Mitt Romney Isn’t Reed Richards (But He Plays One On TV)

We were all over this back in June, but yes, Mitt Romney looks exactly like Reed Richards. I mention it now because because “Mitt Romney Reed Richards” has been a trending search term for the past few days.  In case you don’t know, this is why:

Also, The Daily Cocca comes up in tandem with a Eugene Mirman tweet on the Google Machine:

Eugene Mirman was one of the funniest comedians I ever saw on the old Conan show.  And he reminds us of this guy:

 

Will DC’s Relaunch Mean More Sales? (And He-Man Comics from the 80s).

Sadly, no, DC’s relaunch does NOT include a new line of He-Man books in the classic continuity.  DC did do a He-Man miniseries in 1983, which I now proudly own in its entirely thanks to my LCS (local comic store) and one Alexander Hamilton.

Dropped in on the LCS yesterday to ask if they were anticipating an increase in sales with the re-launch.  Was told that many regular customers are adding many of the new books to their lists. And then I did something I’ve never done in all my years of comic-book-nerdiness and narrative obsession.

I set up my own list.

JLA, Batman, Superman, Flash.  I’m hook, line, and sinkered on the idea that this is a really cool time to start collecting or, in my case, to start collecting again.  Comic sales live and die by big events (The Death of Superman is what got me collecting seriously in the first place.  It did not have the same effect on my 13-year-old love life, but whatevs.), and companies succeed when initial interest from casual fans can be sustained.  So I hope the relaunch isn’t something that gets undone in 18 months.

Did I mention that I got a DC He-Man mini-series from the 80s?  You have no idea how pumped I am about this (is what I also said to the cashier).

Will the relaunch mean more sales in the short term?  I think so.  We’ll see if that can be sustained, and let’s not forget that people adding the titles to already established lists are not casual fans crossing over into collecting.  They’re a captive audience already.  The degree to which DC gets more people like me excited remains to be seen, but I expect them to lead in sales at least through Christmas.

You want to see pictures from the He-Man books, don’t you?  I know, I know. But they’re in the car and it’s pouring.  I’ll do better next time, I promise.

Should DC Have Revisited “Titans Tomorrow” for the Superman Reboot/Redesign?

I think so.

I’m still not a huge fan of the red belt pictured here, but it’s a huge improvement over what they’re actually giving him:

Must. Collect. All. Thundercat. Emblems.

I could have sworn that one of the panels I saw during the Titans Tomorrow storyline showed a belt that stopped on both sides before reaching the abs. Even if I’m misremembering that, I like it better than either of these options.  For an even better old revamp than the Titans Tomorrow design, check out what artist Sean Izaakse did in 2006:

Super, regal, updated, and iconic.

Here, the collar, cape, and shield work together to really say something about Superman’s power  Change the waist banding to a red semi-belt and that’s your rebooted Man of Steel, friends.

Superman Pictures from “Action Comics” and “Superman” DC Reboots. Also, SuperEmoBoy.

One of these pictures is awesome.  One of them, despite my George Perez fandom, isn’t.

Awesome.
Isn't.

It’s not Perez’s fault.  He’s dealing with a redesigned Superman costume that isn’t his, and the inker made the space above Supes’ boots look gray/silver.  Here’s the overarching technical problem with the new suite: maybe it will work okay when Jim Lee is drawing it on a stylized, younger-looking Man of Steel, but it just isn’t going to work across artistic styles.  George Perez is an iconic Superman artist, and look how hamstrung this costume makes him.  The classic costume works in any style because it’s simple and iconic.  The new look has panels and too many lines. The belt’s over-thought.  The collar’s too high.  No red undies. Wrong wrong wrong.  Superman doesn’t need bells and whistles.  That’s the point.  That’s his deal.

Argh.  This is 90s in a bad way.  I know, you thought that was impossible.  So did I.

Then there’s this:

Booo.

DC’s Superboy, Red Robin, and Kid Flash Reboot For New Teen Titans Book (And I Think of the 90s)

This post is from 2011.  As of 2018, it still gets new views. The Teen Titans, not to mention the entire DC Universe, have gone through many iterations since then.  Why are fans able to accept that continuity is fluid when it comes to comic books, but not when it comes to properties like Star Wars or the Wizarding World?

To be honest, I don’t really accept a living Jason Todd, or a universe in which Tim Drake was never Robin.  But I also know that the pendulum will likely swing back, and that I get to pick what I consider canon.  That’s one of the great things about fiction.

Okay, so I think of the 90s anyway. That said, here’s the picture for the rebooted Teen Titans:

I was chatting with someone today who said this whole reboot reminds him of the 90s, and, specifically, what Marvel tried to do with Heroes Reborn.  The Superboy and Kid Flash designs specifically make me think of 90s aesthetics.  That patch on Bart’s left shoulder?  Reminds me of Jim Lee’s first shot at redesigning Superman, circa 1996:

Kid Flash should be minimalist and throwback.  When Bart Allen gave up the Impulse identity and became Kid Flash, it was in honor of Wally West and his costume reflected the importance of legacy in the Flash mythos:

This is the right look, but the boots are too busy.  The thing going on at the top of this post is just a mess.

As for Superboy. If you were 13 in 1993, you know that the modern incarnation of the Boy of Steel debuted during the Reign of the Supermen arc following Superman’s death. He was punk, and he looked every bit the 90s awesome he was meant to be:

Haters hate, but I think this costume was perfectly awesome for the time.  And yes, after seeing this, I did go home and try to draw Starter jackets for Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, and the Flash.  That said, I think everyone agrees that Superboy’s most recent look is 100% DCAT (Don’t Change A Thing, with thanks to Paul Lukas):

This has become Connor Kent’s iconic Superboy look.  In the solicit picture for the reboot, he’s back to being a scenester.  What’s with the gothy tape job on his back?  The bar-c0de tattoo?  What could possibly tattoo him, anyway? For that matter, how did he pierce his ear in the 90s?  I know, I know: same way he shaves (his own heat vision in a mirror).

Red Robin (Tim Drake, formerly the third Robin before becoming Red Robin in the current DCU) is said to be leading the new new new Teen Titans.  I liked the Kingdom Come-inspired Red Robin costume of the last two years, and I liked the red and black look Tim sported during his final stint as the Boy Wonder.  Now he has feathers.  I want to say I hate it, but I sort of don’t.   Tim’s original costume was, perhaps, the perfect union of 90s re-design and timing.  It was current, believable, and, most importantly, not ridiculous.  The cape was black, the legs were covered.  The R was finally stylized.  He got a bo-staff and real boots. He got his own book and became a sidekick who was always more than that.  Tim was the best of the all the Robins because Tim’s  skill set, intellect, and emotional complexity made Robin a real hero in his own right and a compelling character to boot.  Tim Drake did for Robin what Nightwing did for Dick Grayson.  It makes sense that Tim would keep part of the Robin identity even as he moves on, but I’m not sure about those feathers.  Why not the current Red Robin costume with a domino mask instead of a cowl?  The rest of what’s going on above is way too busy.   I know that the hooded Robin look is being done by Damien Wayne, and Tim’s Robinmobile is called the Redbird.  I get that Tim ought to retain some of that mythos and the feathers signal the Tim (as opposed to Damien) side of things, but still.  Unless he starts to fly (please, no), he really shouldn’t have them.

If the 200os saw DC return to the Silver Age in terms of story and allusion, it feels like September 2011-forward are looking like the 90s redux.  Short from letting Supes fly his freak flag every now and then, I’m not sure that’s the way they should be going.  Then again, I was one of those kids that started reading comics because of the Batman movie and then in earnest with the Reign of the Supermen and the Knightfall series.  One of DC’s immediate goals is to give new readers and brand new point of entry, and the reboot and renumbering certainly provides that chance on a massive scale.  Still, feathers?  You know what? I’ll admit it.  He does look kind of cool.

In the 80’s, Superman Also Fought Asthma

I was diagnosed with asthma when I was five.  My family lived in eastern Berks County and I still remember the late-night trip to the hospital in Allentown during my first  attack. Before I experienced the condition first-hand, everything I knew about the disease came from a 30-second public service announcement featuring Superman. Kids with asthma were supposed to ask their parents to call the American Lung Association for a pack of free information, or, as it appeared to me at the time, free Superman stuff. To be honest, I felt left out and thought asthma must be awesome if it got the Man of Steel to show up at your pick-up baseball games.

Obviously, I was wrong. Asthma is not awesome.  Superman does not show up at pick-up baseball games.  Chunk from The Goonies did not eat his weight in Godfather pizza.

But DC Superheroes did have their own cookbook.