A week or so back the “news” was broken that the next DC direct-to-DVD animated feature after Green Lantern: First Flight will be Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. I was rather excited to hear this. While Superman/Batman as a title has fallen on hard times and is now an obligation buy more than a just gotta have it buy I really liked the series when it first came out back in 2003. Sure I wanted it to be called Worlds Finest but I can be rather old school when I want to be.
Superman/Batman was a big deal when it premiered, though. It came out a month after the first issue Superman: Birthright hit the stands and was part of an attempt to reinvigorate the Superman line of comics. It was a weird era for me as a regular follower of the Man of Steel as it was the first time I really questioned the lifelong dedication that I had sworn. There wasn’t much that was lighting my fire with the regular titles and the announcement of a new origin didn’t exactly fill me with elation. Despite those feelings I was definitely excited when it was announced that Jeph Loeb was coming back to a Superman title.
I know that Superman/Batman is technically a Superman and Batman title, but I file it with my Superman books so to me it’s a Superman title. I can make a firm decision on this because it is so inconsequential.
The opening arc was called Worlds Finest. Yeah, I know. The trade is called Public Enemies and thus the movie is going to be called Public Enemies even though Superman/Batman: Worlds Finest would have been just as good if not better, but maybe that’s just me. Anyway, I liked the story. I had some problems with it to be sure but I liked it a lot. It was fun. For a while there Superman/Batman was my favorite Superman book, which made me kind of sad at the time. I mean shouldn’t one of the regular Superman books be my favorite and not a team-up book?
I have been running behind lately, so this is going to be a short and sweet sort of post. I feel kind of bad about that, but it is what it is. Next week should be more exciting or at least what I refer to as exciting.
So let’s play a game then. I was reminded of this cover about an hour or so ago and I thought I would share. What happens when you take this cover…
…and remove the dialogue?
You get this.
It’s just disturbing on so many levels.
That’s it for this week’s Man of Steel Monday. Special thanks to my buddy Shag for reminding me of this. Come back next week when I’ll have something that it is in good taste, I promise.
This was posted over at Geek Orthodox a few days back. It is part of a book that has Batman teaching kids their ABCs. As you can see this is the page for R and is using Robin as it’s A is for apple, J is for Jacks form of letter/word association.
“But, Mike,” you might say as you always might say in these imaginary conversations that we often have, “Didn’t you think of dropping the Superman titles last month? And now that I think about it didn’t you also lose your damn mind back in December or so when it was announced that Superman was being taken out of his own book? What’s up with that? Why the sudden change of heart? Wait a second. Are you really Mike? You type like Mike. You “sound” like Mike, but there is always the chance that you are an impostor. Who are you and what have you done with Mike?”
Well, maybe your inner dialogue won’t go that far but I think you get the point. Yes, I did think of dropping the Superman books. Yes I had a fanboy meltdown a month or so back, but I’m better now. The therapy is going well and the little yellow pills make me feel…better. In any case I have made peace with my “inner demons” and am ready to embrace the future filled with excitement, vim, vigor and even pep, though not Kellog’s Pep because that stuff was discontinued decades ago. I don’t even want to think what would pour out of a forites era box of Pep. That might be a horror show.
Digressions aside I have been content as a Superman fan for the past month or so. The New Krypton storyline has been fantastic from the very beginning with great writing and solid art, but my enjoyment stems from more than that really. I know the real reason that I am digging the books so much and it has been on just about every Superman or Superman related cover for several months now.
One of the upsides to giving up on being the type of hopeless comic book addict that I am is that even though I don’t particularly care for what is coming out now (and boy is that a phrase I overuse these days) I still have a great deal of affection for the back issues I currently own. Sometimes people turn their back on the present and want to burn down the past as well but not me. Not only do I still like the stories that are in the comics I plan to keep but I also dig the memories they produce. I am one of those people that can watch a film or listen to a song or look at a comic book cover and vividly recall the events surrounding the first or second or even sixteenth time I watched/listened/read the media in question though this is particularly true for comics. I mean there are time where I just look at a cover and suddenly the Duncan McLeod sensing another immortal sound effect plays and I am suddenly thrown into a full on, four alarm flashback.
Take this cover for instance.
This was one of the very first comics that I purchased from Mile High Comics. At the time, circa 1988 or so, Mile High was the biggest mail order comic book service in the country, though I wasn’t aware of that at the time. I just saw the ads in the comics I read and somehow convinced my Dad to order about ten bucks worth of books for me. I remember sitting on the family room floor in the house on Promise Lane and opening that box when it finally arrived. I was probably 11 or 12 years old at the time and this was a big deal. Inside the box was this issue of Adventures of Superman, which I had not been able to find elsewhere, the three issue adaptation of Transformers the Movie that Marvel published and one or two other books. I would order comics from Mile High three more times over the course of the next eighteen years or so but there was something really huge about that first time. It was astounding to me at the time that you could order comic books through the mail. For a few years after that I would get the Mile High catalogue in the mail, which was a pretty big deal for me as well. Sure I couldn’t afford the books but man I could dream.