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Bob Haney

Give ‘Em Elle: Classic Comics to Help You Escape the World

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Things are messed up right now, so let’s talk about comfort comics. Comics as escapism. There are a lot of current and recent comics that could work for this — All-Star Superman, Lumberjanes, and Squirrel Girl come to mind — but I want to go back a little farther.

Because here’s the cool thing about comics: They all used to be for kids. Which means that a lot of the classic comics, the influential ones that made the medium what it is, are also escapist fun. So when you want to read something that’s going to let you forget your problems and get lost in fantasy, you can also read something that will help you become well versed in comics canon. This is literally how I became who I am today.

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Embracing the Weird: On the Dawn of the Doom Patrol

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On this day in 1963, a new kind of super-team was born. They weren't the clean-cut, respected heroes of the Justice League. They weren't a close-knit family unit like the Fantastic Four. They were a collection of misfits, shunned by the world at large, assembled by a wheelchair-using benefactor to protect the very citizenry that had rejected them. No, not the X-Men — they debuted later that year. We're talking about the Doom Patrol.

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World’s Finest: Five Memorable Supergirl Team-Ups

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This week the fans of DC's TV shows finally get to see the live-action comic book crossover that we've all been waiting for, as Melissa Benoist's Supergirl on CBS gets a visit from a new friend from another reality when The CW's The Flash, played by Grant Gustin, makes his first appearance on her show.

We're beyond excited to see what happens when these two DC heroes team-up on the screen, because it looks like the story could capture all the joy of superheroics that sometimes gets lost in other adaptations of the genre. To mark the occasion, we've put together a list of some of Supergirl's best team-up stories in comics, featuring Egyptian queens, unrequited loves, and many, many Draculas.

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The Evolution of Green Arrow: Best Green Arrow Stories by Decade

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Many of comics’ most popular heroes have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.

With this feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most beloved characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at the best Green Arrow comics.

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Bizarro Back Issues: Kamandi Fights For The Mob! (1979)

Brave and the Bold #157

This week sees the start of DC Comics' big The Multiversity event series, and if the related books on sale over at ComiXology -- ostensibly to get everyone up to speed -- are anything to go by, then that thing's going to be chock full of weirdos. Seriously, I already knew they were going to be throwing Captain Carrot in there, and for some reason people can't get enough of that one story where Batman becomes a Dracula, but there are some deep cuts in there, like that one Chuck Dixon comic where the Justice League are all cowboys, and this weird thing from the '90s called Kingdom Come, where Superman fights Cable.

And then there's Kamandi.

But should Kamandi start crossing over into the main DC Universe, it won't be the first time. For that, you have to go back to Bob Haney and Jim Aparo's Brave and the Bold #157, for a story where Kamandi was sent back in time, and ended up being brainwashed, made invulnerable, poisoned with snake venom, joining up with the mob and punching Batman in the face. It... It's a weird one.

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Bizarro Back Issues: Sure, Plastic Man Can Be Batman, That Shouldn’t Be A Problem (1975)

Brave and the Bold #123, DC Comics

I think I've made it pretty clear over the past few years that I'm something of a connoisseur of strange comic book stories. I love comics where things get weird with that sort of cheerful rejection of all logic, where things don't quite add up, but the truth is, I sometimes get to a point where I think I've seen it all. I start to get jaded, and think that nothing can ever match the weirdness that I've already seen. But every time, I run across a story that makes me realize that in all my years, I've only hit the tip of the iceberg of bizarre stories. And it usually happens when I'm reading a Bob Haney comic.

Case in point: Bob Haney and Jim Aparo's "How To Make A Super-Hero," where the World's Greatest Detective decides it would be a good idea to let a homeless Plastic Man fill in for him while he's out of Gotham City, and guess what? It goes horribly wrong.

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Ask Chris #161: Clash of the Titans

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Q: How much better is the original Teen Titans series than the New Teen Titans? -- @boxofmillipedes

A: You know, Millie, it's funny. New Teen Titans is a book that hits every single checkmark of something I should like. I love teenage superheroes, I'm a sucker for weird team-ups involving goofy combinations like half-demons, half-robots and full-on alien princesses, and Robin and Wally West are two of my all-time favorite characters. Throw those things together in a book by the dude who wrote Tomb of Dracula and the artist who would go on to draw my favorite run of Avengers? That oughtta be a slam dunk, but every single time I read it, it feels like homework.

Folks, it's been thirty years. Maybe it's time we all come together and just admit that New Teen Titans was not that great.

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Blue Blazes! Metamorpho, The Ever-Effervescent Element Man, Is On This Week’s ‘Beware The Batman!’ [Video]

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Ever since that massively eyebrowed miser Simon Stagg showed up on the first episode of Cartoon Network's Beware the Batman, I've been waiting for the show to follow up and introduce Stagg's ever-present nemesis/potential son-in-law, Metamorpho, The Element Man! Now, it seems the wait is over: In this week's episode, Batman goes toe-to-toe with the one and only Rex Mason!

Check out a clip (and learn a little history about the fabulous E-Man) below!

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Bizarro Back Issues: ‘Dastardly Events Aboard The Hellship!’ (1978)

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Bob Haney and Jim Aparo were the single greatest creative team that has ever worked on Batman, and if anyone says differently, they are wrong and dumb and I hate them forever.

That might be a bit of an extreme reaction, but I stand by it...

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Buy This Book: ‘Elseworlds 80-Page Giant’ Gets A Digital Release

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One of the great things about the rise of digital comics is how much potential there is for access to a company's back catalog. With a lower cost that comes from not actually printing and shipping books, it's a lot easier for a company to provide readers with older comics, from classics to books that never really got their chance to shine...

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