Friday, August 18, 2017

Bullet Review: DC Comics Bombshells #33

DC Comics Bombshells #33 came out this week, the last issue of this volume of the characters and my last issue reading this. When this series started out, I was very impressed at writer Marguerite Bennett's ability to weave a very solid story about World War II and the arrival of super-women fighting the Nazis. The first year was fabulous.

But since then, since the battle of London around issue 12, it has felt like the book has lost its way. There are a lot of ideas in this book but the stories haven't read well. It's like those ideas haven't gelled into a narrative. As a result, the book has been something of a mess. On top of that, there has been a bit too much cutesy dialogue recently ... something that I might have tolerated more of the story around it was stronger.

And so this last issue wraps up the story. Bennett has brought a bunch of subplots together into a large battle in Russia. So Supergirl's grief and Raven's familial issues and Lois's optimism are all here. But it seems so scattershot. So much happens with little explanation. The moments in the story where I have said to myself 'I guess I have to roll with that' were numerous. Now I will admit that I haven't been paying significant attention here. Perhaps my laziness as a reader because I haven't been engaged has been part of the problem.

One of the things that hasn't been a problem on the book has been the art. In particular, I discovered Mirka Andolfo, Laura Braga, and Sandy Jarrell in this book. All three are here and shine. In particular, Mirka Andolfo has become a favorite in my mind.

On to the book.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

This Weekend ... Terrificon!

I haven't even done my overall take on this year's Boston Comic Con and I am already heading off to my next convention.

Terrificon is a convention a little south of me in Uncasville Connecticut and I am considering this my big con for the season. For me, this just seems to be a convention more built for me. There are a ton of comic creators that are going to be there who had huge impact on me in my salad days of comic reading.

Yes, there will be current mega-stars there. You don't get much bigger these days than Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. And I will be hoping to get on commission lists for Brett Booth and Barry Kitson.

But it is the veterans that are going to be there, creators who I haven't met yet at other cons, that is the big draw. And so I'll be there with bells on!

Let's start out with Keith Giffen! Keith Giffen!!!

He plotted/drew Legion of Super-Heroes in the Great Darkness Sage era.
He wrote/drew/created my beloved 5YL Legion.
He wrote the bwa-ha-ha Justice League.
He wrote the Doom Patrol.
He wrote Justice League 3000/3001.
He wrote 52.
He wrote/drew/reinvented Dr. Fate.

I seriously could probably fill a whole long box to bring to have him sign. So distilling this down to my usual 8-10 books is proving to be difficult. I may need to head to his table once each day.

Seriously, I am geeking out that I will be meeting Giffen.

But there's more!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review: New Super-Man #14

New Super-Man #14 came out last week and continued to story of the Justice League of China fighting the fascist rule of the evil Emperor Superman. Once again, writer Gene Luen Yang provides a very entertaining issue, moving the plot ahead, stuffing in an incredible amount of character development, throwing in a great throwdown, and ending on a cliffhanger. What more could you ask for?

And yes, this ultimate throwdown of three super-teams from China is a great action piece. But for me, no big surprise, it was the personal moments - specifically between Bat-man and Wonder Woman that made me the happiest. This is a book basically about kids becoming heroes. And there should be growth. Given the tenuous shelf life that most comics have these days, Yang isn't taking the long road on some of the subplots here. And kudos to him for that. For the readers enjoying this book, we deserve to see these moments.

The art is again done by Billy Tan and I just loved the polished look of the book. It somehow fits the tone here. Tan is able to bring the right feeling to both the action sequences and the quieter scenes. Yang and Tan together really click.

I wonder how much more I'll have this book to enjoy. Everyone should be reading this book. It is a ton of fun.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: Superwoman #13

Superwoman #13 came out this week, and like Supergirl, I think it might be the best issue of the title so far.

Writer K. Perkins weaves story for us. We have a framing story set in the present day where a mind controlled Lana is fighting Lex Luthor. But we also get a flashback tale of Clark and Lana's adolescence back in Smallville. It all ties into Lana's origin and how she has maintained her Superwoman powers. (Of course I would pick the sepia-soaked nostalgia of the Renato Guedes variant).

Now there is no doubt that I am an absolute sucker for Smallville Lana stories and most of this issue is a flashback to those early years. That always works for me. But Perkins updates some of this story slightly. Gone is the vapid cheerleader Lana conniving to reveal Clark as Superboy (who I know doesn't exist in the current DCU). Instead we get a smart, independent, young woman who is bored with the idyllic small town life. This Lana better jibes with the Lana that we have now. And it isn't such a dramatic change to make me think 'this isn't Lana'.

And the art by Steven Segovia and Art Thibert is powerful. There were times that I was reading this issue that I paused on a page to just take in the art and make my eyes smile. I hope these two stay on the book.

Put it all together and you have a Superwoman book that seems to have put the first vexing arc behind us and sifted through the stabilization issues. Now we have stories moving forward instead of fixing the problems present when looking back.

Seriously, kudos to Perkins for wringing a story out here, complemented perfectly by the art (and colors by  Hi-FI!). I hope DC and readers notice what is unfolding here!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Review: Action Comics #985

Action Comics #985 came out last week, a new arc with a guest creative team of writer Rob Williams and artist Guillem March. I suppose after the superb Superman Revenge Squad story as well as the upcoming Mr. Oz reveal, regular writer Dan Jurgens deserved a little bit of a breather.

This issue explores the new dynamic between Lex Luthor and Superman. With Lex being a 'hero' now and part of the Superman Family, but still having some nefarious history with the Man of Steel, this relationship is suddenly fresh soil to till. From the God-Killer arc to Revenge to this Only Human, it has been interesting to see a Superman struggle with a Lex who seems to be on the right side of humanity.

As a reader it has also been hard to take Lex at his word. Every so often he says a line which makes me think he is the same old Lex, just wearing a sheep's clothing.

Writer Rob Williams (who I know best from the quirky DCYou Martian Manhunter book) tells a solid tale of trust and mistrust even if he brings back The Machinist as a villain. I have to say very little of the Geoff Johns/JRJR run on Superman has stayed in my head. Was the Machinist part of Hordr? Did he die? Do I need to go back and look?

And I know Guillem March best from good girl art and covers. His art here isn't that style at all, bringing a rougher edge than what I am used to.

On to the book.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Review: Supergirl #12

Supergirl #12 came out this last week and is probably my favorite issue of this run to date. This is a fast moving issue with intrigue, action, and some teenage angst. There is punchy dialogue. There is a some mystery. There is just incredible art by Robson Rocha and Daniel Henriques. And there is a Stanley 'Artgerm' Lau variant cover. If this title started out like this, we might still be selling 40K a month.

It's not that I disliked the first year of stories. But the Cyborg Superman arc was something of a bummer to start out on. And Brian Ching's somewhat loose pencils were definitely a style I needed to become accustomed to.

Now with the opening arc behind us, we are moving out of 'origin' and into adventures.

Steve Orlando is crackling here. This is the Cat Grant I want to read. These are the villains I want to see fighting Kara. And this is the caring Supergirl still reaching out to those who have hurt her as she moves forward. Plus, there is a lot of Legion working its way into this arc. Maybe Supergirl will join that team when we eventually meet them in the Rebirth DCU.

And I just have to say one more time in this introduction how much the art just sings on the page. This is detailed, energetic work which just sings. You see every clothes wrinkle, every hair strand, every crackle of energy. I hope everyone out there in comic land notices this book and trumpets it.

On to the story.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Boston Comic Con 2017

We finally are entering my convention season!

Boston Comic Con is this weekend (!!) and I will be going at least 2 of the three days. I have been going to the con since its inception when it was a tiny show in the basement of an insurance building. It has grown immensely over that time.

While that growth has meant that I have met a ton of creators, it also has meant a sort of creep in scope to now include non-comic, pop culture celebrities. And then, last year, the local coordinators who ran the show sold it to Fan Expo. I honestly worry that the feel for the show will change.

All that said, the guest list this year of comic providers is just as fantastic as in the past. I have a list of creators that I am hoping to run into and chat. Unfortunately, unlike prior years, I haven't been able to set up any commissions beforehand. And I have also noticed that over the last couple of years the price of commissions has skyrocketed meaning I probably won't be able to get as many as I used to.

So here is a list of the folks I am eyeing for a commission as well as some folks I am pumped to meet. I'll have a small stack of books for all the creators listed below to sign (hopefully).

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bullet Review: Superman #282

Earlier this week I appeared on the DigestCast show of the Fire and Water Podcast Network to discuss The Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest: The Many Lives of Supergirl. One of the stories in that digest was from Superman Family #165, a tale where Linda Danvers becomes a guidance counselor at the New Athens Experimental School and wonders if she should continue a career as Supergirl.

That time period, of Kara questioning being a super-hero, isn't one of my favorites. I like the Supergirl who is fierce in her defense of the helpless and a warrior for justice. Rereading that story reminded me of the back-up feature in Superman #282. In that story, Superman tries to impart some wisdom to Supergirl, telling her a tale from Krypton that in some ways reverberates with her current dilemma. Now Supergirl is really a small part of this story, only part of the framing sequence. But it is worth reviewing.

This story is also the first appearance of Nam-Ek, one of my favorite Kryptonian villains.

Lastly, this issue is also worth obtaining for the main story, 'Lex Luthor ... Super-Scalphunter.' That story, written by Elliot S! Maggin with art by Curt Swan, is a bit bonkers. Luthor vows to scalp Superman and wear the Man of Steel's locks as a toupee. He also dons his famous purple and green battle suit for the first time.

But onto the Supergirl story!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bullet Review: DC Bombshells #32

DC Comics Bombshells #32 came out this week, the penultimate issue of this run.

The storylines of all the Bombshells have all come together in Russia. Faora has been revealed as the villain pulling the strings from behind the scenes all along. The Kryptonian general is hoping to create an army of super-powered army through cloning  so she can overrun the world.

Supergirl has overcome her grief. She has put the death of her sister behind her. It still motivates Supergirl but she isn't weighed down by it. The rest of the Bombshells are ready to fight Hugo Strange's army of creatures.  And a bulk of the issue is devoted to Raven's origins.

But I am running on fumes with this title.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Digest Cast: Supergirl

You all have read my thoughts about Supergirl over the years here.

Have you ever wanted to HEAR my thoughts on Supergirl?

Over on the Fire and Water Network of podcasts, I was invited onto the DigestCast to discuss The Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digests #17 - The Many Lives Of Supergirl.

Here is the link for DigestCast so go and listen!

We review this great digest from 1981 showing the different periods of Supergirl's life.
There is orphan and secret weapon Supergirl in The Great Supergirl Mirage from Action Comics #256 (by Otto Binder and Jim Mooney).
There is revealed super-hero in The World's Greatest Heroine from Action Comics #285 (by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney).
There is college student Linda in Supergirl Goes to College from Action Comics #318 (by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney).
There is reporter Linda in Crypt of Frozen Graves from Adventure Comics #424 (by Steve Skeates, Tony DeZuniga, and Bob Oknser).
There is drama student Linda in Trail of the Madman from Supergirl #1 volume 1 (by Cary Bates and Art Saaf).
And finally there is Guidance Counselor Linda in Princess of the Golden Sun  from Superman Family #165 (by Elliot S Maggin and Art Saaf).

Whew ... a lot of great stories, many covered on this blog.

Not only do I help with the reviews, I talk about Supergirl's history and my love of the character.

But there is more.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Review: Superman #28

Superman #28 was the second chapter in Clark and Lois's walk through American history, teaching Jon about the sacrifice of the military in defending this country's freedoms. It also slips in some simple lessons about living in a society and how to impart change. Writers Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason pick up where they left off last issue although maybe a little more heavy handed than they were last issue. There is a lot of history exposition here to bring the point home for Jon. While some exposition is needed, there are whole pages of near text book style discussions of events. I think dialing things back a bit would have made the issue roll a bit more smoothly.

There also is a rather gruesome ending, a moment that was meant to be heartwarming but seems like it is more of a horror movie shock. That ending sort of soured some of the pride that was building in this story.

The art is again by Scott Godlewski who brings a nice feel to the story. The scenes at real national monuments feel real and sharp.

On to the book.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sales Review: June 2017

The sales numbers for June 2017 were release a bit ago over in ICv2 and as usual I wonder what is happening in the comic market. Here is the link to the list:

This report comes out in a time period where someone from DC while at San Diego Comic Con (originally linked to Jim Lee who later denied it) stated frankly that the comic market is dying and companies need to figure out how to keep it viable.

Now I have heard for about a decade that the comic market is dying and it is still kicking. But when I look at the sales numbers, I do wonder if we are approaching the end of days. On to some specific sales.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

TV Guide Comic Con Special 2017

I was lucky enough to grab the TV Guide Comic-Con 2017 Special at the local Barnes and Noble. And even better, I was able to find the Supergirl cover. I love this cover. The splattering of all colors and Melissa Benoist's determined and action-ready pose is just spectacular.

The Flash, Arrow, and Black Lightning all share one cover. Supergirl is the only hero to fly solo on the cover! That's great.

It also is the third year that Supergirl has graced the cover.
Here is the 2015 SDCC TV Guide coverage.
And here is the 2016 SDCC TV Guide coverage from last year.

This magazine covers all shows that could be covered at the Con so Supergirl only has a handful of pages for coverage. Still, I try to support the show whenever I can.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bullet Review: Injustice 2 #6

Injustice 2 #6 came out last week and sported some cover treatment announcing this to be the origin of Supergirl. Now I am not a big video game player (don't have the time to dedicate to long play) and I'm not a big fan of the premise of Injustice (Superman killing the Joker and going mad and taking over as a despot). So I have shied away from this book.

All that said, I have seen Supergirl's story videos on YouTube and a number of players have told me that Kara is really treated well in the game, acting the hero. So when I saw this glorious cover by Mike Miller with the Injustice Supergirl flying in such an iconic pose, I figured I'd bite.

I have absolutely loved what writer Tom Taylor has done on the All-New Wolverine book so I shouldn't be surprised that Supergirl is treated well. And Miller's art is clean and slick.

And this origin story is a good one, showcasing Kara's strength, courage, and even a little nod to Silver Age Supergirl.

If only it wasn't a universe with an evil Superman I might stick around. On to the book ...

Monday, July 31, 2017

October 2017 Solicits

The Supergirl news and reviews have been coming so fast that it has been a couple of weeks since the DC Solicits were released. And the October solicits look pretty incredible. So sorry for the delay. If you want to look at all the solicits, you can head here:
And now here are the books that grabbed me.

Art and cover by JOSE LUIS
Variant cover by STANLEY “ARTGERM” LAU
Supergirl meets the New Super-Man! To help get her amplified powers under control, Supergirl will need to travel to China and train under I-Ching and Kong Kenan for help. But when an international threat hits the city before her training is complete, is Supergirl ready to save the world?

First off, I love the cover, an homage to Superman #205.

And I really like the idea of the Superman family acting like a family, co-starring in each other's books. A Supergirl with amped up powers? Interesting.

Too bad we don't have Robson Rocha on art. I thought Robson was going to be the regular artist.On to the rest of the book!

Variant cover by DAN PANOSIAN
A new series inspired by the DC Collectibles statue line! It’s been decades since Governor Lex Luthor turned Gotham City into a modern utopia, saving his people from the devastation that made the rest of the continent a wasteland. But his city isn’t paradise for everyone. If the Lexes network misfires, and a citizen wakes up and steps out of line, the Bat and his minions are brutal in restoring the status quo. So when young Kara Gordon, whose ridealong tech has never functioned optimally, rushes headlong into the Freescape, she’s shocked to find Gotham City Garage—where new friends might become family, if she lives long enough.
Gotham City Garage strategist Barda Free is determined not to let the new kid slow them down. But when her team rolls into trouble in Clayface Valley, will Kara be the only thing standing between them and sudden death?

With Bombshells being dropped, maybe I should give another book based on a statue line a shot. This sounds like Akira or Mad Max meets DC Superhero Girls. I am grabbed by the concept of Kara Gordon, Supergirl as Batgirl's sister. That alone makes me intrigued. I have said I'm not a fan of the waist tattoo. But I didn't like the Bombshell Supergirl outfit either. It's all about the story.

Written by DAN JURGENS
Lenticular cover by NICK BRADSHAW
Variant cover by NEIL EDWARDS and JAY LEISTEN
“THE OZ EFFECT” part three! The startling revelation of Mr. Oz’s origin has stopped the Man of Steel dead in his tracks. With Superman distracted by disasters looming around the world, Mr. Oz has the time to confront Lois Lane.
Written by DAN JURGENS
Lenticular cover by NICK BRADSHAW
Variant cover by NEIL EDWARDS and JAY LEISTEN
“THE OZ EFFECT” part four! If Superman refuses to join Mr. Oz’s cause, maybe Superboy will! The mysterious villain hits Superman where it hurts when Oz and Jon join forces. But the stakes are raised when the Last Son of Krypton is forced to choose between his son and saving his adopted home planet.
Written by DAN JURGENS
Lenticular cover by NICK BRADSHAW
Variant cover by NEIL EDWARDS and JAY LEISTEN
“THE OZ EFFECT” part five! After being revealed as [REDACTED], Mr. Oz makes his last moves against the Man of Steel and his family and leaves the Man of Tomorrow wondering what other secrets and lies await him in the future as “The Oz Effect” comes to a close.

We finally learn who Mr. Oz is. I love this cover, an homage to All Star Superman #10. But getting to the end of this story makes me very happy. Who will it be??

Variant cover by JORGE JIMENEZ
“IMPERIUS LEX” part two! As the conflict continues, Superman teams with Lex Luthor to bring peace to a leaderless and warring Apokolips as a new warrior enters the battlefield: Lois Lane, female fury. May Granny Goodness have mercy on all their souls...
Variant cover by JORGE JIMENEZ
“IMPERIUS LEX” part three! Steppenwolf, field general of Apokolips, enlists Superman’s son Jon into his Canine Cavalry to stop Superman from helping Luthor reclaim the throne once held by Darkseid.
Looks like we’ll be picking up the God-Killer storyline from earlier in this title. Lex leading Apokolips is a fascinating turn, even then. And anytime I see Fourth World characters, I’m happy. And Lois as a Fury … well, I’ll have to wait and see.

Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art and cover by JORGE JIMENEZ
Variant cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details. Includes a code for a free digital download of this issue.
“Planet of the Capes” part four! Superboy and Robin were training to become the next Superman and Batman—but they never signed up to be the saviors of the multiverse! Ready or not, the boys have their work cut out for them as the endless alien armies of Yggardis descend upon our young heroes!

Loving this book. The boys being thrust into a Crisis-sized threat is funny. They are so inexperienced. They haven’t gelled as a team. How will they win??

Written by K. PERKINS
Variant cover by RENATO GUEDES
“SUPERMAX” part two! It’s a clash of incredible power as Superwoman and Supergirl struggle to contain the might of Maxima! But with Maxima’s origin revealed, and a startling new villain looming on the horizon, do our heroes actually need to save Maxima...or be saved by her?
Perhaps the solicit I am most interested in. I loved K.Perkins update of Maxima when she was on Supergirl. This looks like a more classic Maxima than the young princess Kara befriended. And, as I said, I love the Superman family starring in each other’s books.

Variant cover by BERNARD CHANG
“Equilibrium” part two! Kenan’s battle with the Suicide Squad ended in disaster, and when the New Super-Man of China comes to, he wakes up in...Gotham City? All-Yang’s plan to corrupt our hero and show him the true nature of China’s destiny stands revealed!
The idea that the evil I Ching might be called ‘All-Yang’ is just about perfect. I am hoping this book sticks around!

Inspired by the art of Ant Lucia, the new DC Designer Series Bombshells Action Figure line continues with Bumblebee and Supergirl, as seen in the hit comic-book series! These action figures capture the spirit of the Bombshells line and come with their own character-specific accessories!

Definitely not for me. I’m not a fan of this costume enough to grab this for the collection. But if you like this outfit, it looks like a great figure.

So a pretty good month!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Review: Action Comics #984

Action Comics #984 came out this week and was another incredible issue, wrapping up the Revenge storyline in a very entertaining and satisfying way. I really feel like this was a big blockbuster movie of an arc. There was tremendous action. There were incredible character moments. There was a reclamation of a supervillain who I was tired of seeing. And best of all, there was the return of some Superman mythos, something that will be fascinating to follow.

Writer Dan Jurgens really weaved a wonderful story as the motivation of the villains completely flipped halfway through the story, keeping me very engaged and on the edge of my seat. I said it last issue and I'll say it again. This is the best General Zod story I have read in about 20 years. I have been bored with Zod prior to this arc where he suddenly became a deadly, strategic, and somewhat sympathetic character.

After seeing Jack Herbert and Viktor Bogdanovic play with all the Superman family, we get Patrick Zircher's take. The art here is stunning. As always, Zircher gives the proceedings a cinematic feel, delivering a well-paced and gorgeous book.

And we get more Mr. Oz ...

On to the book.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review: DC Comics Bombshells #31

DC Comics Bombshells #31 is the penultimate issue of this title and the penultimate issue of me collecting this title. I have been talking about dropping this title for a while. The series is coming to an end next month. There is a new title coming out shortly thereafter but I think I am out. The stories have become too meandering and too confusing. And the whole thing seems to be weighed down with the messages that Marguerite Bennett is trying to impart and proselytize to the audience.

I have said it before and I'll say it here. Tell me a good story that has a message and I'll be engaged. Have a message you want to say and then construct the story around it and everything just feels forced and I feel preached at.

And it is a shame that I am leaving because the first year of this book was brilliant. The story came first there. And it is also a shame because Supergirl has taken center stage in this last arc.

On to the book.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Review: Super Sons #6

Super Sons #6 came out last week and was just an absolute delight of a book. I have been loving this fast-paced, fun-loving look at the DCU through the eyes of these young heroes since its inception. And I have also loved how the differences between the sons, the down-to-Earth Jon Kent and the cynical assassin Damian Wayne, has been a nice catalyst for the stories. I think we definitely have seen the two boys rub off on each other in a nice way. And, of course, the frenemy aspect of their relationship has been tussle-filled blast.

Writer Peter Tomasi does his typical great job of showcasing the personalities of the two boys, with those differences seeping in at the edges. Throughout this book, Damian has come on as something of a bully, telling Jon he is doing things wrong. And we have seen Jon, at times, try to adopt some of Damian's ways. Here, we see some of that subtle bullying again. At times, I wonder why Jon would hang with Damian, unless he thinks Robin is 'cool and edgy' or is just desperate to share the super-powering side of his life with a peer. My hope, based on the cliffhanger, is that Jon will rub off a bit on Damian for once.

Jorge Jimenez's art has sizzled since issue #1 and that doesn't change here. He so effortlessly shows emotion, warping anatomy slightly to sell the feeling. When Jon is happy, you just see him exploding off the screen with an impossibly huge smile. But it his take on the Titans that grabbed me here. Great stuff.

On to the book!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Supergirl Show SDCC Trailer And News

Last weekend was the San Diego Comic Con and most of the Supergirl news revolved around the upcoming third season of the show. Search YouTube or Twitter and you'll get snippets of the many interviews and panels the cast did.

The big release for me was the sizzle trailer for the third season. That is available on YouTube here:

The trailer makes it seem as if the season starts out in a dark place. We hear in a voice over say:

The decision I made, he couldn’t have made that sacrifice. But me, I couldn’t have lived with myself if I hadn’t. I will always make the decision I made. I am not a human. I tried to be but I’m not. Kara Danvers was a mistake.

It is clear that Kara is grieving over losing Mon-El, a decision she made. And her defense is to suppress her emotions, to deny her humanity, and become perhaps a colder, more calculating 'alien'.

And the scenes we see in the preview do a nice job of echoing that.

Perhaps with too many screencaps I break down the trailer.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: Superman #27

Last week I gushed about Action Comics #983, claiming it transported me back to a younger age. The brutal fight, the twists and turns, the Superman Family feel of that comic grabbed me. Suddenly I was young Anj again.

This week I got transported back in time again. Reading Superman #27, I felt like that young Anj again. This time it wasn't the epic action or crazy super-heroics that did it. Instead it was the lesson in civics within the issue.

I grew up in a time when comics were a place to learn lessons about good and evil. It was a place where the heroes were immaculate role models. I learned right and wrong from my parents, growing up in a stable, loving home with 'by the book' parents. But comics reinforced those lessons. Do good by people. Follow the law. You have rights but we live in a society; your rights shouldn't supercede anyone else's. This was also a time where the heroes starred in one page public service announcements talking about not running away, keeping the streets clean, and the danger of hitchhiking.

I didn't mind those lessons. I was inspired by them. In comics today, where every hero seems conflicted, where heroes kill, where 'evil is relative', where fighting/flaunting authority is the default, there are few lessons in civics or civility. (I know ... I know ... I'm old.)

This issue shows Superman and Lois taking a vacation, reminding Jon what a great country America is at its core, and teaching him a few lessons along the way. Plotters Patrick Gleason and Peter Tomasi give us a nice throwback sort of a story. And the art by Scott Godlewski is loose enough to keep the book from feeling weighed down by the material.

I loved it.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Statues, Statues, Statues

In their continued effort to make me poor, DC and other companies continue to put out Supergirl merchandise. And in an odd cosmic convergence, a bunch of new statues have all been solicited or revealed within the last few days, many at San Diego Comic Con (and thanks to blog friend Firebird for passing on the photos). I probably won't get all of these. My poor wallet!

The one I would love to get is this Tweeterhead exclusive statue of Supergirl in her Bronze Age costume flying in the clouds with Streaky. Here is the link: 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Review: The Fastest Women Alive

Every so often, a complete surprise is dropped into your lap. Blog friend Mart Gray tweeted me that I should head to  because there would be a Supergirl surprise waiting for me.

And there was.

Supergirl and Jessie Quick team up in the Snickers free comic The Fastest Women Alive. The story is a nice little tale by writer Stuart Moore and artist Paco Diaz that not only promotes Snickers (they really satisfy you) but also includes nice character moments between Kara and Jessie, and even homages DC history nicely.

As a fan of Jessie Quick, someone missing since Rebirth ... as a fan of these two being teammates in James Robinson's run on Justice League of America ... I was thrilled.

And the art is nicely rendered. I think the two main characters look great!

On to this free comic ... seriously go download it!

Thursday, July 20, 2017


We are rapidly approaching my convention season and while Boston Comic Con has always been my main show, this year the incredible guest list for the nearby Terrificon lured me across state borders.

I am very excited for this show and have really had a hard time preparing for it. There are some great creators going to this show. As I have said in prior convention posts, I try to limit the books I take to get signed by a creator to a maximum of 10. But some of my favorite creators, who I have followed for decades, are coming to this show. And so limiting my sig list to the aformentioned 10 books has become something of a conundrum!

And, as usual, there are some artists at the show that I am hoping to grab commissions from. As usual, it is all about the timing. I haven't been able to line anything up beforehand so far so I also think I will need a little luck.

So who am I going to see?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: New Super-Man #13

New Super-Man #13 came out last week and really began the job of tightening all the plot threads that have been moving through the book into one story. And it feels like we are getting close to a major conclusion. I finished this issue and was already ready for more. This issue really felt like that, a turn of the crank, adding tension.

As much as this book is a New Super-Man book with Kenan Kong as the axle that the stories revolve around, it could just as easily be called Justice League China. That is one of the things that has most impressed me with writer Gene Luen Yang's work on the book. We are dealing with a lot of Asian analogs to classic DC characters, but they have remained fresh and distinct from their namesakes. Between the role call of antagonists and protagonists, at times this has felt like the Legion of Chinese Super-Heroes. Yang keeps it all cohesive and moving forward and that is impressive.

And Billy Tan's smooth art on the book has been wonderful since he took over art chores. There is a smooth feeling to the proceedings, whether it is action or emotion. I hope he stays on the book for a while.

But what actually happened? On to the book!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: Superwoman #12

It seems hard to believe but we are 4 issues in to K. Perkins run on Superwoman and things are finally starting to gel a bit. Perkins was dealt something of a mess of a character and has been trying to shore up the continuity gaffes of a character who has only been around for a year.

Superwoman #12 moves a number of the plots forward nicely. The villain is defeated. The mystery of Lana's powers is starting to be solved. Lana has to try to stabilize her home life and her work life. And all of this happening with the mystery of Steel's nephew Zeke simmering in the background.

But the main thing about this issue is the ending. Lana is finally a little confident in her abilities and her life's direction. After issues of anxiety and indecision, we see Lana smiling and that makes me smile. I know she is in for a lifetime of struggling with these feelings but at least she is coping and maybe even winning.

The art from Stephen Segovia and Art Thibert crackles nicely in the fight scenes. There is sort of Leinil Yu feel to some of the scenes and that is high praise.

Overall, I enjoyed this issue. But really what I want is to read the Lana of next issue.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Review: Action Comics #983

I have never been shy about my age. I am on the back half of my 40's and have been reading comics for over 30 years. I have read so many comics ... some might say too many. But I can remember as a kid, sometimes comics would just transfix me. I'd be gripping the pages, so engrossed, pulled into the story. One of the most common types of books to grab me like that would be an outright brawl between heroes and villains under the most dire circumstances. Add a little plot and I would be transported into the universe.

I long for those moments now. When a comic can make me be young Anj again, heart-pounding, watching titans battle, the fate of the world at stake, I am ecstatic. But with so many comics under the bridge (so to speak), it is hard to do that. How many world-saving fights can I read?

All of this preamble is to set the stage for Action Comics #983, a comic by writer Dan Jurgens and artist Viktor Bogdanovic. It is the Superman Family versus the Superman Revenge Squad with planet Earth at risk. There are battles and tragedy and a great wrinkle. There is General Zod that I actually like reading, loving to hate him. And there is so much Supergirl, appropriate for a Superman Family fight but something missing for too long in the super-books.

I read the issue and reread it and reread it again. I was young Anj, reading a comic he had folded and put in his back pocket, under a tree at the summer hour again.

God I loved this issue. This is why I still read comics.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Brian Ching's Psi Design

Over in Twitter, as I had in my review, I noted that the new Psi costume was reminiscent of the original version. That the expanse of white, sort of a negative space, was evocative of the vast amount of skin that the original Psi showed in the Daring New Adventures of Supergirl.

Brian Ching saw the tweet and then shared his design sketch for the new Psi and thought I should share it here for those who missed it.

You really can see how much of a feel for the original when you put them side by side. Unclear if Ching was trying to ape the Who's Who page, but it works for the comparison.

I've always been a fan of Psi, in all her incarnations, so glad to see her back.

Here is the actual tweet!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: Supergirl #11

 Supergirl #11 came out this week, the end of the Batgirl crossover which brought the Maid of Might into the Phantom Zone. This arc was somewhat rapid fire, ending a bit quicker and running a bit shorter than I anticipated. Blink and it's over. Maybe I have become so used to the 'stretch for the trade' story-telling these days? Looking back, writer Steve Orlando has mixed in long arcs, done in ones, and this shorter plot in the first year of this book. I like it!

And there is plenty to like about this story as it plants the seeds of the new Rebirth continuity. It is clear that after this arc, Batgirl and Supergirl are going to be friends and allies. Perhaps, if we are lucky, we'll get a World's Finest arc every year! There is also the addition of Psi to the catalog of Supergirl characters in the DCU. She ends up more of a friend than an enemy but we all know that can change. And lastly, there is another Supergirl show addition to the comic, one I welcome.

The art is done by Brian Ching and he does a good job of mixing in the the action sequences with the heart-to-heart emotional moments that are mixed in the issue. Ching is leaving the book and Robson Rocha begins on art next issue. Robson really has a dynamic style as seen on the cover. I am sad to hear that Bengal is leaving the variant covers.

On to the book.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Livewire Coming To Supergirl Comic??

Since the inception of the Supergirl title post-Rebirth, writer Steve Orlando has been doing yeoman's work trying to merge the continuity of the DC Universe Kara with some of the broader ideas of the Supergirl television show. So show specific ideas like CatCo, the DEO, and Jeremiah & Eliza Danvers.

Over on Twitter, Orlando tweeted that he was meeting with the Supergirl creative team (editor Jess Chen, artist Robson Rocha, inker Daniel Henriques, and colorist Michael Atiyeh) to discuss the next arc in the book. (Can I just say, as a reader always interested in the creative process, the idea of a summit meeting of the whole creative team is just fantastic!)

When I asked for a hint, Orlando said there could be some "shocking additions".

Given that proclivity to merge the show's sensibilities with the comics, I figure the shocking hint means we'll be seeing Livewire soon! And that makes me happy. Because I think the time is right to convert Livewire to an official member of the Supergirl Rogue's Gallery ... in the same way that the Silver Banshee seems to have gone that way.

And there is the history between the two!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

DC Adventures RPG Supergirl Statistics

My thanks to blog friend Siskoid and the folks at the Fire and Water Podcast Network show Hero Points Podcast for pointing out the existence of this DC Adventures role playing game.

As a fan of role playing games in general and specifically the Mayfair DC Heroes RPG, I was thrilled to hear about this. In particular, the idea of there being a heroes and villains book of stats and histories made me think I need to hunt these down. This is the closest I have seen to a Who's Who book in some time.

And it has measurable stats! Once again we can see who is stronger, faster, smarter.

This site being what it is, I thought I would share the Supergirl pages. Thanks again to Siskoid for sharing them.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Post-Crisis Reality: Crisis On Infinite Earths #7 fallout, 32 Years Later

32 years ago this month Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 was on the stands. Supergirl was killed saving Superman and ultimately the multiverse. It is a powerful moment, one worthy of her.

Unfortunately, the continuity backlash erased her from existence and memory. Suddenly no one remembered Supergirl. Perhaps even stranger, it seems that even DC creators couldn't name her. You might remember the not too cryptic S*p*rg*rl comment in Secret Origins.

I was once again reminded of this time period when I read the 1988 Power Girl mini-series, written by Paul Kupperberg.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: Superman #26

Superman #26 was a 'one and done' rest issue, focusing on the relationship between father and son, Clark and Jon. Written by Michael Moreci with art by Scott Godlewski (both new to me), the story was a welcome pause after the breakneck velocity of the Manchester Black Black Dawn.

It also includes one of my absolute favorite things about the Superman mythos, Pa Kent homespun wisdom. I am a complete sucker for flashbacks where we see how Clark became the man he is, bolstered by the knowledge of the Jonathan Kent. Usually Pa's words are perfect, the ultimate 'be a good person' pep talks. But this issue is different and that made me like it even more.

The characterization between Jon and Clark is a bit more bristly than usual. There is more friction here. I am assuming that part of it is Damian rubbing off on Superboy. But it felt just a smidgen off from what we have seen in the first two years. But it is that grit that makes the Pa Kent stuff work so I can roll with it.

The art by Godlewski is sold stuff. He has to flip from the idyllic Kent farm to the robot-filled streets of Hamilton. It all flows nicely.

Overall this was a very nice issue from two up and comers. I really enjoyed it. As a father myself, it resonated a bit with real life.

On to the book.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Review: DC Bombshells #30

DC Bombshells #30 came out in print this week and was the next chapter in the final arc for this title. And, incredibly, I think it is the final arc for me with these characters. This title has been on shaky ground for the last several months and this issue cinched it. I think this title has sort of lost its way.

The first year of this book was such a delight, introducing us to these characters, riffing on the film styles of the day, and bringing in the politics of the day. The zenith was in DC Bombshells #12, in a battle over London, where Stargirl sacrifices herself. I applauded this book then.

Since then, the stories have been a bit all over the map. Writer Marguerite Bennett began to use the book as a vehicle for an agenda. And as I have said, if you have a character driven book with an agenda, I am on board. When you have an agenda book with characters, it often falls apart. I also think that Bennett has started to be a bit too cute and a bit too glib in a way that seems wrong for the book.

The art, done by the excellent talents of Carmen Carnero, Richard Ortiz, and Aneke, continues to shine.

This was a war book. And even though war is there, it isn't that any more. This book hasn't crackled for me like it did early on. And it is something of a shame because the Supergirl story is actually the high point for the current story. But when this volume ends, I think I am out.

On to the book.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Supergirl Season 3 Synopsis

The plot synopsis for the third season (or at least the early episodes of season 3) of Supergirl has been released by WBTV in preparation for the upcoming San Diego Comic Con. There isn't much to this synopsis that we didn't know. But it is great to keep the momentum of the show rolling along.

I read the synopsis over on Bleeding cool here:

And here is the synopsis itself.

Ridding National City of Queen Rhea and her Daxamite army was a major win for Supergirl, but one that came at a significant cost, as Kara was forced to sacrifice her budding relationship with Mon-El. When season three returns with all-new supercharged adventures this fall on The CW, Kara and team will come up against a new threat in the form of DC Worldkiller, Reign. Want to know more about Reign and what she has in store for the Girl of Steel? Join the series’ cast and creative team for a special video presentation, followed by a Q and A where they’ll discuss this hot topic and more!

We had known that Reign was going to be the big bad so no news there. But I do like that they dropped the Worldkiller title, a key part to her story in the New 52 Supergirl title. We already know that Zor-El was involved in the creation of the Medusa virus on the show. Will he have a part to play with the creation of Reign as well? Even if it is unknowingly?

I also am surprised that Mon-El is mentioned so prominently. Will his character be a presence (even in absence) during the whole season? Or only as a major element in the earliest episode.

We'll get a panel with some video snippets at SDCC. Hopefully we'll get some more answers. Or at least some hint! The Supergirl panel is on Saturday July 22 from 3:30-4:10pm in Ballroom 20. Any pals that are going to be in attendance, please feel free to let me know what you saw!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sales Review: May 2017

The sales numbers for May came out earlier this month and I keep waiting for some sort of slow down of sales attrition for the super-titles and it just isn't happening. I hope DC isn't looking at Rebirth as some sort of failure. I doubt it as the company seems to be doing better overall since this re-imagining. But it is my nature to worry.

Here is a link to the sales reports of May from ICv2:

On to the individual books!

Supergirl #9 was the first part of a Batgirl crossover with the new World's Finest heading into the Phantom Zone. I thought for sure the combination of Babs and the Phantom Zone would maybe shore things up.

I will say that it is so hard to equate sales and orders. Maybe this book flew off the shelves and store owners wished they ordered more. And, of course, digital sales are unknown. We can only go by the numbers.

I thought this was a fun if fast moving issue with a lot of deep cuts. So how did it sell?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth Of July

Off to the barbecues and fireworks!

Happy Fourth of July to all who celebrate!!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: Action Comics #982

Action Comics #982, the next chapter in Revenge, came out last week and was a perfect middle chapter, moving the pieces on the board, building momentum to the finale, and adding a few new mysteries. This book ends with a truly phenomenal splash page, a great cliffhanger, and a moment I feel I have been waiting for since the New 52 happened. If this comic was only that page, I would probably give it a high grade. Trust me ... we'll get there.

Writer Dan Jurgens certainly keeps the plot moving along. He has a lot of moving parts to deal with in this story. The Revenge Squad is 6 members deep. He has Lois, Jon, and Superman to write. And we get the other guests that come on board. That sounds like a Legion of Super-Heroes comic. But Jurgens takes the time to make sure we know each character's motivations and to make them unique.

The art is done by Jack Herbert and Jose Luis and both bring great emotion and action to the proceedings. There are a number of panels here which struck me. One has become my Twitter header. And that ending page! It all works well.

This issue ended and I immediately wanted to read the next part. That is the sign of a great middle chapter.

On to the book!