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Experience being a Jedi in first-person with GoPro-shot viral video

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Who hasn’t wanted to experience the life of a Jedi at least once in their life? The adrenaline of facing down an AT-AT walker, the unbelievable power of throwing Storm Troopers aside with the wave of a hand, the feel of a lightsaber’s hilt in your hand — it’s every fanboy’s dream.

Well, one talented Star Wars aficionado has taken it upon himself to offer you as close to a real-world Jedi experience as you can get while sitting at your computer. YouTuber BillyWarp1 strapped on a GoPro and took to the desert to wave around a metal pole. After using his computer graphics expertise to add in some Storm Troopers, a TIE Fighter, and even some Rebel air support, he created a viral video that’s essentially a first-person perspective of being a real-life Jedi knight.

Watch the short clip below:

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Aquaman reclaims his crown as Internet’s ‘Most Toxic Superhero’


Sure, he’s the King of the Seven Seas, a founding member of the Justice League and, if all goes as planned, the star of his own 2018 movie. However, for the second time in three years, Aquaman is also the “Most Toxic Superhero.”

That’s according to Intel Security, which today released its third annual list of online superhero searches that are most likely to lead you to bad links, viruses, malware and websites containing malicious software used to steal passwords and personal information. The information is compiled using McAfee Site Advisor, which rates sites by risk level.

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The Marvel Universe now has its own search engine


If neither Cerebro nor the Eye of Agamatto can provide the information you’re looking for, it’s time to turn to iMarvel.

It’s the unofficial Marvel comics search engine created by developer Filix Mogilevsky using the open application program interface introduced by the company last year.

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Who is ‘The Flash’s’ Eobard Thawne? Ask Google Translate

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The time travel, multiple speedsters and alternate timelines on The CW drama The Flash may be enough to confuse even some longtime comics readers. If you’re square with Harrison Wells and Eddie Thawne but can’t quite figure out Eobard Thawne (just play along, please), I suggest you consult Google Translate.

What? Where else would you turn for superhero comics minutiae?

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Spider-Man debuts a timely (and official) new Twitter account

welcome home spidey

With a casual “Thwip” and a link to the announcement of the Sony Pictures deal, Marvel last night christened its new Spider-Man Twitter account. In the 14 hours or so since then, it’s gained 4,245 followers.

The announcement, as everyone knows by now, that Sony and Marvel Studios will co-produce the next Spider-Man film after the wall-crawler makes his debut in a Marvel Cinematic Universe release.

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Stan Lee was the first to upload video to LiveJournal

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The nearly 16-year-old LiveJournal last week finally introduced video hosting, and 92-year-old Stan Lee was the first to give it a whirl.

The legendary writer partnered with the social media platform in November to not only launch a blog but to also kick off a contest to find his biggest fan. So of course his video was a reminder to submit entries by the Friday deadline.

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Brian Bendis shuts down his long-running message board

Marvel mainstay and Powers co-creator Brian Michael Bendis has shut down his long-running message board, effective immediately. Previous posts are no longer accessible and all incoming links to the board direct to a note from the Eisner-winning writer, where he states his reason for the closure and invites fans to interact with him via his Twitter and Tumblr accounts.

“This looks to be one of the most exciting years I will ever have with the debut of the Powers TV show and so many other big surprises coming in the next few months,” Bendis wrote. “It is important, now more than ever, that I focus as much of my attention on my work and family.”

The Bendis Board, as it was.

The Bendis Board, as it was.

The Bendis Board took many forms at multiple different homes across the Internet over the years, dating back to the writer’s pre-Marvel days. In addition to his own board, Bendis hosted forums for other creators (collectively known as the “Jinxworld Forums”), which are also now redirecting to the closure message.

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Superman is kryptonite for online searches


Aquaman may have been the most toxic superhero in 2013, but this year McAfee has decreed that Superman is kryptonite.

Hold your jokes about Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel or the New 52 costume redesign. We’re talking about the software-security company’s second annual study of which online superhero searches result in the most bad links (such as to viruses, malware and websites containing malicious software used to steal passwords and personal information).

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Marvel alum James Viscardi launches comics podcast

lets talk comicsJames Viscardi may have left Marvel, but he’s clearly not finished with comics: The publisher’s former associate manager, sales & communications has launched his own podcast, the aptly titled Let’s Talk Comics.

Described as “a new podcast that aims to tell the origin stories of all your favorite creators in the comics industry,” it debuted this week with an in-depth discussion with Rick Remender, the writer and artist known for his work on titles ranging from Strange Girl and Fear Agent to Uncanny Avengers and Black Science (and I’m looking forward to his upcoming Image Comics series with Wes Craig, Deadly Class).

“Rick Remender is quite the journeyman when it comes to being a comic creator,” Viscardi writes in his introduction to the episode. “He’s drawn comics, he’s written comics, he’s worked in animation and he’s written video games. In today’s show, Rick and I go down memory lane and tell some pretty fascinating stories about life as an up and coming creator, how he broke into Marvel (twice), and how he’s somewhat associated with Meg Ryan!”

You can listen to the lengthy interview below.

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MTV Geek calls it a day

mtv geekThe comics and pop culture site MTV Geek came to an abrupt end this afternoon with a short post titled simply “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.”

As a contributor to the site, as well as a reader (I frequently linked them in Comics A.M.), I’m not at all impartial about this: I’m sorry to see it go.

MTV Geek debuted nearly three years ago at New York Comic Con with a launch party that served as a benefit for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The original editor was Valerie Gallaher, who left about five months ago.

The site  covered a lot of topics: comics, yes, but also movies, television, games, toys, cosplay, pretty much everything in the larger world of geeky interests. It ran a mix of news, interviews and fannish content like Twitter roundups and five-best posts. In the beginning there were also original comics, although those seem to have fallen by the wayside.

The demise of the site, which arrives less than a month after iFanboy ceased its”normal day-to-day operations,” doesn’t leave MTV without comics coverage: The final post indicates that MTV News will be reporting on NYCC next month.

Women in Refrigerators: more powerful than Slashdot and 4chan

mental flossIt’s been more than 14 years since a then-unknown Gail Simone and friends launched Women in Refrigerators, a website that attempted to catalog the female characters in superhero comics who have been “killed, raped, depowered, crippled, turned evil, maimed, tortured, contracted a disease” or otherwise suffered “life-derailing tragedies.” The list sparked reflection and debate, and ingrained the phrase “women in refrigerators” into the comic-book lexicon, and even beyond (it’s a reference to the grisly fate of Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend Alex DeWitt).

The website was, without a doubt, critical to fostering important discussion about the treatment of female characters, but just how influential, how powerful, is Women in Refrigerators? More powerful that Yelp, Slashdot or 4chan, it turns out, and (at No. 3) only slightly less powerful than Amazon.

That’s according to the November issue of the trivia/entertainment magazine Mental Floss, which has released its list of the “25 Most Powerful Websites” (see the entry below). Any list of that kind is, naturally, subjective, and Mental Floss‘ definition of “powerful” is especially nebulous. “[T]o us, powerful isn’t just about computations,” the magazine states, explaining the exclusion of Google, “it’s about changing what we eat, how we vote, and the ways we kill time at the office.”

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Jamie S. Rich launching interview webseries ‘From the Gutters’


Despite the solitary nature of creating comics (or perhaps because of it), it’s very easy for writers and artists to become fast friends with one another — be it at conventions, in-store signings or even just online. Over the years editor-turned-writer Jamie S. Rich has accumulated countless friends and connections in the industry through his time at Dark Horse, Oni Press, writing books like 12 Reasons Why I Love Her and living in the comics mecca of Portland, Oregon. And after moderating numerous panels at conventions and even hosting his own “Evening with Jamie S. Rich” movie night at a Portland theater, the writer is taking things even further with a new comics interview webseries called From the Gutters.

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iFanboy ceases ‘normal day-to-day operations’

ifanboyAfter 13 years, iFanboy announced this afternoon that it’s “ceasing normal day-to-day operations,” with only its podcasts continuing on the website. There will be no new written content.

“The simple fact is that our lives are much different now than they were even five years ago, and with families and day jobs and other opportunities all vying for our time and attention, has been suffering for it and we couldn’t watch it suffer any longer,” co-founder Conor Kilpatrick wrote on the site. “It hurts us to not be able to put our all into this place that we’ve spent so many years building into a vibrant and wonderful community.

iFanboy, which was purchased in February 2010 by digital distributor Graphicly, split with the company in January 2013, even as website co-founder Ron Richards announced he had joined Image Comics as director of business development.

“After five years spent running as our primary jobs, we had to transition back to running iFanboy part time after Graphicly handed it back to us in February of this year,” Kilpatrick continued, “and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to focus on everything we need to focus on in the manner that it deserves to be.”

There’s much more at iFanboy, including messages from many of the key contributors.

Aquaman crowned king of ‘toxic’ superheroes


It’s been a rough 40 years for Aquaman, whose public image has never recovered from Super Friends. Sure, the long-running animated series raised the Atlantean’s profile, but it did so while depicting him as a pretty ineffective hero who had to hope for an aquatic threat and then hitch a ride with Wonder Woman to the nearest body of water. So he could summon a pod of narwhals. Only Zan of the Wonder Twins — “Form of water!” “Form of giant ice handcuffs!” — was lower in the Hall of Justice hierarchy.

And, as if that Entourage story thread and failed 2006 television pilot didn’t add enough insult to injury, now Aquaman has been declared the “most toxic superhero” by McAfee.

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AOL sells ComicsAlliance, three music sites to Townsquare Media [Updated]

comics allianceMore than a month after it abruptly shuttered ComicsAlliance and AOL Music, AOL is expected to announce today that it has sold the comics blog and three music websites to Townsquare Media Group. The staffs will join the Connecticut-based media and digital-marketing company, which owns 243 radio stations and a growing number of websites, including ScreenCrush and PopCrush.

UPDATE (6 a.m.): And, just like that, ComicsAlliance has returned with new content, beginning with a comics explanation of the website’s history. (Original story continues below.)

According to AOL’s TechCrunch, the deal includes hip-hop site The BoomBox, country-music site The Boot and heavy-metal blog Noisecreep, but not the flagship AOL Music or Spinner.

The purchase by Townsquare reunites ComicsAlliance and the music sites with Bill Wilson, the company’s executive vice president and chief digital officer, who helped to develop the properties during his tenure as president of AOL Media.

“I wanted to make sure you saw that we were able to acquire some of the aol music assets (and Comics Alliance),” Wilson tweeted this morning. “Very excited!”

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