Monday, October 14, 2013
NYCC Panels Recap
Last weekend was the New York Comic Con.
As I have said before in this forum, one of my dreams is to one day head to the New York Comic Con, a huge convention which is either a long car ride or a short train ride away from me. Unfortunately, October is always an extremely busy month for me with a definite work trip annually and several standing family obligations. I don't know when or if I will ever be able to break away.
As a result, the only NYCC news I can get is from coverage on the web and while fantastic it isn't the same as being there in person. As there was a fair amount of Superman coverage, bear with me. This is a long post!
Of all the things happening at the con, there is the Superman Panel and that is what would interest me the most. This was held Friday and there is fantastic coverage of the panel at the usual places although each brings a different nugget of information. So if you are a big fan of the super-books I advise you go to each of these pages and read about it. Here are links for the coverage on Comic Book Resources, Newsarama, and Bleeding Cool.
The panel guests included Scott Snyder, Charles Soule, Greg Pak, Tony Daniel, Aaron Kuder and Scott Lobdell. Shame to see that no one actually involved with the Supergirl or Superboy books were up there. And the beginning part of the panel covered Superman Unchained, Superman/Wonder Woman, and Batman/Superman in depth. It is clear that Snyder, Soule, and Pak have a lot of passion for the characters and their books.
But then Scott Lobdell got to talk about the 'mainstream' Superman books. It is Lobdell's piece of the panel that I feel I need to cover in depth. I have cobbled together quotes from the above coverage, so again, please visit those places.
For the Superman books proper - Action Comics, Superboy, Supergirl and Supergirl - Scott Lobdell said the characters go back in time to save Krypton. Superman meets his mother for the first time... and under the force of a red sun, she beats the tar out of him.
So I suppose that Superman is going to be looked upon as an intruder in the El home and we have seen how Lara has slowly been morphed into a military superstar. So I suppose seeing her beat up Superman was inevitable. And somehow that fits into the mindset of the New 52. I rolled my eyes a bit when I read that.
But that was just the suburbs of sad things I read from Lobdell. And I was about the head into the big city.
Lobdell also added that Superboy will die at the end of the event, calling it, “The ultimate sacrifice, giving his life in order to stop the universe from falling apart,” and from issue #26 onwards in “Superboy” the story will be about John Lane Kent, the original son of Clark and Lois.
So Lobdell is talking about 'Krypton Returns' and basically spoils the ending of the arc right here. Now I wasn't expecting much from this story but I would at least like to be 'shocked' by the ending.
To be honest, the Superboy title has been a horror show, a perfect representation of everything that I disliked about the New 52. It was clear that the company had no clear vision of what they wanted this character to be despite the reboot. Was he a living weapon, a brainwashed dupe of NOWHERE? Was he a deeper brainwashed dupe of Harvest, subliminally conditioned to want to kill Superman? Was he a bank robbing slacker, living the fun life of a gangsta? Was he the receptacle of the DNA of an alternate future Lois/Clark son? Was he a funloving teenager infiltrating a high school?
That is 5 origins in 2 years of books!! Ridiculous! And sadly, none of those origins are very good!
With this version of Con so convoluted, I am not surprised DC wanted to wipe the slate clean. A reboot 2 years into a reboot which underwent multiple small reboots.
But, as if they haven't learned from their mistake, the seem to latch onto the wrong ideas. Since a blood soaked living weapon Superboy didn't work, they decided that they will revamp the title with Jon Lane Kent leading the book, the blood soaked living weapon Superboy from the alternate future!
Ummm ... didn't this just fail?
So I think this makes it official. I am dropping the book after 'Krypton Returns'. Expect no reviews of this abomination here.
I want to hear from the Superboy fans about this news. Because this was the most disheartening piece from the panel.
Supergirl meanwhile will team up with clones, as she makes her return to Krypton.
Lobdell also said that Supergirl, “Will be leaving the Superman family forever for another whole set of books in the DC Universe,” asking Soule, “Is there anything to add?” “Now’s not the time!” Soule laughed, Lobdell telling the audience that they should be able to piece together where Supergirl will be showing up next.
Then we get the Supergirl news from the panel.
I actually like the idea of Supergirl teaming up with clones on Krypton. She is awfully prejudiced about them, thinking them to be violent mockeries of Kryptonian people. So this might be a nice life lesson for her.
But that other part!
So Supergirl is officially leaving the Superman family forever for another set of books. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this either. Since the New 52, DC hasn't known what to do with Supergirl either. Instead of making her have a relationship with Superman which enriches but does not define her, they have pushed her farther and farther away. DC like the 'isolated' Supergirl which is always the wrong take on the character.
Does Soule responding mean she will appear in Superman/Wonder Woman? Does the time reference mean anything? Will there be a new Legion book she heads? Will she head to Earth 2? Maybe a cosmic style book instead of Earth based?
Since this was vague, I won't be too pessimistic. But this has the potential to be another serious misstep in their handling of Supergirl.
And lastly, I had to quote this line from Lobdell ... the main architect of Superman books right now ...
The writer explained that he’s not interested in a character that does the right thing every time.
There can be conflict. There can be mistakes. But Superman tried to do the right thing every time.
Why is Lobdell on Superman at all!
And luckily, one writer (Soule) said his Superman would never kill. All the other writers hemmed and hawed about how in the right circumstance ... blah blah blah.
Thank you Charles Soule!!
And so that was my depressing recap of the Superman Panel. If it is always like this, maybe I am better off not being there in person.
Saturday there were two panels which added some information or were worth covering here. The first was the Superman 75th anniversary panel. The guests on stage were Mike Carlin, Paul Levitz, Dan Didio, Bruce Timm, and Molly Quinn, who is very quickly becoming a celebrity ambassador for Supergirl! There is coverage on Newsarama but I was lucky enough to see the panel streaming live while in my living room.
There was a lot of Superman love in this panel. But I loved how Quinn promoted Supergirl during the panel, plugging her new series as a great gateway comic, saying she is headstrong and feisty, and talking about how Superman is an inspiration. I am quickly becoming a big fan of Quinn's.
They also showed a nice Bruce Timm/Zach Snyder animated short where Superman morphs from Action Comics #1 through all his incarnations up to Man of Steel. It is brilliant. It includes a quick shot of Supergirl and all the super-pets! And it includes him boxing someone in a very Neal Adams style (presumably Muhammed Ali but you can't say it). Fantastic.
Lastly, Dan Didio actually praised Lois in this panel, reminding everyone it is her 75th anniversary and that her name would look well as a title on a book. So it sounds like a Lois Lane special or mini-series or monthly is upcoming.
Lastly, there was the DC New 52 panel later on Saturday. This included a bunch of creators and Charles Soule and Paul Levitz. There is coverage on CBR and Newsarama. There was a couple of things which stood out.
The first news was that the Worlds' Finest Annual will be a flashback story to when the heroes were Supergirl and Robin on Earth 2. I loved what I saw of them in those roles in Worlds' Finest #0 and the earliest issues of Earth 2 and Worlds' Finest. So this should be a lot of fun. I would love Jorge Jimenez of Smallville to draw the book. And if not him, Francis Portela.
The other news was a hint that a new teen team book might be around the corner. Maybe that is the 'new Supergirl' title as she leaves the Superman family. Maybe a Young Justice book in the vein of James Peaty's Supergirl arc?
I didn't even mention Steph Brown coming back!
Anyways ... what did you all think of the news??