Category Archives: Comics

Move over, Tony Stark: new Iron Man is a young woman of color

riri-williamsWhat happens when a brilliant MIT student gets her hands on a set of Iron Man armor and has the brainpower to make it work?

Marvel is kicking off the next storyline after Civil War II with teenaged Riri Williams, the new Iron Man. The series is written by Brian Michael Bendis, who came up with Riri while working on another project, according to an interview with Time. 

“This story of this brilliant, young woman whose life was marred by tragedy that could have easily ended her life—just random street violence—and went off to college was very inspiring to me. I thought that was the most modern version of a superhero or superheroine story I had ever heard. And I sat with it for awhile until I had the right character and the right place,” said Bendis.

While Tony Stark recovers from the blows dealt during Civil War II, will he stay out of Riri’s way, mentor her, or do something else? Stay tuned, fans. Riri is set to debut in the comic later this year.

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Filed under Comics, girl power, pop culture, Uncategorized

Star Trek and Wonder Woman join newest girl geek trend in makeup

startrekmac

It all started with Star Wars.

That’s not quite true, but you can’t beat a beginning in a galaxy far, far away. Geek-themed makeup started popping up a few years ago in small boutique-style lines like Doctor Who Nail Polish. The first time geek-themed make-up went mainstream, however, was with the Star Wars Makeup collection by Covergirl, to celebrate the opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Now a new force awakens, because the geek makeup trend has stretched to the final frontier and the pages of DC. The Star Trek MAC Collection will debut this summer, inspired by some of the franchise’s most memorable women: Uhura, Deanna Troi, Seven of Nine and Vina the Orion, smart choices that cover the majority of color palettes. The collection includes lip, eye and foundation products, and will be available before the official 50th Anniversary of Trek kicks off in September.

Hitting stores even sooner is a Wonder Woman-themed makeup collection, available in May and exclusively at Walgreens. The colors are brighter and very affordable; in the photo posted at Fashionably Geek, the Strawberry Empower-mint lip balm will go for $2.99 while the bronzer & highlighter will cost approximately $7.

It’s easy to get excited over these products, until you remember the #wheresrey grassroots campaign complaining about the lack of Rey action figures and toys, and wonder if the people in product development thought makeup would be enough to satisfy girl geeks. It’s not, obviously, because we want all kinds of products for all kinds of geek girls. Some wear makeup and cute TARDIS dresses, others wear jeans and roomy graphics tees. But the wide variety has even non-makeup enthusiasts thinking about purchasing a set, especially that oh-so-collectible Wonder Woman makeup bag. Besides, every geek girl is entitled to a bit of color. Even the Night Witches, the feared Russian female pilots who bombed nighttime Germany in World War II, gussied themselves up by using their navigation pencils on their lips.

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Comic book review: Gotta have ‘Faith’

FaithcomicThere are a lot of superhero comics competing for eyeballs out there, but as soon as I heard about Valiant’s series Faith, I knew I had to read it. Faith Herbert is a wonderfully geeky fangirl with the power to fly and move objects with her mind, talents that categorize her as a psiot. As the hero Zephyr, she was part of the Harbinger series but has now struck out on her own to become a gritty, down and dirty superhero.

One more thing.

Faith is also a plus-sized young woman, something not usually depicted in comic books. I steeled myself against the inevitable references to her weight throughout the first two issues, but those references never came and I breathed a sigh of relief. This, so far, is truly a body-positive series that focuses on life instead of looks.

Faith has a timid secret identity as a viral content writer, and the breathtaking art switches between daydreams of gorgeous rainbow fantasy sequences (done by Marguerite Sauvage) and the stark, bold lines depicting reality (drawn by Francis Portela), whether it’s a tedious nine-to-five job writing click-bait critiques of her ex-boyfriend’s reality show or investigating the disappearance of fellow psiots as Zephyr and blaming herself for a fiery tragedy. As she delves into the mystery, she’ll have the chance to show the world what a superhero truly looks like. This short four-issue series is written by Jody Houser, and it has me rooting for Faith at every turn.

The series is easy to jump into without any previous knowledge of Harbinger, and the few overlap characters are clearly defined, like Faith’s ex-boyfriend and another team member who scouts out missions. I hope Valiant has a longer run planned for the future, because I gotta have Faith.

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Why Cat Grant is just as important as Supergirl

Photo: CBS

Photo: CBS

Monday’s premiere of Supergirl on CBS proved that people are willing to watch a female-led superhero show, but there’s more going on besides the adorable, plucky girl with the House of El crest on her chest. Admittedly, the premiere hits the girl power message with all the speed and force of a daughter of Krypton, and well they should. The waitress in the diner scene remarks that finally her daughter will have “someone to look up to” and out here in the real world, beyond National City, scores of little girls will dress up in red and blue and pretend to save civilization.

That’s awesome, but a girl doesn’t have to grab a cape to tap into this show’s female power. While Kara Danvers whips off her glasses and fights crime, Cat Grant, Kara’s boss and the head of CatCo, is kicking butt in her own way. She’s an entrepreneur who makes tough decisions and is completely comfortable in her own skin. Not only that, she expects the same from Kara, as noted in the scene where her secretly super assistant protests the name “Supergirl.”

“What do you think is so bad about ‘girl’?” she asks. “I’m a girl, and your boss, and powerful and rich and hot and smart. If you perceive Supergirl as anything less than excellent, isn’t the real problem you?”

She knows she’s attractive, shooting the “she doesn’t know she’s beautiful” trope in the face with a bazooka, and she has brains and she doesn’t need your approval, thank you very much. She also expects those around her to step up, and re-evaluates their worth once they do, as she tells Kara “If you can’t take credit when you do something well, you’ll be at the bottom of the pile forever.”

Supergirl’s sweet, innocent attitude is wonderful, and she’s a lovely role model. But any girl who grows up with the confidence of Cat Grant could actually change the world and make sure women finally earn as much as men.  There are girls who aim to be princesses and superheroes and that’s fine. There are also girls like my friend’s young daughter who grabs Mom’s pink Coach bag and pretends to be a CEO closing a global deal on a cell phone before jetting off to Europe. That’s even better. Because that dream can come true.

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Little geek girl complains about lack of female superheroes, DC turns her into one

Opinions are the universal tool in every geek’s toolbox, and 11-year-old Rowan Hansen put hers to good use when she noticed that DC Comics had far fewer girl superheroes, and that they wore less clothes than their male counterparts. She wrote a letter to DC outlining her concerns.

At first, DC responded to Rowan with a tweet, and then upped their response when the story went viral with suitably impressive gift basket of goodies including hard-to-find action figures of DC female characters, and original art depicting Rowan into a superhero herself.

Speaking of her favorite, Wonder Woman, on NBC’s Today show,  she said “It would be nicer if she didn’t wear a bathing suit all the time.”

In both her television appearance and her letter, she eloquently made her case for quality and quantity in the DC universe. We bet if DC needs some good storylines for their newest hero, the real Rowan should be able to help them with that, too.

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Hilda Terry Day

Born today in 1914, Hilda Terry spent her life doing things her own way. She was the first famous syndicated female cartoonist, and the first woman to be admitted to the National Cartoonists Society in 1950. That sounds like a mild achievement, but in truth, it wasn’t. It took a year for her to get in, and she cajoled and shamed them into admission. Once in, she planted a foot firmly in the doorway and brought in other women artists.

Best known for her comic “Teena,” a light-hearted look at a young girl’s life and interests which ran in newspapers from 1941 to 1964, she also had a lifelong interest in sports, and became a pioneer of computer animation by designing sports cartoons for scoreboards in the 1970s. She also toured with the USO, worked with the Campfire Girls on a national level and hosted salons at her home with her husband, fellow cartoonist Gregory D’Alessio; those salons drew such luminaries as poet Carl Sandburg and modern classical guitar innovator Andres Segovia.

Success is the best revenge, because the very society that didn’t want her in its ranks awarded her with the honor of Best Animation Cartoonist in 1979. Thanks to her headstart in computers, she stayed busy well into retirement by designing websites and teaching art. The Internet also became her medium for expressing opinions on everything from history to reincarnation. She passed away in 2006, after living a full life of making sure her voice was heard.

 

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Have Joss Whedon in the Palm of Your Hand

He’s had us in the palm of his hand for years, deftly manipulating our emotions with a flick of his little finger. (No! Not Wash!) Now you can return the favor and get the Joss Whedon mini-action figure, packaged with the DVD of Morgan Spurlock’s “Comic-con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope” and on sale at Toys R Us stores in July.

It’s the perfect thing if you’ve created the entire “Firefly” cast out of Legos and only need a director to finally take the show to a second season, or for re-enacting fierce storyboard sessions with Whedon and all your Avengers action figures.

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