Posts Tagged ‘Meredith Finch’

Women at DC Comics Watch – November 2016 Solicits, 33 Women on 22 Books

September 7, 2016

womenatdcNOV.png

After a slow start to their “Rebirth” initiative, with weak numbers for female creators for the first three months of the new books over the summer, DC’s numbers have picked up considerably throughout their fall solicits. November continues this trend and takes things a step further: The November 2016 solicits have the highest number of female creators we’ve seen at DC since we started keeping track several years ago. So let’s take a look at who is doing what:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #7 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #8 (co-writer, cover)
  • Annie Wu: Raven #3 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #3 (co-writer), Shade, the Changing Girl #2 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #2 (writer)
  • Chynna Clugston Flores: Shade, the Changing Girl #2 (variant cover)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #4 (interior art)
  • Elena Casagrande: Vigilante: Southland #2 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #10 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #11 (variant cover), Superwoman #4 (interior art, cover)
  • Emma Beeby: New Talent Showcase #1 (co-writer)
  • Erica Schultz: New Talent Showcase #1 (co-writer)
  • Fiona Staples: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #3 (variant cover)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #14 (writer)
  • Hena Khan: New Talent Showcase #1 (co-writer)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #12 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #5 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #14 (cover), Wonder Woman #10 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #11 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #1 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: New Talent Showcase #1 (co-writer)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #4 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #4 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #19 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #19 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Girl #2 (interior art)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #13 (interior art)
  • Meredith Finch: Catwoman: Election Night #1 (co-writer)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #19 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #3 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #10 (interior art, cover)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #3 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #4 (co-writer)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #3 (cover)
  • Vita Ayala: New Talent Showcase #1 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #4 (variant cover)

All together, there are 33 different female creators scheduled to work on 22 different books at DC in November 2016, 5 more women than in the October solicits though 2 fewer books. These are big numbers for DC, a high that the publisher had come close to but never hit before in all of their ups and downs over the past few years. “Rebirth” has been slow for female creators, and still isn’t doing particularly well; a lot of the credits here come from outside of the mainline series. Still, as a whole, representation across DC’s whole publishing line has gone up considerably over the past three rounds of solicits.

The high may be fleeting, though. As part of DC’s writer’s workshop, they’re putting out a New Talent Showcase issue with a variety of new writers, several of whom are women. It appears to be a oneshot, so I doubt they’ll be back next month, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see these women working on future projects at DC. While the December numbers might drop, things may go up in the long term. There are also some other oneshots and one-off variant cover gigs that don’t equal sustainable work either. DC will need to follow their strong November with a lot of new jobs in December to make up the deficit, and I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they’re able to do so.

In terms of female characters, Mother Panic is set to premiere in November as part of DC’s “Young Animal” line. It’s a got a female lead and a female writer, so double the fun there. The same is truth of the Catwoman: Election Night one-shot, which honestly sounds kind of terrible but hey, anything to get Catwoman back in the mix. And the New Talent Showcase features stories about Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Carol Ferris, and more.

Overall, November looks like it’s going to be a strong month for female creators at DC. It’s always a good time when a publisher breaks a record, though the real trick is doing it again the next month. Representation at the Big Two is typically a two steps forward, one step back situation, so we’ll have to see what the December solicits bring. But for now, it’s a very good month.

Advertisements

Wonder Woman #52 Review: Finally, It’s Over

May 18, 2016

ww52.jpg

It’s finally here, you guys. We made it to the end. This is the Finches’ last issue of Wonder Woman, and Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp, and Nicola Scott are waiting in the wings to relaunch the title. Arguably the worst run in the history of Wonder Woman is now over, and we can move on, embrace the new creative team, and never ever speak of this era again. Not just the Finches, but any of it, really. Wonder Woman’s romance with Superman, her becoming the god of war, the rapist and murderous Amazons, the death of Hippolyta; all signs point to these horrible story choices going out in the window in favour of a new run much more in keeping with a traditional, heroic, inspiring Wonder Woman.

For those of you who, like me, stuck it out through all 52 issues of this series, what were we thinking? Why did we do this to ourselves? It’s been awful. The first few years of Wonder Woman were decent overall, largely because Cliff Chiang is like unto a god, but there were some ROUGH moments. Plus Wonder Woman was not well written anywhere else in the DC universe (RIP Superman/Wonder Woman, mercifully ending today as well, thank goodness). And then Meredith and David Finch took over Wonder Woman and turned the series into one of the worst comics on the stand for the past year and a half. Why did we keep reading it? I know I write about Wonder Woman professionally so I probably needed to keep abreast of current events, but I could’ve just waited, got trades from the library, and just not supported a book that I loathed reading each month. Valuable lesson learned, I suppose. If you don’t like a book, don’t read it even if it’s your very favourite character. That’s how I’m going to roll from now on. I predict a far happier life for myself moving forward.

However, since I’ve made it through this hellacious marathon all the way to the very last issue, I suppose I should say a few words about it. But first:

SPOILER ALERT!!!

I am about to reveal everything that happened in this grand finale!

None of it is particularly good and/or interesting!

But still, if you don’t want it spoiled for you, look away!

So, this issue was a mess. It leaves everyone in an unpleasant spot, and undoes some of the good things about this era. First, shocking twist, Hera is the actual big bad. She’s been the one trying to kill Zeke, wanting to off him before he grows up to become Zeus again so that she can remain the Queen of Olympus and keep all of her new power. Hera’s evolution was one of the best things about the Azzarello/Chiang era; her friendship with Zola helped her grow as a person and learn compassion, and she went from the book’s villain to a key ally for Wonder Woman. It was all really beautifully done, an impressively orchestrated turn around that took three years of solid writing and art. And now that’s totally undone and Hera’s the bad guy again, so that’s irksome.

This made Hecate only a semi-villain, and her motivations were cringeworthy. She hooked up with Zeus way back and he’s the only one who saw the beauty beneath her frightening exterior, blah blah blah, so she tried to kidnap Zeke and return him to his original form so that they could be together again. It was all very clichéd and lame, and rather juvenile, “He’s the only one who understands me!” is a pretty weak motivation for a powerful witch and goddess who’s been around for millennia. Give the gal some depth, please.

The very best part of the early years of the new Wonder Woman was Zola, the gal who got caught up in the chaos of the gods after Zeus seduced her and essentially impregnated her with himself. She was hilarious and fun and tough, and always called everyone on their foolishness. Zola was a great character to have in the midst of all of these powerful beings. During the Finches’ tenure, she’s barely been featured, and as the book ends she’s still alive (last issue’s ending was a fake out) but ultimately devastated by the loss of her baby after Zeus returns, a move that snuffs out the light of what had been the series’ brightest character for some time.

As for Wonder Woman, well, she got duped again. This has been the hallmark of the New 52 era; Wonder Woman will fall for anyone’s lies and go along with any dumb plan that plays on her heart strings, and then have to deal with the fallout when she is inevitably betrayed. She’s been a wholly reactive, passive character for five years now, bounced around by the whims and machinations of others instead of driving the action herself. And this finale is no different. Hecate betrayed her a couple issues back, and Hera betrays her in this one, leaving her to protect Zeke all by herself as a temple comes crashing down around her. Plus, in the end she doesn’t save Zeke; Zeke turns into Zeus and saves her, because the power of her love or whatever causes him to return to his original form and save her from the rubble.

The issue ends with Wonder Woman weeping over the loss of Zeke, who she calls “the closest I may come to a child of my own.” First, why? If she wants to have kids, she can have kids. Right now she’s focusing on her superhero career, but if she decides that she wants to be a mother at some point there’s no reason that she can’t do so. Second, ugh. Another dang cliché. To slot Wonder Woman into this maternal role when she’s basically just been a Cool Aunt feels so forced. I get her loving the kid, but this whole baby she’ll never have angle is both dumb and hacky.

And so it ends. Zeus is back on the throne of Olympus, order is restored, and please dear god let us move on from all of this with the greatest of haste. I’m hoping that the upcoming “Rebirth” special explains how and why everything is about to take a sharp left turn, and when Wonder Woman relaunches a couple of weeks later we can just jump right in with some cool new stories. The sooner we forget this era, the better. All I want to remember from the past five years is the pretty Cliff Chiang art, how rad Hermes looked, and maybe keep Zola around because she’s delightful. Pitch the rest of it and move on, please.

Wonder Woman #51 Review: It’s Almost Over, Gang

April 20, 2016

ww51

“Rebirth” is so close now. Today’s Wonder Woman #51 is the penultimate issue of the series. The Finches will wrap up their run next month, and then Greg Rucka’s coming in with Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott to relaunch the book and hopefully make it not terrible anymore. Yes, another relaunch is sort of ridiculous, but I’m very much looking forward to it because a) Rucka knows how to write comics, b) Sharp and Scott are great artists, and c) there’s no way that they could make a worse Wonder Woman than what we’ve been getting over the past year and a half.

Case in point, this month’s issue. It serves as both a tour through the unpleasant missteps DC’s made with Wonder Woman throughout the New 52 era and as just a bad comic that’s part of a dumb arc. Wonder Woman’s in Tartarus because Hecate sent her there through a variety of painfully obvious lies and manipulations that sailed right over Diana’s head, and so she’s stuck dealing with some troubling manifestations of her subconscious mind or whatever. It’s not great stuff. We’ll discuss it all for as long as I can handle it (you’ll notice I didn’t even review last month’s issue; I was out of town visiting family and just couldn’t muster the energy to engage with the fiftieth issue “special”), but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to tell you ALL OF THE THINGS that happen in this issue!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

Or don’t! Whatever! I don’t care anymore!

So Wonder Woman is in Tartarus because she’s an idiot, basically. Or rather, because she’s being written as such. Everything about Hecate screams “SHE’S A VILLAIN!”, from the spiky horns coming out of her head to her telling Diana that she needed to steal from her friends and not tell anyone what she was doing or who she was working with. I mean, come on now. Those are some red flags. This is the issue where Wonder Woman figures out that she’s been duped, but it’s several issues too late. She should have put the pieces together on this one as soon as she met Hecate, just like every reader did.

The attempted emotional reveal of Wonder Woman realizing the mistakes she’s made falls completely flat. Having Wonder Woman look stupid never makes for a fun read. Furthermore, this astoundingly poor characterization of Wonder Woman takes you right out of the story. Instead of engaging with what’s going on, the reader is left wondering why Diana is even in this situation in the first place, and why a writer would do this to the character, and how an editor could possibly let this story be published.

While in Tartarus, Wonder Woman has some visions related to her past. First, we get her Amazon foe Aleka making fun of a young Diana, a reminder of how the Amazons have been the worst in the New 52. It was really interesting to hear Greg Rucka talk about the Amazons on the Word Balloon podcast after his return to Wonder Woman was announced, because he made the point that the Amazons are all about love, support, and trust. Jealousy and bitterness just aren’t how the Amazons should roll, yet that’s been the core of the Amazons since the New 52 relaunch. Rucka didn’t call out any of the New 52 books specifically because he’s a classy dude, but you got the sense that he saw the current depiction of the Amazons as a big misstep by DC.

Wonder Woman also has a vision of Superman, another of the New 52’s poorest choices. Their relationship never made much sense, nor did they have a lick of chemistry. Several writers took a stab at it too, across a variety of books, but it never landed in any real way. In fact, most of the time it was poorly handled and offputting. So this conversation, in which Diana talks about how she thought about settling down and starting a family with Clark, is an unpleasant reminder of their ill-fated relationship as well as not particularly believable. Their entire relationship was DC telling us they love each other without ever showing it or selling it, and this was more of the same.

Then Hera shows up and she and Wonder Woman fight, and Wonder Woman realizes that she was dumb to trust Hecate. After making up, they escape Tartarus and head back to Olympus to check on Zola’s baby Zeke, whose illness was the genesis of all of this foolish subterfuge. We don’t learn what’s up with Zeke but, shocking twist, it looks like Zola is dead.

This had better be a fake out, because Zola has been a great character and one of the consistent bright spots in what’s been a very up and down five years for Wonder Woman. I like Zola a lot, even though the Finches never seemed to get her right at all; she was so much fun during Azzarello and Chiang’s tenure, and I like what she adds to the Wonder Woman mythos. She’s sort of a charming, redneck Etta Candy, and serves the important role of keeping Diana grounded with a human friend. So if she’s actually dead, I’m going to be pretty upset.

I suppose we’ll find out next month with the series finale. Given the entirety of what’s preceded it during the Finches’ run, I have no hope that it will be good, but it will be the end. And then “Rebirth”! One issue to go, gang. We can do it.

Women at DC Comics Watch – May 2016 Solicits, 23 Women on 20 Books

March 2, 2016

womenatdcMAY.png

In the last month before DC Comics relaunches their superhero line yet again, the publisher’s female creator representation is set to be on the low end of their current average range. Thus far in 2016, DC has had at least 20 different women writing and drawing their comics each month, and this May is no exception, but the numbers have ticked down slightly from the two months previous. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC in May 2016:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #28 (cover, co-writer), Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys #2 (cover), Starfire #12 (co-writer, cover)
  • Amy Chu: Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #5 (writer)
  • Annie Wu: Black Canary #12 (art and cover), Gotham Academy #18 (interior art)
  • Babs Tarr: Batgirl #52 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: Legends of Tomorrow #3 (interior art)
  • Eleonora Carlini: Batgirl #52 (interior art)
  • Elsa Charretier: Starfire #12 (interior art)
  • Faith Erin Hicks: Gotham Academy #18 (writer, interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #8 (writer), Secret Six #14 (writer)
  • Helen Mingjue Chen: Gotham Academy #18 (cover)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #6 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #8 (cover)
  • Joelle Jones: Scooby Apocalypse #1 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #12 (interior art)
  • Lauren Beukes: Survivors’ Club #8 (co-writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #12 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells #13 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Unfollow #7 (interior art)
  • Meredith Finch: Wonder Woman #52 (writer)
  • Ming Doyle: Constantine: The Hellblazer #12 (co-writer)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #12 (interior art), DC Comics Bombshells #13 (interior art)
  • Natasha Alterici: Gotham Academy #18 (writer, interior art)
  • Renae De Liz: The Legend of Wonder Woman #5 (writer, penciller, cover), The Legend of Wonder Woman #6 (writer, penciller, cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Lucifer #6 (interior art)

All together, there are 23 different female creators set to work on 20 different books in May, a double drop from April’s 25 women and 22 books. It’s not much of a tumble, more of a slight shift that we can chalk up to the vagaries of comic book publishing; things fluctuate. It is, however, DC’s second month in a row of lowered numbers, and the total of female creators is a fair bit off from the year’s high of 31 in January. So not disastrous, but certainly below what DC is capable of.

By and large, the women working at DC in May are the usual suspects, and it’s good to see so many female creators getting steady work at DC. For new creators, I don’t think Natasha Alterici has done anything at DC before, and while Stephanie Hans has done a ton of work for Marvel, her art on Lucifer might be her first DC gig, which is very cool.

For female characters, with a relaunch just around the corner there wasn’t anything new on the superhero front, but DC is set to begin their Hanna Barbara relaunch in May. There aren’t any female creators in the mix thus far, apart from a Joelle Jones variant cover, and the number of female characters involved doesn’t seem too high, at least in terms of lead characters. Daphne and Velma will be part of the new Scooby-Doo Apocalypse, and there look to be a handful of women on the cover of Future Quest #1, but the leads all seem to be guys.

So May looks to be a slightly low month for women at DC, but within their average range. June is where things will get really interesting, with scores of new books and special set to debut as part of the “Rebirth” initiative. Hopefully that will be a jump in the number of female creators; we know what books are coming, but we’ve got no official confirmation on any of the creators yet. A number of books will be double shipping moving forward as well, which will probably mean rotating art teams and thus more opportunities for work. It’ll be interesting to see who nabs those opportunities. As well as which books don’t make the cut for the relaunch, and where the female creators working on those books end up. It can’t be worse than the New 52 relaunch, I suppose. Surely there’ll be more than two women in the mix.

Wonder Woman’s May 2016 Covers and Solicits

February 23, 2016

May is going to be another busy month for Wonder Woman, and will mark the end of her two mainline series. Wonder Woman is set to relaunch in June with a new #1 issue, while Superman/Wonder Woman will be done forever, thank goodness; that book never even got close to decent, despite three years of trying. But that’s June. In May, both series are wrapping up, plus Wonder Woman’s got a few other things in the mix, including a very cool surprise. Let’s take a look at what she’ll be up to in May, starting with Wonder Woman #52 and its two covers:

mayww52a

mayww52b

WONDER WOMAN #52
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art by MIGUEL MENDOÇA
Cover by YANICK PAQUETTE
Variant cover by DAVID FINCH and MATT BANNING
On sale MAY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Hecate’s true motivations are revealed and Wonder Woman’s dream of a happy ending is called into question by the Amazon warrior herself. You can’t afford to miss the epic conclusion of the quest to save baby Zeke and the Olympians.

While we don’t have official confirmation on the new Wonder Woman creative team, all signs point to this being the last issue for Meredith and David Finch. And there was much rejoicing throughout the land. Their final outing wraps up the storyline of Zeke’s illness, and it sounds like Hecate might be up to no good. Really? The creepy looking witch goddess with the spikes coming out her head doesn’t have the purest of intentions? I did not see that coming (I actually did, in my review of the start of this arc last week. I think I was sarcastic about her then, too. That sounds like me).

Anyway, the Finches will be done and maybe the series will be good for a change from now on. Here’s hoping!

Onto Superman/Wonder Woman #29:

maysww29

SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #29
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by KARL KERSCHL
On sale MAY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
It’s the penultimate chapter of “Super League”! When all the Supermen have fallen, it’s Supergirl to the rescue! But can Kara and Wonder Woman stop a villain who wants to end Clark’s hope for future Supermen?

This is a whole big crossover scene with all of the other Super-books, and seeing as I don’t buy any of those than I’m guessing this issue won’t make a lick of sense to me. But it’s a Wonder Woman/Supergirl team-up, and that could be fun. Plus a Karl Kerschl cover! This issue has some stuff going for it, certainly. Though it also sounds like a fitting end to this series that has consistently focused on Superman over Wonder Woman, with a Super-crossover that’s yet again all about the Man of Steel.

We’ve also got a double shipping Legend of Wonder Woman in May:

mayloww5

THE LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN #5
Written by RENAE DE LIZ
Art by RENAE DE LIZ and RAY DILLON
Cover by RENAE DE LIZ
On sale MAY 4 • 40 pg, FC, 5 of 9, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Double shipping in May! In issue #5, the Holliday Girls are off to Boston! But while the girls go shopping, Etta and Diana have more dangerous errands to run. Diana visits the newspaper that published tales of the Duke of Deception…and discovers a new mission—perhaps she can save Themyscira by saving the people of Man’s World from him!

THE LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN #6
Written by RENAE DE LIZ
Art by RENAE DE LIZ and RAY DILLON
Cover by RENAE DE LIZ
On sale MAY 18 • 40 pg, FC, 6 of 9, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Double shipping in May! There’s a war devastating the outside world, and while Diana tries not to care, she cannot help but want to protect the many who are suffering. As she finally confronts the Duke of Deception and his minions, she must decide whether to chase her answers of home, or use her new strengths to defend the outsiders.

Double the shipping, double the fun! Two issues of the Legend of Wonder Woman sounds like a good deal to me. This book is so good, I’d gladly pay for it twice in one month. It’s the best Wonder Woman comic in years, by a considerable margin. We’ve seen the contents of the fifth issue already in digital form, and it’s super good; Diana and Etta hijinks are the best. And the next issue will finally have Diana going off to the war to battle the Duke of Deception, which should be an excellent time. It’s the best comic, gang. Buy it!

Finally, a fun surprise: A Wonder Woman coloring book!

maywwcolor

COLORING DC: WONDER WOMAN TP
Art by GEORGE PEREZ, PHIL JIMENEZ, DAVID FINCH and others
Cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
On sale JUNE 29 • 96 pg, B&W, $15.99 US
DC’s Amazon princess stars in a new coloring book focusing on her greatest covers, splash pages and more by some of comics’ top artists!

This sounds SO cool. Wonder Woman art by her classic artists will be so much fun to color, plus the book is 96 pages long! That’s a lot of coloring bang for your buck. I’m excited to see what pages and covers they include in the book, and I’m definitely going to pick this one up.

The solicits also listed several new Wonder Woman figures. We’ve discussed most of them before elsewhere on the site, but here are the details of when you can get them:

  • The DC Comics Icons Wonder Woman figure designed by Ivan Reis is out in September 2016 for $28 US.
  • The DC Designer Series: Greg Capullo line Wonder Woman figure is also out in September 2016 and also sells for $28 US.
  • The September 2016 fun continues with a Wonder Woman 3-pack of figures that includes her first Golden Age appearance, the Terry Dodson figure, and the New 52 figure. It sells for a surprisingly steep $75US.

Look for all of the comics in May, the coloring book in June, and the figures in September. Also, maybe start saving your pennies now because that’s a lot of things to buy!

Wonder Woman #49 Review OR What the Hecate is Wrong with Zeke?

February 17, 2016

ww49

Here’s the good news: “Rebirth” is coming. If the rumours prove true, DC is going to relaunch a bunch of their books in June or July, and apparently the top contender for taking over Wonder Woman is Marguerite Bennett. I am all for it. Bennett is a fantastic writer who’s been doing great work on a variety of different series lately, including writing Wonder Woman in DC Comics Bombshells, and I think she’d be a great fit. No artists have been announced yet, and nothing’s been officially confirmed in any way other than that “Rebirth” is some sort of thing that is going to happen this summer, but it seems like Wonder Woman will be heading in a new direction with new creators at the helm.

Until then, Meredith and David Finch are still on the book, running out the clock with a new storyline about Zeke, i.e. Zeus in the form of a child, suffering from a mysterious ailment caused by the chaos surrounding the Olympian gods. If this first issue is any indication, it’s not going to be a great arc. It may, however, be a fitting end to the Finch’s tenure, a nonsensical tale with offputting art and the lamest of twists and turns. We’ll discuss the issue momentarily, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

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

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

Or if you hate reading about poorly crafted stories!

So here’s the scoop on what’s happening. Zeke is sick, and Hera sends Wonder Woman to find Gaia to try to get her to cure him. But Gaia won’t respond, and instead Hecate shows up; she’s a goddess of magic and witchcraft who’s all creepy looking with weird spikes coming out of her head. Despite Hecate being the sketchiest looking character ever, Wonder Woman decides to secretly work with her to help Zeke, and agrees to steal some orbs from the bottom of Hera’s pool, after which she gets knocked out by a cyclops and the issue ends with the one-eyed monster carrying her away.

There’s some other stuff in the mix, too: Hera seems to be doping Zola magically and may be up to something mysterious and/or nefarious, Ares and Eirene are maybe back together, and Apollo is on the prowl for a new lady. None of it is particularly interesting.

Wonder Woman working with Hecate AND not telling her friends about it is just straight up dumb. Stories like these drive me crazy; I hate it when characters who are supposed to be smart, sensible people do stupid things to add drama to the narrative. Such stories always reflect a lack of understanding of the character. Wonder Woman would never team up with such an obvious villain, much less keep her closest friends in the dark about it, no matter the circumstances. I get that she’s trying to save Zeke, but she’s not an idiot. It’s obvious that this team up isn’t going to end well for her, yet she launches herself into it and steals from Hera, who’s become one of her closer allies over the years. And now she’s captured by a cyclops and no one even knows because she was skulking through Olympus on the sly. This is why you always go with the buddy system, gang.

Also, Wonder Woman could take a cyclops, even if it snuck up on her. Cyclops are hardly good sneakers, anyway. They’re huge! She’d hear him coming and take him out accordingly. I mean, she’s Wonder Woman.

So the plot is silly and makes Wonder Woman look bad, which is uncool. Even worse, the design of Hecate is just pure David Finch. He’s actually done a solid job through this run of reining in his art some; his Diana started out looking like a weirdly sexualized teen, and he evolved her look so that she’s now more mature. Kudos to him for that. But before Wonder Woman, Finch was known for some bad, super sexualized artwork. His Catwoman in Justice League of America had her zipper undone to her navel. He created a character in Batman: The Dark Knight who was basically a playboy bunny. Historically, his work with female characters hasn’t been great.

Such is the case with Hecate. First off, the gal is barely covered, which is irksome. Any new female character design that is basically just some version of a bikini is hot garbage. It’s 2016; give her an actual costume. Also, this hot girl with evil tweaks aesthetic is played out. Finch draws Hecate’s face in his usual style; his range with female faces isn’t great, so her features are generically attractive. On top of this, he adds weird horns and tattoos and snake eyes to make her more gruesome, but it just doesn’t come together. It’s not a complete design. It’s a standard Finch face with evil accoutrement. Finch is actually really good at drawing monsters and creepy creatures, and I’d be mildly curious to see what direction he’d take a more monstrous version of Hecate that embrace the evil bits a little more. But a pretty gal with spiky horns is just boring.

Frankly, “boring” is a good word for this issue as a whole. The Finches are setting up lots of things, putting a bunch of balls in the air as the arc begins, but it’s all so dull. Nor does any of it feel true to the character, nor is any of it particularly well drawn. It’s yet another issue of this run where I find myself asking who thought that this story was a good idea, on any level but particularly with editorial. It’s just such a poor product all around.

Women At DC Comics Watch – April 2016 Solicits, 25 Women On 22 Books

February 2, 2016

womenatdcAPRIL

DC’s April 2016 solicits mark the seventh straight month in which DC has had more than 20 different women working on their books, which is a pretty solid run. There’s been some fluctuation along the way, but things haven’t dipped into the teens. Nor have the numbers soared particularly high; we’re not seeing much in the way of growth, or a return to their past highs in the low 30s from a year ago. But things are relatively steady nonetheless. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what in April 2016:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #27 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys #1 (cover), Harley’s Little Black Book #3 (co-writer, cover), Starfire #11 (co-writer, cover)
  • Amy Chu: Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #4 (writer)
  • Annie Wu: Black Canary #11 (cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Batgirl #51 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: Legends of Tomorrow #2 (interior art)
  • Chrissie Zullo: Fables: The Wolf Among Us #16 (cover)
  • Colleen Coover: Gotham Academy #17 (interior art)
  • Eleanor Carlini: Batgirl #51 (interior art)
  • Elizabeth Torque: DC Comics Bombshells #11 (interior art)
  • Elsa Charretier: Starfire #11 (interior art)
  • Faith Erin Hicks: Gotham Academy #17 (co-writer, art)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #7 (writer), Secret Six #13 (writer)
  • Heather Nuhfer: Teen Titans Go! #15 (co-writer)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #5 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #7 (cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Bloodlines #1 (variant cover)
  • Lauren Beukes: Survivors’ Club #7 (co-writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #11 (writer)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #6 (interior art)
  • Meredith Finch: Wonder Woman #51 (writer)
  • Ming Doyle: Constantine: The Hellblazer #11 (co-writer)
  • Mingjue Helen Chen: Gotham Academy #17 (cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #11 (interior art)
  • Renae De Liz: The Legend of Wonder Woman #4 (writer, penciller, cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Slash & Burn #6 (cover)

All together, there are 25 different women working on 22 different books, the same number of books as last month but a drop from March’s 28 different woman. It’s a slight decline, but numbers fluctuate. While three fewer women is more than you’d like to see, it’s not a massive drop by any means, and 25 is pretty par for the course at DC lately.

There aren’t a lot of new names in the mix for April, but I think that Eleanor Carlini might be new to DC. Plus, it’s always fun to have creators like Colleen Coover, Faith Erin Hicks, and Jill Thompson pop into DC to do some work. DC’s compiled a pretty solid group of women who work on their books each month now; there are lots of steady gigs in the mix here. Even without guest creators or fill-ins or variant covers, DC would be at around 20 different women each month with regular creators alone. Such a permanent stable of regularly working women is good to see.

For female characters, April looks to be Harley Quinn month at DC. She’s launching yet another spinoff, Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys, and will start in a Suicide Squad special drawn by Jim Lee. There’s not much else new for April, perhaps due to DC’s rumoured relaunch “Rebirth” this June. They might just be sticking with the books they have for now before unleashing a new slew of the over the summer.

Overall, April looks to be a fairly average month for women at DC. The number of women working on their books isn’t low, relative to past months, but nor is it particularly high. While DC’s hit on a fairly consistent range, an upward trajectory, however slight, would be much more encouraging, especially considering that 25 women still make up a very small minority of all of DC’s creators. Perhaps the “Rebirth” relaunch will shake up these numbers for the good.


%d bloggers like this: