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Marvel Unlimited Edition: (G)Roots Of The Guardians Of The Galaxy

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The Marvel Unlimited app is a gigantic, messy cache of awesome and terrible old comic books: a library of 13,000 or so back issues of Marvel titles, available on demand for subscribers with tablets or mobile phones. Like any good back-room longbox, it’s disorganized and riddled with gaps, but it’s also full of forgotten and overlooked jewels, as well as a few stone classics. In Marvel Unlimited Edition, Eisner-winning critic Douglas Wolk dives into the Unlimited archive to find its best, oddest and most intriguing comics.

Two spin-offs of Guardians of the Galaxy launch in recent weeks: The Legendary Star-Lord and the already-surprise-hit Rocket Raccoon. Marvel Unlimited's got a fairly thorough, if not quite complete, selection of most of the Guardians' previous appearances, especially the ones in the Annihilation/Annihilation: Conquest/Annihilators sequence. But their prehistory is worth digging into, too, and there's some choice proto-Guardians material in the archive.

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Here’s The Thing, Episode 13: Where To Start With Jack Kirby [Video]

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If our weekly Ask Chris column isn't enough of definitive comic book (and pro wrestling) opinions for you, good news: ComicsAlliance is proud to present Here's The Thing, a series of videos where you can join our own extremely opinionated senior writer, Chris Sims, as he dives into comics history to explain why you're wrong and he's right.

This week, a viewer writes in with a question about where to start with the King of Comics, Jack Kirby. With a career that spanned six decades and a masterpiece (or three) in every era, the sheer amount of work that Kirby produced can be daunting for a new reader. Fortunately, we've got some suggestions.

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Hollywood Trade Guilds Support Jack Kirby’s Estate In Court Battle With Marvel

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Alex Ross

Three of Hollywood's biggest industry guilds have submitted an amicus brief in support of the Kirby estate in the case of Lisa Kirby V. Marvel Characters. The brief urges the Supreme Court to hear the case, as the guilds believe the outcome will have major implications for the film industry.

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War Rocket Ajax Early Edition: Heroes Con 2014

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Each week, ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims and Matt Wilson host the War Rocket Ajax podcast, their online audio venue for interviews with comics creators, reviews of the books of the week, and whatever else they want to talk about.

This week, you folks are lucky enough to get a full episode a day early! Click on the player above to hear Chris and Matt talk about their experience at this weekend's Heroes Con in Charlotte, North Carolina. They'll talk about all the stuff they bought, how this year's con compared to previous years, a bit about how Special Edition NYC may change the con landscape, rap videos, and much more!

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Kirby V. Marvel May Head To Supreme Court, With Powerful Friends In The Kirby Estate’s Corner

Avengers #151, Jack Kirby
Avengers #151, Jack Kirby

The Supreme Court may take up the case of Lisa Kirby v. Marvel Characters to determine whether or not works produced by Jack Kirby and published by Marvel between 1958 and 1963 were work-for-hire. The case could allow the Kirby estate to terminate Marvel's copyright claims to several of its best-known characters, including Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men.

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‘King Kirby’ Takes The Stage: Fred Van Lente On His New Play About Jack Kirby’s Life [Interview]

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Jack Kirby is considered by many to be the single most influential figure in the development of American comics. He defined the parameters of superhero artwork in the 1940s, he helped invent romance comics in the 1950s, he was one of the primary architects of the Marvel Universe in the 1960s, he brought a sweeping cosmic sensibility to DC in the 1970s, and he played a vital role in the independent publisher boom of the 1980s. Kirby was astoundingly prolific, drawing thousands of pages and covers in a career that spanned seven decades, and created or co-created many of the world's most memorable and popular characters: The Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, the Wasp, Ant-Man, the X-Men, Black Panther, the Silver Surfer, Galactus, the New Gods, Nick Fury, the Avengers, and countless others.

Theatre-goers in New York City will learn about the man behind those iconic creations when the new play King Kirby has its world-premiere engagement as part of the Comic Book Theater Festival in Brooklyn, starting June 20 and running through June 29. We spoke to playwright (and acclaimed comic writer) Fred Van Lente about the roots of the show, and his motivation in adapting Kirby's life for the stage.

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Marvel Unlimited Edition: Ego The Living Planet

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The Marvel Unlimited app is a gigantic, messy cache of awesome and terrible old comic books: a library of 13,000 or so back issues of Marvel titles, available on demand for subscribers with tablets or mobile phones. Like any good back-room longbox, it’s disorganized and riddled with gaps, but it’s also full of forgotten and overlooked jewels, as well as a few stone classics. In Marvel Unlimited Edition, Eisner-winning critic Douglas Wolk dives into the Unlimited archive to find its best, oddest and most intriguing comics.

Ego the Living Planet is one of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's trippier creations: introduced in 1966 in Thor #132, he is literally a planet who is also a dude. With a face. (His first appearance was one of the photo-collages that Kirby was occasionally doing in those days; the gaunt, bearded face that Kirby pasted onto a planet shape was significantly different from most of the characters he designed.) Understandably, it's a little bit hard to do much with a planet-sized character who has to interact with humans, but nearly every artist who's gotten to work with Ego over the years has clearly relished the chance to draw his massive, scowling visage.

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‘Heroes Of The Comics’ Offers Brilliant Drew Friedman Portraits Of Siegel, Shuster, Kirby And More

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, by Drew Friedman

With comics being the visual medium that they are, there's no shortage of pictures of the characters. With the exception of media darling Stan Lee or commercial star Rob Liefeld, however, most comic book creators exist behind a much deeper veil of obscurity -- especially in the Golden Age, when their names were rarely attached to the comics they worked on. When you hear names like Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster or Jack Kirby, you think of the creations rather than the people.

Now, artist Drew Friedman is attempting to change that, at least a little, with Heroes of the Comics, a Fantagraphics hardcover book of portraits of the pioneers of the golden age, from the creators we all love like Siegel and Shuster, above, down to the villains like Bob Kane and Frederic Wertham.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Phantom Of The Paradise, Frozen, Saga, Shirley Manson, Buffy And More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.

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Bizarro Back Issues: Dinosaurs vs. Aliens vs. Ants! (1978)

Devil Dinosaur #5 by Jack Kirby

I think I speak for everyone when I say that the most anticipated new comics release this week is the paperback collection of Jack Kirby's Devil Dinosaur. It's one of my all-time favorite comics, and while there was a nice oversized hardcover put out a while back, it's been out of print for far too long. It's one of the most underrated and exciting comics that the King ever produced, and while it's not exactly hard to find -- most of Kirby's later work is shockingly cheap if you're willing to flip through quarter bins for it -- the convenience of being able to snag it in paperback is a great thing for the world of comics.

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Filed Under: , , , Category: Humor, Longform, Marvel

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