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IFC.com’s guide to the DC Comics relaunch

IFC.com’s guide to the DC Comics relaunch (photo)

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This September, DC Comics is doing something unprecedented. The venerable funnybook company is bringing their entire line to an end – including titles like “Action Comics” and “Detective Comics,” which have run since the late 1930s – and relaunching absolutely everything with new number ones. Now’s a great time to get back into reading DC comic books, or even pick one up for the very first time, but with a stunning new 52 titles to choose from, where’s a person to start?

Fortunately, we’re here to help you choose the comic books most likely to have you shambling zombie-like to your local comic book store every Wednesday (new comic book day, natch) – just like us! If you don’t know where to find a comic book store, consider checking out the Comic Shop Locator or even joining us in the future by buying your comics digitally through the DC Comics and Comixology apps.

So, without further ado, here are the top five comics you should check out this month from DC’s “New 52.”


083111_dccomics1.jpg“Justice League #1” on sale August 31, 2011
For years now, comic book writer Geoff Johns has been one of the creative pillars at DC, and one of the major forces behind Green Lantern’s current surge in popularity. Now, he’ll be taking on DC’s biggest heroes, in the company’s biggest superhero group, with none other than legendary artist Jim Lee by his side. Best known for his seminal work on the X-Men in the 1990s, in recent years Lee has been primarily known as a DC executive, but we couldn’t be more excited to have him back behind the drawing desk.


083111_dccomics2.jpg“Action Comics #1” on sale September 7, 2011
Another one of DC’s heavy-hitters is Scottish scribe Grant Morrison, who has taken the company’s icons to uncharted territory with both “All-Star Superman” and his absolutely stunning work with the Dark Knight. Now, with artist Rags Morales, he’s returning to Superman for what’s said to be a back-to-basics approach that incorporates much of the character’s early roots in what DC calls “the cornerstone of the entire DC Universe.”


083111_dccomics3.jpg“Batman #1” on sale September 21, 2011
For the past year, Scott Snyder has wowed comic book fans with his run on “Detective Comics,” telling impressive, interlocking, densely plotted stories with Batman at the center. In the new DC relaunch, Snyder will be sticking with the Dark Knight, but moving over to the “Batman” title. Expect the same type of stellar storytelling, but now with legendary “Spawn” artist Greg Capullo along for the ride.


083111_dccomics4.jpg“Animal Man #1” on sale September 7, 2011
One of the best new writers to arrive at DC in recent years has been Jeff Lemire. The cartoonist behind “Sweet Tooth,” and the writer of “Superboy” is primed for a massive breakout, so we couldn’t be more excited to see what he does with Animal Man, a fan-favorite character defined by a legendary Grant Morrison run in the late 1980s. Also, you can be sure the new “Animal Man” looks gorgeous, with Travel Foreman, one of the artists of “The Immortal Iron Fist” on pencils and inks.


083111_dccomics5.jpg“Swamp Thing #1” on sale September 7, 2011
For years, “Swamp Thing” has been caught up in DC’s Vertigo line, and while we’ve loved a lot of those comics, we’re excited to see the big muck-monster back in the DC Universe proper. Even better, the character is being written by Scott Snyder, who we’ve already gushed about up above, with art by Yanick Paquette, who just this past year put in incredible work on “Batman Incorporated” with Grant Morrison.


Naturally, there are many more books that we plan on checking out than just these five, titles like “Batman & Robin,” “Aquaman,” “The Flash,” “Green Lantern,” “Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.” and more. If you see something that peaks your interest, go ahead and treat yourself – you deserve it.

What do you think about our top picks for the DC relaunch? Are there other books you plan on picking up this month? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.