Thursday, June 27, 2013

Movie Talk - Man of Steel

Tonight on Law and Order: SVU, Detective Stabler faces a vigilante who enjoys beating the crap out of wifebeaters and corrupt politicians... If that was really the plot of Man of Steel, critics would have probably had something to laugh about. I would have too because that kinda sounds awesome.

Well, it's here. The review of Man of Steel. If there was one movie that has been pretty polarizing this summer, it's this one. Wars have been fought online! Cats and dogs have considered going to San Francisco! Tupac's back from the grave! Brother has turned against brother!  Marvel's actually putting out good crossover events... wait. Marvel doesn't put out good crossover events!

On a serious note, this movie has been one of those movies to talk about. I went to go see the movie before work on opening day and I saw the movie again with some friends Sunday. I'm not going to try to spoil the movie down below (shoot, the Internet has been doing that for the last few weeks),  but some stuff may slip out. So, if you want to click for a more in-depth opinion, you'll know where to click. 

Is this movie a good introduction? I think so. While it has some glaring flaws, it's not the worst thing to carry Superman's name on it. I had fun watching this movie. Heck, I really had fun watching it a second time, and that's rare because I never see movies in the cinemas twice. The characters and acting was good for the most part. Cavill definitely sold it as Clark/Kal/Superman and I do like the suit. I do wish the suit had an actual belt though. The action scenes were good for the most part, the effects were good , and the score kicked some butt (Not mine though).  I'll be going a little in-depth below.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Random Pics of the Month - June

Don't worry, I didn't forget. For this month, I've decided to show a few images of my favorite Superman artists. Now, there are other great Superman artists out there. These are just the ones that I really like. The list is really in no particular order.

1. Dan Jurgens

2. Bob McLeod (..of the Clan McLeod!)

3. Curt Swan

4. Jim Lee

Monday, June 24, 2013

Movie Talk - Direct to DVD Superman Movies Part 1

Well, it's that time. By now, I've already have seen Man of Steel twice. I just saw again it with  some friends on Sunday, so my review for that is going to wait for a minute. Tonight's post is going to look at the direct-to-DVD movies that were done by Warner Bros. Premiere and that  primarily involve Superman. Now, I won't be looking at the Superman/Batman movies nor the newest one, Superman Unbound. I haven't seen Public Enemies nor Unbound yet, so those will come at a later date.  With that being said, let's dig into these movies a bit.

I've pretty much have seen a majority of these DC movies. I own Justice League: New Frontier and that's about it. I've seen most of the rest through the Internet, TV, or by renting them. I've enjoyed DC's line up of these movies for the most part. One I really want to see is that Wonder Woman movie because I heard it was pretty good. I like that most of these movies have been somewhat adapted from the comics. For example, I really enjoyed JL: New Frontier. It got me to buy the first volume to DC: New Frontier.

As I said earlier, I've seen most of the Superman ones. I saw Superman: Doomsday on YouTube a long time ago. When All-Star Superman and Superman/Shazam: the Return of Black Adam came out, I rented them through Redbox. Superman Vs. the Elite was another online one. I think it was Daily Motion or something. Anyway, I've recently watched all except for Superman: Doomsday on Netflix. Still, I remember enough of Superman: Doomsday to talk about it.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Graphic Novels - Superman: Red Son

There is a place that sits beyond the normal DC Universe and it's only known to few... or many. It's a plane of existence where virtually anything can happen to our favorite characters. On one world, one single nail kept Kal-El from being raised by the Kents. In another world, we see a dark future where superhumans are running rampant and judgement is coming. In another, the Sentinel of Liberty meets the Dark Knight in World War 2. All of these worlds have something in common... they are known as Elseworlds.

By the way, yes, I like The Twilight Zone.

Welcome back to the Month of Superman where I will be looking at a miniseries from the 2000's called Superman: Red Son. It was printed under the Elseworlds imprint. If my description above didn't help you, Elseworlds were modern versions of "Imaginary Stories." They mostly stood alone and in their own timeline. I really own about a few of them like Kingdom Come, a Flash Annual, and this one. Anyway, back to this story. I watched the motion comic version of this story on YouTube a couple of years ago. Since it is an acclaimed story, I decided that this would be one I would look at here.

The writer for this book is someone we've seen before: Mark Millar. While he's known for things like Wanted and The Ultimates, he's not a stranger to Superman. He was a writer on Superman Adventures, a book that looked at the adventures of the animated Superman from the 90's. He was also one of the writers who pitched an idea called Superman 2000 back in 2000, I believe. The pencillers are Dave Johnson and Kilan Plunkett. Johnson is mostly known for his artwork on 100 Bullets and Plunkett is mostly known for  his work on Star Wars comics. The inkers are Andrew Robinson and Walden Wong. With all of that said, let's look at the man who stands for "Stalin, socialism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact"... just give me a second to laugh at that.

When trying to write out a detailed synopsis, I realized something: this thing is dense. It may even be a little too dense to do a synopsis on, so I'll just do the main points and fill in some detail.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin! - Superman #186

This installment of Tales from the 50 Cent Bin is brought to you by Leonard Nimoy.

"If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning."

Great words, I guess. So, I've got two (or three!?!?) stories/issues left to look at, and this issue comes from the hip, peace-loving, war-making 60's. Today's issue is Superman #186. I was trying to find an issue from this decade and that's hard because most issues cost a lot. Luckily, I was able to find this one for 7 bucks, which is kind of a shock. Most issues from this decade run up a lot especially if they're in good condition. Anyway, I've got two stories for this post because the book usually ran with two stories at this time. Well, enough of the preambles! On to the issue!

"The Two Ghosts of Superman!"
Writer: Otto Binder
Artist: Al Plastino

The story starts out as reformed mobster, Flashy Fisher, comes to Clark Kent with an offer to dig up some lost treasure. He claims that he was told about the location by the ghost of Captain Kidd. Clark considers Flashy has had a little too much of "The Jack Daniels," but checks out his claim as Superman. The claim turns out to be true and Superman donates the treasure to charity. Clark then traces this claim and another claim that involves the ghost of Jesse James to Sir Seer, a psychic with the power to pull ghosts from the spirit world. Think "Ghost Whisperer" without the fine-looking Jenifer Love-Hewitt. To find out the truth, Clark, Lois, and Lana go to check this guy out.

Monday, June 17, 2013

TV Talk - Max Fleischer's Superman

How is  that even... oh yeah, Superman.

Welcome to a pretty light edition of TV Talk. Today's post is going to look at the animated Superman series from the 1940's. All I have to say about the cartoon is below, so let's get to it!

My first inkling of this version of Superman came in the form of a boxed  video set of old cartoons. My great aunt and uncle had sent us the set for Christmas. I know there were episodes of Looney Toons and Merry Melodies in there. There was a Popeye video and a Woody Woodpecker video (though I vividly remember only one Woody cartoon showing up on the video). Then, there was a video that had three 8-minute episodes of this cartoon. I had some exposure to the Man of Steel through some comics, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, the movies, and I think Superman: TAS (I think it was out at that time). Unfortunately, the video got lost or destroyed.

A few years ago, I remember that Wal-Mart had a lot of cheap DVDs that had a lot those old cartoons on there. The ones I really remember us getting were ones that had Daffy, Bugs Bunny, Popeye, Betty Boop (for my sister), and Superman. I know that I watched through one of the Superman ones. Unfortunately, those DVDs aren't playable anymore. I don't know what happened to them or who scratched them up. Luckily, all of the Superman episodes are able to be viewed online, so I've decided to look at all 17 episodes over the weekend. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin - Action Comics #10-#12

So, Grant Morrison... is bald... and looks like Lex Luthor! Don't worry, those could be considered to be good things as well.

In this post for the Month of Superman, I'll be coming to the 2010's and looking at a couple of issues from the Grant Morrison's run on Action Comics. Since I've looked at the first two arcs of his "good but okay" run last year, I'll be looking at Action Comics #10-12. Now, I can safely say that I'm a semi-fan of Grant Morrison. I've read  most of his recent DC stuff though I may be one of the only Superman fans who hasn't completely read All-Star Superman yet. I did enjoy the movie based off of the story though. I even liked Final Crisis which is something I'll be getting to later after I'm out of "Themed Month Rage." With all of that being said, let's see how this new Superman deals with Clark Kent being _____! By the way, I'm only looking at the main features, not the back-ups.

Action Comics #10-#12
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists (...): Rags Morales, Brad Walker, and Cafu 
Inkers: Rick Bryant, Brad Walker, Bob McLeod, CAFU, and Andrew Hennessy

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin! - Action Comics #440

This installment of Tales From the 50 Cent Bin has been brought to you by He-Man, the most powerful singer in the universe!

Dang, you know you're out of ideas when you're using something from Mr. "Power of Grayskull."  Today, for The Month of Superman, I'm looking at another comic from the 70's. It was an older comic for a cheap price and the cover was interesting. That's all I really got for a preamble. The writer for the book is Elliot S! Maggin, and the artists are Curt Swan and Bob Oksner. With all of that out of the way, let's see how weird this issue really is. For an added bonus, I'll also take a quick look at the Green Arrow Back-up feature for this book.

Action Comics #440
Writer: Elliot S! Maggin
Artists: Curt Swan and Bob Oksner

The Man who Betrayed Krypton!
The story starts out with a recreation of the cover, which looks good pretty good. The story properly starts as... we see an older man named Michael Coram talk to two teens. He tells them he can can make them important and rich if they follow him. They follow him and the captions say that "he is a monster... a Human Monster!" Hmm... yeah, this is kinda disturbing. Luckily, we shift scenes to STAR Labs where news reporter Clark Kent is interviewing a a scientist named Thomas Woodrow. Suddenly, a super-duper tank (yes, it's called that) starts to attack the building. The scientists get out, but Clark intentionally trips up so he can kick some villain butt as Superman.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Graphic Novels - Superman: Time and Time Again

While trying to save Booster Gold from a time traveler called the Linear Man, Superman was forced into a time portal and vanished. When he reappeared, he found himself in another time without a way to get back home. His body and suit is soaked with time particles that activate whenever he is in the center of an explosion. He even gets himself involved with his surroundings in all sorts of ways. Fortunately, the Linear Man, who is in charge of keeping the timeline safe, is trying to get Superman home. Trapped in time itself, Superman must leap from time to time, save lives, and hope the next leap will lead him home. 

If you don't know what I'm trying to parody, Click here and you'll know.

And now, it's time for a Superman storyline from the 90's. I first heard about this storyline on From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast a couple of years ago. The story did sound interesting, so I decided to go out and find all seven issues of the storyline. I was even able to find the issue the came right after the storyline which served as an epilogue the event. The issues are these: Adventures of Superman #476-478, Action Comics #663-665, and Superman #54-55. I got seven-ish issues to go through, so this will be a simple synopsis, an opinion, and the highlights. With all of that said: let's see what happens when a present day Superman meets Hitler!

*Note: Superman doesn't actually meet Hitler. Gotcha!

Superman: Time and Time Again
Writers: Dan Jurgens, Roger Stern, and Jerry Ordway
Pencillers: Dan Jurgens, Bob McLeod (of the Clan McLeod), Jerry Ordway, and Tom Grummett
Inkers: Dennis Janke, Brett Breeding, Bob McLeod, and Jose Marzan Jr. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin - DC Comics Presents #85

So, Alan Moore... yeah, I got nothing. He's not one of my favorite writers, but I do like his stories.

This third story for the Month of Superman is going to look at a story from acclaimed writer Alan Moore. He's known for a lot of things like his run on Swamp Thing, Supreme, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta, and some random book called Watchmen. He's also done a couple of things for Superman. Two of the stories he's penned are known to be some of the best Superman stories of all time. The story I'm looking at today is not either of them though. It's from the book DC Comics Presents which was a Superman team-up book.

Of course, the writer is Alan Moore. The penciller is some guy named Rick Veitch. I've never heard of him till now, but I've read that he was an artist on Swamp Thing. That makes sense since Moore was writing that book at the time. The inker is the late Al Williamson. I don't know much about him either, but it looks like he made a long career out of being an inker.

DC Comics Presents #85
Writer: Alan Moore
Penciller: Rick Veitch
Inker: Al Williamson

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Graphic Novels - Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali

This installment of Graphic Novels is brought to you by the makers of Superman: Brainiac Attacks... No, I don't know what the heck they were thinking either in making that piece of... "Who-Ha!"

Welcome back to the Month of Superman. This time, I'll be looking at this big match-up from the 70's. Now, I literally just got this book a couple of days ago. I've never read it till now mostly because it wasn't too high on my "Find" list. It's not that I thought bad of the overall premise, it's just I didn't know if I would find it for a good price. I'm not a really big boxing expert or anything, but I do like the history of it especially when it concerns Muhammad Ali's era. I think I get most of my interest in that era because of my dad.

The creative team for this 60-page book involves names Dennis O'Neil, Neal Adams, and Terry Austin. O'Neil is mostly known for his work Batman, but he did do something Superman related: "Kryptonite Nevermore!" Neal Adams is also known for his work on Batman and is just an all-around good artist. I know Austin for his work on Uncanny X-Men and I also read in the deluxe edition that this was his first major work.With names like these, this book should rock, right?

Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali
Writers: Dennis O'Neal and Neal Adams
Penciller: Neal Adams
Inker: Terry Austin

The story starts out as two boxing gloves hit one another and "Eye of the Tiger" plays in the background... wait, wrong decade and wrong "Superman."

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin - Superman #404

Well, it's the Month of Superman in more ways than one. Since Man of Steel is coming out this month, I decided move this themed month to June this year. September will be used for another theme: ... You'll know when I know. Anyway, I decided to look at eight different stories that involve Superman going through something whether it's facing weird old men, being born in other countries, or "doing the Sam Beckett (or is it 'Becket?')." I've tried to pick one from each decade starting at the 60's. Since I couldn't make up my mind on which stories to do, you'll be getting two from both the 70's and the 80's. Today's story is from the 80's.

I wanted to find something from this decade and I saw this issue for a cheap price. The thing that really got me about this book is the cover. It sets up a nice premise, but does the issue tell the story well? Find out below.

Superman #404
Writer: Paul Kupperberg
Artist: Carmine Infantino
Inker: Bob Oksner