Sept. 29, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
Lois Lane may be the most famous woman in comics, and the fearless Daily Planet journalist got her due from several “Ladies First: The Impact of Women in Comics” panelists during a wide-ranging discussion Saturday. Barbara Randall Kesel, a writer and editor who has worked at DC Comics, said the character’s portrayal “rises and falls with what is happening with women in the real world” – from being a “spitfire” like new career women in the ’30s and ’40s, to being diminished to “comedic foil” for Superman as women were being encouraged to relinquish jobs and focus on their husbands in the ’50s, to becoming a more feminist character as the equality movement has advanced. Lane is “a superhero without any powers,” popular artist Amanda Conner, who co-writes DC’s “Harley Quinn” series, said. “She’s got that assumption of authority – […]
July 21, 2012 | 6:00 a.m.
Selina Kyle’s lacy red bra and its ample, curvy contents fill the first panel of “Catwoman” No. 1, published last year when DC Comics relaunched 52 of its most popular titles. By the last page, she’s straddling Batman and spilling out of her leather suit once more. Catwoman wasn’t DC’s only female superhero to make her “New 52” debut in lingerie. In “Red Hood and the Outlaws” No. 1, extraterrestrial princess Starfire strikes a Playboy-like pose, bursting out of her purple bikini as she propositions Red Hood. And Voodoo, a shape-shifting half-alien hybrid, spends half of her first issue stripping. Comics blogs buzzed with debate, and critics cried sexism, pointing to the company’s predominantly male creative staff. DC’s rival Marvel Comics often faces similar criticism — the superhero comics genre historically has been a boys’ club. But a broader look […]
June 11, 2012 | 9:43 a.m.
Last week, the first issue of “Before Watchmen: Minutemen” was the shot heard ’round the world for comic book fans. The 32-page book — featuring the writing and artwork of Darwyn Cooke — added, for the first time, a new chapter to “Watchmen,” the 1980s epic that still stands as the bestselling and most acclaimed graphic novel ever. “Watchmen,” by the British tandem of writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, was first published in a 12-issue limited series that began in September 1986 and — with its scale, intricacy, literary aspiration, storytelling formats and sheer craft — would drag the entire medium up the pop-culture staircase of ambition. The mythology and rhythm of “Watchmen” was so singular that, as the years passed, it seemed entirely natural that it sit on a shelf by itself. Now that bookcase is going to get crowded. “Before Watchmen” […]