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Karl Kesel

Electric Bluegaloo, Act Two: Civil War In Kandor

Electric Bluegaloo, background art by Stuart Immonen

Of all the strange transformations Superman has undergone in his 78-year history, none has been quite so derided as the year where his familiar costume and powers were replaced with a blue and white "containment suit" and a tenuous relationship with electricity. But that raises the question, was it really all that bad? Two decades later, we want to find out, so ComicsAlliance is taking a look back at the Electric Blue Era of Superman to find out not just what worked, but if anything worked. This is... Electric Bluegaloo.

This week, we look at the fan reaction in the letter columns, Booster Gold gets a new costume with a lot less fanfare, and Superman heads to the Bottle City of Kandor alongside the Atom!

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Electric Bluegaloo, Act One: Superman… Reborn!

Superman art by Stuart Immonen

Of all the strange transformations Superman has undergone in his 78-year history, none has been quite so derided as the year where his familiar costume and powers were replaced with a blue and white "containment suit" and a tenuous relationship with electricity. But that raises the question, was it really all that bad? Two decades later, we want to find out, so ComicsAlliance is taking a look back at the Electric Blue Era of Superman to find out not just what worked, but if anything worked. This is... Electric Bluegaloo.

This week, Superman's new costume makes its debut, and Metropolis almost gets nuked. Again.

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Ewing, Palo And Kesel Explore The Newest Inhuman’s Origin In ‘Civil War II: Ulysses’

Ulysses-Featured

This week saw the release of Marvel's Civil War II prelude as part of the publisher's Free Comic Book Day offering, and for such a short story it packed a heck of a lot in. One of those story beats was the introduction of a new Inhuman named Ulysses who can see into the future, and who will be the driving macguffin of the event as lines are drawn based on whether or not heroes should use him to stop crimes before they happen.

To provide context on who Ulysses is, who he was before, and his relationship with the Inhumans, Marvel has announced a three-part digital-first series titled Civil War II: Ulysses by Al Ewing and Karl Kesel, which promises to show how the new character found his place among the Inhumans and became so sought after by the heroes of the Marvel Universe.

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Electric Bluegaloo: Comics Alliance’s Critical Re-Examination Of Superman’s ‘Electric Blue’ Year

Electric Bluegaloo Prelude: Power Shift

Of all the strange transformations Superman has undergone in his 78-year history, none has been quite so derided as the year where his familiar costume and powers were replaced with a blue and white "containment suit" and a tenuous relationship with electricity. But that raises the questio, was it really all that bad? Two decades later, we want to find out, so ComicsAlliance is taking a look back at the Electric Blue Era of Superman to find out not just what worked, but if anything worked. This is... Electric Bluegaloo.

This week, we start with a look at the stories that led to Superman's new look, and try to figure out just why anyone thought this was a good idea to begin with.

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Ask Chris #287: The Death And Return Of Superman

Ask Chris #287, background art by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding

Q: I’m reading The Death and Return of Superman, and it's way better than I've remembered. Why do people hate it if it works? And am I crazy to say this was the last time DC did right trying to contemporize Superman? -- @robotfrom1984

A: It seems like a lot of people have been working their way through the Death of Superman over the past few weeks, which probably has a lot to do with DC recently putting the entire saga out in four gigantic paperbacks. I even spent the last week reading through it for the first time myself --- I'd read Death, of course, but I never made it through the rest of the story to get the whole weird picture.

That said, I'm not sure that it's actually all that hated. I mean, sure, it's easy to dismiss it for its excesses, but it's a hugely successful story that, for better or worse, defined Superman for a decade. And like you said, when you read it all at once, you can see that it does a whole lot that goes way beyond just having Superman get punched to death by a bone monster.

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Read Kesel, Hahn and Allison’s ‘Johnny Zombie Christmas’ For Free At Thrillbent

Johnny Zombie Christmas, Thrillbent

Over the past few years, zombie comics have become popular enough that zombie Christmas comics are a surprisingly thriving subgenre all of their own. As you might expect, the apocalyptic horror of surviving against a horde of the undead is usually at odds with the good cheer of the holidays, so most of those stories end up being pretty cynical. Every now and then, though, you get one that's pretty fun and captures the spirit in a very enjoyable way.

That's the case with Karl Kesel, David Hahn and Grace Allison's Johnny Zombie Christmas, a fun, festive, and reasonably violent tale of yuletide cheer and flesh-eating monsters, and you can read the whole thing for free right this very minute!

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Ask Chris #211: Imagine The Words ‘The Enforcers’ With A Big Heart Drawn Around Them

Ask Chris #211: The Enforcers

Q: We know your favorite anti-heroes, sidekicks, and villains, but who's your favorite minor villain, and why? -- @fizzbang

A: Y'know, the way you phrase that question makes it sound like I've written about everything except who my favorite superhero is, and... that doesn't sound right. I'm a little too lazy to go and look, but it feels like surely at some point in the last 210 columns, I probably would've mentioned that. Oh well, I'm sure I'll probably get to talking about Batman at some point.

Anyway, back to the question. Favorite minor villains? OH MY GOD, IT'S THE ENFORCERS I LOVE THE ENFORCERS SO MUCH LET'S TALK ABOUT FANCY DAN FOR THE NEXT THREE HOURS OH MY GOD.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Blade Runner, Last of Us, Game of Thrones, Flintstones, Mad Men & 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...

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Bad News: Fraction Leaves ‘FF’ and ‘Fantastic Four'; Good News: Karl Kesel Returns To ‘Fantastic Four’

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"It sucks for me, too" is all Matt Fraction had to say about the news that he's prematurely concluding his well regarded work on Marvel's Fantastic Four and FF titles, as revealed in the publisher's solicitations for November (which will be published later today but were sent to the comics press early yesterday). The demands of Fraction's work on Inhumanity and Inhumans are such that "something had to give," according to editor Tom Brevoort. The news is a serious bummer.

Replacing Fraction on FF will be writer Lee Allred, who according to solicits will co-write with his brother, series artist Michael Allred. That FF will remain indelibly Allred is good news, as is the fact that Fantastic Four will welcome back cartoonist Karl Kesel, whose contributions to Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo's work on the title circa 2002-2005 helped make it a classic run. Kesel will collaborate with ongoing artist Mark Bagley.

 

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The Creators Of ECCC 2013 [Photo Gallery]

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Where some conventions skew more toward pop culture than comic books, this past weekend's Emerald City Comicon 2013 stocked Seattle with hundreds of prominent creators from every corner of the medium...

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