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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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These new superhero sunglasses are a wonder, Wonder Woman

sunstaches-wonder woman

While those Catwoman sunglasses we showcased earlier this month are undeniably awesome, maybe they’re not quite your style. Perhaps while you’re lounging on the beach you prefer to imagine yourself in Themyscira or, I don’t know, Central City. No matter, now Sun-Staches has you covered.

The company that makes the sunglasses/mask combos has expanded its line of comic book-themed novelty eye wear to include Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Spider-Man, Robin and Poison Ivy. (There are also Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but I’m not sure anyone over the age of 10 can get away with that.)

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LEGO unveils SDCC-exclusive Superman set


LEGO may have saved the best of its Comic-Con International exclusives for last.

Following its “Throne of Ultron playset, the tiny Star Wars Dagobah diorama and Sam Wilson Captain America minifigure, the toymaker has revealed a DC Comics Super Heroes Superman set that recreates Joe Shuster’s iconic cover for 1938’s Action Comics #1.

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Comics A.M. | Rare Superman comic stolen from Canadian store

Superman #3

Superman #3

Crime | A rare copy of 1939’s Superman #3 was stolen from Happy Harbor Comics in Edmonton, Alberta, sometime in the past week. The comic was displayed high on a wall, and when owner Jay Bardyla went to show it to a customer on Wednesday, it was missing. This issue would be worth $30,000 if it were in mint condition, but Happy Harbor’s copy had tears and other defects and was priced at $2,000. Bardyla and his staff are keeping an eye on comics sites and other comic shops to see if it turns up. “To my knowledge there’s not another copy of Superman #3 kicking around Edmonton so if it shows up at another shop, pawn shop or a flea market … hopefully if they see it they’ll let us know,” he said. [Global News]

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Mark Ruffalo and Jon Stewart argue Hulk vs. Superman


When Avengers: Age of Ultron star Mark Ruffalo stopped by The Daily Show Thursday night to promote his new film Infinity Polar Bear, an argument unexpectedly broke out … over who would win in a matchup between Superman and the Incredible Hulk.

For host Jon Stewart, there’s no contest: The Man of Steel would clearly triumph, at least if we’re talking about a standing high jump (which probably isn’t what most fans think of when they hear “Superman vs. Hulk”).

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Grumpy Old Fan | Can DC’s ‘Divergence’ be ‘definitive’?

We'll see

We’ll see

We’re in the second week of what I suppose I should call “Divergence,” because “Not the New 52″ sounds a little too cute. Last week was the first proper look at the new Superman status quo, and this week features the first full issue of the new Batman. For the most part, the new directions and relaunches I’ve seen have been pretty intriguing. However, underlying them is the age-old issue of maintaining a character’s core attributes.

I’ve talked about this before in the context of honoring a character’s creators. William Moulton Marston wanted Wonder Woman to have a very specific social-justice viewpoint, and to a certain extent Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster had a similar goal for Superman. Nevertheless, the two characters ended up developing in different ways.

Marston’s creative voice was never really duplicated, so Wonder Woman became just a bit more generic. Meanwhile, Superman’s multimedia success resulted in a number of new influences, which eventually helped transform Siegel and Shuster’s creation into an Establishment figure. Of course, subsequent shifts in society generally and comics particularly would push back, as with the Green Lantern/Green Arrow stories and Jack Kirby’s Jimmy Olsen in the ‘70s to the more socially conscious Wonder Woman stories in the ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s.

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Hyundai calls in the Justice League for new Grandeur TV spot


Warner Bros.’ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has nothing on this Hyundai commercial, which brings together the Man of Steel, the Dark Knight and the Fastest Man Alive to sell the new Grandeur. Oh, and save lives. Probably.

Debuting earlier this week in South Korea, the TV spot depicts a city under attack and a woman running through a parking garage as the structure crumbles around her. She’s met by Batman, Superman and The Flash — an “unexpected lineup,” the voiceover says — whose primary concern may be what they can do to get her into this Grandeur today (or Azera, depending on the market).

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