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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!
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.
Kelly and I are back again with a podcast filled with comics, swears and this week repeated used of the word “Dick!” And we have super excited to to have wonderful G. Willow Wilson with us to talk about the wonderful Ms. Marvel.
We also review Grayson #1 and Captain Marvel #5 and BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT! more dramatic readings. We also discuss some of the recent announcements from DC Comics including the new Wonder Woman team, Gotham Academy and the redesign of Batgirl.
You can download from here or you can find us on iTunes! Please give us a listen and leave us comments!
Once again I want to thank the many folks who drop me notes thanks for these updates and telling me they bought something (and liked it!) because of my recommendation. I love hearing from you and I love that you’re finding new comics to read. So keep ‘em coming.
Now on to this week! And we have several first issues for you!
So. Superman. Yeah. Aside from a few bright moments (Superman Unchained by Snyder/Lee, the very first issues of Action Comics by Morrison come to mind. Oh and every issue of Smallville by Bryan Q. Miller) the Superman books have struggled over the past 5 years both quality wise and, more importantly for DC, sales wise.
Today they launch their AA+ team on the book, Geoff Johns (who has been one of the better Superman writers through the years) and John Romita Jr., the venerable JRJR of Marvel and Millarverse fame. Can they save Superman? ONLY YOU CAN DECIDE!
This guy Robert Kirkman, I hear he had some success with a Zombie book. This book is going to sell a bazillion copies and is already being made into a TV show by Showtime. The pitch? Demonic possession as a disease.
Six months of Cartoon Network villain and hero crossovers. Mojo Jo Jo < or > than Lex Luthor? You know someone should ask the writer of this, Louise Simonson. I hear she moved a lot of Superman comics back in the day.
If you have a YA level reader and are looking for summer reading materials give this one a try. Or just read if you like quirky, independent, intelligent female characters.
And on to the rest.
Lots to pick this up for this week - Timmy vs. Harper (also it seems that Tim is now as tall as Alfred. Is this a new thing?) Babs vs. Jason and Julia vs. her Dad.
That cover, right? Zero Year is coming to a close. I thought it was interesting that they referred to it in Batman Eternal this year. Or MAYBE NOT!
The art on this is the book is gorgeous. I’m still loving the conceit of the book - 60’s union activists as superheroes - the pace and quality of the storytelling, while good, could use some more focus.
The solicit says “Something terrible happens” - I am very afraid and Image didn’t send out the usual review copies. OMGOMGOMGOMG.
You Kamala, I Kamala, we all Kamala. I smile a lot while reading this book.
I hope you took advantage of the weekend sale on this book!
Oh hey Tumblr (waves) I know there a lot of Simone fans out there and really I’m once again going to recommend this book to you especially this issue which has some nice moments between Lara and her girl friend which have the patented Simone - “wait, are they girl friends or girlfriends?” vibe. Also kickassery.
And finally. It’s summer and here’s another recommendation for those of you who have kids or are looking for something nostalgic for yourself
Are you a Betty or a Veronica?
That’s it for me this week! What’s on your list?
Due to an unfortunate combination of illness and work travel I missed last week, thanks for those who dropped notes about missing the column. Now on to the week in comics. This week I have two first issues for you both of which were quite fun.
Dr. Spektor: Master of the Occult revives an Gold Key title from the last century. Dr. Spektor is a master of the occult and tabloid “real-life” TV. He’s a little bit of sleaze and, honestly, more fun that I imagined. Mark Waid, of course, is a pretty good bet for delivering a fun story and the artwork by Neil Edawards is a fine match.
Is it metacommentary or coincidence that in a week that has the last issue of Nightwing the former writer of Nightwing, Kyle Higgins, opens his new creator owned comic with a character wearing a costume that looks like Nighwing’s classic costume? But before we contemplate that go pick up a copy of C.O.W.L #1 which is also a fun adventure comic. C.O.W.L ( Chicago Organized Workers League) is fight back against the union corruption of Chicago in the sixties. The first issue sets things up nicely but for me the real star was Rod Reis’ art which is just gorgeous.
So that’s two for you to jump in on and please let me know what you think. And now on to the others:
I’m just incredibly in love with this comic.
Remember you don’t have to play the game to read the comic. Some very fun writing by Gail Simone.
You know this is going to get optioned for a movie soon enough - so why not get in early?
Again a book that teams a young man of color and older white woman in a police procedural.
And now on to DC Comics.
We’re getting to the end of Zero Year and Snyder says this is one of the best issues to date.
I know it’s a bit early for me to be giving input but I really want more Stephanie Brown, Catwoman and BlueBird
I’m not buying this for Nightwing which I don’t think was a great book and was not very good to Dick Grayson. I’m buying it because I’m very interested in Grayson which this books as a prologue to. And also, as you’ll see in another post, offers gifts from the comics gods.
So that’s it for me. Let me know what you think of the two first issues and what’s on your list!
For those of us who love female heroes who kick ass, the movie Frozen offered some great characters in Anna and Elsa. But what if Anna and Elsa were in the DCU? The Deviant art artist "Samantha Doodles" has the answer!
Elsa as IceCanary!
And because we love Marvel too
CapAnna and BuckyElsa
It’s a short list this week but there are a few comics to bring to your attention
Oh those Lodges. It’s Archie meets Zombies with amazing art. Trust me you need to read this.
Oh boy it’s scrunchie time! This book is great for kids and anyone who went to camp. Or who likes quirky non-traditional characters.
The second issues continues to flush out the weird world of Kate Kristopher which includes Gorillas who are doctors and Krazy Kats serve up food.
There’s a interesting moment in the back end of this book in which the lead discusses things with the villain. Also lots of asskicking.
Marvel does not provide me with review copies but I’m picking up these two comics.
You had me at Powers.
Carol Corps now and forever!
And that’s it for me. What’s on your list?
February is almost over and I will not be sad to see it and it’s snowy butt get out of here! But let’s move on to comics and I have some good ones for you this week!
As usual I’m starting with first issues.
Did you hear DC is putting out a Lois Lane comic? If you haven’t you than you haven’t read this blog in a few days. I was given a preview issue of this and I am happy to tell you that the writer “gets” Lois Lane. The story focuses on Lois and her family and I enjoyed having this Lois history flushed out particularly seeing Lois and her father together. The main story offers some interesting beats but I think could have done with more than one issue to tell it. I’m hoping there will be more than one issue of a Lois Lane book some day.
I know very little about Lara Croft beyond the Jolie movies but given it’s Simone I thought I’d give a shot. I have to admit I was a bit lost at the start as this is a prequel to a game which features a younger Croft. But Simone quickly enables the reader to understand where we are in the story and offers a few nice character beats that help us get this Croft. And for the folks here for the game there are some big action packed moments. Selma’s art is very strong as well.
Technically this isn’t a first issue, but the first issue in a new arc. If you didn’t ready the first arc of The Wake you might want to jump on to this. I wasn’t given a review copy so I haven’t read it but Snyder is always a sure bet and the book was one of my favorites from last year.
It’s Aja and it’s Clint-eye which is a winning combination although Wu and Kate-eye is also a winning combination. And Fraction makes them both winners. (I should have done cross word puzzle pun, but man it’s early).
You know I don’t thing Greg Pak gets enough credit for the work he’s doing on this book and Action Comics. While Superman (sans Unchained) has been basically a car wreck, Pak’s been going along delivering, based on those I’ve read, a fine job. This issue brings Earth two and Earth one together which means we finally have Batman meet his daughter by another planet. While I was not given a review copy of this book the preview looked great and I was very happy with how Helena was written. Not a suprise since Pak and has been doing nice work with Catwoman, Wonder Woman and Lois Lane on Earth-2. Jae Lee is back on art for this issue; wish we had him every issue.
Stark - Spidey Girl = win!
This second issue focuses on getting to know the school for assassins. The pace is slower than the first issue but the upside is that you get some great character work by Wes Craig. As a reminder this book is very dark so if that’s not your style you might want to pass.
I don’t buy my kids comics until Saturday but I did have a two I wanted to point out this week. I noted last night that DC had three female writers this week. In addition to Nocenti and Bennett we have a female writer on Scooby Doo.
Also out this week is another issue of the awesome Powerpuff Girls
I like this cover.
That’s it for me. What’s on your list? What did you like this week and what didn’t you like. Put it in the comments!
What a week! Not only do we get Batman #28 which I posted on earlier. we get some first issues.
I love books that have a historical “what if” angle and this week’s debut The Royals: Masters of War goes all in with a “what if the royal family had superpowers during WW II.” You had me and royal family and superpowers, Vertigo. The art by Simone Coleby looks great. Can’t wait to read this one.
While I don’t write about her a lot, I really do love Jen Walters. Love her break the third wall series by Byrne, like a lot of what Slott did with her and enjoyed her series She-Hulks as well. And most recently I adored her in FF by Fraction and Allred. Let’s shed a tear for that book. But Marvel has given her her own title again and it debuts today. Charles Soule is writing and Javier Palido (who has most recently filled in on Hawkeye) is on art. The preview looked good and while Marvel does not provide me with review issues, I have been told by those that they do that this is very good.
Antony Johnston hit my radar with Umbral last year making me excited to read this. It’s a police procedural in space with a nice to see pairing in comics - young man of color and older woman. The art by Justin Greenwood does so nice world building. This is fun, give it a try.
This is one of the best comics available right now, why aren’t you reading it?
Still enjoying this series - are any of you reading this?
That’s it for this week. Probably. What’s on your list.
I was really looking forward to Ms. Marvel but I kept my expectations as low as I could so I wouldn’t be disappointed. But i’m here to report I adored the first issue and it exceeded my expectations.
Where to start? How about a quirky teen girl who looks and sounds like a real teen? How about the lovely art by Adrian Alphona that walks a thin line between naturalistic and cartoony that feels just right?
It’s rare that you not only like a character in the first issue but you also understand her. Kamala is young and energetic and embraces her nerdiness and her dissatisfaction with what she is shackles of her family and faith. She’s a teenager to be sure, but a lovable one. The closest character I can think of to Kamala who has appeared in comics is the Stephanie Brown who appeared in Bryan Q. Miller’s 24 issue run of Batgirl.
Brown, whom I adored, was physically the clone of just about every other young girl that appeared in comics - blonde and blonder. Kamala looks different and she is different. Her Muslim faith is front and center in this book but Wilson doesn’t use it as just a way to differentiate her - she uses it to help define her.
Wilson, who previously impressed me with a younger female characters in a reboot of Mystic, has a very steady in this first issue given all she has to accomplish. She introduces Kamala, her family, her supporting cast and the Avengers while setting up just how Kamala gets her powers. The frenemies are a bit too stereotypical although I suspect they will gain more shading as time goes on.
I was a fan of Alphona’s Runaways work and he is just a great pick for this book. He nails the facial expressions of the characters, defines Kamala’s home and world and does a nice trippy page that stil fits in with the feel of the book.
I’m thrilled there is a book with young female lead of color that is fun and quirky and offers a welcome break from the grim and grimmer that so many, many comics today have. Welcome Kamala Khana and kudos Marvel G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona and editor Sana Amanat. If you didn’t pick this up when I told you to - go get it now!
What did you think?
So we have a big first issue this week and I wrote a bit about it and posted the preview here. I’m very, very excited about this book so go out and support it!
Two female superheroes - including a legacy of the other - what’s not to love?
And speaking of female superheroes from Marvel
Have you been enjoying this? Gah I love Noto’s art.
Remember how people were all excited for Mighty Avengers but then they put Greg Land on art and everyone who is not a fan of porn tracing was like “I’m out”?
I have most excellent news for you! Valerio Schiti who did the art of Immonen’s Journey into Mystery with Sif is now on the book and he is AMAZING. I can’t wait to read this book now! So go give it a try - where else are you going to get your fix of Monica Rambeau and Jessica Jones (neither of who are on this cover … just say’n - also don’t be afraid - again Land is only on covers now)
Loki, Loki, Loki. I know some people adore him. And now he has a comic all his own. I’m not in the “adore” category but I do have to give them props for a book where the main character whose sexuality will be fluid. And that makes two Al Ewing books on the list this week.
Awesome Jenny Frison cover.
Let’s jump over to Image because there’s a new issue of Lazarus out!
So, so good.
This is the final issue of Batman Black and White but given these are standalone stories - I’m going to pick it up. It’s got a story by Cliff Chiang and Becky Cloonan sowhatelsedoIneedtotellyou?
The Joker’s Daughter hasn’t really worked for me but this issue may turn me around.
Have you been reading Trillium? You really should.
The Movement gets a guest star this week - hope it helps the sales of this book.
I’ve been staying away from Earth 2 for a variety of reasons but this issue I’m gong to try based on this:
That’s three female characters on the cover including two women of color. I’m in - at least for this issue.
I am going to look for the Cat cover variant of X-Men because it is awesome.
So that’s it for me - If you can buy just one comic this week I’d say buy Ms. Marvel.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with buying online you can go to Comixology.com and purchase the digital copy.
Everyone who is anyone in the bottom feeding world of comics culture aka “comic forums and chatboards” knows that women (aka “bitches” aka “feminazis”) don’t belong anywhere in comics, particularly the ones in the genre known as “superhero” comics and their presence there is just another example of women ruining everything!
Or so I’ve been told.
Anyway there are a lot of interesting stories on women and superhero comics around the net today that you can go clickity click and read. I’m sure they will put some folks in a lather but, really, isn’t seeing folks lose their shit half the fun?
Truth-Out has a nice interview with Kelly Sue DeConnick where she discusses feminism and comics.
DeConnick is always very quotable in her interviews and this one is no exception:
Finke: So, what propels you as a storyteller to say, “I know that these stories are not going to propel the business side but I’m going to do this anyway”?
DeConnick: I’m filled with piss and vinegar? I don’t know. It makes me angry. I was asked in an interview once: “You’re writing another book with a female lead, aren’t you afraid you’re going to be pigeonholed?”
Has a man in the history of men ever been asked if he was going to be pigeonholed because he wrote two consecutive books with male leads? Half of the population is women. I lose my temper here. And it’s certainly not at you. It’s just this pervasive notion that “white male” is the default and you have to justify any variation from it.
I woke up this morning to a half page essay in my hometown paper about the new Ms. Marvel comic which debuts this week by Prodita Sabarini, an Indonesian journalist. Unfortunately the piece is locked behind the firewall but here’s a snippet:
It will be cool to see how Kamala morphs into her multiple identities and grows as a superhero. Will she be able to live up to the mantel of the former Ms. Marvel whom she idolizes? Be as strong as her Afghan predecessor? Could she be America’s new superhero and save us all from prejudice? Time will tell. Let us watch her ride the zeitgeist and may she travel on the palm of Allah.
And speaking of Ms. Marvel, USA Today did a huge piece on it last week including a conversation with the writer, G. Willow Wilson.
And USA Today has another big piece today on the Joker’s Daughter one-shot that is out this week including some thoughts by Marguerite Bennet. The book has art by Meghan Hetrick making it a double female creative issue from DC. It’s happened before (How I long for the Simone/Scott team ups on Wonder Woman and Secret Six) but nice to see not one, but two ladies’ names on a cover again.
So the movie posters for Captain America: The Winter Soldier are out and it includes one for Black Widow. Let’s take a look shall we?
Well now. That’s a very non-gendered pose isn’t it … not. And it’s pretty clear that is not Scarlet Johansson’s waist. Well it is, but only in the world of photoshop where all women have waists that involve the removal of spines and ribs.
However, there is good news! Let’s look at her Avenger’s poster.
Only in the bizarre world of women and movie posters would I say that a photoshopped image of Scarlet Johansson with her waist whittled down facing forward would be better than a poster with her showing her ass first.
More Sif, Marvel please. Thanks!
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