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CSBG Archive

3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode 043

Hey! It’s our 43rd episode!


Inside this episode! We have an advance review of Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth’s Stumptown #1 and Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye #2.  We then have an awesome interview with Greg Rucka talking about Stumptown, Lazarus, Punisher, his time at DC – including the scoop on what actually caused him to leave DC, the new Wonder Woman pilot, and everything else we can think of! Chick of The Week this week is a long overlooked lady who is having a hard time in recent months at DC – Lois Lane!

Here are the breaks:

Stumptown #1 – 01:00

Hawkeye #2 – 08:43

Greg Rucka Interview – 24:15

Chick of The Week (plus Wonder Woman talk and a few other goodies) – 108:48

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!


I think Norah Winters was created by Joe Kelly in ASM. She is part of Parker’s extended cast through the Bugle.

Ooo, I look forward to listening to this later, when I’m not at work. I recently reviewed all of Rucka’s Wonder Woman on my blog (http://theidiolect.com/category/comics/), and I just read Stumptown for the first time yesterday and really enjoyed it.

And it’s funny, I also went on an extended Twitter rant just a week or two ago about why Lois Lane is basically the best character ever. She’s the most hardcore, most fearless, must ruthless reporter in comics, and she was from day one in 1938.

It’s like you’re in my head!

What a great podcast! You guys never fail to entertain and keep me thinking critically about comics. It’s good to have you back, and with some a fantastic guest to boot!

Great podcast. Your conversation around the narrow demographic DC and Marvel are gunning for was especially interesting. I liked how Greg Rucka succinctly described the folks they’re after. It’s not men 18-35 but a subset of those men who are attracted to a certain type of storytelling and art.

I also agree with Greg Rucka that it seems as if the industry has gone backwards in the last 5 years when it comes to women and diversity.

I don’t see any bottom to this free fall. Personally I feel both Marvel and DC are going to continue battling each other for a shrinking piece of floppy pie. Digital is changing the playing field, I think somebody will end up leading the way but I’m not convinced it’ll be either of the “big 2″.

Loved the Chick of the Week choice. Lois Lane is my favorite, so it’s always nice to hear her get some love. Especially with how DC has been treating her the last few years.

I bought the Stumptown Volume 1 HC and I’ll pick up the first issue of the new arc at my LCS this Wednesday. Thanks for the heads up.

loved this episode!!! it was a great one for a comeback episode. Greg Rucka is always super cool and interesting to listen to, this time was no exception. really interesting and all 3 of you had great things to add.

i’m pumped about the troll who shall not be named getting lambasted, i hope his days are up. you and Sue, and anyone else who was harassed by him (and anyone who gets harassed period) are so brave and tough, you’re such troopers dealing with this and fighting these people. i don’t have anything insightful or worthwhile to add, just everything you said. it’s mind-boggling how few people seem to understand what free speech means/entails.

i’m sure you’re aware, but there’s some weird sound issues toward the end of this episode where Sue suddenly sounds like she’s far away and tiny and Kelly sounds like she’s RIGHT UP CLOSE. just a heads up. :)

I don’t think it would take a massive success for things to change. Science fiction and fantasy have gotten far more diverse and even though there were big successes like Star Trek, Alien, and Terminator, the change has been pretty gradual. For example, when the Sci-Fi channel premiered, about 35% of its audience was female, now it’s close to 50%. There weren’t any huge successes during that period of time but there were consistent shows like Star Trek: DS9, Farscape, and Battlestar Galactica that had diverse casts.

As for the Wonder Woman/Superman thing, I’m not really sure about how they got rid of Steve Trevor. Trevor was liaison to the entire Justice League, not just Wonder Woman, so it is unlikely that she could make the decision to get rid of him unilaterally. There must have been a vote of some kind. I hope that Superman recused himself from that vote due to conflict of interest.

You chicks are awesome as usual. Great podcast.

First of all, I love listening to Greg Rucka talk. As silly as it sounds, he always speaks like someone that feels like a close friend. I feel like I need some more time to reflect on many of the things Greg Rucka said. His comments about the changing industry and the way things have actually gone backwards for women and diversity is fascinating and sadly, I agree with him. I also think he’s dead on about the very small, specific demographic that is being targeted right now and how that is impacting the way women are portrayed. We shouldn’t even have to talk about these things anymore since, as Greg indicated, the market research is so limited and flawed. Yet, we are still having this conversation. It feels like banging your head against the wall. How many more successful female properties are going to get made before we don’t have to prove ourselves anymore? Why do I not want to know the answer to that question?

I have been terribly lax about picking up Stumptown before this point and I have no excuse. I need to get much better about purchasing things I really like by authors I like and less time lamenting the things that I don’t like. So thank you so much for reminding me of this. I am working my way through the whole first series right now and absolutely loving it. I love the tone and voice of the book and it has Rucka’s trademark passion. I’m anxious to get further along.

I would have really loved to have read Rucka’s take on Wonder Woman Earth One. Truth be told, it baffles me that there still exists this great mystery as to how tell a great origin story for Diana. She’s the first woman on her family to ever leave home. How is that not completely relatable and intensely interesting? If I were telling her origin story I would build the tone of the book around that connection with her mother and the difficult choice to leave home. I would also spend time on the island while she is caring for Steve because I think that shows her compassion in a subtle and special way. Think about it….she’s been taught to fear men but then we see her reaching out in compassion to help a man who is hurt. That says VOLUMES about Diana and her incredible heart. I’d like to see that get attention in an origin story.

As for Lois Lane….what can be said that hasn’t already been said?

Kelly, I really loved you bringing up the idea that it’s a truly special thing that Superman—with all his gifts and powers—chooses to love Lois and admire her because she has skills and inner strength that are just ::better:: than him. And I think it’s really important that Lois is a “regular” civilian and not a superpowered hero because it really says alot about Clark and who he is that that is the person he would choose. The reason Lois has always appealed to me is because in her I see that inner strength of a working woman who rose to the top with her brain and her tenacity in a culture that often punishes women for being strong without being sex objects. And I think there is and was a powerful message at the root of the myth in it being HER that really serves as the anchor for the Superman myth. Because it didn’t just show how special Lois was but also how special CLARK was. I think the recent choices made really degrade the beauty of that message in a way that is really bothersome putting all the emphasis on that which is physical and superficial and cheapening the power that we have inside. It reads to me like borderline Eugenics and the same kind of arguments that people used to use to justify Aryan supremacy. Considering both Wonder Woman and Superman were created as characters in response to some of the injustices and discrimination that took place around World War II—and considering that Superman, specifically, was created by two Jewish men during a time when Jewish people were being methodicaly exterminated because they were considered a “lesser” race—the concept of it makes me even more uncomfortable and sad. What a way to totally and completely miss the point, DC Comics.

I also agree with Kelly about the scene from Buffy Season 8. Kelly, I threw the comic out. No joke. I found it gross and cheap. And I agree with you that after watching James and Sarah and their intense chemistry on television….it was just fell absolutely flat. It also fell flat because Buffy and Angel’s narratives had gone in totally different directions. Buffy and Spike had shared an intense (if unhealthy in that case) attraction together and Angel’s life had taken him away from her. The entire issue felt incredibly forced and cheap. “Super sex” is not always super. Not when something more genuine has come before. In DC’s case, they are following in the aftermath of decades of really intense, beautiful Lois/Superman stories. It doesn’t matter what they do. They can’t actually top it. Much like James and Sarah, just last year, Tom Welling and Erica Durance had intense, raw chemistry together. They had intense love scenes that weren’t just sexual in nature but also about love. And they weren’t the first. Other actors came before them. There isn’t anything you can put on a page that can actually compete with that at this point without it becoming something totally cheap and forced.

Also, Sue…for God’s sakes….you watched both cuts of Superman II (also my favorite superhero movie of all time btw) and then you were jonesing for more Lois so you watched Superman Returns? What are you glutton for punishment? For God sakes, Sue….watch the 2 hour TV movie pilot of “Lois and Clark.” That’s a great Superman movie. Watch Smallville “Crusade/Gone.” That’s a 2 hour arc where Lois is awesome. Watch Smallville “Idol/Charade/Salvation/Lazarus.” Do I have to put this stuff on DVD for you or something to avoid you ever willingly putting in Superman Returns again when you are in need of more Lois? Come on!

Anyway, you two rock. You continue to both be amazing ladies. The only thing that would make Sue cooler would be if she started drinking the Buffy Kool-aid. Kelly has been making an effort to learn about Lois Lane which gets her cool points. Where is your Buffy love, Sue?

Thanks for all the great comments everyone – and the welcome back. It is indeed good to be back!

@Buttler: We read your mind…that’s how we come up with all our awesome topics. ;)

@Rob: Thank you so much!

@Maya: Thanks and glad you’re on the Stumptown train…it’s a good train to be on!

@Ross: Thanks Ross. Indeed, we figured after such a long hiatus you all deserved an awesome episode.

Yeah, my headset completely freaked out toward the end of the cast and I had to unplug and record without a headset. Definitely try to solve it, fix it, or get a new headset by the next cast.

@KingofMadCows: Well, I hope you’re right about things not needing a massive change, but I’ve seen a lot of backslide, even in just the last five years that I’ve been writing about comics. It’s pretty depressing.

@Mary: Thanks for the awesome comment!

I’m glad that you like what I said about Lois…I will repeat again though that I got that from CSBG commenter Dean Hacker – who is a genius at this stuff and I’ve never forgotten what he said about Superman/Lois as it rang so true to me.

A LOT of people were disappointed in that Buffy Season 8 turn…even people that don’t ship Buffy/Spike (as I do)…it just felt desperate…and I think Wonder Woman/Superman could easily go that direction.

And THANK YOU for reminding Sue that she should be giving Buffy a chance since I’m giving Lois (and others!) a chance! ;)

I have a suspicion the person above is a troll so I’m not going to address them.

But just so it’s clear it’s well known that the events concerning Diana with Batman were editorially driven by Johns and others and not his choice.

The World of New Krypton arc was also editorial. The Superman books collapsed in quality and never recovered after Rucka left DC.

Kelly, I send comics to my brother on Afghanistan and I originally sent that issue of Season 8 to the soldiers without realizing what was on it. Even the soldiers I sent it to found it completely crass and gross. I was do embarrassed that I had even sent it to them after I read it. And these were all straight 20 something men who all found it gross. So trust me we were not alone.

Also, to be clear, Lois and Superman already had sex in mid-air in the books. It wasn’t crass because neither of them were objectified and they were married and in love. It wasn’t just about objectification. They had sex on the ceiling on “Lois and Clark” back in 1997. And they had sex all over the place on Smallville–in broad daylight on the front porch. So yeah…there comes a point where whatever you are doing is going to come off desperate as to what came before because what came before was superior in several ways both in terms of chemistry and emotional motivation.

But seriously Kelly, I think it’s really cool that we can all share with each other and help each other understand where we are coming from with the female characters that mean something to us. And it really means sonething to me that you were willing to be open to that.

Also, can we talk about how upsetting it is that Rucka’s Year One book was taken away? What the hell. Just….that is super upsetting. Also his idea for the opening? Incredible. I got chills. It kind of made me think of that scene in “LOST” where Juliettte is running the book club on the island and then we see the plane fly overhead with Oceanic 815. Weird but that was what I thought of. I just loved his concept for the story.

There is no doubt in my mind that Rucka would have told that story in a way that truly paid tribute to the essence of Diana and I would have killed to see his version of that plane crashing on the island. Seeing his voice for Steve. How would that have played out? It kills me.

I haven’t read through all of Mary’s comments (although what I read that she said about how WW’s origin, of the first woman to leave her home being relatable and so forth, is insightful and I could see a whole immigration parallel story and so on), but I just wanna say (and I’ve told Kelly before) I read the Buffy s8 Super Sexxx issue in a grocery store. Kick ass.

And what was wrong with that issue? one word: Meltzer. ‘Nuff said.

Travis, all I can tell you is that I was a huge fan of the series and I actually has a deep appreciation for Buffy and Angel and I was really turned off.

I also, as I said, send the books to my brother and several soldiers serving in the army in Afghanistan. They are all 20 something men. And they all hated it. There is a such thing as just trying too hard to be sexy and coming off desperate.

I love sex. I think sex can enhance a narrative or it can hinder a narrative. It can make characters looks great or it can make them look pathetic. For me, the Buffy issue (and what I suspect they are planning at DC ) falls in the pathetic category.

To each their own.

[…] reported at DC Women Kicking Ass and first mentioned in the latest fantastic episode of “3 Chicks Review Comics”, Greg Rucka was going to write Wonder Woman Earth One for DC Comics.  The Earth One line are […]

Well, I think that the advent of digital distribution for comics can lead to a Star Trek or Firefly like phenomenon for characters like Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown, X-23, etc.

Fans of characters like Cassandra Cain or Stephanie Brown are just as passionate as fans of Firefly but those fandoms have not been able to expand in the same way as the Browncoats because of how expensive comics are. You can buy the entire Firefly series for $20. Browncoats buy Firefly DVD’s to give to their friends and get them hooked on the show. On the other hand, you can get maybe two TPB’s of Batgirl for $20 and they’re sometimes difficult to find. There’s at least 10 hours worth of entertainment in those Firefly DVD’s, compared to maybe one hour of entertainment in two TPB’s of Batgirl.

I think the change will come once digital distributors of comic books start taking lessons from digital game distributors like Steam and Good Old Games. When they start developing software that let you read comics offline, drop the prices of older comics down to more reasonable levels, and start having sales where you can get the entire run of Stephanie Brown’s Batgirl or X-23 for $5 or $10, fans of characters like Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown, X-23, Black Widow, etc., can buy those comics as presents for their friends just like how the Browncoats bought Firefly DVD’s for their friends.

I just picked up the first run of Stumptown and the first issue of volume 2, they’re great. I’m a big fan of Rucka’s work, and I was glad to hear such a progressive voice from comic creators instead of the usual regressive bullshit we’ve all been getting from the big 2.

Thanks for the good picks, and for doing all that you do for comics.

“Even if Greg Rucka wrote Wikipedia articles, I would read them.” That’s a start, Sue.

[…] was recently on the “3 Chicks Review Comics” podcast, talking about the new volume of his Stumptown comic and at the end of the interview he said […]

[…] give it a read/listen. I believe it was Word Balloon – it's a podcast. There was another on this 3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode 043 | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources I think that was the one that he really opened up […]

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