Superfriends rally to help collector whose Superman collection was stolen

But that isn’t stopping the Superfriends of Metropolis. Their TroublAlert went off when a member posted on Facebook about Meyer’s misfortune, and they’re assembling to help.

The Superfriends are a Superman fan club drawn together from across the country, friends who meet at the Metropolis, Ill., Superman Festival every year. Now the Superfriends are arranging a massive international effort to replace as much of the lost collection as possible.

Coordinated by Keith Howard of Belleville, the packages have already started to arrive.

“People could have just thrown some old T-shirt or hat in a box, but people are really personalizing this,” Howard said. “I’d never heard of this group in Indiana or in Cleveland… People in Canada are sending me packages.”

Artists are drawing sketches and autographing them for Meyer. Original Superman artwork from Paraguay is on its way. Fans are buying Superman items and shipping them directly to Belleville.

A California fan group has contacted actress Noel Neill, who played Lois Lane opposite George Reeves in the original TV series, for an autograph. Neill in fact met Meyer once, Howard said — when Meyer attended the Metropolis Festival several years ago, he got to meet her and stand in Superman’s place beside her for a few minutes. Other celebrities, including Tracy Lewis of the “Superboy” series and Mark Tyler Nobleman, author of “Boys of Steel,” are sending autographed items.

A comic-shop owner in Cincinnati — hometown of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster — is arranging a memorial brick from one of the creators’ houses with a plaque for Meyer. They have offered to fly Meyer and a close friend out for a day’s tour of the Superman museums and tourist sites there.

Local comic shops have been approached about donating merchandise. Other fan groups have joined with the Superfriends — the cross-denominational Justice League Avengers of Indiana are coordinating their own drive to get Superman memorabilia.

“I was not surprised by the initial response from our group members because they’re my friends,” said Kristina Johnson, who began a Superfriends Facebook page for the effort that numbered 570 “friends” by Friday afternoon. It has been cross-posted in high-traffic sites like Blogarama, Tumblr, the Spiderman Crawlspace and The Nerdy Bird.

“Superman fans are truly a special kind of people,” Johnson said.

And all this is still a secret from Meyer. In two weeks, Howard and several Superfriends will deliver the new collection to Meyer, in costume. Howard is a surgical nurse at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and volunteers at Children’s Hospital dressed in his Reeves-era Superman costume. He’ll be in that costume to deliver the presents, along with his daughter in her Supergirl outfit and other fans.

“You see the kind of heart (Meyer’s) got,” Howard said. “He made a mistake, he allowed this guy in his house, and it really hurt Mike quit a bit.”

But a close friend of Meyer’s, Bill Smith, talked him into going public with the theft, at the very least to warn local comic dealers to be wary of memorabilia suddenly on the market.

“(Meyer) knows he’s getting a visit from a handful of people associated with the Superfriends, but he doesn’t know about the gifts,” Howard said.

Meanwhile, Granite City police are investigating the theft. No update on the investigation was available.

Anyone interested in donating Superman items to the effort is asked to send them to Keith Howard, 920 Express Drive, Belleville, Ill., 62223. Superman items only are being accepted; no monetary donations.

From: http://www.bnd.com/2011/09/09/1853535/superfriends-rally-to-help-collector.html

PaulRom Reviews: Detective Comics #1/Action Comics #1

Warning: the following reviews contain some spoilers. If you want to know nothing about the comics until you read them, skip to the last paragraphs.

Last week, DC Comics defied naysayers with the release of Justice League #1, the first of 52 issues relaunching all of DC’s titles. This week, more issues were released, such as Batgirl, Green Arrow, Static Shock and more. Here, I’ll be reviewing the relaunched first issues of the comic lines that introduced Batman and Superman to the world, Detective Comics and Action Comics.

Detective Comics #1 picks up with the Joker hacking someone to death with a knife, only to escape when Batman arrives. Batman then rescues the man’s niece, before a police team starts attacking him because they think he’s a threat. Batman escapes, and after some searching finds the Joker again. After a brutal battle between the two, Joker is eventually arrested, and the ending sets up a new villain created specifically for the new series called The Dollmaker.

What caught my eye the most was the fantastic artwork for the issue. From the graphic depictions of Joker’s insanity to Batman’s ass-kicking, the art is just excellent. Tony Daniels has apparently had a pretty bad reputation for his previous work on Batman, but in this issue he delivers a compelling story that barely disappoints.

The characters are quite believable too. The way Batman was depicted was exactly how I imagine him when reading a Batman comic book, delivering the emotion and actions necessary for the character. The same can be said for The Joker. In fact, I’d love to see a film version for Detective Comics #1‘s take on Joker in the future. The other characters (such as Gordon and Alfred) were handled very well too.

As for flaws, all I can say is that the ending (which sets up Dollmaker) is WAY too much of a cliffhanger. I know I said that I would drop spoilers in this review, but this is something that I DON’T want to spoil for anyone. Otherwise, I can’t really think of anything that kept the issue from being enjoyable.

In the end, Detective Comics #1 is a great way to kick off the relaunch of the comic line that introduced Batman Co. to the comic world, and I can’t wait to read the next issue.

With a compelling story, believable characters and brutal artwork, Detective Comics #1 is another excellent read from DC Comics.

Another relaunched title, Action Comics, also began its run this week. Depicting a younger Superman/Clark Kent, it features the Man of Steel fighting off the military (who suspect that he’s a threat) while saving others. The issue abruptly ends with Supes attempting to save a runaway train before he’s stuck between the train and a brick wall, ending the issue on a cliffhanger.

While the artwork for Detective Comics #1 and Justice League #1 were seriously perfect, Action Comics #1 doesn’t seem top notch. It works fine with the story, but seems like a drop compared with the two aforementioned titles. The storyline itself is good, and I liked how Superman was depicted as more of a badass than usual.

Another flaw with this issue is that the role of Lois Lane. We all knew that the marriage between Clark and Lois was gonna end with the relaunch, but it’s odd reading a Superman comic book that doesn’t even have them interested in each other. Also, while the Superman side was done well, Clark Kent was hit-and-miss in his depiction. I kept thinking of Peter Parker when Kent’s scenes would pop up (which I don’t want to happen when reading Superman).

I’ve also had beef with Superman’s costume ever since the cover for Action Comics #1 was released. I know it’s Superman’s first costume and all, but it just looks hideous. With plain and a T-shirt, they could’ve gone for something that looked at least a little better than that.

So what did I like about Action Comics #1? As I said before, I enjoyed how Superman was depicted as a true badass. While it may be a bit out of character, I’d say it’s for the better. Also, the story itself is very good, and the cliffhanger ending definitely wants me to read the next issue later this month.

In the end, Action Comics #1 isn’t all that it could be, but is still entertaining. While I’m certainly reading the next issue, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed when reading this first issue.

While containing average artwork, radical changes to some characters, and a hint of unoriginality, Action Comics #1 still offers a strong storyline that makes it a decent read.

From: http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/PaulRomReviews/news/?a=46058

Evil Scumbag Robs Mentally Disabled Superman Fan Of Enormous Comics Collection

Mike Meyer, a 48-year-old resident of Granite City, Illinois, was robbed last month of more than 1,800 Superman comic books and collectibles worth approximately $4,000 to $5,000. Meyer, who receives Social Security for mental disability and supplements his income with part time work at McDonald’s, was the victim of an unscrupulous former co-worker who created a ruse to distract the handicapped man while he absconded with the comics, action figures and other collectibles. Granite City police are presently investigating the robbery.

Writing for St. Louis’ STLToday.com, Jennifer Mann tells a story that would make even the worst comic book villain seethe with rage. A man called Gary with whom Meyer used to work at another fast food restaurant ingratiated himself to Meyer during a recent encounter at a comic book store. Meyer invited Gary into his home to inspect the collection, and Gary specifically asked to see the “most precious” comics. The man returned the next night with a woman he identified as his girlfriend, asking if they could watch Superman movies with Meyer. While Meyer and the girlfriend watched films, Gary “disappeared for a while.” Meyer later discovered the theft and informed the police, providing them with what little information he had about Gary, who remains at large.

Meyer, whose father died when he was 20 and who lost his mother just three years later, estimates that he owned “pretty much every issue of Superman from number 99 to the present.” Also missing are nearly 100 Superman action figures, a collectible Superman radio, Superman television set and Superman Monopoly game. Mann also wrote that Meyer owns a a hand-sewn Superman costume, which he hangs with a brown trench coat, just like Clark Kent.

Meyer said of the astonishingly cruel incident, “A lot of that was sentimental, and he stole that from me. He invaded my privacy, and he took away my peace of mind.”

Gary is described as being about 35-years-old with dark hair and a goatee, and driving a silver or grey car. Needless to say, anyone who discovers any Superman collections like this for sale, particularly in the St. Louis area, is advised to contact the police immediately.

[Via Boing-Boing, Newsarama]

From: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/09/07/superman-collection-theft-disabled-fan/

A Comic Show – An Angry Superman And The Rest Of The 13 Of The 52

Let the boys speak… Aaron and Tri Force Mike from A Comic Shop in Florida talk about the relaunch and more…

Top Books

ACTION COMICS #1
GRANT MORRISON!
I know we told you last week that Justice League #1 was the cornerstone of the New DCU, but this is it for reals! The 1st Super Hero recreated by a SUPER GOD!


SWAMP THING #1
SCOTT SNYDER!
DC Says: “One of the world’s most iconic characters has returned to the heart of the DC Universe, and every step he takes will shake the foundations of the Earth!”
I Say: “It’s a Horror Hero written by Horror writer and BATMAN #1’s SCOTT SNYDER! Get it or you hate the Earth.”


ANIMAL MAN #1
JEFF LEMIRE!
It’s like Lion King meets the Incredibles as a horror comic! If you have a Sweet Tooth for weirdness with a lot of heart, this book’s for you!


BATGIRL #1
GAIL SIMONE!
Why So Sedentary? This has the Killing Joke flashback, and a wish fulfillment current Babs Batgirl kicking crime in the face thanks to physical therapy and tech!


STORMWATCH #1
PAUL CORNELL!
The writer we loved from Lex Luthor’s Action Comics, the couple we loved from the Authority, and my favorite Martian! Expect unexpected guest stars and a clash with the Justice League soon!


DETECTIVE COMICS #1
TONY DANIEL!
I wanna see relaunch Bats kiss Joker! That was a flashpoint spoiler!


JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #1
DAN JURGENS!
Most of the cast from Generation Lost and Guy Gardner! This is the international response to Johns and Lee’s Justice League!

Indy

ATOMIC ROBO GHOST OF STATION X #1
BRIAN CLEVINGER:
“There are two kinds of people. Those who love Atomic Robo and those who haven’t read it yet. What’s that? You don’t want to start on the sixth volume? Well, GOOD NEWS! Every volume is stand alone. BOOM. You can start with this one and know what’s going on from page one. KA-BOOM. Then go back and read the other volumes in any order. THWACKA-BOOM. Oh, a plot? Okay, fine. Astronauts are stranded in a deteriorating orbit, and it’s up to Atomic Robo to save them in a race against the laws of physics!”


MORNING GLORIES #12
NICK SPENCER!
I don’t care if she’s evil. I’m hot for teacher! Nurse, I’m ready to take my rectal exam.

Graphic Novels

BRIGHTEST DAY VOL 3
GEOFF JOHNS!
Swamp Thing’s over here too!


MEGA MAN VOL 1
The origin of the Blue Bomber! Adapting the first Mega Man game, but way easier to finish. Like anything related to Mega Man, this book is damn good. Suggested awesome background music for this awesome book:
The Protomen!

…FULL BOOK LIST!…

.

NEXT WEEK…

9.14.2011

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From: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/09/06/a-comic-show-an-angry-superman-and-the-rest-of-the-13-of-the-52/

8 superheroes whose powers became somewhat crappier

8 superheroes whose powers became somewhat crappierThis Wednesday, Grant Morrison’s first issue of Action Comics hits the stands. This series focuses on Superman’s brash early days before his powers hit their peak. According to Morrison, this is “a Superman who can be hurt, who can be messed up, who can bleed.” In other words, no amnesia-inducing kisses for this guy.

But Superman’s not the only hero to have his powers diminished. In fact, losing your powers — or getting your abilities downgraded — is a rite of passage for almost every superhero. Here are some big names who have fought crime at half-capacity.

Wonder Woman, mistress of kung fu
For a period in the 1970s, Wonder Woman lost her mythical crime-stopping abilities and took up a new persona as mod fashionista Diana Prince. Under the tutelage of martial arts master I Ching, Wonder Woman judo-tossed Lois Lane for Superman’s affections. Indeed, the 1974 Wonder Woman TV movie drew its inspiration from this incarnation of the heroine.

8 superheroes whose powers became somewhat crappierWolverine’s poisonous skeleton
Wolverine has a host of well-known personal problems — i.e. anger management issues, a Napoleon complex, most of his girlfriends die horrible deaths — but it’s frequently glossed over that without his healing factor, the adamantium metal bonded to his skeleton will poison him.

This happened in 2000, when the High Evolutionary’s “devolution wave” caused Wolverine to briefly become an average joe with very heavy bones. It’s unclear how Bullseye — who had an adamantium skeleton but no healing factor — didn’t succumb to his bones’ toxicity.

8 superheroes whose powers became somewhat crappierThe Thing is replaced by Luke Cage
For several issues in the 1970s, Ben “The Thing” Grimm momentarily transformed into a human and was replaced by jive-talking disco lunatic Luke Cage.

Ben worked around his newfound fleshiness and donned a mechanical suit that looked exactly like his old rocky body. For normal people, this would be an experience akin to wearing a body suit of your own dead skin cells.

8 superheroes whose powers became somewhat crappierA powerless Storm whups Cyclops’ ass
In the 1980s, a depowering ray robbed Storm of her weather powers. Still, that didn’t stop her from besting Cyclops in a duel and winning leadership of the X-Men. Like Samson, she gained her strength from her killer haircut.

8 superheroes whose powers became somewhat crappierGreen Lantern goes road-tripping
When Green Lantern and Green Arrow famously teamed up to battle the injustices of 1970s America, the Green Lantern’s ring-slinging prowess diminished the longer he stayed on Earth. This power loss allowed common gangsters to get the drop on Earth’s top space cop.

8 superheroes whose powers became somewhat crappierSpider-Man loses his wrist boogers
Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man film trilogy saw the hero using biological web shooters hidden in his wrist. Soon after, comic books followed suit. In the 2005 story arc The Other, the hero evolved the ability to shoot organic webs out of his wrist. The hero subsequently lost this power after selling his marriage to a demon (but that’s a long story in of itself).

8 superheroes whose powers became somewhat crappierThe Justice League splits in two
In Mark Waid’s rad Justice League of America tale “Divided We Fall,” certain JLA members — Superman, Batman, Plastic Man, Martian Manhunter, Flash, and Green Lantern — become physically split from their secret identities. Wonder Woman and Aquaman weren’t affected, as they had no alter egos at that time.

And to make matters even crazier, these new superheroes were unmanageable without their milquetoast human personalities. For example, Superman becomes a militant Kryptonian, Green Lantern turned into a thoughtless mecha, and Bruce Wayne was an untrained fop. The only bad-ass alter ego was Plastic Man, who reverted to his criminal persona of Eel O’Brian.

8 superheroes whose powers became somewhat crappierBlob gets wrinkly after M-Day
Back in 2006, almost every single Marvel mutant lost his or her powers when the reality-warping Scarlet Witch went off the deep end and decreed “No More Mutants.” Most of the main X-Men cast came out of this unscathed, but some B-listers (and a handful of A-listers like Professor Xavier and Magneto) lost their fantastic abilities.

8 superheroes whose powers became somewhat crappierCharacters like the villain Blob — whose mutant power was to be indestructibly obese — became a big pile of skin. Former X-Man Chamber — who could fire bio-blasts out of his torso — was comically left with a big crater in his chest.

Like almost every other mutants depowered after M-Day, Chamber quickly regained his powers due to handwavium-fueled exposition. Blob’s still walking around with new svelte figure, living the life of a weight-loss guru

From: http://io9.com/5837411/8-superheroes-whose-powers-became-somewhat-crappier

Comic geeks can tour the streets where superheroes roam


The News Building on East 42nd Street is where Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder walked in “Superman.” In the movie, of course, it was the Daily Planet, while in the real world, the building once housed the New York Daily News.


The main branch of the New York Public Library had roles in “Ghostbusters,” “Spider-Man” and the first “Sex and the City” movie.

DC Comics’ ‘Justice League’ kicks off new company-wide relaunch – UPDATE – The Express Times

Justice LeagueView full sizeThe cover image to DC Comics’ “Justice League” No. 1. The book is on comic book shelves and is the first in the company’s “New 52” relaunch.Forget everything you knew about Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash and other popular DC Comics superheroes.

Well, almost everything.

“Justice League” No. 1 hits comic book shop shelves today and with it comes a fresh start for DC Comics’ favorite do-gooders. It is the first of 52 new titles the company will publish over the next few months as part of its “New 52” initiative, in the process building a new continuity from the ground up.

“Justice League” is being written and drawn by fan-favorites Geoff Johns and Jim Lee.

Many characters have been given design and background overhauls as part of the relaunch. For example, Superman won’t be seen wearing his famous red underwear (he will be sporting a red belt instead) and he will be much younger.

The move is being touted by DC as way of adding more diversity to its universe of characters and in turn hoping to attract new, younger readers at a time when the comics industry is seeing sales sink faster than Superman wearing a kryptonite necklace.

DC’s announcement earlier this summer caused outcry among many longtime fans who felt hitting the reset button on their favorite characters and doing away with decades worth of stories was a slap in the face. Others welcomed the change, citing years of stale and recycled stories.

Blogger Jill Pantozzi‘s passionate and well-written disapproval of Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl, being put back in tights after spending more than two decades in a wheelchair drew attention from both DC and major news outlets across the country. Pantiozzi suffers from muscular dystrophy and argued that Gordon, as her post-“Killing Joke” persona of Oracle, became a symbol of strength for those who use wheelchairs. 

It is a bold and risky move in DC’s part. Time will tell if the new sales initiative — which includes digital comics going on sale the same day as their physical counterparts — will bring readers back to comics.

UPDATE: I picked up “Justice League” No. 1 yesterday and was pleasantly surprised by what I read. The dynamic and back-and-forth banter between Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) and Batman was terrific. And Lee’s art has never looked better.

In terms of story and plot, there isn’t much meat on the bone — yet. Johns focuses on establishing a rapport between the two aforementioned heroes while setting up the introductions for Cyborg and, in a fun tease, Superman.

This new universe is supposed to be a direct result of the events that transpire in the miniseries “Flashpoint” (the final issue of which also arrived on Wednesday). However, there are still some loose threads that need to be explained in terms of bridging that series with “Justice League” and the rest of DC’s “New 52.”

That being said, “Justice League” piqued my interest enough that I plan on buying the second issue. It definitely felt like a fresh start. The book had an air of cool and a swagger that hasn’t been felt in a long, long time in comics — lifting the thick cloud of staleness that has choked the fun and wonderment out of most books (that also goes for DC’s main competitor, Marvel).

What do you think about DC’s relaunch? Leave a comment below.

From: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/entertainment-general/index.ssf/2011/09/dc_comics_justice_league_kicks.html

DC’s New Superman Is a Modern, Cynical Superhero

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By Vaneta Rogers, Newsarama Contributor
posted: 02 September 2011 10:15 am ET

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Action Comics #1, Cover © 2011 DC Entertainment

Action Comics #1,

Cover © 2011

DC Entertainment

 ENLARGE

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

And, apparently, a whole new Superman.

As the world is rocked by riots and economic turmoil, DC Comics is restarting its Superman comics to match the current era. This month’s new, milestone “Action Comics #1,” part of DC’s historic relaunch of their superhero line, is scrapping the old, goody-two-shoes Superman in favor of a hero who isn’t afraid to break the law and lose his temper.

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“I think right now, we’re all feeling that way,” said Grant Morrison, the writer behind the new Superman in “Action Comics.” “Nobody has much faith in their elected leaders in the same way that they did. We all have a lot more cynicism and a lot more doubt about the people who are running our lives than we did when Superman was a ‘Boy Scout.'”

As seen in these preview images exclusive to Newsarama, this new Superman fights with criminals, but he sometimes battles the police and the government. “If anyone in the world’s been bullied, then Superman exists to take out the bully, no matter how big or smart or armed that bully might be,” he said.”

The original “Action Comics #1,” published in 1938, introduced Superman as the world’s first superhero. A copy of the now-rare issue sold for $1.5 million just last year. That original series was published continuously since its debut, but August’s “Action Comics #904” was the monumental final sequential issue.

Now the legendary series starts over for the first time, and Morrison said he found the task of writing a new “Action Comics #1” “daunting.” But he compared the era of Superman’s first appearance in the 1930s to the current day, justifying the hero’s reintroduction.

Action Comics #1, page 3 © 2011 DC Entertainment

Action Comics #1,

page 3 © 2011

DC Entertainment

 ENLARGE

“A lot of people were losing their jobs and losing their livelihood [in the 1930s], and a lot of people were realizing there was corruption in high places,” Morrison said. “I think we’re at that time again.”

The new “Action Comics” – on sale digitally and in comic book shops Sept. 7 – and tells a very modern version of how a young, blue jeans-wearing Superman first shows up around 2005 in a modern yet dilapidated Metropolis, Morrison said.

“Superman is just a guy who is very young at this point, and he has big ideas about what is right and wrong,” Morrison said. “And he has the power to implement those ideas.”

Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent, has lost both his earthly parents before he gets a job as a reporter in the big city. As a result, Morrison said, Superman doesn’t have the elderly Kents urging him to make nice with the world.

“It means that he can maybe go a little too far,” Morrison said. “To a certain extent, he enjoys being on his own because no one can get hurt and it’s all down to him. But at the same time, that means there’s no limit on him as he loses his temper.”

In the previous Superman continuity, Clark had been married to long-time girlfriend Lois Lane for years. But the new “Action Comics” has Clark as a bachelor again, with Lois dating another man and working as a rival journalist.

Plus, this new Superman can’t fly yet — leaping buildings instead — and he can bleed.

Action Comics #1, page 6 © 2011 DC Entertainment

Action Comics #1,

page 6 © 2011

DC Entertainment

 ENLARGE

Why? Because Morrison said he was too disconnected from the world, and readers had trouble relating to him. The writer’s opportunity to change the Man of Steel’s world on a dime comes as part of DC’s line-wide “reboot” of their entire superhero universe, allowing creators and retailers the chance to get to know these decades-old characters when they’re just beginning their crime-fighting careers and gaining experience on the job.

“The whole thing we’re doing in this new Superman is to watch him learn and grow and progress, and I find that’s what makes the big difference,” Morrison said. “The guy we had before was in his prime. He was eternally in his prime, and everything he did was going to work out.

“So what we’re trying to do is bring back that proactive Superman, but also allow him to change and to make these mistakes and to get beaten up a bit, and to have to come back and rethink his mission,” he said.

“I wanted to see him sweat a little and to bleed a little,” Morrison said, “and to restore him to a kind of humanity that we could all understand before moving him on.”

Got a comment? There’s lots of conversation on Newsarama’s FACEBOOK and TWITTER!

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From: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/new-superman-modern-cynical-superhero-110901.html

“Justice League” kicks off DC Comics’ new universe

Lee drew the best-selling comic book of all time, 1991’s “X-Men” No. 1, as well as three of the best-selling comics of the past decade.

The release of “Justice League” No. 1 kicks off “The New 52” as part of DC Comics’ plan to launch an entire comic book line of 52 new No. 1 issues this fall. The issue is a new beginning for the world’s greatest super hero team, which will include Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash and other DC characters.

Johns is DC Entertainment’s chief creative officer; Lee is the co-publisher with Dan DiDio.

With “The New 52,” DC Comics’ most iconic super heroes will be presented in a younger and more contemporary way, including new costumes, characters and storylines.

Author Marc DiPaolo, assistant professor of English and film at Oklahoma City University, said re-inventing characters for a new generation could have positive results, despite some fans’ concerns.

“While fans often joke that no one stays dead in comic books, and that dramatic storylines don’t have consequences, too often the reverse is true,” DiPaolo said. “The problem with strict continuity is that many bad stories, and some legitimate classics, change the status quo of a comic book so much that the consequences last for decades and rob newer readers of the opportunity to read stories with the characters in their classic form.”

“The New 52” also begins DC’s plan to release digital comics of their superhero line on the same day as print release.

More than 50 comic-book stores held local midnight release events around the country, including New World Comics, 6219 N Meridian Ave. Lee and Johns signed comics for hundreds of fans at New York’s Midtown Comics at a midnight release.

Additional first issues, including “Superman” and “Batman” will be available for sale every Wednesday through September 28.

For more about comic books and graphic novels, visit blog.newsok.com/nerdage.

From: http://newsok.com/article/3599882

Heroes Take Flight, Again

Some readers may be drawn in by its cover depicting revised incarnations of Superman and Batman, or a story line that tells of a tense first meeting between these costumed characters before they became allies.

But DC is betting that more potential customers will be attracted by an insignia that boldly declares this to be issue No. 1 of Justice League; never mind the hundreds of chapters that came before it.

Starting on Wednesday, the publisher is resetting all 52 of its continuing series, including venerable titles like Action Comics and Detective Comics that introduced Superman and Batman in the 1930s, at issue No. 1, and using the opportunity to revise or jettison decades of continuity in the heroes’ fictional lives.

Within the DC universe, this new status quo is the result of efforts by the fleet-footed Flash to alter the course of history. But in the real world it is a last-ditch plan to counteract years of declining sales throughout the comics business.

The success or failure of this plan will have far-reaching implications: it could alienate longtime fans for the sake of new readers. And it could portend a more widespread exhaustion with film and television projects that are adapted from comic books and that are constantly starting over from scratch.

In an entertainment industry that is perpetually looking to breathe new life into old properties, and that has planned several years of movies and multimedia projects about back-to-basics superheroes, this revisionist strategy could determine “whether or not DC Comics, as a comic-book publishing company, will continue in the future,” said Rich Johnston, a blogger who covers the comics business for the Web site Bleeding Cool. “There’s an awful lot at stake here, and that’s why they’ve thrown everything and the kitchen sink at this.”

DC, which is owned by Time Warner, has long lagged behind its rival Marvel Comics, the Disney-owned publisher of Spider-Man and Captain America, in market share if not audience enthusiasm. Its latest company-wide overhaul has been almost a year in the making, devised in October at an editorial retreat where staff members were trying to create a love triangle for Superman, who wed Lois Lane in 1996.

Once the team decided it did not have to be bound by this marital detail, “we started talking about a lot of crazy, what-if situations, and out of that openness came the idea of renumbering the entire line,” said Jim Lee, co-publisher of DC Comics and an illustrator of the new Justice League series.

The publisher says its streamlined storytelling efforts are aimed at its existing readership as well as at new or lapsed comics buyers, but acknowledged that an issue labeled “No. 1” was particularly inviting to first-timers.

“I certainly wouldn’t buy a DVD series of a hit show and start at Season 7,” Mr. Lee said. “I would want to go back and start from the beginning.”

The process of restarting a long-running narrative at Page 1 — known in industry parlance, and with growing derision, as a reboot — is nothing new to comics: in the 1980s DC dismantled its narrative architecture in the venerated mini-series “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” and has sought to recapture its anything-could-happen spirit in story lines with titles like “Infinite Crisis” and “Final Crisis.” DC and Marvel have been revising their World War II-era characters since at least the 1950s, and Marvel has an entire publishing line, Ultimate Comics, that features contemporary takes on its traditional heroes (like a Spider-Man who is of black and Hispanic descent).

In Hollywood the reboot impulse has yielded hit films like “Batman Begins” (and its billion-dollar-grossing sequel, “The Dark Knight”) and noncomics properties like this summer’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”

The DC reboot arrives at a crucial moment for the comics business, which, like the publishing industry as a whole, is experiencing continued erosion in sales.

Recent reports by ICv2, a research company that tracks pop-cultural products, said that in July dollar sales of periodical comics were down 4.27 percent from the same month last year, down 4.6 percent in June and down 6.3 percent for the second quarter over all. Sales of graphic novels at traditional bookstores were up, though this was partly because of the liquidation of the Borders bookstore chain.

The success of superhero movies like “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” did not entirely rub off on the comics that inspired them, with individual titles struggling to sell more than 100,000 copies at $2.99 or $3.99 a copy. One possible bright spot: DC says preorders for Justice League No. 1 have exceeded 200,000 copies.

Meanwhile, the increasing number of entertainment franchises that apply a back-to-basics approach to comics characters is suggesting a paucity of original ideas. Next summer Sony Pictures Entertainment will release “The Amazing Spider-Man,” a 3-D retelling of the origin story seen in the 2002 hit “Spider-Man.” Warner Brothers has a new Superman movie, “Man of Steel,” coming in 2013, following an unsuccessful reboot, “Superman Returns,” in 2006, and is contemplating a new Batman series to follow the 2012 sequel, “The Dark Knight Rises.”

“That whole attitude of, ‘Oh, go ahead, start over, reboot,’ people get tired of that and it worries me,” said Jim Shooter, a former editor in chief of Marvel Comics who now holds that title at the comics publisher Illustrated Media. “As storytellers, I don’t know where we wandered off to.”

Henry Jenkins, the provost’s professor of communication, journalism and cinematic arts at the University of Southern California, said the idea of returning classic heroes to their origins long predated comic books.

“Part of the nature of culture is that we retell stories that are meaningful to us, again and again, in different ways,” Mr. Jenkins said, pointing to Homer’s “Iliad,” Virgil’s “Aeneid” and Dante’s “Inferno” as “continual reboots of Greek mythology.”

From: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/books/dc-comics-reboots-justice-league-and-other-series.html

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