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First Trailer for Re-Booted 'Fantastic Four' Is Here: VIDEO

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20th Century Fox has released the first trailer for the rebooted Fantastic Four film slated for release later this year. Though the film isn’t being produced by Marvel Studios, director Josh Trank’s vision of the superpowered foursome follows in the recent trend of reimagining classic comic book origin stories through a darker, grittier lens.

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Check out the new Fantastic Four trailer AFTER THE JUMP...

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Unfortunately, The Rumored 'Marvel Swimsuit' Revival Isn't Happening (Yet)

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For five years in the early 90s, Marvel Comics got into tradition of releasing a special ‘Marvel Swimsuit’ edition that featured some of the the publisher’s most popular characters stylized as cheesecake pinups. Marvel stopped publishing the issues in 1995, but recent rumors suggested that the company was in talks with California-based illustrators Kevin Wada and and Kris Anka to bring back the fan favorite.

Anka took to his Tumblr blog this week with bittersweet news. While he and Wada had, in fact, been collaborating on a swimsuit project featuring Marvel characters, chances of it coming to fruition were thin.

“I write to you today with the somber news that after a few months back and forth with the powers-that-be, circumstances have arisen that have forced us to stop production on this project,” he wrote. “Kevin and I are currently looking into some way to salvage some of the pieces to do something with, but in the mean time, we thought we’d treat you all to the pieces we had finished so far.”

As word of the canceled project spread through the comic book press, fans began rallying in hopes that Marvel might consider reviving it. Anka, responding to fan interest took to his blog once again to clarify exactly what the situation was:

“The sketches I posted were not for an official project to be published by Marvel. They were for an artists’ sketchbook that Kevin Wada and myself were going to pitch to Marvel for approval.  

Kevin and I decided to pull the plug on this project, not Marvel.  We were proud of our work so far, so we wanted to share what we had done. The wording of my previous post painted a false picture of the situation.”

Whether Marvel ever brings its swimsuit edition back from the dead remains to be seen, but check out some of the art that could have been AFTER THE JUMP...

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Texas' First LGBTQA Geek Convention, HavenCon, Is Coming To Austin in 2015: VIDEO

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Next spring Texas is getting its first geek convention geared towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender gamers, nerds, and comic book enthusiasts. HavenCon, as its name suggests, is meant to be equal parts geek gathering and safe space for queer-identified people of all ages. HavenCon founder Shane Brown first began organizing Texas-based LGBTQA fantasy and sci-fi enthusiasts in 2012 when he founded Gay Austin Geeks, an online social network.

“Even within the gay community, we often exist within our smaller segmented groups,” Brown explained in a press release. “But comic and gaming conventions are all about the melding of geeks, gamers and nerds of every size, race, age and gender identity.”

“With HavenCon, we’re creating a safe, entertaining and diversity-welcoming environment for people that enjoy comic books, video games, science fiction and more,” said HavenCon founder Shane Brown. “We’ll have a cosplay contest, gaming tournaments, industry panelists, local artists and writers—all of it while celebrating what makes us both different and special.”

Money raised from HavenCon ticket sales will go to OutYouth, an Austin-based outreach center for LGBT youth. HavenCon is set to begin the weekend of April 4 at the Holiday Inn Midtown in Austin, Texas. Tickets for the convention are on sale at HavenCon’s website.

Watch a promo for HavenCon, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Batgirl Creative Team Issues Apology For Transphobic Villain

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Cameron Stewart, Brendan Fletcher, and Babs Tarr - the team behind DC’s most recent run of Batgirl - have issued a formal apology to their fans following swift backlash to a recently introduced queer character. Issue #35 of Batgirl made waves earlier this year for its distinctive shift away from some of DC’s other bat-titles.  Stewart, Fletcher, and Tarr took the title in a new art direction, focusing on stories appealing to a broader female audience, and bringing a much more playful tone to the previously grim series.

Alysia Yeoh, Barbara Gordon’s roommate was revealed to be transgender, and many readers commended the new Batgirl’s team for broadening Gotham’s portrayals of queer characters as being members of everyday life.

BatgirlIssue #37 of Batgirl introduced a sequin-encrusted version of the titular hero who was revealed, after a public fight with the original Batgirl, revealed to be the cross-dressing villain Dagger Type. Many fans of the series interpreted Dagger Type’s outing as being transphobic; after Dagger Type’s biological sex is revealed, they are laughed at and booed by an onlooking crowd. Batgirl’s decision to portray Dagger Type as a mentally unhinged man experimenting with gender presentation is part of a long line of stories that play on the idea of gender non-conformity being evidence of madness.

“Murderous or deceptive men disguising themselves as women has been a trope in fiction long before the creation of cinema, and it’s shown up too many times to list or even count,’ wrote Rachel Stevens of Women Write About Comics. “The trope isn’t even subverted here, which is the hell of it.”

Brendan Fletcher took to Twitter to post a letter from himself and the rest of the team expressing their regret the story’s impact.

“We could go on all day about our intentions for the issue and the character of Dagger Type, and what our goals were and weren’t,” the letter reads. “But our intentions to not invalidate the legitimate reactions that some have had to this story. Those reactions are honest and heartfelt, and exist regardless of our creative intentions, and we don’t wish to dismiss them.”

"Instead, we want to acknowledge the hurt and offense that we’ve caused, and express our sincerest apologies. We’re all deeply troubled by the reaction to this issue and have made it a point of serious discussion amongst ourselves. While we expected a degree of controversy in regard to the issues of identity and the artistic process that this story was meant to evoke, we do now realize that our presentation of this character was flaw., for any elements whatsoever of the story to have reminded readers of the sordid and misguided tropes that associate both drag and gender expression with duplicity."

"We deeply regret upsetting readers who placed their trust in us. But were indebted to those who stand up to speak out about their perspective on stories like this their commentary leads to universally better storytelling, from both ourselves and others, and we hope to live up to that standard in the future."


Andy Mientus Joining 'The Flash' As Gay Supervillain Pied Piper: VIDEO

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This January as a part of its return from a midseason break, the CW’s 'The Flash' will introduce Hartley Rathaway, best known as the supervillain Pied Piper. Rathaway, who’s to be played by Broadway actor Andy Mientus, will be portrayed as being openly gay. Mientus, who is bi, spoke with Vanity Fair about his excitement and nervousness at bringing the Silver Age comic book villain to the small screen:

“The universe of ‘The Flash’ has such an intense, passionate fanbase, which has existed since the ’60s,” he said. “This is the first time he’s been in a live-action, on-camera interpretation, so I hope I pulled it off.”

Technically, the Pied Piper will be the third queer character to be prominently featured in DC's televsion universe. Nyssa al Ghul of the Leage of Assasins was first introduced in 'Arrow' and crime lab director David Singh, who is the Piper’s lover in his most recent dpiction in the comics.

Piper1“With the gay thing, I feel like I’m representing a whole community,” Mientus said. “People are excited to see this character, so it is a lot of pressure. But I’m glad they are introducing the character to the show. It’s a huge step forward, and I’m thrilled to help make that happen. It’s awesome.”

'The Flash' returns January 20. 

You can also check out Pied Piper's appearance on the 1970s live action television series 'Wonder Woman' and his brief cameo on 'Justice League Unlimited,' AFTER THE JUMP...

[top photo via Instagram]

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'Applications', The Tale of a Guy, a Phone, and a Dating App: FINALE

Here's the finale of our weekly comic Applications, by Josh Trujillo and Dave Valeza. We hope you liked this series. If you did, please let us know!

Click panes to enlarge.

To start from the beginning of the series, click HERE.

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The third issue of Josh Trujillo's Love Machines is in print, so now people can have the complete "Applications" along with "Lung" with artist Patrick Hovarth. Get it HERE. (A digital copy will be available in Comixology in the coming weeks).

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