Tag Archive | Smallville

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Wonder Woman '77 announced - so just who does read comics?

Posted on October 13, 2014 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Who reads comics? The standard response - indeed, stereotype - perpetuated by TV shows including the likes of The Big Bang Theory is this:

Comic Book Guy

Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons - a fat, white, straight male nerd.

Stereotype it may be, but is it true? To some extent, yes. A poll conducted by DC Comics into who bought comics in US comic book stores found that only 7% of purchasers were women. And a lot of women don’t feel especially welcomed by the average comic book store.

But that's all changing. Go to the average comic-con in the US and you will see people like this, for example:

Jay Justice as Wonder Woman

Yes, people who don’t fit the standard stereotype at all.

In part (but certainly not wholly) that’s because of online. No longer do you need to set aside an annexe of a house to collect comic books; no longer do you need to even step foot in a comic book store if you don’t want to. You can order graphic novels via Amazon or simply read them digitally on your tablet (or phone if you really just hate having perfect vision) using Comixology and other comic book readers.

So who reads digital comics? Increasingly, the answer is this:

A female nerd

Comixology’s sales figures indicate that as many as 20% of digital comic readers are young women, particularly outside the US. How about the remaining 80%, though?

You might think it's just young men, who are part of the digital generation who shun dead trees. But you’d be wrong. Or at least DC thinks you’re wrong, because although it’s been happy to push digital comic versions of younger-skewing TV shows The Flash, Arrow and Smallville, as well as tie-ins with cartoons such as Batman Beyond 2.0, it’s also seeing a good deal of success with Scooby Doo crossovers as well as Batman ’66 - a series based on the Adam West Batman of the mid-60s.

Batman 66

Batman ’66 is already a best-seller and doing well in both print and digital, which is where it started as an ‘enhanced’ comic - that is one that had animations as well as standard comic panes.

Now, you might think that Batman 66 is an exception, because you could stick a Bat on anything from Fairy Liquid through to piles cream and Batfans would still buy it; more so, the original show is still wildly popular among the general populace and is a real pop culture icon.

Except this weekend, DC announced another title in the same vein: Wonder Wonder ’77.

Wonder Woman 77

Based on the 1970s TV series starring Lynda Carter, Wonder Woman ’77 will be a digital-first title debuting in December. Now Wonder Woman has obviously been doing very well of late in the nu52 universe. Pre-nu52, there was one Wonder Woman title, Wonder Woman, and she’d occasionally pop up in Justice League or some other titles. But now, as well as Wonder Woman, we have Superman/Wonder Woman, the digital-only Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman ’77. That’s four concurrent Wonder Woman titles - more than there’s ever been before at any point in her 73-year history.

Clearly, she’s doing something right. But the question is: who will buy this new, digital-first title?

Undoubtedly, Lynda Carter is the platonic ideal of Wonder Woman as far as many fans are concerned, and there are aspects of the show that still define most people’s idea of who Wonder Woman is and the wonders she can do.

But largely, we’re talking about a show that never really entered the popular psyche and never got the re-runs in quite the same way as Batman. More so, it just wasn’t very good - try rewatching them, I dare you, because while the first season set during World War II is just about bearable, the latter two seasons are really hard going. Anyone coming to them fresh now is unlikely to be converted into an ardent fan by watching them.

On the other hand, I’ve got them all on DVD and iTunes, largely because I watched them all when I was a kid back in the 70s. So while I imagine there’ll be regular Wonder Woman fans giddy for any new Wonder Woman who’ll buy Wonder Woman '77, particularly those who hate the nu52, I doubt anyone young who is uncommitted would flock to this in the same way they might to Batman ‘66

And I don’t think DC thinks so, either. I think it's after a new group altogether from all the previous groups we've looked at - an older group that normally wouldn't enter a comic shop but who are now enabled by digital technology to read comics, particularly those based on shows they watched when they were kids.

Yes, DC is after the Silver Surfers. How ironic.

I’ll be buying it, of course. Will you?

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Preview: The Flash 1x1 (The CW)

Posted on July 1, 2014 | comments | Bookmark and Share

The Flash review

In the US: Tuesdays, 8pm ET, The CW. Starts October 7

Superheroes are all the rage at the cinema right now. In the comics book world, DC and Marvel predominate, but for many years, DC was the only real name at the movies, with Batman and Superman movies galore. However, Marvel has now not only caught up, it’s setting the pace and showing how comics should be adapted. So while DC has gone dark, gritty and important in the past decade, an attitude that the Lego Movie mercilessly mocked…

…Marvel has gone for relatively light, fun movies, such as Iron Man, Thor and the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. DC's movies have also been self-contained, while Marvel has had its superbeings unite in The Avengers and guest in each other's movies and TV shows with aplomb.

But DC is picking up the pace, both at the movies and on TV. The forthcoming Batman v Superman is going to feature not only the eponymous two heroes, it's also got Wonder Woman, Cyborg and various other members of the Justice League lined up to appear, with more movies together and individually lined up if these are a success. And on the small screen, it has the continuing adventures of Green Arrow in Arrow and Batman prequel Gotham lined up for the autumn/fall.

But it's still all a bit dark and gritty, isn't it? However, DC appears to be well aware of its gloomy reputation so it's giving us something a bit lighter and a bit more fun. And since The CW did so well with first Smallville (the Guinness World Record holder 'longest consecutive running sci-fi TV show') and then Arrow and believes that superheroes are the best way to attract male viewers who might have been scared off by all that Gossip Girl and The Carrie Diaries, it seems appropriate for it to be the launchpad for this new show based on one of DC's (literally) lightest characters: The Flash, a character who ends up being able move even faster than Superman, following a laboratory accident.

Indeed, for the past season of Arrow, The CW has been slowly introducing The Flash and his helper monkeys to viewers, inserting him (and them) pre-powers into various episodes, originally intending to turn one episode into a backdoor pilot. It backed off from that idea and instead decided to give him a launch episode all of his own.

And not only is it very good, in some ways better even than Arrow’s first episode, it’s really just what DC is looking for - fun, light and full of crossovers from other superheroes. Just don’t be too surprised if it all seems very familiar and a bit… light.

But first, here’s a dark and gritty (hugely spoilering) trailer - it seems some habits die hard.

Continue reading "Preview: The Flash 1x1 (The CW)"

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Weekly Wonder Woman: Superman/Wonder Woman #7, Smallville: Lantern #5 and Justice League Beyond #16-17

Posted on April 15, 2014 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Superman/Wonder Woman #7

Normally, around this time, I’d do a round-up of all of Wonder Woman’s appearances in DC comics in the past week. Unfortunately, given that both Superman and Wonder Woman were at the epicentre of a nuclear explosion not so long ago, I can’t do that, can I?

What do you mean they survived? How…?

Okay, we’ll talk about that after the jump. We’ll also be looking at a few alternative universes: the Smallville alternative universe, where Wonder Woman is flirting away with Steve Trevor, and the Justice League Beyond alternative universes, in which a slightly older Wonder Woman is off with Batman instead.

Gosh. Still, as long as she’s having fun, hey?

Continue reading "Weekly Wonder Woman: Superman/Wonder Woman #7, Smallville: Lantern #5 and Justice League Beyond #16-17"

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