Tag Archives: DC Comics

Batgirl #35

Anthony’s DC Comics picks for October 2014

Here’s what’s of interest from DC Comics for October. Full solicitations are available here.

Comics

  • The Multiversity: The Just #1, on sale Oct. 15, $5
  • Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #5 (of 6), on sale Oct. 1, $3
  • Batman ’66 #16, on sale Oct. 22, $3
  • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #3, on sale Oct. 15, $4
  • Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #5 (of 6), on sale Oct. 1, $3
  • Astro City #16, on sale Oct. 8, $4

Trade paperbacks

  • Batman Adventures, vol. 1, on sale Nov. 5, $20
  • Tales of the Batman: Len Wein (HC), on sale Dec. 24, $60
  • Superman For All Seasons Deluxe Edition (HC), on sale Dec. 10, $30

Comments

“The Multiversity: The Just” is billed as taking place on “Earth-16.” I thought that was supposed to be the Earth the “Young Justice” TV show takes place on, but I guess Morrison trumps some long-dead-and-buried TV show (that was watched by way more people than this comic’s readership, but I digress…).

The most talked about comics this month are the new “Gotham Academy” title and the new team/direction for “Batgirl.” While I’m still avoiding the New 52 (and especially anything DCU Batman-related), these two issues sound like a positive direction for DC. The former is about teenage girls (who look like normal teenage girls!) dealing with odd goings-on at a private academy in Gotham City. Meanwhile, Batgirl is shown moving to a trendy, younger neighborhood in Gotham City (“Burnside”), and is also getting a new costume to boot. The costume’s received much praise online, including a multitude of Tumblr artwork. While the costume’s nice (I like the cape; Barbara’s sidebag is reminiscent of her costume from her earliest days), I’m not completely sold on the boots, but that’s probably only because I’m reminded of the much-loathed-by-me New 52 Superman “early days” costume.

Despite both new books being Yet Another Bunch of Bat-books, they both sound like a welcome new trend: DC realizing that women read comics too, and might want something without dubious sexist retcons, sex-obsessed characters, and other New 52 “signatures.” They’ve presumably also seen the higher sales and acclaim that Marvel’s receiving for its books (Captain Marvel, etc.). While I doubt this will mark a wholesale change away from the New 52′s bad “90s”/”extreme” crass tone and mentality, as they say, it’s a start. (The website Multiversity Comics has an interesting post analyzing these two books’ implications.)

One more welcome sign: Gotham being shown as more of a realistic city—a private academy with teenagers? An interesting trendy neighborhood? For years, DC’s beaten to death the idea that Gotham’s basically Hades, Baghdad, and WWII-era Germany combined, with absolutely zero redeeming values to it, and that’s before I get to the one-note killer clown with a death toll requiring scientific notation to track. If that’s the case, then why should I or anyone else care if Batman and company save the day? Showing the above sides of Gotham City might be a move toward making it look and feel more like a believable city, and explain why people would like to live or move there, besides to serve as cannon fodder for the latest Joker killfest-du-jour.

On the non-canonical side of DC (and where my actual DC buying lies nowadays), “Sensation” this month has a story by Gilbert Hernandez…which I assume is the one about Wonder Woman’s former rock star days. I’d buy it just for that story alone!

“Tiny Titans” sees, like “Scooby Doo”‘s team-up with Wonder Woman, another use of “Aphrodite’s Law” from the pre-Crisis comics—the rule that men weren’t allowed to step foot on Paradise Island, lest the Amazons lose the immortality and powers. This was particularly played up in Silver Age comics in particular, before being discarded with George Perez’s reboot in 1987 for post-Crisis continuity.

This month also sees a compilation of Len Wein’s work being reprinted, including the 1980 Batman miniseries “The Untold Legend of the Batman,” which summarizes Batman’s pre-Crisis Silver/Bronze Age history.

Anthony’s DC Comics picks for September 2014

Sensation Comics #2Although summer’s just beginning, it’s time to see what’s of interest for September for DC Comics. Full solicitations are available here.

Comic books

  • The Multiversity: The Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, on sale Sept. 17, $5
  • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #2, on sale Sept. 17, $4 (digital first)
  • Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #4 (of 6), on sale Sept. 3, $3 (digital first)
  • Adventures of Superman #17, on sale Sept. 24, $4 (digital first) (final issue)
  • Batman ’66 #15, on sale Sept. 24, $3 (digital first)
  • Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #4 (of 6), on sale Sept. 3, $3
  • Scooby-Doo Team-Up #6, on sale Sept. 3, $3 (digital first)
  • Astro City #15, on sale Sept. 10, $4

Trade paperbacks

  • Batman ’66, vol. 1, on sale Oct. 15, $15
  • Adventures of Superman, vol. 2, on sale Oct. 15, $15

Comments

As someone on Twitter noted, that’s one awkward title for that Morrison-written “Multiversity” book.

On the digital-first side, “Sensation Comics” features a story telling how Wonder Woman earned her bracelets…sounds like a pretty classic-style story.

This month sees the final paper monthly comic version of “Adventures of Superman,” as the series ended its run months ago.

“Scooby-Doo Team-Up” has the gang meeting the Super Friends… which means that we’ll finally get to see Superman appear in a Scooby-Doo story! (Yes, this means Aquaman will surely appear as well, Aqua-fans.) The cover’s presumably for the issue’s reprint of the Wonder Woman story—Daphne and Velma dressed as Amazons!

Keith White

Minorities in cartoons: Keith White

This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is Keith White, a minor supporting character in the Superman comics. Keith first appeared in “Superman: Man of Steel” #1 in 1991, and was created by Louise Simonson.

Keith was introduced as a young boy sent to live in a Metropolis orphanage after his mother, suffering from AIDS-related complications, was unable to continue caring for him. One day, while wandering underground, Keith was caught and kidnapped by “Underworlders,” genetic experiments-gone-wrong (long story) who were living underneath Metropolis. Telling Keith they were holding his mother hostage and would kill her if he revealed their plans, Keith kept mum even after being rescued by Superman. Keith shortly returned to try to rescue his mother, but learned that the Underworlders weren’t holding her hostage at all. Keith then managed to signal Superman (using glow-in-the-dark spray paint to mark a large “S”-shield), and told the Man of Steel what was going on. Superman, of course, promptly put a stop to the Underworlders’ plans.

Several years later, during the “Fall of Metropolis” storyline, Keith’s caretaker at the orphanage was killed (in “Man of Steel” #35) while protecting the children from a rampaging killer robot. Soon after, Keith met Alice White, the wife of “Daily Planet” editor Perry White. Alice took a liking to Keith, and soon managed to convince Perry that they should adopt the boy. Keith was reluctant at first, but soon afterwards, his mother passed away. After her funeral, Keith agreed to live with the Whites.

Like every other supporting character at the time in the Super-books, Keith was in attendance at the wedding of Lois Lane and Clark Kent in 1996′s “Superman: The Wedding Album.” Keith served as the happy couple’s ring-bearer.

At some point afterwards, Keith seemed to be ignored or forgotten by the Superman book writers, and failed to appear for a number of years. However, Keith put in one more appearance in 2011′s “Superman 80-Page Giant 2011″ #1. There, Keith is shown as old enough to leave Metropolis to strike out on his own, which depresses Perry. Presumably, Keith, like Charlie Brown’s younger sister Sally and various soap opera characters, fell victim to the selective rapid aging of certain characters.

From what I can tell, this is Keith’s final appearance to date, as soon after came DC’s New 52 reboot, which wiped out previous Superman storylines (save somehow “The Death of Superman”). Between the New 52′s emphasis on youth, sidelining or altering of older characters (the Kents, Alan Scott and other Earth-2/Justice Society members, etc.), and that Perry’s children have usually been tertiary characters in the Superman mythos at best (the number of kids, their names, etc. having varied over the years), it’s hard to say if or when Keith will return.

Anthony’s DC Comics picks for August 2014

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #1It’s time to see what’s of interest for the dog days of summer in August. Full solicitations are available here.

Comics

  • The Multiversity #1, on sale Aug. 20, $5
  • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #1, on sale Aug. 20, $4 (digital first)
  • Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #3 (of 6), on sale Aug. 6, $3 (digital first)
  • Batman ’66 #14, on sale Aug. 27, $3 (digital first)
  • Adventures of Superman #16, on sale Aug. 27, $4 (digital first)
  • Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #3 (of 6), on sale Aug. 6, $3
  • Astro City #14, on sale Aug. 13, $4

Trade paperbacks

  • Batman ’66 vol. 2 (HC), on sale Oct. 15, $20
  • Astro City: Through Open Doors, on sale Sept. 17, $17

Comments

After many delays, DC’s finally releasing Grant Morrison’s “Multiversity” series, a comic about the various other Earths in its current multiverse. While I’d normally give it an automatic “avoid” since it’s tied in some way to the New 52 continuity, “Multiversity” A) is written by Grant Morrison and B) doesn’t involve the current New 52 Earth (or Earth-2), so hopefully it’s divorced enough to be similar to its non-canonical books. That is, hopefully without the New 52′s usual flaws that make it a joyless experience.

Speaking of non-canonical books, the bigger news this month might be that Wonder Woman is getting, for the first time ever, a third ongoing regular comic! “Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman” (quite a mouthful) will follow the vein of “Adventures of Superman” and become a new weekly digital-first comic series (collected in paper form monthly). The stories here will, like “Adventures,” involve the classic versions of the Amazing Amazon. Unlike “Adventures,” DC’s not clueless enough this time to hire a homophobic writer to kick things off, instead giving the first issue to fan favorite (and former Wonder Woman writer) Gail Simone. While I wonder if the first issue showing Diana facing off against Batman’s rogues instead of her own is to boost sales/comply with DC’s Bat-obsession, I’ve otherwise got no complaints—and pleased to have a new comic to add to my reading rotation. Good news all around…

Anthony’s DC Comics picks for July 2014

Showcase Presents Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo CrewHere’s what’s of interest from DC Comics for July. Full solicitations are available here.

Comics

  • Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #2, on sale July 2, $3 (digital-first)
  • Batman ’66 #13, on sale July 23, $3 (digital-first)
  • Adventures of Superman #15, on sale July 30, $4 (digital-first)
  • DC Comics Presents: Batman Adventures #1, on sale July 30, $8
  • Scooby-Doo Team-Up #5, on sale July 2, $3 (digital-first)
  • Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #2 (of 6), on sale July 2, $3

Trade paperbacks

  • Showcase Presents Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew, on sale Aug. 27, $20
  • Astro City: Victory (HC), on sale Sept. 17, $25

Comments

There’s a lot to be interested in this month from DC, as the comics section above shows. A lot, that is, assuming one sticks with the digital-first/non-New 52 titles.

“Adventures of Superman” will continue in print form for a short while yet, collecting the last few digital installments of the now-cancelled title.

“Scooby-Doo Team-Up” looks like it’s going to have the gang meet the rest of the DC Universe after all. I suppose that (and the previously-advertised Teen Titans meeting) answers my question of whether or not super-powered superheroes exist in Scooby’s world. Anyway, this issue sees Scooby, Shaggy and company team up with Wonder Woman! Daphne and Velma get singled out in particular in the solicitation (“Amazon training?”).

The most anticipated trade paperback in some time comes in August (not July), as we finally get that long-delayed “Showcase Presents” volume of Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew! The oversized Showcase volume will reprint the entire original series, as well as the three-issue “Oz-Wonderland War” miniseries. The late 2000s miniseries has already been collected in a trade paperback, which means the entirety of the Zoo Crew’s print run will finally be available in trade paperback form, even if mostly in black-and-white.

 

Yet another round of comics sexism: Janelle Asselin, “Teen Titans” and online backlash

Teen Titans #1Other than Amazon’s purchase of Comixology, the biggest comics topic online in the past week’s been yet another embarrassing round of sexism by a vocal segment of comic fans.

To summarize: Janelle Asselin, a contributor to Comic Book Resources and comic creator, wrote a critique of the cover to the upcoming reboot/issue #1 of “Teen Titans.” (Yes, they just rebooted it for the “New 52″ three years ago, I know.) The cover in question is shown to the right. Along with the bad looking costumes (what’d they do with Raven?!), Wonder Girl came in for the most criticism. Wonder Girl’s traditionally a teenage girl—usually Donna Troy—with a teen-sized version of Wonder Woman’s powers. As Asselin notes, Wonder Girl looks rather artificially busty for an underage teenager, not to mention her costume’s design showing such off. Anyway, this criticism somehow attracted the attention not of the cover’s artist, but of another DC employee, Brett Booth, currently the artist on “The Flash.” Booth posted the following response to Asselin (after some Twitter debate) on Twitter (copied and pasted as-is):

I see, the only way I can refute your argument is to not use logic, biology, google and also I can’t have a penis. Sounds fair.

Things, well, went downhill from there. Besides further similar remarks from Booth, a sizable number of fans also posted various remarks slandering Asselin on Twitter, as well as nastier comments, including threats of rape. Asselin’s discussed and summarized all of this (with examples of various crass Twitter remarks) on her Tumblr blog.

While I’m not sure what else I can add that’s not already been stated more eloquently by others, including Asselin herself and The Outhousers, I thought drawing attention to this issue was important. Either way, stuff like this is part of the reason why many in the general public hold such a lukewarm view of superhero comics and its fans, per the still-prevalent stereotypes such as “Comic Book Guy” on “The Simpsons.” They do like superheroes (as last weekend’s “Winter Soldier” box office proves), and they like comics (webcomics, “Calvin and Hobbes,” “The Walking Dead,” etc.), but not the two together. Fans and creators sounding like, or not caring about sounding like, every negative comics fan stereotype (“Neanderthal 30-year-old losers living in their parents’ basements”) doesn’t help the medium of comics, nor the superhero comics genre.

Of course, as far as the general public’s concerned, the Teen Titans are these guys: Teen Titans (Cartoon Network) “Teen Titans Go,” the team’s current TV incarnation, got 1.5 million viewers on a March 26, 2014 telecast on Cartoon Network; meanwhile, the most recent “Titans” comic (“Teen Titans” #29) sold 25,969 copies. If anything, the Titans might want to try resembling their TV counterparts a bit more. (Well, the 2000s TV series version, not the slapstick “Go.”) For that matter, DC might want to avoid yet another round of controversy over a Titans comic’s #1.

“Adventures of Superman” digital-first series has been canceled

Adventures of Superman (digital)Yes, you read the subject line correctly: DC’s quietly announced that their digital-first weekly Superman anthology series “Adventures of Superman” has been canceled, as of today’s issue, issue #51. Its replacement? A new comic based on a video game, in this case “Infinite Crisis.”

For the past year, “Adventures” (along with the also-axed “Superman Family Adventures”) has been my favorite New 52-era Superman title. Avoiding or ignoring everything about the New 52, this series featured classic-style Superman stories, with most of the cast (Lois, Jimmy, etc.) in their familiar forms. The title made news this time a  year ago over its then-planned, then-dropped initial plan to use Orson Scott Card to write the first few issues.

Now, it’s been given the axe, with no indication if it’s due to low sales (gather it’s being outsold by the less-than-respectful-to-Supes “Injustice: Gods Among Us” title), or just to clear space for said video game tie-in. The cancellation also came with zero advance announcement or warning, despite a well publicized interview last week with Jerry Ordway and Steve Rude for issue #51 (now the final issue…no actual one-year anniversary for this title, apparently). I only learned about it this morning when buying the issue on Google Play, to find this in the issue description:

In the series’ final chapter, legends Jerry Ordway and Steve Rude tell the story of Superman’s first encounter with a hero from the future, OMAC: the One-Man Army Corps.

A few others on Twitter found out the same way. The cancellation was confirmed by the solicitation for “Infinite Crisis.”

With this title gone, that leaves the only DC material I’m regularly buying being “Scooby-Doo Team-Up” and “Batman ’66.” A bit more money on hand to try a few other companies’ titles, I suppose…

DC Comics single issues now available on Google Play

Adventures of Superman (digital)News came a day or so ago that Google Play, Google’s digital media store, has started to sell DC Comics’ single issue comics. While Google Play’s been selling some of DC’s trade paperbacks for awhile, it hasn’t done such for singles until now. DC’s been selling their singles on the Nook and Kindle stores, as well as digital comics giant Comixology, which will continue, of course.

I’d been hoping for awhile to see DC’s singles sold on Google Play, so this is welcome news. Marvel’s singles won’t be joining them, as they’re exclusively available only through Comixology. Besides offering an alternative to Comixology, Google Play also offers the option of downloading one’s purchases as watermarked PDFs (and for some books, also as Adobe DRMed EPUBs), presumably to be as compatible as possible with various Android devices. Well, most of their comics anyway; some random ones don’t seem available as PDFs/EPUBs. A way of checking is to see if anything’s listed under the book description’s “Additional Information” heading. Those available as PDFs/EPUBs will usually have listed devices they’re compatible with (“Android 3.0+ tablet,” “Web, tablet,” etc.).

Now that DC’s singles have been added, hopefully we’ll next see Boom Studios’ single issue books join Google Play someday.

Anthony’s DC Comics picks for June 2014

batman_66_green_hornet1Here’s what’s of interest from DC Comics for June 2014. A full list of solicitations are available here.

Comics

  • Batman ’66 Meets Green Hornet #1 (of 6), on sale June 4, $3
  • Adventures of Superman #14, on sale June 25, $4
  • Batman ’66 #12, on sale June 25, $4
  • Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #1 (of 6), on sale June 4, $3
  • Astro City #13, on sale June 11, $4

Trade paperbacks

  • Batman: Li’l Gotham, vol. 2, on sale July 30, $13

Comments

This month sees the start of a miniseries just for the “Batman ’66″ title—a crossover with the Green Hornet. Presumably the digital-first series is doing well for DC, if it’s meriting a miniseries.

“Tiny Titans” returns to DC in its own six-issue miniseries.

Despite being DC/Time-Warner’s current cash cow, Batman’s 75th anniversary this year feels more low-key than his pal Superman’s last year. However, two 75th anniversary volumes are being released in July: one for Batman, and another for the Joker. (Yes, the Joker didn’t debut until 1940, a year after Batman.) The Batman volume includes at least one “first meeting with Superman” story. Unfortunately, it’s not “Superman” #76 (the “Bruce and Clark meet on a cruise ship” story), but “World’s Finest Comics” #94 (Superman and “Powerman”).

“Man of Steel 2″ to directly face off against “Captain America 3″…for now

DC vs. MarvelNews has come that May 6, 2016 will see “Man of Steel 2″ (or whatever it’s eventually called) will be facing off that very same weekend against… Marvel’s third “Captain America” film. Details on The Mary Sue. (Update 4/7/14: Now officially confirmed in this Marvel press release.)

I highly doubt that this release status will stay intact… if anything, Warner Bros. has already dragged their feet on releasing any superhero films (with “Man of Steel 2″ their next one), versus the sizable number of Marvel films coming out between now and 2016. I doubt Warner Bros. wants to chance their next superhero film (and hoped-for keystone for a Justice League franchise) seeing a diminished box office due to a Disney/Marvel film. Of course, Disney doesn’t want their film to be hurt at the box office either, but there’s more at stake for Warner Bros. at this point.

So, I expect someone will be changing their release dates between now and May 2016… I’ll update this post when either side eventually “blinks.” On the unlikely chance neither does, I’ll be in line for “Captain America 3.” Barring anything that happens to Steve Rogers in the next few films, I assume Cap will maintain his usual optimistic tone, versus the cynical nature of everything about “Man of Steel” and (so far) its planned sequel.