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Dark Knight returns in animated Batman vs. Terminator fan short

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Batman has taken on Predator and, with assistance from Superman, both Aliens and Predator. Yet somehow he’s never faced the Terminator — until now, that is.

In this tense short conceived by Tony Guerrero and animated by Mitchell Hammond, we’re reintroduced to Bruce Wayne, 30 years after Skynet’s nuclear blasts, as he tries to make his way across the wasteland of the United States “to join forces with the man determined to neutralize the electronic menace — John Conner.”

Batman Vs. The Terminator feels very much like The Dark Knight Returns meets Akira meets Heavy Metal. And at a little less than five minutes long, it’s far too short.

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Comic-Con International opens ‘Early Bird Hotel Sale’

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Comic-Con International has kicked off its “Early Bird Hotel Sale,” offering a limited number of rooms in Mission Valley and the airport area at special rates before general housing opens.

Beyond the geographic restrictions — no downtown rooms are included in the sale — there are some other notable conditions, including full, non-refundable “prepayment” at the time of the book. Nearly all of the hotels also require a minimum three- or four-night minimum stay. The early-bird rates expire on April 8, after which reservations are non-transferable.

Attendees staying Mission Valley and the airport area would need to take a 15- to 20-minute shuttle or cab ride to and from the San Diego Convention Center. Twenty-four-hour shuttle service to Comic-Con begins at 7 a.m. Thursday, July 24 and continues through 7 p.m. Sunday, July 27.

Disney & Marvel assemble Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

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Fresh from Sunday’s Disney Princess event, runDisney has announced the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend. It marks the first such collaboration since Disney acquired Marvel in 2009.

Planned for Nov. 14-16 at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, the event includes a kids race, a 5K and half marathon — it’s a new 13.1-mile route through the theme park –  a pre-race pasta party featuring the Marvel characters and a merchandise expo. Registration opens March 25.

“RunDisney races are a natural fit because our comic book Super Heroes embody many of the same brand attributes as runDisney, such as heroism and intensity with a heavy dose of fun,” Dan Buckley, Marvel’s president of TV, publishing and brand management, said in a statement. “This race weekend will have a very distinct atmosphere that will appeal to comic book fans and runDisney fans.”

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Meet the next Avengers franchise: the fan-made Avengers UK

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Marvel’s Avengers have grown from a single team to a full-blown franchise, with early spinoffs like West Coast Avengers giving way to the current crop, which sports modifiers like “New,” “Mighty,” “Young,” “A.I.” and even “World.” But some U.K. fans felt at least one version of the Avengers was missing … so they made their own.

Avengers UK is a “‘just for fun non-profit’ fan-based fiction,” where a group of Marvel’s British-based heroes unite to fight evil. According to writer/artist Darren Wilson, in Avengers UK you can “see spectacular battles, amazing abilities and standards of queuing up in a way that only residents of the U.K. can truly achieve (except maybe not the last one)!”

As seen above, the primary Avengers UK team is Captain Britain, Pete Wisdom, Dark Angel and Motormouth, although the comic has teased other members — both memorable and arcane in Marvel and Marvel UK continuity.

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Cemetery reinstalls SpongeBob gravestones

The SpongeBob monuments, in their original form

The SpongeBob monuments, in their original form

A year after the murder of Army Sgt. Kimberly Walker, her family has resolved their dispute with a Cincinnati cemetery about the SpongeBob SquarePants monuments commissioned to mark the grave site.

Their disagreement drew national attention last fall after the family was told the two 6-foot-tall, 7,000-pound statues — one for Kimberly Walker and the other for her living twin sister Kara — didn’t meet the standards of the historic Spring Grove Cemetery and had to be removed. That’s despite the Walker family receiving design approval from a cemetery employee for the $26,000 monuments, which were created with the permission of Nickelodeon. The cemetery insisted the staff member simply made a mistake, and offered alternative proposals.

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Man proposes with epic cosplay movie mash-up

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We’ve showcased plenty of creative marriage proposals and ceremonies, with all of the trappings, from the “battle wedding” and slasher-comic engagement photos to the Scott Pilgrim-themed proposal scavenger hunt and the Bat-themed wedding. However, this one may take the cake (so to speak): When Victor Delgado wanted to ask his girlfriend to marry him, he turned to some friends — more than 50 of them, in fact — for help. A lot of help.

It took months of shooting and weeks of editing, not to mention assistance from the likes of the Costumers Guild of Hawaii, the Pacific Outpost 501st, Ghostbusters:Hawaii Division and the League of Shadows Hawaii, but the epic mash-up of sci-fi and action movies produced by Oahu-based JHM Productions was undoubtedly worth it. If, y’know, Delgado’s girlfriend said “yes.”

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Wolverine Cat & Cyclops Cat are the cutest there is at what they do

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If you’ve long wondered what Wolverine and Cyclops might be like as cats, welcome to the Internet: Filmmaker Kaipo Jones has created a pair of videos in which he envisions s cat first with indestructible adamantium claws and then with optic blasts. The world — not to mention the house — will never be the same again.

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Yale Stewart’s ‘JL8′ comes to the rescue on Valentine’s Day

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Cartoonist Yale Stewart, creator of the popular fan comic JL8 and apparent author of an upcoming licensed Superman’s book, has released a series of Valentine’s Day cards featuring seven of his li’l Justice Leaguers.

He encourages fans to print them out and “share these with your special someone/someones,” which might be a particularly good idea for anyone who forget this is the Big Day. Heck, even if you did remember, it wouldn’t hurt to stick one of these in the bouquet.

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Wizard World & Cinedigm team for digital comic con channel

wizard worldWizard World has partnered with online content distributor Cinedigm to launch a digital channel targeting fans of comics/pop culture conventions.

As described, the channel will offer sci-fi, fantasy, horror, gaming and animation content using a business model that blends advertising  support and premium subscriptions. The latter will provide exclusive access to “exclusive access to the events, panels, talent, and fans that make the Comic Con experience so exciting.”

“This is an exciting day for the fans of pop-culture around the country,” Wiazrd World CEO John Macaluso said in a statement. “To have 24/7 access to all the content that Cinedigm and Wizard World provide collectively provide, at the touch of a button, provides tremendous value for our fans.”

Wizard World, which is scheduled to host 16 conventions nationwide this year, is compiling panel coverage that will premiere on the as-yet-unnamed channel.

‘They are starved for content and looking for content they can relate to’

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“While we don’t have any market research, the eyes don’t lie. If you go to conventions and comic book stores, more and more female readers are emerging. They are starved for content and looking for content they can relate to.”

– Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, discussing comics’ shifting demographics

Comics A.M. | Al Plastino’s Superman art arrives at JFK library

Superman's Mission for President Kennedy

Superman’s Mission for President Kennedy

Comics | Once the paperwork is complete, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library will officially own the original artwork for the 1964 DC Comics story “Superman’s Mission For President Kennedy,” fulfilling one of artist Al Plastino’s final wishes. Plastino, who passed away Nov. 25 at age 91, was surprised to discover at New York Comic Con a month earlier that the pages hadn’t been donated to the library five decades earlier, as he’d been led to believe, but were instead set to be sold at auction on the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. The auction was put on hold until questions of ownership could be resolved, and Plastino spent the final weeks of his life campaigning for the return of the artwork, even petitioning a judge to force the auction house to reveal the name of the seller. DC Entertainment intervened in December to acquire the pages and give them to the library. “We are thrilled to receive this historic artwork and look forward to sharing it with the public when the legal transfer is completed,” library director Tom Putnam said in a statement. [Newsday]

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Judging by fan trailer, Hawkman may not fit into WB’s film plans

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With rumors circulating about cameos by the Flash, Aquaman and even Martian Manhunter in the Man of Steel sequel, it’s likely only a matter of time before Warner Bros. gets around to everyone’s favorite Thanagarian (and/or reincarnated Egyptian prince). If studio executives have any doubts, Good Mythical Morning presents an argument for why Hawkman deserves to headline his own movie that, if I’m understanding it right, would be pitched as “Any Which Way But Loose meets Fly Away Home meets Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

There’s also a trailer which, to be fair, features a costume only slightly worse than the one Hawkman wore on Smallville.

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After detailing life of Iron Man action figure, fan turns to Thor

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For nearly a year and a half, from June 2012 to November 2013, an unidentified Facebook user, with some help from friends, chronicled the worldwide adventures on a pint-sized Tony Stark on a page called Poses (with Iron Man), photographing the action figure in myriad scenarios, often accompanied by captions. Around the house, with pets, in the car, on trips to Chicago, New York City, Uganda and Australia and … it was seemingly endless.

But then, on Nov. 14, they suddenly stopped. However, this morning, a video appeared, showing a hand reaching in frame to place the Iron Man figure on the shelf, only to pick up Thor. A note reads, “Coming in February …”

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Artist Patrick Dean offers effortless cosplay ideas

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There are a lot of creative folks who put a lot of work into their cosplay costumes, and it really shows. Then there are others who wouldn’t mind dressing up, but they’re intimidated by the amount of work involved. For those people, artist Patrick Dean is here to help: He’s started a blog called My Half Ass Cosplay Ideas, which feature cheap and effortless costumes made from “stuff you probably already have in your closet.”

Check out some of his designs below, and visit his blog to see all of them.

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Help make the ‘Assault on Wayne Manor’ LEGO set a reality

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So there’s this LEGO crowdsourcing site I just learned about this week called LEGO Cuusoo where:

1. Fans submit their own fantasy LEGO sets.
2. Other fans vote on them if they think they are cool.
3. LEGO actually reviews all the submissions that receive 10,000 votes and decide if they want to pursue it as an actual LEGOS set.
4. The person who came up with the idea, if it gets turned into a real LEGO set, gets a percentage of sales.

People submit all kinds of LEGO creations, from models of the Apple Store to Legend of Zelda sets (which unfortunately didn’t pass muster when reviewed by LEGO — you can see recent review results here). And of course, there are some comic-inspired projects, not the least of which is this very awesome Assault on Wayne Manor playset.

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