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Chris Sims

Ask Chris #235: The Case Against A Shared Universe

Art by Kyle Baker, Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: What are the arguments against a shared universe? Like, would Hawkman be tolerable if he wasn't standing next to Superman? -- @Dan_Toland

A: I gotta say, I am probably the last person on the face of the planet that you should be coming to with this question. Not only do I love the concept of a shared universe in general, but I love it specifically in how it's evolved to become a defining feature of superhero comics, to the point where it's actually as much a part of what I think of when I hear the word "superhero" as powers and costumes.

On the other hand, I am also a dude who has never passed up an opportunity to make fun of Hawkman, so allow me to answer that part of your question first: No. Nothing will ever make Hawkman tolerable. Hawkman is the worst.

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‘I’m Drawing Archie Fighting A Freakin’ Predator’: Fernando Ruiz Talks ‘Archie Vs Predator’

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Even though it was announced months ago, I'm still having a hard time believing that we live in a magical world where Alex de Campi and Fernando Ruiz's Archie Vs Predator is a real thing that is happening. Even in a time when the company's most critically successful book is a moody supernatural horror story where the entire cast is about two seconds away from being murdered by zombies, Archie Vs Predator still seems like a beautiful, beautiful dream.

That's why, in order to confirm that this is in fact happening, I spoke to Ruiz about what it's like to send the Predator to Riverdale, and how it compares to drawing Betty riding a dragon.

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Exclusive: These Are The Misfits, Their Songs Are Better

Misfits designs by Ross Campbell

There is no one, no one on the face of this planet, who is more excited about Kelly Thompson and Ross Campbell's upcoming Jem and the Holograms comic than we are here at ComicsAlliance. But as much as we love the good guys, we have to admit that our heart belongs to the Misfits. I mean, their songs are better --- it says so right in the theme to the cartoon!

That's why we're proud to reveal a set of exclusive character profiles for the Holograms' ruthless antagonists, featuring Campbell's character designs for the new series.

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So I Guess I Have To Read These Dang Transformers Comics Now: Pay What You Want For 37 Issues Of ‘More Than Meets The Eye’

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #1

My first mistake was ever agreeing to do anything anyone asked me to. As long-time ComicsAlliance readers are probably already aware, I don't like the Transformers. There's no particular reason for it, it just never got its hooks into me when I was a kid like GI Joe did, and since my only real exposure to the franchise was when our former editor sent me to review the third Michael Bay movie, there hasn't been much to make me like it. And yet, whenever I bring that up, tons of people tell me that I need to read IDW's Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye, because, according to them, it's actually one of the best comics going.

So finally, just to get 'em off my back I said "sure, I'll pick 'em up if they're ever in a Humble Bundle sale or something," which I assumed was a devious ruse. After all, there was a Transformers bundle less than a year ago, so surely there wouldn't be another one anytime soon.

That was last week. And now I have to read all these Transformers comics.

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On The Cheap: Five Great Joker Stories To Grab

Batman #451, DC Comics

I'm going to be totally, 100% real with you for a second here, people: I have read a lot of comic books about the Joker. I mean, that's kind of inevitable when you dedicate yourself to becoming the World's Foremost Batmanologist, but still, it's a pretty large number of comics, which is why I took special note of the Joker-themed sale that Comixology has running right now.

I mean, as easy as it might be to grab the most famous Joker stories, there are a lot of buried treasures in there too. So with that in mind, here's my guide to a handful of Joker stories that you might have missed. Even if you're reading this in some dim and distant future (after the sale ends on March 9), they're still worth digging up in back issue bins!

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Filed Under: , Category: DC, Digital Comics, Lists, Reviews

Jeff Parker Talks Lord Death Man And ‘Batman ’66′ [Interview]

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If you've been wondering why I've been a little more excited lately, why bird songs are a little sweeter or why food tastes a little better, it's because the latest storyline of DC's digital-first Batman '66 comic has involved Batman and Batgirl heading to Japan to take on Lord Death Man.

Jeff Parker, Sandy Jarrell and Jordie Bellaire have done a pretty amazing job creating story that I wish would've happened on television, but giving it the unlimited budget for stuff like a new Japanese Batmobile and an army of ninjas, and it's pretty great. To get some insight into just how it all happened, I spoke to Parker for his thoughts on bringing in other period-specific villains, why Lord Death Man is so much more exciting than his original American counterpart, and ideas for other non-Gotham location that could use a visit from the Caped Crusaders!

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The Smithsonian Is Offering An Online Course On The History Of Superheroes With Michael Uslan And Stan Lee

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If you're interested in the history of superhero comics --- and I sincerely hope you are, since I've spent an awful lot of time writing about that very subject --- then here's something that you might be interested in. As part of the edX series of online courses, the Smithsonian Institute is launching a series of lectures on the history of comics, featuring Stan Lee and Michael Uslan.

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Three Different Groups Of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-Themed Wrestlers Are Feuding With Each Other In Mexico

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The world of pro wrestling can be a beautiful thing. For proof, you need look no further than the recent developments in lucha libre, in which there are not one, not two, but three different groups of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-themed factions that have recently begun warring with each other. I can only assume this conflict was inevitable, but it came to a head when AULL's Tortiguillos Karatekas were taking on the IWRG's Tortugas Ninja in a four-on-four tag team match that was interrupted when a third faction, Las Tortugas Mutantes, ran in and started attacking everyone.

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FunkyWatch: February’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

FunkyWatchFeb

Over the past 40 years, Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean has transitioned from a gag-a-day comic strip about a high school to an ongoing chronicle of pure, abject misery. Thanks to the commentary on Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon, I am now completely obsessed with it, which is why I spend a little time every month rounding up its finest examples of crushing despair.

I'm not going to lie to you, folks: Tommy B was in rare form last month. After crushing every ounce of hope I had left in me with January's monumentally disappointing Dick Tracy crossover, I assumed, having never learned my lesson about assumptions in the years that I've been reading this strip, that February would bring an upswing in quality. I mean, mathematically speaking, it would almost have to. And yet, Funky Winkerbean continues to defy all expectations. These strips might not have made me quite as angry as January's did, but believe me, folks: they get dark, even by Westview standards.

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Nilah Magruder’s ‘M.F.K.’ Wins First Dwayne McDuffie Diversity Award

M.F.K., Nilah Magruder

Last weekend, the Long Beach Comic Expo presented the first annual Dwayne McDuffie Diversity Award, named for the late writer whose career was marked by a commitment to creating a more diverse cast of characters and creators in both comics and animation. Actor Phil LaMarr --- best known to superhero fans as the voice of Green Lantern on Justice League cartoons produced and frequently written by McDuffie --- served as MC for the event, and the ceremony included speeches from creators Reginald Hudlin, Denys Cowan, and Charlotte Fullerton, who is also McDuffie's widow. It was Fullerton who announced the winner: Nilah Magruder, nominated for her webcomic, M.F.K.

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