Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week, Bennett touches on intro comics from the Big Two, Doraemon, and Doctor Who.

For a long time I've advocated for Marvel and DC to designate at least one of their comics featuring one of their major characters as being set outside of current continuity and that it should contain all-ages, one-and-done stories done by top creators.  Stories with a middle, beginning and an end requiring absolutely no prior knowledge of their characters other than what might be reasonably obtained by being alive in 21st Century America.  One that doesn’t ask the reader to commit to some mega-event epic (it's a comic book, not a cell phone plan), or learn a new mythology (it's a comic book, not Lord of the Rings).  In short, a comic that could be set before any person who wants to, you know, read a freakin' superhero comic book.  And if it could also be had for under a buck, well, bonus.
It's admittedly a lot to ask, but DC actually has a solid track record doing exactly that with their digital comics Adventures of Superman and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight.  The only problem I have with either title is that neither is currently being published, something I would ordinarily attribute to corporate stinginess, but Adventures ran 51 issues and Legends 79 issues.  And since they're all readily available as much as I wish there were more I suppose you could make an argument that at the moment no more are needed.
Likewise I've been saying for years (and years) there should be such a title for Wonder Woman, and moreover it should be called Sensation Comics.  And oddly enough, this has actually come to pass.  The first issue comes out this week, written by Gail Simone and Amanda Deibert and drawn by Ethan Van Sciver and Cat Staggs.  Naturally I got a copy and of course it was, appropriately enough, just wonderful.  Like the other digital comics the series will be an anthology and if they haven’t spoken to Jamie Hernandez of Love & Rockets fame about doing an issue, they really, really should.  Next up though is writer Neil Kleid and artist Dean Haspiel, which will have Princess Diana being aided in her struggle with Ra’s Al Ghul by Deadman and... Etta Candy!  Not the modern svelte blonde or even the African-American version from "The New 52" (who I didn’t even know existed until I looked the character up on the internet) but rather the happy fat frat girl from the 40's, she of the "Woo!  Woo!" catchphrase.  I never thought I'd live long enough to see her back again, and from some of Haspiel's art posted on the Bleeding Cool website the comic looks like it should be a lot of fun.
Marvel could do a lot better in this area, however, like, given the popularity of the movie shouldn’t there really be a 99 cent digital edition of Guardians of the Galaxy?  In my high exalted informed unassailable opinion, yes.  But comiXology is offering Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 Legacy, 147 pages of comics, original price $10.99, for only $3.99, which is quite a bargain; I bought one.  For the record I did see the movie again, and along with finding  it holds up nicely to multiple viewings, I’m sure you will all be relieved I discovered Star-Lord's one-night stand Bereet does show up (for a few seconds anyway) in the alien outfit I found online (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--Boys Don't Mind").  But the most interesting thing about my trip to the cinema was discovering 2013's Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods also playing.  Given how much time I spend online I don't know how it's limited American release could have possibly slipped under my radar.
I've previously reported how the anime series Doraemon, based on the manga about a robot cat and his hapless owner,* was now being shown on Disney XD (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--There's Something You Don't See Every Day").  As I am not a boy 2-11 or 6-12, the demographics the channel's seeking, my opinion of it doesn't really matter much.  But for the record, the kids on the show are frequently shown reading and collecting comics (one had the English title "The Incontinent Ghost").  And while I can tell you the Hindi version is very popular (it won the best Kids Show award at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards India), I couldn't find out anywhere online how well it's doing in America.  So I really can’t say whether it will ever make it to an American multiplex but according to the Variety story, "Japan Box Office 'Doraemon' Cartoon Trumps Tepid 'Transformers 4,'" Stand By Me Doraemon, the character's first 3D CG movie, is not only doing better than Transformers 4, it's doing it with less than half of the Hollywood blockbuster's screens.
Finally, the new season of Doctor Who premieres this Saturday at 8pm on BBC America, but you all probably know that as it’s been kind of hard to ignore.  The BBC sent new Doctor Peter Capaldi and companion Jenna Coleman on a world tour including stops in Mexico and Korea, places I wouldn't have expected the show to be particularly popular.  But it's been shown in Mexico since the 60s under the title "Doctor Misterio," and was voted "Most Popular Foreign Drama of the Year" in Korea.  Capaldi made the cover of the August 8th issue of Entertainment Weekly (which also cover featured headlines promising "Comic-Con: The Complete Recap" and "15 Pages of Exclusive Photos"), and he's on this week's issue of TV Guide.  But what's really convinced me that Who has finally reached true mainstream American acceptance was "What You Should Know About Peter Capaldi" by David Kamp, a profile of the actor that appeared in Vanity Fair.  Even if it does call Who fans "geeky."
* Nobita, or "Noby" as he's known in the American version, is a loser of Charlie Brown proportions in every aspect of his life.  But to me his problems in school and inability to manage his time doesn’t suggest "idleness and weakness," as one Japanese author put it, so much as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  He needs medication, not a robot cat.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of