Are you feeling kind of down in the dumps? Not feeling like your normal, awesome, powerful self? I know I’m not â€“ this time of the year with night starting when it should still be day, I just don’t feel like I could confidently save the world, fight crime or even cause a little mischief to keep that pesky Batman on his toes. What we need this time of the year are books that show us someone who’s willing to put in the long hours, patrolling the streets – someone who’s tough, smart, feisty â€“ someone we can count on and look up to during those long dark nights. Lucky for us fatigued readers of the world, there are a multitude of awesome comics that feature some seriously awesome superheroes (and villains) that will wake up your senses and inspire you. How could you read these stories of some serious kick-butt action and not want to get back to be all that you can be in this hectic dark and cold winter season. Let’s start with the ladies! And don’t worry, gentsâ€¦I’ll get back to you in a future post!
Wonder Woman: Blood by Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang: If you haven’t read Wonder Woman in a while, now’s the time to revisit the warrior princess, Diana. With the reboot of DC’s entire universe, readers can start fresh with this first volume of Wonder Woman’s adventures on Earth and beyond. When all the Gods of Olympus, and I mean everybody â€“ Apollo, Hera, Hermes and more â€“ set their sights on a child born to a mortal, Wonder Woman’s wondering, what’s up? She needs to find out why this child has attracted so much attention while keeping the Gods at bay, and oh, yeah â€“ there’s a three headed dog and some weird, huge octopus creature that she has to fight to keep the baby safe. Plus, the big secret reveal at the end will get you wondering what other secrets the Gods are keeping. (a 2013 Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection)
Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Dexter Soy & Emma Rios: Meet Carol Danvers â€“ she’s had a lot of aliases over the years â€“ Ms. Marvel, Warbird, Avenger â€“ but my favorite is who she is now, and that’s Captain Marvel. She’s also an ace pilot, so when she accidentally time travels to the past, she thinks she’s made a huge mistake. Nope â€“ she realizes that as an Avenger, if there’s trouble on planet Earth (and even in space, but we’ll get to that another time), she’s the perfect solution to the problemâ€“ even if it is 1943. But, by helping the all-ladies (also awesome) squadron, will she end up changing history? Not only does this book have a great story for readers, it’s beautifully illustrated and colored, too!
And, nowâ€¦we get to the Bat section of my post, which, if I’m talking about comics, I’ll find some way to get some Batman content in there one way or the other!
Batgirl: The Darkest Reflection by Gail Simone & Ardian Syaf: Three years ago, Barbara Gordon was Batgirl â€“ flying high (literally) and helping Batman keep the Gotham streets safe and secure. But, in a horrific act of violence by the Joker, she was paralyzed from the waist down. She soon morphed into something even more powerful â€“ Oracle â€“ who guided Batman night after night with information that certainly saved him more than once. Now, with the DC reboot, Barbara can walk again, and she has taken up the mantle of Batgirl once more. And, just in time, it seems â€“ someone who calls himself â€œMirrorâ€ has decided that those who survived a life or death situation really shouldn’t have. He’s got a list that no one can survive, and unfortunately, both Barbara Gordon and Batgirl are on the list. Written by Gail Simone, the awesome lady who knows Batgirl the best, this book is full of hope and some awesome Batty behavior. (a 2013 Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection)
Catwoman: the Dark End of the Street by Ed Brubaker, Darwyn Cooke, Mike Allred & Cameron Stewart: This is really the best Catwoman ever (except for the ’66 Batman’s Julie Newmar, but let’s not split hairs) â€“ she’s funny, tough, smart and ready to tangle with Batman anytime he’s around. In this case, there’s a serial killer roaming Gotham, and Catwoman’s not about to let him prey on any more women in her city. She might be a cat burglar, and usually on the wrong side of the law, but she knows this town, these streets, and if there’s anyone that can help Batman stop this lunatic, it’s Catwoman. But, don’t even think that suddenly she and Batman are on the same side, she’ll still take from the rich and enjoy the fruits of her labor, thank you very much.
Batman: Harley Quinn by Paul Dini, Yvel Guichet & Aaron Sowd: Once upon a time, well, in the early 90’s, there was a Batman Animated Series that was awesome and funny and innovative. So, innovative, in fact, that one of the writers for that show, Paul Dini, actually created a new character for the Bat universe that had never existed before. Viewers loved her so much and her relationship with her â€œMistah Jâ€ that DC wrote her into the comics. Thus, Paul wrote a comic just for her where she tangles with Poison Ivy, the Joker, Penguin, Batman â€“ all of â€˜em. For a little comic relief on those dark nights, Harley Quinn, formerly known as Dr. Harleen Quinzel, will keep readers in stitches with her crazy antics, undeniable love for the Joker (wut?!), and her extreme annoyance with the Batman. Cartoony, fun goodness!
All in all, there’s no need to feel sad and lethargic during these winter months. Whether you want time travel adventure, hilarious hijinks, a noir murder mystery or a story that has a character that looks like his head is a candle (that would be the Wonder Woman one); these wonderful women of DC and Marvel will keep you covered until the dog days of summer are here.
–Traci Glass, currently reading Bad Machinery: the Case of the Team Spirit by John Allison