Tag Archives: claire roe

Madison’s Favorite Comics of 2016

Last year I prioritized cutting back on cape books and diversifying the publishers and stories that I read. Though many of the comics I read weren’t published in 2016 (especially ones I read during Women’s History Month) I still found it hard to narrow down the list of ongoing series I particularly loved throughout the year.

Here are ten comics I couldn’t put down in 2016:

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10. Goldie Vance by Hope Larson and Brittney Williams

This is a series I would have loved as a child. Goldie is the perfect mix of Nancy Drew and Eloise (of Plaza fame). Goldie Vance is great for a younger audience but doesn’t shy away from emotionally complex stories. Goldie and her friends are well-rounded characters with a wide range of interests who readers–young and not-young alike–will be able to relate to.

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9. Elasticator by Alan C. Medina and Kevin Shah

Elasticator is the kind of smart, political superhero comic I wish was more prevalent. The writing is fresh and interesting and Shah’s art is lively and animated with great colors from Ross A. Campbell.

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8. Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung

Lottie Person is just about as far away from Scott Pilgrim as you could get, though they do, at times, share a similar self-absorption. Snotgirl quickly became one of my favorite series of the year, because while not many people can say they’re successful fashion bloggers, they can likely relate to Lottie’s personal problems. Leslie Hung and Mickey Quinn provide gorgeous, vibrant visuals and the best wardrobe in comics, to boot.

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7. We(l)come Back by Christopher Sebela and Claire Roe

Reincarnation? Check. Assassins? Check. Shadowy organizations? Check. A+ fashion choices? Check. Reincarnated assassins in love running from other assassins who are trying to assassinate them? …Also check. What more can you want from a story?

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6. Shutter by Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca

Shutter is one of Image’s most underrated titles. The story follows Kate Kristopher, the daughter of legendary explorer Chris Kristopher, and her discovery of some little-known family history. The comic is consistently interesting not only because of its plot, but because del Duca and colorist Owen Gieni are constantly experimenting with narrative structure and using different techniques to influence how the story is read.

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5. Clean Room by Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt

Clean Room is a creepy psychological horror comic about journalist Chloe Pierce’s investigation of self-help master Astrid Mueller, who Pierce suspects is more cult leader than anything else. Or is she? Mueller is a fascinating character, and the unknowable question of which side she’s actually on only adds to the story’s suspense.

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4. The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

What if you could be a god, but you’d die within two years? Consistently equal parts entertaining and heartbreaking with consistently incredible art and color from Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson. You’ve probably heard of this one.

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3. Mockingbird by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, Sean Parsons, and Ibrahim Moustafa

One of the few superhero comics I read this year, Mockingbird was one of my absolute favorites. Cain writes Bobbi Morse as confident and smart, and the result was a fun mystery thriller with gorgeous art. The series also featured some of my favorite colors and covers this year, by Rachelle Rosenberg and Joelle Jones.

By the time I write my 2017 list, I might be over Mockingbird’s cancellation.

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2. Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Val DeLandro

2016 was light on Bitch Planet–only four issues were released throughout the year–but continued to provide insightful and relevant commentary in what turned out to be a period of rapid change in the real-life political landscape.

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1. Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

Monstress started strong in 2015 and only got better. The main character, Maika, is a teenage girl living with a monster inside, something she learns to live with and use to her advantage as the plot develops. Monstress is full of unrepentant female characters set in a stunningly rendered fantasy world.

Review: Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1

ww75as_cv1_dsWhen it comes to Wonder Woman, it never surprises me, that although her stature in the comics world is as immense as it is, that she has never had a solo movie until next year. This character who, has inspired women of all ages for decades, and has even been on Ms. Magazine, never truly has gotten her due. Her life in the comics world, is as just as big as her contemporaries, Batman and Superman. Her backstory is also just as interesting, if not more, as she ascends from royalty, revealing a long extenuating misogyny within the fandom.

Surprisingly, most people still don’t know that she was created by a doctor, who researched bondage and other depravities, but also sought to understand the human condition. Wonder Woman, is the perfect example of the human experience, as she does take the hero’s journey, becoming a stronger character by leaving her home. Since her inception, her character has grown with society, as she initially followed tropes but eventually came to challenge each one. She even challenges the trope of relationships, where she takes the more dominant roles in her relationships with Batman and Superman.

In the Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special, several writers and artists collaborate to create stories in which makes us all look at Diana different. “Big Things One Day Come” has Diana and a new superhero by the name of Star Blossom take on a kryptonite powered gorilla, which is both funny and action packed. “Gives Us Strength” follows Diana as she fights some Nazis and actually helps liberate France during World War II. The last piece that stands out is the interview Lois Lane does with Wonder Woman, which answers some questions, but brings up even more.

Altogether, this special is more a love letter to this character which has inspired millions and continues to every day. The writers all bring their love to the story. The artist more so as they see her in each, a different light. Overall, a fun tribute to an icon.

Story and Art by: Liam Sharp, Rafael Scavone and Rafael Albuquerque, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl, Fabio Moon, Hope Larson and Ramon Bachs, Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon, Jill Thompson, Annie Wu, Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn, Sebastian Fumara, Claire Roe and Jordie Bellaire, Marcio Takara and Marcelo Maiolo, Phil Jimenez and Romulo Fajardo Jr, Brian Bolland, Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage, Jenny Frison, Gail Simone and Colleen Doran
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3

Written by: Julie Benson, Shawna Benson
Art by: Claire Roe
Cover by: Yanick Paquette
Variant cover by: Kamome Shirahama

“WHO IS ORACLE?” part four! The dangerous new Oracle is finding that Gotham’s mobs aren’t up to the task of keeping the Birds of Prey off the scent…so send in the Snakes! Copperhead, The Asp, Cottonmouth, and Lady Viper are the most venomous foes the Birds have ever faced!

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Preview: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2

Written by: Shawna Benson, Julie Benson
Art by: Claire Roe
Cover by: Yanick Paquette
Variant cover by: Kamome Shirahama

“WHO IS ORACLE?” part 3! Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress must team up with the GCPD to protect a mafia capo from an attack by his one-time friends! He’s the only man with a lead on the nefarious new Oracle…but dead men tell no tales! Of course, it’s hard to make a team-up work when the team’s ready to tear itself apart on its first mission!

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Review: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1

BGBOP_Cv1_dsSomeone has stolen the name Oracle right out of Barbara Gordon’s past! Hot on this false Oracle’s trail, Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress are all tracking the same mafia capo…so it makes sense to team up, right? Problem is, Barbara and Dinah need the secrets locked up in Oracle’s brain…and Helena Bertinelli would rather put a crossbow bolt right through it!

While Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 is good, the comic written by Shawna Benson and Julie Benson feels very paint by numbers in how it plays out storywise. The story follows that rather common trope of superheroes fighting each other before teaming up to stop the real bad guy (in fact it’s so common another DC comics has this same trope this week, but recognizes it and skips the fight). In this issue, which continues the Rebirth launch, we see Batgirl and Dinah trying to figure out who Oracle is while Huntress is hunting down the individuals who murdered her family. Of course their paths cross and they battle a bit until they are forced to team up. It’s very predictable in that way.

But what Benson and Benson get down really well is the interaction through all of that. The back and forth between Barbara and Dinah is really good. Barbara’s reactions at time gives the comic some humor in between the action. It reminds me a little of the previous Batgirl volume, though her reactions at time have her working at some points on emotion rather than her logic, a bit of a switch.

The art by Claire Roe is pretty good and there’s some fun expressions by Barbara and good action sequences. I think there’s a slight issue with the art showing off a more comedic vibe, but most of the comic is not. There’s definitely a mix of tone throughout the comic, and maybe that’s just first issue jitters by the team that’ll get worked out over time.

The first issue isn’t bad in any way, it just is a bit predictable and the tone and interaction between the characters is a bit uneven. There’s potential with these three characters, so we’ll see where it all goes, but the first issue doesn’t knock it out of the park unfortunately.

Story: Shawna Benson, Julie Benson Art: Claire Roe Colors: Allen Passalaqua
Story: 6.95 Art: 7.3 Overall: 7.15 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1

Written by: Shawna Benson, Julie Benson
Art by: Claire Roe
Cover by: Yanick Paquette
Variant cover by: Kamome Shirahama

“Who Is Oracle?” part one! Someone has stolen the name Oracle right out of Barbara Gordon’s past! Hot on this false Oracle’s trail, Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress are all tracking the same mafia capo…so it makes sense to team up, right? Problem is, Barbara and Dinah need the secrets locked up in Oracle’s brain…and Helena Bertinelli would rather put a crossbow bolt right through it!

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Preview: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1

Written by: Shawna Benson, Julie Benson
Art by: Claire Roe
Cover by: Yanick Paquette
Variant cover by: Ben Caldwell

“WHO IS ORACLE” Chapter One: Batgirl and Black Canary are together again, working a case that strikes right at the heart of their partnership! Someone’s uncovered the greatest secret Barbara Gordon ever kept: her time as Oracle, the most powerful hacker on the planet. And not only do they know her secret, they’re using her name to sell dangerous information to criminals! Now one of those deals has brought some major heat to Gotham City…Helena Bertinelli is out of Spyral, wearing the hood of the Huntress, and making mafia blood run in the streets! Everything you thought was hidden will be revealed if the Oracle has their way…

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Review: Batgirl and The Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1

BGBOPREB-Cv1-ds-5de97I’m new to the DC Universe. Well, not new in the sense that I’ve been living under a rock and have no idea what it is, but new as in when I’m pulling my comics for the week,  there is the same red and white logo in the top left corner that starts with ‘M’. So when I saw that DC was launching this Rebirth event,  I thought “hmmm, why not give DC a shot again”.  I’ve been reading a few titles, and for the most part I have been enjoying them. So when I saw Birds of Prey was being re-launched, I was pretty excited as I have always been a fan of Black Canary and Huntress.  And seeing Barbara in the cape and cowl again is very exciting, so I jumped right into this issue with high hopes.

Basically, this Rebirth #1 issue is Barbara Gordon telling the reader the story of how she went from being loving daughter to James Gordon, to butt kicking crime fighter Batgirl, to information specialist Oracle and now back to being Batgirl.  This is a great way to bring new readers up to speed, but while I was reading I couldn’t help thinking “yeah yeah, I know all this already”.  Barbara tells us how she got connected with Black Canary, and how the Birds of Prey started and eventually ended.  On her own, we see Batgirl reveling in taking down a group of thieves…until she discovers that the information the group received was sent to them by someone calling themselves Oracle. Wanting to find out who has stolen her former identity, Batgirl reaches out to her old friend Black Canary, who is more then happy to track down those responsible for using the Oracle name and information to facilitate crimes. As they track down a lead, Batgirl and Black Canary are ambushed by Huntress, who is after the same man the two of them are there to question, but Huntress is looking to kill him. The two birds try to subdue Huntress, who shocks them both by revealing that she knows their true identities.

So as I mentioned, this is a great jumping in issue for new readers. Julie and Shawna Benson (and THANK YOU for having women write women characters) give us a great look into all the events that shaped Barbara Gordon into the Batgirl she is today. The dialogue between Batgirl and Black Canary is great, showing us that they’re more then teammates but friends. The banter is great and well paced, and I really enjoyed the change from the lighter talk with Bats and Canary to the darker moments with Huntress as we get a feel for her mission.

Claire Roe’s art is good, though I did find some of the facial expressions a little odd looking. The action scenes were well done as well as the more low key scenes, which really played well to telling the story.

Overall, I liked this Rebirth issue to start things off. Was I blown away? No. Going in, I knew all about Batgirl and how she came to be what she is, so the pages of recap were just alright. Once the story of this new mysterious Oracle came to light, I was more interested. And I was a little disappointed to see so little of Huntress. But, I get it. This is just the jumping off point to re-introduce the masses to the Birds of Prey. I’m still excited for this title and expect great things from this creative team.

Story: Julie Benson, Shawna Benson Art: Claire Roe
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1

BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY: REBIRTH #1

Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Claire Roe
Covers by Yanick Paquette
On Sale 7/20/16

“WHO IS ORACLE” Chapter One: Batgirl and Black Canary are together again, working a case that strikes right at the heart of their partnership! Someone’s uncovered the greatest secret Barbara Gordon ever kept: her time as Oracle, the most powerful hacker on the planet. And not only do they know her secret, they’re using her name to sell dangerous information to criminals! Now one of those deals has brought some major heat to Gotham City…Helena Bertinelli is out of Spyral, wearing the hood of the Huntress, and making mafia blood run in the streets! Everything you thought was hidden will be revealed if the Oracle has their way…

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Preview: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1

BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY: REBIRTH #1

Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Claire Roe
Covers by Yanick Paquette
On Sale 7/20/16

“WHO IS ORACLE” Chapter One: Batgirl and Black Canary are together again, working a case that strikes right at the heart of their partnership! Someone’s uncovered the greatest secret Barbara Gordon ever kept: her time as Oracle, the most powerful hacker on the planet. And not only do they know her secret, they’re using her name to sell dangerous information to criminals! Now one of those deals has brought some major heat to Gotham City…Helena Bertinelli is out of Spyral, wearing the hood of the Huntress, and making mafia blood run in the streets! Everything you thought was hidden will be revealed if the Oracle has their way…

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