Superman’s New Rebirth Origin Revealed in Action Comics #977

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for “Action Comics” #977, on sale now.


After the events of “Superman Reborn,” the Man of Steel is once again whole, with a unified history incorporating elements of pre-“Flashpoint” and New 52 continuities and firmly establishing that, yes, he belongs in this universe. But coming off a climactic battle with Mxyzptlk that he can barely remember beyond its vaguest outlines, Superman suspects that something in his life is in some way off.

RELATED: Superman #19 May Have Just Tipped DC’s Entire Rebirth Hand

In “Action Comics” #977 by Dan Jurgens and Ian Churchill, Kal-El pays a visit to his Fortress of Solitude, where Kryptonian memory crystals review the major events of Superman’s life — revealing to readers the new canon.

Krypton: Silver Age Plus

We know the essentials, of course: Facing the death of a planet, a father makes an impossible choice to send his son into the stars in hopes of the child’s survival. But several aspects of Krypton and the particulars of Jor-El’s fateful foresight have shifted throughout DC’s multiple continuity reshuffles. In the Silver Age, Krypton was a place of wonders, its brightly-adorned inhabitants enjoying the fruits of advanced science. After “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” the John Byrne-led reboot recast that obsession with scientific advancement into a cold culture all but devoid of human emotion.

action-comics-krypton

Post-“Reborn,” Krypton more closely resembles the earlier incarnation, which was itself largely re-established in 2003’s “Superman: Birthright” by Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu before the New 52 swung the pendulum back towards the Byrne version. But crowd scenes presented to Kal-El by his Fortress of Solitude’s memory crystals reveal that some Kryptonians did adopt the Byrne-style robes with crystalline headdress, and perhaps this faction also shuns emotional expression.

There has also been some back and forth through the years as to whether Kal-El was rocketed to Earth as a baby — that is, one already born — or whether his spaceship was a “gestation pod,” which allowed him to be born on Earth. There are interesting cultural implications to both, which various writers have explored according to their interests and the context in which they were working. But as in his original origin (and “Birthright”), “Action” #977 once again establishes that yes, Kal-El was born on Krypton. It is not clear from this issue whether he was created by scientifically combining his parents’ genetic material or was conceived the old fashioned way, but the portrayal of Jor-El and Lara’s relationship indicates a strong chance it was the latter.

Childhood Photos

The rest of the origin story should be pretty familiar. Jonathan and Martha Kent spot baby Kal-El’s crashed rocket while out for a drive, and “lay low” long enough to pass Clark off as their own in a secret pregnancy. (Digression: this may be the first time I’ve read Superman’s origin since becoming a parent, and as such, I now find this scheme hilarious.) Clark grows up with best friends Lana Lang and Pete Ross, with Lex Luthor once again serving as a childhood rival, as he does in most (non-Byrne-era) continuities. Clark definitely has powers by his teenage years, as Lana becomes the first person to discover his secret, but this issue does not make clear whether he possessed these abilities from infancy — given that his own son Jon did not start to manifest powers until around ten or eleven, it seems unlikely Clark was a superbaby.

Back to Metropolis

action-comics-young-clark-lana

The issue’s opening scenes re-establish Clark and Lois’s status quo at the Daily Planet — everybody now knows the lovely couple are married and have a son, and Perry White is Jon’s godfather, all as if the New 52 was a bad dream. There are some interesting logistical problems, though — the Kents are still living on a farm in Hamilton County, as the pre-“Flashpoint” family were during their exile in the N52 world, but are planning to move back to Metropolis. The commute wouldn’t be bad for, say, Superman, but one can’t help but wonder why, in the new continuity, the Kents chose to move out there or how this affected their professional lives.

The Unknown Future, and Past

action-comics-clark-lois-perry

“Action” #977 neatly breaks off its origin tale with Superman’s arrival in Metropolis, meaning there’s still a lot we don’t know. But the issue does an extraordinary amount of work in what is, in many regards, a pretty standard telling of Superman’s origin.

DC’s Rebirth has done amazing things for the Superman line of comics — the stories are fresh, thanks to the deep exploration of the Kent family dynamic, and the mysteries and intrigue surrounding previous and alternate incarnations have provided for some incredibly engaging storytelling. And yet, for all this, there was a fundamental problem: DC had broken the concept of Superman. Because we all know who Superman is, right? Strange visitor from another planet, rocketed to Earth as a baby, raised by loving and virtuous parents who taught him to use his great powers in the service of Truth and Justice. But post-“Rebirth,” he has been a strange visitor not only from another planet, but from another universe; his counterpart native to this universe is dead, his closest confidants either don’t know who he really is, or else view him with an uneasy suspicion as he usurps the role of their fallen comrade. For longtime fans who have followed this journey, perhaps this is not a problem; but in terms of accessibility for new or returning readers, it’s a lot of obfuscation and sets up some tricky barriers for one of the most famous fictional characters in the world.

This issue fully begins the movement forward the character has needed. Readers (and future creators) now know the most important aspects of the “Reborn” Superman’s origin; that is enough. We don’t especially need to know how much of the New 52 characterizations survived, or how this affected the progress of Lois and Clark’s relationship, or when Superman first fought Lex Luthor, and so on. “Continuity,” big C, is sometimes derided as the bane of good storytelling. But there must be some grounding, some baseline personal history for these characters if we’re to understand who they are and why we should follow the stories of their lives. Now, that’s been reestablished.

Still, revising Superman’s origin so soon after “Rebirth” is certain to have a ripple effect throughout the DC Universe. It already appears that the energies unleashed when the New 52 and pre-Flashpoint Supermen re-combined have caused other characters to reset, as in Eobard Thawne’s return as Zoom over in “The Flash.”

Speaking of the Flash, once and future Scarlet Speedster Wally West has been at the center of universe-altering mysteries since his return in the “DC Universe Rebirth” one-shot — and Superman was one of the few heroes to remember Wally from his life before “Flashpoint.” If the universe is re-establishing a life history for Superman that largely tracks with his post-“Birthright,” pre-“Flashpoint” incarnation, and this is in turn leading to prior versions of other characters to re-assert their right to be, this is a pretty colossal shakeup of the post-Rebirth status quo, even before we get into the big event of who might be behind the universe-bending machinations. Perhaps our friend Wally West will see Linda Park finally remember their life together, their love, and their children?

Probably not.

action-comics-beyond-mxyzpltlk

Jurgens and Churchill do set up some new mysteries, as well. An unknown figure, resembling a red humanoid “Matrix code” screen, is aiding and assembling major villains old and new for a strike on the Metropolis Marvel. And as Kal-El reminisces uneasily in his Fortress, another figure (possibly Red Matrix again, or Mr. Oz, or Dr. Manhattan) lurks unseen, representing an unseen threat to which Mxyzptlk had only alluded.

But those are all stories for another day. For now, Superman, his family and his friends, are whole once again, and that’s more than enough for this issue.

Supermans New Rebirth Origin Revealed in Action Comics #977By:

Tags:
action comics, superman


From: http://www.cbr.com/supermans-new-origin-action-comics/

Batman V Superman’s Doomsday Initially Looked More Like the Comics

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” endured a lot of criticism, for its grim tone, for its plot and for the design of Doomsday, a monstrosity created with Kryptonian technology that combined Lex Luthor’s blood with General Zod’s DNA. While Doomsday served the same purpose in the film as he did in the comic books — he killed Superman, at least temporarily — what audiences saw on the screen looked a lot different from the DC Comics source material.

RELATED: How “Batman v Superman’s” Epic Doomsday Fight Was Created

However, early concept art reveals the Doomsday of “Batman v Superman” initially more closely resembled his comic book counterpart.

Here’s a very early #doomsday concept I did for #batmanvsuperman a couple of years back. I did several options for the character. It really was an honor working on such an amazing project with such an incredible team.#dc #dcuniverse #batman #superman #wonderwoman #comicbookmovies #conceptart #photoshop #zbrush #bigguy #badguy #moster #creature #creaturedesign

A post shared by jsmarantz (@jsmarantz) on Mar 28, 2017 at 12:13pm PDT

Concept artist Jerad S. Marantz recently shared some illustrations be created for the Zack Snyder, some of which depict the creature with bony spikes on its head, shoulders and torso that will be familiar to readers of Superman comics.

“Here’s a very early Doomsday concept I did for Batman v Superman a couple of years back,” Marantz wrote. “I did several options for the character. It really was an honor working on such an amazing project with such an incredible team.”

Early #doomsday #conceptart for #batmanvsuperman this piece was a collaboration I did with my incredibly talented friend Constantine Sekeris. There were a lot of amazing artists on this project. #batman #superman #comicbookmovies #photoshop #wondereoman #dcmovies #funeralforafriend #dccinematicuniverse #badguy #zod #comicbooks #monster

A post shared by jsmarantz (@jsmarantz) on Apr 7, 2017 at 10:24am PDT

Marantz has had a lengthy career as a concept artist and character designer, with credits that include “Avatar,” “Green Lantern,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Doctor Strange” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” and its upcoming sequel.

Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” earned $873.3 million. The DC Extended Universe continues June 2 with director Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman,” followed in November by Snyder’s “Justice League.”

Early #doomsday #conceptmodel for #batmanvsuperman There were a lot of amazing artists on this project. #batman #superman #comicbookmovies #conceptart #zbrush #3d #wonderwoman #dcmovies #funeralforafriend #dccinematicuniverse #badguy #zod #comicbooks #monster

A post shared by jsmarantz (@jsmarantz) on Apr 8, 2017 at 4:02pm PDT

(via ComicBook.com)

Batman V Supermans Doomsday Initially Looked More Like the ComicsBy:

Tags:
batman v superman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice


From: http://www.cbr.com/batman-v-superman-doomsday/

‘Injustice 2’ Comic Explores What Happens After The Fall of Superman

The reign of Superman is over — but although the world of DC Entertainment’s Injustice is no longer under the despotic rule of a Man of Steel gone bad, it doesn’t mean that it’s out of trouble. In fact, with the launch of the Injustice 2 digital comic series this week, things might be about to get a lot worse.

With the first chapter in the videogame tie-in to be released digitally Tuesday (the print edition is set for release May 3, with the videogame available May 16), Heat Vision talked to writer Tom Taylor, who wrote the first Injustice comics and returns to the alternate version of the DC Universe for this new series, about what lies ahead.

Superman almost comes across as surprisingly sympathetic in this first issue. It’s unexpected, because while there’s a lot of nuance (and tragedy) in the Injustice version of the character — especially in his comic book incarnation — he’s also someone who has clearly overstepped many boundaries in both the first Injustice comic and the larger storyline of the franchise as a whole. Will Injustice 2 offer some kind of redemption for the character, especially as Supergirl gets to show up and could act as the moral compass Superman once was?

I don’t think anything in Injustice is completely black and white, and a lot of grievances Superman has are pretty well-founded. The reasons for why he did what he did, in his mind, are still right. He may have overstepped — hell, he may have been a murdering tyrant — but he did stop wars. He was working for the environment. He was acting against inequality, even if it was all done with an iron fist.

Batman isn’t exactly a shining beacon of good in all of this, either. He’s done … questionable things as well, and we’ll see more of this in the early chapters [of the new series]. Supergirl certainly offers us something more pure. But this could turn when you realize why she comes to Earth. 

You mention the Injustice Batman, and he’s an interesting take on the character — in many ways, he feels like the paranoid/emotionally-closed-off idea on Batman taken to an extreme. In many ways, he matches the emotional journey of Superman because he, too, has lost his way as a result of everything that’s happened — although he’s aware of that, because he’s Batman. I know you’re a fan of the World’s Finest concept of Batman and Superman as a crime-fighting duo — has that influenced the way you’ve written the collapse of their friendship?

I’m a huge fan of the World’s Finest. I do think Clark and Bruce, outside of Injustice, bring the best out of each other. One of the cores of Injustice really is the break-up of the World’s Finest friendship, and I think both men feel this. They both know what they’ve lost, and wish it were otherwise. If either had been able to compromise at the beginning, maybe everything wouldn’t have gone off the rails. If Bruce had stood with Clark and accepted him after Joker’s death, maybe the world could have changed for the better with both of them working together. If Superman had accepted he’d done the wrong thing, I think Batman would have done anything to help him.  That’s the problem with writing an epic tragedy, it all has to be a bit tragic.

Outside of those two core characters, one of the stars of the series has been Harley Quinn. Your take on the character has always been a lot of fun, and it feels like the character’s growth in popularity in recent years — especially with regards to last year’s Suicide Squad movie — is merely everyone else catching up to your love for her. In the first issue of Injustice 2, she’s not only arguably the most trustworthy of the leads, but also the point-of-view character for the audience. What is it about her that draws you to her?

Harley can say anything. She can get away with anything. I’ve often said I love writing characters who can point out the Emperor is wearing no clothes. Harley is someone who can pull down the President’s pants, giggle and put it on YouTube. She is as free as many of us wish we could be.

But she’s also a complicated character. She isn’t one-note. Behind the laughter, there’s grief and loss and guilt within her. As a person, she’s been through so much. She has a history of abuse, of putting her own needs far behind someone else’s. But I truly believe when she’s free of the Joker she becomes something else, something far better. And the strength she’s showing as her redemption continues is great to tackle. She’s no one’s sidekick. She’s not a victim.

One of the things that I loved about the first Injustice comic book series was that it went everywhere, folding in ideas and characters and mythologies that didn’t seem obvious based on the game concept. Is the second series equally far-reaching? Where does Injustice 2 go?

It really is just as far-reaching. There will be characters who will only appear in the comics, not the game. There will be whole stories, which, while hopefully strengthening the game story, will only be seen in our pages. There will be battles, disasters and triumphs. The world will be rocked. Characters will fight and love and die in our pages. There may even be characters created solely for our story … read and see. 

The mention of characters created only for the comic leads me into this: How much of the comic is worked out in conjunction with the game studio versus how much are targets you have to reach but the journey is left up to you? It’s proven to be a two-way street, with the second game picking up on your Green Arrow from the first series…

I have an immense amount of freedom on this book. It really is a dream project. There are certain events mentioned in the game that we want to expand on, or things we want to hit to strengthen the character motivations and alliances in the game story. But it basically comes down to me getting to play with some of the greatest toys in the world, writing a giant outline, not holding anything back, and editor Jim Chadwick and the guys at [game studio] NetherRealm supporting me. We’ve really hit the point where the Injustice comics and the games inform and enrich each other. It’s like each season is a chapter of one giant story.  

Anyone who has read the first series — or watched your animated series The Deep, or read your other comic work, for that matter — knows that you’re a writer who likes to use comedy where necessary. Injustice, as a concept, is a pretty dark story, though; Superman goes rogue and becomes a dictator, after Lois Lane’s death, turning heroes against each other. Is there ever a desire to write against the grain and come up with solutions for everything and leave with a happy ending, or are you having too much fun raining destruction and the occasional death on everyone’s heads?

The Deep TV series is probably the most “me” in terms of natural storytelling, and I’m happy to say season two is coming to Netflix and elsewhere around the world later this year. I actually gravitate to happier places naturally. I like to have big shocks and down beats, but I always try to bring this back to places of triumph and joy. That’s harder in Injustice, so I probably rely on humor more to balance it. Fortunately, we have great artists like Bruno Redondo and Mike S. Miller, who can sell the real emotion and the humor. It’s why characters like Harley Quinn are so important for Injustice, and why there will always be room for left-field characters like John Constantine or Plastic Man or Detective Chimp to show up.     

Well, now that you’ve brought up left-field characters, I have to ask one final question: All of the heroes in the DC universe are having Injustice-style, one-on-one brawls. Every single character. Which character is the last one standing?

The last hero standing will always be Plastic Man, but no one will know he’s still standing because he’ll be disguised as a lamp post.

***

The first chapter of Injustice 2 launches April 11, with new chapters being released digitally every week and available for download via the DC Comics App, readdcentertainment.com, iBooks, comixology.com, Google Play, Kindle Store and Nook Store. Read on below for a preview, with art by Bruno Redondo, Juan Albarran and Rex Lokus. The cover for the chapter (above) is by Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair.

From: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/injustice-2-comic-explores-what-happens-fall-superman-preview-992244

Batman V Superman’s Doomsday Initially Looked More Like the …

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” endured a lot of criticism, for its grim tone, for its plot and for the design of Doomsday, a monstrosity created with Kryptonian technology that combined Lex Luthor’s blood with General Zod’s DNA. While Doomsday served the same purpose in the film as he did in the comic books — he killed Superman, at least temporarily — what audiences saw on the screen looked a lot different from the DC Comics source material.

RELATED: How “Batman v Superman’s” Epic Doomsday Fight Was Created

However, early concept art reveals the Doomsday of “Batman v Superman” initially more closely resembled his comic book counterpart.

Here’s a very early #doomsday concept I did for #batmanvsuperman a couple of years back. I did several options for the character. It really was an honor working on such an amazing project with such an incredible team.#dc #dcuniverse #batman #superman #wonderwoman #comicbookmovies #conceptart #photoshop #zbrush #bigguy #badguy #moster #creature #creaturedesign

A post shared by jsmarantz (@jsmarantz) on Mar 28, 2017 at 12:13pm PDT

Concept artist Jerad S. Marantz recently shared some illustrations be created for the Zack Snyder, some of which depict the creature with bony spikes on its head, shoulders and torso that will be familiar to readers of Superman comics.

“Here’s a very early Doomsday concept I did for Batman v Superman a couple of years back,” Marantz wrote. “I did several options for the character. It really was an honor working on such an amazing project with such an incredible team.”

Early #doomsday #conceptart for #batmanvsuperman this piece was a collaboration I did with my incredibly talented friend Constantine Sekeris. There were a lot of amazing artists on this project. #batman #superman #comicbookmovies #photoshop #wondereoman #dcmovies #funeralforafriend #dccinematicuniverse #badguy #zod #comicbooks #monster

A post shared by jsmarantz (@jsmarantz) on Apr 7, 2017 at 10:24am PDT

Marantz has had a lengthy career as a concept artist and character designer, with credits that include “Avatar,” “Green Lantern,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Doctor Strange” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” and its upcoming sequel.

Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” earned $873.3 million. The DC Extended Universe continues June 2 with director Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman,” followed in November by Snyder’s “Justice League.”

Early #doomsday #conceptmodel for #batmanvsuperman There were a lot of amazing artists on this project. #batman #superman #comicbookmovies #conceptart #zbrush #3d #wonderwoman #dcmovies #funeralforafriend #dccinematicuniverse #badguy #zod #comicbooks #monster

A post shared by jsmarantz (@jsmarantz) on Apr 8, 2017 at 4:02pm PDT

(via ComicBook.com)

Batman V Supermans Doomsday Initially Looked More Like the ComicsBy:

Tags:
batman v superman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice


From: http://www.cbr.com/batman-v-superman-doomsday/

That Time Don Rickles Met Superman in a Jack Kirby Comic

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Excerpt from Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen.

Photo: Jack Kirby; Vince Colletta/DC Entertainment

Few mediums are as prone to oddity as the American comic book, and few comics creators were as capable of imagining the strange and uncanny than the late writer-artist Jack Kirby. But even for Kirby, issues 139 and 141 (issue 140 was a giant-sized retrospective issue with reprints of old Jimmy Olsen stories) of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, published by DC Comics in 1971, are supremely bizarre. It’s not the presence of alien spacecraft or faster-than-light travel that sets it apart — no, it’s the introduction into the DC mythos of none other than Don Rickles.

In fact, not only did Kirby deliver the famed insult comic, he even dreamed up a cape-wearing doppelgänger named Goody Rickels [sic], a “sweet, lovable soul” whose dunderheaded antics inadvertently help defeat space aliens. In honor of Rickles, who just died at the age of 90, let us revisit his delightful and borderline incomprehensible escapade from the hands of a sequential-art master. As Kirby asked on the cover of the first issue: “Are you ready for defoliants in your succotash? Are you ready for landmines in your lunchbox?? Are you ready for this?” If so, let’s begin with the appropriately weird origins of the saga.

The Rickles pitch began not with Kirby, but with his young assistants, Mark Evanier and Steve Sherman. Evanier recalled the backstory in a 1997 panel at the San Diego Comic-Con:

Steve and I, at the time, were enormous fans of Don Rickles. Like many people at that time who were our age, we all went around doing Don Rickles, insulting each other. Rickles used to say, “I never picked on a little guy, I only pick on big guys.” Somehow, this gave us the idea that we should have Don Rickles make a cameo appearance in Jimmy Olsen to insult Superman. It was gonna be like a three-panel thing. So we wrote out a couple of pages of Don Rickles insults. One of them was, “Hey, big boy, where’re you from?” And Superman says, “I’m from the planet Krypton.” And Rickles says, “I got jokes for eight million nationalities and I’ve gotta run into a hockey puck from Krypton!”

So we took these out to Jack. Jack was a big fan of Rickles. And he says, “That’s great, that’s terrific.” And, of course, he used none of it. He said, “We’ve gotta get permission from Don Rickles for this.” So Steve contacted Rickles’s publicist, and they gave us permission to have Don Rickles do a cameo. Then Jack tells [DC Comics publisher] Carmine Infantino about it, and Infantino thinks this is great; this is something promotable; it’s gotta be a two-issue story arc. So instead of us writing two pages, it’s now Jack writing two issues.

And what issues they were. The first cover, in addition to querying about succotash, promised “TWO RICKLES! Don and his long lost alter ego Goody!” and depicted a bespectacled Rickles look-alike in purple-and-green superhero garb leaping into the air while holding a photograph of Don. “That Goody causes more trouble than the villains!” a stern Supes says while running behind the oddball.

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Photo: Jack Kirby; Vince Colletta/DC Entertainment

Only after nine pages of the series’ preexisting story arc about a crime-fighter named the Guardian and his gang of kid sidekicks, the Newsboy Legion (why they’re called that is a whole other strange story), working alongside Superman and Jimmy venturing from a secret science collective to Metropolis. Then the real action starts. We cut to the executive suite of corporate raider Morgan Edge, a media entrepreneur who owns a broadcasting company and has taken over The Daily Planet. After some chatter about Jimmy and Clark Kent, Edge, out of nowhere, asks his assistant, “How are we progressing on those contracts for Don Rickles?” She replies, “Oh, Mister Edge, I just hope Don signs with us! He’s such a funny man!”

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Photo: Jack Kirby; Vince Colletta/DC Entertainment

Edge says he’ll be able to snag the funnyman (presumably for a TV show, though there’s no such explanation); the assistant enthusiastically says they’ll “have two of them now! Don — and his ‘look alike!’” She’s speaking of Goody Rickels, a staff researcher, whom Edge apparently loathes. “If the real Don Rickles and this yo-yo ever bump into each other — it’ll be utter chaos!!” he thinks to himself. And in walks Goody, dressed in a superhero getup that he confusingly says “some of the fellows in another office” forced him to wear. He begs Edge for a promotion and spouts non-sequitur dialogue that doesn’t quite work as humor, though it’s unclear if that’s intentional on Kirby’s part. For example: “Nature gave me a small liver — but a big, big heart!” and “It’s like John Wayne says! The American Dream — it works! You just have to eat apple pie and believe!

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Photo: Jack Kirby; Vince Colletta/DC Entertainment

Edge decides he needs to kill off the maddening Goody and sends the man to investigate a UFO. Supes, Jimmy, and the Guardian show up at the same UFO, and aliens (or “space creeps,” as Goody puts it) attack them. Terrified and clumsy, Goody doesn’t know how to fight, but survives and even defeats some baddies through slapstick luck. The issue ends without Don actually appearing, but the next chapter promises his arrival in its bizarre title: “WILL THE REAL DON RICKLES PANIC?!?” Don arrives at the GBS offices and, while parading past a crowd of autograph-seekers, declares, “Relax, you cockamamies! You’re liberated! The Nazis are gone! That’s right! I just saw General Patton grab von Rundstedt!” Ever the disser, he calls a zaftig lady a “runaway locomotive”; tells Edge’s assistant, “Get yourself a bikini and start a chain of heart attacks at a garden party!”; and curses the assembled masses by yelling, “And may the gods rain on your memos!

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Photo: Jack Kirby; Vince Colletta/DC Entertainment

Then comes the moment you’ve been waiting for: Goody returns to GBS and meets Don. “I-I-I-I — I think I’m going — bananas!” the latter cries upon seeing the Goofus to his Gallant. Goody reveals that the UFO encounter left him infected with some weird science-fiction-y ailment that’s killing him, and the unsympathetic Don wanders off to read a book while all the mishegoss sorts itself out, which it does. Don’s odyssey isn’t done, however — Superman shows up, as does a bomb-disposal squad that got a report of a human bomb (i.e., Goody), and an exhausted Rickles runs after the latter, declaring that he is the bomb, and therefore needs to be evacuated. Goody screams after him for an autograph, but is denied one. The squad lift Don away and one of them, noting the comedian’s declaration of his status as a bomb, delivers the punch line to the whole cameo: “Poor guy! With your routine — this had to happen!”

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Photo: Jack Kirby; Vince Colletta/DC Entertainment

Alas, the real-life Rickles was just as displeased as his four-color counterpart. According to Evanier, Rickles “felt exploited” by the story — it had been pitched to him as a brief cameo in which he insulted Superman, but the finished product was long, bizarre, and featured no such insult. Years later, when asked about the comic on a talk show, he frustratedly told the host to put it away. It’s also not one of the better-remembered Kirby stories, so the whole thing has more or less been left on the dust pile of comics history.

The whole story is easily one of the craziest and least sensical of Kirby’s illustrious five-decade career, but its wacky ambition is admirable. If you’re wondering what the whole deal behind the inclusion of Goody is, you’re never going to find much of an answer: Kirby had an expansive imagination that regularly conceived of ideas that even he couldn’t explain. He also managed to capture Rickles’s face remarkably well and his jokes, though often incomprehensible, are at least fresh and not simple carbon copies of existing bits. Though sadly out of print, it’s worth digging up this oft-forgotten story to see one of the most interesting appearances of a comic in a comic.

From: http://www.vulture.com/2017/04/that-time-don-rickles-met-superman-in-a-jack-kirby-comic.html

METALLO Makes a Mysterious Friend in ACTION COMICS #977

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From: http://www.newsarama.com/33919-metallo-makes-a-mysterious-friend-in-action-comics-977.html

How Does Superman Cut His Hair?

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

Reader Harry L. wrote in to ask, simply, how does Superman get his hair cut?

In the old days of “Superman” comic books, this was answered the same way most questions were handled – no one cared, so it never came up. Seriously, though, comics just tended not to address things like this early on. I’m sure readers were curious, it just never came up in the comics. There really wasn’t much in the way of continuity in the comics at the time, as they were basically all just “one and done” stories, so no one was exactly keeping track of things like “How does Superman’s hair work?”

First off, let’s just show a bit from “Action Comics” #251 (where Superman was artificially aged) to make it clear that Superman’s hair can NOT be cut normally…

“Superman” #201 gave an official answer to what was basically the unofficial way of handling these things – Superman didn’t have to worry about cutting his beard because so long as he was under a yellow sun (and therefore had his powers), his hair did not grow!

There was even a later comic based on that concept, where a reporter noticed that Clark Kent’s hair never grew (she figured it was a wig).

In “Superman” #139, we established that heat vision CAN cut Superman’s hair, as Krypto and Supergirl have to lend Superman a hand when some red kryptonite made his hair grow super long (how awesome is it that the look of Superman with just his beard off looks exactly like how Superman did with long hair after he returned from the dead?)…

In the “Man of Steel” reboot in 1986, John Byrne used the heat vision approach to come up with how Superman cut his hair (as Byrne’s Superman’s hair DID grow)…

That has been the case ever since, although eventually people also began to have Superman use just a basic mirror, as well (which doesn’t make a ton of sense, but hey).

Recently, in “Rebirth,” the piece of the ship method was returned…

So there ya go, Harry!

If anyone else has a question they’d like to see answered, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

How Does Superman Cut His Hair?By:

Tags:
Comic Book Questions Answered, csbg, superman


From: http://www.cbr.com/superman-hair-cut/

Exclusive preview: Superman #20 writer Peter Tomasi sets up a new threat for the Kent family

In the opening panels of Superman #20, things seem idyllic for the Kent family of Hamilton County. Following the events of the “Superman Reborn,” they’ve certainly deserved some downtime. But, this being comics, that’s not going to last.

Instead, in the new issue available April 5, the family plans to head back to Metropolis, but something won’t let them leave. Plus, Batman and Robin show up to reveal that Superboy’s powers are slowly disappearing.

To get the low-down on what’s afoot, writer Peter J. Tomasi hit me up with a couple of teases about the new story arc, “Superman Black,” and set up what might be in store. Check out what he had to say, take a gander at the gorgeous art in an exclusive preview below, and, if you feel super-excited about it, pick up Superman #20 on Wednesday.

Set up the action in this issue and why it’s one to pick up.

Peter Tomasi: We’re coming right out of “Superman Reborn” and honestly, there’s no let-up for the Kents. Just when they thought everything is falling into place after the recent shake-up, they’re going to realize a huge threat is looming to shake them to the core.

What is your favorite panel/page/line in this issue?

Tomasi: Tough question; there’s so many I can’t pick just one. It’s funny, as much as I love action, I find myself really loving the small human moments that Pat Gleason brings to life, so much emotion and subtlety that stick with you long after the issue is over. I will say there is a splash page where some food is being shared that continues to put a smile on my face. Pat and the rest of the team are kicking serious ass on every aspect of the art side with Mick Gray, John Kalisz and Rob Leigh.

Tease how this might set up the next issue.

Tomasi: Let’s just say Batman and milk don’t mix and leave it at that.

Superman #20 is published by DC Comics and written by Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi; art by Mick Gray and Patrick Gleason with a cover by Patrick Gleason and variant cover by Tony S. Daniel.

From: http://www.blastr.com/2017-4-3/dc-comics-superman-issue-20-peter-tomasi-preview

Comic Legends: How Batman and Superman’s DKR Fight Originally …

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and twenty-first week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Just like the last few months, one legend today, one tomorrow and one Sunday.

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND:

The fight between Superman and Batman originally ended much differently in “Dark Knight Returns.”

STATUS:

Basically True

As most comic book fans know, the final book of Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s iconic “The Dark Knight” miniseries, titled “The Dark Knight Falls,” features a climactic battle between Batman and Superman, with Batman ultimately having Superman at his mercy before he is felled by a heart attack. Green Arrow played a role in it, as well, shooting Superman with a kryptonite arrow.

The heart attack, of course, was all a ruse by Batman so that he could go underground. In a cute scene at the end of the issue, Batman awakes a TOUCH too early, so Superman actually hears his heartbeat, but allows Batman to get away with it.

In the tenth anniversary collected edition of “Dark Knight Returns,” though, DC shared with us all Frank Miller’s original plot for the final issue, and not only is Green Arrow not in the final fight, but the total final battle was SLIGHTLY different, especially in the fact that Superman was WINNING the final fight when Batman then succumbs to his heart attack…

Everything else after that is as it was in the original comic (I mean, slight differences, but the basic gist was the same).

I think that I like the published version better, especially the use of Green Arrow. What do you folks think?


Check out some legends from Legends Revealed:

Did Steven Spielberg Win a Percentage of the Profits of the First Star Wars in a Bet?

Did the Star-Spangled Banner Have An Extra Verse Added During the Civil War?
Was Disneyland’s First Opening So Screwed Up That They Pretended It Didn’t Happen for More Than a Decade?

Did The Band Behind the Hit Song “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” Not Even Really Exist?


Check back Saturday for part 2 of this week’s legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you’re curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

Comic Legends: How Batman and Supermans DKR Fight Originally Ended!By:

Tags:
batmans, Comic Book Legends Revealed, csbg


From: http://www.cbr.com/batman-superman-dark-knight-returns-frank-miller-original-ending/

The Four Superman Stories That Made ‘Man of Steel’

The much-discussed DC Extended Universe of current films are getting all this buzz as Justice League‘s release nears. And the DCEU began with the love-it-or-hate-it 2013 film Man of Steel. No matter how you reacted to it, there was certainly a lot of references to classic comics for Superman fans to find.

Theatrical superhero movies usually combine elements of multiple stories from the comics they’re based on. Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel was no different, and it took guidance from so many classic sources. Of the many inspirations folks might overlook, is primariy an adaptation of four notable Superman stories: Superman: The Man of Steel, The Supergirl Saga, Superman: Last Son, and Superman: Earth One.

Superman: The Man of Steel

In 1986, after rebooting their entire multiverse in the seminal Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics hired superstar writer and illustrator John Byrne to reimagine Superman’s origin. He began one of the best Superman runs ever with a miniseries called The Man of Steel. Every Superman story since then, in any medium, is indebted to this miniseries.

The Man of Steel reinterpreted the doomed planet Krypton as a sterile world where everyone was genetically engineered. The miniseries emphasized Clark Kent’s human upbringing over his alien heritage, ending with him explicitly deciding that he thinks of himself as human. Clark’s parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent, were both established as alive and active in their son’s adult life. Prior to this, they had both been portrayed as dying before Clark became Superman. The Man of Steel also established that Superman’s powers weren’t as godlike as before, with many enemies as strong as he is, if not stronger, eliminating complaints of Superman being “too powerful.” Lois Lane became as heroic as Superman and an occasional action hero, and less of a damsel in distress. The Man of Steel quickly (and rightly) became regarded as a classic.

In their film, David Goyer and Zack Snyder chose to depict John Byrne’s atypical Krypton, even though the comics had since reverted to a more utopian portrayal of the planet. They also picked up on characterizations and themes from The Man of Steel, although this was nearly unavoidable since nearly every Superman story in the interim had done the same.

The Supergirl Saga

In 1988, Byrne, working with Jerry Ordway, concluded his run with a three-parter titled The Supergirl Saga. In this story, Superman discovered that the General Zod, Quex-Ul, and Zaora of an alternate dimension had murdered almost the entire population of that reality’s Earth. Superman watched the last survivors fight back and attempted to help them. He failed and they died. The criminals destroyed the only available Phantom Zone projector, so that Superman could not re-imprison them there. (At this point in his career, Superman did not know how to build a new Phantom Zone projector).

Superman captured the Kryptonian criminals, exposed them to gold kryptonite (removing their powers) and watched them laugh and declare that they would someday do to Superman’s Earth the same thing they had done to theirs. Deciding that he was “the last representative of law and justice on this world,” he exposed them to lethal green kryptonite. The story was controversial at the time and still is with some. Reflecting this, Superman in subsequent stories quickly started to regret his actions, exiling himself into space in the classic Exile story arc.

In their film, Goyer and Snyder chose to conclude their Superman’s struggle with Zod in a similar fashion. While Zod’s genocidal plan is only attempted in the film, Superman causes his death to protect his potential future victims after it becomes no longer possible to return Zod to the Phantom Zone (in the film, because the mechanism for doing this has already been expended in imprisoning Zod’s army of fellow convicts). Superman actually feels guilty for killing Zod even quicker in the film than he did in the comics.

Last Son

This story defined General Zod’s 21st Century characterization, influencing both the New Krypton saga and General Zod’s New 52 appearances. In 2006, 2007, and 2008, (this story experienced some major publishing delays!) Superman experts Geoff Johns and Richard Donner reintroduced the general after decades of absence. Joe Kelly and Brian Azzarello had written stories featuring a Russian-style Zod whose real name was Avruiskin, but that Zod never truly caught on. So Johns and Donner presented a classic Kryptonian Zod leading an army of Phantom Zone criminals in a destructive, full-scale invasion of Metropolis. Spaceships crashed into buildings, the US military got involved, and ultimately the day was saved by returning Zod’s army to the Phantom Zone.

Crucially, this story introduced Zod’s desire to turn Earth into a homeland for surviving Kryptonians. Zod had always had a personal grudge against Superman and his Kryptonian family, and that grudge was preserved in this story, but it was in this story that Zod became something of a visionary with a plan for his people’s future. Zod berates Superman for trying to live a human life in this story, and this disdain for humanity would endure in later Zod stories. Even Zod’s bearded appearance came into the comics in this story (Terrence Stamp aside, Zod had been clean-shaven from the 1960s to the 1980s).

Superman: Earth One

This might be the strongest influence on the film of all. The entire story structure of Man of Steel is directly lifted from J. Michael Straczynki’s 2010 out-of-continuity graphic novel Superman: Earth One. In Earth One, a young, low-on-money Clark Kent is introduced trying out various jobs. Martha Kent is alive but Jonathan Kent is not. Clark’s childhood, including an encounter with a bully, is shown in flashbacks.

Clark discovers his alien heritage at the midpoint of the story. Almost immediately afterward, he becomes Superman specifically to stop an alien invasion centered in Metropolis, despite having no experience at all in the superhero business. The invaders have come to Earth specifically to target Clark. He battles the invaders, destroys their machines, and uses the spaceship that brought him to Earth against the invaders. Daily Planet staff including Lois Lane assist Clark during the chaos. Once the world is safe he starts wearing glasses and joins the Daily Planet, ending the story — whereas most retellings of Superman’s origin story have him do both of these things shortly before he becomes Superman.

Man of Steel is so reminiscent of Earth One that it’s impossible not to notice the resemblance. The graphic novel has the pacing and spectacle of a blockbuster action movie, and it makes nearly every choice about how to characterize a young Superman in the 2010s that Man of Steel did, from the bullies to the identity questions to the to the lack of experience.



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From: http://fandom.wikia.com/articles/four-superman-stories-made-man-steel

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