What are your thoughts on the supergirl tv series?
Anonymous

I’ll have an opinion as soon as something more concrete is actually produced by the network.

Last time that a female-fronted television series was ‘in development,’ it got shelved and nothing more was done with it. (See Amazon).

Until I see a pilot, I have nothing to comment on.

Did you ever see the "Birds of Prey" tv series? I mean it was a little campy, but it was female centered and we got to see Huntress as Batman's successor exist in the same universe as Oracle.
Anonymous

I did see it, yes. In fact, that show was how I even found out about Helena Wayne’s existence. Prior to that, the Huntress (including the Bertinelli version) was never a known character to me. At the time, my only investment in DC Comics was Harley Quinn’s solo series from the Dodson-Kesel era.

What steps do you think DC needs to take to grow their female readership?
Anonymous

The steps they need to make to appeal to women are really quite simple. They:

  1. Need to value their female characters equally to their male characters.

  2. They need to stop erasing, swapping out, and wholly repurposing women characters in ways that gut their importance to female readers, and for developments that are conceptually regressive for their characters.

  3. They need to give female characters their own narratives and not reduce their importance to how they can service a man’s narrative.

  4. They need to be given real character development and not reduce them into offensive stereotypes that reinforce sexism.

  5. They need to stop relying on shock value to sell a story, which often subjects women characters to the tiresome women in refrigerators trope.

  6. They need to hire more female creators (including queer women and women of colour) to help bring diverse experience and perspective into the narratives of their very diverse characters.

  7. They need to write stories for women without catering to the white, heterosexual, cismale demographic in the form of presenting these characters as ‘living’ blow-up sex dolls that they want to wank themselves happy to.

  8. They need to market and promote their characters both inside and outside of comic book community.

  9. They need to give their women characters more exposure in other media so that more women can become aware of their existence. More specifically, they need to be given their own television shows, films, and videos games in which they are the protagonists.

  10. Offer free comics with the purchase of a comic book movie featuring these characters, which is something Marvel is already doing. (And it’s WORKING in their case).

When DC Comics does all—and I mean ALL—of the above, they will expand their female readership by the volumes. As soon as they show a stronger commitment for female inclusivity and actively change the ‘boys only club’ culture that surrounds them, they will see more positive female reception of their product. 

Using myself as an example, the one thing DC Comics did that got me to read their comics again was the return of Earth-2, and especially the return of the Helena Wayne Huntress, whom I love to bits. The reinstating of the Earth-2 Huntress and Power Girl friendship is what sold me on trying the New 52, because I’ve been wanting to read newer stories with these two women since the Justice Society Annual of 2008. 

Should Earth-2 had stayed true to the original concept of being the decades old Justice Society Earth that had different generations of superheroes, it’s own version of the Trinity that was older, retired, and married with children, and had both a new generation of Justice Society members (Kendra Saunders, Queen Marella, Khalid Ben-Hassin, Kara Zor-L, Helena Wayne, Lyta Trevor, etc) as well as Infinity Inc (Hector Hall, Jenny-Lynn Hayden, Todd Rice, Beth Chapel, etc) I think Earth-2 as a franchise would be selling tonnes better than what it’s selling now. They didn’t need to scrap the older Justice Society team in order to have new members. They could have literally had both!

I know I would have definitely bought and promoted more Earth-2 books if that had been the case, and if there was actual world-building as opposed to world-destroying. There was a lot the original Earth-2 already had going for it that would have appealed to women:

  1. A married Batman and Catwoman with an adult daughter who is continuing her parents’ legacy as the Huntress? Sold.

  2. A married Superman and Lois Lane who are also parent figures to  an adult Power Girl, Earth-2’s newest Kryptonian protector? Sold.

  3. A married Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor with an adult daughter who continues her mother’s work as Fury? Sold.

  4. An all female second generation Trinity who are the legitimate successors to the first Trinity and are the most prominent heroes of Earth-2? Sold.

  5. A new generation Justice Society team comprised of younger and older superheroes? Sold.

  6. The emergence of new superheroes (both in the Justice Society and Infinity Inc) who are people of colour and LGBTQ? Sold.

More than anything, Earth-2 was wasted potential in the New 52. Instead of building on the already established mythos of this world while continuing to make improvements and introducing more diverse characters, we got an Earth-2 that was destroyed by Apokolips, gave us Thomas Wayne as Batman’s successor instead of Helena, lots of fridged iconic women for shock value, and a largely male-centred narrative with a side of women. As such, not a whole lot of women are reading any of the Earth-2 books, including the one book that was fronted by two women. 

iconuk01:

helenawaynehuntress:

THE UNITED KINGDOM LIVES! | We love you as part of the family Scotland!

The most interesting part will be what new powers Scotland will be granted, and whether other large regional authorities in England and Wales will be granted the same sort of powers… It could be a game changer, but it could change the game in either direction.

Which is why I’m looking forward to the general elections next year. We know that following this major, historic vote from Scotland yesterday that the pressure is going to fall on Westminster to deliver on giving Scotland (and most likely, the remaining British countries) more autonomy and power to govern themselves. Not only did the UK nearly lose Scotland (55%-No, 45%-Yes voter turnout), but it’s definitely a game-changer that’s going to influence British votes next year, I’m sure.
One can only hope that Team Racism (aka UKIP) doesn’t get any seats in parliament. It’s doubtful that Scotland will give any of them seats (they don’t even like the Tories), but I’m not sure that the rest of the UK will follow suit, considering how many of them got seats in the European parliament this year. 

iconuk01:

helenawaynehuntress:

THE UNITED KINGDOM LIVES! | We love you as part of the family Scotland!

The most interesting part will be what new powers Scotland will be granted, and whether other large regional authorities in England and Wales will be granted the same sort of powers… It could be a game changer, but it could change the game in either direction.

Which is why I’m looking forward to the general elections next year. We know that following this major, historic vote from Scotland yesterday that the pressure is going to fall on Westminster to deliver on giving Scotland (and most likely, the remaining British countries) more autonomy and power to govern themselves. Not only did the UK nearly lose Scotland (55%-No, 45%-Yes voter turnout), but it’s definitely a game-changer that’s going to influence British votes next year, I’m sure.

One can only hope that Team Racism (aka UKIP) doesn’t get any seats in parliament. It’s doubtful that Scotland will give any of them seats (they don’t even like the Tories), but I’m not sure that the rest of the UK will follow suit, considering how many of them got seats in the European parliament this year. 

THE UNITED KINGDOM LIVES! | We love you as part of the family Scotland!
THE UNITED KINGDOM LIVES! | We love you as part of the family Scotland!

aa-avengers-assemble:

DC Ladies MemeHelena Wayne // Huntress

"But Mom always said, you save the world when you save a single life."

I fear that Power Girl is involved in "Earth-2: Worlds End" only in order to mentor and teach the completely inexperienced Superman Val-Zod, then she is going to be treated like a second-rank superhero when she is a very experienced one and the legitimate heir of the original Superman. In short, when she is far more qualified for the job than him. I'm sick and tired of this sexist thing!
Anonymous

From the press I’ve read for this series, it looks to me like Kara and Helena are going to still be together in this weekly. The fact that it’s been confirmed Marguerite Bennett is writing their story arc seems to suggest that they’ll be by fighting together in their respective story arc. She’s also stated on her personal Twitter that she enjoys writing them both and writes them like sisters looking after each other.

Also from the artwork I’ve seen for this series, it looks like Thomas Wayne will still be paired off with Jimmy Olsen, and  Val-Zod could very well be paired off with Red Tornado. 

That being said, I too dislike how both Huntress and Power Girl were demoted as the legitimate successors to Batman and Superman in the New 52. Val-Zod I’m honestly not bothered by, but DC did NOT need to remove Kara from her own narrative to service him.

Thomas Wayne, on the other hand, there is simply no excuse for him existing on this world, period. Batman does not need a male Wayne to succeed him, a fact that was easily proven with the pre-Crisis Helena Wayne who was a fan favourite. If Huntress could prove in the 1970s that you don’t need a new Batman for the Earth-2 franchise to be successful, there is absolutely no reason that same idea could not have worked in the year 2014. 

But the problem, as you say, does go back to sexism. It’s part of the larger problem with the current leadership and why many of DC’s books are not as successful as they could be. The current leadership has made it clear that they write for men first, everyone else second. It shows in which characters and narratives they prioritise and promote (especially Batman) and which ones get tossed into the sidelines, including characters (like Lois Lane) that shouldn’t be there.

With such an abysmal track record, Dan DiDio—if he’s smart—should not be surprised by ‘excitement [for the New 52] dying down.’ If the only way he knows how to get people to care is by sacrificing quality for the sake of selling shock value, or course people are going to lose interest. That should surprise no one. It’s symptomatic of bad business practise. 

I just read the interview of D.H. Wilson about "Earth-2: World's End" on Newsarama, and he never mentions even a single time the members of the Justice Society who were originally supposed to be the greatest super-heroes of this Earth, the main characters of "Earth-2". But don't worry! One of the solicitations reminds us once again how "badass" is Thomas "Batman" Wayne. Phew, we are saved! I mean... How could it have come to this?! Luckily, Hel and Kara seem to play a great part in this event.
Anonymous

Except for the fact that DC keeps teasing the Huntress as a casualty of war being a major selling point of the World’s End weekly ala Nightwing in Forever Evil.

I don’t think she’s going to die for real since she’s very much alive in the Future’s End timeline, but I do think it’s disturbing how the only way DC can market her character is by teasing her death in the solicitations. Meanwhile they keep trying to convince us to try out the weekly because of how ‘bad ass’ her grandad is, even though he’s not a character most Earth-2 fans care about. We never asked for his inclusion on Earth-2 since most of us were interested in this book for Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, Kendra Saunders and the formation of the Justice Society. 

What’s worse for me is that if Huntress is temporarily killed/injured/whatever in the storyline, I’m pretty damn sure it’s not going to be handled in a way that treats her as a hero with agency, but as a plot device to service her grandfather’s narrative. It isn’t enough, I suppose, that they removed her from her own place and narrative on Earth-2 to give those things to a character who was meant to be dead on this world. 

I believe the woman who is the daughter and legitimate successor to Batman should be treated with better respect than that. Not under this editorship.

BATGIRL SALES TRENDS | I got curious so I checked these as well.

Concluding remarks:

  • Gail Simone sells!
  • Batman Event tie-ins increased sales for Batgirl. (Court of the Owls, Batgirl #9; Death of the Family, Batgirl #14 - #16; Zero Year, Batgirl #25; Gothtopia, Batgirl #27).
  • September Events boosted sales for Batgirl for the Zero issue, but not for the villains issue (Ventriloquist #23.1).
  • Batgirl/Huntress/Black Canary team-up gave Batgirl a temporary sales boost. (Batgirl #32 - #34).
EARTH-2 SALES TRENDS | Because we love knowing how our books are doing.

Concluding remarks:

  • Between Earth-2 and Worlds’ Finest, Earth-2 sells the most books.
  • September Events provide temporary sales boosts for both books. (Mostly).
  • The First Contact Event temporarily boosted sales for Worlds’ Finest. (Though not by much).
  • The inclusion of Thomas Wayne as Batman did NOT increase sales for Earth-2 and continued the downwards trend. (Effectively invalidating the ‘only Batman sells’ argument).
  • Earth-2 got a brief sales boost in the issue where Val-Zod became Superman (Earth-2 #24).