Tag: superman

My Strange Horizons contest prize has arrived

Recall a few weeks back when I was the randomly-selected winner of Strange Horizons’ donation drive? Well, yesterday, my prizes arrived, the two gorgeous, hardcover volumes of Paul Cornell’s Superman: The Black Ring.


And Mr. Cornell was kind enough to sign them, too:


Thanks again to Strange Horizons and Paul Cornell. This was a really nice surprise!

DC Comics relaunch: Superman #1

Somehow, I missed the release of DC Comics Superman #1 last week and didn’t discover that the issue was available until the weekend. But having discovered it, I acquired an electronic copy and on Saturday evening, I read it, my second comic ever.

I liked it. Once again, I thought the art was considerably better than the writing, but the story line was interesting and certainly more understandable than the story line for Action Comics #1. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything here; I got what was going on; it all made sense. I particularly liked the little hint of recursion inserted into the story: the Daily Planet is being relaunched as part of a larger news network. That relaunch certainly echoes the relaunch of DC Comics.

Another thing I liked was that the comic was a self-contained story, in a larger story arc. Superman had to face and defeat some strange fire being. He met the challenge and eventually defeated the creature. There wasn’t a cliff-hanger ending and I don’t think there always needs to be one. It is satisfying to get a complete story in a single issue.

One thing I don’t get–and perhaps long-time comic gurus can help me out: how does the Superman comic related to the Action Comics comic, or the Justice League? Are these alternate universes with alternate Supermans? Are they supposed to take place in different times in Superman’s life? Do things that happen in one comic carry through to the other? How, exactly, are these comics related?

I’m already looking forward to Action Comics #2 and Superman #2.

Action Comics #1: My first real comic book experience

Today, I downloaded my first1 real comic book.

(I imagine long-time comic book enthusiasts are cringing at the thought of my using the words “download” and “real” together with respect to comic books.)

I was never a comic book fan, not as a kid, not as a teenager, not at any point in my life. I’ve always been a fan of Superman, however, and when I heard that DC Comics was coming out with their “New 52” I was pretty excited. By rebooting re-launching some of those story lines, and bringing them up-to-date, DC Comics provided an opportunity for folks like me to start from the beginning2. It couldn’t have come at a better time. After 10 seasons, Smallville concluded (rather brilliantly, in my opinion) and I was left with nothing to fill my Superman cravings.

But today, DC Comics released Action Comics #1 which starts the Superman story in a new light. I’ve been deep into writing these last few days and I completely forgot that the issue was coming out today. If it wasn’t for my friend Michael A. Burstein running out to his local comic book store to buy a print copy of Action Comics and then telling everyone about it, I would have completely forgotten. I saw Michael’s post early in the afternoon. DC Comics didn’t release the digital version of Action Comics #1 until 2pm Eastern time. But you can be sure that at 2:01, my issue was downloading:

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  1. Okay, I did download the original Action Comics #1 from 1938 when DC Comics made it available for $0.99, but I don’t count that.
  2. Maybe this was their intent all along.

Yet another sign the Little Man is a Superman fan

I hum sometimes. Earlier this evening, I was humming the Superman theme under my breath. (There are perfectly valid reasons for this choice, which have to do with a scene in the novelette on which I am working, but that’s another story.) Here’s what happened.

I hear the Little Man running down the hallway.

“Hey, buddy,” I said, “what’s this? I then began to hum the Superman theme, certain that he would have no idea what I was talking about.

Without even a second’s hesitation he clapped his little hands together and said, “Soopah-man!”

I was stunned. I hadn’t expected him to come close to even guessing. I figured he’d ignore my and try to get me to chase him around the house, or take him outside or something. That he answered the question, and answered it correctly just stunned me.

Watching and re-watching those action scenes from Superman Returns must have really made an impression on him.

Superman comics, the Little Man, and me

For a long time, I’ve been a fan of Superman. I’ve talked about how I introduced the Little Man to Superman. But until Friday night, I’d never read a Superman comic. And doing so gave me a nifty little idea.

When I heard about the DC Comics “new 52”–their renumbering of 52 of their most popular comics–I was pretty excited. I’ve never read comic books, but I like Superman and this would give me a chance to start fresh with Superman. I suppose I am the ideal audience for DC Comics and this is exactly what they were hoping for by doing this renumbering: bringing new readers onboard. Of course, they have upset some longtime fans, but you can’t please everyone.

I couldn’t sleep Friday night and tossed and turned, until finally I grabbed for my iPad and launched the DC Comics app, for which I have zero content. It was just after midnight. When I went to browse some content, I discovered  to my surprise that DC Comics was holding a 48-hour special they called Superman 101, in which they were offering full comics from the various Superman threads for $0.99 each in digital format. Among the free comics they were offering was the Action Comics #1, containing the very first Superman comic.

Well, I couldn’t resist that. I ended up buying 9 comics:

  • Action Comics #1, #6, and #23
  • The Man of Steel #1-6

The Little Man and Superman

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In the ordinary course of events, I read a story to the Little Man before bed. But last night was warm and muggy. The Little Man had his bath and then I chased him around the house to burn off some energy–his, not mine, although I’m not quite sure it worked out that way. By his bedtime, I was beat, and he was looking pretty tired, and I was in no mood to read.

The night before I started to watch the Superman Returns movie on my iPad. I know that there are mixed opinions about the movie, but I really enjoyed it when it first came out, and I hadn’t watched it in a few years so I thought I’d give it whirl.

Well, last night, as the Little Man was calming down, I said to him, “Do you want to watch a show with Daddy?”

“Okay,” he said. (He’s gotten rather versatile with his “okays.”)

So I put on the movie, where I’d left off, just as Superman is about to rescue Lois and the rest of the people on the airplane that carried the space shuttle. When the Little Man first saw Superman fly onto the screen, his eyes widened and he gasped. I said, “That’s Superman!”

Before long, when the action scene was over, the Little Man was saying “More Superman fly! More Superman fly!”

So I would skip the non-action scens and fast forward to the scene in which Superman was flying. The Little Man loved it. When I put him down to bed, he seemed only capable (through his barely open eyes) to mutter the words “Superman” and “fly” over and over. I don’t remember when I first learned about Superman, but I know I was pretty young. I’ve always wondered what it must have been like, discovering this hero, not yet knowing he’s a fictional character, feeling that sense of wonder that something like Superman could really be possible.

I saw it tonight in the Little Man’s eyes. And it really was amazing to witness.

A question for comic book fans about the whole DC Comics renumbering thing


I’ve never read comic books.

Well, maybe once or twice when I was a kid and someone gave one to me, I might have skimmed it, but I never really got into them, certainly never voluntarily bought any, and never collected comics. This is nothing again comic books. I was just too busy with other things: science fiction, Little League, and the usual trouble that a 10-year old will find himself in. By the time I became a serious fan of science fiction (that is–by the time I recognized there was a fandom and I was part of it) my preferences had been molded. Given the choice between a new science fiction novel or a new comic book, I’d always choose the former over the latter.

On the other hand, I’ve always been a fan of Superman. When I was a kid, I’d watch reruns of The Adventures of Superman. I’d run around the house with a towel hanging from my shirt like a cape, pretending to fly. I watched reruns of Superman: The Movie and Superman II on HBO endlessly. I was delighted by the Lois & Clark series, watched every episode of Smallville breathlessly. I even enjoyed the Superman Returns reboot of a few years ago. To this day, however, I’ve never read a Superman comic.

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Superman Returns

Superman Returns was released on DVD today and I picked up the special edition 2-disc set. I’ve already seen the movie three times, but I’m looking forward to seeing it again. And the special features as well. I also picked up Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek: Generations. I watched the former when I got home from work this evening.

House is on in 15 minutes and I’m going to watch that and then it’s off to bed–a little earlier tonight than last night.

Got my ticket!

I purchased my ticket for the 10:15 PM showing of Superman Returns tonight in Silver Spring. Several theaters in major U.S. cities are having Tuesday night showings, prior to the big opening of the film tomorrow.

It’s a 2:34 long movie which means I won’t be home until close to 1 AM, but I don’t care. I’m just excited to go see it tonight.