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The Journey to Wakanda: Afrofuturism and Black Panther

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When Marvel announced the Black Panther film slated for a 2018 release, with Chadwick Boseman playing the titular character, a lot of fans lost their cool. Black Panther, an Avengers alum since 1967, represents more than the Marvel Studios movie machine’s first foray into a leading super hero of color.

Hailing from the fictional African nation of Wakanda, Black Panther and his scientifically superior homeland are an example of a sub-genre of fiction in which Africans (and African Americans) display a prowess and understanding of technological and scientific advancement. Some called this Black Sci-Fi, but this fiction is perhaps more commonly called Afrofuturism.

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Filed Under: , Category: Longform, Marvel, Opinion

Dear Storytellers: Gay Characters Aren’t Going to Show Up ‘Organically’ In Your Stories, You Have to Put Them There

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We're nowhere to be found in the Star Trek movies, or the Star Wars movies, or Jurassic Park, or The Fast & The Furious. To the best of my knowledge we're not in Mission: Impossible, or Planet of the Apes, or Die Hard, or The Dark Knight, or Transformers. We're not in Lord of the Rings, despite how it may seem, and we're not obviously in Harry Potter, though the author says we're there. We're not in Spider-Man, and somehow we're not even in the X-Men movies, though they are at least partly about us. We might be in The Hunger Games.
We are in James Bond. Of all the big movie franchises, that's the one that's really taken the time to present a handful of gay or bisexual characters in its fifty year history; but as damaged killers, and as uniquely challenging romantic conquests. And we're definitely not in the Marvel movies. Based on recent comments by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, we may not turn up there any time soon. You see, Feige isn't going to force it; he'll find an "organic" way to introduce LGBTQ characters to his fictional world.

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Well, They Can’t All Be Batman: Jon Morris on His ‘League of Regrettable Superheroes’

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The Justice League of America and The Avengers are the top teams in comics, super-groups composed of the most popular, most powerful and most iconic superheroes in their respective publisher's fictional universes. Jon Morris' League is... not that kind of league.

Morris, a graphic designer, cartoonist and writer, has devoted himself to compiling and chronicling the weirdest superheroes from throughout comics history on his blog Gone & Forgotten, which he's maintained since the late 1990s. Those efforts have lead to a new book, The League of Regrettable Superheroes: Half-Baked Heroes From Comic Book History, which features a full 100 of the most spectacular misfires of the 20th century comics industry, from 1939's Bozo The Iron Man to 1997's Maggot, from shoe shill AAU Shuperstar to the compressed air-powered speedster Zippo. We spoke to Morris about his selection process and what it really means to be "regrettable."

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Miles Morales is Spider-Man in the New Marvel U (But What Does This Really Mean?)

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The New York Daily News revealed on Sunday that Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli will launch a new ongoing Marvel series starring Miles Morales in the wake of Secret Wars — with the twist that this will be the first series starring Miles to be set in the main Marvel Universe rather than the Ultimate Universe. (Two major universes entered Secret Wars; one will leave.)

While previous Miles Morales titles bore the names Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man and Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man, this book will unsurprisingly forego the now defunct 'Ultimate' branding. More surprisingly, it won't pick up a new adjective in its place. The new Miles Morales title is simply called Spider-Man.

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‘Section Eight’ Shows Ennis and McCrea Will Still Lovingly Bite the Hand That Feeds Them

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Anyone can make fun of DC comics. Don't believe me? Go ahead and look around the Internet. I'll wait. The publisher's long life, huge catalog of characters and hundreds of thousands of pages of material have certainly provided a target-rich environment.

But it takes a very special mindset and skill set to make fun of DC comics within the pages of a DC comic – and I'm not just talking gentle ribbing or affectionate teasing, but fairly scathing satire. That Garth Ennis and John McCrea were able to do so on such a regular basis for so long in the pages of their 1997-2001 Hitman is pretty remarkable; almost as remarkable as the fact that DC invited them back for All Star Section Eight, a series that necessarily focuses on and amps up the superhero parody of the pair's Hitman series.

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Marketing to the #comicsmarket: How to Avoid Hashtag Hazards

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Hashtags. They’re a necessity for marketing on social media, but for corporations, their use is a path dotted with pitfalls. In the democratic environment of Twitter, users are sensitive to being manipulated and pandered to for corporate gain, and a “hashtag fail” can result in viral public embarrassment for a company. This is particularly unstable ground for comics publishers, since comics readers have long formed strong online communities and are particularly savvy to corporate attempts to infiltrate those spaces.

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Writer’s Commentary: Cavan Scott on ‘Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor’ Issue #1

Christian Ward
Christian Ward

When Doctor Who made its triumphant return to television screens in 2005, with Christopher Eccleston in the role of the ninth Doctor, no-one could have guaranteed that the show would still be a hit ten years later, on to its own fourth (or fifth) incarnation of its hero. Yet Doctor Who endures, and with it comes the comic book spin-offs from Titan Comics that explore and expand the stories of the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth Doctors.

Writer Cavan Scott is the man behind the Ecclestone Doctor's comic book adventures, joined by artist Blair Shedd for a five-issue mini series that launched last month. Scott has agreed to exclusively share his writer's commentary for the series with ComicsAlliance, so we kick off with his notes for issue #1, with the introduction of the Lect and the Doctor's encounter with the Unon. Grab your copy of Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1 and read along!

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The Analog Elements of a Post-Digital Project: Bill Sienkiewicz Discusses H8 Society and Artistic Process

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Bill Sienkiewicz is one of the unquestioned greats of the comic medium, a creator who, over his long and stories career, has constantly pushed the limits of sequential art, blending media, blurring boundaries between seemingly disparate techniques, and creating work that's endlessly innovative and instantly identifiable. And his work hasn't been limited to comics – he's painted cover art for best-selling albums, created animation design, illustrated trading cards, and co-created picture books.

Now he's contributed to a multi-media "post-digital" project entitled H8 Society: How An Atomic Fart Saved The World that combines his visuals with an original sci-fi/comedy ebook by the postmodern duo known as 2Dans. The project also includes a collection of 26 original songs from independent musical artists. It's an ambitiously unorthodox enterprise, and on the eve of its release, we got the chance to sit with Bill and discuss his contribution to the project, his stylistic choices, the balance of artistry and reality, and all manner of other things.

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Meet the Time-Traveling Spies of Michael Moreci’s ‘Transference’ [Interview/Preview]

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Michael Moreci has been building his name as a stand-out genre comics writer in the past few years, starting with paranormal investigator series Hoax Hunters at Image, co-written with Steve Seeley, and more recently with the sci-fi noir odyssey adventure Roche Limit, with art by Vic Malhotra.

His new series, Transference, sees him unite with artist Ron Salas at Black Mask Studios for a high concept tale of time-travel and counter-terrorism, as an elite special agent transfered into his own past-self must track down an enemy agent to save the future. ComicsAlliance chatted with Moreci about his relationship with comics, working with Ron Salas and Black Mask, and why he's not afraid to court Hollywood through comics. He also shared an exclusive eight-page preview of Transference #1.

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‘DC You’ Claims Diverse Stories, Offers Generic Cool-Dad Language

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Yesterday, DC Comics announced a new marketing initiative that it has titled "DCYou," aimed at celebrating "Fan-Favorite Characters, Top-Notch Talent, Diverse Stories and DC Fans," according to the press release.

This being DC, there are some notable missteps in this initial launch that don't bode well for the campaign as a whole. The biggest problem seems to be a corporate appropriation of messages that the publisher thinks readers want to hear, which lack something when run through the filter of corporate language. The hope is that this signals good intentions, but recent creator numbers at DC don't back that up.

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