Post Cover Controversy, Spider-Woman Becomes Spider...Mom?



I've never read a Spider-Woman comic book. So before you yell at me and say I have no clue what I'm talking about, I know. I really don't when it comes to her character. But what I do know is what it takes to be a parent. Balancing a career, hobbies and the needs of three children are no small task.

Remember when Spider-Woman was depicted in a ‘painted on’ costume with her ass high in the air? It's art, so I won't bash it. I think there's a place for all kinds of art no matter how a character is portrayed. Milo Manara's artwork is stunning for what he does. But it upset some people and garnered a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons.

Regardless of the pornographic, neck breaking nature of the pose. Even Reed Richards would be impressed!

It's ironic that now, after a pose that had her showing off her wares, Spider-Woman finds herself pregnant post-Secret Wars. Her promotional cover shows off her baby bump as she appears to be deep into the third trimester.

That being said, as a father, I'm drawn to heroes who have children. Many heroes forgo a family life so they can continue to go about saving people without any attachments. It's a far more intriguing story when children are involved.

One of my favorite characters when I first got into comic books was NOMAD (Jack Monroe). Traveling around being hunted by the government, yet feeling compelled to help people wherever he went, NOMAD was a great concept to begin with. When he rescued a baby girl from a drug addict, his story became 100x more interesting. Here's this guy, trying to save people while raising a baby girl on his own. Without the ability to settle down because he's on the run! Having an affiliation with Captain America (as a former Bucky), Jack named the girl 'Bucky' of course!

NOMAD lasted 25 issues and it was one of my favorite runs for a character.

Another hero turned parent was pre-Flashpoint Arsenal (Roy Harper). He struggled with is own addictions and had very little self-worth as he fell out of the 'hero business'. When he found himself charged with the care of his own daughter, Lian, he re-discovered the need to make the world a better place. It was Lian who inspired him to reclaim the mantle of Arsenal and suddenly he began a new journey. His devotion and love for Lian began to define the character he would become. Everything he did, he did for her.

The introduction of Lian into Roy's life made his character complete and enjoyable to read. It was a character arc that featured someone grow as a person and go from selfish to selfless. He's one of my favorite characters because of it.

Now, without any formal introduction to her, I have become interested in reading Spider-Woman's story. She will balance motherhood with heroing. Some will criticize Marvel for putting a man (Dennis Hopeless) in charge of telling a story of a mommy superhero, but that's a blog post for another day. Regardless of who is writing it, we have another hero in comics who will continue to fight for what's right while raising a child.

We don't know yet if a father will be in the picture to watch the baby while she’s off saving people. If there is no father, what led to her being single and pregnant? One-night stand? Failed relationship? Who will watch baby when she dons her costume?

Adding a child to her life will certainly create some new stories with interesting twists as she seeks to find the right balance between motherhood and being a hero. What dangers and risks will she be willing to take knowing that a child awaits her return? The more I think on it, the more I'm considering giving it an early commit to my pull-list.

There is something about the parent/hero that has me reaching for my wallet.

From a meta point of view, when explaining the Manara portrait, maybe she tells her child that she was young and needed the money? I'd love to be a spider on the wall for that conversation!

The more I think on it, the more I'm considering giving it an early commit to my pull-list.

The TRUTH About Comic Books


Comic books are an ever changing medium. On-going stories with no endgame in sight. When you don't have a definitive ending it's important to keep telling new and refreshing stories that continue the slow burn of advancing a character. Even the supporting cast has time to really develop over the years.

After a while, the formula needs to be tossed out. A new mix of ingredients needs to be created in order to keep things fresh. Not everyone will like the changes made, but those changes will draw in a new era of readers while appealing to most from a previous era. Some readers will be phased out as they realize it's just not for them anymore. And then there are the few that complain that the hero is unrecognizable and demands that things go back to the way they were.

These people hang on with a shred of hope that things will change back. All the while they write up negative reviews on their blogs. Complain on twitter. Troll message boards. Those people are ungrateful for what they have as they stomp their feet and scream at the publishers that their needs aren't being catered to.

When you find yourself doing this, it's time to understand that a new era of storytelling is in the works. And, perhaps, it's time for you to step aside. All the complaining doesn't bother the publisher one bit if you're still throwing money at the machine. But if you aren't happy, then it's time to move on. Continuing to spend money on a story, only to complain it's not the story you want, does nothing but waste time and money.

You can go back through the 75+ years of comic book history and see how EVERY character has undergone some fundamental change. It's inevitable. If you want to read the same stories you grew to love, go through your back issues and enjoy them again. Browse through the bargain bin at your local comic book shop and have at it. Those stories are literally a dime-a-dozen. And, as you're digging, I'm sure you'll find a version of that character that came before it that you don't recognize.

There were readers, before you, who saw your favorite version as a PERversion of what they loved. And so they have moved on, selling off their collections at flea markets and garage sales. Not conforming to new ideas and stories simply meant they're one step closer to being a part of an older generation of comic book readers. They now read and collect for nostalgia.

You don't have to like it, but you need to accept it. Being a miserable curmudgeon does nothing but make you unpleasant to talk with.

The comic book industry is ever changing to keep up with the times. So too, must the characters.You may not enjoy them as they are today, but don't bang on the ceiling and tell the rest of us to quiet down. We love our characters unconditionally and look forward to reading the newest story. We are open to new ideas and accept change. We know that it may not be for the best, but it is necessary for creators to try. We'll enjoy the high's and endure the low's because we remain fans of an ever changing medium.

No matter where it may take us.

#NCBD - My Pull for 6-03-2015

New Comic Book Day is here!

With some new books arriving, my list is heavy on DC as I look forward to the DC You initiative. With only one entry from Marvel and no independent titles, there just isn't a whole lot that's grabbing my interest. Marvel needs to end Secret Wars and decide what's happening with the Mutants before I start pulling their books; my Marvel Unlimited subscription is holding me over until then.

 So without further ado, here's this weeks list:

Wonder Woman Annual #1

The epic finale to the “War-Torn” storyline is here! Wonder Woman faces off against Donna Troy, who’s destined to become her ultimate nemesis, in a battle that will seal the fate of Paradise Island! Plus, in the backup story, discover the circumstances of Hippolyta’s rise to queen as an ancient threat pits the Amazons against the Spartans!
 

Justice League #41

The critically acclaimed team of Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok present the much anticipated, extra-sized first chapter of “DARKSEID WAR”! When the Justice League investigate a series of unexplained murders on Earth, it leads them to the frontlines of a war unlike any the DC Universe has ever seen – a battle between the two most powerful villains in existence: Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor! Meet Darkseid’s daughter – a mysterious force of evil with a bizarre connection to the Justice League! Plus: The horrible secret of Superwoman’s baby! The ultimate temptation of Batman! Lex Luthor vs. Superman – no holds barred! New villains! New allies! And so much more in the DC Event that has been building since JUSTICE LEAGUE #1!


Bizzaro #1

"Hate HARLEY QUINN? Then you will super hate BIZARRO! Bizarro star of worstest comic ever! Go ahead and miss it! If there’s one thing this issue not have it these two things: Jimmy Olsen and Chupacabras!” Don’t miss the start of this six-issue all-ages miniseries!


Batman Beyond #1

At last, Batman Beyond gets his own ongoing series in THE definitive future of the DCU! But this isn’t the Beyond you think you know! With the Justice League missing and without Bruce to guide him, this new Batman will need to explore this bizarre world on his own while fighting to raise humanity from an opponent that’s already won. The heroes Batman knew have failed, the world he knew has been turned on its head, and every step he takes will lead him either toward finding home – or further down the road of disaster!



Action Comics #41

The epic new storyline “TRUTH” begins! For Superman, there’s no more holding back!


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6 

The start of a new arc! Squirrel Girl meets some potential new allies, including... GIRL SQUIRREL?? I don’t know why we put question marks there; it’s actually what happens! Also a hippo named “Hippo” is in this issue! This character already existed and we absolutely did NOT make him up at the last minute! ALSO THERE’S FIGHTS!! AND EVEN SOME FEELINGS!

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All things considered it's actually a pretty big list for me, compared to week's past.

You can follow along with everyone's pull-list by searching #NCBD on Twitter. Every Wednesday it becomes a trending topic at one time or another. There's no avoiding it...

Nerds rule twitter.
Just started and it's #6 on the list


Share your pull-list in the comments below!

Superman and Wonder Woman's Romance Continues to Evolve

The Superman/Wonder Woman sneak peek has been released in the pages of Convergence #8 and jeepers Mr. Kent, it sure is something alright! Check it out, before reading below, as there are spoilers!

SM
<3
WW
<3
SM
<3
WW
<3
SM
<3
WW
<3
SM
<3
WW

"I don't love you anymore."
Ouch! That's quite a cliffhanger!

We've seen a LOT of changes coming up for post-convergence, however, I highly doubt the end of this relationship is one of them. Superman is dealing with a lot right now. His identity has been exposed and his powers are diminishing; he could be feeling sorry for himself.

It's not the Superman we're used to, but it's the Superman we have. And let's face it...he's lost everything. He's bound to think that he'll lose Diana as well. It's very common to fear losing someone so much, you push them away. That person, if their love is true, will fight with every ounce of their being to show you there's still hope.

Wonder Woman will be there for him in his time of need...

Tease from SM/WW #18


We all go through some dark times in our lives and we feel like running away. It's the people who truly love us that stand by us, through it all, no matter how self-destructive we may become.

I'm really looking forward to this next chapter in the evolving relationship of the power couple.

Tony Daniel to Power Couple: "I can't quit you."

Tony Daniel ended his run on Superman/Wonder Woman with issue #12 so he could run off with another character: Deathstroke. Less than a year later in DC's Deathstroke: Sneak Peek we see Hephaestus deliver him a weapon and the promise of being amply compensated. In return for killing a God.

So less than a year after Tony Daniel broke up with the power couple

this happens...
Deathstroke #8
and then this happens...
Deathstroke #9
and then this...
Deathstroke Annual #1

Something tells me that DC:
A) Wants to boost Deathstroke's sales
and
B) Feels the Power Couple is the best way to do it
or simply
C) Wants Tony Daniel draw the Power Couple again

Any way you slice it, Tony Daniel is back to drawing Superman and Wonder Woman for at least a couple issues.

DC must love it when Tony draws the power couple as much as we do!

UPDATE: Tony Daniel confirmed via his twitter account that the Annual reads as Chapter 3!

Superman "Truth" Promises to Explore Uncharted Territory

"We came up with this big, new direction for the character with a new set of challenges to throw at him." - Greg Pak (writer: Action Comics) excerpt from an interview with Comicosity
In the free preview of Action Comics, released by DC, we discover that Superman is slowly being de-powered. He still seems to have most of his strength, however his ability to fly and invulnerability have both been diminished.

Because of the reduction of his powers, there must be some form of change on a cellular level that the Fortress of Solitude didn't like. As he approaches the one place on Earth that he considered a 'safe-house' of sorts, the Fortress' built in security system denies him entry.

The Fortress doesn't recognize him as Kryptonian.


As a result, it retrieves the 'stolen artifacts' he possesses; aka: Superman's suit and cape. After he was stripped of his suit, he uses his remaining strength to retain a segment of the cape as it tore free from his grip.

Superman's world is literally being torn apart. We already saw, in Divergence (the Free Comic Book Day offering), that Lois revealed his identity to the world.

He is without costume and without identity.

The story titled "Truth" looks to be very promising as Kal-El begins to explore some uncharted territory. Over the course of 75+ years, Superman has recently been labeled as a boring and unimaginative character.


There are a lot of people angry about the change in the status of his identity and there are plenty of people upset about the loss of his powers. I offer huge props to the creative team behind this decision as it offers us a fresh new look on a classic character.

So what if he rides a motorcycle. He can't fly and lacks super-speed. Do we expect him to jog everywhere? The portions of cape wrapped around his knuckles are a reference to cage fighters. You know, sort of like his classic trunks were a reference to circus strong-men.

We should really try to see things with an open mind before fighting against the unfamiliar. Especially when dealing with comic books where the running joke is everything gets ret-conned.

We're finally being given, what appears to be, an exciting and original story.

My open mind allows me to enjoy what we have, rather than complain about what we don't. And I couldn't be more excited for June.

Supergirl Trailer Packs a Powerful, Message



It's not a bird. It's not a plane. It's not a MAN. It's Supergirl!

When I first heard about Supergirl being considered by CBS as a series, I immediately wanted this for my daughter. After seeing the trailer, I can tell, her and I will enjoy it together.

On the surface, the show is being compared to 'Sex in the City' and 'The Devil Wears Prada', but I feel the tone of the show is about encouraging girls (and women) to feel empowered and confident. Girls can do great things too; it's scattered all over the trailer, if your willing to dissect the dialogue and actions.

Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers/Supergirl) is so charming and adorkable in the trailer, Sarissa (my daughter) loved her. The trailer shows Kara dealing with the destruction of her planet and leaving her parents behind. Trying to find her place in the world.

A tragic turn of events has her springing into action to save her sister, Alex, without knowing if she could.

But she dared to try.

When she discovered the great things she could accomplish, she sets out to continue the trend. Despite the warning her sister gives her. Kara won't be denied.

She's determined and confident.

Later we see Kara make an attempt to reason with Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) that using the word 'girl' seems a bit demeaning. She's met with some wonderful quotes from a powerful woman:

"What do you think is so bad about 'girl'?"

"If you perceive Supergirl as anything less than excellent, isn't the real problem...you?"

In spite of all the unstoppable force displayed by Kara, she still feels very human with her interactions. She 'fangirls' when she realizes she's talking to James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks). Seeing herself on TV has her squealing with excitement. Even the fun moment where Wynn Schott (Jeremy Jordan) thinks she's coming out as a lesbian, he tells her it's great that she's embracing that side of her. When she attempts to save the crashing plane, only to have a bridge get in the way, she lets out a frustrating: "Oh, come on!"

It's a very real and human moment that we've all experienced. Minus the burning plane, flying and super-strength.

Alex sees how Kara can help people so she introduces her to Hank Henshaw (David Harewood), head of the DEO (Department of Extra-Normal Operations). He's a powerful and un-trusting man who feels he already has the tools necessary to handle alien threats. He wants no part of her help and by telling her she should go back to getting people their coffee...

She's told she isn't good enough. 

It crushes Kara's spirits and she begins second guessing herself. It's a powerful moment that I've seen happen in real life and I'm sure it resonates with a lot of young girls and women. Despite her initial concerns, Alex sees the potential in Kara. Without super-powers and armed only with love, She comes to Kara's rescue by talking her through it, telling her that she IS what the people need.

Her sister is loving and supportive.

Throughout it all, Kara is shown smiling as she embraces her role as National City's personal bodyguard. There are themes that we can embrace as Men, Women and yes...girls. They are good enough. There is nothing wrong with them. And they should dare to try with confidence and determination.

We have no clue whether or not Supergirl will succeed, but this trailer did plenty to give us hope that it will.


Supergirl airs in November on Monday nights at 8 pm EST