Posts Tagged ‘Nicola Scott’

Wonder Woman #10 Review: The Heroine We Need When the World is Dark and Full of Terrors

November 9, 2016


The world is a much more troubling place than it was yesterday. I was looking forward to reviewing the new Wonder Woman comic the day after Hillary Clinton became the first female president in American history; it would have been joyous. But that didn’t happen. The pollsters were wrong, white America is a callous, cowardly group, and Donald Trump is going to be the next President of the United States. Even though I watched it happen last night in real time, it still felt unfathomable when I woke up this morning. I’m lucky to live in Canada, where we’ve got a government that respects and supports all of its citizens, but I’m worried for all of my  American friends, especially the people of colour, LGBTQ+ folks, members of different religions, and those who need access to solid healthcare. They’re frightened, and rightfully so. The next four years could be very difficult for them.

It is, oddly enough, even more appropriate to read the new Wonder Woman today, in this dark environment. We need heroes to inspire us, and a queer immigrant woman who fights tirelessly on behalf of others is exactly the kind of heroine this day calls for. For those likely to face persecution and the revocation of their rights, Wonder Woman’s resilience and strength can be a beacon of hope. For those who might be broadly unaffected but want to stand with, support, and fight for those who are, Wonder Woman’s relentless compassion for others is an ideal model. Wonder Woman is the hero we need right now. America, if you can’t have a Wonder Woman in the Oval Office, at least you can have a legion of Wonder Women in the streets standing up for what’s right.

Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott have delivered a delightful issue that highlights the unique heroism of Wonder Woman, and I’m excited to talk about it, but first:


I am about to reveal everything that happens in this issue!

Do yourself a personal favour and go read it first!

It will cheer you up! It’s so dang good!

When last we left “Year One” way back in September, Wonder Woman was given powers from the gods and easily busted her way out of the military brig she was being held in. Now, with the military’s inability to hold her obvious to all, Steve Trevor talks his boss into letting her go out for a day trip. Diana, Steve, Etta Candy, and Barbara Ann Minerva go to the mall to expose Diana to the wider world. She is shocked by the noise and the crowds and how the air tastes different, but she loves it all. Diana even makes some new young friends, despite her limited language capabilities. It’s all very cute and enjoyable.

Just when the gang discovers that they’re all able to communicate with Diana if they hold the golden lasso, their fun day out gets interrupted by a shooting at the mall. This is the scene that we need most today: Wonder Woman’s powers are new to her, and she doesn’t actually know what they are, but she leaps into action nonetheless, without a thought for her own safety. In a moment spectacularly illustrated by Scott, she sees a terrorist about to shoot at her new, young friends and she rushes toward them. With speed she didn’t know she had, she arrives just in time to stop the bullets, deflecting them with her bracelets in a gorgeous double page spread.

Now, we can’t deflect bullets. We’re not superheroes, nor are we blessed with powers from the gods. But when we see something bad happening, when we see someone threatened, we can step in and try to help. And, just like Wonder Woman, when we do, we might discover powers and abilities that we never knew we had. We don’t know what we can do until we try, until we put our beliefs and our values and our heart to the test, and the next several years might require a lot of that.

The action continues for the rest of the issue, with Wonder Woman and Steve stopping the attackers and ending their assault. We also get an interesting reveal at the end of the issue: The terrorists are part of the Sear Group, which Steve has been tracking, and they are marked with the black tree that poisoned Diana back on Themyscira in Wonder Woman #2 and that Barbara saw on her travels last month in Wonder Woman #8. Something bigger is clearly afoot, and it ties into the Amazons and perhaps the gods. It seems that Steve’s arrival on Themyscira and Diana’s journey to the world of men was not just a chance turn of events.

As the issue closes, we’ve got a mystery to be solved over the next two issues, and I’m curious to see who is behind all of this. Even better than that, the story gave us a break from the world around us, hopefully one that encourages and fortifies its readers. Things look bad today and they feel even worse, and reading a comic book might seem like a silly thing to do when the world is on fire. But there’s a reason superheroes have been around for 75 years. There’s a reason Captain America punched Hitler in the face and Wonder Woman left Paradise Island to battle the Axis before America even declared war on Germany. Superheroes can do the things that we can’t, and they inspire us to do the things that we can. Stand up for yourself and for those around you, work together to stay safe, and believe that the future can be better if you fight to make it so. Don’t stand on the sidelines. Be a Wonder Woman.

Women at DC Comics Watch – January 2017 Solicits, 26 Women on 24 Books

November 1, 2016


After a strong run to close the year, female representation at DC Comics looks to be taking a bit of a step back to start 2017. The January solicits have DC’s lowest number of female creators since last August, a disappointing start to the year after the publisher posted some of its best numbers ever in November and December. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC Comics in January 2017:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #11 (cover, co-writer), Harley Quinn #12 (cover, co-writer)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #5 (co-writer), Shade, the Changing Girl #4 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #4 (writer)
  • Elena Casagrande: Vigilante: Southland #4 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #14 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #15 (variant cover)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #7 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #14 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #15 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Justice League of America: Killer Frost Rebirth #1 (co-writer), Justice League of America: Vixen Rebirth #1 (co-writer), Mother Panic #3 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Shade, the Changing Girl #4 (variant cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #6 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #6 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #21 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #21 (writer), Detective Comics #948 (co-writer), Detective Comics #949 (co-writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: DC Comics Bombshells #21 (cover), Justice League/Power Rangers #1 (variant cover)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Girl #4 (interior art)
  • Mingjue Helen Chen: Mother Panic #3 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #21 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #5 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #14 (cover, interior art)
  • Pia Guerra: The Hellblazer #6 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #5 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #6 (co-writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Batman #14 (cover and interior art), Raven #5 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #5 (cover)
  • Vita Ayala: Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Amanda Waller #6 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Justice League/Power Rangers #1 (variant cover), The Hellblazer #6 (variant cover), The Odyssey of the Amazons #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 26 different female creators set to work on 24 different books at DC this January, 7 fewer women than in December though 1 more book. It’s a dispiriting drop, though not wholly unexpected. A string of strong months is inevitably followed by a drop. If we’ve learned anything in tracking these numbers it’s that it’s an up and down game. And while 26 women is low relative to the past four months, it’s higher than several of the months before that, and above DC’s abysmal start to their “Rebirth” relaunch in which they could barely muster 20 women a month. So it’s a big drop, to be sure, but the end result is a performance that’s fairly middle of the road for DC in terms of the past year.

Part of the reason for this drop is a lack of new faces. Everyone above is someone we’ve seen recently at DC, most of them in the same gig as last month, and while it’s wonderful that they’re all back, the numbers grow best when there are new people in the mix in new places. We’re also missing a few books in January; Vertigo’s offerings are pretty slim, including no Clean Room, and Mariko Tamaki and Joelle Jones’ new Supergirl series seems to be taking a month off already. December was also bolstered by a oneshot holiday special, and there are no such festive celebrations scheduled for January.

However, we do have a couple of oneshots with female characters and a female co-writer. Killer Frost and Vixen are both set to be part of the new Justice League of America, and they’re getting special introductory issues co-written by Jody Houser. The rest of the new books are fairly light on female characters, though Wonder Woman is co-starring in Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77, which should be a blast, and she’ll be a part of the Justice League/Power Rangers crossover comic, along with a couple of other female members on both teams.

Overall, DC looks to be starting 2017 in a rather run of the mill way. They’re down from their 2016 highs but up from their 2016 lows, a decidedly average beginning to the New Year. Hopefully the numbers will continue to grow as the year progresses. The January solicits were pretty quiet, and with a second round of “Rebirth” on the way we might see some shake ups in the creator ranks very soon.

Wonder Woman’s January 2017 Covers and Solicits

October 18, 2016

The New Year is set to begin with a variety of comic books and collections starring Wonder Woman and, in one new series, a group of her fellow Amazons. With the Wonder Woman film on the horizon, DC seems to be putting a bit of extra effort into their Wonder Woman offerings and featuring the character more prominently across the line. So let’s take a look at where Wonder Woman is scheduled to be in the January 2017 solicits, starting with her own series:


Written by GREG RUCKA
Art and cover by NICOLA SCOTT
Variant cover by JENNY FRISON
“YEAR ONE” conclusion! With Steve Trevor by her side, Diana faces the God of War and embraces her destiny as Wonder Woman!
On sale JANUARY 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Written by GREG RUCKA
Art and cover by LIAM SHARP
Variant cover by JENNY FRISON
“THE TRUTH” part one! Diana has finally seen the full scope of how her life and history have been transformed…unfortunately, the knowledge has driven her completely insane!
On sale JANUARY 25 • Each 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

The cover is Liam Sharp’s, presumably showing an insane Wonder Woman rocked by the revelations of “The Lies.” I like that “The Lies” are going to be followed by “The Truth,” even though it means that it may be a while yet until we get some answers about what’s up with Wonder Woman and her multiple pasts.

Meanwhile, “Year One” is set to conclude with Wonder Woman vs. the God of War, further cementing the fact that Ares will be the “big bad” of the arc as past solicits have hinted. It’s been done before with Wonder Woman origin stories, but it’s also a classic way to go and Rucka and Scott have been doing amazing work thus far.

Onto Trinity #5:


Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
Variant cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
“BETTER TOGETHER” part five! Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman must battle for their lives against their greatest foes in an arena of their own making! And the fight won’t be done until they confront each other in this deadly match. The mastermind behind this attack has revealed himself at last: Mongul is back!
On sale JANUARY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

I absolutely LOVED the first issue of Trinity last month. It was gorgeous and fun and just delightful from start to finish, and I’m excited to see where the book goes. January promises our heroic trio facing off against Mongul and Poison Ivy, which is a pairing I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. I’m intrigued!

We’ve also got the print edition of Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 #1:


Variant cover by ALEX ROSS
What mysteries are hidden in the book Ra’s al Ghul hired Catwoman to steal? And why does this caper lead Batman down memory lane—to his childhood fight against actual Nazis? Witness the Caped Crusader’s first encounter with one of the greatest heroes the world has ever known: Wonder Woman!
This epic team-up is brought to you by writers Marc Andreyko (WONDER WOMAN ’77) and Jeff Parker (BATMAN ’66), with fantastic artists David Hahn and Karl Kesel (BATMAN ’66 Meets the Man from U.N.C.L.E.). It’s a time- and space-spanning adventure unlike anything you’ve seen before!
On sale JANUARY 18 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $2.99 US • RATED E • Digital first

This looks like it should be a blast. Both Batman ’66 and Wonder Woman ’77 are enjoyable series, and combining the two just seems logical. I’m curious to see how much interaction the heroes will have; Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman vs. Julie Newmar’s Catwoman would be the coolest too.

Onto a new series starring the Amazons:


Art and cover by RYAN BENJAMIN
Variant cover by YASMINE PUTRI
Don’t miss the start of this new miniseries set in the world of Wonder Woman from writer/actor Kevin Grevioux (New Warriors, Underworld). Years before the birth of Princess Diana, a group of Amazons set out on a globe-spanning quest to find others of their kind, encountering legendary creatures and beings along the way. But their journey soon turns into a rescue mission as two of their own are captured by the legendary Storm Giants of Norse mythology. It’s up to their leader, the stalwart Hessia, to keep them together through the many trials that lie ahead.
On sale JANUARY 18 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T

I still don’t love this cover. They don’t look like Nicola Scott’s Amazons at all and the crotch shots are rather unnecessary. But a miniseries starring a group of Amazons could be very fun, and I’m hoping for the best here.

Wonder Woman is also front and center on DC’s free guide to their graphic novels:


Now anyone can experience DC from the best starting points possible with 25 graphic novels vital to anyone’s collection. From there, move on to your favorite characters: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Justice League and more, with listings of the most important books to understanding those particular characters. The DC ESSENTIAL GRAPHIC NOVELS 2017 catalog makes it easy to find the perfect story for everyone!
On sale JANUARY 11 • 96 pg, FC, FREE

I just really like that cover. And hopefully, with so much new Wonder Woman material out lately, Wonder Woman will have a larger presence in this year’s book than she’s had in past editions.

Wonder Woman’s starring in some new collections as well, including this one:


Cover by FRANK CHO
This new collection brings together the biggest and most unforgettable battles in Wonder Woman’s history as a DC Comics superhero, as she battles Ares, Cheetah, Medusa and more!
On sale FEBRUARY 8 • 168 pg, FC, $9.99 US

Ugh on the Frank Cho cover, and I’m definitely side-eying DC’s choice to focus on the warrior aspect of Wonder Woman. But that a great group of creators so I’m sure some excellent stories will be reprinted in this one. Plus it’s only $10, which is rad. There were a variety of other Wonder Woman collections in the January 2017 solicits as well, including the trade paperback collection of “The Lies,” the trade of the Finches’ last run on Wonder Woman, and another volume of Wonder Woman ’77.

Finally, Wonder Woman’s got some toys on the go, too, including this fancy figure:


Inspired by the art of Jim Lee, this new black-and-white action figure captures Wonder Woman in all her Amazonian glory!
Measures Approximately 6.75” Tall
$40.00 US • On Sale MAY 2017

While $40 is a lot for an action figure, she does look pretty cool. I’ve seen some other figures from this “Blueline” run and they’re kind of neat. The solicits also listed the Wonder Woman movie statues I mentioned last week, which are lovely and very, very expensive.

So it was a busy round of solicits for Wonder Woman! With the movie on the way, we Wonder Woman enthusiasts may find ourselves going broke to keep up with all of the fun new comics, collections, and collectibles. It’s a fun problem to have.

DC Announces New Miniseries, The Odyssey of the Amazons

October 13, 2016


Wonder Woman has been one of the bigger hits of DC’s “Rebirth” initiative, and now the world of the Amazons is set to be explored further in a new mini-series, The Odyssey of the Amazons. Written by Kevin Grevioux with art by Ryan Benjamin, the book will debut this January. Here’s the official description:

THE ODYSSEY OF THE AMAZONS #1 is a brand-new miniseries set in the world of Wonder Woman from writer and actor Kevin Grevioux (New Warriors, Underworld) and artist Ryan Benjamin (BATMAN BEYOND). Years before the birth of Princess Diana, a group of Amazons set out on a globe-spanning quest to find others of their kind, encountering legendary creatures and beings along the way. But their journey soon turns into a rescue mission as two of their own are captured by the legendary Storm Giants of Norse mythology. It’s up to their leader, the stalwart Hessia, to keep them together through the many trials that lie ahead. The series will run for six issues.

I’m very excited that the world of Wonder Woman is finally expanding beyond her one core book. Characters like Batman and Superman have had entire families of comics for decades that follow both the main heroes and their many allies and partners. Wonder Woman’s only had Wonder Woman since the early 1950s, and while this is just a mini-series, hopefully it’s an exploratory step towards a larger presence for Wonder Woman down the line.

Now, at the same time, this seems like a bit of a weird book. It could definitely be cool; some Amazons going off on adventures sounds like a lot of fun. But I find it a bit curious that Hessia is in the mix, given that she was a part of the New 52 incarnation of the Amazons which seems to be in the process of being replaced with Greg Rucka’s run. It’s not like Hessia had much of a presence either, apart from a handful of appearances. Someone classic like Phillippus or another of the new Amazons Rucka has introduced might make more sense. The blank slate-ness of the character could be interesting, though, allowing Grevioux and Benjamin to make something new and cool.

Also, we’ve only got the cover art, but it feels very different than the Amazons Nicola Scott is drawing in “Year One” right now. The style is different, and their long legs and high cut briefs remind me more of Mike Deodato’s time on Wonder Woman than the Amazons current look. Benjamin’s a good artist and I’ve enjoyed some of his past work. The cover just feels a bit at odds with where the Amazons are now.

I’m hoping that this mini-series is being done in consultation with everyone who’s working on the main Wonder Woman book, lest we get anymore Amazon confusion. With “The Lies” still unfolding, everything is up in the air, and something that at first glance appears very disconnected from the current run might further muddy the water. So long as everything stays under Mark Doyle’s editorial auspices like the current Wonder Woman run, everything should be fine, but the gods help us all if this is somehow an Eddie Berganza book. Folks would FLIP. OUT.

The Odyssey of the Amazons is set to debut on January 18, 2017, and I look forward to checking it out! Here’s hoping it’s a fun expansion of the world of the Amazons!

Wonder Woman #8 Review: Barbara Ann Minerva’s Archaeological Adventures

October 12, 2016


“Year One” by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott has been running in the even-numbered issues of Wonder Woman since the book’s “Rebirth” relaunch in June, but we’ve got a brief interlude this month with Wonder Woman #8. Scott is taking a breather while Rucka and guest artist Bilquis Evely delve into the pre-Cheetah days of Barbara Ann Minerva in an issue that ties into both arcs of Wonder Woman. The Cheetah is a major player in “The Lies,” which has focused on freeing her from the clutches of the evil god Urzkartaga, while Barbara debuted in “Year One” last month to help translate the language of the newly arrived Wonder Woman. A spotlight issue makes a lot of sense, and adds some valuable backstory to the two main arcs. Let’s dig into it all, but first:


If you hadn’t read the issue yet, look away!

All of the goings on therein are about to be revealed!

Don’t spoil yourself! It’s a really good issue!

I loved this issue top to bottom. We’ll get to the story and whatnot in a moment, but DANG Bilquis Evely killed it. I was excited when I heard about this issue because I’ve enjoyed her work elsewhere, and she did not disappoint. She brought so much to Barbara. I love the joy and determination she captured. As the Cheetah, Barbara is often fairly one note, just fiercely villainous without much in the way of interesting motivation. Honestly, I’ve never been a big fan of this incarnation of the character; I’m an old school, Priscilla Rich guy. But Evely’s rendition of nerdy archaeologist Barbara is a lot of fun. Rucka writes her well, of course, but Evely really brings her to life.

The rest of the art beyond Barbara is great as well. Evely captures a variety of locales with aplomb, all of the other characters are distinct and expressive, and she’s got some clever layouts in the mix, including a cool map/location montage. Romulo Fajardo Jr. adds a lot with the colours, too; he’s the regular colorist on “Year One” and he continues his fantastic work here. He always adds so much texture and depth to the page, and he and Evely pair beautifully throughout the issue.

But onto the story itself. Archaeologist Barbara Ann Minerva is trying to track down the home of the ancient Amazons, even though everyone around her thinks she’s crazy. And by “everyone” I mean dudes. Her stern, cold father tries to forcefully dissuade her from her interest in mythology, and her older co-worker at a dig in the Ukraine is a sexist ass who refuses to believe her when she makes a huge discovery that is subsequently buried in a landslide. Barbara continues on nonetheless in one of my favourite types of stories: women doing things after men tell them they can’t. And while the issue ends with disappointment for Barbara, as a reader we know she’s absolutely on track because we’re very much aware that the Amazons are real.

Also, shout out to Greg Rucka for the lengthy discussion of the potential historical reality of the Amazons and the different schools of thought therein. I could have read an entire issue of that; I love all of the theories that surround the Amazons, and I’m definitely with Barbara when it comes to side-eying the Greek accounts of the Amazons. The shutting down of the breast amputation was delightful as well. Those pages were great all around.

The issue also ties into some key aspects of “Year One.” First, we’ve got the mysterious tree from Wonder Woman #2 that housed the snake that almost killed Diana. It appears on the chest of an ill-fated man who steals Barbara’s research and goes after the Amazons, and shows up again at the issue’s end when Barbara thinks she’s found the home of the Amazons. That tree is clearly going to play a big role, and we got another clue from the dead guy: The tree was marked on his chest, and the word “sear” was marked on his arm. What that means remains to be seen. We’ve also got at least one goddess in the mix, with Athena secretly helping Barbara on her quest. We saw Athena last month in “Year One” and it seems like she may have some involvement in exposing whatever is going on in “The Lies.”

Ultimately, the issue is a fantastic showcase for Barbara Ann Minerva. It adds a lot of depth to a character that rarely has any. Originally, Barbara was kind of the worst. The basic elements were the same when George Perez created her 30 years ago; she was a wealthy heiress and an archaeologist, but she was a total jerk. She was arrogant and cruel and jealous of Wonder Woman. She just wasn’t pleasant at all. This rehabilitation of Barbara is still a wealthy heiress and an archaeologist, but she’s a lot of fun. She’s also a woman who’s clearly put in the work and effort to be where she is, and her trappings are in no way opulent. She’s out in the wilderness, roughing it and doing whatever she has to do to find what she’s looking for. This Barbara is motivated buy a love of mythology and the Amazons rather than jealousy, and as we’ve learned from the past few issues of Wonder Woman, she was friends with Diana before Urzkartaga screwed everything up. It’s a different, far more compelling take on the character.

In short, I would read a series about this Barbara, preferably with Bilquis Evely on board because she kills it. Barbara travelling the globe doing rad archaeological research and sticking it to dumb dudes would be amazing; she could be a female Indiana Jones, but with way more discussions of the patriarchal biases in our beliefs about ancient history. I fully realize that like 12 people would read it every month, but I would be ALL OVER IT. I absolutely loved this issue, and I love this new version of Barbara Ann Minerva. I know we’ll get more of her when “Year One” continues next month, but I’m very intrigued by her pre-Wonder Woman adventures. Go pitch it, Rucka and Evely! I’ll tell everyone I know to buy it!

Women At DC Comics Watch – December 2016 Solicits, 33 Women on 23 Books

October 4, 2016


In my report on the November solicits, I noted that it seemed unlikely that DC’s number of female creators would be in the low 30s again come December. There were a lot of one-shots and variant cover gigs, and those numbers are hard to sustain month-to-month. But DC did it, and has posted a strong lineup of female creators to end the year. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC Comics in December 2016:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #9 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #10 (co-writer, cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #4 (co-writer), Shade, The Changing Girl #3 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Girl #3 (writer)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #5 (interior art)
  • Elena Casagrande: Vigilante: Southland #3 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #12 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #13 (variant cover)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #15 (written)
  • Heather Nuhfer: Teen Titans Go! #19 (co-writer)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #13 (co-writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #6 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #15 (cover), Wonder Woman #12 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #13 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #2 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Supergirl: Being Super #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #5 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #5 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #20 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #20 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: DC Comics Bombshells #20 (interior art), The Flintstones #6 (variant cover)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Supergirl: Being Super #1 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Girl #3 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #20 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #4 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #12 (interior art, cover)
  • Pia Guerra: The Hellblazer #5 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #4 (inker)
  • Sanya Anwar: Clean Room #15 (interior art)
  • Sarah Vaughn: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #2 (writer)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #5 (co-writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #2 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #4 (cover)
  • Vita Ayala: DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1 (co-writer), Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Amanda Waller #5 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #5 (variant cover)

All together, there are 33 different female creators set to work on 23 different books at DC this December, the same number of women as in November and one more book. The total also ties DC’s highest number of the year, and it’s an encouraging sign for 2017 that DC is set to end 2016 with two very good months. With the second wave of “Rebirth” just around the corner, hopefully the publisher can keep these numbers going.

December looks a lot like November across the board: a core group of creators, plus a few one-shots and variant covers. One-shots aren’t sustained work, but DC’s mixing things up with their variant covers as of late. Instead of rotating in different artists each month, artists seem to be sticking with a book for an extended period of time. Emanuela Lupacchino, for example, has been doing variants for Green Lanterns since it launched in June. What used to be a one-time job has turned into steady work, and it’s helping keep DC’s female creator ranks high.

December’s not a huge month for female characters, but there are a couple of fun new books in the mix. The biggest is Supergirl: Being Super by Mariko Tamaki and Joelle Jones; it looks fantastic, and with two amazing creators in the mix it should be a lot of fun. We’ve also got the DC Rebirth Holiday Special with stories starring Batwoman and Wonder Woman, and the beginning of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, which will feature all of the female members on both teams.

Overall, DC is set to end the year on a good note. Things were looking bad mid-way through the year; DC could barely hit 20 female creators a month in the early days of their “Rebirth” initiative. But things have picked up throughout the fall and DC is going to close 2016 with the best numbers we’ve seen from them over the past five years. There’s always still room to grow; women remain a small minority at nearly every level of production. But progress is slowly being made, and things are looking up.

Greg Rucka Says Wonder Woman Is Queer: Great! But Also Show It On The Page

September 29, 2016


In an interview with Comicosity posted yesterday, current Wonder Woman writer Greg Rucka confirmed that Wonder Woman is queer. Not just some Amazons, not an alternate universe version of the character. The official comic book Wonder Woman, Diana herself, is canonically queer. It’s a significant moment. We’ve seen hints of this in the past, but for the writer of the comic to come out and say it specifically is a big deal, and an important step forward for representation in comics.

For Rucka, if Paradise Island is truly a paradise, the Amazons should be able to have “fulfilling romantic and sexual relationships,” and with an island full of women, clearly they are engaging in such relationships with each other. In terms of Wonder Woman herself, Rucka declared, “Now, are we saying Diana has been in love and had relationships with other women? As Nicola and I approach it, the answer is obviously yes.” Rucka points out that the Amazons wouldn’t call themselves lesbians or gay or bisexual; such relationships are just normal for them, and their society is not mired in the heteronormativity of the outside world so there’s no need to make that distinction. But, for all intents and purposes, Wonder Woman and the Amazons are queer.

Now, Wonder Woman’s been queer for 75 years, dating back to her very first appearance. Her creator, William Moulton Marston, imbued his comics with a sexual subtext. The chains and bondage games of his Amazons were a metaphor for loving submission to female rule, but there was a sexual component to that as well. For Marston, true submission and sexuality were intertwined, and the female superiority he espoused was rooted in the maternal and sexual power of women. So when the Amazons, including Wonder Woman, engaged in bondage games with each other, there was something else going on between the lines. It was the 1940s so Marston couldn’t be direct about it in any way, but his Wonder Woman was most definitely queer.

Various writers have imbued a certain degree of queerness in Wonder Woman and the Amazons ever since. Even Robert Kanigher, who wrote Wonder Woman for twenty years after Marston died, later stated that all of the Amazons were lesbians. But now, for the first time ever, the current writer of Wonder Woman has been able to confirm this queerness. It’s official, it’s out there, there are headlines everywhere talking about it today.

This is lovely, and I very much respect Rucka for making this a priority in his writing and publicly confirming that Wonder Woman is queer, but I think he should take it one step further. There are limits to authorial intent, and the glimpses of Diana’s relationships with other Amazons that we saw in Wonder Woman #2 were subtle hints at best. Saying that Wonder Woman is queer is great, but we need to see it clearly in the pages of her comic book.

Rucka does not seem to be in favour of such a blatant declaration, and he has reasonable cause for feeling this way. As he explains:

We’re talking about the “Northstar Problem.” The character has to stand up and say, “I’M GAY!” in all bold caps for it to be evident.

For my purposes, that’s bad writing. That’s a character stating something that’s not impacting the story. I get nothing for my narrative out of that in almost any case. When a character is being asked point blank, if it’s germane to the story, then you get the answer. But for me, and I think for Nicola as well, for any story we tell — be it Black Magick, be it Wonder Woman, be it a Batman story — we want to show you these characters and their lives, and what they are doing.

We want to show, not tell.

And I can understand that. But at the same time, all we’ve ever seen from Wonder Woman are straight relationships. Even now, with Rucka at the helm, Steve Trevor is again her primary romantic interest. To firmly establish that Wonder Woman is queer, we need to see it addressed specifically. They can even keep the Steve angle going while doing so. Bring in an ex-girlfriend and clearly state that she is an ex-girlfriend. Show Diana being attracted to a woman and be deliberate in doing so. Add another queer character to the book who can have a conversation with Diana and dig into the specifics of her sexual orientation. There’s lots of ways to do it. Also, you could just ditch Steve and give Wonder Woman a girlfriend; the dude’s had his shot, and I feel like Diana and Barbara Minerva might have some sparks between them.

The superhero genre is a conservative game. Change like this is hard, and the pushback is always enormous. Catwoman came out as bisexual a year or so ago, and then there was a creative change, her bisexuality wasn’t mentioned again, and she doesn’t have a book anymore. Or look at Harley Quinn; she’s currently engaged in a unique romantic relationship with Poison Ivy in the comics, but the Suicide Squad movie is now pushing her relationship with the Joker to the forefront of the public perception of the character. Making a character queer and keeping them that way is a difficult job, so the further it can be cemented in canon, the more sticking power it will have. Greg Rucka’s not going to be writing Wonder Woman forever, and it would be nice for whoever takes over to have a clear and specific example of Diana’s queerness that is official canon and woven into her story and history in a way that cannot be ignored.

Plus comics are so dang straight. There’s straight people everywhere, romancing it up. It’s assumed to be the norm, in comics and in society as a whole because ugh patriarchy and heteronormativity. To counter this dominance, and to show queer readers that they are represented in this comic book world, queerness needs to be unambiguous and unequivocal. When some gay or lesbian or bisexual teen picks up Wonder Woman, it would be nice for them not to have to read between the lines to find themselves reflected in her world. Make it clear, make it specific, and make it official. Saying she’s queer is a fantastic, groundbreaking first step. But the next step is just as important.

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