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Superman celebrates Independence Day the same way I do: watching 1776. He just has a better seat.
That's the opening splash panel from "Die Now, Live Later" in Action Comics #463, published in the summer of 1976 with a nod to the nation's bicentennial. This might blow your mind, but this Superman comic book is not a 100% accurate depiction of the events of July 4, 1776.
See what I mean? Everyone knows that Franklin had retired from day-to-day publishing pursuits in the 1740s and had divested all ownership of the Pennsylvania Gazette by 1766!
In addition to the occupation of Old Man Franklin (who in July of 1776 was a Medicare-eligible 70 years old — two years younger than our current Chief Executive), there is one other bit of historical inaccuracy presented herein. See if you can spot it:
Both Franklin and the narration in this panel are correct. While Congress agreed on independence on July 2, the text of the declaration of that independence vote was indeed approved on the 4th. (We're really celebrating bureaucracy and paperwork today, not independence.) But that declaration wasn't signed on July 4th! The Declaration of Independence as we know it wasn't signed by John Hancock or anyone else until August 2, 1776.
Besides those tiny gaffes, I assume the rest of this comic book can be treated as a historical document suitable for elementary school classrooms. Superman himself explains how he became involved in this previously unknown bit of American history, and Superman would never lie to us.
An alien named Karb-Brak? Yeah, that sounds legit.
Happy Birthday, America!
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A bonus Superman post! This one's my update for the Superman-Nixon meeting we saw back on June 15.
I've titled it "Irony." Top that, Roy Lichtenstein!
Spotted on Twitter:
This panel is about as accurate as anything else you might expect to find on the Internet, by which I mean it's not true. Nothing like this happened in a Superman comic. Not exactly like this, anyway. To see who Superman was really talking to, see "The Superman Super-Spectacular!" in Action Comics #309, 1964.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, DC Comics is planning to restore their lapsed Vertigo imprint. Vertigo was prominent in the late 1990s as home to creator-owned, outside-the-mainstream, usually non-superhero storytelling. My personal favorite previous Vertigo title was Garth Ennis' Preacher, in which Jesse Custer hunts down God to make the creator atone for the suffering he has brought to humanity.
I'm particularly pleased by this announcement mainly for one reason: Mark Russell. Russell is the writer whose sharply satirical take on the most hypocritical and destructive tendencies of modern American life have made placed recent DC series Prez, The Flintstones, and The Snagglepuss Chronicles on my must-read list.
Next year, Russell looks to be starting a new Vertigo comic, Second Coming. Per the advanced solicitation description:
God sends Jesus to Earth in hopes that he will learn the family trade from Sun-Man, an all-powerful superhero, who is like the varsity quarterback son God never had. But, upon his return to Earth, Christ is appalled to discover what has become of his Gospel and vows to set the record right.
Great Caesar's Ghost! What morally perfect, solar-powered, faster-than-a-speeding-bullet, stronger-than-a-locomotive superhero could be the inspiration for Sun-Man? (Hint: it's not Batman.)
Yes. I will definitely be reading this.
All-Star Superman #10
Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, an estimated 865 less-famous Americans.... This week could have used a little more Superman.
(See also: "Superman and the Jumper" from Superman #701.)
For the 12th consecutive year, June is Superman Month at Wriphe.com!
For the first time in 4 years, June does not coincide with a line-wide relaunch of the DC Comics universe. (Hooray!) This year, the reboot is limited to Just Superman.
Back in April, DC celebrated the milestone 1,000th issue of Action Comics. Then they promptly fired every Superman writer and replaced them all with Brian Michael Bendis.
This seems a bit much.
If you're not familiar with that name, you probably should be. Bendis spent most of the past 2 decades reworking the Marvel Comics comic book universe into what eventually became the fertile basis for Hollywood dominance. No doubt DC is hoping Bendis can do the same for their own moribund film franchises.
Good luck, sir. Given how often DC likes to hit the reset button, you're going to need to work fast.
Movies from May! (Why do I break them up by month? I don't know. Because it's easy?)
86. (1315.) Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Not a great cinema experience. It's really a villain's story, the first half of an obvious two-part episode, and far too much of it is spent in pointless battle scenes with an outcome never in doubt. Frankly, it's everything you'd find in a major comic crossover event (thank you Secret Wars) for good or ill.
87. (1316.) Razorback (1984)
A weird Australian exploitation horror film about a monstrous killer hog. For some reason, it kept reminding me of Tremors. I didn't hate it, but I liked Tremors better.
88. (1317.) The Florida Project (2017)
Is this really what the underbelly of America's consumer society looks like? At least it's colorful! I suspect there is more truth here than is entirely comfortable. (I loved the ending, and I can certainly appreciate why Defoe was nominated for so many awards as the one character in the film trying to save the children from... well, everything.)
89. (1318.) The Bank Dick (1940)
W.C. Field's most famous movie for a reason. It's simultaneously very clever and very silly. Well worth a watch.
90. (1319.) Mame (1974)
Lucille Ball's last movie was this terrible musical. Oh, she kept working for years afterwards in television, she just never worked in a movie again. For obvious reasons. (What a waste of Robert Preston!) The highlight here is Bea Arthur, who looks like a drag queen impersonating Bea Arthur.
91. (1320.) Logan (2017)
In many ways, this retreads the same ground as 2006's Children of Men with comic book trappings. I didn't care for it much then, either. (I'm not a huge fan of post apocalyptic movies films.)
More to come.
You know you've made it when you've got your own trading card.
Way to go, Red Bee! (And thank you, Kickstarter.)
Alex Trebek is on medical leave from Jeopardy! as he recovers from what he called a "slight medical problem." The rest of us call it brain surgery!
Apparently, Trebek was standing on his toilet and hanging a clock. The porcelain was wet. He slipped and hit his head on the sink. When he came to, he had blood clots in his brain! (That's what I heard, anyway.)
Fortunately for us all, Trebek announced he's making a full recovery and will soon be back on set giving answers to questions no one has asked yet. I hope by then, they've covered his podium with bubble wrap.
I'm not ready for a world without the exploits of one George Alexander Trebek, Member of the Order of Canada.
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Ollie's Bargain Outlet is selling a bunch of slightly older DC Comics trade collections for under $5. I took the opportunity to shore up my reading stack.
I might go back again. There were a few Legion of Super-Heroes trades I didn't pick up. Yet.