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Katie Schenkel

Unsinkable Ship: Why Barbara Gordon And Jason Todd Are Stronger Together [Love & Sex Week]

DC Comics
DC Comics

When I first jumped into the Batbooks early into the New 52, I was disappointed to learn that Barbara Gordon, my favorite superheroine, hadn’t had many love interests, and even less showing up in the new canon. How did a character so awesome, who had been around for so long, have so few romances over the years? I had started brainstorming who I would pair her with, and around that time I checked out the event comic Death of the Family.

In the last issue, the Batfam had stopped the Joker, but they were all still coming down from the Joker toxin. While they were all sitting in a pool of water, grinning painfully against their wills, there was this one detail towards the back of the panel...

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Good Thing: Jory And Hunter Take The Next Step In ‘Backstagers’ #6

Boom Studios
Boom Studios

Boom’s Backstagers is one of my favorite comics to premiere in the last year. Ryan Sigh’s lineart and Walter Baiamonte's colors bring the weird, gorgeous magical backstage world to life, but it’s also worth highlighting James Tynion IV’s writing, particularly his focus on overt, in-canon queer representation.

Before Backstagers #7 comes out on February 22, I want to take note of the loveliness that is Backstagers #6, published in January. Spoilers for #6, and for the series as a whole, below.

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Enjoy The Madness: The ‘Shade the Changing Girl’ Mixtape [Music Week]

Marley Zarcone & Kelly Fitzpatrick / DC Comics
Marley Zarcone & Kelly Fitzpatrick / DC Comics

Shade The Changing Girl --- part of DC's Young Animal imprint --- tells the story of Loma, a rebellious alien who steals a magic coat of madness, runs away to Earth, and possesses the body of a comatose teenage Earth girl. Along with Cecil Castellucci's trippy script, the space-bending, psychedelic visuals from artists Marley Zarcone and Kelly Fitzpatrick are a core part of what makes Shade the Changing Girl so fantastic. When planning the playlist, I wanted to find weird, intense tech/pop songs, less focused on the lyrics and more on the mood of each song.

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Things Go Bump In The Night In ‘My Monster Boyfriend’ [Fantasy Week]

mymonsterboyfriend-cover-feat

It's Fantasy Week here at Comics Alliance, and many of my fellow CA contributors are writing about their favorite monsters. And I can respect that, but why would I choose one monster when I could highlight a book with lots of monsters instead? Especially when these monsters are all really, really sexy.

Published by Iron Circus Comics and edited by C. Spike Trotman, Smut Peddler Presents: My Monster Boyfriend has ten short comics about monsters and the humans who love them. Its highly successful Kickstarter earlier this year (paired with the femdom erotica comic Yes, Roya) raised over $160,000. There is clearly a market for comics full of sexy monster boys, is what I'm saying.

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Deeper Space: How ‘Omega Men’ Stands Apart [Sci-Fi Week]

omegamen-feat

2015's The Omega Men tells the story of a group of freedom fighters (or terrorists, depending on who you’re talking to) in a section of deep space called the Vega System who have taken White Lantern Kyle Rayner as prisoner. This is all part of their big plan to once and for all tear down the oppressive government that controls their star system.

Over the course of 12 issues, the book by writer Tom King, artist Barnaby Bagenda, and colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr, brings hard looks on corruption, how the very things that should be enriching or protecting people can rot from the inside, and the assumption that anyone fighting against an evil is then inherently good themselves. Now out in trade paperback, the collection also happens to be one of the more fascinating sci-fi graphic novels of the 2010s.

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The World Could Use More Power Pack [Kids’ Comics]

powerpack-featured

Earlier this month Marvel put out the fourth issue of its Civil War II tie-in series, Choosing Sides, and while most of the Civil War-related stories are dark and depressing, this particular issue included a Power Pack story courtesy of writer John Allison, with lineart by Rosi Kämpe and colors by Megan Wilson.

The story is quiet, sweet, and contemplative, with three of the four Power kids debating the issues being fought over in the larger Civil War II event, and ultimately deciding that the issues are more complex than one side being right and the other being wrong. Reading the story reminded me of a question that's been on my mind for a while; why isn’t there an ongoing Power Pack series right now?

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Who is This For? Breaking Down Adam Hughes’ ‘Betty & Veronica’ #1

bettyveronica-feat

When the Betty & Veronica solicits came out weeks ago, I had a lot of concerns. Like, a lot of concerns. Mostly that Adam Hughes, a man known for drawing pin-ups, was going to be both drawing and writing a series about the best frenemies of the Archie Universe in their biggest fight. It certainly didn’t help that this was going to be yet another book in the new Archie line-up written by a man. But hey, I love Jughead, written by Chip Zdarsky (especially how it confirmed Jughead as ace), and Archie, written by Mark Waid, has been going strong. I tried to keep an open mind, waiting to pass judgement until it came out this month.

I’ve read the issue. And it has some major problems. So let’s talk about it.

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The Case For Pansexual Starfire [Pride Week]

PrideWeek-Starfire

Earlier in the week, I participated in Comics Alliance’s Queer Superteam Fantasy Draft. We each chose seven queer characters we’d want to see on a team book together (in a perfect world where comic companies shared their characters with each other). Nearly all the picks for each participant had to be in-canon LGBTQ+ representation, but we also got to choose one wildcard --- a character that wasn’t confirmed on page as queer, but who we felt should be part of our team. And while I have many queer headcanons for many different superheroes, my wild card pick had to be Starfire.

Because Starfire is so obviously pansexual. It’s so obvious that it’s frustrating that the comics have never confirmed it.

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Filed Under: , , Category: DC, Opinion

Lesbian Viking Heroes: Should You Be Reading ‘Heathen’? [Pride Week]

PrideWeek-Heathen

When you look at the sheer range and number of original stories being told in comics form today, it’s hard to imagine a better time to be a comics reader. Online and in print, from all around the world, artists and writers are telling stories with their own voices and styles, and there’s so much to choose from that it’s sometimes difficult to know what to read next. With Should I Be Reading… ?, ComicsAlliance hopes to offer you a guide to some of the best original ongoing comics being published today.

Do you like Vikings? Do you like lesbian heroes? Do you like comics about Viking lesbian heroes? Then you might just like Heathen, Natasha Alterici’s creator-owned comic series.

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The Power of Pink in New Reader-Friendly ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink’ #1

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink #1

There are few comic series that feel quite as tailored to my interests as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink. A brand new series out today, the comic is a collaboration between two of my favorite comic writers, Brenden Fletcher and Kelly Thompson, writing for one of the female leads from one of my favorite TV shows growing up.

When Boom Studios announced the series earlier this year, I am instantly sold simply on that information alone. But Fletcher and Thompson’s work on issue one, with artist Daniele Di Nicuolo, colorist Sarah Stern, and letterer Ed Dukeshire, goes beyond just nostalgic fare for the Mighty Morphin fan.

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