Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 314

There is a house in Providence, RI, that has been the subject of legends and nightmares since its construction in 1764. Many are said to have died within its walls, with causes ranging from disease to stillbirth to "wasting away" to, in one high-profile case, melting. The last event occurred over eighty years back, when one frenzied researcher claimed to have found (and destroyed) a giant creature buried beneath its foundations. Now, the renovated property is for sale, and the visiting Superman can't help but check out the open house. There is something beneath the shunned house, and the Man of Steel is determined to find out what it is, and what really happened to every tenant for a hundred and fifty years. But if he's not careful, his meddling may simply make him a more filling meal...

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The Big News

So, DC's renumbering all of their titles at #1 post-Flashpoint, and doing a firm reboot of the universe, to make the characters younger and give them snazzy new Jim Lee-designed costume.

Says my snarkiest side: "Because it worked so well in 'Heroes Reborn'."

The less snarky side of me feels at once cynical and jilted by this. Sources apparently decline to comment on how this will affect Grant Morrison's Batman epic, which has already kind of been off in its own corner of things. As someone who's been buying status quo shake-up books like those involved in "War of the Green Lanterns," I have to wonder why anyone would care. For that matter, what of the people who stuck around through "Brightest Day"? I somehow doubt that Johns is going to throw his own story there under the bus, but I also wonder how keeping Swamp Thing's already-complicated backstory--plus the additional complications of tying him in with the expanded Lanternverse--isn't a shot in the foot to the stated goal of "mak[ing] characters more identifiable and accessible."

On one hand, I'm impressed that DC would do something this ballsy; gaining new readers means shaking things up and possibly stepping on some of the long-term fans' toes, and this genre is in desperate need of new readers. On the other hand, this isn't going to last. Marvel's learned that the flipside to a new #1 is that you jettison the history and gravitas of a large number (and conversely, that large numbers--even without reason--have some kind of appeal), and Detective Comics is rapidly approaching that #900 milestone that Action Comics just hit, meaning there will be, at most, 19 months of this "renumbering" nonsense (Detective #881 ships in August) before we see some high numbers again.

The costumes make me shake my head. There's only four so far, but it seems like post-Flashpoint DC is "the universe where everyone has high collars." Are Nehru jackets to become the '10s version of the '90s leather jackets? Only time will tell. Lee has 'streamlined' Superman's S-shield the way he did for "For Tomorrow," basically meaning "it's slightly more angular and sharp in places." That'll be great for any comic he's drawing, but I suspect that most other artists will stick closer to the version that's copyrighted. It also seems that he's jettisoned the red underpants, which I think is not merely totally unnecessary, but also a bad move from a design perspective, since it leaves an awful lot of unbroken blue in that costume. But I'm not an artist, and Jim Lee is, so I could be totally off-base.

If nothing else, this might get me to check out the Geoff Johns JLA; I liked the book the last time he wrote it, for all three issues or whatever. I hope this works out super-awesome for DC and that it nets them bajillions of new readers. And I hope they use this opportunity to get some really top-notch creators on their top-notch characters (Superman, Wonder Woman), and give some kind of spotlight to the second- and third-tier.

Taking the opportunity to un-kill Ryan Choi would be great too.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 313

Superman is in Charleston, South Carolina's Hampton Park, where heroes of every sort have gathered for Memorial Day, to honor those who have given their lives in service. Everyone from the Justice Society to the local chapter of the Veterans of Alien Wars is on-hand to share stories and pay their respects to the fallen. While Wildcat recalls an undercover mission of non-powered heroes into Nazi-occupied Europe to destroy the Spear of Destiny, Ma Hunkel relates a tale of the women's home front. J.A.K.E. 2.0, in a rare appearance since his post-WWII retirement, shares a story of the Pacific Front, Dinosaur Island, and the Viking Commando! Superman reveals his brief time-tossed team-up with Capt. Storm's Losers, and Immortalia talks of her past lives, fighting in nearly every war on American soil from the French-and-Indian onward. Finally, Bloodwynd tells of his own ancestor, one of the first to guard the Blood Gem, who was present at the first Decoration Day on this very spot, in 1865.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 312

In the remote forests of northern Maine is a mist-shielded valley called Valhalla, where an ancient Viking society has secretly lived for centuries. Usually, this valley is protected by the proud warrior Valdemar and his giant falcon, Skagerrak, but today Valdemar is being held by police in nearby Fort Kent, for attacking a group of state legislators at a town hall event! What could drive the normally reclusive Viking to strike out like this? And how does it relate to urban development and child labor? Putting things right in Fort Kent might put both Superman and Clark Kent at odds with the law!

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 311

This is not Wil MacIntyre's world. He belongs to a world that no one seems to remember--a world of fantasy, where heroes used their amazing abilities to make incredible music; a world spellbound by the magic power of a musical despot. With his mastery over electromagnetism, he led Triumph to become the world's most powerful power trio. He formed the Thunder Seven--Hawkman-Palmer Overdrive, Bryan Atoms, Flash, Theory of the Deadman, Alanis Moriscott, and the Barenaked Lady Blackhawks--who led the fight against Fiddler's forces in Canada. With the great white north safe from tyranny, Triumph toured America and fought the good fight with the allied forces of the resistance, until the world suddenly changed. Now, Wil MacIntyre sits alone in a bar in Elgin, IL, unable to say goodbye to the world he knew, incapable of movin' on in this strange new world where the musicians he knew have become vigilantes and criminals. When Superman passes through the suburban town, McIntyre recognizes him as the young virtuoso who led a supergroup into the heart of the Fiddler's power base. MacIntyre doesn't want much from the Man of Steel, the truth will do just fine, and he's ready to lay everything on the line in order to restore the world he knew!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 310

Superman's in Cleveland, OH, but you'd never know it. The Forest City has forgotten who the Man of Steel is, and the effect seems to be spreading! Lois won't answer his phone calls, the Daily Planet online archives have been wiped of his every mention, and even Superman himself finds his memories fading! The clues all point to a forgotten enemy, a mad mentalist who once played host to an aspect of the universe's most powerful alien mind--Milton Fine, one-time Brainiac! His time bonded to the cruel Coluan left him with powerful telepathic abilities--and a lasting grudge against the hero who ruined his life, then forgot he existed! Now, Fine's repaying the favor, ensuring that the entire world forgets their greatest champion! Superman must work quickly to reverse Milton's mental machinations, or the Last Son of Krypton may fade away like a dream upon waking...

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 309

Superman's visit to Cleveland, Ohio, began as many of the stops on his journey have: with a celebration in his honor. The mayor presented the Man of Steel with a plaque to commemorate the event, and Superman participated in the festivities, enjoying old-fashioned carnival food and playing games with children. Signs and banners adorned streets and neighborhoods, welcoming Superman to the Forest City. But when he awoke the next morning, the plaque had disappeared. The Plain Dealer made no mention of the celebration or Superman's visit, and a quick glance at the previous days' issues--which had been advertising the event heavily--showed no mention either! The banners and signs are gone, with no trace of having existed at all, and people on the street barely give Superman a second look. Why has Cleveland suddenly forgotten their honored guest? Superman's determined to find out, before he forgets himself!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 308

Archaeologist Nina Dowd has come a long way since her unfortunate encounter with an alien artifact and battle with Young Justice. It took months of treatment by the D.E.O. and S.T.A.R. Labs to reverse her condition, and years of therapy to get over the experience, but she's finally resumed something like a normal life. Or at least she had, until today! She may have woken up this morning as Nina Dowd, but when she arrived at the Superman Festival in Gardner, Kansas's Celebration Park, she had once again become the Mighty Endowed! Now Superman's in a race against time to cure Dr. Dowd's condition, not just for the sake of Gardner or Nina's back, but for the young son she left behind!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 307

Many deities were roused from restless slumber by the recently averted war over Hell, but not all of them are returning happily to their quiet realms. Its name is unpronounceable by mammalian vocal structures, and has not been uttered for sixty-five million years. Not since fire fell from the sky and hot ash choked its disciples' throats as they uttered their last prayers, not since the cold darkness blotted out the sun and swept death across the globe. Some of its children survived; as a last gift he clothed them in feathers and ensured their mastery of the very sky that slaughtered their brethren. Now, this saurian god has reawakened, and it despairs to see its world stolen and sullied by mammals. This dinosaur deity is determined to revive its long-dead children, to remind their avian descendants of their origins, and it's starting at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana! When Superman arrives, he finds the Big Sky Country filled with furious birds, while the fossilized skeletal remains of dinosaurs rise from the ground and break loose from their museum exhibits. It's up to the Man of Steel to stop this new army from sending Earth back to the Cretaceous!

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Something that's been bugging me

I'll admit, I'm way behind on reading the Green Lantern books. I fell off around the time that Geoff Johns decided cutting two pages from the page count was an excuse to increase the number of double-page splashes of aliens flying at things. I haven't bothered to drop the titles yet, but I suspect that will change once I actually sit down and see what's become of them.

But I have seen some of the covers, with the Earth Lanterns becoming Rainbow Brite's posse, and it's brought to mind something that's been rolling around ever since the retcon of Sinestro's power ring (namely, that it's powered by fear, and specifically Parallax). Namely, has anyone referenced the fact that Guy Gardner used Sinestro's ring for a good long time?

Seriously, between his Green Lantern days on the JLI and JLA and his Vuldarian Warrior days, Guy Gardner rocked a yellow ring. It's the ring he had when the JLA fought Doomsday, and for awhile thereafter.

People talk about how great Hal is for conquering fear and all, but given the ring's retcon, wasn't Guy conquering that fear for months or years? There had been talk at various times about how removing the yellow impurity would drive Green Lanterns mad with power, but Guy shouldered the burden pretty well, I think (having not read his solo title at the time, it's possible that there was more drama to it). To date, I think this puts Guy just behind Hal as "Lantern who's worn the most different power rings."

I don't know, I'd just think that this is the kind of thing that would get a passing mention.

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Walking with Superman: Day 306

The Key to Hell has been stolen! The ceremonial key to Hell, Michigan, that is. And a burglary this badly bungled could only have been conducted by the very worst: the World's Foulest duo of Bizarro and Batzarro! Superman's on their trail, if only to prevent them from stumbling their way into causing actual harm. Little does he know that, with this phony key, they've conjured up the very real--and very bizarre--demon, Nagirte! What terrible secret power lies within their demon ally? What strange god set the dimwitted duo on their quest in the first place? And will Superman be able to halt their hare-brained escapade with a straight face?

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Walking with Superman: The Contest Update!

If my inbox is any indication, you may be interested in the results of the Walking with Superman Contest. I'll be posting the results within the next week and shipping the prizes shortly after. Just swamped with work at the moment.

Thanks for participating (and caring)!

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Walking with Superman: Day 305

Rapture, Indiana is barely even a town; there's only one resident, and area locals have been referring to it as "Bugtown" for longer than they can remember. But today, Rapture is really on the map, because a strange alien entity is tearing through it as it cuts a swath of destruction across southern Indiana! Superman stands on Highway 68, determined to put a stop to the creature's rampage, for he knows the secret behind the beast. This is no ravenous menace from beyond the stars, but the unfortunate casualty of the averted war over Hell. Many were drafted into service by their gods, and this creature represents the single soldier of the great god H'ronmeer--J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter! Driven mad by the power of H'ronmeer's divine fire, J'onn has lost control of his form and his feelings, and Superman must restore his mind before any innocents die!

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 304

The armies of Heaven and Hell--and a dozen other realms--are standing at the dimensional nexus in Salem, Massachusetts. This war of gods mortals would not merely decide the new rulers of Hell, but could mean devastating damage to Earth--and to the rest of the universe! Superman realizes that he's the only one with the power to stop the fight from happening, but in order to do that, he needs to recover the Key to Hell himself--and that means a rematch with its thief, Yarz the Unspeakable, the World's Mightiest Monster! But even if he recovers the hellish device, can Superman prevent the war? Or will he declare himself the ruler of the nether-realm?

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 303

Battle lines are being drawn in the war for control of Hell. Wonder Woman, Achilles, and Hercules have been called to the front lines of the Olympian strike force. Hawk and Dove have been divided by the Lords of Order and Chaos. Every pantheon has designs on the unguarded realm--even the dead ones. In Krypton, KY, Superman gets a visit from a god of his own--Rao, the sun-god of Krypton! With control of the underworld, Rao claims that he can restore Krypton to its former glory, revive Jor-El and Lara and all the countless billions lost in the planet's destruction--even Kal-El's adopted son Lor-Zod! Supergirl and Power Girl have already joined with the lost world's lord, and Kal-El could lead them to victory and glory. Will Superman join the deity of a dead world? Can he afford not to?

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 302

As Superman passes through Heavener, OK, he gets a visit from the Host! Angelic JLAer Zauriel, Earth-Born angel Twilight, and the divine Spectre confront the Man of Steel near the mysterious Heavener Runestone. With the Key to Hell missing, war between the holy realm and its infernal counterpart seems inevitable. The forces of the Presence hope to count the pure soul of Superman among their number in the coming Holy War, and warn that the powers above may have to unleash the Bull Host. If the Action Ace joins the ranks of the blessed, then they can offer him protection, but if he remains neutral...well, many of the horned angels still bear something of a grudge for Superman's humiliation of their disgraced leader Asmodel. The divine warriors depart, and while Superman contemplates these recent offers, a Stranger to both realms comes to offer another choice...

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 301

The Key to Hell has been stolen, leaving the gates to the infernal realms open. With neither the petty factions of devils nor the angelic overseers of the dimension in charge, war is brewing between Heaven and Hell, and Earth is caught in the middle. Superman finds himself atop Devil's Tower in Wyoming, surrounded by a trio of demons with designs on being Hell's new Triumverate, and thus rulers of all creation. Neron, Blaze, and Satanus offer Superman a choice: help their armies, or at least refuse to oppose them, and in their victory they will make him into the god of the mortal realm. This universe, with all its worlds, would become his domain, as he finally gained the power necessary to be everywhere at once, to save everyone, to never again hear a cry for help and be unable to respond. And if they should win despite his opposition, then he would find himself imprisoned in some empty realm, able only to watch the universe from outside, never again to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Can Superman resist their temptation? More importantly: should he?

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 300

They were built by the greatest criminal minds on the planet, using technology and power from the darkest heart of Apokolips. The Four Horsemen: Yuurd the Unknown, harbinger of the Age of Hunger; Rogga of the Seven Atrocities, harbinger of the Age of War; Zorrm the Desolate, harbinger of the Age of Fevers; and Azraeuz, Fetid King of the Age of Death. The last time they appeared, it took the combined might of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Doom Patrol, and one of their creators to stop them. And they were thought defeated forever.

The child came from a ghetto. Even she isn't sure which one anymore, whether on this Earth or some other world. After seeing as many of them as she has, they all begin to look the same. If she ever had a name, it was lost long before she met Granny. Granny made her strong. Granny made her safe. And Granny taught her that there was power in words, in letters and numbers, that the right word could crumble worlds, the right equation could bring the universe to its knees. The girl wanted nothing more than to be one of Granny's favorites, one of the Furies. But Granny left, like they all leave eventually.

But Granny left her one gift: the word. That amazing word that opened the pit of fire beneath her feet and transformed her into something better. Something strong and new, something hungry and godlike. She spoke the word and she gained their strength, their spirit, their power. She became Yarz the Unspeakable, the World's Mightiest Monster, Harbinger of the New Age.

And ever since she first caught scent of Superman, she has been tracking his travels around this continent, waiting in the shadows, conserving her power, until the perfect time to strike. And now, with her power augmented by an infernal artifact, she waits like a coiled snake in Wyoming's Red Desert for the Man of Steel. Here, Superman is alone and vulnerable. Here, Superman will face the combined might of the Horsemen who once nearly consumed him and his allies. Here, Superman will fall and the monster will slake its thirst on his blood. And with his still-beating indestructible heart raised to the sky, she will usher in the new age.

The Age of the Apocalypse.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 299

Superman has always been an inspirational figure, and while the humble Kryptonian has come to terms with being the subject of admiration, he's never been comfortable with worship. Superman cults have existed in one form or another since the Man of Steel's public debut, and they continue in their fervor despite his best efforts to dissuade them. That's why he's in Valley Falls, CO today: Superman Cultists of every stripe have assembled for a Miracle Monday celebration, and the Man of Tomorrow hopes he might be able to talk some sense into them. And when 29th-Century historian Kristin Wells turns up at the same conference, Superman hopes he'll have some helping hands--but is the sometimes-Superwoman there to assist the Man of Steel, or to idolize him?

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 298

When Jane Falletti took her '69 Camaro for a short drive in Trenton, NJ, back in July of 1975, she had no idea that the errand would take her thirty-six years! Now, Falletti finds herself thrown suddenly forward in time, with nothing to her name but a mint condition muscle car. Her parents have passed away, and the few friends she has left have all moved on, living life while she was presumed deader than disco. With nowhere else to turn, she calls on Superman for help. Can the Man of Steel return to the polyester age, or will she have to start life over in this future time?

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 297

Times are tough all over, and economic struggles are one of the few problems that Superman feels almost powerless to solve. But when a Harrisburg, PA school holds a bake sale in an attempt to make up for the state's multimillion-dollar cuts to public education, the Man of Steel decides to lend a hand. Recruiting local businesses and restaurants, along with a little hi-tech equipment from the Fortress of Solitude, Superman super-charges Harrisburg's cooking facilities, and he's trading in his cape for a bright red apron! The Chef of Steel may not be able to single-handedly solve America's education funding problems, but he's certainly going to try!

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 296

For most gamblers, the worst luck they're likely to have is a bad hand of cards, but Friday the 13th has visited a particular sort of bad luck on the patrons of Harrah's in Tunica, MS! The Mississippi River is experiencing unprecedented flooding, drowning entire cities across the southern Midwest. Superman's had his hands full trying to divert the waters, but when he sees how Harrah's is flooding above the water line, he takes a quick detour. Dr. Julian September is exacting some paraskevidekatriacentric revenge on the casino--and if Superman wants to stop him, he may be out of luck!

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 295

When Superman heard that the police in Petoskey, Michigan, had arrested Batman, he couldn't help but look into the matter. But Clark Kent's not the only investigator curious about the Wolverine State's Dark Knight--Tim Drake is on the case as well! Superman and Red Robin delve into the mystery of the Captured Crusader, finding much more than just a masquerade gone bad! Villainy is afoot in Petoskey, and the only man who knows the truth is trapped behind bars--and at his enemies' mercy!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Flashpoint by Numbers

I have a habit of reading a comic or two before leaving the comic shop's parking lot; I've done it for years, picking the comics I'm most excited about to read right away. Today was a little bit different, since I didn't go straight for Amazing Spider-Man or Superman, but instead for Flash and Flashpoint. Due to a shipping snafu, my shop didn't get Flash #11 until today, so I burned through the last two issues of that series before reading through the first issue of Flashpoint.

And when I was done, the words that popped into my head were "bog-standard."

I'll admit, some of the hype surrounding Flashpoint was intriguing, and I'm usually up for a good alternate reality tale. But boy, this sure reads like it was basically written on autopilot. I guess I was expecting a serious twist, and I suppose the reveal at the end was supposed to be that? But then, a very similar twist was used in "JLA: Earth 2," and I want to say I've seen it elsewhere as well.

But other than that, there just doesn't feel like any hook here. Despite some moderate development back in Flash #11, Barry Allen is still the dullest man alive, which makes him a really bland focal character. In fact, this really just feels like "Flash" #13, and the next step in Prof. Zoom's nefarious scheme. It's Barry Allen's version of the animated Batman episode "Perchance to Dream," except there's not another Flash running around in his place.

But there are an awful lot of superheroes. And that seems like it might be a fatal flaw in both the execution and Professor Zoom's plan. Having so many heroes--even so many familiar faces, like Cyborg and Billy Batson--makes the stakes feel a lot smaller here. This is a world where everything is changed--slightly! And I find it hard to get worked up over that. This isn't a world where evil has triumphed and good is relegated to resistance cells (like Days of Future Past or Age of Apocalypse or Rock of Ages), this isn't a world where black is white and up is down and everything you know is wrong (Earth 2, etc.), this is a world where the status quo is basically the same, but some of the names have changed. Nothing about this feels dramatic or drastic; it feels like an Elseworlds that I otherwise would have skipped. It carries about the same "things are totally different" weight as Earth-D from that Legends of the DCU special, where all the heroes were just a little more multicultural.

I do like the return of Captain Thunder, even if it's as a riff on both He-Man and Captain Planet. I guess He-Man's a riff on Captain Marvel to begin with, so it all works out.

I suppose the biggest twist left is that we'll learn how Barry caused all this himself by going back in time and saving his mother's life, but I'm having a tough time bringing myself to care enough to get there. Without some electrifying hook in this first issue, I think I'm going to stick with my original plan of checking out the series that look interesting (Lois Lane, Project Superman, maybe Secret Seven) and leaving everything else--including the main book.

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Walking with Superman: Day 294

Clark Kent visits the International Cryptozoological Museum in Portland, ME, which has recently expanded to include a huge new collection of cryptids. Taxidermied unicorns, gryphons, cockatrices, and chupacabrae have drawn hundreds of new visitors, but the real stars of the collection are the live manticore and pegasus. Clark's enhanced senses reveal the shocking truth that these creatures are no mere hoax--though they also lack the telltale signs of magical origins that such creatures ought to possess. Yet they are no natural occurrence either, clearly made from the genetic material of wildly different and incompatible species, in a way that should not produce living organisms. There's something more to these creatures' origins, and it's going to take Superman to get to the bottom of it!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It sure is something!

The "Walking with Superman" contest got a really nice write-up over at Nerdy Nothings. Many thanks to Rebel Rikki and the NN crew for the mention!

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A reminder

There's only one week left in the big Walking with Superman contest! Hurry up and send your entries in to DoubtingTom83 [at] Gmail [dot] com! Cool prizes await!

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Walking with Superman: Day 293

There's been a strange rash of fires in and around Meeker, Oklahoma recently, and no one has been able to track down a culprit, or even a motive. Pranks? Accidents? Arson? The local police have been scratching their heads. That is, until one of the repeat fire victims set up a surveillance camera to catch the culprit. What he saw instead was his wife spontaneously combusting, then quickly returning to normal, though not without some collateral damage. And the fiery ailment seems to be spreading, which leaves the Man of Steel to find out why the citizens are flaring up before the whole town burns down!

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Monday, May 09, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 292

When a mysterious arcade game in the 1980s led to memory loss, nightmares, catatonia, and suicide among teenagers, the town of Marshfield, MA removed the cabinet, and ultimately banned arcade games within city limits. But now the game called Xenophon has made its way back to gamers through a smartphone app--and a popular endurance challenge--and its effects have made a return as well. Now it's up to Superman to discover the game's origins--and the reasons for its sinister side-effects--before a dangerous dare sends more kids spiraling into depression and death!

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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Alan Moore, retcon thyself

I know this is old news, but it's a non-Superman post idea for once, and that's worthwhile, I think. Not too terribly long ago, Alan Moore (whose work I generally enjoy) said this:

At the end of the day, if they haven’t got any properties that are valuable enough, but they have got these ‘top-flight industry creators’ that are ready to produce these prequels and sequels to Watchmen, well this is probably a radical idea, but could they not get one of the ‘top-flight industry creators’ to come up with an idea of their own? Why are DC Comics trying to exploit a comic book that I wrote 25 years ago if they have got anything? Sure they ought to have had an equivalent idea since?
And I have to think that the sentiment is kind of rich for someone whose most high-profile work of the last several years has been illustrated fanfic. Don't get me wrong, I like what I've read of "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," and I'd even like to read "Lost Girls" at some point. But it's a little pot-and-kettle to excoriate DC for "produc[ing] prequels and sequels" to work you "wrote 25 years ago" when you make your current living on mashup sequels to Dracula (1897) and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) and slash fiction about The Wizard of Oz (1900) and Peter Pan (1904). What's the relevant difference? That DC is plundering stuff Moore did as work-for-hire while he's working with the public domain?

I think DC--and moreover, Hollywood--has generally been pretty crappy to Alan Moore. I think Moore has made a mistake in being just as crappy to the comics industry as a whole of late. Especially when his aired grievances reek of hypocrisy.

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Walking with Superman: Day 291

It's Mother's Day, and Clark Kent's celebrating by taking Ma out of Smallville for a day in nearby Wichita. Martha leads the way, of course, but the Art Museum is definitely on the itinerary, and Clark may have snagged a pair of tickets to the Symphony tonight. The visit is an unqualified success, and Martha feels younger than she has in years. In fact, she's looking younger too. A lot younger. And so is everyone else in Wichita, for that matter. There must be something in the air in the Air Capital of the World, because the town is suddenly full of teenagers, and they're only getting younger. The Man of Steel is the last man standing, but can he find the cause of this reverse aging while also keeping thousands of teenagers--including his own mother--out of trouble?

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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 290

The battle began in Blue Valley, but by the time Superman and Felix Faust make it to Omaha, the sorcerer is losing his advantage. Passing by a comic shop, the villainous wizard gets an insidious insight, and weaves a spell around the hapless Man of Steel, reducing him to two dimensions! Now Superman is stuck in the pages of a comic book, and his only hope for lies in the hands of three young comic fans. If they should fail, the Man of Steel may spend an eternity trapped in a four-color prison, living forever between the gutters!

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Friday, May 06, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 289

Superman's in Des Moines, Iowa, and he's just in time to stop a bank robbery from turning deadly. He swoops in quickly, catching a hail of bullets before they can perforate a hapless teller, and only afterward does he notice that the robber isn't some average felon--it's the Clown Prince of Crime himself, the Joker! The Man of Steel realizes that there must be a trap, but it's too late--he's caught in the face with a strange vapor, which his super-senses reveal is a mixture of Joker-toxin and red kryptonite! What strange effects will this crazy concoction have on the Man of Tomorrow? What is the Joker's newest nefarious scheme? Will Superman recover in time to stop it? All this and more in "Walking with Superman"!

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 288

Superman takes a stroll through the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, enjoying the quiet serenity. When his keen senses discover something alive among the fossilized flora, he unearths an ancient and petrified member of the Parliament of Trees! The Elemental is barely alive, and as he awakens, he finds his connection to the Green has been largely severed. But new abilities are developing within the ancient creature, power over stone and earth. Superman has experienced first-hand the violent births of new Elementals, but even he has no idea what to expect when such a powerful being moves from one element to another--and the power involved may split the world in half!

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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 287

The Painted Desert stretches over 146 square miles of northeastern Arizona, offering some of the most stunning natural geological vistas in the country. Or at least it did, until the colorful criminals Crazy Quilt and the Rainbow Raider got to it! Now, the garish landscape is an eyesore, and it'll stay that way until the Arizona government gives into the vandals' demands! But when visitors to the disfigured desert begin looting local shops and robbing banks, it seems that there's more to the crime than just graffiti! It's up to Superman to restore the desert and its tourists, before he too falls under the hypnotic spell!

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 286

Arizona's Grand Canyon is one of the country's true natural wonders, though the scenery looks an awful lot less natural today! As part of his continued effort to make his mark on America's monuments, the would-be supervillain called Monumentarch has somehow filled the canyon's full length and depth with multicolored plastic balls, transforming it into the world's largest ball pit! The Man of Steel aims to put a stop to his strange shenanigans, but this may be one battle where the public is on the villain's side! The attraction has drawn more tourists than ever in recent days, as children and adults alike enjoy the whimsical wonder--is there any way that Superman can find a satisfying solution for everyone?

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Monday, May 02, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 285

By the 29th Century, the Superman Dynasty and Earth's other heroes have made the planet into a utopia, an unparalleled paradise among the civilized worlds. It's the perfect place to live--that is, unless you happen to be a criminal. But the villain called Tempus hopes to make the future a more welcoming place for the lawless by killing the one man who set his timeline in motion: Superman! Tempus has come to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and his Doom Clock is ringing out death for the Man of Steel and the Heart of Dixie!

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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 284

Decades ago, Ron Lydon lived a very different life. He hitchhiked around the country in a poncho, calling himself "Starshine," living off handouts. If you'd met him then, panhandling on the streets of Metropolis, you'd have a hard time recognizing him today, the clean-cut, well-fed corporate lawyer, operating out of a multimillion-dollar firm in Newark, NJ. And yet, it was on those Metropolitan streets that he discovered that people would tend to do anything he wanted, so long as he was polite and turned on just a little charm. Today, Superman's arriving in Newark, and all Lydon can think about is what he could accomplish with the Man of Steel under his sway. And with Superman's super-hearing, Lydon doesn't even need to be nearby to tie puppet-strings onto the Action Ace! Will Superman spend the rest of his career as a corporate crony?

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