There's no getting around it; Danny Rand, the Immortal Iron Fist. the champion of K'un Lun, is an insensitively conceived character; a white guy who stumbles on an immortal race of Asian people and turns out to be better at their whole existence than them. That's the bedrock any creator has to deal with when crafting his stories.
A similar challenge faces the blaxploitation-themed Luke Cage, who became Danny's partner in 1972 in Luke Cage, Hero For Hire, which became Power Man & Iron Fist, in order to save both characters from cancellation. Originally written by Chris Claremont, the book passed to Jo Duffy when he left to focus on the increasingly popular X-Men franchise. Duffy's solution to Iron Fist's problematic backstory? Make him an idiot.
Ngozi Ukazu is a sensation in the world of webcomics. Her series Check, Please has an amazingly strong fandom --- translating the comic into other languages, indexing it, creating fanart and fanfic --- and her Kickstarter to print Check, Please Year 2 destroyed its goal in a matter of hours.
Check, Please follows Eric Bittle, former figure skater, during his years at Samwell University. He joins Samwell's hockey team and, well, it changes his life. ComicsAlliance had a chance to chat with Ukazu at Emerald City Comicon about hockey fandom, relationships, and finding humor in all kinds of situations.
Menage a 3 is a webcomic about the lives of three roommates --- the nerdy, cute Gary; the punk rock Zii; and the beautiful, gorgeous DiDi --- and all of their relationship misadventures. Imagine a sitcom, but cuter and sexier than anything on TV.
What if all of your worst nightmares were real? What if your most paranoid fantasies were more optimistic than the real world would ever be? What if those who seem to lead us to damnation are our only hope? Welcome to the Clean Room.
Insexts, the AfterShock comic by Marguerite Bennett and Ariela Kristantina, mixes gothic and body horror to tell a feminist story about women monsters in love. Lady Lalita Bertram (she just goes by Lady) is a rich widow, and Mariah is her maid. Except that they're actually lovers and devoted partners, and even have a child together. They're also insectoid monsters, especially Lady, who has a tendency to sprout deadly bug-parts when she's stressed out. And thanks to the expectations Victorian society places on women, she gets stressed out a lot. And yes, some men die along the way.
These songs were chosen because they reflect some combination of the monstrous feminine, the gothic violence, and the unapologetically queer themes of the comic.
Escapist fantasies are seductive in their power to take us away. Whatever mundane, excruciating chore you find yourself mired in, forget it. Imagine yourself in a fairy tale, where the fantastic and enchanting and eye-catching come to life. Or fashion yourself with some unshakable destiny, charted on a world-saving path that is only yours.
In Megan Lavey-Heaton and Isabelle Melançon's Namesake, Emma Crewe gets both of those — she's plopped into a world of inter-stitched classic fairy tales (Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz) to find herself expected to serve as a "Dorothy." Her fantastical escape might not be quite what she expected. ComicsAlliance spoke with Melançon and Lavey-Heaton about genre subversion, color choices, and the problem with "grimdark."
What happens when a young thief winds up rescuing a boy from certain doom at the hands of a demon out to eat him? Apparently, it's the start of one of several beautiful friendships in Touya Mikanagi's Karneval, a fantasy manga series with a wide cast of characters and gorgeous art that sees two main characters try to unravel multiple mysteries in their world.
Marie Severin was a woman in comics in an era when a woman in comics wasn't even considered a thing to be. She got her start as a colorist at EC Comics in 1949, and worked there until they were largely driven out of business by the Comics Code in 1955. Severin wouldn't return to comics until the '60s, where she found a new home at Marvel.
For this tribute gallery, I've focused on her pencilling work at Marvel. As a penciler, she's probably best remembered for working on Dr. Strange in Strange Tales, Incredible Hulk, and Namor the Sub-Mariner, but she drew fill-in issues and covers for many, many books.
Imagine spending your whole life living in the same place, doing the same thing, with the same people. You’re happy, you think. But when an opportunity of a lifetime comes along, are you happy enough to stay?
Valkyrie is one of my favorite Marvel characters, even if she's always been a bit of a B-lister. She's a woman warrior who's never afraid to be aggressive and take what's hers. Indeed, it would be easier just to say that's she's never afraid, period. She's a mainstay of my favorite Marvel team, the Defenders, and she's also probably the only Marvel Asgardian who never stood in Thor's shadow.
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