EXCL. PREVIEW: Marvel's "Darth Vader" #9 Puts the Sith Lord at a Crossroads
Granted, John Williams’ soaring Superman score could make even footage of paint drying enjoyable. However, I’m pretty sure I’d pay to watch hours of streaming video of this Man of Steel action figure flying over London. Or anywhere, really.
Photo retoucher Barry Craig duct-taped the toy to a drone for a flight over Victoria Park. Asked on Reddit why the figure is moving so much, Craig explained that while the camera is attached to a gimbal, which stabilizes the footage, Superman is taped to the landing gear, so he shakes with the movement of the drone.
You may recall Lianne Moseley, the self-trained makeup artist who turns fans into faithful recreations of superheroes. However, she’s not the only one using cosmetics to make people look as if they stepped out of a comic book.
A hairstylist and freelance artist for MAC Cosmetics, Argenis Pinal uses makeup and body paint to similarly impressive effect, transforming ordinary (if well-sculpted) mortals into the likes of She-Hulk, Superman, Wonder Woman, Jean Grey, Carnage, Green Lantern, Wolverine and Cyborg Superman. Heck, even J. Jonah Jameson — now a blond! — spends some time beneath the brush.
The end of August also marks three full months worth of DC Comics’ line-wide relaunches. Naturally, the highest-profile of these are in the Superman titles, featuring a depowered and spiritually depantsed Man of Steel; and in the Bat-books, where a buff, mohawked James Gordon is the new Dark Knight. The two main Green Lantern books are also going through status quo upheavals, as Hal Jordan has gone off the reservation with a stolen power-ring prototype, while John Stewart, Guy Gardner and a handful of their colleagues have been hurled into parts unknown. (I’d say more, but it’d spoil the latest issue of Green Lantern: Lost Army.)
While I’m not exactly getting tired of these various plots, I am starting to wonder how long they can each be sustained. That, in turn, reminded me of similarly dramatic storylines that played out over much longer periods of time. I’ll be discussing a lot of storylines today, from the Silver Age to the present, and I’m sure I haven’t listed every possible one. (Spoilers: I won’t have time to get to a “dead and revived” list.) Some of these arcs were planned with endpoints, and some reverted to “normal” thanks to external factors. However, each tested the limits of readers’ tolerance for change.
To police in Nottinghamshire, England, the theft of a $33,000 watch looks like a job by Superman.
According to BBC News, authorities are searching for Superman Rostas, whom they say pretended to be a customer at a jewelry store in Newark, northeast of Nottingham. Using “distraction techniques” — and, we can only presume, super-speed — he allegedly made off with diamond-encrusted gold watch.
A 4-year-old in Trinidad is being celebrated as Superboy for helping to save his mother and aunt after their car drove off a cliff. His name? Kal-El Alleyne, suitably enough.
Trinidad and Tobago’s CCN TV6 reports the family was on their way to Maracas on Tuesday when their car skidded, and Kal-El’s mother Amanda Graham swerved to avoid oncoming traffic, sending the vehicle into a ravine and throwing all three occupants through the back window.
Some questions have plagued humanity for millennia: Why are we here? Is there intelligent life on other planets? Who would finish the New York City Marathon faster, Green Goblin atop his Goblin Glider or Batman in the Batmobile? Now handy infographic holds the answer to one of those. (I’ll let you guess which one.)
The New-York Historical Society will explore the history of superhero comics, and the city’s importance “as a creative force behind a uniquely American mythology,” in an exhibition called “Superheroes in Gotham.”
“Comics are a huge cultural force, but few remember their New York roots,” Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, said in a statement. “’Superheroes in Gotham’ will immerse visitors in the early days of comics and their evolution, so they can learn more about the genesis of their favorite characters, encounter new voices that continue the creative tradition today, and perhaps see aspects of their own neighborhoods imaginatively captured on the page.”
When an annoying, if confused, Dark Knight challenged a baffled, yet patient, Man of Steel last fall in the stop-motion animated short “LEGO Batman vs. Superman,” the confrontation didn’t end well for the Caped Crusader. Not well at all.
Now, nine long months later, Tommy Williamson and BrickNerd Studios have returned with the sequel “LEGO Batman vs. Superman 2: Dawn of Justice Desserts,” which finds the World’s Greatest Detective just as we left him: stuck beneath the overturned Batmobile.
A tire shop in New Zealand is changing its logo to avoid a costly legal battle with DC Comics, which insists its superhero mascot too closely resembles the Man of Steel.
The New Zealand Herald reports that Marie and Gene Young, owners of Super Tyre Guy in the small town Paeroa, received a cease-and-desist letter two weeks ago demanding they immediately stop using the costumed character.
Appearing on signage, T-shirts and a car advertising the Youngs’ business, Super Tyre Guy is dressed in a blue costume with orange (or perhaps red) cape, shorts and boots, and sports a diamond-shaped chest emblem containing the letter “G.” (For “Guy,” maybe?) It’s difficult to argue that the character doesn’t look a lot like Superman.
Political cartoons | Cartoonist Ted Rall, who was cut loose last week by the Los Angeles Times after the Los Angeles Police Department cast doubt on a blog post he wrote for the newspaper about being stopped in 2001 for jaywalking, has posted an enhanced version of the audiotape of that incident, which he says backs his version of the story. [aNewDomain]
Creators | Stan Lee waxes philosophical in an interview conducted at Boston Comic Con: “I think people need somebody to look up to as a role model, you know? Just like people need to believe in God, you need to feel there’s someone somewhere who can help you because you’re aware this is not a perfect world.” [Boston Herald]
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.
Creators | Political cartoonist Ted Rall talks to the local news about his firing by the Los Angeles Times, which concluded a post he wrote in May for its OpinionLA blog about being stopped by police in 2001 for jaywalking contained “inconsistencies.” Rall, who worked for the Times on a freelance basis, insists the audiotape of the incident provided to the newspaper by the Los Angeles Police Department doesn’t contradict his statements about being treated rudely and handcuffed. “I would do it all over the same way today,” Rall told CBS Los Angeles. “I’m disgusted that the Times took the LAPD’s word, based on nothing.” [CBS Los Angeles]
Legal | DC Comics has filed a trademark lawsuit against clothing manufacturer Mad Engine, claiming one of its T-shirt designs infringes on the iconic Superman shield (it replaces the signature “S” with “Dad”). The shirt was sold through Target, which isn’t part of the suit. DC sent a cease-and-desist letter to Mad Engine on June 1, but, the publisher claims, the clothing company didn’t respond until June 19 “in an effort to allow the Infringing T-Shirt to remain available for sale through Father’s Day.” [The Hollywood Reporter]
Retailing | David Harper asked 25 comics retailers how they feel about their business (spoiler: mostly optimistic), what their customer base is like, how they determine which comics to order (some really interesting comments here), and their thoughts on the industry as a whole. With the caveat that it’s a small group, it’s fascinating stuff. [Sktchd]
Last week, we pointed out that Wes Craig’s variant cover for The Flash #44, celebrating the 75th anniversary of Green Lantern, featured one Galactus-sized cameo. Marvel has now returned the favor with an even subtler guest appearance on one of its own front splahses.
Alex Ross’ cover for Secret Wars #8 is a gorgeous work of art, with Mr. Fantastic and Dr. Doom clashing in the middle as reality rips and explodes around them. You can see the origin of the Hulk; the death of Elektra; the birth of Franklin Richards; and even a ride with the Rawhide Kid, Kid Colt, and, oh, let’s say the Dakota Kid. Down in the bottom left corner of the cover is, of course, Spider-Man. But this isn’t a depiction of just any old “Spider-Man on a radio tower” scene, and he’s actually not alone in that image.
This month’s look at DC’s immediate future is going to be a little more concise than usual, because I am dealing with a summer cold which refuses to go away (and it has nothing to do with Comic-Con, to boot). If the Lord had visited a plague of mucous unto Pharaoh, it would have been something like this.
Anyway, in the wake of Comic-Con, DC has released its October solicits to remind us that all those ideas for movies and TV shows have to come from somewhere. Speaking of which, October is also the month when Flash and Arrow return to The CW, and when Supergirl debuts on CBS. Accordingly, I was expecting a little more tie-in product, but I guess that will have to wait.
The biggest news — at least in terms of reader commitment — comes once more from the Bat-office, in the form of the new six-month weekly miniseries Batman And Robin Eternal. Following up structurally, if not quite thematically, on 2014-15’s Batman Eternal, apparently it will deal with the repercussions of a case from the Dick-as-Robin days, and also it will bring back Cassandra Cain. The old case is advertised as “the most disturbing of their crimefighting career,” so yay for that. Presumably it’s “most disturbing to that point,” because by himself the Joker has probably committed a half-dozen fairly disturbing capers.