Saturday, June 30, 2007

The K-Metal from Krypton! Part 2

In the 70s there was a revamp of Superman, and all the Kryptonite on Earth was rendered inert. Here we see Superman being a smug bastard about it. Which is pretty funny. This has been sitting around half complete for a while now, and the first part seemed to be one of the most well liked things I've done here, so sorry it's taken so long to get part 2 up. Continuing from where we left off a while ago, 4 more pieces of Kryptonite you don't see every day.

Created by: Mattel
Causes: Me to laugh

Looks like a Green Jello Mold of a brain, huh? Superman Returns was a mixed bag at best, but far and away the best thing to come of it was Krazy Kryptonite. It's like a green translucent Silly Putty that comes in a plastic crystal shaped mold instead of an egg. It's slimy and gross and has a weird chemical smell, so it's a pretty perfect toy for little boys. Technically it can bounce, but, like Silly Putty, it draws every piece of lint and dirt and general gross within 50 yards if it touches anything but your hands. The best part? The warning on the back of the package. "Danger: Keep Kryptonite away from Superman."

I like how they emphasize the kraziness by italicizing it. Oh, and you cannot let this stuff touch paper. My friends and I were playing with it and it oozed down and touched a napkin. The napkin disintegrated and was just sort of absorbed into the Krazy K. It was freaky. I no longer have any because the nephews saw mine and had to have it.

Flavor: Magno-Kryptonite
Created: by Truff using the advanced science of the planet Pyron
Causes: Aliens to come up with screwy plans that capitalize on the 60s secret agent craze.

This is a good one. So there's this secret organization called SCAR, which, being secret and having a name like that, pretty much has to be evil and involve spies. SCAR's plan is to secretly create doubles of of Superman's closest friends (and Supes himself) in order to plant them close enough to enact their diabolical plan. These impostors are created by Dr Rembrandt, an evil plastic surgeon able to turn any one into an exact copy of any one else.

These reconstructed agents of SCAR all get two things: code names consisting of the name of the person they're impersonating suffixed by the letter X (Olsen-X, Batman-X, Lois-X and so on), and bombs implanted in their heads should they turn on Nero, the head of SCAR. Here we see Robin-X get his when he tries to warn Olsen-X about the evils of their boss. Poor Robin-X, died in short-pants screaming like a little girl with a skinned knee. I'm sure there's a less dignified way to die, but it probably involves using one's last words to proclaim an adoration for dressing up like a baby or something equally awful so we'll not speculate on that any further.

Jimmy foils his double, and goes undercover as the guy who was going undercover as him so he can infiltrate SCAR and discover their plans. Yeah. It's then we learn the true origins and motivation behind Nero and SCAR. Nero is actually Truff from the fire planet Pyron. It seems Pyron's flames are burning out and he was sent to Earth to conquer it and set it on fire so the people of Pyron can set up shop here. The first stage of his plan? The ridiculously complex act of setting up a secret organization, creating body doubles, infiltrating the Daily Planet staff and creating Magno-Kryptonite. How does the Magno-Kryptonite fit in?

I like to think its magnetic properties come from it being shaped like a horseshoe magnet. The fact that this stuff will stick to anything from Krypton just begs the question, "If it'll stick to anything from Krypton like a magnet, why not just get kinda close to Superman and throw it at him? " The answer: Where's the fun in that?

Flavor: Rock!!
Created: By the greediest, most cynical man to ever work in DC merchandising
Causes: Kids in the 70s and 80s to waste $2.50 plus shipping. On a rock.

This is sort of a companion to Krazy K entry up above. The key difference being that Krazy K is an actual toy, whereas Kryptonite Rock!! is, well, a rock. During the pet rock craze of the 70s DC decided to capitalize on the trend by releasing their own version. This ad ran in DC comics for years-

Now you can't read the copy there, so here's a close up of what I feel is the most amazing part of it. The ad goes on to tell about how Kryptonite falls from space and often ends up in the hands of evil-doers. Fortunately, the last batch to fall to Earth ended up in the hands of the good guys (the guys selling it). You can be Superman's pal by buying a piece of it from them! You'll be keeping Superman safe by guarding a piece of Kryptonite away from him and keeping it out of the hands of ne'er-do-wells. So what are you buying for your $2.50 (plus $1.00 s/h) besides Superman's eternal gratitude?

Two ordinary rocks covered with glow in the dark paint in a cardboard box. Now I know I sound like I think the guy who came up with this is history's greatest monster, but to be completely honest, I think guilting kids into buying painted rocks to cash in on an equally stupid craze is freaking hilarious.

And I would totally buy some if I saw it on ebay or at a convention.

Flavor: Slow Kyptonite
Created by: Roger Corben, the second Metallo.
Causes: Humans to feel the effects of Kryptonite the way Superman does.

Most folks don't realize this, but the original John Corben version of Metallo died in his very first appearance; his robot body running out of fuel causing him to drop dead.

The Metallo that plagued Superman through out the rest of the Silver Age was his brother Roger, who had himself turned into Metallo to get revenge on Superman, who he blamed for his brother's death. The conversion was slowly killing him as well, so he goes off to Gotham to kill the scientist who created his Metallo body. While there he runs into Batman, and promptly kicks his ass with his newly formed Slow-Kryptonite. Here we see him explain how it it works, with science!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Go Go checks went over like a lead balloon

So it's back the way it was (only with the new logo because I like it better than the old).

To make it up to you, here's Hitler in Superboy's body:

(For the record, "Superboy, you can't be Hitler in personality!" is my favorite line of dialog ever.)

(There's something you don't hear every day.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fresh coat of paint.

If you guys hate it I'll put it back the way it was.

A letter

Dear DC's Countdown,

I know I'm only reading you for the Jimmy Olsen story, and I'm probably not paying attention as closely as I could to the other bits, but could you please start having them make sense?

I'll make the effort if you will. We can make it better, baby, I know we can. It don't have to end.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The word "pimp" is thrown around awfully casually these days

But for my money, things don't come much more pimp than Clark Kent winking at you while drinking espresso at an Italian cafe. Wearing an ascot.

Monday, June 25, 2007

It could have been worse: Part 2, Superman Returns

This is a long one, folks.

Before Singer eventually made his film, there were a ridiculous number of failed attempts to get a sixth Superman theatrical feature made. This is some info I gathered together around the time of Superman Returns debut, and it's a trainwreck. Enjoy!

We'll start with some concept art, because it's quick and easy to look at and cringe, and later we'll see some more detailed descriptions of the stories these monstrosities come from.

First we have Tim Burton's failed film (source of the image at left). Burton's Superman was going to be something of a freak, whose motivation for helping was others was the hope they would like him. To get the full effect here, imagine Nick Cage in that suit.

There were a few versions of the suit. A quote from one of the guys who helped design this whatever it is: "For the climactic fight sequence I needed to create a fierce 'battle logo' for Superman which could be pulled apart and utilized as knife weapons. Prior to this series of scenes Superman is killed by the villain then brought back to life within the fortress of solitude so that he can face the villain with renewed strength.

I never want to see the phrase "fierce battle logo" again. Not happy with only ruining Superman himself, he had to go all Tim Burton on the villains, too.

Burton's Brainiac. This looks like HR Giger got drunk and humped his drawing board.

Doomsday version 1. Looks nothing like Doomsday, and is wearing tiny underpants. Because he's a modest monster.

Doomsday version 2. I don't hate this. It's a neat looking monster, and you can kinda see the comic design in it.

Before Burton came along, there was Kevin Smith's Superman Lives script (pre-Burton/Cage).

A new costume design, it's not as "holy hell what is that?" as the Burton stuff, but it's still pretty bad.

The Fortress of Solitude. Meh.

Brainiac's ship, which looks some sort of robot space fish.

Another design, Brainiac's skull ship, which is pretty great.

The last major effort before Superman Returns got the go ahead was JJ Abrams nightmare of a script; some images-

Krypton designs; uno, dos, tres, cuatro. I freely admit to loving the first one because it's based on the Hall of Justice. The others are okay, but really just kinda look Star Wars prequelly.

From the same film, some ships from Krypton. Ones used to invade the Earth. Because that happens in this film. Krypton invades Earth.
Spiders are the fiercest killers in the animal kingdom. Also note the crappy shield.
Kinda generic flying thing.
Some sort of flying moped that vaguely resembles a high heel.
And finally, Baby Kal's rocket. It looks like a mouse from some weird Mac.

I know what you're thinking, that wasn't all bad. But those are just some visuals. Wait until you hear about the stories. There were lots of ideas that made it to various stages of production; like a campy Batman and Robin/Joel Schumacher style film, or the Superman/Batman team up (script here; pdf format). The most famous ones are the ones that got far enough along to have concept art you just saw.

Kevin's Smith's script was based on the Death and Return of Superman. It actually isn't bad, given what it is. You can read the script here. Normally, I'm not a big fan of Smith, but this video where he describes his time working on the film is pretty great, you really should watch it, because it's sad and hilarious:

That eventually evolved into Burton's film, based on a script by Dan Gilroy. There are plots from two different versions out there. One is bad:

The film starts on Krypton, where Jor-El is working on a computer called Brainiac. However, once Kal-El is born, Jor-El abandons his work to spend time with his son. Brainiac is jealous of Kal-El, so he destroys Krypton... but not before Kal-El escapes. Brainiac vows to hunt down Kal-El and kill him.

Flash forward 30 years. Lex Luthor's LexCorp company discovers that a UFO crash-landed in Smallville. Lois investigates the story and discovers that the shuttlecraft landed on the Kent farm, forcing Superman--who she's been having a full-blown affair with--to reveal his secret identity to her. (And since he has no clue to his origins, this whole spaceship thing comes as a shock to Superman.) Brainiac comes to Earth with Doomsday in tow, merges with Luthor to become "Lexiac," and takes over LexCorp. Luring Superman to the LexCorp tower, Lexiac sics Doomsday on the Man of Steel, and the two kill each other in battle. Lexiac then confiscates the world's nukes and tries to seduce Lois. Meanwhile, Superman is revived by "K," the still-living, combined essence of Jor-El and Lara. Initially powerless upon his rebirth, Superman uses sheer willpower to regain his lost powers. A final fight ensues, in which Superman separates Luthor and Brainiac with one second left on the nuclear clock. In the end, Superman becomes fully aware of his alien origins, saves the world...and finds out that Lois is pregnant with his kid!

The second makes me hate humanity:

Several details of the script are unknown, but what has been confirmed is that it was loosely based on "The Death of Superman" story. The script features an insecure Clark Kent unable to admit his feelings for the human woman of whom he is fond, Lois Lane. Before he is able to resolve those feelings with her, Doomsday appears to challenge him. Just as in the comics, they fight to their respective deaths. As Superman dies in Lois' arms, he finally confesses his feelings to her. Unbeknownst to either of them, this final confession not only releases his soul from his body, but said soul enters the body of Lois. She soon discovers that she is pregnant with Superman's child. Days later, the child is born and within the span of three weeks, he grows into the body of a 21-year-old man. As Lois is killed in the middle of the film (by what has not been confirmed, but some reports list it as the resurrected Doomsday), the new-born assumes his birthright as the new Superman and defeats the villain, saving the world.

Some more gems concerning Burton's Superman, from this great article (be warned, that article's very long, but also very interesting):

Burton hated the flying FX in the 1978 film, too, so he didn’t want Superman to fly. Instead, he put Superman in a Supermobile. (Seven years later, AICN revealed that Burton and Peters had also planned on having Superman teleport from place to place in lieu of flying.)
But the most controversial thing Burton did was brag to a radio news service in Texas during an interview that he intended to play up "Superman’s darker, more murderous side" and that he hoped Cage was up to the task of portraying that aspect of Superman.
A partially translucent suit that would allow full view of Superman’s internal organs, as reported by Cinescape in late 1997 as Burton’s plans for the film kicked into high gear. (Although word from within the Burton camp confirmed that Burton was indeed hoping to do this, the design was apparently never committed to paper—leaving some people following the project wondering if Burton was really going to use the translucent suit or if it was just a hoax. Nevertheless, Burton’s diehard fans adored the idea, praising it as total genius and the height of coolness. Superman fans, on the other hand, were left scratching their heads over it.)

That project fell apart for a number of reasons; Cage and Burton disagreeing about things, studio issues with Burton, the fact that God loves me and didn't want me choking Tim Burton to death.

Finally there was the script by Lost and Alias creator, JJ Abrams. Abrams' script, (reviewed here at Ain't It Cool News, and downloadable here; pdf format). It is pretty amazingly bad. It has as little to do with the classic Superman as Burton's Superman.

It features, and I'm not making any of this up,

Superman's birth parents alive and well on a Krypton that never exploded.
A living symbiotic Superman suit.
A Kryptonian Luthor working for the CIA and fronting an invasion from Krypton.
A gay Jimmy Olsen mocked by an apparently homophobic Perry White.
The whole thing ending with Superman dying, Jor El sensing his death and committing suicide so he can go to heaven and convince Superman to live again so he can fly to Krypton and save it.
Oh, and at one point Justin Timberlake was offered the role of Superman.

So there we have it, Superman Returns, for all its faults, is far and away the least of all possible evils here.*

By the by, there was a good Superman script. It was called Superman: The Man of Steel.

*When I first saw Superman Returns, I loved it. More and more, though, the details lose me. I think it works perfectly as an extension of the characters we see in the first two films, and there's a lot of magic in some of those scenes, but there's a lot that's off as well. Still, I hope the sequel is better.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

It could have been worse: Part 1, the John Byrne reboot

In 1986, DC published Man of Steel by John Byrne. It was a recreation of the Superman mythos; a terrible one, I think. While beautifully drawn (Byrne's penciling at its peak, in my opinion), the writing just seemed to suck all the fun and wonder right out of him, taking Superman from being the super hero to being a super hero. But it's not nearly as bad as it could have been.

Byrne called his changes "scraping away the barnacles" and insisted that it kept true to the spirit of the character. I don't think it did at all. Byrne's Superman came from a cold Krypton that he wanted nothing to do with. He was far less powerful and Byrne went out of his way to explain how every power worked, it no longer being enough that they simply did. (He decided Superman's powers were all telekinetic in nature. When I was a kid the only answer I needed to "How can he lift a whole battleship without it falling apart?" was "Because he's Superman!") Byrne's Clark Kent was a star athlete and his Lex Luthor was a rich business man who lived down the street from the Daily Planet.

Some people like those and the others changes he made. Fair enough, he's still mostly recognizable as Superman. But the changes he didn't get to make, well, those take it to a whole new extreme. Compiled here are a series of quotes from interviews, Byrne's official FAQ, and various posts he's made to his message board detailing the changes he was not allowed to make.

The Man of Steel that didn't happen.

On the subject of Lana and Lois:
"If I had really had the free hand some fans are convinced I did, I would have dumped Lois altogether and brought Lana back as Superman/Clark's one true love. But there were somethings that had to remain inviolable, and one was the Superman/Lois/Clark relationship."

Although he would later say,

"There was never any plan to, or even consideration of, dropping Lois for Lana. That part played out exactly as I wanted it to."

When asked about his more radical ideas,

"Lois was married in college, just for a couple of years. Wanted to play with how Superman would react to/deal with this."

Lois was actually dating Luthor when Superman turned up (but not his mistress, as Wolfman wanted)."

On the subject of Superman's power levels:
"DC would not let me pare Superman all the way down to original Seigel (sic) and Shuster levels (the flying was too much a part of the character, for instance), but I was able to scale him back so that, as I said at the time, he would have to "grunt and sweat" in order to perform at least some of his super-feats."

The low-powered strong man that Byrne seems to have wanted wasn't around for very long. Siegel and Shuster's Superman developed most of the powers Superman is famous for while they were still working on the character.

On making the reboot in continuity with what had come before:
"Simply put -- and at the risk of creating a whole treasure trove of ideas others can steal -- my basic idea was to do a story in which Superman screws up royally -- so badly that the earth itself (and everyone on it) is destroyed. He then spends six months finding a Higher Power who says Sure, I can make it all better for you. But there's a price!

––Anything! says Superman.

––The next panel the rocket lands in that Kansas cornfield."

On Kryptonite and Superman's journey to Earth:
"My original plan was to have the pregnant Lara come to Earth instead of the baby. I explained that I needed that because if Superman was once again going to be the sole survivor of Krypton, the only way we could demonstrate how lethal kryptonite is would be to kill Superman. So I came up with the idea of having Lara come to Earth so we could have a Kryptonian who could find kryptonite and die, so we would know it was lethal. But they thought that might be messing with the legend a little bit too much."

On the setting:
"No Metropolis. The series would be set in New York."

Byrne's ideal Superman, gathered from what we see here and what saw print, was hardly Superman at all. He is a man responsible for global genocide who goes to find some deus ex machina to undo his mistake for him. He comes from a world that is cold and unloving; his parents are strangers. His birth mother travels with him to Earth, only to die in front of the infant and the Kents. He's got some super powers, but he can't fly or see through things, he's not invulnerable and he's only strong enough to lift a car or thereabouts. He lives in New York, romantically pursuing and being pursued by his childhood sweetheart.

There's no Metropolis, Lois Lane (or if there is, she's divorced and dating Lex Luthor); there's no Fortress of Solitude or Supergirl.

You know, it kind of makes sense, because many of those elements seem less like the 'higher power' giving Superman a second chance than they seem like punishing him.

When summed up, I really have to wonder if Byrne had ever even read a Superman comic before coming up with that stuff.

"It could have been worse" will continue with the fifth Superman film that didn't happen. Soonish.

Wow! That is just like the gun Superman uses!

I actually would love to have one of these.

Every girl and boy gets a toy when it's empty, when it's empty it's a toy!

I love stuff like that.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The K-Metal from Krypton! Part 1

Those are the most common forms of Kryptonite. There's about a thousand different places on the internet where you can learn about them (though all you really need to know is on that page). So here I present to you some of the lesser used forms of Kryptonite (in 2 parts, cause this one kinda got away from me.)

Black Kryptonite
Created: On Smallville, by superheating regular K; in All Star Superman, by exposing regular K to a dark under-world, in Supergirl, Darksied made it.
Causes: Dark aspects of personalities to manifest.

In Smallville and All Star Superman, it made Clark turn angry and aggressive. The Smallville version also caused humans to split into two beings, one good and one evil. Black K's most amazing property, I think, is the ability to make the current Supergirl to become even more unlikable. In her title in brought out her dark side as a separate physical person.

It's a relatively recent creation, though it seems like it should have been come up with a long time ago. Dark Kryptonite making Supes evil, seems so obvious, doesn't it?

Flavor: Pink Kryptonite
Created: In the most immature part of Peter David's mind
Causes: Superman to become gay. Seriously

This one's here because my friend Jesus thinks it's hilarious. During Peter David's run on Supergirl, he had her end up on another world. It was mostly the silver age Superman's world, but not really. Some of her adventures there are touched upon in brief; we don't actually see Pink K, but we see its effect:

Flavor: Tar Kryptonite
Created: By Richard Pryor and a pack of cigarettes
Causes: Already terrible movies to take a turn for the worse.

I just call it Tar Kryptonite, I don't think it has an official name. It's a failed attempt at making synthetic green Kryptonite, using tar as a replacement for an unidentifiable element in the real thing. It was made by a rich guy to destroy Superman. I'm not sure of his actual motivations, beyond the fact that all people with more money than me are evil. Rich bastards.

It did pretty much the same thing black Kryptonite did; causing Superman to turn aggressive and evil, and eventually split in two. Bonus effect, it makes Superman a belligerent drunk who menaces children.

Flavor: Jewel Kryptonite
Created: By Jax Ur using a piece of Krypton's Jewel Mountains.
Causes: Stuff to go splodo.

Occasionally criminals in The Phantom Zone serve out their time or become eligible for parole. What happens then? They go in front of a parole board in Krypton's surviving community Kandor. When Jax Ur became eligible for Parole, he offered to cure a plague killing the citizens of Atlantis to prove he'd reformed. They give him his chance, and Superman accompanies him back in time to Krypton so he can visit his lab. While there, Superman nods off and Jax Ur uses that as an opportunity to create Jewel Kryptonite. His plan is actually kinda clever.

He tricks Jimmy into exposing Superman to the Jewel K, and nothing happens. Superman casually tosses it aside and calls it sham. Later, when Supes approaches anything combustible, it explodes. So now Superman thinks that's what the effect it had on him, he causes things to blow up. He decides he has to leave because he's a menace to every one on Earth within explodo distance of a car, gas line, what have you.

But that's not what Jewel K really does. That panel to the right there? That's what it really does. So these guys are off in the Phantom Zone blowing stuff up left and right.

Superman discovers the ruse, because he's Superman and that's what he does, and destroys the Jewel Krytponite.

As an aside, how cool is the origin of the Jewel Mountains?

I wish we still saw stuff like that in Superman comics now.

Flavor: Red-Green Kryptonite
Created: When Brainiac decided kaleidoscopes were pretty.
Causes: Superman to wear silly hats.

This one is so great. Brainiac shows up on Earth and zaps Superman with a laser that combines the rays of Red and Green Kryptonite. He doesn't see any immediate effect, so he decides he doesn't have time to stick around and see and splits.

But there is an immediate effect, as evidenced by Superman stealing and wearing Lois' hat. And then a feathered turbin. And then the hat of a Guard of Buckingham Palace. And Napoleon's hat. And a crown. It doesn't take long for folks to start thinking Supes has gone a little eccentric. And by "eccentric" I mean "out of his rabbit ass mind."

He's still saving the day and what not, but he's doing so by acting in character of whatever hat he's wearing. Turban? He uses a giant glass globe to melt an iceberg to save a ship, because fortune telling "swamis" wear turbans and use crystal balls. Queen's guard? They don't do anything but march back and forth, so Superman marches back in forth until he's dug into the ground breaking a water main to put out a fire. The crown? He orders a rampaging robot to stop, as a king would, and the vibrations from his super-shout cause it to blow up. And my favorite, because it's classic crazy, charging into battle as Napoleon-

But Superman only wants you to think he's gone crazy because he doesn't want the world to know what freakish transformation has actually occurred. You're invited to figure out what it is as the comic goes along, but because I am a kind and giving blogger, I will not make you guess. I will tell you.

It made him grow an eye on the back of his head. Think that sounds silly? The editor proves it's possible, with SCIENCE! You're not calling science a liar are you?

You see, he didn't want people to notice the eye on the back of his head and have the people that suspect his secret identity go looking on Clark, so he started wearing hats to cover it up. And really, what better way to fool people into thinking you don't have a third eye on the back of your head than by making them think you've lost your damned mind?

There aren't enough funnybooks that have the villain offering the hero a dunce cap, I feel.

That is a fun, fun comic.

Soon, I go on at length about five more shiny rocks.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Chuck Austen

I was going to reread his run and make fun of it, then, about 4 or 5 pages into his first issue i got this-

That's Superman threatening to sodomize a thug with his gun. That's not even worth making fun of.

My next post will be some honest to god celebration of something fun and crazy about Superman. I promise.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

SIB Movie Reviews - Brainiac Attacks

One of the very first lines of dialog in Brainiac Attacks:

"Lexcorp bleeds millions every time the Man of Steel thwarts my covert plans for world domination."

That's some smooth exposition, that is.

So what is Brainiac Attacks about? You know, I honestly have no idea. Brainiac lands on Earth and talks about sucking the world dry of information, though I really don't understand how that works, Superman punches Brainiac, there's some explosions, Lois gets sick or something, I don't know I really wasn't paying attention any more, and then it all wraps up with Perry being a lovable old curmudgeon. Oh, and there's a lingering shot of Jimmy ogling pictures he took of Mercy's ass.

See that Luthor? That's a Luthor that giggles* and upon seeing Superman trap Brainiac in ice says, "Oooh, brainfreeze."

Duane Capizzi wrote this. I hate you, Duane Capizzi.

*I swear to God, he's giggling like a little girl in that scene that's from.

Free (and legal) episodes from every Superman series

Go clicky

I may become addicted to this. Episodes of the Reeves Superman series, Superboy, Lois and Clark (which sucked and I'll hear no different) and a couple of the cartoons, all for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

SIB Movie Reviews - Steel

He uses his hammer. As a gun.

I hate you, Shaq.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

No matter how hard you try

You will never be as cool as Jimmy Olsen.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

So I just read the current Supergirl series.

All 18 issues of Supergirl. While it wasn't as bad as I expected, it's certainly not good. What bothered me most were the changes to her origin. The angsty stuff and not knowing where to fit in doesn't bother me so much, the character is fairly new and that makes sense, but it feels like they're dragging it out at this point. It really needs to be tied up, as she's been on Earth for over a year in story. It's not awful. But the stuff with her back on Krypton, what the hell? She killed her own mother. Why was that necessary? The fact that her entire planet is gone isn't dark enough? They have to go and grim-n-gritty up even that?

"Oh, no, it's sad that every one she knows is dead and all, but what's even sadder is if she and her father killed their whole neighborhood because they were possessed by demons, and then every one else died! Also, we messed with her memories. AND she's been brainwashed into being an assassin out to get Superman.

So now she's like half Superman, half Wolverine, and all sexy!"

And the last issue, jeez. It's 22 pages of Joe Kelly saying "My Supergirl is awesome and realistic and if you like the old version better you're a stupidface!"

I really don't like where they've gone with the character. And Joe Kelly was so damned good on Action and JLA.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

I've been meaning to post about this

But forgot. This promo image for DC's new weekly book Countdown? Grant Morrison sums it up better than I:

"There's something wrong with it. Jimmy Olsen is the man who once married a gorilla. Respect."

What have you done to make Grant Morrison declare his admiration for you? That's right, Jimmy Olsen is cooler than you.

This post brought to you by the letter "S"

An animated short made in 1970 in the old Filmation style for Sesame Street.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Supermobile!

I was gonna write a bunch of lame jokes like I usually do, but decided I didn't need to. The Supermobile needs nothing from me to be fun. All you need to know is that Superman lost his powers during a fight with Amazo, a robot with all the powers of the JLA, and he built the Super-mobile to replicate all his powers and stay in the fight.

(You can click and enlarge the pictures below to read the dialog more clearly.)

The first thing Supes did with the Supermobile was run over Amazo...

...beat him up with it...

...and impress the JLA with his fly new ride.

Ollie always gotta try bust somebody's balls, don't he? Any way, Superman was powerless for a while, and in that time the SMB (that's what they called it) became pretty famous in its own right.

This is here for two reasons. One, it shows off the Supermobile using one more of Superman's powers, and two, the thugs dialog in the lower panels is solid gold.

This story took place in Action 481-483. I don't know if the SMB ever showed up again after Superman got his powers back, but it didn't get mothballed. It got licensed.

I know the dialog from those panels up there seem like an obvious toy advertisement, but these were the days before He-Man and Transformers cartoons and the ugly cynical world that came as a result of them. This is the first of the of the Supermobile toys, released about a year after the vehicle made its debut in the funnybooks. It's a little Hot Wheels/Matchbox sized diecast toy made by Corgi. I want one of these so bad I can't stand it, but I've never found one in decent shape. (Well, in decent shape I could afford.)

In the 80s came the Super Powers action figure line, and this guy. It's got a battering ram instead of fists, and a new backstory. The blurb on the box said Superman built it to knock out Kryptonite meteors around Earth. Which is as good a reason as any to build one.

The Supermobile made it's triumphant return to the comics recently thanks to Gail Simone and Mike Norton. In The All New Atom #8 the Atom visits a future where cities have adopted various super heroes as the basis for their governments, and he arrives just before forces from the cities following Superman and Batman arrive. The Super-city's fleet? Supermobiles. Both flavors.

(Highlighted mainly to draw attention to the less obvious smaller one.)

It's silly, but when I was a kid I loved my Super Powers Supermobile. Though as an adult I have to admit I prefer the one with the fists.

And yes, I know this makes me a total hypocrite after making this post, but come on, you have your choice between something called "The Matrix Conversion Coupe" and "THE SUPERMOBILE!" what are you going to pick?