Harley Quinn has had legions of loyal fans for ages. For a long time, I mainly knew her as the Joker’s girlfriend on Batman: The Animated Series. I knew DC had brought her into their comics’ continuity. I knew she and the Joker had broken up (maybe? sort of?). I knew she’d shifted from villain to antihero to star in her own comic. I’d heard her referred to as “DC’s Deadpool.” But what about her brought such adoration among readers? In a 2016 interview with Vulture, DC Comics’ Publisher and CCO Jim Lee said, “I refer to her as the fourth pillar in our publishing line, behind Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.” That’s HUGE. Lee is equating Harley to DC’s Trinity, their Big Three, the foundation upon which DC is built. After reading the near 100 comics comprising Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti’s run on Harley Quinn (yes, I got excited and bought them all (no, I have no regrets)) I get it.
My near-exclusive Marvel fandom has been indelibly stamped on my being for over thirty years however I’ve wanted to read Wonder Woman since I saw Patty Jenkins’ brilliant film. She redefined everything a comic book movie could be/do in the summer of 2017 and I was captivated. Diana Prince is a uniquely important character too, who’s been a part of our popular culture since 1941. She is the archetypal female superhero. She’s part of DC’s Trinity and, no matter how much I love them, Marvel has no one like her. In short, she’s a character I should know. So I tried the first issue of Greg Rucka’s “Rebirth” run but found it more confusing than welcoming. Yet I kept trying, wanting to experience this character I’d fallen in love with at the movies in the genre she was born into. I researched “classic” or “definitive” Wonder Woman stories but jumping into the middle of seventy-seven years of stories, almost completely at random, felt a bit intimidating. Then came G. Willow Wilson. Continue reading
I have to tip my hat to James Tynion IV. He’s clearly one of our most talented modern comic writers. I’ve always been fairly ambivalent about DC. And I’ve never, ever liked Batman. I’ve said before I think he’s overrated. In fact, he kind of annoys me. He’s this grumpy malcontent whose emotional development stalled as the result of a childhood tragedy and now (somewhat ironically) recruits child soldiers to help him battle the most dangerous and disturbed minds on the planet. He’s too dark, dangerous, and dour to ever be my sort of superhero. BUT James Tynion IV has taken this character I’ve never liked and created a comic I love around him. His Detective Comics is the lone DC book I need to read in my world of Marvel and IDW titles. Continue reading
Guest Writer – Andrew
While I have enjoyed a lot of the DC Rebirth process to date there are two releases so far that for me tower far above the rest of the titles. Those two books are Red Hood and the Outlaws and Batgirl. Indeed if I were forced to pick just two DC books each month then (with some reluctance, especially at not being able to throw Green Lanterns in too) it would be those two as things stand. Continue reading
Guest Writer: Andrew
The last time I wrote for My Comic Relief it was to do a brief assessment of the Rebirth process following the first 6 or 7 weeks of titles. So how are things shaping up since then? Well we’ve had some new titles, and in the main there has been a continuation of strong first issues for the new series. Here’s a further update, with a focus on new appearances to the comic shop shelves since my last post.
When Michael asked me to write a piece for My Comic Relief he suggested it should be on DC comics. His request came right at the start of DC Comic’s Rebirth launch so unfortunately it’s only at this point, as we reach week 6 of that process that I feel I have acclimatised enough to the new titles to give some thoughts. Continue reading