Thursday, December 30, 2021

Supergirl 2021: A Year In Review & Best Of Comic Moments #5 - #1


For many reasons I can say that I am thankful that 2021 is coming to an end. This has been a more trying year in my life.

I can also say as a fan of Supergirl, this has been a trying year for me as well. I have not always agreed with the creative directions that DC has chosen for the characters. In fact, looking back at 2020, I'm not sure I liked the creative directions then. At some point will I no longer be able to say I am a current Supergirl fan?

Yesterday, I began my 2021 Year in Review for the character, including the back end of my top ten comic moments. Today I will finish that list.

One thing that I didn't mention specifically yesterday is the double edged sword of Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow. Writer Tom King is a hot commodity these days. His work on Batman, Rorschach, and Mister Miracle have been lauded. I haven't heard as much praise for Strange Adventures and Batman/Catwoman. But he is a top name in the industry right now and his books sell well. So having his name attached to Supergirl is a good thing in that he will bring new readers to the character. Of course, the downside to that this vision of Kara as a complete emotional wreck whose life is one of eternal spiritual turmoil will probably 'stick' for a bit. If you like that, great. If like me you don't, it means some harm has been done to the character.

On to the top moments of 2021.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Supergirl 2021: A Year In Review & Best Of Comic Moments #10-#6


I have been running this site now for over 13 years. And each year I put together a year in review series of posts including the ten best moments for Supergirl in comics over the year. 

I am a huge fan of Supergirl. But I understand I have a particular vision of who Supergirl is and what she represents. So I will say up front, this has been a tough year for me as a fan, particularly with how she has been presented in the comics. Luckily we get some moments in Phillip Kennedy Johnson's Action Comics run that are wonderful.

Today I will review some non-comic stuff as well as start my top ten comic moments from comics. But to be honest, I really had to look to find 10.

On to the review.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Review: Son Of Superman; Part 3


I begin the last week of 2021 by completing my review of the 1991 Elseworld's OGN Son of Superman.  As I have said before, I find it interesting that 30 years ago, a Jon Kent, left-leaning and politically active, picks up the mantle of Superman. That story is playing out in comics now. 

This was a 100 page giant so the review was split in three, Part 1 and Part 2 are up earlier this month.

The thing is after rereading this, I wonder if this should have been something more. Who knows if DC was interested in trying a longer mini-series back in 1991. But some of the bigger topics here - the differences between Jon and Clark's views of the world, the role of media and influence, a corporate run America - they're all just scratched at here. I would have liked to read more.

But give writers Howard Chaykin and Dave Tischman some credit here. They sprint to the finish line but in an impressive way. They introduce a lot of concepts and character beats here so most of the characters feel fully formed. If I want more, that is a good sign.

The art is detailed and slick by JH Williams. I like his take on Jon's costume and the new-look JLA suits. The action is energetic. And the page layouts are innovative and engaging.

Hope you liked this book as much as I liked reviewing it.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Supergirl Show 620: Kara


On November 9th of this year, the last episode of Supergirl aired, episode 620, titled 'Kara'.

Here we are 7 weeks later and I am just getting around to reviewing it.

Why has it taken so long?

Well, I will admit that these last two months of my life has been about as hectic as my life has ever been.

Also, I have been trying to figure out how to review this episode which stands as both the season finale and the show finale.

In the end, I am probably more forgiving of this episode than I should be, particularly the end of the Nyxly/Lex story because it is the end of the show.

One thing that I think is thought provoking about this episode is the theme that Kara has felt weighed down with having to defend the entire world. She wants to empower and inspire people to be their own hero (good idea). She wants to lead a full life for herself (also a good idea). 

But it makes it sound like she finds being Supergirl a burden. It is hard for me to feel like she has felt that weight given she is one of 7 heroes on this one show! Plus there is Superman, Flash, and the Legends. But okay, maybe it is being the 'premier' hero that weighs on her. And I also think while it is great to empower people this way, I don't know if she can feel less pressure because people are stepping up if the world is facing a threat like the Anti-Monitor.

I suppose one of the central themes of this entire show has been discovering who you are, accepting yourself, accepting others, and thriving. So I suppose this final idea hammers it home. I just wish we had one more season (or even a half season) to explore this new reality of Kara.

Lastly, I am glad the show runners and writers made sure to stuff this finale with cameos and history,

I am sad to see this show go. Melissa Benoist captured Kara perfectly. She will be missed.

On to the details.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas 2021

Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate! After a rough stretch at work, I have several days off around the holidays and that makes me happy! I hope everyone can celebrate a little.

And what better early gift than the annual Supergirl/Batgirl holiday strip by artist Mike Maihack. 

I have gushed about these strips before. They are too cute, too funny, too adorable. 

I love how Supergirl is always cheery, bright, and energetic. I love how Batgirl is always trying to be serious but is often stymied by Supergirl being extra.\

Here they are garbed in the most holiday-based variants of costumes. But, as always, it just isn't enough for Kara. She has to decorate the Babs-tree. 

The banter is wonderful. Their friendship is undeniable.

This is always a palate cleanser and given the current take on Supergirl, it is much needed.

I always appreciate what Maihack does for the holidays. 

But wait! There's more!

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Review: Supergirl Woman Of Tomorrow #6


With the Christmas Holiday looming, I decided to get this review out quickly. So welcome to the review of Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow #6 by writer Tom King, artist Bilquis Evely, and colorist Mateus Lopes. 

To be frank, I have not liked the story in this series. While the art is spectacular, the crass, drunken, utterly despondent Kara is not the sort of Supergirl I want to read. The overly verbose Ruthye has dominated the page and much of the plot making this a 'sort of' Supergirl book. This relentless misery isn't what I traditionally look for in a Supergirl book.

But credit where credit is due. This issue is the best of the series so far. It showcases a strong and resilient Kara who has lived through such trauma it is incredible she is even walking. And yet, here she is. 

That doesn't mean that I don't have some serious issues with it. 

King has clearly read Supergirl back issues. In this issue he brings Comet back. But while the super-horse serves a purpose in the plot, King doesn't give us much to work with here. It feels like prolonged fan service, like him putting flame wings in a prior issue.

Moreover, King has read the Supergirl origin stories in the past. He gives us her origin here. The problem is this is King's version of Kara's origin. King thrives on having his characters have PTSD, having witnessed trauma and having them suffer. For Supergirl, King picks and chooses the worst parts of her history and forces her into the middle of the events. But this is the first time any of this happens the way King says it does. That means he changed her origin to make it more traumatic for no other reason than to amp up the violence and death she has seen. I'll explain more in the issue review itself. But having King reconfigure the origin to serve his purpose of darkening Kara's story seems self-serving. Her origin was traumatic enough. 

As always, I have little bad to say about the work Evely and Lopes bring here. The issue is a cosmic horse race intermixed with flashbacks of the dying Krypton. Evely and Lopes make it all just powerful to witness.

On to the book.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Back Issue Box: Son Of Superman; Part 2



Last week I presented the first part of Son of Superman, an Elseworlds super-sized trade from 1991.

I bought this off the shelf but haven't read it in forever so it has felt very new to me. In fact, I specifically split the book into thirds and have each section separately. So I haven't finished it yet! It will all be a surprise. 

I decided to review this Chaykin, Tischman, William, Loughridge product because it echoed what is happening in comics now. In it, Jon Kent, the son of Superman, has taken on the mantle and is much more of a social conscious here than his father. 

Chaykin and Tischman never shied away from controversy or pushing boundaries. Chaykin in particular writes complicated characters. No one here comes across as completely pure. So seeing Jon skew left and even linking himself to some questionable characters is no surprise. Having Superman skew a little right is no surprise either.

What is interesting is how the writers make lots of other characters be varying shades of gray for the political sides operating on Earth in this 'future world' from 1991.

JH Williams art is gorgeous throughout. Again, this is a mix of moments of personal reflection as well as high action. Williams brings it all together beautifully. There is one scene with the Justice League that really shines. 

On to the middle section of the book. It is interesting to me that this 100 page story has very obvious story breaks on page 33 and 66, making this breakdown easy for me. But almost too easy ... I wonder if this was meant to be a 3 issue mini-series instead of being packaged like this.

Monday, December 20, 2021

DC March 2022 Solicitations

The DC solicitations for March 2022 came out last week. 

To peruse all the listings you can head here, the Newsarama coverage:
https://www.gamesradar.com/dc-comics-march-2022-solicitations/

Let's not bury the lede. There is no Supergirl to be found. It will be interesting to see if there is any return for Kara in the near future. Who knows how Tom King's mini-series will end. But that story has Kara aged and off-world and miserable. It is doubtful she will show up in Action to help Kal or in Superman to help Jon given that send-off. 

Now there is a new title on the shelves this month which looks like it will be a lot of fun so my pull list will grow slightly. And there is the Legion book. But otherwise, DC's reliance on Batman books and new Earth-3 mini-event aren't grabbing me.

Let's get to the books!

ACTION COMICS #1041
Written by PHILLIP KENNEDY JOHNSON and SHAWN ALDRIDGE
Art and cover by RICCARDO FEDERICI and ADRIANA MELO
Cover by DANIEL SAMPERE and ALEJANDRO SÁNCHEZ

REMATCH! Superman puts what he's learned on Warworld to the test as he faces Mongul's unstoppable, reanimated warrior known as the Unmade. But it may be too late for Mongul to salvage his empire before an ancient prophecy is fulfilled. One of Superman's inner circle will fall, another will be resurrected at a terrible cost, and the Authority's traitor will be revealed in the conclusion to part one of the Warworld Saga!


I have been loving this title so far. This solicit sounds great. I am going to assume that it is Apollo who is resurrected. I hope Natasha doesn't die. And who is the traitor? Enchantress might be the easy guess but I am going with Lightray.

Nice cover too. The S-shield made from chains is great.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Back Issue Box: Son Of Superman; Part 1


It's been a while since I combed the back issue box to review an issue which echoes current books.

With Jon currently acting as Superman in his own title, Superman Son of Kal-El, I thought it would be interesting to look at Son of Superman, an Elseworlds from 1999. 1999! This is a story where Jon Kent, son of Clark and Lois, becomes Superman and decides to fight for social justice! Sound familiar?

This Elseworlds one-shot was written by Howard Chaykin and David Tischman. These two collaborated a lot in the late 90's so no surprise to see both names here. But this is clearly a Chaykin book. Now I understand that Chaykin is an acquired taste but I love his books. The plots are intelligent and complicated. (Yes, they occasionally wallow in sleaze but not here.) Chaykin's politics skew left but he also understands that neither political side are 100% perfect. We see that here. There is also a sort of Frank Miller style of story-telling here with frequent plot advancement made by news reports, many seeming more like entertainment reports. 

The art is luscious by J.H. Williams. As this is set in the future, Williams gets to give us some updated costumes and fashions. I have always been a fan of his work. Really beautiful stuff.

Finally, even though this was a one-shot, it was a thick 100 pages. So I'll be covering this in three parts. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Review: World Of Krypton #1


World of Krypton #1
came out last week and was a wonderfully unexpected holiday present. I didn't know I wanted this. I wasn't sure I'd like it. But let me tell you, this first issue was a winner. 

I am a middle-aged man who has been reading comics for more than 40 years. I have read many versions of Krypton's history. I have even read prior mini-series called World of Krypton. Was I ready to hear another take? And remember, Brian Michael Bendis even rewrote some of this just a couple of years ago, shoving Rogol Zaar into the mix.

I shouldn't be surprised that writer Robert Venditti just nails it. I have liked all the stuff I have read of his. The Superman '78 book is a joy. His take on Krypton's history feels classic and fresh at the same time. How wonderful to see Jor and Zor friendly with each other again. I have one of those nagging 'Anj mystery' feelings about something happening here. And I get the sense this might be the best recent interpretation of Kara in a long time.

Michael Avon Oeming is on art. He has a style which works for me even if I know he is an acquired taste. I like how his Krypton feels like Byrne's aesthetic albeit with a bit more flair. His take on the Kryptonian landscape is slick. And the action plays out very well.

No complaints here. None. 

On to the book.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Review: Superman Son Of Kal-El Annual 2021


Superman Son of Kal-El Annual 2021 came out this week and was a very entertaining read. We know that Jon has picked up the mantle of Superman. That means he probably is going to have to deal with his father's rogues. And no one is higher on the totem pole than Lex Luthor.

One of the things that I have been struggling with regarding this comic is the injection of real life social issues into the stories and the rather easy way that writer Tom Taylor has been dealing with them. There has only been superficial looks at complex issues. This issue also tangentially touches on a world crisis and the story-telling approach is different. More on that later.

But the bulk of the issue is looking at Lex. We see Luthor's relationship and interactions with Clark. And then we get the first interaction with Jon. Moreover, we see just how different Jon's dealings with Lex are from his father's. This would be something I would love to read every month. One thing I loved about the old Super Sons book was the contrast between Jon and Damian. Why not explore how Jon is different from his father when dealing with other heroes, villains, and the world.

The art is split by Clayton Henry and Steve Pugh. Henry covers a flashback that shows Kal dealing with Lex. The art is bold and vibrant and bigger than life. It works for the story. Pugh's work is more fine-lined and refined. I do like his take on Jon who looks young here.

Overall a fun read. On to the specifics.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Review: Dark Knights Of Steel #2


Dark Knights of Steel #2 came out this week and was another wild issue pushing the plot forward at breakneck speed and adding a mystery for me to contemplate. This is a 12 issue mini-series but last issue we had the death of Jor-El and this issue we have another assassination. Can this pace be kept up for the whole story? I can only hope.

Writer Tom Taylor really shines here as I have a solid feeling for this world and these characters already. It is hard to bring that sort of depth so quickly. Yes, we 'know' who these characters are but they are also very new. I also appreciate that Taylor is able to bring some echoes of classic DC history into these new proceedings. I won't bury the lede ... there is a sort of Supergirl analogue here. But once again Kara (or here Zala) isn't shown in the kindest light. 

Yasmine Putri brings a lushness to the art here. From medieval action to the drama of the court to dungeons, the work really shines. Things are moody and have the feeling of being torchlit with the colors of Asif Priento. The whole book has the feel of tapestries and oils. 

Two issues in and I am pretty engaged. On to the details.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Back Issue Box: Super Friends #31

Welcome to another segment in my look at Black Orchid and the fan theory that she was Supergirl in disguise. While I haven't  been able to discover the origins (or even the publication) of this theory, I have found it intriguing. 

So far I looked at the original story where Orchid purportedly used X-rays to reprogram a computer. Next I looked at her Who's Who page where the use of X-rays was swept away as hyperbole.

Today I look at Super Friends #31. While Super Friends has never been considered in continuity, writer E. Nelson Bridwell was a continuity wonk and often wove elements of DC history into his story. No big surprise, Bridwell beings in some Black Orchid continuity into this story and definitely touches on the rumor I am exploring. The cover screams it! Orchid is weakened by Kryptonite. But why is Superman unaffected?

Ramona Fradon brings her clean style to the proceedings. While her Orchid isn't as exotic as the original stories or the Phantom Stranger backgrounds, there is a certain elegance. 

As for the ultimate answer to the rumor, this issue might answer it ... if you think Super Friends is in continuity. 

On to the details!

Friday, December 3, 2021

Review: Action Comics #1037


Action Comics #1037 came out this week and was the epitome of the title's name. This was all action. And I ate it up with a spoon. There are few comics which leave me in a pulse-pounding, 'what the heck', giddy mood. This was one of them.

So first off, I have to give kudos to writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson. There is the old chestnut about how creators shouldn't give the audience what they want, they should give the audience what they need. When this whole storyline was just being hinted at, I lamented the idea of Superman being off world for a long period of time. That isn't what I wanted. Now, as this whole Warworld saga unfolds, I realize that this is one of the strongest arcs I have read in a while. I didn't want it but I definitely need it. 

Superman and his new Authority arrive on Warworld to find that the new Mongul and his squad are prepared and ready. That leads to some moments that left me gobsmacked. On top of that, there is a new subplot involving the new United Planets that is a wonderful side angle that intrigues me. How can Superman even survive this issue?

Miguel Mendonca is on art for the issue and brings high energy to the whole proceeding. There are some brutal, gory images in this, perfect for an issue which takes place on something called Warworld and visually shows us what the stakes are. Add to that the hazy, bloody tones of  Adriano Lucas and the whole book sings.

Hope you all aren't missing out on this. On to the details.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Supergirl Show 619: The Last Gauntlet


I suppose it has been nearly a month since the Supergirl series finale was aired, 2 episode (619 and 620) aired back to back.

The two episodes have been sitting on my DVR since then, unwatched. Part of me wonders if this was a sort of Schrodinger's Cat phenomenon in my fandom. If I haven't seen it, it could be very good. (Obviously, it could also be very bad.) Because as this Totem storyline moved forward, it has become more and more erratic. 

While I have simply accepted the idea of totems and the Allstone, it is the character side of this storyline that has been difficult for me. Characters aren't acting the way I would anticipate them to act. The strategies the hero team has set up have been a bit insane or a bit ludicrous. And, despite Melissa Benoist maintaining her high-end acting of Kara, Supergirl has been pushed to the periphery, a bit player in her own series end.

Episode 619, The Last Gauntlet, is unfortunately more of the same. 

I will forever love this show. It brought the idea of Supergirl to the mainstream. Melissa Benoist has been a revelation. Chyler Leigh as Alex, for the most part, has been a nice addition to the Supergirl family. And I got to see my favorite hero on the small screen for 6 years.

So let's just dive into this episode and enjoy the good parts.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Who's Who: Black Orchid


A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the Black Orchid story from Phantom Stranger #36

The reason behind the review? A 70s fan theory that perhaps Black Orchid was Supergirl in disguise. I have heard in a couple of places that Black Orchid had X-ray powers. And that story was the evidence behind that. She used xrays to reprogram a computer.

I was always a fan of Orchid. The mystery. That great costume. It worked for me whenever I ran across her. Only later when I heard the Supergirl rumor did my interest grow stronger.

As old as I am, I bought the first Who's Who off the rack as they off the rack as they came out. I loved Black Orchid's page. Art by Terry Austin! I know Austin as one of the premier inkers in the comic world. But he penciled this!

I love the almost playful pose Orchid is in as it emphasizes the crazy cape she has. And the surprint was supposed always show the character out of costume. So seeing all these different women made sense. Gorgeous.

Did the page bolster or dispute the rumor?

Monday, November 29, 2021

Review: Superman '78 #4


Superman '78 #4 came out last week. We are on the back half of this mini-series and I already miss it. Robert Venditti and Wilfredo Torres just get it. They seem to understand Superman the way I understand him. I cannot tell you how much I love this book.

Venditti captures the voices of these characters in the Donner universe perfectly. From Lois' brashness to Luthor's bombast to Clark's 'aw shucks' Midwest attitude, the book's dialogue sings. In particular, Luthor's narcissism is just spot on. I hear Gene Hackman's voice in my head.

But even beyond those main characters, Venditti has expanded the universe giving us a Brainiac which fits in seamlessly, He gives us an El family which matches the early scenes of the movie. 

Most importantly, he gives us Superman.
 

Meanwhile, Torres captures the universe just as well visually. His lines are clean. The characters look enough like the actors to make this feel like a continuation of the film universe. Even his new additions, like Brainiac ships and drones all look like something that could have been in the movie. 

Enough gushing. On to the book. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Review: Checkmate #6


Checkmate #6 came out this week and once again I was wrong in my guess about the big mystery. I also was a bit blindsided by the overall ending here. It came out of nowhere as all beautiful surprises do. I don't think I have processed the ending here. 

This mini-series was troubled from the beginning, the original plot altered when the direction of the DC universe changed. Was this the ending writer Brian Michael Bendis was aiming for? Was this what he wanted to happen to Leviathan? Was this his original choice for 'Mr. King'? 

For me, the most difficult thing about this ending is that a lot of stuff sort of happens that I don't know if I necessarily follow. Things happen. I don't know if I know why. And there are still unanswered questions, questions that I fear will remain forever unanswered. What I'd do for the original manuscripts!

Alex Maleev's art is crisp and bright. But some of the action isn't necessarily clear by the pictures on the page. 

I am still mulling this finale and all of the questions I still have. But my hope is that the wide open ending means more will be someday on the way.

As for who Mr. King is ... well spoilers ahead. As well as a brief breakdown.

On to the book.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Review: Superman Son Of Kal-El #5


Superman Son of Kal-El #5 came out this week, the famous kiss issue where we learn that Jon Kent is bisexual. The reveal was announced last month and was met with the standard publicity buzz. Seems like every pundit on every news outlet had an opinion.

And yes, that kiss happens in this issue. But part of me wonders if there is an aspect to this kiss yet revealed. Even before the sexuality of Jay/Jon was revealed, I felt Jay was something more nefarious than a liberal do-gooder in college. This issue ups the ante on that. Would DC every have the guts to make one of their first bisexual characters and Jon's first same-sex love a villain?? More on this later.

My biggest problem with this book has been the sort of superficial way writer Tom Taylor has been handling the real-life political issues he is having Jon fight. The real difficult parts of these scenarios are left unexplored and happening off panel. This issue is no different. Jon zooms to the rescue but he might be making more problems than he is anticipating. Or Taylor has to think that his readers are content with the feel good moment without thinking of the real life repercussions of his actions. Either way isn't good and why a relentlessly 'ripped from the headlines' super-hero comic can quickly become preachy, ridiculous, or both. In particular, one thing Jon does strikes close to home and probably would make a bad situation worse.

As for the art, no concerns about John Timms who continues to just bring his action and style to the proceedings. I have liked Timms since his stint on Harley so he is welcome here.

On to the book. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

DC February Solicits 2022


The February solicits for DC Comics came out last week. This is an interesting month as we once again get some Legion back on the shelves. It also marks the end of the Tom King Supergirl mini-series. Will there be any Kara to read after this? Who knows.

If you want to peruse the entirety of the solicits, you can head to Newsarama here:
https://www.gamesradar.com/dc-comics-february-2022-solicitations/


SUPERGIRL: WOMAN OF TOMORROW #8
Written by TOM KING
Art and cover by BILQUIS EVELY
Variant cover by JANAINA MEDIEROS

Krem's fate revealed! As Supergirl continues her battle against the Brigands, Ruthye squares off against this most vile villain in hopes of avenging her father and completing their mission. Will justice be served on both accounts? Or will our heroes fail? You won't want to miss thrilling conclusion of the acclaimed miniseries that has changed Kara Zor-El for good!


From the beginning, we have been told that Kara kills Krem. As the whole story is a flashback, I am reserving the hope that she doesn't become a murderer. Although, if you are looking for a reason for her to go pacifist and loner (as seen in Future State), guilt from becoming a killer is a good motivation.

The miniseries that has changed Kara Zor-El for good! But I worry that where she ends up is a bad place and it sticks. Lots to worry about.

Nothing but love for the art here.


ACTION COMICS #1040
Written by PHILLIP KENNEDY JOHNSON and SHAWN ALDRIDGE
Art by RICCARDO FEDERICI and ADRIANA MELO
Cover by DANIEL SAMPERE
Variant cover by JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO
Black history month variant by ALEXIS FRANKLIN

Superman has become a force to be reckoned with inside Warworld's arena, and Mongul questions his decision to keep his enemies alive. As Superman's new Phaelosian ally Kryl-Ux teaches him new ways to fight without powers, he starts to win Warzoons over to his cause…but someone within his inner circle finds their allegiances tested. Meanwhile, the elusive Midnighter uses his talents to find the missing members of the Authority.


I'll be sad to see Daniel Sampere go but I have seen Riccardo Federici's stuff on line and I think the title is in good hands.

Perhaps Kryl-Ux is the hooded figure speaking to Superman in last issue? 

And this sounds a little like the movie Gladiator where Maximus gains favor and the Emperor wonders if the captive should just be offed.

This book has been solid for a while so looking forward to this. And love that Todesco cover!
JUSTICE LEAGUE VS.THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #2
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art and cover by SCOTT GODLEWSKI
Variant cover by TRAVIS MOORE

"The Gold Lantern Saga" part two! Who is the Gold Lantern? And what does his power source have to do with the Great Darkness? Is the Gold Lantern everything it promises to be? The Justice League and Legion of Super-Heroes team up and travel to each other's time periods to unravel the mysteries that have led them to the precipice of this Great Darkness.


Looks like the 'VS.' part of this title is part of the first issue only as the two teams seem to be teaming up here. The power behind the Gold Lantern hardly looked like Oans so I wonder what tie they do have the Great Darkness. And is this Darkness tied to Darkseid?

I liked Bendis' Legion so I am glad we will be getting more.
SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL #8
Written by TOM TAYLOR
Art by CIAN TORMEY
Cover by TRAVIS MOORE
Variant cover by INHYUK LEE

Henry Bendix's plans for ultimate control threaten every superhero on Earth. And, in trying to stand against the dictator of Gamorra, Superman makes himself a target of business and world leaders. He is seen by too many as a force that must be stopped. How much can even a Man of Steel stand against before he bends?


Well, it looks like perhaps Tom Taylor is going to show us some ramifications for Jon's actions.

Although I suppose with the tenor of this book, the business leaders and world leaders may very well be painted with a negative brush too.

Interesting that Bendix has some world control ambitions. 
JUSTICE LEAGUE #73
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO and WADE VON GRAWBADGER
Cover by ANICK PAQUETTE and NATHAN FAIRBAIRN
Variant cover by KYLE HOTZ

"Lords of Chaos" part two! The Justice League and Justice League Dark team up to navigate the remade world of chaos. All the heroes must come together to save what's left of the world they have dedicated their lives to protecting. But has Doctor Fate gone bad? Oh no, he has.


I don't mind negative space covers like this. I suppose it shows my own predilections that I immediately think about room for a remarque or for con sigs.

I freely admit I haven't actually been paying close attention to the JLD back-up so I hope that there is a recap.

DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL #4
Written by TOM TAYLOR
Art by BENGAL
Cover by YASMINE PUTRI
Variant cover by JOSHUA MIDDLETON

The arrival of the Els by spaceship 19 years earlier was a pivotal moment for the kingdom, and a prophecy was born! But what were those early years like for the Els, and how did they come to be monarchs of the kingdom? And what catastrophic event triggered everything that was to follow?


I suppose I should have shown it but the Josh Middleton variant showing Harley playing a lute is worth the money.

Looks like this is the 'origin' issue. Mark my words, here is where Jor-El plotting the Wayne's assassination is going to be revealed.
WORLD OF KRYPTON #3
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by MICHAEL AVON OEMING
Cover by MICO SUAYAN
Variant cover by DAVE JOHNSON

As evidence of Krypton's environmental precarity mounts, the ruling council fights even harder to hide behind the myth of utopia. But a refusal to confront the problem is truly a refusal to attempt a solution! Zod is determined to force their hands and turns to his old friend Jor-El for backup, but their methods may be too dissimilar.


I keep forgetting this series is coming out.

I like the idea of Zod and Jor-El being pals who differ in opinion. Pretty sure that is part of the plotline in both the Man of Steel movie and the Krypton show. 

I suppose given the world today so much of Krypton's legacy could be current day allegory.
NIGHTWING #89
Written by TOM TAYLOR
Art and cover by BRUNO REDONDO
Variant cover by JAMAL CAMPBELL

Superman/Nightwing crossover! Years ago,when Robin took his first uncertain steps away from Batman as his own hero, Superman stepped in and offered Dick Grayson crucial advice, support, and a name: Nightwing. Now it's time for Nightwing to return the favor. To be concluded in Superman: Son of Kal-El #9 in March!


I don't know if Jon has met Dick before. I like what Taylor is doing on Nightwing a bit more than what he is doing on Superman. Both heroes are working to change the world as much as they are trying to punch villains. Let's see if Nightwing gives Jon some sound advice.

Did I miss anything?

Monday, November 22, 2021

Review: Justice League #69

 


What might have been?

The question I often ask myself about runs on comics that never happened or were somehow derailed. Take for example, Sterling Gates proposed Supergirl arc after BizarroGirl where a Supergirl Revenge Squad mobilized. Sigh.

For someone like me, highly invested in Event Leviathan and champing at the bit for the Checkmate sequel, the derailing of this story has been tough. In interviews, Brian Michael Bendis has said the  'thing' Checkmate was heading for disappeared out of DC's long term plans meaning everything needed to be rewritten. As a result, Checkmate has seemed to be weirdly paced and told at times. 

Justice League has been a sort of adjunct book to the Checkmate book. But it is hard to keep the timelines straight between the two. And the covers have rarely matched the inside.

Justice League #69 came out and feels like a side issue of Checkmate. We have been seeing an army of Deathstrokes attacking the league. We have have been feeling some of the fallout from what is presumed to be the dissolution of Leviathan. Now the forces behind the recent coordinated attacks seems to be revealed. I'm not buying it. The problem is this issue felt a bit like treading water. There are some fun moments. And the reveal is bananas. But I was left wanting more.

The art is by Phil Hester and he brings a certain grittiness to the proceedings which are mostly street level. There is even some horror elements which work well with the style. 

On to the book.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Review: Supergirl Woman Of Tomorrow #5


Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow #5 came out this week and it fits right in with the tone of this mini-series so far. This is an oppressive book. Even though Tom King keeps promoting the book as one where everyone will finally realize how kick-ass Supergirl is, we don't see much of it in this title and certainly not in this issue.

No, as usual, Ruthye is the star here. It is her point of view, as it always is. And in this issue were Supergirl is suffering and sick, it is Ruthye who carries the narrative. And boy does she carry the narrative, continuing the overly verbose style that I think would even make Mattie from True Grit say 'speed it up'!

I shouldn't be surprised with any of it, given what we saw in Vision, Mister Miracle, Strange Adventures, and Heroes in Crisis that Tom King must equate heroism with suffering. After last issue where Kara cowers in a sun from emotional torment, where we learn she 'lives a life of pain', we get this issue where she is thrown in an environment that is physically giving her pain.

As a reader, you can take a step back perhaps and see some things which are admirable. Supergirl guts out a whole day of suffering when we learn that Superman could barely last 45 minutes. So that shows grim determination. We see how she actually inspires Ruthye to think of others rather than herself.

But surely that must be better ways to show how great and heroic Supergirl as a character is than that. And when you instead look at the detail, you get a book where Kara is wracked in pain for the bulk of the issue. An issue were King gets to show how 'mature' she is by showing how crass she is, constantly cursing, taking a shot at her cousin, and even being proud for teaching Ruthye the right time to curse. Is this a Supergirl book aimed at promoting her? Or an Adam Sandler 90s movie?

Nothing to complain about when it comes to the art as Bilquis Evely and Mateus Lopes again bring the fire here. They make this place look horrific and monstrous. They convey how ill Supergirl is brilliantly. If only the material they had was one where Supergirl is elevated.

Perhaps the saddest thing is nothing about this issue shocked me. I know what I am getting in a Tom King Supergirl book. I just don't know if I needed a Tom King Supergirl book, especially if this is how DC is going to view her moving forward.

On to the particulars.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Back Issue Box: Phantom Stranger #36


Spare your humble host the opportunity to post a little labor of love if you will on this Monday. In fact, this is probably the first of two posts on a little curiosity that I have been trying to track down for a while. 

There was supposedly a rumor in the 70s that Black Orchid and Supergirl were the same person. Black Orchid was completely mysterious. We never knew her origin or her secret identity. I don't even know if we ever completely knew the extent of her powers. We knew she could fly, was bulletproof, and had super strength.  That similarity, as well as the noirish nature of the stories, has always made Orchid a favorite of mine. 

But there was always a mention here and there of a story where she also seemed to have x-ray vision powers. Perhaps it is was that story that led to the fan theory?

I mean it seems to make sense as a plausible theory. The Kara of the time was living a bit in the shadow of Superman, Part of her arc then was trying to find her place in the world, bouncing from journalist to guidance counselor to soap opera star. So a flying, bulletproof woman? Maybe Kara trying out her own identity?

Okay, it is far-fetched. 

But that x-ray vision story has always intrigued me. So imagine my surprise when I finally found it in The Phantom Stranger #36

I love fan theories and the Orchid and Supergirl, I couldn't resist but to review it here. And if anyone has some proof of that fan theory (perhaps a letter in a letter column?), please forward to me!

On to the story.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Review: Action Comics #1036


Action Comics #1036 came out this week, the first chapter in the much anticipated Warworld Saga. Between the events in the Future State Superman mini-series and the current storyline, we knew this is where it would be heading. I guess the bigger question is where it will be ending. That Future State Worlds of War mini-series felt like it was many years in the future given the gray hair on that Superman. But maybe ... just maybe ... that was a near future state.

Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson has really been hitting it out of the park recently on this title. This Superman, dying from breech radiation, being proactive in the need to free the Warworld slaves, and mystified by (perhaps) an offshoot of surviving Kryptonians, has been a compelling character. Perhaps more compelling than I can remember. Whether it is slamming his fist on the JLA table to be heard or organizing a misfit band of near-heroes and villains to be his strike force, this is an incredibly determined hero, perhaps racing the clock to do one last great deed. Invading Warworld? Incredible.

But as impressive as that is, the fact that Johnson (for the most part) seamlessly ties this book into the metatextual romp of the recent Grant Morrison Superman and the Authority mini-series, is a feat. I have to admit I didn't see it coming. I thought this was just going to be a 'don't think about it too hard' sort of timeline.

On top of this, Daniel Sampere is bringing startlingly great art to the proceedings. There is a panel here that is haunting that I just stared at for some time. There is a splash page that is inspiring that I stared at for a long time. But he also has to show us Durlans, the Authority space ship, and monstrous aliens too. Everything works together beautifully.

On to the book.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Review: Dark Knights Of Steel #1


Last week Dark Nights of Steel #1 came out, an Elseworlds look at DC characters in medieval times. From the time the book was first solicited, I have been excited. It seemed like a great project. Tom Taylor is a writer I trust. Yasmine Putri's art is gorgeous. Supergirl has been hinted as being a character in the book and I have wanted to see Taylor's take on Kara since he wrote All-New Wolverine

Now I have been reading comics for some time and lived through the heyday of the Elseworlds boom, reading everything from a Civil War Superman to a the Justice League in the old west. To succeed, things need to be similar enough to recognizable but different enough to be interesting. Sometimes that is a change of venue, or a new wrinkle in the origin. 

Here, Taylor does a good job of both. There are a lot of interesting wrinkles in this first issue and that isn't even counting the Medieval setting. I am intrigued and already forming some theories. New origin threads, new relationships, even a death. This is a meaty first issue. I also get to see Harley Quinn as a true harlequin court jester. For that I will forever be in Taylor's debt.

Putri's art is just a gorgeous as expected. The pages sing. In particular, the Black Canary pages are incredible. 

On to the book.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Supergirl Show 618: Truth Or Consequences


Tonight the two hour series finale of Supergirl will air. That means I have to catch up by reviewing last week's episode, episode 618, titled Truth Or Consequences.

As I have said in prior reviews of this back half of the season, the overall plot of Nyxly trying to gather totems to create an Allstone to rewrite the universe has been a hard one to wrap my head around. The logic doesn't make great sense. The timeline where she unites them in the future is making me wibbly-wobbly. The weaponization of the totems makes many action sequences the equivalent of our heroes pointing Iron Man style gloves at the villains, blasting rays of ... emotion? I don't know. And the heroes strategies and even intellect sometimes seem off. 

But as friends have said, this is the ride we are on, live or die.

What is interesting is that while the details of what exactly is happening is a cipher, the emotional beats of the show remain strong. This episode we see that in full force. There is a disagreement between the Danvers sisters, one where both sides have a legitimate quibble. Andrea has to look into the mirror and question her morality. J'onn gets to play papa. Brainy and Nia try to come to terms with a romance doomed by timelines. And Nyxly gets to be impish and amorous.

Perhaps the biggest surprise, and spoilers here, was the death of William. Now I have to admit that in prior seasons, I have found William to be about as interesting as a block of wood. But the back half of this season, he has been one of the strongest characters on the show. He is a solid reporter. He is the point of view character for humanity. He has the strongest ethics on the show. And, dare I say it, he has had good chemistry with the others. His death seems pointless, almost a fridging. 

As always, Melissa Benoist is brilliant mixing physical gestures, expressions, body language, and dialogue to bring all the complexity of Kara to the small screen. I can't believe this is the end. We all knew we had something special with Benoist. I'll miss seeing her donning the S-Shield.

On to recaps and thoughts.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Review: Batman/Superman: The Authority #1


The Batman/Superman title may have been canceled but DC Comics has given us one more bite at the apple with the Batman/Superman Authority Special #1 which came out last week.

I suppose it serves any number of purposes. The Warworld Saga is about to start in the pages of Action Comics and this acts as a bit of an hors d'oeuvre for that. With Batman prominently displayed on the cover, I bet DC is hoping fans of the Dark Knight might pick this up and get intrigued with the Warworld arc and head over. The Superman and the Authority mini series also just wrapped up. While that seemed very trippy and self-contained, it did indeed lead here. So maybe DC is also hoping that folks who enjoyed that title and are mulling over reading Action Comics might also give this a try and get hooked. 

But specials like this usually don't figure into the main plots they are teasing in a major way. So as a stand alone story, they better be worth it. Luckily, this one fits the bill. Outside of one significant 'how did that happen' moment at the end, this is a pretty interesting tale which hints at being a prologue of its own.

Writer Philip Kennedy Johnson has already shown a deft touch for creating potential families for major characters having given us the House of El lineage. Here he gives us the Dark Universe evil progeny of a major DC character that needs to be foiled by the World's Finest and the Authority. This plot grabbed me more than I thought it would. (I have avoided Metal and Dark Universe stuff as much as I can.) In particular, the Batman and Midnighter moments stand out.

And given this is a story told in two universe, we have two very different artists. Ben Templesmith brings his unusual style to the Dark Universe proceedings with a nice dark palette of murky colors. Trevor Hairsine does the work in the main universe. The contrast works very well.

On to the particulars.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Review: Superman '78 #3


Superman '78 #3 came out this week and remains this perfectly charming, perfectly nostalgic title that I need right now. 

I saw the first movie in the theater as a young child and I unabashedly love it. I was hoping that somehow this title would capture that magic. I wanted to be transported back to that young Anj who suddenly believed a man could fly.

As I have said before, writer Robert Venditti and artist Wilfredo Torres are doing just that. This comic is such a cleansing deep breath, going back to a simpler time where maybe heroism is still sort of black and white, but also giving me a wonderfully entertaining story. 

There are homages to the movie and Silver Age comics. There is self-sacrifice on the part of our hero. And there is excellent Brainiac action, something we all hoped to see back in the day. It is a joy to see this Superman interacting with  his parents and his Kryptonian culture. But most of all, it is great to see the conniving Hackman Lex Luthor, such a deliciously captivating character.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the great cover by Amy Reeder, a favorite of mine. I love the reflection of Jor-El and Lara over the shoulder of Superman and his surprised face. Great visual.

On to the book.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Supergirl Show 617: I Believe In A Thing Called Love




Back to back show reviews! I said I would try to catch up!

Last week, episode 617 of the Supergirl show aired, titled 'I believe in a thing called love'.

This was another episode which has brief moments of emotional brilliance for Supergirl. We have sensed how troubled she is this season. She has suffered from her time in the Phantom Zone and is still trying to heal. She is frustrated, thinking she is letting the world and everyone near to her down. And she has the weight of the world on her shoulders as she tries to lead her team in defeating Nyxly. Throughout these episode, Melissa Benoist has been able to emote so wonderfully. And this time is no different.

But what I liked about this episode is we see how much the emotion of love has impacted just about everyone. The Love Totem is here pushing the plot forward. But love is here as well. Lex is in love with Nyxly, a doomed romance from the 31st century it turns out. Alex and Kelly are truly in love with Alex aiming to propose. J'onn loves his new family but is still reeling internally from the death of his Martian one. All these characters reel a bit from love and loving. In particular, Lex being completely smitten is a hoot. Jon Cryer always plays Lex well and here is no different.

One thing I have cheered in this last season is how well the writers have leaned into the show's history and we see that here again.

It is unfortunate in some ways that Supergirl is just one of the ensemble and not the main star. But Benoist continues to just win me over. 

On to the episode.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Supergirl 616: Nightmare In National City


 Life comes at you hard sometimes and I don't have a time stone or a speed totem. So I am a few episodes behind in reviewing this last season of Supergirl. I promise I will do my best to catch up so I do the review of the series finale around the time it airs.

So here I am reviewing an episode from three weeks ago, episode 616 title 'Nightmare in National City'.

Overall I thought this was a very solid episode. The main focus is to wrap up some Dreamer plotlines which have been percolating over the last couple of seasons. Nicole Maines does a very good job here, showing how difficult Nia's relationship with her sister Maeve has been on many levels and bringing in pride and confidence to her identity. This is our last chance to be with these characters so giving Nia some closure makes sense.

This episode also gives us some solid Supergirl/Kara moments. While the action is there briefly, this is more about showing how Kara is struggling with the life she is living. She is living parts of two lives here. I think she is still recovering from the pain of the Phantom Zone as well. There is this low level despair in her, something I'm not used to seeing in the usually smiling and bubbly Kara. Melissa Benoist, as usual, really crushes it here letting her expression and body language do as much acting as the words.

And yes, the Nyxly plot is pushed forward a little. I don't know if I exactly know what the Super Friends are thinking strategically this back half of the season. Throwing Hope into the sun made little sense last episode. Their bottling of a monster in a city this episode also seems suspect. 

But even an episode like this will be missed when the show is gone. Benoist has become Kara. She will be missed.

On to the episode.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Review: Checkmate #5


Checkmate #5 came out last week, the penultimate issue in this mini-series. Now I am invested in this story and I very much liked this issue. But I have to be honest, this felt like #5 in an 8 issue mini-series, not a 6 issue. There are a lot of remaining plot points - who is Mr. King, how is Shaw controlling people, who/how is Leo Lane to name a few - as well as the end (I assume defeat of Shaw). This issue doesn't end in a place where I feel we are near the end. 

But I can't  worry about Checkmate #6 when I am reviewing Checkmate #5

This issue had the usual flair for dialogue that writer Brian Michael Bendis is noted for. A side discussion on baseball stadium hot dogs is amusing in the context of a possible battle. I chuckled. But that nagging voice that said 'is this wasted space that could have been used on actual plot' kicked into my mind. It also nudged plot points forward. A possible clue about Mr. King's identity is dropped. The final answer about the Snowman's Ticket is given. And there are a couple of great cliffhangers.

Alex Maleev remains on art and continues to give us great work in both pencils with Dave Stewart on colors. This issue has some very solid street level fights. It also has some dialogue heavy 'standing around' scenes. But it all pops.

I know the back history of this book. The book was delayed. The ending it was heading for was scrapped and so Bendis needed to rewrite things. It seems a little off, not as tight as Event Leviathan. How much of that is due to the editorial issues is hard to measure.

But remember, I liked this issue. I just hope the book sticks the landing. On to the book.

Friday, October 29, 2021

2021 Jack-O-Lanterns


One of my favorite Halloween traditions is carving jack-o-lanterns. You can hit the link to see some of my assorted pumpkins from yesteryear (as well as some comic reviews relevant to the holidays).

I have decided that each year I will try to do a Legionnaire for a pumpkin, having done Sensor Girl, Wildfire, and Monster Boy so far.

This year, I went to Twitter to ask for some suggestions and got a ton of great ideas. But several people thought Quislet would be a fun one to try. 

Given the complexity of the other carving I was going to try, I figured Quislet was a good comic character to try. His design is relatively easy.

I am a big fan of the Baxter era and loved the quirky Quislet so hope you like this!

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Back Issue Bin: DC Comics Presents #97


Last month I took a deep dive into the Phantom Zone mini-series, a super bizarre mini-series written by Steve Gerber with art by Gene Colan. That mini-series was a trippy look at the Zone, redefining it as an extension of a being called Aethyr, the Oversoul. Aethyr had recently been reintroduced by Phillip Kennedy Johnson in Superman and Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad in Wonder Woman.

But I knew there was one more Aethyr appearance I needed to cover, DC Comics Presents #97. the last issue of the series! This is one of those wacky books, a pre-Crisis tale which hit the stands a full 6 months after Crisis on Infinte Earths ended. 

This is written by Steve Gerber and is clearly a sequel to the Phantom Zone villain mini-series, picking up elements of that story directly. It has serious consequences. It ends on a cliffhanger, a story which could never be followed up on given the end of this continuity. The question I have is when was this paid for. Was this sitting in a drawer? Did Gerber pitch it as a 'pretty please' vanity project to put out before the pre-Crisis universe disappeared forever? It is a 38 page doozy which makes me think it might have been held for an Annual or a Special before Crisis made all that disappear.

The pace is also interesting as the front half is a sort of re-primer of the Phantom Zone with some of this story taking place on Krypton, with origins of Zod, Kru-El, and Faora again. It is only the back half where we get back into the insanity.

The art is by Rick Veitch, someone I know mostly from Swamp Thing. The story is bizarre and horrific enough that I think Veitch is a great fit for that. 

And while Supergirl isn't in this, there is a key scene which tangentially touches her history, one I covered here before.

On to the book. Buckle in! I don't know if I can make any sense of what is happening here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Review: Superman Son Of Kal-El #4


Hey all, thanks for patience while I was on vacation! I am back and will start chipping away at the backlog.

I thought I'd start with Superman, Son of Kal-El #4, the latest in the new series documenting Jon Kent's adventures while wearing his father's mantle. This was also the first issue released after the upcoming reveal that Jon is bisexual was released. 

I actually liked this issue a lot. It was probably the strongest of the title so far as it played up both Jon's taking up the mantle and showed how well his father taught him to care for people. I loved the interaction with the Justice Leaguers. And in particular, I liked a scene he had with Lois.

Writer Tom Taylor has shown he is going to make this a comic about a super-hero fighting liberal social issues and I have complained about the easy way he is showing on side of these problems, leaving the scene just when things could get muddy. In this issue, we see the same unfortunately. I wonder if this Taylor setting Jon up for a fall. We'll see. That would be gutsy.

The art is by Daniele Di Nicuolo, a name I don't think I have seen before. He is within a stone's throw of John Timms art, the style similar, although his veers a bit more into manga. 

On to the book. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Fanholes Commission Gift


I am very thankful for the comic book community I am part of here and on Twitter. It is a solid group of intelligent fans. And everyone is so generous.

My latest proof of this? Derek W. C. (@HOCOF on Twitter and one of the hosts of the Fanholes Podcasts) sent me a Supergirl commission to add to my collection.

This is a fun Supergirl sketch, sort of pinwheeling through the sky. I'm still not sure if she is flying up the page or banking down like in a swan dive. I assume she is flying down given the orientation of the paper. But who knows.

I love the energy of the page, a smiling Supergirl clearly having fun in the clouds.

I wish I could say more about the artist Flash! All I know is the info Derek sent me from the Comic Link auction page, Any further information would be appreciated,

And thanks again Derek! Such a great present for me! A cool addition to my collection!

Friday, October 22, 2021

On Vacation


Hey all,

I am on vacation until next week so there will be a slight break while I walk around Washington D.C. and visit some friends.

Things in the future -

Catching up on the Supergirl show episodes.
Review of Superman Man of Tomorrow #4
Back issue review of DC Comics Presents #97 to look at Aethyr
A gift from a good friend

Thanks everyone for their patience!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Review: Challenge of the Super Sons #7


Challenge of the Super Sons #7 came out last week and ended the mini-series. I am sad to see it finish.

I don't know if these are the best stories. But they are a ton of fun. They are very entertaining. And they are a throwback to simpler comic stories. Where action reigns supreme and characters grow and it is escapism.

Peter Tomasi has always had a great handle on these tween legacy characters. He knows that these are the sons of heroes who have different upbringings and different values. And that friction, as well as the growing respect they have for each other, is really what fuels these stories. That is front and center in this issue. The ending of this time spanning story comes quickly. But it is the journey not the destination.

Max Raynor is back on art and brings the same energy he brought in the earlier chapters. I said before that I hope that Raynor gets a regular gig soon. I like his stuff.

Both Jon and Damian are very different characters right now than the ones we see here. I will miss these versions greatly. But given all that is going on now, I fear this is the last time we will see the super sons like this.

On to the book.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

DC Comics January Solicits


The January solicits for DC comics have come out and are available for viewing over on Newsarama
(   https://www.gamesradar.com/dc-solicitations-january-2022/  ) and other places.

This is an interesting time for me in comics in general as there are a number of titles I collect which I am enjoying immensely. There are others that seem a chore and I am close to dropping. But overall, the quality of the books I am reading is very solid.

Of course, I am not a big fan of how Supergirl is being treated. 

January has one big surprise which makes me happy and some interesting stories. On to the super-books.

SUPERGIRL: WOMAN OF TOMORROW #7
Written by TOM KING
Art and cover by BILQUIS EVELY
Variant cover by NICOLA SCOTT

It's the moment you've been waiting for…the capture of Krem! With the fugitive in custody, Supergirl must now deal with his allies, the ungodly Brigands! To stop them once and for all, she must leave Ruthye behind with the man who killed her beloved father. Can she trust the young girl to let the villain of our story live long enough to stand trial? Or is this the tragic end of his story and ours?

I will never complain about the art in this book and this cover is very dramatic with Supergirl squaring off against the brigands. 

I am starting to wonder if Ruthye kills Krem and somehow Supergirl takes the blame so that Ruthye doesn't have to live with the weight of that sin. 

But here we are at the penultimate issue. Cheers to a Kara living in pain, alone and sad.


Monday, October 18, 2021

Review: Superman And The Authority #4


Superman and the Authority #4 came out last week, the last issue of this quirky mini-series that I have unabashedly loved.

I shouldn't be surprised that Grant Morrison could pull off such a series. Somehow this series is both in continuity and seems out of continuity. It started with Superman meeting Kennedy. It ends with Superman heading off to Warworld, sliding into the current Action Comics arc. It is seems to include metacommentary on social media, comic fandom, and comic property creators. It throws in some intriguing lines that probably will impact the entire super family. All this while being massively entertaining. Morrison grasps who Superman is. 

Mikel Janin is also amazing on this book, bringing us such polished art that I want to inject it into my eyeballs. His older, graying Superman is just dazzling. His Lois Lane is feisty and sort of scary. The  
action sequences include very palpable hits. 

But it is the droll ending of the big villain arc that is the can't miss moment here. It has to be seen to be believed.

On to the book.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Supergirl 615: Hope For Tomorrow


The latest episode of the Supergirl series, titled Hope For Tomorrow, aired this week. These episodes are getting to be a little bit tricky to break down and critique. 

It is my usual intro here. This is another fun episode for this back end of the final season with the Super Friends battling the 5th Dimensional Imp, Nyxly. There are super-heroics. Supergirl is at the center of the action. We see totems and gauntlets. And Alex and Kelly become moms. All of that works.

We get the further progression of Lena as a sorceress, something I am still getting used to. Her neophyte powers going toe to toe against a Mxyzptlk-ian level power isn't helping me get used to it. And we get a tactical decision by our heroes that is so bizarre that I am scratching my chin over it. 

But overall this felt like a super-hero show with Supergirl at the center and the good guys using their powers to hopefully save the world. Given some prior episodes and seasons, I have to be happy with that.

On to the particulars.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Mart Gray Supergirl Stamp Gifts!

I'll get by with a little help from my friends.

Long time friend Mart Gray sent me a wonderful gift from across the pond. So here are some UK stamps from the Royal Mail Group! Royal Mail Group is a British multinational postal service and courier company, originally established in 1516 as a department of the English government.

 Here is some internet coverage about this from Bleeding cool: https://bleedingcool.com/comics/jim-cheung-draws-dc-comics-superheroes-for-british-royal-mail-stamps/

There is a lot to love about this sheet. Love that it is the Justice League with Wonder Woman front and center. I think it is great for Jessica Cruz as the Green Lantern. 

And, of course, how great that Supergirl is on the sheet. I think it is great that Supergirl is part of this Justice League, even if it is just on some merch.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Review: Superman '78 #2

I love the 1978 Superman movie. It had action. It had charm. It had humor. And it had a Superman I could believe in. Not just that he could fly but that he was truly good.

When Superman '78 was announced, I wondered if it could capture that magic. Two issues in and I can say yes.

Superman '78 #2 came out this month and made me smile. Writer Robert Venditti captures the spirit of the movie so well. From Superman earnest nature to Lois' spunk to Luthor's subtle evil mixed with wry humor. He even brings in some Superman II nods. It all just sings. 

Perhaps most interesting is how his Brainiac feels like the Brainiac we know but also is different enough to feel right for this univers.

Wilfredo Torres brings exceptional art here, evoking the actors who played these roles without being overly photo-realistic. His Superman really looks like Christopher Reeve. And his action sequences flow nicely. 

If you like the movie, you should be reading this book. On to the details.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Review: Batman/Superman #22


Batman/Superman #22 came out earlier this month, the last issue of this title. It's a shame to see another version of a World's Finest title fade away. Yes, this one started as basically a side series for the Batman Who Laughs mega-arc. But throughout the book, the heroes have been partners and friends. I am always glad to see Batman and Superman working together.

Writer Gene Luen Yang has been on the book for a while and as is his fashion, he gives us a quirky story with a meta-textual peek at comic books in general. His Auteur.IO story riffed on comics and fandom. This issue is even crazier.

Yang is almost a gimmick writer at times. You couldn't do something like this as a title long term. But Yang can inject some fresh air and some humor into books. Think about his 'choose your own adventure' Terrifics book or his 'flip book' Annual on this title. 

This issue has a Mxyzptlk-powered Calendar Man learning he is in a comic and taking advantage of the panels and gutters. And it is funny and cute. Why not do something like this in a final issue?

Artist Paul Pelletier brings solid story telling to the insanity. I like how he breaks the rules here. 

The only thing missing is an Ambush Bug cameo!

On to the book.