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She Has No Head! – 25 Favorite Fictional Females, 2014

It’s that time of year again, the time for a million lists, including my 25 Favorite Fictional Females in comics list. Like all years, this was tough. Like all years, I’m never quite convinced I’ve got the list right, but for better or worse, here we are!

Fair warning, if someone was repeated from a previous year, I often cribbed some of the text from my previous post with some light updates to reflect changes. Here are last year’s list and the first list in 2010 (as well as a 10 ladies making a run for the title list) in case you’d like to read about even more female characters in comics. It was a really exciting year and with a promising 2015 ahead of us I’m very excited about where we are when it comes to our progress with female characters – as always things are a bit two forward and one back, but we’re making progress! I’d like this list a bit better if there were more indie ladies on it (there are so many that are worthy) but Marvel’s push with female characters this past year did a good job of gobbling up a good number of spots.

Like last year, what I found most interesting is how some characters managed to triumph over lack of material or worse, bad material. Wonder Woman, despite the fact that I can’t read her book, hasn’t fallen much– maybe she’s just got so much iconic power that others are helpless to overcome the big shadow she casts? I spent a lot of time when trying to organize my list this year thinking about the characters that I’d most like to see creators work with in new series – that was how I ended up defining where they fell – how interested I found myself in seeing them in new stories. Still, you can’t underestimate the power of reading both old and new – Black Widow makes the list this year (finally) thanks to some damn fine work by Nathan Edmonson and Phil Noto, while Big Barda shoots up the list because I took some time out this year to read/re-read all her classic Kirby stories…and how can one deny her utter dominance after doing that??

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She Has No Head! – Fifth Annual Awesome Women In Comics Holiday Gift List, 2014

Welcome back to my annual female positive comics holiday gift list!Glory Complete Saga Cover

So the holidays are upon us again and you’ve decided that in these tough economic times you want to support the comic industry by giving everyone on your list sweet comics.  And not only that, but you want to take it one step further and only give female friendly comics…well, in that super specific case you’ve found the right list.

Like previous years, in addition to picking excellent female friendly titles, I also limited myself to books released in 2014 only.  If you’re looking for more books that just those released in 2014, I urge you to check out my previous lists here: 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Now, I’ve put links to everything here for your convenience but as always, buy at your local shops when you can! These are in no particular order – and there are about 15 items and 3 pages so don’t stop before you’ve seen them all…let’s get started, yes?

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She Has No Head! – $50 Comics Budget

This weekend was my five-year anniversary writing She Has No Head! – incredible, right? I cannot believe how time 3344389-lazarushas flown by.

Anyway, thinking about just getting started on things and being new to something reminded me of discovering comics when I was a teenager. The joy an frustration of fumbling through the dark with no idea what I should be reading (I’m old, the Internet was barely a glimmer in the most advanced readers eyes!).

My eventual comic book shop was helpful, but it took me a while to find the right shop…and even then I felt enough like a stranger in a strange land for a time that it took some time to start having actual conversations about comics with anyone other than my younger brother who was as in the dark as I was (though he remains my favorite person to talk about comics with). What I would have given for a road map!

However, as mentioned above, I’m old, so comics were a lot cheaper and it wasn’t the end of the world to waste a buck or so on a crappy comic. Today, with a few indie exceptions, even the cheapest comics will cost you $2.99…and that’s a lot to risk on a comic.

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She Has No Head! – 10 Women Who Would Kill It As Captain Marvel

Thanks to the She Has No Head! publishing schedule I haven’t really had a chance to express my insane katee-sackhoff-noexcitement here over the Captain Marvel movie announcement. I am, in a word, PUMPED. Pumped that they finally committed, pumpbed that it has a date, and over the moon pumped that they’re calling it Captain Marvel (as it should be). I am extremely disappointed that they didn’t commit to two female led films by also announcing a Black Widow film, but that’s another post for another day. Today we are here to celebrate and what better way to celebrate than with fan castings!

One of the only things the internet seems to collectively agree on is that Katee Sackhoff would make a near perfect Captain Marvel [ed. note: this is hyperbole people – these are the jokes – the internet is clearly in agreement on nothing – it would be literally impossible for all of the internet to agree on something, which seems like it should be obvious. Please take this statement as the hyperbole it is clearly intended to be. As a sidebar, I am sorry that I have to spell this out, but a few freak outs in the comments section over this one line means I must clarify or risk people continuing to miss the forest for the trees…and this is why the world cannot have nice things. Now back to your regularly scheduled program…]

ANYWAY, Sackhoff does feel a bit like no-brainer casting, the kind that has spawned an internet full of Sackhoff as Carol images. And to be clear, I agree. I think she could fill the role very well and she tends to be my default pick. However, Marvel, given their history seems to be interested in more known/bankable stars, and it’s fair to say that Sackhoff has not done much of note (especially when it comes to film) since her star-making turn as Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica (which ended five years ago). So assuming that Marvel is interested in a bigger/more bankable “film star” – and that does seem to be how they’re trending if you look at their casting choices, who might be our other options? Trying to focus (for the most part) on bigger more well names and those with more film experience or more recent break out roles, here are my alternate suggestions starting at 10 and working my way down to my #1 pick!

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3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode #074 – The Phil Noto Interview

It’s EPISODE #0743 Chicks Logo 2 - Blue

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Inside this episode! 

We begin with a review of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples Saga #24, last issue before the hiatus (and triumphant return again in 2015). We’ve also got a review of Terry Moore’s Rachel Rising #29. Next up we have an interview this week with the lovely and talented Phil Noto. Phil dishes on all things Black Widow, talks process, his forthcoming Marvel “snapshot” variant covers which came about thanks to his excellent tumblr Your Nice New Outfit, and gets geeky with us on favorite characters (I find a way to talk about Rogue, because I will ALWAYS find a way!) Sue and I also talk about the big Marvel Film announcements – most notably of course – Captain Marvel and after we’re done gushing about how excited we are about that we get into the continued nonsense that is a lack of a Black Widow movie. We also talk a bit about developments on the forthcoming Supergirl, and I get borderline inconsolable about the cancellation of She-Hulk. Enjoy!

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 Caanan Grall for our incredible 3 Chicks Logo and to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.

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3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode #066

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Inside this episode! 

So, first up we have a review of Grayson #1 by Tim Seeley, Tom King, Mikel Janin, and Jeromy Cox. Up next is a review of Captain Marvel #5 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, David Lopez, and Lee Loughridge. Following that we have an interview with the wonderful G. Willow Wilson, talking about all things Ms. Marvel. We close with a comics news wrap up and because we love you all very much, a couple dramatic readings.

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 Caanan Grall for our incredible 3 Chicks Logo and to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.

3 Chicks Episode 66 Covers

She Has No Head! – Five by Five

And I mean that title literally. The definition of “five by five” is as follows: Five by five is the best of 25 possible subjective responses used to describe the quality of communications, specifically the signal-to-noise ratio.

Marvel’s “quality of communication” on their interest in female leads right now is FIVE BY FIVE.

It’s also a handy way to talk about the five new female-led books they’ve launched and with the debut of Elektra last week, I can say unequivocally they are all good. And that, is, well, that’s HUGE.

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She Has No Head! – Ten Things

I’ll be doing a post later this month about 10 specific “NEW” books to buy in 2014 where I talk in detail about some new series coming out that I’m excited to read in 2014 (and you should be too). However, I thought I’d do a list of more generally “comics related” things I’m excited about as well since there are a good number of them this year.

There’s a lot of Marvel on this list, guys. But what I can I say? I like the cut of their jib these days aka they’re dominating like a BOSS.

Lady=tastic Marvel

From Left: She-Hulk, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Elektra, and Ms. Marvel

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She Has No Head! – 25 Favorite Fictional Females, 2013 Edition!

News last week of my beloved Rogue being left on the cutting room floor for the forthcoming X-Men Days of Future Past film had me all mopey and thinking about why certain characters mean so much to me, and who manages to hang on, despite all odds. It was time for a list!

[As a sidebar, I didn’t have time this year to do my annual holiday gift list, but I’ve included links to all of these characters’ best or recent work that I mention so that if you’re shopping super late this year, this could help you out.] And fair warning, before we begin, if a character was repeated on the list and I didn’t have a ton of new thoughts on her I cribbed heavily from my 2010 post, but I gave myself permission, so don’t worry.

As mentioned, back in 2010 I did a 20 Favorite Fiction Females post, and now, after a truly exciting year for female characters in comics, and with a promising 2014 ahead of us, I thought it might be time to revisit the list. See who still makes the cut and who fell clean off. I did a post in early 2013 about 10 characters that were making a run for the title, and some of those ladies did indeed make the jump, and deservedly so.

25 Favorite Females

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She Has No Head! – Dreamy Lady Team Ups

I was thinking a lot this past week about Young Avengers forthcoming end with issue #15, and how, as disappointed as I am to not be getting that book as a continued ongoing, there’s something wonderful about how Gillen and McKelvie’s Young Avengers will now exist as a nearly perfect 15 issue run, with limited guest artists, no phone-it-in-issues (which just happens over a long run, it’s only natural), one clear and concise vision, and most importantly, no damn crossover issues or messy event tie-ins. Young Avengers will be able to be collected into a few awesome trades, and if we’re lucky someday maybe a sweet little omnibus. It will be a great book to put on your shelf and go back to time and time again. Kind of like the wonder that is Nextwave Agents of H.A.T.E. – which I re-read at least once every year – and which stands out in the way that only the “brilliant but cancelled” can.

Magik-Emma Team Up2

But maybe these things don’t have to be “cancelled,” maybe, instead, like Young Avengers they can just choose to be one smaller and more defined moment.

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3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode 064

Hey! It’s our 64th Episode!3 Chicks Blue Brown Final2sized

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

Inside this episode! First up we have a review of the new Umbral #1 by Antony Johnson and Christopher Mittens and then a review of the new Marvel Knights mini-series Marvel Knights: X-Men #1 by Brahm Revel and Cris Peter. After some random comics talk we are joined by the amazing Kelly Sue DeConnick who talks about Pretty Deadly, Capt. Marvel and everything in between! We did have some tech difficulties, but I hope it’s not too distracting.

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.

3 Chicks Covers 064

She Has No Head! – World Domination (Or Something)

Well, world domination may be a bit excessive, but all in all the news coming out of NYCC (and some that came before NYCC) was incredibly positive. Hard to argue with such a killer week of news.  Let’s start with some cool stuff that actually happened last week, prior to NYCC.

EDIT: Just to be clear, since people are going nuts in the comments. This post is SPECIFICALLY about the news that was announced this weekend at NYCC 2013. While I talk generally about Marvel and DC and their approach to “women in comics” the catalyst is all the NEW THINGS that were announced this weekend. To summarize: yes, DC has some lady-led comics right now (more in fact than Marvel) but short of the Stephanie Brown announcement they made ZERO exciting moves on the “women in comics” front this weekend. So, yeah, that’s gonna skew what I’m talking about. Try not to cry.

SHNH Dreams Coming True Header

From Left: She-Hulk, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, and Elektra

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She Has No Head! – For Your Consideration

Yup. Another superheroine on film post. Maybe I’ll just keep writing these until one gets made (probably not, I’m already pretty tired).

If you read this column frequently you guys know that I’m a pretty big fan of io9 in general, but Charlie Jane Anders has been killing it lately on the superheroines on film issue. First with her compilation of Action Movies Starring Women that I linked to in last week’s article and then this past week she proposed 8 ways to get a superheroine movie made, it’s a great piece even if I agree with some of the ideas more than others.

One thing she points out that I think is key, is that NOW is the time to get a superheroine movie made. Waiting two, three, four, or more years to get the ball seriously rolling on a superheroine film is just not an option. Moves need to be made now, or we might just miss our window. There’s sure to be burnout on superhero movies (are we already there?). As long as the movies continue to be good I think people will continue to spend money to see them (even if they complain or pretend to complain that they’re tired of them), but the mainstream audience may get weary, and seeing a bad one (they can’t ALL be good) can put a lot of people who aren’t naturally invested in superhero properties off the concept quickly.

Superherione Round upR1

From Left: The Black Widow, The Runaways, Alias/Jessica Jones, X-Men, Nextwave Agents of H.A.T.E., Batgirl, and Capt Marvel.

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She Has No Head! – 6 Sublime Superheroine Redesigns

I’ve been thinking about superhero redesigns, in part thanks to our awesome interview with Kris Psylocke AnkaAnka on 3 Chicks Review Comics. We talked a lot about the difference between good artists and good designers, and how important getting an artist that knows about design and fashion is to having a modern and functional looking costume. Any time you change a costume, no matter how necessary the change is, or how great the new design might be, it tends to ruffle fan feathers as there is surprising emotional attachment to things like this. And when you change design as fundamental as a superhero costume you’re changing brand identity and recognition. It’s kind of a huge deal, and not something that should be undertaken all willy-nilly.

For this column I decided to focus on 6 recent redesigns that are actual canon (i.e. you can actually see them in comics – or will – and they have been embraced by the publisher) but because I hate actually sticking to the limits I set for myself, I added a couple brilliant redesigns that are “unofficial” or considered “fan art”, because honestly, there is A LOT of great design being done on the fringes. Skilled artists that know a lot about design and fashion and perhaps more importantly, care about characters, and the resigns for said characters are killing it out there. Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy!

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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 325: Captain Marvel (volume 4) #22

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Captain Marvel (volume 4) #22, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated June 2004. This scan is from Captain Marvel: Odyssey, the trade that was published in 2004. Enjoy!
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