Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ladies Day

Jokers Daughter One-Shot

This week marks a series of new DC One-Shot issues, each focusing on a female character. Lois Lane and Amanda Waller will each have their own one-shot issues over the next few weeks as well.

Jokers Daughter #1 is a lengthy look at who Joker's Daughter is, where she came from, and what her motivations are. It almost works better than the Joker's Daughter #1 from Villain's Month in 2013. This issue would have made a much better introduction to the character. It shows us her first run-in with Batman, and touches on previous Bat-stories such as Detective Comics #1 and the previous Batman annual featuring Anchoress. For those reasons, Jokers Daughter seems to fit into the DCU a little better than she did in the Villains Month issue.

The artwork and panelling are fun and mimic the psychotic babbling of Joker's Daughter.  There are some pretty gruesome scenes in this one, and there's a fair amount of action as well. The team does a great job at keeping the 38 page issue interesting from the first page. Nice to note that the character, while not having too much exposure in the DCU, goes through a few big character-changing moments through the issue. Particularly towards the end. It's not impossible that DC has more plans for her, but those will likely be dictated by book sales for this special.

Joker's Daughter #1 stars an all female creative team, from writer to editor, in addition to focusing on a female character. It's clear that DC is showcasing and spotlighting their talented female creators, which is a trend that would be nice to see from the Big Two more often. It's no secret that the big companies offer more male talent than female due to the ratio of male to female writers working for the companies. Hopefully these one-shots will bring that fact to light for more readers, encouraging more even a gender split within the creative teams of the Big Two.

Joker's Daughter #1 is a good showcase of talent. A big improvement from the 2013 Villains Month installation and a good choice for this week.

Ms. Marvel #1

Ms. Marvel #1 is one of Marvel's All-New Marvel NOW! titles to feature a female lead, and it's a title people will likely be talking about in a few big ways. Not only is it a good looking, well written book, but it touches upon some interesting topics such as religion, heritage, and status quo. It comes across as one of Marvel's more 'indie' titles like Hawkeye or Superior Foes of Spider-Man. The artwork is simple and effective, and the book is more than just flashy action scenes and standard supervillains. Though those things are sure to come shortly, it's nice to have a toned-back, lighthearted character piece to kick things off.

The new Ms.Marvel is Kamala Khan, who comes from a Muslim family with fairly strict Islamic beliefs which tend to interfere with her desire to "be like the other kids". While attending a party against her parents' wishes, things get interesting when a mist overtakes the city. Those who just finished Infinity will be familiar with the reason why. Kamala's fascination with The Avengers takes on a whole new meaning as she realizes what's happening to her.

Some were concerned with the religious tones the book would display, but Wilson does a great job using them as character motivation and story aspects. The book is in no way preachy, but instead presents an interesting and accurate look at Muslim youth growing up in America. Jersey to be specific. Not only does Ms.Marvel feature a strong female lead, but it's also featuring one of the most culturally diverse superheroes Marvel has released in recent memory. It's not groundbreaking by any means, but it's an absolutely fresh, welcome addition to the standard superhero books.

Ms.Marvel #1 is a standard $2.99 book, and definitely recommended for this week's pulls.

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