Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Back Issue Box: Action Comics #293

It's a slow week for actual Super-comics so I thought I would double down on the Comet stories by reviewing Action Comics #293. Hard to believe that this site is this old and I haven't looked at this closely. But with my reviewing the Comet! kid's book and commenting on how it stuck to the Silver Age narrative, I figured why not look at the actual story. 

I'm always happy to see the Supergirl story get cover treatment. Here we see a wonderful Curt Swan and George Klein image of Supergirl riding Comet. With the super-horse unaffected by Kryptonite beams, even Superman has to note that Comet might indeed be the mightiest super-creature of them all! Kara looks almost manic! As a bonus, we'll see this exact scene coming up in the story!

I'll also point out that this is the second part of a two-parter. To set things up, Linda Danvers is spending some vacation time at the Supergirl Dude Ranch. There she meets Comet who she believes is just a horse. But during her stay she has some odd dreams which seem to hint that Comet could be something more.

And so we end up here with Comet's complete origin. And I think it's a hoot!

On to the book!

Monday, December 5, 2022

Review: Comet: The Origin Of Supergirl's Horse

I took a short trip south around Thanksgiving time, visiting Virginia. One of my goals whenever I travel is to do my best to hit local comic shops. This time I went to Local Heroes, a cool little shop in Norfolk. 

Inside, I discovered something I didn't know existed and which made me give thanks. A big kid's book about Comet the Super-Horse! There is a whole line of these books about DC Super Pets. 

It is written by Steve Korte with wonderful art by old friend Art Baltazar.

Perhaps most impressively, the book for the most part holds true to the Silver Age origin from Action Comics #293. Makes me think I might need to follow-up this post with one looking at that issue. (To be honest, I'm a little surprised I haven't reviewed that issue over my time here.)

This is a wonderful book for a Supergirl fan or a Comet fan. It is a great story for a kid's book filled with magic and heroism. And the art is perfect for the story. It starts with the front cover with a confident Supergirl and winking Comet. Also, I love the sneak peek at Comet's origin on the back. 

This definitely makes me want to seek out the Streaky book!

On to some details.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Review: Superman Kal-El Returns Special #1

The Superman Kal-El Returns Special #1 came out this week and was an entertaining anthology of stories looking at Clark's return to Earth and his touching base with some of the important people in his life.

As I have said in my Action Comics reviews, writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson has been doing a solid job bring the supporting cast of Superman back into the book now that Superman has come back from Warworld. I happen to think that Superman has a solid cast that should be spotlighted in his books. 

In this issue, we have different creative teams looking at some of the most important people in Superman's life and how his arrival on planet has impacted them. 

In what I think is the best story, Mark Waid and Clayton Henry give us a World's Finest story set in the present day. Waid has a solid handle on these two and their camaraderie. They are easy and old friends who immediately team up to fight a villain. There is just a natural amicable feel to this story that just sparkles.

Sina Grace and Dean Haspiel look at Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen. It is a fine story of Superman being inspired by humanity as much as he inspires. 

Legend Marv Wolfman teams up with artist Jack Herbert to give us another look at Jon taking on Lex, but this time with his father giving him some advice. This story also gives us a look at the Lois and Clark reunion and how the two took some time to get romantically reacquainted. This was a lot of fun.

And finally Alex Segura and Fico Ossio have Superman reuniting with the League and teaching Naomi how the life of a Leaguer is one of sacrifice. This one has one little continuity curve ball in it that has me scratching my head.

I would have loved a reunion story with Kara. Too bad that isn't here. Still, this is a solid book building on the Kal-El Returns arc by filling in some gaps.

On to the book.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Review: DC Vs. Vampires #11

DC Vs. Vampires #11 came out last week, the penultimate issue of a series which has stretched my suspension of disbelief the longer it has gone on. 

Writers James Tynion and Matthew Rosenberg have created a world where vampires have utterly taken over the world. But some of the logic doesn't make great sense. Blotting out the sun will work so the vamps can work 24/7. It also would make plant life impossible to grow. How can humans, the vamires livestock, live without food? How can Swamp Thing remain incredibly powerful? Why isn't the world a frozen wasteland? 

Take away that main issue which bothers me like a popcorn kernel stuck in a tooth, you have the overall narrative. There are three separate plotlines. One, Green Arrow is trying to free a human farm in Kansas. Why Hawkman, the vampire lord there, hasn't simply killed Ollie is a mystery. Two, Babs is heading into Gotham to face down Dick Grayson, king of vampires. It is a '6 against a city' battle which seems like a suicide mission ... except Babs has been hiding Vamp-killing ordinance. Why not give it to the main army fighting the vampires? Why hide it? Lastly, Supergirl is on her way to Australia to get into a rocket to head above the clouds. Here we learn that aliens are helping the vamps so they can get off-world. They aren't suitable cattle ... that is, except Martians.

As the last few issues, this one rolls along quickly. You can't think too hard about this world without it unraveling for its lack of internal logic. At least this time Supergirl gets to do something instead of just cowering in the background.

The art by Otto Schmidt is quite nice. I feel Schmidt has amped up the rough or sketchy aspect of his work here. Guillem March's cover is very scratchy for him but it apes Schmidt's work well enough.

On to the book.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Review: Supergirl #69

Two weeks ago, in the aftermath the Black Adam movie, I reviewed the Supergirl/Mary Marvel throwdown from Peter David and Leonard Kirk's Supergirl #68 . Given that issue ended on a cliffhanger and with the fervor for the Marvel family still high, I figured I'd cover the next issue.

As I said last time, this is a long arc of a depowered Linda Danvers Supergirl following the Chaos Stream to try and reclaim her Earth Angel powers, stripped from her way back in Supergirl #50 in the aftermath of her fight with the Carnivean.

The villain of this arc was just recently revealed to us here. It is Lilith, the first wife of Adam and a demonic presence. Later we learn she is the mother of the Carnivean and is our for revenge. And using a variety of shape-changing and faerie glamor, she has been manipulating events. 

But the real plot here is Linda recognizing her own worth and shedding her self-loathing. Linda was a problem child before merging with the Matrix Supergirl. She has touched the Angelic. Throughout this story, she keeps putting herself down and wondering if she is worthy. Mary Marvel is a perfect foil for Linda's thoughts. Mary is pure, innocent, good. And Linda can't help but feel flawed in comparison. 

I really loved this book. I loved the journey Linda was on. I feel this second arc wasn't as strong as the first, longform one. But it is a perfect second act for Linda. 

Leonard Kirk remains on art and brings a very fluid, very organic feel style here. I love his depiction of Linda and Mary, young women who look natural and very real. But there is a fantastical element here he also embraces including an amazing splash cliffhanger. 

On to the book.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Review: Action Comics #1049

Action Comics #1049 came out this week and was certainly an issue to give thanks for. This is labeled Kal-El Returns Part 5 and certainly we are continuing to see what impact Superman and Warworld coming to Earth are having. But this arc here in Action Comics is really a sort of epilogue to the Warworld saga while sowing the seeds for the future.

Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson is truly weaving a masterpiece in this book. Superman remains an inspiration to the Warworlders. He is a mentor to Otho and Osul. He is the hero of Metropolis. He is truly a hero and the axle of the book with everything rotating around him. 

But the real fun is that the book is really bolstered by the supporting cast we are getting. Lois is strong here. Bibbo is a fun character, embodying someone who is inspired to be a hero by Superman. We are seeing a truly conniving Lex here as well as a semi-sympathetic Metallo. And let's not forget that Supergirl, as well as Thao-La, are well represented here. In particular, this issue where we see a couple of Lex's plans heating up shows me that Luthor is going to be a force here.

Mike Perkins is on art in the main section and his work on the New Gods is a sort if ugly beautiful. It really just grabs the eye and makes you look. We also get some quieter moments and Perkins does something there which is magical. Promise I'll get there. David Lapham wraps up the Supergirl/Thao-La story and continues to give us a clean look with a gorgeous Kara. Give me more!

On to the book!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

DC February 2023 Solicits

The Dawn of the DCU is finally being seen in DC's solicits. February's books were announced last week and there a few worth focusing on. Here is the CBR coverage:

It seems to me, just looking at these solicits, that the Lazarus Planet is going to be a driving creative narrative for the universe. So many books seem to be springing from those books including a new Doom Patrol by Dennis Culver and Chris Burnham. We also have seen other coverage elsewhere of new books coming out of Dawn of DCU including a John Stewart GL book by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, a Shazam book by Mark Waid and Dan Mora, and a Steel/Natasha book as well. Those sound great. A Mariko Tamaki Hal Jordan book doesn't seem like a good fit but who knows. And Tom King on Brave and Bold? As long as Kara isn't a guest star. 

It has a sort of 'get back to basics' feel to it but with a burst of new books bringing back characters who traditionally have a title on the shelves. Hopefully things stabilize and we get great stories. 

But until we get there, we have February's issues. Here are the super books. I'll start the discussion by saying that all these books have tremendous variant covers. I'll post my favorite but there are others that are just as sensational

• Written by MARK WAID
• Cover by DAN MORA

• The secret behind the Supergirl-Robin feud, revealed! On a day not too long ago, a meeting between the Boy Wonder and the Girl of Steel began sweetly, became awkward, and ended so catastrophically, horrifically, jaw-droppingly, car-crashingly disastrously that, among the Superman and Batman families, it is now enshrined as the world’s finest example of How Not to Team Up!

Back when World's Finest started we saw that Dick and Kara had some horrific date which both were still smarting from. Back when we first heard about that date, I thought we would never see the story. But DC is giving me Valentine's Day gift by giving me the story. I'm bummed Dan Mora isn't on it but I love Emanuela Lupacchino's art so that is fine. I love the cover!