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Marvel's Venom pulls up NYC stake for Philly steak

Philly’s getting a new fan in the pages of Marvel Comics, but whether the City of Brotherly Shove takes to anti-hero Venom remains to be seen.

Marvel Entertainment LLC says that Venom — a brute with big teeth and an elongated tongue who’s made a habit of sparring with Spider-Man — is leaving New York City to start fresh, and maybe learn to be a hero on the streets of Philadelphia.

Writer Cullen Bunn and Editor Tom Brennan, an alum of Philadelphia’s Drexel University, said it’s time Philly had a hero of its own, putting it in the same league as Los Angeles and New York, among other real-life cities that populate the fictional world of Marvel.

But is Venom — an alien symbiote bonded to Peter Parker’s one-time high school rival Eugene “Flash” Thompson — the hero that Philly wants or needs?

It depends, said Bunn. READ FULL STORY

'Justice League' #12: DC reveals Superman's new leading lady... and it's a doozy -- EXCLUSIVE

When DC Comics rebooted its entire line of superhero titles last year, the publisher did away with Superman’s marriage to Lois Lane to pave the way for a new romance. Without further ado, EW can exclusively reveal that Superman’s new partner in love is no mere mortal, but a superhero icon in her own right: None other than Wonder Woman. herself. Their next level relationship begins in the pages of Justice League #12; click through to see the full cover! READ FULL STORY

Comic-Con: Neil Gaiman to write new 'Sandman' series for DC Comics' Vertigo imprint

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Call it a dream come true. Acclaimed fantasy author Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Coraline) is returning to comics and the character that made him a superstar scribe: Dream, a.k.a. Morpheus, member of the Endless, a deeply dysfunctional family of eternal though not immutable entities with names that begin with the letter ‘D’ who preside over various aspects of human existence (except Destruction did abandon his mantle and dominion and ran away… but never mind). Gaiman — who wrote 75 issues of The Sandman from 1988 to 1996 (all collected in “graphic novel” form), producing one of the most celebrated and most erudite comic book series ever — will team with artist J. H. Williams III (Promethea, Batwoman) for a mini-series that’s set prior to the events in Sandman #1. In that story, an English occult leader inadvertently summoned Dream using a black magic ritual involving rat claws and angel wings on June 10, 1916 and held him captive for 72 years. (The foolish mortal was actually trying to trap Morpheus’ sister, Death, but something went awry. Magic: So darn unpredictable!)
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'Buffy' Season 9 spin-off 'Spike': The cockroaches aren't happy -- EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK

At the end of the most recent issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9, Spike and Buffy went their separate ways. (Well, it was actually Buffy’s consciousness inside a robot version of Buffy, but let’s not get too technical.) Spike had had it with having his non-beating heart jerked around by Buffy’s inability to fully commit to him, and he blasted off in his spaceship piloted by a loyal crew of giant alien cockroaches. Naturally.

That’s pretty much exactly where the five-issue spin-off miniseries Spike (written by Victor Gischler and pencilled by Paul Lee) starts off, and EW has an exclusive sneak peek at how well — or, really, not well — Spike is handling his self-imposed separation from Buffy.

You can read the full issue when it arrives in stores Aug. 22, but you can check out EW’s four-page first look here.

Read more:
‘Buffy’ comic spin-offs starring Spike and Willow get story details, release dates, cover art — EXCLUSIVE
‘Buffy’ star Juliet Landau writing Drusilla spin-off comic miniseries — EXCLUSIVE
10 Best (and 5 Worst) Movie-Inspired TV Shows

'Batman: Earth One': A fresh take on The Dark Knight -- EXCLUSIVE

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If you’ve been reading superhero comics for awhile, then you know that Batman’s origin story has been told and retold countless times. Or exactly 913 times, if you have been counting. “915,” corrects superstar scribe Geoff Johns, whose prodigious bibliography includes memorable runs on The Flash, Green Lantern, and Justice League. On July 4, just a couple weeks ahead of The Dark Knight Rises, Johns will add another title to the list: Batman: Earth One, a graphic novel drawn by Gary Frank and yet one more retelling of the caped crusader’s beginnings. But it also happens to be a very good one, marked by a fresh, accessible, emotionally resonant take on the character. “I hope people bring that perception to the book,” says Johns of possible ‘not another Batman reboot’ fatigue, “because I think they’ll be even more surprised if they do.” READ FULL STORY

Anthony Bourdain previews new graphic novel, teaming up with Nigella Lawson

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Star chef Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential gave Bradley Cooper his first leading role. Perhaps Bourdain’s latest literary endeavor — graphic novel Get Jiro! — will launch another future Sexiest Man Alive into orbit. If the action-packed novel gets the page-to-screen treatment, whoever steps in as vigilante sushi chef Jiro will have to be buff — think Snake Plissken, only with better knife skills and fueled by hamachi.

Bourdain co-wrote the novel with Joel Rose (Kill Kill Faster Faster, The Blackest Bird) and tapped Wizards of the Coast‘s Langdon Foss to create the eye-popping art. Before Get Jiro! hits stores on July 3, Bourdain sat down with EW to talk about his geeky past, what inspired the dangerous Los Angeles seen in the novel, and what’s in store for his two upcoming series. Read on… READ FULL STORY

'Simpsons' creator Matt Groening ends 'Life in Hell' comic strip

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Simpsons creator Matt Groening has decided it’s time to pull the plug on his land of anthropomorphic rabbits, announcing the end of his “Life in Hell” cartoon strip yesterday. Groening had worked on the strip, which centered on the lives of several talking bunnies and a gay couple, for over 30 years.

“I’ve had great fun, in a Sisyphean kind of way, but the time has come to let Binky and Sheba and Bongo and Akbar and Jeff take some time off,” Groening explained to Poynter.org. READ FULL STORY

FIRST LOOK EXCLUSIVE! 'Before Watchmen' pins Marilyn Monroe's death on 'The Comedian' -- and a former First Lady

Until now, “Before Watchmen” —  a new DC Comics franchise composed of prequel mini-series to the acclaimed mid-eighties super-hero saga Watchmen — has courted controversy by simply existing. Telling more Watchmen tales without creators Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons? For some fans and industry pros, that’s heresy, regardless of the quality of the work, which so far has been quite good. The next installment in the endeavor is sure to be provocative for another reason altogether. In the opening pages of The Comedian #1 (on sale Wednesday), set in the sixties, the titular character — a morally murky vigilante turned black ops bag-man (real name: Edward Blake) — is not only revealed to be surprisingly tight with the Kennedy clan, but is tasked by a certain iconic First Lady with eliminating a certain iconic movie star famously linked to her husband (and brother-in-law).  The story comes from writer Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) and penciler J.G. Jones (Wanted), both highly regarded comic book artists known for edgy work.

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Special DC Comics 'zero' issues to re-investigate origins

DC Comics’ heroes are going to zeroes. In September, DC Entertainment will publish a zero issue for its 52 titles, a move that co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio said this week will help explain the origins and effects of its rebooted characters a year after it erased decades of history and continuity to start everything from scratch. But, the duo said, zeroing out for the month will create new plots and wrinkles for the likes of Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman, among others, and see the debut of some fan-favorite characters as well as set the stage for more ongoing stories in the months to come too.

When DC relaunched its characters in September 2011 with 52 titles, the rebooted heroes and villains weren’t starting from zero. “We started at different points for the different series,” DiDio said, adding that having every title go to zero with stand-alone stories helps readers, established and new, “find a level playing field and creates another jumping on point.” READ FULL STORY

Beastly 'Animal Man' sees red: A comics collection review

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The latest version of Buddy Baker, Animal Man, who can assume the powers and shapes of members of the animal kingdom, is one of the best of DC Comics’ “New 52” comics series, and the first six issues have been collected in a trade paperback titled Animal Man: Vol. 1 “The Hunt,” released today. READ FULL STORY

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