Come on, it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you!
Well, we’re inching closer to the end-of-year holiday season. Maybe you’ve noticed that your local mall is decked to the gills in tinsel? Perhaps you’ve guiltily watched one or two bad made-for-TV holiday movies on some run-of-the-mill specialty channel (so that’s what Winnie Cooper is up to these days! Also, she was great!)? Maybe you’ve been busily writing, then scratching, then re-writing various dinner engagements with friends and family in your December calendar?
Well, DC Comics and their stable of writers and artists have been busy getting various superheroes and villains in the spirit of the season, working tirelessly on a holiday-themed production of their own.
Today sees its very timely release!
Get set to jingle all the way to the DC Universe Holiday Special 2017 #1!
That’s what Steve Miller expertly told us, in the 1976 Steve Miller Band mellow release titled “Fly Like An Eagle”. The song went to number 2 on the US Billboard Charts and the lyrics about time ceaselessly moving forward while we worry about life and death and freedom of the soul in the present tense, has since become quite famous.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
That’s the general sound effect for a clock, an apt aural representation of time, of course. But any reader of comic books knows that the Tick. Tick. Tick. sound is also the noise a bomb makes – right before it’s detonated.
Interestingly, today’s long anticipated release of DC Comics’ Doomsday Clock #1, the first issue of a twelve issue monthly series, plays on all three of the “time” and Tick outcomes. And all for various reasons:
The future the DC Comics Universe!
The past of DC Comics publishing!
The critical and commercial bomb that the Doomsday Clock series could be!
The best kind of art takes risks, right? Doomsday Clock #1 is a huge risk – and we all can’t wait to dive right in!
Long and winding and fraught with bumps and pitfalls and massive industry, cultural, commercial and familial obstacles.
Resiliently plowing through these numerous impediments, Warner Brothers has finally made good on a long-standing promise to showcase the greatest heroes of pop culture on the silver screen – the comic book visages of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg, the Justice League, together for the first time.
It’s actually not technically the first time the Justice League has been together on screen. There have actually been numerous iterations of the group over the years. But the road taken for this particular Justice League, is an interesting one indeed.
To get to here, let’s take a quick look back at there, and all the previously mentioned hazards that nearly conquered the world’s greatest superheroes.
This time on Heroes and Villains, we’ll be looking at a variety of comics out this week and last, from a variety of genres and companies. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on Sky Masters of the Space Force: The Complete Sunday Strips in Color – 1959-1960, Merry Men #4, Volcanosaurus #1, Fence #1, Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini #1, Misfit City #7, The Space Heists of Vyvy and Qwerty #1, and more… be warned, there may be spoilers…
Fifty years ago.
That’s when Strange Adventures #205 hit newsstands across North America.
It was DC Comics’ first science fiction monthly comic book and it told tales featuring all sorts of weird and arcane…well, adventures, starring some of DC’s more obscure characters (as well as their more famous ones). It was a place for readers to see their heroes in unfamiliar settings as well as a proving ground for new characters. Captain Comet first appeared here. As did Star Hawkins, the Atomic Knights, Enchantress and Animal Man. You may know their names.
And then there was Deadman, created by comic book luminaries, Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino and later written and drawn by the legendary Neal Adams, who honed his pencil and ink chops on the character.
Biff Bam Pop! has featured the character of Deadman in a number of articles over the years. We begged for a film series here. We pleaded for a television series starring the beloved character here. And we featured him in this very column here and here among other pieces.
So, what is it that makes Deadman, the crime-fighting, supernatural ghost, who inhabits the bodies of the living so appealing?
Look no further than today’s risen-from-the-grave release of Deadman #1!
And with all the little ghosts and ghouls and goblins (and, let’s face it, superheroes) ringing your doorbell and asking for tricks or treats next Tuesday evening, you may want to shake things up a bit.
Instead of the usual candy and chocolate bars and chip bags handed out on Halloween, why not a comic book as a loot bag stuffer?
It’s a great idea: the gift of four-colour literacy! Of pop culture personified! Of imagination and excitement!
Then again, it can get pricey handing out all those comics.
So, treat yourself (or a select few) to some comic book scares this Halloween with the just-released, over-sized, frightfully awesome, completely fun, and altogether appropriate, DC House of Horror #1!
A comic book mystery to rival all others! A senses shattering surprise that not only changes the DC Universe as we know it today, but one that will have echoes and reverberations for decades to come! It’s a long-play reveal that no one could possibly see coming!
Well, maybe a few did. And it’s not like we haven’t all read over-the-top superlatives about comic book crossover event series’ before.
But the DC Universe Rebirth initiative from the spring of 2016 that saw the reboot/relaunch of their classic characters and publications has seen a swell in the comic book company’s sales figures. Their monthly offerings have delighted both critics and fans and has got all the industry buzzing about what happens next in the story.
Rebirth has been a success.
At the heart of that story, someone named Mr. Oz, you see, has been pulling the strings of heroes, villains and possibly reality itself, from behind the scenes.
Today, in Action Comics #987, Mr. Oz, finally, gets revealed! No spoilers below, but make the jump to the how’s and why’s of it all!
Don’t Be Caught Dead Without “Deadman By Kelley Jones: The Complete Collection” On The Wednesday Run
Created by industry legends, Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino within the pages of Strange Adventures #205 in 1967, the relatively obscure character has remained ever-present in the DC Universe. In the last decade or two, however, because of appearances in Justice League Unlimited, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Justice League Dark cartoons, he has slowly gained in popularity.
I was first introduced to Deadman via a seven-issue DC Comics reprint series in the mid 1980’s – stories that re-published the characters origin from those Strange Adventure pages, specifically highlighting the realistic and heroically-styled artwork of Neal Adams. I’ve since read pretty much everything that Deadman has been a central character in.
Biff Bam Pop! has highlighted Deadman and the comic book pages he graces on a few occasions, most recently in a 2016 Halloween-themed The Wednesday Run column here and a 2008 editorial call out (by yours truly) to have the character make the leap to the silver screen here.
Today sees the paperback compilation of some Deadman’s greatest tales, all illustrated by Kelley Jones, an acclaimed and fan favourite artist that simply redefined the look of the acrobat-turned-ghost-turned-superhero in the early 1990’s.
No one’s interpretation of Deadman comes anywhere near the one that Kelley Jones gave us in those Gothic tales!
Here then, is the low-down on the larger-market release of Deadman By Kelley Jones: The Complete Collection!