Friday, August 28, 2009

"Prime" returning to DC Comics in November

"Prime" time returns to DC Comics this fall when Superboy Prime once again invades the DC Universe.
Last seen in the climax to "Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds," that premiered on July 22, 2009, this renegade, evil Superboy from a parallel universe, will return after a four-month absence in Adventure Comics No. 4, due out Nov. 18, 2009.
This comic will sell for $3.99 and will be a tie-in to "Blackest Night," a theme in many DC Comic books right now.
Since the "Black Lanterns" know Prime's deepest secrets and thoughts, DC is billing this story as prime meeting his match.
One of the most powerful characters in the DC Universe, it took two Supermen to stop him during his first run and the Legion of Super Heroes and three different Earths and Superman to stop him the second time.
Although now thought to be powerless on "Earth Prime," the Black Lanterns somehow free and power him up again.
Prime wiped out entire parallel Earths in "Final Crisis" and no other DC villains have been that destructive.
His immaturity, ego and rage make him one of DC's best villains ever. Especially since he is a dark parody of Superman.
Prime could die or be seriously injured in this Blackest Night appearance, based on a comic book cover where the Lex Luthor from the original "Crisis" is holding his body, like Superman did Supergirl in that story.

When comic books spill over into real life ...

COMIC books are imaginary and fictional, right? Yes, but they shocked me recently by proving that's not an absolute, when they crossed over to real life — my life.
I started a new thread on the DC Comics message board in May of 2009 and surprisingly it ended up being incorporated directly into the climax of a five-part comic miniseries, "Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds"  (September 2009)
This incorporation also proved comic book writers really do read the comments from readers on message boards!
"Can Superboy Prime be redeemed?" That was the title of the thread I wrote and DC reproduced it exactly as it appears at the top of the page on any computer screen that accesses it.
Just five words and only 26 characters (and I thought Twitter was selective with its 140-character limit), but this was my brief composition.

It was actually kind of spooky because first you have a real world thing that I started appearing in a fictional story. Next, you have this evil, alternate world Superboy stewing over my thread and responding in the story that the thread is wrong and they will never get rid of him.

Now, I've not only been written into DC Comic book history, I've been threatened by a super-villain -- perhaps the worst one ever in the DC Universe!
To make matters worse, I use my real name on the DC Comics message boards and I'm one of the few who do.... But DC only reproduced the thread to the line right above my name.
Still, perhaps I should have a secret identity, like most people who post on the DC Comics message boards do.
(I also did have a letter to the editor published in World's Finest comics back in the 1970s as a comment to an upcoming race between Superman and the Flash.)

How invulnerable is Superman?

As a sequel to my discussion of Superman's speed, how invulnerable to harm is the Man of Steel?
When Superman began in 1938, bullets did bounce off him, but it appears he was vulnerable to big explosions as "nothing less than a bursting shell could penetrate his skin."
By the 1960s, Superman was laughing at atomic explosions.
Enter the 1970s, where the only 4 weaknesses Superman had were Kryptonite, red sun energy, other things from Krypton, or magic.
Any weapon without one of those components did not affect the Man of Steel.
He could also fly in outer space without oxygen.
When Superman was revamped in 1986, he could be stunned by big explosions and was vulnerable to a lack of air. He was lucky to survive nuclear blasts and many alien weapons could affect him.
The reasoning now is that Superman is only invulnerable to most earthly things — bullets, fire and ordinary explosions. If something is hot enough, like a sun, it can fry him. His invulnerability is only relative to earth.
The problem I have is that in too many stories, he fights villains who clearly have no invulnerability and yet fight equal to Superman.
I also think that only magic, red suns, things from Krypton,including Kryptonite should comprise his weaknesses.
What do other Man of Steel fans think?

How fast is Superman?

What speed can the Man of Steel run/fly?
He could exceed the speed of light until 1986, when DC Comics revamped the character. Then, he was still fast, but could not even approach the speed of light anymore.
I recall one comic book story a few years ago where Superman exceeded the speed of light to escape a dimensional trap.
The problem with that type of speed is that if he is that fast, he can time travel again, based on the DC Comics universe belief in that.
But more recently, the Barry Allen Flash zoomed away from Superman as if he was standing still.
I guess that's OK, cause Flash is supposed to be the "fastest man alive," but the Flash was never fast enough in the past to be in a league of his own.
So, Superman is as fast or slow as the comic book writers at the time want to make him.
Superman's speed is one of his least used powers in stories. Too many times, he just stands there and get struck by some weapon, when you would think he would avoid more such blasts with his great speed.
A lot of villains Superman faces don't seem to have much speed, but rarely is the Man of Steel's speed used as an advantage in a fight.
I'd like to have Superman be able to run at only sub-light speed, but be able to fly faster than light in outer space, when he really pushes himself.
So, in that case, Superman can't run as fast as the Flash, but if Superman is flying, that makes them close to even.
What do other Superman fans think?