Friday, April 20, 2018

Review: Superman #45

I know that Action Comics #1000 came out this week and that is an historic issue that should be first in the review chute.

But before I cover that book and the future of Superman under the reins of Brian Michael Bendis, I feel I had to close the door on the Rebirth/Reborn era of the Superman family. And that means covering Superman #45 by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason. And this is an ending. It reads like an ending. And it reads like a metatextual ending as much as a storyline ending.

I said in a recent review, when discussing the ending of this run, that nothing gold can stay. There is some cosmic karma in that Robert Frost run because the team says it here as well. Yes, good things can come of change. Yes, people need to expand their horizons. But it is a shame when something that is still gold is going away.

The Kent family's life is changing. No more Hamilton farm. No more wheat fields. No more country days hanging out with Kathy. It is time to move on.

And this book is changing. No more Tomasi and Gleason leading this family forward. No more stories of father and son, no more mother and son, no more father and mother. This book sold well and was loved. And yet the creative team is being forced out to move on, cleaning up plot threads so 'new owners' can come in to the space.

It has to be both a story and a comment on things.

Thanks again Tomasi and Gleason. I loved this run and I hate to see you go.

On to the book.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Plastic City Comic Con

This weekend I will be heading to a new local con, the Plastic City Comic Con. Here is a link:

This seems like just the sort of low key con I could use right now. It a vendor heavy convention where I will be going to (gasp) thumb through comics and buy them! We finally leaving the doldrums of winter here. We are approaching my 'big con' season. This will be a great place to ease in.

And I am ready! I have heard only very good things about this con. Seems like a 'true' comic convention.

But it isn't all just shopping because a creator whose work I truly enjoy, J.M. DeMatteis, is going to be there as a guest of honor. And I can't wait to meet him.

DeMatteis has a long career with some major works in his oeuvre. Moonshadow, Spider-Man and Kraven's Hunt, JLA (Bwa-ha-ha) are just a couple of his biggest successes.

But I'm me, so I am bringing an eclectic group of books for signatures. And I am hoping he won't be too busy to answer some questions about these works. I will be bringing him  Wings , a little known Elseworlds which came out during the PAD Linda Danvers book.

I wonder if DeMatteis was a fan of that book. Did he pitch this or was it pitched to him? My gut tells me no one cares about this other than me. I wonder how often he gets asked about it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Supergirl Episode 314: Schott Through The Heart

It’s been two months of long hiatus since the last new episode of Supergirl aired. For me, it was a mistake, a lull in the middle of an intense season, it slowed momentum. The season restarted this week with a Winn centric episode which built on the foundation of his character from season one. There are almost no mentions of World Killers or Reign or Purity

In some ways it isn’t the best episode to return with. The main plot is on the back burner for another week. We get no Sam or Ruby. That’s one more week for memories to fade about  the particulars of that plot.

In other ways, it seemed right. We get good character moments from all the main players. Certainly Winn takes center stage.  But there are scenes with J’onn and Alex and James that remind us what we love about them while enriching their stories. And Kara gets great moments both as Suoergirl and Kara Danvers. So no better episode to reintroduce to the cast and remind us what we live about th m.

But also this episode continues the thread of loving and humanity as being a strength for people, not a weakness. I have said all along that Sam’s humanity and hr love for Ruby will win over Reign’s wickedness. That more than punches and heat vision will end the threat. And this episode shows how all the characters are dealing with family obligations and loving responsibility.

The bottom line is this was a fun chapter in this season,  very much a live action comic book with strong emotional beats.

And apologies for clunky writing, rough screen shots and any typos. This review was done on the fly while on a mini-vacation and away from usual tech. Onto the episode!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Review: New Super-Man And The Justice League Of China #22

New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #22 came out last week, ratcheting up the intrigue of the North Korean Aquaman and Kenan's continued struggles with his powers' origins.

I have been a fan of Gene Luen Yang's book since its inception. And current artist Brent Peeples has become more comfortable with the characters as his issues accumulate. But the thing that gets me is that this book has matured quickly. We have gone from a sort of idiot having the mantle of Super-Man thrust on him to a fully functioning super-team with inter-squad relationships and a growing rogue's gallery. Perhaps most surprising, it has never felt too fast or forced. This book has organically grown. And it has been entertaining the whole way through.

While the Aquaman side plot is a good one and brings the plot thrust here, it is Kenan's struggles that really grab me. His quest for balance while being a young kid with super-powers reads true. What happens in this issue makes sense.

I sort of see the writing on the wall. I fear this book is most likely ending soon and that is a shame.

On to the book.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sales Review: March 2018

The sales numbers for March have come out and things are both fascinating and frustrating. Here is a link to the ICv2 coverage:

For this blog, the big news has been the shelving of the Supergirl title.

'Bendis is Coming!' The landscape of the super-titles will be changed. Supergirl will have a 'new mission'. And it all seems strange when you look at the numbers.

I will also say I realize that sometimes I, as a reader, am impossible to please.

I want Supergirl to be her own hero, having her own adventures.
I want Supergirl to be part of Superman's life but not too much. If she isn't in his books or mentioned in his books I am unhappy. But I don't think his books or life should dictate her series.

And it is probably tough to satisfy all those things. If she wasn't impacted by whatever is happening in Superman's books, I wouldn't be happy. And yet, here she is impacted and I'm not happy.

Surely there can be some happy medium. If Batgirl and Red Hood and Batwoman and Nightwing can all somehow have their own titles *and* be part of the Batman books, it can be done!

So on to the sales!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Review: Supergirl #20

Supergirl #20 came out this week, the last issue of this volume of the title, the last issue of the Rebirth era, the last issue for writer Steve Orlando who has been here since the beginning.

It is painful to write that.

I have written too many times on this site that DC seems to pull the plug on Supergirl titles just when they are cresting creatively. And that is so true here. Since the end of the Phantom Zone storyline, Orlando and current co-writer Jody Houser have really tightened up this book, bringing us a fantastic Kara who is trying to improve the world around her, helping people while she learns about Earth. And artists Robson Rocha and Dan Henriques have brought such compelling and gorgeous art. Everything was working, the book was selling well with Artgerm variants; DC cancels.

But I am not here to curse the darkness. I am here to light a candle.

This is a wonderful ending issue, doing what last issues should do. It wraps up the ongoing DEO storyline very quickly; it has to. It puts the character in a very good place for whatever comes after. And it shows utter respect to the character.

But there are plenty of things not finished. Things I would have loved to read. There had to be more planned for Ben Rubel. There had to be more for Belinda Zee. There had to be more for the Danvers. We hadn't seen Cat Grant in months. Those are all threads that probably won't be seen again. Much like the unwritten threads for Sterling Gates and K. Perkins/Mike Johnson, or the ninth grade with Landry Walker and Eric Jones, I will always wonder what could have been.

I can honestly say that this has been a wonderful run for Supergirl. I wish there was more time. On to this book.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Mon-El Costume Change!

Some pictures have been leaked of Supergirl episode 314 and in it Mon-El is in a much more familiar costume and this Legion fan is pretty thrilled. Here is a link:

One of the things that strikes me is that I am honestly in a golden age of my fandom. If you asked me what are the two properties that have spanned my lifelong love of comics it would be Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes. Heck, I run a fan site for one and contribute to a fan site for the other!

And now I live in a time where Supergirl and the Legion are right there on screen.

While I didn't mind the black Legion stealth costumes that the members have sported on this show, this comic accurate costume is fantastic. Just embrace it. And I like the subtle S-Shield pentagon sewn into the shirt. Awesome.