By Jacobus Dixon

By the winter of 1940, superheroes were causing funny book magazines to just fly off the newsstands. They were an odd blend or mythology and athleticism wrapped in a brilliant package of primary colors. They often lived fulfilling lives as prosperous or wealthy men, but men still hungry for adventure. And almost all of their adventures involved finding the source of their problems and delivering a killer knockout blow to them. It was like watching a sports event with higher stakes and a team that you knew would win, but not how. And even though the hero’s tactics to triumph were often completely exaggerated and unrealistic, it didn’t matter! That was part of the fun. It would have been like saying Popeye was terrible because he misrepresents what spinach can do for you. But people didn’t read Popeye comic strips and watch Popeye cartoons because they wanted to see the effects of spinach on human physiology, nor did they read superhero comics for real solutions to the financial inequities of the Depression and American life in general. They wanted to be entertained, and seeing a colorfully clad athlete sock a local street tough or thieving businessman was just what they were looking for.  But what was the next step? How do you keep these characters from going stale? Well…grouping them together to form some kind of team seemed like a good idea. And that’s exactly what All-American Publications did.

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By Tom Hairston

This month Marvel has once again released several new ongoing series, and something caught my eye about three of them, The Legendary Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, and Storm. These three titles might seem like they’ve got very little in common, but I couldn’t help but notice that each of these three characters have always been viewed solely as Team Characters — characters that would only be seen on their respective teams and never have their own solo series (Star-Lord had his own series in Marvel’s European line of books, but that whole line was considered by many to be only semi-cannon, plus this Star-Lord is so different from the old European incarnation I’m not counting it for this argument). And I for one love that they’re getting their own series, because it’s been a long time since “team characters” were allowed to break out on their own. In the old days, being on a team was kind of like your pathway to getting your own series, but most recently if a team is full of popular characters, those characters tend to just appear on more teams.

So hopefully we’ll see some more “team characters” get their own series, because everybody out there who picks up the Avengers, Justice League, X-Men, or any other team book has their favorite character on that team, and they want to see those characters break out on their own adventures. So for those fans, I’ve put together our list of the top five characters we would love to see break out into their own series.

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Midtown Blogemy Lins! Raph here, to provide you with the last look back at the New 52 with Justice League! I’ll also be taking a look at a burgeoning new independent series: War of the Independents!

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This past Tuesday Jim Lee and Geoff Johns celebrated the Midnight release of Justice League #1 at Midtown Comics Times Square. Fans came out in the full force to meet their favorite creators and the Midtown shutter bug was there to capture all the action! Special thanks to Ron Gejon for all the great shots!

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Our good friend Mr. GIF got some great coverage from the Midnight Madness signing we had with Geoff Johns and Jim Lee celebrating the release of Justice League #1 and the official launch of DC- The new 52.  Mr. GIF has a true talent for taking the mundane and turning it into something amazing that can sometimes be just as nauseating as it is hypnotizing. Be sure to check out his site: http://mr-gif.com/ for more mind bending GIF’s! #zwag!

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