Here’s part two of the best female centric comics to have been released over the last two years. If you missed the first five picks in part one, check them out here.
Fairest (2012, Vertigo)
Bill Willingham’s “Fables” has become sort of a giant in the comics world. It now runs over 125 issues and is ongoing, it had a 50-issue spin-off “Jack of Fables”, and several limited series titles. Its influence on pop culture can even be seen in film (Mirror Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman) and television (Once Upon A Time, Grimm). While it can be intimidating getting into this series today because of its length and scope, it is worth noting that the new spin-off “Fairest” is accessible and inviting to new readers who want to get their first taste of this universe. Existing fans will appreciate the comic’s relations to the main series, but it is written to also be enjoyed by those who have never read “Fables” before. “Fairest” does not have a consistent plot or main character, but it will always revolve around women characters. Its first arc is a creative interpretation of the Sleeping Beauty story, and one that actually critiques the troublesome patriarchal ideals long attached to the tale.
“Fairest” is currently collected in one trade: Volume 1 – Wide Awake (#1-7). Volume 2 will be released July 30, 2013.
Captain Marvel (2012, Marvel)
No longer Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers has self promoted herself to Captain, a title she very much deserves. An experienced Avenger, world saver, and vital ally on any team, she has adopted the name formerly given to an alien superhero, a dear friend of hers, now deceased. This is a new Captain Marvel for a new era and the comic does justice to this great character; in a manner Danvers would probably approve, the series is very feminist, and loudly proud of this fact. In the opening pages of the debut issue, Marvel is on the receiving end of gender-role-related trash talk mid battle, and it is one of many reminders across the series that Danvers is a woman getting by in a male-dominated superhero-and-villain world. “Captain Marvel” is a series about women fighting for respect and for positions in society traditionally only held by men, and how these women deal with their spot after they have earned it. Feminism is an ongoing daily battle and that sentiment is beautifully expressed in this comic.
“Captain Marvel” is currently collected in one trade: Volume 1 – In Pursuit of Flight (#1-7).
Ghost (2012, Dark Horse)
Kelly Sue DeConnick’s past time is bringing previously overlooked women-in-comics into the spotlight. She is the writer for the previously mentioned “Captain Marvel”, and “Ghost”, and is doing a stellar job on both. This series is a reboot of a cult series that ran from 1995 to 2000 and no prior knowledge is needed to get into this story. It is accessible to new readers and re-introduces the title character, a woman trying to discover the truth surrounding her death. In this series she “teams up” with a ghost hunter and an ex-journalist and they go on a road trip. Hijinks of a serious matter ensue. It will be exciting to see where the series goes from here, but considering DeConnick’s work on “Captain Marvel”, there are bound to be wonderful developments for Ghost and her story.
Issues of “Ghost” can be purchased at your local comic book store. If they are not carrying it, then kindly request it. The series currently spans issues #0-3.
Journey into Mystery Issue #646- (2012, Marvel)
“Journey into Mystery” is a series that has gone through many incarnations, but its claim to fame is that it debuted Thor and became his series for a long time, later branching out to Thor/Asgard mythos. A critically praised run recently ended starring Loki, and now the series is getting a Marvel NOW makeover. As of issue #646, Kathryn Immonen helms the comic, which now stars the Asgardian warrior Lady Sif. A Stan Lee/Jack Kirby creation, Sif has been a supporting character in Thor comics for decades and this is her first time in a starring role. It would have been great for her to get her own title series launched, but perhaps it is more significant that she continue the legacy of “Journey into Mystery” in the comic’s first run starring a woman Asgardian. The comic is off to a strong start, its first arc “Stronger than Monsters” presenting a Norse-style adventure story quality with plenty of action and side plots that are concerned with Sif’s various relationships. Hopefully she will be the face of “Journey into Mystery” for a long time to come.
The first trade of “Journey into Mystery Featuring Sif” will be released June 4, 2013. Until then issues can be purchased at your local comic book store.
Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake (2013, Boom! Studios)
The best animated series on television made the incredibly successful leap to comics last year, producing comics that are every bit as excellent as the show, and is now publishing its second six issue miniseries that is female centric. As of writing this, only one issue of “Fionna and Cake” has been released, but it is as good as debut issues get. Its lavishly drawn opening pages depict a bedtime story of fairytale quality that packs more emotion than a lot of long-running comics manage over their entire run, before moving onto its blissfully funny and heart-warming story starring Adventure Time’s beloved fan fiction creations.
The first issue of “Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake” can be purchased at your local comic book store. It accompanies a monthly “Adventure Time” series and a six issue mini that recently ended titled “Adventure Time: Marceline Scream Queens”; the latter being a female-starring series.