Posts Tagged ‘Emanuela Lupacchino’

Wonder Woman #35 Review: Please, Someone Make This Stop

November 22, 2017

ww35.jpg

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: In this issue of Wonder Woman, Diana appears only fleetingly and never speaks, and instead the book focuses on the backstory of a villain, the bulk of which we already knew. It sounds familiar because that’s what happened two issues ago with an outing that was all about Grail. Now we’ve got an issue that’s all about Diana’s brother, Jason. So basically, two of the last three issues of Wonder Woman have barely featured Wonder Woman at all. Yeah, that’s the ticket, DC. Wonder Woman’s never been more popular, so now’s a great time to sideline her in her own book in favour of subpar villains. Who thought this was a good idea? Who is letting this stupid story drone on? It’s mind bogglingly terrible. We’ll talk about it all in a moment, but first:

SPOILER ALERT… actually, never mind.

There is literally no new information in this book.

Jason monologued all of this stuff in the last issue.

It’s an utterly pointless, useless, boring regurgitation of a comic book.

Carry on.

Before we get to the comic book itself, let’s chat about the cover. Bryan Hitch’s covers for the arc thus far have been a bit bland, to be honest, but this one had me intrigued for a second. I feared that we would get what we got, an issue that was all Jason and no Diana, but the cover showed me otherwise. Teen Diana! Doing some rad Amazon training! That looks fun. Also, there’s Hippolyta with some bad, ancient Greek style bangs; that was less interesting. But teen Diana, that could be cool! Turns out, there is absolutely no teen Diana in this issue. There’s barely any adult Diana. So thanks for that cruel tease. If you haven’t got the book yet and, like me, are too much of a completist to drop Wonder Woman from your pull list even though it’s straight up garbage right now, I suggest you try to get the Justice League variant cover by Terry and Rachel Dodson. You can never go wrong with the Dodsons drawing Wonder Woman.

In terms of the inside of the issue, where to even start? Let’s go with something I’ve mentioned already, the fact that pretty much everything in this issue is information we already knew. Jason blathered on about his life two weeks ago, and nothing here adds to that. It’s even more blatant than the Grail issue from last month, which did basically the same thing but added a fight scene in the middle, at least. We got no real action in this issue, apart from the tease of an upcoming battle with some aquatic creatures because, god help us, this issue was only part one of this redundant exploration of Jason’s past. James Robinson must be laughing all the way to the bank, telling a story in one issue and then retelling that story again two weeks later. The dude is getting two comic books out of one story, and he’s done it twice now. That’s one way to manage the bi-weekly schedule, I suppose.

Another way is to churn out horrendous dialogue and then just leave it, I guess. Because there’s no way any degree of thought or effort was put into Glaucus’ narration of Jason’s tale. It is PAINFUL. So annoyingly folksy, with its countless dropped letters. It’s not his, it’s ‘is. It’s not and, it’s ‘n’. Every ing is an in’. An of is an o’. To is t’. It is so laboured and irksome and, most annoyingly, not even consistent. Robinson replaces the with th’, but only occasionally. Why? There is no rhyme or reason to it. It’s so bad. There are few things that are less enjoyable to read than a bad story poorly narrated. No one needs that double dose of unpleasantness. Then Glaucus just disappears for no good reason apart from some sort of bicentennial migration, because Robinson is putting as much effort into the plot as he is the dialogue.

The book’s one redeeming quality is the art, and even that is frustrating. Emanuela Lupacchino is an excellent penciller, and Ray McCarthy inks her well. And do you know what they’re particularly great at? Drawing Wonder Woman. And do you know what they’ve barely done at all in their last two issues of Wonder Woman? Drawn Wonder Woman. The few panels in which she appears are gorgeous, and they would do an amazing job on an issue that actually had Wonder Woman in it for any length of time. But no, DC’s chosen to waste this talent on some annoying boy that no one cares about. Meanwhile, the artists on the issues Wonder Woman actually does show up in are middling at best. Come on, now.

Finally, in the midst of this truly terrible outing, we’ve also got additional confirmation that Diana is still the daughter of Zeus in current continuity. This was a New 52 development, along with a horrible take on the Amazons, but the “Rebirth” arcs “The Lies” and “The Truth” reset that and erased those Amazons as a fiction crafted by the gods. Greg Rucka and company never addressed Diana’s birth directly, however, and it seems that it remains unchanged. The real Hippolyta also hooked up with Zeus, as this issue shows, and it looks like that’s just going to be the standard origin going forward. It was bound to stick after they used it in the movie and all, but it’s still dumb and antithetical to the very nature of the character.

Ultimately, this issue was very bad indeed and I would suggest buying literally any other comic book instead. There are lots of good ones. Hell, there are lots of bad ones that are still better than this foolishness. You can’t go wrong. Come back to Wonder Woman in four months. After Justice League‘s subpar box office performance, DC’s got to realize that Wonder Woman is their biggest character right now and they’ll put a great team on the book then. Right? I hope so, because what they’re churning out now is just embarrassing.

Advertisements

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, January 2018 Solicits: 24 Creators on 25 Books

November 6, 2017

womenatdcJAN

I’ll say this for DC Comics: They’ve become very consistent in their female and non-binary creator representation. The numbers aren’t particularly strong, situated in the mid-20s when the publisher has been well into the 30s in the past. But relative to months previous and to Marvel’s output, DC’s not been especially low or especially high for the past several rounds of solicits. They’re right in the middle with unremarkable numbers, not bottoming out but not progressing either. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC in January:

  • Alisa Kwitney: Mystik U #2 (writer)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #35 (cover), Harley Quinn #36 (cover), The Jetsons #3 (cover)
  • Colleen Doran: Gotham City Garage #8 (interior art)
  • Diana Egea: Detective Comics #972 (inker)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #9 (cover), Superwoman #18 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #38 (interior art), Wonder Woman #39 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #5 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #19 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #4 (cover), Wonder Woman #38 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #39 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Supergirl #17 (co-writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #38 (interior art), Batman #39 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Batwoman #11 (writer), Superwoman #18 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #4 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Bombshells United #10 (writer), Bombshells United #9 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: New Super-Man #19 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #27 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Bombshells United #10 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Bombshells United #10 (cover), Justice League of America #22 (cover), Justice League of America #23 (cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Motherlands #1 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #2 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18 (co-writer)
  • Siya Oum: Bombshells United #9 (interior art)
  • Tula Lotay: Gotham City Garage #8 (cover)

All together, there are 24 different female creators set to work on 25 different comic book in January, 1 more female creator than in December and the same number of books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in DC’s January solicits. It’s a modest gain that keeps the publisher on their middle of the road streak. It could be better, it could be worse. What’s clear is that DC isn’t committed to expanding their ranks of women and non-binary creators. While they hit about the same level each month, growth has been minimal as of late.

To this point, there aren’t very many new names in the mix this month. Rachael Stott had one short gig at DC a few months back, and now it looks like she’s got a regular job with the new Vertigo series Motherlands. She’s been doing a lot of work on the IDW Doctor Who books, and it’s good to see that DC’s brought her in. We’ve also got a couple of returning favourites, though I don’t know for how long. Colleen Doran is doing some pages for Gotham City Garage in what looks to be a one-time gig. We’ve also got Mariko Tamaki writing New Super-Man this month, and I’m not sure if she’s taking over the book or it’s just a one-off job.

In terms of female characters, we’ve got a few new books with female leads in the mix. The new team book The Terrifics includes Phantom Girl, though she’s only one woman in a team of five. The one-shot Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt features Raven, but again she’s one female character in a team of men. But Raven has new showcase all to herself with the new mini-series Raven: Daughter of Darkness. While I’m glad to see Raven getting some attention, having Marv Wolfman write her yet again seems like a bit of an odd choice. He’s done several Raven mini-series over the past several years, none of which were very successful. Also, there are no female creators involved with the book, which is disappointing.

All together, it looks like nothing much is going to change in terms of female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics as the New Year begins. January’s not that different from December, which wasn’t that different from November, which wasn’t that different from October. The publisher seems committed to mediocre numbers right now, and that’s going to continue into 2018.

Wonder Woman #33 Review: Just… What Are They Even Doing Here?

October 25, 2017

ww33

You may recall that when this new arc began a month ago, I wasn’t terribly pleased with the fact that Wonder Woman appeared in only a few pages of the first issue. The book is called Wonder Woman, after all. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a decent amount of the titular heroine in it. Well, the latest issue has no Wonder Woman at all, except for a few shots in which she appears on a television screen in the background. Instead, the book is all about Grail and how she’s killing gods to help regrow Darkseid. It is, essentially, a pointless comic book. It’s Wonder Woman without Wonder Woman, and it’s an issue that gives us backstory that’s already been well established in the first two issues of this run. Also, the writing still absolutely sucks. So yeah, let’s talk about it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Though really, nothing important happens!

It’s all stuff we already knew was going on!

I don’t know why this issue exists, to be honest!

But still, look away if you don’t want to be further spoiled!

So, Grail is killing gods to feed Darkseid to help him grow from a baby into an adult. These are things we knew already, and yet for some reason this entire issue is dedicated to further explaining this. Plus there’s a fight with Perseus, and then another fight with an A.R.G.U.S. team, and finally they end up planning to go after Jason, Diana’s brother. That’s all this issue is. Twenty pages of previously established plot points and a couple of brawls. I mean, look, this story as a whole isn’t even good to begin with. Reader enthusiasm is LOW. And then you dedicate the third issue to basically rehashing stuff we learned a month ago in the first issue? That’s no way to tell a story. Twelve issues of this nonsense is going to be an ordeal.

The writing continues to be quite poor. It’s formulaic and dull, though mercifully it’s not as over-written as the first two outings. It was all quite bad, but at least it was over quick. The art was solid throughout, though. I quite like Emanuela Lupacchino’s work, and as much as I was not looking forward to this arc, I was a little bit excited to see her drawing Wonder Woman. She and inker Ray McCarthy are a great team, and with Romulo Fajardo Jr. coloring, it was guaranteed to look good. But, of course, I got no Wonder Woman. Only Grail. And while it was fine, visually, it all felt like a huge waste of Lupacchino’s talents. Put her on an issue that matters, one where she actually gets to draw Wonder Woman.

Honestly, I have nothing else to say about this issue other than it’s not good and I did not particularly care for any of it, nor for any of this arc thus far.

So let’s talk about something else. Since Wonder Woman sucks right now, we fans aren’t getting our usual bi-monthly dose of Amazonian entertainment. Luckily, I’m here to help with some suggestions for other books you can read instead. First off, I heartily recommend Bombshells United, which just started in September. It’s a follow up to DC Comics Bombshells after its stellar run ended this summer, and it’s got the same creative team presenting a retelling of World War Two in which DC’s female superheroes take center stage. The current arc is focused on Wonder Woman dealing with Japanese internment camps in America, and it’s got a Wonder-centric supporting casting featured re-imagined versions of a couple of Wonder Girls. It’s such a good book, with a great take on Wonder Woman.

Also, there’s a DC lady team-up going on right now in Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, and Wonder Woman is in the mix there too, along with Batwoman, Catwoman, Spoiler, and more. I’m not up to date with the series, but I’ve been hearing good things about this arc and it’s rad to have so many heroines all together. And if you’re looking for heroine fun beyond Wonder Woman herself, Batgirl‘s been an enjoyable read since the “Rebirth” relaunch last summer, and the new Batwoman series has been excellent at well. There’s a few good books over at Marvel, too: Ms. Marvel is perennially amazing and if you haven’t been reading that you’ve been doing yourself a disservice, the new Hawkeye series stars Kate Bishop and it’s a dang delight, and Jane Foster’s adventures as Thor in Mighty Thor have been action-packed but also quite moving. There are lots of great comics with superheroic female leads out there, so check out a few of those if Wonder Woman isn’t giving you the fun you’re looking for right now.

Anyway, it looks like we’ll be back to Diana and Jason in two weeks time, and Wonder Woman will actually be in her own book again. Hooray, but also, it’s probably not going to be much better. We’re a quarter of the way through this arc, and it’s been uniformly terrible thus far. Things may pick up, I suppose. You never know what might happen. But based on everything we’ve seen up to this point, we’re just going to have to wait this story out and hope that DC picks a better team with a better angle to take over in a few months.

Women and NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, December 2017 Solicits, 23 Creators on 25 Books

October 18, 2017

womenatdcDEC.png

As you may recall, DC’s November 2017 solicits featured their lowest total of female and non-binary creators in some time. While things have shifted around somewhat with the December solicits, with some past creators gone and some new creators added, the numbers have turned out exactly the same. It says a lot about representation at DC Comics that after posting their smallest numbers in some time, well below their recent highs, they do the exact same thing the following month. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this December:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #33 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #34 (co-writer, cover), The Jetsons #2 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: DC Universe Holiday Special 2017 #1 (interior art), Scooby Apocalypse #20 (variant cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Gotham City Garage #5 (interior art), Gotham City Garage #6 (interior art)
  • Eleanora Carlini: Suicide Squad #32 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #7 (cover), Superwoman #17 (variant cover)
  • Gail Simone: The Kamandi Challenge #12 (co-writer), Wonder Woman/Conan #4 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #18 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #36 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #37 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Supergirl #16 (co-writer)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #17 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #17 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #17 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #3 (interior art)
  • Lea Hernandez: Teen Titans Go! #25 (interior art, cover)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #10 (writer), Bombshells United #7 (writer), Bombshells United #8 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #26 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Bombshells United #8 (interior art), Harley Quinn #33 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Bombshells United #8 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #1 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #17 (co-writer)
  • Shea Fontana: DC Universe Holiday Special 2017 #1 (co-writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #3 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Gotham City Garage #6 (cover), Nightwing #35 (cover), The Hellblazer #17 (variant cover)

All together, there are 23 different women set to work on 25 different books at DC in December, replicating the November totals precisely; as best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators on the schedule at DC this month. That DC’s held steady at these lows is a bit of a surprise. They’d been comfortably in the mid-20s for a while, even jumping into the low 30s occasionally, but now they’ve leveled out into an ongoing lull.

Part of this may be due to a lack of new faces. We’ve seen every single creator listed above at DC before, if not last month than in the past few months. It’s an amazing list of creators to be sure, but all of them are mainstays at the publisher. The numbers can only grow if more creators are brought in, and that will require new and different people. This month, DC did not seem inclined to seek them out.

In terms of fictional characters, there’s only one new book with a female lead: The Silencer. The book is part of DC’s high profile artist-centric line in which their top artists are paired with writers to create new characters. Perhaps unsurprisingly, almost every creator involved is a man. But The Silencer features Sandra Hope inking, and it stars Honor Guest, a retired assassin who retired at the top of her game but is getting dragged back into the business. Technically the book’s not out until January; it’s an advanced solicit, for some reason. But hey, it’s on the list! And while DC only has a handful of other new titles scheduled for December, they all have male leads.

Ultimately, December looks like it’s going to be another subpar month for female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics. On the plus side, the numbers holding steady means that the publisher’s downward trend over the past few months has come to an end. On the negative side, the skid’s landed them far from the considerably higher numbers they’d been posting only a year ago, when they had 10 more women and non-binary creators in the mix! DC’s capable of far better representation than they have right now.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch – November 2017 Solicits, 23 Creators on 25 Books

October 10, 2017

womenatdcNOV.png

I’m not sure what’s going on at either of the Big Two superhero publishers right now, but both DC and Marvel are well off their recent highs when it comes to the representation of female and non-binary creators. At DC, the solicits for November mark their lowest total in well over a year, and this is in the midst of the launch of several new series, ongoing and mini, across their line. DC’s output has been shifting and expanding over the fall, and this current cycle of change appears to include far fewer women and non-binary creators. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC in November:

  • Alisa Kwitney: Mystik U #1 (writer)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #31 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #32 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn: Be Careful What You Wish For Special Edition #1 (co-writer, interior art, cover), The Jetsons #1 (cover)
  • Aneke: Gotham City Garage #3 (interior art), Gotham City Garage #4 (interior art)
  • Desirée Proctor: New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 (co-writer)
  • Eleanora Carlini: Green Arrow Annual #1 (interior art), Suicide Squad #29 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #5 (cover), Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #2 (cover), Wonder Woman #35 (interior art)
  • Erica Harrell: New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 (co-writer)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #3 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #17 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #35 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Supergirl #15 (co-writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #34 (interior art, cover), Batman #35 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #16 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #16 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #16 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #2 (interior art)
  • Lynne Yoshii: New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #9 (writer), Bombshells United #5 (writer), Bombshells United #6 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #25 (variant cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: Wonder Woman #34 (variant cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #16 (co-writer)
  • Siya Oum: Bombshells United #5 (interior art), New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 (interior art)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #16 (variant cover)

All together, there are 23 different female creators set to work on 25 different books at DC in November, 2 fewer creators than in October though 4 more books (as best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled to work at DC in November). A dip of 2 creators is fairly minor, though not inconsiderable given how few women there were to start with at DC, but it does take the publisher to its lowest total of female creators since August 2016.

It’s an odd month at DC all around. Some of the drop can be explained by an absence of “Young Animal” titles, a line that features an array of female creators. But DC is also set to release their New Talent Showcase, which includes a variety of women writing and drawing. Typically, an anthology issue like that with such solid representation boosts the monthly numbers considerably, but not this time. We’ve also got Mystik U, a new series with a female writer in Alisa Kwitney, plus a Harley Quinn special with Amanda Conner all over it, and still the numbers drop. The list of new names is great to see, particularly in the New Talent Showcase, but it hasn’t added up to a strong month for female representation at the publisher overall.

In terms of female characters, the aforementioned Mystik U stars a teen Zatanna, so that should be fun, and Enchantress is in the mix. Everything else has dudes in the lead, including new books for Black Lighting, The Demon, and Hawkman. And the “Metal” tie-ins continue to roll out, the bulk of which feature male leads and male creative teams.

So November is a mixed bag for DC. There are lots of new female creators in the mix, many of them making their first ever appearance at the publisher. But across the line, the numbers remain down. While I suppose we can take an optimistic angle and hope that all of these new creators become mainstays at DC moving forward, it doesn’t change the fact that DC’s female and non-binary representation has been trending downward for a while now. It’s a very noticeable slump, with no end in sight as of yet.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, October 2017 Solicits: 25 Creators on 24 Books

August 18, 2017

womenatdcOCT.png

DC’s female and non-binary creator representation has been drifting downward over the last few months, sliding a bit after a relatively strong spring, and with the October solicits, DC’s numbers are set to fall to their lowest level since last March. Things are pretty quiet at DC this fall; there are a few events and a couple of new books, but not enough to make any huge changes to the line. Yet the numbers appear to be in decline. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this October:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 (cover), Harley Quinn #29 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #30 (co-writer, cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: DC House of Horror #1 (interior art)
  • Diana Conesa: Nightwing #30 (interior art), Nightwing #31 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #4 (cover), Dastardly and Muttley #2 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #33 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #2 (writer)
  • Heather Nuhfer: Teen Titans Go! #24 (co-writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #16 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Gotham City Garage #2 (cover), Wonder Woman #32 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #33 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Future Quest Presents #3 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #12 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #33 (interior art, cover), Mother Panic #12 (variant cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #15 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 (interior art)
  • Lynne Yoshii: Gotham City Garage #2 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #8 (writer), Bombshells United #3 (writer), Bombshells United #4 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Bombshells United #4 (interior art)
  • Mary Sangiovanni: DC House of Horror #1 (co-writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #24 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Teen Titans #13 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Bombshells United #3 (cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15 (co-writer)
  • Siya Oum: Bombshells United #3 (interior art)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #15 (cover)

All together, there are 25 female creators set to work on 24 books at DC this October, 2 fewer than in September though they’re working on 3 more books (to the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators in the mix this month). While 2 fewer creators isn’t a massive change, 3 of the past 4 months have featured a drop of 2 or more, and it’s starting to add up. As mentioned at the beginning, not a whole lot has changed at DC over the past little while, so this is just an organic drift downward. A few books got cancelled, a few new books began, and that’s about it. There wasn’t another relaunch cycle or any substantial creator upheaval. So this decline is just a gradual decrease caused by small changes here and there, and little has been done to remedy this drop.

We do have a few new female creators in the mix, though, which is always nice to see. Diana Conesa is going to be working on interior art for Nightwing, and I think she’s making her DC debut there. We’ve also got Lynne Yoshii, again on interior art, on the new Gotham City Garage, which we’ll discuss momentarily. Another new book, the anthology oneshot DC House of Horror, features a story by writer Mary Sangiovanni.

The oneshot is one of just a handful of new books at DC in October, and it’s got a few female creators in the mix as well as some stories starring female characters, including unique choices like Martha Kent and an Amazon warrior. DC’s Metal event continues, still with no female creators in the mix and seemingly few female characters, but we’ve got two new books with female leads. The aforementioned Gotham City Garage is based on DC’s statue line of their heroines as bikers, and features a reimagined DC universe centered on biker ladies. I feel like this could go either way, really. It’s reminiscent of DC Comics Bombshells, another comic line based on popular merchandise, but while Marguerite Bennett helmed that book and turned it into a queer feminist masterpiece, I’m not terribly familiar with the two dudes writing this one. Fingers crossed it’s similarly cool. We’ve also got an unusual team up with Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica, a crossover with Archie that introduces these two famous duos for the first time. A lot of creators from the regular Harley Quinn book are on board, so expect a similar tone and sensibility.

All together, there are some new names and a couple of potentially fun titles on the horizon for October, but overall the numbers keep falling. If DC continues at this pace, they’ll be back in the teens again before long, and it’s getting to the point where it feels like some intentional effort needs to be made internally to buoy their dragging representation.

New Wonder Woman Arc to Focus on her Brother OR No One Wants This

June 20, 2017

ww31

DC Comics announced a new creative team for their Wonder Woman comic yesterday, with James Robinson coming on board to write the book alongside Carlos Pagulayan and Emanuela Lupacchino on art. They’re going to do a six-issue arc that will run bi-monthly from September through December, and it will pick up on threads first introduced in DC’s “Rebirth” special a year ago. The solicit for the first issue says:

Who is Wonder Woman’s brother? Taken away from Themyscira in the dead of night, the mysterious Jason has been hidden somewhere far from the sight of gods and men…but his life and Wonder Woman’s are about to intersect in a terrifying way, bringing them face to face with a cosmic threat they never imagined!

I am underwhelmed, to say the least. Wonder Woman has been stellar since its “Rebirth” relaunch, with Greg Rucka, Bilquis Evely, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp revitalizing the character and setting her on a good path after several rough years following the book’s previous relaunch in 2011. Shea Fontana and Mirka Andolfo are set to take over the book in July for five issues, and that sounds like it’s going to be a fun run. I was pleased to see a female writer take over the series, and Mirka Andolfo’s art is always a treat. But now we’ve got a male writer at the helm again (and one with a problematic writing record at that). We do have Emanuela Lupacchino on art, and she’s marvelous, but the solicit is all about “legendary writer James Robinson,” along with credits over a decade old, and doesn’t mention the art at all. Robinson is also focusing on Wonder Woman’s mysterious brother, a bizarre turn that shows DC seems to have learned nothing from the success of the Wonder Woman movie.

First, with so many amazing female writers working in comics right now, DC should be handing over the reins of Wonder Woman to one of them long term. The book has had some great male writers over the years, and Rucka’s tenure over the past year was fantastic, but it’s time for a new perspective on the book. Men have written Wonder Woman for the vast majority of her seventy-six year history. Meanwhile, giving the Wonder Woman film to Patty Jenkins gave Warner Bros. its first critically acclaimed superhero film in years because she brought something new to the table. DC should do the same with the book and bring in one of the many amazing women working in comics right now.

Second, a brother? Has DC not seen any of the responses from folks coming out of the Wonder Woman movie? No one left the theater thinking that there needed to be more men in the mix. They wanted more Diana, more Amazons, more Etta, more of all of the amazing women that made up the film. Introducing Diana’s brother is the last thing anyone wants right now. Long term fans of the comic have been loving the female-centric storyline of the “Rebirth” era thus far, while potential new fans curious about the character after the movie are going to have no interest whatsoever in some new dude.

The brother angle was a weird idea from the start. When the “Rebirth” special came out a year ago, the tease struck me as a fundamentally dumb move. Diana is a unique creation, the only child of the Amazons. To introduce a sibling is unnecessary enough (unless they brought back Nubia, which could be cool if done right), but to make it a male sibling just totally misses the point of having Amazons in your universe. They let you tell cool stories about women! DC doesn’t need to stick a man in there; they can do fun things with the amazing women that they already have.

The people inside DC Comics can be dopes sometimes. Wonder Woman has never been more popular. The movie is a smash hit! And they’re putting out a comic book that’s going to appeal to few if any of her fans, new or old. It reminds me of 1973, when DC returned Wonder Woman to her Amazon roots after she appeared on the first cover of Ms. Magazine and became a mascot of the women’s lib movement. Just like today, Wonder Woman was hugely famous outside of the comics, but DC handed the book to Robert Kanigher, an old white guy who ignored her new status and wrote a bunch of lazy, subpar issues that failed to capitalize on her popularity. Four decades later, DC is making the same mistakes.

Part of me is hoping that this is some ill-considered cleanup operation, that editorial is thinking, “Let’s deal with this seed we planted a year ago and then get on to a cool, different creative team in the New Year.” Maybe they’re just burning off three months of comics to follow up on this story that absolutely no one is clamoring for and they’ve got a great team lined up after that. That would be a dumb plan; better to just let the seed die. But at least it would be a plan with something better in the future. As is, this is just dumb and ill-timed, as well as a big missed opportunity to make the most of a huge moment for Wonder Woman. Even if this somehow turns out to be a decent story, which seems very unlikely but you never know, it’s just the wrong direction for the book right now. Put women in charge of Wonder Woman with women on the pages, please.


%d bloggers like this: