Marvel launches the eighth of its nine solo titles with a female lead in November with Spider-Woman #1, and the book sadly already has a cloud over it. A variant cover by master erotic artist Milo Manara stirred enough controversy last week to garner mainstream attention. The cover featured Spider-Woman with her apple-shaped butt raised high in decidedly unheroic manner. It was exactly what one would expect from Manara, who has created a number of superheroine illustrations for Marvel, but the image suggested a particularly overt tone of sexual objectification that could alienate the sort of readers who attended the Women In Marvel panel at San Diego where the series was announced.
As far as I can recall, Marvel has more female solo titles now than ever before, with a ninth title, Angela: Asgard's Assassin, launching in December. On paper, that suggests a laudable effort to reach out to superhero comics' growing and under-served audience of female readers. Yet the Manara incident serves to remind us that books about women can very easily be targeted to a male audience.
There's currently an unspoken contest between Marvel and DC to see who can produce more comics aimed at a female audience. It's possible the contest only exists in my head, as I've been keeping a tally of solo titles with female leads for the past several months -- but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that editors at the two publishers have also been keeping track.
Each week, ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims and Matt Wilson host the War Rocket Ajax podcast, their online audio venue for interviews with comics creators, reviews of the books of the week, and whatever else they want to talk about. ComicsAlliance is offering clips of the comics-specific segments of the show several days before the full podcast goes up at WarRocketAjax.com on Mondays.
This week, Chris and Matt start off by gushing about Grayson #2 by Tim Seeley, Tom King, and Mikel Janin. Then, they do pretty much the opposite to Genius #1 by Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman and Afua Richardson. Then, it's back to gushing about Moon Knight #6 by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire!
A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month.
July's comic book covers bring some gorgeous high contrast images and striking character portraits. There's a moment of grief; a moment of action; a moment of reflection; and a moment of revelation. Check out amazing work from Christian Ward, Eleanor Davis, Tommy Lee Edwards, and Lucy Knisley.
Dick Grayson is one of those characters that's been rumored to be on DC Comics' chopping block for well over a decade now, so like a lot of readers, I expected his unmasking in Forever Evil to be followed by a quick and ignominious death at the hands of, I don't know, Deathstroke or Harley Quinn or somebody. When it was announced that it would instead be leading into a new series where he'd be ditching the Nightwing identity and joining up with Spyral as an international super-spy, I was actually pretty excited. There's a lot of possibility there, and if it was done right, it could take advantage of what the New 52 reboot had to offer by doing something that we hadn't seen before with that character, something that would be fresh and exciting even for a major DC character who's been around since 1940.
With the first issue of Grayson, Tim Seeley, Tom King & Mikel Janin and cover artist Andrew Robinson have done their level best at doing just that, and they've pulled it off. This is a book that jumps straight into the action, that's not afraid to drop some really, really weird stuff on you right in the first issue, and the end result is one of the strongest new titles since the New 52 got its start in 2011.
Last week, the news broke that Dick Grayson would no longer be operating as Nightwing, instead being relaunched into a new spy-themed adventure series called Grayson, by Tim Seeley, Tom King and Mikel Janin. Spinning out of the events of Forever Evil that saw his identity revealed to the world, the new series finds the former Robin, former Nightwing and former Batman (dude has a long resumé) joining up with Spyral, a mysterious organization that first appeared in Batman Incorporated.
To find out more about Grayson's transition from superhero to superspy, I talked to Seeley, who has been working with King, a former CIA counterterrorism officer, to bring the series to life. In the interview, we discuss Dick Grayson's role as a "free spirit" who isn't tied to Gotham City in the way that Batman is, the writing process of Batman Eternal, and even the "G" on Dick's chest.
In the series Grayson debuting July 2, Dick Grayson is hanging up his domino mask and taking on a new life as an undercover spy. The series will be written by Tim Seeley (Revival, Batman Eternal) and Tom King, a former CIA counterterrorism officer who wrote the superhero book The Once Crowded Sky.
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