Axel-In-Charge: Navigating the "Civil War II" Landscape, Bringing DMC to Marvel
Most of us have warm memories from childhood of jumping from chair to chair, or running with a towel tied around our necks, pretending to be a superhero. Artist Jason Ratliff captures that feeling of boundless imagination, and an undeniable sense of nostalgia, in his new series of prints “Super Shadows.”
Conventions | A number of cosplayers at London’s MCM Comic Con reportedly had to hand over their fake guns due to the United Kingdom’s strict laws, which ban private ownership of both real handguns and realistic fakes. Anyone toting a BB gun or a black plastic pistol without a bright red or orange cap on the end had to turn it over at the door, although many owners got them back. Other types of weapons are banned as well, although replicas are allowed, and attendees could buy real swords and knives at the show and have them delivered to their homes. [NBC News]
Last week, presidential hopeful Jeb Bush weighed in on his favorite superhero, citing Batman before adding, “[Supergirl] looked pretty hot… I don’t know what channel it’s on, but I’m looking forward to that.” It wasn’t long before “Supergirl” star Melissa Benoist caught wind of that.
“I heard about it!” she revealed in a CBS interview. “I’m glad he’s excited to watch the show.”
“I think everyone would be able to take something from it, but I would really love to reach young girls, and to be a good role model for them,” she added.
She also weighed in on a scene from the pilot where her character dons a sexier costume, only to reject it on the grounds “that’s not her and that’s not what’s important about her.”
Following days of heated exchanges regarding his brother and 9/11, Jeb Bush should’ve welcomed a softball question about his favorite Marvel superhero. However, the struggling Republican presidential contender swung, missed and then got a little weird.
Appearing Wednesday at a Libre Initiative forum in Las Vegas, the former Florida governor initially seemed prepared for the question (“Who is your favorite superhero — Marvel, they have in parenthesis — and why?”), delivering a response tailored to the conservative audience. “I like watching the movies,” Bush said, “and I wish I owned Marvel, as somebody who believes in capitalism.”
Less than two weeks from the series premiere, DC Collectibles has unveiled a statue inspired by CBS’s Supergirl.
Based on the likeness of star Melissa Benoit, the 12.5-inch resin statue depicts the Maid of Might in her red-and-blue television costume. And the figure’s base features the superheroine’s iconic emblem.
Artist Clementine Campardou challenged herself to paint a new picture each day that she’d share through an e-newsletter “Colour Up Your Day.” Over the course of two years, she’s produced more than 500 paintings, mostly beautiful watercolors, featuring an eclectic mix of subjects, ranging from birds and flowers to movie characters and superheroes. A lot of superheroes.
Superman, Wonder Woman, Silver Surfer, Wolverine, Supergirl, Gambit — they’re all there, in some cases multiple times, alongside the likes of Goku, Totoro, R2-D2, Astro Boy and Ken from Gatchaman. Oh, and Prince.
The cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 (which hit comics shops in the first week of June 1985) screamed, “This is it! Double-sized SHOCKER!” However, the ending had been spoiled about two months before, when DC Comics revealed this was when Supergirl would die. (The April 10, 1985, edition of USA Today also revealed the fates of the Earth-Two Superman and Lois Lane, seven months early.)
Usually I try to be somewhat coy about Crisis’ plot twists, as if I were coming to it for the first time. With this, however, there’s little use. By now everyone and their super-cat knows Supergirl dies in Crisis, and it was pretty much the same 30 years ago.
Therefore, the question is how well does Crisis’ brain trust sell Supergirl’s death? It’s harder than you might think. Issue 7 is certainly one of the maxiseries’ best single installments (and that’s not a backhanded compliment); but the fact is that Supergirl not only dies to save Superman, she tells him how great he is with her last breaths. It doesn’t get much more meta than that.
It’s a good time to be a Supergirl fan. The preview for CBS’s Supergirl debuted a couple of weeks ago (and some of you may have even gotten to see — ahem — even more). Based on that, the show has been named one of the eight Most Exciting New Series by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Closer to home, the preview also inspired my colleague Caleb Mozzocco to ask whether there were any non-terrible Supergirl comics.
That took me back. As someone who remembers the full and frank discussions about Supergirl’s image in the mid-2000s, when the character became emblematic of the decline of superheroes, it’s very weird indeed to realize that Supergirl could be a standard-bearer for superhero television.
At the fifth annual White House Science Fair, a troop of Girl Scouts dressed as Supergirl hoped to save the day with a page-turning robot, NBC News reports.
The 6-year-old girls, who hail from Tulsa, Oklahoma, designed the robot out of LEGO for the purpose of helping the disabled. Donning red capes over their blue Girl Scout uniforms, they stopped by the White House in order show President Barack Obama their work and dazzled him with their know-how. “This is a quote. They said, ‘It’s just a prototype,'” he said.
Being a superhero may be a full-time job, but everyone’s got to have a life outside of work … right? Artist Des Taylor, creator of the upcoming series Scarlett Couture, answered that question recently with illustrations featuring the likes of Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Batgirl and Lois Lane, and they don’t disappoint.
“There are enough artists drawing them kicking the hell out of each other,” Taylor writes on his deviantART page. “I like to illustrate my favourite heroes doing everyday casual stuff.”
Over the past few years, Mike Maihack’s adorable Batgirl/Supergirl comic strips have become a holiday tradition. Today, the creator of Cow & Buffalo and Cleopatra in Space is back with a new Christmas edition, in which the eternally cheerful Maid of Might wants to go caroling in Gotham. Which is apparently a lot like trick-or-treating …
“I feel like every Batgirl/Supergirl comic I’ve drawn so far has led up to this one right here,” the cartoonist writes. “Anyhow, Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope everyone is okay if this is the last of these for a while. 2015 is going be a busy, busy year for me.”
Following DC Comics’ solicitations over the past few months has been fairly intriguing. The company’s West Coast move in early 2015 looms over all its actions, and makes it hard to gauge whether a new series or new creative team is a long-term commitment or a brief burst of experimentation. Moreover, that makes it tempting to say that anything you don’t like — or, for that matter, anything you do like — might be gone by April.
Oh, well. A little paranoia can’t hurt, but we’re not here to talk about that. Open a window to the November solicits and read along!
November brings new creative teams for Wonder Woman (the Finches and Richard Friend), Superman/Wonder Woman (Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke) and Supergirl (Mike Johnson, Kate Perkins and Emanuela Lupacchino). I’m still in wait-and-see mode on the Finches. However, after several years of reading Tomasi and Mahnke’s work, I feel like I know what’s coming from them. S/WW should look great, as Mahnke is no stranger to either Superman or Wonder Woman, having drawn JLA and various issues of the New 52 Justice League. I suppose I’m cautiously optimistic about Tomasi, because this is the sort of book that plays to his strengths. He’s good at reconciling and unifying different perspectives on characters, and that’s pretty much what S/WW has always had to overcome. Ironically, it’ll probably be less of a concern in the absence of Azzarello and Chiang, but I suspect Tomasi will keep those elements around.
“When you think of Superman in the 1950s, only a handful of artists come to mind – and Al Plastino’s one of them. Along with the likes of Wayne Boring and Curt Swan, Plastino brought a level of humanity to Superman that had never been seen before. This amazing, super-human being now had a smile like you or me. He brought out the human side of a modern myth. It was nuanced but game changing. We can’t thank him enough for his work at DC, and we’re thinking of all those close to him during this difficult time.”
– DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Dan DiDio, discussing the work of prolific Superman artist Al Plastino, who passed away at age 91
Prolific artist Al Plastino, who in recent weeks lobbied for the return of his original art for the 1964 story “Superman’s Mission for President Kennedy,” has passed away after a battle with prostate cancer, Mark Evanier reports. He was 91.
Born Dec. 15, 1921 in New York City, Plastino began illustrating for Youth Today magazine after he graduated from the High School of Industrial Arts. His first comics credit was on Dynamic Publications’ Dynamic Comics #2, cover-dated December 1941.
After serving in the Army during World War II, Plastino returned to freelance work and learned in 1948 that DC Comics was searching for a new Superman artist; according to his website, the publisher paid $55 a page at the time. For the next two decades, Plastino drew Action Comics, Adventure Comics, Superboy, Superman, Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane and Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen, and with writer Otto Binder created the Legion of Super-Heroes and Supergirl.
Warning: There will be a good bit of “in my day” talk in this survey of DC’s February solicitations. It’s the unavoidable contradiction of the publisher’s current superhero-comics model: Make everything “new,” but tease enough of the familiar old elements to keep longtime fans interested. While this practice goes back decades in corporately run superhero comics, the New 52 has tried so hard to distinguish itself that the old ways sometimes stand in even starker contrast.
Probably my biggest frustration with Forever Evil is its limited scope. Oh, sure, every electronic device on DC-Earth says “THIS WORLD IS OURS,” and writer Geoff Johns has teased a revamped Blue Beetle and Doom Patrol — but from the three issues published already and the three more solicited, it looks to be nothing more than Luthor’s Legion of Doom (plus Batman and Catwoman) vs. the Crime Syndicate. Ho-hum. We know the three Justice Leagues are imprisoned, the Teen Titans are bouncing through time, the Suicide Squad is depleted, and Nightwing is the Crime Syndicate’s prisoner, but where are the rest of the superheroes? What happened when they presumably rose up to challenge the Syndicators?