Jordyn Kane's 'Get Your Cape On' Lyrics Inspire | Critical Blast

An extremely talented young lady who wrote and performed "Get Your Cape On" for DC's Super Hero Girls. I love the song and hope it can be purchased at some point.

Jordyn Kane's 'Get Your Cape On' Lyrics Inspire | Critical Blast

The Balance of Affording and Supporting Comic Books

A comic book is NOT expensive.

Today's comic books average around $3-$4 so to pick up and read a specific title, won't break the bank at all. Especially since you only need to pay for it once a month. Many of us that read comic books don't just read one, however.

We read many.

Most of the popular characters tend to have multiple titles. Superman, for example, can be found in the following:

  • Superman
  • Action Comics
  • Superman/Batman
  • Superman/Wonder Woman
  • Justice League
  • JLA
So for me, as a Superman fan to follow each of his books, I'm spending $18 a month. Okay, still not too bad for something that can count as a hobby, literature and sequential art. Unfortunately there is a slight caveat here: there are other character's I enjoy reading about.

The comic book industry thrives off of print sales, even though it offers all of their titles digitally through platforms such as ComiXology or Marvel's own 'Unlimited' service. These digital versions sell for the same price as the hard copy, so there isn't much incentive for readers who enjoy having something tangible. And there is ZERO incentive for collector's.

Sadly, with digital available, there are many ways online to pirate comic book pdf's to read for free. This hurts the industry terribly. So as a reader, who has moral fiber, I prefer to purchase my books in the store. It supports local business, creates relationships with the shop owners and allows me to invest my dollars to an industry I grew up loving.

So where does this leave my wallet?

Nearly empty. I don't read much outside of Superman titles, but I want my children to be involved as well. As much as I want them to discover the same love for Superman that I have, let's face it, many of the stories are above them. Especially my young daughter. And as the boys got older, they have their favorites.

The oldest loves Deadpool, The Flash and anything Star Wars. My middle child likes books that focus on villains such as Harley Quinn because she's a deep character with many layers. My daughter, at one time loved the all-ages Superman: Family Adventures, but had it stripped away from her when the title was canceled due to poor sales. Now, she currently reads Squirrel Girl by Marvel.

Suddenly my $36 a month is creeping towards $80! As an adult, naturally I have bills to pay and those need to be taken care of first. I'm not exactly independently wealthy and this blog is for fun, not money; I'll never turn ads on. So I find myself in constant flux of adding and dropping titles to hopefully find a good balance between reading, supporting and affording.

It's not easy. A comic book can be read in about 20 minutes. And you can look back through the art for another 5-10 to really take it in. So getting my money's worth isn't an issue. And I have a LOT of issues!

As much as I'd love to just throw more money at comic books, the fact that it's a financial impossibility, leaves me to scrutinize every title on my pull-list. If the story or art falters, it's on the chopping block. If something new comes along that looks good, I read the first issue while standing in my LCS. Then, if it's good, I'll buy it and add it. Then it has 3 issues to keep my interest.

Not Superman books though. He's my favorite character so I always give his books the benefit of the doubt. I'm blindly faithful to big blue. So as my children get older, hopefully they'll find room in their budget to buy their own books and I'll be able to drop my monthly comic book bill back down to around $36/month.

At least until I have grandchildren to buy for!

Post Cover Controversy, Spider-Woman Becomes Spider...Mom?

I've never read a Spider-Woman comic book. So before you yell at me and say I have no clue what I'm talking about, I know. I really don't when it comes to her character. But what I do know is what it takes to be a parent. Balancing a career, hobbies and the needs of three children are no small task.

Remember when Spider-Woman was depicted in a ‘painted on’ costume with her ass high in the air? It's art, so I won't bash it. I think there's a place for all kinds of art no matter how a character is portrayed. Milo Manara's artwork is stunning for what he does. But it upset some people and garnered a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons.

Regardless of the pornographic, neck breaking nature of the pose. Even Reed Richards would be impressed!

It's ironic that now, after a pose that had her showing off her wares, Spider-Woman finds herself pregnant post-Secret Wars. Her promotional cover shows off her baby bump as she appears to be deep into the third trimester.

That being said, as a father, I'm drawn to heroes who have children. Many heroes forgo a family life so they can continue to go about saving people without any attachments. It's a far more intriguing story when children are involved.

One of my favorite characters when I first got into comic books was NOMAD (Jack Monroe). Traveling around being hunted by the government, yet feeling compelled to help people wherever he went, NOMAD was a great concept to begin with. When he rescued a baby girl from a drug addict, his story became 100x more interesting. Here's this guy, trying to save people while raising a baby girl on his own. Without the ability to settle down because he's on the run! Having an affiliation with Captain America (as a former Bucky), Jack named the girl 'Bucky' of course!

NOMAD lasted 25 issues and it was one of my favorite runs for a character.

Another hero turned parent was pre-Flashpoint Arsenal (Roy Harper). He struggled with is own addictions and had very little self-worth as he fell out of the 'hero business'. When he found himself charged with the care of his own daughter, Lian, he re-discovered the need to make the world a better place. It was Lian who inspired him to reclaim the mantle of Arsenal and suddenly he began a new journey. His devotion and love for Lian began to define the character he would become. Everything he did, he did for her.

The introduction of Lian into Roy's life made his character complete and enjoyable to read. It was a character arc that featured someone grow as a person and go from selfish to selfless. He's one of my favorite characters because of it.

Now, without any formal introduction to her, I have become interested in reading Spider-Woman's story. She will balance motherhood with heroing. Some will criticize Marvel for putting a man (Dennis Hopeless) in charge of telling a story of a mommy superhero, but that's a blog post for another day. Regardless of who is writing it, we have another hero in comics who will continue to fight for what's right while raising a child.

We don't know yet if a father will be in the picture to watch the baby while she’s off saving people. If there is no father, what led to her being single and pregnant? One-night stand? Failed relationship? Who will watch baby when she dons her costume?

Adding a child to her life will certainly create some new stories with interesting twists as she seeks to find the right balance between motherhood and being a hero. What dangers and risks will she be willing to take knowing that a child awaits her return? The more I think on it, the more I'm considering giving it an early commit to my pull-list.

There is something about the parent/hero that has me reaching for my wallet.

From a meta point of view, when explaining the Manara portrait, maybe she tells her child that she was young and needed the money? I'd love to be a spider on the wall for that conversation!

The more I think on it, the more I'm considering giving it an early commit to my pull-list.

The TRUTH About Comic Books

Comic books are an ever changing medium. On-going stories with no endgame in sight. When you don't have a definitive ending it's important to keep telling new and refreshing stories that continue the slow burn of advancing a character. Even the supporting cast has time to really develop over the years.

After a while, the formula needs to be tossed out. A new mix of ingredients needs to be created in order to keep things fresh. Not everyone will like the changes made, but those changes will draw in a new era of readers while appealing to most from a previous era. Some readers will be phased out as they realize it's just not for them anymore. And then there are the few that complain that the hero is unrecognizable and demands that things go back to the way they were.

These people hang on with a shred of hope that things will change back. All the while they write up negative reviews on their blogs. Complain on twitter. Troll message boards. Those people are ungrateful for what they have as they stomp their feet and scream at the publishers that their needs aren't being catered to.

When you find yourself doing this, it's time to understand that a new era of storytelling is in the works. And, perhaps, it's time for you to step aside. All the complaining doesn't bother the publisher one bit if you're still throwing money at the machine. But if you aren't happy, then it's time to move on. Continuing to spend money on a story, only to complain it's not the story you want, does nothing but waste time and money.

You can go back through the 75+ years of comic book history and see how EVERY character has undergone some fundamental change. It's inevitable. If you want to read the same stories you grew to love, go through your back issues and enjoy them again. Browse through the bargain bin at your local comic book shop and have at it. Those stories are literally a dime-a-dozen. And, as you're digging, I'm sure you'll find a version of that character that came before it that you don't recognize.

There were readers, before you, who saw your favorite version as a PERversion of what they loved. And so they have moved on, selling off their collections at flea markets and garage sales. Not conforming to new ideas and stories simply meant they're one step closer to being a part of an older generation of comic book readers. They now read and collect for nostalgia.

You don't have to like it, but you need to accept it. Being a miserable curmudgeon does nothing but make you unpleasant to talk with.

The comic book industry is ever changing to keep up with the times. So too, must the characters.You may not enjoy them as they are today, but don't bang on the ceiling and tell the rest of us to quiet down. We love our characters unconditionally and look forward to reading the newest story. We are open to new ideas and accept change. We know that it may not be for the best, but it is necessary for creators to try. We'll enjoy the high's and endure the low's because we remain fans of an ever changing medium.

No matter where it may take us.

#NCBD - My Pull for 6-03-2015

New Comic Book Day is here!

With some new books arriving, my list is heavy on DC as I look forward to the DC You initiative. With only one entry from Marvel and no independent titles, there just isn't a whole lot that's grabbing my interest. Marvel needs to end Secret Wars and decide what's happening with the Mutants before I start pulling their books; my Marvel Unlimited subscription is holding me over until then.

 So without further ado, here's this weeks list:

Wonder Woman Annual #1

The epic finale to the “War-Torn” storyline is here! Wonder Woman faces off against Donna Troy, who’s destined to become her ultimate nemesis, in a battle that will seal the fate of Paradise Island! Plus, in the backup story, discover the circumstances of Hippolyta’s rise to queen as an ancient threat pits the Amazons against the Spartans!

Justice League #41

The critically acclaimed team of Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok present the much anticipated, extra-sized first chapter of “DARKSEID WAR”! When the Justice League investigate a series of unexplained murders on Earth, it leads them to the frontlines of a war unlike any the DC Universe has ever seen – a battle between the two most powerful villains in existence: Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor! Meet Darkseid’s daughter – a mysterious force of evil with a bizarre connection to the Justice League! Plus: The horrible secret of Superwoman’s baby! The ultimate temptation of Batman! Lex Luthor vs. Superman – no holds barred! New villains! New allies! And so much more in the DC Event that has been building since JUSTICE LEAGUE #1!

Bizzaro #1

"Hate HARLEY QUINN? Then you will super hate BIZARRO! Bizarro star of worstest comic ever! Go ahead and miss it! If there’s one thing this issue not have it these two things: Jimmy Olsen and Chupacabras!” Don’t miss the start of this six-issue all-ages miniseries!

Batman Beyond #1

At last, Batman Beyond gets his own ongoing series in THE definitive future of the DCU! But this isn’t the Beyond you think you know! With the Justice League missing and without Bruce to guide him, this new Batman will need to explore this bizarre world on his own while fighting to raise humanity from an opponent that’s already won. The heroes Batman knew have failed, the world he knew has been turned on its head, and every step he takes will lead him either toward finding home – or further down the road of disaster!

Action Comics #41

The epic new storyline “TRUTH” begins! For Superman, there’s no more holding back!

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6 

The start of a new arc! Squirrel Girl meets some potential new allies, including... GIRL SQUIRREL?? I don’t know why we put question marks there; it’s actually what happens! Also a hippo named “Hippo” is in this issue! This character already existed and we absolutely did NOT make him up at the last minute! ALSO THERE’S FIGHTS!! AND EVEN SOME FEELINGS!


All things considered it's actually a pretty big list for me, compared to week's past.

You can follow along with everyone's pull-list by searching #NCBD on Twitter. Every Wednesday it becomes a trending topic at one time or another. There's no avoiding it...

Nerds rule twitter.
Just started and it's #6 on the list

Share your pull-list in the comments below!