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!

Now there is pretty art from all the books on display with the coverage.

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.

Not bad.

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??


Martin Gray said...

As I said on Twitter, I just don't believe Lobdell. He can't be serious with all this awful nonsense - surely DC has noticed that certain approaches haven't worked. And would he really give away the ending of the Kryoton story? Is he that sure that we don't want to be surprised by his story? I know that solicitations say a hero will die or some such - at this point I wouldn't be surprised if that means H'el, getting some kind of stupid 'redemption'.

Where would Supergirl go, other family of books-wise? Please Lord, not the idiot Teen Titans. Could another, Tony Bedard-run L.E.G.I.O.N. revival be on the way. I could stand to see Supergirl in there - we could see how she sparks with Querl Dox's ancestor, Vril - but as a member, not the focus. Let's just have a Supergirl book focusing on Supergirl moving forward, treat her as a strong player in her own right rather than insisting on pinning her too tightly to some other bunch of characters, like a helpless butterfly.

Lobdell has to have been trolling ...

Count Drunkula said...

The main focus of Superman books right now seems to be on BATMAN/SUPERMn and SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN, where the Man of Steel shares the page time with another lead, and on SUPERMAN UNCHAINED, which might be a limited series ending with issue #8 or #9, according to some rumor/reports.

That leaves the Superman "family" of books an afterthought. I think Pak/Kudor will be great on ACTION, but everything else is highly questionable. The phrasing of some of the comments even made it sound like SUPERGIRL was being canned and that Tony Bedard's book won't even happen.

StephenM said...

If Supergirl is no longer a part of the Superman family does that mean she doesn't have to put up with Lobdell's nonsense any more?
Get put in some kind of protective Argo City cocoon safe from all this insanity?

Anonymous said...

Yeah if Supergirl is Out of the Superman Family then...What she is The Earth Angel Again?
Or are they all nostalgic for The Glopdroid Supergirl, y'know Lex Luthor's dopey dupe?
I say drop her down in an alternate universe where SHE is the only Kryptonian in town period and use that scenario to build towards something positive.
Ah but that is a sensible idea, and we all know DC's attitude towards any of that!!!
All of this sounds appalling, and I've been nothing but appalled from the git go...starting to get numb to it all.
Maybe this is it, floppies have reached the end times...who knows...doesn't all this caterwauling from DC sound like the triumphant bellows of the dinosaurs before the asteroid hit?


AndNowInStereo said...

I was watching this unfold, and to be honest I'm just confused. Certainly it sucks for Superboy - #25 will be the only issue of that I read, for sure.

What's happening to Supergirl is too vaguely defined for me to really work out my feelings on it. As long as her own book stays going - and I have to be confident it will be because we know Yildiray CInar is pencilling it right now - I'm fine with her joining a team book of some kind, except the Titans because that cretin Lobdell has made even long-term TT fans hate it. As for leaving the Superman family of books, I don't like the idea of cutting her off from Clark, Kon, Lois etc even further, but to be honest if I NEEDED to have them be a major part of her book, I wouldn't have liked the New52 book because she's already barely involved with them. I hoped KR was an opportunity for them to reconnect. If she is separated from them, I'll be ok with it as long as, like Bedard has been hinting, she's reconnected with her own supporting cast. and if it means she's kept away from Lobdell, I might even WELCOME it. The 26 solicit does hint at a "New mission" - perhaps this is what Lobdell was referring to?

Seriously, I'm with you on this one. Why is he even writing Superman if this is how he feels about him? Did something heavy fall on his head? Why is he in charge of Superman, the Teen Titans AND Red Hood? *sigh* I'll have more of an opinion when we hear concrete details. I've been talking up Supergirl all over reddit, tumblr, anyone I meet who's into comics etc, and there is a lot of goodwill for the Supergirl title amongst fans sick of Superboy's lack of direction and Superman being written like a jerk by Lobdell. I'd hate it if her book gets thrown down the toilet now. When Bedard and Cinar's first issue comes out, if it's good, I'm going to shill for it shamelessly. I might even buy a few copies of it as Christmas presents!

It was a relief to get to Sunday and hear news of the Marvel panels. At least I've got Captain Marvel coming back! And in SPACE!

Anj said...

Thanks for all the comments.

I have come to have low expectations for the super-books and that is sad.

That said, the Supergirl news is at least neutral. I hope her book continues. I hope she is featured in a second book, a team book and I would love for it to be more cosmic in nature. (LEGION is a great idea.)

At the very least we aren't hearing about a gutting of the character like Superboy.

PRgirl1294 said...

Guys, Lobdell is definitely trolling. I just saw the solicits and cover for Superboy #27 and on the cover, Superboy is still wearing the same red and black Tron suit, so it's still Kon.

Anj said...

The solicit calls him The Son of Superman so it is probably Jon Lane.

As for Supergirl, who knows.

Jay said...

In regards to Lobdell's stuff, which seems to be getting the most attention: no problem with Lara and Superman having a confrontation. I like Lara's military background origin in this continuity, and I would imagine that she A, doesn't know this is her son, or B, doesn't believe the time travel story if Kal gets to relay it. Which I find understandable. So this doesn't bother me in the slightest.

The rest though, lots of concern. I understand Superboy has had a whole lot of missteps and its nice when that's acknowledged, I'm just not sure if the direction of replacing him entirely is the right call. Risks have paid off before, but I'm wary.

As for Supergirl, this is a bit harder to gauge. Because I don't understand the context of "leaving the Superman family forever". Is this hyperbole? Is her title just going to be further disconnected? Or is her book being canceled and the other title she's going to be showing up in becomes her only feature? If its the former I could deal with it, although a further divorce from Superman I feel is not needed at all. If its the latter, I'd be quite a bit more disappointed.

I'm just assuming at this point he's not trolling, because a few days after the fact no sources have called it out as such.

Anonymous said...

What did Scott Snyder say about Superman killing? Did he agree with the rest about "the right circumstances?"

If he did, I would be surprised at his answer!

Anonymous said...

This Superboy fan has been depressed ever since I read the news on CBR, and I can't let go of it. I actually got into the Super-Family New 52, especially Superboy with the H'el on Earth events. To be honest, I do like everything that has been going on except the Clois-centric origin. I don't mind if he is the clone of Jon Kent and Superman, but I have trouble with Lois being the mother clone. Clois doesn't appeal to me so I went ahead while ignoring the origin and hoping for the best for this Superboy. But if Jon replaces Kon, I don't think I will be able to read anymore since I'm not a Jon Kent fan given his history.

tony said...

The solicits have "son of superman" and in the batman/superman book there is kon right beside Damian,and the solicit says grieving fallen allies.

So what am I supposed to do now,drop the book,because this is not my superboy,not my clone named kon or Conner? Well this is what I'm gonna do,I'm gonna read issue 25,26,and 27 of both superboy and teen titans,and if there isn't a clear way for kon to be back,that will be it,I will no longer buy superboy anymore,and yeah it makes me sick to my stomach.

DC should be ashamed of themselves,they have shit on the character from the beginning,and when they had a chance to give him a origin most wanted,they gave us the most complicated crap.They have shown no respect for the character at all,DC disgusts me right now.

Jon lane kent is a good side story character,but not someone to wrap a characters origin around,and definitely not hand him the characters book,when the harvest/Jon stuff is what ppl didn't like about the book in the first place.

I want to know who changed their minds about superboys origin,and gave us Jon's organ bank instead,I want that persons head on MY chopping block.YOU ruined my favorite character,and not will brush him aside,cause you couldn't get your asinine ideas over with customers.

Shame on you DC,shame on you

AndNowInStereo said...

I started watching Young Justice recently. I don't understand why they couldn't just use the Young Justice origin for Superboy. It's really easy to grasp and really easy to tell! I wasn't sure if I'd like Conner in that show, but he became one of my favourite characters quite quickly.

Anonymous said...

Supergirl #24 preview is now out. Apparently she has a consciousness separate from her body (Descartes with the save!) that's still alive and can neatly be put back in, just as soon as the current writer reverses all the issue #23 nonsense and puts everything back the way it was before Daddy Cyborg showed up.

I'm relieved that they've gone down the supernatural solution route to fix the horror of issue #23.

Martin Gray said...

Aaargh spoilers!

Anonymous said...

Not exactly much of a spoiler to mention Supergirl isn't permanently dead.

I'm just happy to hear they did the right thing and haven't created a "gap in her existence" that would allow some people to denounce a rebuilt Supergirl as a copy.