The solicited cover for Supergirl #35 didn't exactly thrill me as it once again shows a mega-angry, red eyed Supergirl. This is the post-Red Lantern Kara, one who is supposed to have put mindless rage behind her. I don't need a cover with her skipping in a meadow. But this continues an outward perception of the overly angsty Supergirl.
Outside of the tone, I think the cover is one of the better ones for artist Guillem March. At times I think his stuff is stunning. At times I think he veers a bit too much into the body-contorted cheesecake covers I see all too often on the rack.
But for me, I love to see the behind the scenes artistic process. When Josh Middleton was on Supergirl covers, he used to post process pieces on his covers all the time.
And my favorite part of those posts, and this post by March, was the rejected thumb nails for the cover. Now it is hard to know what the actual content of the issue is to know if any of these covers make more sense from a story point of view.
That said, I think these covers are a bit too much like a pin-up for my tastes. Seems a little coquettish too. And why is Kara donning or doffing the Red Hood? Anyways, of these, I suppose I like #3 the best.
But if the choices were these thumb nails or the final layout, I agree with the final layout.
As a long time fan, I love these peeks into the creative process!
Superman Family #200 came out 34 years ago. A young Anj was in the fifth grade and a $1.00 for a comic was a major financial commitment.
So why am I reviewing it now?
Well, if any comic shows how much comics have changed over time it is this one. Currently in DC Comics, we are reading Futures' End, a brutal dystopia in the near future where villains are loners, where anti-heroes are killing people, all leading to an even more brutal dystopia in the far future where everyone has been turned into murdering, bladed, cyborg tanks.
In 1980, Superman Family #200 looked into the future and had the characters celebrating a wedding anniversary.
I suppose that my comfort zone is somewhere between these two extremes. I don't know if I want to read a comic about anniversary parties every month but this comic gave me some comfort in knowing the future was a safe and better place. And anything has to be better than a robotic Wonder Woman fighting Frankenstein who has Black Canary's head attached to his torso.
I also am a sucker for these longevity anniversary issues as well. Even in the 1980's, a title hitting 200 issues was something of a big deal. In an era where we reboot and renumber every couple of years, I don't know if we will see this again.
And look at this future ... in a 'near (or distant) future, at the turn of the century'. That means this comic is already 14 years beyond it's future time! Perry White has retired. Jimmy is married to Lucy Lane and is the editor of the Daily Planet. Clark and Lois are married and have a 16 year old daughter named Laura. And Lois, who has been a stay-at-home mom for 16 years is about to get back into the journalism business.
But first, there is the celebration of Clark and Lois' wedding anniversary.
There is a lot to like about even these broad concepts. Imagine, Clark and Lois married! Amazing that it actually happened in comics about 15 years later. And a daughter named Laura! It reminded me of distant descendant Laurel. Laura has no powers and bemoans her 'normal' life.
But what about Supergirl?? Or should I say Superwoman!
The book is set up much like every other Superman Family with a Lois solo story, a Private Life of Clark Kent story, a Jimmy story, and a Supergirl ... umm ... Superwoman arc. But all the stories have the backdrop of the characters preparing for the wedding anniversary party of Clark and Lois as well as Lois' rejoining the working world. So we get 'Something swims the time stream' by Gerry Conway (who wrote the whole issue) and Win Mortimer.
As for Kara, she is still in Florida, acting as the local superhero and rescuing people. That includes this rescuing this whole offshore energy site from a tidal wave by lifting up the whole thing.
So we have Kristin Wells, Lucy Lane, and now Kara all having used the Superwoman moniker.
But there is more to Kara than simply being Superwoman. And she has moved way past being a guidance counselor at a New Athens Experimental School.
She is Governor of Florida!!! And the one act we see her perform as Governor is to pardon someone being wrongfully sent to the electric chair. It is reminiscent of the very first Superman story.
But it is also a high compliment for Linda that Conway elevates her to that office, especially for the time this was written.
Ahhh ... but then we get to the real Supergirl mystery. One that has never been solved.
Kara flies home to her husband, someone in shadows ... someone we never see.
But we do get some clues.
He is friends with Clark and Lois already. (Don't guess Jimmy. We have seen him with Lucy already.)
Soo .... friends with Lois and Clark ... hmmmm ...
And then the husband intuits that Kara is anxious because she hasn't got Clark and Lois a present yet.
Then he states it 'doesn't take a detective' to guess that.
Is he letting us know that he is a detective??
So a detective who is friends with Lois and Clark. Dick Grayson?? He is on the cover as a guest.
Kara speeds off into the time stream to get her anniversary gift, traveling back in time to take video of the key moments in Clark and Lois' life together. Here he is hired at the planet. We see her snapping pics of Superman saving Lois, Clark spilling his dinner on himself like a klutz, etc.
And then she captures the actual wedding on video.
But it isn't all fun and games and memories and nostalgia.
A white ape-like monster is living in the time stream. Somehow trapped between times, this creature has been leeching life energy off unsuspecting time travelers, and Kara is his next target.
With little other choice, Kara flies away from him, forward in the time stream, to the edge of time itself.
Somehow, trying to keep up with Kara simply burns the creature up. With no control over his time manipulation, the years ... an eternity of time ... catches up with him and he disintegrates into dust.
Mortimer does his best to be Dali-esque here, trying to create a surreal landscape of cubes and shapes, but he can't quite pull it off.
Happy to be safe and pleased with her gift, Kara streaks back home.
Meanwhile, in a nice twist, Laura's powers suddenly kick in. She guesses that her Kryptonian half kicked in with puberty. Suddenly we have a new Supergirl (even if she isn't called that here).
But there is one more twist. It turns out that Lois is pregnant again!!
Earlier in the book we hear how happy she was to be an at-home Mom for Laura but she was very much looking forward to being a reporter again. She is upset. I guess the concept of nannies wasn't big back in the early 80s.
Anyways, in a great turn of events, and showing how great these two are as a couple, Clark says he'll stop being a reporter and stay at home as Dad for the new baby (while maintaining his Superman duties). This way Lois can go back to work happily. I love how Clark tells Lois that she was always the better reporter. How fantastic is this!!
There is nothing left to do but show the happy couple and there happy friends at the party.
And so, that was the future of the DCU back in 1980. Superwoman, alive, well, and the Governor of Florida.
And married .... but to who??? Any other guesses?
Overall grade: A (drowned in the sweet syrup of nostalgia)
I have to say ... it looks great in a retro sort of way.
This is definitely a 70's looking Supergirl with puffy sleeves and hot pants. She is wearing ballerina slippers, not boots. The collar being around the neck even mimics the choker look of the time. Now I will say that there is something a bit off with her head and that big forehead.
And it has some of the Mego flourishes, like the legs being covered in fabric.
The packaging looks pretty nice complete with plastic bubble and beautiful trade art (even if it has her wearing boots).
And the back of the package shows the Superman family figures including Lois, Jimmy, and Clark!!
The figure is a bit pricey at $24.99. My guess is it will be impossible to have this figure stand up on its own so if I end up getting this figure it might actually stay in the packaging.
The release date is late November so start saving your pennies or prepare your holiday wish lists!
There has been a lot of news coming out of the San Diego Comic Con this year, a lot of it around Wonder Woman in Dawn of Justice as well as Batman comics and Marvel movies.
But I hdidn't much about about Supergirl. I wonder if I have missed some part of a crucial panel about the super-books. Geoff Johns did talk a little Superman at a general DC panel and there was a generic sounding Superman panel.
So I don't have much to report on Supergirl here outside of two pictures from the con, both of which make me jealous of whoever has them.
Jim Lee did 50 quick sketches and hid them around the convention site for people to find. Lee tweeted out both the sketch and the general area where it could be found. One of them was this New 52 Supergirl. That would be a pretty cool find while wandering around!
Now a couple of weeks ago I wrote how Smallville cover artist Cat Staggs was on my wish list for commissions at the Boston Comic-Con.
Staggs tweeted her first commission of the SDCC, this pre-New 52 Supergirl. It is stunning and shows exactly why I hope she is sketching in a couple of weeks.
Anyways, if anyone caught any Supergirl news from the convention please let me know or include a link!
I am probably burying the lead ... but this is a Supergirl blog.
We finally got a sneak peek at Gal Gadot in her Wonder Woman costume for the upcoming Batman v. Superman:Dawn of Justice movie.
I was absolutely worried that the Wonder Woman costume would be horrible. And so, going in with that fear, I saw this and was pleased. There is definitely a specific Greek feel to this look and Gadot looks strong and fierce.
Yes, I wish there was more color, more red and blue. This muted color thing by Snyder is terrible. Is this whole world brown and gray?
And yes, she is wearing heeled/wedged shoes. Seems foolish to me. But it isn't a deal breaker to me because this could have been much worse.
Now I know that response to this has been dramatic and somewhat heated and negative, especially from hard-core Wonder Woman people whose opinions I respect. But I thought this was fine.
But otherwise there isn't much to report about Superman. Johns' was in the Champions of Justice panel.
Here is what he had to say:
"We sat down and read every Superman comic from the
New 52 and plotted the course of who that character is and what he's
been through." Johns said that the human side of Clark Kent had been
taken out of the series, but their new take on the Daily Planet staff
will help bridge that gap. Coming up is a big change for Jimmy Olsen,
which Johns referred to saying, "Dare I say it, it's bigger than Turtle
So one thing I have complained about is the lack of humanity and empathy in the New 52 Superman. So to actually hear Johns say that he is using the Planet staff to humanize Clark makes me happy.
It is interesting to see the three interact, especially the general lack of involvement by Romita. But it is here that again we hear that the villain I thought was a new Cleric with a second villain in Toyman in the arc is actually a new villain named the Machinist.
And, there was indeed a Superman panel, covered here by CBR here. But there really is nothing major revealed or discussed here. Worth reading for completeness sake I guess.
Superman #33, the second issue by megastar team of Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr, came out this week and continued to be a revamping and re-solidifying of the Superman mythos while exploring the new arc of Ulysses and Klerik.
I will admit that I am thrilled to see Johns bring back some classic consistency to Superman, something lacking since the New 52. So to see the Daily Planet staff - Jimmy Olsen as a young photographer (not billionaire slacker), Lois as a dogged reporter (not missing or a Brainiac), and even Ron Troupe and Steve Lombard - was wonderful. It felt right. And that goes a long way.
And the Ulysses arc moves along nicely with a very interesting wrinkle at the end.
For me, I thought this was a perfect sort of second issue for a new creative team and a new arc. It was a bit exposition heavy but that is what second issues often are. Think about this new arc like you would a James Bond movie. The first issue was the opening action sequence, tied into the overall plot but more to grab the reader with a pulse-pounding sequence. After that opening salvo in Bond movies, we get exposition to help set up the plot. Again, the pace and sequence of the story felt right.
I have to be up front and say that I don't like Romita's art. And this issue doesn't change that much. There are some nice panel set-ups that I liked. But some other places this seems rough.
The book opens with a classic scene, Perry White chewing out his staff for being scooped on the Ulysses story. While it doesn't move the plot forward, it feels like a role call by Johns. We basically go around the room and meet the characters who sometimes give a sort of one-sentence definition of who they are.
Lois Lane is the hard investigative reporter but she gets 'invited in' to get her stories. Steve Lombard is a laidback sort of oaf. Jimmy is the hard-working photographer who always seems to miss the big shot. Ron Troupe is a more of an activist. And this new reporter, whose name escapes me ... sorry, seems more like a hot-shot, attacking reporter, kicking doors down and pouncing. Heck, even Cat Grant seems ready to re-sign with the Planet.
Okay ... the supporting cast is set and defined. Check off that box.
I will say this was the one panel I very much liked. Perry has thrown the rival newspaper in the air. And those floating papers become sort of panel borders. And, as usual I may be over-reading things, I think the paper also helps define the character. Lois is truly surrounded by the paper. She is the most defined by it. The new reporter, looking at her phone, has less paper surrounding her. She isn't as invested in the 'paper', the phone a nice addition. And Ron ... he's in front of the paper. He isn't a news reporter, he's writes opinion pieces, being in front of the news.
Clark arrives at the paper and talks with Perry in private. Clark is working on something on his own and asks Perry about the Ulysses lab, the site of Ulysses birth and journey to Dimension 2.
Talk about exposition! You barely can see the characters as Johns gives us the backstory of Ulysses' parents. But we need this information to move forward. In fact, Perry was the reporter that covered the Ulysses' disaster 25 years earlier.
Perry really wants to bring Clark back into the fold and so cuts a deal. He'll help Clark as much as possible with this story if ... and only if ... Clark gives the story to the Planet. I like this wrinkle very much. It is clear Johns wants Clark back at the Planet. But how to get him there after the impassioned speech Lobdell had him give when he left the Planet? It needs to be done right.
Unfortunately, the middle part of the issue stumbles a bit when we see more of Ulysses.
He arrives at the Planet looking for Superman and finding Clark. Luckily Clark is able to smooth things over, saying that as Clark he is interviewing Ulysses ... finally named to the public. (I do hope that Perry is able to put 2 and 2 together - Clark asking about Ulysses labs, then introducing Ulysses.)
I do love seeing the curiosity raised in Lois when she sees Clark and Ulysses together. Suddenly it really does feel like home again - Land and Olsen are a team again!
Ulysses seems a bit befuddled by Earth and our culture. He asks about secret identities. Later, he is amazed by hot dogs and doesn't understand the concept of money, etc. I suppose it makes sense.
But it makes Clark's actions that much more perplexing. He left Ulysses alone in his apartment when he went to the Planet? He wants Ulysses to stay there when he goes to investigate the lab. He is told by Ulysses that Klerik (the alien the two pounded last issue) is in prison but probably healing.
Why would he leave this powerhouse, who he just met, who he knows nothing about, who doesn't understand our world, whose enemy is healing ... why would he leave him alone in his apartment?
Johns has set this Superman up to be more of a loner. But this seems silly.
The lab is a disaster. But something seems amiss to Clark to the point he calls Perry while there.
I put this in because I thought this sequence, mostly wordless, worked well for Romita including this panel. Amazingly, it mirrors the cover. The cover actually happened!
Meanwhile, Ulysses - calling himself by his birth name Neil - decides to walk the city in civilian clothes, blending in, the explanation Clark uses for needing a secret identity. It is here we see Ulysses acting out of place.
But during his stroll, giant robot army men storm the city. Ulysses springs to action to defend the 'other humans' and eventually Superman joins in. Superman says the soldiers are similar tech to the Titano robot.
Looks like the Toyman is coming back!
We learn what shocked Clark in the labs. Despite the apparent disaster, it seems that Neil's parents (assumed dead in an explosion last issue) survived! And given their history, they assumed new identities. Superman reunites the family.
I have to say I wasn't expecting this. Part of the hook for me in this story is that Ulysses is sort of Superman in reverse, an Earth couple rocketing their son to a new place which will make him super-human. Now I suppose that Neil's birth parents being alive will be used as a foil or as a plot point in the arc. But I am surprised to have this revealed so soon.
This is one of those panels that doesn't seem to work for me. The POV is slightly looking down but it looks like there isn't enough room for Superman at this angle. His head seems small, or his neck small, or something. But he looks odd enough to pull me out of this moment.
But the evil mastermind behind it all, the person I think is the real Klerik, the New 52 Cleric from Superman lore, is watching it all. And he seems to have some stake in this difference. Remember, he said he 'taught' Clark last issue. Now he says he might not be 'alone' soon. Could this be like the old Cleric, using the Eradicator to show Clark his parents in memories?
Overall I thought this was a good issue, the Daily Planet scene being the high point, the action sequence with the army soldier robots also being very good.
I do have some slight worries about how Johns is characterizing Superman. Last issue he moped alone in his apartment. Here he leaves Ulysses behind while he investigates. We barely see Clark interact with any of his friends. I hope we see things turn around. Maybe this arc, looking at a reflection of himself in Ulysses, might move him.
Still ... this felt like a Superman comic, something I haven't always been able to say in the New 52.
The buzz last month for DC Comics was around the multiple Bombshell covers that graced some titles. In a brilliant marketing move, DC made the covers not true rare variants but rather available in a 1:1 ration with the 'normal' covers. As a result, readers who are completists might buy both covers and not break the bank. And stores most likely ordered a bit more heavily to cover that possibility.
I still think this was something of a wasted opportunity to cast some light on the Supergirl book, even if it was through something as gimmick-y as a Bombshell cover. Red Daughter has been a very good story. Any publicity is good publicity.
Supergirl #33 was the penultimate chapter of Red Daughter (assuming you choose to ignore the out of context, odd characterization of Supergirl's Doomed appearances).
This issue included Supergirl coming home, fighting the Diasporans, and learning that the head Diasporan was actually World Killer 1. Pretty good second to last chapter, progressing the story and taking us to a place where a satisfying conclusion could be reached.
Sales remained relatively stable. Supergirl remained the 104 ranked book in sales, dropping about 300 units in sales from last month's 22783.
She seems to be in pretty decent company down there. At nearly 3 years in, she is selling as well as such touted newbies as Aquaman and the Others, Elektra, and New Vampirella.
But sales are still slipping, maybe slowly, showing the resilience of Supergirl's fans.
I truly hope that DC does some publicity for the new direction of the book. They certainly are doing that for the new Batgirl just around the corner.
Supergirl also stars in Justice League United. It is still fresh out of the gates with a nice mix of characters and a stellar creative team of Jeff Lemire, Mike McKone, and Dexter Vines.
This book is clicking on all cylinders and selling briskly at 62K. I am hoping that a strong Supergirl in this book might lead to some cross-pollination towards her new book. United is one of my favorite books right now so I am thrilled to see it selling well.
I haven't been necessarily kind to DC Comics over the last couple of years as it reels from the universal reboot of the New 52, became a darker and grimmer world than I have ever known, misrepresented some of my favorite characters, and treated some of my favorite creators shabbily.
So when DC Comics does something worthy of praise I think I should shout it from the rooftops. October's solicits came out last week and the times they are a-changin' at DC as maybe ... just maybe ... they realize that they can't put all their eggs in the hyper-violent, jaded, grim, cynical basket that this new DCU has become. The entire solicits can be reviewed on CBR .
Now there is a lot that I could showcase here but I use this slot on the blog to review the super-solicits. But one thing stuck out that needed to be shown in full glory here.
BATGIRL #35 Written by CAMERON STEWART and BRENDEN FLETCHER Art by BABS TARR Cover by CAMERON STEWART MONSTERS Variant cover by KEVIN NOWLAN Barbara Gordon is no stranger to dusting herself off when disaster strikes… so
when a fire destroys everything she owned, she spots the opportunity for a new
lease on life — and seizes it! Following the rest of Gotham’s young adults to
the hip border district of Burnside, Barbara sets about building an all-new
Batgirl… and discovers all-new threats preying on her peers! It’s a
re-invention of Batgirl from the boots up, by the incredible creative team of
Cameron Stewart (BATMAN INC.), Brenden Fletcher (WEDNESDAY COMICS), and rising
star Babs Tarr!
Remember when DC 'de-aged' Supergirl in the early 80s sending her back to college after years of being a reporter/guidance counselor/actress?
This feels like that ... like a much-needed and welcomed soft reboot. Now I will admit that I didn't read much of the Simone Batgirl (or even the New 52 Bat-books). But I will read this book. Batgirl suddenly looks like a young hero again, the whole vibe is fresh and fun. There is the sense that this isn't going to be a dystopian book. I even get just the subtle whiff of Steph here. I also get the sense that this book might be something I could give to my oldest daughter.
There are other things that look great this month - Gotham Academy (giving off a similar vibe as this book), Batwoman heading up a horror-hero team called the Unknowns, New Gods invading the Lantern books. It looks like a wild month. And there seems to be a growing palette of tones in the universe.
Now onto the super-solicits.
Written by TONY BEDARD Art by KARL MOLINE Cover by GUILLEM MARCH “SUPERMAN: DOOMED AFTERMATH”! In the waked of the DOOMED storyline, the ALIEN
SYNDICATE looks to re-establish its foothold on Earth. But the venom powered
Red Hood looks for even more muscle in Kara as they go head to head with the
scum and villainy of the galaxy. Plus: an ending that will set Kara on a new
Okay, I keep hoping this book will take off, making its own way while being part of the super-family. So I don't know if I am necessarily happy with a Doomed aftermath. And another cover with an angry Supergirl! Haven't we seen enough?
Lastly, after abandoning the red ring do we really need another ending sending Kara on another new course?
I trust Bedard ...
JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #5
Written by JEFF LEMIRE Art by TIMOTHY GREEN II and JOE SILVER Cover by MIKE McKONE This issue spotlights the newest member of the team: Equinox of the Moose Cree
First Nation! As a rite of passage, Equinox must take down a mystical beast
that’s terrorizing her people!
This should be a nice 'rest' issue after the cosmic nature of the Byth/Ultra arc and the beginning of the new arc in the Annual (see below). Plus, we just don't know enough about Equinox. I am happy that she is getting an origin/spotlight issue.
JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED ANNUAL #1
Written by JEFF LEMIRE Art and cover by NEIL EDWARDS and JAY LEISTEN The Infinitus Saga begins as the Legion of Super-Heroes arrive with the
shocking news that the 31st century has been destroyed! Now it’s up to the
Justice League United to save the future!
Now this is what I'm talking about! I spoke about this a couple of days ago but it is worth hitting the highlights again!
An annual! Supergirl prominent on the cover! THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES!!!
And is it the Time Trapper? Or The Infinity Man? Or both?
I cannot express how happy I am to see the Legion again!
ACTION COMICS #35
Written by GREG PAK Art and cover by AARON KUDER MONSTERS Variant cover by NEAL ADAMS “SUPERMAN: DOOMED AFTERMATH”! In the aftermath of “Doomed” – what is left of
The Man of Steel? And what’s become of Smallville?
Much like with Supergirl, I am going to be happy when the Doomed arc is in the rear view mirror and Pak/Kuder can go back to stories like the Baka one.
I suppose a look at Smallville post-coma makes sense.
Written by GEOFF JOHNS Art and cover by JOHN ROMITA, JR. and KLAUS JANSON The hit SUPERMAN run by Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. continues with “THE MEN
OF TOMORROW” Chapter four! Superman and Ulysses are still dealing with the
traumatic revelations of last issue, but the hunt for The Machinist must
continue before his would-be-victims fall into his hands. But what happens when
the two heroes learn the truth behind The Machinist and the cost to stopping
his mad plan?
Hmmm ... not much to ponder deeply here as I know nothing of the Ulysses revelations or the Machinist.
I do wonder, given the Klerik, if The Machinist might be a riff on The Eradicator.
Written by GREG PAK Art and cover by JAE LEE MONSTERS Variant cover by JON BOGDANOVE Lord Satanas offers Superman and Batman a deal they couldn’t possibly
I hope it is Lord Satanus and that is a typo. No need to revamp everything down to character names.
This book seems to be in something of a rut where the heroes have to decide to act or not act. From the idea of using the 'weapon' vs destroying it in the first arc to Kaiyo's recent offer to have them change the Earth 2 history, we keep seeing our heroes being tempted.
So will this Satanus story be different enough to grab me?
Written by CHARLES SOULE Art by JACK HERBERT Cover by TONY S. DANIEL “SUPERMAN: DOOMED AFTERMATH”! Diana recovers from the events of DOOMED, and the
sacrifices and betrayals made. Is love lost?
Hmmm ... is this the end of the romance?
It does look like it might be the end of Tony Daniel on art on the book. Remember he was one of the biggest pluses this book had.
Is this the end of me buying this book?
SMALLVILLE SEASON 11: CHAOS #3
Written by BRYAN Q. MILLER Art by AGUSTIN PADILLA and MARCELO DI CHIARA Cover by CAT STAGGS
Things in Metropolis come to a head, but will any Super Heroes heed Tess’s
calls for help? Meanwhile, Clark has been released from his crystal prison, but
he and Lois are no closer to home than before – that is, until the strange
situation makes for even stranger bedfellows!
I love this book and it is great to see what Lex is going to do with that pile of yellow rings we saw at the end of the last arc.
I am jealous of those who read it digitally before me too!
So a very busy and potentially fantastic month from DC. Thanks to the company!