First Superman comic book sells for super price of $2.16 million

Los Angeles, CA, United States (AHN) – It cost just 10 cents when it debuted in 1938. In 2011, it fetched a record $2.16 million.

Action Comics #1, the first Superman comic book, set a record Wednesday when it was sold for $2.16 million, the most ever for a single comic book.

The 9.0, or “very fine/near mint,” graded issue was auctioned in online bidding that commenced Nov. 11 at

The condition level was set by Certified Guaranty Co, a professional comic book evaluation firm.

The starting bid was just $1, but there was a reserve price of $900,000. The seller was the cash-strapped actor Nicholas Cage.

The sale marks the first time a comic book has broken the $2 million price barrier. Wednesday’s sale broke the March 2010 record set when Action Comic No. #1, graded 8.5, was sold for $1.5 million.

About 100 copies of Action Comics No. #1 are believed to be in existence, and only a handful of those are in good condition.

The comic, featuring a picture of the “Man of Steel” lifting a car above his head as people around him flee, had been valued at just over $1 million.

The copy of Action Comics No. #1 was stolen from a collector in 2000, but resurfaced after an entrepreneur bought the contents of a storage unit near Los Angeles.

The high grade condition of the comic book is what makes this one so special–and pricey.

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Super price for Superman comic

A near-pristine copy of Action Comics #1 sold at an online auction Wednesday for $2.16 million.

(CNN) — Someone out there just leapt all comic book purchase price records in a single bound.

A near-pristine copy of Action Comics #1 — better known as the first appearance of Superman — sold at an online auction Wednesday night for a staggering $2.16 million.

The seller? None other than cash-strapped actor Nicolas Cage, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Cage turned a super-sized profit, the Reporter noted. He bought the 1938 Man of Steel original 14 years ago for roughly $150,000.

The buyer has remained anonymous. But “he’s an extremely passionate collector, and he treasures owning the best of the best,” said Vincent Zurzolo, chief operating officer of New York-based, which conducted the auction. “In particular, he loves Superman.”

When the comic book first went on the auction block November 12, the top bid was around $900,000, Zurzolo noted. The price rose to more than $1.5 million Monday and smashed the $2 million mark five minutes before the close of bidding.

The previous comic book sale price record? Roughly $1.5 million for another copy of Action Comics #1 in March of 2010.

“I’ve been involved in the comic book business for over 25 years,” Zurzolo told CNN. Superman remains an “icon that represents the best of this great country.”

Cage’s copy of the all-American classic comes with a colorful back story. It was reported stolen in January 2000, according to the Reporter, and remained lost for more than 11 years before showing up last April in an abandoned storage locker in California’s San Fernando Valley.

Comic book collectors’ holy grails

If you’re hoping to get your own original 1938 copy, don’t hold your breath. There are only about 100 copies still believed to be in existence, according to ComicConnect.

About 100 copies of Detective Comics #27 — better known as the first appearance of Batman — are also still believed to be out there. The Caped Crusader made his inaugural appearance in 1939.

An original Depression-era Batman won’t come cheap, however. One copy sold last year for a little over $1 million.

The good news: if you’re willing to settle for a more modern incarnation of the two crime fighters, you can probably afford it. “All New Batman: The Brave and the Bold” went on sale last month for $2.99.

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SUPERMAN SOARS! Rare 1938 comic book sells for record $2M

An issue of “Action Comics No. 1” — featuring the first appearance of Siegel and Shuster’s Superman — sold for $2,161,000 at an online auction ending Wednesday night.
(AP / Metropolis Collectibles, Inc./ComicConnect Corp.)

THE MAN OF STEEL has just secured the Record Deal.

The first superhero to launch the comic-book industry is now comics’ first $2-million man.

A rare 1938 comic book that features Superman’s historic debut sold at auction Wednesday night for $2.16-million, the auction/consignment site ComicConnect tells Comic Riffs.

The near-mint-condition copy of Action Comics No.-1 easily beat the record of about $1.5-million set in 2010 by the same issue, according to ComicConnect and sister partnership Metropolis Collectibles, which also conducted last year’s record sale.

“The buyer was extremely excited about the prospect of bidding on this,” ComicConnect/Metropolis COO Vincent Zurzolo tells Comic Riffs minutes after the bidding closed at 7:25 p.m. ET. “I think he had an adrenalin rush for the last two hours.

“As soon as he won it, he gave me a call and thanked me. …,” Zurzolo continues. “He’s very excited to have it. This is a guy who loves owning the best of the best.”

Zurzolo says he is not at liberty to disclose the identity of the buyer, but he could acknowledge that “this is a customer we have a relationship with.”

The record-setting book is graded to be in “9.0” condition — the best copy of Action Comics No.-1 Zurzolo says he’s ever seen.

Reported stolen in 2000, the book was recovered early this year in a storage locker near Los Angeles. It was “raw” and not protected, found in a stack of magazines, says Zurzolo, noting how surprised he was that it weathered the lost decade so well.

“We thought it was going to be creased, but it was beautiful,” he tells Comic Riffs. “It is so close to perfect. This book has got freshness and bounce … it’s simply stunning.” There are estimated to be about 100 extant copies of the issue, few in good condition.

In 2010, there was a spasm of big-spending on Action Comics No.-1and Detective Comics No.-27 (Batman’s debut), with the ping-ponging record escalating to more than $1.5-million.

When Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster debuted Superman in the summer of ‘38, the cover cost was 10 cents.

Metropolis Collectibles says the current “9.0” issue has twice before been the most valuable comic book: It set records when it sold in 1992 (for $86,000) and again in 1997 ($150,000).

At the time the “9.0” book went missing, it reportedly was owned by actor Nicolas Cage; the Oscar-winning actor is a Super-fan who once was cast to play the Last Son of Krypton himself. (The actor — whose stage name reportedly was inspired by comic character Luke Cage — in 2005 gave his newborn son the same birth name as that of Superman: Kal-El.)

ComicConnect said it could not disclose the previous owner, but Zurzolo says that his New York-based company was involved with authorities and the owner in the recovery of the record-setting book.

“There are not many times when you get to be the hero,” Zurzolo tells Comic Riffs, “but this one time, we were.”

Rare comic expected to fetch record price Wednesday]

[CAPTAIN AMERICA: As he turns 98, co-creator Joe Simon reflects on a legendary career]



Comic Review: SUPERMAN #3

Written by: George Perez
Art by: George Perez, Nicola Scott, Trevor Scott
Colored by: Brian Buccellato, Brett Smith, Blond
Lettering by:
Carlos M. Mangual
Published by
: DC

Availabe in comic stores now!

If you read the previous two months of Superman then you’re already aware of what happens in this book. It’s a shame to see Clark Kent depicted so well over in Action Comics at the start of the month and then be given these formulaic stories at the end. Once again, Superman battles a foe linked with the classical elements (First issue: fire, second issue: air – an invisible monster.) who is dispatched without providing any real answers.

Many people think Superman is a boring character because he’s too powerful to ever face a considerable threat, but Superman was never about the power itself, but what he uses the power he has for. Most of his battles devolve into fist fights, but only the second issue found a reasonable way to get around that and it was very short, thus robbing it of most of its drama. In this issue, he squares off against an Ice monster (Third element: water) with some disastrous consequences to the citizens of Metropolis, but it’s all cleared up so quickly that it seems silly. Why have something so horrible happen and then completely solve it without explanation after only a handful of pages?

Another repeating theme from previous issues is Clark’s recent depression. It’s a weak mystery and not enough to sustain interest. Lois and the rest of the supporting cast are around just to discuss the problem, but nobody comes to any conclusions about the elusive Mr. Kent. It just boils down to two characters saying, “Boy, Clark sure is acting weird. I wonder what that’s about.” By the time we actually find out why he’s acting that way, I doubt it’ll make a huge splash.

Now that the pattern has emerged with the elements, I’m sure next issue will involve some sort of rock monster – the last box to be checked off before the real threat can be introduced. We’re given little tidbits of B story and concurrent plots, but these glimpses are too small to get very excited about.

I’m a huge supporter of less decompression in comic writing and I’d love to see stories that are customarily told in five to six issues reduced to two or three, so I like the episodic nature of the series in theory, but reading the same comic three times is not thrilling. Watching these enemies sprout up and then immediately put out of action has gotten way too repetitive. Nicola Scott replaces Jesas Merino on art duties and does a fine job, but a change in art isn’t enough to distract us from the fact that we’re reading issues #1 and 2 over again. It’s as if George Perez is still writing the plot as a six issue arc and using these throw away villains to make each issue feel like it tells its own complete tale. I’m sure Perez has a clear goal in mind for the story, but until he makes the lead up more interesting, it will pass right under the radar.



Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2011: Comic Books (Part 1)

Holiday Geek Gift Guild: Comics

Put on your coats and caps, everybody! There’s pine needles on the living room floor, snow on the ground, and a scent of cinnamon in the air. Your dogs and cats are tearing apart wrapping paper, your family’s in town, and you can’t stop drinking eggnog for some reason. That could only mean one thing, folks, it’s the nondescript religious holiday season! And that means that it’s time to go into credit card debt so that you can show those closest to you that you care, you know? And to make it a little bit easier on you guys, we here at Geeks of Doom have been shoveling our driveways so that we can deliver to you this, The Holiday Geek Gift Guide! The best gifts possible for the geeks on you gift-giving list!

In this section, I’m going to tell you about several comics from across the nerd-sphere that you can give to that very special comic book geek in your life. In the description for each comic, I’ve broken down some info on who these books are perfect for. So open your eyes, open your hearts, and open your minds to some great gifts for all the comic book fans that you know. There’s literally something for everyone here, and each of the books are great starting points. So, even if your friends are not comic book readers, this might get them in the mood to keep going. Merry merry, everybody!

Absolute HushAbsolute Batman: Hush (DC Comics – $99.99): I’m going to start this off by saying that I’m not Hush’s biggest fan, I am however in the minority. So many people look at Hush as the defining moment in their Batman fandom, and with the team up two of the most popular creators of all time, Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee, on this book, this result is absolutely the furthest thing from a surprise. Featuring the majority of Batman’s rogues gallery, Jim Lee’s unique take on these characters is a sight to behold, regardless if I’m a fan or not. And no matter what the content, Absolute Editions from DC Comics are always awesome. So, even without liking the story that much, I still want a copy of this? How could I not, honestly? It’s a reprint, but if you’re looking to buy a present for a comic book fan in your life, this is a safe bet, as are any of the others Absolute Editions.

Absolute Identity CrisisAbsolute Identity Crisis (DC Comics – $99.99): This is pretty much in the same boat with Absolute Hush for me. I’m not a huge fan of the story, honestly, but again, it’s going to be an absolutely (no pun) amazing presentation. But again, it’s important to note that I’m in the minority of this book again. The large majority of DC Comics, and comics fan in general, adore this book. It’s metaphorically about the death of The Silver Age of comic books, and is handled incredibly well, but I personally do not like a lot of the content. Rags Morales’ art, on the other hand, is gorgeous. So, to have the art in the Absolute Edition’s oversized format is something that any collector out there will want on their book shelves. As I said, it’s a favorite of many comic book fans out there, so if you got some murder mystery fans out there who haven’t read this, make sure to pick this up to make their holiday happy.

Batman: The Black MirrorBatman: The Black Mirror HC (DC Comics – $29.99): This book has to go down in history as one of the greatest of all times. Collecting Detective Comics 871-881, this Dick Grayson Batman epic is a must read for any fan of the medium. The story itself is about Dick Grayson’s test by the city of Gotham and how he either passes or fails that test by going up against a foe that was closer to him than anyone could imagine. There are a lot of red herring and subplots, but Scott Snyder weaves the story together like a master tailor. And the art in this book is absolutely nothing to scoff at, either. In what could be arguably described as the best work in their careers thus far, artists Jock (with coloring by David Baron) and Francesco Francavilla provide the the landscape that gives Gotham City the ability to live and breathe. Jock handles the Batman story, which I’ve previously discussed, but Francavilla handles the absolutely gorgeous and intriguing detective story of Commissioner James Gordon. I’m not going to get into any details, but the separate stories connect, and when they do, it’s glorious. If you or a loved one haven’t already gotten this, make sure to do so now.

Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume OneJack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus Vol. 1 Paperback (DC Comics – $39.99): This comic might be my favorite collection. And I’ve got a little story to tell about it, if you’ll indulge me. Even if you refuse, I’ll tell you anyway. There were four hardcovers in the Fourth World series by Jack Kirby that were previously released. And like a lot of people, I delayed my reading of them until it was convenient for me, but what happened didn’t end up being convenient at all! You see, my wife (who is the greatest wife in the world) bought be the first volume of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus for Christmas last year. I read it, and then I fell in love. Head over heels, stupid, blissful love. With the comics. But, unfortunately the second volume was out of print! How could I go on?? I couldn’t! But when I found out DC Comics would be reissuing this series in paperback, my love was renewed! DC Comics will be rereleasing the entire set of this comic series in paperback, so if you missed the boat before, this is your chance to get your hands on some of the most dynamic comics of all time. Kirby is Kirby. His work is amazing, crazy, and action packed. It remains as a reminder of comics from a specific time period while also seeming miles ahead of where we are even today. It’s galactic, exciting and the intricate details that tie together Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen to The New Gods is a key inspiration for the majority of comics creators today. I cannot stress to you enough how important and enjoyable this book is. Please buy it for someone you love. And if you can’t think of anyone to buy it for, buy it for me. I’m a format nerd and need the paperback if I’m going to continue on with the future volumes! Also, the pre-order for volume two is available, as well. Get this for anybody that you know that loves science fiction and high concepts.

The New Teen Titans Omnibus, Volume 1The New Teen Titans Omnibus (DC Comics – $75.00): Marv Wolfman and George Perez team up to bring an exciting and ambitious tale of a bunch of teen heroes in the DC Universe when they form their own team and shed the “sidekick” role. You may be familiar with this series, and you should be. Heck, you may even already have all of the comics on your iPad, your longbox, or even on your bookshelf in smaller editions, but as any master chef knows, it’s all about the presentation. And the presentation of The New Teen Titans Omnibus is incredible. It’s massive, but included in these 464 pages is an exciting and dramatic story about the relationships between some of the most popular characters in the history of comics. It’s universally lauded with good reason, so even if you have read the material in this collection, your bookshelf is empty without the presence of The New Teen Titans Omnibus. The whole run isn’t collected in here, but the second volume is already up for pre-order.

Hark! A VagrantHark! A Vagrant (Drawn and Quarterly – $19.95): Collecting the first set of the incredibly web comic by Kate Beaton, Hark! A Vagrant is a beautiful and small hardcover that showcases amazing comic strips about the cartoonist’s interpretation of European, Canadian, American and world history, as well as her hilarious perspective of classic literature. It’s intelligent, funny, and honestly amazing. The comic strips are, as I said, hilarious, and the art in the book is funny too, but it’s also outstandingly expressive, which is not something you always see in a cartoonist’s web comic. It went over my head a lot of times when European and Canadian history were being critiqued, but there was humor still to be found, and the footnotes below the strips helped out a lot. In fact, I felt smarter after reading Hark! A Vagrant. Beaton and Drawn and Quarterly put together an amazing collection, and I can’t wait for more. So, get this for someone that’s really into literature or history. Also, Sexy Batman. Always Sexy Batman.

We3We3 (DC Comics/Vertigo – $24.99): I love Grant Morrison. That’s not a surprise. And it’s also not a surprise that I’m not the only one that loves Grant Morrison. Morrison has a specific style that appeals to a lot of comic book readers because he loves the medium as much as we do. There’s no questioning his popularity, and while he does attract a lot of readers, he also turns away quite a few, as well. And that’s completely understandable. Except for when in comes to We3. We3 is the story about three animals, a dog, a cat, and a rabbit that are weaponized to fight for the government. But what happens is nothing that anyone could have expected. What happens is the most heart warming and heart breaking comic that Grant Morrison has ever written. Whenever Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely work together on any project whether it be All Star Superman, Justice League, Batman and Robin, or Flex Mentallo, you know that’s it will be something special because they both bring out the best in each other. And We3 is no exception. It’s dynamic and ground breaking while not halting the story, but the story also exalts the art. It’s gorgeous and brilliant, and the oversized deluxe edition of the comic does nothing but enhance it’s amazingness. It’s seriously one of my favorite comics ever and this year’s reprinting of the book is perfect for any gift giving occasion especially for any animal lover.

The New York FiveThe New York Five (DC Comics/Vertigo – $14.99): There are certain creative teams that bring out the best in each other. Before I mentioned Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely as a team that does this, but they’re not the only ones. Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly are one of the best creative teams working in comics. With Local and The New York Four, they broke barriers in creativity by telling incredible stories about young women making it on their own while addressing all of the things that affect young people. And while the subject matter in these stories is specific to the characters, the stories appeal to anyone has made it through this age period. Both Local and The New York Four were able to reach and mean something to me, a 28-year-old grown man. They are stories of real life. Troubles, happiness, family drama and many other things are within these comics. They show all that comics can do. And with the book in question, New York Five, it’s a continuation of the story within New York Four. When Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly create together, they always catch lightening in a bottle as everything they do is amazing. New York Five is no exception and would make either an amazing television show or movie. This book is not very expensive and is a safe bet for any college aged or older person in your life.

Honorable Mentions:

Skullkickers Vol. 1 2 (Image Comics): Skullkickers is one of my favorite monthly comics. It’s a creator owned series about two lovably rough and tumble guys in a middle aged fantasy realm. It’s perfect for anyone that loves fantasy gaming, metal, or fun. An absolute must read.

The Sixth Gun Vol. 1 2 (Oni Press): The Sixth Gun is also one of my favorites, it’s a supernatural/western comic with high action and loads of fun.

DC Comics: The New 52 (DC Comics): I kinda have to put this on here, it’s a mega collection that holds the first issues of all of the DC books from their recent relaunch. I hate the idea of it, but I can’t help myself for wanting this. This is an absolute perfect holiday gift.

The Archie Archives (Vol. 1, 2, 3) (Dark Horse Comics/Archie Comics): Dark Horse Comics has done an amazing job with their archive collections of previously published material. Even if you’re not a fan of the Archie line of comics, the book itself is presented in an amazing way. People may say that they don’t like Archie, but these books looks amazing and will be a prized piece for any collector.

Creepy and Eerie Archives (Dark Horse Comics): Pretty much the same thing as the Archie Archives, but with classic horror comics. The art in these things is to die for.


If you’re ordering through in the United States, here’s their ordering deadlines for delivery on or before Christmas Eve (12/24) for items in-stock shipped to physical addresses within the United States and marked “Ships from and sold by” or “Fulfilled by”

December 15th – FREE Super Saver Shipping* [Last full day to order]
December 19th – Standard Shipping [Last full day to order]
December 20th – Two-Day Shipping (FREE with Amazon Prime), Last full day to order
December 21st – Two-Day Shipping (FREE with Amazon Prime) – Order as late as 8pm PST (varies by item); One-Day Shipping ($3.99 with Amazon Prime) Last full day to order
December 22nd – One-Day Shipping ($3.99 per item with Amazon Prime). Order as late as 4:30pm PST [varies by item]
December 23rd – Last-Minute Christmas Delivery ($9.99/item with Amazon Prime) While available (varies by item)
December 24th – ($3.99/item with Amazon Prime) While available (select cities, varies by item)
December 25th – Christmas Day: Email and printable gift cards can be sent immediately, at any time.

For more details about local delivery, see the Christmas Ordering Deadlines For U.S. Shipments page.

*Super Saver Shipping is FREE on orders $25 and over.

Remember, if all else fails, there’s also the Gift Card, you can have emailed to the recipient (arrives immediately) or you can print out the gift card at home and give it to the intended that way. If you order in enough time, you can get the physical gift card sent to you.

More Guides to come this week.


America’s Hottest Brands: DC Comics

DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson


You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, Jim Croce told us in a popular song. That’s probably good advice — a character like the Man of Steel is worth millions of dollars in licensing, merchandise and movies. And yet, it’s exactly what the company that has published Superman for decades did this year.

In a move fraught with risk, Time Warner‘s DC Comics reworked nearly every character under its supervision in an effort to make popular heroes and heroines more appealing to a broader audience. This fall, DC canceled all its continuing series — including decades-old titles “Action Comics” and “Detective Comics” — and restarted them from a new “Issue No. 1” or launched something different altogether. DC has also made certain that a digital comic is available the same day its print counterpart hits the retail racks.


The theory: With decades of stories under their capes and utility belts, Superman — and other DC characters, including Aquaman and the Flash — had ossified. Though relaunching its entire cast and making their adventures available to print and electronic audiences might alienate some hard-core DC fans, it might also gain plenty of new ones.

Making DC characters more popular is crucial for its parent company. While the comic-book business is way down from its heyday, its characters fuel big-ticket Hollywood movies that can generate millions of dollars in revenue and licensing. The pressure may be on DC because rival Marvel, now owned by Disney, has churned out superhero film properties on a regular basis for years.

Cognizant that changes to Superman and others — he’s no longer married to Lois Lane, by the way — would generate a substantial amount of publicity, DC began parceling out news of its characters to as many niche and mainstream publications as showed interest. It also tapped into a technique that comic-book publishers rarely embrace — actual paid video commercials.

The company believed “that the comic business as a whole could stand some shaking up in order to remind consumers everywhere the power of the medium and its characters and stories,” said Diane Nelson, president-DC Entertainment.

Initial sales have been encouraging, with first print runs of many of the new issues selling out. The question will be whether DC can sustain the momentum after the initial buzz wears off.


Comics College | Grant Morrison

Comics College | Grant Morrison

Absolute All-Star Superman

Comics College is a monthly feature where we provide an introductory guide to some of the comics medium’s most important auteurs and offer our best educated suggestions on how to become familiar with their body of work.

Strap yourself in, kids, because this is going to be a big one, as we run through the lengthy and considerable career of one of mainstream comics’ biggest stars, Grant Morrison.

Why he’s important

If nothing else, Grant Morrison is a writer with a definitive vision. A big believer in the power of the superhero genre to inspire hope and change, his stories often — despite his considerable ability to frighten and disturb – are optimistic affairs, suggesting that even in one’s darkest moments, things are never as bad as they seem. That he can frequently pull this type of sincere optimism without seeming saccharine or winsome is a testament to his skill as a writer.

Morrison is not always an easy writer to read. He’ll frequently break the fourth wall, indulge in non-linear storytelling or throw out obscure references. He expects his readers to meet him halfway and often a bit of work is required to suss out exactly how everyone moved from plot point A to B. Usually this type of effort is rewarded, however, as at his best his writing blends surreal, dense and sometimes elliptical storytelling with a fondness for humanity and a yen for crafting likable, fully rounded characters.

Note: In culling this list together I decided to skip over some of Morrison’s single-issue stories, anthology contributions and unfinished projects (like those two issues of The Authority). Otherwise we’d be here all day. Feel free to yell at me about it in the comments section.

Where to start

Doom Patrol Vol. 1: Crawling From the Wreckage

Morrison’s most well-known and beloved work is easily All-Star Superman, and thus makes as likely and new-reader-friendly a place to begin as any. Working with his best and frequent collaborator Frank Quitely, Morrison penned a loving mash note to the Silver Age, Weisenger-era Superman that didn’t ever once come off as nostalgic sentimentality. In many ways, All-Star Superman is a thoughtful treatise on the fragility and splendor of life, with Morrison asking readers what sort of legacy they’d like to leave behind for friends and family after they’ve gone. The series is available in two softcover volumes, or you can buy the whole shebang in one expensive Absolute edition.

Personally though, I feel that Morrison’s run on Doom Patrol features not only some of his best writing ever, but it’s also one of the best, if not the best, superhero comic of all time. Teaming up with artist Richard Case, Morrison created a comic that reveled in playful sense of surrealism and absurdity. New, bizarre ideas and characters seemed to spring off every page — Paintings that eat cities! A villain that has every super power you can’t think of! — only to be tossed aside to make room for the next big notion. But it’s all grounded by the main cast of characters who, despite their odd appearances and complex problems, remain very sympathetic figures. The series has been collected in five easy-to-find trade paperbacks: Crawling From the Wreckage, The Painting that Ate Paris, Down Paradise Way, Musclebound, Magic Bus and Planet Love.

From there you should read

Flex Mentallo Man of Muscle Mystery Deluxe Edition

Flex Mentallo Man of Muscle Mystery Deluxe Edition

After his run on Doom Patrol concluded, Morrison spun-off one of his creations from the series, Flex Mentallo, into a self-titled four-issue mini-series. The comic followed the “Muscle Man of Mystery” as he tried to find his former friend and fellow crimefighter, The Fact, while also focusing on a burned out rock star calling a suicide prevention line who may or may not be imagining the whole Mentallo storyline. Working again with Quitely (who does some of his best work to date here) Morrison lays out his entire feelings about the superhero genre and why he’s so sweet on it. As manifestos go, it’s a pretty sterling one. Though it’s long been out of print, it’s scheduled to come out in a deluxe hardcover collection early next year.

Morrison’s other great superhero project is the wildly ambitious Seven Soldiers of Victory. The idea was to create a loosely interconnected series of comics, each starring a semi-obscure character from the DC Universe: Klarion, the Guardian, Mister Miracle, the Shining Knight, etc. It all builds up towards an epic battle against a nefarious enemy from the future, the catch being none of the characters ever meet (at least not for more than a few seconds). Really, it all comes together a lot better my meager description would suggest and features some great art from folks like Doug Mahnke, J.H. Williams III, Frazier Irving and Ryan Sook. The whole blessed extravaganza has been collected in two hardcover volumes.

At the same time Morrison was pushing the dada envelope in Doom Patrol, he was cheerfully breaking the fourth wall in Animal Man.The series started off as a familiar second banana character revamp, with art by Chas Truog, but quickly became something deeper and stranger as main character Buddy Baker started fighting for animal rights and inadvertently found his world literally coming apart at the seams, with the end result being a meeting between the character and his creator. The entire storyline is collected in three volumes: Animal Man, Origin of the Species and Deus Ex Machina.

While I disagree somewhat, many consider The Invisibles to be Morrison’s definitive work. Certainly it’s one of his most fondly remembered works and the one that won him a decidedly devoted audience. A superhero/spy story that draws on countless conspiracy theories, the Invisibles follows a clandestine group of operatives who work at overthrowing a shadowy Illuminati-type group that manipulates humanity and history behind the scenes. The first half is excellent, but it begins to falter somewhat in the second half before gaining steam again, perhaps in part due to the fact that Morrison fell gravely ill while writing the series. You can read the whole thing via seven volumes: Say You Want A RevolutionApocalipstickEntropy in the U.K.Bloody Hell in AmericaCounting to None, Kissing Mister Quimper and The Invisible Kingdom.

Rounding out Morrison’s collaborations with Frank Quitely is We3, a surprisingly effective sci-fi revamp of The Incredible Journey with a cybernetically outfitted (and incredibly dangerous) rabbit, cat and dog on the run from the military that wants to “decommission” them and trying to find their original owners. In a rather neat feat, Morrison manages to give all the animals speaking parts without ever having them lose their animal nature or resorting to easy sentimentalism. As violent as this book can be, it’s hard to reach the end with a dry eye.

And then you should read


The Filth was Morrison’s follow-up to The Invisibles and something of a flip side to the latter’s more positive, rebelling against the status quo attitude. I think it’s a more successful book though it certainly has its detractors. It’s about an average schlub of a man who (re)discovers he’s actually the member of a super-secret organization devoted to maintaining the “status q” known as The Hand. Or maybe he’s a pedophile who’s starting to hallucinate because he can’t handle the fact that his beloved cat is dying. Morrison keeps readers guessing the true nature of the story’s “true” reality all the way up to the end and beyond. It’s one of the writer’s densest, most challenging books to date largely, but a hell of a ride, largely due to the considerable artistic abilities of Chris Weston.

Seaguy and its sequel, the yet-to-be-collected Seaguy: The Slaves of Mickey Eye, is an energetic, dystopian superhero fable dealing with a scuba-outfitted hero who slowly comes to realize the seemingly perfect, amusement-park world he’s living in is a facade hiding lots of nefarious goings-on. It’s a fun, affecting ride, largely abetted by the cheerfully clean stylings of Cameron Stewart. Morrison has promised a third and final Seaguy series but as of yet nothing has been announced.

Morrison must have a deep fondness for Oscar Wilde. How else to explain Sebastian O, which re-imagines the author of The Importance of Being Earnest as a witty assassin, wrecking havoc on the establishment that sent him to prison decades ago? It all wraps up a little too quickly, but longtime collaborator Steve Yeowell and Morrison manage to spin a clever and occasionally disquieting steampunk ode to Wilde and his contemporaries as well as giving a fat raspberry to the voices of censorship and repression.

One of Morrison’s most recent Vertigo books is the just-collected Joe the Barbarian, a charming fantasy story about a boy who, in the midst of a diabetic seizure, imagines himself transported to a fantasy kingdom where he is “the chosen one” who can save their world (Notice a pattern here? Morrison’s big on the ability of imagination and fantasy to transform everyday life.) Despite the Vertigo label and seemingly convoluted storyline, this is one of Morrison’s most direct, straightforward works ever and his first and only all-ages styled book to date. He and artist Sean Murphy do such a fine job here that you wonder why he doesn’t try his hand at this type of thing more often.

Though the bulk of his work has been done for DC/Vertigo, Morrison spent some time a decade or so ago at Marvel. The most notable fruit of his labors there was his run on the New X-Men, where he shook up and in some cases completely altered the status quo on the long-standing, convoluted superhero soap opera series, laying lots of established back story to literal waste and giving a hipper sci-fi edge to the proceedings, all while re-emphasizing the adolescent angst that gave the series’ its heart. It all suffers quite a bit from the revolving door of artists that came in to handle various arcs or fill-in issues (Igor Kordey’s best work is certainly not represented here). But still, there are some great ideas at work here and some really stunning sequences, usually involving Frank Quitely (there he is again). The best way to experience the series is probably through the latest threevolume set of omnibuses (omnibi?).

Further reading

Final Crisis

Morrison teamed up with Duncan Fegredo for Kid Eternity, a three-issue prestige-styled mini series that was yet another dark revamping of a long-forgotten superhero character, in this case a boy who could summon classic (and dead) characters from history just by saying the word “Eternity.” Teamed up here with a hapless stand-up comedian, the series is basically Morrison’s take on Dante’s Inferno, as the pair wend their way to hell and back in order to save the Kid’s mentor and possibly the human race. It’s a bit muddled at times, but still entertaining.

Having attempted a convoluted mega-crossover series with Seven Soldiers, Morrison got the chance to try something similar with DC’s A-listers in Final Crisis, one of those super-duper “event” stories that plague superhero comics these days. Morrison basically dares to ask the question “What if Darkseid really won?” and then goes on to explore how the Superman and friends manage to pick up the pieces and restore order and justice to the universe. It’s kind of a mess — the divergent elements don’t cohere very well, part of which may be due to the fact that artist J.G. Jones was replaced early on in the series by a variety of artists, including Doug Mahnke. And I recall being very irritated at figuring out at the end that I needed to read some of the tie-in series in order to figure out what was going on. Still, all that tie-in stuff has been included in the collected edition, so maybe it all reads better in book form.

Morrison first made his name in 1989 with Arkham Asylum, a heavily-hyped standalone graphic novel that teamed him up with a pre-Cages Dave McKean. The book had Batman wending his way through the titual mental institution, combatting various villains and Jungian archetypes along the way. At the time (and despite the strong sales) it was derided by some fans as being needlessly convoluted and self-important, but I think it’s held up rather well over time, though it does perhaps take itself a bit too seriously.

Those looking for a more straightforward Batman story should check out Gothic, which was originally serialized in Legends of the Dark Knight. The story, featuring some nice art by Klaus Janson, pits the caped crusader against a seemingly immortal killer named Mr. Whisper who’s secret origins may tie into Wayne’s own personal history. It’s one of Morrison’s most simplest and straightforward stories ever and perfect for those who are just looking for a nice Batman story without all the surreal frou-frou.

If you haven’t guessed yet, Batman is clearly Morrison’s favorite superhero. Or, at any rate, he’s the superhero he’s spent the most time with, having not only done the previous two books but also having written the eponymous Batman series from 2007 to 2010. Here he attempted to incorporate every single aspect of the character’s mythos from the past 70-odd years, from the silly to the profound. Again, it’s hard to fault his ambition, but it’s clear certain artists weren’t on the same page as Morrison or weren’t capable of matching his vision and thus the quality and tone vary wildly. Morrison’s run is collected in Batman and Son, The Black Glove (the best of the bunch, with some great art by J.H. Williams III), The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul (another multi-series crossover Morrison took part in), Batman R.I.P. (where everything comes to a head), and the coda, Time and the Batman, which also re-explains some events from Final Crisis.

Morrison hit the ground running from his Batman run with Batman and Robin, which imagines first Robin Dick Grayson taking over the Batman role in Bruce Wayne’s absence, joined by Wayne’s cocky illegitimate son Damian. This was a deliberate attempt to harken back to the goofy TV show and carefree era of the 60s, while maintaining a bit of menace and gravitas. Overall it’s a more successful run than Batman, though, once again, there are some really awful stumbles depending on who’s handling the artistic chores. You can read the whole thing in  Batman Reborn, Batman vs. Robin and Batman and Robin Must Die!

The whole saga came to a head in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, which found Bruce Wayne traveling through time — here a caveman, there a puritan — but still solving crimes and righting wrongs. Honestly, the whole thing feels a bit perfunctory and is not one of Morrison’s better works.  Much better is the series it led into, Batman Inc., which finds Wayne expanding his superhero empire around the globe. So far that series has been pretty solid and though it’s currently on hiatus, there’s no reason to suspect the quality will dip down once it returns.

Even further reading


Morrison went Bollywood with Vimanarama, a three-issue mini-series he did with Philip Bond about a nebbishy British Asian man who finds himself battling ancient giant monsters bent on destroying the world as well as juggling various personal crises, most notably his impending arranged marriage. The whole this is slight and more than a bit silly (deliberately so) but it has a devoted fan base among Morrison devotees.

Along with New X-Men, Morrison worked on the series Marvel Boy with artist J.G. Jones. The short-lived comic featured a surly Kree warrior as its anti-hero, who, after having his ship destroyed and friends killed, felt little love for humanity and was more than happy to carve a giant “F.U.” into the New York landscape, in between battles with a villainous armored millionaire who craves his technology. After X-Men, it’s probably Morrison’s best work at the House of Ideas.

Apart from the X-Men, Morrison didn’t get to handle to many of Marvel’s iconic characters, though he did get to offer his take on the FF with Fantastic Four: 1234. This short, slight story features some nice, moody art by Jae Lee as the Richards family find themselves beset with doubt, with Doctor Doom moves in for the kill. The best part in the whole thing is Sue Storm’s verbal takedown of Doom.

Finally, there’s Skull Kill Krew, which Morrison worked on with Mark Millar and Steve Yeowell. The comic, about a group of misfit anti-heroes hell-bent on destroying the Skrulls hiding in society (and presumably plotting world domination) adopts a cheerfully amoral and anarchistic tone as the group merrily goes about slaughtering aliens left and right (and in the end decimates an entire town). The defiant, tongue-in-cheek attitude isn’t for everyone certainly, but there’s something to be said for a superhero comic that comes off as having an attitude without seeming like a cynical marketing ploy.

Millar and Morrison also collaborated on Aztek the Ultimate Man, an original superhero character blessed with a magic suit of armor and given a quest to save the world from … well, you know the drill. N. Steven Harris’ angular art gives the whole thing an off-kilter, claustrophobic edge, which works to the story’s advantage, considering it takes place in an allegedly “sick city.” Beyond the simple “hero saves world” plot is a nice running commentary on the uber-violent, “dark” superheroes that were all the rage in the 1990s that gives the series a little kick.

Aztec’s final fate is revealed towards the end of Morrison’s run on JLA, better known as Justice League of America to simple souls like myself. Morrison took over the then moribund-title in 1997, attempting both a back to basics approach by bringing in heavy hitters like Superman and Batman and giving the series an epic scale by having them face off against some seemingly staggeringly tough opponents. It was an enormous success and garnered a new group of fans for Morrison that had previously found his work alienating or confusing. In retrospect, however, the series suffers a bit from repetition: each plot involves the JLA facing being painted in a corner, either by a super villain or a universe-shattering event, only to come through at the last possible second. The series was also a slave to the vagaries of various plot threads going on in other books, which can be irritating (Superman’s blue and electric! Now he’s normal again! Wonder Woman’s dead! Now she’s not!). And then there’s Harold Porter’s art, which is serviceable at best. The entire run is collected in four oversize volumes, the fourth of which collects also collects JLA: Earth-2, a stand-alone story where the heroes face evil versions of themselves. It’s far, far better than the bulk of the rest of the JLA material, perhaps due in large part to the fact that — you guessed it — it was drawn by Frank Quitely.

Ancillary materials

Morrison teamed up with Mark Waid, Geoff Johns and Greg Rucka for 52, a year-long, weekly series that juggled various plot threads to reveal what was going on in the DC universe after the events of Infinite Crisis. It’s a bit all over the place, but still entertaining. One of the most fun parts is trying to figure out what sections were written by Morrison.

Remember Virgin Comics? At one point they planned a multi-part animated Internet-0nly series based on the classic Indian text the Mahabharata, to be written by Morrison. It all fell apart when Virgin collapsed, but you can read Morrison’s lengthy story pitch and some of his initial scripts in 18 Days, published by Dynamite. The book also features some lavish illustrations by Mukesh Singh that, combined with Morrison’s conceptual ideas, make you wish the project had come to fruition.

An enormous amount of Morrison’s early work, especially his work for 2000 AD and other British comic magazines, has yet to be collected in the states, including Big Dave, Bible John and the New Adventures of Hitler. Some of these are available online in various illegal fashions. Probably his most notable early work is Zenith, another epic superhero saga starring a snotty youth who would rather be a pop star than fight crime. It’s a bit too jam-packed, though it settles itself out a bit as it goes on, and you can see a lot of his initial ideas on the superhero genre being laid out here. Eclipse published two volumes of Zenith but those have sadly long since fallen out of print. Supposedly a collected edition will be coming out from 2000AD sometime in the near future but I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting, as Morrison and the publisher have supposedly been at loggerheads about who truly owns the rights to the character.

One early Morrison comic that did get reprinted here in the states was St. Swithin’s Day, which Oni released only to let fall back out of print again. The comic, featuring some lovely art by Paul Grist, follows a sullen teen-ager who may or may not be plotting to kill Margaret Thatcher (Morrison has gone on record as saying the comic is at least partly autobiographical). The whole thing’s terribly earnest, but sweet in its own way and worth tracking down.

Fans of the classic British TV show The Avengers will want to check out Steed and Mrs. Peel, in which Morrison and Ian Gibson dream up new adventures for the classic spy duo. It’s pretty amusing, but really only if you’re a fan of the source material. Boom plans to re-release these comics in January.

Finally there’s Dare, a modern politicalized rethinking of the classic British Dan Dare sci-fi comic done with artist Rian Hughes. As with The Avengers, it helps to be familiar with the source material. Dark but still entertaining, the comic is more of a showcase for Hughes’ considerable talents work than for Morrison’s writing. The story can be found in the Hughes collection Yesterday’s Tomorrows, which is well worth tracking done because Hughes is such a masterful artist.


The Mystery Play

Don’t let the subtitle to Supergods fool you. The book is not really about “What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human.” Instead what you get is a rambling, warmed-over, rather problematic (to put it mildly) look at comics history, along with some most of them rather self-aggrandizing reminiscences by Morrison. On the other hand, it is a good place to find out more about a number of events the author has hinted at in various interviews, particularly a transcendental experience he had in Katmandu. More than anything, though, this book was in really bad need of a good editor.

The news that Morrison was going to return to Superman in Action Comics as part of the new DC revamp was heralded by many, but so far the series has proven to be something of a disappointment, feeling tired and rote where it should be vibrant and fun. Perhaps it will improve as it progresses …

Morrison can be a little too “on the nose” sometimes, and that’s absolutely the case with The Mystery Play, a graphic novel team-up with Jon J. Muth that reeks of symbolism and allegory to the point where you want to scream “Enough already.” The story takes place during the modern re-enactment of a medieval mystery play, see, only God gets murdered in the first act. The rest of the book is more of the same painfully obvious allusions that cause the reader (or me at any rate) to wince inwardly when reading them.

That “on the nose” thing also plagues  Kill Your Boyfriend a “youth on the run” comic with Philip Bond that despite its apparent desire to shock and awe seems a bit too overly familiar and annoyingly cute. You don’t necessarily have to “avoid” it but I’d recommend saving it for last.

Next month: Jessica Abel


Wow i love this series amd this one was excellent too. Nice to see im not the only one a little underwhelmed by jla

Supergods is like a somewhat opinionated publication of Wikipedia on comics. Interesting parts, but “rambling” is a good description of it. It really doesn’t have a point other than to take the reader through some decades of comic styles. To the typical person who would be interested in reading it, it is 90% rehash, no great revelations.

Seaguy is his best. Can’t wait for the final part. Hopefully it’s coming out – nobody buys that series……

Certain story arcs of his Batman run are second. (Morrison has crafted easily the best Batman ever)

Action Comics disappointing? Denied.

Kill Your Boyfriend is seriously my favorite Morrison comic.

Action Comics is a bit boring and conventional, yeah…

Wow… Here I thought an article like this would try for objectivity. Obviously not what was delivered.

I cannot agree with the ‘avoid’ stuff.

Mystery Play and Kill Your Boyfriend are absolutely some of my favorite Morrison’s comics.

Mystery Play may be a bit confusing but is BEAUTIFULLY illustrated and extremely re-readable. I revisit it every year and marvel at all the detail’s in Muth’s paintings and Morrison’s games with the reader.

On the other hand, KYB is as straightforward as it gets. It is cute and simple but as well a lot of fun. And Bond is great at cute and seemingly simple. Kill Your Boyfriend is one of those comics that is filled with energy and always leaves me smiling.

Oh, and while reading Mystery Play I scream “Mastert! More! More!”

With regards to the JLA, if you want to avoid the repetition, his run was also published in trade paperbacks (don’t know if they are still in print), personally I’d suggest New World Order, Rock Of Ages World War III for respectively, one of Batman’s coolest moments in the modern age, Morrison’s first take on Darkseid the final fate of Aztek.

Also DC One Million as Morrison’s first event, more condensed than Final Crisis, also available as a trade with a few of the tie in issues.

An opinion is like an anus. we all have one. Hopefully. On both counts.

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RARE SUPERMAN COMIC ON THE BLOCK: Action Comics bidding expected to top $1.5 …

SUPES’ DEBUT: An issue of Action Comics No.-1 — featuring the debut of the Man of Steel, natch — goes up for auction today, says Metropolis Collectibles — which expects the book to exceed the $1.5-million record for a comic book. The auction for the June 1938 comic last through Nov. 30. (Associated Press/Metropolis Collectibles)


Action Comics No.-1 to hit the auction block doesn’t look like a million bucks.

But that’s only because during its first day up on the auction/consignment site, the bidding has only reached $900,000. Any hour now, the competition for the Holy Grail comic could hit seven figures.

The record bid for a comic book at auction is $1.5-million, set in 2010 — also for an issue of Action Comics No.-1. This recently found June 1938 book — which features the debut of Siegel and Shuster’s Superman — is expected to top that record, according to Metropolis Collectibles.

“It’s an iconic milestone of the 20th century,” Metropolis Collectibles CEO Stephen Fishler tells the AP. The auction is scheduled to last through Nov. 30.

The issue at auction is graded at “9.0” — or near-mint condition. There are estimated to be about 100 extant copies of the comic, few in good condition.

In 2010, there was a spasm of big-spending on Action Comics No.-1 and Detective Comics No.-27 (Batman’s debut), with the ping-ponging record escalating to $1.5-million.

Fishler says the current “9.0” issue has twice before been the most valuable comic book: It set records when it sold in 1992 (for $86,000) and again in 1997 ($150,000), according to the AP.

This issue was thought lost after it was reportedly stolen in 2000. Fishler says the issue turned up this year in a California storage shed.

“When we were contacted in April and saw a picture of the book, we were shocked,” Fishler tells the AP’s Matt Moore. “After spending so many years looking for the book, I was blown away when it appeared.”


EXCLUSIVE: DC Comics and Mondo’s Poster Team-Up

On Black Friday, Mondo, the Alamo Drafthouse’s collectable art boutique, has a special present for DC Comics fans: an iconic, panoramic poster depicting Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, illustrated in glorious detail by artist JC Richard. Exclusively available through Mondo, the print is limited to 390 pieces priced at $50 apiece — and for Mondo Creative Director Justin Ishmael, this inaugural piece in their partnership with DC Comics marks a huge achievement. “We’re really excited and happy,” Ishmael told CBR News. “This isn’t our first time doing comic book stuff, but it’s the first time with DC Comics.”

EXCLUSIVE: Artist JC Richard’ depiction of the Fortress of Solitude

As a part of the popular Texas independent theater the Alamo Drafthouse, Mondo has created new and quirky takes on a number of different properties. Whether it’s old horror films like “Dawn of the Dead,” Disney images from movies like “Dumbo” and “Monsters, Inc.,” posters from “Star Wars” featuring obscure droids, or episode posters for “Star Trek,” Mondo’s limited edition images are highly sought-after and never available for long once they go on sale. Now, Mondo is tackling the comic book world, kicking things off with the Fortress of Solitude, and it’s only the beginning.

“I sat down and I made a list of 100 things I wanted to do, and a lot of it was weird stuff that wouldn’t be good first projects. I wanted to do a lot of the Kirby Fourth World stuff and Bat-Mite — just weirder stuff,” Ishmael told CBR News. “It’s like when we did ‘Star Wars.’ The first poster was the Gonk droid. We didn’t want to start off with something like Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker; we wanted to do something strange. A lot of people probably won’t connect as much with Bat-Mite like they did with the Gonk droid. One of the things on my list was the actual location posters for superheroes. I had Star City, Metropolis, Gotham, the Batcave and the Fortress of Solitude, and I had Oa on there, too. I thought we could do these big, panoramic views with no text, nothing on it, almost like nature posters. The Fortress of Solitude is the most ‘naturey’ of any of them. That was the one we chose to start off with because it was just something that not a lot of people had seen.”

Ishmael continued, citing the way in which Mondo’s style came into play when settling on a design for the Fortress of Solitude image. “When you do a poster, or when dudes do comic books, it’s always Superman punching someone. You never get a serene Superman. I kind of love a relaxing Superman thing. We decided to go for that one first, to do something different with the character. Superman’s very tiny in it. He’s like a red and blue blur, flying off. We wanted to really focus on the Fortress. We thought that was a really interesting design.”

Bringing life to the iconic DC locale is artist JC Richard, who had previously done a “Jurassic Park” poster for Mondo. “He is very, very good at doing landscape stuff,” Ishmael said of Richard. “He’s got a firm grasp of how to make stuff. It’s weird, because we do screen prints. He’s got a really good way of making stuff look photorealistic. Last year, we did a Hoth thing where it was just Hoth with just a tiny Probe Droid in it, so we’ve done stuff like this before, but the Jurassic Park thing, it was just such a huge hit with people and they really, really liked him. So, we brought him on to kick the DC series off. We’re going to have him on a ton more stuff. It’s going to be really cool.”

Typically, the design process for posters involves a fair amount of back-and-forth, but Ishmael noted that Richard hit the mark right out of the gate. “JC’s sketches are almost like his final posters,” he said. “On this one, we wanted a wide shot of the Fortress of Solitude and he did it. It was perfect the first round. When we work with other guys, if it’s a movie or something, we might say, ‘We love this specific scene. Do something with this scene in mind.” A lot of times, we’ll leave it up to the artist to figure it out. If they’re having trouble, we’ll art direct. We like them to have fun with it. We don’t like to force stuff on people if they’re not into it. JC is a comic book dude, he likes this stuff and he did a good job with it. I was really impressed with it. Fingers crossed, I hope people are into it.”

Richard’ “Superman”-inspired landscape is the artist’s second Mondo gig, following his popular “Jurassic Park” poster

Ishmael told CBR that while Mondo plans to release more of the DC Universe’s panoramic location designs in the future, DC fans can also expect a plethora of different poster layouts looking forward. “I want to do Oa, I want to do the Batcave. The Batcave is going to be really cool, with all the trophy stuff, the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the penny and all the different suits and all the stuff that Batman’s collected over the years,” Ishmael said. “But we’re going to straight poster posters. Kind of what we’re doing with movies — a poster, with titles and credit blocks. We’re going to try to do that. If we do a ‘Watchmen’ poster, it’ll be something like that. It’ll kind of resemble a movie poster. We’re not sure if we can do this, but the idea is to do a credit block using the creators [in the credits].”

And the ambitious plans don’t stop there. A comic fan himself, Ishmael’s list contains potential designs that are sure to appeal to comic fandom. “I want to get weird with it,” he said. “If fans get into this and fans like it, I want to do stuff with Darkseid. I’m a huge [Jack] Kirby fan, so I’d love to do all the classic DC stuff. There’s so much to play with over the whole history of it, it’s going to be a crazy series. I would love to even get weird and do a poster with all the incarnations of Jimmy Olsen.”

Although the partnership heralds a new iconic poster series for both Mondo and DC, Ishmael says there are no plans as of yet for tie-ins with DC films at either the Alamo Drafthouse or their Mondo Mystery Movie series. “I don’t know. It’s all just, whenever we have an idea, we’ll just set it up and do it. I would love to show more DC stuff,” he said, noting that the posters would be centered more on comics rather than films. “I think we want to focus more on the comic book side of it, because that’s something we’ve never done before. We want to do more classic stories from the history of DC and characters that don’t often get a good shake. I would love to do an Ambush Bug poster. I like weirder characters. I’m not saying we can’t do something cool for Green Lantern or Batman, which we will, but I would love to do some of the odder characters that don’t get a lot of attention that are really cool. I would love to do a Metal Men poster on a sheet of metal; I think that would be really cool.”

The Creative Director also noted that Mondo wouldn’t stop with DC character-focused posters, having plans to extend to everything from major event books to Vertigo titles and even DC television shows. “I’m looking at the list of things we want to do, and it’s all good stuff,” he said. “‘Crisis on Infinite Earths,’ ‘Sandman,’ Solomon Grundy, we’d like to do a poster of all the Batmobile incarnations, ‘Transmetropolitan,’ ‘Hellblazer.’ We want to do Superman posters and do variants of the different [types of] Kryptonite. I would love to do stuff like Metal Men and Challengers of the Unknown and Mxyzptlk and Plastic Man. I think we have the ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ license, too, so I’d love to get Bruce Timm or any of those dudes to do stuff for it. We’re going to try to do all the stuff we want to do on this.”

Despite having an extensive list of potential future posters, Ishmael noted that the release schedule for DC posters will be an unstructured one. “We have the giant list, so we’re just going to go off of there. Everything we do release-wise is a secret until we announce it a day or two before. We’re hoping to have one coming up fairly soon, but it’s not going to be like ‘Star Wars,’ where we’re releasing one every week or every two weeks. It’s going to be more spread out and relaxed.”

As for the future, it’s clear that Mondo and the Alamo Drafthouse have a number of ideas, and Ishmael happily noted that each poster would have Mondo’s signature style of boldly going where other poster companies won’t. “Look forward to us doing what we do normally, because we started doing the movie poster thing and it hadn’t been done before. We’re going to try to take that to comic book stuff,” he said. “I collect comic book posters from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, so I’m pretty up on what’s been done before. We’re going to try to go against that and do stuff that hasn’t been done. With the medium we’re working in, with screen printing, there’s stuff that the bigger companies can’t do as easily, like print on metal, for instance. If we want to do some kind of Metal Men poster or anything metal, we could do that. If we wanted to do some kind of crazy Green Lantern poster with all the rings and the green glow, we could do that.”

“We’re going to try to take everything we’ve learned from the movie posters and apply it to the comic book stuff,” Ismael continued. “Hopefully, comic book fans will realize we exist. There’s always been some crossover between comic books and what we’re doing movie-wise, but I don’t think we’ve ever totally captured the comic book side of it until, hopefully, now. I really hope people are into this whole series because we’re really excited about it and we have a lot of plans for it.”

Mondo’s Fortress of Solitude Poster by JC Richard goes on sale Black Friday, November 25, on the Mondo website.

Discuss this story in CBR’s TV/Film forum.

Tags:  dc comics, dc entertainment, mondo, alamo drafthouse, superman, jc richard


Superman’s Fortress of Solitude Shines in Mondo’s First DC Comics Poster

Fortress of Solitude by JC Richard is the first in Mondo’s coming line of DC Comics posters.
Image courtesy Mondo

Superman’s secret headquarters dominates a snowy scene in Fortress of Solitude, the first licensed DC Comics poster from art boutique Mondo.

“We wanted to kick off the DC Comics series with an art print from arguably the most famous character ever, but in a unique way which focuses on the iconic Fortress of Solitude,” said Mondo’s creative director Justin Ishmael in a press release Wednesday. The DC Comics series, in partnership with Sideshow Collectibles, will cover comics and films from the DC universe.

Fortress of Solitude, a 12-inch by 32-inch print by artist JC Richard, goes on sale for $50 sometime on Black Friday. Follow @MondoNews on Twitter for exact sale time of the print, which is limited to an edition of 390.



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