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SDCC | The ‘Gotham’ zip line photo we’ve been waiting for

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Widely circulated photos have shown San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council President Todd Gloria riding the 200-foot zip line set up at Comic-Con International to promote Fox’s Gotham, but it’s The Hollywood Reporter’s Philiana Ng who delivers the winning image: a Batgirl cosplayer striking a pose as she glides across the Gotham City skyline.

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SDCC | Enroll now for ‘Gotham Academy’s’ fall semester

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What’s an old prep school without a proper coat of arms? Fans who watched one of the new episodes of DC All Access glimpsed the one for Gotham Academy, but now the publisher has released the image in the form of a teaser, encouraging applicants to “Enroll Now For the Fall Semester.”

Announced late last month among a wave of new titles, Gotham Academy is set in the city’s most prestigious, and undoubtedly weirdest, school. It’s written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher and illustrated by Karl Kerschl, who draw some of their inspiration from Harry Potter, Nancy Drew and the secret history of Gotham exposed in Batman: The Court of Owls.

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Dan Brereton looks to enchant art lovers with new collection

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Dan Brereton was one of the first creators to bring painted art from the covers of comics to their interiors, and now he wants to put some of that art onto bookshelves and coffee tables. He’s putting the finishing touches on his fourth hardcover art collection, titled Enchantress, and is offering a limited edition to 250 of his most ardent fans.

Brereton and art collector Steve Morger have taken to Kickstarter looking to raise $3,000 to publish and, in effect, sell these limited edition versions of Enchantress — and they’ve already met their goal five times over. The limited-edition Enchantress Kickstarter has raised more than $17,000, with 19 days to go, with many of the supporters jumping in on the high-dollar rewards like original paintings. Brereton and Morger plan to announce stretch goals after they return from Comic-Con International

Here’s an example of some of the art from Enchantress:

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SDCC | Kotobukiya unveils Batwoman Bishoujo statue

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After teasing concept art and closeup detail, Kotobukiya has at last debuted its DC Comics Batwoman Bishoujo statue, with and without Kate Kane’s mask and wig.

Unfortunately, the images aren’t accompanied by a release date or a price, but it presumably will be somewhere around $60, the same as the other statues in the DC Comics Bishoujo line.

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SDCC | DC and Image hold hefty digital sales

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Like comiXology and Marvel Unlimited, DC Entertainment and Image Comics are celebrating Comic-Con International with sales on select digital titles.

Through Tuesday, DC is marking the 75th anniversary of the Dark Knight by offering digital downloads of a whopping 750 Batman comics for 99 cents each. These aren’t typical dollar-bin titles, however; they include The Dark Knight Returns, The Long Halloween, No Man’s Land, Year One, Hush, The Court of the Owls and All Star Batman & Robbin the Boy Wonder. If you’re wanting to go way back, there are comics dating back to 1938, with Batman’s debut in Detective Comics #27.

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SDCC, Day 1 | ComiXology, ‘Rage of Ultron’ lead Thursday’s news

avengers-rage of ultronThe biggest comics news Thursday out of Comic-Con International was undoubtedly that, after years of debate, comiXology has introduced DRM-free backups of titles purchased from its storefront, with Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, Top Shelf Productions and Zenescope Entertainment signing on to the program.

An email went out last night notifying customers that books they’ve purchased can be downloaded and stored as PDF or CBZ files, and pointing them to an FAQ on the subject.

“This has been an oft-requested feature,” comiXology CEO David Steinberger said during the company’s Comic-Con panel. “It’s a real backup file — it’s a fairly plain PDF or CBZ. They are high resolution, not a lot of bells and whistles, and my feeling is that people will continue to use the cloud-based reader to do their reading.”

The other big announcement was that Marvel will publish Avengers: Age of Ultron, an in-continuity graphic novel by the Uncanny X-Force team of Rick Remender, Jerome Opeña and Dean White scheduled to arrive in April 2015, ahead of the premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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Grumpy Old Fan | ‘Robin Rises’ but ‘Zero’ soars

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Wednesday was Batman Day, the official date for celebrating the character’s 75th anniversary. It’s fine to have a Batman Day, I guess — I’ve been getting emails from online bookstores saying “Celebrate Batman Day with our sales!” so it’s coming across in practice like President’s Day — but Batman is so ubiquitous in pop culture that you might as well have a McDonald’s Day or a Coca-Cola Day. (In a perfect world there would be a Rockford Files Day.)

Anyway, appropriately enough, each of the two regular Bat-books DC published this week looked at one end of Batman’s timeline. Batman Vol. 2 #33 wrapped up “Zero Year,” the latest (and perhaps the most epic) version of the character’s origins; and Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #33 presented “Robin Rises, Part One,” the latest chapter in Damian Wayne’s posthumous saga. While the former ended impressively, the latter is off to a slow start.

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SDCC | Stan Lee cancels Comic-Con appearance

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Stan Lee has canceled his appearance at Comic-Con International in San Diego after reportedly losing his voice due to laryngitis.

“Stan is otherwise well and in good health,” a spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter, “though he is disappointed to miss the event and wishes everyone a great time.”

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SDCC | Gary Frank draws James Gordon for ‘Gotham’ teaser

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Fox appears to be bringing even more comic-book flair to its heavily promoted Gotham with a series of Who’s Who in the DC Universe-style character images. IGN has debuted the first, featuring Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) as drawn by Gary Frank, known for his work on Action Comics, the “Curse of Shazam” story in Justice League, and the upcoming Batman Earth One.

Warner Bros. Television promises more images will be revealed in the lead-up to the Sept. 22 premiere of Gotham on Fox.

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SDCC | ‘Days of Future Past’ mobile game adds Storm, Polaris

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In the first major update to its Uncanny X-Men: Days of Future Past mobile game, Glitchsoft has added Storm and Polaris as playable characters.They can be unlocked with the completion of the third level.

What’s more, the game is available for 99 cents from the App Store for the duration of Comic-Con International.

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Secret identity issues: Yang and Liew’s ‘The Shadow Hero’

shadow heroIn The Shadow Hero, cartoonist Gene Luen Yang collaborates with artist Sonny Liew to tell the story of Hank Chu, the teenage son of Chinese immigrants who run a small store in Depression-era Chinatown. As with much of Yang’s best-known work, this new original graphic novel deals with themes of cultural, national and racial identity, and the tensions and conflicts that arise when identities and outlooks collide.

Here, Hank finds himself pressured by his mother to become a wholly American invention, a sort of ultimate assimilation success story. She doesn’t want him to grow up to be a doctor or lawyer or politician, but a superhero, a thought put in her head when she’s rescued from a robber by the Superman stand-in The Anchor of Justice.

Their book is an excellent one, a perfect example of a modern superhero comic, masterfully and perfectly balancing comedy, crime, action, drama, melodrama, romance and fantasy into an epic story of a young man coming of age and finding himself.

As good as Yang and Liew’s story is, however, the story of their story may be just as fascinating, in large part because it’s true, and gives the comic they crafted a remarkable level of relevance. That story is told after the conclusion of The Shadow Hero, in the generous back-matter of the First Second book, presented in standard superhero-comic size, rather than the smaller, more square shape of most of the publisher’s offerings.

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SDCC | Tony Moore debuts ‘Assassin’s Creed: Unity’ poster

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Tony Moore has unveiled the Comic-Con International-exclusive poster he created with Angry Blue, to be released in conjunction with the Friday premiere of the Assassin’s Creed: Unity-inspired animated short he produced with musician-turned-director Rob Zombie.

The short will be screened Friday at 2 p.m. in Room 6BCF as part of a presentation that includes a demo of the upcoming Ubisoft video game and a Q&A. Just 500 copies of the silkscreened print will be given away at the convention, but Moore and Angry Blue will each have 100 available for sale on their websites.

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Red Hood joins ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ as GameStop exclusive

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After a little social-media teasing, GameStop has announced the Red Hood Story Pack DLC will be available exclusively to customers who preorder Batman: Arkham Knight from the retailer.

Developed by Rocksteady for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment, Batman: Arkham Knight is billed as the explosive finale to the hit action-adventure video game series that launched in 2009 with Batman: Arkham Asylum. (For a complete rundown, read CBR’s coverage of the closed-door demo at E3 2014.)

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SDCC | Marvel offers another 99-cent Marvel Unlimited deal

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If you’ve wanted to explore Marvel’s massive digital archive, now’s your chance: For the next week, in celebration of Comic-Con International, 99 cents will get you a month-long subscription to Marvel Unlimited and its online collection of more than 15,000 classic and newer comics, dating from the Golden Age to about six months ago.

The publisher offered a similar deal in March for South by Southwest; a monthly membership normally costs $9.99, while a basic annual subscription is $69.

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SDCC, Day 0 | A roundup of the Image Expo announcements

image logoPreview Night stopped being a leisurely affair several years ago, as Comic-Con International grew so large that four “official” days couldn’t contain all of the news. Heck, five days isn’t even enough, with more and more comics publishers rolling out major announcements before anyone even started packing their bags for San Diego (BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse, DC Comics, Dynamite, IDW and Marvel all did so this year).

Image Comics planted its flag on Wednesday, amid the usual buzz about movies, television and video games, with its Comic-Con-adjacent Image Expo, where it announced a dozen new titles from such creators as Warren Ellis, Kurt Busiek, Rick Remender, Sean Murphy, Becky Cloonan, Jeff Lemire, Joey Casey, Dustin Nguyen, Marian Churchland and Gabriel Hardman. Comic Book Resources has the full report, and the text of Publisher Eric Stephenson’s keynote address, but we’ve gathered descriptions and images for each of the 12 comics below.

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