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Comics Relief: DC BOMBSHELLS Return, Marvel’s A-FORCE Faces Controversy, and More

In this weekend edition of Comics Relief, we’ve got quite a bit news surrounding Marvel’s new all female Avengers team, the fallout from Archie Comics attempt at going the Kickstarter route, and news on the full line up of special guests at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego. But first off, the 1940s are back in a big way as the DC Bombshells return with a vengeance this summer…

The DC Bombshells Return in New Digital First Series, Wave Two of Variant Covers

Last summer’s “DC Bombshells” series of variant covers, which took the DC heroines and villainesses and gave them the full 1940s pin-up treatment, was a huge success for the company, spawning a series of statues, t-shirts. stickers, and other products. Now DC is bringing the bombshells back, not only as a new series of variant covers for the month of August (which you can preview right here)  but also by bringing the ladies together in their own digital first series, set in an alternate WWII history. Although, I shouldn’t just say ladies, since this time the men have been allowed to join in the fun (that Tom of Finland style Aquaman has me dyin’, I love it so much).

The creators behind DC Bombshells are writer Marguerite Bennett and artist Marguerite Savage, and the series will debut online in July, with the first print edition coming August 12, 2015. In a statement, Bennett said  DC Comics Bombshells is one of the wildest things I’ve ever had the pleasure to create–a story of the DC heroines, all the DC heroines, in a crisis that defines themselves as well as their generation,” Bennett says. “I cannot possibly tell you how excited and grateful I am to be involved in a story this massive and inventive. The series will explore war stories, romances, mysteries, heists, action adventure, and horror in a way that only these characters could do–I cannot wait for this book to drop. Pun very much intended.” [Newsarama]

Ms. Marvel Writer G.Willow Wilson Responds to New Yorker Piece on A-Force

Speaking of female characters, over at Marvel, they are set to debut their all-female Avengers team A-Force soon. But it’s already come under fire before it even came out, receiving some harsh criticism from The Secret History of Wonder Woman author Jill Lepore, whose “Looking at Female Superheroes with Ten-Year-Old Boys” editorial appeared in The New Yorker last week. In her piece, Lepore said that the characters “all look like porn stars” and that “maybe it’s not possible to create reasonable female comic-book superheroes, since their origins are so tangled up with magazines for men.” While Lepore wrote an excellent book on the feminist underpinnings of Wonder Woman’s creators, the article showed that outside of that, she has no familiarity at all with modern comics or its tropes, and the whole thing comes off as condescending and uninformed.

Luckily, G. Willow Wilson, A-Force’s co-writer, who also writes the excellent Ms. Marvel, didn’t take this criticism lying down, and wrote her own open letter to Lepore that addresses every single one of her points, and at one point writes “decontextualized, what Dr. Lepore is left with is a cover depicting a bunch of characters about whom she admits to knowing nothing, and one fifth of a story, which is perhaps why her analysis reads as so perplexingly shallow, even snarky.” You can read all of Wilson’s response on her blog here, and it is well worth a read. [Comics Alliance]

Archie Comics Cancels Kickstarter Campaign After Four Days

In the last Comics Relief column, we reported the news of the Kickstarter Archie Comics was doing to help launch a whole new series of books in their new, revised Riverdale world, via crowdfunding. Well, turns out, due to the harsh criticism it received online, the publisher has decided to cancel the Kickstarter after only four days of being active.

In a statement, the publisher said, “While the response to these new titles has been amazing, the reaction to an established brand like Archie crowdfunding has not been. Though we saw this as an innovative, progressive and ‘outside-the-box’ way to fund the accelerated schedule we wanted to produce these books, it became another conversation, leading us further away from the purpose of this whole campaign: to get these amazing books in the hands of fans faster than we could on our own. While we fully expected our goal to be funded, it was no longer about the books and how amazing they will be. We don’t want that. This is why we’re shutting this Kickstarter down today.”

The wonderful New Riverdale titles we wanted to launch will still come out—albeit not as quickly as we would have hoped had we attained the funding via Kickstarter. We believe in these books and know they’ll find an audience in comic shops, fueled by great stories and amazing creators.” [Newsarama]

Marvel “Updates” Classic Secret Wars Cover for Wal-Mart T-Shirt

The cover for the original 1984 Marvel  Secret Wars series from artist Mike Zeck has become iconic, plastered all over posters and t-shirts for over thirty years now. But the latest version of the shirt, which is being sold currently at Wal-Mart, is somewhat different than what we’re used to, because all of the original images of characters related to either the Fantastic Four or the X-Men have been removed and replaced with character that either have had movies or will have movies released from Marvel Studios. While the FF and X-Men characters are definitely remaining in the comics (as evidenced by the current Secret Wars, which has big parts for both teams) when it comes to consumer products? Yeah, turns out, not so much. [Bleeding Cool]

Grant Morrison’s Classic Arkham Asylum OGN to Come in New Arkham Knight Bundle

If you’re a fan of the Rocksteady Arkham games, but want to get in on where so much of the mythology of the game’s Arkham Asylum came from, you’re in luck: With Batman: Arkham Knight  just a little over a month away from release, Warner Bros. has announced a new bundle for the trilogy finale, which will include Grant Morrison’s seminal graphic novel.

According to a new Amazon listing, Batman: Arkham Knight will be offered in a package deal that includes the game, a first appearance skin, and a new 25th anniversary edition hardcover of Grant Morrison and Dave McKean‘s classic Batman: Arkham Asylum graphic novel. The standard game will retail for $59.99, but this bundle will be available for $69.99. The book itself retails for around $25, which makes this a pretty good deal for one of the greatest Batman graphic novels of all time.  [Comics Alliance]

San Diego Comic-Con Releases Full Line-Up of Special Guests

San Diego Comic Con is nearly upon us! Comic-Con International has released the full entire line up of special guests this year, and it’s clocking in at seventy people from all over the comics industry, names like David Aja,  Sergio Aragonés, Franco Aureliani, Peter Bagge, Greg Capullo,  Kelly Sue DeConnick, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman,  Jim Lee, Stan Lee, Paul Levitz, Steve Lieber, Laura Martin, Scott McCloud, Kevin Nowlan, J. Michael Straczynzki, Jill Thompson, Jhonen Vasquez, Bernie Wrightson, and many, many others. For the full line-up of all seventy guests at SDCC this year, click on the following link: []

DC Releases Series of Promo Items for Their June Re-launch

With DC doing something of a mini-relaunch this June after Convergence wraps up, the publisher is creating a series of cool promo items to go along with several of their newly launched (or relaunched) titles. There will be 16 promotional items in total, and will  be available at comic book shops that month. There will be paper masks, postcards, temporary tattoos, stickers, and posters, reflecting the new status quo of the DCU. Check out our gallery of all 16 items below. [Comic Book Resources]


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