movie that works despite the strange, episodic nature of the narrative.

For those who haven't read the comic, I won't bore you with what was cut to make the movie.  The DC Animation team managed to keep most of the story in place to keep the relevant bits intact and maintain the core of the story, even if its heart-breaking to know what might have been.  They also managed to keep much of the look of the comic, something I thought impossible, even if the 16x9 dimensions occasionally lose the impact of Quitely's page design.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

And then, in 2013, DC Comics discovered hypertext fiction

If there's any doubt that DC Comics has moved to a number crunching behemoth of creative despair, today form Randy I received a link pointing me to a story about DC's latest effort, Multiverse Comics.  Basically, digital choose your own adventure comics.

At this point in the tenure of Diane Nelson, any hope for a creative renaissance at the company should be replaced with more of a visual of someone selling t-shirts outside the Louvre with a picture of Mona Lisa in a bikini top with a knife gripped in her teeth.*

There's a lot of reasons to sort of want to put your head down on the table about this one.

In 1991 or so the first hypertext fiction appeared, which promised branching narratives and the ability to dig further into a narrative - all in standard prose.  If you were going to raves and enjoying smart drinks in 1994, it all sounded like a nifty part of our bright future of this series of tubes called "the interwebs".  Just get yourself a 1600 baud modem and go nuts.

"But, hey The League," you might say.  "It's 2013!  Where can I purchase some of this hypertext fiction that's clearly the wave of the future?"

Tragically, it went the way of the Dippin' Dots and may not have been the ice cream/ preferred narrative construct of the future.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ouch. A Little DC Comics Schadenfreude for your evening.

Immature? Yes.
Unnecessary? Yes.
Hilarious? Absolutely.

Read more about DC's PR goofs at The Outhouse.

A functioning sign for keeping track of how often DC Comics has done something publicly very stupid.

All this as they cancel another slate of books, alienate another round of readers, and the publishing side erodes into a nu-metal album cover and licensing flails around, still making money but relying mostly on movie materials and pre-1986 images.

Thanks to CanadianSimon for the link.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Doc Watch: Wonder Women! on PBS

On Monday, I watched the documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines on the PBS series Independent Lens.

If you were expecting a documentary about the importance of Wonder Woman to 20th and 21st Century females as a symbol of power for women, you were in the right place.

You can watch the whole thing online at the moment.  Here you go.

For those of us who are already fans of the character, it's a nice tribute to the character, a nice consideration of the influence of the character across the 20th century, but the doc was also a bit frustrating.

The documentary was a good starter kit for someone to consider pop culture touchstones as gateway drugs for empowerment for women and a place to start the discussion of media portrayals of women.  But, if you know your Wonder Woman (and I only kind of feel like I've scracthed the surface of the character), the film followed the prescribed narrative checklist of players and topics you'd get in talking about Wonder Woman's history if you were to talk on the subject for more than five minutes.

We got:
  • William Moulton Marston's creation of a lie-detector and his hang-ups on bondage scenarios are touched upon
  • Glora Steinem talks the first cover of Ms.
  • Lynda Carter gets interviewed (and is still just as stunning)
  • various academics are interviewed who talk about what it means to have a strong female character at the start of World War II
  • Wonder Woman's second tier place in comics after WWII

Thursday, April 18, 2013

On the Event of Superman's 75th Anniversary

Today is, reportedly, the 75th anniversary of the debut of Action Comics #1.  75 years ago, Superman appeared on the cover of a comic book and, within a couple of months, had already risen to pop-culture superstardom.  By World War II, he had become a staple of Americana and - while Superman didn't invent the idea of the costumed hero, the science-fiction hero, or the altruistic do-gooder, he managed to put a distinct stamp on all of those ideas in one place - and has been endlessly imitated ever since.

In his first issue, all we knew was that Superman was a refugee of a doomed planet who arrived here as a baby.  There was no Jonathan and Martha Kent.  No Jor-El or Lara.  No Daily Planet (Clark landed a job at the Daily Star working for "Editor", I believe).  Just Lois, Clark, Superman and a whole lot of action.  And, man, Lois is a tough dame in that first issue.  No wonder Superman fell hard for her.

There are too many good books out there that talk about Superman's origins as a product of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster for me to try to recreate the story here.  But they were down on their luck 20-somethings (not the teen-agers that are described to have just had Superman pop into their heads one night) when they sold the property to a struggling publisher who was soon outmaneuvered by some smooth operators.  I don't want to dwell too much on the fate of Siegel and Shuster, that's been fought out in the courts for five decades.  But their creation was not just one of the moment, but one of the past, the present and a limitless future, the likes of which we'd only ever seen in a few American fictional characters, from Ichabod Crane to Huckleberry Finn.  And this one arrived in a splash of color, crude drawings and an insurmountable flash of power.

Superman is an amalgamation of a dozen or so pulp literature ideas, some stolen outright from big names like Doc Savage, some from lesser known sources like the novel Gladiator.  Many find biblical aspects in his origins or in the perceived saintly selflessness of his actions (an interesting idea given Superman's varying presentations over the years).

I would argue that most people* don't really know anything about Superman, but everyone believes they know all you need to know.  A lot of folks can dismiss what they don't know as unimportant, thanks to the character's comic book roots, while ignoring the fact that Superman has been a huge part of every major media revolution.  You see people ascribe characteristics and virtues to the character based on a glance and some half-remembered bits from a movie they haven't seen in decades.  Others demonize those same virtues as old fashioned or out of touch, without ever deconstructing what it means to declare a desire for a more just world, to protect those who can't protect themselves as irrelevant in the modern context.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Man of Steel Trailer Arrives

It seems that the DNA of Richard Donner's Superman is stronger than you'd think.  For a movie that was to be bringing a new Superman to the world, there's certainly no small amount of the epic, world spanning vision Donner's Superman brought to the screen for the first time.  Not to mention that it was really Donner and Co. who brought Zod to prominence (he'd not even been the primary Kryptonian villain in the comics, that was Jax-Ur).  And there's definitely no small amount of what I recall from the Johns/ Donner penned issues of Action Comics from 2006-ish to what I'm picking up to be the plot.

All that said, I'm pleased.  I may miss the red trunks, but I think Cavill seems to have this down.  The footage looks spectacular, and (sigh) Amy Adams seems to be a new twist on Lois Lane.

I've heard say folks suggest that Superman doesn't need his origin retold for a new Superman movie, and I tend to disagree.  The origin has to work for modern audiences, and, more than anything, I think kids need to see the origin in a language they work in already - these days, that's big, loud, epic movies.

Well, no joke, I'm in.  Still looking at this with one squinted, skeptical eye as I remember whose name is attached as director, but you never know.

Oh, and, by the way, if that's Hans Zimmer's score, I approve.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Some artists I think handle Wonder Woman really pretty well

As a comic strip character, Wonder Woman is a tall order. Especially for the many comic artists who have, more or less, one or two styles of women they can draw, and then mix it up with clothes and color. We know what Wonder Woman might look like in our mind's eye, but, like Superman, mostly we know when its wrong.

The comics describe Wonder Woman as:
Beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, swifter than Hermes, and stronger than Hercules
How do you draw that?

If you're many artists, you chuck the icon and start drawing a swimsuit model in a "sexy" pose.

As an example, DC took some ribbing thanks to the "variant" cover for JLA #2, which featured the usually tough-looking male members of the JLA, and then a kind of youngish, kittenish version of Wonder Woman. I don't know that there was a better way to make the point that WW needs to be portrayed as a peer to her JLA colleagues and not as the resident cheesecake, but in response fans created the "what if male superheroes posed like Wonder Woman" meme.  You sort of hope DC brass hears about these things and applies changes as they go along.

I wasn't a Wonder Woman reader until way late in the game.  I was vaguely embarrassed then (and now) to pick up "sexy" covers on comics, and during the 90's, when I was curious about the character, DC was in the middle of experimenting with both good girl and bad girl art on the title.  But when Phil Jimenez came on Wonder Woman,  I couldn't help but notice the covers weren't cheesecake, the stories were different from everything else I was reading, and when I flipped through the comics, the art was absolutely stunning.  I became a fan of the character thanks to the work of Jimenez, and then had a lot of work to do catching up.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Oh, Did You Just Figure Out That Maybe Disney Buying Star Wars Means Everything You Liked About Star Wars is Going to Getting Demolished?

Shoemaker sent me this article from i09.  It's basically about how, the afterglow of Disney's purchase of Star Wars and the sudden lay-offs, etc... start to settle in, someone realized that Disney probably doesn't give two Jawa farts about the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

As I said in my email response to Shoemaker: no kidding

once again, your avatar for what will happen to everything you once loved

Even when the first Expanded Universe stuff hit the shelf when I was in high school, I didn't read it.  I guess by the time those books arrived, I was pretty well aware that studio executives weren't going to care that some sci-fi authors wanted to write Star Wars books when it came time to make new movies, and those studio execs were going to include George Lucas and his associates.  When movies that moved past the conclusion of Return of the Jedi did happen, they'd be so much bigger than a series of fantasy books, that the books would just sort of disappear into the ether as non-canonical, leaving a herd of nerds wondering how to reconcile the irreconcilable, narratively speaking, in their minds.

Of course, for two decades we had Uncle George backing up the books - which I doubted he ever read, but he knew that without his stamp, those books wouldn't be taken seriously nor purchased by Star Wars fans.  And that meant less dough, so best to just approve them and worry on it later.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Put some clothes on: The complications of female superhero costumes

One of our own posted a link to Twitter to a page showing redesigns of popular female characters in comics (in particular, DC Comics characters) in outfits that are not the white one-piece peek-a-book of Power Girl or the familiar star spangled corset and shorts of the Wonder Woman costume.

I'll take a poke at the Power Girl costume because the original is one of the most discussed costumes in comics and, short of Vampira, the one most likely to raise questions and hackles.

example of redesign

and original formula

In comparison to Power Girl's traditional costume, he redesign certainly seems less aimed at appealing to the male gaze and creating a look that still honors the original.  It appears functional and...  well, I think this design is actually pretty bad, but we can talk about that later.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Everything About Superhero Comics is Wrong - Part 1

As I've transitioned from weekly comic shop junkie who picked up way over his allotted budget in comics every month, who read every article on five comics websites every day, to: guy who stops by the comic shop once a month and is mostly picking up Superman, Daredevil and the occasional other book...  I've been thinking a lot about the American Comic Industry.

The summer movie The Avengers made more money than the GDP of many nations last year*, comic conventions fill 100,000 attendee halls in single cities, and, of all things, Pepper Potts is now a popular character in the zeitgeist.

Most comics sell a few thousand copies per month.  So I'm going to say a few things that are patently obvious, but need to be said.

If you've followed this blog for any amount of time, you've heard these sentiments before, but I figured one last, grand parting shot couldn't hurt.

Appealing to adults was woefully misunderstood

When Time Magazine and other arbiters of the zeitgeist were saying things like Watchmen read as, finally, a comic for adults, they weren't talking about boobs and blood.  They were talking about a rich, layered story with characters that had motivations, flaws that couldn't be sorted out with a magic crystal, and who behaved in ways that felt true to experience outside of a comic-book universe.

somehow Dan Didio thought this should lead to his version of "Suicide Squad"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

DC Comics Leadership - Still Finding it's Way 18 Months into DCNu

These days I'm only reading a few DC Comics, so it's a bit harder to see what's going on in the halls at the company.  Certainly looking at the release of the monthly solicits is an excellent indicator.

The Beat already did a nice breakdown of some things that really stand out.  Todd Allen points out:

  • The $2.99 line seems to be getting crossed
  • We may not be looking at 52 titles anymore

Batman: One More Time, With Feeling (by Scott Snyder)

This news came on the same day DC announced a storyline called "Batman: Year Zero" to fill in all those gaps you had (right?) about what happened after Batman: Year One.   The story shall be about The Bat-Man, who he is and how he came to be!  Snyder's promise that the series will tell us all the things we've never seen before, like Batman's first run in with a super-villain, is true if you're 20 and just got into comics, abut less true if you dropped all the Batman books but Morrison's because you realized that maybe, in his current comics form, the Bat-fellow is getting pretty repetitive (for first super-villain meetings, we recommend the superlative Batman: Snow by Dan Curtis, JH WIlliams III and the late, terrific Seth Fisher).

I don't know what's more surprising: that Snyder's modus operandi with Batman has been to largely keep digging up the bones of well-loved, well-worn storylines done by some of the name-iest names in comics, or that this seems to be a real draw for the Bat-audience.  I'm old, so I was good with Batman: Year One, A Death in the Family, and every story that wanted to goof on Thomas and Martha Wayne from Hush to Death and the Maidens and was thinking maybe we were ready to move on.  But, short of another gang-war or serial killer story, it seems that all DC has to offer re: Batman these days is another whack at the same worn out Batman origin stuff and tilling about in the same soil of Batman's family history and early years.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Your Questions Answered: What if I Had Creative Control of Superman?

Jake asks:

Since this is Superman heavy blog, if you were the publisher or editor in chief over at DC, or even just a writer on a Superman title, what would you do, creatively, with Superman? Assuming you could flush the whole reboot, what would you do (or not do) with the character? Just focus on good, solid storytelling? Make Superman more socially/politically conscious? Introduce him to a wider audience, i.e. kids, women, etc.?

Believe it or not, this isn't something I think about all that much, and maybe that's wrong-headed, but I'm never comfortable with reviews of something that start with "what they should have done was..." or "what they should really do".  It seems like an endgame with little satisfaction.

Usually the question I find myself asking is: why didn't that work?

But rather than dodge the question, let me give it a whirl.

1. Re-Establish a Supporting Cast of Humans

If you've been picking up Superman comics for a while, or, in fact, most superhero comics of the last decade, one of the primary problems I detect is that there is no status quo.  There's no "home base" for the characters to point to and have in mind as they go about their adventures.  Spider-Man lost his with the dissolution of the Mary Jane marriage, Batman is almost never seen as billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne with his youthful ward, and the only writer who seemed to want to put Clark Kent in the Daily Planet for more than two panels every six issues was Geoff Johns, who left the book before his creative imprint could really take hold.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

New Series coming: Superman Unchained! (nice title, DC...)


I wonder if DC even realizes that they're also publishing a comic of Django Unchained at the moment.  And that comic's title has a meaning to it that's a lot less steeped in DC's insecurities about their flagship character.

This, from an article at Newsarama:
"We're all fans and we've all known this character for a long time," Jim Lee tells USA Today. "You have to fight your natural tendency to do what you know or what you've always thought the character to be.

"We've been pushing the creators to not be beholden to the past conceits and understandings of Superman. So we will speak to a new generation of readers."

You can more or less read that as "we're really uncomfortable with Superman as a character who isn't as straightforward as Batman, and as guys who grew up thinking Batman rules and Superman drools, we're not sure what a Superman comic looks like, and we really aren't going to do any research to find out.  But we have a corporate imperative to make Superman work in the comics, so we're doing what everyone else has said they're doing since Mike Carlin left the editor's post."

I'm not sure the comic will be bad, necessarily, but the one drumbeat DC has had around Superman for at least 13 years has been "we think we know Superman, but we're going to try something new for a new group of readers".

At this point, the only thing left new to try is to actually go back to whatever that model was that they think Superman has been living by until the new writer (who has never read Superman before) took the paycheck. Only, the character hasn't had an opportunity for 13 years of comics to even have a status quo.  He's been rebooted five times in the past 8 years or so, and I think only writer Geoff Johns managed to get Clark Kent in a Daily Planet newsroom with Perry in more than one issue of his run.

Frankly, I'm tired of DC's shame of their own very lucrative bit of IP.  Nobody buying those t-shirts or stickers for their cars (all of which bring in way, way more than this comic ever will) are looking for a new, edgy Superman.  Dumping 75 years of the character doesn't automatically equate to speaking to ANYONE.  In fact, I'd argue that a lot of people would like to pick up a Superman comic and see what they're expecting as per Superman's status quo, not whatever the writer of the week and Jim Lee (no master storyteller, he) have as a way of reimagining the character.

DC, you are the disappointing sibling who we all think has the tools to get his life together, but who keeps somehow making bad decisions that he can only see as strokes of bad luck.  We're getting tired of bailing you out so you can keep the electricity on in the apartment you can't afford.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Corporate Synergy Fail - CN and IDW

The point of owning a comics company, one would assume, is to publish comics.  But that's not how it works.

Since the 1970's, DC Comics has been owner by Time-Warner.  After buying itself back in the 90's (it was owned by New World Entertainment, I believe, in the 1980's) and going public on the stock exchange when I was in college, Marvel is now part of the expanding Disney empire.

I would assume the reason Disney wanted Marvel had far more to do with the opportunity provided by The Avengers franchise as cash-generating IP for movies, toys, t-shirts, etc... than it was actually interested in the comics themselves.  And, of course, by owning Marvel, they have the opportunity to grab back lucrative properties like Spider-Man when the contract runs out with Fox.

DC's purchase by WB was almost more of a happy accident.  They were part of a mass of companies purchased by Time-Warner, but, certainly the opportunity to exploit Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman had to be seen as a welcome opportunity.  And, of course, their own Warner Bros. studios would have first-look deals on all movies.

But we're talking movies and not comics.  Comics have always been high risk/ low reward for everyone but the company that can spin the character off into a familiar object for licensing.  Frankly, until recent history, I don't know that Time-Warner or Warner Bros. studios knew or cared that they owned a whole comics company.  They cared that they owned Superman and Wonder Woman.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Killing Robin. Again.

I think I'd been reading Batman comics for all of a year when DC had the famous dial-in vote where readers got to choose whether or not Jason Todd, the second Robin, would die.  I was a Jason Todd fan, and I was also a kid just getting into comics, so I didn't want to see the character get it, but I was buying comics at the grocery store and book store back then, so any comics were catch-as-catch can.  Finding issues of A Death in the Family, the storyline where all this took place, were incredibly scarce, and only one of my friends got a copy.

Long story short, I didn't get my hands on the comic with the phone number until months after the event when I sat on my pal's bed and read the comics of the storyline in one, long read while he and my brother listened to Van Halen albums.  I never got to cast my vote.  And as close as the vote was, I always wished I'd gotten my chance to save Jason Todd.*

Then, around 2004/2005, Stephanie Brown took Tim Drake's place as Robin just long enough to get fired for reasons and then get killed (only not really) by Black Mask.

And, of course, it never actually happened, but word on the street is that DC head honcho Dan Didio really wanted to kill off Nightwing at one point during Infinite Crisis.

A few years back Grant Morrison took over Batman and introduced Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and Thalia al Ghul.  Right out of the box, Damian seemed fully realized as a character, and - unlike most modern new inventions of characters - was in no way an awkward teenager riddled with self-confidence issues nor a Mary Sue.  Pompous, brutal.  Desperately in need of approval from a father figure.  Everything you'd expect out of the grandson of Ra's al Ghul.

Morrison removed Bruce Wayne and put Dick Grayson in the cowl for over a year, during which time Damian put on the domino mask and the "R", and it was actually a great run on the Batbooks.  Bruce returned, as comic characters hurled through space/time/realities are want to do, and we've been able to enjoy Damian and Bruce as Robin and Batman for a while.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Monthly trip to the comic shop and Editorializing Inside the Story in Action Comics

These days I now only visit the comic shop once per month.  My LCS, Austin Books and Comics, doesn't have a pull list, it has a system I actually greatly prefer to other shops at which I was a regular customer.  ABC sends out a webform each Monday evening with that Wednesday's releases.  You fill out the webform, and ABC holds the things you want for that week.  They don't have a pull list you have to set up and try to maintain through the front desk, something I never felt worked terribly well, and they over-order on all titles so it's a very rare instance when I realize I missed something and now I can't find it on the shelf.  Most shops order exactly what people pre-requested, and then maybe a couple of copies for the rack.  How the industry thinks having just a few copies for someone to discover is beyond me.

And, of course, shops that were supposed to order me things routinely did not do so, or if they under ordered, somehow it seemed I was always the one who got shafted.  

This evening I made my monthly run to ABC, and walked out with a fairly serious stack of books.  I picked up: 
  • the 3rd Rucka Punisher trade
  • the first volume of Ennis's Fury: My War Gone By
  • Action Comics #17
  • Red Team #1
  • Shadow: Year One #1
  • Masks #3
  • Stumptown #5
  • Happy #4
  • Fearless Defenders #1
  • Joe Kubert Present#4
  • Batman, Incorporated #7
  • The Answer #1
  • Superman Family Adventures #9 
  • and the latest issue of Saga 
It's a healthy stack, to be sure.  It's also a greatly decreased stack from my monthly haul two years ago.  You can see I wanted to try some things, you can see I have some loyalties to folks like Rucka and Kubert and Ennis in there, and my interest in some of the pulp stuff Dynamite is doing.  

I'm an Alex Ross fan, and can't understand you people who don't care for his work.  And I love his voers for The Shadow, up to and including this latest.  

That, people, is how you draw Margo Lane

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Orson Scott Card Conundrum - Social Ideals and The Purchase of a Superman Comic

All right, here we go.

I don't really want to write this post, but it's about Superman, it's in the news, etc..

Famed Sci-Fi writer Orson Scott Card has some social views that are well known within the comics and sci-fi "communities".  Card has written some highly successful work such as the famed Ender's Game (which I haven't read), and started working in comics a bit with Ultimate Iron Man several years ago now (also - haven't read).

Specifically, Card takes issue with homosexuality and gay marriage.  He sits on the board of an organization that is more or less dedicated to opposing gay marriage in the US, the National Organization for Marriage.

Last week, when the new Adventures of Superman was announced, Card was listed among the writers, and (if you're keeping score), specifically, he was one of the creators associated with the project that made me blink a bit while reviewing the roster of talent.

Full disclosure:  I am fully in support of marriage rights for the LGBT community and believe that this is the civil rights issue of our generation.  Fundamentally, I believe in extending the same legal privileges to all consenting adults in a free society, and am against legal loopholes or half-measures that would place legal or social restrictions on someone based upon race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.  </ lefty boilerplate>

The questions then arise:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Adventures of Superman Series: Did DC win back the rights to Superman's Red Underpants?

I sort of don't know what to make of the (I'm calling it unsubstantiated) news that DC is launching a new web comic called The Adventures of Superman that will eventually be collected.  Somehow.  Whatever.

The things I care about are as follows:

1.  There's a lot here to suggest that most of the changes made to Superman in the New 52 were due to the Siegel/ Shuster heir lawsuit.  Things were looking pretty bad for DC for a while, which would have meant anything from Action Comics #1 that was ownable would now be the property of the creators.  That included red trunks on Superman and a girl reporter as a love interest.*

A short while ago, DC seems to have won the lawsuit (the heirs should still be receiving royalties, which is, I suppose, something...), which would mean DC can continue to exploit their trademark.  I mean, make great Superman comics in the popular tradition.