Friday, December 30, 2022

Christmas Gift

My comic store's DC delivery was delayed by a day this week which means that, unfortunately, reviews will be pushed back to the beginning of next week.

So instead I present to you a pretty cool Christmas gift one of my daughters got for me this year.

Here are two comics from the Middle East. Silver Age reprints of Action Comics but in Arabic!

The seller told her that many of these were destroyed in some of the more anti-Western times over there. But that might be apocryphal.

Regardless, as someone who loves seeing comics in other languages and formats, this was a very cool gift to receive!

 Of course, I was even luckier to have the actual comic of one of them. Action Comics #316 is of some import to Supergirl history. In that tale, Zor-El and Alura return to Kandor (after having lived on Earth for a bit). And the Danvers, who had moved to Kandor, return to Midvale.

As you can see, the comic in Arabic is a little smaller than the actual comic.

And since reading there is right to left, this cover feels like the back cover to me, the staples being on the right.

But wait there's more!

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Mike Maihack's 2022 Supergirl/Batgirl Christmas Comic

Every year Mike Maihack gives us a Supergirl/Batgirl Christmas comic and it is always a delight.

Maihack seems to get the essence of both characters. Supergirl is joyous, fun, creative, and bright. Batgirl is a little tight, a little buttoned up, maybe a little suppressed as she tries to remain in serious bat mode.

This year's comic is another wonderful entry. I mean, it starts out with Supergirl helping Santa deliver presents. Utterly fantastic. Supergirl would help Santa. Heck, Supergirl should help Santa.

But then the punchline is priceless. Even though Santa has 'sight beyond sight' for Christmas presents, he still can't come up with something for Babs. 

Supergirl's reaction ... perplexed that even Kris Kringle can't pierce the Babs veil ... is just fantastic. 

I am always thrilled when Maihack gives us another comic. This is always a Christmas gift I love.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Review: Dark Crisis #7

Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 came out last week, the final issue of a mega and meta event that frankly never quite grabbed me. Maybe I am just getting too old. Maybe I am just finally truly fatigued around events. This was supposed to be a monumental game changer. There were supposed to be universal stakes. But in the end, it just never really gelled into something solid for me.

I understand that writer Joshua Williamson was trying to incorporate all the DC event comics into this title as a sort of metatextual treatise on things. The fact that Pariah was the big-bad and had all the big-bads from prior events as his lackeys said that this was going to be the one event to rule them all. Through in the metaphysical Darkness from Alan Moore's American Gothic storyline (which ran concurrently with the original Crisis on Infinite Earths) and I felt like Williamson wanted to write a sort of love letter to DC event history. 

What I ended up reading was a sort of plot-jumbled omelet of a title. I don't know if it all made 100% sense. Pariah's plot, his link to the Darkness, the phony worlds the JLA live on,  the Earth heroes' plans to foil the plot, the over-heavy dose of Deathstroke, even how everything was solved ... it never seemed solid. You had to just take it in and move on. 

I also wonder if Williamson had scenes in his head he wanted to have happen and then wrote the story around it. There are moments which are powerful but they seem to come out of nowhere and with little continuity to prop them up. The character beats for some here also seem to come out of left field. 

In the end, we are back to infinite earths built on a foundation of the known multiversity. DC gets to have Grant Morrison's 52 Earth cake and eat it too! I suppose that those of us who have lamented the original conceit that COIE was built on ... that a multiverse was too confusing .. should be happy. 

The art here continues to be spectacular. Daniel Sampere really channels George Perez here with glorious battle scenes with innumerable characters everywhere. He also settles in for some of the more personal moments too. It is a stunning book to look at, no doubt. Add to that the multiple covers we got for this last issue, in particular the Dan Mora two-character spotlight covers, and this is a visual delight.

Still, I don't know it this is one I will go back to reread  that often. We got to a finish line DC wanted us to get to. Everything old is new again.

On to the specifics.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Merry Christmas And Happy Holidays!


May everyone's days be merry and bright!

Taking a couple of days off here but will be back and ready to go after some festivities!

(Thanks to Mike Maihack for always giving us great Supergirl content, like above!)

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Review: Batman/Superman World's Finest #10

Batman/Superman World's Finest #10 came out this week, the penultimate chapter of the Boy Thunder storyline. 

I'll start out by saying this issue ends with a doozy of a twist and a cliffhanger. As I have said before, when you surprise a grizzled comic reader like me and you surprise me in a good way, that is a victory. I did not expect what I saw and I loved it.

That said, the last page is probably the best part of the issue. I expect a lot from this book. From the first issue, writer Mark Waid and artist Dan Mora have been hitting it out of the park. Every issue has been just about perfect. That's hard to maintain. This issue just didn't sizzle the way the others have.  Maybe it is my Joker fatigue?

Dan Mora continues to shine but this is also a bit rougher than I am used to seeing his stuff here. It's funny. I have seen Mora churning out cover after cover which just glitter on the rack. I love his work. Perhaps all that is impacting things?

I don't always buy the expensive variants but I loved this one by Brandon Peterson and so spent a little bit too much for it. Love the trading card look and that Supergirl is present.

On to the book.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Bullet Review: Dark Crisis Big Bang #1

Last week, Dark Crisis Big Bang #1 came out, a fun little piece of fluff barely attached to Dark Crisis in any meaningful way. But when I read the solicit, a tour of the DCU written by Mark Waid with art by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund, I knew I would be in. 

Then I saw this cover by Nathan Szerdy mixing a Joker henchman from the 1989 Batman movie with the Wonder Woman from the Laurn Faust Super Hero Girls cartoon. Now I knew I was really in. 

This will be a super brief review.

Dark Crisis itself is sort of a crossover that is barely holding itself together. There are a lot of crazy ideas thrown together. It is very meta about the other DC events. But it feels a bit jumbled. I know Pariah is trying to recreate a multiverse. But I just don't 'feel' the threat. I don't sense the characters' peril. It just isn't gelled to me. 

This one-shot has the Dark Crisis trade dress but is just a one-shot of Waid giving us a snippets of all the known universes Barry Allen has visited while on a mission. It is very fun to re-visit some of the 52 Earths created by Grant Morrison in their Multiversity event. But Waid adds more, telling us we are in true infinite multiverse. It even includes a text page of these known worlds, including a bit in the back that really ... and I mean REALLY ... caught my eye. 

As for the art, I have nothing but love for Jurgens and Rapmund who bring their classic style to all the odd worlds we get a glimpse of. I also am very impressed with Jurgens' handle on the Flash. I wouldn't mind seeing Jurgens on a Barry mini-series.

If you love the old DC multiverse, you should get this if only to see all the classics that are brought back into existence. I mean Earth-4, the Charleston Earth? I am thrilled to see that again.

On to the book!

Friday, December 16, 2022

Review: Superman Son of Kal-El #18

Superman Son of Kal-El #18 came out this week, the last issue of the series, although this doesn't feel like a finale in any real way. This reads like a standard issue of this title with the usual mix of social commentary and minor super-heroics.  

I don't know if I was expecting a big final splash page with some platitude like 'the battle never ends' or 'I am Superman'. But there isn't even a final issue dress on the cover. I suppose with the 'Adventures of Superman Jon Kent' mini-series around the corner this is more of a pause than anything else.

Writer Tom Taylor has been consistent with his take on the character. Jon has gone a year and a half without throwing a punch. There are a couple of plot points here which are a little magical in terms of how they play out. And there is the clear social justice bend here, although not as ham-fisted as it usually has been presented. I'll take understated in the context of the story than overstated in place of story 100% of the time.

The art is dreamy by Cian Tormey. You can see how his style has evolved over the issues he has been here and there is always a nice flair to the action. I hope we continue to see him on other books. 

On to the book. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Back Issue Box: Action Comics #301

What can I say? With a lack of new material on the shelves to review and with a surprise find of a Comet the Super-Horse kid's book, I have been looking back at some of Comet's adventures. Earlier this week I reviewed Supergirl's Girl Friend Lois Lane #92 in which a nearby comet turned Biron from horse back to human.

I realized that the story turn of Comet turning human hasn't been officially reviewed here. So why not dust off 'The Secret Identity of Super-Horse' from Action Comics #301.

Written by Leo Dorfman with art by Jim Mooney, the story adds a new wrinkle to Comet's story. We know he wished to turn human because he was in love with Circe. He was turned into a horse by the vengeful Maldor and then banished. Kara's rocket freed him from his prison and he began a super-heroic career with her.

Now this issue begins two subplots which have made their relationship a little bit cringey. One, he gains the ability to turn human when a comet is near Earth. And second, it is clear he has developed strong feelings for Supergirl. For these things to happen, you need the same rapid fire plot twists that the Silver Age is known for. 

But a lot of Comet/Biron/Bill's love of Kara seems off from a 21st century view. He doesn't reveal either aspect to her.  As a human, he looks much older than our Maid of Might. And the hint of bestial love of some sort, even fantastical, is a bit odd. 

But here we are! Let's learn how Comet gains the ability to become a man at last! (Of note, scans are from the reprint of the story in Adventure Comics #390.)

Monday, December 12, 2022

Review: Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #92

I have been going down a little rabbit hole here on the site, looking at the origin of Comet the Super-Horse. It started with my review of the children's book Comet!, a remarkably faithful adaptation of the Silver Age origin. With that done, I thought I'd look at the actual origin in Action Comics #293.

With those out of the way, I thought I would take a look at one of the wackier books from the early Bronze Age, Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #92. Leave it to writer E. Nelson Bridwell to take a look back at DC's history and faithfully stick to the details. And leave it to the early Bronze Age to have Lois undergo a rather Olsen-esque transformation into a centaur and a horse. Also, leave it to this time era to make things be a little cringe-y and weird. 

The art really sings here. We start out with a Curt Swan/Neal Adams cover with the Lois centaur while Superman look on shocked. The inside art is Swan again, this time inked by Mike Esposito. Esposito really overpowers Swan's work here. Still, things are truly gorgeous here. 

But please, buckle up. Like many stories from this era, there are more plot turns in this one than in years of current comics. It is a wild ride ... no pun intended!

On to the book.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Bullet Review: Monkey Prince #9

No big surprise that I picked up Monkey Prince #9 this week. With a guest star like Supergirl and a fantastic variant cover by Inhyuk Lee featuring her, it was a cinch that I'd pick it up and cover it here. I mean, look at how cute this cover is.

I also wonder why I haven't been reading this book to begin with. The writer is Gene Luen Yang, whose work I liked on New Super-Man and The Terrifics. I sort of liked his work on the Superman book. The art is by Bernard Chang, whose work I have loved just about everywhere. Whether Supergirl or Wonder Woman or Demon Knights or you name it, I love Chang's art. Seriously, I loved Chang's Kara and even have an original Chang Supergirl page hanging in my office.

The two treat Supergirl with a lot of respect. She is smart and pro-active. She is clearly established. And she doesn't suffer fools lightly here. I'm very happy with her here.

But I don't know if I can comment as easily about the main character. I know, I am jumping on board at Monkey Prince #9

Everybody's comic is their first comic. This is my first Monkey Prince. I know nothing about his origin, his powers, his motivations, or anything, I am usually against recap pages but I sure could use one here. Or maybe even a little origin box around the issue's title. But nothing.

The issue opens with the Monkey Prince's parents are scientists who work for LexCorp. A trio of demonic beings, calling themselves Generals, break into LexCorp to find Bizarro clones to eat in hopes of getting powers. Crazy opening scene ... but one I could barely follow.

The Monkey Prince's mother, Laura, has her neck snapped by one of the Generals. The Monkey Prince's father takes her to Prince's maternal grandfather, a super-scientist with a penchant for transplanting brains and healing injuries. Can the Prince's mother be saved?

But wait there's more. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Back Issue Box: Action Comics #293

It's a slow week for actual Super-comics so I thought I would double down on the Comet stories by reviewing Action Comics #293. Hard to believe that this site is this old and I haven't looked at this closely. But with my reviewing the Comet! kid's book and commenting on how it stuck to the Silver Age narrative, I figured why not look at the actual story. 

I'm always happy to see the Supergirl story get cover treatment. Here we see a wonderful Curt Swan and George Klein image of Supergirl riding Comet. With the super-horse unaffected by Kryptonite beams, even Superman has to note that Comet might indeed be the mightiest super-creature of them all! Kara looks almost manic! As a bonus, we'll see this exact scene coming up in the story!

I'll also point out that this is the second part of a two-parter. To set things up, Linda Danvers is spending some vacation time at the Supergirl Dude Ranch. There she meets Comet who she believes is just a horse. But during her stay she has some odd dreams which seem to hint that Comet could be something more.

And so we end up here with Comet's complete origin. And I think it's a hoot!

On to the book!

Monday, December 5, 2022

Review: Comet: The Origin Of Supergirl's Horse

I took a short trip south around Thanksgiving time, visiting Virginia. One of my goals whenever I travel is to do my best to hit local comic shops. This time I went to Local Heroes, a cool little shop in Norfolk. 

Inside, I discovered something I didn't know existed and which made me give thanks. A big kid's book about Comet the Super-Horse! There is a whole line of these books about DC Super Pets. 

It is written by Steve Korte with wonderful art by old friend Art Baltazar.

Perhaps most impressively, the book for the most part holds true to the Silver Age origin from Action Comics #293. Makes me think I might need to follow-up this post with one looking at that issue. (To be honest, I'm a little surprised I haven't reviewed that issue over my time here.)

This is a wonderful book for a Supergirl fan or a Comet fan. It is a great story for a kid's book filled with magic and heroism. And the art is perfect for the story. It starts with the front cover with a confident Supergirl and winking Comet. Also, I love the sneak peek at Comet's origin on the back. 

This definitely makes me want to seek out the Streaky book!

On to some details.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Review: Superman Kal-El Returns Special #1

The Superman Kal-El Returns Special #1 came out this week and was an entertaining anthology of stories looking at Clark's return to Earth and his touching base with some of the important people in his life.

As I have said in my Action Comics reviews, writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson has been doing a solid job bring the supporting cast of Superman back into the book now that Superman has come back from Warworld. I happen to think that Superman has a solid cast that should be spotlighted in his books. 

In this issue, we have different creative teams looking at some of the most important people in Superman's life and how his arrival on planet has impacted them. 

In what I think is the best story, Mark Waid and Clayton Henry give us a World's Finest story set in the present day. Waid has a solid handle on these two and their camaraderie. They are easy and old friends who immediately team up to fight a villain. There is just a natural amicable feel to this story that just sparkles.

Sina Grace and Dean Haspiel look at Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen. It is a fine story of Superman being inspired by humanity as much as he inspires. 

Legend Marv Wolfman teams up with artist Jack Herbert to give us another look at Jon taking on Lex, but this time with his father giving him some advice. This story also gives us a look at the Lois and Clark reunion and how the two took some time to get romantically reacquainted. This was a lot of fun.

And finally Alex Segura and Fico Ossio have Superman reuniting with the League and teaching Naomi how the life of a Leaguer is one of sacrifice. This one has one little continuity curve ball in it that has me scratching my head.

I would have loved a reunion story with Kara. Too bad that isn't here. Still, this is a solid book building on the Kal-El Returns arc by filling in some gaps.

On to the book.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Review: DC Vs. Vampires #11

DC Vs. Vampires #11 came out last week, the penultimate issue of a series which has stretched my suspension of disbelief the longer it has gone on. 

Writers James Tynion and Matthew Rosenberg have created a world where vampires have utterly taken over the world. But some of the logic doesn't make great sense. Blotting out the sun will work so the vamps can work 24/7. It also would make plant life impossible to grow. How can humans, the vamires livestock, live without food? How can Swamp Thing remain incredibly powerful? Why isn't the world a frozen wasteland? 

Take away that main issue which bothers me like a popcorn kernel stuck in a tooth, you have the overall narrative. There are three separate plotlines. One, Green Arrow is trying to free a human farm in Kansas. Why Hawkman, the vampire lord there, hasn't simply killed Ollie is a mystery. Two, Babs is heading into Gotham to face down Dick Grayson, king of vampires. It is a '6 against a city' battle which seems like a suicide mission ... except Babs has been hiding Vamp-killing ordinance. Why not give it to the main army fighting the vampires? Why hide it? Lastly, Supergirl is on her way to Australia to get into a rocket to head above the clouds. Here we learn that aliens are helping the vamps so they can get off-world. They aren't suitable cattle ... that is, except Martians.

As the last few issues, this one rolls along quickly. You can't think too hard about this world without it unraveling for its lack of internal logic. At least this time Supergirl gets to do something instead of just cowering in the background.

The art by Otto Schmidt is quite nice. I feel Schmidt has amped up the rough or sketchy aspect of his work here. Guillem March's cover is very scratchy for him but it apes Schmidt's work well enough.

On to the book.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Review: Supergirl #69

Two weeks ago, in the aftermath the Black Adam movie, I reviewed the Supergirl/Mary Marvel throwdown from Peter David and Leonard Kirk's Supergirl #68 . Given that issue ended on a cliffhanger and with the fervor for the Marvel family still high, I figured I'd cover the next issue.

As I said last time, this is a long arc of a depowered Linda Danvers Supergirl following the Chaos Stream to try and reclaim her Earth Angel powers, stripped from her way back in Supergirl #50 in the aftermath of her fight with the Carnivean.

The villain of this arc was just recently revealed to us here. It is Lilith, the first wife of Adam and a demonic presence. Later we learn she is the mother of the Carnivean and is our for revenge. And using a variety of shape-changing and faerie glamor, she has been manipulating events. 

But the real plot here is Linda recognizing her own worth and shedding her self-loathing. Linda was a problem child before merging with the Matrix Supergirl. She has touched the Angelic. Throughout this story, she keeps putting herself down and wondering if she is worthy. Mary Marvel is a perfect foil for Linda's thoughts. Mary is pure, innocent, good. And Linda can't help but feel flawed in comparison. 

I really loved this book. I loved the journey Linda was on. I feel this second arc wasn't as strong as the first, longform one. But it is a perfect second act for Linda. 

Leonard Kirk remains on art and brings a very fluid, very organic feel style here. I love his depiction of Linda and Mary, young women who look natural and very real. But there is a fantastical element here he also embraces including an amazing splash cliffhanger. 

On to the book.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Review: Action Comics #1049

Action Comics #1049 came out this week and was certainly an issue to give thanks for. This is labeled Kal-El Returns Part 5 and certainly we are continuing to see what impact Superman and Warworld coming to Earth are having. But this arc here in Action Comics is really a sort of epilogue to the Warworld saga while sowing the seeds for the future.

Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson is truly weaving a masterpiece in this book. Superman remains an inspiration to the Warworlders. He is a mentor to Otho and Osul. He is the hero of Metropolis. He is truly a hero and the axle of the book with everything rotating around him. 

But the real fun is that the book is really bolstered by the supporting cast we are getting. Lois is strong here. Bibbo is a fun character, embodying someone who is inspired to be a hero by Superman. We are seeing a truly conniving Lex here as well as a semi-sympathetic Metallo. And let's not forget that Supergirl, as well as Thao-La, are well represented here. In particular, this issue where we see a couple of Lex's plans heating up shows me that Luthor is going to be a force here.

Mike Perkins is on art in the main section and his work on the New Gods is a sort if ugly beautiful. It really just grabs the eye and makes you look. We also get some quieter moments and Perkins does something there which is magical. Promise I'll get there. David Lapham wraps up the Supergirl/Thao-La story and continues to give us a clean look with a gorgeous Kara. Give me more!

On to the book!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

DC February 2023 Solicits

The Dawn of the DCU is finally being seen in DC's solicits. February's books were announced last week and there a few worth focusing on. Here is the CBR coverage:

It seems to me, just looking at these solicits, that the Lazarus Planet is going to be a driving creative narrative for the universe. So many books seem to be springing from those books including a new Doom Patrol by Dennis Culver and Chris Burnham. We also have seen other coverage elsewhere of new books coming out of Dawn of DCU including a John Stewart GL book by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, a Shazam book by Mark Waid and Dan Mora, and a Steel/Natasha book as well. Those sound great. A Mariko Tamaki Hal Jordan book doesn't seem like a good fit but who knows. And Tom King on Brave and Bold? As long as Kara isn't a guest star. 

It has a sort of 'get back to basics' feel to it but with a burst of new books bringing back characters who traditionally have a title on the shelves. Hopefully things stabilize and we get great stories. 

But until we get there, we have February's issues. Here are the super books. I'll start the discussion by saying that all these books have tremendous variant covers. I'll post my favorite but there are others that are just as sensational

• Written by MARK WAID
• Cover by DAN MORA

• The secret behind the Supergirl-Robin feud, revealed! On a day not too long ago, a meeting between the Boy Wonder and the Girl of Steel began sweetly, became awkward, and ended so catastrophically, horrifically, jaw-droppingly, car-crashingly disastrously that, among the Superman and Batman families, it is now enshrined as the world’s finest example of How Not to Team Up!

Back when World's Finest started we saw that Dick and Kara had some horrific date which both were still smarting from. Back when we first heard about that date, I thought we would never see the story. But DC is giving me Valentine's Day gift by giving me the story. I'm bummed Dan Mora isn't on it but I love Emanuela Lupacchino's art so that is fine. I love the cover!


Monday, November 21, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving! A Supergirl/Legion Trailer!

 Thanksgiving is right around the corner and at this time I always hope that there will be some good comic news so that I can once again give thanks for this hobby which has meant so much to me.

As if by magic, last week the official trailer for the Legion Of Super-Heroes movie was released. Here it is on YouTube:

Now there is no official release date, just a vague 'early 2023' tagline on different sites but this looks like a fantastic.

Obviously I am a massive Supergirl fan so the fact that she is headlining this movie is incredible. Putting her in my favorite version of her costume - red skirt, blue shirt - is just gravy on the turkey, if I can use a Thanksgiving metaphor.

But I am also a huge Legion of Super-Heroes fan as well. So a Supergirl and the Legion movie is like peanut butter and nutella, 2 awesome things which are exponentially better together.

There is a lot to love in this trailer and one thing that I am not sure I like. But overall, I can anticipate owning this in some form for repeated viewing.

On to some details.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Review: Batman/Superman World's Finest #9

Batman/Superman World's Finest #9 came out this week and was once again a near perfect comic book. Writer Mark Waid and artist Dan Mora have been hitting it out of the park month in and month out. 

Waid writes the perfect voices for DC characters and this issue there is no shortage of them. From The Flash to the Teen Titans to even the villains, everything sounds perfect. The actions of the characters feel right. But most importantly, he knows how to give us the perfect Superman and the perfect Batman. We see how the two differ in their lessons for Boy Thunder. Given the roles of Robin and Supergirl in the earlier arc, this story about mentoring has some extra juice to it. 

Heck, he even gives me a Joker I'd read. And I have been tired of the Joker for years.

Meanwhile, Dan Mora is revelation. As I say each issue, whenever I see Mora focus on a new character I say 'I hope he does that character's book some day'. From the Doom Patrol to Green Lantern to old school Titans, everyone looks great. That said, I hope he stays here for a long long time.

Everyone should be reading this book. Everyone. 

On to the details.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Review: The Death Of Superman 30th Anniversary Special, Pt 2

The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special came out last week and it was chock full of great stuff. I covered the Dan Jurgens story earlier this week. That was a solid tale, a flashback to a time when Jon was still a tweener and learning about the famous Death story. Baked within that was a bunch of homage panels as Jurgens introduces the story to a whole new generation of fans.

What I love about the rest of this book is that it also looks backwards but now to the actual time of the Death of Superman. And it also brings back a bunch of the major creators of the time, allowing them another swing. Even better, it has those creators once more writing some of the characters they are best known for. As an old time fan, and in particular a fan of this classic arc, this was just wonderful.

Jerry Ordway and Tom Grummett give us a story focusing on the Kents. Ma and Pa are witnessing the Doomsday fight and reminisce on a little known aspect of Clark's heroism.

Roger Stern and Jackson Guice give us a Guardian, Dubbilex, and Metropolis SCU story. I didn't know I needed another Guardian and Dubbilex story. I did know I needed to see more Guice art.

Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove give us a deeper look into John Henry Irons origin and how he always has had the art of the hero. 

And if that wasn't enough, we get a bunch of pin-ups, including one I'll highlight below. 

It is a hefty $10.99. But you know what? It was worth it.

On to the book. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Review: The Death Of Superman 30th Anniversary Special, pt 1

 It's hard to believe that it has been 30 years since the Death of Superman storyline. But it has been and DC decided to commemorate the occasion with an oversized one shot, appropriately named The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special. 

It is a wonderful book, bringing together the architects of that classic arc for several stories. The book is too big to cover all in one review so I'll be covering the first (and longest story) by writer/artist Dan Jurgens with inker Brett Breeding.

The story takes place in the recent past, recent enough that Jon is around but not recent enough for Jon to be aged. I am surprised that once more DC is giving us stories of a de-aged Jon. Perhaps they realize that a tween Jon still has story opportunities. Here Jon learns about how his father died at the hands of Doomsday. It is an excellent retelling of the classic story (it was 30 years ago, maybe people haven't read it before) while adding a new character. 

But the joy here is the retelling of the story from Lois' perspective, teaching Jon about how deadly Doomsday was and how noble Superman was in sacrificing himself.

I grabbed the Franscesco Mattina cover because the punched out symbol cover is a nice riff on the similar covers introducing us to the four wannabe Supermen that emerged in The Reign of the Supermen arc.

On to the story.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Review: Superman Son Of Kal-El #17

Superman Son Of Kal-El #17 came out this week. This is a title that is ending next month, switching to a mini-series called Adventures of Superman.

This is also the 4th part of the Kal-El Returns arc, reuniting the senior Superman with his family and the world at large.

One thing about this title is that writer Tom Taylor has made it low on action and high on civics. This is a book that has felt to be more of a Jay Nakamura book with Jon as a guest star than a break-out title for a new Superman. And it has focused more on Jon's sexual identity than his super-heroics. 

I understand full well that Jon coming out as bisexual and being with Jay has been lauded as a breakthrough. But I was hoping that this would be a book where the spotlight would be on Jon's emergence as a superhero, his filling the mantle of the title Superman. But instead that has barely been touched on. 

This issue has Jon coming out to his father. Now I am not saying that this isn't an important topic or discussion. But this title now feels like an 18 month 'coming out' story and not a super-hero book. I am not bemoaning Jon being bi. I am not saying that this shouldn't be. I am saying that I wanted more out of this book and this focus on Jon's sexual orientation has just meant other stories haven't been told.

Here I also take a little exception with Taylor's story in that Jon thinks that his father ... SUPERMAN ... would somehow shun him or disown him for being bi. Superman! I know this might be a metaphor for other children struggling with parents who don't accept them. But don't put Superman in those shoes.

Cian Tormey has settled in nicely in this book. His style fits the tone here.

On to the book.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Review: Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #6

Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #6 came out this week, the penultimate issue of this universe redefining epic. 

Can someone explain it to me?

In the 14 years I have been running this site, the DCU has set and reset several times. I must admit I am getting a bit fatigued with these events and these configuring of continuity. In the end, the DCU usually settles down. We usually end up back near classics. But that doesn't mean the telling and retelling and forming and reforming isn't exhausting.

Still, if the story is intriguing or compelling or fun, I am usually on board. Final Crisis made very little sense but it felt big and bold and made me think. 

I don't think I can say the same for Dark Crisis.

I don't quite understand how Pariah is doing what he is doing. How he contaminated a primeval force. What he hopes to gain or what it will bring him. I don't know how he is controlling all the villains. I don't know why he needed the original JLA on dream worlds or why the worlds they were on were their dreams. I can blur my mind and sort of get it. But that is also tiring.

And then we get this issue which sort of ends the main plot before I can say I understood it. There are key points in the plot which are explained via 'comic book science' in small panels to move things along. I don't understand why these things work. And how it brings things to a close.

But then it opens up one last subplot which I understand even less.

There are moments to like here. Writer Joshua Williamson gives legacy heroes, the target of Deathstroke, bright moments. Green Arrow has a nice spotlight scene. 

But overall, this series has left me wanting. I didn't feel there were any really stakes here. That might be more about my event fatigue than anything. But things don't flow here.

All that said, Daniel Sampere is a revelation. His art is spectacular. He gives us big battle scenes and small emotional scenes. The art is crisp and clear and eye-catching.

But we only have one more issue to wrap it up. And then, another 'new' universe.

On to the specifics.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Review: Supergirl #68

Last week I saw the Black Adam movie, a action filled, special effects fueled extravaganza. It was a pure popcorn movie. Maybe a bit long, maybe too much slo-mo. But it was filled with lots of DC lore and I truly loved the entirety of the JSA. And, of course, there was that mid-credit scene which reintroduced a Henry Cavill Superman to the DCEU. With all that in mind, I thought I'd find a Supergirl/Marvel Family crossover to cover. 

Supergirl #68, written by Peter David with art by Leonard Kirk and Robin Riggs, At this time in the series, Supergirl had been stripped of her Angelic presence and powers. Her powers are now similar to the Golden Age Superman, leaping instead of flying, limited invulnerability. She is on a quest to regain that Earth Angel aspect by following the Chaos Stream on Earth. Along the way, she has been tormented by the supernatural, all claiming allegiance to the Demon Mother.

This story arc is solid. Throughout the story, Linda Danvers isn't sure of her worthiness of the powers. The addition of Mary, a glittering example of purity, makes Linda question herself even more.  It all ends well with Supergirl performing the ultimate sacrifice. But we need to get there. And here is where Mary becomes an ongoing supporting cast member. Like many superhero stories, the characters have to fight before they team up.

Leonard Kirk was the main artist on this book for years. He brings a clean style to the book, one greatly appreciated. The characters look young, as they should. The action is slick. There is an element of the fantastical. And the humorous bits are done well.

With no hesitation I'll say I love this volume of Supergirl. This Supergirl/Linda was complicated, flawed, but learning and trying to be a hero.

On to the book.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Review: Dark Knights Of Steel #8

Dark Knights of Steel #8 came out this week and was another interesting chapter in this mini-series. I have enjoyed this book for its exploration of the DC heroes in a medieval setting with all the trappings that comes with. It was a time when combat settled a lot of disputes. So seeing some of our heroes seem eager to raise their sword hand seems right.

The House of El, The House of Lightning, and the Amazons are about to engage in battle, a war of the three major kingdoms on this world. I have suspected for some time that the real villains of this world have yet to be revealed. Some shape-shifters are out there ratcheting up the tension and lashing out in the guise of our heroes. 

The problem is that this also means that the 'real' heroes are bound to return the violence. This issue ends with a brutal death. But I don't think there are any shapeshifters here. I think who ever is pulling the strings has succeeded in making these different factions kill themselves off. 

Tom Taylor does a good job here with characterization as usual. I love the Harley here. I like Diana and Zala- trying to calm things. And I like the budding romance between Ollie and Dinah. 

Another big win is the art. Yasmine Putri is back on the book and her stuff is just gorgeous. Her panel construction and page layouts really help push the story.  Her battle sequences are fantastic. And she seems to have a good handle on the fashion and mores of the time. Just wonderful.

On to the book!

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Review: DC Vs. Vampires #10

DC Vs. Vampires #10 came out last week, inching us closer to the end of this series.

As has been the case with this book, we are basically following three different subplots as it winds through this horrific world. Batgirl is leading an attack squad into Gotham to kill Dick. Ollie is trying to free people from a blood farm in Smallville. And Steel is doing his best to get Supergirl to Australia hoping to get her above the clouds and into the sun.

Writers James Tynion IV and Matthew Rosenberg keep the book plugging along, switching back and forth from  one plot to the other and keeping them all moving forward. There are some questionable plot points here, things which don't make much sense even in the context of a comic book world. But for the most part, it is enjoyable. I keep hoping we'll get something heroic out of Supergirl before the book ends. And I have enjoyed the insanity of Harley Quinn here.

The art by Otto Schmidt is at his most stylized and wild. It crackles along very well. For me, the Gotham pages work the best for his look. I have said before that I'd buy a Batgirl or Birds of Prey book by him. 

I do like the Kara The Vampire Slayer variant cover by Nathan Szerdy. 

On to the book.

Monday, October 31, 2022

2022 Jack-O-Lanterns

As many know, one of my favorite Halloween traditions is to carve pumpkins. Nothing better for a creative outlet than figuring out what jack-o-lanterns I am going to carve and then figure out the design. If you use the Halloween tag here, you'll see the pumpkins of yesteryear (as well as some Halloween comic reviews). 

A more recent sub-tradition is doing a Legionnaire pumpkin each year. Over the years I have put together quite a mission team: Sensor Girl, Wildfire, Monster Boy, Quislet, and now this year's addition ... White Witch.

This was a bit trickier than I thought it would be as the long eyelash antennae were a  bit delicate and required some fine carving. But overall, I think this came out pretty good! Welcome aboard Mysa!

But I am more pleased with the second jack-o-lantern.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Review: Action Comics #1048

 Action Comics #1048 came out this week and was another wonderful issue in this great run that writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson. This is part three of the Kal-El Returns arc but really we are still in the aftermath of the Warworld Saga. 

The first part of the issue has the main story, Superman's story, set in Metropolis. The art in this part is by Mike Perkins, who I last saw on the Lois Lane book. The aftermath of Warworld, the legend of the First God Orglun, and the tangential touches on the Fourth World are all at play here. And it all really works. The addition of Otho and Osul Ra is so welcome here, giving Lois and Clark kids to care for. Johnson just adeptly shows how these two are still hurting from the years they lost with Jon. Moreover, all the 'Genesis' and 'Old Gods' stuff comes home with some of the New Gods showing up. 

Perkins just crackles here. His style works well for big battle art. I remember his fisticuffs being a strong part of the Lois book. The New Gods looks huge. And yet, at the same time, the smaller scenes of the kids at the zoo, have just as much polish. His Metallo is robotic and yet somehow forlorn. Wonderful.

But as great as the first part, the back up feature, the second part of Red Moon Rising, with art by David Lapham, is just as great. This is a Supergirl back-up, with Kara showing Thao-La the ropes, teaching her to be a hero, acting as protector of Metropolis, and ready to throw down against Mongul's lackeys. This is Supergirl. I love Lapham's style here, giving Supergirl a sort of classic look, powerful and graceful. 

Everyone should be buying this book.

On to the specifics.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

DC Comics January 2023 Solicits

The solicits for the new year of DC Comics were released last week and I have to say it is an odd month. We are down to one Superman title for now as the new Jon Kent book Adventures of Superman isn't released yet.  But that one book is Action Comics which is becoming a new version of Superman Family. I think that is great!

The Lazarus Planet books sound intriguing but there while there are some interesting bits I don't know if I needed another big crossover right out of the gate of Dark Crisis. Maybe give us a year of building whatever this new universe is before breaking it down?

Anyways, here is a link to the full solicits from GamesRadar (formerly Newsarama):

Cover by DAN MORA


Action Comics #1051 begins a new format for DC's most action-packed title, offering not one, not two, but three epic adventures of Superman and the entire Super-Family! Following the bombshell events of Action Comics #1050, the world's relationship with Superman is forever changed, the upper limits of his supercharged powers have yet to be reached, and the House of El's transformation of Metropolis, led by Steel, has begun. But Lex Luthor has found the perfect instrument with which to undo everything Superman is working to achieve: Metallo, whose hatred of Superman is matched only by his hatred for Luthor himself. Then, in "Lois and Clark 2: Doom Rising," Dan Jurgens and Lee Weeks return to tell the tale of young Jon Kent on the farm with his parents, learning about his abilities, coming of age…and battling the Doombreaker?! And finally, Power Girl returns in part one of a three-part story spinning out of Lazarus Planet! This issue marks the first appearance of new characters, new costumes, and a new era of Action Comics! It all starts here!

First off, there are a ton of great variant covers for this issue but I love this main one by Dan Mora the most. Just a great shot of our new Superman Family in a new sort of family uniform. I love it. Mora does such great work. I love his Supergirl.

This turns out to be a sort of Superman anthology so I hope at some point Supergirl gets a solo bit here.

I am glad that Phillip Kennedy Johnson is still on board for the main story. Super-juiced on Genesis and fighting Lex/Metallo is great. Love that the Phaelosian twins are here too!

Way back in DC Rebirth, the Convergence Superman merged with the New 52 Superman. Now we get a Jurgens/Weeks arc looking back at the pre-merge Superman with a young Jon. I'm not against it because I liked those series. But strange to do now. Is this to mollify the 'why did you age Jon' crowd?

And I am glad Power Girl is back. I wonder how this creative team will treat her.

On to the rest of the books.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Review: DC's Terror Through Time

Hat tip, as usual, to friend Mart Gray for pointing out a delightful Super Sons story in the DC's Terrors Through Time anthology which came out earlier this month.

Peter Tomasi has always had a great handle on the tween versions of these heroes. I loved all his series of Jon and Damian learning to be heroes and friends. Their methods and outlook were different enough to bring out contrast and friction. But they grew and influenced each other. There was super-heroics. There was humor. It all worked.

All that has unfortunately evaporated with the aging of Jon to late teen. I still think that was a bad move by DC, robbing us not only of these Sons stories but any true 'Superboy' tales. I would love to hear if DC regrets it. Given the recent promotion and changes to Jon, it is unlikely we'll ever get a de-aging. 

Thankfully, these 'lost tales' continue to pop up now and then. Here, writer Sholly Fisch hits it out of the park. This is a Halloween story. It's a humor story. And it has the classic interplay between our heroes. Throw in the JLA and some of my favorite classic villains and this is a win.

I'll also say that these stories for the most part land excellent artists. In this story, Luciano Vecchio brings a nice style to this, stylized without over doing it. 

On to the story.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Review: World's Finest #8

Batman/Superman World's Finest #8 came out this week, another amazing issue in this utterly entertaining and wonderful title. 

Writer Mark Waid and artist Dan Mora are just clicking here. This is pure creative synergy, bringing back a classic feeling DC Comic while feeling completely modern. Perhaps the best decision the creators have made was to put this some time in the past. This feels like a pre-Crisis world. There are costumes and histories here that don't jibe with the current DCU. Or perhaps this is the new DCU. I can only hope. 

This issue continues the story of Boy Thunder, Superman's new sidekick from an alternate Earth. He might not be as innocent a kid as he let on last issue. It is hinted he may have had something to do with his world's demise. Seeing the entire DCU accept him and help him brings back a feel of a warmer universe where heroes were selfless.

And let me not bury the lede. This is the best Supergirl book out in the last several years. Waid brings back a Silver Age origin. He leans right into how traumatic her history yes. But instead of her wallowing, or getting angry and drunk, or 'living in pain', she has recognized it and grown. If you didn't like the last mini-series Supergirl starred in, this is a palate cleanser. This washes off the grime. Most of this review will be on those pages. Heck ... this is a Supergirl blog.

As for Dan Mora, he is simply perfect. There are subtle homages to classic DC (including the cover, a sort of take on Batman #1from 1940. This book keeps bringing in more and more of the DCU and every time I see his take on someone new, I think 'he should do that book'. Seriously, he hits it out of the park with everything. His expressive work is amazing. I would beg DC to put him on a Supergirl solo book. But as long as she keeps showing up here, I'm happy. 

On to the book. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Review: Swamp Thing #50

Last week I reviewed Dark Crisis:The Deadly Green, a one shot tied to Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths and a definite homage to the classic Swamp Thing #50 from 1986. During the review I wondered if folks not familiar with the source material might not appreciate the issue as much as someone like me, someone who knows this book by heart. 

I love this issue. It came out at just the right time for me, in the middle of my teen years when comics were suddenly akin to literature and not juvenile nonsense. It seems almost silly to sing the praises of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing or the art stylings of Stephen Bissette, John Totleben, and Rick Veitch. But if you haven't read that run, you should. It is brilliant and stands up today.

With the homage fresh in my mind, I figured why not review Swamp Thing #50 here. It is one of my favorite issues of all time and why not shed some light on why I liked Deadly Green so much.

Sit back and prepare to be amazed. Everything about this book sings. It is hard to believe but the character of John Constantine was just a year old at this point. Some of the character aftermath of this issue stuck for years, even today. The art is utterly lush. 

On to the book.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Legion Of Super-Heroes Animated Movie Starring Supergirl !!

Every so often a news item will come out of the blue which just tickles me, having me grin like a loon for the day.

Out of nowhere last week, we learned a new DC animated movie about the Legion of Super-Heroes is in the works, And even better, Supergirl is a big part of it.

Here is the official blurb!

One shot of the movie has been released. It should have Supergirl and Brainiac 5 fans (like me) smiling. That looks like a fantastic Supergirl. Love the look of determination, the hairdo, the hand on Brainy, and the costume. I stared at this thing all day.

And then the details.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Review: Superman Son Of Kal-El #16

Superman Son of Kal-El #16 came out this week, the first issue of Jon's book since Superman has returned from Warworld. It also is the first book out since the news that the title was being canceled and rebranded as Adventures of Superman in the new year.

I call issues like these 'rest issues', a pause between big storylines giving the creative team a breather and the opportunity to showcase some character moments, catch up on lingering threads, etc.

In many ways, this issue was a primer for this book. If you were looking for a jumping on point, this would be it. The Bendix/Gamorra stuff is done. It is sort of a clean slate. If you are looking for a jumping off point and the overly long 15 Gamorran story didn't convince you, this issue shows what writer Tom Taylor envisions for this book. This is an activist Superman. There is some metatextual commentary on fandoms. 

One scene that does crackle is Jon confronting Lex Luthor. We have seen these two battle wits in the past. I like how Jon holds his own here. He isn't Clark so his dealing with Lex isn't like Clark's. The scene has the most energy in the issue even if a super-villain encounter is thrown in. 

The art is by Cian Tormey and Ruairi Coleman. It has a sort of organic feel. There isn't a sharp angle or jagged line in the book. It has a smooth feel which works with the book. The cover has the feel of Action Comics #285 when Supergirl was announced to the world. I like that too.

On to the book.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Superman Family News At NYCC 2022

I have never been able to attend the New York City Comic Con. It is a bucket list item for me.

The con occurred last weekend and one of the cool things to come out of it was a Superman panel teeing up all the things that are going to happen with the Superman books in the upcoming year.

Here is a link to the coverage over on the DC site:

There was a lot to love in the news as discussed by the creators. Most of the upcoming plans sound fantastic. I'll touch on some of the news here but I recommend reading the entire blurb.

Let's start with Action Comics.

“My one-word mission statement for Action Comics in 2023 is ‘Super-Family,’ and I draw inspiration from the 100-page Giant ‘Superman Family issues,” said writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson. “We’re giving everyone in the House of El their own role and personal journey while still keeping Superman at the forefront, and tying all the Super-titles together in a way that’s reminiscent of the Triangle Era. I couldn’t be more excited to be part of this new era of Action Comics, and doing it alongside such a consummate artist as Rafa Sandoval and comics titan Dan Jurgens truly makes it a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

I was a kid when the Superman Family went to the dollar comic format and I loved it. So the idea of seeing something like it again is tremendous. I feel Johnson has had a great handle on the underpinnings of the Superman characters. His Supergirl is spot on. His take on Steel and Natasha is perfect. So I am glad he is taking charge in this way.

On Twitter Johnson said that the book will be 40 pages with three different stories. That is about as close to the classic Superman Family book you can get. I am hoping that eventually Supergirl will get some stories of her own. 

Monday, October 10, 2022

Review: Dark Crisis The Deadly Green

When it was announced that the big bads in Dark Crisis were Pariah and the The Great Darkness, I anticipated that the writers would be leaning into two of the bigger stories that came out in 1985. 

One, of course, is Crisis on Infinite Earths. That would explain all the multiverse stuff and obviously Pariah's presence.

The other though is American Gothic, the Alan Moore Swamp Thing arc that looked at horror manifesting in the DCU during the instability of the Crisis. That arc starts with the formal introduction of John Constantine and ends with a battle on the plains of Heaven and Hell. We see Swamp Thing tangentially touch on the Crisis in Swamp Thing #46. That arc introduces the Parliament of Trees. It ends in Swamp Thing #50 where the Great Darkness is revealed as the shadow of God, the Anti-light. In that issue, Earthbound magical heroes perform a seance to lend what meager powers they have to the side of good. In the end, Swamp Thing is profound, Mento is insane, Zatara is dead, and the Great Darkness has created an uneasy truce with the original Light. 

Dark Crisis The Deadly Green really leans into that American Gothic arc and in particular that issue of Swamp Thing. From a super-hero seance, to a profound character speaking from the ultimate darkness, to Swamp Thing playing an important role, it all resonates. Without knowing that issue inside and out, I wonder if readers pick up and those reverberations. In particular, Constantine speaking to three aspects of the Great Darkness is a sort of inverse of four heroes speaking to the Darkness in that issue, a very sneaky back door homage. Alan Scott almost perishing in flames (like Zatara did) is also a decent echo. 

And a key plot point of the main Dark Crisis book is tucked away here too. 

All that, from the homage to the key plot point, makes me wonder why the creator list of the book reads like a phone book. It sports three writers - Ram V, Daniel Watters, and Alex Paknadel. It has four artists - Daniel Bayliss, George Kambadais, Tom Derenick, and Brent Peeples. I suppose that the number of creators doesn't matter if the story works. But the art styles flipping about did pull me a bit out of the story. 

All this makes me wonder if I should just review Swamp Thing #50 here.

On to the book.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Review: Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #5

Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #5 came out this week and I have to say there are some great moments in this book. But I don't know if I quite understand everything that is going on.

Joshua Williamson continues to really plumb the depths of the DCU in this mega-event and that will always make me happy. We saw Body Doubles in a past issue. In this one we see Sideways. So anytime I get the breadth of the DCU I am happy. 

And we also see Williamson leaning into some DC history here. This whole series has been a bit meta with the Pariah enslaving the big bads from prior universal events as his lieutenant. So seeing Kingdom Come images again homaged works well. Gar Logan returning from his injuries with an eyepatch is interesting to me given his long history an enmity with Deathstroke. We also, finally, get the return of the JL albeit in their dream versions. All that works.

But how Pariah is doing all this is still a bit unclear to me. How he corrupted the Great Darkness doesn't make a lot of sense, even from a comic book science viewpoint. And all the stuff about heroes being tied to dream planets and therefore dead but not dead seems weird. I also don't know why everything hinges on Deathstroke? Is it because he is a linchpin or is it because Pariah has made him one.

Daniel Sampere's art is just gorgeous throughout. His battle sequences are gritty. His splash pages work on the 'big moments deserve big art' scale. And his more cosmic splashes are really lush. He is making all this work visually. 

On to the book.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Superman Family At NYCC

Hat tip to blog friend Mart Gray for sending me to Bleeding Cool to see this image and learn about the Superman panel being done this weekend at NYCC. Here is a link to the story:

Now the Bleeding Cool article seems to focus a lot on the lack of capes. But there is more to glean here. 

First off, the art looks like Dan Mora. So no complaints there. 
But lets take a little deeper dive, Let's start out with red and black shoulder s-shields they all are wearing? Nice way of showing immediately that this is a team, a family.

The Breakdown of each costume is pretty interesting too.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Review: DC Vs. Vampires #9

DC Vs. Vampires #9 came out last week marking the halfway point of the second arc of this book. As this second arc has Supergirl as a main character and ... gasp ... a hero I felt the need to grab it and review.

I have admitted in the past that books like this or zombie titles don't usually get my attention. I am probably not the target audience here. But I will also admit that I am a sucker for Elseworlds and that I have been enjoying this book so far.

Writers James Tynion IV and Matthew Rosenberg are doing what they should do in books like this, introducing us to the broader DCU in the context of this vampiric wasteland. Now I didn't read the first 6 issues so I don't know how or why so many heroes got turned to the dark side. But I like the ragtag group of uninfected heroes who are still trying to save the world. Steel, Jayna, Green Arrow, Batgirl, and a depowered Supergirl sort lead different factions on different quests. There is a very nice surprise in the middle of the issue which I didn't foresee which also made me happy. 

Perhaps the one thing that I worry about is that there are three very different plot lines happening in this book meaning each issue is sort of sliced into thirds. I am far more interested in the Batgirl and Supergirl plots than I am the Green Arrow one and so I wonder if so many plot lines are too many for a book this length. 

I love the art as well. Guillem March's covers are horrific and dynamic. I loves seeing Supergirl front and center fighting fanged Atlantean warriors. Otto Schmidt is on interior art and brings his somehow both loose and polished look to the inside. I really like his work.

All three plots are nudged along in this issue so let's get to the details.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Review: Action Comics #1047

Action Comics #1047 came out this week, the first part of the 'Kal-El Returns' arc. It was fantastic.

Phillip Kennedy Johnson has just come off the Warworld epic, a barbarian rebellion story where Superman leads and overcomes. Throughout that action filled tale, we had wonderful character moments showing us just who Superman is and just how he inspires.

I feel this issue serves two purposes, both epilogue to Warworld and prologue to the upcoming arc. So there isn't much action. But boy is there characterization. Superman continues to inspire. Luthor is chilling. Lois is supportive and loving. Metallo is forlorn and withdrawn. And the Super-family proper is ready for battle and thrilled to see their mentor returned home. They act like a family!

The whole book just sings. It is almost a primer for what Superman and his supporting cast should be. In particular, I haven't been this afraid of Luthor in a long time. There is something about this vindictive, deluded Lex that is more frightening than any 'merged with J'onn' Apex Lex ever was. Lex is evil but pictures himself as a humanist. Brrrr ...

Add to all these powerful moments, the fantastic art of Riccardo Federici sizzles here. It is emotive and lush and flowing. I love it. David Lapham continues to shine in the back-up feature showcasing the entire Super-family. I really like his take on Kara. Add the 'movie poster' cover by Steve Beach and you have a winner all around. 

On to the book.