Tag Archives: #DC Comics

New Superman Logo from “Man of Steel”

 

The official Facebook page for Man of Steel has gone live, providing a first look at the redesigned logo for director Zack Snyder’s reboot of the Warner Bros. franchise. It’s dark, textured and a little gritty, and likely to displease fans already grumbling about the updated costume.

Written by David S. Goyer from a story by Goyer and Christopher Nolan, Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill as Clark Kent, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Ayelet Zurer as Lara Lor-Van, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Antje Traue as Faora, Harry Lennix as General Swanwick and Christopher Meloni as Col. Hardy. The film opens June 14, 2013.

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First Look at CW’s “Arrow’s” Green Arrow

Warner Bros. has released the first image from its upcoming CW series “Arrow,” based on the DC Comics character, Green Arrow. Stephen Amell plays Oliver Queen, a former-billionaire playboy embarking on a career of vigilantism after spending time stranded on a desert island for five years. The re-imagined character is being brought to the small screen by “Green Lantern” screenwriters Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim and “Fringe” co-executive producer Andrew Kreisberg. David Nutter, who helmed the pilots of “Smallville” and “Supernatural,” will direct, and the hero’s costume is designed by three-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood.

“When I directed the pilot for ‘Smallville,’ I knew that making Clark Kent relatable would be the key to audiences believing in him as a hero,” Nutter said in text accompanying the image. “”Arrow” is a different show — darker and harder-edged– but it’s the same core idea. We’re creating a real, believable world in which Oliver Queen can do incredible things. Colleen Atwood’s great work on the Arrow costume reflects that effort.”

 

© 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Joseph Lederer

 

 

“Arrow” is executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and David Nutter, who is directing from a teleplay by Kreisberg & Guggenheim, story by Berlanti & Guggenheim. Melissa Kellner Berman is co-executive producer.

Based upon DC Entertainment characters, “Arrow” is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television.


The 10 Best Alternate Realities: AGE OF APOCALYPSE & More

10.) COMMUNITY – ‘THE DARKEST TIMELINE’

NBC’s Community opens our list, with an alternate reality that has (thus far) only existed for about three minutes of TV time.

So what makes it worthy of inclusion? Well, it was a memorable three minutes, as Troy going downstairs to get pizza in this past fall’s season three episode “Remedial Chaos Theory” proved to be much more fateful than you might think.

A chain reaction led to what Abed would later dub the “darkest, most terrible timeline” of the several alternate realities presented in that episode — Pierce is dead, Annie is in a mental institution, Shirley is a drunk, Jeff lost his arm, Troy lost his larynx, and Britta… has a blue streak in her hair.

It was funny (and surprisingly high-minded for a network sitcom), but its true influence is in what came later: What was essentially a throwaway gag became a rallying cry for fans and press when the show was placed on an indefinite hiatus this past November. Countless observers concluded the news must signify that we are indeed living in the “darkest timeline,” and rabid viewers applying felt goatees to their Twitter avatars (and sometimes, their own visages) in a sign of solidarity and protest.

 

9.) MUTANT X

How do you get Havok out of the shadow of his big brother Cyclops? Move him to his own reality of course!

From 1999-2001, Havok was the leader of the premiere super hero team of mutants, albeit on an alternate Earth. In a comic written by Howard Mackie (who is currently seeing a resurgence in DC’s New 52), Alex Summers from Earth 616, the main Marvel Universe, nearly died, at precisely the same moment as Alex Summers from Earth 1298 was shot and killed. Our Havok’s spirit went into theirs and helped him survive (yay comics!) and found himself as the leader of that world’s mutant heroes after the X-Men were killed/made into vampires, dubbed “The Six.”

Storm was a vampire, The Beast was The Brute, a frog/lizard/demon instead of an ape/cat person, Warren Worthington III breathed fire, and Havok was married to Madelyne Pryor, even having their own kid! Oh, she was also crazy and killed Spider-Man’s clone and Green Goblin and possessed the Beyonder. Oh clones, you so cray.

What really made this series awesome, however, was that Havok was the full-on leader of the premiere hero team in this universe. He got to be the team leader over a Captain America. He got to show the world what he could do, taking down universal level threats ultimately nearly alone. This series showed just what Havok could do without Scott Summers looking over his shoulder, and for fans of the character, it was fantastic.

Unfortunately there’s no real hope of going back to the Mutant X earth. But those issues, should you track them down, are full of a lot of fun, and a lot of straight up nuts, ideas and interpretations of the Marvel Universe’s classics.

 

8.) FRINGE – ‘OVER THERE’

The Fringe Division of the FBI examines events and crimes that happen on the fringe of the science we all know. Science fiction becomes science fact as the team tries to make sense of the nonsensical and explain the unexplainable.

The Fringe Division of the FBI “Over There” is a high-level branch controlled directly by the Department of Defense and is alternately respected and feared, and is the frontline in a coming war with the reality that, they are convinced, is slowly destroying them.

That’s the surprising real plot to the Fox science fiction seriesFringe, which is centered on the concept of alternate realities, keystones, cause-and-effect, and just how wrong things can go because of simple decisions. Since introducing the idea of the alternate world known just as “Over There” (not to mention such wonderful names for doppelgängers as “Fauxlivia” for Olivia and “Walternate” for Walter’s alternate), things have gotten even crazier. Now we have a new 3rd reality that has its own fourth “over there.”

Fringe doesn’t only borrow alternate realities from comics (amongst other sci-fi/fantasy in other mediums of course). A race of bald beings sworn to only watch the major events and players throughout time known as Observers take in everything happening in all these realities… and step in to help our heroes, breaking their vow, from time to time. Sound familiar, Marvel fans?

Regardless, “Over There” in Fringe is one of the coolest alternate universes around for one simple reason: copious amounts of zeppelins.

 

7.) SUPERMAN: RED SON

Truth, justice — in Soviet Russia.

The 2003 miniseries Superman: Red Son presented one of the simplest, yet most engaging high concepts in comic book history: What if Superman, long a symbol of American pride, was raised in the Soviet Union instead of a farm in Kansas?

Writer Mark Millar — the man behind Wanted and Kick-Ass — was joined by artists Dave Johnson and Kilian Plunkett for the story, which replaced the Man of Steel’s trademark “S” shield with a hammer and sickle, and incorporated bits of real history along with the superhero fantasy.

Red SonBatman & Dracula: Red Reign) and a world where Superman never made it to Earth (JLA: The Nail).

 

6.) BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – ‘DOPPELGANGLAND’

You know what they say, “be careful what you wish for.” Unfortunately Cordelia didn’t think that one through too much on this Season 3 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Fortunately, her foolish word choice created one of the best alternate timelines ever. It created the timeline where Willow is a Vampire, and Vampire Willow was so awesome she got her own focused episode, Doppelgangland.

Thanks to Vampire Willow, we got lines like “Bored now…” and “I think I’m kinda gay!” (significant because Willow does, in fact, figure out that she’s gay later in the series). We also saw Willow come out of her shell, and cemented Anya’s role in the scooby gang significantly via this pair of episodes.

 

5.) EARTH 3 (CRIME SYNDICATE)

On Earth 3, everything is backwards. Alexander Luthor is the greatest (only) hero in the world. Characters that look familiar are certainly not the people you expect them to be. Superman becomes the ruthless killer Ultraman. Batman is Owlman, the brilliant strategist who uses his skill to help his team rule over all. Power Ring, Johnny Quick, Superwoman and more doppelgängers populate this world, and as the Crime Syndicate of America are the world’s greatest villains.

Earth 3 is great for the other ultimate power fantasy: if you had ultimate power and no conscience, what could you do? Seeing evil versions of our favorite heroes (at least in doses) is always fun, and has led to some truly classic stories by the likes of Grant Morrison and Dwayne McDuffie.

Will an Earth 3 and CSA exist in some form in the New 52 multiverse? The question is really just “when” not “if.” Of course, with the Court of Owls and a “Talon” running around in the New 52 Earth, we could be seeing some of those old ideas leaking in already in an all-new way.

 

4.) AGE OF APOCALYPSE

Legion thought he knew the best way to make his father, Professor Xavier, proud — traveling back in time and killing the megalomaniacal mutant Magneto.

Only problem is, he actually ended up killing Professor X himself, meaning he never founded the X-Men — and the world itself greatly suffered in it.

Part of a proud line of dystopian futures in the Marvel Universe, the world of “Age of Apocalypse” was grim, with the ancient mutant Apocalypse bending much of the world to his whim. Magneto actually ended up founding the X-Men in this timeline, who struggled to fight the good fight against seemingly insurmountable odds.

The Age of Apocalypse took over all of Marvel’s X-titles for four months in 1995, with each getting a new title and new numbering before reverting back to their old positions at the conclusion of the story.

That alone makes it one of the most sweeping alternate realities in comic book history, but it’s also proven to endure, with several follow-up series in recent years leading to a new ongoing title set in the timeline, Age of Apocalypse, that debuted this week.

 

3.) STAR TREK – ‘MIRROR MIRROR’

The “Mirror Mirror” episode of Star Trek laid down a lot of the ground rules for parallel universes in pop culture, way back in 1967.

Thanks to a malfunctioning transporter, the Enterprise crew find themselves on a dark “mirror” world, where they encounter much more sinister versions of themselves.

Beyond being one of the most fondly remembered episodes of one of the most revered science-fiction franchises of all time, this episode gave the world a great gift: Mirror Spock’s goatee, as the facial hair has since become a visual shorthand that “goatee = evil twin,” parodied in “Wayne’s World,” Community and much more.

 

2.) EARTH 2

Yes, a brand new Earth 2 is on the way, but the concept of Earth 2 has been around for quite awhile. Paradoxically, Earth 2 has typically been populated by older heroes, or simply had superheroes around for a longer period of time than Earth 1 or New Earth (or New 52 Earth, perhaps).

The world of Earth 2 let all the Golden Age heroes continue their relevance despite the younger, hipper heroes like Hal Jordan, and Barry Allen. Home to the JSA and a second generation that had already aged as well, Earth 2 was a place where Batman could have a grown up child of his own, or even die for good.

The problem with the classic Earth 2 is it opened DC up to more Earths – an infinite number in fact. It required a Crisis to bring them all together and make sense of it all again. Now, Earth 2 is returning, but things on this version will be different, just like things are substantially different on the new “main” Earth. One thing’s for sure, it will still be a place to showcase events and drastic changes to characters readers know and love that could never happen in the “real” DCU, and isn’t that just what an alternate universe is for?

 

1.) ULTIMATE UNIVERSE

The Ultimate Universe started in 2000 as essentially the Marvel Universe readers were familiar with, but built from the ground up and for modern-day audiences: Peter Parker became Spider-Man due to genetic engineering instead of radioactivity, for instance, and the world was more diverse, with Nick Fury African American instead of Caucasian.

In the past 12 years, though, the Ultimate Universe has taken on a unique identity very much its own, due to two major events:Ultimatum and “The Death of Spider-Man.”

Ultimatum saw Magneto make the type of major strike he usually only threatens, with several major characters — including Professor X, Cyclops, Wolverine and Magneto himself — dying during the course of the series.

“Death of Spider-Man,” as the title implies, saw the death of the Ultimate Universe’s Peter Parker, and led the way for a new Spidey — the half-African American, half-Hispanic Miles Morales.

Now with a world that’s been rocked by devastation and a brand-new Spider-Man, the Ultimate Universe is less a streamlined version of the classic Marvel Universe and more of a place where anything can happen — readers know that the “real” Peter Parker won’t ever die for good for a variety of practical reasons, but in the Ultimate Universe, no shocking twist is off the table.

The Ultimate Universe has further earned its spot for being a breeding ground for new talents and a showcase for Marvel’s biggest names: Brian Michael Bendis was a relatively unknown back in 2000 when Ultimate Spider-Man launched, and now he’s one of the very biggest names in the industry. Mark Millar’s work on Ultimates and Ultimate X-Men helped bring him to superstardom. The Walking Dead‘s Robert Kirkman spent years on Ultimate X-Men. And that’s not to mention the likes of Brian K. Vaughan, Bryan Hitch, Jason Aaron, Mark Bagley, David Finch, Mike Carey, Stuart Immonen, Jonathan Hickman, Adam Kubert, Warren Ellis, Leinil Francis Yu, Jeph Loeb, Art Adams and many, many more.


Nicolas Cage’s Superman Story

 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story of “Action Comics #1” will soon be a feature film, but it will not revolve around the classic first Superman appearance contained within its pages. Instead, screenwriters Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (of “Reno 911” and MTV’s “The State”) will spin a tale of a “group of nerds” intent on stealing actor Nicolas Cage’s copy of the prized comic.

The story is based on the actual theft of Cage’s “Action Comics #1” back in 2000. Lost for eleven years, the rare collector’s item was found in a San Fernando Valley storage locker. At the time of its recovery, the actor said in a statement, “It is divine providence that the comic was found and I am hopeful that the heirloom will be returned to my family.” It eventually sold for an impressive $2.1 million at auction in November.

Lionsgate picked up the project with Garant and Lennon producing along side Peter Principato and Paul Young. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the script is being written with Cage in mind for the key role of Nicolas Cage, but notes, “at this stage, it’s unlikely that Cage will play himself.”

Meanwhile, fellow actor Jason Statham has been named in connection with the project, but has no official involvement with the production at this time.

Garant and Lennon, besides writing and performing on “The State” and “Reno 911,” are known for their comedy scripts like “Taxi”, “Herbie: Fully Loaded,” “Night at the Museum” and its sequel. Last year, the duo released a book about their experiences writing movies in Hollywood called “Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!”

The origins of Superman will also be seen again on the big screen in 2013’s “Man of Steel,” staring Henry Cavill as the character first glimpsed in “Action Comic #1.”


Big Hits for this week

Winter Soldier #3
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Butch Guice, Stefano Gaudiano, Brian Thies, Jordie Bellaire and Bettie Breitweiser
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by George Marston
‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10

Winter Soldier is turning out to be the sleeper hit of 2012, if you’ll pardon the pun. For all the nonsense surrounding its launch, and the circumstances of Bucky’s return to the perplexing mantle of the “Winter Soldier,” the book itself has turned out to be an excitingly edgy take on superhero spies. I admit, the first issue felt a little strange; Butch Guice’s almost Sienkiewicz style brush inking created a moody atmosphere, but didn’t really sell the story. Now, the work is starting to streamline, and combined with Ed Brubaker’s hard-boiled script, and a hearty helping of super science and classic Marvel madness, Winter Solider is beginning to ramp up quite nicely. This issue sees the next logical step in the war against Lucia von Bardas’s war against Dr. Doom, as she activates her Doom-Bot, and Winter Soldier enlists the help of Doom himself in preventing an international incident. There’s a lot of Marvel history flying around these pages, but much to Ed Brubaker’s credit, he doesn’t let the story get bogged down by the continuity, instead providing just enough background for a new reader to appraise himself of the status quo as the players enter the field. It’s cool to see characters like Red Ghost and his Super-Apes used this way, as scheming ex-Soviet super agents instead of almost laughable lackeys and fodder for clobberin’ time. Honestly, perhaps the biggest strength of this title right now is its use of Marvel’s history to secure its place in the canon, while still occupying a niche that has been unfilled for too long.

Butch Guice is starting to find his feet a little more on this title, achieving a better balance of storytelling and style than in previous issues. There’s still plenty of Guice’s crisp, flighty brushwork, but it takes a bit of a backseat to the more hard cut, almost choppy lines provided by co-inkers Stefano Gaudiano, and Brian Thies. Guice’s Black Widow is pure Modesty Blaise, and his Winter Soldier is all John Wayne, resulting in a thrilling blend of stylish ’60’s style spy fiction and over the top superhero grit. Bettie Breitweiser and Jordie Bellaire are perhaps the unsung hero of this book, though, as the title almost wouldn’t work without their deep, moody palette.

I worry that a lot of people have avoided this title over their frustration with Marvel’s rampant bait-and-switch style of storytelling that lead to the launch of this series, and while I won’t say the false nature of the story that lead to this title was worth it, I will say that Winter Soldier is a much needed and well-deserving book that doesn’t suffer from its inauspicious origins. There’s a corner of the Marvel Universe for this type of super spy adventure, and Winter Soldier occupies it as well as any title in recent years.

The Manhattan Projects #1
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Nick Pitarra and Cris Peter
Lettered by Rus Wooton
Published by Image Comics
Review by Edward Kaye
‘Rama Rating: 9 out of 10

To say that Jonathan Hickman has an active imagination, would be an understatement. It seems like everything he writes has a ridiculously high-concept premise that ends up completely taking readers by surprise with its originality. He even manages to bring this unique talent to his Marvel work, putting original twists on classic characters and tales. The Manhattan Projects is no exception to this rule – the series is an alternative history story that asks the question “What if the research and development department created to produce the first atomic bomb was a front for a series of other, more unusual, programs?”

It’s certainly an intriguing premise, and puts an interesting conspiratorial slant on key historical events of the 20th century. In this first issue, we are introduced to a fictionalized version of J. Robert Oppenheimer, and are told his life story through a series of flashbacks, which reveal that in this history he is actually a twin. We also follow Oppenheimer on his first day through the Manhattan Project facility, witnessing all manner of fantastic technology and bizarre invention, as well as an attack on the labs by Japanese ninja robots (yes, you read that right).

As first issues go, this one is brilliantly executed, really grabbing the reader’s attention from the first page, and not letting let go until the very last, leaving us with a clever twist ending that will have readers desperate to find out more. The story is very well paced, and Hickman spends just the right amount of time on each of the story elements, running the two threads in parallel until they come together at the climax. The story is told through a combination of dialogue, narration, and what look to be entries from an historical document that reveals the truth behind events. Hickman’s script is very impressive, with some engaging dialogue, and some highly convincing technical jargon – as a scientist myself, I could almost believe all these high-tech gadgets that he’s invented could actually exist. Hickman’s character work is also top-notch, and while he obviously has to tread carefully when dealing with actual historical figures, he manages to find an angle whereby he is able to play around a bit what we know about these people.

This series finds Hickman once again working with Nick Pitarra, with whom he collaborated on last year’s Red Wing miniseries. Pitarra’s linework on this issue has a very clean and open look to it, with some cartoonish elements that remind me somewhat of the style employed by Frank Quitely. Pitarra draws some amazingly well composed scenes in the issue, awash with intricate detail, and utilizing a number of interesting viewpoints from which to show the action. He has a slightly exaggerated sense of anatomy, which works to help develop the characters – with Oppenheimer being an spindly legged, gaunt scientist, and the military general being a bulky behemoth of a man, with a puffy face that looks ready to shout orders. With his inking he mostly just adds definition to his pencils, and doesn’t do a lot of filling blacks, shading, or hatching, which adds to the clean and light feel that the art has. He does add a number of interesting finishes though, which gives the final art a very textured look, which is what I think generates the Quitely-esque feel it has to it.


Cris Peter is the book’s colorist, and does a great job putting the final touches on the artwork. He utilizes a vibrant pallet that works to enhance the feeling of adventure that the story has. Also impressive is the way in which he colors the flashback pages, with the story of Robert Oppenheimer being colored in shades of blue, and that of his twin brother being colored in shades of red. This helps the reader follow the narrative, and generates a highly impressive effect when the two stories blend together at the climax.

Also worth noting is the overall presentation of the book. It has a very smart design aesthetic about it, with a trade dress cover, chapter title pages, and quotes presented throughout. It reminds me of the look of several of Hickman’s previous creator-owned ventures, so I imagine he had a hand in this design himself.



The Manhattan Projects #1 is a thrilling series debut, packed with alternate history, conspiracy theories, brutal slaughter, ninja robots, and super science. You’re going to want to jump on this one early, because pretty soon everyone will be talking about it.

Fairest #1
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Phil Jimenez, Andy Lanning and Andrew Dalhouse
Lettering by Todd Klein
Published by Vertigo
Review by David Pepose
‘Rama Rating: 3 out of 10

I wanted to like this book. I really did. Fables has been a smart concept from Bill Willingham and Vertigo ever since the first issue, but it’s easy to look at it through rose-colored glasses when you read it at the beginning, in trade format, no less. So it’s sad to see Willingham’s latest spinoff, Fairest, struggle out of the gate like this. Lacking that sort of strong, cross-genre high concept that the original Fables or Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love possessed, there’s an awful lot of slow setup to this opening issue that doesn’t yield much in the way of big results.

In many ways, that lack of enthusiasm comes from a surprising simplicity on Willingham’s part — this is the most straightforward narrative I’ve seen in his “Fablesverse,” as we follow Ali Baba, the Prince of Thieves, as he teams up with a bottle imp to try to find treasures undreamed of by man. Of course, things get a little bit complicated when not one, but two sleeping princesses get thrown into the picture. The problem? That’s about the only wrinkle this story gets — on a conceptual level, this first issue doesn’t grab you with any sort of big question or investment. Perhaps this will read differently in a trade, but as far as first issues go, not enough happens to justify a return trip.

Yet lightness of plot can often become an asset, if the characters are likable and well-developed. Unfortunately, Willingham hasn’t won us over with these players. Ali comes off as bland and stilted, while his snarky imp sidekick Jonah just feels tired right out of the gate, with his over-the-top “American” lingo, spouting off immediately dated references spinning off “Touched By An Angel” and “Firefly.” Combine that with some jerky pacing from scene to scene and a talky, seemingly half-hearted attempt to talk about some of the previous invasion-based Fables storylines, and you have a missed opportunity. It’s a shame, because Ali Baba’s motivations are entirely self-aggrandizing, which could lead to some interesting dynamics… if he had some unexpected things to say or do to get our attention.

That all said, I can’t fault this book too much on the art. Phil Jimenez provides a very clean, muscular vision for Fairest, where the princesses are gorgeous and the rogues at their most roguish. While his layouts veer a little too often towards the oppressively horizontal, Jimenez knows how to distance his shots, whether he’s showing us the detailed wreckage of an entire city, or getting in close for what could be true love’s kiss. Colorist Andrew Dalhouse really elevates Jimenez’s work, providing a warm texture to what could have become some very flat artwork. Dalhouse pushes the envelope a bit with our twin princesses — one auburn like fire, the other blue as ice — and while sometimes the effect overpowers the page a bit, it’s still a memorable effect.

When Fables first began, it had the strength of a powerful high concept — namely, a fairy tale mystery — to keep readers invested long enough to discover Willingham’s clever riffs on long-standing characters. When they spun off Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love, Chris Roberson did one better, as we introduced a plucky, Buffy-esque heroine into a fairy tale spy narrative. Fairest doesn’t have that sort of exciting elevator pitch evident in the first issue, and it doesn’t have the enthralling characters to back it up, either. It may be a pretty book, but first impressions are more than skin deep — and in that regard, Fairest doesn’t quite live up to its name.


DC Comics Reveals An All-New, All-Different “SHAZAM!”

Classic superhero Captain MarvelShazam! is getting a makeover…and it’s out with the “circus strongman” suit, and in with a mystical new cloaked look. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank will be bringing readers new monthly adventures of Shazam! in an ongoing “Justice League” back-up story starting with issue #7.

The New York Post has the first look at the new, darker Shazam!, who,according to writer Johns, is headed back to his magical roots: “With SHAZAM! Gary and I will be focusing on the magic hero instead of the super hero. For centuries, science has ruled the world, but now magic is returning.” The “Justice League” backup story will mark the official name-change for the character from its marvel-ous roots. Johns told the Post: “We changed his name [to Shazam] for a lot of reasons. One of them is that Shazam is the word most associated with the character, so we just felt it made sense — a lot of people already thought that was his name, anyway.”

The publishing history of Captain Marvel/Shazam! is one of those epic decades-spanning stories involving multiple publishers, multiple names, lawsuits, revamps, and etc. Created in 1939 by C.C. Beck and Bill Parker for Fawcett Comics, the wildly popular Captain Marvel ran afoul of DC Comics for its alleged similarity to Superman; due to a copyright infringement suit, the adventures of the “Big Red Cheese” were discontinued in 1953. Ironically, it was DC who licensed the character in 1972, re-introducing him and his friends to comics.

HOWEVER, while C.M. was cooling his heels as a result of the copyright suit, Marvel Comics trademarked the name…forcing DC to promote the comics with the Shazam! trademark. But, as Johns pointed out, a lot of people just assumed that Shazam! was his name anyhow. And here we are.

Will Shazam! eventually get his own new title? Will hard-core fans accept the character’s new look? And what of Hoppy the Marvel Bunny?  Stay tuned!


10 Easy Ways To Drive Comic Book Fans Insane

 Comic Book fans are widely recognized as the most calm, forgiving group in all of fandom. As comfortable with patiently explaining convoluted continuity as they are excepting pretty much every storyline change involving their favorite character, no matter how minor… Okay, who are we kidding? Comic Book fans are a bunch of crazy, reactionary nutbags, and we count ourselves happy to be in their number. But if there is one thing fans of the four color funnies can agree on is that we all have to team up against NON-Comic Book Fans. Why? Because they say stuff like this:

10. “I read a comic once. I didn’t like it.”
Are you kidding? That’s like saying, “I ate food once. Not my thing.” Yet to the comic book fan trying to introduce their friend or family member to the medium they love too much is often like walking through a mine field, where one wrong move can lead a potential life-long reader to dismiss the entire span of titles due to one, tiny wrong choice. And all because you asked them to read a Care Bears comic, and they were more of a Snorks fan.

.9. “Comics? You Mean Like Garfield?”
Speaking of which, there’s nothing that quite gets our goat as confusing newspaper strips and comic books. Yes, they came from the same source, and you can like both… But the name “comics” doesn’t actually mean they’re all three panel goofs. To be fair, neither are all newspaper strips, or webcomics; but they’re a different approach to the medium, with a different structure, and different rules.

8. Calling Superheroes By The Wrong Name
It’s acceptable – and even downright cute – when my two year old daughter sees The Flash and shouts, “Batman!” When an adult does it? Not so much. Like the alphabet, numbers, and being able to use the toilet effectively, you should be able to suss out that the guy with the Spider on his chest isn’t frickin’ Superman. Mom.

7. Calling Superheroes By The Wrong Publisher
For some reason, this is far worse that just wholesale mixing up characters, as there’s a level of knowledge that comes with the territory. Don’t know who Batman is? Fine. Asking whether he’s on The Avengers? Unforgivable. (Thanks to @jimmy_boots on Twitter for the suggestion).

6. Asking Where To Buy Comics
Sure, we’ll give you that it isn’t the easiest in store buying experience all the time, but being clueless that comic book stores are even conceivable as a thing that exists is just non-fans creating a mental block of some sort. There’s a store that sells nothing but M&Ms for goodness sake… You don’t think there’s a shop that sells one of the world’s most popular forms of entertainment?

5. Making Top Ten Lists Of The Most Ridiculous Comic Book Characters
There’s a veeeery slight possibility this might be a personal pet peeve rather than a universal one, but every website in existence finds it necessary, upon discovering Marvel’s Squirrel Girl, or DC’s Matter Eater Lad, to write a list of “Top Ten Most Ridiculous Comic Book Characters!” much to the delight of their non-fan audience. And sure, maybe half of their list is ridiculous, but then we look at it and think, “But you didn’t read [INSERT ISSUE OF AVENGERS] when [INSERT CHARACTER] was totally awesome!” And then we cry. A lot.

4. “They’re for kids, right?”
NO THEY’RE NOT COMICS ARE A VERY MATURE FORM OF STORYTELLING WITH GREAT WORKS OF LITERATURE AND okay fine some of them are for kids. Sadly, due to the fact that some comics – in fact some of the best comics currently running – are actually for all-ages, and the “adult” comics are often aimed at man-children, this is an indefensible position. You know the statement isn’t true, but somehow, any piece of evidence brought up pokes major holes in your otherwise correct theory.

3. No, It’s NOT Based On A Graphic Novel
Once the public realized graphic novels were a thing, and they were the acceptable form of reading comics on the train or bus, it was all over. Now, every credit sequence says, “Based On The Graphic Novel By…” And every time the movie – or TV show – is actually based on a comic book series, and NOT a graphic novel, we wince. Particularly because sometimes there are things based on Graphic Novels. Confusing, right?

2. Biff! Bam! Pow! Stop Using That Headline!
Another press/media pet peeve, but every single headline in the mainstream press about comic books says, “Biff! Bam! Pow! Comics Aren’t For Kids Anymore!” Which of course defeats the premise in the headline itself. Other reasons this drives us up the wall? How about “Biff! Bam! Pow! Comics Don’t Use Biff, Bam, or Pow Anymore!” And how about the fact that we’ve seen the same headline surrounding comics for, oh say, a decade. Makes us think that maybe the papers are on to something.

1. Incorrectly Hyphenating Spiderman… We mean, Spider-Man
Nothing quite gets to the heart of the comic book fan as the teeny, tiny, minuscule mistake that exemplifies everything wrong with non-fans. And there is no mistake as big/small as mis-hyphenating Spider-Man. And we should know: we follow a lot of comic book professionals and fans on Twitter, and not a day goes by where someone doesn’t have a long, freak out rant about the hyphenation of everyone’s favorite wallcrawler. Er, wall-crawler. Cough.