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‘MAD’ issues warning about DC’s ‘Harley Quinn Annual’ #1

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It’s pretty widely known by now that one of the smells in the special rub-and-sniff Harley Quinn Annual #1 is of a less-than-legal, but incredibly distinctive, drug. As a result — even at New York Comic Con 2014 — there have been many jokes about the results of rubbing and smelling the marijuana-scented section of the comic.

Hilariously, through its MAD Magazine website, DC Comics has released an “important message from the DC Comics department of ethical reading,” which continues the running gag of the drug’s distinctive smell — “something called Cannibisylocibe 7-A” — and the possible side effects.

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NYCC | ‘The Witcher’ returns to Dark Horse with ‘Fox Children’

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A year after confirming the first comic series based on The Witcher, Dark Horse and CD Projekt RED announced at New York Comic Con that the video game’s legendary monster hunter Geralt is back for a sequel.

Writer Paul Tobin and artist Joe Querio will return for The Witcher: Fox Children, in will which Geralt boards “a ship of fools, renegades and criminals, where some passengers are more dangerous than others, but one is hiding a hideous secret!”

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NYCC | ‘Star Wars Rebels’ ‘cowboy Jedi’ lands Marvel comic

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Marvel will expand its forthcoming Star Wars line in April with Star Wars — Kanan: The Last Padawan, an ongoing comic that ties in to Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels animated series.

Announced today during the “Cup o’ Joe” panel at New York Comic Con, the series will be written by animation veteran Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, Young Justice), an executive producer for Rebels‘ first season, and illustrated by Pepe Larraz (The Mighty Thor).

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Alex Ross’ ‘Secret Wars’ image digs deep into Marvel’s bench

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When Marvel’s new Secret Wars series hits next year, one of the biggest secrets may be who exactly is in this comic.

Since the publisher released a high-res version of Alex Ross’ promotional painting for the Jonathan Hickman/Esad Ribic event this morning, fans have been spotting a number of left-field additions to the fray – some which barely qualify as Z-listers.

In addition to modern Marvel mainstays like the new female Thor, Sam Wilson as Captain America and the Ultimate Universe’s Miles Morales, the image also includes a variety of alternate-universe combatants, including:

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NYCC | Here’s your chance to see $3.2 million ‘Action Comics’ #1

action1If you’ve ever wanted to lay eyes — but not hands! — on the world’s most expensive comic book, here’s your chance.

The owners of Metropolis Collectibles and ComicConnect, who in August paid a record $3.2 million for a pristine copy of Action Comics #1, will display “the Holy Grail of comic books” on Thursday at their New York Comic Con booth (#2630). Alas it’s only on Thursday.

The first comic to fetch more than $3 million at auction, the issue is one of just two copies of 1938’s Action Comics #1 — featuring the first appearance of Superman — to be graded 9.0 by the Certified Guaranty Company (the other is the comic once owned by actor Nicolas Cage, which sold in 2011 for a then-record $2.16 million; however, its pages aren’t considered “pristine”). Only about 30 unrestored copies of Action Comics #1 are thought to exist.

This copy was acquired several years ago in a private sale by Darren Adams of Pristine Comics in Federal Way, Washington, and stored a temperature-controlled vault. He said the original owner bought the comic  from a newsstand in 1938, and then kept in a cedar box for about four decades until a local dealer in West Virginia purchased it in an estate sale. The issue then passed to a third person, who held onto it for 30 years. Adams said he turned down an offer of $3 million, and instead opted to sell the comic in a highly publicized eBay auction.

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‘Southern Bastards’ debuts playlist, Andrew Robinson variant

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As a nice reminder of today’s final-order cutoff deadline for Southern Bastards #5, Image Comics has released Andrew Robinson’s painted variant cover depicting Coach Boss.

Created by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour, the “Southern-fried crime comic” follows one-time local hero Earl Tubb as he returns home to Craw County, Alabama, to take take of family business. In Issue 5, which arrives Oct. 29, the creators dig into the history of Craw County and the fearsome Euless Boss.

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Arrow fights Arrow in new comic-style promo for TV series

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The Twitter account for The CW’s Arrow has released a teaser for the upcoming Season 3 premiere — one that draws serious inspiration from the archer’s DC Comics roots.

The new image features a mock-up of a classic-looking issue of Arrow depicting Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen socking it to his hooded alter ego. The image nails the tone and aesthetic of ’60s comics, from the vintage trade dress to the dramatic dialogue. It’s even appropriately distressed, making it appear as if Amell somehow appeared in a comic older than himself.

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Licensed DC Comics tees draw accusations of sexism

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Two licensed T-shirts featuring DC Comics’ Trinity have sparked accusations of sexism among online fans.

The first shirt, as reported at DC Women Kicking Ass and spotted by CBR contributor Tamara Brooks this past weekend at Long Beach Comic Con, depicts Superman and Wonder Woman in a passionate embrace with the caption, “Score! Superman Does It Again!” As takedowns of that shirt began to circulate on social media, another one, bearing the phrase “I’m Training to Be Batman’s Wife,” was brought into the discussion.

Both shirts present undeniably sexist messages: The former positions the most prominent female superhero as a prize to be won, stripping away the character’s 75 years of nuance and feminist themes. The latter would be perfectly acceptable if it had only stopped before that final word; the assumption that the goal of any woman’s training would be to become someone’s wife is antiquated at best.

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Limited-edition Batman stamps to debut at New York Comic Con

Batman stamp Bronze AgeWhat do Batman, Janis Joplin and Julia Child have in common? If you guessed “They just got their own stamp,” you’re correct.

As DC Comics continues its celebration of the 75th anniversary of Batman, the iconic hero will again grace postage stamps in a limited-edition set officially unveiled Oct. 9 as the U.S. Postal Service kicks off New York Comic Con with a first-day-of-issue ceremony.

Each sheet of 20 “Forever” stamps — they’re 49 cents each but will remain good even when rates increase — will features designs representing four eras: the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age and the current New 52 era. There’s also a round stamp with the Batman symbol.

Batman is only the latest in a series of DC characters, including The Flash, Wonder Woman, Superman and Aquaman, who have graced U.S. postage stamps recently. And this isn’t actually the first Batman stamp, as Linn’s Stamp News notes: The DC Superheroes set issued in 2006 included two Dark Knight stamps.

Canada Post last year honored Superman’s Toronto roots, and his 75th anniversary, with a series of commemorative stamps.

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‘Fox & Friends’ struggles with Thor’s gender, Wonder Woman’s shorts

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Despite what you might believe, the problem isn’t that female superheroes are oversexualized in comics and on film — no, according to Fox & Friends, it’s they’re not being sexualized enough.

In a particularly odd segment of Sunday’s show that frequently tipped into full-on parody, co-host Clayton Morris began by worrying that test footage from Genndy Tartakovsky’s animated Popeye movie signifies the “wussifying” of the classic character, as he doesn’t sport his iconic pipe and tattoos.

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The Holy See gets unholy in ‘Roman Ritual’

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Exorcism has long been staple of horror fiction, whether film, television, comics or prose. But two Spanish creators are dialing up  turning it up a notch by showing a person in need of an exorcism who lives at the Vatican. That’s right, the pope is possessed.

Debuting next week from Amigo Comics, Roman Ritual is a four-issue miniseries by El Torres and Jaime Martinez that sees self-exiled Catholic priest John Brennan summoned to Rome when the Pope becomes possessed. It’s certainly a provocative premise, and Torres and Martinez don’t shy away from it.

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Photo of the Day | It’s the Groot pumpkin …

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A certified pop-culture phenomenon, Groot is seemingly everywhere these days: on the big and small screens, on toy shelves and on T-shirts and backpacks. And now he’s carved onto a pumpkin — one of what will undoubtedly be many by the time Halloween rolls around — at Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch, no less.

The photo comes courtesy of Disney news site Stitch Kingdom, which also has shots of pumpkins featuring Han Solo in carbonite, Scar from The Lion King, the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland and more. Check them out on Instagram.

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‘Gotham Academy’ gets its own ‘almost official’ blog

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DC Comics’ Batgirl, with its new costume, new direction and new creative team, has its own “(un)official blog,” and now so too does Gotham Academy. Launched over the weekend, Inside Gotham Academy — “the almost official blog” for the upcoming series — so far features promotional pieces, some covers and fan work, but it’s also teased that the series creators (Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl and Romain Gaschet) may post there.

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Exclusive: ‘Birthright’ creators go behind the scenes of fantasy series

birthright1In Birthright, the upcoming fantasy adventure by writer Joshua Williamson, artist Andrei Bressan and colorist Adriano Lucas, young Mikey Rhodes goes missing, leaving his father a suspect in his murder, and the rest of his family in shambles. But just mysteriously as he disappeared, Mikey reappears, but he’s changed.

Debuting in October from Skybound/Image Comics, the series centers on a boy who’s kidnapped by fairies and told he’s destined to to defeat a great evil. But once he accomplishes that and returns home, what’s next?

To tell that epic tale, Williamson, Bressan and Lucas not only had to create a war-ravaged otherworld populated by fantasy creatures and untold horrors, they also had to establish a realistic, familiar setting in which the Rhodes family drama unfolds.

The creative team provided ROBOT 6 with an exclusive glimpse into the process, sharing their thoughts on world-building, their approach to the designs of the central characters and the fantasy realm of Terrenos, and the mammoth undertaking of the impressive poster for Birthright.

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Japan’s Chibatman gets stamp of approval from local police

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Just as the Dark Knight has a special relationship with Commissioner Gordon, his Japanese counterpart now has an arrangement with police in Chiba Prefecture.

Passing on a story from Yahoo! Japan News, Rocket News24 reports that Chibatman, who rose to international fame in recent weeks for cruising around in costume on a custom-made Chibatpod, was summoned to the police station where, even in his secret identity, he was instantly recognized by the receptionist.

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