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3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode 031 – The Mega Anniversary Cast!



Inside this episode! Maddy’s back! Maddy joins us for our one year anniversary cast!  We review Marjorie Liu’s X-23 #17, Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo’s Wolverine & The X-Men #2, and Maddy talks about Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey’s Comic Book Comics series.  J.H. Williams III joins us for a very special interview section, and we follow that up with a very well-deserved Chick of the Week in the form of Kate Kane aka Batwoman! We also have a fight about Batwoman, which should be fun for those of you who have been waiting for a serious (though pointless) argument over the last year of casts.

Click on the embedded player here to listen…

Links! Kelly’s post about X-23, Commenter Herring’s Marvel Sales Chart, Comic Book Comics on Comixology, Kelly’s She Has No Head Post about Batwoman: Elegy, Sue’s 2011 Thankful List, and Cass Cain wins Most Kickass Woman Contest on DC Women Kicking Ass!

Also, for those that like to skip around to avoid spoilers and such, here are the section breaks:

X-23 #17 Review – 1:09

Discussion of Marvel & Female Characters – 12:06

Wolverine & The X-Men #2 Review – 34:45

Comic Book Comics Review – 44:39

J.H. Williams III Interview – 57:56

Chick of the Week (including the massive bat-argument!) – 127:28

3 Chicks Review Comics is a podcast featuring female comics lovers and bloggers Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass and Kelly Thompson from She Has No Head! Tune in 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 and Sue.  Special thanks to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.

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



Life is good. (Haven’t listened yet, is there a mud or jello pit involved in the Batwoman discussion? KIDDING! I had to throw that in since I assume this isn’t a musical. And as much as I want a musical version, if you resort to autotune I will have to whip out my cricket bat and hit myself in the head repeatedly.)

Is it just me or is the audio for JH Williams III kind of quiet?

@Keith: IF there was ever going to be a musical episode (which there will not be) it would be autotuned to the hilt!

@Branden: Yes, JH was on his phone (Sue and I were on Skype), and I had to fuss with the audio a lot to get it at a reasonable level – hope it’s still audible, it seemed okay when I was cutting it together…?

awesome episode! i was so surprised when i saw you got JH Williams, that’s awesome, he seems like a super cool guy. i am also blown away that he doesn’t thumbnail or anything like that, it makes his stuff so much more impressive (if that was even possible). so intense.

as far as your debate over Kate Kane goes, i think all of you could be both right and wrong on any given day depending on where the creators (or powers-that-be) feel like taking the characters, but otherwise i’m with Kelly on this one. i think Kate giving in to Batman demanding she stop using the symbol would be disappointing, i don’t want to see the character go down that route. i feel like even if she might not particularly care about the batsymbol, as it was something her dad chose as mentioned and all that, i think if Batman came along and tried to tell her what she could and couldn’t do, Kate would push back and start feeling more protective of her Batwoman identity. like a kid who is ambivalent about a toy until somebody tries to take it away, or a stubborn person who feels compelled to do the opposite of what somebody tells them to do (i can relate to this because that’s how i am). not that Kate is petulant or childish, but she seems to me to definitely have some level of stubbornness like that.

OMG and Maddy, too, i totally hit send too early!! it was great hearing her back on the show, i hope she comes back again.

CONGRATS on your one year anniversary!!!! I’m enjoying the recent interviews, BTW.

I am so happy Comic Book Comics is getting all sorts of love. I’ve been such a huge fan of the Van Lente/Dunlavey non-fiction comics since Action Philosophers #1 beckoned to me from the indie shelf on only my second or third visit to my first comic shop. I hate to disappoint you guys, though– there’s not much talk of female creators elsewhere in the series. On the one hand, I understand trying to fit 80 years of history into 8 issues will make for lots of info getting cut, but like I said on the SPX panel about the history of women in comics, I’m really hoping that in the future there will be more and more integration of comics histories (like David Hajdu did in The Ten-Cent Plague)

Anyway, if anyone’s interested in the post that Maddy mentioned, it’s right here: http://ladiesmakingcomics.tumblr.com/post/11180584338/the-question-of-greatness-in-comics

It’s great we got to hear from Maddy again – I especially like how she often brings in less mainstream things to review. I hope we get to hear from her again in the future. Also great work in snagging JH WIlliams the Third for the interview.

In answer to Maddy’s question about Wolverine and Jubilee readers coming into X-23: the first X-23 issue to guest star Wolverine and Jubilee was the May issue, where sales actually crash rather than go up! However rather than attribute this to an allergic reaction to the awesomeness that is Jubilee, the large drop is probably more to do with the previous month’s issue being a cross-over with Daken (running alternating chapters in X-23 and Daken). With that over, the Daken fans went back to their own book causing the sudden drop.

Also on X-23, I have to say I was plesantly surprised at how “restrained” Sana Takeda has been on X-23, as opposed to some of her earlier work (drain, tentacles for hire). I think a lot of the credit goes to Wolverine group editor Jeanine Schaefer (another woman in comics – X-23’s had a female writer, artist and editor simultaneously! ). It’s amazing the difference a vigilant editor can make, especially compared with one who issues instructions like “draw the women as sexy as possible”. Jeanine’s also been heavily affected by these cancellations (losing both X-23 and Daken), so the situation is pretty unfortunate for her too.

Sue said that sh doesn’t like Sana Takeda for “reasons I wont go into” Well I’ll just keep guessing until Sue goes into detail. Did she kill your ferret? Steal your TV…

@VichusSmith, If you want to improve the odds of success for your guess, it might be illuminating to google “Heroes for Hire 13 cover”.

Ah. I own the book, I know the cover. Funny that a Japanese artist was behind that one.

@ross: Yes, you expressed much better than I did in the cast, some of what my point was with Kate (likely cause I was all riled up) that on some level it’s just the principle of the thing. Not appreciating being told what to do…or the way in which it would be handled (because I believe Bruce would handle it badly). I think based on what happened to her with the military years ago, she would be even more likely to dig in her heels on an issue like this. Sue disagreed, which is fine…I think there’s room in the interpretation of the character for both view points…I cut out most of the argument (if you can believe it – about 45 minutes that was sandwiched between the beginning and the end of the discussion) which was about other stuff that we were either not agreeing on, or not explaining ourselves well enough to come to a consensus on.

@Nick: Thanks! And we have Sue and all her exceptional connections to thank for these amazing interviews…she’s primarily been the one setting them up and she has been knocking them out of the park. Just outstanding guests time and time again.

@Alexa: Thank you for including the link – I meant to include it in the original post, but just missed it – apologies! Unfortunate to hear that there’s not more discussion of women in comics in the series, but it still seems like a great read, I’ll definitely be checking it out in the future.

@Herring: Yes, it was awesome having Maddy back. I’m kind of hoping she’ll come back for our January “year of bests and worsts”…Maddy? :)

Thanks for the further details on X-23 sales, all in all, pretty interesting, but also discouraging. You make a great point about Schaefer as an editor really helping that book overall. it’s a frustrating loss for all of us.

@VichusSmith: Indeed. I can’t speak for Sue, but for me, Herring is right on the money. It goes beyond just that cover, but that’s a very big part of it. All that said, her work on this issue at least was really excellent.

I can see where Sue and Maddy are coming from on the Kate issue. It seems like she’s been given a special relationship with Bruce that no other character has enjoyed, where he just lets her use his symbol without ever confronting her about it. And it can seem like the only reason that hasn’t happened is because the powers that be have dictated that it won’t happen, rather than it coming from any character trait in Kate or any change of heart in Bruce.

That said, don’t nobody want to see Bruce have another “THAT’S MY SYMBOL, THIS IS MY CITY, GRAAHRARHARGH” temper tantrum, so it doesn’t bother me all that much. But it is glaring in contrast to how Bruce treats literally everyone else, even members of his family or people he’s way closer to than Kate, and I don’t think you can just explain it by some special trait Kate possesses that none of the other equally extraordinary people in Batman’s life do.

I think both sides make good arguments for whether or not she’d take off the symbol if asked. The jury’s out on that one for me.

Also, you guys need to argue more in the podcast, that was great.

@vichussmith – As pointed out it is the Heroes for Hentai cover
@nat someday Kelly will publish the unedited fight :)

Regarding Sana Takeda’s work, I like reading manga so her art style is something I like but I can see some people being put off by it. I find it terribly unfortunate that people will base their opinion on her work because of the Heroes for Hire cover . I liked her work on Ms. Marvel and her issues in this volume of X-23. I know that not being familiar with Marvel books may tend to make you guys overlook her work there.
Either that or it is her manga sensibilities. Anyway comic book art is highly subjective.

The cancellation of Marvel titles just comes down to sales and not a reluctance on the part of Marvel to not promote female titles. Alonso has talked about their “new budgetary mandates”.

For X-23, she will appear in Avengers Academy( which unfortunately is uncomfortably close to the cancellation threshold, still can be safe if people just bought it) and Jubilee will be part of Gischler’s X-Men book. It focuses on Scott’s side of the divide and on a recon team based on Utopia. Cover seems to indicate Psylocke and Warpath being members. Hope that helps you keep track of both characters.

i would love to see you guys review Mark Waid’s work on the recent Daredevil ongoing from the beginning. I don’t know if you read Daredevil or not but it would be interesting to hear what Sue or Maddy have to say about a character/ universe they are less familiar with.

While the H4H cover was very sexually suggestive with the phalluses and the dripping and whatnot, it’s not like this art came on the scene amidst g-rated, tasteful depictions of women on the covers of marvel comics.

Maybe I’m too familiar with Japanese weirdness and hentai to be that mad about the cover. I think that the crazy cleavage was a bigger point of concern than the gooey tentacle monster.

Eh, it’s all f’ed up.

In what universe is Thor “girl-friendly”? It’s a fine movie, sure, and it stars females who aren’t falling out of their clothes, and my daughter would probably like it because things blow up, but it seems like you think it’s because the female roles are so good. Natalie Portman swoons a lot, Sif doesn’t do much more than the others in Thor’s gang, and Kat Dennings makes wisecracks, I guess. I’m just surprised you thought it was so very girl-friendly, even though it’s certainly not girl-unfriendly.

Nice interview, by the way. Very informative. You totally should have asked Williams about Deathwish from Milestone. I’m sure he probably wishes all the copies had been shredded long ago.

Aw, thanks you guys! And yes, I’ll probably be up for some later December/early January podcasting…

@Greg: Read this: http://girl-wonder.org/2011/11/thor-2011/ (Sorry Kelly, I should’ve sent that to you for the show notes.)

One of the things I’ve seen a lot of people point out about the movie is that just having Darcy makes the movie pass the Bechdel test, when so many other movies barely have more than one female character, let alone a bunch who all get lines and have cool parts. It’s a world of difference.

Also, I’d say as a general rule, “not girl-unfriendly” is sometimes all that’s needed, and it’s the appalling lack of “not girl-unfriendly” in a lot of media that is the problem a lot of the time.

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