Sunday, July 29, 2007

One Hundred

This is SIB's 100th post. And I've only been doing this a few months. Man, I am one obsessive freaking fanboy. To celebrate, I give you 100 random things I love about Superman. If you manage to read the whole list without getting bored out of your mind you're more man than me.

001. The Mechanical Monsters!
002. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen
003. Christopher Reeve's delivery of the "Truth, justice and the American way," line.
004. The 60's Filmation cartoon.
005. The DC Super Heroes action figure line by Mattel.
006. Beppo the Super Monkey.
007. Little kids wearing capes and making woosh! sounds.
008. Lex Luthor's power armor.
009. Reign of the Supermen
010. The adventures of Superman when he was a boy.
011. Mongul: Created by Jim Starlin to rip off Thanos from Marvel who was created Starlin to rip off Darksied from DC.
012. That people actually encourage me to keep this blog going.
013. That comic strip where Superman made "Stalin" fight "Hitler" to end the war in Europe.
014. Solomon Grundy.
015. Reading comics after school when I was 9.
016. The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue!
017. Seeing people wearing "S" shield t-shirts.
018. Superman vs Muhammad Ali
019. John Williams' Superman theme.
020. All Star Superman #6

021. The Legion Of Super Heroes.
022. Tributes to the cover of Action Comics #1
023. He can fly.
024. The Atomic Skull. Not the character really, just his awesome, awesome name.
025. John Henry Irons
026. This JLA cover.
027. Stories by Elliot S! Maggin.
028. Metallo.
029. When people think Superman can fly because he has a cape.
030. The 80s/90s Superboy tv series.
031. This video.
032. Arguments about which was worst: Superman III, Superman IV or Supergirl.
033. Brainiac.
034. Brainiac's Skull Ship.
035. Superman beating Thor and Hulk.
036. His costume.
037. Superman Adventures
038. Bud Collyer and the way he changed his voice from Clark to Superman on the old radio show.
039. Grant Morrison writing him.
040. My Superman artist, Curt Swan.

041. The Fortress of Solitude.
042. Krypto!
043. Stories by Otto Binder
044. Livewire and Lori Petty's voice
045. The early 40s version of the character who fought crooked politicians and gangsters.
046. Manchester Black.
047. Krypton and things on it like Crystal Mountains, Atomic City and the Scarlett Jungle.
048. When he punches giant robots.
049. The story featuring tiny golden flying saucers from Atlantis.
050. Mister Mxyzptlk.
051. Superman as a super-genius.
052. The Supermobile.
053. When Superman shouts, "GREAT RAO!"
054. The "S" shield.
055. The near universal recognizability of the "S" shield.
056. Titano, the Super-Ape with kryptonite vision.
057. Red kryptonite transformations
058. World's Funnest by Evan Dorkin.
059. The Parasite.
060. The 70s Superman revamp.

061. When a comic is so good people say, "I don't normally like Superman but I loved _____."
062. Composite Superman.
063. George Reeves as Clark Kent.
064. Bizarro World.
065. Most versions of Supergirl.
066. The group of Kandorians who happen to look exactly like Lois, Lana, Perry, Jimmy and Clark and have formed a club based on those resemblances.
067. Birthright
068. The splash page in Birthright where we firs see Superman.
069. Superman volumes of Showcase Presents.
070. Terra Man, the evil cowboy from outer space.
071. The JLA.
072. Mxyzptlk V and Mxyzptlk 5, sibling descendants of Mister Mxyzptlk who look exactly like him. One good, one evil.
073. The animated version of For The Man Who Has Everything.
074. Superman by the Shame Idols.
075. The Iron Giant
076. The Superman/Darksied fight in the JLU finale.
077. The Superman Robot named Ned.
078. Mr. Majestic, Supreme, Samiritan, Sentry, Captain Marvel, Apollo, Hyperion, etc.
079. Superman For All Seasons
080. This image

081. The LL Ladies.
082. The Clark/Lois/Superman love triangle.
083. The Clark/Lois marriage.
084. REM's version of Superman.
085. The Mystery Superman from AD 4500.
086. Mercy Graves
087. Superman having adventures all over the universe.
088. Superman and the Mole Men
089. The Phantom Zone.
090. Conner Kent, Superboy.
091. This Lois Lane cover.
092. This one too.
093. Superman flying through the time barrier under his own power.
094. Brainiac's rival Grax. He's not as smart, but he has 4 arms!
095. It's Superman by Tom De Haven.
096. John Byrne drawing him.
097. Mike Wieringo drawing him.
098. Those brilliant covers by Neal Adams.
099. The Supergirl Meme.
100. General Dru-Zod.

Ladies Love Cool James

The 10 Worst Moments in Superman History, a series

"So then Richard Pryor exposes Superman to imperfect synthetic kryptonite which causes him to become a drunken asshole!"
Superman III

No jokes or explanation, that's exactly what happened.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Pick up sticks

Al wonders if Kwik-Key is as good as they say.

Chris C
Oh! That reminds me, I need to add choke Dan Jurgens to my to do list.

Henry Blanco
They had rocket powered belts.

Sergio Calvet
I shouldn't play favorites, but this is one of my favorites.

Chris C
I am hesitant to include the big boob joke.

I love these. Please keep sending them.

The 10 Worst Moments in Superman History, a series

"So get this, Superboy's going on a rampage against a bunch of DC's superheroes. He's kickin' and zappin' and punchin'. One the heroes he punches? Some forgotten Teen Titan. And he punches her so hard, he knocks her freaking head off!! Now we know he means business!"
Infinite Crisis #7

Man. Okay, so DC's latest big crossover, Infinite Crisis, needed a villain. Well, big cosmic villains have been done. They needed some one with more personal reasons for wanting to make DC continuity make even less sense. Some one you'd never expect to see ripping arms off. So what'd they do? They took Superboy Prime, a Superboy from another world created for the first Crisis crossover, and had him go nuts because, get this, the world was too dark and he wanted to make the world perfect so he could be Superman there.

First step? Go after Kon El, the current Superboy and let him know he's been replaced. But because he's crazy, a fight ensues. Thing is, Kon El's a Titan, so every one comes out to help their friend. And Superboy Prime, a version of Superboy, the picture of innocent fun super hero stories, slaughters them.

You know, I got no problem with gore in comics. I love zombie flicks, I'd be a giant hypocrite if I went on about the genius of Romero and then decried something like it in comics. My problem is using freaking Superman characters to tell this kind of story. These were kids characters once. I don't want to see this for the same reason I don't want to see Bugs Bunny take a chainsaw to Foghorn Legohorn and wallow in the resulting viscera or see Goofy rape Minnie Mouse.

This thing isn't any kind of uncommon at DC today. It would be nice if I could share my comics with my nephews without worrying they might see Superboy burning a superhero in half with his heat vision.

They sure are, kid.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I love that I keep getting these.

Jesse Farrell drew Zod. Get it? Dru-Zod! Ha! That's gold. I've amused myself.

Jesse Farrell
He also drew Superman. HA! Wait, that one doesn't work.

Jesus Torres
Jesus also drew Zod! Ha! Yeah, that's the stuff.

Tim Lee
I wish emo Bizarro was my lawn so it'd cut itself.

Your continued submissions are encouraged.

More sticks!

Jesse Farrell finds Gene Hackman pretending his real hair is a wig sexy. Takes all kinds, I guess.

Johan Åberg
The beginning of the end. Of DC comics that make sense. I love the cover recreations so much.

Jesus Torres
You can't see Star Boy's body cause they're flying through space.

Love is in the air.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Alex Ross and Jim Krueger's Justice

Jim Krueger: So here's the pitch, Dan. It's a JLA story, only set in in the Super Friends world.

Alex Ross: Challenge of the Super Friends. None of that silly BS from the regular Super Friends. I'm a serious artist.

Jim Krueger: Right Alex. Thank you for correcting me Alex.

Alex Ross: And...

Jim Kruger: And my career in comics, Alex. Thank you for my career in comics. So get this, Dan, it's the Legion Of Doom vs the Super Friends, BUT! the art is rendered so darkly you can barely make it out.

Alex Ross: I assure you the art will remain as stiff and flat as Hanna Barbara and God intended, though.

Jim Kruger: Yes! You truly are a man of vision, Alex. But that's not all, this is where we're really thinking outside of the box, it's the Super Friends, BUT! there's sex and blood!

Dan Didio: Sold.

Plumbers, what do they know?

Little known fact: Mario hates Superman.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I sense a lack of sincerity.

This is Bruce Timm's face as he describes the upcoming Superman/Doomsday animated film as "very exciting."

Thursday, July 19, 2007

This is one of approximately fifty kabillion comic blogs

And they all post funny old panels from the silver age, including this one.

Nine times out of ten on other blogs, though, it's to make fun of them. But not here. When you see me post a picture of Perry White in a silly costume or something crazy from an Otto Binder comic, don't think for a moment I'm laughing at it, I'm laughing with it because i love that stuff. It's fun. Those things were meant to be insane and out there and designed to make kids imaginations go to wild places.

This blog celebrates crazy and ridiculous. Crazy like Superman pounding Luthor into the ground like a fence post.

Just thought I'd share that.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A brief history of the Maid of Might

Supergirl was a victim of DC's universe re-ordering story Crisis on Infinite Earths in a lot of ways. Her history isn't the most convoluted ever, but it's not exactly straight forward. So a brief (much briefer than the Zod post, I swear) clarification of Supergirl's story, because I see the question "How many Supergirls have there been now?" a lot. The answer's four, if you don't want to read this whole thing.

First we have Kara Zor-El. When Krypton exploded, an entire city, Argo, survived adrift in space. In this city was Jor El's brother, Zor El, and his family. Sadly, the hunk of Krypton that Argo was situated on was slowly turning into Kryptonite and poisoning the citizens. Zor El, not wanting his daughter to suffer the fate of the rest of the city, sent her to earth to be with her cousin Kal.

Superman found her and helped her adopt the secret identity of Linda Lee, an orphan in the town of Midvale. She operated in secret, learning to use her powers safely. She was later adopted by the Danvers, giving her a new family on Earth. Over time she'd go from being "Superman's secret weapon" to public hero as highly regarded as her cousin,
growing from a teenage girl to a young woman in college (where she would make a number of terrible fashion choices).

She died saving the universe in Crisis, leaving all the people of the world to forget she ever even existed when the universe was started over and a new time line established. Her spirit would live on, though, literally, with her ghost making a couple of appearances in later stories.

(I should also mention Power Girl, here. Power Girl is the Kara Zor-L of an alternate dimension that was destroyed during the Crisis, but she managed to survive and find herself in the new universe that formed after. For many years her origin was in doubt, but it's now been revealed that she is in fact a survivor of a lost universe in the current version of DC continuity. I'd include an image, but I swear it's damned near impossible to find one on google that doesn't border on pornographic.)

John Byrne introduced a whole new character called Supergirl when he re-invented the Superman mythos. A rule was in effect that said there were to be no survivors of Krypton besides Superman, so Byrne's had nothing in common with the original besides the name and and a feminine version of Superman's costume.

Byrne's Supergirl was from a universe created by the Legion of Super Heroes villain the Time Trapper. She was an artificial life called Matrix, created to find the Superman of the regular DC universe and recruit him to save her own. Superman's help would come too late, and that universe would be destroyed. Matrix was the only survivor, trapped in Superman's universe.

Superman brought her to his adoptive parents, and they helped her adjust to her new life. She used the name Supergirl in honor of Superman and the Kents.

As an aside, it would be this Supergirl who wears the most famous and iconic Supergirl costume. Kara wore something very similar, but not quite the same. Yup, the 'real' Supergirl only wore the suit that's most famous in the god awful film adaptation.

She found her way into Lex Luthor's arms (at this time Luthor was in a new young body he'd cloned and presenting himself as a legitimate businessman. We won't go into that.) In the end, she saw Luthor for the villain he is and move on. She continued her super hero career until one day she was asked for help by the parents of a girl named Linda Danvers.

Linda Danvers was a bad kid and who had fallen in with the worst possible crowd. In rescuing Linda from them, Supergirl was injured. In a moment of desperation, Matrix merged her shapeshifting body with Linda's, who was all but dead, and the two became one person. The memories of both girls, but with one new personality.

(This new combined Supergirl would have much stronger ties to the original. The spirit of the original Kara Zor-El would visit her, informing her she'd been watching over the young Linda Danvers as she grew up. Linda would also team up with a young Kara Zor El from the pre-crisis universe when a villain would draw that Supergirl from her world.)

Eventually the the two beings would split again; Matrix leaving the name and Supergirl powers (minus the shape shifting) behind with Linda. (Linda adopted her new costume after the split, before her final farewell to Matrix.) After several adventures Linda retired, feeling she was not fit to be part of the Superman legacy.

Pointless trivia! At 80 issues, Linda Danvers has had the longest run in a comic with the title Supergirl. If you add up the original Kara Zor El's appearances as a regular feature in Action Comics, Adventure Comics and her two solo titles, she surpasses that.

The fourth Supergirl was short-lived (and pretty unpopular). She's not much more than a footnote.

Her name was Cir El, and she claimed to be Superman's daughter from the future. She was actually a girl named Mia that a future version of Brainiac had altered with Superman's DNA and sent back in time carrying a disease to destroy humanity. She died erasing the future that created her to save the world.

I have to confess to liking the costume, though.

The Supergirl appearing in funnybooks these days is an updated version of the original. She's Superman cousin from Krypton, but much darker. I don't like her much at all.

That's changing though. She's been written terribly in her own comic, but much better in her appearances elsewhere, and the most recent issues of her own comic seemed to be bringing about positive changes for her there.

There is one more Supergirl of note; the Supergirl of Superman The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited, Kara In-Ze.

The cartoons had the same rule as the comics of the time, only Superman could be from Krypton. So that Supergirl is from Krypton's sister planet Argo. Argo was destroyed in the wake Krypton's explosion. Kara's family had time to prepare, and put themselves in suspended animation. Superman would discover them while exploring the ruins of Krypton, but Kara was the only survivor. He brought her home to the Kents, and they all became her new family.

I really like this version of the character, and I guess lots of other folks did too, because her look would be adopted for the then current regular continuity comics.

So there we have it. In short, we've had 4 Supergirls:

1 The original and current, (with some differing details) Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin who survived the destruction of Krypton and plays good guy here on Earth wearing her cousin's shield.

2 Matrix, the shapeshifter from another dimension.

3 Linda Danvers, who merged with Matrix and continued with the name after they split.

4 Cir El, the victim of Brainiac's manipulations. Who was never much of a Supergirl at all.

One more time!

Al feels the people from the Bottle City of Kandor are poor planners.

Casey Ontiveros
Some of these have been way too classy. I almost feel bad for wasting people's talents on my silliness.

James Figueiredo
SUPREME! SAMARITAN! SENTRY! APOLLO! Every one a style biter!

Frank Miller sucks.

I did this one.
It's Superman and the Superman Emergency Squad.

He is all about the romance, our Spanish friend Carlos.

Your continued submissions are encouraged.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stick figures! More of them!

Dan Jurgens you just got schooled and the principal is Johnny Zee.

Ed C

Omega beams do not miss!

Jessica K
This is the first Mxy so I love it best.

Max S
Superman's bewilderment amuses.

Chris C
Oh no! Kryptonite!

Your continued submissions are encouraged.

Father/Son bonding.

Elder Mr Denton: Why do you have so many figures of Superman in just his regular suit?

Younger Mr Denton: Well this one is based on the animated series, this one on the JLU series that followed it, this one is meant to be a classic design from the comics, these two from specific eras of the comics, that one's from the recent film...

Elder Mr Denton: You have OCD. Got it.

These are brilliant and I love them

That's by Steve Sensible. It's genius I feel, as are the rest of these.

Ian Sokoliwski
Superman shouting at kids is funny.

Ryan Landau

Russell Hillman
He's got his signal watch! That's my favorite bit.

Henry Blanco
Henry's amazing choice of characters makes me happy all over.

I do not agree with this at all.

Youri Zoutman
Supes got game, homie.

Your continued submissions are encouraged.