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  • BATMAN 66 in Stores TODAY

    It’s here! The print comic book of BATMAN 66 swings into stores today across the States, so don’t wait, they’ll go fast. And if you’re reading digitally, part 3 of The Riddler’s Ruse is up at Comixology now.

    While you’re waiting here’s me talking to Brian Truitt of USA Today about how we approach bringing the show into books, with some preview art.

    BATMAN 66 Part 2- MRROWW

    Today on Comixology! Chapter 2 of the Riddler’s Ruse featuring a run-in with CATWOMAN! I’ve already taken enough of your time, go, go!!!

    We’re Number 1! And By We I Mean BATMAN

    Jonathan Case talks about it over at his site, how BATMAN 66 is now the best selling feature on COMIXOLOGY.

    Also something just arrived on my doorstep that is not quite digital…

    Sneak PEEK (not Peak) at Part Two

    This week the second part of RIDDLER’S RUSE appears on Comixology for those of you reading Batman 66, and TV Guide online has a preview.

    BATMAN 66 BEGINS!

    It’s here, digital first! You can go to COMIXOLOGY and read part one of TV BATMAN taking on that Pasha of Puzzles, THE RIDDLER!

    Feast your eyes on that Jonathan Case art and floor the pedal in the Batmobile, I proclaim the end of darkness. Let your friends and any young relations read it too. Spread the word, let’s make it big again!

    New York Post on BATMAN 66

    Jonathan Case, Mike Allred and I talked to the NY Post about this week’s debut of BATMAN ’66 on Digital Comics. We also just talk a lot about our experiences growing up with the show, it’s pretty cool.

    It all begins this Wednesday, spread the word!

    Order KINGS WATCH, Now!

    There’s an unlettered (for some reason) preview of the upcoming KING’S WATCH book from Dynamite featuring Flash Gordon, Mandrake and The Phantom, written by me and drawn by the great Marc Laming. Please spread the word and lets get this ordered in heavy quantities, because it’s going to be good.

    Preview of King’s Watch

    New WORDBALLOON Talk

    Finally got a chance to blab it up again with John Siuntres on his much-celebrated Word Balloon podcast. We talk about a lot of things, but the focus is on the upcoming (really soon too) Batman 66. I can’t stand to hear my own voice, but John’s always sounds great and as usual he’s a human databank of entertainment knowledge, so listen on your drive some time.

    Man Of Steel

    I should just say I liked it. Instead I’m going to write down some of my thoughts about Man Of Steel so I hopefully won’t be tempted to argue with friends online about it, as this is a divisive movie among the comics internet. Which I wasn’t expecting, I thought we’d all just be happy to forget Superman Creepily Returns.

    Too many spoilers herein. If you haven’t seen it, do not read this. Nothing anyone else says should figure into your opinion, get your own.

    This will probably come off as apologist, but it shouldn’t. There are plenty of things I would have done differently. It needed some more pure character moments to connect better with the main cast. What few there are you grab onto really hard because you want them so much. I think there’s always room for lightness and humor even in a heavy story. Avengers used humor to great effect, and while MOS’ tone wouldn’t have accommodated as much, there could easily have been more.

    The Krypton opening wasn’t that engaging to me though it was nicely conceived. Russell Crowe seems fairly nonplussed about the end of his world and also like he’s done all these things before. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that the whole environment is cg. I like their communication system. One of the things Crowe usually does best is be a charming tough guy and he doesn’t have much chance to do that. By the way, this movie has a LOT of Jor-El in it, House of El Fans.

    Pretty tired of blue color grading in movies of recent years, I really hope now that the angsty part of his story is done, so is that. I suspect that besides signifying ‘serious’ it helps unify the cg with the live action and that’s why we see so much.

    I liked the fact that the military and civilian people have some weight in the movie other than being poker chips for super people. As much as I enjoyed Avengers it irked me that the US military rolls over for alien invaders and are willing to nuke New York as a sacrifice. We pay a lot of taxes for that military, I like to think they’ll get busy at the proof of a global takeover. Here the military at least seemed to be a force, the scientist gets to help with the solution, Lois gets to do quite a bit- everyone isn’t useless without Superman, they work with him. I never like “a big machine is doing something to something and we need to stop it before stuff” plot points, but again, at least the supporting cast figured into that. They quell the idea that Superman and the Government are total bros, undoing some damage tagged onto the character by Frank Miller years ago.

    I see lots of people complaining about the rampant city destruction, and I thought it was a bit much too, but I didn’t see it as thousands being killed. It’s a pretty stock convention of superhero stories that buildings get leveled, at least in the past decades I’ve been reading. Typically if they want you to think a lot of people died, you see footage of dead people. During their fights Superman and Zod blasted through some buildings that were clearly empty, I took that as a cue that this area is largely evacuated. If you don’t notice the emptiness (and come on, post 9-11 they are not going to dare show people falling out of windows just to amp things up) it’s probably because they do overdo it on the destruction.

    So the biggest thing that I can tell from my Twitter stream that people who hate it hate most is that he kills. Well, once, and it’s not like Superman folds his arms and says “Welcome to the REAL Phantom Zone,” he’s clearly anguished about it. And the climax is that Zod is forcing him to kill him or a family will fry from heat vision. The criticism is that the writer/director put Superman in that position when they could have had him come up with another solution. Well, sure, the story does put him in a horrible position, having to make a hard choice, a no-win situation. So… what kind of character is he if he can’t be put in that scenario? That argues whether it’s appropriate or not; sure you wouldn’t put Mickey Mouse in the position, but why not Superman?

    If he can always find a way to keep everyone safe and and prevent casualties, etc, he is not a man, he is a god. If that’s what you want from the character, then we’ll never agree on that. I think the man in his name means limitations as well as all the good things it can imply. You can say it’s part of his character, but really it’s a Writing Rule at that point, an Absolute. And those things stifle character. MOS uses the moment to establish that life is important to him and this is a step too far, otherwise you just have to take his word for it. When it happens in Superman 78 with Lois, he literally destroys all story logic to undo it by turning back time (which I used to justify as him time traveling, but he never does anything to change the outcome, it’s just changed by turning back the world). All consequences in that case are moot now because we know Superman can yell really loud and tough out a sky-lecture from Jor-El to go change history. The Death of Zod does the opposite, and my guess is that it will be left in to haunt Superman and justify why he wouldn’t eventually say, throw Lex Luthor into the sun later to protect the world. Yes, I know it’s also put there to be controversial and fuel talk, which worked. Also, Antje Traue as Faora is a way better menace than Zod.

    I also keep seeing people who rail on the idea of Superman punching fools. He’s not Doctor Who, he’s a superhero, the prime one, that’s kind of built into his dna (or his Codex, if you will). The first image ever seen of Supes by the public is him smashing up a gang’s car and them running for their lives. When he hears that hot tip on a wife-beating at work, he does not head out to gently counsel a husband on anger management.

    To me the biggest change in the formula is Lois Lane. The movie addresses the eternal question ‘if Lois is such a hot-shit journalist, why can’t she figure out Superman is Clark Kent’ and runs at it with the logical development; she does. And it discards an old trope for a dynamic that can work better. The comics for years had Pete Ross being the worthy holder of that secret knowledge, (he still does here, but he manages an iHop and thus has no one under 70 to tell it to) but close-quarters Lois now knows. That will likely leave a future Jimmy Olsen to look stupid, which no one will mind.

    Was it a good movie for kids? I think it could have had more for them, but my 8 year old went with me and enjoyed himself. Man Of Steel made some choices I think it needed to to bring people on board and purge the taste of the abysmal meandering bore that was Superman Returns. Superman is way more out of character in that considering it connects to the previous movies, and the only thing worth watching is the passenger jet rescue we can thank artist Gabriel Hardman for working out.

    Ultimately, Superman as a character runs the risk that everyone projects something different into their idea of him. I don’t need all my childhood buttons pushed, I don’t need the S-curl in his hair to be there, I just need the story to work on its own merits. The audience I saw it with seemed satisfied, though I think a few cheer-out-loud moments could have been created with a little more thinking.

    UPDATE: This review by Max Robinson articulates some things I liked even better.

    KINGS WATCH

    It’s coming! The original big three of the King Features stable who influenced countless heroes all under one comics cover, drawn amazingly by Marc Laming and written by me, from Dynamite later this year. Here’s me talking to Chris Sims at Comics Alliance about it in our Instant Message shenanigan style!

    UPDATE: Here’s me talking with Tony Guerrero about KW at Comic Vine too.

    UP-UPDATE: I seem to have also discussed this with Albert Ching at Newsarama.

    Super Ratings

    Over at MTV.com a few of us are chiming in on the PG 13 rating that Man Of Steel has. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so all I can do is think about it. This weekend, though.

    In a few hours a new project will be announced too, so tune back in.

    Allie’s Letter To The President

    My daughter is ten now, so it was inevitable she’d begin writing letters to the Oval Office. Why mess around with Senators after all, she wants her issues addressed fast. Her main issue at the moment is gas-powered cars polluting the world, which I admit bothers me too. But I suspect her of using cars as a blind to further her real agenda, which crops up often in the letter. Judge for yourself.

    PS: She bought a typewriter at a yard sale this weekend.

    Red She-Hulk 66- Today!

    Our story gets a little craaaazy today, don’t miss Betty Meeting Man-Thing! Here’s a preview over at CBR.

    Dark Wrap Up

    Over at Comic Book Resources Dave Richards and I talk about the finale of Dark Avengers and go some into the whole run from Thunderbolts to the finish. If you’re a commenter over there, throw in a memory!

    ADVENTURES of SUPERMAN

    It’s here! The first issue of Adventures of Superman anthology, with the story by me and Chris Samnee, as well as Jeff Lemire, Justin Jordan and Riley Rossmo. Cover by Bryan Hitch, variant cover by Chris (shown here).

    If you’re in Portland, Oregon, I’ll be at Floating World Comics from 5 to 7 pm signing the book and FW will be donating proceeds to the charity All Out. So I hope to see some of you this evening, hanging out and talking Big Blue!