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J. Caleb Mozzocco

Swords, Sorcery and Subversions: Noelle Stevenson’s ‘Nimona’

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Noelle Stevenson's Nimona is not your typical fantasy comic heroine. I say that not because of her style, which includes a partially shaved head, with dyed hair and piercings; and not because of the way she dresses, which is in practical chain mail and leather adventuring gear; and not because of her build, which is short and stocky, in sharp contrast to the tall willowy male characters.
No, Nimona is not your typical fantasy comic heroine because Nimona is not a hero period. She's a villain.

At least, that's what she keeps telling the reader, and herself, and anyone who will listen in Stevenson's Nimona, the Lumberjanes co-creator's webcomic, which has recently been collected and published as an extremely charming, remarkably cerebral graphic novel.

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Gallery: ‘Popeye Classic Comics’ Variant Covers Are Always Strong to the Finich

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IDW has made excellent, if limited, use of Popeye after they acquired the license for E.C. Segar's iconic comic strip character. They published the excellent 12-issue series featuring original material by Roger Langridge and a handful of other artists that managed to capture some of the raucous spirit of the original Segar comedy adventures. They published a very weird Mars Attacks Popeye one-shot crossover by Martin Powell and Terry Beatty. And, since 2012, they've been publishing Popeye Classic Comics, which reprints the comic book work of long-time Popeye cartoonist Bud Sagendorf.

While the content may be classic, the marketing has been decidedly modern. The series has often featured variant covers, a popular tactic for claiming rack space in comic book shops. Unlike most comics, however, Popeye Classic — a product of IDW's relationship with Yoe Books — rather exclusively features excellent, often oddball artwork from some unlikely artists.

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The Most Strange-erous Game: Predator’s Weirdest Hunting Trips

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Aside from their first initial, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Archie Andrews have never had all that much in common. That changed this week, when Dark Horse Comics released Archie Vs. Predator, and the alien big game hunter that menaced a dirty, sweaty, well-muscled cast lead by Schwarzenneger in the 1987 film Predator set his sites on Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and their quite killable gang.

In film, Predators have been mostly content to hunt humans, and aliens from the Aliens franchise, across a series of five films — Predator, Predator 2, AVP: Alien Vs. Predator, Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem and Predators — but in comics, they've pursued and usually failed to obtain some pretty exotic skulls.

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Get Ur Freak On: Waid and Haspiel’s ‘The Fox’ Returns in ‘Fox Hunt’ #1 [Review]

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Before Archie Comics announced their intentions to relaunch a handful of their old superhero properties in a new line called "Dark Circle" — but not too long before — Dean Haspiel, Mark Waid and company revived one of those characters in their five-part Fox miniseries that ran from 2013-2014. An all-around excellent series from one of the most reliable writers in the field and an amazing artist who just doesn't get enough opportunities to prove how good he is at drawing superheroes, that first Fox series proved that Archie superhero comics could be just as good — or even far better — than many of those produced by the genre's two leading publishers.

There's every reason to believe that the overall quality of The Fox, and its rather warm reception by readers and critics, had more than a little to do with the creation of Dark Circle. For further, more concrete proof, look no further than the fact that a new Haspiel and Waid ongoing Fox series is part of the new line.

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New ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Does The Impossible: Makes Other TMNT Movies Look Good [Review]

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It takes almost toxic levels of suspension of disbelief to make it through the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, the fifth and worst entry in the film franchise based on the pop culture phenomenon originally created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. That suspension of disbelief has nothing to do with mutant turtles in the sewers who learned kung fu from a mutant rat to fight a villain wearing a suit of knives. No, the TMNT are as ingrained in our imagination as any other 20th century commercial institution at this point, and if we're seeing the film at all, they've already got us in the theater—we've bought the premise like we've bought our ticket. Rather, this new TMNT suffers from the other, worse kind of suspension of disbelief: Filmgoers are asked to turn off their brain, ignore all logic and just accept the fact that every action taken by every character makes no sense at all.

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The Awesome Scooby-Doo/Wonder Woman Crossover We Didn’t Ask For But Are Glad Exists

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Wonder Woman has been quite the topic of conversation of late, thanks to the news that the popular and critically-acclaimed Brian Azzarello/Cliff Chiang creative team would soon be leaving her title after a three-year run to be replaced by the already controversial team of Meredith Finch/David Finch -- who have already made some troubling statements in simply trying to promote their run -- and the news that Gilbert Hernandez will bring his talents to the character for Sensation Comics.

While we were all talking about the Finch family, feminism, and the premier female superhero in comics history last week, we may have missed the fact that DC Comics just published an excellent Wonder Woman comic, one that cherry-picked elements from her most popular iterations (her weird-but-awesome Golden Age persona under the guidance of her creators, the Lynda Carter TV show, Super Friends) and presented them in dismemberment-free, all-ages comic that could be enjoyed by anyone from the littlest girl to the oldest old man. A comic book that was both fun and funny, and had just a touch of good old comic book insanity.

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New SpongeBob Annual Stars Golden Age Cartoonist Fletcher Hanks’ Stardust The Super Wizard (Sort Of)

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In putting together this summer's superhero-themed SpongeBob Comics Annual-Size Super-Giant Swimtacular #2, United Plankton Pictures dug deep and left-of-center for inspiration and riff material. How deep, and how left-of-center? Well, the book includes, "I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planktons!", a rather meticulously assembled homage to the work of Golden Age oddball artist Fletcher Hanks and his Stardust The Super-Wizard, by Paul Karasik and R. Sikoryak.

That story follows a few featuring more traditional targets of parody, like a Western-themed story starring SpongeBob regular Mermaid Man, who is basically just Silver Age Aquaman with sea shells over his nipples and a starfish in the middle of his face, and another in which Squidward becomes Batman parody the Squishy Knight and SpongeBob becomes "Multi-Purpose Sponge, the hero with a different costume in every panel" (which allows for panel after panel of SpongeBob dressed as various Marvel and DC superheroes).

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Number One Guy: Why Michael Keaton Is Cinema’s Best Batman

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There have been five men to portray Batman in the character's eight live-action feature-length films, from Adam West in Batman '66 to Christain Bale in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises. All five actors came with their strengths and weaknesses, but the best was Michael Keaton, who played the DC Comics superhero in 1989's Batman and 1992's Batman Returns.

In the first major scene of Batman '89, Keaton famously grabs a terrified mugger by the collar, holds him off the side of a building, pulls him close to his face, and hisses, "I'm Batman." As a 12-year old watching that moment on a VHS tape in my living room, I believed Michael Keaton. And I still believe him as a grown man watching it on DVD in my office 25 years later, even after having seen a half-dozen different Batman movies since.

I realize declaring Michael Keaton's performance as Batman to be not only my favorite Batman but the best Batman is a somewhat controversial statement, even (especially?) among my fellow writers at ComicsAlliance, but allow me to make my case.

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Assessor Evil, Part 7: And They All Lived Evilly Forever After…

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So what have you been up to the ast three months? If you're penciller David Finch or inker Richard Friend, you were probably drawing liking a maniac, while avoiding daily, shouty phone calls from editors, as the seven-issue, "monthly" series Forever Evil finally shipped its final issue this Wednesday, a good three months after its sixth issue dropped. The delay has caused some trouble in DC's line, as it delayed the release of tie-in issues, and created some glitches in storytlines (Perhaps the most notable was that two issues of the series Justice League United, which picks up where Justice League of America ended, shipped before the final issue of JLoA).

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Godzilla Comics: A Brief History Of Smashing Cities, Superheroes And Other Kaiju

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The new Godzilla film opening this weekend will be the 30th to star the worlds' most famous giant monster. Toho made 28 Godzilla films in Japan, divided by fans into three cycles, each with their own continuity—the Showa series, the Heisei series and the Millennium series—and then there was the ill-fated 1998 Roland Emmerich-directed film that served as a sort of How Not To Make a Godzilla Movie cautionary tale for the makers of the new film.

While the movies are undoubtedly Godzilla's source turf, he's expanded his territory into other media over the years, from cartoon series to prose novels to video games -- and, of course, comic books, which he's been starring in for nearly 40 years now. With that in mind, we present a helpful primer for the King of Monsters' adventures on the paneled page.

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