Posts Tagged ‘New 52’

Women in Comics Statistics – DC’s Rebirth and the Decline of Female Creators

March 29, 2016

bleedingcool

After DC Comics announced the creators behind their new Rebirth relaunch this weekend at WonderCon, I wrote a special edition of “Gendercrunching” that went up on Bleeding Cool yesterday. It breaks down the Rebirth creators by gender, and compares the numbers to DC’s last two similar relaunch initiatives, the New 52 relaunch in 2011 and last year’s #DCYou mini-relaunch.

The comparison isn’t great. While the Rebirth numbers are better than the New 52, that’s not a hard thing to pull off; there were only two women in the mix back then. The #DCYou mini-relaunch posted a significant increase overall, from 1.7% female creators to 14.7%, but Rebirth is poised to be a big step down, with only 8% female creators in the mix. It’s a disheartening decline after DC showed steady progress with female creators after the fiasco that was the New 52 relaunch. It’ll be interesting to see how the full stats shake down this June when the new line premieres, but these early indications aren’t great.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for all of the stats fun!

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Wonder Woman’s September 2014 “Future’s End” Solicits

April 22, 2014

futuresend

Every September since the New 52 relaunch, DC has done some sort of special event. In 2012, they did #0 issues, telling stories from the character’s past. In 2013, they did Villains Month, and rejiggered their entire line to have 52 villain-led titles. In 2014, DC is planning to have all of their titles jump ahead five years as a tie-in with their new weekly series, The New 52: Future’s End, which is set in the future and will launch in May.

Like with their Villains Month comics, DC is doing fancy 3D covers again. There was a whole mess with retailers last year who under-ordered covers, so they’re releasing a list of the comics several months early; as a comparison, the July 2014 covers will come out later today, so DC is going two months ahead of the game for their big September event.

We don’t have any art or creative teams yet, but we do have descriptions of each book so let’s take a look at what Wonder Woman will be up to five years in the future. First up, Wonder Woman:

WONDER WOMAN: FUTURES END #1
Advance solicit • On sale SEPTEMBER 17
32 pg, FC • RATED T
3-D Motion Edition: $3.99 US
2-D Standard Edition: $2.99 US
Her humanity lost forever, Wonder Woman embraces her true nature as the God of War to battle the armies of Nemesis!

Hey, the fancy cover will cost a dollar more. Awesome. That’s totally worth it for what appears to be early 90s technology.

But onto the comic itself. “Her humanity lost forever” is a terrible, terrible way to begin a description of a Wonder Woman comic. Wonder Woman is all about her humanity, so a book where she loses herself fully in her divine identity as the God of War doesn’t sound like a fun time at all. I like a Wonder Woman who is a superhero that helps people, which apparently is a difficult thing to get these days.

I have no idea who the armies of Nemesis are. Pre-New 52, Nemesis was a guy that Wonder Woman worked with as her secret agent alter ego, Diana Prince, and the two had a bit of a romance. I suspect this Nemesis is a much bigger deal, perhaps with mythological origins.

So Wonder Woman doesn’t sound great, but what about Superman/Wonder Woman?

SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN: FUTURES END #1
Advance solicit • On sale SEPTEMBER 10
32 pg, FC • RATED T
3-D Motion Edition: $3.99 US
2-D Standard Edition: $2.99 US
The battle between the God of War and Nemesis can only spell doom for humanity – but can Kal restore Diana to her senses before it’s too late?

So not only has Wonder Woman gone off the rails, starting a war that could destroy humanity, but Superman is going to come in and sort it all out? Come on. I feel like DC is just screwing with me sometimes. The last thing Wonder Woman needs right now is another story where a man comes by to sort her out because she’s gotten herself too deep into a bad situation. Also, I don’t want a Wonder Woman that needs to be “restored to her senses.” Just make her an awesome superhero for a change! It’s not that hard.

Anyway, I’m not particularly excited for either of these books. We’ll probably have cover art and creative teams in a couple of months, when the September solicits would usually come out, but until then enjoy these rather un-Wonder Womanlike solicits.

Fancy New 52 Wonder Woman Doll From Tonner

October 29, 2013

Continuing their New 52 “DC Stars” line, Tonner has revealed their new 16 inch Wonder Woman doll.  It’s pretty fancy:

wwdoll

The description mentions a lot of faux leather, along with some things I don’t quite understand like a “Tyler skin tone” and “Raven rooted saran hair.”  I’m assuming the first is a colour, and the second means the hair is black and stuck into her head, but I’m no doll expert.  She also comes with her lasso, and pantyhose for some reason.

It’s really quite impressive.  The stitching looks pretty detailed, and they’ve captured her New 52 costume well.  The face doesn’t look like Wonder Woman so much as a weird doll version thereof, but it IS a doll so I guess that’s to be expected.  And it’s huge!  Sixteen inches is way bigger than your typical Barbie sort of doll.  Plus the face is hand-painted and such.  The craftsmanship seems quite high.

This high level of work is probably why the doll costs $199.99.  You can reserve yours now, if you’re so inclined.  I don’t have that kind of cash, but if you’re a Wonder Woman fan with deep pockets, or you’re someone with deep pockets who’s looking for a gift for a Wonder Woman fan, this is quite the item.

Tonner also has New 52 Supergirl and Mera dolls available for pre-order, along with a just announced 22 inch old school Harley Quinn, and a 22 inch Poison Ivy that’s already available.  They have an eclectic assortment collection all around, really; there’s Twilight, A Christmas Story, various Marilyn Monroes.  I’ll say this for Tonner: They certainly mix it up.

I’m not sure when the Wonder Woman doll will be available, but it’s in their Fall/Holiday 2013 collection so I assume it will be soonish.  So if you’ve got a couple hundos stashed away for doll collecting, now you can treat yourself!   And if dolls creep you out with their weird, somewhat infantilized features, then don’t.

Orion Takes Center Stage In A New Arc In Superman

March 27, 2013

Last August, Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang brought Orion into the New 52 at the end of Wonder Woman #12, and since then he’s been a key part of the series and has now joined Wonder Woman’s weird little family.  The book has been very self-contained since the relaunch, with little to no spillover into other DC books.  Wonder Woman’s off having her own adventures with her own supporting cast, and while she shows up in other books like Justice League there’s no real connection to her main series and no one else has made the leap to other series.  It looks like that’s all about to change.

In Superman #18, out today, Orion shows up in Metropolis, and it seems that he’s playing a big role in a new storyline called “Metropolis Burning”:

orion1

Then next month, in the recently revealed full WTF cover for Superman #19 (it’s such a dumb promotional idea, and the impact is destroyed pretty much entirely by having Orion show up the issue before), Orion is the “shocking” other half to the foldout cover that has Wonder Woman and Superman all flummoxed:

orion2

Finally, in May it looks like Superman and Orion are going to have some strong disagreements if the cover to Superman #20 is any indication:

orion3

Other New Gods have been popping up in the New 52 books here and there lately, but Orion was exclusive to Wonder Woman before now.  Obviously the Wonder Woman/Superman romance means she’s going to be around a bit more elsewhere, and we did see Eros in that Young Romance special a little while back, but a sustained appearance by a Wonder Woman-based character in another series is something new.  It was bound to happen with this dumb romance they’ve set up, and I’m more than certain it’ll play out that Superman is all jealous and thinking Orion has designs on Wonder Woman and they’ll fight over that and it’ll be stupid.

Now, the real question is will we start to see some spillover from the New 52 into Wonder Woman?  With the character’s branching out a bit, I’m curious to see if we get any reciprocation.  I hope not, because I enjoy that Wonder Woman has carved out its own little corner of the universe.  You can just read Wonder Woman and forget that she’s dating Superman or involved in some random war with Atlantis and whatever other (often lame) stuff is going on elsewhere.  We’ll have to see whether this Orion story in Superman is a herald of change for Wonder Woman, or just a case of someone borrowing a cool and awesomely redesigned character.  I’m hoping it’s the latter.

The Winners And Losers In DC Comics’ Zero Month

October 10, 2012

When I write up my Wonder Woman sales report each month, I track a lot of DC’s other books so I can get a sense of how Wonder Woman is doing comparatively.  This month, DC put out #0 issues for most of their series as a one year anniversary of the New 52 celebration, and I thought it would be fun to take a look at who did the best and who did the worst in terms of improving upon their past numbers.

There were 51 titles that came out in August and got the #0 treatment in September.  There were 55 zero issues overall, but 4 of them were new so there’s nothing to compare them to.  I decided on two criteria for these rankings: change in overall percentage of sales from last month and change in number of issues sold from last month.  I tabulated the numbers for both categories, ranked each list from 1 to 51, and then added the two rankings together.

So let’s look at the winners and losers for DC’s zero month!!  First up, the winners:

#1) Batman: 7 points, +31,312 (1st), +25% (6th)

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman is just a behemoth right now.  These gains are MASSIVE, and the book might even end up higher in October when the new Joker storyline starts.  It was already DC’s bestselling book, and it sold even better in September.

#2) Green Arrow: 19 points, +5,282 (10th), +22.8% (9th)

The top of the list is sort of surprising, and I was shocked to see Green Arrow so high.  Maybe people were jazzed to have Judd Winick back writing the character or something, but whatever the reason it really jumped up.

#3) Green Lantern: 20 points, +12,772 (2nd), +16.5% (18th)

Green Lantern is less surprising.  It’s been a strong performer for DC for years now under Geoff Johns, plus they introduced Simon Baz, the new Muslim, Arab-American Green Lantern.  That got some attention.

#4) Savage Hawkman: 24 points, +4,005 (22nd), +27.2% (2nd)

Another surprise!!  Apparently the book is selling so low that ordering four thousand extra copies will give it the second best jump in percentage out of all 51 issues.  Or retailers were just super jazzed there wasn’t a Rob Liefeld cover again, so they ordered a lot.

#5) Batgirl: 27 points, +6,637 (6th), +15.2% (21st)

Batgirl surprised me initially, but then I figured a) the book has some excellent word of mouth buzz, b) people would probably be curious about Barbara’s past seeing as that’s one of the bigger mysteries of the New 52, and c) all of the Bat-books had a great month, maybe due to everyone loving Bat-things or maybe in anticipation of the Joker story starting next month.  Whatever the reason, it’s great to see that a female-led book did so well!!

Since this is a Wonder Woman blog and all, let’s take a pause for Wonder Woman #0 before we get to the losers:

#21) Wonder Woman: 44 points, +5,194 (12th), +11.6% (32nd)

The middle would be #26, so Wonder Woman came in the top half of the chart.  It was also the third highest female-led book on the chart, with Batgirl at #5 and Catwoman at #19.  Interestingly, Birds of Prey, Voodoo, and Supergirl were the next three books after Wonder Woman, and all six of these female-led titles were on the top half of the chart!!  That’s nice to see.

Now, onto the bottom of the chart:

#47) Ravagers: 92 points, +1,707 (48th), +8.2% (44th)

It really speaks to the success of zero month that the fifth lowest book was still up almost 10%!!  DC must be over the moon with these sales numbers.  Ravagers was a Second Wave book, and this is only its fifth issue, and as we’ll see momentarily the Second Wave books didn’t fare so well in September, comparatively.

#48) Earth 2: 96 points, +1,718 (47th), +2.5% (49th)

Earth 2 has been doing fantastically, saleswise, since it debuted in May, and September was no exception.  It just didn’t change all that much from August.  So compared to last month, it’s #48 on the chart, but in terms of overall sales the book is actually #8.

#49) Dial H: 96 points, +1,337 (49th), +5.9% (47th)

Technically, Dial H is tied with Earth 2, but I gave Earth 2 the higher rank because its overall sales are better.  And really, when you’re down the list this far, what difference does one spot make?  Anyway, this is a bummer because I LOVE Dial H and because it’s zero issue was fantastic and did exactly what a zero issue should (and what most of the zero issues didn’t): Provide new, surprising backstory for the series.  But again, Second Wave books didn’t get much play in September.

#50) Aquaman: 100 points, +17 (50th), +0% (50th)

This was a shock.  Aquaman’s been killing it since the relaunch, but it seems that of the many thousands of comic shops across North America, retailers thought only 17 new people might want to try out the book.  Part of this might also be that Aquaman had a big jump in August for no apparent reason, so maybe retailers found that increase was unwarranted but kept the book at that level in case of zero issue interest.

#51) Batman, Incorporated: 102 points, -608 (51st), -0.9% (51st)

Batman, Incorporated was the lowest book in both categories, and the only book of the 51 titles that went down in sales.  And I have no idea why!!  It’s a solid seller, and seems fairly popular among people who like that sort of thing.  Again, it’s a Second Wave book, and this is only it’s fourth issue, so maybe retailers are still feeling out how to order this one.

Overall, zero month was a complete success for DC.  Of the 51 returning titles, 50 had improved sales, plus there were an additional 4 series that premiered decently.  Before Watchmen is still falling fast, and various minis are dropping like minis tend to do, but all told this was a great month for DC.  These gimmicks really do work, it seems.

One Year Later: My Top Five New 52 Titles

September 6, 2012

It’s been an entire year since DC’s “The New 52” premiered, and with a year of new comics under our belts I thought it might be fun to take a look at my five favourite titles, one year later.  Originally I was going to do a Top Ten list, but it turns out I’m not even buying ten DC books right now!!  I’m barely buying five.  So “Top Five” could also read “the five books I actually buy”.  Let’s get to the list:

5) Dial H

Yes, it’s part of the Second Wave, but again, I’m not buying a lot of these books.  I’m very surprised by this, honestly… I assumed I was getting more.  Anyway, Dial H has been very fun so far!!  It’s weird and random, but a good time all around.  It’s fun to have China Mieville doing comics (have you read Perdido Street Station or The Scar?  If you haven’t, stop reading this article and go check them out now!!), and Mateus Santoluoco’s art has been great as he draws a variety of bizarre heroes each month.

4) Supergirl

The story is fun, albeit a little bit slow, but the reason I like Supergirl so much is because when Mahmud Asrar is on his game and can pencil and ink the entire book it’s just absolutely gorgeous.  The dude has skills.  Plus there’s been some cool villains with that weird alien gang and the Silver Banshee and such.  I do like the story, it’s just all about the art for me.

3) Batwoman

I am pleasantly surprised by how well J.H. William III and W. Haden Blackman are doing writing this book.  The first arc was great, and while the second arc went off the rails a bit with the weird time breakup and such it was nonetheless impressively ambitious.  Greg Rucka is a hard act to follow, and they’re doing a really good job.  And the book looks amazing… whether it’s Williams or Reeder or McCarthy, Batwoman’s been consistently beautifully drawn.

2) Batman

This is just a ridiculously good comic book.  Scott Snyder knows how to write a killer Batman story, and Greg Capullo is starting to grow on me as an artist (I like his Batman but not his Bruce Wayne, if that makes any sense).  The whole “Night of the Owls” storyline was great, and that issue where Batman was trapped in the Owls’ labyrinth was just amazing, both in terms of art and story.  Plus Becky Cloonan did a fill-in issue!!  I hope she, and Harper Row, are back soon.  Batman is the best it’s been in years now.

1) Wonder Woman

This is probably not a surprise, but a) it’s been AGES since Wonder Woman was even a Top Five book at DC, much less their best one, and b) it was touch and go for me for a while there with the whole Amazons murdering and raping dudes situation.  However, after the last few issues the book is back on track and firing on all cylinders.  Brian Azzarello is building a crazy, fantastic story and Cliff Chiang is drawing the hell out of it, along with Tony Akins sporadically.  New characters like Hermes and Strife are some of my favourites now, and the reveal at the end of Wonder Woman #12 is just all sorts of fun.  I’m so happy that Wonder Woman is good, and that Cliff Chiang is drawing it.  Chiang makes everything better.

So that’s my Top Five!!  It’s so weird to be getting only five mainline books.  When the New 52 started, my best friend and I picked up at least 20 of the new titles, but we really pared it down over the months.  Part of it was the freedom from what I’d always bought, I think.  I used to buy Batman, Detective Comics, Action Comics, Superman, and some other books because I’d ALWAYS bought those books, even when I didn’t like them, but now that completism is gone for me with the renumbering and the new universe.

Another part of it is the sheer number of awesome new books that came out this year from other publishers.  My budget is only so big, and books like Saga, Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, and others have bumped a lot of DC books from my pull list.  I used to get 10-12 DC books and 2-3 books from other publishers, but now it’s around 5 DC books and 7-8 others.

I know the New 52 has been pretty decent for DC in terms of increased sales, but I’m getting a lot less than I used to.  However, what I do get I really like, which is fun.  When I used to get more DC books, I didn’t actually dig a lot of them.  So while I may be a worse customer saleswise, I’m a much happier customer with the books I do get.

Please feel free to leave your Top Five in the comments.  Are there books I’m crazy for not reading?  Let me know.

DC Comics’ New 52 Rundown: What Books I’m Excited For

September 6, 2011

Even though the DCnU began last week with Justice League #1, the real fun begins tomorrow with the first full wave of new books.  So I figured I’d throw in my two cents about what I’m most looking forward to and what I think might flop.  Going through all 52 titles would just be a tedious read for you all, so I’ve picked out out a few key books: the five titles I’m most looking forward to, five titles I’m not sold on yet but that I’m curious enough to try, and  then five titles that I think won’t survive.  Here we go!!

Five Titles I Am Crazy Excited About

I’m just super jazzed for these books and can’t wait to buy them.  NOTE: I’d have put Justice League here, but since it’s out already I’ll just stick with upcoming books.  Here they are in no particular order:

Wonder Woman: Obviously.  It’s Azzarello and Chiang… I’m over the moon excited for this book.

Batman: Synder’s run on Detective Comics was great, and I’m excited to see what he’s going to do with Bruce Wayne as Batman.  I’m going to miss Jock and Francavilla, but Capullo’s art looks cool so far.

Justice League Dark: I wasn’t totally sure about bringing Constantine back into the DC universe, but putting him on an awesome team like this sounds kind of great.  Plus I love Deadman, Zatanna, and Madame Xanadu, and DC’s weird magical things in general. 

Batwoman: It’s just going to be GORGEOUS.  I’m mildly concerned about the writing, as neither writer has done a lot, but J.H. Williams’ art is just insane… the preview pages are ridiculously good.

Aquaman: Johns and Reis are always a good combination, and no one can start a franchise like Johns… he made the Justice Society interesting, then turned Green Lantern into a must-read for years.  I think he’ll do the same with Aquaman.

Five Titles I’m Not Entirely Sure About But That Look Worth Checking Out

I am less confident in these books, but something about them intrigues me enough that I’m going to give them a shot.  Again, in no particular order:

Swamp Thing: Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing is epic, and I really don’t know what else you could do with the character.  But I do know that Snyder is an awesome writer, and that he’s one of the few people I would trust to take on Swamp Thing.  I have no idea what he’s going to do, but I’m curious.

Stormwatch: So far it looks like the Authority plus the Martian Manhunter, and that’s sort of cool.  It’ll be interesting to see how they try to fit that into the DC universe, and how much of the Authority’s edginess they can keep now that they aren’t at Wildstorm.  I can see this one going either way, but Cornell is usually good.

Supergirl: Supergirl is a character I always want to be interesting but who so rarely is.  This new angry Supergirl with what appears to be some disdain for humanity sounds like it might be fun… it’ll definitely be different, anyway.  I really dug Green and Johnson’s run on Superman/Batman, and the art looks cool, so I think it’s worth a shot.

Legion Lost: I find the Legion hard to get into… there’s SO many of them and the 31st century stuff often seems like bad sci-fi, but I think this could be a good gateway book.  It’s only seven Legionnaires AND they’ve travelled back in time.  Maybe this’ll be a good introduction to the Legion for me.

Demon Knights: Hey, another Cornell book!!  Middle Ages magic stuff can either be really cool or really lame, but I’m cautiously optimistic about this book.  I’ve always liked Etrigan and Jason Blood, too, which helps a lot… I hope he talks in rhyme.

Five Titles That Seem Doomed From The Beginning

DC’s said that every series in the New 52 will get at least to prove itself, but I doubt that these books will make it much past that:

OMAC: I know it’s Didio’s book, but OMAC is played out.  The guy has a mohawk, for goodness sake.

Hawk and Dove: Only because of Liefeld.  Apparently it’s sold out, but you can’t have superheroes without feet.

Voodoo: Yay for female characters and all, but have you seen the art?  Basri is a really good artist, but those are some seriously unclassy pages.  I sincerely hope you need more than T&A to sell a book these days.

Suicide Squad: Speaking of which, what’s up with Harley Quinn?  This is the weirdest team-up I’ve ever seen.  I wonder who said “Okay, we’re relaunching everything… know who we HAVE to include?  King Shark.”

Deathstroke: If you’re into comicly large swords, you might like this book.  But I just don’t see how they’re going to make a series out of Deathstroke.  Now a Ravager series I would have bought.


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