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Chris Sims

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Batgirl Takes The A.L.S. Ice Bucket Challenge (With A Very Special Guest)

Since you are reading this on the Internet, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you're already familiar with the Ice Bucket Challenge, wherein folks are being nominated by friends, fans and colleagues to dump buckets of freezing cold water on their heads on camera to raise awareness of (and money to combat) ALS, a neurodegenerative disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord -- or Lou Gehrig's Disease, as it is popularly known. Over the past few weeks, we've seen plenty of famous folks taking the challenge, but now, it has busted right through the Fourth Wal, and all the way to Gotham City's Burnside neighborhood.

This particular challenge was issued by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr, the creative team for the revamp of Batgirl, and the challengee is Barbara Gordon herself, who seems set on finding out just how helpful that new jacket is going to be in fighting off the cold.

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Category: News
Hello Kitty art by Jacob Chabot

Hello Kitty Is Not A Cat, Everything You Know Is A Lie

If you're not already, you may want to sit down, and if you're already sitting down, you may want to go ahead and clear off a spot on the floor so that you can lay there and stare into space thinking about how everything you have been told in your life has been rooted in lies and deception. Are you sitting? Good.

So it turns out Hello Kitty is not actually a cat.

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Category: News Tags:
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Gotham Academy: Becky Cloonan’s Super Cool Hero Portraits, Character Breakdowns and Guerrilla Marketing

I don't think it's possible for the staff of ComicsAlliance to get more excited for Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl's Gotham Academy than we already are, but if there's one thing that could do it, it's seeing the characters for the new book in a set of brand-new promo images drawn by Cloonan. Today, that's exactly what we've got, so prepare yourself, because they are fantastic.

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Category: News
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Here’s The Thing, Episode 21: A Brief History Of Firestorm [Video]

If our weekly Ask Chris column isn't enough of definitive comic book (and pro wrestling) opinions for you, good news: ComicsAlliance is proud to present Here's The Thing, a series of videos where you can join our own extremely opinionated senior writer, Chris Sims, as he dives into comics history to explain why you're wrong and he's right.

This week, a few viewers write in to ask about the history of Firestorm, a relatively obscure DC Comics character who was most prominent in the 1980s. As you may already know, obscure DC characters from the '80s are Chris's entire jam, which sends him on a long explanation of who Firestorm is and how he came to be, from the DC Implosion to Brave and the Bold.

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Category: Opinion
Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading: IDW’s ‘Judge Dredd’ And Image’s ‘Fatale’ Are On Sale

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you, the discerning ComicsAlliance reader, like to get good comics without paying a lot of money for them. That's a pretty safe bet, right? I mean, who doesn't like getting comics on the cheap, especially when they're critically acclaimed titles -- specifically, titles that have been critically acclaimed by us, America's Most Beloved Comics Reviewers?

That's why we're keeping an eye on the sales over at Comixology to help you find the best comics that you can grab on the cheap, and spend your weekend with some great stories. This week: Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Fatale and IDW's line of Judge Dredd titles!

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Category: Articles
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‘X-Cessive Force’ Print Breaks Down All The Powers Of Marvel’s Most Violent Mutants

I grew up in the '90s, so no matter what I do with the rest of my life, I will always have a certain amount of nostalgic affection for X-Force. The hyperviolent, gun-toting mutant strike force that was originally created by Rob Liefeld back in 1991 has gone through a lot of different lineups and changes over the years, but one thing they've always had in common is that they specialize in massive amounts of destruction.
But just how is that destruction carried out? Graphic designer Rogan Josh has the answer in a new poster that he made where the various rosters are broken down to show just what they can accomplish, whether it's through claws, blades, claw-blades, or just good old fashioned guns.

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Category: Articles
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‘Teen Titans Go!’ Invokes Schoolhouse Rock To Explain Human Metaphors To Starfire [Video]

Starfire has a problem. Thanks to her alien upbringing and her unfamiliarity with the intricacies of Earth languages, she has a hard time communicating with her friends, who are always using the metaphors. She tends to be a little more literal, and that's making her feel a little "uncool" around her "teen" "pals."

Fortunately, this week's episode of Teen Titans GO!, "Knowledge," finds Raven willing to help, with the show going into full-on Schoolhouse Rock mode for a song about how to spice up her conversations, and it is amazing.

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Category: News
New Suicide Squad, DC Comics

Wait, Did ‘New Suicide Squad’ Just Become DC’s Smartest Team Book?

When DC Comics launched its "New 52" Universe a few years back, Suicide Squad was pretty much the bottom of a barrel that wasn't really in good shape to begin with. Despite being an attempt to revive one of the best, most elegantly crafted and thought-provoking superhero books of the 1980s, the New 52 version was a noisy, soulless mess that ended up doing almost irreparable damage to characters like Harley Quinn in the name of making something more extreme, in a true late '90s Juggalo sense of the word. When the series was finally canceled and relaunched, I honestly wasn't expecting it to get any better, especially since the new lineup included the addition of one of the worst new DC characters of the past several years.

But we're two issues into what writer Sean Ryan (and about 27 artists so far) is doing with the re-relaunched title, New Suicide Squad, and while I'm not sure, I think it might actually be the smartest team book DC's putting out.

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Category: Opinion
Ask Chris #206, Art by Erica Henderson

Ask Chris #206: Spider-Man And The Rise Of The Teenage Superhero

Q: Just watched the latest Here's The Thing. I'd love to hear you expound on some of the attempts at re-creating Spider-Man. -- @stophatinisbad

A: In case you missed it, this week's episode of Here's The Thing was focused on the idea of legacy and how it shaped the Green Lantern franchise -- and how it ultimately failed to really take hold in the way that it did in books like Flash and -- but one of the things I mentioned was that Kyle Rayner was one of many attempts to create a character in the mold of Spider-Man. It happens like clockwork, not just at DC and Marvel but across the board, and it's one of the most important aspects of how superhero comics developed.

So really, I'm glad you asked, because the reason behind this gives me a chance to dive into some of my favorite subjects, like the socioeconomic impact of the rise of the teenager as a social construct, and how that led directly to the creation of Darkhawk.

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Category: Opinion Tags: ,
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There Is An Optic Blast That Will Never Go Out: Adam Villacin Mashes Up The Smiths And The X-Men

I'll admit that I've never really been into the Smiths, but I have no trouble believing that the X-Men, Marvel's mopiest mutants, would beall about that stuff. I mean, their entire deal is that they combine eye-lasers with angst and occasionally use that mixture to power trips to space, right? It's a perfect match.

Or at least, that's the conclusion that artist Adam Villacin came to with "These Charming X-Men," a series of portraits on display at Secret Headquarters in Los Angeles that mashed up the Children of the Atom with Morrissey's most famous lyrics, resulting in absolute hilarity. Seriously, Cyclops trying to cover his eyes set to "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" might be the best thing I've seen all day, and that's just where it starts.

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Category: Articles

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