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How [Redacted] Got Mixed Up With MR. OZ & Became CLARK KENT – SUPERMAN/ACTION COMICS Spoilers

Action Comics #975

Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

Two of the biggest mysteries of DC’s “Rebirth” have been answered in this week’s Action Comics #975 – the identity of the second Clark Kent in the Superman titles, and the identity of one of the prisoners of Mr. Oz’s cells.

Spoilers ahead for this week’s Action Comics #975.

As revealed Tuesday tacitly by DC Comics, Mr. Mxyzptlk is the big bad behind DC’s “Superman Reborn” event, but this week’s Action Comics #975 shows that the story of Mxyzptlk ‘s appearance ties directly in to the mysteries of “Rebirth.”

Mr. Mxyzptlk is the actual identity of the doppelgänger Clark Kent – an extra (and kind of odd) version of mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent who’s been a mystery since he appeared in Action Comics at the beginning of “Rebirth.” Even when Superman scanned this Clark, he appeared to be just what he said – a simply human Clark.

Now readers have learned that human Clark was actually Mr. Mxyzptlk , who had been suffering from a self-imposed amnesia about his true identity. And now that he remembers who he is – and has returned with a vengeance – he’s one of the only characters around in current continuity who is aware of Mr. Oz, his ability to grab people out of the timeline, and his prison that Mxyzptlk describes as “nothing but nothingness.”
 

Doppelgänger Revealed

In the last issue of the “Superman Reborn” crossover Superman #18, an inmate escaped from Mr. Oz’s “off-the-playing-field” prison. Readers were shown other prisoners (Doomsday, Prophecy and Tim Drake) reacting with joy because, as Tim says, “Someone got out!” Inside the escapee’s cell is evidence – carved into the walls – that this prisoner has been waiting for (and expecting) Superman to rescue him.

Meanwhile, in Hamilton (the home of the current-yet-post-Crisis Superman and his family), Jon Kent disappeared after mysterious blue flames engulf him and his house – flames that appeared to be connected to the doppelgänger Clark Kent. This Clark knew all about Superman, his past and even appeared to recognize Krypto – yet he also had the ability to disappear beyond Superman’s ability to see him.

Credit: DC Comics

When Jon disappeared into thin air, Clark and Lois were heartbroken and unable to do anything about it as Superman #18 ended.

This week’s Action Comics #975 is an oversized issue with two stories – one by Dan Jurgens and Doug Mahnke, the other by Paul Dini and Ian Churchill.

The first story starts with Clark and Lois going to the apartment once occupied by the Clark doppelgänger, trying to rescue their son. They discover that this Clark has no belongings, and his kitchen is stocked with only junk food and candy.

Suddenly, doppelgänger Clark appears and is angry, stating that Superman left him “all alone in that cell.” And he begins to shapeshift into different Superman villains, trying to get Superman to figure out who he really is.

Finally, Superman and Lois both figure it out – Mr. Mxyzptlk – and readers see the fan-favorite imp from the Fifth Dimension for the first time in the “Rebirth” era (he was last seen in Grant Morrison’s “New 52” Action Comics run).

Credit: Doug Mahnke (DC Comics)
Credit: DC Comics

“Since you didn’t want to play, I thought maybe Super-Junior would,” Mxy says to explain why he kidnapped Jon, promising that the boy is in a “very, very safe place.”

Mr. Mxyzptlk tells Superman that, because he forgot about Mxy, he’ll make sure that Superman forgets about Jon.

“It’ll be as though he never existed,” Mxy says with a smile as he disappears.

Superman is angry, but Lois is confused. “What are we doing in your old apartment?” she says. When Superman grabs her and says “we have to get Jon back,” Lois answers… “Jon who?”
 

Mr. Oz Tie-In

The Dini/Churchill story takes place in the “safe, safe place” where Mxyzptlk has Jon. Readers learn that the post-Crisis Superman had shared stories about Mr. Mxyzptlk with Jon when he was younger.

Credit: DC Comics

The boy tells the imp that he had called Mxyzptlk the name “Ruppletat,” which was his childish way of trying to say “Purple Hat” (as in the man with the purple hat).

Mxyzptlk thinks that nickname is adorable, but then he shares a story of his own – revealing why he’s so angry with Superman.

Mxyzptlk says that, “not long ago, although I’ve kind of lost track of time,” he was coming to Metropolis to play with Superman when – “blammo!” – he was caught in a “transdimensional booby trap” set by a character he just calls “him” (although readers are shown that it is Mr. Oz).

Mxyzptlk is thrown into Oz’s prison, and the “negative space” there “nullified” his power.

Credit: DC Comics

“Your internment here is precautionary,” Oz tells the imp. “It’s not for what you have done, but for what you might do … You personify chaos in the existence of Superman. Events pertaining to the Man of Steel are transpiring on a course I alone have set. There is no room for deviation. No random element must be allowed to derail what has been put into play.”

(This isn’t the first time Oz has indicated that he’s fooling with Superman’s life. Even his language in Superman #32 – his first appearance – indicated that he “taught” “New 52” Superman, and he’s certainly been watching his life closely since, sometimes even meddling in things.)

“Thus I have taken you ‘off the table,'” Oz says, using similiar language he used when he told Tim Drake he was taking him “off the field.” Oz says he intends to release Mxyzptlk “only after my business with Superman is concluded. And perhaps not even then.” (So…the “long game” of which Oz has previously spoken does have a goal?)
 

Why Mxyzptlk’s Mad

Mxyzptlk mentions that people will come looking for him – like Bat-Mite (“that little weirdo in the Batsuit”) and Ms. Gsptlsnz (“my hot girlfriend”) – but Oz says they won’t notice him missing because of the endless nature of time in the Fifth Dimension.

But time isn’t like that on Earth, Mxyzptlky says, and because Oz “snatched” him on “Day 90” (referring to the forced time period between Mxy-Superman encounters), Superman will surely come looking for him.

But Superman didn’t come, and many, many days pass – evidenced by the writing on Mxyzptlk’s cell walls – so long that even he doesn’t know how long he’s been there.

Credit: DC Comics

Mr. Mxyzptlk sadly comes to the realization that Superman “didn’t care” that he disappeared.

“I was part of it from the beginning,” he says. “Well, almost the beginning. The comics, the toys … I was on the cartoon show…”

Jon interrupts the story to question this line of thinking, and through artwork, readers are shown a few Mxyzptlk and Superman iterations – including the round, cartoon version from Superman: The Animated Series (and the square-jawed animated Superman) and even the Lego versions of Supes and Mxyzptlk.

Getting back to the story, Mxyzptlk reveals that, when he came to the conclusion that Superman didn’t care, he blurted out “Kltpzyxm” – the magic word that Superman always tricks Mxy into saying so he’ll be forced back to the Fifth Dimension.

This time, the magic word doesn’t transport Mxyzptlk home, but it does appear to have power behind it – so much power that Mxy uses it to blast through his cell walls and transport himself to Metropolis.

“But the hooded monk was still on my tail, so I ran,” he said.

Then he decided to don a disguise based upon “the guy who refused to help” – Clark Kent. And to make it real enough to sell it to everyone – including Oz – he put “the whammy” on himself and became mindwashed enough to forget who he was.

But the gaps in him memory prompted him to investigate things, and that’s when the sight of the Kent family brought everything back.

“The whole Superman family, all together… without me,” Mxy says jealously.
 

Future “Reborn”

Credit: DC Comics

Mxyzptlk decides to play some games with young Jon, telling him to figure out the one magic word that will take him to his own house. Jon figures out that it’s “Tatelppur,” which is the nickname Ruppletat backwards. He’s right, and he’s sent to his home.

But of course there’s a twist. Although Mxyzptlk said Jon could “go” home, he didn’t say he could “stay” home.

As the issue ends, it’s clear that Mxyzptlk intends to continue playing borderline-cruel games with Jon until his father can figure out how to reach him – with his father appearing to be the only one who remembers him.

If solicitations for future issues are to be believed, Jon will survive this encounter. However, Superman’s life will be “drastically changed” by the end of “Superman Reborn.”

With Mxyzptlk in play, almost anything could happen. He’s already made Jon’s existence in the “Rebirth” era questionable. He could similarly make people forget that Clark Kent is Superman (since, prior to “Rebirth” his secret identity was public knowledge). He could also fool with the reality of Superman, Lois Lane, and Jon in almost any other way.

Credit: DC Comics

But solicitations also indicate that Superman will soon be looking for the entity that “tried to destroy his life” – presumably Oz. So with Mxyzptlk knowledgeable about Oz, and aware that he’s fooling with Superman’s life, it’s fair to guess that Mxyzptlk will tell Superman about Oz’s existence and his manipulation of things. And since Superman has already met Oz – in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 – and remembers what he said about him not being what he seemed, that’s most likely who Superman and the Super-characters are hunting for in the “Superman Reborn Aftermath.”

One other note: If Mxyzptlk has been imprisoned for a long time, could he be the character who was shown way, way back in 2015 during the Geoff Johns/John Romita Jr. run of Superman? In Superman #34 (during the “New 52”), Mr. Oz was shown talking to someone a pair of locked doors. “If I let you out, I’m sure you’d offer an opinion,” he says. Because many fans believe Mr. Oz could be Ozymandias from Watchmen (which has been connected to recent time manipulations in the DCU), many people thought the person behind those prison doors was connected to the Watchmen universe. But now, maybe it was Mr. Mxyzptlk all along?

From: http://www.newsarama.com/33487-superman-spoilers-mr-you-know-who-is-connected-to-mr-you-know-what.html

The Truth About The Fake Clark Kent In ‘Superman Reborn’ [Exclusive]

Doug Mahnke, Jamie Mendoza and Wil Quintana / DC Comics
Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza and Wil Quintana / DC Comics

 

Since the start of DC Rebirth last year, one of the biggest mysteries has revolved around the identity of the mystery Clark Kent that appeared following the death of New 52 Superman and re-emergence of his pre-Flashpoint predecessor. However, in the pages of this week’s Action Comics #975 by Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Wil Quintana and Rob Leigh, the answer is laid out bare for all to see and while it’s someone you’ll recognize, it is not someone you’d expect.

NOTE: The rest of this article contains spoilers for Action Comics #975, specifically regarding the identity of the fake Clark Kent. Turn around now if you aren’t 100% sure you want that information spoiled for you.

We all had guesses for who the fake Clark Kent was, and after catching up on recent issues of Action Comics I was absolutely sure it was going to turn out to be Superboy Prime in disguise, but it turns out I was wrong. This issue reveals that the mystery doppelganger that has been causing Superman all sorts of headaches is actually none other than everyone’s favorite fifth-dimensional imp, Mr. Mxyzptlk!

 

Ian Churchill, Mike Atiyeh and Rob Leigh / DC Comics
Ian Churchill, Mike Atiyeh and Rob Leigh / DC Comics

 

The last time we saw Mr. Mxyzptlk was in the pages of Grant Morrison and Rags Morales‘ Action Comics where a young Superman helped Mxy defeat the evil Vyndktvx and win his happy ending with the lovely Princess Nyxlygsptlnz where he became the new King of the Fifth Dimension.

This is a more dangerous and a more unhinged Mr. Mxyzptlk than we’ve ever encountered before, and how he got that way is explored in a back-up in Action Comics #975 by Paul Dini, Ian Churchill, Mike Atiyeh and Rob Leigh. While we won’t quite spoil the details of how Mxy came to be Clark Kent, it reveals some huge truths about his place in the DC Multiverse across time, space and multimedia adaptations which puts an interesting twist on the character that makes perfect sense.

 

AC_975_dini_churchill_2
Ian Churchill, Mike Atiyeh and Rob Leigh / DC Comics

 

While this one mystery has been solved, this one answer sparks a million more questions to be answered in the future, some of which will be addressed very shortly in the final two parts of “Superman Reborn” as Superman addresses his place in the DC Universe and his place in its continuity. We’re not done with exclusive “Superman Reborn” content this month at ComicsAlliance, so keep an eye out for future scoops as the story only gets weirder from here in next week’s Superman #19.

 

SM_Cv19_open_order_var.jpg
Gary Frank Brad Anderson / DC Comics

 

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From: http://comicsalliance.com/superman-reborn-fake-clark-kent-identity/

Who Is the CLARK KENT Doppelganger in ACTION COMICS & SUPERMAN? We Examine the Clues

Clark Kent doppelgangers

Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

Who is the doppelgänger Clark Kent?

Early in the new Action Comics run, a new version of Clark Kent showed up — one that didn’t appear to know he was secretly Superman and had a story about the former Superman telling him to go into hiding.

He didn’t belong, but there was no way to check his story, since New 52 Superman was dead, and he seemed to check out as a powerless version of Clark.

Now he turns out to be a villain, and although his true identity hasn’t been revealed, readers have seen a few clues:

– During the character’s earliest appearances in Action Comics, Superman scanned and examined the “other Clark” at the Fortress of Solitude. But he was found to be 100 percent human with no Kryptonian DNA. To Superman and his advanced technology, he appeared to be a truly human version of Clark Kent.

– At the end of Action Comics #974 — which led into the beginning of “Superman Reborn,” the duplicate Clark Kent saw the current Kent/”Smith” family (the pre-52 Superman with Lois and his son Jon). And suddenly he said “it’s all coming back to me.” He said that he “remembers.” He says about Lois, “You’ve ruined my life.” And he’s ticked off.

– He does appear to have powers. He can disappear into thin air, it seems — even beyond the perception of Lois or Superman — and he has some type of ability to make a car work without anyone driving it.

– He’s drawn to Lois — so much so that he bought her a ring and acts like an obsessed creep by following her. He often has an awkward manner of speaking, even annoying at times. And he appears to be a Clark Kent whose parents are still alive.

– He knows about the pre-New 52 Superman. He’s aware of his life pre-Flashpoint, so much that he somehow produced a photo album of pictures from his life in that other universe.

The leading suspects:

Credit: DC Comics

New 52 Superman: Readers have been wondering when the New 52 Superman might return, and some fans suspect the Clark Kent doppelgänger might be him. However, this character’s relentless pursuit of Lois doesn’t fit well with that theory. New 52 Superman was in love with Wonder Woman. He also never came across as a creep, and it’s unlikely that he’d blame Lois for ruining his life. Plus, how would he know details about the pre-52 universe?

Villain from Superman #52: Some readers have guessed that the Solar Superman dude (the one who glowed orange in “The Final Days of Superman”) has returned. He was the last villain New 52 Superman fought before he died. He was annoying, so the speech pattern fits, and he truly thought he was Superman. But there’s a problem — the villain showed up post-“Rebirth” in The New Super-Man. In this month’s issue, in fact, he was shown rotting in a Chinese prison. So it doesn’t fit for him to also be pretending he’s Clark in Action.

Credit: DC Comics

Dr. Manhattan: This is a long shot, but the key to the theory is the color blue. After Clark, Lois and Jon looked at the photo album left behind by the other Clark, their house started disappearing in some type of blue flame. And eventually, Jon was engulfed by the blue energy too. With DC Universe: Rebirth #1 making it clear that the Watchmen character was involved in the creation of the New 52, his involvement in these events seems likely. However, the blue is also associated with the current, pre-52 Superman: The character left a blue handprint in both Superman #1 and Superman Annual #1 (the latter even turning Swamp Thing blue), and both stories hinted that the blue was connected to Supeman not being what he seemed. So…the blue seems connected to something bigger than just doppelgänger Clark.

Another Superboy: There have been a few Superboy characters, from the New 52’s DNA-cocktail version of Kon-El to the pre-52 Conner Kent, that could have come back for “Rebirth.” And the way that Jon Kent/Superboy became the key character to disappear would fit with a Superboy wanting his place back in continuity. Similar to the way that the pre-52 Wally West returned — and the way his fellow Titans have realized parts of their pre-52 life — Conner Kent could have been come back similarly. But neither Conner nor New 52 Kon-El had any romantic ties to Lois Lane, and their knowledge of Superman’s past surely wouldn’t include photos.

Credit: DC Comics

Superboy Prime: OK, nobody’s dialogue is more annoying that this character, so that fits. The character, who was originally a hero from Prime Earth (pre-New 52), turned villainous, so his attack on Superman and his family also makes sense. And it would be just like Superboy Prime to think Lois and Clark ruined him. But when Superman took “other Clark” to the Fortress of Solitude, Superboy Prime would read as a Kryptonian, wouldn’t he? Even if he was from Krypton in the pre-52 Earth Prime universe?

From: http://www.newsarama.com/33448-who-is-the-clark-kent-doppelganger-in-action-comics-superman-we-examine-the-clues.html

Rare comic books with Superman, Batman debuts go to auction

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — By day, Jon Berk is a mild-mannered civil attorney in Connecticut.

But by night (well, really during most of his spare time for the past 45 years) he is known by some as a comic book-collecting super hero.

Berk’s collection of more than 18,000 books and 300 pieces of comic-book art goes on display March 11 at the Metropolis Gallery in New York City. He will then sell it off during an online auction at ComicConnect.com that begins May 15.

“The time is just right to move them along and let someone else experience them,” said Berk, 66.

The collection includes rare copies of the 1938 Action Comics No. 1, in which Superman makes his first appearance; the 1939 book Detective Comics No. 27, which features the first appearance of Batman; rare Spider-Man and Captain America books and several pieces of art by noted comic-book artist Lou Fine.

Vincent Zurzolo, the chief operating officer of ComicConnect and Metropolis Collectibles, said Berk’s collection is one of the most important in the world because of its breadth and the number of rare books dating back to the mid-1930s.

“As I’ve been going through this collection, I’ve seen books for the first time, books I’ve never seen before,” Zurzolo said. “That’s incredible, considering we’re the largest buyer and seller of vintage comic books in the world. Many of these copies are the best known to exist in the world.”

Berk said he expects the collection will sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.

But he said his collecting was never about the money or investing.

He said he fell in love with the serial plot lines in the books as a boy. He then began collecting them while in law school at Boston University, enjoying the hunt for a particular rare book, researching the story behind it and documenting what he refers to as a “unique American mythology.”

He said friends were always shocked when he would take the books out of their Mylar sleeves and let them thumb through them.

“What good is a work of art if you never look at it?” he said. “What good is a comic book if you can’t open it up, see how it feels and, yes, smells?”

Up until a month ago, he was still buying the latest Spider-Man comic books (his favorite), just for fun.

“I figured if I was going to have Spider-Man No. 1, I was going to have Spider-Man 700,” he said. “And I will keep some Spider-Man books, some old books, for sentimental reasons.”

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From: http://wthitv.com/2017/03/05/rare-comic-books-with-superman-batman-debuts-go-to-auction/

Who Is the CLARK KENT Doppelganger in ACTION COMICS …

Clark Kent doppelgangers

Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

Who is the doppelgänger Clark Kent?

Early in the new Action Comics run, a new version of Clark Kent showed up — one that didn’t appear to know he was secretly Superman and had a story about the former Superman telling him to go into hiding.

He didn’t belong, but there was no way to check his story, since New 52 Superman was dead, and he seemed to check out as a powerless version of Clark.

Now he turns out to be a villain, and although his true identity hasn’t been revealed, readers have seen a few clues:

– During the character’s earliest appearances in Action Comics, Superman scanned and examined the “other Clark” at the Fortress of Solitude. But he was found to be 100 percent human with no Kryptonian DNA. To Superman and his advanced technology, he appeared to be a truly human version of Clark Kent.

– At the end of Action Comics #974 — which led into the beginning of “Superman Reborn,” the duplicate Clark Kent saw the current Kent/”Smith” family (the pre-52 Superman with Lois and his son Jon). And suddenly he said “it’s all coming back to me.” He said that he “remembers.” He says about Lois, “You’ve ruined my life.” And he’s ticked off.

– He does appear to have powers. He can disappear into thin air, it seems — even beyond the perception of Lois or Superman — and he has some type of ability to make a car work without anyone driving it.

– He’s drawn to Lois — so much so that he bought her a ring and acts like an obsessed creep by following her. He often has an awkward manner of speaking, even annoying at times. And he appears to be a Clark Kent whose parents are still alive.

– He knows about the pre-New 52 Superman. He’s aware of his life pre-Flashpoint, so much that he somehow produced a photo album of pictures from his life in that other universe.

The leading suspects:

Credit: DC Comics

New 52 Superman: Readers have been wondering when the New 52 Superman might return, and some fans suspect the Clark Kent doppelgänger might be him. However, this character’s relentless pursuit of Lois doesn’t fit well with that theory. New 52 Superman was in love with Wonder Woman. He also never came across as a creep, and it’s unlikely that he’d blame Lois for ruining his life. Plus, how would he know details about the pre-52 universe?

Villain from Superman #52: Some readers have guessed that the Solar Superman dude (the one who glowed orange in “The Final Days of Superman”) has returned. He was the last villain New 52 Superman fought before he died. He was annoying, so the speech pattern fits, and he truly thought he was Superman. But there’s a problem — the villain showed up post-“Rebirth” in The New Super-Man. In this month’s issue, in fact, he was shown rotting in a Chinese prison. So it doesn’t fit for him to also be pretending he’s Clark in Action.

Credit: DC Comics

Dr. Manhattan: This is a long shot, but the key to the theory is the color blue. After Clark, Lois and Jon looked at the photo album left behind by the other Clark, their house started disappearing in some type of blue flame. And eventually, Jon was engulfed by the blue energy too. With DC Universe: Rebirth #1 making it clear that the Watchmen character was involved in the creation of the New 52, his involvement in these events seems likely. However, the blue is also associated with the current, pre-52 Superman: The character left a blue handprint in both Superman #1 and Superman Annual #1 (the latter even turning Swamp Thing blue), and both stories hinted that the blue was connected to Supeman not being what he seemed. So…the blue seems connected to something bigger than just doppelgänger Clark.

Another Superboy: There have been a few Superboy characters, from the New 52’s DNA-cocktail version of Kon-El to the pre-52 Conner Kent, that could have come back for “Rebirth.” And the way that Jon Kent/Superboy became the key character to disappear would fit with a Superboy wanting his place back in continuity. Similar to the way that the pre-52 Wally West returned — and the way his fellow Titans have realized parts of their pre-52 life — Conner Kent could have been come back similarly. But neither Conner nor New 52 Kon-El had any romantic ties to Lois Lane, and their knowledge of Superman’s past surely wouldn’t include photos.

Credit: DC Comics

Superboy Prime: OK, nobody’s dialogue is more annoying that this character, so that fits. The character, who was originally a hero from Prime Earth (pre-New 52), turned villainous, so his attack on Superman and his family also makes sense. And it would be just like Superboy Prime to think Lois and Clark ruined him. But when Superman took “other Clark” to the Fortress of Solitude, Superboy Prime would read as a Kryptonian, wouldn’t he? Even if he was from Krypton in the pre-52 Earth Prime universe?

From: http://www.newsarama.com/33448-who-is-the-clark-kent-doppelganger-in-action-comics-superman-we-examine-the-clues.html

Rare comic books with Superman, Batman debuts go to auction

  • This undated photo provided on March 2, 2017 by Metropolis Collectibles in New York shows a copy of a rare 1941 No. 1 Captain America Comics. The comic book is among those owned by Hartford, Conn., attorney John Berk to be auctioned on May 15. (Jon Berk/Metropolis Collectibles via AP) Photo: Jon Berk, AP / Metropolis Collectibles

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — By day, Jon Berk is a mild-mannered civil attorney in Connecticut.

But by night (well, really during most of his spare time for the past 45 years) he is known by some as a comic book-collecting super hero.

Berk’s collection of more than 18,000 books and 300 pieces of comic-book art goes on display March 11 at the Metropolis Gallery in New York City. He will then sell it off during an online auction at ComicConnect.com that begins May 15.


“The time is just right to move them along and let someone else experience them,” said Berk, 66.

The collection includes rare copies of the 1938 Action Comics No. 1, in which Superman makes his first appearance; the 1939 book Detective Comics No. 27, which features the first appearance of Batman; rare Spider-Man and Captain America books and several pieces of art by noted comic-book artist Lou Fine.

Vincent Zurzolo, the chief operating officer of ComicConnect and Metropolis Collectibles, said Berk’s collection is one of the most important in the world because of its breadth and the number of rare books dating back to the mid-1930s.

“As I’ve been going through this collection, I’ve seen books for the first time, books I’ve never seen before,” Zurzolo said. “That’s incredible, considering we’re the largest buyer and seller of vintage comic books in the world. Many of these copies are the best known to exist in the world.”

Berk said he expects the collection will sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.

But he said his collecting was never about the money or investing.

He said he fell in love with the serial plot lines in the books as a boy. He then began collecting them while in law school at Boston University, enjoying the hunt for a particular rare book, researching the story behind it and documenting what he refers to as a “unique American mythology.”

He said friends were always shocked when he would take the books out of their Mylar sleeves and let them thumb through them.

“What good is a work of art if you never look at it?” he said. “What good is a comic book if you can’t open it up, see how it feels and, yes, smells?”

Up until a month ago, he was still buying the latest Spider-Man comic books (his favorite), just for fun.

“I figured if I was going to have Spider-Man No. 1, I was going to have Spider-Man 700,” he said. “And I will keep some Spider-Man books, some old books, for sentimental reasons.”

From: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Rare-comic-books-with-Superman-Batman-debuts-go-10974416.php

DC Rebirth: How being a dad changes Superman

To read more from this week’s issue, pick up Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, or buy it here now — and subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Last spring, DC Comics started over again. Under the Rebirth banner, the company relaunched its main books and reinvented its famous characters. This kind of event has become rather common among the two main superhero comics publishers in recent years: Marvel shook up its storied continuity with the Secret Wars event in 2015, and DC itself just did a huge relaunch in 2011 called The New 52. But where The New 52 had experimented with radical new directions for its characters (Superman dating Wonder Woman! No sidekicks for The Flash!) to mixed results, Rebirth aimed to bring its characters back to their core elements while simultaneously looking to the future. It’s been a huge success so far, both commercially and critically.

Now that the first collections of the Rebirth line are rolling out, casual fans have a chance to see what all the fuss is about. To figure out how Rebirth came to be such a success, EW spoke to the creative teams behind five of DC’s biggest books (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, and The Flash) about how they freshened up their famous characters while still paying homage to past classics.

How do you make Superman cool? This question has plagued DC Comics creators for decades, as they’ve struggled to keep Superman (and his honest representation of classic American values) relevant amidst an ever-darkening cultural landscape. In 2011, DC tried making Superman younger and angstier as part of its giant New 52 reboot, an interpretation that then carried over to Warner Bros. blockbusters Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It never quite clicked with audiences, however, and DC has now gone the opposite direction with its new Rebirth initiative. The New 52 Superman has been killed off, and his older, more mature self has returned to replace him. But this time, he’s not alone. This new-old Superman is accompanied by his loving wife, Lois Lane, and their son Jonathan. The result is a version of Superman fans haven’t seen in years.

“The New 52 Superman was impetuous, a bit more knee-jerk, more of a rush-to-action kind of thing. He was younger; it really boiled down to that,” Superman co-writer Peter J. Tomasi tells EW. “When you’re younger, you tend to jump in and react on your first instinct without thinking things through. That’s really the main difference between that Superman and this Superman. He’s a bit older, and he has a son and wife. That dynamic changes your entire life. It’s sort of a real clear line in the sand between the New 52 Superman and the Rebirth Superman.”

Tomasi co-writes the series with his longtime collaborator Patrick Gleason, who also splits art duties with comics veteran Doug Mahnke. This trio has had a lot of experience working together on different books over the years, so by the time they came together to figure out how to refresh Superman, they were mostly on the same page.

“All the things we know Superman stands for — truth, justice, and the American Way — we really wanted to play that up again,” Gleason says. “Especially in this day and age, where it’s hard to do, we really wanted to make him stand for what he knows is right and to have that sense of hope, even if it seems a bit naïve. Everyone’s familiar with that aspect of Superman, but we really want to put that right front and center. With the new family, all those things really get put to the test when you’ve got a kid looking up to you and a wife working with you as a team to raise the kid. Can your actions back up your words? And how does that translate in the eyes of their son, especially when his life is getting complicated with powers? It’s a simple thing, but to us, really the most interesting aspect of the story is the family relationship.”

In many ways, Jonathan is the key to the book. Even when he isn’t on every page, his presence is felt throughout. Superman has dealt with monsters and aliens and Kryptonite, but raising a family is a new kind of challenge. Jonathan’s perspective also helps Tomasi, Gleason, and Mahnke underline their depiction of an older, wiser Superman, as good with a piece of fatherly advice as he is with a superpowered punch. After all, Superman doesn’t need to be an angry young hero finding his way — there are plenty of those out there. Superman is the original superhero, and it feels natural to view him as a father figure.

“His son Jon allowed us to view Superman through new eyes,” Tomasi says. “It’s how I looked at Superman growing up. The idea of Superman as your father, people really seemed to connect with that.”

But while Superman is able to help Jonathan master his growing Kryptonian superpowers, Lois is helping take care of the family in other ways, even as the Kents have retreated from the hustle and bustle of Metropolis to a Midwestern farm like the one Clark Kent grew up on. The creators made sure that Lois was just as important to the book as the actual superheroes in her family.

“Lois is not a character who sits idly by and lets her family go through dangerous situations. She enters the fray several times in cool and big ways,” Tomasi says. “Everyone knows Lois Lane, but this setting is so different for her. I like that she adapts to it. We didn’t want to make it like she’s a fish out of water or she can’t handle it. She’s a mother and it doesn’t matter where you are, your family is your family. They’re a very loyal, tight-knit family, and that’s what we wanted to have right at the center.”

Superman Vol. 1: Son of Superman is on sale now.

From: http://ew.com/books/2017/03/02/dc-rebirth-superman-dad-son-jonathan/

Mysterious REBIRTH Developments Kick Off ‘Superman Reborn …

Superman art

Credit: Patrick Gleason/Mick Gray (DC Comics)
Credit: DC Comics

Superman #18, the first issue of DC’s much-anticipated “Superman Reborn” crossover event delivered plenty of scenes related to the ongoing “Rebirth” mysteries, although few answers so far.

Spoilers ahead.

In the first scene of this week’s Superman #18, someone escapes Mr. Oz’s lair (wherever it may be), although readers aren’t shown who the escapee is. Instead, the comic book portrays three of Oz’s prisoners – Doomsday, Prophecy, and Tim Drake – reacting with joy because, as Tim says, “Someone got out!”

Readers are shown the structure where this mysterious escapee was once held by Mr. Oz. It’s an enormous, obelisk-shaped structure, and the inside has writing and drawings on the wall that reveal the prisoner believed Superman would save him/her. Included among drawings of the Superman symbol and the hero himself was the phrase, “Superman, where are you?”

Credit: Patrick Gleason/Mick Gray (DC Comics)

Over in their Hamilton County home, Superman, Lois, and their son Jon (who now hide under the surname “Smith”) are celebrating the couple’s anniversary. But a knock on the door reveals that someone has left a photo album on the doorstep.

The one who knocked on the door appears to be the other Clark Kent – the mysterious human Clark who’s been in Action Comics since “Rebirth” began. Although he briefly stops to interact with Krypto (saying, “It’s me, boy” but not getting a friendly response), he disappears before Superman can find him. Hmmmm… was this the human Clark? Or someone else?

The photo albums says “The Kents” on the cover – yep, a revelation that blows their cover. And inside are pictures of Clark Kent’s life in the post-Crisis life, before “New 52.”

Credit: Patrick Gleason/Mick Gray (DC Comics)
Credit: Patrick Gleason/Mick Gray (DC Comics)

“I don’t understand,” Superman says, knowing that nobody in the current DCU should have those photos. And Jon notices that he’s not in any of the photos.

But the family can’t think about the pictures for too long, because the house is suddenly engulfed in some type of blue flame – but instead of burning anything, it’s “like it’s being erased,” according to Superman.

Not only is the house being erased, but now Jon is covered in the blue flames as well. Is Jon being erased?

Superman grabs his son, but Jon blinks out of existence and appears to be teleported to the basement. Then when Superman reaches for him again, he is transported to the second floor of the house.

Superman wraps Jon in his cape and flies him out of the house. But it does no good. Jon is covered in the blue flames. “Don’t let me go, Dad,” Jon says. Crying, Superman says, “I won’t, I won’t, son. Never.”

In a heartbreaking scene, Lois and Clark are unable to stop their son from disappearing. With their house gone and the picture album’s photos also becoming blank, Lois says, “Gone…everything gone. We’ve lost the only thing that mattered. We’ve lost our son, Clark.”

Credit: Patrick Gleason/Mick Gray (DC Comics)

“We didn’t lose him, Lois,” Superman says on the issue’s final page. “We didn’t lose Jon. That Clark Kent took him. And we’re going to make him give Jon back.”

Readers have been promised that “Superman Reborn” will reveal answers about the mysterious Mr. Oz, who has been showing up in various DC books – particularly those connected with Superman – since before the beginning of “Rebirth.” Many also suspect that Mr. Oz is actually Ozymandias from Watchmen, since characters from that legendary, alternate universe mini-series are manipulating the DC timeline, according to revelations in May 2016’s DC Universe: Rebirth #1.

The blue flames may also be related to scenes from the beginning of “Rebirth.” In the first few pages of “Rebirth”‘s Superman #1 in June, the post-Crisis Superman took a moment to visit the grave of the recently deceased “New 52” Superman. When the older hero touched the ground above his dead counterpart’s body, a glowing blue handprint formed in the grass. The thought box associated with the scene indicated that the blue glow was connected to Mr. Oz’s statement in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 that Superman is not what he seems.

From: http://www.newsarama.com/33387-mysterious-rebirth-developments-kick-off-superman-reborn-superman-18-spoilers.html

ComicsAlliance’s Official ‘Superman Reborn’ Betting Odds

Patrick Zircher, Arif Prianto  Rob Leigh / DC Comics
Patrick Zircher, Arif Prianto Rob Leigh / DC Comics

 

So here’s the short version if you haven’t been keeping up: As The New 52 era came to a close and DC Rebirth began, the version of Superman that we’d been following for the past 5 years was apparently killed, leaving a void that would be filled by his predecessor from the previous DC continuity. See, the pre-52 Superman — you know, the one who come to Earth from Krypton in John Byrne’Man of Steel and fought Doomsday back in 1994 — managed to survive the destruction of his universe due to the events of Convergence, spending a year in the Bottle City of Metropolis, having a kid with Lois Lane, and then somehow winding up in the current DC Continuity where he lived a quiet life on a farm until he was needed.

If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is, but that also makes it one of the most compelling mysteries in superhero comics right now. And there’s one additional wrench in the works: Clark Kent, a mild mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper who exists completely separately from Superman. Now, as “Superman Reborn” is set to kick off in this week’s Superman #18, we’re about to get the answer to one of DC’s most compelling questions: Who the heck is Clark Kent?!

So let’s run down the candidates with a bit of information sent over by DC:

 

Who Is Clark Kent, DC Comics
Exclusive back-matter from Superman #18, DC Comics

 

So here, as is tradition at ComicsAlliance, are your Official Betting Odds for the big reveal:

  • Bizarro – You’d think an imperfect duplicate of Superman would have a pretty easy time acting as a duplicate of Clark Kent, but the keyword here is “Duplicate.” Since he hasn’t been literally thrown out of the Planet by an irate Perry White, it’s safe to say that “Clark” hasn’t shown Bizarro’s traditionally poor grasp of grammar and verb conjugation. Still, it might am be elaborate hoax that everyone expect. 10 to 1 
  • New 52 Superman – Remember when I said Superman apparently died? Well, we didn’t actually see it, and you know the rule about that. Casual Fridays Superman ended up being a solid take on the character, and since he spent so much time without his powers (and switching secret identities) in his five-year run, being a Secret Clark wouldn’t be out of character for him at all. 4 to 1
  • Mr. Mxyzptlk – The reality warping imp from the Fifth Dimension has gone to some pretty extreme lengths in the past to prank Superman — and occasionally to try to destroy him and everything he loves — and this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen him disguise himself as Clark Kent and/or Superman for laughs. The thing is, after the battle against Vyndktvx, the 5th Dimension hasn’t been featured in a whole lot of stories, and bringing back Superman’s goofiest enemy for such a big reveal seems pretty unlikely. 12 to 1
  • The Eradicator – You know what’s been coming back from the ’90s in the Superman books? Everything! Doomsday! Post-Crisis Superman! Dan Jugerns! It’s a full-on invasion from the Death of Superman saga, and since the Eradicator fooled everyone before, it makes a lot of sense that he’d be able to fool them again. 3 to 1
  • Martian Manhunter – Shapeshifting, telepathy, and he hasn’t been seen much since the end of his last solo series — which, I remind you, was all about how he got his powers with Dark Martian Blood Magic. Compared to that, spending a year as Clark Kent seems pretty tame. 8 to 1
  • Magog – I hadn’t even considered this until DC brought it up, but y’all. For real. They love referencing Kingdom Come so much5 to 1
  • Superboy Prime – He’s not listed on the official list of candidates, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not just trying to swerve us with the big reveal. As you might remember, Superboy Prime was a huge villain in the previous version of the DC Universe, and hasn’t been seen for a while — and if they prison they locked him up in doesn’t exist anymore, who’s to say he’s not out there running free? Considering he looks just like Superman, is literally named Clark Kent, has an uncanny ability to survive reboots and is often motivated by what he sees as “fixing” complicated continuity, he’s not just a good candidate, he’s actually the most likely candidate2 to 1

The truth is, we here at ComicsAlliance actually know who it is already, but we’re not saying just yet. So place your bets, catch the start of “Superman Reborn,” and find out for sure right here at ComicsAlliance in the coming weeks!

 

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Next: Superman Confronts Clak Kent in Superman Reborn

From: http://comicsalliance.com/who-is-clark-kent-superman-reborn-odds/

The Truth About the Kents Begins to Be Revealed in SUPERMAN …

One of the highlights of DC Rebirth over the past year has been the return of a version of the Man of Steel that everyone can get behind in the pages of Action Comics and Superman, one in stark contrast to the Kal-El who launched  The New 52 five years ago. That Superman was a broody loner who didn’t seem to play well with others, wasn’t dating or married to Lois Lane, and wore an armored costume. Last year that Superman died, and the Superman from before Flashpoint returned, without the silly armor, married to Lois Lane, and with a young son named Jonathan Kent. (The red underwear is still gone. But hey, you can’t have everything.)

The assumption has been that the Kent family comes from a parallel universe, but a mysterious figure named Mr. Oz has told the Kents that they are not what they believe themselves to be. Oh, and there has been a mysterious third Clark Kent, who doesn’t seem to remember being Superman and doesn’t have powers. Now the truth of the Kent family, the dearly departed New 52 Superman, and the mysterious third Clark are finally going to be revealed in a new storyline called Superman Reborn. The four part crossover between the Super-titles (the first since Rebirth began) begins in Superman #18, and continues into Action Comics #975, Superman #19, and concludes in Action Comics #976.

You can check out our exclusive extended preview of the first ten pages of Superman #18  in our gallery below!

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason
Artists: Mick Gray, Patrick Gleason
Cover Artists: Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray, Gary Frank (Variant)

Here’s the official synopsis:

“SUPERMAN REBORN” part one! In DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1, the enigmatic Mr. Oz told this Superman, “You and your family are not what you believe you are. And neither was the fallen Superman.” Now, in the first Rebirth crossover between SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS, the shocking truth behind Oz’s words is revealed. It begins with one of Oz’s prisoners escaping, and ends in a tragic moment for Lois and Superman.”

Superman #18  is due to hit stores on Wednesday, March 1.

Are you stoked to find out the truth about the return of the classic Superman and his family? Let us know what you think down below in the comments.

Images: DC Comics

From: http://nerdist.com/the-truth-about-the-kents-begins-to-be-revealed-in-superman-18-exclusive-preview/

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