Art Love: Batgirl of Burnside

Batgirl of Burnside by Hector Barrientos.

For more fan art of the new Batgirl redesign, check out the Batgirl of Burnside tumblr!

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What We’re Reading Wednesday

Wednesday! Glorious comic book day! Check out our post to see what we’re looking forward to reading this week, and let us know what you’re picking up as well.

Our pulls of the week:

wickeddivine_02

The Wicked + The Divine
Story: Kieron Gillen
Art: Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson
Publisher: Image Comics

Diabolically divine pop-god Lucifer is in trouble. She offers superfan Laura an unprecedented deal if she helps. It’s a bargain. A Faustian bargain, and they always turn out so well. Who knows who Laura will turn to fulfill it? We do. Clearly. It’s our comic. You can know too if you buy this fine pictorial narrative with your human money coins.

detailOriginal Sin #6
Story: Jason Aaron
Art: Mike Deodato
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This July, the lingering question will be answered in ORIGINAL SIN #6 – who shot the Watcher? From the very beginning, fans have waited, wondered and speculated who was responsible for Uatu’s untimely death. Now, Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato peel back the curtain on the person pulling the strings as Original Sin races toward it’s heart-stopping conclusion. [via CBR]

 

Keep reading for our picks!

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Life Without Archie: A Pre-Emptive Post-Mortem

I come to bury Archie, not to praise him.

Back in April, Archie Comics shocked the world (or at least moderately surprised the comics community, practically the same thing) by unveiling the upcoming Death of Archie Andrews in their critically-acclaimed yet criminally-underrated Life With ArcLife With Archie #36, art by Mike Allredhie title.  You know, the one that shows the characters all grown up, living out their decent-to-miserable lives in two separate futures, set apart by which omnipresent love interest, Betty or Veronica, Archie took to the altar?  Right, that one.  Reactions were mixed, as they have been for many of Archie’s envelope-pushing announcements over the last few years.  Most of them tended to focus, however, on the story itself, the death of an American icon, which I feel is burying the lede: that this event will mark the end of one of the most consistent, fun, engaging, and even sometimes horribly depressing comics of recent years.

And that sucks!

Following as it did from the headline-bait “Archie Marries Veronica” and “Archie Marries Betty” storylines, Life With Archie was arguably (they’ve been experimenting with format for decades to varying degrees of success) the beginning of the publisher’s current renaissance of innovation and sheer not-giving-a-%&@#.  From its early days as some wonderful Dallas-meets-Fringe hybrid to the political, legal, corporate, and criminal drama that’s been the focus of late, Life With Archie has always been like nothing else on the stands, and the news of its demise comes, to me, as a far bigger blow than that of its red-headed protagonist.  That, after all, is just the kind of stunning, ridiculous drama that I’ve come to expect from the book, par for the soapy course.

I’ll confess to a personal bias in mourning the loss of Life With Archie.  Growing up, I was never a fan of the exploits of the gang over in Riverdale.  I had friends who collected the digests and I’d idly flip through them when I visited, but I’m very much a recent convert to the Byzantine joys of the 70-year-old franchise, and just as its gorier little brother Afterlife With Archie has been bringing new people into the fold left and right, Life With Archie was my gateway.  Even then, I wasn’t on board until issue 16, the Life With Archie #37, art by Walt Simonsoninfamous One Million Moms-angering “Gay Marriage Issue.”  Curiosity over the uproar led to checking it out, expecting something trite, fun, and easily digested, since gay weddings or no, these comics are pretty firmly for kids, aren’t they?  When I instead found a slice of dense drama masquerading as those strips I remembered from my youth, I was hooked.  Gimmicky, maybe, but these were just good comics, simple as that.

Time went on, and the parallel universe trials and tribulations of this bunch of jaded, burned-out twenty-somethings not only spoke to me as one of their kind, but it also triggered a spiral of interest in all the myriad corners of the Archie universe.  To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure how deep the rabbit hole goes, and the end of the book that started it all for me, a mere twenty issues after I began this journey, is huge.

Still, all good things must come to an end, right?  And I certainly don’t expect everyone to have such a weirdly personal connection to such a niche title.

Does this really have to be the end, though?  Even in darkness, hope remains:

  • CEO Jon Goldwater has often talked up the good points of having a magLife With Archie #36, art by Francesco Francavillaazine format book on the shelves, and this cancellation leaves an immediate gap in that market.
  • The death of Archie was alluded to as long ago as last year’s San Diego Comic Con, when the publisher teased something huge coming down the wire for Life With Archie in 2014.  If they were simply planning on ending the title, it seems strange that they would do it so far in advance.
  • Much has been made of the way that Life With Archie’s final issues will unite the title’s disparate twin universes, somehow condensing them into one.  This streamlining would be the perfect setup for a relaunch in this new, Archie-less world.  Where this would leave the characters with differing relationships across the timelines is anyone’s guess, though (or at least writer Paul Kupperberg’s).

Maybe I’m reading too much into things, clutching at straws.  This is… entirely possible.  Or maybe, just maybe, like the headline-grabbing death of Spider-Man not so long ago, this Crisis on Infinite Riverdales is just the start of a new era in great stories (we’re talking Miles Morales here, not Spider-Ock).  How’s that for mixed metaphors?

Archie is dead, long live Archie.

Life With Archie #36, art by Fiona Staples

But then, I was always more of a Reggie fan, anyway.

Life With Archie #36, written by Paul Kupperberg and with pencils by Fernando Ruiz, Pat Kennedy, and Tim Kennedy, drops tomorrow, July 16th, shipping with six different covers.  It will be followed by a concluding #37, to be released one week later on the 23rd, also shipping with six different covers.

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Art Love: Superhero Kids

Wonder Kid by Andy Fairhurst

 

Iron Kid by Andy Fairhurst

More of Andy Fairhurst‘s Superhero Kids series can be found in his gallery on Deviantart.

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Art Love: Dynamic Duo

Dynamic Duo by Arielle Dynamic Duo by Arielle

 

 

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What We’re Reading Wednesday

Wednesday! Glorious comic book day! Check out our post to see what we’re looking forward to reading this week, and let us know what you’re picking up as well.

 

Chantaal

This is a surprisingly light week for me, as I’m pretty behind on a lot of books, or I’ve dropped a couple, like Fantastic Four. (Which kills me, because I love F4, but unless I Captain Marvel 5read that the grimdark everything’s falling apart vibe from issue #1 lifts, I can’t do it.)

  • Grayson #1: Solely checking this out just because it’s Dick Grayson. No other reason needed.
  • New Suicide Squad #1: Just to see if it’s the train wreck I imagine it will be.
  • Shutter #4: Loving this series so far. It’s a fun little adventure.
  • Captain Marvel #5: If you know me at all, you know this is an obvious one.

Angel

It’s a super light week for me, and they’re both Marvel. I’m admittedly behind on a few books that I WOULD be pulling, if I were caught up, like Lumberjanes and Amazing Spider-Man (there’s a 1.3 out this week), but here’s my list of two:

  • All-New X-Men #29: I’m not entirely sure I’m on board with what Bendis is doing with X-23, and I swear, he’s just been trolling his tumblr followers with preview pages of Laura and Warren, but this is a must-read for me. I’m totally up for giving him the benefit of the doubt, because overall, I’ve really enjoyed everything he’s done with the displaced teenage X-Men in this book and I’m super intrigued by the Future Brotherhood.
  • Captain Marvel #5: I’m finally completely on board the Captain Marvel train and there’s no stopping me now.

Leshia

  • Amazing X-Men #9: Not much a fan of Craig Kyle’s stuff, I’m really just here for Alpha Flight.  Last month had a lot of really neat, exciting action and mystery stuff going on, though, looking forward to the rest of World War Wendigo.
  • Archie #657: When it comes to the “classic” Archie books, it’s usually the art that will make or break a comic for me, and while I’d normally shy away from something drawn by the Kennedys, any time Tom DeFalco returns to write a story, I’m in.  Plus that Art Baltazar variant is too darn cute.
  • Judge Dredd #20: This series probably isn’t ever going to be a must-read for me, but The Walking Dead #129it’s wonderfully consistent.
  • Lumberjanes #4: This comic.  Is delightful.  The cutesy hipster style would probably start to grate if I read more books like it, but it’s absolutely wonderful in small doses.
  • Nightcrawler #4: Classic Claremont, Claremonting all over the place.  I love it, but your mileage will certainly vary, he’ll never be everyone’s cuppa.
  • Star Trek #35: I’ve enjoyed some of IDW’s NuTrek stuff, but mostly it leaves me cold.  That said, it’s freaking Q, I just can’t resist this month.
  • Walking Dead #129: After double-shipping a 12-issue arc, turning what could have been a long, dreary slog into a six-month gut punch, and then jumping ahead two years to make it all feel worth it, I am more jazzed about this book than I have been in years.  Diggin’ it, long monologues about making ammo and baking bread and all.

scott2014

I keep thinking it’s a Rat Queens week and then it turns out to not be a Rat Queens week, so immediately it’s a disappointing time. What’ve we got, though:

  • Batman Eternal #14: I started following this for the promise of Stephanie Brown and although that’s intermittant, the rest of it’s grown on me; after you get past the contrived-as-heck way Commissioner Gordon is out of the way/on trial, the Jason Bard circumventing his corrupt higher-ups stuff is pretty fun.
  • All-New X-Men #29: I share Angel’s eyebrow raisin’ at the X-23 stuff in the book, but I like everything else, particularly All-New Jean Grey and extra particularly Immonen’s art. It’s also kind of hilarious to watch Bendis adjust it so that certain characters don’t go as (brotherhood of) evil as it initially appeared in Battle of the Atom.may140784
  • Avengers #32: After a rash of issues that were mostly high concept Hickman jazz (which is fun) without necessarily a lot of character beats to go with, it’s all balancing out now that past actions are coming out and all hitting the fan. An event where the tie-ins work with the book they’re crashing into (sort of)? Man what nuttiness is that.
  • Original Sins #3: Basically Original Sin is turning out real well, especially when it gives tie-ins like this, which is practically Strange Tales Redux. The last one had a Howard the Duck story! Howard the Goddamned Duck!

 

Sarah2014

It’s a pretty typical week in comics for me, as my most anticipated books are from Daredevil #5, cover by Chris Samnee and Javier Rodriguez.Marvel. Daredevil #5 by Waid, Samnee and Rodriguez is easily my frontrunner; I’ve loved every second of Waid’s run, and the second volume is proving as fun and unexpectedly twisty as the first. This week’s issue promises some developments (and, presumably, reveals!) for Foggy’s story, and I’m eager to see where this all-star creative team takes us next.

On the Spider-Man front, I have not one, not two, but three books that have piqued my interest. Peter David makes his return to Spideyverse with the new ongoing, Spider-Man 2099 #1. Spencer, Lieber and Rosenberg are back for another month of The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, which is easily my favourite book to come out of this whole Ock-is-Spidey business. Equal parts Ocean’s Eleven and Fraction’s Hawkeye run, if you’re not picking up this title, you’re missing out on what has to be Marvel’s funniest book. Rounding out my three Spidey picks is 100th Anniversary: Spider-Man #1, a one-shot by Sean Ryan and In-Hyuk Lee that imagines what a Spider-Man comic published in 2061 might look like. Judging by the previews alone, the answer appears to be: stunning.

Lastly, Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm #1 is my Original Sin tie-in of choice this week. As a big fan of both Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder run and what Ewing’s doing over in Loki: Agent of Asgard, I’m excited to see how their story sensibilities mix and match.

Other anticipated books include: Avengers #32, Captain Marvel #5, Winter Soldier: The Bitter March #5, and X-Force #7. My lone DC pick is likewise Grayson #1, for much the same reason as Chantaal. Dick Grayson as a spy? Sign me up for at least one issue.

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Art Love: Kamala Kahn

Kamala by Vylla

Kamala Kahn by Vylla

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Art Love: Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel by Kelsey

Captain Marvel by Kelsey

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Introducing our new contributors!

Girls Read Comics is a labor of love, and part of what has made it grow so much and keeps it fun for me is including my friends in all our shenanigans. Today, I’d like to introduce our three new contributors to the site: Leshia, Scott, and Sarah.

Meet the team under the jump!

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Art Love: Skottie Young’s Storm #1 Variant Cover

Storm_1_Young_Variant

Skottie Young’s awesome variant cover for Storm #1. SO EXCITED FOR STORM, GUYS.

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