Archive for DC Comics

Year End Book Report: The Best Books I Read in 2012

Posted in books, comic books with tags , , , , , on January 7, 2013 by Paxton

Badass Book Report

Here we are, my year end recap of the books I’ve read this year. You can check out my Google Spreadsheet for the full list of books I’ve managed to read in 2012 (and every year prior).

So, like last year, I’ll list out the top 5 books I read and the top 5 comics I read this year. I’m excluding re-reads in my evaluations. I’m only including books I read for the first time in 2012.

Here we go.  In no particular order.

Books


Ready Player One – Ernest Cline – Okay, I’m immediately going to call myself a liar.  I said these were in no order, but I’m telling you right now, this was the best book I read in 2012.  Hands down.  There was a lot of buzz going around about the book and I had several people recommend it to me.  Which usually makes me not want to read things.  However, my friend Trish over at Love, Laughter and Insanity believed that I would love it so much that she actually traveled to a bookstore in which Ernest Cline was signing, had him sign a copy of the paperback and then mailed it to me.  And that’s why she’s awesome.  Thanks, Trish.  Your hard work paid off and it has been named as my favorite book of the year.  Seriously, this book is the truth.  Don’t read anything about it or the story.  Just experience it.  You’re welcome.


Star Wars: Darth Plagueis – Honestly, this was the best book I read for most of 2012.  Then, in early July, I read the above book.  But even if this isn’t my #1, it’s absolutely in my top 5.  This is probably also in the top 5 of Star Wars books of all-time.  This book had been planned, started, stopped and delayed several times.  Finally, James Luceno grabbed the reins and drove this baby home.  It’s a very ambitious novel.  Focusing on the behind the scenes machinations of Darth Sidious and his master, Darth Plagueis.  It’s fascinating to see the rise of Plagueis, his meeting with Palpatine on Naboo, and their cultivating the plan that will eventually be unleashed in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.  This book is so good it makes The Phantom Menace a better movie.  Luceno was never one of my favorite Star Wars writers but this book and Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader have changed that.  I’m now on the lookout for what Luceno plans to do next.


11/22/63 – Stephen King – I’ve been a fan of King’s work for years.  My favorite stuff are his short story collections but I’ve read most of his other seminal novels.  Earlier in 2012 I had decided to finally read The Stand.  I didn’t just love it.  And after 1130+ pages of that, I was reluctant to read another King book that tops 800 pages.  But I acquired this hardback in early 2012 at a used library book sale for around a dollar.  I’ve always been fascinated with the Kennedy assassination and time travel, so this was a perfect topic for me.  And the story delivers.  King really outdoes himself with this book.  King meanders a bit in the middle, but honestly I didn’t mind because the characters were so engaging.  Really, the Kennedy assassination is almost an afterthought.  But when it finally comes it’s awesome.  This book blew me away.  I highly recommend giving it a shot.  Especially since the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death is Nov 22, 2013.  But get the eBook version.  An 800 page hardback is a little tough to read.

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Nerd Lunch Episode 52: Strategic Plan for the future of DC Comics’ movie franchises

Posted in Batman, comic books, movies, podcast, Superman, The Flash with tags , , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week on the podcast we are joined by William Bruce West, a fellow pop culture blogger.  Our discussion? We finally talk about DC Comics and the current situation they are in with their movies.

DC/Warner Bros movies
(Via The Playlist)

We talk about what they’ve done right and what they’ve done wrong. We talk about why we think nearly every one of DC’s major comic character movies suck (besides Batman). We discuss weaknesses and opportunities. We discuss what we want to see out of them moving forward. Essentially we’ve come up with a strategic plan for Warner Bros/DC for moving forward with movie adaptations their comic book franchises. I think we pretty much figured it out.

See how by downloading this episode from iTunes or on Feedburner.

Or just listen to the show from within your browser by clicking here.

8 Comic covers right before/after a famous first appearance

Posted in Batman, comic books, pop culture, Superman, The Flash with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2012 by Paxton

Cavalcade Comics

First appearances of famous comic book heroes/villains are highly sought after in the comic book world.  Who wouldn’t love an Action Comics #1 or a Detective Comics #27?  But what about Action Comics #2?  Or Detective Comics #26?   Are anyone seeking these titles out?

To me, it’s fascinating to look at very famous comic titles before or after they’ve debuted a very famous character.  They may not look like even the same title.  It’s weird to see an issue of Detective Comics with Slam Bradley or the Crimson Avenger on the front and not Batman.  You feel like you’re in the Fringe universe.  Let’s check out some of these fun comic covers and you can see how strange and foreign they look to you.

Action Comics #1Action Comics #2
Action Comics #2Action Comics is probably one of the most iconic titles of all time. Who doesn’t know that Superman debuted in issue #1 of Action Comics (left) in 1938? Well, interestingly enough, Action Comics was originally meant to be an anthology adventure comic with several other adventure characters. So even though Action Comics is now strictly a Superman title, back then, Supes was just one of the featured characters. Therefore, issue #2 (right) didn’t feature Superman on the cover at all. Issue #3 didn’t feature Superman either.  As a matter of fact, Superman wouldn’t make another Action Comics cover appearance until issue #7 (SIX MONTHS later).

Detective Comics #26Detective Comics #27Detective Comics #28
Detective Comics #26  and #28 – Detective Comics is as intimately associated with Batman as Action Comics is with Superman.  However, Batman didn’t debut until issue #27 (middle), so there were 26 issues of Detective without Batman on the cover or in the book.  As you can see, in the issues before (#26, left) and after (#28, right) Batman you get standard covers of police officers and gangsters that you would normally appear on crime comics of this time.  While Batman would return to the cover for issue #29, he would be absent again for issue #30.

All-Star Comics #2All-Star Comics #3All-Star Comics #8
All-Star Comics #3 and #8All-Star Comics is a very famous Golden Age title. It features the first appearance of The Justice Society of America in issue #3 (middle) which is the first team-up of super-heroes into a single team in history. In issue #2 (left), you can see they still feature the heroes on the cover, but not collected together as one team as designated by issue #3’s giant round table with the team name embossed on the top.  All-Star Comics #8 (right) is an interesting issue also.  You wouldn’t know it by the cover, but that issue is the first appearance of Wonder Woman in an 8 page insert that was used to test the interest of Wonder Woman as a hero.  Wonder Woman would join the Justice Society in issue #11…as their secretary (but she would make the cover!). She would prove popular enough to headline her own book, Sensation Comics, a year later.

Showcase #3Showcase #4Showcase #5
Showcase #3 and #5 – The debut of The Flash in Showcase #4 (middle) was one of the defining moments of the Silver Age. Showcase was a tryout book by DC to determine who would get their own series. As you can see, the issue before The Flash debuted (#4, middle) featured a story about deep sea divers called The Frogmen (#3, left). And even though The Flash was a huge hit, he wouldn’t appear in Showcase #5 which featured Manhunters (#5, right). The Flash would reappear on the cover for Showcase #8. The Hal Jordan Green Lantern would debut in Showcase #22.

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In honor of Memorial Day, 16 vintage comic covers featuring wartime superheroes

Posted in Americana, comic books, holiday, nostalgia, pop culture, Superman with tags , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by Paxton

It’s Memorial Day.  Hope everyone has had a great holiday weekend.  In honor of this day that honors our armed forces, here are some awesomely vintage, patriotic comic book covers featuring our favorite heroes during wartime.  See our heroes doing their part to give Hitler a sock in the jaw!

I found many of these covers on Comic Browser.

Capt America 6Capt Marvel Advs 8Master Comics 43Superman 12Capt Marvel Advs 16Young Allies 3Superman 23Capt Marvel Jr 15Master Comics 30Capt America 27National Comics 26America's Best Comics 9Wonder Comics 1Fighting Yank 8Hit Comics 24Action Comics 59

Year End Book Report: The Best Books I Read in 2011

Posted in books, comic books with tags , , , , , on February 7, 2012 by Paxton

Badass Book Report

Here we are, I finally begin my year end round up articles. In February. Sorry about that. I wanted to do it earlier but I wanted to give myself a little bit more time to finish off some movies and books that are eligible for this list. But, apologies aside, my lists are here.

As you know, back in 2009 I started keeping a book log with everything I read. It makes looking at this list easier. I keep it in a Google Spreadsheet so I can access it from any computer.

Here it is.

My Book Log

You can click the image to view it or just click here.  So I perused this list and made my selections.  Below are the best books I read last year (not including re-reads).

Unlike last year, I’ve split this list into books and comics/trade paperbacks.  I read enough of both of them to create their own lists and it was hard to weed out stuff just because it was a comic in order to make room for a book.  So, last year I only read three books that were actually released during the 2011 calendar year.  Did they make the list?  Read on to find out.

So without further ado, here are my favorite books I read in 2011.

Lost Hero Son of Neptune
Heroes of Olympus series – Rick Riordan – This is the sequel series to Riordan’s Percy Jackson series which made my inaugural best of list in 2009. It is currently up to book 2.  Son of Neptune is one of the three books that was released in 2011 that I read. I loved the first book in this series, The Lost Hero and Son of Neptune is almost as good. Riordan has created a fascinating world and I long to return to it when book 3 comes out.  And despite what Riodan had said earlier, Percy Jackson is all over this series.  Especially Son of Neptune.

The Magicians
The Magicians – Lev Grossman – Wow, this book is really good. It’s billed as sort of a Harry Potter in high school, and I see the parallels, but this story is tonally a 180 from Harry Potter. From the friendships to even how magic is actually executed, it’s just completely different. And great. This book is great. I look forward to checking out the sequel, The Magician King.  I’ll probably check out a few of Grossman’s other books, too.

Darth Bane 1 Darth Bane 2 Darth Bane 3
Star Wars: Darth Bane trilogy – Drew Karpyshyn – This series was recommended to me years ago by my friend Dr Mike, but I was reluctant to read it because it was about a bunch of Star Wars characters I didn’t know in a time period I knew nothing about.  Boy was I wrong.  It’s amazing.  This series needs to be the template for all the Star Wars books that want to focus on a specific character.  Interesting origins, cool bits of Sith history.  It’s just great.  If you read Star Wars (or science fiction) at all, read this series.

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