Thursday, September 29, 2016

DC Superhero Girls Happy Meal

If you are a Supergirl fan, hopefully you realize that we are living in a wonderful time.

The current Happy Meal at McDonalds is JLAction and DC Superhero Girls. And that means that we actually have a Supergirl doll as a Happy Meal toy. The Girl of Steel is everywhere. And she is being marketed to all demographics. Gone are the days when I would say I was a Supergirl fan and people would say 'she doesn't exist'. Everyone seems to know about her! And that is great.

As for the Happy Meal toy, it is a pretty solid figure. There isn't much articulation but the pose is heroic, the face is lovely, and oh that hair!

I am a fan of this golf shirt, red Chuck Taylors, and red skirt look as a decent take on what Supergirl might wear to school.

But a very nice figure.

As I said, the hair is the big draw to this figure. The cape is fine. But this is truly a doll. Cool.

She has found a spot on one of the shrine shelves, taking a space next to the official figure. I have to say I might like this Happy Meal toy more than the figure. But both are nice.

Here is that entire shelf with the DC Superhero Girls section there on the right.

That shelf is pretty full!

But the figure isn't the only cool thing in the Happy Meal. You get a Supergirl tattoo. And if you log into a Happy Meal app and scan your doll, you get access to the Supergirl/Katana game. Interesting pairing!

The game was designed by blog friend and overall talent Luke Daab. Here is what Luke said:
Ta-da! So the game works like a pinball game turned on its side. Instead of one place to lose the ball, there are three. If you activate all the lights surrounding the window at the top, Katana shows up and block the top two exits.

Even better, the Super cousins are shown together in a little add on the toy standee in the McDonald's lobby! The Super Cousins are together everywhere these days!

Now let's all be honest, who is going to head to McDonald's to try and grab one of these?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Season 2 Trailers

I have tried to avoid covering all the news that has come out about the television show because other sites will do that much better. If I am just posting links and blurbs, I'm not adding much to the mix.

But there has been news and items that are so incredible and so jaw-dropping that I feel I need to comment. And this week, two major things dropped that brought me such joy that I felt I need to comment on them here. After months of silence, the CW dropped two trailers on the same day. And both of them showcase not only Supergirl but also Superman! And most importantly, it showcases the two together, working as partners and family. And frankly, that has been missing for most of the last 10 years, and definitely the last 5, in comic. And so I feel I need to applaud it and loudly.

But there is so much more. I have basically watched these on a loop and I haven't stopped grinning.

Here is the link to the first trailer:

We get a nice big dollop of Tyler Hoechlin's Clark Kent. He is charming and mild mannered. He says 'lickety split' and has to promise Perry White that he'll make a deadline.

Hoechlin really channels the small town 'aw shucks' feel of Clark in these opening seconds.

But then he hears about a spacecraft malfunctioning and crashing to Earth. The newsreporter hopes that 'he is listening', that is Superman.

And then we get a great shirt rip.

Clark runs down an alley, tossing his tie to the side and tearing open his dress shirt to reveal the S-shield.

It is perfect.

But this isn't a Metropolis emergency. This is a national emergency. And so a plea is on the National City newsfeed with that reporter hoping that 'she' hears about it.

Cut to Jimmy Olsen saying that she does. And out walks Supergirl who streaks out the window. I love Kara's determined heroic gait as she streaks into action.

And then we get a scene that I have been waiting for my entire life.

Supergirl and Superman arrive to save the day.. There is a very warm 'hey cuz' as the two join in the rescue. "This is a job for the both of us!" Kara says.
It is glorious. Wonderful. Too long in coming.

I have been waiting for the super-cousins to act like loving and supportive family for a long time. Looks like we might get it here.

I will say that Supergirl arrives first and tries to slow the descent of the ship by pushing against the nose. It is very reminiscent of the jet rescue in Superman Returns (the best scene in that movie).

But then The CW doubled down and released another trailer, this one focusing not so much on the action and more on the idea of Superman's presence in National City. And it too is just fantastic. Here is the link: 

There is almost too much to love. After saving the ship, Kara excitedly, enthusiastically, runs up to Superman saying that rescue was 'terrible but awesome'. Of course a plummeting space ship is terrible. But the two working together *is* awesome!!

The way Supergirl jumps up and down, shaking her fists. She is clearly excited. She seems like a fan herself!

And then we see just how powerful a person, a symbol, Superman is in all his identities.

Clark arrives at CatCo and for the first time we see Cat being a little nervous. She stamps her feet and wiggles about how Clark is going to be there. She asks if she has anything in her teeth.

Could Cat be smitten with Clark? Does that explain her catty behavior about Lois?

Anyways, I appreciate that Clark is getting some love as well as Superman.

There is a great action sequence where we see a criminal shoot at Supergirl and she neatly grabs the bullet out of the air.

That is such a slick shot. I made it my Twitter theme. Just fantastic.

And then we see the DEO agents sort of melt when Superman arrives. Everyone sort of backs up like he is royalty. Alex comments that he smells nice. And Winn, in full fanboy mode, nearly evaporates when meeting the Man of Steel. He even asks the truly nerdish 'how do you shave' question.

I do wonder if the adulation heaped on Clark will irk Kara. Or if she will wade in like everyone else.

There is a 'blink and you'll miss her' peek at Lena Luthor and an attack on LexCorp (or LCorp).

I am intrigued with this running thread in this season.

But the big winder is Hoechlin as Superman. He clearly is a presence throughout as he walks the Superman walk through each scene. He is worthy of the sort of awe everyone shows. And yet, his demeanor is so good natured that he seems uncomfortable.

And he smiles!

And he winks!

I mean, I know I am judging a lot from snippets from trailers, but this is far away from the glum, brooding Man of Steel from the DC movies. This is what Superman should look like and act like.

We are 10 short days away from season two!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sales Review: August 2016

The sales reports for DC Comics since the inception of #Rebirth have been, to say the least, robust. DC has climbed in sales and market share. Whether this is a mix of a company wide renumbering, a return to the classic feel of their characters, a lackluster massive Marvel crossover, or a combination of both, the results have been staggering.

Now there is a lot to digest. I think DC is allowing returns meaning stores can order more. And we saw a major bump in sales (briefly) with the New 52 and we know how that turned out.

But there is no denying, DC has increased sales. And it is impressive. Here is a link to ICv2's coverage of August's sale:

And this was a big month for this site because Supergirl Rebirth #1 was on the racks. So how did it do?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Granite State Comic Con 2016

A couple of weekends ago, I attended the Granite State Comicon with two of the supergirls and had a really fun time.

As I have said before, Granite State is a great palate cleanser for me after Boston Comic Con. While Boston is a con for running around to get signatures and commissions, Granite is a more laid back venue. Sure there are usually great guests. But for me, this is the con where I actually feel I can wander around, looking at the books and toys and actually shopping.

This year, the guest list was pretty solid. One of the things about heading to all the local cons is that I have met a lot of creators already. So I was heading there to meet Jeff Parker (again), Babs Tarr (again), JK Woodward (again), and Larry Hama (for the first time).

And I really only had one commission I was aiming for. Jeff Parker, who I know best as a writer (I love Future Quest, his run on Flash Gordon, his run on JLUnited), has been starting to draw again. He started out in comics as an artist.

As usual I had done some pre-show legwork and found out that Parker was sketching. So I brought one of my sketch books.

After gushing over Future Quest (my tagline is "Come for the Herculoids, stay for the Galaxy Trio!") and Flash Gordon, I asked and obtained this commission. There is so much to love here.

First off, despite three sketchbooks running and nearly 75 sketches, this is the first time an artist turned the book and did a horizontal commission. Second, I love the background with pine trees and a lighthouse! It feels so New England, perfect for a hometown boy like me! Lastly, Supergirl is just perfect, streaking in flight, smiling, hair awash in the wind. Wonderful!

As a bonus, Parker threw in his rough sketch, the quick work he did to get the pose right!

I love this commission. And Parker is just a really nice guy. Folks should definitely pick up his stuff!

I brought a number of issues to get signed from the other attendees. I got some Fallen Angel signed by JK Woodward. I got Babs Tarr to sign the newly published Doom Patrol #1.

But the big score was getting some early G.I.Joe issues signed by Larry Hama. I got these issues as a kid and they show that love. Look closely and you'll see the crinkles and folds of books read and reread in my youth. Love getting these signed.

And I bought a handful of comics, all from the $1 or $2 box. Continuing my odd fascination with early Tigra stories, I found Marvel Chillers #4. I now own 3 of the 5 Chillers issues that featured Tigra. You know what that means fellow collectors. I have to find the other 2.

But the best thing about the day was going to the con with the two youngest Supergirls. We had a great time. They loved seeing all the cosplayers (Steven Universe was well represented). They each got some cool stuff. And we just hung out and talked comics and pop culture. Too much fun.

I love the Granite Con for all that it is. I will always support it!
So all that's left is the RI Comic Con for this con season.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #32

I continue my look at the Supergirl and Legion of Super-Heroes title over on the Legion of Super-Bloggers. Here is a link to the complete review:

The book is transitioning from Mark Waid and Barry Kitson's vision, shifting to the stewardship of writer Tony Bedard and artist Dennis Calero.

Bedard takes full control of the book and the team. He isn't going to coast. He shakes things up. This isn't your father's Legion. The continuity is looser. And writers could scrawl what he wanted onto their history. It is bold, especially given that the book seemed to be struggling to find a mixed audience of old and new readers.

Supergirl is only seen on a monitor in the background of one panel. So don't get this book for her.

But it does give a pretty thorough and fresh look at the planet Winath's culture and Mekt Ranzz's back story. You get new takes on Validus and the Lord of Lightning. And you really sympathize with Mekt who was isolated and rejected by just about everybody. No wonder he loves his team so much!

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that Bedard decided to take the book in a direction he wanted. He helped the New 52 Supergirl find her way back into the fold.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Review: Superman #7

Superman #7 came out this week and was a truly delightful issue by plotters Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason with pitch perfect art by Jorge Jimenez. There was a wonderfully retro feel to this issue which thrilled me. I grew up in a time where every so often titles were allowed an issue to take a breath and showcase the characters without pushing plots forward. Whether it was 'a day in the life' or some rest issue tying up a small subplot, it was a nice way to get me back in touch with the characters and why I loved them.

And this issue serves that up on a silver platter. After showing the reader that Superman has been quite busy now that he has gone public with his existence, the creators send the family to the county fair. And hilarity and hijinks ensue. And within that is this breezy, completely natural relationship between Lois and Clark, one of the real draws of this title for me.

That isn't to say that we don't get some plot progression. We are introduced to some new characters who will either be supporting cast here or in the upcoming Super-Sons book. And we see where Clark or Lois might be employed soon.

But it is really these quiet scenes of carnival games and prize cows that struck me as showing just how good these folks are, super-powered or otherwise.

As I said, Jorge Jimenez is on art here and just shines with a semi-stylized look that is close enough to Gleason to give the book a consistent feel. I loved Jimenez' stuff in Smallville. He really shines.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

December 2016 Solicits

The December DC Comics solicits came out this week and there weren't too many surprises. That doesn't mean that I don't have things to say. In fact, there is something about these solicits that troubles me. And we'll get to that right up front.

I'll be looking at the super books but if you want to see all the DC solicits, here is a link to Newsarama's coverage:

On to the books!

Art and cover by BRIAN CHING
Variant cover by BENGAL
“REIGN OF THE CYBORG SUPERMEN” part four! Supergirl struggles to escape the perverse reincarnation of Argo City as her father, the Cyborg Superman, attacks National City and her new home with the DEO! To face her ultimate test as a hero, Kara must let go of her past and embrace the future.

So here is my immediate problem.

This cover.

I am not thrilled with the Kara side of the cover. There is something just a bit too hentai for me in this look. A bound Kara, her eyes wide looking down at the growing mechanics heading towards her skirt. There is just something a little icky about this image, especially given the tone of this new book. This isn't overtly salacious. It isn't a Zenescope cover. But this is supposed to be a 16 year old girl and there are some things implied here.You can have an imperiled Kara who isn't in *this* position. Add to that the word perverse in the solicit and my remembering that Eddie Berganza is the editor who okayed this cover and I cringed a little.

As for the solicit, I thought this Kara had already let the past go and embraced Earth. But as this is a #Rebirth with 90K more readers, I guess Steve Orlando felt he needed to cover that one more time. So long as the story is good, I am in.