Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Comics....

Its still April which is Women in SF and F month, celebrating the writers in the field, so I will be dong a bit of that here with comics. If you like genre history and wonder whatever happened to those attempts to make a Wonder Woman movie, you recall the one Joss Whedon was working on before Avengers, you might like go check out this documentary on PBS Independent Lens called Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. I knew some of the history having been a comics fan for so long but some of the interesting social and historical issues make the overall story much more interesting. Now on with some current women writers in comics you definitely should be reading.... For a more complete list go here for the Wikipedia article on women creators in comics.


Gail Simone has an excellent comics writing history including a run of Deadpool for Marvel, Action comics, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman and the current Batgirl comic for the new52 at DC. My favorite of all her works I have read is Secret Six but I have yet to read some of the current Batgirl run.

Secret Six ran as a continuing series for three years leading up to its end shortly before Flashpoint. It showcased a collection of wonderfully twisted anti-heroes, well villains, including Deadshot, Catman, Scandal Savage, Bane, King Shark, Jeanette, and Knockout and Ragdoll among a larger cast of nere do wells. In many ways it was an adult counterpart to the writing of the eighties New Teen Titans; personal drama and infighting abounded along with all the witty, quick paced advetures of these miscreants that for all their faults were amazingly supportive and respectful of each other. Gail brought a great amount of humanity to these villains and I really miss reading about them.

Here is a link to the full Wikipedia article that covers all the titles that bore the name Secret Six and its the final incarnation I'm speaking about here. I missed the Six so much that when I saw that Simone and Jim Calafiore enough that when their Kickstarter for Leaving Megalopolis appeared I had to jump in and back it.

I have yet to read Gail's acclaimed run on the current Batgirl comic but was one of the comics fans that called for her to be returned to the title after her being mysteriously let go for a very short period. She is one of the writers that always peeks my interest in books when her name is attached to them.


Marjorie M Liu has been writing comics around the marvel universe for a while now including the Xmen spinoff Nyx, X-23, and Dark Wolverine, in addition Black Widow and the ongoing Astonishing Xmen (beginning with issue 48). People have been kind of making a big deal of the upcoming Xmen, by Brian Wood, with an all female team starting next month but as far as my recollection goes Marjorie is pretty much the only woman given the reigns of a mainline Xmen series. She is a New York Times Bestselling author with several different series to her credit in the paranormal romance and urban fantasy genres and has been writing up a storm in Astonishing.


Marjorie has taken and married Northstar to his longtime life partner in an event that drew some media attention; she pulled together an odd group of characters including Wolverine, Iceman, Karma, Gambit and Warbird and is proceeding to expand these characters into more then the mutant badasses they have been. Having a woman writing what has been pretty much a boys club is a good and refreshing thing and I hope to see more diversity like this in the industry. Not only is Marjorie a woman writer but she is a mixed race writer and who better to see the "marvel" world from an outsider kind of perspective. This is one series that because of cost I have fallen behind on but I liked what I had a chance to read.

In terms of Marjorie's writing I read the majority of the X-23 series and I did like the developments in the lives of Gambit and the series lead that came about in the short 21 issue series. I've also read some of her Urban Fantasy and the short story she had in the Masked superhero short fiction anthology. She has a strong and unique style and writes women who are anything but a damsel in distress. Here is a link to her website.

Kelly Sue DeConnick is probably my favorite writer in the Marvel stable at the moment and that is due in total to the current Captain Marvel series which I have spotlighted at least once and will probable do so again. Now Carol Danvers is not the only character Kelly Sue writes she's also been writing the Avengers Assemble title in addition to a lot of single issues and stories including the Castle comic adaptation and 30Days of night. Her name is attached to a lot of different projects on her website but based on the coolness that is Captain Marvel I'd be interested in looking into them and look forward to the crossover that is coming next month. Looks like the website will be updated but there is a link at the top to her social networking links right up there at the top.


Her take on Carol Danvers is much like the approach Kelly's husband comic writer Matt Fraction has taken on another favorite of mine Hawkeye. This comic may just have more of the whiz bang zap superhero action then Clint's but overall this is a story about Carol and how she is dealing with her life and the people around her. The book has involved alternate history stories, time travel, giant robots, dinosaurs, meetings with IronMan the other Captain Marvel's (yes plural). My first encounter with Carol was in her appearances in the Uncanny Xmen and her eventual transformation into Binary.

She is a much abused character and deserves the respect that Kelly has given her and though she's going through lots of drama now its all good, really, since she is no wilting violet and can totally take it an be her own heroine. She loves and supports her friends as much as the aforementioned Clint is taking care of his own to his own detriment. The feel of these characters and their stories calls to mind the old marvel stories; heroes with problems and real life issues and problems. Carol likes and knows her neighbors. Kelly knows how to write and even writes kids that are cute and endearing without being diabeties inducing. Though I have not read Batgirl yet I still stay Marvel is my favorite currently.



So for the final woman in comics this week spotlight is the wife of one of my favorite artists for years, she is Kathryn Immonen and is the author of another of my spotlight comics - Journey into Mystery. She is currently writing the adventures of the woman adjunct to the warriors three in the past, Sif. Sif has been the companion to the heroes Thor and his cohort, the lover of the replacement Thor, Beta Ray Bill, oh so my favorite Norse marvel cosmic comic hero. Journey into Mystery is one of my proud pleasures; I love this book and the berserkers here are so much more real characters then the ones in the Vikings series on History Channel that I really don't like anyone on the series then the guy named for Loki.

I leve you with a cosmic image of Beta Ray Bill and Sif in the issues to come in the next few months, if you've never read the old..... Oh sorry this is a month about women writers so I will leave it at this Gail Simone, Marjorie M Liu, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Kathryn Immonen do something different and unique with these existing creations; the promise of diversity in the writing stable for comics is a good thing. I love these books and ones I have yet to cover and ones I have yet to read most likely. If you check the women in comics link above you can see how many writers there are out there. Check them out and check back next week and I'll have more women writers I hope.... There are the first that occure to me... Love their work...


In addition to my endorsements of the comics I in courage you to check out Marjorie M Liu's urban fantasy novels....give them a go if your a comics fan....


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