On Imperfect Allies, And Why ‘Batgirl’ Still Deserves Our Support
On Monday I reported on the controversy surrounding the most recent issue of Batgirl, issue #37, and the hurt it caused readers with the presentation of a character who played into transphobic tropes. On Tuesday we ran a piece by activist J. Skyler that further placed the story in the broader cultural context of transphobic media. In both cases, our hope was to showcase and respect the opinions of the critics and put their voices ahead of those of the authors or any defensive fans. These are critics who are often marginalized and shouted down; what they had to say about this controversy is important and must be recognized and listened to. As I also mentioned on Monday, Batgirl is a book at the vanguard of a movement towards genre stories for young, progressive, predominantly female readers -- a more modern and diverse readership than the one traditionally associated with the superhero genre. Because of this, and because the creators apologized for their mistakes, I think Batgirl still deserves support. Issue #37 damaged the book's image and reputation, but it remains one of the best and most important superhero books being published today.
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Recap, Episode 10: ‘What They Become’
Agents of SHIELD hit the mid-season mark (and the beginning of a long winter hiatus) with an actual possible game-changer this week, leaving several characters in a severely altered state, and not all of them because of the secrets of the disco doorstop. Mysteries were resolved, shots were fired, and things will never be the same again (because change is the nature of existence, duh). 'What They Become' was directed by Michael Zinberg and written by Jeffrey Bell. As is tradition, I will subject it to my usual 'S.H.L.E.I.D.' recap process, and somewhere in there I'll offer you the shortest mea culpa you'll ever see about a nasty thing the show did last week that it sort of undoes this week, in the most dickish way imaginable!
A Great Lost Artist And His Unsung Masterpiece: Edvin Biukovic And ‘Devils & Deaths’
Comic artist Edvin Biukovic died fifteen years ago this month at just 30 years old. His death was obviously a terrible loss to those who knew and loved him. It was also a terrible loss to the comic industry; Biukovic never received the level of lasting acclaim or recognition that his talent deserved, and produced relatively few works. Yet he was one of the finest comic artists of his generation. Biukovic published several works in his native Croatia that have sadly never been translated. His finished English-language works include a couple of Star Wars stories published at Dark Horse, and the first of Peter Milligan's Human Target stories for Vertigo. One work stands as his masterpiece; Devils And Deaths, written by his long-time friend and collaborator Darko Macan, and published by Dark Horse, is a science fiction story about a country torn apart by ancient grudges and tribal conflicts, and of the desperate people trying to eke out a purpose in the midst of war.
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Recap, Episode 9: ‘… Ye Who Enter Here’
My colleagues Dylan and Matt get to trade their recap shows for a crossover this week, with Matt doing Flash and Dylan doing Arrow. I offered to let them do Agents of SHIELD instead -- we'll fake a crossover, we have Photoshop! -- but they demurred. So it's still me, folks. This show may be better than it was last year, but 'better' is a relative term, and the stink of a toxic reputation is tough to shake. But with the Agents of SHIELD winter final just a week away -- and the show going on hiatus until about March to make way for Agent Carter -- the show is actually edging ever closer to actual revelations, with one nerd name-bomb dropped this episode, and Mack finally given something to do! Which turns out to be both good news and bad. 'Ye Who Enter Here' was directed by Billy Gierhart and written by Paul Zbyszewski
Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): November 2014
A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month November's covers include some superb compositions, some new twists on familiar iconography, a Catwoman, a Batgirl, and an enormous killer whale. Check out some excellent comic covers from familiar names like Michael Del Mundo and David Nakayama, and some new names for this column, like Butch Guice and David Rapoza.
This Means Waugh: Chip Zdarsky & Joe Quinones Take On ‘Howard The Duck’
Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik's Howard the Duck is a tough nut to quack. The character has fallen fowl of ownership disputes in the past, and had to duck-and-cover after the disastrous 1986 movie. He's ruffled few feathers since, but really got audiences pond-ering a return after just a poultry post-credit cameo in Guardians Of The Galaxy. No doubt egged on by the warm reception for Ryan North and Erica Henderson's Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Marvel has doubled down with another comedy book, an all-new Howard the Duck series, with Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones billed as the plucky creators. This begs the question; waddle Marvel do next?
Wonder Woman, Supergirl & Mary Marvel Square Off In Gilbert Hernandez’s ‘Sensation Comics’ [Exclusive Preview]
When ComicsAlliance first heard that Gilbert Hernandez would write and draw a Wonder Woman story for DC's digital first Sensation Comics series, we were excited to see what the master Love & Rockets illustrator would would do with the character. We also assumed he'd be the author of the story about Wonder Woman as a rock star. Anyone following Sensation Comics now knows that the rock star story was Margeurite Sauvage's excellent work, while Hernandez spun a tale about a brainwashed Diana going toe-to-toe with fellow heroes Supergirl and Mary Marvel. The first half of his two-parter, "No Chains Can Hold Her," is already available. DC sent us this exclusive preview of part two, available this Thursday.
Big Hero 6: Are You Satisfied With Your Care? [Post-View]
The last of 2014's five superhero movies based on Marvel properties arrived in North American theaters this past weekend, and it was unlike anything we've ever seen from the Marvel stable before. Big Hero 6, from directors Don Hall and Chris Williams, is computer animated, aimed at kids, and stars a cast of characters that could leave even people who knew the Guardians Of The Galaxy a year ago scratching their heads and saying, "who?" And it's different in large part because Walt Disney Animation, not Marvel, was the studio behind it. If you've seen the movie, join Comics Alliance for this spoiler-filled "post-view" look at what worked, what didn't, and why Big Hero 6 might just change the world. If you haven't seen the movie, avoid the spoilers, go see it, and come back.
Oh Captain My Captain: How Carol Danvers Became Marvel’s Biggest Female Hero
Fans of Captain Marvel probably won't tire of being reminded that their hero is getting her own movie, scheduled for a July 6th 2018 release. There's no director, no writer, and no star attached, but the movie has a title and a date, and that alone is progress. Superhero fans have been waiting a long time for a Marvel Studios movie with a female lead. The Captain Marvel movie is due to come out thirteen months after a planned 2017 Wonder Woman movie from Warner Bros, and those two pictures could help usher in a new age for female heroes, if the studios follow through. The Wonder Woman movie was a long time coming, but she's an obvious choice for Warner Bros; she's the definitive female hero, a brand, and an icon, with more than seventy years of history. By contrast, Captain Marvel has been around in her current incarnation for two years. But there are good reasons why she's Marvel's pick for a leading lady.
Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): October 2014
A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month. Fear, passion, beauty, love, and monsters. There's a feast of wonders in the best of October's comic book covers, with exceptional work from Becky Cloonan, Jorge Molina, Megan Hutchison, Kyla Vanderklugt and more -- taking us to some extraordinary places, and showing us some incredible sights.
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Recap, Episode 6: ‘A Fractured House’
Welcome to season one, episode two of Mockingbird, the awesome new Marvel TV show starring Adrianne Palicki as kick-ass superspy Bobbi Morse. It could be everything anyone ever wanted a live action Marvel TV show to be! Unfortunately and inexplicably this new show is saddled to Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, a show that spent an entire season being so terrible that its ratings seem to be in freefall. With the full official arrival of Mockingbird (and an extended Avengers: Age Of Ultron trailer), does the show deserve to see its fortunes turn around? Find out in our SHLEID recap of episode six, 'A Fractured House', directed by Ron Underwood and written by Rafe Judkins and Lauren LeFranc.
Your Supermovie Timeline [Infographic]
For anyone who remembers the days when just one Spider-Man movie seemed an impossible dream, the above infographic is an astonishing representation of how comic book superheroes now dominate popular entertainment. ComicsAlliance’s own graphics maestro Dylan Todd put together this timeline that reveals what the next six years of superhero movies look like, with some dates and titles still to be announced. The graphic will be updated as new information is released.