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JMS Off ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Superman’ Series
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DC Comics announced today that superstar writer J. Michael Straczynski was coming off as main writer on two of DC’s namesake titles, Superman and Wonder Woman. JMS is stepping back on these two regular comic book series in order to concentrate on a sequel to the previously released Superman: Earth One graphic novel, which furthers the creation of the new DC Universe.

Along with this news, DC also revealed that upcoming writers Phil Hester and Chris Roberson would be stepping in on these titles using JMS’s story outlines for Wonder Woman‘s reboot, and Superman‘s “Grounded” storylines, respectively. Roberson’s first issue will be Superman #707, while Hester will begin with Wonder Woman #605.

JMS also talked about his plan for the next few years, which includes time off from writing monthlies.

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Comic Review: Superman Earth One
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Superman: Earth One
Hardcover
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Shane Davis
DC Comics
Price: $19.99
Released Date: October 27, 2010

Superman: Earth One is an exciting, modern revamp of a character that most everyone reading this has been familiar with as long as memory serves us. In a lot of fans’ opinions, Superman doesn’t need changing, but in the eyes of the majority, he needed an upgrade, and Earth One is a brilliant example of how to take the character in a new, relevant direction.

As reported, this is an origin story of Superman taking place in a modern setting. An alien boy is found in a small country town in Kansas named Smallville. When he’s older, Clark Kent goes from Smallville to the big city of Metropolis with a gift. His parents encourage the young man to stand up for what is morally right, but he is uncertain of himself. Clark is searching for jobs and positions to help his widowed mother, and he stumbles upon a local newspaper named The Daily Planet. A villainous force comes to Metropolis to find Clark, and he finds the will to protect the Earth. This is your typical origin story for Superman. The main difference? Superman is not a boyscout, and I believe it’s for the better.

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‘Superman: Earth One’ Is For The Twilight Age… Really?
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Early reviews for the first entry in the DC Comics brand new line of graphic novels, Superman: Earth One by writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Shane Davis, are out and so far they’ve been pretty mixed, but one specific write-up stood out amongst the others.

In an article in The New York Post yesterday, the writer refers to Superman’s new look in Superman: Earth One as “more Robert Pattinson from the Twilight movies than Christopher Reeve from the Superman films.” I have yet to read the book yet, but oh boy… there’s so much wrong with this.

The article focuses a lot of attention on the different approaches that JMS has taken with the character in this new universe, basically calling Superman a moody hipster, which is kind of hilarious if you think about that for a second. My main problem with the article is not necessarily what is reported in the news, but what they chose to focus on. This piece is nothing more than a modern fashion article with references to hoodies and skinny ties, but DC Comics has always attempted to keep fashion relevant when updating a character (in an alternate universe in this instance).

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Why The ‘New’ Wonder Woman Misses The Mark
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When DC Comics announced Wonder Woman was getting re-imagined for the 21st century, I immediately went on the defensive. The character is an icon now in the same way that Superman is. Her costume, regardless of how unpractical it may be, is also iconic, which is something you don’t dare change no matter how badly it defies conventional design theory (just ask Google about their own logo). But the thing I felt like invoking the most was “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Despite the inevitable fan backlash, DC editorial is going forward with their plans to “update” Wonder Woman. They’ve hired the talented J. Michael Straczynski as regular scribe who’ll kick off the new storyline that gives our heroine a new origin due to the gods changing history. Diana has now grown up in a modern society and barely remembers the former life. She has all the same powers and abilities as well as a new “modernized” costume designed by co-publisher (not to mention legendary artist) Jim Lee.

While combining the talents of top industry creators for a revamp is usually a formula for success, the “new” Wonder Woman fails before I even gaze upon the first page.

Here’s why…

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Deal: ‘Babylon 5’ The Complete Seasons 1-5 DVD
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The Gold Box spotlight deal of the day over at Amazon today is
Babylon 5 – The Complete Television Series 5-Pack DVD set for only $99.99 (that’s 67% the list price of $300.98).

The 5-pack 30-disc DVD set includes all five seasons — 110 episodes plus tons of bonus features — of the science fiction television series from J. Michael Straczynski set on a space station in the 23rd century.

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