September 1, 2013 6:41 pm That's a bummer, guys. Your articles and your podcasts got me back into comics at a time when I needed them the most -- but to paraphrase Meat Loaf, one out of two ain't bad. Best of luck with your future endeavours.
June 15, 2013 8:52 pm Just came home from seeing Man of Steel. I really didn't care for it; it felt like an acceptable Transformers movie (opposing factions of super-awesome aliens bring their war to Earth and fight over a science-thingy) reforged into a bad Superman movie. If you're going to have a movie about Superman saving the Earth, priority No. 1 should be demonstrating how Clark Kent decides to become a hero to the human race -- yet so many of his human interactions involve him being bullied, distrusted by the government and told by his adoptive father that the world isn't ready to accept him (to the point where Jonathan tells him he'd have been better of letting children die than revealing his secret). They're real downers, these humans. Why is he on their side, again? Why are we?
The movie might have been improved a lot if it was told from Zod's point of view, actually. Zod gets depth and complexity; he's a patriot, and we know why he wants to save his people, because he was bred for that purpose. The movie was so invested in Kryptonian stuff that, if it had gone all the way with that, it would have been more genuinely different and interesting than just another Superman story.
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1) Jonathan Kent runs off to his death to rescue a DOG? Really? Really.
2) Zack Snyder really, really can't keep the camera still.
3) It irritated me that the movie couldn't make up its mind about whether Superman's powers came from the sun, the Earth's lower gravity or the atmosphere. Changing one or more of these things would sometimes take away his powers, and sometimes not. No consistency.
4) If Krypton's gravity is so much higher than Earth's, and the environmental conditions on Zod's ship are Kryptonian-standard, how is Lois able to run around the ship shooting people? Yes, her respirator apparatus would let her breathe on the ship, but with the super-gravity turned on, she should be barely able to stand up.
5) As a Canadian, it makes me happy that the Fortress of Solitude (sorry, Ship of Solitude) is on Canadian soil. You can tell because the guys from Battlestar Galactica are there. (So nice to see those guys getting work again.)
April 14, 2013 8:43 pm I haven't kept track: Have they ever addressed Booster Gold's Canadian origins in the New 52? They hadn't dealt with it by the time I dropped Justice League International, but I don't know if it was addressed in other books.
You're not wrong about DC lacking Canadian representation. Before Booster's citizenship change, the highest-profile Canadian in the DCU was probably Plastique. (Who? EXACTLY.) DC has a pretty unique approach to geography in general, though. Their mythology is rooted in fictional cities like Gotham and Metropolis, and if they need a country that isn't the United States they're more likely to make one up (Markovia and Qurac, for instance) than Marvel would be. I think of the DCU as this sort of sunny, colourful global America with other countries thrown in for exotic value, not treated as real places in their own right (though that's changed slowly over the past 15 years or so).
Marvel loves real-world locations, though, and thanks to Wolverine's popularity and the lasting influence of John Byrne, they've built up a big host of Canadian characters. Alpha Flight, as far as I know, was the longest-running Marvel series set in a real country outside the United States -- with Excalibur coming up behind it -- and by now, there are enough Alpha Flight characters to make your own Canadian-only Marvel U if you wanted to.
December 19, 2012 9:31 am Thanks for this. I absolutely loved the Ditko Creeper comics when DC collected them in hardcover recently, but apart from Eclipso: The Darkness Within I haven't read much that features him.
Ditko's Jack Ryder is now one of my favourite comic-book journalist characters, because he has such a colourful job description. I'm a newspaper copy editor, so I can't vouch for whether broadcasting is like this too, but I've learned that every news organization has at least one Guy Who Seems to Do Everything But You Don't Know What His Actual Job Is. Jack Ryder is the only example of "THAT guy" I've ever seen in the annals of comic-book journalism.
Sometimes he's presented as a reporter, sometimes as a TV anchor (although we see him get fired from that job in issue 1), sometimes as a security guard for the TV station. He's a fixer. A troubleshooter. That stays true when he becomes the Creeper: He's unfazed by everything and anything. He gets superpowers in a disorienting and improbably wacky situation, and what does he do? Starts capering like a monkey and laughs at his enemies. In a red boa. Jack Ryder gives NOT A SINGLE FUCK.
November 14, 2012 9:57 am Thanks for this. Eclipso: The Darkness Within was my first real introduction to superhero comics, at an age when I was super-terrified of anything involving mind control or possession, so that character made a real impression on me -- though not so deep an impression that I've kept track of everything he's been doing over the years.
October 3, 2012 1:06 pm Eclipso: The Darkness Within #1. I discovered superhero comics the summer that Darkness Within came out, and those comics were my introduction to the idea of a shared comic-book universe spanning multiple titles with different creators and different tones. But #1 stood out because of the black plastic diamond on the cover, which, to a child in the early '90s, seemed really badass.