Meeting Superman in Mayberry

Traveling north, on Interstate 75, through Georgia, through South Carolina, pushing through North Carolina nearing the Virginia state line, is the exit for Mount Airy.

Mount Airy, N.C., was the inspiration for Mayberry in “The Andy Griffith Show.” The small town is where Griffith grew up and was the basis for Mayberry, the fictional home of Sheriff Andy Taylor, Aunt Bee, Opie, Barney Fife, Otis, Floyd, Gomer, Goober, Helen, Thelma Lou, Howard Sprague, and so many other beloved characters.

Mount Airy, in turn, has been inspired by Mayberry.

There’s an Andy Griffith Museum and a Mayberry Museum. Several businesses are named after various Mayberry characters. Reminders of the show are everywhere. 

And Raleigh, N.C., often mentioned on the show, is only about a two-hour drive from Mount Airy. Just like on TV.

Downtown buildings remain true to the turn of the previous century. There’s a main street and plenty of side roads.

On a recent fall morning, we exited the interstate and traveled along the streets of Mount Airy where we encountered a character we did not expect on the familiar lanes of “Mayberry.”

A fall Sunday morning is not prime time for an unscheduled visit to Mount Airy. The business of being Mayberry seems to have taken a break for being a small Southern town going about the business of church and breakfast.

And maybe, a few people slipping into the office for a couple hours of catching up.

Mount Airy on a Sunday morning reminds me of an episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” spin-off “Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.” The one where Gomer returns to Mayberry and Andy, Aunt Bee, Opie, etc., are all out of town during his visit.

So, with exception of other cars cruising Mount Airy’s main drag, there’s little happening. Seeking a turnaround to take us back to the route leading to I-75, we turn down a side street.

Several yards ahead, a grey-haired man crosses the street. He’s dressed casually, giving the appearance of a professional stopping by the office for a little bit of work, or picking up a file to take home to review on a Sunday.

Except, this man also looks a great deal like the late Christopher Reeve, the actor who played Superman in the 1970s and ’80s movies. But he looks like an older, graying Reeve.

Wearing glasses, he looks like an older, graying Clark Kent, the alter ego of Superman.

He makes it across the street. He opens his office as we approach in our truck. He enters the building. The glass door closes. The truck windows are up. Several yards between the truck and building.

I say, “Look, it’s Clark Kent, hiding out in Mayberry.”

He looks up through the glass door as soon as I say this as if he has super hearing. He looks at all of us in our slow-moving truck, seems to make eye contact with each and everyone of us, and smiles a knowing smile. A smile that’s almost a wink.

Just like the winks Clark Kent used to give readers at the end of old Superman comics when Lois would say something about how Clark is never around when the action starts. And Clark would look at readers straight from the comic book page and smile a knowing smile and wink.

The Mayberry Clark Kent looks at us through the glass door and gives us the same smile. 

Shoot, he may have even given us a super-fast wink and we were just too stunned to notice as we continue driving past the building toward the route to I-75.

We didn’t see Barney Fife, but well, we discovered Superman working undercover in Mayberry.


Dean Poling is an editor with The Valdosta Daily Times.


Superman and Booster Gold Take on the Son of General Zod

Dan Jurgens writes good Superman comics.

This isn’t really a revelation. It’s not like there was any particular issue over the last 25-odd years that made comics fandom all jump up at the same time and shout “HOLY HELL THAT WAS INCREDIBLE” (though if this were a “Dan Jurgens draws good Superman comics” conversation, I might make the case that Superman #75 qualifies there). Viewing the body of the man’s work on this character, though, it’s hard to look at all the iconic moments Jurgens has had a hand in and point to something that wasn’t at least eminently readable, and often it’s been his work that helped glue together our collective understanding of the character. 

His most recent run has been on Action Comics, where he started out examining a Lex Luthor honoring the memory of a fallen Superman, but quickly shifted to telling classic Superman fare: Clark in Metropolis, saving everyone he can; Lois being a tremendous journalist; and a collection of classic villains and concepts woven together with some great pace and a hint of melodrama.

In this exlusive preview of Action Comics #996, Superman and Booster Gold (a Jurgens creation who has been an incredible addition to the DC Universe) are stuck in a future where Zod and family have their own planet, while Lois skydives into a conflict-torn country to use her journalistic connections to save her dad. Here’s what DC has to say about the issue:

ACTION COMICS #996 Written by DAN JURGENS Art by WILL CONRAD Cover by DAN JURGENS and TREVOR SCOTT Variant cover by NEIL EDWARDS and JAY LEISTEN Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details. “Booster Shot” part four! Superman and Booster Gold are out of time, and they’ve found themselves marooned on a strange planet sometime in the future. So why does this planet’s infrastructure look…Kryptonian? The answer shakes the Man of Steel to the core as the ruler of this planet reveals himself…the son of Zod reigns supreme!

Conrad’s art is clean and classic in the preview. Check it out!


Did Superman Lose His Red Trunks Because of a Lawsuit? | CBR

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and sixty-third week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

NOTE: Here is a bonus Comic Book Legends Revealed that I did for Martin Luther King Day about how a MLK comic book inspired an iconic civil rights protest!

Click here for Part 1 of this week’s legends. Click here for Part 2 of this week’s legends.


DC changed Superman’s costume because of their lawsuit with the estate of Jerry Siegel.


I’m Going With False

DC made news recently when they revealed the cover to Action Comics #1000, which seemingly debuted a brand-new costume for Superman designed by Jim Lee that included the return of Superman’s famous red trunks, which he had worn since his first appearance all the way to 2011 and the launch of the New 52…

Here was his costume on the cover of Action Comics #1…

Here it was right before the New 52…

And here it was in the New 52, designed by Jim Lee…

With the return of the red trunks, there has been some discussion about why the change was made in the first place.

One theory was that the change had to do with DC’s lawsuit over the rights to Superman with the estate of Jerry Siegel. The courts ended up determining that an earlier settlement with the Siegels was binding and so the lawsuits ended (the same thing happened with the Joe Shuster estate. DC has entered into a settlement in 1992 that was ruled to be binding). However, in 2011, the lawsuit was still very much alive.

One of DC’s arguments in the lawsuit was that even if the court were to rule that DC did not fully own Superman as he was sold to DC back in 1938 (essentially, the material that made up Action Comics #1, including the cover), that they no longer told the adventures of THAT character. They argued that Superman is an ever-changing character and that they told the adventures of “an ever-evolving portrayal of Superman.” In other words, their version of Superman was so distinct from the character in Action Comics #1 that he was, in effect, a separate character.

Because of this position, dramatically changing his costume would go hand in hand with that idea.

However, that’s simply a case of allowing correlation to imply causation.

Noted comic book legal scholar, Jeff Trexler, wrote about this over at The Beat back in 2011, saying:

Judging by what DC has released, the changes made in the Superman relaunch would seem to reflect DC’s strategic emphasis on creative change. Costume alterations may not establish that the character is wholly new, but they do arguably provide evidence of how the company is creating stylistic elements distinct from the character’s original form. Changes in continuity are also consistent with DC’s argument, inasmuch as they underscore the company’s ongoing creative input and quite possibly take the disputed material further away from the key elements present in the co-owned Siegel content.

What Trexler was simply saying, though, was not that that is WHY DC made the costume changes, but just that the costume changes fit well with DC’s already established strategy of saying that Superman was a constantly-evolving character.

DC re-designed EVERY superhero’s costume for the New 52, in pretty much the same exact way that they re-designed Superman’s costume, so there is no evidence that they re-designed Superman’s costume specifically to make his costume different for the sake of their lawsuit. Instead, it seems like merely a statement that followed their previously established idea that, yes, Superman is always-evolving and, shockingly enough, he was evolving again. DC’s position was already based on the change from the original costume to the one that Superman was wearing in 2011 already (the one he was wearing Pre-Flashpoint) and all the changes to the character since Action Comics #1 (him being able to fly, Kryptonite, stuff like that), so since they already MADE their “Superman evolved a lot from his debut in Action Comics #1” argument well before the New 52 idea came about, it seems unlikely that they would have specifically made Superman drop his red trunks to add to their argument, at the same time that they happened to change every other hero in the same way. In other words, they didn’t really NEED it/the timing certainly suggested coincidence.

So I’m confident enough to give this one a false.

Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed – Was Carol Hathaway originally dead in the ER pilot?

OK, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is And my Twitter feed is, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

Here’s my most recent book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? The cover is by Kevin Hopgood (the fellow who designed War Machine’s armor).


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Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

See you all next week!


Action Comics #1000 tie-in book will feature a lost story from original Superman creators

To celebrate the 1,000th issue of Action Comics — the title that first introduced the world to Superman — DC is releasing a harcover tie-in book: Action Comics #1000: 80 Years of Superman. The comic book itself, Action Comics #1000, will hit shelves on April 18 and is the first title to ever reach to reach the 1,000-issue milestone. It will also mark the DC debut of Brian Michael Bendis, the celebrated Marvel veteran who created characters like Jessica Jones and Miles Morales. 

Edited by former DC publisher Paul Levitz, 80 Years of Superman (Jim Lee’s full cover can be seen below) will feature 384 pages of essays on the hero and classic Superman stories — including a previously unpublished one by his original creators, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel. 

“The found Siegel and Shuster story is a true treasure with a fascinating backstory,” said Levitz in a statement. “Back when DC did regular tours of the New York office, it was common for fans to get original art that would have been otherwise disposed of as a tour souvenir. As a young fan on a tour [Blade and New Teen Titans creator] Marv Wolfman found this Superman story and kept it all these years. It’s incredible to think that Marv not only rescued this unpublished story, he then went on to become one of DC’s most prolific writers, and shared the story with DC to publish as part of this special new collection.”

As for the aforementioned essays, contributions were made by Levitz (an editor’s note), Siegel’s daughter Laura Siegel Larson (a tribute to Action Comics), cartoonist and Will Eisner’s former assistant Jules Feiffer (introduction), Tom DeHaven (It’s Superman!), David Hajdu (The Ten-Cent Plague), Larry Tye (Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero) and Gene Luen Yang (SUPERMAN, NEW SUPER-MAN and the National Book Award finalist American Born Chinese).

Comic book stories will include over a dozen by Siegel, Shuster, Grant Morrison, Len Wein, Wolfman, Joe Kelly, Otto Binder, and more. The hardcover book, 80 Years of Superman, will be available on April 19 for $29.99, to coincide with the 1,000th issue. You’ll be able to pre-order it on April 11.


A Lost Superman Comic by His Original Creators Will Finally Be Released

A missing chapter in Superman’s long history will finally be told. This April, when DC publishes the landmark 1,000th issue of Action Comics, a separate 384-page hardcover tome will contain a previously unpublished Superman comic from the Man of Steel’s original creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

On Tuesday, DC announced Action Comics 1000: 80 Years of Superman, a new collection set for an April 19 release, that will celebrate the magazine’s eight decades (including the years it was renumbered and retitled Superman: Action Comics). The book will be stacked with material, including essays from writers like Tom DeHaven (It’s Superman!) and Gene Luen Yang, and some of the best Action Comics issues ever from writers like Otto Binder, John Byrne, and Grant Morrison.

But the biggest attraction will be a never before seen Siegel and Shuster comic, “Too Many Heroes,” a 12-page Superman story unpublished for almost 80 years. And it was only by chance the comic is now seeing the light of day, thanks to legendary writer Marv Wolfman (Crisis on Infinite Earths).

In a statement, former DC editor Paul Levitz said DC used to give out unused, one-of-a-kind material as souvenirs on public tours of its New York City offices. It was a different time, before such items could sell for thousands at Comic-Con. “Back when DC did regular tours of the New York office, it was common for fans to get original art that would have been otherwise disposed of as a tour souvenir,” Levitz said.

It was fate that the Siegel and Shuster comic would be given to a young Marv Wolfman when he attended a tour. “It’s incredible to think that Marv not only rescued this unpublished story, he then went on to become one of DC’s most prolific writers, and shared the story with DC to publish as part of this special new collection.”

“Too Many Heroes” will be illustrated by the Joe Shuster Studio, so rest assured the tale will be seen the way it’s meant to be seen.

Jim Lee DC Superman ComicsJim Lee DC Superman Comics
Cover of ‘Action Comics 1000: 80 Years of Superman’ from artist Jim Lee.

Besides “Too Many Heroes,” the book will also contain a number of published Action Comics issues. Highlights include:

  • Action Comics #1 and #2 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
  • Action Comics #242 by Otto Binder and Al Plastino (features the debut of Brainiac, “The Super-Duel in Space”)
  • Action Comics #252 by Otto Binder and Al Plastino (features the debut of Supergirl, “The Supergirl from Krypton!”)
  • Action Comics #554 by Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane (“If Superman Didn’t Exist…”)
  • Action Comics #584 by John Byrne and Dick Giordano (“Squatter”)
  • Action Comics #662 by Roger Stern and Bob McLeod (“Secrets in the Night”)
  • Action Comics #0 by Grant Morrison and Ben Oliver (“The Boy Who Stole Superman’s Cape”)

Action Comics 1000: 80 Years of Superman will be released on April 19.

You’ve read that, now watch this: “50 Avengers for 50 States”


DC Comics Just Published the Perfect Superman Story

A couple of days ago, a friend texted me. “Have you read Superman #39?” She’s a fan of superhero comics, but is not a regular reader. However, she was moved by the one-off story about the Man of Steel taking some cancer-stricken kids on the adventure of a lifetime. No doubt, she also remembered the story about John Rossi, the Salt Lake City photographer who had dressed up disabled and sick children as members of the Justice League, and then put them on posters.

With the latest issue of Superman, we have a case of art imitating life. Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s “Goodnight Moon” is an old-fashioned Superman story aimed at kids of all ages. A self-contained adventure, it gives us a Man of Steel who is unabashedly good, and a true symbol of hope.

Drawn by Barry Kitson, with additional inks by Scott Hanna, and colors by Gabriel Eltreb, Superman #39 represents a good jumping-on point for casual fans who may only know the character through DC’s cinematic outings, including Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

RELATED:Photographer Transforms Sick and Disabled Kids Into Justice League

I have to admit to a certain fondness for Snyder’s filmic take on Superman. The idea that Clark isn’t perfect and has to grow into the role works well within the narrative structure of a motion picture. The fact that he must deal with the consequences of his powers, and the aftermath of murdering Zod, on his way to become a beacon of hope, lends a real world feel to the character. That people have misgivings about Superman in Snyder’s films also adds a touch to reality to the story. After all, history shows that humans don’t take kindly to difference, and that we tend to tear down those who offer us hope.

But then again, Superman doesn’t exist in the real world.

Still, Snyder’s take on Superman is only one of many interpretations of the hero. It isn’t as extreme as Frank Miller’s idea that the Man of Steel is a “boy scout,” and therefore boring, but it is somewhat critical of the mythos.

Page 2:


Superman is getting his classic red trunks back for Action Comics … – Batman

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The comics ditched Superman’s classic red trunks in 2011 and Zack Snyder followed suit in 2013 with Man of Steel. But now after a seven year absence, they’re coming back!

Superman made his first comic book appearance in Action Comics #1 back in 1938, and to celebrate the release of Action Comics #1000, they’re bringing back his classic look with the red underwear. DC artist Jim Lee drew the cover for the big anniversary comic book, which you can see above. Action Comics #1000 will be available on April 18th.

“Action Comics #1000 represents a watershed moment in the history of not just comic books, but entertainment, literature, and pop culture,” Lee said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. “There’s no better way to celebrate Superman’s enduring popularity than to give him a look that combines some new accents with the most iconic feature of his classic design.”

“The one-thousandth issue of Action Comics is an incredible milestone in pop culture and a testament to the vision of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster,” said DC publisher Dan DiDio. “Without this book, along with Siegel and Shuster’s fertile imaginations and boundless creativity, the superhero’s place in literature may have been wildly different, if not altogether nonexistent.”

Are you excited to see the classic red trunks back in the comics? Would you like them to include them in the movies again as well? Let me know in the comments below.

SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly


Superman’s Red Trunks Return in Action Comics #1000

Superman’s iconic red trunks have been missing for seven years, but they will be making their grand return on April 18 for the landmark Action Comics #1000 from DC Comics.

Take a look:

Art by Jim Lee. (DC Comics)
Art by Jim Lee. (DC Comics)

The trunks, which were originally intended to evoke a 1930s circus strongman, disappeared when Superman’s look was redesigned by Jim Lee for the New 52 reboot in 2011, replacing his costume with advanced Kryptonian armor. While the red undies are often poked fun at, fans considered removing them controversial because they are a classic element of the world’s first superhero.

Art by Jim Lee. (DC Comics)
Art by Jim Lee. (DC Comics)

Now, Lee has designed a new Superman look that “integrates a variety of classic and new elements,” according to the publisher. The yellow belt is another returning classic element, while the metallic cuffs are from the 2016 Rebirth relaunch and were inspired by the Man of Steel movie costume.

Our first look at the new Superman costume appears on the cover for Action Comics #1000, drawn by Lee, inked by Scott Williams, and colored by Alex Sinclair.

Action Comics #1000 will feature work from numerous Superman writers and artists from over the years. One included short story will be the first DC work by Brian Michael Bendis.

Joshua is IGN’s Comics Editor. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Game of Thrones are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.


Superman will find his red underwear in Action Comics #1000

DC Comics has a big milestone coming up. In fact, it’s so big that it’s kind of a milestone for the entire American comics industry — maybe even the entire American entertainment industry, at this point. The one thousandth issue of Action Comics, the first issue of which introduced the world to Superman, the first superhero, and kicked off the entire genre, will hit shelves on April 18.

And DC Comics has decided to celebrate in a very special way: By letting Superman wear his underwear on the outside again. Well, also, DC Comics will be making Action Comics #1000 into an oversized anthology issue, with Superman stories written by some of the biggest names in DC Comics — and the biggest names in Superman from around the entertainment industry.

Action Comics #1000 will feature the first new DC Comics work of Brian Michael Bendis as well as stories from Marv Wolfman, the writer of DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths; Silver Age artist Curt Swan; director Richard Donner; DC’s own chief creative officer Geoff Johns; artist Olivier Coipel; current Superman scribes Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason; current Action Comics scribe Dan Jurgens; The Adventures of Superman cartoon’s Paul Dini with artist José Luis García-López; Tom King with Clay Mann and Jordie Bellaire; Brad Meltzer with John Cassaday and Laura Martin; Louise Simonson with Jerry Ordway; and Scott Snyder with Tim Sale.

Variant cover for Superman #52, DC Comics 2016.

The New 52-era Superman costume.
Mikel Janin/DC Comics

A press release from DC Comics says that even more artist/writer teams for Action Comics #1000 have yet to be announced.

Superman has been missing his red trunks since 2011’s New 52 reboot, when DC co-publisher and artist Jim Lee redesigned the classic costume for a modern era. Action Comics #1000 will mark the first time the Superman costume has had underwear on the outside in nearly seven years.

“There’s no better way to celebrate Superman’s enduring popularity than to give him a look that combines some new accents with the most iconic feature of his classic design,” Lee said in a statement.

The full cover of Action Comics #1000, drawn by Jim Lee and featuring Superman with his famous red underpants, can be seen below.

The cover of Action Comics #1000, DC Comics 2018.

The cover of Action Comics #1000.
Jim Lee/DC Comics


‘The Flash’ Might Be Teasing an Evil, Extremely Powerful Superman …

In the mid-season premiere of The Flash, the show name-dropped one of the most dangerous Earths in the DC multiverse: Earth-15. In the comics, that’s where a psychotic, evil, and ultra-powerful version of Superman destroyed the planet.

And you thought Nazi Earth-X from the crossover was scary.

Spoilers follow for “The Trial of The Flash.”

While Barry Allen was on trial for murder in “Trial of the Flash,” the rest of Team Flash had to deal with a “bus meta” with growing radiation powers, one that would go nuclear if left unchecked. Barry’s idea is to create a vacuum around the meta, titled Fallout, to contain the blast but the radiation levels soon go critical. The resulting explosion would be like a nuclear bomb — unless they can vent the energy somewhere.

“Earth-15 is a dead Earth!” Harry remembers. “Breach it there now!”

Cisco opens up a massive breach to vent all of the radiation onto an alternate Earth, and the day is saved.

What's on the other side of that breach?What's on the other side of that breach?
What’s on the other side of that breach?

The fact that Earth-15 is confirmed as a “dead Earth” probably piques the interest of DC Comics readers, because that universe has a tragic history. Originally “The Perfect Universe,” it was a blissful planet. The Justice League’s heroes had essentially won the war on crime, and everybody was happy. It’s a shame they were all killed and their Earth destroyed by a version of Superman from Earth Prime.

On Earth-Prime, Superman (originally called “Superboy-Prime) was the only hero. During the landmark, even comic Crisis on Infinite Earths, which cleaned up the comics’ messy multiverse, Superboy-Prime wound up in a Paradise dimension where he mourned his destroyed world and went totally crazy. After escaping in another “Crisis,” he began wandering the multiverse searching for a home he never found, killing anyone who stood in his way, and eliminating all the Supermen out there so he might become the only one.

If the Arrowverse Earth-15 suffered the same fate as what happened in DC Comics, then Superboy-Prime already destroyed the planet and moved on.

Alternatively, after the comics version of Flashpoint, that same universe became known as “Earth 15” (no dash), which was entirely barren of life. So that could be what Wells is referring to, but for him to say the 15th Earth is a “dead” one implies that it used to be “alive.”

Which means that somebody out there killed it. Granted, in the 2007 comic event series Countdown, Superboy-Prime straight-up destroyed the planet, rather than just leave it “dead,” so the Arrowverse’s version doesn’t exactly line up. At the very least, though, this is a nice little Easter egg for comic fans.

Superboy-Prime destroys Earth-15.Superboy-Prime destroys Earth-15.
Superboy-Prime destroys Earth-15.

We can’t be sure whether or not Superboy-Prime exists out there in the Arrowverse, but we do know that at least one Superman exists in the Earth-38 of Supergirl.

The “Crisis on Earth-X” crossover firmly established that there are a total of 53 Earths in the DC TV multiverse. Dozens of them, we know nothing about. In most cases, the Arrowverse Earths match up to their comics counterparts — we saw as much with Earth-X. If that’s the case with Earth-15, then they better hope Cisco never opens up another breach there again, because Team Flash might not like what’s on the other side.

The Flash airs Tuesdays on The CW at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Hello! You’ve made it to the end of the article. Nice. Here’s a related video you might like: “‘Supergirl’: Kara Meets The Flash”


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