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.
Ever since it first started, Mike Maihack's Batgirl/Supergirl has been ComicsAlliance's favorite take on those two characters, probably ever. The strips are unfailingly charming and delightful, and the clash between Batgirl's understandable grumpiness and Supergirl's relentless cheer makes for some classic comedy. Now, though, we're all getting pretty excited about the official version of Batgirl, with the announcement of Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr's impending takeover of the book with an amazing new costume, it looks like there might be a rival for our Batgirl-related affections coming up soon.
But, as Maihack has proven in his latest strip, there's nobody more excited about Batgirl's new costume than her best friend Kara.
If you aren't familiar with Mike Maihack's Supergirl and Batgirl comic strips, you're missing out. Best known for his creator owned Cleopatra in Space, as well as his contributions to Archaia's Jim Henson's Storyteller, Maichack started his Supergirl Batgirl strips in 2011, and they're pretty great. While they've recently taken a back seat so that Maihack can focus on his creator owned projects, he does make a return for special occasions, including this year's Christmas strip, which you can check out below.
Today the comics community mourns the loss and celebrate the life and work of cartoonist Al Plastino, a veteran of DC Comics whose enduringly popular creations include the Legion of Super-Heroes and Supergirl. Plastino was in the news this year after it was discovered that the artwork for which he was most proud, created for a story in which Superman undertook a mission at the behest of American President John F. Kennedy, was available in a high-priced auction and not donated to the late President's museum as Plastino said he'd been promised.
Toymaker Tonner has been crafting high-end DC Comics fashion dolls for awhile now, but this December fans will be able to find versions of Supergirl, Wonderwoman and Mera sporting their Jim Lee-designed New 52 costumes.
Square Enix's Play Arts Kai takes on the last cousins of Krypton previously showcased at SDCC have finally received a shiny coat of paint. New images of the DC Comics Variant Superman and Supergirl in all their blue, red and yellow glory have arrived, giving fans a solid (if not telescopic vision-enhanced) look at both of the 9.5" tall strange visitors from another planet.
Back when Square Enix unveiled its first batch of DC Comics Variant Play Arts Kai action figures at Toy Fair 2013, fans had a lot to say about Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Flash and Batgirl's reimagined looks blending American and Japanese design aesthetics. At Comic-Con, SE's back with fully painted versions of Flash and Batgirl, along with unpainted prototypes of Superman, Supergirl and Aquaman. Will the new designs prove any less polarizing? See for yourself after the jump.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we've created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it's new, some of it's old, some of it's created by working professionals, some of it's created by future stars, some of it's created by talented fans, and some of it's endearingly silly. All of it's awesome. In honor of this year's 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Superman and this weekend's release of Man of Steel, we present for the second time a compilation of some of the coolest portraits of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's brilliant creation that we've highlighted in this feature over the last few years. We know it's cheating but we didn't count on going away for a month and then coming back in the middle of a big media event. All-new next week evermore.
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