Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: Superman #27


Last week I gushed about Action Comics #983, claiming it transported me back to a younger age. The brutal fight, the twists and turns, the Superman Family feel of that comic grabbed me. Suddenly I was young Anj again.

This week I got transported back in time again. Reading Superman #27, I felt like that young Anj again. This time it wasn't the epic action or crazy super-heroics that did it. Instead it was the lesson in civics within the issue.

I grew up in a time when comics were a place to learn lessons about good and evil. It was a place where the heroes were immaculate role models. I learned right and wrong from my parents, growing up in a stable, loving home with 'by the book' parents. But comics reinforced those lessons. Do good by people. Follow the law. You have rights but we live in a society; your rights shouldn't supercede anyone else's. This was also a time where the heroes starred in one page public service announcements talking about not running away, keeping the streets clean, and the danger of hitchhiking.

I didn't mind those lessons. I was inspired by them. In comics today, where every hero seems conflicted, where heroes kill, where 'evil is relative', where fighting/flaunting authority is the default, there are few lessons in civics or civility. (I know ... I know ... I'm old.)

This issue shows Superman and Lois taking a vacation, reminding Jon what a great country America is at its core, and teaching him a few lessons along the way. Plotters Patrick Gleason and Peter Tomasi give us a nice throwback sort of a story. And the art by Scott Godlewski is loose enough to keep the book from feeling weighed down by the material.

I loved it.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Statues, Statues, Statues

In their continued effort to make me poor, DC and other companies continue to put out Supergirl merchandise. And in an odd cosmic convergence, a bunch of new statues have all been solicited or revealed within the last few days, many at San Diego Comic Con (and thanks to blog friend Firebird for passing on the photos). I probably won't get all of these. My poor wallet!


The one I would love to get is this Tweeterhead exclusive statue of Supergirl in her Bronze Age costume flying in the clouds with Streaky. Here is the link:https://tweeterhead.com/product/supergirl-and-streaky-maquette/ 

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 https://www.comixology.com/  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

Terrificon



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:
https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/07/02/supergirl-season-3-episode-1-comic-con/

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:
https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/37771/top-300-comics-actual-may-2017

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!