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Around the DC Universe: Week 2 – A Superman Focused Week

Welcome to Around the DC Universe, your weekly guide to the best comics and shows featured on DC Entertainment’s exclusive new streaming service.

Technical Issues

I begin this week with technical issues because after almost two weeks of playing with the app I have finally figured out how DC Universe deals with the release of new comics.

Most of the titles are part of the curated library, a selection of 2500 or so issues that will swap out quarterly (though I imagine that a few key issues like Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27 will remain in perpetuity). Special features will be added weekly for shorter runs usually of a week or two.

Special Features

Right now you have three weeks to check out the original Death and Return of Superman  in Action Comics (1938-), Adventures of Superman, Superman: The Man of Steel and Superman (1986). This epic event stands at the crossroads between marketing gimmick and heartfelt storytelling. The writers and artists involved have a deep and abiding affection for the Man of Steel that shines through the hype as they take him as low as a person can go and then bring him back. Superman’s supporting cast, one of the best in the history of comics, really gets a chance to shine in the absence of the series’ main character and there are several moments that still move me to tears. Unfortunately, as of this writing DC Universe is missing several key issues including Superman (1986) #78 and 79 which introduce the infamous Cyborg Superman. It’s possible to enjoy the story despite this gap but it is disappointing that DC could not be bothered to correct their mistake despite several queries on the community forums and at least one query to their customer service department which received no response. Even if you have read the story before be sure and check out Newstime: The Life and Death of Superman (1993). Originally published as a facsimile of a tribute magazine, this is a great artifact from within the DC Universe that offers some interesting perspectives and more than a few easter eggs and has  never, to my knowledge, been reprinted.

Movies and TV

Those who don’t have time to wade through all those comics might find themselves tempted two different animated versions available on the video streaming portion of DC Universe. Sadly the older of the two (Superman: Doomsday) is an inferior adaptation. The original story took up almost a year’s worth of four monthly titles so trying to condense it into a mere hour and forty five minutes is impossible. A lot of questionable creative choices were also made, including a Superman who is perfectly willing to engage in intimate relations with Lois Lane without telling her his secret identity. The generally mean characterization of many of the characters involved robs the feature of all of its poignancy. A double feature of Batman v Superman and Justice League does the original material more credit and is infinitely more preferable to this waste of good talent. I’ve yet to watch this year’s The Death of Superman but it’s on my agenda for next week.

On the other side of the Superman coin I’m surprised by how much I enjoy watching George Reeves in the Adventures of Superman TV show. While it’s very much a product of its time, it’s still incredibly fun to watch in small doses. Reeves is inherently likable as both Superman and Clark Kent has the inherent likeability and the supporting cast is also top notch. There are some interesting wrinkles added to the legend. I particularly liked watching Pa Kent risking his life to save Baby Kal El from the blazing wreckage of his rocket after it crashes to work. The plots are much more down to Earth than we’re used to with Superman taking on smugglers and bank robbers instead of alien despots and mad scientists.  That’s not a bad thing however as it reminds us that Superman was once a much more relatable, down to Earth character, not so much in his power level but in his concerns. It’s fun to revisit that simpler time even if only for a couple of episodes.

Comics

The Legion of Superheroes is one  of my all time favorite teams. The long running drama of a club of teenage heroes in the far future is in turns both goofy and profound with a tangled continuity that makes the X-Men look simple by comparison. If you’ve never experienced the Legion many of their earliest stories are currently available in Adventure Comics. DC Universe has taken a greatest hits sort of approach with some of the best stories from the first few years of the Legion’s run, many of them by science fiction legend Ed Hamilton. Reading the stories as they’re presented does sacrifice the development of on a rich and compelling continuity but these high points, including the death of one of the major players in Legion history, is well worth your time if you’re a fan of DC’s silver age. Adventure Comics was an anthology title that also featured stories about of other heroes and they are included here as as well. Fans of Aquaman  should take note of superior stories in the first two issues with art by the great Ramona Fradon, one of the first women to draw a superhero comic. Available on DC Universe in Adventure Comics (1938-) #247, 267, 300, 304, 306, 310, 312, and 316.

Around the Tubes

peggy carter captain americaHow was everyone’s 4th? Any cool fireworks? Sound off in the comments! Tomorrow’s new comic day too! We’ll have our picks in a few hours. Until then, here’s some comic news from around the web in our morning roundup. It’s a light morning due to the holiday.

Around the Tubes

iO9 – How Has It Taken Us This Long to Get Peggy Carter as Captain America? – Looks like it?

The Beat – Con Wars: Wizard World Lauches/Scuttles “Wizard World Cruise” to the Bahamas – Another one down.

CBR – Noel Neill, Lois Lane on “Adventures of Superman,” Dead at 95 – Our thoughts go out to her friends and family.

 

DC Wraps Up the Convergence News

DC Comics has released more details about what we can expect for Convergence, their two month event that mashes together various worlds, and version of the DCU.

Week three focuses on DC during the 80s, while week four looks at characters across the multiverse as it existed before Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Check out below for what you can expect with the creative teams, descriptions, and some images.

Week Three

BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS

Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artist: Carlos D’Anda
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb

After a year under the dome, the Outsiders have gone their separate ways, but when OMAC attacks, Batman must find out if they have what it takes to still be a team.

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ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN

Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artists: Roberto Viacava and Andy Owens
Colorist: Sotocolor

Superman and Supergirl try to escape the city through the Phantom Zone, but they enter a portion they’ve never seen before and learn that Supergirl is destined to die if they return to their proper time and dimension. True story.

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WONDER WOMAN

Writer: Larry Hama
Art and Color: Josh Middleton

White-jumpsuit-clad Diana Prince is in the grips of a Domesday cult when her lover Steve Trevor leaps into the fray to save Etta Candy from vampires of Red Rain.

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THE FLASH

Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Federico Dallocchio
Colorist: Veronica Gandini

Trapped in Gotham, Barry Allen has nowhere to run. He fights on, seeking justice as well as a way to save the city. But he faces a Tangent Universe foe that thinks faster than the Flash could ever move.

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SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES

Writer: Stuart Moore
Artists: Gus Storms and Mark Farmer
Colorist: John Rauch

While Brainiac 5 struggles to break through the dome, Superboy tries to keep the Legion of Super-Heroes spirits up—but then the Atomic Knights ride into town.

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GREEN LANTERN CORPS

Writer: David Gallaher
Artists: Steve Ellis and Ande Parks
Colorist: Hi-Fi

Say the Oath, save the world! If only being the Green Lantern Corps was that easy. Hal has resigned, John is busy, and Guy is pissed. Together for the first time—they’ll save Gotham or die trying.

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SWAMP THING

Writer: Len Wein
Artist: Kelley Jones
Colorist: Michelle Madsen

Swamp Thing struggles to survive when the dome cuts off his contact with the Green.

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JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist: ChrisCross
Colorist: Snakebite Cortez

With their heavy hitters sidelined, Elongated Man must lead the much-maligned “Detroit Justice League” against the overwhelming power of the heroes from the Tangent Universe!

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HAWKMAN

Writer: Jeff Parker
Artists: Tim Truman and Enrique Alcatena
Colorist: John Kalisz

Hawkman and Hawkgirl put their Shadow War on hold as they face the anthropomorphic might of rat-men and bat-men in the deadly land of Kamandi!

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NEW TEEN TITANS

Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artists: Nicola Scott and Marc Deering
Colorist: Jeromy Cox

Titans Together! Fighting against the might of the Tangent Universe’s Doom Patrol, we are reminded why this is the greatest Titans team of all.

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Week Four

PRE-CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, Earth 2

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA

Writer: Dan Abnett
Artists: Tom Derenick and Trevor Scott
Colorist: Monica Kubina

Older and in full retirement under the dome, members of the Justice Society get the chance to regain their youths to stave off forces from the Qward Universe. But the promise of youth comes with a deadly price.

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INFINITY INC.

Writer: Jerry Ordway
Artist: Ben Caldwell
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

The young heroes of Infinity Inc. must choose between the path set for them by their parents or the one they’ve set for themselves as they face post-apocalyptic Jonah Hex.

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DETECTIVE COMICS

Writer: Len Wein
Artists: Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz
Colorist: Felix Serrano

Helena Wayne and Dick Grayson fight side by side in memory of Bruce Wayne as they decide who will become the next Batman.

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ACTION COMICS

Writer: Justin Gray
Artists: Claude St-Aubin and Sean Parsons
Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski

Superman teams up with Power Girl, but can they stop a nuclear strike from Lex Luthor and Stalin of Red Son Moscow?

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WORLD’S FINEST COMICS

Writer: Paul Levitz
Artists: Jim Fern and Joe Rubinstein with cartoons by Shannon Wheeler
Colorist: Paul Mounts

The Seven Soldiers of Victory regroup to defend their city against the Qward invasion, while cartoonist Scribbly Jibbet transcribes their adventures.

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PRE-CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS Earth 3

CRIME SYNDICATE

Writer: Brian Buccellato
Artist: Phil Winslade
Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski

The Crime Syndicate’s absolute control of their city is challenged when the dome comes down and changes everything. Now, Superwoman is on death row while the rest of the team fights One Million Universe’s Batman and Superman!

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PRE-CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, EARTH 4

BLUE BEETLE

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Yishan Li
Colorist: Dave McCaig

Hub City is on the brink of collapse and anarchy! But its heroes—Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, and Question—find inspiration and strength from the most unlikely source.

BLUE-BEETLE

PRE-CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, EARTH S

SHAZAM

Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Evan “Doc” Shaner
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

It’s Shazam versus Steampunk, as the world of Gotham By Gaslight takes on the Captain Marvel family and friends.

SHAZAM

PRE-CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, EARTH X

PLASTIC MAN AND THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS

Writer: Simon Oliver
Artist: John McCrea
Colorist: John Kalisz

Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters are on the gallows in a New York taken over by Nazis, when robot super-heroes attack from Futures End and enemies become allies.

PLASTIC-MAN

MULTIPLE EARTHS

BOOSTER GOLD

Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Alvaro Martinez and Raul Fernandez
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor

Trapped with Rip Hunter and other time travelers, Booster and his future self must work together to get out of prison and off the planet.

BOOSTER-GOLD

(via IGN, Nerdist, Entertainment Weekly, Newsarama)

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting?

Around the Tubes

ICv2 – Another ‘Wolverine’ Movie – Anyone really surprised?

CBR – Apple Blocks “Sex Criminals” #2 on comiXology iOS App – Interesting.

Bleeding Cool – Joshua Hale Fialkov Adapting The Bunker For Lionsgate TV – Probably the best digital series out there right now.

The Mary Sue – Warner Bros. Is Creating A TV Show For DC Comics’ Hourman, Because That’s An Awesome, Well-Known Superhero – Much like Marvel, you just have to hope there’s some plan with this.

Bleeding Cool – Larime Taylor Slams Comikaze And Other Shows For Lack Of Disability Awareness – Good! SDCC had issues. So many have issues.

Kotaku – Wrestling Game Or Greatest Super-Hero Game Ever? – This is amazing.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Adventures of Superman #28

Big Shiny Robot – Bandette Volume 1: Presto!

CBR – Unity #1

Around the Tubes

So what did everyone pick up at the comic book store yesterday? If you haven’t gone yet, what are you planning on picking up?

Around the Tubes

ArtsBeat – Injured ‘Spider-Man’ Actor Blames Equipment Malfunction – What else would it be?

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Adventures of Superman #21

Comic Vine – Batman and Robin #23.3

Comic Vine – Bloodshot #14

Picture Me Reading – Blue Bloods

Talking Comics – Captain Ultimate #2

Comic Vine – The Flash #23.3

Comic Vine – Infinity #3

CBR – Infinity #3

Comic Vine – Justice League Dark #23.2

Comic Vine – New Avengers #10

Comic Vine – Secret Avengers #9

Comic Vine – Superior Spider-Man #18

Comic Vine – X-O Manowar #17

ICv2 – X-O Manowar Vol. 3: Planet Death TP

The Beat – Reviewed! Every Issue of Villains Month, Week Three

Around the Tubes

So, did you go to the comic shop yesterday? What’d you get?

Around the Tubes

Bleeding Cool – Guardians Of The Galaxy Gets A Leader For The Nova Corps, And It’s Glenn CloseDidn’t see this one coming.

CBR – EXCLUSIVE: Paul Jenkins Goes All BOOM!Definitely should read this.

Spinoff Online – Booster Gold Pilot Script May Finally Go to Syfy Next WeekInteresting.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Adventures of Superman #1

Talking Comics – Adventures of Superman #1

Comic Vine – Batman: The Dark Knight Annual #1

Huntington News – Blue Bloods

Comic Vine – B.P.R.D.: Vampire #3

Comic Vine – Clone #7

Comic Vine – Damsels # 7

Comic Vine – Earth 2 Annual #1

Comic Vine – Gambit #13

Comic Vine – Indestructible Hulk #8

Comic Vine – Injustice: Gods Among Us #20

Comic Vine – Justice League of America #4

Comic Vine – Lost Vegas #3

Comic Vine – Morbius: The Living Vampire #5

Comic Vine – New Avengers #6

Comic Vine – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #22

Comic Vine – Venom #35

CBR – The Wake #1

Comic Vine – The Wake #1

Comic Vine – Wolverine & the X-Men #30

Bleeding Cool – X-Men #1

CBR – X-Men #1