PANELS OF THE WEEK 9/14/16

ACTION COMICS:  Who/What is Clark Kent?

Written by Dan ‘the Man’ Jurgens with art by Patrick Zircher.

Did Mystery Clark who showed up in Action 957 know new 52 Lois Lane?  We never saw them meet on panel.  We were promised new 52 Lois would be Superwoman.  That lasted one issue and then she was dust.  So is this a clone with neuro programming or is this the Real new 52 Superman without his powers?

act963loisnothappy

The story Clark & Perry are talking about is last year’s DCYou storyline where Lois Lane was promoted as a betrayer of Superman’s dual identity.  New 52’s last nuclear blast at the Superman mythology.  And probably the reason for Rebirth.

act963loismove

Clark uses closing time as a distraction so he can enter GENETICRON.  With a name like that it must have to do with genetics and time.  Mystery CK seems to know new 52 Lois Lane pretty well.

I highly recommend BUYING Action Comics from 957 on.  Put it on your pull list. 

For history buffs, see if you can find this 4 part arc by Maggin & Bates in the classic section of your LCS.  It begins with Superman v1 #296.

superman_296

Clark may be depowered while wearing the glasses but he has all the confidence of a super man.  He impresses Lois Lane & they have a dinner of beef bourguignon.  That’s right, it was in this arc where Lois and Clark’s code word for whoopie started.

NEW SUPER-MAN  Who is that wearing the S?

The Chinese Super-Man and his ‘Justice League’ counterparts are in as secret base under the sea.

nsmclamshell

nsmsinjail

nsmrealsupesmaybe

Is this the real new 52 Superman?  Or is this a red herring?  We know Grant Morrison’s Action stories stayed in the first year of the new 52.  The other #1’s jumped 5 years ahead.  Dr. Omen in this story has dealt with genetics.  Superwoman (not Lois) book mentioned Lex & Lena’s prisons were experimenting on villains.  It just gets curiouser and curiouser.

WONDER WOMAN YEAR ONE: The Beauty of WonderTrev

Greg Rucka is writing Diana’s origins in this storyline drawn by Nicola Scott.

wwwondertrevbeauty

Looks like a lot of understanding to me on a whole lot of levels.

ww6nakedtrevor

Did I mention the Amazons gave Steve his appendix back? Thanks, Nicola!

wwdianamugshot

In Rucka’s other storyline, THE LIES, we see Diana and Steve in the present.  The mystery of the mugshot is now solved in Wonder Woman #6.  Trevor carries this picture with him through the heat of battle.  Liam Sharp is responsible for the beauty of Diana and Steve in The Lies storyline.

Highly recommend you BUYING Wonder Woman.  Both storylines and art are (insert most fabulous word you can think of).

TITAN COMICS:  DOCTOR WHO THE THIRD DOCTOR: Bessie & Oh Shit!!!  **SPOILERS**

Paul Cornell’s first issue came out this week.  Jon Pertwee was my first Doctor Who.  Still is.  Some of you may be watching his son, Sean, as Alfred on GOTHAM.  I also loved Pertwee’s car, Bessie.

dwbessie

There were actually a few “Oh Shits!” in this first issue.  My son’s favorite Doctor showed up.  But what made me squee  the most —

dwrobertdelgado
Oh yea.  THE Master. The REAL one. YES YES YES!!!

Highly recommend this series.  Cornell has written some of the best Doctor Who television episodes.  He is a master.

Hope everyone had a good comic book week.  Hope there was something in some book that made you feel and wanting more.

This Saturday at 5pm EDT on talkshoe .Tej and I will be doing our G2FACTOR HARDCORE podcast.  We do reviews of comic books and DC movie news.  This week we’ll be doing Action Comics 963, Wonder Woman #6 with some other mentions.  Our PSR this week will be Superwoman #2.  A PSR is a Public Service Review for those people who won’t read the comic for their own mental health but want to know what’s going on.  We supply that service.

September 14, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Lois Lane, Superman. Leave a comment.

Journey to (Mr.) Oz

Who is the mysterious Mr. Oz?   If you read DCU Rebirth #1 by Geoff Johns then you know you have seen him before.  Mr. Oz was in Johns’ run of New 52 Superman (issues 32 – 39).

DCU Rebirth Oz 7

Whoa!  Great mystery time!

But who was Mr. Oz BEFORE Johns’ run on Superman & Rebirth?

We know that Watchmen had something to do with the creation of new 52 & Rebirth.  So how does someone with the name Mr. Oz relate to that?  Ozymandias and Dr. Manhattan have a discussion at the end of DCU Rebirth.  “Nothing ends, Adrian,” says Manhattan to Ozymandias (aka Adrian Veidt).  Unfortunately Ozymandias looks nothing like Mr. Oz.  So where do we go next?

Who were the Watchmen?  Alan Moore wanted to use the Charlton characters that DC Comics had recently purchased in 1983 for his Watchmen story (beginning of the Dark Age)..  But DC Comics refused as they had other plans for some of the characters.  Moore developed characters for his story loosely based on Charlton characters.  Some of them may be familiar to you.  There were two Nite Owls because there were two Blue Beetles (Dan Garrett and Ted Kord).  Doctor Manhattan was based on Captain Atom, Silk Spectre  on Nightshade, The Comedian on The Peacemaker, Rorschach on The Question, and last but certainly not least, Ozymandias was based on Thunderbolt aka Peter Cannon.  (Not to be confused with Johnny Thunder’s Thunderbolt who also appeared in DC Rebirth #1)

Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt was orphaned in the Himalayas when his physician parents died of the Black Plague.  He was raised by the High Abbott and developed the highest level of mental and physical perfection.  He became the “Chosen One” entrusted with the full knowledge of the Ancient Scrolls, which were later destroyed.  He had an arch nemesis, The Hooded One, who also studied the ancient scrolls and was jealous Thunderbolt had been declared the Chosen One.  (of course!)  But what got me excited was there was a hooded character.  Did he look like Mr. Oz?

Hooded_One_01big

That would be a yes.  The Hooded One and some other characters from Charlton appeared in Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985).  Their first and last appearance.  They lived on Earth Four.  And most of them were not seen Post Crisis.  However, other versions of some of the characters were developed to be used later in the DC Universe.  Crisis on Infinite Earths was the uniting of the multiple Earths into one Earth.  Something like new 52 before Morrison’s Multiversity.   The Charlton characters also appeared in that series.

We know Johns loves characters from years past.  Why not bring back “The Hooded One” with a variation of the character.  Mr. Oz is probably from the 5th dimension since he was introduced in Johns’ story about other dimensions and Earth.  That would make Mr. Oz truly a powerful character.  Like Mxyzptlk and Lord Vyndktvx powerful.

Here are the appearances in Johns’ Superman 32 thru 39:

Superman 032-015 oz1

Superman 032-015 oz1b

Superman (2011-) 033-024oz2

Superman (2011-) 034-001oz3

Does anyone know who is behind the locked doors?

Superman (2011-) 035-010oz4

 

 

Superman (2011-) 038-026oz05

 

 

Superman (2011-) 039-019oz6

Johns introduces Mr. Oz in his Superman run and then uses him again in DCU Rebirth. Geoff Johns is the director of Rebirth – calling in editors and creators to have a more cohesive, fuller and a more familiar universe.

Clark isn’t the only one receiving mysterious pages.  Look what PreFlashPoint Lois received from new 52 Lois.

Lois to Lois

Only a Lois would trust another Lois with what information?

And another thing, powerless Clark Kent died in Batman/Superman Annual 2 published April, 2015 never to be mentioned again — A minion of Xa Du, Kryptonian creator of the living death (suspended animation), did the deed.  That’s Xa Du thinking in this panel.

Batman - Superman Annual 002 -034 Clark dead

Until —

CK hiding

Action 959, published July, 2016.  Mysterious ‘extra’ CK talks of PreFlashPoint Superman hiding him, but Supes doesn’t remember.  (See first panel of this article — a great mystery, indeed)

It’s a great time to be a Superman fan.  Lots of great plots and fantastic characterization.  Plus the art is great!  Every Wednesday is turning out to be better and better.

Is Mr. Oz only Superman’s puppetmaster or is there a chessmaster for the entire DC Universe?   Time will tell.  In the meantime, we’ll be enjoying the unraveling of so many mysteries.

 

 

 

July 13, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Baudy's Reviews, BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Lois Lane, Superman. Leave a comment.

THE HOSTILE TAKEOVER OF SUPERMAN

When in the course of certain events . . .

When I told my son, long time fanboy of comics for a few decades, that Jim Lee was made co-publisher of DC Comics, he grinned and made an obscene gesture as Mr. Lee’s proxy. Fanboys are notorious gossips and are not without very strong opinions. “I’m gonna fuck, DC.” When I inquired why Mr. Lee would do such a thing especially when he had been promoted to such a high level of the company, all he could say was, “You just watch.” I shrugged it off thinking it was some kind of strange fanboy behavior I’d never understand.

You may think I was prejudiced somehow by this interaction but honestly I couldn’t see the logical reason behind such a statement. In the course of the article, I will be presenting facts; gathering data, and journaling the ‘adventure’ that has been at least 4 years in the making.

Then came Flashpoint, originally constructed by Geoff Johns. The last issue showed DC was now going to combine the Vertigo, Wildstorm and DC universes and Grifter, a Wildstorm character, was to be on the Justice League at some point. The new universe was conceived in an editorial retreat in October, 2010. Bob Harras, formerly of Marvel and then Wildstorm under Jim Lee (now co-pub), was made Editor-In-Chief of DC Comics the previous month.

Evil laughter ensued from the house fanboy. I should probably add that he was mainly a Marvel fan, but also read some indies as well, and definitely was up on all the machinations of the publishing houses.

Before the new 52 actually occurred, I was at a comic book shop going through the sale bins looking for Superman comics. One of my son’s friends, another fanboy who actually did the ordering for a local comic book shop, came over to me with a Grifter comic and said, “This is the future of the DC universe!” If he had had a moustache, he would have twirled it. I told him to “get that shit away from me.” Was I worried about the new 52? Yea, I was. I was already having PTSD from WONK and Grounded. Flashpoint had fridged Lois again and Superman was only Kal-El, not Clark Kent. No Smallville. But the writer had added it was a cliché to kill off Lois – and it was, but it was not the last time she would be fridged in new 52 era.

The new 52 began on August 31, 2011 with Justice League declared the flagship of the universe with Geoff Johns as writer and the former head honcho of Wildstorm, Jim Lee drawing. Lee also redesigned most of the characters putting a ‘majestic’ collar on the Man of Steel. Superman was no longer the flagship character. His identity and stories would be guided by Justice League and their future plans.

All issues carried #1 on their covers. Aside from Justice League, all other books started in September, 2011. I have been doing statistics on the top 10 books of that time plus any others that involve Superman or that strike my fancy.

I started my statistics using October, 2011 order numbers involving the 2nd issues. This seemed a good place to start without the anomaly of the #1s.

Action Comics #2 orders were 153,855, still riding high from the #1s with top writer, Grant Morrison. He was creating a new Superman building 5 years in the past. Only Action Comics and Justice League have this five year gap. Again, Superman’s story would be contingent upon Justice League’s plans.

All prominent characters from the Wildstorm universe had their own books, except for one. Mr. Majestic. He was nowhere to be found in the new 52. Reason: He was being called Superman. An alien with no human ties who didn’t have much of a moral core and who had a superpowered girlfriend. Jim Lee had created Mr. Majestic because he thought it was dumb for Superman not to use his powers to their full extent. More on that later.

Superman #2 orders were 94,233. Veteran George Perez’s story took place in the present or five years in the future of Action Comics. The five year gap was a bottomless pit and even Superman “wished things could be different.” No one knew who this new Superman was and it certainly didn’t bode well when Perez left the book after issue 6 not knowing who this new Superman was or what editorial kept in or out of the book. Shades of things to come.

One year later, October, 2012, Issue #13, Morrison kept his story in the past despite rumblings of bringing it into the present and order numbers were 67,241. A loss of 56.3% (or -86,614) from it’s number 2 issue. Although Morrison fans have often said wait for the TPBs and not get the individual issues. what happened? Why did Morrison decide to keep the book in the past? He was not writing foundational Superman because of what was happening in Justice League after it jumped into the present. And Justice League being a team book certainly wasn’t giving Superman any foundation. The Kent marriage (hinted in Action 12) was declared dead before new 52 began and now everyone knew why. The fauxmance, lightswitched in Justice League #12 but with a HUGE multimedia campaign by Lee and Johns. Superman, aka new 52 Mr. Majestic, had a supergirlfriend now, Wonder Woman.

In Superman, Keith Giffen & Dan Jurgens wrote him for six months after Perez. These two top veterans who knew Superman inside and out were unable to breach the editorial barrier. They had to include Wildstorm baddie, Helspont, into the story. Superman and Action often had the character dealing with alternate realities and timelines but never anything about Clark Kent at the Daily Planet. Does anyone truly believe that these two creators would have Clark dating Lucy Lane as his ‘love interest’? By issue #13 in October, 2012, the book had yet another creator taking over. Scott Lobdell. A veteran of Marvel and then Wildstorm, just like his Editor-In-Chief, Bob Harras, who was at the editorial retreat in October, 2010. Orders for issue #13 were 52,155. A drop of 44.7% (-42,078).

In October, 2013, 2 years after the DCU was rebooted, Action Comics had abysmal numbers. Wasn’t that the reason given for the reboot? And the character of Superman was hard rebooted. Not reboot lite like Batman. What happened during that year? Andy Diggle took over Action for #19 and then quit to have Tony Daniel finish his run (20-21). He said he left for professional reasons. But later we learned, he would not write the fauxmance, which had never appeared or was even mentioned in Action Comics. So Bob Harras tapped Scott Lobdell to write both Action and Superman. Scott Lobdell’s final issue, Action #24 had 39,620 orders for a drop since #2 of 74.2% (-114,235 prints). The worst dive of any new 52 ‘top 10’ book. 114,235 orders is a top selling book on any given month. Why did DC Comics allow it’s first superhero to be desecrated to this point just 4 months after his hit movie, Man of Steel?

Greg Pak took over writing duties in November, 2013 and the fauxmance was mentioned for the first time in Action Comics. He was not allowed to use Lois Lane. Also Charles Soule got the job of writing the fauxmance book which debuted in October, 2013. It’s first issue with a double icon lineup failed to reach 100,000 orders.,

Lobdell continued to write Superman even after publicly sexually harassing a female creator on a comics panel in late 2013 and in March, 2014 Superman was at it’s lowest point with 33,633 orders (down 64.3% or -60,600). Lobdell’s last issue for Superman was May, 2014 with the Doomed event prelude. Geoff Johns and John Romita, Jr. took over the book in June, 2014 (#32) bringing up the orders to 89,140 (down only 5% or -5,093). Quite a jump. But for nearly three years, Superman fans were exposed to a concept of Superman they didn’t know and couldn’t trust. Johns will be bringing back Metropolis, the Daily Planet, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White. Things that are staples of the Superman mythology.

Who was responsible for Superman falling to these depths of near obscurity? Especially during his 75th anniversary year in 2013?

Scott Snyder went to Dan Didio with a Superman story he wanted to write. Didio sent him to Jim Lee. Why? Lee decided he would draw the book and they would use it to celebrate Superman’s 75th anniversary. (Apparently if it wasn’t for Snyder, Superman would have had no other additional book but the fauxmance to celebrate his 75th anniversary.) Snyder’s story was classic Superman mythology involving Metropolis and Lois Lane.

Superman Unchained debuted in June, 2013 as the top comic with 251,456 orders to coincide with the Man of Steel film and perhaps to get the movie going public interested in the character again. The second issue was the top comic for July, 2013 with 165,754. Since comic book #1s usually are an anomaly statistically, I will continue to use the second issue stats. In August, Unchained was the top DC Comic at #2 with 136,319 (down 18% or -29,435). September brings unique books (or stunts) and so there was no Superman Unchained scheduled. However, it was scheduled for October, 2013, the same month as fauxmance book debut. Superman Unchained #4 got bumped to November, 2013. (more about this pattern later) So if any new readers jumped on board previously to September, this slowed down the momentum of the book. Plus new readers’ experience would not be good if they weren’t able to read their book on a regular basis. So much for rebooting the entire universe for new readers, right?

Unchained #4 was published in November and managed to be the 3rd highest DC Comic and was 4th for the month with 110,611, a drop of 55,153 from it’s 2nd issue or -33.3% (which is comparable to Batman’s drop from it’s #2 issue in October, 2011). Superman Unchained #5 was released on New Year’s Eve, highly irregular for a top selling book but had the 5th highest book for the month and 3rd DC Comic with the most orders. 96,322 orders which was a drop of 41.9% or 69,432 less orders than it’s 2nd issue.

In 2011, co-pubs Didio and Lee said that new 52 books would go out on time even if creators had to be added to a book to complete it. In 2013, that mandate got thrown out the window for one book in particular, Superman Unchained. The book that was based on standard Superman mythology and did not involve the fauxmance going on in the new 52.

On January 21, 2014, Scott Snyder tweeted that the final issue of Unchained #9 would be coming out on April 30th, 2014. He stated that the book was always only 9 issues long. That would mean that Snyder was finished scripting the book and fans would get an issue monthly. A solicit for April, confirmed Snyder’s statement.

For those of you who don’t know, your local comic book shop has to order books three months in advance, usually by only reading a solicit from the publisher and those are the numbers reflected in the monthly stats provided by Diamond, the distributor. More about that later.

Superman Unchained was not published in January or February, 2014. In March, 2014, fans got #6 which was 2nd only to Batman in orders. 94,147 orders which was a drop of 71,607 or -43.2% since issue #2.

On April 2, 2014, DC announced that they were canceling the last two issues of Unchained (8 & 9) but promised to resolicit. In other words the book was delayed so much, they could not use the order numbers accumulated for the original solicit dates. This way of doing business terrified some fans who did not understand, this is not unusual for a book involving Jim Lee. Fanboys can tell you all about Divine Right, a book written and drawn by Lee when he was head of Wildstorm. It took him two years for twelve issues with many resolicits. Another book was All Star Batman and Robin (an out of continuity book which had the fauxmance) which Lee never finished despite the fact Frank Miller, the writer, said there were four or five issues left. Ten issues were published between 2005 and 2008. In 2009, Lee acknowledged it was he who caused the delays in the book. In 2010, DC announced the book would finish under the name, Dark Knight: Boy Wonder and would run for 6 issues beginning in February, 2011. Lee never did those issues because he was working on Justice League for the new 52 by that time.

And I didn’t even mention WildC.A.T.S with Grant Morrison (only 1 issue published) or Batman: Europa (nothing published). Plus, supposedly “because he felt his role as publisher and his growing family demands interfered with his role as an artist, Lee left Image Comics and sold Wildstorm to DC Comics in late 1998, enabling him to focus once again on art.” It couldn’t be because Wildstorm products were notoriously late or incomplete? And what fan needs that kind of treatment?

But I digress . . .

Scott Snyder apologized for the delay of Superman Unchained (which wasn’t his fault). Lee only said the book would have more pages (meaning #9, we now realize), but never has said he was sorry for the still continuing delays. This from the co-publisher who adamantly said “books will be on time.” Question: What good is a promise of more pages from a creator who can’t even finish a ‘normal’ amount of pages?

Superman Unchained #7 was finally published in July, 2014. But the constant delays had taken it’s toll on fans. The book was no longer in the top 5 or top 10. 14th for the month with 69,523. A drop of 96,231 or -58% since it’s 2nd issue.

Another pattern fans have noticed with Unchained is that when it is solicited for a date which falls on the same day as the fauxmance, Unchained gets bumped. Superman fans can no longer trust a classic Superman mythology book will ever get published with any regularity especially while the artist, co-publisher, attendee of the 2010 editorial retreat, is connected with said book.

Superman Unchained #8 has been re-solicited for September 10th which is highly unusual for DC Comics stunt month. If released in September, it will be buried by Future’s End #1s. One shots. Remember #1’s sell more than other numbers because collectors join the party. It’s not about the story but that number on the cover.

If Lee waits around for an October or November release date for #8, then we may have a repeat of October, 2013. No Unchained. #12 of the fauxmance will be Charles Soule’s last issue and in November, the book will be taken over by Peter Tomasi. It appears that a bestselling book by Scott Snyder is not given the same consideration as a book which is more in line with what was decided in the 2010 editorial retreat.

The oversized #9 is not even on the horizon. It’s been over a year since Superman Unchained #1 appeared and Jim Lee couldn’t get 8 more issues done within that period of time, most of which was during Superman’s 75th anniversary.

Amongst all this new 52 demoralizing of Superman, Action #1 from 1938 has had phenomenal sales. In 2010, a book sold for 1.5 million dollars. In 2011, a book sold for 2.0 million dollars. Currently, there is bidding on a third book which is reaching over 2.0 million dollars.

Was turning Superman into Mister Majestic with everything but the S shield on his chest really worth it? And who keeps their job, degrading the most recognized character around the world? But I guess redesigning cereal box characters is more important than drawing a top selling Superman story to celebrate his 75th anniversary.

August 21, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Baudy's Reviews, BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Lois Lane, Superman. Leave a comment.

G2HARDCORE: CATCH UP ON THE DCU NEWS

Tej and Holli have had 2 shows under the G2HARDCORE format.

April 12 show

April 19 show

Also available on iTunes.

More information on the G2Factor page.

 

April 20, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Announcements, Lois Lane, Superman. Leave a comment.

RENAISSANCE MAN NO MORE

MOS120clarkjournoMOS120clarklovesLois

When I was young I didn’t know what a Renaissance man was, but I knew what a Superman was/is/should be.

Superman to me was more than just a brawling alien who fought for Earth and its human inhabitants.  Being the Last Son of Krypton allowed this being to possess all the knowledge of the known galaxies. What does such a man do with all those advantages?  How can mere humans ever hope to relate to him?  How can a reading audience ever trust him to never be corrupted?  The answer is in his origins.  He took on a human identity.

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February 15, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Baudy's Reviews, BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Lois Lane, Superman. Leave a comment.

Superman or Superdouche?

THIS:

LoistrustsSupermanSAnn2_2

OR THIS?:

superman27

If you have read Superman #27, you know what I’m talking about.  Scott Lobdell has taken this character and made him into something no superhero should ever even verge on – a complete douche.

Aside from Scott Lobdell not having any idea what Superman is about and that he uses his own personal voice to animate Clark, what else could be going on here – storywise.  I think I’ve discussed the possible political behind-the-scenes machinations quite enough.  Besides, they are moot or will be come this summer.  Oh, there will still be politics and power plays but at least they seem to be turning in favor of Superman fans and their beloved Clark Kent.

Why would Superman, Clark, not trust Lois Lane to keep her mouth shut about his secret?  We know that Lois has had a history of keeping the secret even from Clark.  Why in this instance doesn’t he trust her?

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February 6, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Announcements, Baudy's Reviews, BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Lois Lane, Superman. 5 comments.

STOP THE PRESSES!

For those of you have been losing sleep not knowing when the ‘exciting first epic event of the new 52’ ;P  [sarcasm] was going to come into existence.  Get some shuteye before it begins in July in Justice League #22.  The Trinity War will be in the July and August issues of Justice League, Justice League Dark and Justice League of America.  Just as some of us thought it would involve.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already gotten your Action #19 issue drop everything and go get it. [not scarcasm]  Andy Diggle   delivers more heat and passion in this one issue than all the other Superman issues EVER in the new 52.  Tony Daniel delivers panels that make you want to stare at them through the Trinity War — and we probably will.  Diggle plotted issues #20 and #21 and Daniel will be scripting and pencilling those.  THIS is the best Superman in the new 52.

Diggle left for professional reasons.  We highly suspect the promise at the NC summit was immediately broken by Dan Didio and Diane Nelson and there was editorial interference on a green-lighted story arc.  Diggle had at least 2 independent books and a high profile magazine (Doctor Who) he was doing at the same time as Action.  Rewriting or constant corporate creative nitpicking would be detrimental to his time and energy.  I think so much more of him for standing up for his career and reputation.  He’s very talented and it is great loss for Superman fans.  Sometimes you just have to take a stand against the chaos.

And what does this mean for other talented creators when they are offered work at DC Entertainment?  There was a rumor that a very popular team was available for work (guaranteed sales) but was turned down by DCE.   What the hell is going on at DC Entertainment?  Is this a business or an evil empire?  Some believe that only one of the co-pubs is running the show and the other lets him have his way.  We have seen examples of this with the West Coast approving a character in a book and the East Coast throwing a temper tantrum when finding out at the last minute this character was going to be used.  The creator on the book was chewed up and spit out in an interview.  It is well known that the character in question is not ‘liked’ (to put it mildly) by the co-pub.  Sad thing is there are a lot of characters this co-pub doesn’t like or understand.  He has been known to lie about iconic characters and their history.

But a thug is only as dangerous as the people who let him get away with it.  There are two co-pubs, but the power plays behind the scenes seem to be as epic as the superheroes’ dilemmas in the books.  Maybe we should just get popcorn and watch them play out.  Unfortunately for us, we love these characters but their caretakers are neglecting and abusing them and their mythologies which makes fans miserable and unwilling to part with their money.  If the chaos behind the scenes is reflected in the books — and it is, much to everyone’s dismay — then Warner Brothers needs to examine DC Entertainment and what needs to be done to TRULY fix the situation.

At WonderCon when asked about a Lois Lane cover to celebrate her 75 years of existence, Jim Lee wondered if it would sell.  He said they couldn’t put her on a cover with Superman since they were pushing the Superman/Wonder Woman ‘romance.’  REALLY?  Lois Lane has been around 75 years just like Superman and Clark Kent.  Batman is not 75 years old and Wonder Woman is not 75 years old.  The fauxmance is just a blip on the radar and yet DC Entertainment is allowing it to DENY Lois Lane’s relevance in the Superman/Clark’s mythology and her own 75th anniversary.  These celebrations don’t happen every day or even every year.   GIVE LOIS LANE THE RECOGNITION SHE MORE THAN DESERVES!  The new 52 craptastic bullship be damned.  If Lex Luthor, a character who is NOT celebrating 75 years of existence, can get a variant cover — then give Lois Lane one by herself.  Otherwise it really puts DC Entertainment in a bad light (okay, STILL  in a bad light) when they say they have the best characters in all comicdom.  They just don’t give them the love and respect they deserve even on their 75th anniversary.

Jim Lee plays dual roles as co-pub and artist and in interviews he switches hats rather quickly between questions and during answers.  He HAS to be asked about Lois Lane before he freely talks about her.  As artist on Superman Unchained, he only says Lois is Lois.  But as co-pub (the Unchained part of the title he could explain it’s meaning but never has) he makes the point that Clark & Lois’ relationship is not romantic.  BUT Scott Snyder, the writer, speaks of the sexual and romantic tension between the comics’ most famous lovers as well as the admiration and respect.  If their collaboration has been so close, if Lee is really conveying the emotions that Snyder is writing, then which is it?  Romance or not?  As co-pub Lee has to support their decision to push the fauxmance — a decision created at an editorial (later changed to writers) retreat in October, 2010,– will the Trinity War release the co-pub from the ties that bind him from that meeting?   Poor decisions and poor execution should initiate a change of course in either plotting or character development.  Readers of the new 52 can’t even say it’s been ‘full speed ahead’ — it’s been a endlessly meandering for 19 months and we were wondering if the Trinity War would ever come to fruition until the announcement today.

Of course, there will be consequences from the Trinity War — you may hang your head and moan now.  With the behind the scenes chaos, lies and broken promises, can readers expect stories and character development to improve?  Should there be that continuous expectation or should there be a revolt and an abandonment until DC Entertainment gets fixed?

All this pain and suffering Superman fans have gone through — will it be somewhat worth it after the Trinity War?  Will destroying two-thirds of the Superman mythology in the initial stories of the new 52 be worth what we might get during and after the Trinity War?  That’s highly doubtful.  Will the Trinity War be a spectacular event or a fizzle?  Will fans feel more betrayed if they tried to withstand the mangling of their beloved characters and it was all for naught?  The NEW 52 lost it’s sheen a long time ago for many fans.  But DCE can’t call it 52 because that was already done — and Didio thought Countdown was a better version of that.  And they can’t call it Old 52 because how would the mysterious elusive new readers relate to that?  So it will always be the NEW 52.  An excuse for more poor delivery and chaotic characterization.  Another slap in the face to loyal readers or what’s left of them.

Diggle’s Action 19 gave us some hope that things were turning around for the Man of Steel.  By going back one year before Superman #1 and four years after Morrison’s Action #18, we saw a well balanced Clark Kent who tried to do the right thing for the moment and the bigger picture.  He wasn’t a wise ass.  He related to humans just fine, particularly Lois Lane and he took care of business wearing the Kryptonian armor.  Now that Diggle has left and Tony Daniel will write from his plots, perhaps we will only have two more issues of a Superman we more than recognized and want to embrace.

Scott Lobdell has basically taken over the Superman and Action books including Superboy #19.  Lois seems to be involved in those stories — but his timeline, complete with the fauxmance, and how much he can give us of the supposedly one year younger Superman we loved is hard to predict.  We know he has to do what his editors say he has to.  And by passing all those books to him in the new few months shows he is editorial’s go-to guy.  Reward for obedience.

Superman is an icon for generations, not to be made into a better widget by the corporate power grabbers.  Widgets don’t sell.  Living, breathing, inspiring Superman does.

Get a clue, DC Entertainment!

April 8, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Announcements, Baudy's Reviews, BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Superman. Leave a comment.

SUPERMAN IS A LOVE STORY

Here is the link to this piece of art. Click

In December, 2011, I wrote this on my tumblr blog.  In honor of Valentine’s Day, I snatch it from my archives to present it once again.  See if anything has changed or things have gotten worse for the greatest comic book love story.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. It’s just a continuation of questions I’ve had in the last three years of reading comics involving Superman. If you’re not sure why, please check out therearecertainshadesoflimelight’s eloquent articulation regarding a great panel from Superman #700 and the events that preceded and followed it.  Here

I don’t know what DC was thinking but I mentioned the lack of Clark Kent in the comics several times over the years on OSCK blog and in OSCK Magazine. (Maybe we should bring those back in a fight for our Superman — Operation Save Clark Kent is aptly named)

Did DC think we didn’t notice Clark and Lois were separated and Superman was not in Action or Superman comics for 2 to 3 years?

In an October Newsarama article, writer James Robinson confesses the World of New Krypton fiasco might have been better received if DC had not taken Superman out of his own books.  Here

So let’s not blame the scanty, emotionless, boring storylines DC Comics chose for the Man of Steel, let’s blame the marriage. That is the stance and mindset DC (Didio & Lee) conveyed as their justification for the reboot. Superman has had a hard reboot. Let’s call it what it is.

New York Times interview, August 31, 2011:

“Its latest company-wide overhaul has been almost a year in the making, devised in October (2010) at an editorial retreat where staff members were trying to create a love triangle for Superman, who wed Lois Lane in 1996.

Once the team decided it did not have to be bound by this marital detail, “we started talking about a lot of crazy, what-if situations, and out of that openness came the idea of renumbering the entire line,” said Jim Lee, co-publisher of DC Comics and an illustrator of the new Justice League series.”

From Newsarama interview, July 18, 2011, just before the San Diego Comic Con:

“We wanted to have that sense of isolation that might come with being an alien among men,” DiDio said. “The two choices that were made, with both his parents being dead and not being married, isolated Clark a little bit more, so that he really had to do more exploration about mankind. There wasn’t that one strong human tether that he was bonding with and learning through.”

I guess DC did not learn their lesson from World of New Krypton. The reason Superman oriented book sales plummeted = the isolation of the being with superpowers from those he loved and held dear including his persona as a journalist for the Daily Planet.

So now we have a designer comic in Action Comics with Grant Morrison writing. It was Dan Didio who approached Morrison.

According to Morrison fans, don’t bother buying individual issues of his storylines as they won’t make sense until the end of the arc. (This has proven to be true since he’s somewhat formulaic in his style, no matter how ’intelligentsia quirky and anarchic.’) Morrison was brought on because of his sales numbers not his love of the character. Superman is squashed through Morrison’s sieve of scientific meta and counter culture leanings. The result is unrecognizable as the Man of Tomorrow.

So basically we’re supposed to wait for the trade paperbacks otherwise we won’t be able to appreciate the ‘genius’ of Morrison. How this will help the fledgling DCnU, I can’t fathom. But maybe that’s the point. It’s very apparent the character of Superman has not been loved for a long time by the DC hierarchy. Batman has more than two of his own books a month; in fact, in any one month he’s in a dozen books. Not so Superman.

Today’s DC is very short sighted when it comes to Superman. Why they want to damage the icon that made the company what it is today is baffling.

Superman is a love story. That’s one of the reasons Siegel and Shuster’s Action #1 of 1938 was relatable to a wide audience. Clark Kent aggressively chased Lois Lane as much as Superman pursued crime and injustice. This is the Golden Age Morrison supposedly extensively researched. Yet, we are not getting any love story in today’s Action Comics. Clark has no real love for Earth, Metropolis, the Daily Planet or Star, or Lois Lane. In fact, he has no loving spirit at all. It’s all rebellious bluster and impetuosity.

Superman is a character of great heart. He loves people, no matter what planet they’re from. His upbringing by the Kents was a foundational one, so much so it can be seen even without Jonathan and Martha’s presence. They nurtured his natural loving heart and keen mind. We are getting none of this regarding his character in Action Comics. We definitely see the isolation Didio spoke of in the Newsarama article – as if Superman had been hatched just before arriving in Metropolis.

In the Smallville Retrospective Season 10 commentary, Danny Fingeroth, longtime Group Editor of Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man line, short story writer in Superman 80 Page Giant #1 (1999) and author of Superman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us about Ourselves and Our Society had this to say about the Clark/Lois/Superman iconic love story.

“In Smallville, Lois and he [Clark] have a real, romantic relationship in an era of fragmented families (when 50% of marriages end in divorce) the fantasy of having an actual romantic relationship that works is something that appeals to a viewership that comes from a fragmented society.

Whereas years ago, when everybody (whether they were happy or not) got married and stayed married, the fantasy of being free and single was the fantasy so that Superman would never commit.

The idea of Superman being, living happily ever after with someone now becomes a part of what people find appealing in the character.“

Listen up, DC. Fingeroth’s point is today’s comic readers NEED Superman to give them hope and something to aspire to. Young men (DC’s target audience) CAN relate to a story about loving someone more so than being genetically ‘raped’ and not knowing you have a young son who’s been trained by assassins. (Damian Wayne was introduced into continuity in 2006 by Grant Morrison’s Batman stories.)

Does DC need any other evidence of that point than Smallville’s two to three million (or more) a week ratings? What if only a percentage of those viewers bought Superman comic books? The sales numbers would be astronomical. DC’s Superman reboot attitude towards young Clark Kent and Superman is denying this character of his audience by ripping his heart and spirit from him. He does not have hope in his heart or a heart for people.

In other news, someone loved Siegel and Shuster’s Action #1 (1938) so much they paid $2.16 MILLION dollars to own an original. Will Action #1 (2011) ever see that distinction? Nope.

Clark’s love should be shown in the DCnU. His love of all beings, the Earth, Metropolis, and Daily Planet should be apparent in comic panels. And even more essential, readers need to see how he found the love of his life in Lois Lane.

Every incarnation of Superman has shown compassion and wit within its pages. New 52 Superman fans miss this A LOT. George Perez, a man who celebrates his own marriage on his fan page, had a burgeoning foundation of these elements in the Superman titled comic. He is leaving the book after issue six.

In this month’s Comic Shop News (free) featuring the cover of Superman #5 (by Perez), George states, “I was asked to do Superman based on stuff that I had done before; however, since it was a total relaunch, I didn’t recognize the character and feel as close to him as I had hoped I would, because it didn’t seem like my Superman.” (George Perez has experience with reboots. He was the artist on Marv Wolfman’s Crisis on Infinite Earths.)

Mr. Perez, we’re very happy you didn’t completely recognize the new 52 Superman because we didn’t either. Your book, Superman, is the only book keeping Superman the real deal, alive. It gives us hope, we’ll be seeing our Superman soon.

Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen are picking up Superman with issue #7 and as loyal readers can tell you. They understand who Clark Kent is, who Superman is and why Lois Lane and their love is so very pertinent to this mythology.

Superman is a love story. And who doesn’t love those?

_________________

Recently a former Superman writer no longer with DC Comics said there was no mandate.  But even from the casual observer, they realize there is a mandate to keep Clark/Superman and Lois apart in the new 52.  It’s gone on for 18 months as orders for Action and Superman plummet month after month.  Without the human component (Clark Kent & Lois Lane) in this iconic story, you are missing out on the dual identity and the triangle-for-two — the cornerstones of what made this mythology beloved and enduring.  Not to mention SUCCESSFUL!

February 14, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Announcements, Baudy's Reviews, BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Superman. Leave a comment.

BABIES IN REFRIGERATORS. A STEP TOO FAR?

DC Entertainment has no shame.  They have gone from killing women as a plot point, to now killing  babies.

In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Superman finds out his wife, Lois Lane, is pregnant.  They both want this child.  Joker has other ideas.  He’s in Metropolis, not Gotham City.  Kryptonite is missing from STAR labs which only Batman knows about.  Scarecrow has had some of his mind gases stolen.  Guess who!  Joker kidnaps Lois and puts a remote for an explosive device on her.  Superman realizes he can’t see Lois.  He implores Batman to help him.  The Justice League is called in.  Superman finds his wife with Joker and Harley Quinn on a submarine. Superman then sees Doomsday.  Since Lois was unconscious for the surgery, there was no means for her to call out to her husband to let him know he was hallucinating.  Superman takes pregnant DoomsdayLois into space and after Batman yells at him, he realizes he has just killed his wife and baby.

Joker mocks the pregnancy as the loss of Lois’ life blows up Metropolis killing millions.   Superman becomes a tyrant.

This is a digital-first comic and a video game created by the Mortal Kombat people for DC Entertainment.  The author of the comic has said this was the worst thing he has ever done to a character he has loved.  Writers gotta eat.

This is not a one off, in fact, if fans had thought about the road DC Entertainment (organized in 2009) has gone down with Superman – this is the ultimate for them.  He is definitely a battling alien.  No human connections.  And as a tyrant, he has to kill.  No one rules over billions without some deaths along the way.  That’s reality.  And DC Entertainment is definitely going for reality with this game/comic – a bleak, nihilistic world where a beloved, once-morally-stellar hero is twisted into a killer.

Dan Didio and Jim Lee were officially made Co-Publishers of DC Entertainment on February 18, 2010 replacing Paul Levitz who was President & Publisher of DC Comics.  Levitz stepped down from his post in September, 2009 to serve as the Contributing Editor and Overall Consultant for the newly formed DC Entertainment.  Didio and Lee probably took on their publisher roles long before February, 2010.  Later that year at a “writer’s retreat”, the new 52 was born but was not implemented until August 31, 2011.

Jim Lee was/is the Executive Creative Director for DC Universe Online.  There was a video game called DCU Online Legends with an accompanying print bi-monthly comic.  More about that later.  Lee was integral in the development of Didio’s reboot of the DC Universe into the New 52.  He designed Superman’s new Kryptonian armor sans red panties but with a collar.  Lee is also the creator of Mister Majestic, a mockery of Superman created in the Wildstorm universe.  Lee thought a powerful alien should not be held back by a moral core or relate to humans.  Mister Majestic wears a collar – and Lee said the collar made Superman look more ‘majestic.’  The new 52 Superman has been alienated with no human connections.  He is currently “dating” Wonder Woman after a HUGE promo of this lightswitched bullship in Justice League, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Co-Publisher Lee.  At the writers’ retreat of 2010, it was decided to put Superman in a love triangle – and then the ideas just flowed.   (like piss, shit or vomit?)

Jim Lee, Dan Didio, Geoff Johns and Bob Harras probably gave the green light for Lois Lane and Superman’s baby to be killed, making him the ultimate battling alien and killer.  Is it a step too far?  Do they truly know Superman and what he means to generations of fans?  Do they care?  All evidence would say they don’t as they have systematically have been destroying Superman for years.

Clark Kent has been gone for years.  No journalist (or blogger) stories.  He’s barely on the page.  It’s the battling alien all the way.  From World of New Krypton (2009), Grounded, Flashpoint, and the new 52 – Superman no longer has the dual identity inner conflict or personhood.  He has to battle every villain from every age and new ones to bide his time.

Lois Lane has suffered, too.  With Clark’s human side absent, she has paid the consequences.  Since Flashpoint (August, 2011) masterminded by Geoff Johns, Lois has been fridged five times.

In Flashpoint: Project Superman, Kal-El’s ship does not land in Smallville (meaning no Clark Kent), but Metropolis.  Eventually a young Kal and Lois Lane meet.  She leaves such an impression on him he seeks her out when he escapes his underground cell years later.  Fans appreciated the ‘cliche’ line in this panel and not so much the clichéd statement in the other panel.  True refrigeration.

loiscliche

flashpointsuperman

“It takes a sacrifice to birth a hero” must be a mantra in the halls of DC Entertainment.

Superman Beyond (#0 issue in August, 2011, now a digital-first series) and Earth 2 (May, 2012) both had Lois’ death pre-story.  In Superman Beyond, we assume she died of natural causes as Superman has gray hair.  In Earth 2, she was killed by Darkseid.  Also in James Robinson’s Earth 2 series, Superman dies in the first issue (maybe).

In the DCU Online: Legends comic book series, Lois also dies.  It debuted on February 2, 2011, and was an expansion of the story of the DC Universe Online MMORPG video game.  The series was written by the game’s story co-writer Marv Wolfman and Tony Bedard with Tom Taylor penning issues 16 and 17.  Yes, the same Tom Taylor that is writing Injustice: Gods Among Us, but Lois died in issue 14 (August, 2011).  Superman didn’t become a tyrant, he flew off in anger and grief to return later to help save the day.  Marv Wolfman did give us a happy ending even though we never saw Lois on panel again.  With the help of Luthor and the Justice League, they played a time reversal card to make it all better.

To show you how Superman’s story and the DC Universe has changed, I give you these panels.  Lois and Superman have both been infected by Brainiac (with the help of Lex Luthor).  Superman is unable to control his powers or his mind because of it.  When kryptonite caged by his friends in the Justice League, Lois, Superman’s wife, gives them all a pep talk.

DCUO lois love

Those days are gone.  Love is gone.  Hope is gone.  And with the latest incarnation of Superman in a video, the universe is a dark, gritty, bleak place where gamers play for hours.

Superman is no longer a light amongst the darkness – he’s been drug down to our level.  Not a boy scout or a champion of the oppressed – but he makes a damn fine tyrant, don’t ya think?

At this time it is not known whether or not Wonder Woman will be Superman’s main squeeze as they rule the world.  She’s taken sloppy seconds before in Kingdom Come and may not be his number one pick for a mate in the new 52 even though DC Entertainment is spending money hand over fist to make it so.

Let’s talk a little numbers, shall we?  World of New Krypton when this battling alien with no human connections idea became prominent.  Superman was not in Action Comics for two years and not in the Superman book for one year while this went on.  DC Entertainment.  March, 2009 had the highest amount of orders with 50,048; lowest amount of orders 32,407 with its last month, February, 2010.  Next came Last Stand of New Krypton, three issues (February & March, 2010) with an average of 36,215 orders.  Which lead into the War of the Supermen (remember there were 100,001 Kryptonians flying around), 4 issues with an average order of 44,669.   The WONK series brought in a whopping [sarcasm] 39,667 per issue orders with its run.

Superman returned to his book with Superman #700.  He also returned to his wife, Lois Lane after the big war.  Orders were  67,571.

But then Superman decided to go on walkabout in his red undies.  Not much Clark Kent until the quick cleanup at the end of the series before Flashpoint.  Superman #701 (July, 2010) had 54,506 but Grounded finished with 35,919 orders.  An average of 42, 956 over its run.

Superman finally returned to Action Comics continuity (after a 2 year absence) in #901, May, 2011 and ended in #904, August, 2011 with an average of 41,407 a month.   By this time the new 52 was announced and the Kent marriage walked off together into the sunset.

Let’s go back to more current history.  The new 52.  Superman #1 and Action #1 were released in September, 2011.   In October of that year, Action had 153, 855 orders and Superman with 94,233.  Grant Morrison decided not to go into the present timeline after six issues and has extended his run through #18 of March, 2013.   In December, 2012, Action had 61,298.  The largest drop (60.16%) of orders over the time span.   Morrison was touted as the big draw to the book, not Superman.  The Superman book ended 2012 with 51,225, a drop of 45.64%.

The Superman Unbound animation which is being developed is based on Geoff Johns Brainiac (Action 864 through 870) series of 2008.  Superman was in his tights mostly.  Clark was not being a journalist, but he was the son of a farmer.  Johns killed Jonathan Kent in this series.  Alienation and Refrigeration!  The Boyz of DC Entertainment.  Then the following issue of Action #871 brought the New Krypton stories in Action for a year minus Superman/Clark/Kal-El and the next year was the Lex Luthor Action series.  On Free Comic Book Day, we will receive part of the Brainiac story.   The average orders for the Brainiac series were 50,169 per issue.  Not as large as Morrison’s worst month of new 52 and only slightly worse than Superman’s December, 2012 numbers.

Let’s take a look at some numbers where Clark Kent was a journalist/reporter/blogger (as well as Superman).  George Perez wrote the new 52 Superman in issues #1 thru #6.  He left the book not knowing what editorial was going to keep of his story.  DC Entertainment has problems with creators staying on.  The new Superman book has had 4 writers on it so far.  Issue #1 was not only the foundation of the present time Superman mythology but Clark wrote a story for Daily Planet – used via narration boxes.  We have not seen that since.  Average orders for Perez’s new 52 run (just counting #2 thru #6 since September 2011 was a fluke) were 76, 842.  In his run, we saw the dual identity and the triangle for two.  Not so much now.

Action Comics #1 published in the Spring of 1938, had Superman leaping around bringing a criminal to justice and exonerating an innocent from execution.  As Clark Kent, he asked Lois Lane for a date, yet again and took her to a speak easy.  A mobster interrupted their dance and while Clark remained mild mannered, he didn’t protect his oppressed dance partner.  Never mind.  Lois can handle herself.  She slaps the mobster and gives Clark what for.  Leaving in a cab, the mobster collides with it and kidnaps Lois.  Superman appears to save the day and bring the bully to justice.  He whisks Lois away into the Metropolis night.  Clark Kent and Superman are one and the same.  They cannot be dissected.  He needs his whole story – and as we have seen under these people within DC Entertainment, as his numbers go down, fans won’t get their whole Superman back until they are gone.  The current DC Entertainment’s  vision of Superman is myopic and they don’t deal with his heart and spirit.

In 1938, the world was on the brink of yet another world war and in the middle of a financial depression.  Superman was an inspiration to our ancestors.  He showed them they could be their own Superman and save their world if they only take action.  He righted wrongs.  He stood up for the downtrodden.  He was a man who could fly (eventually).  He had a heart and a true love – a woman with Chutzpah, an analytical mind and a strong will, but with a good heart.  They were loners and yet when together, they became a whole.

In 2013, the world is in and out of wars (mostly in) at the drop of a hat and we are in a worldwide financial crisis.  Where is our Superman?  Where is our hope that things can get better?  Where is our inspiration that leads us to aspire?  He’s alienated and can’t relate to humans.  He has to fight aliens and psychotic villains.  He’s not like us in any way.  He’s powerful and majestic.  He doesn’t assimilate and isn’t proud of his human upbringing.  He’s an emotional coward.  He lives in so many altered states, alternate worlds and alternate timelines – he doesn’t know who he truly is and neither do the people who read his books.   So why bother spending money on them?  Many have quit and are not likely to come back.  Trust has been broken.

We NEED a Superman.  A better Superman than we are being given by DC Entertainment.

We still haven’t seen what Andy Diggle will do in Action or rather what he’s allowed to do since his first Action issue has been moved to #19.  Scott Snyder will be writing the Man of Steel book.  He may have more freedom since he has had success with the Batman book (Didio’s fav character!).  The Man of Steel movie appears in June, 2013.

But just imagine you’re a Superman fan.  A beaten and battered Superman fan with a gun pointed at you, because it has been torture to see what the Boyz at DC Entertainment have done to the original superhero and his mythology.

scionlois

Now imagine you’ve been told someone new is going to come into the room.  Should you be excited (with a grain of hope) or do you expect the worst?   Or do you become so numb, you just don’t care.  Something you have loved has died and something inside of you has died, too.

Where is Superman?

Recently DC Entertainment saw fit to cancel Superman Family Adventures, a book for Everyone about Classic Superman.  This monthly book of joy will no longer exist after April, 2013.  DC Entertainment does not feel it necessary to build a fanbase of younger readers so they will keep on reading comics throughout their lives.  Wise business sense?

In April, DC Entertainment has deemed their books ‘WTF certified’ – again younger readers needn’t bother.

In March, Kevin Sujihara will become the CEO of Warner Brothers Entertainment over movie, television, DC Comics, and other businesses.   Since 2005, Tsujihara has been President of Warner Brother Home Entertainment which included home video, digital distribution, videogames, anti-piracy, and emerging technology operations.  Paul Levitz, while President/Publisher of DC Comics worked with Kevin Tsujihara within the company.  Mr. Tsuijihara would have been involved with Smallville DVDs (a moneymaker), Timm animations, digital distribution, and video games involving Superman.

He’s a new person in the room.  He has power.  Should Superman fans hope?

Or did all hope die with Lois and Clark’s baby . . . the most disgusting thing called entertainment many people have ever seen.

It takes a sacrifice to birth a hero – isn’t it about time the Boyz of DC Entertainment make a sacrifice of themselves (their control, their egos, their jobs)?

February 1, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Announcements, Baudy's Reviews, BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Superman. 4 comments.

The Deconstruction of Superman

Anyone who has been following my blog knows how I feel about what the Co-Publishers have been doing to the Man of Steel.  I’m just not sure how much Geoff Johns is involved in this deconstruction.

Back in 2008, when Didio was just VP Executive Editor and Lee was an artist and Executive Creative Director over video games, Geoff Johns met with James Robinson and Greg Rucka to discuss the Superman storyline for the next two years.   What fans got was Superman out of the Superman book for a year and Superman out of Action Comics for two years.  World of New Krypton had a Superman/Clark Kent leaving his loved ones (including his wife, Lois) to go live on New Krypton as Kal-El with 100,000 other Kryptonians.   Sales plummeted.  No one knew this character without his dual identity and only his alien heritage.  There was no marriage as apparently Kal-El dared not even think of Lois while on his new world.

After that sales dive, J Michael Straczynski gave us Grounded where Superman would walk the United States to get back to his superhero roots.  Minus his wife, of course.  Shortly after a meeting with Dan Didio in late 2010 JMS learned that Didio was jonsing for a reboot and was getting it.  Soon after JMS dropped Grounded (so he could concentrate on Superman: Earth One supposedly) and Chris Roberson was given up the clean up duties.  We found that the marriage was alive when Lois visited her mind controlled husband – but he still wasn’t truly Superman or Clark Kent .   No dual identity or triangle-for-two.

When the reboot was announced, Paul Cornell finished out his Action run (his previous year on Action consisted of a Lex Luthor based story with a Lois-bot and every DCU villain, but no Superman) with Doomsday and the Supers battling it out.  Roberson and Cornell tried to end Superman and Action with a tribute to the marriage and the most iconic love story in comic book history. But a couple of pages just didn’t cut it.

Lois Lane was fridged 4 times in a 12 month period before and after the reboot.  Her marriage was thrown into oblivion – because she was a “beautiful trophy wife and the marriage just weighed down Superman and made him boring.”  Didio said they had no writers who could write the Superman story with all that baggage.

Enter the new 52.

There were rumors that there would be a Superman Wonder Woman hookup early on.  This seemed to be underlined by that October, 2010 “writers’ retreat” where they thought of putting Superman in a love triangle and the ideas just flowed.

You’ve read who I think were actually at the writers retreat – and no one who actually wrote Superman or loved the character could have come up with what he is in the new 52. Removing all his human tethers and making him alienated sounds like ideas from people on the outside and not working from within the character.   George Perez and Grant Morrison were handpicked to write Superman and Action.  Perez later spoke of how editorial (and possible corporate entities) had very strict perimeters which often changed on a whim.  Morrison, who Didio boosted as the main reason to buy Action, later within his story spoke of a corporation who took a great iconic idea which everyone loved  (Superman) and twisted him into something he was never intended to be – a superdoomsday, a monster that kills.

Bryan Q. Miller had an idea for a comic book that would continue the Smallville television story before the show ended.  He couldn’t sell the idea as the new 52 was beginning to get ‘organized’ but later, he was told that his book would be published.  Smallville Season 11 would be a digital-first meaning fans could purchase a digital-chapter before it was compiled into a print issue.   Fans disappointed with what was transpiring in the new 52 books were happy to purchase (both electronically and in print) the story of a classic Superman.  The Smallville show had its troubles, but it did try to incorporate all the ages of the Superman mythology.

Although there have been no digital numbers released regarding sales/downloads, Smallville Season 11 at a 99 cent price point usually rises to the #1 spot week after week.  That’s quite a feat for a book competing with $3 or $4 books well established in the new 52 or at Marvel or the other publishing companies.  Print-wise Smallville Season 11 dances around the 100 mark each month and has done so steadily.  It’s like guaranteed money.  Now with a little more promotion maybe it could go up the order charts – but Smallville Clark is a classic character and would be a reminder of what the new 52 Superman is not.

Superman Family Adventures by Art Baltazar and Franco also gave fans of all ages, a classic Superman.  The triangle-for-two (Clark and Lois), super pets, the Daily Planet, and all the villains (new and old).  BUT, this past week fans found out after its 12th issue, Superman Family Adventures would be no more.   No more laughing.  No more fun.  If DC Entertainment were seriously trying to build its comic book division, then wrangling the kids early on in their lives would give them a habit for life.  And since kids (of all ages) are electronically savvy, then why not have had it in some digital form and promote the hell out of it?  But again, maybe Superman Family Adventures brought up too much of the old mythos to the Co-Publishers liking.

Since August 22nd, DC Comics has promoted the pairing of Superman and Wonder Woman to the point of hysteria.  Profiles from match.com, multi-media promotion, made up top ten polls, and hyperbole made into a new art form has been relentlessly shoved down fans throats.  Although Justice League #12  got a bump with its heavy promotion and second variant cover, its orders have continued to fall month after month.   Action Comics orders have fallen 60% since October, 2011 and Superman after  four writers still is falling.  WHY?

When Superman fans saw the kiss promo, we knew why Superman just couldn’t get off the ground.  Clark Kent has not been seen much since Perez’s run (1-6) , Morrison writes in multiple timelines and really didn’t give us much until Action #12 (same month as JL #12), and the Daily Planet and Lois especially has been relegated to a deeply buried subplot.   Superman’s dual identity, the triangle-for-two and his human background are gone!

Did you know that Superman is an alien?

Similar to what we experienced in WONK, Superman is an alien complete with a suit of armor with a Mister Majestic collar.  He’s all alone.  There’s no one like him (except Supergirl and Superboy . . . and the many other Kryptonian villains DC has unleashed upon him).   So if he doesn’t exactly know who he is – you can forgive him cause, he’s alienated.  (worst characterization ever)

Why alienate Superman?  Because then you can turn him into something he has never been – a monster.  How do you alienate him – you jump into his story at the five year mark and hope no one asks any questions.

Kal-El was placed into a ship by Jor-El and Lara to save him from the destruction of Krypton.  He landed in a field in Kansas and was discovered by the Kents.  That much of the story has not changed.  But we do not see his upbringing by the Kents or his first five years working as a reporter in Metropolis.

If any writer was in that writers’ retreat, they would know that a character’s back story and circumstances shape the story and suggest plots.   It seems as though this Clark Kent did not develop his powers until he was an adolescent.  That means his formative years where he’s a learning sponge were under the direction and guidance of the Kents.  We’ve been told he has a strong moral core.  Clark experienced rejection in middle school (being picked last for a basketball team) but he played football in high school.  A picture proudly displayed at the Kent farm confirms this.   How alienated can he be if he played team sports?  He even has a favorite eating spot in Smallville where he enjoys the company  of the folks there.

In Action 12, Clark is far from alienated from Lois Lane.  He saves her life as if his counted on it.  And in Perez’s run, his life did depend on Lois as she saved the super damsel in distress at least twice.  Also within those pages, we saw Clark wished things could have been different between he and Lois.  He had just found out she had a boyfriend (Superman #1) which editorial gleefully related made Clark despondent (thus alienating him further).  Bad Lois for making Superman feel bad.

Fans have never seen those first moments of Lois meeting Clark face to face or Superman meeting Lois Lane face to face.  The triangle-for-two is dead.  He’s dating Wonder Woman because he’s alienated.  Still working as a journalist, even though he left the Daily Planet (thus alienating him further), and still seems to enjoy a hot dog and having a slob for a room mate in the form of Jimmy Olsen.

Right now when we do see Clark, we are TOLD in narration boxes, he finds Lois to be the most amazing woman he has ever known.   But within the story, Clark chastises Lois for having a boyfriend she’s moving in with and tossing her journalistic integrity away in her new position at the Daily Planet.  While he’s kissing Wonder Woman because there’s no one like them – except for the supers, and some of the peeps on Justice League, Justice League Dark, and soon to be Justice League of America.

This is just bad storytelling.  POOR POOR characterization and just darn right stomping down of the Superman character and mythos.

Superman is no longer a symbol of hope (even though Perez, Giffen and Jurgens tried to put that into the narrative).  He is feared by the humans of the world (except Lois and Jimmy supposedly).  And will be more feared when his relationship with Wonder Woman is publicized in the story – thus leading up to the Trinity War (the first crisis of the new 52).  Yes, people fear Superman.  He’s an emotional coward.  Doesn’t follow his heart.  He’s alienated.  Sometimes emotionally removed (Justice League) and hovering above others.   Sometimes over the top petulant 12 year old emotionally in Lobdell’s Superman book.  He doesn’t know who he is and we certainly don’t know who he is either.  His story has been smashed to smithereens – and for what purpose?

This past week fans got the first chapter of the comic book behind the video game, Injustice: Gods Among Us.  It is being done by the people who did Mortal Kombat.  That’s right the very violent, fight to the death (lots of death) video game.  We see a Superman we are familiar with.  He’s married to Lois Lane.  He’s wearing the new 52 suit.  Why have Lois in the comic if she means nothing to his story?  Emotional impact.  How do you turn Superman into a killing monster?  You kill Lois and their unborn child. Talk about a slap in the face to Superman fans.  Lois is only important if you can fridge her and her baby to make Clark into a monster.   It’s the nature of the video game – Superman has to be a tyrant in order to bring order into the world, right?  And the only way to be a tyrant is to kill a few along the way especially if your game is being done by the Mortal Kombat guys.  And if it means getting vengeance for Lois’ death all the better, right?

Even the writer of the comic said it was the most painful thing he has ever done – destroying Superman.

DC Entertainment has sold Superman’s soul for a video game.  He will kill.  He will do things out of anger.  There is no self discipline or self control – that would not be conducive to the game.

There is no shining light of hope in troubled times as there was in the Great Depression.  We in the soon-to-be Greater Depression have no such inspiration or aspiration.  That character is gone and has been for quite a few years now.  He’s too alienated.  He doesn’t relate to humans.  And if you piss him off for some reason, he will kill.  This is Lee’s Mister Majestic not Superman.   But some of us knew that already – like everyone who has thrown down a new 52 Superman book in disgust.

Will generations of fans see THE Superman they know and love?  Most probably in the Man of Steel movie.  Dan Didio and Jim Lee thankfully have nothing to do with that.

But fans are stuck with these two overseeing the pages of the new 52 Superman stories – their ideas are diminishing Superman and in so doing imploding the comic book industry at a more rapid rate.  Too many missed opportunities for expanding the character and audience or riding the wave of good publicity from the film trailer.  It’s their way or the highway . . .  They love doom which is not what Superman is about at all.

It’s about time Diane Nelson showed the Co-Pubs the exit ramp.  Fans are gleefully awaiting your doom.

January 18, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Announcements, Baudy's Reviews, BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Superman. 3 comments.

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