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3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode 022

IT’S EPISODE 022!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN, DOWNLOAD, AND/OR SUBSCRIBE TO ITUNES NOW.

Inside this episode! This week we review Generation Hope #9, Captain America #1, and Detective Comics #879. Hot topic is obviously about some of the news (and fallout) from SDCC – in an effort to focus on the positive despite a lot of the chatter we each pick one positive and one negative bit of news to come out of the con.  Are we successful?  You decide!  Chick of the week, is a long overdue pick, and a titan in mainstream comics. You know her and love her, and so do we!  Apologies for the background noise that comes and goes folks…it’s the downside to recording a free podcast from your NYC apartment in the middle of a July heatwave.

Episode links!: SDCC DC Justice League Panel Audio, Comics Alliance Justice League Panel Coverage, CBR Justice League Panel Coverage, Kelly’s CBR Review of Generation Hope #9, CBR Review of Detective Comics #879, Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples from Image, Sorry I’m Late!,

3 Chicks Review Comics is a podcast featuring female comics lovers and bloggers Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass, and Maddy from When Fangirls Attack! along with me, Kelly Thompson. Tune in weekly to CSBG every other Monday at noon as we review comics, and discuss hot topics of the week. In addition to the blogs above, you can also follow us all on twitter as well: Kelly, Maddy, and Sue. Special thanks to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.  Follow CSBG and Kelly on twitter, so that you never miss a She Has No Head! post or 3 Chicks podcast!

*As always beware of spoilers if you haven’t read the books in question!


15 Comments

maverickman874

July 25, 2011 at 12:58 pm

A correction, I don’t think Cloak and Dagger are married. Their mini-series by Spencer and Rios is a part of Spider-Island and the characters have a history with Spidey having first appeared in a Spider-man book.

Yeah, I originally thought Sue/Maddy were referring to the show and just knew something I didn’t, but reading about the show makes it seem like they’ll be teenagers, which makes sense considering it’s on ABC Family, and considering the characters comic histories.

http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2011/07/23/cci-marvel-unveils-plans-for-mockingbird-live-action-series/

maverickman874

July 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Yeah they are going for a younger audience with both Mockingbird and Cloak and Dagger. But Cloak and Dagger are not married in the comics either.

The only shows targeted for ABC seem to be AKA Jessica Jones and Hulk.

No, I know. I thought they meant that they were going to be married in the show, even though they are not in the comics, but reading the article about it, they’re not going to be married in the show…which lines up with the comics.

Putting aside the moral portion of how Didio et al treated “Batgirl” (as well as others, including at least one man who asked about the fraction of women in creative roles), I can’t get over the stupidity from a business point of view. Thanks to the response of the panel and some of the audience, DC’s desired advertising message has been derailed and replaced with a rather uncomplementary one. And all they needed to do to avoid that was be a little more prepared for “tough” questions, and a little less hostile and condescending in how they answered.

There was a particular gem by a Batwoman cosplayer (not Batgirl) at the sunday 52 panel:
“On friday there was a question about gender diversity in one of the panels, and the answer was go count… And I did. And out of the 98 prominent figures on the covers, only 27 were women. And out of the 28 single character titles, only 6 were women, and of those six women only two were not connected to older male superheroes. And I’m just wondering how do you justify calling that diveristy.”
Didio’s response? That it was an industry wide problem, not just a DC problem, and she should ask Marvel these questions. Apparently DC can’t show any leadership.

Since Gail Simone is chick of the week, it’s worth mentioning that she was the one DC staffer who seemed to recognise Didio’s “social media fail re:Batgirl”, and went out of the way to meet Batgirl and repair the damage. DC ought to cancel any bonus Didio gets for attending SDCC and give it to Gail.

Also, I see the San Diego Batgirl has written a journal describing her experiences at SDCC. Those wishing to read her personal take on the story should follow the link below:
http://kyrax2.dreamwidth.org/

DC received considerable flack for it’s handling of this subject. Some of it well deserved. However, check out Marvel’s latest solicits today. Two ongoing monthlies starring women: X-23 and Ghost Rider (only recently gender switched). Only one ongoing monthly title written by a woman (Marjorie Liu on X-23). Only one ongoing monthly drawn by a woman (Sara Pichelli on Ultimate Spider-Man). I believe there are three women writing mini-series, but none of the core Marvel titles features a female creator. DC may be the scapegoat, but the company is not the only one with a noticeable gender gap.

@Herring: I agree with you wholeheartedly on the business point of view angle. It just makes no sense to treat fans this way, or to let issues like this, just because you’re not prepared/don’t want to address them, to overrun your PR. I know this is an issue I personally focus on a lot, so I’m more sensitive to it than a lot of readers, but A LOT of people are talking about this stuff when they should be talking about other PR things of DC’s. This is a loss for them, and it’s not hard to fix. But they seem to be a bit incapable of fixing it.

I’m shocked by the answer to the Sunday 52 Panel you post above – how anyone would think that is an appropriate answer to anything blows my mind.

I know Gail did talk to the “Batgirl”, and as I understand it, Sue (DC Women Kicking Ass) did an interview with her as well – I think it goes up tomorrow (Tuesday). Keep an eye out!

Thanks for the link too.

@MSanchez: I don’t think anyone is advocating that Marvel is some bastion of “doing it right”…I know I certainly am not. In fact, a couple years ago I did a post about how DC was “doing it better with women” than Marvel. But I think, while neither of them are getting it right, Marvel has turned things around a bit while DC is bungling things more badly than ever.

While I’ve always been disappointed in Marvel’s marquee women starring in their own books, they don’t have as many “iconic” female characters and their books tend to get cancelled too quickly (Spider Woman, She Hulk, Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, etc.), they do a pretty good job in team representation – in addition to lots of team members in general, just on the X-men side of things if you look at “leadership and prominence” you’ve got Rogue – until recently- basically runs the entire X-Men Legacy team, Emma Frost basically co-leads in several X-titles, Hope is the lead/star of Generation Hope, X-Factor is basically co-lead by Siryn/Banshee and regularly features Monet and Layla Miller as big stars, New Mutants has Dani Moonstar frequently leading, then you’ve got the X-23 title you mentioned as a solo lead for Laura. Additionally Jubilee co-stared in a mini-series wth Wolverine recently, and last spring there was an entirely female cast mini-series (Pixie), as well as Heralds, both by Kathryn Immonen, both with female friendly art – one from Sara Pichelli and one by Tonci Zonjic.

Outside of the X-titles, you’re right that you’ve only got Ghost Rider and Spider-Girl as solo marquee leads right now and that’s a shame, but they’ve got a new series forthcoming – Mystic which is female leads/cast. Additionally, Heroes For Hire is lead by a woman (Misty Knight), Ms. Marvel and Valkyrie are front and center on New Avengers and Secret Avengers (among other ladies), Tigra co-leads Avengers Academy (and there are three prominent female team members), several ladies on Avengers: Children’s Crusade, some ladies front and center on Alpha Flight, not to mention Bendis’ Powers and Scarlet series. I’m sure I’m missing plenty as well.

Again, not trying to give Marvel some great credit, they’ve got massive problems of their own, and their “year of women” last year was unimpressive to say the least, but they at least feel like they’re trying – especially when it comes to female creators. On tap they have: G. Willow Wilson, Amanda Conner, Emma Rios, Marjorie Liu, Kathryn Immonen (well, just finished, don’t know if she’ll be back), Stephanie Hans, Sara Pichelli, Jen Van Meter, and Rachel Dodson. Could that be better? Hell yeah. Should more of those women be on prominent and/or ongoing titles? Definitely, but it still beats the pants off of DC’s Gail Simone, one cover artist (Jenny Frison) and eventually six months from now Amy Reeder (on Batwoman). That’s painful, especially given a relaunch touting “diversity”.

I have thought of the villains of the Batman universe to be the serial killers of our world, just enhanced with costumes and wacky gimmicks. I haven’t really looked at them as a commentary by DC on mental illness. I have not read this story about Commissioner Gordon’s son, so I can’t speak on that.

I can talk about characters like the Joker and Two Face, who almost have insanity as a super power. We don’t know the true origin of The Joker, but we know that he is fueled by his insanity to orchestrate his schemes. Two Face (the “bi-polar” of that t-shirt, I’m guessing) has fought with his criminal side, and has jumped on both sides of the fence.

I cannot deny that when I, and many other people think of insanity, they either think of serial killers, people locked up in mental health facilities, or sad people. There’s not a lot of positivity associated with mental illness.

If you want a hero who had mental illness. check out the second (someone may correct me) arc of JSA, where the Legion’s Starman joins the team. His mental illness is played for laughs, but he’s still a hero who holds his own on the team.

l’m really looking forward to getting trades on this Detective Comics run; you’ve almost got me running out to track down the monthlies! (I almost never buy monthlies these days, though I get a few passed along to me.)

Re: Generation Hope #9 and Sue’s revelation: If only someone out there had been telling everyone about how great Gillen and McKelvie were together since 2006, when Phonogram #1 came out. IF ONLY!!!! (Oh, I kid. I’m happy to see you guys are liking their collaboration. Now go buy the trades of Phonogram, consarnit!)

Detective Comics, as I’m sure you know by now, ends with issue #881, not #880. I’m kind of with Sue in that I’d really like to find out what James is up to. That would be nice, as the Joker has “random crimes because he’s crazy” angle pretty much covered in the Bat-books.

I’ve noticed at the very few panels that I’ve attended that if someone asks a question that isn’t “Oh, Geoff, I love you so much and are we gonna see Ch’p in a comic because Ch’p is so kewl?!?!?!?!?”, the panelists tend to brush them off. I’m very sure that women get ignored more often and treated more poorly, but those panels are simply to allow “true fans” to gush and not answer any actual interesting questions. This is why I avoid panels!!!!

@greg burgas I actually did buy the trade of Phonogram: The Singles. It’s sitting in a pile of trades I need to read.

@greg I am not sure what happened but the Anonymous is me Sue XD

Hello, I’m a new listener. A fellow comic-nerd recommended your podcast. I’ve only heard a small bit so far (gonna work my way through the back catalog) but I’m enjoying it so far :)

Anyway…
I hate to say it but I found the conversation on mental illness in comics (especially DC/Gotham) to be fairly troubling. I haven’t read the James Gordon story so I can’t say much about that but I have written before about mental illness in the Batman universe (specifically the game Batman: Arkham Asylum). I am also myself mentally ill, so this topic hits close to home. 

Mental illness is so often used as a cop-out in media, Batman comics in particular. This contributes to and reinforces the stereotype that mentally ill people are all violent criminals, and that violent criminals are all mentally ill. Actually, we are more likely to be the victims of violent crime, not the perpetrators. 
It’s great if you think the James Gordon story was good or interesting or whatever, but you know, I’d like it if that interesting story could be done without stepping on people like me in the process. 

As for the rest of the podcast…
I really enjoyed this episode. I’m glad Gail Simone got some love as she is so awesome and so often the poster-child for women in comics. Very well deserved! I also enjoyed your discussion on the situation at SDCC (as much as the situation itself infuriated me). I am looking forward to the next episode :) 

@PharoahKatt

Actually, we are more likely to be the victims of violent crime, not the perpetrators.

That is something I am aware of, though I admit I didn’t think about it when reviewing this comic.

I’d like it if that interesting story could be done without stepping on people like me in the process.

Agreed. And I honestly don’t think it would be that hard for a writer who is conscious of these things do so: a tweaking of language or a character’s reasoning, so that it’s not simply “mental illness explains why this person is bad” or using mental illness as a shorthand for “bad”.

With this Detective Comics story, I’m afraid it won’t be that simple, depending on how it ends. If we’re supposed to believe that James Jr is a murderer simply because of his mental or neurological condition, or that he was just somehow born evil and murderous, then there’s ultimately no redeeming it on that matter.

Anyways, I’m sorry the discussion was troubling. I fully admit that I’m not an expert on mental illness, its related stigma or the discrimination people face because of it, but it was a part of the comic I wanted to address.

Thanks for your comments, and the link to your piece about the Batman universe and mental illness! I look forward to reading it.

Even if his mental illness isn’t directly related to his villainy (not holding my breath given DC’s track record) it’s still another mentally ill character who “just happens” to be evil. This is a damaging trope no matter which way you look at it.

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