This video review is an outtake from our Man of Steel episode.
Here, we’re jawing about Superman vs The Elite. I never really thought about it before, but this movie is sorta the anti Man of Steel. In Superman vs The Elite, the Last Son of Krypton gets through a battle in traditional Superman fashion… that is, he doesn’t do what The Man of Tomorrow does at the end of Man of Steel. Read the rest of this entry
I’m sure everyone has heard by now that Jesse Eisenberg will play Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons will play Alfred in upcoming Batman-Superman movie (that is rumored to be delayed because either Ben Affleck hurt his leg or they need more time to finish special effects). I’m sure by now everyone is over their Batfleck trauma (note: I was never effected by this as I’m an Affleck fan, if not always a fan of the movies he appears in) and Jeremy Irons sounds like a fine choice to play Alfred, but for some reason, I am anticipating the most controversy over Eisenberg’s casting. I think he’ll do a fine job and probably provide levity as well as menace. Still, I didn’t see this coming – although I probably should have…
The new Man of Steel movie changed the face of Superman, which is reflected in the above photo. Gone is the happy Superman who would always wave at the camera and get a cat out of a tree like it ain’t no thang. Even the little kids in Halloween costumes have to be brooding these days. Such is the 20th century.
The new quick film "Superman 75th Anniversary Animated Short" shows every incarnation of Superman I can think of except one: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
- The original, from Action Comics #1
- The first animated series
- The first live action series
- The more sci-fi era of Superman
- The more campy era of Superman
- The 70s/80s
- The Atari game
- Superman: The Movie
- Superman Animated Series form the late 90s
- Superman comics from the 90s, the death of Superman, the Reign of the Supermen, the return of Superman…
- New 52 Superman
- and Man of Steel Superman
But they couldn’t squeeze ol’ Dean Cain in there for some reason, despite the fact that it ran for 4 seasons and 87 episodes. It’s not like I’m crying foul over the omission of Superman Returns or something – Lois & Clark was a legitimate show on a major network for four years!
Have to wonder who Dean Cain pissed off… or maybe it was just an oversight.
So what the hell is this? Why would Superman need a gun? He’s Superman. And don’t try to tell me that it’s not supposed to be Superman’s gun – it has his “S” right on it! And it’s clearly supposed to be from the film Man of Steel because it has the Henry Cavill’s likeness right on the box. I know that when you make a big movie like this you have to sell some toys too, but this baffles me. Why a gun? Not only does Superman not need a gun, but even if he did, he would never use one. This is ass.
I desperately want everyone to refer to Man of Steel as Superman Returns Again. (For some reason, that is very funny to me.) Anyway, Man of Steel is a bit of mess (yet still entertaining), and so, my review is also just a rambling jumble of headings, a list that is trying to find its place on the internet, much like Superman trying to find his place in the world. See what I did there? Yeah, the movie is just as subtle as this review. Read the rest of this entry
This is the worst thing to happen to Superman since… I dunno…. Superman III? Superman IV? Superman Returns? When Superman died in the 90s and then came back to life with a mullet?
I guess the implication is that he’s so strong that no razor would be up to the task of trimming his mighty hairs (except Gillette, apparently), but as for me, I don’t know how Superman shaves and I don’t care. But I’ll play their game for a second. Maybe he uses his super face muscles to retract or expel the unwanted growth. (And, for that matter, how does he cut his hair?) Maybe he bounces his laser eye beams off some super hard surface and does it that way. Or, maybe it has something to do with him being an alien with super powers who doesn’t exist and when the script says he has a beard, he has a beard, and when it says he’s clean-shaven, he just is!!
Since Batman: The Animated Series debuted way back when, I’ve been a big fan of DC Comics’ animation wing. They hit the bulls-eye almost every time. However, the first 5 or so minutes of Superman vs. The Elite had me nervous, but slowly, the flick laid all of those fears to waste.
This is probably the oddest take on Superman I’ve seen… Not from a charter standpoint, but from a story arc. I enjoyed the flick, but it’s weird and in some ways, a little difficult to accept. I’d say this movie is for Superman and comic book fans only, but it’s certainly worth a look for its audience. The story points are a bit telegraphed, but the action is there, which is important for this sort of movie. I give All Star Superman a 7 out of 10.
It’s available on Netflix Instant.
I know this isn’t news, but Shaq really loves Superman; I thought he just had the tattoo, but it doesn’t end there. Read the rest of this entry
At first, I was thinking, “Yeah, that’s cool – if I had little kids, I would totally have them rock these,” and then I saw the back and lost my shit.
The shirts come with Velcro attached capes. They come with fucking capes! Friggin’ awesome!
I was clearly born in the wrong century.
Wait a sec, why is Darth Vader an option? What parent would want their kid to idolize Darth Vader? See, he’s the fucking bad guy! Nobody dresses their kids up like Lex Luthor or The Joker… do they? Jeez, I hope not. Let’s not create a generation of fucked up kids by telling them they should all try to be like Shredder or something.
I’ve been reading comic books since… well, since I learned to read. The thing that’s great about comics is they’re the perfect marriage of a book and a movie, and if that doesn’t sound good to you, then I’ll never win you over to comics. For me, it started with Captain America and spread to the occasional issue of Daredevil or The Avengers – fairly swashbuckling, but Daredevil was always grittier. When I got into my teens, Captain America got silly and I took an extended break. (This is where I called it quits. Even as a lifelong comic fan, I just couldn’t believe this was real.) When I got older and had the money to read whatever I wanted, my comic spending got out of hand. I was reading a ton of books: Superman, Batman, Justice League, Green Arrow and a bunch of other crap. Finally, Captain America Volume 4 got so terrible that I just gave up on comic books all together for a second time. (I recently exercised those demons over at ACB.) In the last few years, I’ve come back to the fold, but I’m starting to wonder if another separation is on the horizon.
If you’re not a comic book fan, here’s a handy analogy I can lob at you as to why you might suddenly get turned off from your favorite comics. Imagine you have a favorite spot you like to go to for lunch; let’s say it’s Chinese because I dig Chinese food. Anyway, you go there for lunch all the time, it’s great and you rave to your friends and even when you’re having a shitty morning, you know that come lunch time, it’s on. Then you show up one day, pumped for some vegetable lo mien and KA-BLAMO! “Under New Management!” The food isn’t as good as it used to be. Something’s missing; these people don’t know your name, they don’t know your order and they sure as shit don’t know how to make a quality lo mien with only broccoli. You keep trying, but it’s just not the same and finally, you move on. This sort of thing happens in comics all the time (I guess a better analogy would have been Family Guy from Season 4 to date, but too late now), particularly when the creative team or writer changes. A bad creative team can ruin a comic, and if it’s not an iconic character, possibly forever.
So it goes with comics. Here’s a list of titles I have dropped, might drop soon or think are so great I don’t know if I’ll ever stop reading them.
Here’s a fun game – count the Batman affiliated titles! (Note: Detective Comics is also a Batman book.)
- Detective Comics
- Batman and Robin
- Batman: Streets of Gotham
- Red Robin - The only thing worse than the title was the uniform. This book wasn’t bad, but like most Batman books, I got tired of the storyline crossing into other Batman books.
- Batgirl – this book was one of my favorites until DC rebooted their universe (huh?) and replace the current Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) with the original Batgirl (Babara Gordon… who apparently isn’t in a wheel chair anymore? Yeah, not trying to figure that one out. You’ll need a Bat Specialist for that.)
- Batman Incorporated – worst title ever. The idea is to have a Batman in different cities all over the world… why not call it “Order of the Bat?” I think that’s way cooler. “Batman Incorporated” sounds like they sell Batman themed lunch boxes.
- Batman: The Dark Knight
- Batman Confidential – this was cancelled; I didn’t voluntarily stop reading this book. They made lots of interesting choices here (especially with art) – I miss this book.
- Superman/Batman – a book with two of the most famous comic book heroes of all time should be awesome, and I tried for a long time, but I just couldn’t get into it.
- Green Arrow – kudos to the creative team for driving this book into the ground before DC’s reboot. I’d never seen a comic book commit suicide – it was inspiring in it’s own way. Then Iron Man 2.0 followed it off the ledge.
- Iron Man 2.0 – this was cancelled before I could stop reading it. Marvel beat me by a month, so well done there. The last issue looks like it was finished by whichever interns weren’t busy collating that day.
- Wolverine: Weapon X – I liked this book a lot; it got crappy toward the endbut it had some great moments
- Wolverine: The Best There Is – this was literally the grossest comic book I’ve ever read. I guess the gore was part of the story, but it got out of hand.
- Air – this was cancelled, which sucks because it was totally original.
- House of Mystery – this was cancelled. I miss this book a lot; it’s one of my all time favorites. Matthew Sturges is a great writer, but he just couldn’t write it anymore. He went out on top.
- Avengers Academy – Comic books are silly and dramatic, but this was a little too Days of Our Lives for me.
- Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive – this was cancelled, which sucks because it was great.
- Ultimate Captain America – this was cancelled, and deservedly so
- The Ultimates
- Ultimate Avengers
- Mighty Avengers – this was cancelled, and not a moment too soon
On the chopping block
I’m currently reading these books, but I don’t think I can hold out much longer. I could stop buying them after the very next issue if it’s too crappy.
- Secret Avengers – the only reason this book is selling enough to not get cancelled is because it was ‘Avengers’ in the title. Period. Still, there’s potential there. They’ve just done a major shakeup as Captain America has left the book and is being replaced by Hawkeye, so I’m giving it another chance.
- Justice League – I just don’t get how they’re managing to screw up a book that has Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in it. Isn’t that the DC Holy Trinity? After this story arc ends, I’m out.
On the fence
The Avengers books are getting stale; they certainly don’t need two separate books about two teams that work a few blocks away from each other in Manhattan that spend most of their time fighting the same bad guys. Something needs to change quickly or they’re going to get demoted to the chopping block
- The Avengers
- The New Avengers
These are the books I can’t let go of
- Captain America – one of these Captain America books probably needs to go; I’m thinking it’s going to be this one.
- Captain America and Bucky – Yeah, just don’t need two Cap books. Still, Ed Brubaker is making it work – for now, at least.
- X-Factor – Peter David is the man! X-Factor is probably the best mystery series ever.
- Iron Man – Matt Fraction really knows how to handle this book and these characters.
- Daken: Dark Wolverine – Rob Williams is doing great things with this book. I never know quite where it’s going, but I’m always glad when it gets there.
- Winter Soldier – still too early to truly decide, but so far, Winter Soldier is everything I expect from Ed Brubaker.
- Shield – this isn’t a monthly book – it’s more like a whenever-the-hell-they-feel-like-it sort of book, but it’s great.
more Comic Book Reviews at creativejamie.com/category/comic-book-reviews/
Superman was created in 1932 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (who was born in Canada) in Cleveland, Ohio and first appeared in Action Comics #1 in 1938. Now you might not have known any of that, but whatever – you know who Superman is. However, things about who he is and how he lives his life have changed over time.
- he is also known as Clark Kent and Kal-El
- he’s from the planet Krypton
- he flies
- he shoots red lasers out of his eyes (that’s a neat trick!)
- he has super strength, hearing and vision
- he’s invulnerable, except for Kryptonite (radioactive pieces of his home world if you have the patience to read about all the different types of Kryptonite, then you’re a Super Saint.)
- he’s a newspaper reporter
- he loves Lois Lane
- he’s grew up in Smallville, Kansas
- his nemesis is Lex Luthor
When it comes to Superman, I’ve always taken all of the above for granted, but a lot of that came to be as the stories rolled on. I’m sure you’ve heard this:
“Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! It’s Superman!” to be followed by “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!”
See, I’m fairly certain that the laundry list of abilities was there right at the beginning, because when Superman first showed up, he didn’t fly and he wasn’t vulnerable to Kryptonite. This shocks me because outside of his red and blue suit, the flying and the Kryptonite are the first two things I think of when I see a picture of Superman. But as you can see, it doesn’t say he could fly, it just says he could leap tall buildings in a single bound, which stands to reason – it’s not like the guy has wings or something. It’s hard for me to imagine Superman just jumping around town like an asshole, but I guess that’s how it worked back in the day. And it’s no wonder someone came up with the Kryptonite thing; as far as I can recall, that’s the online thing that Superman is vulnerable to (except love’s keen sting?), so what the hell did they do for any drama before Kryptonite? If Superman is out there fighting bad guys with no consequences (i.e., he can’t die), then you’re never worried about him – he might get banged up, but you know he’s going to get off the ground in a second and beat ass. Adding that one little thing made Superman almost like us – he could die after all. The Superman radio series (not the comics) invented the Kryptonite thing because presumably, the show was boring as hell. “‘Superman arrives and punches the bad guys!’ Boom! Bang! ‘Ow, my face!’ ‘And it’s a job well done by Superman!’” I wonder how many weeks of shows went by before somebody changed Superman forever. As for the flying, animating someone jumping over a building in the 1940s was no easy feet and for whatever technical reason and it took up too much screen time, so somebody said, “Screw it, just have him fly everywhere – it’s easier to animate.” Suddenly, the characteristic that almost entirely defines Superman was born, and, as the promo for the original movie said, “You’ll believe a man can fly.”
Of course, if you’re not a dork like me, there might be a ton of other stuff noted here that you didn’t know, but I just can’t wrap my head around the lack of Kryptonite and flying. How long were they going to publish stories about a guy with no vulnerabilities who just jumped really high? I guess until somebody fixed it.
more Lists at creativejamie.com/category/lists/
more Comic Book Reviews at creativejamie.com/category/comic-book-reviews/
My favorite Thai restaurant is expecting a fairly large dinner party tonight. Eleven people probably nets a pretty sizable check, right? Well, I have my doubts about whether or not they’ll actually show up given that the reservation was made by the Last Son of Krypton.
“Kent, eleven?” That is pretty awesome.