Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Man of Steel Homage Panel

I know I read into this stuff too much. But when I read The Man of Steel #6, I was struck by the panel on the right. Here, a forlorn Clark sits slumped in Jon's room, contemplating how alone he is.

When I looked at that image, I couldn't help but remember the image on the left, the last panel of part one of Alan Moore's famous 'Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?' story. They are too similar in composition for coincidence.

But if this is an homage, it’s begging to be compared and contrasted. Because enough is different to make me wonder if writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Jason Fabok were intending on making look at the pictures and the reality they are expressing.

And that need to differentiate them starts with the simple decision to have one be Superman and one be Clark and having them face opposite directions. Now doubt they are similar, close enough for the second to evoke the first. But they are very, very different.

Monday, July 16, 2018

More Supergirl Stuff!

As San Diego comic con approaches and Supergirl continues an unprecedented run of public interest, the character's merchandise list grows longer. I have to say that this particular run of announcements is very compelling to me as I try to figure out how to get it all.

First off is the blu-ray version of her movie from 1984. Here is a link for details:

This special edition of Supergirl presents the film's International Cut, remastered in High Definition for Blu-ray, along with the rare Director's Cut on a bonus DVD.

As most know, it has been years since I have seen the movie. I have always wanted to review it here on the site. Now it looks like I'll finally get the chance. I have only heard rumblings of the director's cut version so I can't wait to see that.

I am just amazed that the interest in Kara Zor-El has reached such a peak that the campy movie from the 80's is getting such a slick re-issuing. I can't wait to see Helen Slater gracefully flying and saying she doesn't scare easily again.

But wait there's more.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Review: Superman #1

Superman #1 came out this week, the first issue in the proper Superman titles for writer Brian Michael Bendis. With multiple covers and lush internal art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado, the book is something of an event, ironically coming out on the same day that Marvel started up a new volume of Spider-Man.

I was hoping to be floored by issue. I wanted to be so amazed by what I read that I was ready to declare myself all in on Bendis. I felt that The Man of Steel mini-series which started this new era seemed to fizzle a bit. I was questioning the direction the Lois/Jon plot went. I needed to just get that sense of joy and anticipation that marked me clamoring for more.

And I didn't quite get it.

That isn't to say that there aren't fine moments in this book. Bendis does a great job here of showing just how incredible Superman is as a hero. We see him effortlessly deal with multiple huge calamities throughout the story, showing us just how powerful he is and how dedicated he is to his duties. That was great. And there are small moments and mentions within the book that make me think the subplots and surroundings are going to be well cared for by Bendis.

Unfortunately, it is the big plot moments that have left me scratching my head. In The Man of Steel, it was the nonsensical decision to let Jon go off with the maniacal Jor-El, Lois in tow. That seems odd and out of character. Here, it is the presence of gentle soul J'onn J'onzz asking Superman to become a king over the world. That seems odder and more out of character. And that was so jarring that the rest of the book, which is delightful, seemed dimmer.

I have no complaints about the art. Reis and Prado bring a modern-day 'classic Neal Adams' feel to the proceedings. Whether it is space battles, office shenanigans, quiet moments at home, or chaotic environments, everything pops off the page. And as a fan of his watercolor covers on Justice League of America back in the day, I chose the David Mack variant.

On to the book.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

DC Nation #2

DC Nation #2 came out last week and I continue to be enthralled with this free magazine. Yes, it is free advertising for DC Comics. But there is enough solid material to make it feel more like just a commercial. There are interviews, behind the scenes process pieces, and creator profiles. For a comic geek like me, this is nirvana. You can't beat that price point either!

Now I'll remind you that this issue was originally solicited with a Supergirl headline. No such luck now. Maybe DC felt it was better to hold onto that article until we were closer to the actual release of the Supergirl book.

I can only hope she merits her own article.

But there was some Supergirl (and Superman) stuff in the magazine.

Her title does get a huge advertisement, the inside back cover.

So as someone who has wailed and gnashed my teeth against the 'Dark Supergirl' theme, I have to say I don't know if I like the 'Wanted:Dead or Alive' banner over Kara. Even the 'not recognized as a hero and sort of a criminal' vibe for Supergirl irks me. So I don't exactly know how to feel about an axe-wielding Supergirl being viewed as a criminal by the universe's police force.

Hopefully, this all turns out well.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Supergirl Show Season 3 Photo Booth Scene

I recently got a fabulous gift in the mail.

Eric Carrasco, a writer on the Supergirl show staff, sent me several of the photo booth strips of Kara fighting the Kalanorian Finhead, from episode 315: In Search of Lost Time.

The photo booth scene was a fun little moment in a very amusing opening scene to the episode. So to be able to hold the pics in my hand and look at it close up was great. This is a great souvenir for me to have from the show! I can't thank Eric enough.

But what events led to me having this in my hands?

Well ...

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Review: Justice League #3

Welcome to my review of Justice League #3 by Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez. And therefore, welcome to one of the more difficult reviews on the recent docket. As I mentioned in my review of last issue, this book is rushing along with the pedal floored. Incredible action, fantastical plots with speedy plot resolution, and new elements added seemingly every other page, this book is dense and fast ... how the heck is that possible!

Because of that, it is hard to write a review. How can you cover all the plot progression without just having the review be a synopsis? And how do you cover the amazing stuff within critically without overlooking some new nugget which is critical?

Trust me, this is a problem I wish I had to deal with all the time. It is a sign of quality.

Suffice it to say, Scott Snyder, continues to pepper this book with an amazing amount of story. I feel like I am riding the wave, letting it all wash over me as I try to figure it all out. Somehow, I think I am missing the forest for the trees. I figure at some point, I'll need to reread it all.

Jorge Jimenez shines as usual. The thing that amazes me is that Jimenez is somehow able to keep up with the story without making it feel cramped. This is an issue with 3 splash pages! It has several half page semi-splashes. And yet it is able to tell the story that Snyder demands. In particular, the Ultraviolet pages are just glittery.

On to the book!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Review: Last Siege #2

The Last Siege #2 came out this week and continued to weave a fascinating story of mixing medieval with samurai/spaghetti western sensibilities. A sole castle is holding out against a marauding warlord who is taking over the land. A lone stranger, well versed on martial arts, arrives to the leaderless castle with a decree from the dead king that he is in charge. Whether it is Yojimbo or The Magnificent Seven, a stranger aiding an overmatched land is a well traveled road. But that in medieval times feels fresh.

With the plot established last issue, writer Landry Walker decides to use this second chapter to nudge the story forward as well as giving us character motivation and depth. We are sort of in the same place we were at the end of the last issue but we know have a better sense of where we are going.

Really, the power of this issue is contrasting the stranger and his approach to the situation to that of Feist, the soldier almost put in charge of the castle. One is ordered and strategic. The other is unhinged and brutish. There will be more conflict ahead.

The art by J.K. Greenwood and Eric Jones really complements the plot points extremely well. It is the power of comics! Meshing words and art! There is that raw feel to the proceedings. fitting of the time period. But the Feist sections are intentionally muddy and almost messier, giving Feist a certain feel.
And yes, I got to the store early enough to get this moody Gabriel Hardman variant. Fantastic.

I'm enjoying this book a lot.