Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary Is One Year Old !!!

It's hard to believe it but it was a year ago today that I posted my Jim Mooney commission and focused this blog on Supergirl.

At the time I thought this would be a mental exercise, a way to clear out some comics cobwebs in my mind, 'putting them down on paper' as it were. I never expected anyone else to be interested in what I had to say about something I felt was a niche fascination in comics - Supergirl.
Suffice it to say it has been a great year. I have had a blast writing and reviewing.

And I feel like I have made a lot of new friends here. It has been great to hear so much from so many Supergirl fans out there. I cannot thank enough all the 'regulars' who stop by here and post. I would list you all but I would be afraid I would forget somebody if I tried. The conversations here have been great and I feel I have learned so much about Supergirl and comics in general from everyone. Thanks again!

I would really like to thank the comic professionals who have posted here as well - Landry Walker, Jamal Igle, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Sterling Gates. It is great for fans to know that the writers and artists care about our opinions.

Now that I am starting my second year, I figured it was time to do a little house keeping on the site as well.

First off, you may have noticed the new banner bar at the top. My thanks to good friend Jeff Caporizzo for help with the design. I tried to include images from key moments or times in Supergirl's history. Jeff has a great blog of his own talking about his creative process and observations as an artist. Thanks again Jeff!

Secondly, I have decided to add a new blog roll on the side outside of the professional sites I have linked to in the past. This new area is to promote the blogs and sites of all you folks who come here. I feel like a heel for not promoting other blogs and sites. If I have forgotten to add your blog please drop me a line so I can add you!

This next year seems like a busy one for Supergirl so I will try to continue blogging as much as I have and (hopefully) continue to improve the site. I promise to have some retrospective comprehensive look at the Superwoman mystery now that we know Lucy was under the cowl.

Thanks again and see you all soon!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Supergirl #40 - Jamal Igle's Costume Changes

Thanks to everyone who pointed out to me Kara's costume in this flashback panel with Batman. It was something I glossed over in my first reading of the issue.

Given this is a memory of her training with Batman, the assumption is that this panel takes place during the early days of Supergirl's time on Earth.

And Jamal Igle lets us know that by putting her in a costume more in line with the earlier issues of the book.

Notice how the shirt and skirt are a little bit smaller.

And can't you read her body language here? Bored/frustrated look on her face, hands on hips. It just speaks a bit more about the K-poisoned irritated angsty Kara seen in the first 19 issues of the title.

Contrast that costume to this panel which showcases some of the subtle changes Igle has made in the costume. Notice how the shirt covers a bit more of her ribs now, a strip of blue now evident under the S-shield.

And the skirt also rides higher and is little longer as well. We don't see the lines of Kara's pelvic bones anymore.

Lastly, I thought I would show the most controversial change Igle made, the inclusion of bike shorts under the longer skirt.

I did not put this post up to necessarily discuss the merits of the costume changes (although I like the changes Igle made).

Instead I posted it to show how the current creative team is doing the small things to put out the best product it can. The Batman panel shows that Sterling Gates and Igle care about details like costume continuity in flashback scenes.

And as I said way back when they took over in issue #34, I was glad that they weren't ignoring everything that had happened in the book prior but instead were recognizing and reacting to it. This was a 'soft reboot' with Kara's history (outside of her muddled 'Kill Kal-El' origin) kept intact.

As a reader I appreciate it when the writers and artists care enough about the character to get the small details right.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Review: R.E.B.E.L.S. #3

Okay, so it's not a super-title and there isn't even a glimpse of Supergirl in this issue. It technically doesn't fit the usual scope of this blog. Still, R.E.B.E.L.S. has been a fun title and as close to Legion as we have these days.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #3, released 2 weeks ago, was another interesting issue in this team-building initial story arc. And since I reviewed the first 2 issues, I figured I would officially review this one too.

The last issue ended on a semi-ominous note with Vril Dox aiming a weapon of some sort at Wildstar. It turns out that (as I had imagined) his plan was not to kill her but to manipulate her and change her into something useful.

In the opening scene we see Dox seemingly incinerate Wildstar, although longtime Legion fans could have guessed where this was going.

As Dox is confronted by members of the tribe, he tells them to not disturb the anti-energy download.

Ahh ... anti-energy ... the basis for the powers of my absolute favorite Legionnaire Wildfire. It seems Brainiac 5's template for the Legion included Wildfire and Dawnstar. And Brainiac 2 decided to get the benefits of both Legion members in one body. Heck, even the name works! Wildstar is an amalgam of Wildfire and Dawnstar.

And at least out of the gate Wildstar is happy with this change. She was shunned in her own tribe. She was the 'crazy one' with tracking instincts that were called delusions and vestigial wings which kept her grounded. Without any delay, she grabs the members of her tribe and tells them to leave or else. They are more than happy to oblige. To them she is a trouble maker and now out of their hair.

But that initial optimism is squelched a bit when Dox tells her that she is a noncorporeal now. She needs to stay in the suit now forever.

Here is an interesting twist which I like in the book. Brainiac 2 tries to tell Wildstar about the Legion of the future. But Brainiac 5 put in a lock function in the download. While Dox knows all he knows about the future, he cannot voice it or write it down. And I like the moral high ground that Brainiac 5 takes here. In many ways, he will be acting as Brainiac 2's conscience. That is innovative.

Still, Dox is at his most conniving here as he shows Wildstar how much 'better' she is know. Her tracking senses can span galaxies. And she can control energy blasts. And most important to Wildstar, she can fly.

The character trait of isolation was one that was played up a lot in stories about Wildfire. He had no body. He could never have any meaningful relationship. All of those feelings happened after his accident. How ironic than that feelings of isolation are what led to Wildstar's creation.

One thing I like about the design of Wildstar are the anti-energy wings. It is a very slick look. Kudos to Andy Clarke.

Wildstar leads Dox to Cairn where he runs into his old teammate Strata and her comrade Bounder (sort of a Bouncing Boy stand-in).

Strata is upset with Brainiac 2 initially because she has been fighting off swarms of L.E.G.I.O.N. robots. Whatever took over Dox's business aimed it right at Strata. In fact, Strata actually looks like she might attack Dox.

Wildstar is quick to defend him though leading to this great exchange.

Wildstar tells Bounder that Dox 'remade' her and that is why she is loyal. Strata responds 'whose life did you ruin this time?'

It just speaks volumes about the dislike Strata has for Dox. And yet, he is so smug and manipulative she ends up leaving with him. Is it possible to like and dislike the lead character of a title. I find Dox to be a self-serving jerk but he definitely makes for a great read.

But Dox and his team aren't the only team in the DC cosmos. The Omega Men are also active. And in a slick bit of guerrila warfare, bait the L.E.G.I.O.N. forces away from the headquarters allowing their small group to infiltrate. It is the classic 'crush the head and the body will die' tactic!

And surprisingly it works. With D-listers like Broot and Doc, they make their way into the control room where Elu blasts Silica, the L.E.G.I.O.N. living computer. In another bit of good design, Silica is swirling pink lines of binary code.
In the middle of Silica's smoking body is something else though ... a Starro drone. Much like Streaky, I have a soft spot for Starro.

And so the Omega Men meet the person behind the L.E.G.I.O.N. upheaval ... Starro! And whoever this host body is, she promises the Omega Men that they are next in line to become Starro slaves.

I will start out by saying that I did not expect to enjoy this comic as much as I have. It has been a very fun ride.

First off, Vril Dox is just a fascinating character. He is so arrogant and rigid in his political views. He is not likeable. But I think that is part of the allure of him as the headliner in this book. He is not your standard hero.

The team he is bringing together - Tribulus, Wildstar, Strata - are not typical heroes either. They are simply a bunch of flawed beings who Dox can mold to his purposes. But you wonder how long they will follow along?

Add to that the Legion links and the presence of Brainiac 5 as 'Jiminy Cricket' and you have a good set-up.

Plus, the art is at time stunning. Clarke's designs on the characters are slick.

If you are a Legion of Super-Heroes fan, this might be a book to look at.

Overall grade: B+

Friday, April 24, 2009

Review: Supergirl #40 - Superwoman Revealed!

We all have been waiting for Supergirl #40 to come out so that Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle can finally reveal 'Who is Superwoman?' There was lots to love about this issue. And I couple of things I raised an eyebrow about.

But overall it was a solid issue ... and of course there was the Superwoman reveal.

The issue starts with Supergirl talking to Inspector Henderson and Lucy Lane about Superwoman. Lucy steps out to take a phone call while Kara opens up a bit to Henderson.

At this point, Kara is convinced that Superwoman is Thara, a bitter pill to swallow because it would mean that the head of Kandorian security and Supergirl's old friend is a traitor and an accomplice in the murder of Zor-El.

It is a nice exchange, especially the line from Henderson where he describes Supergirl's 'big life'. I can only imagine just how mentally fatigued Supergirl is right now - living on two worlds, losing her Dad, suffering with her mother, now with her friend potentially an enemy.

It is a big life right now ... maybe too big for a 17yr old girl to easily deal with.

Lane returns and tell Supergirl that Superwoman has been located on the corner of (Jerry) Siegel and (Dick) Malverne. Here was another nice little tip of the cap to old fans. Last issue it was the apartment at Binder and Mooney. Can (Wayne) Boring Avenue and (Curt) Swan Road be too far behind?

Enraged at Superwoman's deception, Supergirl flies off to capture her. While heading there, Kara imagines how Thara's betrayal would have happened in Kandor. You can see how Kara might be led to think that Thara was behind the whole thing.

Flying at top speed, Supergirl plows into Superwoman ... or rather what she believes is Superwoman. Instead it is a decoy with Superwoman's cape.

Kara admits that she was traveling so fast that she did not recognize that this was a dupe. In other words, there was no warning from her super-senses that this was a set-up. But you can feel how angry Supergirl is, especially thinking this is Thara, and how that rage led to this mistake.

As for why would Superwoman set up a decoy, well that is answered pretty quickly as Reactron jumps down onto Supergirl and presses the attack.

This small scan does not to the splash page spread the least bit of justice. For a better on-line look, you should head to Jamal Igle's blog:

I do like how Supergirl responds to the sudden attack. She displays some nice battle instincts. Look at her fly into a nearby wall to try to scrape Reactron off like a bug. After all, as far as I can tell, Reactron isn't invulnerable.

Pressing the advantage, Reactron exposes the Gold K in his chest. Supergirl feels that twinge of nausea associated with the sudden loss of powers. She shouts 'Rao' as Reactron casually drops her from several stories up.

Another thing I like here is Kara's internal monologue as she plummets. Her mind is jumping back and forth between two trains of thoughts. One is an emotional response - how she is about to die, how she failed her father, how her mother was crying as Zor-EL died, how it can't end like this.

The other train of thought is that of the well-trained hero. We get a quick glimpse at a conversation with Batman who reminds her that her powers can be warped or stolen ... how Kara needs to be able to react when she has no powers. That sort of internal dialogue as the hero pushes down the fear to act was a nice bit of writing.

Remembering this training, she grabs the corners of her cape making an ersatz glider, and is able to make it onto a nearby roof. In no ways does she seem to be flying, this is merely a way to slow down. Her landing on the roof is not graceful.

Still, this was one of the parts that I was a bit underwhelmed with. I just don't know if the 'cape as glider' would slow someone down enough, let alone give some directional control to aim for the roof. It just felt like a minor stumble.

While the Supergirl/Reactron battle ensues, we cut to Jimmy Olsen, Lana Lang, and Cat Grant who all are attending a banquet for journalism students.

Lana does have a costly slip here, as she cannot easily answer Cat's questions about Linda Lang's parents. Cat is no fool and a decent reporter. Such a startled response by Lana might intrigue Cat enough to have her start asking tougher and more pointed questions. Maybe that is an upcoming storyline?

I feel this was another slight misstep. Lana has been keeping Clark's secret forever. You would think that Linda's backstory would have been ironed out and that Lana would be able to rattle it off. So the astonished response by Lana seemed a bit wrong.

Luckily, before Cat can ask anything else, the crowd is distracted by explosions from the Kara/Reactron brawl.

The rest of the battle with Reactron was really the high point of the issue for me on many levels.

First, I love that Gates includes a reference to Reactron's first appearance in the comic back in the early issue of Kelley Puckett's run. Gates even explains the change in Reactron's powers but more importantly the change in his personality. Remember back in the Puckett issues that Reactron was talking about how he had the consciousness of a galaxy, that he controlled stars. He seemed a bit more cerebral than this sadistic version. Even though the explanation (he was being funny the first time) isn't the best, I am glad it was explained rather than ignored.

Then, there is an explanation of his new powers. The star-suit from Puckett's run was curing Reactron of radiation poisoning. But in that first battle, Supergirl destroyed it. That's when General Lane stepped in with a new cure and a new set of Gold-K based powers.

Best of all, these new story elements cement Reactron as a Supergirl villain. He gladly allowed the changes in his body to get his revenge on Kara. And he did when he killed Zor-El. That sort of personal vendetta is present in all the best rogues.

Then we see the still-depowered Kara actually press the battle. She picks up a length of re-bar and gets a few shots in, surprising Reactron who must have been expecting her to cower.

This is my favorite panel of the issue showcasing a strong and confident Kara. That is just perfect.

And she knows first level 'Klukor' - be still my Silver Aged heart. Is that really a reference to the Kryptonian martial art style that Lois used to use?

But a depowered Supergirl still isn't much of a match for Reactron. He moves in for the kill which is his biggest mistake. Supergirl realizes that if it is the Gold K which gives Reactron his powers than maybe it is also what powers him as well.

She reaches into his chest and rips the rock out, tossing it over the roof. He jumps after it and seemingly disappears.

You would have thought that Metallo would have told Reactron about that weakness.

Still, that whole battle was great and showed just how tough and perservering Supergirl has become.

Her powers returning and her body healing, Supergirl takes a closer look at Superwoman's cloak and sees something she had not seen before, something which tells her just who Superwoman is.

I have talked about how great Jamal Igle is with facial expressions; this is another great example. You really feel Kara's shock and surprise.

As Supergirl streaks to face off Superwoman, we see that things are not going well for her friends.

First off, Lana collapses as blood pours from her nose. Jimmy yells for an ambulance. Hopefully we learn more about her ailment soon.

And Inspector Henderson tries to find Lucy Lane but instead runs into Superwoman who blasts him in the chest with her eyebeams.

And so we finally have the reveal. Supergirl crashes into Police HQ and attacks Superwoman, yanking off her cowl and revealing her to be none other than Major Lucy Lane.

Whoa - I have to say I really didn't see this coming. Lucy has never been high on my list of suspects.

So the question now is how to explain everything we know about Superwoman now that we know she is Lucy Lane. And there is a lot to explain.

How is she a friend of the House of El? (I don't think she knows Clark is Superman and if she did I am sure she would tell her father.) How does she know fluent Kryptonese? How can she fly, shoot eye beams, survive in deep space? How can she be in Kandor or on New Krypton undetected? Why would her father tell her 'I know who you are?'

As friends have pointed out, she has had access to Brainiac technology which could answer a lot of things. Or maybe the Lucy reveal is a fake-out itself - and we see who Superwoman 'really' is after this fake reveal.

Anyways, I will need to hear the explanations before I give final commentary on the reveal. I have to wait to read next issue. And the Gates/Igle team have earned enough respect from me to wait for the finale.
Still, even though it surprised me, it clearly was expected by many fans. Lucy was a popular pick on the web.

Overall grade:B/B+

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sterling Gates Interview

There is a great interview with Supergirl scribe Sterling Gates over on Living Between Wednesdays, a great website about comics. Here is the link:

Of course, I recommend going to the site and reading it in its entirety. But I have to put some parts here with a little commentary. One thing that's clear (as far as I am concerned) .. gates just 'gets' Supergirl.

1. How did you get the gig of writing Supergirl?

Was she a character that you specifically wanted to write?Well, I liked Supergirl a lot when I was a kid. Like, a LOT. The "Supergirl" movie came out when I was very small, and I was really, really drawn towards Helen Slater and her interpretation of Kara. DC published a comic adaptation of the "Supergirl" movie around that time, and I read it enough times the cover fell off. So she’s always been a character I was interested in and enjoyed.

I work as Geoff Johns’ assistant when I’m not writing, and over lunch one day I was telling him all these ideas I had for Supergirl, and what I would do with the title. He gave me some great advice over that lunch, and told me I should just go away and write my first issue.

I spent a weekend writing an issue on spec and a series proposal and emailed them off to Geoff. Geoff really enjoyed the script, and he sent it off to James Robinson (who writes Superman) to check out. He liked it, too, so the pair of them approached Superman Group Editor Matt Idelson with it.

Matt and the other super-editors at that time, Nachie Castro and Tom Palmer, Jr., had been actively looking for someone to take over that book. They responded to what I’d written, and a few days later, Matt called me and asked if I’d be interested in being the new Supergirl writer.

I love 'right place at the right time' stories like this. But the main thing here is that Gates had a love for the character of Supergirl for some time and that is pretty evident in how she has been written by him.

I think most comic book fans have always had ideas for their favorite characters and how they would portray them. I once wrote a story about how Wildfire from the Legion was actually an energy elemental. So it must have been an absolute thrill for Gates to be handed to keys to Supergirl's future, the dream of any fan.

2. It seems that Supergirl’s return, starting in the Superman/Batman title, has been awkward and only very recently have we seen her find her place in the DCU. I feel that in the past year or two, DC has really thrown a lot of support behind Supergirl as a character and as a title, and including her in this crossover New Krypton event is a good example. Do you find it to be an exciting time to be writing Supergirl as a character, and have there been a lot of discussions about the future of the character?

And yes, I’m thrilled that DC has put so much support behind Supergirl. Jamal and I have been working hard to make sure Supergirl’s as good a book as we can possibly make it, and I’m grateful that DC has been so supportive of us.

I have always noticed how much publicity DC has given Supergirl since the reboot with #34. With her inclusion in 'New Krypton' and guest shots in other books, it is clear the administration realizes how popular and powerful Kara can be as a character.

At the end of the day, I want Supergirl to not only be an iconic superhero in the DCU, but also a good role model for kids and adults alike. Jamal and I’s take on the character is a little different from how other writers and artists have interpreted her, I know. But in my head, she’s a member of the Superman Family, so I’m going to write her as such, y’know?

That isn’t to say we’re going to tell “boring” or “safe” stories with her, which are accusations I’ve seen leveled against Superman before. What I mean is: Supergirl’s a hero, and I’m going to write her as a hero. A hero that makes mistakes, sure, and lives and learns from them. Her flaws can be very noticeable, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Supergirl should be someone we can all identify with and support and root for and learn from.

I think this has been the knock against the new team from the folks who enjoyed the Loeb/Kelly issues. That somehow Supergirl has become 'safe' and not edgy. I don't mean to pick a scab ... but I just didn't like the Loeb/Kelly Supergirl.

But I think in places on this blog I have written almost the same thing that Gates states above ... Kara is a hero, she makes mistakes and learns, she is someone we can identify with. As a fan I am thrilled that the creative team of my favorite character has the same 'take' as me.

3. New Krypton seems like a very tight crossover. Are there regular meetings or discussions between yourself and the rest of the New Krypton team (Geoff Johns, James Robinson, Greg Rucka)? Have you found it challenging to write a series that ties into a larger story?

It can be a challenge, yes, but it’s also part of the job, taking into account what’s going on in the bigger picture as you write.

James and Greg and Geoff are really a blast to work with, and I feel that I’m very, very blessed to be working alongside such talented writers.

It can be a madhouse on the phone sometimes, but I think all of us really want to make the Superman Family of titles as strong as possible, and we’re working hard towards that goal.
Plus, there’s a HUGE endgame in mind, which you’ll start to see the first few strains of in August’s big Superman crossover. It’s not going to be an easy couple of years for Kal or for Kara.

I keep wondering about 'August's big Superman crossover'. Could it be that New Krypton cannot sustain itself so the Kryptonian's decide to invade Earth? It might be tough to have the story run concurrently with Blackest Night.

5. What other projects are you working on now, and what have you got planned for the future?

Well, today I’m working on Supergirl Annual #1, which I think is scheduled to come out in September. As I said before, we’re doing a month-long Superman crossover in August across the four main Superman titles, and we’re producing a pretty extensive Superman Secret Files to go along with that story. It won’t quite be on the scale of the Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Secret Files that Geoff and I wrote, but it’ll be a really great resource, with extremely detailed maps and profiles and stuff.

I'm glad to see that Gates is the writer of the Annual. And I am sure there will be plenty of Supergirl related material in the Secret Files.

I love that there is a stability to the title now and a long-term plan to where it is going.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Superwoman Poll Results And Answers ...

Well, the timing was right on the money, as the latest 'Who Is Superwoman?' poll ended at 8AM this morning, results posted above. And at 11AM, I was in my local comic book store buying Supergirl #40 and getting the answer.

To be right up front, I will not reveal who Superwoman is here until I review the issue which most likely will be Friday. (Of course, it is spoiled on many message boards if people don't want to wait.) I want to give everyone some time to get to the stores and find out on their own. What I will say is that she is one of the choices on the poll (and not 'other'). At least I included the right guess. Congratulations will be spread to those who voted for the right pick after the reveal!

As always, I would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone for visiting the blog and voting. 68 votes is more than I expected and the spread of guesses shows this truly was a mystery.

One thing I found surprising was the overwhelming support for Lucy Lane. Lucy won the poll getting 20% of the vote. If it is Lucy, lots of explanation will be needed to explain powers, Kryptonian language, and motivation.

I also was somewhat shocked to see Linda Danvers was a close second. The same explanations as with Lucy will be needed if Superwoman is Linda. 'My' Linda wouldn't be the murderer Superwoman is.

Lastly, as with all the Superwoman votes, Alura was a presence with 'insane Alura' coming in third. I have reviewed the case for Alura in prior posts.

Anyways, we all find out this week in Supergirl #40.

At some point I will do a review of all the clues and how they point to the real identity. At that point, everyone who guessed correctly has earned the right to brag.

Review and reveal coming soon!

July Solicits

While July is going to be dominated by the Blackest Night event, it looks as though the Super titles will continue to be a strong presence in the DCU. Here is a link for all the solicits:

One thing we can finally cheer about ... the release of the James Robinson Justice League book. Despite the recent DC Nation page kerfluffle, I am pretty excited to read this book.

Alas, now it seems like we have a couple of new waiting games to play - neither Adventure Comics nor Superman:Secret Origin were listed in the July release.

Here are the super-books.

Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Jamal Igle & Jon Sibal
Cover by Joshua Middleton

Things are going well for Supergirl – she’s back on New Krypton, and she’s even managing to patch things up with her mother, Alura. But when she goes to visit her older cousin, Superman warns her that not all is as it seems in the House of El... Setting the stage for next month’s crossover event in the SUPERMAN books!

Hmmm ... I really thought by this issue that Supergirl would be residing primarily on Earth. It seems as though she remains on New Krypton for a bit longer. And what does that mean for the storylines involving Lana, Cat, and Inspector Henderson? What about Linda Lang? I have to say it ... I was looking forward to those interactions.

And a crossover super-event in the summer ... in the midst of Blackest Night? I can only wonder what we have in store for us.

Written by Greg Rucka; co-feature written by James Robinson & Rucka
Art by Fernando Dagnino & Raúl Fernandez; co-feature art by Cafu
Cover by Andrew Robinson

So far, Nightwing and Flamebird’s mission of apprehending Zod’s sleeper agents has gone fairly smoothly. But then they met Az-Rel and Nadira Va-Dim. Now the “Bonnie and Clyde of Krypton” have turned the tables on Earth’s newest protectors. The race to prevent war with New Krypton may be over before it’s even begun! And it’s all in preparation for next month’s crossover event in the SUPERMAN books! Plus: The debut of the Captain Atom co-feature written by Greg Rucka (DETECTIVE COMICS) and James Robinson (STARMAN), the writers of SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON! Where has Captain Atom been all this time? And is he back on the side of good – or still on the side of evil? Find out here in an adventure featuring art by Cafu (VIXEN: RETURN OF THE LION).

Their mission has gone 'fairly smoothly'?? Hard to believe that after the beatdown Ursa gave them last issue. Still, I am enjoying this book a lot.

As for a Captain Atom back-up feature. I trust Rucka and Robinson. But isn't Captain Atom now wearing the Monarch armor?

Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes & José Wilson Magalhães
Cover by Andrew Robinson

As media mogul Morgan Edge fans the flames of Earth’s distrust of all things alien, Mon-El wrestles with his looming demise and what to do with his remaining life. At the same time, forces from the future must prevent Mon-El from meeting Sodam Yat – the Green Lantern from Daxam known as Ion – for the sake of tomorrow. And General Lane rolls out his plan to ensnare our hero by lining up a vicious crew of villains – but to do this, Steel must fall. It’s a wild ride setting up next month’s crossover event in the SUPERMAN books!

Hmmm ... a return of Morgan Edge as a xenophobic media mogul. I like it. But I don't know if I like reading that Mon-El is already dying. I am glad that General Lane is playing a big part in at least one book. I can't imagine that Steel can last very long against Atlas.

Written by James Robinson & Greg Rucka
Art by Pete Woods
Cover by Gary Frank
Variant cover by Tan Eng Huat

Superman is on trial for his life. The crime: Treason! The punishment: Death! But is this a challenge Kal-El can even hope to triumph over when the man pulling all the strings is General Zod? A tale of heroism, evil and base betrayal – on the strange world of New Krypton. And all of this helps set the stage for next month’s crossover event in the SUPERMAN books!

Given the curt and strained conversations between Zod and Kal in the first 2 issues, I am not surprised to hear that Kal has crossed some sort of line. That is a very nice cover evocative of the Superman II movie.

Written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson
Art and cover by Rafael Albuquerque

When the inmates take over Arkham Asylum, it's a job for the World's Finest duo – Robin and Supergirl! Rafael Albuquerque (BLUE BEETLE) joins the series as regular artist for a story we could only call "Sidekicked!"

Here is my giddy little surpise for this month. This should be a fun story to read. I wonder how Kara will respond to the criminally insane inmates of Arkham. I also can't wait to see how Albuquerque draws Supergirl.


Written by James Robinson
Art and covers Mauro Cascioli

What brings a team together? Justice! Batman and Martian Manhunter have been slaughtered. But he’s not the only hero to fall at the hands of villains. The murder has to stop, and it’s time to take the fight to the bad guys! Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Supergirl, Atom, Shazam, Congorilla and Starman unite in a cry for justice! This 6-part miniseries from James Robinson (STARMAN, SUPERMAN) and rising star artist Mauro Cascioli (TRIALS OF SHAZAM) pushes our heroes to the brink and beyond as evil can no longer be tolerated to win. But when Prometheus plans his revenge on not only the heroes, but on the very places they call home, will this new team be ready to pay the cost for the justice they seek? This time it’s personal – and it’ll only get more bloody before it’s over! Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers by Mauro Cascioli that will be separately orderable. Cover A shows the left side of the image; cover B shows the right side. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.

Well, after being announce (I believe) in May 2008, we finally get to read Justice League:Cry For Justice. The premise is solid ... a pro-active Justice League to try to stop the madness before it occurs. The roster is intriguing. Some old Leaguers. Some versions of old Leaguers - Supergirl and Batwoman. Some D-listers - Congorilla and Starman. It's almost has a Morrison Doom Patrol-y feel to it.

The art looks fantastic although I am disappointed that Freddy won't be in his classic blue uniform as initially stated.


In July, DC Comics gives a fresh twist to a grand comics tradition with WEDNESDAY COMICS, a new, weekly 12-issue series by some of the greatest names in comics today! WEDNESDAY COMICS is unique in modern comics history: Reinventing the classic weekly newspaper comics section, it is a 16-page weekly that unfolds to a sprawling 28” x 20” tabloid-sized reading experience bursting with mind-blowing color, action and excitement, with each feature on its own 14” x 20” page. Spearheaded by DCU Editorial Art Director Mark Chiarello, whose past editing credits include BATMAN BLACK & WHITE, DC: THE NEW FRONTIER and SOLO, each page of WEDNESDAY COMICS spotlights the continuing adventures of DC heroes, including:

• BATMAN, WEDNESDAY COMICS’ weekly cover feature, by the Eisner Award-winning 100 BULLETS team of writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso
• ADAM STRANGE, by writer/artist Paul Pope (BATMAN: YEAR 100)
• METAMORPHO, written by New York Times best-selling writer Neil Gaiman with art by Eisner Award-winner Michael Allred (Madman)
• THE DEMON AND CATWOMAN, written by Walter Simonson (Thor, MANHUNTER) with art by famed DC cover artist Brian Stelfreeze
• DEADMAN, written by Dave Bullock and Vinton Heuck, art by Dave Bullock
• KAMANDI, written by Dave Gibbons (WATCHMEN, GREEN LANTERN CORPS) with art by Ryan Sook (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, ARKHAM ASYLUM: LIVING HELL)
• SUPERMAN, written by John Arcudi (The Mask) with art by Lee Bermejo (JOKER)
• WONDER WOMAN, written and illustrated by Ben Caldwell (Dare Detectives)
• GREEN LANTERN, written by Kurt Busiek (TRINITY, ASTRO CITY) with art by Joe Quiñones (TEEN TITANS GO!)
• TEEN TITANS, written by Eddie Berganza with art by Sean Galloway
• SUPERGIRL, written by Jimmy Palmiotti (JONAH HEX) with art by Amanda Conner (POWER GIRL)
• HAWKMAN, written and illustrated by Kyle Baker (PLASTIC MAN, Special Forces)
• SGT. ROCK, written by Adam Kubert (SUPERMAN: LAST SON), ilustrated by legendary comics artist Joe Kubert
• THE FLASH, written by Karl Kerschl (TEEN TITANS YEAR ONE, THE FLASH: THE FASTEST MAN ALIVE) and Brenden Fletcher, illustrated by Karl Kerschl
• METAL MEN, written by Dan DiDio with art by Ian Churchill (SUPERGIRL)

WEDNESDAY COMICS will arrive in stores folded twice to 7” x 10”, with the first issue set to reach stores on July 8.

And of course Wednesday Comics begins. I am just overwhelmed by the talent brought together for this project. It reads like a Who's Who. Yes, there is the Palmiotti/Conner Supergirl story. But the rest of the teams are unbelievable.

And DC even put together two of my favorite creators - Walt Simonson and Brian Stelfreeze - on a strip featuring the Demon and Catwoman! Unbelievable! That's like a dream team for me.

Anyways, I am looking forward to the DC summer. Between Blackest Night and these books, should be a fun ride.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Review: Tiny Titans #15

I have written in the past how much fun Tiny Titans is as a title, walking the tight rope between 'all ages fun' and intricate DC continuity. It always seems to be able to seamlessly mesh the two and this month's issue, Tiny Titans # 15, is no exception.

This month's main story involves another meeting of the Titans Pet Club at Wayne manor. As the last meeting ended with the place in shambles, Alfred decides he is going to sit in and make sure mayhem does not ensue.

There is the usual 'the first rule of pet club is we don't talk about pet club' jokes, a reference to the movie Fight Club, which hopefully no young reader has watched. The rule seems to perplex Alfred since he wants to talk about it and lay down some rules.

Supergirl is welcomed back to the club and has brought all of the super-pets: Krypto, Streaky, Beppo, and Comet.

I like how Robin just seems to be swooning over Tiny Kara. Look at the silly grin he has as he tells her that bringing all her pets was 'super duper super'.

Zatara makes it to his first meeting and has brought his pet rabbit Abby (short for Abra Kadabra).

Abby makes her way around the room saying hi to all the other pets.

She then makes the mistake of waking the sleeping Streaky by plugging Streaky's nose. Suffice it to say, Streaky wakes up in a bit of a snit.

A massive pet chase rocks stately Wayne manor and chaos erupts.

You think the fun is over once everything settles a bit. Unfortunately, Abby has decided to hide in Zatara's hat and Beppo has got hold of Zatar's wand.

A quick tap to the hat brim and we have a bunny population explosion.
The kids are sent to the corner but not before Beast Boy notices that one bunny is brown.

Hmmm ....

The epilogue of the issue shows the brown bunny shout 'Shazam' and turn into Hoppy, the Marvel Bunny.

Hoppy the Marvel Bunny!

I thought another Streaky sighting would be the high point of the issue!

But Hoppy the Marvel Bunny! Aw yeah!!
I haven't seen Hoppy since he was the hero in DC Comics Presents #34 where he is the hero who ultimately knocks out King Kull!

Too awesome!

Overall grade: A

For completeness sake, I figured I would also mention that Streaky and the super-pets are also heavily featured in Super Friends #14.

The pets here seem more like those seen in the Krypto cartoon. Streaky is wearing a blue cape in this one. Still, this was an amusing issue which harkened back to a Silver Age Kanjar Ro story and also included Silver Age pets Beppo, Kanga, and Topo.

But two Streaky comics in one month?