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Last week I made a comment about being by what the the current Batwoman writer Marc Andreyko said in an interview about DADT as part of Kate’s story. Andreyko later stopped by the blog to clarify things. I also received some input on my comment from a reader of the blog, Moira Phippen, which turned into a short discussion on where Batwoman was a character and her thoughts on Andreyko as a writer. I was so taken with her insights that I asked her to expand on them in a guest post. Here she discusses the three different authors that Kate Kane has had and their differing approaches to the character’s queer identity. Her thoughts follow and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
I found Kate Kane just around the time of my life that I was beginning to come out, to my friends, family, community, partners, and even to myself. As a character, she is so crucial to me. Seeing a queer-identifying character take on the “Bat” name, and not just a girl, but as a “woman,” self-assured, confident, aware of herself and who she was… I can’t express how much an image like her was meaningful to me as a young adult coming to terms with a conclusion about her sexuality that she had tried her very best to avoid. No matter the writer, Kate has always embraced who she is, no apologies offered. Rucka, Williams, and now Andreyko have become some of my most treasured authors due to the care each have taken with Kate.
As I have grown older, I’ve embarked on my own path to being more like Kate: I try to be brave like her, bold like her, uncompromising like her. My relationship with each writer’s Kate - because they are, all of them, different Kates - has developed with me. In a way, they each represent different kinds of interpretations and portrayals of the queer experience and identity, all of which hold some unique and different value or impact.
It’s new comics day and indeed there are two new comics kicking off this week so let’s start with those.
The technical first issue of Jeff Lemire’s Justice League Unlimited is out today. This features the young female First Nation’s superhero that we first saw a last month. Equinox does show up in this first issue according to the preview so that’s nice. She’s even on the cover of this semi rare variant cover.
DC Comics did not provide me with a review copy of this comic but Jeff Lemire is a good writer and Mike McKone does well with team books so you might want to pick it up. Let me know what you think!
Marvel also has a new comic with a female lead on the cover.
Marvel does not provide me with reviewers copies of their comics but the art on this, by Mike Del Mundo, looks great. Haden Blackman is the former co-writer DC Comic’s Batwoman so if you read that you know he does a good job weaving action and personal moments together. Let me know what you think!
And on to some others!
Stephanie Brown is back in this issue. Well, there are some words I didn’t think I’d be writing again anytime soon. Maybe if I say, “I don’t think we’ll be seeing Cass Cain again anytime soon,” the reverse mojo will work again.
That cover is amazing which befits this book. I’ve gone on and one about this book and its writing and its fantastic art by Michael Lark but for this issue I’m going to call out the letters section which is truly so dense it is like a bonus. But can I mention Michael Lark’s art again? Amazing.
Gail Simone has managed to make me read comics about two characters that I pretty much didn’t really give a crap about - Red Sonja and Lara Croft. This issue has on the run, again, but that’s what I like about the comic - it moves. Simone movies the plot along at a very quick pace which befits its gaming roots. Warning: Musical instruments are destroyed in this issue and there is bad Irish slang. And some very nice art by Nicolas Daniel Selma. This is a fun comic even if you have never played the game.
I hope you are picking this up and that you head cast the same people in the leads as I do (Anthony Mackie and Helen Mirren). Maybe that will pique your interest?
And that’s it for this week. What did I miss? What is on your list?
Four years ago when I posted an image from Batgirl and launched this blog, I really did believe there was a way to expand the reach of comics and bring in more readers who want to read about female characters and work by female creators. And from the very beginning my theory was that traditional comics media was a echo chamber that were mostly not very friendly places for female readers.
But nothing changed.
But now … perhaps it will.
One of the biggest disappointments for me when DC Comics rebooted their universe with the new 52 was the changes made to Amanda Waller. The character went from an middle aged women of size to a younger and noticeably thinner woman.
That younger version of the character has now guided the cast of the character on Arrow where she is played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson.
The one place it seems that Amanda Waller still exists as she was created is in the animated universe. Following the reboot of the new 52 Waller appeared in Young Justice resembling her appearance in the DCAU’s Justice League:
And now, in the trailer for the newest DCAU Feature, Batman: Assault on Arkham, she is also looking like her pre-52 self and sounding like it too as CCH Pounder comes back to voice the character (as does Kevin Conroy as Bats.)
Unfortunately Harley Quinn’s old 52 costume was passed over for the new 52 one. You can’t win them all.
I do find it interesting that animation seems to fine with keep Amanda Waller in her most iconic version. While women closer to Waller’s age have played the role in live action including Pam Grier in Smallville and Angela Bassett in Green Lantern, they both had much different silhouettes.
I’m happy to have the real Amanda Waller back even it is only in the occasional animated piece although it would be refreshing to see a woman of color and size in a role of authority in a live action production.
It’s Easter Weekend and I bring you Easter Eggs. No, not those Easter Eggs. Good ole’ decorated Easter Eggs. And, of course, they have to do with comics! Here’s some hand decorated eggs that combine superheroes and eggs.
I thought Spring was here but woke up to snow this morning, blurgh! A very short list this week in which I contribute heavily to college fund of Scott Snyder.
Batfamily folks will like this issue - the band is getting back together it seems …
The books are getting closer together …
Another Scott Snyder comic but with BITE!
I want to support this book but I was pretty upset by an interview the writer did yesterday regarding the role of DADT in Kate’s history. I’ll be posting separately on that.
Love this book.
I’ve put this on my list a few times. If you haven’t picked it up you may want to check out the series.
And that’s it for me. I noticed a number of trades out this week that collect some series I’ve been recommending - are you folks interested i a weekly trade wrap-up? Let me know.
What’s on your list? What did I miss I should be reading?
For months readers have worried that Dick Grayson might be the latest Robin to die in comics. The signs were certainly there. He was tortured and had his identity revealed in Forever Evil. And then they cancelled his comic, Nightwing.
But rest assure Dick lovers, Mr. Grayson is staying in comics
According to USA Today, he is getting a new job - spy with the CIA like organization Spyral and a new costume:
At the very least, he is getting a wardrobe makeover, courtesy of Grayson artist Mikel Janin: Gone is Grayson’s mask, and his new outfit reflects the blue-and-black color scheme of his Nightwing togs and features a “G” on his chest, reminiscent of the old “R” from his Robin days.
Tim Seeley and Tom King are joining Janin on the book.
Are you excited?
(Source: USA Today)
Tony Daniel has nicely posted his pencils to the cover to Superman/Wonder Woman #9 on his Twitter and Facebook. And here it is:
Let’s see, on the lower right is Wonder Woman and on the upper left, Lois Lane. Seemingly fighting And in the middle? Why Superman!
Is this a … CATFIGHT?
If you picked up Batman Eternal this week, you didn’t see Stephanie Brown. But you will see her in issue 3 and here she is:
And because you might get spoiled see the rest under the cut:
This is a big week for first issues so grab you wallet and let’s go!
This kicks off the year long Batman weekly Eternal. It’s a solid first issue that is basically table setting and explaining a key teaser of the series - why is James Gordon in handcuffs. But given we’ve already seen what is being served up, I’m not opposed to table setting.
Joe Keatinge won me over with his Glory reboot and I hope he can win me over with this book. The first issue tells me he and collaborator Leila Del Duca just may. There’s a good amount of exposition in this issue as you would expect in the first issue. We meet legacy explorer Kate Kristopher who, like her father and his father before him, travels the world or rather universe exploring. She’s famous and a bit of an icon but she’s also just turning 27 and has some concerns about her life. The world building here is good - Del Duca gives us snippets of a world that is hybird of the familiar and the fantastic. The book opens with a big scene and ends on a high note that makes me want to come back. Give it a try and see if you feel the same.
Noelle Stevensen blew me away with her web comic Nimona and here she is joined by writer Grace Ellis and artist Brooke Allen. If you like Adventure Time, Gravity Falls and the Power Puff Girls or a fan of Stevenson’s Nimona, you’re going to like this. In other words, meet my daughter’s new favorite comic.
I’ll miss Young Avengers perhaps this can fill the void.
And now on to the rest of the week’s comics.
Did you pick up the first issue of the new first issue of Captain Marvel? I was a fan of the first series but I have to say the art is working much better for me. I’m happy to see Carol heading into space perhaps she’ll hit the big screen in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel.
If you didn’t read the first arc of Coffin Hill, now is an excellent time to jump into this book.
The only book on the market that simultaneously feeds both my fascination with the royal family and alternative takes on WW II history.
Archie isn’t dead in THIS comic, but mostly everyone else is and it is beautifully horrific.
Well if you’re going to get the Lumberjanes why not go all in?
That’s it for me this week, what’s on your list?
DC Comics announced today that the recently cancelled Teen Titans will relaunch again in July with a new #1. The team is actually smaller than before but some things are bigger than before. Let’s take a look!
That’s Red Robin, Beast Boy, Bunker, Cassie and Raven So a much smaller team. But the bigger?
Here’s Cassie on the cover of Teen Titans #1 from September 2011
And here are is Cassie on the cover of Teen Titans #1 Vol. 5
The book will be written by Wil Pfeiffer currently writing Red Hood and the Outlaws and earlier the pre-52 Catwoman. Ken Rocafort will be on art. DC Comics says the team offer will offer ”bold, exciting and sometimes dangerous ideas.”
And a bit more, it seems.
You may know that Cliff Chiang is one of my favorite comic artists. I love his bold graphic style and his ability to capture the personality of a character in a look, a wink or the way they hold their body. He also manages to draw women that are sexy but never objectified. He is also one of the few artists that draws clothing for characters that I’d actually like to wear.
Chiang is the focus of a new book from the TwoMorrows publishing and if you are also a fan of Chiang or the artist’s process I highly recommend it. You can buy a copy here.
In an a long form interview with Chris Arrant, the book provides an overview of Chiang’s career from student/intern at Marvel to editorial assistant at Vertigo to his emergence as an artist at DC Comics. For those who want to work in comics, it provides a valuable overview of the difficulties of breaking into the comic business.
The book also covers Chiang’s reboot of Wonder Woman with Brian Azzarello including the approach the two had originally planned for the character.
This week brings the first issue of DC Comics new Bat-centric weekly series, Batman Eternal. First announced last year, the series will be written by four writers with Scott Snyder acting as showrunner. DC has been dropping clues about the plot lines hints for months. In February Batman #28 gave a look at the Gotham that will ultimately be the focus of the book. I chatted with one of the writers on project, James Tynion IV (Talon, Red Hood and the Outlaws) about the book, about that surprise appearance in #28, who else might show up and … monkeys?
There are a few new books featuring the women of DC Comics and they are targeted at the youngest of readers.
In September Downtown Bookworks will publish, DC Comics: My First Book of Girl Power by Julie Merberg.
Here’s a few images:
Jose Luis Garcia Lopez artwork is preferable to some of the more modern takes on DC Women.
And that’s not all!
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