Tag: superman

Brandon Routh’s Superman Returns for the CW’s ‘Arrowverse’ Crossover

The CW’s upcoming Arrowverse crossover that spans across all of the network’s superhero TV shows just got a little bit bigger.

According to Deadline, not only will Supergirl guest-star Tyler Hoechlin be reprising his role as Superman, but so will Legends of Tomorrow star Brandon Routh. Yes, the Superman from director Bryan Singer’s 2006 Superman Returns will be returning ― again.

 

Image via Amazon

 

The crossover is titled “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” and is based on the 1980s twelve-issue series of the same name by comic book legends Marv Wolfman and George Perez. Multiple dimensions and alternate earths were included in the landmark event, which saw the tragic (but temporary) deaths of iconic characters, and the introduction of some of their parallel world counterparts. Quite an effort was made to stop the villain known as the Anti-Monitor from wiping out everything in existence. For the upcoming adaptation, this would be a job for two Supermen.

Routh confirmed the news just recently on Twitter.

 

 

Including Routh’s Superman is unexpected, appropriate, and quite welcome, given that his return already signifies the scale of the multiverse shaking crossover. He will also be suiting up as his series-regular Legends of Tomorrow character Ray Palmer/The Atom in a number of episodes as well. 

The epic crossover event will premiere before the end of the year, with three episodes in December and then two episodes to conclude the event in January 2020.

 

 

 

Featured Image via Deadline

 

Gene Yang’s ‘Superman Smashes the Klan’ Gets a Release Date!

Superman is our greatest superhero for good reason. His acts of heroism exist not only in the pages of comics or on the big screen, but in reality from time to time. After all, he once dealt a major blow to the Ku Klux Klan back in 1946.

 

 

The Adventures of Superman radio show was a hit in the 1940s and became an unexpected platform for combating the KKK. Activist Stetson Kennedy provided the show with inside information on the organization after attending meetings undercover. The show then included the information, which comprised of code words and sensitive details on the KKK’s activities while depicting Superman’s stand against the organization’s crimes and injustices. Membership and recruitment was reportedly reduced significantly as a result.

 

Image via The Hollywood Reporter

 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, MacArthur Genius Grant winner, Eisner Award winner, and previous Superman writer Gene Luen Yang will be writing a three-part comic series based on the inspiring true story.

The Hollywood Reporter released preview pages and the description for Superman Smashes the Klan:

 

The year is 1946, and the Lee family has moved from Metropolis’s Chinatown to the center of the bustling city. While Dr. Lee is greeted warmly in his new position at the Metropolis Health Department, his two kids, Roberta and Tommy, are more excited about being closer to their famous hero, Superman!

While Tommy adjusts to the fast pace of the city, Roberta feels out of place, as she tries and fails to fit in with the neighborhood kids. As the Lees try to adjust to their new lives, an evil is stirring in Metropolis: the Ku Klux Klan. When the Lee family awakens one night to find a burning cross on their lawn, they consider leaving town. But the Daily Planet offers a reward for information on the KKK, and their top two reporters, Lois Lane and Clark Kent, dig into the story.

When Tommy is kidnapped by the KKK, Superman leaps into action — with help from Roberta! But Superman is still new to his powers — he hasn’t even worked out how to fly yet, so he has to run across town. Will Superman and Roberta reach Tommy in time?

 

Image via The Hollywood Reporter

 

Yang elaborated on the impact of the ‘Clan of the Fiery Cross’ arc, describing the radio show’s effect on the real world injustices of the time and the effect it had on Superman’s development into an American icon. Few writers have captured the goodness beneath the Man of Steel the way that Yang has in recent years, and the positivity that ripples from the hero’s triumphs.

 

One of the things about the Superman radio show, and the original version of this story, is that it actually comes relatively early in Superman’s career. He was first published in 1938, and the story was broadcast around 1946, so that’s just eight years, and he was already a worldwide phenomenon. And especially in America, he was wildly popular. But I do feel that the Superman that we all know and love today, he wasn’t quite formed yet [at that time].

There were still pieces of him that were being solidified. And as much as the radio show impacted the real world in terms of bigotry and racism, it also helped shape Superman’s character. It was at this point where Superman really did become a symbol of American tolerance, American justice and American hope.

 

Superman Smashes the Klan arrives October 16th.

 

Featured Image via The Hollywood Reporter

 

 

superman

Celebrate Superman with These Modern Age Comics!

This week, we celebrate the superhero that started it all.

Admittedly, while Superman has been my favorite superhero after years of comic book reboots, Smallville, animated series, animated movies, DCEU movies as well as the original Christopher Reeve movies, he is also a tough character to crack, and this is apparent in many of his stories as a result.

However, here are some of the best comics (or at least the more eventful/interesting ones) in recent years that prove that Superman can still be king of the genre.

 

Superman: Secret Origins

 

supermanImage via Amazon

 

If you’re looking for some Silver Age Christopher Reeve Superman nostalgia then look no further. As far as Superman homages go, this one is the best (sorry, Superman Returns). Geoff Johns captures the charm and spirit of the character displayed in the Reeve films while placing him into a more contemporary setting. The result is an origin about an optimistic figure who finds purpose in combating our bleak and pessimistic times.

 

Superman: Unchained

 

supermanImage via Amazon

 

A younger, less seasoned Superman than the one we’re used to is still finding his way as a hero, while under constant scrutiny and international military threats. A new world-ending threat and a long lost weapon kept secret since World War II will test the Man of Steel and all that he wants to stand for. Superman will have to overcome his doubts and insecurities to find confidence in making his own decisions, in hopes of inspiring others to do the same for the better.

 

Superman: Lois and Clark

 

supermanImage via Amazon

 

A weird DC Comics reboot changed the multiverse and the events of its timeline, displacing the classic Superman, Lois Lane, and their newborn son, Jon, on an alternate Earth. For the sake of protecting his family’s anonymity, Superman decides to resume his superhero work in secret. Nothing can keep him from trying to make the world a better place, no matter how world-bending the circumstances might be. However, the Super family can’t stay hidden forever, no matter what Earth they live on, and their safety will be put at risk. Fixing a situation with stakes as high and as personal as this is a job for Superman.

 

 

Featured Image via Gary Frank

It’s Superman Day! Let’s Take a Look at What Many Consider to Be the First Superhero

Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Who can achieve these remarkable feats! You all know him and you love him: Superman!

Superman is a cultural icon and in many ways, the first superhero of American media. He’s the Man of Steel, the Last Son of Krypton, the Man of Tomorrow, and the Big Blue Blur. You all know Superman, from his iconic wardrobe, to his fantastic array of powers, his supporting cast (Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl), his villains (Lex Luthor, Braniac, General Zod, Doomsday, Bizarro), and his setting of Metropolis. Superhuman is a fascinating character, both as a cultural icon and what he represents. Let’s take a closer look at this famous superhero of American myth!

 

Superman, in the famous cover to Action Comics #1, raises a car over his head and smashes it against a boulder as men around him flee

Image via Wikipedia

Superman made his sensational debut in Action Comics #1 in 1938. He made a strong impression, headlining the cover of the book, raising a car over his head and smashing it against a boulder as men around him fled in terror. The man himself was created by the duo of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Siegel wrote the storylines, while Shuster drew the art. The creators, both Jewish, initially wanted to create the superhero as a villain(!) but later redesigned him to be a hero instead. They drew inspiration from the Golem of Judaism, circus strongmen, and movie stars. His costume most obviously incorporated the strongman ideas, both for Superman’s feats of strength and his fabulous supernatural feats. Superman began as a figure to the lower class, a symbol of fighting back against the ‘man’, appropriate considering America was just pulling itself out of the Depression. As such, Superman tackled authority figures, fighting against men of the establishment like corrupt governors, oil tycoons, and con-men. His status quo was quickly established, with Lois Lane entering the picture as the object of Clark Kent’s affections, while Kent himself posed as a reporter at the Daily Planet.

Superman’s popularity exploded overnight, with his comic books selling more than any other comic book character in history. Due to his popularity, Superman was followed by a host of imitators such as Batman, Wonder Woman, Shazam!, the Flash, Green Lantern, the Atom, the Spectre, Hawkman, and many, many others. From all this came the foundation of the DC Universe, a host of imprints that DC eventually folded under one label, with Superman now sharing his world with dozens of other superpowered people. In fact, he became a founding member of the Justice League, the most famous team in comics history that brought its assorted heroes together.

 

Superman, showing off his power as bullets bounce off him

Image Via Alex Ross 

Superman’s popularity allowed him to expand from the comics, first in a radio show entitled The Adventures of Superman in 1940 and ran until 1951. The radio serials were fifteen minutes in length and aimed at a young audience but it made a huge cultural splash when it dared to go against a real life foe: the Ku Klux Klan. Seeing the Klan experience a resurgence, human rights activist Stetson Kennedy contacted the radio show and shared with them his research on the Klan. A storyline was created, entitled ‘the Clan of the Fiery Cross’ where Superman took on the Klan, stripping away their mystique of the organization and making them experience a severe drop in membership thereafter. So, Superman has always been a force for good, even in the real world. It didn’t hurt the storyline earned spectacular ratings as well.

Superman’s first cinema appearances were in the Superman theatrical shorts, each made for very lavish budgets of 50,000 to 30,000 for the time. The result was spectacular animation that blew audiences away and showcased Superman’s power on the big screen. The shorts were highly popular, created between 1941 and 1943, contributing to Superman’s ongoing popularity. He also had a TV show called Adventures of Superman, starring George Reeves as the titular hero and was highly popular in its hey day.

 

The three actors to play Superman stand side by side

Image via Comicbook news 

 

In 1978, the first big budget Superman film was produced, known as Superman: The Movie starring Christopher Reeve as Superman/Clark Kent, Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor, Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, and Marlon Brando as Superman’s father Jor-El. The film was directed by Richard Donner and lauded for its impressive special effect sequences, as well as Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of the titular superhero. Reeve managed to embody the classic character completely, making Clark Kent and Superman feel like truly different people, making Superman feel like a real character, rather than a archetype. The second highest grossing film of 1978 behind Grease, the series spawned three sequels, all of diminishing quality. But it remains a classic and Christopher Reeve, along with John Williams iconic score for the film, remain the definitive, enduring representations of the hero in the public eye.

Superman was portrayed further by Brandon Routh in Superman Returns and Henry Caville in Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justiceand Justice LeagueBoth portrayals found themselves on the brunt of criticism, however, and neither reached the acclaim of the classic series. The character has further appeared in dozens of cartoons and video games, such as Superman the Animated Series, Justice League Unlimitedand Young Justice. However, his actual comic sales are in decline these days, although this is common for most comics these days, unfortunately. He’ll doubtlessly continue to be in even more adaptations, always flying onward into the future!

Superman remains a classic of iconography and will always be a classic! We can’t wait to see what the future brings for the Man of Steel but for now, celebrate Superman Day by reading his comics or watch one of his cartoons, TV shows, and movies! As the man would say: this looks like a job for Superman!

 

 

Featured Image Via Wikipedia 

 

 

4 Essential ‘Shazam!’ Comic Stories to Read Before the Movie

Shazam! comes out this Friday (April 5th) and its going to be great to see a favorite superhero of the comics, not to mention an icon who outsold Superman in his day, get his debut on the big screen. But before the movie comes out, it is probably best to get at least a little familiar with the character in his home series of comics. But where to start with Shazam? Well, have no fear, here are a few of the best and essential storylines of the so called Big Red Cheese.

 

‘Shazam! And the Monster Society of evil’ by Jeff Smith and Alex Ross

 

The cover to the Monster Society of Evil, featuring Shazam amidst a storm
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Shazam! And The Monster Society of Evil is an all-ages condensed adaptation of Shazam’s origin story. Capping out at 4 issues, the story tells of how young Billy Batson got his powers, his first battle against his rogues gallery, and the introductions of supporting characters like Mary Marvel and Freddie Freeman. This story serves as a great introduction to the Shazam universe, as well as being well written, full of dynamic action, and showcasing Billy Batson’s inner hero for a new generation of readers.

 

Shazam! The Power of Hope’ By Paul dini and Alex ross

 

Shazam stands tall with his broad chin against the sun on the cover to this comic
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Famed Batman: The Animated Series creator and writer Paul Dini takes a swing at Shazam with this comic, with wonderful artwork provided by Alex Ross. It’s a very simple story that shows the inherent purity of the character, showing Shazam visiting a terminally ill children’s hospital and granting their birthday wishes. Few comics capture Shazam so well and this one is his character distilled to its basic form, showing him without fighting villains or around other heroes, just doing what he does best: bring hope. It’s a wonderful, sometimes tear jerking read that excels in showing its character with minimal dialogue.

 

‘The Power of Shazam!’ by Jerry Ordway

 

The Power of Shazam shows Shazam standing, hands on hips on bricks with lightening bolts on them
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

A title so popular it helped launch an ongoing comic, The Power of Shazam! is an original graphic novel that offers another take on Billy Batson’s origin. Lushly painted and an epic in its own right, this comic chronicles Billy Batson’s first adventures against a backdrop of an adventure that takes inspiration from horror movies and pulp serials. Black Adam becomes Billy’s first nemesis here and the reader roots for Billy as he rises above his traumatic circumstances to become a superhero. Highly recommended and a great take on the character’s origins, even if some of the writing is slightly dated.

 

‘Superman/Shazam: First Thunder’ by Judd Winick and Joshua Middleton

 

Cover featuring Shazam and Superman in lightening
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Superman and Shazam have always been connected, this team-up showing their strengths as superheroes as they team up together. When Superman meets Shazam, they initially throw down but afterwards, just talk and learn about each other, becoming fast friends over a mutual bond. Then, several villains including Lex Luthor and Eclipso team up, the two heroes joining forces to take them down. It’s a great story, full of fun character interaction between the leads, great action, and a fun contrast between the different worlds of these two iconic superheroes.

Are you looking forward to Shazam! this Friday? Which comics featuring the character are your favorites?

 

Featured Image Via Radiotimes