Superman: The Legacy // by DC Comics (1938 and Beyond)
This is an old one that I wanted to share with you guys again…
Today I want to talk about Superman.
Superman was the groundbreaking guy of a phenomenon that still exist to this day. He’s the first Superhero. He was created as work for hire by Jerry Sieguel and Joe Shuster for National Publications in the year of 1936. The preposterous image of a man wearing a unitard and a cape lifting a car over his head opened the imagination of millions of kids in those days, and he became a worldwide phenomenon. He became so profitable that DC Comics asked his creators to follow suit on their creations in the following years and thus was born the superhero age. The imagination of these men took Superman to places that most real life adventurers can just dream of and his super powers got him in situations ranging from dangerous to plain silly. Superman is the hero you can count that will always be present no matter how hard things get in comic books. His symbol is as recognizable as Mickey Mouse ears and The Coca-Cola logo. What he stands for is only the pinnacle of what every human being should be. Superman is a decent man. In this time and age some might say that Superman has become dated, but I profoundly digress. I believe Superman has evolved, even in the time when the most hardcore fans left him he has managed to be up and front in the DC Universe. From a man who used to catch bank robbers, now our hero faces interplanetary challenges and the afflictions of common society like corrupted politicians and shady multinationals and government back-staged deals.
Superman however still has so much history to be told, since I believe that every creator who truly loves him should take a crack at him, and leave his mark for the generation they live in. Comic wise he has an ultimate nemesis, he has a woman he cares for (and for a time he was married to her). But he need to be defined for today audiences. The trick is not a gimmick, it’s not a new costume, or a new hairdo, or the continuous undoing of his history to replace it with a new one. Superman just need people who cares for him enough to say good stories. No matter if they are set in current continuity or as an Elseworld (although some of his best tales are from the latter). It’s easy to dismiss the guy who can do anything, but even the man of Steel can feel and cry. Those of us who read the comics know that Superman cares for loved ones, he feels a sense of loss when they die, we even have seen him step on the gray area of morality and have self doubts about what he should do. Are these not humans traits? The more human they make this alien, the more appealing he is, if you ask me!
I care for Superman. I want him to be a representative icon again. In these dark times, his colors and optimism could bring at least a little spark of hope when we escape from reality and read comic books. In the end, that’s how I think he could help a world of hard realities. Don’t you think?
Administrator Of Comics Forever.
X-Men: The First Seven Issues // artwork by Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Joe Rosas (1991)
In the early 90’s the creative team of Chris Claremont and Jim Lee were such heavy hitters and an easy sell in the main Uncanny X-Men book as the on-off team that they were given a solo book for both of them. X-Men #1 was the single best selling comic book for many years selling 3 million copies on release, no comic book has reached that kind of numbers in present day. As good as the book was it had his fair share of troubles: Chris Claremont, the longtime X-Men writer ended his 16 year stint on the characters over creative differences with Jim Lee and Bob Harras with issue #3. His former collaborator John Byrne took over writing duties for four issues, until Fabian Nicieza and Scott Lobdell took over the book full time. Jim Lee himself left the book after issue #11 prompting the editors to take on an array of art clones to handle the book until they settled on Andy Kubert.
Marvel Now: Joe Quesada Sketch Covers // artwork by Joe Quesada (2012)
Marvel Comics former Editor In Chief is taking the pencil again to grace six variant covers for the first launch books in the “Marvel Now” revamp. Here is his take on Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Sue Richards of The Fantastic Four, The Indestructible Hulk and Jean Grey from The X-Men.
Marvel Comics: Secret Invasion // artwork by Gabriel Del’Otto (2008)
Through 2007 and for most of 2008 Marvel comics continuity moved forward shaping this event. A direct follow up to “Civil War” the series was handled under the premise that some of Marvel’s key characters had been replaced by Skrulls over the years in anticipation to a massive invasion as retaliation to the challenge set by The Illuminati, a group of Marvel’s brightest and finest who believed themselves with the right to handle human destiny. The event had one of the most cared and subtle set-ups in comic history, but the pay-off was a big letdown for most fans. We still got graced with some amazing artwork by the hand of artist Gabriel Dell’Otto though!
“Spider-Men” Cover Gallery // artwork by Jimmy Cheung and Justin Sponsor (2012)
What is this trend of having a solid artist become so really good that he’s just relegated to do cover art of somebody else’s books instead of doing interior artwork?
Superman: For All Seasons // artwork by Tim Sale and Bjarne Hansen (1998)
Cover art for the four issues in the series and the Trade paperback. A true hero it’s defined by his actions and choices. Superman is not a natural from this planet but he was brought up by human folks and he made his living among them. This great series defines the Man Of Steel in the four seasons of the year seen by those who love and hate him. We get to see how Pa Kent realizes that his son is meant for bigger and better things in Spring. How Lois struggles with her feelings for a man who shouldn’t exist in Summer. How Lex Luthor deals with the first man to ever face him without fear in Fall and how Lana Lang realizes that Clark was never meant to have the normal life she desires so much, as he’s meant to watch over every living being in the world. A great read for everyone who doesn’t know the character. A masterpiece for every Superman fan.
Robocop: The Marvel Comics Years // artwork by Lee Sullivan and Steve White (1989)
At the very end of the 80’s Robocop was a hot property with a solid first film out and a second on his way. Most companies jumped at the opportunity to capitalize on the brand despise the heavy violence displayed by the main character. Marvel Comics launched a comic series based on the adventures of Murphy with the blessing of Orion Pictures. The comic was in the same tune of the movies, although it displayed a Robocop much more tech-savvy, agile, lethal and with a heavy moral compass that made him feel guilt over his actions. Despise being a good read the series lasted only 23 issues, originally though to link Robocop 2 and 3. These tales were later cast out of the actual continuity of the character because it contradicted too much what was set as canon on film. These days Dynamite Comics hold the license of the characters and they release a comic series almost each year.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Origins // artwork by Steve Ditko (1963)
What would you give to be 50 and have the kind of life Peter Parker has? sure you may be bound for a mental breakdown if everything that has happened to this guy on the course of 50 years happened to you, but the truth is that after all this time, Spider-Man still feels fresh and akin to times. He’s one of the greatest expectations as the ultimate job for more than one comic professional. But it all started here back in 1963. In a magazine called “Amazing Fantasy” that was set for cancellation, his last number (#15) featuring a tale of six pages in which the origin of Spider-Man was explained. Just a couple of months later and due to the overwhelming response to such a character we received “Amazing Spider-Man”. Those were the days when Stan Lee and Steve Ditko brought this young man to life with the problems that every teen in those days had to face. He was the first hero showcased as the everyman. After all these years, Peter struggles just to get what we all want in the real world: Some happiness and the will to overcome his guilt over his mistakes. Happy 50th Anniversary Spider-Man!