Friday, September 30, 2005

Harsh! Hated Female Characters #6: X-Stacy

Uncanny X-Men 399
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Without a doubt, short-time X-Men member X-Stacy has got to be the worst cast member of that team yet. Completely unredeemable and unremorseful, Stacy first met the X-Men when they went undercover in the mutant brothel she was employed at. Not a great start, right?

It doesn't get much better in that Stacy is as abrasive as it comes. Full of herself, and obsessed with using her power of touch, Stacy alienates her team members almost immediately. The ironic thing is that for a couple of issues, she is the only woman with Angel, Iceman, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and Chamber. Once she gets back to the X-Mansion, she immediately messes with Paige Guthrie AKA Husk. She is unusually cruel, letting the whole room know that Paige wants to nail Angel in the worst way. From that minute on, she couldn't leave fast enough for me. Luckily for me, X-Stacy's creator Joe Casey left the book and Chuck Austen stepped in and got rid of this pest before she got any worse.

To this day when I read those back issues of Uncanny X-Men, I just shake my head and remember that she goes away quickly.

I almost hated to feature X-Stacy in this list because she is such an easy mark, but I just couldn't ignore the horror that followed her everywhere during her brief tenure. Can you believe that there are Five characters ahead of her? The ride just gets bumpier, folks!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Harsh! Hated Female Characters #7: Scarlet Witch

For years the Scarlet Witch was my favorite Avenger. I couldn't imagine the team without her, even though I tended to be put off a tad by her relationship and subsequent marriage with the Vision. Wanda still intrigued me with her chaos powers and awkward family bonds with brother Quicksilver and father Magneto. Despite it all, Wanda remained a fighter and a hero.

Then Avengers Dissembled happened.

Wanda Maximoff is totally ruined for me. She has been turned into the ultimate villain and I can't stomach it. For that reason, the Scarlet Witch is number 7 on my list.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Harsh! Hated Female Characters #8:Emma Frost

Emma Frost
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Emma Frost might be the darling of the X-Men these days, but I am not buying a minute of it. To me, she will always be the evil witch who tried on many occasions to defeat them. I agree with Kitty in Astonishing X-Men. She may have to work with her for the time being, but that doesn't mean she has to like it.

Emma first showed up in the same debut issue as Kitty Pryde, of all people. It was Uncanny X-Men #129, and Emma was the White Queen of the Hellfire Club. Back then she was bent on the X-Men's destruction, and showed no mercy to them at all. Things didn't improve when Emma formed her own group, The Hellions.

Through the Hellions, and with the Hellfire Club, Emma over and over tried to defeat the good guys. She was shallow, materialistic, and bitchy. Even when Emma supposedly became a good guy and mentored the kids in Generation X, there was still an unforgivable mean streak.

That is why Marvel cannot pull the wool over my eyes. Emma hasn't redeemed herself anymore then my 8 year old nephew has gotten tired of video games. To add insult to injury, Emma is now dating Scott Summers, a man she started a mental affair with during Grant Morrison's New X-Men tenure. I could forgive a lot of things, but dating Jean Grey's beloved Slim is more then I can take.

It has been alluded to in Astonishing X-Men #12 that Emma may not be on the up and up, and I hope that is the case. She isn't a heroine to me, but a villain I love to hate. Bring me back the Emma we deserve to read about, not this sugar coated, watered down version that has become so familiar.

Monday, September 26, 2005

New Comics for September 28

LSH 10
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Hey there! I hope you all are having a good week so far- we made it through Monday! Here is a list of comics I am picking up this week.

Revelations #2 (of 6)
Adventures of Superman #644
Batman #645
Catwoman #47
Flash #226
Jack Cross #2
JLA #119
JLA Classified #12
Legion of Super Heroes #10 (see pic at right)
Omac Project #6 (of 6)
Otherworld #7
Superman Batman #22
Invincible #26
PVP #19
The Gift #13
Amazing Spider-Man #524
Black Widow 2 #1 (of 6)
Cable Deadpool #20
Daredevil #77
Fantastic Four #531
Hulk Destruction #3 (of 4)
New Avengers #11
New X-Men #18
Nyx #7
Sentry #1 (of 8)
Spider-Man House of M #4 (of 5)
Ultimate Iron Man #4 (of 5)
Ultimate Secret #3 (of 4)
Ultimate Spider-Man #83
Wolverine #33
Young Avengers #7
MAYBE Wizard as well...

Have a great week! I will be back tomorrow with the continuation of the hated female character list.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

New Review over at Kung Fu Rodeo/4 Color Review

Birds of Prey 86
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Hey there! Happy Sunday! I just wanted to let you know that I put a new review up over at Kung Fu Rodeo/ 4 Color Review. If you get a chance, give it a look- it is a round up of short takes for the week.

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Harsh! Hated Female Characters #9: Starfire

Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
I know this will make me unpopular, but I have just never cared for Titan Starfire. I like her origins and was fascinated with the battle against her sister Komand'r for Tamaran, but the more convuluted her history has become, the more I have grown to detest the whole "hey it's we need an outer space arc, let's blow up Starfire's home" scenario. I also don't like how she is portrayed as being disgustedly likable while fighting a blood lust for justice. Sure that may make her an enigma at first, but after awhile it feels played out.

I don't hate Starfire so much as I don't have the same appreciation for her as most hardcore Titan fans do. As I stated in my favorite character list, Donna Troy is my favorite from that team, and probably always will be. To me, Starfire was an attempt to make the Titans more powerful and sexy, and while it succeeded admirably, creators other then Marv Wolfman just don't know how to properly utilize her.

Starfire should be, in my eyes, more the intergalactic hero then the token space alien on an earthbound team. I would love to see her work with the Green Lantern Corps since it has started a comeback. Also, as seen currently in the Rann-Thanagar War, her sister is stirring crap again, so I would appreciate Starfire being closer and more able to police her. Another character I would like to see Starfire interact with is Adam Strange. I have a vision of a team or council comprised of Strange, Starfire, a couple of Green Lanterns, a Thanagarian, Tigorr, and Captain Comet. Maybe we could throw in Maxima for some comedy relief, as the villain Starfire easily defeats- kind of a road runner scenario.

If Starfire remains on earth, I would like to see her either have a job of sorts- modeling?- or live at a headquarters full time. I also would like to see her have a relationship with someone other then Nightwing. I was never a big fan of that romance, and would rather see her with a heavy hitter. Single, Starfire is a threat to other female characters because of her obvious charms, so a relationship would allow her more interaction with other women in the DCU.

Starfire as portrayed by Wolfman and penciler George Perez is classy and untouchable, eliciting a drool from the male characters, while they also feel a bit of fear. Other creators have let her barely-there outfit and boobies get in the way of developing more of a persona. To me, Starfire will always be considered a hottie, but I like it better when she comes off as more intelligent and strategic.

Starfire doesn't float my boat for sure, but there are still characters on my list to come that rankle me more. Tune in for more hate and more constructive criticism as I continue the countdown of disgust.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Harsh! Hated Female Characters #10: Byrne-Era Wonder Girl

WW 113
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.

When John Byrne wrote Wonder Woman from issues #101 to #136, there were several things apparent, but nothing more glaring then the fact that his control freak tendencies demanded he create a new Wonder Girl. From minute one, I cringed.

Cassie Sandsmark, the daughter of Wonder Woman's curator friend Helena Sandsmark, displayed impish qualities that were reminiscent to me of Golden Age Wonder Woman pest Susie. I never in a million years dreamed that Byrne would make her a super hero.

Originally, Cassie used Wonder Woman's winged sandals and a strength enhancing bracelet. There were some close calls, but she kept coming back to super heroing. Donning an unattractive black wig and a Wonder Woman symbol shirt, Cassie definitely did not look the part.

My big problem with Cassie is that I swear that Byrne went out of his way to make her more unattractive and boyish then she needed to be. To me, Cassie looked like a younger cookie cutter version of Julia Kapatelis, a fate I would wish on no child. I also didn't like the goofiness that Cassie displayed, and wondered why Wonder Woman would allow her to ever have access to her instruments again.

When Cassie talked Zeus into letting her have powers, I sighed resignedly. She was here to stay, and I couldn't do anything about it.

The good news is that after Byrne's tenure on the book, Cassie was able to join Young Justice and adopt a more normal teenage girl persona. Writer Peter David and penciler Todd Nauck didn't sex her up, they simply made her look like a girl. Eventually, Cassie even got a more professional outfit. She has had growing pains, but has found some lasting friendships.

Cassie is now featured in both the Wonder Woman and Teen Titans titles, and it has been divulged that Zeus is her father. I am happy with her evolution, and even more glad that her roots are further behind her now.

I hated and still despise the Byrne-era Cassie/Wonder Girl. I am glad to see her nowadays, but still think that her original persona needs to be called on the carpet. Thank Peter David and the crew on Young Justice for treating Cassie with the care she so deserved.

(Pictured is the cover of Wonder Woman #113)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

New List Coming Soon!

Outsiders 1
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Now that I have completed my list of favorite female characters in comics, it is time to venture to the dark side- my least favorite females!

I know that not everyone will agree with my list, and that at times it might be one of your favorites on the firing line, but it's is freedom of speech that makes the world go round, so let's get to it!

Have a wonderful Wednesday! I will be back tomorrow with the kick off of my least favorite chicks!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #1: Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
I know this comes as no surprise to anyone, but Wonder Woman is my favorite female character. From the first time I laid eyes on her back in 1974, I have been captivated by her. To this day, I continue to be inspired by her strength, both in conviction and physical might. Wonder Woman takes a stand and sticks by it, which is one of the hardest things in life to do.

Her relationship with other heroes is unique in a way that is both revered and ridiculed. She preaches sisterhood, and some of her fellow heroines are underwhelmed, while others will follow her lead to the end of the earth. With men it is a different story. Some fall speechless, while others overcompensate. Princess Diana is beautiful and articulate, and many men fall for her physical perfection. Other men are cautious of her and suspicious, and would like to dominate her. Wonder Woman has so many layers to her that she provokes a reaction even if she is standing still.

Since her history is so well known, let's consider her present and future. Writer Greg Rucka has brought back a focus on her Greek roots, and the Gods play a big part in her actions. Diana has a new edge to her as well. Kill or be killed seems to be the new mantra. I don't know where this new conviction will take her, but in the upcoming Infinite Crisis, I fear the worst will happen.

Rumor is it that her series is being rebooted and that the changes will be plenty. One thing I know for certain is that I will continue to follow her exploits and be fascinated for years to come. It's Wonder Woman for Hera's sake!

Monday, September 19, 2005

New Comics for September 21

Wraithborn 1
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
What a day! At the risk of saving my number one female character until tomorrow, here is a list of the comics I am getting this week.

Conan #20
Batgirl #68
Birds of Prey #86
Day of Vengeance #6 (of 6)
Green Lantern Corps Recharge #1 (of 6)
Hellblazer #212
JSA Classified #3
Manhunter #14
Seven Soldiers Mister Miracle #1 (of 4)
Supergirl #2
Top Ten Beyond the Farthest Precinct #2 (of 5)
Wraithborn #1 (of 6) see pic at right
Girls #1
Hunter Killer #4
Black Panther #8
Captain America #10
Exiles #70
New Avengers #10
Ultimate Fantastice Four #23
Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual #1
Ultimates 2 #8
Wolverine #32
Strangers in Paradise #76

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #2: Power Girl

Power Girl
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Of all the characters on my list so far, the one I feel I have the most in common with is Power Girl. This may sound strange, and you might think I have lost my mind, but it is true. Here is why.

1) I grew up on a farm and did a lot of physical labor so I have always had huge biceps and muscular legs. I still work out to this day, and a lot of men are intimidated to a point by the fact that my arms are more pumped then theirs. Power Girl has the same problem.

2) Men have a hard time looking into my eyes for, well, obvious reasons. Though I don't dress like Power Girl, it has been this way for many years. I hate trying to have a conversation with a fella and he can't concentrate on it because I have large assets.

3) Sometimes I want to feel feminine, but it is hard because people have a preconceived notion about me being tough and ballsy. Power Girl gets frustrated by this from time to time, and I understand perfectly.

4) Sometimes I act tough and agressive to keep from being hurt. This is the core of the Power Girl character.

Those four reasons alone give me an empathy with Power Girl I don't have with many characters I read about. Power Girl is a woman trying to make it on her terms while attempting to disguise how vulnerable she truly is.

Unlike me, Power Girl doesn't know where she comes from. Hopefully by the end of October, she will, as Geoff Johns is writing her definitive origin in JSA Classified #1-4. I can hardly wait to see her take the spotlight when she truly knows who she is. Rumor has it she will play a huge role in Infinite Crisis, and I hope it isn't one where she gets killed because I would like to see her around for the long haul.

Kara or Karen Starr, whatever her true name is, Power Girl is an enigma among heroines. She takes a lot of crap for her cup size, but is at the core, all heart.

Recommended Reading: All Star Comics #58-74, Adventure Comics #461-466, Power Girl #1-4 mini-series, Justice League Europe series, JSA #31-current, JSA Classified #1-4.

Favorite Female Characters #3: Jean Grey

Jean Grey
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Arguably the most powerful X-Men team member prior to her untimely demise, Jean Grey has been through the proverbial comic book ringer. She has died more then once, and though it seems that now it is for good, her power of the comeback cannot be underestimated.

Jean Grey has gone by Marvel Girl, Phoenix, and her own name, but each persona is backed by the heart of a hero. Her long suffering husband Scott Summers and the complexity of their relationship has made them the couple everyone roots for while knowing that it can't possibly last. Scott is currently in love with Emma Frost since Jean's death. Who knows where this will go? The most certain thing in X-Men lore is uncertainty.

Jean was a charter member of the X-Men. As the only female, Jean was on a pedestal in her teammates eyes. To this day she has a close relationship with the original members. Jean has also had a relationship with Charles Xavier, her mentor, that has raised eyebrows. Is it unrequited love? We may never know, and that is what makes it so intriguing.

As Phoenix, Jean could consume planets and entire systems. Her fight to remain true to heroism caused her first death back in Uncanny X-Men #137. When she was resurrected, it was said that the Phoenix had taken on her form rather then using her own. This, of course, led to X-Factor #1 and a whole mess of jumbled continuity.

I have been fascinated with Jean Grey since I first read The Essential X-Men #1. She is the most interesting character to me in the mutant genre. She is at times passionate but at other times completely untouchable and pure. Her red-headed temper is unbridled and adds an unpredictability. Jean is the type of character that endlessly changes.

Jean is a strong female character, and her relationships have been marred by her duties as a mutant. She is an optimist, and a fighter. I love that her power comes from within and that her telepathy and telekinesis are so strong that she has been able to be a secret weapon of sorts.

Jean's relationships with other women set an example as well. Maternal but whimsical, Jean and Ororo AKA Storm have one of the longest standing friendships in comics. I have also enjoyed watching Jean work with the next generation of mutants, and lead by example. Jean was a mother figure to Jubilee when she needed it most, but also had a knockdown-dragout with Psylocke when she thought she was after her man.

It is the complexities and the vulnerabilities that complete Jean as a character and make her one of my favorites. I have been slowly getting used to the idea of her being dead again, but know that we will see her again.

Recommended Reading: Essential X-Men Vol. 1, X-Factor #1-69, Uncanny X-Men: too many issues to count!, and New X-Men #114-154.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

New Review at KFR: Wildcats Nemesis #1

Wildcats Nemesis #1
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
I just posted a new review over at Kung Fu Rodeo/4 Color Review. If you get a chance, check it out!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Saturday! More on the favorite female list soon, as we make it to the top of the chart!

Favorite Female Characters #4: Pre-Crisis Huntress

All Star Comics 70
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Imagine a hero that is the daughter of Batman and Catwoman. Blessed with nerves of steel and unerring cunning, this hero could potentially lead the next generation of super heroes. It would be a heady legacy to live up to, but one that could be ultimately rewarding.

Back before Crisis on Infinite Earths, there was such a hero. Her name was Helena Wayne and she was called The Huntress. Helena was this child I just described, and she played a role in the Justice Society of America and Infinity Inc., before Crisis made her origin impossible and she was killed in in that maxi-series.

From the moment she appeared in full view in All Star Comics #69 to save her father Bruce Wayne, Helena caught my attention and curiousity. She was new to the hero business, but was determined to keep her father safe from threats. With an aggressive attitude and a broken heart received from her mother's untimely death in her origin tale DC Super Stars #17, Helena had a lot to prove.

Helena soon became a full fledged member of the JSA, replacing her "kind of brother" Robin. She immediately gelled with Power Girl and the rest of her teammates, and became a favorite of many readers. When All-Star Comics ended and the stories were moved to Adventure Comics, Helena witnessed the death of her father at the hands of an insane criminal. She knew she had big shoes to fill, and swore to continue to fight crime.

When the young upstarts of Infinity Inc. came along, Helena, Power Girl, and Star Spangled Kid all joined together. Her participation was mostly limited to the first 20 issues and after that she was predominantly seen as a permanent back up story in Wonder Woman.

Those tales really swept me into Helena's world. In her secret identity, Helena was a practicing lawyer. She met a man she liked, and all seemed well with the world. Helena fought crime as The Huntress and had a full personal life as well.

Then came Crisis. Helena died along with Robin (Earth 2) trying to save the world. Though it was a neccesity to give the post-Crisis continuity cohesion, to this day it still bugs me. I like the new Huntress character, but she had never reached the dynamics to me that the original Huntress had. There was a lineage and sense of tradition that Helena lived up to, and her courage and training were unparalleled.

Raise a glass to Helena Wayne, the original Huntress. Cross your fingers that someday her back up stories may be published in a trade paperback so that we may all enjoy her once again.

Recommended Reading: DC Super Stars #17, All-Star Comics #69-74, Adventure Comics #461-466, Wonder Woman Vol 1 #275-299.

Favorite Female Characters #5: Invisible Woman

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #6- Deena Pilgrim

Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Writer Brian Michael Bendis strikes again on this list with Deena Pilgrim from Powers. Deena is as ballsy and bad ass as it gets. She has a dynamic personality and sometimes it wins the day while other times it backfires on her. She is perfectly suited to the detective work she does in the homicide division of her metropolitan police department.

Deena is paired up with former power (short for super powered individual) Christian Walker. The two work well together, and despite some hairy situations, continue to team up on spotlight power homicides. They have solved the most difficult of cases, many time in great peril. Deena has been hospitalized and almost died, but isn't afraid to put herself out there again.

I love the weeks Powers comes out at my local comic shop. Each issue is cleverly written and drawn, and there is always a deeper plot going under the smaller ones. I can always expect the unexpected. Deena is the star of the book in many respects, and shares the lead with Walker. Their chemistry and the complicated cases they must deal with make them unique and compelling in comics today.

If you are looking for a wonderful female character to discover, Deena is it. She is fearless and unimpressed by the powers she deals with. Lately she is having major issues of her own that have deepened and given dimension to her character. I appreciate the dynamics of her relationships with others and enjoy the fact that she says exactly what is on her mind. Deena has my vote for most interesting new female character for sure.

Recommended Reading: Powers TPB's as follows- Who Killed Retro Girl, Roleplay, Little Deaths, Supergroup, Anarchy, Sellouts, Forever, and Legends.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #7: Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones 1
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.

Jessica Jones is a newer character in the Marvel Universe, but one of the most compelling I have encountered in a long time. Her first series was titled Alias and it was published through the Max line. Created and written by Brian Michael Bendis, Jessica is a woman with many layers.

When we are first introduced to Jessica, her life is at a low point. She drinks and smokes way too much and finds herself looking for male companionship to ease her loneliness. As a private eye, Jessica is in a hazardous job, and there isn't a lot of gratification. Though she has super powers, she forgos them in search of normalcy.

Jessica had been a costumed hero called Jewel and later Knightress. Her career ran into a major snag and she avoided the hero lifestyle. As the Alias series unfolded, Jessica renewed friendships with Carol Danvers and Luke Cage. This has lead to some opportunities and fellowship that have had interesting results.

Jessica has found her own inner strength and become a hero in her own right through her deeds. Through her relationships and adventures, she has found a semblance of hope, and has matured as a character. I like her because she has super powers but is very human. Bendis has a gift for great characterization, and I feel that Jessica Jones is his masterpiece. She feels like someone I would be friends with, which is rare to me in a character.

After the Alias series ended, Marvel relaunched Jessica with the bi-monthly series "The Pulse". Jessica is currently expecting Luke Cage's child and is in a committed relationship with him. Issue #11 of The Pulse came out today and it is part one of two featuring the birth of said child. That should be an emotional and traumatic event is Marvel and Bendis are playing a part. I am secretly wishing for a sweet little story but am not holding my breath.

Recommended Reading: Alias #1-28, The Pulse #1-11.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #8: Black Canary

BOP 56
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
There have been, in my mind, three incarnations of Black Canary. The original was first seen in the Golden Age as a petty thief before joining the JSA. The second is the current Black Canary's mother who was also the first incarnation under a different name. Lastly, there the current Black Canary, Dinah Drake Lance, which is the one I am going to make a case for.

First seen back in Justice League of America 76 pre-crisis (I believe that is the number, don't shoot me!), Dinah was originally thought to be the Earth 2 version, or more simply, her mother. I won't go into all the back story but suffice to say, Dinah joins the JLA, falls for Oliver Queen AKA Green Arrow, and kicks a whole lot of butt.

Currently Dinah is seen in Birds of Prey along with Barbara Gordon AKA Oracle. She is a proficient at a number of martial arts techniques and is training surreptiously with Lady Shiva. Dinah also studied fighting with Wildcat, so she knows how to lay a mean right cross.

Known for her "Canary Cry", Black Canary can also take villains out with a sonic boom of power through her throat and out her mouth. She tries to rely on her physical fighting skills, but uses the cry for the more dire of circumstances.

Dinah has also had a long, checkered relationship with Green Arrow. I won't spend a lot of time on it here, but I do know that his womanizing ways have affected her deeply, turning her into a flirt to mask her pain. Oracle has called her a "Man's Woman" and she definitely has the looks and personality to pull it off.

What I really like about the Black Canary character is her courage and pluck. She has survived horrible tortures and been able to slowly move past the pain, both physically and mentally. Dinah has a wonderful working and personal relationship with Oracle that is shown splendidly in the Birds of Prey title. It is a book that women can read with pride, knowing that the focus is on the characters, not their T&A.

Black Canary has a rich and compelling history, starting from her first incarnation and lasting to this day. I can hardly wait to see what writers have planned for her future, and hope she is around for a long time to come.

Recommended Reading: Birds of Prey #1 to current, Justice League of America #76-200, Black Canary Archives #1.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Celebrity Fit Club to Return for a Third Season

Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Great news for all you reality television fans, myself included. It was announced on MTV's TRL that Celebrity Fit Club is being renewed for a third season on VH-1.

The first cast member announced is D12's Bizarre. Large and in charge, it will be interesting how he stacks up against legendary fit clubbers Gary Busey, Willie Aames, and the lovely Tocarra (pictured at right).

As long as trainer Harvey Walden IV is back to kick some butt and whip the crew into shape, I will be there with bells on. I find Celebrity Fit Club both invigorating in the successes and supremely annoying in problem celebs like Aames and Daniel Baldwin from the first season.

If you haven't checked out Celebrity Fit Club, keep an eye out for it when it comes back this Winter or next Spring.

New Comics for September 14

Desolation Jones 3
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Holy Crap I have had a busy Monday! I hope you are all well and keeping the home fires burning.

Here is my list of new comics for this week.

100 Bullets #64
Action Comics #831
All Star Batman & Robin #2
Desolation Jones #3 (pic at right)
Fables #41
Green Arrow #54
JLA #118
JSA #77
Majestic #9
Mvemovore #6 (of 6)
Nightwing #112
Rann Thanagar War #5 (of 6)
Wildcats Nemesis #1 (of 9)
Darkness #23
Marvel Knights 4 #22
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #18
Mutopia #3 (of 5)
New Thunderbolts #12
Pulse #11 -Luke and Jessica's baby is here!
Thor Blood Oath #1 (of 6)
Ultimate X-Men #63
X-Men #175

That's all folks! Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #9: Tulip from Preacher

Preacher 52
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Preacher is in my humble opinion, one of the greatest titles to come out of the Vertigo/DC line up along with Sandman and 100 Bullets. Written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Steve Dillon, the comic book followed the adventures of Jesse Custer and his friends Tulip and Cassidy as they sought to make God come clean about a number of issues and help the word of God in Jesse's head find a new home. Part satire, part western, Preacher treaded and sometimes crossed the line of what is deemed moral in these strange times.

Tulip was the lead female of the book, and her relationship with Jesse, the love of her life, and Cassidy, a vampire who had gotten very lost in life, gave the book heart. Tulip has never been afraid to tell it like it is.

Raised by her dad until he had an untimely accident, Tulip was raised as a son and told girls could do anything boys could. Tulip has suffered many hardships and seen many things people should never have to, but has come through the other side alright.

Ennis' focus on Jesse and Tulip's relationship was dead on. Their love for each other through thick and thin drove them both. Jesse would worry for Tulip's welfare after seeing her being shot in the head, and Tulip would get upset at his lack of faith. They punished each other at times, but always ended up getting back together. Many readers I have talked to have told me that the relationship these two have reminds them of their own.

Tulip is an excellent marksman for the most part, and keeps a cool head in perilous situations. She is fearless and wants to stand by her man no matter what happens. She is true to her friends, and is quite shattered at Cassidy's clumsy attempts to steal her away from Jesse.

If you are an adult who has never read Preacher, you owe it to yourself to see the incredible relationship Tulip and Jesse have. You also should get to know this down to earth lady who knows how to live life, and has been through the lowest of the low only to come through the other side in one piece. Though she will never forget the horrible things that have happened to her along the way, in her mind they have only served to make her stronger.

Tulip is fearless and vulnerable at the same time. She is not to be trifled with, but to be respected.

Pick up any one of the Preacher trade paperbacks today. My favorite is "Until the End of the World", but all the trades are fantastic, and Preacher stands to me as one of the best pieces of writing in modern times.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #10: Francine & Katchoo

SIP Vol 3 17
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Strangers in Paradise is one of those comic books that suck you in head first. It is so full of emotion and great characterization that once you have started reading it, you have to get every issue. It happened that way for me and for many other people I have talked to.

Creator Terry Moore has created two of the most incredible characters in comicdom that don't wear spandex on a regular basis. Francine and Katchoo are polar opposites whose friendship has always been the one constant in their lives. They are surrounded by a fantastice supporting cast, but it is their relationship and lives that the book revolves around.

Busty and fun loving, but with a sensitive side, Francine is the girl that guys can't take their eyes off. She fights her weight, and stress just exaberates it. Readers can guage how Francine's love life is going by her ever changing figure. Her big brown eyes and people-pleasing ways set her apart from other girls.

Katchoo is a scrapper from the streets. Brought up in a single parent home, Katchoo left for the streets of LA in her teenage years after an unspeakable incident with one of her mother's "friends". Katchoo has dabbled in the sinful side of life and made her way back to Francine for a second chance at normalcy. Her street sharpness and sarcasm mask a vulnerable woman looking for a lasting love. Katchoo is also impossibly petite and cute, but she tries to overcompensate by being the toughest chick around.

These two ladies have suffered physically and emotionally because of the past, and as they look into the future there is a great uncertainty. Circumstances have torn them apart, but it is inevitable that they will find their way back to each other. I wouldn't dare stereotype their relationship in any way because it is so unique and special.

Go pick up Strangers in Paradise Volume 1 trade paperback to see what I mean. There you meet the girls and male cast members Freddie and David. The interpersonal relationships and resulting fall out will make you want to go out and get your hands on the other 14 trades that are out there. There is also the pocket SIP, which is smaller and features more story for the price. It is not only economical, but a must have.

I can't recommend Strangers in Paradise enough. If you have a woman friend who thinks comics are a child's game, hook her up with SIP today. It isn't aimed at comic book readers- it is aimed at all types of folks.

Francine and Katchoo have made me laugh and cry at the same time. They are the cream of the crop in female characters. By the time you have read their story, you will come to care for them like I have. Highest recommendation here, folks.

Friday, September 09, 2005

PRESS RELEASE: Tozzer 2 TPB gets a full cover face-lift!

Tozzer2 TPB
Originally uploaded by
Heidi Meeley.

Here ya go, hot of the presses is news about the coolest kid in comics! I read and reviewed this book for 4 Color Review, and really liked it. Without further ado, here is the official word.

This November, Ablaze Media launches Tozzer 2: Special Edition, collecting all 5 issues of the Tozzer 2 mini-series. This edition has been given a full-color overhaul by top colorist Eric Erbes.

"Ever since the black and white issues came out, we've been inundated with emails, all containing the same four words: GIVE US COLOR NOW!!" says writer Rob Dunlop.

"Fans wanted it and retailers wanted it," explains artist Peter Lumby. "But most of all, we wanted it, so we got in touch with Eric, and luckily he was available."

"Working with the legendary Rob and Pete has been a dream come true," say Eric. "They're both really talented, funny, good-looking, all-around great guys, and they were even kind enough to writer this quote for me."

Tozzer's a 12-year old boy who's enrolled at a drama school in Hollywood. When the school is threatened by a deranged film director and his psychopathic minions, only one person can save the day. Tozzer might not be that person, but heck, he'll give it his best shot.

Tozzer 2: Special Edition is a smart, funny, pop culture satire. The biggest stars in Hollywood are cut down to size, and movies such as Star Wars and The Matrix get a satirical pummeling. Creators Rob and Pete show no mercy, yet there's always a good laugh behind their cruel jibes.

For sample pages, please visit

Take a look at this if you get a chance. It is a hilarious book, full of zany pop culture references. Rob and Pete show no fear, which makes it twice as much fun.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #11: Dawn

Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Joseph Michael Linsner has a healthy respect for women, and that translates to his comic book character Dawn. Goddess, whore, or madonna, there is a little Dawn in all of us. Curvy and realistic, Dawn appeals to men and women alike.

First seen as the cover character in Cry For Dawn, a horror anthology, Dawn emerged a short time later in her own limited series from Sirius Comics. Lucifer's Halo trade paperback is consistently a top seller to this day, both for the incredible art and the spot-on storytelling.

Dawn moved to Image Comics after this, and Linsner took his prints and non-comic merchandise to his own imprint His next mini-series Return of the Goddess is a darker tale. Witches are being killed and one calls upon Dawn to help them. Vengeance and fury are thick in this tale that teaches the readers exactly why you don't want to make Dawn cry.

The current mini-series just ended last week with issue 6. It is called Three Tiers and focuses on Dawn's lover Darrian Ashoka and his journey in search of himself and Dawn. When each issue would come out, it was always one of the first couple I would have to read right away. there is also a hardcover and a TPB coming out soon- grab it if you get a chance.

Dawn is a goddess in many ways. She is righteous and gets angry at times. She is sweet but will cry if someone she loves hurts her. You do not want to feel her wrath, but if she loves you she will take you to heaven and back.

Many women love Dawn, who was originally perceived as a bad girl character. We look past her outfits to her heart and her intent. There is a little bit of Dawn in all of us, and Linsner understands that completely. There is no more a devoted follower then a Linsner Dawn fan, and there is a definite reason why.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #12: Donna Troy

Donna Troy has gone by a few different super hero names during her time in the game: Wonder Girl, Troia, and Darkstar. I first met her back in Teen Titans #44, when DC rebooted the series in the late 1970's. I was immediately captivated by her down to earth personality. Donna had the boys in her group sweating with admiration and a little something else while maintaining a quality of innocence. She was someone I could be.

I followed Donna through her many trials and tribulations to come. After the attempt to reenergize the Teen Titans series failed, Donna languished in the back pages of Wonder Woman for a two story arc and vanished. She was to rematerialize when Marv Wolfman and George Perez presented readers with The New Teen Titans in November 1980.

The New Teen Titans series is still regarded as one of the great titles of that era. Wolfman and Perez humanized the team members and focused on their friendships while putting them through the ringer. To me, Donna became even more human and likable. In the Landmark NTT #38, Donna discovered her roots with the help of Dick Grayson AKA Robin. This origin held until Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Donna was regarded as Wonder Woman's adopted sister, and took her cues from their Amazonian background. Donna also fell in love during this time period, and in NTT #50 married Terry Long in an incredible ceremony. Things didn't stay wonderful for long.

Donna was given a new post-Crisis origin in which she was adopted by the Titans of Myth and raised to become a God someday. This storyline appeared in New Titans #50-55. Donna took the moniker of Troia complete with new hairdo and outfit.

Donna became pregnant and gave birth to a son, Robert, and in true goddess style, tried to kill her teammates. Because of this, she gave up her powers and became a mentor to the Team Titans group from the future. This ended badly as well.

During Zero Hour Donna, who had by then split with her husband, became a Darkstar. It was during this period of estrangement that the Titans lineup changed and she met and dated Green Lantern Kyle Rayner. I enjoyed that particular relationship, and wish it would have lasted longer, but the BYRNE happened.

John Byrne was helming the Wonder Woman title at the time and decided to bring Donna back to that title. Her origin was rebooted again. Donna gave up her Darkstar outfit previously and was powerless for yet another period of time. Her new origin as laid out in Wonder Woman #134-136 has now established her as Wonder Woman's "Clone" of sorts. She was made as a doppleganger to be a playmate to a lonely Princess Diana.

During this time, Donna broke up with Kyle because her ex-husband and son were killed in a car wreck and she couldn't deal with the fallout while in a relationship. It was a hectic period, and Donna re-adopted the moniker Troia, complete with a revamped outfit.

"Titans" title was brought back in 1999 as the result of JLA/Titans mini-series. This series lasted until issue #50, and Donna remained a member during it's tenure. She was killed during Teen Titans/Young Justice Graduation Day, and readers thought they lost her forever.

This past few months, DC has undertaken a new series called DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy. Her longtime fans are thrilled and relieved to have her back. It is evident that she will be one of the key players of the upcoming Infinite Crisis, which will put her in the spotlight where she belongs.

Donna Troy is all about heart. She is courageous and patient. She has a great sense of humor and is a loyal friend. All the qualities I look for in a heroine, Donna embodies to a "T". If you have never read much about Donna, take a look at some of the titles I have mentioned above. She deserves a second look, and a second chance.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

New Comics For September 8

PVP 18
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Hey there! I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend and are happy and well rested! Jim and I had a fantastic weekend together, and were able to relax and go see Transporter 2.

Without further ado, here is a list of comics I am picking up this week!

Authority The Magnificent Kevin #1 (of 5)
Gotham Central #35
Outsiders #28
Seven Soldiers Guardian #4 (of 4)
Son of Vulcan #4 (of 6)
Superman #221
Swamp Thing #19
Villains United #5 (of 6)
Y The Last Man #37
Noble Causes #13
PVP #18- see right for awesome cover!
Witchblade #89
Cable Deadpool #19
Exiles #69
Fantastic Four House of M #3 (of 3)
House of M #6 (of 8)
Incredible Hulk #86
Punisher #25
Supreme Power Nighthawk #1 (of 5)
Ultimate Spider-Man #82
Uncanny X-Men #464
Soulfire #5

I will be back with the continuing list of favorite females tomorrow. Check in to see who makes #12!!

Take care and have a wonderful week!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #13: She-Hulk

She-Hulk #9
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.

Jennifer Walters was a mild mannered attorney until the day her cousin Bruce Banner visited and a hail of bullets changed her life forever. Bruce, who just happens to be the Hulk, gave her a transfusion of his blood to save her life. It worked but at a cost- Jennifer is forever now a female version of her cousin named She-Hulk.

There are differences of course. Jennifer's change from attorney to Shulkie usually occurs when her personality becomes more dynamic rather then being more rage induced, though rage has definitely been a trigger at times. Jennifer also appears to more in control of her abilities and maintains her intellect while changed at most all times.

Interestingly enough, She-Hulk was created around the time of the Incredible Hulk television series as a way of having Marvel license and maintain all rights to a female Hulk character. Her first series issue Savage She-Hulk #1 was written by Stan "The Man" Lee himself with art by John Buscema. After the first issue, David Anthony Kraft (Defenders) took over scripting chores. The series lasted just 25 issues, but Marvel had done what it set out to do.

Jennifer has served tenures with both the Fantastic Four and The Avengers. Her gregarious and lusty personality at times has put her on par with Hercules, another outrageous persona. Jennifer is also known for her loyal friendships and her mostly positive outlook on life.

John Byrne was at the helm of her second series The Sensational She-Hulk, which ran from 1989 to 1994. Though Byrne left part way through the run, the series ended at issue #60. After this, Jennifer became mainly a guest star again, and did another stint with The Avengers.

Dan Slott and Juan Bobillo brought Jennifer back again, this time in a series titled simply "She-Hulk". Running for 12 issues and ending due to events that occurred in Avengers Dissembled, She-Hulk is coming back for another stint in her own series this coming month.

I can hardly wait for Jennifer to have her own series back, as this last attempt by Slott really took for me. For the first time in a long while, She-Hulk has layers upon layers of depth. She isn't as happy go lucky, but she still maintains the qualities that have endeared her to readers for so long. Slott is interested in showing readers what makes Shulkie tick, and has made her one of the most compelling characters in the Marvel Universe.

I love She-Hulk for her inner and outer strength. She is truly beautiful on the inside, and is always there for her friends. She likes to have a good time, but is learning her limits. Flirtatious and vivacious, Jennifer Walters is the whole package.

Recommended Reading: Savage She-Hulk #1, Fantastic Four #265, Sensational She-Hulk #1-25, She-Hulk #1-12, upcoming She-Hulk series.

Favorite Female Characters #14: Wynonna Earp

Wynonna Earp
Originally uploaded by
Heidi Meeley.
Wynonna Earp might not be as well known as some of the other characters on my countdown, but she is definitely one of the least timid. Springing from the fruitful mind of Beau Smith, Wynonna is a direct descendant of Wyatt Earp. Inheriting his razor sharp wit and bravery, Wynonna is a U.S. Marshall whose job it is to capture or kill the "weird" and "impossible" criminals.

Wynonna was first seen in a mini-series served up from Image Comics. Her outfit had more of a bad-girl feel, and she was splendidly rendered by artist extraordinaire Joyce Chin. Not intimidated by the bad guys, Wynonna must take down a trailer park of vampire type uglies. With a flair for the martial arts and the ability to master any fire arm she comes in contact with, evil never had a chance.

Wynonna and her creator moved to IDW Publishing for another mini-series. This time around she was wearing a leather trench and pants, set off by the Marshalls badge around her neck. Carlos Ferreira helmed the art chores this time around, and Wynonna struck a more serious, but still kick-ass pose. In a more personal tale, Wynonna takes on the criminal cowboys from the showdown at OK Corral. Outliving their peers, they are threatened by the Earp bloodlines and it is a fignt for literal survival to see who has the tougher genetics.

Writer Smith writes Wynonna with a tongue-in-cheek reverance that makes her unique among other characters. She is his child in a way, and like Wyatt Earp before him, Smith beams in pride at her accomplishments. I always look forward to reading Smith's take on female characters because despite his claim of being a manly man, he understands women pretty well.

Wynonna Earp is a bad-ass plain and simple. She does what the guys do but looks way better doing it. Carrying on a tradition of strength of will and character, Wynonna aims to ensure humanity is safe from the strangest of the strange for as long as it is within her power to do so.

Recommended reading: The Complete Wynonna Earp

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #15: The Wasp

Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
The Wasp was first seen in Tales To Astonish #44 published in June 1963, making her a youthful 42 years old. Forever linked with Hank Pym AKA Antman, whose story she appears in, Janet Van Dyne is one of the classic characters in Marvel lore.

Janet was given her powers by Hank in an effort to avenge her father's death. While doing so, Janet developed feelings for Hank that have lasted ever since, though in varying degrees. Her natural spunk and bravery appealed to readers who glimpsed a magical personality that would be seen in many future stories to come.

An original member of the Avengers, most of Janet's life has unfolded in those pages. She has never been a second-tier character there, and has evolved into a natural leader of the team, along with Captain America.

Though her interests in fashion and the money her father left her have fashioned her an heiress in the form of Paris Hilton, Janet never played the victim or used her money for fame. Paris could learn a thing or two from Janet. The biggest sticking point one could give to Janet is that she changed outfits an insane amount of times early on to reflect the styles of the times. In fact, if you have a chance, go to this url for a cute glimpse of her fashion choices in cartoon.

There is so much rich history to the Wasp character. Janet is one of the premier members of The Avengers past, present, and future. Her bravery, personality, and her heart have all blended to make her the incredible woman we see today.

Janet is currently taking a break from Avengers active duty due to the events of Avengers: Dissembled. She and Hank are taking things one step at a time to see if they can remain friends after so much drama. I hope to see more of The Wasp after the events of House of M, and would especially love to see her have her own mini-series.

Recommended Reading: Tales To Astonish #44, Avengers- too many to list, look for her on the cover!

Revelations #1 Review at KFR

Revelations #1
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Happy Sunday! If you get a chance, go to Kung Fu Rodeo/4 Color Review and check out my new review of Revelations #1 from Dark Horse.

Take care!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #16- Tara Chace

Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Queen and Country's Tara Chace might not be as well known as other female characters in comic books, but she is certainly one of the bravest non-metas I have ever read about. No spandex for Tara- she is a Minder for Special Operations of the British Intelligence.

The Minders are special ops' way of having maximum deniability. There are always three, and there is a lot of turnover as the job is extremely dangerous and there are a great deal of fatalities. The Minders are not to use lethal force on British soil, but are to go to foreign countries and neutralize threats and/or gain intellligence. Tara was entering her third year as a minder when I first encoutered her in Queen and Country #1 from Oni Press.

Tara has had to undertake assasinations and covert operations that put her in harms way. She has been mired in alcoholism and ordered to seek psychiatric help from a British Intelligence doctor. She has also been involved with coworkers Ed Kittering and Tom Wallace, and lost both in horrible, strange circumstances. Her mother is a distant party girl, and Tara has not been able to maintain friendships due to the covert nature of her job.

With that laundry list of complaints, how can I love a character like Tara? Is is her sheer humanity and frailty, along with courage and the will to do the right thing that makes her so compelling. Tara is a chameleon of sorts- men fall madly in love with her, or flee her icy stare. She is an enigma and her tenure as minder has been a harsh one to say the least.

I applaud creator and writer Greg Rucka for writing Tara from his heart. I don't think his intentions were ever to make her a number one seller, though it wouldn't hurt his feelings. I think Rucka approached Tara with honesty and an inkling to show the world the injustices occurring through her eyes. He has put her through hell, but with a loving touch.

If you have never picked up an issue of Queen and Country, you are missing out on an outstanding female character. Complex and deadly, Tara is a woman you can't take your eyes off, and you don't want to.

Recommended Reads: Q&C: A Gentleman's Game Novel; Q&C #1-26, Q&C Declassified Volumes 1,2, and 3.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #17: Carol Danvers

Carol Danvers
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Carol Danvers is a woman of several hero names and costumes. Ms. Marvel. Binary. Warbird. She has sunk to the lowest depths and hit the highest highs with very few moments in between. Long regarded as a "B" character, Carol has finally gotten the recognition she deserves before Avengers Dissembled and during House of M. I see a potential for greatness that just needs to be tapped.

A former head of security at Cape Canaveral with extensive military background, Carol was also a Women's Magazine Editor for awhile. Her career path has diverged a few times, and she has now come full circle as Chief of Tactical Operations and Super Hero Liason to Homeland Security. Carol knows people and she knows protocol, making her the ideal person for the job.

Starting out as Ms. Marvel back in the late 1970's Carol was as liberated as it gets. Sporting a very feathered hairdo and bright costume, Carol was the first person to encounter Mystique in Ms. Marvel #18. She battled an evil Rogue as well. The series lasted 23 issues, but Carol was by then an Avenger, and therefore high profile.

Making her life miserable and complicated, in Avengers #200, Carol conceived and gave birth to "Marcus" a crazy guy who used her to get out of limbo. The Avengers, thinking Carol would live happily ever after with the guy she gave birth to, let her go her own way. Crazy, huh?

It gets worse as in Avengers Annual #10, Rogue sucks Carol's memories and powers out of her, leaving her amnesiac to a point, powerless, and pissed off. The Avengers feel bad and try to console Carol, but she is hurt by their abandonment after the whole "Marcus" affair, so she lets them have it. Carol stays with the X-Men at this point, not wanting to have anything to do with her former teammates.

Not long after, Carol finds solace in outer space with the Starjammers. She becomes Binary, and is more powerful then ever. I like to think that some of her personal best moments up to this point were with that team of renegades. She was less then pleased though, when she came back to Earth and found out that Rogue was an X-Men. Things went downhill for Carol again.

When Kurt Busiek and George Perez rebooted the Avengers after Heroes Reborn, Carol was made a part of the team. It was here that she took the moniker Warbird, the alias she uses today. Unfortunately, said creative team decide to make Carol and alcoholic, and she was booted off the team for fighting drunk.

In the last great Kang war, Carol found her footing once again. In AA, and taking one day at a time, Carol focuses on being a hero, and has come to terms with her life. Since Avengers Dissembled, we haven't seen a lot of her, but with House of M, I hope this changes.

Carol is the most human of heroes, but like Captain America, also has the heart of one. She has overcome having her life taken away, a few treacherous men, and alcoholism, and has come out stronger.

At first I wasn't too excited about Carol as a character, but she has grown on me. I can hardly wait to see what the future has to bring, and will be crossing my fingers that she comes out just fine on the other side.

Must reads: Ms. Marvel #1-23, Avengers Vol. 1 #172-200, Avengers Annual #10, Uncanny X-Men #150-201 (on and off), Avengers Vol 4 #4-12, 16-18, 28-68.