Friday, July 21, 2017

Review: The Fastest Women Alive

Every so often, a complete surprise is dropped into your lap. Blog friend Mart Gray tweeted me that I should head to  because there would be a Supergirl surprise waiting for me.

And there was.

Supergirl and Jessie Quick team up in the Snickers free comic The Fastest Women Alive. The story is a nice little tale by writer Stuart Moore and artist Paco Diaz that not only promotes Snickers (they really satisfy you) but also includes nice character moments between Kara and Jessie, and even homages DC history nicely.

As a fan of Jessie Quick, someone missing since Rebirth ... as a fan of these two being teammates in James Robinson's run on Justice League of America ... I was thrilled.

And the art is nicely rendered. I think the two main characters look great!

On to this free comic ... seriously go download it!

Thursday, July 20, 2017


We are rapidly approaching my convention season and while Boston Comic Con has always been my main show, this year the incredible guest list for the nearby Terrificon lured me across state borders.

I am very excited for this show and have really had a hard time preparing for it. There are some great creators going to this show. As I have said in prior convention posts, I try to limit the books I take to get signed by a creator to a maximum of 10. But some of my favorite creators, who I have followed for decades, are coming to this show. And so limiting my sig list to the aformentioned 10 books has become something of a conundrum!

And, as usual, there are some artists at the show that I am hoping to grab commissions from. As usual, it is all about the timing. I haven't been able to line anything up beforehand so far so I also think I will need a little luck.

So who am I going to see?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: New Super-Man #13

New Super-Man #13 came out last week and really began the job of tightening all the plot threads that have been moving through the book into one story. And it feels like we are getting close to a major conclusion. I finished this issue and was already ready for more. This issue really felt like that, a turn of the crank, adding tension.

As much as this book is a New Super-Man book with Kenan Kong as the axle that the stories revolve around, it could just as easily be called Justice League China. That is one of the things that has most impressed me with writer Gene Luen Yang's work on the book. We are dealing with a lot of Asian analogs to classic DC characters, but they have remained fresh and distinct from their namesakes. Between the role call of antagonists and protagonists, at times this has felt like the Legion of Chinese Super-Heroes. Yang keeps it all cohesive and moving forward and that is impressive.

And Billy Tan's smooth art on the book has been wonderful since he took over art chores. There is a smooth feeling to the proceedings, whether it is action or emotion. I hope he stays on the book for a while.

But what actually happened? On to the book!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: Superwoman #12

It seems hard to believe but we are 4 issues in to K. Perkins run on Superwoman and things are finally starting to gel a bit. Perkins was dealt something of a mess of a character and has been trying to shore up the continuity gaffes of a character who has only been around for a year.

Superwoman #12 moves a number of the plots forward nicely. The villain is defeated. The mystery of Lana's powers is starting to be solved. Lana has to try to stabilize her home life and her work life. And all of this happening with the mystery of Steel's nephew Zeke simmering in the background.

But the main thing about this issue is the ending. Lana is finally a little confident in her abilities and her life's direction. After issues of anxiety and indecision, we see Lana smiling and that makes me smile. I know she is in for a lifetime of struggling with these feelings but at least she is coping and maybe even winning.

The art from Stephen Segovia and Art Thibert crackles nicely in the fight scenes. There is sort of Leinil Yu feel to some of the scenes and that is high praise.

Overall, I enjoyed this issue. But really what I want is to read the Lana of next issue.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Review: Action Comics #983

I have never been shy about my age. I am on the back half of my 40's and have been reading comics for over 30 years. I have read so many comics ... some might say too many. But I can remember as a kid, sometimes comics would just transfix me. I'd be gripping the pages, so engrossed, pulled into the story. One of the most common types of books to grab me like that would be an outright brawl between heroes and villains under the most dire circumstances. Add a little plot and I would be transported into the universe.

I long for those moments now. When a comic can make me be young Anj again, heart-pounding, watching titans battle, the fate of the world at stake, I am ecstatic. But with so many comics under the bridge (so to speak), it is hard to do that. How many world-saving fights can I read?

All of this preamble is to set the stage for Action Comics #983, a comic by writer Dan Jurgens and artist Viktor Bogdanovic. It is the Superman Family versus the Superman Revenge Squad with planet Earth at risk. There are battles and tragedy and a great wrinkle. There is General Zod that I actually like reading, loving to hate him. And there is so much Supergirl, appropriate for a Superman Family fight but something missing for too long in the super-books.

I read the issue and reread it and reread it again. I was young Anj, reading a comic he had folded and put in his back pocket, under a tree at the summer hour again.

God I loved this issue. This is why I still read comics.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Brian Ching's Psi Design

Over in Twitter, as I had in my review, I noted that the new Psi costume was reminiscent of the original version. That the expanse of white, sort of a negative space, was evocative of the vast amount of skin that the original Psi showed in the Daring New Adventures of Supergirl.

Brian Ching saw the tweet and then shared his design sketch for the new Psi and thought I should share it here for those who missed it.

You really can see how much of a feel for the original when you put them side by side. Unclear if Ching was trying to ape the Who's Who page, but it works for the comparison.

I've always been a fan of Psi, in all her incarnations, so glad to see her back.

Here is the actual tweet!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: Supergirl #11

 Supergirl #11 came out this week, the end of the Batgirl crossover which brought the Maid of Might into the Phantom Zone. This arc was somewhat rapid fire, ending a bit quicker and running a bit shorter than I anticipated. Blink and it's over. Maybe I have become so used to the 'stretch for the trade' story-telling these days? Looking back, writer Steve Orlando has mixed in long arcs, done in ones, and this shorter plot in the first year of this book. I like it!

And there is plenty to like about this story as it plants the seeds of the new Rebirth continuity. It is clear that after this arc, Batgirl and Supergirl are going to be friends and allies. Perhaps, if we are lucky, we'll get a World's Finest arc every year! There is also the addition of Psi to the catalog of Supergirl characters in the DCU. She ends up more of a friend than an enemy but we all know that can change. And lastly, there is another Supergirl show addition to the comic, one I welcome.

The art is done by Brian Ching and he does a good job of mixing in the the action sequences with the heart-to-heart emotional moments that are mixed in the issue. Ching is leaving the book and Robson Rocha begins on art next issue. Robson really has a dynamic style as seen on the cover. I am sad to hear that Bengal is leaving the variant covers.

On to the book.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Livewire Coming To Supergirl Comic??

Since the inception of the Supergirl title post-Rebirth, writer Steve Orlando has been doing yeoman's work trying to merge the continuity of the DC Universe Kara with some of the broader ideas of the Supergirl television show. So show specific ideas like CatCo, the DEO, and Jeremiah & Eliza Danvers.

Over on Twitter, Orlando tweeted that he was meeting with the Supergirl creative team (editor Jess Chen, artist Robson Rocha, inker Daniel Henriques, and colorist Michael Atiyeh) to discuss the next arc in the book. (Can I just say, as a reader always interested in the creative process, the idea of a summit meeting of the whole creative team is just fantastic!)

When I asked for a hint, Orlando said there could be some "shocking additions".

Given that proclivity to merge the show's sensibilities with the comics, I figure the shocking hint means we'll be seeing Livewire soon! And that makes me happy. Because I think the time is right to convert Livewire to an official member of the Supergirl Rogue's Gallery ... in the same way that the Silver Banshee seems to have gone that way.

And there is the history between the two!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

DC Adventures RPG Supergirl Statistics

My thanks to blog friend Siskoid and the folks at the Fire and Water Podcast Network show Hero Points Podcast for pointing out the existence of this DC Adventures role playing game.

As a fan of role playing games in general and specifically the Mayfair DC Heroes RPG, I was thrilled to hear about this. In particular, the idea of there being a heroes and villains book of stats and histories made me think I need to hunt these down. This is the closest I have seen to a Who's Who book in some time.

And it has measurable stats! Once again we can see who is stronger, faster, smarter.

This site being what it is, I thought I would share the Supergirl pages. Thanks again to Siskoid for sharing them.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Post-Crisis Reality: Crisis On Infinite Earths #7 fallout, 32 Years Later

32 years ago this month Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 was on the stands. Supergirl was killed saving Superman and ultimately the multiverse. It is a powerful moment, one worthy of her.

Unfortunately, the continuity backlash erased her from existence and memory. Suddenly no one remembered Supergirl. Perhaps even stranger, it seems that even DC creators couldn't name her. You might remember the not too cryptic S*p*rg*rl comment in Secret Origins.

I was once again reminded of this time period when I read the 1988 Power Girl mini-series, written by Paul Kupperberg.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: Superman #26

Superman #26 was a 'one and done' rest issue, focusing on the relationship between father and son, Clark and Jon. Written by Michael Moreci with art by Scott Godlewski (both new to me), the story was a welcome pause after the breakneck velocity of the Manchester Black Black Dawn.

It also includes one of my absolute favorite things about the Superman mythos, Pa Kent homespun wisdom. I am a complete sucker for flashbacks where we see how Clark became the man he is, bolstered by the knowledge of the Jonathan Kent. Usually Pa's words are perfect, the ultimate 'be a good person' pep talks. But this issue is different and that made me like it even more.

The characterization between Jon and Clark is a bit more bristly than usual. There is more friction here. I am assuming that part of it is Damian rubbing off on Superboy. But it felt just a smidgen off from what we have seen in the first two years. But it is that grit that makes the Pa Kent stuff work so I can roll with it.

The art by Godlewski is sold stuff. He has to flip from the idyllic Kent farm to the robot-filled streets of Hamilton. It all flows nicely.

Overall this was a very nice issue from two up and comers. I really enjoyed it. As a father myself, it resonated a bit with real life.

On to the book.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Review: DC Bombshells #30

DC Bombshells #30 came out in print this week and was the next chapter in the final arc for this title. And, incredibly, I think it is the final arc for me with these characters. This title has been on shaky ground for the last several months and this issue cinched it. I think this title has sort of lost its way.

The first year of this book was such a delight, introducing us to these characters, riffing on the film styles of the day, and bringing in the politics of the day. The zenith was in DC Bombshells #12, in a battle over London, where Stargirl sacrifices herself. I applauded this book then.

Since then, the stories have been a bit all over the map. Writer Marguerite Bennett began to use the book as a vehicle for an agenda. And as I have said, if you have a character driven book with an agenda, I am on board. When you have an agenda book with characters, it often falls apart. I also think that Bennett has started to be a bit too cute and a bit too glib in a way that seems wrong for the book.

The art, done by the excellent talents of Carmen Carnero, Richard Ortiz, and Aneke, continues to shine.

This was a war book. And even though war is there, it isn't that any more. This book hasn't crackled for me like it did early on. And it is something of a shame because the Supergirl story is actually the high point for the current story. But when this volume ends, I think I am out.

On to the book.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Supergirl Season 3 Synopsis

The plot synopsis for the third season (or at least the early episodes of season 3) of Supergirl has been released by WBTV in preparation for the upcoming San Diego Comic Con. There isn't much to this synopsis that we didn't know. But it is great to keep the momentum of the show rolling along.

I read the synopsis over on Bleeding cool here:

And here is the synopsis itself.

Ridding National City of Queen Rhea and her Daxamite army was a major win for Supergirl, but one that came at a significant cost, as Kara was forced to sacrifice her budding relationship with Mon-El. When season three returns with all-new supercharged adventures this fall on The CW, Kara and team will come up against a new threat in the form of DC Worldkiller, Reign. Want to know more about Reign and what she has in store for the Girl of Steel? Join the series’ cast and creative team for a special video presentation, followed by a Q and A where they’ll discuss this hot topic and more!

We had known that Reign was going to be the big bad so no news there. But I do like that they dropped the Worldkiller title, a key part to her story in the New 52 Supergirl title. We already know that Zor-El was involved in the creation of the Medusa virus on the show. Will he have a part to play with the creation of Reign as well? Even if it is unknowingly?

I also am surprised that Mon-El is mentioned so prominently. Will his character be a presence (even in absence) during the whole season? Or only as a major element in the earliest episode.

We'll get a panel with some video snippets at SDCC. Hopefully we'll get some more answers. Or at least some hint! The Supergirl panel is on Saturday July 22 from 3:30-4:10pm in Ballroom 20. Any pals that are going to be in attendance, please feel free to let me know what you saw!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sales Review: May 2017

The sales numbers for May came out earlier this month and I keep waiting for some sort of slow down of sales attrition for the super-titles and it just isn't happening. I hope DC isn't looking at Rebirth as some sort of failure. I doubt it as the company seems to be doing better overall since this re-imagining. But it is my nature to worry.

Here is a link to the sales reports of May from ICv2:

On to the individual books!

Supergirl #9 was the first part of a Batgirl crossover with the new World's Finest heading into the Phantom Zone. I thought for sure the combination of Babs and the Phantom Zone would maybe shore things up.

I will say that it is so hard to equate sales and orders. Maybe this book flew off the shelves and store owners wished they ordered more. And, of course, digital sales are unknown. We can only go by the numbers.

I thought this was a fun if fast moving issue with a lot of deep cuts. So how did it sell?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth Of July

Off to the barbecues and fireworks!

Happy Fourth of July to all who celebrate!!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: Action Comics #982

Action Comics #982, the next chapter in Revenge, came out last week and was a perfect middle chapter, moving the pieces on the board, building momentum to the finale, and adding a few new mysteries. This book ends with a truly phenomenal splash page, a great cliffhanger, and a moment I feel I have been waiting for since the New 52 happened. If this comic was only that page, I would probably give it a high grade. Trust me ... we'll get there.

Writer Dan Jurgens certainly keeps the plot moving along. He has a lot of moving parts to deal with in this story. The Revenge Squad is 6 members deep. He has Lois, Jon, and Superman to write. And we get the other guests that come on board. That sounds like a Legion of Super-Heroes comic. But Jurgens takes the time to make sure we know each character's motivations and to make them unique.

The art is done by Jack Herbert and Jose Luis and both bring great emotion and action to the proceedings. There are a number of panels here which struck me. One has become my Twitter header. And that ending page! It all works well.

This issue ended and I immediately wanted to read the next part. That is the sign of a great middle chapter.

On to the book!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Review: Supergirl Being Super #4

Supergirl Being Super #4 came out this week, the finale to the out of continuity Prestige Format mini-series by Mariko Tamaki, Joelle Jones, and Kelly Fitzpatrick. And I have to say I was very impressed with this ending and somewhat stunned because of the shocking, rather open-ended conclusion. If this sells well or is received well, things are certainly teed up for there to be a sequel.

Let's not think about the future yet. Let's comment on the story at hand.

This has always been a 'coming of age' story about Kara, learning about her past, revealing her powers, and trying to understand who she is. In this issue, she takes a major step on her journey. She recognizes her past; she understands where she came from. But she is ready to be her own person, molded by the lessons she has learned on Earth. She becomes a hero in this issue and I loved it. Yet despite learning to love who she is, in many ways she ends this story more alone than ever. But there is hope for a fuller future on the last page which is genius.

Joelle Jones provides the art on the book with Kelly Fitzpatrick on colors. It is gorgeous. There are silhouettes, great angles, some stretching of perspective, and characters that feel real. Kara looks like a teenage girl. I have always loved Jones' art. I really loved it here.

On to the book!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

September 2017 Solicits

The September solicits for DC Comics were recently revealed and there is a lot of stuff that grabbed my attention. For me, the Supergirl, Superwoman, and Action Comics solicits are very interesting. And there are some trades being released that make me think I need to save my pennies.

To review the entire DC solicits, here is a link to Newsarama:

And on to the Super-titles:

Variant cover by STANLEY “ARTGERM” LAU
“EMERALD ERADICATION” finale! It’s the final showdown between Supergirl and Emerald Empress. Supergirl’s life has been torn asunder and she’s not going to let Emerald Empress get away with it. But is it too late to repair the damage and remain the hero she’s built herself to be?

Okay, let's get started. First off, that is a crazy cover with a fierce Supergirl ripping apart the Emerald Eye! That is a great image! And Artgerm on the variant should be beautiful (although I will miss Bengal). 

And then the solicit about Supergirl trying to remain above the fray after having her life destroyed grabbed me. Steve Orlando has really made Kara a hero, helping people and being optimistic. So we'll see if personal problems make her backtrack.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Supergirl Radio' Review

A couple of weeks ago, I did a rambling, off the cuff, 'typed as I thought' review of the second season of Supergirl. I definitely think I got my point across. But I am typically an organized, structured writer and that felt a bit too free form for my liking.

A bit later, Supergirl Radio did their end of season recap and it was much more organized. Impressed with their categories and wanting to revisit the season one last time, I thought I would give my answers to their questions. In particular, I liked that they broke out 'best' from 'favorite'. I think those are two very separate things.

And I'll try to spread things out a bit. The action of 'Alex' and the ending of 'Exodus' are so powerful that they could have swept the awards. 

So let's begin!

Best Episode – Exodus 
This episode really seemed to have it all. But for me, the biggest thing about Exodus was that the Alex/Kara relationship and connection ,which had been pushed into the background by each character's solo plotlines, was showcased once again. It ends with one of the most powerful moments for this show ever. (More on this later.)

But we saw so much more. This episode showed Alex's loyalty to Jeremiah even in the face of damning evidence, here beating up a Cadmus lackey to try to find her father. We saw Kara decide to stand on her own, blogging about Cadmus rounding up aliens and getting fired by Snapper. She says the classic line 'Supergirl is what I can do; Kara is who I am.' We saw Maggie support Alex's 'off the books' mission of infiltrating Cadmus and we saw Alex take down a Cadmus site on her own. The continued threat of Lillian Luthor was on display. And we saw that Jeremiah might not be all bad but certainly isn't all good.

As I said, Exodus could easily have taken home a number of these superlatives. It was the best episode.

But there are more awards!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review: Super-Sons #5

Super Sons #5 came out this week and was something of a coda for the first Kid Amazo arc as Jon and Damian deal with the punishments meted out by their caring parents. I found this to be a pretty wonderful story as the kids to terms with how similar and how different they are by looking at the relationship of their fathers. And thankfully, writer Peter Tomasi makes the Batman/Superman relationship a healthy one.

Another thing which remains prominent in this book is the humor Tomasi brings to the affairs. I have usually found Damian to be insufferable. I sometimes find Jon to be a bit too much of the classic 'good kid'. Tomasi can blur the edges of both characters, making them likeable, believable, and funny.

The art is by Allison Borges, a name I haven't heard of before. Borges brings a sort of cartoony feel to some of the sillier moments while grounding things a bit more once the adults show up. It works here nicely.

So while there isn't a bad guy and most of the action is the two sons trying to beat each other senseless, I loved this issue.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Review: DC Bombshells #29

DC Comics Bombshells #29 came out last week, one of the last remaining print issue of this first run of the concept. After stumbling a bit in the middle issues, the title has found itself again these last few issues. For me, this most likely is because Wonder Woman and Supergirl have taken center stage again. And I just think that these stories of the Bombshells heading into Russia has just been more compelling than the Africa side adventure that preceded it.

Writer Marguerite Bennett has also given us a familiar trope for Supergirl, dealing with the existence of Power Girl. And, like many before, Bennett has the two fight each other at first before realizing that they are more alike than different. Bennett also gives us a very sympathetic Supergirl, dealing with grief but still striving to do what is right.

I'll focus on the Supergirl story but this issue also includes a nice opening with Raven, Ivy, and Harley. As readers we are asked the question 'what would you have done' if faced with the horrors of WWII. What are we doing now?

The art is done by Laura Braga and Aneke, veterans to the book. The two styles differ a bit. One is more fine lined and detailed, the other more broad stroked and economical. The characters look great in both versions and the action flows well.

On to the book!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Review: Superman #25

Superman #25 came out this week, the finale of the Black Dawn. This arc is truly the culmination of the first year of this book. As we have come to learn, all the mysteries of the town of Hamilton have converged into this plot. Manchester Black has been manipulating events from behind the scenes, hoping to woo Jon Kent into the fold of pro-active, amoral anti-heroes. Oh, by the way, Black's return to Earth came with him opening up an unstable gate to a dimension of monsters.With all that going on, there is plenty of super-powered action.

But really this whole arc has boiled down to the concepts of hope and goodness. Can Jon shake off the darkness and embrace his father's ways? Can he realize that killing those who stand against him only makes him as big a villain? Can he get past the fact that Lois was maimed while Superman was nearby, unable to protect her?

I think we all know the answer.

But we have to get there and this book moves along at a quick pace getting us to the ultimate conclusion and still giving us time to have special wrap-up moments for all the major players. Writers Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason have to bring an ending to a battle of near omnipotent gods and that is no easy task. The way Manchester Black is (spoilers) defeated seemed to come out of nowhere but when dealing with such power levels, you have to roll with it. And one of the biggest Lois moments of the year is thankfully swept under the rug in a similar way. But if you can get past how Black is defeated, the issue crackles.

The art is a mix of Doug Mahnke and Patrick Gleason with inks by 6 different people! As a result, the art seems uneven. We get the crisp usual fare of Mahnke.. But we don't seem to get any of the heavy lined Gleason art I am used to. The styles on his pages change just slightly enough to jar me a bit.

On to the book!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: Superwoman #11

Superwoman #11 came out over a week ago. This review has been pushed back because DC continues to put out 4 Superman titles in the same week. As a result, this book has been pushed back a bit. Thanks for waiting!

We are now 3 issues in the K. Perkins era on the title and I feel like we are finally starting to get some glimpses of what she hopes to accomplish in this run. The first issue was setting up the post-Reborn Lana. Now we are into the first arc, finding Zeke, Steel's missing nephew. This leads to a melee with Skyhook.

Overall, this complicated Lana, dealing with anxiety, phobias, needing to be loved but wanting to be a hero, is a great character. I think there is a lot to be mined here. And I am hoping that the book survives long enough for Perkins to find solid footing and really explore Lana and her world. In particular, we get a hint as to how Lana's powers work in this issue which seems pretty fascinating.

That doesn't mean I think we can just move forward. The post-Reborn world is confusing. I still don't know the exact nature of Lana's powers. Are they still some remnant of Superman's? And I think I need a better sense of her personal timeline to fully understand things. So I am hoping we get backstory too!

The art on the issue is done by Jose Luis (no Garcia-Lopez) and is very good, reminding me of Brad Walker in some places. That's high praise. And I preferred this Renato Guedes variant cover for my collection. There is something classic about the monster looming over the hero who is tracking them. And Superwoman looks great.

On to the book.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review: New Super-Man #12

New Super-Man #12 came out one week ago and was one of the best comics I read. The book as a whole has definitely been a happy surprise of the Rebirth world, a funny, dramatic, and fresh new group of characters in the DCU. And having the sheen of classic DCU heroes has made it a little bit easier to engage.

This issue really pushes the narrative forward. We learn the origin of Wonder Woman, tied to a Chinese folk tale. We learn of a running theme of the danger of  individuals trying to leap from one Buddhist realm to another. We get some more of the mystery villain. And we end on a great cliffhanger, ramping up the suspense in a running subplot. I really hope that we aren't sprinting to the finish line because a cancellation is on the horizon.

Honestly, this book has been a delight. Writer Gene Luen Yang walks a tightrope here. The New Super-Man is something of a conceited jerk who is slowly working towards being a selfless hero. We see enough of both sides to make Kenan feel like a real person, with faults and aspirations. There is a perfect mix of humor, drama, and action. It really is a well-rounded book with a classic feel.

The art here is by Billy Tan and the best word I can come up with is lovely. There is a sort of soft elegance to the book despite it being populated by giant terrapins and snake women. It really is gorgeous. I really liked Viktor Bogdanovic's time here but I think Tan's style just fits better.

On to the book.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Review: Action Comics #981

Action Comics #981 is the third chapter of the Revenge storyline, an arc uniting some of Superman's deadliest foes into a lethal squad.

I often find the middle chapter of an arc to slow things down a bit and this issue holds form. There is a great cliffhanger. There is a nice building momentum in some side scenes. And there is a lot of fighting. But this issue didn't feel like it had the substance of the prior chapters.

It's not like this is a miss of an issue. It's not like I disliked the issue. But as I have said elsewhere, I am expecting a lot of the Superman books these days. And this one didn't seem to hold up. I wonder if my overall apathy about General Zod is coloring my view. Because I do think Dan Jurgens up to this point has elevated this book substantially.

Jack Herbert brings a fine lined elegance to the art here. I don't know if this style is best suited for the brawl which dominates this issue as well.

Honestly, I think maybe I sound a bit too harsh here. But this was mostly big splashes of haymaker punches. I think enjoyed the smaller moments more than the melee.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: Legion Of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny #1

As you all know, I am a huge Supergirl fan.
As most of you know, I am also a huge Legion of Super-Heroes fan.
But many of you probably don't know that I am also a big fan of Looney Tunes and Bugs Bunny. I am an old guy and grew up watching reruns of Warner Brothers cartoons on the local TV station and laughed every time.

So when DC announced a Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny crossover, I knew I was in. That's like chocolate and peanut butter. The fact that Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny #1 heavily involves Supergirl makes it the best of three worlds. It's like chocolate, peanut butter, and a cookie crunch. And Lightning Lass, who I love, is on the role call. That's like a special layer of caramel amid the cookie, chocolate, and peanut butter.

But I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting the book to be so phenomenal. I haven't laughed this hard while reading a comic in a long long time. Writer Sam Humphries brings out the best Looney Tune bits while also giving us a hysterical look at some of the most tried and true Legion tropes that are out there. If you are a fan of Bugs and/or the Legion, you simply must read this.

Adding yet another layer of spectacular is the fact that Tom Grummett is on art. I know Grummett best for his time on the Superman books and I loved his Matrix Supergirl back then. His art skews just enough to the cartoony side of things to make this a perfect fit.

Get ready to laugh out loud!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Review: Supergirl RB #10

Supergirl #10 pushed forward the Batgirl team-up arc 'Escape from the Phantom Zone' plot at a fantastic speed. Writer Steve Orlando really keeps the pace of this storyline up here, having a lot of events happen in an almost Bronze Age manner. Things happened here that made me say 'I wasn't expecting that'. Surprises are always happy events for a grizzled reader like me. But I always hope that out of the blue events will be explained or expounded on later.

Even with the pedal down, Orlando really keeps this a character-driven issue. We continue to see Supergirl growing as a hero, dealing with some insecurities, but standing up for what she believes in. This Kara who helps people, even those who have wronged her, is wonderful. And we start to see how she is influencing others. Small moments with Psi and Ben Rubel show this. Even her interaction with Batgirl shows how their personalities interact.

And to make matters better, Orlando continues to mine the depths of Supergirl and Superman mythos. There are some wonderful callbacks to the Silver Age and Bronze Age here. This leaning on the past continuities shows a certain respect for the character and her history. That makes me very happy!

The art is by Brian Ching who brings that rough feel to the proceedings, maybe most appropriate for this issue in the Phantom Zone. The covers by Robson Rocha and Bengal are great, grabbing my eye when on the shelf.

On to the book:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Supergirl Show Statue

The Shriner get a big edition recently when the Supergirl statue I ordered a while back finally came in.

And I literally mean big. This is a giant statue! And it is gorgeous.

It actually all started with the box. This is a very clean reason patient of this statue, with an upper close lock at a very solid sculpture depicting Melissa Benoist as Kara.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Review: DC Superhero Girls Wonder Woman Day Special

Last Saturday was Wonder Woman Day at local comic stores, a brilliant addition by DC to last month's Free Comic Book Day. The FCBD DC books were Wonder Woman and DC Super Hero Girls. But given the buzz of the Wonder Woman movie, I love that DC gave us another day of free stuff. And I love that they doubled down on Diana. If DC knew that they were doing a Wonder Woman day with a free Wonder Woman comic and a free DCSHG book, they could have looked elsewhere for FCBD. Instead, we get 4 Wonder Woman focused freebies. And that makes me happy!

DC SuperHero Girls Wonder Woman Day #1 is just the second chapter of the upcoming Summer Olympus graphic novel which is being released around the corner. The creators are writer Shea Fontana and artist Yancey Labat, the two most linked to the Superhero Girls. I do love this cover though, something of a badass Diana with Kara and Babs ready to throw down right behind her. This is the fiercest I have seen this version of these characters. And I love Ares appearing in Diana's bracelets.

And while the focus of this issue and this OGN is Diana, we get to see the other superheroes in action. So glad we got to see some hijinks on the Kent farm.

The two DCSHG freebies have grabbed my attention! I'll probably buy the graphic novel when it comes out.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Bullet Review: DC Bombshells #28

DC Bombshells #28 came out in print last week and continued a pretty engaging Supergirl portion of the Bombshell universe. We hadn't had Supergirl in the book for some time. Her arc is gripping with emotional layers and great call backs to the main DCU. I suppose one of the dangers of having a book with a cast as large as Bombshells is that sometimes characters can get lost or cast to the backburner. It can't be easy for writer Marguerite Bennett to give everyone the time they deserve in the few pages she has.

I'll focus on the Supergirl chapter in a bit. The rest of this issue focuses on the other members we have been following along on their trip into Russia. First off, Lois is chided by Killer Frost for not having killed Hugo Strange when she had the chance. The Frost turns out to be a bigger threat than had been anticipated, revealing herself as Strange's boss. not the other way around. We get a Bombshell version of the Reaper/Phantasm which was very interesting.  Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy continue to work their way into Stalingrad, commandeering circus animals as new friends, and ultimately using Ivy's powers to grow crops and feed the hungry. 

As always, the art is stunning. From the beautiful cover by Marguerite Sauvage to the lush work of Mirka Andolfo and Richard Ortiz, the book really pops. And Carmen Carnero really shines in Supergirl chapter.

After several months of what I would describe as doldrums, this books is sort of picking up again. This setting, the actual war, and these characters are much more interesting to me than prior focus of Vixen, Hawkwoman, and Cheetah. Will this last rally save this book from being dropped when it gets relaunched?

On to the book!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Review: Superman #24

Superman #24 came out this week, the next chapter in the Manchester Black storyline, and I have to say this was one busy issue, filling in a lot of answers over what has been happening in the sleepy town of Hamilton all these months.

Since Rebirth, I have had some concerns and questions over what has been happening around the town. Why would an alien be posing as Lois' editor? Why would giant squids be erupting from the ground? Why does farmer Cobb seem evil? Why did Jon immolate his kitten? Why???

It turns out that this has been a true long play for storytellers Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason. Almost every question I have been asking can be answered with 'because that is what Manchester Black wanted'. And that makes me happy.

I often complain about how in this day and age, books are written for the trade. How lingering subplots and strong supporting casts seem to be cast aside to tell a neat 6 issue adventure. I doubt that the layered approach that Paul Levitz brought to his Legion could survive these days. To find out that since day one, we as readers (and the Kents as characters) have been strung along by villains posing as friends is frankly ingenious. And, I'll say it again, it is also rare in this era of comics.

Now the issue isn't perfect. The reasoning behind all the chaos seems to come out of left field a bit. I felt like I needed to reread the issue to make sure I understood what was happening. And maybe just a wee bit of exposition might have helped things. But overall, the very idea of having all the prior mysteries come together in this thread is pretty slick.

The art on the issue is mostly Doug Mahnke and he brings a sort of frenetic, over-stuffed, 'what the heck is happening' feeling to some panels which add to the chaotic feel of the story. But he also pulls back at times, giving us splashes and larger panels when the action dictates. There are some pages by Patrick Gleason as well giving us a quiet moment of strength for Lois, showcasing just how defiant she is during times of danger.

On to the book!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Wonder Woman Week: Review Adventure Comics #397

Happy Wonder Woman Week here at Supergirl Comic Box Commentary! I am still basking in the afterglow of the fantastic Wonder Woman movie and thought I would take this open day to again share a meeting between Diana and Kara in the comics. I have just covered Supergirl's day as an amazon here. But that issue didn't have Diana in it and I wanted to showcase her given the recent movie.

So that reminded me of Adventure Comics #397, a rather key issue in Supergirl history for a number of reasons. First off, she does indeed team up with Diana Prince and a special guest star. This is during that time in the 70s when Wonder Woman was depowered, learning martial arts, and ran a trendy Gotham City boutique. This issue also began the trope in Supergirl's Adventure Comics of Kara wearing different costumes in the stories, fashions sent in by readers of the time. This cover of Kara inspecting some new duds is often played upon in later comics and Supergirl coverage. But this issue (in the second story) also introduces Nasthalthia 'Nasty' Luthor to the Supergirl supporting cast. Nasty was a thorn in Kara's side for the rest of the Adventure Comics run and even appeared in All-Star Superman. (I am afraid to read it but that Nasty story was covered in the 14th post ever on this site, back in June 2008!. Here is that link:

But I am covering this issue here because of the Wonder Woman connection, so let's get on to the story!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Supergirl Season Two Overview

It has been a couple of weeks since the end of the second season of Supergirl and I have been mulling things over. There is a lot to think about and process when you realize we are talking about 22 episodes.

I felt like I needed one more post to bring up the lingering thoughts and issues I had and give everyone more opportunity to chime in. This won't be exhaustive. This is really just me writing a bit off the cuff, talking in broad strokes, and being a bit more raw.

Season as a whole: B
There are definitely a lot of high points to this season and I'll go through each character after this. I think the big villains in this season were definitely a high point. Lillian Luthor/Cadmus and Rhea/Daxamites were delicious in their villainy. I thought the addition of Superman was just right. The few moments we got of Cat made me realize how much I miss her. I thought the addition of the Alex/Maggie relationship was very good. I thought the Kara/Mon-El relationship was a bit forced. But my main problem with these relationships is that it made for much fewer Kara/Alex moments, a big part of what I love in this show. There are characters that seem forgotten or lost. I thought the politics of the show often seemed heavy handed and one-sided. Much like I complained about the Feminism 101 approach to season 1, I thought this season was Liberal Politics 101. Don't tell me ... show me. It is funny to think that the episodes I feel I will rewatch the most are Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk, Duet (from the Flash), the Invasion crossover, and Alex - and many of those are a bit outside of the main plot running through the show.

All that said, there was never an episode that I finished and said 'that was awful'. The cast is terrific together. And there was a ton of super-heroics throughout that made me very happy. There are some things that need to be smoothed out, but overall I thought this was a very solid season.

On to the characters!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Supergirl The Movie Storybook

I have spoken in the past about the very giving nature of the internet comic book fan community I consider myself a part of these days. I am still shocked at the generosity of the friends I have met here.

The latest example was this gorgeous copy of 'The Supergirl Storybook' sent to me by Doom Patrol and Hawkman afficianado Doug Zawisza (@DZawisca on Twitter). This is a really meaty adapatation of the movie written by Wendy Andrews.

I had no idea this book even existed. And for Doug to stumble on copy that is in such pristine condition, pick it up, and send it to me is just unbelievable.

First I was really struck at the condition if this book. It looks like it came off the shelves yesterday with nary a ding on the cover. And the book probably was never read because the binding is pretty stiff, cracking deliciously as I opened it wide.

But second, I am really floored at Doug's generosity. This is such a wonderful gift for me. (I really can't believe how many people have sent me Supergirl stuff. I am really humbled.

Here is a look at the back cover. As I said this is a really in-depth adaptation of the Supergirl movie. But one of the big draws for me is the number of color photographs inside the book. As the cover says, there are over 50 photos inside, some splash pages and others inset in the text.

The back cover selection certainly covers the scope of the movie nicely. We see Argo City, Supergirl flying, the troubled romance with Ethan, and then the battle with Faye Dunaway. That last photo with Supergirl defiantly in the background is just great.

Here is my favorite 2 page spread showing the wonderfully graceful flying of Helen Slater. If there is a picture that embodies Supergirl in this book it is that one of her flying in the trees. She is smiling broadly, almost angelic in her body language, and just so bright!

I have said it too many times but Helen Slater just nailed the part. I hope to meet her some day!

As you can see, the story itself is pretty dense with a lot of description of the plot and action. This looks like it is built more for the middle school crowd. The story runs just about 40 pages with some pages being entirely text.

I do like how whenever Kara uses a super-power it is in a blue bigger font. I suppose if you were skimming the story, you'd want to read the action bits.

My favorite part of the movie is the battle with the invisible electricity monster so I was really hoping we would get an action shot of her and the monster.

Unfortunately, all we get is her holding the lamp post she uses as a weapon. No monster.

I wonder why they wouldn't include one.

And, of course, I am reminded of how the cast in this movie included some pretty big names. Faye Dunaway as Selena! Mia Farrow as Alura! And, of course, Peter O'Toole as Zaltar!

I know Slater has talked about how O'Toole was so helpful for her on the movie, running lines and even reading Shakespeare at times. I know the movie is a bit campy and isn't exactly the highbrow stuff these actors were used to doing. But I am glad they did more than mail it in.

This book will definitely be a highlight on my bookshelf and I can't thank Doug enough. I love the Supergirl fandom that comes here. And I am awed by how giving everyone is. It is the circle of life of fandom.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Supergirl Middle Grade Novel

I want to send a hat tip off to Twitter's @weezil88 For sending me this news story last week. It seems that the CW continuity Supergirl will be headed to the book shelves this fall. Here is a link to Entertainment Weekly's coverage:

First off, the book sports a pretty amazing cover by Cesar Moreno. Supergirl is bursting off the cover! And I love the implied S-shield in the background.

Here is the pertinent blurbs from the article (which I always recommend you read in full): The Flash and Supergirl will be saving the world some more this fall — only this time it will be in book form.

Both DC heroes will be the stars of their own individual middle-grade novels, EW can announce exclusively.

Supergirl: Age of Atlantis  will be written by Jo Whittemore and will see Kara Danvers deal with various weird goings-on all over National City. Not only have average citizens suddenly start performing feats, but the Department of Extranormal Operations (the DEO) has captured a humanoid sea creature, and Kara will have to figure out what drew him to National City, and what his connection to this surge of super-citizens may be.

Of course, old school Supergirl fans when reading 'a humanoid sea creature' were probably all screaming 'Jerro' at the top of their lungs! What a perfect way to tie in comic history into this new continuity. We already saw Sterling Gates do it seamlessly in Adventures of Supergirl. 

I don't know Jo Whittemore but certainly the plot seems fun and interesting. 

“We’re big fans of The Flash and Supergirl  TV shows at ABRAMS,” Andrew Smith, senior vice president and publisher ABRAMS children’s books, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be working with Warner Bros., the shows’ production teams, and super-fan authors Barry Lyga and Jo Whittemore to introduce two epic new series featuring original adventures not seen on TV for the DC Super Heroes. These new stories expand upon the hit television shows in exciting new ways, and we can’t wait for fans and new readers to experience them!”
And glad the publisher at least came out and said they and the authors are fans. You want someone who likes the characters to be writing their stories.

Will I read this? Hmm ...

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Graduation Day!

Yesterday my own oldest Supergirl graduated high school today.

Hard to believe that 18 years have passed so quickly. Everything went by so fast.

But I am unbelievably lucky to have raised such a smart, sweet, wonderful woman.


Friday, June 2, 2017

Wonder Woman Day! Review: Supergirl #9

Happy Wonder Woman day! It is hard to believe but today marks the opening of the Wonder Woman solo movie, the DCEU movie I have been most looking forward to. And I figured I would join in the fun of celebrating the Amazon and her universe.

Surprisingly, there hasn't been a ton of Supergirl teaming up with Wonder Woman. There is the zany Haney Brave and the Bold #63 (a book I will cover at some point I'm sure), the wild massive crossover in Wonder Woman 291-293, her training with Diana in her re-introduction of Kara Zor-El to the DCU in Superman/Batman #8-13, the fight in the New 52 Supergirl #17 (booo!), and the occasional odds and ends of meeting in panels like in Wonder Woman #600. I am sure there are more but I wish that the two would run into each other more.

Today, I will look at Supergirl #9 from the 1972 Supergirl solo series. While the issue doesn't have Diana, it takes place on Paradise Island and includes Hippolyta and Nubia! What better way to help celebrate Wonder Woman's history on a Supergirl blog!

And like many stories in the Bronze Age, this won is an overstuffed, fast-moving, rather insane story and that is without counting Supergirl's swearing off men for good! So settle in for a wild ride with some great moments of 70's comic telling and Kara becomes 'The Super-Amazon'!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Supergirl DCTV Action Figure

The second Supergirl action figure based on the television show comic came out last week and it is beautiful. This mirrors the show costume nicely from the big boots to the gray leggings to the thumb holes on the sleeves.

There are plenty of points of articulation so that you can position the figure nicely. And the inclusion of the multiple hands are a nice touch, giving you some options. I chose the closed fist for my display.

This series includes other DCTV characters including Supergirl's own Martian Manhunter! Hopefully all the J'onn fans out there are lining up to buy this.

And the Vixen and Constantine figures also look great.

The side of the box really showcases what I think is the best aspect of this figure and that is the sculpt of the face. It is almost eerie how much it looks like Melissa Benoist!

Just lovely.

My one complaint is the lack of a true stand for the figure. I had to dig up an old one to give the figure the support it needed to standup.

But outside that, the figure is great. From the wrinkles in the boots to the skirt pleats, to that Benoist face, the whole thing is beautiful. Again, the arms have a lot of articulation so you can have her in a bunch of poses.

And the back matches the front nicely. Plenty of detail work appears in the hair and cape.

Very nice.

Obviously, there is going to be a growing bunch of collectibles based on the show costume. So I anticipate needing to rearrange things on the shrine again.

But for now, I only have 2 show pieces. The two action figures are similar in design although this latest one is superior in size and sculpt.

Here is a bit of a close-up, the new figure in the background there.

Nice piece, albeit a bit pricey. But it is a nice addition to the collection and let's me give the show the support it deserves.