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This Magazine Kills Fascists: Living Under A ‘Dark Reign’

Leinil Francis Yu / Marvel Comics
Leinil Francis Yu / Marvel Comics

This Magazine Kills Fascists looks at times that comic books and superheroes have dealt with tyrannical, corrupt and outright fascist world leaders — not because we think we can find a solution, but because art can provide inspiration in the face of oppression.

Today, for absolutely no reason at all, we're going to talk about the time a violent and unqualified businessman was raised up to a position of global importance and how he used it to give his unqualified criminal friends jobs, swindle America and was ultimately brought down by his own fragile ego. Like I said... no reason at all.

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Ask Chris #324: Strong As Iron, Homely As Sin

Ask Chris #325, background art by Jack Sparling

Q: I've always felt like Metamorpho could be a much bigger star, but he's just too ugly. And not like The Thing, who's ugly in universe; Metamorpho is a truly awful design. Are there characters who you think could be better if they didn't look horrendous? — @EvilKeaton

A: Whoa whoa whoa, my dude. It's all well and good to ask a question about good ideas for characters that were held back by bad designs, but you can't just roll up in here and disrespect Rex Mason like this! It's certainly true that he's never quite caught on the way he probably should've for how good his original appearances were, and there are plenty of reasons for that, but to chalk it up to a "truly awful design?" I have to disagree.

It might not be the best design to ever hit the comics page, but that affable ugliness is only part of what makes it work --- not just for the character, but as a visual signifier of one of the most interesting eras in comics.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Ask Chris, DC, Opinion

Filthy Assistance: Revisiting ‘Transmetropolitan: Back on the Street’

FilthyAssistance-BackOnTheS

In the 1990s, the Warren Ellis/Darick Robertson comic series Transmetropolitan foresaw a future full of twisted behavior, renegade politics, and uncontrollable technology. Now that reality seems to have caught up with the adventures of Spider Jerusalem, we at ComicsAlliance are returning to the series and examining what it has to say. Do you need help navigating a political world turned upside down and inside out? We’re here --- with some Filthy Assistance.

This week, we kick the series off with Spider Jerusalem forced by financial distress and contractual obligation to return to the City --- a post-cyberpunk future and an alchemical mix of the ancient and the bleeding edge. He finds a nascent movement in danger of getting its teeth kicked in by authority, attends a religious convention, transforms into a television program, and teaches the president that everything poops.

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You, Me, Dancing: The Impact Of Gillen, McKelvie And Wilson’s ‘Phonogram’ [Music Week]

Jamie McKelvie & Matthew Wilson / Image Comics
Jamie McKelvie & Matthew Wilson / Image Comics

Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson’s Phonogram is a very special comic where music is literally magic and the right song played at the right time can take you to new dimensions or ruin your life forever. There isn’t a single comic that has had as much of an effect on the shape and direction of my life as Phonogram, and as ComicsAlliance celebrates all things music and Phonogram heads into its tenth year, I wanted to talk a bit about how important this book has been over the last decade.

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The Song Is Ending: How ‘Solanin’ Speaks To The Truths Of A Life In Music [Music Week]

solanin-feat

First published in the defunct Weekly Young Sunday magazine, the introspective and shoegazey Solanin by Inio Asano is a slice-of-life seinen (teen/adult male) manga about the role that music can play in a young person's life, and the promises and heartbreak that music can represent.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Manga, Opinion, Viz Media

Strip Panel Naked: Music Notation as Storytelling

musicspn

It's Music Week here at ComicsAlliance, and I wanted to take some time to dive into a very particular relationship between music and comics. Comics obviously are silent, so musical numbers are particularly tough to pull off. Getting the actual sound across, the lyricism, the melody - it's a challenge.

I want to take a look at three examples of music in comics that all use a particular approach with notation. By using the staves of sheet music, and placing notes on the page, these three comics manage to provide an extra depth to their storytelling.

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‘Gotham’ Post-Show Analysis, Season 3, Episode 12: ‘Mad City: Ghosts’

Gotham_S03E12-00

Welcome to Wayne's World, the latest ComicsAlliance TV recap series, jumping right into the middle of the third season of Fox's Gotham, the show about the childhood of Bruce Wayne, and the world of Batman before Batman. Your Gotham guides are Dylan Todd, an old hand at the recap game, but completely new to the show; and Tara Marie, a new recapper, but a dyed-in-the-wool Gotham fan.

In this episode, Gotham returns with a bang. We've got the return of the Joker, Penguin's descent into madness, and Zsasz shooting a bunch of different guns. "Ghosts" was directed by Eagle Eglisson and written by Danny Cannon.

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Hero Factory: Counting Down The Most Anticipated Superhero Movies Of 2017

movies2017

2017 promises to be the biggest year yet for superhero movies, with eight confirmed major studio releases between February and November --- and a still unconfirmed ninth release expected from Fox. Highlights of the year include the first solo superhero movie with a female lead in over ten years, the first Spider-Man movie set in the extended Marvel Cinematic Universe, and an inexplicably gritty reboot of Power Rangers.

There's a lot to look forward to, and a few movies to be skeptical of, so the editors of ComicsAlliance have decided to rank this year's eight confirmed releases in ascending order of excitement. We've tallied our editors' individual votes to arrive at a definitive list of the most (and least) anticipated superhero movies of 2017.

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This Magazine Kills Fascists: ‘Vote Loki’ And The Cult Of Personality

Tradd Moore & Matthew Wilson / Marvel Comics
Tradd Moore & Matthew Wilson / Marvel Comics

In the 2016 Marvel mini-series Vote Loki, readers see what happens when a strong personality with no real beliefs outside of their own narcissism runs for the highest office in the land, and how easily a large portion of the voting public can be swayed into voting for someone based on buzzwords and a perceived common bond.

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Strip Panel Naked: ‘Unstoppable Wasp’ And Dealing With Complicated Layouts

Image Credits: Marvel
Image Credits: Marvel

I love the fun Marvel books, like last week's Unstoppable Wasp. It reminds me why I started reading superhero comics in the first place, and the whole thing is a blast. You can tell the creators --- Jeremy Whitley, Elsa Charretier, Megan Wilson and Joe Caramagna --- are having tonnes of fun, too. It starts to bleed into the way they present the story, with some non-traditional layouts on quite a few pages.

The comics form is often limited to just regular panels, gridded pages and the like, but it's not the only way to draw a story on a page, obviously. So when you see an example like Nadia recounting a story of her father --- Hank Pym --- and it's told through the mask of Ant Man, that stands out. It breaks the normal mold of what you'd expect, and it does a couple of things that help tell a story.

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