Tag Archives: DC Comics

Why isn’t Superman….Ah?…Super?

The Atlantic Magazine does a whole piece on DC Comic’s Superman character and how he seema to have lost his way…..

While the Marvel Universe is moving along making TONS of money in everyday with it’s characters…..

It seems that we are left to see a Superman these days that is is anything but inviciable like he’s supposed to be…

I mean look at the trailers for the new movie…Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice….

Superman and Batman getting into it?


Superman is suppose to be SUPER….

Batman IS tough…

But lets face it…

He’s sup[posed to be HUMAN….

The guy bleeds ….

Superman flys and is bullet proof ….

At least he was?

Trailers for the sequel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, have shifted the focus (and top billing) to the Dark Knight. Worst of all, conventional wisdom puts the blame on Superman himself. He’s boring, people say; he’s unrelatable, nothing like the Marvel characters dominating the sales charts and the box office. More than anything, he seems embarrassing. Look at him. Truth? Justice? He wears his underwear on the outside.

Behold! I give you the problem of Superman. It’s a problem that has less to do with the character himself and more to with DC Comics, which found itself stuck with a flagship character it thought needed fixing. In trying, it broke him nearly beyond repair….



Share on Facebook

DC Comics changes up Superman a bit….

image…DC Comics…

The man of steel gets a bit human in Superman  #41……

It’s a time for reinvention for DC Comics, which kickstarted a new comic book universe earlier this month. That means new takes on beloved superheroes, new series and an overall new creative direction.

It also means big changes for the grandaddy of all superheroes, Superman.

Don’t fret too much, purists. The Man of Steel still sports his trademark blue, red and yellow uniform, with slight alterations, and he still has mild-mannered Clark Kent reporter as his alter ego. But he now has a new superpower — the ability to generate solar flares, an outgrowth of his heat vision — that also saps him of power and renders him human for a short while. This, in turn, creates opportunities to enjoy things he never really could before, such as getting drunk — he really can’t hold his liquor too well — and scarfing down junk food. There are drawbacks, though.

To explore these ideas, which were developed by DC creative chief Geoff Johns, the company has enlisted acclaimed graphic-novel writer Gene Luen Yang, a two-time National Book Award nominee. Yang’s run on the title starts with Superman No. 41, which goes on sale June 24.

“He’s not Batman. He’s not somebody who’s used to operating without super powers,” said Yang,  who added that “14-year-old me would pee in his pants” if he found out that he would eventually write for Superman. “To go from one of the most powerful beings on Earth to someone who’s a little bit more humanized is going to make him vulnerable….


Share on Facebook

Peter Parker…The Amazing Spider-Man…Marvel Comics Rules….

Sometimes you take away your leading man for a while….

Marvel did that with Pter Parker like D.C. Comics did with Super-Man back in the day….

Then you bring’m back….

And with THAT you make’m come back Happy…..


Peter Parker‘s return as Spider-Man, after nearly a year and a half away, gave Marvel Comics the top-selling comic book of 2014, according to the primary distributor of comic books in North America.

“Amazing Spider-Man” #1 was 2014′s best-selling comic based on total unit sales to comic book specialty retailers, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s biggest distributor of English-language comics. Marvel’s reboot of the title marked Peter Parker’s comeback after a long storyline in which his enemy Doctor Octopus had control of his body and had taken over his identity.

Overall, comic book sales increased 4.03% in 2014 over the previous year, and graphic novel sales rose 5.18%, Diamond said.

Marvel, home to the Avengers and the X-Men in addition to Spider-Man, was 2014′s top-selling publisher in the comic-book specialty market, Diamond said, with about a 34% market share in terms of dollars and about a 37% share in terms of units sold. Marvel increased its lead a bit over second-place DC Comics, home of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, which came in with a market share of about 29% in dollar terms and 32% in unit terms. Image Comics was third, followed by IDW Publishing and Dark Horse Comics.

Marvel had nine of the top 10 selling issues of the year – in addition to the Spider-Man issue, also in the top 10 were “Rocket Racoon”#1, featuring the “Guardians of the Galaxy” star in his own series; “Thor” # 1 with the much-discussed debut of the new female Thor; and all four issues of “Death of Wolverine,” a miniseries in which Marvel killed off the clawed X-Man….


Share on Facebook

DC Comics Universe is coming…’Wonder Woman,’ ‘Green Lantern,’ and two ‘Justice League’ and more…

After standing by and watching the Marvel Universe expand…DC is trying to catch up…..


Image Credit: DC

Here are the 10 announced films. 

—Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016.

Suicide Squad, an adaptation of a comic book that focuses on a team of imprisoned supervillains running black ops missions for the government. It will be directed by David Ayer and will arrive in 2016, which means 2016 will have two supervillain-team movies (assuming The Sinister Six hits its release date).

Wonder Woman will arrive in 2017, after Gal Gadot debuts the character in BvS: DoJ.

Justice League Part One will also arrive in 2017 and will star everyone, presumably. (The press release specifically mentions that Amy Adams will be in the movie. Presumably not wearing this outfit, but you never know.)

The Flash hits theaters in 2018 and will star Ezra Miller…..


Share on Facebook

Introducing the ‘Flash’!

The D.C. Comic Hero is on his way to TV……

We have the first look of Grant Gustin wearing the Flash costume!

Grant Gustin in the Flash costume

Photo…Facebook, The Flash….

Fans of “Arrow” have already met Barry Allen.

Now say hello to The Flash!

What you see there is Grant Gustin wearing the famous “New 52” inspired red and yellow costum! This is the first image to be released from The CW’s “The Flash” TV series to air this 2014.

According to DC Comics, The costume for “The Flash TV” series was designed by three-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood, who also designed the costume for “Arrow” and whose motion picture credits include Academy Awards for her work on “Alice in Wonderland”, “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Chicago”. Atwood has earned seven additional Oscar nominations for films such as “Snow White and the Huntsman”, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and “Sleepy Hollow”.

“The Flash” TV series’ pilot episode production begins next week……


Share on Facebook

Superman will be 74 years old next year…..


Superman has gotten a makeover — well, another makeover — two years ahead of turning 75 years old in 2013.

The newly redesigned Man of Steel, as he appears in this year's Justice League #1. The S-curl on his forehead will return; the red trunks are gone for good. Art by Jim Lee.

DC ComicsThe newly redesigned Man of Steel, as he appears in this year’s Justice League #1. The S-curl on his forehead will return; the red trunks are gone for good. Art by Jim Lee.

As the first and most widely known representative of the spandexed set, Superman remains the popular face of that uniquely American creation, the superhero.

But America has changed a lot since 1938. And as it did, that face changed, too.

You can talk about the S-shield, or the bright red booties, or the cape, or the red trunks. (Actually, let’s not talk about the red trunks, or their absence of late, if it’s all the same to you.) But the fact remains: Kal-El’s super-kisser has become an internationally recognized icon in its own right. Which is remarkable, given its completely generic look…..


Share on Facebook

Women In Comics: A Look at DC’s New 52

by TheSolipsisticMeFollow @Daily Kos….

September is over, and all 52 titles of the DC relaunch have been released. Given the furor surrounding the lack of women writers and the lack of visible female characters before the comics were available, how do things actually stack up? The answer is: not very differently than in the old DC universe. After reading 32 of the new titles (including all the titles with female leads) and reading multiple reviews of the remaining 20, the simple truth is that the balance of women in DC’s titles is pretty close to what it was.

While holding the status quo is better than a reduction, DC has really missed an opportunity. One stated purpose behind the New 52 was to make the comics more accessible and appealing to new readers. Given the fact that, despite stereotypes, there are plenty of women and girls who read comics, this was a perfect time to broaden the appeal of DC’s offerings. Instead, they opted to hold steady and, in some ways, reinforce the stereotype of mainstream comics as a boy’s world. Let’s take a look.

First, by the numbers:

  • 29 titles are solo male characters or male duos and groups
  • 11 titles are groups with mixed membership, most of which are predominantly male
  • 7 titles are female leads (including the team book Birds of Prey)
  • 5 are something else altogether, usually supernatural titles

A few of the ostensibly male-dominated comics have pleasant surprises in the supporting cast. Animal Man may feature Buddy Baker as its lead, but his wife, Ellen, is an important character in the story and is actually more thoroughly developed than many of the women who are leads in their own titles. Superboy also features a strong co-lead in the unfortunately unnamed woman who is the scientist overseeing the lab where he is being supervised (he’s a recently grown clone). Mr. Terrific, a mediocre relaunch of one of my favorite DC characters, also features Karen (Power Girl) Starr in a strong supporting turn.

In the team books, it’s a very mixed bag.

  • Justice League and Stormwatch are very male-dominated. The first issue of JL doesn’t even include the one female character (Wonder Woman). The Stormwatch cast is (so far) mostly men and the visible female characters are poorly developed. Green Lantern and the New Guardians has a slightly better ratio at this point, but the final makeup of the team is unclear; the writing is also distressingly macho, with a number of “scream like a girl” lines.
  • Justice League International, Teen Titans, Hawk & Dove, and Justice League Dark are much better balanced. The Wonder Girl in TT is a complex, promising character and Dove is a much more interesting counterpoint to Hawk than the previous version (although she has grown mysteriously more buxom). JLD features a number of strong women, including the very powerful villain and one of my favorites, Zatanna.
  • My longstanding favorite, the Legion of Super-Heroes, has two titles, the latest Legion of Super-Heroes title and Legion Lost. Of the 42 (really!) pre-relaunch Legionnaires,  13 were women. Eleven of the 27 members in the two books so far are women, including an impressive four out of five new members.
  • Suicide Squad and Red Hood & the Outlaws are moderately balanced, but feature some truly bad plot and character decisions that I’ll look at shortly.

And how are those seven books that feature women characters as leads?

  • Batgirl and Batwoman, both reviewed on TSM earlier, are outstanding. They are complex stories, well told, with strong characters.
  • Birds of Prey continues in its original vein, with strong female leads and promising plot points. Even without the wonderful Gail Simone writing the book, it is one of the more interesting books of the relaunch.
  • Supergirl and Wonder Woman are very interesting new interpretations of very longstanding characters. Supergirl is scripted as a very convincing teenager cast into a confusing situation. Wonder Woman’s world is creepy and mysterious, featuring the Greek deities who populated her previous incarnations; it’s also one of the most strikingly drawn books in the relaunch.
  • Voodoo, a character with whom I was unfamiliar, is an interesting mess. The lead character turns out to be a violent alien (who may not even be female?) and the plot is a bit sluggish. Interestingly, although the bulk of the story takes place in a strip club, the female supporting cast is well written and reasonable free of stereotypes and pointless titillation.
  • Last, but by no means least, there’s Catwoman. In many regards, this title is much like the two Bat-ladies. Selina Kyle is a complex, interesting, powerful woman. The overall story is interesting and well-paced. Unfortunately, the last several pages have become quickly infamous. Batman appears in Catwoman’s room and the two engage in a pointlessly drawn-out sex scene. While the clarification of the love-hate relationship between the two as a physical relationship is fine, the presentation is frankly bizarre. The best overall analysis of this gratuitous plot point is brilliantly provided by Savage Critic.

Catwoman’s soft-core porn (with costumes remaining on) is one of the major disappointments in the treatment of women in the New 52. Another is the treatment of the two female leads in Suicide Squad. Harley Quinn’s jester costume is replaced with a pointless bustier-dominated costume and the character is reduced from intriguing obsessive to stereotypical psychopath. Far more disturbing is the redesign of Amanda Waller. Originally a short, heavyset, African-American woman, Waller has long been a fan favorite for her strength of character, her guile, and her indomitable will. The fact that she did not have a typical super-hero hourglass figure made her an outstanding exception in DC’s cast. Sadly, the new Amanda Waller looks like a busty Halle Berry. What kind of message does that send?

An unfortunate trend in the new books is a superfluity of nude and lingerie scenes. At least six titles feature women in various states of undress. While there are reasonable circumstances (arising from sleep, changing clothes, being strippers) in each case, it is interesting to note that the male characters do not experience the same level of on-panel undress. (Two notable exceptions are Hawkman, who is discretely nude for several panels and Superboy, who spends much of his debut issue floating in a tank wearing a pair of bike shorts.)

Even when not in various states of undress, the female characters also tend to have much skimpier costumes than their male counterparts. In a world where all four of the Robin characters are allowed to wear long pants, it’s curious that the shorts and tank tops are so predominantly female. (Void-Star.net postulated a revised Superboy costume some time ago which underscores this point nicely.) There is nothing wrong with presenting the human body in a comic book (and it can be handled tastefully like the costume changing scene in Batwoman), but the imbalance smacks of objectification at best.SuperboyCostume

That leads us to the very worst moment for female characters in the relaunch. Frankly, it’s one of the worst-written characterizations I have ever seen in a comic. Starfire, a long-standing member of the Teen Titans, has always been a sensual woman comfortable with her body and sexuality. As originally written, however, she was independent, strong-willed, and though a bit naïve (she is from another planet, after all), intelligent and engaging. The new Starfire is nothing more than an animated toy for the male characters. Unable to distinguish between Earthlings and devoid of long-term memory, she pursues sex partners wantonly and without any apparent pleasure. A buxom, energetic, no strings attached sexpot, she is the worst stereotype of a straight teenage boy’s dream character. Readers (even those not long-term fans of the character) are justifiably outraged at this misogyny. Let’s hope the editorial team can find a way to write themselves out of this mess quickly.

The whole relaunch is a mix of the traditional, the unexpected, the sad misstep, and the pleasant surprise. The male-dominated books that I read featured some blunders not unlike those described in this post. The tragic difference is that a handful of badly-written male characters get lost in the very masculine mix. The exploitation and shallow characterization of a significant percentage of the limited female characters, on the other hand, sends a bad message to all readers, both male and female. Let’s hope that as the New DC progresses, the writers will take a lesson from Batgirl, Batwoman, Birds of Prey, and Supergirl and find ways to present strong, varied, interesting female characters. After all, art is supposed to imitate life, isn’t it?



Share on Facebook

Superman Renounces His American Citizenship…The Oligarch Kings…

From Comics Alliance

Its official – DC comics have sold out.  Not simply the entire run of Action Comics 900 which is set to reprint due to exceptional demand but if you believe the pundits in America’s media and politics, the entire nation.

What on earth has caused such a furore?

Well it seems that the latest line in the long running comic book saga has Superman renounce his American Citizenship.  And this has fairly hit the fan in America.  The New York Times no less has felt moved to comment, and was followed in no particular order by an unseemly scramble from Huffington Post, The Drudge Report, Boing Boing, and thence out into the mainstream through Fox TV and “The O’Reilly Factor” .  Even Mike Huckabee, never a man to wear his underpants over his trousers, had a say –  though strangely I can never remember anything he says.

American’s take their comics seriously.  Very seriously, and they make their characters national models of virtue or evil.  They are marketed not just for kids, or spotty lonely adolescents with no friends and an onanism habit, but as main stream entertainment for adults.  A huge film industry has pumped out entire franchises of Spidermen, X-Men and Fantastical Fours.

In America there are any number of these comics, all competing in a huge industry.  This is not the land of “The Beano” or “The Dandy”.
A simply visit to the web site Comics Alliance will show the sheer variety of subject matter and skill of the artists.

But Superman – the Man of Steel- (does anyone else see Stalinist overtones here?) saying he is no longer willing to be seen as a
spokesman for the American Way has fairly got establishment knickers in a twist……


Share on Facebook

DC Comics Update…The Return of Superman….

A bdog highlight…..

To lighten the air a bit…This month is an insane anniversary in comics…

Action Comics number 900 comes out in stores on April 27.

We are talking from June 1938 until now…

That is a piece of American Pop Culture history



Share on Facebook