Saturday, July 31, 2010

From The Comic Shop #7: Saturday, July 31, 2010:

Action Comics #891 (DC)

Lex Luthor continues his quest for power. Another slim week, but that will change soon enough.

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Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about the podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Comic Book News #1: John Byrne's Next Men & All-Star Superman!

This past weekend I glanced at the headlines coming out of the San Diego ComiCon, but did not follow them closely. There weren't any stories that caught my eye or excieted me, but then maybe I'm just showing my age. But the other day I saw two comic book stories that did catch my attention and get me excited.

Beginning in December 2010, IDW Publishing will print new issues of John Byrne's creator owned series, Next Men. It was originally published by Dark Horse Comics beginning in 1992 and ran for 31 issues (beginning with an issue #0) through 1994. The series ended on a cliffhanger and John Byrne had planned to continue it in the future. Tomorrow never came, as Byrne did not feel the time was right to bring it back for various reasons. With his recent work for IDW on the Star Trek licensed comic books John Byrne has begun creating new comic book stories on a regular basis again. Apparently the time is now right for Next Men  to return.

I bought every issue as they were published, and I still have them. The Next Men were government created superheroes as part of a secret project. What made these heroes unique were that their powers affected their individual physiologies. One hero had vision powers, and so his pupils filled his eyes. Another hero ran very fast, and so his leg muscles were muscled out of proportion to his upper body. One hero was invulnerable, but could not sense hot or cold. The stories took many twists and turns, as the team were on the run from government agents on their trail. I don't know if there will be any reprints of the original stories, but the plan is to continue the story from where it left off.

When I go to my local comic book shop, Acme Comics in Longwood, Florida http://acme-superstore.com/ this Saturday, I will be sure to sign up for the series.

The other comic book story I saw that excited me was the announcement that comic book writer and editor Dwayne McDuffie will adapt the comic book mini-series All-Star Superman for a Warner Premiere DVD animated movie. I've bought all but the last two movies, only because I'm tightening my belt financially, but I will be buying this one the day the movie appears on store shelves. Created by writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely, All-Star Superman ranks among my all-time favorite Superman comic book stories. Frank Quitely has a unique but excellent art style, and his Superman was as iconic as any Man of Steel ever drawn. With Warner Premiere's reputation of adapting the art style of the comic stories for the movies, I'm looking forward to seeing Quitely's style put to motion.

Now these were comic book stories to get excited about, at least for an older comic book reader like me.

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Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about the podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Issue #94: Comic Books For The Week Of Wednesday, July 21, 2010:

DC Universe Legacies #3 (of 10) (DC)
My local comic shop, Acme Comics of Longwood, Florida http://acme-superstore.com/, was sold out of this issue when I got there last Saturday. I decided not to order this issue because I was dropping it anyway, so that I could afford to buy the upcoming mini-series Superman: Last Family Of Krypton, especially since this new title will carry a cover price of $4.99.

Legion Of Super-Heroes #3 (DC) *  *  *  *

Even with an extended 30 page issue it is packed with story and juggles multiple plotlines, staples of Paul Levitz Legion stories of old. Not only do we have Earth Man dealing with being a Green Lantern, we continue the quest of Saturn Girl, and her husband Lightning Lad, to find their children. The Legion also continues its battle against Saturn Queen, and the refugees from Titan continue their struggle for survival. This sereis, as written by Paul Levitz, is not a quick read. There's a lot of story to go through, which makes it a worthwhile read for the cover price of $3.99.

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Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about the podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Preview #17: Comic Books For The Week Of Wednesday, July 28, 2010:

Action Comics #891 (DC)

Yeah, another slim week, but my comic book budget is getting a well earned rest, so I can't complain. Plus, there's plenty of comic books that will  be published that will fill my budget soon enough.

It's early yet, but comparing Action Comics #890 with Superman #701, it seems that so far the Lex Luthor story in Action is better than the Grounded story in Superman. And that's sad.

Send e-mail to mypulllist@gmail.com.

Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about the podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

From The Comic Shop #6: Saturday, July 24, 2010:

Legion Of Super-Heroes #3 (DC)

Also published this week was the third issue of DC Universe Legacies #3 (of 10) (DC). I had bought the first two issues for this mini-series and enjoyed it very much. But I had planned to drop it after this third issue because I wanted to read the upcoming Superman: Last Family Of Krypton mini-series next month. I needed to drop something to fit it into my budget. Acme was out of the third issue of Legacies, and, with Last Family priced at $4.99, I decided not to ask for the latest issue of Legacies in order to have more money for that mini-series.

Send e-mail to mypulllist@gmail.com.


Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about this podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

issue #93: Comic Books For The Week Of Wednesday, July 14, 2010:

Superman #701 (DC)
Adventure Comics #516 (DC)
Terry Moore's Echo #23 (Abstract Studios)

Superman #701 (DC) *  *  *

I can't remember the last time, if ever, when I rated a Superman issue only 3 *'s, but that's all I can give it. I liked it better than I thought I would, but writer Straczynski's basic premise still isn't grabbing me. My favorite moments were when Superman does what he always does, help those in need. That doesn't sound like a Superman who is out of touch with humanity. What didn't seem like the Man of Steel were the cryptic comments he gave everyone and the quotes by Thoreau he cited to one bystander. This issue seemed less of a story than a series of vignettes. After reading the issue I don't have an idea where the story is heading, unless it's just going to wander along like Superman. Lois Lane makes a brief appearance, and I have to say that woman has the patience of a saint. After her husband has been off planet, now he's walking cross country. She is more tilerant of him than my wife would be with me. the best thing about this issue was the John Cassaday cover. For some more detailed thoughts about this new storyline, Grounded, go to My Pull List Special Issue #1: Superman: Grounded - Early Thoughts! at http://mypulllist.blogspot.com/2010/07/special-issue-1-superman-grounded-early.html.

Adventure Comics #516 (DC) *  *  *  *  *

This issue contained the last will and testament of R. J. Brande. It's kind of a re-telling of the Legion origin, but with the truth behind the legends angle to it. That's an original approach that we shouldn't be surprised came from writer Paul Levitz. R. J. comes across as more human, complete with his own foibles.We learn the real purpose behind his founding of the Legion, and his thoughts about the small group of Legionnaires who were called to witness the reading of his will. This was a great character issue from a great character writer. There's enough Legion stories for two titles, and Paul Levitz is handling both of them well.

Terry Moore's Echo (Abstract Studios) *  *  *  *  *

Julie and Ivy continue their quest, while Dillon becomes interested in one of the HeNRI engineers. And we discover another way that the alloy is affecting Julie. This was kind of an in between issue, setting up the plot for future issues, but that's not a bad thing. Their interactions develop the characters well, and the story has a lot of depth as a result. And the awesome cover doesn't hurt either. I think Terry Moore doesn't know how to create a bad issue of a comic book. He does for a comic book story what Pixar does for films, develop a strong, character driven story. Whatever the story, the basic question is: How does this change the characters?

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Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about this podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Preview #16: Comic Books For The Week Of Wednesday, July 21, 2010:

DC Universe Legacies #3 (of 10) (DC)
I will be dropping this title after this issue. It's not that I don't like it. I've enjoyed it very much. It's just that I want to read the upcoming three issue Elseworlds mini-series Superman: Last Family Of New Krypton more, and I have to cut something to make room for it in my budget.

Legion Of Super-Heroes #3 (DC)
It's great to have a regular, monthly Legion title again.

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Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about this podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Special Issue #1: Superman: Grounded - Early Thoughts

After about three years of great Superman stories I was looking forward to reading J. Michael Straczynski's new storyline. But after reading some of the releases from DC Comics, it's not clicking with me at the moment. I'm not one to blog in a negative tone. That's no fun for me to read or to write. And I'm not saying that this new story, Superman: Grounded, will be terrible before even reading it. I hope it will be better than it feels right now. I just want to share my thoughts on this storyline going in.

Earlier this afternoon I picked up my copy of Superman #701 from my local comic book shop, Acme Comics in Longwood, Florida http://acme-superstore.com/. On the first Saturday of this month I bought issue #700 and read the preview of this new storyline. It didn't do much to make me more enthused about this story. I haven't read #701 yet, I'm purposely waiting until after I post this blog.

My first impression was that this storyline might be another plot about Superman doubting himself for a year's worth of issues, like the Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee storyline in Superman from a few years ago. That past storyline wasn't terrible, it was just too little story stretched over too many issues.

After reading the preview, I couldn't buy Superman's reaction to the widow who blamed him for not using his vision powers to cure her late husband from a brain tumor. This seemed like a situation that Superman would have resoved early in his career. Even if Superman had been on Earth there is no guarantee that the widow would have gotten in touch with him in time to deal with his tumor. Even Superman would have had no guarantee that he could have destroyed the tumor safely, depending on the diagnosis.

If the husband's death had been as a result of the recent war against New Krypton, Superman's reaction would have made more sense. Superman left Earth in an atempt to train the Kandorians in the best use of their new superpowers. They rejected him to follow General Zod. Granted, this is an oversimplification of the plot of the New Krypton story, but that's the basic result of the plot. Superman dealing with the grief of the loss of his home planet for a second time, and the destruction on Earth, would have made a more compelling story to follow New Krypton. And dealing with the man's death as one of the casualties of the just concluded war would have made a compelling story.

Another problem I have is that Superman, having just returned to Earth, and to his life as Clark Kent, husband to Lois Lane, now leaves her again to go on a cross-country trip. Lois has her own grief to deal with, over the suicide of her father and what her sister Lucy has become. Superman has ignored the person who could most probably give him the answers he needs, his own wife.

Not only that, it looks like we are in for another year without Clark Kent. Maybe I'm showing my age, but superhero stories are more compelling to me when they include their secret identities. The Kent's friends, family and aquaintances must be wondering what's going on with Clark, and why he has been absent so long from his wife. With the widespread destruction from the recent war, maybe they wonder if he is one of the casualties or wounded. That was used when Superman returned after the Doomsday story. Clark was found in a basement, buried under the debris, but with non-perishable food to survive on.

Over in Action Comics, Lex Luthor will star as the main character. So Action will go a second year without Superman appearing in the title. After having been an Orange Lantern in the Blackest Night storyline, Luthor begins a quest for ultimate power. This story seems the stronger of the two Superman titles. My only problem with it is that we have a strong villain and a weak hero with an internal conflict. It seems that DC is celebrating the villain over the superhero.

I'm not declaring that this story is going to be terrible. It's possible that I might like the next issue. JMS might tell some compelling stories. He's a great writer. I enjoyed his TV show Babylon 5 and his work on The Amazing Spider-Man. Right now, on Superman, I'm not so sure. I hope I'm wrong.

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Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about this podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

From The Comic Shop #5: Saturday, July 17, 2010:

Adventure Comics #516 (DC)
Returns to the original numbering exclusively, after restarting with split numbering with a new #1/504.
Superman #701 (DC)
Crossing my fingers that this new storyline will be better than it feels at the moment.
Terry Moore's Echo #23 (Abstract Studios)
Always a great read, and one of my favorites each week a new issue is published.

Send e-mail to mypulllist@gmail.com.

Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about this podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Preview #15: Comic Books For The Week Of Wednesday, July 14, 2010:

Adventure Comics #516 (DC)
Superman #701 (DC)
Terry Moore's Echo #23 (Abstract Studios)

Apparently, Adventure Comics is returning to its original numbering after restarting with the dual numbering of a new #1 and continuing the original numbering. I'm looking forward to this issue because part of the story will involve the last will and testament of R. J. Brande, Legion founder.

Superman begins the new storyline, Grounded, with this issue. I hope this plot will be better than it seems at the moment.

Echo is always one of the best issues whichever week it is published.

Send e-mail to mypulllist@gmail.com.

Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about this podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Comic Book Spotlight #1: Kill Shakespeare!

Since I have no comic book titles on my pull list for the week of Wednesday, July 8, 2010, this would be a good time to spotlight a new comic book series that has recently begun publication.
Kill Shakespeare is a new monthly comic book series being published by IDW Publshing. The series is written by Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col, drawn by Andy Belanger, and colored by Ian Herring. The third issue has just been published. I first became aware of this title from several podcasts, and looked for it during my next visit to my local comic book shop. I was not disappointed. The story was interesting and the art great. If I had to describe the art style I would call it an animation or cartoony style. It does a grat job of telling the story and conveying the emotions of the characters.
This series gathers the various Shakespearean heroes and villains into two groups. One considers Shakespeare a wizard and want to kill him, and the other wants to save him. The main character of the series is none other than Hamlet. The first issue begins with a quick summary of the main points of his story. Hamlet then meets Richard III, who asks him to join in a quest with potentially a great reward.

In the second issue Hamlet meets Iago, Macbeth and his wife. Hamelt meets Falstaaf in the third issue. Lady Macbeth lives up to her reputation.

This series is a fun romp through the Shakespearean world. A friend of mine who is also a fan of the Bard reads this series. So I would recommend it for Shakespeare afficionados and novices alike. You don't need to be an expert on Shakespearean lore to understand or enjoy the story.

In the interest of full disclosure, while I enjoyed looking through the first issue of Kill Shakespeare, I did not have room in my comic book budget to add this title to my subscription list at my comic shop. the creators of this title were gracious enough to allow me to read the first three issues digitally. If you don't see it at your local comic shop, ask for it, or you can order it through the internet. For more information on Kill Shakespeare go to their website http://www.killshakespeare.com/. To read a preview of issue 3 go to http://www.killshakespeare.com/behindthecurtain/?p=740. I would give this series 4 stars out of 5.

Send e-mail to mypulllist@gmail.com.
Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about this podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.
You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Issue #92: Comic Books For The Week Of Wednesday, June 30, 2010:

Comic book left over from the week of Wednesday, June 23, 2010:

Superman #700 (DC)

Comic books for the week of Wednesday, June 30, 2010:

Action Comics #890 (DC)
Invincible #73 (Image)

Superman #700 (DC) * * * 1/2

This milestone issue had a great cover by Gary Frank, and most of the content was good if not fantastic for such a milestone issue. The issue contained three separate stories. The first wrapped up the New Krypton story with Superman's return to Earth and Metropolis, just in time for Lois Lane. Their reunion was very touching. It's good to know that Superman is back on Earth.

The second story was a flashback of a team up of Superman and a young Dick Grayson Robin. It reminded me of one of the earliest comic book stories I can recall, a Superman Robin story that became a Robin/Superboy team up. There were no similarites between the two stories. It was good to see Dan Jurgens do another Superman story, and his art and storytelling talent was better than ever.

The weakest story of the issuesad to say, was the final story, which introduces the new storyline in Superman for the next year. Done by the new creative team of writer J. Michael Straczynski and penciller Eddy Barrows, this story is the prologue to the new Grounded storyline. I have been having misgivings about this story with each news release about it published by DC Comics. I'm still not sold on the storyline, while I am trying to keep an open mind. I didn't buy the reason Superman is going on his quest, after he is confronted by a widow. Her reason for being angry with Superman for not being on Earth seemed to me to be one that Superman would have already dealt with earlier in his career. Without getting into spoilers, the woman's anger at Superman had nothing to do with the just concluded New Krypton story. It would have been stronger if it had, and tied in the consequences of the old story into this new plotline. I hope JMS tells some great stories to change my opinion about this plot.

Comic books for the week of Wednesday, June 30, 2010:

Action Comics #890 (DC) * * * *

The storyline for the next year in this Superman title will feature none other than Lex Luthor as the main character. As the cover suggests, this new plot follows up Luthor's involvement in the Blackest Night Green Lantern story. After a taste of power as an Orange Lantern, Lex begins a quest for ultimate power. I was concerned with a preview of this issue, showing Lois Lane having dinner with Lex. If she would have begun an affair with Luthor I would have dropped Action and maybe Superman, but that worry was quickly dealt with when we learn just what is going on with Lois. The new story in Action looks to be more promising to me than Superman. Except for the New Krypton story, this has seemed to be the case in the last few years with Superman comic books. The only thing that concerns me is that here we have a plot about a strong Lex Luthor and another about a weak Superman searching for what to do with himself. Kind of sad.

Invincible (Image) * * * * *

After the last rock-'em, sock-'em issue, this was more of a quiet issue, but that's a good thing. That's what I like about a Robert Kirkman story. He's not afraid to let the dust settle after an action packed issue to let the characters catch their breath and recuperate. That switch in pacing keeps the story interesting. This issue is a series of vignettes setting up the next stage of the Viltrumite War saga. We learn Mark's fate after last issue's battle, and his father gets to know his other son Oliver better. This was a quiet issue, but the anticipation of the plot set up going on in this issue kept my interest high.

Send e-mail to mypulllist@gmail.com.

Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about this podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Monday, July 5, 2010

From The Comic Shop Issue #4: Saturday, July 3, 2010:

Saturday was a special day at my local comic book shop, Acme Comics in Longwood, Florida. They had a party celebrating their 30th Anniversary, with food, face painting and appearances by comic book writer Chuck Dixon and artist Sergio Cariello. And the store had a big sale, which I wasn't able to take advantage of because of my limited budget, except for the 20% off of my new comics I bought. That's double the 10% discount store subscribers usually receive, and that was much appreciated, especially with the one special oversized issue I bought.

From last week:

Superman #700 (DC)

This week:

Action Comics #890 (DC)
Invincible #73 (Image)

I got to meet Chuch and Sergio briefly. Sergio signed my copy of Lone Ranger #3, and Chuck signed the first issues of Robin, the first Tim Drake Robin mini-series, and of Iron Ghost, the six issue mini-series he collaborated with Sergio on. I asked Chuck how the project came about. He said that he had an idea for a Shadow type character in a degenerate society, and Nazi Germany was an easy choice. And he wanted the main character's secret identity to remain a secret until the final issue. He had also wanted to work with Sergio on a project, and so that's how it came about. Chuck also said that he has more Iron Ghost stories he would like to tell in the future with Sergio.

Iron Ghost has been collected in a trade paperback, available from Desperado Publishing, http://www.desparadopublishing.com.

Send e-mail to mypulllist@gmail.com.

Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about this podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Preview #14: Comic Books For The Week Of Wednesday, June 30, 2010:

Action Comics #890 (DC)
Invincible #73 (Image)

and from Wednesday, June 23, 2010:

Superman #700 (DC)

Send e-mail to mypulllist@gmail.com.

Superman Fan Podcast can be found at http://supermanfanpodcast.mypodcast.com/. Expanded show notes are available at http://supermanfanpodcast.blogspot.com/. Send e-mail about this podcast to supermanfanpodcast@gmail.com.

You can join both the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook. Follow both the podcast and blog on twitter @supermanpodcast.

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