Monday, July 16, 2018

More Supergirl Stuff!

As San Diego comic con approaches and Supergirl continues an unprecedented run of public interest, the character's merchandise list grows longer. I have to say that this particular run of announcements is very compelling to me as I try to figure out how to get it all.

First off is the blu-ray version of her movie from 1984. Here is a link for details:

This special edition of Supergirl presents the film's International Cut, remastered in High Definition for Blu-ray, along with the rare Director's Cut on a bonus DVD.

As most know, it has been years since I have seen the movie. I have always wanted to review it here on the site. Now it looks like I'll finally get the chance. I have only heard rumblings of the director's cut version so I can't wait to see that.

I am just amazed that the interest in Kara Zor-El has reached such a peak that the campy movie from the 80's is getting such a slick re-issuing. I can't wait to see Helen Slater gracefully flying and saying she doesn't scare easily again.

But wait there's more.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Review: Superman #1

Superman #1 came out this week, the first issue in the proper Superman titles for writer Brian Michael Bendis. With multiple covers and lush internal art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado, the book is something of an event, ironically coming out on the same day that Marvel started up a new volume of Spider-Man.

I was hoping to be floored by issue. I wanted to be so amazed by what I read that I was ready to declare myself all in on Bendis. I felt that The Man of Steel mini-series which started this new era seemed to fizzle a bit. I was questioning the direction the Lois/Jon plot went. I needed to just get that sense of joy and anticipation that marked me clamoring for more.

And I didn't quite get it.

That isn't to say that there aren't fine moments in this book. Bendis does a great job here of showing just how incredible Superman is as a hero. We see him effortlessly deal with multiple huge calamities throughout the story, showing us just how powerful he is and how dedicated he is to his duties. That was great. And there are small moments and mentions within the book that make me think the subplots and surroundings are going to be well cared for by Bendis.

Unfortunately, it is the big plot moments that have left me scratching my head. In The Man of Steel, it was the nonsensical decision to let Jon go off with the maniacal Jor-El, Lois in tow. That seems odd and out of character. Here, it is the presence of gentle soul J'onn J'onzz asking Superman to become a king over the world. That seems odder and more out of character. And that was so jarring that the rest of the book, which is delightful, seemed dimmer.

I have no complaints about the art. Reis and Prado bring a modern-day 'classic Neal Adams' feel to the proceedings. Whether it is space battles, office shenanigans, quiet moments at home, or chaotic environments, everything pops off the page. And as a fan of his watercolor covers on Justice League of America back in the day, I chose the David Mack variant.

On to the book.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

DC Nation #2

DC Nation #2 came out last week and I continue to be enthralled with this free magazine. Yes, it is free advertising for DC Comics. But there is enough solid material to make it feel more like just a commercial. There are interviews, behind the scenes process pieces, and creator profiles. For a comic geek like me, this is nirvana. You can't beat that price point either!

Now I'll remind you that this issue was originally solicited with a Supergirl headline. No such luck now. Maybe DC felt it was better to hold onto that article until we were closer to the actual release of the Supergirl book.

I can only hope she merits her own article.

But there was some Supergirl (and Superman) stuff in the magazine.

Her title does get a huge advertisement, the inside back cover.

So as someone who has wailed and gnashed my teeth against the 'Dark Supergirl' theme, I have to say I don't know if I like the 'Wanted:Dead or Alive' banner over Kara. Even the 'not recognized as a hero and sort of a criminal' vibe for Supergirl irks me. So I don't exactly know how to feel about an axe-wielding Supergirl being viewed as a criminal by the universe's police force.

Hopefully, this all turns out well.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Supergirl Show Season 3 Photo Booth Scene

I recently got a fabulous gift in the mail.

Eric Carrasco, a writer on the Supergirl show staff, sent me several of the photo booth strips of Kara fighting the Kalanorian Finhead, from episode 315: In Search of Lost Time.

The photo booth scene was a fun little moment in a very amusing opening scene to the episode. So to be able to hold the pics in my hand and look at it close up was great. This is a great souvenir for me to have from the show! I can't thank Eric enough.

But what events led to me having this in my hands?

Well ...

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Review: Justice League #3

Welcome to my review of Justice League #3 by Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez. And therefore, welcome to one of the more difficult reviews on the recent docket. As I mentioned in my review of last issue, this book is rushing along with the pedal floored. Incredible action, fantastical plots with speedy plot resolution, and new elements added seemingly every other page, this book is dense and fast ... how the heck is that possible!

Because of that, it is hard to write a review. How can you cover all the plot progression without just having the review be a synopsis? And how do you cover the amazing stuff within critically without overlooking some new nugget which is critical?

Trust me, this is a problem I wish I had to deal with all the time. It is a sign of quality.

Suffice it to say, Scott Snyder, continues to pepper this book with an amazing amount of story. I feel like I am riding the wave, letting it all wash over me as I try to figure it all out. Somehow, I think I am missing the forest for the trees. I figure at some point, I'll need to reread it all.

Jorge Jimenez shines as usual. The thing that amazes me is that Jimenez is somehow able to keep up with the story without making it feel cramped. This is an issue with 3 splash pages! It has several half page semi-splashes. And yet it is able to tell the story that Snyder demands. In particular, the Ultraviolet pages are just glittery.

On to the book!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Review: Last Siege #2

The Last Siege #2 came out this week and continued to weave a fascinating story of mixing medieval with samurai/spaghetti western sensibilities. A sole castle is holding out against a marauding warlord who is taking over the land. A lone stranger, well versed on martial arts, arrives to the leaderless castle with a decree from the dead king that he is in charge. Whether it is Yojimbo or The Magnificent Seven, a stranger aiding an overmatched land is a well traveled road. But that in medieval times feels fresh.

With the plot established last issue, writer Landry Walker decides to use this second chapter to nudge the story forward as well as giving us character motivation and depth. We are sort of in the same place we were at the end of the last issue but we know have a better sense of where we are going.

Really, the power of this issue is contrasting the stranger and his approach to the situation to that of Feist, the soldier almost put in charge of the castle. One is ordered and strategic. The other is unhinged and brutish. There will be more conflict ahead.

The art by J.K. Greenwood and Eric Jones really complements the plot points extremely well. It is the power of comics! Meshing words and art! There is that raw feel to the proceedings. fitting of the time period. But the Feist sections are intentionally muddy and almost messier, giving Feist a certain feel.
And yes, I got to the store early enough to get this moody Gabriel Hardman variant. Fantastic.

I'm enjoying this book a lot.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Review: Man of Steel #6

The Man of Steel #6, the last issue of the Brian Michael Bendis mini-series aimed to introduce a new direction to the Superman books, came out this week and I am very conflicted. This issue, and as a result, this whole mini-series, has significant ups and downs. It has major character moments that shine a great light on the players. There are others that make little sense with the characters' histories.
So I am struggling trying to balance the good and the bad in my mind.

From a mini-series point of view, I feel like it started with great momentum and polish but then sort of fizzled. There isn't much true resolution to any of the things which were begun here making me wonder why this needed to be a stand-alone at all rather than just twice a month issues running through both Action Comics and Superman.

Okay, let me lay my cards on the table so you can decide if you want to read the whole review.

First let's discuss the good. Entering this mini-series I was most worried about how Supergirl would be treated. Ironically, she is the character who I think gets treated the best here. Kara shines bright. Bendis gives Superman a good internal voice. His thoughts in battle are well done. How people react to Superman is spot on. So that is also good.

Now the bad. The Lois and Jon subplot makes no sense. I could also say it is terrible. There is no way that Lois, Clark, or Jon should act like they do. We never get to the bottom of Rogol Zaar or his mission. At the very least, we should have been given some closure on this plot thread. Instead, it is kicked down the road a bit. And those things are so irritating that they drag the positive down.

Of course, Jason Fabok's art on the issue is just stunning. There is a fine line and extreme detail that work here. It has an Ivan Reis feel to it which works well as a bookend to the first issue. His Supergirl is just spectacular. I have no complaints on the art here or in the mini-series as a whole.

On to the book.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

DC TV Gallery Supergirl Statue

A couple of weeks ago, I was a bit surprised to enter my comic store and find the DC TV Gallery Supergirl statue waiting for me.

You know you have a problem when you don't remember that statue you ordered. I had completely forgotten about it. Part of that is that I prepaid for the statue the day I ordered it with gift certificates I had for the store. It also was ordered months ago so had slipped my mind.

All that said, I am glad I did order it. What a great statue! And pretty affordable.

And big!

A great purchase.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Happy 4th of July - Fortress Destroying Fireworks!

Happy Fourth of July for those Americans who are here! I'll be taking tomorrow off as I kick back for a day off!

The Fourth is always capped with excellent fireworks shows and we have been witness to some big fireworks in comics recently.

But none have been bigger than the recent destruction of the Fortress of Solitude at the hand of Superman himself.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Back Issue Review: Supergirl #5

At the end of Supergirl Season Three, Kara exposes herself to Harun-El, a proxy for black Kryptonite. The last episode closes with a clone/copy of Supergirl wandering in the icy plains of Siberia

This isn't the first time we have seen a version of Supergirl split off after Black Kryptonite exposure. It certainly isn't the first time that we have seen a 'Dark Supergirl' emerge as a personality or doppelganger. Heck, on the show itself we have seen evil Red K Supergirl as well as Earth-X Overgirl.

I know the show runners have talked about Mark Millar and Dave Johnson's Red Son as a template for next season. But I try to look back at Supergirl history as it pertains to the character's current continuity. And that means I should look back at a Black K created Supergirl identity.

Unfortunately, that means looking back at Supergirl #5 from the 2005 series. 

Now I am going to be up front. This isn't a good comic book.

It certainly isn't a good Supergirl story. And there are a lot of things about it that I loathe. In fact, it was the bananas approach to this volume that prompted me to start the blog lo so many years ago. I couldn't stand by and think that there were people who only knew *this* Kara. So buckle up for a bumpy ride.

You need to remember that in 2005, Supergirl was a hot commodity. Jeph Loeb and Michael Turner had brought her back in Superman/Batman. Turner was a red hot artist and his lengthy, all torso, waif of a Supergirl was vivid, grabbing the attention of people. This was the return of Kara Zor-El, cousin of Kal. Her book exploded onto the shelves, initially selling a ton.

The title was helmed by Loeb as writer for the first arc. Ian Churchill had a cleaner line than Turner but brought the same aesthetic to the art, a sort of prurient peep at an ultra-thin, barely dressed Supergirl, pouting and punching her way through the DCU. Loeb had her angry at the world.

Supergirl #5 ended the first arc and had two initial covers, with Turner and Churchill swapping classic and dark Supergirl figures. It sold well enough to get a second printing, all Turner. And it rather muddily ended the story in which an evil Kara emerges from Supergirl to attack anyone who crosses her path.

Are you still here?

Okay, onto the events of the book.