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It’s time to say goodbye to 2012 and time for me to do my “bests” and “worsts” for the women of DC Comics. Last year, I did the “worsts” first and so it seems only fair that this year the lists start with the “bests.”
And just like they’ll do the countdown tonight, it is in reverse order:
10. Anne Hathaway as Catwoman - Last year one of my “bests” was that she was going to be in the movie and was being prominently featured in the marketing of it. This year it is because she was great in the movie. Even the best thing in the movie according to more than a few folks. Catwoman has officially been redeemed as a movie character so let’s please never again refer to the awful 2004 movie and let’s hope they do a Catwoman movie with Hathaway. And let’s hope the comic is soon as awesome as Hathaway was. I hope to be back next year to say how awesome Amy Adams is as Lois Lane in Man of Steel.
9. DC Comics marketing to ladies! - After many discussions about the idea that DC might want market to women or whether they would, even as simple a thing as giving previews to a female-focused blog, they went and did it! Keep it up!
8. The women of Young Justice - Yes, I did criticize the pilot of Young Justice because it completely focused on male characters. And it deserved it. It took a long time before I could get my daughter interested in the series. But the show recaliberated nicely
and last year hit its stride with female characters.
7. Lots of female led books! This year DC introduced Worlds’ Finest, starring Huntress and Power Girl and Sword of Sorcery starring Amethyst. They also announced Katana as an ongoing for 2013. With the existing titles of Batgirl, Batwoman, Supergirl, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman and Catwoman that means DC will have nine New 52 titles headlining ladies in 2013.
6. Wonder Woman in movies and TV (Maybe!) - DC and Warner Bros. are finally moving forward with a Justice League movie which will most definitely include Wonder Woman. And a new pilot of the CW starring Wonder Woman was also revealed. The latter is a big maybe as the pilot hasn’t gone to production. But they are looking to cast so that’s a good sign. Honestly after the roller coaster of the last pilot I’d almost like to just wake up in May and find out whether it was given the green light.
5. Batwoman, Batwoman, Batwoman! There were a lot of female team-ups this year in DC Comics and not just in Worlds’ Finest and Birds of Prey. Batwoman already has a supporting cast that is overwhelming female but that didn’t prevent other ladies from teaming up with her. Batgirl and she joined forces in Batgirl #12 and then Wonder Woman dropped by Batwoman for an arc beginning with issue #13. Batwoman continued to be one of the most beautiful books in comics under the pencil of J.H. Williams III and the title’s 0 issue was one of the best of the new 52.
4. Smallville Season 11 and other digital comics! When Smallville went off the air it had over 1.5M viewers many of them female and clearly, given the size of that audience compared to comics sales, many who didn’t read comics. DC took a chance on tapping into that audience with Smallville Season 11 a digital only once a week comic. Smartly they hired Bryan Q. Miller who not only wrote for the show but also wrote one of DC’s best comics pre-52. The result? A fun comic that became an unexpected hit topping the digital charts and also selling better than some of the new 52 as floppy. The comic also became a panacea for those who didn’t like the handling of Superman in the new 52 particularly the decision to have Superman in a relationship with Wonder Woman. DC’s digital initiate under Hank Kanalz also scored with Ame-Comi Girls by Palmiotti/Gray, which featured an all female cast and was much better than the some of the costumes would suggest and Li’l Gotham by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs which included some of the ladies not in the new 52. (But not all … next post, people).
3. The stealthy ascension of Amanda Conner to comics superstar - Unlike a lot of comics creators, including her partner Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner doesn’t blog or Tweet or do a lot of interviews. She really is all about the work. And this year her work included co-writing and drawing the Silk Spectre series from the controversial Before Watchmen series. That series received some of the best reviews of the project. Conner also had not one but two books devoted to her work published this year - The Art of Amanda Conner and DC Comics: The Sequential Art of Amanda Conner. While Conner isn’t a DC exclusive the bulk of her work over the last half decade has been for DC while she has a steady stream of work from other publishers for her covers. In a genre of comics that is dominated by male creators, Amanda Conner has quietly made her way to the top.
2. Super Best Friends Forever - Batgirl, Supergirl and Wonder Woman are the female trinity of DC characters. And they would have made for an interesting TV program of any type. But Super Best Friends Forever was more than interesting, it was the some of the best, and certainly the funniest, animation featuring DC women, ever. Creator Lauren Faust (who also did Powerpuff Girls and My Little Pony) re-imagined Supergirl as a sturdy, some what bratty power house, Batgirl as over excited and dedicated do-gooder and, in brilliant move, swapped out Wonder Woman for her younger sister, Donna Troy, complete with Greek accent. With just a few shorts, the show created an intense fan following and even had its own merchandise. You could almost imagine that a half hour show would be next and how wonderful would that be for creating a new generation of female fans?
Sadly the brilliance of Super Best Friends Forever will forever only exist in four three minute shorts as Faust confirmed that there will be no more SBFF.
1. The glass ceiling for female creators at DC gets, well maybe not broken, but cracked with Batman #12 - This year we saw DC make good on its promise to bring on more female creators following the issues with the launch of new 52.Nicola Scott finally debuted in the new 52 with Earth 2 becoming the only female artist on the new 52 at DC. Ann Nocenti came off Green Arrow but picked up Catwoman and will be writing Katana. DC smartly brought Christy Marx on to write Sword of Sorcery. DC has also has a new writer starting on Batgirl, Gail Simone. (More on that in another post.) But the big moment of the year was that after seven decades DC finally had a woman draw an issue of Batman when Becky Cloonan was brought on for issue #12. Written by Scott Snyder the issue also formally introduced a new female character, Harper Row, to the Batverse. Let’s hope this leads to more female writers and artists and not just on books with female leads.
Well, that’s my list. What’s on yours? And I’ll be back with my worsts tomorrow. Save some booze from tonight’s festivities! You’re going to need it!