Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Day Off

Hey all,

Taking a blog day off to recharge the batteries after a tough work week including an overnight shift has made me both dazed and exhausted.

Should be back tomorrow with the usual fare!

Thanks for understanding!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

April 2018 Solicits

The DC solicits for April came out and there was one big surprise that has me smiling. Otherwise, we are pretty much in a stable mode for the super-books. Here is the link:

And I am pretty happy with the solicit information which means April will be a nice month!

On to the books.

Art and cover by ROBSON ROCHA
Variant cover by STANLEY “ARTGERM” LAU
Supergirl must fight both Mokkari and the out-of-dimension Viking Judge to save Director Bones from the fury of the Viking’s magical ax! Meanwhile, with Director Bones out of the picture, Cameron Chase and Lar-On must break into the D.E.O. to save Veritas before the clock counts down to zero and the psycho-redactor erases her memories forever! 

Sounds like an action packed issue. I like that Supergirl is out to save Director Bones. After all, he has been her nemesis since he joined the book. I don't know about the Viking Judge, so we'll see about that. And I am glad that Lar-On is still around!

Also, that Robson cover is all sorts of beautiful. Love the action, love the cast in the background.

Art and cover by DARIO BRIZUELA
Supergirl may be as invulnerable as her cousin, but even bulletproof skin can’t help her when she’s haunted by the ghosts of Krypton! Is it a hoax? A message from the Phantom Zone? It’s up to Scooby and the gang to find out…assuming that Scooby and Streaky the Super-Cat can set aside their cat-and-dog rivalry!

Here is the big surprise! I have loved Scooby-Doo Team-Up. I love Sholly Fisch. And you know I love Streaky! So this already makes me smile. But I wonder of the 'ghosts from Krypton' might be a take on Zor-El and Alura in the Survival Zone! Now that would be awesome!

Stories and art by an all-star lineup of top talent Retailers: This issue will ship with ten covers. Please see the order form for details. Celebrate 1000 issues of Action Comics with an all-star lineup of top talent as they pay tribute to the comic that started it all! From today’s explosive action to a previously unpublished tale illustrated by the legendary Curt Swan to the Man of Tomorrow’s future—this very special, oversized issue presents the best of the best in Superman stories!

• STEVE RUDE (1930s)
• MICHAEL CHO (1940s)
• DAVE GIBBONS (1950s)
• JIM STERANKO (1970s)
• DAN JURGENS (1990s)

Now that is one long solicit. Those are a lot of creators. And a lot of covers!
I suppose the big news is Brian Michael Bendis now working for DC. I guess the historic news is a 'new' Curt Swan story. And let's not bury the lede ... it's Action #1000!

I'll be there despite the $7.99 price tag.

• Art and cover by PATRICK GLEASON
• Variant cover by JONBOY MEYERS
Gathered together from the cosmic recesses of the universe are the most powerful forces of bad ever assembled! Now the Super Foes face the Legion of Fun—and the only heroes who dare to stand against this intergalactic threat of the Bizarroverse are Superman and son! 

• Art and cover by PATRICK GLEASON
• Variant cover by JONBOY MEYERS
“BOYZARRO RE-DEATH” finale! The challenge of the Bizarroverse continues as the Super Foes battle the Legion of Fun! As Superman and Son return to Hamilton for a quick recharge, they learn what the little town truly meant to them—and what they meant to the locals of the town.

How fantastic is that cover. A Bizarro Luthor with flowing locks? Brainiac with a dunce cap? Riddler with an exclamation mark? So much fun. And the classic 'two sides flying into a fight' is great too.

I'm totally ready for this arc. It looks like it will be an absolute hoot!

Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Variant cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN
“End of innocence” part one! Robin and Superboy have been to hell and back again, but this time their friendship must stand the ultimate test: the Amazo Project! Kid Amazo returns as the pieces of this deadly plan fall into place and reveal a secret that might tear apart Damian and Jon’s growing friendship.

I'm happy to see Carlo Barberi on art for the issue. We have seen the sons growing closer each issue. So this constant theme of them being 'torn apart' might grow old. We'll have to see how it is all handled.

• Cover by PHILIP TAN
• Variant cover by BERNARD CHANG
“SEAS OF CHANGE” part three! The saga of the Aqua-Man of North Korea crashes to a close! As the Justice League of China heads off an international incident on their shores, our heroes discover that sometimes villainy is only a matter of perspective—and reasoning with North Korea’s most menacing metahuman and his marine militia may be the only hope both countries have of survival!

I am very intrigued to see how this all plays out. This is the first arc with the JLC title. How long will this book have to stabilize or improve sales. Will it have one arc? Will we have the 'Final Issue' mark on the final part of this story?

• Art and cover by JOELLE JONES
Kara Danvers isn’t any different than any other teenager in her hometown. Problems with school. Problems with boys. Problems with friends. But while growing pains shake up Kara’s world, a series of earth-shaking events hits her hometown, leaving her with with the choice of blending in with the crowd or being different. Being an outcast. Being super. This reimagining of Supergirl will appeal to fans of all ages and readers new and old, as the Girl of Steel flies face-first into the struggles that every teenager faces. Collects SUPERGIRL: BEING SUPER #1-4.

I am glad this is being collected. I was worried that no trade really meant the book didn't sell any where near what DC wanted. The book never really clicked with me. I don't think I'll purchase the trade. But people should ... even if it is just for the lush Joelle Jones art.

So not a bad month.

Who's ready for the Scooby Doo book!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Back Issue Review: DC Comics Presents #43

Over on the Supergirl show, the Legion of Super-Heroes have traveled back in time and are (for now) stuck in the 21st century. When Reign attacks, the Legion are initially reluctant to join in the battle. After all, they shouldn't interfere with the timeline any more than they need to, if at all. Eventually, the team decides that they are heroes who help people regardless of the time they are in.

With that background, I decided that I should thumb through the back issue boxes to find a Legion story to showcase and what better issue than 1982's DC Comics Presents #43, an issue in which the Legion travels back in time to save the Earth in present day from a major threat. And while DCCP is a Superman team-up book, there is a Supergirl cameo which means this is the perfect book to cover here.

There are any number of bonus reasons to include this. Brainiac 5 is one of the Legionnaires, linking this again to the show. Wildfire, my favorite Legionnaire, is a big part of this story. Mongul is the villain, trapping Superman in one of his wonky shrinking cube traps! And, of course, it sports a Brian Bolland cover, one of Bolland's earliest DC works. I mean, that is one gorgeous cover! Bolland is incredible.

Superman and the Legion, together in the present, fighting Mongul and a sun-eater? Sounds like a winner to me! On to the book!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Review: Action Comics #996

Action Comics #996 came out this week, the next chapter in the Booster Shot arc and probably my favorite chapter to date. While there is one enormous foreshadow dropped into this issue that made me cringe, for the most part I liked what I read. This definitely veers into the timey-wimey nature of the DCU as the solution to the evil we see in this issue is to go back in time and make it never happen to begin with. My mind is just too awash with possible futures right now to keep it all straight.

I would be remiss if I didn't say that Lois is truly a co-star in this book, taking up half the pages as she goes on her side mission to save her father, and showcasing everything she has to offer. Whether it is brains or physicality or just networking, this is the Lois that fans like me have been craving to see. So kudos to writer Dan Jurgens for giving us this little slice of heaven.

I also would love to pick Jurgens brain to see just how much of pre-Flashpoint DC history has been melded into this post-Rebirth post-Reborn continuity. We saw that Our Worlds At War happened, as seen in Supergirl. Is War of the Supermen also back in?

The art on the issue is done by Will Conrad and he brings a precise nature to the proceedings which work well. Whether it is an alien world, or the back of a cargo plane, or the dimly lit streets of a Logamba, his stuff really sparkles.

On to the book!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Perkins Superwoman Interview

I have been lamenting the recent cancellation of Superwoman, a book filled with potential starring Lana Lang. In particular, after the murky opening arc,  I definitely enjoyed Perkins run as writer on the title and the big themes and messages she brought to the book.

Before the book became too distant in the rear view mirror, I reached out to Perkins with a few questions and she was kind enough to answer. So enjoy a little peek behind the curtain of Superwoman!

1) You took over Superwoman after her initial story arc and at a time when the Superman histories (both Convergence and New 52) were being rewritten and melded together. What were the challenges heading into the book? Given the lack of established history, were you given a sort of carte blanche? Or were there guidelines?

There was certainly a lot to keep track of when I was going into my run on Superwoman. As the new writer, I wanted to honor all that was done before me while adding to the history via creating a new status quo. There are always guidelines to work within, but I had awesome editors who were stoked to hear my ideas and were encouraging of my focus on building out more of Lana Lang and her world.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Supergirl Episode 311: Fort Rozz

Supergirl episode 311, titled 'Fort Rozz' came out this week and was an excellent mix of plot progression, character development, and continuity. I have been very impressed with the show leaning into the overall theme of Kara reclaiming and embracing her humanity as this season progresses. Here we see that again in full force. I love it. But for me, the best thing about this episode was how much it leaned into the show's history. I love it.

The overall plot is Kara heading to Fort Rozz in space to gather information about Reign. She'll be powerless and so needs to call on former enemies for aid. Of course, Reign is a killer and so Supergirl hopes that the enemies of her enemy will remain her friends, regardless of the past. In essence, she is calling on their humanity (there's that word again) leading to someone making an ultimate heroic sacrifice.

Fort Rozz was a key point in season one, so hearing about it again was a great callback. And bringing back Livewire and Psi to be Supergirl's squad was a great touch. Livewire's character actually has grown over the three seasons and that dedication to the supporting cast is one of the things I love about the show.

But it is Yael Grobglas' performance as Psi which shines the most. From tiny physical affectations to haughty villain lines, she steals the show.

The episode isn't perfect. Some plot points seem a little contrived. Brainiac 5 is really obnoxious in this episode, dimming the awkward chemistry I liked so much from last episode. And a Alex/Ruby subplot, while having a couple of nice moments, seemed a little needless and forced.

On to the show.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Sales Review: December 2017

The sales numbers for December 2017 were released recently and as usual ICv2 does a great job with coverage. Here is that link:

As usual, the numbers spell gloom and doom for the print media. But we'll ignore that for now. The death of the comics business is like the death of Hyman Roth in The Godfather Part II, something we have heard about for years. Remember? "He's been dying of the same heart attack for the last 20 years."

Anyways, on to some specifics.

Supergirl #16 was released last month and continued the new invigoration of the title with Kara in school and on the run from the DEO. Despite that, she continues to be the hero.

And, as usual, the book sported a beautiful Artgerm variant.

For whatever reason, whether a new focus or new covers, the book has been selling well these last few months. So did that trend continue?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Review: Super Sons #12

Super Sons #12 came out last week, the final part of the Super Sons of Tomorrow. To be honest, I am muddled in my thoughts about this storyline. I feel like I should like it. And maybe taking a big step back and thinking about the main themes of the story, I do. But a lot of the details that moved this story along seem off to me.

Writers Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason basically use this issue as an epilogue of sorts, looking at the fallout of the prior chapters, seeing how these events affected the characters involved. In that way, this issue is fascinating. It is an in-depth look at how fragile some of these heroic relationships can be. And I suppose this story gave us back Cassie, Conner, and Bart ... at least briefly.

But we also got another warped future version of a character I very much like. Tim Drake as the addled 'Savior' is not an idea I can easily get behind. Seeing him want to kill a future Superboy because Jon kills a bunch of people is not an idea I can get behind. The fact that Jon has a Solar Flare is not an idea I like at all. Seeing Tim Drake somehow absorb that energy, gaining access to Hypertime and not being incinerated is odd. So the devil sometimes is in the details. Those were the foundation blocks of the arc.

What I can get behind is Tyler Kirkham on art. Kirkham's work just crackles for me. He has been something of a pinch hitter on a number of books I read in the past and has worked on the Super-books more recently. I wish he would just get a monthly book because his stuff is gorgeous.

On to the book.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Review: Superman #39

Superman #39 came out this week and was a heartwarming issue, a wonderful little human delight in the midst of the comic world. Since Rebirth, writers Patrick Gleason and Peter Tomasi (for the most part) have brought us a kinder, more inspirational, more down-to-Earth Superman. Issues like this one definitely fit that mold.

In many ways, this felt like the occasional Christmas issue we used to get with Superman, an annual issue where we saw Superman struck by the holiday spirit and spending an issue helping the common citizen as opposed to staring down galactic threats. Here, Superman enlists his JLA friends to give a number of pediatric cancer patients a day to remember. It might sound schmaltzy but for me, these things work. While I enjoy universal punch-em-ups as much as the next guy, I want my heroes to be linked ... to care for ... the average working person.

After the Mr. Oz issues and the battle on Apokolips, this was a pause to take a breath and remind me who Superman is and what he stands for.

The art on this issue is done by a favorite of mine Barry Kitson. His low-key style works very well for such a personal story. I don't need hyper-stylized art here. Kitson brings it here. The kids look like kids. The pages flow well. And our heroes look great.

This is one of those issues I think I need to buy multiple copies of, specifically to give to non-comic people I work with. On to the book.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Review: New Super-Man #19

New Super-Man #19 came out last week, a rest issue as the title reconfigures into the New Super-Man and the Justice League of China title. Last issue tied up all the loose plot threads of All-Yang and I Ching and the Ministry of Self-Reliance. So why not take a moment and give us a rest issue focused on a supporting cast member.

Writer Gene Luen Yang steps aside for Mariko Tamaki to pen the book. Tamaki wrote the Supergirl Being Super mini-series and is known for her YA writing. So why not let her build up the back story of the Lois Lane analogue in the book Laney Lan. I haven't thought too much about Lan before this, thinking she was as much an entertainer as a reporter, giving us fluff pieces. Here we see she has much more behind that slick exterior. If I have a quibble it is that this story takes place long ago in continuity. She has a secret she is keeping from Kenan. But it is a secret he has already learned. As a result, there sort of wasn't a 'ka-pow' moment.

The art is by Brent Peeples, the new regular artist on the book. As usual, his work is fine, solid story-telling. I wish there was more zest or zing to this book which is supposed to be overflowing with youthful energy.

Next issue is a bold, new direction. Let's hope it picks up right where the old book left off.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Supergirl Episode 310: Legion of Super-Heroes

Supergirl episode #310, titled 'Legion of Super-Heroes', aired last night and was an extremely entertaining episode, the perfect way to kick off the back half of the season. The midseason finale ended with Supergirl battered and defeated at the hands of Reign, beaten down when Supergirl took her sister's advice to be cold and alien.

But Nietzsche said it best when he said 'battle not monsters lest ye become a monster'. This Supergirl has been struggling with being human, with being emotionally vulnerable, with being Kara this whole season. But the answer was never going to be to match brute, unfeeling force. It was always going to be winning through empathy and humanity. And this episode does a near perfect job of illustrating that ... while also dropping in a Supergirl continuity bomb that has long standing fans purring with happiness.

The episode also was Legion heavy as well. Supergirl and the Legion are as close to peanut butter and jelly as you can get, two great things which are even greater together. And the writers lean into the Legion history pretty hard, name dropping planets and Legionnaires, giving us familiar tech, and showing just how powerful a Legion team can be. (If only DC Comics felt the same!)

Another real draw here was Brainiac 5, a character with major comic history with Kara. I was one of the people who really bashed the way the character looked in preview pictures. And I have to admit, this wild-haired, blue/purple looking Brainy isn't what I would have designed. But the performance by Jesse Nath was pitch perfect, the mix of hyper-intelligent, shy, awkward Querl who is smitten with Kara. His performance sold me, so much I looked past the odd makeup.

And lastly, all this wouldn't work without the evil of Reign. Odette Anabelle is crushing it as the caring mother/malicious judge combo. Now she isn't alone. She gains an ally this episode, showing long term story thinking by the writers, and we hear that maybe there are more World Killers out there, something very true in the comics.

Long intro I know. But excellent episodes get more commentary. Onto the details!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Review: Superwoman #18

Superwoman #18 came out last week, the last issue in the series. I am sad to see it go. I am surprised it lasted this long.

This book has been buffeted about this last year and a half. There was outrage when the book, apparently pitched as a Super-Lois book, turned out to be a Super-Lana book. The opening story arc was muddled, cluttered, and ultimately confusing. Then the entire continuity the series was built on, that Lana received her powers from the explosion of a dying Superman, was swept away with Superman Reborn.

DC made a good move bringing writer K. Perkins onto the book to try to right the ship. There was a ton of improvements in the book. Lana still struggled with insecurity but was clearly a hero. She had a squad with her of Natasha Irons, Terri Thirteen, and Maxima! And we had Supergirl come by. At times it seemed like Lana was the only hero in Metropolis. Those high points buoyed my interest in the series.

Despite that, I still don't know if I quite understand Superwoman's origins in this post-Reborn DCU. Seriously, I'm confused. How could she have been given powers if that Superman didn't explode? It seemed like Perkins was going to explore that giving us issues where Lana disproved her powers being tech-based, seemed to learn they were Red K based, and then fell back to the Super-energy based answer.  And, to make matters worse, I only have the vaguest of notions of Superwoman's powers. I know they are energy-based. That's about it.

Given the shaky foundation, I'm not surprised sales tumbled. It would be hard enough to recover from the clunky opener and new continuity!

And yet, as I said, I am sad to see this book go. And I can lay all that at the feet of Perkins who just made this book entertaining to read even if I didn't quite follow everything. I'll miss this Lana's voice, and Maxima, and that team.

The art on this issue is by Max Raynor, someone who I have never seen before. There is a sort of Otto Schmidt/John Timms leanness to the art which is very good. And that variant cover by Emanuela Lupacchino certainly has a funereal but hopeful feel.

Be prepared to be confused ... or maybe be prepared to explain stuff to me! On to the book.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Review: Action Comics #995

I've been a bit of a curmudgeon lately with my reviews of the Booster Shot arc here in Action Comics. I am not a big fan of Booster. I am not a big fan of 'time traveling to Krypton' arcs. And I don't know if Superman debating changing history by allowing Krypton to not explode sits well with me. Add all that up and I just haven't been enjoying this book as much as I had been. I mean, even the splash page of a possible future El Family on Krypton didn't grab me!

Action Comics #995 was, for me, the best issue of the arc. The primary reason is that I got a deeper dive into Booster's character, giving me a touch more appreciation for who he is. From his internal monologues where he seems more unsure of himself than his outer demeanor, to Skeets giving Superman a recap of Booster's origins, to Superman realizing that his life with the Kents was extremely impactful, Booster seems brighter and more relatable after this issue.

I also like Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund as an art team and they bring a very polished style to the story here. The action stuff here really crackles!

My two complaints? There was so much Booster stuff in this that in some ways it felt like a backdoor pilot for a solo Gold title. And I don't know if the 'splinter' time line with a surviving Krypton is still moving forward or not.

On to the book.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Review: Supergirl #17

Supergirl #17 came out this week, another chapter in this current arc of a Supergirl on the run from the DEO. Despite the danger to herself and warnings from her parents, this Kara continues to put herself out there fighting threats sent out as bait. But this Supergirl knows that with great power comes great responsibility.

Writers Steve Orlando and Jody Houser continue to craft a very solid book with a powerful and inspirational Supergirl and that makes me happy. Since Rebirth, we have seen a Kara who has put the welfare of others first, refusing to let others suffer loss. It isn't just punching. It is emotional support. It is trying to talk through a problem before bashing. And it is great. If you remember this Kara's negativity and selfishness in H'El on Earth, you'll realize how great it is. Thankfully, Orlando and Houser are building on what Tony Bedard and K. Perkins did.

What impresses me about this particular issue is how Orlando and Houser use other characters as foils, showing different paths and different viewpoints to emphasize Kara's actions. For example, Starshame is a sort of Supergirl 'gone wrong'. That contrast adds weight to the story.

Plus, we finally have a supporting cast with supporting cast plotlines. This is a pretty fleshed out book right now.

The art continues to glitter on the book as well. From Artgerm's cover of Supergirl helping a toddler cross the road to the Robson Rocha Carrie-esque main cover, the book pops on the rack. And the internal art by Rocha and Daniel Henriques is gorgeously intricate in its detail. As always, the expressive work adds to the emotion of the story. The back three pages are by Julio Ferreira whose style jibes nicely with Rocha's.

On to the book.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Artgerm Variant Supergirl #18 - Daring New Adventures #1 Homage

It is a little old but the Artgerm variant for Supergirl #18 was revealed last week. And it is a retro look at the Girl of Steel, right back to her holter top, choker, and hot pants costume. And it is a 'second later' cover, building off of the Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1 iconic cover.

There is almost too much to love. From the Supergirl title font to the painted appearance of the Chicago skyscape, even the 'weathered' appearance making it look like an old comic ... the details are fantastic.

And then there is Kara herself. Look, Artgerm is a good girl artist. So there is cheesecake here. But Kara looks so beautiful and happy here. She seems confident, with her clenched fists and arms cocked ready for action. Plus, those cascading locks! It is all gorgeous.

Now listen, this isn't the current Kara. This isn't the 16 year old in high school This is the DNAOS Supergirl, a woman in her mid 20s. She looks like that.

And as many know, I have been appreciating this costume more and more lately.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

CW Seed: The Ray

The midseason hiatus of Supergirl is nearly over which means Wednesdays will get show reviews back.

With that nearly here, I thought I'd do a quick bullet review of the CWSeed miniseries The Ray which provided some backstory to Earth X and Overgirl.

I think the best thing I can say about this is 'uneven'. It is interesting to see this evil Kara again (once again voiced by Melissa Benoist). I like the additions of the Freedom Fighters as that leans into DC history a bit. I like seeing the origin of the Earth-1 Ray. And the animation is solid.

But the plot here doesn't seamlessly jibe with the Crisis on Earth-X episodes. And that made this feel a little wonky to me.

It is still pretty chilling to see Supergirl in this Nazi uniform. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

March 2018 Solicits

The holidays and 'best of' lists and other stuff has really delayed some of the usual monthly posts I schedule here. Last month's solicits are almost a month old. So I figured better late than never. So here are March's solicits. Feel free to look back and find other sites who posted them all.

Variant cover by STANLEY “ARTGERM” LAU
 In his search to write a CatCo piece on the truth about Supergirl, Ben Rubel interviews a young kid named Lee Serano, who recently became friends with the Girl of Steel. As Lee struggles with their parents and bullies at school for acceptance as non-binary, Supergirl is caught between punching her way through the problem and standing beside Lee as a symbol of hope.

New co-writer.
New artist.
Socially relevant topic.

Hoping this side story doesn't derail the momentum of the plots building in the book. Hoping this is story first. Orlando has tweeted how much he loves this issue so I am expecting something important and wonderful.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Review: Superman #38

Superman #38, the fourth part of the Super Sons of Tomorrow story line, came out last week and was fast moving, if somewhat inscrutable, chapter in this arc. This might be a Superman book but he is barely in the issue. Instead, this is a chapter in a multi-title arc. This will read normally inside a trade, less so for the fan who wants to read just the adventures of the Man of Steel.

Writers Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason have a great feel for Jon and Damian and much of this chapter revolves around those two characters. This would be a great issue of Super Sons. But there is a lot of this plot that I either simply have to accept. So much of this could be chalked up to 'because comic books'. And some of it is clear that reasons to get characters all in the same place at the same time means some weird events and motivations need to happen. And, of course, it all stems from the plot of a future Tim Drake wanting to rewrite history, a story which besmirches his character. 

The artist on the book is Sergio Davila who has a style akin to Jorge Jimenez. Despite running through several books, the stories look similar enough to make me feel it will be a smooth read in the trade.

On to the book.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Review: Superboy And The Legion of Super-Heroes #255

Hey all!

A snow-pocalypse has slightly altered the schedule of the blog so my review of Superman #38 has been delayed  from today into next week. As a result, please enjoy this look back at Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #255.

I have been looking for a Legion book to review on this site for a bit. Most know I love the Legion and I have been waiting for the team to get a proper reboot in the Rebirth era.

And given my recent lamenting of the 'going back in time to visit Krypton' storyline in Action Comics these days, this issue seemed like a quirky little book to go to for a review. There isn't any Supergirl in this post. But not only do you get a visit to Krypton and the El family before the planet blows up, you get plenty of angsty teenage Clark. As a bonus, you get Shrinking Violet in her mod green jumpsuit! What's not to love?

This is a near-perfect example of a Bronze Age done in one story, zipping through any number of plot points with startling alacrity. And this book starts more like a Superboy solo book than a Legion tale. It takes a while for everything to mesh. But once it does, it is a wild ride.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sales Review: November 2017

With the New Year celebrations behind us, it is time for me to pick up all the news I haven't been able to cover in a timely fashion.

The sales numbers for November came out nearly a month ago and the news for Supergirl continues to flourish. In fact, it amazes me how much better her book has been selling in the last several months, a sharp uptick. Between Artgerm variants, Robson Rocha on art, and a new, better defined path for the book, things are looking up.

To view all the sales numbers, head to ICv2, here:

Supergirl #15 continued the arc of Supergirl on the run from the DEO. I love how the cover is basically a propaganda poster for the DEO, painting Supergirl as a scary figure that needs to be reported. It is such an interesting take on 'Dark Supergirl' give we saw so many 'angry Kara' covers in past incarnations.

So how did it sell?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Review: Teen Titans #15

Super Sons of Tomorrow Part Three took place in Teen Titans #15, giving me the opportunity to look at this book, albeit through the familiar creative names of Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Jorge Jimenez. Ed Benes also does some heavy lifting on art, putting together a book which very much reads and feels like a Superman book.

The book does a good job of moving the plot forward. The fathers aren't around. The sons show they are truly friends and allies now. And the Titans are split over how to handle the potential threats of Tim Drake and Jon. This is what a middle chapter should do, move things forward as well as add new elements. As a result, from a story progression viewpoint I'm pretty happy.

From an actual story point of view, this book had its ups and downs. Starfire's strength, Damien's concern, and Jon's wisdom all stand out as high points. In the end the positives outweigh the problems.

The art on the book is very good. Benes is pretty restrained for what I am used to for his art. Jimenez is his usual solid stylized self. And this cover by Francis Manapul is a winner, showing the two teams. Love this cover.

And onto the book.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Review: Action Comics #994

Action Comics #994 came out last week, the second part of 'Booster Shot' by writer/artist Dan Jurgens. And it is another chapter of timeline hijinks as Superman tries to figure out how Jor-El became Mr. Oz. As I said when reviewing last issue, the concept of Superman going back to Krypton before its destruction isn't a favorite trope of mine. And Booster Gold isn't a favorite of mine. So as a result, I am trying to see the positive in this arc despite my disinterest in the foundation of the plot.

There is a lot of timey-wimey stuff here. I actually muttered 'pocket universe??' under my breath at one point. And that always makes me cringe a bit. In particular, this issue has Superman actually wonder 'what if' things were radically changed in the timeline, a question I think maybe he would have moved beyond by now. Still, that quick peek into a possible past was intriguing.

One underlying theme here is dealing with fathers. The Lois subplot with her father does have an interesting wrinkle.

And the art here is pure Jurgens with inks by Art Thibert. It has a classic feel to it, very reminiscent of the 90s.

On to the book.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year Mike Maihack Style

Happy New Year!

Before the glow of the holidays completely fades away, I thought I would share (albeit late) Mike Maiahack's Supergirl/Batgirl Christmas comic. These strips have become something of a tradition around here. And with each one, I always hope that somehow DC will hire Maihack for something and allow him to publish an all ages book.

Usually these comics have an overly powered and overly cheery acting as the comic foil to the comic 'straight man' of Batgirl. But this time the table are turned a bit.

This time Batgirl won't be caught by surprise and instead hopes to prance away to a sunny vacation. I love that third panel Batgirl stripping into a bat-one-piece bathing suit and vaulting onto the beach. It is a rare moment of levity for the usually dour Babs.

And I love ...and I mean love ... the bathing cap/cowl with the little ears.

Unfortunately the beach has been turned into a 'Winter Wonderland' by the Mad Hatter. Even Kara (dressed in her holiday striped tights) is trapped.

For once, Babs gets to save the day. I love how cheery it makes her to finally get to be the action hero in her own strip.

And the last panel with Kara warming up with cocoa is priceless.

As usual, Maihack hits all the right tones in this little comic. I suggest you head out and look for all his prior World's Finest strips.

And please visit his sites and check out his Cleopatra in Space comic! Here are some links!

Happy 2018 everyone!