FIVE YEARS

Well, that one slipped by me.

For the past few years it has become my habit to pay for the next year’s worth of server space over at Lunar Pages in middle to late February.  Technically the deadline is March 6th because on March 6th, 2008 I set up my account and started down the road of being a webmaster, to use a term that nobody uses anymore.  A few weeks after that on March 18th I made my very first post which was basically me saying, “Hey, I’m here and I am going to talk about Superman.  Enjoy.”  Nothing special but I wanted to get the ball rolling.

I did the math on that and realized that was five years ago.

Again this shouldn’t surprise me but for some reason it does.  I have not spent the last five years blogging every single day and I certainly went back and forth on what I wanted the subject matter for this blog to be.  To quote Dennis Miller I have the attention span of a ferret on a double espresso so there were times when I was like, “Oh, Marvel!” or “Oh, comics in general!” much like the dog in the movie Up when he would see a squirrel if I am allowed to make two pop culture references in one sentence.  For well over a year now I have been able to keep things Superman-centric and frankly I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Why?

Because…well, at the risk of sounding self-important I’ve gone on something of a journey over the past five years.  I am not the fan I was back in 2008. Looking back now I realize that I went through something akin to the Five Stages of Grief with comics and 2008 and 2009 and 2010 and probably part of 2011 actually were all well within my angry phase, which thankfully has passed.  Sure I can still get riled up but I am well within the confines of acceptance at this point and am rather happy to be here.  So I don’t feel the need to “see other people” as it were and to stick to being a DC and more importantly Superman fan.

The funny thing to me is that within the past few months I am finally doing what I always wanted to do with this blog in the first place.  I had these lofty goals at first that I would put together lists of trade paperbacks and scan the Who’s Who entries and talk about what I love about Superman and now I am actually doing that.  It helps that the WordPress software I use to run this place has come along so much in the past five years.  The sidebar stuff you see now was much more difficult back in the day and the fact that I have cracked the code, so to speak, on the background and can do custom headers without going into the HTML is quite useful.

All of that is to say that while I still have a long way to go (though I don’t have a short time to get there, thankfully) I am feeling a lot more comfortable as a blogger.  The fact that I have been able to (with one or two exceptions) maintain a Monday through Friday routine and actually do more than just post pictures of Superman over the past six months makes me very happy.  Things are about to get a lot more complicated in the next few months but once I am through all of that I might be able to do more with this blog than I have been.  We’ll see how that goes.

To those of you that have followed the blog for years I want to say, “Thanks.”  It means a lot to me that people bother to read my ramblings.  Hopefully you are getting something out of this.  I sure am having fun posting all of this stuff.

As I used to say…more to follow…

WHO’S WHO CLASSIC – POWER GIRL (POST 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 Power Girl (Pre-Crisis)!

Power Girl B

(originally published in Who’s Who Update ’87 #4, November 1987)

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

ACTION COMICS #19 PREVIEW

Recently a preview of Action Comics #19 was released.  I was going to post this with a little bit of commentary about how much I was looking forward to the Diggle/Daniel run but apparently Andy Diggle has quit the title.  I don’t blame him as he cited professional reasons and frankly I would rather a creator leave a book they were unhappy with rather than the work suffering because said creator was unhappy.  Still, it is very disappointing that this sort of creative shuffling keeps going on at DC.

Anyway, here are the preview pages anyway.  Enjoy.

Action 19 Preview 1 Action 19 Preview 2 Action 19 Preview 3 Action 19 Preview 4 Action 19 Preview 5

SUPERMAN SOLICITATIONS – JUNE 2013 EDITION

Another month, another round of solicitations for the Superman and Superman related comics.  This month even has a theme…ANGRY RED EYES!

More on that in a minute.

Main Titles

Action Comics #021

ACTION COMICS #21
Written by ANDY DIGGLE
Backup story written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art by TONY S. DANIEL and BATT
Backup story art by PHILIP TAN
Cover by TONY S. DANIEL
1:25 B&W Variant cover by TONY S. DANIEL
On sale JUNE 5 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US

Superman is betrayed by his own DNA! And in the backup story, learn The New 52 origin of The Parasite!

My Two Cents

There isn’t a whole lot to go on with this one but I like the idea of a new Parasite.  He may not be my favorite Superman villain but seeing the classic bad guys brought back is okay in my book.  At first I thought I had uploaded the wrong cover but it turns out that this one has been solicited twice now.  My only problem with it is the glowing red eyes of anger as I think that has become rather cliched in the past few years and by “rather cliched” I really mean “DC REALLY needs to stop doing this”.  If this was the only cover to have the glowing red eyes of anger on it I probably wouldn’t have mentioned but…well it’s not.

Superman #021SUPERMAN #21
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art by AARON KUDER
Cover by TYLER KIRKHAM
1:25 B&W Variant cover by TYLER KIRKHAM
On sale JUNE 26 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Witness the horror of Hector Hammond as Metropolis burns! What happens when a city is taken over by a nightmare?

My Two Cents

Normally I am not a fan of villains that usually “belong” to someone else showing up in another hero’s book.  The cover is what is selling me on this one.  It’s creepy but that’s not what I like about it.  The level of detail in the costume and how it wrinkles is really cool.  Outside of the annual Lobdell has yet to let me down on this book so this is another one I am really looking forward to.  I almost want to ping this cover for the glowing eyes, but it looks more like Hammond is using his powers rather than the glowing red eyes of anger.

Superman Unchained #001SUPERMAN UNCHAINED #1
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art and cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
Backup story art by DUSTIN NGUYEN
1:300 B&W Variant cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
On sale JUNE 12 • 32 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $5.99 US

When thirteen satellites fall from the sky in one day, the logical suspect is Lex Luthor—even though he’s still locked up in prison! But a stranger question remains: If Superman didn’t stop the last satellite from falling, who did? There’s a mystery hidden where even Superman can’t see it—Can The Man of Steel drag a decades-old secret into the light? Don’t miss the debut of this red-hot new series from two of comics’ brightest superstars: SCOTT SNYDER and JIM LEE!  This debut issue also includes a bonus two-sided, tipped-in poster measuring 11.6875” x 18.875” that is part of the reading experience and can be easily removed for display!

Surprisingly this cover does not feature a Superman with the glowing red eyes of anger.  I was kind of expecting that from Lee.  Anyway, pithy comments to the side I am REALLY looking forward to this book and that has everything to do with Scott Synder.  He has really shined on Batman and it will be great to see what he can do with the Man of Steel.  Oddly enough Jim Lee is not a selling point for me on this book as I am not the biggest fan of his take on the Man of Steel.  I just don’t think his style is suited to Superman.  Still, this is a huge launch and probably the most exciting thing to happen to Superman since the start of the New 52.

Batman Superman #001BATMAN/SUPERMAN #1
Written by GREG PAK
Art and cover by JAE LEE
1:100 B&W variant cover by JAE LEE
1:25 BATMAN variant cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
1:25 SUPERMAN variant cover by GUILLEM MARCH
“We Can Be Heroes” blank variant cover available
On sale JUNE 5 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US

A new epic begins with the debut of this new, ongoing series! Don’t miss the first fateful meeting of Batman and Superman in The New 52!

My Two Cents

Greg Pak is the main reason I am so excited about this series.  I am not the biggest fan of Jae Lee as an artist but I don’t hate his work so I will keep an open mind.  The last series featuring these two characters in one adventure (or I guess series of adventures would be the better way to say that) was very up and down in terms of story and quality after Jeph Loeb left the title so I am hoping this series has a better track record.

Continue reading “SUPERMAN SOLICITATIONS — JUNE 2013 EDITION”

WHO’S WHO CLASSIC – POWER GIRL (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 Power Girl (Pre-Crisis)!

Power Girl A(originally published in Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #18, August 1986)

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

COLLECTED EDITIONS – SUPERMAN VOL. 6: RETURN TO KRYPTON

(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 Vol. 6 Return to Krypton A Superman Vol. 6 Return to Krypton BNuts and Bolts

  • Released on February 25, 2004
  • Original price $17.95
  • 208 pages
  • Cover by Paul Rivoche

Contents

  • Fathers from Superman (Vol. 2) #166
  • Sliding Home from Superman (Vol. 2) #167
  • Second Honeymoon from Adventures of Superman #589
  • The Most Dangerous Kryptonian Game from Superman: The Man of Steel #111
  • Escape From Krypton from Action Comics 776
  • Rising Son from Superman (Vol. 2) #184
  • Culture Shock from Adventures of Superman #606
  • Blood and Heresy from Superman: The Man of Steel #128
  • Dream’s End from Action Comics #793

Notes

  • While this post will be up for as long as I pay for the server space and thus can potentially be read years down the road at the time I am actually typing these words a few things have come together to make writing these notes a bit strange.
  • You see, a good friend of mine named Andrew Leyland has been reading through these trades recently and we’ve been talking about them mainly through Facebook.
  • When Andy got to this one he was a bit puzzled about how the first half of this trade puts forth a new theory on the origin of Superman and the second half immediately retcons that revelation.
  • And he has a point.  If you are reading this trade by itself it seems to be a story where a huge change is made to Superman’s back story and then in the very same volume, like three chapters later that revelation is itself revealed to be a lie.
  • What the trade doesn’t tell the readers is that a year went by between Return to Krypton I and Return to Krypton II.
  • In that year a lot happened to the Man of Steel including this huge storyline called Our Worlds At War.
  • This is why Superman goes from having an S symbol with a yellow background to an S symbol with a black background halfway through this trade.
  • So while I appreciate that DC was trying to collect both stories in one volume the fact that there is such a gap between RTK I and II makes for a very disjointed read.
  • Oddly enough Andy and I discussed these stories on an episode of one of my podcasts (Views From The Longbox) and as soon as that episode is live I will try and remember to post date a link to it in these notes.
  • One of the things we talk about regarding this story was whether or not this was an attempt by the creative powers that be that were in charge of Superman at this point to undo the origin John Byrne established in 1986 and subsequent creative teams ran with.
  • It would make sense.  By the time this RTK I and II were published it had been fifteen years since Man of Steel.  I can see a creative staff that wasn’t invested in that origin wanting to make some changes.
  • If readers had embraced the change maybe the retcon that was Return to Krypton II wouldn’t have happened.
  • Speaking as someone that was heavily invested in the Superman books in 2001 and as one that was plugged into the Internet I can safely say that a certain contingent of Superman fandom (myself included) was not happy that they were messing with the origin.
  • I have to wonder if that sort of backlash played into them changing things a year later.
  • It’s kind of funny, though.  In the twelve years since the first Return to Krypton story was published there have been four major re-imaginings of the the origin and with each re-telling (except maybe for Superman: Earth One) DC has gotten a little bolder in throwing down the revamp gauntlet.
  • Birthright was solid but ultimately didn’t stick.  Secret Origin was overly slavish to the Donner film and took too long to be told.  With the New 52 DC has seemingly settled on the origin they want to stick with for the time being.
  • Still, the first part of this trade is a solid read.  The second…not so much.  If you were wanting a proper reading order I would read the first part of this trade, the Our Worlds At War omnibus and then the second part of this trade.  It might make a bit more sense that way.

To follow this particular line of trades follow the rest of the books in the series…