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Comics Picks of The Week 31.12.2013

Welcome to the first CPoTW post of the year. Technically this should be the last of the previous year, but publishers did this funny thing where the new comics came out on 31st December, so, you get the picture.

This was an extremely thin week of comics reading for me, and I’m not quite sure what more to say more than that. I read just six comics in total and as it turns out, they all happened to be good. I suppose that even a reading machine like me needs a break now and then. And I could probably have used it, in hindsight, since I moved through through three graphic novels in the previous week. And that’s a lot. At least, all six of these new comics were good!

Anyway, here’s another edition of this new feature. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Action Comics #23.1 by Michael Alan Nelson (Comics Review)

As I mentioned in my review of Supergirl #21-23 a week back, I had a lot of fun getting back into the title with the creative change of writer Michael Alan Nelson and artist Diogenes Neves. Up until then (actually till about #19), the series had been plodding along, going from one boring story arc to another, and I had lost faith in the title almost completely. So much so in fact that I had taken a 10-month break in between.

With Michael and Diogenes coming in however, the title gained a new life and I’m finally really excited about reading this book. However, in Villain’s Month, Supergirl has not been trusted with an issue of its own, which is rather sad since there is a distinct lack of female creators and female heroes being featured during this time. And with Cyborg-Superman being put forward as a distinctively Supergirl villain, it is odd to see his Villain’s Month issue being main-titled under the Action Comics banner. DC marketing clearly has a loose hold on how best to put forward all their titles.

Either way, I was really excited for this issue, given how Supergirl #23 ended, and because I’ve come to really like Michael’s work. Of course, I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting him in person and discussing his plans for Supergirl, so cue more excitement. I had no idea at the time that he was going to be moving forward with this title like this, so I’m quite elated to see where he goes next.

Note: This review contains major spoilers for Supergirl #23 (primarily the ending).

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Man of Steel: What Makes A Superhero?

So, the latest Superman flick Man of Steel has been out for a while, and it has been causing a few waves here and there. One of the most highly anticipated films of the year, right alongside G.I.Joe: Retaliation (god-awful terrible), Iron Man 3 (big, big disappointment), and Star Trek: Into Darkness (not too bad a sequel). Of all the films to come out this year from Hollywood, I was looking forward to the latest adventures of Superman the most, because he’s one of my favourite DC characters and because I’ve been a fan of the Christopher Reeves films (yes, even the terrible ones) and I loved the Tom Welling-starrer Smallville live-action series which did much to update the character for a more modern audience.

Like I said, Man of Steel has been causing a few waves. It has the highest June opening of any Hollywood film ever and it grossed over $200 million in its opening weekend alone. It has also set a few records in overseas territories and as of yesterday, the film has officially crossed the $500 million mark in global box office revenues, standing firmly at just a little over $520 million.

And in recent memory, no superhero movie has proven to be as divisive among critics and fans as Man of Steel has. From everything on my social media feeds, I’d say that the split between the yays and the nays is at 40/60 respectively, which means that most of the people on my social feeds didn’t like the movie.

So, as an amateur critic, what do I say to all this? As a fan of Superman fiction in all its forms, what do I say to all this?

Be warned however, there very well might be spoilers here.

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