Thursday, June 30, 2016

Daring New Adventures of Supergirl Streaky

Last week, I covered the origin of Streaky the Super-cat from way back in Action Comics #261. It was a fun review of a time when the super-family had pets that survived!

I was reminded that Streaky the Super-Cat should probably be named Streaky I because back in Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #6, Paul Kupperberg introduced us to Streaky II.

Now this isn't a full review of this issue because there is too much fun with Matrix Prime and The Gang. It deserves its own review.

But I am on something of a Streaky high right now so I want to review the introduction of Streaky II.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Review: Adventures of Supergirl Chapter 12

Adventures of Supergirl, Chapter 12 came out this week, the penultimate chapter of this book. As always, I read the second to last chapter of arcs pretty critically as it has to bring the story to a place where it can be wrapped up.Have the subplots been addressed? Has the main plot been brought forward to a point that it can be finished? This chapter is crucial.

I believe writer Sterling Gates succeeded here. There is a lot going on. But the story has been pushed forward so much the last couple of chapters that I feel we are close to an end. The main villain and our hero are about to square off.

But most impressive for me is that Gates has injected personal/emotional subplots into this brief series. The foundation of the show and a big part of its success was the relationship between Kara and Alex. Gates has leaned on that as well. In this chapter and comic, that relationship is the bedrock as well. The ending of this part is an emotional scene which resonates with the show nicely.

As for the art, Emma Vicieli continues to shine. We get to see action and character scenes here and both have some artistic heft behind them. In particular the expressive work here, especially with Alex, is the high point. On to the book.

We start out with Suoergirl facing off against Facet. We are dropped into this scene which is very different from where we left off last chapter. Facet begins monologuing a bit to Kara. She has been slowly destroying Supergirl's Earthly life, removing all her connections. Her friends at CatCo, her sister, the DEO, and her mother have all been disgraced or killed. Now there is nothing left to tie Supergirl to this planet. Instead, Facet will be free to mold Kara into whatever warped image of Alura she has.

It has been implied here that Alura looked the other way while Facet used here Draconian techniques to keep Fort Rozz orderly. Facet probably thought that meant Alura approved of her methods. And so, Facet would want Kara to be just as Machiavellian as she is, as she perceives Alura was.

I love this thread. Throughout the show and this comic, Alura has slowly been humanized. She has gone from being immutable perfect mother and judge in Kara's eyes to someone much more flawed, much more real. And that makes Kara's feelings about her mother that much more conflicted and interesting.

Big moments deserve big art. This is a 'splash page' for a digital book. But I'm guessing we get a true splash page once we hit the printers. I love this page, both characters poised for battle, Facet bracing for this attack.

That is what big art should feel like.

But this should be the cliffhanger page for this chapter, setting up next issue's finale. So why would Gates put it at the beginning? I think I know why.

We flash back to one hour prior to that opening scene, right where chapter 11 left off. Back in the DEO, Rampage is truly Hulking out, getting angrier, bigger, and stronger. Kara is pretty much overpowered. Alex keeps trying to talk down Rampage but the shrill sonic attack by Vril Dox keeps Carin enraged.

Luckily, there is someone in the DEO who can stop Dox. J'Onn. Remember, last chapter we saw Hank get supposedly crushed by Kara's pod. So it makes sense that Kara feels relieved to hear Hank's voice. But I still don't think she is aware he is a Martian.

I'm going to assume that J'Onn will mentally shut Dox down. Perhaps that is who he was practicing on between the guard at Lord Industries and the later villain he mind wiped in the show. We all wondered who he had been practicing on.

Just as it looks like Alex is about to die, she drops a bombshell. Rampage's sister died because she save Alex's life. The art in this sequence by Vieceli is particularly strong. You can see the emotional pain on Alex's face throughout.

But this is a revelation!

We finally learn about what actually happened on Alex's first mission. Alex went off over-confident, tracking down Rampage's sister. Thinking things would be like a training mission, Alex isn't careful and almost tumbles to her death off a building. Moyer reaches out and saves Alex, unfortunately revealing herself. The DEO agents then killed Moyer.

Alex didn't pull the trigger but in some ways is just a culpable. But the point is Rampage's sister wasn't a monster, wasn't evil, and actually was doing good when she died. And Alex wasn't going in guns blazing, mowing down a helpless victim. It's complicated. War often is. It is this nuanced look at these characters that makes this book so compelling.

I have to assume Agent Moss is a nod to editor Wil Moss.

After hearing the true happenings of Alex's first meeting, Rampage runs through a gamut of emotions before finally forgiving Alex.

But what was interesting to me was reading Kara's inner monologue as she watches Alex and Rampage come to terms with what happened. Kara mentions that Rampage has been harboring anger for her sister Moyer for not hiding out, for forcing the confrontations with the DEO. Rampage transferred that hate. And now Rampage has to deal with the fact that Moyer's sin was that she saved someone.

This scene plays out with different characters in the show.
Alex does 'something wrong', killing Astra. Hank takes the wrap.
Kara is so angry at this that she shuts down, avoiding the DEO.
Then Alex comes clean, but the bad act was to save someone (Hank).
And Supergirl has to ask herself the same questions. How do you feel? Happy? Sad? Or relief?

It isn't a complete copy but it resonates enough to hit with more power than it would on its own. Yes, this has been an arc about Facet. But, like the best of show episodes, it is also about Kara and Alex. So I loved this ending.

And this is the biggest moment in the book, bigger than the Facet/Supergirl face off. So by writing in a nonlinear way, Gates has this be the ending, the scene we close on, the scene we mull over. If we ended with the action shot from above, I don't think this scene would have felt as impactful. This was the emotional climax of the story leaving us the physical brawl next time.

Alas, this means that Sterling Gates only has one more chapter to wrap up the Facet arc and this book Will we hear more of Facet's plot? Will we see the subplots wrapped up (what does happen to Rampage, Dox, and Psi?)? Will we see more from Eliza? Another sighting of Alura? I hope so.

I also hope that DC announces a 'second season' of the book with Gates at the helm.

Overall grade: A

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Supergirl In Who's Who Update '88

Over on the Fire and Water Podcast Network,  Shag and Rob have finished their review of Who's Who Update '88. This is an incredible feat. These two have gone through all the standard Who's Who books from DC in the 80s, page by page. It was the Who's Who podcast that introduced me to these guys and this extended group of comic fans I am happy to call pals.

If you haven't listened to the Who's Who podcast (or any of the excellent shows in the feed) I highly recommend it. Here is a link:

All that said, in this last issue, Shag and Rob blew by what I thought was the most important entry. Because it was in this book that the future of Supergirl was hinted at.

I'll remind everyone that a year earlier in Who's Who Update '87, Supergirl's erasure from the DC Universe was spelled out in unflinching black and white.

Here we were a year later and Supergirl was back ... sort of ...

Monday, June 27, 2016

Bullet Review: Justice League #52

I don't normally review Justice League as a book by Justice League #52 could have been named Lex Luthor Rebirth Special #1 so I thought I would bullet review it here. It definitely has some impact on Action Comics where right now Lex is headlining.

Written by Dan Jurgens with pencils by old friend Tom Grummett, the story looks at Luthor in the immediate aftermath of Superman's death.What is his purpose in life now? Who is he?

One of the things that I liked about this story was that we really see how conflicted Lex is. There are definite elements of his prior super-villainous ways. And then we see evidence that he is trying to turn over a new leaf and become someone new. Can he change? Is his impetus to change strong enough? Does he truly want to change?

We have seen Lex headline a super-book before. We have seen him try to be the hero and lead the Justice League. But all of the prior times he was clearly still self-absorbed and villainous. I do wonder if we will see some sort of good (or good-ish) tendencies in him.

On to the story.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review: Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #22

I continue my review of Mark Waid and Barry Kitson's Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes over on the Legion of Super-bloggers site. I am currently on number 22. Here is the link for my whole review:

We're at a time in the series where Waid and Kitson are really kicking things up a notch. There are a lot of plot lines bubbling. There are a few mysteries. For old school Legion fans who liked layers and layers of stories, this was starting to feel like home.

As for Supergirl, we are nearing critical mass on a couple of her plotlines.

One I find interesting is that many of the Legionnaires are completely smitten with her. Cosmic Boy thinks he has a crush on her but it is explained away. Ultra Boy may have a crush on her but it turns out he feels threatened by her power level. And here we see Invisible Kid has something of a creepy shrine for her.

The addition of Supergirl has been a bit unsettling for the Legion. And things are only going to get nuttier.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Review: Action Comics #958

Action Comics #958 came out this week, continuing the ongoing restructuring of the Superman mythos in the post-Rebirth landscape of the DCU.

It is phenomenal.

This feels like Superman. There are great character moments. There are fascinating mysteries. There is high action. This was an issue that lived up the the title Action Comics.

Writer Dan Jurgens is doing a brilliant job of weaving in the 'old' Superman and his background into the 'new' universe where the New 52 Superman is dead and Lex is wearing the S-shield. That friction of being a strange visitor from another universe is palpable. But Jurgens also fleshes out that feeling by bringing in older elements like Doomsday and showing us what this Superman's Lois is going through. It is both reminiscent of the Death of Superman storyline while feeling very different.

Jurgens also is keeping me engaged with some of the unanswered questions the book raises. Who is this Doomsday? How did he get here? Who is that Clark Kent? Where did he come from? And who is the enigmatic Mr. Oz? These questions are really the foundation that this arc is built on. I suppose I could channel Vince Lombardi and just say 'what the hell is going on out there?' As a long time reader who loves mysteries I have to try to decipher, I am rapt.

On top of the great story being written, Patch Zircher is just bringing it to this book. Everything about this book looks epic. From the concern on Lois' face to Superman's classic jawline to page layouts that add to the kinetic feel of the story to the palpable blows Doomsday lends, I was floored by the art. Fantastic.

Suffice it to say, I loved the issue.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

September 2016 Solicits

The wait is over.
We finally have an official solicit for Supergirl #1 and all the DC books for September.

Solicits have one job, to grab me as a consumer and make me want to buy a book I normally wouldn't. And this month's solicits do just that. I am on board with a lot of the DC Rebirth books. And some of these solicits make me even more interested! Here is a link to the whole slate:

And here are the actual solicits and some comments.

Art and cover by BRIAN CHING
Variant cover by BENGAL
Blank variant cover
“REIGN OF THE CYBORG SUPERMAN” part one! Supergirl is back and working for the DEO to defend National City! As Kara Danvers, average American teenager and high school student, Supergirl must balance her life as a superhero with her new life on Earth. But some demons from her Kryptonian past are coming back to haunt her, and Kara will find herself face-to-face with her father: the sinister Cyborg Superman!

So mark the calendar! September 7 is the drop date for Supergirl. We will have read the Supergirl Rebirth Special by now. But this book's set up seems to resonate with the show. She is Kara Danvers. She works for the DEO. She lives in National City.

Now one of my least favorite parts of the New 52 Supergirl was the revelation that Zor-El was a creepy scientist who experimented on his daughter and ultimately became the Cyborg Superman. Will Steve Orlando be able to make decent sense of this? I hope so.

But how great that we get a Bengal variant and a blank variant!!
And now the rest of the super-solicits.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Back Issue Bin: Action Comics #334, Streaky

Last week in Superman #1, we saw the Kents' ... ahem, Smiths' pet cat Goldie get incinerated by Jon's uncontrolled heat vision. It was a brutal, shocking scene which I felt was unnecessary to Jon's story. But there it was.

It was with that event in mind that I decided to look to a more pleasant story about a cat.

What better place to look than Streaky, the super-cat! Supergirl's pet cat was a mischievous scamp who was seen in her earliest stories in Action Comics. He was later seen as a normal cat in Daring New Adventures, the pre-Flashpoint Supergirl, in Cosmic Adventures, Tiny Titans, and even in in cartoon form in Krypto. Streaky is an important part of Kara's history.

Surprisingly, despite doing this blog for eight plus years, I have never reviewed his origin story. I unfortunately don't own Action Comics #261, Streaky's first appearance. But I do own the story in a variety of reprints. The scans you see here are from Action Comics #334, a giant issue of Supergirl stories.

So if you don't like to see a cat's charred corpse and would rather read about a cat flying around with a cape, read on!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Comic Rack

This magazine rack is the latest addition to the my section of the house. And I am pretty pleased with it.

I have my true comic 'collection' the issues bagged and boarded, all safely stowed away in long boxes. But I also have a couple of long boxes of loose books. This is for the scragged $1box finds, the duplicates I sometimes buy in cheap bins for easy reading, and for comic magazines. I have always wanted an old school spinner rack to display some of them. But those aren't easy to come by.

The hospital is renovating the library and a lot of old pieces were being tossed. I spied this rack in a pile to be thrown out. I asked and was allowed to take it home where it will be loved.

I decided to throw in a bunch of issues to showcase it, all from the loose section, so no worries about damage. It is a shame the bars go right over the title section of the books. But I suppose it was built for magazines, not comics.

Still, I thought this was a fun little addition to my corner of the house. I'll probably rotate things now and then.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Superman Cast!

Well that didn't take long!

A few days after announcing that Superman would appear on the first two episodes of season two of Supergirl, the CW announced they had found their man: Teen Wolf's Tyler Hoechlin. There is plenty of coverage out there. Here is the Entertainment Weekly article:

And the pertinent blurb:
“Greg [Berlanti] and I have wanted to work with Tyler for ages, so this worked out perfectly because Tyler is Superman,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg says. “We are so thrilled and humbled to add another amazing actor to the legacy of this iconic character.” 

So, I'll be honest. I don't know this guy. That doesn't worry me at all. I hadn't heard of Grant Gustin or Melissa Benoist either. I trust the casting people on these shows.

Hoechlin certainly looks the part of Superman. And I have heard that Teen Wolf was a good show.

But he seems awful young for the show.

In my head, Superman should be in his late 30's on the show. Kara lands when she's around 12. He is already established as Superman. She is now 24. He should be around 36 to 38. I know somewhere along the way I did the math more elegantly. But this guy looks like he is the same age as Kara. And that seems off. Superman should be older than Jimmy, by far. This actor is younger than Mehcad Brooks.

Now I know people will tell me that there are plenty of comics that show Superman as near immortal, that Kryptonians age slowly in a yellow sun environment. But I don't think we need that here.

Who knows, maybe this guy is in the pod? Maybe this is a Superman from elsewhere? Or elsewhen? I doubt that too.

So while I have trust in the folks who run the show, I am a bit worried about this. I guess we'll need to see how it all plays out.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Review: Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #21

It's Threeboot Saturday, in which I point you to my review of the Supergirl and Legion of Super-Heroes review I did on the Legion of Super-Bloggers site. Here is the link to my review of issue #21:

This book was starting to pick up some steam at this point, juggling multiple plot lines and adding some nice mysteries and character points. I have enjoyed this run much more while rereading it this time critically.

Remember, Supergirl thinks she is in a complex dream state, safe on Krypton.

In a very good scene, the other female Legionnaires push her a bit, trying to snap her out of this odd idea and into reality. And they push some buttons.

Phantom Girl talks about how she feels like she doesn't belong on Earth or her homeworld Bgztl, torn between two cultures.

Triplicate Girl talks about how she can't go home again because she would be shunned.

Projectra talks about how her world was destroyed and she is alone. She wonders if Kara understands that.

All of these were meant to prick some emotional nerve in Kara. For a second, it seems to snap her back to reality. But then she sinks back into the safe fantasy that this is a dream world.

Fascinating take on Supergirl. Great issue of the Legion.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Review: Superman #1

Superman #1 came out this week and continued to the transition to the post-Rebirth super-family and their stories. Last week's Action Comics focused on Metropolis. This week's Superman focused on the home life of the Smiths, the current last name of the Clark and Lois.

With Lois maintaining her life as Author X and Clark now out as Superman, the family has moved to Hamilton County, upstate from Metropolis. Some of this seemed there to inform people who didn't read the Lois and Clark mini-series. Other parts did start or move existing plot lines along.

But overall, this seemed to slightly miss the magic of the recent months. While so much of 'The Last Days of Superman' and Rebirth has been about reclaiming some of the magic of the past, this issue seemed to lean a little bit more towards the New 52, a grimmer world. And it all hinges on one gruesome scene.

Storytellers Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason do hit on some nice moments. In particular, the interaction between 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' feels so natural and loving. The art is a little wonky for my tastes, a sort of mix between manga and Rankin/Bass Lord of the Rings movies.

Still, overall, I thought this was a decent start. Something of a double rather than a home run.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sales Review: May 2016

The sales for May have been released and, as always, I use ICv2 to review the numbers. Here is that link:

The last week of May saw DC finally release #Rebirth. It may not be a reboot. It certainly was a bargain at 80 pages for $2.99. And it did hit on a lot of the problems with DC over the last few years. But this was also the lame duck month for DC. The real #Rebirth is happening now as the specials are being released, new titles are appearing, and older titles are getting bold new directions.

As such, it is not surprising that Marvel continued to dominate the scene in May. DC was running on fumes until the Rebirth Special hopefully filled up the creative tank again.

As I said, the DC Universe Rebirth Special was the high point of the month.

Whether you agree with the idea of the Watchmen being part of the current DCU, or part of the creative problem, the book was something of a godsend for someone like me who has bemoaned the overly dark tone of the entire DCU.

Seeing Wally back, seeing Aquaman propose to Mera, seeing all of it worked.

It seemed to capture the imagination of the comic public as well. It sold over 250K.

Basically this was a one-shot that declared a collective 'do over' for the DCU. I'm glad it sold well.

The Superman books will be pretty heavily effected by change post-Rebirth as well.

The New 52 Superman is dead. The old pre-Flashpoint Superman is now the Superman of the DCU. Supergirl is back in action. Lois has powers. A new Superman is working in China.

All of these changes came together in the final pre-Rebirth arc 'The Final Days of Superman'. I was pretty impressed with the story as it seemed to capture what Superman should be.

It sold pretty well and that makes me happy. I wonder if word was getting out that we were finally moving away from the grim, gritty, aloof, angry, occasionally creepy Superman in prior New 52 stories. Maybe this is a sign that old Superman readers are coming back.

Superman #52 sold 54K. Action Comics #52 sold over 40K. Both those numbers are better than prior months.

Supergirl fans who don't read digitally finally got a book on the shelves.

The digital first Adventures of Supergirl, written by Sterling Gates with art by a rotating group, was put into print form. These issues are coming out every two weeks. That means we saw the orders for Adventures of Supergirl #1 and AoSG #2.

I have really enjoyed this book as Gates has written a long form story which bolsters the television show while also recognizing Supergirl history.

The first issue sold over 16K which I think is decent for a digital first book.

The second issues numbers were far less at 11K. I wonder if retailers responded to how well the first issue actual sold.

And it would be nice if digital numbers were known.

Finally, last month was the final issue of the other Supergirl book on the shelves, Justice League 3001.

JL3001 was a weird, wild, fun book that was sadly overlooked. I suppose continuity-loose stories set in a possible future with no impact on the current timeline will always be a hard sell.

Taking it's last breath, Justice League 3001 #12 sold just over 11K.

It is a book and a Supergirl that I'll miss reading each month.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Injustice 2 Supergirl

The video game Injustice 2 is coming out soon, pitting the heroes of the DC universe against each other. And, in a sign that perhaps she is becoming more popular, Supergirl is a character within the game and promoted strongly in some of the earliest sneak peeks.

Now, I can't remember the last time that I felt I was a true video gamer. Since the last system I played in my house was the first XBox, it has to be 12 years. So take that as you will.

Also, I'm not a big fan of the concept of Injustice. Given the main premise is that Superman has gone evil, it isn't something that I would embrace.

But these Injustice 2 promotional videos are beautiful to look at, even if I don't know if I would want to play it. First off, head here:

The opening part of the issue has members of the Justice League brawling with each other.

Superman vs. Flash!
Batman vs. Aquaman!
Superman vs. Batman!

And it seems that with each time a character 'dies', they are brought back in more powerful armor. It seems very Saiyan! Or 90's!

Anyways, the video ends on an interesting note. Superman wades in to finish off Batman, angry red eyes angrily glowing with anger.

But Superman is blasted away.

And then we see another set of angry red eyes!

It's Supergirl!

I have to say she looks pretty slick!

And I sort of like that she is standing up to an evil Kal.

I even like that she is sporting her sort of special S-shield. I like that tie-in to the comics.

This video ends with all the heroes running towards each other to brawl.

So not one super-villain in this tease. Just heroes trying to kill each other. And I mean, Aquaman skewers Batman with his trident. No punches pulled.

Still, as a Supergirl fan who lived through decades of her being forgotten or laughed at or gone, I have to like that she is one of five characters highlighted here.

Not Catwoman. No Wonder Woman. No Harley Quinn. Not Green Lantern.

Supergirl! Hooray.

For even more Supergirl in Injustice 2, head to here for another video:

This one really showcases Supergirl!

We see her in her Linda/Kara Danvers secret identity. This is pure Linda Lang from the Gates/Igle run and definitely seems to have some Melissa Benoist in her!

She is approached by Atrocitus and Dex-Starr who claim she is weak. She tosses her glasses in the air, runs away ...

And returns in her Supergirl costume in time to catch her glasses before they hit the ground.

"I punch above my weight!" she retorts. Fantastic!

Again, she looks great.

We get a lot more actual game footage in this video. And we get to see heroes fighting villains! Aquaman takes on Gorilla Grodd! Superman fights Atrocitus!

And Supergirl fights Atrocitus.

I wish I could grab a better pic of her game costume. She is wearing a pant-suit version of the costume. I does look good. And since we see her getting tossed around on these games, I suppose it eliminates the concern for up-skirt shots.

Anyways, I don't think this will get me to play video games. But I hope if someone here does end up playing it, they'll let me know about it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Review: Adventures of Supergirl #11

Adventures of Supergirl Chapter 11 came out yesterday and continued to move this story forward at an incredible pace. While there have been great cliffhangers in this series so far, this one takes the cake. Seriously, I wish the next chapter was coming out tomorrow.

One of the things that has been bubbling throughout this series has been how family is such an important part of Supergirl's life. Her relationship to her sister is important. Her relationship with her mother Alura is changing, even after Alura's death. The relationship of Rampage and her sister is an interesting contrast. In this chapter, we add Eliza Danvers to the mix. And that is great given last issue's confrontation with the Alura A.I. That foundation of family is so key to the show so it should be key here.

Writer Sterling Gates continues to give us these important relationships. He also continues to build up Kara Danvers' history. And he continues to link this book to Supergirl's comic history. It really all works.

The art in this chapter is done by Emma Vieceli and is great. In particular, I love the panel edges and background art which add to the tone of the book. The cover is another action cover by Cat Staggs. Brilliant.

I really feel lucky, as a Supergirl fan, to have had this book, complete with a writer who obviously cares about the character and a line of great artists.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Five New Characters On Supergirl Show

With the Supergirl second season still several months away, the show runners have done a good job of keeping fans interested and talking by leaking news and talking about the future run now. Just last week we heard that Superman will be in the first two episodes.

Now SupergirlTV has learned that five new characters will be on the show next season. Here is a link:

All the characters intrigue me, some more than others. They all sound like they will be good additions to the mix and keep the plots moving. The one question I have is if they are replacing some of the characters we have come to know and love. Will one of them step in to replace Maxwell Lord? Is one designed to soften the blow of less Calista Flockhart? I guess it all needs to play out. But I hope these new characters don't upset the chemistry that exists already.

Here are the character blurbs and my thoughts:

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Review: Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #20

My  review of Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #20 is up over on the Legion of Super-Bloggers.

Mark Waid, Barry Kitson, and Adam DeKraker throw another plotline in to the ever-growing complexity of the title. The robots are rebelling. Brainiac 5 is descending into madness and obsession. A secret group is recruiting super-powered teens. The United Planets and the Legion are finding their alliance tricky to navigate.

And add to that world wide robberies by giants like Colossal Boy.

Turns out 'big city' is the product of Bizarro-Brainiac.

That is brilliant.

As for Supergirl, her presence has made things a little crazy for the Legion team.

But in particular, the usually staid Cosmic Boy finds that he might have deeper feelings for Kara than he is used to. Could this be love?

Hope you check out the whole review.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Review: Action Comics #957

#Rebirth as a special is behind us. But the concept of a DCU Rebirth, of a reinvigorating and a return to greatness for the characters, is very much ongoing. And the one of the first places that we could see that on display is in Action Comics.

The Superman Rebirth #1 book set the stage. The new 52 Superman is dead and buried. The pre-Flashpoint Superman (now just 'Superman' in these reviews) is still on this Earth, debating what his next steps are but intent on honoring the S-shield and this world's Superman.

Now in Action Comics #957 we get to see that all play out. From the issue's number to the montage pseudo-movie poster of a cover to the characters and plots on the inside, everything here read true. Everything here felt right. Everything was a rebirth of what a Superman book should be.

Writer Dan Jurgens does a great job giving us plot points and tropes that feel both classic and fresh. There are subplots, and character moments, and a great cliffhanger. There are subtle homages to more classic stories. There is a lot that happens in these 20 pages.

Artist Patch Zircher really brings his A game to the affair as well. I was very impressed with page layouts and panel selection. We get three splash pages, all worthy of big art. We get thin narrow panels in some times of great action making it 'feel' fast and claustrophobic. And the expressions on characters' faces adds so much.

Suffice it to say, I was very happy with this book. And here are the details.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Back Issue Box: Adventures of Superman #499

In Superman Rebirth #1, the pre-Flashpoint Superman and Lana Lang head to the New 52 Superman's tomb to enter and move the body. Lana is there to move the body, to bury it on the Kent farm. The pre-Flashpoint Superman is there to take the body to the regeneration matrix to revive the body. After all, the pre-Flashpoint Superman had died and been restored in that way.

The whole scene reminded me of Funeral For A Friend, the arc that happened in the immediate aftermath of the Death of Superman. In that story, the world was reeling from the death of Superman, grieving. But there were other forces at work, many of them nefarious. People wanted the body for their own purposes. I am sure, Superman Rebirth #1intentionally was crafted to call back to this.

Wanting to look back at Funeral For A Friend, wanting to revisit a scene at the tomb, and wanting to showcase Supergirl (this is a Supergirl blog), I thought I would review Adventures of Superman #499.

Before we get to the story, a couple of comments. One, I really love Funeral For A Friend. Death of Superman had many wonky story beats (Doomsday heads to Metropolis because he overhears a wrestling commercial?). Reign of Superman (which I also love) has huge action sequences, the mysteries of the four replacements, and the return of Superman. Funeral takes a pause to let us see how the loss of Superman hits everyone. It really is a character driven arc, even if it has its own action sequences.

And I'll remind people that I think that Funeral For A Friend is the turning point for the Matrix Supergirl. The arc starts with her as the subservient lover and ends with her questioning Lex and moving towards being an independent hero. We see her take the next step in Reign of Supermen. But this chapter is when she is still naive to be listening to Lex completely.

Written by Jerry Ordway, with art by the stellar Tom Grummett and Doug Hazelwood, here is Adventures of Superman #499.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Funko Pop! Figure

When I go to comic conventions, I am always amazed when I see a wall of Funko Pop! tiny figures. Now, I am even more amazed when I see them in book stores and other places.

I have never bought one before. That said, I did once come very very close when I saw a Frankenberry one. I suppose it shows my dysfunctional relationship with food. The supergirls at home did get me a Superman one last Christmas which I proudly have in my work office.

Then Supergirl became a hot commodity, no doubt because of the television show. Suddenly I saw a Supergirl Pop! figure solicited. Guess I had to finally break down and buy one.

I suppose this is a standard Pop! figure with giant head and giant eyes. But I love that it is the Matrix style costume. This is pretty close to the show version and is pretty much spot on for the upcoming #Rebirth look.

The clenched fists are also a nice touch. She looks ready for action.

I was pretty please with the details on the back. We get multiple hair lines and cape folds. Pretty slick.

The Matrix costume is my favorite and luckily more and more merchandise has showcased that look. The Pop! figure slid in nicely to that section of the collection.

Not a bad little figure.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Superman Appearing On Supergirl??

When the news came out that the Supergirl television show was moving to the CW, there was some cause for concern. Would the budget drop? Would we stop getting great effects? Would the cast all return? Some of those questions have been answered. Others linger.

But the show did stoke the fire of optimism a little yesterday when show runner Andrew Kreisberg announced that Superman will appear on the first two episodes of the show. Here is a link to Entertainment Weekly's coverage:

And a pertinent blurb:
“Greg [Berlanti], Ali [Adler] and I are beyond thrilled to welcome Clark Kent and his slightly-more-famous alter ego to the world of Supergirl” says executive producer Andrew Kreisberg. “Superman will be appearing in the first two episodes of the new season we cannot wait to see who next dons the red cape!”

Now I can dissect this in many ways.