June 11, 2013 | 1:30 p.m.
When Superman first leaped onto the scene 75 years ago in “Action Comics” No. 1, he was the only game in town. The now-iconic character was the world’s first comic book superhero, created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster when they were still high school students in Cleveland in the early 1930s. Superman eventually landed his own comic title, movie serial, TV series, Broadway musical and several blockbuster movies, including this weekend’s “Man of Steel,” which stars Henry Cavill as Supes. In the comics, the cape-wearing, crime-fighting Kryptonian paved the way for the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man. From 1938’s “Action Comics” No. 1 to 2013’s “Superman Unchained” No. 1, here are 10 covers that tell the story of a constant but changing superhero. Click through the gallery above for a look at the covers, courtesy of […]
April 04, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.
Think Superman and Batman are intimidating to criminals? Try writing for both of them. As Scott Snyder adds the upcoming “Superman Unchained” to his duties on the acclaimed, high-charting “Batman” and other projects, the Eisner Award-winning writer says he has to put on “horse blinders” to focus away from the pressure. He cites the “golden rule” of the class he teaches at Sarah Lawrence College: You can only write the comic that you’d like to read. “And with a story like this,” he said, “or with Batman, you have to follow that rule … and believe that because you love the characters enough, that in the DNA of that story will be the things that everybody else loves too – hopefully.” The new series, drawn by superstar artist and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, arrives in Superman’s 75th anniversary year. […]
Oct. 11, 2012 | 4:30 p.m.
Artist Jim Lee and writer Scott Snyder — two of the comics industry’s most popular talents — are launching a new Superman title in 2013. The comic’s title has yet to be finalized, but the new series was announced during the DC Entertainment Superman panel at New York Comic Con. The announcement comes on the heels of Snyder’s “Batman” No. 13 release — the first book in the much-hyped, Joker-centric “Death of the Family” story line. “It’s very strange to commute from Gotham to Metropolis,” Snyder said Wednesday. “One is very dark, and one is very bright, and the characters are incredibly different from one another.” VIDEO: Jim Lee reflects on a life in art Despite those differences, Snyder spoke of drawing inspiration from the kinship between Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent. “The friendship and the relationship between those characters […]
Aug. 27, 2012 | 4:10 p.m.
This October, Jim Lee will reach a special moment in a very special career. The most celebrated comic book artist of his generation will mark his silver anniversary — that’s right, it’s been 25 years since “Alpha Flight” No. 51 announced the arrival of a major new force. The polish and composition confidence of Lee’s earliest work hinted that he might be the heir of “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” star John Byrne (who also created “Alpha Flight”), and over time his maturing style took on the evocative power and sinew that suggested he might also be a latter-day Neal Adams. But long before Lee was a powerhouse figure in the comics industry and co-publisher of DC Entertainment, he was just a kid who liked to draw. “When I was a kid I never felt that what I was drawing really […]
June 18, 2012 | 12:38 p.m.
With just two issues published (and the third arriving Tuesday), the DC Comics expansion of the “Watchmen” mythology is still a Rorschach test — people look into its ink and find shapes that suit their own imported opinion, hope, outlook or agenda. The passion and debate stirred up DC’s “Before Watchmen” prequels is the subject of the fifth episode of “Hero Complex: The Show,” which is a special on-stage edition featuring my interview with DC Comics co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio at the recent Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. “Before Watchmen” may end up as the biggest story of the year in comics, but so far there’s more to say than to see. The “Before Watchmen” plan is a major mosaic with 35 pieces to it (that’s 34 issues spread across seven separate titles and then the single-issue coda of “Before Watchmen: […]
April 23, 2012 | 12:57 p.m.
This weekend at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books we unveiled the poster for the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival and the artist is none other than Jim Lee, one of the most celebrated creators in comics and the co-publisher of DC Entertainment. The image evokes Southern California on the move but also has the otherworldly aura of a cosmic messenger enroute to New Genesis — is she coming from the Vega system or Venice Beach? We like to think of her as digital delivery, the muse for the modern filmmakers as Tinseltown relocates to The Grid. Lee’s majestic sci-fi approach is the newest variation on a theme that began two years ago when Darywn Cooke designed our 2010 poster with a memorably spare representation of elemental power. A year later, Mike Mignola liked the basic motiff — a powerful lone figure holding aloft a giant […]
April 10, 2012 | 5:00 a.m.
Fans hungry for talk of zombies and mutants can get their fill at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC, where writer Robert Kirkman will talk about his work for “The Walking Dead,” “Invincible,” “Ultimate X-Men” and his new project, “Super Dinosaur,” which he has described as “a Pixar movie on paper.” The question-and-answer session with Kirkman, hosted by Hero Complex writer Geoff Boucher, will be held in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center at 10:30 a.m. on April 21. Here are a few other events Hero Complex readers may want to check out at the festival, which runs April 21-22: • “With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story”: The documentary will screen at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. April 22 in the School for Cinematic Arts’ Ray Stark Theater. • “Graphic Novel: Drawing Outside the Lines”: […]
March 30, 2012 | 7:45 a.m.
The landmark legacy of “Watchmen” and the intriguing future of “Before Watchmen” will be center stage at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, with an on-stage Q&A featuring DC Entertainment co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio as well as a rare big-screen presentation of the director’s cut of Zack Snyder’s 2009 film “Watchmen.” “Watchmen” was the 12-issue series (1986-1987) by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons that arguably redefined the ambitions and literary stature of the American comic book. DC is returning to that universe with the ”Before Watchmen” project, which will launch a series of separate, multi-issue prequels – a bold move considering that Moore has publicly criticized the concept and will not be participating. Hero Complex lead writer Geoff Boucher will moderate the discussion with Lee and DiDio. The discussion is set for 1 p.m. on April 21 in USC’s […]
March 14, 2012 | 9:08 a.m.
Jean Giraud, the artist best known as Moebius, died last weekend in France but leaves behind a rich, singular legacy with his comics, his paintings and his work in film on projects such as “Alien” and “Tron.” To learn more about the contours of his legacy, we talked to filmmakers Zack Snyder and Steven Lisberger as well as Jim Lee, the most celebrated comic book artist of the last 20 years. Zack Snyder, director of “Man of Steel” and “300″ I was first exposed to Moebius when I was a freshman in high school and in the pages of Heavy Metal magazine; for me it was all the things I needed to see at that point in my evolution. It was sexy and wholly original and intense and the images were about storytelling. It was super-influential on me. There was cinematic quality in the […]
Aug. 22, 2011 | 6:45 p.m.
DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio was at a comic-book store in New Jersey when he noticed something alarming. Over the course of an hour, only two customers came in. And, this was a Saturday — the busiest day of the week for most retailers. “The walk-in, casual fans have gotten away from us,” DiDio observed. “We are down to just the die-hard buyers.” Comic-book stores have become increasingly barren, with sales dropping consistently over the last three years and down an additional 7% so far in 2011. Theories abound as to why. Some blame convoluted story lines, while others point to cynical publicity stunts like killing key characters only to bring them back a few months later. But the main culprit more likely lies beyond the page: Today’s youth is far more interested in spending its leisure hours in the […]