Posts Tagged ‘Nicola Scott’

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, April 2018 Solicits: 23 Creators on 23 Books

February 6, 2018

womenatdcAPRIL

April looks to be another subpar month for female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics. Not only has the publisher posted their lowest numbers of the year thus far, the total also leaves them well below their past highs. For several months now, DC’s been operating at about 2/3 of the level they’ve shown themselves to be capable of achieving in the past, with few signs that this is going to change any time soon. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC Comics this April:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #41 (cover), Harley Quinn #42 (cover), The Jetsons #6 (cover)
  • Aneke: Bombshells United #15 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: Shade, The Changing Woman #2 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Woman #2 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #15 (cover), Wonder Woman #44 (interior art), Wonder Woman #45 (interior art)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #22 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #44 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #45 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Scooby Apocalypse #24 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #2 (writer), Supergirl #20 (co-writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #44 (interior art)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (variant cover)
  • Louise Simonson: Action Comics #1000 (writer)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #2 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #14 (writer), Bombshells United #15 (writer), Bombshells United #16 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #4 (variant cover)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Woman #2 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Mera, Queen of Atlantis #3 (cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Motherlands #4 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (cover), Bombshells United #16 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #4 (cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Nightwing #42 (variant cover), Nightwing #43 (variant cover)

All together, there are 23 different female creators scheduled to work on 23 different comic books at DC in April, 3 few creators than in March and 1 fewer book. To the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators in DC’s solicits this month. While the drop from last month isn’t disastrous, it does leave DC with their lowest combined total of female creators and books since August 2016. That’s not encouraging news. The numbers have been flat for a while now, and DC doesn’t seem to be doing much to change that right now. What’s more, all of their recent announcements for what’s to come through the spring and into the summer have predominantly featured male creators.

Everyone listed above is someone we’ve seen before, which is part of the reason the numbers aren’t growing. Bringing in new talent is important. We haven’t seen Louise Simonson in some time, though, and it’s great that she’s going to be a part of Action Comics #1000! Less great that she’s the only female creator who’s been announced on the book thus far, however.

Also troubling is how the gigs break down this month. Of the 23 women writing or drawing DC’s books, 10 of them are solely doing covers. While covers are key, of course, the bulk of the storytelling happens inside the pages, where only 13 women have work in April. That’s 13 women across DC’s monthly line of 80+ comic books. It’s some paltry representation.

April looks to be a quiet month for new titles as well. The only flashy new thing is the thousandth issue of Action Comics, and while I’m hoping that it will turn out to be a good showcase for Lois Lane, who is celebrating this milestone alongside Superman, I’m not holding my breath. Everything else is the usual fare, though it sounds like we’ll be getting a lot of new stuff and some major creative changes across the board in May and beyond as spinoffs from DC’s “Metal” event begin and the publisher moves pieces around to adjust to Brian Michael Bendis’ prominent new role.

Overall, April is not a particularly good month for female and non-binary creator representation at DC. While the publisher’s not been as atrociously poor as Marvel lately, that doesn’t mean that their numbers are good. Both of the Big Two are underachieving right now, Marvel’s just doing especially poorly. DC appears to be stuck in a bit of a rut. Their current bench of female creators is excellent, but they’re not doing anything to expand the ranks. It’ll be interesting to see what the next few months brings as big creative upheavals hit the lineup, but given how things have been going so far in 2018, signs don’t yet point to a major female and non-binary creator renaissance on the horizon.

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Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, March 2018 Solicits: 26 Creators on 24 Books

January 2, 2018

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After a couple of months of slight gains, female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics is set to stay about the same this March. Leveling off after a bit of growth isn’t entirely unexpected, but this current plateau is pretty underwhelming relative to the publisher’s past highs. DC’s been stalled in the low to mid-20s for several months now, and a new year doesn’t seem to be bringing much to change that. Let’s take a look at who is set to do what at DC this March:

  • Alisa Kwitney: Mystik U #3 (writer)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #39 (cover), Harley Quinn #40 (cover), The Jetsons #5 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Shade, The Changing Woman #1 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Woman #1 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #14 (cover)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #21 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #42 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #43 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Scooby Apocalypse #23 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #1 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Teen Titans #18 (variant cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #20 (co-writer)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #6 (interior art)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #1 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #13 (writer), Bombshells United #13 (writer), Bombshells United #14 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Woman #1 (interior art, variant cover)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #29 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Harley Quinn #40 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Mera, Queen of Atlantis #2 (cover)
  • Paulina Ganucheau: Eternity Girl #1 (variant cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Motherlands #3 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #20 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #3 (inker, cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #20 (co-writer)
  • Tula Lotay: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #6 (cover)
  • Vita Ayala: Supergirl #19 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Nightwing #40 (variant cover), Nightwing #41 (variant cover)

All together, there are 26 different female and non-binary creators set to work on 24 different books in March, the same number of creators as in February though spread across 3 fewer books. This is a very ho-hum showing for DC Comics, who appear to be trapped in a bit of a rut. The bulk of the creators listed above have regular gigs at the publisher and should be back next month, which is great. Having a solid, consistent base is an important first step. The trouble is that a) these ranks don’t seem to be growing much, and b) more transitory gigs like fill-in issues, oneshots, and variant covers have been few and fleeting.

Speaking of this consistent base, there is no one listed above that we haven’t seen at DC over the previous few months. There are a couple of returning favourites who’ve been away for a little while, like Paulina Ganucheau pitching in with a variant cover and Vita Ayala co-writing Supergirl for what should be a great issue that introduces a new non-binary character. Everyone else is the usual crowd. Doing great work on great books, of course, but the ranks aren’t growing.

In terms of characters, after the “Young Animal” oneshots last month, the whole line is relaunching this month with new #1 issues and some revamped titles. Mother Panic will become Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. while Shade, the Changing Girl has grown into Shade, the Changing Woman. We’ve also got a new mini-series spinning out of those oneshots with Eternity Girl. All three books have female leads and a variety of female creators in the mix. The handful of other new releases for March across the line seem rather dude-centric.

All together, DC’s spinning their wheels a bit when it comes to female and non-binary creators. The numbers aren’t growing, and they remain far below the highs they hit in the recent past. Stagnant numbers across the line also combine with the publisher’s hyping of their “New Age of DC Heroes” books, eight new artist-centric series that feature barely any women or non-binary creators at all. It’s a bad look for a company that’s not doing very well with representation to begin with.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, February 2018 Solicits: 26 Creators on 27 Books

November 28, 2017

womenatdcFEB

DC’s female creator representation is set to increase slightly in February, marking a second straight month of gains for the publisher. The growth is encouraging yet underwhelming; yes, things are moving in a positive direction, but it’s happening at a very slow rate and DC still remains well below their recent highs. Moreover, the publisher’s dips over the past year offer very little in the way of confidence that these gains won’t be erased in the months to come. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC Comics this February:

  • Alisa Kwitney: Young Monsters In Love #1 (co-writer)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #37 (cover), Harley Quinn #38 (cover), The Jetsons #4 (cover)
  • Aneke: Gotham City Garage #10 (interior art)
  • Bilquis Evely: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #5 (variant cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Wonder Woman #40 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #6 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #20 (writer)
  • Jen Bartel: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #5 (cover)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #40 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #41 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic/Batman Special #1 (co-writer), Supergirl #18 (co-writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #40 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #19 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #19 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #5 (interior art)
  • Lynne Yoshii: Gotham City Garage #9 (interior art)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye/Swamp Thing Special #1 (co-writer), JLA/Doom Patrol Special #1 (co-writer), Mother Panic/Batman Special #1 (co-writer), Shade, The Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #12 (writer), Bombshells United #11 (writer), Bombshells United #12 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #28 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Harley Quinn #37 (interior art), Harley Quinn #38 (interior art), Shade, The Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special #1 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Mera, Queen of Atlantis #1 (cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Motherlands #2 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #19 (cover), Bombshells United #11 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #2 (inker, cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #19 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Nightwing #38 (variant cover), Nightwing #39 (variant cover)

All together, there are 26 different female creators set to work on 27 different comic books this February, 2 more creators and 2 more books than in January. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in the February solicits. This is a relatively solid gain after several months of stagnant numbers, but as I mentioned above, the totals are hardly impressive relative to DC’s past performances. The publisher has been mired in the low to mid-20s for some time now, well below the 30+ levels they’ve hit in the past, and while the February numbers are in the upper end of their recent range, there’s still enormous room to grow.

In terms of new female creators, this month is an array of returning favourites. There’s no one here that we haven’t seen at DC before. There are some solid showcases for emerging talents, though. Magdalene Visaggio in particular is set to have a huge month writing backup stories for a series of “Young Animal” specials. Mirka Andolfo continues her tour of the DC universe as well, with interior artwork on three different issues! She’s been in at least 6 or 7 different series in the past half year or so alone, doing wonderful work with each outing.

For female characters, there are a couple of new titles. Mera is launching her own six issue mini-series that marks her first ever solo outing. It’s long overdue, and will sport gorgeous covers by the always spectacular Nicola Scott. We’ve also got a new Wonder Woman book: She’ll be teaming up with the Dark Knight in The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman, which will be written and drawn by former Wonder Woman artist Liam Sharp. The “Young Animal” specials also feature several of the line’s female characters, as well as a guest appearance from Wonder Woman.

Overall, February looks to have slightly more female creator representation than we’ve seen from DC recently, but the numbers remain rather humdrum. The lack of new creators is disappointing as well; as wonderful as DC’s current female creator ranks are, one of the surest ways for the numbers to grow is adding new voices to the mix. The only problem is, editors have to go find them, and it doesn’t look like DC is putting a lot of effort into that right now.

Wonder Woman #25 Review: The Grand Finale for Rucka, Sharp, Evely, and the Rest!

June 28, 2017

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As someone who is absolutely steeped in Wonder Woman, who’s written a book about her and has read every single issue of Wonder Woman, you can take it to the bank when I say this: I don’t think there’s ever been a better 25 issue run of Wonder Woman than what we’ve been enjoying for the past year since the “Rebirth” relaunch. Wonder Woman has had some amazing runs over the years, and I could see arguments for other eras; the first two years of the Perez era, perhaps, or the fantastic bizarreness that was the Golden Age. But for me, what Greg Rucka, Bilquis Evely, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp have put together takes the top spot. This is in part because it’s amazing on its own, but even more so because it so successfully reoriented the character after her increasingly disastrous five year New 52 run. The team managed to fix a bad situation and tell an expansive, fantastic story at the same time. It’s really quite a remarkable feat. And now we’re at the end of it! We’ll discuss it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

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

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

Also, go read it! It’s very, very, very good!

This finale brings together all of the elements from this entire run, tying up the loose ends on some while leaving other plotlines open ended for future creators to explore. There are lots of references to past issues, including Wonder Woman’s first meeting with Batman and Superman from the recent Wonder Woman Annual #1; what seemed at the time like a fun, inconsequential one-off tale came into play here at the end. It’s a good example of what Rucka’s writing has done over the past year. Small beats had big ramifications down the road, and what seemed like tangents all added up to something bigger. I remember being frustrated with “The Lies” early on because it focused so much on the Cheetah, a character I’d just assumed was included as a quick initial foe for Wonder Woman, and took it’s time getting to the actual lies. But it turned out, of course, that the Cheetah was a pivotal player in this book, and that the slow burn at the start of “The Lies” laid a lot of the groundwork for everything to come. The master plan became visible only months later.

So the finale begins with Wonder Woman in a bad mood, and understandably so. Her family remains lost to her, the Cheetah has escaped, her lasso is gone, and worst of all, her gods have been lying to her. She’s got some anger about it all, so much so that she’s punching villains extra hard and ignoring Steve. But some straight talk from her pals Batman and Superman sends her on a quest to find her gods, and they honour her anger. A speech from a mysterious woman who turns out to be Athena sets things right; she acknowledges that Diana is right to be angry, but that even with all of the manipulations of the gods, “The truth of you has never changed, Diana. Even the gods themselves could not take that away from you.” It fits in text, a nod to Wonder Woman’s steadfast heroism during the trials of the past 25 issues. But I think the moment stands as a larger statement about Wonder Woman, that no matter how many different incarnations of the character there are, some of them good and some of them bad, there is a core to her that shines through, an essential truth about her strength, compassion, and heroism that was imbued in her from her earliest days. The gods then return her lasso as a sign that they love her, and she leaves with a renewed belief in herself and her larger mission.

She then finds Steve Trevor, and amorous activities ensue. I could be wrong, but I think that this might be the first time they’ve actually hooked up in text? It’s been implied at various times, but I can’t recall seeing them in anything like the heartwarming last page of this issue, with them in each other’s arms in bed. There was their kiss and the implication of something more during that night in the village in the Wonder Woman movie, but in the comics they dated from the 40s through the 80s, when they couldn’t show anything like that, and then Steve wasn’t a romantic factor for the next 25 years. With the New 52 relaunch, the romance was back but past. Now they’re actively together again, in ways I think we’ve never seen before. It works as a lovely end to the book, as a much deserved moment of love and happiness for Diana. Plus, Steve shaved for the occasion, getting rid of that god awful goatee, so it was a good scene all around!

The finale leaves the rest of the cast in several interesting, open ended spots. Etta Candy, who’s been an absolute delight in this run, is going after the Cheetah, her former girlfriend Barbara turned crazed feline foe. This is a story I need to see. Their relationship was a background element that became increasingly important in terms of the Cheetah’s connection to her humanity. I hope that Etta getting Barbara back is a priority for a future creative team. The Cheetah’s a much more interesting character now as well, and I very much hope that DC stays true to Rucka and Sharp’s revamp of her in the future.

And finally, my evil favourite, Veronica Cale. She’s the worst and I love her. Her backstory was so well established that we totally understand her full embracing of villainy now, and as much as it’s sad that she didn’t turn away from it, damn she’s a good villain. I’m going to miss Bilquis Evely drawing her so much. She brought such heart to the character throughout “Godwatch” and really sold the story through her take on Veronica. And here, Evely’s depiction of Veronica’s confrontation with Wonder Woman is just perfect. Her sneer when she refuses to help Diana is spectacular. Veronica Cale could be an epic villain for years to come, and I hope that DC embraces that and does her justice in the future.

So we’ve reached the end of the run, and while I’m sad it’s over, I’m glad that Wonder Woman has been so well reoriented. I’m also sort of happy that Rucka and everyone decided to end things here. I’d have been down for more, but everything has wrapped up well and they’ve accomplished what they set out to do beautifully. Diana is in a good place, and is well positioned for new teams to tell exciting stories with her moving forward. I’m looking forward to Shea Fontana and Mirka Andolfo taking over the book for the next few issues, though I’m considerably less keen on James Robinson coming in after that. However, I’m optimistic that his run is just a bit of “Rebirth” housekeeping and that the New Year will bring a new team with a fresh perspective to the book. Rucka, Evely, Scott, and Sharp have demonstrated how amazing Wonder Woman can be, and it will be fun to see new voices picking up the baton from here on.

The Comic Books To Read After You See Wonder Woman This Weekend

June 1, 2017

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Wonder Woman is hitting theaters tomorrow, with early showings tonight (I’M GOING TO SEE IT TONIGHT AND I’M SO EXCITED I CAN’T EVEN DEAL WITH IT), and soon lots of new Wonder Woman fans are going to be wondering what to read next. While I definitely suggest my book Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine, I’ve also put together this list of comic collections that I think best capture the history and the spirit of the character. Start here, new Wonder Woman enthusiasts! You’ve got so many fun comic book adventures head of you.

Here is the list, in chronological order:

list1

The Wonder Woman Chronicles, Volume 1, written by William Moulton Marston, art by H.G. Peter

It’s always good to start at the very beginning. While Wonder Woman’s early outings are also collected in Archive and Omnibus formats, the Chronicles line is the cheapest option. Marston and Peter imbued Wonder Woman with a unique brand of feminism that was central to the character from day one, and a lot of the core cast and elements in these comics have remained key to Wonder Woman for more than 75 years. The stories are often wacky and fantastical, but that’s part of the charm.

list2

Wonder Woman by George Perez, Volume 1, written and drawn by George Perez with others

We’re jumping a few decades here, but while Wonder Woman comics were interesting at times in the Silver and Bronze Age, they’re more deeper cuts than Wonder Woman 101. Perez’s relaunch of the character, though, was hugely influential, and remains a touchstone today. Even though it was a total reboot, in many ways it was a modern update of the original Wonder Woman that stayed true to her feminist core. And with fantastic art by Perez, these stories still hold up thirty years later.

list9

Wonder Woman: Paradise Lost, written and drawn by Phil Jimenez with others

While there were lots of good arcs in Wonder Woman in the 1990s and 2000s, this collection is my personal favourite. The “Gods of Gotham” storyline is just good fun; Batman, the Joker, and Poison Ivy get taken over by gods and Wonder Woman has to sort things out. It’s great. “Paradise Lost” is strong as well, but “She’s a Wonder!” is the best of the bunch, teaming up Diana and Lois Lane in a story that highlights the strengths of each character and shows the respect DC’s two leading ladies have for each other.

list4

DC: The New Frontier, written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke

This isn’t a Wonder Woman comic specifically; pretty near everyone in the DC universe stars in this story, which is set in the 1950s and explores the dawn of a new era of heroism. But Wonder Woman’s scenes in the book are ALL spectacular. She confronts both Superman and President Eisenhower, assembles a female army in Vietnam, and comes back from a major injury to lead the charge against a foe that threatens the entire Earth. Every single moment with Wonder Woman is fantastic and the rest of the book isn’t too bad either.

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Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman, Volume 2, by too many folks to list but they’re all great

We’re getting into recent stuff now, because the past few years have been an embarrassment of riches in terms of great Wonder Woman stories. Any volume of Sensation Comics could be on this list, really. They’re all standalone stories by different creative teams, and the majority of them are great. But this volume is probably the best one. Standouts include James Tynion IV and Noelle Stevenson’s tale of a young Wonder Woman visiting the outside world for the first time, and Lauren Beukes and Mike Maihack’s adorable tale of make believe. They’re all pretty fun, though.

list6

DC Comics Bombshells, Volume 1: Enlisted, written by Marguerite Bennett, art by Marguerite Sauvage and more

This is another ensemble book, and it’s just so much fun. The series is a retelling of World War II with DC’s female superheroes fighting the evil magical forces of the Nazis. No male superheroes are involved at all, and heroines like Batwoman, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman take center stage. It’s empowering and action packed and true to the characters, especially Wonder Woman, while being something totally unique and different. It’s also super queer, in all of the best ways. Few books capture the spirit of Wonder Woman as well as this.

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The Legend of Wonder Woman, Volume 1: Origins, written and drawn by Renae De Liz with Ray Dillon

I’m doubling up on recent World War II retellings here, but it can’t be helped. Both are just too good to pick only one. And this one is all about Wonder Woman, starting with young Diana growing up on Paradise Island and following her as she eventually leaves the island to save the world. It spends a lot of time with the Amazons, which is always fun, plus Etta Candy is a key player in the book, too. Also, it’s absolutely stunning. The art is lush and gorgeous and perfect for the era and the story. Do yourself a favour and check out this outstanding book.

list8

Wonder Woman, Volume 2: Year One, by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott

Greg Rucka has penned several excellent Wonder Woman stories, but this is far and away his best. It’s a modern retelling of Wonder Woman’s origins that draws from past incarnations of the character while simultaneously doing something fresh and exciting. And it’s straight up gorgeous, too. Nicola Scott was born to draw this book, and the heart and beauty she puts in every panel is an amazing thing to behold. This volume is the perfect gateway to the current Wonder Woman series, and is one of the best Wonder Woman stories ever told.

So definitely dig into all of these great collections! Most are still easy to find in print, and anything that’s not is available digitally (plus the bulk of them are on sale right now at Comixology!). And after you’ve checked out these books, keep digging! Wonder Woman’s got a fascinating history with more than 75 years of great comic books, and there are so many other fantastic volumes out there.

Wonder Woman Annual #1 Review: A Delightful Assortment of Tales!

May 31, 2017

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Annuals are tricky comic books. They cost more than a regular issue, so readers expect some extra bang for their buck. They also tend to be disconnected from the ongoing arc(s) in the main series, so it’s easy for readers to question their relevance. An annual is an expensive collection of standalone stories, most of which aren’t by the usual creative team, and it’s never a surprise when they invariably sell fewer copies than the series’ regular issues do. I know I’ve skipped all sorts of annuals over the years. But this one I was excited for. It’s a “Year One” reunion  with Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott back together, and that alone is worth the price of admission. So much so that I’d completely forgotten who else was in the book, to be quite honest. Those stories turned out to be fun as well, though! I mean, there’s one where Wonder Woman plays fetch with a kaiju. That’s quality entertainment. We’ll get to it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal important details from this very enjoyable comic book!

Do yourself a favour and go buy it now!

The first story is “And Then There Were Three” by Rucka and Scott. It was nice to have them back together after their stellar “Year One” run, and it was also great to have Rucka writing Batman and Superman again. He’s done fantastic work with both characters in the past, and in his hands they just felt right. DC’s trinity has been a little off kilter for me since the New 52 relaunch in 2011, and Rucka writing all three of them took me back to the characters as I know them best.

While the story tied into “Year One,” it didn’t have anything in the way of surprising revelations or information that added a key piece to the larger mysteries that have swirled throughout the “Rebirth” run. It was tangential, the story of Wonder Woman’s first meeting with Batman and Superman, but wow is it good. There are no big fights or drama, just great banter and a perfect distillation of their group dynamic. Superman teasing Batman is a dang delight, Alfred and Lois Laneare in the mix and amusingly so, and the end of the story, with Batman in awe of the pure heroism and love for the world at the core of Wonder Woman, is a great moment.

Plus it’s absolutely gorgeous. I wish Nicola Scott could draw Wonder Woman forever, and that Romulo Fajardo Jr. would be her eternal colorist. Scott has such a good handle on Wonder Woman, and captures her beautifully. She’s no slouch with Batman or Superman either! The entire story is exquisitely drawn from start to finish, from Metropolis to the Batcave to the Nevada desert, and makes for a wonderful opener to the annual.

Up next is “In Defense of Truth and Justice” by Vita Ayala and Claire Roe with colors by Jordie Bellaire. Ayala is an up an coming write at DC, and Roe is fresh off a run on Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. Their story pits Wonder Woman against the forces of Markovia as she works to save King Shark from an undeserved execution. I always love when Wonder Woman defends a villain who, though guilty of various crimes, is being treated an unfairly and needs help. These tales capture the compassionate core of the character, and Ayala and Roe do that well here, with some excellent action in the mix too. It’s a well executed story all around, with a great ending in which Wonder Woman tries to set King Shark on the right path moving forward with the help of one of her aquatic friends.

“The Curse and the Honor” by Michael Moreci and Stephanie Hans is just so pretty. The story itself is fine; the location is unnamed, but it looks like Wonder Woman is in a Japanese village, where she gives a warrior who has absorbed vengeful spirits the honourable death he deserves. But the art is stunning. Stephanie Hans always delivers amazing visuals, and this story is no exception. It’s a heavy tale, set in the winter so that Wonder Woman and her red cape appear in stark contrast to her surroundings. The art is lush and pretty, not so much finely detailed as atmospheric and moody. It is lovely all around; bringing in Stephanie Hans on this one was a very smart move from DC.

Continuing the Japanese influence, the final story is “The Last Kaiju,” written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing with art by David Lafuente and colors from John Rauch. As a giant kaiju approached a city on the Pacific coast, A.R.G.U.S. wants to light it up but Wonder Woman swoops in to deal with it directly. After a bit of fisticuffs, she ties it up in her golden lasso and learns that it’s not some mindless monster but a lost and lonely creature. Wonder Woman then defends the creature, flies it to Dinosaur Island where it can make friends, and they all play catch with a giant log. It’s cute and fun and again captured Wonder Woman’s compassionate core. Just like with King Shark, Wonder Woman willingly put herself in harm’s way to defend someone that no one else thought was worthy of defending. That’s always a great message for a Wonder Woman comic, and it’s nicely executed here.

All together, this was a pretty swell annual and definitely worth picking up. I came for Rucka and Scott’s take on DC’s trinity, but everything else was enjoyable as well. Plus it was great to see a wide variety of art styles and tones in the stories. It was an eclectic mix that all worked together to celebrate Wonder Woman’s heart and heroism. With the Wonder Woman movie coming just days from now, this is a fitting book to have on the shelves for new or returning fans.

Women at DC Comics Watch – May 2017 Solicits, 28 Women on 21 Books

March 6, 2017

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May looks to be a decent month for female creators at DC Comics, with the publisher set to post their highest number of different women for the year thus far. While the total is still somewhat below the highs that DC hit last fall, the numbers have been moving up for a couple of months now and are nearing the 30-range, a relatively strong bar for female representation at either superhero publisher. Let’s take a look at who is going what at DC in May 2017:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #19 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #20 (co-writer, cover)
  • Audrey Mok: Shade, the Changing Girl #8 (writer, interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #9 (co-writer), Shade, the Changing Girl #8 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: Wonder Woman #22 (interior art, cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: DC Comics Bombshells #26 (interior art), DC Comics Bombshells #27 (interior art), Detective Comics #957 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #8 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #22 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #23 (variant cover)
  • Genevieve Valentine: Detective Comics #957 (co-writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #11 (writer)
  • Jen Bartel: Shade, the Changing Girl #8 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #22 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #23 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: The Flintstones #11 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #7 (writer)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #10 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #10 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #10 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #27 (interior art)
  • Lilah Sturges: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #9 (co-writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #3 (co-writer), DC Comics Bombshells #26 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells #27 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Girl #8 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #26 (interior art), DC Comics Bombshells #27 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #9 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Red Hood and the Outlaws #10 (cover), Wonder Woman Annual #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Rachael Stott: DC Comics Bombshells #26 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #9 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #10 (co-writer)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #9 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #10 (variant cover)

All together, there are 28 different female creators set to work on 21 different books in May, 2 more women than in April though 3 fewer books. Things were a bit more concentrated this month; rather than women across the board, a few series like Shade, the Changing Girl and a double shot of DC Comics Bombshells had a lot of women in just a few places, thus the drop in different comics despite the gains in female creators overall. All together, it was a solid month for DC, and the nearest the publisher has come to their fall highs thus far in 2017.

In terms of new names, I think we’ve got a few women making their DC debuts, though they are known for their work elsewhere in the industry. According to my records, Audrey Mok, Jen Bartel, and Rachael Stott are all appearing in the DC solicits for the first time since this project began, and it’s always enjoyable to see pros from other kinds of comics pop in to do some corporate superhero fun. We’ve also got a couple of returning favourites; we haven’t seen Carmen Carnero, Genevieve Valentine, or Jill Thompson in a while, and it’s cool to have them back in the mix.

There’s not many new comics set to premiere at DC in May, much less ones with female leads. Things have been pretty steady at DC for a while now, so much so that I can’t help but expect a new wave of books sometime soon. June will mark a year since “Rebirth” began, so perhaps we’ll see some new titles then? DC’s been sticking with this lineup for several months now.

All together, May looks to be a decent month for women at DC Comics. There remains, as always, a massive amount of room to grow, but increases in female representation for two months running is a positive sign, as is posting the highest number of the year thus far. Hopefully June brings more growth, and perhaps some new series.


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