February 1st, 2017  Posted at   News of Interest
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Visitors to the site likely have noticed there hasn’t been new content in quite some time. The reasons for this are many and varied, but suffice to say, right now, it just isn’t in the cards for the blog to be as active as it once was. However, when and if things align down the road, I hope to return to the many podcast and blog projects I’ve been a part of, including (but not limited to) Superman & Batman, Supergirl Mondays and The Thrilling Adventures of Superman.

In the meantime, I invite you to take a look at a few other small projects I’m involved with that help me continue to contribute to fandom and share my love of comics and the Man of Steel:

THE STACK: Part reading journal. Part cover gallery. All comics. In short, it goes like this: I read a comic, I post the cover, and sometimes I get snarky about it. A fun way to add some comics into your Facebook feed.

THE DAILY SUPERMAN: I provide content for this site (a sister site to The Daily Batman). The premise is simple. Every day, I read a Superman comic. The blog chronicles that super idea.

SUPER-HEARING: This Twitter feed chronicles my real-time relistening to the Superman radio serial, where I’m listening to every existing episode of the show exactly 77 years (a nice round number!) after its original release.

Thank you, not to just those who choose to support these projects, but to all who have supported this blog and my podcast endeavors throughout the past six-plus years.

March 21st, 2017  Posted at   Super-Hearing

As part of Super-Hearing, I want to trace how the Superman radio show was promoted in comic books. Less than a month and a half after it debuted, the serial got its first mention in the medium that launched the character on the popular Superman of America page in ACTION COMICS #24. The text, written as though penned by Superman himself, encourages readers to not just listen to the show, but to encourage their local stations to air the program if they aren’t already.

Supermen of America page from ACTION COMICS #24

It also refers to a list of stations currently airing the show in various markets across the United States. This list was included in a half-page ad on following page of the comic. Similar ads were run in Superman-related comics for the next couple years, so we’ll be able to somewhat chart the growth of the show through these ads.

Supermen radio ad from ACTION COMICS #24

H-O Oats, manufactured by Hecker’s Oat Cereal, was an early sponsor for the show in many markets, particularly on the East Coast of the U.S. The ad also makes it clear the transcribed show aired on different days in different markets. Airdates used for Super-Hearing are based on those researched by Michael J. Hayde for his book, “Flights of Fantasy.”

January 11th, 2016  Posted at   Supergirl Mondays

Supergirl MondaysSupergirl Mondays is a weekly celebration of the Girl of Steel, who has graced the pages of DC Comics in a variety of forms for more than five decades.

This feature’s primary focus is to take an issue-by-issue look back at Supergirl’s adventures in the post-Crisis universe. From an artificial being on a mission to save her home world, to an Earth-born angel on a mission to save her soul, each Monday, before the airing of “Supergirl” on CBS, reflect on the earliest days of the incredible and winding journey of a frequently divisive, sometimes confusing, but always entertaining era for the Maid of Might.


At the conclusion of “The Supergirl Saga,” a horribly injured Supergirl was left by Superman in the care of Jonathan and Martha Kent, as well as Lana Lang. Following this, the character was absent from the Superman titles for about three months before returning to begin the second major chapter of her story.

In this issue

Adventures of Superman #448

Issue: ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #448
Cover date: 1988
Cover price: 75 cents ($1 Can./50p U.K.)
Cover by Jerry Ordway
Story: “The Ledge”

Credits

Jerry Ordway, writer/penciller
Dennis Janke, inker/embellisher
Petra Scotese, colorist
Albert DeGuzman, letterer
Renée Witterstaetter, asst. editor
Mike Carlin, supreme editor & poobah of all stuff
Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

Overview

Matrix helps, part 1   Matrix helps, part 2

Thoughts

Paralleling her introduction under the writing hand of John Byrne, the second chapter in the post-Crisis Supergirl’s story unfolds in a series of interludes throughout the course of several issues over several months. Originally mostly divorced from the issue’s main story, these interludes grow in size and importance, slowly becoming more interwoven with the main story while at the same time building to a head that concludes with a watershed moment for the character.

This first interlude, the entirety of which is reproduced above, finds Supergirl — or Matrix as she calls herself — along the path to recovery after being attacked and left for dead by the Phantom Zone criminals.

No longer a shapely blonde or a Lana Lang double, Matrix now much more closely resembles her “natural” state: pink, fleshy and decidedly non-human. Her mental faculties, too, have taken quite a hit as a result of the trauma of the Phantom Zone criminals’ brutal assault leaving Matrix seeming much more childlike in knowledge, speeh and sensibilities.

Still, it’s interesting to see the spirit of Superman (or Superboy) that inspired the character in the first place remains with her wanting to help — and doing so, in her own misguided way. Despite the positive role model, Matrix has a very long way to go to not only recover from her injuries but to acclimate herself to this new world she finds herself in.

Note this also is the first use of the name “Matrix” in reference to the character. And while it isn’t clear (in this issue, anyway) if this is a something she has started calling herself of her own volition, or a nickname bestowed upon her by the Kents and Lana, she is the one to first use the name within the context of the readers’ introduction. The second chapter of Matrix’s (nee Supergirl’s) story is about establishing who she is, and that’s an important step in the character’s independence and becoming more than a blank slate continually molded by others.

Fans talk back

This issue contains reader letters in response to SUPERMAN (Vol. 2) #22, the final chapter of “The Supergirl Saga.” See Supergirl Monday 11 for more on what readers had to say.

Next time on Supergirl Monday: A departure!

January 4th, 2016  Posted at   Supergirl Mondays

Supergirl MondaysSupergirl Mondays is a weekly celebration of the Girl of Steel, who has graced the pages of DC Comics in a variety of forms for more than five decades.

This feature’s primary focus is to take an issue-by-issue look back at Supergirl’s adventures in the post-Crisis universe. From an artificial being on a mission to save her home world, to an Earth-born angel on a mission to save her soul, each Monday, before the airing of “Supergirl” on CBS, reflect on the earliest days of the incredible and winding journey of a frequently divisive, sometimes confusing, but always entertaining era for the Maid of Might.


Reaction to “The Supergirl Saga” and the return of the Maid of Might was voluminous and passionate on both sides of the isle. As Supergirl drops away from the pages of the Superman titles for a couple months following the three-part classic that revealed her origins, we take a look back at fan reaction as documented in the titles’ letter pages following the story’s publication.

In these issues

Superman (Vol.2) #25  Adventures of Superman #448  Superman (Vol.2) #26

Issue: SUPERMAN (Vol. 2) #25
Cover date: 1988
Cover price: 75 cents ($1 Can./50p U.K.)
Cover by Kerry Gammill and Dennis Janke

Issue: ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #448
Cover date: 1988
Cover price: 75 cents ($1 Can./50p U.K.)
Cover by Jerry Ordway

Issue: SUPERMAN (Vol. 2) #26
Cover date: 1988
Cover price: 75 cents ($1 Can./50p U.K.)
Cover by Kerry Gammill and Dennis Janke

Fans talk back

“Shocking anachronism”
From Howard Kidd of Manila, Iowa
Letter from Howard Kidd on SUPERMAN (Vol. 1) #21

“I’ve waited for months to confirm my greatest hope”
From Jeff Restea of Mobile, Alabama
Letter from Jeff Restea on SUPERMAN (Vol. 1) #21

“I don’t get it”
From Joe Frank of Scottsdale, Arizona
Letter from Joe Frank on SUPERMAN (Vol. 1) #21

“A winner”
From Randy Dainard of Dixon, California
Letter from Randy Dainard on SUPERMAN (Vol. 1) #21

“Is she still going to be around?”
From Russ Bedell of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania
Letter from Russ Bedell on ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #448

“Even better than the Wonder Woman affair”
From Lonnie Easterling
Letter from Lonnie Easterling on ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #448

“I was wrong”
From Billy Beechler of Cicero, Indiana
Letter from Billy Beechler on SUPERMAN (Vol. 2) #22

“Very disappointed”
From Anthony Gallagher of Melbourne, Australia
Letter from Anthony Gallagher on SUPERMAN (Vol. 2) #22

“Handled well”
From Narelle Harris of South Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Letter from Narrelle Harris on SUPERMAN (Vol. 2) #22

But wait, there’s more

Supergirl made her first post-“Saga” appearance in the aforementioned ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #448. More on that as we resume our issue-by-issue chronicles …

Next time on Supergirl Monday: Uprooted!

December 28th, 2015  Posted at   Supergirl Mondays

Supergirl MondaysSupergirl Mondays is a weekly celebration of the Girl of Steel, who has graced the pages of DC Comics in a variety of forms for more than five decades.

This feature’s primary focus is to take an issue-by-issue look back at Supergirl’s adventures in the post-Crisis universe. From an artificial being on a mission to save her home world, to an Earth-born angel on a mission to save her soul, each Monday, before the airing of “Supergirl” on CBS, reflect on the earliest days of the incredible and winding journey of a frequently divisive, sometimes confusing, but always entertaining era for the Maid of Might.


With “The Supergirl Saga” concluded, the new Supergirl falls away from the comics page for a few months before moving on to the next chapter of her story. To that end, we use this brief pause to look for an interlude of our own, beginning this week with a look at two minor Supergirl-related “appearances” of note.

In this issue

Who's Who Update '88 #4
Who's Who Update '88 #4 (full wrap-around cover)

Issue: WHO’S WHO UPDATE ’88 #4
Cover date: November 1988
Cover price: $1.25 ($1.75 Can./60p U.K.)
Cover by Ty Templeton
Story: Appendix entry

Credits

Mark Waid, editor
Robert Greenberger, consulting editor, contributing writer
Peter Sanderson, researcher, contributing writer
Productionaires, production

Overview

Supergirl Who's Who entry

Thoughts

“The Supergirl Saga” comes to an end just in time for the titular character to get an entry in the appendix of the final issue of the second Who’s Who Update series. Wedged between appendix entries for Slipknot and the Thinker, a pair of Firestorm villains so lame (#sorryshag) they merited mention here only after being used as cannon fodder in SUICIDE SQUAD, Supergirl’s entry gives a succinct overview of the origin information presented in “The Supergirl Saga.”

Like with most WHO’S WHO entries, it provides no new information or any hints about what lies ahead for the character, but does serve well to document her existence at this time in DC Comics history for posterity.

In this issue

Adventures of Superman #446

Issue: ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #446
Cover date: November 1988
Cover price: 75 cents ($1 Can./50p U.K.)
Cover by Jerry Ordway
Story: “First Steps”

Credits

Writer/penciller: Jerry Ordway
Inker: Dennis Janke
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Letterer: Albert DeGuzman
Assistant editor: Renée Witterstaetter
Editor: Mike Carlin
Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

Overview

The ghost of Zod!

Thoughts

Supergirl’s sole appearance in the three months after the end of “The Supergirl Saga” is this one. A one-panel (splash page) appearance amid a dream sequence as Superman is haunted by the deaths of the Phantom Zone criminals. While at first glance hardly worth a mention, I think this “appearance” is important if for no other reason than it shows she is still forefront on the minds of Superman and the creators now steering the books in the wake of John Byrne’s departure, particularly Jerry Ordway, who along with Roger Sterm, will be the primary guiding hand for the character for the next year.

Next time on Supergirl Monday: Fans react to “The Supergirl Saga”!