WHO’S WHO CLASSICS – THE PRANKSTER (PRE-CRISIS)

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 Prankster (Pre-Crisis)!

Prankster A(originally published in Who’s Who: The Definite Directory of the DC Universe #18 (August 1986)

 

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FCTC EPISODE 168: MAY 1994 PART 2

FCTC 2013 LogoFCTC_Ep_168_LargeEpisode 168: May 1994 Part 2

Welcome to the one hundred and sixty-eighth 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 Battle For Metropolis!

Well…about halfway through the episode it is. Actually this is a jam packed episode where Mike and Jeff not only finish up their coverage of the May 1994 cover dated books but also look at a Post Crisis era book that was published years after that era ended. The fun begins with Adventures of Superman #512 where Superman tracks down the Parasite to get over his power problem. Supergirl #4 is next and boy is the Woman of Steel mad. Like really mad. She spends a good bit of the issue trashing Lex’s houses and buildings before confronting the man himself. The Battle For Metropolis officially begins in Action Comics #699 where a back to normal Superman catches up with Lois and then gets embroiled in a (by the end of it) five way confrontation on the streets of the Big Apricot. Then the boys look at Retroactive 1990′s Superman #1, a comic that was published in 2011 but set around this time period. Finally Mike and Jeff take a look at the ads, what else was going on in the DCU that month and yak about two episodes of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

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 Battle For Metropolis continues! After a brief look at Superboy #5 the action continues in Superman: The Man of Steel #33 and Superman #90!

WHO’S WHO CLASSIC – MASTER JAILER

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 Master Jailer!

Master Jailer(originally published in Who’s Who: The Definite Directory of the DC Universe #14 (April 1986)

Be sure to check out Episode Fourteen 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.

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COLLECTED EDITIONS – SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL VOLUME 8

(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.)115- Man of Steel Vol. 8 A 116- Man of Steel Vol. 8 B

Nuts and Bolts

  • Released on January 31, 2013
  • Original Price $16.99
  • 240 pages
  • Cover by John Byrne, George Perez and Jerry Ordway

Contents

  • Checkmate! from Action Comics #598
  • He Only Laughs When I Hurt from Superman (Vol. 2) #16
  • Tin Soldiers! from Adventures of Superman #439
  • Element 126 from Action Comics #599
  • Cries in the Night from Superman (Vol. 2) #17
  • The Hurrieder I Go from Adventures of Superman #440
  • Different Worlds, Chapter One: First Date… from Action Comics #600
  • Different Worlds, Chapter Two: Fallen Idols from Action Comics #600
  • Different Worlds, Chapter Three: Broken-Mirrors from Action Comics #600
  • Different Worlds, Chapter Four: Battle! from Action Comics #600
  • Different Worlds, Chapter Five: This Hollow Victory… from Action Comics #600
  • Untitled Lois Lane Story from Action Comics #600
  • Games People Play from Action Comics #600
  • A Friend In Need from Action Comics #600
  • The Dark Where Madness Lies from Action Comics #600
  • Return to Krypton from Superman (Vol. 2) #18
  • Pin-Up Gallery from Action Comics #600

Notes

  • The cover is a mash-up of John Byrne and George Perez art from the secondary cover of Action Comics #600 and some interior art from Adventures of Superman #440.  While I would have preferred an original cover, specifically one by Jerry Ordway, this one works just fine.
  • Besides, they broke the original Ordway cover theme with the previous volume of this series.
  • Action Comics #598 was the first appearance of Checkmate.  That organization would get its own title soon a month after this issue hit the stands and would last for 33 issues, all written by Paul Kupperberg.
  • Superman #16 was the first Post-Crisis appearance of the Prankster.  It was also the first Post-Crisis appearance of Morgan Edge.
  • Oh, and that Supergirl that showed up on the final page of that issue?  Yeah, she leads to something big.
  • Personal note: I have a very vivid memory of getting Adventures of Superman #439 at the Super Fresh grocery store in Trexlertown, PA.  I read most of it in the parking lot while waiting for whoever was driving that day (my mother, my sister, my dad…I don’t remember) to get back to the car.
  • There was a sixteen page Bonus Book in the middle of Action Comics #599 that is not reprinted here.  The story itself was a 14 page Jimmy Olsen story titled The Karma Baggers.  The Bonus Book program was designed to give new talent a shot at writing and drawing comic stories.
  • The Silver Banshee makes her second appearance in Superman #17.  We get a little more of her back story here and meet her brother.  This story will be resolved in Superman #23, but not by John Byrne.  Roger Stern and Mike Mignola produce that story.
  • Oh, we also get to see Jimmy’s mom towards the end of this issue.  This had been a low-level sub-plot for a few issues and the final revelation was a surprise.  The fact that she turned out to be so…attractive was also something of a surprise.
  • I guess you could say that Jimmy’s mom has got it going on.
  • Adventures of Superman #440 is a fun issue.  Seeing Superman all giddy because of his date with Wonder Woman humanized the character and was very endearing.
  • Superman also gets Batman’s report on the scrapbook that was sent to him in Superman #5.  This was significant because after this Batman knew that Superman was Clark Kent and Superman revealed that he knew Batman was Bruce Wayne.
  • Superman also learns that the scrapbook was his mother’s.  It was taken by Lex Luthor’s men in Superman #2.  Eventually we learn that Amanda McCoy sent Clark the scrapbook after being fired by Lex Luthor.
  • Action Comics #600 was a huge deal when it came out in February of 1988.  This was the comic book end of Superman’s 50th Anniversary celebration that also included a cover story in Time Magazine, a television special on NBC and an exhibition at the National Museum of American History, which is part of the Smithsonian complex in Washington, D.C.
  • The books was made to look like the Eighty Page Giants that were popular in the sixties and seventies.
  • The date between Superman and Wonder Woman which led to the fight with the Fourth World characters was an exciting story that ended with the two heroes parting as friends.  The timing of this story being reprinted at the end of 2013 when the Superman and Wonder Woman of the New 52 are involved romantically could be good timing or a calculated move to capitalize on that relationship or both.
  • The Lois Lane story was scripted by Roger Stern.  This would be the first story he would write/script for the Superman titles.  A few months later he would write the main story from Superman Annual #2 and soon after that he would start writing Superman with the previously mentioned issue 23.
  • When I first read Games People Play I had no idea that Maggie Sawyer was a lesbian.  I had yet to read issue fifteen but more importantly I was 12 and such things tended to go over my head.  This is my favorite story from the issue.  The writing was very strong and it was a good confrontation between Lex and Maggie.
  • The final issue in this collection resulted, in part, to the Zero Hour event in 1994.  It’s not a direct cause and effect relationship but Dan Jurgens did cite this story as one of the reasons he wanted to iron out the continuity.
  • Hawkman and Hawkwoman play a key part in that story.  A year later Tim Truman wrote and drew the prestige format Hawkworld, which rebooted Hawkman for the Post Crisis world.  That series took place in the then present day DCU, so the ex-patriot Katar Hol that gave Superman a ride to Krypton didn’t exist anymore so that story suddenly “didn’t happen”.  This sort of thing rubbed Dan the wrong way and between that and some other continuity problems that had cropped up since the Crisis on Infinite Earths went down Zero Hour was born.
  • I am really glad they included the pin-ups from Action Comics #600, which included the first Superman work of Jon Bogdanove. 
  • Personal note: My sister Mary gave me my first copy of Action Comics #600 for my birthday in 1988.  She gave me that, a copy of World of Smallville #2 and a tape with three of the Fleisher animated shorts on it.  I was born on February 29th, so getting those comics and cartoons on my birthday and then getting to watch the NBC special that night…well, I was a happy Superman fan that year.

COLLECTED EDITIONS – SUPERMAN: ERADICATION!

(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.)

203- Eradication A 204- Eradication BNuts and Bolts

  • Released on November 11, 1995
  • Original Price $12.95
  • 160 pages
  • Cover by Kerry Gammill and Art Thibert

Contents

  • Foreward by Roger Stern
  • Be It Ever So Deadly from Adventures of Superman #460
  • The Nature of the Beast from Superman (Vol. 2) #41
  • Blood Brawl from Adventures of Superman #464
  • Not of This Earth from Action Comics #651
  • Krypton Man from Superman (Vol. 2) #42
  • The Last Son of Krypton from Adventures of Superman #465
  • Wayward Son from Action Comics #652
  • Afterword by Roger Stern

Notes

  • The Foreword by Roger Stern details the first Super-Summit meeting.  This took place in June of 1988 during the International Superman Exposition held in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Roger and several other creators, including George Perez, Jerry Ordway, Kerry Gammill as well as editor Mike Carlin went to dinner and began discussing what would eventually become Superman: Exile.
  • The Superman Historian in me loves these sorts of stories.
  • For a trade paperback that has the words, “The Origin of the Eradicator” in the title they actually don’t show the origin of the Eradicator from Action Comics Annual #2.  This might seem like a nitpick or a complaint and I really don’t mean for it to come off like that but I have that same thought every time I revisit this collection.
  • Now, I realize that trades of this era were a different beast and it is only in the past couple of years that DC has been collecting stories in their entirety but it always stuck out that they didn’t lead the trade off with that annual.  I have an idea why they didn’t.  Action Comics Annual #2 was part of a larger story so it might have felt out of place.  Also the Eradicator’s story played out over months and months worth of comics so the people that were responsible for picking out which issues would be included in this trade were probably up against a certain page count.
  • To my mind this trade is another attempt to capitalize on the success of Reign of the Supermen, which is awesome.  The Eradicator never had his own ongoing series but he managed to stick around after Reign ended.  He became a member of the Outsiders and even had his own mini-series in 1996.  Telling his origin in trade paperback form saved newer readers the time of hunting through the back issues.
  • Plus, and this is purely my very biased opinion, Day of the Krypton Man was a fantastic story.  So reprinting it made me a very happy Superman fan when I finally bought a copy of this trade.
  • Roger Stern makes a passing comment that DC should put out an Exile trade.  A little over two years after this trade came out Roger would get his wish.
  • In spite of everything I wrote above about what they should have included in this trade leading off with Adventures of Superman #460 was the way to go.  Not only does it go into the Eradicator’s origin but it was also the first appearance of the Post Crisis Fortress of Solitude.
  • I remember being very excited about that when the issue first came out.  Not only did I have that, “Hey, I’m on the ground floor of this!” feeling but it was just neat that this Superman was finally getting a Fortress.
  • A lot happens in the Superman books between Adventures of Superman #460 and Superman #41.  Jimmy Olsen had an extra-dimensional adventure.  Superman and Brainiac went a few rounds before that villain gained his new body and temporarily fled the Earth.  The Eradicator finally finished the Fortress of Solitude.  Clark and the rest of the Planet staff found out that one of their own was homeless and Superman and the Wally West Flash raced for the first time.
  • Oh, and Clark Kent quit the Daily Planet.
  • That was huge, at least for me.  When he quit rather matter of factly at the end of Superman (Vol. 2) #39 I was in shock or at least as much shock as a 13 year old can be in over a story in a comic book.  This was before I was the more jaded fan I am today.  I didn’t know it was all part of a larger story that would finally play out in Day of the Krypton Man.  To me the creators were changing everything forever and ever.
  • Ah to be that emotionally invested in the stories I read again.
  • Lobo and Superman square off for the first time during DOTKM.  This is a much leaner Lobo than he would evolve into as the ’90s wore on.  This fight/meeting is infinitely better than any that would follow because Bibbo was involved.
  • I feel somewhat like a broken record typing what I am about to type because I go over this in just about every Post Crisis related trade paperback but Draaga’s involvement in the story once again illustrates how this era built upon itself.  Here’s a character that was an important part of Exile returning to the books during another big storyline.  It gives this version of Superman a more organic feel.
  • Maxima and Superman meet for the first time during this storyline.  When she first appeared in Action Comics #645 the Maxima that Superman met was not real but a simulacrum so technically this was where the two characters had their first face to face encounter.
  • I always liked the costume that Superman adopts halfway through the story.
  • Check out page 124 of this trade and you will see the very first appearance of Hank Henshaw, the future Cyborg Superman.
  • While the title of this trade is focused on the Eradicator the heart and soul of this story goes to the heart and soul of the Post Crisis Superman.  Because of the new origin this version of Superman thought of himself as a human first and an alien second.
  • Watching Superman becoming more Kryptonian than human was hard for me because it went against everything I had come to understand about the character.
  • It is also why it was so important to have Jonathan and Martha play such an integral role in the story’s conclusion.  They are the tether that helps Clark to break free of the Eradicator’s control.  I wasn’t thinking in those terms when I first read the story.  The final chapter was simply the exciting conclusion to a, for the time, big storyline.  Now I look at the conclusion on two levels; a fun action piece and an examination of who this version of Superman is as a character.
  • Sadly this was George Perez’s last ongoing issue of Action Comics.  He was on the Superman titles for a relatively brief period and brought a nice perspective to the character both visually and in terms of the story.
  • The Eradicator would return to the Superman titles about a year later to help launch Superman: The Man of Steel.
  • The Afterword by Roger Stern details what happened to the Eradicator after this trade ended.
  • There is a part of me that would love to see DC release an “Eradicator Omnibus” that contains his first appearance in Action Comics Annual #2, Adventures of Superman #460-462, Day of the Krypton Man followed by Superman: The Man of Steel #1,  Superman (Vol. 2) #57, Adventures of Superman #480 and #Action Comics #677.  I think it would make a great read.
  • Sadly I am probably the only one that thinks this way so we’ll probably never see that.
  • Much like the Cyborg Superman the Eradicator belongs to a specific time and place.  You could update the character but without this specific backstory for both the Eradicator and for this Superman it just wouldn’t feel the same.
  • This trade leads almost directly into The Dark Knight Over Metropolis collection.  The only missing book is Superman (Vol. 2) #43.

WHO’S WHO CLASSICS – MONGUL

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 Mongul!

Mongul(originally published in Who’s Who: The Definite Directory of the DC Universe #16 (June 1986)

Be sure to check out Episode Sixteen 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.

FCTC EPISODE 167: MAY 1994 PART 1

FCTC 2013 LogoFCTC_Ep_167_LargeEpisode 167: May 1994 Part 1

Welcome to the one hundred and sixty-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.

THE BATTLE FOR METROPOLIS IS ALMOST HERE!

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, an all-out war is about to erupt in the streets of Metropolis. It has been building for months and the boys (Mike and Jeff) are excited that they have reached this point in the Post-Crisis era. Unfortunately there is the small matter of Superman’s big problem. His powers have gone out of control and he’s growing to massive proportions. That’s where we are at the start of the May 1994 cover dated books. In Superman: The Man of Steel #33 things reach a breaking point for Superman and he reaches out to Cadmus for help. Meanwhile Lois is starting to have a real bad time as her story about Lex Luthor the II being a clone has changed on its way to the pages of the Daily Planet. Things get worse in Superman #89 as Big Words and Superman head to space because apparently it will be safer to deal with Superman’s problem above the Earth where nothing could possibly go wrong. Oh, and Perry White gives Lois some very bad news. After that Mike and Jeff talk about the time Superboy and friends sit down to watch the pilot episode of a new animated series in Superboy #4 and about Steel’s new friend in Steel #4. Finally the boys hop into a cab, pay their six fifty and head to a segment they like to call Meanwhile, At The Daily Planet.

During the episode Mike and Jeff talk about a DC Universe page that was made to look like a yearbook for the younger heroes that had recently gotten their own titles.  As luck would have it Mike ran across it in a book published around the same time as the issues they discuss in this episode and scanned it so you could see what they were talking about.

DC Universe Page- YearbookYou 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: It is a packed episodes, boys and girls! Not only do Mike and Jeff talk about Adventures of Superman #512 and Action Comics #699 but also Supergirl #4 and Retroactive 1990′s Superman #1!