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The Gwen Stacy Memorial Awards: The Best Comic Books of 2014, Part Three

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The last twelve months offered comic book readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies, and the return of old favorites to the emergence of exciting new talent. It was a busy and productive year for the industry, and one we’re pleased to celebrate with what we’re certain will be an uncontroversial, unenumerated list of awards that will prompt only resounding agreement and unbroken fellowship amongst our readers in the comments below. Welcome to part three of ComicsAlliance’s Best Comic Books of 2014.

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Filed Under: Category: Lists, Longform, Opinion, Reviews

The 5 Most Insane Christmas Comics Of All Time

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Despite the fact that a good chunk of my floorspace is taken up with long boxes and bookshelves, I consider myself more of a "reader" than a "collector," except for two things I hoard shamelessly: Christmas comics and Abraham Lincoln appearances. If I see Santa Claus or our 16th President in a comic book, I buy it -- no questions asked.

And as a result, I've picked up my share of Christmas stories that are truly bizarre -- and considering this is a weird little sub-genre that routinely features stories about Ultron being reprogrammed to give out toys, Batman stopping all crime in Gotham City by singing "Joy to the World" with the GCPD choir, and a Jack Kirby tale entitled "Santa's War Against the Seal Men," that's saying something. So this year, I've rifled through the comics under my tree to bring you The Five Most Insane Christmas Comics of All Time!

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10 Members of the Justice League of Christmas

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In a recent essay, I posited that rather than being the villain of Christmas as he is popularly understood, the furry demon known as the Krampus is actually the Batman of Christmas. This got me thinking: who would play which role if we were to build an entire Justice League of Christmas? If you are wondering, yes, this is what it's like inside my brain all the time. And so, I propose to you this roster for the JLXmas.

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Filed Under: , , Category: DC, Humor, Lists

7 Dark Horse ‘Star Wars’ Comics You Must Read Before Marvel Wipes Them Out… All Of Them

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If you listened hard when Disney announced that it had bought Lucasfilm, you could hear it: millions of expanded universe stories suddenly crying out in terror, and suddenly silenced. For the last 23 years, Dark Horse Comics has been adding to the Star Wars saga, publishing a host of comics set in that galaxy far, far away, partnering with Lucasfilm to help weave a vibrant tapestry of stories, characters and settings to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the films, books, video games, trading card games, RPG handbooks, and (ugh) Holiday Specials.

Well, no more. Starting in 2015, Disney's handing the publishing of any and all new Star Wars comics over to Marvel Comics, with an all new, optimized-for-corporate-synergy canon that will spread across all their media platforms. Anything that's not a movie (especially one of the Original Trilogy movies), or a Clone Wars cartoon, will be unceremoniously Order 66-ed out of existence, giving future filmmakers a clean-ish slate to make movies (and money) on. But what about all those Dark Horse comics? That's where we come in with 7 Dark Horse Star Wars comics you should track down before they disappear.

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10 Directors Who Could Save the ‘Spider-Man’ Franchise

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Sony Pictures

Just the other day came word that Sony was developing an animated 'Spider-Man' movie with 'The LEGO Movie' directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Which would be great, and we would very much look forward to that movie! But, buried in that same piece of news was word that Sony still has no idea what to do with the live-action films. Do they make an 'Amazing Spider-Man 3' or just completely reboot (again)? High-level executives and 'Spider-Man' producers are set to meet at a "Spider-Man Summit" in January to decide the fate of the franchise. Since our invitation to this summit was strangely lost in the mail, Managing Editor Matt Singer and Editor-in-Chief Mike Sampson put their heads together and came up with a list of ten directors that Team Spidey should be considering.

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Filed Under: Category: Lists, Marvel, Movies

The Top Five Generation One Pokemon

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This week, as Pokémon Alpha Sapphire continues to occupy most of Chris's time, he's turned his attention all the way back to 1998 to bring you the five best first-generation Pokémon. That's right, the stars of Red and Blue are taking center stage here as he pares down the original 151 to a handful of the best of the best -- and if you don't already know who's clocking in at #1, we'll give you a hint: It's Bulbasaur.

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Filed Under: , , , , , Category: Lists, Video

Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): November 2014

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A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month

November's covers include some superb compositions, some new twists on familiar iconography, a Catwoman, a Batgirl, and an enormous killer whale. Check out some excellent comic covers from familiar names like Michael Del Mundo and David Nakayama, and some new names for this column, like Butch Guice and David Rapoza.

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Five Pilgrim Action Figures To Class Up Your Thanksgiving Table

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This week Americans will gather 'round their respective tables with friends and family to reflect on all of the things they're thankful for. Delicious food is generally what folks focus on, sure, but it's important not to forget about a Thanksgiving table's all-important centerpiece. After all, how are you supposed to add depth to turkey/tofurkey Instagram photos without some extra pilgrim-looking jazz around? With this in mind, we've collected a few action figure options that can help transform your day off from work from "perfectly acceptable" to "more pilgrim-ed than average." Hit the jump for four pilgrim action figure recommendations to spice up your Thanksgiving.

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Filed Under: , , , Category: Lists, Toys

11 Comic Book Characters You Definitely Do Not Want Showing Up at Thanksgiving

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The American version of Thanksgiving is this week, and whether you celebrate the holiday as a gathering of family or a get-together for friends, the day can always be a mixed bag in terms of the quality of people who show up. Sometimes they're family members you're obligated to invite, sometimes they're friends of friends, but somehow there's always someone who makes the day memorable, but not necessarily in a good way. Here are ten characters who might rain on your Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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Filed Under: Category: DC, Humor, Lists, Marvel, Opinion

The Top Five Worst Superhero Teams In Comics

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If there's one thing we've learned from our years on the Internet, it's that there's no aspect of comics that can't be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there's no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we're taking it upon ourselves to compile lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.

This week, we're talking about superhero teams, and while everybody these days loves the Avengers and, shockingly, the Guardians of the Galaxy, that doesn't mean that they're all winners. That's why we're taking on five of the worst teams in comics, from the weird but secretly awesome all the way down to the absolute dregs!

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