Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Review:Super Sons #15


Super Sons #15 was released last week, the beginning of the last arc for this book before it gets cancelled. This fun and well received title is another casualty in the current shakeup with the Superman books.

So it only seems fitting that we come full circle in this book with the boys fighting their first foe, Kid Amazo. At lot has happened since the boys stumbled into a team-up. They have become a true super hero duo. They go to school together. They have a Fortress to hang out. And they have become friends.

That last part is the best part of this book. We have seen how, despite their inherent differences, the boys have become comrades in arms. Damian has become a tad more noble, a tad more open, and has started to care about Jon as more than a tool. Jon has become more talkative, more assertive, and more proactive. In other words, they have positively impacted the life of the other. And they are there for each other when there is trouble, personal or otherwise. It is a shame this is going away.

Peter Tomasi has basically written a World's Finest book and it has been great. And this issue is no difference. With the very complementary art by Carlo Barberi and Art Thibert, we get another issue of action and character interaction.

It's a shame it is going away. I am still holding out hope we get a Super Squad book in the aftermath. On to the book.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Review: Action Comics #1000


Last week was a huge day in Superman history as Action Comics #1000 came out, complete with 10 different variant covers and 10 different stories. One of those was ''The Truth', the first installment by Brian Michael Bendis in his time running the Superman mythos.

I have to say that I loved the issue. Not every story resonated with me. But they all encapsulated who Superman is. I won't review all of them but each vignette leaned into the idea of Superman being a source of truth and justice, a good man trying to help, an inspiration to people everywhere, and beloved. This was my Superman.

Now this won't work for everyone, I'm sure. Some might think it was hokey. Others boring. Others yet unoriginal. But anniversary issues like this ... and this is the biggest anniversary issue of them all so far ... are supposed to be about looking back at the big concepts. And for me, I wanted it to honor all the mythology that came before it.

To put it in other terms, I'm a baseball fan and my favorite baseball movie is The Natural, an almost supernatural story about redemption. That's level is what this issue was. Not Bull Durham or Major League.



I also admit that I splurged and got a bunch of covers. I ordered the limited Artgerm and Tyler Kirkham variants. And at the store I bought the Dan Jurgens, Steve Rude, and Mike Allred covers. 

My favorite is probably the Allred one because he snuck so much Silver Age sweetness onto the cover, including some excellent Supergirl moments.

The plan here will be to look closely at the Bendis story and then touch upon some of the others, so be warned. Spoilers ahead.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Review: Superman #45


I know that Action Comics #1000 came out this week and that is an historic issue that should be first in the review chute.

But before I cover that book and the future of Superman under the reins of Brian Michael Bendis, I feel I had to close the door on the Rebirth/Reborn era of the Superman family. And that means covering Superman #45 by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason. And this is an ending. It reads like an ending. And it reads like a metatextual ending as much as a storyline ending.

I said in a recent review, when discussing the ending of this run, that nothing gold can stay. There is some cosmic karma in that Robert Frost run because the team says it here as well. Yes, good things can come of change. Yes, people need to expand their horizons. But it is a shame when something that is still gold is going away.

The Kent family's life is changing. No more Hamilton farm. No more wheat fields. No more country days hanging out with Kathy. It is time to move on.

And this book is changing. No more Tomasi and Gleason leading this family forward. No more stories of father and son, no more mother and son, no more father and mother. This book sold well and was loved. And yet the creative team is being forced out to move on, cleaning up plot threads so 'new owners' can come in to the space.

It has to be both a story and a comment on things.

Thanks again Tomasi and Gleason. I loved this run and I hate to see you go.

On to the book.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Plastic City Comic Con


This weekend I will be heading to a new local con, the Plastic City Comic Con. Here is a link:
http://www.plasticcitycomiccon.com/

This seems like just the sort of low key con I could use right now. It a vendor heavy convention where I will be going to (gasp) thumb through comics and buy them! We finally leaving the doldrums of winter here. We are approaching my 'big con' season. This will be a great place to ease in.

And I am ready! I have heard only very good things about this con. Seems like a 'true' comic convention.

But it isn't all just shopping because a creator whose work I truly enjoy, J.M. DeMatteis, is going to be there as a guest of honor. And I can't wait to meet him.

DeMatteis has a long career with some major works in his oeuvre. Moonshadow, Spider-Man and Kraven's Hunt, JLA (Bwa-ha-ha) are just a couple of his biggest successes.

But I'm me, so I am bringing an eclectic group of books for signatures. And I am hoping he won't be too busy to answer some questions about these works. I will be bringing him  Wings , a little known Elseworlds which came out during the PAD Linda Danvers book.

I wonder if DeMatteis was a fan of that book. Did he pitch this or was it pitched to him? My gut tells me no one cares about this other than me. I wonder how often he gets asked about it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Supergirl Episode 314: Schott Through The Heart


It’s been two months of long hiatus since the last new episode of Supergirl aired. For me, it was a mistake, a lull in the middle of an intense season, it slowed momentum. The season restarted this week with a Winn centric episode which built on the foundation of his character from season one. There are almost no mentions of World Killers or Reign or Purity

In some ways it isn’t the best episode to return with. The main plot is on the back burner for another week. We get no Sam or Ruby. That’s one more week for memories to fade about  the particulars of that plot.

In other ways, it seemed right. We get good character moments from all the main players. Certainly Winn takes center stage.  But there are scenes with J’onn and Alex and James that remind us what we love about them while enriching their stories. And Kara gets great moments both as Suoergirl and Kara Danvers. So no better episode to reintroduce to the cast and remind us what we live about th m.

But also this episode continues the thread of loving and humanity as being a strength for people, not a weakness. I have said all along that Sam’s humanity and hr love for Ruby will win over Reign’s wickedness. That more than punches and heat vision will end the threat. And this episode shows how all the characters are dealing with family obligations and loving responsibility.

The bottom line is this was a fun chapter in this season,  very much a live action comic book with strong emotional beats.

And apologies for clunky writing, rough screen shots and any typos. This review was done on the fly while on a mini-vacation and away from usual tech. Onto the episode!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Review: New Super-Man And The Justice League Of China #22


New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #22 came out last week, ratcheting up the intrigue of the North Korean Aquaman and Kenan's continued struggles with his powers' origins.

I have been a fan of Gene Luen Yang's book since its inception. And current artist Brent Peeples has become more comfortable with the characters as his issues accumulate. But the thing that gets me is that this book has matured quickly. We have gone from a sort of idiot having the mantle of Super-Man thrust on him to a fully functioning super-team with inter-squad relationships and a growing rogue's gallery. Perhaps most surprising, it has never felt too fast or forced. This book has organically grown. And it has been entertaining the whole way through.

While the Aquaman side plot is a good one and brings the plot thrust here, it is Kenan's struggles that really grab me. His quest for balance while being a young kid with super-powers reads true. What happens in this issue makes sense.

I sort of see the writing on the wall. I fear this book is most likely ending soon and that is a shame.

On to the book.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sales Review: March 2018


The sales numbers for March have come out and things are both fascinating and frustrating. Here is a link to the ICv2 coverage:https://icv2.com/articles/markets/view/40108/top-300-comics-march-2018

For this blog, the big news has been the shelving of the Supergirl title.

'Bendis is Coming!' The landscape of the super-titles will be changed. Supergirl will have a 'new mission'. And it all seems strange when you look at the numbers.

I will also say I realize that sometimes I, as a reader, am impossible to please.

I want Supergirl to be her own hero, having her own adventures.
I want Supergirl to be part of Superman's life but not too much. If she isn't in his books or mentioned in his books I am unhappy. But I don't think his books or life should dictate her series.

And it is probably tough to satisfy all those things. If she wasn't impacted by whatever is happening in Superman's books, I wouldn't be happy. And yet, here she is impacted and I'm not happy.

Surely there can be some happy medium. If Batgirl and Red Hood and Batwoman and Nightwing can all somehow have their own titles *and* be part of the Batman books, it can be done!

So on to the sales!