How does one batten down for a Frankenstorm?
Here in Western New York we were lucky to be so far removed from the brunt of Hurricane Sandy's effects.
But still, locals were stocking up on bread, milk and bottled water just in case. Me? I spent my Monday indoors with a stack of comic books that had been piling up all month.
In the end, all we really received was an excessive amount of rain and wind - no power outages that I experienced, which meant I got quite a bit of reading done.
Probably a pretty irresponsible way to spend the day, I know, especially considering the more than a billion dollars in damages predicted and all the real mayhem in New York City and New Jersey. So I count myself lucky to have had a comic book in hand on Monday while others, even locally, had to deal with the very real hardships of flooding and other weather-related issues.
But enough about bad weather, there's comic news to talk about.
SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE
Writer J. Michael Straczynski is back with a second installment about the early years of Superman.
Released on Halloween, DC's "Superman: Earth One, Vol. 2" is a new story presented in hardcover graphic novel format. It's the third overall in DC's "Earth One" series, which saw the release of a "Batman: Earth One" earlier this year. Scheduled for the near future are a second volume of "Batman: Earth One" by Geoff Johns and also a "Wonder Woman: Earth One" written by Grant Morrison.
Straczynski's first "Earth One" book retold the story of Clark Kent becoming Superman. In its own way, DC's "Earth One" is sort of like Marvel's "Ultimate Universe," a new place for creators to retell superhero stories in a new era without being encumbered by canonical continuity.
Confusing? Just know this: DC's "Earth One" books are decent "one-and-done" reads that require little going in, but deliver quite a bit for new and old readers alike. For new readers to the format, these books are an introduction to DC's classic characters. For longtime readers, these reworked origin stories are fun to compare with what we read growing up.
In this second volume of "Superman: Earth One," Straczynski writes a Superman (and Clark Kent) more firmly rooted in Metropolis than in the first volume. The decision to become a helping hero has been made, and now Kal-El is dealing with that decision both as Clark Kent and as Superman. He's in a new city, has a new job, new social experiences, a new villain and new personal challenges.
I saw a teaser for this book in the back of another comic, a short little preview that posed a bunch of questions about power. In this second volume of "Earth One," Superman feels for the first time what it means to be vulnerable. It's a worthwhile read whether you picked up volume one or whether you're jumping on board this time around. Check it out.
Fox has released its first official poster for James Mangold's movie "The Wolverine," starring Hugh Jackman.
Another "Wolverine" movie? Yeah, though this one looks to be something different. And honestly, I thought my interest in it had piqued back when Darren Aronofsky was hired to direct the film. Mangold was brought on board to replace Aronofsky in June 2011 after scheduling didn't work out.
But this poster, man ... I don't know. My interest has been piqued again.
The plot of the flick is said to be based on the 1982 "Wolverine" miniseries by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, which had the single X-Men character battling the Tokyo underground for the heart of his ex-lover, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord. According to Comic Book Resources, Mangold's film takes place after the original "X-Men" trilogy and sees Logan travel to Japan. From production stills seen so far, it's been said that it's highly likely there will be flashback aspects to the previous movies as well.
Clearly inspired by classic Japanese ink art, the poster for the movie features only a black-and-white drawing of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in a trademark pose with claws extended.
Directed by Mangold, "The Wolverine" opens July 26, 2013, and stars Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Hiroyuki Sanad, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima and Brian Tee.
Well, there's that poster for "The Wolverine" and there's also the news that Bryan Singer will be directing "X-Men: Days of Future Past" instead of Matthew Vaughan, who directed "X-Men: First Class." Vaughan may still be on board as producer though.
Of course, there's more to Marvel than just the movies.
The publisher's about to make the reboot jump with it's Marvel Now! line of titles. Of all the changes though, what's most surprising (scary, irksome, etcetera) is the fact that Marvel's ending its long-running title "The Amazing Spider-Man" after issue No. 700. The title has published continuously for 50 years and will end this December when it will be replaced by "The Superior Spider-Man" as part of the Marvel Now! relaunch of titles.
There's a lot to digest about the Marvel Now! rollout, and I've gone over the details of the main titles in past columns. But what are your thoughts about the publisher ending Amazing Spider-Man? I'm on board through issue No. 700 at least. And maybe the first few titles of the new "Superior" version, though, it's been said that the new Spider-Man title won't even feature Peter Parker as Spider-Man. And likely not Miles Morales either. So what will we see? I guess that remains to be seen, though I'm sure I'll blather about it here in January.
October saw the Joker return to Gotham.
After the DC reboot began, the Joker only appeared in the first issue of Detective Comics. Ever since then, everyone has been wondering -Where is the Joker?
Beginning early last month, writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo began a new storyline entitled "Death of the Family." The Joker's been brought back to Gotham and DC's promising a modern classic along the lines of "The Killing Joke," "Joker" and "Death in the Family."
He's hurt those close to Batman before, and this time the criminal's apparently looking to take on everyone in the extended Bat-family.
"Behind it all is the Joker," says DC, "the blood-thirsty, grinning psychopath who sports a new, disturbing visage sure to chill you to the core, and will make sleeping without a night-light very difficult."
More from me in a month's time.
Nerding Out With Nick Dean is a monthly column about comic books, movies and more. For more, visit NerdingOutWithNickDean.blogspot.com.