Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Leviathan Wednesday: The Justice Principle

8 months ago I reviewed First Issue Special #5, the first appearance of Mark Shaw, Manhunter. I had decided that I wanted to take a deep dive into the character to see if I could chart his course to becoming Leviathan. Were the clues that Brian Michael Bendis planted in Event Leviathan present in the past stories? Did it all make sense?

This was all in preparation for the upcoming Checkmate miniseries, the new book which picks up where Event Leviathan and Leviathan Dawn left off. Checkmate starts next Wednesday.

And so we come full circle.

With no other stories to look at, I decided to go back one more time to First Issue Special #5

In the back of that issue is a thinkpiece by Jack Kirby, Manhunter ... The Justice Principle. And in this piece we see some aspects of Mark Shaw Manhunter which still inform his character as Leviathan. This is a sort of credo by Kirby, one of comic's best prophets. And it is worth a read. 

But let's look at some good parts closer.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Tom King Interview On Supergirl Radio

Congratulations to Supergirl Radio for getting an interview with Tom King about his upcoming series Supergirl:Woman of Tomorrow

Here is a link to the site and the interview:

It was interesting no doubt. It is definitely worth listening to.

King talks about liking Supergirl for being a survivor. He talks about going back and reading her earliest stories in Action Comics, the stuff done by Otto Binder. And he does seem passionate about the character. But there was stuff he said that also worried me.  

Let's start with his stating that Kara is harsher and more cynical than Superman.

He stated this as though it was fact. And I wish that I was on line when he said that so I could ask him to discuss that more. Because I think that while Kara is fierce in her pursuit of justice and her hope that others don't suffer, I don't think of her as classically cynical. I think of her as optimistic.

And harsh? 

He keeps saying that she just 'kicks ass' and that he just wants to right stories where Kara goes out and 'kicks ass'. And I don't mind a Kara who is proactive. 

But 'harsh and cynical' isn't really 'hope, help, and compassion for all'. So I don't know where he gets that.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Review: Challenge Of The Super-Sons #3

Challenge of the Super Sons #3, the print version of the digital first comic, came out this week and continued to be a glorious romp of a story. As always, the juice of the story is the interaction between the young Bat and Super, who are very different and also close friends.

Writer Peter Tomasi has had a good handle on these characters for some time now so I am no longer surprised when I grin while reading. He gives Jon an earnest 'aw shucks', 'we need to be the best we can be' enthusiasm to his heroics. Contrast that to Damian's hard-nosed, occasional 'ends justify the means' approach and you have fertile character soil to be mined.

What I like about this book right now is that the characters are involved in two mingled storylines, one in medieval times and one in the present. Of course, to them it is one timeline but for me the varying locales keeps the book fresh.

Art on this books is done by Jorge Corona and Max Raynor. Both have a style which is befitting the action of the title. I feel like Corona is a mix of Jorge Jimenez and Ken Rocafort. And that stylized approach is perfect for the shenanigans of the action. Raynor is a extremely polished visual storyteller and his work with the other JLA members in the book is stunning.

On to the book.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Leviathan Wednesday: Wonder Woman #23.1

Welcome to the last installment of Leviathan Wednesday, a side project I started last October with First Issue Special #5. The purpose of these Wednesdays has been to review the history of Mark Shaw and chart his path to Leviathan. 

And so we come to (as least as far as I know) his last appearance before Event Leviathan. Today's installment is Wonder Woman 23.1, from the New 52 era. This was one of what seems to be endless 'villain months' DC puts out in which the enemies of the title heroes take the reins for a month. This month occurred before the Forever Evil month. 

This issue stars the Cheetah, giving us the New 52 origin of Barbara Minerva and her transformation into Diana's arch-enemy. But most importantly, at least for my purpose, it guest stars Mark Shaw. This is the New 52 Shaw so it is hard to know if any or all of his prior history has happened. 

But if consider that some amalgamation of all the Shaws in continuity made up the one that became Leviathan then there are a couple of things that happen here that are interesting. Can you foresee this Shaw becoming Leviathan based on this one issue? No. But mix it up with everything else? Sure.

Shaw becomes Leviathan. And now I will have covered all his history. Now we know why.

On to the book.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Who's Who: Krypto (And A Little Bit Of Action Comics #500)

Over the last several years, Krypto has more and more become Supergirl's pet. I don't know if it is that Superman is too old to be romping with a dog or if Streaky is way too Silver Age for people to take seriously but we have seen a lot of Krypto and Kara. And that relationship is only going to get stronger with the Dog of Steel heading into space with the Maid of Might in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow.

With that in mind I thought I'd share the Krypto page from the original Who's Who. Just fun art by Colleen Doran and Rick Magyar!

I had forgotten some of this history, specifically the timing of things. I knew his rocket went up before Kal's but I thought he was in suspended animation and delayed in getting to Earth. But instead he was floating in space for about a month until Krypton blew up and Kal's warp dragged him through too.

Some of this is downright silly especially his relative names. I love that he became 'Skip', Clark's dog with the big black spot for a while. 

But for me, I love that Krypto just always loved frolicking in space. That part makes his leaving with Kara every time someone has her leaving Earth makes sense.

Krypto is a good boy and a good friend. We learned that in the historic Action Comics #500.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Bullet Review: Crime Syndicate #4

One of the best things about this site has been how it has connected me to a truly excellent circle of comic folks on line. If you have been on here for a while you know I have become pretty great friends with Mart Gray of the Too Dangerous For a Girl comic review site. 

Mart has great taste and when he gushed about the Crime Syndicate mini-series, I knew I had to pick it up. It is a complete hoot. 

Yes, this is Earth 3 and these are villainous versions of our heroes. But unlike other recent takes on these characters which has been unrelentingly dark and vicious, this series doesn't sink that deep. Instead there is almost a sly, black humor to the proceedings. 

From silly nonsensical editorial boxes asking us to look for nonexistent back issues to the villains conniving to conquer even as they unwittingly become 'good guys' saving the world from Starro, I have loved this. You can have a villain book that is fun not horrific torture. So judos to writer Andy Schmidt and artist Kieran McKeown.

But this is a Supergirl blog and we know from upcoming solicits that Ultragirl shows up in this series in the final issue. I think we got a peek at her here.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Review: Justice League #62

Justice League #62 came out this week and was another interesting middle chapter of this storyline exploring Naomi's version of Earth while simultaneously building a new team. 

Brian Michael Bendis is no stranger to team books and certainly no novice at putting together unconventional super-hero squads. His New Avengers was a hodgepodge of characters like Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Woman and Wolverine ... certainly not the classic Avengers we were used to when that book first came out.

And as someone who doesn't mind a little bit of a shake-up in JL teams (I am a big fan of James Robinson's Legacy JL team from a decade ago), the addition of new voices like Black Adam, Hippolyta, and Naomi adds a little new spice into the staid team of big sevens. Bendis writes characters well so seeing these members interact is great reading.

Add to that David Marquez near flawless art and you have a solid beginning to this era. Marquez is a master showing movement and energy. And this issue, predominantly a big splash page brawl across a devastated landscape lets  him cut loose. From maces to faces, sonic screams, and giant tanks, it is all magical. But his expressive work in the character scenes also shines.

It has to hang on the plot. I have been waiting for answers surrounding Naomi and her world and we are now 4 issues in and I still don't think I know much. So overall success is going to be in how this wraps up.

On to the book.