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” […]