DC’s Essential Graphic Novels Essentially Screws Over Women

(picture via dcwomenkickingass)

(picture via dcwomenkickingass)

DC Comics recently stated that they will be releasing a free essentials guide to their graphic novels. This guide will be sent to fans, comic shops, and libraries. It is also notably lacking in women.

Certain characters have received multi-page spreads in this book. Most of these characters are the ones that you’d expect, such as Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, and, weirdly, Green Arrow. Perhaps Green Arrow was given his very own spread because he is currently a popular character due to the TV show Arrow, but Green Arrow has never been a part of the main lineup of DC superheroes.

You know who is, though? Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman, who is an Amazon, member of the Trinity, and one of the main leaders of the Justice League, does not get her own multi-page spread with her fellow superheroes. Neither do any other female superheroes—not even Batwoman, who is one of DC’s top selling female-led comics along with Batgirl and Wonder Woman (source).

So where are the women in this “essential” guide? In a two-page spread called “Women of DC”. The only women featured in this section are Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Batwoman, Catwoman, and Huntress. Yes, the ladies have been screwed over.

(picture via dcwomenkickingass)

(picture via dcwomenkickingass)

Furthermore, no women or men of color are being featured. There’s no sign of Cyborg, Cassandra Cain, Mister Terrific, Static Shock, Katana, or Vixen.

This book says a lot about who DC Comics are trying to promote and sell to. Remember, this guide is going to be used not just by fans but by comic shop owners and libraries to determine what graphic novels they should order. It has often been said by creators and companies alike that ‘for some reason’ the comics which don’t feature white heterosexual male characters don’t do as well. Well, maybe that has less to do with what DC’s readers want and more to do with how they promote their characters. Just a thought, DC.

Young Justice Finale

Young Justice Destiny Calling allFor once I was planning on showering something with praise, but that’s not going to happen. You see, Young Justice has a lot of strong points, but it doesn’t cover so much as it touches on as many characters in the DCU as possible. In fact, it’s a little upsetting that there haven’t been more episodes delving further into some of these characters. Young Justice is the show that helped me get into DC comics. It’s well made, it’s got some great characters, and it gives some neat insight into the world. It’s a show with a lot of personality. But I do wish that it would spend more time with certain characters. It has a lot of interesting people and relationships that should be further explored.

The second season has finally come to a close. Unfortunately, one thing I noticed right away with the season finale is that it seemed a little rushed. It was in a hurry to tie up as many dangling plot threads as possible, while leaving others open for the next season. And I’m all for leaving dangling plot threads as long as they’re eventually taken care of. And from this last episode “Endgame”, I can say that the show was definitely building toward a third season.

I say ‘was’ because Young Justice will not be renewed.

Continue reading

Fanfiction Fridays: The Uninvited by oinvu

This certainly wasn’t the first fanfiction I read by oinvu, and I can hope it won’t be the last. Right now, oinvu has two stories in the works that I’m reading, and I highly recommend both of them, as well as his/her other works. Alas, I’m only reviewing one of her stories for the moment, and unfortunately, it’s not completed yet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t give it the praise it’s due.

It seems that with the end of the cartoon, Static Shock had all but been forgotten. A shame, really. Static Shock dealt with many issues that other superhero shows and comics don’t. Gangs, racism, child abuse, to name a few. So this was one loaded series. And having a black superhero with a white sidekick who was written as a superhero who happened to be black, as opposed to a ginormous stereotype, was certainly refreshing. Oinvu doesn’t shy away from any of issues in the original show and manages to show them the justice they deserve. The Uninvited holds up to the same standard as her other stories, and centers around Virgil and Hotstreak having to work together on a homework assignment and very slowly gaining respect for each other. It feels very much like a redemption story for Hotstreak told from Virgil’s perspective.

Redemption on Hotstreak’s part is both slow going and incredibly hard on Virgil, who finds himself doing everything he can to get Hotstreak to at least participate in the homework, which is a collaboration on their part to write a short story. Along the way, Virgil realizes how different and difficult Hotstreak’s upbringing is from his own and how lucky he is for having a loving family.

Working as Virgil’s conscience in the story is his father, who encourages him to continue helping Hotstreak as he believes he’s not beyond saving.

Realistic stories between these two characters that also don’t show them falling in love and have a decent screw hide themselves well, and oinvu has a certain knack for developing their relationship into something more akin to mutual respect. At this point in the story, I wouldn’t say that Hotstreak and Virgil are friends, but they are slowly learning about each other. And Virgil, being the hero that he is, has to come to terms that even Hotstreak needs a second chance. In fact, the homework assignment, which is the catalyst to bring them together, is long overdue by the latest chapter, and to save his grade Virgil turns in the half-completed paper to the teacher to show that he did try to work with the other.

However, by chapter six, when Hotstreak has already run away from home after his mother and father both kicked him out, Virgil urges him to continue working on the assignment, since he’s certain their teacher would accept any work from Hotstreak at this point, even if it is late. It’s through the assignment and watching Hotstreak work and figuring out how he thinks that Virgil’s opinion of him really changes.

It’s also at this point that Virgil’s father makes Hotstreak move in with them and share Virgil’s bedroom, a kindness that Virgil is still not quite ready to give. It’s been a while since a update, but this is a story that would be well worth the wait.

Trailer Tuesdays: Static Shock Blackout

So my university is full of nerds. Many of them are incredibly, incredibly talented.

One of them, aspiring filmmaker and actor Stefan Dezil, made this:

I am super excited for this. I used to watch Static Shock on TV when I was younger, and this looks like an awesome reboot. (For the uninitiated, Static Shock is, shockingly [puns!] about a teenager who receives electricity-based superpowers and uses them to fight crime.  It was different from most superhero cartoons in that the main character, Virgil, was African-American, and his white best friend was his sidekick. My DC Comics-knowing sources tell me that Static’s story was recenly dropped from the new 52, so for those of you who are currently Static-less and sad about it, you should look forward to this particularly!)

It seems to be a short film, but it looks like it will be packing a whole lot of sweetness into its short runtime – especially for something shot on a college student’s fundraised budget and made as a fan film rather than for profit. Yes, dear readers, according to their facebook page, they will be distributing this film for free online! So give it some love and check this out when it hits the series of tubes in a month!