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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Wednesday Comics #1

Wednesday Comics #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 8, 2009

Cover date: July 8, 2009


Writer: John Arcudi
Artist: Lee Bermejo


Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Amanda Conner

Reviewed by: Barry Freiman

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When most readers of newspaper comic strips think of super-hero action, a certain web-slinger creeps to mind. But DC Comics heroes have a history in the comic strips too. When I was growing up during the 1970s and 1980s, there was a "Superman" strip which evolved into a DC Comics heroes strip. I remember how fun the concept was - one adventure blended into the next and heroes came and went. Ultimately the Sunday strip evolved into an activity page. I always wondered why the DC strip didn't last longer - I'd have read an entire Sunday section of DC strips.

And now I can. Except it's Wednesday.

If I'd been naming this new series, I'd have called it "Wednesday's Sunday Comics", but that's just me. Growing up in New York, I remember northeast ice cream franchise Carvel advertising that Wednesday was Sundae at Carvel. But nitpicking the name aside, this is a very fun use of the weekly comic book format - finally!

The Superman Homepage won't be doing the typical Mild Mannered Review of this series. It'd be difficult to devote separate sections to the Story and the Art when we're talking about a one-page strip. We also won't be reviewing every strip in the Wednesday supplement - just the ones that involve Superman characters. So far, that includes "Superman" by John Arcudi and Lee Bermejo, and "Supergirl" by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. If any of the other strips dip their feet into the well of Superman characters, we'll be sure to cover it in this weekly review.

This week, in "Superman", the hero rushes to stop another alien invasion in Metropolis. After rushing off rubberneckers, the alien behemoth calls out telepathically to Superman, calling him "Kryptonian" and telling him he isn't of here.

"Superman" is off to a good start. Rather than engage in the lengthy set-up that weighs down strips like "Spider-Man", the "Superman" strip dives right into action. There's even some stripped down characterization with the small-town boy turned Metropolis Marvel yelling at onlookers that this isn't a football game.

Remember you can read the weekly "Superman" strip at the USA Today website and in the Wednesday USA Today newspaper.

"Supergirl" takes a lighter tone but also takes off soaring with action. With a framing sequence involving a little girl shopping for a pet, Supergirl is in hot pursuit of a seemingly crazed Streaky the Supercat and Krypto the Superdog. Keeping the younger audience in mind, Kara's wearing a more conservative outfit than her current in-continuity costume. The story has minimal dialogue and doesn't need it. Much is left up in the air, including Kara, Krypto, and Streaky. Still it's off to a rollickingly fun start.

The other strips featured in "Wednesday Comics" include DC heroes Batman, Kamandi, Hawkman, Deadman, Green Lantern, Metamorpho, the Teen Titans, Metal Men, Wonder Woman, Sgt. Rock, the Flash, and The Demon and Catwoman. The Flash feature is split into a super-hero strip and a romance strip focusing on Barry Allen's put-upon wife, Iris West.

It'd be fun to see more strips like the one featuring Iris West. I can imagine a "Lois & Clark" strip that only refers to Superman who's never seen. It could have a tone like the 1990s Dean Cain show with shades of newspaper strip "Brenda Starr". Or a "Blondie"-esque broad comedy with Ralph and Sue Dibny. Also, several of the Johnny DC kids' superhero books seem well-suited to comic strip translation from "Tiny Titans" to "Super Friends" to "Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam".

See ya next week in the funny pages.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2009

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Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2009.