Posts Tagged ‘Mirka Andolfo’

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.

Advertisements

Wonder Woman #27 Review: The One With The Doctor Brawl

July 26, 2017

ww27.jpg

When we last left Wonder Woman, she was attending the wedding reception of Etta Candy’s brother and found a bomb hidden under one of the tables. Things looked very ominous, and this week’s Wonder Woman #27 picks up right after the blast. Then the story takes an unexpected turn into a sort of side conflict. It’s not a bad turn by any means, but the result is that the issue didn’t follow up on key parts of what Shea Fontana and Mirka Andolfo set up two weeks ago. While I enjoyed the issue, I’m now very much looking forward to the next outing to see if they’ll pick up on the threads from the first issue now that this side battle is all sorted. We’ll dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to delve into details from this issue!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

So the bomb situation was quickly resolved with Wonder Woman absorbing most of the blast. Etta gut hurt in what looked like it could be a very serious injury, but she’s going to be fine. Apart from the blast at the beginning and the last page of the issue, not much attention was paid to who’s coming after Wonder Woman. Instead, the coughing doctor we were introduced to two weeks ago took a dark turn, resulting in a conflict that occupied the bulk of the story.

It was an interesting fight; Dr. Crawford was dying from a syndrome that targeted both her body and mind, and after spending her life on research to help others, she decided to help herself by grafting Wonder Woman’s DNA into her own in hopes that it would cure her disease. It’s a cool premise that plays out as expected, in that it does not go well. Her new super strength charged her aggression and paranoia as well, leading to a battle with Wonder Woman that she ultimately lost, of course. If you’re fighting Wonder Woman with her own powers, she’s going to beat you. She knows them better.

I really liked the end of the fight, with its clever use of the lasso. Wonder Woman’s powers come from the gods, as does the lasso, and so when Wonder Woman tied Dr. Crawford in the lasso, like recognized like. The divine lasso recognized that the divine powers of Dr. Crawford were not her truth, and expunged them from her DNA, returning her to her previous form. I’m all for unique uses of the lasso, and this was a particularly good one. I doubt it would work on every artificially powered supervillain; I suspect that the divine connection is what did the trick here, so the application is limited. Still, it’s another fun use of the lasso to add to the arsenal and a fun, outside the box idea from Fontana, which is always good to see.

Throughout the encounter, though, I couldn’t help but want to see a bit more of what was set up in the first issue. I was really intrigued with the idea of Wonder Woman seeing herself as a warrior who could handle anything, and perhaps neglecting her mental health for fear of unloading the burden of her many intense, frightening experiences on others. I thought that was fascinating, and this issue didn’t provide many developments on that front apart from adding a few more harrowing experiences to Wonder Woman’s psyche. Maybe Dr. Crawford absorbing Wonder Woman’s DNA and getting overwhelmed with anger and paranoia to such a degree that she lashed out violently speaks to what Diana has to wrangle within herself, but that’s about it.

I also loved the flashback to young Diana on Themyscira in the first issue, and while we got a bit of that again this week, it was very brief. You can never go wrong with cute little Diana, especially in that rad outfit she was rocking during her training session in this outing, and I hope that she plays a bigger role moving forward.

The art continued to shine in this issue, with Mirka Andolfo killing it yet again. She’s just so good. Her artwork is unique and expressive and stylish and fun, and I love everything she brings to Wonder Woman and her world. Especially her Etta! Every DC artist should study Adolfo’s Etta and draw her accordingly moving forward. Unfortunately, this will likely be the last we see of Andolfo on Wonder Woman. David Messina is scheduled to finish the rest of the arc, and while I quite like his stuff, he’s got a tough act to follow. DC’s got Andolfo all over the place in the months to come, with guest spots here and there across the line. It’s cool to see her profile rise and to have her do many different things, but I think that Andolfo deserves more of a permanent showcase. Maybe a run on Batgirl or Supergirl where she can really dig into the characters, design fun stuff, and leave her signature mark on a hero and their world. Though I’ve also got my fingers crossed that she’ll be back for the new Bombshells United! So basically, I’d like Andolfo to draw everything, please. And with Romulo Fajardo Jr. coloring, too! He did an amazing job here yet again, and I hope he’s sticking around next month to color Messina as well.

So, next month we’ve got a new artist and a new villain on Wonder Woman’s trail, as the book’s final page suggests. I don’t recognize her at first glance, but she looks super cool. I love a good helmet design. And her rifle appears rather dangerous. I expect that Wonder Woman’s bracelets will be getting quite a work out in two weeks time!

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, September 2017 Solicits: 27 Creators on 21 Books

July 21, 2017

womenatdcSEPT

After a series of fairly solid rounds of solicits in terms of female and non-binary creator representation across the summer months, DC looks to be starting the fall towards the lower end of that range with their September solicits. A few new books have increased the ranks, while DC’s major autumn event seems to be entirely dude-centric thus far, and things have almost evened out. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this September:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #27 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #28 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 (co-writer, interior art, cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Bombshells United #1 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Shade, The Changing Girl #12 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Detective Comics #964 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Girl #12 (writer)
  • Eleanora Carlini: Suicide Squad #25 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #1 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #15 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #30 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #31 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #11 (writer)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #14 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #14 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #14 (variant cover)
  • Katie Jones: Shade, The Changing Girl #12 (backup story)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #7 (writer), Bombshells United #1 (writer), Bombshells United #2 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Bombshells United #1 (interior art), Bombshells United #2 (interior art)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Girl #12 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Teen Titans #12 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Bombshells United #1 (cover)
  • Rosemary Valero-O’Connell: Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #12 (variant cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #14 (co-writer)
  • Shea Fontana: Wonder Woman #30 (writer)
  • Siya Oum: Batman Beyond #12 (interior art)
  • Stephanie Hans: Bombshells United #2 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Doom Patrol #9 (variant cover)
  • Vita Ayala: Batman Beyond #12 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #14 (variant cover)

All together, there are 27 different female and non-binary creators set to work on 21 different books in September, 2 fewer creators than in August and 1 fewer book. This is hardly a major change, and could very well just be normal shuffling around. We don’t expect the numbers to stay the same everything month, and a things going a little lower or higher is common. Small changes like this are only significant when it’s part of a larger trend. If DC lost 2 women/NB creators after posting losses in a couple of months previous, that would be disconcerting. This slight drop, though, after a decent August, is nothing too worrisome yet. Of course, we’ll see how the rest of the fall solicits unfold.

Before we dig into things more, here’s a quick note on the change in terminology. We’ve been keeping track of female creators at DC for several years now, but I recently learned that writer Vita Ayala, who I’ve categorized as female in the past, identifies as non-binary. Since the purpose of this project is to showcase creators who disrupt the typical male hegemony of the superhero industry, changing the title and the terminology to be more inclusive seemed like the right way to go. We’ve always listed women who are transgender, of course, but that didn’t necessitate a shift in nomenclature. This does, I think. If there are other creators whose identity lies outside of the male/female binary, I’d be glad to know about them and will include them on the list moving forward; let me know in the comments.

We’ve mostly got returning favourites this month, but there are a couple of new names in the mix. Katie Jones is doing a backup story in Shade, The Changing Girl #12, while Rosemary Valero-O’Connell drew a variant cover for Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #12. The “Young Animal” line has certainly been a solid outlet for representation at DC each month since it began, and these additions carry that on well.

In terms of new books, DC’s Dark Nights: Metal event and its various tie-ins continue to be male-dominated, both in terms of characters and creators. But in exciting news, the Bombshells are back! The superhero ladies will continue fighting the Second World War in Bombshells United, which will double ship with double Marguerites in September. Wonder Woman’s also got a new mini-series that teams her with Conan the Barbarian, and Harley Quinn will star in a special 25th anniversary issue.

So overall, September looks to be an average month for female and non-binary creators at DC. The numbers are firmly in the middle of the publisher’s range across 2017 thus far; DC’s stayed within a fairly narrow window. So things are relatively steady, but that also means that the numbers aren’t growing. It’d be nice to see things improve in the months to come; with ComicCon this weekend, perhaps we’ll get some exciting announcements to that effect.

Wonder Woman #26 Review: Diana Meets Her Destiny

July 12, 2017

ww26.jpg

After a year of stellar comic books from Greg Rucka, Bilquis Evely, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp that restored Diana and the Amazons to their proper status in the DC universe, Wonder Woman‘s new creative team has some big shoes to fill. And I’m pleased to report that Shea Fontana and Mirka Andolfo are off to a fantastic start! I had a good feeling about this team; Fontana’s been doing great stuff with the DC Super Hero Girls comics, and I absolutely love Mirka Andolfo’s work on DC Comics Bombshells as well as her recent fill-in issue on Wonder Woman. Together they’ve crafted a story that moves Wonder Woman forward from all of the drama surrounding her origins and her past. That drama made for compelling comics, of course, but Rucka and co. wrapped it up perfectly and now it’s nice to see the new status quo carrying on in a new tale. We’ll dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Well, less spoilery than usual; more of a broad strokes overview!

Reading this probably won’t ruin the comic for you!

But regardless, go read the comic! It’s super good!

First off, before I get to how good this comic was, I’ve got to say that the cover is not great. Andolfo’s art has a stylized, cartoonish element that is so expressive and good, and pairing it with such generic, standard superhero art feels like a bad decision. It’s a poor advertisement for what’s inside the book, which is so much better. I don’t mind a book having different cover artist than interior artist, but the cover art should give some sort of indication of the tone and style of the interior. This does not, and I wish it had a fun, bad ass Andolfo cover instead.

That’s partly because Mirka Andolfo is GREAT and I’m never not excited to see more of her art. She’s got a style that’s clearly her own; I always know that I’m reading an Andolfo book from page one. Her work is gorgeous, and captures the characters wonderfully, almost exaggeratedly. There aren’t a lot of subtle emotions here. Instead, every feeling is displayed across each character’s face clearly, and I find their expressiveness so compelling and fun. Andolfo’s also got an amazing eye for style, and Diana and Etta’s outfits when they attend a wedding at the end of this issue are so darn good. Her work always feels fresh and modern to me, and I love when Wonder Woman has that sensibility.

Plus, here’s some amazing news: While the bulk of Wonder Woman‘s creative team over the past year has moved on, colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr. is still on board! This dude is a wizard. He adds depth and texture to every panel in a way that brings so much to every page without overwhelming the line work at all. I’m so glad he’s still on Wonder Woman. He’s one of the best colorists in the game today, and his stuff just gets better and better. He pairs well with Andolfo, too, highlighting her character work beautifully.

In terms of the story itself, this issue hits a lot of the elements that will make me love a Wonder Woman book. We’ve got Wonder Woman helping those who need it most, here dealing with an attack at a UN refugee camp in Greece. It always feels right to see Wonder Woman dealing with international issues, and never more so than when they are timely topics. We’ve also got young Diana on Themyscira, which I’m a sucker for. It feels like Fontana is drawing from the opening of the Wonder Woman film a bit here, and I’m all for it. Little Diana is so entertaining. We’ve got Etta Candy as well, i.e. Wonder Woman’s greatest supporting character of all time. And even better, we’ve got them hanging out at a wedding. I love Diana as a superhero, of course, but it’s also nice to see her having a life beyond that, hanging out with her friends outside of the costume. The costume is such a powerful symbol that it’s always interesting to see Diana away from it, partly because the gal deserves a break and partly because she can’t help but still be Wonder Woman to some degree, regardless of what she’s wearing, as her adventure with Destiny, a little girl at the wedding, shows.

So all of these elements are great, but I also really like what Fontana seems to be digging into in terms of the psychological cost of being a superhero. The flashback to Themyscira gives us a good look at Diana’s mindset, as her younger self tearfully locks away her beloved doll to toughen herself up and become the warrior that Amazons are supposed to be. Wonder Woman is very well adjusted as far as superheroes go, but the story effectively points out that she has to deal with seeing so many terrible things, all the time. Moreover, it suggests that this could be taking a toll on her mental health, despite her insistence that she can handle it all. There’s a scene where she says that she doesn’t want to put the burden of her experiences on someone else, and I think that’s going to be key moving forward. That’s a very heroic, self-sacrificing notion, but while Wonder Woman can handle a lot, much more than most, trying to deal with everything on your own can only work for so long. I’m curious to see how Fontana explores this with Wonder Woman as the story continues.

Also, there’s a big crazy cliffhanger at the end! That’s just fun comic booking. It’s a bit of a doozy, too, that leaves Wonder Woman in a very difficult spot. I know she’s Wonder Woman and all, but she’s really up against it with this one. It’s going to be hard to get out of it without any collateral damage. We’ll find out what she does in two weeks time, and I can’t wait! This was an excellent, gorgeous first issue for this new creative team, and I’m very excited for more.

Women at DC Comics Watch – August 2017 Solicits, 29 Women on 22 Books

June 13, 2017

womenatdcAUGUST.png

Despite a lack of female creators in several new series, mini-series and one-shots set to premiere in August, representation for women at DC Comics remained relatively strong across their wider range of books. Growth throughout the spring has led to a solid plateau at the publisher, though some changes are on the way that may soon change that this fall. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this August:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #25 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #26 (co-writer, cover)
  • Aneke: DC Comics Bombshells #32 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #12 (co-writer), Shade, the Changing Girl #11 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Detective Comics #963 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #11 (writer)
  • Eleanora Carlini: Green Arrow Annual #1 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Scooby Apocalypse #16 (variant cover)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #14 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #28 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #29 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #10 (writer)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #13 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #13 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #13 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #32 (interior art), DC Comics Bombshells #33 (interior art)
  • Lea Hernandez: Teen Titans Go! #23 (interior art)
  • Leslie Hung: Shade, the Changing Girl #11 (variant cover)
  • Lilah Sturges: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #12 (co-writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #6 (co-writer), DC Comics Bombshells #32 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells #33 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Shade, the Changing Girl #11 (interior art)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Girl #11 (interior art)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #22 (variant cover), The New Gods Special #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #32 (interior art, cover), DC Comics Bombshells #33 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #12 (interior art)
  • Sana Takeda: Mother Panic #10 (variant cover)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #12 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #13 (co-writer)
  • Shea Fontana: Wonder Woman #28 (writer), Wonder Woman #29 (writer)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #12 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #13 (variant cover)

All together, there are 29 different female creators set to work on 22 different books in August, 2 more women than in July though 1 less book. DC’s hit a decent level as of late, with the number of women on their books ranging from 27 to 31 over the past four months. In terms of both their own past performances and the numbers from their main competitor, this is a relatively good plateau.

It’s not a huge month for new names, though. Leslie Hung and Sana Takeda are the only two here, both of them on variant covers. We haven’t seen Michelle Delecki in a while either, but everyone else has been around recently. This lack of new women, and of new gigs generally, is somewhat odd given how many different series, mini-series and one-shots are scheduled for August. There are 11 new #1 issues, only one of which features a female creator, so that’s a rather dispiriting ratio.

Female characters aren’t a huge part of these new books either. Where they do appear, it’s in group settings; Wonder Woman looks to have a role in Dark Nights: Metal, and Suicide Squad Black Files seems to include Enchantress and Katana. We’ve got a new Mister Miracle book as well that should feature a lot of Big Barda, but her name’s not in the title. There’s also six one-shots that celebrate Jack Kirby, none of which star a female character.

Overall, August looks to be relatively solid for women at DC, but change may be around the corner. One key difference moving forward will be the end of Gotham Academy: Second Semester, which ships its final issue in August. That book has been a bastion for female creators at DC, and we may see its loss reflected in the numbers. The fall could bring even more new books as well, and given how few women are involved with August’s new offerings, that may not be great for the numbers either. We’ll see what the solicits bring. But for now, August is looking relatively strong for female representation at DC, at least.

Wonder Woman #22 Review: A Modern Take on an Iconic Character

May 10, 2017

ww22

I got a big surprise when I sat down to read Wonder Woman #22: Mirka Andolfo drew this one! I had no idea she was doing the issue. Andolfo is set to draw a couple of issues in July when Shea Fontana takes over writing the book, but as far as I knew, we were getting Bilquis Evely for the duration of “Godwatch.” Now, I LOVE Bilquis Evely. She’s been killing it so far. But I also love a fun surprise, and I’m a huge fan of Andolfo from her artwork on DC Comics Bombshells (a fantastic book with a great take on Wonder Woman that you should be reading if you’re not already). I was really looking forward to seeing her on Wonder Woman in July, and now we’re getting a peek at her take on a modern Wonder Woman a couple of months early. And good news, gang: It’s fantastic. We’ll dig into it all momentarily, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to delve into all of the details of this issue!

Don’t read this review if you haven’t read the comic yet!

Also, go read the comic! It’s very pretty!

The last installment of “Godwatch” was a real corker, with Veronica Cale teaming up with Circe to use Wonder Woman to defeat Phobos and Deimos and get one step closer to getting her daughter back. This issue picks up a year and a half later, and explores the first meeting between Wonder Woman and Veronica. For some reason, I’d assumed that they’d met before; maybe it was all of the stories set in the present in which Wonder Woman knows about Veronica and her nefarious plans. I mean, they were hanging out in “The Truth” two weeks ago. My mental timeline probably got a bit screwy with all of the back and forth. Regardless, this is their actual first meeting, and it’s a very enjoyable one.

Between Veronica losing her daughter and the travails of Barbara/the Cheetah, there have been some very heavy moments recently in Wonder Woman. This is a much lighter outing, with a comedic set up, some excellent banter, and a nicely executed action scene. The heavy issues remain; Veronica’s daughter is still in peril and Barbara is the Cheetah. But the focus narrows in on Veronica and Diana engaging with each other for the first time on almost friendly terms. I loved that their meeting began at an auction in which Veronica outbid the likes of Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor to nab a date with Wonder Woman (all for charity, of course). I also enjoyed that the extravagant event was followed by a more casual outing between the two as they got burgers in their street clothes. It was all quite cute. Well, as cute as a meeting between a heroine and her secret arch nemesis can be, I suppose.

The issue also further fleshed out Veronica Cale, who Rucka is turning into an absolutely fascinating villain. Generally speaking, Veronica seems like kind of an amazing person. She’s a big supporter of the DC universe’s version of Amnesty International, a philanthropist generally, and a champion for the poor as well as gender and sexual equality. The more we learn about her, the more she becomes a fascinating tragic figure, a good woman turned to darkness because of the meddling of the gods. Before that, she was a tough businesswoman and not a big fan of Wonder Woman, but Phobos and Deimos interfering in her life and taking away her daughter is what turned her into a villain. Everything she’s doing is to get her daughter back, and it’s hard not to sympathize with that, even when she’s facing off against our favourite heroine. I’m hoping that she gets a happy resolution by the time “Godwatch” and “The Truth” wrap up. I know she’s done terrible things, but I feel like Wonder Woman would understand her motivations and try to help her fix them and start a new path rather than punish her. Time will tell.

Now, onto Mirka Andolfo. The art in this issue is just great. Much like Bilquis Evely, Adolfo is excellent at crafting expressive characters, albeit with a very different style. There’s a lot of heart in this issue, and that works extremely well with the story it tells. “Two people getting to know each other when one is a secret adversary yet they both have an odd respect for each other” is a hard thing to communicate, but it comes across. Wonder Woman and Veronica’s issue-long conversation is a complicated dance from start to finish, and Andolfo hits all of the notes needed to make it work.

Furthermore, she finally gives a modern take on Wonder Woman that feels young and fresh. We haven’t seen a lot of Diana in everyday clothes since “Rebirth” launched, and when we have it’s been fairly bland. Andolfo doesn’t go for anything extravagant or trendy here either, but by simply putting Wonder Woman in a tank top, jeans, and sneakers, her incarnation of the character feels like the most modern version of her we’ve seen in ages (and it’s of course beautifully colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr.; the guy just slays it with every single issue). Her outfit is what young women look like today, and that’s something I’d really like to see in Wonder Woman properties moving forward. Yes, she’s a superhero and that’s awesome, but when she’s not I think it’s good to see her as a modern woman so that fans, young and old, can better identify with her. As much as I am over the moon excited for the Wonder Woman movie, Gal Gadot’s fancy dresses in Batman v Superman and 1910s garb in Wonder Woman hardly scream “identifiable.” Part of making Wonder Woman modern and relevant is having her look modern and relevant, and I hope we see more of that soon, both in comics and on the big screen.

Overall, this was an entertaining issue all around that sets us up well moving forward. First, the stage is set for the climax of “Godwatch” as the last page shows that Wonder Woman knows about Veronica’s more nefarious dealings. Second, the layers the issue adds to Veronica should make the climax of Rucka’s larger story all the more interesting; she’s a villain, but it’s hard to be too mad at her! And third, when Fontana and Andolfo take over Wonder Woman in July, I think we’re in for a treat. I can’t wait to see more of Andolfo drawing Wonder Woman! She’s a great talent, and the book looks to be in very good hands moving forward.

Women at DC Comics Watch – July 2017 Solicits, 27 Women on 23 Books

May 9, 2017

womenatdcJULY.png

July looks to be a bit of a drop for female creator representation at DC, though not a particularly steep one. The June solicits had their strongest numbers of 2017 thus far, so a decline is hardly unexpected. Growth is rarely a steady thing in the comic book world. Plus DC’s totals for July are in the upper end of their range as of late, which is encouraging despite the drop. Let’s take a look at who is scheduled to do what at DC in July 2017:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #23 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #24 (co-writer, cover)
  • Aneke: DC Comics Bombshells #30 (interior art), DC Comics Bombshells #31 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #11 (co-writer), Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: DC Comics Bombshells #30 (interior art), DC Comics Bombshells #31 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #26 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #27 (variant cover)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #13 (writer)
  • Jan Duursema: Scooby Apocalypse #15 (interior art)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #26 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #27 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Scooby Apocalypse #15 (variant cover), Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #9 (writer)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #12 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #12 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #12 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #30 (cover), DC Comics Bombshells #31 (interior art)
  • Leila Del Duca: Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (interior art)
  • Lilah Sturges: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #11 (co-writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #5 (co-writer), DC Comics Bombshells #30 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells #31 (writer), The Kamandi Challenge #7 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Wonder Woman #26 (interior art), Wonder Woman #27 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #11 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #11 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #12 (co-writer)
  • Shea Fontana: Wonder Woman #26 (writer), Wonder Woman #27 (writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Batwoman #5 (interior art, cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #11 (cover), The Hellblazer #12 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Detective Comics #960 (cover), Detective Comics #961 (cover), Nightwing #24 (variant cover), Nightwing #25 (variant cover), The Hellblazer #12 (variant cover)

All together, there are 27 different female creators set to work on 23 different book at DC this July, 4 fewer women than last month though 1 more book. While the decline in creators isn’t great to see, the high 20s is a fairly solid showing for DC relative to their past performances, and is slightly above par for the course for the year thus far. And having women on more books despite the decline in creators is nice; it’s good to see female creators being spread through the ranks more. Publishers often group women together on a few select titles, so any growth in representation throughout the line itself is encouraging.

Speaking of the line, it looks like it’s going to stay stagnant yet again in July. The only new books recently are preludes to DC’s big Metal event and the print version of a new digital first mini-series, Batman ’66/Legion of Superheroes; the latter has a couple of ladies in the Legion, at least. Apart from some shifting here and there as a few bi-monthly series switch to monthly, things remain steady. I expect some new books will be on the way sooner than later, perhaps some sort of push in the fall, but things are quiet right now.

Despite the constant line, however, we’ve got some new names in the mix. Shea Fontana is taking over the writing duties on Wonder Woman, and Mirka Andolfo, who we know from DC Comics Bombshells, is joining her on art. We’ve also got Leila Del Duca on some interior art for Shade, the Changing Girl, Stephanie Hans pitching in on art duties for Batwoman, and Jill Thompson is back to do a couple variant covers, which is always a good time.

Overall, July looks to be a pretty average month for female representation at DC Comics. They’re capable of higher, as they showed last month and even more so at times last year, but they’ll be near the upper range of their numbers in July. An influx of new books and new creators seems a bit off yet, so it’ll be interesting to see if DC maintains this level through the summer.


%d bloggers like this: