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Ask Chris #241: The Suicide Squad, Then And Now

Ask Chris #241: The Suicide Squad, Then And Now

What made the Ostrander/Yale Suicide Squad work and others not? John Ostrander and Kim Yale, along with Luke McDonnell, Geof Isherwood, Karl Kesel and other artists. They were creators who were absolutely at the top of their game over the course of Squad's 66-issue run, and you can't really get away from the fact that when Ostrander came back for stuff like Raise the Flag and the Blackest Night one-shot, those books were immediately right back in step with some of the best stories of the run. They were, hands down, one of the best creative teams in the history of superhero comics.

But at the same time, I don't think that's the whole story. When you get right down to it, Suicide Squad wasn't just a product of its time, it was the kind of comic that could only really happen in 1987.

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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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‘The Flash’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 23, ‘Fast Enough’

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Welcome back to Up To Speed, home of the the Flashest Recaps Alive. Here we’ll recap the latest episode of The Flash, 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 the fastest man alive, Barry Allen, more widely known as The Flash.

This week, we're rushing headlong into the first season finale, titled "Fast Enough." This episode has it all: a wedding, hell of deaths, time travelin', Thawne-spawn in guyliner, hamburgers of horror, a gaggle of dads but just one mom, dim sum, dimmer fates, and oh yeah, the end of the world -- all in under 45 minutes. We've got a lot of ground to cover, so let's get this show on the road.

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Recon:Vergence Week Six: Kord Vs Kord; Aquaman Vs Radiators; Waller Vs Everyone

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Welcome to Recon:Vergence, a weekly look at what’s going on throughout DC’s new reality-smooshing event storyline, Convergence.

Every week until the end of the event, every comic DC publishes will be a part of this giant storyline – and it’s a little confusing, especially for new readers. To help out, we’re going to provide a timeline of events, let you know which Universes are still in the fight, and try and keep everything on track.

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Where ‘Arrow’ Season 3 Went Wrong: Demons, Legacies and Flash-y Crossovers

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The CW's Arrow closed out Season 3 this past week with the surprisingly final "My Name is Oliver Queen," but for many a creeping sense of indirection has permeated the emerald archer's arc this year. Now, we attempt to pinpoint where Arrow went astray, including a character absence that may surprise you, and what hope we might find for Season 4.

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Ask Chris #240: What’s So Great About Usagi Yojimbo? Everything.

Ask Chris #240: What's So Great About Usagi Yojimbo?

Q: What's the big deal with Usagi Yojimbo, anyway? - @cwidtz

A: If you're not already familiar with Usagi Yojimbo, I can see why it might be a hard sell. On paper, it just sounds weird. I mean, it's a long-running samurai story where all the characters are cute furry animals, and that's just the start of things. It's exhaustively researched and set in feudal Japan, frequently using actual historical events as the centerpieces of its stories, but also ghosts and magic are completely real, it's cartoonish and frequently very funny with great buddy comedy bits and a ton of slapstick humor, but it's also very serious and violent, with the highest on-panel body count of any comic I read, and everyone who really loves it won't shut up about how great the word balloons are when people die. Even if you're willing to believe that it's very good, there's a lot there that sounds like it'd be hard to get into.

But since you asked, here's the big deal with Usagi Yojimbo: Stan Sakai's been doing this comic for over thirty years, and he hasn't done a bad issue yet.

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‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Report Card: How the Comics’ Heroes Have Fared on the Screen

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The Avengers are very famous indeed. After the success of their second movie as a team — and the tenth movie to feature any of the members — the Marvel heroes have a presence and profile in our culture like never before. It's a strange new reality to adjust to for those of us who remembers when co-workers, cousins and schoolmates had no knowledge of Iron Man or Black Widow, and perhaps only the vaguest idea about Captain America, and they thought of the Hulk as a sad man named David with flared trousers and a haunting piano theme.

Now millions know these characters and could probably pick them out of a line-up. But the non-comics audience knows slightly different versions of the characters than the ones we might be used to. Sometimes the changes made from page to screen are for the better, sometimes for the worse, and sometimes they're... just different. In the best cases, the movies offer brilliant new takes on the characters that inform and refresh their comic book counterparts. So with that in mind, where does Avengers: Age of Ultron leave the best-known versions of these heroes?

This article contains extensive spoilers for Avengers: Age of Ultron. It's been out for almost two weeks; you should have seen it by now.

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The Evolution of Lois Lane: The Best Lois Lane Stories by Decade

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Many of comics’ most popular heroes have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.

With this feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most beloved characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at Lois Lane.

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

Tracking the Lusty Life of Shelley, John Allison’s Uncompromising Webcomic Star

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Over the course of seventeen real years and three webcomics set in the same locale, John Allison has taken his breakout character Shelley Winters through various incarnations. She’s a hot, saucy dame made up by some strange man on the internet, but is she really as naughty as all that? Join us as we track a lusty life in webcomics; the life of Shelley Winters.

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‘Arrow’ Season 3 Recap, Episode 23: ‘My Name Is Oliver Queen’

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The CW’s superhero series Arrow re-imagines Green Arrow for a TV audience as a tough, often ruthless vigilante bent on setting things right in his home of Starling City by punishing the wicked. ComicsAlliance’s Matt Wilson is here to wrap up the third season of the popular series in our recap feature we’re dubbing Pointed Commentary.

This week: Everything comes to a head in the big finale! Viruses unleashed! Feelings laid bare! Decisions made! Lives ended! Alcoholism pep talked away! Explosions exploded!

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