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Whoever Wins, We Win: A Brief History of Aliens vs Predator

Dark Horse
Dark Horse

Ruthlessly efficient biological killing machines. Fascinatingly grotesque and bizarre extraterrestrial monsters. More than a match for an entire cast of human characters. And, most importantly, stars of 1980s 20th Century Fox-distributed films and licensed to Dark Horse Comics. These are the similarities that forged a decades-long bond between the Aliens and Predator franchises, linking them into a symbiotic relationship that has infested medium after medium, and lasted over 25 years now.

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Send in the Marines: The Failed ‘Operation: Aliens’ Cartoon and the Kenner Toys it Inspired

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In 1977, Star Wars changed the game completely, not just for movies, but for toys as well. The impact of George Lucas' landmark sci-fi epic is well documented, but perhaps nobody knew just how vital to the industry Star Wars was than Kenner. As the sole licensed toy manufacturer at that time, Kenner was acutely aware of Star Wars' successes at retail. As such, the company was eager to line up licenses like Ridley Scott's Alien in an attempt to recapture that magic with a whole new audience and brand.

While a complete line-up for Alien toys was planned, including 3.75" figures much in the vein of Kenner's own Star Wars collectibles, only an 18" Xenmorph made it to market. But not for long. Deemed too scary and creepy to be a children's toy (which makes complete sense given HR Giger's design), the Alien toy was yanked from shelves. The rest of the Alien line never saw the light of day outside of Kenner's doors (though those designs were revived and released a few years ago by Super7 and Funko). Even with that misstep, Kenner hadn't given up on the idea of making the Alien franchise a Star Wars-like success.

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Michael Moreci and Matt Battaglia Introduce ‘Indoctrination’

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Indoctrination is an upcoming Z2 Comics series from writer Michael Moreci and artist Matt Battaglia about two cops working with a terrorist to investigate a dangerous death cult. A supernatural-tinged thriller with a political twist, Indoctrination has a lot of big ideas to deliver on, and first-time comic artist Battaglia has to weave these elements together to create a sinister atmosphere of suspense.
In order to get readers better acquainted with the world of Indoctrination, the creative team has provided ComicsAlliance with an exclusive commentary breaking down the elements of the first five pages of issue #1. It's a fascinating look at the choices they made, and the ideas that informed the series.

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On the Barriers to Diverse Comics in the Direct Market

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Over the past week there's been much discussion in the comics sphere about how books that have risen to the challenge of greater diversity have not in turn risen up the charts of the direct market. A debate is taking place over whether the audience is really putting its money where its mouth is, and this debate is more complex than a yes or a no, and requires a little unpacking.

Adam Frey at Pop Culture Uncovered has one take, asking if the failure of diverse books is a responsibility that ultimately rests with the market. Personally, I think a better question to ask when speculating if the market itself has failed is, “which market?”

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Filed Under: , , Category: DC, Longform, Marvel, Opinion

Until I’m Done Or Until I Get Fired: Gerard Way On His Plans For Young Animal [Interview]

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DC has made some interesting moves since its relocation from New York City to Burbank, California, last year, including the upcoming line-wide relaunch DC Rebirth, and a notably uneven line of Hanna-Barbera-inspired comics. Perhaps the most surprising announcement came at Emerald City Comicon earlier this month, when DC unveiled Young Animal, a new line of superhero comics masterminded by Umbrella Academy writer and musician and My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way.

Described as a "pop-up imprint," Young Animal includes a new Doom Patrol series by Way and Nick Derington; a Shade relaunch, Shade the Changing Girl, by Cecil Castellucci and Marley Zarcone; Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye, by Way, Jon Rivera and Michael Avon Oeming, and the Gotham-set Mother Panic, concceived by Way and written by Jody Houser, with art by Tommy Lee Edwards. But that's just the start. ComicsAlliance sat down with Way to find out how Young Animal came to be, what his longterm plans are for the imprint, and how involved he is with all the books across the line.

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Praying For It: Chester Brown’s ‘Mary Wept Over The Feet of Jesus’ [Review]

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They say that any joke you have to explain isn't a very good one. Chester Brown's latest work, the powerful and challenging Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus, is no joke, but he certainly feels the need to explain it. At great length.

First, there's the sub-title, which emphasizes subject matter that isn't terribly obvious in the comic itself --- Prostitution and Religious Obedience in the Bible --- and then there are the copious notes. The comics portion of the book is just 170 pages long, with two-to-four panels per page; the afterword, acknowledgments and notes are 100 more pages.

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Suffering Sappho: Women, Men, and Grant Morrison in ‘Wonder Woman: Earth One’ [Review]

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Ever since creator William Moulton Marston died, those in charge of Wonder Woman have been actively running away from his version, in an attempt to make the character more acceptable by the standards of mainstream 20th Century entertainment, which hasn't historically been friendly to feminism, let alone pro-bondage quasi-queer female supremacy.

But Grant Morrison, the writer behind the new Wonder Woman: Earth One graphic novel with artist Yanick Paquette, is known as a writer who is unafraid of ideas. In discussing this project, which was in development for years, he expressed a desire to bring back some of the weirdness that only Marston brought to the character. Did he succeed?

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Rebirth Revisited: What Can We Learn From DC’s Previous Rebirth Series?

Rebirth-Retrospective-Featured

This weekend we finally learned more about the titles making up DC’s new Rebirth initiative, including creative teams and creative directions. However, the eponymous DC Rebirth #1 by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Phil Jimenez, Ethan Van Sciver and Gary Frank, which promises to kick things off with major returns and the “biggest secret in the DC Universe,” remains a mystery.

In the promotion for DC Rebirth, Johns, who is DC’s chief creative officer, regularly calls to mind his previous two series with Van Sciver, Green Lantern Rebirth and Flash Rebirth, and how he believes they refocused and reinvigorated the franchises. With DC Rebirth on the horizon, we’re looking back at the earlier Rebirth series to see where they succeeded and where they failed.

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Wonder Woman Isn’t Enough to Save ‘Batman v. Superman’s Women From Injustice

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Even before the early reviews began rolling in, the trailers solidified Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman as the most exciting attraction in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Audiences agreed, as Wonder Woman — whose name isn’t even in the title of the film — ranked highest in a recent poll that asked fans which character they were most eager to see in Zack Snyder’s superhero epic. As predicted, Gadot’s debut is definitely the best thing in Batman v Superman, and although her part only makes up about seven minutes of the film’s 150-minute runtime, those few minutes are riveting — but not enough to justify Snyder’s unfortunate treatment of the remaining female characters.

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Throw Away The Key: The Moral Quagmire Of Indefinite Detention In Superhero Fiction

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The Flash has proven to be one of the most popular superhero adaptations on television, rising above the standard of shows like Smallville, Arrow and even Agents of SHIELD. It's generally regarded as the go-to show for upbeat superhero adventures in a world where Superman levels entire city blocks and Batman asks him if he bleeds. However, there’s one aspect of The Flash that doesn’t quite sit right with a lot of viewers, and that’s the illegal metahuman prison underneath STAR Labs.

This is how it starts: The Flash fights a bad guy who can turn himself into mist, and when they catch him, they don’t know what to do with him --- but they have a super-science particle accelerator under their feet which can be converted into a holding cell, so off he goes to lockup. Then they fight a guy who can turn his skin into steel, and he could easily break out of any regular prison, so it only makes sense to lock him up somewhere he can’t break out, and soon they have an entire prison, nicknamed "The Pipeline".

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