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Andrew Wheeler

The Straightwashing of Hercules and How Marvel Keeps Failing LGBTQ Readers

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The mythological demigod Hercules is bisexual. How you feel about that fact doesn't change the fact; the myths of antiquity have told us that Hercules loved women and men alike. Lustfulness is at the core of his character, and Hercules' appetites aren't limited by gender.

Like many ancient myths, and like much of history, Hercules' stories have been bowdlerized by those who think same-sex relationships are sinful. Audiences introduced to the character through the Disney cartoon, the Kevin Sorbo TV show, the Dwayne Johnson movie, or the Marvel comics have good reason to think the character is heterosexual, because that's all they've ever seen. But that doesn't make it true. Hercules is bisexual. To deny that fact is to participate in the erasure of same-sex relationships on the grounds of a narrow and prescriptive morality.

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Tieri and Pizzari Keep It Weirdworld in New ‘Black Knight’ Ongoing Series

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Following the news of a Hercules relaunch earlier this week, Marvel has unveiled a second upcoming solo series starring an Avenger with a European mythological bent; Dane Whitman, the Black Knight, will star in his own ongoing series from the creative team of Frank Tieri and Luca Pizzari.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Marvel, News

Marvel Announces Abnett & Ross’s ‘Hercules’; Is He The Bear Hero We Deserve?

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Hercules is getting another shot at an ongoing solo title this winter, courtesy of the creative team of writer Dan Abnett and artist Luke Ross. Debuting in November, the new series positions the hairy-chested demigod as a hero trying to recapture the glories of his past as a celebrated champion (not the glories of his past as a celebrated Champion). The series also sees Herc with a militarized new look courtesy of Ross.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Marvel, News

Sketchbook Spotlight: The Art of Evan ‘Doc’ Shaner

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Convention season is well under way, offering fans the chance to come face to face with their favorite artists, and offering artists a chance to meet the people their art has inspired. Conventions are also a chance for fans to show their appreciation by commissioning original pieces featuring some of their favorite characters, and every convention produces a feast of amazing works that deserve to be shared with a wider audience. With Sketchbook Spotlight, we’re picking out some of the best.

Evan 'Doc' Shaner is probably best known to fans as an artist who loves to celebrate the two-fisted pulp joy and derring-do of superheroes --- a love exemplified in his work on Flash Gordon at Dynamite, and his too-brief turn drawing the Big Red Cheese in Convergence: Shazam. It also comes through in his sketches, and we've collected a few favorites here, including commissions, warm-ups, and personal pieces. We also asked Shaner to participate in our short Sketchbook Spotlight Q&A.

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Filed Under: , Category: Art, Galleries

Great Warrior Powers Up in Madeleine Flores’ ‘Help Us! Great Warrior’ #6 [Preview]

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Boom Box's print version of Madeleine Flores' webcomic Help Us, Great Warrior sadly reaches its conclusion next week with issue #6. The series tells the charming tale of a brave (and great!) warrior who looks kinda like a jellybean, who protects a whole village full of people who look kinda like jellybeans from all sorts of terrible and wonderfully designed threats.

As the final issue opens, Great Warrior and the villagers have been dumped into the dark land of Demonside. The situation looks bleak for our bean-shaped pals, but Great Warrior has one last awesome power up in her pocket that may be enough to save the day. (It's a metaphorical pocket; I don't think she has any actual pockets.)

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Joe Phillips’ ‘Silver Screen Heroes’ Imagines an Old Hollywood Take on Superhero Movies

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Joe Phillips' table in Artists' Alley is always an essential stop for me at San Diego Comic Con. The former Heretic and Superboy artist is one of the only guys at any comics show who can always be counted on for a great selection of quality beefcake pin-ups that rival the cheesecake that's so prevalent on other artists' tables. If you're in the market for a coquettish Angel, or a stripping Steve Rogers, Joe Phillips is your man.

But this year Phillips had something new on his table --- and so incredibly camp that it may appeal to much of the same audience that loves the hero beefcake. Phillips has taken some of the biggest stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood and cast them as some of the biggest names in superhero comics, to give fans a vision of what these movies might have looked like in another era.

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You’ve Had A Tough Week, You Deserve This Kevin Wada ‘A-Force’ Variant Cover [Exclusive]

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We're big fans of Kevin Wada here at ComicsAlliance, because we have eyes and we can see. We're also a big fan of A-Force, bringing together the formidable women of the Marvel Universe in butt-kicking high style. So after a long and exhausting work week, what better treat could we have than an exclusive look at Kevin Wada's variant cover for the upcoming A-Force #3?

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Filed Under: , Category: Art, Marvel

Check Out the First Covers from Marvel’s Hip-Hop Variant Month

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Marvel is releasing "Hip-Hop Variant” covers for its books in October, paying tribute to classic rap album covers using the heroes of the Marvel Universe. Mark Brooks takes on Notorious B.I.G.’s classic Ready to Die for his Ant-Man cover, while Mike Del Mundo pays tribute to both Wu-Tang Clan's Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers for Squadron Supreme #1, and A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders for Amazing Spider-Man #1.

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2015 Eisner Award Winners: Was This The Best Ever Year for the Eisners? (Hint: We Won An Award)

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The 27th Annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards took place at the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton Bayfront San Diego on Friday night, and it was a great night for diversity, for women in comics, for comics aimed at a younger audience, and for the future of the industry.

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Vertigo Unveils 12 New Titles for 2015 from Milligan, Black, Beukes, Hernandez and Cooke, and More

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With most of its major hits and standout series having run their course months or years ago, Vertigo has been due for a renaissance for a while now. Judging from the announcements made at San Diego Comic Con late on Thursday, the publisher may be rallying, with 12 new series set to launch in the closing months of 2015 at a rate of one new issue #1 every week.

Those 12 titles include a couple of previously announced books that have been rescheduled, but enough new announcements to suggest that Vertigo means to impress with its ambition. Sci fi and the supernatural are inevitably well represented, and the roster includes veteran talents, emerging names, and a few cross-disiplinary transfers in the form of novelists Lauren Beukes and Holly Black — the latter on a relaunch of Lucifer — and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke.

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