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Andrew Wheeler

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model who filed sexual abuse charges against X-Men: Days Of Future Past director Bryan Singer in civil court, has withdrawn his suit following the recent departure of his former attorney, Jeff Herman.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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Original Spin 7: Watch This: Space! [Marvel Original Sin Recap]

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It's the penultimate edition of Original Spin, our exclusive beside-the-scenes examin-xploratio-tainment of Marvel's big summer crossover event, That One Before Axis, by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato. Yes, that's right, it's the big crossover event Marvel has kind of already forgotten about because it's so busy hyping up the next crossover event! (Though Marvel hasn't quite got around to telling us what that next event is about. Something something Bizarro Red Skull Onslaught? Buy the book, kids! It has Wolverine in... oh wait no.)

Yes, Marvel has already moved on to the next thing, but we at ComicsAlliance are still here, dutifully and patiently waiting for this event to finish. Sure, this recap is a week late, but I said we're dutiful, not quick. In this issue, we find out once and for all who killed the Watcher! Mmmaybe. Maybe not. I'm not really clear on that. Red Skulls are Onslaughts now; everything is crazy. Spoilers follow!

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Sharlto Copley Is Christian Walker, Michelle Forbes Is Retro Girl In ‘Powers’ TV Show

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Late last week it was announced that Eddie Izzard, Noah Taylor, and Olesya Rulin have joined the cast of Sony's Powers TV show as Wolfe, Johnny Royale, and Calista, respectively -- but that left two major roles unaccounted for in the adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming's creator-owned superhero detective series.

Now we finally have names for those roles. Sharlto Copley will play the male lead, Detective Christian Walker, while Michelle Forbes will play Retro Girl, the hero whose murder triggers the first Powers storyline in the comics. (The story is called "Who Killed Retro Girl," so we're going to say that's not a spoiler.)

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Watch Francis Manapul Draw A Canadian Hero Punching Out Hitler For The Johnny Canuck Kickstarter [Video]

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While Captain America is perhaps fictional history's best-known Hitler-puncher, he is far from the only hero to sock old Adolf in the jaw -- and now Canada gets its turn courtesy of Francis Manapul's fundraiser sketch for the Johnny Canuck Kickstarter. The Toronto-based Detective Comics co-writer and artist filmed himself as he sketched, and the video offers a fascinating glimpse of his process.

Like Nelvana of the Northern Lights and Brok Windsor, Johnny Canuck is one of the lost Canadian comic heroes of the 1940s, a time when American comics weren't allowed into Canada because of restrictions on non-essential trade. Long out of print, a new generation may get to enjoy his adventures thanks to this Kickstarter.

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‘Gotham By Midnight’ From Fawkes And Templesmith Joins DC’s Increasingly Awesome Batman Line-Up

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It's safe to say that former Vertigo editor Mark Doyle has been blowing our minds since he took over as editor of DC's Batman line, launching and relaunching titles like Batgirl, Grayson, and Gotham Academy that feel exciting, entertaining, and refreshingly different from DC's "house style." Now add another title to the pull-list; the horror series Gotham By Midnight, by Ray Fawkes and Ben Templesmith.

Gotham By Midnight tells the story of the Gotham City Police Department's horror beat, the "midnight shift" that deals with monsters, ghosts, and a creepier class of creep. The book is headlined by a familiar name from the Bat-universe, Detective Jim Corrigan -- who happens to be host to the vengeful divine force The Spectre. It sounds like Gotham By Midnight has the potential to be a very left-of-center Gotham Central.

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Austen Translation: UDON’s Manga Classics Line Already A Hit With American Educators [Interview]

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UDON Entertainment published the first two volumes of its new Manga Classics line last week, adapting great works of literature as full-length manga. Manga Classics: Les Miserables, based on the novel by Victor Hugo, features art by SunNeko Lee, with an adaptation by Crystal Silvermoon and a script by Stacy King, while Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice is illustrated by Po-Tse and adapted from Jane Austen's great novel by Stacy King.

UDON sent us a preview from Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice that showcases both Po-Tse's gorgeous art and the wit and romance that makes Pride & Prejudice one of the most celebrated works in the English language.

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