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Clean Lines And Broken Glass: Why ‘The Batman Adventures’ Is The Best Bat Comic Of The Nineties

The Batman Adventures, DC Comics

Here's something that you already know: Batman: The Animated Series is arguably the single best representation of Batman in the Dark Knight's 75-year history. It boiled down the character to his essentials, creating a beautiful and thrilling version of Batman that was acessible to fans of all ages and still holds up as a high point over twenty years later. Now here's something you might not know: The comic book that was created to go along with the show, The Batman Adventures, was every bit as good as the show.

This week, DC Comics released a collection of the first ten issues by Kelly Puckett, Mike Parobeck, Ty Templeton, Brad Rader, Martin Pasko and Rick Burchett, and that means this is a great time to talk about how that comic is about as close to being perfect, and how it's essential for anyone who wants to read some of the greatest Batman comics ever printed -- including the single best Riddler story ever.

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‘Arrow’ Season 3 Recap, Episode 6: ‘Guilty’

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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: Sidekicks fight back, Wildcat reveals his vigilante past, and another red herring in the season's big murder plot.

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If You Can’t Stand The Heat: Masters & Doyle Deliver With ‘The Kitchen’ [Review]

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Most comics tend to have a high-concept fueling them; some twist which reveals the characters live in a heightened world where readers can’t predict what will happen next. The rules keep changing, and that’s how we define the characters we read. The cast of Fables could have anything happen to them in each issue – their capacity to endure the fantastical is one of their central traits. By contrast, the first issue of Vertigo's new eight-part miniseries The Kitchen is set in a totally real, unfiltered world, where the characters and setting feel authentic and full. The central trait of this series is that is starts from such a relatively unremarkable premise and does so much with it.

From Ollie Masters, Ming Doyle, and Jordie Bellaire, The Kitchen surprises from the concept on. This is kitchen-sink drama, the type Michael Gambon and Julie Walters might’ve appeared in twenty years ago, but with an updated, contemporary sense of space and character. Rather than the typical angry young man, here we have three very angry women. Set in the wilds of Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s, the ice in their hearts and fire in their fists promises that something's eventually going to crack.

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‘The Flash’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 5: ‘Plastique’

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Welcome back to Up To Speed, home of the the Flashest Recaps Alive. Here we’ll recap the episodes, 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 finest hero, Barry Allen: aka the Red Blur, aka The Funky Flashman, aka The Flash.

We had a skip week! I missed you so much! You look great! Did you do something new with your hair? Well, it is working, let me tell you. This week, we’re looking at the fifth episode episode of the first season of The Flash, featuring a woman who is literally the bomb, more than two disastrous heart-to-heart chats, and the wonder that is Clancy Brown. So let’s light the fuse on this week’s episode, “Plastique.”

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Hire This Woman: Artist Marguerite Sauvage

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In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”

Longtime ComicsAlliance fave Marguerite Sauvage had already established herself as a fashion and commercial illustrator with work for companies as varied as Marie Claire, Playstation, and Louis Vuitton, not to mention animation art and writing and drawing comics for the French market. It was only recently that Sauvage made waves in the US with her celebrated work in Sensation Comics, where she reimagined Wonder Woman as a contemporary feminist rock star. Just this week, Sauvage was announced as the artist of a new Thor story to be written by Lumberjanes co-creator Noelle Stevenson.

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Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Recap, Episode 7: ‘The Writing On The Wall’

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After a one-week hiatus, Agents of SHIELD returns with an episode about math. And look, I'm not trying to be mean here, but I understand that an hour earlier in the night, the Flash stripped down to his underoos over on his TV show Shoe. (They use the Arrow naming convention, right?) So Agents of SHIELD really needs to step up its game if it wants to be competitive in the increasingly crowded superhero TV market. Lance Hunter in a Speedo, at the very least.

This week's episode, 'The Writing On The Wall', was directed by Vincent Misiano and written by Craig Titley, and guest stars both Cougar Town's Brian Van Holt and The 4400's Joel Gretsch, who are two handsome grizzled blond men that you probably thought were the same person until this exact moment. Psych. Here's our uniquely formulated "SHLEID" recap.

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Big Hero 6: Are You Satisfied With Your Care? [Post-View]

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The last of 2014's five superhero movies based on Marvel properties arrived in North American theaters this past weekend, and it was unlike anything we've ever seen from the Marvel stable before. Big Hero 6, from directors Don Hall and Chris Williams, is computer animated, aimed at kids, and stars a cast of characters that could leave even people who knew the Guardians Of The Galaxy a year ago scratching their heads and saying, "who?" And it's different in large part because Walt Disney Animation, not Marvel, was the studio behind it.

If you've seen the movie, join Comics Alliance for this spoiler-filled "post-view" look at what worked, what didn't, and why Big Hero 6 might just change the world. If you haven't seen the movie, avoid the spoilers, go see it, and come back.

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Filed Under: , Category: Longform, Marvel, Movies, Opinion, Reviews

The X-Men Episode Guide 5×13: ‘Hidden Agendas’

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The early ’90s were spoiled for choice when it came to comic book adaptations. Not only was Batman: The Animated Series on the air, but X-Men led Marvel’s push to get on the small screen, diving right into the often convoluted continuity of everyone’s favorite mutants, luring in a generation of fans, and paving the way for cartoons to follow. That’s why we’ve set out to review every single episode of the ’90s X-Men animated series.

This week, it's the penultimate episode, which seems like a pretty good time to introduce Cannonball, Husk and Project Wideawake, right? Right.

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Oh Captain My Captain: How Carol Danvers Became Marvel’s Biggest Female Hero

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Fans of Captain Marvel probably won't tire of being reminded that their hero is getting her own movie, scheduled for a July 6th 2018 release. There's no director, no writer, and no star attached, but the movie has a title and a date, and that alone is progress. Superhero fans have been waiting a long time for a Marvel Studios movie with a female lead.

The Captain Marvel movie is due to come out thirteen months after a planned 2017 Wonder Woman movie from Warner Bros, and those two pictures could help usher in a new age for female heroes, if the studios follow through.

The Wonder Woman movie was a long time coming, but she's an obvious choice for Warner Bros; she's the definitive female hero, a brand, and an icon, with more than seventy years of history. By contrast, Captain Marvel has been around in her current incarnation for two years. But there are good reasons why she's Marvel's pick for a leading lady.

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Ask Chris #219: If You Haven’t Read ‘Jack Staff’ What Are You Even Doing With Your Life?

Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: What's the best modern comics run that not enough people have read or talk about? -- @talestoenrage

A: It's a sad fact of the comics industry, but there are a ton of great stories out there that never really get the recognition that they deserve, to the point where every time something new and exciting comes out, I always end up thinking something along the lines of "they better not Thor: The Mighty Avenger this one up." But while there are comics that get canceled too soon and long-running epics like Usagi Yojimbo that never seem to hog the spotlight, there's only one that really comes to mind when I start thinking about the truly buried treasures.

If you want to talk about the absolute best of the best of the under-appreciated comics, then you want to talk about Paul Grist's Jack Staff.

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

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