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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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Best Cosplay Ever (This Week): Star-Lord, Red Sonja, Rogue, Wonder Woman, and More

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Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions.

In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.

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DC Teams with Toy and Apparel Brands for ‘DC Super Hero Girls’

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In the latest sign that publishers are waking up to the idea that young readers and women represent the future of the comic book industry, DC Comics has announced a new initiative in partnership with Mattel, Lego, and other brands, which focuses entirely on superhero products for an audience of young women; DC Super Hero Girls.

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Adam Hughes Looks Back on His Famous ‘Real Power of the DC Universe’ Poster [Interview]

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It's inspired cosplayers and artists alike, and hangs in pride of place on many comic fans' walls, yet Adam Hughes' Real Power of the DC Universe poster was originally just a giveaway at San Diego Comic-Con back in 2008. Recreating a high glamour photo shoot with DC's biggest female heroes (and anti-heroes), including Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Power Girl, Supergirl, Batwoman, and Oracle, the poster is both a great piece of work and a wonderful tribute to these powerful characters.

The poster has become a truly iconic image over the past few years, so we reached out to Hughes to find out the story behind its creation, and to learn about the choices he made --- including why Catwoman is in a black dress!

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The ‘Vocal Minority’ And Artistic Integrity In Comics

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Things got interesting over the past few days for comics folks who keep their ear to online skirmishes over how welcoming comics is or isn't --- and how welcoming comics should be in the first place. Between the new Killing Joke-inspired and tonally jarring cover to Batgirl #41 (which was just pulled at artist Rafael Albuquerque's request, and in line with the creative team's wishes) and Erik Larsen going on a Twitter rant about comics pandering to a "vocal minority" that in his mind wanted superheroines covered up, it would be easy for readers interested in the new world order of "comics for everyone" to feel discouraged. After all, if some of the decision-makers at DC and one of the owners of Image Comics don't get it, how can we expect everyone else to get it? The answer is easy: we move on without them.

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The Great Super-Costume Poll: Bat Pals

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Costume design is one of the great strengths of the superhero genre, a way to establish distinctive visual shorthand for a character and reveal key details about concept, purpose, and personality. But which is the best superhero costume of all time? This month, we’re asking you to decide, by voting up your favorites and voting down the rest. When we have your votes, we’ll compile a list of the greatest super-costumes of all time.

In today's poll we look at some of costumes worn by the members of notorious loner Batman's extended bat-family, including the recently revamped Burnside take on Batgirl, the original Robin design first worn by Dick Grayson, and the same character's much later Nightwing costume.We haven't included the Nightwing costume with the fringe, as we're pretty sure that costume isn't going to win any polls.

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Alisa Kwitney Brings Stephanie Brown Back as Batgirl for ‘Convergence’ [Interview]

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DC's big Convergence event seems set to bring back a lot of familiar faces, with solicitations teasing new stories featuring characters ranging from Ryan Choi through to the married Clark Kent and Lois Lane. But more than anyone else, it's the return of a certain blonde Batgirl that really got people talking.

After recently showing up in Batman: Eternal under her guise as Spoiler, this April sees the return of Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, for a two-part story from the creative team of Alisa Kwitney, Rick Leonardi, and Mark Pennington. Trapped under one of Brainiac's domes as part of Convergence, the two-parter sees Stephanie, Cassandra Cain and Tim Drake join forces to protect Gotham from -- what else? -- a giant rampaging gorilla. Gorilla Grodd, no less. And Catman's there too! With so much going on in just two issues, we spoke to Kwitney about what we can expect from Stephanie Brown's return this April.

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TNT ‘Titans’ TV Series: Changes to Classic DC Lineup Revealed?

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It’s been some time since we’ve heard anything on the development of TNT’s proposed Titans series, based on the DC Comics Teen Titans, but at last pilot casting may have begun. That said, the leaked lineup for the pilot script may tease some major changes to the comic team, as well as some surprising Batman inclusions.

Take this with a grain of salt for the moment, as pilots are often subject to change, but Nerdist claims to have gotten an early look at the Titans pilot script, which in addition to the expected inclusions of Dick Grayson, Raven and Starfire (the latter two are teased at the very end), also features several notable new members. For one. a wheelchair-using Barbara Gordon will act as support for the team (not yet calling herself Oracle), while other members include DC heroes Hawk and Dove, in this continuity a male-female pairing, and lovers at that.

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Exclusive: Mark Doyle And Bob Harras Discuss Plans For Doyle’s Second Year As Batman Group Editor [Interview]

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Batman's 75th anniversary came during an incredibly eventful year for the Caped Crusader, and not just in terms of celebratory publications and commemorative events.

After former Vertigo editor Mark Doyle took over as Batman group editor in February, things changed, and not just for Batman himself. Supporting characters such as Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon shifted into new roles. The world of Gotham expanded with books that focused on unexplored corners, like the GCPD's supernatural unit, or the city's mysterious prep school. Even the mainline Batman titles, Batman and Detective Comics, told bold stories that weren't typical Batman fare. Creators pushed into new territory and took chances with their books, and as a result the Batman line looks much different than it did at the beginning of 2014.

Mark Doyle deserves the credit for steering the line and bringing in the creators who made these changes. Comics Alliance sat down with Doyle and DC Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras to look back on Doyle's first year as Batman group editor, and to look ahead to 2015, as DC relocates to new offices in Burbank, California.

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12 Facts You Might Not Know About Batman

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As you might expect, there is nothing that upsets CA's resident Batmanologist more than someone being wrong about Batman on the Internet -- truly the greatest of sins -- so this week, we're tackling a handful of misconceptions about the Dark Knight! Does Batman really only use his money to beat up crooks without addressing the root causes of crime? Watch and find out!

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