The problem with Wonder Woman and the solution: Melissa McCarthy

Here’s the latest version of the “What the hell can we do with Wonder Woman?” piece by Shoshana Kessock but it’s a really excellent one that looks at the context of the problems of putting a female action hero on the screen:

That is one of the reasons Wonder Woman has had a difficult path in the comic world. She stands as an unapologetically feminist super heroine in an industry that often relegates women to sidekicks, damsels, and girlfriends. She’s also a character mired in a complicated backstory that is not only supernatural, but also steeped in a mythology that is difficult to translate to modern audiences. All of this has led to difficult years for Wonder Woman comics. One would think that the opportunity for a rewrite would have made the transition to modern comics a little easier. Yet the “reimagined” Wonder Woman featured in DC’s New 52 has done the character no favors.

But you know what? There is one unavoidable fact about this matter: WONDER WOMAN IS COMING. Do you hear me? it will be impossible to make a Justice League movie without Wonder Woman so no matter how many cooties she has, WONDER WOMAN IS COMING.

Wonder Woman Is Coming

Kessock suggests that the solution to how to handle a female hero would be looking at the successful cartoon versions, including the direct to dvd movie starring Keri Russell as the voice of Wonder Woman.

Well that is surely one solution. And we have another, thanks to Twitter.

See how easy it is? This weekend THE HEAT, a raunchy cop buddy movie starring Sandra Bullock and Meslissa MCCarthy was a surprise #2 at the box office, pulling in $40 million while the more traditional buddy movie White House Down starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx was a disappointing 4th. The Heat showed that McCarthy is a genuine box office draw, so the way to make Wonder Woman — cast a tall likable athletic Wonder Woman and pair her with McCarthy as the ribald, hilarious sidekick Etta Candy.

etta candy

See, Hollywood? We’ve just solved your problem for you.

RIP Jim Kelly


The Karate expert who co-starred with Bruce Lee in ENTER THE DRGAON has died at age 67. These stills remind us that the 70s were the coolest decade ever,

Monday’s Review Slate: Lazarus and Pizza Dog

This week’s been a big week for comics! All kinds of goings-on were, well, going-on. I’m narrowing it down to just the two comics, though. The ones everybody’s been talking about. Lazarus #1 from Image, and Hawkeye #11 from Marvel. Both books have fantastic creative teams and all the goodwill in the world pushing them onwards. Were they good?

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The fifth new Vertigo title is Coffin Hill and the sixth is Suiciders — Also The Witching Hour


This morning’s NY Times story on Vertigo’s six new titles only managed to have room to mention four of them. However if you look at the picture of executive editor Shelly Bond above, you can see a bunch of stuff including the cover to something called Coffin Hill. The art style is pretty distinctive, sort of a Brandon Graham-y/Becky Cloonan-y look. Another cover is seen at the bottom of the photo.

Any guesses, people?

UPDATE: DC has released info on all six 1/2 new series! The artist was the amazing Dave Johnson, although the middle one looks like a variant cover.


o   HINTERKIND – Decades after “The Blight” all but wiped out the human race, Mother Nature is taking back what’s hers and she’s not alone … all the creatures of myth and legend have returned and they’re not happy. After her grandfather disappears, Prosper Monday must leave the security and seclusion of her Central Park village to venture into the wilds to find him, unaware of how much the world has changed. An epic fantasy adventure set in a post-apocalyptic world, HINTERKIND is written by Ian Edginton and illustrated by Francesco Trifogli, and debuts this October.


o   THE DISCIPLINE – Launching this December, THE DISCIPLINE is a dark, erotic thriller about a privileged young woman named Melissa who is thrust into a centuries old battle between good and evil. She begins an affair with a mysterious man named Orlando who opens her eyes to a sexually sinister world she never knew existed. Through this ritualistic seduction (“The Discipline”), Orlando unlocks Melissa’s inner power and then enlists her into a shadowy war that has been fought for centuries. THE DISCIPLE comes to you from writer Peter Milligan and artist Leo Fernandez.


o   DEAD BOY DETECTIVES – Spinning out of the pages of Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN, two dead British school boys star in their own monthly series and solve crimes in the 21st century with the help of a new female accomplice. Premiering in November, DEAD BOY DETECTIVES is written by noted British novelist Toby Litt with layouts and painted covers by Mark Buckingham (FABLES).

o   SUICIDERS – Hitting the spinner rack this December, this new series marks the incomparable Lee Bermejo’s (JOKER; BATMAN: NOEL; BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH) debut as an ongoing series comic book writer and artist. SUICIDERS follows the lies of two futuristic boxers – one on top of the world, the other trying to fight (and kill) his way there. Set in Los Angeles after “The Big One,” “Suiciders” is the wildly popular reality sport that contestants are literally dying to be a part of … and to be the best, you have to murder the best.


o   COFFIN HILL – When she was 15, Eve Coffin summoned a darkness that had been buried since the Salem Witch Trials. Now Eve’s back to harness the evil that destroyed her friends and is slowly taking over the sleepy town of Coffin Hill. This is a series full of magic, madness and murder via a twisted family of New Englanders. Arriving in stores this October, COFFIN HILL combines the talents of artist Inaki Miranda (FAIREST: THE HIDDEN KINGDOM) with writer Caitlin Kittredge, a young, dark fantasy author whose writing includes the Nocturne City, the Black London, and the Iron Codex series of novels – which include the recently published titles Dark Days and The Mirrored Shard.



o   THE WITCHING HOUR – Just in time for Halloween, this anthology-style one-shot collects short stories exploring witchcraft written and drawn by some of the most talented veterans and newcomers in the business – including Kelly Sue DeConnick, Cliff Chiang, Lauren Beukes, Emily Carroll, Matthew Sturges, Shawn McManus, Tula Lotay and many more.

Plus here are better versions of the amazing Sandman work by JH WIlliams.



SDCC ’13: Comixology, the Hero Initiative, Palmiotti, Conner and pals make a giant comic book page


Okay we told you ComiXology has a lot of stuff going on at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Not only are they co-sponsoring the Eisners and teaming with the CBLDF, they are also putting on a two hour event called “The Blank Page Project” which will benefit The Hero Initiative. Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner will co-host the two hour bash where creators team up to fill a 8 x 12 foot comic page with art. The resulting mega-page will be auctioned off to benefit The Hero Initiative.

It’s free to attend and open to all so get yourself over there. It takes place Thursday, July 18th from 5pm to 7pm outside the Vela restaurant at the back of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, located just south of Hall H.

“The Blank Page Project” is part of ComiXology’s new “Meet Your Makers” promotion which spotlights comics creators and the creative process—and we’re told there is more yet to be announced.


Big Interview: Julia Gfrӧrer: ‘I don’t get why people write stories without sex in them’


One of the advantages in writing for The Beat is the opportunity to provide under-appreciated comic creators with a platform, to share work which genuinely excels, work which excites you. This interview with Julia Gfrӧrer, whose comics and art work I have been a fan of ever since I came across it over a year ago, was one of the first things I began putting together, in the hope of making more people aware of the fantastic comics she produces. There’s a difference between being a favourite creator and a best creator; Gfrӧreris the level of good that she inhabits a place on both.

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On The Scene: Wizard World’s “NYC Experience” Wasn’t Half Bad

Among people I talk to about cons and comics, about half won’t bother to go to Wizard World Cons, about a quarter might go, but usually have mediocre things to say about them, and about a quarter haven’t ever been to one but haven’t totally ruled it out. This is because Wizard cons are known for their overriding pop-culture focus, which gives place to comics, but not focus to them, and at least half of the focus of any Wizard cons seems to be on celebrity presence and autographs. When Wizard announced a return to NYC this year and dubbed it an “experience”, an unusual use of terminology, but in a venue they had never used before at Pier 36, there was some speculation about what it would be like and whether Wizard had changed its tack at all when it came to comics.IMG_6117

I ventured there on Saturday, the biggest day for the con, and found it a little difficult to get to, the nearest subway stop to its riverside location being East Broadway with a bit of a walk from there to the warehouse-like exterior at “Basketball City”. But I found that the use of space was reasonably clever, with booths placed outside for tickets and a large fenced in courtyard area containing its largest events tent, a plethora of food trucks, and shady picnic tables for ticketholders to use. The portaloos were a little less appealing, but good as back-up for interior restrooms. The space wasn’t quite what I expected. It was smaller than the Philly Wizard Con I’d been to before, substantially smaller, but it was very clean and well presented with newish carpeting, a strong attempt at air conditioning on a hot day (a little challenged once crowds built up), one large main floor area, and an upper, small mezzanine for panel events.

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Vertigo is alive, launching six new titles

Despite all the appearances that Vertigo, DC’s line for creator-driven horror, fantasy and crime-based comics, is on its last legs—they only released four monthly titles in May—editors on panels have been insisting that the imprint has been working on a comeback. And now more details on that comeback have been released, in a NY Times piece. Six new titles are planned for the fall:

* The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman and JH Williams, launches in October. It’s a prequel to the original Sandman, explaining what Morpheus was doing when he got captured, and will run bi-monthly, alternating with a companion edition of each issue featuring more artwork, see-through work balloons, commentary, and character sketches.

* The Dead Boy Detectives, no creative team announced, featuring the ghostly snoops first seen in Sandman. They were previously featured in a mini-series by Ed Brubaker and Bryan Talbot—guessing Brubaker won’t be back for this go-round.

The other two titles are still unnamed, the Alatar and Pallando of this piece.

The Times piece paints a hopeful vision for Vertigo going forward, with the new head honcho Shelly Bond saying “It’s so liberating to know that I can talk about all these wonderful books.” Bond is a longtime fixture at Vertigo, of course, and took over after the departure in March of founder Karen Berger. Gaiman is quoted as saying the Williams art for the new Sandman are “the most beautiful pages I have ever seen in periodical comics. I ask him to do the impossible, and he gives me back more than I asked for.”

While the creator-driven nature of Vertigo isn’t really in the forefront of DC’s current mission, and the line has lately been the repository for movie-driven comics (Django Unchained) and WildStorm leftovers (Astro City) it’s still a brand with a lot of name recognition and a distinguished legacy. With such a well-established imprint for more offbeat material, it would have been, well, myopic to neutralize it entirely. So seeing some new things coming is a heartening development.

PS: Yes, I know the Times piece seems to claim that Marc-Oliver Frisch runs the Beat, as several of you emailed me. I think it’s just a copy edit that’s poorly phrased. Either that or I need to have a stern conversation with Marc-Oliver.

The Guardian Reveals the Origin of The Phoenix Magazine

This weekend The Guardian published an interview with the Fickling family, who created and run the Beat-approved Phoenix Magazine. Conducted by John-Paul Flintoff, the interview was then turned into a comic by Adam Murphy! And if you click past the jump, you’ll be able to have a look at it yourself. Do it!

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