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Why Kirby v. Marvel mattered

In 2014, it’s quite common to know almost every detail behind the production of a superhero movie before the movie is even released. From the release date to the cast to the director to screenwriters, every detail is examined and disseminated across myriad blogs and social media sites, to the point where, if you’re even mildly interested, you could easily find out the names of those responsible for getting that film to your local cinema.

But how about the people who created the characters in the pages of comic books?

In the early days of comic books, the relationship between creators and publishers was often exploitative. Many of the people responsible for creating the heroes that would make publishers millions were freelancers, working from home, never making a regular salary outside of their normal page rates and often struggling to get back their original artwork, collect royalties, or even get the level of credit due to them. People create pop culture, not corporations.

Of all those people, few have gotten the short shrift like Jacob Kurtzberg, better known as Jack Kirby.

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You need to watch 'The Simpsons' premiere's insane opening sequence

Shout all you want that The Simpsons hasn’t been good for the past [insert number less than or equal to 16] years; either way, you can’t deny that the show’s recent spate of elaborate, extended couch gags has led to some dazzling, audaciously creative stuff.

This is especially true when The Simpsons turns over its opening to famous animators and filmmakers like Michal SochaGuillermo del Toro—and, most recently, indie idol Don Hertzfeldt, beloved for absurdist fare like the Oscar-nominated short film Rejected. (Contrary to semi-popular belief, he has nothing to do with those lookalike Pop Tart commercials from 2011; as the F.A.Q. section of his website states, “Unfortunately it seems to be the vogue these days for creatively bankrupt corporate types to copy his work, which is why you may be noticing an abundance of vaguely familiar, cowardly lifeless parrots parading around selling Pop Tarts or mobile phones.”) READ FULL STORY

Reese Witherspoon thinks Tracy Flick would be running the Tea Party now

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Reese Witherspoon thinks that Tracy Flick, that eager student politician she played in Alexander Payne’s Election back in 1999, would probably be in charge of the Tea Party today. She revealed that and more in a 73 Questions video for Vogue, which she also covers for October, continuing to make the case, as she did for EW, that she is “a lot of fun to hang out with.” READ FULL STORY

Entertainment Geekly: The Batman Top 100

So on Monday, I watched the Gotham series premiere with about 8 million of my friends. I started writing a column about the show and what it says (accidentally and/or purposefully) about the role of Batman in pop culture right now. But working on that column got me thinking more generally about Batman: A character who has been around for 75 years, a figure in my cultural consciousness since before my memory begins. The next thing I knew, I was making a list of my favorite Batman things–the movies, the TV shows, the vividly recalled comic book story arcs and standalone issues, the characters who stand out in my memory as defining aspects of the greater Bat-mythology. READ FULL STORY

Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader tease reporter in interview gone wrong

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This is one of the reasons why press screenings were invented.

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'Saturday Night Live' premiere recap: The start of something new (and odd)

Are SNL‘s growing pains over as it enters its 40th season? It certainly didn’t seem that way from the show’s bizarre season opener. While Chris Pratt—and Chris Pratt’s abs, in a supporting role—conducted themselves amiably, the show seemed to lack the festive air we’d expect from a premiere tied to such an important season. Instead, it seemed on a mission to prove that a new era has come to Studio 8H—one with a markedly different tone.

There was only one notable cameo, and it came from Pratt’s wife, Anna Faris—not, as might have been expected, his Parks and Recreation costar Amy Poehler. In fact, there was little about the show that was familiar. It seemed intent on showing off the new generation, lingering on new cast member Pete Davidson and its brand-new Weekend Update lineup. Even Leslie Jones, an SNL writer who joined the show midway through last year and made a controversial appearance on Update in May, had a chance to show off her material.

This confidence resonates better than last season’s opener, when the new cast members were forced to endure the “New Cast Member or Arcade Fire” sketch. But in doing so, the show seemed to push aside some of its strongest, more veteran players, like Kate McKinnon and Vanessa Bayer. Let’s move on to specifics:

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Chris Pratt hosts tonight's 'Saturday Night Live' premiere: Talk about it here!

Saturday Night Live comes back tonight? Honestly, thanks to a hiatus filled with casting announcements and Update shakeups and meticulous analysis of the show’s history (not to mention Live from New York‘s rerelease), it sort of feels like it never left. (Just me?)

Which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be champing at the bit for tonight’s 40th season premiere—a sure-to-be splashy episode featuring a leaner, meaner cast, an all-new pair at the Weekend Update desk, and a host with potential to immediately join the list of greats. Maybe it’d be best to go over topics of discussion point by point: READ FULL STORY

The bachelor George Clooney bon voyage tour: 10 romantic roles in Clooney history

A million leggy models/bartenders/aspiring red carpet hosts are having a little cry on the inside as George Clooney prepares to marry lawyer Amal Alamuddin in a reported 4-day fete in Venice. WE tv shares the same sentiment as they announced a “Bye George!” Roseanne marathon, airing Clooney-centric Roseanne  episodes starting Sunday, Sept. 28, at 10 a.m. E.T. To those around the world who are still holding a candle for the Cloonz, here’s a nostalgic look back at some of Clooney’s great romantic roles in past and recent history.

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EW discusses the derivative-yet-original brilliance of 'Shadow of Mordor'

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While plenty of The Lord of the Rings games have been released, few have taken so much mind-share of the industry as Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor has—and the game hasn’t even come out yet. The game promises an interesting spin on the third-person action genre, which has recently been dominated by games like the Batman: Arkham series—which is published by the same company as Mordor, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Mordor comes from Monolith Studios, however, who are no strangers to J.R.R. Tolkien’s world. The studio has aimed to make a game fun enough for both die-hard Tolkien fans and players who may have only gotten around to Peter Jackson’s film adaptations.

So is Mordor a good, or even great, game? EW‘s Aaron Morales and I, who have both played a sizable chunk of the game, shared our thoughts on the journey so far. While neither of us has finished the game, we’ve made enough progress to discuss what makes this trip into Middle-earth so special.

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Chris Pratt plays Word Sneak, explains his first headshot on 'Fallon'

Chris Pratt stretched his improv skills ahead of his Saturday Night Live hosting duties this Saturday, Sept. 27 by appearing on The Tonight Show. And if his game of “Word Sneak” with Jimmy Fallon is any indication, Pratt is more than ready for any off-the-cuff moments Studio 8H might require of him.

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