Posted: February 22nd, 2013 | Author: Max Romero | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Superman, we have issues | 3 Comments »
Superman is boring.
Ask any comic book fan – or any average person, for that matter – and chances are they’ll tell you they don’t think much of the Man of Steel. There might be some nostalgiac fondness for the character, but most people gravitate toward the dark and brooding Batman, who has come to personify bad-assery at DC Comics in the same indomitable way Wolverine has at Marvel.
Superman is dull. He’s a Boy Scout. He’s too powerful. He’s married. Clark is a marshmallow. He is (as so many girls told me in high school and college) too nice. And because of that, when people think about Superman (if they think about him at all), it’s often with something approaching disdain.
Which makes it all the more interesting that while people may not give much thought to Superman, EVERYONE still has an opinion about him. And while his “coolness” or his relevance or his appeal might be called into question, most people have very clear ideas about what Superman is and what he isn’t, as well as what ideals the character represents. As I’ve mentioned before, Superman is a personification of humanity’s best qualities, a character who’s greatest ability is the power to inspire.
So it really shouldn’t have been a surprise that when DC announced it hired Orson Scott Card to write the first story for the publisher’s new, digital-first issue of Adventures of Superman, people lost their shit. Card, the acclaimed writer of the sci-fi classic Ender’s Game, has spent the last few years building a well-deserved reputation for being a virulently homophobic ass. Beyond the usual, disgusting rhetoric one might expect, Card also sits on the board for the National Organization for Marriage – essentially a hate-group that wants to promote marriage for everyone but gay folks. Most notoriously, Card was quoted as saying that, if the United States government passed any legislation allowing marriage for gay couples, he ” … will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage …”
Card’s hate speech, his active participation in an effort to restrict and deny the rights of fellow citizens – of fellow human beings – is well-documented. And he’s got every right to it. We cannot rattle our sabers in the fight for free speech and then try to squash it when someone says something horrible and poisonous. Card is a homophobic ass, and he’s got the freedom to be a homophobic ass. And by the same token, DC can hire anyone they want, even if he or she is a homophobic ass. That is their right, as well.
Luckily, it is my right (and the right of anyone who disagrees with what is, let’s face it, a terrible hiring decision by DC) to refuse to buy anything written by Card. We can spend – or not spend – our money and time however we choose. Personally, I choose not to support something written by someone whose views are so destructive and hateful, and which I find repugnant. I won’t be buying the first couple of issues of Adventures of Superman when it launches in April. I’d encourage other comic book fans to do the same. It’s a small statement, and one DC will no doubt ignore the way they’ve ignored a growing petition and public outcry, but it’s one I feel good about.
And for the record, it’s not censorship, no matter what reactionary Card apologists say. No one is saying DC can’t publish the comic, or that anyone can’t buy it. Refusing to buy it – or sell it, as some comic book stores have said they’ll do – doesn’t equal censorship. It’s a consumer choice, and I’ll be choosing to spend my money elsewhere. Will I start picking up issues once Card is off the book? Maybe. Will I buy a print collection that includes Card’s story? No. Again, it’s about choice, and I choose not to support the work of a bigoted hate-monger.
Because, as others have noted, Superman isn’t about hate. Truth. Justice. An “American Way” that reflects fairness, opportunity and the pursuit of happiness for all. That’s what Superman is about.
And that’s something everyone knows.
Some friends of mine have also spoken out on this, and I’d encourage you to take the time to read what they’ve got to say. Go check out:
The Signal Watch
A spectacular strip at The Rack
And Wired also had a good, all-emcompassing piece on the Card controversy.)
Posted: February 20th, 2013 | Author: Max Romero | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Adventures in Sound, Jack Cole, Plastic Man | No Comments »
Panel from Police Comics #102
Artist/writer: Jack Cole
Posted: February 18th, 2013 | Author: Max Romero | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Daily Planet, Lex Luthor, Perry White | No Comments »
Happy President’s Day, everyone! Gosh, I can remember the day it finally happened, when someone — in spite of the burden of history and a society that wanted only to see an unfairly perpetuated stereotype — finally reached this country’s highest office through sheer force of will and personality. At last, the United States would be taking an important step forward toward an era of reason, lifting everyone up even in the face of those who would look down on us from high above.
I’m talking, of course, about Lex Luthor.
As president Luthor rebuilt earthquake- (and vigilante-) torn Gotham in six months, and coordinated the counter-offensive against the alien Imperiex. The fact that he was forced from office after only three years by a gang of so-called “heroes” on trumped-up charges should only give more impetus to putting Lex back in the White House!
After all, don’t we all remember that historic and jubilant night when the polls closed and it became official? Can you remember the hope, the joy that washed over this country when the election results were announced?
Damn liberal media.
Posted: February 13th, 2013 | Author: Max Romero | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Clark Kent | 3 Comments »
In honor of Superman’s often overlooked and even more maligned alter ego, I’m bringing back a semi-regular feature that first made an appearance over at the older version of this blog — Clark Kent, Mild-Mannered Reporter! I love the Clark character for a bunch of different reasons, which I briefly explained when this series premiered, and which I’m reprinting here as originally posted.
I don’t want to get into a whole “thing” here, but let me just address the chicken-and-egg question people like to ask when it comes to Clark Kent and Superman; Clark was first.
You’re own opinion might vary, of course, and that’s fine. As long as you don’t mind being wrong, wrong, wrong. Look, I know there are some who point out (factually, as much as you can be where a fictional character with a malleable origin is concerned) that Clark was originally Kal-El, last son of Krypton and a nigh-indestructible alien since he crash-landed on Earth as a baby. I agree.
But! This isn’t information little Kal grew up with. As far as he was concerned he was Clark, a kid growing up in Kansas with Ma and Pa Kent and a growing number of freaky powers that went way beyond puberty. For as long as he could remember, he was Clark. A boy, then a man, with powers far beyond those of mortal men, sure — but still Clark.
Sure, Clark hams it up with the meek milquetoast act. He’s got to if he wants to deflect any suspicion he’s Superman. And c’mon, with all those “coincidences” he needs all the cover he can take. But the point is, it is an act. Not the identity of “Clark;” again, that’s who he is. The bumbling, the absent-mindedness, the queasy stomach … that’s the act.
Something to remember is that Clark might come across as a marshmallow (especially depending on whoever the writer might be), but he’s a highly competent S.O.B. He’s a respected novelist, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and the only real competition Lois Lane has in the newsroom. And he’s done all that as himself. As Clark.
His role and his responsibilities as Superman are essentially two things — his duty, and his job. It’s his job in the same way a person might be a firefighter or a cop, people who put their lives on the line in the name of the greater good, simply because it’s the right thing to do. Being Superman just happens to be a job he can do, and do better than anyone else. The fact that he wants to do it comes from his sense of duty … and that’s from being a farmboy who was raised with solid values, a sense of right and wrong, and an unerring dedication to truth and fairness and the idea that there is always hope. These oh-so-human values — not the flying or the heat-vision or sheer planet-moving power — these are what make Superman a hero.
And that is all Clark.
Posted: February 10th, 2013 | Author: Max Romero | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Small Sundays | No Comments »
Captain James T. Kirk
Acquired: Gift (2009)
Posted: February 9th, 2013 | Author: Max Romero | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Nerrrrrrd | No Comments »
One of the things I love about living in Austin is the place is FULL of nerds — and they’re loud, they’re proud, and they drive like leaves on the wind.
Posted: February 8th, 2013 | Author: Max Romero | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
Back in another life I used to work in the newsroom of a daily paper, and I’m happy to say Curt Swan and Al Williamson got the look of one pretty dead-on in this great picture of the Daily Planet. Well, except that everyone is smiling and looks as if they got more than four hours of sleep. (Everyone but Perry White, that is, because he’s a REAL newspaper man, dammit!)
This page was originally published in Who’s Who in the DC Universe #6, and I blatantly yanked it from the Tumblr site for the Fire and Water Podcast. The podcast is co-hosted by friend of the Post Rob Kelly (also of The Aquaman Shrine) and Shag (Firestorm Fan); the show is well worth following, so be sure to check it out.
Another reason I love this page? The first four paragraphs are just pure, uncut crazy.
Posted: February 7th, 2013 | Author: Max Romero | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: independent, small press | No Comments »
“Vic Boone: Malfunction Murder,” art by Geoffo
Vic Boone is everything I miss about comics.
For a while now, I’ve found myself — let’s say, “disillusioned” — with the books coming from the Big Two. It’s not as if DC and Marvel aren’t producing some good comics, or even books I’m interested in. But for some reason (all the “universe-changing” events, reboots, crossovers, deaths and resurrections, with none of the fun, maybe?) I just can’t seem to get excited about any of it. And I’ve got to admit, I was beginning to think I was burned out on comics altogether.
Luckily, it also seems to be high times for the small press and independent publishers, and Vic Boone is one title at the top of the list.
Or actually, it’s a book that should be at the top of the list. Criminally, the title has been largely overlooked by the comic-reading crowd, in spite of being named an IGN Editor’s Choice, a Best of 2011 and a winner of Stumptown Comic Fest’s Reader’s Choice Award. Those are accolades creator and writer Shawn Aldridge — along with artists including Geoffo, Jeff Winstead, and Jason Copland (of Kill All Monsters) — has earned the hard way; by being that good. Vic Boone is crazy in the best sense of the word, melting down crime noir, science fiction and smart, tough-guy banter and rebuilding it into something that powers smoothly down a road of its own making.
At once familiar but original enough to seem new, Vic Boone is a private detective making his way through a retro-futuristic world filled with dangerous dames, human flies, robot bartenders, gorilla security guards and shadowy men with bad intent. Aldridge’s tight script-writing keeps things moving, developing the plot and dropping clues for the reader without feeling rushed or shallow. He also has a well-practiced ear for dialogue — the character of Boone could easily be smarmy or grating, but instead comes across as a classically charming rogue with a troubled history masked behind bravado and wisecracks. The art varies with the artist, but is generally well-suited to the tone of the comic or a particular story. For example, Geoffo — the artist for Vic Boone: Malfunction Murder — has a cartoony but expressive style that highlights the humor hinted at in the script without losing any of the necessary brawniness. The line work looks simple at first glance, but delivers weight and detail.
Do yourself a favor and read the first issue of Vic Boone: Malfunction Murder for free right here, and then buy the first and second issues from 215Ink. You can even read the Vic Boone: Sea of Trouble short released for Free Comic Book Day 2012 and boggle at Copland’s fantastic Tentacle-Eye Monster, which is a thing of beauty. Go on — support a great series, and support independent comics!