Comic Report: Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey

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I just finished reviewing another trade collection on my other site but only the individual issues. Here I’ll be looking at the final collection, so we’ll take a week off from Transformers. I’ll resume the Alternators reviews next week with Side Swipe.

 

The Death and Return of Superman

The Death and Return of Superman video game (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Doomsday is name that…well, should be familiar to everyone who speaks English because “doomsday” is a rather well-known word. But for Superman fans Doomsday also refers to the giant monster that killed him in one of the most famous story arc in comics. “The Death And Return Of Superman” is a multi-arc storyline dealing with Superman sacrificing himself to stop the only threat besides Darkseid who is Superman’s physical equal. All of his other enemies have to outwit Superman only to learn he’s more cunning than they thought. The storyline deals with his death, how the world is changed by his disappearance, and his ultimate return because no way is DC giving up what was their flagship character at the time, although it seems Batman has recently usurped that role. Which as much as I like Batman says more about the world at large than Superman himself. He’s still my favorite superhero.

The original storyline was huge, but it lacked any kind of actual origin for Doomsday. He just shows up one day and kills Superman. 1994’s Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey is a three-issue miniseries that brings us that origin. Where did Doomsday come from? Why did he want to kill Superman? Those answers were finally revealed, and then collected in a trade collection the next year. I’ve already reviewed the three issues, and will link to those reviews if you want a deeper analysis, as well as the actual issue where Superman and Doomsday fought to the death, which isn’t in this collection but I thought you might be curious. While I will go over my thoughts on the miniseries this is The Clutter Reports, so my focus will be on the collection more than the story itself.

You might want to look behind you, Doomy!

Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey

collecting issues one-three of the 1994 miniseries

DC Comics (1995)

WRITER/LAYOUTS: Dan Jurgens

FINISHED ART: Brett Breeding

COLOR GUIDES: Greg Wright

COLOR SEPARATIONS: Android Images

LETTERER: Bill Oakley

“SUPERMAN” CREATORS: Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster

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Comic Report: Superman #330

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We cleaned a good part of the house this week amidst a few distractions so all I have for you this week is another crosspost from BW Media Spotlight‘s “Scanning My Collection” series. I had just gotten this comic as reviewed it as I went along. It speaks to a pet peeve I have when discussing Clark Kent as a secret identity for Superman. Enjoy.


This is going to be an interesting edition of…

Scanning My Collection logo

…for a few different reasons. One, this isn’t something that has spent years in my longboxes. I picked this up last week for the heck of it. Two, I haven’t read this yet, so you’ll be seeing a “live” blogging as I go through it, kind of like I do with “Chapter By Chapter”. Three and finally, the subject is one that makes me shake my head–the continued belief that the Clark Kent identity is just a pair of glasses.

There is more to Clark than spectacles. He acts differently as Clark than he does as Superman, dresses differently (obviously), and speak differently. Look up the voice work of Bud Collyer or watch Christopher Reeve’s acting in the movies. Anyone who plays Superman, either by voice or in the flesh needs to remember that they are playing two separate identities, something most Bruce Wayne/Batman portrayers get but too many Clark Kent/Superman portrayers mess up. See my Clutter Reports review of All-Star Superman the movie. I picked up the old serials finally and the actor there does a good job as Clark but Superman thus far hasn’t gotten a lot of lines. This was something I should have pointed out in the review of DC Comics Presents #50, where the two identities became separate people for a time. It works because (1) nobody suspects Superman HAS another identity, (2) Clark is so weak and mild-mannered (although a little less so post-Crisis) that nobody would suspect him and (3) if they can’t guess Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow with the same distinct goatee and little to no change in personality they’d never figure this one out. (Lest you think the Marvel Universe has the only stupid people. They just have more stupid citizens per capita.)

So let’s read this one and see what the “big secret” is to how Kal-El pull this off, according to 1978.

Superman #330

“George Reeves?”

Superman #330
DC Comics (December, 1978)

“The Master Mesmerizer of Metropolis”
(try saying that title three times fast)
WRITER: Martin Pasko
(based on a script concept by Al Schroder the third)
ARTISTS: Curt Swan & Frank Chiaramonte
LETTERER: Ben Oda
COLORIST: Adrienne Roy
EDITOR: Julius Schwartz

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Comic Report: Supergirl Wears Her Seatbelt

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Time and other things not being my friend this week, here’s another crosspost from my other site.


I’m not even joking about that title. “American Honda”, which I can only assume means the Honda car makers, put out a PSA comic where Supergirl tries to get a guy to wear his seat belt. Sound lame? What if I told you she does so by entering his dreams and trying to convince him to wear it so he can come out of the coma caused not by the car accident he was in but grief that he might have killed his sister, whom he will watch die again and again while Superman sits in the fortress watching his cousin risk her life? Interested now? Then come with to see how the Girl of Steel does Inception before doing Inception was cool. Then again, I’ve not seen Inception, so that’s totally guesswork on my part.

The cover long fell off of mine. This came from the Grand Comics Database.

Supergirl

DC Comics/American Honda/US Dept. of Transportation (1984)

WRITERS: Joe Orlando, Barry Marx, Robert Loren Fleming
DIALOGUE: Andy Helfer
(Yeah, that’s a lot of writers. And one of them is the editor. This may not end well.)
ARTIST: Angelo Torres
LETTERER: John Costanza
COLORIST: Joe Orlando
EDITOR: Barry Marx (told you)
SPECIAL CONSULTANTS: Tom Harrington & Rick Smith
EXECUTIVE COORDINATOR: Steve Werner
ADVISER: Steve Jacobs

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Book & Record Report: Superman book & record

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So I’m hopefully done with this latest kidney stone issue but I haven’t gotten back to action just yet. So here’s another crosspost from the other site…which I also didn’t get to work on this week.


Remember when Superman was fun? DC wants you to forget fun altogether unless killing heroes, dismemberment, and boobs all in your face is your idea of fun. They’re all for you then. But I want to look at a Superman story from my youth. Namely, this one.

Superman...smiling? When will you see that again?

Superman…smiling? When will you see that again?

This is from the Peter Pan Book & Record series. They made a lot of licensed book & record comics, including other DC characters, horror stories like Frankenstein and Dracula (possibly the Marvel Dracula and it was all kid-friendly stuff), and TV shows like Star Trek. I have one of the Star Trek stories and we’ll get to that someday.

There are two things in this review you don’t usually get in a “Scanning My Collection” article. One is what you’re not getting: credits. I can’t seem to find concrete proof of who worked on this comic or the accompanying audio so I can’t really comment on them. The other is audio actually showing you the story in a rather decent presentation combining the audio (minus the page change noises) and the comic panels. So watch for yourself…”City Under Siege”! Bing.

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LEGO Superman Vs. Power Armor Lex

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Superlego box

This is the biggest LEGO set I’ve ever built. I picked up this set because it had the classic Superman, while other LEGO sets were based on the Man Of Steel movie. It’s been sitting off to the side for months, and yesterday I finally decided to build the sucker! At the end of this article you can even watch me build it. Total time was about an hour and a half, but that includes time to get Google Hangouts On Air to work and chase pieces that fell off of my desk.

But before all that we’ll review the final product.

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Comic Report: DC Universe Presents #50

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Superman01

This one comes from my other site so it’s a bit more relaxed than a usual Clutter Report review. I did get my computer desk cleaned off like I wanted to and now the battle with clutter on it begins anew. However, this week was devoted to some new video equipment and thus this transferred review which was actually quite recent.

Superman is my favorite DC superhero, possibly my favorite superhero period. It’s not just the amazing powers he has, but what he does with them. Despite what this cynical age (which sadly includes too many superhero writers) believes would or should happen, he helps people and then tries to lead a normal life. He’s someone who kids can admire and adults should try to be more like, and his adventures can be somewhat mundane or large and fantastic. Where Batman is versatile with how he can be portrayed, Superman is versatile with what kinds of stories he can be part of.

I grew up in a very Superman-friendly period. Adventures Of Superman was in syndicated reruns, as were the Filmation cartoons, we had a series of theatrical releases, and even Superboy had his own syndicated TV series for a while…which went into some weird ideas in the later seasons. As far as comics, I had the Justice League of America comic I’ve reviewed on my other site, a book & record where Superman fought a terrorist group, which is boring to review but a good read/listen, and DC Comics Presents #50, a comic I once lost but happily found a back-issue of so I can still enjoy. And it’s just as good a read now as it was then. This was Superman’s team-up book, and he teamed with many of the DC Universe’s best and newest and even traveled to Eternia to fight alongside He-Man. So who did he join forces with during the “50th Golden Jubilee Issue!”?

DC Comics Presents #50

Greatest team-up ever?

DC Comics Presents Vol. 5 #50

Featuring Superman and Clark Kent

DC Comics (October, 1982)

WRITERS: Dan Mishkin & Gary Cohn
ARTIST: Curt Swan & Kurt Shaffenberger
COLORIST: Gene D’Angelo
LETTERER: A. Kawecki
EDITOR: Julius Schwartz

That’s right, Superman teams with his own alter-ego. And to quote an old cliche, “not a hoax, not an imaginary story”. This team-up is actual DC canon pre-Crisis. So how did this happen?

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DVD Report: All-Star Superman

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Cover of "All Star Superman, Vol. 1"

Cover of All Star Superman, Vol. 1

How about a bit more time with the hero of Metropolis? While I wanted to talk about the book that I reviewed last week, I did pick up a NEW piece of Superman non-comic media.

All-Star Superman was a 12-part mini-series written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Frank Quietly. The story involves (this isn’t a spoiler, it’s the plot) Superman dying. I read the first issue and didn’t get into it. That’s not a condemnation; it looks like a good comic. It’s just we haven’t had a proper Superman story in years, even in his own comic book so it just didn’t garner my interest.

Last week I was in BJ’s Wholesale Club when I came upon the animated version of the unfortunately abbreviated story. I already knew about it (DC has been putting a number of comic arcs into animated form…not surprisingly many of them written by current creative officer Geoff Johns) but it came out in a time when my money was too low to consider it. Now finding it at $3 when my funds are a bit larger, I figured why not? So was I right to avoid this, or is this a touching portrayal of Superman’s last days?

All-Star Superman DVD

“I forgot my sun tan lotion.”

All-Star Superman

FORMAT: DVD
STUDIO: Warner Animation/DC Universe
DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video
STARRING: James Denton (Superman), Christina Hendricks (Lois Lane), and Anthony LaPaglia (Lex Luthor)
based on a story by Grant Morrison  and Frank Quietly
WRITER: Dwayne McDuffie
PRODUCERS: Bruce Timm & Alan Burnett
VOICE DIRECTOR: Andrea Romano
DIRECTOR: Sal Liu
EDITOR: Margaret Hou

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Book Report: Superman “Which Way” book

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Superman01

Thursday was Superman’s 75th anniversary and since he’s my favorite DC superhero, if not my favorite period, I wanted to do something special. Well, I have a Superman book here that won’t go through the “Chapter By Chapter” process over on my other site, because it doesn’t read like that. I’m sure you’ve heard of Choose Your Own Adventure ® books. They’re awesome. The Wikipedia article I linked to refers to them as “gamebooks” and there are elements of role-playing games in there. If you haven’t heard of them, the idea is that at certain points in the story a choice is offered. The reader then makes a choice and his or her choice will change the story. You don’t read it like a normal book, but bounce to different pages to continue the story. They’re a lot of fun.

They’re also very popular, so much so that other book publishers got in on the game, creating similar “gamebooks”. One of them was Archway Paperbacks, who created the “Which Way” series, an obvious play on their name. Like CYOA, Which Way books had the reader playing themselves as a character. The narrator talks about “you” and character names aren’t given. Even in the two Star Trek books you “play” an ensign and decide who you want to hang out with.

An intended sub-series was the “DC Super Heroes Which Way” books (although the gamebooks website in that link refers to them as “Super Powers” it clearly says Super Heroes on my book). I was lucky to get the first one in the series, featuring the Man of Steel himself, Superman! On the back cover of mine are teasers for a Wonder Woman and a Batman book. According to that gamebook site, Wonder Woman’s never showed up, although apparently Supergirl and the Justice League did have books and Batman’s showed up eventually. The series didn’t do well for Archway. Too bad, because the Superman one was darn good!

Superman Which Way

“I get by with a little help from my…enemies?”

Superman: The Man of Steel

Super Heroes Which Way #1

PUBLISHER: Archway Paperbacks (1983)
A British printing was released in 1985, and this book was reprinted for his 50th birthday under the “Super Powers” series.
WRITER: Andrew Helfer
ARTIST: José Delbo

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Toy Report: The DC Comics figures review set

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There they are, all five DC Comics action figures I own. Anyone who’s read my other blog is probably surprised that I have more Marvel figures than DC, since I’m supposed to be a bigger fan of the DC Universe, and yet that’s just how things turned out.

As we continue to clean out that box from the cubby hole, these five figures are the next to be reviewed. Two of them are from different lines, and two of them will be leaving my collection. Are they the same two? In the next four pages (since if I reviewed each of them separately it would take too long but reviewing them all on the same page would result in a very long post) you’ll find out for yourselves.

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