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Chris Sims

Ask Chris #230: ‘Beware The Gray Ghost’

Ask Chris #230, art by Erica Henderson

Q: Since you're knee-deep in rewatching Batman '66, why is "Beware the Gray Ghost" such a brilliant episode of Batman: The Animated Series? -- @Gavin4L

A: With Simon Trent's surprise return in this week's issue of Gotham Academy, it seems like everyone's been thinking about the Gray Ghost. Or at least, I've been thinking about him a lot, and I can assure you that I've been thinking about him enough for all of us.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I'm probably involved in more conversations about Batman: The Animated Series than your average person, but in my experience, at least, "Beware the Gray Ghost" isn't one of the ones that gets talked about all that much. And that in itself is actually pretty weird, because it gives the world of The Animated Series something that it never really got from any other episode: It built a story around fandom.

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Rocky Davies’ ’80s Supervillain Album Art Is Rad… TO THE MAX!!

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I don't know if anyone has ever made literally one million dollars from t-shirts, but if I had to make a guess on who would be the first, I'd pick Rocky Davies -- and I don't even know if he has t-shirts yet. What he does have, however, is a series of amazing art pieces that take your favorite villains and give them an '80s laser portrait makeover, along with song lyrics that reflect their personalities, yearbook-quote style.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Art

The Outsider Challenges Batman In Jiro Kuwata’s ‘Bat-Manga’ #31 [Preview]

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One of the most fun things about reading Jiro Kuwata's Bat-Manga is seeing all the changes that Kuwata made when he adapted stories that were originally published in the American Batman comics. Sometimes, they're taken to a more elaborate extreme, like the now-legendary Lord Death Man story, and sometimes they're almost completely rewritten, like Kuwata's take on Batman's battle with the pro-wrestling Hooded Hangman, but if you're a die-hard fan of the Caped Crusader, there's always enough in there to be amazing.

That's why I'm so stoked about the next story, in which Batman faces the hulking, disfigured form of The Outsider -- better known as his once-faithful butler, Alfred Pennyworth! Check out preview pages below, and get excited, it's gonna be a good one.

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‘Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5′ Has Snake Eyes And Duke Fighting Robothulhu, Do You Even Need To See Anything Else?

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There are a lot of amazing things about Tom Scioli and John Barber's Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, and one of the most amazing is that it somehow keeps getting weirder. I mean, it's been a pretty wild ride since day one, to the point where the fact that it even exists continues to be surprising, but next week, it looks like the bizarreness of a book that's already brought us the Serpentress is going to hit critical mass in an issue that opens with Snake Eyes and Duke -- who is wearing a t-shirt that says DUKE -- battling it out against Robothulhu.

Yes: The Joes are fighting a multi-faced tentacle monster floating in hot pink space, and it is amazing. Check out a preview below!

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Buy This Book: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: City Fall’

TMNT: City Fall, IDW

IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic is exactly my jam. I wrote about it a few months back when I finally dived into the series, and the incredible mix of sci-fi, the supernatural, romance and, of course, teenage mutant ninja action has made it one of those comics where I almost don't want to keep reading because I know I'm going to run out and have to wait around until there's more.

This week, though, I finally got around to digging into City Fall, the big event that the series was building to since it started. I'd been saving that one for when I had some time to go through it, and I wasn't surprised at all to find out that it's great, full of well-crafted character-driven action that brought together everything that happened in the series up to that point. What did surprise me, though, is that I came away from it having actual feelings about Rocksteady and Bebop for the first time ever. Seriously.

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Barbie Is Getting Super-Powers From Being Kissed By A Magic Butterfly; Still More Plausible Than Aquaman

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You know, it really seems like this should've happened before now, but next month, Barbie is finally becoming a superhero. On Wednesday at the Nuremberg Toy Fair, Mattel revealed the next line of Barbie dolls, featuring Super Sparkle, the super-powered alter ego of Princess Kara (who is also Barbie), who got incredible super-powers from being kissed on the cheek by a magical butterfly.

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Filed Under: , , , Category: News, Toys

Watch Bizarro Fight Bane For Some Reason In Footage From 2012′s Unreleased ‘Justice League’ Fighting Game

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I've mentioned before that I've always been fascinated by comics and video games that never quite made it to the shelves, and this week, YouTube's PTOPOnline, which specializes in unearthing those exact unreleased games, found one that's of particular interest: a Justice League fighting game for XBox360 that was in production back in 2012.

What makes this one so interesting (at least to me) is that we actually did get a Justice League fighting game (of sorts) in the form of Injustice: Gods Among Us just a year after this one was in development. Well, that, and the fact that it's illustrated with that timeless comic book conflict of Bizarro vs. Bane, in what seems to be a battle of who can best punch the other directly in the crotch. Give it a watch!

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Filed Under: , , , Category: DC, Gaming

If You’re Not Reading ‘Gotham Academy’ Then We Can Never Be Friends

Gotham Academy #4, DC Comics

Aside from the obvious, I don't usually like to refer to things as being my "favorites." I talk about so much stuff that I love all the time that every time I settle on a favorite, I almost immediately end up contradicting myself when I remember something else that I love, like when I went on and on about how Impulse #3 is my favorite single issue of all time right before I re-read G.I. Joe #21. There's just so much out there that's great that nine times out of ten, settling on a single thing as my favorite ends up being pretty limiting, and if there's one thing I hate, it's having to go back and admit that I might've been wrong about something. For me to actually settle on something as a favorite, it has to be so obvious that it's above and beyond everything else out there that it's self-evident.

So with that in mind, believe me when I say this: Gotham Academy is, without question, my favorite comic on the stands right now, and it just keeps getting better.

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‘Ivar, Timewalker’ Is the Violent, Manipulative Version Of ‘Doctor Who’ That I’ve Always Wanted

Ivar, Timewalker #1

A few years ago, around the time that Matt Smith was gearing up to replace David Tennant, I briefly made an attempt to get into Doctor Who. Sadly, it didn't really take -- as much as I liked reading stuff about the show, and as much fun as I had with bits and pieces of it, the show never really hooked me the way that it did my friends, and I ended up being quite possibly the only person in the world who liked Doctor Who Magazine more than Doctor Who.

Last week, though, it all clicked into place with the release of Fred Van Lente, Clayton Henry, and Brian Reber's Ivar, Timewalker #1 and its story of time-spanning action and underlying mystery. Basically, this was the version of Doctor Who that I actually wanted.

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DC Solicits ‘Legends Of The Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle’ For Release In July

Batman by Norm Breyfogle

Legendary Batman artist Norm Breyfogle has been in the news quite a bit lately, owing to the recent tragedy where he suffered a stroke, leaving the left-handed artist paralyzed on his left side and stuck with $200,000 in medical bills. A crowdfunding campaign has brought the comics community together to raise $86,000 for Breyfogle's care, but now it looks like we're getting another opportunity to support him and his work.

This week, DC announced the solicitation of Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle, a new hardcover collection of the highlights of his work on Batman in the late '80s and early '90s -- one that seems to have been rushed to publication to help out.

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