Monday, May 16, 2022

Is DC Even Trying Anymore?

DC Comics. Home to powerhouses like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash...the list goes on and on. DC started in 1934 under the name of National Allied Publications. That is 88 years ago. I was in my late 20's when they started!

They are often referred to as one of the big two (along with chief rival, Marvel Comics, home to...well, you know if you are reading this). The problem nowadays, is that DC isn't a part of the big two. Outside of the Batman family of titles, it is on life support. And not even all of the Bat titles are doing well.

If you look at the top 100 sellers in the months of January through April, this is the high-level breakdown...

January DC had 26 titles in the top 100. 20 of those were Bat titles.
February DC had 26 yet again, with 17 being Bat titles.
March saw DC completely rebound (lmao) with 27 comics in the top 100. 18 of which belonged to ol' pointy ears.
April? 33 titles! WOW. Sit down. 21 were Bat titles.

Marvel is absolutely destroying DC. Outside of Batman, DC is not doing anything right. At all. They are writing comics for themselves, not for fans, clearly. Is there a wall at DC where they just throw crap and hope something sticks? This is a business that has a clear need for someone who can lead, not just manage. Huge difference, and DC is managing just fine. They are managing crap. They do not have the leadership required to rekindle the interest in even its core characters. Look at the Superman titles. Is there an excuse for what is happening there? Yes. Plenty. Is there a REASON? Nope.

Green Lantern? My favorite character/franchise. What in the hell? It's like watching Star Trek Discovery...there are a few cool parts, but largely no one gives a $#!+. It's entirely forgettable. 

While I enjoy Marvel, I have been a DC fan my entire life (well, for as long as I've been reading comics...probably not as an infant, where my prime focus was on food and not having a squishy diaper, I mean, come on).

It's hard to blame DC. Their parent is Warner, and they colossally interfere and place executive/creative ego over solid decision making. Marvel has actual cohesion, and Image has Spawn. And other Spawn titles. And other Spawns. This may look sarcastic as I type this, but they are legit fun books and are always visually incredible. 

So what is Marvel (and Image's Spawn) doing differently? It's less event-driven and they are absolutely more true to their characters. Marvel, for example, have created "woke" characters without fully overwriting their predecessors. That is great! Comics needs more diversity. 

Side note to Marvel...the best "F you" to the people appropriating the Punisher logo is just publishing nothing but stories where Frank Castle is laying waste to fringe right-wing groups. NOT that new, stupid logo. Stop.

Consistently well-written and drawn stories, fresh, NEW characters, and not alienating an older audience (who spends way more) are just a few ideas. Focus group a diverse reader selection, regularly. At this point I won't be surprised if the next big Bat event deals with alternate Earth Batmans who are warring with each other. Batman Right vs Batman Left. That way each political spectrum is covered.

Keep politics out of comics as much as possible. Readers do not want it, regardless of what a vocal minority of fans on Twitter may say.

Anyhoo, next blog will actually be why I love DC's Nightwing comic so much. Go figure.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Neal Adams and George Perez

There is not much I can say here that has not already been said about these two heavyweights in the comic industry. Both of these men broke into
comics, in their own way, as teenagers. In the mid-60's, Adams was looking to get out of comics, and we can all be glad he didn't. His work for DC started as the weirdness of the 60's were starting to wane in comics. His realistic, gritty art style helped usher in a new wave of art to match the new wave of stories coming in. His work in 1969 at both Marvel and DC (X-Men and Batman) were arguably his first projects that would lay out a path of success that would see him become one of the top creators ever. His work on Batman, and later Green Lantern/Green Arrow, catapulted him to comics fame. GL/GA would introduce the world to social relevance in a big way. As a kid, I remember these comics, and remember being blown away by the clean, realistic art style that really stood above other artists. Adams' greatest contribution, in my opinion, wasn't his art. It was his active crusading in the industry that helped creators like Siegel and Shuster receive both credit and money for their creation. Superman. Adams cared deeply about creator's rights, and not only was he a superior artist, he had superior ethics.
George Perez was born around 13 years after Mr. Adams and really came into prominence in the late 70's. His work at Marvel and DC landed him some very high profile projects...Avengers, New Teen Titans, Wonder Woman, Infinity Gauntlet, and Crisis on Infinite Earths. Like Adams, Perez had such a clean, beautiful art style that was copied by many. My personal favorite story that he illustrated was "A Lonely Place of Dying", which introduced Tim Drake to readers. Perez worked steadily until 2019, when he would retire due to health reasons. Both of these creators contributed so much to comics, and paved the way as influences to many talents. Rest in peace, gentlemen.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Nightwing #80-81

Anyone reading Nightwing? I'll wait for an answer. This is interactive, and without participation from you, I am concerned you just aren't engaged. While I wait, I'm going to take a drink of water while I look over at you as if I am expecting an answer. The water, albeit real water in a real cup, is more of a prop. If I am calmly taking a drink while I look expectantly at you, it shifts the focus on you to start speaking. The last thing you want is to be in a room full of people and someone expects you to speak then you don't. Especially when they are taking a drink of water. It's as if the mic has been passed to you. So don't F this up.

Well, I guess I'm alone here.

If you are reading Nightwing you already know what's up. If not, Nightwing recently went for a long stint having lost his memory after being shot in the head. He went by Ric Grayson, as opposed to Dick Grayson. Sometimes I wonder if DC has all this planned out or if they are just picking EVERY idea they throw against the wall.

Anywho, Dick Grayson is back, and I started reading again at issue 75. A good jump on point! Every issue has been a fun read until the last two issues...80 and 81. These were AWESOME reads. 

First of all, there's this...

TIM DRAKE. Yup. As a long time reader, you can actually objectively say that Drake is the best Robin. Is he your favorite Robin? That's a different question. Some people love Grayson. Other people who think they are edgy like Damien as their Robin. From a pure loyalty perspective, and an intelligence perspective, Drake wins. Case closed. I'm the judge.

So Tim is along for the ride in these issues. I will not give away the spoiler at the end of issue #81 but if it's true, I cannot wait to see where it goes.

Go pick up Nightwing at your local comic shop, or download it from Comixology. 5 out of 5 concussions.

Sunday, May 2, 2021


I know. Invincibles has been around for a while. I have not paid any attention to it. Heard it was great, etc. I avoided it because of (insert reasons here. Truthfully I have no reasons. Like I have no reason to extend this parenthetic as far as I have. It's getting ludicrous. I suppose we can stop the madness and continue.)

So Amazon Prime has an animated version. Is it faithful to the comic? I DON'T KNOW! READ THE FIRST PARAGRAPH AGAIN!!! JEEZ!

Sorry, it's been a long weekend.

My wife and I watched the first episode. It was a cool story centered around a father (a Superman-like figure) whose son develops powers as he gets older. In his case, high school. It's actually a neat story with great writing, and conveys emotion quite well. We truly enjoyed this episode. The credits hit and I was ready to just exit, but some of the other heroes in this universe (introduced early in the show) started receiving a signal to go meet at their super secret headquarters. I said to my wife, in my infinite wisdom, "they are probably just fleshing out these other characters a bit".

Then THAT happened. 

No spoilers here. But WHAT. HAPPENED. 

I'm not going to watch the second episode. I don't know. Maybe I will. I probably will. But what the hell?

I give it 4 out of 5 popped out eyeballs.

Sunday, March 7, 2021


I tried. Almost 2 years since my last post. The original plan was to wait for the 2 year anniversary and then continue to wait until probably forever. 


Honestly, I just get tired of reading the negativity on the internet. The click-bait headlines, the articles that just make up stuff that is nothing but's all ridiculous. At least be honest about what you are doing. 

This is a blog. My blog. So it's nothing BUT my opinion. It's not disguised as news. You will not see articles like this:


Fans on Twitter said it. Who knows, we will wait and see.

That's the gist of 90% of articles about pop-culture stuff. It's excruciating to read. So, as I attempt to exile myself from that garbage (for the 372nd time), I am coming back here to irritate all zero of you who read this.

The title says Superman, so let's roll.

Superman and Lois are two episodes in on the CW and I recommend it wholeheartedly. As a fan of all the live action Supermen (Shaq as Steel does NOT count), Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent/Superman absolutely embodies the spirit of the character. Like his predecessors, he has a rough road ahead in a world where Superman can be viewed as "too powerful", "hard to write because he is so good", or "he got stabbed in the butt by Kevin Spacey".

Spacey probably ad-libbed that. 

Anywho, we live in a world where Superman is needed more than ever. Our country is more divided than ever, people actually hate each other if you do not agree with their politics (on either side of the aisle), and there are still no Waffle Houses in Iowa. If that doesn't describe a "hell in a handbasket" environment to you, then you are no son of mine.

Superman is a hero who is supposed to be better than we are. It's someone we can strive to be more like. He is not without sin, he makes mistakes, but how many of us can truly say we try to do the right thing all the time? Not me. That's why I like Superman. It reminds me to try and be better. It doesn't guilt me into hating him and then saying how great The Punisher is because it's easier on my crappy moral Superman is supposed to inspire. He is supposed to set the example. In two episodes of CW's Superman and Lois, he has done that so far. 

See you in 2023!

Friday, March 22, 2019

Captain Marvel and Other Stuff

Captain Marvel is here and is taking the box office by storm. In case you are living off-planet, deep in a rain forest, or are dead, you’ve either seen it already or at least know about it. I’m not going to go into crazy detail, but I enjoyed it. Not as good as Wonder Woman, but also not an assault on the product in any way, shape, or form. Brie Larson plays Carol Danvers, or Captain Marvel for those not adept at catching the inference. Man, I’m grumpy. Misogynistic fanboys everywhere hate her worse than they hate it when their vape pens die. 

“But she said she hates white males!!!”

No. She didn’t. Is there anything MORE racist than white males getting pissed off about anything related to being white? LOL!

Ok, back to the movie. Very fun. My primary complaint is that Larson’s acting came off as stiff here and there, and another example of a Marvel movie trying to be a sitcom. I’m going to have one of the blog’s interns comb through every Marvel movie and see how many jokes are attempted. I think the key indicator should be jokes per minute, or JPM. The task is Herculean, to be sure, but interns, amirite?

Go see it. A lot of fun, and I’m excited to see her in the next Avengers movie. 

Other stuff! Comics. I’ve been on vacation all week and have read 30-some issues of Ms. Marvel on the Marvel Unlimited service. A more fun book might not be found. DC’s newest Young Justice series looks promising. Miles Morales...another incredibly great character. DC’s app, DC Universe, is still disappointing in regards to comic content. If Marvel and DC’s online services were actual stores, Marvel’s would be huge, bright, shiny, bursting with product while DC’s would be like walking into a Barnes and Noble getting ready to close permanently...80 percent of the shelves empty. Random paper blowing in some improbable wind. Anywhoo. Marvel Unlimited...I’ve talked about it before and it is an amazing service, I’m hoping it lasts forever. If that prior sentence jinxes it, YOU WILL NEVER FIND ME.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Why is This Character Cool? Hawkman Edition

Wait, Hawkman is cool?

Don't question me, fake person.

Now that we can put that unpleasantness behind us, we can move forward. Hawkman has been synonymous with confusion. I'm going to estimate here, but I think he has had approximately 73 different origins since his first appearance in 1940.

Robert Venditti handles the latest incarnation of Carter Hall and his winged alter ego. As hesitant as I was to read anything about a character who is more confusing than new math is to a 40 year old, I decided to give it a shot.

I have never said in my life that Hawkman is my favorite book currently. WELL, IT IS.

Superhero Landings
Carter Hall is having not only flashbacks of his past incarnations, but he is crossing time and meeting them, too. We also learn that he has not just been reincarnated on earth, but also Krypton, for example. I am not sure if he has been reincarnated in Missouri (I don't consider that to be part of earth...more like an active portal to hell).

Venditti has succeeded in weaving a tale that pisses you off when the issue is done. Now I have to wait another month. I wonder what the pitch looked like at DC. Did Mr. Venditti pitch this? Or did DC? I imagine if it was the latter, Venditti had to have some hesitation, even if only internally. This is a character who has never seen triple digits in any of the 475 series that he has had over the years.

I hope the quality of this book can be sustained, as I can't get enough. On Twitter I gave it 9 out of 5 stars.  Here on the blog I will give it 9 out of 5 pieces of Nth Metal.

Buy it.