Superman Split Down the Middle in Burnham’s "Action Comics" #7 Variant Cover

Chris Burnham’s variant cover for “Action Comics” #7

DC Comics has revealed a first look at Chris Burnham’s variant cover for “Action Comics” #7, written by Grant Morrison with art by Rags Morales and Rick Bryant. The cover, released via The Source, features a split cover between Superman’s life among the humans in Metropolis juxtaposed with his life as a Kryptonian in Kandor. Burnham spoke to his love of the bottle city and how it influenced his cover design.

“My initial instinct upon reading the issue was to do something with the bottled cities of Metropolis Kandor,” Burnham told The Source. “I love the bottled city of Kandor. A few years ago I was at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh with my then-3-year-old nephew, Noah. We stumbled upon this incredible sculpture exhibition by the late great Mike Kelley. The exhibit is simply called ‘Kandor’ and features dozens of astounding renditions of the bottled city. Google it. It’s amazing. And well worth tracking down in person if you get the chance. It was my favorite part of the museum and it was Noah’s too! I literally had to drag him out of there kicking and screaming after we’d spent almost an hour in there. Kandor love runs in the family! Anyhow. Rags had already done an excellent job with a literal approach to the bottled city idea, so I decided to go a little more conceptual. The pieces all fell into place for a good, old-fashioned split cover! Superman torn between two worlds! Kandor and Metropolis! Nature and nurture! Teflon and cotton! The cover also gave me the chance to work with the incomparable Gene Ha’s astoundingly complicated designs for Krypton and Kandor. It was a great challenge to be true to his vision without straight-up tracing what he’d already drawn.”

Burnham was recently announced as the ongoing artist on the New 52’s “Second Wave” book, “Batman Incorporated” written by Grant Morrison. Last week, the publisher revealed Burnham’s cover for “Batman Incorporated” #1 featuring Batman and Robin in the crosshairs of a possible assassin.

Stay tuned to CBR News for more on “Action Comics.”

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Tags:  dc comics, action comics, chris burnham, grant morrison, rags morales, rick bryant

From: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=36963

Super spuds: DC Comics heroes get Mr. Potato Head treatment

Superman makes his debut as a Mr. Potato Head toy this holiday season.

From: http://www.usatoday.com/life/comics/story/2012-02-12/Batman-Superman-Potato-Head-toys/53058490/1

February 11, 2012: Superman Family Adventures #1

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From: http://www.supermanhomepage.com/news.php?readmore=10888

DC Comics Still Wants Superman Documents

     PASADENA (CN) – DC Comics has argued that it should have access to legal documents related to a legal battle over the rights to Superman because it is not protected by the attorney-client privilege.
     On Tuesday, counsel for attorney Marc Toberoff went before the three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit in Pasadena, challenging an order for the production of privileged documents that were allegedly stolen from Toberoff’s law firm by another attorney and handed to Warner Brothers during representation of the heirs of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman.
     DC Comics and Warner Brothers sued lawyer Marc Toberoff, claiming that he had improperly claimed an interest in the continued exploitation of the Man Of Steel.
     The publisher’s complaint says that Toberoff persuaded the Siegel and Shuster’s heirs to terminate their agreements with DC Comics and file invalid copyright notices. The heirs entered into a joint venture with Toberoff’s Pacific Pictures Corp., granting him a controlling stake in the heirs’ interest in the superhero character.
     The documents at issue were unearthed during a theft investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office, and detailed Toberoff’s interactions with the estates.
     Magistrate Judge Ralph Zaresky ruled that DC comics should have access to the documents last year, over Toberoff’s objections that he had an agreement with the government to keep the documents under wraps.
     Chief Judge Alex Kozinski and judges Diarmuid O’Scannlain and Norman Smith heard arguments from Toberoff’s counsel, Richard Kendall of Kendall Brill Klieger, and DC Comics’ attorney, Matthew Kline of O’Melveny Myers.
     Kozinski asked Kline why the documents were not protected under attorney-client privilege. The judge noted that even if an attorney states explicitly that he has a waiver from his client, that is not enough. “Where is the client’s action?” he asked.
     Kline argued that all the evidence showed that the clients had expressly waived the attorney-client privilege and that Toberoff had obtained their consent to release the documents.
     But during his rebuttal, Kendall said that grand jury secrecy offered “complete protection” against disclosure. He added that he had asserted attorney-client privilege “every which way” and noted that “the entire crime was the theft of privileged documents.”
     DC Comics wants to void the agreements the heirs made with Toberoff, and restore its exclusivity rights to the Superman character.  

From: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/02/10/43793.htm

February 9, 2012: Rare Superman Comic Fetches $120K on eBay

WhatSellsBest.com reports than an extremely rare copy of ‘Action Comics No. 1’ featuring the first ever appearance of Superman has recently sold for $120,100 on eBay.

The issue has a CGC (Certified Guaranty Company) grade of 7.0 and was part of Sparkle City Comics’ “Golden Age Auction” which features other rare comics such as ‘Superboy No. 1’, ‘Batman No. 1’, and ‘Sensation Comics No. 1’ which featured the first appearance of Wonder Woman.

Prior copies of ‘Action Comics No. 1’ have sold at auction for record numbers.

A family that was facing foreclosure in 2010 discovered a copy of the rare comic boxed away with other comic books since the 1950s in their basement.

This issue (grade a 5.0) was expected to sell for at $250,000 and wound up selling for $436,000 and saved the family from losing their home.

In December, 2011 a near-mint copy (graded a 9.0) that was once owned by actor Nicolas Cage sold for $2.2 million dollars.

The issue was acutally stolen from Cage in 2000 only to turn up earlier in 2011 in a storage shed in California that had been purchased in an auction.

Thanks to James Massey for the lead on this story.

From: http://www.supermansupersite.com/0209509.html

Bizarro Back Issues: The Superman Sex Tape (1987)

As we move towards Valentine’s Day, our thoughts here at ComicsAlliance naturally turn to Superman. He has, after all, been at the center of one of the greatest romances in the history of comics. His love for Lois Lane is beautiful on so many levels, centered on the idea that that the most powerful person in the universe falls in love with someone defined by her wit and determination. Even at the height of the Silver Age, when Lois’s romantic pursuits could charitably be referred to as “obsessive,” there’s still a genuine sweetness to it.

And then there was the time that Superman starred in a porn movie with someone else’s wife.

It all goes down — so to speak — in the pages of Action Comics #592 and 593, and even 25 years later it’s probably still the most (in)famous issue of John Byrne’s run on the Superman titles, and not without reason.

At the time, Action was a Superman team-up title that reintroduced the Man of Steel to the recently rebuilt DC Universe in the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths. In this case, the special guest stars were Big Barda and Mister Miracle, two characters that have a pretty good shot at being the single greatest romance in the history of DC Comics. Their origins in Jack Kirby’s epic Fourth World Saga are a little complicated, but all you really need to know is that Mr. Miracle was imprisoned on the purely evil planet of Apokolips, and Barda was trained from birth to be an unquestioning soldier in that planet’s army, but they fell in love, and escaped to Earth, and beat everybody that tried to come between them.

At one point, they’re talking about Granny Goodness and Barda says “We’ll go down that old shark’s mouth together!! — then I’ll beat her to death from the inside!!” It is literally the most romantic thing I have ever read.

Unfortunately, there was one thing their relationship wasn’t prepared for: The Eighties. So when Barda takes a wrong turn while she’s out and about in the big city of Metropolis, she ends up on a side of town so wrong that it looks like a deleted scene from the Warriors. Presumably it was too soon after the reboot for Superman to have cleaned up the entire town, so it has a whole double-page spread of hookers, hobos, a pimp with an honest-to-New-Gods oversized hat with a feather in it, and one purse snatcher who makes the incredibly poor life choice of stealing Barda’s handbag.

She gives chase, but unfortunately for her, she ends up running right into the sewer domain of the villain of the piece, Sleez, a little green dude in a trenchcoat with the power summon fleshy tentacles from (mercifully) unknown locations.



According to the origin story that comes through in this issue, Sleez was exiled from Apokolips for having tastes so depraved that even a guy who keeps a dedicated immortal torturer on staff thought he was too creepy. To that end, he has the power to psychically corrupt people, bending their will to his own skeevy purposes.

Which, in Barda’s case, involves heavy makeup, a boombox, and an outfit that somehow manages to be over 99% tassel.



But as we find out in the next issue, there was one more element to the scene.

I’m not gonna lie, folks: Action Comics #593 has one of the single greatest opening sequences of all time. For one thing, it starts out with the the idea that Scott Free, the greatest escape artist in the universe, doesn’t use a key to open his door. Instead, he has a lock that’ll blow him up if he can’t bypass a grid of lasers to solve it in ten seconds. It’s a pretty amazing bit of character, and it only gets better once he solves it, and enters his own home to find Darkseid himself sitting in his armchair.



Byrne wasn’t the first person to pull the trick of having the embodiment of evil kicking it in a purple La-Z-Boy in someone else’s apartment — in fact, it’s a tribute to a similar scene Kirby did with Orion way back in New Gods #2 — but he did add the truly hilarious brandy snifter and the satisfied smirk of a guy who is about to absolutely ruin somebody else’s day.

Which is exactly what he does. See, the part of Sleez’s plan that I left out earlier? It was a video camera.



That’s right, everybody: Sleez has been videotaping and selling Barda’s sexy sewer dance. In fact, it’s topping the charts in Metropolis’s surprisingly thriving porn community. And to make matters even worse, with Superman also succumbing to Sleez’s control, it looks like her next video isn’t going to be a solo act.

As creepy as that setup might be, it’s also exactly what I love about Darkseid. He’s pure evil, in a way that’s both grand and insidious that goes far beyond just showing up and punching super-heroes, blasting eye-lasers and frowning. He’s a guy that will go to your house, sit in your chair, drink your liquor, hand you a VHS tape with your wife in a porn movie filmed in a sewer, tell you you should probably do something about that, and then go back to plotting to conquer the galaxy. That’s evil.

On the bright side, Superman isn’t exactly thriving in the world of adult films:



Thanks to his “Strong Moral Fibre,” he’s able to resist Sleez’s psychic urging to get it on, probably because Sleez didn’t even bother to offer him a t-shirt first.

At this point, the story has become Mister Miracle in a rage against time. Or at least a race against Superman’s repressed horniness and Barda’s battle bikini being used for the power of smut. Either way, Mr. Miracle drops down into Suicide Slum, and despite the fact that Mother Box (a portable living supercomputer from the planet New Genesis) assures him that there’s no immediate danger, he’s immediately set upon by one of my all-time favorite phrases, “a gang of crazed hobos.”

They club him over the head, stuff him in a mail sack and chain it up, but it doesn’t stop there:



My absolute favorite part of this entire story is that the crazed hobos have a blowtorch on standby for just such an occasion. Because of course they do. That’s just how you roll in the City of Tomorrow.

Despite the fact that it’s pretty low-tech, it is a pretty serious deathtrap, only made more threatening by the fact that Byrne slams it into his story in only two pages, adding another layer to it in every single panel. But then, with Mr. Miracle beaten unconscious, stuffed in a sack, chained up, covered in garbage, welded into a dumpster and pushed into a river, this is the very next page:



The Greatest Escape Artist in the Universe, everybody. The lesson here is that Mr. Miracle is awesome.

So awesome, in fact, that he’s able to find the porn set almost immediately, and just as it looks like the Man of Steel might be rounding third base, he decides this has gone quite far enough, thank you:



I’d say it’s the climax of the story, but, well, that’s exactly what Mister Miracle’s trying to prevent. Thank you, I’ll be here all week.

With Scott on the scene, Sleez’s mental control over Barda and Superman is broken, but they’re not out of the woods yet. Superman takes off after Sleez bolts, leaving Mister Miracle and Barda to deal with exactly the thing you’d expect a guy like Sleez to have laying around his porn studio: A giant pink tentacle monster.



Seriously, those things were everywhere in the ’80s.

Before Mister Miracle goes through a firsthand re-enactment of La Blue Girl, however, Barda saves him by dragging the tentacle monster off and shoving her fist down its throat until she gets to the right spot to kill it. And for those of you wondering, it’s right about here where I start to wonder if Mr. Miracle’s line about how there was no point in being subtle was actually Byrne’s warning to the readers.

In the end, Sleez blows himself (wait for it) up in an explosion in the sewer, leaving Superman to come back alone and try to explain the whole thing to a very disgruntled Mister Miracle. Needless to say, his explanation is basically “Sorry I almost banged your wife, bro, but to be fair, I am Superman.”



So while he came perilously close to capturing Best Male Newcomer at the 1987 AVN Awards, Superman didn’t actually end up starring in a porn video. But considering that the camera was rolling for the entire time, and that Sleez’s human partner who directed the video isn’t apprehended, presumably that footage made it out.

It’s never really brought up again, but if there’s one thing I believe with every fiber of my being, it is this: In the DC Universe, “Superman’s Makeout Fail” was definitely the first video uploaded to YouTube.

From: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/02/08/superman-sex-tape/

Marvel Comics’ Troubling Origins Story

In 1961, Justice League of America (featuring Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman) was selling exceptionally well for DC, and Marvel decided it was time for another try with superheroes. Like many publishers, they had created a stable of heroes to fight the Nazis, but when the war ended reader interest in superheroes had waned. Lee turned to Jack Kirby, who was already working with him on various monster comics, and together they created The Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic! The Human Torch! The Invisible Girl! The Thing!). A Justice League get-together had the sterile feel of a Rotary club meeting, but the Fantastic Four was an actual family, and as in many families, there were deep-seated resentments and lots of screaming—the violent outbursts weren’t just reserved for the bad guys. Superhero comics would never be the same.

From: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2012/02/the_avengers_why_i_m_boycotting_marvel_s_movie.html

Death & Return of Superman Short Film: It’s Funny Cuz It’s True (& Has Amazing …

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The Death and Return of Superman is “a somewhat-mostly-accurate educational parody film,” according to its creators. Those creators? Bryan Basham and Max Landis, the son of famed director John Landis. This is a video comic fans will get very excited over (whether positively or negatively) and that non-readers will get a kick out of because it’s so ridiculous it couldn’t possibly be true. Except it kinda is. It also includes cameos from Mandy Moore, Elijah Wood, Chris Hardwick, Simon Pegg (as John Landis) and one more extra special appearance I don’t want to spoil. Give it a watch. 

Even though it sounds as if he’s completely trashing the genre, you could say the younger Landis has a keen interest in superheroes. He wrote the screenplay for the new film Chronicle, which revolves around a group of teenage boys who find themselves with superpowers.

“I’m not drunk in the video, I only get about three cups in,” writes Landis. “The original rant was 45 minutes long, so of course we had to cut a bunch of stuff out for time, and because it was just too stupid. Like for instance the part where Pa Kent dies of a heart attack and literally GOES TO HEAVEN. AND SEES SUPERMAN.” Yeah, that also happened. He also neglected to include the real impetus for the 1992 Death of Superman storyline. That was Lois Lane and Clark Kent’s marriage in the comic being put on hold to coincide with their marriage on the ABC television series, Lois Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and the creators needing another big event to take its place. Yes, true story.

(via Nerd Approved)

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  • I am now convinced that Mandy Moore should have been asked to play Lois Lane after watching this.

  • I was young enough when this came out that I didn’t see it for the cash grab that it was… and I loved it.  Looking back, ok yeah it was awful.  Doesn’t change how bad ass I thought it was.  I thought Superboy was the coolest guy I’d ever seen (let me stress again that I was wee), and I wanted a leather jacket.  Badly.  So that happened.  The others I could take or leave, but Superboy was awesome in the eyes of a wee Jinxy.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but he was an early take on the Superhero as Celebrity, no?  He showed up, was heroic for about a second, and assumed the world owed him a check.  He also did what I think most of us would do given god-like powers… he moved to Hawaii and did as little work as possible to still be famous and get paid.

    I loved the video’s take on this event breaking death in comics, it’s something we’ve all been seeing over the last few years, but it’s interesting to see “patient zero” laid out before us.  Great video.

  • I remember an Entertainment Tonight story during the Death of Superman. (yeah, it was a big enough topic for Mary Hart and John Tesh to pay attention.) In the interview DC pretty much said: “Super heroes die and come back all the time.” In DC’s defense, they were pretty up front about his imminent return, much to the shagrin of everyone who bought a hundred issues they knew were going to be worth a billion dollars one day.

  • I watched this, completely unaware that there were celebrities in it, and then I had to go back and watch it again. Best half hour spent this week!

  • I thought it was enjoyable, but the bit about Superman being the instigator for dead heroes coming back and that the storyline was the reason that sales fell are both astoundingly untrue. I’m amazed that both are being taken at face value.

  • Superman’s return was definitly not the start of dead heroes being brought back. But I’d say it is the trope codifier.

From: http://www.themarysue.com/death-return-of-superman/

Comics: Justice League fights real-world hunger

While comic-book-industry news is usually all about characters, creators and circulation, sometimes the real world intrudes — for good or ill. Two weeks ago, DC Entertainment unleashed its superheroes on a real-world crisis: hunger in the Horn of Africa.

At a news conference, bigwigs at Warner Bros. (which owns DC Entertainment) announced the “We Can Be Heroes” campaign, which will support three aid groups working in Africa. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League will be used to raise awareness, not to mention millions of dollars.

Both of which are needful. According to DC, the Horn countries are suffering their worst drought in more than 60 years. Some 13 million Africans are in need of critical assistance and 250,000 are facing starvation in Somalia alone.

DC’s effort will extend across all of Time Warner’s properties, including the use of the Justice League members as spokespeople, and exposure through Warner Bros., Turner Broadcasting, Time Inc. and HBO. If I’m understanding properly how this works, DC’s goal is to raise a minimum of $2 million during the next two years through cash donations, employee matching funds and consumer matching funds, which will be split among Save the Children, International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps.

I’m assuming the way this will work will be advertising on all the Warner Bros. platforms that will direct people to the campaign’s website, www.WeCanBeHeroes.org. When you arrive, there’s a professional video that begins with the seven founding Justice Leaguers in silhouette that segues into quick interviews with ordinary people who have contributed. The point seems to be that they have become an unstoppable force for good by banding together, like the Justice League. How’s that for a snappy metaphor?

At the website you can contribute directly to the We Can Be Heroes fund, which DC Entertainment will match 100 percent, up to $1 million in total donations (which accounts for the $2 million goal). But you can also buy specially branded merchandise — We Can Be Heroes T-shirts, coffee mugs, that sort of thing — that will be matched at 50 percent. You can also join an online community and sign up for updates and information on the situation in the Horn and steps the campaign is taking.

I should note that comics have been involved in public service plenty of times before. The number of giveaway comic books featuring superheroes fighting ills like tooth decay or littering is legion. In the 1970s, Stan Lee famously ignored the draconian Comics Code to publish three anti-drug issues of “Amazing Spider-Man”in answer to a request from the then-Department of Health, Education and Welfare. During World War II, you’d be hard-pressed to find a comic book that didn’t urge kids to recycle metal and paper, grow a victory garden or “Keep ‘Em Flying!”

But there’s never been anything on this scale, and we should all salute DC Entertainment for its compassion and commitment. Oh, and throw a few bucks at ’em for a coffee mug, will ya? Tell ’em Captain Comics sent you.

They’re Ba-ack!

A shudder ran through the comics industry and fandom Jan. 18 when reporter Sherri Ly of “Fox 5” in Washington, D.C., raised the alarm over “plenty of blood, sex and violence” in DC’s superhero comics. The report on WTTG-TV Channel 5 begins with “most people think comics are for kids”and then concludes breathlessly that “psychologists point out the overexposure to sex and violence for young children can encourage aggression.”Then it quotes various people as saying the books are “scary”or “fictionalized Playboy for kids.”

This is all hooey, of course. Because most comics — like most movies, novels, magazines, video games and TV shows — are manifestly not for kids, and haven’t been for decades. The comics the report denounces are quite clearly marked for age 16 and above, so virtually all of Ly’s overheated rhetoric is simply irrelevant. There are comics for kids, which are also quite clearly marked, and those don’t contain a lick of what Ly finds so dangerous.

But comics people find this hard to laugh off, because we’ve been here before — specifically in 1954, when comic books were used as a scapegoat for every social ill in America. The resultant hysteria nearly destroyed the industry, a body blow from which comics are still recovering. We can only hope that this time around Ly’s trumped-up smear job finds fewer takers.

From: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/books/2017413673_comics06.html?prmid=head_more

‘Chronicle’ Writer Max Landis Explains ‘The Death and Return of Superman’ [Video]

Feb 4th 2012 By: Caleb Goellner

    From: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/02/04/death-and-return-of-superman-max-landis-video/

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