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Is it just me?

I don’t mean to offend any body, and I am sharing only my opinion. I’m not trying to pass it off as fact. But I cannot understand how anyone could enjoy this movie. I found it to be one of the most misogynistic pieces of garbage ever released. I mean the hatred for women wasn’t even disguised; it was all blatantly obvious. Sure, you can dress it up in a movie about strong women, but that doesn’t make the misogyny any less clear. 

Of course, I’ve never particularly thought that Zack Snyder (the director) has ever had a grasp on the concept of subtlety, so it’s no surprise even his misogyny is about as subtle as a brick to the face.

I love movies with strong female characters. But this movie is a travesty. These women were only strong in a dream world. A world which they only went to as an escape from the horrible things happening to them in the real world. That doesn’t make them badass. That means they have some sort of traumatic stress disorder.

So, aside from men who saw it basically for nothing but hot chicks and action, or men who don’t understand misogyny when it is slapping them in the face, I don’t get who truly enjoyed this movie.

It baffles me.

"What is Wonder Woman for?"

I’ve never seen people question why a comic book character exists or what right they have to be published. But in the last month on reddit, I’ve seen six posts of people asking questions like “Why does Wonder Woman deserve to be in DC’s Trinity over more important characters?” or “Who cares about Wonder Woman?” or “Who does Wonder Woman appeal to?” It’s frustrating, as a Wonder Woman fan. It’s especially frustrating because you never see people ask why Batman is so important. 

In response to a question of this nature, I posted this:

Okay, I may not have been a fan of Wonder Woman since birth. But I discovered Wonder Woman at the ripe age of 3. My mother thought comics would be a great way to teach me how to read and further comprehension of what I was reading. She took me to a comic book store and told me I could pick out any comic I wanted. I was drawn to one particular book: Wonder Woman volume 2 #1. I don’t know what it was at the time, but I would not accept any other books or characters (not that my mom fought me on it; in fact, she was overjoyed that I wanted Wonder Woman). From that point on, I was given a Wonder Woman issue every month. 

Part of my love of the character can be summed up pretty easily: I grew up with her. But where other characters have come into and gone from my life over the years, Wonder Woman has stayed with me. Why? Because she was intelligent. She was caring, almost to a fault. She understood the value and strength of truth, hope, and compassion. She showed me that it’s okay to be different and still be proud of who you are. She helped me understand that self-doubt doesn’t have to destroy you, and it doesn’t make you less of a person. She helped shape my view of the world, my view of women, and my view on the nature of good. While people around me, especially the other children I grew up with, were being told the difference between right or wrong by their parents, I was being shown what the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, truly looked like.

I have spent much of my teenage and adult life doing everything in my power to help the fight for women’s equality, equality for homosexuals, bisexuals, transgender, people of different races, et cetera. I grew up knowing that the simple fact that someone is different from me does not mean that they are less than me. And who taught me that more than anyone else? Wonder Woman. There were almost no other characters that showed this message to me in any other fictional medium. There were others that said they believed in equality, but Wonder Woman always practiced what she preached.

> could that be because the appeal isn’t as evident to other people as it is to you, an expert?

I always find this question a little ridiculous. What is the appeal of Superman? What is the appeal of Captain America? What is the appeal of Deadpool? What is the appeal of any character that doesn’t appeal to you? The fact that I don’t find a character appealing has never led me to question their validity as a character. If anyone likes the character, then clearly it has appeal.

> Which of those male characters were created to explicitly fill the void…

How about every character ever? Seriously. Every comic character was created to fill some sort of void. Superman was created to fill the void between pulp adventures and sci-fi adventures, but with a more human approach. Batman, also the void between pulp heroes and superheroes. Green Lantern, more sci-fi adventures. Then as the times changed, so changed the characters. The voids needing to be filled where broader, more diverse. Instead of just filling genre specific roles, they started filling the roles of race and gender, sexuality, gender identity. Wonder Woman was created to show both men and women that a woman’s role didn’t have to be simply in the kitchen. In that sense, I find her creation, and the void she filled, far more important than a very large amount of the characters that exist today.

> What differentiates Wonder Woman from Doctor Who, Firefly, Star Wars, Batman, Spider-Man, Spongebob Squarepants, etc?

This isn’t even a fair comparison, since these stories are all so vastly different. What sets her apart from Spongebob is that she’s a serious character with a message of hope, love, understanding, and compassion, set much closer to reality than a sponge who seems to forget he’s underwater. What sets her apart from Doctor Who is that she’s always featured strong, independent women, even in the 1940s. When Doctor Who started in the 60s, Barbara and Susan (and to a point Vicki) were merely there to need rescue from Ian and the Doctor; they were there to be the bumbling idiots who progressed the story. She’s different from Batman because, while he’s gotten darker and darker over the years, while he’s used fear and intimidation, Wonder Woman has always shown the opposite side of the emotional spectrum: love, hope, compassion.  She’s shown us, from the beginning, that these do not equal weakness. She’s shown that a hero can work in the light. Without Wonder Woman and her impact on the perception of female characters and women in general, we may not have ended up with movies like Star Wars or shows like Firefly and Buffy, which feature strong, intelligent women in starring roles, not just sex kittens, vixens, or ornaments. While she was not the sole reason that women are much closer to equal than they had been before her debut, she was a major contributing factor.

What it comes down to is: If you don’t like Wonder Woman, that’s fine. You don’t have to. But I don’t go around asking why other people’s favorite characters exist, what right they have to be published, who they are targeted at, simply because I don’t see the appeal. As I said before, if anyone sees the appeal, and they support what they like enough that the company still finds them viable, then kudos. Wonder Woman hasn’t lasted 72 years simply because DC needed a female character. Over the years, they’ve come up with a ton of other female characters: Batgirl, Black Canary, Vixen, Power Girl, Zatanna, Catwoman, any number of Green Lanterns, Big Barda, any of the Legion girls, Huntress, Mera, and so on. If Wonder Woman weren’t an appealing character, she would have been replaced decades ago. DC has already proven that they will cancel books that don’t sell.

Give Ame-Comi Girls a chance!

Cover of Ame-Comi Girls #01, art by Eduardo Francisco.

When I first saw the Ame-Comi statues solicited in Previews all those years ago, I just kind of rolled my eyes. Sure, I bought the Catwoman statue and a friend bought me the Wonder Woman statue. But I thought the idea was silly (and the statues were very poorly made).

Then they announced the Ame-Comi Girls comic series, and I just kind of laughed. Surely this take on my favorite characters could not possibly be worth reading. It’d be ridiculous, exploitative, and stupid.

Then they announced some of the talent: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray writing, Amanda Conner’s art on Wonder Woman, Ted Naifeh’s art on Duela Dent. “Okay,” I thought. “Maybe I’ll give it a shot.”

And I’m glad I did. I was pleasantly surprised. It didn’t get off to a huge start, but the story very quickly started to come together. The characters weren’t just bad caricatures of themselves; they were the heroines I knew and loved.

Sure, some of the art is bad (Mike Bowden’s art on Power Girl was down-right terrible, and how Tony Akins terrible art graced the same pages as Amanda Conner, I’ll never know). But the story was strong enough to keep me going.

Seriously. Give the series a chance. It starts with the Ame-Comi Girls Featuring… mini-series:

01. Wonder Woman
02. Batgirl
03. Duela Dent
04. Power Girl
05. Supergirl

And then moves into the Ame-Comi Girls ongoing series, the first print issue of which just came out last week, so go pick it up!

Image from Justice League #13. Pencils by Tony Daniel, inks by Matt Banning and Richard Friend, and colors by Tomeu Morey. Text changed by me.

In this photo, Wonder Woman’s head looks placed on her body backwards, all for the sake of both T *and* A!

I haven’t been much of a fan of the current Justice League title. Geoff Johns, who is normally a good writer, seems to be phoning it in. And when it comes to Wonder Woman? He makes it clear that he hates her. 

DC Bombshells Statue Line

DC is coming out with a new line of statues modeled after 1940’s fighter plane pin-up artwork, and I freaking love the two statues announced thus far!

Apparently, Wonder Woman is scheduled for March 2013, with Supergirl following (I don’t know when). I seriously dig this line, and I hope that DC continues with other great characters like Black Canary, Power Girl, Huntress, Catwoman, ZINDA BLAKE (totally perfect choice), and others. 

Please DC. Let these statues look this good when they’re released, and continue the series. AND PLEASE, PLEASE…. ZINDA!!!!!

I am partly super excited about this book, and partly trepidacious. Sif is a character I’ve long been interested in. And Journey Into Mystery has been a highly regarded book. I’m excited to get a book about Sif. But I am trepidacious because it’s written by Kathryn Immonen, and I have never read anything by her that I have enjoyed.

Here’s hoping.

Why I Should Stay Away From Web Forums:

Recently, there was a discussion on a forum titled “What’s a popular opinion/complain people have about comics that makes you angry?”

One person said:

Every time Batwoman seems to come up in a discussion, some fuckhead always says something like “I’d enjoy that book more if it wasn’t LOOK AT ME I’M A LESBIAN”.

Like, wow… All there really is is her at home with her girlfriend and less shit than male characters in other books. Is there something wrong with showing the struggles of having a double life? Or is it only a problem when you can’t relate to the main character? It’s not just brought up for shits and giggles or to get the readers off with, it’s pretty fundamental to her character and origin.

To which I responded:

This, oh my god this. Every time I hear someone say that the writers and artists are beating them over the head with lesbianism, I get incredibly pissed off. They’re not beating anyone over the head with anything. They’re making a well-rounded, interesting, flawed, human character. If it had been a man constantly trying to juggle his relationship with being a superhero, no one would say they’re beating us over the head with heterosexuality. DOUBLE STANDARDS. Drives me insane.

Batwoman is one of the few completely relatable characters, despite the fact that she’s a superhero.

I also added my own post to the discussion at large:

That Wonder Woman is not and can never be an interesting character that appeals to both men and women.

This could apply to every single female character. I hate the argument that the reason men sell better is because comic fandom is 90% men who want to relate to the characters they’re reading. There are almost no comic book characters in mainstream comics that I feel I can relate to in anything other than a superficial “We’re both…on…Earth!” way. That doesn’t stop me from reading comics. I wish people would broaden their perspectives a little bit. If the female-led books started selling better, they’d probably start getting more talented writers and artists on them. But the fact is, since in general they don’t sell so well, the companies are vastly less interested in putting top-tier talent on those books. And they’re also generally less interested in worrying about whether or not their series are consistent or even that good. They just jump around trying random things hoping one day something sticks.

I’m certainly not saying there is no top-tier talent on any female books. That is completely untrue. And I’m not saying that there are no female-led books that sell well. I’m just saying that the argument that “I’m a male, I want to read about dudes” is complete bullshit to me. I wish people who are so obsessed with Batman and Deadpool would give books like Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Birds of Prey, Captain Marvel, et cetera a legitimate chance.

I am also sick of women being nothing but token sex objects in comics. Come on. It’s 2012. Grow up. Why can’t the characters just be well-rounded, interesting characters, not placeholders for breasts and ass?

Kick Ass Women of Comics - Week of Oct. 17th/2012

I buy my comics on Saturday’s most weeks, so I’ll be making posts like this every weekend featuring the best in Women in Comics! Right now, I am incredibly short on comic book funds. I was only able to buy my personal essentials this week. And they are:

Wonder Woman #13 
Written By:
Brian Azzarello
Art By: Tony Akins (pencils and inks), Daniel Green (inks), Matt Wilson (colors)
Cover By: Cliff Chiang

I know there has been a lot of controversy over the New 52 Wonder Woman. People are not happy with the way Brian Azzarello is portraying her (or rather, her story and family). Whatever their complaints about the title, Azzarello is doing a fantastic job with the characterization of Diana. She’s smart, strong, compassionate, and more willing to talk than fight (but fight she will, if she must).

I personally love this Wonder Woman series, for the most part. Most of my complaints are minor and a bit nit-picky. A lot of the problems I had at the beginning have already been addressed. I trust Azzarello to not leave me hanging. And this issue was no exception. Very well written, with a nice mix of intrigue, humor, and serious human moments. 

My problem is Tony Akins’ art. I don’t want to say anything negative about him or his art, but I don’t personally find him to be the right choice for this book. I know DC tried to hire someone with a similar art style to Cliff Chiang, but I think they failed. Akins’ art is very jarring on this book, and a times I don’t believe he knows what humans look like. If they could find a better fill-in artist, I’d be ecstatic. Perhaps Akins’ would be better placed on a book with few humans in it. His non-humanoid characters are always very expressive and interesting.

Either way, Wonder Woman’s always at the top of my list of favorite books every month.

Batwoman #13
Written By: J.H. Williams III and Haden W. Blackman
Art By:
J.H. Williams III (pencils and inks), Dave Stewart (colors)
Cover By: J.H. Williams III

I love this book, and I especially love this team-up. Hearing the innermost thoughts of both Kate and Diana in regards to each other and their places in the world has been one of the best parts of this story arc.

Kate has quickly become one of my top five favorite comic characters, and her solo book has been a prime example of why. She’s independent, strong, brilliant, and entirely confident, while still seeming human. She’s very different from the rest of the Bat-family. She faces more supernatural threats. That’s one of the things that draws me to her, but it’s also the thing that leaves her out of the Bat-family crossovers (Night of the Owls and Death of the Family, neither of which have Batwoman tie-ins). I’m mostly okay with it. She’s a relatively new character, and I’m glad they’re focusing on creating her as her own character rather than showing who she is to Batman, which a lot of the other Bat-family books seem to focus on.

I don’t think that anyone can argue that J.H. Williams III is a fantastic artist. His use of two-page spreads outshines practically every modern comic artist. A lot of people seem to not like his writing. To them I say: He’s new to writing. Give him some time. Sure, he wrote Chase and a few here-and-there things over the years, but writing is still not his main job. I think he’s getting better, and every issue shows improvement over the last. Give it a shot. He’s no Greg Rucka, but he’s doing some great work.

I hope when DC collects this story arc of Batwoman that they don’t collect issue 12, then the zero issue, then issue 13. It really breaks up the flow of the story, and is not the optimal way to read it. I hope the trade re-arranges the story arc to be issue zero, issue 12-the end of the story arc.

Sword of Sorcery #01
Written By: Christy Marx, Tony Bedard
Art By: Aaron Lopresti (pencils and inks on Amethyst), Hi-Fi Colour Design (color on Amethyst), Jesus Saiz (pencils and inks on Beowulf), and Brian Reber (color on Beowulf)
Cover By: Aaron Lopresti and Hi-Fi Colour Design

To preface this, I should mention that I only read Amethyst. I may go back and read the Beowulf portion at some point, but Amethyst is entirely the reason I buy this book.

I’m so excited that Amethyst is finally getting an ongoing series again. If you enjoy books of magic and sorcery, swords and epic battles, medieval style political intrigue, especially when it’s all centers around a young girl thrust into a world and position she was not prepared for, Sword of Sorcery is the book for you!

Though we’re only two issues into the story (zero issue and issue 01), and thus far the story has been… a little predictable, I have much hope for the future. Christy Marx is doing a great job of building the ground work for some amazing fantasy.

And Aaron Lopresti’s art? Beautiful, as always. When asked who I’d like to see working on a new Amethyst book, I never had an answer for the writer. But my resounding answer for the art was always Aaron Lopresti. He is absolutely the perfect artist for this book, and I’m glad DC did the right thing and gave the book to him.

We all know that DC is more than happy to cancel books that aren’t selling very well, so PLEASE. Give Sword of Sorcery a shot. It’s a terrific book with a LOT of potential. I for one would love to see this book continue for many years to come.

And, that’s all I had money for this week. But that doesn’t mean those are the only great books out this week.

Birds of Prey #13, Catwoman #13, and Supergirl #13 all came out this week from DC Comics. Birds of Prey has been steady. Never quite as good as the pre-New 52 continuity books, but still enjoyable (though occasionally really confusingly written). Supergirl also has been enjoyable, especially once things started to pick up around issue 05. I just wish she’d start speaking English so she can communicate with people. Catwoman… Catwoman is my second favorite comic book character. And she just got rid of the horrible Judd Winick (I don’t think he’s always horrible, but his run on Catwoman certainly was). But issue zero, the first run of Ann Nocenti’s run, was easily one of the single worst comics I have ever read. I hope that Nocenti can step up her game.

From IDW Publishing, we have the second issue of Womanthology: Space. This anthology style book features an all-female cast of writers and artists. It’s the follow-up to the spectacular Womanthology: Heroic, which was an overwhelmingly successful kickstarter project. Check it out to see some incredibly talented women and some really great stories and art!

Marvel released Captain Marvel #05 this week. I’m a couple of issues behind, but the first three issues were fantastic. I love Carol, and I love that she’s finally starring in her own book again. Kelly Sue DeConnick is doing a beautiful job with Carol, and I truly hope this book lasts for many, many years to come.

And from Oni Press, issue 06 of the ongoing Courtney Crumrin series is released! I don’t have much to say about this, since I’ve only just started reading the first mini-series. But if maintains the same level of wit, charm, and mystique throughout it’s run, this will absolutely become a book I am excited about every month.

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