Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics, November 2019 Solicits: 22 Creators on 23 Books

September 27, 2019

womenatmarvelNOV

Oh, dear. Marvel’s had a really strong 2019, with consistent, high representation for female and non-binary creators. It’s been month after month of LONG lists of amazing writers and artists. Until the fall, that is. The past two months have been relatively subpar, and now the November solicits mark Marvel’s lowest totals for the year by a wide margin. Let’s dig into who’s doing what at the publisher this November:

  • Alyssa Wong: Aero #5 (co-writer)
  • Aneke: Age of Conan: Valeria #4 (interior art)
  • Ashley Witter: Fallen Angels #1 (cover), Fallen Angels #2 (cover), Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #38 (cover), Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #39 (cover)
  • Emily Ryan Lerner: Absolute Carnage: Captain Marvel #1 (writer)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #50 (cover)
  • Eve L. Ewing: Ironheart #12 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Spider-Man/Venom: Double Trouble #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Jen Bartel: Spider-Man/Venom: Double Trouble #1 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: The Web of Black Widow #3 (writer)
  • Karla Pacheco: Fantastic Four 2099 #1 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel #12 (writer), Deadpool #1 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: Amazing Mary Jane #2 (writer), Gwenpool Strikes Back #4 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Spider-Man/Venom: Double Trouble #1 (writer)
  • Meredith Finch: Age of Conan: Valeria #4 (writer)
  • Peach Momoko: Fallen Angels #2 (variant cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #27 (writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Man #3 (interior art)
  • Seanan McGuire: Ghost-Spider #4 (writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Yondu #2 (variant cover)
  • Tini Howard: Excalibur #2 (writer), Strikeforce #3 (writer)
  • Vita Ayala: Morbius #1 (writer)

All together, there are 22 different female and non-binary creators scheduled to work on 23 different books in November, eight fewer creators than in October on six fewer books. Those are some sizeable drops, without a commensurate drop in the publisher’s overall output. Marvel’s Fearless mini-series has ended, and that’s been a bastion of female creators for the publisher over the past few months, but that doesn’t account for all of the drop. The relaunch of the X-Men line certainly isn’t doing a lot to improve things either.

Marvel will put out 82 new book in November, and with female and non-binary creators on 23 of them we get representation across 28% of the line. That’s a five point drop from October, and a worrying decline given how everything else has gone thus far this autumn. All the numbers are going down.

There’s only one new creator in the list this month, which is what tends to happen when the numbers drop. We’ve got Emily Ryan Lerner writing Absolute Carnage: Captain Marvel #1, one of a bajillion tie-ins to whatever is going on with all of this Carnage stuff (I’m not a big Carnage fan and am very out of the loop on that front).

For new books, the X-titles continue to roll out, adding lots of teams with various female mutants spread throughout them in unique formations. One of them is Fallen Angels, with Psylocke and X-23 in the mix. Not a lot of female or non-binary creators making those books, though. There are also a series of 2099 specials, because that’s a thing this month, I guess?

Overall, November looks like it’s going to be a rough month for female and non-binary creators at Marvel. The numbers are in freefall, and while I assume they’ll level out soon (Marvel puts out so many books that I can’t imagine they’ll fall much further), everything is well off the recent highs right now. It’s disappointing to see.

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Women & NB Creators at DC Comics, November 2019 Solicits: 25 Creators on 25 Books

September 24, 2019

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November has DC back on a regular four-week schedule, but the publisher’s output remains high and we’re seeing the numbers for female and non-binary creators continuing to hold steady. Hopefully this marks a change for DC, who have been unimpressive with representation throughout the year. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what this November:

  • Adriana Melo: Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #3 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Wonder Woman: Come Back To Me #5 (co-writer, cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #5 (co-writer, interior art, cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #15 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Batgirl #41 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Batman/Superman #4 (variant cover), Birds of Prey #2 (interior art, cover)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #82 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #83 (variant cover)
  • Jessica Dalva: The Dollhouse Family #1 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #3 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #17 (writer, interior art)
  • Kami Garcia: Joker/Harley Quinn: Criminal Sanity #2 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: The Flash #82 (variant cover)
  • Kat Howard: Books of Magic #14 (co-writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #54 (writer)
  • Laura Braga: Supergirl Annual #2 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: RWBY #2 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Aquaman #54 (variant cover), Inferior Five #3 (interior art), Metal Men #3 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Lois Lane #5 (variant cover), RWBY #2 (interior art)
  • N.K. Jemison: Far Sector #1 (writer)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #15 (co-writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Batgirl #41 (variant cover)
  • Reiko Murakami: Basketful of Heads #2 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: Superman: Up In The Sky #5 (interior art)
  • Sarah Stone: RWBY #2 (cover)
  • Tiffany Turrill: Lucifer #14 (cover)

All together, we’ve got 25 different female creators set to work on 25 different books in November, two fewer creators and books than in October. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in this round of solicits. While there are double drops, the number of books overall has dropped as well, and we’ve ended up at a similar level.

Or rather, exactly the same. With female creators on 25 of 75 books in November, that gives us representation across 33% of the line. That’s the same total as in October, despite all the shifting in output. DC putting our more books again has been a boon for female creators.

It’s not a busy month for new creators, but there are some notable additions. Jessica Dalva is doing the cover for The Dollhouse Family, a new book that’s part of Joe Hill’s horror imprint that’s been rolling out slowing thus far this fall. We’ve also got acclaimed author N.K. Jemison writing Far Sector, a new Green Lantern series that’s part of DC’s Black Label, and I am beyond excited to dig into that!

Far Sector is the only new title with a female lead. November is pretty quiet at DC, though there is another round of those unspecified annuals. I don’t know why DC isn’t listing creators for those, and I imagine that their not doing so is annoying retailers quite a bit.

Overall, DC is holding steady in terms of female creator representation now that they’re putting out more books. As always with the Big Two, time will tell if this is an actual shift or a momentary blip, but it’s good to see at least one month of consistency from them at a relatively decent level.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics, October 2019 Solicits: 30 Creators on 29 Books

September 19, 2019

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Marvel looks to hold steady across the board with their October solicits. There aren’t any huge changes from their September numbers, which is unfortunate given that the September numbers were a definite step down from what’s been a stellar year of female and non-binary creator representation at the publisher. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this October:

  • Alyssa Wong: Aero #4 (co-writer), Future Fight Firsts: Crescent and Io #1 (writer), Future Fight Firsts: Luna Snow #1 (writer), Future Fight Firsts: White Fox #1 (writer)
  • Aneke: Age of Conan: Valeria #3 (interior art)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #37 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Bizarre Adventures #1 (co-writer, interior art)
  • Belen Ortega: The Punisher #16 (variant cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Captain Marvel #11 (interior art)
  • Claire Roe: Fearless #4 (interior art)
  • Colleen Doran: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Annual #3 (variant cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Annual #3 (interior art, cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Valkyrie: Jane Foster #4 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #49 (cover)
  • Eve L. Ewing: Ironheart #11 (writer)
  • Jen Bartel: Loki #4 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: Fearless #4 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: The Web of Black Widow #2 (writer)
  • Kei Zama: Death’s Head #4 (interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: Amazing Spider-Man: Full Circle #1 (co-writer), Captain Marvel #11 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: Gwenpool Strikes Back #3 (writer), The Amazing Mary Jane #1 (writer)
  • Meredith Finch: Age of Conan: Valeria #3 (writer)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Miles Morales: Spider-Man #11 (variant cover)
  • Peach Momoko: Aero #4 (variant cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Amazing Spider-Man: Full Circle #1 (interior art)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #26 (writer)
  • Sana Takeda: Future Fight Firsts: Crescent and Io #1 (variant cover), Future Fight Firsts: Luna Snow #1 (variant cover), Future Fight Firsts: White Fox #1 (variant cover)
  • Sara Pichelli: House of X #6 (variant cover), Spider-Man #2 (interior art, variant cover)
  • Seanan McGuire: Fearless #4 (writer), Ghost-Spider #3 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: Spider-Verse #1 (interior art)
  • Stephanie Hans: The Web of Black Widow #2 (variant cover)
  • Tini Howard: Death’s Head #4 (writer), Doctor Strange Annual #1 (co-writer), Excalibur #1 (writer), Strikeforce #2 (writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Fearless #4 (cover)

All together there are 30 female creators set to work on 29 different books at Marvel in October, the same number of creators as in September on two more books. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in this round of solicits, a rarity for Marvel as of late. Very little has changed from September, despite the fact that we’re starting to see some big changes at Marvel as House of X and Powers of X wrap up and start a new era of X-books.

Marvel’s only put out one more book in October than September, meaning that 29 of their 89 books had female creator representation this month. That’s a total of 33%, a jump of two points from last month. It’s a minor change, but one in a positive direction at least. Still, that’s where DC’s at right now. Marvel’s advantage is this proportional metric has long past now.

We’ve got a couple of new names this month, including Alyssa Wong who is writing or co-writing a whopping FOUR books in October. That’s a massive debut. We’ve also got a variant cover from Belen Ortega, who is new to me. Everyone else is someone we’ve seen in some capacity over the past few months.

For new books, the aforementioned X-books are starting to roll out now. I’m not going to go through them all, but suffice it to say if there’s an X-lady you like, she’s probably on a team somewhere this month or next. It’s a pile of teams. There’s a female-led Excalibur title now, though, which looks great! The Amazing Mary Jane is launching this month too, and we’ve also got a series of Future Fight Firsts one-shots that I believe tie into some sort of Marvel mobile game, and they have a lot of female leads.

Overall, October looks to be a steady month for Marvel. The numbers haven’t bounced back, but nor have they dropped. While the November numbers will paint a fuller picture, it looks like Marvel’s strong run may have ended for now.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics, October 2019 Solicits: 27 Creators on 27 Books

September 18, 2019

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October has five Wednesdays, which means an extra round of comics hitting shops this month. The solicits confirm what we’ve noticed since DC reduced its output: Fewer books means fewer opportunities for female and non-binary creators, beyond simple proportionality, and the inverse is true. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC in October with an extra week of books:

  • Adriana Melo: Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #2 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Wonder Woman: Come Back To Me #4 (co-writer, cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Sandman Universe Presents: Hellblazer #1 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Batgirl #40 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Birds of Prey #1 (interior art, cover), Lois Lane #4 (variant cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Wonder Woman #80 (writer), Wonder Woman #81 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Superman Smashes the Klan #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #81 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #2 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #16 (writer, interior art, cover)
  • Kami Garcia: Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #1 (writer)
  • Kat Howard: Books of Magic #13 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #53 (writer), Aquaman Annual #2 (co-writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: RWBY #1 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Inferior Five #2 (interior art), Metal Men #1 (interior art), Shazam! #11 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: RWBY #1 (interior art)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #14 (co-writer)
  • Nicola Scott: Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #2 (interior art)
  • Paulina Ganucheau: Dial H for Hero #8 (interior art)
  • Reiko Murakami: Basketful of Heads #1 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: Superman: Up In The Sky #4 (interior art)
  • Sarah Stone: RWBY #1 (cover)
  • Tiffany Turrill: Lucifer #13 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Wildcats #3 (variant cover)
  • Vita Ayala: Aquaman Annual #2 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: DCeased #5 (variant cover), DCeased #6 (variant cover)

All together, there are 27 female and non-binary creators scheduled to work on 27 different comic books at DC in October, seven more creators than in September across a whopping 11 more titles. These are substantial gains. While the extra week of books explains some of this gain, this is more than proportional.

We can see that when we look at the numbers more closely. DC is putting out 83 books in October, a big jump from September, and having female and non-binary creators on 27 of them means representation across 33% of the line. That a seven point jump from September that puts DC back in line with where they were a few months back. Not that the numbers were impressive then! But they’ve dropped since, and it’s nice to have things moving up again.

In terms of new names, we’ve got a couple current Marvel regulars with some DC gigs. Gurihiru are drawing Superman Smashes the Klan, which looks spectacular, while Vita Ayala is co-writing an Aquaman annual. Cover artist Reiko Murakami is brand new, Kami Garcia is writing her first single issues at DC, and we’ve got the return of a classic pairing with Marguerite Bennett and Mirka Andolfo on RWBY.

I don’t really know what RWBY is, but I gather it’s some kind of cartoon with female leads? And anything that reunites an old DC Comics Bombshells team is bound to be a fun read. We’ve also got a new Birds of Prey title, but with Brian Azzarello at the helm my hopes are rather low. There are some “giant” issues listed in the solicits with no creator information, including one for Wonder Woman and one for the DC Super Hero Girls. Since there are no creators associated with the books, they’ve been left out of the overall count. Details released later include a handful of female creators in the mix for the books’ new stories.

Overall, October marks some solid gains for female and non-binary creators at DC. More books means more opportunities, but it’s more than that. The top of the pecking order is clearly dominated by male creators, so with fewer books they get more jobs. More books means those lower down the list get opportunities, and we’re seeing how much of a difference that makes this month.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics, September 2019 Solicits: 30 Creators on 27 Books

September 12, 2019

womenatmarvelSEPT

As we continue our catching up, September marks a slight drop for female and non-binary creators at Marvel. The publisher has maintained a relatively impressive level of representation for some time, and this may well be a momentary blip. That being said, consistency in representation is out of character for Marvel, so we’ll have to see what happens over the rest of the fall. For now, let’s take a look at who is doing what at Marvel this September:

  • Alitha E. Martinez: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #47 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Marvel Comics #1001 (interior art)
  • Amy Reeder: Marvel Comics #1001 (co-writer)
  • Aneke: Age of Conan: Valeria #2 (interior art)
  • Anna Rud: Marvel Team-Up #6 (cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #36 (cover)
  • Audrey Loeb: Marvel Comics #1001 (co-writer)
  • Carmen Carnero: Captain Marvel #10 (interior art)
  • Claire Roe: Fearless #3 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Age of Conan: Valeria #2 (variant cover), Ghost-Spider Annual #1 (cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #48 (cover)
  • Eve L. Ewing: Ironheart #10 (writer)
  • Jen Bartel: Marvel Tales: Black Panther #1 (cover)
  • Jenny Frison: Fearless #3 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: The Web of Black Widow #1 (writer), Wolverine Annual #1 (writer)
  • Kei Zama: Death’s Head #3 (interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel #10 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: Absolute Carnage: Avengers #1 (writer), Gwenpool Strikes Back #2 (writer)
  • Meghan Hetrick: The Web of Black Widow #1 (variant cover)
  • Meredith Finch: Age of Conan: Valeria #2 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Marvel Comics #1001 (interior art)
  • Peach Momoko: Silver Surfer: Black #4 (variant cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #25 (writer)
  • Sabine Rich: Agents of Atlas #2 (variant cover)
  • Sara Pichelli: House of X #4 (variant cover), House of X #5 (variant cover), Spider-Man #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Seanan McGuire: Fearless #3 (writer), Ghost-Spider #1 (writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Valkyrie: Jane Foster #3 (variant cover)
  • Tini Howard: Death’s Head #3 (writer), Strikeforce #1 (writer), Thanos #6 (writer)
  • Vita Ayala: Ghost-Spider Annual #1 (writer), Marvel Comics #1001 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Fearless #3 (cover), Savage Sword of Conan #9 (variant cover)

All together, there are 30 different female and non-binary creators set to work on 27 different books in September, seven fewer creators but only one fewer book. The drop in creators in considerable, with a decline of nearly a fifth. That’s nothing to scoff at. The number of books remains more or less consistent, though.

With female and non-binary creators working on 27 of Marvel’s 88 books in September, that gives us representation across 31% of the line. This was 33% in August, so it’s a slight step down that, when combined with the big drop in creators, makes September a disappointing month for the publisher. Nothing catastrophic, but certainly a step down from what’s been a relatively strong run as of late.

It’s a quiet month for new creators as well. There don’t seem to be any brand new names, though there are a few returning creators from way back. We haven’t seen Meghan Hetrick or Audrey Loeb in some time, years even, so it’s cool to have them back in the mix. And while we’re used to seeing Sabine Rich at DC, this might be her first credit in the Marvel solicits, which is fun.

For new books, The Web of Black Widow has everyone’s favourite spy starring in some new adventures. If Scarlett Johansson’s got you down, you can still enjoy Black Widow comics at least. There are also some great female characters in the new Strikeforce book, including Angela, Monica Rambeau, and Spider-Woman.

Overall, Marvel’s numbers for female and non-binary creators are slightly down from their recent levels in this round of solicits. It was inevitable, to some degree. The numbers tend to shift far more often than we’ve seen from Marvel this year. Time will tell if September marks a temporary slide or a bigger change at the publisher.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics, September 2019 Solicits: 20 Creators on 16 Books

September 10, 2019

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I’ve been on deadline over the summer and got behind with these posts, so expect a blitz of solicits statistics over the next few weeks as I try to catch up. I didn’t miss a whole lot in September, though, as we’ve got another humdrum month from DC. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at the publisher this September:

  • Adriana Melo: Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #1 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Wonder Woman: Come Back To Me #3 (co-writer, cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Batgirl #39 (writer)
  • Dani Strips: The Dreaming #13 (interior art)
  • Elena Casagrande: Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #1 (cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Wonder Woman #78 (writer), Wonder Woman #79 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #78 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #79 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #1 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #15 (cover)
  • Kat Howard: Books of Magic #12 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #52 (writer)
  • Laura Braga: DCeased: A Good Day to Die #1 (interior art)
  • Lea H. Seigman: Teen Titans Go! #36 (co-writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Inferior Five #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Catwoman #15 (interior art)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #13 (co-writer)
  • Nicola Scott: Lois Lane #3 (variant cover)
  • Sandra Hope: Superman: Up In The Sky #3 (interior art)
  • Sarah Leuver: Teen Titans Go! #36 (interior art)
  • Tiffany Turrill: Lucifer #12 (cover)

All together there are 20 different female creators set to work on 16 different books in September, five more creators than in August on the same number of books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. The increase in creators is good to see, but corralling them into the same number of book isn’t ideal. Female creators can work across the entire line, though the Big Two often fail to remember that.

In terms of representation per book, we’ve got 16 books with female creators out of 62 books total, giving us a total of 26%. That’s down a tad from August’s 28% and down again from July’s 32%. While the numbers aren’t going off a cliff, they’re certainly trending downward, from a third to a quarter over the past few months.

In terms of new names, Dani Strips is brand new and we’ve got some returning favourites in the mix. Adriana Melo is back drawing a new book, and we’ve got Jody Houser writing it. Michelle Delecki is also inking the debut issue of the Inferior Five.

Melo and Houser’s new book is Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, one of two new books for Harley Quinn along with Harleen. With the Birds of Prey movie on the horizon, I expect we’ll be getting a lot of Harley moving forward. The only female character representation among the other new titles is Lady Clayface in Gotham City Monsters, which looks like it could be a fun title.

Overall, DC continues to underwhelm. The publisher’s output appears to be ticking upward again, but we’re not seeing much commensurate gains in representation across the line. Perhaps October will bring some overdue changes.

Wonder Woman #76 Review: Mother and Child Reunions

August 14, 2019

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After the suitably epic, oversized Wonder Woman #75, this issue takes a break from battle and revelations in favour of something a little quieter. It’s a nice pause after the action and adventure of the past few outings, a well deserved breather as characters adjust to their new realities and the opportunities they present. There are several different reunions, all of them enjoyable, some of them very long awaited. I’m glad to see everyone generally happy for an issue, especially Diana. She’s been through a lot since G. Willow Wilson took over the book, an almost step by step tear down of who she is as a person that’s forced her to re-examine herself and her place in the world. And now she’s back with everyone she loves, and there seems to be a peace in that, a reassurance of her purpose.

It’s a lovely issue until the final pages of the book, when a twist sets us up for the next arc. DC’s really going hard with this “Year of the Villain” stuff, and suffice it to say that the Cheetah is not fooling around. We’ll dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal all of the heartwarming things that happen in this issue!

Make sure you’ve read it first!

Go warm your heart with the actual comic!

We start with Diana and Hippolyta together again, finally. Their conversation holds no startling revelations or dramatic turns, and I’m glad it doesn’t. As much as I’m sure Hippolyta will play a major role in the story to come, it was good to see the two of them interacting casually, as mother and daughter, with no real stakes or danger looming over them. It’s a respite that was a long time coming for Diana, and I like that Wilson took the time to give them a quiet moment together.

It’s short-lived, of course. Wonder Woman always has things to do, and an entire world to return to. Without one of her team members, too, since Maggie decides to stay on Themyscira. I love this development for several reasons. First, Maggie’s got the heart of an Amazon and will fit right in. Second, her training under Antiope will be super cool, and I’m excited for awesome warrior Maggie in the future. And third, the scene sets up the potential for more mortal women to join the Amazons and learn their ways, which I am all for. That would be such a fun addition to the DCU, and something I would be glad to see not just in Wonder Woman but across the entire line.

Diana’s reunion with Steve is very cute as well. She’s been away for a while and he’s been worried, and his relief and joy at seeing her again is played beautifully here. Having Atlantiades come along also adds a nice comedic element to the scene. He’s not threatened by them, really, but they certainly aren’t impressed with Diana’s choice of beau. While I feel like this could turn into future drama, for now it’s just amusing. Especially combined with what has clearly been a very awkward period for Steve with Aphrodite as his houseguest. I’d like a flashback issue of them being roommates, please.

The heart of the issue, though, involves Diana and Veronica Cale. She’s been Wonder Woman’s arch-nemesis for a while now, but I can’t help but like her. Greg Rucka’s run gave her such depth and motivation that even though she’s a villain who’s always trying to hurt my favourite character, I still feel for her. She’s been through a lot, and while she’s working out her anger in unhealthy and damaging ways, it’s a very justified anger nonetheless. Plus she’s smart and cutting, and fearless in taking on the divine powerhouses of the world. I gotta respect that, and I like her all the more for it.

But there is no fighting this week. (Sure, Veronica pulls a gun on Diana, but that’s a friendly greeting relative to their usual interactions.) I love that Diana’s first move upon returning home is to go to Veronica and tell her she can see her daughter again. It’s such a Wonder Woman thing to do, to bring solace and joy to an enemy who’s done nothing but hate you. You see, I think Diana likes Veronica, too. Well, maybe not “like.” But she feels for her like I do, and understands what’s beneath her villainy. It’s a complicated relationship that I very much enjoy, and it was so lovely to see Veronica and Isadore back together after so much time apart. Pairing their mother/daughter reunion with Diana and Hippolyta looking on was a marvelous touch, and I’m so glad to finally have a resolution to their story.

This issue was heavy on emotional reactions, clearly, and guest artist Lee Garbett did a marvelous job communicating the feelings in each scene. Every moment of joy or anger or relief or disdain was portrayed well, not so big as to be cartoonish or so subtle as to go unnoticed. He brought a great balance to the book, and gave it exactly the tone it needed. I also quite liked the soft style of his linework. The inking wasn’t crisp and sharp like we usually see in superhero comics. It was loose and light, with blacks that weren’t super saturated, and it all felt like it was done in a dark pencil rather than ink. It was likely some sort of digital brush, but whatever it was, it fit the story well and colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr. matched the linework with more muted tones to bring a pleasing harmony to the look of the book.

So everyone was happily together again, until the Cheetah showed up. And now we might have a situation. It appears that the Cheetah, seeking entry to Themyscira, has killed Aphrodite. I’m hoping it’s a fake out, because I really like Aphrodite and how Wilson writes her, but a bloodied god killer sword and a sizeable chest wound is a troubling combination. The fallout from this should be considerable, and based on the solicits we’re going to be going after the Cheetah for the next few issues. Just when things had calmed down again! Isn’t that always the way.


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