DC Comics drops ‘superhero Jesus’ series after campaign calls it ‘blasphemous’

The series depicted Jesus as a clueless failure, sent back to Earth by God after his untimely capture and crucifixion the first time around. Forced to share an apartment with DC’s Sun Man, Jesus learns to toughen up and fight crime, and sets out to ensure that his modern-day followers stick to his father’s message.

Some Christians weren’t too happy. Televangelist Pat Robertson’s CBN network called the series“closer to blasphemous than biblical,” and a petition to shut down the comic attracted more than 234,000 signatures. “This blasphemous content should not be tolerated,” read the petition. “Jesus Christ is the Son of God. His story should not be ridiculed for the sake of selling comic books.”

DC seemingly gave some ground to the Christians, asking writer Mark Russell to remove some profane language and artist Richard Pace to tone down the nudity in a scene set in the Garden of Eden. Russell and Pace refused to make the changes, and are now seeking another publisher for the comic.

“I think the religious fundamentalists and critics who are trying to stop Second Coming aren’t interested in protecting Christ so much as their ability to control his narrative,” Russell told Syfy Wire. “They probably (correctly) suspect that it’s not Christ who’s being parodied, but themselves and how they’ve twisted his teachings of mercy for the powerless into a self-serving tool of the powerful.”

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From: https://www.rt.com/usa/451987-dc-comics-superhero-jesus/

Comics: Sharkey the Bounty Hunter trailer; Fraction takes on Jimmy Olsen; Stranger Things’ new subjects

Today’s comics roundup has a few things from Netflix (which is already weird), and some more familiar territory featuring some classic characters.

But first, let’s look at the company nobody expected to shake up the world of comics. Netflix’s deal with Mark Millar continues to prosper as Sharkey the Bounty Hunter follows in the footsteps of The Magic Order and Prodigy. The book, from Millar and artist Simone Bianchi, is dusty, dirty sci-fi — and it has a new motion trailer out today.

Check it out:

With some old-school, Adult Swim-sounding music and an aesthetic ripped from Firefly and the run-down cantinas of Star Wars, Sharkey has far more to offer than just a killer mustache. Blood, aliens, and all the sin one can find in the life of interstellar freelancing seem to be stuffed in this story about a bounty hunter and his 10-year-old ward.

Sharkey the Bounty Hunter is out today.


Next, another comic inspired by Netflix. Stranger Things has become a multimedia sensation over its two seasons, helped along by the iconic character Eleven. Now, with the second season introducing Eight (another superpowered test subject kid), there are many more to go — which is exactly where a new Dark Horse comic is focusing.

According to EW, Six aka Francine, will be getting a prequel comic. Written by Jody Houser with art from Edgar Salazar, the four-issue miniseries will focus on the universe’s first precog. Francine was exploited by her parents and by those that created Eleven at the Hawkins Laboratory. How many more X-Men can the series introduce before opening up a Mansion of its own?

Check out the covers:

Stranger Things: Six cover

Stranger Things: Six variant

Stranger Things: Six variant cover

The first issue of Stranger Things: Six hits stores on May 29.


Now let’s get back to terra firma. Superman. Or, at least, Superman’s friends. Yes, there’re new series coming for both Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane — and from some pretty exciting folks.

Writer Matt Fraction (Hawkeye) and artist Steve Lieber are tackling Jimmy Olsen; while writer Greg Rucka and artist Mike Perkins will handle Lois Lane when both hit in June after comic bigwig Brian Michael Bendis up-ends everything Superman with Superman: Leviathan Rising Special #1.

Bendis and artist Alex Maleev will be focusing their series on the Leviathan criminal organization, the ramifications of which will give Lane and Olsen opportunity to shine in ongoing series.

Superman: Leviathan Rising Special #1 hits stores May 29.


Finally, more news from Bendis. According to the writer’s Reddit AMA, the imprint he curates for DC — Wonder Comics — will have at least two confirmed titles for its second wave of comic offerings.

“Issue six wraps the first Naomi run,” Bendis posted. “We’re going to do it Hellboy style because [artist Jamal Campbell] needs to take a break! David [Walker] and I will be building the next part, but by issue four of this series you will see EXACTLY how different. Naomi 2 joins Amethyst as a previously announced Wonder Comics Season 2 book!” Amethyst has already been making waves in Young Justice, but will have her own standalone book soon.

Naomi 2 is on sale today.

From: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/comics-sharkey-the-bounty-hunter-trailer-fraction-takes-on-jimmy-olsen-stranger-things-new

DC Comics review roundup: Mister Miracle, Batman Who Laughs (Feb. 13)

This week’s DC Comics review roundup goes in depth with Superman #8, the trade release of Mister Miracle and The Batman Who Laughs #3.

2019 might be the year of the Bat as Batman approaches his 80th anniversary with the arrival of Detective Comics #1000, but there are still big events taking place across the DC universe. This week’s review roundup features a check-in with the Man of Steel, the most famous New Gods couple and a Batman-Joker hybrid who won’t stop until Batman has been defeated.

Superman #8

Script: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils (pp 5-13): Ivan Reis
Art (pp 1-5, 14-23): Brandon Peterson
Inks (pp 5-13): Joe Prado
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Josh Reed

Superman #8 is the second installment of “The Unity Saga: The House of El.” Jon Kent is back and he’s trying to explain what happened during the trip with his grandfather that somehow led to five years of aging and more questions than answers. Clark and Lois want to be sure Jon is healthy so they run tests on him. He’s definitely healthy, and he’s Jon Kent without a doubt.

Receiving confirmation that this really is his son is not easy for Clark, who has to go blow off some steam before returning to continue the conversation about what happened between his son and father.

Superman #8 reveals that Grandpa El isn’t exactly a monster, rather he seems to be conflicted about his existence and the fact that science can’t offer him any answers. Aside from Jon’s mysterious aging, Grandpa El’s story is the one that’s far more interesting. He’s trying to do good things, but it’s not working for him and the exercise in futility is taking its toll.

Writer Brian Michael Bendis seems to be leading readers toward a revelation that there’s more to the story than meets the eye, but explanations might have to wait because Jon’s about to tell the tale of an encounter with the Crime Syndicate. Jon’s stories are interesting, but so too are Clark’s reactions to losing so much time with his son. He never expected this to happen, and watching him deal with the fallout is going to be something that the Man of Steel will be forced to deal with for quite some time.

Mister Miracle (Trade Edition)

The collected trade edition of Mister Miracle came out this week and for fans of Scott Free, Big Barda and Darkseid (Darkseid is…), it’s the consummate edition for your comic book collection. That, and it’s a damn good story.

Mister Miracle is the comic book event of 2018, and with good reason. The Eisner Award-winning dynamic duo of writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerads brought this beautiful story to life, creating a fresh new adventure for two of the most beloved New Gods.

Scott Free (a.k.a. Mister Miracle) and Big Barda settle down and embark on a blissfully domestic life. The birth of their son is a major moment for the couple, but even the master escape artist can’t escape his past back on Apokolips. Scott Free is incredibly relatable as he ponders being a god while also waiting for the birth of his son.

For readers looking for a major “event” kind of book, it’s the perfect read. This collected volume of the twelve-issue maxiseries has been hailed as one of the most important comic book stories in years.

The Batman Who Laughs #3

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jock
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Sal Cipriano

Things take a dark turn in The Batman Who Laughs #3 as Batman races against the clock to stop his menacing alter ego before it’s too late. With so much of the Joker toxin in his system, though, his time is running out.

Batman recruits Jim Gordon’s help because the secret to stopping the Batman Who Laughs could rest with Gordon’s wayward son James. James is reluctant to help, and even if he could he’s not sure he can make a difference.

The Joker, meanwhile, keeps flirting with death but he’s not dead yet. The juxtaposition of a still-alive Joker with a gaping wound in his chest and Batman fighting to maintain control of his sanity is powerful. Batman is slipping away, but unlike the Batman Who Laughs he isn’t the product of loss and a lack of control, so perhaps Bruce Wayne can rally around the toxin in his system and use the transformation rather than succumb to it.

Scott Snyder’s twisted tale of the otherworldly Batman Who Laughs is ramping up now that the story has reached the halfway mark. At this point it looks like Batman, our Batman, can’t keep the transformation from happening and we have to wonder what would happen if he gives in. How much of Bruce Wayne will remain and how much control will he have?

Be sure to check out Superman #8, Mister Miracle and The Batman Who Laughs #3, all available now at your local comic shop.

From: https://fansided.com/2019/02/18/dc-comics-review-roundup-feb-13-mister-miracle-batman-who-laughs-superman/

DC Announces Jimmy Olsen Series by Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber

DC Comics is ready to move in on a brand-new series starring a fan-favorite Superman legend. According to a new catalog entry, the publisher has Jimmy Olsen in its sights.

Recently, DC Comics put out an advert for Superman: Leviathan Rising Special #1. It was there a blurb dug into one-shot, and it teased the arrival of a full Jimmy Olsen series.

“An all-star roster of writers and artists highlight the new threat of Leviathan, but also tees up new ongoing series for Jimmy Olsen by writer Matt Fraction and artist Steve Lieber, and Lois Lane by writer Greg Rucka and artist Mike Perkins, coming in June,” the blurb teases.

“As Leviathan enacts a plan to take down Superman, it’s up to Lois, Jimmy, and the heroes of the DC Universe to save the Man of Steel.”

This special will come together under the careful eyes of writers Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Greg Rucka, and Marc Andreyko. Art will be overseen by Yanick Paquette, Steve Lieber, and Mike Perkins while Paquette does the cover.

The Superman special will hit shelves on May 29 and cover a full 80 pages. So, if you are wanting to pick up a copy, it is time to slide in a request at your local comic shop.

With a full Jimmy Olsen series on the way, readers of DC Comics have plenty to anticipate. Lois Lane will join the fan-favorite, and another major series will lined up by the publisher today. DCeased will go live this year as a new event series from Tom Taylor, and you can check out its full synopsis below:

“A mysterious techno-virus has been released on Earth, infecting 600 million people and turning them instantly into violent, monstrous engines of destruction.

The heroes of the DCU are caught completely unprepared for a pandemic of this magnitude and struggle to save their loved ones first…but what happens to the World’s Greatest Heroes if the world ends?

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New York Times best-selling writer Tom Taylor (Injustice) returns with a terrifying new tale and is joined by artist Trevor Hairsine (Legends of the Dark Knight) and Stefano Gaudiano (The Walking Dead).”

So, will you be checking out any of these upcoming titles? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

From: https://comicbook.com/dc/2019/02/18/dc-comics-jimmy-olsen-series-matt-fraction-steve-lieber/

Clever New ‘Batman v Superman’ Easter Egg Discovered

Comic book movies are full of easter eggs and sometimes it can take years to discover them all. Thanks to a post on Reddit, we’ve gotten a glimpse at a hidden gem in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Posted to the DC_Cinematic subreddit by u/nvi14, this image from the DC Extended Universe film reveals a nod to Jay Oliva.

BvS: So, I found something….. probably I am not the first but this movie is Lit ???? from r/DC_Cinematic

“So, I found something….. probably I am not the first but this movie is Lit,” they wrote.

Jay Oliva is a storyboard artist, film producer, and animated film director. He worked as the storyboard artist on Batman v Superman, but his career in Hollywood started in the ‘90s. He’s worked as the storyboard artist on tons of series, including The Flash, Teen Titans, Justice League Unlimited, Max Steel, Godzilla: The Series, Wolverine and the X-Men, and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Oliva has also worked on multiple other comic book movies, including Deadpool, Ant-Man, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, and Justice League.

Oliva is also a director, having worked on multiple projects, including helming ten episodes of Young Justice. Check out his full, impressive filmography on IMDB here.

Many DC fans were quick to comment on the post, impressed with the discovery.

“Great catch, that’s a fun Easter egg,” u/snyderversetrilogy wrote.

“The movie that never stops giving.. GREAT find,” u/suhailSea added.

“I think there’s literally an infinite number of Easter eggs in this movie,” u/AnasDh joked.

For more content like this, check out the subreddit page, which is described as follows:

“In 2013, Warner Bros. released Man of Steel, the first film in a new and unified cinematic continuity starring the iconic characters of DC Comics. This subreddit is a fan community dedicated to news and discussion pertaining to these new DC films, past DC films (ex: The Dark Knight Trilogy, Watchmen), animated DC films (ex: Batman: Under the Red Hood), and film adaptations of Vertigo Comics (ex: the upcoming The Kitchen).

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While fans of DC have Matt Reeves’ The Batman to look forward to in 2021, the question of who will take over the role of the iconic character still remains. Earlier this week, Ben Affleck officially announced that he would no longer be donning the bat suit.

Upcoming DC Extended Universe movies include Shazam! on April 5th, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, and Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020.

From: https://comicbook.com/dc/2019/02/16/clever-new-batman-v-superman-easter-egg-discovered-reddit-jay-oliva/

Exclusive: Read Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s Batman story from Detective Comics #1000

It’s Batman’s turn for an anniversary celebration.

Last year, DC Comics celebrated a big landmark for their original superhero, Superman, with Action Comics #1000. The super-sized issue hailed the Man of Steel’s eight decades in print with a collection of short stories by different superstar writers and artists. Now it’s the Dark Knight’s turn, since Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics #27 arrived only a year after Superman’s debut in Action Comics #1. One of the superstar pairings for the Detective Comics anniversary is the reunion of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev. EW can exclusively debut their nine-page Batman story in full here.

Bendis and Maleev have been collaborating for decades now, but are perhaps best known for their run on Daredevil in the early 2000s. Bendis, after all, was a popular and prolific Marvel writer until very recently. Now that Bendis has made the move to DC, he and Maleev can finally tackle the superhero they (and their fans) have wanted for years.

“When we first teamed for Daredevil, DC called us. This was years ago,” Bendis tells EW. “They offered me and Alex to leave Marvel and come do Batman. We looked at each other and were like, ‘ahh they finally called and we can’t come!’ Anyone can relate to this, once in a while you get a call and later you think, ‘I wonder what would have happened if I had done this?’ There was no sliding door, we weren’t going to leave Marvel at the time. But we’ve always thought about it. So when I came to DC, I had to call Alex. He said, ‘I want Batman! I’ve waited so many god damn years!’ If you put a piece of paper in front of Alex, he’ll draw Batman. That’s his go-to. So there was a lot of context when DC offered us to do a story in Detective Comics #1000. I was like oh yeah, this will scratch that itch beautifully for me and Alex.”

This is not Maleev’s first Batman comics work. He previously illustrated some of the comics from the seminal “No Man’s Land” arc in the late ’90s, but this time he’s handling all the art duties himself. 

“I did some Batman before. I did some ‘No Man’s Land’ but I didn’t ink myself on that one,” Maleev says. “I always wanted to just take over the art from beginning to end, even the coloring, just to express that 20-year wait and put it on the page. I’m very happy.”

Though many fans have long seen Batman as the natural successor to Bendis and Maleev’s Daredevil run, the writer doesn’t actually see much similarity between the Dark Knight and the Man Without Fear. In his view, “there’s a lot more connection between Daredevil and Superman, with their extra-sensory perception of the world and how it affects their decision-making. Batman is reliant on clues and detection and his own point of view. I see Daredevil and Superman looking outside themselves, while Batman is very internalized in his justice.”

In this story, Batman isn’t the only person looking for clues. Set towards the end of Bruce Wayne’s life, Bendis and Maleev’s Detective Comics story is told from the perspective of the Penguin. The old villain explains how he was able to finally piece together Batman’s secret identity over the years. 

“It was hard to draw Penguin old. Not Batman, Batman was easy,” Maleev says. “But with Penguin, you have to imagine what he would look like in his 80s and 90s. Without the makeup, as a frail old man, how would he have aged from what he used to look like? That was a challenge. I had some different sketches, and I was trying to play with his makeup. The colors make him look very old, not just the line art.”

“People’s looks evolve over time,” Bendis adds. “Sometimes with older people you see they’re still doing their look, but it’s not as stylish as it used to be. They go through the motions but they don’t have the same oomph, or it changed into something old over time. We talked about that. What would he be walking around in now?”

Maleev summarizes: “He didn’t age like a cathedral, he aged like a shed.”

Action Comics #1000 represented Bendis’ first published work at DC after making the move from Marvel. One year later, he’s firmly enmeshed in the world of Batman and Superman et al, writing several titles and handling his own imprints. This isn’t even the last word Bendis and Maleev have to say about Batman, either. Though they’re vague with details at the moment, the writer and artist say they have plans for a Batman-related project this summer.

“This is just the beginning for us,” Bendis says. “Even though we’re not coming on to a Batman book that exists, me and Alex are working on a huge Batman-infused storyline coming to DC Comics this summer. This is kind of a palate cleanser. This is what’s gonna look and feel like. This is an artistic prelude.”

Detective Comics #1000 hits stores March 27, and features other stories by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez, Kevin Smith and Jim Lee, and many others. For now, read Bendis and Maleev’s full story below.

Related content:

From: https://ew.com/books/2019/02/15/read-an-exclusive-story-from-batman-anniversary-comic-detective-comics-1000/

Superman Reportedly Shelved to Give Supergirl the Spotlight

Superman might be one of the most iconic superheroes of all time, but the Man of Steel looks to be heading to the Fortress of Solitude with recent comments from Forbes citing that plans for the character in the DC Extended Universe are reportedly on hiatus. Instead, Warner Bros. will be focusing on another Kryptonian, Supergirl, who is expected to get her own movie landing in theaters in 2021.

Reports first emerged about a Supergirl movie being in the works last fall, which also hinted that actor Henry Cavill could be leaving the DCEU behind for good. Given the immense success of the Supergirl series on The CW, it would only make sense for the studio to prioritize a film featuring the character above Superman, yet this recent report implies that virtually all DCEU projects will take priority over a Superman film for the time being.

The Hollywood Reporter initially reported that Cavill was hanging up the cape last September, citing that contract negotiations were the reason behind the departure. In the time since that report, there’s still no official word on either Cavill’s future in the franchise or Superman’s fictional future, with those plans possibly complicated by the Mission: Impossible franchise, which has two sequels on the horizon and could potentially see an appearance from Cavill in some capacity.

Cavill wouldn’t be the only actor leaving the DCEU behind, with confirmation coming earlier this year that Ben Affleck, who starred as Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, would be passing the Bruce Wayne torch to a new actor for The Batman.

Neither Cavill nor Affleck have had an easy run as the iconic characters, despite the acclaim they have earned for their performances. Zack Snyder kicked off the DCEU with Man of Steel, which earned 56 percent positive reviews according to aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes and earned $668 million worldwide. Batman v Superman was an even bigger box office success, earning $873 million worldwide, yet only earned 27 percent positive reviews.

Justice League marks one of the biggest disappointments in the DCEU, earning only 40 percent positive reviews and taking in $657 worldwide. These numbers aren’t inherently poor, but with the film set to be the culmination of the franchise, both fans and critics were left wanting much more from the endeavor.

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Stay tuned for details on Supergirl and Superman’s future in the DCEU.

What do you think of these recent reports? Let us know in the comments below!

From: https://comicbook.com/dc/2019/02/13/supergirl-superman-dceu-extended-universe-future/

Todd McFarlane teases details of his DC Comics toy line, including Batman with an accurate cape

From Stranger Things to The Walking Dead, Fortnite to Game of Thrones, Destiny to Major League Baseball, Todd McFarlane’s toy company has done it all — well, almost. For years, McFarlane dreamed of getting a shot at crafting superheroes for the big two comic publishers and now, with a three-year deal with DC Comics to produce new toys, he’ll have his chance.

Hot on the heels of news that McFarlane Toys will be creating a set of figures based on the Harry Potter movies and books, the company announced this week that a new deal with DC (through Warner Bros. Consumer products) will bear fruit sometime in 2020. According to McFarlane Toys, the company will create a line of 6″ to 12″ figures based on characters from DC’s Multiverse, a stable of characters spanning comics, animation, movies, and video games.

Early in his career, McFarlane worked at DC, providing the art for Infinity Inc. and Detective Comics‘ “Batman: Year Two” storyline. In 1994, he launched McFarlane Toys with the goal of creating better, more realistic toys.

“Every toy fair I walk around and think to myself, ‘Am I the only human being that makes toys who hasn’t had a crack at Star Wars, Marvel or the DC stuff?,” McFarlane tells SYFY WIRE. “You walk around and see that almost everyone else in the building has figured out how to carve those licenses up, so now you’re even seeing Star Wars hamster sweaters, which is apparently a thing.”

Fortnite-McFarlane-Toy-4

Fortnite by McFarlane Toys

With more than 20 years in the toy business, McFarlane says he’s eager to take the lessons he’s picked up and apply them to the DC multiverse.

So what’s he have in store for the new line? Although McFarlane says no character or design has been picked or finalized, his company will work with DC to come up with a character list for the new line.

“We’ll go about it the same way anyone would, really. If I handed you the license, who would you choose? Hopefully, there would be an 80 percent overlap in the characters I would choose and you would choose, then we’d pick those five to 10 characters to do for sure,” McFarlane says. “We’ll mix in some new characters that have grown in stature, say, for instance, Aquaman with his hit movie, and take a look with what’s happening in pop culture and the publishing end of things as well.”

McFarlane says there’s an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, if there happens to be an interesting version of Batman or Superman the DC Publishers come up with in the meantime. The Injustice version of Superman or Earth One version of Wonder Woman come to mind as examples.

Detective Comics #577 (Art by Todd McFarlane, Written by Mike Barr)

Detective Comics #577 (Art by Todd McFarlane, Written by Mike Barr)

“First and foremost, it’s gotta look cool,” he says. “But it would be a chance to deliver a key character while giving it a look that another group of people might like as well.”

McFarlane explained he’s only concerned with making a high-quality product that appeals to both collectors and average consumers.

Since the deal is still new, McFarlane says talks with DC and Warner Bros. are ongoing as they try to flesh out what stable of characters they’ll likely create this year.

“I think down the line is where the fun beings,” he says. “Maybe sometime later we do a McFarlane Batman. I don’t know if it’s been attempted but I’m the only one who knows that those capes are supposed to be doing.”

Additionally, he reveals that DC has been open to the idea of McFarlane coming up with new character designs, playing around with a Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman costume.

“We’re not talking major redesigns, just a bit of a tweak here and there,” he says. “So far, they’ve been flexible, saying it seems fun and that we’ll talk about it.”

Todd McFarlane Spawn

Credit: Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

As for the impact of the deal on his toy company, McFarlane says securing a contract with DC is a “very big deal.”

“There are only a few evergreen properties and DC is one of them,” he explains. “We’re just looking to make each toy interesting and dip into our bag of tricks as we move forward. We’ve had a couple of lucky breaks over the past few years. Maybe, if I do a good job with DC, I’ll get a call from the folks at Lucasfilm.”


From: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/todd-mcfarlane-teases-details-of-his-dc-comics-toy-line-including-batman-with-an-accurate

Will Superman Kill Darkseid? #DCEASED

Dr. Manhattan is afraid enough that Superman will kill him that he brought Jor-El back from the dead to (maybe) stop him in Doomsday Clock, the unauthorized sequel to Watchmen currently published by DC Comics.

So what else could Superman do?

Comic book writer Tom Taylor has run a number of tweets today

Culminating in this one, riffing off the Mister Miracle Darkseid Is meme…

Is Superman killing Darkseid? Are the New Gods days numbered? Any other theories? DC’s May 2019 solicitations should start appearing soon…

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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From: https://www.bleedingcool.com/2019/02/12/will-superman-kill-darkseid-dceased/

As Superman Calls Himself Sillyman, A Look Back at Funnyman

During the LEGO Movie 2, we come across Superman in a very happy singing mood. He has found a new Utopia and has decided that the S on his shield doesn’t stand for Hope anymore but Silly. That he is now to be called Sillyman.

It is notable that this is never changed at any point in the movie – so it remains canon. LEGO canon. As permanent as anything can be in a world that can be taken apart brick by brick.

But it did remind me suddenly of a familiarly-sounding character, Funnyman.

Funnyman was created by Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster as a clownish superhero, while they were still working for DC Comics. They anticipated a decline in the popularity of conventional superheroes, thinking a comedy hybrid character would have sustainable appeal.

Of course, they were decades ahead of their time, as Deadpool and Harley Quinn have proven. And, cognisant of what had happened with them and Superman, they were determined to retain the copyright to Funnyman, an anathema to DC Comics. So instead Siegel and Shuster made a deal with Magazine Enterprises, with their former DC editor Vin Sullivan, but they were only able to publish 6 issues and a newspaper strip in 1948 before the comic closed.

The series had TV comedian Larry Davis convinced by his girlfriend and manager, June Farrell, to do a publicity stunt where Larry would defeat Happy, an actor playing a criminal, as a crime-fighting clown. But Larry ended up defeating a real criminal by mistake, decides he likes being a hero, and keeps going as Funnyman, the Comic Crimebuster, protector of Empire City, much to the annoyance of June and Happy, the only people who know his secret.

He used practical joke themed gadgets to battle a variety of madcap villains, as well as two comedy superhero rivals, Comicman and Laffman, trying to beat him to the punch, and police officer Sgt. Harrigan pitted against Funnyman. He also drove a scooter with his face on it and an intelligent gadgeted-up supercar, Jet-Jallopy.

We missed his seventieth birthday last year, and he has remained unpublished since 1948. Some sources have him appearing in the DC comic book title 52 as one of Booster Gold’s pallbearers but I think that was someone mistaking him for another clownish character, Oddman. He did appear in a cameo in his secret identity in Super Friends but… that seems to be it.

It’s also worth pointing out that the character is probably still owned by the estates of Siegel and Shuster. Seventy-one years on, is it time for a revival? Dynamite, I’m looking at you…

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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From: https://www.bleedingcool.com/2019/02/11/as-superman-calls-himself-sillyman-a-look-back-at-funnyman/

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