‘Man and Superman: 100-Page Super Spectacular’ (review) at Forces of Geek

‘Man and Superman: 100-Page Super Spectacular’ (review) at Forces of Geek

Legendary comics writer Marv Wolfman thinks he has written his best Superman story yet, and I wholeheartedly agree. Today’s 100-Page Super Spectacular is yet another retelling of the Superman origin story, but with one key twist, this is the story of Clark’s journey to Metropolis from a small farm town.

‘Reign of The Supermen’ (Animated Movie Review) at Forces of Geek

‘Reign of The Supermen’ (Animated Movie Review) at Forces of Geek

It has been six months since the events of The Death of Superman and four new Supermen are in town to pick up the slack in Reign of the Supermen.

Both films are to replace 2007s Superman: Doomsday, an earlier adaptation of the 90s comics.

‘Justice League’ (review) at Forces Of Geek


Have we broken through? Have the rough drafts been scrapped and the iterations of the Batmobile reached a point where it won’t loose a wheel?

Folks, I think we’re there, and Justice League and the DC cinematic universe has figured itself out. Is it perfect?

Far from it, but my prep for the film came in the form of watching Avengers: Age of Ultron and Wonder Woman.

My logic being, let’s take what we have to build on and look forward from there. Zack Snyder’s Justice Leaguehad the advantage (through very shitty circumstances) of being punched up by Joss Whedon and also the distinct pleasure of being the next chapter to Gal Gadot’s and Patty Jenkins’s incredible Wonder Womanmovie from earlier this year.

Sure, I’ve been a Man of Steel apologist, and perhaps you might judge me for going against the grain by also championing Suicide Squad so take my ringing Justice League endorsement with a grain of salt, certainly. I can’t blame you for that. I’ve also spent a few Sunday afternoons with Batman v Superman: Ultimate Edition because I wanted to. You aren’t the boss of me!



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League Podcast Comics Picks of the Week for Wed. June 1, 2016




After last week’s Geoff Johns 80-page Giant, the big blue DC logo of doom continues with Batman: Rebirth #1 by new writer Tom King and Scott Snyder as Batman faces Calendar Man! … The fun continues in Superman: Rebirth #1 by Peter Tomasi putting the underpants back where they belong, on the outside as Clark Kent returns to his own book. I know, it’s confusing. … Over in Marvel, Moon Knight continues in issue #3 as Mark makes his way to the subway tunnels below Egypt, or the institution that holds him. … Picks this week from


League Podcast Comics Picks of the Week for Wed. May 18, 2016




Max Landis wraps up his stellar run on Superman: American Alien #7with an amazing artist, Jock! Aliens! Motorcycles! Explosions! … Jonny Quest and Hadji are back in Future Quest #1 by the amazing team of Jeff Parker and Doc Shaner on art! Hanna-Barbera’s greatest heroes are back! … Sabrina #5 is the witch book you horror fans have been waiting for as Sabrina takes on Madam Satan and other covens reveal themselves! … Picks this week from




From Krypton to Themyscira to the Deadite infested woods of North Carolina, we are kicking off 2016 with a return to form of the classic Triple Shot comics review column! 

Can’t make heads or tails of a pull list? Are you easily confused by staring at rows of comics on the shelf? We hope these recommendations do you well. Why think when we can tell you what comics to buy!

This week, Max Landis and Joëlle Jones give you a unique spotlight on a young Clark Kent, Renae De Liz (Peter Pan, The Last Unicorn) and Ray Dillon retell Wonder Woman’s origin in Legend of Wonder Woman and lastly Ash is back, baby, inEvil Dead 2: Cradle of the Damned!

This week you get an extra bonus Heavy Metal chaser as one of our very own FOG!’s very own (Steven) Scott Duvall! drops his new book Necropolis: Continuum #1 from Heavy Metal Comics.
That’s right, that Heavy Metal!


Writer: Max Landis

Artist: Joëlle Jones
Publication Date: January 13, 2016
Price: $3.99
Publisher: DC Comics
UPC: 76194133061700311

Max Landis (Chronicle, Dirk Gently) has been surprising comic fans the past few months with his take on different eras of Clark Kent, Superboy and Superman. With different artists assigned to each chapter of this mini-series, we are able to appreciate different aspects of Clark’s home life. 

Of course, this is the almost predictable ‘modern retelling’ of the Superman origin. What sets it apart, besides the art treatment, is a feeling that Superman is a legend.

No chapter picks up where the last story left off.

Much like in American television, each artist on a chapter shows a different era of Clark’s life, and each of the artists would be the guest director of the episode.

This particular chapter’s director is the talented Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer, Adventures of Superman).
The story takes place on Bruce Wayne’s yacht, but master Bruce is not even there to celebrate his birthday. Clark stands in for the absent Bruce, who is ‘Never at his (own) parties’. 

A young Clark lives it up, hooks up with a lady, gets drunk and has all of the fun Bruce Wayne would only pretend to have. 

There have been plenty of stories where these two have switched places but what sets this story apart is that they have yet to be acquainted. 

It’s not all booze and cupcakes as a popular DC villain is after Bruce Wayne and Clark has to face him.

In conclusion, this a fun issue, even if it just stands alone. It is a fun take for fans of the classic Batman and Superman dynamic that flashes back to the pre-superhero days.

The art is gorgeous and I’m enjoying what Max has to say with ‘his’ Superman!






Doomed planet. 

Desperate scientists. 

Last hope. 

Kindly couple. 


— Grant Morrison, All-Star Superman

Grant Morrison is most certainly capable of distilling Superman down into a few words, especially when introducing what has since become considered one of the greatest stories of all time of the iconic character.

Another master of the DC Universe  is Bruce Timm, the mastermind behind Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League and Batman Beyond (to name a few).

Timm is back in with his latest project,  an alternate reality version of Justice League with Justice League: Gods and Monsters, which debuted on Machinima last month with three shorts and has been released this week as a feature length animated movie.

These new interpretations include Superman / Hernan Guerra (Benjamin Bratt, 24, Modern Family), the spawn of General Zod and Lara Lor Van’s DNA (in vitro, you pervs) raised by a Mexican farming family.

Batman is the creature of the night we know in our world as Man-Bat, Kurt Langstrom (Michael C. Hall, Dexter).

Rounding out the un-holy trinity is Bekka, granddaughter of Highfather from New Genesis aka Wonder Woman (Tamara Taylor, Bones, Lost).

With a reimagined DC Universe including dozens of Easter Eggs and a President Amanda Waller calling the shots, Alan Burnett (Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Batman Beyond) and Timm’s PG-13 alternate reality gets a little racier thanThe Animated Series ever could. A member of the new guard for DCAU Sam Liu (Batman: Year One, All-Star Superman) directs.




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What is this, Bizarro World?” clearly is one of my favorite The Simpsons quotes from Comic Book Guy from the running tape in my brain because something is usually going against my will or better judgement in my surroundings.

To which I might now answer, “NO, this isn’t Bizarro World, its better - LEGO Bizarro world!

Yes, I’ll admit me am hungry for more LEGO movie action since last year’s blockbuster so when I got my hands on this sweet LEGO Justice League vs. Bizarro Justice League set, complete with Batzarro minifig, my hunger was sated … for now!

The Two-Disc set includes the typical DCU talking head making of documentary but also another adventure with our Super Friends at the brick Hall of Justice in DC Comics Super Heroes: Batman: Be-leaguered.

It may be no surprise to anyone that I really enjoyed this one!

Especially with two episodes thrown in and the mini-fig, this is a great deal.

Specifically with the packaging, the Blu-Ray + DVD + Ultraviolet copy makes it easy to share but also looks great on my big screen TV (a recent purchase and I always prefer a physical disc for HD media).

Batman is voiced by Troy Baker this go-around (LEGO Batman 3, Arkham franchise as various) but carries on a bit of that swagger and darkness that Will Arnett flavored The LEGO Movie with “More Darkness!”.




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Superman’s deadliest foe, Doomsday is back in the New 52, and writer Scott Lobdell promises tons of smashing action in the Superman: DOOMED #1 event! …Mark Millar’s take on a retired Flash Gordon a la the Dark Knight in Starlight #3 is the must read comic event of the year. Genius level stuff, sure to be optioned for a flick! … Star Mage #2 is the opposite of our last pick in many ways, young Darien is also the chosen one! …Picks this week from

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DigBoston and LeaguePodcast Comic Book Picks of the Week for October 9, 2013



The indirect result of DC denying an all-ages Kamandi book for kids is the newest graphic novel from Paul Pope, Battling Boy. Join Aurora West and Battling Boy on a fresh monster stomping adventure. … Its a teamup of the century, Charles Soule (27, Swamp Thing) and Tony S. Daniel (Detective Comics, Action Comics) creating the The Man of Steel and Wonder Woman meet-cute in Superman Wonder Woman #1. … Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of The Walking Dead with issue #115. Rick vs. Negan in ALL OUT WAR! 10 alternate covers interlock, representing 10 years of the hit book just in time for the television return. … Picks this week from


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DigBoston and LeaguePodcast Comic Book Picks of the Week for September 25, 2013



This one is for the kids! Our friend Nathan Edmondson from The Activity and Who is Jake Ellis? scribes the Man of Steel in Adventures of Superman #5. An alien baby crashed on Earth, and someone is out to get her! From capes to swaddles, the Man of Tomorrow! …Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup are back to steal the attention from MLP! Witness the cute Powerpuff Girls vs. Mojo Jojo in the return of Powerpuff Girls #1. Aw Yeah, camping trip! Itty Bitty Hellboy #2 takes to the woods for S’Mores and more! … Picks this week from

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We end our nearly weeklong stint of boycotting the money grab lenticular cover to keep an eye on the Lex-Ticular Lex Luthor Comics #1 at Action, and check in on two awesome creator owned books from Image and Dark Horse.

Zero #1 is a buzzworthy future super-spyfi action tale and Buzzkill #1 showcases a hero that appropriately loads up on booze to get powers.   Knock back The Calamitous Black Devils over at ComiXology Submit to avoid the DTs.

WRITER: Charles Soule 
ART: Raymond Bermudez
Publication Date: September 18, 2013
Price: $2.99
Publisher: DC Comics
UPC: 76194131809723321
Buy it HERE

We were a bit disappointed with what Bizarro #1 had to offer us for Superman bad guys but decided to go back to the well this Villain’s Month for the Lex Luthor in a title you associate him with, Action Comics.

Heck, things ain’t been the same for old Supes since Morrison’s departure on the title, and lots of people have been given a shot at writing him. Charles Soule (27, Swamp Thing, upcoming Superman/Wonder Woman) is a rising star, and what better challenge than to take on Superman’s greatest foil, Lex Luthor?

This story focuses on Lex’s ability to ruin someone’s day, in a conniving way that exonerates him from blame, because the super genius plays his life like a game of chess, five moves ahead of everyone else. We see him get released from prison, get the reverse Nicholson-Joker face surgery to fix his scarred face, he ruins a small business, launches a space mission and suits up in his famous War Armor suit. All seemingly before lunch. The whole time, he’s trying to trap Superman, somehow but Clark’s alter-ego is no where to be found.

Soule gets to the heart of the smartest man in the New 52, in much the same way Abnett & Lanning did inAdventures of Superman #4. There’s not a moment or synapse wasted in Lex’s waking moments. He’s thinking about destroying the alien. He may well do it, too. Looks like this is a continuation of the Bizarro #1 story. Another iteration of a cloned Bizarro takes bullets from the War Armor.

Great art harkening to the clean look established by Rags Morales here from Raymond Bermudez as well.


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Art & Franco take a lighthearted all ages approach to Mike Mignola’s Dark Horse superhero and movie star Hellboy in Itty Bitty Hellboy #1, Chris Burnham curates a send-off to his team-up with Grant Morrison in Batman Incorporated Special #1, and Adventures of Superman #4 gives us some all star shorts in red shorts! Wash it down with a post-apocalyptic ComiXology Submit creator owned title Fighting Stranger Vol. #1.

WRITERS: Art Baltazar & Franco
ART: Art Baltazar
Publication Date: August 28, 2013
Price: $2.99
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
UPC: 76156823936200111
Buy it HERE

Aw, Yeah Hellboy!

You might recognize the team of Art & Franco from Tiny Titans at DC as well as the most recent Superman Family Adventures. 

Perhaps you’ve seen the DC Super-Pets on Cartoon Network.  The point is, Art & Franco have been doing kids or all ages comics for years and now they have broken away from DC to give the cute mischievous humor and art to the Hellboy Universe and the fun keeps on coming!

From our usual inside jokes, referring to running gags on the Aw Yeah Podcast to Lil’ kid versions of everyone from Johann the spirit, Liz and Hellboy this book is just pure fun. They face off against kid friendly Karl (with exclamation point on his head), Rasputin and Herman The Head in varying sizes of cardboard box forts.

The book is worth the price of admission for the Johann chicken soup gag alone. True Story!

WRITERS: Chris Burnham, Joe Keatinge, Nathan Fairburn, Mike Raicht, Dan DiDio
ART: Chris Burnham, Ethan Van Sciver, Emanuel Simeone, John Paul Leon, John Stanisci
Publication Date: August 28, 2013
Price: $4.99
Publisher: DC Comics
UPC: 76194131789200111
Buy it HERE

Chris Burnham was the artist chosen to work with Grant Morrison to close out the chapter of his Batman run known as Batman Incorporated.  Burnham filled in on issue #11, featuring Jiro and Canary, the Batman of Japan (Introduced in Batman Inc., Vol. 1 #1).   The first internationally franchised Batman character Jiro (also known as Mr. Unknown - too many names) is more Bruce Lee than Wayne and all of his adventures are fantastical weird sci-fi kung fu flick futurist tales of Tokyo.

Burnham introduces a new  organ harvester villain, Dr. Inside Out in this issue that has the best use of a capsule hotel as a story device I’ve ever seen. Let’s hope Burnham moves to the writer/artist part of the business because I think he is great at both.

This book is an anthology looking at various international Bat-Associates from El Gaucho, the somewhat controversial Night Runner, Squire, Raven Red and Man-Of Bats. You’ll never guess it, but when DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio writes a story about some wacko DC C-Lister (See OMAC, Wednesday Comic’s Metal Men), its quite good. DiDio and Ethan Van Sciver drive it home with a Bat-Cow backup that’s something to be seen to believed. Damian Wayne’s former pet, Bat-Cow, is absolutely the hero. And he has a cape. Bat-Cow wears a cape.





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The Summer of Valiant is almost over but X-O Manowar is ramping up for the fight of his life, Batman Beyond Unlimited Universe jumps ahead a year in Neo-Gotham, plus Triple Shotfavorite Mark Waid gives Indestructible Hulk the Doctor Who treatment and drops him into the Wild Wild West.

Wash it all down with 12 pages of The Fez from Roger Langridge found backstage at Babette’s Supper Club.

WRITER: Robert Venditti
ART: Lee Garbett
Publication Date: August 21, 2013
Price: $3.99
Publisher: Valiant Comics
UPC: 85899200303101611
Buy it HERE

Aric of Dacia has returned from rescuing slaves from The Vine on Planet Death, and now he’s home.

A flashback to the Visigoth Aric looks much like Thor the Mighty Avenger on the title page, being schooled by his former mentor, Gilad The Eternal Warrior.

Flash forward to present day Romania, where Aric breaks into the National Museum of History to reclaim his father’s throne and fulfill his destiny as king.

Two of the most powerful heroes in the Valiant Universe go head to head as The Eternal Warrior sees firsthand the might of the alien X-O armor. 

This series is the lead-up to the fall Unity event at Valiant that will pit Aric against Ninjak, Toyo Harada (Harbinger), The Eternal Warrior and more. Aric is on the path to reclaim not only his throne, but conquer the Earth itself, fulfilling the destiny of his people.

The Valiant crossover event looks promising with Matt Kindt at the helm, and this main book by Venditti and Garbett continues to impress with great stories and art.

WRITER: Kyle Higgins, Christos Gage
ART: Thony Silas, Iban Coello
Publication Date: August 21, 2013
Price: $3.99
Publisher: DC Comics
UPC: 76194131789200111
Buy it HERE

There are two full stories here, collecting the digital first comics Batman Beyond 2.0 and Justice League Beyond 2.0.  Both stories jump ahead one year after the reveal of the new Batgirl Beyond and the 10000 Clowns storyline. 

Kyle Higgins (Nightwing) kicks off his run on Terry McGuinness with a re-opening of The Arkham Institute, a mid-air Man-Bat fight and a ‘round the table introduction to the people most important to keeping Batman Beyond out there on the streets, Dick Grayson and Commissioner Barbara Gordon.

Where’s Bruce? He’s there, but observing. For the first time, Bruce Wayne is not in the mentor role, as reported by the writers, to shake things up a bit.

Terry and Babs tackle a murder at Arkham, with Grayson advising from his acrobatics gymnasium. This story is off to a great start and if you care to read this digitally, you will be ahead of the print readers. Kyle Higgins knows Nightwing so his interpretation of the older Grayson is fun to read.

Some of the coolest Superman stories are those in which he is weakened by Kryptonite, or otherwise de-powered.

What is happening in Beyond is that something is wonky with how Superman is processing his solar energy and he is losing control over his powers. In an ode to a Cyclops mess-up, Supes nearly takes out Aquagirl with his heat vision and is forces into exile in his Fortress of Solitude. 

Micron helps out with his physiological problems and returns Clark to one of his previous New 52 professions—a firefighter. Unable to use his Kryptonian powers, can he rescue a cat this time? It might be hard! Christos Gage is at the helm of the JLB, and the two books compliment themselves nicely and exist in the same space and time.

Bruce is the one who tells Superman to go away, of course!

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EARTH PRIME TIME: MAN OF STEELThe latest Superman (Henry Cavill) movie, Man of Steel has had a polarizing effect on fans and comic creators. While everyone was looking forward to the reboot of the franchise, and hoping for Christopher Nolan‘s (writer, with David S. Goyer) influence to give us a Superman and a Metropolis that melded with his vision of Gotham and Batman. Director Zack Snyder (Watchmen300) gave us something different. He shuffled the card deck around to move away from the 35-year-old Richard Donner and Christopher Reeve version of Superman to give us a different and unintentionally destructive Clark Kent. There are things to criticize about the movie, but as a fan of a wide swath of Superman stories throughout the years, Man of Steel sets the stage for a DC Cinematic Universe that can rival The Avengers movies across the street.

This isn’t my first review of the Man of Steel, but one written after reading other criticisms and listening to podcasts all around the Internet. Please check out Steve’s insightful critique atADAPATION NATION on this very site. I’ve seen the movie twice, once at the Boston preview with press and excited contest winners and my fellow podcasters. The second was a Sunday matinee, in 3D this past weekend.

Though the movie has been out for two weeks, I will present this column as having spoilers.

For my fresh out the cinema, and non-spoilery review, please go here.


The cinematics are specatacular in this superhero movie. Perhaps the best yet. While aping parts ofInception and The Avengers and Transformers 3 at points on the scale of big city fights, with glass and brick exploding everywhere, we are still given what we come to expect from a sci-fi movie with cutting edge CGI. Standout features of how the movie looks are the techno organic society that makes up the Krypton homeworld of Jor-El (Russell Crowe), Lara-El (Ayelet Zurer), and Zod (Michael Shannon). Costume design, including the muted but textured Superman ‘armor’ seemed spot on to me, and the Zod/Faura battle armor was a highlight of the overall design.

The bad Kryptonians are all in black, (likeTerrance Stamp and co-horts in Superman I and II, but have more than a skintight bodysuit to protect them from Superman.

All of the Kryptonian ships, armor and Phantom Projector scenes are redesigned from the ground up, and make for space scenes that rival last summer’s Prometheus and both of the recent Star Trek films.

Man of Steel - Jor-EL and Krypton

Man of Steel - Jor-EL and Krypton

A critique of the film is that this is more of a sci-fi film than it is a superhero movie. I can understand that, but laying the foundation for and growing attached to the doomed planet of Krypton makes for better Superman stories.

He is an orphan, can never find his real home, but has his adoptive parents (and Lois) on Earth to care for him.

Man of Steel - General Zod

Zod is the key to pushing this movie into hyperdrive. Those of us fans of his creepy masochistic (former) Agent Van Alden in Boardwalk Empire project similar feelings onto his evil motivations for both characters. Van Alden sneakily breaks the rules if it benefits him to do so, and this Kryptonian general is following his military objectives to continue to perpetuate the Kryptonian race at whatever cost. It is not his fault he was born this way!

A gripe I have about the marketing for this movie was that with all of the trailers leading up to the release, there was not enough Zod.

If attempting to make a darker storyline appeal to a more modern audience, why not party with ad campaigns based on the villain? The viral video campaign of Zod taking over the airwaves was pretty bad-ass and comic book-like, so kudos for that.


There are plenty of jump cut scenes with Ma (Diane Lane) and Pa Kent (Kevin Costner) dealing with a super powered son in the non-linear narrative of the film. Costner nails being a protective father and the generous, kindly and hard working man that lives up to our expectations, rivaled only by our recent memory of John Schneider in the role. This Smallville, KS main streets look more like any old small town street (NH for example) and less like the eponymous television show version. The Kent Farm looks mostly like every other version we’ve seen before but also like Superman/Batman Apocolypse, the farmhouse and barn are both destroyed in a gigantic fight. Looks like Clark has a weekend project coming up!

Smallville and Metropolis are just background in the movie, not necessarily ‘characters’.

Gotham, however, in the Nolan films is a dark lady, and Krypton is an alien world that we don’t get to know well enough!

Kent Farm - Man of Steel

Kent Farm - Man of Steel

Henry Cavill is much more of a bulked up larger than life actor than his predecessor Brandon Routh was in Superman Returns. His story after leaving Smallville leads him to be a fisherman and a wanderer, hiding his powers until the time is right.

Our traditional Superboy turned reporter storyline is ditched in favor of a Bruce Banner wandering from town to town vibe.

This is not a tack I’ve seen before, but it works here in service of the story. The Daily Planet action comes later for Clark as Lois Lane has discovered his secret identity way before he works for the Planet. Lois (Amy Adams) in this movie has her hands in the action, another shining example of how different this movie is from every other iteration. Laurence Fishburne as Perry White really worked for me, love that guy and he’s a more realistic editor than J.K. Simmons as the cartoon of J. Jonah Jameson was in the Spider-Man film series (though he was equally brilliant).

Man of Steel - Perry White

I have tried my best not to be as enthusiastic about this movie just because it stars Superman.

My first step in super-humility was paying attention to what critics are saying, but mostly what people who have had a role in Superman’s history had to say.

Mark Waid (Superman: Birthright) has both a short and long form version of his criticisms at theThrillbent Blog. Some of his Birthright elements are integrated into the dialogue and main beats of the story and he’s a ‘proud-papa’. He also says, “It’s a good science-fiction movie, but it’s very cold”.

Lois, Clark and Faora-UI - Man of Steel

Lois, Clark and Faora-UI - Man of Steel

Our pal MC Chris (see below!) didn’t like the Jesus allegory stuff (agreed) and has a great review at his tumblr. Our favorite quote (sic), “Go see it, it’s long as fuck, so if you see it at midnight when you come of theater it will be dawn. ” truth.

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MAN OF STEEL (review)

Review by Clay N Ferno


Produced by Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, 
Emma Thomas, Deborah Snyder
Screenplay by David S. Goyer
Story by Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer
Based on Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Directed by Zack Snyder
Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, 
Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Laurence Fishburne, 
Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Russell Crowe
Warner Bros. / PG-13

Superman, though not in the title, and only spoken once in the movie has returned in Man of Steel.

Starring Henry Cavill as Clark/Kal/Superman, Amy Adams as a smart and engaging Lois Lane and Michael Shannon as our villain, last seen in the comics or Superman II,General Zod of Krypton.

Kevin Costner is an earnest, sensitive and sensible Jonathan Kent, Kal’s adoptive father with Diane Lane as Martha Kent by his side. Laurence Fishburne stars as the Daily Planet’s Chief, Perry White.

The film opens on doomed planet Krypton, Russell Crowe as Jor-El helps deliver his son to Lara Lor-Van played by Ayelet Zurer. 

With a cast like this, we can’t go wrong, right?

I tend to love almost everything superhero related and this movie was no exception. After cramming in a Dark Knight trilogy over the weekend, I was well prepared for this Man of Steelscreening. To be honest, I thought the bridge would be there for me like the Timmverse versions of the characters. Batman first. Superman second. One dark. One light. Similar vibe. I was happy to be half correct in that assumption. This is a modern looking film, and perfect for our time. Snyder and Nolan are different stylistically, and I appreciate that.

Having Christopher Nolan as a producer did inform the look of Metropolis somewhat, and the collective success of Dark Knight did get the wheels turning for Superman. I’m happy this all worked out the way it did.

They tell a different sort of origin story with pacing, flashbacks and nonlinear jumps in Man of Steel. Breaking the predictable pattern was welcome, and allowed for more time spent on the story of Krypton as a planet and it’s fate. Zod and Jor-El open the movie fighting and it is this fight over the fate of Kryptonians and their last son that drives the plot. 

Krypton is an organic alien planet filled with strange rounded spaceships, elaborate birdcage steampunk costumes, and Giger-esque (or, more recently and to the point, Prometheus) settings and ships. The time we spend on Krypton is delightful, and much different from the crystalline palace of Brando’s Jor-El.

They’re doing it right with the Houses of Krypton and the General Zod-ness of Krypton just before the explosion. The “S” seal of the House of El is in tact and standing for “hope” in Kryptonian (‘borrowed’ from Mark Waid’s Superman: Birthright). Zod seems to have another pentagon-shaped sigil on his chest, not exactly a “Z”, more of a horseshoe tilted 45 degrees. Heck, I’m no translator! The Kryptonian letters are also different from that of Smallville and comics versions. Spend half a day over at if you are curious. 

It couldn’t be Zod without The Phantom Zone exile, The Phantom (Zone) Projector and some bitter allies. He’s got that in a bad-ass Faora (sorry, Ursa fans, a new/old girl is in town—and she can fight!).

On Earth, as Clark grows up he’s initially freaked out by his powers until he grows older and starts to roam the world, TV-Hulk style (or JMS: Grounded style, for the snarky). All the while he chooses to do good, save people and shun bullies. 

Ma and Pa Kent do their best to protect the young boy Clark from revealing his secret before the world is ready and there are great moments of father son bonding between Jonathan and young Clark (Dylan Sprayberry). Jonathan assures Clark that people are afraid of what they don’t understand. 

Missing Smallville pals? Don’t worry, you’ve got Pete Ross and Lana Lang keeping Clark company…and perhaps his secrets? You know Pete is always gonna keep his lips tight. Smallville varsity football kids even pick on Clark with the traditional maroon and yellow jackets. Go Crows!

Slight spoilers, though don’t expect many from this review. Lois has figured out Clark’s secret before she’s even met him through the doors of the Daily Planet. He saves her as they both are investigating an ancient Kryptonian scout ship on the North Pole (Fortress of Solitude?). It’s a different Lois, and as I think she also likes pink very much, Amy Adams brings an intelligence and powerful female to her performance. Lois is in the middle of the action and helps take down the baddies in the end. We don’t get the feeling that she’s putting herself in harms way to bait Superman’s enemies or to be saved. Lois is willing and able to fight with her wits against a Kryptonian army, and that’s respectable.

Origins of Kryptonian births, and how Krypton found Earth are revealed by Jor-El’s consciousness projection when near Kryptonian tech. Much more than the ghost head of Jor-El in the Reeve films, this Jor-El walks and talks and interacts with both Kal and Lois. He’s not alive…but his spirit or memory or virtual reality is very much a real being. This expansion of the relationship Jor-El gets to have with Kal makes it more direct than previous ‘man behind the curtain’ interactions (Smallville, Superman I, II). 

After donning the costume (sorry ladies, no red undies!) Jor-El coaches Kal on flying, or at least using his powers to the full potential. It’s tough not to recall both Spider-Man movie versions as Superman first takes flight like a klutz and crashes through a mountaintop. 

The flight? Just right. Hovers? Perfect. Floating parallel to the ground? OK, never seen that before, so you must be doing it right. Our imagination leaping from the comic page and the recollection of blue screen Christopher Reeve on a glass cube days are long gone. I would say a huge selling point to comic fans is that the powers are right. The Powers are Right. THE POWERS ARE RIGHT!  Heat vision, X-ray vision, impervious to bullets (and anything else) coupled with flight makes for great superhero moviemaking. Batman was all about the Tumbler and The Bat and Bat-Pod. Here, we can believe a man can fly…finally! Sonic BOOM!

Speaking of Spider-Man (both versions) Ma Kent and Aunt May have a lot in common. Probably hard to separate thinking about the history of other superhero movies while watching this one. Diane Lane is fantastic, and does not dote over Clark. She encourages him to reveal himself when the time is right.

Zod’s motivation is to take over the Earth and repopulate Krypton with stored DNA from a Krypton artifact. In the process he’d terraform and kill all humans. This is a standard story for a bad guy but the buildup from the opening sequence was way more satisfying compared to Nero’s motivations in the first Star Trek (2009). 

As a Superman fan, and one that doesn’t wish to spoil anything more than necessary for the purposes of this review, I have both praise and criticisms.

I applaud every effort to include major and minor fan service moments, characters, re-imaginings (Jenny Olsen instead of Jimmy, Kryptonian atmosphere affecting Kal instead of Kryptonite proper), LexCorp trucks and Wayne Enterprises artifacts. Digging deep into the history of Superman by keeping true to the main players is important and approachable. The new tone of the movie (a darker palette in set design and for mood) is a welcome update as well.

Let Donner be Donner. Let Smallville and Geoff Johns comics be those things. This is a new thing. Were this movie to take major liberties with Krypton, Kal and the Ma and Pa Kent dynamic I would be offended. Even Nolan’s Batman trilogy, a masterwork in my opinion, felt at times too based in reality. 

Man of Steel scratches the itch of a sci-fi fan in a modern film context while inserting the aesthetic of a news camera crew or reality show when appropriate. Big action here. Elaborate ships and Kryptonian armor texture the movie with fantasy. Inception and Avengers style of building destruction shows us just how real and elaborate CGI has become. Do I need to mention that the Hans Zimmer score is amazing? Though I wish I could have the movie at home now so that I can mash up the John Williams score with 10 minutes of Cavill flying scenes….for my own use!

On to the criticisms of the film, from a fan of Superman in all forms. I could have used a but more brightness on the camera settings. Though not every shot, I’m disappointed in the use of filters on some of the film processing. Hey, I’m no expert but my untrained eye was put off by the “Instagramification” of some scenes in the film.

Maybe this is the trend, a stylistic choice by Snyder, or something beyond my comprehension. To contradict an earlier statement somewhat, Nolan’s lens is more clean, crisp and cinematic. Some emotional scenes in this film were given a post production filter to break the scene visually from the action, but it took me out a bit. A small complaint on my part, really. Overall with visual effects and CGI, I still would give this movie 5 stars.

Superman doesn’t exactly stand for truth, justice, and the American way in 2013. In Man of Steel, Clark stands for what’s right, his family, and believing in himself to do good. I might be missing something in there but that’s the general idea. He’s only on his first ‘missions’ as a superhero, so he has growing up to do. My major (and for some, the make it or break it) opinion about his victory over Zod in the end had me asking these questions. What exactly does a 75 year-old hero mean in a modern context. Were curveballs thrown at the audience to see how much they can take? Is the world seen through “Instagram X-Pro II” colored glasses? I just don’t have the answer to that, except that for just 5 minutes of the film, I wanted a Christopher Reeve to be there in his red undies instead of the equally handsome Henry Cavill fighting off Zod’s newfound Earth-based uncontrolled heat vision.

This is Superman. You must see this movie in the theatre and enjoy an HD copy at home when the time comes. Just imagine the binge you can have with a Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steelmarathon. I may sidestep sleep and any social engagements to do just that again this weekend. If there is any doubt in your mind, Henry Cavill is Superman, he deserves the cape for the DC Cinematic Universe and fan drawings on Tumblr. I believe he can fly. Michael Shannon’s Zod is an assertive villain and worth watching every moment he is on the screen.

DigBoston and LeaguePodcast Comic Book Picks of the Week for June 12, 2013




It’s Superman week. Man of Steel hits theaters. Will fans be disappointed (Superman Returns) or is this the start of a beautiful friendship (Batman Begins)? May as well hit you over the head with the big two DC heroes in the picks this week. …Superman Unchained drawn by co-publisher Jim Lee and written by our man Scott Snyder. … Where do you go when the Year One story has been set in stone? Head backwards for another Scott Snyder book starring the shadow to Superman’s cape in Batman #21 - Zero Year. … Black Beetle #4 of 4 concludes this week as Colt City’s noir vigilante takes on Labyrinto. We hope to see more of Francesco Francavilla’s best-selling throwback crime story soon! … Picks this week from


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This week’s Triple Shot focuses on big dumb superhero action with more than one Daredevil and an unfinished script from Andy Diggle over at Action Comics #21 only a week before the highly anticipated release of Man of Steel.

WRITER: Lee Weeks
ART: Lee Weeks
COLOR: Lee Loughridge
Publication Date: June 5, 2013
Price: $2.99
Publisher: Marvel Comics
UPC: 75960607856100111
Buy it HERE

Marvel’s Daredevil—The Man Without Fear. The alter-ego of blind lawyer Matt Murdock can tell us a lot about what we take advantage of in life as he faces loss constantly through his life. Writers from Miller to Bendis to Diggle skewed his character to the dark brooding Hell’s Kitchen son of a prize fighter and enemy of the Kingpin since the ‘80s.

Recently, we’ve praised Mark Waid’s serious but brighter take on Daredevil in his current Eisner Award winning run.

We’ve also mentioned Daredevil: End of Days, a future tale written by a super-team of Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack best compared to Dark Knight Returns. The final issue of End of Days also ships this week, to be reviewed later when the collected edition hits.

Daredevil: Dark Knights is an anthology mini-series with more of the great Marvel creators taking a shot at our red-horned attorney. Penciler Lee Weeks returns to the title by writing and drawing the first three issues of this anthology (his is the only story in each of these books). 

Snow replaces rain in this book as the natural enemy and backdrop for this story.
As Matt awakes as a John Doe in the hospital when he awakes from his concussive state to hear a mugging in the emergency room. The hospital has become shelter for many desperate to escape the snow. Daredevil’s sensitive hearing makes him aware of a little girl’s heart transplant being delayed by a helicopter flight. He leaves to assist, but may be too late.

If this was the Daredevil book on the shelves monthly right now, it would also be winning Eisners. This is more of a classic superhero story than we are used to in comics today, but with a thick meaty story and no romantic overtures, we have ourselves a great companion limited series to the Mark Waid book, Daredevil fans will be quite pleased.

PLOT: Andy Diggle & Tony S. Daniel
SCRIPT: Tony S. Daniel
PENCILS: Tony S. Daniel
INKS: Batt & Norm Rapmund
Publication Date: June 5, 2013
Price: $3.99
Publisher: DC Comics
UPC: 76194130637702111
Buy it HERE

Movie tie in? No! We wish.

This issue is transitional between the departure of writer Andy Diggle (who left for unrevealed reasons) and our favorite Bat-Artist Tony S. Daniel taking over both the writing and art duties for the book.

I have to say, this worked to the advantage of the overall story and completion of the Hybrid story arc, started after Grant Morrison left the title after issue #18. 

Diggle and Daniel brought this to a more traditional Superman story, focusing on saving Metropolis, his relationship with Lois and Jimmy rather than the quite awesome but intentionally confusing Mr. Mxyzptlk and origin story buildup of the Morrison run.

Superstar artist Tony S. Daniel has impressive writing credits, having written Batman: Battle For The Cowl, Batman, and most recently The New 52 Detective Comics. It is no surprise that DC trusts him with the ‘other’ flagship book and character now. 

One can pick up this issue (without reading #19 or #20) to find this.

Spoiler warning!

Superman defeats big dumb Hybrid monster that consists of citizens of Metropolis. Lex Luthor suits up in The New 52 version of his Warsuit. Punching. Superman is weakened. Superman flies toward the sun to gain strength. Superman socks Luthor. Lois loses cell phone video documenting the fight. Clark returns cell phone, says he watched from sideline. Lois’ date Jon Carroll shows up. Jimmy cracks a joke. The End.

Thank you, Mr. Daniel (and Mr. Diggle) for delivering what I needed. The doctor prescribed two punches to Lex Luthor and no magic. A simple, incredibly drawn Action Comics issue practically had me in tears with it’s celebration of superhero storytelling.

WRITER / ARTIST: Erik Larsen
Publication Date: June 6, 2013
Price: $3.99
Publisher: Image Comics
Buy it HERE

The Image Revolution was just yesterday, right?

I think Erik Larsen just took over for McFarlane on Amazing Spider-Man only last year. Ugh! It has been so long, though since those halcyon days.

Now, we can follow Erik Larsen on Facebook to watch his coloring and logo design process months before the book hits the shelves.

I like to check in on Savage Dragon every once in a blue moon — if only to say, “Yup, dude’s still got it”! Issue #200 isn’t too far away at this point. 

I won’t even start on what’s happening plot-wise here, my ignorance of the Dragonverse would doom me to mockery on message boards across the world.

Dragon is being sentenced for murder, and meanwhile Daredevil (Golden Age!) and Dragon’s son Malcolm take on Golden Age villain The Claw and his flying monkey men.

Lots happens here, we’ll avoid the spoilers, but consider picking this book up to see that dude has still got it. He’s practically Jack Kirby reincarnated. Also, the cover is way cool, faux-aged like a dog eared copy of Tales of Suspense on the hopper in the barber shop!



Free Comic Book Day 2013
Whoa what a couple o’ weeks, amiright? Did you know that nearly every comic book company worth a gosh darn gives out free comic books on the first Saturday in May? That’s right, I think we can all use a little outing this Saturday. Here are some of our most anticipated free comics to pick up at your LCS (Local Comic Shop) this weekend. Don’t be greedy, take only one! We previewed the free books last year…and we’re still into comics. Who knew?

One thing is for sure, publishers look forward to unleashing their swag on this geek high holiday every year, and they always pull out all of the stops. Free Comic Book Day means many different things to many different people. The day was brainstormed into being in 2001, and came to be the following year in 2002 to coincide with the release of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. This year’s movie of course is Iron Man 3, opening Friday.


The manifesto is three parts simple, and found on the font of knowledge, Wikipedia:

To introduce everyone to the joys of reading comics.
To call back former comic book readers.
To thank current comic book buyers for their continued support.

Many stores have signings, candy, costume contests and more to celebrate the day, so if you are like us (which you aren’t), you’ll be hopping on your bike or the T on a virtual tour of the city, high-fiving your favorite shop owners, buying some trades and collecting an issue of all of your favorite free comics. Clay’s favorite part of this weekend is that even 25-cent bins are sometimes cleared out gratis. LeaguePodcast likes deals!