This week, DC Comics announced their DCYou campaign that is promoting DC’s post-Convergence line-up of books. If that sentence felt like nonsense to you, let me put it another way: DCYou is a marketing campaign trying to grab readers who aren’t interested in DC’s big upcoming crossover event. So they’re trying to hype the books that the cross-over event will lead to.
Honestly, this wouldn’t be newsworthy if DC hadn’t included the word “diverse” in their ad campaign. There’s been a wave of momentum in comics pushing for diverse comics, i.e. comics that aren’t helmed by white men, fictional or otherwise. Most of DC’s titles have dudes on the covers, and most of DC’s titles have dude creators, so it’s slightly disconcerting to see their new line-up touted as diverse. Continue Reading
If you’ve followed this site for any length of time you know that I truly appreciate a good lady-led title. I’ll read the first issue of almost anything with a female protagonist… though unfortunately that doesn’t mean that everything I read is good. Thankfully, Heathen #1 by Natasha Alterici falls into the “good” category. Let’s be honest, it goes well beyond the “good” category.
The story follows a young Viking woman named Aydis, in her attempt to challenge Odin’s reigns by enlisting the support of the banished valkyrie Brynhild. Continue Reading
If you’re not familiar with DC’s Bombshells here’s all you need to know: the Bombshells were created as re-designs by Ant Lucia who turned popular heroines and villainesses into mid-century pin-ups. Both the statues, and the line of Bombshell variant covers from June, 2014 did so well that the DC Bombshells are returning! In fact, DC plans to release a digital-only Bombshell series written by Marguerite Bennet with art from Marguerite Savage in July, with print copies following in August. While that’s exciting (and a book that will make our Comic Picks of the Week list when it debuts) I’m more excited about the DC’s MALE Bombshells.
That’s right, amidst the over Bombshell variant covers that DC plans to release in August, a handful of them feature our first look at male pin-ups. I’m a big fan of the re-designed ladies – the retro fashion is quite detailed and well developed – but it’s nice that DC is acknowledging some of it’s fans want to see more man candy. So here are the covers, complete with ratings and commentary…because we’re not often given a chance to objectify male superheroes, and it would be a shame to pass on the opportunity.
Some time ago, Jason Aaron sold us on the idea of a lady Thor. We’ve been patiently awaiting the release of this female Thor’s identity, and the wait is over. The identity of the new, lady Thor will be revealed in the pages of Thor #8…and also got leaked to the internet a few days early. Huzzah! Before we go any further: SPOILERS! That should be obvious given the post title, but now you’ve been officially warned.
Hopefully you’re already familiar with Free Comic Book Day, the first Saturday of May when local comic shops give out thousands of free comic books in the hopes of getting more people interested in the hobby.
Since there are 51 total titles being given out for FCBD, there are going to be books for every member of the family. Here are our suggestions, broken down by age/interest. Remember, if you have your heart set on a book you think will be popular this year (Hint: Secret Wars, Divergence, Avengers) you might want to show up early just in case. Continue Reading
So today is Tuesday, which means it’s a) time to go get new movies from Redbox, and b) time to share my favorite comics of the week. There isn’t anything at Redbox that I’m really intent on seeing, so all my Tuesday enthusuasm has been directly infused into this list.
If you haven’t been following the Spider Verse event, then i09 can explain it for you. More importantly to us, two female led titles have spun out of the event, which is an occasion for rejoicing. Cindy Moon, a.k.a. Silk, was bitten by the very same radioactive spider that got Peter Parker.
Due to the events of Original Sin and Spider Verse, she’s back in New York trying to examine her past and build her future. Hopefully the writers will give her something more meaningful to do in the first issue.
I won’t lie, the ending to the first story-arc of Lumberjanes really threw me (major props to the entire creative team for cooking up something I didn’t see coming), and I’m ready to devour anything else the Lumberjanes throw at me. In this issue Mal and Molly get their own personal adventure, and the rest of the team has to deal with mundane things like camp and the Bear Woman. Never a dull moment with these brilliant and brave ladies!
Bitch Planet #3
Reading comics written by Kelly Sue is always a treat, and Bitch Planet punches harder than Captain Marvel ever has. This is a universe where there is an entire planet dedicated to the incarceration of women, and in this issue, we get to find out how one of the biggest baddest women on Bitch Planet got jailed in the first place. Something tells me it ain’t going to be pretty. The incarceration of women never is. #Noncompliant
Deadly Class #11
I tried to get my dad into this comic once, but the gore was a bit too much for him. God bless him. This book follows the life of teenager Marcus as he is admitted into an academy for assassins in the late 1980’s. High school drama can quickly become deadly when you attend school with the offspring of the world’s top crime families. Issue 11 may not be the best time jump in (it’s the finale to the second story-arc), but I give this series my highest recommendation. So you should start from the beginning.
Ms. Marvel #12
I’m not going to say anything about this issue. I think the cover (done by the amazing Kris Anka) speaks for itself.
Have you ever wanted to watch two relatively immortal human beings fight to the death? Rather, have you ever wanted to learn how to kill a relatively immortal human like Forever Carlisle? In this issue, also the conclusion to the current story arc, Forever Carlisle must face another Lazarus to the death. I may not be caught up on this series, but that’s definitely enough of a finale to draw me back in.
This is the final issue of She-Hulk, and I can’t wait to see how Charles Soule and Javier Pulido finish things off. Thanks to Kevin Wada, She Hulk has had some of the most gorgeous, non-sexualized covers of any super heroine in existence, and the book will be sorely missed.
Barbarella and The Wrath of the Minute-Eater
This classic Science Fiction cult-favorite has been adapted into English by the inestimable Kelly Sue DeConnick. If you’ve been following me on twitter recently you’ll know of my obsession with science fiction history, and I’m looking forward to such a classic gracing my bookshelf.
Today, DC Comics let loose with their June comic slate, introducing twenty four new titles to appear with twenty five returning titles. While that still doesn’t bring their line-up to a total of 52, DC promises that these new comics will usher us into a new generation of love, acceptance, and inclusivity. Wellllll they didn’t say that exactly, try parsing their announcement for yourself, or read this quote:
This summer, DC Entertainment launches a bold new direction for the DC Universe (DCU) that is even more inclusive and accessible to a wider group of readers as the publisher continues to evolve comic storytelling for its next generation of fans.
This new line-up, which includes three humor-oriented titles (Bat-Mite, Bizarro, Prez) seeks to enrich and expand the standard “dark and grim” tonality of DC, while offering new characters DC hopes will appeal to a broader fan-base, something Marvel comics has been doing gradually through the past two years.
So how well do these new 24 titles reflect “society around us”? Probably not well, given that this is a comics universe, but there are several titles starring women and/or poc, and each day this week we’ll take a moment to examine them in more detail.
Last May, Paul Dini and Joe Quinones published Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell, an original graphic novel for fans who missed seeing this characters regularly in the DC line-up. This was a lightweight and fun book, pitched pre-New 52. From the looks of it, this book from Brenden Fletcher (Batgirl, Gotham Academy) and artists Annie Wu (Hawkeye) and Irene Koh (Secret Origins: Batgirl). This creative team is absolutely bonkers, in the best way possible.
Brenden Fletcher has already been writing two books for DC comics that have a lot to offer in terms of diversity. Along with Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr, Fletcher joined the Batgirl book with #25, which includes what io9 has described as “The Best Damn Superheroine Outfit Ever“.
Simultaneously, Fletcher has been co-writing Gotham Academy with Becky Cloonan, which may have the most diverse cast of characters I’ve ever seen on the cover of a DC title. Black Canary will be Fletcher’s first solo-writing gig, which couldn’t be more exciting!
Let’s not forget both of the lady artists who will join Fletcher, Annie Wu and Irene Koh are seriously talented and I couldn’t imagine a better choice for the style of the book. Both women have histories with DC (Wu worked on Batgirl Beyond and Koh the upcoming Secret Origins: Batgirl) and their respective styles will hopefully make Black Canary as striking as she deserves.
So is this a hit in terms of diversity? Irrefutably yes. Every member of the creative team has experience writing or drawing women for successful books featuring women. Also, two members of the creative team are women. A smart team for a fan-favorite character.
2015 is a bright new year, and I’m so excited about new comics this year. So let’s start this list off with a brand new title!
Lady Killer #1 (Dark Horse)
This comic follows the life of stay-at-home mom Josie Schuller, assasin-for-hire. The combination of 60’s chic and murder is a stroke of brilliance from creative team Jamie S. Rich and Joelle Jones, who previously collaborated together on You Have Killed Me from Oni Press.
I’m personally hoping the issues are packed full of cleaning advice like, how to remove viscera from under the refrigerator. Not that I have viscera under my refrigerator.
ODY-C #2 (Image)
ODY-C can best be described as a gender-bent science-fiction version of Homer’s Odyssey. I’m all about the gender-bending because it means that instead of lame Odysseus, we get Odyssia the Clever Champion. Fraction and Ward manage to take the centuries old tale and make it fresh and psychedelic…which is a good thing I swear.
Deadly Class #10
If you haven’t heard of it yet, Deadly Class follows a bunch of assassins-in-training in high school in the late 80’s. Basically, Remender and Craig are giving us one of the sharpest creative teams out there right now. Issue ten gives us a glimpse of what these angsty kids do on their day off in San Francisco. Honestly, I won’t be surprised if they mange to kill someone anyhow.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 (Marvel)
Whenever I need to explain to anyone just how strange comics can be, I whip out Squirrel Girl. A super hero that dresses up like a squirrel? And yet now that Ryan North and Erica Henderson have teamed up to write Squirrel Girl, a.k.a Doreen Green, well I can’t help but be excited. Marvel is on a roll with all its female-led titles.
With the looming cancellations of She-Hulk and Elektra, loan your support to the not-yet-cancelled Storm! Right now in the comic, Storm’s enemies have made Storm an enemy of the state. She dooooessss look like a radical rebel with the mohawk. Still, she’s off to clear her name.
Angela: Asgard’s Assassin
The only thing I really understand about Angela is a character, is that wherever she goes she leaves havoc in her wake. Knowing that, it’s super excited that Angela makes her way down to earth in this issue! By the by, Angela is also related to Odin and Thor now, if that makes the comic more appealing to you.
Those are all the comics I’m looking forward to this week! What else are you guys looking forward to?
When I read an article yesterday morning from The Beat that several of Milo Manara’s upcoming variant covers had been canceled, I did a little happy dance in my chair. You’ll remember the Manara Spider-Woman cover that was heavily criticized a few weeks ago.
Many websites were quick to ridiculous this pose, io9 released images of a grotesque 3D model of the position, Kelly Sue DeConnick commented on it in an interview with TheMindHut, and The Mary Sue absolutely went to town on the image, photoshopping strange images onto Spider-Woman’s butt and featuring a video of women attempting – and failing – to reenact Spider-Woman’s position. And those were just the articles I personally read, a quick Google search will show you dozens more.
In a weekly interview with Comic Book Resources, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso apologized for the image, saying that they realized that the messages sent in the Milo Manara variant cover were not what was intended. At the same time, Alonso firmly mentioned that Marvel would be commissioning covers from Manara in the future, but that they were “aware of the growing sensitivity to covers like this.” It felt like Marvel was attempting to have its cake and eat it too.
Naturally, when news reached the internet that several of Milo Manara’s upcoming variant covers had been canceled, it appeared as if Marvel was changing their tune. No more grossly sexy covers! No more butts lifted grotesquely in the air! No more weird faces!
Not the case.
The reality, according to Comic Book Resources, is that the canceled covers were just part of bad scheduling, not any indication that Marvel is withdrawing support from Manara’s variant covers. Alonso says,
Clearly, unequivocally, I want to state that this is only a scheduling problem. The Manara covers were recast due to his schedule. He will be doing more covers for us, in fact, he’s working on one right now that will be announced sometime soon.
While many people (myself included, obviously) had their hopes up about this development, a seedier part of the web jumped on the chance to turn the canceled covers into a debate over censorship – attempting to create #ComicGate on the back of the recent #GamerGate movement.
Really? The Milo Manara covers got cancelled. Who's about silencing again? #ComicGate
— Every Fanboy Ever (@fanboy_txt) September 24, 2014
While I was initially sad that the Manara covers hadn’t been cancelled, at this point I’m just wearily thankful that the #ComicGate crowd has no legs to stand on. August and September were rough months for women in gaming, and I’d hate to see that vitriol spread to comics.