I was sad to hear this week that two comics I was excited and pleased to see be published by DC and Marvel have been cancelled. Earlier this week DC and Marvel both failed to issue solicits for January issues of Katana and Fearless Defenders. I assumed they were gone and both companies have now confirmed they end their runs in December.
Some thoughts about these books and their cancellations below.
I wondered where the preview of Katana #2 was and I just found it on the DC site. You’d think there be a little bit more promotion of the series. I’m doing a post about sales of female led books that will go up tomorrow partly and it discusses the underwhelming performance of the first issue of Katana (the first of issue of Vibe didn’t debut that much better).
I liked the first issue. I am picking up the second. Let’s hope more do.
In case you missed it I interviewed Ann Nocenti about Katana (and some other stuff - you can read that here)
Devastated by the horrifying aftermath of last issue’s battle with Killer Croc, Katana struggles to set things right against impossible odds!
Ann Nocenti made her mark in comics with her legendary run on Daredevil during the 80s. At that time she was one of the female writers in the superhero genre. After a break of a few years she is back in the genre at DC where she is about to launch Katana, a solo title for the former Outsider and Bird of Prey and soon to be Justice Leaguer.
I spoke with Nocenti about her upcoming run on the book as well as how the comics industry has changed when she first started in the business.
Written by ANN NOCENTI
Art by ALEX SANCHEZ
Cover by DAVID FINCH
1:25 B&W Variant cover by DAVID FINCH
On sale MARCH 13 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
• Katana has joined the deadly Sword Clan in the hope that they’ll lead her further down her path to vengeance!
• Katana has been contacted by Steve Trevor—but what does the Justice League of America want with her?
Just two days ago I (re)posted about how DC and Marvel were both stepping it up with female led books in light of DC’s announcing an ongoing title (and I know there has been some confusion about whether it was a mini, but I’ve confirmed it is an ongoing) for Katana. And, pow, today Marvel announced for February Fearless Defenders, an ongoing headling Valkyrie and Misty Knight and all-female team.
According to writer Cullen Bunn the title:
will chronicle the adventures of the female heroes of the Marvel Universe. There will be a central team of characters that will form over time, but the cast will rotate to some degree from arc to arc. This will be a team like none other in Marvel NOW. I think readers will have a good time speculating on who will be joining this version of the Defenders. The team up of Valkyrie and Misty Knight is probably unexpected for most people, and that’s just one of the surprises I have in store. This will be an offbeat team, and they’ll be facing some bewildering threats.
Let’s face it, ANYTIME MIsty Knight is in a book it is a good thing but Valkyrie and Misty? What a team.
Earlier this year on the 3 Chicks Review Comics podcast Marjorie Liu revealed that she had pitched an all female team book to Marvel that didn’t get picked up.In September, after Gail Simone revealed she had pitched an all-female team book that also got pass on, I wrote about the challenges of bringing an all-female book to market and wondered why Marvel struggled here.
But now in one week we have not one but two female led titles from the big two and both headline women of color. I could not be more pleased.
If DC and Marvel keep this up, I might just be able to retire!
A while back a reader asked me about which female DC characters had the most interesting origins. One of my answers was Katana, Tatsu Yamashiro. I’ve been planning to do a post about her origin and given today’s announcement I thought it was the perfect time.
Katana debuted in comics in the early 80s as part of Batman and the Outsiders. She was created by Mike Barr and Jim Aparo. In the books 11th and 12th issues, the gave the origin of the character.
Here is the story of her origin from the 12th issue.
So the rumors I had heard at NYCC were true! In February DC will be launching a series starring Katana written by Ann Nocenti.
This is only the third ongoing DC Comics title EVER to headline a woman of color so this is indeed good news.
Nocenti moves off of Green Arrow to pick up Katana and Jeff Lemire moves on. Unfortunately it seems this means DC is back to its female writers only writing female led books. Nocenti is also writing Catwoman and Gail Simone writes Batgirl.
Katana, who debuted in the DCU in 1983, seems to be the “hot” female character within DC Entertainment right now after years of being a supporting player. In addition to headlining her own book, she’ll co-star in Geoff Johns’ Justice League of America and be seen in the upcoming “Beware the Batman” animated series. (see more on that here)
DC also announced a new series starring Vibe. And, in what I thought was a joke, 52 Variant covers for the first issue of Justice League of America. Hey, wait Vibe is back? And crazy variants? It IS the 90s again.
The newest Batman animated program, Beware the Batman, is set to debut in 2013. To date there’s has been little shown of the program beyond some promotional stills as seen below and a brief video teaser that debuted this past Spring.
But DC has started promoting the show in their kids’ magazine DC Nation and I have a better look at all the characters after the jump.
Earlier I told you that there were a number of new animated offerings on the way for the DC Block on Cartoon Network including a show featuring Batgirl, Supergirl and Wonder Girl for the very young set. And now World’s Finest is reporting more on the new Batman animated show.
The next Batman animated series, debuting in 2013, is titled Beware the Batman. According to Register, the CGI animated series will spotlight a classic-looking Batman teaming up with a gun-toting Alfred Pennyworth and a female ninja sidekick. Beware the Batman is executive-produced by Glen Murakami, and will explore the mythology’s more obscure villains, such as Professor Pyg, but also won’t shy away from featuring some of the more well-known Batman foes.
In the series, Batman will team up with a younger female sidekick named Katana. During the keynote, Register added that Katana will fill the sidekick role, but won’t be a replacement for Robin.
"Katana is gonna be his new Robin, but not necessarily," Register said.
I am not sure why they just don’t make her his Robin. I hope it’s because she’s a more independent character. But it is great to Batman teaming up with a woman of color. Here are Bats and Katana from the first season of Batman: Brave and the Bold.
Very pretty. I feel pity for the guys watching her— they are going to get their asses kick in just a moment.