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Marvel Comics

Comic shop owners, such as I, recently took quite a jolt courtesy of our dear friends at Marvel Comics. Of course that is not all that unusual, but this one was a killer.

Marvel had a program called First Looks, which, along with the regular Wednesday shipment, gave the dealers five-to-eight comics that were due to be released in the next week. These were never the biggies such as “Secret Invasion,” but there were always a few goodies such as “Captain America,” “Spider-Man,” and a few stinkers. My regulars would sniff around, but, although I could let them look at them, I wasn’t permitted to sell them… at least until my partner read them. 
Beforehand, Marvel e-mailed all its retailers and informed us that due to paper, ink, shipping, and other cost, the fee to be a part of the program would rise to $20 from $7 and asked us if we still wanted in. I did, but 95% of the dealers didn’t and so, Marvel canceled the entire program. Getting the books in advance was the main reason I went into this business because it certainly isn’t the money. This isn’t the first time the publishers have dissed the retailers and it won’t be the last… until Wal-Mart figures out a way to sell comics and puts us all out of business.



Back in the 1950s, also known as my misspent youth, the editors at DC Comics actually tried to answer all the “real life” questions that got tossed at their superheroes, particularly, Superman.  Ignoring the fact that this isn’t real life in the first place, there were a million questions. As no one seemed to worry about continuity back then, a story was written that explained various things such as the following questions.

How did Superman cut his hair?  Afterall, it was invulnerable, just like the rest of him. The answer is he used his heat vision reflected off a mirror. How he shaved they never got into.

Where did the supersuit come from? It had to be invulnerable because the bullets everyone always futilely shot at Supes bounced off it. If it wasn’t invulnerable, there would have been holes in the suit after the shot bounced off Superman.  The answer was that Ma Kent sewed it from the blanket he was wrapped in when the ship that brought Superman to earth crashed. That, of course, begs the question of what kind of super needle she happened to have in her sewing kit.  That’s neither her nor there at this point though.

And the glasses?  I mean, was that all it took for anyone to not notice the resemblance between Clark and Superman?  The answer is that one of Supes’ little know powers is super hypnotism and he used the glasses to focus it so that no one in the world would notice how much they looked alike. Believe me, I wish I was making this explanation up, but I am not.  My colleague, David Torres, wonders what happens if Clark Kent loses the glasses.

Anyway, does anyone remember any more of these?  Want to make up your own scenarios and answer them or have other readers answer them, leave your comments below!

Blue Marvel

This past Wednesday, Marvel Comics released a book entitled “Adam: Legend of The Blue Marvel.”  It revolves around a superhero who appears in the early 1960s and is discovered to be (gasp) a black man. Gross injustice ensues.  In this humble comic store owner’s opinion, it’s a really good read.

Although I have a DC Comics rep, I don’t have a Marvel rep. If I did, I would be calling him everyday for the lottery numbers. Come on now, how much of a coincidence that Marvel publishes this book one day after America elects its first (gasp) black president? Sure, the book was thought out months ago, written whenever, the political leanings of Marvel staff are irrelevant, and certainly the editors can make a good guess, but it still is a remarkable piece of luck that the release date was November 5th.

Writing works of fiction is difficult enough without putting words and thoughts into the heads of real people. Some will debate how the “real” JFK would have acted had this situation risen up. In this first issue there are no other heroes floating around to pick up the slack for when the next large meteor threatens the earth and, therefore, asking his hero to stand down seems a bit far fetched but what the heck. It is, after all, a comic book and certainly doesn’t have to reflect reality. Still, my family motto is, “It’s better to be lucky than good” and when both hit at the same time… well, a good comic book comes out of it.


In one of the latest issues of “Action Comics,” Clark Kent is asked whether he would consider laser surgery so he can get rid of his glasses. This got me thinking. In order for Clark Kent to hide his secret identity as Superman, he wears a pair of glasses. Over the past decade more and more people have been getting laser eye surgery to eliminate the need for eyeglasses. If things continue to go on like this and technology continues to improve, will no one in the world have to wear glasses? If so, what does it mean for Clark Kent? Does DC Comics have to find another way for Clark Kent to hide his identity? The removing of the glasses and the ripping open of the dress shirt to reveal the “S” on his costume is an iconic image for Superman. Will this hurt the character if he no longer wears glasses? Sounds silly? Maybe. Something to think about kids… feel free to leave your comments!


So what is to become of “Smallville”?

As a comic shop owner, I am in weekly contact with DC. Everytime I ask them for some good gossip I never get any. Advance word of All-Star Batman 10 would have been real nice. So even though the season is not even half over, we certainly can speculate.

Click to continue reading The Future of Smallville


Was it because he was paid more money than any of the other stars in the film?  Was it because director Jon Favreau was not happy with his performance?  Was it on-set antics?  These are some the reasons given in a story from Yahoo Movies as to why Terrence Howard will not be in Iron Man 2.

I was shocked when it was announced that actor Terrence Howard would not be reprising his role as James “Rhodey” Rhodes in Iron Man 2.  I was shocked… but happy.  I HATED Terrence Howard’s performance in Iron Man.  As a film Iron Man is just about flawless.  From the performances of Robert Downey, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jeff Bridges; to the special effects; and the fight scences.  It was a great movie, but if there was one negative, it was Howard. 

Click to continue reading More News On Why Terrence Howard Was Replaced In Iron Man 2

Read More | Yahoo! Movies


Newsarma is reporting that DC will be canceling the Bat-titles: “Robin,” “Nightwing,” and “Birds of Prey” come this February.  With the cancellation of “Robin” and “Nightwing,” it gives more evidence that Dick Grayson or Tim Drake will become Batman.  I was surprised by the cancellation of “Birds of Prey.”  I thought that was a popular book.  I guess not.

If Robin or Nightwing becomes Batman, it just seems like an old hat.  Been there done that.  We’ll see how they pull this off. 

Read More | Newsarama


Since it began, Geoff John’s “Justice Society of America” has not been as good as his previous run on the “JSA” title.  “Justice Society of America” has been good, but not great.  Still Justice Society has been a lot better than some of the crap that’s been out there from the big two companies.

One of the reasons I think it hasn’t been as good is because the pace has been a lot slower.  Geoff has done a lot of explaining of who all of these characters are.  I enjoy character development and feel it is important to telling a good story.  However, this is a superhero comic book.  You need some action.  During the “One World, Under Gog” story arc that is currently unfolding, I believe John’s has “kicked it up a notch” to quote Emeril Lagasse

Click to continue reading Review: DC Comics’ Justice Society of America #20


There has been some talk on message boards that “R.I.P.” of the “Batman: R.I.P” storyline does not stand for the traditional “rest in peace.”  Grant Morrison, the writer of “Batman: R.I.P.,” is now saying that it can mean anything you want it to mean.  Also, Morrison teased that there will be a NEW Batman and Robin.  At the beginning of “Batman: R.I.P.,” we saw an image of a Batman and Robin and this Batman stated that there will always be a Batman and Robin.  Will it be Tim and Damian?  Dick and Damian?  Or are Bruce and Tim different people at the end of the story and they are the “new” Batman and Robin.  We’ll see come November 19th in “Batman” 681.


Read More | io9.com

Waiting for Cap

Posted by David Torres Categories:

Captain America

Many fans of Captain America have been waiting years for a big budget Captain America film.  Shortly after the release and success of last year’s “Iron Man” film, Marvel Comics announced that we would also be seeing a film staring Thor, The Avengers, and Captain America.  Like most comic book fans I’m worried.  I’m worried it’s going to suck big time. 

Almost no comic book movie is perfect.  Very few have come close.  I would say the first Donner/Reeve “Superman” film and the more recent “Iron Man” and “Dark Knight” have made nitty picky and overly critical fan boys (like myself) the most happy.  What makes most comic fans cringe the most is when Hollywood decides to make changes to the character or the story.  Sometimes it works like Richard Donner’s vision of Krypton.  The “ice” was loved by the fans and the look has now been incorporated into current DC continuity thanks to Geoff Johns and Richard Donner himself who co-wrote the story “Last Son” for “Action Comics”. 

Click to continue reading Waiting for Cap

Read More | Ain't it Cool News