The Last DC-slash-Marvel Supper

I saw this yesterday and thought it was pretty interesting, a graphic-novel-superhero take on the iconic Da Vinci painting, The Last Supper.

I thought it was pretty interesting that Superman is put in the middle (I have read comparisons of Superman to Jesus so it makes sense), and it’s cute that Batman is in the role of Peter (the jealous disciple in this painting) – aka, Superman’s biggest rival. Also, Wonder Woman as Magdalene is a pretty good choice – the only other alternatives I can see there is Cat Woman or a X-Men heroine which would have been interesting too.

I like how all the major superheroes are in this painting – although I’m not sure how fans would like the mixing of DC superheroes with Marvel – although there is a good message of tolerance in this Last Supper!

20140124_170146 - Copy

Superman: True Brit

Superman: True Brit is a silly, tongue-in-cheek satire about what life would have been like for Superman if he landed in Britain instead of the USA to live the American Dream. This book is a part of a series of ‘Elseworld comics which take DC Comics superheroes and takes characters out of their normal settings to theorise their alternative lives (for example, there’s another Superman novel called ‘Red Son’ about Superman landing in Ukraine to become U.S.S.R’s hero!)

Superman: True Brit is more of  a silly, light-hearted version of the story, with puns and plenty of poking of fun at the old British boys – although that’s to be expected with a graphic novel co-authored by the writers from Monty Python! So here’s a quick review-slash-recap of the graphic novel (*be warned, there’s spoilers ahead!*), I enjoyed reading this graphic novel simply because the idea was pretty funny, and it has crossed my mind a few times that Superman may have been a different person in a different country, rather than the all-American boy.

20131117_124655

So we start off with an alien baby landing – in all places – in the heart of the British Empire (or not quite), Weston-super-Mare, where he is found and brought up as Colin Clark; taught to mind his manners, suppress his powers and not scare the farm animals.

20131117_124728

His adoptive parents play their part, satirising middle-class British values (perhaps in the 1900’s, can’t say society is like this today!) with a social-niceties, paranoia about the neighbours and reminders to always wear clean underwear.

20131117_125234

In the meantime, Colin meets his girl-crush, Louisa Layne-Ferret, a Page 3 girl and ambitious journalist (with a convenient resemblance to her American cousin Lois Lane, who we also meet later on!), and has a fe20131117_125344w mishaps at school (such as playing cricket a little too fiercely and impaling a school-fellow with a cricket bat. Oh dear).

20131117_125821

Soon after (and inevitably), Colin is unable to suppress his powers and finds an outlet for them instead – in his alter-ego, Super Man, dressed in disguise to appease his parents while saving the country from disasters.

20131117_125849

20131117_125910

Soon however, he is set three challenges by the skeptic public and his less-adoring fans – which of course turn out to be typical British complaints (and also satirical comments about British society!) The first task turns out to be to make trains run on time – Superman solves this by speeding up the trains and introducing the train staff to schedules (“Radical thinking!”)

20131117_130243 20131117_130307

The second task turns out to be to reduce waiting times for hip operations, which Superman ‘solves’ by advising surgeons to play less gold and work more. Of course.

20131117_130356 20131117_130428

The third and last task is challenging Superman to raise the quality of BBC programmes – which he resolves by scaring BBC executives into less ‘dumbing-down’ of television and more shows for  under-30s age gap.

20131117_130518

Despite all of this, poor Superman falls into more trouble, with the Bat Man out to get him (the previous victim of the cricket bat incident), the editor of the Daily Star out to defame him, and worst of all, his parents trying to run away from the embarrassment of their son being Superman.

20131117_130708

On top of this is the news that the ‘Three Impossible Tasks’ that he apparently succeeded in have had some negative results, meaning that Superman has to pay fines, gets further bad publicity, and his love life is not working out with Louisa quite how he wanted it.

20131117_130937

Eventually though (although slightly predictably, and in a very Monty-Python-ish way!), there’s a happy ending to be had, and Colin Clark reveals himself as Superman to avoid being black-mailed, and urges the public to stop supporting both the Bat-Man and the slimy editor of the Superman-hating newspaper. I loved this comment at the end, where Colin resolves to change his name – to Kent Clark.

20131117_132034

And Superman goes back full circle to say he is emigrating to the US for new opportunities (not before some references to The Rutles and a few digs at British society), changing his British-flag costume for a more recognisable one, complete with a Christopher Reeves-ish hair-curl.

20131117_132059

Overall, this graphic novel was certainly a lot less serious than the other DC comics I have read – and certainly, it’s not meant to be taken seriously. I liked the humour of it, but found it a little clichéd at times when it came to British traditions (I can’t help but wonder whether Americans still view us British at tea-and-crumpets-with-the-Queen types, although I did like the depiction of Queen Elizabeth in wellies and a crown!)

This is certainly something for Superman fans to read, especially if they want to get away from the dark tales that Superman sometimes comes across (and even Batman fans, which has plenty of dark humour and depressing stories!) Although this may not be to everyone’s liking, and some may find this a little patronising, it’s good for a few chuckles, and it certainly gives a good send-up of British media and culture.

Journal Your Ramadan – Day #4: Currently Reading

I’m a big reader, which means I have piles of books in my room, several hundred ebooks on my laptop, book reader and mobile, and about three or four pages of lists of ‘To Read’ books to collect. I also have quite a bad habit of reading more than one book at the same time so that I’ll have about three or four different storylines in my head which I pick up again when I’m reading a book.

Here’s what I’m reading at the moment, a novel about a Slovakian Gypsy in World War Two, Zoli; a book on my eReader called The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I’m really enjoying, a graphic novel called Superman True Brit, which I’ve mentioned a few times before, and which I’m trying to re-read so I can post a review/re-cap of the best bits on my blog; and lastly a book given to me by my sister called The Four Agreements, which is more of a philosophical self-awareness book (which I’m not usually into, but it comes very well recommended and I’ve heard good things!)

Over the years, I’ve had less and less time to read (and I’m sure you can all relate) as I get more commitments, more things to do at home and work, and less time to myself, so it’s nice when I do get to sit down and read. I’m always in a ‘cycle’ when it comes to reading too, sometimes I’ll feel like reading a lot of fantasy, sometimes it will be a lot of murder mystery, and then this could be followed by a lot of dystopic sci-fi. At the moment I’m leaning towards historical and epic novels (and Batman comics), although previously I was reading a few novels by Charlaine Harris which were all based in The South (of US) which was interesting!

Ramadan is the best time to read the holy Quran during thee month, but there are other things to read too, to improve your day-to-day life or to reach inner-peace –  with some talks, some stories of the Prophet, or even just a few verses of prayer which can be read with prayer beads. It’s easy to forget to do this in this time, we’re tired, hot and not always able to concentrate, but time and time again I’m reminded of the value of praying and reading so that we can reap the rewards.

Also on the subject of reading, here are a few Ramadan Links to read for those of your who want food ideas, kids activity ideas or just lectures and talks to listen to – have a browse!

boook (1)

boook (2)