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Looking Back At The Great Comics Works of John Byrne

John Byrne is a controversial figure in comics, all the more so as he's moved to disavow his work with mainstream publishers, yet his legacy within the industry is undeniable, and his contributions to iconic franchise properties and to early creator-owned independent work are worthy of celebration.

Born on this day in 1950, John Byrne moved from England to Canada at the age of eight, and it was here that he first encountered American superhero comics. He enrolled in --- but dropped out of --- the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, and began contributing to Roger Stern and Bob Layton’s Contemporary Pictoral Literature. Their character Rog-2000 was spotted by Charlton Comics, and the team began contributing back-up stories in the pages of E-Man.

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THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN
ABC via Getty Images
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Noel Neill, Star of ‘The Adventures of Superman,’ Dies at 95

Unfortunate news for fans of former Lois Lane and revered star Noel Neill, as the iconic Adventures of Superman star has passed away at age 95. Neill had portrayed the famous DC supporting character as early as 1948, including cameos in both Richard Donner’s 1978 update and 2006's Superman Returns.

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supergirl-header
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There Are Two Kinds of Perfect: Searching for the Best Superman

News recently broke that Superman will make his first appearance on Supergirl in season two, which is something of a surprise. Many people have commented that Supergirl's portrayal of Superman is the best there’s been on TV or the movies in years, even though he’s barely in it. He’s a distant figure, far away. And the more I think about it, the more I wonder if that’s not the best way to handle the character in the role many people want him to occupy.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
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Superman Is the Best Superhero (According to This Study, Anyway)

Who is the best superhero? It’s a question that’s long existed without an objective answer, but one exhaustive, seven-year study claims that there is a definitive answer. So the next time you’re locked into an argument with a fellow comic book fan, you can feel free to whip out this scientific research to prove your point.

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Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images
Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images
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Jude Law Recalls the Time He Was Superman For Two Minutes

For as many Superman movies exist, there are just about twice as many versions of the iconic superhero that didn’t make it to the big screen. Perhaps the most famous of the bunch is Tim Burton’s Superman movie, which would have starred Nicolas Cage. But there was another notable project that never got off the ground, with Jude Law briefly attached to play the Kryptonian hero. There are a few reasons why that movie didn’t move forward, but for his part, Law explains what made him change his mind about taking on the famous role.

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NBC Powerless DC Trailer
NBC
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Hawkman, Lex Luthor and More Cameo in NBC’s DC ‘Powerless’ Trailer

NBC’s half-baked DC comedy Powerless won’t officially make its impact until sometime at midseason, but the full trailer managed to make its way online ahead of schedule. Get it while it’s hot, as DC namedrops galore rain down on the superhero insurance comedy!

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Miracle-Monday-Featured
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A Celebration Of Freedom: Miracle Monday Through The Years

It’s the third Monday in May and you know what that means… Good Miracle Monday, everyone! Today of course marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of when Superman defeated the great and powerful C.W. Saturn, and the people of Metropolis learned the meaning of joy. Although our collective memory of that monumental day remains hazy, throughout the world humanity celebrates with a day dedicated to friends, family and recreation and --- if it brings happiness --- reflection.

The holiday first appeared in Superman: Miracle Monday, a novel by Elliot S. Maggin, published in 1981, which follows a time-traveler named Kristin Wells from the 29th century who journeys back to discover the origin of the holiday and accidentally becomes wrapped up in its very events. While Miracle Monday has become a holiday for Superman fans in the vein of April 27th for Alien fans or May 4th for Star Wars lovers, it remains a fairly obscure piece of the franchise's history that has only been referenced on a handful of occasions.

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Krypton Superman Syfy Prequel Pilot Official
Warner Bros.
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Syfy Super-Prequel ‘Krypton’ Gets Official Pilot Order

Well, considering the amount of time Syfy’s proposed Superman prequel drama Krypton has spent on the bench, the Man of Steel’s grandpa was bound to leap forth eventually. So it is, that Syfy has given an official order to Krypton, taking us to a time way, way before Superman first donned the cape.

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Pa-and-Ma-Kent
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Kindly Couple: Why The Kents Are Vital To The Superman Mythos

Superman is often defined by his powers or his quite literal alienation, but the Man of Steel is so much more than that. Superman represents the potential of humanity through his kindness, his empathy and his generosity. All of these qualities he learned directly from two people, Jonathan and Martha Kent, and when you change anything about that dynamic, you wind up with a very different Superman.

In John Byrne’s classic reinvention, Man of Steel, there’s no mention made of ancient Kryptonian family crests; instead, Clark sits down with his dad and designs a logo based on the “Superman” name already coined for him by the Daily Planet, while Ma works on the costume. It isn’t all fun family crafts however, as it’s Pa Kent who takes Clark aside when he’s young and inspires him to be more than just a high school football star.

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lois-feat
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She Doesn’t Need Superman: Author Tim Hanley On ‘investigating Lois Lane’ [Interview]

Lois Lane wasn't designed to be a headliner, but simply a player in Superman's adventures. Over the years, she's evolved to become his rival, foil and competitor, his friend, partner and colleague, and his girlfriend, lover and wife. She's been a damsel in distress, a sidekick, and yes, a hero in her own right.

In Investigating Lois Lane, author Tim Hanley traces the character from her inspirations to her appearances in receny comics and adaptations. We talked to Hanley about his new book, what works best for the character, and where he thinks she should go next.

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DC Comics
DC Comics
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‘Batman vs. Superman’ Spoilers Discussion: Darkseid, Justice League and That Ending

If you watched Batman vs. Superman, you probably left with a couple questions. What was going on in that “Knightmare” sequence when Bruce Wayne has a vision of an apocalyptic future with Superman ruling an army, flying Parademons and a massive Omega symbol in what’s left of the Earth? And who was that mysterious figure who appears to Bruce and warns him about someone — “You were right about him!” — while telling him that Lois Lane is “the key?” Is this a dream? A vision? A hallucination? And, WHOA that ending! What does all of this mean and how will it impact the Justice League movie and the future of the DC Cinematic Universe? We’ve got your answers!

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
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‘Batman v Superman’ Review: Titans Clash (Eventually, After Like Two Hours)

Zack Snyder makes superhero movies, but his characters don’t act very heroic. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice features all the other trappings of the superhero genre: Capes, gadgets, outlandish muscles, punching stuff. But the two stars aren’t noble or chivalrous; they’re violent, aggressive, and angry — mostly at each other instead of the bad guys. In Snyder’s formulation, protecting the world from evil isn’t a gift or a calling; it’s a burden. And that feeling is reflected in the movie itself, a burdensome 150- minute slog about two men fighting over who is in the right when both are very clearly in the wrong.

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