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The Superpoll: Pratt vs. Evans, Round III: Guardians Vs. Avengers

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Chris Evans and Chris Pratt have made a bet on the outcome of this weekend's Super Bowl that will see one of them show up at the other's choice of children's hospital or hospice in their Marvel superhero costume brandishing their rival's team colors. Either Captain America will carry the flag of Pratt's Seattle Seahawks, or Star-Lord will don the jersey of Evans's New England Patriots. We couldn't let this titanic tussle between two of Marvel's super-Chrisses pass by without a contest of our own, so we're pitting the worlds of Star-Lord and Captain America head-to-head in a series of polls that we call... the Superpoll.

Round two currently sees honors divided between the two heroes, with Red Skull and Redford claiming victories for Cap, and Kitty Pryde and the 1980s bringing it home for Peter Quill, but you still have time to make a difference. Today we pit the two heroes' teammates head-to-head in five rounds of titanic tussling, using a special matching algorithm (not really) to determine the fairest fights (we picked the match-ups we thought were the most fun). Welcome to the Superpoll: Round III.

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Phil Noto’s Stunning Marvel Variant Retro Photo-Style Covers Revealed

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Phil Noto knows how to create a stylish retro vibe, and he can conjure up a soft-edged gauzy aesthetic that perfectly evokes the nostalgic familiarity of photographs from the 1960s and 70s. It's a talent that he exploited to beautiful effect in a series of pieces for his Tumblr that presented Silver Age Marvel heroes in the mode of old celebrity snaps from Life Magazine; the images that would have existed if these heroes had been real in the age they were created.

Those Tumblr images are the clear inspiration for a month of Phil Noto variant covers at Marvel this February, though the inspiration stretches beyond Life Magazine pastiches to cover hip-hop, fashion photography, and even candid personal images. Several of the covers were released this week courtesy of Marvel, Comic Vine, CBR and Newsarama, and they're a gorgeous selection of images, so we've collected them all in one place for your appreciation.

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Marvel Announces ‘Guardians Team-Up’ Series, Because They Can, That’s Why

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Have I ever told you about the time I was hanging out in a bar at a convention years and years ago and I was talking to a Marvel editor about how they should do something with Rocket Raccoon, and the editor told me that would never, ever happen? Well, it turns out there are no bad characters, only characters that haven't been turned into Funko Pop vinyl figures yet.

Flash forward to late 2014, and Marvel just announced a sixth Guardians Of The Galaxy ongoing title. Turns out raccoons make big bank. The new book is called Guardians Team-Up, and it features Guardians, teaming up. Brian Michael Bendis will write and Art Adams will draw the first story, co-starring the Avengers. They will probably fight first. (The Guardians and the Avengers. Not Bendis and Adams.)

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

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A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month.

September's covers include masterclass composition from Genndy Tarkakovsky and Noelle Stevenson, some beautiful uses of light, color, and contrast, and some very different portraits of gods, old and new.

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Marvel Announces Rocket Raccoon And Groot Homage Covers For November

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So it turns out that, defying any expectations that we may have had five years ago, Rocket Raccoon and Groot are the most popular characters in the most popular movie of the summer. In other words, get used to seeing them literally everywhere -- starting with 20 of Marvel's comics for November, where the talking tree and his surly procyonid pal are taking over with a series of variant covers.

Even better, the variants are homages to classic Marvel covers, ranging from classics like Captain America's reappearance in the Marvel Universe back in Avengers #4 to one of the most obscure and self-referential homages that I've ever seen. It's actually pretty amazing.

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Awesome Art From Rocket Raccoon Auction To Benefit Creator Bill Mantlo

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A lot of people fell in love with Rocket Raccoon this summer thanks to the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, so this seems like a great time to pick up some art featuring the movie's angry anthropomorphic star -- and to help out his co-creator Bill Mantlo at the same time.

Mantlo was severely injured when he was hit by a car in 1992, and has needed constant and costly care ever since. The prominence of Rocket Raccoon in Guardians brought welcome attention to Mantlo's condition, and comic artists have stepped up -- in conjunction with Multiversity Comics -- to help fund his care with online auctions of original art featuring Rocket and other Mantlo creations (yes, including ROM Spaceknight). All proceeds will go to the Mantlo family.

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Link Ink: 3-Year-Old Gets An Iron Man Hand, ‘Arkham Knight’ Batmobile Edition And ‘Walking Dead’ Season 5 Trailer

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Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.

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Marvel Arranges Private ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Screening For Rocket Raccoon Co-Creator Bill Mantlo

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A huge number of people turned out to watch James Gunn's Guardians Of The Galaxy this weekend, but one viewer was deservedly treated to a special private viewing. Bill Mantlo, the writer who created Rocket Raccoon with artist Keith Giffen for Marvel in 1976, was visited by Marvel executives and shown the movie at the care facility where he lives.

As we've reported previously in our Guardians Of The Galaxy coverage, Mantlo was the victim of a hit and run accident in 1992 that left him in need ongoing care and rehabilitation. His family has struggled to cover his medical bills, and fellow writer Greg Pak and others have helped solicit donations to support the Mantlo family.

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Guardians Of The Galaxy: A Star (Lord) Is Born [Review]

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Director James Gunn's Guardians Of The Galaxy is a big gamble for Marvel Studios. It's an unknown quantity even to most comic fans. It's a space opera at a time when non-Lucasfilm space operas don't perform well. It's a movie with a talking raccoon at a time when even Disney princess movies don't have talking animals.

Of course, all of Marvel's movies have been gambles. Iron Man wasn't a household name, despite how we think of the character now. Thor was a sci fi fantasy movie -- what could be worse? Captain America seemed an impossible sell for overseas markets. Bringing those franchises together for Avengers? Insanity. Marvel Studios' safest bet was probably Hulk -- a household name and a proven quantity -- and that's been the studio's weakest performer. So it looks like the big gambles are where Marvel excels. If Guardians Of The Galaxy is the studio's biggest gamble to date, it makes a weird kind of sense that it's also one of the studio's most delightful successes.

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Link Ink: ‘Daredevil’ Gets Its Karen Page, Warner Bros SDCC Bags And A New ‘Walking Dead’ Game Trailer

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Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.

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