Showing posts with label superboy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label superboy. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July

May your Fourth be as Patriotic as that of the Super Family (Lois is rocking that fife)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

In Defense of Bizarro: Me Am Think Bizarro Is Worst Character Ever

So, I watched Monday evening's episode of Supergirl on CBS, and while heartened that the episode introduced the idea of Bizarro for a new generation, I'm also wondering what they're leaving for Superman himself at this point, or what they think Superman has been up to as they keep introducing all of his villains on the show like they've never been around before.

But, no harm no foul.  

If I took exception to the episode, it was that we had a BINO.  Bizarro In Name Only.

Good-bye!  Me am not comics version of Bizarro-Girl!

If you've unfamiliar with Superman's sometimes enemy/ sometimes pal, Bizarro, well, firstly, I pity you.  Secondly, in the original comics, Bizarro was an imperfect duplicate of Superboy and, soon, Superman.  The angular-faced misfit was a perfect fit with the bi-polar nature of Superman's Silver Age adventures.

In the wake of the Senate hearings and the installation of the Comics Code Authority - we ended Superman threatening people and hurling them around violently and the comics explored what it meant for Superman to be the Last Son of Krypton as well as a Superman with time to kill since crime was abruptly held in check.  The Man of Steel was now having a good laugh moving the Eiffel Tower around to mess with Lois one story, and in the second feature was openly weeping about the fate of his birth parents.

Equal parts clown, monster, hero, villain, misunderstood child and wreckless menace, Bizarro was the wild card in the Superman deck in an era of Superman comics littered with Robot Supermans, Supergirls, Super Cats and Dogs, King Kongs with Death Laser Eyes and routine occurrences of Superman being turned into a baby.  I haven't even gotten to Jimmy Olsen's Silver Age lifestyle and all that insanity.  And, yet, it all fit together pretty well.

Bizarro first appeared as a one-off in Superboy #68, but soon re-appeared in the mainline Superman titles where he gained his own supporting cast and planet.  Hell, yes, he did.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Slowly making my way through DC's "Convergence"

Last week DC released the final issue of their Convergence mini-series, the two-month stop gap from DC Comics that was originally advertised as something editorial was doing while they took a break from publishing to move from DC's traditional home of NYC to sunny LA.

Of course, well in advance, it became clear that Convergence was going to be more than just a hiccup in DC's publishing schedule.  After the initial skyrocketing sales for The New 52, units moved have fallen off, and time and again, DC has wound up canceling a huge number of their initial offering of 52 books and the successors of same, all while keeping up appearances by maintaining a publishing line of 52 books (which always felt like something dreamed up by an actuary somewhere, so why it was part of their public marketing, I will never know).

"Welcome to... The Honeycomb Hide-Out!"

The first hint that we could count on major changes, post-Convergence, was that DC decided to follow their award-winning, best-selling Wonder Woman run by well-known comic writer Brian Azzarrello by hiring the previously-unpublished wife of popular comic artist David Finch (an artist with whom cheesecake was pretty much an inevitability) to pen the series.  It was a signal to anyone who has followed the industry for the past two decades that DC was basically putting New 52 Wonder Woman in a holding pattern for a while, but if you absolutely need a Wonder Woman comic - here's one to read (and, please, do not notice that Sensation Comics and Wonder Woman '77 are both fantastic and not technically part of the main stable of DC's titles managed by their core comics people).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

An Awkward Encounter with an Old Flame: Superman and a few other DC Comics Solicitations for October 2012

I've stopped trying to dwell on the end of my love affair with all things DC as nobody wants to hang out with the guy moping around after a break-up, but since DC Comics and I are still in the same neighborhood, I think we're feeling our way to try to be friends, even if we're not quite ready to spend a lot of time alone together right now as things would inevitably get awkward.  We're just a person and a comic company who have both grown, and that has meant we've grown apart.

Looking at DC's October solicitations does feel like the stormy part of the break-up is over with, and after all my pleading and their curt refusals to pay me heed, it's nice to see a few overtures of friendship in the making.  It'll never be what it was, but you have to learn to live with each other if you're going to see one another whether you like it or not.

We may disagree on Justice League, but I see things like the Joe Kubert Presents anthology on the list, and I can give a warm smile DC's direction.  Just out of nostalgia, they're playing our song.

And then, the announcements about trade collections almost feel like finding a sweater left behind that you hold for a second and wonder what you should so with it, even as you like the feel of it between your fingers.

Green Lantern: Sector 2814 by Len Wein?  Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth Volume 2 by Kirby?  The Wonder Woman Chronicles by Marston?  You can't just toss those memories out.

Reviewing the Super-Books is always where I hold my breath for an instant, watching to see what DC does, see how DC reacts as we bump into one another again on the street.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

You Can Never Take Nolan's Superboy with Balloons Tattoo Away From Me

I had a pretty good couple of weeks.  While I feel badly that Jamie is currently suffering from allergies, I wrapped up my week by visiting the newly relaunched Austin Books Sidekick Store and then having a burger and beers with recent Houston-to-Austin transplant and high school pal Marshall, and, of course, Paul.  Turns out Marshall took a position at the place Paul already worked, so we're all chumming around.

I really dig the cast of characters at Austin Books and Comics, but I honestly can't remember the last time I saw Nolan around.  He's a swell fellow, and we share a mutual admiration for Superman, Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane back issues.

But Nolan has taken it up a notch.  Maybe all the way to 11.

I saw a couple of Super-feet poking out from beneath his sleeve and asked to his his ink.

He produced this:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Signal Watch Reads: Superman Family Adventures #1

I know some of you, especially those of you with kids, have been reading Tiny Titans for a while.  And if you haven't been reading the series, go out and find the collections.  They're absolute gold when it comes to funny comics, especially if you follow DC Comics.

Possibly due to the reboot of the DCU, sadly, Tiny Titans has now wound down.

Not to fret, Art Baltazar and Franco's work lives on!  Not only is Art Baltazar illustrating the superlative line of fun kid's books under the Super Pets banner published by Capstone (catch up with Krypto, Streaky, Ace the Bathound and others!), Franco and Baltazar have moved their efforts over to a new kid's book: Superman Family Adventures.

The first issue arrived on Wednesday, and we gave it a read Wednesday night.

Yup, its a "New 52" inspired Superman operating in a Silver Age milieu, right alongside Super Pets, his young pals, Lois, Jimmy and The Chief.  And, of course, Lex Luthor and his rampaging robots.  The book is a first issue, and so its perhaps not the well oiled machine we came to expect of Tiny Titans, but its already got the peppy voice of the Tiny Titans book, but with longer-form content.

Unlike Tiny Titans, this comic isn't a "gag" comic, but takes the length of the issue to tell the story.  It's a change in format, but the spirit seems mostly the same.  And if you liked running jokes in Tiny Titans, one nice bit about the Amazing World of Superman is that there are already plenty of running jokes for Franco and Baltazar to draw upon (Jimmy's role as "coffee fetcher" for Perry White, Clark's winkiness when it comes to his secret identity, etc...).

In a lot of ways, DC has serious ground to make up when it comes to restoring Superman to the good graces of the public.  A ponderous 2006 movie, the drudgery of ten (10!) seasons of Smallville, and doing absolutely nothing to react to 20 years of press, comics and otherwise, rambling about the irrelevancy of Superman.  And, of course, DC's own staff seeming to want to do everything in their powers to avoid owning the big, crazy world of Superman so they could pretend that comics are for serious adults (or, at least, 18 year olds trying to identify with a broody Batman).

So maybe reminding people why this world works once you take yourself out of the context of competing for Punisher readers - aiming at the kids may be exactly the right tack.  In many ways, its two completely different milieus that just happen to co-mingle in the wild world of superhero comics.  But as The Punisher was meant to reflect a Bronson-type character in the Marvel U, it may be a wise move to find ways to use various characters to reach different audiences.  Or exploit how that audience feels about different characters to cover various bases.

The single most useless comment I read online about this book basically boiled down to "I like everything about it, but I'm a Batman fan, so I would have preferred a Batman family book".  That sort of navel-gazing doesn't really get you anywhere.  It's a bit like watching Star Trek and criticizing it for not being Star Wars or wishing you had the beef sandwich instead of the ham.  But I wonder.  Its not that I think that can't work, but DC has spent so much time rebranding Batman into The Dark Knight, they pulled the superlative Brave and the Bold from television to make room for a cartoon more in line with the grim avenger model.  Certainly they don't want to miss an opportunity for profit?  Maybe we'll get a sister Batman book out of all this.

Really, I have nothing but positive things to say about the comic.  They start off without bothering to discuss Superman's origin, rockets from Krypton, etc...  and they leap right into the action with Superman joyfully saving Metropolis from collision with a meteor(ite?), running into the Planet offices as Clark, and hitting the streets when Lex unleashes three robots to wreak havoc.

The art is energetic and extremely kid friendly (see the cover above).  I'm always impressed with the range of character and expression Baltazar pulls off as a cartoonist given the simple forms he's working with, but that's what makes him so favored as a cartoonist by fans, I suppose.

Anyway, its a very promising start and a missing component in DC's line of books.  And that missing component has been anything resembling "fun" or "joy", which, if you go back over Superman's long and storied history, has been where he's shone as often as when he's battled the forces of evil with a set jaw and narrowed eyes.

I saw that Comics Alliance had posted a preview.  I think you should check it out.

Monday, December 12, 2011

a wee bit more on Superman Family kids' comic

DC Comics' blog made a formal announcement today regarding the Superman Family Adventures comic I mentioned Friday.

It sounds exactly like the sort of thing I was hoping DC might do this year.  Well, 2012 is close to this year, so I'll take what I can get.

From the article:
This May, the Eisner Award-winning creative team of the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling TINY TITANS, Art Baltazar and Franco, will continue bringing their wonderful and unique humor to DC Comics with the new ongoing monthly series, SUPERMAN FAMILY ADVENTURES. The series will be starring (you guessed it!) the whole Superman gang – Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor, Bizarro, General Zod and … Fuzzy the Krypto Mouse!
As near as I can tell, Fuzzy the Krypto Mouse is all-new, but its been a while since anyone was added to the Legion of Super-Pets, so I welcome Fuzzy with open super-arms.  (But "Krypto Mouse"?  Could he be Streaky's nemesis?)

This is, of course, in tandem with the line of kids' Super Pets books which will soon have volumes featuring Super Turtle, Comet and more Krypto and Streaky.

I did notice on the bigger image DC provided of the FCBD comic that Superman is in his new suit.  I'll be curious how Jim Lee's design translates.

the kids love a high collar!

But, yup, that's Superman.  I am pretty excited about this!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Signal Watch Reads: Superboy #3

Superboy #3
Free at Last, Free at Last
writer - Scott Lobdell
penciller - RB Silva
inker - Rob Lean
colorists - Richard & Tanya Horie
letterer - Carlos Mangual
editor - Chris Conroy

If I may... I hate the title of this issue. I know its a famous phrase, but it does have weight. Using Dr. King's words to title a Superboy issue that is entirely about made-up science fiction stuff... it just seems to unintentionally diminish the meaning of the "I Have a Dream" speech, which I am certain was not the intention of DC, but that's why Lobdell and DC's editors just need to be smarter.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Signal Watch Reads: Superboy #1 (DC ReLaunch)

Superboy #1
The Clone
writer - Scott Lobdell
penciller - R.B. Silva
inker - Rob Lean
colorists - The Hories
letterer - Carlos M. Managual
editor - Chris Conroy
cover - Eric Canete with Guy Major
this review is of the print edition, standard cover

Right out of the gate I'll be clear, I quite liked this issue of Superboy.  Its got its faults, and its got its problems, but of what I picked up this week, this is the book that actually surpassed my expectations the most.

I don't follow Scott Lobdell, and knew mostly of his association with Marvel from back in the 1990's (and I think its worth noting that DC's current Editor-in-Chief is Bob Harras, who had the job at Marvel back in the 90's).  Here, he manages to de-couple Superboy's origin from the more familiar Death of Superman/ Reign of the Supermen storyline from the early 90's, and instead cleans up the story a bit, and keeping the focus on the fact that from the first panel, we're talking about a clone.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Signal Watch Reads: Superboy 11 (final issue before the New 52)

Written by JEFF LEMIRE
editors - Wil Moss and Matt Idleson

Between Supergirl and Superboy, in the reshuffling that's beginning here in September, I'm definitely more sorry to see Superboy go. When the character was first introduced back in Reign of the Supermen, he was sort of "everything that's wrong with comics" as I felt it at the time. I wasn't sure why I, as a teenager (roughly the age Kon was supposed to be emulating) was supposed to like a character who I felt was a bit of a dipstick, a portrayal that I'd never shake until Geoff Johns got his hands on him in Teen Titans and just dropped the previous decade's worth of portrayal.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Signal Watch Reads: Superman 713

Superman 713
Grounded: Part 11
Written by Chris Roberson
Art: pages 1, 4-10: Diogenes Neves @ Oclair Albert
pages 2 & 3: Eddy Barrows & JP Mayer
pages 11-20: Jamal Igle & Jon Sibal
Colorist: Marcello Maiolo
Letterer: John J. Hill
Cover: John Cassaday & David Baron (Jeff Smith, variant)
Editors: Wil Moss & Matt Idleson

Two notes before talk more about this issue: 
(1) This is the issue that follows the kitty/Muslim controversy that got Roberson's issue #712 frozen and replaced with an inventory story from Kurt Busiek's post-Infinite Crisis run on Superman
(2)  This is the penultimate issue of the Roberson run on Superman, and while we've got one more issue, I'm a little bummed that there's only 20 more pages of Roberson's work (for now).

Just as its annoying when networks show episodes of a TV show out of order, we could have been very, very lost with the release of this issue had Roberson not done so much to make each issue episodic.  We may have missed a few story and character beats, but we're not utterly lost as Superman wanders into Oregon.  We've just missed a leg of Superman's walk, and we can only hope that the division running collected editions will see fit to include the missing chapter in the collected run.

Its unfortunate that we have to keep an odd editorial decision in mind in approaching the story, but (as we say almost daily at my office) "it is what it is".  And what it is is a really fun issue, and an appropriate one to lead toward a conclusion of Grounded, but to put a bow on the conclusion of this volume of Superman

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Signal Watch Reads: Superboy 9

Superboy #9
Rise of the Hollow Men, Part Two:  In the Underworld
Written by:  Jeff Lemire
Artist:  Pier Gallo
Colorist:  Jamie Grant & Dom Regan
Letterer:  Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Artist:  Karl Kerschl
Editors:  Wil Moss and Matt Idleson

I realized I'd been doing a terrible job of covering Jeff Lemire's Superboy in my reviews (because you people care), and I know I missed issues 7 and 8, so I'll just say - we're reaching the third act of the storyline that Lemire began establishing in issue #1, and plot threads are coming together. Simon Valentine's future is exposed, we learn a lot more about Psionic Lad, Laurie Luthor gets involved, and we find out what's been going on in the "broken silo".

But I'm not so sure about all this.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Signal Watch Reads: Action Comics 902

Action Comics 902
Written by:  Paul Cornell
Art:  Kenneth Rocafort
Editors:  Wil Moss and Matt Idleson

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Signal Watch Reads: Superman 712

Superman 712
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Penciller: Rick Leonardi
Inker: Jonathan Sibal
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Comicraft
Associate Editor: Nachie Castro
Editor: Matt Idleson

Friday, June 10, 2011

DCNu Superman titles - Nothing makes me nervous like getting what I want

Two things:

1)  I don't know if DC intended to release the info about the nu-Superman titles today, but it sounds like some folks poked around the DC servers until they found what they believed to be the Superman Family covers.  The images got out, and everybody had posted them by the time I went to bed last night. I saw the images but didn't discuss as it wasn't official yet from DC.
2)  As a look at my coffee table on any given day will attest, I buy all the Superman titles.  That certainly won't change under DC's nu direction.  At least not for the time being.

The announcement was released this afternoon.  A few bits:
1)  Truthfully, I'm disappointed there's neither a Superman Family book nor any hint that Steel is anywhere to be seen.
2)  The descriptions are barely that, and very light on detail.