Tuesday, September 20, 2016

JLU Scene-by-Scene: Suicide Squad Enchantress Security Briefing

This episode of the Justice League Universe podcast focuses on Suicide Squad, the scene when Waller introduces the National Security Council to Enchantress.

  • Transition from the Dossier Introduction
  • Oversimplifying good and bad
  • The "next war"
  • The Squad as "monsters" (according to whom?)
  • Enchantress's display of powers
  • ARGUS and Justice League Dark

Thanks to Alessandro Maniscalco

Man of Steel Answers, Suicide Squadcast, DCU_Club subreddit

<Transcript of the episode>

All-Star Batman 2: Poisoning and the Beast

Jason Book and I review issue 2 of All-Star Batman by Scott Snyder and John Romita Jr.

This is definitely an entertaining book to read, but I do think the art holds it back a bit, and Snyder is throwing a lot more into it more rapidly than I expected. But it's an intriguing premise and it still has that feeling of a must-read Batman story.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

DC Comic Sales Strong in August

For years, Marvel has been the dominant force in the comic book market. But DC's Rebirth initiative -- together with the success of the films, the television shows, and cross-product initiatives like Superhero Girls -- may be in the midst of shifting the market complexion. In June 2016, DC gained some ground on Marvel and raised comic book sales overall. Then in July 2016, DC actually accomplished the rare feat of overtaking Marvel.

Now the August sales numbers have been released and, with positive reception and strong carryovers from issue to issue in the Rebirth series, DC has extended its lead over Marvel.

Even with lower prices (almost every book is $2.99), DC earned 39.3% of the dollar share to Marvel's 30.8%. Image came in around 8% and IDW was at 5%.

Perhaps even more impressive than the market share number was that DC claimed 9 of the Top 10 slots for physical copies sold. (Digital sales numbers are not public.) Amazing Spider-Man is the only Marvel entry in the Top 10, coming in at #4. For DC, Harley Quinn was the overall #1, and the Top 10 also featured All-Star Batman, Suicide Squad, Batman, Justice League, and Supergirl. From that list, it's pretty clear that the cross-media synergy is strong for Warner Brothers and DC.

I have been enjoying and thus reading many more of the DC Rebirth titles than I expected. Here are my personal favorites, in no particular order (ask me next week and they will probably be different because I like so many of the books):
  • Batman
  • Suicide Squad
  • Superwoman
  • New Super-Man
  • Green Arrow
On the graphic novel side of things, I give a strong recommendation for The Omega Men. I would've loved to see that in the Top 10 for collected editions.

Batman 6: Gotham Girl's Week

Jason Book and I discuss Batman #6 by Tom King and Ivan Reis. This is the epilogue to the first Rebirth story arc, "I Am Gotham."

This issue showed a good understanding of Batman's psychology (but addressed subtly through Gotham Girl's emotions) and had an effective mix of one-off Gotham villains and emotional beats.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Man of Steel Commentary

For this episode of the Justice League Universe podcast, Alessandro and I recorded a live commentary track to accompany Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder. As described in the episode, you can synchronize the film with us by pausing it at the 12 second mark (right when the WB logo is obstructed from view) and then pushing play when we say.

Overall, I love this movie, though it took me a few viewings to fully appreciate it. Similarly, Alessandro had to watch it more than once to go from sort of hating it to loving it. I now rate the film a solid 9/10 (and I try to be stingy with my 9's and 10's).

We touch on some themes in our commentary, and here is a collection of themes from the Justice League Universe overall.

Man of Steel Answers: https://www.manofsteelanswers.com/
Thesis on Man of Steel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdckKLhIN-E

Monday, September 12, 2016

JLU Scene-by-Scene: Suicide Squad Dossier Introductions

This episode of the Justice League Universe podcast focuses on scenes 3-9 of Suicide Squad, which is Waller's dossier introduction of the squad.

  • Amanda Waller and the Death of Superman
  • The great world building thus far in the Justice League Universe
  • Deadshot and his daughter
  • Harley as the Joker's Queen
  • Captain Boomerang and The Flash
  • El Diablo and his surrender
  • Killer Croc, the monster
  • Enchantress, the witch
  • Rick Flag and Waller's leverage
  • Thematic Analysis versus Comic Book Analysis
Thanks to Alessandro Maniscalco

Man of Steel Answers, Suicide Squadcast, DCU_Club subreddit


<Transcript of the episode>

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Action Comics 962: Doomsday Showdown

Jason Book and I review issue 962 of Action Comics (DC Comics), by Dan Jurgens and Stephen Segovia.

This was a solid conclusion to the action-packed arc that has featured the Pre-Flashpoint Superman facing down Doomsday again ... the same Doomsday who killed him in the 1990s. They also bring in some nice new dimensions to Superman's character with Lois and son Jonathan watching the fight, and Lois stepping in when needed.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

DC Rebirth and the New 52: Comparing Comic Book Sales

After years of domination by Marvel, DC Comics was able to outsell its competitors in July 2016. In about a week, we will be able to see if DC's Rebirth efforts were able to maintain the lead for August against Marvel's Civil War 2, which is a summer event designed to take advantage of the momentum created by the Captain America: Civil War movie. While we wait for those August numbers, I thought it would be fun to compare DC's Rebirth sales numbers to its previous line-wide relaunch -- 2011's New 52.

First of all, it's important to note that the New 52 was a complete reboot (starting everything over from scratch, thanks to the events of Flashpoint) whereas Rebirth was just a relaunch, with new creative teams coming on with a general back-to-the-heart approach but a lot of the continuity is maintained even though the books are renumbered. Moreover, the New 52 involved 52 monthly series all starting in a single month, September 2011. Rebirth, on the other hand, is centering on about 20 ongoing series, many of them are coming out twice a month, and the new #1's are being spread throughout June, July, and into the Fall.

To compare the sales thus far, I'm going to focus on eight of the most prominent series that were involved in both the New 52 and Rebirth -- Justice League, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Detective Comics, Action Comics, and Nightwing. The table below shows the comparative sales for the first few issues of these series.

Source: www.Comichron.com
Some things to notice about the sales numbers: