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  1. #31
    Senior Member Polar Bear's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure Rampage is right about Lex.

    Just another "Kudos" for Byrne's FF run. It was always "one of the two best" until Waid and Weiringo had their chance, at which point Byrne's run became "one of the three best." Haven't read Fraction's yet, though I plan to.

    DC did get some great stories from having Ma and Pa Kent alive, I'll admit. It's a shame that he never had that lesson of humility that the pre-Crisis Superman had, but you can't have everything.
    Anyway, it is cool for you to acquire acrimony of crumbling time on blast this website.
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  2. #32
    Gotham Guardian Captain Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramage View Post
    I believe that Business Lex was actually Marv's major contribution to the reboot. Correct me if I am wrong.
    I think you're right. Marv wanted the business Lex and the robot-like Brainiac that appeared immediately prior to Byrne's run. He got his way on Lex, but no Brainiac.
    Jim Zimmerman
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  3. #33
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
    It helps to understand that fandom at that time was much more artist-driven than writer-driven. People followed artists from books to books, rarely writers.
    The painful memories of seeing McFarlane's work everywhere still linger...

    Of course, if that was the major allure of attracting Byrne to the series, why the lousy cover art for Man of Steel? The coloring and inking really don't do the pencil work any favors.


    After you check out Master of Kung Fu, of course.
    I keep meaning to, but I've been away from classic superheroes for too long with POTA, Fury, Killraven, and Electric Warrior, and wanted to plunge right back into my comfort zone before branching out again. I do have all but one Shang Chi story at this point, so it's coming...


    Not sure what you mean by that. MOS was certainly published prior to Superman #1.
    Yes, but Jon Clark's post implied that Superman #1 had been written in accordance with a plan that didn't include a Man of Steel series preceeding it. Thus I was asking if Man of Steel was written later but published first. Perhaps I misunderstood the post.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    I keep meaning to, but I've been away from classic superheroes for too long with POTA, Fury, Killraven, and Electric Warrior, and wanted to plunge right back into my comfort zone before branching out again. I do have all but one Shang Chi story at this point, so it's coming...

    Strikeforce: Morituri. I'm telling you, man. It's got you written all over it.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  5. #35
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Harris View Post
    Strikeforce: Morituri. I'm telling you, man. It's got you written all over it.
    Just read the synopsis and was darned impressed.

    Still, I've got a TON of runs to get through before then and no time to read them. Take this review thread for example -- two reviews in three pages of discussion. I need to find a way to make this my full time job ;)

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Yes, but Jon Clark's post implied that Superman #1 had been written in accordance with a plan that didn't include a Man of Steel series preceeding it. Thus I was asking if Man of Steel was written later but published first. Perhaps I misunderstood the post.
    I pry didn't make it clear, partly because I'm not 100% sure of the sequence. Byrne had originally believed that after Man of Steel finished it would still be basically Year One for Superman. He didn't necessarily write Superman #1 from that assumption. At some point in the writing of Man of Steel he was told that DC wanted Superman to be an established hero with a history prior to Crisis by the end of the mini. Superman #1 may have been written before or after Byrne learned that, but based on the way Man of Steel #6 leads into it- the stories were obvously always meant to take place close in time. So if Man of Steel had ended a year into Superman's career then Superman #1 could have taken place then, since Man of Steel covered at least a few years and DC wanted an experienced Superman then that issue took place years into Superman's career.

  7. #37
    Member Chad's Avatar
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    Just a word on Luthor as Businessman: Elliot Maggin introduced this concept prior to the Crisis and suggested that Luthor would likely eventually reform and run a corporation through which he would introduce his inventions to the public - the name of this company? LexCorp and it was first mentioned in Superman 416. Wolfman did suggest the notion to Byrne along with the idea that Luthor either be married/living (can't remember which) with Lois Lane in his giant Xanadu like estate outside Metropolis. Byrne didn't want to go with the latter suggestion however.

    About Superman's lack of characterization - Byrne claims that he wanted to have an inexperienced Superman at the start of his series who was still learning the ropes but this idea was vetoed by DC who wanted Superman to be "up to speed" when the regular series started. It was for this reason that Bryne later stated that he regretted getting rid of Superboy as he could have used the character to present that Superman as Novice interpretation.

    Although I'm not a fan of Byrne's Superman, there was something I found cool about his debut issue - the birthing Matrix (ugh!) used to transport Kal-El to Earth was taken from the cover of the original Superman 1.

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  8. #38
    14 Time Rita's Champion SUPERECWFAN1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polar Bear View Post
    I'm pretty sure Rampage is right about Lex.

    Just another "Kudos" for Byrne's FF run. It was always "one of the two best" until Waid and Weiringo had their chance, at which point Byrne's run became "one of the three best." Haven't read Fraction's yet, though I plan to.

    DC did get some great stories from having Ma and Pa Kent alive, I'll admit. It's a shame that he never had that lesson of humility that the pre-Crisis Superman had, but you can't have everything.
    That was Jonathon Hickman's run on FF that gets cited as the 3rd best. Fraction just began his run on FF now.
    "Heads up-- If Havok's position in UA #5 really upset you, it's time to drown yourself hobo piss. Seriously, do it. It's the only solution." - Rick Remender

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  9. #39
    Senior Member Polar Bear's Avatar
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    Rats--I get 'em confused. Thanks, Super!
    Anyway, it is cool for you to acquire acrimony of crumbling time on blast this website.
    --best spam ever

  10. #40
    Senior Member Dizzy D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    I believe it; I just don't understand it.

    Was his FF run truly THAT remarkable? Enough so that people then looked back and decided he must have been the reason X-Men had been such a success and, subsequently, that he was some kind of comic book rock star?

    If so, how come I've never heard of his FF run until now?? It doesn't seem to get a whole lot of mention around here.
    It's weird that you never heard of it. It came 24th on CBSG list of best runs this year: http://goodcomics.comicbookresources...ok-runs-25-21/ and in the previous years it was also around that position (can't find the master lists for those years).

  11. #41
    Junior Member Bill Angus's Avatar
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    Also by the time Byrne jumped to DC to do Superman, he'd also written and drawn (concurrent with FF) somewhere in the neighourhood of two years of Alpha Flight, had completed a short run on Incredible Hulk (also as writer/artist - I believe there was a dispute with editorial), and I'm pretty sure he'd begun the (as far as I know) still unfinished "Last Galactus Story" for Epic Illustrated magazine (also writer/artist).

    He was fairly established as a successful writer/artist at this point, and has been said by pretty much everyone, one of the "hottest" creators around.

  12. #42
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Man of Steel #3

    writer/pencils: John Byrne
    inks: Dick Giordano
    colors: Tom Zuiko
    letters: John Costanza
    editor: ANdrew Helfer

    grade: D-

    What an odd choice of a third issue. It became clear in the first two issues that Byrne was consciously avoiding putting Superman in the spotlight, instead building up his supporting cast. But, this time around, the focus is on Batman (not generally considered a supporting Superman character), and it's done at Superman's expense.

    It's true that, at this time, the comic book world was still reeling from Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns," released only a few months prior, in which a rougher, tougher Batman finds himself ideologically at intractable odds against Superman, depicted there as a "boyscout" with a hopelessly tragic allegiance to the rule of law, no matter how misguided. It's thus totally understandable that every attempt was made to continue that characterization for Batman, but I find it incredibly odd for Byrne to choose to continue that characterization of Superman here. Essentially, we're given only our second prolonged look at Superman and watch him hopelessly misjudge Batman and ultimately come off less wise and far less likable than his Dark Knight counterpart.

    Again, it makes sense to want to keep the momentum going on the coattails of that enormously successful series, but not at the cost of the protagonist of this series. There's no denying that Superman was the ANTAGONIST of that story, and he comes off much in the same way here -- a misguided obstacle who will inevitably get in Batman's way and end up on the wrong side of justice. Meanwhile, this isn't even conveyed with any sense of cosmic tragedy that somehow deepens our appreciation for Superman; he's just a chump. Batman, in contrast, comes off as complicated, intriguing, and downright likable.

    Going further, this entire issue feels far more like a Batman story than a Superman one. It begins from Batman's perspective, sympathizes with Batman's point of view, and features a new villain who was clearly intended for the Batman rogues gallery. This is not a Superman story, so why is it featured in this volume and not in Batman #401?

    And, for what it's worth, this could probably count as Batman's first true post-Crisis appearance. His depictions in Batman and Detective at this point are quickly discarded and forgotten while the character we see here remains relatively true to what follows. Even his characterization in the very next issue of Batman (which continues from this story) depicts him as a very different character. Of course, as I've discussed endlessly in my Batman reviews thread, writers keep messing with Batman's characterization and ignoring each other's work for three years after the Crisis until Wolfman comes on in the wake of "A Death in the Family" and stabilizes the character a bit.

    Anyway, another important point to notice in this issue is the time period. Last issue seemed to imply that we were now in the current day, but Batman's costume in this issue is clearly from Year One, he doesn't have a batmobile yet, and Batman #401 will go on to heavily imply that the events of this issue occurred some time ago as Magpie has since been on multiple crime waves (Gordon refers to previous "cases," and Batman remarks that "she's pulled this kind of stunt before.") Though no time frame is offered, it's clear the previous run in with Magpie did not occur last month, nor was it the first encounter. Thus, MoS #3 is not in the present day. In fact, if we were to trust the rough timeline established in the Batman continuity after the crisis, this meeting would have occurred 8 to 10 years prior to the present day of the DCU (the uncertainty is due to the fact that, for the first year or so of post-Crisis Batman stories, 2.5 years worth of events are covered in confusing flashbacks, so no present day is firmly established). That would make Superman 36 to 38 years old by the time of the present day of Superman #1.

    Note how nearly all of this review has been about Batman?

    Worth noting about Superman in this issue is our first reference to his super hearing, though, oddly enough, he doesn't seem to have any such hearing when Batman eludes him towards the beginning of the issue. Surely he's not so stealthy as to prevent his cape from making any noise whatsoever as he swings outside of Superman's peripheral vision and winds up behind him.

    We also learn that Superman can fly outside of the Earth's atmosphere, but still needs to breathe. So Krypton, a planet orbiting an entirely different class of star, has the same atmospheric composition as Earth???

    Finally, Batman makes reference to Superman's denser molecular structure, which is new. Previously, the only biological explanation offered for his powers was that his cells functioned like solar batteries. Of course, this still doesn't explain anything beyond the super strength and invulnerability.

    Regarding the end of the issue, Batman's little thought about "In a different reality, I might have called him 'friend'" was both cute and upsetting. Superman (1st series) #76, the first meeting of Batman and Superman in the pre-Crisis continuity, is still a favorite story of mine. Nobody did "buddy-buddy" as well as Batman and Superman, and it truly saddens me to see the greatest friendship in all of comicdom retconned for the sake of maintaining the momentum stirred up by DKR -- an original, but also flawed and (I believe) highly overrated story. Putting what's popular and commercial over integrity and a sense of legacy -- yeah, I guess the very concept of the Crisis invited that.

    minor details:

    -- Magpie was a terrible, terrible concept for a villain. I'm glad this heavy handed attempt to infuse her into the Batman mythos failed so badly.

    -- Why is Superman in Gotham, anyway? And, for that matter, why has he set up base in Metropolis rather than using his abilities to protect people in areas of greater need? By his own admission, Metropolis is faring far better than Gotham, and what about war torn or famine infested countries? I can rationalize the decision (after all, Clark needs to have a life too), but shouldn't this at least get explained?


    plot synopsis: Superman runs into Batman and tries to arrest him for vigilantism, Batman threatens to remote blow up an innocent person if Superman touches him, they work together to take down a villain named Magpie, Batman reveals that he was the innocent person, and he and Superman come to an uneasy truce, over-acknowledging the differences in their approaches to fighting crime and suggesting that this will one day come to blows (as in Dark Knight Returns).


    A barely adequate early post-Crisis Batman story, and a terrible terrible Superman story.
    Last edited by shaxper; 11-13-2012 at 07:47 PM.

  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Man of Steel #3

    writer/pencils: John Byrne
    inks: Dick Giordano
    colors: Tom Zuiko
    letters: John Costanza
    editor: ANdrew Helfer
    Looking at this from my perspective at the time, this story came out before Year One, so I didn't read it as having anything to do with Year One since that didn't exist yet. It might have and it might have had something to do with Dark Knight, but I didn't read it that way. Batman and Superman had been teaming together for thirty years before Crisis. It was natural for old guard readers to assume that partnership still existed until we found evidence to the contrary. In the final years before Crisis, there was growing tension between Batman and Superman. So this story felt like it was backdating that tension to a period when they ought to have been friends.

    Also I think Byrne liked Batman and he didn't have many chances to work on the character, so he was giving himself license to do that. It's interesting to me that Byrne's best stuff is when he does other people's stuff. Whether it's Kirby or Sprang or Forte or Andru or Premiani--I like Byrne best when he pays tribute to classic artists.

    Even though I hated the design of Magpie and a lot of things about her, I still get nostalgic when I think about her. In Edmonton, Alberta--where I was living at this time--when the temperature goes below zero and there's snow everywhere--there aren't a lot of birds that winter in the city, but one bird I often saw was the magpie. I imagine in Calgary, Alberta, John Byrne had the same experience. So Magpie was a kind of Canadian thing and an Alberta thing. Also the name Margaret is very popular in Canada (or was) as is the shortened form--Maggie or Mag.

    It was a small thing, but it let me believe that despite his flag-waving Americana, John Byrne hadn't completely turned his back on his country and his province. Although he had probably removed the Canadian flag from his backpack.

  14. #44
    Elder Member dupersuper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    I've stopped at 1993 because my own personal recollection suggests that continuity and creative control began to fall apart after that, but perhaps I am mistaken.
    The "triangle era" of stories across all 4 (5 counting the quarterly Man of Tomorrow) goes up to the end of 1999. When Loeb, Kelley et al take over in 2000 they kept the triangle numbering for a little while, but mostly ignored it. The continuity itself held tight all the way through to 1999, but after the return of Superman in 1994, the creative teams started going from 1 big event to the next (pressured to do so after the insane success of Death/Funeral/Return) and slowly burnt themselves out (it was showing the last few years). Still, early triangle era (1989 - 1994/95ish was awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Still, Clark is established to be living in Metropolis sometime prior to being outed, and that's really where the career thing puzzles me. Clearly, he was doing something prior to walking in to the Daily Planet.
    See: World of Metropolis 1 - 4, Superman 12 and Action 800.
    Pull List; seems to be too long to fit in my sig...

  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Man of Steel #3


    What an odd choice of a third issue. It became clear in the first two issues that Byrne was consciously avoiding putting Superman in the spotlight, instead building up his supporting cast. But, this time around, the focus is on Batman (not generally considered a supporting Superman character), and it's done at Superman's expense.

    It's true that, at this time, the comic book world was still reeling from Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns," released only a few months prior, in which a rougher, tougher Batman finds himself ideologically at intractable odds against Superman, depicted there as a "boyscout" with a hopelessly tragic allegiance to the rule of law, no matter how misguided. It's thus totally understandable that every attempt was made to continue that characterization for Batman, but I find it incredibly odd for Byrne to choose to continue that characterization of Superman here. Essentially, we're given only our second prolonged look at Superman and watch him hopelessly misjudge Batman and ultimately come off less wise and far less likable than his Dark Knight counterpart.
    Think of it as Byrne putting all the pieces in place. The first issue had defined Krypton, the Superman ID and the Clark Kent ID. The second issue established the new Lois Lane. This issue's main goal was to pound us over the head with the death of the World's Finest friendship. Byrne and Miller were in complete agreement that despite the past 30 years of stories Superman and Batman made no sense as friends because their methods were too different. It wasn't DC trying to capitalize on DKR- it was Byrne being convinced that DKR was the better take.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Going further, this entire issue feels far more like a Batman story than a Superman one. It begins from Batman's perspective, sympathizes with Batman's point of view, and features a new villain who was clearly intended for the Batman rogues gallery. This is not a Superman story, so why is it featured in this volume and not in Batman #401?
    Because Byrne wanted to cement his idea of the Superman/Batman dynamic before anyone else. Not sure if he created Magpie or not- but either way he knew she was a new addition to Batman's rogues gallery and used this story to establish the character in anticipation of that. And as noted above it gave Byrne the ability to write a Batman story without needing to sell the Batman editor on printing it- much the same way he would use his later Wonder Woman run to work in his ideas for The Demon.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Anyway, another important point to notice in this issue is the time period. Last issue seemed to imply that we were now in the current day, but Batman's costume in this issue is clearly from Year One, he doesn't have a batmobile yet, and Batman #401 will go on to heavily imply that the events of this issue occurred some time ago as Magpie has since been on multiple crime waves (Gordon refers to previous "cases," and Batman remarks that "she's pulled this kind of stunt before.") Though no time frame is offered, it's clear the previous run in with Magpie did not occur last month, nor was it the first encounter. Thus, MoS #3 is not in the present day. In fact, if we were to trust the rough timeline established in the Batman continuity after the crisis, this meeting would have occurred 8 to 10 years prior to the present day of the DCU (the uncertainty is due to the fact that, for the first year or so of post-Crisis Batman stories, 2.5 years worth of events are covered in confusing flashbacks, so no present day is firmly established). That would make Superman 36 to 38 years old by the time of the present day of Superman #1.
    As I've stated before Byrne had intended for Superman #1 to be in the present but still early in Superman's career. When that changed the idea was to use Man of Steel to bridge the gap between his debut in MOS #1 and the time frame of Superman #1. Not sure if my timeline came from something DC put out at the time or something I worked out myself, but I recall at one point having decided that roughly five or six years passed from Superman's debut until Superman #1. MOS #1's plane rescue was Year One of the modern DCU, Batman appeared sometime before Year Two and this story was set around that time (after Batman: Year One but not much after). Lex had mentioned a trip he was going on in MOS #2 which sets next issue after he returned. And so on.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Worth noting about Superman in this issue is our first reference to his super hearing, though, oddly enough, he doesn't seem to have any such hearing when Batman eludes him towards the beginning of the issue. Surely he's not so stealthy as to prevent his cape from making any noise whatsoever as he swings outside of Superman's peripheral vision and winds up behind him. .
    It's an ability Batman has had ever since. It went from Batman being able to appear and disappear on Commissioner Gordon to having the same ability with regards to anyone- including Superman.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    We also learn that Superman can fly outside of the Earth's atmosphere, but still needs to breathe. So Krypton, a planet orbiting an entirely different class of star, has the same atmospheric composition as Earth??? .
    Well, once you get past Clark looking just like a normal human and growing up without powers- it makes sense he breathes and eats the same stuff we do. If he didn't breathe he'd have died before he was old enough for his solar batteries to kick in with invulnerability.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Regarding the end of the issue, Batman's little thought about "In a different reality, I might have called him 'friend'" was both cute and upsetting. Superman (1st series) #76, the first meeting of Batman and Superman in the pre-Crisis continuity, is still a favorite story of mine. Nobody did "buddy-buddy" as well as Batman and Superman, and it truly saddens me to see the greatest friendship in all of comicdom retconned for the sake of maintaining the momentum stirred up by DKR -- an original, but also flawed and (I believe) highly overrated story. Putting what's popular and commercial over integrity and a sense of legacy -- yeah, I guess the very concept of the Crisis invited that. .
    The whole point of the story was Byrne establishing that Superman and Batman in this new timeline were not and as far as he was concerned never would be buddy/buddy. The ending was intended to sort of give a fond farewell to the prior friendship and re-emphacize that things were different now.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    -- Why is Superman in Gotham, anyway? And, for that matter, why has he set up base in Metropolis rather than using his abilities to protect people in areas of greater need? By his own admission, Metropolis is faring far better than Gotham, and what about war torn or famine infested countries? I can rationalize the decision (after all, Clark needs to have a life too), but shouldn't this at least get explained? .
    Superman was in Gotham because he was asked to come. His main reason for taking on Batman was that Gotham's corrupt City Hall had told Superman that Batman was a criminal. This Superman was not much on solving problems that didn't involve natural disasters or police matters where he had been invited in. At least not until Marv Wolfman's 1st issue of Adventures of Superman.

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