Follow posts tagged #greg rucka, #michael lark, and #lazarus in seconds.Sign up
“ Good story, an embracing of the Greek mythology and history, and a Diana that is clearly her own agent. Amazons who are worthy of the name, not in the sense that they’ve amputated a breast, but in the sense that they are not-to-be-fucked-with. Little-to-no romance. A costume that makes more sense. An epic sword fight. A thematic core that addresses the questions of xenophobia v. inclusion, and nature v. nurture, and that takes the core feminism of the concept and instead of apologizing for it or avoiding it, embraces it as a given, so it is simply there, rather than being what it’s about. Mostly, one that embraces the character rather than apologizes for her. ”—Greg Rucka, on what he wants to see in a Wonder Woman movie
“The female experience is different from that of the male, and if, as a male writer, you cannot accept that basic premise, then you will never, ever, be able to write women well. A man walking alone through Midtown Manhattan at three in the morning may have concerns for his safety, but I promise you, it's a very different experience for a woman taking the same walk, and it's different again for a man wearing a dress. Think about it. That's a societal factor, and it's a gendered one, and this is not and can not be subject to debate. If you're looking to argue that sexism is a thing of the past, that the world is gender-blind, you're not only wrong, you're lying to yourself.An ignorant writer is a poor liar, and a poor liar makes for a bad crafter of fiction.”—Greg Rucka, in a piece for io9
“I think they’re exceptionally well-made films that are inherently ashamed of the fact they’re about a superhero who calls himself 'Batman.'”—Greg Rucka on Nolan’s Batman trilogy
Great comics with women in starring roles: a rec list.
To start off, I’m gonna go ahead and say two things:
- You might not like all of these recs. I’m more fond of some then others. I am recommending these because I think their portrayal of the women characters as either main characters or main characters out of a mixed gender ensemble is strong. And by strong, I mean, well-rounded, well-characterized, not overly sexualized (though even with great writing, there are some cases of this still), with strength and weaknesses of character both well and accurately portrayed.
- If you disagree with any of these choices, or would like to rec others, feel free to reblog and add opinions or recs!
And now onto the list. Not reccing these in any particular order!
- Wonder Woman: The Hikiteia by Greg Rucka. This was Rucka’s first go at writing Wonder Woman, and he is quite honestly my favorite writer for her. The story follows Diana after she makes a vow of protection to a young woman, who is being chased by Batman for past crimes. Wonder Woman must battle one of her best friends in order to keep her honor—and her life. It’s a fantastic stand alone story, and truly shows how much Wonder Woman values her honor and integrity.
- Huntress: Year One by Ivory Madison finally gives us a clear origin story on Gotham’s most violent superhero. There are a lot of mixed feelings about this origin story—some people, like myself, love it; while others hate it. I recommend it because I legitimately think it adds depth and history to the character of Helena Bertinelli, exploring her family’s roots in the mafia and her deep spirituality.
- Manhunter (vol. 3) #1–38 (October 2004 – March 2009) is a run I have mixed feelings about, but cannot deny her importance as a character. Kate Spencer is not a typical female character—not just for comics, but media in general. Hard smoking, hard drinking, an inattentive mother, with a failed marriage and an overtly aggressive personality, Kate Spencer is one of a kind within the comic book universe. And that’s what makes her so special, and worthy of the list imo.
- She-Hulk: Single, Green Female by Dan Slott is a bright light in an era of what are jokingly called “grimdark” comics. Sincerely funny and light-hearted, this book takes the fantastical world of Marvel and follows Jennifer as she has to prosecute over the top cases while being the She-Hulk. At one point, she even helps Spidey sue the Daily Bugle for slander! It’s a great light-hearted comic with what I feel is very well-rounded writing for Jennifer.
- The Question: The Five Books of Blood by Greg Rucka (have you noticed that I love Greg Rucka?) is an extremely dark story following Renee Montoya’s descent into obsession with stopping the religious Cult of Crime, as well as her decaying relationship with her girlfriend Kate Kane (Batwoman). It’s a gory, supernatural noir story that certainly isn’t for people who can’t take horror, gore, or sexuality.
- Birds of Prey vol. 1 issues #56-127 and vol. 2 1-13 by Gail Simone and Tony Bedard is the biggest, longest run I will recommend here, but only cause it’s worth it (and all of these ARE in trade paperback). Following the adventures of the Birds after original autor Chuck Dixon’s departure, Gail Simone masterfully navigates the relationships and personalities of a group of very different women. Not only are their adventures interesting, the characterizations are all brilliant; and Tony Bedard’s brief takeover is also wonderful. The story also introduces several new female characters who are beloved by fans, particularly Misfit.
- Alias: Ultimate Collection Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis is….depressing. But also amazing, and by far the best Jessica Jones stories ever written. It follows her career as a private detective for the seedy part of the Marvel universe. It also probably tells the story of anti-mutant prejudice better than any actual X-men comic has ever managed.
- Death: The High Cost of Living by Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean, et al. is a heartfelt look at Death transforming herself into a young woman to better understand the people she guides to the afterlife. It’s full of emotion and twists, and is just a wonderful read.
- Black Widow: The Name of the Rose by Marjorie Liu is a bit of a difficult read for those not really familiar with Natasha’s history, but if you can get past that, this is an absolutely great read. It highlights the true strengths of Natasha, not as an alien-fighting, in-your-face ass-kicker, but a subtly strong master of espionage and psychological combat.
- Vixen: The Return of the Lion by Willow Wilson is a great Vixen solo story, following her as she returns to Africa to hunt down the men who killed her mother. It also has several great scenes where she explores and monologues about her powers, which is surprisingly deep considering how common transformation powers are for superheroes.
- BOOSTER GOLD #34. by Keith Giffen, because Barda punches a dragon. That’s honestly it. She just punches a fucking dragon.
- Batman and Huntress: A Cry for Blood by Greg Rucka is a book that many cite as what made them a Huntress fan. It really explores the thirst for approval she has for Batman, while she still refuses to compromise her goals. It also explores her background (and in some places contradicts Year One).
- WONDER WOMAN #37 by Gail Simone explores the relationship between Diana and Donna and their mother with great emotional power. It’s something you really have to read to appreciate.
- JLA CLASSIFIED #14 by Warren Ellis contains probably on of Oracle’s finest moments. Her determination to save the JLA with only her computer (even if it’s just to give them a proper burial) is fantastic, and the characterization is spot on.
- BATGIRL #50. by Dylan Horrocks is the most defining moment of Cassandra Cain. Out of the entire Bat-family, I feel that Cassandra probably understood Bruce and his mission the most and this issue encapsulates that perfectly.
- Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka showcases some of the best Batwoman stories ever told, including her incredibly powerful coming out scene and her pretty scary first meeting with Batman.
I’ll add more later in a second part!
“Here’s the thing: I am sick and tired of super-heroes who aren’t super and aren’t heroes, but more, I’m sick and tired of Hollywood blaming us for their failures. I am sick and tired of hearing various Hollywood studio execs who are as disconnected from the reality of middle-American taste as Rick Perry is from Christianity excusing the poor performance of their ill-executed product by tacitly blaming you, me, and everyone else of us who didn’t pay to see their garbage. Catwoman fails? Instead of, perhaps, just perhaps, acknowledging that the movie is a piece of excrement unworthy of use as fertilizer, they conclude instead that a female lead can’t open a movie unless her name is Jolie. So now we’re not only guilty of not being willing to pay for 90 minutes of intellectual abuse, we’re all apparently sexist jerks, as well. The problem with Green Lantern’s performance at the box office is that it’s not “gritty” enough? I don’t think so. [...] I can think of no other industry where the consumer is made to bear the blame for the product’s failure as much as Hollywood. Seriously, let’s think that one through. The movie didn’t perform, therefore it’s our fault? You got food poisoning eating the fish they served and you paid for, it’s your fault? The brakes on your new car crapped out and you wrapped it around a tree, it’s your fault? Here’s a crazy thought. Maybe you made a bad movie.”—
Yo, DC Comics. Your comic books and your movies? Take note of this blog entry. It wasn’t that you needed a reboot. Your customers aren’t as wrong as you like to respond that we are. When the product isn’t selling, it might be time to consider that maybe you’re producing something unappealing. Maybe what you think will sell, isn’t what actually sells.
Marvel is kicking your ass in the box office. It isn’t the fault of your customers. We want good movies. I want so badly to have good DC films to go see. HOWEVER, the smart, new-audience-friendly, sincere, often heart-warming, and heroic movies are coming from Marvel.
Get your shit together DC.
Happy Birthday, Greg Rucka!
A happy, happy birthday to a great creator who has created and written some of my most favorite female characters ever including:
As well as his his original creations, Tara Chace in Queen and Country (Read it!
), Carrie Stetko in Whiteout (Read it!
) and Dex Parios in Stumptown (Read it!
So please join me in wishing a great day to one of the nicest guys in comics!
“I went to great lengths to separate my personal feelings about what they’re doing from my statement that what they’re doing is the inevitable extension of their “New 52.” Do I approve of it, inasmuch as I have approval to grant? No, I detest it, the same way I detest the fact that they’ve reduced Starfire to a sexual object and plaything for the men around her, erased Renee from continuity, and debuted their new Catwoman straddling Batman.”—Greg Rucka being a badass. (Note that I have edited this to reflect his rephrasing.)
“By the same token, sexy is not exploitative, and exploitation is dishonest. Reverse that chain and you can see that, whoever you are writing, if you are honest about them, fair to them, and allow them their moments of brilliance, you can create that sexiness without it becoming pandering. Sexy is not a visual trait - that's titillation. Cheesecake, beefcake, those are entirely visual matters. What makes someone sexy - what makes anyone sexy, in my opinion - is less how they look than how they do. Competence is sexy. Capability is sexy. Confidence is sexy. Smart is sexy. A character who clearly embodies these traits in some capacity or another is a character who is going to be attractive. Bending over to pick up a dropped pen with your ass high in the air isn't sexy, that's just a butt shot. We confuse arousing with sexy in the same way we confuse strength with cruelty. A strong character isn't, by definition, a mean one, but the confusion between the two has lead to a shorthand where the attempt to depict a female character as "strong" translates to "bitch." They're not the same. Strength is part of character, as well - those characters who know what they want, know what they're willing to do to achieve those goals, and who rise again and again against opposition are, by definition, strong.”—
Greg Rucka (via ComicVine)