FCTC EPISODE 177: L & C SEASON FINALE AND…AN INTERVIEW!

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Episode 177: Lois and Clark Season One Finale…Plus An Interview!

Welcome to the one hundred and seventy-seventh episode of From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast! This podcast has a simple premise; examine just about every Superman comic published between Man of Steel #1 in 1986 to Adventures of Superman #649 in 2006 in an informative and hopefully entertaining format.

Part index. Part commentary. Part history lesson. All podcast.

This time out Mike and Jeff put down the comics and pick up the DVD box set. After several episodes of not talking about the show the boys sit down (so to speak) to discuss the final two episodes of the first season of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. In Barbarians at the Planet the Daily Planet is bought by Lex Luthor and changes come fast and furious with explosive results. Then in The House of Luthor Lois is engaged to Lex, Lex has Kryptonite and Superman is caught in the middle.

Then after all that noise Mike and Jeff welcome a cast member from the first season to the show. Chris Demetrel (who played Jack, the homeless runaway turned copy boy) was nice enough to join the boys to talk about his time with the show. How did Chris begin acting? How did he get the part of Jack? How did he get along with Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher? Did Jack really figure out that Clark was Superman? All of these questions are answered as well as some fun anecdotes and the reason Chris isn’t active as an actor anymore.

Mike and Jeff would like to thank Chris for sharing so much with them and the listeners. He was a very nice guy and fun to talk to.

You can subscribe to the show in two ways. First there is the RSS Feed and there is also the iTunes link. Are you on Facebook? Be sure to “like” the official FCTC page, which you can find by clicking on this link.

If you want to comment on the show or contact the hosts you can always private message Mike and Jeff, at the Superman Homepage, leave comments here or at the Homepage or here or email them by clicking this link. All questions, concerns, fears, trepidations and cheap shots are welcome.

Next time: WORLDS COLLIDE…THE CONCLUSION!

FCTC EPISODE 176: JULY 1994 PART 2

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Episode 176: July 1994 Part 2

Welcome to the one hundred and seventy-sixth episode of From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast! This podcast has a simple premise; examine just about every Superman comic published between Man of Steel #1 in 1986 to Adventures of Superman #649 in 2006 in an informative and hopefully entertaining format.

Part index. Part commentary. Part history lesson. All podcast.

The boys are back…back again…FCTC is back…tell a friend.

Well this looks like a job for Mike and Jeff, so everyone just follow…them. Or something.

Anyway, the boys are back with another exciting episode. After a quick e-mail and discussion on just how much the Post Crisis Superman comics are worth they finish out the Super books that had a July 1994 cover date. In Superman #91 we follow a rich man and a homeless man as they go through a morality play in the ruins of Metropolis. Then in Adventures of Superman #514 Superman and other people in Metropolis start having vivid hallucinations! Plus, Professor Hamilton loses a limb! Then, in Action Comics #701 it is Superman vs. a Kryptonian Battle Armor wearing Lex as the now nearly dead Luthor makes his final play against the Man of Steel. This is followed by Mike and Jeff looking at the ads, what else was going on in the DC Universe and what was going on in the real world when these comics came out in a segment they like to call Meanwhile, At The Daily Planet!

You can subscribe to the show in two ways. First there is the RSS Feed and there is also the iTunes link. Are you on Facebook? Be sure to “like” the official FCTC page, which you can find by clicking on this link.

If you want to comment on the show or contact the hosts you can always private message Mike and Jeff, at the Superman Homepage, leave comments here or at the Homepage or here or email them by clicking this link. All questions, concerns, fears, trepidations and cheap shots are welcome.

Next time: The final two episodes of the first season of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman plus a special mystery interview with a cast member from the first season!

WHO’S WHO CLASSIC – THE PHANTOM ZONE

Welcome to another installment of Who’s Who Classic, a regular feature here at the Fortress where every Monday I will present an entry from the original series of Who’s Who comics that DC published between 1984 and 1988.  Superman was well represented in those series and I wanted to share the entries with you just in case you have never seen them.  Today’s entry is The Phantom Zone!

Phantom Zone A Phantom Zone B(originally published in Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #18 (August 1986)

Be sure to check out Episode Eighteen of the amazing Who’s Who: The Definitive Podcast of the DC Universe hosted by Rob Kelly and the Irredeemable Shag.  It is an awesome podcast that I cannot recommend highly enough.

Remember that you can click on the images to make them larger.

COLLECTED EDITIONS – BIZARRO’S WORLD

(Collected Editions is a listing of the various trade paperbacks, hardcovers, omnibuses, etc. that are in my Superman collection.  The goal is to not only inventory my collection of trades, hardcovers, etc. but also to display said collection and produce something resembling a resource for other Superman readers, collectors and fans.)

401- Superman Bizarros World A 402- Superman Bizarros World BNuts and Bolts

  • Released on February 13, 1996
  • Original price $9.95
  • 128 pages
  • Cover by Stuart Immonen and Josef Rubinstein

Contents

  • Introduction by “Bogzarro”
  • Bizarro from Superman (Vol. 2) #87
  • Bizarro World! from Adventures of Superman #510
  • War of the Super Powers from Action Comics #697
  • Love and Death! from Superman: The Man of Steel #32
  • Opportunity Lost from Superman (Vol. 2) #88

Notes

  • The introduction by Jon Bogdanove is a lot of fun.  It has some Bizarro speak at the beginning and the end and in between is a fairly comprehensive history of the character.  I appreciate that Bogs (if I can be so informal) not only takes us through the various comic book incarnations of the character but also gives a peak behind the curtain of the story collected in this trade.  The introduction is almost the main reason to buy this book.
  • As Jon goes over in the introduction Bizarro had only one but extremely memorable appearance in the Post-Crisis comics.  To be fair he was also a recurring “villain” on the syndicated Superboy television series but as far as the comics go he was in Man of Steel #5 and did a great job of sacrificing his artificial life at the end of that story.
  • Because of that lone comic book appearance this story felt like a really big deal in 1994.  I remember loving the covers and the fact that we were seeing what I considered to be a classic Superman “villain” again.
  • Other than that there are two other reasons why I not only like this story so much but also why it illustrates what I like about this era of Superman.
  • First, it not only builds from previous sub-plots but it starts to lead into other, bigger stories.  One of the hallmarks of the Post Crisis era was the ability of the creative teams to make the four (and soon to be five) Superman titles feel like an almost weekly comic book.
  • In other words I appreciated the soap opera aspects to this story.
  • Second, the creative teams went out of their way to make me care about the characters in this story.  Bogs discusses the major theme of the inherent right of all sentient life to exist in his introduction and thanks mainly to Lois they do a great job of exploring that theme.
  • The fact that several different writers and artists were able to tell a fairly cohesive story on a regular basis for nearly a decade is something of a minor miracle.
  • This storyline features some early Superman work by future (then-future at any rate) Adventures of Superman artist Stuart Immonen.  I loved his work in the two issues of Superman that he draws during this story and was glad to see him come on one of the regular books not too long from when these issues came out.
  • For those that have read this trade (or will read this trade) and have never read the story in single issue form the final page of the story might seem a little weird.  The bottom 2/3 of the page are whited out.  My personal theory (which is mine alone and does not represent any research I should have done before typing this) is that the powers-that-be that decide what  gets a trade paperback and what doesn’t decided that they would reprint Bizarro’s World but not the story that followed it where Superman’s powers spiraled out of control.
  • So it would make sense to excise that portion of the story to allow the overall narrative have and ending.
  • Of course the fact that there is a major revelation about Lex at the end of the story kind of puts a lie to my theory.
  • Then again you could have left all the powers going out of control stuff and reprinted The Battle For/Fall of Metropolis storyline without mentioning the powers going out of control so…I have no idea.
  • Regardless if you want to see what the page actually looked like here it is.
  • Superman 88 Final PageThis trade ends with a cover gallery, which is great because the covers are really awesome.

TOP FIVE SUPERMAN MOMENTS FROM 1994

For the past four weeks I have been really good about getting From Crisis to Crisis out on Thursdays.  Technically I release the episodes to the Internet on Wednesday night but the Fortress post for the episodes (that usually has exclusive content that the Superman Homepage and Superman Podcast Network posts don’t have) hits on Thursdays.  As you can probably tell this that’s not the case this Thursday.  Thankfully the lack of FCTC this week has nothing to do with a family tragedy or the fact that sometimes Jeff’s and my schedule don’t synch up for long periods of time.  As you are reading this I am out of town.  Way out of town, in fact.  For those of you who don’t follow my other podcasts or missed me talking about it on FCTC I currently live in Fayetteville, GA but I “grew up” in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.  I type “grew up” because we moved around a bit when I was a little kid.  The Lehigh Valley is where I spent the longest stretch and it is also where I started reading the Superman titles and where I graduated high school.

That whole graduating high school thing is the reason I am out of town.  I was part of Emmaus High School’s graduating class of 1994 and this weekend (unless you are reading this after October 18, 2014) is my 20 year class reunion.  I was unable to go to the five and ten year reunion due to work but this time out I was able to swing it so again, as you read this I am either driving into PA with my wife or we are already there settling into the hotel.  I am beyond excited for this trip as I will be hanging out with people I haven’t seen in some time and getting to the homelands is always fun.  I haven’t been back to PA since the summer of 2001 so this is a big deal on a number of fronts.

 So no episode this week but I did want to have something here to kind of fill in that gap.  I thought about posting a house ad or even kicking out another installment of my Collected Editions series but I decided that it might be more fun to think about and then discuss my Top 5 Favorite Superman Moments From 1994.  ’94 was a big year for the Man of Steel and a lot of huge events happened, so it was hard to narrow down five so I stuck with a more general list that is, mostly, in no particular order.

And away we go.

Ad- 1993 Reign of Tomorrow5. The Reign of Tomorrow

 In the interest of full disclosure I did not start collecting the Steel ongoing until 1996 and I wouldn’t read the Supergirl mini-series until some years later.  At the beginning of 1994 my comic book buying was spotty at best.  Sometimes the comic shop had to call me to say that I had books to pick up.  That all changed about halfway through the year when I started going to the comic shop on a regular basis and really changed after Zero Hour.  I started buying Superboy during Worlds Collide and fell in love with the title enough to snap up the back issues in short order and then stick with it until it was cancelled early in the new millennium.  So I can’t sit here and type that the fact that Steel, Superboy and Supergirl all received their own ongoing or mini-series was this huge deal for all of 1994.

What I can say without feeling like a fraud is that the idea that those characters received their own ongoing and mini-series was a big deal to me.  I will admit that I had something of a chip on my shoulder when it came to the Superman titles.  Despite the fact that the Superman titles were enjoying a level of success thanks to the Death and Return saga I was still in the frame of mind that the Super books were the bastards at the family reunion, to quote Dolly Parton from the movie 9 to 5.  Both Robin and Catwoman had already gotten their own titles so Steel, Superboy and Supergirl getting their own books felt like validation.  The fact that DC rolled them out with a bit of fanfare furthered that feeling.  In addition to this house ad there was a giant promotional poster sent to comic shops (which I own) as well as some fun clip and save trading cards that came in either Previews or Advance Comics.

Previews File A Previews File BSo I may not have been there on the ground floor but I was over the moon that it happened.

Continue reading

MORE FUN WITH INTERNATIONAL EDITIONS…REVISED!

Last week I wrote a bit of business showcasing some of the international reprints that I have managed to collect over the years.  Surprisingly a couple of people that read this blog on a regular basis got in touch with me to either add to the conversation or correct an error I made.  Some people get bent out of shape when someone points out that they’ve screwed up but I like that sort of thing as long as it isn’t obnoxious.

We’ll deal with the correction first.  This is comment was written by Thomas from Denmark.

Just noticed this entry – and While the first issue is probably Hungarian the second numbered Nr. 43 the search is in fact a Danish issue -of Superman “jagten” the title means “the Hunt” .

Thanks for all the great podcasts at views and FCTC and of course this website – love this period!

First, thanks for the kind words about the various podcasts I produce.  It means a lot to me and to Jeff that people dig what we do.

Second, thanks for the heads up about the fact that the Superman Nr. 34 was a Danish reprint and not a Hungarian one.  I feel a little silly now, like I should have done more research but it led to this great comment so I can’t complain.

The next bit of feedback came in the form of an e-mail.  Norbert Zahui sent me the following.

My name is Norbert Zahui, a Hungarian Superman fan, regular visitor of the ‘Fortress’ and a longtime listener of your podcasts.

Imagine my surprise when I checked in yesterday night and saw the cover to one of my Superman books, as the first cover and page you posted are indeed from the third issue of the Hungarian Superman reprint series. (Update: I just saw on the Fortress that Thomas responded to the second reprint being from Denmark) 

As a matter of fact issue 2 of said reprint was my very first comic book. My Mom bought it when I was 6.

You were right about the the contents of the previous issues. Nr. 1 contained the entire first issue of the Man of Steel miniseries. For the first fifteen issues the book was 32 pages long and because there were no ads in these Hungarian reprints (neither in DC nor Marvel ones, just house ads on the interior and back covers) the Superman book consisted of one full issue and half of the next. Sometimes they made the ‘cliffhanger’ work, sometimes the story just stopped until next issue. Later they extended the page number to 50, so now the book had two full American issues. This solo Superman title lasted 18 issues (all covers attached, hope you don’t mind) It ended with the Legion story, issue 18 reprinting Action Comics #591 and Legion of Super-Heroes #38.

Starting from July ’92 Superman shared a book with Batman in a bimonthly series. This was a direct continuation, Superman & Batman #1 reprinting Action Comics #592. Even though I preferred the solo titles, there was something awesome about a book that was half Byrne/Ordway Superman and half Aparo/Breyfogle Batman, especially because from time to time they would include a couple of Who’s Who entries in the books.

Even though I have the 8 Man of Steel trades (I love the fact that DC included the pin-ups to Action #600 in the last volume) and the subsequent trades from this era, I still love these good old reprint issues. If nothing else, they still have the same printing/coloring errors the originals have. Some of them you guys mentioned on FCTC. One in particular from Superman #2 stuck with me for some reason.

On a side note: a couple of months ago I bought the original 1987 German edition of the Man of Steel mini in one 148 page, larger size trade. I thought I’d include scans of the front and back cover and a picture for size reference. It contains a one page introduction to this ‘new’ Superman and the six issues, no cover reprints.

I wish Man of Steel would get the absolute treatment, but I’d be glad if DC would continue publishing the Man of Steel trades past volume 8. I hope we don’t have to wait for the solo Man of Steel sequel to get volume 9.

I’ve rambled on long enough. Love the blog (especially the ‘Collected editions’ section with your comments on the trades). Love the podcasts. It’s always a treat whenever a new Views or FCTC episode comes up online. Thank you!

I’d like to thank Norbert for writing in and dropping this knowledge on me and now on you.  As I have written in the past I love hearing about how Superman was repackaged for an international audience.  As his e-mail indicated Norbert included some photos and I wanted to share them here because they give you an idea of the differences in size and formatting that the Hungarian and German reprints had.

GerMoS_FCGerMoS_BCSuperScale

I kind of want that German reprint now.

Thanks again to Norbert and Thomas for the feedback.  It was very much appreciated.

WHO’S WHO CLASSICS – NEUTRON

Welcome to another installment of Who’s Who Classic, a regular feature here at the Fortress where every Monday I will present an entry from the original series of Who’s Who comics that DC published between 1984 and 1988.  Superman was well represented in those series and I wanted to share the entries with you just in case you have never seen them.  Today’s entry is Neutron!

Neutron

(originally published in Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #26 (April 1987)

Remember that you can click on the images to make them larger.

COLLECTED EDITIONS – SUPERMAN VS. THE FLASH

(Collected Editions is a listing of the various trade paperbacks, hardcovers, omnibuses, etc. that are in my Superman collection.  The goal is to not only inventory my collection of trades, hardcovers, etc. but also to display said collection and produce something resembling a resource for other Superman readers, collectors and fans.)

Superman vs. The Flash A Superman vs. The Flash BNuts and Bolts

  • Released on April 13, 2005
  • Original Price $19.99
  • 208 pages
  • Cover by Alex Ross

Contents

  • Superman’s Race With The Flash! from Superman (Vol. 1) #199
  • The Race at the End of the Universe! from Flash (Vol. 2) #175
  • Race to Save the Universe! from World’s Finest #198
  • Race to Save Time from World’s Finest #199
  • Chase to the End of Time from DC Comics Presents # 1
  • Race to the End of Time! from DC Comics Presents #2
  • Speed Kills! from Adventures of Superman #463
  • Speeding Bullets from DC First: Flash/Superman #1

Notes

  • You know, I feel a little uncomfortable writing this because I don’t want to start things off on a negative note but I am not a fan of Alex Ross’ take on Superman.  For one thing I think he draws him looking middle aged (which doesn’t work for me) and for another I never liked how he drew the symbol.  I appreciated the size but not the proportions.
  • Having said that this is a solid cover and it makes sense that you would go with Alex Ross because he sells books.
  • Thanks in large part to the 1990 live action television series I have been a huge fan of the Flash.
  • While I consider Wally to be “my Flash” I have a large amount of respect and fan love for Barry Allen and especially Jay Garrick.  So this was a welcome addition to my trades and hardcovers collection.
  • The races between the Flashes and Superman feel like they were always a big deal.  I can’t say that for certain because I was either not around or even alive for most of them, but the feeling I get from the first few stories in this book is that any time Superman and Flash raced it was epic.
  • Maybe it was the titles to the stories.  Superman and Flash seemed to always racing to the end of time or to save time or to the end of the universe or to save the universe.
  • They may seem overblown and hyperbolic today but I can’t help but love them and they bring a big ‘ol smile to my face.
  • It was nice to see two of the Post Crisis races get included in this collection.
  • Adventures of Superman #463 was my very first Flash race and it came out right around the time I was getting into the character.
  • The DC First: Flash/Superman story was welcome as well.  There were very few stories where Jay Garrick and Superman teamed up one on one, so it was great to see that the powers that be that decided what would be included in this trade wanted to have all of the Flashes represented instead of just Barry Allen.
  • At one point in the trade they reprint the cover to Limited Collectors’ Edition C-48, which reprinted Superman (Vol. 1) #199 and Flash (Vol. 2) #175 but the unreleased plans of the Fortress of Solitude and a how to draw the Flash feature.  It has a beautiful Jose Luis-Garcia Lopez (Praise Be His Name) and Bob Oksner cover.
  • Speaking of reprinting covers, all of the original covers are in this trade.  The new coloring makes some of them look really nice.