Friday, September 30, 2016

Review: Action Comics #964

Since Rebirth revamped the Superman books, a question that I have been mulling over is 'who is Clark Kent'? Now I have 40 years of comic reading under my belt to have a pretty good idea who Clark is. But in this new DCU, one that has been reborn, there is a new Clark. One that seems human. One that is vehement that he is not Superman. One that believes what he is saying. Who is this guy? Where did he come from?

In Action Comics #964, writer Dan Jurgens and artist Patrick Zircher begin to answer the question. We get this Clark's origin story, at least the one he is telling us. We get some clues into his humanity. We get to read his writing style. And we add some new clues and plot threads into a comic already pretty mysterious. Do I have some new guesses about who this Clark is? A couple.

I have to say I was thrilled with this issue. Much like Superman #7, this was something of a pause after the Doomsday story and before the upcoming Godkiller one. And yet this wasn't wasted space as the story and overall arc continued to move forward.

As usual Patrick Zircher brings some artistic heft to the issue. Everything is pretty bold and complements the words tremendously. My favorite panel, filled with portent, is probably one glossed over by many. I hope at some point this book ratchets back to monthly and Zircher signs some long term deal to stay with the character.

On to the book.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

DC Superhero Girls Happy Meal

If you are a Supergirl fan, hopefully you realize that we are living in a wonderful time.

The current Happy Meal at McDonalds is JLAction and DC Superhero Girls. And that means that we actually have a Supergirl doll as a Happy Meal toy. The Girl of Steel is everywhere. And she is being marketed to all demographics. Gone are the days when I would say I was a Supergirl fan and people would say 'she doesn't exist'. Everyone seems to know about her! And that is great.

As for the Happy Meal toy, it is a pretty solid figure. There isn't much articulation but the pose is heroic, the face is lovely, and oh that hair!

I am a fan of this golf shirt, red Chuck Taylors, and red skirt look as a decent take on what Supergirl might wear to school.

But a very nice figure.

As I said, the hair is the big draw to this figure. The cape is fine. But this is truly a doll. Cool.

She has found a spot on one of the shrine shelves, taking a space next to the official figure. I have to say I might like this Happy Meal toy more than the figure. But both are nice.

Here is that entire shelf with the DC Superhero Girls section there on the right.

That shelf is pretty full!

But the figure isn't the only cool thing in the Happy Meal. You get a Supergirl tattoo. And if you log into a Happy Meal app and scan your doll, you get access to the Supergirl/Katana game. Interesting pairing!

The game was designed by blog friend and overall talent Luke Daab. Here is what Luke said:
Ta-da! So the game works like a pinball game turned on its side. Instead of one place to lose the ball, there are three. If you activate all the lights surrounding the window at the top, Katana shows up and block the top two exits.

Even better, the Super cousins are shown together in a little add on the toy standee in the McDonald's lobby! The Super Cousins are together everywhere these days!

Now let's all be honest, who is going to head to McDonald's to try and grab one of these?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Season 2 Trailers

I have tried to avoid covering all the news that has come out about the television show because other sites will do that much better. If I am just posting links and blurbs, I'm not adding much to the mix.

But there has been news and items that are so incredible and so jaw-dropping that I feel I need to comment. And this week, two major things dropped that brought me such joy that I felt I need to comment on them here. After months of silence, the CW dropped two trailers on the same day. And both of them showcase not only Supergirl but also Superman! And most importantly, it showcases the two together, working as partners and family. And frankly, that has been missing for most of the last 10 years, and definitely the last 5, in comic. And so I feel I need to applaud it and loudly.

But there is so much more. I have basically watched these on a loop and I haven't stopped grinning.

Here is the link to the first trailer:

We get a nice big dollop of Tyler Hoechlin's Clark Kent. He is charming and mild mannered. He says 'lickety split' and has to promise Perry White that he'll make a deadline.

Hoechlin really channels the small town 'aw shucks' feel of Clark in these opening seconds.

But then he hears about a spacecraft malfunctioning and crashing to Earth. The newsreporter hopes that 'he is listening', that is Superman.

And then we get a great shirt rip.

Clark runs down an alley, tossing his tie to the side and tearing open his dress shirt to reveal the S-shield.

It is perfect.

But this isn't a Metropolis emergency. This is a national emergency. And so a plea is on the National City newsfeed with that reporter hoping that 'she' hears about it.

Cut to Jimmy Olsen saying that she does. And out walks Supergirl who streaks out the window. I love Kara's determined heroic gait as she streaks into action.

And then we get a scene that I have been waiting for my entire life.

Supergirl and Superman arrive to save the day.. There is a very warm 'hey cuz' as the two join in the rescue. "This is a job for the both of us!" Kara says.
It is glorious. Wonderful. Too long in coming.

I have been waiting for the super-cousins to act like loving and supportive family for a long time. Looks like we might get it here.

I will say that Supergirl arrives first and tries to slow the descent of the ship by pushing against the nose. It is very reminiscent of the jet rescue in Superman Returns (the best scene in that movie).

But then The CW doubled down and released another trailer, this one focusing not so much on the action and more on the idea of Superman's presence in National City. And it too is just fantastic. Here is the link: 

There is almost too much to love. After saving the ship, Kara excitedly, enthusiastically, runs up to Superman saying that rescue was 'terrible but awesome'. Of course a plummeting space ship is terrible. But the two working together *is* awesome!!

The way Supergirl jumps up and down, shaking her fists. She is clearly excited. She seems like a fan herself!

And then we see just how powerful a person, a symbol, Superman is in all his identities.

Clark arrives at CatCo and for the first time we see Cat being a little nervous. She stamps her feet and wiggles about how Clark is going to be there. She asks if she has anything in her teeth.

Could Cat be smitten with Clark? Does that explain her catty behavior about Lois?

Anyways, I appreciate that Clark is getting some love as well as Superman.

There is a great action sequence where we see a criminal shoot at Supergirl and she neatly grabs the bullet out of the air.

That is such a slick shot. I made it my Twitter theme. Just fantastic.

And then we see the DEO agents sort of melt when Superman arrives. Everyone sort of backs up like he is royalty. Alex comments that he smells nice. And Winn, in full fanboy mode, nearly evaporates when meeting the Man of Steel. He even asks the truly nerdish 'how do you shave' question.

I do wonder if the adulation heaped on Clark will irk Kara. Or if she will wade in like everyone else.

There is a 'blink and you'll miss her' peek at Lena Luthor and an attack on LexCorp (or LCorp).

I am intrigued with this running thread in this season.

But the big winder is Hoechlin as Superman. He clearly is a presence throughout as he walks the Superman walk through each scene. He is worthy of the sort of awe everyone shows. And yet, his demeanor is so good natured that he seems uncomfortable.

And he smiles!

And he winks!

I mean, I know I am judging a lot from snippets from trailers, but this is far away from the glum, brooding Man of Steel from the DC movies. This is what Superman should look like and act like.

We are 10 short days away from season two!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sales Review: August 2016

The sales reports for DC Comics since the inception of #Rebirth have been, to say the least, robust. DC has climbed in sales and market share. Whether this is a mix of a company wide renumbering, a return to the classic feel of their characters, a lackluster massive Marvel crossover, or a combination of both, the results have been staggering.

Now there is a lot to digest. I think DC is allowing returns meaning stores can order more. And we saw a major bump in sales (briefly) with the New 52 and we know how that turned out.

But there is no denying, DC has increased sales. And it is impressive. Here is a link to ICv2's coverage of August's sale:

And this was a big month for this site because Supergirl Rebirth #1 was on the racks. So how did it do?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Granite State Comic Con 2016

A couple of weekends ago, I attended the Granite State Comicon with two of the supergirls and had a really fun time.

As I have said before, Granite State is a great palate cleanser for me after Boston Comic Con. While Boston is a con for running around to get signatures and commissions, Granite is a more laid back venue. Sure there are usually great guests. But for me, this is the con where I actually feel I can wander around, looking at the books and toys and actually shopping.

This year, the guest list was pretty solid. One of the things about heading to all the local cons is that I have met a lot of creators already. So I was heading there to meet Jeff Parker (again), Babs Tarr (again), JK Woodward (again), and Larry Hama (for the first time).

And I really only had one commission I was aiming for. Jeff Parker, who I know best as a writer (I love Future Quest, his run on Flash Gordon, his run on JLUnited), has been starting to draw again. He started out in comics as an artist.

As usual I had done some pre-show legwork and found out that Parker was sketching. So I brought one of my sketch books.

After gushing over Future Quest (my tagline is "Come for the Herculoids, stay for the Galaxy Trio!") and Flash Gordon, I asked and obtained this commission. There is so much to love here.

First off, despite three sketchbooks running and nearly 75 sketches, this is the first time an artist turned the book and did a horizontal commission. Second, I love the background with pine trees and a lighthouse! It feels so New England, perfect for a hometown boy like me! Lastly, Supergirl is just perfect, streaking in flight, smiling, hair awash in the wind. Wonderful!

As a bonus, Parker threw in his rough sketch, the quick work he did to get the pose right!

I love this commission. And Parker is just a really nice guy. Folks should definitely pick up his stuff!

I brought a number of issues to get signed from the other attendees. I got some Fallen Angel signed by JK Woodward. I got Babs Tarr to sign the newly published Doom Patrol #1.

But the big score was getting some early G.I.Joe issues signed by Larry Hama. I got these issues as a kid and they show that love. Look closely and you'll see the crinkles and folds of books read and reread in my youth. Love getting these signed.

And I bought a handful of comics, all from the $1 or $2 box. Continuing my odd fascination with early Tigra stories, I found Marvel Chillers #4. I now own 3 of the 5 Chillers issues that featured Tigra. You know what that means fellow collectors. I have to find the other 2.

But the best thing about the day was going to the con with the two youngest Supergirls. We had a great time. They loved seeing all the cosplayers (Steven Universe was well represented). They each got some cool stuff. And we just hung out and talked comics and pop culture. Too much fun.

I love the Granite Con for all that it is. I will always support it!
So all that's left is the RI Comic Con for this con season.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #32

I continue my look at the Supergirl and Legion of Super-Heroes title over on the Legion of Super-Bloggers. Here is a link to the complete review:

The book is transitioning from Mark Waid and Barry Kitson's vision, shifting to the stewardship of writer Tony Bedard and artist Dennis Calero.

Bedard takes full control of the book and the team. He isn't going to coast. He shakes things up. This isn't your father's Legion. The continuity is looser. And writers could scrawl what he wanted onto their history. It is bold, especially given that the book seemed to be struggling to find a mixed audience of old and new readers.

Supergirl is only seen on a monitor in the background of one panel. So don't get this book for her.

But it does give a pretty thorough and fresh look at the planet Winath's culture and Mekt Ranzz's back story. You get new takes on Validus and the Lord of Lightning. And you really sympathize with Mekt who was isolated and rejected by just about everybody. No wonder he loves his team so much!

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that Bedard decided to take the book in a direction he wanted. He helped the New 52 Supergirl find her way back into the fold.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Review: Superman #7

Superman #7 came out this week and was a truly delightful issue by plotters Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason with pitch perfect art by Jorge Jimenez. There was a wonderfully retro feel to this issue which thrilled me. I grew up in a time where every so often titles were allowed an issue to take a breath and showcase the characters without pushing plots forward. Whether it was 'a day in the life' or some rest issue tying up a small subplot, it was a nice way to get me back in touch with the characters and why I loved them.

And this issue serves that up on a silver platter. After showing the reader that Superman has been quite busy now that he has gone public with his existence, the creators send the family to the county fair. And hilarity and hijinks ensue. And within that is this breezy, completely natural relationship between Lois and Clark, one of the real draws of this title for me.

That isn't to say that we don't get some plot progression. We are introduced to some new characters who will either be supporting cast here or in the upcoming Super-Sons book. And we see where Clark or Lois might be employed soon.

But it is really these quiet scenes of carnival games and prize cows that struck me as showing just how good these folks are, super-powered or otherwise.

As I said, Jorge Jimenez is on art here and just shines with a semi-stylized look that is close enough to Gleason to give the book a consistent feel. I loved Jimenez' stuff in Smallville. He really shines.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

December 2016 Solicits

The December DC Comics solicits came out this week and there weren't too many surprises. That doesn't mean that I don't have things to say. In fact, there is something about these solicits that troubles me. And we'll get to that right up front.

I'll be looking at the super books but if you want to see all the DC solicits, here is a link to Newsarama's coverage:

On to the books!

Art and cover by BRIAN CHING
Variant cover by BENGAL
“REIGN OF THE CYBORG SUPERMEN” part four! Supergirl struggles to escape the perverse reincarnation of Argo City as her father, the Cyborg Superman, attacks National City and her new home with the DEO! To face her ultimate test as a hero, Kara must let go of her past and embrace the future.

So here is my immediate problem.

This cover.

I am not thrilled with the Kara side of the cover. There is something just a bit too hentai for me in this look. A bound Kara, her eyes wide looking down at the growing mechanics heading towards her skirt. There is just something a little icky about this image, especially given the tone of this new book. This isn't overtly salacious. It isn't a Zenescope cover. But this is supposed to be a 16 year old girl and there are some things implied here.You can have an imperiled Kara who isn't in *this* position. Add to that the word perverse in the solicit and my remembering that Eddie Berganza is the editor who okayed this cover and I cringed a little.

As for the solicit, I thought this Kara had already let the past go and embraced Earth. But as this is a #Rebirth with 90K more readers, I guess Steve Orlando felt he needed to cover that one more time. So long as the story is good, I am in.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review: New Super-Man #3

New Super-Man #3 came out last week and it has taken me a while to get to the review. I have to say, this is one of the more entertaining books for the #Rebirth DC universe. There are contradictions to the book which is impressive as you will see. And as a result, I really have to give some credit to writer Gene Luen Yang because he is walking a tightrope.

What do I mean about contradictions?
Part of it is that it feels completely fresh, a new character in a new environment.
Part of it is that it feels sort of established. We are seeing new versions of DCU mainstays and New Super-Man definitely has a Metropolis Kid feel to him.
Part of it is that there is a ton of humor in the book.
Part of it is that there is a tragic back story to the main character.
Part of it is that New Super-Man is a something of a jerk, a bully.
Part of it is that New Super-Man has a wounded soul, making his bullying a possible defense mechanism.

It isn't easy to wed all those things and yet, at least in these three issues, Yang is pulling it off. And within all that, Yang is telling a great story with some interesting subplots.

The art is by Viktor Bogdanovic. For a book which could veer to more a more slick, stylized, Asian style, Bogdanovic brings a sort rough house style. That makes it a sort of contradiction as well.

Not bad to keep a grizzled reader like me intrigued and invested.
On to the book!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sterling Gates Interview - Adventures of Supergirl

I really loved the Adventures of Supergirl digital comic which came out over the spring and early summer this last year. Sterling Gates really delivered a solid story which built on the show's plots while still being a successful stand alone story.  With the release of the Adventures of Supergirl trade out this week, I tracked down Gates for one more interview about the series and Supergirl in general. Gates was kind enough to answer. Settle in!

Anj: The digital series has been done for a couple of months which means the scripts were probably finished well before that. Looking back at the series as a whole, did you accomplish what you intended? Was there anything you that didn’t make it into the story that you hoped to squeeze in?

Sterling Gates: I’m exceptionally proud of the story we told in Adventures of Supergirl. We set out to tell an original story set in the show’s continuity. We wanted to dust off and update some old Supergirl villains while introducing a powerful new villain to her mythos. I specifically wanted to create a villain who could only be done within the continuity of the show, someone who came from Fort Rozz and who knew Alura as a judge on Krypton. And that’s how Facet came to life.

I had a lot of questions while watching the pilot about how Fort Rozz was run as a prison, and the Master Jailer episode only got me more intrigued. Who runs that kind of place? How? How firm a hand does a place like that need? Is there a warden? Or are the Kryptonians acting as wardens and the master jailers are their guards? Facet came from me wanting to explore all of that.

Truthfully, I could’ve spent 25 more pages just exploring Facet’s life. She’s been cognizant for a thousand years...what kind of perspective does that give you? What has she endured?

And (SPOILERS) why was she so willing to be locked up under the D.E.O. at the end of the story? Is it a good thing that she’s down there? Time will tell!

As for everything else, the show approved our outline from the start, so everything I wanted to do in this story more or less made it in. My goal was to do story beats that they couldn’t necessarily do on the show, due to stuff like time or budget constraints. I’m not sure you could do that dream sequence with Supergirl fighting other versions of herself on the show. It would probably be confusing for a wide audience, but comic fans know who each of those Supergirls are...and hopefully they’re happy to see ‘em! [laughs]

And while we’re speaking about this, a huge thank you to Greg Berlanti, Ali Adler, and Andrew Kreisberg for asking me to write Adventures of Supergirl. I had a really great time playing in their world and continuity, and am constantly amazed at the wonderful things they’ve accomplished for Supergirl.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Review: Super-Woman #2

Superwoman #2 came out last week and was another dense, meaty read by writer/artist Phil Jimenez. If there is one thing you can count on from a Phil Jimenez, it is that you will get your money's worth. Between running subplots, inset panels, amusing side scenes, and incredible characterization, Jimenez seems to squeeze two comics worth of story into one. And in this day and age of decompressed storylines, it might even be three.

This isn't an easy task. Superwoman is a new character. Sure, it is Lana Lang. But this is a conflicted Lana, struggling with anxiety, depression, and a new power set which seems to be killing her. Jimenez needs to build up the supporting cast surrounding her. She has to be plugged into the greater Superman universe of books. And there has to be a story, with villains and conflict. This is no simple task.

And oh yeah, let's not forget that this book was marketed as a Lois book only to have Jimenez pull the rug out from under us at the end of last issue. While I actually liked the ending - I was utterly surprised, and that isn't easy to do - I can imagine that has turned off some readers.

But for me, this book continues to impress. In Superwoman #2, we get a harsh fight with a Bizarro clone, the addition of several well-known Superman characters to the supporting cast, some staggeringly powerful character moments, a couple of chuckles, and a great villain reveal at the end. And this is with my not really liking the whole 'my powers are slowly killing me' plotline, one of my least favorite themes in comics.

And while all of this has been about the story, I'll add that Jimenez continues to shine with art as well. Just brilliant.

On to the story.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #31

Sorry that I forgot to post this yesterday!

I continue my look a the Legion Threeboot series over on the Legion of Superbloggers and have been sharing the link to the Supergirl issues here. Here is a link to my latest review, on Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #31:

This issue marks the beginning of the Tony Bedard era on the title. Mark Waid and Barry Kitson finished their run last issue, ending the Dominator War and sending Cosmic Boy into the future to join another team of heroes. But everything isn't rosy!

In this issue, Bedard and artist Kevin Sharpe set the new landscape for the book. Supergirl is elected leader. Their is tremendous unrest in the team with Cos gone. Worst of all, the UP wants to try Cosmic Boy for war crimes. And Supergirl, as leader, is trying to keep everything together. But not everyone is thrilled that a time displaced outsider was elected.

The team is on edge. And new threats are on the periphery, getting ready to strike. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Review: Action Comics #963

Action Comics #963 came out this week and was something of a rest issue. After the brutal Doomsday arc, filled with action, the creative team of writer Dan Jurgens and artist Patch Zircher slow things down a little to give us a character issue. And the character is, cue dramatic music, Clark Kent.

The mystery of who is this Clark Kent has been as big a riddle in my mind as 'who is Mr. Oz?' Is he a clone? A creation by Mr. Oz? A robot? A Clark from another dimension? As readers, we haven't got much to work on. There haven't been many, if any, clues for readers to mull over.

One thing I have to say though. This Clark strikes me as what Superman would be like if he were robbed of his powers by Gold Kryptonite. He acts like 'Mr. Action', the rough and tumble investigative reporter willing to bend the rules if he needs to if that leads to justice. In some ways it reminded me of the old 'Private Life of Clark Kent' stories I read as back-ups or featured in Superman Family. This is all Clark.

But who is he?

Writer Dan Jurgens does a good job of mining this mystery, allowing Clark to tell his story and showing him in the field. But there hasn't been a morsel for me to chew on to figure out who the heck he is. I have some vague notions. But I'm grasping at air.

Patch Zircher continues to bring powerful art to the book. I will point out some subtle things that struck me. As always, I may be over-reading these things. But art is subjective. If it works for me, I'm okay.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Back Issue Box: Adventure Comics #364

Sometimes this blog writes itself with news items and new books to review. Sometimes I have a day when I wonder what I will post. And while new things about the show keep coming out, like the new Supergirl promo, I don't feel like I need to regurgitate all that stuff here.

So this was an empty day and I wondered what to post. So I asked on Twitter for some ideas. And blog friend Clinton Robson, of the Coffee and Comics blog, threw out the idea of doing something about Beppo the Super-Monkey.

I don't think I have ever talked about Beppo during the 8 years of blogging about the Superman family. And I thought I could shoehorn some relevance for current stories given that there was the Kryptonian pod on the Supergirl show. In theory, Beppo could have been in the pod.

So I decided to review Adventure Comics #364 featuring the Legion of Super-Heroes. This story also did a good job of being a primer for the super-pets. If you didn't know the origins of the pets going in, you learned them here. But after looking at the story again, I think it is worth reviewing just to see how loose continuity rules were during the Silver Age. Things are very silly here. And it all starts with that cover by George Klein and Curt Swan. Krypto is biting Cosmic Boy's shorts! Comet is kicking Superboy! Fantastic!

The writer is Jim Shooter. He was seventeen when he wrote this back in 1968! Seventeen! And he was already a veteran. It is clear that Shooter has a love of the DCU in this, even if he does bend the rules of powers a bit here and there. But I would settle in. The Silver Age was known for stuffing a lot of story in!

The art is credited to Peter Costanza and he does a good job with the animals in the story, giving them a realism which was appreciated.

But honestly, who doesn't want to read a story focusing on the super-pets.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ian Churchill And Supergirl's Latest Costumes

I was looking over Supergirl (Rebirth) #1 and was struck by Brian Ching's art. Occasionally his art seems to play with perspective and anatomy in an interesting way. At times the arms and legs seem too long or stretched out for the character's frame. It adds a certain feel to the art, as if the characters are moving.

Although their styles are radically different, it reminded me a little of Ian Churchill's take on the character. At times, when Churchill was drawing her, it seemed as if Supergirl's legs were made of taffy, able to be stretched thin.

I was never a fan of all the cheesecake and upskirt shots that permeated Churchill's work on the title but take that away (as hard as that is to do) I think his work is pretty impressive.

While googling away, I recently discovered that Churchill has put out a print of Supergirl in the current television show costume and it is very nice. And it shows how Churchill makes shins a bit too long for reality but in a way that works for the picture. I think this is beautiful.

 And then while still scrolling, I came across this on the Superrobotmayhem sitr:

Churchill did his version of the New 52 costume and frankly this works way better than the actual 52 costume. Gone are the crazy angle of the lower seam and the 'crotch guard'. Instead, we get pants! And an interesting top which is a tunic/skirt/I don't know what to call it.

I haven't seen Churchill's work in a comic since the Supergirl book. Has anyone seen him more recently?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Review: Superman #6

Superman #6 came out this last week, ending the first arc of this book, setting the stage of the pre-Flashpoint Superman taking up the mantle of the New 52 Man of Steel while introducing us to the super-family of Lois and Jon.

I have had a few quibbles with parts of this book, especially the flash fry of the family pet Goldie, but here is one thing I know. Creators Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason completely stick the landing. If you were hoping that the Superman books post-Rebirth would return the Man of Tomorrow to his optimistic and idealistic roots, you are in for a treat. Because the second half of this book really immerses the reader in some of the classic imagery and dialogue of the character. Was it laid on a little thick? Maybe. But after years of wondering where 'my' Superman was on the shelves, I didn't mind wallowing in this classic pastiche.

Now there is a plot to wrap up. We have the ending fight with the Eradicator. But that whole thing seemed to be an easy plot to set up all the wonderful things said about Superman, who he is and what he represents. I don't think we've seen the last of the Eradicator. But I still don't quite get what it is either.

Lois and Jon continue to be important and integral to the book. They are co-stars not supporting cast. And they get, perhaps, the best moment in the book.

As for the art, I am slowly getting used to Gleason's look here. Some panels truly shine. And the action sequences are laid out on the page in dynamic fashion. This was a very slick issue to look at.

On to the book.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Supergirl: Being Super

I have been talking lately on this site about what an incredible time it is to be a Supergirl fan. She is everywhere. She seems incredibly popular (weird for long time fans). And suddenly DC Comics seems to have noticed.

So late last week a new Supergirl mini-series was announced. Supergirl Being Super, by Mariko Tamaki and Joelle Jones will be a released in late December. Here a link to the Hollywood Reporter:
Now I highly recommend heading to the site and reading the whole thing and looking at all the art. But here are my thoughts.

I have to admit that I have never heard of Mariko Tamaki before this announcement. But everything I hear about the OGN This One Summer has been extremely complimentary. I don't think that a guy in the back half of his 40's is the target audience for Summer but I'll probably see if my library has it so I can get a sense of Tamaki's style.

Now I am not complaining at all about more Supergirl being on the shelves, especially if this format and creative team will bring in new readers. But this bit had me scratching my chin.

Set outside of regular continuity, the series will offer an updated take on Kara Zor-El's earliest days on Earth.

With a new Supergirl book on the shelves with a slightly rebooted/reimagined/rebirthed origin and tone as well as a popular show which has a different take on the classic origin as well as the one in DC Superhero Girls, it just seems like an odd time to be putting out an out of continuity different origin. Is this a sort of Supergirl:Earth One?

Later in the article, Tamaki had this to say.
"I come from a very John Hughes place, because I'm very old and that's my starting point for starting to talk about adolescence," she jokes, adding, "There's something about taking a weekend in someone's life and just focusing on what happens in that time." 

As someone who was in the perfect demographic when John Hughes movies were in cinemas, I like that reference. So that definitely makes me more intrigued.

Perhaps best of all, my understanding is that this will be released in the prestige format, 48 pages and square bound. I thought that format disappeared!

Now I don't think I need to tell people how much I love Joelle Jones art. Her being on a Supergirl book, even out of continuity, is like a dream come true. Even the few pages shared on the announcement, are just gorgeous. Here is what Jones had to say:

"I try to be very aware of the storytelling aspect, so I try to put myself in the position of people approaching comics for the first time. But beyond that, I want to work on something that excites people and create something that people want to read," Jones says.

Just gorgeous. And her art always draws me in. Her stuff on Lady Killer is just spectacular.

I doubt the Kara in Supergirl:Being Super will be wearing the 70s costume. But here is my Joelle Jones Supergirl commission,  a possible sneak peek of what Jones' Supergirl might look like.

So more Supergirl to read!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #30

I continue my review of the Threeboot Legion of Super-Heroes over at the Legion of Super-Bloggers site. This week I cover Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #30. Here is the link:

This issue marks the finale of the Dominator War arc and is a gripping issue where I was questioning this new Legion's ethics. Do the ends justify the means? Has Cos drifted to the dark side in the context of this war? The ending may surprise you.

It also marks the end of Mark Waid's run on the book and I am sad to see him go. Waid never seems to disappoint and he didn't here. I said it was a monumental task to please old Legion fans while bringing in new readers. The ending of this issue shows just how innovative Waid is in merging the old and the new.

As for Supergirl, there is a great moment.

There is a plan to bring a bomb to the center of the Dominion Homeworld and detonate it, destroying the Dominators once and for all. But the bomb needs to be brought there. Supergirl volunteers.

But Brainy knows that Supergirl could never willingly bring about the end of 5 billion people. Everyone knows Supergirl is better than that.

Mark Waid gets Supergirl.

To contrast, this was the issue of Supergirl on the shelves this very month. Joe Kelly had Supergirl shooting up her high school on Krypton.

Joe Kelly did not get Supergirl.

A thanks to Mark Waid for this great series!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Review: Supergirl RB #1


Supergirl #1, the solo title for the character in the post-Rebirth continuity came out this week and I'll say up front I was very impressed.

It has been over two years since the last solo Supergirl title in that time the Girl of Steel's prominence as a character has skyrocketed. With a popular television show, a presence in DC Superhero Girls, and a re-emergence in the late days of the New 52, it seems like Supergirl is suddenly everywhere. There are podcasts, figurines, cartoon shorts, and apparel in mainstream stores. It is amazing. In fact, it makes me wonder what took DC so long to get a book back on the shelves.

What is more amazing is, at least locally, the Supergirl book has been a focus of announcements for comic stores. I am on a number of email distribution lists for local stores and many had some version of ' 9/7:Supergirl #1 released!' as the title line. And DC also seems to recognize the potential in this book giving us two covers (which may be the norm these days) and a blank sketch variant.

But all of this would be sound and fury signifying nothing if the story isn't good. Thankfully, writer Steve Orlando delivered a very engaging first issue, setting the stage for this new time in Supergirl's life. The emphasis here is that she is a stranger in a strange land. But that also means there is a nice layer of contrast with her cousin Superman who seems to fit right in. There is some angst here, but it isn't bitter or angry unlike the early issues of the last couple of incarnations. Orlando also seemed to pluck pieces of Supergirl incarnations which have worked in the past and distilled them into this new book. This is a rebirth!

The art is by Brian Ching who brings an angular stylized feel to the book. It has an energy too it which makes me feel like the characters in motion, especially when anatomy seems to be distorted a little. Kara looks like Natalie Dormer in a number of panels.

And the covers are great. Ching's looks like a movie poster of old, highlighting the main points while Bengal's variant shows a smiling Kara ready to hug the world.

On to the story.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Boston Comic-Con 2016: Daniel Govar Commission

Boston Comic-Con was only a month ago but it feels like much longer. Life has been a bit crazy since then. It only makes those three days, dedicated to comic nonsense, that much sweeter in my memories.

The last commission I have to share is this unbelievably fabulous watercolor commission by Daniel Govar. Govar is something of a mainstay at the Boston Con and I have always been impressed with his art. His work is incredible.

I already had a commission from him (see below) and I love. But almost immediately after getting the first commission I realized I had made a mistake. I realized I should have got a full color Supergirl from him. And I had the idea that he would be perfect for a 'flame wing' Supergirl. (For those who don't know, when Supergirl was an Earth Angel, she could manifest flame wings.)

I contacted Govar early on (Twitter is a powerful tool) and set up the commission. And on Sunday, I picked up my sketch book and saw this image.

Unreal. Gorgeous.

Everything works here. The wings. The background. The flaming eyes. The hair straight up. The colors of her costume contrasting the fire.

It is just beautiful.