Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Review: New Super-Man & The Justice League Of China #24

New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #24 came out this week, the last issue of this book, and I am sad to see it go.

I wasn't sure what I was going to get when I bought issue #1 of this book. Writer Gene Luen Yang was writing the main Superman book taking it in a direction I didn't like. But I figured with the name Super-Man, I was obligated to give it a shot.

What I have read for the past two years has been, month in and month out, an entertaining and complex book. Yang has had the luxury of giving us DC archetypes through an Asian lens, so it is both comfortable and new. He has looked back at some of the uglier sides of early DC comics and put them into a modern context. He infused Asian mythology into these new characters, especially in my favorite character of Wonder Woman. But most of all he has given us a young hero in Kenan Kong, a school bully lashing out because of his own familial problems and dropped onto the hero's journey. It has been a tightrope walk of action, politics, and comedy but somehow the book pulled it off. Never preachy, stodgy, or boring, I looked forward to seeing this book in my pull file. This issue was Yang's chance to say goodbye and push Kenan farther down the road of that journey.

We have had great artists on the book the whole time but Brent Peeples. His style definitely has grown over the time here. He also has had to deftly jump from silliness to earth-shattering action and has done so extremely well.

So long New Super-Man, I'll miss you.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Review: Wonder Woman #48


Wonder Woman #48 came out last week, an issue in which Diana appears on exactly one page. Critics (including me) have bristled a bit about Wonder Woman's secondary role in her own book since James Robinson took over and this issue is probably the strongest evidence of that. In reality, this should be called DC Comics Presents: Jason and Supergirl.

But as a fan of Robinson, in particular his run on Justice League of America - a team where Kara was the muscle, I enjoyed this issue. This read a lot like one of those JLA issues. I don't know if that is praise for the story or criticism for the complete lack of Wonder Woman in her own book. The super-powerful villains of the piece just disappear in the middle so heroes can talk a lot. But if comics are supposed to entertain me, this one did. Your mileage may vary but this is a Supergirl blog and this was a Supergirl heavy issue.

Jesus Merino is on art and I've always liked his style, thin-lined and precise. There's a lot of 'standing around chatting' in this book but he brings some character and expression to the proceedings. And this Jenny Frison variant of an all-female hero group is just gorgeous. I very much like how Supergirl looks younger here, appropriately.

On to the issue.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Review: Man Of Steel #3


The Man of Steel #3 came out this week, marking the halfway point of this opening arc of the Brian Michael Bendis era for Superman. Anyone who comes to this site knows I had some concerns about this takeover. Everything seemed to be going right for the Superman books. Why should DC rock the boat?

Three issues in and I can say that I am very pleased with what Bendis is doing here. This doesn't detract from the Jurgens/Tomasi/Gleason stuff. It just means that Bendis seems to be embracing all that Superman is much as those prior teams did. There are pitch perfect moments in this issue that just sang to me. If you like classic Superman or if you like Modern Superman or if (like me) you like both, you are in good hands here.

I also have to add that I worried about what this changeup would mean for Supergirl in particular. After all, this is a Supergirl site first and foremost. This issue features Supergirl prominently and, again, I am very pleased. There is an easy camaraderie between the cousins here, a familiarity that I haven't sensed between them for a long long time. They clearly know each other, have fought with each other, and love each other. So that pushes this issue that much higher in my mind.

Add to all this the glittery artwork of Ryan Sook, one of my all time favorites, and you have a winning issue. Things travel fast. There is a lot of wordless pages here. But they punctuate the powerful emotional beats.

Bendis is here! So far so good.

On to the book.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Supergirl Episode 322: Make It Reign


The penultimate episode of Supergirl season three, titled 'Make it Reign' aired this week and it felt like things were sprinting to the end. There are a number of plotlines that need to be tied up before this is over. And, of course, we have the main villains, the Dark Kryptonian Witches of Juru and their agent Reign to deal with.

I have been trying to wrap my head around this season as a whole as we near the end. This mental exercise has given me a headache. Because there has been so much to love about this season. We got a flashback episode, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Argo City, a supervillain threat in Reign with a compelling back story, a ton of comic Easter eggs, and the wonderful theme of Kara needing to embrace her humanity and accept Earth as her home. Heck, we got Streaky! All of this has been wonderful.

But the counterbalance to that has been a Mon-El subplot which has been cringe worthy. I have never been hardcore anti-Mon but seeing he and Kara do this romantic dance knowing he is a married man is just horrible. And we have had to deal with a few episodes with politics delivered so heavily and clunky that the message went over like a lead balloon. There were times when Supergirl felt like a guest on her own show, saved by other people more than saving the day. And because of this, small things which shouldn't matter seem to magnify in my mind.

This episode moved the Reign plot forward, giving us a bit of an info dump, giving us an upcoming deus ex machina, and some unnecessary angst for a supporting character. I can only hope it all ties up nicely.

And I am trying to light a candle and curse the darkness in this up and down review.

On to the show.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Review: Injustice #24

In many ways, I feel remiss in not collecting Injustice 2 on a monthly basis.

I came at that decision honestly. I am not a video game player. I am sick to death of Elseworlds where Lois is killed and Superman a fascist. So the basic premise seemed off. So not pulled.

And yet, I keep hearing that Supergirl ends up the hero of the piece. And I absolutely loved what Tom Taylor did on All-New Wolverine. And I have, based on cover and buzz, picked up the odd issue here and there and really enjoyed the book. For example,  Injustice 2 #13.

And so I decided when I saw the cover of Injustice 2 #24 a couple of weeks ago that it was worth picking up. I am so glad I did. It is almost the perfect to pick up after Injustice 2 #13 because the seeds of Kara's heroics planted in that story come to fruition here. And with a lot of panache.

Taylor gives us a world under assault from Amazo and there is only one hero out there to save the day ... Supergirl. And that plot will always make me happy.

Bruno Redondo is on art and that name is new to me. He brings a clean style to the proceedings but with some nice flourishes here and there which elevate the work.

If you are a Supergirl fan, you should pick this one up.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

DC Nation #1


The second issue of DC Nation, the company-made fan magazine, came out this week and I have to say as a fan of DC, I was impressed.

First off, the price. Free!

Second, it is 48 pages of high gloss, gorgeous art and news. It isn't just 'Direct Currents', although the latest solicits are in there. There are interviews. There are small pieces where you get to 'meet' the creators and staff. There are process pages. There is concept art.

For someone who loves comics, loves seeing the creative process, loves hearing from the creators, this is a perfect vehicle for all things DC.

I wonder how long they can keep up something of this quality or size. I can imagine it eventually being 20 pages or $1 or both.

But until then, I am going to drink it all in. Especially when I learn a little more about my favorite characters and upcoming books.

For example,

Monday, June 11, 2018

Quick Hits: Super Sons/Dynomutt and Supergirl Being Super


I'm a bit behind in reviews so forgive the late nature of these quick hits.

Earlier this month, DC did another round of crossovers between their characters and classic cartoon properties. You might remember the DC/WB crossovers like Bugs Bunny/Legion of Super-Heroes from last year. This year, the company has mash-ups with classic Hanna-Barbera characters. That is a deeper and wider group of shows to pull from which led to some interesting concepts.

As someone who loved the Super Sons concept and book and was still smarting a bit from the cancellation, I knew I was going to get the Super Sons/Dynomutt issue, written by usual Sons scribe Peter Tomasi with art by Fernando Pasarin.

I was expecting a goofy sort of romp with Blue Falcon and Robin playing straight men to the more rambunctious Dynomutt and Jon.

That is not what I got ... at all ...

Friday, June 8, 2018

Review: The Man Of Steel #2


 The Man of Steel #2 came out this week, the second chapter in this six issue mini-series written by Superman scribe of the future Brian Michael Bendis. I went into this series with some trepidation, wondering just what I would get from Bendis and just how much of the previous runs (bringing back a more classic Superman) was going to be left standing and how much would be razed.

Well, two issues in and I am quite happy.

Bendis is walking the incredible tightrope of having this mini-series feel fresh and current while at the same time bring a classic sensibility to the proceedings. We have a Superman who is devastated by the disappearance of his family, who is dealing with modern issues of journalism, who has well-meaning friends who are concerned but afraid to confront, and their is a planetary threat on the horizon. That's all modern comic fodder.

But we also get a smiling Superman taking on a giant toy. We get a Superman saving homeless people from a burning building. We get Jimmy and Perry verbally sparring. We get Steve Lombard and Ron Troupe pranking each other in the background. We have the Planet and super-heroics. That is all old school cool.

The only thing missing from both those elements is ... well ... Lois and Jon. But their plot is just beginning to surface and their presence like Rebecca in the Hitchcock movie and Sebastian in Suddenly Last Summer is felt everywhere, maybe stronger in their absence. I do hope the two return some point soon.

And that Rogol Zaar plot is the thing I am sort of dreading the most and it isn't in the forefront yet. With my liking the Metropolis action so much, I hope Zaar doesn't take the air out of the room.

The art here is predominantly done by two of my favorites - Doc Shaner and Steve Rude. Both bring a ridiculous economy to the proceedings. The art seems simple but is brilliant in execution, that whole new and classic thing all over again. Shaner and Rude and like peanut butter and jelly. Seriously, I love both their styles and they work perfect here.

On to the book.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

April 2018 Sales Review


The sales numbers for April 2018 came out a couple of weeks ago and the numbers were a little bit surprising. This was the last month for a number of the super-titles. Action Comics #1000 was released. It basically is the beginning of the Bendis era.

So what did that mean for sales. Well, as always, you can head over to ICv2 for the actual sales figures. Here is a link: https://icv2.com/articles/markets/view/40338/top-500-comics-april-2018

I had this post written before recent news in which I ranted about how sales this good shouldn't warrant cancellation. So with recent solicits, I needed to come back and edit.


So first up, Supergirl #20, the last issue of this volume of Supergirl.

This was known to be the last issue for some time. Usually sales plummet when a title is announced as canceled and readers jump ship. No one likes a lame duck.

This was the closing out of the renegade DEO storyline. And writers Steve Orlando and Jody Houser needed to sprint to the end to wrap things up (as well as introducing us to the Viking Judge).

So how did this last issue sell?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Supergirl Episode 321: Not Kansas


Supergirl episode 321, titled 'Not in Kansas', aired earlier this week and was a good chapter in this season's overall arc. We had progression of the Reign storyline with one of the best action sequences I have seen on the show. We had Kara realizing that maybe you can't go home again. We had some progression in J'onn and Alex's subplots which seemed like organic progression for their characters. And we had enough names dropped and homages to make this fanboy happy. Plus, there are a lot of callbacks to things from earlier in the season giving this a feeling of strong continuity. And those things really helped this episode rise up.

That of course means that there were a couple of things about this episode that potentially could have weighed it down. And there were. For one, the romance angle with Mon-El is here in full force and I honestly wish it was gone completely. He should have left in episode 318 but has instead stuck around. I actually had a visceral response to him later in the episode. And when an old man like me gets that fired up about a romance plot angle, you know things are going wrong.

And, I'll say again, the politics of this show are often delivered in a ham-fisted, preachy way that somehow takes me so out of the story that it is hard to get back in. This episode had a message about gun control but used actual guns and gun tech to discuss it. It is so obvious that it was a bit too on the nose. Comics and sci-fi work best when they use allegory to teach. Super-powered mutants can be used to discuss racism and prejudice. Prime directives can be used to teach about colonizing. This could have been a plot about plasma rifles or red sun grenades. It would have been less glaring.

It doesn't help that this gun subplot is crowbarred into an episode where I really want to spend time with Kara, on Argo. She is why I watch the show.

Still, I am going to give this one an overall thumbs up for the great stuff it did do. Settle in, this is a long one. On to the episode.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

August 2018 Solicits


I have covered the new direction of Supergirl around the time it was announced but shortly thereafter, the solicits were officially released. I haven't had much time to cover this recently given the explosion of news. So here I am finally getting around to the August books. Here is a link for all the DC solicitations on Newsarama: https://www.newsarama.com/40028-dc-comics-august-2018-solicitations.html

And here are the super-books  on sale at the end of the summer, starting with the new direction of Supergirl.

SUPERGIRL #21
written by MARC ANDREYKO
art by KEVIN MAGUIRE
cover by TERRY DODSON and RACHEL DODSON
variant cover by AMANDA CONNER
blank variant cover available
Mourning the loss of the Kryptonians wiped out by Rogol Zaar, Supergirl decides to play detective and sets off into deep space to learn more about the would-be usurper. Using whatever tech she can scrounge, Supergirl builds a star cruiser, and after intel from Green Lantern, she blasts off into the cosmos with Rogol Zaar’s deadly axe to solve the mystery—along with a traveling companion you won’t believe!

I suppose I will need to read the book before making any broad statements about this direction. This is completely different. A space detective? Again mourning the loss of Kryptonians? Building a star cruiser?

I don't know if we have learned who the traveling companion is yet so that mystery intrigues.

I do like that we get an Amanda Conner variant. And a blank cover! So DC is putting some publicity push behind this.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Justice League: No Justice #4


Justice League No Justice #4 came out this week, wrapping up an extremely fast-paced miniseries where different teams need to fend off universal energies and Omega Titans. It was a fun, quick read showcasing a cross-section of the DC Universe. Interestingly enough, Green Arrow came out as as the biggest hero, holding his own as a force of justice.

It also planted the seeds for future comics including a new Justice League, a cosmic League, and even (it seems) a new Outsiders team. For me, the biggest bang in the book was the return of Vril Dox. If you set the WABAC machine, you will hear my love of the fascist hero back in my R.E.B.E.L.S. reviews. So for a book I barely was able to follow (I didn't read Metal), I have to give this miniseries a thumbs up.

Mostly.

Of course, this is a Supergirl blog, so I kept wondering where Supergirl was. I didn't expect her to have a big part in the book, but the interlude story in  DC Nation #0  made me think she would have some role, perhaps as a last guardian at the gate, trying to hold of the Omegas until the heroes arrived.

Alas, that didn't happen.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Review: The Man Of Steel #1


The wait is over. Bendis isn't coming any more. Bendis is here.

As someone who has been reading comics for over 2 score year (sheesh, I am old) and has lived through countless reboots, soft reboots, and bold new directions, you think I would be numb to this stuff. But I'm not. I care about these characters. It's why I have stuck around. And it is why I was entering this Bendis era with a little trepidation. Superman has been mistreated and the books have misfired for most of the 21st century. The last two years of Rebirth have finally been a return to quality, a return to super. So DC upsetting the apple cart after so long seemed risky, even for such a big name as Bendis.

So I was nervous.

I read Bendis' story in Action Comics #1000 and was intrigued. I read his story in DC Nation #0 and was pretty pleased. The Man of Steel was going to be the real test though.

The Man of Steel #1 came out this week and I won't bury the lede. I liked it. I liked it a lot. We got a classic Superman, back in red trunks, protecting Metropolis, spouting some Pa Kent wisdom, cracking a little wise, meeting another hero of his city, and then heading home to Lois and Jon. Even the Rogol Zaar plotline, the part of this arc I think I will care the least for, read well with some interesting hints about motives and allies.

Ivan Reis and Joe Prado provide their usual solid work on art, bringing us quiet moments and action with equal skill and precision. There is almost a Neal Adams sort of feel here, a nice way to kick things off.

I know ... I should slow down. This is one issue. But for now Bendis has shown me he understands Superman. That makes me happy. On to the book.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Back Issue Review: Action Comics #262


Over on the Supergirl television show,  Supergirl has had a sometimes overly emotional response to the very existence of Kryptonite on Earth. She wants it destroyed, controlled, and out of the hands of people like Lena Luthor. She describes the pain it inflicts quite eloquently as the skin being ripped from her bones and nails coursing through her veins.

With that complete fear of Kryptonite and any exposure in mind, I thought I would review Action Comics #262, an early story of Supergirl's in which she intentionally exposes herself to Kryptonite, all in hopes of finding a cure for K-poisoning.

It is a pretty classic Supergirl story for the time with a little bit of Midvale orphanage, a recap of her origin, some concern about Superman's thoughts about her, and some wild Silver Age coincidences. This could be a primer for this era in her life. You get a sense of the formula writer Otto Binder followed. And you see a lot of the classic art tropes that legendary Supergirl artist Jim Mooney brought to the table.

I'll also point out this cover by Curt Swan with a cool coloring error, showing how slick this costume looks with a red skirt as opposed to the blue skirt she wore at the time.

So settle in for a fun story.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Supergirl Episode 320: Dark Side Of The Moon


Supergirl episode 320, titled 'Dark Side of the Moon' aired this week and was one of those episodes I mulled over for some time when it ended.

There was so much to love about this episode. There were some fantastic Supergirl mythology in the episode which was impressive. I mean I got to see a live action Argo City. There was a subplot involving Alex that really showcased her character nicely. We got some Winn moments and some Lena moments that were solid. And there is a Mon-El moment that feels a little foreboding.

There were also some things that just difficult to completely roll with in my head, specifically the Argo plot. I had issues with timelines, goals, and decisions.

All that said, this continued to build up the threat of Reign. It pushed a little into my prediction that Lena will ultimately kill Reign, driving the last wedge between her and Supergirl. And there was a bit more about the overall arc of this season of Supergirl trying to reconcile her alien heritage, her role on Earth, and her humanity. If Krypton exists, even a slice of it, why does Kara Danvers need to exist? Can you go home again?

On to the show.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Review: Super Sons #16


Super Sons #16 came out this week, the last issue in this series, canceled in the wake of the Bendis soft reboot/redirection of the super-titles. There was quite a clamor from fans questioning the decision behind ending this book (and Supergirl) when both titles were selling well and had passionate fans. In a move that shows they were listening, DC quickly put versions of both books back on the shelves in August. So while Super Sons is ending, the Adventures of the Super Sons, a maxi-series, is going to happen soon.

I don't know when writer Peter Tomasi knew about the new book but it must have been prior to writing this issue as there is a framework story of two kids listening to an old man tell this story. It has a very 'How I Met Your Mother' feel to it.

As for the end of this particular tale of the sons fighting Kid Amazo, it all ends rather quickly. I have to assume the imposed timing of this meant Tomasi couldn't tell the story the way he wanted to originally and had to truncate things. I don't know if I quite understand how this ended but it did.

Still, the best part of this book has been the interaction between Jon and Damian and this issue sends the book off well in that regard. There are some great moments here that show how far they have come as friends.

Carlo Barberi and Art Thibert bring their usual elan to the proceedings, giving this just enough of a playful feel to remind us this is a book about kid super-heroes. And Brent Peeples chips in as well.

I am sad it is ending.

Monday, May 28, 2018

New DC Superhero Girls


With the comic book thought to be cancelled and super-books on a sort of hiatus, I thought I might be scrounging for things to write about here. Turns out I was wrong.

I had heard that DC Superhero Girls was getting a new look courtesy of 'My Little Pony Friendship is Magic' front runner Lauren Faust. Last week we got our first look at the new feel for the team as it becomes a show on Cartoon Network. Here is a link and a blurb:
https://www.dccomics.com/blog/2018/05/21/first-look-lauren-faust-brings-dc-super-hero-girls-to-cartoon-network

The world may know them as Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl, but not-so-typical teenagers Diana, Kara and Barbara, alongside their Super Hero friends have much more to deal with than just protecting the citizens of Metropolis from some of the most sinister school-aged Super-Villains of the DC Universe. After all, being teens is tough enough, what with school, friends, family and the chaos that comes with managing a social life. But add super powers and a secret identity to the mix, and things can get a lot more complicated.

Sure, gal pals Bumblebee, Zatanna and Green Lantern Jessica Cruz are always there to lend an ear, a shoulder to cry on, and a fist to punch with, but what happens when Diana and her favorite study buddy and fencing partner, Tatsu, can’t agree on how to dole out justice as Wonder Woman and Katana? Or when Barbara finds out her Gotham-Con bestie is teen-fiend Harley Quinn? Along with all their friends, foes and frenemies, this squad of super teens navigates the unique growing pains that come when you’re a teenager trying to fight the battles of the world and the battles of growing up at the same time.

I'm thrilled Zatanna is coming on board. I wonder what will happen to well-established characters like Ivy and Harley. Harley has always seemed to be class clown ... not a teen fiend! Of course, the minor episodes never had members of the student body be villains. This was a very very positive webisode show before. 

Still I trust Faust implicitly. Loved the MLP upgrade. And, yes, loved her work on Super Best Friends Forever.


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Review: The Last Siege


I have been a fan of the creative team of Landry Walker and Eric Jones for some time now, following them from Supergirl Cosmic Adventures to Danger Club and beyond. So when I heard they were being joined by artist Justin Greenwood on the Image book The Last Siege I knew I would be there.

Now Cosmic and Danger Club are two very different styles of books so I didn't know what to expect with The Last Siege. It leans more towards the darker end of the thematic spectrum mixing medieval politics with sword play and desperate battles. I have been trying to come up with a sort of elevator pitch shorthand for the book and I guess I would say it's "Seven Samurai meets Braveheart meets Yojimbo". But even that sells it short for what I am sure will be an exploration of power and the corruption of power throughout the story.

Walker brings the reader into this first issue effectively, going back and forth between two plotlines which are inextricably linked and therefore laying the foundation for what the story is about. In particular, the opening pages are quite cinematic and let's the reader know this isn't going to be a sunny romp.

Greenwood's art is new to me but very much works here. I think of medieval times as a sort of dingy, rough time period and there is a raw quality to the linework here which just puts me into the story. You can feel the grime and grit as warriors battle in the rain.

I'm in and hope you will give it a try.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Review: Wonder Woman #47


Wonder Woman #47 came out this week, the only book on the shelf this month to feature Supergirl as we await her 'bold new direction' in August. So even though Kara is out of her mind in the issue, I have to be happy she is somewhere.

I have been collecting Wonder Woman since the Rebirth reboot. I found the Rucka run to be good enough, especially the early issues resolving some of the New 52 snags. Recently James Robinson has come on board and his time has been a bit more hit or miss. At times Diana seems like an after thought in her own book.

This issue seems to underscore that a bit. The first half is a fight with Supergirl in which we get some good insight into Diana and some wonderful art by Stephen Segovia. But this fight, in the end, is sort of meaningless and ends with a whimper. The second half is dedicated to Diana's long lost brother Jason, a character who has dominated the book a bit too much. I don't read the book for him; I read it for Wonder Woman.

The overall story here is about Dark Gods coming to Earth which seems a bit badly timed given that we also have Omega Titans coming in No Justice. I thought this was a tie-in to that book but it turns out the Dark Gods are their own entities.

I'll stress again that Segovia really crushes it this issue. His visual storytelling is superb. On to the book.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Happy Anniversary! The Shrine Then & Now


I continue my look back at ten years of collecting by looking at the sheer amount of Supergirl merchandise I have obtained over the course of the last decade. It's crazy to look at this 'then and now' take on the collection.

Here is the first look at 'The Shrine' from way back in June 2008 here:
http://comicboxcommentary.blogspot.com/2008/06/shrine.html

Back then I was using a tiny sort of 4 shelf corner cabinet to display 22 pieces.

I quickly would need more space.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Supergirl Episode 319: The Fanatical

Supergirl episode 319, titled 'The Fanatical' came out this week and was an decent episode. This one pushed the season long plot of the World Killers forward a bit. We learned of a possible solution to Reign, one that would save Sam. We revisited the Coville cult and saw how people can define themselves by their faith. And, given the name of an upcoming episode, we are that much closer to seeing Erica Durance as Alura.

But the main thrust of this episode was character growth as once again we see how the events of this season are bringing people together or driving them apart. Every member of the DEO team is struggling a bit these days with some personal crises. And as a result, everything seems a little uneasy. Supergirl and Lena are bristling with each other. Mon-El is dealing with his conflicted feelings. J'onn is dealing with his father. Alex is trying to mother Ruby. James is pulled between alliances. All this while their friend is captured and threatening the world. Add to this a relatively heavy dollop of political sentiment and you get an episode more memorable for character moments than for punches.

While I love the cast and the well developed characters, this is another episode where Supergirl seems like part of an ensemble show instead of a lead. J'onn and Alex carry the emotional heft here. James is the political figure crying out for social justice. Mon-El gets most of the action.

Hopefully when all this plays out, Supergirl is the center of all the action and the actual hero of the day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New Creative Team/New Look For Supergirl Announced


In what has to be deemed tremendous news, we learned yesterday that the Supergirl title has not been cancelled and will be back on the shelves this summer! Supergirl #21 ... not even a renumbering! Hooray! ... will be out in August!

Over on Syfy.com, it was announced that Marc Andreyko and Kevin Maguire will be the new creative team. Andreyko then does an brief interview about the book. Here is a link:
http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/exclusive-supergirl-returns-with-new-creative-team-and-brand-new-costume

Now first off, I definitely like Andreyko as a writer, especially his work on Manhunter. So I really feel like Kara is in good hands there. And I have gushed about Kevin Maguire on this blog many many times. I can't wait to see him drawing Kara monthly. So I am grateful for that announcement.

We also get Terry Dodson on the cover of the first issue of the new direction. And in the story, Kara will sport at least four new outfits as designed by Jorge Jimenez. So more artists I love are attached to the title. This is great news. While my beloved red skirt is gone on the more classic outfit, at least the long point sleeves remain. And I like the wide gold belt. Nice touch. Okay, onto the article itself.

I'll say again, I am thrilled the book is staying around. My thoughts on specifics coming up.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Supergirl On Sundays


 The CW Upfronts were held last week and there was some shakeup to the lineup of the shows worth mentioning here.

The biggest change for the network as a whole is the CW now expanding to Sunday nights.

And this has an impact on the Supergirl show as she will now be the 8p show on Sundays. Here is a link to the whole schedule: http://tvline.com/2018/05/17/cw-fall-lineup-2018-supergirl-sunday-charmed-schedule/

I am glad that the CW feels Supergirl can still be the tentpole on a night, especially a new night for the network. Having the reboot of Charmed follow the show also is evidence that the network has faith in the series bringing in and holding viewers.

Of course, much like Mondays, it does mean that Supergirl will be up against prime time professional football. Hopefully that doesn't crush the numbers.

The Supergirl 'poster' for season 4 looks a little odd to me, like a photoshop job. Does Melissa Benoist's head look just a smidge too large?

Friday, May 18, 2018

Review: Superman Special #1 (2018)

With the Bendis era around the corner, DC has allowed the current Superman creative teams a little breathing room to wrap up some storylines.  Earlier this month we had  Action Comics Special #1 , an extra issue to let Dan Jurgens finish one of his ongoing plots, the complex recent relationship between Superman and Lex Luthor.

This week we got Superman Special #1 which allows Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason one last chance to showcase the super-family as well as close out a lingering plot point, the destiny of Captain Storm.
As this is a special, we also get a couple of short bonus stories, perhaps inventory left unpublished before now.

I have touted the Tomasi/Gleason run since it started so no surprise I love their story.  It is a nice amalgam of the father/son relationship we have seen grow in this book, a wonderful representation of Lois (something missing before Rebirth), and a nod to heroes of all ages. It ends with a literal closing of the door, a symbolic way for the creators to show that their time here is done.

The art on the main story is done by Scott Godlewski who brings a nice feel to the piece, bring a little Darwyn Cooke and a little Wayne Boring to the proceedings, totally appropriate for an adventure on Dinosaur Island.

But the key thing is that it made me once again realize that despite firing on all cylinders, this team is being nudged out. I am hopeful that Bendis is bringing something phenomenal.

On to the book.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Joelle Jones Supergirl statue


The Shrine got a little bigger recently when the DC Cover Girls Joelle Jones Supergirl statue came in.

It is an absolutely gorgeous statue.

Like mind-blowingly beautiful. Not surprising given it is based on Joelle Jones art, someone whose work I have loved for a long time.

There is something that just says 'graceful' about this. From the faraway, serene expression to the holding out of the cape to the gentle leg positioning, this gives off the angelic, pure feel that Supergirl is sometimes known for.

It is really a great piece, one worth saving for if you have enough cash for just one Supergirl piece.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Supergirl Episode 318: Shelter From The Storm


Supergirl episode 318, titled 'Shelter from the Storm' aired earlier this week and was the second episode in a row which I found just a bit lacking. Now trust me, there are some very solid moments here, including a slow boil on the Lena/Supergirl eventual clash and some touching moments between J'onn and his father. There are even some Donner nods, something which always makes me smile.

Unfortunately, for me, there were several story decisions here which I thought lessened the total arc. In particular, the constant Mon-El is what is driving me a bit batty. There was a perfect moment in this episode for him to exit the show in a heroic and sympathetic way. It would have been the best redemption for the character and the perfect way to put Supergirl back in the spotlight.

Instead, Mon-El reverse course, comes back, and ultimately sort of saves the day. And then, the embers of the Kara/Mon romance suddenly seem to be glowing brighter.

I haven't had the complete disgust towards Mon-El that others have had. I think he has grown a lot as a person, even just in last season. But the time was right for him to head off into the sunset.

But enough about Mon-El. The straw stirring the drink of this episode was Lena, just as she was last week. Katie McGrath is ratcheting up the Luthor-ness of Lena, even as Kara seems to be unintentionally nudging the character deeper into the shadows. Look out. A Luthor is going to be the big bad of Season 4, no doubt.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Happy Anniversary! Top Ten Supergirl Commissions!


I continue my semi-self-congratulatory tenth anniversary of Supergirl blogging by looking back at my every growing collection of commissions. I am pretty lucky that New England has a good convention scene that allows me the opportunity to run into creators on an annual basis. And I am also lucky enough to have a job where I can moonlight an extra shift to fund a convention season, allowing me to at least try to get commissions.

As I write this, I have just under 100 commissions in the collection. Initially I got them on separate Bristol board and would frame them. But I quickly ran out of wall space in the comic area of the basement. It also was kind of hard to share the collection. So a while back I switched to sketch books which I now bring to conventions. It has served me well. I know have a portable art gallery. And artists who I do commission seem to like flipping through the book themselves.

As part of this 10th anniversary celebration, I have been looking at some Top Tens and figured my commission collection was a natural for such a list. The problem is I love all my sketches. So picking a top ten feels like I am rejecting the others. So I am presenting the top ten commissions that stuck out to me today. Ask me tomorrow and I might pick a different 10 all together. And these are listed unranked and alphabetically by artist. This is just the top ten.

If you love any of my commissions, please drop me a note. In the mean time, on to the list,.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Supergirl Quick Hits


 Hey all, just a couple of unexpected Kara moments cropped up this week at the comic store which I thought were worth mentioning here. One is current. One is pure Bronze Age joy.

We'll start off in Wonder Woman #46. 

I must admit, I haven't been too impressed with James Robinson's run as it seems like Wonder Woman is a supporting character in her own book. I will openly admit that I am floored by the tremendous Jenny Frison variant covers that have been on the book.

This issue has Diana battling the Cheetah. Cheetah keeps ranting how the god Urzkartaga, who cursed her with her bestial form, is dead. Dark gods are coming. And this theistic upheaval is enough to enrage and madden the Cheetah who goes on a killing spree.

In fact this seems to be hitting home normal people too. They are questioning their faiths and rioting.

Maybe you can see where this is going given the Supergirl focus of this site.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Review: New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #23


New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #23 came out this week. The writing is on the wall that this book is ending and so I am trying to enjoy every second of it I have left. Writer Gene Luen Yang continues to give us a fresh look at familiar characters as they deal with their side of the globe. 

This issue concludes the North Korean Aquaman story, bringing him into the fold of the League. As has been something of a running theme in this book, Aquaman needs to come to grips with who he is as an individual in the face of expectations from his elders. Kenan has needed to grapple with his human parents as well as the warring Yin/Yang in him, trying to become the best version of him that there is. Baixi has been trying to deal with what it means to be a Batman as well as his life as a big brother and a boyfriend. Deiling has had to reconcile her life as an elder spirit Green Snake as well as being a human.

And here, Aquaman has merged with a Korean water god who wants to bring its wrath down on the people. But Kwang Jo is a simple Korean kid who likes American junk culture. How do you figure out who you are and what you want to do in the face of that pressure.

While these are relatively heady topics, Yang always keeps the fun infused in the book. I wish I had another year of this book.

On art, Brent Peeples continues to shine. He has a sort of 'no fuss' style that allows the story to unfold without distraction. I realize that sounds like damning with faint praise but I love the look of this book.

On to the book.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Teen Titans Go! Supergirl



 I have been watching  Teen Titans Go! the series since its inception.

It is bananas. It is a strange, addled, mind-boggling look at the DCU through a haze of sarcasm and lunacy. I have seen episodes which embrace criticism of the proper DCU, episodes where the characters die of old age, episodes based around farting, to ones where they get gritty in response to fan complaints, and just about everything in between.

Yes, I take my comics and comic characters very seriously. Maybe too seriously.

But Teen Titans Go! is a wickedly guilty pleasure, one I routinely laugh out loud at.

So when they announced Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, I was pretty stoked. After remaining on the landscape for five irreverent years, it deserves some big screen time.

One thing that has always stood out to me is that despite the wealth of DC characters who have appeared, we hadn't seen Supergirl before.

Before now that is.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Supergirl Episode 317: Trinity



Supergirl episode 317, titled 'Trinity' aired this week and was an interesting episode to dissect.

Certainly there was a lot of momentum in the World Killer storyline here, as the evil Trinity of Reign, Purity, and Pestilence nearly brought about the end of the world. We see some weakness in this Trinity ultimately as the human side of these Kryptonian entities are able to manifest at opportune times for our heroes. So yes, despite being a Trinity, they are not 100% united.

But the bigger plot for me in this episode was the weakening of the heroic Trinity of Supergirl, Alex, and Lena Luthor. Yes, there is an obvious comparison here, three strong women fighting for a cause. But just like the villainous trio are splintered, you can see it here. This whole episode seems to be intent on shoving Lena out of the light and into the darkness. I have no doubt at all know that Lena will be the big bad in Season 4. Because despite Lena doing nothing but good, the characters here mostly doubt her. In fact, Supergirl's distrust of Lena and Lena keeping secrets seems to be out of left field. Kara herself has secrets. So to flaunt it so much seems wrong.

Yes, as a viewer and long time comic fan, I have been watching the 'will she/won't she be evil' scenes with great glee. But that is me, outside this reality. All this stuff seemingly could have been hashed out with a mature conversation over a coffee.

The bottom line is that all the secrets and barriers between these heroes all are now torn down ... except for two big ones. Kara's secret identity seems still hidden ... maybe. And Lena's huge secret at the end of the episode is known only to James.

So in the end, I expect Reign to be defeated at the hands of Lena. And this defeat will somehow paint Lena poorly leading to an ultimate dissolution of this friendship. It actually mirrors the Lex/Kal initial friendship nicely. After all, as I learned in Unbreakable, usually arch-enemies start out as friends. (They called him Mr. Glass.)

On to the show.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

DCNation #0: No Justice Bullet Review


DC Nation #0 came out last week, a bargain at a quarter because it sets up three major new storylines in three of DC biggest properties. I knew I was going to review part of it at the very least. My thoughts on the Brian Michael Bendis/Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez story were posted a couple of days ago here.

I wasn't planning on covering any of the other stories because I don't always read Batman and I hadn't read Justice League Metal so I didn't think I had the background to cover the No Justice story by the deep team of talent comprised of writers Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Joshua Williamson with art by Jorge Jimenez. But the appearance of Supergirl made a couple of people reach out to me for coverage. And so here we are.

This will be a bit of a bullet review so don't expect too too much. My plan here is to look at each team and then cover the Kara spot. Onto the story.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Review: Action Comics Special #1


Action Comics Special #1 came out this week, the epilogue to Dan Jurgens run on the character which has spanned two decades. It seems fitting to me that Jurgens end it with a Superman vs. Luthor fight, pitting the arch-enemies against each other one last time. It also seems fitting to me that this reminded me of another landmark Action Comics issue which came out during a prior Jurgens run (albeit written by Roger Stern), a sort of look back as we turn to the future.

Perhaps most important, it closes the door on the 'Luthor is kind of a hero these days' plot which has been around for most of Rebirth. I don't mind my villains being villains and seeing Lex wearing an S-shield and trying to chum around Superman didn't always sit well. Lex should loathe the shield; he should hate Superman. With Brian Michael Bendis coming on board and a new era of Superman coming up, it seems like a fine time to regress to the classic version of these characters.

Jurgens does this in a most interesting way giving us a surprise villain for the Luthor/Superman pairing to fight together, acting as comrades in arms for one last time. Nice wrinkle and decent story. I wonder if Jurgens was given enough lead time to know this was his final story.

And Will Conrad provides his usual detailed, fine lined approach to the art which gives this story a sense of preciseness. It looks beautiful.

This is a special so there are extra pages. Surprisingly, the best extra story is one by Max Landis. I almost feel ashamed to write that last sentence. Turns out that story is a reprint from a recent holiday special, which makes sense given the content.

On the book.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Review: DCNation #0

 DC Nation #0 came out this week and had three stories within to promote some of the upcoming storylines in the fresh new DCU. This includes a Tom King/Clay Mann Batman story and a Justice League story to promote the post-Metal DCU by writers Scott Snyder, James Tynion, and Joshua Williamson with art by Jorge Jimenez.

I am a DC fan so of course I was going to get this regardless. But for me the draw was a Superman story by Brian Michael Bendis with art by the legendary Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, praised be his name. We all have been curious about where Bendis will be taking the Superman family once he grabs the reins. I have been worried about him upsetting the apple cart of the recent excellence in the book. And frankly this story made me a little more worried than the action sequence in Action Comics #1000.

Part of that worry is that whenever a big name comes onto the Superman books their first inclination always seems to be that they need to change things, shake things up, and make things different. And that rarely seems to work. So in the recent past when Gene Luen Yang decided to depower Superman, remove the Clark Kent secret identity, and make him a motorcycle-riding wrestler ... well that didn't work. That ain't Superman. And before that when James Michael Straczynski decided to have Superman walk across the US, ignoring people who were dying of a heart attack on their front porch, and telling someone he would let them throw themselves off a building and not stop them ... well that didn't work. That wasn't Superman.

But when Dan Jurgens, Peter Tomasi, and Patrick Gleason had him with Lois, being heroic and inspirational, and working for the Daily Planet .. ... that worked! It was truly a Rebirth, with Superman being Reborn into all the things that made Superman fans love him to begin with.

Now we are faced with Bendis and I know we have barely scratched the surface. But already Bendis has an evil alien being behind the destruction of Krypton and, in DC Nation #0, Lois Lane out of the picture and missing. This isn't exactly Superman ...

Will it work? I'll go in with an open mind like I always do. But it better be spectacular. Metaphorically, the apples are falling off the cart, rolling down the street.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Plastic City Comic Con Recap


Plastic City Comic Con is a local comic book convention that was new to me and boy, I am glad I discovered it. It is a true comic book convention and a perfect beginning to my convention season.

The big draw for me was that J.M. DeMatteis was in attendance. I have been a fan of DeMatteis for a long time and the idea of running into him at a smaller con made me think I might have some time with him to ask some questions. And I did, a brief amount. Because he is a popular creator and lots of people were there to meet him.

I also was able to meet and shake hands with the show runners of Terrificon, which has become my big con during the summer. It was a flyby meeting but I wanted to let them know I appreciated the show and was gearing up to attend.

But this was also a chance for me to actually thumb through back issues and buy comic books. As I have said before, I am usually busy with creators at the bigger cons. I am trying to get commissions and autographs. I rarely have time to just kick back and flip through back issues.

Not only did I have time to shop for books, I found some great books. Great books.

On to the show.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Supergirl Episode 316: Of Two Minds


Supergirl episode 316, 'Of Two Minds; aired this week and pushed forward the overarching plot of the World Killers, introducing us to the third and giving us plenty of new information about their abilities. We needed to get back to this story to make sure all the pieces are in order for the finale.

One of the things I have liked about this season has been the idea that Kara needs to embrace her humanity to be the hero she wants to be. At the beginning, she swears off being a human and dedicates herself to being unfeeling and alien. Over the course of this season we have not only seen Kara need to get in touch with her feelings and think about sacrifice for the good, we have seen it in those around her. Whether it is Livewire or Psi or Mon-El or J'onn or Alex or Winn, everyone has had to come to grips with caring about others more than themselves, about forgiveness and redemption. I am sure that all of these stories are building up to a climax where the humanity of the World Killers is going to be leveraged to defeat them.

This episode we see that it is Saturn Girl's turn to learn the lesson. Or maybe it is Kara's turn to question the lesson and relearn it. We also see that Pestilence has not only turned away from humanity but has embraced her evil side.

It all leads to heavy action sequences and plot progression. But beside that, there are tremendous character moments which explore the themes above. This felt like an hors d'oeuvre before the real deal.

On to the show


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Happy Anniversary! Top Ten List of Top Supergirl Moments of the Last 10 Years


It is absolute insanity to realize that I have been blogging about Supergirl for ten years now. I hope I have maintained the passion for her and DC in the entries that made me think of starting a site to begin with.

One of my favorite posts to do each year is my 'Best Moments' of the year. I review all of the comics Supergirl appeared in, I make a file of all the biggest moments from those reviews. I then prune what is usually a big folder of 30-40 moments down to something like 12-15 of the best. And then from there, I pick honorable mentions and rank a top ten.

With my tenth year anniversary approaching, I realized I had done ten "end of the year" 'Best Moments' posts. And that means I had my ten #1 Supergirl moments for the past decade.

So I thought, as a celebration of my anniversary, I would look at the #1 Supergirl moments for the last ten years and then rank them, making a Top Ten of the Top Ten list. This would therefore create an ultimate #1 Supergirl moment for the last decade!

A couple of caveats. One, I limited this to the actual #1 moments I picked each year. With the passage of time, I don't know if I would rank them as a #1 now. But I have to keep them. Two, I not only ranked them based on overall importance to the character but also my personal reaction to the moment. If this floored me but now is forgotten, it still might rank high.

So settle in for the Top Ten Supergirl moments of the last decade, based on my #1 Supergirl moments for each of the last 10 years. And settle in ... because I discuss each moment!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Happy Tenth Anniversary Supergirl Comic Box Commentary


Where does time go?

Every year I talk about how I decided to do a comic blog back in 2007 but I didn't have a focus and so it was one post and done. And then on 4/29/08 I decided to try again, this time concentrating on Supergirl comics.

I decided Supergirl because I love the character and I didn't think she was being respected in the comics. At all.

It has been a decade.
The character is in a much better place.

And the site?
Over 2900 posts.
Over 3.7 million page views.
Countless friends made. And plenty of friends for life.

Incredible.

The focus has somewhat stretched to include Superman, Legion of Super-Heroes, other media representations of Supergirl, and basically DC Comics in general.

But, despite these blurred borders, I think I have succeeded in keeping Supergirl at the center of the proceedings.

I don't think I need to go into detail but suffice it to say that things have changed a lot for Supergirl over these 10 years, and mostly for the better. There have been some stops and starts. But there is no doubt Supergirl is a known commodity now, much more widely known than she was back in 2008. From comics to canned pasta to toys to television shows, she really seems everywhere. You only need to take a look at my overfilled collection of merchandise to see how big a deal she has been over the last 10 years (I'll have a post soon).

So on the site, the character coverage is the content but the audience is the atmosphere.


The traffic has been steady and climbing for the most part. And I also think that's amazing. 840K visits last year!

Every anniversary, I thank you all for coming here, listening to my rants, and reading my overly long and probably overly scrutinized comic reviews. Without you all and the Supergirl fandom, I would have given up on this long ago. I love the conversation. I learn so much from you all. And it is great to hear from other Supergirl fans! This is a community. And I love that it isn't an echo chamber. There is discussion and opinion but also respect.

So thanks again! Congratulations should be given to you as much as to me!

10 freaking years! Unbelievable.

I am planning a couple of fun anniversary posts because, gosh dang it, I think the place deserves it. So look for some fun 10 year retrospectives coming up.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary Is Ten Years Old Today



I won't go into much discussion here as it is a Sunday. But I felt I needed to post something on the day itself!

10 years ago today I posted this entry ...

http://comicboxcommentary.blogspot.com/2008/04/sigh.html

And a lot has happened since ...

So come back tomorrow as I begin some official celebrations!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Review: Scooby Doo Team-Up #37


Scooby Doo Team-Up #37 came out this week, guest starring Supergirl and Streaky. It is a near perfect book to give a Supergirl fan, both new and old. It is practically a primer for her Silver Age adventures with just a splash of Bronze Age thrown in for good measure. As such, for an old timer like me, I was absolutely tickled pink.

Not that I should be surprised by this. Sholly Fisch is writer here and Mr. Fisch has always been able to put together a good yarn. Whether it is all ages like this or the backup stories in the Grant Morrison Action Comics, he seems to grasp the core of characters and put things together in a nice package.

In particular, he must be a Supergirl fan given all he was able to stuff into this issue. Even with the presence of the Scooby Gang and their mandatory shenanigans, we still get major parts of Supergirl's classic history here. I mean it ... I was floored.

Dario Brizuela is on art and brings a nice consistent feel to the proceedings. His Supergirl is young and powerful. I would love a cartoon appearance with this look.

But honestly, if you have a Supergirl fan of any age and you want to show them what the Silver Age for Supergirl was like, buy them this book.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

DC July 2018 Solicits


Well the July solicits for DC Comics have been out for a bit so sorry it has taken me a bit of time to finally cover them, albeit it briefly. Here is a link:
https://www.newsarama.com/39527-dc-comics-july-2018-solicitations.html

We all knew this was coming. But it strikes me as a bit crazy that there are only two Superman family books on the shelves in July. No Supergirl. No Super Sons. No Superwoman. And now, no New Super-Man.

We knew it was coming. It just seems stark now that it is actually happening. Of course, it took DC a long time to get a Supergirl Rebirth book on the shelves despite the show's success. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised to not get a reboot so soon.

On to the book.

ACTION COMICS #1,001
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art and cover by PATRICK GLEASON
Variant cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
Variant cover by DAVID MACK

Acclaimed writer Brian Michael Bendis’ new chapter for the Man of Steel and the world of tomorrow begins here! The devastating repercussions from the Man of Steel miniseries still reverberate as Metropolis enters a new age! The Daily Planet teeters on the brink of disaster! A new criminal element has made its way onto the streets of Superman’s hometown! The longest- running superhero comic of all time explodes off the page with art by fan favorite Patrick Gleason.

Metropolis enters a new age? The Daily Planet in danger?

We have been wondering about all this stuff about a change in the dynamic of the family. No mention of Lois at all here.

A David Mack variant sounds interesting. I loved his variants on the Robinson Justice League of America.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Supergirl Episode 315: In Search Of Lost Time


"In Search of Lost Time", the fifteenth episode of this third season of Supergirl, aired earlier this week and was one of the more emotionally heavy episodes for this title. At time it was heartbreaking.

Of course, I have been watching this whole season trying to figure out how each episode ties into the major theme of Supergirl rediscovering her humanity while Sam loses hers to Reign. I have said from the beginning that it will somehow tie into Sam's love for Ruby that will ultimately lead to Reign's defeat.

The title here tells us what we are dealing with. The main plot is on M'yrnn J'onzz suffering from dementia. He is slowly losing himself, losing the experience of his life. Meanwhile, J'onn knows that he and his father need to accept this even though they have just been reunited. They are searching for time, but they have lost the future.

But that isn't the only play on the title. Sam, under Lena's care, learns she is Reign. She learns what she has been doing during her blackouts, her lost time. But more importantly, she knows, for safety reasons, she cannot be with Ruby until she is rid of the Reign persona. She is losing time with her family.

And lastly, there is a scene which Mon-El haters will love where Kara finally confronts him about how awful he actually was last season. She realizes that she has romanticized their relationship in her mind, forgetting the bad when thinking about him through the haze of grief. Maybe she wants to go back to that lost time but she can't. She sheds herself of romantic feelings for him. And he acknowledges that the Mon-El from seven years ago (his time) was as awful as she says and apologizes for his actions.

All these show people either sacrificing part of themselves for the good of others or recognizing when they have hurt someone else and asking for forgiveness. It all fits the theme. And it is this slowly building premise that has made this the strongest season for me so far.

On to the show.

Transforming into the ‘other’, medically induced coma.Ending sedation to get conscious. Sam/Ruby picture.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Review:Super Sons #15


Super Sons #15 was released last week, the beginning of the last arc for this book before it gets cancelled. This fun and well received title is another casualty in the current shakeup with the Superman books.

So it only seems fitting that we come full circle in this book with the boys fighting their first foe, Kid Amazo. At lot has happened since the boys stumbled into a team-up. They have become a true super hero duo. They go to school together. They have a Fortress to hang out. And they have become friends.

That last part is the best part of this book. We have seen how, despite their inherent differences, the boys have become comrades in arms. Damian has become a tad more noble, a tad more open, and has started to care about Jon as more than a tool. Jon has become more talkative, more assertive, and more proactive. In other words, they have positively impacted the life of the other. And they are there for each other when there is trouble, personal or otherwise. It is a shame this is going away.

Peter Tomasi has basically written a World's Finest book and it has been great. And this issue is no difference. With the very complementary art by Carlo Barberi and Art Thibert, we get another issue of action and character interaction.

It's a shame it is going away. I am still holding out hope we get a Super Squad book in the aftermath. On to the book.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Review: Action Comics #1000


Last week was a huge day in Superman history as Action Comics #1000 came out, complete with 10 different variant covers and 10 different stories. One of those was ''The Truth', the first installment by Brian Michael Bendis in his time running the Superman mythos.

I have to say that I loved the issue. Not every story resonated with me. But they all encapsulated who Superman is. I won't review all of them but each vignette leaned into the idea of Superman being a source of truth and justice, a good man trying to help, an inspiration to people everywhere, and beloved. This was my Superman.

Now this won't work for everyone, I'm sure. Some might think it was hokey. Others boring. Others yet unoriginal. But anniversary issues like this ... and this is the biggest anniversary issue of them all so far ... are supposed to be about looking back at the big concepts. And for me, I wanted it to honor all the mythology that came before it.

To put it in other terms, I'm a baseball fan and my favorite baseball movie is The Natural, an almost supernatural story about redemption. That's level is what this issue was. Not Bull Durham or Major League.



I also admit that I splurged and got a bunch of covers. I ordered the limited Artgerm and Tyler Kirkham variants. And at the store I bought the Dan Jurgens, Steve Rude, and Mike Allred covers. 

My favorite is probably the Allred one because he snuck so much Silver Age sweetness onto the cover, including some excellent Supergirl moments.

The plan here will be to look closely at the Bendis story and then touch upon some of the others, so be warned. Spoilers ahead.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Review: Superman #45


I know that Action Comics #1000 came out this week and that is an historic issue that should be first in the review chute.

But before I cover that book and the future of Superman under the reins of Brian Michael Bendis, I feel I had to close the door on the Rebirth/Reborn era of the Superman family. And that means covering Superman #45 by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason. And this is an ending. It reads like an ending. And it reads like a metatextual ending as much as a storyline ending.

I said in a recent review, when discussing the ending of this run, that nothing gold can stay. There is some cosmic karma in that Robert Frost run because the team says it here as well. Yes, good things can come of change. Yes, people need to expand their horizons. But it is a shame when something that is still gold is going away.

The Kent family's life is changing. No more Hamilton farm. No more wheat fields. No more country days hanging out with Kathy. It is time to move on.

And this book is changing. No more Tomasi and Gleason leading this family forward. No more stories of father and son, no more mother and son, no more father and mother. This book sold well and was loved. And yet the creative team is being forced out to move on, cleaning up plot threads so 'new owners' can come in to the space.

It has to be both a story and a comment on things.

Thanks again Tomasi and Gleason. I loved this run and I hate to see you go.

On to the book.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Plastic City Comic Con


This weekend I will be heading to a new local con, the Plastic City Comic Con. Here is a link:
http://www.plasticcitycomiccon.com/

This seems like just the sort of low key con I could use right now. It a vendor heavy convention where I will be going to (gasp) thumb through comics and buy them! We finally leaving the doldrums of winter here. We are approaching my 'big con' season. This will be a great place to ease in.

And I am ready! I have heard only very good things about this con. Seems like a 'true' comic convention.

But it isn't all just shopping because a creator whose work I truly enjoy, J.M. DeMatteis, is going to be there as a guest of honor. And I can't wait to meet him.

DeMatteis has a long career with some major works in his oeuvre. Moonshadow, Spider-Man and Kraven's Hunt, JLA (Bwa-ha-ha) are just a couple of his biggest successes.

But I'm me, so I am bringing an eclectic group of books for signatures. And I am hoping he won't be too busy to answer some questions about these works. I will be bringing him  Wings , a little known Elseworlds which came out during the PAD Linda Danvers book.

I wonder if DeMatteis was a fan of that book. Did he pitch this or was it pitched to him? My gut tells me no one cares about this other than me. I wonder how often he gets asked about it.