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Jack Kirby

The Birth of the Marvel Machine: The Day the Avengers and X-Men Debuted

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On July 2nd 1963, the first issues of two different series hit newsstands, and launched franchises that would some day be recognizable to the entire world: The Avengers and The X-Men, the teams that would truly tie everything together and serve as the cornerstones of the Marvel Universe.

One of these books brought together the company's mightiest heroes; the other featured all-new characters and introduced the idea of mutants battling to save a world that hates and fears them.

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Gallery: Best Black Panther Art Ever

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This week's rumors that Selma director Ava DuVernay had signed on to direct a Black Panther movie were a bit premature (though talks apparently continue), but the excitement that surrounded the news confirmed one thing: People really want to see Wakandan King T'Challa on the big screen, and they want to see him done right.

Here's some of the best art featuring T'Challa from the past five decades, from Kirby, Denys Cowan and John Buscema, to Francesco Francavilla, Olivier Coipel, and the best fan art around.

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Capes and The Divine in Jack Kirby’s Costume Designs

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One of the noticeable differences between DC and Marvel is the number of prominent superheroes that wear capes. Compare any group shot of any number of Marvel superheroes to any group shot of DC superheroes and chances are good that there will be more capes on the DC side. There's a litany of reasons why this could have taken root in the intrinsic creative works of both companies, but one of the strongest is the role of one artist and creator in the building and evolution of both publishers into what we know of them today: Jack Kirby.

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Jason Fabok Redesigns Mister Miracle For DC’s Upcoming ‘Darkseid War’

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If you've been keeping up with DC's Justice League, then you probably already know that we're barreling towards the book's next big event, "Darkseid War." Set to launch in the next issue, the storyline features characters from Jack Kirby's Fourth World Saga taking on the Anti-Monitor, and while one also assumes that the actual Justice League will also be in somewhere, we now know at least one of the characters who's going to be involved: Mister Miracle, sporting a brand new costume design from artist Jason Fabok.

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Ask Chris #239: Can Darkseid Really Be The Ultimate Bad Guy Of The DC Universe?

Ask Chris #239, art by Jack Kirby

Q: Do you think Darkseid deserves to be considered the ultimate bad guy of the DC Universe? What are his achievements? -- @Lionel_Leal

A: I don't want to turn this into "Ask Chris About Jack Kirby's Fourth World" --- as opposed to my usual strategy of spending an entire week talking about the moral significance of Batman's utility belt or whatever --- but over the last few years, Darkseid has been a more prominent fixture of the DC Universe than any other time in his forty-year history. I think it probably started with how he was treated on Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League, but just in the past three years we've seen him as the villain that launched the New 52, and the villain who's probably going to show up in a movie about the Justice League at some point. So with all due respect, LL, it's not really a matter of "Darkseid deserves."

Darkseid is.

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Ask Chris #238: Why You Should Probably Pick Up Walter Simonson’s ‘Orion’

Ask Chris #238 - Walter Simonson's Orion

Q: How immediately should we should we all be buying the new Orion by Walt Simonson omnibus? -- @atnorwood

A: Every now and then I like to take a swing at a softball question, but this one is just gently wafting over the plate, taking a moment to stop offer me an engraved invitation. So here's the quick answer: Ideally, you should be buying that Orion omnibus right now, if not sooner, maybe going as far as buying it in back issues too so you have something to read while you wait for it to be delivered. As a general rule of thumb, pretty much anything with the words "WALT SIMONSON" written on the cover is something that's going to be worth having on your bookshelf.

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Recon:Vergence Week Three: Pre-Crisis Earth Vs Tangent Universe Vs Kamandi Vs Vampire People

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Welcome to Recon:Vergence, a weekly look at what’s going on throughout DC’s new reality-smooshing event storyline, Convergence.

Every week until the end of the event, every comic DC publishes will be a part of this giant storyline – and it’s a little confusing, especially for new readers. To help out, we’re going to provide a timeline of events, let you know which Universes are still in the fight, and try and keep everything on track

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Thumbnail: Medusa has the Most Amazing Hair in Comics

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Hair often plays a defining role in the presentation of female characters in superhero comics, from Jean Grey’s foreshadowing flame-red hair, to Storm’s hair-centric transformation into a street-fighting badass. In this is probably because women are expected to have more hair options; it may also owe something to how these characters are often designed to look like supermodels, with very similar facial design, so that their hair is the easiest way to tell them apart. Put Emma Frost and Dazzler in the same costume (as Chris Bachalo has done) and you may have no idea who's who.

This can be a little problematic, but it actually also gives Marvel a strange way to set its prospective next big-budget franchise apart --- because if there's one thing Jack Kirby taught us, it's that Medusa, Queen of the Inhumans, has amazing hair.

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The Great Super-Costume Poll: The 1970s Called…

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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.

This week we're looking at some quintessential costume designs decade-by-decade. Today it's five costumes from the 1970s. While Jack Kirby was creating his own unique and peculiar gods for distant worlds, other artists created street-level heroes inspired by contemporary culture. But were any of these costumes designed in ways that still look great today?

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The Great Super-Costume Poll: The 1960s Called…

supercostumes11

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.

This week we're looking at some quintessential costume designs decade-by-decade, starting with five costumes from the 1960s; the era of the Jean Grey mini dress and the Creeper's flowing mane. These costumes are products of their time, but are they dated, or are they classic?

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