So in May, Marvel introduced a new X-Men title. You might have heard of it? Brian Wood? Olivier Copiel? All women?
Marvel publicized the hell out of the book pitching stories to not just the comic folks but other media. Like CNN. Where there were, at last count, 758 comments.
And a lot of them were supportive. And then you have ones like this:
Oh Lewda, Lewda, Lewda.
You and your ilk. So the opposite of smart and erudite. So the epitome of the worst of comics fans.
Oh, here’s the top ten comics for May.
Given that Batman has averaged north of 135K for the last six months, I think we can guess that we know where sales on this is going to end up, right?
It’s just amazing to me the vitriol that anything that has to do with women and cape comics can generate. Every week it seems that I find a new comment around women and comics to put my head and desk in what is apparently what is destined to be a long relationship. This morning I had some dude come to my blog and explain that women don’t use the “right tone” when discussing issue in comics and this is why people reacted positively to Joss Whedon discussing gender issues and superheroes vs. female commentators.
Really, I can’t make this shit up.
So I’m pretty happy X-Men #1 did well because Brian Wood is a great creator, Jeanine Schaefer, the editor who pushed this thing forward, is smart and passionate and did a great job and because it’s a good comic whether women are all the team members or not.
But yeah I’m also just a teeny happy because it makes these dudes look like the idiots their comments imply.
And Mark MY WORDS … it won’t be the last time.
It’s Father’s Day in the wonderful world of Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolf’s Gotham where characters I love still exist. To celebrate this holiday there is a meeting of two dads - one good and one, not so much.
But more importantly it means their daughters meet.
Look, it’s Oracle!
How great and perfect is that dialogue? It is so the Barbara Gordon and her Dad from Simone’s Birds of Prey.
Share a table? But who what other Dad and Daughter would that be?
So Comixology is doing a survey on Superman. And they ask if you’e going to see Man of Steel and some other questions about Superman like your favorite super power (mine is x-ray vision).
And then there are some questions that had me sideying this survey.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
The question is which is your favorite current Superman comic. Hmm, I know my answer! Smallville Season 11!
Wait, since when is Earth 2 a “current Superman title”?
At first I thought, “oh they mean just new 52.” But nope there is Injustice which is, just like Smallville, digital first and out of continuity with the new 52 and based on stories from another medium.
But here’s the really confusing part. When you are asked to pick the best love interest for Superman here are your choices.
Chloe Sullivan IS from the Smallville comic. And in that comic she’s never been a love interest as she is married to Oliver Queen. (By the way is there really any question who is the right answer? Yes, I have checked off Lois).
I’m not sure what is up with this survey but I just pinged Comixology on Twitter to try and get some answers. I mean it would only be fair that all the Superman books get included - don’t you think?
In April of 2001 Tom Brevoort gave an interview to CBR - here is an excerpt:
“an idea that never got as far as an official title, but it was essentially “Black Avengers.” It was “Let’s put all the African or African-American heroes together on a team for an adventure,” and in those cases too, there was nothing about the idea beyond “It’s a bunch of super heroes together” that said “Avengers” beyond the fact that “Avengers” is a term that’s salable. I think there’s something very specific about what “Avengers” means to the Marvel Universe. They’re the varsity. They’re the A-list. They’re the Man. They’re not about being super heroes because of demographics or ethnicity. They stand for something specific and occupy a certain role. If you don’t have some degree of that, then it doesn’t feel like Avengers.”
Following those statements he furthered expounded on this topic on Twitter:
I said at the time that watching this conversation on Twitter was one of the most disheartening things I’ve experienced during my time in comics fandom.
Today Marvel announced a new Avengers book, Mighty Avengers.
Starting in September, it’s Mighty Avengers, by Al Ewing and Greg Land, featuring the likes of Luke Cage, Spider-Man, She-Hulk, White Tiger, Blue Marvel, Power Man…and more!
Note, yes that is Monica Rambeau. She is the field leader and her name is now Spectrum.
Here is what Brevoort said about Mighty Avengers:
“The racial diversity of the line-up is no accident, really. I’ve always responded to people asking why we don’t have a black Avengers or Latino Avengers that it feels artificial. But, the reality is that people who want to see characters in comics representing them have a point. We first started conceptualizing this book in February around Black History Month and the anniversary of the death of my friend Dwayne McDuffie. So I set out no to do ‘Black Avengers’ but more Dwayne McDuffie Avengers. I wanted to have a minimum of non-white characters but not have that necessarily be the point, then a lot of the characters who fit into what we wanted to do ended up being minorities. It’s not a ‘solution’ to lack of diversity elsewhere, but it’s something we considered.”
Earlier today I quoted Dwayne McDuffie in another post. I’m going to include it in this one as well.
“You don’t feel as real if you don’t see yourself reflected in the media … There’s something very powerful about seeing yourself represented.”
I’m glad Marvel and Tom Brevoort finally realized this important point.
Why bother? Why do we post and comment and Tweet and argue? Why is the issue of “NEED MORE LADEEZ IN SUPERHEROES” a quest, at times quixotic, at times demoralizing and demeaning and depressing?
Why is that the simple request that 51% of the population be recognized a problem? Or that they when they are drawn the default isn’t sexed up and not objectified? That they have representation in the creation of the content? Not domination, not elimination of others or tokenism, but simple recognition that inclusion and diversity are a THING that matters and that there is a world beyond all male, all white, all the time.
Why is when someone points these things out that they are attacked? Told to “burn in hell forever”? That they have a “problem” that is best solved by them being sexually accosted?
I’ve thought about this time and so many times again over the last few weeks when I saw a post that Kelly Thompson did on superhero costumes turned into a story about that post into a cesspool. A cartoon that Amy Mebberson and Jill Pantozzi brings comments that can fill a bingo card for cluelessness (from both men and women) which was breathtaking in it earnestness. How when Anita Sarkeesian touches upon these same issues in gaming, she is attacked and trolled with a level of viciousness that is sickening.
And then I saw this quote below from Joss Whedon it made me happy.
Why do you think there’s a lack of female superheroes in film?
Toymakers will tell you they won’t sell enough, and movie people will point to the two terrible superheroine movies that were made and say, You see? It can’t be done. It’s stupid, and I’m hoping The Hunger Games will lead to a paradigm shift. It’s frustrating to me that I don’t see anybody developing one of these movies. It actually pisses me off. My daughter watched The Avengers and was like, “My favorite characters were the Black Widow and Maria Hill,” and I thought, Yeah, of course they were. I read a beautiful thing Junot Diaz wrote: “If you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”
Why? The first reason is a simple fact. It’s a man saying it. Because sadly we know that when a man says the same thing a woman says it has a higher chance of being HEARD by the man. Secondly, because it reiterates and validates all the arguments that have been made and knocked down and sliced and diced by others. And third because that line by Junot Diaz nails so much of why, just why, it all matters.
He isn’t the first to say things like this but we need more people who realize that this stuff matters.
As Dwayne McDuffie said, “You don’t feel as real if you don’t see yourself reflected in the media […] There’s something very powerful about seeing yourself represented.”
That’s why female representation matters for comics, for TV and movies. Even though when you bring up this stuff to others in the industry they seemingly shrug and say “oh well”. Even though you will be called a bitch or worse in the basement of the internet for simply discussing these issues. Even though it feels like you’re just shooting a water gun at forest fire sometimes.
Today you take a win. Be glad that there are others who are same minded. That change is hard but still a possibility. And you pull out your water gun and go off to another day.
DC has released to Buzz Feed some of the 3 -D animated covers for their Forever Evil event kicking off in September including this one from Detective Comics.
DC has raised the stakes on comic cover boobitiis to a new level with this one.
And in case you were wondering how dark this event was going to be here is the cover for
Batgirl The Dark Knight that shows the Batfamily hanging with each other. (
These cover do seem to come with a premium - Batgirl is up to $3.99 for the issue. That’s The Dark Knight, my mistake!
You can see more covers plus Lee and Didio talking about the event here.
Comics and women and female characters. That’s my beat. Mostly DC but also Marvel and other places. Says it right on my Twitter bio. And, honestly, this week seemed to be pretty great. Marvel released an X-Men comic by Brian Wood and Olivier Copiel that, I think, will be a change agent for female led superhero books. And then Scott Snyder had his first issue of The Wake, which has a female lead and was also great.
And then there was Justice League of America #4. And well … if you don’t want to know, don’t click.
Greetings all and happy New Comics Day! Here are some of the things I’m picking up that you may want to put on your radar.
As usual I’m starting with a first issue and this week it’s one I’m very interested in from DC. If you’re read Tiny Titans (and if you haven’t why not?) or Superman Family Adventures you know that Art Baltazar and Franco are terrific creators. But those books are targeted towards kids while this book is not.
Amanda Conner covers make everything look great don’t they? I’m hoping that this book has a little less grim and grittiness than some of DC’s other offerings.
A book that definitely doesn’t have that grim and gritty feel is Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs L’il Gotham which collects the digital comic. A fun book for kids and adults.
And I still like some things that are dark and Justice League Dark is still my favorite Justice League book.
And on to Marvel where this week three of my favorite series appear. Perhaps you listened to the Podcast and heard Kelly and discuss Fearless Defenders - if you did you know the art is still a bit of an issue. This issue, however, has a guest artist and he is one of my favorites -Phil Jimenez who knows a bit about drawing Amazons and warrior women. This issue is a tie-in to a big cross-over and so has a higher price but still ..
. Phil Jimenez!
I wonder if “Yamblr.” will be bought by, I assume, Tahoo! in the YA world? Can Loki change it? Or will Yahoo change the name of Tumblr to Yamblr for reals? All questions sure not to examined in this book.
I’m a little less sad at not reading the book with that Amazon when I can read about Sif. This starts a new arc, so jump on board this book which has some of my favorite art right now.
And you are reading Powers, right?
That’s it, what’s on your list?
Oh my. The revolving doors of writers at DC are spinning again. Today James Robinson who has been steadily working on DC projects for the past half decade today announced he’s off Earth-2 with issue #16 and is no longer working for DC Comics.
Although not part of the original new 52, Earth-2 was one of the strongest of the tier 2 titles ranking 39 of all comics in April and selling 45K copies. Robinson’s collaborator on the book, Nicola Scott, recently confirmed that there would be a second Robinson penned Earth-2 title.
Robinson’s departure is the latest in creator walkoffs. In March Andy Diggle walked off his highly anticipated run on Action after one issue. He was followed by Joshua Hale Fialkov who walked off the Lantern books because he refused to kill off John Stewart.
All of these exits are after DC held a retreat to deal with strife between editorial and creative. Despite the two day retreat, I was told that editorial interference quickly returned.
Given that there was a second book planned, Robinson’s departure probably leaves DC scrambling. When Diggle walked Tony Daniel was left to the task of writing and penciling the remaining two issues. The book was then turned over to Scott Lobdell.
Who would you like to see take on Earth-2?
It’s the week that DC puts out the majority of its books starring ladies - aka LADEEZ week! (One week - two pages, hmm). I noticed that Batgirl has moved to this week for the month which means DC’s current staff of female writers (Nocenti, Marx, Simone) have books this week. Next month Batgirl returns to mini-ladies week with Worlds’ Finest and Katana and the Pandora book takes its place in LADEEZ week.
What’s up with that?
Anyway, here’s what I’m reading this week.
Let’s start with a first issue! This week I’m going to start with yet another first issue from Image. And like other first issues from Image it’s a big one coming in close to 50 pages for $3.50. If you enjoy stories that look at the thin line between dreams and reality, you’ll enjoy this. You can read a bit more here.
Dark Horse also has a first issue coming out that deals with the power of dreams. It’s a good first issue but be warned some content regarding women and violence. Preview here.
And before I jump into the DC books here’s one from Marvel. I know I go on about how you really need to Fraction’s Hawkeye because it is so good but I probably should mention more how much I really enjoy his writing on FF. This is one of the funnest comics being published right now And you get the amazing art of the Allreds. If you aren’t pick this book, you really should be. This is issue #7; you can start from #1 online.
And now on to DC!
What a gorgeous cover. Hope the story holds up to the cover.
Let’s hope Starling isn’t going to be leaving the DCU anytime soon.
The preview for this looked good. Maybe this is the issue where the book settles in. At least Selina is zipped up.
Sadly this is the last issue of this series. As I’ve said before I think DC handled this book wrong. Instead of giving it revolving back-up and a $3.99 price point Amethyst would have done much better going the Shazam route and introduced the series as a back-up in Justice League Dark and boosting that to $3.99. It took 30 years for this character to get another shot at title. Sadly, I think that’s it for her.
I’ve been back and forth on the Supergirl title for awhile now. I picked it up at the start of the new 52 and dropped it because it was so decompressed. And then I picked up again and then dropped it because of the Super-crossover. Now I’m going to give it another try despite the fact that new writer has suggested it is going to be a bit darker (how much darker can we go?) (and that I wasn’t thrilled with the preview of this issue) Although I am a bit concerned that my first thought on looking at this cover was that it should say “When boobs collide”.
And now you can’t unsee that can you?
What’s on your list?
Kelly and I are back after an invigorating break with more talk about comics. This week our guest is the awesome Amy Reeder who talks about her Kickstarter comic, Rocket Girl which you really should go support. Why? Because of this:
We talk to Amy about more than just the Kickstarter so go give the interview a listen.
Kelly and I only review one comic this week, Fearless Defenders #4. What do we think? You’ll have to listen! The conversation then turns into a discussion of costumes, ladeez and comics given our interview with Kris Anka, Kelly’s piece on costume redesigns and then Anka’s reaction to the comments on that piece that will make you headdesk and then Robot 6’s article on the whole thing which turned up the sillyness all the way to 11!
Which leads to our newest segment where I will be channeling Michael Shannon’s dramatic reading of the infamous Sorority Letter and will choose the most over the top dudebro rant about ladeez and comics and do my own dramatic reading. Which rant gets these treatment?
It’s Wednesday and that means new comics! Here’s what I’m picking up.
Let’s start with my pick of the week
I hope you all picked up the first issue of this BKV and Marcos Martin team-up. This issue is again pay what you want. Here’s the link.
Marvel has another issue of Fearless Defenders which I am quite enjoying even if I do still wince at some of the art. Bonus for a sports bra on Valkyrie.
Let’s move on to DC where I have much more on my list than I normally would have given it is not LADEEZ week.
When DC announced the Suicide Squad in the new 52 it should have been a book I read. But the revamps of Harley Quinn and Amanda Waller combined with some of the comments that the writer Adam Glass made about the previous run by Ostrander ended any hope of that.
But this interview with Ales Kot has convinced me to give his run at least a try.
I like this book but sadly I don’t think it is going to be around that long given the sales.
This is supposed to be the team-up I’ve been asking for since the start of the new 52. Probably not, but still Batman vs. Batman.
I’m not sure I’ll do Trinity War but I’m still enjoying this JL book.
I’m buying this for Carrie Kelly (who appears in this issue) and not Jason, FYI.
What are you picking up?
Writer Greg Rucka and artist Rick Burchett just launched a Kickstarter to collect their wonderful webcomic Lady Sabre & The Pirates of the Ineffable Aether into print.
Let me repeat that. It’s a Lady Pirate. Written by Rucka. And illustrated by Burchett.
You can fund the book at different levels and in different forms with different swag. The hardcover collection, however is pretty nice.
That starts at $30.
Over the last six months there has been much discussion of female bodies and comics from Tony Harris’ embarrassingly puerile and juvenile internet rant about female cosplayers to the Hawkeye Intiative joining Escher Girls in shredding comic art of female characters apart to most recently the focus on alternative superhero costumes for women. Artist Paige Hall also addresses the issue but in a much more personal way. For the final of her “Literature in Comics” class where she wrote about hypersexualization she drew a webcomic. she writes:
i decided to broaden it out here as well as personalize it and make myself the subject and discuss something i’ve been subjected to in the convention circuit and on the internet as well as thousands of other women, as well as give a cue to thought about how the comic book industry as well as the video game industry and even just media in general (all of which are male dominated) push such ridiculous pressures onto girls and women.
It’s a powerful piece; take a look.
It’s already gotten over 100K notes Tumblr and has shown up in other places on the net. While much of the response has been positive as you can imagine because this is comics and the internet there’s also been comments that make you want to punch a wall. I’m not going to give them more exposure than they deserve by quoting them.
As the mother of young teenage girl the issue of body image is more important to me now than ever. It’s not just a comics issue it’s a mass media issue. And while boys struggle with body issues as well, I do believe the pressure on women is much worse with the standards for women higher and narrower for what is an “acceptable” body type
What do you think of this piece?
I’ve been thinking a lot about costumes for female comic characters recently. First because of those redesigns of some costumes that covered everything up. And then because of a long discussion Kelly and I had with designed Kris Anka about his redesigns of costumes for X-Men including Psylocke and Storm. And of course there were the designs for Power Girl, Huntress and Green Lantern based on kids’ costumes.
And before I go any further let’s be clear. I don’t mind female costumes that show skin. I’ve posted before about how so much of a costume is dependent on the artist. And you also have to have some leeway on the character. Emma Frost owns her costume. When Amanda Conner was drawing Power Girl, she did too. So let’s just all agree the whole “prude” label is bullshit, okay?
But earlier today I saw that DC had posted a page from the Phantom Stranger #8 showcasing a new character - Nightmare Nurse, Mystic M.D. Let’s ignore for second that name which manage to conflate a nurse and doctor - hey, it’s comics! But as soon as I saw that name and as soon as so the teaser I sighed. I knew what I was going to see when I clicked. This character wasn’t going to channel a medical nurse or doctor it was going to channel the “naughty nurse” that fill the ladies’ aisle during Halloween.
And one click later, well heh, I was right: