Wonder Woman #68 Review: The Big Friendly Giganta

April 10, 2019

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As often happens with superhero comic books, this cover is not necessarily an accurate reflection of what’s going on inside the book. Yes, Wonder Woman and Giganta get into a bit of a precarious scrap with some rock monsters. That much is true. But the tone here is all wrong. First, I’d say it’s wrong for Wonder Woman generally. She’s not going to be sarcastic like that, especially in a combat situation, no matter who she’s with. I don’t know who did this dialogue, but I feel like it may not have been G. Willow Wilson. Second, at no point in the book is Wonder Woman annoyed with Giganta like this. While there’s a degree of conflict, it’s subtler and far more interesting than this cover conveys. I mean, it’s a fun cover. The Dodsons are always a good time. It’s just not capturing what is compelling and excellent about the insides of the book. Which we’ll dig into now, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to tell you all of the things that happen in this comic!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

Also, be sure to read it!

This run is very good!

One of the things I like most about this run so far is that G. Willow Wilson didn’t come to play. Yeah, she’s got rad action and some enjoyable comedy and all of the things that make a superhero comic entertaining. But beyond that, she is digging into some heavy stuff. The word I keep coming back to when I review her issues is “interrogation.” The first arc with Ares was an interrogation of what it means to be a hero, and whether answering violence with violence is just perpetuating a damaging system. It was an arc that didn’t land on any firm answer, and it feels like we’re picking up on that theme again here, but with a slight, more specific alteration. Now we’re interrogating what it means to be a superhero.

With the realization that the rock giants aren’t sentient, Wonder Woman doesn’t need to hold back anymore. She can push her strength and her powers further, full on demolishing the creatures without fear of killing someone. And Giganta notices, because Giganta is smart. She’s seen through Wonder Woman from day one, noting the deeper motivations behind her actions. And now she’s got some thoughts. Namely, that Wonder Woman is scared of her own powers, and that if she wanted to she could use her powers to run the world. And, more incisively, in that holding back to supposedly protect the weak, Wonder Woman is lying to herself. Giganta suggests that Wonder Woman’s morality is a smoke screen to hide from her fear of herself, of what she could be if she embraced the depths of her powers. Wonder Woman disagrees, of course, but it’s clear that she’s a bit rattled. The comments resonate with her on some level.

Now, Giganta is hardly trustworthy here. Like Ares and Veronica Cale before her, Giganta is not someone with Wonder Woman’s best interests at heart. This is hardly a critique that is meant to encourage Wonder Woman to be her best self. If anything, it’s a reflection of Giganta’s own sense of powerlessness, of her yearning for what she could do with more power. Being in the Suicide Squad can’t be terribly fun, and seeing someone free yet holding back what they can do must be irksome to her.

And yet, Giganta gets to the heart of things in a way no one else has yet. Ares is all bluster and bloviating. Veronica Cale is all anger and blame. They don’t see Diana for who she is. Giganta does, though, in her own way. When Wonder Woman insists that her morality is not fake, Giganta replies, “Oh yeah? Then why aren’t you happy?” The line made me stop for a second, in part because it was very unexpected but also because it rang surprisingly true. Yeah, Diana’s got Steve and her friends and a swell gig saving the world, but there hasn’t been a lot of joy to this run. Even beyond the drama surrounding the Amazons, there’s a dearth of happiness. She’s not unhappy, really. It’s sort of a neutral. She’s purposeful in her actions, staying true to her beliefs and what makes her who she is. There’s just no buoyancy to it. Not to go all Marie Kondo on her, but Diana’s life doesn’t seem to be sparking a lot of joy for her right now.

What that means for her, I have no idea. And again, Giganta’s most definitely not trying to help Wonder Woman here. This may not be an observation Diana needs to take to heart. I thought it resonated, though, and I’m curious to see how it plays out. The finding of Antiope’s sword seems to have lifted Diana’s spirits, and we’ve got a fun new quest ahead of us now. But Giganta’s comments run deeper than the Amazon issue. Diana doesn’t need to find her family so much as she needs to find herself. And maybe finding her family is a necessary step on that journey.

We’ve got Cary Nord and Mick Gray back on art to start out the issue, but just when I was getting into their style and starting to enjoy their work, we only get them for half the book. Ronan Cliquet takes over in the second half, and his work is generally unremarkable. If he’s trying to do a Cary Nord impression, he’s not great at it. And what we end up with is run of the mill superhero fare. We’ve got Xermanico back in two weeks, however, and he was great last time around.

Also, a fun team up with a triumvirate of awesome ladies! There’s Wonder Woman leading the charge, Aphrodite and her cool swan, and Maggie with Antiope’s sword atop the pegasus Cadmus. They look super cool, and I can’t wait to see what kind of adventure they’re about to get into. Plus, Antiope’s got to show up sometime soon now! You can’t give us her sword and then no Antiope. She’s not been a huge part of Wonder Woman comics in the past, and I’m excited to see how G. Willow Wilson and the art team bring her to life in the wake of Robin Wright’s spectacular take on the character in the Wonder Woman movie. Should be fun!

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Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, May 2019 Solicits: 21 Creators on 18 Books

April 9, 2019

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DC trimming back their comic line has resulted in some shifting of the numbers for female and non-binary creators over the past few months. Representation has declined more or less in line with the drop in the number of books, and we see this trend holding with the May numbers, just in the other direction. DC had 54 comics in their April solicits but that’s jumped to 62 in May, and the numbers have gone up accordingly. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC this May:

  • Adriana Melo: Female Furies #1 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Supergirl #30 (variant cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #9 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Female Furies #1 (writer)
  • Elena Casagrande: Catwoman Annual #1 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: The Green Lantern #7 (variant cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Dog Days of Summer #1 (co-writer), Wonder Woman #70 (writer), Wonder Woman #71 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #70 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #71 (variant cover)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #11 (writer, cover), Catwoman Annual #1 (writer, cover)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Shazam! #6 (variant cover)
  • Kat Howard: Books of Magic #8 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #48 (writer)
  • Lea Hernandez: Teen Titans Go! #34 (cover)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #35 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Dog Days of Summer #1 (co-writer)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #9 (co-writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Wonder Woman #70 (cover), Wonder Woman #71 (cover)
  • Sarah Leuver: Teen Titans Go! #34 (interior art)
  • Tiffany Turrill: Lucifer #8 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Red Hood: Outlaw #34 (variant cover)
  • Zoe Quinn: Goddess Mode #6 (writer)

All together, there are 21 different female creators scheduled to work on 19 different books at DC this May, four more creators than in April and one more book. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. So a gain of four is a solid jump, but one that’s generally in line with the increase in the number of books DC is releasing. The publisher still seems to be trying to figure out what’s a good level for them, and I anticipate that the numbers will continue to fluctuate with their scheduling experimentation.

Last month, in an effort to come up with a more comparable metric, we figured out what percentage of the line had female and non-binary creators. They were on 17 of DC’s 54 books in April, resulting in a total of 31%. This month, female creators appear in 18 of DC’s 62 books, landing us at 29%, so we’ve got a slight drop there. Nothing too big, but certainly not an improvement. While one would hope that more books would lead to more opportunities, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

In terms of new names, it’s a pretty quiet month. I think we’ve seen everyone before. There are some returning favourites, though! First and foremost, Jenny Frison is back doing variant covers for Wonder Woman and I am delighted about that. She’s so dang good. Mariko Tamaki is back as well, on the Dog Days of Summer special, and I’m hoping her sporadic but still somewhat consistent appearances at DC mean that a more permanent gig is in her future.

For new books, a few have some female characters in the mix. Batman and the Outsiders has been re-solicited, and that brings us Katana and Orphan. Wonder Woman’s going to be in the Dog Days of Summer special, while Lois Lane will be part of the Superman: Leviathan Rising Special. That latter one is an exciting bit of news, because it sounds like a Lois Lane series will be happening soon, finally. Albeit one that doesn’t seem to have any female creators in the mix if this special is any indication

Overall, DC’s female and non-binary creator representation remains underwhelming. It’s been steadily subpar for some time, rising and falling with the amount of books but otherwise holding firm. It’s been a story of missed opportunities so far this year, really. The Wonder Comics imprint and the upcoming Event Leviathan have been ridiculously dude-centric, and there haven’t been many big creative changes elsewhere. Most of the creators listed above are holdovers from changes in the fall, which is great, but not many have been added since. DC’s just not stepping up when it comes to representation right now.

Wonder Woman #67 Review: Swords, Stones, and an Arthurian Twist

March 27, 2019

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This issue was everything I wanted it to be. Fun banter between Wonder Woman and Giganta? Yes. Busting up rock giants in awesome fight scenes? Yes. Enemies becoming friends as they worked together toward a common purpose? YES. It was all such a good time, epic in scope yet intimate in terms of its subtle relationship building. Road trips with Wonder Woman should be a thing from now on. Like a requirement for every run. Have her team up with one of her foes against a bigger foe, go off on an adventure, and before you know it they’re pals sharing a meal at a diner in Colorado. Make it a thing, DC! It doesn’t have to be rock monsters or Colorado every time either. Though the rock monsters were cool. Big things that Wonder Woman and her pals can beat on make for enjoyable comic books.

Let’s dig into all of the friendship fun, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Look away if you have not read this excellent issue!

It’s a delight, and you should go in unspoiled!

Invest your $3.99 in a good time!

So, the titans are a big problem. Or rather, not the titans? As Wonder Woman observes by the issue’s end, they’re not acting like gods, or even properly sentient beings. They certainly don’t have the faculties one would expect from the world’s original deities. Something else seems to be happening, something involving the sword that Maggie finds in the lake. Which I loved. Any time a story veers into lady + lake + sword, things are going right up my alley. I’m all about Arthurian lore, and I’m curious to see how much G. Willow Wilson is steering into it here. I suspect not too much, since we’ve got enough going on with the Olympians all cast down to Earth. But a little taste and a touch of borrowed iconography could definitely be a nice additional to this already great storyline.

But the sword wasn’t the focus of this issue. We’ll get into that in two weeks time. This week was about friendship! And it came together in a very cool way. The last issue was all about setting the parameters. Giganta was up front about her desire not to be friends, and Diana said that’s not why she brought her (though we all know it was, even if Diana doesn’t fully realize it). It was discussed directly and, apart from a nice moment at the end of the book, Giganta was adamant they were not going to become pals.

What I especially liked about this issue is that they don’t really talk about being friends. It just sort of happens through what they’re experiencing together and by the end they’ve developed a degree of trust and camaraderie that can’t help but bring them closer together. Things start off with Giganta still a bit snarky, being sarcastic about their situation and making fun of Diana’s attempts at humour. Then the fights start, and things quickly get out of hand, as battles with rock giants are wont to do. Giganta is a valiant warrior, but she can’t handle the rock giant alone. And when she needs help, Diana is there, instantly and with all her might, even if she is tiny and little more than an annoyance to these massive creatures.

Between the lines of all of this is where their relationship starts to grow. By working together they begin to trust each other, especially on Giganta’s end. She knows she’s there to be the muscle, since she’s the only one big enough to have any effect against the rock giants. And yet, Diana is there alongside her, totally outclassed but rushing in nonetheless to help her out and buy her the time she needs to get back into the fight. That’s how everyone makes friends, really. Not in rad fights against rock giants usually, but in that you meet someone with a common interest or goal and you have each other’s backs and learn to trust and appreciate each other.

Another great thing about this issue is that I felt like the art was much improved from the last outing. Not that Cary Nord and Mick Gray did a bad job by any means two weeks back, but I felt like the art and the writing weren’t meshing together well. Nord just wasn’t capturing the spirit of the script, or adding much to help tell the story apart from the essentials. This issue felt much more engaged and connected. For one thing, his characters were expressive in a whole spectrum of ways. Last time, I had to get everything from the dialogue. The art wasn’t telling me much at all. This time, I could see what the scene felt like before I even got to the words. He was communicating the emotions of each moment very clearly.

Also, the fights were nicely done. Everything felt suitably epic and cool. The scope of it was clear, with the massive rock giant against Giganta’s sizeable frame, and a little Wonder Woman darting in and out. Plus smaller moments like the way Giganta towered over the trees sold the scale of it beautifully. There was one small moment in particular that I loved, a panel where Giganta had been knocked down and Wonder Woman rushed in to help. She zooms in and punches the giant repeatedly, to no real damage. But you can get that sense of her racing in to assist her new friend, trying to do something to slow it down and help her out:

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It’s not the clearest, most detailed panel ever, but it communicates so much. I know I’ve been down on Nord a lot during this run, but he and Gray really hit it out of the park with this issue. It’s the best we’ve seen of them so far, for sure. And of course, series MVP Romulo Fajardo Jr. makes it all just sing. That dude is the best in the biz.

So in two weeks we’ve got the mystery of the sword to dig into! The rock giants are after it, so that could be a pickle for Maggie and the gang of Olympian creatures. And if it’s an Olympian sword of some sort, I’m wondering if it will give her special powers or abilities? That could be fun. We’ll see how it all unfolds!

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, April 2019: 32 Creators on 31 Books

March 21, 2019

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Thus far, 2019 has been a strong year for female and non-binary creators at Marvel Comics. And the streak goes back further than that, too. Marvel came out of the summer with some solid gains and by November they were pretty near the level they remain at today. That’s six months of decent representation now. Are there still WAY more dudes? Of course. It’s superhero comics. Change is slow. But this kind of consistency is rare, and encouraging to see. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this April:

  • Alti Firmansyah: The Unstoppable Wasp #6 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Captain Marvel #4 (cover), War of the Realms #1 (variant cover)
  • Amy Reeder: Ironheart #5 (cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1 (cover), X-23 #11 (cover)
  • Audrey Mok: Marvel Rising #2 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Captain Marvel #4 (interior art)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #43 (cover)
  • Eve L. Ewing: Ironheart #5 (writer), Marvel Team-Up #1 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Hotshots #2 (writer)
  • Jen Bartel: Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Special #1 (variant cover)
  • Jen Soska: Black Widow #4 (co-writer)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Tie Fighter #1 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Hotshots #2 (variant cover)
  • Kate Niemczyk: Age of Conan: Belit, Queen of the Black Coast #2 (interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel #4 (writer), Mr. and Mrs. X #10 (writer), West Coast Avengers #10 (writer)
  • Kirbi Fagan: Shuri #7 (cover)
  • Leah Williams: Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #3 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: X-23 #11 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Age of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #3 (cover)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #42 (cover)
  • Nilah Magruder: Marvel Rising #2 (writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Grand Moff Tarkin #1 (cover), Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Princess Leia #1 (cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #20 (writer)
  • Rebekah Isaacs: Age of Conan: Belit, Queen of the Black Coast #2 (variant cover)
  • Sana Takeda: Age of Conan: Belit, Queen of the Black Coast #2 (cover), War of the Realms #1 (variant cover)
  • Savanna Ganucheau: Marvel Rising #2 (varaint cover)
  • Seanan McGuire: Age of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #3 (writer), Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #7 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: The Unstoppable Wasp #6 (cover)
  • Sylvia Soska: Black Widow #4 (co-writer)
  • Tini Howard: Age of Conan: Belit, Queen of the Black Coast #2 (writer), Thanos #1 (writer)
  • Vita Ayala: Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #2 (writer), Shuri #7 (writer)
  • Yasmime Putri: Avengers: No Road Home #8 (cover), Avengers: No Road Home #9 (cover), Avengers: No Road Home #10 (cover), Star Wars: Vader – Dark Visions #2 (variant cover), Uncanny X-Men #16 (variant cover)

That is a lot of names to spell correctly and books to italicize! All together there are 32 different female and non-binary creators set to work on 31 different books this April, the same number of creators as in March across four more titles. I’m not used to seeing steady numbers from Marvel in any form, much less at a relatively high level. This year has been solid for the publisher so far.

Also, we’re introducing a new element to these posts, where we look at the number of titles being released. DC’s trimmed back their line noticeably, and so an apples to apples comparison doesn’t really work so well anymore. This April, Marvel has 79 new books on their schedule, which means there are female and/or non-binary creators working on 39% of their titles. We’ll use that as a baseline for comparisons moving forward.

In terms of new names, April looks to be pretty quiet. For as far back as I’ve been keeping track, we’ve not seen Rebekah Isaacs at Marvel before. She’s got a variant cover on the new Age of Conan: Belit, Queen of the Black Coast spinoff. Savanna Ganucheau looks to be new as well, with another variant, this time on Marvel Rising. The rest of the list are regulars, I think.

It’s also a low key month for new female-led titles at the publisher, which is unfortunate because there certainly are a lot of new books. War of the Realms is kicking off, with all sorts of tie-in mini-series and the like. Few have any female or non-binary creators in the mix, and while there are a handful of female characters in a couple of the team books, it all looks a bit dude forward. I miss Lady Thor. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is going to tie into the event, so there’s that, I suppose. And Ms. Marvel is starring alongside Spider-Man in a new Marvel Team-Up.

Overall, the numbers are steady at Marvel and female and non-binary creator representation is holding relatively strong. There remains, as always, a lot of room to grow, but this has been a decent streak for Marvel. I’m curious to see if they can keep it up or even hit higher levels in the months to come.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, April 2019: 17 Creators on 17 Books

March 19, 2019

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April looks to be a quiet month all around for DC Comics. May is set to bring the dawn of yet another new event series, but April is just the same old, with no new titles or big creative shifts in the mix. And the same old means another subpar month for female and non-binary creators. Sub-subpar, in fact. Nothing’s really changed and yet the numbers have dropped from March. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC Comics this April:

  • Abigail Larson: The Dreaming #8 (interior art)
  • Adriana Melo: Female Furies #3 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Batman #68 (interior art, cover), Second Coming #2 (cover), Supergirl #29 (variant cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Female Furies #3 (writer)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Wonder Woman #68 (writer), Wonder Woman #69 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #10 (writer, cover)
  • Kat Howard: The Books of Magic #7 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #47 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #34 (writer)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Scooby Apocalypse #6 (variant cover)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #8 (writer)
  • Nicola Scott: Female Furies #3 (cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: Wonder Woman #68 (cover), Wonder Woman #69 (cover)
  • Tiffany Turrill: Lucifer #7 (cover), The Dreaming #8 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Pearl #8 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Nightwing #59 (cover)
  • Zoe Quinn: Goddess Mode #5 (writer)

All together, there are 17 different female creators set to work on 17 different comic books this April, three fewer creators than in March though the same number of books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. So, three down is a noticeable drop when there are so few creators in the mix to begin with. There’s always a bit of shifting month to month, but the hope is that things about even out, not that your female workforce drops 15% in one fell swoop.

We’re also going to start keeping track of the number of each titles each month to give us more context, on account of DC is cutting back their line considerably. They’re only putting out 54 new comic books in April, which means that there is female creator representation on 31% of their titles. This will be our baseline moving forward, and we’ll do the same with Marvel to see how things stack up.

In terms of new names, there’s not much going on here. We haven’t seen Tula Lotay in a little while, maybe? I’m always glad to see her show up, even if it’s just a variant cover. Her art is amazing. Everyone else is pretty much a regular at this point.

No new books this month either, which means no news on the female character front. I suppose I should point out that while Second Coming #2 is listed above since it was in the solicits, it has since been cancelled by DC after some dumb conservative outcry. The book has since found a new home elsewhere, but if you want to get technical about it there will only be 16 books with female creators at DC in April.

Overall, it’s going to be an uneventful month for female and non-binary creators at DC Comics, yet again. As much as the contraction of DC’s line is definitely playing a factor in these lower numbers, Marvel’s got nearly twice as many female and non-binary creators across their books and not even close to twice the number of titles. DC is lagging behind, and has been for some time now.

Wonder Woman #66 Review: Go Big or Go Home

March 14, 2019

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I’m a day late on my Wonder Woman review again. Making a movie is a lot of work, gang! There’s so much on the go. And incidentally, you can check out my short film’s Kickstarter if you want to learn more! But back to the book. When I was late to the party two weeks back, I wasn’t too sad about it. As much as I love the writing, the art for the recent two-parter was decidedly subpar. I was excited for this one, though! Cary Nord is back, and I was curious to see how things would look as he tries to adapt to a bi-weekly schedule. The first attempt went south on him pretty quick.

And the results are fine, I guess. Nord’s Wonder Woman is still a bit scrawny and inconsistent. I don’t think he’s quite got a handle on the character yet. At times, it feels like he’s trying to channel Frank Miller (not a compliment). And other times, it feels like a cartoon, but one of the cool new ones, like She-Ra (this one’s a compliment). I don’t know if it’s the hasty schedule or Wonder Woman herself, but I came away from the issue thinking that Nord’s art was okay but that he might not be the right fit for this book.

Luckily, the writing is still excellent, even if the art isn’t all that exciting. We’ll dig into all the details, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to tell you everything that happened in this comic!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

But you should read it, even though I’m down on the art!

The writing is really good!

Whatever’s happened to Olympus and the divine realm continues to have reverberations on Earth, and this time quite literally so. Two giant rock monster titans duke it out in the Rockies, causing all manner of concussive destruction. And of course Wonder Woman arrives on the scene to sort it out, thanks to our mythological creature friends who have relocated to the wilderness. I’m glad to have Cadmus, Damon, and Eirene back in the mix. A little comic relief is always welcome, plus I just like them. G. Willow Wilson’s done a nice job integrating them into the series and giving them distinct personalities, allowing them to be an amusing diversion while also key to the larger plot.

Now, titans are very, very big. And Wonder Woman, while quite powerful, is very small, relatively speaking. No matter her strength, the mass just isn’t there to make her effective against towering rock monsters. The physics doesn’t work. Luckily, she’s got a friend. Or rather, not a friend at all, as Giganta makes quite clear. But she knows a gal, and she gets Giganta out of prison to help with the fight.

I love this relationship already. Wonder Woman’s got a history with Giganta, though not as much in this current continuity. Gail Simone wrote some good stuff with her and Wonder Woman back in the day if I’m recalling correctly, but the universe has been rebooted since then. Here, Giganta is leery of Wonder Woman, fearing that her entire plan is “some kind of earnest, dewy-eyed trick to get us to become best friends.” And honestly? Fair enough. That’s totally the sort of move that Diana would pull.

She swears she’s not, and that she just needs Giganta’s help to bust up the titans. And I believe her! She’s Wonder Woman. She’s not going to lie. Actually, let me amend that. I believe that Diana believes this isn’t some friend making scheme and that the mission is all that matters. But deep down, maybe so deep that she doesn’t even realize it, she wants to make friends with Giganta. It’s just in her nature. First off, she loves being pals with awesome, powerful ladies. And second, she loves getting to know a villain and helping them find a better path. Especially female villains. She totally wants to be besties with Giganta. She just hasn’t realized it.

But Giganta’s not having any of it. She’s glad to be out of prison, but if they’re going to keep titan hunting, she wants to get paid. Like, half a million dollars paid. Which seems like a lot, but fighting titans is a dangerous game. I can understand the high quote. Wonder Woman doesn’t have that kind of money, though. In this issue she’s basically just living this John Mulaney bit:

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And once Wonder Woman admits her general exasperation with her circumstances, not just the titans but EVERYTHING that’s going on in her life right now, Giganta decides to help. Because friendship?! Not quite yet, probably, but it’s totally on the way. And I look forward to watching it develop. These two are a fun pair. And now they’re on a road trip to track down more rock monsters. That’s just a recipe for enjoyable, relationship building hijinks.

So yeah, the story is a dang delight. I loved the writing in this issue. The artwork is just, I don’t know. It’s not objectively bad or anything. Nord and Mick Gray are telling the story in a clear, readable way. It’s just not enhancing the story, or showcasing it in a compelling way. It doesn’t capture the heart of it all, both in terms of the action and fun but also with emotion. Like when Diana admits to Giganta that she’s feeling a bit overwhelmed, Nord and Gray have her in silhouette. We can get the emotion from the text, because it’s well written, but the art isn’t conveying it. The pictures aren’t complementing the words, basically. They’re not bringing things down, but they’re not working together as well as this excellent writing deserves.

We have lots to look forward to nonetheless. Rock punching. Road tripping. Friendship! It’s going to be a good time. Whenever Wonder Woman teams up with another rad lady, even if she’s a villain, you know it’s going to be fun.

Women in Comics Statistics, DC and Marvel: Summer and Fall 2018 in Review

March 6, 2019

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This year has been bonkers busy and I’ve been a little remiss in posting what I’ve been up to, but here’s some big news: My detailed women in comics statistics project has moved to The Beat! What used to be “Gendercrunching” at Bleeding Cool now has a new home at The Beat as “Women in Comics, By The Numbers,” and my first article went up a few weeks back.

This one is both an introduction to new readers and a bit of a catch up since leaving the old site and finding a new home took a bit of time. It’s all of the usual stats fun, just six months worth of it for this outing, covering July through December 2018 at both DC and Marvel. Future installments will return to our usual quarterly format, but it was definitely interesting to get to see a longer stretch of time in the charts.

DC had a relatively solid back half of 2018, coming in at 17.2% female creators overall in this six month span. They were trending up overall to close out the year as well, which could bode well for 2019. Or not, because as any regular reader knows, these numbers can drop off at any time. But the publisher is in a decent spot right now, and that’s good news.

Marvel came in a bit lower, posting 16.3% female creators overall, though the categorical breakdown was a bit underwhelming. Assistant editors are carrying the bulk of the load, while several categories languish in the low single digits. Their overall total was trending down a bit to end the year, too. But things are looking way up from where Marvel started the year, and hopefully their current dip will rebound quickly.

Head on over to The Beat for the full numbers and analysis! And look around the site while you’re there. There’s all sorts of fun comic book news and articles to dig into!


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