What’s in Store for Action Comics 1000?

Many comics celebrate “anniversary” issues, such as issue numbers 25, 50, 75 and 100. Long-running comics may reach impressive milestones like 200, or even 500. Now, eight decades after his first appearance, Superman is set to break the 1,000 issue mark.

What could DC possibly be planning for such a momentous event?

Action Comics Volume 6
Action Comics Volume 6

There are plenty of rumours, of course. It is virtually a given that the issue will be a giant-sized issue, with some speculation that it will be a trade-sized book. Upcoming trade collections of Action Comics can be pre-ordered on Amazon, with Volume 5 containing issues 993-999 and Volume 6 containing issues 1,001- 1,006. Clearly, issue 1,000 will be too large to include in these collections, which raises the question of how big it will be and what it will include.

We know that issue 1,000 will be preceeded by a hardcover book celebrating 80 years of Action Comics and looking back on the introduction of characters like Brainiac and Supergirl. Details on the actual issue, however, are scarce, though we know it will contain multiple stories, including one by Geoff Johns and Superman the Movie director Richard Donner.

Then of course, there is the speculation from Jon Bogdanove in one of his Facebook posts from April 11″

 

“Hey, about this business with Superman’s shorts– or “The Modesty Briefs Affair”, wherein people, including me, have speculated that the reason Superman doesn’t wear red trunks anymore is because Siegel and Shuster’s heirs figuratively “sued the pants off him” (to quote a FB pal): I want to reconfirm that everything I have said, and will say here, is just that—SPECULATION. It is based entirely on rumors I have heard from various current and former DC folks and other people inside the industry. Let me reaffirm: I could be wrong…

“…Someday, I would love to read the settlement that finally ended the nearly 70 years long legal struggle of Superman’s creators and their surviving heirs, to recoup a bigger share of the profits generated by their invention…

“…I think this final chapter of the war— this final case— came down to a fine-tooth, point-for-point argument over specifically which defining characteristics of Superman were actually created by Jerry and Joe before they came to DC and started laboring as “work-for-hire”.

“For example, Superman’s red boots replaced his Greek lace-ups AFTER Jerry and Joe signed him over. Likewise, the “S” emblem continued to evolve from the original while Jerry and Joe were under contract, as did much of his likeness and appearance– EXCEPT for the modesty briefs. Apparently, that’s the one original characteristic that persisted unchanged from before the boys ever approached DC until the resolution of this case.

“As a result, the briefs are the one thing Jerry and Joe’s family were able to hold onto– or regain. DC can’t use the pants without paying the heirs a little something— or so I’m told. Word on the street is that someone at DC or Warners is angrily determined never to pay for those shorts, so off they came!”

Bogdanove goes on to say that he feel there is a case being made for the return of the briefs, perhaps in issue 1,000:

“Now, there is also buzz that Dan Jurgens, and others in the company, have campaigned hard in favor of the traditional, classic, populist brand, appearance and costume– and that Diane Nelson or someone up top recognizes the dollar value of that brand as being worth much more than what it costs to rent the shorts from the heirs.

This buzz suggests that Superman will be restored to his true self in ACTION #1000– which would be awesome in the extreme… I think the effects would be restorative across the industry.”

There aren’t too many things that divide Superman fans they way the red briefs– the so-called “underwear on the outside”– have done.Some love them as a part of the classic Superman look, while others feel they are ridiculous.

Put me in the first group.

The briefs are iconic. They have been a part of Superman’s costume for longet than the majority of his fans have been alive. From a visual standpoint, they also serve as a visual “break” between his upper and lower body. The current red belt helps, but not as much as the briefs did.

Personally, I think seeing the briefs again would instantly bring back memories of better days in comics. We can break away from the doom and gloom that is still popular in many mainstream comics. As I have said before, I think we are definitely due for a return to more heroic heroes, and I think that restoring Superman to his classic appearance would be a step in that direction

What do you think? Should the briefs return, or are they best forgotten? What would you like to see in Action Comics 1,000, or in the ongoing adventures of Superman and the rest of the DC universe?

Please share your thoughts below. I’d love to hear from you!

Craig

 

 

 

This… er… Last Week’s Reads

I have been off my game a littel bit, being either slow to post, or missing an entire week like I did last week. I basically decied to let last week go, as we are already on new comic day again and I am writing something up for this week. Still, I want to point out that amoung the titles I picked up last week, I have to recommend Aquaman.

No, really.

There is a perception– quite a common one– that Aquaman is boring and has useless powers, but I am enjoying his series quite a bit, and last week’s issue (#25) had some aboslutely gorgeous art, so if you aren’t reading Aquaman, then maybe do yourself a favour and pick up a few issues to give it a try!

Read this!
Read this!

Superman, the Justice League and More in This Week’s Reads: June 7

Yikes!

So it has happened once again. I am late getting this out there. In my defense, though, my elder son was sick this week and needed looking after. Today, I realise he has “shared” his bug with me. I am typing with one hand and holding my  stomach with the other! Yay for kids!

Aside from that, I also had a somewhat larger-than-usual week, as I wanted to catch up on back issues of Deathstroke, which continues to surprise me with how well-written it is. I would be hard-pressed to say that I like the character, but I admit that he is interesting and has some depth to him.

As always, spoilers follow.

Aquaman #24

Aquaman is at the top of my list, alongside Deathstroke. I have been hoping to see some politics in Atlantis and we are finally getting them. I have sad before that Aquaman can be Game of Thrones underwater and I still think that. I hope to see them continue in this vein for a while.

This issue made me think of nothing so much as the current state of things in the US. I won’t get political in my observations, but i think that if you read it you should see the comparisson.

 

Batman #24

Picking the weakest of the bunch was not too hard this week, as we have Batman in there.

I’m sorry, but i just cannot get into Tom King’s interpretation of Batman. He has some ideas that are decent enough, but depite what Batman himself says in this weel’s issue, I do think that King’s Batman is, indeed, slightly insane.He strikes me as being in the same vein as the “goddamn Batman”. This Batman has admitted to being suicidal, as well as attracted to Selina Kyle because he can sense that she is suicidal as well. In this issue, after a heart-to-heart with Gotham Girl, he realises that despite having previously stated that his suicidal thoughts are what drive him to be Batman, he is actually doing it “to be happy.”  Unfortunately, he is not succeeding at finding that happiness because he is afraid… afraif of being insane.

Having admitted to this part of himself and having been told by Gotham Girl that “it’s ok to be afraid,” he goes off in search of Catwoman. He’s decided that he will take a chance at being happy. He will take the risk. so, after hvaving tracked her down, he drops to one knee… and proposes.

I personally don’t mind so much that he admits his feelings for her. I don’t even mind that he would consider proposing, but I really don’t know how they could pull it off. I would be surprised ifall of a sudden, Selina’s criminal activites simply don’t matter to him. I don’t see Bruce overlooking her crimes simply becaue he is in love with her. If he does, then he is definitely not the Batman I grew up with. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing– the character can certainly evolve and change his views– but given DC’s desire to restore their heroes to their older selves, it seems out of place.

On the plus side, I kind of liked the art.

 

Deathstroke #14 through 20

This series has totally sold me on the character. I am going to follow this for as long as Priest is working on it, and then wherever he goes, I expect to follow. I am totally enjoying the story and the way it is being written. It feels more like a good movie or even a book than the typical comic. I would recommend it, even if you aren’t normally a fan of Deathstroke.

 

 

Justice League #22

The second-weakest entrant this week has to be Justice League. Once again I have my usual criticism of expecting JL to face the big, epic threats that the individual heroes cannot, but we get a character-development story about Jessica and her insecurity in her role as a Green Lantern. Oh, and bugs. Lots of bugs.

The story is ok and I do appreciate seeing the development of a character I don’t know much about, but I feel that we have dealt with this side of her previously and that it might be time for her to find some confidence. Some of the character interactions were nicely done– including Cyborg playing video games with Jon Kent– but others seemed a bit off. After reading Rucka’s Wonder WOman, I find it weird to reconcile her with the Diana depicted here, who seems to be icy and slightly aloof. I’m not going to say it was a bad issue… I just keep waiting for something interesting to happen.

 

Nightwing #22

Nightwing continues to be a fun enough title. I’ve always liked him as a character, so his series thus far has been enjoyable for me. I still want him to get together with Batgirl, but I am grudgingly accepting his relationship with Defacer for now (though there was a flashback to his conversation with Barbara that briefly made me wonder about his true feelings…)

I think that the main thing that is needed in Nightwing is a higher-calibur rogue’s gallery. Most of the threats he has faced off against thus far have been failry uninspiring, though I appreciate that they are still laying the foundation for his ongoing role in Blüdhaven. I’ll be along for the ride for the next little while, but I do hope that they kick it up a notch. His encounter this week with Blockbuster seems like it could be setting something up, so I will wait and see what the next several issues have in store. Beyond that, I don’t have too much else to say (except that he needs to get together with Babs).

 

Superman #24

Superman continues to be quite good and now there are finally answers being revealed about Hamilton County. I went from thinking it was pretty creepy to having sympathy for Kathy and her grandfather, though the rest of the community hasn’t been fleshed out in any significant way, or made sympathetic.

I am not sure what to make of Manchester Black. Having first encountered him in the animated version of The Elite, I pretty much hated him right away. I hadn’t read the book, so if he is portrayed differently, I wouldn’t know. So, when he appeared recently as the guiding force behind the town’s activities, I was pretty non-plussed. The best villains tend to have something redeeming about them, but as far as I can see, Black has none.

I am surprised at how much I am involved in this story though; I am honestly concerned about what kind of effect his actions will have on Jon. Seeing kids made to suffer in any way, whether physical or emotional, bothers me, even in fiction. Perhaps because I am a father. I can’t help but be concerned about what Black is doing to Jon, even if the comic will ultimately brush it aside by saying Jon is “too good” a kid to be affected. That’s not really how abuse works.

Like in The Elite, this story gives us a chance to see Superman at his heroic best. His ideals, his compassion, his ability to do the right thing no matter how difficult. That’s what I am hoping to see by the story’s end.

So, what are you reading? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Craig

 

 

 

 

 

A Look at Some DC Comics in This Week’s Reads May 24

After a bigger-than-usual week, I’ve now had a smaller-than-usual week, but that suits my wallet just fine. It also gives me the opportunity to grab a few more back issues of certain titles to get caught up. I’m still continuing to focus on DC Comics at the moment, but there are a few Marvel titles that are catching my eye, so I may have to add a couple of titles, at least for a few issues, to see if they are worthwhile or not.

So, I will be presenting things a bit differently from today onward, now that I am able to include cover images (yay!) Beware of spoilers ahead.

 

Action Comics 980

Action Comics #980

I am enjoying Action. I went several years without reading much Superman, even before the New 52 started. Partly, this was due to not having a ton of disposable income and partly… well, ok, it was a money thing for the most part… But since the beginning of Rebirth, I have been drawn back in to comics in a way I haven’t been in years, and while I always liked Superman and considered him the “hero of heroes” in many ways, I didn’t expect myself to be as invested in his titles as I am right now.

There have been so many great moments in Superman’s books ever since I started reading again with Lois and Clark. There was something really exciting about seeing the real Superman again after the New 52 interpretation. Much like the people of Metropolis must feel, upon seeing him, I just knew everything was going to be ok.  Now that the Kent’s are settling back into Metropolis (I still wan to know how they afford that condo/ apartment…) I hope we can start seeing more of life at the Daily Planet again. That’s pretty much the only thing missing from the Superman titles.

With this issue, the Superman Revenge Squad sets out to add their final member– General Zod! I honestly can’t remember the last story I saw with the SRS, so this should be interesting. I am not sure how Superman will manage to cope with this, given that each individual member of the squad has been able to give him a battle. Having them combine forces looks like serious trouble for the Man of Steel.

I can’t help but wonder, though, if the Eradicator is really on board with the Squad’s goals. It didn’t make much sens to me that when he and the Cyborg Superman had Superman in a very vulnerable position, he insisted that they go and seek out Zod, as he is the key to the team… a team that wants to destroy Superman… So yeah. Great thinking there. Let’s not kill Superman right now… Let’s go get help to kill him later.

Deathstroke 19

Deathstroke #19

As I have mentioned previously, I have limited experience with Deathstroke. I know him primarily from reading Teen Titans years ago and from his occasional appearance in other comics and media. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy his book given that I am presently more interested in the more traditional, heroic superhero. I am not usually a fan of villains-as-protagonists, or even anti-heroes, but I had heard enough good things about it that I decided I would give it a try. So far, I am rather enjoying it. Go figure.

It s probably a good thing that I am not overly familiar with his history, as I can approach this book based on it’s own merits without any potential nerd-rage over any changes being made to either his history or character. I decided not to read this current issue just yet, as I want to catch up on the previous issues that I have missed.

 

Detective Comics 957

Detective Comics #957

Spoiler is back! After having left the Batman family several issues ago, Spoiler has returned with the goal of showing Batman that his way of doing things is not working. This issue addresses the old question of whether Batman’s presence in Gotham actually serves to draw out and even create supervillains rather than dissuade them.

Having seen enough death and suffering, especially with the seeming demise of Tim Drake, Spoiler is determined to do things another way, without the fighting and confrontations that typify Batman’s approach. It’s a little difficult to fully understand how she intends to differentiate herself, as she still does confront the villains and attempt to protect the innocent. The only real difference at the moment seems to be that she wishes to remain unseen in the shadows and not take any credit for her actions.

I’m wondering if this will lead to a change in Batman’s M.O. as well, perhaps having him return to the shadows and operate more like an urban myth again. This, if it were to happen, might be interesting, but it would seem to conflict with his goals for the Justice League of America, which he intends to use to show the average person how they can fight back against the things that are happening all around them.

Personally, I like Batman as the bogey-man. I wouldn’t mind seeing him go in that direction.

Wonder Woman 23

Wonder Woman #23

Finally, we come to Wonder Woman, a title that I have been loving right from the first issue. This week, we reach the final part of  The Truth.  After totally enjoying everything leading up to this point, I found myself somewhat disappointed. It felt like a rushed ending, with a bunch of answers dropped in our lap and a quick resolution.

What I do  give this issue credit for, however, is the way Wonder Woman resolves the conflict with Deimos and Phobos. Rather than the usual slugfest, Diana reaches out to them in a way that I feel totally suits the character and emphasises the fact that she can do more than fight.

I also love the art, even though it can be uneven at times. I will be sad when the creative team moves on after issue 25.

 

So that’s it. As I said, it was a small week, but overall a good one. What have you been reading? Let me know what titles you are picking up and why they are worth reading. It doesn’t have to be DC only. Tell me about your Marvel titles, or anything at all that you are currently enjoying.

Craig

Pick up these titles and more at Amazon

 

Dr Manhattan Finally Revealed in This Week’s Reads May 17

This was a pretty large week for me. yes, I know I don’t read as much as some other comic book fans– and I really wish I could– but having kids comes with sacrifices!

Aquaman
Aquaman Issue 23

Aquaman # 23

Crown of Atlantis part 1.  Tired of conflict with the surface Aquaman’s seeming preference of the surface world to his kingdom of Atlantis, the Atlanteans move to depose their king. As powerful as he may be, how can Aquaman fight against his people’s perceptions?

 

 

 

 

Batman
Batman Issue 23

Batman #23

The Brave and the Mold  Called in by Commissioner Gordon to assist the investigation onto a mysterious murder, Batman finds himself teaming with Swamp Thing, who has ties to the victim.

 

 

 

 

Batwoman issue 3
Batwoman Issue 3

Batwoman #3

The Many Arms of Death part 3. In the lawless nation of Coryana, Batwoman finds herself in need of allies. far from Gotham and the rest of the bat-family, she is left with no other option than to try to recruit a band of warlords and gang leaders, but will they follow her lead?

 

 

 

 

The Flash Issue 22

The Flash #22

The Button Part 4  Pursuing Eobard Thawne as he races unwittingly toward his death, Batman and the Flash draw the attention of another speedster, long forgotten to the world.

 

 

 

 

Justice League Issue 21

Justice League #21

Endless part 2  Caught in a time loop, Flash and Batman race to prevent what could become an extinction-level event, butwith the Flash having already tried and failed multiple times, can they and the rest of the League prevent disaster?

 

 

 

 

Nightwing Issue 21

Nightwing #21

Split Second  Dick and Wally West have a night on the town, but when someone seems able to mysteriously manipulate time, it’s time for Nightwing and Flash to suit up and save the day!

 

 

 

 

 

Superman Issue 23

Superman #23

Black Dawn part 4  The mystery of Hamilton County begins to unravel, but while Superman has his hands full defeating rampaging monsters, a foe from the past takes steps to turn Jon against his father.

 

 

 

 

Super Sons Issue 4

Super Sons #4

When I  Grow Up part 4.  Superboy and Robin face off against the deadly Kid Amazo. Can the two put aside their differneces long enough to defeat their foe?

 

 

 

 

Teen Titans Issue 8

Teen Titans #8

The Lazarus Contract part 2. Deathstroke has a plan to rewrite the past, and he needs Kid Flash to do it. As the Titans and Teen Titans come together to face this threat, hints of Nightwing’s betrayal come to light.

 

 

 

 

Trinity Issue 9

Trinity #9

Dead Space part 1  With the Watchtower compromised by an alien force, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman must try to rescue their fallen Justice League companions

 

 

 

 

 

Spoilers Follow

This week’s Aquaman gets into what I had been hoping to see more of: Atlantean politics. Atlantis is such a unique setting compared to many other DC titles, so I think there is a ton of opportunity to show their culture, beliefs and politics. I think this should be an interesting arc.

Batman had one of the better issues of the series this week. I liked the art and the writing was better than I have come to expect from King… at least until the somewhat disappointing ending. I still get the feeling that his view of Batman just doesn’t quite match his portrayal throughout the other titles in which he appears. I will give credit though, for Swamp Thing asking him “why do you need a car?” I have wondered this myself recently, as it has been shown that he has easy access to teleportation technology. Why drive across the city for half an hour when teleportation is an option? Still a decent issue, though and it was fun to see Swamp Thing again.

Batwoman is developing nicely. Hmm. That doesn’t sound quite right… At any rate, the story thus far has been serviceable, and I am looking forward to seeing where it goes from here. I am not sure if the intention is to keep her on Coryana for an extended perios of time, but it looks like that could be the plan. If so, I hope to see more personality injected into the locale, beyond the “den of scum and villainy” that has been shown so far. With the way the Kali Corporation is developing the area, I get a strange Madripoor-like vibe from it.  Like many other leads in other titles, my main desire is to see more of Kate out of costume (so to speak). I want to know her beyond her role as Batwoman.

The Flash is one of the best reads this week. It’s probably my top pick, with Nightwing and Superman coming in close behind. This issue sees the long-awaited return of Jay Garrick and I am very happy about that. Much like Wally, he recognised that he needs someone to remember him iin order for him to return fully, and I am not sure what happened in his interaction with Barry. It looks as though Barry’s bond with him was not strong enough to restore him, but I also had a moment where I thought he might have been sent off to a different Earth… It remains to be seen. And of course, the big event of this issue (well, Jay coming back was the biggest part for me…) is the confirmation of just whom is behind all of the goings on with the entire New 52 and now Rebirth. According to the ad at the back of the book, though, which states Doomsday Clock  is coming in November (!) this storyline is going to progress slowly over at least six more months.

Justice League was… ok. I’m really not loving this title, though I don’t really have anything against it. I’m just not finding the stories suitably “epic”. There is a recurring theme that the world is about to be destroyed, but it doesn’t really engage me. I’m not feeling a connection to the title and suspect that it will be the next title that I drop unless things change.

Nightwing gave me some of what I have been hoping for in other books: normal life outside of heroics. The relationship between Dick and Wally is a great one and I want to see more of this kind of interaction. Having them take the night off (or attempt to anyway) and just hang out together is a nice change of pace. Nightwing actually stands out at the moment as the only title I am reading– outside of Superman’s books– that showcases character relationships, and it’s great. As a side note, we need a Wally West book, please.

Superman explores the secrets behind Hamilton County in this issue and we finally learn who is behind everything. I was slightly disappointed in the way that I figured it out early on  from one single word: “telly”. Does that give it away for you too? Yes, that’s right, it’s all a plot of Manchester Black, whose got some serious plans for Jon, whom he hopes can succeed where Superman “failed.” I’m not a huge fan of Black, but it’s an interesting idea and it should be interesting to see how it wraps up.

Super Sons continues to be enjoyable, and my on-again off-again feelings toward Robin continue. Here, he is not so bad. Being paired with Jon just works. It grounds him, reduces his annoying side to manageable levels, and even on occasion makes him likeable. If this was his regular portrayal, I would be good with him. Unfortunately, there’s also…

Teen Titans. Ugh. I’m back to wanting to slap Damian. This kid seriously gets to me. Robin aside, however, it’s good to see the two teams of Titans come together. I would like to see more of this and as the new timeline comes into play across the various titles, I am still hopeful of seeing Raven return to her former self. I also want to see a bit more interaction between Nightwing and Starfire. Teen Titans seems to be one of the titles that has been impacted the least so far by Rebirth and the aftershocks of events in Superman’s books, and it is a strange read to me because certain characters are simply not how I used to know them anymore. I haven’t heard anything about future plans, so I have no idea whether they will stay this way (likely) or revert to their old selves (unlikely, I believe).

Trinity was another ok issue that wasn’t bad but was far from thrilling. It was a decent enough read, but like Justice League, it doesn’t seem to be at the level I would expect and worse than that, I feel like the events of issue #& may just as well have not happened given the way nothing has come from them. I know it’s only two issue later, but to have no references at all to what seemed like a significant setup in that issue, makes it seem like the plot was abandoned.

Well, that’s it for this week. What have you all been reading? I would love to hear back from you all about what you’ve been enjoying and not enjoying. What are your predictions for the coming months? Do you love, hate, or not care about the involvement of Dr Manhattan in Rebirth? Leave a comment and let me know!

Craig

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