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‘Arrow’ Season 3 Recap, Episode 4: ‘The Magician’

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The CW’s superhero series Arrow re-imagines Green Arrow for a TV audience as a tough, often ruthless vigilante bent on setting things right in his home of Starling City by punishing the wicked. ComicsAlliance’s Matt Wilson is back for the third season of the popular series in our recap feature we’re officially dubbing Pointed Commentary.

This week: Nyssa al-Ghul rolls back into town with an agenda, Malcolm Merlyn stands around in public with no one noticing, and Thea sets back toward opening Club Shining Time Station.

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‘Sensation Comics’ Preview: Baby Phoenixes And Brutal Stabbings

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This week's creative team is comprised of longtime Warner Bros. Animation talent Michael Jelenic, best known for his work on Teen Titans Go!, Thundercats, and, of course, the animated Wonder Woman feature film. He's joined by veteran comics artists Drew Johnson and Ray Snyder, alumni of the famous Jolly Roger Studio, and colorist Lizzy John, whose work we've seen before in Archaia's line of Jim Henson Company comics and graphic novels. The cover comes courtesy of illustrator Paul Davey, whose contribution here represents his first comic book work, as far as I know.

As you can see in this exclusive preview, the team's story falls along the lines of the traditional adventure story with the kind of mythological, majestical scale to which Wonder Woman lends herself so well.

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Download ‘Gotham’ Halloween Masks And Dress Up As Characters Who Aren’t Actually On The Show

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If you're a fan of Gotham, then you may already have picked out your Halloween costume as one of the show's exciting and compelling characters, like Sad Child or Policeman With No Moustache. If, however, you've been putting things off, then don't worry: FOX has your back. In celebration of Halloween, the network has released a series of printable masks that you can cut out and strap to your head as a costume. There's only one problem: Only one of the characters they've provided, crime boss Fish Mooney, is actually on the show.

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‘The Flash’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 4: “Going Rogue”

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Welcome back to Up To Speed, home of the the Flashest Recaps Alive. Here we’ll recap the latest episode of The Flash, dispense some Flash Facts and talk about what works, what doesn’t and where the series might be headed, as we try and keep up with the adventures of Central City’s finest hero, Barry Allen: aka the Red Blur, aka Funkmaster Flash, aka The Flash.

This week, we’re looking at the fourth episode episode of the first season, wherein we’re introduced to a pretty cooooool guy. (This is clever wordplay because the villain is a guy named Captain Cold who has an ice-gun.) Let’s get started on, “Going Rogue”!

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Review: The Forgotten, Non-Superman Features Of ‘Action Comics’ #1 (1938)

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If you're the kind of person who keeps up with news about people spending truly massive amounts of money on comic books, then you're probably aware that there was a copy of Action Comics #1 rated at 9.0 that sold for $3,000,000 earlier this year. On one level, that makes sense. It is, after all, an incredibly important historical artifact, featuring the first appearance of Superman and Lois Lane in a story that kickstarted the entire superhero genre. On the other hand, if you really want to read that comic, you don't need to spend three mil. You can get it for like fifteen bucks.

Either way, the CGC corporation put the entire issue online to read for free -- presumably to prove that these crisp, unblemished pages really are as good as they say they are -- and there's a lot more in there than just Superman, whose first appearance has naturally overshadowed the numerous other short features contained in this most coveted comic.

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Your Supermovie Timeline: Updated With Marvel Studios Phase Three Releases [Infographic]

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For anyone who remembers the days when just one Spider-Man movie seemed an impossible dream, it’s an astonishing representation of how comic book superheroes now dominate popular entertainment. ComicsAlliance’s own graphics maestro Dylan Todd put together a timeline that reveals what the next six years of superhero movies look like, with some dates and titles still to be announced. The graphic will be updated as new information is released.

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Mondo’s Batman Anniversary Gallery: Francavilla & Jock, Gotham By Gaslight, Death In The Family, Red Rain And More

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Over the past few months, we've been slowly freaking out over the Mondo gallery's tribute to Batman's 75th anniversary. Every time a new set of art was revealed, the show looked better and better, and now that it's actually open down in Austin, our suspicions have been confirmed: The art for this show is incredible.

Not only do they have the portraits inspired by Batman '66 and the beautifully designed posters inspired by the movies and classic episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, but the gallery features work from comic book artists Francesco Francavilla and Jock, too. Fittingly enough, the two collaborated on an amazing piece based on "The Black Mirror," the excellent Scott Snyder story they both contributed to, but Francavilla also took on a poster inspired by Kelley Jones and Doug Moench's classic Elsewords Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, and Jock produced a pair of pieces based on Frank Miller's Batman: Year One that I'm pretty sure I desperately need to own.

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‘Don Heck: A Work Of Art’ Retrospective Shines New Light On The Silver Age Great

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Don Heck is something of an odd man out when it comes to comics history. He was one of the architects of the Marvel Universe, co-creating Iron Man, Hawkeye, and other famous characters; he was held in high esteem by his peers – yet he's rarely mentioned in the same breath as Romita, Ditko, Kirby, Buscema, Ayers, and other Silver Age greats. He was, for many years, the Avengers artist, but often goes unnoticed when fans make their lists of the definitive super-team pencillers. He defined the down-to-earth qualities of Marvel while his contemporaries were pushing toward the cosmos, rooting his characters in reality as others pushed the boundaries of possibility. And while that precise mix of magnificent and mundane was what truly defined Marvel, his contributions were nevertheless destined to be overshadowed by the flashier offerings that the rest of the bullpen provided.

The latter day appreciation of Heck's work continues with TwoMorrows' publication of Don Heck: A Work Of Art, is a handsome full-color hardcover recounting the artist's life story. The layout is clean and clear, the printing is up to TwoMorrows' usual high standards, and the selection of art is nothing short of superb – from published pages and panels, to roughs and sketches, to pieces shot directly from Heck's original art, it's all here, and all reproduced beautifully.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Art, DC, Marvel, Opinion, Reviews

They F*ck You Up, Your Mum And Dad: The Multiversity Annotations, Part 3

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Teased for years and finally launched in 2014, The Multiversity is a universe-jumping series of DC Comics one-shots tracking the cosmic monitor Nix Uotan and an assemblage of star-crossed heroes as they attempt to save 52 universes and beyond from a trippy cosmic existential threat that, like much of Morrison’s best work, represents something far more mundane and relatable. Tying back into the very first Multiverse story in DC’s history, the heroes of these universes become aware of this threat by reading about it in comic books… comic books that, it turns out, take place in neighboring universes. Indeed, writer Grant Morrison continues his streak of highly metatextual DC cosmic epics with this eight-issue mega-series (plus one Tolkienesque guidebook).

Described by Morrison as “the ultimate statement of what DC is”, The Multiversity naturally offers the reader much beyond the surface level adventure, and that means annotations. Rather than merely filling out checklists of references, my hope with this feature is to slowly unearth and extrapolate a narrative model for Morrison and his collaborators’ work on The Multiversity; an interconnecting web of themes and cause and effect that works both on literal and symbolic levels.

We’ll be focusing here on the third issue of the maxiseries, The Just, written by Morrison with artwork by Ben Oliver and color assistance from Dan Brown (the excellent colorist, not the literary hack).

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‘Gotham’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 5: ‘Viper’

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The news that actress Morena Baccarin (Firefly, Homeland) will be joining Fox’s crime drama Gotham, with a recurring role as the compassionate physician Dr. Leslie Thompkins, brings hope to a show currently heaving with villainy. Considered a surrogate parental figure to young Bruce Wayne, the good doctor appeared in over 200 issues of DC Comics and several episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. However, Dr. Thompkins has never been portrayed in a live-action film or television show. In the meantime, Bruno Heller’s Gotham appears to suffer from too much of the same motif: The murder of mother Martha Wayne and father Thomas Wayne was a catalyst, giving way to a city of “orphans” forming replacement relationships best described as disrupted, disloyal, or enmeshed.

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Filed Under: , , , , Category: DC, Opinion, Television

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