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‘LEGO Batman vs. Superman 2′ kicks the Dark Knight when he’s down


When an annoying, if confused, Dark Knight challenged a baffled, yet patient, Man of Steel last fall in the stop-motion animated short “LEGO Batman vs. Superman,” the confrontation didn’t end well for the Caped Crusader. Not well at all.

Now, nine long months later, Tommy Williamson and BrickNerd Studios have returned with the sequel “LEGO Batman vs. Superman 2: Dawn of Justice Desserts,” which finds the World’s Greatest Detective just as we left him: stuck beneath the overturned Batmobile.

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New Zealand tire shop’s superhero mascot no match for DC

super tyre guy2

A tire shop in New Zealand is changing its logo to avoid a costly legal battle with DC Comics, which insists its superhero mascot too closely resembles the Man of Steel.

The New Zealand Herald reports that Marie and Gene Young, owners of Super Tyre Guy in the small town Paeroa, received a cease-and-desist letter two weeks ago demanding they immediately stop using the costumed character.

Appearing on signage, T-shirts and a car advertising the Youngs’ business, Super Tyre Guy is dressed in a blue costume with orange (or perhaps red) cape, shorts and boots, and sports a diamond-shaped chest emblem containing the letter “G.” (For “Guy,” maybe?) It’s difficult to argue that the character doesn’t look a lot like Superman.

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Comics A.M. | Ted Rall claims he’s ‘vindicated’ by enhanced LAPD tape

Ted Rall

Ted Rall

Political cartoons | Cartoonist Ted Rall, who was cut loose last week by the Los Angeles Times after the Los Angeles Police Department cast doubt on a blog post he wrote for the newspaper about being stopped in 2001 for jaywalking, has posted an enhanced version of the audiotape of that incident, which he says backs his version of the story. [aNewDomain]

Creators | Stan Lee waxes philosophical in an interview conducted at Boston Comic Con: “I think people need somebody to look up to as a role model, you know? Just like people need to believe in God, you need to feel there’s someone somewhere who can help you because you’re aware this is not a perfect world.” [Boston Herald]

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These gorgeous superhero watercolor paintings make a splash


Artist Clementine Campardou challenged herself to paint a new picture each day that she’d share through an e-newsletter “Colour Up Your Day.” Over the course of two years, she’s produced more than 500 paintings, mostly beautiful watercolors, featuring an eclectic mix of subjects, ranging from birds and flowers to movie characters and superheroes. A lot of superheroes.

Superman, Wonder Woman, Silver Surfer, Wolverine, Supergirl, Gambit — they’re all there, in some cases multiple times, alongside the likes of Goku, Totoro, R2-D2, Astro Boy and Ken from Gatchaman. Oh, and Prince.

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Comics A.M. | Cartoonist Ted Rall calls out LA Times over firing

From Rall's blog post

From Rall’s blog post

Creators | Political cartoonist Ted Rall talks to the local news about his firing by the Los Angeles Times, which concluded a post he wrote in May for its OpinionLA blog about being stopped by police in 2001 for jaywalking contained “inconsistencies.” Rall, who worked for the Times on a freelance basis, insists the audiotape of the incident provided to the newspaper by the Los Angeles Police Department doesn’t contradict his statements about being treated rudely and handcuffed. “I would do it all over the same way today,” Rall told CBS Los Angeles. “I’m disgusted that the Times took the LAPD’s word, based on nothing.” [CBS Los Angeles]

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Comics A.M. | DC sues over Superman-inspired T-shirt design

Mad Engine's T-shirt design

Mad Engine’s T-shirt design

Legal | DC Comics has filed a trademark lawsuit against clothing manufacturer Mad Engine, claiming one of its T-shirt designs infringes on the iconic Superman shield (it replaces the signature “S” with “Dad”).  The shirt was sold through Target, which isn’t part of the suit. DC sent a cease-and-desist letter to Mad Engine on June 1, but, the publisher claims, the clothing company didn’t respond until June 19 “in an effort to allow the Infringing T-Shirt to remain available for sale through Father’s Day.” [The Hollywood Reporter]

Retailing | David Harper asked 25 comics retailers how they feel about their business (spoiler: mostly optimistic), what their customer base is like, how they determine which comics to order (some really interesting comments here), and their thoughts on the industry as a whole. With the caveat that it’s a small group, it’s fascinating stuff. [Sktchd]

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Alex Ross’ ‘Secret Wars’ #8 cover features Super, subtle cameo

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 11.43.30 AM

Last week, we pointed out that Wes Craig’s variant cover for The Flash #44, celebrating the 75th anniversary of Green Lantern, featured one Galactus-sized cameo. Marvel has now returned the favor with an even subtler guest appearance on one of its own front splahses.

Alex Ross’ cover for Secret Wars #8 is a gorgeous work of art, with Mr. Fantastic and Dr. Doom clashing in the middle as reality rips and explodes around them. You can see the origin of the Hulk; the death of Elektra; the birth of Franklin Richards; and even a ride with the Rawhide Kid, Kid Colt, and, oh, let’s say the Dakota Kid. Down in the bottom left corner of the cover is, of course, Spider-Man. But this isn’t a depiction of just any old “Spider-Man on a radio tower” scene, and he’s actually not alone in that image.

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Grumpy Old Fan | Ease your con crud with DC’s October solicits

It's its own monster variant

It’s its own monster variant

This month’s look at DC’s immediate future is going to be a little more concise than usual, because I am dealing with a summer cold which refuses to go away (and it has nothing to do with Comic-Con, to boot). If the Lord had visited a plague of mucous unto Pharaoh, it would have been something like this.

Anyway, in the wake of Comic-Con, DC has released its October solicits to remind us that all those ideas for movies and TV shows have to come from somewhere. Speaking of which, October is also the month when Flash and Arrow return to The CW, and when Supergirl debuts on CBS. Accordingly, I was expecting a little more tie-in product, but I guess that will have to wait.


The biggest news — at least in terms of reader commitment — comes once more from the Bat-office, in the form of the new six-month weekly miniseries Batman And Robin Eternal. Following up structurally, if not quite thematically, on 2014-15’s Batman Eternal, apparently it will deal with the repercussions of a case from the Dick-as-Robin days, and also it will bring back Cassandra Cain. The old case is advertised as “the most disturbing of their crimefighting career,” so yay for that. Presumably it’s “most disturbing to that point,” because by himself the Joker has probably committed a half-dozen fairly disturbing capers.

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Batman, Superman collide with ‘Thomas & Friends’ for unexpected mash-up


It really shouldn’t come as a surprise when two very different, yet very popular franchises come together for a special crossover or mash-up. And yet, I don’t think anyone could have seen this one coming: Thomas the Tank Engine meets the DC Universe.

Debuting on YouTube, a new cartoon short features the cast of the pre-school juggernaut franchise as Superman, Batman and Cyborg tackling a pair of iconic DC villains to save the day.

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After 23 surgeries to look like Superman, ‘Man of Plastic’ meets his Kryptonite


Herbert Chavez, the Superman fanatic who’s undergone 23 surgeries to make himself look more like the Man of Steel, may have discovered his Kryptonite: his doctors.

Over the past 18 years, the Filipino man has spent thousands of dollars in hopes of achieving his goal — liposuction, eye surgery, skin lightening, cheek and jaw augmentation — you name it. “I hope to become the Man of Plastic,” he says.

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Mondo’s Comic-Con lineup includes TMNT figure, Ant-Man poster


We debuted Mondo’s First Hellboy statue, based Mike Mignola’s original drawing of the character, earlier this month, but this morning the collectible art boutique revealed more of its offerings for Comic-Con International.

They include a limited-edition Ant-Man poster by Kevin Tong, inspired by the upcoming Marvel Studios film, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo collectible figure, and a vinyl edition of the Aliens soundtrack and a die-cut single of the themes from Superman: The Animated Series. (You may recall that last year Mondo released Batman: The Animated Series on 7-inch and 12-inch die-cut vinyl).

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Mattel brings ‘Batman v Superman’ toys to Comic-Con


Following in the footsteps of Funko and LEGO, Mattel has unveiled its own Comic-Con International-exclusive toys for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Debuting this morning in USA Today, the lineup includes a two-pack of 6-inch action figures based on the likenesses of Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill ($30); a Hot Wheels Batmobile with limited-edition packaging ($25); and a 12-inch Wonder Woman Barbie based on Gal Gadot’s likeness (Batman and Superman will also be part of a new Barbie line).

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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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Fan recreates classic comic book covers in LEGO


Who needs LEGO’s Comic-Con International-exclusive Superman playset when you can create your own brick homages to classic comic book covers? Well, as long as you have the creativity, and the right LEGO pieces.

Luckily imgur user Corsairsteel has both, as demonstrated in this gallery of LEGO dioramas recreating covers ranging from Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27 to The Incredible Hulk #125 and Batman: The Killing Joke. Most of them even include the trade dress, word balloons and blurbs.

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Funko unveils first ‘Batman v Superman’ toys


Funko may have saved the best for last, concluding 10 waves of Comic-Con International exclusives with the debut of the first toys tied to next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

They’re a Pop! Heroes two-pack, featuring bobblehead figures of the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel (the former with a Batarang, the latter in flight). Funko isn’t offering a preorder option this year, so collectors will have to wait in line at the convention, and hope supplies hold out.

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