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I Want To Go To There: Mari Hosaka’s ‘Amethyst’ Animation Backgrounds Are Beautiful

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Brianne Drouhard's Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld animation shorts are easily one of our favorite DC Comics media projects of the past few years. The serial is exciting, it's got great action, and it's an incredibly interesting spin on Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn and Ernie Colon's original idea, sending Amy Winston into a video game fantasy world where she has to level up and fight the bad guys to get home. And it's also an incredibly beautiful series.

The character and monster designs are fantastic, but the backgrounds are breathtaking, which is why I was excited to see that background painter Mari Hosaka had posted a bunch of them at her Tumblr. Check 'em out below to take a trip through Gemworld's forests, volcanoes and caves -- and, if you're me, get frustrated that you can't actually take a vacation there.

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‘The Flash’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 5: ‘Plastique’

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Welcome back to Up To Speed, home of the the Flashest Recaps Alive. Here we’ll recap the episodes, 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 The Funky Flashman, aka The Flash.

We had a skip week! I missed you so much! You look great! Did you do something new with your hair? Well, it is working, let me tell you. This week, we’re looking at the fifth episode episode of the first season of The Flash, featuring a woman who is literally the bomb, more than two disastrous heart-to-heart chats, and the wonder that is Clancy Brown. So let’s light the fuse on this week’s episode, “Plastique.”

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From Fashion Blogs To Biker Femmes: The Art Of ‘Batgirl’ With Babs Tarr, Cameron Stewart And Brenden Fletcher [Interview]

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Years after her rebooted New 52 series debuted, the Bat Signal illuminates the iconic hero Batgirl more brightly than ever before in a retooled title written by Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher, drawn by Babs Tarr (from layouts by Stewart) and colored by Maris Wicks. A stark, dramatic departure from the decidedly dour tone of previous issue, the new book introduced Barbara Gordon's new life in the newly created and decidedly hip Burnside neighborhood of Gotham, where she makes time for crime fighting in between her graduate studies and hanging out with her new supporting cast. Vividly youthful, funny, cute, action-packed and even sexy, the new Batgirl of Burnside sparked interest amongst existing fans, lapsed Batgirl readers and curious newbies (and inspired criticism from people who just hate fun). Crucially, cosplayers immediately started replicating Barbara's new self-designed Bat-digs while the Batgirl of Burnside Tumblr debuted with daily boosts of fan art inspired by the hero's new look.

With the new run's inaugural issue, Batgirl #35, flying off the shelves and Batgirl of Burnside cosplayers running, jumping and otherwise posing all around the Javitz Convention Center, Barbara Gordon was the It Girl of last month's New York Comic Con, where we sat down with the series creators to talk about fashion, boys, and Batgirl's new villains, the Jawbreakers -- a gang of cosplaying bikers making their debut in this week's issue #36.

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Greg Rucka Returns To Renee Montoya As DC Announces First Batch Of ‘Convergence’ Minis

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That sound you just heard is the sound of one million Tumblrs updating.

On Tuesday morning DC announced titles, teams, and plot outlines for ten of its forty planned two-issue Convergence mini-series, which will coincide with the publisher's big event comic next spring and take the place of its regular monthly output. From the looks of it, there's plenty of fan-service involved for people who loved pre-New 52 DC continuity.

Not only is Renee Montoya getting her own two issues as The Question, written by Greg Rucka -- who initially put Montoya in that role -- and drawn by Cully Hamner; but there's a Stephanie Brown Batgirl series, a Nightwing/Oracle wedding story, a Wally West story, a Superman/Lois Lane marriage series, a Bruce/Damian Batman & Robin series, and so on.

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The Bookworm Renaissance Continues With ‘Batman ’66′ Chapter 47 [Preview]

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My friends, we are living in a wonderful time. Hot on the heels of Gotham Academy #2, which featured the return of Bookworm as a school librarian, comes Batman '66 Chapter 47, where the world's most sinister bibliophile is once again in the spotlight! And, just as an added bonus, he's also riding around in a giant robot dragon, which I think you will agree makes pretty much everything better.

Okay, admittedly, the main focus of the issue seems to be that King Tut (possibly the greatest of all Batman televillains) is raising an army of the undead with the help of the unstoppable Osiris Virus, but c'mon. It's a giant robot dragon and it's wearing a top hat. Check out what else Jeff Parker and Scott Kowalchuk have in store for the caped crusaders below!

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Bizarro Back Issues: The Strange Saga Of Captain Strong (1973)

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I love crossovers. Even when they don't really work that well or make a whole lot of sense, it's almost always interesting seeing how characters that don't usually hang out bounce off of each other -- and it's especially fun when you've got a character like Superman. That guy's such a well-known, well-defined cultural institution that there has to be a huge temptation to see how he interacts with pretty much anyone else, even if you don't actually have the rights to do the real thing.

But really, that's the magic of comics. Even if you can't get the genuine article, you can always file off the serial numbers and do your own version and get the same effect. Sort of. And that's how Superman ended up spending a good chunk of the '70s hanging out with Captain Strong, a thinly veiled stand-in for Popeye the Sailor Man who was addicted to alien seaweed.

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Report: Margot Robbie to Star as Harley Quinn in DC’s ‘Suicide Squad’ Movie

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Things got interesting with the upcoming 'Suicide Squad' movie when it was revealed that Jesse Eisenberg would be returning after 'Batman vs. Superman' to star as Lex Luthor. Then, things got really interesting when it was revealed that Jared Leto was in talks to star as The Joker, introducing Batman's greatest nemesis in the new era of 'Justice League' films. What was once thought to be a ragtag group of B-side villains is now shaping up to be a roster full of DC's evil A-list villains. And, now you can even more iconic villain to the lineup. What would any Joker appearance in 'Suicide Squad' be without Harley Quinn, who will be played by 'Wolf of Wall Street' star Margot Robbie.

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Batman And Robin Face ‘The Man Who Quit Being Human’ In ‘Batmanga’ Chapter 19

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As much as I love the stories of Lord Death Man and Professor Gorilla, the one thing I was really excited about when DC announced that they'd be bringing Jiro Kuwata's Batmanga back into print after over 40 years was that they'd be getting to stories that I hadn't read. The collection that Chip Kidd put together a few years ago was, after all, just the tip of the iceberg, and it was the stuff that hadn't been reprinted that was going to get really weird -- and if you've been keeping up, you've seen just how strange things can be.

In next week's episode, the current story comes to its climax with "The Man Who Quit Being Human," which, given that the previous story has featured the aforementioned Professor Gorilla, has been pretty surprisingly dark. Batman and Robin are facing down against a terrifying foe who wants to eliminate his mutated genes from his daughter, and it's pretty incredible. Check out a preview below!

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Filed Under: , , Category: DC, Previews

Binge-Drinking, Brain-Bashing and Burnt Beavers: ‘Harley Quinn’ Skates Improbably Into The Spotlight

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The success of Harley Quinn seems to have taken everybody by surprise – including DC Comics, who suddenly finds itself with one of the most successful female-led ongoing series on the stands. Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, with art (mostly) from Chad Hardin and colorist Alex Sinclair, letters by John J. Hill, Harley Quinn has proven to be a huge success with readers and retailers. And with volume one collected and out now in hardcover, it seemed like a good time to look back across the first nine issues and get a look at what all the fuss has been about.

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Marvel’s ‘Secret Wars’ Trailer Confirms A Convergence Of Worlds

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Do you like stories about characters from disparate comic-book universes coming together to meet and perhaps fight in an arena of an all-powerful being's choosing?

If not, you may want to skip 2015's event comics. On Monday, DC unveiled its plans for Convergence, its spring 2015 event about a universe-spanning conflict. Now, after three-plus weeks of teases, Marvel has added some clarity to its summer 2015 event, Secret Wars. Guess what it's going to be via a new, minute-long trailer.

If you guessed "a universe-spanning conflict," you are correct.

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Filed Under: , Category: DC, Marvel, News, Video

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