1. Scooby-Doo Team-Up (No. 5, Sept 2014, DC) – Sholly Fisch, Dario Brizuela & Franco Riesco
An unexpected soiree into militant feminism, this month’s Scooby-Doo Team Up pits the Scooby gang and Wonder Woman with monsters straight out of Greek mythology. This particular issue has an added ideological benefit in that it touches on one of the current live wire topics among self-described radical feminists: Should men be allowed to participate in events organized exclusively for women? Should men be allowed entrance into Temporary Autonomous Zones? Of course, what such questions imply is that feminism is not simply about women reaching socioeconomic parity with men. Rather, there is an emancipatory excess in feminism that is neither solely invested in gender parity nor simply concerned with social media-fueled culture wars. Even in the following dialogue between the Scooby gang and Wonder Woman, one can sense a tension: perhaps a growing expectation gap between what we call first-wave feminism and the milliennial generation’s emerging fourth-wave feminism.
VELMA: [W]hy do Amazons spend so much time practicing fighting? I thought your people are devoted to spreading love and understanding.
WONDER WOMAN: [W]hen you face a foe who is less . . . spiritually advanced, the physical side can be useful. . . . So you see why we need your help, my sisters. With no crime on Paradise Island, we have no detectives to solve this mystery. I asked Batman to come, but he suffers the same disadvantage as your friends. As a man, he can’t set foot on the island. Instead, he recommended you.
VELMA: The world’s greatest detective . . .
DAPHNE: . . . Recommended us?
SHAGGY: So, like, how long do we have to stay here in Wonder Woman’s invisible plane, anyway?
FRED: Hard to say, Shaggy. But we can’t step outside. You heard what Wonder Woman said: Under Aphrodite’s Law, no man can set foot on paradise island. If we go out there, the Amazons will lose their power and immortality.
2. Rachel Rising (No. 27, Aug 2014, Abstract Studio) – Terry Moore
Though comic books have never been the ideal medium to process the consequences of body dysmorphia, it is encouraging nonetheless to see a Terry Moore title briefly touch on the mental illness that leaves countless individuals agonizing over their perceived flaws and imagined physical defects. A brief excerpt of the revealing dialogue between Earl and Johnny: “I know what I look like. / I see the kids stare . . . The women look away.” / “Now you listen to me, Earl Sykes . . . You’re talking about my dearest friend in the world and I will not have you putting him down. Understand? You are the best man I know.” / “Let’s be honest, Johnny – You don’t know that many men.” / “Hey, I know lots of men. You’re just the only one I care to be dear friends with. You know why?” / “Because you’re a good person. You treat people with respect – even the dead ones. I don’t know anybody with a bigger heart. And, I know that if I need you, you’ll be there for me. You’ve already proven that. / If Jet has any sense at all, she’ll see you the same way.”
3. Hexed (No. 1, Aug 2014, BOOM! Studios) – Michael Alan Nelson, Dan Mora & Gabriel Cassata
“Inspiration comes from everywhere,” explains Hexed series writer Michael Alan Nelson. “I guess most of the characters started off as an aspect of my own personality. Lucifer came from my own nihilistic tendencies, the Harlot from my desire to have some control over the world around me, and Val from my love of scotch.” Thus we have one of the more promising titles of Boom! Studios current catalog. If anything, Hexed will satisfy that Buffy/Hellblazer itch you’ve been meaning to scratch. Entropy readers will find the gallery/museum setting an added bonus.
4. Red Sonja (No. 11, Aug 2014, Dynamite) – Gail Simone & Walter Geovani
Red Sonja defends Enlightenment values against fundamentalist religious cretins.
5. Bodies (No. 1, Sep 2014, Vertigo) – Si Spencer, Meghan Hetrick, Dean Ormston, Tula Lotay, Phil Winslade & Lee Loughridge
A police procedural with a twist. Not normally a fan of the blood and gore titles, but the sheer number of talented British writers and artists has me intrigued. The first part of an eight part mini-series, Bodies does a brilliant job of playing with the psychogeographical representation of the East End of London in four different time periods: 2014, 1890, 2050 & 1940.