Monday, October 19, 2020

DC January 2021 Solicits

The DC Comics solicits for Jaunuary came out last week and I have to say, I have never been more fatigued with DC than I am now. And remember, I have lived through a lot.

I don't even know if I can adequately explain or even want to. But because of METAL (which I am not reading) the DC Universe timeline is again ripped to shreds. And DC is taking two months off to give us some sort of Elseworlds mash-ups before we get back to continuity storytelling.

It feels like Convergence all over again and just a handful of years after Convergence!

Here is a link to the Superman solicits and my thoughts: 

But seriously, another reboot? I think we are number 4 in the last 20 years?

card stock variant cover by ALEX GARNER

Kara Zor-El, Superman's hot-tempered cousin, has finally found peace and purpose away from Earth and its heroes. Now known as Superwoman, she watches over the Moon and the refugees from across the galaxy who have congregated there. But all of that is about to change when a spaceship piloted by a runaway alien crash-lands and turns Kara's world upside down! Does this fugitive come in peace? Or does this arrival bring war to our hero's front door?

Why not start out with something that totally irks me ... this Future State Kara.

When the creative team of Bennett and Sauvage was leaked I was actually excited. They wrote a pretty good Kara over in Bombshells. And I thought at least she wasn't ignored in the event.

Then the solicit dropped. 

Hot-tempered. Away from Earth.



Why must DC always default back to an angry Kara who abandons Earth. That isn't Supergirl. 

Moreover, in this future state world she is at odds with Jon. So now she wants to fight her family again.

This take never works. And I am just sick to death of it.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Review: Superman #26

Superman #26 came out this week and was another example of why I will miss Brian Michael Bendis when he is off the Superman books. Because this one had it all. Clark and Lois moments. Huge action superhero sequences. A scene with Jimmy. A scene with in the Daily Planet pit. A scene in the Fortress. And all the time showcasing why Superman is simply the inspiration the world need.

If you want a primer on what a Superman issue should be, this is a pretty good one.

All good things must come to an end.

Now the main plot line here is the Synmar Utopica coming to Earth to fight Superman. I am not sure I quite understand the motivations behind this. It could be that he assumes it was Superman who killed the Synmar council last issue. But I also wonder if it is that Utopica looks at Superman as what he should be and hates himself for it. And the best way to deal with hate is to transfer it.

Of course, we know Superman didn't kill the council. Which leaves the real unanswered question ... who did? And is that threat around the corner?  Are we going to see Superman and Utopica team up in the end to fight a bigger enemy? That is about as classic a comic book trope as there is.

Ivan Reis and Danny Miki and Alex Sinclair continue to dazzle on art. The pencils and ink are tight. And whether we are in the bedroom or the boardroom or the Phantom Zone, it all looks crisp and slick. Sinclair's colors go from the dim lighting of the nighttime apartment to the dazzling reds and yellows of Utopica's skin and just makes the art sing.

This is a middle chapter and it did what I need a middle chapter to do. It moved the plot along. And it made me want more immediately.

On to the book!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Back Issue Box: First Issue Special #5

 I was riding high on the Event Leviathan wave when the world turned.

Whether it was the pause in comic production because of COVID or the regime change at DC which led to a massive decrease in editors, the Event Leviathan:Checkmate mini-series that was supposed to come out this summer has been delayed ... hopefully not shelved.

I have heard interviews with Brian Michael Bendis in which he has said it is going to come out. But because of something it was 'building to' has changed, he has had to alter it. 

Now you probably know if you come here that I was obsessed with solving the Event Leviathan mystery, posting Leviathan Theory articles and laying odds on the suspects. I was all in. And this delay for a book I was looking forward to was disappointing.

During that same downtime, I tried to support my comic store by buying supplies and trades. One thing I ordered was the 1st Issue Special hardcover, collecting that offbeat series. And 1st Issue Special #5 was the first appearance of Jack Kirby's Manhunter ... that is Mark Shaw ... that is Leviathan.

I read that issue for the first time and it once again whet my appetite for the Leviathan series. So I figured I would do a brief look at the history of Shaw and the Manhunters. Please note that the screen shots of panels here are from a digital version.

On to the book! Prepare to meet Leviathan!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Review: Young Justice #19

Sometimes life happens.

And so I am writing my review of Young Justice #19 nearly a week after it came out.

We know that Young Justice #20 is the last issue of the series and so this issue feels like writer Brian Michael Bendis shining the spotlight on Wonder Girl in an effort to tell her story while he has time. Certainly the plot that runs through this story is quick paced, almost rushed. This would have been a fine 3 issue mini-arc. 

And I think it is a shame because I feel like this was a nice appetizer to Cassie picking up the 'team leader' responsibilities. But with one issue left, I don't think we'll get to see much of it.

The art is by Scott Godlewski who has grown in my mind. This is a bombastic issue filled with double page spreads and splashes and insane action with a couple of more human interactions sprinkled in. His style brings a sort of freshness to the proceedings. These are young adults who look like young adults. And John Timms cover is a great shot of Wonder Girl.

On to the book.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

MIke Maihack Inktober

For some time now I have talked up Mike Maihack and his wonderful take on the Batgirl/Supergirl relationship. It is always a treat when Maihack creates new content for my favorite World's Finest duo!

For the month of #inktober Maihack has promised a new small sketch of Supergirl or Batgirl or both!

What a sweet treat for this Halloween month.

We are early so I only have a couple of pics to share but they are standard Maihack awesome.

Here is a trick-or-treat scene with Kara in a spooktacular costume.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Review: Superman Family #202

Last week I reviewed Superman Family #201 picking up on Supergirl's romantic feelings towards Peter Barton. That issue ended with a cliffhanger! Supergirl's super-hypnosis granted Barton super-powers. But he could never love Supergirl as that would be an insult to his male ego. So he uses his powers to become Dynamic and try to force Supergirl to retire.

The whole idea is ludicrous. 

As always I am amazed at how much could be told back in the day. In a mere 12 pages, we get a complete resolution to these problems. 

But mostly this shows that Supergirl's romantic problems are evergreen. How could she ever love someone like Barton. Yeesh.

If there is one thing to laud this early run of Supergirl stories in Superman Family by Jack C. Harris is that he did his best to inject Supergirl mythos into the stories. Remember, he brought back Lesla Lar. In this issue, he gives one nod to her Action Comics early adventures. I appreciate flourishes like that.

On to the story.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Who's Editing!


I don't always cross-promote my rare podcast appearances on this site but I had such fun with this that I felt I wanted to share. Head here to listen:

I was the guest star with Siskoid over on The Fire And Water Podcast network on his show 'Who's Editing?' On this show, the guest and Siskoid create a line of DC books but only from the heroes (and 1 villain) within an issue of the famous DC Who's Who book from the eighties.

I got the sixth issue which includes many Doctor characters.

For this show for the characters I picked a creative team of writer, artist, and variant cover artist. I made an elevator pitch for the book and then mapped out the overall idea.

What will I do with Dr. Occult? Who did I have Sterling Gates write? Who will Chris Samnee draw? Which villain gets their own book?

I like getting the creative juices flowing and this was a blast for me. If you want to see how my comic mind works, this is a good place to start! 

Thanks again to Siskoid for inviting!

Monday, October 5, 2020

Review: Batman/Superman Annual #1

Batman Superman Annual #1 came out last week and was a fun standalone story in the mold of Annuals of my youth. Nothing like a Bat-Mite/Mr. Mxyzptlk argument to lead to an entertaining, comical story. Amazingly, the book ends with a message that should be sent far and wide in the DC Comics editorial offices.

I have been very impressed with writer Joshua Williamson's approach to heroes, especially his amazing run on the Flash. One thing he does over and over is support the heroic ideal these heroes should be living and inspiring people with. Williamson has our heroes fight in this book but basically rubs our nose in how silly the concept is. And then he sticks the landing.

The art chores are split between Clayton Henry, Gleb Melnikov, and Dale Eaglesham. Each brings a nice style to their parts. There is a lot of action here and these artists are up to the task. Melnikov gives his part a semi-cartoony look perfect for the 5th dimension.

There is even a small part that reminds me of one of my favorite stories from my youth, transporting me to summer days at the beach with a comic folded in my bag. Ahhh, nostalgia!

On to the story!

Friday, October 2, 2020

Review: Legion of Super-Heroes #9

Legion of Super-Heroes #9 came out this week, the second part of the Trial of the Legion of Super-Heroes and another fantastic art jam piece written by Brian Michael Bendis.

There is so much to love about this particular issue that you should know it was incredibly difficult to pick which pieces of the book I wanted to post here. For a Legion fan, every page is a delight.

Bendis uses the backdrop of the Trial to once again show us audition vids for various members of the team. This technique not only gives us background information on the team members (establishing new origins for some established characters) but also shows that the Legion has never wanted to be the lapdog for the UP. I guess 'eat it Grampa' could be invoked. And then he drops a bomb hinting at an upcoming storyline. Boom!

The art is crazy good with a veritable Who's Who of artists each showcasing a different Legionnaire. Too many names to drop here. Just go buy the issue.

I have been enjoying this book a ton! And these last two issues have been electric.

On the book.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Review: Batman/Superman #12

Batman/Superman #12 came out last week and was an interesting issue for a few reasons. 

For one, it is as much a Batwoman/Steel issue as it is Batman/Superman. I always like these semi-World's Finest team-ups when they happen. And seeing these two working together as more grounded members of their specific teams made for some interesting interaction.

The actual plot involving Batman and Superman is also entertaining. It took me a bit to wrap my head around exactly what was happening. But in the end, seeing our heroes being put through what seems like an endless wringer should make for some wild super-heroics in the upcoming chapters.

And lastly, there is one very brief Supergirl moment which can be read two very different ways and I am interested in hearing what you all think. Should I be an optimist or a pessimist?

Writer Joshua Williamson continues to write snappy dialogue and quick moving plots, something I appreciate in this world of endless 12 parters. And the art by Max Raynor is really gorgeous. I wouldn't mind seeing him on either a Steel book or a Batwoman book in the future.

On to the details.