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Buy This Book: ‘Usagi Yojimbo: Senso’ Pits The Rabbit Samurai Against A Martian Invasion

Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Dark Horse Comics

The thing about Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo is that it's been one of the best comics on the stands for over 30 years. It's both fantastic and consistent to the point where I can't think of a bad issue, but when every single installment of a comic is at that high a level of quality, you sort of get used to it. It gets to the point where the stories are as epic and thrilling as they've ever been, but they don't quite surprise you in the way that you want them to, if only because you're expecting them to be that good, and as much as I love Sakai's work, it's been a while since I've actually been surprised by it.

Until I read Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, I mean. Because really, if you want to spice up an exhaustively researched samurai adventure story about a cast of furry animals, it just makes sense to throw a Martian invasion into the mix.

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The Big and The Little Mix In Spencer And Rosanas’ “Ant-Man #1″ [Review]

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This week sees Nick Spencer, Ramon Rosanas, Jordan Boyd and Travis Lanham launch a new book over at Marvel in the shape of Ant-Man. Featuring the Scott Lang version of the size-changing hero, the series is pitched as being about a C-List Avenger trying to turn around his post-Avengers career and get a new job, so he can provide for his daughter, Cassie. He has an upset ex-wife, a crappy apartment, a criminal past, and no hopes – and that's how the series begins.

With this first issue of the new series - which is on sale now - Spencer takes the jokey tone of his Superior Foes of Spider-Man series and downplays things significantly. While Foes was about villains trying to keep a criminal career going, here we have a hero trying to keep a heroic career going. Or, well, any career at all. It's a familiar concept for anybody reading Marvel at the moment, as most of their solo books are about the very same idea, played out in different ways.

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Fur She’s A Jolly Good Fellow: Doreen Delights in ‘The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl’ #1

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The closest thing Marvel has to a pure superhero, the return of Squirrel Girl with a new ongoing series from Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi and Clayton Cowles is very good news indeed. First seen in a classic Steve Ditko story where she canonically proved herself to be stronger than class 100 cyberwizard Doctor Doom and smarter than the +40 intellect of Tony Stark, the character has taken on cultish status over the last few years. The basic idea is: no matter how tough a character says they are, or their fanbase wants them to be, this teenage girl with Squirrel Powers is always going to be tougher.

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Learning And Inspiring In Luke Pearson’s ‘Hilda’ Comics [Review]

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Charming all-ages comics that teach important lessons about gender -- while not actually being about gender at all -- are a unique and powerful thing. Luke Pearson’s Hilda books from Nobrow Press/Flying Eye Books are stories about a young girl named Hilda. She could have been any gender at all within the framework of the plots, but the choice to have a female lead in these stories serves a powerful purpose that extends beyond the page.

The title of the first book in the series, Hildafolk, is a play on the Icelandic huldufólk. Huldufólk are elves in Icelandic mythology thought to live in the rocky landscape: they sometimes had tiny houses built for them by Icelanders. The main character of Hildafolk is a young girl named Hilda who lives in a rocky, mountainous area with her mom and her pet fox-with-antlers, Twig. Quite quickly, Hilda’s world is established with a population of mythical creatures. Hilda is a risk-taker and wants to explore her world; she clearly considers herself an adventurer as well as a documentarian.

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The Best Comic Books Of 2014

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The last twelve months offered comic book readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies, and the return of old favorites to the emergence of exciting new talent. It was a busy and productive year for the industry, and one we’re pleased to celebrate with what we’re certain will be an uncontroversial, unenumerated list of awards that will prompt only resounding agreement and unbroken fellowship amongst our readers in the comments below.

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The Uatu The Watcher Memorial Awards: The Best Comic Books Of 2014, Part Four

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The last twelve months offered comic book readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies, and the return of old favorites to the emergence of exciting new talent. It was a busy and productive year for the industry, and one we’re pleased to celebrate with what we’re certain will be an uncontroversial, unenumerated list of awards that will prompt only resounding agreement and unbroken fellowship amongst our readers in the comments below. Welcome to part four of ComicsAlliance’s Best Comic Books of 2014.

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Filed Under: Category: Lists, Opinion, Reviews

Buy This Book: The IDW ‘Ghostbusters’ Series Builds On A Perfect Foundation [Review]

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Ghostbusters is basically perfect. It's one of those rare films where, with very few exceptions, there's not really any way that it could do what it does any better. As a result, it's easy to think that it could make for a great foundation to build on, especially when you consider that the characters talks about different classifications of ghosts, and the books that lay out all their stats are right there in the movie. There's clearly a rich world in place. Yet it's rare to see Ghostbusters expanded in a way that really works, maybe because the characters are tied so closely to the actors that play the roles, and the chemistry they bring to the film.

But that never stopped me believing that the potential is there, and since the first volume of IDW's Ghostbusters ongoing was on sale at Comixology this week (and I'd had great luck with IDW's TMNT book that I picked up on a similar whim), four bucks was exactly the right price for me to give it a shot. I'm glad I did -- it might not be as perfect as the movie, but it nails the voices of the characters and throws them headfirst into an adventure that's every bit as fun as you want it to be.

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The Gwen Stacy Memorial Awards: The Best Comic Books of 2014, Part Three

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The last twelve months offered comic book readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies, and the return of old favorites to the emergence of exciting new talent. It was a busy and productive year for the industry, and one we’re pleased to celebrate with what we’re certain will be an uncontroversial, unenumerated list of awards that will prompt only resounding agreement and unbroken fellowship amongst our readers in the comments below. Welcome to part three of ComicsAlliance’s Best Comic Books of 2014.

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

Toy Review: DC Collectibles Greg Capullo Batman Designer Series, Wave 3

DC Collectibles Designer Series Greg Capullo Batman

If there's one thing DC loves, it's putting out a new Batman figure seemingly every week. This year has been a big one for the Bat, what with it being the character's 75th anniversary and all, and DC Collectibles has been celebrating the milestone with plenty of Bat-themed figures and toys all year.

One of the most consistently impressive series, the Greg Capullo Batman Designer Series, has been chock full of rock solid Batman figures all year. This latest wave of DC Collectibles' Greg Capullo Batman Designer Series is probably the strongest yet, and that's no easy task considering just how strong the collection has been since it started.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Opinion, Reviews, Toys

The Archie Andrews Memorial Awards: The Best Comic Books Of 2014, Part Two

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The last twelve months offered comic book readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies, and the return of old favorites to the emergence of exciting new talent. It was a busy and productive year for the industry, and one we’re pleased to celebrate with what we’re certain will be an uncontroversial, unenumerated list of awards that will prompt only resounding agreement and unbroken fellowship amongst our readers in the comments below. Welcome to part two of ComicsAlliance’s Best Comic Books of 2014.

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Filed Under: Category: Longform, Opinion, Reviews

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