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Smart, Nice and Sassy: ‘Good Girl’ Role Models Make Boring Heroes

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Girls need role models. This is an old canard, though it’s tempting to see its genesis in 1990s girl power — it’s just that it hasn’t always meant warmed-over Gloria Steinem quotes and the Spice Girls. June Cleaver was a Good Role Model for Girls. The Virgin Mary is a Good Role Model for Girls. Their ranks have swelled with Buffys, Lara Crofts, and Wonder Women, but they stand, toned of arm and glossed of lip, beneath the same banner.

In response to a dearth of women, mainstream comics now turns to the Good Role Model for Girls as a panacea. Spider-Gwen! Spider Woman! Batgirl! Hawkeye! Black Widow! All the women in X-Men! She-Hulk! Even Suzie in Sex Criminals! And oh, how the little girl marooned in 90s comic dungeons within me sang! It’s a new age, I thought; a turning point. The first issues fly by, and I purchase every single one.

And I am bored.

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‘Arrow’ Season 3 Recap, Episode 22: ‘This Is Your Sword’

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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 back for the third season of the popular series in our recap feature we’re officially dubbing Pointed Commentary.

This week: A wedding! A weird one with a lot of violent imagery, sure, but a wedding nonetheless. Also, a ruse is revealed and a mechanic says goodbye.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 2 Recap, Episode 20: ‘Scars’

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This week, the agents and the Descendants are on a collision course; everyone tries to trick, manipulate, and position everyone else; and someone doesn't make it out of the episode in one piece. 'Scars' was directed by Bobby Roth and written by Rafe Judkins & Lauren LeFranc. The episode and this recap contain spoilers for Age of Ultron.

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‘The Flash’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 21, ‘Grodd Lives’

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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 go ape over the pen-penultimate episode of the season: episode 21, "Grodd Lives." It features a giant psychic ape who lives in the sewers and does murders. What else do you want? Hit the jump for our recap.

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Comics Alliance Presents ‘Kate or Die’ in ‘Girl Talk’ or ‘The Bechdel Test vs Age of Ultron’

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Welcome to the latest episode of ComicsAlliance Presents “Kate or Die,” a series of exclusive comic strips created by one of our favorite cartoonists, Kate Leth! In this episode, Kate went to see Avengers: Age of Ultron, and she had some notes. Specifically, she wants to know what's going on with Scarlet Witch and Black Widow?

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Recon:Vergence Week Four: Shazam Vs Red Son Vs DC One Million Vs… Oh, There’s Loads of Them

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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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Ask Chris #238: Why You Should Probably Pick Up Walter Simonson’s ‘Orion’

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Q: How immediately should we should we all be buying the new Orion by Walt Simonson omnibus? -- @atnorwood

A: Every now and then I like to take a swing at a softball question, but this one is just gently wafting over the plate, taking a moment to stop offer me an engraved invitation. So here's the quick answer: Ideally, you should be buying that Orion omnibus right now, if not sooner, maybe going as far as buying it in back issues too so you have something to read while you wait for it to be delivered. As a general rule of thumb, pretty much anything with the words "WALT SIMONSON" written on the cover is something that's going to be worth having on your bookshelf.

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‘Arrow’ Season 3 Recap, Episode 21: ‘Al Sah-him’

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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 back for the third season of the popular series in our recap feature we’re officially dubbing Pointed Commentary.

This week: Ollie appears to have fully transformed into a supervillain (his true destiny), Team Arrow does a lot of worrying, and folks enjoy some wholesome milkshakes.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 2 Recap, Episode 19: ‘The Dirty Half Dozen’

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Welcome back to the ComicsAlliance post-show analysis for Agents of SHIELD, the spy show set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is where we break down each episode using our unique S.H.L.E.I.D. recap system — recapping the show, looking at highlights and lowlights, and exploring the show’s relationship to both the comics and the wider Marvel movie world.

This week: It's Age-of-Ultronts of SHIELD, as the show tries to convince us that it's best buddies with that Avengers movie, its pen-pal from Canada who is really cool you guys. Is Phil Coulson a secret Ultron? Let's find out together. Also in this episode: the most important member of the original team gets hella blown to pieces. 'The Dirty Half Dozen' was directed by Kevin Tancharoen and written by Brent Fletcher & Drew Z. Greenberg.

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‘The Flash’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 20, ‘The Trap’

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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 taking a look at episode 20, titled, "The Trap," and lemme tell you, it is trap-tastic. Revelations! Flashbacks! Lucid dreaming! Reversals! Broken hearts! Grandpa kidnapping! And so much more. Keep reading after the bump for all the trappy, Flashy goodness.

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