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Man and Superman: 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 Review

A previously-unpublished Superman story set during the hero’s
first days in Metropolis, written by Marv Wolfman? Who could say no to that?

Well, as explained in Wolfman’s wonderfully insightful and charmingly self-deprecating foreword, Man and Superman was originally meant to see publication about a decade ago as a four-issue run in Superman Confidential, but the book was sadly canceled before it could be run. Afterwards, the shake-up of DC’s New 52 left this story in a funky place, in terms of canonicity. Now that DC is once again willing to play ball with stories somewhat outside of continuity, this “lost” Superman story can finally see print! And thank goodness it’s here, because it’s a real treat.

There are moments in Man and Superman that bring to mind one of my all-time favorite superhero origin stories, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. I love the sequence in which Clark attempts to do some sleuthing in Metropolis for the first time. He’s knows how his abilities work, but he’s still unsure of his methods or how to proceed with his big debut. We’re used to seeing Clark presenting himself as a bumbling farm boy as a way of covering his identity. In this story, there’s a clumsy side of Superman himself on display that we don’t normally get to see, which opens up Clark Kent in ways that should be very appealing to readers who may normally feel disconnected from the godly superhero.

DC Comics

I appreciate seeing Clark Kent as an aspiring journalist, hunting for jobs and hungry for acceptance. (Am I projecting? Naahhh.)

In portraying Clark as a man with incredible power, yet a near-total lack of confidence (at least early on), Claudio Castellini’s art evokes some of Neal Adams’ finest work with the character. Seeing Clark’s silhouette against a wall of flames, there’s a mythical quality to Superman’s first public appearances, a real sense of the world changing. Aided by vibrant coloring from Hi-Fi, the action sequences almost bring to mind the timeless Fleischer Superman cartoons of the ’40s. That’s a lot of comparisons to make, but so much of this book feels like a beautiful synthesis of all of my favorite takes on Superman.

The most interesting thing about this comic, though, is how secondary all of the action is to the real meat of the story. So many versions of the character’s origin gloss over the kind of hustle that Clark would have had to show in order to get a job at one of the nation’s top newspapers, so I appreciate that Wolfman found this struggle important enough to feature it as a through line for this tale.

Also, as a fan of Lois Lane, it was great to see her talked about in hushed tones by background characters in the issue, even when they were speaking out of jealous derision. It lends her a public admiration and gravitas that is normally reserved for the Big Blue Boy Scout in these types of books. To present her right out of the gate as not only Clark’s equal, but his star to shoot for, is a fantastic choice. She is a hero in her own right. By the time she’s fully introduced, you’ll be wishing DC would give Marv Wolfman an ongoing Lois Lane solo series! There is such a sureness of being to her. Clark may the guy flying around and catching buildings, but this book really sells you on why Lois is Superman’s personal hero.

DC Comics

The one thing that keeps this story from being a completely satisfying read is thankfully addressed in Wolfman’s foreword to the book. The fact is that we have seen some of the plot ideas in Man and Superman explored in volumes such as Straczynski’s Superman: Earth One and even in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. The “plainclothes” look for Superman recalls the opening arcs of Grant Morrison and Rags Morales’ Action Comics. It’s always so interesting to see how different creators tackle similar concepts. While some of Man and Superman‘s elements may feel familiar, it’s all executed in an altogether different manner.

Wolfman has always been a master of making larger than life characters into relatable people, and that gift is on full display in this story. This relatability is what really sets Man and Superman apart from similar stories that have emerged in the last decade. While some of the ideas for the book have been seen in the years since, that doesn’t change the fact that Man and Superman would have been something of a revelation if it’d been published ten years ago, as intended. DC has made a great choice in finally publishing this story. I hope it will set a precedent for the release of other “lost” tales.

From: http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2019/02/06/man-and-superman-100-page-super-spectacular-1-review/

‘Reign of the Supermen’ Review: A Worthy Follow-Up to DC’s ‘The Death of Superman’

reign-of-the-supermen-bluray-reviewIn The Death of Superman, the inevitable happened. That’s normally where adaptations of the acclaimed DC Comics’ storyline end, but Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s latest animated release, Reign of the Supermen, finally brings the story’s continuation to a screen near you. While you can read my review of the first film here, I’m happy to say that the sequel carries on with the same quality that preceded it. Beautifully animated, compellingly told, and expertly acted, and with a thumping good soundtrack and effects work to boot, Reign of the Supermen is worthy of the source material.

In this sequel, the world and its people must cope with the loss of Superman and the sudden emergence of four would-be heirs to the title: a super-powered boy looking to make his mark, a cyborg who believes he’s Superman in earnest, a “strike first and ask questions later” version of Superman (sporting a visor, of course), and a mild-mannered man wearing a super-suit and wielding a sledgehammer. It falls to the remaining members of the Justice League to preserve order while Lois Lane seeks to find the truth behind the arrival of this mysterious foursome. But bigger threats may yet emerge …

Now available on Digital, Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack, Reign of the Supermen is a worthy addition to your DC animated movies collection and makes for a stunning finisher of the one-two punch that is this fan-favorite storyline.

reign-of-the-supermen-bluray-reviewFans of the comics and other adaptations of the “Death of Superman” arc will recognize Steel, Cyborg Superman, Superboy and the Eradicator as soon as they appear on the screen, but Reign of the Supermen does a nice job of establishing their particular quirks. Superboy makes a flashy entrance as a stylish superhero who seeks the spotlight, Steel steps into the path of danger to save an innocent life, Eradicator (distinguished by his yellow, see-through visor) neutralizes some arms dealers, and Cyborg Superman launches a terrorist’s nuke out into the relative safety of space. Everything seems on the up and up with this foursome, and even though the world is mourning the loss of Superman and wondering what to do next, these replacement heroes seem more than up to the task.

The conflict here, however, is two-fold: Not only does Superman’s death and the arrival of these mysterious super-powered stand-ins seem too good (and coincidental) to be true, there’s also the fact that the Earth now has a bigger target on it than ever before. This threat from extraterrestrial forces overtaxes the remaining members of the Justice League and encourages ordinary citizens to take matters into their own hands. That’s some rich storytelling material to work with, and Reign of the Supermen doesn’t waste a bit of it. We get to follow along with the Justice League’s struggles for a time, though the bulk of the drama centers on Lois Lane’s investigation, Lex Luthor’s machinations, and the step-wise reveals of each pretender Superman’s origin and ultimate goal. It’s solidly done, beginning to end.

reign-of-the-supermen-bluray-reviewThe all-star cast of Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn, and Rainn Wilson, with returning players like Jason O’Mara, Rosario Dawson, Shemar Moore, Nathan Fillion, Christopher Gorham, and Nyambi Nyambi, are joined by newcomers Cress Williams (Black Lightning) as Steel, Cameron Monaghan (Gotham) as Superboy, Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul) as Hank Henshaw, and Tony Todd (Candyman) as Darkseid, with Charles Halford (Constantine) as Bibbo Bibbowski and The Eradicator. It’s one of my favorite casts this team has assembled since the halcyon days of the Batman and Superman animated series. Those who have worked together in this franchise before bring a familiarity to the characters’ relationships that feels genuine, and the newcomers are acting as outsiders to this core group, so being less familiar works to the story’s benefit.

There’s a ton of action to be found throughout the telling since we not only get four times the Superman but we also see the Justice League head into battle. The humor throughout the movie is reined in a bit since it deals with the mystery surrounding the death of the world’s greatest hero and the threat posed by these imposters (and those seeking to use them), but there’s still plenty there in just the right amounts to break up the tension. And while this is a fantastic adaptation of “The Death of Superman” saga in the comics, it’s also a great place for newcomers to that story who are meeting these characters for the first time. This is an easy add to your collection, especially if you have The Death of Superman on your shelf already.

Rating: B+

reign-of-the-supermen-bluray-reviewSpecial Features:

Sneak Peek at The Justice League vs The Fatal Five – This sneak peek at the next animated movie features specific, unique opponents for the title team to take on. Expect to see your favorite heroes along with a whole bunch of lesser-known characters. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are joined by Mr. Terrific, Miss Martian, Jessica Cruz (Diane Guerrero in the lead), and Starboy, to battle against Tharok, Emerald Empress, Validus, Mano, and the Persuader, creations of Jim Shooter.

Not based on one specific storyline, they adapted a number of Legion of Superheroes comics and the surprisingly powerful Fatal Five. Mano apparently blew up his own planet just by touching it, Persuader carries an atomically sharp axe, Tharok acts as the hacker/bombmaker/resident genius, Validus possesses brain-lightning and superhuman strength, and their leader, Emerald Empress wields an incredibly powerful Eye of Ekron. Get excited for this one!

Lex Luthor: Greatest Nemesis – DC Comics veterans comment on the history of Lex Luthor, his particular personality traits, his deep-seated issues with Superman, and what the supervillain’s greatest achievements have been to date.

Superman: The Animated Series “Heavy Metal” – Animated introduction of Steel, and a nice moment for Superman superfan, B. Bibowski.

Justice League Unlimited “Panic in the Sky” – Steel returns as part of the Justice League to tackle a new threat. This is a super intense episode rarely outmatched in other adaptations, live-action or animated, big screen or small. It’s also got one of the most insane endings of an episode ever, so it’s definitely worth a watch.

reign-of-the-supermen-bluray-review

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

From: http://collider.com/reign-of-the-supermen-bluray-review/

Comic Book Review – Superman – Action Comics: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 3

Ricky Church reviews Superman – Action Comics: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 3…

With Superman – Action Comics: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 3 comes the end of Dan Jurgens’ run on the title in the lead-up to Action Comics #1000 and Brian Michael Bendis’ stewardship of the title. Jurgens concludes his run by focusing on Superman and his family, asking the Man of Steel some difficult questions as his faith in humanity is put to the test.  With its character examination and great artwork, the book is a nice send off for Jurgens that puts a cap on one of the best Action Comics stories in several years.

The first half of the book contains Superman: The Oz Effect, in which Superman comes face-to-face with one of the mysterious beings who has secretly been pulling the strings behind the lives of his family and other superheroes. It’s a good story that places Superman in a tough spot as he is confronted with the choice of staying true to his ideals or embracing a more Kryptonian heritage as Mr. Oz tries to convince him humanity is undeserving of his loyalty and faith. While it’s not an entirely new argument that is presented, Jurgens does come at it from an interesting perspective given the identity of Mr. Oz. He does make Oz a complicated villain for Superman to go up against because of his philosophy and connection to Superman’s past. The only downside to this story in the book is that for anyone who already owns The Oz Effect Deluxe Edition, they’re essentially double dipping for the same story in the same deluxe format. It’s not entirely bad since readers are still getting all of Jurgens’ story in one book. Anyone who doesn’t own The Oz Effect will be pleased to get this and the follow-up story together, but those who already own it might feel like its not worth it.

The second half of the book contains Booster Shot, a fun and entertaining team-up between Superman and the time-travelling and self-promoting Booster Gold. Picking up shortly after the events of Oz Effect, Superman travels back in time to the moments before Krypton’s destruction to ascertain the truth behind Oz’s claims, but gets trapped in a myriad of shattered time dimensions and the far future which Booster Gold has to save him from. Most of the story comes from Booster’s perspective which adds a welcome freshness to the narrative after following Superman and Lois for so long. Jurgens has a good take on Booster, from his glory-hounding ways to looking at Booster’s deeper compassion and heroic qualities, showing there’s more to him than even Superman was aware of. Booster also adds a nice amount of humour to the story that balances Superman’s dour mood and some of the book’s darker moments.

Superman still remains a big focus of the story of course, but its nice to see Jurgens utilize Booster as much as he can while not pushing Superman to the sidelines. He gets plenty of emotional moments throughout the book as he discovers some hard truths about the past and future and is forced to watch very painful moments. The one criticism, however, is that Superman’s motivation is often stated repetitively as he tells Booster or Skeets numerous times he just wanted to go back to see one thing, not to change anything. It gets a little old after he says it so many times. Otherwise, his characterization of Superman is pretty on point in both stories, but most especially in the final chapter which exemplifies Superman’s faith in rehabilitating people and relationships. His decision to never use the Phantom Zone again, both for its morally grey use and the effect is has on its occupants, makes him release one of his most dangerous enemies in the hopes of changing him for the better. The Phantom Zone has always been a bit of a crutch by various writers trap really powerful villains without death, but this move away from it is both refreshing and a good development for Superman.

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While Lois and Jon don’t have quite as much to do in The Oz Effect, that’s quite the opposite in Booster Shot, at least for Lois’ part. She discovers her father, General Sam Lane and a known detractor of the Man of Steel, is being held captive in a foreign country after a covert op gone wrong. Disavowed and left to die by the US government, Lois takes it upon herself to save her father as Jon follows without her knowledge. Its nice to see a story where Lois takes charge and acts independently from Superman and she shows she can very much hold her own in a hostile environment. Whether its utilizing the network of contacts she’s built up or taking on a couple gunmen on her own. Jurgens depicts Lois as a very effective woman in her own right. It also offers the chance to explore the rocky relationship between Lois and her father, a character who hasn’t appeared in the comics for quite a few years now. Jurgens’ take on General Lane is a little less aggressive than other interpretations, but he’s no less hard on Superman and Lois’ belief in him than before. Superman’s choice to help heal the divide between Lois and her father and allowing Sam time with his grandson is both a mature one character wise and intriguing story wise, opening a few doors into how the family will move forward together.

Also included is the Action Comics Annual #1, a collection of stories revolving around Superman and his supporting characters. They’re largely told out of the main story Jurgens has been telling, instead being one-off tales that don’t have any huge impact overall. The main draw of this story is the focus on Lex Luthor and his slow descent back to villainy, as we’ve seen in the pages of Justice League Vol. 1: The Totality. It shows the intense hatred Lex, or at least a potential version of him, has for Superman and how that hate continues to affect him when he has the means and resources to do anything else with his life and for the world. The only other thing that could have been included is Jurgens’ story from Action Comics #1000, making it a fully complete conclusion to his run.

The artwork throughout the book is pretty great. From Viktor Bogdanovic, Brett Booth, Will Conrad and Jurgens himself on pencils, each artist does some stellar work. They place a lot of emotion behind the character’s facial expressions and body language, an aspect which helps sell the turmoil Superman is in during parts of Booster Shot. It would have been better to entirely ditch Booster Gold’s narration just so readers could take in the art of Superman’s pain more than relying on some exposition to help save the day. Not only is the art well drawn, it is very vibrant looking thanks to the colours from Hi-Fi, Mike Spencer, Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Francis Manapul. None of the differing styles clash against each other, making the art from the whole team pretty smooth all round.

Superman – Action Comics: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 3 is a fine conclusion to Jurgens’ run on the title. Its focus on Superman and his family is nicely done with some deep emotions behind it. While some readers might find it unfortunate to double dip with The Oz Effect, its still pretty worth it as the two main stories blend pretty well together. The artwork from the team is fantastic and a worthy send-off for Jurgens and company. Its a good book to have that ends one of the best runs in Action Comics in a long time.

Rating: 8/10

Ricky Church

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From: https://www.flickeringmyth.com/2019/02/comic-book-review-superman-action-comics-rebirth-deluxe-edition-book-3/

This 80-Year-Old Copy of ‘Superman #1’ Could Fetch More Than $300,000 in Comics Auction

An unrestored Superman rarity — and one of the most popular titles in comics history — is expected to headline a major comics and comic art auction and fetch more than $300,000.

The 80-year-old copy of Superman #1 featured by Heritage Auctions is unrestored and was given a condition rating of 4.5 by the comic grading service Certified Guaranty Company (CGC).

Superman #1 arrived on newsstands in 1939 barely a year after the Man of Steel’s first appearance in Action Comics #1, to support his meteoric rise in popularity. It marked the first time a character created for comic books was given his own title. And despite the estimated one million copies of Superman #1 that were printed in 1939, very few are known to have survived in this or better condition, according to Heritage Auctions.

The current bid is at $220,000, but Heritage expects it to fetch more than $300,000.

One of just eight Famous Funnies covers by the legendary artist Frank Frazetta is also expected to headline Heritage’s Comics Comic Art auction, to be held on Feb. 21-23 in Dallas, Texas.

The Famous Funnies #209 Cover Original Art (Eastern Color, 1953), which features a “195os retro style” is one of the most coveted Frazetta covers for any comic, according to Heritage Auctions. It has also been estimated to fetch more than $300,000.

Other comics featured in the auction include a copy of The Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel, 1962), the second-most valuable Silver Age issue. With a rating of 9.0, this issue is also a rare find. It features the origin and first appearance of the Hulk, and features art and cover by Jack Kirby. It’s expected to fetch more than $200,000.

The Incredible Hulk #1, Watchmen #1, Journey Into Mystery #83 (Photo Credit: Heritage Auctions / HA.com)

Also up for auction is a Dave Gibbons Watchmen #1 Cover Original Art (DC, 1986), with a pre-auction estimate of more than $200,000. Among the most influential and iconic comic series of the 1980s, Watchmen by Gibbons and Alan Moore has had a lasting impact on the industry. The cover of the first issue, with the drip of blood on the smiley face button, remains one of the most recognizable images in the series.

Another issue up for auction that should appeal to serious collectors is Journey Into Mystery #83 (Marvel, 1962), which features the origin and first appearance of Thor, who is billed on the cover as “The Most Exciting Super-Hero of All Time!!” This copy carries a grade of 9.4, one of highest grades known to exist, and is the highest-graded issue offered by Heritage in three years.

See all Heritage’s comic auctions on their website.

More on Geek.com:

From: https://www.geek.com/comics/this-80-year-old-copy-of-superman-1-could-fetch-more-than-300000-in-comics-auction-1772607/

This 80-Year-Old Copy of ‘Superman #1’ Could Fetch More Than $300000 in Comics Auction

An unrestored Superman rarity — and one of the most popular titles in comics history — is expected to headline a major comics and comic art auction and fetch more than $300,000.

The 80-year-old copy of Superman #1 featured by Heritage Auctions is unrestored and was given a condition rating of 4.5 by the comic grading service Certified Guaranty Company (CGC).

Superman #1 arrived on newsstands in 1939 barely a year after the Man of Steel’s first appearance in Action Comics #1, to support his meteoric rise in popularity. It marked the first time a character created for comic books was given his own title. And despite the estimated one million copies of Superman #1 that were printed in 1939, very few are known to have survived in this or better condition, according to Heritage Auctions.

The current bid is at $220,000, but Heritage expects it to fetch more than $300,000.

One of just eight Famous Funnies covers by the legendary artist Frank Frazetta is also expected to headline Heritage’s Comics Comic Art auction, to be held on Feb. 21-23 in Dallas, Texas.

The Famous Funnies #209 Cover Original Art (Eastern Color, 1953), which features a “195os retro style” is one of the most coveted Frazetta covers for any comic, according to Heritage Auctions. It has also been estimated to fetch more than $300,000.

Other comics featured in the auction include a copy of The Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel, 1962), the second-most valuable Silver Age issue. With a rating of 9.0, this issue is also a rare find. It features the origin and first appearance of the Hulk, and features art and cover by Jack Kirby. It’s expected to fetch more than $200,000.

The Incredible Hulk #1, Watchmen #1, Journey Into Mystery #83 (Photo Credit: Heritage Auctions / HA.com)

Also up for auction is a Dave Gibbons Watchmen #1 Cover Original Art (DC, 1986), with a pre-auction estimate of more than $200,000. Among the most influential and iconic comic series of the 1980s, Watchmen by Gibbons and Alan Moore has had a lasting impact on the industry. The cover of the first issue, with the drip of blood on the smiley face button, remains one of the most recognizable images in the series.

Another issue up for auction that should appeal to serious collectors is Journey Into Mystery #83 (Marvel, 1962), which features the origin and first appearance of Thor, who is billed on the cover as “The Most Exciting Super-Hero of All Time!!” This copy carries a grade of 9.4, one of highest grades known to exist, and is the highest-graded issue offered by Heritage in three years.

See all Heritage’s comic auctions on their website.

More on Geek.com:

From: https://www.geek.com/comics/this-80-year-old-copy-of-superman-1-could-fetch-more-than-300000-in-comics-auction-1772607/

Superman at 80

close-up of Superman action figureThe iconic superhero, who turned 80 in 2018, has come in and out of fashion. Historian and Rochester alumnus Ian Gordon ’93 (PhD) explores why. (Getty Images photo)

sketch of Ian Gordon

Ian Gordon ’93 (PhD)

Home: Singapore
Associate professor of history, National University of Singapore; author of Superman: The Persistence of an American Icon (Rutgers University Press, 2017) and Comic Strips and Consumer Culture, 1890–1945 (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998); editor of Ben Katchor: Conversations(University of Mississippi Press, 2018) and coeditor of The Comics of Charles Schultz: The Good Grief of Modern Life(University Press of Mississippi, 2017)

I grew up in Australia in the 1960s. The Adventures of Superman television show was on constantly. And I read a lot of comics—Superman, Batman, those kind of comics. You could buy black and white reprints of Superman comics, because at the time you couldn’t get books published by DC Comics in Australia. So the superheroes were just there. Just part of the media.

Superman was a product of the Depression, and he was a symbol of hope. During the war, it was quite interesting that in the comic book, he never really engaged in war. The comic books themselves had very wide distribution among service personnel. Wherever American service personnel went, so too did American comics. But the way that DC Comics positioned him was that American service personnel didn’t need his help, because in a democracy, people fought a war for that democracy. They really didn’t need a kind of superhero to come and fight their battles for them.

Keeping Superman out of the war did something very important, in that it carried a message of normalcy in American life. That’s what Americans were fighting for, which was often constituted as the “American way.” And indeed, on the radio serial that existed at the time, the first episode after Pearl Harbor had Superman fighting for truth and justice and then, it was added, the American way.

The Superman TV show was one of the first TV shows, and the first season was generally described as dark. It really wasn’t material for children. But in the 1950s, DC Comics domesticated Superman. Then in the mid-1960s, I think Superman kind of lost that position to Batman, who became very popular with the kind of arch, camp, pop sensibility of the Batman TV show. And the reinvigorated Marvel Comics had a certain coolness about them for some kids.

The Superman movie, released at the end of 1978, was a turning point. On the one hand, it was the way that it was marketed that made it important, and made Superman important, in my view. They enlisted Marlin Brando in a small role and at a very expen-sive salary, because Christopher Reeve was then an unknown. And they hired several other marquee names, like Gene Hackman. It was one of the first movies to use Dolby sound. And DC Comics was also a very successful licensor of toys and other products.

But I also think the movie came at a moment when America was ready for it. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t designed to plug into post-Watergate angst, but it certainly was aware of that. There’s a playfulness about Superman, so that he flies onto Lois Lane’s balcony, and she interviews him as they flirt. She asks why he’s there, and he says, “I’m here to fight for truth, justice, and the American way.” And she says, “Wow, are you serious?” She’s quite sarcastic about that, as one might expect a newspaper reporter in 1978 to be. And he says, “I never lie.” Reeve said that Superman needed to express hope and not be cynical or sarcastic.

It’s hard to assess what Superman means outside an American context. Living in Singapore, I constantly see people wearing Superman T-shirts. So, what is it about Superman? Partly it might be the general sense that America is cool. Probably a good part of it has nothing to do with any ideology. But for many people, America does resonate as representing some very good values. I remember some years ago, reading an interview with a woman in Singapore who had a sleeve tattoo and thought she wouldn’t get as many looks in America, because people were more open minded there.

The sunny view of Superman isn’t without critics, though. In the early 1960s, the Italian novelist and theorist Umberto Eco argued that somebody with the power of Super-man could do transformative things, rather than being limited to small acts of charity, as Superman was. He thought this suggested an ideology that opposed necessary systemic change. I had thought that as well, for years. But more recently, it occurred to me that America can do transformative things, but often those things haven’t worked out the way it was thought they would. So, if you read Superman as a stand-in for America, then maybe you do want him to dial back the power.

Tags:

Category: Society Culture

From: http://www.rochester.edu/newscenter/superman-at-80/

Lois Lane Begins the Big Changes in Superman’s Life – Action Comics #1007 Spoilers

We’ve had a theory running through recent months at Bleeding Cool concerning Brian Bendis‘ redefining of the roles of Lois Lane, Superman, Clark Kent and Jonathan Kent as a family and in the DC Universe.

That Lois Lane is going to tell the world that rather than being Clark Kent’s wife, she is actually Superman’s girlfriend and that Jonathan Kent is their child. And that Clark Kent is just a cover, a beard as the parlance goes, for her relationship with Superman. And, for want of a better phrase, turn Clark Kent into Cuck Kent in the eyes of the world?

Today, we got a nod in that direction, as Lois Lane meets her Superman-averse father Colonel Sam Lane.

What, that you’re a terrible mother, Lois? Don’t worry, so is Clark… but is she wanting that change we have been suggesting? As she tells her father…

Note, saying she is in love with Superman, not that Clark Kent is Superman.

But why now? Well having her son now suddenly an older teenager without explanation might have made it very necessary right now… and she has been writing that book with potential titles The Secrets of Lois Lane or I Married an Alien from Outer Space…

ACTION COMICS #1007
(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A/CA) Steve Epting
The Kobra Cult conspiracy ensnares Daily Planet photographer Jimmy Olsen, drawing the attention of the Man of Steel. But be careful, Superman-there’s more lurking in the shadows of Metropolis than just a snake cult.  In Shops: Jan 30, 2019 SRP: $3.99

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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From: https://www.bleedingcool.com/2019/01/30/lois-lane-changes-superman-action-comics-1007-spoilers/

Action Comics No. 1007 review: Metropolis under attack

Metropolis is under attack by entities unknown and Superman is utterly helpless to stop, just as he’s unable to stop the massive change in Lois Lane’s life.

Action Comics begins its newest arc with a simultaneous bang and whimper, which really shouldn’t be possible, yet somehow this issue is able to pull that off. There are so many ideas present in this issue that are perfect for a Superman comic while also feeling different than most other Superman comics. Those ideas can only take something so far though when the end product feels very jumbled and unfocused. While this is set up for the rest of the arc, and more than likely future arcs, so hopefully the actual storyline itself doesn’t end up being entirely setup and that moving forward, Action Comics will become more focused.

As frustrating as this issue was at times, it definitely isn’t without merit. During the end of Bendis’ tenure at Marvel he often fell into the trap of setting up future storylines while also trying to tell his current story. Those stories often ended up feeling very unfocused, much like this issue, but unlike his later Marvel books, Action Comics is presented in more of a mystery type of style rather than “Hey look! Future stories!” That mystery being told is very intriguing and makes you want to keep reading, but the only problem is that there are two separate storylines in this issue that make you feel that way.

This issue is simply frustrating because there is so much good in it that it’s hard not to gush about that. Jimmy Olsen is brought to a Cult of Kobra meeting could be a storyline all by itself and so could Superman saving Amanda Waller from falling to death before an enormous explosion. Both are executed very well, but because both are present the issue doesn’t feel balanced in its structure or pacing.

Image by DC Comics/Art by Steve Epting

The best part of the issue though definitely has to be Lois’ conversation with her father. This is something that probably should’ve been done years ago in the comics, but now that it’s been done, it’s just as satisfying and heartbreaking as one would think it would be.

The star of this issue though has to be Steve Epting. Some of Epting’s best work in the best have been his collaborations with Ed Brubaker on books like Captain America and Velvet, which have very similar tones that shouldn’t work in a Superman book, but it works perfectly here. Whether it be the terrifying feeling that the Cult of Kobra creates, Superman’s movement, both casual and powerful, or Lois’ very quiet sadness, his art throughout this issue is spectacular.

One of the best thing about Epting’s is art is his ability to create ever so subtle facial expressions. In real life, everyone has these micro-movements that are almost imperceptible, yet Epting somehow is able to do that in his art which makes for so many great emotional moments when he’s able to do it.

7.0/10 

There’s a lot of good in Action Comics no. 1007, but sadly it also stumbles due to its structure and pacing.

From: https://bamsmackpow.com/2019/01/31/superman-action-comics-no-1007-review/

Metropolis is Under Attack in ACTION COMICS #1007

ACTION COMICS under the stewardship of Brian Michael Bendis has enjoyed one of the best runs it’s had in years. ACTION COMICS #1007 continues that good run with a new arc, but continuing the threat of the Invisible Mafia. This new story threatens a lot of the status quo of Clark Kent and Superman’s existence and introduces us to the wonderful Steve Epting drawing Superman and co.

Jimmy Falls in Love, Lois Tells the Truth

ACTION COMICS #1007 begins with intrepid photographer James Olsen on a mysterious date. As it turns out, his date is a part of a Kobra Cult hidden in Seattle’s Triangle Pub. Jimmy gets chased out of the building. The building then suddenly explodes in a burst of blue light. He survives but finds himself in front of a crater where the building once stood.

Olsen ends up back at The Daily Planet, where he sleeps on Perry’s couch. Jimmy doesn’t give Perry his story, and Perry throws him out in a huff. He then runs into Clark Kent, who is keeping his eye on Robinson Goode (who is the villain Red Cloud). Jimmy tries to have a conversation, but Clark follows the departing Goode.

ACTION COMICS #1007 Ends With a Bang

ACTION COMICS #1007
ACTION COMICS #1007 Page 2. Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

ACTION COMICS #1007 then shifts to Lois Lane. Lois talks with her father about their damaged relationship and everything that they’ve been through. She admits she’s been lying to him for years. Sam doesn’t get at what she’s hinting until she declares her love for Superman, and that he is the father of Sam’s grandson. Sam Lane, a man who has been hostile towards Superman since his first appearance, walks away, no words spoken.

ACTION COMICS #1007 ends with Superman flying through Atlanta, Georgia. As he chats with the citizens of Atlanta, a scream rings out. Superman rushes to the rescue and finds himself saving Amanda Waller, leader of Task Force X (The Suicide Squad). As Superman flies up to investigate, the building explodes. The explosion has a similar appearance as the one in Seattle that Jimmy witnessed. As Superman helps rescue civilians, Waller disappears into the wind.

Bendis Delivers Again

Brian Michael Bendis has found his niche in Superman: tell stories revolving around the supporting cast, and have the villains be a few steps ahead of Superman. The formula has worked very well so far, and ACTION COMICS #1007 is no exception. Bendis really hit his groove with the characterizations this issue. His Superman is friendly and kind but will get down to business when he has to. Lois as the conciliatory daughter to her hard-nosed father was a good touch. I also quite enjoyed the reinterpretation of Jimmy Olsen, getting himself in over his head, and managing a way to get out of it somehow.

ACTION COMICS #1007
ACTION COMICS #1007 Pages 4-5. Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The title of the arc, “Leviathan Rises,” implies that the international terror group Leviathan is involved. Also, with the Invisible Mafia still looming, and Superman’s suspicions of Robinson Goode, there’s a chance those three forces may come together, and if so, Superman will have a lot on his plate. The fast-moving plot helps to cover for the perceived weakness of Superman, that he’s “too powerful.” Even Superman can’t react to and outthink multiple opponents.

Epting is Great on ACTION COMICS #1007

Artist Steve Epting has long been a mainstay at Marvel. His run on CAPTAIN AMERICA with writer Ed Brubaker was legendary. Having such an immense talent on ACTION COMICS #1007 really elevated the book. Epting’s faces are always a highlight, and the darker mood of the story fits his heavier style. There’s a lot of darkness and shadows, especially in the opening with Jimmy in Seattle. Brian Michael Bendis is really utilizing his artist Rolodex, and there is no way you can complain about that. Exemplary work from Epting in this issue.

Who’s Bombing Everything?

Two bombings, in two separate US cities. The leader of the Invisible Mafia has purchased the Daily Planet. Superman is on the tail of the Red Cloud, but can he figure everything out in time to foil the Mafia’s plans? Bendis and Epting have produced an excellent issue of ACTION COMICS, although that should hardly be a surprise.

ACTION COMICS #1007 is an excellent book, one that sets up not only the mystery of the bomber but the added wrinkle of Superman-hater Sam Lane knowing his identity! Bendis is blowing up the status quo in small ways, but they are turning out to be deeply satisfying and compelling changes.

From: https://comicsverse.com/action-comics-1007-review/

Lois Sees Through Clark’s Glasses in This Exclusive Mysteries of Love in Space Preview :: Comics :: Features :: DC Comics :: Paste

No matter how many radical changes wash over heroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, DC Comics’ core pantheon of heroes maintain an iconic nature unmatched in mainstream comics. Even if you don’t follow the ongoing soap operas of their monthly adventures, chances are you have a passing familiarity with the broad strokes that make these characters who they are—which is one reason the publisher’s regular “80-Page Giant” anthology collections are so warmly received.

Stories like “Glasses” in this week’s Mysteries of Love in Space should ring true if you have any affection at all for the Man of Steel—or for Lois Lane. Written by Groot and Judas scribe Jeff Loveness and illustrated by ‘90s Superman legend Tom Grummett, “Glasses” is one of seven brand-new stories (plus one vintage reprint) collected in the space-and-Valentine’s-themed anthology, which covers characters from Hawkgirl to Space Cabbie. With the issue hitting stands tomorrow, Paste is thrilled to offer an excusive preview of Grummett’s interior art, along with an interview with Loveness. Check that out below, and be sure to nab Mysteries of Love in Space on January 30th.

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Mysteries of Love in Space Cover Art by Joëlle Jones

Paste: You’ve written shorts in a few other recent DC anthologies. What does it mean to you to get to play with these characters in a less continuity-heavy sandbox?

Jeff Loveness: I love it. DC characters are on a timeless pedestal. You can jump into Superman in any era and basically know what’s going on. There might be some ‘90s mullets or confusing electricity powers, but y’know… basically.

And being free from continuity allows me to hone in and tell a universal story. It allows you to have a bit more of closure and personal statement. This is my third anthology special, and I think this is my favorite story of them all, so I’m happy DC keeps asking me back.

Paste: Outside of DC, you’ve done mini-series and ongoing comics as well—what do you find more challenging to script, a succinct done-in-one or a longer story? Is it tricky to say what you need to say in a smaller page count?

Loveness: They’re both fun in their own ways. I feel a lot of emotion and pride looking back on stories like Judas, World Reader, Groot and Nova because we were able to tell fun stories during chapters of my life. So I look back on those with fondness. But telling these one-off stories feels like a fun, accessible way for me to pop in and say, “What’s my Superman story?” If I only had one shot at the character, what would I say? So yeah… both great experiences, but I’ve been loving these short stories.


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Mysteries of Love in Space Interior Art by Tom Grummett, Cam Smith Adriano Lucas

Paste: Your story in Mysteries of Love in Space starts off with Clark Kent’s glasses and a nod to the long-standing disbelief over Lois never recognizing that Clark and Superman were one and the same. What inspired you to talk about their relationship, and to call back to the era when Lois thought she was talking to two different men?

Loveness: I’ve always felt bad for all the flack Lois gets about the disguise. I think the Clark Kent disguise is somewhat beautiful. If Hamlet can get confused and stab a dude through a sheet, I think some people can get confused about a low-key dude in glasses who slumps and has a passing resemblance to Superman. It says a lot about duality. Self-perception. The way we overlook people we think we have status over. I love the status quo of Lois knowing Clark is Superman, but I think there’s something interesting about the classic approach, and it was fun to dive into all eras of their relationship.

Paste: Although Lois narrates your story, it’s also about Superman’s seemingly endless well of empathy. What sort of role do you think Superman plays in this day and age, where caring about things without irony isn’t always celebrated?

Loveness: I think Superman’s more important than ever. He’s an adopted immigrant from a planet that denied science. He works in a dying industry in the name of truth itself. His enemies are fascists and billionaires. He’s in love with the smartest woman in the room. He’s kind and humble—which is something we desperately need. I think we’re at a tide shift in narrative culture—where kindness and earnestness are coming back around. I like people who care. I like people who want to make the world a better place. I’ve always been impressed with Superman’s longevity—his wax and wane in popularity. Even when we think he’s out of touch or out of date, he comes back around and surprises us. He’s a cool, lonely dude. I’m so lucky I got to write him.

Paste: Tom Grummett was a hugely important name in ‘90s Superman comics. What was it like collaborating with him for this short?

Loveness: Oh man. He IS Superman to me. I grew up reading his work. It was very emotional to see his art come in. The guy who drew my Superman DREW my Superman. It’s… I’m still processing it. I feel so lucky to work with a legend like that.


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Mysteries of Love in Space Interior Art by Tom Grummett, Cam Smith Adriano Lucas


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Mysteries of Love in Space Interior Art by Tom Grummett, Cam Smith Adriano Lucas

From: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2019/01/lois-sees-through-clarks-glasses-in-this-exclusive.html

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