This isn’t a review. This is what happens when I’m left alone in a room with a packet of Sudafed, a bottle of Scotch, and a stack of comics and start to free associate. You’ve been warned.

Menthols? What alternate reality is this?

In addition to John Constantine’s sizable, nay, myriad tragic flaws as a human being, in John Constantine: Hellblazer #283 – “The Devil’s Trench Coat Part 1″ we learn that he also doesn’t do laundry. John Constantine would have been that guy who lived on your floor in your college dorm who deposited all his athletic wear on the carpet of the hallway outside his doorway after sports practice and just left it there, stinking up the joint until a squadron of RAs was dispatched to enforce a cease and desist – that is, if Constantine actually went to college. Constantine’s aversion to even hitting his trench coat with the occasional blast of Febreeze is so bad that the coat has, apparently, gained sentience and gone on walk about. Then some hapless chump buys it on Ebay:

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DC Comics Superman #1 promo art by George PerezNext week is the final 13-issue drop of first issues in DC Comics’ New 52, and they’re ending it in the last week in exactly the way they started it the first week: firmly in second place behind Marvel Comics, with women everywhere screaming that they’re nothing but a gaggle of adolescent, sexist pigs. They will also be releasing a Superman comic.

Whereas week one’s Action Comics #1 focused on Grant Morrison’s take on Superman’s first year as a superhero, the main Superman title, written by legendary penciller George Perez with breakdowns by Perez and finished pencils by Jesus Merino (Who did some issues of Justice Society of America a couple years ago), is gonna focus on Superman in the current DC continuity, including his new, underpantsless costume. By which I mean it has no underpants on the outside. I assume he wears underpants underneath his spandex pants, otherwise we will be learning the disturbing way whether or not Kryptonians are Jewish. But I digress.

Comic Book Resources has a five-page preview of Superman #1; go check it out then swing back…

Wow. Those pages sure are pretty, and I want to withhold final judgment until I read the entire book, but based on that sample, I’m guessing that in the new DC continuity, Superman’s fatal weakness is exposition.

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Cover to DC Comics' DC Universe Presents: Deadman 1, by Paul Jenkins and Bernard ChangDeadman is one of those characters created in the 60’s that, if he hadn’t been drawn extensively by Neal Adams, probably wouldn’t exist today except maybe in a background shot of a Grant Morrison story written on a day when Grant was feeling a nostalgia for Silver Age DC ephemera almost as powerful as the peyote that’s probably fueling that nostalgia.

The concept behind Deadman is pretty ridiculous at its core for a superhero comic: a famous circus trapeze artist not named Wallenda (which was apparently something you could earn a living at in the days before cable TV and home video pornography) is shot to death by a sniper with one hand. He is then sent back to Earth as an invisible, undetectable ghost with the power to possess people. And he uses that power in the pursuit of justice, rather than the pursuit of possessing whoever happens to be banging Lindsey Lohan at this particular moment, or making Linda Blair gack up pea soup. Possibly while banging Lindsey Lohan. But I digress.

Seriously: Deadman’s power is to possess people, giving those people the ability to… do whatever those people could already do, only with a carny sense of humor. Which is a great character to have in your deck if you happen to need a deus ex machina (“Being invisible, I saw that The Joker fled to the playing card factory!”), or for a familiar character to suddenly start spitting out douchey jokes, (“I saw that The Joker fled to the playing card factory! Now pull Superman’s finger, Batman!”). It has it’s uses, but it’s not like Deadman’s ever been the kind of character that could ever anchor his own title.

Which is why, when I found DC Comic Presents: Deadman #1 in this week’s books, I dealt it to the bottom of the read pile. And why I was surprised that, when I did read it, I found it to be the sleeper hit in this Week’s New 52.

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