In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll say at the outset that I’ve never liked Superman outside of the first two Christopher Reeve movies. At various times in my life, I’ve tested the Superman waters again, both on paper and film, and have been disappointed. My problem has generally been that you can’t relate to him. He’s perfect, really. If you’re a human villain trying to defeat Superman, you have to either find some kryptonite or become a magician (or realtor, apparently.) Otherwise, you have to be a super powerful alien or an alien robot. When someone pulls a gun on Superman, we yawn. Also, my impression of Clark Kent was that he’s a bit of a wiener. That’s mostly an act, because Superman (Kal-El) is quite confident and fearless. But the fact that either we see Clark as a fuddy-duddy weakling or Superman as an all-powerful half-god exemplar of interstellar perfection, there’s not much to relate to. Also, his method of hiding the fact that he’s Superman (thick-rimmed glasses) is stupid. The explanation I once received that he actually hides his identity by some kind of mind control (on everybody!?) is stupider.
Let’s face it. The average, everyday comic is not much unlike a soap opera. Drama unfolds, bizarre elements are thrown in and the stories continue on in a never ending serialization. Of course, comics have the potential to be so much better, and they have been, but they’re normally the same. People even make fun of them for the same things. In soap operas everyone has an evil twin, people fight over who gave birth to what baby, everyone has amnesia, and people come back from the dead.
These gimmicks are trademarks to the soap opera genre and these gimmicks are what keep the general population from seeing them as anything other than a joke. In comics, people are cloned, babies come in and out of continuity, there’s amnesia and comas, and people come back from the dead. Those are the gimmicks that make many people think comic books are a joke.
Spider-Man doesn’t help that image. Spider-Man is a gimmick. Not Spider-Man himself, but the stories he appears in. Think about the most well known Spider-Man stories in the last 20 years. The ones that got either a lot of attention from the media, or just stick out like sore thumbs in the ongoing story of Peter Parker. There was “the Clone Saga”, where Peter was cloned and a new character, Ben Reilly took his place for a time. That went on for several years during the ’90s. Then a few years later, with the release of Spider-Man in theaters, there was “The Other”, where Peter Parker was turned into a giant spider, died, and gave birth to himself just so he’d have organic web shooters like in the movie.
The March solicitations for DC Comics have been released. Check it out. Here are my thoughts about what we’ve been shown this month.
1. Reintroductions. Several titles for the month of March focus on the reintroduction and reinterpretation of old characters from the pre-New 52 era. Some of the seem to be All New All Different and other look to be about the same. Still, they say they’re brand new, so maybe we’re still missing something.
The H.I.V.E. has traditionally been an enemy of the Teen Titans, however it appears to be focusing on Metropolis and therefore will come to blows with Superman. The H.I.V.E. has been subject to several changes to its core concept over the many years. It was originally a group of unnamed villains brought together to fight the Teen Titans, then it became a much bigger organization, until finally being taken over by the Queen Bee and becoming her actual ‘hive’. Time will tell how the group will be portrayed here. It could be something completely new.
Zealot will be joining Stormwatch in issue #18 and she appears to be creating problems for the group’s dynamic duo of Apollo and Midnighter. Zealot is a Kherubim, an alien race that has been at war with the Daemonites for thousands of years. If the conflict between these two races is still canon I think it’s likely that DC is building up to the introduction of the Wildcats. Grifter is now without a title and now that Spartan and possibly something to do with Mr. Majestic are being introduced in February, I think once Zealot plays her part in Stormwatch she could be showing up elsewhere.
Here is the first full-length trailer of “Man of Steel.” From what we can gather here, it looks like the thrust of the film will be Clark’s internal struggle about his purpose and powers (obviously, it’s an origin story), and the world’s wariness and animosity towards him. Personally, I think he looks like a good Superman, and Amy Adams as Lois Lane will be interesting for sure. And with Zod as the villain, maybe we can finally expect some real action this time around.
A new poster for Man of Steel has debuted featuring a handcuffed Superman being led a platoon of soldiers. Obliviously Superman could bust right out of those, so this must be some kind of good faith effort.
Christopher Nolan has recently stated in an interview that Superman can’t be treated the same way that Batman was in his film trilogy. Superman is inherently different and not as grounded as Batman is, so he must be approached in a unique way. It’s clear that they want to create a film series like they did with Batman, but they won’t try to do anything that seems unnatural for the character. I guess that sounds like a good thing.
I recently came across the apparent leaked script that made its way around the internet a year ago. It was so far from the actual release date that the leaked script could have really ben anything. I suppose that’s why I didn’t pay much attention to it then. Since then several set pictures have also leaked and a teaser trailer has been released, so it feels like this might actually be the real deal. Here is the script, read at your own risk. I have to say that if this is the real thing than this movie is going to be amazing. Lots of character moments and lots of fighting. Exactly what you wanted.
If there’s one thing people love, it’s ‘end of days’ scenarios. Everyone dies, the legend ends, the final story is told. But then everything gets fixed and that story is voided. Or it gets relegated to a future time, one we’ll never see.
Marvel would like you to think that Daredevil: End of Days is the final Daredevil story. Matt Murdock is brutally murdered by Bullseye and we’re supposed to sit through the next seven issues and witness the fallout. It’s really hard to think of this story as little more than an ‘alternate’ story. Alternate universe, alternate ending, alternate events. In the end it doesn’t matter because none of it is the real story. You can’t have the last Daredevil story while they’re still publishing ongoing Daredevil stories. If it was the end it should be the end.
We decided to discuss what we felt was wrong about DC Comics’ New 52 and compare it to Marvel NOW! We talk about costumes, Jack Kirby, Superman, Spider-Man, Hulk, Daredevil and a lot more.
Jason: There’s nothing interesting happening in the New DCU. It’s all just repetition of old comics and stories we’ve already seen.
Johnnie: Yeah, that was my impression as well. I mean, ideally the New 52 was designed to bring in new readers. But what they’re doing with it is so uninteresting to me, I just didn’t bother with 99% of the revamp. The only one I’ve gotten into is Batman. And even then I was already interested in reading Batman. Plus those costumes. My God.
Jason: We could write an entire book about why every costume in the New 52 is absolutely horrible. Superman has so many lines going all over his body that it’s hard to know what to look at. It’s like they tried so hard to make the costumes look ‘real’ that they look so unbelievably overdrawn and unrealistic.
Johnnie: Yeah, I think Superman is probably the worst offender I’ve seen. But it goes beyond just those totally unnecessary, goofy lines. His suit is also not like, cloth. It’s this weird alien technology. Like, I don’t even know how to describe it. What is it exactly?
Jason: It’s some kind of technology that materializes when he wants it to. No more itchy costume under his business attire. He can just rip off his shirt and mentally command his suit to materialize! It’s so necessary!
The data from all of the telescopes are integrated and assembled by Superman to create images of Rao and Krypton. The images of Krypton’s tragic death have just reached the Earth, twenty-seven years after the event. Surrounded by astrophysicists, Superman witnesses the destruction of his home planet. In other words, Krypton was located on its final day of existence.
I’m not entirely sure how science is able to take images from the depths of space and turn them into 3D HD holographic movies. Maybe Superman has a Kryptonian projector with him.
DC has described the events that took place in Action Comics #14 as ‘game-changing’. But I’m not sure how that could be. Even people that know nothing about Superman know that Krypton blew up. The top five things people know about Superman: 1) He’s Clark Kent, 2) He’s crazy about Lois Lane 3) He’s vulnerable to Kryptonite 4) Lex Luthor hates him 5) Krypton blew up. How can this be anything other than more retreading of the Superman origin story? Can we maybe move on yet?
For me the biggest story out of all of this is dating the destruction of Krypton to 27 years ago. That in itself immediately dates everything that has to do with Superman. The old DCU was very careful never to date anything because it would age their characters. They simply used phrases like “many years ago,” or “Before” to tell you when something occurred, and that was it. I’m not creating a timeline of the DC Universe, I don’t need to know in what year Batman’s parents were killed in order to compare it to the arrival of Superman.
DC Comics are giving you a Valentine’s Day special called Young Romance: A New 52 Valentine’s Day Special #1 (Say that out loud). The 64-page anthology book will be out on February 6th for all of you out there that don’t have a date. I think that’s what this is for. The book even comes with perforated Valentine’s Day cards featuring the characters included.
Superman and Wonder Woman will obviously be the main attraction in this book. Batgirl, Catwoman, Batwoman, Aquaman and Mera, Apollo and Midnighter, and Dick Grayson (doing everyone) will also be making appearances. I like Aquaman and Mera in the pages of Aquaman, but Geoff Johns has a tendency to get carried away with giant story lines and events, which ultimately leads to the abandoning of the more subtler, character driven moments. If this special can deliver that, than this could be a lot more fun than it makes itself out to look. It could be interesting to see if Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon have any of the sexual tension they had in the old universe. The inclusion of Batwoman must also mean that she must be developing a relationship with someone. Maybe this could mean the return of Renee Montoya!
I love DC Comics. I got into comics with them and they will always be my first love, but sometimes DC can be really stupid. I’ve been waiting for some interesting news about DC Comics and when it looks like I finally found some, all it does it piss me off. It all seems in line with their latest direction.
It has been announced that Astrophysicist and God of ‘I Fucking Love Science’ of Facebook stupidity, Neil deGrasse Tyson, has found Krypton in the real world. Right.
He recently appeared in Action Comics #14 in a story that DC Comics has referred to as ‘epic’ called “Star Light, Star Bright.” Superman wanting to find the location of Krypton through a telescope is certainly my definition of epic. This is obviously all silly fun, except for the part where everyone takes it so seriously.