When they began their run on Action Comics in 2011, Grant Morrison was at a crucial juncture in their comics career. After returning to DC in the early 2000s following the end of their run on New X-Men, they launched into a staggering creative frenzy that took them through the first act of their Batman epic, their cult classic take on The Seven Soldiers of Victory, and the multi-Eisner Award winning All-Star Superman with their defining artistic partner Frank Quitely, along with significant contributions to the acclaimed 52. Their mid-naughts imperial phase culminated when Dan DiDio finally handed them the keys to the kingdom and allowed them to do their take on a classic DC Crisis event, leading to the seven-issue Final Crisis with J.G. Jones and Doug Mahnke. Instead of delivering a classic crossover action comic (heh), Morrison wrote a baroque, austere story about the apocalypse powered by symbolism and metaphor as much, if not moreso, than by narrative logic, an ontologically dense exploration of DC’s icons that contrasted them with grimy images of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World New Gods to advance Morrison’s concept of the Justice League as the gods of the Fifth World. [Read more…] about The Old 52: Action Comics & The Birthplace of Modern Morrison
SUPERMAN (1978) – Finding The Hero Inside Us
Doomed planet. Desperate scientists. Last hope. Kindly couple. And a legend that has inspired generations.
Richard Donner’s Superman is the defining superhero film, sparking the mainstream big budget era of comic book films that would eventually be shepherded into continual success by the likes of Tim Burton’s Batman and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. But Donner’s film is more than just a pillar of a subgenre, it’s a masterpiece in its own right, interlinking the romantic charm of bygone Hollywood with the modern era of blockbuster spectacle. Promising to make its audiences believe that a man can fly but giving them a story that’s more layered, charming, and human than what its central concept would have you believe.
The story is simple yet iconic, reiterating the classic tale of Clark Kent’s rise to heroism and itself being reiterated upon by dozens of films since. [Read more…] about SUPERMAN (1978) – Finding The Hero Inside Us
Superman Smashes the Klan and the Complicated Art of Belonging
Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru’s Superman Smashes the Klan begins as Roberta Lee, her brother Tommy, and her parents Mrs. and Dr. Lee move into a new house so that Dr. Lee can start a job as the Chief Bacteriologist of the Metropolis Health Department. The Lees had previously lived in Chinatown, and now that they are moving into Metropolis proper, Dr. Lee urges Mrs. Lee and the rest of the family to speak in English, even when they’re alone. Just as they begin to meet some of the people in the neighborhood (including Jimmy Olsen, who lives across the street), they see a bright streak of color zooming over the telephone wires. It’s Superman.
Superman Smashes the Klan is a complex story, dealing with themes of racism and identity on many different levels. The book follows Roberta as she manages the complicated process of being herself in a new environment that’s not very welcoming to those who are different. However, Roberta is not alone in this struggle. As Clark Kent spends more time with the Lees, we see that he’s fighting a similar battle, as memories of his past come back to make him question the parts of himself that he has hidden to blend in. [Read more…] about Superman Smashes the Klan and the Complicated Art of Belonging
The 11 Best Superman Stories!
Superman is a character full of hope and optimism. The first Superhero, hitting newsstands all the way back in 1938. He may not be as popular as someone like Batman, but he deserves to be looked at with respect. Surprisingly though, when it comes to story recommendations, it seems to be the same five stories over and over again. While yes, they are definitely worth reading, I wanted to highlight some amazing stories, along with a few classics, that don’t nearly get as much love and attention, but will also provide a well rounded look at the character that is Clark Kent. My choices may raise a few eyebrows, but any discussion about great Superman stories is a worthwhile discussion. [Read more…] about The 11 Best Superman Stories!
SUPERPOWERS REVIEWED: Flight (and Superman)
A series in which we attempt to find the single, perfect superpower by reviewing each one on a five-star scale.
DISCLAIMER: This installment talks about real death and the human body.
This Installment: Flight
The ability to naturally defy gravity and travel in a non-parabolic fashion.
[Read more…] about SUPERPOWERS REVIEWED: Flight (and Superman)