"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Film, Comic Books
Adding to what’s already a big day for fans of DC Comics toys, DC Collectibles has debuted six more action figures in its Icons line, including Batgirl of Burnside, complete with motorcycle.
And, as if the figures aren’t enough, there are also two new DC Icons Accessory Packs, featuring such items as Chi’P and Bat-Mite minifigures, Harley Quinn’s baseball bat and pie bomb, Jay Garrick’s helmet and a pair of Joker fish.
If you’ve been keeping up with the events in the DC Universe, then you know things are looking particularly grim for the good guys.
At the conclusion of “Trinity War,” the Justice Leagues faced an invasion from the Crime Syndicate of Earth-3 — “The birthplace of all evil,” as one character called it — evil counterparts of the Justice League. In the first issue of Forever Evil, these villains claimed to have killed all of the Justice Leaguers, they freed all the supervillains from all the super-prisons and organized them into an army called The Secret Society, they did some awful things to Nightwing and then even moved the moon to permanently block out the sun.
To mark the occasion of evil temporarily winning (again), DC declared September Villains Month, and is interrupting the ongoing adventures of its heroes with special “.1″ issues starring various villains. Each of these was to bear a fancy plastic 3D cover that jacked the price up a buck and ultimately created shortages, an artificial collectors/speculators market and irritated a whole bunch of retailers, many of whom were already pretty irritated by having to figure out how to order something like, say, Justice League #23.3: Dial E, which fused one of the publisher’s best selling comics with one of its worst.
We — and by that I mean you and I, for the course of this post — aren’t going to concern ourselves with that aspect of the books, however. Instead, let’s look under those covers, whether they’re the fancy plastic 3D ones or the regular, cheaper “standard edition” ones and concern ourselves with the quality of the comics concealed behind the covers.
Brazilian pop artist (and firm Robot 6 favorite) Butcher Billy recently told me he was working on a project that would appeal as much to readers of Time as to the readers of this blog. I believed him, and waited eagerly to see what he was going to come up with. He was right, and he’s excelled himself. He’s just posted The Legion of Real Life Supervillains at Behance, a gallery of images recasting some of humanity’s very worst as four-color miscreants.
In Billy’s own words:
“If back in the day comics and movies were pretty naive and faced only as pure escapism, today’s fiction has to evoke reality to create something truly meaningful… and frightening. This series is an experiment where a dictator, a psycho, a murderer (sometimes they are the whole package) or even a suspicious figure from real life is mashed with a comics bad guy – strangely related some way or the other with his counterpart. The depressing thing? Realising that if the comic book supervillains were actually the ones threatening real life, the world wouldn’t be such a bad place.”
This series raises all sorts of questions and invites all sorts of controversies. Some examples below, and be aware that Billy’s Legion of Doom includes a couple of choices whose presence in such nefarious ranks you may well disagree with. I might distrust Facebook’s ubiquity, but Mark Zuckerberg isn’t exactly a genocidal tyrant (yet).
Rafer Roberts is running a Kickstarter campaign for his Plastic Farm comic, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do other awesome things, too, like illustrate a three-page comic Justin Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode) wrote about Thanos, Darkseid and some very special coffee. I was going to lament that I can’t actually buy Thanos’ “Titan Love Letter” blend, but after hearing him and Darkseid talk about it, maybe it’s best that way. Grab a cup of your own favorite joe, read the rest of the comic, then go help Roberts out with a Kickstarter donation. That sounds like a great way to start the day. Continue Reading »
Comics | An original page by John Byrne and Terry Austin from Uncanny X-Men #137, the 1980 issue that featured the death of Phoenix, sold at auction Wednesday for $65,725. As ICv2 notes, the sale continues the trend of 1980s comic art going for high prices; a page of Frank Miller art from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #3 sold for $448,125 in May. [ICv2.com]
Digital | ICv2’s Milton Griepp makes the case for publishers to provide sales information on digital comics. “Why would this information be useful? There are a number of reasons. One is that it would help distributors (most importantly, Diamond Comic Distributors) and retailers selling physical comics and graphic novels identify which titles have the largest audiences in digital form. They could then make sure that they’re merchandising the top digital titles appropriately, so they can take advantage of demand for physical titles that results from digital exposure (we’ve been hearing that there’s a significant phenomenon of digital purchasers looking for collections of comics they’ve purchased online). Digital demand can also indicate potential demand for physical books from consumers that aren’t purchasing digitally; a good book, after all, is a good book, and if digital purchasers are finding a title that’s not as popular in physical form, it may indicate that there’s an untapped market of consumers of physical books as well.” [ICv2.com]
The Kirby Museum’s Kirby Vision blog points to a gallery of Jack Kirby-inspired cosmic artwork by artist Giorgio Comolo, and the results are pretty astounding. Click on through to check out several pieces, including some DC/Marvel mash-ups like the Teen Titans vs. the X-Men in the shadow of the Anti-Monitor vs. Galactus, Silver Surfer vs. Orion and more.
The artists behind this September’s “New 52″ have taken to Twitter, thanks once again to David Macho, revealing a whole lot of art from the new books that are due next month. There are a couple of hash tags to follow over on Twitter … #52splash will show you pages of new stuff from Greg Capullo (above), Scott McDaniel and many others. And as Kiel noted last week, #thenewvillains hash tag that kicked off last week slowed down after last week’s push, but a few new posts have popped up today.
And speaking of villains, I don’t think anyone has shared artwork yet for the villain of the new Justice League title — who it turns out is one of DC’s biggest and baddest, Darkseid.
Check out more artwork after the jump, and watch the hash tags for more!
Welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? This week our special guest is Robert Stanley Martin.
Robert writes for his blog Pol Culture, and is a contributing writer to The Hooded Utilitarian. He is a past contributor to The Comics Journal, and his essays on R. Crumb’s The Book of Genesis Illustrated and Eddie Campbell’s Alec: The Years Have Pants are featured in the soon-to-be-released The Comics Journal #301.
To see what Robert and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click on through …
Welcome to another installment of “Food or Comics?” Every week we set certain hypothetical spending limits on ourselves and go through the agony of trying to determine what comics come home and which ones stay on the shelves. So join us as we run down what comics we’d buy if they only had $15 and $30 to spend, as well as what we’d get if we had some “mad money” to splurge with.
Check out Diamond’s release list for this week if you’d like to play along in our comments section.
If I had $15, I’d spend the first $2.99 on the last King City, which definitely appears on this week’s list. Yay! Then I’d split the remaining $13 between two DC Comics: Paul Cornell’s Action Comics Annual #13 ($4.99), in which a young Lex Luthor meets Darkseid (Editor Wil Moss promised me on Twitter the other week that this will fulfill my sick, sick desire for more comics like Jack Kirby’s Super Powers toy tie-ins from the 1980s, so I’m entirely sold) and Vertigo Resurrected: Winter’s Edge #1 ($7.99), a collection of long out-of-print seasonal tales starring Vertigo favorites and forgotten ghost characters from Christmas Past. Be warned: I’m a sucker for Holiday comics, so expect to see me picking those a lot in the next few weeks. It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, after all.
This photo, taken by CBR’s Kevin Mahadeo during this afternoon’s “DC Nation Special Edition” panel, will haunt my dreams. No Omega Beam-related audience casualties have been reported.
And just as that first film was based on the first arc of the Superman/Batman comic, this one adapts the second arc of the Jeph Loeb-written comic, which reintroduced Kara Zor-El, AKA Supergirl, to the DC Universe. Superman/Batman: Apocalypse will again star Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy as Superman and Batman, and Firefly/Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles actress Summer Glau as Supergirl.
The movie follows Batman: Under the Red Hood, which comes out at the end of July.
Update: And not even 30 minutes after posting this, Warner Home Video sends out a press release on the animated film, which adds Ed Asner and Andre Braugher to the voice cast. You can read it after the jump.
A Twitter user called HoboDarkseid took the internet by storm this past August, leaving the world wondering “Who is the mad genius behind the dumpster-dwelling super villain?”
Actually, that’s a question I never thought to ask, as I assumed it was probably just some really clever fan. Turns out, though, that it’s a really clever comic writer, as revealed in this story on NPR.
Now we just need to find out that Spider-Man is really Grant Morrison, and the day will be complete.