FCTC EPISODE 171: ELSEWORLDS ANNUALS PART 1

FCTC 2013 LogoFCTC_Ep_171_LargeEpisode 171: Elseworlds Annuals Part 1

Welcome to the one hundred and seventy-first 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 are taking a break from the day to day storytelling of 1994 and looking at some stories that take Superman out of his usual setting and tell some tales that have existed, might have existed and some that couldn’t or shouldn’t have existed.  After three years of having crossover events tie the DC annuals together in 1994 the company started what became seven years of themed annuals.  Elseworlds was the first theme chosen and since all four of the regular Superman titles in addition to Steel and Superboy all had annuals that year the boys thought it would be a good idea to spend two episodes talking about all six of those stories.

Even though it is slightly out of order Superman Annual #6 is first.  In that story the question of, “What if Superman landed in the jungle and lived a life that was a mash-up of Tarzan and Mowgli from THE JUNGLE BOOK?” is answered.  Then in Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #3 we see a world where instead of every Kryptonian except Superman dying 100,000 of them came to Earth and became benevolent dictators.  Kal-El has to make a decision; fight against his own people or fight for the people of his adopted world.  Finally in Adventures of Superman #6 we see a world where an alien invasion caused the people of Earth to turn against their heroes and Superman to give up the fight after the death of Lois.  Years later the Man of Steel is found and joins together with six other heroes to fight back against the invaders.

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 story which began in Adventures of Superman #6 is concluded in Superboy Annual #1.  We also see a Revolutionary War themed in Action Comics Annual #6 and another period piece in Steel Annual #1.

FCTC EPISODE #170: JUNE 1994 PART 2

FCTC 2013 LogoFCTC_Ep_170_LargeEpisode 170: June 1994 Part 2

Welcome to the one hundred and seventieth 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 ENDS AS THE FALL OF METROPOLIS BEGINS!

This time out Mike and Jeff finish off the Superman books with a cover date of June 1994.  Exciting and action packed are two words that would adequately describe the comics they talk about.  Historic would be another way to describe at least one of the books.  In Adventures of Superman #513 the Battle For Metropolis ends as Superman fights the forces of Team Luthor in the very bowels of Cadmus.  Then, in Action Comics #700 the battle is over and the Fall of Metropolis begins!  Lex Luthor’s final gambit is put into play and it is up to Superman, Supergirl and Superboy to try and save the city as Pete Ross and Lana Lang walk down the aisle in Smallville!  Buildings fall!  Long time supporting characters die!  A former nemesis lends Superman a hand!  This one has it all, folks.  After all that the boys look at what else was going on in the DCU including the happenings from Steel #5.

At the top of the episode Mike mentions that Action Comics #700 had a platinum editions.  Here is a scan of that cover.

Action Comics #700 Platinum

Here’s the cover for Steel #5 as well.

Steel (1993) #005

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: We take a break from the main action to start a two part look at the Elseworld Annuals from 1994.  We kick things off with Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #3, Superman Annual #6 and Superboy Annual #1!

FCTC EPISODE 169: JUNE 1994 PART 1

FCTC 2013 LogoFCTC_Ep_169_LargeEpisode 169: June 1994 Part 1

Welcome to the one hundred and sixty-ninth 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 CONTINUES!

Yes, the boys are back. Let’s not make a big thing of it.

This time out Mike and Jeff continue their coverage of The Battle For Metropolis with the first two Superman books with a June 1994 cover date and a satellite book for good measure. First up is a brief look at Superboy #5 as it crosses into this story in a fairly substantial way. The action continues in Superman: The Man of Steel #34 where, if the cover is any indication, bad things happen for the Guardian. Finally in Superman #90 Cadmus Director Westfield finally gets what is coming to him. The boys end the episode with a look at what was happening in the real world when these issues were released in a segment they like to call Meanwhile, At The Daily Planet Building!

For those interested here is the cover to Superboy #5.

Superboy (1993) #005

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 ends in Adventures of Superman #513. The fall begins in the historic Action Comics #700. Steel appears in Steel #5.

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)

 

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

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.

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

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.