Wonder Woman #47 Review: At Least the Art is Decent

May 23, 2018

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We’ve got four issues of this mess left, gang. An annual next week, then three more issues to get us to Wonder Woman #50 and the end of this god awful run. After that, new creators! And a writer who is actually good at both dialogue and plotting. I’m so looking forward to it. These past few months have been a real slog, and I’m optimistic that Wonder Woman will be readable once again come late July. Maybe enjoyable, even? I’ve got a good feeling about Steve Orlando, and Laura Braga and ACO on art should be a lot of fun.

But for now, we’re still in the middle of James Robinson’s foolishness. And dang, is it hard to care about this story. It’s just bad, and is building on all of the bad arcs that preceded it. It’s terrible all the way down. Jason’s still around, and he’s both the worst character AND the worst idea for a character I’ve seen in some time. And there are some Dark Gods that are doing something or other? We’re two issues in now, and we still don’t know much about them. It’s all so underwhelming. So let’s talk about it! But first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Look away if you have not read this issue yet!

Unless you, unlike me, are sensible and have dropped the series and are just reading this to keep yourself in the loop of what’s going on!

I can understand that!

And I envy you your spare $3.99!

This issue is centered mainly on a fight between Wonder Woman and Supergirl, as we can see from the main cover. Kudos to Emanuela Lupacchino and the cover gang for the old school word balloons here. That’s a nice, classic touch. However, you should take a peek at Jenny Frison’s lovely variant cover for the issue:

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Ice cream fun with Diana and Kara! And you know they’re having a good time because a) they’re smiling and laughing, and b) they splurged on waffle cones, the most delicious form of cone. This is the story I’d much rather be reading, two superheroines out having a fun day, enjoying some ice cream. Something will inevitably go awry, of course, and they’ll shoot off to save the day. It sounds like a delightful issue! And I appreciate Jenny Frison giving me the opportunity to imagine such a pleasant story.

The actual issue is less pleasant. It begins with Supergirl, crazed by the Dark Gods, picking a fight with a flummoxed Wonder Woman. Much like the Cheetah battle two weeks back, Stephen Segovia does a solid job with the fight choreography, with some breakdown help from Rick Leonardi. The scene is dynamically rendered, with lots of action and velocity. And style, as well. I really like how he draws Supergirl’s heat rays with a bit of flair, and the entire flying battle is a master class in cape crumpling as she whips through the air. The whole thing is a good time.

Well, a good time until you read the words. Also much like last issue’s Cheetah battle, the fine visuals are undercut by some embarrassingly poor writing. The dialogue and narration are poor, and any sort of explanation for the fight is non-existent.

I will say, though, kudos to Saida Temofonte. Yes, most of the words are quite bad, but she does an excellent job laying them out on the page. I don’t talk about her lettering skills enough, partly because I spend most of my time rolling my eyes at the story and partly because when a letterer is good their work is so seamless that you almost don’t notice it. Temofonte is excellent, and has been doing a fine job on the book for months now. Her skills are on display particularly well during the fight scene. She stays out of the way of the action while still following along with the direction of the art, even across several two pages spreads. It makes everything easy to read and follow, which is exactly what you want in lettering.

If only they’d let her put in good words, instead of the bad ones James Robinson keeps choosing. He’s come up with an interesting fight scene here, and then sucks all the fun out of it with his writing. Every word he puts in Wonder Woman’s mouth, every caption that shows her thoughts, rings absolutely false. She just doesn’t feel like Wonder Woman. Supergirl’s got the excuse of being wacky with the Dark Gods’ influence; her dialogue should be wonky. But Wonder Woman’s in her right mind, yet she hasn’t seemed like herself for months.

Then we cut to Jason, who’s hanging out with the Fates because, I don’t know? Glaucus knows them, I guess? Anyway, we learn that his fancy new armor was meant for Diana, not him, and he still dons the armor anyway to go face the bizarre stone monoliths that have appeared in the sky. Kind of a jerk move, really. If Zeus wanted Diana to have it, he should probably stop using it.

I will say, I was mildly amused by the issue’s conclusion. Star Sapphires appear out of nowhere to take Wonder Woman off to Zamaron for next week’s Wonder Woman Annual #2, just as the battle with the Dark Gods is about to begin. The annual is going to suck, most likely, since James Robinson is writing it, but that ending is such a classic comic book move that I almost have to respect it a little bit. I love an out of the blue whisk away for a special issue.

This leaves us with a bigger problem, though. It sounds like the next issue of Wonder Woman proper is going to be Jason vs. the Dark Gods, and I do not want to spend four dollars on that shizz. When I go to buy Wonder Woman and her dopey brother is the star of the book instead, I get very, very, very annoyed. If we get little to no Wonder Woman in that issue, my review might just be “Nope. Nope nope nope.” Time will tell. But next week, Zamaron!

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Remembering Margot Kidder, A Remarkable Lois Lane and a Remarkable Woman

May 14, 2018

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Margot Kidder was a spectacular Lois Lane.

On the surface, it seems like a pretty straight forward role. Ace reporter, Superman’s girlfriend. Easy enough. But it’s a deceptively tricky part. There’s a difficult balance to it that’s so essential to the character. A good Lois needs to be a take charge, courageous reporter, brash and almost a little bit foolhardy in her dedication to tracking down scoops and uncovering truth. But she also needs to have a softer side, one that comes out when she’s with Superman and she lets down her guard. Lean too far in either direction, and the character doesn’t feel quite right. But capture both, and you’ve got magic.

Kidder played both sides of the character seamlessly, and established the quintessential Lois Lane in Superman: The Movie. Her introduction is perfection: She storms into Perry White’s office, ignores new hire Clark Kent entirely, and pitches a series of articles about a string of senseless killings that are plaguing Metropolis. Kidder’s chemistry with Christopher Reeve is palpable from the start, even when he’s the bumbling Clark Kent. And it soars when he’s Superman. Her reaction to the dramatic helicopter rescue is a dang delight:

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And her first interview with him is absolutely brilliant. Kidder captures the balance of the character so well. She’s thorough and relentless in her questioning, but charmingly flirtatious all the while. The entire conversation is tough yet sweet, and also slyly dirty. Watching Kidder and Reeve together is an absolute joy. It’s well crafted scene, but Kidder takes the strong script and elevates it further into something truly special.

When Superman: The Movie came out in the late 1970s, Lois Lane wasn’t in the best spot. The fearless reporter of the 1940s had given way to a lovesick, constantly put upon girlfriend in the 1950s, and this stayed the norm for several decades. The 1950s Adventures of Superman television show followed a similar pattern, with Phyllis Coates playing an enjoyably tough Lois in the show’s first season before Noel Neill took over from the second season on with a softer, more acquiescent take on her. Lois did have a brief feminist revolution in the comics in the early 1970s, dumping Superman and striking out as a freelance reporter, but it didn’t last. For the rest of the decade, her career took a backseat to her primary role as a romantic interest for both Superman and Clark Kent.

Then Kidder found a way to capture it all. The bravery, the determination, the compassion, the romance. She embodied every iconic element of Lois Lane, putting them all together in a compelling, layered performance. Kidder’s take on Lois defined the character not just for that time, but potentially for all time. Every Lois we’ve seen since, on page and screen, has had a bit of Kidder to her. The more successful ones have had a lot of Kidder. The less successful ones, less so. Kidder set the standard for what Lois Lane can be.

She went on to play Lois three more times. Superman II was a bit loopier than the original, but it had plenty of great moments for Lois. Whether she was infiltrating a terrorist plot to blow up the Eiffel Tower, discovering Superman’s secret identity, or trying to punch out a Kryptonian villain, Kidder was wonderful from start to finish. The next two Superman films suffered a substantial dip in quality, though. Kidder was largely written out of the third movie after she was vocal in her disagreement with the studio’s firing of original Superman director Richard Donner. The fourth and final film was a low budget mess, but even then she made some poor material work well and her talents shone through the subpar writing.

Margot Kidder was far more than just Lois Lane, of course, and her life consisted of a fascinating and inspiring series of ups and downs. She was born in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, a remote town in Northern Canada. From there she made her way south into the Canadian film and television industry, and then to Hollywood. She starred in a few notable films before landing the role of Lois Lane, but she became an overnight superstar when Superman: The Movie became one of the most successful films of all time.

She had an interesting career throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, earning critical praise for some gritty film roles and well-received stage performances. After suffering a nervous breakdown in 1996, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and became a mental health advocate in the decades that followed. She was also very involved in progressive, liberal causes, and devoted much of her later life to political and mental health activism.

Kidder passed away yesterday in her home in Montana at the age of 69. She was a remarkable woman who led a remarkable life, in so many ways. Her take on Lois Lane was a spectacular moment in pop culture history that has inspired viewers for generations now, while her activism touched and helped so many. She’ll be greatly missed.

Wonder Woman #46 Review: Try To Care About The Dark Gods

May 10, 2018

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A new issue of Wonder Woman came out yesterday and I’ll be honest with you, gang: I completely forgot about it. The book comes out every two weeks like clockwork, so it shouldn’t be hard to remember. And yet here we are, a day late. I’ve been reviewing Wonder Woman for years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever been accidentally late. Sometimes I’ll be travelling or have other things on the go on Wednesday, but I plan accordingly. This time, I just forgot, and it was kind of inevitable. This run is terrible, and I haven’t looked forward to a new issue of Wonder Woman in months. I’ve remembered in time up until now, but there were some close calls. This is a telling turn of events, really. I mean, I love Wonder Woman so much that I wrote an entire book about her. I am a Wonder Woman enthusiast through and through. So if I can’t muster up enough interest in Wonder Woman to remember when it comes out, how bad must this book be? I used to wake up on Wonder Woman Wednesdays, excited to dig into the new issue. It hasn’t been like that for a while. Hopefully it will be again soon, once this god awful run ends. Anyway, there’s a new arc now, with James Robinson still writing the dang series, so let’s get into it. But first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I’m about to tell you everything that happens in this issue!

A day late, but still!

It wasn’t worth the wait, unsurprisingly!

Let’s start with something positive! The art in this issue is quite good. Stephen Segovia does a fine job with the line art, and Romulo Fajardo Jr. colors it beautifully, as always. Segovia draws Wonder Woman well, and there were some sequences in this issue that I really enjoyed. Wonder Woman has a fight scene with the Cheetah that is very nicely choreographed and rendered, with cool angles and a real sense of motion. It’s stylish and exciting, and one of the better fights I’ve seen in Wonder Woman lately. You have to ignore the dialogue to enjoy it fully, of course, but that goes without saying in this run.

So yeah, the Cheetah is back. And Veronica Cale, Dr. Cyber, and Dr. Poison, all key players from Greg Rucka’s time on the book. That first year of “Rebirth” was fantastic, with great writing and fabulous art from Bilquis Evely, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp. Having a different team on the characters feels weird, especially in terms of the writing. It’s like night and day. Saying it feels wrong to have Robinson putting words in the mouth of the Cheetah and Veronica Cale is probably taking things a step too far, but it certainly doesn’t feel right. Rucka brought so much life to these characters, and they just fall flat here. While Segovia does a nice job drawing everyone, especially with the ferocity he brings to the Cheetah, the writing can’t keep up. The dialogue is awkward and stilted, and the characters just don’t feel like themselves. I’ve had that problem with Wonder Woman herself since this run began, and seeing so many characters I know well in the same boat really hammers that disconnect home.

Also, I know I mention this with every dang issue, but Wonder Woman isn’t in this book much. I hate to keep harping on it, but I also hate that it keeps happening in a book called Wonder Woman. By my count, she only appears on 7 of the 20 pages in this issue. The Cheetah is on 11 pages here, and it’s not even her book! And of course, we’ve got our regular check in with Jason that no one in the world cares about.

Speaking of that terrible character, it seems like the source of his mysterious new powers might be the Dark Gods everyone in this issue is all fired up about. This new arc follows up on DC’s recent Metal event, which opened up the mainline universe to a dark multiverse with all sorts of frightening worlds. The Dark Gods seem to come from there, and now that the Darkseid arc is all wrapped up, that leaves these new deities as the most likely source of Jason’s powers. Whoever they are, a lot of folks are concerned about their arrival. We don’t see them in this issue, but the Cheetah is all in a tizzy because they’re on the way. Supergirl is out of sorts as well, so much so that she shows up at the end of the issue to fight Wonder Woman to the death. She looks like her normal self, but I have to assume she’s possessed in some capacity? Or otherwise not herself. Whatever the case, the Darks Gods are coming.

I’m not entirely sure why, though. The end of the Darkseid arc two weeks back seemed like the perfect place to end this run, but it’s still going through July with this new story. Maybe it plays into the upcoming relaunch of the Justice League titles? Or maybe DC is really bad at making Wonder Woman and are just letting Robinson roll on while they scramble to figure out what to do next? Time will tell.

Whatever the case, this is an odd introductory issue to a new arc. It harkens back to old stories, but only to tease the new one, it seems. And while we know that the big bad Dark Gods are coming, Supergirl is the problem right now. It’s a slow build, and I couldn’t be less interested. I mean, obviously. I forgot that this issue was even out! Here’s a bit of good news, though: Stephen Segovia is scheduled to draw the next issue, and if this week’s fight between Wonder Woman and the Cheetah is any indication, her upcoming brawl with Supergirl might look really cool. Hopefully I’ll remember to read it.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, July 2018 Solicits: 22 Creators on 18 Books

May 3, 2018

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Marvel is in an odd spot with female and non-binary creators right now. After a truly abysmal spring with some of the lowest numbers we’ve seen from them in some time, things have improved somewhat. Now, the totals are still relatively quite poor. Marvel’s been in the high 30s in the past, and their current streak has them in the low 20s. That’s not great. But it’s better than it was. The bigger issue right now is that these gains are very precarious. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this July:

  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #22 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #197 (cover)
  • Devin Grayson: Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel #1 (co-writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Doctor Strange #3 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #34 (cover)
  • Fiona Staples: The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (variant cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel #1 (co-writer), Ms. Marvel #32 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #4 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel #1 (cover)
  • Irene Strychalski: Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel #1 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: X-23 #2 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #21 (writer), Star Wars: Thrawn #6 (writer)
  • Kate Niemczyk: Avengers #4 (variant cover)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #3 (writer), X-23 #1 (writer), X-23 #2 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #33 (interior art, cover)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Wakanda Forever: X-Men #1 (writer)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #11 (writer)
  • Sana Takeda: The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (variant cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Wakanda Forever: X-Men #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 22 female creators scheduled to work on 18 different comic books at Marvel this July. That’s 2 more creators than in June and 4 more books. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. The gains are undercut to a certain degree by the low totals, but they’re gains nonetheless. Given Marvel’s track record in 2018 thus far, we’ve got to celebrate the little things here.

However, 12 of the 22 creators listed above are doing one time gigs. They’re on oneshots or variant covers, jobs that don’t come with guaranteed work next month. The June numbers were similar, and so long as Marvel can keep things rolling along with these non-permanent jobs, the numbers should hold. But there are three big problems here. First, this juggling act rarely lasts for long and things will inevitably drop off. They always do. Second, the level Marvel is at right now is comparatively poor. And third, the only way for the numbers to really grow AND to fend off this inevitable drop is to have a sizeable number of female and non-binary creators locked into long term gigs. Marvel does not have that right now, at all.

This lack is still stark even with the addition of two new series with female writers, and they also star female leads. Margaret Stohl is back with The Life of Captain Marvel mini-series, while Mariko Tamaki is launching a new X-23 (even though Laura is always the superior Wolverine to me!). A bunch of male characters are getting new books as well, but between these two titles and the ongoing Wakanda Forever oneshots, Marvel’s paltry female character representation has bumped up slightly as of late.

Overall, while representation is set to improve a bit at Marvel in July, these gains are tenuous and the publisher remains far back from the high levels they’ve set in the past. There just doesn’t seem to be much firm commitment to female and non-binary creators at Marvel right now. Things have improved from disastrous to bad over the past few months, but good is still a long way off. Hopefully we’ll see some more permanent additions to Marvel’s ranks in the future.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, July 2018 Solicits: 21 Creators on 16 Books

May 1, 2018

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After some low numbers in the June solicits, DC’s underwhelming summer is set to continue into July. The publisher has a lot going on, what with the Brian Michael Bendis era beginning in Action Comics and Superman and new Justice League books debuting. However, few of the goings on seem to involve female or non-binary creators. The only exception is the upcoming Bat-Cat wedding, which will spin off into an exciting new title in July. But elsewhere, representation remains relatively poor. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what this July:

  • Adriana Melo: Plastic Man #2 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Special #1 (cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Teen Titans #20 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Batman #50 (interior art), Shade, The Changing Woman #5 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: Plastic Man #2 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Woman #5 (writer)
  • Corinna Bechko: DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Batgirl #25 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Plastic Man #2 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #50 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #51 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #5 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #50 (interior art), Catwoman #1 (writer, interior art, cover)
  • Laura Braga: Wonder Woman #51 (interior art)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #5 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #25 (co-writer), Green Arrow #42 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batgirl #25 (co-writer), Batwoman #17 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Woman #5 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Mera, Queen of Atlantis #6 (cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: Justice League Odyssey #1 (variant cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Terrifics #6 (interior art)
  • Shea Fontana: DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Special #1 (co-writer)

All together, there are 21 different female creators set to work on 16 different books in July, 2 more creators than in June though 1 fewer book. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators working at DC Comics in July. These ups and downs even out to the slightest of gains, but the numbers remain noticeably below the publisher’s spring totals and far off of their past highs. At this point, female and non-binary creator representation is at just two thirds of what DC has shown themselves to be capable of achieving.

The continuing low numbers can be attributed to a lack of new talent. While the creators listed above are fantastic, we’ve seen all of them before at DC in some capacity or another. It’s encouraging to have a group of women getting steady work here, for sure. That kind of consistency is important. But the numbers remain relatively low, and they aren’t growing.

In terms of fictional women, the big news is that we’re getting a new Catwoman book, written and drawn by the wonderful Joelle Jones. That’s going to be excellent. Apart from that, female characters will also have some decent representation in two new Justice League titles set to premiere in July. Wonder Woman and Zatanna are part of Justice League Dark, accounting for 2 of the 5 characters on the team, while Jessica Cruz and Starfire will be in Justice League Odyssey, making up 2 of the 4 characters on the team. The male majority on the flagship Justice League title is substantial, so these new additions to the line are a big step toward better representation.

Overall, there are some positive signs at DC. The female creator ranks are stable, and fictional representation has improved. However, the creator numbers remain low. There just doesn’t seem to be a commitment at the publisher to improving the ranks of female and non-binary creators. We’ve been seeing a similar lack of effort from Marvel as well, which has added up to a rather disappointing string of solicits as of late. DC has reached much higher totals in the past, and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be returning to those highs any time soon.

Wonder Woman #45 Review: “Amazons Attacked” Stumbles to a Poor Conclusion

April 25, 2018

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Let’s start with some happy news: This run is going to end. We’ve always known this in the abstract, of course. Creative teams at the Big Two never last forever. But now we’ve got a date. On July 11, 2018, Wonder Woman #50 will come out and mark the end of James Robinson’s tenure writing the book. While it’s kind of a downer that they’re letting him write such a landmark issue after months of churning out terrible work, the bigger news is that it’s finally over. Steve Orlando and Laura Braga are taking over for a brief arc starting with Wonder Woman #51, and then a new, yet unnamed creative team will come in.

I’d be excited for anyone not named James Robinson to be writing the book, but Orlando is an especially good choice. I’ve enjoyed his work for a while now, and from his few comments on what’s to come it sounds like he’s got a good handle on Wonder Woman and why she’s amazing. Braga is a great choice, too. She’s done fantastic work on DC Comics Bombshells, and I’m looking forward to her drawing Wonder Woman in a more modern setting. It should all be a lot of fun. We’ve just got to slog through five more issues to get there!

Speaking of a slog, Wonder Woman #45 came out today, bringing the “Amazons Attacked” storyline to a close. The issue was bad, the arc was dumb, and damn near everything about this book continues to suck. So let’s talk about it, I guess? But first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to ruin the conclusion of this foolish arc!

Look away if you don’t want to know how Darkseid loses because… love?

It doesn’t make any sort of sense.

As I just mentioned, in this grand finale to months of painful storytelling, Wonder Woman defeats Darkseid with love. More specifically, she uses her love for her brothers, sisters, and other divine relatives killed by Darkseid in his quest to repower himself, loving them so fiercely that she somehow pulls their souls from his body. Darkseid, now weakened, burns up and disappears.

So, yeah. The thing is, Wonder Woman and love go hand in hand. Her compassion and her kindness have been hallmarks of the character from the very beginning. When William Moulton Marston created her, he made her the embodiment of the loving authority of women. If any superhero is going to use love to defeat a villain, it’s going to be Wonder Woman. The problem is, it still has to make sense. There’s need to be a degree of logic. You can’t just say that Diana’s love is “bright and true” and then ta-dah, Darkseid is done. Wonder Woman is not some sort of loving necromancer. She cannot draw out the souls of the dead through sheer affection alone.

And even if Robinson and co. wanted to make this a new superpower for her, then okay, explain it. It’s a bad, silly idea, but make it work. Set it up in some fashion. Do a little bit of foreshadowing and table setting so it doesn’t come off like a bizarre deus ex machina. Love is a wonderful, powerful thing, but to use it to such a degree, entirely out of the blue, kind of ruins the entire ending. Well, “ruin” is the wrong word. That implies that there was something good to begin with. But it’s cheap, and unearned, and generally dumb.

On top of that foolishness, this issue continues one of my main frustrations with this run: Robinson’s focus on male characters. I’ve said it a million times, but this book is called Wonder Woman. She should be the main character. And, almost as importantly, women should play an important role in the series, across the board. In this issue, we start with opening narration from Steve Trevor. Then Jason, a man, goes to Themyscira to save the Amazons from Grail’s attack. And finally Grail, once captured by the Amazons, is imprisoned with Ares so that HE can teach her the values of love and peace that he has learned. Learned from women, I might add; his wokeness comes from submission to Aphrodite and the Amazons. That’s too many dudes doing too many things. All while Wonder Woman defeats Darkseid in the dumbest of ways.

This issue is basically the culmination of so many terrible ideas. Bringing back Grail. Giving Diana a brother. Ignoring every rad female supporting character in the Wonder Woman mythos. Letting James Robinson write a comic book after, I’m guessing, he traded his skills at storytelling to some sort of evil leprechaun for magic beans? I’m not exactly sure how his writing turned so bad so quickly, but the larger point stands: The dude is doing garbage work here. And all of that combines into this boring, nonsensical conclusion that lacks any excitement, heart, or reader investment.

At least it looks pretty good. So long as you’ve got Emanuela Lupacchino drawing Wonder Woman, even if it’s just for some of the pages, it’s going to be a book worth looking at. She captures the character so well, and Ray McCarthy does a great job inking her work. Marco Santucci is solid, too. I prefer Lupacchino, but he carries off his pages nicely. And of course, series MVP Romulo Fajardo Jr. holds everything together with his coloring. The dude’s a magician. When books go off the rails like Wonder Woman has as of late, often times it shows up in the artwork. You see rushed drawing, and everyone down the production line starts phoning it in. While we’ve had some instances of hasty linework over the past few months, Fajardo Jr. has been making everyone look better with every single issue he colors. Give the man a dang raise, DC.

So, Darkseid is done, and now we’ve just got to get through some sort of Metal tie-in for the next five issues. Then we get a new creative team and maybe we can enjoy the book again? Gosh, I hope so. I’m real tired of hating what should be my favourite book.

Women in Comics Statistics, DC and Marvel, Winter 2018 in Review

April 19, 2018

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My quarterly “Gendercrunching” column went up at Bleeding Cool this week, and the New Year has brought some notable changes to both major superhero publishers. Female creator representation appears to be on the rise at DC, while it’s dropping precipitously at Marvel.

All together, DC Comics’ average percentage of female creators came in at 17.1% for the winter months, a 1.5% gain from the fall. It’s not a huge leap, but DC’s numbers have been stagnant for a while now. The overall totals for January, February, and March were all higher than any of the fall months, which bodes well for the longevity of this shift.

Marvel, meanwhile, is tumbling. Their average percentage of female creators fell to 14.8%, more than a three point drop from the autumn. What’s more, each winter month was lower than the last, extending their current skid to four straight months of losses. Marvel’s got a brand new Editor-in-Chief in C.B. Cebulski, but so far his tenure feels like a return to the old days of Marvel being a boy’s club. Plus with a dude-centric relaunch on the way and the recent departure of several female assistant editors, these numbers could decline even further over the course of the spring.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for the full charts and analysis! It’s an intriguing start to the year, for sure, and it will be fascinating to see how the numbers change over the next quarter.


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