EXCL. PREVIEW: Hitch's "Justice League: Rebirth" #1 Fears the Reaper
I wanted to start doing these kinds of posts – where I write about one-shots and complete arcs as well as trades and other stuff – in January, but January is always a busy month for me, so I tend to slack off a bit with my comics writing. So let’s get started with February, shall we?
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When we were driving out of the town I said, “I hate the corpses of empires, they stink as nothing else. They stink so badly that I cannot believe that even in life they were healthy.” “I do not think you can convince mankind,” said my husband, “that there is not a certain magnificence about a great empire in being.” “Of course there is,” I admitted, “but the hideousness outweighs the beauty. You are not, I hope, going to tell me that they impose laws on lawless people. Empires live by the violation of law.” (Rebecca West, from Black Lamb and Grey Falcon)
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I do these fairly haphazardly, don’t I? Oh well – that’s the way it is!
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So, back in August I did a post talking about the women of the Marvel Studios Films, doing that made me think I wanted to talk about all the superheroine film performances I’ve loved. Then a few months ago we did a whole post trying to figure out how to define a superhero. It ended up being a really interesting discussion (one in which by some miracle everyone was really well behaved! Miracles! They do happen!). However, the end result was that it became increasingly clear that everyone has a different view of these things and as such I would never satisfy everyone’s definition since such a thing didn’t exist. So I’m just going to choose to satisfy only my own criteria and everyone has to deal with that.
I was originally going to do a best 50 but while there are well over 50 roles of note, there weren’t really 50 I felt passionate about and wanted to discuss, even cutting down to the top 25 I found I was talking more about the problems I had with the roles/performances than the things that I loved, and since I intended this to be largely a positive post, I cut the list down again to a Top 10. And that was the sweet spot where I felt a horrible yearning for a few that had to be left off and could speak with real love about the roles on the list.
So, I have a column I’ve been working on — off and on — for a few months now, but I keep stumbling on the parameters and I thought I could put it out to all of you, see if together we could come up with better parameters than I have been able to come up with myself.
For the purpose of the column in question – which is a column about superheroes on film – my major stumbling block seems to be between action hero and superhero – where does one draw the line?
I have had some wonderful help from whip smart CSBG commenter Dean Hacker (thanks Dean!) and without him I would not even be this far along. Right now my in-process definition looks a bit like this:
“Superhero is a fluid term. It does not HAVE to come with clear cut superpowers or even a costume, though it should be said that costumes come in many shapes and forms beyond the traditional (i.e. is Ripley’s flight suit a costume? If not, why not?). While a “superhero” does not HAVE to come with the aforementioned superpowers or costume, a superhero does have to come with actions that are “super” in what they attempt – scope, breadth, intensity, etc., and perhaps with a “magical” solution of sorts to solving the huge problem they face.”
Just an hour before my column about the ladies of the Marvel Studio movies went up, a column that in part lamented our lack of announcements on female-led films, we got an announcement about a female-led superhero film being developed.
But that announcement came not from Marvel Studios but Sony.
MUCH MORE RESTRAINED JOY.
It’s not rocket science. While Marvel Studios have been killing it with their films – and they seem to be getting better and better – The Avengers (2012), Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014), and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) are their three best films (except perhaps Iron Man (2008) which set us off on this incredible superhero resurgence in the first place) – Sony has been kind of the opposite of killing it.
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.
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.
I often find myself in arguments about Catwoman: who played the best Selina Kyle in movies and who writes her the best in comics. I talk about her a lot. I mean, a lot. I’ve developed a really deep love for her as a character because she has never been easily pinned down or definable. She holds a special place for me because as a female character, she holds a lot of power for progressive and offensive representation and thought. She is not easily definable as good or bad, and this tension provides the room for her to become something more than just Batman’s love interest or Gotham’s ultimate femme fatale.
While I’ve felt this way about Catwoman in many different instances, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Catwoman: When In Rome really hits the nail on the head for me. It raises — whether intentionally or not — all these questions about Selina’s identity, but also the role of Catwoman as a feminist character in a world rife with problems when it comes to writing and representing women. Warning, I’m absolutely going to be spoiling the heck out of this run.
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I’ve spent most of my life aching for great superheroine portrayals on film. To see some of my comic book heroines reflected back to me on 40-foot screens. With a few awesome exceptions (X-Men, X2) I have been disappointed again and again (Catwoman, Elektra, Sue Storm in Fantastic Four, Batgirl in Batman & Robin, Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin, Supergirl, Mary Jane in Spiderman, okay not a superheroine, but still) the list of bad performances, bad writing, bad directing, and just bad ideas is painfully long.
Since today is my birthday it is lucky that I get to write about something I really like; Anne Hathaway’s depiction of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. With the release of the blu-ray next week (December 4th to be precise, in plenty of time for early holiday shopping), I had a chance to review it and check out all the special features that come with it. Since I’m sure you’ll be able to find plenty of reviews of the entire, impressive package, I focused my attention on Catwoman and the feature elaborating on the design and approach taken on that character.
Inside this episode! We have a review of Ann Nocenti and Rafa Sandoval’s Catwoman #14 and Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti’s Journey Into Mystery #646. We then have an awesome interview with Marvel Editor Jeanine Schaefer! C’mon in for a listen! Kelly mercilessly plugs her book – on sale for Cyber Monday at Amazon! Sue talks about how 3 Batgirls have swept the Kick Ass DC Woman Tournament 3 years in a row. Also, did you see what Sue is Thankful For this year? Great list of great things! Ooh! And Renae De Liz has a great new Kickstarter going. Check it out!
Here are the breaks:
Catwoman #14 – 00:43
Journey Into Mystery #646 – 14:01
Interview with Jeanine Schaefer – 23:31
Extra bits! – 97:43
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! Advance reviews are always spoiler-free!
Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Catwoman (volume 2) #53, which was published by DC and is cover dated May 2006. Enjoy!
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DC’s solo, female superhero titles depict women who are firmly focused on emotions, family, home, and sex. These women are so distracted by these things, that they’re barely able to think about their jobs as superheroes. It is disappointing to read so many women characters depicted this way, consistently unprofessional and erratic, and it is hard to imagine a male character ever worrying about any of these things to this level.
Oh, yes, it’s time once again for something crazy like this. Brace yourselves! You might want to get a glass of water and some provisions before you start reading. It’s a long one, in case you can’t guess.
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