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Ask Chris #295: The Walking Complication That Is Composite Superman

Ask Chris #295, background art by Cut Swan

Q: Composite Superman: good idea or great idea? -- @aleams

So here's the thing: There's a certain kind of brilliance in comics that comes from simplicity. It's the kind of brilliance that you see in a character like Superman, where you know what he's about just by looking at him, where you only need to explain the minor details that make up his personality, because the broad strokes of who he is and what he does are right there from the very first time you see him. Composite Superman, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of that. He's counterintuitive, weirdly designed and completely ridiculous --- and somehow, some way, that's exactly what makes him great.

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Bizarro Back Issues: Superman’s Plot To Kill Superman! (1971)

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Superman is notoriously difficult to kill. It's kind of his thing, and even though people have been trying to pull it off for 77 years now, they've never really managed to. Even the most famous example of someone coming close had to involve an unstoppable giant bone monster in bike shorts and a spurious understanding of evolution, and even that didn't really work --- the main result was less shuffling off this mortal coil and more hanging around for a couple of years in dire need of a haircut.

But there is one person who might have a pretty good shot. Someone who knows all of Superman's weaknesses, and who has the resources to provide a squad of hitmen with everything they'd need to put a Kryptonite nail into the Man of Steel's coffin. That man is Clark Kent, and in Len Wein, Dick Dillin and Joe Giella's "A Matter of Light and Death," which opens with Clark hiring a trio of crooks to off his own alter-ego, and just keeps getting weirder from there.

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The Evolution of the World’s Finest: Best Superman/Batman Team-Ups by Decade

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Many of comics’ most popular characters 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 significant characters decade by decade. This week, with the release of Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice just six months away, we’re taking a look at the best Superman/Batman team-up comics.

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Bizarro Back Issues: The Weirdest Superman/Batman Team-Up Story Ever (1968)

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Look: I have read a lot of weird old DC comics. It's kind of my thing. But the great thing about them is that no matter how crazy they get, every time I think I've seen the weirdest thing that comics have to offer, they always somehow manage to top themselves. Case in point: a Cary Bates/Ross Andru/Mike Esposito classic from 1968 that has somehow managed to outdo every other comic I have ever read. I realize I say this all the time, but this is, without question, the absolute balls-out craziest comic I have ever read.

Seriously, folks, I'll go ahead and tell you right now that Batman casually mentions owning a time machine in this one, and as far as weird stuff goes, that's not even in the top five.

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Greg Pak On ‘Batman/Superman': ‘Each Guy Sees The Other As The Most Dangerous Person In The World’

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Last week, DC announced that they were reviving the World's Finest Team with Batman/Superman, a new ongoing series launching in June with the creative team of Greg Pak and Jae Lee. Set at the first meeting of the two heroes -- their first first meeting, taking place before Justice League #1 -- Batman/Superman is set to chronicle the early days of the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel's friendship, and how their initial antagonism changes over the years...

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Superman And Batman Coming To ‘Lego’ Movie With Crazy Voice Cast

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Apparently, you won't have to wait for a future Justice League movie to see DC Comics' World's Finest superheroes team up on the silver screen - although you might think that the next time you see both heroes onscreen, they're kind of acting like blockheads...

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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – May 2, 2012: Time is Actually Speeding Up

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Reading Comics author Douglas Wolk runs down the hottest comics and graphic novels coming out this week.

KEY:
* Don't say the name
^ Retro-novelty
% The myth about the microphone

^ % THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN DISINTERRED #4
I'm guessing this is the pamphlet-form comic book of this week that people are most likely to gasp at discovering a few decades from now: David Hine and Shaky Kane's loosely coherent salute to weird old comic books goes fully fragmentary, with 84 panels that connect to the ongoing iconography of the project but not, directly, to each other...

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DC Teases ‘Second Wave’ of New 52 Titles With ‘Leaked’ Preview Images

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We're just weeks away from the launch of the "second wave" of DC Comics' New 52, and to mark the occasion, the publisher had released all manner of new art from the six new series making their debut in May, both on their official blog and via carefully orchestrated "leaks" to another website...

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Ask Chris #66: Superman, Batman and the World’s Finest Friendship

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Here at ComicsAlliance, we value our readership and are always open to what the masses of Internet readers have to say. That's every week, Senior Writer Chris Sims puts his comics culture knowledge to the test as he responds to your reader questions...

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Silver Age Remix Comics: ‘Final Crisis!’ [Original Art]

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From Blackest Night to Flashpoint, today's super-hero comics are all built around the Big Event. But what if those stories had happened forty, fifty, or even sixty years ago? That's the question that ComicsAlliance is trying to answer with the help of artist Kerry Callen (who drew the incredible "Silver Age Marvel" pieces), by reimagining how the biggest modern-day DC Comics event comics would have looked in the Silver Age...

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