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The Multiversity Annotations, Part 4: Not The Peace of the Grave or the Security of the Slave

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The fourth issue of the series, Pax Americana with art by Frank Quitely, colors by Nathan Fairbairn and letters by Rob Leigh, is probably the most widely anticipated of the series, and certainly the most-hyped. It's Morrison's attempt to update and revise the structure of Watchmen, but applied to the original Charlton characters, as that Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons work was originally intended to in its first pitch. While Watchmen followed a strict nine-panel grid structure (some panels would be bisected or extended, but that was the general latticework on which everything hung), Pax Americana goes for eight, resembling not only harmonic octaves of music and colors of the rainbow that make up much of the multiversal structure Morrison is working with but also the "Algorithm 8" that allows President Harley to perceive the underpinning structure of the universe and use it to his advantage. That algorithm is, of course, the eight-panel grid (and the 8-shape made by one's eyes while reading the page) that forms the comic book universe he lives in.

The book moves backwards in eight color-coded sections, which I'll denote, that correspond to the evolutionary stages of humanity/a single person espoused by Don Beck and Chris Cowan's spiral dynamics, or, more specifically, Ken Wilber's later integral theory, which incorporated it. I'd never heard of it before this book, and from all research I've done there's a reason for that; it seems to be widely accepted as bunk pseudoscience by any academic institution, which makes it a perfect evolution of the original Question and Rorschach's stark black-and-white Randian Objectivism, while also tying into not only Pax's obsession with the number eight but its role in the Multiversity series as a whole, both due to the nature of music in octaves which makes up the structure of the DC multiverse as well as the colors of the rainbow that form the Source Wall.

This is a long one, so with no further ado...

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‘The Flash’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 9: ‘The Man in the Yellow Suit’

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Welcome back to Up To Speed, home of the the Flashest Recaps Alive. Here we’ll recap the episode, 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 Central City’s (apparently, second-)fastest man, Barry Allen, more widely known as The Flash.

This week, we’re looking at the ninth episode episode of the first season and the mid-season finale, “The Man In the Yellow Suit,” which features the return of a meta-emo Ronnie Raymond, lots of Chrimbus cheer, and, well, a Man In A Yellow Suit.

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A Great Lost Artist And His Unsung Masterpiece: Edvin Biukovic And ‘Devils & Deaths’

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Comic artist Edvin Biukovic died fifteen years ago this month at just 30 years old. His death was obviously a terrible loss to those who knew and loved him. It was also a terrible loss to the comic industry; Biukovic never received the level of lasting acclaim or recognition that his talent deserved, and produced relatively few works. Yet he was one of the finest comic artists of his generation.

Biukovic published several works in his native Croatia that have sadly never been translated. His finished English-language works include a couple of Star Wars stories published at Dark Horse, and the first of Peter Milligan's Human Target stories for Vertigo. One work stands as his masterpiece; Devils And Deaths, written by his long-time friend and collaborator Darko Macan, and published by Dark Horse, is a science fiction story about a country torn apart by ancient grudges and tribal conflicts, and of the desperate people trying to eke out a purpose in the midst of war.

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You Must Pre-Order The Hell Out Of ‘Lady Killer’ #1 By Joelle Jones & Jamie S. Rich [Preview]

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Josie is a young housewife living post-war America. She sells makeup door-to-door, she takes care of her twin kids and the family dog, she makes dinner for her husband, and she suffers her endlessly disapproving mother-in-law. That is, when she's not murdering people in astonishingly violent ways.

Josie's a highly trained assassin, and the paradox that is her life comes courtesy of cartoonist Joélle Jones and co-writer Jamie S. Rich, whose new Dark Horse series Lady Killer invites readers into a weirdly alluring story that follows a grand tradition of subverting Americana, but with a uniquely wicked, black comedy twist and what Josie might even say is a woman's touch.

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Ask Chris #223: Prepare For Trouble, And Make It Double

Ask Chris #223 art by Erica Henderson

Q: Why aren’t there more heroic duos or “tag teams?” -- @awa64

A: Friend, I don't usually like to start off these columns by specifically denying the premise of the question, but there are a lot of heroic duos in the world of superhero comics. I mean, even if we're just limiting ourselves to the most famous superheroes out there, the top of that list is going to include both the World's Finest and the Dynamic Duo, and you don't have to look much harder to find other pairings further down the list.

Unless, of course, you're specifically asking why there aren't more actual pro wrestling tag teams that have taken up crime-fighting when they're not busy in the ring, in which case I have no idea, but rest assured that is something I want to see.

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‘Hellboy And The B.P.R.D.: 1952′ Takes Hellboy On An Awesome First Mission [Review]

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Hey, have you folks heard about this Hellboy character? It's okay if you haven't -- there's a big #1 on the cover of this comic I just read, so I assume he's pretty new. Trust me, though, he's a character you're going to want to watch, because despite a name that seems pretty lousy the first time you hear it, this is pretty good stuff.

Seriously, though, as much as I love Hellboy and the world of the BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense), I'll admit that I haven't been keeping up with the ongoing adventures over the past few years. I'm sure they're good -- I'm sure they're great, because it's rare that Hellboy isn't, and Hellboy In Hell is viewed very favorably here at ComicsAlliance -- but it's one of those situations where I've fallen behind and it's at the point where there's so much I've missed that it's hard to get back into it.

And that's exactly why I was looking forward to Hellboy and the BPRD: 1952. On sale now, it tells the story of Hellboy's first assignment with the BPRD, which makes it the perfect jumping-on (or in my case, jumping-back-in) point, and not only is it ridiculously good, but it feels fresh and new in a way that's almost impossible for a 20 year-old franchise to pull off.

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Ron Wimberly’s ‘Blade’ Is The Pitch We Want To See Green-Lit In 2015

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One of the things I've never been able to understand about comics is why Blade has never been able to hold down an ongoing series. I mean, he the character who provided Marvel with its first-ever big-screen success, but he's a badass who chops up draculas with katanas, and really, that should be the easiest formula to sell to anyone. And yet, it hasn't happened, despite multiple attempts since the first Blade movie became a hit in 1998.

Maybe it's because they haven't given Ron Wimberly a shot yet.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Art, Marvel, Opinion

‘Arrow’ Season 3 Recap, Episode 8: ‘The Brave & The Bold’

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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 Flash recapper Dylan Todd steps in for one crossover episode of our Arrow recap series, Pointed Commentary.

This week: It's a CROSSOOOOVER, as Starling City gets all Flashed up, Captain Boomerang comes sailing back, and Ollie gets called a "jerkwad."

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Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Recap, Episode 9: ‘… Ye Who Enter Here’

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My colleagues Dylan and Matt get to trade their recap shows for a crossover this week, with Matt doing Flash and Dylan doing Arrow. I offered to let them do Agents of SHIELD instead -- we'll fake a crossover, we have Photoshop! -- but they demurred. So it's still me, folks. This show may be better than it was last year, but 'better' is a relative term, and the stink of a toxic reputation is tough to shake.

But with the Agents of SHIELD winter final just a week away -- and the show going on hiatus until about March to make way for Agent Carter -- the show is actually edging ever closer to actual revelations, with one nerd name-bomb dropped this episode, and Mack finally given something to do! Which turns out to be both good news and bad. 'Ye Who Enter Here' was directed by Billy Gierhart and written by Paul Zbyszewski

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‘The Flash’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 8: ‘Flash Vs. Arrow’

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the latest episode of The Flash, but this week we're doing something a little different. This is the week the show crosses over with Arrow, so our usual Pointed Commentary recapper, Matt Wilson, will take a look at this one emerald archer style!

This week, Barry gets possessed by the underwhelming powers of the Rainbow Raider, Arrow shows up and is as big a jerk as ever, and the dialogue gets meta as all get out.

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