Today we’re going to explore Black Widow, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Most Wanted [The Book Depository]. If you love spy stories with Americans and a sexy Russian, you’re going to love this new permutation of Natasha. The use of colors is very smart. I’ve seen clever uses of color, but this one really does the job. The story is mesmerizing, intriguing and with lots of action. In short, this is a great read if you’re up for trouble.
Natasha is deadly. She’s the best in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s ranks. However, she’s the most wanted by everyone! We start reading following Natasha’s steps running away from the S.H.I.E.L.D. So, what’s going on?
[SPOILERS: yes, there are spoilers in this post. I love the Black Widow, and so far I find this trade one of the best out there!]
This THORsday we’re going to take a look at The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Power [The Book Depository]. She is one of the strongest characters within the Marvel Comic Book Universe. She’s smart, sassy, and very funny. One of the strong points isn’t her strength but her abilities. One of them is computer science. It’s great to find a Superhero that doesn’t conform to stereotypes. Not only her body shape is different to many female Superheroes, her attitude and brains too. So, it’s great to find a female Superhero that represents girls in an unbeatable way.
In this trade we’ll find the origin story of Squirrel Girl. We’ll also meet her friends and her mother. We also get to know her tastes and personality. Furthermore, we can also meet other Superheroes too, even if it’s just through cameos.
This THORsday comes with Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat [The Book Depository]. If you haven’t read this trade already, do it, because it’s hilarious. The artwork is fresh, funny and inspiring. And the script is simply a masterpiece of laughs. Hellcat is jobless and fighting crime. In the first pages we discover that the She-Hulk has to fire her because of a lack of work. Despite this, she keeps on the positive side of the street and keeps fighting crime. Even if she has to work in retail!
One of the things that I like the most are the explanations with kitty-shaped panels. These are funny, fresh and make the resumes on what’s going on amazingly.
Do you remember Milo Manara’s Spider-Woman variant cover for Marvel and all the fuss that it created? Well, Manara has made it again. And he has managed to make it even worse. How? Making her perfectly naked!
Milo Manara and Frank Cho hosted a panel in Lucca Comics and Games 2016, in Italy. The panel was titled “Frank Cho, Milo Manara and Women – A dialogue between two Masters.” Here, Manara presented a Spider-Woman illustration to Cho as a present at the end of the panel. Now, the problem is the picture if you put it in the wrong genre, and the attitude of both artists regarding the illustration and what it represents.
The History of Comics, including Women, continues with the Era of Retrenchment. Here we see the rise of the television. The TV becomes the dominant mass media preferred by people, especially by kids. While the TV offered Superman’s adventures for free, comic books still cost 10 cents an issue. The Golden Age saw the birth of more publishers than the market could ever sustain later on. So, they had to change their preferred genres to survive. While Superhero comics were losing sales; romance, westerns, crime and horror saw a rise in their sales.
In 1955 the Comics Code was implemented. Some genres were banned with the code, like crime and horror. One publisher that was selling these in sheer amounts, EC, ended up leaving the business. EC tried to stay two more years in business with their “New Direction.” Other publishers found that publishing comics based on the TV was a great way for their sales. For example, Dell published Gunsmoke in 1956 and DC The Many Loves of Dobie in 1960. These comics easily qualified for the Comics Code Authority.
Welcome to a Comics THORsday! Today we’re reading Silk, the life and times of Cindy Moon. Silk was bitten by the same spider that bit Peter Parker when she was a teen. It gave her powers similar to those of the Amazing Spider-Man. However, afraid that she could harm her family, and that spider-hunters and murderers called the Inheritors could murder them, she locked herself in a bunker for ten years. Whose idea was it? Ezekiel Sims, a super rich man who, theoretically, wanted to help her. He died, and Spider-Man found her. But when she goes out of the bunker, she is unable to find her family. Where are they?
(C) Marvel. Silk, the life and times of Cindy Moon
Did you know that you can read some old comics online? Some are just madness while others are jewels. I decided to create some lists from time to time so you can join me and discover vintage comics. Vintage comics can be challenging: you end up wondering what the authors were thinking when depicting some stuff in the covers and panels. They are also an excellent way to see how comics and stereotypes have changed through the ages. I’ve chosen a list of misfits and jewels.
I admit it: some of the covers are bewildering if not disturbing. However, in this list, there are two jewels that you will enjoy a lot. Even if the whole collection isn’t available.
These first set of comics comes from Ziff-Davis Publications. And yes, some of the covers are super weird. We start with Alice New Adventures in Wonderland, from 1951. The series available online are from July/August to September/October 1951. And, yes, someone is spanking Alice!
Amazing Adventures has a fascinating cover. It was published in 1950 and run till fall 1952, with a total of 6 issues. Romance is all over the place, with all types of characters.
The History of Comics, including Women, continues with the Era of Diversification. This is an era where Superheroes falter and other types of comics shine, like funny animals (Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories from Dell), youngsters (Archie), crime comics (Dell’s Dick Tracy). Now we have Superheroes, funny animals, romance comics, westerns, crime comics… While Dell set up to print Walt Disney’s Comics in 1940, 1941 is the year in which the most famous teenager of all times saw the light: Archie. His success was so staggering that he’s still published today.
Surprisingly, it was a team of two men created Young Romance #1. Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created romance comics back in 1947, a genre that reached its popularity in the 50s. (Of course, this would be what men thought women would like to see in the pages of a comic.)
Comics THORsday comes hot with Kim & Kim, Snotgirl, and Gweenpool. I’m only going to talk about Kim & Kim and Snotgirl and leave Gwenpool for another time. Let’s start with Kim & Kim, a comic by Visaggio-Cabrera and Aguirre-Saam-Rex. I don’t like the artwork at all, but I got issue #1 just because one tiny detail: Catalans. As far as I know, Catalans live in Spain, in Catalonia. Since I was born in Barcelona, this makes me one of them. However, in this comic, Catalans aren’t friendly folk who love eating, creating human castles and hunt mushrooms. They’re an elite group of bounty hunters in a place called the Omniverse. So, imagine my face when I started reading the comic, and I discovered that we don’t really hunt mushrooms but all types of galactic scum. How could have I missed that!?
The History of Comics, including Women, continues with the Era of Intention part 3. In part 2 we discovered the pulp heroes that would influence Superheroes of the Depression. But before talking about tough times, let’s explore the pursuit of flappiness. During the 1920s, we could find Flapper girls. Flappers were an entire generation of young and liberated Western women who wore short skirts, bobbed hair and listened to jazz. They drank a lot, partied a lot, and had casual sex as well. The Roaring Twenties gave girls some freedom to explore themselves just as men did.
Clara Bow Brewster, Flapper girl.
During this period we find Art-Nouveau style Flapper strips and Art-Decó style Flapper strips. Some Flapper strip artists got so famous as to dictate fashion with their comic strips! One of them was Nell Brinkley (1886-1944), a comic strip artist we saw in the previous post. She had set the style for almost all the women cartoonists during the 1920s. Her Flapper girls were elegant and had incredible hair styles. But, these ladies also created tons of controversy and fan mail!