Sunday, May 05, 2013

Free Comic Book Day and Superman: Unbound

Free Comic Book Day has come and gone, and I was able to take my daughter to her very first one over at Two Cats in West Portal, San Francisco. It's not my regular Comic shop but it's close by and easy for me to get to. A buddy of mine lives close too, and since it's been hard to meet up with him B.C. (Before Child) it seemed like a good place to go.

The store was pretty packed, and not quite as many kids as I thought were there (just old nerds like me). I saw some kids come in, but they didn't really know what to get. I think Spongebob was the closest property they knew, but one of them didn't really know what the Ninja Turtles were (which is odd since they just relaunched). They definitely had no idea what the smurfs were.

I always wonder, with kids that are soaked in TV and ipads all day, how do I make a comic book worth their time to actually sit down and read? How do I compete with something like that with my own comic?

Here's the swag I decided to pick up. Only one of them is from the official FCBD line and the other two are extras from their stock:

I haven't read all of them yet, but I finished Batman Inc #1. I've never been a fan of Grant Morrison's stuff, but maybe because the stuff I read from him isn't usually a Batman comic most of the time. All-star superman may be the only exception of a title that he did that isn't Batman, that I liked.

Anyhow, it's a good issue that is tied very much to the initial series before new 52 (I got all of them when the price was lowered to 99c each digitally and it's a good read). So that was a score of a freebie. I'll probably wait for the trade to come out the get the rest. To newcomers, it might be a lot confusing to jump into this without reading the first series.

I just started reading through the first few pager of The Strangers, but I'm already a little distracted by the story telling. Some of the panels and layouts of the scene I wish were a little clearer in that opening action sequence, but I still 'get' the flow, so no harm done.

I haven't read through Fantastic Four 600 (SPOILERS! I believe the Human torch comes back in this issue), but it's a beast of a book 100 pages! I couldn't resist grabbing it.

Okay, switching topics now!

I recently watched Superman: Unbound, Warners' new animated feature featuring the man-taking-over-Bruce-Timm's-shoes James Tucker directing it. I really liked Tucker's work on the Batman: Brave and the Bold series so I had hopes for this movie as well as Tucker handling the producer roles that Timm did.

Okay some spoilers follow, but not really giant plot spoilers... be warned!

On my first viewing of Superman: Unbound there were some story bits that nagged at me. Little things here and there, such as Lois' character in the way she pressures Clark about their relationship, or getting angry at Clark for getting back at Lombard. The language Superman uses (I guess I'm kinda old fashioned and I never want to hear Superman say: "Go to Hell", Lois flippin' the bird and an odd decision Superman makes when battling Brainiac. Oh, and some weird thing going on with Superman's placement when Brianic shoot a beam from his Brainy-ship.

However, I find I've been relentlessly watching this movie over and over and over. Especially having it on while I'm working, and I must say it's really growing on me. The things about the plot that nag me are still there, but for some reason I forgive it more. Lois flipping the bird is actually what Lois would do, and seeing Lois and Clark argue like a couple is a fairly unique decision that we don't really see often. I didn't realize that the movie is PG-13 so it's not aimed at kids but rather teens. So while I have my qualms about the movie I think it's still a good approach.

The movie also changes a few things from the original run (which I re-read after my second viewing of the movie). In my opinion, Geoff John's original arc is better. I can see why they would change the ending (kinda), but I thought it was a very good way to really show just how formidable of a foe Brainiac could be. The odd decision that superman does while battling Brainiac on his ship in the movie, doesn't exist in the Geoff Johns story and there's also a cleaner solution to how the plot progresses. Also the Lois and Clark dynamic is handled much better, with Lois actually being VERY cool when Clark is pranking Lombard back. Oh and Johns is able to flesh out the supporting daily planet people much better than the movie does.

The movie also has a lot more Supergirl and a lot more of Superman getting whupped down. If anything Supergirl seems like a stronger hero than Supes (and that's not a big deal to me but when you name a movie SUPERMAN: unbound it'd be cool to see him be a little more kick butty).

The voice casting and acting is excellent, and Matt Boomer does a great Superman. I really dig the character designs and Superman and Supergirl look great in the film. The color choices (Krypton's especially) and the action sequences are a lot of fun. Supergirl is a great character in this film. She's the angsty new 52 Supergirl, but they really make her work well in the film and you understand just how she is her own person apart from Superman. There's also a little Lois/Supergirl 1 on 1 that's played well.

I still think Superman vs. the Elite may be my favorite Superman WB Movie. That story had good superman elements in it and sucked me in enough that I didn't have time to question the plot progression that Unbound did. However, I tend to lean towards the art direction of this movie more than that one.

Still, a good movie all in all, and it must be doing something right if I keep watching it over and over, right?

I'm saving up for next month, on Supes' 75th anniversary. I think I'm going to go all fanboy and buy a lot of superman paraphernalia! Okay that's it! 

Up, up and away!
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