FROM CRISIS TO CRISIS EPISODE 68: JANUARY 1991

Episode 68: January 1991

Welcome to the 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.

In this episode a bold new era of From Crisis to Crisis begins!

Okay, things aren’t that dramatic, but Mike and Jeff do begin the comic book year 1991 this week and not only does it usher in a price increase for the Superman books (from seventy-five cents to a whopping one dollar) but it also marks the beginning of the Triangle Numbering era. For those who may be unaware starting with the January 1991 Superman books and going all the way up to the end of 2001 the Superman titles had a little triangle somewhere on the cover that had the year and a number to let you know where that particular Superman comic fit into the overall continuity. So Superman #51 (which featured the first appearance of Mister Z) was 1991/1, Adventures of Superman #474 (a thought provoking issue where we see an untold tale from Clark’s past) was 1991/2 and Action Comics #661 (featuring Plastic Man) was 1991/3.

After that the boys cover the Adventures of Superboy #12, a goofy little tale where strange things happen in Smallville right around the holidays. Then Jeff goes into his thoughts on the first eight episodes of the third season of the  Adventures of Superboy television series with Mike providing color commentary. Then it’s Elsewhere in the DCU and Elsewhere, Elsewhere and things get kind of goofy because it was late and Mike was getting punchy.

The scans return this week as Mike finally got off his duff and scanned some choice images from the Superman books discuss in this week’s episode.

There was some moody art in this week’s issue of Superman and both this image and the one below were among the moodiest.  Ordway’s use of shadows was awesome here and showed that, as Bruce Timm and company would later figure out, sometimes Superman looks pretty neat in the dark.

The guys spent a lot of time talking about the Adventures of Superman issue this week and it features an image that had, to the knowledge of the hosts, had never been seen before.  Clark Kent…grabbing a beer…to consume.  Here’s the page.

This week’s issue of Action Comics featured Plastic Man and Woozy Winks.  Artist Bob McLeod made an interesting artistic choice by carrying over the “Plastic Man Vision” that Hilary Barta established in the Plastic Man mini-series from 1988.  Here are two examples of this from the issue.

And you thought that Ordway drew a large chin on Superman.

I mean it’s enough to make Clark Kent ponder.

Finally this week the back cover to this weeks batch of comics.  Splatterhouse.  Embrace the horror.

Next Week: The return of Terra-Man, Superman goes to Happyland and Clark has something really important to tell Lois.

Also some guy named Scott Gardner guest stars.

You can subscribe to the show in two ways. First there is the RSS Feed and there is also the iTunes 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.

Seriously, let us know what you think.

READ THIS TOO!

And now for something completely different…

Every once in a while a bunch of us here in comic book related blogland team up in true super-hero style and all play off of a theme.  Awhile back someone suggested the concept of Read This Too! where we bloggers would pick out a comic we wouldn’t normally discuss for one reason or another and give it some love.  The original concept centered around picking out a current title we were reading and write about that.  The problem is that I am not reading any current titles beyond the ones I review for on the Superman Homepage and/or discuss on the Spider-Man Crawlspace podcast.  After mulling it over for a bit I decided that instead of bowing out that I would discuss one of my favorite comic book runs ever that didn’t involve Superman.

What run would that be?

Peter David’s 12 year stint with a character that shares the number two spot in my Top Five Favorite Super-Heroes Of All Time list.

I’m talking about Peter David’s run on…the Incredible Hulk!

In looking at the previously mentioned Top Five List I realized that I first encountered five of the six on the list when I was a wee lad and in all five cases I first saw them on television, not in the comics.  The Incredible Hulk is one of these heroes.  The live action television series starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno was one of my favorites and continues to be one of my favorites.  I love that show about as much as I love the 1966 and 1982 animated series featuring the Jade Giant.  I watched all of those series just about every time they would come on in syndication or on Saturday mornings.  I wouldn’t actually read an issue of the Hulk until the early eighties when my Mom bought me a copy of Incredible Hulk #293, which was an odd time to come into the series because this was during the time period where Bruce had full control over the transformations.  Later I would get issues 315 (written and drawn by John Byrne and I had no idea at the time that Mr. Byrne would be directly responsible for me getting into a certain Man of Steel) and 324 (the return of the gray Hulk) and I loved both issues, but I wasn’t really collecting comics in a serious way at the time.  It wouldn’t be until Peter David was writing the character that I would get into the comic book Hulk and even then it wouldn’t be a comic that sucked me in.

In the fall of 1995 I was in a pretty dark place.  I won’t get into all of the specifics here because it would eat up too much time but it was bad.  I was depressed on several levels and dealing with feelings of grief and abandonment and loneliness that the 19 year old me wasn’t prepared for at all.  One day I was at Waldenbooks (Anyone remember how cool Waldenbooks used to be?) and the cover of an Incredible Hulk novel titled What Savage Beast, written by Peter David caught my eye.  I took it home to my attic apartment, sat back and started reading it.

That was the moment that I became a fan of not only Peter David’s Hulk but Peter David’s writing in general.

Continue reading READ THIS TOO!

YOUTUBE TUESDAY FOR 09/28/2010

Welcome back to YouTube Tuesday here at the Fortress!  I don’t remember if I have posted this video before but if I did I think it bears re-posting.  Here is…How Superman Should Have Ended!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yavK0mnE3wI

Man I love that video.  This time out I noticed something really interesting, at least to me.  The music you hear that sounds sort of like the Superman theme?  Well I first heard that during Graphic Audio’s adaptation of Infinite Crisis.  Actually it was an adaptation of the novelization by Greg Cox, but still.  If you aren’t familiar with Graphic Audio they are a production company that create full cast audio dramas with music and sound effects that adapt novels of various genres and for the last few years they’ve been adapting a whole slew of original DC novels as well as the novelizations of the big events.  When I first heard their take on Infinite Crisis I was very impressed that the person doing the score created a Superman theme that built nicely and while it wasn’t the best of Superman themes it certainly wasn’t bad.  So it is cool to hear it here.

That’s all for today folks.  Come back tomorrow for Read This Too!

What is Read This Too!?

You’ll find out tomorrow.

More to follow…

CHANGES AND SUCH

Not much to talk about at the beginning of this week.  I have the next five day’s pretty much mapped out and think it is going to be a fun one, especially the little diversion on Wednesday where I team up with some of my fellow comic book bloggers, but here on Monday I find myself with very little to “say”.

Of that little I have to say the first involves the look of the Fortress.  I’ve been playing with the design of this blog for awhile now and last week I stumbled upon a theme that had two things I was really looking for; a header and a background.  I wanted this to look like a Superman related blog instead of looking like the standard WordPress theme.  I am something of a Luddite when it comes to the Internet and it is an ongoing miracle that I have been able to maintain the Fortress and my podcasts and all of that stuff.  Thanks to me creating something I am not ready to reveal yet I found the theme I wanted and after playing around in Photoshop I cropped together a background and designed a header that I liked.  The great thing about the header is that I will be designing new ones as time goes on to reflect the seasons and the holidays.  For the moment I wanted the classic S symbol and some text.  I hope you like it.

In other news I did write a review for the Superman Homepage this week.  Superman/Batman #76 came out last week and as I am the regular reviewer of that title I read the book and wrote down my thoughts.  You can find that review here.  Be sure to leave some comments, either here or at the Homepage.

And that is it for today.  I have some firm plans for this blog and you’ll be seeing some of those in the next few weeks.  I have a big project that I will be embarking on soon and once that is well under way I’ll be ready to announce it.  I don’t want to say too much right now but if I can pull it off it’s going to end up being pretty big.

Tomorrow: YouTube Tuesday!

More to follow…

SUPERMAN ON BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD

So I was checking out the Superman Homepage the other day (as I am wont to do) and caught this piece regarding Superman making not one but two appearances on Batman: Brave and the Bold.  I will admit that my initial reaction was, “Awesome,” followed very closely by, “Well it’s about damn time,” followed immediately by, “Are they going to f*** this up?”

Batman: Brave and the Bold is an odd duck of an animated series for me.  There are episodes that I absolutely love and then there are episodes I absolutely hate and it is fifty/fifty on what my reaction to a given episode will be.  Sometimes it’s really fun and sometimes I actually feel a little silly watching it.  I mean I am glad the show exists because I do believe it is a fantastic way to introduce a new and possibly younger audience to the broader DCU much like the various incarnations of the Super Friends did for me when I was a lad, but…I don’t know.  It’s weird.

From the very beginning of the show’s existence people have been clamoring (i.e. making numerous posts and comments online) for Superman to appear on the show.  It seems like a no-brainer.  People like seeing Superman and Batman together in just about every medium and for awhile there it seemed like Superman would never find his way on to B:BATB.  The interviews with the creative side of the show seemed to indicate that they really didn’t want Superman around but in all honesty that could have been me reading something into the comments that just wasn’t there.  In any case it seems that the time has come for Superman to guest star and I’m left feeling…

Well, in all honesty I don’t know how to feel.  One of my chief complaints of B:BATB is the fact that Batman is treated as THE GREATEST THING EVER in just about every episode.  It doesn’t matter who the bad guys or fellow heroes are or how powerful those heroes and villains might be Batman is always better, smarter and more awesome.  Frankly I blame Grant Morrison for this.  It was during his run on JLA that the idea that if Batman had five minutes and a Swiss Army knife he could take down any threat.  B:BATB takes this idea and kicks it up to the infinite power.  Yes, I know Batman is going to win.  It’s his show but there’s really no drama because Batman is always treated like THE GREATEST THING EVER.

So I’m a tad worried because I don’t want Superman to come on to the show and get treated like a subordinate.  Superman doesn’t have to take center stage but the two heroes should be treated like equals and with the way the show has been going I have my doubts that this is going to happen.  DC has not had a good track record of late of giving the Man of Steel his due and I am afraid this is going to translate into Superman’s appearance on Batman: Brave and the Bold.

Then again I could be wrong and Superman and Batman teaming up with each other and then with Wonder Woman could be thirty-one flavors of awesome.  Only time will tell.  For the moment I will leave final judgment until I see the actual episodes.

I’m just nervous is all.

More to follow…

FROM CRISIS TO CRISIS EPISODE 67: DECEMBER 1990

Episode 67: December 1990

Welcome to the sixty-sixth 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.

It’s another long one this week as the boys welcome back Jon Wilson to discuss one of the most important moments in the Post Crisis era which took place during the comics with the December 1990 cover date. In Superman #50, the final chapter of Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite, Clark not only struggles to regain his powers but also ask Lois a very important question. In Adventures of Superman #473 the Man of Steel (now back to full power) teams up with Green Lantern Guy Gardner to track down Hal Jordan. Finally in Action Comics #660 Lex Luthor makes a fateful decision regarding his illness. After all of this the guys discuss the renamed Adventures of Superboy #11 in addition to the usual Elsewhere in the DCU and Elsewhere, Elsewhere segments.

By the by: you can hear Jon on both Amazing Spider-Man Classics and Teenage Wasteland: An Ultimate Spider-Man Podcast.

Next Week: Cover date 1991 begins with Superman meeting the mysterious Mr. Z again for the first time, Clark visiting an old friend from high school and Plastic Man and Woozy Winks coming to Metropolis for a bizarre team-up.

No additional scans this week.  Things have been crazy and Mike just didn’t have the time.  They will return soon, though.  Promise

You can subscribe to the show in two ways. First there is the RSS Feed and there is also the iTunes 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.

Seriously, let us know what you think.

YOUTUBE TUESDAY FOR 09/21/2010

Welcome to another installment of YouTube Tuesday here at the Fortress of Baileytude!  Today I wanted to paste in some YouTube videos that feature one of my favorite episodes of Justice League Unlimited, which is titled Panic in the Sky!  I love JLU.  Not loved.  Love.  It is my favorite animated version of the DC Universe ever and this episode was part of a fantastic storyline that ran through the second season of that iteration of Justice League.

Outside of loving this episode I also wanted to post it because it has a great battle scene between Supergirl and Galatea.  Supergirl is about to be the focus of the latest in the line of the DCU animated films, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, which comes out next week.  To fuel the excitement for that film I thought it would be cool to have some Supergirl for you seven days before the movie hits store shelves.

So I hope you enjoy this episode because it has some really awesome action sequences.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaKd4Gk9piE&feature=related

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO62nMthuO8&feature=related

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX-fH2NdfYI&feature=related

That’s all for today.  Come back tomorrow for…something.  I haven’t quite figured out what yet.

More to follow…

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…

FROM CRISIS TO CRISIS EPISODE 66: NOVEMBER 1990

Episode 66: November 1990

Welcome to the sixty-sixth 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.

All right, folks, listen up. Before listening to this episode you will want to grab a cup of coffee, call in sick to work and clear your schedules because this episode is a MONSTER. Not only do the boys have a special guest this week in the form of podcast host extraordinaire Jon M. Wilson but also because the Superman books with the November 1990 cover date are all part of the Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite storyline. This is an epic story arc that not only runs through Superman #49, Adventures of Superman #472 and Action Comics #659 but also Starman #28 as well. In Krisis Lex Luthor receives a gift from Mr. Mxyzptlk; a piece of Red Kryptonite. The Red K robs Superman of his powers and the Man of Steel has to suddenly deal with threats like Mammoth and a prison riot at Stryker’s Island without his abilities. If that wasn’t enough but Lois’ mother is sick again and needs to lean on Clark for support. So things aren’t going all that good for Superman but at least he has back up in the form of Starman, Gangbuster, the Guardian and a suit of armor built by Professor Hamilton.

After those four issues Jon, Jeff and Mike talk about Superboy: The Comic Book #10, the Superboy television series as well as covering Elsewhere in the DCU and Elsewhere, Elsewhere.

Oh, and there are tangents. Lots and lots of tangents, so heads up on that.

By the by: you can hear Jon on both Amazing Spider-Man Classics and Teenage Wasteland: An Ultimate Spider-Man Podcast.

Next Week: Jon Wilson returns! The final chapter of Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite! A BIG questions is asked. Superman teams up with not one but two Green Lanterns! Finally, the death of Lex Luthor!

No additional scans this week.  Things have been crazy and Mike just didn’t have the time.  They will return soon, though.  Promise

You can subscribe to the show in two ways. First there is the RSS Feed and there is also the iTunes 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.

Seriously, let us know what you think.

YOUTUBE TUESDAY FOR 09/14/2010

Welcome to another installment of YouTube Tuesday here at the Fortress.  A few weeks ago over at the very awesome Firestorm Fan my good friend Shag (he of Once Upon a Geek fame) posted some videos from a Super Powers “See and Read” video.  I vaguely remember these things from when I was a kid, but basically it was a video version of something called a “See and Hear” record, which was like the old Power Records only bigger.  The concept was pretty simply; you’d pop the LP on the turn table and follow along in the book.  Somewhere along the way the powers that be decided to use the then new power of the VCR to take this form of multimedia entertainment to the next level and thus the “See and Read” was born.  They look kind of primitive by today’s standards but I am fairly sure that if I had one of these things when I was ten or eleven years old I would have worn the tape out.  So enjoy this trip down memory lane and I have to give a big ol’ thanks to Shag for giving me the go ahead to copy what he posted some time back.

And yes, I am aware of the very bad pun in the title of this thing.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QL0rESVSfME&feature=player_embedded

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0oIU9nuK5Q&feature=player_embedded

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZd-vo58esM&feature=player_embedded

And that is it for today.  Come back tomorrow for the first part of my Dragon*Con 2010 swag.  Lots of Superman stuff in there but then again that was my intention.

More to follow…