Tagged: Infinite Crisis

Superman Timeline

Superman Timeline

As most of us know, this year marked Superman’s 70th anniversary. And as if that weren’t enough to engender conversation about the Man of Steel, Brad Meltzer’s new novel Book of Lies  has prompted quite a bit of discussion concerning Martin Siegel, who died during an armed robbery and whose son Jerome "Jerry" Siegel subsequently wrote the story of a bullet-proof alien who was invulnerable to all frailties.

So with all this talk going around about Superman’s beginnings, we here at ComicMix thought it was time to put together a small Superman time line. Please note, this time line is focused solely on Supermans’ adventures in the comics and not with his stories in other media.

1933 – Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster publish their story “Reign of the Super-Man." In the story, the title character is a bald homeless man named Bill Dunn who gains telepathic powers from a mad scientist’s experiment and intends to take over Earth. After this, Siegel writes up a new version of Superman who is secreatly named Clark Kent and is, in fact, an alien named Kal-L, son of Jor-L and last survivor of the dead planet Krypton. Shuster does artwork for the comic strip and they begin to submit it. The story is rejected by 17 different publishers over the next five years.

1938 – Superman/Clark Kent is finally introduced in Action Comics #1. Although Siegel has plotted out the name of Superman’s parents and planet, none of these are actually named in this issue’s origin story. Superman is said to have great strength, resistance to conventional injury, and is able to leap 1/8th of a mile.

1939 – In Superman #1, the planet Krypton is finally named in the comics. It is also mentioned that Clark Kent was raised by a kindly, elderly couple. His adopted mother is named “Mary Kent” and it’s said that she and her husband died soon before Clark moved to Metropolis.

1940 – In Action Comics #23, Clark’s newspaper The Daily Star is officially renamed as The Daily Planet and Superman has his first fight with “Luthor, the mad scientist.”

1941Superman #10 features our hero actually defying gravity for the first time by hovering in the air. Previous to this, it was always stated in the comics that he could only leap over great distances. Superman #11 confirms that Superman can now fly, just like in the cartoons and radio shows.

1942Superman #17 reveals that the Man of Tomorrow has a hidden base known as the Secret Citadel, located inside a mountain range nearby Metropolis.

1945 – The character of Superboy (an adolescent version of Superman) and his hometown of Smallville are introduced in More Fun Comics #101. Initially, this is treated as a separate continuity from the mainstream Superman stories.

1948 Superman #53 names Clark’s adopted parents as “John and Mary Kent.”

1949 – Kryptonite makes its first comic book appearance in comics in Superman #61 (originally, it was only used in the radio plays). In this story, Kryponite is colored red but in all subsequent stories it is colored green (other forms of Kryptonite with different colors will appear later on). In this same story, Superman finally learns the name and history of his home planet Krypton, even though readers have known such facts for years already.


Watching the Train Wreck of “Final Crisis”

I may as well just get this out of the way up front: in my opinion, Final Crisis #3 is one of the worst comic books I’ve ever read.

Coming into this event season, I had high hopes for DC to regain some of the Infinite Crisis magic, but after three issues (sorry for the delay, but I was away from comic shops and the Internet) the latest and likely not last Crisis has clearly entered the realm of train wreck.

And yet many comics critics posted some largely favorable reviews. "I can’t wait to see what happens next!" said one not atypical reviewer.

Throughout many reviews, the critics looked at writer Grant Morrison’s approach of stringing together flashes of disparate stories into making a larger narrative and praised how new and challenging it is. There didn’t seem to be a single bizarre element he used that couldn’t elicit a glowing remark.

When reading those comments, I immediately recalled this quite-good essay by B.R. Myers on The Atlantic Monthly Web site. Writing about contemporary literary fiction, Myers complains that today’s writers have become obsessed with style at the expense of substance.

We are supposed to have entered a golden age for fiction, he writes, and yet readers don’t pick up literary fiction en masse, or much at all. Myers offers a simple explanation: the books are all self-absorbed fluff, and the nuts and bolts of telling a story have been left by the wayside.

Which brings us back to Final Crisis.


Interview: Geoff Johns on “Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds” and his Favorite Projects

Interview: Geoff Johns on “Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds” and his Favorite Projects

Back in June, I spoke to superstar writer Geoff Johns about the return of Brainiac in Action Comics and all things Superman. With this month’s release of the first issue of Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, I spoke to the writer about bringing back one of DC’s most beloved superteams, The Legion of Super-Heroes, as well as some of his favorite projects.

COMICMIX: What can you tell us about the Final Crisis: Legion Of Three Worlds miniseries?

GEOFF JOHNS: It’s a really complex, big story. But the simple premise is that it’s Superboy-Prime and The Legion Of Super Villains vs. Superman and The Legion Of Super-Heroes. Superboy-Prime is foreign to the future and through what happens when he first gets there he makes an attempt to destroy everything that Superman has inspired while utilizing the Legion Of Super Villains. So the Legion Of Super-Heroes, who are struggling to come back together, who are almost obsolete at this point in the eyes of a lot of the United Planets, have got to come back and rally together for this challenge.

I’m trying to focus in on character here. I’m trying to introduce these characters to people that don’t know them and for those that do, to see them go through new experiences and new challenges. My main goal in this series is to tell a gigantic, epic story that centers on Superman and The Legion Of Super-Heroes. It’s just like when I worked on Sinestro Corps War, I wanted to do an epic Green Lantern story. There is a lot of emotion behind everything in this. That’s what I’m trying to focus on: the emotion of the characters and what they’re going through. Why should you even care about a character like Lightning Lad, Sun Boy or Dawnstar? What makes these characters compelling? Why are they worth following? Why are they worth learning about? My main goal is to, by the end of it, have people say, “I love Dawnstar! I love Sun Boy! I like Lightning Lad" or "I like Cosmic Boy!"


Comic Books You Can Hear

Comic Books You Can Hear

You make no excuses that you’re a superhero fan. You buy your weekly stack of comics. You watch the blockbuster movies. You tune in to the TV shows. How can you possibly cram more superhero adventure in your life? Audiobooks. You can listen to comics while commuting, driving, or walking. (We’re not going to list exercising. We’re talking about fanboys here, after all.)

I just happened on GraphicAudio.net and figured it was worth mentioning here, as the company offers DC Comics based audio adventures and the tagline “A movie in your mind.” The recordings feature full cast, special effects, and musical score. They’re available as an audio CD, an MP3 CD, or as a digital download. They even adapt massive events like 52 and Infinite Crisis.

There are currently seven recordings available:

  • 52: Part 1
  • 52: Part 2
  • Batman: The Stone King
  • Infinite Crisis: Part 1
  • Infinite Crisis: Part 2
  • JLA: Exterminators
  • Superman: The Never Ending Battle

While I lightly mocked fans who buy these, I have to confess, I own the BBC audio adaptations of Batman: Knightfall and The Death and Life of Superman. And I loved them. Anyone know how to convert cassettes into MP3s?

Review: This Week in ‘Trinity’ #7

This issue is titled "A third symbol now…" but a more accurate one would be "OK, so here’s exactly what’s going on."

For six issues, Trinity was a fairly opaque book, with several seemingly disparate storylines and a completely mysterious large threat — the one screaming "Let me out!" in issue one.

What do we know now?

All the "disturbances" from issue two are an unknown form of primal energy. "Creation energies." The heroes quickly put two and two together and check on Krona, that Oan who tried to manipulate the beginning of the universe and accidentally created the multiverse (check out Crisis on Infinite Earths or Infinite Crisis for more on this).

Later in the book, it’s revealed that Krona is in fact the mysterious shouter of "Let me out!" that the trinity has been hearing. And, it’s a bit hard to decipher, but it appears that he’s getting close to escaping from the cosmic egg, if he hasn’t already.

The heroes are gathered to talk about all the goings on. They figure out the rash of museum robberies has all been to obtain wands, swords, pentacles and cups, which happen to be the four suits of the Tarot. Which leads them to Tarot, the girl who was kidnapped last issue by Morgaine Le Fey’s monsters.

They also have a third symbol appearing on Wonder Woman’s scar. The three are ancient Egyptian symbols: Strength, the high priestess and the world. Three symbols tied to our three heroes.


‘Smallville’ Says Goodbye to Lex, Hello to Doomsday

‘Smallville’ Says Goodbye to Lex, Hello to Doomsday

Fans of The CW’s television series Smallville knew that this season was going to be the final one for actor Michael Rosenbaum, who plays Lex Luthor in the popular reinterpretation of Superman’s angsty youth. His portrayal of Lex’s descent into evil has been as fascinating to viewers as Tom Welling’s portrayal of Clark Kent learning what it means to be a hero.

IGN broke the news recently that the next season will introduce two new villains. One they can’t talk about yet, but the other is Doomsday (pictured at right in his original comic appearance).

Doomsday is best known for his fight to the death with the Man of Steel in Superman #75. The monster gained notoriety doing what no other villain had managed to do: kill Superman. Fans later learned that Doomsday was a prehistoric Kryptonian experiment that resurrects and adapts to whatever manages to kill it. Doomsday was last seen in DC’s big Infinite Crisis event, and was defeated by Superman and pre-Crisis Superman.

The IGN story also stated that there would be a new female villain that would be familiar to comic book fans. Her story, according to executive producers:

Intelligent, brilliantly manipulative, and dangerously sinister, our gorgeous new villain has one more weapon in her arsenal: Her mutual attraction with Clark may prove to be as deadly as kryptonite for him.

Hmmm. Who could that be?

GraphicAudio Adapts Three ‘Justice League’ Novels

GraphicAudio Adapts Three ‘Justice League’ Novels

We’ve opined previously on GraphicAudio’s full-cast adaptations of DC Comics’ Infinite Crisis and 52. Well, actually, of Greg Cox’s novelizations adapting DC Comics’ Infinite Crisis and 52. They must have sold pretty well, as they’re expanding their offerings to include at least three more projects.

They’ll be adapting a trio of Justice League paperback novels from a couple years ago: Christopher Golden’s JLA: Exterminators, Alan Grant’s Batman: The Stone King and Roger Stern’s Superman: The Never-Ending Battle. These adaptations feature a full case with music and sound effects, not quite like Big Finish’s original Doctor Who offerings in the sense that the stories are driven by each book’s narrative voice. While they fall slightly short of being full-blown audio dramas, I’ve enjoyed their work on Infinite Crisis and 52 and I hope they are able to maintain the same cast members for these CD presentations.

JLA: Exterminators comes out in May; the others follow in two-month intervals. They are released on CD and mp3 discs and are readily available at Interstate truck stops. Previous DC adaptations were distributed by Diamond to knowing comics shops, so you might want to do a pre-order. Of course, they’ll also be available at GraphicAudio’s website, where you have the option of buying them as downloads.

Happy Birthday: Night Girl

Happy Birthday: Night Girl

Lydda Jath was born on the planet Kathoon, a world that lives in permanent darkness. Her scientist father found a way to give her super-strength but didn’t realize it would only work at night or in deep shadows.

Lydda applied for the Legion of Super-Heroes but was turned down because they felt her power’s limitation made it impractical. She met Brek Bannin, Polar Boy, at the tryouts and together they formed the Legion of Substitute Heroes.

After the events of Infinite Crisis, it appears that future history has been rewritten and Lydda has become a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes instead.

Review: ‘Secret Invasion Saga’

A few years back, DC released the super-thick, super-cheap Countdown to Infinite Crisis to lead into the company’s massive Infinite Crisis event. In addition to recapping the years’ worth of hints that led to Crisis, the issue also contained some crucially important events, including the death of Ted Kord (Blue Beetle).

Marvel now has pulled that page out of the summer-event book, releasing Secret Invasion Saga last week as a free lead-in to the looming Secret Invasion of the Skrulls. While I can’t argue about the price, the content was more than a little underwhelming. In fact, I fell asleep while reading it. Twice.

Instead of actually telling a story, this issue is essentially a whole bunch of material culled from the Marvel Encyclopedia (look under "Skrull"). In one of the world’s longest internal monologues, Iron Man thinks over all the events that have led to this point (the reveal of Elektra as a Skrull, etc.). He covers the latest interstellar goings on from Annihilation and Skrull history as well.

While it’s nice to get a primer on things, the issue is extremely high on text and completely bereft of any new developments. If Marvel was planning on hooking new readers to the event, there’s no big eye-grabber here. They may have made some fans among insomniacs.

Between this, the grammar-unfriendly "Who do you trust?" marketing blitz and that bizarre Blair Witch-like video, Marvel’s off to a bit of a rough start to the Skrull invasion. Of course, they could probably shoot themselves in the foot and it would still sell like hot cakes with golden frosting.

John Ostrander: Obit the Living

John Ostrander: Obit the Living

Obits – obituaries – are tough things to write. Their purpose is to commemorate the life of someone recently deceased, to list their accomplishments and achievements, to take note that someone has passed out of our lives. A last fanfare to the life of someone who is gone. Generally speaking, they are valedictory and complimentary.

Why do we wait until after a person has passed away to stand up and say these things? Okay, it might embarrass the person we’re talking about to hear the nice things we might say – and mean – about them but they’ll get over it. And they might like to hear them.

All of which is prelude to the fact that I am about to embarrass someone – a fellow member of ComicMix. Ladies and germs, let’s talk about Mr. Dennis O’Neil.

ComicMix readers tend to be a pretty knowledgeable lot, I’ve discovered. Unlike some comic book fans, they know their comic book history and know it extends prior to Marvel’s Civil War or DC’s Infinite Crisis. If you already know most of what I’m about to tell you, sorry – but I’m speaking for the record and for people who may not know Denny as well as they might or should.