This week we're celebrating kids comics, and how comics inspire and influence people from an early age. Comics are often a gateway into fiction as a whole, and for many, the characters we met as kids remain some of our personal heroes to this day, whether they wear a cape or not.
The question we put to our contributors this week is: Who was your childhood comics hero?
Artist, author, historian, agent, activist, businessman: Denis Kitchen, born August 27, 1946, has worn all these hats (and a number of others) over the course of his storied career. He's worked with many of comics' finest artists, brought lost classics back into the public eye, written definitive texts on some of the medium's most important creators, and laid the groundwork for countless alternative publishers. On top of all that, he's the founder of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, an organization that works to ensure full First Amendment protection for comic creators, retailers, and readers.
Now that the DC Super Hero Girls toy line has expanded beyond its soft launch home of Target, more of those academic heroes are finding their way to stores around the world. For now, despite releasing new figures in the line, the primary waves still consists of the same characters that have been available since the spring. Though Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Bumblebee and the rest are all great, the cast of DC Super Hero Girls is so expansive it's a shame it's taking so long to get more of them released.
We got our first glimpse at one of the "second semester" releases at San Diego Comic-Con in Katana, who was offered as a deluxe exclusive at the show. Though her actual mass market figure won't see shelves until 2017 --- and it'll be a bit more barebones than this version --- Katana's debut in the line is impressive, and shows there's a lot of promise to still explore in the DC Super Hero Girl Universe.
If you somehow missed the original webcomic run or that award-winning hardcover, take heart! There's a new way to experience Nimona coming soon. Today, creator Noelle Stevenson announced that a full-cast audiobook version of her story is available for pre-order at Audible.
Superman and the Eradicator have an epic fight on and around the moon in Superman #6, by Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Mick Gray. Superboy --- that is, Superman's son Jonathon Kent -- is also on hand, although he wisely gets out of the Eradicator's way, and Lois Lane is there too, but this is the Lois that's Superman's wife and Jon's mom, not the one who became Superwoman. Mind you, she does have some Batman armor that enables her to survive in space. There's a lot going on here, clearly.
Of the many bonus features included in each new Marvel Blu-ray / DVD release, the gag reels are always the most special of the bunch, especially when the whole MCU gang gets together. You won’t be able to purchase Captain America: Civil War for another couple of weeks, but thanks to Marvel, you can watch the hilarious outtakes featuring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and the rest of the Avengers crew right now.
Q: Has Batman ever been overtly political? Was there a time Batman ran for office? If so, would you vote Batman? - @ShaneMBailey
A: To answer your last question first, yes: I consider myself a staunch Batocrat on virtually all of the most important issues, like crime, child labor laws, funding for the development of personal rocket cars, and batarang control. But even though I would happily cast my vote for the Caped Crusader if I had the chance, the occasions where Batman chooses to take a political office are pretty few and far between, especially if you don't count the time he was secretly President of the United States for a weekend.
Of course, there was that time Batman ran for Mayor to keep the Penguin from gaining control of Gotham City.
I may not know much about Sonic The Hedgehog, but there's one interesting little piece of trivia about the comics that I am absolutely fascinated by. Despite the fact that DC has recently returned Action Comics and Detective Comics to their original numbering, placing them somewhere in the mid-900s, the core Sonic the Hedgehog comic stands at 285 issues and counting as the longest-running monthly American comic book that has not been rebooted,renumbered, or otherwise restarted. It's been on the stands every month since 1993!
Throw in all the spin-off titles, and that means that there's a lot of Sonic content out there. So much so, in fact, that with Sonic Universe hitting #89 next week, there's enough Sonic content out there that the reprint-focused Sonic Super Digest is on its 17th issue. So why not celebrate the continued reign of a blue hedgehog who runs fast with a preview of both titles?
This week, as I occasionally do, I'm shifting focus to a project that's actually happening. The Runaways are getting TV series on Hulu, with a full series order and the involvement of Gossip Girl creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. So obviously we've been thinking about the original book, and who should play those roles.
The current run of Deadpool --- which stretches back into the previous volume --- has been one of the smartest, most sophisticated takes on one of Marvel's most juvenile characters. Over the course of over sixty issues, Gerry Duggan and crew have infused Deadpool with a level of complexity that the character had been missing for decades.
Recently, Wade Wilson has been pulled in all directions by the Avengers, the Mercs For Money, his burgeoning relationship with his daughter Ellie, and his failing marriage with Shilkah, Queen of Monster Metropolis. In the most recent issue by Duggan, Mike Hawthorne, Terry Pallot and Jordie Bellaire, Deadpool #17 one of those bonds snapped, and a classic Marvel hero paid the price. Spoilers follow.