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Friday, July 05, 2013

Superman's 75th: Digital Comics and other things!

First off, happy fourth of July!

Drawn by one of my favorite artists.
I got this image from a facebook fansite.
 https://www.facebook.com/JoseLuisGarciaLopezFans
So my Superman celebration month is wrapped up, though I have to admit my Superman shopping spree doesn't seem to really be slowing down this year! There's quite a few good Superman related things that are coming out later on the year that I don't think I can pass up. Namely, some good digital comic books that have been taking from my wallet every week! However, there are other Superman tie-ins that also require my attention!

For one thing, Zack Snyder is partnering up with Bruce Timm to produce a superman animated short that will be premiering at San Diego con this month! You know I'll be ordering that the minute it's available!

Next up in cue is the Injustice fighting game that I'll be picking up on the Wii U. Yeah, I know, I know, I'm a total fan boy! I'm actually not a fan of any Mortal Kombat game, but Injustice is totally awesome DC fan service! I played the demo and it was surprisingly not too bad! So once I can get some money saved up, I'll be picking that game up! And while it's not a Superman game per se, you know I'll be trying to use Superman as my main from day one!


And more video game goodness after that! Scribblenauts Unmasked was announced a while back, and I'll be picking that up on the WiiU as well!


Okay! Now let's talk about the digital comics I've been binging on lately! The first one is called The Adventures of Superman. It comes out every Monday (something to look forward to on those dreaded Mondays!) and costs just 99 cents for an issue. For the most part the first few stories are self-contained and written and drawn by a variety of people. Some writers and artists aren't usually associated with Superman so it's always interesting to see other people's take on Superman. There have been some multi-part stories but the most I've read is only up to 3 digital issues (one issue if you try to pick it up in print). It also isn't tied to the recent continuity, so new readers can jump in easier.

Chris Samnee's Art from AOS Digital #1. I love Samnee's work.
Another few panels from AOS Digital #1.
Stop hitting yourself Superman!
Jeff Parker and Chris Samnee's first issue was a lot of fun. However for a self contained first issue, as a Superman fan it ended a little flat to me. Here comes a spoiler: Superman doesn't really win at the end. So for me as a first issue that felt odd. But Parker and Samnee's execution of the story is fun.

The Second issue by Jeff Lemire however, remedy's that. His story is from the vantage point of boys playing as Superman. However, I'm not a fan of Lemire's artwork and his rendition of Superman gives me the hibbie jeebies. The story is a little long for the kind of punchline he was setting up, but he 'fixes' what I thought felt odd about the first issue. So he wins me over with that.

Nope, that's not Bizzaro. From AOS Digital #2
 But speaking of Bizarro, the third issue by Justin Jordan and Riley Rossmo features a Superman story with everybody's favorite backwards villain/hero. I always have liked the comic bookyness of a character like Bizzaro. It's a fairly competent Bizarro tale, but I'm not a fan of Rossmo's art. Maybe just an average Bizarro story.
AOS Digital #3. Art by Riley Rossmo
Sidebar: This Bizarro story however is awesome!


AOS Digital #4 written by J.M.Dematteis drawn by Guiseppe Camuncoli and inked by Sal Buscema has a good celebratory Superman feel to it. If you're an old time reader, I would liken it to an Elliot S. Maggin story. It's a very good Superman-birthday-esque style story. I'm not too crazy about the artwork, but they tell the story well and I'm not lost at any point in the story. Overall though, this is one of my favorties from the series.


In AOS Digital #5 Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joelle Jones serve up a fun Lois and Clark story that centers around what the two reporters decide to do on a slow news day. Joelle Jones' art references an old school aesthetic and fits very well in the Superman universe. I have to say though I think I like Jones' rendition of Clark more than her Superman. Very sharp looking issue, fun, light story from Fialkov.

Retro stylish Lois and Clark: always awesome fun.
Brian Glass and Michael Oeming serve up a Kirby-cosmic Superman tale full of cosmic fighting and epicness. Probably the opposite of the last issue since that was a somewhat more 'down to earth' story. I'm not too much a fan of Michael Oeming's work, but I do like seeing different people try their hand at Supes, so I didn't mind so much. Plus he pulls a lot of heavy Kirby-isms and that is alway awesome when you plug Superman into an epic story.

Michael Oeming's art form AOS Digital #6.
Next is a story by Matt Kindt and Steven Sergovia. I was interested in reading some of Matt Kindt's work since he's one of the 'new indie hotness' writer/artists I keep hearing about (along with Jeff Lemire). However I just couldn't get past the way his art looks on Mind Mgmt, so I was looking forward to this issue. It's the first multi-part story in AOS and it has 3 issues (totals up to one full actual print comic book). And it was a fun read, but I couldn't help but feel the way he paced it was built more for a print book than a digital issue, so the cuts between 2 stories running at the same time (one Superman focused, the other Lois focused) wasn't working that smoothly in digital format.

His story was fine, but I felt it ran a little too long for the simplicity of it to span 3 issues. Kind of how I felt with how Lemire's story ran too. A simple concept that stretched a little too long for me. Steven Serovia's Lois lane looks great and he's got some fun action packed panels.


Steven Sergovia's Art from AOS Digital #8.
The latest one I've read is by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with art by Wes Craig and Craig Yeung. I think this is also one of my favorites from the series. It centers around the day in the life of Lex Luthor. The writing of Lex is great and much like the previous story this also has another story running at the same time Lex's story is going, but it doesn't feel as disorienting as the previous one. Maybe because the main story is Lex's and is split up into little snippets of his day rather than a continous one, and Superman's is pretty straightforward robot smashing action?


The art and colors have a nice simplicity to the read (even though it's detailed like below), so the storytelllng is smooth but also good to look at.

Up up and away!

The other digital title I've been reading is Injustice: Gods among us. This is a 'prequel' to the video game and basically tells the story of how the heroes have come to the point where the world fears them and why the heroes like to beat each other up.

It's written by Tom Taylor and even though the artwork is handled by quite a few people throughout one story, it hasn't dipped in quality. It comes out on a weekly basis (every tuesday), digitally for 99 cents as well.


And I know it sounds like your typical throwaway game story tie-in but I have to admit I was hooked since the first issue (I've bought all 25 issues so far!). It's really a "what if" story, but Tom Taylor crafts it so well it's a very compelling read. The main story's really centered on Superman and is the catalyst for this 'alternate' timeline. The thing is, Taylor writes the characters as if they still are exactly the DC characters we've come to know and love, and then throws them into some scary scenarios.


So say if a character makes decisions that you'd think they would never do in the DC universe proper, he sets up instances that make you think... "MAYBE they would, if it played out like that"... and it's usually a good enough reason for the reader roll with it until the next crazy situation rolls along and he does it again. 


And Taylor chips away at the story at a slow pace, but I absolutely don't mind. I mean, we KNOW Superheroes are gonna be bad and beat on each other in the end. Reading about their motivations for doing so unfold is a very interesting read. Actually I might even go so far as this book being my favorite book this year. The fact that it rolls in every week, costs 99 cents and is a great read with some solid artwork (Kevin Maguire even has an issue!) and great character studies, makes it hard for me to pass it up!

Okay and lastly, I posted this up on the WiiU Youtube chat room a few months ago when I first saw the trailers for Man of Steel:


Yeah totally nerdy.

But I couldn't resist! And that's it for this Superman month! I have been itching to watch Man of Steel again, but to appease my need, I've instead been listening to the soundtrack and the trailers on a playlist I made on youtube. If you're as cheap as me, for the moment, and haven't bought the sound track and want to see some spoiler-y fight sequences feel free to use it!

And that's all I got! WHEW! I'm going to attempt to raise myself up from all my Superman swag and go back to drawing my comic again for the next post. Until then... Up, up and away!
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