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Grant Morrison: Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and the Return of …

Grant Morrison is once again exploring the DC Universe. While the celebrated writer has remained wary of committing to a monthly superhero book once again in the years since his turn on Action Comics in 2011-2012, he is still one of the most influential creators in the publisher’s staple. His 2014 limited series, The Multiversity, redefined how the central multiversal concept of the DC Universe operates, and it has echoed through recent books by other writers, including last year’s Dark Nights: Metal and the current ongoing Justice League series, for starters, but he still has plenty of work to do with some of DC’s heaviest hitters.

Morrison (with artist Yanick Paquette) recently released the second act of a Wonder Woman trilogy with Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 2, continuing a subversive, controversial story that revisits Diana’s origins as if she were created today, and putting all of the traditional elements of her legend in dialogue with modern events. This week sees the return (and possibly final appearance) of the New 52 version of Superman, who Morrison re-envisioned as a Siegel and Shuster-esque social justice warrior with a chip on his shoulder. This Superman, essentially eliminated from continuity by the events of DC’s Rebirth initiative, appears alongside more esoteric characters from the writer’s 2005-2006 Seven Soldiers multi-series, in a tale that picks up elements from Dark Nights: Metal in the first Sideways annual.

But the biggest news of the moment is his partnership with artist Liam Sharpe on The Green Lantern, a brand new series that puts Hal Jordan back at the forefront of the Green Lantern Corps. The cosmic weirdness of Green Lantern is a perfect match for Morrison’s vivid imagination, and Liam Sharpe’s intricate artwork is ideal for the light-based constructs of a Green Lantern ring. All three projects reveal different sides of the writer’s unique approach to the DC Universe, and however far out the concepts may appear, they’re always rooted in real world concerns.

Morrison was kind enough to explain it all to us…

Den of Geek: You’ve been describing The Green Lantern as a police procedural in space, but given the way you usually work on DC projects, that almost seems a little small scale compared to your work on All-Star Superman or Batman. Is there a point where this story zooms out and becomes something more universe shaking?

Grant Morrison: Well, no. I mean, by its very nature, I think a Green Lantern story is always gonna take place on quite a large canvas. This guy’s a protector of multiple planets and solar systems, so we’re always keeping that in mind. And when I say “police procedural,” it was simply to give the feeling that we’re scaling back from specifically “the universe is ending, this is the end, the entire Green Lantern Corps will be devastated, and it will be a terrible universal reset” sort of storyline.

We kind of wanted to say we’d gone back to basics with this. But naturally, a police procedural on a cosmic scale involves very big ideas at play. It’s just that it wouldn’t be the kind of apocalyptic threat to the fundamentals of the concept that it has been before.

Why is Hal the only Lantern that you felt could you could center this story around? Why not John Stewart, or Simon Baz, or somebody else?

Honestly, it wasn’t even that. Dan Didio came to me and actually said that he wanted to do this, and he wanted to do a Hal Jordan comic, and was I interested. As I famously said before, I was completely numbed. I never wanted to do a monthly comic book again.

But then I began to think of it, and it seemed that this was one of those kind of fundamental challenges. Green Lantern is one of the most basic superhero concepts. You can see where Batman came from, and it’s a bat. And Superman’s from another planet and it’s science fiction. But Green Lantern’s this very strange hybrid between old school science fiction and superheroes. So within minutes I was coming up with thoughts on what you could do with it. That’s what drove it initially, to just latching onto that basic concept and seeing where we could push it.

There are a lot of new Green Lanterns in that first issue as well. There’s Maxim Tox, and Floozle Flem, and there’s definitely a Green Lantern Corps element to this even though it centers on Hal. How important is it for you to play with these new Lanterns?

To a certain extent, Hal has been through so many different characters, by different writers. And that’s what I found interesting. I think to place him among a different group of Green Lanterns than the ones we often see in the books just allows us to bring a sort of different side to his personality in the way different people see him rather than the fact that we’re adding anything new.

We’re actually making the character a kind of composite of who he’s been over the decades. But certainly, each of the new Lanterns, I think, most of them actually have connections to previous characters. Maxim Tox, cousin was killed in the 52 series by me, and I also invented him, so I created and killed him in two panels. So, he’s got a connection to him. They all get connections. Generally, if I feel bad for a fallen or dead Green Lantern, I’ll create an equivalent.

This is such a design heavy book, both because of the nature of the powers themselves, and also because of the alien races. What’s it like working with Liam Sharpe? How closely do you have to work together to kind of get that look and feel? He’s known for such beautiful ornate artwork…

Obviously, that was one of the first things going in. Once I knew that Liam was on board and the idea was to make it quite different. We were trying to get a kind of a European look, so it’s somewhere between 2000 A.D. and French graphic novels. And there’s a lot of influences [that are] slightly different from the normal American comic book. Liam’s contribution was just so immense.

The more issues that have come in when I’m just throwing in these mad curveballs of alien worlds that can’t possibly be imagined and then Liam comes in with an entire double page spread of this thing fully realized. He’s really driving the desire to make the book a big spectacle and about light, and really about the colors and the explosions and the pyrotechnics and the incandescence of the Green Lantern concept as well.

It’s gorgeous.

His work’s amazing, and like I said, it’s kind of breaking boundaries for what a monthly superhero comic can do. I think it’s very different, and obviously there’s influences like I said from European comics, but also from cinema, and also from the golden age of science fiction illustration like Virgil Finlay and Kelly Freas. So there’s a lot of thought went into this to just do this quintessential science fiction space police book.

Did you suggest Liam for the book, or was he somebody that DC suggested?

No, we wanted to work together in something. We were kind wrangling over what it should be, and Green Lantern was kind of sitting on the table in between us and we hadn’t noticed. I think when we realized what we were gonna do, it was pretty quick, because we’d planned to work together anyway. He’s working now pretty far ahead, and every issue just gets better. It’s just more spectacular, and more ornate, and like I said, I haven’t anything like it in American comics for a long time.

You guys are together for 12 issues?

We’re together for 12 issues. We have other ideas, but we’re just trying to see how our schedules are gonna work in with it.

How did you end up getting involved with that Sideways annual?

Well, it was the same dinner with Dan Didio. It worked out pretty well. We came out with a couple of comics. Dan told me he was bringing back a couple of characters from my Seven Soldiers series, and also he wanted to kind of do a farewell to the New 52 Superman with the tee shirt and jeans, the kind of “blue collar Superman.” So, I said, “Yeah, I’ll help you out with dialogue.” He wanted it to be as authentic as possible dialogue to the characters, so I said, “Yeah.” I didn’t explain it. I just went in and wrote some crazy dialogue.

I really enjoyed that “blue collar” take on Superman, particularly the tee shirt and jeans issues. But I feel like that personality you helped craft for him in those Action Comics issues, it never really fully seemed to carry through to the other Superman books. Did you ever have plans to develop that era of the character more beyond that initial big New 52 origin story that you did for him?

No. I mean, I had the ideas obviously the more I thought about it. But it was a just at that time I was finding it quite difficult to do monthly comic books and everything else at the same time. So, to be honest, there wasn’t any kind of “lost stories” that I didn’t get to do. At least until Dan handed me this Sideways annual, and then I got to put some words back into the New 52 Superman’s mouth. So that was fun. It was good to revisit the character.

You’ve done the early days of Superman with those Action Comics issues and you did his end with All-Star Superman, and you’ve tackled his prime in JLA and Final Crisis. Do you feel that you still have more to say with any version of Superman?

No, honestly, it’s been weird, and I think there are stories to be told, but I kind of told my good ones a little bit. And I might come up with something else, but … They asked me to take part in things like Action Comics #1000, and the Batman one [2019’s Detective Comics #1000], but I’ve said so much with these characters that it seemed really difficult to condense it into a short story. And I’m in such envy of the people who do that so well.

further reading: Grant Morrison’s Superman  – A Reconfigured Reading Order

So for me, I kind of do think I’ve said my piece at least for now. But there’s a kind of looking at some of those characters from a really different angle in Green Lantern. I like if you can come in and look at them from a fresh perspective.

Does this mean that you anticipate your Green Lantern story, however long it ends up being, being your final word on the GL corner of the DC Universe?

We haven’t decided anything, but the thing I’ve got to say about Green Lantern we’ll be trying to say it in a run through. I think that’s the plan to really do it so that so it’s a kind of definitive take on it, at least from our point of view.

What are you listening to while you’re writing Green Lantern?

Oh, my God, every time people ask me this, I forget everything I’m listening to. I just kind of have boring playlists on rotation. So it’s all kinds of things, just different bits of punk rock, bits of classical music, weird choral music from the 1600s. The great thing about Green Lantern is that all the planets are different, and they all have different atmospheres. So if you’re doing the casino planet, I like to blast the Sonic the Hedgehog casino world music. Each of the planets has a different atmosphere and a different feel to it. It’s been fun, because it gives me a more diverse playlist.

Because I was getting kind of a Hawkwind vibe from when I was reading those issues

There’s definitely cosmic rock and psychedelia. I listen to that stuff while working and particularly because it’s Green Lantern you want to get those kind of influences in there.

With Wonder Woman Earth One: Volume Two, whose idea was it to make Dr. Psycho look like Nick Cave?

I think it came out weirdly enough just by chance, because I was talking to [Wonder Woman: Earth One artist] Yanick Paquette about it, and we were basically trying to revamp this character, who in the 1940s had been presented as quite a weird cartoonish tiny man with a gigantic head. But what he did have is this swept back mane of black hair.

So when we decided that we’re going revamp this creepy hypnotist of the 1940s as a kind of much more creepy, mind controlling, pickup artist type, we thought, “Well, let’s make him someone that could be attractive.” We kept the swept back black hair, and said he should be kind of ugly handsome, so have a look at people with bigger features, guys who look a bit rugged. And it came back and basically we caught Nick Cave. So, I guess, if they’d been describing Nick Cave running from the scene of the crime, that would’ve been the crime sketch.

And it’s funny that you used the term “pickup artist” there, because he talks very much like those types and alt-right personalities. You seem to avoid social media, which is probably healthy, but how much research did you do on the mind games that these guys play?

It was a lot. And there’s personal experience because I’d known guys like that, and I’ve had guys like that come into to my circle and seen how they operate. And then I went into it in detail. I played up a lot of stuff about NLP and body language back in the days of The Invisibles, so coming at it from that side, and then the weird mind control things tied into William Moulton Marston’s ideas about bondage and the Amazons using mind control.

My friend, who’s actually studied a lot of the pickup artists, she provided me with the actual script of how it’s done and the hand gestures and the movements. It was a pretty serious attempt to at least do a decent cartoon version of something like that. It’s a lot more subtle, a lot more devious than Dr. Psycho is, but we actually wanted to give kind of an idea how it worked.

There are two moments that really struck me. One is when Diana is addressing the crowd, and people are talking to her about these real world concerns, and it felt both like a commentary on how people would address Wonder Woman if she was real, but also like an indictment of how prominent the superhero has become in pop culture now. Later on she has that quote about how the gods are just embodiments of our ideals, or something like that. Can you speak to this a little bit, and the opposition to the people like Dr. Psycho? Because it didn’t feel like an “in story” moment. It felt like it was kind of talking to the audience as well.

Yeah, and this part of this particular story is the middle part of a trilogy. So it kind of was to a certain extent “The Fall of Wonder Woman” and The Empire Strikes Back. So, it’s the part where we show the way to fight back, and it’s gonna be a very different from what everyone thinks, or what they’ve seen before with Wonder Woman. We just wanted to show a different response to her, but we had to show the power and the hatred that was behind the assault in the first place, and that attempt to dominate and control but also to see the horrible mirror of that in the Amazons, and to see how does Diana go ahead from this, and somehow form a bridge between these cultures? Because that might be the only thing that works.

The story was written years ago, and it seems to have bled even more deeply into current headlines and current discussions, which is interesting. But again, all we did is pursue the spirit of Marston. The original Wonder Woman was always at the head of women’s marches, and was always talking about women’s suffrage, and was always politically engaged with the culture at the time. We just kind of brought that back, and I think we talked about issues a couple of years ago when it was written that have become a lot more hot button in the intervening years.

This story was written years ago, and your Superman was written back during the Occupy Wall Street era. Yet both of these, like you said, feel more prominent now. That attitude feels like we need it more in this horrible political climate that we find ourselves in right now. Do you think that these characters still have the power to influence positive change in people the way you used to?

Of course I think they do otherwise I wouldn’t keep getting involved with them. But it remains to be seen how that works out. But yeah, I still think they have the power to do that. I think it’s in the hands of writers and artists to allow them to express that. But it depends how we want to do it, and there’s lots of different ways to do that. I’ve erred more towards telling symbolic stories, or allegorical stories I think, and that just seems to be the thing that suits me about doing superheroes I think. They’re particularly well suited for having discussions on that kind of symbolic ideas Jungian level of culture. They work really well because they can actually punch ideas.

Do you think that maybe it’s time to revisit The Invisibles? Do you think that might be an even more effective movement for this point in history?

Yeah, I mean, I think it has a lot to say. I think it could be even more … I think what’s going on now is kind of more suited to the magical and occult ideas in The Invisibles, because we’re in the time of meltdown as far as the boundaries between reality and illusion is concerned. They have dissolved quite considerably over the past few years. And I think where we are now is a very pliable, weird, bizarre time. And I think that partly that accounts for the Monty Python-ish elements of Green Lantern. We kind of feel that the only way to fight the absurdity is with more absurdity to be honest.

A few years ago, you had brought up Multiversity Too: The Flash. Is that still possible?

It may be possible in the future. There were so many Flash stories suddenly being told, and it just seemed like another redundant Flash story. And it was quite a good little idea, but it wasn’t worth dedicating a year to writing which it may have taken. So, no, that one’s just kind of the back burner. One day it will get told, but not in the near future. We want to get him into Green Lantern at some point, because those two were always superhero friends and buddies. It would be good to get them together.

It would be great to see Liam drawing The Flash.

Well, that’s a nasty one. I can just think wouldn’t it be great to see Liam drawing? And then dot, dot, dot, and it can be any crazy thing and he has to draw it.

Multiversity was so influential, and obviously those ideas kind of broke off and spawned Dark Nights Metal and now that is a big thread in the current Justice League book, which often feels like it’s taking other inspirations from your old work on JLA. Did you ever expect that these would become so foundational for the DC universe in general, and for these younger creators?

Not necessarily. When you’re doing this stuff, you’re not thinking about it in those terms. It’s just “is it a good story? Do I feel fulfilled, and will it pay for cat food?” I’m never thinking about who it might influence, but it’s good to know.

I think when you’re working in something like the DC Universe, or one of these ongoing universes, of which there are a couple, but DC is one of the longest running, then it’s great to see people pick up ideas that you’ve left there deliberately in the hope that someone notices that flame flickering in the corner somewhere. And often my stuff wasn’t picked up on, so it’s actually been quite gratifying to see people come out then with new twists on different elements, because it was always meant to be part of a shared playground.

The Green Lantern #1 and Sideways Annual #1 are both on sale on Nov. 7. Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 2 is currently available.

Mike Cecchini is the Editor in Chief of Den of Geek. You can read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @wayoutstuff.

From: https://www.denofgeek.com/us/books/dc-entertainment/277449/grant-morrison-green-lantern-wonder-woman-and-the-return-of-blue-collar-superman

‘Supergirl’: Who Is Manchester Black?

After being mentioned in the season premiere, Manchester Black made his first appearance on tonight’s episode of Supergirl, “Ahimsa.”

Spoilers for tonight’s’ episode of Supergirl, “Ahimsa”, below.

In tonight’s episode, Manchester Black shows up at J’onn’s apartment looking for him in connection with Fiona’s disappearance. As it would happen, J’onn’s friend Fiona was engaged to Black and he is concerned that she’s apparently vanished. What neither man knows is that she was stabbed by Agent Liberty (Sam Witwer), but J’onn shares with Black the badge number he found putting them on the trail of a police officer who might be involved with her disappearance.

Played by actor David Ajala on The CW series, in comics Black is a dangerous and manipulative psychic and telekinetic. As the head of a team of self-styled superheroes known as The Elite, he sought to upstage Superman and the Justice League in “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Truth, Justice, and the American Way?”, his first comic appearance and a story that is widely considered one of the best Superman comics in the last quarter century.

Created by Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke, Black was so popular that he kept popping back up in the DC Universe though his opinions about how things should work put him at odds with the heroes. Black believes that the Justice League should be more brutal, and he has a particular dislike for Superman as he thinks that no one can be as genuinely good as he appears to be.

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It’s a characterization that appears to be translating fairly well to Supergirl. While Black did team up with J’onn to try to find Fiona, her death was devastating for him. The last we see of Black in the episode, he’s buying a large cache of weapons and is likely set on avenging Fiona’s death. Time will tell just how Black will fit into the season and just how much trouble he will cause for the show’s heroine.

Supergirl airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

From: https://comicbook.com/dc/2018/11/05/supergirl-season-4-who-is-manchester-black/

The Comic Source Podcast Episode 579 – Superman Sunday: Action Comics #1004

In this episode we discuss;

The Comic Source Podcast

Episode 579

Superman Sunday: Action Comics #1004

Jace and Adam from Talking Superman dive into the latest issue of Action Comics. We finally hear Lois’s explanation for not telling Clark she is back and we get some great character moments with the staff of the Daily Planet.

Action Comics #1004

Writer – Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils – Ryan Sook, Inker – Wade Von Grawbadger, Colorist – Brad Anderson, Letterer – Josh Reed

From: https://lrmonline.com/news/episode-579/

NYCC ’18: Liveblogging DC Superman 80th Celebration

It’s been 80 years since the Man of Steel made his debut in comics and the year 2018 is celebrating the anniversary. Today at NYCC, in a panel moderated by co-publisher Dan DiDio, DC Comics brought together two of the biggest names in the industry, Brian Michael Bendis who after two decades at Marvel is now the current writer of the Superman books, and the legendary Frank Miller, whose upcoming Superman: Year One mini drawn by John Romita Jr. is set to be released through DC’s Black Label imprint next year. In celebration  legendary creators celebrating the spirit of truth, hope and justice during Superman’s 80th anniversary panel.

Live-blogging has ended.


Dan DiDio has taken the stage to introduce the panel-Bendis, the latest addition to the roster of talent and Frank Miller, an inspiration to both DiDio and Bendis.

DiDio noted both Miller and Bendis praised for their DD work.

DiDio asks Miller about perception that he doesn’t like Superman because of his portrayal in DKR. “Batman did knock the snot out of him!”

Superman was first superhero Miller grow up with. Early version of DKR had Batman killed in blaze of glory by police. Batman v Superman made for a  great climax.

In writing YEAR ONE, Miller flips the tables with Superman and Batman compared to DKR.

Growing up in Cleveland as a Jewish kid, Bendis constantly heard that Cleveland was the home of Superman and rock and roll. Bendis retelling story he’s mentioned before about visiting Cleveland Library that inspired him to take on the character.

Bendis was involved in helping an intended museum and statue for Cleveland that never happened because “Cleveland is run by gangsters” joked Bendis.

Neal Adams was Miller’s “godfather” coming into comics. Miller never had an inclination to do Superman when he started at DC Comics. Get on a loser book because if it succeeds you’re the golden boy according to Miller.

After a pause after DiDio asked Miller why he never worked on Superman before, Miller responded, “Because you never asked.” Miller known for dark stories and people always assumed he didn’t like Supes.

Superman has the best girlfriends in comics. “Superman is gorgeous! He never wears a masks.”

Each chapter of 3 issues of YEAR ONE will focus on 3 particular Superman relationships

1) Lana Lang

2) Lori Lemaris

3) Lois Lane

Miller pushing for Wonder Woman getting involved.

Writing Superman inspires Bendis to be a kinder person in real life.

YEAR ONE will delve into Clark Kent discovering his powers for first time. Bendis remarked the extra-sensory perception of both Superman and Daredevil shapes their worlds. While DD uses it to take on crime, it fills Superman with love.

DiDio asks if Superman’s powers make it harder to write character. Bendis believes it’s just a tool he uses. During the Weisenger era, Miller joked you almost expected Superman to punch out God since he was so powerful.

“Much like a tweet isn’t the best way to handle a situation, punching isn’t the best way to handle a situation,” said Bendis to huge applause that surprised him.

Miller made a crack about infamous “F**k Batman” from Robin! Pa and Ma Kent did a better job at raising Clark than Alfred, Miller joked.

For his inspiration, Miller looked towards to original Schuster strips when the concept was brand new. Bendis described those strips as “punk rock comics.” Superman took a quantum leap when WWII hit according to Miller. Superman was “status quo hero” when Miler was growing up but wants to return to character as an affiliated force of justice- a social justice warrior if you will!

The assault on truth in today’s world informing Bendis’ take on Superman. Superman’s belief that he doesn’t do enough similarily propels Bendis.

DiDio asked stories they want to stay away from. Bendis doesn’t like to have Superman lecture, preferring Superman to speak with his actions.

Miller reiterating his Superman will not be the one in DKR. Superman is mythic and will not tell you how to vote.

Bendis has discovered that Lois Lane is the best character in comics.

When asked if DC should bring back SUPERMAN’S PAL JIMMY OLSON title, audience enthusiastically said yes.

In his current Superman books, Bendis is resetting the relationship between Lois and Clark for a modern era without ending the marriage. The Superman story is all about fathers and sons for Bendis.

Bendis relates Superman raising Jon Kent as parent raising a special needs child.

Bendis was shocked to see how shallow the Superman villain pond was. He’s glad Lex Luthor is busy on JL book so he can build new villains.

Miller believes Luthor has potential to be one of the greatest villains ever. He has a fondness for Luthor and Brainiac, considering the latter the worst villain in the universe who cashed in on the death of Krypton.

Bendis made a slight but significant tweak to Superman origin as being a survivor of a cleansing instead of a natural disaster, making it more in line with the Moses story.

”Superman is the ultimate immigrant and therefore the ultimate American,” said Miller to thunderous applause.

Miller describes “shock” as a rare spice that creators shouldn’t rely on especially in today’s world.

Bendis asked Miller if he would be willing to return to monthly books and Miller said he was open which got audience applause.

Bendis revealed the end of his current storyline “The Unity Saga” will reveal the origin of the United Planets in the 31st century from Legion of Superheroes.

 

Taimur Dar is the Digital Media Producer and Marketing Expert for the Beat. He has earned a master’s degree in marketing intelligence from Fordham University and has provided branding strategies for various companies and organizations. His name his pronounced like the first two syllables of “tomorrow” in case you were wondering.

From: http://www.comicsbeat.com/nycc-18-liveblogging-dc-superman-80th-celebration/

World’s Largest Emerald Found and DC Fans Think It’s Kryptonite

Upcoming DC Extended Universe films include Aquaman on December 21st, Shazamon April 5, 2019, and Wonder Woman 2 on November 1, 2019.

From: https://comicbook.com/dc/2018/11/01/worlds-largest-emerald-superman-kryptonite/

The Comic Source Podcast Episode 570 – LACC Superman Panel and Action Comics #1000 Hardcover

In this episode we discuss;

The Comic Source Podcast

Episode 570

LACC Superman Panel and Action Comics #1000 Hardcover

Jace talks about the Superman Panel from the recent Los Angles Comicon and gives a rundown of the books he included on the iPad he gave away on the panel. Plus Jace talks about the Action Comics #1000 Hardcover and how it is your best bet if you want to get all the exclusive variant covers for the recent milestone issue.

 

From: https://lrmonline.com/news/episode-570/

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: He-Man fights Superman in INJUSTICE VS MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE #4’s epic muscle …

What happens when the absurd is injected with even more absurdity? I imagine it looks a little something like Injustice vs Masters of the Universe, the epic event that sees DC’s ultra-violent elseworld cross over with the magical world of Eternia. Did you ever imagine that you might see Skeletor face off against Zatanna? Or see Superman fight He-Man to the death? Well…now’s your chance!

Check out the Beat’s exclusive preview of Injustice vs Masters of the Universe #4 after the jump.

Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Freddie E. Williams II
Colorist: Jeremy Colwell
Letterer: Wes Abbott

Superman scoured the Multiverse for heroes who might threaten his rule—but he dismissed Prince Adam. Will he rue that decision now that he’s facing He-Man in the Oracle? Plus, Darkseid’s attack on Eternia has reached the walls of Castle Grayskull!


Alex is the Managing Editor of the Comics Beat. He is also a freelance comics editor with previous credits at Papercutz. He is your go-to fella for creator interviews, conversations about comic book structure, and general DC Comics nerding. Currently geeking out over movies, too.

From: http://www.comicsbeat.com/exclusive-preview-he-man-fights-superman-in-injustice-vs-masters-of-the-universe-4s-epic-muscle-bro-showdown/

40 years ago, ‘DC Comics Presents’ let Superman present the rest of DC

Fed up with frequent reboots, renumbering and rebirths, and wish there was a better way to manage these necessary sales boosters? Well, the answer resides in a defunct series that was launched exactly 40 years ago.

For those old enough to recall, there was once a cool team-up title named DC Comics Presents (DCP), which paired Superman with the bravest and boldest.

Unlike the present trend of spin-offs and launching new titles, DCP’s approach was more akin to an incubator where new characters were tested, obscure characters reintroduced, and concepts tinkered with.

Considering that they had a “fail safe” presence in the Man of Steel, readers didn’t feel ripped off even if the story sucked!

Four decades later, the spirit of DCP lives on in new guises and formats, but in tribute to the impact of the original DCP, we revisit some of its most memorable offerings.

Speed Force

It was the pairing of Superman with the Flash in DCP #1 and #2 that kickstarted the title’s nine-year run. With two inconclusive races between the Flash and Superman (in Flash (Vol.1) #175 and Superman (Vol.1) #199), this “non-competitive” team-up digressed from the usual “Who’s fastest” debate to having them work together in a race to … the end of time!

DC comics Presents #1. Photo: DC Comics

DC Comics Presents #1. Photo: DC Comics

Super wonder union

In DCP #32 Superman and Wonder Woman kissed and even partnered to be with each other. While this “forbidden love” angle is constantly rehashed in the Superman mythos, this standalone take does offer a unique insight from Lois Lane’s point of view.

Teen Titans go!

While the lead team-up of DCP #26 featured Superman and Green Lantern, it’s the 16-pager “free insert” in this issue that makes this a Holy Grail for collectors.

The insert previewed the launch of (then revamped) New Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman and George Perez.This issue also marks the first official appearance of Raven, Cyborg and Starfire.

You saw it here first!

The Teen Titans title also served as a springboard for other notable names such as Mongul (# 27), Ambush Bug (#52), Superboy Prime (#87) and Superwoman aka Kristin Wells (Annual # 2).

Superman and Wonder Woman first kissed in DC Comics Presents.

Superman and Wonder Woman first kissed in DC Comics Presents.

He-Man of Steel

By the power of Greyskull! This rare DC-Mattel collaboration unites the Man of Steel and the He-Man of Eternia. It is also argubaly He-Man’s first comic book appearance as well.

No holds barred

The genius of DCP was that there were no limitations/boundaries when it came to character pairings and time zones. The Mattel collaboration proved that it could work outside the DC Universe as well, paving the way for Superman to team-up with the likes of the Joker (#41 and #72), Bizzaro (#71), Forgotten Villains (#78), Clark Kent (#50 and #79) and even … Santa Claus (#67)!

Character diversity aside, there was also no time barrier, as Superman has gone back in time (to team up with Sgt Rock and the Blackhawk), into the future (Legion of Super Heroes) and even to the end of time with Flash!

Rubbing his Super-shoulders

Unless you are in the Justice League or a fellow Kryptonian, chances of sharing character time with Superman is usually quite remote.

The DCP platform, however, enabled Superman to “notice” less popular heroes like the Forgotten Heroes (#77), Arion (#76), Freedom Fighters (#62), Amethyst (#63), Kamandi (#64), Madame Xanadu (#65) and even the Legion of Substitute Heroes (#59)!

A special preview in DCP also featured the first appearance of the Teen Titans.

Whatever happened to …

What I liked most about DCP was that it offered closure for certain B- or C-grade characters with a cult following.

Beginning with DCP #25, the back-up slot featured the likes of Air Wave, Richard Dragon Kung Fu Fighter, Golden Age Sandman, Crimson Avenger, Golden Age Atom and Rex the Wonder Dog.

Outstanding creator teams

The title’s editor – the late Julius Schwartz – was very generous with the creative teams on DCP. Among the comics luminaries who have worked on this title are Len Wein (X-Men), Jim Starlin (Infinity Gauntlet), Marv Wolfman (Teen Titans) and George Perez (Crisis On Infinite Earths)!

Special mention also goes to the Superman/Challengers Of The Unknown tale in DCP #84, which was drawn by Jack “The King” Kirby, and Alan Moore’s Superman/Swamp Thing story in DCP #85.

Grand Finale

After 96 issues of team-ups, it was left with Superman to end the title on his own, via an “Untold Pre-Crisis” tale involving Krypton and the Phantom Zone.

If Superman beats He-Man, does that mean he is the true master of the universe?

If Superman beats He-Man, does that mean he is the true master of the universe?

From: https://www.star2.com/culture/2018/10/25/superman-dc-comics-presents-40-years/

5 new comics to check out this week

A trove of new comics arrives to stores and digital platforms each week, from DC Comics and Marvel Comics’ latest to smaller publishers’ releases that hope to catch some attention.

But with all the books out there, jumping in can be a daunting task. Not sure where to start when it comes to this week’s comic releases? Here are six picks to get you started (and don’t forget to read out running list of the best comics of 2018).

Action Comics #1004


DC Comics/Steve Rude

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Ryan Sook

After reaching the #1000 milestone earlier this year, The Man of Steel continues his adventures, tackling what might be the most complicated task of all: dealing with his relationship. After Lois Lane returns from a trip in space, Superman confronts her about why she hasn’t contacted him — and if she still loves him. The two redefine their relationship in this issue, handling the problems of their rather unconventional marriage in a mature way.


Books of Magic #1


DC Comics/Kai Carpenter

Written by Kat Howard
Art by Tom Fowler

Neil Gaiman’s iconic comic miniseries gets a new rendition. Part of the greater, growing Sandman universe, the original Books of Magic stories followed young Timothy Hunter, a bespectacled dark-haired British teenager (pre-dating the other magical bespectacled dark-haired teenager by a few years) destined to become the world’s greatest magician, as he grew up and realized his destiny. This new take goes back to Tim’s youth and explores his early involvement with magic.

For those looking for more Sandman, the 30th anniversary edition of The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes is also out this week.


Black Panther Vs. Deadpool #1 (of 5)


Marvel Comics/Ryan Benjamin

Written by Daniel Kibblesmith
Art by Ricardo Lopez Oritz

A humorous showdown from Lockjaw and The Late Night with Stephen Colbert writer Daniel Kibblesmith, Deadpool Vs. Black Panther takes two Marvel favorites and pits them against each other. After accidentally injuring an innocent man during a fight with the Wrecker, Deadpool goes on a search for Vibranium to save Willie Lumpkin, the mailman. But since it’s Deadpool, he doesn’t exactly go about this hunt in a typical way, which makes the King of Wakanda a little pissed off.


Judge Dredd Toxic #1


IDW Publishing/Mark Buckingham

Written by Paul Jenkins
Art by Marco Castiello

For the first time, writer Paul Jenkins (Hellblazer, Spider-Man) takes on the futuristic judge in Judge Dredd Toxic. Though Judge Dredd takes place in a future dystopia, this issue tackles some heavy immigration issues that hit close to home. After the death of a genetically-modified toxic waste worker, the residents of Mega-City One make some shocking discoveries, which fuels an anti-immigration frenzy.


Mars Attacks!


Dynamite Entertainment/Tom Mandrake

Written by Kyle Starks
Art by Chris Schweizer

The cult classic, sci-fi trading-card series returns to comic book stands with a fun new reimagining. Slacker Spencer finds himself entangled up in an alien invasion! The series debuts with six different cover variants out by Tom Mandrake (The Spectre), Ruairí Coleman (KISS/Army of Darkness), Eoin Marron (James Bond: The Body), Robert Hack (Dr. Who), Chris Schweizer (The Creeps), and Ken Haeser (The Living Corpse), plus a blank version for readers to draw their own Martian invasion.

From: https://www.polygon.com/comics/2018/10/24/18013636/best-new-comics-dc-marvel-deadpool-black-panther-superman

Superman and Lois Lane are not breaking up – Polygon

One of the first things writer Brian Michael Bendis did when he kicked off his run on the Superman titles, Superman and Action Comics, was to whisk Superman’s wife and son off into space with no means of phoning home. Effectively, the Man of Steel was alone.

But in the pages of Action Comics, Bendis has seeded hints that some of the superfamily were really not so far away after all. And this week, Bendis and artist Ryan Sook delivered the kind of scene that you wouldn’t necessarily think would belong in a book with “action” in the title: Two adults sitting down to have an honest talk about the state of their marriage.

And it includes one of the sexiest panels of Superman I’ve ever read.

The conversation begins when Superman finds Lois in the mundane earth city of Chicago, not in deep space, where he expected her to be. And, after reassuring her husband of the most pressing question between them — their son is fine, and still in space — they do what any loving couple would if they hadn’t seen each other in a while.


From Action Comics #1004, DC Comics (2018).

Brian Michael Bendis, Ryan Sook/DC Comics


Clark Kent and Lois Lane in Action Comics #1004, DC Comics (2018).

Brian Michael Bendis, Ryan Sook/DC Comics

Lois went to space to chaperone the adventures of their half-Kryptonian son Jon with his grandfather — Clark’s biological dad, Jor-El, who was recently revealed to have narrowly survived the destruction of Krypton. At the time, they weren’t really sure if Jor-El was trustworthy. But once she got out there, Lois realized her presence as a baseline human was putting Jon and Jor-El in some danger in the inhospitable reaches of space. And for another thing: Jon is doing fine. Flourishing even.

“It was the best thing that ever happened to him,” she tells Clark. “Your creepy father was right. Jon needed to get out there and Jon did not need me.”

Why is Lois back? She feels like her family has hit a turning point, where they can stop pretending they’re a normal family — something the Kents did for most of Jon’s childhood. And for the first time in a long time, Lois Lane, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, can focus completely on her work.

Clark has one response to that.


Clark Kent and Lois Lane in Action Comics #1004, DC Comics (2018).

Brian Michael Bendis, Ryan Sook/DC Comics

Then they have sex again. It’s canon: Superman is turned on by his wife doing Journalism.

Still, Clark, a man raised on a farm by two loving and well-adjusted parents, protests the idea that he and Lois and Jon can’t find a similar normalcy. And then he pauses, says, “Hold on…” and superspeeds away to throw his costume on, stop a superhuman prison breakout, and superspeed back to being naked in their bed.

It doesn’t take much more pushing from Lois to get him to see her point of view. Jon’s safe in space and coming into his own as a teen. Lois is going to research and write her book. Clark is going to “save everything you can get your hands on.” They can wholly devote themselves to the stuff that makes them them, and still be a family.

And just in case anyone might still have some worries:


Clark Kent and Lois Lane in Action Comics #1004, DC Comics (2018).

Brian Michael Bendis, Ryan Sook/DC Comics

Bendis and Sook’s take on two partners — who just happen to be a superhero and his superhero-adjacent wife — renegotiating their family is exactly the kind of close character work that a reader will remember about a superhero story, even years later. Clark eagerly asks Lois when he’ll get to read her new book, and Lois needles him for never learning to ride a bicycle (for obvious reasons). It’s a serious scene that manages to be romantic, funny, heroic and sexy all at the same time — and it’s a good reminder of why Lois Lane and Clark Kent aren’t just the oldest romance in superhero comics.

They’re one of the best.

From: https://www.polygon.com/comics/2018/10/24/18018546/superman-lois-lane-dc-comics-married-action-comics-1002

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