As DC’s ‘Action Comics’ approaches 1,000 issues, a classic …

Writer/artist Dan Jurgens is once again drawing Superman in the page of DC’s “Action Comics.” (DC Entertainment)

Dan Jurgens’s pencils have finally caught up to his writing.

If only for a few issues, Jurgens has returned to drawing Superman for DC Comics, handling the illustrating duties on the cover and interior pages of last week’s “Action Comics” No. 993 and next week’s issue No. 994.

Jurgens, known to a generation of DC Comics fans for writing and illustrating “The Death of Superman” (“Superman” No. 75) back in 1992, has been busy writing “Action Comics” for DC during its “Rebirth” era of publishing, which began in 2016.

Last summer, Jurgens told The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs that “Action’s” twice-monthly publishing schedule didn’t leave him with any time to draw.

“I’ve wanted to get back to drawing an issue or two for quite some time,” Jurgens said. “It just so happened that we had an artistic opening in the schedule that dovetailed with a bit of an opening in mine, so I decided to go for it.”

Jurgens’s return to drawing Superman isn’t the only surprise for those who have picked up the most recent issue of “Action Comics.” Issue No. 993 also features DC’s popular time-traveling character Booster Gold (who shares the cover of the issue with Superman), a character Jurgens created over 30 years ago, who is investigating Superman traveling to the past.

Jurgens recently shattered Superman’s world when he revealed the secret identity of Mr. Oz (a villain who has haunted Superman recently in “Action Comics”) to be someone extremely close to the hero. So close that Superman uses the Flash’s cosmic treadmill to go back in time to verify whether what he has learned can possibly be true.

The treadmill plot twist allowed Jurgens to add one more classic DC hero to his artistic return: the Flash, who is none-too-happy to see Booster Gold anywhere near his time-traveling device, located in the Justice League’s watchtower in space.

“I’ve always enjoyed drawing Flash, even though I haven’t done a lot of it,” Jurgens said. “There is so much kinetic energy the character carries that he really brings life to the page.”

Jurgens has drawn Superman in various ways over the years, including short- and long-haired versions as well as with an all-black suit in his return from death in the 90s. But he admits his muscle memory kept reverting him back to drawing Superman with red trunks, a look that was eliminated in DC’s less popular “New 52” era that began in 2011.

The trunks “were there from time to time. Especially at the beginning,” Jurgens said. “Mostly in the doodled advance sketches I do for each page. I think Superman requires a certain kind of sensibility in the approach, one that conveys a certain sense of integrity and control on his part, so that stayed the same [artistically]. But I think aspects of my style have changed since I would have last drawn him, and it feels to me like some of that is evident on the page.”

As “Action Comics” gets closer to an unprecedented 1,000th issue, Jurgens says he’s already started working on the comic but still can’t offer any plot points just yet.

“We have some major developments planned,” Jurgens said. “I was working on it just a couple of hours ago — something I think people will really like.”

As to whether the “Action Comics” post-1,000-issue world could feature more art from Jurgens in the future, he’s optimistic but also realistic.

“It’s always a question of time. I’d love to be able to do more drawing, but at the same time, I don’t want to give up any of what I’m currently writing,” said Jurgens, who also writes “Batman Beyond” for DC. “Still, I’d really like to be able to sneak back to [drawing] when time allows.”


(DC Entertainment)
(DC Entertainment)


(DC Entertainment)
(DC Entertainment)

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From: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2017/12/20/as-dcs-action-comics-approaches-1000-issues-a-classic-superman-artist-returns/

ACTION COMICS #1000 Delayed To Coincide With SUPERMAN’s 80th Anniversary

Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

Action Comics #1000 has been pushed back one month from its originally-announced March 2018 debut. The milestone issue is now set to debut on April 18, which will be the 80th anniversary – to the day – in which the character debuted with Action Comics #1 back on April 18, 1938.

DC plans to release Action Comics #1000 alongside a companion hardcover book edited by Paul Levitz going ove the history of the title and the characters.

Action Comics #1000 was originally announced back at the 2017 New York Comic Con for a March 2018 release, but was absent from Monday’s DC Comics March 2018 solicitations.

More details on Action Comics #1000 is expected to be announced in January.

From: https://www.newsarama.com/37856-action-comics-1000-delayed-to-coincide-with-superman-s-80th-anniversary.html

Superboy Meets Boyzarro in DC’s Superman #42

Superboy will come face to face with Boyzarro, the son of Bizarro, in March in DC Comics’ Superman #42.

RELATED: The Batman of Tomorrow Attacks Batman of Today in Superman #37 Preview

Artist and co-writer Patrick Gleason first teased the offspring of the Man of Steel’s backward-speaking rival in late November, when he debuted the character design for “Bizarro Boy.” However, within a day the name of Superboy’s new counterpart had been changed to Boyzarro following the suggestions of fans. ” I LOVE IT! The fans have spoken!” Gleason wrote on Facebook on Nov. 22. “Let’s do it!?”

Boyzarro character design by Patrick Gleason

Boyzarro character design by Patrick Gleason

The solicitation for Superman #42, the first part of the “BOYzarro RE-DEATH” storyline, promises that when Jonathan Kent meets Boyzarro, “a strange transformation begins to take place.” But of course, there’s more, as he’s not the only member of the Bizarro family who will make an appearance, teeing off a fight between Superman and, yes, Bizarro.

Luckily fans won’t have to wait long to see how matters escalate, as Superman double-ships in March, with Issue 42 arriving on March 7 and Issue 43 on March 21.

Superman #42 cover by Patrick Gleason

Superman #42 cover by Patrick Gleason

SUPERMAN #42
Written by PETER J. TOMASI and PATRICK GLEASON • Art and cover by PATRICK
GLEASON • Variant cover by JONBOY MEYERS
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details. “BOYzarro RE-DEATH” part one! It’s a bizarre, Boyzarro world—and we just live in it! When Superboy comes face to face with Boyzarro, the Son of Bizzaro, a strange transformation begins to take place. But that’s not all that the Kents have knocking on their door! Superman versus Bizarro round one am not just the beginning!
On sale MARCH 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

SUPERMAN #43
Written by PETER J. TOMASI and PATRICK GLEASON • Art and cover by PATRICK
GLEASON • Variant cover by JONBOY MEYERS
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
“BOYzarro RE-DEATH” part two! What do you get when you try to fit a boy from a square planet into a round one? Boyzarro! Superboy and Kathy try to keep the lid on their Bizarro-sized can of worms as Boyzarro tears a rage-filled path of destruction from Metropolis to Hamilton and beyond! But what happens when Superman and Bizarro find out what their kids have been up to?
On sale MARCH 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

From: https://www.cbr.com/boyzarro-superboy-superman-dc-comics/

WB Needs Man of Steel 2 in the DCEU Film Slate

In the wake of Justice League’s disappointing box office – as well as the rather negative reaction to the DCEU in itself – Warner Bros. has confirmed their upcoming slate of films, but some notable names are missing like Justice League 2 and Man of Steel 2.

Neither of these had been officially announced, but with the Man of Steel finally resurrected, they’d been expected to be added to the docket. It’s clear that the DCEU is in a transitional state, attempting to make changes that will be more appetizing to a wider market and more in-line with the comics for the sake of traditional fans. The move is a necessary shift but is in dire need of one main ingredient. To put it clearly (if not melodramatically): the world needs Superman.

Related: What Future DC Movies Are Actually Coming Out?

Despite Batman’s current popularity and Wonder Woman’s recent success, Superman is the face of DC Comics, a universally recognizable icon and one of the cornerstone of the American creation myth. There are derivatives of Superman all over comics and entertainment; pastiches, homages, parodies – attempts, in some way, to again catch lightning in a bottle the way Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster did almost 80 years ago. In recent years, however, he has had a rough go of it.

The rise of post-modernist writing and books like The Dark Knight Returns and The Authority appealed to a cynicism that was in the air that events like 9/11 only seemed to reinforce. The world that Superman inhabited for most of his history was gone and that earnest optimism was naivete. Clark Kent was disappearing along with the type of farms that he was raised on. Superman, a vital piece of Americana, was to be relegated to the zeitgeist – a symbol of American innocence taken long ago.

Man of Steel Was Trying To Save Superman

Man of Steel Superman Crest WB Needs Man of Steel 2 in the DCEU Film Slate

Zack Snyder wanted his Superman to reflect this modern aesthetic. This deconstructivist method was used similarly by Frank Miller in The Dark Knight Returns, where the Man of Steel was portrayed as either soured on human potential or as a rudderless clod manipulated by his intellectual superiors.

The problem is that Superman is someone who leads by example. He struggles with the same dilemmas but always finds “another way” to solve a problem. Superman needs to be central and portrayed accurately as someone who inspires through his actions rather than his powers; even without them, Superman would still have the determination, leadership, and presence he’s always had.

Related: ‘The True Superman’ Is Revealed In Justice League

His DCEU debut as a burdened man is unseemly. This Superman struggled with questions of action over inaction rather than the struggle to save everyone while having his own life. This made the movies lose the heart of what makes all of DC Comics’ characters tick. In Justice League, Bruce Wayne admits “[Superman’s] more human than I am.” The sentiment rings true canonically, but with two divisive films under his belt, we’ve seen very little in the DCEU to support that.

The bizarre cell phone footage scene at the beginning of the Justice League was an attempt to step in the right direction, though painfully awkward. Superman would have smiled more. He would have kneeled to be on the same level as the kids. He wouldn’t have seemed uncomfortable or that this exchange was a requisite underside to the job he had to do. Most importantly, when the question of “What you like best about Earth?” came up, there wouldn’t have been that silence. We’re meant to believe that he’s thinking of Lois, which does a disservice to both characters. Lois is more than a love interest, and Superman is tethered to Earth by more than just one single person. His answer, easily, would have been “Freedom” or “Opportunity,” but we’re left hanging by the remains of a mildly emotionless Superman that actually seems like an alien.

However you may feel, we are living in difficult times. A little bit of light goes a long way. Marvel’s take was to make their cinematic universe more kid-friendly, which audiences took to for its escapism. While this quickly devolved into making each character tedious snark machines, they at least have their heroes do an important thing: be heroic once in a while. Rather than attempt to revitalize a character struggling with his own anachronism, have him embrace it. After all, Superman is supposed to inspire. He’s a beacon. He is an ideal to reach for. Superman thrives and eventually prevails. It’s a message we all need to hear, and it’s a story we all want to believe in. It’s the story Man of Steel 2 needs to tell.

Superman flying angry in Man of Steel WB Needs Man of Steel 2 in the DCEU Film Slate

For much of 2017, Matthew Vaughn was rumored to be in talks about jumping to Warner Bros. to direct Man of Steel 2. The multiple-time X-Men and Kingsman director has an established and abiding love for the comic book medium and has been largely responsible for X-Men’s resurgence following Bret Ratner’s disappointing The Last Stand. A long-time fan of Superman, Vaughn wanted to tell an enclosed Superman story that would depict Superman in a more traditional way. While the specific story details probably weren’t developed, he was clear about the tone of the film would be; “heroic,” and “feel-good.”

Fans breathed a sigh of relief at this. The darkness that permeated the DCEU’s Superman was polarizing for most audiences. However, by September, Warner Bros. kept Man of Steel 2 off its developing projects list for the first time. Vaughn claimed that the film wasn’t necessarily off the table, and rumors spread that an announcement would come off the back of Justice League. It seemed the hope was to buoy excitement for a new Superman movie by debuting a lighter, more traditional Superman post-resurrection. While the film was successful in retuning the character, the film struggled otherwise. B-list Marvel film Thor: Ragnorak defeated the genre’s greatest superhero team at the box office. In short, Warner Bros. worry has become a panic, leading to more chaos behind-the-scenes. Jon Berg and Geoff Johns are likely to be replaced co-chairmen of DC Films.

It’s quite possible that this will lead to an even greater degree of distrust in Superman by the studio, who want to shake things up again. In the DCEU’s still short lifespan, Superman has disappointed repeatedly. Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman struggled, at least partially, because of his darker portrayal. Justice League presented a reconfigured version that moved the dial back toward normal, but utterly failed to make money.

Superman is a surprisingly versatile character. His powers and origins allow him to fit easily into sci-fi stories; his weakness to magic allows for ethereal options, getting into weird adventures you’d more likely see in Justice League Dark or Doctor Fate. Tell a cosmic story while still accessing the themes of human ingenuity and resolve. His down to earth personality keeps even the highest concept stories a human feel. Clark was raised a small-town farm boy. We’re seeing the unreal through the eyes of that and he reacts to it the same way any of us would: a sense of wonder, curiosity and horror. It just so happens that this Regular Joe can also blast concentrated radiation from his eyes.

Page 2: A New DCEU Needs a New Superman

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From: https://screenrant.com/wb-dc-needs-man-of-steel-2/

Batman #37 Exclusive Preview

Tom King’s run on Batman has been a very different kind of animal than what we’ve seen before. For one thing, King is as interested in the Caped Crusader’s domestic life as he is in his heroics. In fact, Bruce has fully accepted the domestic life in recent months. He’s engaged to Selina Kyle and happier than he’s been in years. (His son Damian ain’t too crazy about his new mom, though!)

While the Bat and the Cat’s relationship has been the main focus of King’s run of late, he’s now turning his attention to Batman’s friendship with Superman. In the latest arc, “Superfriends,” the heroes’ friendship is tested by the things that make them different. Are the Dark Knight and the Man of Tomorrow thinking about splitting up? We’ll find out in Batman #37! 

Here’s the synopsis for the issue:

“SUPERFRIENDS” part two! The stunning conclusion to the two-part story. Torn apart by betrayal, Batman and Superman try to find a way back to friendship, to trust. Both understand that the future of the DCU depends on this relationship; both understand that without the help of the other, their lives will fall apart. And yet, one is still the spoiled rich boy, and the other is still the naive farm boy. Men from two worlds confront each other and try to see the hope behind the madness. 

You can check out the cover by Mikel Janin, a variant by Mann, and some preview pages below:

From: http://www.denofgeek.com/us/books-comics/batman/269734/batman-37-exclusive-preview

Why Is Superman Smashing a Car on the Cover of Action Comics #1?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to they’re e-mail questions to me at brianc@cbr.com).

Reader Chris G. wrote in to ask:

I have a question. I’m not sure if youve covered it in the past or not, but what is Superman doing on the front cover of Action Comics #1? (1938).

In that classic cover, he’s clearly lifting a car but what is doing with it? Smashing it at a rock? Saving someone stuck under it? Always been curious to know…

Sure thing, Chris. Now, as you may or may not know, the story in Action Comics #1 was basically pasted together comic strip style stories, so the story is a bit disjointed, with new stories started mid-way through pages, since they were when new stores in the strip were intended to begin. In any event, after taking care of an abusive husband, Superman turned back into Clark Kent. He then asked Lois Lane out for a date and she surprisingly said yes! That’s when things took a turn for the worse.

So yes, the reason behind Superman’s first comic book cover was an instance of him saving Lois Lane. That certainly seems appropriate enough, doesn’t it?

Thanks for the question, Chris! If anyone else has a question about comic books that they’d like to know the answer to, feel free to drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

From: https://www.cbr.com/superman-reason-smashing-car-cover-action-comics-1/

Why it matters that the National Film Registry added the Christopher Reeve ‘Superman’


Christopher Reeve as Superman. (Courtesy of Warner Bros./DC Entertainment)

FROM “STAR WARS” to “Superman,” so much of what dominates the multiplex this holiday season was born of the late-1970s boom of the modern blockbuster. And on Wednesday, the Library of Congress recognized part of that achievement and influence.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has announced the 25 latest films to join the National Film Registry, including brilliant works featuring Kirk Douglas, Sidney Poitier, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and Kevin Costner — and two titles from director Richard Donner: 1978’s “Superman” and 1985’s “The Goonies.”

In a class that includes “Titanic,” “Dumbo” and “Gentleman’s Agreement,” it’s significant that “Superman” is included. Not only did Donner’s superhero debut kick off several waves of superhero cinema; such films as last month’s “Justice League” (featuring Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel) would likely not exist without Donner’s breakthrough smash featuring Christopher Reeve.

The 1978 film was not the cinematic debut of Superman, of course. As the library notes, the DC Comics character — created just as the storm clouds of World War II were gathering — had been depicted on the big screen by Kirk Alyn in a 1948 serialization, and George Reeves (played by Ben Affleck in “Hollywoodland”) donned Superman’s cape on screens big and small.

But Donner’s sense of story and demand for great special effects, paired with Reeve’s winning, sometimes screwball-comedy charm, elevated the movie. “Superman” even became the rare superhero film to win an Oscar, for special achievement in visual effects. (It was also nominated for sound, editing and John Williams’s rousing score.)

The Superman sequels would bring diminishing aesthetic returns, but the DC Comics flag had been firmly planted in filmgoers’ minds, till director Tim Burton’s “Batman” visions could be realized a decade later.

And even though Cavill and Brandon Routh have played the Son of Krypton since, Reeve has not been eclipsed — even for some writers of the Superman comics.

“I remember watching ‘Superman’ over and over on VHS as a kid,” Gene Luen Yang (“New Superman”) tells The Post’s Comic Riffs.

“Christopher Reeve played the part with so much conviction that it seemed effortless,” continues Yang, who is also the Library of Congress’s national ambassador for young people’s literature. “To this day, when I close my eyes and imagine Superman, it’s his face that I see.”

Hayden will appear on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) tonight at 8 E.T. with critic Leonard Maltin to discuss the registry’s new selections.

Read more:

A classic title featuring Wonder Woman and Batman returns to DC Comics

From: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2017/12/13/why-it-matters-that-the-national-film-registry-added-the-christopher-reeve-superman/

Review – Superman: Action Comics #993: Booster Gold!

Owner/Publisher, Editor-at-Large

Ken Denmead

Editor-in-Chief

Matt Blum

Managing Editor

Z

Senior Editors

Jonathan H. Liu, Jenny Bristol, Corrina Lawson, Patricia Vollmer

Gaming Editor

Dave Banks

Associate Publishers*

Tim Johnides, Jeff Williams, Dante Lauretta, Magnus Dahlsröm, Jayson Peters, David Michael, Gerry Tolbert, Andrew Smith, Ray Wehrs, Joel Becker, Scott Gaeta, Beth Kee, Joey Mills, talkie_tim, Danny Marquardt, Adam Bruski, John Bain, Bill Moore, Adam Frank, Lacey Hays, Peter Morson, James Needham, Matt Fleming, Adam Anderson, Jim Reynolds, Seiler Hagan, Bryan Wade, Petrov Neutrino, Jay Shapiro

Editor (Emeritus)

Chris Anderson

Core Contributors

Darren Blankenship, Rory Bristol, Robin Brooks, Preston Burt, Samantha Fisher, Ray Goldfield, Jamie Greene, Michael Harrison, Ryan Hiller, Rob Huddleston, Will James, James Floyd Kelly, Anthony Karcz, Michael Kaufman, Mordechai Luchins, Brad Moon, Tony Nunes, Anton Olsen, Jules Sherred, Mark Vorenkamp, Chris Wickersham, Simon Yule

Occasional Contributors

Tim Bailey, Natania BarronJohn Booth, Samantha Bryant, Stephen Clark, Tom Fassbender, Matt ForbeckMelissa Ford, Bernd Grobauer, Travis Hanson, Kishore Hari, Whit Honea, Sarah James, John Kovalic, Michael LeSauvage, Jim MacQuarrie, Joey Mills, Skip Owens, Ricardo Rebelo, Drew Rich, Andy Robertson, Mariana Ruiz, Derrick Schneider, Bill Shribman, Tony Sims, Randy Slavey, Gerry Tolbert, Michael Witwer

From: https://geekdad.com/2017/12/review-superman-action-comics-993-booster-gold/

EXCLUSIVE: Booster Gold Joins Superman for a Trip to Krypton in Action Comics #993

Reeling from the recent revelation of Mr. Oz’s true identity, Superman’s life has been turned upside down. How can he be a beacon of hope when his belief in himself and his purpose on Earth is faltering? The answers he so desperately needs elude him no matter where he turns. Something has tampered with time.

RELATED: Booster Gold’s Return May Have Massive DC Rebirth Repercussions

The Man of Steel decides that the only way to to get the answers he needs is to go back to the start. Using the Flash’s cosmic treadmill, the Man of Steel journey’s back in time to witness a personal and universal tragedy…the destruction of Krypton!

CBR has your exclusive first look at DC Comics’ Action Comics #993, with story pencil art by Dan Jurgens and finished ink art by Joe Prado Cam Smith. In stores December 13th, 2017.

Action Comics #993

  • Dan Jurgens (w/a/c) • Joe Prado Cam Smith (a)
  • Variant Cover: Francis Manapul
  • “BOOSTER SHOT” part one! As Superman struggles to cope with Mr. Oz’s true identity, the Man of Steel turns to the only “hero” he knows who can prove once and for all if Oz’s story is true: Booster Gold! But a massive power doesn’t want our heroes venturing through time, and will do anything it can to sabotage their journey!
  • Rating: Teen
  • In Shops: December 13th, 2017
  • SRP: $2.99

From: https://www.cbr.com/exclusive-action-comics-993/

Superman’s first appearance comic book at auction | Daily Mail Online

  • The comic is a 1938 copy of Action Comics #1
  • It’s claimed to be in ‘fine/very fine condition’
  • Another copy of the same comic book fetched $3 million at auction in 2014 

Dailymail.com Reporter

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Just ahead of the 80th anniversary of his debut, Clark Kent’s making headlines, and this time it isn’t from his day job at the Daily Planet.

A rare comic book featuring Superman lifting a car over his head from 1938 is headed to auction on December 19 in Los Angeles. 

The comic, Action Comics #1, is anticipated to sell for a large sum, estimated to be in the $800,000 to $1.2 million range.

Profiles in History, an auction house that specializes in collectibles from old Hollywood and historical documents, claims that the comic is in ‘fine/very fine’ condition.

The rare comic, dating to 1938, shows Superman lifting a car in vivid color. The comic could fetch up to $1.2 million at auction in December

The rare comic, dating to 1938, shows Superman lifting a car in vivid color. The comic could fetch up to $1.2 million at auction in December

The copy in question is rare because it is what’s known as a silver print – these comics are exceedingly rare because in the 1930s, publishers would create black and white copies of the comics for artists to fill in themselves – making the copy going to auction one-of-a-kind. 

‘This is one of the rarest, most historically significant items we’ve offered,’ said Stephen Fishler, founder and co-owner of ComicConnect.com.

Only around 100 original copies of Action Comics #1 are estimated to be extant –  they’re significant because they’re Superman’s first appearance in comic books. In 2014, a copy of Action Comics #1 sold for more than $3 million at auction – the only comic book to have attained such a high price.

Despite being nearly 80 years old, Superman will make his next appearance on the silver screen this week in Justice League. 


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