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Ask Chris #247: The True Story Of American Independence

Ask Chris #247, Herbie art by Ogden Whitney

Q: For the holiday, what have been the best appearances of the founding fathers in comics? -- @rj_white

A. There is one story of the dawn of American Independence that comes to mind: The time that Herbie Popnecker teamed up with George Washington's sentient teeth and started up the Revolutionary War.

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All New, All Different Marvel: Your Guide to the Marvel Universe Books

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Our round-up of the All-New All-Different Marvel titles concludes with the books that don't quite fit anywhere else. This is the catch-all category that Marvel tends to call things like 'Marvel Universe', or 'Marvel Knights', or 'Marvel Heroes'. That makes this sound like a clearing house, and the presence of Agents of SHIELD supports that case, but you'll also find some of Marvel's most important titles here; titles that just don't quite fit elsewhere.

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All New, All Different Marvel: Your Guide to the Cosmic Comic Books

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Our rundown of the All-New All-Diffrent Marvel books moves into outer space with a look at the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe, where we find all the Guardians of the Galaxy books (all three of them, four if you still count Angela), and all the Inhumans books (both of them, not counting Kamala). Is the universe expanding or contracting?

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All New, All Different Marvel: Your Guide to the Spider-Books

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We've covered six X-Men titles, seven Avengers (and related) team titles, and eight of the many Avengers solo titles, so it's time to look at the nine Spider-Man books coming your way in October, featuring Peter Parker, Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy, a couple of symbiotes, and more! There are so many Spider-people now! How is one of them not also a Wolverine?

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All New, All Different Marvel: Your Guide to the Avengers Solo Books

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We've covered the X-Men, and the Avengers teams. Now we're into potentially the biggest group, the Avengers solo titles, which includes some heroes getting their own ongoing books for the first time. In fact, this group is so sprawling, we've held a couple of characters who are technically Avengers for a later post. Everyone is an Avenger now. Jonathan Hickman made it unwieldy. So here are just eight of the infinite solo Avengers titles.

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All New, All Different Marvel: Your Guide to the Avengers Team Books

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Our critical rundown of the All-New All-Different Marvel line moves on to the seven Avengers (or Avengers-adjacent) team titles, which includes three teams with Avengers in the name, plus A-Force, the mighty Ultimates, a bunch of villains stealing an old Avengers-related name, and the Squadron Supreme, who aren't really Avengers at all, but we don't have a Justice League section.

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All New, All Different Marvel: Your Guide to the X-Books

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Marvel formally unveiled its post-Secret Wars 'All New, All Different' line up on Wednesday, featuring a Marvel Universe reconfigured by the experiences of Battleworld, and an eight month time jump that allows the publisher to set up a new status quo for many of its characters. Marvel has never had a better opportunity to shake up its line, so readers had high expectations for a bold, diverse, inventive new direction. With that in mind, we're going to share the new titles with you, alongside some observations on how the new Marvel Universe is shaping up, starting with the X-Men.

A lot of fans weren't sure there would still be an X-Men line coming out of Secret Wars, or that it would still share space with the rest of the main Marvel Universe, given that Fox's control of various licensing rights has led Marvel to step back from heavily promoting these characters. But the X-Men still sell comics, and Marvel is in that business, so the X-Men haven't entirely gone away, though the line is down to only six titles, with just three team books and three solo books.

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Back Off, Dad, I’ll Dress How I Like: Dracula vs Lilith in ‘Tomb of Dracula’

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Tomb of Dracula came out of Marvel between 1972 and 1979: start date, one year after the CCA let up on vampires. This was a year after Hammer’s increasingly psychological Karnstein Trilogy wrapped up with Twins of Evil, and the same year (obviously) that the studio released Dracula AD 1972. While Christopher Lee grew ever more dissatisfied with what he saw as his Dracula’s creep towards absurdity, Gene Colan and Marv Wolfman (along with Gerry Conway, Archie Goodwin and Gardner Fox) created a Gothic masterpiece in the comics; a soap opera that doubled as a perfect and precise character study. Dracula’s got problems, and he’s at the root of every one.

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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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