Friday, July 18, 2008

Pop links

Dial B for Blog explores 1960s Batmania in the pages of 16 Magazine. This is part of a 16 Days of Batman series over there, which promises to be awesome. Stick around here in coming days, too, as Pop Culture Safari presents various Bat-artifacts in our daily posts.

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A film exploring John Lennon's troubled childhood is in the works.

Entitled 'Nowhere Boy', the film will be written by Michael Greenhalgh, who adapted the late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis' wife Debbie Curtis' autobiography, 'Touching From A Distance', for last year's film 'Control'.

The Lennon film will cover the story of late Beatle's childhood in Liverpool, where he was brought up by his aunt Mimi after his mother Julia died in an accident involving a police car...


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Musicologists have saved a cache of endangered tapes by electronic music pioneer--and "Doctor Who" theme creator--Delia Derbyshire.

...the collection, which comprises 267 tapes, correspondence and scores, was entrusted Mark Ayres, the Radiophonic Workshop.

The material had languished unheard for 30 years until it was passed to Manchester University’s School of Art, Histories and Culture to catalogue and preserve. The material, in poor condition, had to be played on a 1960s Studer A80 tape machine lent by the BBC’s Manchester studios before it could be digitised.


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Pappy presents a rare Walt Kelly tale from 1949.

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Today in sharity:

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Does the world really need a Watchmen movie?

It's always sort of exciting to see comic book characters you've known for years fleshed out in live action movie posters, pics and trailers, even though--90 percent of the time--I never end up going to the films being advertised.

Usually the movies are bad. Or the portrayal of the characters is so far off the mark for my tastes. I don't know, for example, if I'll see "Batman: The Dark Knight," despite all the great reviews it's generated. I've lived with dark Batman for 20-some years now and, frankly, I liked him a lot more the way he was before. The best-ever on-screen take of the character for me was "Batman: The Animated Series." And his high water mark in comic books was when Denny O'Neill and Neal Adams chronicled his adventures, not that I don't love the Fox/Finger/Sprang stories or the Haney/Aparo "Brave and Bold" years just as much.

And then there's "The Watchmen." The limited series came out 20 years ago and, along with Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight," and changed the super-hero genre completely. Maybe forever. And, in my opinion, for the worse.

These were groundbreaking comics at the time: Dark takes on the super-hero mythos. And they were fascinating to read. But I think anything provocative they had to say has been diluted by the influence they had on every other super-hero comic that followed. The genre has become one of unrelenting darkness with nary a spot of humor or whimsy to be seen.

And, in recent years, super-hero movies have followed suit. From what I've seen and read of it, "Batman: The Dark Knight" is what it is because of "The Watchmen" and Frank Miller's Batman comics. "Spider-Man 3" was fairly dark. Same with "The Incredible Hulk." Those movies, along with "Iron Man" and others aren't appropriate for children--the audience the characters were originally created to entertain--even though there's still plenty of toys and other related merchandise from those movies being marketed to kids.

So, I'm wondering, will "The Watchmen" film have any sort of impact in the wider culture--that which exists outside the walls of comic book shops? Seems like the general public may likely say "Dark superheroes. Seen it." And, unlike Batman and the Hulk, none of these characters has any name brand recognition. People may go because it looks cool and it has superheroes in it. But will they come away feeling any of the shock and awe present in the Alan Moore-David Gibbons comic series?

It may well be "just another super-hero film," where "The Watchmen," at the time, was anything but "just another super-hero comic."

Entertainment Weekly sports Watchmen cover

Here's the cover of the new Entertainment Weekly, spotlighting the "Watchmen" film adaptation.

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You can see a trailer for a movie on the movie's official site here.

New pics from The Spirit

Here are three new pics from Frank Miller's "The Spirit," based on the Will Eisner comics character.

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Eva Mendes as Sand Saref

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Jaime King as Lorelei Rox

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Scarlett Johansson as Silken Floss

Comic book cover deja vu

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pop links

Anatomy of a No-Prize.

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Black Canary Barbie has generated a bit of controversy in the UK.

Makers Mattel say Black Canary Barbie, out in September, is based on a DC comic superhero of the same name.

But religious group Christian Voice said: “Barbie has always been on the tarty side and this is taking it too far.


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Ray Davies is writing a musical based on his old Kinks' hit "Come Dancing."

The musical...will be performed for the first time at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in the autumn and rumours are rife that Davies will appear in the show – but as a narrator rather than a singer.

Batman: Dark Knight review roundup

The consensus seems like this one's supposed to be quite good. Personally, I'm not so sure I like my Batman and Joker so dark, but...that's just the way things have gotten, I guess.

Chicago Courier News
Oppressive but never overwrought, it's a comic-book adaptation in which there will be blood.

Paul Thomas Anderson's fuming There Will Be Blood, an Oscar runner-up this year, is not too lofty a comparison (neither, really, would be the tragedies of Shakespeare). Both pictures employ staggering cinematic artistry to explore the pursuit of power and the way it can corrupt even the most well-meaning men.

... The Dark Knight takes us deep into madness, albeit the pop variety. It's a comic-book adaptation with real weight.

Most superhero movies make you slightly envious of the out-of-this-world characters and their powers. After watching The Dark Knight, you'll be relieved to be normal.


Buffalo News
Welcome to one of the most remarkable “comic book movies” ever made.

“The Dark Knight” is the best “Batman” movie since Tim Burton’s remarkable first one in 1989. It is, in every way, so far above anyone’s sensible expectations for a comic book movie that it stands a good chance of being the great movie of summer 2008 (and one of the great movies of the year).

“The Dark Knight” is such a deep, dark, dire meditation on heroism, evil, social class and urban corruption that you realize just how very far beyond a “comic book” this movie goes.


San Jose Mercury News
In his final performance — not counting an unfinished role in Terry Gilliam's "The Imagination of Doctor Parnassus" — Ledger turns the iconic character into a truly frightening villain, possibly the genre's scariest ever. The patchy, clown makeup barely hides his character's facial scars, adding a ghoulish tint to his off-hand malevolence.

San Francisco Chronicle
With its frenetic pace and its many concessions to blockbuster formula, "The Dark Knight" is by no means a complete success. But the more it reveals its dark heart, the better it gets, and at times it seems just a step away from achieving something extraordinary. In the end, it's no leap forward, but it's certainly a step in the right direction: an action blockbuster extravaganza that's sadder than sad and never pretends otherwise.

Comic book cover deja vu

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pop links

The Hollywood Animation Archive presents a selection of Terry-Toons lobby cards.

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Here's an update on the planned Spider-Man musical, produced by Julie Taymor (Broadway's "The Lion King") with music by Bono and The Edge. Impressive. But I bet it can't top this:

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Via Bedazzled: Here's standup comic Woody Allen on the "Ed Sullivan Show."

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From Bully: Ten Things You Didn't Know About the Hulk.

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The rather primitive-looking typewriter Douglas Adams used to write "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" is up for auction.

Comic book cover deja vu

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Comics shipping July 16, 2007

Here's a look at new comics for July 16, 2008. Click the links to order discounted titles from Amazon.

DARK HORSE COMICS

MAY080047 CONAN THE CIMMERIAN #1 $2.99

1593079508 Ghost Talker's Daydream
Author: Saki Okuse, Sankichi Meguro; Buy New: $8.76

MAY080052 HELM #1 (OF 4) $3.50

DC COMICS


1401218687 ASTRO CITY: The Dark Age
Author: Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson; Buy New: $19.79
MAY080170 BATGIRL #1 (OF 6) $2.99
MAY080186 BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #9 $2.99
B000ZM3WGW Batman Black and White Neal Adams Statue
Buy New: $74.99APR080222
BATMAN FACES NEW ED TP $12.99
MAY080187 BIRDS OF PREY #120 $2.99
MAY080230 CARTOON NETWORK ACTION PACK #27 $2.25
MAY080240 CASEY BLUE BEYOND TOMORROW #3 (OF 6) $2.99
MAY080190 CHECKMATE #28 $2.99

1401218245 Countdown to Final Crisis VOL 2
Author: Paul Dini; Buy New: $13.59

B0015QX76C Dark Knight Batman Statue
Buy New: $150.00

B0015QV72S Dark Knight The Joker Statue
Buy New: $150.00
MAY080250 DC WILDSTORM DREAMWAR #4 (OF 6) $2.99
APR080286 DOROTHEA VOL 02 (MR) $12.99
MAY080147 FINAL CRISIS ROGUES REVENGE #1 (OF 3) $3.99
MAY080191 FLASH #242 $2.99
MAY080262 HELLBLAZER #246 (MR) $2.99
APR080287 I HATE YOU MORE THAN ANYONE VOL 05 $9.99
MAY080167 JOKERS ASYLUM POISON IVY #1 $2.99
MAY080270 SCALPED #19 (MR) $2.99

1401218172 Showcase Presents Hawkman VOL 02
Author: Gardner Fox; Buy New: $11.55
MAY080179 SIMON DARK #10 $2.99

1401218199 Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes
Author: Geoff Johns, Gary Frank; Buy New: $16.49
MAY080163 TANGENT SUPERMANS REIGN #5 (OF 12) $2.99
APR080290 TEARS OF A LAMB VOL 03 $9.99
MAY080226 TINY TITANS #6 $2.25

1401218296 Trials of Shazam VOL 2
Author: Judd Winick; Buy New: $10.19
MAY080142 TRINITY #7 $2.99
MAY080253 WORLD OF WARCRAFT #9 $2.99

IMAGE COMICS

MAY082195 BOMB QUEEN V #3 (OF 6) (MR) $3.50
MAY082197 CHARLATAN BALL #2 $2.50
MAY082184 ELEPHANTMEN WAR TOYS TP VOL 01 NO SURRENDER $9.99
MAR082071 FRANK FRAZETTAS SWAMP DEMON (ONE SHOT) $3.99
MAR082095 GODLAND #24 $2.99
MAR082102 MICE TEMPLAR #5 $2.99
APR082200 PERHAPANAUTS #3 $3.50
MAY082215 SCREAMLAND #5 (OF 5) $2.99
MAY082183 UNEARTHED CEMETERY BLUES TP VOL 01 $16.99

MARVEL COMICS

MAY082260 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #566 $2.99
MAY082266 CAPTAIN AMERICA #40 $2.99
MAY088090 CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI 13 #2 2ND PTG KIRK VAR $2.99
MAY082341 FOOLKILLER WHITE ANGELS #1 (OF 5) (MR) $3.99
MAY082273 GHOST RIDER #25 $2.99
DEC072241 HOWARD THE DUCK OMNIBUS $99.99
DEC072242 HOWARD THE DUCK OMNIBUS DM ED $99.99
MAY082368 HULK WWH TP WARBOUND $12.99
MAY082312 INCREDIBLE HERCULES #119 SI $2.99
MAY082279 IRON MAN DIRECTOR OF SHIELD #31 $2.99
MAY088058 KICK ASS #3 2ND PTG JRJR VAR (MR) (PP #822) $2.99
MAY082282 MARVEL 1985 #3 (OF 6) $3.99
MAY082287 MARVEL ADVENTURES AVENGERS #26 $2.99
MAY082288 MARVEL ADVENTURES TWO-IN-ONE #13 $4.99
MAY082252 MARVEL ILLUSTRATED ILIAD #8 (OF 8) $2.99
MAY082304 MIGHTY AVENGERS #16 SI $2.99
MAY082291 MOON KNIGHT #20 $3.99
APR088266 MOON KNIGHT #20 DEODATO SKETCH VAR (PP #820) $3.99
MAY082298 OMEGA UNKNOWN #10 (OF 10) $2.99
MAY082344 PUNISHER #59 (MR) $2.99

0785130217 Punisher War Journal Volume 3
Author: Matt Fraction, Ariel Olivetti; Buy New: $14.99
MAY088059 SKAAR SON OF HULK #1 2ND PTG GARNEY VAR (PP #822) $2.99
MAY088080 SKAAR SON OF HULK #1 2ND PTG MOVIE VAR $2.99
MAY082247 SKY DOLL #3 (OF 3) (MR) $5.99

0785128433 Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day
Author: Dan Slott, Marc Guggenheim, Steve Mc...; Buy New: $16.49
MAY082254 ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #56 $2.99

0785125507 Ultimate X-Men Vol. 18
Author: Robert Kirkman, Tyler Kirkham; Buy New: $11.19
MAY082248 UNIVERSAL WAR ONE #1 (OF 3) (MR) $5.99
MAY082249 UNIVERSAL WAR ONE #1 (OF 3) US VAR (MR) $5.99
MAY082342 WAR IS HELL FIRST FLIGHT PHANTOM EAGLE MAX #5 (OF 5) (MR) $3.99
MAY082318 X-FACTOR #33 SI $2.99
MAY082327 X-FORCE #5 DWS $2.99

WIZARD ENTERTAINMENT

MAY083517 WIZARD ANIME INSIDER #59 AQUARION CVR $4.99

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COMICS

MAY084096 AFTERBURN #4 (OF 4) $2.95
APR084233 ALICE ON DEADLINES TP VOL 03 $10.99
APR083923 ANGEL AFTER THE FALL HC VOL 01 $24.99
APR083826 BANANA GAMES GN VOL 04 ONCE UPON A TIME PART 2 (A) $10.95
APR084109 BIZENGHAST GN VOL 05 (OF 5) $9.99
MAY083778 BLUE GN $9.99
MAR083596 BROTHERS IN ARMS #2 $3.50
MAY084187 BUDDHA STORY OF ENLIGHTENMENT #4 $2.99
MAY083594 BURN #3 (OF 6) $2.99
APR084223 CASE CLOSED GN VOL 24 $9.99
APR084111 CHIBI VAMPIRE GN VOL 09 (OF 13) (MR) $9.99
APR084114 DAEMONIUM GN VOL 01 (OF 3) $10.99
APR084124 DARK GOODBYE GN VOL 02 (OF 3) (MR) $9.99
MAY084183 DOCK WALLOPER TP VOL 01 $14.99
APR083655 DOMINION TP $15.99
MAY083951 DREAMLAND CHRONICLES IDW #1 $3.99
DEC073672 EC ARCHIVES WEIRD SCIENCE HC VOL 03 $49.95
APR084125 ELEMENTAL GELADE GN VOL 08 (OF 13) $9.99
APR084146 ELLIE MAMAHARA ALLEY OF FIRST LOVE GN (MR) $12.99
MAY083980 FALLEN ANGEL TP VOL 05 $19.99
APR083759 FORGOTTEN REALMS THE LEGACY #3 (OF 3) ATKINS CVR A $5.50
APR083760 FORGOTTEN REALMS THE LEGACY #3 (OF 3) WALPOLE CVR B $9.50
MAY083782 GI JOE AMERICAS ELITE TP VOL 05 WWIII OMNIBUS $34.99
FEB083456 GOBLIN CHRONICLES #3 (OF 3) FOGEL CVR A $3.50
FEB083457 GOBLIN CHRONICLES #3 (OF 3) SUITOR CVR B $3.50
FEB083462 GWAI #1 (OF 4) $0.99
APR083763 HACK SLASH TP VOL 04 REVENGE OF THE RETURN (MR) $18.99
APR083549 HELEN KILLER #3 (OF 4) $2.99
APR083898 HOUDINI HANDCUFF KING SC $9.99
APR083578 KISS ALL THE BOYS GN VOL 02 (OF 3) (A) $12.95
MAR084038 LEAVES ONE SHOT (MR) $6.99
APR084117 MARTIN & JOHN GN VOL 01 (OF 2) (MR) $9.99
APR083888 METHOD MAN GN $13.99
MAY083930 MIDARA GN NEW PTG (O/A) (A) $14.95
APR083579 MISTER MISTRESS GN VOL 01 (OF 2) (A) $12.95
APR083580 NEPHILIM GN VOL 02 (OF 2) (MR) $10.95
FEB083680 NYE INCIDENTS TP (MR) (AUG078304) $14.99
APR083581 OH MY GOD GN VOL 01 (OF 2) (MR) $12.95
MAY083612 PALS N GALS DOUBLE DIGEST #123 $3.69
APR084134 PLASTIC CHEW GN $9.99
APR083577 PRETTY POISON GN (A) $10.95
APR084110 PRINCESS AI OF AI LAND $14.99
APR084135 PSYCHIC POWER CHRONICLE NANAKI GN VOL 03 (OF 3) $9.99
MAY084191 RAMAYAN 3392 AD RELOADED #7 (OF 7) $2.99
APR084228 REAL GN VOL 01 $12.99
APR084138 RISING STARS OF MANGA GN VOL 08 (OF 8) $9.99
MAY084058 ROADKILL ZOO GN (MR) $14.99
APR084139 ROLLING GN VOL 01 (OF 6) $9.99
APR084120 ROSE HIP ROSE GN VOL 02 (OF 4) (MR) $10.99
APR084202 RUROUNI KENSHIN VIZBIG ED GN VOL 03 (OF 9) $17.99
MAY083613 SABRINA VOL 2 #95 $2.25
APR084140 SAMURAI DEEPER KYO GN VOL 29 (OF 38) (MR) $9.99
APR083637 SCREAM QUEEN #2 (OF 5) $3.99
MAR088047 SECRET INVASION WHO DO YOU TRUST WWC SKETCH VAR PI
APR084141 SEDUCTION MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN LOVE GN VOL 02 (OF 5) (MR) $9.99
APR084196 SHOJO BEAT AUGUST 08 $5.99
APR084113 SILVER DIAMOND GN VOL 01 $9.99
MAY083675 SIMPSONS COMICS #144 $2.99
MAY083626 SOULFIRE CHAOS REIGN TP $9.99
APR083959 SPARROW BOXED SET $75.00
MAY083932 SPIKE AFTER THE FALL #1 (OF 4) $3.99
APR084237 SPIRAL BONDS OF REASONING TP VOL 04 $10.99
APR084107 STAR TREK MANGA GN VOL 03 (OF 3) UCHU $10.99
APR084238 SUZUNARI GN VOL 01 $10.99
APR083907 TABOO DISTRICT GN (O/A) (A) $19.95
MAY083617 TALES FROM RIVERDALE DIGEST #29 $2.49
MAY083596 TALES OF PENANCE TRIAL O/T CENTURY #1 (OF 4) $3.95
MAY083957 TANK GIRL VISIONS OF BOOGA #3 $3.99
APR083661 TAROT WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE TP VOL 06 PX LTD ED (MR) $34.99
MAY083554 TIKI JOE MYSTERIES TP VOL 01 HIGH STAKES PATSEY $9.95
APR084119 TOKKO GN VOL 01 $10.99
APR083910 TRANSFORMERS MOVIE SEQUEL REIGN OF STARSCREAM #3 $3.99
MAY083938 TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT HARDHEAD $3.99
APR084106 VASSALORD GN VOL 01 (OF 2) (MR) $9.99
MAY083779 VOLTRON A LEGEND FORGED #1 $3.50
MAY083780 VOLTRON A LEGEND FORGED #1 PX FOIL CVR $9.99
MAR083644 WORLDS OF DUNGEONS & DRAGONS TP VOL 01 $18.99
APR084144 YOUR AND MY SECRET GN VOL 02 (OF 4) $9.99
MAY084097 ZMD ZOMBIES OF MASS DESTRUCTION #1 (OF 6) $3.25
APR083696 ZORRO #5 $3.50

MAGAZINES

MAY084245 ALTER EGO #79 $6.95
MAY084246 BACK ISSUE #29 $6.95
MAY084286 CHARMED MAGAZINE #24 SPECIAL $9.99
FEB084167 CLASSIC MARVEL FIGURINE COLL MAG #68 HERCULES $12.00
FEB084168 CLASSIC MARVEL FIGURINE COLL MAG #69 LEADER $12.00
MAY084260 COMICS BUYERS GUIDE #1645 SEP 2008 $5.99
APR083847 COMICS JOURNAL #291 $11.99
APR084274 GEEK MONTHLY VOL 2 #7 $5.99
MAY084291 HEROES MAGAZINE #5 NEWSSTAND ED $6.99
MAY084292 HEROES MAGAZINE #5 PX ED $6.99
MAY084294 LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #20 $8.95
MAY084263 ROUGH STUFF #9 $6.95
MAY084299 STARLOG #368 AUG 2008 $7.99
APR084309 VIDEO WATCHDOG #141 $7.95
APR084290 WHITE DWARF #341 $6.00

Info on Marvel's Black Panther animated series

Here's a press release from BET:

BET Networks and Marvel Animation are teaming up to produce an animated series based on the legendary superhero, THE BLACK PANTHER. Casting is already underway for the series that is slated to premiere in the first quarter of 2009. A special sneak preview will premiere at Comic-Con in July during BET's panel on Saturday, July 26. The series will be adapted directly from the first six issues of the Marvel Comic written by Reginald Hudlin (issues #1 - #6 "Who Is The Black Panther").

Pop links

Deal alert: Amazon is offering "Sunset Boulevard," "Shane," "Catch-22" and many other classic movies on DVD for $5.49 and less.

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Jack Kirby infiltrates Pottery Barn!

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Oh please help us...Keanu Reeves is set to play Plastic Man?

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Today in sharity (this is really a great series of compilations, Mr. Sphinx):

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Trailer for animated Iron Man series up

See a trailer for the upcoming "Iron Man: Armored Adventures" animated series.

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New Clone Wars posters

Here are two new posters for the upcoming "Star Wars: Clone Wars" animated feature.

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Whedon's Dr. Horrible is online

The first installment of Joss Whedon's online musical "Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog" can be seen here.

Good luck getting it to load, though, it was too busy when I tried.

More info on Dr. Horrible here.

New Spirit trailer leaked

You can see a new trailer for Frank Miller's "The Spirit" here. This was supposed to be exclusive to the San Diego Comicon, so it may get yanked at some point.

The trailer really plays up the femme fatales in the cast and the Spirit's reactions to them. I still don't think this thing looks very Eisnerish. With all the clumy innuendo and silliness, it looks more like James Coburn's "In Like Flint" or something.

Comic book cover deja vu

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