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Batman #33, Detective Comics

Review: Batman Zero Year Finale

What at first seemed like a dubious prospect has turned out to be one of the most invigorating Batman stories in years, and perhaps a new classic in its own right.

Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years, DC Comics

Review: DC’s 75 Years Of Batman

Some notable omissions and bizarre inclusions aside, DC's hardcover celebrating 75 years of Batman stories presents a valuable look back at the Dark Knight.

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Mondo Gets Into The Toy Game

An astonishing 16" Iron Giant figure and a number of very cool Ninja Turtles pieces signal poster and vinyl maker Mondo's arrival into the collectible toy market.

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The Psychology of Hospitalization

In this episode, we discuss being hospitalized for psychiatric reasons, the dangers of labeling people with disorders, and related feelings of dehumanization.

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DC TV/Film Universes Are Separate

"We will not be integrating the film and television universes," said Johns at the Television Critics Association press tour for The Flash.

Original Nova Richard Rider Was Cut From The ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Movie

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Undoubtedly the Marvel Comics stories that brought the Guardians of the Galaxy back to the forefront of fans' minds -- and shaped the versions of the characters that appear in the movie that opens next week -- were Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest.

Those series were also a bit of a revival for another character, Nova. And in a recent interview with ScreenCrush, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said some early drafts of the Guardians of the Galaxy script included the Richard Rider version of Nova.

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Marvel Unlimited Edition: The Steranko Effect

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The Marvel Unlimited app is a gigantic, messy cache of awesome and terrible old comic books: a library of 13,000 or so back issues of Marvel titles, available on demand for subscribers with tablets or mobile phones. Like any good back-room longbox, it's disorganized and riddled with gaps, but it's also full of forgotten and overlooked jewels, as well as a few stone classics. In Marvel Unlimited Edition, Eisner-winning critic Douglas Wolk dives into the Unlimited archive to find its best, oddest and most intriguing comics.

Jim Steranko's reputation as one of the great American comic book artists rests almost entirely on the comparatively tiny body of work he drew for Marvel between 1966 and 1970: nine complete comic books, eighteen "Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." episodes that each occupied half of an issue of Strange Tales, and a pair of seven-page stories from anthologies, as well as a handful of covers. All of his Marvel stories can now be read on the Unlimited app... except for Nick Fury #5, for whatever reason. If you've never gotten to sample Steranko's psychedelic delights, here are three excellent starting points.

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Humanoids Will Have Ladrönn-Inspired ‘Final Incal’ Tarot Cards At San Diego Comic-Con

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In addition to having (limited) copies of the different hardcover editions of the English translation Final Incal, the last chapter of the decades-spanning cosmic comic book series started in The Incal by Alejandro Jorodowsky and Moebius, publisher Humanoids has announced that it'll have con-exclusive tarot cards on-hand at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

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‘Batman: Zero Year’ Finale Sticks The Landing For The Caped Crusader’s New Origin [Review]

Batman #33, Detective Comics

There was a lot to be wary of when Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Danny Miki and FCO Plascencia's "Batman: Zero Year" was announced. The most obvious reason was that it was the story that was set to replace my all-time favorite comic, Batman: Year One, going back to cover ground that had been stomped into concrete by one of the most influential stories of all time. Even the name was a response to Year One, and the expansion of what Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli had done so elegantly in four issues to a full year of comics felt like it could've easily been symptomatic of the trend towards decompression that drags everything out for the bookstores. Why sell one hardcover when you could sell three, right?
At the same time, I liked what Snyder and Capullo had been doing on Batman enough that I was looking forward to reading it, and from that first shot of Batman on a dirtbike, something that I am genetically hardwired to love on sight, I was hooked.

This week, the final issue came out, and while we're still too close to it to really tell how well it'll stand the test of time, what I know right now is that I love it, and there's a good chance that it'll end up not only as my favorite version of Batman's origin, but as one of my favorite comic books of all time.

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Link Ink: 5-Year-Old Schools ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Stars, The New Ninja Rap And Pokemon Cars

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Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump

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The Arkham Sessions: Paranoia, Dehumanization And The Psychology of Hospitalization In “Batman: Dreams In Darkness”

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If Batman ended up in an Arkham Asylum cell, would he be deemed "normal," or would the Gotham facility known for housing the "criminally insane" keep him under lock and key?

In an episode of Batman: The Animated Series called "Dreams in Darkness," the Dark Knight's worst nightmare may have come true when he finds himself being evaluated by psychiatrist Dr. Bartholomew at Arkham Asylum. The doc asserts that Batman is very "ill" and that the one place where "costumed persons with delusional personalities come to find compassionate help" seems like the best place for him. Fighting the onset of paranoid delusions and vivid hallucinations, Batman struggles to reveal the real cause of his insanity: The Scarecrow.

In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we discuss the experience of being hospitalized for psychiatric reasons, the dangers of labeling people with disorders, and the feelings of dehumanization sometimes perceived by patients in the mental health care system.

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Viz Media’s Comic-Con Plans Include Exclusive Books, Hello Kitty Photo Op – Nothing Else In San Diego Matters

Viz Media exclusives for Comic-Con 2014

This week's fun at San Diego's Comic-Con International isn't just about stuff you can buy. I mean, yes, that's kind of the entire point of the convention, but in addition to new and exclusive products, plenty of publishers are offering unique experiences to lure you into their booths, and Viz Media is going the extra mile. In addition to new books like the Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary hardcover and The Art of Princess Mononoke, they're giving attendees the chance to take photos with characters like Doraemon and Hello Kitty.

That's right: a photo op with Hello Kitty. If you see me crying with joy on the con floor, that's why. Check out the rest of the exclusives belo

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The Comics Alliance Guide to San Diego Comic-Con 2014: What To Do On Friday

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With hundreds of panels to choose from at San Diego Comic-Con, the show can be an overwhelming experience — and it’s far too easy to miss a panel you think you might have loved, or to find yourself on the wrong side of the con floor five minutes before a great panel is about to start!

Take heart, brave reader. ComicsAlliance has sifted through the schedule to offer up our pick of the best programming at the con. Today we offer our suggested highlights for day two, Friday July 25, 2014 — with an emphasis on comics programming. We’ll also let you know where and when you can find ComicsAlliance contributors at the San Diego show.

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Wizards, Lizards And Other Figments Of Fancy: A Birthday Tribute To Vaughn Bode [NSFW]

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Vaughn Bodé is one of the few comics creators whose work transcends genre and style – his art can't be compared to anything but itself, and can really only be described and categorized as "Vaughn Bodé style". In his brief career, he redefined the very idea of what a cartoonist could be, pioneering a drawing style that inspired and confounded, blending and distorting fantasy tropes with every pen stroke. His stories were filled with spaced-out hallucinations and a direct, earthy sensuality, and established him as a guru of graphic storytelling and the first proper rock star of the comics field.

To mark the occasion of his birthday, ComicsAlliance reached out to a handful of our favorite modern-day artists to offer their takes on Bodé – his characters, his style, his feeling, and his inspiration.

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Dark Horse Confirms 262 Creators (Really) Of ‘The Sakai Project,’ A Tribute To Usagi Yojimbo

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Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo is a favorite here at ComicsAlliance for a very good reason. For the past thirty years, it's been one of the most beautifully constructed comics on the stands, blending note-perfect character work with epic storytelling, building a world that feels real even when it's populated by wandering bunny rabbits and grumpy rhinos. Now, in celebration of the book's 30th anniversary, Dark Horse is putting out a massive tribute to Sakai and Usagi Yojimbo called The Sakai Project, with a roster of 262 creators paying tribute to one of comics' true masterpieces.

The Sakai Project will debut this week at Comic-Con International in San Diego, where it will be available at the Dark Horse booth for $29.99. All proceeds will go to Sakai and his wife, to help them with recent medical expenses. Check out the full roster of creators below!

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