Posts Tagged ‘Catwoman’

Happy International Women’s Day AND A Day Without a Woman!

March 8, 2017

womensday

Today is International Women’s Day, a day to recognize the achievements of women everywhere while also acknowledging the systemic oppression they continue to face across the world. As always, I’m celebrating International Women’s Day with the women that I’ve written books about: Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, and now Catwoman!

All three women could definitely get behind this year’s official theme on the International Women’s Day website, which is #BeBoldForChange. They explain:

Each one of us – with women, men and non-binary people joining forces – can be a leader within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity. Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over.

The United Nations celebrates International Women’s Day as well, and their theme for the year is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.” The UN has a variety of goals for their 2030 Agenda, including:

  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and Goal-4 effective learning outcomes.
  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they are ready for primary education.
  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

It’s a bold list, to be sure, and one very much worth pursuing.

This year, the folks behind the fantastic Women’s March last January are getting in on the International Women’s Day fun as well by holding “A Day Without A Woman” to recognize the value of women. It’s a three pronged event which you can support in these ways:

  • Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
  • Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
  • Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

Some people can’t take the day off, of course, which is why it’s great to see that they’ve got a solidarity option. Wearing red is a clear and simple way to express your support for women across the world, and our three comic book heroines are definitely on board.

Wonder Woman’s been wearing red since her very first appearance in 1941. It’s her go-to color choice for bustiers and boots, as we can see here at the end of her debut in All-Star Comics #8:

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Lois Lane’s commitment to wearing red goes back even further, to her own first appearance back in 1938. She was wearing red at the office when Clark Kent asked her on a date:

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And she was wearing red later that evening when a goon tried to dance with her. She wasn’t in any mood for it; she didn’t even want to be out with Clark, much less have some other dope get all up in her space:

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While Wonder Woman and Lois Lane have been showing solidarity for ages with their red outfits, Catwoman’s never been much for red. She’s worn a lot of black and purple, and even green and orange at times, but red has never been her primary color. She has used it for accessories, though. In Batman #210 in 1969, Catwoman debuted a new pair of red goggles:

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The outfit didn’t last for long, but the red has recently returned to the lenses of her goggles, as we can see on this cover from last year’s Catwoman #48:

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She’s subtle about it, but Catwoman’s on board for “A Day Without a Woman” too!

Happy International Women’s Day everyone, and cheers to all of the women participating in today’s general strike as well as all of those who can’t but who are nonetheless showing their solidarity!

Cover Reveal For My New Book: The Many Lives of Catwoman, Coming In Summer 2017!

September 1, 2016

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There was a big reveal on the Chicago Review Press Instagram account yesterday: The cover of my new book! I’ve now written a trilogy! And the third book is The Many Lives of Catwoman: The Felonious History of a Feline Fatale, due out in Summer 2017.

The book was an absolute blast to write. Catwoman is a fantastic and fascinating character with so many distinct incarnations over the past 75 years, and digging into all of the comics, shows, and movies was so much fun. Apart from the Halle Berry movie, I suppose. That sucked pretty bad, but so much so that it eventually became kind of hilarious, and I ended up writing an entire chapter on what went wrong with the movie and how it influenced the superhero film boom of the past decade. Plus I got to watch the good stuff too, like the old Batman show and Batman Returns, both of which are amazing in completely different ways.

And the comics! I had a rough idea of Catwoman’s comic book history before I started the book, but her journey over the decades was even more intriguing than I’d imagined. From her transition from small time cat burglar to supervillain to reformed citizen in the Golden Age to her disappearance in the Silver Age to her often dark and twisted romantic stories in the Bronze Age, the old comics were spectacularly interesting. And her more modern incarnations were just as compelling, from unpacking the sexualization and objectification of “Year One” and the 1990s series to exploring her renaissance in the 2000s. Catwoman’s always had something fascinating going on in her adventures; there was little in the way of flat, boring stories.

Ultimately, the book is an examination of the superhero genre from the perspective of a female villain, and the ups and downs of empowerment and exploitation that come with being a part of this world over the past 75 years. After doing two books on outright heroines, it was  fun to dig into the morally ambiguous world of Catwoman and see how the trends of the genre impacted her depictions in new and different ways.

The book’s not out for a while yet; it’s scheduled for July 2017 right now, so we’re ten months out. It’s not even available for pre-order yet, though you can be sure I’ll let you know when it is. But it’s written and it’s happening and it’s got a cover and I couldn’t be happier about it all. I’m really excited for you all to get to check it out, and I hope you’re looking forward to some Catwoman-centric fun as we ramp up to the book’s release starting early in the new year!

My Top 10 Favourite Comic Books of 2015

December 29, 2015

Now that the year is almost over, it’s a good time to look back at the comic books I most enjoyed this year. Usually I like to do an all new Top 10, focusing on my new favourites, but so many books stayed ridiculously good this year that my pull list hasn’t changed a lot. So we’ll go for a split, with half returning favourites and half new books that I’m all about. We’ll start with the former!

MY FIVE FAVOURITE COMIC BOOKS

It’s been a fantastic year for comics, and several of my best books from 2014 remain at the top of my list here at the end of 2015. My top books, in order, are:

 bestCRIMINALS

5) Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky: The book is hilarious and great and surprisingly heartwarming, but what I love more than anything is the letter column. It’s the funniest thing I read each month, comics or otherwise.

 bestTHOR

4) The Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman: The series was a blast all year as Thor, and now that it’s been relaunched as The Mighty Thor the fun continues. I liked the initial mystery aspect of the book, but the reveal of Thor’s identity has led to some interesting angles and new storylines that are even more compelling.

 bestODYC

3) ODY-C by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward: It’s a gender swapped take on The Odyssey in space. This concept could not be more up my alley, and the execution has been fascinating and gorgeous. And also informative! The essays in the backmatter are great, and are a fantastic compliment to the trippy main story.

 bestBITCH

2) Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro: Feminism in space again. What can I say, I have a type. The Mighty Thor sort of fits that theme too, now that I think about it! Last year, I compared the first issue of Bitch Planet to a punch in the stomach but in the best way, and the series has continued as such throughout the year. While it’s often brutal, there’s a fury to the book that I love and that is much needed.

 bestMSMARVEL

1) Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, and others: This was my top pick last year, and it’s my top pick this year too. It’s just so good! I LOVE Kamala Khan, I love the world they’ve built around her in Jersey City, and I love that the book is classic superhero fun in a very fresh and new way. And now, Kamala’s made it through Secret Wars and is back in a relaunched title that continues her story in enjoyable new ways. Plus she’s an Avenger! 2015 was the year of Kamala, for sure.

MY FIVE FAVOURITE NEW COMIC BOOKS

The year also saw a bunch of new great books, from multiversal destructions to gals across various eras to a modern day crime lord. These were my favourite new books/revamps of 2015:

 bestSECRETWARS

5) Secret Wars by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic: This book is bananas, and I love it. I’ve been following Hickman since he relaunched Avengers and New Avengers a few years back, and while the buildup was impressive, the payoff is epic. This is the first event series in ages that I’ve really enjoyed, plus it’s also led to some great tie-ins, including A-Force, Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps, and Runaways.

 bestCATWOMAN

4) Catwoman by Genevieve Valentine, Garry Brown, and David Messina: This storyline began in 2014, but it ran for most of this year and it was ridiculously good. Selina Kyle took over a crime family and tried to keep Gotham from falling into a gang war, with often tragic results. It was dark and tense and an absolutely fascinating new take on the character, and I was so disappointed when DC brought in a new creative team at the end of the year.

 bestPAPERGIRLS

3) Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang: It’s just so gorgeous. Regular readers will know that Cliff Chiang is my favourite artist, hands down, and he doesn’t disappoint here. Plus that Vaughan fellow is pretty good too, and he’s crafted a weird, mysterious story; we’re a few issues in, and I’m still not 100% sure what’s happening. I just know that it’s rad.

 bestLEGEND

2) The Legend of Wonder Woman by Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon: The print edition of the book doesn’t start until January, but the digital version has been coming out for weeks and it’s GREAT. It’s a classic take on Wonder Woman and the Amazons but with several new, fun twists, and the first few issues have spent a lot of time establishing Themyscira and introducing us to a young Diana. Simultaneously cute and ominous, this is the best Wonder Woman book in years.

 bestBOMBSHELLS

1) DC Comics Bombshells by Marguerite Bennett, Marguerite Sauvage, and more: When DC did their World War Two era “Bombshell” variant covers a while back, I thought it was kind of silly and unnecessary. But they were a hit, and now this series fleshes out the story behind the new designs, reimagining the war with scores of DC’s female heroes in the mix, and nary a male hero in sight. It’s so much fun and delightfully bad ass to see DC’s ladies working together to bust up Nazis, and I love how Bennett and her team of artists have added so much depth to what began as a line of pin-ups.

And those are my favourite books of the year! It’s all so much awesome. The comic book industry is an embarrassment of riches right now.

Superhero Angel Paper Craft Decorations, Including Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Ms. Marvel, and More!

December 22, 2015

I saw a cool classic style angel design on Buzzfeed this weekend and thought, “That’s fun! I bet I could make a Supergirl from that,” because I’m all about Supergirl as of late. The new show is the BEST. So I built myself a template based on what I saw and customized it to Supergirl, and quite liked it. Plus it was really fun to build. So I built more. And more and more. And ended up with ten superhero angels that are now decorating my home and making it all sorts of festive. Here’s what I ended up with!

1) TV Supergirl: Melissa Benoist is amazing, and I am all about that costume.

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2) Wonder Woman: Because, of course. It’s me! Who else would you expect?

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3) Batgirl of Burnside: It’s just the best costume.

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4) 1970s Catwoman: A classic, and super rad.

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5) Ms. Marvel: Kamala Khan is maybe my favourite character in comics right now.

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6) Lois Lane: With superpowers, as seen in some classic 60s stories.

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7) Thor: I love me some Lady Thor. The comic is killer, and she’s so much fun.

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8) Patsy Walker, aka. Hellcat: My pal Kate Leth has a new Patsy Walker series starting tomorrow with art by Brittney Williams and it looks AMAZING.

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9) TV Hawkgirl: Such a cool character, and I can’t wait to see more of her in Legends of Tomorrow.

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10) Maps Mizoguchi: AW YEAH MAPS!! If you don’t love Maps, then you just don’t have a soul.

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If any of you happen to be interested in making angels of your own, here are all the PDFs for you. Just print them out, cut yourself a flap on one of the sides of the angel so you can stick it all together, fold it together and tape or glue it up! They’re really easy to put together. Yay for festive fun!

The PDFs:

angelBATGIRL

angelCATWOMAN

angelHAWKGIRL

angelHELLCAT

angelLOIS

angelMSMARVEL

angelMAPS

angelsupergirl

angelTHOR

angelWW

We Can All Look Super Cool This Summer With New Wonder Woman Sunglasses

April 29, 2015

Experience the Wonder is a fantastic website that keeps track of pretty much every Wonder Woman-related product ever made, and they’ve just posted a new pair of Wonder Woman sunglasses that look like a lot of fun. They’re made by Sun-Stache, a company that apparently appeared on Shark Tank and is now making a variety of superhero themed sunglasses. The Wonder Woman sunglasses have a tiara on top, so you know you’re going to have to get some:

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Plus they’ve got 100% UV400 protection! I don’t know what that means, but it sounds pretty impressive.

While the glasses aren’t on the Sun-Stache website currently, I’ve found them on a few other sites for $8.99. Some sites have them out in April, while others say not until June, but it looks like they should be out in time for the summer.

Sun-Stache has an assortment of female comic book character sunglasses, including Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and this rad pair that mimics Catwoman’s goggles:

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I would totally buy those.

Anyway, keep your eyes peeled for those cool Wonder Woman shades so that you can spend the summer lounging in the sun Amazon-style. If you’ve got a Wonder Woman bathing suit, you’ll be the awesomest looking person at the beach, for sure. They don’t make Wonder Woman bathing suits for boys, it seems, but I do have some pretty great blue board shorts with white stars that look a lot like Wonder Woman’s classic bottoms. Perhaps I should complete the ensemble with these sunglasses!

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #9 Review: “Morning Coffee” by Ollie Masters and Amy Mebberson

October 9, 2014

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What I’m enjoying most about Sensation Comics thus far is the variety of artists we’ve gotten. There have been a few standard, superhero art types, but for the past few weeks especially we’ve gotten a more eclectic range of styles. Largely owing to her minimal comic book presence, the Wonder Women we’ve seen for the past few decades have been pretty normal superhero fare. Whereas characters like Batman and Superman have had a variety of books aimed at different audiences, and a wide range of styles therein, Wonder Woman has mostly just had Wonder Woman. There hasn’t been a lot of mixing it up. With Sensation Comics now showcasing Wonder Woman in different styles, I think the versatility of the character is really shining through.

This week’s digital issue of Sensation Comics features another unique take on Wonder Woman, this time from Amy Mebberson. She’s done work for Disney and drawn My Little Pony comics, so her style here is cute, fun, and cartoony. I’m not up on the nomenclature for exactly how to describe the art; chibi doesn’t quite seem right, but there are exaggerated proportions in that vein so as to achieve maximum cuteness:

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The story matches the art well. I don’t know much about Ollie Masters, apart from the fact that he’s got a Vertigo book out soon that’s drawn by Ming Doyle and sounds pretty cool. He’s constructed a fun story here, and brought in another of my favourite characters. Catwoman steals the Golden Fleece (yes, THAT Golden Fleece) from a museum in London, knowing full well that Wonder Woman will show up to stop her. Catwoman’s plan is to sneak away while Wonder Woman defeats the dragon she automatically summoned when she stole the Golden Fleece, killing two birds with one stone, and she almost gets away with it. But not quite! Wonder Woman is just too good at dragon wrangling, and has enough time to capture Catwoman before she hops a ride out of town.

The story is simple but enjoyable and well paced. It highlights both Catwoman’s cleverness and Wonder Woman’s strength, and is a fun showcase for both characters. Despite the short length, the story doesn’t feel rushed; Masters does a good job of using the limited page count effectively and setting up Catwoman’s plan. I’ve been critical of past dragon fights in Sensation Comics, only because they felt like filler in a two-parter, but this one is both entertaining and integral to the plot.

It’s also nicely drawn. It looks like Mebberson had a lot of fun with the dragon fight. Wonder Woman rips a street sign out of the pavement and then busts the dragon squarely in the chops with it before trussing the dragon with her golden lasso. It’s cartoony and fun, and I’d love to see it as an animated sequence. This whole issue would make for a great animated short, really.

Mebberson does a lot of good things with this issue. Her Catwoman has a definite Darwyn Cooke vibe, right down to how she illustrates the shine on her leather suit. Her Wonder Woman is good, though perhaps not as finely rendered as Catwoman. Mebberson went with a classic version of Wonder Woman’s suit that comes off a little basic next to Catwoman’s shiny finery. Her Wonder Woman’s not bad in any way; she just draws a really good Catwoman.

She also captures a lot of humour with her art, using her expressive characters to communicate great bits like Catwoman’s sneakinesss or the lackadaisical ease with which Wonder Woman captures her. All together, the issue was very cute and a fun read, and I think it will be a hit with younger readers.

Finally, we follow last week’s programming note with ANOTHER programming note. This story was originally scheduled for the print issue of Sensation Comics #3, but it bears the cover of Sensation Comics #4 and Mebberson’s website says the story will be in that issue as well. So I’m not sure what’s happening here, printwise. The book’s not out until the end of the month, so I suppose we’ll find out then!

New Jae Lee Batman/Superman Action Figure Line Includes Wonder Woman

October 7, 2014

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For several years now, DC Collectibles has been creating action figure lines based on the artwork featured in some of DC’s better known comics. There’s a Jack Kirby “Fourth World” line, Jim Lee’s “Hush” collection was substantial, and lately figures from Greg Capullo’s Batman and Nicola Scott’s Earth 2 have come out. This week, DC has unveiled a new line featuring the artwork of Jae Lee, based on his current run on Batman/Superman. I heard rumours of these figures this summer from a pre-SDCC event and my interest was piqued. Lee’s got a cool style, and I was curious to see how it would translate to action figure form.

The line includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Catwoman, and you can get a closer look at all of them in this video:

I think the ladies come off a lot more interesting than the fellows here, particularly in the face. The lines they are using to capture Lee’s style look odd on Superman and Batman, while Wonder Woman and Catwoman both have a softer and more blended colouring. However, the cape work on the guys looks straight up amazing. Holy cats. That Superman may have a jacked up face, but his cape is impeccable.

The Wonder Woman figure looks pretty cool all around. Toy News International has posted a nice screengrab of the figure:

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She comes with a spear AND a sword, so that’s a lot of fun. I know absolutely nothing about this comic book, but given the outfit I’m going to guess that this is probably Earth 2 Wonder Woman? Or at the very least, not the primary universe Wonder Woman. She’s got a skirt, a golden tiara, silver boots, and some arm armour on one side that all seems very reminiscent of her Earth 2 outfit to me. The figure appears to capture Jae Lee’s artwork fairly well, though unfortunately she doesn’t get a cape. Can you imagine this figure with a Jae Lee cape? That would be spectacular.

Given her pale skin, dark hair, and heavy eye makeup, along with her somewhat dour expression, we appear to have a bit of a goth Wonder Woman. Which is cool; such is Jae Lee’s style. Catwoman’s got a similar vibe, along with the black outfit to match. All in all, this line presents a unique take on these characters, and it’s always cool to see something different on the toy shelves.

If you’re jonesing for these figures, you’ve got a long wait ahead of you. They’ll be out in Summer 2015. DC Collectibles figures usually price in the $19.95 to $24.95 range, and are easily available in comic book shops or online.


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