The Best Comic Books This Week: Captain America, Batman, Lex Luthor and More!

In a tight economy, it’s not always clear what you should spend your hard-earned money on, and with comic books getting more and more expensive, your dollar doesn’t go as far at the comic shop as it did in the past. We here at Complex feel your pain, so we compile a weekly list of books that are truly worth your money. Here’s a rundown of the best comics coming out on March 30, 2011.

Action Comics #899

What it’s about: As DC’s oldest title currently available, Action Comics has been printed monthly (and sometimes weekly) since FDR was in office. Most famous for introducing the world to Superman, the book has been chronicling his exploits for decades and has proven to be the most important comic book on shelves.

While the quality often dips and it sometimes feels like an afterthought rather than a necessity, Action Comics has recently received a much needed facelift in the form of writer Paul Cornell. Focusing his book on Superman’s arch nemesis Lex Luthor rather than on Supe himself, Cornell has crafted a villain that isn’t just a novelty act.

What to expect this month: Look at the issue number. Action Comics is about to become the first DC Comic to ever hit issue 900, so Paul Cornell will be pulling out all the stops in order to deliver one of the most memorable stories seen in a Superman release in years. While Lex Luthor is still on the hunt for the Black Lantern energy, he’ll also have to stop Brainiac from finding it first. While these two characters have a long and violent history together, this may be their most intense showdown yet.

Detective Comics #875

What it’s about: What Action Comics is to Superman, Detective Comics is to the Dark Knight. This is the comic where he made his debut in 1939, as well as the book from which DC Comics’ name eventually derived. In fact, Detective Comics is an older book than Action Comics and would be ahead of it in numbering if not for the fact that Action Comics went to a weekly schedule back in the 80’s.

For decades Detective Comics has been the place to go for intimate mysteries that are off the beaten path for the Caped Crusader. While never as bombastic or super heroic as Batman or Batman Incorporated, Scott Snyder has made Detective Comics the most atmospheric and sophisticated Bat book on shelves.

What to expect this month: Dick Grayson faces off against the newest organized crime faction in Gotham, while Commissioner Gordon still tries to figure out the mystery surrounding his son’s return into his life.  Snyder has done a great job serializing all of these story arcs together to make every issue feel interconnected rather than random separate tales.

But while every issue is dependant on what has come before it, Snyder has also made it easy for new readers to jump into the middle of a tale without feeling lost. And with the beginning of this new Hungry City story, this is a great place to start picking up Detective Comics.

Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #8

What it’s about: Designed to give the Green Lantern Corps and their universe more exposure before the movie comes out, Green Lantern Emerald Warriors stars the loveable curmudgeon of the GL universe, Guy Gardner. Written by former Green Lantern Corps scribe Peter Tomasi, this book’s inclusion of Gardner gives every issue a sardonic edge that’s lacking in the other Lantern books.

What to expect this month: This installment continues the War of the Green Lanterns as Hal Jordan squares off with Guy Gardner. With this crossover spreading across all three Green Lantern titles, DC is attempting to get fans hooked on the different styles and tones found in all of the books. And while it may seem like a lot to ask of fans to pick up all three books, this story has been brewing for so long and has so much talent behind it that it will be more than worth it in the end.

And the fact that this issue marks yet another fight that Gardner has had with a popular hero is reason enough to give this a look. Hopefully the throwdown will last longer than the fight that he had with Batman that ended in one panel with one punch. 

Captain America #616

What it’s about: As one of the best books Marvel has right now, and perhaps one of the best superhero runs in the past 10 years, Ed Brubaker’s time on Captain America has revitalized the character and successfully brought him back to the iconic status he deserves.
Brubaker has even managed to keep the book just as engaging even with Steve Rogers not being the man behind the mask.

What to expect this month: This month marks the 70th anniversary of Captain America’s debut and Marvel is celebrating this occasion with a 104-page special filled with untold stories and revelations that’ll have instant ramifications on the Cap’s future.
With the Trial of Captain America behind him, Steve Rogers must figure out what the future holds for his costumed alter-ego.

With a blockbuster movie (Captain America: The First Avenger) on the horizon, it’s pretty obvious that Rogers will be donning the shield again sooner rather than later. But, aside from that, this issue is still a must have for all of the patriotic hero’s fans.
And at only $4.99 with a boatload of special features and side stories, Captain America is probably the best value on shelves this week.

Captain America – The Legacy Of Captain America ( Collects: CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1, WHAT IF? #4, CAPTAIN AMERICA #155 and #333, CAPTAIN AMERICA Vol. 5 #34. And material from Captain America #178-183)

What it’s about: While Steve Rogers is easily the most famous patriot to ever take on the mantle of Captain America, there have been periods where a replacement Cap was necessary. Whether it was the time when Rogers temporarily gave up the shield after growing disillusioned with the U.S. government or the time he briefly died, there has always been a Cap no matter what.

The Legacy of Captain America collects these classic stories and examines the other men behind the mask. While featuring the most important replacement Caps, such as Johnny Walker and Bucky Barnes, this book also reprints the character’s debut in Captain America Comics #1. It’s a great book to pick up if you’re interested in the American hero’s long history, or if you just want a companion piece to the current Cap stories.

Punisher: Welcome Back Frank

– New Printing (Collects: Punisher #1-12)

What it’s about: Garth Ennis is a sick bastard, and if you ever needed more proof of that then look no further than Welcome Back Frank. This is easily the most violent, repulsive, and perverse Punisher book to ever see print. Armed with dark humor and blood-splattered art, Ennis writes the Punisher as a grim straight man in an otherwise over-the-top, cartoony world.

Between suffocating a mountainous Russian assassin using his obese neighbor’s gut, rumbling with a quadruple amputee, and punching a polar bear right in the chops, Welcome Back Frank is a stark departure from Ennis’ later, and much more serious, Punisher work.

This is a seminal take on the character, not to mention a must have for any fan of the Punisher. Don’t let Ennis’ tongue-in-cheek writing or Steve Dillon’s clean art fool you; Welcome Back Frank is just as violent and sadistic as the character has ever been. 

Tags: captain-america, green-lantern, batman, marvel, dc, punisher


Superman: from comic book hero to silver screen star

In 1978 Richard Donner directed the movie “Superman,” starring
Christopher Reeve, which led to three sequels over the next nine years.

In a popular 1990s television series “Lois Clark: the New
Adventures of Superman,” the superhero was played by Dean Cain, with
Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane.

Then, in 2006, “Superman Returns” directed by Bryan Singer and
starring Brandon Routh, was well received by critics and audiences.

It made $390 million (£240 million) opening the way for further films.


Zack Snyder: DC Comics not involved on Superman: The Man Of Steel (2012) – Cosmic Book News

picIn another interview for Sucker Punch, Zack Snyder, spoke on Superman with

The director on both of the above has previously been adamant that this take on Superman will be his own and a different direction than the Donner classics.

Interestingly enough, when asked about getting input from DC Comics who publish numerous Superman graphic novels and comics, Snyder said they really weren’t involved.

Q: Are you working with DC or is it all you, Nolan and Goyer?

ZS: It’s all me, Nolan and Goyer. I mean, I meet with the DC guys but they don’t really [get involved.] It’s all us figuring it out.

Why do I find it interesting?


a) Snyder has previously said Superman should “kick ass” and …

b) DC Comics recently had J. Michael Straczynski write the main Superman comic book – only to leave – and “ground” Superman. Fans have been in an uproar because Superman feels as if he needs to connect to the common man and is literally walking from city to city saving cats from trees and things of that nature. You can check out my review of the last issue where Superman sits down with the Flash over a piece of cherry pie and talks about Kryptonian theology and ethics – yeah it was terrible!

While, I can’t state if Snyder follows the comics, I for one, am glad DC isn’t involved after giving JMS the green light. Could also be Snyder has heard how bad the Green Lantern movie is – and DC was involved with that.

Or could just be Snyder wants this to be his direction and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.

Screen Junkie also asked about there being no Lois (maybe they snuck that in) with Snyder questioning that.

Q: And there’s no Lois in this version. Is that the reason to do it, to strip away the things we know?

ZS: Oh, there’s no Lois Lane? I didn’t know that. I don’t know what that means.

Stay tuned to Cosmic Book News as more on Superman develops.

Superman flies into theaters December 2012 directed by Zack Snyder starring, Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel, Diane Lane as Martha “Ma” Kent and Kevin Costern as Jonathan “Pa” Kent.

Be sure to check out the Cosmic Book News Superman Movie Hub for even more news and information.


Batman vs. Superman ‘Dark Knight Returns’ Style in New ‘The Brave and the Bold …

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Superman’s an incredible opportunity: Snyder

India knock out Aus


Zack Snyder: ‘Superman franchise is broken’

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Zack Snyder Calls Superman ‘Broken,’ Disses ‘Thor’

It seems Superman is a difficult character for creators to grasp, both in the world of comics and film. Hence the reason Bryan Singer made Superman Returns – it was so much easier to basically remake Richard Donner’s Superman (this time with Baby Superman!) than to branch out into uncharted cinematic territory.

Over the weekend, director Zack Snyder talked to our very own Roth Cornet about his approach to Superman: Man of Steel, a film he’s calling “the most realistic” he’s ever made – which isn’t saying much when you look at his filmography. Yesterday, Snyder talked to Hollywood Outbreak and referred to Superman as a broken concept, while managing to diss Marvel’s Thor in the process.

It should be noted that when Zack Snyder said, “Superman is broken and I think it needs to be fixed,” his wife and producing partner, Deborah Snyder, interjected with, “From a movie standpoint.” At which point Snyder repeated, “From a movie standpoint.” So Snyder isn’t calling the Superman of the comic books broken, even though many a comic book fan would have no problem saying just that.

Snyder continued to discuss Superman’s movie problem, going so far as to mock Thor by comparison:

“[Superman] is the freaking […] biggest superhero on the planet. He’s the father of every superhero. [Deborah and I] were just talking about this – I’m like, really? Thor? Thor has a movie? [Laughter.] Really? I mean, come on. And there’s no Superman movie? This is, like, the world’s out of balance. It’s like, we’ve lost our minds here, people, come on.”

Listen, there’s no doubt that, cinematically-speaking, Superman has a massive problem. The fact that there hasn’t been a truly successful Superman film since 1980 is both astounding and sad. That said, there’s no reason in the world to denigrate the Marvel version of Thor, who was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and perhaps the greatest comics creator of all time, Jack Kirby. Hell, at least Superman has had quality representation in film – twice over. The last time Thor was seen in a movie theater was The Adventures of Babysitting.

Superman Versus Thor in JLA Avengers Crossover

Zack Snyder also discussed the meeting he had with producers Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas before he took the directing job:

“When [Christopher and Emma] asked Deborah and I out to lunch [to tell us] what they wanted to do with [Man of Steel] – I’ve got to say, [beforehand] I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can [do Superman]. [Afterward], I was like, ‘This is right.’ […] I didn’t need to hear that much before I went, ‘Okay, that’s right, that’s the right way to do it.’ […] I’m a fan of the character. I want him to be awesome.”

Check out the full audio recording at Hollywood Outbreak.

While I agree with Zack Snyder that every Superman film since 1980 has been insignificant or just plain bad, I’m not sure the way toward creating the best possible Superman film is realism. After all, the best iteration of Superman in the past twenty years was Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman, which was all kinds of strange, ridiculous, and about as far away from realism as a story can get. In the end, realistic or not, Man of Steel’s quality will be determined not by its style, but by – well, everything else.

Superman: Man of Steel hits theaters December 2012.

Source: Hollywood Outbreak

Superman art by Alex Ross and George Perez

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American comic characters come to life at Chicago convention

by Jing Zhao Cesarone

CHICAGO, March 19 (Xinhua) — Stepping into Chicago’s McCormick Place on Friday is like diving head-first into a fantasyland, where America’s favorite superheroes like Spider-man and Superman are guests of honor. Comic fans can be kids again at the annual pop culture convention.

After much anticipation, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) kicked off Friday and continues through Sunday at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago.

The worlds of comics and film, collectibles and games combined into the biggest pop culture gala to hit the shores of Lake Michigan, bringing the heartbeat of American pop culture to the core of America’s heartland.

The expo connects comic and pop culture aficionados, media and industry professionals with the newest and most exciting products, personalities and characters in the world of pop culture and entertainment.

Besides a bevy of booths for the top names in publishing, some event highlights include celebrity guest appearances and new 2011 releases such as “Thor.”

Many accomplished high profile writers, artists, and creators including Brian Michael Bendis, China Mieville, Paul Cornell and Scott Snyder join or have plans to join the show.

Bendis was an obvious center of attention at the increasingly crowded booth of Marvel, a well-known American comic publisher. Wearing a big smile and in high spirits, he signed autographs and shook hands with his fans, saying “Thank you very much!”

Bryan Loltz, a graduate student and hard core comic fan, could hardly contain his excitement at meeting Bendis and getting his autograph. Enthusiastically showing his growing collection of comics and an iPhone photo of his room full of comic posters, Loltz said “I am just so excited to be here! It is unbelievable.”

Loltz’s friend Dan Latham, an actor who appeared in multiple hits such as “The Dark Knight,” was in the middle of a long line wrapping around the Marvel booth.

“We are waiting for autographs from Michael Bendis, one of the best writers in the field. He is my favorite Spider-man writer. I have loved Spider-man since I was a kid because he is just a regular guy trying to do good things, and one of the most relatable superheroes,” he told Xinhua.

“They (The comic companies) almost have everything here, like movie screenings, comics, gaming, and celebrities.”

Walking around the expo, one cannot help but feel overwhelmed by the variety of characters and personalities dressed in shining, brightly-colored costumes.

A couple of characters from X-Men: Ages of Apocalypse told Xinhua that “Every five feet we walk, we get stopped by people to talk and take pictures with us.”