A Gem From the Bottom of a Long Box

My boss at Strange Adventures suggested I read Deadline, this four issue mini-series from 2002, which was in with a huge collection someone sold to the store. I was wary of the cheesy cover by Greg Horn (who is only slightly more tolerable than that other Greg), but once I dove in, I found an awesome little book, with a story driven by an enthralling mystery and an irresistibly like-able main character, Kat Farrell. Kat's a reporter for the Daily Bugle in Marvel-New York. She works the superhero beat, where she's assigned to report mostly on hero gossip, since any of the exciting stuff is left to the crime division of the paper. While she's a brilliant reporter, she's a rookie, so she's stuck writing puff pieces about Spidey and the Avengers, who she sees as self-centered celebrities, too wrapped up in their own superhero drama to notice when they bust up property all over town.

Kat's got her eye on the prize: a position in the crime department, and when villains start dropping dead all around town, she figures that breaking this story could land her that dream job. But when Kat encounters Judge Micheal Hart, who was murdered, then brought back from the dead in a spooky new form, she ends up embroiled in a supernatural mystery that she has to solve.


Kat is that rare sort of female character who is totally cool and compelling, but still entirely relate-able. Bill Rosemann writes her to be intelligent and driven, but fallible, like how she's trying to quit smoking for the whole book. And Guy Davis is on right on point—Kat is that nerdy sort of cute—adorable, but not boobilicous. She's like Gert from the Runaways, if Gert got to grow up and live a (semi) normal life.

There are hints of romance in Deadline, but this story is about Kat's job, and her solving this mystery. She's the everyman who manages to be heroic which is a refreshing role for a female character.

I like seeing normal people in a superhero world. I loved Gotham Central, and the idea of the how a regular precinct has to deal with extraordinary crimes. Deadline is a lot lighter, but along those same lines. It's always fun to get a different perspective (really, what would be our perspective) on a superhero story, where the superheros all seem sort of annoyoing, and they screw stuff up for us normies.

If you can get your hands on this series, do it. And who knows? Maybe Kat will show up again? In Girl Comics? Please?

This Week's Haul: Wolverine Does Not Appear in This Post

Supergirl #40

I don't know why people think I am trying to fool them when I say that this series is awesome and all superhero comic fans should be reading it. Supergirl is such a well-constructed, likable heroine and this latest storyline has been exciting and fun to read. Plus, Jamal Igle draws Supergirl with realistic proportions, strong stances, and great facial expressions. Even if it didn't tie into the New Krypton event, this series would be worth picking up on its own.



Daredevil #118

I went for the Wolverine art variant because it's pretty cute.

Foggy rips into Daredevil in this issue for being a selfish, insane idiot for the past...oh, thousand issues or so. It's really, really satisfying.

I'm really loving this Kingpin storyline because it allows us to focus on someone else's misery for a change.


Detective Comics #853

 So what did you guys think of this? I thought it was pretty neat but...man, what I would give for some straight-up Batman.

I think Neil Gaiman did a good job of what he was trying to do here. I don't think it holds a candle to Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, because it is less crazy action and more crazy talking about crazy things. But the art is good and it's got a lot of fun references to things that Bat-nerds and Bat-amateurs will enjoy. It will make a hot-selling trade, I think. I mean, you put Gaiman's name on the cover and that'll sell a lot of copies right there.

Ghost Rider #34


 Well this was hands-down the best trucker horror comic I have ever read. Or at least the best one this year.

Tony Moore is just the perfect artist for this series. Can you imagine a funner comic to work on than this one? I can't. Redneck horror is just not a genre that is used enough in any medium.

Mighty Avengers #24

 I am sure that I have mentioned this before, but I'll say it again: I love that Marvel has the recaps on page one of all their comics. It really helps people like me get into series like this one. I hadn't been following Secret Invasion or its aftermath too closely, and I had never read Mighty Avengers before. But I do know that I love two things: Dan Slott and Hercules. I have been enjoying this series so far quite a bit, despite being a little confused (female Loki? What the hell?). I still feel like I would fail a Marvel exam if I had to take one.


The Amazing Spider-Man #592


 So last week's issue of Spider-Man had a crazy and amusing last page shocker...and this issue has an even crazier and even more amusing last page shocker!

So despite the malnourished Spider-Man on the cover, the interior of this comic (with art by Mike McKone!) was super. J. Jonah Jameson fans rejoice!


Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5


Fortunately for those of you who haven't yet picked up an issue of Michael Kupperman's hilarious Tales Designed to Thrizzle series, it's being collected into a book that will be out in July.

For those of you who have been Thrizzled before, you'll be happy to hear that there is extended Twain & Einstein content in this issue.


I also read Batman: The Brave and the Bold #4 (did somebody say SUGAR AND SPIKE CAMEO?!).

Wednesday Interview: Sterling Gates

If you have been reading Living Between Wednesdays for a long time, then you might be familiar with my long struggle with Supergirl. It went from apathy to hate to offense to curiosity to optimism to love in only a few short years. Supergirl's role in the current New Krypton event has solidified my love of the latest version of the character. Much of this can be attributed to the current Supergirl writer, Sterling Gates. Today Supergirl #40 hits stores, and the mysterious Superwoman will be revealed! Sterling was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.

1. How did you get the gig of writing Supergirl? Was she a character that you specifically wanted to write?

Well, I liked Supergirl a lot when I was a kid. Like, a LOT. The "Supergirl" movie came out when I was very small, and I was really, really drawn towards Helen Slater and her interpretation of Kara. DC published a comic adaptation of the "Supergirl" movie around that time, and I read it enough times the cover fell off. So she’s always been a character I was interested in and enjoyed.

As for writing Supergirl, it was a combination of wanting to write it, some really hard work, and some fortuitous circumstance. I work as Geoff Johns’ assistant when I’m not writing, and over lunch one day I was telling him all these ideas I had for Supergirl, and what I would do with the title. He gave me some great advice over that lunch, and told me I should just go away and write my first issue. That is, write what I would write if I were to suddenly be handed the title.

I spent a weekend writing an issue on spec and a series proposal and emailed them off to Geoff. Geoff really enjoyed the script, and he sent it off to James Robinson (who writes Superman) to check out. He liked it, too, so the pair of them approached Superman Group Editor Matt Idelson with it.

Matt and the other super-editors at that time, Nachie Castro and Tom Palmer, Jr., had been actively looking for someone to take over that book. They responded to what I’d written, and a few days later, Matt called me and asked if I’d be interested in being the new Supergirl writer.

Naturally, I freaked.

After I’d picked myself up off the floor, I told him that I’d absolutely love to write the book. And the spec script that I’d written turned into Supergirl #34 and the very lovely and talented artist Jamal Igle signed on to draw the book a few weeks later.

But I really owe Geoff and James and Matt and Nachie and Tom for giving me the chance to write Supergirl. I can’t possibly thank them enough.

2. It seems that Supergirl's return, starting in the Superman/Batman title, has been awkward and only very recently have we seen her find her place in the DCU. I feel that in the past year or two, DC has really thrown a lot of support behind Supergirl as a character and as a title, and including her in this crossover New Krypton event is a good example. Do you find it to be an exciting time to be writing Supergirl as a character, and have there been a lot of discussions about the future of the character?

Well, personally, it’s one of the most exciting times I’ve ever had in my life. Every day I get to go to work and write the adventures of the strongest girl on the planet. No, scratch that -- strongest girl on TWO planets, Earth and New Krypton. And yes, I’m thrilled that DC has put so much support behind Supergirl. Jamal and I have been working hard to make sure Supergirl’s as good a book as we can possibly make it, and I’m grateful that DC has been so supportive of us.

I know that I have discussions with my editors Matt and Wil Moss and the other super-writers almost every day about Supergirl’s future, and her as a character, and what the best possible stories are that we can tell to service her character.

At the end of the day, I want Supergirl to not only be an iconic superhero in the DCU, but also a good role model for kids and adults alike. Jamal and I’s take on the character is a little different from how other writers and artists have interpreted her, I know. But in my head, she’s a member of the Superman Family, so I’m going to write her as such, y’know?

That isn’t to say we’re going to tell “boring” or “safe” stories with her, which are accusations I’ve seen leveled against Superman before. What I mean is: Supergirl’s a hero, and I’m going to write her as a hero. A hero that makes mistakes, sure, and lives and learns from them. Her flaws can be very noticeable, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Supergirl should be someone we can all identify with and support and root for and learn from.

3. New Krypton seems like a very tight crossover. Are there regular meetings or discussions between yourself and the rest of the New Krypton team (Geoff Johns, James Robinson, Greg Rucka)? Have you found it challenging to write a series that ties into a larger story?

It can be a challenge, yes, but it’s also part of the job, taking into account what’s going on in the bigger picture as you write.

James and Greg and Geoff are really a blast to work with, and I feel that I'm very, very blessed to be working alongside such talented writers.

Greg and James and I have a weekly conference call with editorial where we sit down and plot and plan and break stories and figure out the beats in August’s crossover and just how long has Jimmy Olsen known how to ride a motorcycle and where could we find a good Kryptonian animal for Non to fight? “Oh, what about a torquat?” “What’s a torquat?” “Who’s got reference for a torquat?” “Well, they’ve only appeared once before, in Krypton Chronicles #2, I can send you a scan…” It can be a madhouse on the phone sometimes, but I think all of us really want to make the Superman Family of titles as strong as possible, and we're working hard towards that goal.

Plus, there’s a HUGE endgame in mind, which you’ll start to see the first few strains of in August’s big Superman crossover. It's not going to be an easy couple of years for Kal or for Kara.

4. Is Superman going to stick a braided wig on Kara and force her to live in an orphanage again?

Ha. No.

…although, that does give me an idea for something...

5. What other projects are you working on now, and what have you got planned for the future?

Well, today I’m working on Supergirl Annual #1, which I think is scheduled to come out in September. As I said before, we’re doing a month-long Superman crossover in August across the four main Superman titles, and we’re producing a pretty extensive Superman Secret Files to go along with that story. It won’t quite be on the scale of the Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Secret Files that Geoff and I wrote, but it’ll be a really great resource, with extremely detailed maps and profiles and stuff.

As for future plans, there are things in the works, but nothing I can announce yet. Sorry!

I can tell you that I’m planning on staying on Supergirl as long as DC will let me write it. Maybe, just maybe, I can figure out a way I can put Supergirl in the braided wig at some point. 

If I do, you’ll know it’s just for you, Rachelle.

JLA: Cry for Supergirl

 I had a really busy Wednesday and Thursday, so I was late reading my comics this week. But I did want to mention this:

From left to right: Hero! Hero! Hero! Hero! Boobs!

Aw man! Surely DC is not doing this. Not after they have worked so hard and earned my praise for the last year or two for their complete turn-around of the Supergirl charcacter. She is no longer DC's teenage blow-up doll, but instead a complex, strong hero who is far more than a pair of boobs in a halter top.

So any excitement that I had that this promo image implies that Supergirl is going to be a member of the Justice League is overshadowed by the fact that the only women on the page is an isolated pair of boobs. I hate when a woman's head is cut off in an ad or promo image, and it happens all the time. Nevermind the fact that it looks like the four male heroes in the picture are just staring at Supergirl's rack.

Boooooo, DC. Boooooooo.

The Only Thing I Read This Week


Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade #5

This book has been consistently super fun, and this week reached a new height: absolutely bananas.  A time-traveling, alternate-universe Supergirl called, "Supragirl" shows up, along with Comet, the super horse! Lena Luthor transitions from just being a whiny, clingy friend into a purple & green-clad mini-super villain! Belinda creates a Bizzaro army! Streaky not only flies a rocket, but also gets turned into a Bubastis/Battle Cat looking cat dude! Also: Mr. Mxyzptlk, Superman in need of saving and an imminent 8th grade graduation! It's all I could ever want in a comic with "Super" in the title.

Twelve Days of Christmas Special Review Series, Part Four, By Johnathan

Only three days behind! I was going to write this last night, but I was distracted by enchiladas and wine. Who could resist that, I ask you?

Back to that super-hero party from Adventure Comics No. 289 (I can't stop plugging Super Future Friends! Go there!) - remember, the whole reason that Supergirl hauled her cousin 1010 years into the future was to get him some future bootie (booty?), and where better to look for a quick hook-up than the super equivalent of a drunken office Christmas party. Hell, there are probably four or five different sets of super-butt prints on the hyperspatial image duplication assembly already. All Supergirl really has to do is point Clarkie in someone's direction and let fly.

So who does she choose?

Saturn Girl! Saturn Woman! Whoever!

Superman has been holding out for a woman with a lot of plaques! Turns out that he only values qualities that have been commemorated by brass plate screwed to wood, which is why to this day he's convinced that Green Arrow is indeed the World's Greatest Sex Machine.

The most important question raised by this panel, though, is just who the hell gave her that plaque? Her mom? Her stalker? Is there a shadowy group of future trophy-makers dedicated to making the folks of the 30th Century feel okay about themselves? Should I expect a tasteful brass-and-mahogany number commemorating my exceptional capacity for beer and nachos?

"Holy poo! You look basically the same as you used to, only somewhat taller! I honestly figured that ten years would have rendered you into a total pooch! Look, I made you a joke dog-collar flight belt and everything!"

I'm pretty glad that 'darts + mistletoe' isn't a cliched holiday recipe for making people kiss. I can basically guarantee that I'd have had a few accidental trepannations by now, knowing my friends. Also, I don't trust their judgement on who I should kiss.

What is the etiquette on this kind of thing? Can you keep kissing someone as long as there's mistletoe around? Do they have any say in the matter or do they have to run and/or start spritzing some Agent Orange ceilingward? I haven't ever actually seen the stuff - anyone from a mistletoe-using part of the world care to weigh in?

It's been said before (though I seem not to be able to find an example): Supergirl watching Superman kiss people is creepy. And happens a lot.

"Holiday Spirit", eh? That smacks of euphemism. Is Superman drunk, do you reckon? Is there a reason that he hasn't seen these people in ten years?

"Hey, where's Superboy? We could really use his help with these Rigellian Spore-Monkeys."

"Uh, we had to leave him back at the Clubhouse. He's a bit too full of the old 'holiday spirit'. I think that we might need to have an intervention."

See? He's fleeing the party rather than admit his problem. Adventure Comics No. 290 is entirely concerned with his subsequent shame-based bender. Actually, much of Superman's Silver-Age behavior makes a lot of sense if you assume that he's smashed out of his gourd half the time ("Whee! Time to dig another tunnel! And then maybe get Batman to help me prank Lois!").

Finally: harsh, Supergirl. What did Phantom Woman ever do to you?

I have a new theory about how being shot through space at a young age promotes social awkwardness.


"nine Police sciencing,"