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Review: What You Don't Get

Every once in a while a comic comes along that tugs at your heartstrings and flushes out your tear ducts. Blankets. Persepolis. Pride of Baghdad. I recently read one of those comics. It’s called What You Don’t Get, written and drawn by indie comic creator Anne Thalheimer. This book follows a semi-autobiographical track, following Anne from high school through college and into adulthood, focusing on the impact of an event that forever altered the course of her life: a double homicide at Simon's Rock College on Dec 13, 1992.

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Character Redesigns: Why don't they stick around?

Comic fans hear the word “redesign” a lot. It’s a tale as old as time, and every fan knows that no matter what crazy-ridiculous new look Jim Lee or Rob Liefeld can concoct, our beloved heroes are likely to be back in classic duds within a year. But what if they weren’t? What if these redesigns were actually both different and good enough to stick around for the long haul?

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there’s this little game that just came out called Injustice: Gods Among Us. This features the DC Universe in an Elseworlds-esque setting where Superman is tricked by The Joker into killing Lois Lane and all of Metropolis, and subsequently imposes a global ceasefire. Since this is billed as a non-canon Elseworlds story, there is no weight of continuity, no standards to adhere to, and free reign to go crazy with the status quo. (Wait, wasn’t that the point of the New 52?)

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A retrospective of Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi on Green Lantern

For the past 9 years, (starting with Green Lantern: Rebirth in 2004) Geoff Johns has been a key writer on Green Lantern titles. If you've noticed a lot of Hal Jordan in DC lately, it's because of Geoff Johns. That whole multi-colored lantern spectrum? That was him, too. And then there's Peter Tomasi, who first worked as an editor alongside Johns, then as a writer, primarily of the Green Lantern Corps books. Between the two of them, Green Lantern's universe has been expanded and changed in ways that will last for decades. And now, these two architects are stepping down from their luminous Lantern legacies. New creative teams are taking over all of the GL books. It's the end of an era.

As we move forward into the next chapter of the Book of Oa, I want to celebrate some of the great moments of the last 9 years of Green Lantern, the state of the franchise now, and the future of the Corps.

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Disney buys Lucasfilms and Star Wars franchise; This is probably a good thing

On 30 Oct 12, The Walt Disney Company announced its purchase of Lucasfilm, Ltd. for $4.05 billion and has set Star Wars Episode VII for a 2015 release.

Naturally, every social media site exploded in an apoplectic rage that one might reasonably describe as “millions of voices suddenly crying out in terror” (but without the sudden silence bit). From the backlash, you’d have thought George Lucas edited out “It’s a trap!” from Return of the Jedi. But before your nerd-rage earns you a place at Palpatine’s right hand, stop and think about this deal. You might just like where this is going. We don’t even know who’s writing or directing Episode VII yet, after all.

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Maybe it's time for a female Green Lantern

DC’s New 52 initiative has garnered mixed reactions for the main Green Lantern title. Sinestro is wearing green, Hal Jordan has no ring, the Guardians are evil, and Black Hand returned to... death. However, perhaps the most ground shaking change was introducing the new Green Lantern of Earth: Simon Baz. As a person of color, I couldn’t be happier that there’s another minority character at the helm of a Green Lantern book joining African-American John Stewart and half-Mexican Kyle Rayner.

However, there still is something missing from my Green Lantern books that DC should be paying more attention to: female Lanterns.

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Why Captain Marvel Needs to Succeed

Carol Danvers, formerly Ms. Marvel, has taken on the mantle of Captain Marvel in a new ongoing title of the same name, helmed by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Dexter Soy. This marks the first time a female sidekick character has taken on the mantle of her predecessor in a meaningful way.

Carol Danvers is pretty much my favorite character in the Marvel Universe. Not Spider-Man, Wolverine, Cap, Iron Man, Black Widow, Sue Storm or Jean Grey. USAF Colonel and longtime Avenger Carol Danvers.

She has been through her fair share of character development and name changes: Ms. Marvel, Binary, Warbird, back to Ms. Marvel, and now... Captain Marvel. She's intelligent, driven and slightly arrogant, but at the same time she's compassionate with a great moral compass. She's battled with alcoholism, gained phenomenal cosmic power, lost it, been stripped of her memories and emotional attachments, yet still managed to overcome it all and earn her place back among Earth's mightiest.

Regardless of her alias, Carol Danvers is a role model for anyone, male or female, young or old. She's a strong enough character to build a long-standing monthly series, but is still relatable and a shining example that heroes don't have to be angsty, brooding and dark to be accessible. Carol is a breath of fresh air for the superhero genre at large and it's for this reason above all that her new Captain Marvel ongoing title must succeed.

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Image Comics offers a secure home to seasoned creators and new talent

At this year's Comic-Con in San Diego, indie upstart Image Comics held a panel introducing new top-tier creators and series. The news is evidence of the rise of creator-owned material, Image's unique specialty.

The now 20 year old Image Comics, formed with the purpose of publishing works owned by their creators, has taken full advantage of its anniversary celebration. They've released something in the neighborhood of 20 to 25 #1 issues so far this year, both for miniseries and ongoing titles. Between the surge in new creator-owned properties and the gargantuan success of The Walking Dead, I think it's safe to say that Image is worthy of being grouped together with Marvel and DC — the Big Three of the comics world.

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What You Should Read Before Seeing "The Dark Knight Rises"

I was just surfing around online yesterday and I saw this trailer for this movie that looks kind of cool. It's called "The Dark Knight Rises." Anyone heard of it? Is it supposed to be good?

Less than 3 weeks remain before the ridiculously-hyped and highly-anticipated final installment of Christopher Nolan's critically-acclaimed Batman trilogy reaches theaters. In my final installment of the "What You Should Read" series for summer 2012, I have prepared a few titles that could enhance your experience with The Dark Knight Rises. These should help familiarize you with some of the stories and characters that may have inspired TDKR. Or, perhaps you're like me and just can't wait.

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