Monday, February 28, 2011

Super Fashions Gone Wrong

Curt Swan may have been a helluva Superman penciller, but he wasn't always the most visionary of design artists.

Case in point?

Wonder Warrior!

Tiaras and white leotards...what could go wrong!

Well, not much if it's on a lady.

(However, I do quite fancy those sexy knickers!)

Script by Martin Pasko
Pencils by Curt Swan
Inks by Frank Chiaramonte
Colors by Adrienne Roy
Letters by Ben Oda

Superman #349
The Turnabout Trap!
July 1980
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Wheel of Torture

For some people, the definition of torture would be having to read a Mr. Mxyzptlk issue. Not for me, as I love the freedom it allows the storytellers to do whatever they damn well the wheel of torture!

It's funny that "Stallone Movies" is one of the torture methods, as he hasn't even filmed Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot yet!

(Got to make a mental note for another Mxy post in 90 days)

Script by John Byrne
Pencils by Jerry Ordway
Inks by Dennis Janke
Colors by Anthony Tollin
Letters by Albert DeGuzman

Adventures Of Superman #441
The Tiny Terror Of Tinseltown
June 1988
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Many Lives of Superman #2

The Many Lives of Superman


Script by Leo Dorfman
Pencils by Al Plastino
Inks by Al Plastino

Action Comics #337
From Riches To Rags
May 1966
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Friday, February 25, 2011

Harsh Justice of the Golden Age

That's pretty ballsy considering that it was you, Superman, who put him on that flying plane in the first place!

Of course, this was after he threatened to drop him into the spinning propellers, so I guess this punk should just consider himself lucky that he's only going to fall to his death instead of getting sliced to pieces.

Script by Jerry Siegel
Pencils by Leo Nowak
Inks by Paul Cassidy

World's Finest Comics #2
The Unknown X
Summer 1941
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Characters Continuity Forgot #1

Professor Whiffensniff

Here's a shot of Professor Whiffensniff in his first (and last) appearance from 1946.

It just goes to show you that you're not going to get very far in the world of imaginary characters by pointing out the obvious.

Script by Jerry Siegel
Pencils by Ira Yarbrough
Inks by Stan Kaye

Superman #40
There Is No Superman!
May/June 1946
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dwayne McDuffie, 1962-2011

Yesterday afternoon, the sad news was released that Dwayne McDuffie had died at the age of 49 due to complications from surgery. I assumed that when I started this blog that there would be opportunities to eulagize different creators who had come and gone over the years and made a difference to the Superman legend. What I had not assumed, is that the first occasion would be for someone who died way too soon.

While Dwayne only ever wrote one story for the Superman line of titles, he was a major player when it came to the Justice League of America. As an editor and producer of the cartoon series Justice League Unlimited, he more than cemented his place in not only Superman history, but that of the entire DCU.

For me however, my fondness for Dwayne McDuffie goes back to 1992 with the creation of the Milestone line of comics. It seemed that every other time you went to the comic book store in the 90's, there was a new line of comic book superheroes being created. Like most of them, the speculation boom wasn't kind to Milestone and it didn't make it out of the decade alive. Unlike most of the others, however, Milestone tried something different with an eye towards racial and cultural diversity. For that, it left the 90's with it's reputation in good standing.

Fast forward more than a decade and Dwayne was writing Justice League of America with the promise of the Milestone characters being integrated into the DCU proper. To say that there was some editorial over-reaching that hampered his stories and resulted in unfulfilled expectations is a bit of an understatement. With that in mind, here's today's panel in honor of Dwayne McDuffie.

Rest in peace, Dwayne McDuffie.

Gone, but not forgotten.

Script by Dwayne McDuffie
Pencils by Jose Luis
Inks by J.P. Mayer
Colors by Pete Pantazis
Letters by Travis Lanham

Justice League of America (Vol. 2) #28
Welcome to Sundown Town, Chapter 2: Shadow and Act
February 2009
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Superman Sketchbook #1

One of my all time favorite Superman sketches from Skottie Young.

I swear, that man has more talent than there are minutes in the day to utilize it. I wonder if he will ever be non-exclusive with Marvel, as I'd love to see him do something in print within the confines of the DC Universe.

Artwork by Skottie Young

Monday, February 21, 2011

President's Day

What better way to celebrate President's Day, than with Superman fighting Mt. Rushmore itself.

Script by Brian Azzarello
Pencils by Jim Lee
Inks by Scott Williams
Colors by Alex Sinclair
Letters by Rob Leigh

Superman (Vol. 2) #209
For Tomorrow, Part Six
November 2004
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Weekly Panel of Steel #2

My apologies for being a little late with the Weekly Panel of Steel feature, as I was away in Indianapolis on business with no easy access to a scanner. Of course it's only the second installment, so as far as anyone knows its only schedule is an erratic one.

We'll see if I can't maintain a Thursday schedule in the future, but in the meantime let's see what this week had to offer.

There were some flashback scenes in Justice League of America #54 that featured Superman, but Brett Booth has never been my cup of tea, so we'll keep looking.

I thought for sure that when I saw that he was going to be showing up in Green Lantern #62, as drawn by Doug Mahnke, that we'd have our winner. Alas, standing around in the Watchtower does not make for the most stunning of visuals, especially with Batman getting all of the best lines.

Luckily, we also had Superman/Batman #81 released this week. This title has actually been quite good for a couple of months now, so I was pleased to see that new creative team was able to keep things going strong. Cullen Bunn and Chriscross did such a good job, that they gave us our Weekly Panel of Steel!

In an issue filled with dragons, demons, and medieval versions of the World's Finest, it was this simple panel of Superman's eyes that steal the show.

You'd think that stare would be enough to let you know that you just crossed the line with Superman, but him being Superman, he's still going to give you a chance to bow out before he beats you senseless.

Script by Cullen Bunn
Pencils by Chriscross
Inks by Marc Deering
Colors by Brad Anderson
Letters by Swands

Superman/Batman #81
Sorcerer Kings Part One
April 2011
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Awesome Mahnke Cover

Here's one of my favorite Superman covers by one of my favorite Superman artists, Doug Mahnke.

Boy oh boy...what I wouldn't give to get him back on a Superman title.

Pencils by Doug Mahnke
Inks by Dennis Janke

Superman: The Man Of Steel #88
May 1999
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pluto discovered...and destroyed

So it was 81 years ago today when Clyde Tombaugh discovered the planet dwarf planet Pluto.

Here's Superman destroying it 71 years later, pushing it through a boom tube through time to the very moment of the big bang.

Of course at the time it had been changed into Warworld and was controlled by Imperiex, so you do what you gotta do.

Besides, it was destined to be downgraded to a dwarf planet anyway. Better to go out in a blaze of glory than just fade away.

Script by Joe Kelly
Pencils by Kano
Inks by Marlo Alquiza
Colors by Wild Storm
Letters by Comic Craft

Action Comics #782
Trial By Fire
October 2001
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Curt Swan!

Today is Curt Swan's birthday, as the mighty penciller of steel was born 91 years ago!

In celebration, let's take today's Superman pic from one of the few times that Curt Swan actually inked his own work. As far as I know, that only happened a handful of times in his four decade career. One of those rare instances was in the pages of Superman Annual #9 from 1983!

As an extra added bonus, that's the man himself flying with Superman.

Happy Birthday, Curt Swan!

Script by Curt Swan, Elliot S! Maggin, and Cary Bates
Pencils by Curt Swan
Inks by Curt Swan
Colors by Anthony Tollin
Letters by John Costanza

Superman Annual (Vol. 1) #9
I Flew With Superman!
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Super tag lines!

So who was the brainchild on Madison Avenue that thought up this tag line?

I don't know, but I think "It sure beats a bowl of radioactive space rock from another galaxy" has a more appetizing ring to it.

I shudder to think what the ad was for the Batman boxes...

"Your ordinary mac and cheese is a bowl of cowardly and superstitious pasta."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Because you demanded it...

...Superman vs. Lex Luthor in 3-D!!!

Actually no one demanded it, but it made me chuckle.

It sorta loses something without the red and blue glasses, eh? If you do happen to have a pair of 3-D glasses handy, put 'em on now and witness the majesty of old-school 3-D.

That and eye strain.

Script by Jerry Siegel
Pencils by John Sikela
Inks by George Roussos

Three Dimension Adventures
The Man Who Stole The Sun
Originally printed in Superman #48, Sep/Oct 1947
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Pencils by Stuart Immonen
Inks by Jose Marzan
Colors by Glenn Whitmore

The Adventures Of Superman #525
July 1995
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Sunday, February 13, 2011

25 Years Ago Today

If you stopped into your local comic book store 25 years ago today, you got to see an awesome shot of Superman trying out for the role of Boulder #3 in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

Unfortunately, he didn't get the part as he kept breaking character and calling the Ent he was working with by her real name.

Script by Elliot S! Maggin
Pencils by Curt Swan
Inks by Dave Hunt
Colors by Gene D'Angelo
Letters by John Costanza

Superman #419
The Man Who Murdered Evil!
May 1986
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The formula for a great pin-up

I have no idea what inspired this pin-up shot by Jon J. Muth, but I desperately want to read the story.

Dinosaurs + Blimps/(An Oncoming Train x A Damsel in Distress) = Awesome!

Artwork by Jon J. Muth

Superman Special #1
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy National Inventors' Day

So today just happens to be National Inventors' Day, where we are called upon as a nation to recognize the enormous contributions inventors make to the nation and the world. What better way to celebrate that day here at the 101 than to reprint the panel where Superman gets stranded back in time and has to enlist the help of genius inventor Thomas Alva Edison to get back home.

So it turns out, to my surprise, that Superman has never done that! That right there seems like a plot tailor made for the Silver Age. Oh well.

Here's a consolation panel of Superman testing out one of his own inventions...the Zone-Ophone!

Oh, hey Superman! You may want to let Mon-El know that there are three Phantom Zone criminals sneaking up behind him.

Script by Edmond Hamilton
Pencils by Curt Swan
Inks by George Klein

Superman #157
The Super-Revenge of the Phantom Zone Prisoner!
November 1962
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Thursday, February 10, 2011

First issue

They say that every issue is somebody's first issue. For Superman, this was mine.

Drum roll please...

It's Superman #13!

It's a Millennium tie-in!

It's John Byrne!

And they are nobody you should concern yourself with, after all...this blog is all about you, Superman.

(Although is that Batroc the Leaper's boot in the upper right?)

Script by John Byrne
Pencils by John Byrne
Inks by Karl Kesel
Colors by Tom Ziuko
Letters by John Costanza

Superman (Vol. 2) #13
Toys In The Attic
January 1988
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Just chillin'

You know you're secure in your super-hero identity when you can just chill and let your guard down while swapping stories like a couple of school girls.

Thanks to Elliot S! Maggin and Alex Toth for giving us a peek into the private lives of the world's finest.

Script by Elliot S! Maggin
Pencils by Alex Toth
Inks by Terry Austin
Colors by Tom Ziuko
Letters by Gasper

Superman Annual #9
Villain! Villain! Who's Got The Villain?
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Superman 101 on Superman #101

So here's a post that I'm shocked took me a week to get to.

Superman 101 takes a look at Superman (Vol. 2) #101! I'd love to take a pic from volume one, but it's not in my collection. It was quite a pleasant surprise, however, to see some Gil Kane art pop up in the second series.

And who better to draw Superman in his best Conan pose than Gil Kane. Put a little fur lining on those boots and a sword in his hand, and you're all set!

That's also quite the contrast from yesterday's striking image of Clark Kent cool!

Script by Dan Jurgens
Layout art by Gil Kane
Inks by Josef Rubinstein
Colors by Glenn Whitmore
Letters by Albert DeGuzman

Superman (Vol. 2) #101
June 1995
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Monday, February 7, 2011

The essence of cool

And people say that Clark Kent isn't cool...

Living proof that even a blue suit and striped dress socks can't counter the effect that a motorcycle gives to one's badassness.

Script by Jim Shooter
Pencils by Curt Swan
Inks by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez

Action Comics #451
The Great Super-Hero Contest!
September 1975
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl XLV

So today is the Super Bowl, or at least that's what my computer is telling me. I know next to nothing about the sport, and probably couldn't even tell you who's playing. Since I'm relatively ignorant about football, I'll just make a poop joke instead.

Thank god the player wasn't number 2.

Script by Cary Bates
Pencils by Curt Swan
Inks by Murphy Anderson

Superman #264
Secret of the Phantom Quarterback!
June 1973
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Many Lives of Superman #1

Another day, another debut post for another regular series here at Superman 101, so drum roll please...

The Many Lives of Superman

Indian Chief!

Script by Leo Dorfman
Pencils by Al Plastino
Inks by Al Plastino

Action Comics #337
From Riches To Rags
May 1966
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Friday, February 4, 2011

This really happened...

The highly delicate and blatantly obvious Clark Kent disguise was almost brought down like a house of cards after forty years by a guy who ran around with a portable record player in his costume, using a sound effects album to hypnotize his victims!

So keep your wits about you if you ever hear a scratchy, hissing sound coming from the alley that skips every few just may be the Spellbinder coming for you next!

Script by Martin Pasko
Pencils by Curt Swan
Inks by Frank Chiaramonte
Colors by Adrienne Roy
Letters by Ben Oda

Superman #330
The Master Mesmerizer of Metropolis!
December 1978
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Weekly Panel of Steel #1

I realize that I'm only three posts into this whole endeavor, but it's already time to debut the first of one of our (soon to be plentiful, I hope) regular features.

Every Thursday we'll take a quick gander through the new books that got released that week and find the best Superman pic of the bunch...and it shall be crowned the Weekly Panel of Steel!

There was only one "official" Superman book this week, and that was Superman 80-Page Giant 2011, with a kick-ass cover by Dustin Nguyen. I had all intentions of making his cover the winner this week, as I haven't been too thrilled with the recent spate of 80 pagers and actually wasn't planning on picking this up at all. Boy, was I misinformed. There were easily three or four awesome contenders, but the win goes to this one...

It's from the Jimmy Olsen story where Jimmy and Superman have to round up the 100 Jimmy Olsen clones that have been let loose in Metropolis. With each successive clone they find, the predicaments that they got themselves into just get weirder and weirder.

I love the composition on this panel, with the burned out clone strewn across the alley handcuffed to a demon's claw, to the silhouettes of Superman and Jimmy with just their iconic symbols colored. Fantastic stuff.

This particular story was written by Abhay Khosla and drawn by Andy MacDonald, and while I have never come across their names before, they're definitely on my radar now.

Story by Abhay Khosla
Artwork by Andy MacDonald
Colors by Chris Beckett
Letters by Sal Cipriano

Superman 80-Page Giant 2011 #1
Quarter-Life Crisis of Infinite Jimmy Olsens
April 2011
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

When alien animals attack!

Super problem #417...

When alien animals attack Superman, there is always a two-headed one around somewhere.

Script by Craig Boldman
Pencils by Howard Bender
Inks by Dave Hunt
Colors by Gene D'Angelo
Letters by Milt Snapinn

Action Comics #575
Rodent On A Rampage!
January 1986
Copyright (c) DC Comics

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Up, up and away!

For the inaugural post here at Superman 101, let start out with a classic shot of Clark Kent rushing into action as Superman, drawn by the classic Superman artist, Curt Swan!

And in a bit of shameless self-promotion, this panel is taken from an issue of Action Comics that I just happen to be currently reviewing on my other blog, The Random Longbox.

So if you're desperate to find out exactly what Superman's in such a big hurry to stop, click on over here. Otherwise, be sure to check back tomorrow for another panel from Superman's past.

Script by Leo Dorfman
Pencils by Curt Swan
Inks by Murphy Anderson

Action Comics #393
Superman Meets Super-Houdini!
October 1970
Copyright (c) DC Comics