It’s interesting, how DC chose to deal with their failed “New 52” problem and their return to the “real” DC Universe, and with no character have things become more interesting—I won’t say it is anything more than “interesting” until later, as it’s too early to tell just yet whether the storyline will turn out awesome or mediocre—than with Superman. Supes is sort of a microcosm of the entire DC Universe right now. And a litmus test. If it works with their flagship character—yes, Superman even outranks Batman in this regard—then it MIGHT work for the entire Universe.

The New 52 Superman is dead. The Superman from the real DC Universe has stepped back into the red boots as his replacement, but so has Lex Luthor, who is busy playing Superman. And somehow the Clark Kent who was the New 52 Superman is still alive, or so it seems. So we’ve got a dead Superman, a live Superman, an imposter Superman, and TWO Clark Kents. It’s all very…interesting. My only complaint so far is that Superman—the original, the “real” one—now has a kid. Giving him a kid was a bad move when they tried it in the movies (SUPERMAN RETURNS) and I fear the little brat will be an albatross around the creators’ necks in the comics, as well. I could go off the kid, as the Brits would say. But the rest of it has well and truly snagged my—wait for it—interest. Has it snagged yours?

I was, and still am, a little skeptical that Marvel’s latest company-wide mega-event can equal the heights reached by its predecessor. The original CIVIL WAR was so steeped in political metaphor, so evocative of what was going on in the mundane “real” world in which we all live. It’s kinda like Woodstock, and why there will never be another one. (They tried, you may recall, but ended up with nothing of the sort akin to the 1969 event.) Woodstock can’t exist outside the late 60s, sans the Hippie counterculture, sans Vietnam. Likewise, CIVIL WAR would not and could not resonate so strongly without the post 9-11 fears of government overreach, without the Patriot Act. Even the readers who were children at the time couldn’t miss the symbolism of that story. CIVIL WAR II lacks that kind of gravitas and real-world impetus. Such things cannot be created, only capitalized upon.

This being said, there is no reason why CIVIL WAR II can’t be a damn fine comic story all on its own, a distinct animal, yes, but still raising some legitimate, thought-provoking questions. While the first issue of the miniseries lacked the visceral stomach-punch power it could have had due to the reveal in the FCBD release that the two characters being killed off were War Machine and She-Hulk (Why didn’t Marvel either wait until the first issue of the series to show this, or else, and this would have been a more successful strategy, I think, make the entire first issue of the series the FCBD offering? This last would SURELY have brought new readers back for the successive issues.) it still managed to be emotionally charged and profound. Credit to writer Brian Michael Bendis for stoking the fires. Bring on issue #2!

And somebody will probably get their knickers in a twist because of the title of this article, too, thinking it disparages the blacklivesmatter movement. I was originally going to title this post bluelivesmatter, but then realized that this phrase coupled with a pound sign already exists, as part of the pro-police reactionary movement AGAINST the black lives one—as if one has to choose between supporting police officers and standing up for the rights of minorities unfairly treated by some lousy cops and all the millions of GOOD policemen and women who are doing their duty. Political correctness sucks.

Does this image of Apocalypse strangling Mystique promote domestic violence? Glorify it, or at the least condone it? Rose McGowan thinks so, and so do quite a few others with too much time and not enough real-world problems on their hands. As would be expected, the studio caved, and apologized. The only legitimate argument I’ve heard from those opposing the poster is that it could “trigger” traumatic memories in women who have suffered abuse. Then again, I have heard from domestic violence survivors who pointed out that ANYTHING is a potential trigger and that society is not responsible for safeguarding against everything, since this last is not possible. My take on it is this: He’s the BAD GUY. If there was any suggestion of any sort that it was a GOOD thing for him to be choking Mystique, then I’d be up in arms, too. There isn’t. Also, they’re BLUE. They’re NOT HUMAN. Rose, take a seat. The world has real concerns to deal with.


So many potential topics to discuss this week. The new X-Men movie (A-, by the way), and how its successful but hardly robust performance at the weekend box office might offer a glimmer of hope for fans who want to see Disney and Fox reach some kind of agreement in regards to sharing the characters, the way Disney and Sony are now doing with Spider-Man. Or the ridiculousness of Marvel’s making Captain America a secret Hydra agent. Or the even more ridiculous desire on the part of some fans to turn him gay. Maybe I’ll comment on one or more of these next week. Right now, though, I want to talk about DC. Specifically, the $2.99 double-sized kickoff to the REBIRTH event. You know that quote from Shakespeare, “Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it”? I’m sure you’ve heard it, even if you didn’t know it was from Shakespeare. Well, a similar thing could be said about DC. Never was the New 52 so grand as it is now at its unraveling.

SPOLIER ALERT: Stop reading now if you haven’t read the comic yet, and if you’ve managed against the odds to avoid all the online discussions of it thus far. It was a stroke of genius to lay the blame for the whole failed experiment of the revamp at the feet of an outside antagonist “more powerful than Darkseid,” turning what was essentially a misstep by DC’s powers-that-be into a hell of a plot point. And finding out that the whole thing was orchestrated by the WATCHMEN’s Dr. Manhattan?! I admit, when Batman dug that blood-spotted smiley face pin out of the Batcave wall, my mouth fell open. This has the potential to be GOOD…

I’m a little behind on this one, but I was out of town on that legendary first Saturday in May, I didn’t get to make it to the comic shop till just last week to pick up my stuff, including the FCBD offerings (my comic retailer of choice is located some thirty miles from my place of residence, so I can’t just drop by on a whim, or justify the gasoline expenditure on a comics run if I don’t have some other business to attend to in the same neck of the woods), and I only got around to actually reading any of those offerings yesterday. Not that they aren’t a priority; I’ve just been busy. Writing articles before pleasure, right? That doesn’t mean I wasn’t looking forward to digging into the funnybooks first chance that presented itself. Was it worth the wait? Did the selections meet or exceed my expectations, or did they leave me disappointed?

I only grabbed the books being offered by Marvel and DC this year, with particular interest being paid to the Marvel books, as they set the stage for the next big Marvel “event” story, CIVIL WAR 2. I was a tad disappointed that DC didn’t do more to promote their own “event,” the REBIRTH going on over there this summer. As for Marvel, though, I was suitably wowed. THIS, I said to myself, is how you do FCBD right! Did you get YOUR free comic book this year?

A few years ago, I wrote and directed a play entitled THE AXE, a Horror/Comedy with a strong female lead and a heavy feminist bent. One of the nicest compliments I received afterwards was from an older lady who told me, “I can’t believe that was written by a MAN!” If it is possible, then, for a heterosexual male to be a feminist, I guess I am one. So it is as a feminist I want to speak to the ladies out there, the female geeks, who are upset over the “objectification” of Harley Quinn. I know that scene in the trailer where Harley’s bending over and the camera all but zooms-in on her ass has got plenty of you steamed. Unfortunately, the sexual objectification of women has been going on for as long as there have been women, and men to lust after them.

All those Renaissance paintings of nude females? That’s objectification. Hell, when that Cro-Magnon was carving the Venus of Willendorf, HE was objectifying the female body! Men are ALWAYS going to look at women as sex objects. It’s simple biological programming. As I have said before, all men are pigs. Some are just domesticated and make nice pets. And just because we like looking at Harley in hotpants doesn’t mean we can’t also respect her. If, that is, she deserved respect. Since she’s a serial killer, she probably doesn’t. Now Black Widow on the other hand, in her skintight black leather… What was I saying?


And here, brothers and sisters, is tangible proof, not that anyone should need any by this point, that you should never accept ANYthing you read on the Internet at face value. Anything can be spun in just the right way to make it say, or seem to say, whatever the “poster” wants it to say. In a world where everything is clickbait and there is no moral compunction, at all, towards honesty or even journalistic integrity, even from the “professional” news sites, you need much more than a grain of salt to take with your daily dosage of “news” or “facts.” Check out this article at the link below. It announces that CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR opened to lower numbers than did BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, and goes on to extrapolate from that how CIVIL WAR was destined to be a failure. This was on Friday last.

Was the article correct? CIVIL WAR had the fifth biggest opening in box office history, the biggest by far of any movie this year, bigger than IRON MAN 3, way bigger than the previous two Captain America films, and is tracking to be the first movie this year to top the billion dollar mark during its theatrical run, something few films EVER manage, so what do you think? What’s the lesson to be learned from this? Numbers don’t lie, but numbers can be MADE to lie. Or, to put it another way, the spin masters are so insidious that they can shovel bullshit with such effectiveness that only the truly astute will even smell it. Or, in more succinct terms, if it’s on the Internet, it’s probably a lie.

Now somebody tell me again how BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN was a box office “failure” or all the ways in which the new take on Spider-Man gets it wrong.


Let me be clear: I am not calling DC bigwig editor Eddie Berganza a pervert. I do not know the man and have never worked with him, nor do I know personally anyone else who has or does. I’ve never even met him. What I am reporting here is fact, namely that OTHER people have and are calling him a pervert. Until such time as proof is offered, and thus far none has been, at all, these allegations must remain classified as rumors only. I am sharpening no personal axes here for use on Mr. Berganza’s neck. I have no stake in this one, or steak, either, as no one involved is offering to buy me dinner. Got it? Good. Proceed.

It is fact that there are rumors, and a growing number of them, that accuse Eddie Berganza of sexual harassment. The recent move by DC to fire popular VERTIGO overseer Shelly Bond has had unforeseen consequences—although perhaps DC should have foreseen them; if the rumors are true, the company had to know they were sitting on a pressure cooker and anything provocative could blow the lid off the whole thing. The result is that now creators and others working with the company are naming names, and the name they keep mentioning is Berganza. Why fire Bond, they collectively ask, but keep Berganza, when the guy’s a notorious lecher? Again, these are only rumors. But if Berganza IS a repeat-offender pervert, grabbing, groping, and harassing female employees, why IS he still there? Superman would not approve.


I’m started to get excited about Marvel Comics again. Finding the ALLNEW! ALL DIFFERENT! Version(s) of the Avengers lackluster compared to the epic, hell, downright TITANIC storyline concocted by Jonathan Hickman, which led up to the mega-event SECRET WARS and the creation of a new Marvel Universe, I stuck with stalwart offerings like INVINCIBLE IRON MAN, written by Brian Michael Bendis, and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN by Dan Slott. Gone were the days, I feared, of the company wide “event” events that so captivated me in years past, stories like SIEGE, WORLD WAR HULK, and SECRET INVASION. I simply didn’t, and don’t, care about Marvel’s new batch of teenybopper superheroes like Ms. Marvel and Miles NOT Spider-Man Morales. To me, Marvel was sacrificing the kind of fare preferred by its long-term readers to try to woo new, younger ones—and to be politically correct. (When the latter comprises the primary reason for doing ANYthing the results usually range from disappointing to disastrous.)

Now here comes CIVIL WAR 2, one of those across-the-board “event” events like I have so enjoyed. And it’s written by Bendis, the same guy who spearheaded so many of those previous high-concept event-events (how about “E-vents”?). I know the teenyboppers will play a part in it. I can tolerate them, if we get enough of that old-school Marvel magic in the process.


Here is some news to get excited about. ROM is returning to the world of comics. That is, if you were a comic book-reading kid in the 80s, like I was, it’s a cause to get excited. ROM was a fixture in the Marvel Comics universe, running from December of 1979 (I remember buying that first issue off the newsstand at the local convenience store) to February of 1986, a solid stretch of seven years and 75 issues. None too shabby considering the comic should have never worked at all. Based on an obscure toy robot from Parker Brothers, a toy that didn’t sell worth a flip, to be honest, how could the adventures of this “Spaceknight” chronicled in the funny books possibly succeed? That it DID succeed can be attributed to the stellar work (you see what I did, there?) of writer Bill Mantlo and artist Sal Buscema. It was, simply put, a damn good comic book.

While I am thrilled to see ROM returning, I am disappointed that he will no longer be a Marvel property; the new series will be published by IDW. This means that everything from the Marvel series will have to be resigned to a “parallel universe” and any attempts to revisit some of those stories will have to be heavily altered. Likewise none of the characters from the earlier series will appear in the new one, save for ROM himself.Bummer.