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’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.
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.
According to Bleeding Cool, Harley Quinn Annual #1 will be a rub’n’smell comic book. It will also smell like weed. Well, at least the US version will. There are two separate versions of this issue, a US version that includes cannabisylocibe 7-A (weed smell) and an International version that will replace the cannabisylocibe 7-A with the smell of fresh-cut lawn clippings.
Supposedly each of the four smells; suntan lotion, pizza, leather, and grass, will be tied to four parts of the story which involves Harley rescuing Poison Ivy from Arkham. Since it also involves a visit to Harley’s home on Coney Island, who knows where the marijuana smell will come in. I’m hoping Poison Ivy is growing it for some reason. She wouldn’t end up in Arkham so often if she’d just chill out.
After the issue comes out, we’ll have all sorts of discussion about drugs, women, and social issues – which I know you can’t wait for. Until then, I’m just going to roll my eyes whenever this issue gets brought up. Since it releases on Oct. 29 – I’m anticipating a significant spike of eye rolls for the month of October.