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Women in Comics: Looking Ahead to 2017

Though it may be tough to believe that a new year has begun, 2017 is here and it brings with it some great comics by women! Below are some exciting comics that will be released in the coming months. Take a look and find something fun for this brand new year.

Mighty Captain Marvel coverSquirrel Meets World coverBatgirl and Birds of Prey cover

Superheroes
2017 is going to be a great year for superhero comics written by women. Marvel has a number of options coming up that are both by women and about women, with three debuting next August. Over the span of just a couple of weeks, we’ll see The Unstoppable Wasp, Vol. 1: Unstoppable! by Jeremy Whitley with art by Elsa Charretier, The Mighty Captain Marvel by Margaret Stohl with art by Ramon Rosanas, and Sif: Journey Into Mystery by Kelly Sue Deconnick and Kathryn Immonen with art by Ryan Stegman, Valerio Schiti, and Pepe Larraz. Versions of all of these character tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe or will in the future, so they are great options for those who love the movies and want to start reading the comics too. There will even be options for those who aren’t fans of comics, with The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World novel by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale coming out at the beginning of February.

Not to be left out, DC also has some new offerings by women as well. Starting in January, Margueritte Bennett will pair up with James Tynion IV for a two issue “Batwoman Begins” story in Detective Comics, which will serve as a launching pad for the new Batwoman series by Bennett with art by Steve Epting. That series will debut in the early Spring. Batgirl Vol. 1: Beyond Burnside by Hope Larson with art by Rafael Albuquerque will be released at the end of March and will give readers a chance to follow Batgirl on her worldwide trip of self-discovery. Later in the Spring we’ll see the publication of Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, Vol. 1: Who is Oracle? by Shawna Benson and Julie Benson with art by Claire Row. Fans of Harley Quinn also have something to look forward to as Harley Quinn, Vol.1: Die Laughing by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Chad Hardin and John Timms will be released at the end of March.

For a darker, more violent take on superheroes, check out Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis by Gail Simone with art by J. Calafiore. This follow up to Leaving Megalopolis sees the characters from that story returning to the city now controlled by superheroes turned evil.

Fantasy & Scifi
Fantasy can take many forms, but fans will have plenty to choose from this year. If you like some monsters in your fantasy, check out Brave Chef Brianna by Sam Sykes with art by Selina Espiritu, which is the story of a young chef who must move to Monster City to open her dream restaurant. If you’ve ever read Gigi D.G.’s webcomic Cucumber Quest, you’ll be thrilled to know that a physical copy of the comic is coming in 2017! If you haven’t had a chance to check out this story of a young bunny on his way to magic school, you’re sure to love the adorable story and artwork to match. Watch for it in the Fall of 2017. Readers looking for a more traditional fantasy comic with all the castles and warriors that implies will want to read Another Castle: Grimoire by Andrew Wheeler with art by Paulina Ganucheau, or Ladycastle by Delilah S. Dawson with art by Ashley A. Woods, which has the added bonus of being a female-centric take on the classic high fantasy tropes. Shattered Warrior by Sharon Shinn and Molly Ostertag offers a more post-apocalyptic take on fantasy with its focus on a world full of tyrants and the three women who must decide what they will do to try to improve their situation. Finally, Snotgirl is the latest from Bryan Lee O’Malley with art by Leslie Hung and, though it defies genre categorization in many ways, you won’t want to miss this one. It tells the story of a fashion blogger/allergy sufferer leading a double life in Southern California and it makes for a very engaging read.

Those who prefer scifi over fantasy will want to read the new Star Wars: Han Solo comic by Marjorie Liu with art by Mark Brooks. This one’s a great book about Han’s time as an undercover spy that’s perfect for any Star Wars fan. Afar by Leila del Duca and Kit Seaton offers a very different take on science fiction with its focus on a young teen named Boetema in desert world. When she learns to project her consciousness to other planets the real adventure begins.

Han Solo coverInvisible Emmie coverPashmina cover

Fiction
If you prefer more realistic fiction, be sure to check out Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson. This book is sure to remind you of the trials of middle school, through the story of a shy girl and her chance encounter with an athlete. All of the musicians out there will want to watch for the new Josie and the Pussycats collection from Marguerite Bennett and Cameron DeOrdio with art by Audrey Mok for a chance to see a modern take on this famous girl band. Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani is another great option, albeit one that will reportedly have some fantastical elements. This story of growing up different follows Indian-American Priyanka as she struggles with teasing at her Southern California high school and learns more about her heritage. Historical fiction fans also have something to look forward to with Jen Wang’s The Prince and the Dressmaker, a story of a young prince and the dressmaker who creates gowns for him as their relationship blossoms, which will be released this year.

Nonfiction
For those who prefer nonfiction comics, there is plenty to look forward to this year. Science buffs and animal lovers alike will want to check out Bats: Learning to Fly by Falynn Christine Koch. In this entry in the Science Comics series, readers learn about bats by following a small injured bat on a journey through a bat rehabilitation center. If bats aren’t quite gross enough, Koch will also be releasing Plagues: The Microscopic Battlefield as another part of the Science Comics series at the end of the Summer of 2017.

If biography is more your speed, Science Comics will also be publishing Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared by Alison Wilgus with art by Molly Brooks. This comic offers an overview of flying technology at the time of the Wright brothers as well as chronicling their activities. If you prefer music over science, be sure to check out California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas by Pénélope Bagieu, which will give you an insight into Cass Elliot’s career before she formed The Mamas & The Papas and the tumultuous life of that group. Though not a comic book, Margaret and the Moon by Dean Robbins is a picture book that will appeal to many comics fans since it includes art by Lucy Knisley. In addition to great artwork, it tells the story of Margaret Hamilton, a NASA mathematician who helped to write the code for the Apollo program.

Memoir fans also have plenty to add to their to-be-read list. Tillie Walden’s memoir of a life as a competitive figure skater comes out in the Fall from First Second. Entitled Spinning, this one will also appeal to sports fans. Animal lovers will want to add the memoir Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home by Nicole J. Georges to their list for a heartwarming story of a woman and her less-than-obedient dog.

With these and many other comics by women on the horizon, 2017 should be an exciting year for comics fans. Which ones are you most excited to read in 2017? Did I leave any off of this list that can’t be missed? Let me know in the comments!

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Carli Spina

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