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Image Expo: 12 Auspicious Announcements And The State Of The American Comics Union

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In the final few hours before San Diego Comic-Con opened its doors to the public for Preview Night on Wednesday, Image Comics Expo took place in an upstairs ballroom at the nearby San Diego Bayfront Hilton, where the publisher welcomed a group of press, creators, and fans to watch as the company announced, discussed and otherwise promote a great variety of upcoming Image titles.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): New-Look Batgirl Fan Art Edition

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It's always nice to have a good news day in comics -- and DC probably agrees after the rapturous reception to yesterday's announcement of the new direction for Batgirl from the new creative team of Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, Jordie Bellaire, and new discovery Babs Tarr (who we've been telling you about for aaages).

Judging by all the Batgirl fan-art produced since yesterday's announcement, we feel sure there's a big appetite out there for a Batgirl comic deliberately designed to appeal to a female and family audience -- and for Batgirl's smartly designed and stylish new costume. With credit to Batgirl fan ComixBookGurl for her Twitter call-to-action, we collected all the new Batgirl fan art we could find in order to celebrate what may be the best Batgirl... ever?

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Doyle & Masters’ ‘The Kitchen’ Cooks Up A Crime-Infested 1970s New York

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Comics fans are likely to at least have some familiarity with New York City's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood as a setting for crime stories -- the area provides a location for many of Marvel's Daredevil comics. In reality, the area has been substantially gentrified since the early 1990s -- and Daredevil doesn't really live there.

That's why artist Ming Doyle (Mara) and writer and comics newcomer Ollie Masters are taking things back to the 1970s for their eight-issue Vertigo Comics series The Kitchen, when the neighborhood was still under-developed and plagued by crime. The series follows the lives of three mob wives whose husbands get shipped off to prison, leaving them to take up the family business. Check out covers, preview art, and a video interview with editor Will Dennis.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Deadwood, Maleficent, Game of Thrones, Samurai Jack, Nausicaa 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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Best Art Ever (This Week): Akira, Princess Zelda, Starman, True Detective, Hannibal 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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War Rocket Ajax Early Edition: Futures End #1, Rat Queens #6, and Moon Knight #3

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This week, Chris and Matt are talking at length about Futures End #1 by Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens, Jeff Lemire and Patrick Zircher, which continues the killing trend set off by the Free Comic Book Day #0 issue. Then they talk about Rat Queens #6 by Kurtis Wiebe and Roc Upchurch and Moon Knight #3 by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire!

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11 Of The Best Stories From DC Digital’s ‘Adventures of Superman’ Anthology

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With the wrap-up of writer Joe Keatinge's multi-artist "Strange Visitor" epic in Adventures of Superman last week, the series is nearing a full year of weekly, digital Superman stories. It's easily been the best, most daring Superman title DC Comics has been publishing in 2013 and 2014 (and not just because Superman gets to wear his real costume in it). Edited by Alex Antone,  Adventures of Superman invites creators from all strata of comics to put their own stamps on Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's original American superhero, free from the aesthetic constraints of the publisher's main line of New 52 comics and continuity. We like it so much, Adventures of Superman ended up on our list of the best comic books published in 2013.

We thought it would be a good idea to look back at the series so far, so I've compiled the following list of stories that readers unfamiliar with the series should go back and catch up with if they want the high points of the past year. At a dollar a pop, they're all well worth it.

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Finding Identity in Warren Ellis & Declan Shalvey’s ‘Moon Knight’ #1[Review]

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Moon Knight is an oddball in a comics universe peppered with oddballs. A former mercenary brought back from the dead by an Egyptian god to serve as his "fist" of retribution, MK's origin offers a peculiar mix of brutality, insanity, and fantasy.

Those elements have been fundamental to Moon Knight since he first appeared in Werewolf by Night in 1975, created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin. Yet in the hands of successive creative teams these elements have come together in ways that muddy the character, leaving both him and the readers confused about who he is. Now it falls to the new creative team of Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey to make it all make sense in Moon Knight #1, on sale this week from Marvel.

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Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): January 2014

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Mutants, monsters and warriors adorn our pick of the best covers of January 2014 as Best Comic Book Covers Ever returns. Check out amazing work from Kris Anka and Jared K. Fletcher, Darwyn Cooke, Wes Craig, Rafael Albuequerque and more. We'll even throw in an explosion. Boom! (That wasn't the explosion. We're just excited.)

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Parker, Shaner And Bellaire Team For ‘Flash Gordon’ #1 At Dynamite

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Ever since Dynamite Entertainment picked up the rights to Flash Gordon from King Features in 2010, the publisher's been rolling out bigger and bigger plans for the Earthling's adventures on the planet Mongo. Following his tenure on the Kings Watch crossover between Flash (ah-ahhhhh), The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician, Jeff Parker is returning to the King of the Impossible for Flash Gordon #1 with artist Evan "Doc" Shaner (Adventures of Superman, Deadpool) and colorist Jordie Bellaire (Pretty Deadly).

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