INTERVIEW: Gail Simone Guides 'Blockbuster Update' of Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris
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.”
Although many collectors may still have their eye on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Japanese toymaker Medicom is looking ahead to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with the unveiling of MAFEX’s Dark Knight and Man of Steel figures.
Standing about 6.3 inches tall, the highly detailed Batman comes equipped with a Batarang, a grappling gun and what looks to be a grenade and an automatic weapon. Superman, meanwhile, gets a display stand to simulate flight.
Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved considerably stricter screening procedures for refugees from Syria and Iraq seeking resettlement in the United States, despite a veto threat from the White House. It’s a controversial and highly criticized move that has further sparked the current debate on whether or not the United States should allow Syrian refugees to enter the country, but it looks like Superman has already made his stance clear — 55 years ago.
With just a little more than four months until the premiere of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Merchoid has unveiled the first officially licensed T-shirts for the Warner Bros. film.
There are four designs (for now, at least): the Batman v Superman logo; a riff on a vintage boxing poster, with “The Gotham Guardian” pitted against “The Last Son of Krypton”; and two propaganda poster-inspired designs, one depicting a skeletal Batman, labeled “Gotham Demon,” and the other showing a crossed-out image of Superman with horns and the words “False God!”
One is the Man of Steel, the idealistic champion of truth and justice; the other is the Dark Knight, a relentless vigilante waging a one-man war against crime. Together, they fight evil and crack nuts.
Or, more likely, they sit idly on a shelf or mantle. But they could crack nuts, if called into action. Probably. On second thought, these new Superman and Batman nutcrackers from Kurt Adler are mostly decorative, so you may not want to rely on them for help with troublesome walnuts or pecans.
Ugly Christmas-sweater party season is just around the corner. People still throw those, right? If they do, Merchoid has you — and every other geeky guest — covered, in a blend of cotton and polyester.
The online retailer, which specializes in licensed pop-culture merchandise, has rolled out its nerdiest seasonal wear with ugly (but not heinous) sweaters based on characters from DC Comics, Star Wars, Adventure Time and more.
Legal | No, the lengthy battle over the rights to the Man of Steel still isn’t over. Attorneys for Warner Bros. and the family of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel on Tuesday were back before the Ninth Circuit to argue once again whether Siegel’s daughter Laura Siegel Larson was entitled to rescind a 2001 settlement agreement. The outlook doesn’t appear promising for the Siegel family. [Courthouse News Service, The Beat]
Political cartoons | The group Palestinian Media Watch has critiqued the cartoons of Palestinian political cartoonist Mohammad Sabaaneh as anti-Semitic, saying they dehumanize Jews and portray them as villains. Sabaaneh, who has done time in an Israeli prison, counters that he is simply reflecting the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his cartoons. [The Washington Post]
A century-old Scottish kiltmaker has unveiled a line of tartans inspired by Marvel and DC Comics superheroes.
It’s part of an effort by Paisley, Renfrewshire-based Houston Kiltmakers to spur interest in the traditional garments among a younger audience.
“I just did this to try and get to a younger generation and try to involve them with the tradition,” Stuart Davison, the company’s head of marketing, tells The Scotsman. “It’s a bit of an older generation thing at the moment.”
Following its release of the Superman: The Animated Series die-cut vinyl, Mondo has decided to give the Man of Steel’s opposite number some time in the spotlight. Or is that spot-dark? Low-light? Dang it, I can never get the hang of Bizarro-speak.
In any event, the art boutique has announced the Bizarro Superman: The Animated Series single, cut in the shape of the character’s backward-“S” emblem. The purple vinyl features Shirley Walker’s theme music, just like the previous release, but with a twist: The record plays from the inner-most groove out. So, yeah, Bizarro.
Although frequently criticized for its bleak tone, director Zack Snyder’s 2013 film Man of Steel film serves as inspiration for one New Mexico high school football team, which has embraced the words of Jor-El.
When it was time for the Española Valley High School Sundevils to get new uniforms, they took a cue from Superman’s Kryptonian father, who explained “The symbol of the House of El means hope,” and adopted that crest as their own. It’s of course recognized the world over as the stylized “S” emblem of Superman, only in this case that letter stands for “Sundevils.” But also “hope.”
It’s not easy to feel like you could save the world when you’re not sure you can make it until lunchtime. However, these Justice League-themed office products might be what you need to power through the day. Because who doesn’t like cool office products?
Available for preorder from Icon Heroes through the October Previews catalog, there are metal business card cases featuring the logos of Wonder Woman (item code OCT152828) and The Flash (OCT152827), priced at $30 each.
Frank Miller will return to the “Dark Knight” world this November with “Dark Knight III: The Master Race,” the conclusion of his Batman story that started with 1986’s seminal “The Dark Knight Returns.” Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson are illustrating the main story, but fans were left wondering to what capacity, if any, Miller himself would contribute art. That all changed Monday when DC unveiled cover art by Frank Miller for “Dark Knight Universe Presents: The Atom” #1, an Atom-centric minicomic included with the first issue of “Master Race.” The image is highly stylized, to say the least, featuring a wrinkled, grimacing Superman with huge fists and a noticeable bulge in the red underwear region. And boy, the Internet reaction was swift. The backlash was vocal, with fans Tweeting their disapproval, jokes and comparisons to Popeye and Miller’s output to the work of other divisive artists. io9.com jumped into the mix with a post titled “DC Lets Frank Miller Draw Superman’s Penis for ‘Dark Knight III.'”
Before too long, “Astro City” writer Kurt Busiek came to Miller’s defense with a string of tweets aimed directly at the haters. “This shot of Superman says everything Frank Miller wants to establish about Superman in this world,” tweeted Busiek before going on to further drive the point home that Miller’s interpretation of the Man of Steel is completely intentional. “It’s cartooning, it’s Frank presenting an idea of Superman that isn’t sleek and pretty,” Busiek said.
An uplifting trailer has debuted for Look to the Sky, the upcoming documentary that showcases the true stories of young people who demonstrated “the spirit of Superman,” whether in life-threatening experiences, overcoming hurdles or helping their communities.
Beyond that, however, it examines the cultural meanings of Superman and his continuing relevance.
As fierce as the showdown may be next year between Batman and Superman, it pales in comparison to the rivalry between iPhone and Android users. But among smartphone owners, which superhero comes out on top?
Yahoo Research posed that question — OK, and some others as well — to 1,000 smartphone users, evenly split between iOS and Android. Asked which superhero they’d prefer to be, 37 percent chose Superman, with iPhone users leaning more toward the Man of Steel; 25 percent went with Batman, who was more favored by Android owners.
Long characterized as a bit of a Boy Scout, Superman saw that reputation tarnished with 2013’s Man of Steel, where his climactic battle with General Zod resulted in a death count estimated in the hundreds of thousands (with nearly a million more injuries). However, amid all of the criticism, fans may have forgotten about all those other big-screen deaths for which the Last Son of Krypton is responsible.
Luckily Mr. Sunday Movies, which last month tallied Batman’s kill count, offers a gentle reminder, starting with 1980’s Superman II, and working its way through the list of how many times he has killed or “allowed someone to die.” The YouTube channel concedes the number is subjective, but it’s certainly worth noting that before 2013, the count stood at “just” eight (including the first time Superman killed Zod).