Podcast 115: Superman Reborn!

Direct Download (52:01)

Superman is reborn! I talk about the events in the Superman Reborn crossover in Superman #18 & 19 and Action Comics #975 & 976. What do I like and don’t like about this change of the status quo? Listen and find out.

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RandoMonday: Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #233

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #233. Cover by Mike Grell.

“The Infinite Man Who Conquered Time the Legion” by  Paul Levitz (writer), James Sherman and Bob Wiacek (artists), Ben Oda (letterer), and Liz Berube (colorist).

This is a one of those classic stories that introduce a villain of immense power, but who are ultimately defeated sort of easily. Rond Vidar has invented a hyper-time drive in order to test his theory that time is a circular flow. And how best to test such a theory than to jump to human test subjects? Enter Jaxon Rugarth, a volunteer from the Metropolis University Time Institute (why Vidar isn’t performing his experiment at the Time Institute isn’t made clear) who will enter the machine, travel into the past and circle around to the present, thus proving that time is circular (I’m not making this up, kids). Of course, the journey drives Rugarth mad and transforms him into the Infinite Man.

I don’t know who came up with the design, but it’s trippy. Regardless, the crazy Rugarth wants to kill Vidar for giving him such fantastic power, I guess, but the Legion step in to prevent that. Eventually, Brainiac 5 figures out a way to capture the Infinite Man and send him back into the circular time stream, with a warning that the Infinite Man may break free in the future.

This is not a bad Legion story, and Levitz brings a bit of prosaic weight to the narrative boxes (and a lot of unnecessary dialog, but that was common in the Bronze Age), plus how cool/dopey is a villain who shoots beams from his eyes (time vision!) to bring creatures (such as dinosaurs) and characters from the Earth’s past to fight the Legion (why Rugarth doesn’t bring something from the future instead escapes me). The art is a bit weird in places where perspective is used in small panels, but actually pretty good overall.

“The Final Illusion” by Paul Levitz (script, based on an idea by Mike Nasser), Mike Nasser and Bob Layton (art), Ben Oda (letters), and Liz Berube (colors).

This is a 10-page untold tale of the Legion where Princess Projectra has collapsed and fallen into a coma-like state after her boyfriend, Karate Kid, went to stay in the 20th century for a while (as detailed in his self-titled series). Some other Legionnaires try to figure out what is wrong with her and how to bring her out of this state. Saturn Girl discovers that Projectra is living in a fantasy world of her own creation and subconsciously doesn’t want to wake up. They try scaring her out of her illusory world, but that doesn’t work. So they try to nudge her along so that she gets what she wants (Karate Kid) and then take him away, thus proving that reality is better than fantasy, though, Karate Kid is still not with her. Hmm. Best leave the psychology to the experts, I say.

Wow, the blatant sexism in this story…. Not to mention that these teens are meddling with someone’s “fragile” mind and think they know better than the doctor. I enjoyed the art in this story more than the other, which probably has a lot to do with Bob Layton, perhaps, despite the fact that Chameleon Boy is drawn with really big ears and antennae, which I always disliked.

RandoMonday: Superboy #197

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Continue reading

Pull List Thoughts: 1/16/13 Comics

As I was reading my comics from the week of January 16, I kept noticing certain panels that spoke to me in some way. Here are my (not so good) photos and commentary.

SpideybeatsWolvie

Avenging Spider-Man #16 by Chris Yost (w), Paco Medina (p), Juan Vlasco (i), and Dave Curiel (s)

Spider-Man beats Wolverine?! Granted, Otto Octavious is in command, but it still shows what a bad-ass Spider-Man can be. And boy did Otto get lucky when the telepath declined to scan his mind. I imagine he’ll want to come up with some sort of anti-telepath field or something for any future encounters. Also, I really dug the reveal of the villain at the end of the story. It ties back to when I first started reading Spider-Man stories in the late 70s.

BatsandRobin

Batman and Robin #16 by Peter Tomasi (w), Patrick Gleason (p), Mick Gray/Keith Champagne (i), and John Kalisz (c)

This panel is awesome. I admit I was confused at first as to why Robin was crying out in pain, but then I quickly saw the shadows to his left depicting the reason. What a cool way to progress the action instead of just showing Batman tackling Robin. Possible SPOILER: while the story was pretty good overall, I question Robin’s inability to identify that this is not his Batman. First, this guy cold not fight like Damian’s father, even if he did have a similar build. Second, the guy was laughing all the time, so why couldn’t Damian tell that it wasn’t Bruce by the sound of his voice (maybe it was the sound of Batman laughing that through him off?). Despite these complaints, the heart of the story, of this title, is about the relationship between a father and son, so when Damian tells Batman, “It’s all right, Father … I’d rather die by your hand than you by mine.”, well, that just breaks my heart.

CarolDanversandlongarm

Captain Marvel #9 by Kelly Sue DeConnick (w), Filipe Andrade (a), and Jordie Bellaire (c)

Notice the guy’s arm. I know comic artists have their own style, but that forced perspective is just too much. And look at his really pointy index finger–come on! Despite my general dislike of Andrade’s art on this book, I really did enjoy this issue. I was actually going to drop this title after issue 12, but reading #9 may have changed my mind–I just hope there’s more issues like this coming up. It’s not that the series is bad, but until now I wasn’t getting enough character building, or maybe that it was non-stop superhero action until this issue, but this slow build-up to the reveal at the end and Carol’s interactions with various characters throughout really made me enjoy Carol Danvers a whole lot more. Granted, having Jessica Drew drop by for a cameo doesn’t hurt in my book.

SagaKiss

Saga #9 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

The first panel is the culmination of a very touching moment in this issue, which is then undercut by the humor of the second panel. It demonstrates (in context), what is so good about Saga. There is such good character building in this comic, and I’m not just talking about the writing here. Fiona Staples just seems to be able to draw emotion and scene so well. It makes me want to be able to draw to try and emulate her ability (but knowing that I could never do so). I did want to address Mr Vaughan directly for a moment: How dare you, sir! How dare you tease me so with this (now bittersweet) reunion between The Will and The Stalk?! For shame, sir, for shame!

Stealth

Threshold #1 by Keith Giffen (w), Tom Raney (a), Andrew Dalhouse (c); Larfleeze backup by Keith Giffen (w), Scott Kolins (a), John Kalisz (c)

So, first Stealth is back! I have enjoyed that character since L.E.G.I.O.N. ’89. Joining her on this little nostalgia trip is Ric Starr, formerly known as the Space Ranger, and there’s a mention of a “Hawkins”–perhaps Star Hawkins? This mash up of DC sci-fi characters reminds me a little of Twilight, the 1990 Chaykin/García-López mini that reimagined some of the same sci-fi characters. Perchance we’ll see Space Cabbie next? While I am intrigued about the characters in this title, but not so much with the setting. It reads like any other Giffen-penned future-world that I’ve read over the years. Certain elements remind me of other things, like the whole hunting premise (Hunger Games, more recently), and the interstitial vid commercials/ads (similar to Starship Troopers). I understand that there’s nothing really new under the sun when it comes to fiction, but these just seem like lame ripoffs and not homages. Unless something grabs me in the next few issues, I’m afraid Threshold will be dropped, and it’s too bad because I generally look forward to anything that Keith Giffen works on.

BatmaninFur

I only wanted to share this image from Superboy #16 (listing the artists involved would take up more space than this aside) because I found the fur-lined bat-cape hilarious! I suppose it makes a certain amount of sense given that Bats is in the Arctic, but I’m just imagining Bruce in the batcave pondering what to wear on this mission. “Excuse me, sir,” says Alfred, “but might I suggest the coyote-lined cape?” Hah!

I also read:

  • All-New X-Men #6: Yay for Kitty and Jean taking over!
  • Ame-Comi Girls #4
  • Archer & Armstrong #6: love this book!
  • Batgirl #16
  • Batman #16
  • Black Beetle #1: This was just ok.
  • Bloodshot #7: Like with Captain Marvel, this issue may have turned me around on this book.
  • Creator-Owned Heroes #8: end of an interesting experiment.
  • Daredevil #22
  • Demon Knights #16: I really liked the time jump, but I’ll miss not having Al Jabr be part of the group. Plus, I already read a Cain vampire story in I, Vampire; why do I need another one?
  • Extermination #8: end of a series that I was really enjoying at first, but seemed to wrap up too quickly and inconsistently.
  • Indestructible Hulk #3
  • New Avengers #2: loving this so far!
  • Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt #5
  • Suicide Squad #16
  • Team 7: yawn

RandoMonday: Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #232

Here’s a cover image from a comic in my collection, chosen at random.

I bought this at the 2012 Emerald City Comicon, but I have yet to read it. I took the opportunity at that con to fill in many gaps in my collection, and this was one of many Superboy and the LSH books I purchased.