Posts Tagged ‘G. Willow Wilson’

Wonder Woman #68 Review: The Big Friendly Giganta

April 10, 2019

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

SPOILER ALERT!!

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

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

Also, be sure to read it!

This run is very good!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 9, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 27, 2019

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

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

SPOILER ALERT!!

Look away if you have not read this excellent issue!

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

Invest your $3.99 in a good time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 19, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wonder Woman #66 Review: Go Big or Go Home

March 14, 2019

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

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

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

SPOILER ALERT!!

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

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

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

The writing is really good!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wonder Woman #65 Review: The Nemesis of My Nemesis is My Friend

February 28, 2019

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I’m a day late on this review after being out and about yesterday, but I’ll be honest with you all and admit I wasn’t hugely looking forward to this issue regardless. The art two weeks back was pretty rough, with Jesus Merino and Andy Owens giving me a distinctly mid-90s vibe, and they’re back for this outing as well. Predictably, things look the same. As much as I’m enjoying G. Willow Wilson’s writing, this throwback art is bringing me down.

To stay in Wilson’s wheelhouse, Ms. Marvel always looks fresh and special and different, meant for readers of all sorts but not your standard comic book fare. There was care put into the selection of artists to achieve that look. These past two issues of Wonder Woman scream “fill-in artist on a generic superhero comic” to me. There’s nothing visually that sets it apart, nothing that makes it compelling or different. Which is a shame, because Wilson’s writing is great and it deserves artwork that can keep up with it. We’ll dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Look away if you have not read this comic yet!

I am about to delve into its various plot points!

I don’t want to keep harping on the art for too long, but I’m struck by the juxtaposition this series presents. Months back, when James Robinson was writing the book and it was a tough slog to read, there were some good artists that made the book enjoyable. As much as I hated the story, at least when Emanuela Lupacchino or Stephen Segovia was drawing the pictures there was something interesting to focus on and engage with. I could skim the terrible text and enjoy the artwork. Comics are a visual medium after all. Good art can make up for bad writing, at least to some degree.

However, it doesn’t work as well the other way. Wilson’s writing is solid, but instead of soaring above the poor art, the artwork drags it down. Emotional beats that should read well suddenly fall flat when the text is next to artwork that’s not conveying that emotion well. Action that should be exciting becomes boring when poorly executed by the artist.

There’s a panel in this issue where Wonder Woman, upset over the revelation that the Amazons could be gone forever, flies through the rain weeping. It’s not the most original idea, but there are ways to make it work. As executed, though, it’s almost laughable. The pained expression on her face borders on the ridiculous. The pose, with her fists clenched, doesn’t help matters. Plus her body is positioned in such a way that we’re looking down her chest and thus her breasts dominate the frame. It’s just poorly done on every level, and there are so many other panels throughout the issue that are in the same boat. Aphrodite’s weird throwback bikini, for example, which seems to aim for titillation and lands on boring when neither choice would be ideal. Or Veronica Cale, angrily pointing at Diana in a pose that is the epitome of cliché. Or everything about Nemesis’ design. It’s just a rough outing the whole way through that distracts from what is an interesting story.

So let’s get into that story. Wonder Woman starts out the issue pretty down, what with Cale suing her and the Amazons perhaps gone, but after a bit of a pep talk from Aphrodite she takes off to confront Nemesis. That’s where we get the twist! Veronica Cale isn’t controlling Nemesis. Nemesis is controlling Veronica Cale! The weird angry venom angle wasn’t my favourite, but I did like the turn as a whole. I’ll admit I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for Veronica Cale. I mean, yeah, she’s pretty much evil on the best of days. But she lost her daughter to some jerk gods and she’s got a right to be upset with anything associated with the divine.

I also like a conflict that resolves in a hug. Sure, a big old brawl is a good time, but with Wonder Woman specifically I’m always happy when she can end a conflict in a kind, loving way. The fact of the matter is, Diana’s got a soft spot for Veronica Cale too. She doesn’t want to fight her. And a story in which Wonder Woman shakes off the effects of a nefarious venom AND breaks that venom’s hold on someone else through sheer love is the sort of Wonder Woman story I am all about. Wilson wrote the scene beautifully, too. It could have easily been corny, and the lack of subtlety in the art was no help, but the strength of the writing makes it work. It’s a lovely scene that ties well into the larger history that these characters share.

With Cale and Nemesis sorted, the issue ends with the set up for what comes next: The search for Aphrodite’s child, Atlantiades! First off, great name. That’s super fun to say. Give it a try at home: at-lan-tie-ah-dees. Ancient Greek names are a good time. Second, it looks like we’re going to have a non-binary character in Wonder Woman shortly.

Aphrodite refers to Atlantiades as them, a gender neutral pronoun, and that checks out mythologically. As the comic points out, Atlantiades is also known as Hermaphroditus, from which we get the term hermaphrodite. Atlantiades was born male, but then the female nymph Salmacis fell in love with him and they were united together by the gods in one body, male AND female, forever. I’m curious to see how Wilson rolls with this all, merging this ancient story with the language and growing understanding we have today about non-binary gender identity. I trust she’ll handle it well. Also, the design could be fun. Atlantiades is traditionally an androgynous character, with much of the artwork of them reflecting that, and I hope the comic book design comes up with a cool way to incorporate that. I’m excited to see where it all goes in the weeks to come!

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, March 2019 Solicits: 20 Creators on 17 Books

February 14, 2019

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So far, 2019 has not been a good year for female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics. The numbers have been disappointingly low. Now, some of this is likely due to a contraction of DC’s line as a whole. They’re just not putting out as many books as they used to. But still, it’s a lot of books. By my count, they’re in the ballpark of 60 new comics in March, so having female creators on 17 of them means there are women involved in the art or writing of only about a quarter of DC’s output. That’s not great. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this March:

  • Adriana Melo: Female Furies #2 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Second Coming #1 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #7 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Female Furies #2 (writer)
  • Elena Casagrande: Batgirl #33 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Batgirl #33 (cover), The Terrifics #14 (cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Wonder Woman #66 (writer), Wonder Woman #67 (writer)
  • Heather Nuhfer: Teen Titans Go! #33 (co-writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Hex Wives #6 (cover)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #9 (writer, cover), Detective Comics #1000 (interior art)
  • Kat Howard: The Books of Magic #6 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #46 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #33 (writer)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Hex Wives #6 (interior art)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #7 (writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Justice League #20 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #66 (cover),Wonder Woman #67 (cover)
  • Sarah Leuver: Teen Titans Go! #33 (interior art)
  • Tiffany Turrill: Lucifer #6 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Batgirl #33 (variant cover)
  • Zoe Quinn: Goddess Mode #4 (writer)

All together, there are 20 different female creators set to work on 17 different comic books in March 2019, 2 more creators than in February and also 2 additional books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. These gains are slight, and leave DC in the same range they’ve been for several months now. The low twenties are just where things are these days, and there doesn’t seem to be a huge desire to change things across the main line. Elsewhere, the DC Zoom and DC Ink young reader lines have lots of female creators in the mix, but not so much for the older readers, it seems.

We do have two new names this month, though. It looks like Sarah Leuver is making her DC debut with some interior art for Teen Titans Go! #33, while Tiffany Turrill is doing the cover for Lucifer #6. Neither are working in the main superhero line, tellingly, but it’s great to have them in the mix and I look forward to seeing more from them in the future.

March is a quiet month for new titles at DC. Both new series have male leads, and don’t mention much in the way of female or non-binary characters. And what’s sure to be the month’s biggest book, Detective Comics #1000, appears to be a largely male-centric affair. Men account for 22 of the 23 creators listed, with Joelle Jones as the sole woman. I understand that Becky Cloonan may be drawing a story as well, but she’s not listed in the solicits. And while I’m guessing we may get a Catwoman tale in the over-sized book, if last year’s Action Comics #1000 is any indication I wouldn’t hold up much hope for having many other female characters in the mix. That book’s lack of Lois Lane still astounds me.

Overall, DC Comics is in a rut when it comes to female and non-binary creators and the March solicits aren’t doing much to change that. They just don’t seem to be a priority for the main line right now. Perhaps April will bring some changes to the line after a quiet March?


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