Your web-browser is very outdated, and as such, this website may not display properly. Please consider upgrading to a modern, faster and more secure browser. Click here to do so.
The June sales numbers were published today and to no one’s surprise the new JRJR/Geoff Johns Superman reboot was in the top 5 comics. But what may be a surprise to some is the comic that was in the slot above it - Harley Quinn. Despite a controversial start last year, the book has climbed the charts each month and has become a huge sales hit for DC Comics. I chatted with Jimmy Palmiotti about the book as well as Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con International: San Diego which is out Wednesday.
This morning DC Comics unveiled a respin/refresh of the Batgirl book. Gail Simone who has been the main writer on the book for the past three years is leaving. Cameron Stewart, mainly known by DC readers as an artist, will co-write along with Brenden Fetcher who is also co-writing Gotham Academy. Art is by Babs Tarr bringing a new full-time female artist onto DC Comics just as Nicola Scott has announced she’s leaving the publisher.
Just last week I wrote about the announcement of Gotham Academy and wondered if it finally meant that DC is targeting female readers. This week we see this Batgirl respin that I have been told by sources close to the book is aiming for the female audience.
The “refreshed” Batgirl has a new costume, new town and will have a new supporting cast although some of her current cast including Alysia Yeoh will be seen. The costume is very cool if you haven’t seen it.
Given the house style that is preferred by senior management at DC Comics (i.e. Jim Lee and David Finch) it is a treat to see an artist as different as Babs Tarr on-board at DC Comics.
The book’s creators said in the official PR interview that the book mixes the best elements of “Veronica Mars” and “Girls,” with a dash of “Sherlock” thrown in for good measure.” And the tone?
"We really wanted to make this a book with a light tone, of fun and adventure and mystery, and let the rest of the Bat-family deal with the darkness. She’s got problems, and conflict, and enemies to fight, but our priority was to make this a really fun, rollicking read."
I haven’t read the current Batgirl run except for the previews and my feeling and of those that have read it, is that it was a fairly dark book that reflected Dan Didio’s statement about the Batfamily last year
"They put on a cape and cowl for a reason. They’re committed to defending others — at the sacrifice of all their own personal instincts. That’s something we reinforce. If you look at every one of the characters in the Batman family, their personal lives kind of suck…
Tim Drake, Barbara Gordon, and Kathy Kane — it’s wonderful that they try to establish personal lives, but it’s also just as important that they put it aside as they know what they are accomplishing as the hero takes precedence over everything else. That is our mandate, that is our edict, that is our stand with our characters.”
So now we have a book with a young Batgirl that has a lighter tone and is likened to Veronica Mars … just as we did three years ago with Bryan Q. Miller’s run on Batgirl.
I was a big fan of that Bat-book not just because of its writing but because of the opportunity I thought the book presented.
If DC comics is seriously interested in gaining new female readers, particularly younger ones, this book may not be the key but it is damn close. Gail Simone has often said that Birds to Prey is an on-ramp into comics for women. I took that on-ramp and agree. I think that this version of Batgirl* can do the same thing for a younger female audience.
That post outlined a series of ways Batgirl could be used to outreach to female readers and to my non-surprise absolutely nothing remotely like any of of those ways were pursued.
Now, I am happy to see DC Comics bring books like Batgirl and Gotham Academy that are targeted to female readers who are as I have repeatedly and repeatedly the fastest growing demographic in comics.
Given Marvel’s success with Ms. Marvel, I’m not surprised to see DC offer up a book with a similar feel. (But I do wish they could have realized they had it three years ago and without ditching Stephanie Brown as Batgirl and Barbara Gordon as Oracle).
I hope that both books are great and do great. If they are could lead to more books that aren’t grim and gritty and targeted to the “core” audience of males but rather hit that growing demographic.
What do you think of the respun Batgirl?
Holy new comic day, Batman! There’s some new first issues out today that you might want to pick up as well as some other comics. And today? Today is all about DICK GRAYSON!
This is the Phil Jimenez variant for the new DICK GRAYSON book. I posted an interview Tim Seeley yesterday about the book and he had some very interesting things to say about Dick and Helena Bertinelli who is also in this book. The art is by Mikel Janin who draws a very pretty Dick. Let me know what you think of this one.
And speaking of DICK GRAYSON, this variant cover of Chastity from Dynamite is by Tim Seeley the writer of Grayson. So she’s a vampire. And given this is Dynamite she is a very s.e.x.y. vampire and the book has a very SEXY cover. However, this book is written by Marc Andreyko and the inside art isn’t quite same as the cover art. Andreyko brings his traditional snarky dialogue to the table and the concept for the vampire is somewhat interesting. I’m not sure I need another female vampire book right now, but maybe you do?
Justin Jordan was once a DC Comics writing Team Seven which featured Slade who we all know is a mortal enemy of DICK GRAYSON. Post-Apocalyptic bloody nightmare with a Saga type twist with a baby - come on the cover screams it. This is pretty violent book but if ou do like post-Apocalyptic tales Jordan certainly delivers a sturdy one. The art from Kyle Strahm is very strong. It all comes down to how much gore you like.
I’m really enjoying this run on Captain Marvel - who here kinda hoped she’d show up somewhere in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie? Anyway I think Marvel was smart getting Lopez on the book. Lopez of course drew the Catwoman series in which (wink, wink) Selina had Bruce’s daughter or DICK GRAYSON’S sister. (That was kinda of a stretch but not really. Happy to discuss!)
Did you pick up the first issue of this? More horror this time dystopia style. Did you know Cullen Bunn once wrote an arc of Superman/Batman? Did you know that Bruce Wayne/Batman is DICK GRAYSON’s father?
The new arc started last issue so you can still jump in on this. And since I came up with no way to connect DICK GRAYSON to this book if you send me one and I’ll put your name into a quick drawing to win the first trade of this book.
So much blood this week! The best vampire story being printed right now. The writer may have a passing familiarity with DICK GRAYSON.
If you like Tim vs. Harper you’ll like this issue. And you know DICK GRAYSON is going to be in here at some point.
And that’s it for me this week - what did I forget? What’s on your list? And let me know what you think of the first issues above if you read them.
Three years ago this month DC Comics was being, rightfully, raked over the coals due to their lack of female creators in the launch of the new 52. The past week or so has DC expand the ranks of female writers to seven. Joining Gail Simone, Ann Nocenti and Amanda Conner and Marguerite Bennett who was previously announced as one of the co-writers on Earth 2: World’s End are Becky Cloonan, who was announced as the writer on the upcoming Gotham Academy, Meredith Finch, the new writer on Wonder Woman and today, novelist and i09 contributor Genevieve Valentine who will be taking over Catwoman in October (Nocenti is launching a new Klarion book). Here’s a look at the cover art by Jae Lee.
The book will focus on Catwoman reign as mob boss in Gotham.
The announcements are not over. Expect another one later this week that will bring a female artist to a familiar book.
Dick Grayson has been spent nearly 75 years as part of Batman’s life but this week he gets a new series where he’s on his own and uses his own name, Grayson. DC Comics is having a bit of fun with the promotion of the book and released the following ad last week.
One person who does know Dick is Tim Seeley who is co-writing, with Tom King, the book which debuts tomorrow. I chatted with Seeley about the character and the book which includes the new 52 debut of Helena Bertinelli.
Earlier this week I posted about the upcoming DC Comics series Gotham Academy. That book will be written by Becky Cloonan. I think its an important book for DC and explained why in the post.
This week also saw announcements of two other series that also seem a good fit for a more diverse audience and also have female creators attached.
It’s like Christmas in July!
From Vertigo this November we’ll see The Kitchen written by Ollie Masters with art with Ming Doyle. The book takes place in New York in the 70s and is being pitched as Goodfellas mashed up with Mob Wives. I’m sure last year’s release of American Hustle, also partially set in New York in the 70s didn’t hurt this pitch.
I’m a huge fan of fellow Bostonian Ming Doyle, who you may know best from Image’s Mara. The New York of the 70s was a dirty, gritty, violent place and I think Doyle’s art is a perfect match. Take a look:
But there’s more!
This week is a holiday week so a little slower than usual but there are still a few picks to peruse. I hope you all had a chance to download or maybe listen a bit to newest episode of 3 Chicks Review Comics as we dicuss the trade of Velvet which is out this week.
And on to this week and we have a comic I can’t wait to read.
Hey, did you know Wonder Woman is a feminist? Just checking. This is written by Sholly Fisch who also wrote the Superfriends comic which included one of the best portrayals of Wonder Woman I’ve read in despite it being targeted to children. Go figure.
Speaking of Wonder Woman she’s in this last (sniff!) issue of Superman Unchained. You know who would write a good Wonder Woman? Scott Snyder. Who wants a Wonder Woman mini by Snyder? Raise your hands!
This is closes the book’s second arc and like every issue before it is terrific. Forever finally sees the battle that’s been teased for the last few issues and we find out what happens to the Barret family. Forever Carlyle is one of my favorite female characters in comics right now. Hey, you know who wrote a good Wonder Woman? Greg Rucka.
This is a bit gory but if you are a fan of Hannibal or like tales of spooky towns (i.e. half of the X-Files episodes) you’ll enjoy this tale of a town that spawns a great many serial killers. You know who is NOT a serial killer? Wonder Woman is not a serial killer.
Why wouldn’t you read this? OMG, BUCKTASHA! Natasha and Wonder Woman - friends? Discuss.
The first issue was a suprise for me - I really enjoyed it. The second issue continues the fun but then again this is Mark Waid. Who has also written Wonder Woman, with mixed results.
This is the one comic both my kids have asked for over the past few months. The movie is gonna make about a trillion bucks. Oh and this.
I am really enjoying this series but there’s something in today’s issue that just made me go:
You’ll see. Also Wonder Woman is not in this.
And that’s it for me. There are a few others I may pick up after flipping through them at the LCS.
What’s on your list?
Yesterday DC Comics announced that David Finch and his wife Meredith would be the new creative team on Wonder Woman. While I’ve already expressed concerns about Mr. Finch’s art and the short writing resume of Ms. Finch, there is now another much bigger concern.
In an interview today with CBR Finch stated:
Really, from where I come from, and we’ve talked about this a lot, we want to make sure it’s a book that treats her as a human being first and foremost, but is also respectful of the fact that she represents something more. We want her to be a strong — I don’t want to say feminist, but a strong character. Beautiful, but strong.
I can’t imagine another character about which you wouldn’t want to say she’s a feminist. The character’s creation, her history, her every single quality is derived from feminism. To not want to say “feminist” about her is like saying you don’t want to say “alien” about Superman or “orphan” about Batman. It is part of the character’s DNA.
As you can imagine that quote didn’t go over well. So a few hours later Mr. Finch tried to qualify it.
Feminists ARE human. Feminists ARE Fallible. Feminists ARE Real.
I’m sure this is just a misunderstanding. I would be shocked if the person heading the creative team of Wonder Woman would not understand this.
Because any person who cannot acknowledge and state clearly that Wonder Woman is a feminist and understands what feminism is has no business being near the character.
You know what the fastest growing demographic of comic reader is? Women aged 17 to 33. No, I did not make that up. No, that is not a skewed number. Facts, baby, all the way.
With that fact looming it’s not surprising to see a demographic that has been basically ignored by Marvel and DC Comics suddenly getting love. And by that I mean teenage girls.
It makes sense. The earlier you can hook a reader, the more likely they’ll be a comic reader for life. DC and Marvel have done that with dudes for years. But younger women? Eh, not so much.
Oh, they had books with younger characters - Batgirl and Spider-Girl come to mind, but those were a rarity. And DC Comics has certainly talked about going after that audience. I can still remember during the launch of the new 52 the Supergirl team saying they wanted the female audience reading “The Hunger Games”. If anyone has seen what is going on with Supergirl these days you’ll know that goal failed.
Marvel has dived full-in with targeting the younger female audience with Ms. Marvel. That book featuring a teen age girl is accessible to all ages and is one of the best comics of the year.
But yesterday, on a day when DC also announced a eye raising new team for Wonder Woman they also announced a book that has its eye on the female audience - Gotham Academy.
And you know what? I think they’ve got it right.
DC Comics announced today the new creative team for Wonder Woman. David Finch will draw the book. His wife, Meredith, who has previously co-written a comic for Zenescope, will follow in the footsteps of Brian Azzarello and join Gail Simone, Jodi Picoult, Mindy Newell in a line of female writers who have penned the character.
The writers state in an interview with USA Today, “We wanted to make her a little more flawed. She doesn’t always necessarily have the answers.”
The team believe having woman write the book will attract more female readers. Finch states, “I love the idea that it’s a woman writing a woman because we’re trying to appeal to more female readers now.”
Below is Finch’s artwork provided with the announcement.
As an artist David Finch brings a fan base of readers but also a reputation for drawing women that look like children or a posed Escher style. One of Finch’s previous drawings of Wonder Woman went viral when some showed male DC characters were posed similarly.
Bringing more female writers into the DCU is always a positive. That said its is rare that the gig of regular writer on one of the big three is given to someone who has so little experience as Meredith Finch. One could point to Jodi Picoult who took on Wonder Woman for several issues a decade ago but that opportunity came after having written several best selling books.
During Azzarello’s run he openly discussed his resistance to resisting interference in his book specifically around having Superman in the book as Wonder Woman’s love interest.
With an untested writer on-board and an artist who falls far squarely into the “house style” preferred by senior management at the book, it won’t be a surprise to see the Wonder Woman book pulled into the overall DCU again and the “Super romance” incorporated into her book.
Of course, the book could be wonderful. But given the team presented probably not for me.
What do you think of the team?
(Source: USA Today)
Have you heard of Steven Universe? It's an excellent cartoon on Cartoon Network and it's about to get a comic series from Kaboom. It's about a group of female super heroes called the Crystal Gems. One of them dies leaving the others to raise her son, Steven. I think you might like it. The first issues hits in August.
Thanks for the heads up with this!
Today in several cities it is Pride Sunday, the culmination of National LGBT month. For all of you who walk with pride or have pride in others you walk with, have a great day. To note this day, each year I take a look at the “state-of-the-state” of LGBTQ characters in DC Comics. You can read the previous years posts here, here, here and here.
Last year was a promising year for the company. Batwoman had asked her partner Maggie Sawyer to marry her. And Batgirl’s roomate was revealed as one of the few transgender characters in comics.
This year, however, has not improved things.