March is Women’s History Month, and we're looking at the history of Wonder Woman. As we all know, her first theatrical film is due out later this year. But what if it wasn’t her first? What if there had been as many onscreen Wonder Women as Batmen? Last week's Cast Party offered suggestions for a Golden Age Wonder Woman movie; this week we move into comics' Silver Age, with another movie cast with stars from the period.
Thanksgiving is just over the horizon, and that means that it's time once again for the annual bout of anxiety about spending time with your relatives. If it gets bad this year, though, maybe you can take a little comfort in knowing that even Supergirl has problems dealing with her family when they come to town .
It's not Superman who's the hassle --- although you really have to think that the conversation about him just dropping her off at an orphanage an hour after she landed on her new home planet had to be awkward, and for better or worse, Argo City's utter cosmic destruction headed off any difficult conversations with her parents well before they could be a real problem. No, it's her conniving older sister Kranna who's so hard to deal with.
Everyone knows the Silver Age was pretty wacky at DC Comics. But for Wonder Woman, who was already pretty weird in the Golden Age, it was even bizzare. Silver Age Wonder Woman comics are full of giants, evil doppelgangers, aliens, and dinosaurs. There's a lot of stuff about romance and dating, but two of the love interests are a merman and a bird man. There's also a blob who sings rock and roll songs. So yeah, it's pretty strange.
We've collected the weirdest Wonder Woman panels from the Silver Age we could find to show you just how outrageous things got.
Tom Scioli has good taste in comics. That should probably be obvious if you look at the influences that have filtered down through his work on titles like Transformers vs. GI Joe. While most of his favorites might seem pretty obvious, though, there are a couple of others that you wouldn't necessarily know about unless you happened to run into him at a con while he was whiling away some downtime reading through a back issue. Which is exactly what happened to me a few years ago when I saw him reading Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #115.
Despite my love of Silver Age Superman Family stories, I'd never read this Bronze Age classic, but when I heard the premise, I knew I had to go find it immediately. Because this is the story where Darkseid tries to kill Lois by giving her a magic typewriter that can predict the future.
Superhero comics were big business during wartime, with circulation numbers reaching six figures for popular titles like Captain Marvel, but in the following years their popularity began to wane until only a few were left standing. However, on this day in 1956 a new hero with a familiar name seemed to burst straight off the cover and reinvigorated the entire genre for a new generation.
Created by Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino, Barry Allen was a police scientist with a reputation for being slow and late, until one day a lightning strike doused him with chemicals and he gained the power of super-speed. Donning a red and gold costume with the iconic lightning bolt, Barry Allen took his name from the comic book hero he’d read as a child, and became The Flash.
You'd never have known the Black Canary was going to be so important. On June 11, 1941, a new character appeared in Flash Comics. She wasn't introduced in the "Flash" strip that gave the anthology it's name, or the co-headliner "Hawkman." She made her debut in a six-page "Johnny Thunder" story, by Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino.
Canary is introduced as a femme fatale to play off of the hapless Johnny. She's a criminal, but she only steals from other criminals, putting her in a morally gray area that makes Johnny a little uncomfortable, and for which his magical Thunderbolt genie (who was always smarter than Johnny himself) has even less patience.
It seems people are interested in Batman and Superman fighting, so I figured, why should there be just one movie about that? This week I decided to go back much farther than Dark Knight Returns to find a classic Batman versus Superman story to adapt for the big screen. I chose a two-parter from World's Finest Comics #186-187. "The Bat-Witch" and "The Demon Superman" were written by the legendary Bob Kanigher, with pencils by Ross Andru and inks by Mike Esposito.
The success of Jurassic World means that superhero movies are over! Forever! Why, we wouldn't be surprised if Fantastic Four and Ant-Man went straight to DVD and studios pulled the plug on the dozens of superhero movies already in production. Dinosaurs are the new superheroes, and in the future we expect all big-budget, would-be blockbuster films to be dinosaur movies.
Does this mean that comic books and graphic novels will lose their coveted place as the breeding ground for Hollywood's favorite source material? Not at all; there are plenty of dinosaur comics, ripe for film adaptation. Let's take a look at some of the more popular ones, and how likely it is that they may be coming to a theater near you... instead of Wonder Woman, Doctor Strange, or Justice League.
June 18 marks the birthday of Robert Kanigher, the man who wrote the book on how to make money writing comics. And I mean that literally.
Among his many accomplishments in a career that spanned four decades was the publication of How To Make Money Writing in 1943. At the time, Kanigher was already ten years into writing professionally, and in addition to sections on writing for radio shows, films and the stage, the book featured tips for aspiring creators who were looking to break into this brand-new medium called comics. Looking back, that book's a footnote, but I have to imagine that there were some good tips in there, considering that Kanigher would go on to co-create some of DC's greatest characters, including Poison Ivy, Sgt. Rock, and, in 1958, Barry Allen, the character who would launch the Silver Age of Comics as the Flash.
Many of comics’ most popular heroes have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.
With this feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most beloved characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at Wonder Woman.