Let’s be honest, origin tales have been spectacularly overused in both the comic-book scene and their spin off movie counterparts. How many times do we really need to witness Spiderman being bitten by a radioactive wall crawler, or Batman losing his parents to the gun barrel of Joe Chill… these characters are now so iconic that virtually everyone, comic book fan or not, is overtly familiar with their raison d’etre.
With all that said, you may be feeling slightly bemused that I’m recommending a series that dynamically delves into the past of Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El, but there is a very good reason behind that… this series is fantastic. As a matter of fact it’s not only one of the greatest Supergirl comics to have ever been released, but one of the greatest comic-book series ever published… period!
Kara has recently found herself back in mainstream public consciousness thanks mainly to the extremely successful (and brilliant) CW television show, and with the really rather rousing Steve Orlando “Supergirl Rebirth” comic book run, Superman’s Kryptonian cousin is finally receiving the attention she deserves.
Which brings us to Kara’s most recent triumph, the astonishingly awesome “Supergirl:Being Super” the Mariko Tamaki penned opus that transcends previous Kara Danvers origins by offering us a fresh take that focuses more upon her relationships, trials and tribulations of everyday life as a teenager growing up in a small american town. It’s definitely a slower burn as a comic book, less super heroics but more angst, sass and quirky dialogue as we follow Kara in an exceptionally engaging and fantastically well written coming of age story.
If you approach this series with atypical expectations of explosions, super speed and heat vision, you’re going to go away disappointed, this is a tale that spotlights the character behind the iconic “S” symbol and it’s all the better for it. Supergirl: Being Super is a revelation in Superhero storytelling, and probably the greatest iteration of the classic character to date. Highly recommended.
Welcome my comic collecting cohorts, to another instalment of “Comic Cover Of The Week.” This week our spotlight of the superb falls upon – ‘Supergirl (volume 1): The Girl Of Steel’ technically a trade paperback (or Graphic Novel, if you prefer) rather than a single issue comic, but the highlight falls upon this particular tome because of its stunning Michael Turner cover illustration
I have always loved Michael Turner’s artwork, having first discovered his outstanding talent on Top Cow’s Witchblade series. From this early work, he went on to create his own series for Top Cow, the amazing “Fathom” which initially ran from 1998 to 2002, when the series was suspended after Michael Turner was regrettably diagnosed with cancer.
Michael left Top Cow shortly after his diagnosis in 2002 to found his own comic book publishing company – Aspen. It was 2004 that Michael started producing cover art for DC Comics, mostly for The Flash and the seven issue mini-series Identity Crisis. His greatest work for me though was his illustrating of the entire six issue Supergirl arc in the monthly Superman/Batman series. His unique style really brought to life some of my very favourite Superheroes, especially his versions of Wonder Woman, Batman, and of course the titular Girl of Steel herself.
Michael unfortunately passed away on June 27, 2008 from the pre-diagnosed cancer, leaving the world of comic book creators a much poorer place. This instalment of Comic Cover Of The Week is dedicated to his fantastic talent.
Supergirl (vol-1): Girl Of Steel, is available right now at your local comic book emporium. This terrific tome comprises 144 pages and brings together writer Jeph Loeb’s classic run from Supergirl #0-10 and #12. With artist contributions from Amanda Conner, Ian Churchill, Ed Benes, Norm Rapmund, and the aforementioned captivating cover from Michael Turner.
The space year of 2015 comes to a close, fellow agents of Precinct1313, and with its inevitable demise comes our 13 favourite moments from across the comic-book, movie and videogame spectrum.
No.13: The Dark Knight Returns!
After a 14 year hiatus, veteran comic book creator Frank Miller returned to his genre bending masterpiece Dark Knight saga with a third instalment, titled DKIII: The Master Race. This final (maybe) chapter takes place chronologically three years after 2001 mini-series “The Dark Knight Strikes Again,” and continues to chronicle an ageing Caped Crusader and his allies in an increasingly violent and turbulent Gotham.
Thematically this series picks up from the ‘Strikes Again’, but this time Miller has brought along some fellow superstar creators for the intense and dark ride, as he is joined by, writer Brian Azzarello and artists, Andy Kubert, Jim Lee, and original collaborator Klaus Janson. Like its previous instalments, DKIII concentrates on the Batman as a symbol, an almost mythological character of inspiration and a catalyst for the weak and oppressed of Gotham.
No.12: Resident Evil Games Are… Good Again!!
2015 is the year that survival-horror veteran Resident Evil became great once more, as Capcom released not one, but two terrifyingly awesome instalments in the long running zombie franchise. After the awfulness of Resident Evil 6, even die-hard fans weren’t necessarily looking forward to whatever would come next in the once predominant horror gaming series. The sixth game in the franchise took a downward spiral into bland third person action/shooter territory, leaving behind most of what made the earlier games so much fun to play, namely the tension, spookiness and survival aspects.
Then in early 2015, an HD remake of the original game digitally graced home consoles, with the same intense and creepy vibe of the original, but with much improved visuals, soundtrack and most definitely improved in the acting department (though Jill still, humorously remained – “The Master Of Unlocking” .) And less than a month later Resident Evil Revelations 2 was released episodically across all formats, initially digitally only, though later on disc. This 4 part series was a hark back to classic Resi , tense and horrific with much more limited supplies and the difficulty switched up a notch from the mediocrity that was Resi 6. Capcom redeemed themselves in my eyes after the Resi 6 debacle, and I look forward to their next game with bated breath, the much touted remake of most fans favourite in the series, Resident Evil 2… can’t wait.
No.11: Starfire Goes Solo…
Everyone’s favourite flame haired, orange skinned alien princess finally flies solo in her own, rather marvellous, monthly series. Tamaranean native Koriand’r most recently starred alongside one time Robin, Jason Todd now known as violent masked vigilante The Red Hood, and former Green Arrow sidekick Roy Harper, aka Arsenal, in the highly recommended series “Red Hood and the Outlaws.” With the shake-up of DC recently with “DC You” Koriand’r was finally deemed a character strong enough to hold her own monthly series, and the creative reins were handed to the married, dynamic duo of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, to great effect.
The series has been a joy to read so far, we are huge fans of Starfire here in the Precinct and could think of no better team than Conner and Palmiotti to be given control of the series, but what has really drawn us into the series the most are the sublime visuals rendered by Emanuela Lupacchino, each panel is a masterpiece and the book is worth reading for just this alone. This has been standout my favourite comic series so far in 2015, and I’ll just say it’s been a great year of comics, which makes Kori’s solo debut even more impressive.
No.10: Jared Leto Cast As The Joker…
Well dye my hair green, bleach my skin and call me “puddin” if this isn’t just a superlative casting choice, Jared Leto as the Clown Prince Of Crime!?… oh hell yes! The term “Method Actor” could of been created for Mr Leto, as he is one of the most dedicated character actors you could ever come across, his casting in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie as the Joker, has me very excited indeed.
No.09: Mad Max – Fury Road…
Now then, I know that this is going to appear on a lot of end of the year lists, but if you had told me a year ago it would be on mine, I’d have thought you were the mad one himself! You see, as much as I like the director George Miller, and the acting duo of Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, not to mention, I adore the original Mad Max trilogy, what I don’t like are lazy remakes of classic films from my youth, and for a long time that’s what I thought this was, I was sooooo wrong.
The film is a marvel to behold, an almost perfect blend of real time practical effects, mixed with limited but extremely well implemented CGI. Tom Hardy gives a good performance as the antipodean crazy ex-cop, Charlize Theron is fantastic as Furiosa, but it really is the crazy action and fantastic directing style of George Miller that are the stars here. Shiny and Chrome indeed!
No.08: New X-Files Series Begins Filming…
I love the X-Files, I have been a super fan since it first began way back in 1993, my interest in the unknown and supernatural initially drew me into the show but it was the performances by the leads, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and the increasingly emotional and complex relationship of their characters – Mulder and Scully that kept me coming back to the show time and time again.
Of course the writing was top notch, the episodes were always extremely well made and directed, but ultimately it was that relationship between the main players that drove the series to the cult and beyond status that it now has. Let’s hope the magic is still there over 13 years later, when the much anticipated tenth season finally appears in January 2016.
No.07: Supergirl Soars Once More…
Kara Zor-El is awesome, one of the most iconic female Superheroes of all time, Superman‘s cousin has been with us now since her initial introduction in 1959, created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino. Originally hailing from Argo city, a fragment of the planet Krypton that had managed to survive destruction.
She is one of the few female comic book characters who has appeared on the big and small screen several times in the past few decades (only Catwoman has had more live action appearances.) Played by Helen Slater in the 1984 movie, by actress Laura Vandervoort in TV series Smallville (strangely enough, Laura was born the same year the original movie was released) And now as of 2015, we have a new girl of steel, Melissa Benoist has taken up the cape and red boots of the seminal character in what has become a fantastic and fun interpretation, another quality Superhero show that stands tall amongst its peers.
No.06: Margot Robbie Brings Harley Quinn To Life…
Mistress of Mayhem, Harley Quinn is one of those characters that everyone loves, but have always believed would be almost impossible to bring to live action successfully. There have been attempts, the short lived Birds Of Prey series had a version of the character played by Mia Sara, who, while okay in the role, didn’t really capture Harley’s perfect blend of crazy cool and sociopathic tendency.
Then we got a glimpse at actress Margot Robbie in the Suicide Squad trailers, everything about her portrayal seems to scream Harley, she looks perfect and I have high hopes for the character, she is definitely the most anticipated of all the Suicide Squad members so her portrayal will be of paramount importance to the film itself (along with her ‘puddin’, the Joker of course.)
No.05: Twin Peaks Season 3 Announced…
I’ll admit, I am both elated and worried at the idea of Twin Peaks returning for a third series, I love Twin Peaks, it is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite TV show of all time, but the perfection of the originals will be very hard to recapture I believe. Though this is David Lynch we’re talking about, a ‘mad genius’ of a director and film maker and I have adored virtually everything he has ever put out, so there is hope. Please be good… please!!
No.04: Convergence Was… Awesome!
DC Comics are the master of the epic crossover series, their “Crisis” stories have always been bombastic reads of monumental proportions. The more recent Blackest Night maxi-series was also phenomenal, but for me, it was this year’s “Convergence” that really blew my veritable bat-socks off!
Convergence was a limited series that released weekly and ran between April and May. The story span out of two earlier mini-series – “New 52 – Futures End” and “Earth 2 – World’s End.” The storyline follows Braniac as he gathers Cities and their inhabitants from across different timelines and alternate Earths. Really there aren’t enough superlatives to sum up this fantastic mini-series, all I’ll say is buy it, read it, thank me later…
No.03: Suicide Squad Trailer…
DC Comics‘ ultimate team of anti-hero badasses finally achieve cinematic glory in 2016, courtesy of David Ayer (director of Sabotage and Fury) in what looks to be a gritty, violent adaptation of the comic book classic. Where this movie differs from all other Superhero films of recent years is the fact that it offers up a different perspective on the comic book adaptation, it focuses solely on the bad guys, the Supervillains and the crazies.
Director David Ayer is well known for his dark and gritty cop thrillers, and is the perfect choice for this live action version of the popular comic series. Peruse the trailer below and bask in the glory of seminal DC characters that include – Harley Quinn, Katana, Enchantress and Deadshot, and lest we forget, what may turn out to be the biggest draw of the film… Jared Leto’s Joker.
No.02: Wonder Woman Solo Movie Begins Production…
It may of come to your attention that we quite like Wonder Woman here in the Precinct, so we are rather excited that her long awaited silver screen appearance has finally begun production, and in the UK no less. Gal Gadot will make her first appearance as the amazing Amazon in March 2016 “Batman v Superman” movie before her 2017 solo film. Seriously it is about bloody time that the most iconic female comic book character of all time got her own movie, and with director Patty Jenkins at the helm and actress Gal looking every bit the Amazon Princess, I for one, cannot wait.
No.01: Batman v Superman Trailers Finally Released…
Well this is it, with the trailers finally released, and the epic nature revealed, you just have to prepare yourself for two things. 1. What could be, quite possibly, The Greatest Superhero Movie Of All Time and… 2. The cinematic debut of the original, and still greatest female Superhero. With these two imperatives in mind watch the trailer below, and then weep for the fact that the biggest cinematic event in DC Comics… nay, in history, is still three months away…
Happy New Year everyone…
Return with us once more to the beautiful isle of Themyscira, home to the immortal Amazons and, Precinct1313‘s weekly comic-cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman. This week the ancient Amazon archives reveal their secrets in the form of “Wonder Woman (volume 2) #174.” Written by: Phil Jimenez. Cover art by: Adam Hughes. Interior art by: Phil Jimenez. Released in November 2001.
This weeks titanic tale is titled “The Witch And The Warrior” and is the first of a three part storyline that eventually serves as a set up for a six part crossover series entitled “The Joker’s Last Laugh.” In order to defeat witch-goddess Circe and her allies Silver Swan and Cheetah, Wonder Woman must engage the help of several female Superheroes. This terrific tome brings together some of DC’s greatest female Super heroes of all time including, girl of steel Supergirl, her parallel universe counterpart Power Girl, mistress of magic Zatanna, winged wonder Hawkgirl and the maid of might Mary Marvel.
Join us again next week for another classic WW cover, my astute Amazonian associates!
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to “The Week In Geek,” where we list our favourite comic book, video-game and cult movie news from the past seven days for your perusal and pleasure.
Batman v Superman – Trinity Film Posters Revealed:
DC Comics and Warner Bros have released a trinity of awesome posters for the upcoming “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice.” The big three star in their very own character posters that superbly encapsulates the tense and gritty tone of Zack Snyder’s highly anticipated Superhero film. The posters have the characters’ respective logo embellished across the middle in striking crimson, and are, overall, bloody marvellous indeed!
Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice is due on March 25 2016, and will be the foundation block of DC’s planned extended universe of movies, documenting the rise of the Justice League. Fellow leaguers, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash will also make their cinematic debut in Snyder’s movie.
J’onn J’onzz Debuts On Supergirl TV Series:
And while we are speaking of core Justice League members, the Martian Manhunter made his debut this week on Supergirl. If you haven’t seen the episode yet we won’t spoil the identity of the character who revealed himself to ultimately be the green skinned extra-terrestrial, but let’s just say ‘bloody hell’ we weren’t expecting that!
Though this isn’t the first time the shape shifting Last Martian has appeared on the small screen, he appeared in Smallville played by Phil Morris, and in the long forgotten CBS pilot for a proposed (and abandoned) Justice League series, where he was played by David Ogden Stiers, though neither portrayal came anywhere near the epic cool of this new version… can’t wait to see what other classic DC heroes and villains will be introduced as this rather wonderful series continues.
Vin Diesel will apparently be returning to the character who made him an action mega-star, the badass anti-hero, with the ability to see in the dark; Richard B. Riddick. The merc fugitive has already been the star of three great movies, and will at some point in the near future make his premiere on the small screen, after Diesel recently signed a deal with Universal TV. According to the Fast and Furious star, the series will actually act as a complement to the films, and will mainly follow the mercs and bounty hunters of Riddick’s universe… though I’m sure the shiny eyed one will eventually scowl his way onto the series at some point.
This is fantastic news, Pitch Black and Chronicles Of Riddick were amazing movies, and the more recent “Riddick” was also rather good (but not quite as great as the previous instalments, in my humble opinion of course) More news as we hear it fellow Furyans.
Join us again next time for more “Week In Geek.”
DC Comics’ fantastic 1940’s stylised Bombshells series became available digitally this week, with the first issue beginning in the style of a classic WW2 newsreel. Depicting Batwoman, who has been a hit (literally) on the baseball field and around the streets of Gotham where she reins in crime as the resident masked vigilante, in a time before the Batman existed. In fact, the Batman may actually never exist in this alternate timeline as Batwoman is shown taking out Joe Chill just as he is about to gun down the Wayne family in crime alley, thus negating young Bruce Wayne’s need for his vengeance motivated alter ego.
An entertaining first issue, with the art by Marguerite Sauvage evoking the style and mood of comics from the 1940’s, I especially love the redesigned Batwoman costume worn by Kate Kane, a red and black baseball style outfit replete with mask to hide her anonymity on and off the field. This first issue mostly follows Batwoman’s career as masked crimefighter and Gotham’s star baseball player, though there is a brilliant cliffhanger ending that introduces another major DC character to the fold. The quirky writing of Marguerite Bennett genuinely elicits a feel of the era, and makes for a fun, enjoyable first issue. Currently available in digital format, with the physical copy on sale from August 12.
Precinct1313 Rating: 4 Battling Batwomen Out Of 5
Comic-book love that is! We are now just 2 short weeks away from the restructuring of the DC Universe, with 24 new ongoing titles to be added to the 25 most popular current comic series produced by DC. The “New 52” branding will be removed from the top of the comics from June, to usher in a new chapter for the World’s oldest and most prestigious producer of Superhero comics.
And there’s more, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, not only do we get 24 new kick-arse titles to enjoy, we also get the return of legendary comic-book creators, Garth Ennis and Bryan Hitch to the DC Universe, who alongside new recruit and one time Marvel mainstay John Romita Jr, will help pave the way to an even more expanded, inclusive and accessible take on the World’s mightiest mortals.
So if you have been hesitant of dipping your toes in DC’s sea of titles, because of lore heavy decades of story-telling, June will be the perfect time to start your collection. Plus with the plethora of absolutely amazing television shows based on DC characters such as Arrow, The Flash, Constantine and upcoming new shows like Supergirl, not to mention next years Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad movies, it’s never been a better time to become a DC superfan. Welcome aboard everyone, next stop… Amazing Comics!
This August DC Comics will drop Bombshells on an unsuspecting public, with these amazing variant covers inspired by vintage World War 2 style artwork. This follows on from June 2014’s extremely popular Bombshell variant run, which saw the alternate cover comics become very scarce and highly sought after collectables, this time they are taking the design run even further, by adding character statues and an ongoing digital comic series entitled “DC Comics’ Bombshells”.
DC Bombshells #1 will follow the adventures of Batwoman, Supergirl and Wonder Woman as they take the fight to the axis of evil on the front lines of World War II. The first issue of DC Bombshells will be available digitally on August 12, and throughout August every major DC comic release will also ship with a variant version of the cover, and judging by how successful the previous run was, these will sell out extremely fast. So why not head on down to your nearest comic book emporium and reserve yourself a Bombshell today, you won’t regret it.
Warner Brothers’ Supergirl series has been snapped up by CBS, the network confirmed the order for the series yesterday. The series comes from the same creators of the extremely popular Arrow and Flash, and it has been confirmed that they will share the same on-screen universe, and to expect crossover stories.
Actress Melissa Benoist is playing the lead role of Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-EL in the series, and initially the show will follow Kara’s attempt at coming to terms with her new powers, and a new life away from her destroyed planet of Krypton. Interestingly, former Supergirl, Helen Slater has also been cast to appear in the series, though her role is as yet undetermined.
Supergirl was created by writer Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino in 1959 as a female counterpart to the Man of Steel. Making her first appearance in Action Comics #252, she became an instant hit with comic book fans across the globe. Kara is the last survivor of Krypton’s Argo City, sent to earth in a rocket pod by her father Zor-EL. Whilst on Earth, Kara acquired the same powers as her cousin Superman, and adopted the secret identity of Linda Lee Danvers, and at her cousins request, only becomes Supergirl in secret, until she is able gain sufficient control and confidence in her escalating powers.
We are huge Supergirl fans here at the Precinct, so it’s great to see the series has been picked up by CBS. Also this will hopefully start a trend to bring more female characters to the fore in both television and cinema, and Supergirl is definitely one of the best possible choices to lead this charge.
Welcome back friends to another instalment of Classic Wonder Woman, Precinct1313’s weekly comic-cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of everyone’s favourite Amazonian superhero. This week we present you with: Wonder Woman #177, released in 1968, written by Bill Finger, with cover art by Irv Novick and interior art by Win Mortimer and Jack Abel.
This classic issue contains a titanic clash between Diana and Kara Zor-El, better known to most people as Supergirl, in a story entitled, Wonder Woman & Supergirl versus the planetary conqueror. The above image of the colossal struggle between Diana and Kara is one of the few pieces that show Wonder Woman without her iconic bullet deflecting bracelets (which are removed pre-fight).
The Bracelets of Submission, to give them their true name are worn by the Amazons as a reminder of the years that they were subjugated by demi-god Hercules. Centuries after gaining their independence, they continue to wear the bracelets as a symbol of their past oppression. Diana’s bracelets were originally formed from the legendary, Shield of Aegis.
The inspiration for the creation of the bracelets originated with Diana’s creator, William Moulton Marston, who based them on the bracelets that his lover Olive Byrne would frequently wear.
Join us again in a weeks time for another classic WW cover, my admirable amazonian associates!
It looks like we will be getting yet another classic Superhero gracing our TV screens real soon, this time everyone’s favourite girl of steel – Supergirl. Warner Brothers are currently working on an adaptation of the character, and fan favourite comic author Geoff Johns is rumoured to be onboard. Supergirl, real name Kara Zor-El was created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino in 1958 as a female counterpart to Superman, she is his cousin and one of the few survivors of the destruction of their home planet of Krypton.
This of course isn’t the first time Clark Kent’s Kryptonian cousin has appeared in film and television, she was portrayed in the 1984 move ‘Supergirl’ by actress Helen Slater, a much maligned movie that yes is rather cheesy, but is also a whole lot of fun…plus it’s one of the very few Superhero movies that has a female Superhero as its star, and Helen was great in the role, looking very much like the comic character herself.
In 2007, actress Laura Vandervoort portrayed the girl of steel in the television series Smallville, and continued to play the character for the rest of the series, we have always thought that the actress bore a striking resemblance to comic artist Michael Turner’s amazing rendition of Supergirl. With Superhero TV series’ getting popular with shows like Arrow, the Flash and Gotham, it’s about time we see more female comic characters on screen, and Supergirl is the perfect choice to lead the way!
Precinct1313 Anticipation Rating: Stratospheric!