Top Comics to Buy This Week: September 8, 2016

With dozens of comic books to choose from, let us show you which are the best coming out this week. Take a look at our list spotlighting our favorite comics that we know are money-well-spent and new books that look cool and are backed by some top-tier talent.

Check out our picks, then head to the comments to let us know what you’ll be buying this week!

STL016904

By writer Dan Abnett artists Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy | DC Comics

Writer Dan Abnett’s approach to Aquaman has been exciting and unpredictable. While he is giving us the traditional version of the character with all of the modern elements you’d expect to see — the orange and green costume, his trusty trident, Mera, Black Manta, tension between Atlantis/land folk — he’s also pushing the character into new territory by changing his approach to overcoming his enemies.

But what happens when he isn’t facing a villain, but fellow Justice League member Superman? That’s what we’re eager to find out in the final issue of “The Drowning” story arc. It’s Aquaman vs. Superman, and we doubt shouting “Martha” will make Arthur let up on his attack.

Plus, artist Brad Walker continues to knock every issue out of the park, delivering exquisite superhero storytelling and leaving our jaws on the floor with inspiring, insta-classic images. Just check out this splash page from last issue:

aquaman amazing

Yeah, now you see what we mean.

STL016989

By writers Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason artists Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray | DC Comics

It gives us utmost nerd glee to proclaim that Superman’s solo series is one of the best comic books DC Comics is putting out right now. Superman is every bit the heroic inspiration we know him to be, plus the story features Lois and son Jon in equal measure, making for an action-packed, feel-good superhero story. With the Eradicator out to eliminate Jon for being half-human/half-Kryptonian, this arc has been an entertaining exploration of family, legacy, and what it means to be super.

STL017702

By writer Zachary Kaplan artist Giovanni Timpano | Image Comics

Once we finished reading the synopsis of this new indie comic, it gave us sci-fi goosebumps and we immediately added it to our pull-list. Take a look and just try to resist doing the same:

Imagine if sunlight burned you alive. In the near future, a mysterious solar event has transformed the sun’s light into deadly immolating rays. The world’s few survivors now live in nocturnal cities. But a killer emerges who uses sunlight to burn his victims, and when he targets the daughter of a solar power mogul, it falls to a disillusioned solar engineer to protect her.


Continues

From: http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/09/06/top-comics-to-buy-this-week-982016

Rare Superman comic sold at auction for close to $1 million

DALLAS, Aug. 6 (UPI) — A rare copy of Action Comics #1, which marked the first appearance of Superman, was sold at an auction Thursday for close to $1 million.

Heritage Auctions in Dallas sold the edition for $956,000 – which far surpassed the original estimate of $750,000.

The comic, which debuted in June 1938, originally sold for $.10 a copy. There are about 100 copies of the issue believed to still be in existence.

“As the bidding went higher and higher we were grateful bidders recognized this copy as the gem it truly is,” said Lon Allen, Managing Director of Comics Comic Art at Heritage Auctions. “Few copies of this comic survive, let alone come to auction with such a bright cover. It displays beautifully.”

The issue came from a private collection and was purchased from a dealer in 1998 for $26,000.

The Certified Guaranty Company graded the copy 5.5 out of 10.

From: http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2016/08/06/Rare-Superman-comic-sold-at-auction-for-close-to-1-million/5921470506910/

‘Batman v Superman’: Should Superman Be Relatable? | Hollywood …

Who is Superman?

That question is ultimately at the heart of much criticism towards this year’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the earlier Man of Steel; those two movies present a very specific take on DC Entertainment’s iconic hero, one that’s been described by those critical of the portrayal as being too dark. Unsurprisingly, Deborah Snyder — executive producer on both movies and wife of director Zack Snyder — doesn’t agree, but her reasoning might be more unexpected.

“He is more relatable,” she told Forbes when asked about fan response to actor Henry Cavill’s Superman. “Someone said, ‘It’s so dark,’ and I go, ‘Well, is it dark? He’s going through real problems that we go through as people every day.’ To me, that’s not dark, that’s life. We’re complicated people. And we’re making him in that way more relatable.”

Snyder continued: “People are complex, we’re not strictly just the good Boy Scout trying to do good. He does want to do good, and I think all of the things Superman represents are who he is, but he also stumbles along the way and learns from it. To me, that’s so much more interesting.”

As a long-term Superman fan — I have, I confess, been buying Superman comics on-and-off-but-mostly-on for 30 years this year; I was that kid lured in by rebooting the character in 1986 — I feel conflicted about what Snyder is saying here. On the one hand, she’s right: A conflicted, imperfect Superman is a more interesting character. That feels like a no-brainer to me; a perfect character generates no inner conflict, so, of course, it follows that a Superman who stumbles has more internal story potential. But then again … isn’t Superman going through “real problems” missing the point of Superman?

One of my favorite eras of Superman in the comic books is the late 1950s/early 1960s. In those days, Superman was intended to be a perfect character — despite harboring some very creepy attitudes towards pranking his friends to “teach them a lesson,” Lois Lane in particular — but it worked, because the story engine was built in such a way that the stories were never actually about Superman: “His” problems were all external, with the paternal Man of Steel spending each story helping others find the solution to their problems, some sense of closure or a transformative experience.

But even those problems (as close to “real” problems as the genre got at the time) were handled in a way that underscored the fantastical — and, ultimately, optimistic — nature of the genre itself. Financial problems or personal problems would be fixed with the assistance of aliens, or magical beings, or trips through time. And the problems, importantly, always had a fix; there were no explosions of courtrooms where Superman was on trial for endangering civilians, nor rampaging monsters who could only be stopped with Superman’s death. Everything had a solution, and everything ended happily ever after. These were modern fairy tales, more or less.
There’s something in the idea of Superman “going though real problems that we go through as people every day” that feels misguided to me, in light of this fairy tale past. Superman is, very purposefully, not a realistic character. For some reason, those who want to see him deal with realistic problems and self-doubt can accept that he’s an alien from another planet who can do impossible things, but find the idea that he can have a moral code stronger than regular people’s, or somehow finds a way to solve every problem and save everyone, too ridiculous for words. It’s a selective cognitive dissonance that is, at its heart, inexplicable: Why is one fantasy more believable than the other?

I actually really like Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, despite my fondness for a “perfect” Superman, in part because I can separate myself from “my” Superman to see the potential in the Snyder take. But I also see the events of those two movies as building towards a Superman I recognize as somewhat close to my own, however slowly it happens: one who believes that he can transcend everyday problems and inspire others in the process. If producers are hoping to keep Superman flawed throughout his entire movie career, I can imagine myself losing interest — after all, what kind of character learns nothing across however many movies he’ll appear in? — and wouldn’t be surprised if others find their own interest waning as well.

It’s a good thing to want to make Superman relatable, especially in his earliest appearances in the new movie universe, but he’s meant for better things ultimately. There’s a reason people know the phrase “Look, up in the sky!” after all — Superman is meant to be the superhero who we look up to, no matter what incarnation you’re used to. He’s relatable, not because he shares our problems, but because he’s the person we want to be, deep down.

Well, unless you’re Bruce Wayne, of course.

Follow Heat Vision on Facebook and Twitter for more from Superman.

From: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/batman-v-superman-should-superman-920665

Rare comic book containing Superman’s debut sells for almost $1 million

‘+

‘+__tnt.truncateStr(oAsset.title,85,’…’)+’

‘+

‘+

From: http://tucson.com/entertainment/rare-comic-book-containing-superman-s-debut-sells-for-almost/article_24fbabdb-b0e8-5bb6-8b85-fcd31001cbc8.html

Superman Rebirth #1 (Comic) Review

Superman is the godfather of all superheroes. He was the one who essentially started it all—his popularized escapades gave rise to the modern day superhero. Superman’s early successes paved the way for all the fictional worlds we enjoy today related to comics, whether on the page or on television and movie screens. With DC Comics new initiative, Superman needed to be cared for in just the right way. He’s a national treasure and must be treated as such.

So, did he get the Superman rebirth he deserved?

Surprisingly, yes. You’ll find out why it’s a surprise a little later, but first let’s crack open the initial few pages and see what this comic is all about.

Superman Rebirth #1 (Comic) Review 5Superman Rebirth #1 (Comic) Review 5Superman Rebirth #1 begins with Lana Lane trying to break into Superman’s tomb. In the final days of the New 52, this particular version of Superman sacrificed his life to stop and destroy a burning madman. The opening of Superman Rebirth #1 replays those events as Lana works on the grave. But it is told from the eyes of someone who has been in that boat before: the pre New 52 Superman. This is the same Superman who died at the hands of Doomsday only to return from the dead with a sharp black suit and flowing locks. This pre New 52 Superman is struggling with coming back into the public eye. He now has a wife, Lois, and a son. Things are complicated for the Man of Steel in 2016.

But a world without a Superman is like the world without apple pie. It just doesn’t feel right. And this Metropolis Marvel knows it.

Writers Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason do a terrific job delivering a subtle reintroduction to the Man of Tomorrow. Superman Rebirth isn’t loaded with action. In fact, the only real action comes from Superman reminiscing about his time tussling with Doomsday on the streets of Metropolis back in 1992. The strength of the story is in the emotional underpinnings. Yes, it does help that this reviewer was reading comics during the fateful Death of Superman run; but there is also something else going on here.

Superman Rebirth #1 (Comic) Review 6Superman Rebirth #1 (Comic) Review 6Tomasi and Gleason have subtly resurrected the 1992 Superman once more, and who doesn’t love a resurrection story?

Resurrection has been taught in Sunday schools for hundreds of years. It pops up in literature and movies quite often. Both Gandalf and Obi-Wan came back from the dead in their own ways and in doing so, brought a certain power and grounding to those fantastical stories.

The same can be said for Superman Rebirth #1.

There’s something special about Superman, there always has been. He needed to be treated in a noble, almost royal way. And Tomasi and Gleason pulled it off.

Bravo.

Superman Rebirth #1 (Comic) Review 4Superman Rebirth #1 (Comic) Review 4Artist Doug Mahnke does a fine job bringing Tomsai and Gleason’s story to life, especially in the full splash page with Superman and Doomsday about to rip each other limb from limb. The strength of the story is in the words though, and the feeling one derives from Superman’s rebirth. It’s calming, centering and comforting; we know when one Superman falls, another will be reborn.

While only a fortune teller will know whether DC Comics latest reimagining of their universe will pay dividends, one thing is for certain: old has become new again when it comes to the Last Son of Krypton. And we’re all better off for it.

From: http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/superman-rebirth-1-comic-review/

Why Superman’s Lame Disguise Might Actually Work



Science says Clark Kent’s disguise might not be as lame we think. (Image: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, 2016)

It’s been a longstanding complaint since the first Superman comics debuted in the 1930s: why doesn’t anyone see through Clark Kent’s lame disguise and realize that he’s really Superman? New research suggests that Kent’s trademark glasses actually might work as a disguise—at least around people who don’t know him well.

The official DC Comics explanation—described in Superman #330— for how Superman pulls this off involves focusing a hypnotizing beam through special glasses with kryptonite lenses. A few years ago, Kyle Hill, writing at Slate, suggested an alternate explanation: widespread face blindness, or prosopagnosia:

The test for face blindness is more straightforward than you might suspect. Mimicking real-world situations, physicians line up a number of people of similar sex, age, and clothing (wearing hats to cover their hair), slipping in a family member or friend of the patient among them. If that familiar person is utterly unidentifiable until he or she speaks, a diagnosis is made. Because many of Clark’s co-workers have seen both him and Superman on the same day without so much as a, “Hey, you remind me of …” they get the same diagnosis.

There’s just one problem: it’s highly unlikely that every single person at the Daily Planet, plus all of Clark Kent’s many acquaintances, all suffer from prosopagnosia. It’s just not that common. Hill jokingly posited that perhaps Superman has performed selective brain surgery on all his cohorts to induce face blindness, thereby protecting his secret identity.

Advertisement

But such an extreme step might not even be necessary. According to Robin Kramer and Kay Ritchie, both psychologists at the University of York, even small alterations to someone’s appearance—like donning glasses or adopting different body language—could be sufficient to elude detection. Prior studies with passport photos showed that people struggle with matching photos of the same person, especially if the subject has a different pose or facial expression in one of the photos.



Yeah, he looks totally different now.

For the new study, Kramer and Ritchie used pairs of photographs like those typically found on social media sites, asking participants to decide whether the unfamiliar person pictured in each was the same. They included pairs of images where both faces were wearing glasses, images where neither person wore glasses, and images where only one image showed the person wearing glasses.

Sponsored

According to their new paper in Applied Cognitive Psychology, when both faces pictured either wore glasses or didn’t wear glasses, participants made the right call about 80 percent of the time. But when only one of the pictured faces wore glasses, that accuracy dipped by about 6 percent. It’s not a huge discrepancy, but still statistically significant.

One big caveat, however, is that this really only applies to recognizing strangers. “In real terms, glasses would not prevent Lois recognizing Clark is in fact Superman as she is familiar with him,” Ritchie said in a statement. “For those who do not know him, however, this task is much more difficult, and our results show that glasses do disrupt our ability to recognize the same unfamiliar person from photo to photo.”

So Lois Lane still has no excuse. Maybe she really does have prosopagnosia.

[Applied Cognitive Psychology]

Advertisement

From: http://gizmodo.com/why-supermans-lame-disguise-might-actually-work-1786063163

Why Superman’s Lame Disguise Might Actually Work



Science says Clark Kent’s disguise might not be as lame we think. (Image: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, 2016)

It’s been a longstanding complaint since the first Superman comics debuted in the 1930s: why doesn’t anyone see through Clark Kent’s lame disguise and realize that he’s really Superman? New research suggests that Kent’s trademark glasses actually might work as a disguise—at least around people who don’t know him well.

The official DC Comics explanation—described in Superman #330— for how Superman pulls this off involves focusing a hypnotizing beam through special glasses with kryptonite lenses. A few years ago, Kyle Hill, writing at Slate, suggested an alternate explanation: widespread face blindness, or prosopagnosia:

The test for face blindness is more straightforward than you might suspect. Mimicking real-world situations, physicians line up a number of people of similar sex, age, and clothing (wearing hats to cover their hair), slipping in a family member or friend of the patient among them. If that familiar person is utterly unidentifiable until he or she speaks, a diagnosis is made. Because many of Clark’s co-workers have seen both him and Superman on the same day without so much as a, “Hey, you remind me of …” they get the same diagnosis.

There’s just one problem: it’s highly unlikely that every single person at the Daily Planet, plus all of Clark Kent’s many acquaintances, all suffer from prosopagnosia. It’s just not that common. Hill jokingly posited that perhaps Superman has performed selective brain surgery on all his cohorts to induce face blindness, thereby protecting his secret identity.

Advertisement

But such an extreme step might not even be necessary. According to Robin Kramer and Kay Ritchie, both psychologists at the University of York, even small alterations to someone’s appearance—like donning glasses or adopting different body language—could be sufficient to elude detection. Prior studies with passport photos showed that people struggle with matching photos of the same person, especially if the subject has a different pose or facial expression in one of the photos.



Yeah, he looks totally different now.

For the new study, Kramer and Ritchie used pairs of photographs like those typically found on social media sites, asking participants to decide whether the unfamiliar person pictured in each was the same. They included pairs of images where both faces were wearing glasses, images where neither person wore glasses, and images where only one image showed the person wearing glasses.

Sponsored

According to their new paper in Applied Cognitive Psychology, when both faces pictured either wore glasses or didn’t wear glasses, participants made the right call about 80 percent of the time. But when only one of the pictured faces wore glasses, that accuracy dipped by about 6 percent. It’s not a huge discrepancy, but still statistically significant.

One big caveat, however, is that this really only applies to recognizing strangers. “In real terms, glasses would not prevent Lois recognizing Clark is in fact Superman as she is familiar with him,” Ritchie said in a statement. “For those who do not know him, however, this task is much more difficult, and our results show that glasses do disrupt our ability to recognize the same unfamiliar person from photo to photo.”

So Lois Lane still has no excuse. Maybe she really does have prosopagnosia.

[Applied Cognitive Psychology]

Advertisement

From: http://gizmodo.com/why-supermans-lame-disguise-might-actually-work-1786063163

How Millennials Got Rid of Superman’s Trunks

It seems that millennials are to blame for everything nowadays. When the dreaded “youths” aren’t ruining vacation time in the workplace or causing a massive decline in Olympics viewership, they’re also apparently responsible for the total destruction of superhero comics. Just this week, LitReactor published a piece entitled “Teenage Wasteland: Please, No More Teenage Superheroes” that argued that teenaged heroes had no place in superhero comics for a plethora of reasons. 

Admittedly, it’s a bit silly and backwards to think that teen heroes should be barred from superhero books, but that got me thinking about what these horrible millennials were responsible for ruining in comics. They certainly didn’t cause the comic bubble to burst in the mid-1990s, nor did they cause Marvel to nearly to go bankrupt. They didn’t create the Comics Code Authority or the direct market or the slow “Hollywoodization” of the comics industry where comics are written with a future movie deal in mind.

But while these darn kids certainly didn’t cause any of those messes, they are most likely to blame for the disappearance of one longstanding institution: Superman’s red outerwear tights. 

Superman has worn a pair of red underwear over his spandex tights since Action Comics #1, likely a callback to the circus strongman and his extraordinary feats of strength. Creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster probably didn’t intend for the tights to become a fashion statement, but those little red panties were inseparable with the aesthetics of superheroes for nearly 80 years, right up until DC did away with the tights with their New 52 reboot. 

So why did DC get rid of Superman’s tights? Well, besides the fact that they’ve been the focus of thousands of bad stand-up comedy routines, they were also ridiculously old-fashioned. Circus strongmen went out of style decades ago, and those tights were a living relic of how obsolete superheroes were. Batman no longer wears a canvas costume, Iron Man’s armor doesn’t resemble an old-timey diver suit, and Superman certainly doesn’t need to look like a circus strongman anymore.

The aesthetic reasons behind Superman’s tights also didn’t hold up in the modern day. Many have often pointed out that Superman’s red tights were needed to prevent artists from either drawing Superman like he’s neutered or that he has…a male sex organ underneath that spandex! “Won’t anyone think of the children!” people proclaimed while deciding that a pair of contrasting red underwear was somehow more decent that drawing a couple of lines to signify that Superman possessed the same anatomy as 49% of the world’s population.

But in today’s world, we’re reminded that men have penises constantly, even in “family friendly” programming. If children see slight crotch bulges while watching football, baseball, the Olympics, or professional wrestling, why should Superman be any different? As long as Superman isn’t running around with an erection, why shouldn’t he be depicted like the modern day athletes and “supermen” he’s supposed to be superior to?

Of course, the most important reason that Superman’s red tights had to go was that the New 52 was all about attracting new and lapsed readers with a “modern” line of comics. DC wanted the New 52 to attract lapsed “Gen Xers” who left the industry during the dark years, but they also wanted to get millennials into their comics as well.

So, in addition to dark and brooding superhero stories and erasing 75 years of superhero history, the powers that be at DC realized that millennials would never respect a Superman who put his pants on first and his underwear second. DC decided that Superman’s tights had to go in order for the millennials to read their comics long after the rest of its readership was dead. And so, DC ditched the tights for a red belt and some armor…which coincidentally makes Superman look like he’s wearing a metal diaper instead of a pair of granny panties, as seen below.

For all the huffing and puffing that some Superman fans have made over erasure of the red tights, DC’s brave gambit seems to have worked. A much larger younger audience are reading DC comics now than they were in 1985, which coincidentally marks the beginning of the last time DC tried to reboot its line to appeal to a more modern audience. The move seems to have been so successful that DC even replaced its Superman with the “Post-Crisis” version, the one that actually did wear red tights, but kept the New 52 costume design. 

So when you’re shaking your fists at millennials and yelling at them to keep off your lawns, remember that these kids with their smartphones and their Netflix are also responsible for getting rid of one of the most weirdly beloved institutions in all of superhero comics. Millennials, we really are the worst. 

[Author’s Note: The writer is, as you probably guessed, a millennial.]

From: http://comicbook.com/dc/2016/08/27/why-millennials-got-rid-of-supermans-tights/

Superman Inspired Hundreds Of Lost Superheroes In Comics …

What happens to superheroes once their publications go bust? Much like the gods of ancient mythology, they sink into obscurity, but they do exist — and they’re free for you to use!

Like the pulp magazine culture that came before it, the birth of the superhero age saw a boom in two-bit publications manufacturing their own superhero comics, trying to get in on the latest craze. Superman was the first super-powered hero, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster for DC (then called Action Comics) in 1938, and his popularity launched an entire genre of similar heroes with fantastic powers. They shared many character aspects with Superman, with secret identities and colorful costumes. His title even popularized the term “superhero” — although the word had been in use since around 1908 (as a translation of Nietzshe’s übermensch), before Superman characters of his ilk were usually referred to as “masked heroes”.

Not content with punching Nazis, Superman punches their boats for good measure!
Not content with punching Nazis, Superman punches their boats for good measure!

Eager to make as much money as possible from the public fascination with superheroes, hundreds of writers were commissioned by magazines and comic book manufacturers to create thousands of superheroes. So what happened to all these heroes, and why did so many publishers go bust?

The Almost-Death Of The Superhero Genre

The popularity of superhumans, brought on by Superman, was only perpetuated by WWII, as people looked to these brightly colored heroes to save the day in fiction, as things seemed very bleak in the real world. After the war ended, the demand for superhero comics dropped, and publishers tried to incorporate edgier storylines in order to keep the comics fresh.

But that caused its own backlash, as conservative writers started to blame juvenile delinquency on lurid comic books. One psychiatrist, Fredric Wertham, published a fear-mongering tell-all book called Seduction of the Innocent, claiming to have used multiple psychological studies that proved a link between comic books and crime. This data was revealed to be falsified, but decades too late.

I'm sure the tell-all book was just an excuse for Wertham to read lots of comics.
I’m sure the tell-all book was just an excuse for Wertham to read lots of comics.

The damage was done: The US government held multiple hearings on the morality of comic books, and decided that a strict ethics code had to be instated, known as the Comics Code. If you’ve ever wondered why so many Silver Age comic books feature fluffy plotlines and black-and-white thinking, you have this senate subcommittee to thank.

Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or shall be published only where the intent is to illustrate a moral issue and in no case shall evil be presented alluringly, nor so as to injure the sensibilities of the reader

This caused scores of publishers to go out of business, as they could no longer include scenes of violence, or any kind of sexual intrigue. But while their comics were trashed — or even burned by angry parents — the heroes themselves remained.

The eeriest thing about this is the smiles...
The eeriest thing about this is the smiles…

You see, once a character is created that figure exists within the realm of fiction. If the publisher attached to those characters no longer exists, they float in copyright limbo for a while, and after 28 years of not being published about, these characters become public domain.

The long and the short of it is: There are thousands of whacky superheroes that are free for anyone to use. And here are our favorites!

Black Cat (Harvey Comics, 1941)

Hollywood star by day, superhero by night. Life's tough for Black Cat.
Hollywood star by day, superhero by night. Life’s tough for Black Cat.

Hollywood movie star and stuntwoman Linda Turner was not satisfied with her glitzy lifestyle, so when she suspected her director of being a Nazi spy, she took it upon herself to investigate him — dressed in the appropriate superhero outfit of course. She enjoyed taking this fiend down so much she decided to continue her life of crime fighting as the Black Cat, and became one of the most popular Golden Age heroes.

Many of the comics ended with a how-to on self defense:

This should make him behave. I'll say!
“This should make him behave.” I’ll say!

Because no-one should walk around unprepared!

Black Cat’s comics shifted genres several times, with the Mystery line garnering a lot of attention for its depiction of horror and graphic violence. The heroine herself was so popular that a script for a modern film adaptation has been floating around Hollywood for decades, but has yet to be picked up by a studio.

Blue Bolt (Novelty Press, 1940)

One of the most long-lived and popular of the Golden Age, Blue Bolt still has many fans today. His creators, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, went on to create Captain America for Timely Comics.

(Green-skinned alien babe not included with purchase of comic.)
(Green-skinned alien babe not included with purchase of comic.)

Blue Bolt’s path to superpowers was slow and arduous — struck by lightening not once, but twice, Fred Parrish was rescued from his crashed plane by Dr Bertoff, who took it upon himself to imbue poor Fred with powers, using radium deposits to harness the electricity still present in Fred’s body. Bertoff envisioned Fred as a heroic protector of Earth and naturally, that’s just what Fred became.

Blue Bolt fought primarily against the forces of Green Sorceress, a vicious megalomaniacal witch who sought to conquer the world. Aided in his quest by Lois Blake — who possessed the same powers he did — Blue Bolt struggled against Green Sorceress’s army and his blossoming attraction to her. Lois, Fred’s girlfriend, was very much aware of this and would often fight with Green Sorceress out of jealousy. Ah, the Forties!

Amazona The Mighty Woman (Planet Comics, 1940)

You tell him, Amazona!
You tell him, Amazona!

We all know the classic tale: Amazon warrior, possessing great strength and the power of flight, journeys from her utopian homeland to help us poor mortals after rescuing a marooned explorer.

No, I’m not talking about Wonder Woman. Predating DC’s first female hero by a whole year, Amazona the Mighty Woman has an almost identical origin story, but because she only appeared in one issue of Planet Comics, her existence has sunk into obscurity. William Marston, I’m on to you.

Black Widow (Mystic Comics, 1940)

Black Widow reports directly to Satan.
Black Widow reports directly to Satan.

Not to be confused with the Marvel heroine of the same name, or the other Marvel heroine of the same name and the same backstory, Claire Voyant became the Black Widow when she was appointed as Satan’s agent on Earth. And by “appointed” I mean shot by a previous client who believes she is responsible for the death of his family, because the Devil doesn’t do anything by halves.

Given the task of sending the murderous, deviant, and downright evil people of this world to hell, Black Widow used her supernatural powers to do exactly that — by killing her victims with a single touch. She’s arguably the first anti-hero of the superhero genre, and her hyper violent, graphically gory comics probably would have given Fredric Wertham a heart attack.

Crimebuster (Boy Comics, 1942)

Crimebuster battles a gorilla.
Crimebuster battles a gorilla.

If you thought the name was silly, just wait until you hear the origin story. Chuck Chandler became a costumed hero after the death of his parents at the hands of a Nazi agent known as Iron Jaw. And by costume I mean he slapped a cape over his hockey uniform. Donning the name Crimebuster, Chuck took on Iron Jaw, then the entire Nazi army and Axis powers. Because why start small?

Chuck’s comics slowly dwindled into college kid antics after a while, but before he stepped away from vigilantism, Crimebuster battled He-She — a half-man half-woman who tried to defraud Chuck of his money.

Was the plan just to stand sideways for the rest of their life??
Was the plan just to stand sideways for the rest of their life??

The Golden Age of comics was littered with offensive characters, and He-She is pretty hilarious in how yikes-worthy they are. But at least they have a dramatic intro:

“The deadliest of the species is the female! The strongest of the species is the male! Combine these with the killer instinct and you have the most cunning, the most vicious, the most fiendish killer of all time!”

It’s science, dammit!

Starlight (Fiction House, 1950)

Starlight was a trailblazer.
Starlight was a trailblazer.

Coming in towards the end of the Golden Age is Starlight, a Native American warrior maiden from the Huron tribe. She appointed herself the protector of her people, setting out to defend them from harm.

Starlight was a trail blazer, possibly the first Native American superheroine, and still among the very few of them that exist. Her creators, Ann Adams and Ralph Mayo, made a point of not objectifying Starlight, always depicting her fully clothed. That might seem like a base requirement, but compared to other native “jungle women” of comic books, Starlight’s portrayal was significantly progressive.

She was also the protagonist of the comic, which makes her the only female Native American superhero to ever get her own title. And that’s kind of depressing.

Spacehawk (Novelty Press, 1940)

Spacehawk v mutant hawk: Dawn of Cawstice.
Spacehawk v mutant hawk: Dawn of Cawstice.

Ahead of his time in more ways than one, Spacehawk was an interstellar hero from the distant future, tasked with protecting the Earth from invasion. He possessed the power of resistance to mind control and hypnosis — which came in useful more times than you would expect while journeying in outer space — and was equipped with ray guns, anti-gravity belts, and other retro-futuristic gadgets.

Towards the end of his run, Spacehawk journeyed back in time to the 1940s, with the sole intention of punching Hitler in the face — a staple of most superhero comics of the time. Eventually though, he was cancelled for being “too fantastic” for readers. Maybe he just lacked the right soundtrack…

Amazing Man (Centaur Comics, 1939)

The imaginatively titled Amazing Man was a real trend-setter. Appointed by the Tibetan Council of Seven to be a guardian of humanity, the orphaned John Aman was trained extensively to both mental and physical perfection — including being gifted superhuman powers of strength, invulnerability, and the power to disappear in a puff of green smoke.

The Shake Weight really paid off.
The Shake Weight really paid off.

This origin story went on to inspire Marvel’s Iron Fist (soon to get his own TV show), DC’s Amazing Man, and Watchman’s Ozymandias.

Interestingly, Amazing Man teamed up with Zona Henderson, a female crime investigator. This was pretty groundbreaking for the 1930s, and Zona was far from a damsel in distress: Joining Amazing Man on his missions, Zona could think three times faster than the average human and was notoriously vicious in combat.

Dynamite Thor (Weird Comics, 1940)

Also known as The Explosion Man, Peter Thor is only really notable because of the gadget that gives him his name — a belt with sticks of dynamite on, which allows him to fly. Luckily, he’s also resistant to explosives. Iron Man, eat your heart out.

Nyoom!
Nyoom!

They don’t make ’em like this any more.

Which Golden Age superhero is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!

[Source: Public Domain Superheroes Wikia, Etymonline, Slate]

From: http://moviepilot.com/p/superman-golden-age-comics-superheroes/4021157

ICYMI: Superman And Lois Fought The Eradicator On The Moon

Superman #5, DC Comics

 

I’ve written a few times before about how utterly and relentlessly bizarre the Superman books have been since Rebirth, but if you haven’t been reading them, allow me to sum up: Superman died, and was replaced by the Superman from two reboots ago, who brought with him the Lois Lane from two reboots ago and their son, Jonathan, who made his debut during Convergence. Unfortunately, he also seems to have brought Doomsday and the Eradicator along with him, and a couple weeks ago, the Eradicator ate Krypto the Super-Dog. No, seriously. That happened.

This week, in Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Doug Mahnke‘s Superman #5, Superman finally decided that the best thing to do about the Eradicator would be to take the fight outside of Metropolis, so he took it to the one place that he knows he has the advantage. In case you missed it, this week saw Superman and Lois Lane fighting the Eradicator in the Batcave. No, the other Batcave. The one on the moon.

 

Superman #5, DC Comics

 

Oh but wait, it gets better.

The big idea here is that Batman needs a place that he can test his inventions that are too dangerous to keep in the anti-crime basement that sits below his ancestral home, so he invested what has to be several billion dollars and an afternoon of Green Lantern’s time building an extra secret space Batcave on the moon, and then filled it with robot bats. That’s not the amazing part.

The amazing part is that, once Superman also gets eaten by the Eradicator, it’s up to Lois Lane to fight him in a suit of mecha-Batman moon armor called the Hellbat.

 

Superman #5, DC Comics

 

That’s just one week’s worth of what’s going down in the Superman comics right now. I’d say that in five years, we’re all going to be amazed that Superman comics this weird were happening at the start of a new relaunch, but frankly, I’m pretty amazed now.

 

Subscribe to ComicsAlliance on

Subscribe to ComicsAlliance on

From: http://comicsalliance.com/icymi-batman-secret-moon-cave-superman-rebirth/

Gallery

wp1_1024x768 01 costume ironons_set2_7 dc pic-6 shield2 sm-b smshieldicon sp96cd03 ssuperg2 stpb

Popular Posts

Archives