Category Archives: Superman

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: April 18 – 24, 2018


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

Comics I Read Last Week:

The best comic I read last week was Action Comics #1000.

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Writers: Brian Michael Bendis, Peter J. Tomasi, Paul Dini, Marv Wolfman, Dan Jurgens, Geoff Johns, Louise Simonson, Tom King, Scott Snyder and Brad Meltzer

Artists: Dan Jurgens, Jim Lee, Patrick Gleason, Curt Swan, Olivier Coipel, Clay Mann, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, John Cassaday, Jerry Ordway, Tim Sale, Butch Guice, 

It would be all but impossible to choose the best story from Action Comics #1000. This landmark issue, celebrating Superman’s 80th year in continual publication, struck just the perfect balance between nostalgia and forward motion. This star-studded collection of creators each brought her or his A-game to the proceedings and each of the installments in the 80 page giant highlighted a different aspect of the Man of Steel – a different part of the whole that makes him the first and the best superhero of them all.

The best story may well be hard to identify, but my favorite is not. Give “Never Ending Battle” by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason that distinction. Both clever tribute to era-after-era of Superman incarnations and a distillation of what makes the character tick, this story is moving and heroic. Patrick Gleason gives readers Superman after Superman from the original 1930s version to the Super Friends cartoon to the Frank Miller interpretation. “Never Ending Battle” is fascinating and fun.

The whole issue is. If you are a person who does not believe that Superman is an interesting character, think again. The prologue to Brian Michael Bendis’ upcoming run on the character is so full of potential that one can envision Superman on the top of the comic book sales charts.

Where it belongs.

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Filed under Action Comics, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review

Link’n’Blogs – 4.20.18: The Red Trunks Still Fit


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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

Superman is 80 years old! I hope I look that good when I am 80. Wait, I do not look that good, now. Ah, well… in culmination of my week long celebration of all things Superman on the occasion of the publication of Action Comics #1000, I share a New York Times article praising the Man of Steel and all that he means. Click the image to read the article!

Superman 75th Anniversary Images

 

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Filed under DC Comics, Link'n'Blog, Superman

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: December 20 – 26, 2017


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

Comics I Read Last Week:

 

One

The best comic I read last week was a TIE between Batman #37 and Marvel Two-in-One #1.

BATMAN:

Writer:  Tom King

Artist: Clay Mann

No shock here, I have selected Batman again but, hey, I told you I would! The double date between Bruce Wayne/Selina Kyle and Clark Kent/Lois Lane was even better than I thought it would be. When the hero couples show up at “Super Fair” at which everyone must wear costumes they realize they have three costumes among them. How ever will they get in? The solution? Bruce as Superman, Clark as Batman (complete with glasses over the top of the cowl!), Lois as Catwoman and Selina as… well, who in their right mind would try to keep Selina Kyle out of an event? That humorous start leads to a brilliant and, dare I write, beautiful story highlighting the new dynamic duo of the DC Universe: Lois and Selina. Give me more of these two! What a terrific issue (bracketing, for the second installment in a row, the overly sexualized interpretations of women by otherwise stellar Clay Mann)! What a great team, and by this I mean King and Mann, Bruce and Clark and, of course, Selina and Lois!

MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE

Writer: Chip Zdarksky

Artist: Jim Cheung

The other dynamic duo of the week was the Human Torch and the Thing as written by Chip Zdarsky and illustrated by Jim Cheung. I so much want Marvel Two-and-One to be the Fantastic Four reboot we deserve. In this heartfelt, moving and pitch-perfect first issue, Johnny and Ben are back together (so we have the Fantastic Two!) and so well handled that I believe I can certainly take a series of arcs with just these two. Zdarsky’s style is well suited here. He has a light touch that is just what this book needs. Cheung is one of the best pencillers in the business and his work is just as good here as it Zdarsky’s. I loved this book and I cannot wait for more… and for FOUR!

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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Fantastic Four, Marvel Comics, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: December 6 – 12, 2017


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

Comics I Read Last Week:

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The best comic I read last week was Batman #36.

Writer:  Tom King

Artist:  Clay Mann

I do not often regale The Cinnamon Girl, my lovely wife, with what happened in my comic books in the course of any given week. For me to say something to her about any book I have read means something very clever or very special happened in the given issue.

I told The Cinnamon Girl  about Batman #36. I told her with enthusiasm.

Batman #36 follows more of the story of the engagement of Batman and Catwoman.

And let us pause for a moment and note that writer Tom King is putting together a significant story arc featuring DC Comics’ most famous character which deals, not with a super villain’s nefarious plan or a crisis facing Gotham City, but with the wedding plans of the main character. Bold choice.

And this particular issue deals with something that happens in all engagements: best friends must be told life is about to change. In this case, Batman and Superman must come to grips with the fact that Batman is about to wed Catwoman and all that means for their friendship.

The issue is brilliant. It is funny and touching. It delves into the insecurities of powerful men and illustrates the power of secure women. Lois and Selina are far more than supporting characters here. They are main players and they are, clearly, more emotionally developed than their beaus.

Clay Mann’s pencils are solid and support the story nicely. There is a super villain to fight and he handles that work very well. What is less impressive, unfortunately, is the way he illustrates women. His women simply do not look like they could exist in any kind of real life and, while one can argue that is not the point of comic books and argue that convincingly, it seems to me that we have come to a point in which illustrations of women ought to be viewed differently than they have been or, perhaps, they are. Overall, however, Mann is on point and this issue is delightful.

Given that Batman #37 will feature a date night with Lois, Clark, Bruce and Selina, I think I can predict that #37 might find its way into the Best Sequential Art in two weeks…

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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 22 – 28, 2017


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

Comics I Read Last Week:

One

The best comic I read last week was The Doomsday Clock #1.

Writer:  Geoff Johns

Artist:  Gary Frank

Perhaps it was inevitable, but it is also kind of gutsy: to revisit and write what amounts to a direct sequel of one of the most revered comic book narratives of all time. It was inevitable because, let us face it, there is money to be made. It is gutsy as Doomsday Clock will relentlessly be compared to Watchmen, the classic 1980s graphic novel and there is hardly any way to imagine that Doomsday Clock will not come up wanting.

I expected something different from this book. I expected it to be more of a DC Universe/Watchmen crossover than it actually is. Though Superman appears at the end of the book (and in remarkable fashion: Geoff Johns has had a terrific feel for this character for years), Doomsday Clock is very much chapter 13 of Watchmen and it plays exceedingly well.

Gary Frank is not aping the work of original artist Dave Gibbons here, but he is adopting the panel structure – of course – and is bringing to the book his top work. Frank is an artist whose best asset is the detail he puts into the page, the expressions, the stands of hair, the crumpled garbage in the streets. He is on point in Doomsday Clock and his gritty realism really works here.

I love what Johns did in continuing Alan Moore’s appropriation of DC properties. In Watchmen, Moore used facsimiles of the Charlton characters DC had just purchased. In Doomsday Clock, Johns creates the Marionette and the Mime, DC’s Punch and Julee simulacrums and the trick is pleasant and works.

The whole issue works and I read it three times this week. Each time, I was more deeply pulled into the story. I am sure I can dive in and feel the same way again.

Big event comics seem to rarely deliver on their promises these days. Doomsday Clock, at least for one issue, does.

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Geoff Johns, Marvel Comics, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: May 17 – 23, 2017


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

COMICS I READ LAST WEEK

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The best comic I read last week was

Super Sons #4.

Writer: Peter Tomasi

Artist: Jorge Jimenez

This comic book is intended to be a fun read filled with the kinetic energy that teens and preteens have in abundance and the team of Jorge Jimenez and Peter Tomasi are delivering. Of the books I read monthly, this one brings a smile to my face more often than others and is, frankly, the most enjoyable comic I read. It is not overly complex. It does not take itself too seriously. It knows what is it and what it is is joyful.

The dynamic between Robin (Damian Wayne) and Superboy (Jon Kent) is just what it ought to be. Jon is something of a naive do-gooder, always ready to call in the “super dads” to assist the boys while Damian is an arrogant know-it-all, always ready for the boys to go it alone no matter the risks. Essentially, Tomasi as broken down and magnified the traditional relationship between Batman and Superman and is playing it out in broader strokes with the boys.

Tomasi must be a father himself or have spent plenty of time around kids because he nails both the mindset and the dialogue of teenagers. Give this guy Teen Titans when it is looking for a new writer.

Jorge Jimenez’s art is wonderful. His predilection for cartoonish expressions which brim with manga influence is the right match for the tone of the book. Jimenez’s kids look like kids and there is great contrast between them and the adults in the book. I have noted this in prior reviews: drawing children seems to be a difficult task for many artists. Not for Jimenez. One of the things that truly shines in this issue is that Jimenez is able to contrast the fun of the book with the fairly terrible actions of the villain, Kid Amazo. The juxtaposition is powerful.

Super Sons is great. It hearkens back to the comics of my childhood, feeling very World’s Finest in its approach and execution. I loved that book as a kid. I love this one as a kid-like adult.

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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Robin, Superboy, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: April 5 – 11, 2017


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

COMICS I READ LAST WEEK

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The best comic I read last week was

Superman #20.

Writer: Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

Artist: Patrick Gleason

 

There are so many good things going on in Superman #20, it is difficult to know where to start discussing them. Following an engaging, through a bit frustrating and confusing “Superman Reborn” arc which again altered the status quo for Superman, Lois and Jon, “Black Dawn” – the new arc – jumps in acknowledging but not dwelling on the story just concluded. That is a good thing.

All of this issue feels comfortable and that is the best thing the book has going for it. This version of Superman is known and comfortable. This story is as well. It is so familiar, one of my first thoughts upon concluding the issue is that I want a Worlds Finest Reborn title.

Why? Because Tomasi and Gleason bring Batman and Robin into this issue and the chemistry among the five main characters (Lois, her superpowered family and the Bat family) is so compelling and so well written that it could easily support its own book.

Batman is concerned, of course, that Jon Kent is not reaching his potential. Jon should be, even at this point, far more powerful than his father and he is not. Something is wrong and Batman and Robin have arrived to find out what.

Great set up. Great execution. Great twist in the end of the book.

Patrick Gleason is such a great cartoonist. He is not going for photo realism, rather he creates images that are quickly iconic. His facility with Superman and Batman is matched by the ease with which he draws Robin and Superboy. Why he is not mentioned in the pantheon of current “great” artists is beyond me.

Tomasi and Gleason are a terrific team. I want them on this title for a long, long time.

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Filed under Batman/Superman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Robin, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review