Lois Lane Begins the Big Changes in Superman’s Life – Action Comics #1007 Spoilers

We’ve had a theory running through recent months at Bleeding Cool concerning Brian Bendis‘ redefining of the roles of Lois Lane, Superman, Clark Kent and Jonathan Kent as a family and in the DC Universe.

That Lois Lane is going to tell the world that rather than being Clark Kent’s wife, she is actually Superman’s girlfriend and that Jonathan Kent is their child. And that Clark Kent is just a cover, a beard as the parlance goes, for her relationship with Superman. And, for want of a better phrase, turn Clark Kent into Cuck Kent in the eyes of the world?

Today, we got a nod in that direction, as Lois Lane meets her Superman-averse father Colonel Sam Lane.

What, that you’re a terrible mother, Lois? Don’t worry, so is Clark… but is she wanting that change we have been suggesting? As she tells her father…

Note, saying she is in love with Superman, not that Clark Kent is Superman.

But why now? Well having her son now suddenly an older teenager without explanation might have made it very necessary right now… and she has been writing that book with potential titles The Secrets of Lois Lane or I Married an Alien from Outer Space…

ACTION COMICS #1007
(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A/CA) Steve Epting
The Kobra Cult conspiracy ensnares Daily Planet photographer Jimmy Olsen, drawing the attention of the Man of Steel. But be careful, Superman-there’s more lurking in the shadows of Metropolis than just a snake cult.  In Shops: Jan 30, 2019 SRP: $3.99

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/2019/01/30/lois-lane-changes-superman-action-comics-1007-spoilers/

Action Comics No. 1007 review: Metropolis under attack

Metropolis is under attack by entities unknown and Superman is utterly helpless to stop, just as he’s unable to stop the massive change in Lois Lane’s life.

Action Comics begins its newest arc with a simultaneous bang and whimper, which really shouldn’t be possible, yet somehow this issue is able to pull that off. There are so many ideas present in this issue that are perfect for a Superman comic while also feeling different than most other Superman comics. Those ideas can only take something so far though when the end product feels very jumbled and unfocused. While this is set up for the rest of the arc, and more than likely future arcs, so hopefully the actual storyline itself doesn’t end up being entirely setup and that moving forward, Action Comics will become more focused.

As frustrating as this issue was at times, it definitely isn’t without merit. During the end of Bendis’ tenure at Marvel he often fell into the trap of setting up future storylines while also trying to tell his current story. Those stories often ended up feeling very unfocused, much like this issue, but unlike his later Marvel books, Action Comics is presented in more of a mystery type of style rather than “Hey look! Future stories!” That mystery being told is very intriguing and makes you want to keep reading, but the only problem is that there are two separate storylines in this issue that make you feel that way.

This issue is simply frustrating because there is so much good in it that it’s hard not to gush about that. Jimmy Olsen is brought to a Cult of Kobra meeting could be a storyline all by itself and so could Superman saving Amanda Waller from falling to death before an enormous explosion. Both are executed very well, but because both are present the issue doesn’t feel balanced in its structure or pacing.

Image by DC Comics/Art by Steve Epting

The best part of the issue though definitely has to be Lois’ conversation with her father. This is something that probably should’ve been done years ago in the comics, but now that it’s been done, it’s just as satisfying and heartbreaking as one would think it would be.

The star of this issue though has to be Steve Epting. Some of Epting’s best work in the best have been his collaborations with Ed Brubaker on books like Captain America and Velvet, which have very similar tones that shouldn’t work in a Superman book, but it works perfectly here. Whether it be the terrifying feeling that the Cult of Kobra creates, Superman’s movement, both casual and powerful, or Lois’ very quiet sadness, his art throughout this issue is spectacular.

One of the best thing about Epting’s is art is his ability to create ever so subtle facial expressions. In real life, everyone has these micro-movements that are almost imperceptible, yet Epting somehow is able to do that in his art which makes for so many great emotional moments when he’s able to do it.

7.0/10 

There’s a lot of good in Action Comics no. 1007, but sadly it also stumbles due to its structure and pacing.

From: https://bamsmackpow.com/2019/01/31/superman-action-comics-no-1007-review/

Metropolis is Under Attack in ACTION COMICS #1007

ACTION COMICS under the stewardship of Brian Michael Bendis has enjoyed one of the best runs it’s had in years. ACTION COMICS #1007 continues that good run with a new arc, but continuing the threat of the Invisible Mafia. This new story threatens a lot of the status quo of Clark Kent and Superman’s existence and introduces us to the wonderful Steve Epting drawing Superman and co.

Jimmy Falls in Love, Lois Tells the Truth

ACTION COMICS #1007 begins with intrepid photographer James Olsen on a mysterious date. As it turns out, his date is a part of a Kobra Cult hidden in Seattle’s Triangle Pub. Jimmy gets chased out of the building. The building then suddenly explodes in a burst of blue light. He survives but finds himself in front of a crater where the building once stood.

Olsen ends up back at The Daily Planet, where he sleeps on Perry’s couch. Jimmy doesn’t give Perry his story, and Perry throws him out in a huff. He then runs into Clark Kent, who is keeping his eye on Robinson Goode (who is the villain Red Cloud). Jimmy tries to have a conversation, but Clark follows the departing Goode.

ACTION COMICS #1007 Ends With a Bang

ACTION COMICS #1007
ACTION COMICS #1007 Page 2. Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

ACTION COMICS #1007 then shifts to Lois Lane. Lois talks with her father about their damaged relationship and everything that they’ve been through. She admits she’s been lying to him for years. Sam doesn’t get at what she’s hinting until she declares her love for Superman, and that he is the father of Sam’s grandson. Sam Lane, a man who has been hostile towards Superman since his first appearance, walks away, no words spoken.

ACTION COMICS #1007 ends with Superman flying through Atlanta, Georgia. As he chats with the citizens of Atlanta, a scream rings out. Superman rushes to the rescue and finds himself saving Amanda Waller, leader of Task Force X (The Suicide Squad). As Superman flies up to investigate, the building explodes. The explosion has a similar appearance as the one in Seattle that Jimmy witnessed. As Superman helps rescue civilians, Waller disappears into the wind.

Bendis Delivers Again

Brian Michael Bendis has found his niche in Superman: tell stories revolving around the supporting cast, and have the villains be a few steps ahead of Superman. The formula has worked very well so far, and ACTION COMICS #1007 is no exception. Bendis really hit his groove with the characterizations this issue. His Superman is friendly and kind but will get down to business when he has to. Lois as the conciliatory daughter to her hard-nosed father was a good touch. I also quite enjoyed the reinterpretation of Jimmy Olsen, getting himself in over his head, and managing a way to get out of it somehow.

ACTION COMICS #1007
ACTION COMICS #1007 Pages 4-5. Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The title of the arc, “Leviathan Rises,” implies that the international terror group Leviathan is involved. Also, with the Invisible Mafia still looming, and Superman’s suspicions of Robinson Goode, there’s a chance those three forces may come together, and if so, Superman will have a lot on his plate. The fast-moving plot helps to cover for the perceived weakness of Superman, that he’s “too powerful.” Even Superman can’t react to and outthink multiple opponents.

Epting is Great on ACTION COMICS #1007

Artist Steve Epting has long been a mainstay at Marvel. His run on CAPTAIN AMERICA with writer Ed Brubaker was legendary. Having such an immense talent on ACTION COMICS #1007 really elevated the book. Epting’s faces are always a highlight, and the darker mood of the story fits his heavier style. There’s a lot of darkness and shadows, especially in the opening with Jimmy in Seattle. Brian Michael Bendis is really utilizing his artist Rolodex, and there is no way you can complain about that. Exemplary work from Epting in this issue.

Who’s Bombing Everything?

Two bombings, in two separate US cities. The leader of the Invisible Mafia has purchased the Daily Planet. Superman is on the tail of the Red Cloud, but can he figure everything out in time to foil the Mafia’s plans? Bendis and Epting have produced an excellent issue of ACTION COMICS, although that should hardly be a surprise.

ACTION COMICS #1007 is an excellent book, one that sets up not only the mystery of the bomber but the added wrinkle of Superman-hater Sam Lane knowing his identity! Bendis is blowing up the status quo in small ways, but they are turning out to be deeply satisfying and compelling changes.

From: https://comicsverse.com/action-comics-1007-review/

Lois Sees Through Clark’s Glasses in This Exclusive Mysteries of Love in Space Preview :: Comics :: Features :: DC Comics :: Paste

No matter how many radical changes wash over heroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, DC Comics’ core pantheon of heroes maintain an iconic nature unmatched in mainstream comics. Even if you don’t follow the ongoing soap operas of their monthly adventures, chances are you have a passing familiarity with the broad strokes that make these characters who they are—which is one reason the publisher’s regular “80-Page Giant” anthology collections are so warmly received.

Stories like “Glasses” in this week’s Mysteries of Love in Space should ring true if you have any affection at all for the Man of Steel—or for Lois Lane. Written by Groot and Judas scribe Jeff Loveness and illustrated by ‘90s Superman legend Tom Grummett, “Glasses” is one of seven brand-new stories (plus one vintage reprint) collected in the space-and-Valentine’s-themed anthology, which covers characters from Hawkgirl to Space Cabbie. With the issue hitting stands tomorrow, Paste is thrilled to offer an excusive preview of Grummett’s interior art, along with an interview with Loveness. Check that out below, and be sure to nab Mysteries of Love in Space on January 30th.

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Mysteries of Love in Space Cover Art by Joëlle Jones

Paste: You’ve written shorts in a few other recent DC anthologies. What does it mean to you to get to play with these characters in a less continuity-heavy sandbox?

Jeff Loveness: I love it. DC characters are on a timeless pedestal. You can jump into Superman in any era and basically know what’s going on. There might be some ‘90s mullets or confusing electricity powers, but y’know… basically.

And being free from continuity allows me to hone in and tell a universal story. It allows you to have a bit more of closure and personal statement. This is my third anthology special, and I think this is my favorite story of them all, so I’m happy DC keeps asking me back.

Paste: Outside of DC, you’ve done mini-series and ongoing comics as well—what do you find more challenging to script, a succinct done-in-one or a longer story? Is it tricky to say what you need to say in a smaller page count?

Loveness: They’re both fun in their own ways. I feel a lot of emotion and pride looking back on stories like Judas, World Reader, Groot and Nova because we were able to tell fun stories during chapters of my life. So I look back on those with fondness. But telling these one-off stories feels like a fun, accessible way for me to pop in and say, “What’s my Superman story?” If I only had one shot at the character, what would I say? So yeah… both great experiences, but I’ve been loving these short stories.


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Mysteries of Love in Space Interior Art by Tom Grummett, Cam Smith Adriano Lucas

Paste: Your story in Mysteries of Love in Space starts off with Clark Kent’s glasses and a nod to the long-standing disbelief over Lois never recognizing that Clark and Superman were one and the same. What inspired you to talk about their relationship, and to call back to the era when Lois thought she was talking to two different men?

Loveness: I’ve always felt bad for all the flack Lois gets about the disguise. I think the Clark Kent disguise is somewhat beautiful. If Hamlet can get confused and stab a dude through a sheet, I think some people can get confused about a low-key dude in glasses who slumps and has a passing resemblance to Superman. It says a lot about duality. Self-perception. The way we overlook people we think we have status over. I love the status quo of Lois knowing Clark is Superman, but I think there’s something interesting about the classic approach, and it was fun to dive into all eras of their relationship.

Paste: Although Lois narrates your story, it’s also about Superman’s seemingly endless well of empathy. What sort of role do you think Superman plays in this day and age, where caring about things without irony isn’t always celebrated?

Loveness: I think Superman’s more important than ever. He’s an adopted immigrant from a planet that denied science. He works in a dying industry in the name of truth itself. His enemies are fascists and billionaires. He’s in love with the smartest woman in the room. He’s kind and humble—which is something we desperately need. I think we’re at a tide shift in narrative culture—where kindness and earnestness are coming back around. I like people who care. I like people who want to make the world a better place. I’ve always been impressed with Superman’s longevity—his wax and wane in popularity. Even when we think he’s out of touch or out of date, he comes back around and surprises us. He’s a cool, lonely dude. I’m so lucky I got to write him.

Paste: Tom Grummett was a hugely important name in ‘90s Superman comics. What was it like collaborating with him for this short?

Loveness: Oh man. He IS Superman to me. I grew up reading his work. It was very emotional to see his art come in. The guy who drew my Superman DREW my Superman. It’s… I’m still processing it. I feel so lucky to work with a legend like that.


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Mysteries of Love in Space Interior Art by Tom Grummett, Cam Smith Adriano Lucas


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Mysteries of Love in Space Interior Art by Tom Grummett, Cam Smith Adriano Lucas

From: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2019/01/lois-sees-through-clarks-glasses-in-this-exclusive.html

The Missing Books of DC Comics

Last week, we looked at the numbers of comic books that DC Comics are shipping and note that they were publishing around half the number of titles in comic book stores than they were a year ago.

Even when DC Comics deliberately reduced their title count for the New 52 to, well,  52 monthly titles, they still had another 17 ther series from Vertigo, Cartoon Network, Hanna-Barbera and more going down. The numbers crept up, but when DC Rebirth shrunk the number of titles on the books, it did so by making a large number of them twice-monthly.

So what has happened now? Well, a number of things.

And then there’s Walmart and now Target, comics not sold in comic book stores that are sucking up time, energy and talent from DC’s creative and editorial pool. Every second spent on a Walmart comic, is one not being spent on a DC Comics title – often from exclusive DC talent such as Tom King and Brian Bendis.

Most of the twice-monthly comics from DC Rebirth are now monthly, with only Batman, Flash, Justice League and Wonder Woman holding out. That DC’s best-selling Superman and Action Comics are now no longer twice-monthly can’t have helped things.

The DC New Age Of Heroes line has seen almost all of its titles cancelled.

The Black Label line, aside from the Batman Damned limited series that caused all the media fuss, has not seen another new title solicited and Batman Damned itself has been delayed by art changes.

Batman The Outsiders got taken off the schedule before it could be published. The details are unclear.

Previews cover-featured The Other History Of The DC Universe also got taken off the schedule before it could be published. The details are unclear but this could be due to legal threats made by Michael Davis.

Milestone Comics, though not scheduled, should have been by now. Legal issues with Charlotte McDuffie may be among the hold-ups, as I understand that a number of titles have been completed already.

Doomsday Clock, which had run breaks and switched to a bi-monthly schedule is still running late.

All this is stretching out DC Comics’ schedules. And while some may welcome a reduced schedule for the comics in general, DC Comics remains a money-making engine for comic book stores, and that’s reducing. However, especially for scheduled-then-delayed comics, stores set aside money to pay for planned orders – when those plans don’t come to fruition, retailers don’t get to profit on them yet, despite allocating their budget, and it can cause serious cashflow issues.

Will the new publishing structures help fix any of this? Or propel it further in its current direction?

Whatever DC Comics has planned, folks can’t wait to hear…

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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/2019/01/28/the-missing-books-of-dc-comics/

Naomi is a magnificent debut for Bendis and DC’s new Wonder Comics imprint

Brian Michael Bendis started his DC exclusive contract with last April’s Action Comics #1000, and since then, the published has released over 30 new Bendis comics between his Superman titles and his Jinxworld imprint. His partnership with DC takes another major step forward this month with the launch of Wonder Comics, an in-continuity superhero imprint curated by Bendis and featuring the return of established properties like Young Justice and Dial H For Hero, a series spotlighting Super Friends’ Wonder Twins, and an original concept in the pages of Naomi, which promises “the biggest new mystery in the DC Universe.”

Wonder Comics’ debut comic, Young Justice #1, is a rollicking reintroduction to the teen superhero team, but it’s an issue rooted in continuity and geared toward old fans who haven’t seen these characters together in years. Naomi #1 (DC Comics) is something new, taking readers to the Portland-esque locale of Port Oswego, Oregon, where nothing super ever happens. Until Superman crashes through for seventeen seconds during a battle with Mongul. Co-written by Bendis and David F. Walker with art by Jamal Campbell and letters by Josh Reed, Naomi follows an adopted 17-year-old girl eager to learn about her past. She’s galvanized by the brief appearance of the world’s most popular adopted son in her hometown, setting her on a path that could potentially change the course of her life.

Image: DC Comics

Bendis understands the importance of Superman as an idealistic idol in superhero mythology, which is accentuated in a silent page showing Superman when he returns to Port Oswego to help with clean-up after his fight. A simple close-up of the hero’s smile with the sun shining brightly behind him says volumes about his attitude and how it motivates the people around him, making it easy to believe that a quick glimpse of Superman would push Naomi to take action and find answers to the burning questions of her past. The accessibility of the story is very reminiscent of Bendis’ earliest work for Marvel on Ultimate Spider-Man, a connection strengthened by Reed’s lettering, which features lower-case letters like the Ultimate line

Naomi’s co-writers teach together at Portland State University, and their first comic-book collaboration showcases how well their storytelling styles mesh. They both have a talent for quick, playful banter, and this first issue strikes a fine balance between dialogue-heavy scenes and stripped-down moments that immerse readers in the setting or a specific state of mind. When Naomi looks for news stories about Superman and Mongul’s fight and finds nothing, Campbell accentuates her confusion with a series of panels that frantically tumble across the page, free from any sort of structure.

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Image: DC Comics

Long-time readers of Bendis will recognize certain storytelling tricks like pages of different talking heads delivering single lines of dialogue, but he’s also exploring inventive ways of using page layouts to convey information with the rest of the creative team. Naomi #1 introduces readers to Port Oswego with three consecutive two-page spreads, beginning with a full splash of Superman and Mongul charging into the downtown area. That same image breaks into three separate panels to create sequential action as the fight continues, and then five panels as it reveals the town dealing with the aftermath the next day, grounding the reader in the environment as Naomi and friends walk through the wreckage.

Campbell has quietly built a reputation for remarkable superhero artwork in books like Green Arrow and Prowler, delivering thrilling action, engaging characterizations, and striking digital coloring that adds drama and dimension to his clean linework. He has all the makings of a superstar artist, and Naomi is a high-profile release that will ideally bring him the recognition he deserves. The aforementioned pages of talking heads showcase the range of his expressions and characters designs, which make Port Oswego come to life in the group scenes. He also has a sharp eye for graphic design elements, using speed lines and benday dots to add texture and energy to his artwork.

Image: DC Comics

In regards to the larger town population, it’s notable that Naomi is the only black character we see in this issue, which further distinguishes her from the people around her. This othering doesn’t get much attention in this first chapter, but given how Walker has explored racial dynamics in previous works—including his current excellent Image Comics series, Bitter Root— it’s very likely that this will come into play down the line. Naomi #1 lays a lot of intriguing groundwork to be explored as the central hero discovers more about herself, exploring different aspects of the imprint’s name by blending wonder and wondering.

From: https://www.avclub.com/naomi-is-a-magnificent-debut-for-bendis-and-dc-s-new-wo-1831928704

Batman and Superman Are Thinking a Lot About Dead Wives This Week

Hard agree, Selina.
Image: Mikel Janin, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles (DC Comics)

Not exactly the most delightful theme week for the World’s Finest.

The death of a female character to advance the traumatic emotional storyline of a male one is a tale as old as time in comic books—hell, a Green Lantern storyline (and one Gail Simone) is what gave us the trope term “fridging” in the first place! But output from DC this week—specifically writer Tom King— featuring two of its biggest characters has brought forth the debate about the regressive trope again in the weirdest of manners.

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The first sample came not in the batch of DC Comics titles that released in comic book shops yesterday, but in a still relatively fresh market for the publisher: its line of Walmart-exclusive 100 Page Giant series. The initiative is meant to reach out to a market of potential comics readers, young and old. It’s something DC (and many of its fellow publishers, including Marvel) had retreated from decades ago to refocus on speciality comics with anthology books collecting classic tales about its top heroes alongside brand-new exclusive material from its top creatives—like Mr. King, who’s been penning a new ongoing storyline with art from Andy Kubert in the Superman edition of 100 Page Giant.

The “young” part of that “young and old” new readership is the source of a controversy this week over Superman 100 Page Giant #7, which hit Walmart shelves this past Sunday and immediately started drawing criticism from parents shocked to find that the issue’s storyline sees Lois Lane graphically murdered multiple times.

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It turns out the reason for the many murders of Lois is that most of the story takes place in Superman’s head: He’s on a mission off Earth, and when a phone call to Lois doesn’t get picked up, Clark immediately starts running potential nightmare scenarios through his head. Thus, all the torture and the shootings and the despair and whatnot. In context, it all makes sense, grounding the superhuman Man of Steel in a depressingly relatable paranoid fear that’s brushed across the minds of countless people before, no matter how briefly.

The response to the issue from parents has been loud enough to warrant a statement from King himself, who explained his reasoning behind the story with Comic Book Resources:

Because it isn’t widely available, I’m not sure people know the story (which is beautifully told by Andy, Sandra, and Brad). So here it is: On a mission far from home, Superman tries calling home. Lois doesn’t answer. As people do when they can’t get in touch with their loved ones, he starts imagining worst case scenarios. Why won’t she answer? Images of her demise crowd his thoughts, driving him crazy. In the end, the line connects and Superman and Lois discuss how worried they are about each other.

They both lead dangerous lives; however, neither of them asks the other to compromise that life. Lois has her career; Superman has his. Despite the worry and risk, they trust each other, they depend on each other. Regardless of the hard of it all, they both go forward and they both continue to save the world. To me this is a metaphor for the best parts of love. Love comes with stress, agony, risk, vulnerability, and we shouldn’t deny that stress, agony, risk, and vulnerability.

However, love also comes with the unique joy of putting your faith in someone else, of knowing that someone else puts their faith in you. This story is not about the deaths of Lois Lane or the anxieties of Superman; it is about the love of Lois Lane and the love of Superman, the enduring strength of these amazing, iconic characters.

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King makes good points about the maturity of the story he wanted to tell—and of course comics, even the ones about superpowered godlike beings in tight Spandex who shoot laser beams out of their eyeballs, can absolutely tell those stories. They’ve been telling them for years and years, and are not strictly confined to being “for kids.”

But at the same time, 100 Page Giant, while not explicitly targeted at children, is intended to bring in a wide, new audience of comics readers with its supermarket-shelf positioning, and DC pitched it as such in its announcement of the line. That expanded reach is inevitably going to mean that kids and parents picking up the book sight unseen because it’s got Superman on the cover—so maybe a story that sees Lois Lane graphically murdered repeatedly before explaining that she’s alright could fit into other publishing plans instead of the comic that’s going out to that much broader audience? Between its ongoing books and mature initiatives like Black Label, it’s not like DC doesn’t have avenues to tell these stories.

Fake John Constantine, the ultimate party pooper.
Image: Mikel Janin, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles (DC Comics)

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Speaking of those ongoing books, in an odd twist of fate, another King-penned story with some similar tropes unfurled in this week’s Batman #63. The current arc of the book—featuring writing by King, art by Mikel Janin and Jordie Bellaire, and lettering by Clayton Cowles—has seen Batman thrust into multiple dream scenarios that are, well, more like nightmares, where he finds himself seeing those nearest and dearest to him shockingly perish. This time around the victim is…Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman—putting Batman into a dream world where she did not actually leave him at the altar back in Batman #50, and the two are now instead happily married.

They kiss. They go out on patrol together. They kiss while they go out on patrol together. Y’know, holy bat-catrimony and all that. But throughout Batman #63 Bruce is haunted by a specter of John Constantine, constantly reminding him that none of this happiness is real, and it’s a fleeting happiness either way. It will all end in tragedy—and it does, when, while out on patrol with him one night, Selina is shot by a sniper and killed—because that’s just Batman’s life.

What’s one more tragedy on the pile for Bruce Wayne?
Image: Mikel Janin, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles (DC Comics)

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Well, and the fact that Batman is currently hooked up to a machine pumping him with Scarecrow gas, in the hopes that looped scenarios of him losing the few people he loves will drive him insane. That’s also the reason for the fleeting happiness! But even if this, unlike the Superman 100 Page Giant #7 story, ends a little more miserably for its hero, having the two series juxtaposed against each other by the immediate proximity of their releases makes for an interesting mirror between Batman and Superman. And for a lot of dead wives, imagined or otherwise.

It’s incredibly—incredibly—unlikely that these two stories publishing the same week was planned. Comics distribution is a wild and arcane thing, and when story deadlines can change and shift on a regular basis, the fact that two similar stories about two of DC’s most iconic heroes being forced to face the trauma of the death of their wives are out within days of each other is just an unfortunate circumstance. But the fact that, unfortunate circumstance or otherwise DC can trip over itself with dueling tales of dead wives is still a bit of a troubling trend regardless.

Whether an odd quirk of publishing schedules or not, this weird confluence over one of the most infamous tropes in comics storytelling has put DC in a bit of a bizarre place. It’s like poetry—it rhymes. Sometimes.

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From: https://io9.gizmodo.com/batman-and-superman-are-thinking-a-lot-about-dead-wives-1832025867

Box Office: ‘Aquaman’ Is The Leggiest Comic Book Superhero Movie In 25 Years

I still maintain that ‘Justice League’ would have done slightly better had Aquaman been wearing his iconic orange suit.Warner Bros.

With $1.1 million on Tuesday, Aquaman may hold off the whole “under $1m-per-day” thing until next Monday (or it may drop today, on its 34th day). If it holds off until Monday, that would be on its 39th day, which is about on par with The Dark KnightJumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Jungle Book (day 41) and slower than the likes of Rogue One (day 35) and The Last Jedi (day 34) despite their much larger opening weekends ($155m in 2016 and $220m in 2017).

For those keeping track, Spider-Man, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Jurassic World all dipped below $1m in daily domestic grosses on day 46 while Wonder Woman held on until day 47. Black Panther, Frozen and The Avengers held out until day 53 while Jurassic Park and Shrek 2 dropped on day 55. 

Oh, and as for Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace? That leggy summer blockbuster didn’t dip below $1 million a day until its 62nd day of release. It took Titanic 102 days to dip below $1m per day, occurring just days before it would lose the weekend box office crown to Lost in Space exactly 20 years ago. It took Avatar 81 days to dip below $1m, just after it lost its IMAX screens (and many of its 3D screens) to Alice in Wonderland at the beginning of March 2010.

Oh, and it took The Greatest Showman 36 days to dip below $1m per day, which is insane when you consider the movie had a $2.4m opening day. But that’s a conversation for next week (or tomorrow).

Aquaman has earned $307.852 million domestic after 33 days in theaters. It should enter its sixth weekend with around $310m domestic as it tries to earn around $6m over the weekend for a new $316m domestic cume. At that point, it’ll be right in between Iron Man 2 ($312m in 2010) and Iron Man ($318m in 2008) among comic book superhero movies. Moreover, it’ll have sold more tickets than Man of Steel, even when adjusted for inflation, while extending its weekend-to-final multiplier to an absurd 4.35x. Once it gets to $319m, it’ll have earned 4.4x its $72.5m opening weekend (counting the sneak previews) and be officially leggier than The Legend of the Lone Ranger ($12.6m/$2.9m in 1980), The Crow ($50.6m/$11.7m in 1994) and Sky High ($64m/$14.6m in 2005).

While it may not get much further than $330 million, that would be enough to push it past Deadpool 2‘s $324m cume, counting Once Upon A Deadpool along with Suicide Squad‘s $325m cume and possibly Batman v Superman‘s $330m finish. That would also, in terms of post-debut legs, push it past Superman III ($59m/$13m in 1983) to be the eighth-leggiest comic book superhero movie of all time. It would be ahead of Batman Begins ($206m/$48m in 2005), The Amazing Spider-Man ($262m/$62m in 2012), Spider-Man ($403m/$114m in 2002), Wonder Woman ($413m/$103m in 2017), Black Panther ($700m/$202m in 2018) and Blade ($70m/$17m in 1998).

Once it passes $319 million, it will sit behind Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (which earned $5.7m in 1993 while opening on a Saturday with a two-day $1.1m debut weekend), The Rocketeer ($47m/$9.6m in 1991), The Mask ($120m/$23m in 1994), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ($135m/$25m in 1990), Batman ($251m/$43m in 1989), Superman II ($108m/$14m in 1981) and Superman: The Movie ($134m/$7m in 1978). Whether or not you count Batman: Mask of the Phantasm‘s Saturday/Sunday opening weekend, James Wan’s Aquaman will still soon be the leggiest comic book superhero movie since The Mask (which I should have been counting as a superhero flick) in the summer of 1994. It’s already leggier than any Marvel or MCU movie ever, and it’s the leggiest DC Comics live-action flick since Tim Burton’s Batman 30 years ago.

From: https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2019/01/23/box-office-aquaman-is-the-leggiest-comic-book-superhero-movie-in-25-years/

Behind the scenes of Marvel and DC’s first superhero crossover: Superman vs. Spider-Man

If comic fans went to the movies and saw Aquaman showing up in a Captain America movie, or Spider-Man swinging in to save the day in a Batman movie, or Black Panther working with Superman, minds would be blown. Today it seems unfathomable that DC and Marvel would work on a joint production, but for a while, from the mid-’70s through the early 2000s, they produced several comic books together.

Though the companies worked together for the first time in 1975, for the MGM Wizard of Oz comic book (written by Roy Thomas and drawn by John Buscema and Tony DeZuniga), the first ever Marvel/DC superhero team-up came the following year. Superman vs. Spider-Man, written by Gerry Conway and Ross Andru, kicked off a trend in comic books that would last for almost three decades. After Superman and Spider-Man faced off, soon it was Darkseid vs. Galactus, X-Men vs. the Teen Titans, Batman working with the Punisher and Superman teaming up with both the Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer, ending with the JLA/Avengers crossover in 2003.

Superman Vs. Spider-Man (Written by Gerry Conway, Art by Ross Andru)

Superman Vs. Spider-Man (Written by Gerry Conway, Art by Ross Andru)

Existing outside of the canon of DC or Marvel, Superman and Spider-Man each start off defeating their respective foes, Lex Luthor and Doctor Octopus. In jail, the two villains hatch a plan to take over the world. Masquerading as Superman, Lex Luthor steals both Mary Jane and Lois Lane away. When Spider-Man catches up to the real Superman they come to blows, but as expected, finally agree to work together.

This week, Conway spoke to SYFY WIRE about how the joint venture really came to pass, what it was like working on the book with Ross Andru and why a DC/Marvel crossover is so unlikely today.

Superman Vs. Spider-Man (Written by Gerry Conway, Art by Ross Andru)

The letters page from both Marvel publisher Stan Lee and DC’s Creative Director Carmine Infantino. Superman Vs. Spider-Man (Written by Gerry Conway, Art by Ross Andru)

According to Lee’s forward in Superman vs. Spider-Man, the book was a gift to fans, something that had been talked about for years. From Infanttino’s perspective, it read more like the boxing bout of the century. But it actually started with a book agent named David Obst.

In the early 1970s, Obst was working with Stan Lee as his book agent. Obst had gained recognition and clout in the industry after he helped publish All the President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. According to Conway, Obst had dreams of becoming a movie producer — he married famed producer Linda Rosen, who worked on movies such as Sleepless in Seattle, Contact and The Siege — and would often talk to Lee about making a Spider-Man and Superman film.

“He was kind of a comic book nerd as well,” Conway said. “I remember David was talking with Stan and asked why Marvel and DC have never done a crossover with Superman and Spider-Man. Stan said ‘Well, it would be impossible. We’d never be able to make a deal.'”

But Obst wasn’t satisfied, according to Conway. Pushing Lee for a commitment, Obst asked the Marvel publisher if he would agree to an arrangement if Obst could negotiate something with DC publisher Carmine Infantino. Suspecting nothing would ever come of it, Lee agreed to Obst’s request. By the mid-’70s artists like John Romita, Gil Kane, Steve Ditko, Dick Ayers had established that creators could go back and forth between DC and Marvel and be successful, leaving an opening for such discussions.

Superman Vs. Spider-Man (Written by Gerry Conway, Art by Ross Andru)

Superman Vs. Spider-Man (Written by Gerry Conway, Art by Ross Andru)

Over at DC, Carmine Infantino was busy. In 1975, DC was in the middle of negotiations over the script, cast, and future of the Superman movie. Just a few years into his time as publisher, Infantino had made some major changes to the company, including signing major talent like artist Neal Adams and writer Denny O’Neil and stealing Jack Kirby and Gerry Conway away from Marvel. Shortly after Conway was hired, Obst approached Infantino and DC and made his pitch.

In the end, the book was split down the middle, with DC’s Conway writing the book and Marvel’s Ross Andru stepping into pencil it. It was agreed that Lee and Infantino would oversee the entire project and former DC inker Dick Giordano would ink the book. Marvel’s Glynis Oliver colored the book and DC’s Gaspar Saladino provided the lettering.

In addition, it was agreed that Infantino would lay out and pencil the cover for Andru finish.

Superman Vs. Spider-Man (Written by Gerry Conway, Art by Ross Andru)

Superman Vs. Spider-Man (Written by Gerry Conway, Art by Ross Andru)

Interestingly enough, at the time Conway was the only person to have written for Superman and Spider-Man, while Andru was the only person that had drawn both characters. By then Andru had already worked for DC and Marvel, joining the latter in early 1970s. Andru worked on the first appearances of The Defenders, helped launch Marvel Team-Up, and penciled The Amazing Spider-Man for a 56-issue run during his time at Marvel.

“With his credibility, [Obst] managed to bring the two companies together and make a deal,” Conway said. “I had just left Marvel at that point and was kind of a feather in Carmine’s cap. Carmine was very competitive with Marvel, much more than Marvel was competitive with Carmine. Carmine really wanted to poke Stan in the eye, so he offered me the book to write and edit with DC.”

In 1975, Conway made the transition to DC Comics. He had been writing Spider-Man for the past three years, joining Marvel officially in 1970 with the help of then-Editor-in-Chief Roy Thomas.

Superman Vs. Spider-Man (Written by Gerry Conway, Art by Ross Andru)

Spider-Man finds that he’s no match for Superman in the pages of Superman Vs. Spider-Man (Written by Gerry Conway, Art by Ross Andru)

“I had just finished working with Ross Andru on Spider-Man,” Conway said. “As the writer, I suggested my friend Roy Thomas as the editor and he said, sure do whatever you want. So it ended up, Ross and I doing it as a guerrilla project without the oversight of either company.”

In 2015, John Romita, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano told the blog Oh Danny Boy touch up work on the book had been done — Stan Lee requested Peter Parker’s face be tweaked by Romita and Neal Adams touched up Superman’s face on his own.

Superman Vs. Spider-Man (Written by Gerry Conway, Art by Ross Andru)

Realizing they’d be tricked by Lex Luthor, Spider-Man and Superman become friends. Superman Vs. Spider-Man (Written by Gerry Conway, Art by Ross Andru)

As far as a new wave of crossovers at DC and Marvel, Conway said it could never happen today.

“In 1975, at Warner Bros. there was no concept that DC was anything but a minor cog in the corporate wheel. Warner Bros. wasn’t even interested in making a Superman movie, had no real sense that comics could be anything more than Saturday morning cartoons,” he said. “Neither company had real corporate oversight. It had no value to the people that owned them. Today they are literally multi-billion dollar intellectual properties.”

Superman Vs. Spider-Man (Written by Gerry Conway, Art by Ross Andru)

Spider-Man and Superman team up to take down their respective foes, Dr. Octopus and Lex Luthor in Superman Vs. Spider-Man (Written by Gerry Conway, Art by Ross Andru)

In an interview with Screen Rant just last year, DC’s co-publisher Dan Didio said the two companies are unlikely to do a crossover anytime soon.

“It’s not that we’re mortal enemies — it is competition, if you want the truth. It has to be. As we say, ‘the more we compete, the better off you are.’ It means that we’re trying harder to make our books better so you come to our books rather than Marvel books,” he said. “That’s what the competition is all about. Between the two companies, we still are the industry leaders. There’s a lot of companies out there, a lot of great books being created. But we really have to lead by example.”

The layers of oversight imposed at both companies would surely kill any crossover, Conway said. But…

“But never say never, I could envision a time ten years from now when DC and Marvel projects have oversaturated the market and there’s no excitement over the properties,” he said. “Maybe a potential situation, where Disney and Warner Bros might do an equivalent of a Roger Rabbit thing. Pump up interest by doing this gigantic crossover movie. Which in 10 years could be pretty f***ing awesome to see. But, it would still be a result of corporate decisions that are financially driven and creatively strangled.”


From: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/behind-the-scenes-of-marvel-and-dcs-first-superhero-crossover-superman-vs-spider-man

Naomi is a magnificent debut for Bendis and DC’s new Wonder Comics imprint

Brian Michael Bendis started his DC exclusive contract with last April’s Action Comics #1000, and since then, the published has released over 30 new Bendis comics between his Superman titles and his Jinxworld imprint. His partnership with DC takes another major step forward this month with the launch of Wonder Comics, an in-continuity superhero imprint curated by Bendis and featuring the return of established properties like Young Justice and Dial H For Hero, a series spotlighting Super Friends’ Wonder Twins, and an original concept in the pages of Naomi, which promises “the biggest new mystery in the DC Universe.”

Wonder Comics’ debut comic, Young Justice #1, is a rollicking reintroduction to the teen superhero team, but it’s an issue rooted in continuity and geared toward old fans who haven’t seen these characters together in years. Naomi #1 (DC Comics) is something new, taking readers to the Portland-esque locale of Port Oswego, Oregon, where nothing super ever happens. Until Superman crashes through for seventeen seconds during a battle with Mongul. Co-written by Bendis and David F. Walker with art by Jamal Campbell and letters by Josh Reed, Naomi follows an adopted 17-year-old girl eager to learn about her past. She’s galvanized by the brief appearance of the world’s most popular adopted son in her hometown, setting her on a path that could potentially change the course of her life.

Image: DC Comics

Bendis understands the importance of Superman as an idealistic idol in superhero mythology, which is accentuated in a silent page showing Superman when he returns to Port Oswego to help with clean-up after his fight. A simple close-up of the hero’s smile with the sun shining brightly behind him says volumes about his attitude and how it motivates the people around him, making it easy to believe that a quick glimpse of Superman would push Naomi to take action and find answers to the burning questions of her past. The accessibility of the story is very reminiscent of Bendis’ earliest work for Marvel on Ultimate Spider-Man, a connection strengthened by Reed’s lettering, which features lower-case letters like the Ultimate line

Naomi’s co-writers teach together at Portland State University, and their first comic-book collaboration showcases how well their storytelling styles mesh. They both have a talent for quick, playful banter, and this first issue strikes a fine balance between dialogue-heavy scenes and stripped-down moments that immerse readers in the setting or a specific state of mind. When Naomi looks for news stories about Superman and Mongul’s fight and finds nothing, Campbell accentuates her confusion with a series of panels that frantically tumble across the page, free from any sort of structure.

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Image: DC Comics

Long-time readers of Bendis will recognize certain storytelling tricks like pages of different talking heads delivering single lines of dialogue, but he’s also exploring inventive ways of using page layouts to convey information with the rest of the creative team. Naomi #1 introduces readers to Port Oswego with three consecutive two-page spreads, beginning with a full splash of Superman and Mongul charging into the downtown area. That same image breaks into three separate panels to create sequential action as the fight continues, and then five panels as it reveals the town dealing with the aftermath the next day, grounding the reader in the environment as Naomi and friends walk through the wreckage.

Campbell has quietly built a reputation for remarkable superhero artwork in books like Green Arrow and Prowler, delivering thrilling action, engaging characterizations, and striking digital coloring that adds drama and dimension to his clean linework. He has all the makings of a superstar artist, and Naomi is a high-profile release that will ideally bring him the recognition he deserves. The aforementioned pages of talking heads showcase the range of his expressions and characters designs, which make Port Oswego come to life in the group scenes. He also has a sharp eye for graphic design elements, using speed lines and benday dots to add texture and energy to his artwork.

Image: DC Comics

In regards to the larger town population, it’s notable that Naomi is the only black character we see in this issue, which further distinguishes her from the people around her. This othering doesn’t get much attention in this first chapter, but given how Walker has explored racial dynamics in previous works—including his current excellent Image Comics series, Bitter Root— it’s very likely that this will come into play down the line. Naomi #1 lays a lot of intriguing groundwork to be explored as the central hero discovers more about herself, exploring different aspects of the imprint’s name by blending wonder and wondering.

From: https://www.avclub.com/naomi-is-a-magnificent-debut-for-bendis-and-dc-s-new-wo-1831928704

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