Putin v Superman? DC Comics features surprising guest

DC Comics’ “Doomsday Clock” is an ongoing, limited-edition series that brings the dark themes and characters from Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” into the world of Batman and Superman.

The same issue takes a jab at Russia a few pages before – referring to a child whose parents were “gassed by Assad, the Russians’ puppet”. And it features the likeness of Putin to show how tensions between the US and Russia escalated into a shooting war.

After American superhero Firestorm accidentally turns a crowd of Russian civilians into glass, Putin is more than a little mad. Appearing in front of the Kremlin, flanked by tanks and soldiers, Putin declares that he will “NO LONGER tolerate America’s lies!” and promises retribution, believing Firestorm to be working for the US government.

Enter Superman. Somehow respected and admired in Russia as in America, Superman sets out to explain that the incident was all a big misunderstanding. Firestorm didn’t mean it, and he can use his powers to unfreeze the rigid Russians.

When Firestorm arrives with a Russian child he’s brought back to life (don’t ask), the trigger-happy Russian soldiers open fire and the tanks advance on their own frozen citizens. Superman intervenes to save the child and Putin rushes away from the scene. What happens next? Tune in for the next episode!

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Superman comics showing victim of ‘Russian puppet Assad’ honors long tradition of propaganda

While writer Geoff Johns certainly appears to have binged on a diet of CNN and Hollywood, the comic almost presents the Russian leader in a more favorable light than prime-time US news shows.

The fictional Putin of DC Comics is a reasonable man, willing to listen to Superman before ordering violence. Meanwhile, the fantasy Putin of US mainstream media is a diabolical, election-meddling mastermind who controls everyone from President Trump to socialist Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), and is the force behind every divisive movement in the West, from Black Lives Matter to Brexit.

Maybe that’s by design? After all, Superman’s moniker “Man of Steel” literally means “Stalin” in Russian.

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From: https://www.rt.com/news/445800-superman-putin-batman-comic/

Superman comics showing victim of ‘Russian puppet Assad’ honors long tradition of propaganda

Doomsday Clock is an ongoing limited edition series, in which a universe of Batman and Superman gets intruded by characters (and themes) of the dark world of ‘Watchmen’ by Alan Moore – which is itself a deconstruction of the superhero comics. In the freshly-published issue #8, Superman visits a fictional Middle-Eastern nation ruled by supervillain/antihero Black Adam and sees scores of refugees sheltered there.

Black Adam introduces one of them, a child from Syria’s Douma, saying that “his younger sister [was] gassed by Assad, the Russians’ puppet.” Some would say it’s no big deal, considering it all happens in a world where a guy dressed in blue and red flies and shoots beams from his eyes, but can easily hide his identity by putting glasses on. By the end of the issue the US and Russia go to war, by the way.

Others would argue it’s just an example of how American children are indoctrinated from a young age to support narratives that their country’s government promotes. And the US comics industry has a long record of doing it too, right from the good golden days of Captain America bashing the Nazis with his shield.

Occasionally this practice becomes pretty macabre. The classical story arcs of Batman comics, ‘A Death in the Family’, is best known for killing off the second character posing as Robin, the sidekick to the caped crusader. Jason Todd was beaten by the maniac Joker with a crowbar and left to die in an explosive-rigged room. Readers were asked to call one of two phone numbers to vote for either a miraculous survival or a real death in next issue.

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Stan Lee fans outraged after HBO host claims Trump could only get elected in comic-loving country

This was in the 1980s, long before such a poll would be done through the internet, but a bit of dedication and automation by a Todd-hating fan sealed the fate of the boy wonder. A grief-stricken Batman goes after Joker with the worst intentions only to be stopped by Superman. Why?

Because Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 Iranian revolution and now leader of the country, decides that appointing the Joker as his representative at the United Nations is a brilliant idea. And the US government simply cannot allow a diplomatic incident, like Batman beating and arresting the Iranian envoy.

So Joker, dressed in an Arab keffiyeh (kids don’t need to tell apart Middle Eastern cultures) gleefully tells the UN General Assembly that he and the current leaders of Iran “have much in common, like insanity and a great love of fish” and, yeah, gasses his audience.

That is not to say US-published superhero comics are all about brainwashing children into standing by its government’s foreign policy. But the simplified comic worldview does sometimes conflate with real-life politics in America. Like a 2008 piece published by the Wall Street Journal, which argued that George W Bush was Batman in terms of breaking the rules to get things done. Or more recently Bill Maher accusing comics fans of getting Donald Trump elected.

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From: https://www.rt.com/news/445766-dc-comics-does-propaganda/

Best gifts for comic book lovers in 2018

Soon it will be Christmas Day.

Here’s a list of gift ideas, which can be purchased locally to make your shopping easier for local comic book lovers.

Stan Lee: A founding father of Marvel Comics and a pioneer in the comic book medium, Lee – who died Nov. 12 – created so many iconic, beloved characters: Spider-Man, the Hulk, Daredevil, Thor, the list goes on. There are too many great stories he’s written to list here, but perhaps his best work was collaborating with artist Steve Ditko on “The Amazing Spider-Man” and artist Jack Kirby on “Fantastic Four.” Marvel’s reprinted these classic stories across many volumes.


Superman: The grandfather of all super-heroes turned 80 this year. To celebrate, awarding-winning writer Brian Michael Bendis puts Superman back in his classic costume in “The Man of Steel.” Other notable stories include “All-Star Superman” and “Superman: For All Seasons.” “(Superman) stands for something — something important that’s bigger than all of us: truth, justice, and the American way. It’s a great catchphrase — but it’s serious and it matters. And Superman matters. Now more than ever, America needs heroes,” said author/University of Michigan alumnus Brad Meltzer.

Joss Whedon: Geek god Whedon is the man responsible for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” and “Firefly.” All three TV series live on as comics with Whedon overseeing them, including IDW Publishing’s “Angel” and “Spike,” and Dark Horse Comics’ “Buffy” and “Angel and Faith.” December’s “Buffy: The Reckoning” collects the final story arc from Dark Horse before handing the reins over to Boom! Studios, which now publishes “Buffy” and “Firefly.”


“Frankenstein Alive, Alive!” (IDW Publishing $25): Renowned horror artist Bernie Wrightson, who died in the middle of working on this story, always had a soft spot for Mary Shelley’s famous creation. Readers will see that his beautiful artwork gracing every page is a labor of love. Kelley Jones, per Wrightson’s request, finished the artwork in a well-paced story where Frankenstein’s Monster searches for his humanity. This book includes an extended gallery of never-before-seen sketches scanned from Wrightson’s original art. A spiritual successor that would make Shelley proud.

Dynamite Entertainment: This publisher continues the adventures of many licensed properties in comics: “Game of Thrones,” “The Bionic Woman,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Army of Darkness,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Elvira: Mistress of the Dark,” “Nancy Drew,” “James Bond,” et al. Some fresh, creative takes on old classics.

Other Notable Works:

“The Infinity Gauntlet” (Marvel $25): Thanos destroys half the universe in the tale that inspired this year’s blockbuster movie “Avengers: Infinity War.”

“V for Vendetta 30th Anniversary Deluxe Ed” (DC Comics/Vertigo $50): One of the greatest graphic novels of all time is reprinted on its milestone anniversary.

“Back to the Future: The Heavy Collection (IDW Publishing $30): “Back to the Future” co-writer/co-creator Bob Gale tells new stories of the beloved film franchise, including how Marty met Doc Brown.

“Swords of the Swashbucklers” (Dynamite $35): “Star Wars” meets “Pirates of the Caribbean” in the cult series reprinted for the first time in 25 years.

“Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (IDW Publishing $30): Mike Mignola’s adaptation of the 1992 film is reprinted in black and white, showcasing his moody yet magnificent artistry.

These graphic novels are available at Green Brain Comics, located at 13936 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn, and Big Ben’s Comix Oasis, located at 6711 Allen Rd. in Allen Park.

From: http://www.pressandguide.com/lifestyles/best-gifts-for-comic-book-lovers-in/article_f31913d4-f7fb-11e8-a7b2-731f9cb28ea4.html

‘Superman’ producer Ilya Salkind reveals secrets from the set: Christopher Reeve had to gain 40 lbs. of muscle

'Superman' producer Ilya Salkind reveals secrets from the setVideo

‘Superman’ producer Ilya Salkind reveals secrets from the set

‘Superman’ executive producer Ilya Salkind would never have guessed that his childhood comic book hero would ultimately define his career. Salkind spoke about all things ‘Superman’ and didn’t hesitate to share his secrets from the set.

Executive producer Ilya Salkind would never have guessed that his childhood comic book hero would ultimately define his career.

He was 31 years old when he was given the chance to bring “Superman” to the big screen for the first time — and that was the 1978 hit that would transform Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder into box office sensations.

A true superhero fan, 71-year-old Salkind recently attended the Hollywood Museum in support of its current exhibition “Superhero Legends,” which honors the Man of Steel and other iconic figures from cinema and comic book history.

He also recently spoke with Fox News about all things “Superman” and didn’t hesitate to share his secrets from the set.

‘Zorro’ inspired Salkind to produce ‘Superman’

“I was walking in Paris and there was a movie about Zorro,” he explained. “And that gave me the idea to do a comic-book movie. I had read Superman as a kid, but somehow that idea just came out.”

Actress Margot Kidder shown in a scene from the 1978 movie Superman with Christopher Reeve.

Actress Margot Kidder shown in a scene from the 1978 movie “Superman” with Christopher Reeve.
(Warner Bros.)

Ilya Salkind pushed for a ‘Superman’ movie

Salkind had wrapped up working behind-the-scenes in 1974’s “The Four Musketeers” when he was brainstorming for ideas on a new film to work on alongside his father, film producer Alexander Salkind, over dinner. “I said out of the blue, ‘Why don’t we do Superman?’” Salkind recalled. “My father didn’t know at all what Superman was. I said, ‘He flies, he has powers.’ And he said, ‘Oh, that sounds interesting. Let me talk to my backers about the idea.'” The following day, Salkind’s father gave him the green light to make the film happen.

Sylvester Stallone wanted to become Clark Kent

While Salkind was impressed by Stallone’s performance in 1976’s “Rocky” during a screening before the film was premiered to the public, he just didn’t think the actor would work as the Man of Steel. “He wanted to do it,” said Salkind. “He absolutely wanted to do it. But he just wasn’t right for the part. ‘Hey yo, Louis!’ It wasn’t Superman.”

Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen attend the 15th Annual American Film Institute (AFI) Lifetime Achievement Award Salute to Barbara Stanwyck on April 9, 1987 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen attend the 15th Annual American Film Institute (AFI) Lifetime Achievement Award Salute to Barbara Stanwyck on April 9, 1987 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

Many stars were considered for Superman

Salkind revealed that DC Comics, which owns the rights to Superman and approved a film adaptation, also had a wish list of actors they approved for the leading role. “They had people like Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman who were approved, but they were totally wrong for the role,” said Salkind. “Stallone was approved too by the way. Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood — they both turned it down. We also tested Bruce Jenner, but he was just not a good actor. He didn’t have any acting experience. So we didn’t take him.”

Christopher Reeve was an unknown

While Reeve is hailed today as a Hollywood legend, he was a relatively unknown actor looking for his first big break when he auditioned for the role. At this point, Salkind was looking for a newcomer and had even considered the dentist of his first wife, “Fantasy Island” star Skye Aubrey, who ultimately wasn’t a right fit. Reeve, who was a towering 6’4”, seemed promising for the superhero role, except he still had plenty of work to do. “He read the part of Superman and Clark Kent and it was fantastic,” said Salkind. “But he was very, very skinny. Too skinny. So we went on to test many others.”

Christopher Reeve posing for shot; circa 1970.

Christopher Reeve posing for shot; circa 1970.

Reeve made a major transformation

After numerous actors tried out for the role of Superman, Salkind still didn’t have his leading man. However, Reeve’s performance left a lasting impression on him, one he couldn’t deny. “We couldn’t find anybody,” said Salkind. “So I said, ‘Look, let’s have Reeve work out.’ So we flew him back to London and he did the test in costume. He was fantastic again. So we said, ‘Alright, but can you bulk up?’ He said yes and started to work out incredibly. English bodybuilder David Prowse, who physically portrayed Darth Vader in 1977’s “Star Wars,” was chosen to train Reeve, who began eating up to six meals a day. “He gained about 40 pounds of muscle,” said Salkind. “He totally changed.”

‘Superman’ had a completely different director

“We originally had Guy Hamilton, who did ‘Goldfinger,’” said Salkind. “He was in Rome, where we were filming at first, but he couldn’t stay because he had a tax problem. So he had to leave every week to Paris. After a few weeks, he was just too tired and couldn’t take it anymore. So then we took [director] Richard Donner.”

American actor Marlon Brando with British actress Susannah York. — Getty

American actor Marlon Brando with British actress Susannah York. — Getty

Marlon Brando was difficult — at first

Salkind was overjoyed when Brando, who was at the height of his career with 1972’s “The Godfather” and “Last Tango in Paris,” agreed to take on the role of Jor-El, Superman’s biological father. However, he didn’t make things easy for the film’s producers at first. “When we met him in Los Angeles to discuss his costume, he went on completely different topics about [Native Americans] and all kinds of things,” explained Salkind. “Then at that point, Brando said he should play Jor-El as a green suitcase. I almost had a heart attack.

“I thought that was it, this is the end, it’s over. This man is crazy and he’s going to destroy the movie. He went on and on about this green suitcase. Then it became the green bagel. And finally, he said, ‘What do you think?’ He was really testing Donner to see if he would go along with it. But of course, Donner said no. Donner said, ‘Everyone knows Marlon Brando and that’s the person everyone wants to see.’ Brandon said, ‘You may be right.’ And from there he was absolutely perfect.”

Leslie Ann Warren and Stockard Channing tried out for Lois Lane

When it came to finding an actress who could embody brunette beauty and scrappy reporter Lois Lane, Salkind said Leslie Ann Warren was originally considered for the part, and that she was tested at the same time as Stockard Channing. While Warren seemed like a possibility, Channing was not. “We thought Channing looked too much like the mother of Superman,” said Salkind. However, a clumsy actress named Margot Kidder auditioned for the role and Salkind was quickly moved. “She was absolutely fantastic,” said Salkind. “She created her own Lois Lane. There’s no question that it would have been very hard to get a better Lois Lane.”

Margot Kidder

Margot Kidder

Making Superman fly was a whole new challenge

Salkind and his crew were determined to make Reeve’s flying scenes, which were crucial to the film’s success, as lifelike as possible. Reeve and Kidder were supported by a harness, but it delivered a whole new set of problems. “Reeve was very disciplined,” said Salkind. “He was on it for hours and hours. Kidder hated it. She didn’t like to be in the harness at all. She thought it was uncomfortable and just wasn’t into the height situation.” Salkind added that back then, computer-generated imagery (CGI) wasn’t available, so they also relied on wires and trampolines. The cast even had to leave Rome and film in London, where Salkind found “the best technicians” to help him make Superman fly. “Funny enough, the movie got an Oscar for special effects,” he said.

Reeve remained grateful

Salkind said Reeve was not only completely dedicated to the role of Superman, but he was willing to do whatever it took to make the film a success. “He was always on time,” he said. “He would do retakes as many times as he had to. When the film was announced, there was a lot of press. But he remained very confident about his performance. He did whatever it took to promote the film. He was very nice to the press and never refused an interview.”

Christopher Reeve in Superman.

Christopher Reeve in “Superman.”

The cast stayed in touch

Salkind said he stayed in touch with the cast even after “Superman” premiered in 1978. “I last saw Margot Kidder in a few conventions a couple of years ago,” he said. “She was very sweet. Brando and I actually did another film together, [1992’s] “Christopher Columbus: The Discovery.” Reeve and I were very, very close. Usually, producers and actors have a working relationship, but it’s pretty rare for it to stay friendly. But he and I were very good friends. I was devastated when he [later] had his accident.”

Salkind isn’t impressed by today’s Superman

British actor Henry Cavill stirred headlines for recently becoming the new Superman, but Salkind just isn’t impressed by his rendition. “‘Superman Returns’ — that was pretty average,” he said. “I thought it was wrong because it was trying to be too much like Batman. He killed and did things Superman does not do. Superman never kills.”

From: https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/superman-producer-ilya-salkind-reveals-secrets-from-the-set

The Comic Source Podcast Episode 617 – Superman Sunday: Action Comics #1005

In this episode we discuss;

The Comic Source Podcast

Episode 617

Superman Sunday: Action Comics #1005

Jace and Adam talk about the big reveal of the identity of the Red Cloud, plus tons of developments in the latest issue of Action Comics

The Comic Source Podcast Episode 617 – Superman Sunday: Action Comics #1005

Action Comics #1005

Writer – Brian Michael Bendis, Artist – Ryan Sook, Colorist – Brad Anderson, Letterer – Josh Reed

From: https://lrmonline.com/news/episode-617/

DC Comics Universe & Doomsday Clock #8 Spoilers: Whose Side Is Superman On In The Metahuman Arms Race?

DC Comics Universe and Doomsday Clock #8 Spoilers follows.

Whose Side Is Superman On In The Metahuman Arms Race?

Well, Doomsday Clock #8 leaked earlier. Word circling the internet is that someone in Russia was able to purchase a digital copy. We haven’t spoiled the main plotline developments and revelations prior to the book’s official release on December 5, 2018. However, we have been revealing some interesting Easter Eggs and/or moments that whet your appetite for the book.

Well, that being said, following the first revelation concerning Justice Society of America / JSA Rebirth in this book (spoilers here), plus the interesting Black Adam of Shazam lore appearance (spoilers here), the Firestorm revelations (spoilers here), an interesting Batman / Superman moment (spoilers here) and the revelation on when in 2019 this issue takes place (spoilers here), readers also learn how the world leaders see Superman.

Superman is not a puppet of the United States of America, but a world representative. So says, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Tags: , , ,

From: https://insidepulse.com/2018/12/03/dc-comics-universe-doomsday-clock-8-spoilers-whose-side-is-superman-on-in-the-metahuman-arms-race/

The Comic Source Podcast Episode 617 – Superman Sunday: Action Comics #1005v

In this episode we discuss;

The Comic Source Podcast

Episode 617

Superman Sunday: Action Comics #1005

Jace and Adam talk about the big reveal of the identity of the Red Cloud, plus tons of developments in the latest issue of Action Comics

The Comic Source Podcast Episode 617 – Superman Sunday: Action Comics #1005

Action Comics #1005

Writer – Brian Michael Bendis, Artist – Ryan Sook, Colorist – Brad Anderson, Letterer – Josh Reed

From: https://lrmonline.com/news/the-comic-source-podcast-episode-617-superman-sunday-action-comics-1005v/

‘Man of Steel 2’ and ‘The Flash’ Movies "Lose Momentum" at Warner Bros.

While Warner Bros. is moving forward with their plans for multiple DC Comics-based movies, it looks like some popular superheroes are being placed on the back burner.

According to a new report from Deadline, Warner Bros. is actively discussing future films featuring characters like Supergirl, Batgirl, and possibly even Zatanna. Unfortunately, that means movies like the long-awaited sequel to Man of Steel and the solo film for Ezra Miller’s the Flash have “lost momentum.”

Of course, this does not mean that these movies will never come to fruition, but recent complications and Warner Bros. reluctance to follow up Zach Snyder and Joss Whedon’s box office flop Justice League have made those projects less likely.

Ezra Miller is currently committed to filming the third film in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which is also a Warner Bros. production. That means he won’t be able to work on the Flash solo film for quite some time, possibly pushing a start date back until late 2019 or early 2020.

That said, the actor is confident that he’s going to reprise his role as the Fastest Man Alive, according to a recent interview with Playboy.

“Nothing is ever certain in this world, but as certain as things get, we’re making a f-cking crazy-dope Flash movie,” Miller said. “It’s one of my great life dreams, and just the fact that we’re on the way—anyone who knows about Barry Allen knows he may arrive late, very late, but once he gets there, it’s all solved. We have to trust.”

On the other side of the aisle, a Superman movie with Henry Cavill returning seems much less likely. After reports came out that Warner Bros. and Cavill were unable to come to terms for a Superman cameo in the Shazam! movie, Cavill took the role of Geralt of Rivia in Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher.


Amid all of the news reports, Cavill posted a cryptic video of himself posing with a Superman action figure bringing it in and out of frame slowly. Fans have tried to decipher what it meant to no avail, but it was followed by another report from Variety that Warner Bros. was moving on.

While The Flash and Superman movies might be a long ways off, they are two of DC Comics most popular characters in their long-running publishing history. We definitely haven’t seen the last of these two heroes on the big screen — we just have to be patient.

From: https://comicbook.com/dc/2018/12/01/superman-man-of-steel-2-the-flash-movies-lose-momentum/

Action Comics No. 1005 review: Superman the journalist

With a crime syndicate hiding right under his nose, what exactly can Superman do about it? Luckily, Clark Kent can help with the investigation in only a way that a reporter can, interviewing people. Minor spoilers for Action Comics no. 1005 follow.

One of the things that I’ve loved the most about Action Comics since Brian Michael Bendis took over both it and Superman is the vast differentiation between the two books. They tell two vastly different stories and have very different focuses. Action Comics has been much more character driven around Clark Kent and mystery driven rather than the bombastic action that encompasses Superman and that continues here as well. This is a slow-burn mystery story so far and its all the better for it.

What Bendis has done well since his tenure on Superman began is the focus on Clark Kent. Many creators focus much more on Superman than they do his alter ego, which often creates a very one-sided story in the way that action and character are handled. In Bendis case though, by writing by books he can do both single-handedly and he does it well. And his handling of Clark in this issue continues to be great.

As someone who has never really been the biggest Superman fan, Bendis’ writing of the character brings something more to the table. There’s a humanity that other characters always say that Superman has, but writers rarely tend to show. Bendis shows all of that by focusing on the Clark side. You see him joking around with other people, being a journalist, and even not going after someone he needs to talk because they’re drunk and curled up into the fetal position. It’s the humanity and kindness that everyone says that Superman has shown through Clark, which makes more a great read.

Image by DC Comics/Art by Ryan Sook

Adding onto the dichotomy of that though is Bendis bringing The Question back into the fold. He’s on the same case as Superman, but what exactly will his role be as the story continues. I don’t know and I don’t really care. I’m a big fan of The Question just because of the 52 series and Renee Montoya’s tenure as the character, so it’s nice to see him back in the fold and used so well.

Speaking of The Question though, it’s during the first couple pages of the issue where the art by Ryan Sook shines the brightest. Sook nails the brutality and ferocity that The Question has when fighting, but also the mystery that is the character based around the framing and lighting of the scene. Sook also makes him look very Rorschach-like, which is ironic because Rorschach was originally supposed to The Question in Watchmen, and I guess now the circle is closed.

Sook does a great job with Clark in this issue as well. There’s a very Gary Frank look to the way that Sook draws Clark, albeit smoother than Frank does. As mentioned up above that this issue humanizes Clark, it definitely helps that the art is as expressive as it is. And Sook’s Superman feels powerful as well, whether he be standing or flying, there’s a power that he exudes.


Action Comics delivers another solid issue that brings in several more wrinkles into the mystery that will seemingly be the crux of decent portion of Brian Michael Bendis’ run.

From: https://bamsmackpow.com/2018/11/29/action-comics-no-1005-review/

Brian Michael Bendis on a New Superman Villain, The Question …

This interview contains major spoilers for Action Comics #1005.

It’s been a minute since Brian Michael Bendis has taken over the writing chores of Superman and Action Comics, and since then, the famed scribe has rebuilt Superman’s supporting cast, redefined the underworld of Metropolis, and found shocking directions for Superman and his extended family. Well, Action Comics #1005 by Bendis and artist Ryan Sook really turns up the volume. Not only does the issue contain a shocking revelation on the new Superman rogue Red Cloud, it also features the Question and the return of crazy silver age superhero concept, Dial H for Hero!

There’s a lot to unpack about this issue, so we thought we’d let Brian Michael Bendis do it for you! Again, spoilers a-comin’ so go read Action Comics #1005 first!

At the end of the issue, we learn that the deadly Red Cloud is actually one of Clark Kent’s fellow Daily Planet reporters! We’ll let you discover which one, but suffice to say, Superman will now have to face a foe like no other, a reporter gone bad. With that in mind, take it away, Mister Bendis…

Den of Geek: We’re here for Action Comics #1005, which just sounds odd.

Brian Michael Bendis: It’s always weird. I’m writing Action #1010 right now, and it’s very strange to type that number.

Whoa, that revelation! Talk about the creation of Red Cloud.

This is all spoilers, I don’t know how to talk about this without spoiling. I was doing research on United States of Murder Inc., which is a lot of mob stuff. Decades ago, a mobster got a job at a newspaper specifically to keep an eye on what they know about the Family. That idea just stuck out to me. It could be used for someone at The Daily Planet. They can do what Clark does but for their own purposes. It was just so exciting.

It really reflected how bad at hiring Perry White is (laughs).

Even J. Jonah Jameson never went that far, and he hired Eddie Brock.

Look who Perry hired. Even Clark, Clark is terrible.

Steve Lombard! They’re all terrible!

Oh my goodness, Steve Lombard! He’s an HR nightmare.

But this idea, that someone would use the Planet the way Clark does…someone really getting a job there that was immoral and making a life out of it was really intriguing.

There have been immoral people at the Daily Planet, but not a straight up super villain.

Yeah, someone who is flat out evil and never know they’re doing the same thing Superman does.

It’s almost like a pseudo-Bizarro Clark Kent.

Yeah, in a way that hasn’t been done. Bizarro has shown up at the Planet.

Yeah, that was the beginning of Fake News. Let’s move to Dial H for Hero. I assume the inclusion of the Dial will lead into Sam Humphries and Joe Quinones’ Dial H for Hero Wonder Comics title.

Absolutely. It was the idea to craft them together for Wonder Comics. Action Comics #1005 is a nice introduction for what the Dial is for people who don’t know. It’s one of the best ideas of comics and this allowed us to introduce it into continuity and let people who kind of want to know that, yes, Wonder Comics are in continuity. I have people very worried or concerned if Wonder Comics will be in continuity. They are. This is just another hint that they are.

further reading: Grant Morrison’s Return to the DC Universe

Well, you made it clear that Wonder Comics are in continuity. I don’t know where that perception comes from.

You know what? It’s one of three subjects that come up where that’s going to happen. People need to hear it. It’s okay.

Will the Dial story continue in Action or in the new book?

It’s a transition but it’s also an introduction. There will be more H Dial in Action, but this was really the introduction of the Question into the storyline which will build and build and build. It’s an extended cameo, but the Question’s presence will build into a big thing we’re going to do next summer. I’m excited about the Question because, wow! People really wanted me on the Question and it’s rare I give people what they actually want. I was excited to do it. I’m rarely on the exact same page as people. When it was first announced I was coming to DC, literally, the Question was the most requested character.

Yeah, when you took your place at DC, me and a bunch of Den of Geekers were talking about what books we would love to see you on. To a person, everyone said Question.

I was immensely flattered by that. I hold the character and his creators in the highest regard, including my dearest Greg Rucka. So, what we’re doing is, this is the introduction and we’ll slowly find out what the Question has found out about what Clark doesn’t know.

So, what’s the Bendis Question connection? To your old time fans it’s obvious, but why is the marriage of you and the Question such a thing?

I think the Question fits into the same realm as Jessica Jones, the midlevel detective that can go to the highest heights or the lowest lows. Which I’m flattered by. Also, what will I do with all those non-facial expressions?

That’s for your artist to decide.

That’s right, and may I say? It’s funny, I so rarely do this. When Ryan handed in the pencils of the Question, I posted it online immediately. It was one of those joyous moments. I always wanted to write Action Comics, and to have a scene with Dial H and the Question in it, it was the most Action Comics DC scene I could ever write in a million years. Then Ryan handed in that artwork, and it was so gorgeous and I’ve loved Ryan my whole life and here we are making comics together. It’s the best feeling. That page of the Question made me so happy. It was also the final proof that this move to DC was such a good idea.

Did you pee a little when it was confirmed that Ryan Sook was going to draw the Question for you?

Yeah, I have an even more complicated answer. Ryan signed on to do these issues of Action. Next issue, I said could you draw Clark looking through the entire building of The Daily Planet in perspective, every corner of the Daily Planet and show every story that’s going on? And he did it!

You’re trying to kill the man!

It’s amazing. What’s really exciting is that after this run on Action, Ryan and I are headed off to the biggest project either of us has ever tried.

And you’re going to break that news right now on Den of Geek, right?

Yes, it’s Sugar and Spike! (laughs)

God bless you. Dial H for Hero has always been one of those awesome fringe properties. China Mieville had a fun take a few years ago. Will Pfeifer did H.E.R.O. in 2003. Why do creators go back to this concept again and again?

It’s a phenomenal concept. It’s like the genie’s magic lamp. You rub the lamp and it grants your wish. But it’s so specific to our genre. Anyone in comics would be like, “Yeah, I’d like super powers for one hour.” It also feels like you can have all the fun with none of the responsibility.

I think you just hit a tag line for the new book.

Yeah, it’s like I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, right? But honestly, it’s one of the first things that came out of my mouth when I started this run. I really believe Dial H is one of the best ideas in comics. The retro angle of the dial phone is back in vogue again. Sam and Joe were perfect casting.

further reading: Brian Michael Bendis and the Future of Jinxworld at DC

Tell us what you know about Sam Humphries’ coming series? He’s killing it on Harley Quinn these days. What conversations did you have with Sam about Dial H for Hero?

Well, Sam and I, the minute we started working together at Marvel on Guardians of the Galaxy, we did the Black Vortex together, we really enjoyed each other’s company. But my favorite Sam is Black Bird Sam (Note: Black Bird is Sam Humphries’ Image Comics project. Go buy it. It’s good.). For people who read Black Bird, you can see Sam is in a really special place lately. I approached him with this and asked, “Can I for some of that very special Sam Humphries magic in Dial H?” And it’s great, because it’s an idea Sam never wrapped his head around; he never thought about it. So, he really took the assignment and really made it his own. He and Joe are just amazing casting. I worked with Joe, I know what Joe is capable of, and Dial H is exactly what he should be doing.

Hey, DC has this new platform and there’s the CW. Dial H would make for a great episodic weekly TV series, wouldn’t it? Hint, hint.

I think that’s a great idea that we should make viral. Let’s get that out in the world.

Talk about rebuilding the Metropolis underworld.

Yeah, people get focused on Superman’s level of power; they could miss ways in which to deal with him. This invisible Mafia is based on some real research and real behaviors the Mafia has had. You know the Mafia, the original Mafia, was a secret. People didn’t know about them for years. Until an informant walked off the street and told the FBI that there’s a Mafia. That’s how it was found out. Historically, this secret can go for a while. Here you have the people that are thriving around Superman’s life. And in a few issues we’re going to find out who is running the Metropolis mafia.

further reading: Brian Michael Bendis on Hope and the Man of Steel

Getting into the Kirby of it all with the Metropolis Mob stuff, I love how this issue feels like an old George Reeves Adventures of Superman episode with Clark Kent, intrepid Reporter front and center. That so feels like it’s in your wheelhouse. Talk about the appeal of reporter Clark.

Aww, thank you! We’ve talked earlier, we’ve been zeroing in on the idea that a lot of things Clark’s life that have been thrust upon him, the idea of responsibilities that the world gave you. For him, they were big. You are being sent to Earth and you’re going to be Superman. But what Clark decided to do with his life is be Clark Kent. He didn’t need a job. He didn’t need to be a reporter. He looked around the world and said, “What can I do for myself?” and the he said, “I’m going to be Lois Lane.” So, the Invisible Mafia, the entire focus of Action Comics is that hitting is not the answer. Clark is the answer.

Yeah, he really is that super tough reporter. Not the Christopher Reeve reporter, the George Reeves reporter.

Yeah, we’re going to see in the next storyline that he’s going to go undercover. We’re going to see Clark be Clark.

So we did Dial H and we did the Question…

Will there be more Wonder Comics teases in Action Comics? Yes!

I live to see the Wonder Twins! Are we going to see more Bendis Question? And are there any other left of center DC properties you are dying to get your hands on?

Well, you’re going to see me write a lot of the Question, not necessarily in a solo book, but a surprising amount, so I’ll meet you halfway on that. At the moment I’m curating Young Justice which involves Amethyst and Gemworld, Dial H for Hero, Naomi, which involves her entire secret which is enormous, and the Wonder Twins. If you include everything that’s going on in Young Justice – which is Conner and, Cassie – we have eleven fandoms being curated in one imprint at one time. And that’s just what we’re starting with. It’s a lot. I’ll focus on these. Gemworld is enormous. It’s Lord of the Rings enormous.

further reading: Dan Abnett on the end of an Aquaman era

Should I hold my breath for El Dorado and Apache Chief?

I’m hearing a lot of Apache Chief noise on Twitter lately. I’m not exactly sure. Because of Wonder Comics and Wonder Twins I’m seeing a lot of people asking for Apache Chief. I got like thirty Apache Chief tweets.

Have you goggled how to spell “inuk chuk?”

That’s the beauty of me. I never google how to spell anything.

What appeals to you about the character of the Question?

He’s one of those characters like Daredevil who’s always been handled by an exceptional creator. There’s never been anyone who has sucked at writing the Question. He’s always drawn great. Denys Cowan, that’s my jam. I’ve always loved pulp crime comics, so there you go. I’m such good friends with Greg Rucka, and him standing over me while I’m doing this is a little daunting.

Red Cloud is revealed, so tease what’s next for Superman and this new villain.

That’s the cool thing. This is what I’m most excited about. It’s a rare opportunity for a villain, every issue of every comic a villain jumps a hero and isn’t successful. Someone jumps Batman every seven pages and Batman beats the shit out of him. This villain jumps Superman and shockingly was successful. That changes everything. She tried it, and now that changes her place in the DC Universe.

I’m guessing Red Cloud is from Gemworld.

Ha, no. But I will tell you there’s a connection between Gemworld technology and Kryptonian technology. They are both crystal based. There’s a little Wonder Comics tease. There you go.

Let’s finish with a tease on what’s coming in Superman and Action.

People can already see on the cover of the next issue of Superman that Jonathan Kent is coming back and he’s been aged up and been through a lot. People are already assuming the worst for me, that we’re turning Jon into a murderous Superboy. But that story we’re going to tell, I’m happy to say, is much more labored and about the characters and the family. We’re going to see what the secret between Jon and his grandfather is. I’ll give you two words: Crime Syndicate. It’s all these pieces, Zod and the Phantom Zone, it’s all these piece that come together in the Unity Saga which is going to bring into the DC Universe something we didn’t have before in modern day.

You get yelled at for things you don’t do. I can’t recall you ever turning any character bad.

It’s funny. I think it’s me personally. Then you realize it’s all of us. When I was at Marvel and Geoff Johns was at DC, I said to Geoff, “You don’t get hit as hard as I do.” And he went, “What! Go look at the DC message boards.” It was funny, I was happy I did, he was clobbered. People are worried because they love Jon. When a character is beloved, and they see him on the cover with fire coming out of his eyes, they’re not wrong to be worried. But I can tell you that what’s going to happen to him is much more nuanced than people might think. And I love these characters. I’m not in the business to destroy their ideals. I want to explore them and challenge them and look to ourselves when we think about them. That’s what it’s about.

Action Comics #1005 is on sale today!

Marc Buxton is an English teacher/private tutor by day and a former comic retailer who reads way too many comics, often choosing his Wednesday haul over groceries. Read more of his work here.

From: https://www.denofgeek.com/us/books/superman/277885/brian-michael-bendis-new-superman-villain-the-question-dial-h-for-hero

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