FINALLY: ‘BEWARE THE BATMAN’ AND THE COMPLETE ‘YOUNG JUSTICE’ SEASON 1 COMING TO BLU-RAY
Based on the DC Comics superheroes, Beware the Batman and Young Justice are two examples of animated shows that haven’t exactly been treated well. Both Warner Bros. series were unceremoniously pulled from Cartoon Network, only to return to burn off episodes (in some cases, in the middle of the night).
Treatment like that would seemingly indicated little commitment to release the series on home video, but never fear, fans. Warner Archive announced this week that it will release the second part of Beware the Batman’s first season and the complete first season of Young Justice on Blu-Ray. Along with those, the company will also offer the full second season of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and the classic 1960s Aquaman animated series will be available through Warner Archive’s streaming service.
All the Blu-Rays will be available Sept. 30; the Aquaman cartoon is up and available for streaming right now.
FEAR AS A WAY OF LIFE: WHY WOMEN IN COMICS DON’T ‘JUST REPORT’ SEXUAL HARASSMENT
By Juliet Kahn
“If the harassment is so bad, why don’t women just report it?”
“I want to believe these women, but if they’re not willing to come forth and put their name to these accusations, I just can’t.”
“These claims of harassment are all so overblown. I never see it happening.”
I have been a woman in the comics industry for a few months now. It has been wonderful. It has also been terrifying.
Terrifying in a way I’m used to, though. When you grow up enveloped in the miasma of “tits or GTFO,” “attention whore,” and “fake geek girl,” fear becomes the price you pay to enjoy your hobbies. You don’t even think of it as fear most of the time.
Sometimes you join in the fear mongering yourself, enjoying the a**hole glamour of not being too pussy to call another girl a slut. Sometimes you hide in woman-heavy spaces, which go maligned elsewhere (“Tumblrinas!”) but do a pretty solid job of keeping you safe. The fear comes back eventually, though, as a slew of graphic rape threats or a simple joke about “feminazis” you are expected to chuckle along with. It might be in response to a screed worthy of Andrea Dworkin—or maybe you just tweeted something about disliking Guardians of the Galaxy. What matters is that you were a woman with an opinion on the internet, and now you must be punished. You must be made to fear.
Fear is also meant to keep us safe from sexual harassment, assault and abuse. We’re told not to stay out too late, not to go out alone, not to drink, not to lead anyone on, not to go home with anyone, not to ever feel safe in any situation that a man might take advantage of. If you fear the (implicitly common) worst from the men around you, you will escape it. When harassment, assault, and abuse take place anyway, fear is often a distinctly purposeful element of the encounter. Sometimes, this is subtle—it might take place in a deliberately secluded spot, or the perpetrator might be in a position of power over your future. Or, in the case of rape-and-death-threat style online harassment, the naked point of it might be to instill fear. After the harassment, assault, or abuse has taken place, it is fear that keeps women from speaking out. Fear of being branded the whiny bitch, of enduring the Anita Sarkeesian experience, or having one’s career torpedoed by a thousand nerds high on a lifetime’s worth of entitlement and vitriol.
Fear is what keeps us silent. Fear is what keeps men from understanding the ubiquity of these experiences. Fear is what keeps us from attaching a name to our allegations. Fear is what makes harassment, assault, and abuse a rite of passage for women in this industry and the world beyond. Fear, in this society, is what makes you a woman. And fear, in extinguishing discussion of its cruelties, keeps us from understanding its nature and better dismantling it.
‘PROJECT GREENLIGHT’ SHORT FILM ILLUSTRATES THE ARGUMENT AGAINST SEXIST SUPERHEROINE COSTUMES
Over the past few years, comics fans have been embroiled in a debate over the double standard that applies to superhero costumes. While men’s costumes are increasingly depicted as totally functional and conveying strength, women’s costumes remain what they’ve been for decades: skimpy, overtly sexualized, and all too often, anything but what would be practical for the purposes of patrolling the streets and fighting crime.
Filmmaker Luke Patton’s short film “Sexy Superhero” faces that debate head-on and makes something really funny out of it.
WHO RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS: NINE UNBEATABLE ALL-LADY JUSTICE LEAGUE LINE-UPS
If you spend as much time thinking about comics as I do, you probably find yourself creating hypothetical-based thought experiments about super-team line-ups and such. Usually I only share them with Chris Sims, who then goes on to turn them into an Ask Chris and get paid for my idea. [cough]
But a few weeks ago, I took to Twitter to ask people who they would recruit for an all-female, seven-member Justice League. The response at the time was great, with lots of interesting variation in potential team rosters, but then the idea got a bump again when artists started posting drawings of their ideal Justice Ladies teams on Twitter and Tumblr.
I’ve collected nine such line-ups, including my own and those of Evan ‘Doc’ Shaner, Kris Anka and more, which kicked everything off.
BEST COSPLAY EVER (THIS WEEK): SAVAGE LAND ROGUE, QUICKSILVER, FROZEN, BARBARELLA AND MORE
Compiled by Betty Felon
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions. In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.
COMICS ALLIANCE PRESENTS ‘KATE OR’DIE’: YOUR ULTIMATE HALLOWEEN COSTUME DECIDER
By Kate Leth
Welcome to the latest episode of ComicsAlliance Presents “Kate or Die,” a series of exclusive comic strips created by one of our favorite cartoonists, Kate Leth! In this episode, Kate creates an interactive tool to help determine your costume for Halloween next month. Simply download the PDF, cut it out and roll. You’re welcome.
A MODEST AND BELATED BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION FOR MIKE MIGNOLA
If you were to pull a random sampling of professionals from across the comics industry and poll them on their favorite modern-day creators, Mike Mignola’s name would doubtlessly rank near the top. Since he burst on the scene at Marvel in the early 1980s, pencilling an obscure limited series about a talking space raccoon, he’s matured brilliantly – from his seminal work at DC Comics (pencilling books including World Of Krypton, Cosmic Odyssey, and Batman: Gotham By Gaslight), to his work at Topps, Marvel, and other companies in the early ’90s (on Ironwolf, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, various X-books, and many other titles), to his move into creator-owned comics with the mighty Hellboy, he’s maintained a unique voice and an immediately recognizable art style, bettering himself with each successive project, evolving and refining his voice at every opportunity.
Mignola’s vision is of course best expressed by the empire of “Hellboy-verse” comics, which includes the titles B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth, Abe Sapien, Lobster Johnson, Witchfinder, and even inspiring a kid-friendly spin-off series Itty Bitty Hellboy. They’re all set in his own supernatural horror-heroic world that blends spooky atmospherics and bizarre humor to create some of the best, most distinctive American comics ever put to paper.
Outside of comics, Mignola’s designed for animation (Atlantis: The Lost Empire), created concept art for a number of acclaimed films (Pan’s Labyrinth, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Blade II), and even branched out into writing and illustrating prose novels (Baltimore, Joe Golem). His own creations have been adapted to both live-action films (Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army), and cartoons (Hellboy: Sword Of Storms, Hellboy: Blood And Iron, The Amazing Screw-On Head).
Whether it’s baby Hellboy eating a forbidden breakfast, a snake and a magician flying kites, or a robotic super-spy with a detachable head in the employ of President Lincoln, there’s a dry-yet-absurd tone to Mignola stories that drips with the glee of innovation and possibility, yet manages to keep it all contained within straight-faced third-person storytelling. And so, today, a few days after his 54th birthday, we’re excited to celebrate Mike Mignola’s career with a few fellow fans (who also happen to be notable comic-makers in their own right).
THE COMICS ALLIANCE COLLECTION: COOL STUFF WE (AND YOU!) GOT THIS WEEK
The ComicsAlliance staff is a diverse lineup writers, editors, artists, photographers and designers, but before we’re any of those things we’re simply fans. Appreciators. Collectors. Almost every day we share with each other via Instagram all the great books, toys, artwork, apparel, and other beautiful and/or inescapably cool objects we collect almost ceaselessly in comics stores, at conventions, and from all kinds of sources all over North America (and sometimes beyond). Displaying (i.e. showing off) some rad swag typically inspires everyone to one-up their pop-archeologist game in the never ending quest to find awesome stuff, and simply posting the week’s new comics usually causes someone to discover a new title or artist, which in turn inspires a whole new line of excavation.
In the past we’ve published photos of our “con hauls” here on CA and the resulting discussion with readers — i.e. collector kudos — has always been fun, so with the ComicsAlliance Collection we’re going to do it every week. But more importantly, we want to see your collection too. Show us new additions to your collections by using the hashtag #CAcollection on Instagram and we’ll embed the best stuff alongside our own recent acquisitions. And please do follow us @ComicsAlliance.
AN AWESOME GIRL GROUP RECORDED THE MARY JANES’ SONG FROM ‘EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE’ #2
In case you haven’t read it yet (and missed our review), Edge of Spider-Verse #2 by Jason LaTour and Robbi Rodriguez is a fantastic comic. It introduces an alternate-universe Gwen Stacy who become Spider-Woman and is on the run from the cops after being blamed for the death of poor old Peter Parker. It also involves an awesome element: A band called The Mary Janes, in which Gwen is the drummer, Mary Jane Watson is the lead singer/bassist, Glory Grant is the keyboardist, and Betty Brant plays lead guitar.
That’d be cool enough on its own, but a band called Married With Sea Monsters took it a step further. They’ve actually recorded a version of the song from the comic, “Face It Tiger,” and posted it to YouTube.
THE FIRST THING I MADE WAS A WEAPON: THE MULTIVERSITY ANNOTATIONS, PART 2
Teased for years and finally launched in 2014, The Multiversity is a universe-jumping series of DC Comics one-shots tracking the cosmic monitor Nix Uotan and an assemblage of star-crossed heroes as they attempt to save 52 universes and beyond from a trippy cosmic existential threat that, like much of Morrison’s best work, represents something far more mundane and relatable. Tying back into the very first Multiverse story in DC’s history, the heroes of these universes become aware of this threat by reading about it in comic books… comic books that, it turns out, take place in neighboring universes. Indeed, writer Grant Morrison continues his streak of highly metatextual DC cosmic epics with this eight-issue mega-series (plus one Tolkienesque guidebook).
Described by Morrison as “the ultimate statement of what DC is”, The Multiversity naturally offers the reader much beyond the surface level adventure, and that means annotations. Rather than merely filling out checklists of references, my hope with this feature is to slowly unearth and extrapolate a narrative model for Morrison and his collaborators’ work on The Multiversity; an interconnecting web of themes and cause and effect that works both on literal and symbolic levels.
We’ll be focusing here on the second issue of the maxiseries, the unwieldily titled The Multiversity: The Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World, written by Grant Morrison with pencils by Tom Strong‘s Chris Sprouse, inks by Karl Story and Walden Wong, and gorgeous colors by Dave McCaig.
I’ll admit here from the beginning that while I can talk about this series’ relationship to the DC Universe and Morrison’s oeuvre, I’m close to clueless about the vagaries of early 20th century pulp fiction and would be incredibly interested in hearing from more learned readers whatever I’ve missed from that angle. That said, there’s still a great deal of meat to dig into in this issue, which serves as a sort of conceptual counterpoint to Final Crisis‘s opening scene, showing us the end of Anthro and Vandal Savage’s 40,000-year feud.