Saturday, June 29, 2013

"The Man from the Edge of Tomorrow", Parts One and Two - Legion of Superheroes

Speaking of short-lived superhero cartoons, let’s turn our attention to Legion of Superheroes for a moment, shall we?

As a team, the Legion of Superheroes—a group of crime-fighters from 31st century (New) Metropolis—doesn’t exactly have the greatest reputation.  Usually when I hear about them, it’s because someone is making fun of the perceived lameness of their membership, and with members like Matter-Eater Lad, I can’t really blame them.  (At least they had the sense to reject Arm-Fall-Off Boy.)  But someone somewhere must have thought them capable of turning a profit, because in 2006, a cartoon based on these half-baked heroes debuted on the CW (then called the WB).

Season One started with a young Superman traveling to the future and chillin’ with the Legion, consisting of, among others, Brainiac 5, Bouncing Boy, Triplicate Girl, Timber Wolf, and Lightning Lad, most of whom have pretty self-explanatory powers.  It ended with Superman going back to his own time, and then came Season Two. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Detective Comics #233

The 1950s have got to be the absolute lowest ebb for the American comic book.  At the urging of psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, the U.S. Senate had spent several months in 1954 investigating the supposed link between comic books and juvenile delinquency.  And while Wertham’s primary concern was that horror comics were too gruesome for children (and, from what I’ve seen, he was right), the highly publicized Senate hearings affected all but the most innocent and infantile of comics—and that meant superhero comics were about to take a hit as well.  Publishers sank left and right, putting hundreds of writers and artists out of work.  Even Marvel, now a seemingly indestructible titan of the industry, would end up cancelling 82% of its titles and firing much of its staff by the end of 1957. 

It was into this hostile environment that Kathy Kane, the first Batwoman, was born.