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ABC’s REVENGE is making the jump from TV to comics with an Original Graphic Novel out in September. REVENGE offers up episodic melodrama with a twist of mystery and suspense and a dash of soap opera which means it is pretty close to a comic monthly from Marvel already. In REVENGE, two women are the lead characters - the revenge driven Emily Thorne and the complex villainous Victoria Grayson. The book’s subtitle, The Secret Origin of Emily Thorne, gives you a hint of the focus of the OGN.
One of my favorite people Ted Sullivan is one of the shows co-producers and writers and he is co-writing the OGN with Erica Schultz, the writer of the award winning comic M3. I chatted with Ted about the book, women in comics and what comic character Emily most resembles as well as the upcoming season of the show. Our interview as well as some new art from the book follow.
Kelly and I are back again (3 weeks in a row!) with an interview with writer Ed Brubaker that is just filled with some interesting discussion including:
We also review issue 2 of Gillen/McKelvie’s Wicked and the Divine and review the first trade of another awesome female spy, Edmundson/Noto’s Black Widow which you can pre-order here.
And we also talk about the Thor and Captain America news from last week including reading some very special, erudite thoughts about the former.
So please give us a listen you can down load here or from iTunes!
Dinah, Dinah, Dinah how I love you. Dinah Laurel Lance or Drake depending on what world/age/event we are now in or past, is the second longest running female superhero in DC Comics IP (do you even have to “wonder” who is number one?)
Black Canary is, I believe, currently about to be homeless in the new 52. Oh wait, I forgot Futures’ End where she is homed, face only, on the chest of Frankenstein.
Yeah. Moving on …
In addition to her long comic history, Black Canary has appeared in multiple live action programs (Birds of Prey, Smallville and currently Arrow) and she’s also been in the modern DC Animated Universe as part of Justice League/Justice League Unlimited/Batman Brave and the Bold and Young Justice). She also appeared in the Green Arrow short that was tagged on to the end of Superman/Batman Apocalypse.
And now she is back in animation in a new round of DC Nation animated shorts (aside: they are still making these? And, um, hello where is Super Best Friends Forever, season 2?). Green Arrow is the star but is his partner. And her design is … interesting. Care to weigh in?
So today Marvel announced a new Thor on The View. Which makes sense because this Thor will be a woman as you can see the artwork below. And this is really Thor by which that means the person with the hammer is Thor and woman will have the hammer.
But the reveal of the new title, written by Jason Aaron, is not the most interesting thing about today’s announcement.
As someone who has been writing and arguing about the potential of the female audience for superhero comics four plus years, I was very interested to see this in Marvel’s press release:
THOR is the latest in the ever-growing and long list of female-centric titles that continues to invite new readers into the Marvel Universe. This female THOR is the 8th title to feature a lead female protagonist and aims to speak directly to an audience that long was not the target for Super Hero comic books in America: women and girls.
Say what? I’m sorry what was that? Is Marvel actually saying they want female readers? That they are now targeting female readers?
Why yes they are.
It’s almost worth the amount of trolling, attacks, rape threats and other shit I’ve experienced to see this.
Of course, DC Comics also seems to be finally finding the female audience worthy of their attention. Nothing as clear cut as Marvel did above but the recent Batgirl respin and Gotham Academy are clearly going after that audience and I was told by folks close to those books that women are definitely are a target.
But now? Something has changed at both publishers.
Is it real? Will it last? Who knows?
But I will say I am enjoying it.
The long awaiting Morrison epic visiting the various Earth’s of DC arrives in soon and here is the third one shot and solicit. Note those of you who are Donna Troy and Arrowette fans, it’s your lucky day.
THE MULTIVERSITY: THE JUST #1
Written by GRANT MORRISON
Art and cover by BEN OLIVER
1:10 B&W Variant cover by BEN OLIVER
1:25 Variant cover by EDUARDO RISSO
1:50 Variant cover by DALE EAGLESHAM
1:100 Variant cover by GRANT MORRISON
On sale OCTOBER 15 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with five covers. Please see the order form for details.
The next chapter of the greatest adventure in DC’s history is here!
When they last collaborated, Grant Morrison joined artist Ben Oliver (LOBO, BATMAN/SUPERMAN) for the acclaimed ACTION COMICS #0. For their next team-up, the two superstars take a spin around the self-obsessed Earth-16 – a.k.a. Earth-Me!
With all of the world’s threats having been handled long ago by their parents, the next generation of supers – including Chris Kent, Damien Wayne, Alexis Luthor, Offspring, Megamorpho, Donna Troy and more – find themselves labeled as superstars more often than super heroes. But with that fame comes complacency, and when a massive threat unlike anything they’ve ever seen surfaces, this pampered crew finds themselves in way over their head. What secret is Damien keeping from Chris that could tear the world’s finest friends apart? Who is the mysterious killer lurking behind the scenes among these spoiled super-children? And what chance do they stand against the monstrous villain that’s murdering its way cross the Multiverse? All that and more in this exciting stand-alone issue which also acts as chapter three of the MULTIVERSITY saga. Join us, if your dare, for THE MULTIVERSITY!
In case you missed it, DC Comics announced a new look and new team for Batgirl this week. One of the cowriters of the book Brenden Fletcher is also co-writing Gotham Academy with Becky Cloonan.
Cloonan, the first woman to draw an issue of Batman, just tweeted out her take on Batgirl. I’ve notice that many of the concerns about the refreshed look of the character is that she looks so young. I confirmed with Brenden that the character is still 21, the age she was reset too during the new 52 launch. I think in Cloonan’s piece below she looks that age.
I actually don’t think the Babs Tarr and Cameron Stewart pieces look that far off from 21 either.
Very few comic artists are able to draw young women that look, well, appropriately young. Take a look at the eyesore cover where Wonder Girl is supposed to be in her teens (actually let me save your eyes - don’t look).
The style of art matters as well. I’ve been spending time rereading Cass Cain’s run as Batgirl and there were some points where both Cass and Barbara looked the same age due to the artwork.
There is an incredible amount of artwork that has shown up on my dash over the last few days featuring Batgirl’s new look. Most of it is being curated at the Batgirl of Burnside Tumblr set up by Cameron Stewart.
If you haven’t, go take a look.
The announcement that Gail Simone was leaving Batgirl this week also included yet another reference to her writing a new book for DC Comics. During a recent Reddit session Geoff Johns mentioned her working on a “Top Secret” project.
Today at the London Comic Con during a spotlight panel Simone hinted to attendees she is launching Secret Six. She then continued the hinting on Tumblr.
The Secret Six was one of the most well reviewed books that Simone worked on while under contract to DC Comics. Spinning out of a Infinite Crisis mini-series, the book ran for 36 issues and was cancelled as part of the new 52. At that time the book had just fallen under 20K an issue.
During the new 52 DC launched Suicide Squad which many saw as a replacement for the Secret Six. That book was cancelled earlier this year when sales fell to just above 20K. That book used several of the same characters that had appeared in Simone’s Secret Six including Deadshot and Killer Shark as well as Amanda Waller.
Suicide Squad just relaunched with a new writer so it will be interesting to see which characters from Simone’s original run appear. Several of the characters including Catman as well as Simone created characters Scandal Savage and Jeanette have not been seen in the new 52. Tremor a character created near the end of Simone’s run appeared in The Movement. Another Simone creation, the modern Ragdoll, recently appeared in Batgirl.
The biggest name from the original run was Bane. Since he appeared in that series, the character gained prominence when he appeared in the final film in Nolan’s Batman Trilogy where he was played by Tom Hardy. During the Reddit session Johns said that Simone was writing XXX XXX which certainly leans toward a top name character such as Bane.
Secret Six was one of DC Comics more diverse books including asexual, bisexual and lesbian characters. Given the current state of LGBQT characters in the DCU, I hope the new Six, if true, continues the trend.
Secret Six was one of my favorite books during its run and i think probably the best thing Simone has written. It combined high adventure, horror and black humor like few other comic books have. I hope the hint is true.
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.
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!
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