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Ask Chris #198: The Mass Media Influence On Comics Canon

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Q: Is it ever worth it to change comics canon to match the canon from other media? -- @firehawk32

A: This is a really interesting question for me, because I always think of myself as someone who doesn't really get excited about superheroes showing up in movies or TV. I mean, obviously, that's not actually true -- I mean, I cowrote what was essentially a full-length novel about The Dark Knight, Batman: The Animated Series ranks alongside oxygen and pizza as my favorite thngs in the universe, I could not have been more stoked about seeing Arnim Zola The Bio Fanatic in two major Hollywood films, and there will never be a time when I'm not still mad about Man of Steel. But at the same time, and at the risk of sounding like even more of a hipster elitist than usual, those aren't the "real" versions of those charactesr to me. I like TV and movies just fine, but when it comes to the superhero genre, I'm in it for the comics. Everything else is just a bonus.

That said, what's considered "canon" in comics changes literally all the time, and often for a lot worse reasons than because there's something out there that's resonating with a mass audience.

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‘Man Of Steel’ Sequel Will Be Called ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ For Some Reason

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Warner Bros.

The new Man of Steel sequel, which has also been referred to widely as Batman Vs. Superman because it features both heroes in lead roles, has a title, and surprisingly, it doesn't include the words "dark," "shadows," "black," or even "knight" in it, as we had previously guessed.

Nope, this one's hilarious for entirely different reasons. Coming to theaters May 6, 2016: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, directed by Zack Snyder and starring Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck.

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Ask Chris #194: Building A Better Superhero Costume

Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: What do you think is the essence of making a great iconic costume? -- @thenoirguy

A: With comics being a visual medium and all, especially one that's dominated by a genre marked by its own goofy language of symbolism and iconography, I think about superhero costumes pretty often. I mean, I cannot count the number of times I have written the words "Batman's Batman-Shaped Kneepads" over the past three years, but that said, I'll admit that I might not be the best person to answer this question. As Erica Henderson (artist of Subatomic Party Girls and the Ask Chris logo above) pointed out, I'm not an artist. Then she went ahead and answered the question, telling me that "It's pretty simple, iconic is something that's quick and easy to recognize. that's why nobody talks about Cable's costume."

Listen, Erica, I don't know what circles you run in, but I talk about Cable's costume a lot.

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‘How It Should Have Ended’ Takes On ‘The LEGO Movie’ In Stop-Motion Style [Video]

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If you saw The LEGO Movie a few months back, you may have noticed that it posits a pretty interesting world, where all of LEGO's licensed characters -- well, all the characters not currently owned by Warner Bros.' corporate rivals, anyway -- coexist as blocky little mini-figures. This is pretty cool, since it's not often that you get to see Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Michaelangelo, Dumbledore and Gandalf all hanging out. But it does present an interesting story problem. How exactly do you present a problem that all of those characters can't solve? Which, of course, is exactly whatThe LEGO Movie does.

The folks behind How It Should Have Ended have taken a slight bit of exception to this, and in order to address it, they've kicked out a pretty awesome two-minute stop motion animated video featuring the World's Finest. Check it out!

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ComicsAlliance Presents Here’s The Thing, Episode 4: A Brief History Of Jack Kirby’s Cadmus Institute [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 sits in his living room under a framed portrait of Destro, drinking a cup of coffee and sharing his opinion on comic books.

This week, Chris takes a viewer question from someone curious about Cadmus Institute, a fixture of the DC universe created by the legendary Jack Kirby that has its roots in the Golden Age and continues to operate in the background of comics all the way to the 21st Century.

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Sideshow Collectibles Shows Off Its Sixth Scale Superman, Complete With Classic Trunks

Sideshow Superman Sixth Scale Figure
Sideshow Collectibles

Sideshow Collectibles' sixth scale Batman figure is about to get some Kryptonian company. A sixth scale version of Superman is now available for preorder with an estimated January 2015 delivery date -- complete with the character's classic red trunks in tow.

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Jerry Ordway & Steve Rude’s ‘Adventures of Superman’ Is Like ‘A Lost Fleischer Cartoon’ [Interview]

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The best Superman comic book currently published is about to get even better this coming Monday with the addition of Steve Rude, arguably one of today’s best living American comic book artists, and Jerry Ordway, one of the key Superman storytellers of the '80s and '90s, and a brilliant and influential artist in his own right. The pair have collaborated on a Superman story starring OMAC, a cult favorite creation of Rude’s own hero, Jack Kirby, for an Adventures of Superman digital short that they describe as " a lost Max Fleischer Superman cartoon."

ComicsAlliance spoke with Ordway and Rude to learn more about the 10-page adventure, their impressions of Superman in this day and age, the digital comics revolution, and how these accomplished but very distinctive creators worked together on the story.

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Frank Cho Revises ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ Scene To Make It Even More Anti-Superman

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Frank Cho

If you didn't know, artist Frank Cho hates Superman.

He went about proving it with a post to his blog this week in which he shared a commission for his pal who goes by the name Hawaiian Dave. It's a remix of the climactic two-page spread from Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns in which Batman and Superman have their big, final fight in Crime Alley. Cho has added in a bit of commentary, and it is anything but Superman-friendly. Check it out after the jump.

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Filed Under: , , , Category: Art, DC, News

Awesome Alternate ‘Gravity’ Scene Makes The Movie Even More Super [Video]

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I've seen a lot of movies with alternate endings over the years -- like the depressing original finish to Army of Darkness or that bonkers version of Die Hard With a Vengeance where John McClane spins an actual rocket launcher around on a table while riddling Jeremy Irons -- and to be honest, I usually don't think they add much to the film. They're an interesting look into an alternate universe, sure, but I almost always prefer the final product.

Today, however, I saw an alternate opening to last year's smash hit special effects blockbuster Gravity uploaded to YouTube by user Krishna Shenoi, and I have to admit that it changes the entire tone of the film to something I think I'd really like. Check below and see for yourself!

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Filed Under: , , Category: Humor, Video

Superman Traverses Time and Space in ‘Strange Visitor’ Conclusion [Preview]

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On sale this Sunday from DC Comics, Adventures of Superman #48 concludes the three-part "Strange Visitor" digital-first storyline. Written by Joe Keatinge, the story is one of the warmest and most mind-bendingly meta Superman tales released in recent memory, seeing the Last Son of Krypton in eras ranging from the earliest years of his creation to billions of years in the future as he -- to put it as simply as possible -- tries to rescue the occupants of a rocket ship marooned in a dimension more treacherous than any Superman's visited before, one that he will have to prepare his whole life to traverse.

Collaborating with artists including Ming Doyle, Brent Schoonover, Dave Williams, Tula Lotay and Jason Shawn Alexander, "Strange Visitor" is an ornate tribute to the Man of Steel on his 75th birthday, and one that's as dramatic as it is sentimental. Also Kamandi is in it.

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