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Fantastic Five: Best Batman Team-Ups

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If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years on the Internet, it’s that there’s no aspect of comics that can’t be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there’s no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we’re taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Five lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.

This week the bats are out of the belfry as we look at five of Batman’s greatest team-ups!

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Twenty-Four Years Ago Today: The Start Of The Image Comics Revolution

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At the dawn of 1992, comic books were booming. Tim Burton's Batman had kicked off a new wave of big-budget film adaptations. Superhero products could be found in nearly every aisle of every department store and supermarket. New comic shops were springing up in shopping centers and malls, publishers were seeing their highest sales figures in years, and new companies were making names for themselves as serious players. And Marvel Comics was the unquestioned big fish in the pool, with their stock booming in the six short months since they'd gone public, and an unparalleled creative stable.

But big changes were afoot. In December of 1991, Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, and Jim Lee, Marvel's three biggest artists, informed publisher Terry Stewart that the company's policies toward talent were unfair, that creators were not being appropriately rewarded for their work, and that they were leaving, effective immediately. In the month thereafter, they joined forces with a few more like-minded artists from Marvel's top-selling titles, worked out a deal with small publisher Malibu Comics for production and distribution, and decided on the title for their new company --- recycling a name that Liefeld had originally intended for an aborted self-publishing venture. On February 1st, 1992, a press release was sent out announcing the formation of Image Comics.

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Fantastic Five: Best Spider-Man Team-Ups

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If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years on the Internet, it’s that there’s no aspect of comics that can’t be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there’s no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we’re taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Five lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.

Everyone loves Spider-Man, and since almost everything that happens in the Marvel Universe happens in New York City, it’s no surprise that Marvel’s most popular web-slinging New Yorker has run into basically every Marvel character at one point or another. But this week, we’re not just looking for some random time Spidey and Daredevil stopped a bank robbery and got hot dogs. We’re talking about the kind of crossovers that are so colossal or crazy that they only come around once in a great while.

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Best Cosplay Ever (This Week): Medusa, Rat Queens, Martian Manhunter, 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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Hire This Woman: Artist Alison Sampson

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In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”

Architect and artist Alison Sampson is relatively new to the world of comics, but has done work for both IDW Publishing and Image. In addition to her Image one-shot Genesis with writer Nathan Edmondson (on sale this week), Sampson is also working on the comic Winnebago Graveyard with writer Steve Niles for Black Mask.

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Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week): Yasmin Liang, Roc Upchurch and Sara Pichelli

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The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character — not to mention artistic skill — but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.

It is this special nature of comic books that we’re celebrating in the recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).

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The Ed Brubaker ‘Captain America’ Exit Interview

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With the release of Captain America #19, drawn and colored by his former partners-in-crime Steve Epting and Frank D'Armata, Ed Brubaker wrapped up an eight year run on Captain America, having shepherded the character and series through a small fistful of different incarnations and titles...

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Image Announces New Series From Rucka, Fraction, Casey, DeConnick, Chaykin and More [SDCC]

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Comic-Con 2012 has featured a few big announcements from several publishers. Not to be outdone, Image dropped a few of their own. At their panel on Saturday, Editor-in-Chief EricStephenson was joined on stage by Matt Fraction, Joe Casey, Darick Robertson, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Howard Chaykin, Chris Roberson, James Robinson and Greg Rucka, each of whom will be doing new projects for the publisher in the coming year

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‘The Walking Dead Game Episode One: A New Day’ is Pretty Killer [Review]

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Let's get one thing out of the way for those who expected the worst out of a licensed The Walking Dead video game -- it's not a mindless zombie killing simulator. Far from that, the game is arguably a better adaptation of Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard's hit post-apocalyptic comic than AMC's TV series...

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Paul Grist Introduces Your New Favorite Superhero In ‘Mudman’ #1 [Review]

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I will buy literally any comic that Paul Grist cares to produce. That's not an exaggeration: If he wants to do Doctor Who comics? Sign me up. If he has an eight-page backup story in a comic book I don't read...

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