Superman Comic Strips Celebrate 85th Anniversary, What If Venom Coming From Marvel, Massive-Verse Sampler Coming | Comic Book Club News For January 16, 2024

comic book club news january 16 2024 superman comic strips what if venom massive-verse

Superman comic strips debuted 85 years ago today. Marvel heroes get venomized in What If… Venom series. Image Comics Massive-Verse is releasing a budget sampler trade this July. All on Comic Book Club News for January 16, 2024.


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Episode Transcript:

Superman comic strips are 85 years old.

What If Marvel venomized even more heroes?

Massive-Verse sampler coming.

This is Comic Book Club News for January 16, 2024.

Superman Comic Strips Celebrate 85th Anniversary:

Superman — you’ve probably heard of the guy — debuted in what is now known as DC Comics in 1938. However, there’s another Superman comic that debuted 85 years ago today, on January 16, 1939: the long-running syndicated comic strip, which ran from 1939 to 1966.

While perhaps not as well known today as Action Comics, the Superman strip was initially written byJerry Siegel and drawn by Joe Shuster. And in fact, many key pieces of Superman lore were first introduced in the newspaper strips, including a bald Lex Luthor, fifth-dimensional imp Mr. Mxyzptlk, and perhaps most surprisingly, Superman’s parents Jor-El and Lara, who did not initially appear as part of Superman’s origin story.

One other surprising change from settles Superman mythology? The way the strip was advertised. The tagline for the strip was “faster than an airplane… stronger than a locomotive… crime’s greatest enemy.” Which is a bit of a change from the classic “faster than a speeding bullet” and “able to leap buildings in a single bound.”

While the Superman strip ultimately ran for over 12,000 installments and spawned multiple spin-offs, a large chunk of it has been lost to time. Specifically, 1949-1959, which seems to have been misplaced somehow. Still, if you want to check out the first 10 years, those have been collected in multiple volumes.

Also on anniversaries, Garth Ennis turns 54 years old today. That’s totally unrelated, but I didn’t want to record a whole other story on that. So happy birthday to Garth Ennis and also Superman comic strips.

What If…? Venom Series Coming From Marvel:

Marvel is shouting “goop, there it is” with their recently announced series What If…? Venom, which imagines what if the Venom symbiote bonded with other Marvel characters, something that has never happened before, and certainly doesn’t happen a lot or all the time in Marvel Comics.

The new series will run five issues, all written by Jeremy Holt, with art by Jesús Hervás, Tadam Gyadu, Manuel Garcia, and Diogenes Neves. In the issues, She-Hulk, Wolverine, Doctor Strange, Loki, and Moon Knight will each become Venom instead of Eddie Brock.

Said Holt via press release: “Having the opportunity to play within the Venom sandbox is cool. Having the opportunity to bond five iconic heroes to the alien parasite is cooler. In doing so within the What If…? concept, I’ve had an absolute blast crafting a linear revisionist history that’s provided me the latitude to introduce distinct versions of the anti-hero that we’ve all come to love.”

As most comic book fans know, Brock became Venom after the symbiote gooped on down from Spider-Man’s body in a church. So what these other characters are potentially doing in the same church instead is an open question. They’re probably not all going to get Venomized in a church, though. I guess.

The first issue of the new series will hit stores on February 28 from Marvel.

Massive-Verse Sampler Trade Paperback Hits In July From Image:

If there’s two things we all love, it’s comic books, and sampler platters, aka the appetizer plates that have little tastes of five or six different appetizers. And now, two great tastes are coming together with an upcoming collection titled Across The Massive-Verse.

Out this July from Image Comics, the $9.99 priced trade paperback will include first issues of Radiant Black, Rogue Sun, The Dead Lucky and Inferno Girl Red, all part of the interconnected superhero universe known as the Massive-Verse. The budget-priced collection doesn’t have any new material, but does sport a new trade dress. And as the original issues would have cost almost $18 to pick up, this is a good bargain.

So if you’re not familiar with Comic Book Club’s favorite new superhero universe, be sure to check out the trade when it hits in July. It goes great with buffalo wings, mozzarella sticks, potato skins, and onion rings, but alas, there’s no easy way to get all four of those appetizers at the same time on one plate.

For Comic Book Club News, I’m Alex Zalben. And I don’t know about you but whenever I put ketchup on my sampler platter, I say it’s getting venomized. Happy birthday Garth Ennis.

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