Black Label, Anyone?

Still ridiculously busy (hence the lack of posts/updates) but couldn’t let this one lie.

DC announced a new creator driven, out of continuity imprint called DC Black Label which promises to “bring edgy and provocative standalone stories” to some of the major characters from the company. So Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, then.

Of the six titles announced, there are two Batman stories, two Wonder Woman, one Superman and a multi-character tale, The Other History Of The DC Universe, that looks at heroes from “traditionally disenfranchised groups“; the Superman books is by Frank Miller, so that’s a no-go from me; Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons might be worth a look based on the solicit information, and maybe Batman: Last Knight On Earth by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.

Aside from that, though, when I saw the imprint’s name – and I’m sure this happened to many a British comic fan of a certain age – a long ago advertising campaign instantly sprung to mind:


The Greatest Superman Products Ever

With Brian Michael Bendis about to take over/revamp/relaunch/do something or other with Superman, I can’t help wondering if we’ll see a new outpouring of merchandise to tie in with it.

If we do, I wonder if any of it will match up to the stuff you could get in 1965:

All your favourites are there – kites, costumes, jigsaw puzzles, jams and even a Colgate-Palmolive Soaky.

What the hell’s that? I hear you cry.

Superman bubble bath:

Top that, Bendis!

Superman’s Punching Car!

Here’s another ad from the 70s (yeah, I’m going through a chunk of old comics and keep finding these things!)

I think it’s safe to say that the Batmobile is probably the most well known superhero themed vehicle; sure, many people will know of Wonder Woman’s invisible plane, but when the majority of super-powered heroes can fly and/or run very fast, they don’t need a car, motorbike or helicopter. I’m not sure what use a Daily Planet delivery truck would be to any hero, but we’ll let that one slide for the moment as there’s one vehicle in that lot that caught my eye, as you can probably tell from this post’s title:

Superman’s punching car! (I have no idea if that’s the real name for it)

In what world would a car/plane hybrid that has retractable punching arms on the side be any more use than Superman himself?

Think about it – Supes is flying around in his punching car-plane-thing and comes across a villain that needs a damn good thrashing. What’s he going to do? Use the mechanical arms on the side of that thing or just get out and punch the damn thing himself? He’s Superman, for Rao’s sake!

This makes no sense and makes Clark Kent very grumpy.


Batman Vs Superman

Here’s a couple of ads that ran in Justice League of America #124 from November, 1975:​

Arguably the two premier DC heroes, showing off to the readers where they can be found.

I’ve just had a look at Previews for the April listings and thought I’d update those ads:

We’ve gone from six titles each in 1975 to four for Superman and eight for Batman; it would have been nine but it looks like he’s not in April’s Detective Comics.

I bet Superman can’t wait for Brian Michael Bendis and his big relaunch . . .