Pop Artifact! Captain America puzzle

Vintage DC Comics house ad

See the Best DC Comics Sites on the Web.

New "Doctor Who" arrives in U.S. via DVD in February

The complete first season of the revived British sci-fi franchise arrives Feb. 14, according to the BBC.

More details from Sci Fi Wire:

The DVD set, virtually identical to one already available in the United Kingdom, will also feature audio commentary by cast and crew, including Davies, Piper, John Barrowman (Captain Jack), Mark Gatiss and Simon Callow; a new Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound mix on all episodes; more than five hours of "making of" interviews and behind-the-scenes footage; a BBC interview with Eccleston; and a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming holiday episode The Christmas Invasion, starring David Tennant as the new Doctor, which premieres this month in the United Kingdom.

Here's a pic of the UK set:

See the Best Doctor Who Sites on the Web.

Bond, James Bond

Here's the first promo picture from "Casino Royale," featuring new OO7 Daniel Craig and his big, big gun.

See the Best James Bond Sites on the Web.

"Lost" preview, season 2, episode 9, Nov. 30

* Read the official ABC teaser copy for the episode.

* See promo stills from the episode.

* View a preview clip for the show.

Come back tomorrow for TIP's clues-and-speculation report on the show.

See the Best "Lost" Sites on the Web.

Quick hits

An Aquaman pilot is scheduled for the WB.

Billboard reviews a recent gig by ex-Kinks leader Ray Davies, who has a new album coming out.

Writer/artist Stan Berenstain, creator of the Berenstain Bears children's books, has died.

First Hayley Mills, now Linda Blair, Booksteve confesses another old crush. (Headspinning and projectile vomiting makes it hard to love a gal, I think).

Looks like an upcoming DC Showcase Presents volume will be dedicated to the "Superman Family." Love these big 'ol reprints...

New comics Nov. 30

Available now at yer local comics shop or via This is Pop!-supporting links:

Giant Size Invaders #2

Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four Vol 9 HC Ltd. Ed HC (#53)

Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four Vol 9 New Ed HC

Mickey And The Gang Classic Stories In Verse Ltd HC

Ocean TP

Official Handbook Marvel Universe X-Men 2005

Ororo Before The Storm Digest TP

Punisher River Of Blood TP

Spirit Archives Vol 17 HC

Star Wars Clone Wars Vol 7 When They Were Brothers TP

Teen Titans The Future Is Now TP

Amazing Fantasy #15

Amazing Spider-Man Vol 10 New Avengers TP

Crypt Of Horror Vol 1 TP

Essential Silver Surfer Vol 1 TP New Printing

Essential X-Men Vol 2 TP New Printing

See a Complete List of Upcoming Comics.

Pop Artifact!

See the Best Marvel Comics Sites on the Web.

Vintage Fawcett Comics house ad

Quick hits

The Teen Titans cartoon won't be back for a sixth season.

A new, ongoing Lone Ranger comic series is planned.

C.S. Lewis didn't want to see his Narnia books turned into movies.

"The Batman" Season One DVD cover art unveiled

The set is out Feb. 7 and available for pre-order from Amazon now.

Comic book birthday: Gill Fox

Covers from the Grand Comic Book Database.

Review: All-Star Superman #1

In some circles, this was the most-awaited comic of 2005. Why? Mainly because writer Grant Morrision--a fan favorite--promised an updated, version of the 1950s-70s fun Superman. You remember the guy. Had loads of superpowers but was still scared of Lois Lane. Did big, cool stuff with a smile on his face. Didn't have any issues when it come sorting good from evil.

In this grim'n'gritty age when superhero characters have been "humanized" into unpleasant, whining folks we'd rather not hang around with, a big, powerful, colorful, heroic Superman is what a lot of people want. People nostalgic for a sort of superhero book that no longer seems to exist, anyway.

To a large extent, Morrison has delivered. Right off the bat, Superman here is heroic, hurtling through space to rescue an experimental craft from falling into a sunspot. Lex Luthor is in prison, where he belongs. Not the White House or in some towering office building, looking over the Metropolis skyline acting like he owns the place. Clark Kent is a bumbling clutz. There's a by-God planet on the top of the Daily Planet. And Perry White and Jimmy Olsen (who look like Perry White and Jimmy Olsen) are on staff there doing their jobs. Lois Lane is present, too, looking fabulous but not like how Kurt Schaffenburger drew her. Oh well, we can't have everything.

Other nice touches, Morrison knows we know Superman's origin. But this is an "All-Star" book, where creators are allowed to pick and choose the elements of past continuity they like and discard the rest. So he lets us know he's going with the basic elements and proceeds to recount them on the first page in a mere four panels. He also works in some Jack Kirby "Jimmy Olsen" continuity (The DNA P.R.O.J.E.C.T.) and hints there may be Bizarros ahead.

In short, Morrison is here to have--and provide--fun. A mock movie rating graphic on the last page promises the book is appropriate for general audiences, containing "Pulse-pounding, rip-roaring action to be enjoyed by all." Sounds like the recipe for a superhero comic to me. But one that's been mostly forgotten.

The title couldn't be more different from the silly cheesecake noir of Frank Miller and Jim Lee's "All-Star Batman," which courts the same old fanboy crowd while forsaking a broader audience.

Artwise, "All-Star Superman" is bright and beautiful. Frank Quitely's pencils, "digitally inked" with Jamie Grant's computer colors, are visually striking. Yet, as with many artists working in comics today, Quitely is more illustrator than cartoonist. He creates nice images, but they tend to lack flow and the storytelling is weak.

For example, a visual gag in the "Lois and Clark" epilogue at the back of the book doesn't come across too clearly. I had to scan it a few times to get what was going on.

Nevertheless, I'll be back for the next one. Along with a few issues of DC's "Solo" title, Marvel's recent "Spider-Man/Human Torch" mini-series and Mark Waid's revived "Legion of Superheroes," this is a superhero comic by creators who understand what makes the genre tick, who can tell fresh stories without distorting what these characters are supposed to be all about.

CD new releases for Nov. 29

New releases of note:

Les Baxter The Primitive and the Passionate/Balladeers

The Coasters Coast Along

The Crests
Sing All Biggies/The Best of

Gil Gilberto Nightingale

Ennio Morricone Crime and Dissonance

Doris Troy Sings Just One Look & Other Memorable Selections

Van Der Graaf Generator Godbluff and Still Life

OST Nick Cave and Warren Ellis The Proposition

Last week's new CD releases.

DVD new releases for Nov. 29, 2005

C.S.I. - Crime Scene Investigation Season 5

Family Guy, Vol. 3

Havoc (Unrated Version)

March of the Penguins (Widescreen Edition)

Sky High (Widescreen Edition)

The Tomorrow People - Set 2

More Upcoming DVDs

Pop Artifact!

Vintage DC Comics house ad

Visit the Best DC Comics Sites on the Web.

Comics previews

Mile High Comics has first looks at: Doom Patrol #18, JLA Classified #14, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere #5, Plastic Man #19, Amazing Fantasy #15, Black Panther #10, Captain Universe Silver Surfer #1, Exiles #73, Generation M #1, Incredible Hulk #89, Nightcrawler #12, Sentry #3, Wolverine #36 and X-Men and Power Pack #2.

Quick hits

Archie Comics and singing group The Veronicas have come to legal terms.

The Comics Treadmill remembers the zany Haney days of Brave and the Bold #s 77 and 78.

Charlize Theron studied geckos in preparation for her "Aeon Flux" role.

The New York Times reports on the Hollywood blockbuster-type aspectness of DC and Marvel Comics' latest "event" series. And here I thought they were just the same type of gimmicky maxi-series the publishers have been doing regularly for the past 20 years...

Dark Horse Comics is launching four new manga series.

After shooting him in the head, DC Comics plans to "honor" the Blue Beetle character by reviving him (or some manifestation of him) in a new series written by comics vet Keith Giffen. Newsarama has additional info about DC's post-"Infinite Crisis" plans.

The New York Times reviews Donovan's new autobiography.

ABC has released the fourth official "Lost" podcast.

Well, it's after Thanksgiving, so let the Christmas music sharity begin. Spread the Good Word has a nice x-mas mix featuring everything from the Sonics to Soupy Sales. And the FaLaLaLa seasonal sharity site is back up with new offerings.