75 years ago Action Comics #1 hit the newsstands, which means that today, for all intents and purposes, is Superman’s (née Kal-El of the planet Krypton) birthday. Happy birthday, good sir! As a Canadian, I also cannot help feel a bit of pride about this auspicious day – while created in the United States, one half of the team that dreamed up this mythic icon, Joe Shuster, was a Canadian. Yes, Jerry Siegel was American, but we Canadians take what we can get. (Perhaps we should look at Superman’s creation as an iconic representation of the partnership between our great nations, but even I have to admit that’s stretching the envelope pretty thin)
Anyhow, our esteemed editor, Andy Burns, asked me to say a few things about the Boy in Blue today, given it’s his birthday, and I said “Yes, for sure”, despite not being a huge fan of the series, the hero, or the DC Universe as a whole (not to say I don’t like these things – I’m just more of a Marvel boy). Why? Because Superman was my first introduction into the world of comics, just like he is for so many other fans, or one-time fans, of superhero comics. Superman is the superhero, after all; there was never anyone like him before, and there’s never been anyone like him since (all other attempts have been, at best, pale imitations – even Captain Marvel, who is the magical manifestation of the science-based Superman, never achieved the canonical status of Superman). The American dream made manifest, and a god amongst men, Superman is the dream to which we all aspire, even if we don’t really want to admit it.
Back in about 1980 (could have been as early as 1979 or as late as 1981), my father gave me two oversized comic books: Superman and Captain Marvel. Both contained origin stories and adventures involving the two caped heroes. Yes, I enjoyed the Captain Marvel stories (S-H-A-Z-A-M!), but it was the huge, almost-as-tall-as-me, Superman book that I kept returning to. In rich blues, reds, and yellows, Superman pummelled the bejeezus out of whatever Lex Luthor threw at him, and I loved every second of it; that well-worn, pages-falling-out, tome turned me into a comics fan for life. I was fascinated with his origin story (he’s from OUTER SPACE – what kid doesn’t like aliens and dinosaurs?), and his humble upbringing on a lonely Kansas farm before heading to the Big App…Metropolis as the über-nerd Clark Kent (no one in their right mind, even children, could understand how a suit and pair of glasses hid him from prying eyes, by the way, but it made for good fun) were terrific bookends to the madness and mayhem of Superman knocking Luthor-powered robots with his bare fists.
It was a glorious book, and a glorious introduction to the world of comics, and for that I thank you Messrs Siegel and Shuster, my dad, and above all, Superman.
Ah, the 1980’s: a decade of consumerism, no-so-great music and bad, bad hair. Well, some of the music was quite good but teased and/or poofed up hair was a horrible mistake! A horrible one!
Still, it was a good decade for comics. Stories and art became more sophisticated forms of literature, the graphic novel format came to the fore, and the medium became legit in eyes of the mainstream press. Sure, there was a lot of negativity to be passed around too. Superheroes became too dour, for one, and comic books themselves became altogether too violent, too graphic.
In 1987, you’d think that all of that negative press was due to one little comic book mini-series: Marshall Law.
This trailer seems to have everything you could possibly want in a Superman film: slices of Americana, high action, super-speed flying, Kryptonian lore, a viable villain, and…punching! YES!
So now, with a little more context, has Zach Snyder hit Man of Steel out of the park?
The now-famous question near the end of the trailer is asked of mankind – but we here at Biff Bam Pop! ask it of you: what do you think?
Every other week, Jason Shayer will highlight an issue or a run of issues pulled from the horde of comic book long boxes that occupy more room in his house than his wife can tolerate. Each of these reviews will delve into what made that issue or run significant as well as discuss the creative personalities behind the work. “Long Box” refers to the lengthy, white cardboard boxes most comics find themselves stored within – bagged, alphabetized and numerically ordered.
Writer – Doug Moench
Artists – Art Adams, Terry Austin, Brian Bolland, John Byrne, Paris Cullins,Karl Kesel, Joe Kubert, Steve Leialoha, Rick Leonardi, Steve Lightle, Bruce Patterson, George Pérez, Bill Sienkiewicz, Ken Steacy, Tom Sutton, Ricardo Villagran.
In the fall of 1986, Batman celebrated his 400th issue anniversary and did it in style. Horror writer Stephen King penned the introduction to this issue:
“Maybe the real reason that Batman appealed to me more than the other guy [Superman]. There was something sinister about him. That’s right. You heard me. Sinister. Like The Shadow and the Moon-man of the pulps, like a vampire, Batman was a creature of the night.”
“I’d like to congratulate the Caped Crusader on his long and valiant history, thank him for the hours of pleasure he has given me, and wish him many more years of heroic crime-busting. Go get ‘em, Big Guy. May your Bat-Signal never fail, your Batmobile never run out of the nuclear pellets it runs on, your utility belt never come up fatally understocked at the wrong moment. And please, never come busting through my skylight in the middle of the night. You’d probably scare me into a brain hemorrhage… and besides, Big Guy, I’m on your side. I always was.”
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Nowadays when folks think G.I. Joe, they’re thinking about the characters and situations that have been around since the 1980s. They think about Snake Eyes, Duke, and Scarlett fighting Destro, the Baroness, and the hordes of Cobra. That all started while I was in college, with my mind more on girls than on cartoons. That’s just not in my mindset when it comes to the term ‘G.I. Joe,’ ’cause I’m old.
My Joes were from a decade earlier and before, the action figures were double the size, and the action was less superheroic and more down to earth. I’ll be talking Retro Joe after the jump, see you there!
It’s a brand new Biff Bam Popcast, featuring the panel of JP Fallavollita, Glenn Walker, Jason Shayer and Andy Burns. In this episode, we celebrate the history of G.I. Joe, from the original Marvel run, through the animated series of the 80′s and into the great series IDW is currently publishing. We also talk Marvel NOW!, DC comics editorial woes and much more.
The science fiction genre teaches you many things, but if there’s one specific lesson it reminds you of again and again, it’s that time is circular. Whether it’s a memorable episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation or a great read by Phillip K. Dick, events, we’re told, are meant to be repeated.
The same is true in comics.
Back in 1979-1980, DC Comics published the five-issue sci-fi anthology series, Time Warp. Today, the title comes back with a more sophisticated slant, courtesy of top industry writers and artists and published under the Vertigo Comics banner.
And boy! Is there a lot to look forward to here!
I’ve watched a lot of clips and read a lot of articles online regarding Injustice: Gods Among Us. I’ll admit, it has my attention. It touts impressive graphics, an immersive story-line and what lookslike awesome, interactive and often multi-arena battles. The roster is chock full of your favourite DC characters including – but not limited to – Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Bane…it’s pretty much an amalgamation of the entire DC universe into one game.
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