FCTC EPISODE 136: REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN PART 2

Episode 136: Reign of the Superman Part 2

Welcome to the one hundred and thirty-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.

REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN CONTINUES!

This week Mike and Jeff continue their coverage of the last act in the DEATH AND RETURN OF SUPERMAN saga and once again they brought a friend along.  Joining the boys is Michael Bradley, host of THE THRILLING ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN and co-host of GREEN LANTERN’S LIGHT and he is here to talk about the first full appearances of the final two Supermen.  In SUPERMAN #78 the Cyborg Superman crashes into Cadmus and steals Doomsday’s body.  He also meets Lois Lane, who brings him to Dr. Hamilton for testing and the results are shocking!  Then in ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #501 Lois meets the clone of Superman, but don’t call him Superboy because he really hates it when you do that.  Finally the boys tell you about what else was going on in the DCU when these comics were released.

Mike and Jeff would like to thank Michael for coming on to the show and want him to know he is welcome back anytime.

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.

You can email the show by clicking this link. All questions, concerns, fears, trepidations and cheap shots are welcome.  Also be sure to give us a review over on iTunes and feel free to comment on the show here at the site!

Next time: The Last Son meets Guy Gardner.  Oh…and Bloodlines something or other.

FCTC EPISODE 135: REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN PART 1

Episode 135: Reign of the Supermen Part 1

Welcome to the one hundred and thirty-fifth 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 finally here!

REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN begins with this episode!

With the help of podcaster Jon M Wilson, the Boys (that would be Mike and Jeff) kick off the last act of the epic Death and Return of Superman in an…epic way.  In Action Comics #687, the Eradicator makes his first appearance in Metropolis (though not his first appearance in a Superman comic), and whoa to the criminals that cross his path.  Then, in Superman: The Man of Steel #22, Henry Johns…a.k.a. John Henry Irons, builds a suit of armor and takes to the streets as a Man of Steel!

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.

You can email the show by clicking this link. All questions, concerns, fears, trepidations and cheap shots are welcome.  Also be sure to give us a review over on iTunes and feel free to comment on the show here at the site!

Next Time: Reign of the Supermen continues with the introductions of a Cyborg Superman and someone that definitely doesn’t want to be called Superboy.

THE NATIONAL WHISPER

This is probably one of my favorite bits of advertising/merchandising from the Death and Return of Superman.

The National Whisper was a newspaper/tabloid that, for lack of a better way of describing it, served as the DC Universe’s answer to the National Enquirer.  It was a mainstay in the Post Crisis era and used mostly for comedic effect, such as when Lex Luthor supposedly died.  The Whisper was referenced in other versions of Superman as well, such as Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Apparently someone in marketing (or maybe it was someone on the creative side of things, I am not sure) thought it would be fun to put out an edition of the National Whisper that would serve to promote the then upcoming Reign of the Supermen storyline.

Do I have scans of that?

Why yes, yes I do.

That was the front page.  Here is the back.

Inside the paper, which was a free giveaway sent to comic shops if my memory isn’t failing me, the joking stop and the pimping starts.

I hope you’ll excuse my crude Photoshopping of the middle pages.  I know they don’t line up exactly, but I wanted to give you an idea of what the two page spread looked like.  Here are the two pages broken up for better viewing of the characters.

So there you have it.  Superman is alive and this paper has proof as well as advertisements for a really cool storyline.  What more could anyone ask?

More to follow…

ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #500 DELETED SCENES PART 4

Welcome back to the Fortress’ presentation of the “deleted scenes” from Adventures of Superman #500.  The collector’s/bagged edition of that comic had eight pages that were exclusive to that version and with few exceptions had never been reprinted, even in the trade paperback.  This time out we’ll be looking at the final two pages.

My caption for the first picture (if I were to write one) would be, “Superman has had enough of your @#$%.”  The second page is Clark and his father finally escaping whatever afterlife they have been trapped in.  It is a dramatic page and I love the look of determination on Superman’s face.  Both of these can be found in the Death and Return of Superman omnibus.  And that is it for thee “deleted scenes”.  I hope you liked them.

Next time: Superman’s alive and this paper can prove it.  Or it can serve as an advertisement to an upcoming story.  Six of one, half a dozen of another really.

More to follow…

ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #500 DELETED SCENES PART 3

Welcome back to the Fortress’ presentation of the “deleted scenes” from Adventures of Superman #500.  The collector’s/bagged edition of that comic had eight pages that were exclusive to that version and with few exceptions had never been reprinted, even in the trade paperback.  This time out we’ll be looking at the fifth and sixth pages.

By this point in the story Jonathan has found his son but is shocked to discover that Clark is being led away in what appears to be a religious procession.  Jonathan finds this awful uncommon odd because as far as he was told Kryptonians put science over worship.  Both pages are amazing and I especially like the coloring, which gives them an other-worldly feel.  The second page was used in the house ads for Adventures of Superman #500.  Both are featured in the Death and Return of Superman omnibus.

Next time: Fighty McFightenstein (trademark and copyright Andrew Leyland, all rights reserved) and let’s get the flock out of Dodge.

More to follow…

FCTC EPISODE 134: DEATH AND RETURN MAILBAG

Episode 134: Death and Return Mailbag

Welcome to the one hundred and thirty-fourth 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.

Once again Mike and Jeff buck the system and instead of beginning their coverage of Reign of the Supermen they spend about two hours reading the Death and Return of Superman related e-mails they have gotten over the past  few months.  You’ll laugh.  You’ll cry.  It will become a part of you.

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.

You can email the show by clicking this link. All questions, concerns, fears, trepidations and cheap shots are welcome.  Also be sure to give us a review over on iTunes and feel free to comment on the show here at the site!

Next time: REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN BEGINS!

ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #500 DELETED SCENES PART 2

Welcome back to the Fortress’ presentation of the “deleted scenes” from Adventures of Superman #500.  The collector’s/bagged edition of that comic had eight pages that were exclusive to that version and with few exceptions had never been reprinted, even in the trade paperback.  This time out we’ll be looking at the third and fourth pages.

These pages took place during Jonathan Kent’s quest to find his son in the afterlife.  The first page was an addition to the scene where he was tempted by Blaze and the second features more to his meeting with the being known as Kismet.  Of the two I prefer the Blaze page but the page of Jonathan falling through the cosmos is pretty darn cool as well.  While these pages were not in the World Without a Superman trade paperback they were included in the Death and Return of Superman Omnibus, which is kind of funny when you think about because they cut so much out of the overall story in that hardcover but left these pages in.  I’m glad they did but still…weird.

Next time: Hey, that’s Superman up there on that procession.

More to follow…

ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #500 DELETED SCENES PART 1

Over the next four days I am going to present the eight pages that were exclusive to the collector’s/bagged edition of Adventures of Superman #500.  At first I thought that I was going to have to list where the pages fit in with the newsstand version but I was happy to discover that the newsstand and collector’s edition both share the same page numbers, which makes sense but looks kind of odd.  I guess the guys and gals in production didn’t want to have to re-number the pages for the two editions. Instead they simply slapped an advertisement in the place of the extra page.  Again, interesting but kind of weird.

Anyway, here are the first two pages.

For those of you that would prefer to have some context with these pages they are from the scene where Gangbuster tries to break up what he thinks is a drug deal but is in reality a sting operations that he messes up.  They don’t really add anything major to the scene but at the same time they look really cool, especially that first one.  That page is a poster waiting to happen.

Next time: Jonathan Kent’s Not So Excellent Adventure.

More to follow…

THE MANY FACES OF ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #500

Remember when I posted the complete contents of Superman #75?  That was a lot of fun and people seemed to enjoy it.  There was so much to go through…so many cool little artifacts to uncover and share.  It was like National Treasure if the point of that film was for Nicolas Cage to find a sealed copy of the death of Superman and not whatever the heck he was trying to find in that movie I have never seen.

Anyway I thought I should give the same treatment to Adventures of Superman #500 since it too was a polybagged issue with an S on the cover.  Sadly Adventures #500 is not as exciting as Superman #75 was, but it still worth looking at.

So here we go.

Like Superman #75 Adventures of Superman #500 came in three flavors.  There was a newsstand edition that was released to…well…newsstands and had a gorgeous Tom Grummett/Doug Hazlewood cover.

The direct market edition of the book had a white bag with a non-bleeding/weeping S on the front.  As I mentioned on the episode of From Crisis to Crisis where Jeffrey Taylor and I covered this issue (which can be found here and here) I had gotten my hands on the newsstand version first.  A few years later I found the bagged edition for $5 at a one day comic show and that seemed to be (at the time) a fair price.  Now you can find that bad boy in the fifty cent bin, but that is beside the point.

The back of the bag looks a lot like this.

If you compare this collector’s edition bagged Superman comic to Superman #75 (which you can do by clicking on this link) you will see that the contents of the supposed return are not as… impressive as the death.  The easy shot to take at Adventures #500 is that all it had was eight extra pages and a promotional trading card for the Bloodlines set while Superman #75 was epic in its extras. I am not convinced it is an apples/apples comparison.  With the death DC was in uncharted territory and while I love all of the bits of business that came in Superman #75 it was, in all honesty, a bit much.  The armband was a nice touch and I liked the obituary, but frankly the stamps were a bit on the useless side.  Also Adventures #500 was a different sort of beast.  It wasn’t the actual return of Superman, so putting it in the bag and having the extra content was just enough for the story inside.

I could live without the card though.  Bloodlines was bad.

I mean really bad.

Holy crap did that “event” suck out loud.

I mean it was admirable to try and create a bunch of new characters to compete with Image and Marvel but the end result was pretty @#$%ing awful.  The fact that that “event” got a trading card set shows how far out of control the early nineties comic book landscape got.  It’s the comic book equivalent of waking up buck naked next to the chick that was wearing a lamp shade on her head at the party the previous night.  You remember that party, right?  You don’t?  Maybe that’s because you were @#$%-faced drunk.  And as the woman wakes up (still wearing the lamp shade, by the way) she looks at you, smiles and then vomits all over you and the bed and the floor and it is at that moment that you realize because this has already happened to you three times before you might have a problem with alcohol.

Yeah, that’s a good way to describe Bloodlines and what it represented for comics in the nineties.

The eight extra pages were cool.  Stay tuned over the next four days to see them if you haven’t had the chance to yet.

Here is the front and back of that card.

I wonder what the marketing meeting was like when they decided to include the Bloodlines card.

DC Marketing Guy #1: So we’re about to put out Adventures of Superman #500.  Superman #75 sold pretty good, so what should we do for this one?

(silence)

DC Marketing Guy #1: Come on.  Someone has to have an idea.
DC Marketing Guy #2: In all honesty I think we did all we could do with that sort of thing.
DC Marketing Guy #3: And really it was lightning in a bottle.  How can we top that?
DC Marketing Guy #2: Bob’s right.  I mean that book had a poster, an armband, stamps, a trading card promo…
DC Marketing Guy #1: What was that?
DC Marketing Guy #2: A trading card promo?
DC Marketing Guy #1: Brilliant!  We have that Bloodlines thing coming up.  We can tie the return of Superman into that card set.
DC Marketing Guy #2: You know that Bloodlines thing is awful, right?
DC Marketing Guy #1: That’s not the point.  We can try and sell the card series like it has something to do with the Reign of the Supermen.  That way all of those people buying that series will buy the Bloodlines cards and the comics as well.  This is great.
DC Marketing Guy #3: Isn’t that a little disingenuous?  I mean we built up a lot of good will with the people reading Superman.  It’s like we’re misleading them.
DC Marketing Guy #1: I fail to see the problem.
DC Marketing Guy #2: I mean the only thing worse than that would be to include a chase card in the set that had an offer for a special card featuring the “one, true Superman” that you could only get by sending the chase card in thereby forcing people to buy pack after pack or maybe an entire box of the cards to find the chase card so they could get the “one, true Superman” card.
DC Marketing Guy #1: (beat) Go on.
DC Marketing Guy #2: I hate you, Bill.

Moving on…

The cover to the bagged edition was drawn by Jerry Ordway and had this neat translucent thing going on with the hand of Jonathan Kent reaching out to Superman, who looked as if he was trapped beyond the misty veil of death.

Then, after you’ve finished appreciating the awesomeness that is Ordway’s artwork you notice that there is some kind of plastic thing on the cover.  Suddenly you are five years old again and you start picking and picking and picking until you peel the little plastic thing off and are left with this.

Now it looks like Superman wants to shake hands with you, which is pretty cool.

Finally there is the Platinum version of the book.  I managed to snag one for a pretty decent price last year at my current comic shop of choice (Dave’s Comics in Fayetteville, GA) and was beyond thrilled to own a copy.

There has been a bit of discussion over on From Crisis to Crisis about whether or not I should open my platinum edition of Superman #75.  I keep saying no, one of our listeners says I should do it and Jeffrey keeps trying to convince me that it has an alternate ending.  Despite wanting to keep that comic inside of a bag that has acids on it that are no doubt eating the book “alive” even as you read this I will admit that I am curious as to what that version of the death of Superman looks like.  Thanks to my good friend Alan Leach, Jr. I don’t have to wonder what the Platinum Adventures of Superman #500 looks like.  He had one out of the bag and sent me a scan.

And that is the long and short of Adventures of Superman #500, but the fun isn’t over yet.  As I mentioned earlier in the post I will be spending the next four days posting the eight extra pages that were in the bagged/collector’s edition of this book.  The art is amazing so if you haven’t seen them yet check back over the next few days.

More to follow…

FCTC EPISODE 133: JERRY ORDWAY INTERVIEW PART 2

Episode 133: Jerry Ordway Interview Part 2

Welcome to the one hundred and thirty-third 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 week Mike and Jeff conclude their two part interview with writer/artist Jerry Ordway!  In this exciting installment Jerry tells us more about the Death of Superman, Funeral For a Friend, Adventures of Superman #500 and so much more including a repeat of the origin of Bibbo and there is even a discussion on what religious figure Superman best represents.  It is an amazing hour and thirty odd minutes of audio and Mike and Jeff once again thank Jerry for being so generous with his time.

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.

You can email the show by clicking this link. All questions, concerns, fears, trepidations and cheap shots are welcome.  Also be sure to give us a review over on iTunes and feel free to comment on the show here at the site!

Next time: FCTC Mailbag…Doomsday style!