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‘Star Wars’ fan receives Stormtrooper funeral procession

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When lifelong Star Wars fan Gordon Deacon lost his battle last month with cancer, his wife Marilyn decided to send him off in style: with an escort of stormtroopers.

They marched ahead of the horse-drawn funeral carriage today as it made its way to St. Margaret’s Church in Roath, Cardiff, in Wales. Gordon, 58, was also a fan of the Liverpool Football Club, so the horses were adorned with red feathers and the coffin with a Liverpool and Star Wars floral tribute.” Even the mourners were asked to wear red or Star Wars costumes.

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It’s ‘Flash Appreciation Day’ (minus the presidential declaration)

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As you may have guessed by the absence of an early-morning address from the White House, the organizers of the petition to have Feb. 11 declared by President Obama as “Flash Appreciation Day” fell short of their goal. However, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

No, they contend, the blame falls squarely on the Reverse-Flash. It seems the WhiteHouse.gov petition actually received the 10,000 signatures required for consideration, promptly leading to a presidential declaration. However, Reed Beebe of Nothing But Comics writes that the Scarlet Speedster’s arch-nemesis “went back in time and changed history so that none of that happened.  In our altered timeline, the petition still received an impressive amount of signatures (over 700), and a lot of fan support, but just not enough to merit official consideration by the President.”

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Kamala Khan gets her own con—on Tumblr

Kamala Khan Cookie

Kamala Khan Cookie

For the past week, Kamala Khan fans have been gathering at Kamalacon, a Tumblr celebrating the one-year anniversary of the first issue of Ms. Marvel. I have no idea whether this is a grass-roots thing or some clever guerrilla marketing by Marvel, but it’s fascinating to see the range of fans who have contributed cosplay photos, selfies with their collections, Kamala-themed playlists, and fanart that ranged from sketchbook drawings to animated GIFs to cookies and Funko sculptures. There was even a virtual gift exchange.

Kamalacon kicked off with a series of essays by readers about what Kamala Khan means to them. The first thing that struck me on glancing at them was the diversity of the writers. There’s something universal about Kamala’s story that appeals to many readers, from a Muslim woman who sees parallels to her own life to the white guy who compares it to Quasar to explain what makes Ms. Marvel good and Kamala bad—and makes a good point:

People talk about why they need diversity in comics, and usually it boils down to the importance of representation. But it also just makes better comics. Kamala Khan can tell stories and do things and go place that Wendell Vaughn simply can’t. When a publisher only stocks Wendell Vaughns in their creative toolbox, they’re putting artificial limits on the kinds of stories they can make. They cheat themselves and their audience. As long as Kamala’s on the beat, the industry’s headed in the right direction, however slowly.

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‘Star Wars’ fan builds his own radio-controlled Millennium Falcon

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While it’s unlikely to set any records on the Kessel Run, one Star Wars fan has made a radio-controlled Millennium Falcon that does indeed fly.

What Princess Leia might view as a bucket of bolts is actually a hull crafted by Olivier C out of insulant, expanded polystyrene and attached to a quadcopter, which as the name suggests in propelled by four rotors (it’s not, Olivier points out, a drone). It’s even wired with lights that mimic those on the actual Millennium Falcon.

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3-year-old marks last day of chemo by dressing as Wonder Woman

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Three-year-old Sophia Sandoval of San Antonio, Texas, was diagnosed in May with medulloblastoma, a brain tumor, leading to months of chemotherapy. On Friday, the Wonder Woman fan celebrated her final treatment by dressing up as one of her favorite superheroes, much to the delight of Lynda Carter.

In a photo posted Tuesday on the Jessie Rees Foundation Facebook page and then widely circulated through social media, Sophia strikes a pose while standing in her bed at San Antonio’s Methodist Children’s Hospital holding a sign that reads, “My Last Day of Chemo. It Was Tough But I Was Tougher.”

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Airbrushed 1978 ‘Star Trek’ van could take you to the final frontier

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BoingBoing has stumbled across a vehicle so stellar you can probably see it from space. And it could be yours for just $9,500.

A Canadian man has (reluctantly) listed his sweet 1978 GMC Star Trek van on sale on Craigslist. The van, which is “NOT a vehicle for the shy,” according to the ad, consists of one, large paint job done by artist G.S. Roy.

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Fan has nose cut off, face tattooed so he’ll look like Red Skull

Red-skull

In a story that seems ripped from the pages of Weekly World News, or maybe just Captain America, we now learn of a comics fan who’s had subdermal implants, tattoos and part of his nose removed in an effort to make himself look like the Red Skull.

Suddenly, that Superman fan who’s undergone numerous plastic surgeries to resemble the Man of Steel doesn’t seem so extreme, does he?

(Fair warning: Actual photos follow.)

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Ay caramba! This ‘Simpsons’ pixel tribute video is incredible

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Animators Paul Robertson and Ivan Dixon collaborated on an inspired tribute to The Simpsons that recreates the iconic opening using pixel art, right down to an incredible couch gag that rivals any seen on the show.

There are some wonderful touches throughout the nearly two-minute video, from the pixelated theme music recreated by Jeremy Dower to Bart writing “Pixel art is not real art” on the chalkboard to the nods to classic video games in the Kwik-E-Mart and sidewalk sequences. But that couch gag … you just have to watch it for yourself.

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LEGO fan creates 5-foot U.S.S. Enterprise with 18,000 bricks

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Although he wasn’t seeking out new life and new civilizations, LEGO enthusiast Chris Melby was indeed on a mission: to build a replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise from J.J. Abrams’ rebooted Star Trek franchise.

Eight months, 18,000 bricks and “tons of coin” later, he accomplished just that, with a starship that measures 68 inches long, 29 inches wide, and stands about 32 inches tall on its wooden base. More impressive still, Melby found a way to do it while hiding all of the signature LEGO studs. (The solution? Layers.)

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11-year-old argues for more female superheroes, and DC agrees

justice league chibiEleven-year-old Rowan has the same complaint that a lot of fans do — that there simply aren’t enough comics, movies and toys featuring female superheroes. So she wrote a letter to DC Comics, saying, “Please do something about this. Girls read comics too and they care.”

Today, DC answered.

The letter, posted Wednesday this week on the blog of family friend David M. Perry, garnered a lot of attention on Twitter. “I love superheroes and have been reading comics and watching superhero cartoons and movies since I was very young,” Rowan writes. “I’m a girl, and I’m upset because there aren’t very many girl superheroes or movies and comics from DC.”

The goes on to point out the disparity between the number of toys based on male heroes and those based on female heroes, not to mention the lack of a Wonder Woman television series. “Marvel Comics made a movie about a talking tree and raccoon awesome,” she notes, “but you haven’t made a movie with Wonder Woman.”

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Sides are drawn in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ fan trailer

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After impressing recently with his epic trailer for a DC vs. Marvel movie and even Star Wars vs. Marvel and DC, Alex Luthor is back with his take on the upcoming Captain America: Civil War.

Using footage from The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3 and the trailers for Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron, among other sources (some of which I don’t recognize), he’s crafted a pretty solid narrative that pits Tony Stark against Steve Rogers, with Black Widow, Falcon, Bucky Barnes, War Machine and even Scott Lang left to choose sides.

It’s pretty compelling, and the closest thing we’re likely to come to any actual Civil War footage for at least six months or so.

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Danish officials foil man’s bid to change name to Superhero

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Danish officials have dashed the hopes of a Copenhagen toy store owner who wanted to call himself Superhero. However, like a true superhero, he isn’t giving up without a fight.

BBC News reports that 26-year-old Benjamin Preisler Herbst hoped to tack “Superhero” onto the beginning of his name, as so much of his life revolves around comic book characters. But after a four-month review, authorities rejected his request, writing, “The word superhero is a term for a fictional/non-existent figure. We don’t believe that Superhero lives up to the criteria for being approved as a boy’s name.”

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On Norm Breyfogle: What would Batman do?

retun of scarfaceSpring 1992’s Batman #475 may not be all that important in the Dark Knight’s history, but it was a pretty pivotal issue in my own history with comics. It wasn’t just the first time I bought a Batman comic — beginning a growing interest in superhero comics that has yet to subside — but it was also the first time I encountered the work of artist Norm Breyfogle.

It was his incredible artwork that convinced me to purchase that issue over all of the other Batman comics on the stands and in the beat-up boxes of my local comic shop, and that fueled my many return visits, to buy new Breyfogle-drawn Batman comics as they arrived and dig out the dozens of earlier ones from the back-issue bins.

At the time, comics cost just $1 — a quarter of what the average issue costs today — but I was 14 years old, so my only income came from allowance, birthday and Christmas gifts, and what my grandfather paid me to mow his lawn. Comics were to me then, as they are now, a luxury purchase of sorts, something one spent one’s extra money on. As adults, that means they’re what we buy after we’ve paid the rent and utilities, bought groceries and filled up the gas tank.

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Artist reboots the Marvel Universe with ‘Supreme Marvel’

supreme marvel

Following Marvel’s Secret Wars press conference on Tuesday, fans were left to speculate what a combined Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe might look like. We already have some pretty intriguing ideas, courtesy of an enterprising cartoonist named Calvin.

Getting the jump on the official announcement, he’s reimagined the Marvel Universe in a series of of illustrations called Supreme Marvel. Described as his “own little reboot” of Marvel, Calvin comes to this with a mission in mind: “One of the main driving points of this project was to introduce more diversity in the Marvel Universe, as well as highlight existing diverse characters!”

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Oliver Queen & Ra’s al Ghul swing lightsabers in ‘Arrow Jedi’ finale

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If Dave Jones has proved anything with his Arrow Jedi mashups, it’s that with lightsaber effects, a John Williams score and the stray droid cameo, Starling City can be convincingly transformed into a galaxy far, far away.

He debuted his trilogy in May with “Under the Hood,” which included appearances by R2-D2 and an Ewok, which he followed in November with “Corto Maltese.” But all of that was only laying the groundwork for the epic finale, “The Climb,” which reimagines Arrow‘s midseason cliffhanger — the showdown between Ra’s al Ghul and Oliver Queen — as a high-stakes confrontation between Sith Lord and Jedi.

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