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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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DC Comics

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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The Complete Batgirl and Supergirl Christmas Comics By Mike Maihack

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I'm going to go out on a festively decorated limb here and guess that you are, of course, already familiar with Mike Maihack's fantastic and adorable Batgirl/Supergirl strips. He's been doing them for a few years now, chronicling the perky, cheerful Kryptonian heroine, the slightly grumpier Gotham City vigilante, and their continuing adventures as best friends.

They're all pretty great, but my favorites by far are the annual Christmas specials. This year, though, they're even more special than usual, as Batgirl and Supergirl are joined by a special guest star for an evening of caroling in exchange for candy. It's a Christmas Miracle!

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The Top Five ‘Teen Titans Go’ Guest Stars

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This week, we're turning our attention to the only incarnation of the Teen Titans that matters: Teen Titans Go, which has shown us an ideal version of the DC Universe where the heroes are mostly preoccupied with burritos and where Batman bros down with Commissioner Gordon instead of fighting any actual crime. But who are the best guest stars? Watch and see!

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On Imperfect Allies, And Why ‘Batgirl’ Still Deserves Our Support

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On Monday I reported on the controversy surrounding the most recent issue of Batgirl, issue #37, and the hurt it caused readers with the presentation of a character who played into transphobic tropes. On Tuesday we ran a piece by activist J. Skyler that further placed the story in the broader cultural context of transphobic media. In both cases, our hope was to showcase and respect the opinions of the critics and put their voices ahead of those of the authors or any defensive fans. These are critics who are often marginalized and shouted down; what they had to say about this controversy is important and must be recognized and listened to.

As I also mentioned on Monday, Batgirl is a book at the vanguard of a movement towards genre stories for young, progressive, predominantly female readers -- a more modern and diverse readership than the one traditionally associated with the superhero genre. Because of this, and because the creators apologized for their mistakes, I think Batgirl still deserves support. Issue #37 damaged the book's image and reputation, but it remains one of the best and most important superhero books being published today.

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Batgirl And The Perpetual State Of Transphobia In Media

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In my online discussions of transgender representation in media, I’ve mentioned that I expect a degree of transphobia is every medium I read, watch or listen to. That’s simply how pervasive the problem is -- and it may take the form of a joke, an off-the-cuff remark, or a non-essential character created intentionally or unintentionally to perpetuate stereotypes about gender variance or utilizing gender variance to underline said character’s psychosis.

It’s with a heavy heart I’m forced to discuss this long-standing media trope within the context of Batgirl, the one area of geek life I considered to be a safe-zone. Within the pages of Batgirl #37 we come across an impostor posing as Batgirl who ultimately plans to kill her in order to assume her identity. As you might imagine, my eyes nearly rolled into the back of my head, accompanied by an aggravated sigh, when the would-be murderer was revealed to be an individual assigned male at birth.

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