Sunday, October 06, 2013

Five best comic titles of September

Six issues ago, Kate proposed to Maggie. In issue 23, Maggie accepts the demons that make Kate Batwoman.  Not only that, Maggie finally gives her answer:  Yes.  It's a nice 'breather' issue leading up to the epic battle, Kate versus Bruce, Batwoman versus Batman.

Batwoman 24, with that battle, hits comic book stands October 16th.  In the mean time marvel over the amazing look of Batwoman, no other comic looks anything like it.  Trevor McCarthy and Guy Major create a one-of-a-kind look for this woman of the night that is both cinematic and operatic.  The look, in fact, is what some parents once feared comics might evolve into leading to the comic book censorship of the fifties.


In the world of comics, there are few originals.  Take Batman.  Was he a copy of The Black Bat or vice versa?  This year, Dynamite Comics resurrected the title.  In the latest issue (number four) of The Black Bat, Tony explains:

I should have followed in his footsteps.  Instead, I was a disappointment; a corrupt mob lawyer who got his comeuppance.  My name is Tony Quinn.  Two years ago I was disbarred, my fiancés were seized, and I had my eyes gouged out . . . I lost everything and tried to end it all.  Then I was offered what most people never get . . . a second chance.  Now equipped with new eyes and specialized training, I'm trying to make amends for the wrongs I've done.  I've adopted a persona called The Black Bat and I'm taking down the criminals that are plaguing the city, the guilty men I knowingly defended.

The Black Bat is turning into a lively title which gets by on action and very few words.  By contrast,  emerging super hero Frank Wells can't shut up in Comix' Catalyst issue number three.  Despite his non-stop yapping, the character is coming to life.  While managing to carve out a voice isn't a minor thing but the comic jumps around and while Frank's become sharper, other elements (Amazing Grace) are clearly out of focus and question the abilities of Joe Casey to pull together multiple stories into a cohesive larger one.


Issue three of another title, Oni Press' The Mysterious Strangers is far more successful.  Picture The Bugaloos in a wild orgy with Josie &; The Pussycats and the IMF Team of Mission Impossible and you've got The Mysterious Strangers:.Dashing Verity,  Michael Kono and Sandoval.  The pop art look both fits the sixties setting and takes this super-spy title to another level.  Sandoval can kill with a touch, Kono's touch works on electronics and Verity can slow down time or speed it up which makes them much more effective than James Clapper or others in the spy business. 

Which brings us to issue 20 of Wonder Woman.  Gods like Hera are now human and it's up to Wonder Woman to save the day but can she?

She notes, as she soars through the air, "While you bicker about your perceived threats, Apollo, I've seen the true threat's face . . . Looked into the monster's abysmal black eyes.  And I know there's nothing there . . . nothing but hate.  So let me assure you, it means not only to take your throne, but your life.  And it can't be stopped." 

This has been an exciting time for Wonder Woman and we've been thrilled to be here witnessing the rebirth of one of comic's greatest heroes.

Sadly, not everyone's been on board.  79-year-old Gloria Steinem slammed the changes.   We called out Gloria's idiotic and ill formed statements last year.  Others, like Jacki Zehner, joined Gloria in stupidity.  Gloria is not an 'expert' on Wonder Woman nor should she write a screenplay for Wonder Woman.  Her comments that Zehner quotes represent gross stupidity about comics.  Wonder Woman can't be Richie Rich and compete in today's comics.  Don't like violence?  Then don't read super hero comics.

We were already covering Wonder Woman when Gloria lashed out and the thing there is we were aware that while we were noting the comic at least every three months, Gloria hadn't picked up the title since the seventies.

Gloria also doesn't understand the concept of re-imagining.  Titles have to be restarted.  Wonder Woman cannot be the same as it was in 1942 and still be entertaining and pertinent in 2013.  What was done with Wonder Woman has been done with many other characters.  Gloria was almost on stronger ground when she noted that no women were writing or drawing the title.

Slightly stronger ground? 

Gloria's done nothing for women who write or draw (or both) comics.  So for her to show up and whine about that?  Get a life.

On reconfiguring, as much as Gloria hates what was done to Wonder Woman, we can't stand what was done to Batman in the Christopher Nolan films.  But we didn't start a campaign against them.  Comics have been reconfigured forever and a day.  Long before Gloria Steinem tried to co-opt feminism, Batwoman (created in 1956) was, along with other Silver Age characters, put out to pasture as the Batman world was reconfigured in 1964.

Where's Gloria been with the return of Batwoman?

We started covering her when she got the lead in Detective Comics and have continued our coverage as her self-titled series started.

Gloria knows nothing about comics but wants to stomp her feet over changes to Wonder Woman?  We didn't.  We saw a point to them.  They were about making the character more vital.  And it's been a success.

The five titles we've addressed this go round were the five strongest of September.

Note: As this goes up there is only one image.  There are two more we hope to put in.  But we've been working for two hours with image issues and need to get this edition posted now.

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