Friday, January 30, 2015

Bullet Review: Worlds' Finest #30

Worlds' Finest #30 came out last week, one of many chapter in the deconstruction of the New 52 Earth 2. I stopped reading this title half a year ago when a sort of creative ennui mired the book into irrelevancy. Since then, I have only seen the ads and read a review here and there about Worlds' End and Earth 2.

There isn't much about what I have seen happening in these books that has made me question my decision.

But blog friend and fellow comic reviewer Mart Gray   tipped me off that I might enjoy some of this last issue and he was right.

The whole issue is told in flashback by Lois, a look at this Earth just before it unraveled into chaos. So we see this quiet moment of Mr. and Mrs. Superman enjoying each others' company and doing a little canoodling.

Of course, Supergirl lives with them and walks in on them snuggling. There is so much to love in this scene, from the simple romance of Lois and Clark to the 'cowbell' comment by Kara.

But most of all I love this costume. For one, it shows that this Kara has always preferred the leotard look, the one piece. No skirt to be seen here. And it echoes the one piece she wears as Power Girl. But most of all I love the ballerina slippers, a nice nod to the later  70's Adventure Comics Supergirl.

It's funny. I found the strongest part of this book is when Paul Levitz looked back at Huntress and Power Girl's early careers as Robin and Supergirl. So I also enjoyed this other adventure in the book with Catwoman and Robin.

These flashback scenes made me miss a more classic Earth 2 even more, the one with the JSA, Infinity Inc, and a sense of legacy.

Thanks again Mart! That Supergirl page made me smile. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Supergirl Show News: Mehcad Brooks Cast As Jimmy Olsen

The news about the upcoming Supergirl show is coming fast and furious these days and it all seems to be spot on. The latest news came out late last night that Mehcad Brooks has been cast as Jimmy Olsen. It was big enough to get covered on the DC Comics website blog. Here is the link:

And a brief blurb from that press release:

Actor Mehcad Brooks (Necessary Roughness, True Blood) has been cast as James Olsen in Supergirl, the high flying new series in development from Berlanti Productions, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. 

Supergirl’s James Olsen is described as a photographer at CatCo, the media company where Kara (series star Melissa Benoist) works. He has recently been living and working in National City, though the reason is still a secret.

 There is a lot to like about this casting. Brooks is an up and coming star who has shined in his prior roles and shows. Casting an African-American as Jimmy is brilliant. Sure, I will miss the classic red hair. But this adds some nice diversity to the show. And while he looks young, he is actually 34 making me think this isn't a copyboy Jimmy, or even a young hungry reporter. My guess is he is full-blown Mr. Action here, an established photojournalist.

The blurb about him working at CatCo and living in National City for a 'secret' reason gives him a decent hook. My guess is Jimmy is 'Superman's Pal' and Superman asked him to move to National City to keep his eye on Kara. And in those leaked audition tapes, we heard Jimmy talking about seeing Superman and covering the Man of Steel's actions for the planet. So he has some super-history. For me, that makes for a better story than Jimmy working undercover for the Planet. And it adds some Silver Age patina to the story - Superman keeping a close and sometime overbearing eye on his cousin.

The bottom line is I think Brooks is a great addition to this show. Welcome aboard.

And congrats to Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler.

I was cautiously optimistic about the show when it was first announced. (I worry about everything Supergirl.) But so far every move and everything I have heard about this show has made me smile. The casting of Benoist and Brooks is one thing. The tone of the leaked audition scripts is another.

I think this is going to be great!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hollywood Legacy Supergirls On The New Supergirl Show

One of the things I like is that there is this sort of growing Hollywood legacy around Supergirl these days. And the actors who have portrayed her don't shy away from their history with the character.

So it was great in the wake of Melissa Benoist being cast as Supergirl to see a couple of Supergirl veterans step up to discuss the show and congratulate Benoist.

First off, Blastr caught up with Helen Slater to discuss her playing Supergirl in the 1984 movie and her thoughts on the show. Please read the whole interview to hear her talk about the getting the role and how she prepared for it. Here is the link:

And here is what she said when asked if she would want to be on the new Supergirl show: 

"I think that would be such a thrill," she exclaimed. "Having been on Smallville and being at these conventions, the fans just love it so much. They love when there's any kind of crossover, or 'Oh my gosh, she was in the original, or he was.' I think the writing has gotten a lot smarter now ... somehow they've cracked the code or something to have a really great sense of humor, but have it still be smart and not pandering to a younger audience. It seems like something has changed." 

Slater believes the new show could reignite Supergirl's legacy. "I just have great faith that they'll figure it out in this CBS world ... they just sound super talented, so fingers crossed." 

Now it would be easy to have Slater play Alura in flashbacks. But I think that might be too easy.

I would rather see her in a different role. And my choice would be as Dr. Jenet Klyburn of S.T.A.R. Labs. Klyburn has a nice history in the DCU and Slater would bring some depth to the role.

And Laura Vandervoort, who last played Supergirl on television, extended her congratulations to Benoist on Twitter.

I love that Vandervoort has a connection to the character. And given how much the Supergirl fandom appreciates and loves Vandervoort, I would love for her to also appear on the show. Maybe as 'Kitty' Faulkner/Rampage? Or maybe Laurel Gand from the future?

Anyways, I am thrilled that there is now a sort of family tree with Supergirl in Hollywood. You can throw Nicolle Tom, Summer Glau and Molly Quinn into the mix. Quite a talented group!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

April 2015 Solicits: Convergence And Others

Marvel blew the doors off of the comic world this week, revealing their Secret Wars series uniting their universes in a Crisis sort of way. 

Maybe the reason why DC released their Convergence solicits so long ago was so that it wasn't going to compete as news with that Marvelous bombshell. Even though the Convergence descriptions dripped out a while ago, the final April solicits came out this week. Here is the Newsarama link:

I am a longstanding DC fan so I am looking forward to revisiting some of these time periods. But I wonder if newer readers are going to think about this as yet another 'jumping off' point for a bunch of titles.

Here are the super-titles:

Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

STARRING HEROES FROM ZERO HOUR! What do Supergirl, Lady Quark and Ambush Bug have in common? Well ... nothing, really. But that doesn’t stop them from appearing in this story together. You are SO welcome.

So Matrix ended up becoming the Linda Danvers Earth Angel Supergirl under Peter David. But before that she was the girlfriend of Lex Luthor, who at this point was cloned and pretending to be his own illegitimate son. I have to assume we are in that period given this red-bearded chap on the cover. I can't help but notice that the device in his hand looks like a Red Lantern symbol if I squint.

The solicit gives me little to work with although the presence of Ambush Bug and Giffen as writer makes me thinks this isn't going to be something serious.

I love how Supergirl looks on this cover as this is my favorite version of the costume. 

Each title has a variant cover designed by Chip Kidd which has an old school Ben-Day dot are piece fade into a solid color. I don't know if I like it ...

Written by FRANK TIERI
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

STARRING HEROES FROM THE PRE-FLASHPOINT DCU! The Justice League story you never expected to see begins when Supergirl, Zatanna, Vixen and Jade attend Jesse Quick’s baby shower, which quickly turns into a life-and-death struggle with Flashpoint Aquaman!

James Robinson had a very good run on JLA where the team was mostly comprised of legacy heroes claiming a spot on the team. Jesse Quick was there instead of the Flash. Jade was there, not GL. Donna Troy was there, not Diana. And Supergirl was there. That title ended with Jesse pregnant and losing her powers.

I am thrilled to us revisit this era. And great to see this all-female version of the League here.


On sale APRIL 22 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T
STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! Superman and Supergirl attempt to free their city via the Phantom Zone but learn that if they succeed, a terrible fate awaits Supergirl in Crisis on Infinite Earths!

Boy, Marv Wolfman likes to go back to the well, doesn't he. Once again he picks at the scab of killing Kara in Crisis on Infinite Earths. I suppose Kara will learn of her fate and still accepting it, her being the hero she is.

Very lovely cover here by Mikel Janin. It is nice the see the headband again.

Written by DAN JURGENS
Art and cover by LEE WEEKS
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

STARRING HEROES FROM THE PRE-FLASHPOINT DCU! A powerless Superman is called upon to protect Gotham City…and his pregnant wife Lois Lane!

Jurgens! Weeks! Superman and Lois together!!

Soooooo happy!!!

Written by JUSTIN GRAY
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! Superman teams up with Power Girl, but can they stop a nuclear strike by Lex Luthor and Stalin of Red Son Moscow?

It will be nice to see the old school Earth 2 Superman and Power Girl working together again. And i Liked St. Aubin's work on REBELS so the art will be good.

Cover by BABS TARR
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

STARRING HEROES FROM ZERO HOUR! Has Kon-El earned the right to be the new Man of Steel? Kon will have to prove his mettle in battle against the Superman of Kingdom Come! But what if the only way to save Metropolis is to lose the fight?

I think the best thing about this solicit is that cover by Babs Tarr. So much fun!!!

The Kingdom Come Superman is incredibly powerful so this will be interesting to see.

Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

STARRING HEROES FROM ZERO HOUR! Superman is missing, so now it’s up to Steel to defend Metropolis from the GEN13 kids!

If Wolfman is going to the well, then Louise Simonson is going home again.

I have never been a huge Steel fan but I am excited for this book written by Simonson and drawn by June Brigman. This sounds like the perfect example of what Convergence is trying to do, revisiting classics.

Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS!! While Brainiac 5 struggles to break through the dome, Superboy tries to keep the Legion of Super-Heroes’ spirits up – until the Atomic Knights ride into town to cause mass destruction!

Hooray! Old school Superboy and the Legion!!!

I have been craving a Legion book again. Maybe this will sate me a little.


It’s a “Girls’ Day Out,” and Lois Lane doesn’t do “puff piece” interviews, which is fine, because Diana of Themyscira is not interested in being treated as fluff. But when they’re attacked by croco-aliens and robots, the situation really gets heated! Then, in “The Problem with Cats,” Wonder Woman has been summoned to the Isle of Cats to rescue her Justice League teammates, but can Diana save the day? 

And while not Convergence, I wanted to point people to Sensation Comics #9 which includes a story by Supergirl/Batgirl webcomic creator Mike Maihack! 'The Problem with Cats'?? I can only hope Supergirl and Streaky show up.

What will you be getting?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Review: Batman/Superman #18

Batman/Superman #18 continues the 'Superman's Joker' storyline and once again showed me that my confidence in Greg Pak writing Superman is well founded. Pak's work on Action has been spectacular, especially his reintroduction of Lana into the Superman universe.

In Action, Pak has Superman in a horror environment. Here he has placed Superman in a Batman scenario, having an insane, obsessed enemy picking off his loved ones. I have heard people say that writing Superman stories is difficult because 'he is invulnerable and what can threaten him'?  But putting Superman in odd situations for him, for making him uncomfortable or unsure of himself, to make Superman ask himself tough questions, is how Pak is accomplishing it. Superman doesn't usually deal with psychopathic serial killers. How would he react?

But then, and this is so important to me, Pak puts Lois in the spotlight in this issue, showing us just how brave and powerful she is. If there is a character in the Superman universe who has been underutilized in the three years of the New 52, it is Lois. I have been waiting to see the 'real' Lois for some time and outside of Superman Unchained and the occasional snippet in Geoff Johns' Superman, I haven't gotten enough. So I love that she is front and center here.

The issue moves the plot along nicely with a not so surprise ending. But it is the character moments as Superman and his friends struggle to deal with this killer that makes this such a good issue.

The art by Adrian Syaf is sort of scruffy with lines and cross hatching that works well for this grimmer sort of story. This looks more like a Gotham book than a clean bright Metropolis book.

And I think the cover is an homage to Days of Future Past.

The story starts with Superman straining the slowly rebuilding Fortress computer to try and figure out who the killer is. I have to admit I had forgotten that the Fortress got demolished in Doomed. I think that story was so muddled and jumbled that some plot points have been lost amid the detritus.

Supergirl however doesn't think that is the right move. She barrels into Superman to stop him from accessing the computer.

While I don't like the physicality of her stopping him, I like that she does. Here she reminds him that the computer may not be able to survive a search this early in its regeneration. She knows he might regret this choice. And this Kryptonian computer is needed for other things too.

I have liked the interaction between the two super-cousins recently.

In a bit of serendipity or foreshadowing, Kara talks about the bottle city of Kandor, apparently lost into the Phantom Zone.

Much like the destruction of the Fortress, I didn't recall that the bottle city got somehow swept into the Zone. But Kara knows the Fortress computer will be needed to somehow find the city and revive the people in it, including her friend Tali Zar.

One small complaint about the art here. For a second I  thought Kara was holding the bottle which seemed unsafe and impossible. I know this is supposed to remind us what the bottle looks like ... but maybe don't position it in her hands, or have her hands away from it?

There discussion is interrupted by Batman.

He has deduced a plan. Talking on a magically protected line, he says that Superman's Joker must be lured out by someone so close to Superman that it would grievously hurt the Man of Steel should they die.

And that person is ... Lois Lane?

Now maybe this might be true in just about every other DC Universe. But we haven't seen these two interact much in the New 52. And while some sort of history is hinted at between the two, and maybe they are friends, we haven't seen anything that would make us (as readers) think it is true. Even Supergirl is shocked. After all, wouldn't Diana be the person he would miss the most?

Turns out the whole thing is a ruse. The communication isn't protected. It is all a stunt to use Lois as bait to lure out the killer.

And Superman knows it. There is nothing for Superman to do except fly to the rescue. And Supergirl heads there too.

It is clear that Superman cares for Lois greatly. But as a reader, I have to rely on my memory of "Lois and Clark" to feel that.

That said, this Lois is incredible.

Look at her standing there, arms crossed, steadfast whatever threat is heading her way. She plays up this role, saying how she loves Superman and remembers the 'wedding proposal on the moon'.

And here, she tells Batman that she is glad that he pulled her into this mess. She would have kicked his ass if he hadn't. She is that big of a friend of Superman, that big of a presence in his life.

This is the sort of Lois that I want to read.

But in an interesting turn of event, the 'bullet' doesn't go after Lois, evades Superman and Supergirl's efforts to stop it, and hits Batman in the chest.

This Joker says that Batman is the person Superman would miss the most. Batman is the person who understands Superman the most.

Now I suppose that Batman and Superman are best friends. And I guess 'understand' doesn't mean 'agree with' as I think these two are very different. And maybe this killer isn't targeting Wonder Woman because she is more difficult to kill. Because I would think the person Superman loves ... Diana ... would be the one who understands him the most and the person he would miss the most.

I also think it is interesting that Batman has Kryptonite built into his armor. This has to be defense against Superman ... although it is timely.

More Lois though. Superman seems a bit irked that Lois would put herself in danger at Batman's request. But she had no worries, knowing that Superman would save her. She always bets on blue.

But then Pak has Lois backtrack from any sense of true feelings, having her say that her 'love' was an act. Is she protesting too much?

Still, this is a great representation of Lois.

That Kryptonite laced armor probably saved Batman's life. The 'bullet' was a Kandorian flying at high speed! And he's dead!

So does that mean Batman killed this guy with Kryptonite? Is it self-defense? I have to mull that over in my head a bit ...

What is even more interesting is that this Kandorian, Kan Ko, was a 'Wellness Officer', a sort of selfless doctor type who helped save people afflicted with Sky Flu. How could this sort of saintly figure become a living weapon?

Lois thinks it is Brainiac but Batman doesn't think it fits the typical Coluan M.O.

Well it turns out that Batman was able to trace the bullet's trajectory. It came from ... a bottle ... which is in the middle of a tech shielded beach on Iceland. And looking at that thing, we see that there are a lot of angry people in that bottle, maybe Kandorians who are angry that Superman hasn't done more for them? A sort of revenge squad?

This is very good issue. I have to congratulate Pak for bringing a strong Lois into the story. Her willingness to risk herself for Superman and to do so unflinchingly is refreshing. I like the interaction between Supergirl and Superman.

I suppose the decision to target Batman is an interesting one. I wonder why, in the New 52, these two would be friends. Pak has done a lot to show why they would be. And elevating Batman to that status shows the strength of this friendship. Still ... I would think Diana (in this current DCU) would be the one Superman would miss most. And in a perfect world it should be Lois.

I don't know the motivation of these Kandorians yet. For me, that is going to be the linchpin for the story. If I don't understand why these Kryptonians would become killers, the foundation of the arc might crumble. But why worry about something that might be fine.

Overall grade: B+

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Supergirl Casted! Welcome Melissa Benoist!

It broke everywhere on Thursday and so I am very late to the game ... but Supergirl has been cast! The Hollywood Reporter has the news that Glee alumni Melissa Benoist has been cast as Kara Zor-El for the upcoming CBS drama.

Here is that report:

I think this is a fabulous choice.

I will admit to heading to YouTube and Netflix to look for the breadth of Benoist's work outside of Glee. After watching her on late night television, singing her way through Glee, and some snippets from Whiplash, I think she just the right mix of freshness, spunk, and strength to play a great Kara. She also has a look that I think is perfect for the role.

So I am still cruising on optimism for this show. So far Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler are hitting all the right notes. And now, seeing Benoist as Kara, it makes Alexandra Daddario even more perfect as Alexandra Danvers. Those two could be sisters.

And here is a tweet from a while ago showing Benoist with blonder hair. Now we know what the 'secret project' was. Looks great!

Here is a link to Benoist's website:

Welcome aboard the Supergirl bandwagon Melissa!!!

I mean ... #Supergirl was trending on Twitter !

This is a great time to be a Kara fan.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Supergirl Radio

Inline image 1

New Fan Podcast Dedicated to the Upcoming Supergirl TV Show on CBS.

Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 – The Flash Podcast, which launched in December 2013 and was the first fan podcast for CW’s The Flash, is expanding its podcast circle with the launch of its first sister podcast Supergirl Radio, on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd!

Supergirl Radio is a fan podcast devoted to the upcoming Supergirl TV show on CBS, created by Arrow’s and The Flash’s Greg Berlanti and The New Normal’Ali Adler, and starring Glee’s Melissa Benoist as the titular superheroine.

Supergirl Radio will be helmed by female duo: Teresa Jusino and Rebecca Johnson, both of whom have made names for themselves analyzing pop culture individually, and will now be joining forces to celebrate the arrival of Supergirl to television.
This fan podcast will begin with a “Season Zero” - as The Flash Podcast did - from February through September 2015, where listeners will get to join the journey and discover more about Kara Zor-El a.k.a. Supergirl, the last daughter of Krypton. Once Supergirl debuts on CBS, Supergirl Radio will become your one-stop shop for all things related to the series. Andy Behbakht, host of The Flash Podcast, is a producer on the show and will work behind the scenes with our hosts.

Supergirl Radio “Season Zero” will provide an in-depth exploration of Supergirl’s history in the DC Comics Universe, dissecting both past interpretations of the character and the current New 52 version throughout the season, with episodes dedicated to iconic storylines and big events that have involved Supergirl. There will also be focus on Supergirl in other media in which she’s appeared, from movies to television and much more!

Supergirl is an upcoming superhero drama by Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash) and Ali Adler (The New Normal, Glee, Chuck) that will be a new interpretation of Superman’s famous cousin as she discovers the heroine within her. Melissa Benoist (Glee, Whiplash) was cast on January 22 as the next person to take this iconic heroine to the skies.

CBS gave the Warner Bros. TV project a series commitment on September 19, 2014 and describes as following: “Born on the planet Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped amid its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she’s been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.”

Supergirl Radio is a fan dedicated podcast and is not affiliated with DC Comics, Warner Bros. Television or CBS Television. Supergirl & all logos and artwork are trademark of DC Comics and DC Entertainment. 

Review: Supergirl #38

Supergirl #38 came out this week and is another great issue in this new direction by creative team K. Perkins, Mike Johnson, Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy, and Hi-Fi.

I have had issues with characterization of both Supergirl and Superboy in the New 52. Kara was petty, angry brat. Kon was a bank-robbing, overly violent, immature punk. And while there were moments in the early issues where both characters seemed to be more heroic, for the most part they were treated pretty shabbily.

Over the last year, Supergirl has been rehabilitated by Tony Bedard, Charles Soule, and the current team. Superboy has been presumed dead and unseen. And yet, here, we see how much things have changed. It was wonderful to read an issue where I can root unabashedly for Supergirl and to be impressed with her as a young hero, striving to help people and asking the tough questions. Add to this characterization a ton of high octane action and you have a very entertaining issue.

The art on this book is just spectacular. There is something clean and vibrant about the work that my eyes just drink in. Lupacchino, McCarthy, and Hi-Fi are really hitting home runs here. And there is one little thing that I saw in this issue from Lupacchino that is so fantastic that I smiled for a long time. More on that later.

The variant cover for this month celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Flash character. Michael Avon Oeming does a nice job riffing on Action Comics #252. I especially like Supergirl saying a version of Superman's classic line from the cover.

I suppose at some point I might need to do another 'Action Comics #252 homage covers' post.

The book starts in Italy as Kon, seen in a monastery last issue, is hanging out at a comic convention. Surrounded by cos-players, he can walk about freely.

After reading 2 years worth of Superboy declaring himself a 'living weapon', being violent and angsty, robbing banks and living the gangsta life, and then being replaced by the mass murdering potential future hybrid of Clark, Lois, Clark/Lois, I needed a break. I left the book and shook my head how Kon was a good representation of all that was wrong with the New 52.

So there was something refreshing about seeing Kon leading a quiet life as a monk and finding himself. And I also liked seeing him walking amongst the people, smiling, and buying comics. Hurray!

But then we head back to Tsavo's planet Ngo where Supergirl and her Crucible crew are fighting Roho and his insurgents.

Last issue, we learned that maybe Crucible is more than a school and maybe more akin to a Military Training facility. It is clear that the professors and leaders have an agenda that may not be apparent to the students.

And while Supergirl seems to have embraced the setting, becoming fast friends with her classmates and immersing herself in classes, we see her start to question things. It starts here where she learns that Roho and his Ngoian rebels were all students at Crucible. They were expelled for not following the rules ... but what does that mean? I think that there is more to this place than it being a magnanimous institution to raise heroes.

This skirmish ends with Supergirl and her friends paralyzed by a stasis-stare by Roho's soldier. Even though he has the upper hand, Roho teleports to a 'backwater world', leaving the Crucible gang alive so they can witness his ultimate victory. That is a classic comic villain mistake. Roho was just about to kill his parents ... why wouldn't he kill these kids?

I have glossed over the action but it is well done!

Comet quickly picks up a telepathic trail that the team can follow. But Supergirl pauses. Tsavo is physically and emotionally injured. His family is injured.

She feels she needs to stay to help her friend. She wants to protect him. It is more important for her to be here for Tsavo than it is to follow these rebels. It is only at Tsavo's insistence that she moves on.

But this is a major change in Supergirl's character that we have seen evolve over the last year. Gone is the petulant girl who wants to be all alone at the bottom of the ocean. Now, maybe after befriending Bleez, maybe after embracing Earth, maybe after meeting Michael and being inspired by him, she understands the importance of friends ... how she can't be alone.

Soooo fantastic!

No big surprise but the 'backwater planet' that Roho teleported to is Earth.

You know what I love here ... Kara's expression and body language. Looking at the sky, hand on her heart, the other hand held open! She looks like she is happy to be back here. She is happy to be back home!

I always wonder if I read into these things too much. But this looks different from the Supergirl who would let Earth be destroyed by H'El to bring Krypton back.


And I also had to include this panel because I thought it was funny.

Here Supergirl runs into someone who is cos-playing her ... but in the costume of the last incarnation of Supergirl. And that is early last Supergirl given by the small size of the top and the skirt. I suppose somewhere Michael Turner is smiling.

But I love this Supergirl's surprise that someone would dress like her!

Roho is there to capture Superboy for some reason.

Now is the time for the Crucible crew to fight again and save Kon.

I love that Supergirl jumps into the role of the leader, telling Comet to fight with the alien with the paralyzing stare and Maxima to protect the patrons.

Again, seeing Supergirl growing as a hero, being an inspiration and leader for her generation, while still being fresh on the hero's journey is what I am looking for in Supergirl. This is fantastic, especially given that Maxima doesn't fight her about who is in charge.

But that questioning of what Crucible is all about becomes a bigger part of this story.

For one, Comet and Maxima aren't exactly nice people on closer look.

Maxima throws her psychic knives into the throat of one of Roho's allies, killing her. And Comet uses his telekinetic powers to explode this one's head Scanner-style.

That doesn't sound like what heroes would necessarily do. I certainly don't want Supergirl to be pulping people. Those tactics should get Supergirl's attention.

Finally Kara starts to wonder if she has been too trusting. Why should she trust Comet more than Roho? Why should she fall in line when she doesn't know much about Crucible to begin with? And why do these rebels need Kon?

My guess is that Crucible isn't all bad. But there are elements within that aren't on the up and up, like Professor Korstus trying to form an army.

And then to make the trust issue flare up, Maxima let's Supergirl know that she has her own secret mission. She has been told to bring Kon-El to Crucible. And this time she isn't going to back down to Kara. Maxima *is* going to complete that mission.

Not knowing what is right and wrong, what is truth and lie, and wanting to protect Kon, Supergirl flies in front of Maxima. Completing that mission won't be easy.

Nice cliffhanger. But tremendous splash page.

First off, look at how determined and fierce Kara looks. Again, the expression and body language here speaks volumes (just as the earlier panel did). But look at Supergirl's costume right now. I love long pointy sleeves on Supergirl so hurrah for that. But the big change is the lower part of the uniform, the part that I had the most problems with. Gone are the fussy angles of the edge. Gone is the 'panty shield' of the narrow red panel. Instead, the red panel is widened to look almost like shorts. Just lovely ... minor tweaks that improve this look 1000%.

I tweeted the team and asked how this came about and Emanuela Lupacchino responded.

I love it!

So great action and great story progression and great art.

I have to say that I am enjoying this new direction immensely so far. They have picked up all the character improvements of the year before and run with them, creating a very entertaining book chronicling a young hero. And, most importantly, they have kept a likeable and strong Supergirl in  the book. Gone is all the negativity. Instead we have a smart, powerful, inquisitive hero who wants to help. But she has that little bit of a passionate streak in her, that edge that makes her very reactive when she thinks someone she cares for is endangered.

Thanks to the entire creative team!

Overall grade: A

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sales Review: December 2014

December sales numbers have come out and are available over on ICv2. Here is the link:

Comics sales were a little slow last month. At the very least, DC did the world a favor by creating Darwyn Cooke variants and made them relatively easy to obtain. I bought mostly the Cooke variants last month. So while lovely, they basically didn't change my purchase pattern. The only book I bought both cover versions of was Supergirl.

Supergirl #37 was the second chapter of the Crucible arc by Mike Johnson and K. Perkins. We learned more about the school and Kara got involved. We also had the seeding of some subplots in the school. The art was completely lush by Emanuela Lupacchino.

And DC did a good job of promoting the book.

So how were sales.

Supergirl #37 came in as the 96th best selling title. The issue sold 26,272 issues down from last issue's 28,373. It is hard to know how much of last month's book was bolstered by the Lego cover variant which was not widely available.

Still, 26K is completely solid and still up from the trend at the beginning of the year.

I am very happy that this new direction is doing well.

I always try to pump the tires of a book that I am surprised to find underselling.

I really love the Captain Marvel  by Kelly Sue DeConnick. Carol Danvers is strong and independent. But she sometimes struggles with the events in her life. But I think she finds happiness where she can and continues to strive to improve. The last two issues in particular have been a treat.

So I am surprised to see it selling just under 20K. This is even a reboot/renumbering of the prior volume by DeConnick which started out selling like hotcakes with the new outlook, new uniform, new name, and Ed McGuinness covers taking the world by storm.

With a Captain Marvel movie (or is it movie appearance) around the corner, I can't imagine Marvel giving up on the property. But I still have to think the CarolCorps has to be more than 20K strong.

Folks should give it a try.