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Square Enix’s new ‘Star Wars’ figures are wonderfully insane

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Looking at Darth Vader, Boba Fett and the Stormtrooper from Square Enix’s Variant line of Play Arts Kai figures, I’m reminded of Marvel’s 1977 adaptation of Star Wars, with its frequently wildly off-model characters. Here, of course, the deviation is purposeful — the Variant collectibles are all reimagined — and it works pretty well.

Sure, all three original designs are classic, but it’s kind of fun to see each of these armored warriors souped up, their looks taken more in a mech-infused direction (although as Star Wars reimaginings go, it’s tough to top Bandai’s samurai-styled Darth Vader and Stormtrooper).

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Supreme Court won’t hear Stan Lee Media appeal

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The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear Stan Lee Media’s case against Stan Lee and POW! Entertainment, bringing to a definitive end at least one part of a legal battle that’s been waged for the better part of a decade.

The action lets stand the 2012 dismissal of a lawsuit seeking million in profits and ownership of the Marvel characters co-created by Lee, co-founder of the failed dot-com. Stan Lee Media had argued in its petition to the justices that the Ninth Circuit erred in October when it upheld the lower court’s decision.

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Humanity faces extinction and sea monsters in ‘Rim City’

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Humankind was born looking up at the stars, but what if its last hope is deep in the ocean?

That’s the conceit of Rim City, written by Alessandro Apreda and illustrated by Daniel Orlandini, the inaugural title from anew Italian comics company Atomico. Melding seemingly the inspiration of Neon Genesis EvangelionHalo with undersea sci-fi like The AbyssRim City hits a familiar tone, albeit in some unfamiliar surroundings — and with top-notch artwork that would make any publisher jealous.

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Lobo co-creator Roger Slifer passes away

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Lobo co-creator Roger Slifer, who was seriously injured in a 2012 hit and run, died this morning while on the way from his nursing home to an emergency room. He was 60 years old.

“It is especially sad because in the last month he was making great progress,” his sister Connie Carlton wrote on Facebook. “He was writing words on his new whiteboard that I bought with money his friend Larry Spears sent for Christmas. He was nodding yes and no to questions. A couple weeks ago they put a passey muir device (speaking valve) in his trach and he said ‘yes, no, and hi.’ They were getting ready to start him on speech therapy and occupational therapy. Things were finally looking up for him. But God needed another angel.”

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Hair-raising magic with teen witches in ‘Witchy’

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What if there were a world of magic where your powers were based on your hair? That’s what’s happening in the engrossing new webcomic Witchy by Ariel Ries.

Witchy follows a young woman named Nyneve who grows up in a world called Hyalin, where magic powers are based on the length of your hair. After her father was killed for rebelling and letting his hair grow out too long, Nyneve is conscripted into the Witch Guard — a army of magic users who were partly responsible for her father’s death. Witchy is a decidedly non-Western approach to fantasy, pulling more from Asian story-forms and anime such as Hayao Miyazaki.

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DragonCon speaks out against Georgia’s ‘religious freedom’ bill

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Organizers of the Atlanta-based DragonCon announced Thursday they’re lobbying Georgia lawmakers to stop a so-called “religious freedom” bill similar to one signed into law last week in Indiana.

“We have great faith that our state’s leaders and legislators will, eventually, do the right thing for all Georgians,” organizers wrote in a statement. “Legislation that hurts one of us, hurts us all.”

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‘Naruto’ spinoff unveils new character art

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The first illustrations have surfaced for Naruto Spinoff: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring Month, the miniseries by Masashi Kishimoto debuting in the April 27 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Posted on Comic Natalie, the character designs depict Naruto’s son and Sasuke’s daughter Boruto (Bolt) and Sarada (Salad), who appeared in the final chapter of Naruto, as well as Naruto himself. Kishimoto concluded his fantasy-adventure epic in November after 15 years.

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Comics A.M. | Driver killed when car slams into Mile High Comics

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via CBS Denver

Retailing | The driver died early Sunday after crashing a car into Mile High Comics’ Jason Street “mega store” in Denver. There were no passengers, and no one was in the store at the time of the accident. [CBS Denver]

Creators | R.C. Harvey remembers Wordless Workshop creator Roy Doty, who died last week at age 93. [The Comics Journal]

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‘Superman’ meets ‘San Andreas’ in mashup ‘Supermandreas’

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The upcoming Dwayne Johnson disaster film San Andreas clearly employs a number of genre tropes, but artist Nick Acosta thought the latest trailer bore a striking resemblance to the beloved 1978 movie Superman – particularly, the Hoover Dam and Golden Gate Bridge sequences. So, naturally, he mashed the two features together to create … “Supermandreas.”

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Shelf Porn in the Mighty Marvel Manner

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Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, our weekly look into the lair of one fan. Today’s amazingly spectacular webbed up shelves come from Eric in the Bay Area of California, who shows off hos love for Spider-Man, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the San Francisco Giants and more.

If you’d like us to invade your secret lair, you can find details on submitting pictures of your collection at the end of this post.

And now let’s hear from Eric. Spider-Friends … go for it!

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Bill Willingham designs beer label to benefit The Hero Initiative

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Boom Island Brewing Company in Minneapolis will mix comics and craft beer May 1 with a fundraiser for The Hero Initiative featuring Fables creator Bill Willingham.

The acclaimed writer and artist will autograph the label he designed for Boom Island’s Belgian strong Gravity No. 9 specifically to support the comics industry charity, which will receive a portion of proceeds from the event.

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The Fifth Color | Magneto, John Cena and an air of righteousness

MAG2014001-int-LR2-2-a1e3dHappy Wrestlemania weekend, everybody!

Sports entertainment and comic books are like cookies and milk these days, what with pro wrestlers stepping into the writers’ chair from time to time to the Marvel offices being huge marks for the WWE. We’ve hosted quite a few Wrestlemania previews on ROBOT 6, and as the Super Bowl of wrasslin’ ramps up to the inevitable Mania on Sunday, my mind’s been particularly preoccupied with the most entertaining of sports.

Which is why I saw the above panel from Magneto #1, viscerally drawn by the incredibly talented Gabriel Hernandez, and thought to myself, Huh, that reminds me of John Cena.

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How to become Batman (Step 1: Be filthy rich)

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It took a lot for Bruce Wayne to become Batman: a lot of money, a lot of training and a lot of determination (or, y’know, obsessiveness; potato, po-tah-to). However, if you’re not the sole heir to a multimillion-dollar fortune — at least $682 million of that would go toward the mansion, Batmobile, gadgets and, yes, butler — you can at least become Batman-like.

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The Avengers reimagined as Earth’s Mightiest Punks

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Last week we saw 1980s music icons reimagined as Marvel superheroes, and now another artist has depicted Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as Earth’s Mightiest Punks.

Atlanta-based artist Cara McGee has drawn portraits of some of the Avengers (as well as foe or two) as punks, decked out in tattoos, studded collars and boots, and strategically ripped jeans. Take a look:

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Comics A.M. | U.S. airdrops gory anti-ISIS cartoon over Syria

From the U.S. military leaflet

From the U.S. military leaflet

Political cartoons | Airdropping propaganda on the enemy is a time-honored tactic, and it just happened again: Michael Cavna has a copy of the cartoon, which depicts ISIS recruits lining up to be fed into a meat grinder, that the U.S. Military Information Support Operations Command dropped into the ISIS-held territory of Raqqa, Syria. According to the Pentagon, a U.S. Air Force F-15 warplane dropped about 60,000 of the leaflets on March 16. [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Writer Michael Frizell talks about working on his latest Bluewater comic Ozzy Osbourne: The Metal Madman. Research was a big part of the job: “The trick was trying to sort out the hyperbole from the facts,” he said. “Thus, anything I documented in the comic book had to have at least three sources confirming its validity.” [Fast Company]

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