Posts Tagged ‘dc comics’

Gangway for The Big Cheese, aka .... Shazam?

For those that have been following my thoughts and opinions, you already know how much I LOATHE the new DC Universe since its big revamp in September 2011, which I refer to as the DCnU. If you are not already aware of this, then I will tell you: I AM NOT A FAN OF THE DCnU! Getting the idea? Why, you may ask, do I show such disdain for it? It still has the characters more or less, right? It’s still DC, right? NO… It’s really not. I, and many other comic fans the world over, are continuity freaks. We don’t like change, even a little bit of change. Sure, it can be argued that a little change is good, so that things keep fresh and the stories never get stale. But if you take a fresh bag of ketchup chips, wipe off the ketchup powder, and add vinegar to it instead, are the chips still fresh? Sure, but do they taste good? Not if you like ketchup. Ketchup chips are no longer ketchup chips when you take away the things that make them ketchup, and add something else. DC is no longer DC when you strip it of some things that make it what it is, and add other things that it is not. It’s something else entirely.

Superman’s famous red underwear worn over his pants, the first members of the Justice League, the history of the Justice Society, Wonder Woman’s golden features. These are all things that matter (if only a little) to many fans, but have all been stripped away to make room for “new readers” and “boosted sales”. Today, another DC mainstay has fallen casualty to this senseless war on our treasured stories. Billy Batson, the keeper of the power of Shazam, will now OFFICIALLY be called Shazam, dropping the Captain Marvel name completely from here on out.

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He's the goddamn.. oh.. wait..

Revered by many, criticized by more, and read by all. This seems to be the fate of one man that’s been called everything from one of modern comics’ forefathers, to a fear-mongering mad man. Despite what many may think of Frank Miller, it must be recognized that his work has made a serious impact on the way we see comics today, many of his writings still reverberating consequences decades after being put to paper.

Not only does he write comics, but he also claims the title of artist for many of his works. How many people in the industry can say this? A handful, at best, and none with the same level of exposure as Miller. Two of his pieces have gone on to become major motion pictures (300 and Sin City), and one was made into an animated feature length movie (Batman: Year One). His work on such already developed characters as Batman and Daredevil have taken the characters to lengths never before seen in comics, for better or worst.

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For you comic-based tv program fans out there, there’s a lot of buzz in the air today. The CW, the network that has brought us such delights as Birds of Prey, Supernatural, and Smallville, has announced that they are in negotiations for a new DC-inspired tv series. This news has tickled my fancy, in particular, because it involves one of my favorite characters of all time. Can you guess who he is? Here’s some hints:

  • He is a VERY wealthy man
  • He is from a city that exists only in the DC Universe
  • He is 100% human, with no special powers
  • He is incredibly skilled, and a master fighter in most known fighting styles
  • He is a purported womanizer
  • He’s had multiple sidekicks, his first having been adopted as his ward
  • He’s been a member of both the Justice League and the Outsiders

Have you guessed? Of course you have! It is none other than…. (more…)

For those of you that have been following the Comic News, you know that I cover largely DC Comics topics and issues. This is because for the last little while, DC has been the publisher making all the big splashes in our news scopes. Further to that, many of you may recall that I do not think very highly of the decision to relaunch the DC Universe to the DCnU. Today, via their DC Source Blog, they have announced another big change: 6 series are being concluded (fancy talk for canceled) and 6 series are getting a chance at life. DC’s series that are walking up to the chopping block after their respective 8th issues in April are as follows:

  • Blackhawks
  • Hawk and Dove
  • Men of War
  • Mister Terrific
  • O.M.A.C.
  • Static Shock
CANCELED

The DCnU's first round of Canceled Titles...

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As many of you now know, DC Comics has recently announced that they will be raising their page-count for their “Batman” and “Detective Comics” books, from 32 pages to 40 pages. This would be great news, if not for the fact that this page-increase will also have a price-increase attached to it. Both books will now be joining select other DC books at the $3.99 price bracket. This is a significant increase, if one compares that extra dollar against their monthly spending. The news has also irked many fans, who have been expressing their discontent over the inter-webs, as some of you may recall DC’s 2011 campaign claiming “Drawing the line at $2.99”. Obviously this campaign referred to the typical 32-page books, leaving room to wiggle in price increases when opportunities arose to do so. However, I digress, as I do not want the price-increase to be the real news here (as much as I ant it to be).

Now, DC Comics has made a second announcement on the page increase, stating that issue # 8 of Batman will be using those extra pages as a back up story, further explaining The Court of Owls. According to ComicVine.com’s write-up, “The Court of Owls is a secret organization centuries old with immense power and influence embedded into the very architecture and history of Gotham City.” DC has said that these back ups will explore the Court’s secret history, and its relationship with Gotham and its favorite family, The Wayne’s.
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Today is the birthday of one Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson (January 4, 1890 – January 1, 1968). The name may not mean much to many of you out there. To many, he would just seem to be another long dead American military man. Lord knows that American military history has more names than any one person could ever remember. What sets Major Wheeler-Nicholson apart is not his military record, or even his descendants’ celebrity status (his granddaughter, Dana, is a well known 80’s/90’s actress). No, what sets this Major apart is a company he started in 1934.

Noticing a lack of originality in the magazine/print entertainment world, Wheeler-Nicholson put out a tabloid sized magazine called New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine. This publication would make history, as the first of its kind to collect all original material, and to include advertising (anyone who ever bought X-Ray glasses or those god-awful sea monkey should know the significance of this move). This would mark the birth of National Allied Publications. Though Wheeler-Nicholson himself would not stay with the publication, National Allied Publications would go on to absorb several publishing companies and characters over the years, and are still with us today. Now known as DC Comics, named after Detective Comics (the title that birthed such heroes as Batman, Martian Manhunter, the Boy Commandos, and the Crimson Avenger), the company is now one of the two big comic publishing companies in the business.

In honour of this significant contribution Major Wheeler-Nicholson has made to the world of comic books (and to all geeks in every discipline), I am presenting my top 5 military-supporting comic covers. Love them or hate them, it’s hard to argue with the support that comic books showed for the military during the war. Even with the Major’s own checkered past with the military, it’s clear that it heavily influenced his future career.
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