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Ask Chris #221: Superman Takes Down The Clan Of The Fiery Cross

Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: What's your favorite example of a comic having an effect on the real world? -- @jamesdeleech

A: You know, a lot of the questions I get for this column, at least the ones I tend to like answering, are the ones that are open to interpretation, and it's fun to pick and choose stories to talk about that back up a particular idea that I have about how something works. This one, though, is one of those questions that's about as close to having one definitive answer as is possible. When you talk about those great times when comics changed the real world, there's really only one choice.

It's when Stetson Kennedy teamed up with Superman to bring down the Ku Klux Klan.

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‘LEGO Batman V. Superman’ Fan Film Is The Only Dark Knight/Man Of Steel Fight You’ll Ever Need

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We're still over a year away from the big-screen debut of the amazingly titled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in which your two favorite DC Comics heroes will be v-ing each other alongside other members of the Justice League, and maybe getting around to fighting an actual supervillain somewhere in hour three, if they have time. If you can't wait, though, I have some good news: BrickNerd Studios has brought you a short film in which the LEGO counterparts of the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel slug it out in brutal combat... for... some reason.

I'm not overselling things when I say that this is the best possible version of this fight that you're likely to see onscreen, and that Hollywood's going to have a hard time topping it in 2016.

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Greg Rucka Returns To Renee Montoya As DC Announces First Batch Of ‘Convergence’ Minis

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That sound you just heard is the sound of one million Tumblrs updating.

On Tuesday morning DC announced titles, teams, and plot outlines for ten of its forty planned two-issue Convergence mini-series, which will coincide with the publisher's big event comic next spring and take the place of its regular monthly output. From the looks of it, there's plenty of fan-service involved for people who loved pre-New 52 DC continuity.

Not only is Renee Montoya getting her own two issues as The Question, written by Greg Rucka -- who initially put Montoya in that role -- and drawn by Cully Hamner; but there's a Stephanie Brown Batgirl series, a Nightwing/Oracle wedding story, a Wally West story, a Superman/Lois Lane marriage series, a Bruce/Damian Batman & Robin series, and so on.

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Bizarro Back Issues: The Strange Saga Of Captain Strong (1973)

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I love crossovers. Even when they don't really work that well or make a whole lot of sense, it's almost always interesting seeing how characters that don't usually hang out bounce off of each other -- and it's especially fun when you've got a character like Superman. That guy's such a well-known, well-defined cultural institution that there has to be a huge temptation to see how he interacts with pretty much anyone else, even if you don't actually have the rights to do the real thing.

But really, that's the magic of comics. Even if you can't get the genuine article, you can always file off the serial numbers and do your own version and get the same effect. Sort of. And that's how Superman ended up spending a good chunk of the '70s hanging out with Captain Strong, a thinly veiled stand-in for Popeye the Sailor Man who was addicted to alien seaweed.

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CBS ‘Supergirl’ Casting Reveals Kara’s Alien Origins and Family, But No Superman?

CBS Supergirl TV Series Casting Kara Danvers
DC Comics

The arrivals of 'Constantine,' 'The Flash' and 'Gotham' gave DC Comics a monopoly on superhero TV, but CBS' forthcoming 'Supergirl' series might be the strongest of them all. Find out what take on Kara Zor-El 'Supergirl' will bring to CBS, as well as what other roles are in the mix, and what Superman has to do with it!

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Review: The Forgotten, Non-Superman Features Of ‘Action Comics’ #1 (1938)

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If you're the kind of person who keeps up with news about people spending truly massive amounts of money on comic books, then you're probably aware that there was a copy of Action Comics #1 rated at 9.0 that sold for $3,000,000 earlier this year. On one level, that makes sense. It is, after all, an incredibly important historical artifact, featuring the first appearance of Superman and Lois Lane in a story that kickstarted the entire superhero genre. On the other hand, if you really want to read that comic, you don't need to spend three mil. You can get it for like fifteen bucks.

Either way, the CGC corporation put the entire issue online to read for free -- presumably to prove that these crisp, unblemished pages really are as good as they say they are -- and there's a lot more in there than just Superman, whose first appearance has naturally overshadowed the numerous other short features contained in this most coveted comic.

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Toronto Unveils Statue To Honor Life Of Young Superman Fan Jeffrey Baldwin

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The story of five-year-old Torontonian Jeffrey Baldwin is about as sad as it gets, but out of that heartbreaking story has come something uplifting.

Jeffrey died of starvation and septic shock in 2002 after years of physical and emotional abuse by his guardian grandparents, who kept him and his sister locked up in a filthy room. The grandparents were convicted of second-degree murder in 2006 and sentenced to 20 years for the grandfather and 22 years for the grandmother without parole.

Speaking at an inquest into the circumstances surrounding Jeffrey's death, Jeffrey's father, Richard Baldwin, talked about how much his son loved Superman, and how he had always wanted to fly. Todd Boyce, a dad in Ottowa, was so touched that he launched a campaign to honor Jeffrey's memory.

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Warner Bros Announces Justice League, Wonder Woman, Aquaman Movies & More

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At a presentation to investors on Wednesday morning, Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara unveiled his studio's blockbuster movie slate for the next few years through to 2020, finally confirming the titles for an ambitious number of movies based on DC Comics superhero properties.

The announcement confirms that we will finally see a long-awaited Wonder Woman movie in 2017. Gal Gadot will reprise the role after 2016's Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice. The announcement also includes the expected Justice League movie -- and a sequel -- the previously announced Suicide Squad movie, and pictures starring Justice League members Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Cyborg. This means DC now has one superhero movie in the works with a female lead, and three with non-white leads.

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U.S. Supreme Court Declines To Hear Shuster Family’s Superman Ownership Case

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The Kirby family may have secured a settlement with Marvel, but the family of another high profile comic creator that petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its case has not been quite so lucky. On Monday morning the Court released a list of all the cases that it declined to hear in this session, and the list includes the case of the family of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster.

The decision upholds the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which stated that Shuster's nephew, Mark Peary, had no ownership claim on the character. The Shuster estate gave up its claims to Superman in a 1992 agreement that gave the family a $600,000 payout and a $25,000 annual pension.

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Ask Chris #214: DC’s Dracula Comics

Ask Chris #214, art by Erica Henderson

Q: Aside from the amazing cover for Superman #180, what's the best DC Comics story featuring Dracula? -- @brendan42

A: October is the month where I always find myself thinking about Dracula even more than I usually do, and just the other day I was thinking about how weird it is that there's never been a really good story about Batman fighting Dracula. They've tried it a couple of times, sure -- including a direct-to-video movie that takes a premise like Batman vs. Dracula and ends up committing the cardinal sin of being boring -- but it never really takes. Once I got your question, though, I started thinking about it, and I realized that there aren't many good stories about any DC Comics character fighting Dracula.

It turns out that dude just doesn't show up a whole lot in the DC Universe. And that's pretty weird.

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Filed Under: , , , , Category: Ask Chris, DC, Opinion

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