Tuesday, December 28, 2010

April 2011: Superman and Batman in Utah?

UPDATED: In Superman comics issue No, 709, due out March 16, 2011, the Man of Steel will visit Boulder, Colorado in his stroll across the U.S.
Does that mean that in mid-April of 2011, he will visit Utah in the following comic book story, issue No. 710 ($2.99)? That appears likely.
However, what city he appears in is the key question.
Will it be Utah's most famous city, Salt Lake City?
Or, will it be a smaller suburb, like Sandy, Layton or even to a southern Utah community?
I've been pulling for Layton, my city of residence.
But it may NOT be any Utah city, but rather the desert of Utah where he meets and converses with Batman, according to an official DC Comics blog. (But at least that's 2 super-heroes in the Beehive State.)
With the British "Dr. Who" TV series filming in southeastern Utah late last fall, the Beehive State is back firmly in the sci-fi world.
However, it's the deserts that spotlight the fascination with Utah in these tales.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Superman returning to "Action" in April

After a several year absence, Superman will finally be returning to star in Action Comics at the end of April.
Issue No. 900 will feature the return of the Man of Steel.
It looks like Superman will have been gone longer from Action comics this time around, then when he was "dead," (killed by Doomsday) back in 1993-1994.
Superman's return is long overdue and I'm personally tired of Lex Luthor starring in Action comics.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Shy Superman?

DC Comics has definitely been limiting the appearances of Superman in various products these days.
It can't just be a coincide that DC is currently involved with a lawsuit over the character with his creator's descendants.
(However, if I was on a jury and realized DC's recent poor treatment of the character, even I'd side with the creator's family!)
The Brave and Bold animated show has been on two seasons now and Superman has yet to be mentioned or seen (He'll be in at least one show this season).
Superman hasn't been in Action comics for months. Lex Luthor has taken over that historic comic.
The Man of Steel is lucky to make a cameo in the Justice League comic books these days.
All the rumors and hubub over Superman's next major motion picture is simply outrageous, with no clear future in sight.
If DC's trying to kill the character, then it is on the right course.
DC -- don't you even remember anymore when your official logo on the front of every comic stated:
"Superman National Comics DC"????????

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Doomsday is Returning!

OK, Doomsday has been seen in DC Comics more than a few times since he killed Superman in the early 1990s.
He didn't die in the first fight, like Superman didn't.
Doomsday returns again in "Steel" No. 1 on Jan. 5, 2011.
This "Reign of Doomsday" – saga has him returning to Metropolis, and somehow Steel is the only hero who can keep him from destroying the city.
In this multi-part story, Doomsday will also face the JLA, Superboy and others in other comics in early 2011.
(Also, in the Marvel universe, Spiderman will die in early 2011 and does that sound familiar, almost 20 years after Superman's most publicized death happened?)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

DC goes digital in comics ...

Should comic book stores be worried?
DC Comics unveiled its new digital comic book store this week.
It provides access to read and download some 800 different digital comics from one Web location.
The site is fully compatible with DC's iPad and iPhone App.
Now one shouldn't expect that digital comics will mean comic stores will go the way of the vanishing record/music stores, but it still represents yet another challenge to the business of comic book stores.
Hopefully it will attract the prospective younger comic book readers out there, that comic stores can't woo in.
Most older, long-time readers,like me, aren't likely to convert completely to digital comics, preferring to still have a hard, slick copy in their possession.
But finding a comic you missed might be a lot more convenient to finding the digital realm.
Digital comics are selling for less that the traditional comic. For example, some are priced as low as 99 cents. Others sell for $1.99-$2.99, or $1-$2 less than the printed versions sold for.
Of course, there is no delivery charge to worry about in digital comics.
DC has Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Justice League, Sandman and more available 24/7 at
https://read.dccomics.com/comixology/
You might need a flash program update to access the site. Then, you have to register and DC accepts Visa or Mastercard for payment,
Marvel Comics has had a digital comics service for sometime now. It boasts over 5,000 titles and even has a monthly membership fee.
Go to: marvel.com/digitalcomics/

Thursday, November 4, 2010

DC Comic's latest lame idea

Bruce Wayne is going to be revealed as Batman's financial muscle in an upcoming DC Comic.
What?
DC writers did you not think this idea through or what?
If I were the Joker or Riddler or Mr. Freeze, all you have to do to seriously hinder Batman's crime-fighting efforts is to attack Bruce Wayne or Wayne Enterprises.
This lame idea gives up some of Batman's secret identity and independent status.
Why would Bruce Wayne do this? It makes no sense.
Logically after such an announcement, Batman would have to protect his private life much more.
I fail to see any advantage in Batman doing this.
What dumb idea is next for DC writers?
How about these:
-Have Wonder Woman identify the location of Paradise Island?
-Have Superman open his Fortress of Solitude Zoo to public tours?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Superman Earth One


Does the graphic novel, "Superman Earth One" live up to its hype?
I say not quite.
Yes, it is a different re-imagining of the Superman legend.
Yes, there a couple of clever new twists in the story.
But the story just didn't flow well.
The title is also confusing and should not have been used.
The ending was also too abrupt.
This re-imagining was a couple of notches above what Stan Lee did some years ago, yet the main villain just didn't have enough spark for my taste, Sure, it was a new, unexpected villain, but he seemed pretty cardboard-like to me.
My expectations might have been too high, but I had hoped for something as innovative and smooth as "Secret Identity" was a few years ago.
I'd only recommend buying it (19.99 plus tax), if you are a hard-core Superman fan.
UPDATE: They are planning a sequel to this comic, so despite my criticisms, it exceeded DC's expectations....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

8.5 Percent Superman!


I had high hopes for Superman in 2011, but not so.
Checking DC Comics' January 2011 releases, there are 76 total comics for the month and only 9 are Superman related. That's just 2 new titles starring Superman; three re-published Man of Steel stories and three issues with characters in the "Superman Family."
That's awful DC -- just 8.5 percent of your stuff in the first month of the year features Superman.
This is the worst month I can ever remember and I'm only planning on buying four $2.99 comics in January -- my lowest level ever since the early 1980s.
Why is Superman not back in the JLA?
Why has Lex Luthor taken over Action comics?
I also just read the latest Superman-Batman comic and it starred Supergirl and Robin. DC's world's finest heroes seem to be taking a lot of vacations lately.
What's all this "Brightest" junk you're producing too?
DC what are you thinking?
There were MORE superman comic appearances around back in the early 1990s after Doomsday had killed him than there is now.
DC, your movie plan for your super-heroes sucks and now your lineup of your comics is likewise well below par.
I guess you have nowhere to go in February except up.
And, besides wanting Superman back in the JLA and Action, when the "Smallville" TV series ends next spring, I'd like to see a miniseries that continues the Smallville storyline further as Clark Kent becomes a full-blown Superman.
Is that too much to ask?
(The above photograph is the cover of JLA No. 50, that had Supergirl, but no Superman, at least not the real one!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

DC to drop comic book prices!

Here's an unexpected move and one that goes against most businesses today ---
DC announced this week that it will drop the current price of its $3.99 comic books to $2.99 starting in January 2011.
Now DC mentions those comics will decrease from 22 pages to 20 pages in length, but that's great truth in advertising when most companies secretly shrink sizes, hoping you won't notice.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Superman/Batman: Apocalypse" review

This latest DC animated movie is all to predictable in the early going.
"Superman/Batman: Apocalypse" simply follows the plot of the comic book it is based on.
It is only the last 10 minutes where it comes alive, when DC departs from the comic and goes all-out with some super, unexpected action of "wow" and "Awe" proportions.
Sadly, previews of the upcoming "All Star Superman" also appear based too much on the comic story of the same name.
I'm sure DC will throw in some twists at the end, but is that what their new formula is?
Take old comic material to make animated movies out of?
I'd like to see some new material sometimes.
Or, at least go back in time and use the saga of where Superman first met Mongul, or some of the Elseworld tales as the fodder for future animated movies.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Has DC run out of ideas for Superman?

Lately, Action Comics is back to NOT having Superman star in each issue.
Presently, Lex Luthor is the star of the comic.
Action is where the Man of Steel started it all ...
Does DC Comic not have any new ideas for Superman or what?
To not have Superman in action is nothing less than lame and coming at a time when there's that big lawsuit the family of the Superman creators have against DC, it seems more than odd.
Luthor as a side story in Action would not fine, but DC is pushing its luck without the star of Action.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Superman's history

I've read some Superman histories over the years, but thanks to that late, free comic book Web site that existed earlier this spring, I was able to read or scan most Superman comics from the late 1930s to the early 1960s -- effectively "completing" my Superman history course.
It was amazing to see that some "Adventures of Superman" show stories, that I always thought to be original, weren't — they came from the comics! Yet, there were a few comics plots that spun off the TV show's story too.
From seeing Superman evolve, to his involvement in World War II, were priceless vantage points I found, while reading early comics on the Web.
There were also so many early 1940s comic covers where Superman stopped a U-boat or a Japanese Zero plane, where the story inside had nothing to do with the war.
I know I read some sci-fi type stories in those old Superman comics that were ahead of their time and I wish I'd made notes about them.
But, overall the comic stories of the 1940s and 1950s weren't all that good. Neither was most of the artwork. It was only from the 1960s on that the Man of Steel really took off.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Superman movie locations

I spent a week in Canada last week and was surprised to find that portions of the Superman I, II and III movies were filmed there.
The Columbia icefield was a big part of Superman II.
Calgary was also in movies.
I'll have to rewatch the movies now and see if I can see anything familiar.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Smallville — Fly or Die!

"Smallville" has been good in its 9 seasons, but it could be better and as I always say, less "soap opera-ish" would be a great improvement.
And, after watching the season finale for the 9th season, I say, "Fly or Die!"
Spoiler wise, Clark Kent is falling off a skyscraper with blue kryptonite and no powers.
Either he better finally get his powers back quickly and fly to get out of this or die in the season 10 opening show.
Clark now apparently has the costume and that's the long overdue next level — that he go from the "Blur" to the skies.
He did have a Legion flight ring and it is dumb that he doesn't use that.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Smallville the soap opera

Smallville has a few flashes of brilliance lately, but otherwise comes off to me as simply an average soap opera kind of show that could air in daytime soap time spots and do better.
This is the season where I've lost enthusiasm in the show.
Yes, a good series needs some characterizations and relationships explored, but there's too much of that in Smallville now and not enough action.
And, if Clark Kent stays grounded much longer, as other Kryptonians effortlessly fly, I might lose it completely.
Clark Kent should also be wearing glasses all the time and the "S" curl of hair should exist on the face of the "blur."
The series has now painted itself in a dark corner and has lost sight of the Superman mythology and legacy.

DC, Marvel Comics miss a huge opportunity on-line!

There was a huge, free library kind of database of comic books on-line for a few months and then it suddenly shut down.
It appears the FBI got involved. Likely, DC, Marvel and other comics owners sought to zealously protect their products.
Now if newspapers would have charged something for their on-line content from day one, they wouldn't be in near the financial trouble they are today.
Likewise, comic book companies should have had some vision here and bought the guy's work out, instead of sending the FBI after him.
Myself and likely others would have paid $10 a month, or so much a year to use a similar site.
The hours of work that Database Engineers, Inc. in Lutz, Florida spent scanning millions of comic book images in was incredible enough.
The site had promise and was ahead of its time.
On-line comics will be the future of the industry and comic book companies were unwise to let this pass by and simply squash it for now.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Free comic book day is Saturday, May 1

The ninth annual free Comic Book day is Saturday, May 1.
Walk in most any comic book store on that day and walk away with some new titles at no cost or obligation.
Sound too good to be true? It's authentic and is everything it claims to be.
If there's a catch, it is that store policies vary on how many free titles a customer can take, but if yoau have any interest in comics and aren't a regular comic store customer, this is the day to visit your local store.
www.freecomicbookday.com will have a search locator so people can find the participating stores.
Iron Man, Archie,. GI Joe, Shrek, Superman, Bongo and more -- there will be up to 33 comics titles to choose from while supplies last.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Superman changes are coming/The Search for Batman

Superman comics No. 701 (on sale July 14) is supposed to begin some sweeping changes in the Man of Steel.
This follows the "War of the Supermen" saga in what DC Comics is billing as "a modern-classic Superman story!"
I don;t know for sure the changes are, but the "S" Symbol on that upcoming comic's cover looks odd, being far too thin.
I'll hope for the best, but the cover art doesn't impress me.
--AND, a more promising Superman-related tale also begins in July — "Time Masters: Vanishing Point."
This intriguing comic is a six-issue search for Batman in time and space.
Superman joins Rip Hunter, Green Lantern and Booster Gold in the hunt for the World's Greatest Detective.
I have high hopes for this story.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Finally some action on "Smallville" .....

The April 9 episode of "Smallville" finally included some pretty great action.
"Smallville" has cut back on action scenes lately and has seemed more like a soap opera.
The "Checkmate" episode was one of the best this season.
Why Clark Kent doesn't fly or wear glasses, though, seem absolutely out of character with the Superman legend.
Also, where's his telescopic vision?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New power for Superman?

The Superman Homepage has discovered that Superman will soon sport a new super-power or powers, as well as have a change in his personality.
Apparently the traditional Superman will be soon be gone, replaced by one that's more up with the times.
The Homepage also states that the new power may revolve around Photosynthesis and come to (sun) light in July issues.
Superman has had some new powers before, like in the Christopher Reeve movies, where he instantly repairs the Wall of China and also can emit forces from his fingers.
In the comics, he's had temporary new powers and also changed to become an energy being for a time.
Some of Superman's current powers, like super-speed are already very under utilized in the comic books, so is adding powers a good idea?
Regarding a personality change, are we talking about making him less of a boy scout and more like Batman or what?
Back to powers, let's list Superman's current powers:
His 10 core powers:
1. Invulnerability to most things.
2. Super-strength
3. Super-speed
4. Flying power
5. Heat vision
6. X-ray vision
7. Telescopic vision
8. Super-breath
9. Super hearing
10 Rapid healing power.

Powers he sometimes has and sometimes doesn't, according to the whims of writers:
11. Super-Ventriloquism
12. Microscopic vision
13. Ability to not have to breath in outer space.
14. Ability to do without sleep
15. Super endurance
16. Super memory
17. Ability to stop his heartbeat
18. Ability to exceed the speed of light/Time travel ability

Did I miss any?

Does Superman really need more powers? OR just more creative use of the above?

Monday, March 8, 2010

No more Free on-line comics library?

The free window to hundreds of Superman and thousands of other comic books is gone, likely taken down for legal issues.
The site boasted 5,700 titles, 6.63 million pages and 1.6 million views a day! I can't imagine all the time spent scanning in all those images, let alone obtaining them.
My local comics store only has a fraction of those titles available and so where the site owners obtained them all is simply miraculous.
I can't believe comic retailers liked it, though it avoids having the newest of releases.
I still have some Superman comics from the 1960s, where I got a part one, but not the conclusion part two. So, this site at least gave me the opportunity to complete some older stories for me.
I also read many old Action and World's Finest and Adventure comics back into the 1940s.
Some of the sci-fi alone in those "golden age" tales was ahead of its time.
It was also interesting how some story ideas for the "Adventures of Superman" TV show came directly from the comic books, but how that also worked in reverse at times.
Reading some World Wat I era Superman comics was also a kick. You'd see this great cover of Superman stopping a German tank or a U-boat, but then inside there would be nothing about the war in any of the stories.
I got my free worth from this site, while it was there, to be sure.
The site was at:
http://www.htmlcomics.com/

Friday, March 5, 2010

Comics books hit too close to home now?

OK, so for me comic books -- Superman titles in particular -- are an escape, a fantasy and I expect mostly happy, pleasant outcomes.
It is a little unsettling for me the past few months to read real life scenarios in the newspaper world represented in some comics.
Being a newspaper reporter, times are tough. My salary/benefits are down about 15 percent the past two years and more than 10,000 journalists lost their jobs last year in the U.S.
In the Superman "Secret Origin" miniseries, the Daily Planet is portrayed as barely able to operate. It can't even afford to keep the Daily Planet globe on the roof spinning and the fears are now that it may be rusted in place.
There's graffiti at the Planet's front entrance and it is nothing like the slick place it has always been portrayed in the past.
Still, somehow Clark Kent gets hired at the Daily Planet, while Lex Luthor thrives in down economy.
Over in Marvel comic book land, it isn't much better. Peter Parker, newspaper photographer,has been the victim of layoffs.
Realistic yes, but cutting a little close to home for me .... Still, you've got to give DC writers/editors credit for knowing my industry's plight and keeping up with the times.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Who are the best Superman Villains?


Superman has lot of enemies, but which are the best?
Here's my top 10:

1. Darkseid. Clearly dark and powerful, he's the most cunning of Superman's foes.
2. Brainiac. Another alien, but one who has it out for Kryptonians,in particular.
3. Doomsday. The only foe to kill the Man of Steel.
4. Cyborg Superman. Part machine and part Kryptonian, he is formidable.
5. Time Trapper. Clearly the most mysterious of all foes of the Man of Steel and master of time.
6. Mongul. Another alien with great power and evil ambition.
6. Lex Luthor. The most overused Superman villain.
7. Zod. A fellow Kryptonian with military style.
8. Drax. An underused alien villain from Superman's past.
9. The original Gog. Simply awesome.
10. (tie) Parasite, an energy sucker and Metallo, powered by Kryptonite, However, neither are very smart.

Note that Luthor is only sixth. He's so overused in the Silver Screen Superman movies that it is simply pitiful.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Justice League Crisis Crisis



The new "Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths" animated video is certainly a letdown. I give it a B- grade tops.
(In comparison, "Superman Doomsday" was an A- and "Superman Batman Public Enemies" a B+)
Superman was plain mishandled throughout the video and there simply was no majesty or magic to the overall story.
(Single disc suggested retail price is $19.98.)
The "Superman" of either Earth was characterized as a brash thug, who reacts before he thinks.
Even Batman was not up to par, or as slick as he is represented in all other DC animated productions.
There was a lot of mindless kind of fighting throughout, some by villains even I have no idea who they were supposed to be ...
I failed to understand why the nuclear weapon threat from the government was much of a threat in the story to the super-villains either.
I guess the voices were OK, but I don't think there was even one voice that had been used by DC to portray the same character before. I missed the regular Batman and Luthor voices in particular.
The one bright spot was Gina Torres as Superwoman. She was a a perfect fit and style.
It was also NOT true to its title and ended up being a "Crisis on Infinite Earths," not a "Two Earths" saga.
Spoiler: Owlman wanting to destroy all Earths just didn't make sense either.
Spoiler! They way the villains just surrendered at the end to the government was a further insult to a good story.
If DC would have just taken "JLA Earth 2" -- an existing graphic novel -- and just spruced that up, they would have had a much better story, instead of trying to invent a new one that ended up below average.
Listen up DC! You want some great story ideas for future animinated movies? I'll give you three from your own proven graphic novel collection that you'd have to work hard to mess up:
1. How about a spin of "Superman Red Son"?
2. A twist on "Speeding Bullets," with Superman as a Batman?
3. A Tweaking of "Superman: Secret Identity."
(Above images are courtesy of DC Comics.)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Worst Superman stories of the past year?

If you had to get rid of a Superman story of the past year or so from your personal collection (AS IN THE WORST STORY OF ALL), what would it be?
For me, it would hands down be all the Superman and Action comics without the Man of Steel and and featuring all those boring sixth-string characters (and rarely an appearance by Kal-El).
Even the storyline in these mis-titled comics has moved far too slow, only picking up speed in the last month.
I would not miss these comics at all and will probably never re-read them. Sadly, I wasted my money on them ...
A close second would be all those recent Justice League of America comics without the first string of heroes too. Boring, boring, boring.
Do I see a trend here? When will DC wake up and realize these supplemental characters just don't fly on their own? Cramming them in titles where they shouldn't be the stars makes no sense and just makes me mad.
If DC wants to feature these characters, put them as guest co-stars, or give them their own limited series, but quit trying to pawn them off as first stringers.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

"Absolute Justice?" No, "Absolute bore!"

I watched the Feb. 5 "Absolute Justice" Smallville episode and while it was better than I expected with my "smallerville" expectations of the overall TV series lately, it was surprising at the lack of action it featured.
Boring, yes. It was a boring 9.5 on a 1-10 boring scale.
How could you make this 2-hour event and have so little action?
Forget the poor Hawkman costume, or the pitiful treatment of "golden age" DC comics characters. Some daytime TV soap operas contain more non-sexual action than this 2-hour Smallville did. This double-length Smallville had less action than most one-hour Smallville episodes do too!
The only bright spots were the Amanda Waller sub plot and that the Martian Manhunter got his powers back.
And, Clark Kent needs his telescopic vision. He also needs to fly and start using his vast array of powers.
The Amanda Waller angle is intriguing, but the Zod and other Kryptonian plot just needs to go away as quickly as possible. It's boring.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Less Superman is better?

DC Comics is truly taxing my patience....
It's been almost a year and Superman is still absent from both Action and Superman comics.
The Justice League is also back to its second or third string of heroes.
Looking at DC Comics' offerings for April, I see little improvement in this.
I also can't believe how FEW of comics I'm buying lately, simply because there are less with Superman in.
I am also NOT a fan of Blackest Night. That is a lame story that should have only lasted a few months at best.
The World of Krypton series is also lackluster and should have been a 4 issue miniseries, not 12.
Wake up DC! You are committing suicide through such actions.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A truly unreal, "Grand" animated comic book tale incident

Now super-heroes are all fiction -- no one can fly like that or have heat vision, super powers, etc. (At least I don't know a real person that does.)
Anyway, I accept that super-power leap to fiction in comic books, for sake of my imagination and entertainment.
However, I watched part of a "Brave and the Bold" Batman animated series recently and saw an untrue portrayal of another sort, that I was very amused by, and what may be an example of many other fictional things in comics, besides super-powers.
Aquaman and his family were shown on a cross country tour and eventually stood on the Grand Canyon "Skybridge," that opened in 2007 on Native American land.
I know for a fact that you CAN'T take a camera or loose item out on the Skybridge. (That's why I've never been there yet. Who wants to pay $30 PERSON and not get a photo!)
Yet, in this animated series, you see Aquaman and others all of a sudden pull out cameras while standing on the Skybridge and snap pictures. Now that's double fiction! (And it was especially timely for me as the day prior to watching this footage, I had just examined whether or not I should go to the Skybridge.)
Makes you wonder how many other fictional things there are in comics that you never notice or know about .....