SAD NEWS FROM ACROSS THE POND

One of the great things about having a blog and a podcast is that people will send you things.  I’m not talking about physical things, though that has happened one or two times.  (Hi, Alan!)  No, I am talking about Superman related stuff that the sender thinks that I would like or in the case of the images I have for you today something that the sender thought that my co-host on From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast Jeffrey Taylor, and I would like.  The following scans come from one of our listeners named Shay who, from all appearances, hails from Ireland, which I think is cool because with a last name like Bailey I feel a certain kinship with those form Ireland.  Not in an annoying way.  It’s not like I would ever talk to anyone from Ireland and try to play it off that I know what it is like to live in that country.  I feel the kinship in a small way, like when you order the same thing as the guy next to you at McDonald’s.  “Oh, I see you also got two double cheeseburgers with no onions, a small fry and a medium drink.  That certainly means that…it means that…well, it means that both of us have zero regard for our own health because these things are horrible for you.”

Double cheeseburgers at McDonald’s are my Kryptonite; one day they very well may kill me.

In any case Shay is from Ireland (I am assuming) and sent Jeffrey and I some scans from a title called Superman Legends, which is…well, was a monthly comic that contained reprints of the more recent crop of Superman comics.  Here’s the cover.

I thought it was really cool that Shay sent this our way.  I had literally never thought about how DC Comics are reprinted in other countries.  I assumed that the issues were released similarly to how they are released over here and they may very well be but still this is interesting to see.  The problem is and the really depressing thing is that apparently the “Amazing News Inside!” is the fact that Superman Legends is for intents and purposes getting canceled and replaced with something else.

A couple of comments spring to mind about this announcement the first being that while I understand the need on the part of the people that package these reprints to make whatever changes to the titles they put out sound like it is the most awesome thing to ever happen in the history of planet Earth I still think it kind of sucks that they are essentially telling someone that bought a book called Superman Legends that they are tossing out the reason the person bought the comic in favor of other DC characters.  Basically I read this announcement as saying, “Hey, you may have been buying this book to follow the further adventures of Superman but apparently sales aren’t where they need to be so we’re going to toss Superman out of the book and replace it with some bankable names in the hopes that you’ll continue buying this comic.  I mean sure Geoff Johns was writing some of the stories in this book but hey, Green Lantern and the Flash are so much cooler than Superman and we got a Grant Morrison story.  You like that Grant Morrison don’t ya?  Sure you do.”

Keep in mind the previous comment has no basis in reality.  That’s just my gut reaction.

The second comment is that the decision to take Superman out of this book and rename it DC Universe Presents is one more example of how Superman is getting pushed out of the limelight as a preeminent hero in the DC Universe in favor of other characters like Green Lantern and Flash.  I have nothing against Green Lantern and the Flash.  I like those characters, but they aren’t proper replacements for Superman.  You could argue that Superman is in the JLA: Earth-2 reprint but taking Superman out of a book, replacing him with Green Lantern and the Flash along with a JLA story that features Superman is a lot like a guy getting dumped by his wife in favor of one of his co-workers but still getting to come over and hang out every once in a while.  It doesn’t seem right.  Why not have Superman stories featured in the book alongside the Green Lantern and the Flash stories?  Wouldn’t that be a better companion to Batman Legends than a couple of revamps of Hal Jordan and Barry Allen along with a ten year old graphic novel which, to me, wasn’t all that good to begin with.

So I am annoyed.  It also bugs me that Barry and Hal are the current darlings of the DCU and that Batman can get sold and resold and resold over and over again and is the big push as far as animated series and movies go but Superman can’t even get a freaking reprint across the Atlantic.  Sure Superman is finally getting a guest spot on Batman: Brave and the Bold (which I will be discussing later this week so stay tuned) but I don’t think that’s enough.  Superman is the first super-hero.  Sure I’m biased but it is hard to argue Superman’s historical significance.  I’m all for pushing the other characters but not at the Man of Steel’s expense.

Superman currently appears in one title.  Batman has like, what, fifty?  And there are like twenty of them these days.

Wow, that came out a little more angry than I thought it would.  Originally I wanted to talk about how cool these scans are and I end up getting on a soapbox.  Oh well, that’s how it happens sometimes.  And it’s my blog so I don’t feel too bad.  Another big thanks to Shay for sending this stuff my way.

Tomorrow: YouTube Tuesday featuring Supergirl in preparation for the Superman/Batman: Apocalypse DVD that is coming out next week!

More to follow…

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3 Responses to SAD NEWS FROM ACROSS THE POND

  1. Steve says:

    I occasionally flick through these reprint issues in WH Smiths just to see the kind of stuff being reprinted, and it looks from the cover that they’re cutting off the Superman stuff right before World of New Krypton #1. I’d make a pithy comment about sparing the UK from this overlong crossover, but then again it’s far too late for me, my wallet and my longboxes.

    What I find interesting is that the DC reprints can only support two titles, whilst the Marvel reprint issues cover close to a dozen individual titles. If I remember correctly, characters like Wolverine and Deadpool share issues together, whilst Spider-Man headlines a title that is working through Brand New Day. The Marvel reprints have been charging through Secret Invasion, with what looks like almost every tie-in miniseries getting a reprint, which is one of the reasons I prefer to get my comics fresh from the (mail order) comic shop as opposed to waiting for the reprints.

  2. Michael Bradley (omike015) says:

    I, too, lament the lack of Superman in the current DC Universe. However, I try to focus on the silver lining that is, with comic prices the way they are, there’s no way I could afford a Superman output equal to what the Batman’s is these days (nor would I enjoying doing so, given my opinion of the overall quality of recent new comics). So, with fewer books these days, it’s far easier to keep happy both the completist in me and my wallet.

  3. Alan Leach Jr. says:

    Again thanks for the shout out, I agree with Michael Bradley, I’d rather pay for one good Superman Book at this point rather than 10 lousy ones, unfortunatly I’m still waiting for that one good one. I actually had some mexican reprints that covered the entire death and return and post return era in trade paperback form, in spanish. I sold them on ebay but they were interesting. I kept the mini posters that came with them that were unattached versions of the posters of the four new supermen, and images from the comic covers of the time. I’m sure you’ve read Les Daniels book on Superman there are some interesting images from foreign reprints in that.

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