Tag Archives: superman

Review: Superman #43

SM_Cv43“The secret’s out and we’re all friends here”

This issue does finally what we’ve waited for since this “DC You” revamp, and that’s answer just what the hell happened to Superman’s powers? We start the issue off with Lois and Clark in bed. (not to worry, nothing happened, Superman just burned up all his clothes with his new Solar Flare power and Lois put his cape in the wash) Clark realizes he’s back at Lois’s apartment in her bed and she replies “Couldn’t put Superman on the floor, could we?” (Classic Lois, gotta love her) As Clark gets his bearings he sees that more company is there, his best pal Jimmy Olson (Though he likes to be called Jim. Good luck bud, you’ve been Jimmy for over 75 years so deal with it.) and fellow Daily Planet colleague, Condessa.

Jimmy is all sorts of distraught as he thinks he may have inadvertently spilled the beans on Clark’s big secret. Everyone assures him this is not the case, but how can they be sure? Someone knows. One thing is for certain it’s not good. While Condessa consoles Jimmy, Lois gets real with Clark over a microwave meal of Lean Cuisine. (Lois is not the happy homemaker type clearly) She then tells him even though she has reported on him for most of his career, there is still so much she does not know. So she hits him with some hard questions: “Why did he settle in Metropolis?” “Does he have some sort of master plan?” “What if he goes rogue one day?” “Can he control this new Flare power?” (Good questions, that one would expect from the most intrepid reporter on the planet) She tells him that the public deserves the right to know these answers. Clark tries to change the subject but Lois brings up back when Superman was in his early days, she saw her father and Lex Luthor torture him to get answers. Lois tells Clark she is not like them, she will not brutalize him even for the sake of a great story in print. With that being said Lois said she’s decided to keep his secret. He’s always been Clark Kent to her first, and she’s even fell in love with him. Clark puts the brakes on and tells her that he belongs to someone else. (Wonder Woman, duh she sees the news Clark!) Lois in true Lois fashion responds saying she’s got someone too and besides she knows she’s not “mythological” enough for his taste. (Ha! best line of the book) When someone gets Lois and writes her so well, it’s hard not to make a case for these two not to be together. They are just iconically eternal. The name just rings. Lois and Clark. There was even a show about it with the super talented Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain in the 90’s too. I digress, we can’t get what we want in fandom all the time. Sigh.

Just as the two finish up their heart to heart, they realize they are being watched. Lois’s phone has been transformed with robotic tri pod legs and a villain name Hordr (lame name I must admit), is using it to blackmail Superman. Lois instinctively smashes the phone before the demands can be explained and Clark admonishes her. She says he can’t be serious but tells her, he has to play along. At least for now. Then Clark gets ready to rush off to save the day and Lois tells him she’s coming with him. He explains it’s too dangerous, bla, bla, bla and she says she is a part of both his lives. (Good for you Lois, he may wear the cape but you have the backbone)

The remainder of the issue is Lois and Clark setting out to confront Hordr (maybe if I keep saying it, nope the name still sucks) which they do with some surprising results. I won’t ruin the revelations here, but I will say Lois’s reason for what she did with Clark’s secret made me sympathize with her greatly. As for how Superman’s powers are depleted, it was serviceable enough.

Overall: I wanted answers, and this issue (and writer Gene Luen Yang) gave them to me. What it also did is remind me that Lois and Clark should be together. Sure the Wonder Woman thing is cool, but he belongs with Lois. Aside from the complications of a possible human/ Kryptonian pregnancy, I don’t see any reason to keep them apart. I’m not a fan of the new villain either but it is better than writers rehashing old storylines and getting overused villains out of the sandbox all the time. This was definitely the best chapter of this story yet. I even thought Romita Jr’s, art was above what it’s been the past year. (Truth be told, I am a life time fan of the Romitas and both John Sr. and John Jr. are my favorite all time Spider-Man artists.) Now that the genie is out, it’s going to be hard to get the cape back on it. I sure know they will try their best though, and after this month I can’t wait to follow along. Remember kids to beware your phone because once something is in cyberspace it never dies. Also it could secretly be a super villain’s robotic booby trap to blackmail you too. Till next month, if you need me I will be watching Lois and Clark reruns remembering what was.

Story: Gene Luen Yang Art: John Romita Jr.
Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Justice League of America #3

jla003There is a decent amount of exposure for the Justice League at DC Comics at the moment.  Not even counting the Justice League United outlier which contains none of the core group of heroes, there are presently three series containing the stories of the Justice League in Justice League, Justice League of America and Justice League 3001.  With three different series, the level of quality seems to vacillate between the great, the average and the not-so-good.  While Darkseid War is elevating the principal series to a pretty high level, and while Justice League 3001 is dragging it down somewhat, Justice League of America continues unabated to tell its standard Justice League story, only with a few twists.

It could actually be said that the story for Justice League of America is still somewhat in its infancy.  After all there is not a lot of cohesion between the separate plot points except in that they all involve Superman to some degree.  Green Lantern and the Flash are stranded on a faraway planet which seems to be Krypton.  The god Rao has come to Earth to provide salvation for its inhabitants, and the team of scientists dealing with temporal energies is trying to find clues as to how Superman continues to show up through their portals on the wrong side of a battle.  Aside from the first issue which included the majority of the heroes together, they are now mostly fragmented into their smaller groups which are dealing with their own smaller problems, not usually one of the hallmarks of a team based series.

While the presentation of the story is sometimes lacking in direction, it is not necessarily to the detriment of the story.  Instead the story here feels like one of the late days of the Silver Age of the Justice League of America.  It hols together pretty well, but it equally seems to be somewhat of the serialized concept of telling the story and then forgetting about it.  For those who are fans of superheroes, this might hit the mark, but compared to some other stories involving modern heroes, it also might seem a bit commonplace, not really trying to be much more than what it is.  For better or worse that is the defining characteristic of this series so far, at least until the creative team decides that it is time to prove otherwise.

Story: Bryan Hitch Art: Daniel Henriques
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Review: Justice League 3001 #3

jl3001-003There is some controversy brewing with this title.  It acts as little more than a rehash of Keith Giffen’s heyday on the Justice League in the 1980s and 1990s, but it is said as well that the treatment of the re-imagined male heroes now in female bodies (the Flash and Guy Gardner, though particularly Guy) is offensive to the transgendered community.  While this may be the case, such an approach to this title is perhaps a little off the mark in terms of its overall theme, that is to say, that the presentation of characters is not only offensive to transgendered women, but probably to most people overall.

Conversely thus far the story has followed a pretty decent concept as the heroes of the JL 3001 world have had to deal with a strange Starro infested world.  They come to grips with that here as the heroes have to deal with the fallout of their intervention to the Starro planet and it is not what it seems (and in fact probably could have been a pretty engaging story under different circumstances.)  Instead the story once again focuses too much on the multitude of problems associated with this series.  For some reason, Giffen just cannot stay away from Booster and Beetle, and they make a return appearance here alongside Fire and Ice.  To some degree one can see this as the evolution of the old Justice League series, just 25 years down the line after a fairly progressive evolution of comics left it behind.  The problem with this series, especially in respect to the transgendered question is that it is offensive, but not only to transgendered.  The presentation of the female Flash character is sterotypical of what men think of teenage girls, without a thought in their heads beyond having a slumber party.  The males of the series, and particularly Superman, are so devoid of real emotion either that they are also caricatures of themselves, especially as Superman is made into a womanizer.

The underlying concept behind this series is inherently fun, as it gives the creative team a wider scope in which to tell their stories, but it proves that Giffen, while successful in some ways, is also a bit of a one-hit wonder with his collection of Super Buddies.  The story here is even serviceable or better, but it ends up being derailed with too much comic relief, which in turn is based too much on gender stereotypes.  There will undoubtedly be fans of the older Giffen works that look to this one with some fondness, but as modern stories in the medium go, this one is off the mark.

Story: Keith Giffen Art: J.M. DeMatteis
Story: 6.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

Diamond Select Toys Coming This Winter: New DC, Marvel, Walking Dead and Muppets

Winter is coming, and you know what that means — another season chock-full of awesome products from Diamond Select Toys! In the new assortment of items currently up for pre-order (and releasing around the end of this year), DST has new offerings from Aliens, the Batman TV show, the DC Animated universe, Ghostbusters, Godzilla, iZombie, Marvel Comics, Predator, Star Trek, TMNT, The Walking Dead, and The Muppets,! Read on for more details, and pre-order at your local comic shop!

Aliens Warrior Alien Ceramic Cookie Jar

A Diamond Select Toys Release! Cookie thieves mostly come out at night, mostly, so make sure your cookies are safe with this detailed ceramic cookie jar in the shape of a ferocious Alien Warrior from the sci-fi classic Aliens! Even if it doesn’t instantly send thieves running from the room, no one will dare lift the jar’s removable skullcap to get at the sweet, sweet cookies inside – there are way too many nasty things inside a xenomorph to take the risk! This approximately 12” tall cookie jar comes packaged in a full-color box. Sculpted by Paul Harding! (Item #AUG152314, SRP: $44.99)

AliensWarrierCookieJar

Batman The Animated Series Batmobile Vinyl Bank

A Diamond Select Toys release! Where does Batman get those wonderful toys? He saves up for them! In fact, if Batman used a piggy bank, it would probably be in the shape of the classic, streamlined Batmobile as seen in Batman: The Animated Series. This approximately 12” long vinyl bank looks like it just drove off the streets of animated Gotham City, and has a coin slot in the top and an access door underneath so you can save up for that grappling hook you’ve had your eye on. Packaged in a clear polybag. (Item #AUG152308, SRP: $29.99)

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Batman Animated Premier Collection Mad Love Harley Quinn Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! Time for some Harley Quinn romance! The psychologist once known as Harleen Quinzel may have the hots for The Joker, but the Clown Prince of Crime doesn’t always realize what he’s got! This 12” resin statue of Harley Quinn is based on her look in the timeless New Batman Adventures episode “Mad Love,” and depicts a dolled-up Harley wielding her mallet and pistol. Packaged with a certificate of authenticity in a full-color box, this statue is limited to 3,000 pieces and is a must-have item for any fan of Batman, Harley or the Joker himself. Sculpted by Clayburn Moore! (Item #AUG152310, SRP $150.00)

MadLoveHarleyQuinnStatue

Batman Classic TV Series Batusi Batman Resin Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! We’ll say this for Batman, the caped crusader sure knows how to party! Based on the very first episode of the Batman Classic TV Series, this resin bust features Batman doing his “Batusi” dance moves, which soon became a pop-culture touchstone. Measuring approximately 6 inches tall and featuring the likeness of actor Adam West, this bust comes packaged with a certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. Limited to 3,000 pieces. Designed by Barry Bradfield! Sculpted by Jean St. Jean! (Item #AUG152312, SRP: $59.99)

BatusiBatmanBust

Justice League Animated Femme Fatales Wonder Woman PVC Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! She’s not your ordinary princess! As the daughter of the Amazon queen of Themyscira, Wonder Woman was granted strength and flight by the gods, and stands side-by-side with Batman and Superman as a member of the Justice League! This 9-inch-scale PVC statue of Wonder Woman is based on her appearance in the animated series Justice League, and has her placing a raised foot on a broken column, golden lasso at the ready. It comes packaged in a full-color window box. Sculpted by Steve Varner Studios! (Item #AUG152311, SRP: $45.00)

FFWonderWoman

Godzilla Jet Jaguar Vinyl Figural Bank

A Diamond Select Toys release! The robotic hero Jet Jaguar is now the next bank in DST’s line of vinyl Godzilla banks! Originally inspired by a fan submission to Toho Studios, the size-changing Jet Jaguar famously teamed up with Godzilla to fight Megalon and Gigan in 1973’s Godzilla vs. Megalon. Standing approximately 12 inches tall, this vinyl bank has a coin slot in his back, as well as an access door to remove your loose change. NOTE: Bank does not change size. Packaged in a clear polybag. Sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios! (Item #AUG152323, SRP: $24.99)

Ghostbusters Glow in the Dark Slimer Vinyl Bank

A Diamond Select Toys release! It’s time to see one of DST’s most popular banks in a whole new light! Slimer, the slime-dispensing spud from the Ghostbusters movies is back, and this time, this engorged ghost glows in the dark! The original 8” vinyl bank has been given a glow-in-the-dark color scheme, so you can see Slimer hovering nearby in your room at night, but it still has a coin slot in the back and an access door in the base, so he can keep your spare change in his near-bottomless gullet. Packaged in a clear polybag. (Item #AUG152325, SRP: $24.99)

GID_SlimerVinylBank

iZombie TV Liv Moore Action Figure

A Diamond Select Toys release! You only Liv twice! As a doctor who became a zombie, Liv Moore is the focus of the hit CW show iZombie, in which she solves crimes by eating the brains (and memories) of the victims. And now she’s the newest action figure from Diamond Select Toys! Sculpted in a 7” scale, this Liv Moore action figure includes an interchangeable chopsticks-holding hand, as well as a pipe, coffee cup, hot sauce bottle, and a delicious brain casserole. The figure features approximately 16 points of articulation, and comes packaged on a blister card. Sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios! (Item #AUG152313, SRP: $19.99)

iZombieLivFigure

Marvel Minimates Series 64 Secret Wars 2-Pack Asst.

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Secret Wars are upon us! With Earth transformed into a fractured Battleworld, with various regions pulled from a variety of alternate realities, DST has created an assortment of Marvel Minimates that spans the globe! From the Armor Wars world of Technopolis, Iron Man 2020 faces off with Ultron from the Age of Ultron’s Perfection! From the Wastelands, Old Man Logan takes on Dystopia’s Maestro Hulk, from Future Imperfect! From the world of Arcadia, A-Force’s Captain Marvel teams up with the new Thor, of the Thor Corps! And finally, A-Force’s Dazzler partners with New Quack City’s resident detective, Howard the Duck! Each 2-inch Minimates mini-figure has up to 14 points of articulation and features fully interchangeable parts and accessories. Each 2-pack comes in a full-color window box. Designed by Art Asylum! (Item #AUG152318, SRP: $9.99/ea.)

Marvel64_MM

Marvel Premier Collection Wolverine Resin Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! He’s the best there is at what he does, and what he does isn’t pretty… except when it really is! The first statue in DST’s revived Marvel Premier Collection series is none other than Wolverine, captured unmasked and mid-stride in a snowy landscape. Meticulously sculpted by Clayburn Moore, this diorama piece depicts the X-Man and Avenger in his brown costume and leather jacket, standing approximately 9 inches tall, on a base that measures 10 inches by 15 inches. Limited to only 3,000 pieces, this statue comes packaged with a certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. (Item #AUG152317, SRP: $199.99)

MarvelPremierCollection_WolverineResinStatue

Muppets Logos Collectable Pint Glasses

A Diamond Select Toys release! It’s time to pour a beverage! It’s time to make some snacks! The Muppets are returning to television this fall, which means you’ll need to have a tall beverage handy for when your laugh muscles get sore. Make sure your drink is fully Muppified with these four different styles of Muppet logo pint glasses! Choose from the Muppet Show, Muppet Labs, Pigs in Space and the Electric Mayhem logos. Each glass ships in a full-color window box. Collect them all!

Muppet Show Glass (Item #AUG152321, SRP: $10.99)

Pigs in Space Glass (Item #AUG152322, SRP: $10.99)

Muppet Labs Glass (Item #AUG152320, SRP: $10.99)

Electric Mayhem Glass (Item #AUG152319, SRP: $10.99)

MuppetsPintGlassesAsst

Predator Minimates 2-packs Series 1 Asst.

A Diamond Select Toys release! Clear the LZ, because a chopperload of new Predator Minimates are coming in for a landing! The first assortment of Predator Minimate 2-packs features the original Predator movie’s Dutch vs. Unmasked Predator, Dillon vs. Masked Predator, Predator 2’s Harrigan vs. City Hunter Predator, and a rare one-per-case Mud-Covered Dutch vs. War Cry Predator! Each 2-inch Minimates mini-figure has 14 points of articulation and features fully interchangeable parts and accessories. Each 2-pack comes on a full-color blister card. Designed by Art Asylum! (Item #AUG152315, SRP: $9.99/ea.)

MMPredatorMM1

Superman The Animated Series Supergirl Resin Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! Criminals of Metropolis beware! While she may not truly be Superman’s cousin, Kara In-Ze hails from the same region of space, making her strong, fast and tough under Earth’s yellow sun. So think twice before committing a crime within the city limits! This approximately 6-inch resin bust depicts Supergirl as she appeared on Superman: The Animated Series, striking a confident pose atop an architectural base. The bust comes with a certificate of authenticity in a full-color box, and is limited to 3,000 pieces. Sculpted by Steve Varner Studios! (Item #AUG152309, SRP: $59.99)

SupergirlAnimatedBust

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates Series 3 Counter Display Asst.

A Diamond Select Release! TMNT fans are loving DST’s line of Ninja Turtle Minimates, and Series 3 kicks things up a notch! Featuring the four turtles in their Vision Quest outfits, this individually foil-bagged assortment also expands on the line’s mutant roster, with Slash, Bebop and Rocksteady, as well as rare, one-per-case figures of Ivan Steranko and Vision Quest Splinter! Each 2-inch Minimates mini-figure has up to 14 points of articulation and features fully interchangeable parts and accessories. Each full-color counter display contains 18 foil-bagged Minimates, including a full set of all nine characters! Designed by Art Asylum! (Item # AUG152316, SRP: $5.99/ea.)

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Walking Dead Minimates 2-Packs Series 8 Asst.

A Diamond Select Toys Release! With the hit comic series expanding in new, shocking directions, and a new TV series on the air, there’s never been a better time to be a Walking Dead fan! This all-new assortment of comic-based Minimates mini-figures spans the time-jump, featuring “New Beginning”-era Carl with Sophia, “All-Out War”-era Rosita with Father Gabriel, Hilltop leader Gregory with a Forest Zombie, and a rare, one-per-case two-pack of new Hilltop leader Maggie Greene with a Forest Zombie! Each 2-inch Minimates mini-figure has 10-14 points of articulation and features fully interchangeable parts and accessories. Designed by Art Asylum! (Item #AUG152324, SRP: $9.99/ea.)

WalkingDeadSeries8

Offered Again:

Star Trek TOS Retro Cloth Spock & Khan Action Figure Asst.

A Diamond Select Toys release! With the 50th anniversary of Star Trek approaching at warp speed, the return of DST’s popular Star Trek Retro Action Figure line is highly logical! Back in stock for the first time in several years, this assortment of 8-inch, cloth-costumed figures includes Mr. Spock of the starship Enterprise, as well as the genetically superior Khan Noonien Singh, each packaged in a collector-friendly plastic clamshell with a full-color insert. Fill the holes in your Star Trek Retro collection, or start your crew from the ground up right here! (Item #AUG152331, SRP: $19.99/ea.)

StarTrekRetroSpockKhan

Offered Again:

Marvel Super-Heroes Snap-Together Model Kits

A Diamond Select Toys release! Assembling a model kit is now a snap! With these snap-together kits of Wolverine, Hulk and Spider-Man, you can assemble your favorite character with ease, then simply add paint! Wolverine stands atop a Sentinel head, is cast in yellow plastic with chrome claws, and has unmasked and masked head options! The Hulk is cast in both purple and green plastic, and has options for fists and open hands, so you can put different items in his hands to “throw” as he rampages on a rocky base! And Spider-Man is cast in both red and blue plastic, and can stand on a web base, or be hung on the wall! Hulk and Spidey are reproductions of classic 1979 kits! Each model is 1:8 scale, stands between 8 and 10 inches tall, and comes packaged in a full-color box with instructions.

Spider-Man model kit (Item #MAY121887, SRP: $29.99)

Hulk model kit (Item #MAR121670, SRP: $29.99)

Wolverine model kit (Item #JUN131966, SRP: $29.99)

HulkKit SpideyKit WolvoKit

Offered Again:

Marvel Super-Heroes Comic Scenes Reproduction Model Kits

A Diamond Select Toys release! Character model kits have been the rage since the boom of the 1960s, and DST is proud to bring back two of the first-ever Marvel model kits, depicting Captain America and Spider-Man! Based on the 1966 Aurora originals, these new editions are enlarged to 1:8 scale, and stand over 8-10 inches tall. Spider-Man, webbing up Kraven the Hunter from a staircase, is cast in red plastic, with a clear web diorama piece. Captain America and his battlefield diorama are cast in blue, with clear water splash pieces. Both require glue and paint for assembly, and each can be placed in front of a full-color cardboard backdrop to complete the scene! Both kits come packaged in a full-color, vintage-style “Comic Scenes” box, with a mini-comic book that contains instructions and an exclusive comic story! Re-create a piece of pop-culture history with your own hands!

Spider-Man model kit (Item #JAN111789, SRP: $34.99)

Captain America model kit (Item #FEB111669, SRP: $34.99)

CapModel SpideyModel

Fashion Spotlight: Deadly Joke, Justice For All, and Not My Harley

Ript Apparel has three designs for fans of DC Comics. Deadly Joke, Justice For All, and Not My Harley from BSTGRAPH, inkone, and tweedler92 will be for sale on August 22, 2015 only!

Deadly Joke by BSTGRAPH

Deadly Joke

Justice For All by inkone

Justice For All

Not My Harley by tweedler92

Not My Harley

 

 

 

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Review: Superman Wonder Woman #20

sww020There is a particular story type in superhero comics which is particularly difficult to read, and that is stories that focus on the legality of superheroes.  Part of the inherent suspension of disbelief about superheroes is that they are allowed to work outside of the law, and so when stories rise up which focus on the question of that ability to operate, then it tends to be a pretty weak story.  An example of this occurred recently enough in the most recent Fantastic Four series where various members of the team were either sued or imprisoned after a sequence of legal problems.  Of course, if comics wanted to, that is all that they could be about, as it doesn’t take the needs of a story arc to cast a hero into legal trouble, but really heroes if they really existed would be under hundreds of legal actions at all times.  It is a most necessary aspect of superheroics to look past if one wants to be a part of this world as a reader.

The Superman DC You revamp therefore hits another stumbling block here as Superman is in front of the president of the United States and is forced to make his case as to why he is trustworthy, what should really be a foregone conclusion after all that he has done, a fact that is even highlighted here.  Equally though, everyone involved is presented as so daft when it comes to why he might want to have a secret identity, another one of the great suspensions of disbelief.  From a logical standpoint it would be even very easy to figure out the identities of masked heroes like Batman, let alone those without masks such as Superman, and so the concept of the secret identity is as important to look past as are the legal ramifications of superhero’s actions.  While that is one half of this issue, the second half is equally off target, as Wonder Woman frees and then questions the people from Superman’s past, but then interrogates them herself.  That she is interrogating them about Superman is pretty strange from a moral standpoint, as she is both his colleague and his romantic interest.

In effect the DC You version of Superman is quite clearly a failed experiment at this point.  It was perhaps interesting to see a deconstruction of the iconic character, but equally it has taken the character into areas which are dull and boring, not into areas which are compelling.  Other series have been ineffective at showing the meaning of this change, but perhaps the entire concept has hit rock bottom here as it wastes it time with Superman and then throws off a characterization of Wonder Woman as wildly untrue from what it should be.  Dc You is about making the heroes more approachable, but it is not working here, and the company probably needs to get the real Superman back as soon as possible.

Story: Peter J. Tomasi Art: Doug Mahnke
Story: 4.5 Art: 4.5 Overall: 4.5 Recommendation: Pass

 

Review: Justice League #43

jl043In the past several years at DC Comics, Geoff Johns undeniably has been behind some of the biggest successes.  Although the big event crossovers that he has led have tended to focus around the Green Lantern Corps during his run on those titles, with the relaunch of DC into the new 52 his interest has lain with the Justice League and its main collection of DC’s most popular and most powerful heroes.  That having been said though, that while Johns’ work has led to some of the best 5-star epic story lines, that they are not necessarily always extremely original.  After all, when his formula works it doesn’t need too much to make it work elsewhere as long as the players and the stories underneath are different.  Such is the case with Justice League, with such an impressive collection of characters to work with that have been assembled in this book, it makes sense to throw them all together in a way which will be for a big flashy story.  So far Darkseid War has worked at that, especially with the twist ending at the end of the previous issue with Batman taking over the role of Metron.

This issue plays out a bit differently, although it fits into the same kind of Geoff Johns formula.  Batman as Metron discusses the virtue of the Mobius Chair and whether he should sit in it at all.  At the same time the heroes are hesitant about the arrival of both the Anti-Monitor and Darkseid, as they have to prepare for the worst scenario that they could conceive of.  Elsewhere Superman and Lex are continued to be forced to work together as they have to struggle for survival in their own corner of Apokolips.  Although the issue starts slowly, there is the promise of a lot of action as the issue comes to a close, as pretty much every major player in this story arc gets thrown into some kind of battle.

There might be those who read this and recognize some of the hallmarks of a Geoff Johns epic story.  After a big plot twist at the end of the previous issue, it seems as though Johns could not resist doing the same here, although the effect is less impressive.  At the same time, there is a good reason that Johns keeps getting handed the reins to such ambitious projects and this issue is proof of his abilities.  Such an issue as this almost has to exist as there needs to be some setup for what is to come, and this issue might therefore seem to be a bit more low key to others which have come before, but also most certainly those that will follow.  At the very least, although there are fewer fireworks here, it is easy to see where this fits in the bigger picture of the story arc, especially as Johns takes the times to devote a bit of effort to characterization even in the midst of this big show.  In the end, it all works, even if it we have seen some of the same before.

Story: Geoff Johns Art: Jason Fabok
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Superman #42

superman042Truth and Justice have thus far been somewhat bizarre story arcs for Superman.  They have focused on the loss of his powers and the outing of his Clark Kent persona, but they have done so in a haphazard way.  The problem with the approach to this new Superman is the that the story is being told in four different ways in four different series by four different creative teams.  While Action Comics and the pair-up titles with Batman and Wonder Woman have looked at how Superman is going to deal with the changes in his life, the main Superman title has mostly looked at what happened to make him into the weakened version of his former self, and is thus filling in the blanks that most of the readers are wondering about how this happened and why Lois revealed his identity.

The story here follows on the previous issue, and tells the background story of the changes in Superman’s life.  After a confrontation between Lois and Clark near the beginning of the issue where Lois confirms that Clark and Superman are one and the same, the mysterious figure known as Condesa tells the assembled group that there is a lot more going on here that what it seems.  She is part of an organization called Hordr which a group of hacker like people who live in a high-tech pocket dimension, and who try to obtain as much information as they can about everyone.  It is through them that Clark’s identity has become known, at least in part.

This issue kind of works and kind of doesn’t.  The story is lacking in parts, and specifically in that Lois’ character is so off in terms of her characterization over the years.  So too is there is a bit of a problem with Hordr.  If Superman’s identity is to become public knowledge, it would be more impressive with a big story, not just a group of high-tech hackers.  More so, Hordr is a bit of a miss, just as police brutality was treated in a superficial way in the last Action Comics, so too are modern questions about the likes of Snowden and Anonymous treated superficially here.  That being said though, the story is better here than it has been elsewhere in this odd new angle for Superman, but it seems like those making the decisions about this new direction for the character need a lot more coherence in their decisions.

Story:  Gene Yang Art: John Romita Jr.
Story: 6.8 Art: 6.8 Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Pass

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Rasputin07_CoverWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

Southern Bastards #10 (Image Comics) – One of the, if not the, best comic out there right now. It’s usually a slow burn, but each issue has more character insights than many comics have in a year. This Southern noir is fantastic on every level.

Captain Canuck #3 (Chapter House Publishing) – Some times you want your heroes to lose the gritty aspect, and just be heroes. This series gets back to that courtesy of some talented Canadian creators. Fun action, that’s entertaining and loses the cynicism of today’s superhero comics.

Invisible Republic #5 (Image Comics) – An amazing series that definitely doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It involves a reporter digging into the revolutionaries that took over a planet, and digs up a bit of dirt. An amazing focus on history being used as propaganda.

Princeless: Be Yourself #2 (Action Lab Entertainment) – The new series hasn’t missed a beat and continues the fun fantasy adventure with a bit of girl power mixed in.

Rasputin #7 (Image Comics) – The first arc focusing on the historical figure was interesting. Flash forward 100 years, and not only is he alive, he’s also advising a Presidential candidate. Now you have my undivided attention.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Hacktivist Vol. 2 #1 (BOOM! Studios) –  The second series dealing with the group of hackers follows on the plot from the first series, and tries to answer some unresolved questions.

Batgirl Annual #3 (DC Comics) – Kind of a catch-all for Batgirl, as she faces off against Helena Bertinelli, a former Batgirl (from No Man’s Land) and Dick Grayson (her pre-new 52 romantic interest).  Throw in a visit to Gotham Academy and this sounds pretty fun.

He-Man: Eternity War #8 (DC Comics) – There has been no missteps in this entire series as the creative team has pushed the envelope of what defines the core group of characters.  This is not your childhood’s He-Man.

Jem and the Holograms #5 (IDW Publishing) – This series has been nothing but fun since its launch.  It doesn’t look likely to stop any time soon either.  One can only hope that the suggested food fight from the cover gets realized inside.

Lazarus #18 (Image Comics) – Lazarus goes to Duluth to win the war, as different plot lines begin to intersect.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight: Trade Paperback Vol 3: Slay Ride and Blood Lagoon (Dark Horse) – “Books like ‘Grindhouse’ were the reason the Comics Code was invented.” – creator Alex De Campi.

That’s a promise and a warning. De Campi absolutely delivers on grindhouse cinema gratification in comic book form– even better, it comes from a frankly female perspective on the genre. This series is messed up in all the RIGHT ways.

Each trade contains self-contained story arcs so you can pick up volume 3 even if you’ve never read the series before. In Volume 3 my entirely fictional girlfriend, Deputy Garcia is back with her motorcycle and eyepatch. I can’t wait!

Series creator Alex de Campi is our podcast guest next week!

Batgirl Annual #3 (DC Comics) – Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher art by Bengal, David Lafuente, Mingjue Helen Chen, Ming Doyle…. Look at that list of awesome writers and artists! Not only do we get Babs catching up with Dick Grayson but we also see her meet with Batwoman and the Gotham Academy kids! These are all of my favorite things in one place! It is a standalone story you can read even if you aren’t reading the new Batgirl series. But after reading this I’m sure you’ll want to.

Phoebe Gloeckner: Diary of a Teenage Girl (North Atlantic Books) – Considered one of the best graphic novels of last decade it’s probably time that you (and I) finally read it! Plus there’s a movie of it coming out soon and you don’t want to be called a “poser”, right? The book is a combination of prose and illustration reads like autobiography. The press release calls it “a dark story of sex and drugs in the life of a 1970s teenage girl.” You should read Sean T Collins review because I can’t do it justice till I read the book.

1602 Witch Hunter Angela #2 (Marvel) – This is the funniest series in Secret Wars and the prettiest too. Last issue we met Shakespeare, Marlowe and King James (Logan Howlett aka Wolverine) and other Faustians (aka people with superpowers). This issue Angela and Sera will meet “Ye Olde Guardians of the Galaxy.”

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Thors #2 (Marvel Comics) – The case is heating up as the murder mystery of the Gods continues. Blood, Hammers, and Justice shalt be served!

Daredevil #17 (Marvel Comics) – The last days of The Man Without Fear? Could be. This creative team has been white hot so I know Matt is in good hands, but I want to see the payoff.

Red Sonja Vol.2 #17 (Dynamite Entertainment) – Red hot chick swinging a sword, as usual all over this one. The 1973 one shot gave me a rejuvenation for this title. Hope the momentum doesn’t wane.

Superman #42 (DC Comics) – I am actually enjoying the prelude to the “Truth” storyline a lot more than the actual crossover. I’m interested to see just what it was that made Lois out Clark’s ID to the world? This intrepid reporter needs some answers. By Rao, I need them now!

TMNT Ongoing #48 (IDW Publishing) – The Stockman Swarm, The Shredder and Karai all move in for the kill. How could this not be good?

 

Paul

Top Pick: Thors #2 (Marvel) – the first issue of this story was fantastic; a crime story following the ‘police’ of Battleworld, the Thors.  Law and Order meets Asgardian officers, working on the orders of Lord Doom to keep the peace, and the foundation of Battleworld, in one piece.  Excited for what happens next.

Top Pick: X-Men ’92 #2 (Marvel) – the first issue totally brought me back to Saturday mornings, watching Marvel’s merry mutants as most of us remember them, complete with colourful costumes and Wolverine and Cyclops sniping at each other.  I am looking forward to see more from Cassandra Nova and what her rehabilitation facility for mutants is really all about.

1602 Witch Hunter Angela #2 (Marvel) – This was a very interesting first issue, following Angela hunting ‘witchbreed’, which turns out to be mutants.  The second issue puts Angela on the path to see dire omens not come to pass, and also introduces use to “Ye olde Guardians of the Galaxy”.  Looking forward to this.

S.H.I.E.L.D. #8 (Marvel) – I am a huge fan of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tv show, and just as big a fan of the comic book treatment of the show.  It’s fun to see the tv agents paired up with various heroes from the Marvel universe an work together to solve the problem of the issue.  This issue has Agent May and Mockingbird setting out to kick some ass….sign me up!

 

Steven Attewell

Batgirl #42 (DC Comics) – despite not being remotely in the target demographic for this book, I’ve been enjoying the hell out of this series’ exploration of fame and identity.

Conan the Avenger #16 (Dark Horse) – Dark Horse’s Conan run has been one of the most consistently enjoyable comics for me in recent years (with the exception of that odd bit where Belit went to Cimmeria), so if given an option I’ll always pick one up.

Copperhead #9 (Image Comics) – Read the first trade of this unusual space-western/single-mom comic and really enjoyed the strange little world that Jay Faerber and Scott Godlewski have thrown together, so I’ll keep following this story.

Rasputin #7 (Image Comics) – A really strange little gem, this series posits a revisionist history of the infamous Russian mystic in which Grigori Rasputin’s powers not only are quite real and extend to genuine resurrection and clairvoyancy, but he’s also secretly a prince in communion with the forces of Russian folklore.

Southern Bastards #10 (Image Comics) – having really enjoyed Scalped, I eagerly anticipated Jason Aaron’s new series. Took me a while to get into the first trade – something about the way Jason Latour draws mouths threw me off until I got used to it – but the second trade’s revelation of Coach Boss’ backstory was mesmerizing and made this a must-read for me.

SDCC 2015: Superman News!

At San Diego Comic-Con, Superman fans were treated to a Fortress of Solitude-sized dose of news about the Man of Steel.

DC Comics announced that legend Neal Adams will be tackling the character in Coming of the Supermen, scheduled for November. In this six-issue limited series, fans can expect the same sense of wonder that Bat-fans encountered with his Batman: Odyssey miniseries. This story pits Superman against the evil Darkseid and his son, brutal Kalibak. But this time he has help from an unlikely place: Three national heroes from the city of Kandor (now known as New Krypton) who see Superman as a legend. Even Superman’s arch-enemy Lex Luthor is forced to ally himself with these heroes to prevent Darkseid from laying waste to the universe.

Hollywood screenwriter and Eisner-nominee Max Landis will take on November’s Superman: American Alien, a seven part collection of stories from the life of Clark Kent. Ranging from heartwarming and simple to gritty and two-fisted and even humorous, each story captures a pivotal moment in Clark’s development into the archetypical hero he’s become. Landis will be joined by seven of the industry’s greatest artists, Ryan Sook will provide the cover art, with artists JOCK, Nick Dragotta, Tommy Lee Edwards, Joelle Jones, Jae Lee, Francis Manapul, and Jonathan Case providing interior art.

Award-winning graphic novelist and new Superman writer Gene Yang and Action Comics co-writer Greg Pak updated fans on Superman, recapping the events from “TRUTH” and giving fans a look into what’s happening next in “JUSTICE,” where a newly de-powered Superman continues to deal with the consequences of his now public secret identity and a Metropolis police department making things increasingly difficult for folks in his neighborhood.

Fans also heard the latest on Superman’s opposite number Bizarro, courtesy of writer Heath Corson. He provided a sneak peek at what’s next for the mismatched duo of Bizarro and Jimmy Olsen as they continue on the craziest road trip in the DC Universe!

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