Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Top Ten Favorite Public Domain Comics

Recently, while poking around Digital Comics Museum, I discovered their list of Top Rated comics. Checking out the list, I realized, the ratings were based on mostly scan quality and not comic content (story and art.)

This got me to thinking - what do I consider to be my Ten Favorite Public Domain comics? While I can answer without hesitation on my all time favorite (Marvel Family 10) I had a harder time coming up with a full list of ten. So, I changed the parameters of my mental search a bit and here are the ten I picked.

If you missed these issues when I first posted them, each title is a link to the original Free Comic Mondays posts where you can download them.

10 - Daredevil 18

Highlights include:
  • The Origin of Daredevil in a great double length story
  • Pirate Prince
  • The Ghost meets The Claw's Uncle
  • Dickie Dean, boy inventor
  • The Sniffer
  • Scoop Scuttle
9. Gorgo 01

This Steve Ditko drawn issue is based off the King Brothers movie by the same name and as such, the pacing and plot are top notch. Later issues would be of lesser quality.

8. Kid Eternity 06

That there has never been a Kid Eternity television pilot created boggles my mind. It seems like such a perfect tv ready high concept idea with the Kid calling upon different historical figures every week to help solve some adventure. A bit like later seasons of Bewitched in some ways.

This issue stands out to me because Kid Eternity usually faced gangsters but here he faces off against historical serial killer Giles De Rais who is clad in a bulletproof suit of armor.

7. Clue Comics 04

This well rendered introduction to the Boy King and his Giant features a Nazi Tyrannosaur Rex (complete with swastika armband.)

6. Charlie Chan 08

While I've never been a fan of most detective comics ( Ellery Queen or Sherlock Holmes, ect...) Charlie Chan is the exception. This one has a fun romp in Mexico wherein Chan discovers an ancient civilization.

5. Wild Wild West 01

There are only a handful of these issues out on the internet but for an old Wild Wild West fan like myself, they are most welcomed. This issue gets a nod over the others because like the Gorgo issue, I feel the first one was the best effort by everyone involved (though issue 3 was also good, but my scan of that ends abruptly.)

4. Plastic Man 24

Plastic Man creator Jack Cole is regarded as one of the grand masters of the golden age and this tale of Shireena and her Black Box of Terror shows why.

3. Planet of the Vampires

While not technically in Public Domain (I call things like this Limbo Domain) I'll include this on the list until I get a cease and desist. The brief publishing history of Atlas is a fascinating story in itself. The company produced quite a number of interesting titles but the one that I think best delivered on the potential of the new company was Planet of the Vampires. With a great intro story by Larry Hama and Pat Broderick, this series would have been a major hit I believe if it had been published by either Marvel of DC. As it was, the collapse of Atlas led to its untimely demise.

2. No One Escapes The Fury

This is a new entry to the legally downloadable comics world in that it seems that Steve Bissette, the creator, has decided to let people just download it for free because of some issue over the rights of the comic. The 1963 banner was a 6 issue limited series written by Alan Moore with art by a number of great collaborators. The series is an homage to the great Silver Age comics from Marvel, with this issue in particular nailing the early Ditko Spider-man vibe perfectly.

As I've never offered this one before, you can download The Fury 1 here.

1. Marvel Family 10

Like I said earlier, this is my favorite. Partly because of the nostalgia I have for the fantastic Harmony Shazam from the 40s to the 70s hardcover I had as a kid in which this story was featured. Also, because I love time travel stories with a connected theme.

Billed as a Five Part comic novel, this story a bit of a harbinger of the current comic world we live in now with its Toyetic heroes and villains and longer serial storyline.

So there you go, my ten favorites. If you think I missed a few, feel free to nominate some entries in the comments section. I would love to know what your favorite Public Domain Comics are!

- Jim

Sunday, June 23, 2013

An Unexpected Take on Man Of Steel

Editor's Note: Today, longtime Superman fan and vehement critic of grim and gory storytelling MattComix shares a thorough analysis of the Man of Steel. If you are familiar with Matt's opinion on the New 52 and grimdark storytelling, I think you will find his review quite surprising. It's not what I expected!- Jim

Superman is an easy target. In the modern era he gets trashed on for everything from his conscience to his costume. Yet, even in the age of grim and grit Superman still has a place in peoples hearts all around the world that Batman and Wolverine will never know. Because he is everything the superhero is about. You don't have to be a fan but if you hate him I think you have missed the point of superheroes entirely. Granted, Hollywood has often not been the best about presenting that point to the masses.

When it was announced that the Nolan/Goyer machine was behind the latest Superman project I can't say I was enthusiastic about the prospect. Then I saw the second and third trailers which gave me a touch of hope about the thing. Sure there was the now requisite posturings of "realism", but even with all of that there was a core of humanity there that seemed to be sincere. With at once both nagging dread and cautious optimism I went in to see the movie. So where does the Nolan/Goyer/Snyder joint called Man Of Steel ultimately fit?

What I liked:

Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman: The casting of this man is the single smartest decision made on this entire project, full stop.

He is the right actor for Superman and if you've seen him interviews you know he's also a good custodian of the part who conducts himself with a kindness and class that befits the role he has inherited. If anything the script does not take enough advantage of the Superman that it is so lucky to have. Between the guys looks and his seemingly natural ability to portray a man of conscience with powers and abilities far beyond mortals I have to say that the role finally has a worthy successor to Christopher Reeve. Remember I said successor, not replacement. There will never be that. Ever.

The rest of the cast: I really like the cast of this movie with one slight exception that I will talk about later.

Michael Shannon is no Terrance Stamp but I think he delivers on the part as written and does a good job of giving this Zod the slightest glimpse of humanity without making him too sympathetic.

Russel Crowe Jor-El has a touch of Maximus to him but it works for a Jor-El who is as much a man of action as he is of science.

Kevin Costner's Johnathan Kent seemed to me almost like a middle ground between the folksiness of Glenn Ford and the protectiveness of John Scheinder.

Diane Lane still seems far to beautiful to be playing the aging mother of Clark Kent but she does very well as both younger and older Martha. I also want to give high compliments to both the actors who played the younger versions of Clark.

Lawerence Fishburne as Perry White may lack the Great Ceaser's Ghost bravado of Jackie Cooper but he is very believable as the hard boss and stern father figure of the Daily Planet who holds all this reporters to a very high standard.

Krypton: This movie really returns Superman to his roots in sci-fi. This is a Krypton that combines liquid metal computers with flying lizards.

That combo of fantasy and science is exactly in the tradition of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers comic strips Jerry and Joe were geeking on during the era when they created Superman. It does not do literally so much as I think it is in the same spirit. One of the things I look for in any version of Superman's origin is how well they do what I call the "goodbye scene". When Lara pleads with Jor-El to let her hold her baby just one more time, well that got me in the way that just about any incarnation of the goodbye scene always does.

The Suit. This was something I really needed to be sold on because I make zero apologies for being a purist when it comes to Supermans classic costume. With that said however, if there must be a modernizing of Supermans costume I will take MOS suit any day of the week over the Nu52 version. I would only ask that please for the love of god stop de-saturating the damn thing.

I'm quite thankful that it doesn't have that de-saturated look except for a few points in the movie so it seems to mostly be a thing that happens in promo photos and art. When the red and blues of the suit are allowed to pop the overall design really starts to come together into something that looks like Superman! I still love the idea of his coming up with the costume with Ma and Pa Kent as he did in 1986's Man Of Steel no. 1, but the concept of this basically being the way Kryptonian's dress is an interesting one and well executed here even despite having to believe an alien glyph would look at all like our letter S.

Production/Direction/Script. Snyder is really the movie equivalent to an Image artist being put on a DC character. He can provide some great visuals but he really needs someone around who can and will reign him in, make him think about what he is doing, or even just say "no" to him. That seems to be the influence Nolan and Goyer have or maybe they just balance each other out well by giving Zack's visual sensibilities an actual story to build them upon. Yet those same sensibilities also keep Nolan and Goyer from disappearing too far up their own pretentiousness.

The Score by Hans Zimmer. There is nothing here that will de-throne John Willams score from the Donner films. However the music works every well for the film and I finding myself becoming ever more addict to the track titles "An Ideal Of Hope". I think what I enjoy most about it is that the music evokes the feeling of soaring into the air at super-speed while simultaneously evoking the feeling of coming out a period of sadness and into triumph. This theme also has a memorable hook to it which was something i found lacking both in Zimmers previous work and most modern movie soundtracks in general. "An Ideal Of Hope" is not constructed as a theme quite the way John William's was, but it has a theme inside it. Something that will your ear will connect with as being this Superman's theme.

What I thought Could Have Been Better:

Action Scenes/Disaster Porn. The action in this movie is cool in a comicbooky way that I enjoy but I do think a better effort should have been made to either show us Superman trying very hard to get the fight out of the city or even have a line of dialog about the city being evacuated so that we could in our minds imagine that many of the people got out before the major destruction started. Which is plausible IMO that they had when the terra-forming started well before the big throw down between Superman and Zod.

In classic comicbook superhero action sequences stuff gets broke. A lot. But in that very fantastic, even slightly cartoony context it is something that is usually not meant to be taken with total weighty seriousness. All the streets are usually magically fixed by the time the next issue and the next super brawl rolls around. It's just part of the stylization of the genre. The fight scenes in superhero stories are there for action, something fun that is ideally acting as dramatic punctuation to the conflict rather than a glorification or deep examination of violence. Obviously there are exceptions to this and in modern comics there far, far too many instances of pimping realistic or even horror movie levels of gory on-camera violence like it was standard superhero action.

It's ok to have Superman cut loose sometimes but he can't be looking careless about it. Especially if the level of devastation makes 9/11 look like a toddler knocking over a stack of Legos. I like action and have wanted to see Superman punch stuff as much as the next fan BUT this really needed to be streamlined some, and in general just had more thought about how these action scenes relate to the character and what he's about. They are not bad they just suffer from being a bit careless.

I think though at the end of the day what people are really reacting to (and some sadly blaming Superman for) is the fact that if a super-powered brawl were to actually happen, it would suck. It would not be fun for anyone. They are entertaining in fiction but this is simply not something you ever want to happen in real life.

Lois Lane: Amy Adams is a good actress but I'm still not completely sold on her in the part and I honestly don't know if it's anything do with her performance or if it's more the script. It could be argued that women have very little do to in this movie but look on in awe as a man does something and Amy's Lois suffers from that a bit. It's not a deal breaker so much as a missed opportunity.

What I Did Not Like:

Super Jesus/Moses Man. While there is some parallel between Moses and Christ in the story of Superman I think it's time for a moratorium on gratuitous messiah imagery and references in Superman stories. The Donner movies pushed that about as far as it can or should go. Besides religious allegory is not strictly required to convey the idea of Superman as an inspiring figure that people will rally behind. Let me be clear though that this is not a anti-religious stance, it is about a metaphor attached to the character that I think has been overly used, handled with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the head, and has totally worn out its welcome as a result.

However in this movie we mainly have two instances of imagery and then just the overall idea that Superman can potentially change the world. This is still a fair distance from Donner film and especially the overwrought Passion Of The Kal-El stuff in Superman Returns.

Things I will miss:

Lois Knows: I freely admit that I enjoy the love triangle.

I don't give any damns that it's not realistic because it's fun and can when done right have some real drama to it. It seems though that in this series of films Lois is someone who is in Superman's corner and looking out for him from a very early point. I'd sooner have this than getting rid of the secret identity entirely which I totally though this film was going to do. With all the talk about realism I though it was going to be the first thing on the chopping block. But I think this is at least a compromise I can live with.

Johnathan Kent: I would have preferred that character had lived so that we could see his point of view evolve from his fear to encouraging his sons heroic efforts.

Also just to have both Kents around as they were in the Post-Crisis comics and to distinguish the dynamic from Peter Parker and Aunt May.

The Thing I Am Undecided About:

Killing Zod: The world of this movie is one where the presence of Superman and the attack by Zod are very likely to be the first super powered things that have ever happened to it. There are no metahuman prisons, no inhibitor collars, no kryptonite, and Zod managed to elude the one shot humanity had at putting the villains back in the Phantom Zone.

This is the creators way of establishing a dramatic, narrative reason of where Supermans code against killing comes from and why he will strive to find a better way. Even though it is not spoken I think Supermans tears in the scene are essentially his saying to himself and to Lois "I have to be better than this."

Now personally I do not think the character necessarily requires a dramatic event to green-light his no killing stance because the idea of someone not wanting to kill for any reason isn't a fantasy construct in need of explaining. It is something many people can and do actually feel. Plus really, Superman only has to kill when the writer says so.

But to be fair, in real life a superhero might have to function a bit more like a police officer. Not in the sense of being a servant of authority but in the sense of a police officer as someone who is there to protect. Ideally they will do everything they can to defuse a situation so they do not have to fight, draw their weapon or fire it. However it is sadly inevitable that such a situation may occur and they have to be prepared to take a life if it means saving others and even themselves. Zods entire character arc in this film is his degeneration from a man who is a military leader to a monster that would kill innocent bystanders just out of spite.

Final Thought:

I never came to comics or superheroes for realism. That was never the point. To me the emotional reality of the characters is the only reality that matters in a superhero story. I go into it ready, willing, and wanting to use my imagination for everything else. Be it laser eyes or glasses as a mask.

I went into this film with a lot of fears that basically the obsession with darkness and realism would basically swallow up everything I ever loved about the character leaving just a brooding protagonist in a grimdark world setting with an "S" slapped on him for marketing purposes and fan recognition.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that instead of darkness the focus was more on giving the film a sense of humanity to contrast how inhuman Krypton had become by the time of its destruction. We see Clark very much as a person, just a guy really. But we go with him on that journey of discovery of himself and his purpose.

I think the films ending line is very appropriate. "Clark Kent, welcome to the Planet". This wordplay sums it up very well. Clark Kent was a guy who did not know who he was or where he fit in. This movie is about Clark finding out who he is. ..and who is Clark Kent?

Clark Kent is Superman.

- Matt

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fathers of the Marvel Universe

Upon consideration of Father’s Day today, I was thinking about how fathers are portrayed in the Marvel Universe. Here’s a rundown the most prominent ones:

Nathaniel Richards (father of Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four)

Scientist and inventor who, well, it’s complicated, but he got involved in crazy adventures on a war torn world in a parallel universe which kept him too busy to appear much in the Fantastic Four.

Richard Parker (father of Peter Parker, Spider-Man)

The father of Spider-man was a CIA operative who was killed in plane crash  while Peter was just a young boy. Peter’s mother also died in this accident, as she was also a CIA operative. Note: There are some conflicts in Marvel continuity about the timing and circumstances of the death of Peter’s parents, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they showed up at some point.

Brian Banner (father of Bruce Banner, the Hulk)
Brian Banner was a Nuclear Engineer working for the US Government whose alcoholism and anger management issues turned him into a wife beater. Brian’s abusive nature escalated until he eventually killed Bruce’s mother in front of him. Years later, Bruce would end up killing Brian in an argument by his mother’s grave.

Jack Murdock (father of Matt Murdock, Daredevil)
In Silver Age Marvel continuity, Battlin’ Jack Murdock was a boxer who instilled in his son the value of an education and nonviolence.

However, in the 80’s, Frank Miller reimagined Daredevil’s father as a drunkard and child abuser.

Joseph Rogers (father of Steve Rogers, Captain America)

Recently, Marvel Now writer Rick Remender decided to revisit Steve’s early childhood, presenting Joseph Rogers as an alcoholic wife abuser. Remender maintains that this is all within continuity, however that assertion has some dissension among fans as they feel it conflicts with established Cap stories.  Tumblr user wondygirl put together an excellent collection of images of the earlier references to Cap’s father. (Who rightly points out that being an alcoholic doesn’t necessarily makes someone physically abusive.)

Howard Stark (father of Tony Stark, Iron Man)
Another alcoholic father whose constant pushing and badgering of his son resulted in a strained relationship.

So, what do we have here? Deficit dads, alcohol abusers and wife beaters. That’s a far cry from DC’s compassionate Pa Kent and noble Thomas Wayne. While I would be reluctant to draw any hard and fast conclusions on this roundup, I think it suggests Marvel writers (past and present) have a bit of a lazy approach when fleshing out their character’s past. Or perhaps they think that readers can more readily identify with stories of heroes with poor father/son relationships. Or maybe this was simply a way to add a bit more soap operatic angst to otherwise well adjusted characters?

Whatever the reason, I hope you had a better father/son relationship than most of the heroes in the Marvel Universe!

- Jim

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The New Wave of Superhero Novels

Last week, I started a discussion on superhero literature over the years which resulted in quite a number of commenters adding to the discussion in the comments section. I found their replies very rewarding as several people mentioned novels I had not considered or, in some cases, never even heard of.

This week may find me returning the favor as I review three newer superhero novels I’ve read so far this year.Whether as a result of the current superhero movie craze or the more democratic self-publishing climate, there seems to be quite a number of new off brand superhero novels being published now. Here are three more popular ones that I've read.

Confessions of a D-List Supervillain
Jim Bernheimer

What it's about:
This is a fun story from the view point of a working class supervillain named Mechani-Cal who finds himself with a chance for redemption (and love) after he manages to save the Earth from certain destruction.  Imagine if your classic old school armored villain like the Beetle or the Porcupine suddenly found themselves working alongside the Avengers and that's the premise here. Cal is an interesting mix of ingenuity, bravery, insecurities and anti-authoritarian attitude. His struggle to balance his old school villain ways with the expectations of his comrades provides a lot of fun and challenging conflict in the book.

What is does best:
Character interaction is the highlight of this book. Also, watch the clever ways that Cal solves problems the heroes encounter.

What could be better:
If I had a complaint about this story, it would be that it seems a bit contrived at points. Not so much that it bothered me, but there are a few plot points that seemed sort of jammed in for no reason.

The narrative of all three books is serviceable but nothing special. I think the issue here is that the authors of all three tend to write so much from a characters point of view that they don't have a lot of opportunities to dazzle you with witty word play.

Ex-Heroes: A Novel
Peter Clines

What it's about:
In a world where the Zombie Apocalypse has occurred and destroyed civilization, a handful of superheroes struggle to keep a city of survivors protected. The main characters are St. George, Stealth, Cerberus (who sort of map out as Superman/Batman/Iron Man analogues respectively) and Gorgon who has a sort of life drain/power up ability. This is the first book in a series and it jumps right into the premise. The book starts after some time has passed since the breakdown of civilization and the heroes are still learning to cope with the shift in their roles form crime fighting vigilantes to resource managing municipal leaders. They are stuck in a conflict that has them caught between normal citizens who aren’t entirely sure they need super powered caretakers and the emergence of a villainous game changer in the zombie war.

What it does Best:
Clines does a great job juggling the different character view points while delivering big screen action with some excellent plot twists. With St. George and Stealth, he's managed to take the tired old Superman/Batman archetypes and give them some new life and personality. Clines also makes great use of the THEN and NOW chapter format to give us a look at the world prior to the apocalypse.

What could be better:
Stealth, the Batman analogue, is female, and we are often told via other characters how sexy she looks in her costume. The female characters never say the same about the male characters, so each time it comes up, it becomes more awkward. Also, don’t go looking for a lot of pithy prose here. This is a very straightforward narrative that at times reads like script direction.

Because of the workmanlike prose and the fact that Clines felt the need to tact on "A Novel" onto the title (a gimmick that always makes me a bit leary of a new book) I was initially lukewarm on this book, but I found my attitude quickly turning around as I kept on with the story.  I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a book that ever utilized the action adventure aspect of the superhero genre so well. The closest I can think of was book two of the Wild Cards series during the alien invasion chapters. Plain and simple: this is what Marvel Zombies should have been.  Bonus: There is also an excellent explanation behind the origin of the Zombies (which is usually one of those things that gets glossed over in such stories.)

You can find out more about the series at

Soon I Will be Invincible
Austin Grossman

What it’s about:
Starting in a prison, we meet Doctor Impossible, a notorious supervillain with a 300 level IQ and incredible strength and toughness. By all counts, he’s a deadly threat to the world at large, but he’s lost a bit of his mojo. At a time when he’s questioning his direction in life, his archrival Corefire (a Superman analogue) has gone missing. This prompts him to escape from prison and launch his grandest scheme yet. The flipside of this tale is the story of Fatale, a female cyborg who is the insecure rookie on the super team The Champions who are tasked with stopping Doctor Impossible. Through Fatale’s eyes we see that the world of the heroes is quite different than most people think.

What it does best:
The book shines when the story is in Doctor Impossible’s view point. His asides and observations on humanity and his plight are interesting and humorous. There is more action in the story that I was expecting as well. I had this pegged as a sort of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for Superheroes, but it is a good deal more serious than those books.

What could be better:
Anytime the story shifts to Fatale’s viewpoint, the story lags.  Readers will find themselves struggling to connect with her motivations as they are bit unfocused. Her interactions with the Champions don’t pick up her side of the story either as they aren’t fleshed out very well and are all a bit too similar in tone and personality.

While written with a bit of tongue in cheek style, this is no simple Venture Bros/Monarch rip off, which is unfortunate, as if it had been mostly about Doctor Impossible, it would have been more enjoyable book. As it was, chore of listening to Fatale’s adventure brings the book down quite a bit.

If you have any suggestions of newer superhero novels you think I should check out, please let me know in the comments section!

- Jim

Sunday, June 2, 2013

What do you think about Superhero Fiction?

Do you read books about superheroes?

I'm not talking about novelizations of Kingdom Come or The Dark Knight Returns, or collections of commentaries about comics, but actual prose books featuring original superheroes written by non-comic book writers.

Of late, as I have been helping my wife complete work on her first book (which is now available via Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon), I have found myself delving into the world of self published novels which in turn has led me to discover a new wave of fiction featuring other peoples superheroes. (Some of which are pretty good, but more on that next week.)

I think there is a tendency among comic book readers to think of COMIC BOOKS to be the real source of super heroic stories and any BOOK featuring superheroes will be either too derivative or one dimensional to be given any serious thought. (At least that seems to be the impression I have gotten when discussing the topic with other comic book readers.)

What I think is a bit ironic about that notion is that in many ways, the reverse is true. First, many people feel the inspiration for modern heroes started with some of the early heroic fiction of the 1930's. Among the first and most cited is Phillip Wylie's Gladiator novel.

Gladiator presents the adventures of Hugo Danner, a man whose scientist father developed a serum that gave young Hugo the proportionate strength of a ant (sound familiar?), the ability to leap like a grasshopper, superhuman strength, speed and bulletproof skin.

Because of the era it was written, the story will probably be a bit off putting to modern comic fans, but has a lot of interesting ideas in it. In fact, while no direct evidence has ever been presented, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that this book was the inspiration for Superman.

A more famous inspiration for the superhero genre would have to be Doc Savage.

True, Doc didn't fire lasers from his eyes or have bulletproof skin, but it's easy to see how this man of tomorrow inspired the modern day hero, especially those of the Batman ilk.

Filled with some highly imaginative ideas, the Doc Savage series was quite popular during the 30's and 40's but sort of faded out during the 50's. In the 60's the series found a new market of readers when Bantam book reprinted the series with cover artwork by James Bama.

Of late, noted Doc historian and co-creator of The Destroyer series Will Murray has written new stories with Doc featuring concepts with more big-screen appeal like this one featuring Doc Savage on Skull Island

Within more recent history, George R.R. Martin (of Game of Thrones fame) edited a series of shared world anthologies featuring non-comic superheroes under the Wild Cards banner.

The Wild Cards series features a rather ingenious framework for a superhero world (heroes, villains and mutates are the rare survivors of a deadly alien virus) with such notable contributors as George R.R. Martin, Roger Zelazny, Lewis Shriner, Melinda Snodgrass, John Miller.

The first book starts in the 1940's and follows the world of heroes through the Red Scare 50's, Vietnam era 60's and 70's and ends in the modern era. Subsequent novels have all taken place in the modern era, with some spotlighting different areas of the globe.

Because of its modern take on the superhero genre against a historical backdrop, people have often compared Wild Cards to Watchmen (and while there are a number of shared ideas, but I think that is just zeitgeistian coincidence.) I tend to see Watchmen as a very deliberate story with many set goals while the Wild Card series is a more random exploration of the superhero genre with vetted science fiction writers extending Stan Lee's concept of real world superheroes to the next level.

The series started in 1985 and has continued over the years at different publishers and was even adapted into a graphic novel 4 issue prestige format limited series in the 90's on Marvel's Epic imprint which was later collected into a single book.*

The most current volume being Fort Freak which came out in 2011 As of 2011, there was talk that Universal Pictures would make a movie out of the series through their partnership with SyFy.

The most important thing about the Wild Cards series is that it successfully delivers on the promise of richer, deeper stories in a superhero setting. Writers are allowed to develop ideas with more complexity, verisimilitude, thematic depth and stylistic nuance than one would ever see in a comic from the big two.

Sadly, even though Wild Cards paved the way for a new era of Superhero fiction, no one seemed interested in traveling down that road.

Until recently. But that will be the subject of next weeks post. ;)

- Jim

*Thanks to Trey Causey for the correction on today's post. - JS


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