Tagged: Aquaman

Joe Staton kills Aquaman in Dick Tracy

Aquaman killed — in Dick Tracy?

Joe Staton kills Aquaman in Dick TracyR.I.P. Arthur Curry– better known to the rest of the comics reading world as Aquaman.

In today’s Dick Tracy comic strip, by DC Comics veteran Joe Staton and Mike Curtis, aquarium director Arthur Curry is revealed to have been murdered. Arthur Curry is the secret identity of Aquaman. Even miscolored, you’ll notice the resemblence, right down to the scales on his shirt.

Curry was killed by a villain named Phishface a few strips earlier. We look forward to Dick Tracy bringing the killer to justice in the days and weeks ahead– and we are even more amazed that the killer wasn’t Geoff Johns.

Marc Alan Fishman: The New 52 Report Card

Good morning, DC! Please, have a seat. Why yes, this is a new office. Thank you for noticing. Would you like a mint? Oh go ahead, pocket a few to take home with you. Are you nice and settled in? Excellent.

I wanted to stop today – just a bit shy of your one year anniversary as the “DCnU” – and give you an evaluation. And let’s be honest… this time last year? You were phoning it in something fierce. Anyways… I’ve assembled some thoughts about this leaner-meaner-DC you’ve tried to become. How about we take a little time now to go over my thoughts.

I’d like to start with something positive. Frankly, it took balls to announce to the world you were resetting things. Or rebooting them. But not ret-conning them. However you want to phrase it. To take your entire line back to #1 certainly got you the attention you wanted. Suddenly all the Internet was ablaze with rumors and opinions. You even got TV, newspapers, and traditional magazines interested in you again. I bet you hadn’t seen this kind of love since you killed Superman. For a few months. But not really. How is the Eradicator doing these days anyways? Ha ha ha! But I digress. If nothing else, you like to look like you’re a risk-taker. Frankly, we both know you’re not, but that’s a lengthy discussion we’ll have at another time.

Looking over your line, I can’t help but feel like you couldn’t stop yourself from playing favorites. For every amazing Batman you put out, you matched it on the shelf with less-than-stellar clones like Detective Comics and The Dark Knight. Action Comics got the world talking about Superman again. Superman reminded us why we stopped reading his book somewhere between Electric Blue and New Krypton. And four Green Lantern books? I mean, I know you were trying to suck up to me with giving Kyle Rayner his own book… But did you actually read what you put out?

Justice League was your pride and joy. Justice League International was made with scraps from the bottom of the fridge. And for all the love you gave Animal Man and Swamp Thing, you couldn’t match the complexity and depth in Resurrection Man or the abysmal Suicide Squad. I just kept getting the sense that you unnecessarily spread yourself too thin, DC. You published fewer books per month than you had prior… but in getting leaner, you didn’t realize it would make each effort you put out that much more important.

I feel like I’m being a bit harsh on you. Here… stop crying for a second. You did good things too. I mean, let’s talk about Batman, Action Comics, Animal Man, and Swamp Thing, OK? Here you were able to really play with people’s expectations. Your gamble paid off in spades. Grant Morrison proved (well, I should say is continually proving) that he can marry his love of the golden/silver age while still spinning modern yarn for the lynchpin of your universe. Scott Snyder’s pair of books were decidedly different, and elegant in separate ways. In Batman he was able to prove his deft hand at writing a plausible difference between Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, when under the cowl. And while I didn’t have the patience or wallet to enjoy the entirety of “The Court Of Owls,” just keeping to the main Bat-Book proved all the epicness I needed to thoroughly enjoy the event. And over in the “The Dark”? Well, all I can say is you’re finding the perfect way to release Vertigo books with a different logo on them. And I mean that in the best way.

See… Don’t you feel better? And hey, also keep in mind that for the first time Aquaman was really selling well. And the core Green Lantern title has never been sharper. Now, of course we both know you slapped a #1 on it, but it never really “reset” after flashpoint. Very smart of you. Well, it doesn’t hurt that Geoff Johns is the one writing it, so he didn’t have to apply his whole “make the universe over” rule to his own book. When you have that many letters in your title, I guess the rules don’t apply. Say, how did OMAC sell, anyways? Cough, cough! Excuse me. Nervous tic.

As I sat to prepare your report card, it became increasingly taxing to determine a final grade. I mean, if I were to be harsh about it? I would just give you a D, and call it a day. The greatness achieved from the top talent you employed just can’t hold up those who only tread water. For all the interest you garnered from the mainstream media, you never figured out a way to hold on to their attention, lest you revert back to the old days of just throwing anything out there in hopes of someone paying attention.

Who did you decide to make gay this week? Whose backstory did you change, just to get the message boards flustered? And don’t even get me started about your “girls should wear pants” fiasco. The continual desire to turn amazing artists into mediocre writers, and your desire to employ Rob Liefeld even after his one book was basically universally jeered. And of course, your commitment to force needless crossovers throughout the line, to bump up sales. All of these things pull your GPA (Geek Projected Approval) down into the gutters.

I could go on, but I see you’ve stopped paying attention to me, DC. I know you want to focus on the future – by raping the past. Batman is about to enter “Nightfall.” There’s all that “Before Watchman” stuff you keep cramming down our throats. Oh, and I’m pretty certain I heard you muttering something about more Justice League teams and the resurrection of WildCATS. I can only hope you learn from your mistakes, in going forward. So for now, I’m ready to give you a final grade for your first year, you get an Incomplete.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander


Emily S. Whitten: Ask Deadpool, Because You Just Won’t Get These Answers Anywhere Else

Hey everyone! Emily here, and all ready for a great Tuesday column! Today I’m going to be talking about cosplay. I read an article a little while ago, about why women cosplay, and whether they –

Why women cosplay? Well ain’t it obvious? So they can look smokin’ like Lady Deadpool an’ stuff.

Um, Deadpool? What are you doing here?

Dontchya remember? You promised me I c’d take out my backlog’a Twitter questions by answerin’ ‘em on yer column this week!

…I did, didn’t I? Well crap. I had this whole great column about women and cosplay ready to go! Are you sure you don’t want to come back next week??

Em, I love ya, but GTFO.

*siiiiigh* It’s all yours, man.

RIGHT. Well now. Since we ain’t been properly introduced yet, ‘sup, people’a ComicMix. My name’s Deadpool, an’ I come in peace.

[Well we all know that’s a big fat lie.]


Okay, maybe I come in peace an’ a little bit’a mayhem. Guess it kinda depends on my mood what you’ll get, an’ th’ way my brain works, who c’n predict? But right now, I’m feelin’ all mellow an’ $#!% ‘cause I just ate ten chimichangas, five enchiladas, an’ a chalupa. Also a coupla churros. You ever had a churro? Man, I c’d eat those things all d –


All right, alright. So, yeah. All fulla food an’ mellow an’ happy an’ ready ta clear up some’a those burnin’ questions people are always askin’ me ‘cause they know I’m th’ world-wide expert on everythin’ on Earth, ever. Also a pretty good consultant fer death an’ th’ afterlife an’ life in other galaxies. Also I play a mean game’a shuffleboard


So now that ya know why we’re all here, let’s get on with it, eh?

[I get ta say “Eh?” ‘cause I’m Canadian.]

[So you say.]

Ah-hem. On ta all th’ burnin’ questions, is what I say!

…But no questions about burnin’ as it relates ta you, yer pants, an’ that donkey ya met last week, ‘kay? Last time I got one’a those kinda questions I couldn’ sleep right fer a week fer all th’ nightmares. They got other people fer those questions, capeesh? I’m a merc, not a doc!

So, yeah, let’s see here…last month’s laundry…IOU from Cable after he borrowed my WD-40; man, that’s old, I bet I c’d collect some killer int’rest on that…souvenir slice of Agent X’s pancreas (he never missed it!)…ah! Twitter questions!

Oh, hey. This one just came in, from @foresthouse.

Emily says: Wade!! Don’t forget to post the comic that @MarcVuletich and I did in your Tuesday @ComicMix column!

Crap! I almost forgot, didn’ I? Stupid shimmyin’ brain cells. Emily said I c’d only answer questions here if I remembered ta post the latest comic she an’ Marc Vuletich did. I let ‘em hang around th’ office sometimes ta chronicle my amazin’ life. Here’s what happened last week…

…Not my proudest moment. And now, on ta th’ rest’a th’ internets:

@Gohanguy22 asks: “Who would win in a fight? Justin Bieber or Aquaman”

Ah, geez, another one’a these “who would win” questions where th’ answer is just so obvious I don’ know why there’s even a question. I mean, here we got Justin Bieber, The Dude Formerly Known As A Hairstyle, who’s basic’lly recycled pop songs, a few dance moves, an’ a big cheesy grin; versus Aquaman, th’ freakin’ king of Atlantis, who c’n like, breathe underwater, make sea creatures dance th’ merengue if he wants ‘em to, an’ punch through submarines. Also th’ dude c’n swim up Niagara Falls.

So, obviously, th’ answer is: Justin Bieber. ‘Cause even though Aquaman c’d snap that little feeb’s neck like a tiny piece’a coral or drown him in three feet’a water or have him eaten by piranhas no problem, ev’rybody knows th’ King of Atlantis’d be too dignified ta bother fightin’ or drownin’ somethin’ that silly an’ inconsequential.

Also, what’s th’ point? Ya get rid’a Bieber, an’ ya just know there’ll be another Bieber along ta replace him soon enough. They got, like, a factory somewhere or somethin’.

@Flobberknocker wants ta know: “you versus 100 chimichangas. Who wins?”

Well obviously th’ first round goes ta me. I’d be eliminatin’ th’ competition left, right, an’ center. Hooverin’ up those chimichangas like it ain’t no thang. Knockin’ ‘em down an’ goin’ in fer th’ kill while they cried fer their wussy mommy chimichangas. Then, sure, I might haveta stop fer a few, ‘cause 100 chimichangas is a lot of chimichangas. So yeah, I’d take a breath, get someone ta mop my brow an’ squirt water in th’ general direction’a my mouth, maybe tell some people passin’ by ‘bout how I was eatin’ 100 chimichangas (okay, I’d tell everybody passin’ by, but just ‘cause “chimichanga” is fun ta say, it’s not like I like ta brag or nothin’).

But hey, then I’d be right back in th’ ring, ‘cause ya know, I’m like th’ Chimichanga Terminator, lookin’ those tasty deep-fried burritos in th’ eye an’ bein’ all: I’ll be back. An’ they’d be quakin’ in their little guacamole-covered boots, cryin’ tiny sour cream tears, ‘cause ya gotta know chimichangas are cowardly little things; ya’d almost feel sorry fer ‘em in this scenario ‘cept they’re just so damn delicious! So yeah, th’ second round would be mine, all mine! An’ before ya know it they’d all be gone an’ I’d be sittin’ all fat an’ happy in my easy chair with a smile on my face an’ th’ Golden Girls marathon on TV. Challenge accepted; mission accomplished.

…But hey. I ain’t gonna lie. This is Mexican food, here. We all know who wins round three.

@Kingvilehelm inquires: “If you had a baby would you train it all Kill Bill style or let it have a normal childhood”

A baby? A cutesy-wootsey itty-bitty widdle baaaaabyyyy?? …Ah, who’re we kiddin’, is there anyone, anywhere in this world or any’a all th’ ridiculously large collections’a alternate Marvel universes out there who would leave me alone with a baby long enough ta raise it?

[Unless it was baby Cable! You looked after him for awhile, don’t forget.]

[Yeah, and then when Cable got to his teen years he took him to Intercourse, PA in hopes it would live up to its name, remember?]

[Fair point.]

Yeah, pretty sure th’ whole’a th’ Marvel multiverse’d frown on me bein’ allowed ta raise a baby, not that I’d know what ta do with it if I did get one – I mean, I know there’s somethin’ involvin’ diaper-changin’ an’ all that, but I ain’t touchin’ that $#!% with a ten-foot pole (all puns intended)! That’s def’nitely someone else’s problem.

But…maybe…someone in another universe’d be interested in improvin’ th’ shallow end’a th’ gene pool with ol’ Wade, eh? Hmm...I wonder what that’d look like… 

@flanaganbennett asks: “Deadpool, what do you think of this bunny?”


…You have found my one weakness, good sir. Yo, verily, I take off my mask ta you.

Well, that’s it fer this week, feebs an’ fans! Come back next week, when Emily tells me she’ll be here with what I’m sure’ll be a super rivetin’ column about costumes an’ stuff. I mean, not nearly as rivetin’ as me answerin’ questions, but hey, we don’ wanna spoil you all, now, do we? Not ta mention Emily just came over ta stand near th’ keyboard an’ she’s kinda tappin’ her foot an’ gesturin’ fer me ta leave an’ I’m not sure if she’s gonna invite me back anytime soon. But…I’m sure she’ll let me near her computer again one’a these days, an’ if she doesn’t, you c’n always come visit me over at Ask Deadpool!

So until next time, chimichanga!

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold and those kids…




Big Bang Comics and Pulp 2.0 Press Announce New Digital-First Comic Strip
Featuring Knight Watchman at C2E2
Veteran Warren and Shazam Award winning writer Steve Skeates on board the
Sunday comic strip-style webcomic with Knight Watchman creator Chris Ecker

At C2E2: Pulp 2.0 Press MPB (Mad Pulp Bastard) Bill Cunningham joined Big Bang co-creator Chris Ecker in announcing a new, color Knight Watchman serialized comic strip story that will feature the storytelling of Shazam Award-winning comic book legend Steve Skeates (The Spectre, Hawk and Dove, Aquaman, Pantha). This new, digital-first weekly comic strip marks the return of not only Skeates, but of the Knight Watchman to eager comic fans.

“Chris has been itching to get back to the drawing board, and continue telling the adventures of the Knight Watchman, Kid Galahad and the rest of the characters who haunt Midway City,” said Cunningham. “While Chris, Gary Carlson and I have had many discussions on taking the Big Bang brand to different media, it was Chris who went out and contacted Steve Skeates and got him on board to do a Sunday “newspaper comic strip” for the web. All the credit belongs to him. I’m just here to make sure it’s realized, and gets into the hands of Big Bang and comic strip fans worldwide.”

“Big Bang Comics has a tradition of working with our veteran comics creators like Marty Nodell, Shelly Moldoff and others. I’m really pleased to have Steve join our ranks and work with him to tell rip-roarin’ adventure stories,” said artist Chris Ecker. “This Sunday newspaper style strip is a new idea for us, but I think it fits in well with the type of stories we want to tell – Golden age stories for kids of all ages. A Sunday strip gives us the chance to reach out to the audience, and let them know what Big Bang and Pulp 2.0 is all about. ”

“I am excited about launching our first digital comic, especially in this strip format which will utilize the “widescreen look” provided by computer and tablet screens, exactly like reading the Sunday Funnies“ said Cunningham. “We’re doing it a bit “old school,” but that’s been part of our tradition from the beginning, bringing the classic “pulp” into tomorrow as quickly and inexpensively as possible so people can enjoy it. Then we’ll collect the color webcomic for print, and add even more value for our readers.”

The weekly comic strip is set to debut in August 2012, to coincide with Pulp 2.0’s release of the first and second volumes of its Big Bang Comics Collection series of books, featuring the classic Knight Watchman comics stories originally published by Image Comics plus bonus features. Artists and writers featured in these stories include: Terry Beatty, Jeff Austin, Jim Brozman, Howard Bender, Randy Buccini, Joe Shannon Denton, Frank Fosco, Paul Frike, Darren Goodhart, John Livesay:, Tony Manginelli: Mike Matthew , Christopher Page, Dan Preece, Ed Quinby, Stuart Sayger, Bill Shelley, Andrew Sheppard, Bob Steve, Frank Squillace, Tim Stiles, Taylor, Ben Torres, John Thompson, Patrick Tuller, Nigel Tully, Shawn Van Briesen, Mike Worley, and Dave Zimmermann.

For more information, or to arrange an interview contact:

Bill Cunningham, MPB

Pulp 2.0 Press




Facebook: www.facebook.com/pulp2ohpress

Twitter: @madpulpbastard

MINDY NEWELL: Who’s Dead As A Doornail?

MINDY NEWELL: Who’s Dead As A Doornail?

Death aims only once, but never misses.

(Maxims: Political, Philosophical, and Moral, by Edward Counsel)

Except in comics.

I was doing a search for quotes about death when I found this one, which is so apropos. I never heard of Edward Counsel; did a Google search, but couldn’t find him?? Found a reproduction of his book on Amazon; the original was published before 1923. All I can gather is that he was an Australian who was born before 1900. Anyone who has more info is welcome to let me know in the comments section.

The reason I was looking for a quote about death – of which there seems to be milllllllllions – is because all us comic fans are buzzing about the YouTube video The Death and Return of Superman, by Max Landis (son of John Landis), who stars in The Chronicle. I was going to post it here, but Martha (Thomases) beat me to it three days ago – which amazingly points out that DC actually thought Tim Drake’s/Robin’s new costume was more of a P.R. event than Supe’s kicking of the bucket – so I won’t do that. All I can say is that, if by any chance you haven’t seen it, do so at once. You have my permission to stop reading this column, go watch it (it’s about 16:00 long) and then come back. It is bitingly hilarious, and exceptionally on the mark!!!! (Major kudos to Landis and his fellow actors btw!)

SPOILER ALERT!: Okay, I’m going to assume that you have either already seen the video or have taken the 16:00 to watch it before returning here, because I’m going to give away the ending here.

Landis concludes his short film by stating that Superman’s death and return opened the floodgates for other comic characters to die and then resurrect. In other words, said resurrection cheapened the dramatic impact of said death, and ended the ability of readers to mourn the loss of the character, because the reader knew the character would eventually return. Cynics like me will always point out that the death of a character in the comic book world is always due to (1) marketing; and (2) the dictates of Hollywood – as Martha ably points out in her column concerning Lois And Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

As a comics writer, a editor, and a reader, the “make-believe” of death in comics really pisses me off.

I’d like to point out that the ability of fiction (any fiction, from comics to television to movies) to help children understand and cope with finality of death is incredibly important. J. M. Barrie understood this, as he has Peter Pan say “To die will be an awfully big adventure.” And of course, J.K. Rowling did not flinch from the meaning of death in the Harry Potter And The novels; it was one of the themes of her “magnus opus” – beginning with the main character. Need I remind you that Harry was an orphan?

Okay, young readers of comics are scarce these days. We all know that. But they are still out there; my eleven-year old niece Isabel being one of them. And children are curious about death. About six months after my husband left me, the family was out to dinner. Right in the middle of the laughter and the eating, Isabel, six years old at the time, said to me, “Is John dead?” (That was a conversation stopper, let me tell you.) Of course her parents had explained what had happened. But obviously Isabel couldn’t grasp the concept of marital separation and divorce, so all she knew was that John was gone, which in her thoughts equaled death… because, as her mom told me later, she had just seen a movie – I don’t remember which one, it might have been one of the Harry Potter’s – in which one of the characters died. And she was trying to wrap her young mind around “death.”

Which I think is good; our society tends to put death into a dark, dusty corner where it molders and mildews and mutates into something unbearably monstrous. Remember the uproar over Terry Schiavo? How about the Republican bullshit of equating Obama’s healthcare bill with death panels? And as a registered nurse in the operating room, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen terminally ill or extremely aged patients subjected to the stress of unneeded or useless surgery or treatment because the family insists on it because they can’t deal with the impending death of their loved one.

Death can be welcomed as an end to unending pain and torment. Death can be aggressively fought against with all the tools of modern medicine. Death can be sudden, or it can be stretched out into nanoseconds.

But death is real.

I’m still reeling from the death of Kara Zor-El – Supergirl – in Crisis On Infinite Earth.  Don’t talk to me about the reboots.

The Very Short List of Comic Book Superheroes Who Have Died And Returned: Alfred Pennyworth, Aquaman, Aunt May, Big Barda, Bucky, Captain America, The Doctor, Elektra, Fahrenheit, The Flash, Firestorm, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, The Human Torch, Jean Grey, Moon Knight, Negative Man, Punisher, Robin, Supergirl, Superman, The Thing, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents (many if not all), Wonder Man, Wonder Woman, Yellowjacket.

TUESDAY: Michael Davis. Sponsored by the Bacon Council.

Me and The Art of Ramona Fradon

Growing up, I always recognized that Ramona Fradon’s artwork was different, curvier and softer in many ways than Gil Kane or Carmine Infantino. But you couldn’t help but like her open, appealing storytelling and characters. Her artistic touch on Metamorpho and later Super Friends were perfect while she was badly miscast on things like Freedom Fighters and even selected issues of The Brave and the Bold.

From the legion of writers and artists working in the first two generations of comics, Ramona was one I had never had the chance to meet or speak with. It was therefore serendipitous when Dynamite Entertainment invited me to edit The Art of Ramona Fradon which is a visual showcase for her work and was an extended conversation between the artist and fellow creator Howard Chaykin. Chaykin spoke with her on numerous occasions and the raw transcript needed to be shaped which is what I did. But in researching her career, I realized there were pockets of work Howard never explored and other gaps that needed filling in. (And speaking of Chaykin, my overdue The Art of Howard Chaykin retrospective is finally on press and should be out in the spring.)

I was tasked with calling her myself and conducting a supplemental interview so I found myself spending about ninety wonderful minutes with Ramona last year. She was gracious and displayed a pretty good memory so those gaps filled in nicely.

It was easy, then, to take the various transcripts and edit it into a pretty coherent chronology of her life and career. The book took time to assemble given the hunt for illustrations from across her career but the work is done and I see it now being solicited in the current issue of Diamond reviews.

If you grew up on her work and want to get to know the artist, I strongly suggest you get this for yourself. I’m certainly proud of having worked on this, honoring Ramona and her work.

After the cut is the complete press release with additional details.

Long time fans of Metamorpho, Aquaman, Aqualad, Plastic Man, The Fantastic Four and Super Friends are quite familiar with the work of legendary artist, Ramona Fradon, but not until now will they know the whole story of Ramona’s incredible career in comics, as Dynamite Entertainment is pleased to announce the upcoming The Art of Ramona Fradon in stores on April 2012!

For the first time ever! The DEFINITIVE retrospective of Ramona Fradon’s career will be presented in The Art of Ramona Fradon. The Art of Ramona Fradon will be a hardcover book that highlights the magnificent career of the artistic legend, plus never-before-seen sketches.

Interviewed by legendary creator Howard Chaykin and featuring a forward by Walt Simonson, Fradon talks about her artistic career, accomplishments and creations from her early days at DC in the 1950’s to her later work on Marvel’s The Cat and Fantastic Four and DC’s Plastic Man, Freedom Fighters, Super Friends and more!

“I’ve never liked to see my work in print, but the way it’s presented in this book makes me feel proud,” says legendary artist Ramona Fradon. “The drawings are arranged so attractively on the pages that the not-so-good ones look good and the good ones look really good. It covers so much of my career that there are things I barely remember doing, starting with an unpublished story strip I practiced on before I got into comics. It’s nice to see I’ve improved since then.”

“In an era when 99.99 % of American comic books were produced by a male talent pool, and very few women worked in the field–mostly as writers, and mostly producing work of no particular interest or engagement,” says Howard Chaykin.  “The truest exception to this reality is Ramona Fradon, an original, not to say eccentric talent, whose approach to comics was so idiosyncratic as to make her stand out from her peers, men and women alike–and it should be noted that her work, as influential as it’s been over these many years, remains personal, individual and inimitable.”

“I have known Ramona and loved her work forever. I started with Aquaman in the 1950s when I was a kid,” says Walt Simonson. “Ramona’s art wasn’t like anybody else’s work back then.  Her design of the human figure, her slightly abstract and expressive faces, her crisp line, and her clear storytelling stamped her work with an individuality that was instantly recognizable.”

“It is an honor that we are able to present the life and art of Ramona Fradon in The Art of Ramona Fradon,” adds Dynamite Entertainment President and Publisher Nick Barrucci.  “Ramona Fradon’s work has touched many creators, and I personally am a huge fan of her art.  Ramona’s conversation with Howard Chaykin about her life’s-work makes this book a must-read for any Ramona Fradon fan and any fan of comics history!”

Ramona Fradon is an American comic book and comic strip artist.  Her career began in 1950, when it was even more unusual for women to illustrate superhero comics.  Fradon entered cartooning just after graduating from the Art Students’ League. Comic-book letterer George Ward, a friend of her husband (New Yorker cartoonist Dana Fradon), asked her for samples of her artwork to pitch for job openings. She landed her first assignment on the DC Comics feature Shining Knight. Her first regular assignment was illustrating an Adventure Comics backup feature starring Aquaman, for which she co-created the sidekick Aqualad.

Following her time with Aquaman, and taking a break to raise her daughter, Fradon returned to co-create Metamorpho, drawing four issues of the series. Her other work includes Super Friends, Freedom Fighters, Plastic Man,  a variety of mystery stories, and an issue of the Fantastic Four!

In 1980, Dale Messick retired from drawing the newspaper strip Brenda Starr, and Fradon became the artist for it, until her own retirement in 1995. Fradon was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006.

Join the conversation on Twitter with  #RamonaFradon and on Dynamite Entertainment’s twitter page at http://twitter.com/DynamiteComics

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DC Entertainment’s We can be Heroes Campaign to fight Hunger in Africa

we-can-be-heroes-advertisement-300x397-1113765(January 23, 2012 – New York, NY)  DC Entertainment, home of the world’s greatest super heroes, today unveiled an unprecedented giving campaign to fight the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa.  This multi-million-dollar commitment over the next two years will be supported across all Warner Bros. Entertainment’s and Time Warner’s businesses and feature DC Entertainment’s iconic Justice League characters, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg, issuing the call to action, “We Can Be Heroes.”  The announcements were made at a press conference today in New York by Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros.; Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group; and Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment.

We Can Be Heroes will support the efforts of three humanitarian aid organizations working in Africa—Save the Children, International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps—as part of the global effort to fight the current hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa.  The region is suffering its worst drought and famine in over 60 years, with 13 million in need of critical assistance and 250,000 facing starvation in Somalia alone.  Each partner organization was chosen for its track record of effective and expeditious humanitarian aid efforts in Africa.
merchandise-shot-300x195-4575331We Can Be Heroes will be supported via promotional exposure across all of Time Warner’s divisional advertising platforms (Warner Bros., Turner Broadcasting, Time Inc., HBO), generating millions of consumer impressions and creating crucially needed awareness of this crisis worldwide.  Save the Children, International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps will equally share a corporate donation of at least $2 million over the next two years comprised of cash donations, employee matching funds and consumer matching funds.
“Warner Bros. has a long history of corporate philanthropy and outreach, and this campaign proudly continues that tradition,” said Meyer.  “We are a global company, and this is a global issue.  By marshalling our expertise in consumer and fan engagement and creating global awareness, we hope we’re able to inspire others to join us in becoming ‘heroes’ and make a difference in the Horn of Africa.”


MICHAEL DAVIS: Why I Still Like the New 52!

Because Marc Alan Fishman doesn’t.

A few days ago Marc wrote that he doesn’t like the New 52 and he took me to task over a few things I wrote in my Why I Like The New 5 article last week.

It seems that Marc, or he who is Dead To Me, or simply Dead To Me as I now call him, doesn’t think DC went far enough with the reboot.

I said in my article that I liked a lot of the books but what I really liked about the New 52 is that DC had the balls to do it in the first place. I also said that as fans of the DCU it would be hard to satisfy everyone with the massive undertaking.

A lot of people hate the New 52. I get that. It’s easy to hate from the sidelines. I do it, you do it, everybody does it. My point was, love it or hate it you have to respect the people that put it all on the line to do it. A lot of people don’t think that matters because to them it sucks and it will always suck because change is bad.

Change sucks. The DC comic reboots sucks. I suck for liking the DC comic reboots. And let me not forget to the GOP, Obama sucks.

Mar…  I mean Dead To Me, thinks the reboot was an easy out. He thinks DC didn’t go far enough.

Really? Let’s see how you would have rebooted the DCU. You who are Dead To Me. Here’s how I would have done it.


I’d make Batman black and call him Black-Man. He became Black-Man because his parents were shot in a drive-by on their way to Yale where they were both professors of Black History. Oh, I bet you thought his parents were walking in the projects looking for some drugs or some other stereotypical black bullshit storyline.

No! In my DCU there will be no stereotypes.  So Leroy Washington son of Ray Ray and Shaiqua Washington becomes Black-Man!

The Justice League

I’d make the Justice League black and call them the Malcolm X-Men.


I’d make Hawkman black and call him Black Hawkman.

Black Canary

What do you think I’d do? I mean, duh.

Green Lantern

I’d make GL black. His name will be John Stewart and his secret identity will be a talk show host.

The Flash

I’d keep the Flash white. I mean a black guy with super speed? Ron Paul would have a field day with that. “If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.” Ron Paul said that. Now just imagine if the Flash was black. Nah; I’m keeping Barry Allen a white guy but I’m making him a teen-age criminal who robs people and runs away.


He would stay white too. Everyone knows black people don’t swim…duh.

Wonder Woman

I’d make WW my flagship book. Why make it my flagship book? To make it clear Michael Davis’ DCU avoids racial and any other stereotypical depictions.For my reboot, I’d make Wonder Woman black. Hell ,in my book she’s already a black woman. She doesn’t take any shit and she’s got a banging booty.

So, Dead To Me, where is your DC reboot? My reboot only features classic characters and it’s taken me 10 years to come up with this new universe. Yes, I started 10 years ago when it was crystal clear to all in the industry that I was going to become head of DC.

After waking up I decided to work on the universe anyway and I’m glad I did because it has certainly come in handy today wouldn’t you say? Yes, 10 years of hard work, research, toil and trouble. I lost a wife with my unwavering commitment to redoing the DCU. Well, actually I was going to call it the MDCU but that’s beside the point.

The point is this type of universe building or rebuilding takes some serious balls not serious eggs like you wrote in your column when you thought you were being clever and used Spanish…wrongly.

It’s obvious you don’t regard research as something you need to do when you create something.

Eggs? Really?

So. I await your universe. If you think it’s so easy let’s see you put the time and effort into it and in 10 years we can talk about it. Or you can knock something out by next week because you don’t have the discipline to take the time to do it right.

I’ll leave you what I would do with DC’s biggest character and the biggest challenge for any DC universe do over, the Man Of Steel…


I would make Superman black and call him Icon.

WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold kicks it up a notch

MARC ALAN FISHMAN: Why I Don’t Like The New 52

For those following along with all of the columnists here at ComicMix, no doubt you checked out Michael Davis’ article “Why I Like The New 52”and Michael made some great points. DC’s reboot of their entire line of superhero comic books was, as he so eloquently put it, ballsy. Oh, but the self-proclaimed Master of the Universe sadly is mistaken. To have completely rebooted 60+ years of continuity would take serious juevos. The fact is, DC hasn’t done anything close to that. It’s a point I’ve been jumping up and down on now for months… and who am I to disregard my own nerd rage over the issue. Let me get my soapbox, megaphone, and crazy pants. It’s rant-time, kiddos.

DC didn’t reboot much. In fact, they merely slapped #1’s on all their issues, and placed a gigantic asterisk besides nearly every single one. To call this the “New 52” is akin to calling Gus Van Sant’s Psycho completely original. You see, DC may have changed the numbering, but they haven’t reset their backstories. That is to say, they did – to a point.

Nearly every book they’ve put out has carefully chosen to pick events, mannerisms, and relationships established over the last half a century… and take us into their continuity mid-stream. You know David Copperfield didn’t actually make the Statue of Liberty disappear, he used a sly game of bait and switch. DC did the same thing. Whenever the fans asked the powers-that-be if a major event from continuity occurred in this new DCU or not… they waved their hands, misdirected us, and said “just keep reading.”

As Michael said, that takes serious balls.

Break it down. The New 52 reset a handful of the major players. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman were all spit-shined and given a thorough makeover. And their books are better for it. Superman’s series had been crushed under event after event. From his “death” to the his “electric blue and red” days, to the rise of New Krypton to its eventual fall, casual fans could hardly hit the shelf and feel like they could relate. Wonder Woman’s title was bounced from several amazing writers, who all tried in their own ways to add depth, class, and angst to Diana’s stories. But aside from murdering Maxwell Lord, what kid on the street could tell you what she did since?

And Aquaman? Where do I begin? Water-hand, squid-head, Sub-Diego. I rest my case. Putting a #1 on those books and forgetting the last 10-15 years, isn’t such a bad idea when your parent company starts clamoring for more widespread appeal, is it?

And other books? Still confusingly convoluted beyond reproach. In the Batman corner of the DCnU, there’s Bruce’s bastard son-turned-Boy-Wonder, Nightwing, Tim Drake, a Black Batman, Batman Inc., a Joker with a misplaced face, Batwoman, and Babs “Miracle on 34th Street” Batgirl. You can put all the #1’s you want on those books, but find me a kid who bought them who didn’t immediately take a stroll down Wikipedia lane to make sense of the countless callbacks to continuity which is now unconstructed. In Batgirl alone, all we know for sure is there was an accident, she lost the ability to walk, she got it back. Did the Joker shoot her? Well, all DC says is “keep reading.”

In Green Lantern’s sector, we have no less than four active Earth Men wearing the emerald ring. For those who picked up their shiny #1’s of GL, GL: Corps, and GL: Emerald Knights were treated to the following backstory: At some point there was this thing called Blackest Night… maybe. Hal Jordon killed a Guardian of the Universe, who had a Red, Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet power set… maybe. Kyle Rayner was the last GL… at some point? Sinestro now has a Green Ring. Again, these plot points were all in their respective #1’s. If you had no knowledge of these characters before starting these books, how would you approach getting your bearings on all this backstory? Ask DC, and they’ll gladly tell you “keep reading.”

Now, let me be clear and fair here. I read a ton of DC books. I love many of them. Of the New 52, Action Comics, Batman, Batgirl, Green Lantern, Animal Man, and Justice League Dark barely make it home before they’re read with near rabid fervor. As a fan of all of these characters, I have a great understanding of their mannerisms, backstories, and relationships to fill in the gaps that their respective books have yet to cover. Because modern comics are written more cinematically, their creative teams bank on the fact that their fan base isn’t coming into their books completely cold. In the case of newer characters, or transplants from Wildstorm, these books aren’t fairing so well. With 3 issues in, November’s top sellers were Justice League, Batman, Action, and Green Lantern. Blue Beetle, Omac, and Voodoo? 89. 104. 105. Without the allure of “read and see what continuity we kept, and which we threw out with the bathwater…” fans weren’t as kind.

Before the books all came out, we fans debated hotly how much of our continuity would be thrown into this potluck reset. DC cleverly keeps moving the target on the answers. The truth of the matter is this: The allure of a universal restart in comics is a pipe dream at best. At the end of the day, comic books are a business first. The DCnU was a stunt that paid off in spades.

To end 60+ years of backstory, and start all over simply will never happen. The industry thrives on the soap-opera format; keep what works, and forget the rest. If you pay close enough attention you’ll just go mad. I started this out as a rant on Michael Davis’ kudos to the DC’s testicular fortitude, but in looking at the stack of their books, and my dwindling bank account? It tells me Michael was right all along.

DC, you made me madder than hell, and took more of my money than you ever did before… all so I could make a grand sweeping point. And now, after I’m done shouting from the rafters, I realize that’s all you ever wanted me to do in the first place. Good for you. That took serious balls.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander