Friday, January 30, 2015

Bullet Review: Worlds' Finest #30


Worlds' Finest #30 came out last week, one of many chapter in the deconstruction of the New 52 Earth 2. I stopped reading this title half a year ago when a sort of creative ennui mired the book into irrelevancy. Since then, I have only seen the ads and read a review here and there about Worlds' End and Earth 2.

There isn't much about what I have seen happening in these books that has made me question my decision.

But blog friend and fellow comic reviewer Mart Gray   tipped me off that I might enjoy some of this last issue and he was right.


The whole issue is told in flashback by Lois, a look at this Earth just before it unraveled into chaos. So we see this quiet moment of Mr. and Mrs. Superman enjoying each others' company and doing a little canoodling.

Of course, Supergirl lives with them and walks in on them snuggling. There is so much to love in this scene, from the simple romance of Lois and Clark to the 'cowbell' comment by Kara.

But most of all I love this costume. For one, it shows that this Kara has always preferred the leotard look, the one piece. No skirt to be seen here. And it echoes the one piece she wears as Power Girl. But most of all I love the ballerina slippers, a nice nod to the later  70's Adventure Comics Supergirl.


It's funny. I found the strongest part of this book is when Paul Levitz looked back at Huntress and Power Girl's early careers as Robin and Supergirl. So I also enjoyed this other adventure in the book with Catwoman and Robin.

These flashback scenes made me miss a more classic Earth 2 even more, the one with the JSA, Infinity Inc, and a sense of legacy.

Thanks again Mart! That Supergirl page made me smile. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Supergirl Show News: Mehcad Brooks Cast As Jimmy Olsen



The news about the upcoming Supergirl show is coming fast and furious these days and it all seems to be spot on. The latest news came out late last night that Mehcad Brooks has been cast as Jimmy Olsen. It was big enough to get covered on the DC Comics website blog. Here is the link: http://www.dccomics.com/blog/2015/01/28/breaking-news-supergirl-casts-james-olsen

And a brief blurb from that press release:

Actor Mehcad Brooks (Necessary Roughness, True Blood) has been cast as James Olsen in Supergirl, the high flying new series in development from Berlanti Productions, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. 
 

Supergirl’s James Olsen is described as a photographer at CatCo, the media company where Kara (series star Melissa Benoist) works. He has recently been living and working in National City, though the reason is still a secret.

 There is a lot to like about this casting. Brooks is an up and coming star who has shined in his prior roles and shows. Casting an African-American as Jimmy is brilliant. Sure, I will miss the classic red hair. But this adds some nice diversity to the show. And while he looks young, he is actually 34 making me think this isn't a copyboy Jimmy, or even a young hungry reporter. My guess is he is full-blown Mr. Action here, an established photojournalist.

The blurb about him working at CatCo and living in National City for a 'secret' reason gives him a decent hook. My guess is Jimmy is 'Superman's Pal' and Superman asked him to move to National City to keep his eye on Kara. And in those leaked audition tapes, we heard Jimmy talking about seeing Superman and covering the Man of Steel's actions for the planet. So he has some super-history. For me, that makes for a better story than Jimmy working undercover for the Planet. And it adds some Silver Age patina to the story - Superman keeping a close and sometime overbearing eye on his cousin.

The bottom line is I think Brooks is a great addition to this show. Welcome aboard.


And congrats to Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler.

I was cautiously optimistic about the show when it was first announced. (I worry about everything Supergirl.) But so far every move and everything I have heard about this show has made me smile. The casting of Benoist and Brooks is one thing. The tone of the leaked audition scripts is another.

I think this is going to be great!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hollywood Legacy Supergirls On The New Supergirl Show



One of the things I like is that there is this sort of growing Hollywood legacy around Supergirl these days. And the actors who have portrayed her don't shy away from their history with the character.

So it was great in the wake of Melissa Benoist being cast as Supergirl to see a couple of Supergirl veterans step up to discuss the show and congratulate Benoist.



First off, Blastr caught up with Helen Slater to discuss her playing Supergirl in the 1984 movie and her thoughts on the show. Please read the whole interview to hear her talk about the getting the role and how she prepared for it. Here is the link:http://www.blastr.com/2015-1-22/exclusive-helen-slater-reveals-how-she-became-1st-supergirl-talks-cbs-reboot

And here is what she said when asked if she would want to be on the new Supergirl show: 

"I think that would be such a thrill," she exclaimed. "Having been on Smallville and being at these conventions, the fans just love it so much. They love when there's any kind of crossover, or 'Oh my gosh, she was in the original, or he was.' I think the writing has gotten a lot smarter now ... somehow they've cracked the code or something to have a really great sense of humor, but have it still be smart and not pandering to a younger audience. It seems like something has changed." 

Slater believes the new show could reignite Supergirl's legacy. "I just have great faith that they'll figure it out in this CBS world ... they just sound super talented, so fingers crossed." 

Now it would be easy to have Slater play Alura in flashbacks. But I think that might be too easy.

I would rather see her in a different role. And my choice would be as Dr. Jenet Klyburn of S.T.A.R. Labs. Klyburn has a nice history in the DCU and Slater would bring some depth to the role.


And Laura Vandervoort, who last played Supergirl on television, extended her congratulations to Benoist on Twitter.


I love that Vandervoort has a connection to the character. And given how much the Supergirl fandom appreciates and loves Vandervoort, I would love for her to also appear on the show. Maybe as 'Kitty' Faulkner/Rampage? Or maybe Laurel Gand from the future?

Anyways, I am thrilled that there is now a sort of family tree with Supergirl in Hollywood. You can throw Nicolle Tom, Summer Glau and Molly Quinn into the mix. Quite a talented group!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

April 2015 Solicits: Convergence And Others

Marvel blew the doors off of the comic world this week, revealing their Secret Wars series uniting their universes in a Crisis sort of way. 

Maybe the reason why DC released their Convergence solicits so long ago was so that it wasn't going to compete as news with that Marvelous bombshell. Even though the Convergence descriptions dripped out a while ago, the final April solicits came out this week. Here is the Newsarama link: http://www.newsarama.com/23280-dc-comics-full-april-2015-solicitations.html

I am a longstanding DC fan so I am looking forward to revisiting some of these time periods. But I wonder if newer readers are going to think about this as yet another 'jumping off' point for a bunch of titles.

Here are the super-titles:


CONVERGENCE: SUPERGIRL: MATRIX #1
Written by KEITH GIFFEN
Art by TIMOTHY GREEN II
Cover by HOWARD PORTER
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

STARRING HEROES FROM ZERO HOUR! What do Supergirl, Lady Quark and Ambush Bug have in common? Well ... nothing, really. But that doesn’t stop them from appearing in this story together. You are SO welcome.

So Matrix ended up becoming the Linda Danvers Earth Angel Supergirl under Peter David. But before that she was the girlfriend of Lex Luthor, who at this point was cloned and pretending to be his own illegitimate son. I have to assume we are in that period given this red-bearded chap on the cover. I can't help but notice that the device in his hand looks like a Red Lantern symbol if I squint.

The solicit gives me little to work with although the presence of Ambush Bug and Giffen as writer makes me thinks this isn't going to be something serious.

I love how Supergirl looks on this cover as this is my favorite version of the costume. 


Each title has a variant cover designed by Chip Kidd which has an old school Ben-Day dot are piece fade into a solid color. I don't know if I like it ...


CONVERGENCE: JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
Written by FRANK TIERI
Art by VICENTE CIFUENTES
Cover by MARK BUCKINGHAM
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

STARRING HEROES FROM THE PRE-FLASHPOINT DCU! The Justice League story you never expected to see begins when Supergirl, Zatanna, Vixen and Jade attend Jesse Quick’s baby shower, which quickly turns into a life-and-death struggle with Flashpoint Aquaman!

James Robinson had a very good run on JLA where the team was mostly comprised of legacy heroes claiming a spot on the team. Jesse Quick was there instead of the Flash. Jade was there, not GL. Donna Troy was there, not Diana. And Supergirl was there. That title ended with Jesse pregnant and losing her powers.

I am thrilled to us revisit this era. And great to see this all-female version of the League here.


CONVERGENCE: ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #1
Written by MARV WOLFMAN
Art by ROBERTO VIACAVA and ANDY OWENS
Cover by MIKEL JANIN

On sale APRIL 22 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T
STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! Superman and Supergirl attempt to free their city via the Phantom Zone but learn that if they succeed, a terrible fate awaits Supergirl in Crisis on Infinite Earths!

Boy, Marv Wolfman likes to go back to the well, doesn't he. Once again he picks at the scab of killing Kara in Crisis on Infinite Earths. I suppose Kara will learn of her fate and still accepting it, her being the hero she is.

Very lovely cover here by Mikel Janin. It is nice the see the headband again.


CONVERGENCE: SUPERMAN #1
Written by DAN JURGENS
Art and cover by LEE WEEKS
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

STARRING HEROES FROM THE PRE-FLASHPOINT DCU! A powerless Superman is called upon to protect Gotham City…and his pregnant wife Lois Lane!

Jurgens! Weeks! Superman and Lois together!!

Soooooo happy!!!


CONVERGENCE: ACTION COMICS #1
Written by JUSTIN GRAY
Art by CLAUDE ST-AUBIN
Cover by AMANDA CONNER
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! Superman teams up with Power Girl, but can they stop a nuclear strike by Lex Luthor and Stalin of Red Son Moscow?

It will be nice to see the old school Earth 2 Superman and Power Girl working together again. And i Liked St. Aubin's work on REBELS so the art will be good.


CONVERGENCE: SUPERBOY #1
Written by FABIAN NICIEZA
Art by KARL MOLINE and JOSE MARZAN, JR.
Cover by BABS TARR
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

STARRING HEROES FROM ZERO HOUR! Has Kon-El earned the right to be the new Man of Steel? Kon will have to prove his mettle in battle against the Superman of Kingdom Come! But what if the only way to save Metropolis is to lose the fight?

I think the best thing about this solicit is that cover by Babs Tarr. So much fun!!!

The Kingdom Come Superman is incredibly powerful so this will be interesting to see.


CONVERGENCE: SUPERMAN – THE MAN OF STEEL #1
Written by LOUISE SIMONSON
Art by JUNE BRIGMAN and ROY RICHARDSON
Cover by WALTER SIMONSON
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

STARRING HEROES FROM ZERO HOUR! Superman is missing, so now it’s up to Steel to defend Metropolis from the GEN13 kids!

If Wolfman is going to the well, then Louise Simonson is going home again.

I have never been a huge Steel fan but I am excited for this book written by Simonson and drawn by June Brigman. This sounds like the perfect example of what Convergence is trying to do, revisiting classics.


CONVERGENCE: SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #1
Written by STUART MOORE
Art by GUS STORMS and MARK FARMER
Cover by PIA GUERRA
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS!! While Brainiac 5 struggles to break through the dome, Superboy tries to keep the Legion of Super-Heroes’ spirits up – until the Atomic Knights ride into town to cause mass destruction!

Hooray! Old school Superboy and the Legion!!!

I have been craving a Legion book again. Maybe this will sate me a little.


SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #9
Written by CECIL CASTELLUCCI and LAUREN BEUKES
Art by CHRIS SPROUSE, KARL STORY and MIKE MAIHACK
Cover by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA

It’s a “Girls’ Day Out,” and Lois Lane doesn’t do “puff piece” interviews, which is fine, because Diana of Themyscira is not interested in being treated as fluff. But when they’re attacked by croco-aliens and robots, the situation really gets heated! Then, in “The Problem with Cats,” Wonder Woman has been summoned to the Isle of Cats to rescue her Justice League teammates, but can Diana save the day? 

And while not Convergence, I wanted to point people to Sensation Comics #9 which includes a story by Supergirl/Batgirl webcomic creator Mike Maihack! 'The Problem with Cats'?? I can only hope Supergirl and Streaky show up.

What will you be getting?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Review: Batman/Superman #18


Batman/Superman #18 continues the 'Superman's Joker' storyline and once again showed me that my confidence in Greg Pak writing Superman is well founded. Pak's work on Action has been spectacular, especially his reintroduction of Lana into the Superman universe.

In Action, Pak has Superman in a horror environment. Here he has placed Superman in a Batman scenario, having an insane, obsessed enemy picking off his loved ones. I have heard people say that writing Superman stories is difficult because 'he is invulnerable and what can threaten him'?  But putting Superman in odd situations for him, for making him uncomfortable or unsure of himself, to make Superman ask himself tough questions, is how Pak is accomplishing it. Superman doesn't usually deal with psychopathic serial killers. How would he react?

But then, and this is so important to me, Pak puts Lois in the spotlight in this issue, showing us just how brave and powerful she is. If there is a character in the Superman universe who has been underutilized in the three years of the New 52, it is Lois. I have been waiting to see the 'real' Lois for some time and outside of Superman Unchained and the occasional snippet in Geoff Johns' Superman, I haven't gotten enough. So I love that she is front and center here.

The issue moves the plot along nicely with a not so surprise ending. But it is the character moments as Superman and his friends struggle to deal with this killer that makes this such a good issue.


The art by Adrian Syaf is sort of scruffy with lines and cross hatching that works well for this grimmer sort of story. This looks more like a Gotham book than a clean bright Metropolis book.

And I think the cover is an homage to Days of Future Past.


The story starts with Superman straining the slowly rebuilding Fortress computer to try and figure out who the killer is. I have to admit I had forgotten that the Fortress got demolished in Doomed. I think that story was so muddled and jumbled that some plot points have been lost amid the detritus.

Supergirl however doesn't think that is the right move. She barrels into Superman to stop him from accessing the computer.

While I don't like the physicality of her stopping him, I like that she does. Here she reminds him that the computer may not be able to survive a search this early in its regeneration. She knows he might regret this choice. And this Kryptonian computer is needed for other things too.

I have liked the interaction between the two super-cousins recently.

In a bit of serendipity or foreshadowing, Kara talks about the bottle city of Kandor, apparently lost into the Phantom Zone.

Much like the destruction of the Fortress, I didn't recall that the bottle city got somehow swept into the Zone. But Kara knows the Fortress computer will be needed to somehow find the city and revive the people in it, including her friend Tali Zar.

One small complaint about the art here. For a second I  thought Kara was holding the bottle which seemed unsafe and impossible. I know this is supposed to remind us what the bottle looks like ... but maybe don't position it in her hands, or have her hands away from it?


There discussion is interrupted by Batman.

He has deduced a plan. Talking on a magically protected line, he says that Superman's Joker must be lured out by someone so close to Superman that it would grievously hurt the Man of Steel should they die.

And that person is ... Lois Lane?

Now maybe this might be true in just about every other DC Universe. But we haven't seen these two interact much in the New 52. And while some sort of history is hinted at between the two, and maybe they are friends, we haven't seen anything that would make us (as readers) think it is true. Even Supergirl is shocked. After all, wouldn't Diana be the person he would miss the most?


Turns out the whole thing is a ruse. The communication isn't protected. It is all a stunt to use Lois as bait to lure out the killer.

And Superman knows it. There is nothing for Superman to do except fly to the rescue. And Supergirl heads there too.

It is clear that Superman cares for Lois greatly. But as a reader, I have to rely on my memory of "Lois and Clark" to feel that.


That said, this Lois is incredible.

Look at her standing there, arms crossed, steadfast whatever threat is heading her way. She plays up this role, saying how she loves Superman and remembers the 'wedding proposal on the moon'.

And here, she tells Batman that she is glad that he pulled her into this mess. She would have kicked his ass if he hadn't. She is that big of a friend of Superman, that big of a presence in his life.

This is the sort of Lois that I want to read.


But in an interesting turn of event, the 'bullet' doesn't go after Lois, evades Superman and Supergirl's efforts to stop it, and hits Batman in the chest.

This Joker says that Batman is the person Superman would miss the most. Batman is the person who understands Superman the most.

Now I suppose that Batman and Superman are best friends. And I guess 'understand' doesn't mean 'agree with' as I think these two are very different. And maybe this killer isn't targeting Wonder Woman because she is more difficult to kill. Because I would think the person Superman loves ... Diana ... would be the one who understands him the most and the person he would miss the most.

I also think it is interesting that Batman has Kryptonite built into his armor. This has to be defense against Superman ... although it is timely.


More Lois though. Superman seems a bit irked that Lois would put herself in danger at Batman's request. But she had no worries, knowing that Superman would save her. She always bets on blue.

But then Pak has Lois backtrack from any sense of true feelings, having her say that her 'love' was an act. Is she protesting too much?

Still, this is a great representation of Lois.


That Kryptonite laced armor probably saved Batman's life. The 'bullet' was a Kandorian flying at high speed! And he's dead!

So does that mean Batman killed this guy with Kryptonite? Is it self-defense? I have to mull that over in my head a bit ...

What is even more interesting is that this Kandorian, Kan Ko, was a 'Wellness Officer', a sort of selfless doctor type who helped save people afflicted with Sky Flu. How could this sort of saintly figure become a living weapon?

Lois thinks it is Brainiac but Batman doesn't think it fits the typical Coluan M.O.


Well it turns out that Batman was able to trace the bullet's trajectory. It came from ... a bottle ... which is in the middle of a tech shielded beach on Iceland. And looking at that thing, we see that there are a lot of angry people in that bottle, maybe Kandorians who are angry that Superman hasn't done more for them? A sort of revenge squad?

This is very good issue. I have to congratulate Pak for bringing a strong Lois into the story. Her willingness to risk herself for Superman and to do so unflinchingly is refreshing. I like the interaction between Supergirl and Superman.

I suppose the decision to target Batman is an interesting one. I wonder why, in the New 52, these two would be friends. Pak has done a lot to show why they would be. And elevating Batman to that status shows the strength of this friendship. Still ... I would think Diana (in this current DCU) would be the one Superman would miss most. And in a perfect world it should be Lois.

I don't know the motivation of these Kandorians yet. For me, that is going to be the linchpin for the story. If I don't understand why these Kryptonians would become killers, the foundation of the arc might crumble. But why worry about something that might be fine.

Overall grade: B+

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Supergirl Casted! Welcome Melissa Benoist!



It broke everywhere on Thursday and so I am very late to the game ... but Supergirl has been cast! The Hollywood Reporter has the news that Glee alumni Melissa Benoist has been cast as Kara Zor-El for the upcoming CBS drama.

Here is that report:http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/supergirl-melissa-benoist-glee-whiplash-754208

I think this is a fabulous choice.

I will admit to heading to YouTube and Netflix to look for the breadth of Benoist's work outside of Glee. After watching her on late night television, singing her way through Glee, and some snippets from Whiplash, I think she just the right mix of freshness, spunk, and strength to play a great Kara. She also has a look that I think is perfect for the role.

So I am still cruising on optimism for this show. So far Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler are hitting all the right notes. And now, seeing Benoist as Kara, it makes Alexandra Daddario even more perfect as Alexandra Danvers. Those two could be sisters.


And here is a tweet from a while ago showing Benoist with blonder hair. Now we know what the 'secret project' was. Looks great!

Here is a link to Benoist's website: http://melissa-benoist.com/

Welcome aboard the Supergirl bandwagon Melissa!!!


I mean ... #Supergirl was trending on Twitter !

This is a great time to be a Kara fan.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Supergirl Radio

Inline image 1

THE FLASH PODCAST LAUNCHES
SUPERGIRL RADIO
TUESDAY, FEB 3!
New Fan Podcast Dedicated to the Upcoming Supergirl TV Show on CBS.
______________________________________________________________________

Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 – The Flash Podcast, which launched in December 2013 and was the first fan podcast for CW’s The Flash, is expanding its podcast circle with the launch of its first sister podcast Supergirl Radio, on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd!

Supergirl Radio is a fan podcast devoted to the upcoming Supergirl TV show on CBS, created by Arrow’s and The Flash’s Greg Berlanti and The New Normal’Ali Adler, and starring Glee’s Melissa Benoist as the titular superheroine.

Supergirl Radio will be helmed by female duo: Teresa Jusino and Rebecca Johnson, both of whom have made names for themselves analyzing pop culture individually, and will now be joining forces to celebrate the arrival of Supergirl to television.
This fan podcast will begin with a “Season Zero” - as The Flash Podcast did - from February through September 2015, where listeners will get to join the journey and discover more about Kara Zor-El a.k.a. Supergirl, the last daughter of Krypton. Once Supergirl debuts on CBS, Supergirl Radio will become your one-stop shop for all things related to the series. Andy Behbakht, host of The Flash Podcast, is a producer on the show and will work behind the scenes with our hosts.

Supergirl Radio “Season Zero” will provide an in-depth exploration of Supergirl’s history in the DC Comics Universe, dissecting both past interpretations of the character and the current New 52 version throughout the season, with episodes dedicated to iconic storylines and big events that have involved Supergirl. There will also be focus on Supergirl in other media in which she’s appeared, from movies to television and much more!

Supergirl is an upcoming superhero drama by Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash) and Ali Adler (The New Normal, Glee, Chuck) that will be a new interpretation of Superman’s famous cousin as she discovers the heroine within her. Melissa Benoist (Glee, Whiplash) was cast on January 22 as the next person to take this iconic heroine to the skies.

CBS gave the Warner Bros. TV project a series commitment on September 19, 2014 and describes as following: “Born on the planet Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped amid its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she’s been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.”


Supergirl Radio is a fan dedicated podcast and is not affiliated with DC Comics, Warner Bros. Television or CBS Television. Supergirl & all logos and artwork are trademark of DC Comics and DC Entertainment.