Tag Archives: dc comics

Epic Fail Of The Week: DC Comics Drops The Ball On ‘The Wall’ in Suicide Squad

By Arturo R. García

The image above is the last page of DC Comics’ new Suicide Squad #1, which debuted yesterday. And to the chagrin of many fans thus far, the woman in the panel on the left is writer Adam Glass and penciller Marco Rudy’s “reimagined” take on Amanda Waller.

In her original incarnation, seen at right, the woman known as “The Wall” was notable not only for being a non-superpowered human with the confidence and cunning to stand up to the likes of Batman, but to be consistently presented as DC’s resident spymaster (she was frequently involved with prior incarnations of the Dirty Dozen-like Squad), but for being depicted as powerful without looking like the “superhuman ideal.”

The character has also emigrated onto other media platforms. CCH Pounder voiced an animated version of Waller in the Justice League Unlimited animated series; Pam Grier played her on television during the final season of Smallville; and earlier this year, Amanda Bassett stepped into the character for the movie Green Lantern. That said, Waller’s involvement as a “star” in the comics has primarily been restricted to espionage-type titles like Suicide Squad or Checkmate, where she was part of an ensemble. She’s never been called upon to carry a title on her own.

Which makes the decision to revamp the character – whether it was Glass and Rudy’s choice, or something dictated to them by DC head honchos Dan DiDio, Jim Lee and Geoff Johns – even more ill-considered than their decision to draw up a Suicide Girls-like character (seen at left) and call her Harley Quinn. What made Waller unique was that she really did look like a regular person – she just had enough of an iron will to maneuver herself into a position of power. For DC to seemingly transform her into one more skinny gal seems to be a particularly arbitrary choice in a company-wide relaunch that has already divided its’ existing fanbase. Or, if this move was made in order to entice new readers to give the new Squad a shot, then who does this company exactly want to attract? This guy?

Update: Glass was quoted by Bleeding Cool as saying, “Amanda Waller is not defined by her size but by her attitude and she still has plenty of that.” Which doesn’t explain the change at all, of course. Bleeding Cool also reported that Rudy has been replaced as the penciller for the series in favor of Federico Dellocchio.

S.D. Comic-Con News: The Dwayne McDuffie Tribute That Wasn’t

By Arturo R. García

The program for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con will include a group of tributes to famed comic-book and cartoon writer Dwayne McDuffie, who passed away earlier this year. But Matt Wayne’s tribute piece will not be included, and Wayne, a frequent collaborator of the Milestone Media co-founder, took to the internet to publish it instead.

Wayne posted his intended tribute piece on the forums of McDuffie’s website late last week, saying he wrote it after being approached by SDCC to do so, and McDuffie’s wife had “dubbed it ‘perfect.'” But, Wayne said he was asked to change it, an option he declined.

“I decided to just let it go.,” he wrote. “I’m worried that Dwayne is going to be the industry’s “proof” that we’re all post-racial and chummy, now that they can’t be embarrassed into hiring him anymore. And I don’t want to contribute to that absurd but inevitable narrative.”

SDCC marketing and public relations director David Glanzer confirmed that Wayne was asked to change his submission, not because of any specific content, but because it didn’t match the more celebratory tone of other tribute pieces written for the program.

Glanzer also said that in light of what happened with Wayne’s piece, the editorial process for the program will be “opened up” in the future.

Besides the tributes to McDuffie planned for the SDCC program, which is given to all attendees of the four-day convention, it has been announced that “The Black Panel,” scheduled for July 22 at 10 a.m. in Room 5AB, will celebrate the Milestone co-founder’s life, featuring his other partners in the company, Derrick Dingle, Denys Cowan, and Michael Davis.

A transcript of Wayne’s original tribute piece is under the cut.

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Quoted: Comics Alliance on DC Comics Benching A Muslim Superhero


Reached for comment, a spokesperson for DC Comics gave the official reason for the switch as follows:

“This fill in issue contains a lost classic, Lost Boy: A Tale of Krypto the Superdog, set shortly after Superboy died in Infinite Crisis and Superman went missing.

DC Comics determined that the previously solicited story did not work within the ‘Grounded’ storyline. However, Chris Roberson, will be back for the final two issues of Superman’s year long walk across America. As we near the conclusion, catch up with Superman next month as he makes stops in Portland and Newberg, OR.”

The statement that it “doesn’t work within ‘Grounded'” is vague enough to raise questions all by itself, because — fittingly enough for a series about Superman walking across America — that story has been all over the map in terms of tone. That’s to be expected with a story that has two writers as different as J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Roberson (and a third if you count the fill-ins G. Willow Wilson did before Straczynski’s official departure), but there’s no getting around it. In the past year’s worth of Superman comics, we’ve seen stories about Superman smugly lecturing passers-by about Thoreau, burning down drug dealers’ houses with his heat vision, helping space aliens build a factory to revitalize the economy, visiting the extradimensional headquarters of a team of Superman-inspired heroes from the future and fighting an army in Tibet with Batman.

– From “Why Did DC Cancel Superman’s Team-Up with a Muslim Hero?” by Chris Sims, June 22

Race + Comics: Are DC’s POC Titles Already In Danger?

By Arturo R. García

Apologies in advance: charting the number of POCs working on the DC Comics relaunch is proving to be tougher than anticipated. Best to wait on that column rather than risk factual errors.

However, other data coming in suggests at least one glaring disparity in DC’s “new, diverse” vision, and more potential trouble for some characters.

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Race + Comics: A Racialicious Scorecard for the ‘New’ DC Universe

By Arturo R. García

With just over a quarter of the promised 52 new DC Comics titles announced as of Sunday night, the company continues vowing to deliver “more diverse” set of stories and characters. But it’s going to have to make up some ground if it wants to deliver more than the typical lip service.

So far, none of the POC characters revealed so far are brand-new; all but one are black; and none are women. A more detailed listing, as well as a look at notable missing names, is under the cut.
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Race + Comics: DC Promises A ‘More Diverse’ Do-Over On Infinite Earths

By Arturo R. García

Once again, let’s take a comic-book company’s statement and compare it to what’s being presented. Our subject this time is Bob Wayne, Senior Vice-President of Sales for DC Comics. Here’s an excerpt from a letter he sent to comics retailers Tuesday:

In the time I’ve worked at DC Comics, I’ve witnessed any number of industry defining moments. But today, I bring you what is perhaps the biggest news to date.

Many of you have heard rumors that DC Comics has been working on a big publishing initiative for later this year. This is indeed an historic time for us as, come this September, we are relaunching the entire DC Universe line of comic books with all new first issues. 52 of them to be exact.

In addition, the new #1s will introduce readers to a more modern, diverse DC Universe, with some character variations in appearance, origin and age. All stories will be grounded in each character’s legend – but will relate to real world situations, interactions, tragedy and triumph.

Here’s the punchline: the statement was released the same day as the picture posted above: an almost all-white cast for a new Justice League comic. So right off the bat, this “more diverse” DC Universe looks like those “more colorful” NBC ads. But there’s other reasons Wayne shouldn’t be crowing just yet.

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Race + Comics: DC Comics Monkeys Around Yet Again

By Arturo R. García

It’s bad enough to screw up. But DC Comics can’t even say nobody warned them in advance of its’ latest faux pas.

The map above, posted by DC this past Friday, shows the lay of the land in its’ latest crossover story, Flashpoint, a limted series set on a screwed-up version of the current timeline.In the first issue, we get some of the particulars behind the map shown above:  this version of Earth is in danger of being overrun by a war between the Amazon nation of New Themsycira, led by Wonder Woman, and Atlantis, ruled by Aquaman.

In America, an ad-hoc alliance of heroes and villains gathers to discuss how to face the growing threat, only to splinter apart when this world’s Batman – no spoilers here – doesn’t join up. While the series will center around Barry Allen, aka the Silver Age Flash, it was at least good to see Cyborg in a position where he could figure into the bigger outcome. Maybe.

The premise is questionable enough on its’ own – “it’s telling that the only independent nation of women in the superhero mainstream is here being associated so definitively with sexual abuse, to say the very least” writes Colin Smith at Too Busy Thinking About My Comics, “and, once again, organised mass violence.” – but what really set some readers’ antennae off Friday was the notation under Africa: Ape-Controlled.

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When A Coloring Mistake Means Much More

By Guest Contributor Sue, cross-posted from DC Women Kicking Ass

On Monday I posted how DC Comics had published a corrected version of the Flash family from Flashpoint #1. This portrait included the granddaughter of Barry Allen properly portrayed as a black woman. In the pages that were included in DC’s Green Lantern Free Comic Book Day issue, she has been colored and presented as a mysterious white member of the Flash family.

How did this happen? I have no idea. I asked DC if they wanted to comment on it yesterday, but my email has not been responded to. Neither have I seen any explanation. And even if they did respond, I am sure that they would say it was a “mistake.”

But a mistake that changes one of the few women of color in the Flash family, one of the few women of color in the Legion, one of the few women of color in comics is more than a mistake. It’s a painful reminder that in comics, white is the default. White is the majority. White is the easy choice because you have, according to Marvel’s Tom Brevoort, only a 1% chance of being wrong.

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