Heroes and Villains: Women In Comics Rock With New Books From Gail Simone and Magdalene Visaggio

It’s Heroes & Villains time! Today I’m going to write about comics…just comics. I’m not going to tell you to go watch Umbrella Academy on Netflix. Nope. I’m sure you can figure that out for yourselves. Now, on to the comics!

DC 100-Page Comic Giant! The Flash #1
Gail Simone (W)
Clayton Henry (A)
Various (W, A)
DC Comics

I will beat the 100-Page Comic Giant! drum until the stars go out and comic book characters have replaced the demigods of old. There’s just something wonderful about getting 100 pages of comic book goodness for the low, low price of five American dollars.

Toss in the fact that you get a BRAND NEW Gail Simone story about one of my personal faves (The Flash) and it’s almost impossible for me to say no. Simone does a fantastic job of packing everything you need to know about Barry Allen into just a few short pages you’ll find it hard to believe this installment clocks in at just a dozen pages. “She just gets it, mannnn” one may remark and it’s great to finally see her take on the character. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Drawing The Flash can be tricky and I’ve seen a fair few artists in the past who were very much from the “Ehh, just throw some speed lines on it or something…whatever” school. Fortunately for us, Clayton Henry is NOT one of those. There’s a very tangible and kinetic quality to the art that makes you believe that this really is the fastest man alive.

As for the rest of the book, there’s a bunch of reprinted stuff as is the custom for the 100-Page books, which I admittedly found myself scratching my head as to their inclusion in the book. Eventually, I got there… Adam Strange is the kind of high sci-fi adventure that The Flash has roots in and Shazam has…lightning, I guess? In fairness, it’s a Geoff Johns and Gary Frank Shazam! story which is a good place to start if you’re looking to bone up prior to the upcoming movie.

I really wish this books had wider distribution aside from being Walmart exclusives (I’m also not sure if these are available outside of the US). I feel like these books would make a killing if they were carried in drug stores or airports. They’re a great read containing work from some of DC’s top talents and you shouldn’t sleep on these. 

ADVANCE ALERT!

Morning In America
Magdalene Visaggio (W)
Claudia Aguirre (A)
Oni Press

Out March 6th from One Press is Morning In America a book I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at. Described by Visaggio as a “dark, hopefully-funny, story about monsters, friendship, and the end of the world” the book really hit all the sweet spots for me. I mean, it’s also got a girl gang…what more do you want?

It’s 1983 in the Midwest, something weird is going on, and the world is scheduled to end in a week. The Sick Sisters are a GIRL GANG of four no-goodnicks who are more interested in throwing bottles and selling smokes out behind the school instead of saving the world. There are a lot of interesting facets to the group which I hope will be expanded upon during the series. It also wasn’t lost on me that the book is set in a Rust Belt city in Ohio during the early 80’s, which historically wasn’t the best time there…end of the world notwithstanding. 

The art has an amazing, dreamy quality to it which I adored and we only get the briefest, tantalizing glimpse of what monsters may be lurking around the town of Tucker, Ohio. 

Listen, I could rattle off a dozen or so of what I’m sure are our shared 80’s (or 80’s inspired) cultural touchstones to convince you to check out this book…but that would be doing Morning In America a great disservice. Visaggio and Aguirre have delivered a book that’s very much its own thing and it’s definitely worthy of your attention. 

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