Wednesday, September 30, 2015

TV Talk - Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Overview

Well, I’m back with my ultimate say on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Basically, all I’m talking about today is what I liked, what I disliked, what I wished they did, and my favorite episodes of the show. Now, did I think this was a good show? Yes, I think it was even when it got pretty bad in the later seasons. I’ll get to why below.

I liked the overall concept of the show where it focused on life at the Daily Planet instead of Superman’s never-ending battle against evil. I thought the main cast was solid for the most part. Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher were a good Clark and Lois. While they might not be the best live-action versions ever, they were still pretty good. Lane Smith was a good Perry White while K Callen and Eddie Jones were good as the Kents. While Justin Whalin was okay as Jimmy, Michael Landis was a better one. Then, there was John Shea who played an awesome Lex Luthor.

You had some good villains in there even though a lot of them were subpar. There was Lex, Tempus, a son of Lex Luthor, and a few others. The first season was probably its best season since it had a mix of everything. The second season was about on par with the first season. While the latter two seasons have their issues, there were some good episodes in there. I always liked the theme song. While it’s not the movie theme or even the theme from Superman: The Animated Series, it’s good. It was also fun to see what guest star would show up on here. The show even had some good continuity in the four seasons.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Trade Tales! - The Return of Superman

So, I’ve have looked at lot of homages to Superman this month. My next four (yes, four) aren’t homages as much as they are replacements. That’s right, I’ve finally gotten to this part of the Death/Return of Superman story arc from the 90’s. The Return of Superman pretty much contains all of “Reign of the Supermen,” the arc that had four heroes posing as Superman. I’ve already looked at the Death and the Funeral and enjoyed them both. Today, I’ll be seeing how well this stacks up with the rest of the story line.

The trade more or less has every issue from “Reign of the Supermen.” We have Superman: The Man of Steel #22-26, Superman #78-82, The Adventures of Superman #500-505, Action Comics #687-691, and Green Lantern #46. Pretty much everyone from the previous arcs are here on the book. The biggest change is that Karl Kesel replaced Jerry Ordway as writer of The Adventures of Superman. We also have Gerard Jones, M.D. Bright, and Romeo Tangal for the Green Lantern tie-in. So, sit back because this may be a long one.

The Return of Superman
Writers: Dan Jurgens, Louise Simonsen, Roger Stern, Karl Kesel, and Gerard Jones
Pencils: Dan Jurgens, John Bogdanove, Jackson Guice, Tom Grummett, and M.D. Bright
Inks: Brett Breeding, Dennis Janke, Denis Rodier, Doug Hazelewood, and Romeo Tangal
Colors: Glen Whitmore and Anthony Tomlin
Letters:  John Costanza, Albert DeGuzman, and Bill Oakley

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - The Adventures of Superman #624

Hello and hello. Well, I have one more Super-Analogue for the month before the grandness of… some four dudes. Anyway, today’s analogue is another one I really know little about: Mister Majestic aka Lord Majestros. He is also from the Wildstorm Universe exactly like Apollo.  Unlike Apollo (who was apparently a government experiment), Majestic is a Kheribum from another planet. He lived on Earth for centuries and was also fought against the Daemonites. I know he had to have been one of the Wild C.A.T.S. at one time. I actually saw him in one episode of the short-lived animated series from the 90’s.

When Wildstorm was acquired by DC, it was decided to have him interact with the then-current DC universe for a while. He was brought in during a story-arc in Superman that involved time shenanigans.  Also, Superman’s missing for some reason. This was right before the “Godfall” arc, so I guess that’s why he’s missing. The Adventures of Superman #624 was where he made his mark. It was written by both Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. The pencils were done by Karl Kerschl.

The Adventures of Superman #624
Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Pencils: Karl Kerschl
Inks: Renato Guedes and Oclair Albert
Colors: Tanya and Richard Horie
Letters: Nick J. Napolitano
Associate Editor: Tom Palmer Jr.
Editor: Eddie Berganza

Saturday, September 26, 2015

TV Talk - Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Season 4

Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Season 4… Where can I begin? I guess I can start off by apologizing for taking so long with this one. It took a while for me to get it. Then, I held off watching it for a while to the point where I just decided to watch and talk about it this month. I have to admit I was a little nervous since the show did take a nosedive in the third season. I thought it might get worse. Well, I can honestly say that… well, that would be spoiling, wouldn’t it?

The final season of the show was debuted during September of 1996. Its last episode aired during June of 1997. I actually do remember some episodes from this season but not all of them. This was when the show started to get moved around to different time slots. I do think my interest in the show had also went down by this time since I wasn’t looking for it during the next TV season. That’s kind of sad for that to happen. I felt the same way about the TV show, Heroes, when it finally went off. Hopefully, its revival, Heroes Reborn, can be good.

Anyway, there were no major cast changes this season. Everyone from the previous season is still here. The season starts off with a two-parter that wraps up the New Krypton business. Then, the two finally get married. DC Comics even had the two get married in the comics on the week this aired. Even though they’re officially hitched, the trouble never stops with time travel, false imprisonments, body-switching, accelerated aging, and PO’ed folk being a nuisance. We also don’t get many villains from the comics again. Lois and Clark also deal with the fact that they may want to have kids one day as well as other marital issues. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Stormwatch #1

Today’s Super-Analogue is another one I really know little about: Apollo from Stormwatch and the Authority. He first appeared during Warren Ellis’s run on Stormwatch back in the 1998 for Wildstorm. He’s known for being one of the more prominent gay superheroes in comics. He was in a long relationship with Midnighter, a Batman homage. If you’re one of those Superman/Batman shippers, this might be for you, I don’t know. When Jim Lee came to DC, his characters came along with them and existed in their own separate universe.

When DC decided to reboot in 2011, they brought along a lot of the Wildstorm characters into the main universe. We had Grifter, Voodoo, and Stormwatch, a team that Apollo is known to associate with. Since I really didn’t know where to start with this character, I picked up the first issue to Stormwatch. Stormwatch #1 was written by Paul Cornell, a guy who I should probably read more of. I enjoyed his time on Demon Knights, another New 52 title. Miguel Sepulveda handled the pencils and inks to the issue.

Stormwatch #1
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Miguel Sepulveda
Colors: Allen Passalaqua
Letters: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Sean Mackiewicz
Editor: Pat McCallum

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Astro City #1

Next up on the list is another homage I know little about: The Samaritan from Astro City.  He’s a time traveler who gained his abilities through traveling in time. Kurt Busiek's Astro City is a series that was created by Kurt Busiek In the mid-1990’s. The series looks at a variety of heroes, villains, and regular people in this universe. A lot of it homages different characters from comics. It’s been shipped around to different publishers like Image and Vertigo. I found the first trade at McKay’s sometime ago. I knew about the character and series, so I wanted to pick this up. I actually found an old leaf in the trade and it’s still there now. I guess whoever owned it was a leaf fan.

I’ve decided to look at the first issue in the trade since it focuses on the Samaritan.  The whole trade was written by Kurt Busiek. The pencils and inks were done by Brent Anderson. The colors were done by Steve Buccelatto and Electric Color. Lettering is done by Richard Starkings and Comicraft. Alex Ross was behind the covers to the series and even helped out with the designs of the characters.

Astro City #1
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Brent Anderson
Colors: Steve Buccelatto and Electric Color
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft

Friday, September 18, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #4

Today’s super homage is a familiar one: Captain Marvel. Yes, I know he’s called Shazam in the current continuity, but he’s the Captain in this book. I and a lot of people knew the difference between the names, DC… and Marvel. I know Marvel also has a Captain Marvel. Anyway, he was probably the first homage/ripoff, debuting in Fawcett Comics’ Whiz Comics back in 1940. He’s Billy Batson, a young boy who transforms into an adult with all sorts of superhuman abilities. Talk about a literal power fantasy.

Because of a lawsuit from DC in the early 50’s, Fawcett had to stop publication of the character for being too similar to Superman. In the 70’s, DC actually got the rights to Captain Marvel and integrated his world into the DC universe. They had his world be a part of the Mulitverse. After Crisis on Infinite Earths, the character and his supporting cast got integrated into the main DC universe. Today’s issue is Superman:The Man of Tomorrow #4 from 1996. This book was released whenever a fifth Wednesday would pop up. It’s written by Roger Stern with pencils from Tom Grummett and inks from Brett Breeding. So, let’s see what happens as a boy and his wizard come to Metropolis.

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #4
Writer: Roger Stern
Pencils: Tom Grummett
Inks: Brett Breeding
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: John Costanza
Separator: Digital Chameleon
Editor: KC Carlson
Consulting Wizard: Jerry Ordway

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Trade Tales! - Irredeemable Volume 1

“Mark Waid is Evil”... well, it has to be someone. I guess Joe Quesada, Dan Didio, Victor Von Doom, Satan, Random McRandomson, and Big McLargeHuge were already taken up by other people.

The final (sort of…) bad boy on the list is another one that I’ve only gotten into recently. It’s weird and maybe even sad because this one didn’t start out that way. In 2009, writer Mark Waid got with Boom! Studios to produce a comic about the world’s greatest hero becoming a villain. Irredeemable was its name and the hero/villain went by the name of the Plutonian. I never really had much interest in reading this mostly because I didn’t know who Boom! Studios was. Also, my wallet tends to do the talking. I did hear about how good the series was. When I decided to do this month, I searched for the first volume and got it for pretty cheap.

Mark Waid, a guy who should have been on a regular Superman book at one point in DC’s history, is the writer. The art is provided by Peter Krause. I have been exposed to some of his work before this and I’ve even talked about it here. He did some fill-in issues on The Adventures of Superman in the 1990’s. I remember not liking some of his artwork there too. I might not say the same about this now though. Ed Dirkshire did lettering and Andrew Dalhouse did the colors. So, let’s see what happens as a hero decides go all Anakin Skywalker/Hal Jordan/ insert any other hero that has gone bad.

Irredeemable: Volume 1
Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Peter Krause
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Editor: Matt Gangon

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Trade Tales! - New Avengers: Sentry

Next up on the list is Marvel’s Golden Boy: The Sentry. It’s been said that he has the “power of 10 million suns” or something like that. His name is Robert Reynolds and he first appeared in The Sentry #1 from 2000. After that mini-series, he was brought back into the universe in New Avengers #1 from 2004.  I kind of talked about him in my look at the first New Avengers arc, “Breakout.” I also mentioned him briefly in the Blue Marvel post. Both characters have one thing in common: they were retconned heroes that were created in the 2000's. While Blue Marvel had something more relatable (bloody racism) with his disappearance, the Sentry’s story is a bit different and maybe convoluted. I’ll get to that today.

“Sentry” was the next storyline for the book. I had the issues but they’ve somehow disappeared from my collection. I don’t know if I got rid of them or just lost them, so I now have the trade of the storyline. The storyline went through New Avengers #7-#10. Brian Michael Bendis wrote the story. Steve McNiven took over the penciling duties for this arc from David Finch. McNiven is possibly best known for his work on the Marvel crossover, Civil War. That’s something I know I have to look at before the new movie comes out.

New Avengers: Sentry
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Steve McNiven
Inks: Mark Morales and John Dell
Colors: Morry Hollowell and Laura Martin
Letters: Richard Starkings and Albert Deschesne

Friday, September 11, 2015

Tales From The $3.99 Bin! - Superman Unchained

In the last couple of years, Superman has gone through some changes with the New 52 and with the whole DC You phase. Don’t worry, folks. I’m not going to harp on about current stuff because I like most of it. Yeah, I’m not a fan of the concept of his identity being leaked (spoilers, by the way), but some of the stuff has been good. As you can tell by the image to the right, I ain’t talking about that today. I just wanted to get that out.

Superman Unchained was a new series released at the time Man of Steel was released in theatres. I think I got the first issue right before I saw the movie and I stayed with the series until the end. The big draw of the thing was that it had Scott Snyder (no relation to Zach Snyder) writing and everyone’s favorite slow artist, Jim Lee, handling the main art. Dustin Nguyen handles some 2-page backups and an extended flashback sequence in the later issues. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be an ongoing series or a miniseries. It was supposed to last 12 issues, but thanks to some slowness in the art, it got stopped at only nine issues. I’m looking at this today because it features a character that’s an analogue to Superman: Wraith. I’ll get to him later down below.

Superman Unchained
Writer: Scott Snyder
Pencils: Jim Lee and Dustin Nguyen
Inks: Scott Williams
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Sal Cipirano
Editors: Chris Conroy and Matt Idelson

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Tales From the $3.99 Bin! - Justice League #24

This week is going to be dedicated to the darker imitations. T While a couple of these dudes aren’t bad, they do have qualities that are a bit worrisome to others around them. Then, you get to the unrepentant sons of guns. These nutjobs I’ll get to this week don’t care about nice stuff. They’re selfish, psychotic, and all-around not very nice.

First up is Ultraman from DC Comics. He is from an alternate Earth (either Earth-3 or an Anti-Matter Earth) and is part the Crime Syndicate of America, an evil version of the Justice League of America. You got to see some of his badness back in Final Crisis: Superman Beyond. Yeah, he was the version of Superman who was about to pop a vein in every panel he’s in. The original Earth-3 version has recently made a return in the New 52. Forever Evil, DC’s first major crossover in about 2 years (not counting crossovers between the Superman and Batman families), brought back the original group with a few exceptions.

In the event, the Justice League is taken out by the Syndicate. The Syndicate then takes over the world and tries to get all of the villains to side with them. Only a few folk like Batman, Lex Luthor, Captain Cold, and Black Adam are left to stand against the team. The event was okay for the most part, but I might get to that some other day. Justice League #24 was a tie-in to the event and featured Ultraman as the main feature. The man known as Geoff Johns penned the issue. The awesome pencils (yeah, I liked it) is provided by the awesomeness known as Ivan Reis.

Justice League #24
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Ivan Reis
Inks: Joe Prado, Oclair Albert, and Eber Ferreria
Colors: Rod Reis
Letters: Nick J. Napolitano
Editor: Kate Stewart and Brian Cunningham

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Random Pics of the Month - Favorite Alternate Superman Costumes

I really haven't done this in a minute. While there have been changes to Superman's iconic costume over the years, he's been in a lot of different costumes as well. Today, I'll list (in no particular order) my 10 favorite alternate costumes from the different media. I'm not putting the Man of Steel and New 52 suits on here primarily because those are Superman's main costumes for now. By the way, I do like them both. I also wanted to include variations that you don't normally see Superman wear.

1. New 52 'First Costume' 
While I'm not including the armor on here, I did want to include this one. In the New 52, Clark didn't have Ma Kent to help make his suit, so he had to make due with what he had. For a young, inexperienced Superman, this wasn't a bad start at all. He even had different colored shirts and that was pretty funny.

2. Justice Lord Superman
In the Justice League episode "A Better World", we saw an alternate universe where the League basically declared martial law on the world. Superman adopted a new suit and it was pretty cool. It definitely fit his new outlook on life. He and the rest may had been the bad guys, but you have to admit that they looked good.

3. Kingdom Come Superman
In the story, Kingdom Come, Superman returns from a decade-long exile in order to help shape the world. Instead of sporting his classic suit, he sports a darker suit with a stylized 'S'.  He turned his back on humanity and his suit kind of fits this darker world. It's a cool look overall.

4. Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey Battle Suit
In this story, Superman realizes that Doomsday may still be out in space alive, so he gets a Mother Box and heads out there. During the battle that also involves The Cyborg-Superman and Darkseid (!!!), his suit gets damaged. Mother Box makes him a new battle suit in order to fight Doomsday. While the suit does reek of the 90's, I like it. He only wore it this one time and that stuff came in handy. Heck, considering Doomsday did kill him before, wearing some armor is a smart move. I do wonder hat that yellow thing on his crotch does though.

5. Kryptonian Recovery Suit
When Superman came back from the dead, he needed something to wear into battle. He was pretty underpowered, so he got this piece of goodness. I think I my first comic owned had Superman in this suit, so I've always like this suit. They even had a variation of it on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Icon #10

Today’s Super-Homage is one that I’ve talked about before: Icon. He was created by Dwayne McDuffie for Milestone Comics and was featured in his own title in the early 1990s’s. I talked about him back in February when I looked at a trade that has his series’ first eight issues. He shares some similarities to Superman in that he’s an alien who crashed on Earth and he has a secret identity. The similarities stop there though. Originally named Arnus, he crashed on Earth in 1839 and took the form of an African-American baby. He was named Augustus Freeman and kept his alien heritage a secret for over a century. It isn’t until the 1990s where he (at the behest of a young girl named Raquel) decides to become a superhero and clean up the city of Dakota.

Today’s issue is Icon #10. I did think about looking at an issue where he and Superman actually duked out, but it’s part of a crossover called "Worlds Collide." I haven’t read the total crossover, so this one seemed best. If you want to hear some discussion about those issues, head over to From Crisis To Crisis: A Superman Podcast where they went in-depth with that crossover between DC and Milestone. Dwayne McDuffie wrote the issue. M.D. Bright provided the pencils. Mike Gustovich handles the inks. James Brown (not the singer but that would be cool) and David Montoya handles the colors. So, let’s see what happens when Icon chases after some gangster

Icon #17
Writer: Dwayne McDuffie
Pencils: M.D. Bright
Inks: Mike Gustovich
Colors:  David Montoya and James Brown (Good God! Hey!... Had to do it.)
Letters: Steve Duturo
Editor: Matt Wayne

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Supreme #41

Next up on the list is a character I know little about: Supreme. He was created by everyone’s favorite 90’s whipping boy, Rob Liefeld. He first appeared in Youngblood and then got spun off into his own title. From what I’ve read online, he had the powers of Superman but not the morality. He wasn’t a bad guy but he was willing to have blood on his hands.  His origins were also pretty incoherent. The guy even went up against Thor and Loki… no, not Marvel’s Thor and Loki. This Thor actually had red hair but no beard.

Somehow, Liefeld was able to get Alan Moore, the bearded dude himself, to come write on the book. Apparently, Moore’s only condition was that he could pretty much ignore what came before with the character. From what I’ve seen online and actually read with those early issues, I can’t blame him. The ones I read (look, they were cheap) weren’t horrible but they weren’t any good either. Supreme #41 was published by Maximum Press aka Awesome Comics and released in 1996. All I know is that Liefeld was over that thing. Moore wrote the issue. Joe Bennett provided the main pencils and Norm Rapmund provided the main inks. There are also some pencils and inks done by Keith Giffen and Al Gordon. I’ll list the rest below.

Supreme #41
Writer: Alan Moore
Pencils: Joe Bennett and Keith Giffen
Inks: Norm Rapmund and Al Gordon
Colors: Reuben Rude
Letters: Todd Klein
Editorial Assistant: Brent Braun
Editor: Eric Stephenson

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel

Well, I’ve finally gotten to Superman Month aka “Superman Analogue Month”… I’m still working on the title. As I said before, I’ll be looking at different analogues/homages/rip-offs to Superman. I’ve looked all around for them and I’ve found quite a few. Today, I’ll be starting with one who is a little similar to another hero I’ll be talking about this month.

The Blue Marvel was one I actually came across a few years ago. I had heard about a mini-series featuring a long-lost forgotten black superhero and I was interested. It was actually a long time before I found those issues though. I found all five of them in the cheap bin. The character was created by actor/writer Kevin Grevioux, the writer behind the Underworld movies. He apparently came up with the idea as a child and was able to do the story for Marvel. Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel was released throughout 2009. While Grevioux handles the writing duties, the pencils are handled by Mat Broome and Roberto Castro.

Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel
Writer: Kevin Grevioux
Pencils: Mat Broome and Roberto Castro
Inks: Sean Parson, Alvaro Lopez, Lorenzo Ruggiero 
Colors: John Rauch
Letters: Dave Lamphear
Costume Designs: Kaare Andrews
Editor:  Alejandro Arbona