I don’t think its any surprised that I’m not a fan of The Killing Joke. I consider it to be at best a mediocre Batman story and one of the lowest moments in DC history in their treatment of female characters.
We all know what happens to Barbara Gordon in the book. We all have heard the tales of Alan Moore calling Len Wein for permission to shoot Barbara Gordon in the book and the response he received:
"I asked DC if they had any problem with me crippling Barbara Gordon - who was Batgirl at the time - and if I remember, I spoke to Len Wein, who was our editor on the project…[He] said, ‘Yeah, okay, cripple the bitch.’
For years there have been discussions about how Barbara Gordon was treated in the book - shot, stripped and photographed naked. I, like many others, have bluntly called it torture porn.
But of course others differ. I’ve been told that there is no rape so there is no mysogyny. That “Jim Gordon is also naked, so it there is no sexism.” That it isn’t about Barbara being a woman but about her being collateral damage.
Sure. Sure it is.
Today some original art from The Killing Joke showed up. And it shows that page. You know page with the photos that Jim Gordon is shown of his daughter.
And the page is a bit different. Brian Bolland has already said “I drew what was in the script. That’s my job. I was asked to tone it down a bit.”
So he drew what Moore had in his original script.
And the art work? (NSFW and graphic for nudity and violence)
It’s December 1st, and once again I’m hanging out the festive holiday decorations. And once again I’ll be featuring 25 days of holiday items featuring the women of DC Comics. Each day I’ll post a holiday theme piece —could be panels from a comic, a holiday item, or, maybe, as we get to the end some original art from some up and coming artists (drop me a note if you’d like to participate!). To kick off things we have a moment celebrating both lights and love.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving for some of us. And along with stuffing our pie holes with … well pie, it is time to give thanks. And as I have done for the last few years I’m going to name some of the things I’m thankful for in comics this year. POSITIVITY!
Marvel Loving Ladies. Marvel has continue to show that it is commited to having female leads in its books. Despite the cancellations of Journey into Mystery (sniff) and Red She-Hulk and Fearless Defenders, they are back next year with Elektra, Black Widow and Ms. Marvel as well as a new #1 of Captain Marvel.
And speaking of Ms. Marvel …
Ms. Marvel. I know a lot of focus has been on the fact that Ms. Marvel has a Muslim teenager who is the daughter of Pakistani immigrants as its lead. And that the book is written by a woman, G. Willow Wilson. But the other cool thing? This is the first instance where of a female-led legacy spin-off book in superhero comics. Think about that.
Early morning digital comics. I still drop in the LCS once a week but it is pretty great to be able to wake up and grab most of my comics before work. Except Marvel. Getting going on that Marvel.
Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick. I’m going to couple these two together because, well they are a couple, but beyond that because pound by pound I think they have contributed a lot of enjoyment to my comic reading this year. Captain Marvel, Ghost, Avengers Assemble, Pretty Deadly, Hawkeye, Satellite Sam, FF, and Sex Criminals. That’s ALOT of great reading. Keep it up!
Image Comics. Thanks for Saga, thanks for Lazarus, thanks for Mara, thanks for Glory, thanks for Sex Criminals, thanks for Fatale, thanks for just some of the best comics this year.
Superman Unchained. The real Superman and Lois Lane still exist at DC Comics and thanks Scott Snyder for giving them to us (Jim Lee too).
The return of Stephanie Brown. Thanks DC Comics for bringing back Stephanie Brown. Now bring back Cass Cain.
Women Speaking Out. Well it certainly has been a sad few weeks hasn’t it? You can take all the wonderfully positive things I’ve listed about women in comics and lay a big fat bag of harrassment stories in the middle of it and it really stinks up the room. But you can’t clean out the room unless people are willing to step forward. So to all the women who have spoken out about their experiences and commented on the experiences of others, thank you.
True Social Media. Say what you want about Twitter and the comments sections of blogs, I am so glad for you because you have introduced me to and helped me create friendships and mutual admiration societies that I could never dreamed would exist. And this year I met many of them in person. Growing up it was very difficult to find people to hang out with who also enjoyed comics. Today there is an endless stream of folks who I can chat with, joke with and, of course, complain with. It really is so much fun and I am thankful for all of you. Well most of you, the trolls and backbiters can … well GET STUFFED. It’s Thanksgving after all!
What’s on your list of things?
After spending last Wednesday on the road for work in Vegas, I am back again this week with some comic suggestions.
As always I like to start with a first issue and this one is pretty amazing
If you like books about dark violent anti-heroes and or books with female leads consider picking up this one. The amazing part of the book? It was written and drawn by the same artist - who due to disability with his hands drew it using his mouth.
Also dark and violent but also pretty damn funny is the Zero issue of the new Harley Quinn ongoing. I’m a tepid fan of Harley Quinn at best, it depends on the writer (more Bruce Timm please less … what was the name of that Suicide Squad writer?). The book features over a dozen artists including Bruce Timm, Jim Lee, Darwyn Cooke, Becky Cloonan and Adam Hughes all sending up their style and doing their take on Harley. You know the controversy around this and if you do choose to read it (and I get why people wouldn’t) you’ll get more of the context. The team of Palmiotti (self-described as “one of the guys that does the cowboy stuff” and Conner (“the chick who draws the girls with the big …”) don’t just break the Fourth Wall, they break in and steal it.
Batwoman #25, part of the Zero Year mini event - gets it new writing team today but not the new art team. Not suprisingly the art is rushed and features three different artists. It doesn’t help - in a story where Kate Kane is supposed to be young and still in West Point she looks the same age as she is in her ongoing. There’s lots of retconning in this book - Bruce and Kate (known to Alfred as Kathy) don’t just know each other - their close cousins. And so is Bette. Also we get to see the new first meeting of Maggie and Kate (in addition to a sorta new first superhero origin for Kate) Still I feel as if Andreyko gets Kate’s voice right and hits the right points with Jake and Kate so I’m hoping the next issue with one artist comes across much smoother.
i’m sure you’ve heard that Young Avengers will soon be no more so let’s relish each copy until Gillen and McKelvie leave.
So what’s your nomination for the next “Tumblr comic” after this one goes?
If you haven’t been reading The Wake by Snyder and Murphy I really recommend you pick it up. Snyder does horror very, very well.
There’s an isse of Birds of Prey out today and it features a new origin for Black Canary as part of the Zero Year mini event. Honestly, I’m not sure I can take another new origin for anyone but I do like Dinah. Unfortunately as I was not provided by an advance copy of this comic I have no idea what you’re getting here except a pretty awesome costume on the cover.
Red Sonja is a fun read - this is the Becky Cloonan cover.
Sex Criminals - the book that combines sex and humor to the point it confuses Apple.
What did I miss? What’s on your list? Also a request! If you have bought a comic based on this column in the past three months can you let me know which one? Thanks!
Scott Snyder tweeted out some promo art for the upcoming Batman Eternal today that PR has told us has all kinds of Easter Eggs for the upcoming weekly series which to date is mainly known as “the book Stephanie Brown is in.” The artwork is based on this by the way
So what do we see here beyond Selina wearing her “dress up shoes?” Well there’s Stephanie Brown wearing a purple hoodie. So yay! And there’s Damian’s dog with a little Robin on top. Guess he’ll be coming back soon. Also there’s a blonde, male Batfamily member - perhaps that Dick with a dye job since everyone now knows he’s Nightwing? Anything else look interesting?
This isn’t the first Bats-giving, of course.
Last year Li’l Gotham celebrated the day.
And in Bryan Q. Miller’s run of Batgirl, Barbara Gordon imagined Bats-Giving with her and Dick as a couple.
And of course we have this as well.
No one wants to go to that Thanksgiving.
Kelly and I interview the only comic creator who has both our names - the always quotable Kelly Sue DeConnick.
DeConnick talks about Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel, Avengers Assemble and hints that something else is coming soon.
Kelly and I also review two new comics:
We also discuss some of the latest comics news.
Please give us a listen and, as always, leave us your comments.
Last week readers got what they thought was the first appearance of the new Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan in Captain Marvel #17.
Khan, a 16 year old Muslim girl, will have her own ongoing book beginning in February. There she will take on the title that Carol Danvers, now Captain Marvel, once used.
But earlier today during an interview with Kelly Sue DeConnick she revealed that the Captain Marvel #17 wasn’t the first appearance of the new Kamala and that she actually appeared in an earlier issue.
An idea originated by my pal Kelly Thompson but now mine, here are yet another set of my 12 Comic Birthday Wishes!™. Since today is my birthday I am going to use it to make wishes for what I would like from my comics in the next year. You can see previous editions of this post here, here and here.
As I look over my wishes from last year I do see that there are a few that have come true. Last year I wished for better treatment for Lois Lane and now we have a trade celebrating her 75 years in comics and double-sized one-shot coming out in February. So that’s good, right? Let’s hope DC doesn’t do anything silly like deciding to have her move away from Metropolis or taking her out of Action Comics to be replaced by Lana.
That wouldn’t happen, would it?
I also see that my wish for more diversity in comics has comic true this year with books like Mighty Avengers and the upcoming Ms. Marvel.
And DC also seems like it has stopped screwing around with Stephanie Brown fans by announcing that she’s coming back to comics next year. And there was a new trade of Batgirl:Year One.
So yeah, let’s celebrate!
But some of my wishes did not come true, so back on to the list they go! Let’s get wishy!
1. Cass Cain back in the Batbooks. I was happy to hear that Stephanie Brown will be returning to comics but the whereabouts of Cass Cain are still in flux. While I like Stephanie, DC has young blondes running around. It doesn’t have that many women of color. So let’s go DC.
2. A Wonder Woman TV Show or Movie. Not where she is a co-star, but a full-fledged all Wonder Woman, all the time multi-media property. Really if Hourman and Barry Allen can have TV shows, why doesn’t Wonder Woman?
3. A quick end of the “Power Couple” that is Wonder Woman and Superman. Wonder Woman deserves better than being Superman’s love interest - she deserves her own. Wake me when this is over.
4. More Catwoman and Lois Lane of Earth 2. The Earth 2 versions of these characters have better written than the other ones since the new 52 began. You want a fun idea DC? If you really want a romance book do a book on Superman and Lois and Bruce and Selina of Earth 2, hanging out and solving crimes. You know, before you killed them off.
5. All you can read digital subscriptions. I am thrilled with how well digital comics is doing (and helping to create a new demographic). I would still love to see DC do an all you can eat subscription for older titles. I’d gladly pay a set amount to read all the Bronze Age I want.
6. More female artists on DC’s books. It was great to see Becky Cloonan become the first woman to draw Batman. But we still don’t have any women on the Batbooks on a regular basis, even weekly or digital books What’s up with that?
7. Bring Back the SBFFs. I can’t believe that there isn’t not only a half hour program, which I asked for last year, but no Super Best Friends Forever at all. No comic. No digital comic (seriously?), No more shorts. Except for collectibles as both SDCC and NYCC had statues of the characters. This is Lauren Faust. This is the female Trinity. This is funny and smart. That there isn’t more is silly.
8. A Batwoman commission by J.H. Williams III. I promised myself that I would someday indulge myself in a page of Batwoman by J.H. Williams but since my chances of getting a page I can afford are now nil I’ll have to wish for this.
Molly, I am soooo envious!
10. A digital Wonder Woman comic. An out-of-continuity Wonder Woman comic ala Adventures of Superman and Legends of the Dark Knight or a Lynda Carter Wonder Woman show comic ala Batman 66. Take your pick, DC Digial, I’m easy.
11. More Batgirl 2.0 by Annie Wu and Scott Peterson. The one shot of Nissa, the new Batgirl, facing off against an older Barbara Gordon was one of my favorite DC Comics of the year. Why isn’t there more? Marvel just announced a book about a girl of color taking on the mantle of older female superhero. You have to wonder why DC is not doing something with Batgirl Beyond which has THE SAME SET-UP. Get going on that!
And finally, the 12th! Once again my wish is a thank you for reading this blog. I appreciate you stopping by to see what’s on my mind, the thanks that you send for books I’ve recommended and the support you give to 3 Chicks Review Comics. I also appreciate also the support you’ve given my Amazon store. I has reduced my costs and enabled me to buy the DC and Marvel comics and trades that I discuss here and I appreciate it.
Thank you very much!
If you hadn’t heard Batman vs. Superman has started production and the first scene filmed is, similar to The Dark Knight Rises, a football game. This time it is Gotham vs. Metropolis which I’m sure is METAPHORICAL.
The football scene was filmed with all extras so we still have to wait for the arrival of the first images of Batfleck. My guess is you’ll see those this year. But we’re not here to talk about the members of the DC Trinity that has a dozen or more feature films between them - we’re here to talk about the one who doesn’t have ANY. And here is the latest on Wonder Woman movies via Variety. This is Greg Silverman of Warner Bros. on whether any other DC characters will be in the film.
"We have been doing a lot of thinking for years about how to best use all those characters and we love them,”Wonder Woman is an amazing character. I think it’s a great opportunity both for box office success, but also to have an amazingly powerful female superhero.”
“Is she going to have her own separate movie or is she going to be a part of this?” Eller asked.
“We are taking it all very seriously and are trying to do a plan that’s respectful to those characters and maximizes the stories as best they can,” Silverman said, dodging the question. “So everything that has been speculated are things that we’ve thought about.”
In other words, “they’re thinking.”
Wonder Woman is,of course, one of the most influention fictional characters in the history (no really ,there’s a list from Time and everything that has her on it.) She’s a symbol of feminism and peace and love and well, you know. So It’s always a interesting to see some of the people who choose to channel the character.
Like Kim Khardashian. I always think of her when I think of Wonder Woman.
I’m sure Wonder Woman would be endless fascinated by Kim and her good works.
And this year we have a Real Housewife of New Jersey, Melissa Gorga (who gets props for her daughter dressing as Wonder Woman.)
I think Wonder Woman would like to talk to her about the concept of "loving submission"
Which celebrity do you think should dress as Wonder Woman?
Kelly and are back in a remarkably short period of time compared to last time with a new 3 Chicks Review Comics.
This week we take an early look at two new Image books - Velvet by Steve Epting and Ed Brubaker and Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios.
We also chat with Colleen Coover about her award-winning Bandette and that wonderful issue of Batman 66 she just did featuring Batgirl!
And Kelly and discuss the week in comics including a DRAMATIC READING!
Earlier this year sports clothing manufacturer Under Armour introduced their “Alter Ego” gear for men featuring logos of DC and Marvel superheroes. Now they have introduced a DC line for girl.
At the center of the collection is Wonder Woman:
But there are also Batgirl shirts to choose from:
And, of course, there is super-themed shirts as well:
It’s nice to see a Supergirl shirt that doesn’t come in pink. Although if you want something with pink you can always get this boys sweatshirt.
I’m excited to see this line expanded to girls as it reinforces the idea that in the eyes of some major brands superheroes appeal to girls as well as boys.
Ah the challenges of the Bratz doll as a toy - giving Barbie a run in the sexualized department but providing much more racial diversity.
Some girls love them. My daughter did although she was still more drawn to Barbie and the Disney Princesses.
Bratz has now introduct a new line called "Action Heroez" - a set of dolls with superpowers. Let’s meet them, shall we?
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.
This past week saw the release of Batwoman #24 the last issue with any kind of involvement of JH Williams III.
This week Williams’ spoke on his blog about his leaving the title including how he found out the news he and Haden Blackman were leaving early. And to punctuate that Williams is gone, gone, gone from any more Batwoman as the DC solicits page now have the previously solicited covers for #25 and 26 by Williams removed.