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Andrew Wheeler

The Naughty Knot: Unpacking Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso’s Comments On Sex Appeal And Diversity

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In an interview with The Telegraph's Radhika Sanghani, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso offered some insights into how he regards the superhero comic industry's treatment of female characters -- and his own intentions towards diversity.

The interview is chiefly noteworthy for confirming what already seems apparent from recent changes in Marvel's line-up, namely that Marvel understands and is responding to demographic changes in the marketplace. "We believe there's an audience of women out there who are hungry for this [product] and we want to make sure they get it," said Alonso. "This is affirmative action. This is capitalism.”

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Original Spin 8: Mindless Violence [Marvel's 'Original Sin' Recap]

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It's over. Original Sin, by Jason Aaron, Mike Deodato, and Frank Martin, is finished. Everyone go home and hug your children.

But not before one last pulse-pounding Original Spin recap -- the only comic event recap that digs through the trash and uses the really long lens to find out what's really going on the comics.

Previously: The Watcher died; a truth bomb detonated; Nick Fury picked out random entries from the Official Handbook to investigate; they investigated; they found out Nick Fury killed a lot of E.T. dudes. Now: Everyone is on the moon, which sounds like a party, but it's seriously lacking in atmosphere. (Um, actually, it's well-established that the Blue Area of the Moon has its own atmosphere in Marvel comics continuity, thankyou.) This report exclusive to ComicsAlliance. Spoilers follow.

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#ZDARSCON: Live (Pre-Recorded) At Chip Zdarsky’s One-Man Toronto Convention [Interview]

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Chip Zdarsky is clearly his own man. While other comic creators took their places behind their tables at Toronto's Fan Expo comic convention this past weekend, the co-creator of Sex Criminals set up his own independent 'Zdarscon' in a park across the street -- in the shadow of the CN Tower and a short distance from the Blue Jays baseball game at the Rogers Centre. Even his co-author Matt Fraction wasn't invited.

The day started with torrential rain, followed by blazing heat, but Zdarsky was attended at all times by Alex Hoffman, the life model who provides the likeness for his Sex Criminal character Jon. ComicsAlliance found Zdarsky seated on a sun-baked armchair on a wheeled platform, with his recently won Eisner Award bolted to a table. We grabbed five minutes with the writer/artist to ask... why, Chip? Why?

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New Miracleman Stories Coming From Morrison, Quesada, Milligan And Allred

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Marvel has announced plans to publish a Miracleman Annual this New Year's Eve that feature the publisher's first original Miracleman story, by the X-Statix team of Peter Milligan and Mike Allred, and a long-lost Johnny Bates story by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Joe Quesada. The book also features a cover by Gabriele Dell'Otto and a variant cover by Bone's Jeff Smith.

Miracleman, originally called Marvelman, was created by Mick Anglo in 1954 as a British analog of Fawcett's Captain Marvel (now Shazam). The character was revived in the early 1980s by Alan Moore as part of the era's deconstruction of the superhero motif, but ownership of the character later fell into a protracted dispute.

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Is Definitely Black Adam In WB’s ‘Shazam’ Movie (Probably?)

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson -- actor, wrestler, guy with quote marks in his name -- has tweeted what appears to be confirmation that he will play the role of Black Adam -- presumably in a Shazam movie from Warner Bros. -- by telling his followers, "My honor to become.. #BlackAdam".

Rumors about Johnson joining the DC Cinematic Universe have circulated for a while, with initial speculation that he might appear in Batman V Superman -- perhaps as Lex Luthor. In August, Johnson confirmed that he was in talks to take on a DC role, and tweeted a picture of Shazam, Black Adam, and Superman. He didn't specify which role he was up for, but many fans noted his resemblance to the villain Black Adam.

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Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): August 2014

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A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month.

August offers a feast of shape and color, with striking covers by Scott Fischer, Victor Santos, Chrystin Garland, and Tula Lotay, some bold juxtaposition, and a quirky take on a pulp archetype or two -- including a Nazi airship and some poor sap being held in a giant hand. It's a classic!

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Revival, Reinvention, Resurrection: The Power Of Great Superhero Costume Design

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We live in a time of awesome superhero costumes in comics. The rise and rise of cosplay culture, the emergence of comic artists with a savvy understanding of fashion, and the slow diversification that's making heroes palatable to a broader audience, have all contributed to a costuming culture with more to offer than capes and pants.

Superhero costumes have always been an asset to the industry, because iconography helps establish character and create a brand. But the value of costumes in reaching audiences and reinventing characters seems to be recognized now as never before, leading to the rise of artist-designers like Jamie McKelvie and Kris Anka, who don't even need to be on a particular book in order to be called in to make-over the characters. This is a great leap forward in understanding just what a good costume can do -- and the special skills required to do it.

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Sexual Abuse Allegations Against X-Men Film Director Bryan Singer Dropped By Accuser

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Michael Egan, the former model who filed sexual abuse charges against X-Men: Days Of Future Past director Bryan Singer in civil court, has withdrawn his suit following the recent departure of his former attorney, Jeff Herman. Egan insists that his decision is no reflection on the merits of his case against Singer, and instead reflects his inability to continue without representation.

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Donald Glover Is Spider-Man At Last (In Disney XD’s Animated Spider-Man Series)

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"My name is Miles Morales, and I'm Spider-Man." With those words, Donald Glover takes his place among the ranks of official on-screen Spider-Men.

It's been known for a while now that Miles Morales, the Ultimate Universe version of Spider-Man, would make his screen debut in an upcoming episode of the Disney XD series Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors, but only now do we know that the part will be voiced by actor and Spidey fan Donald Glover. It's a brilliant casting decision that we choose to interpret as the first step towards more Miles in other media, rather than an end in its own right.

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Girl Fight: The Marvel/DC Rivalry Finally Extends To Winning The Female Audience

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Marvel launches the eighth of its nine solo titles with a female lead in November with Spider-Woman #1, and the book sadly already has a cloud over it. A variant cover by master erotic artist Milo Manara stirred enough controversy last week to garner mainstream attention. The cover featured Spider-Woman with her apple-shaped butt raised high in decidedly unheroic manner. It was exactly what one would expect from Manara, who has created a number of superheroine illustrations for Marvel, but the image suggested a particularly overt tone of sexual objectification that could alienate the sort of readers who attended the Women In Marvel panel at San Diego where the series was announced.

As far as I can recall, Marvel has more female solo titles now than ever before, with a ninth title, Angela: Asgard's Assassin, launching in December. On paper, that suggests a laudable effort to reach out to superhero comics' growing and under-served audience of female readers. Yet the Manara incident serves to remind us that books about women can very easily be targeted to a male audience.

There's currently an unspoken contest between Marvel and DC to see who can produce more comics aimed at a female audience. It's possible the contest only exists in my head, as I've been keeping a tally of solo titles with female leads for the past several months -- but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that editors at the two publishers have also been keeping track.

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