DC Comics For Women

The Ultimate Women's Month Comic Pull-List Pt. II: DC Edition

Next time some snot-nosed gatekeeping troll decides to be a douchebag and asks you obscure "Batman" questions, you can come right back at him with "Huntress" trivia.

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DC Comics and I have a tumultuous relationship. They don't really have the best track record when it comes to drawing the women in their comics. Sure, Marvel had that whole Spider-Woman scandal, but Power Girl kind of takes the cake. And have you seen what DC did to Starfire? The mind boggles. After that incident was followed by a couple more harrowing encounters in the pages of various Batman" and Justice League comics, I swore off DC for a while. Which was a pity, because "Teen Titans," "Young Justice," and the animated Batman series were a good part of my childhood.

When I got older, though, I started to tentatively venture back. Thanks to online messaging boards and fan sites, I was able to find a community of like-minded women who pointed me towards some of the titles listed below. Community is a wonderful thing. Though my personal reading list remains largely centered around independent and Marvel titles, the new crop of writers is restoring my faith in DC. Check out the titles below!

1. "The Adventures of Supergirl"

I am very specifically referring to the 2016 reboot they did after the CW show was such a smash hit. That show, for all its ups and downs, has been a ray of light in the dark and grim roster of shows that currently make up the Arrowverse.

The comics pull from the show's legacy and make a committed effort at portraying Supergirl in a feminist and human manner. Well, as human as you can get with a solar-powered extraterrestrial. It expands on the TV universe and features a whole host of new villains! Plus we get more relationship development, which is always nice.

2. "Birds of Prey"

There are many, many reboots of this one. Mostly because it is so iconic.

It is especially significant because of Oracle. In the aftermath of the controversial "Killing Joke" comic, Barbara Gordon is paralyzed from the waist down and has to hang up the mantle of Batgirl. Not one to be down and out, she immediately takes on a new identity as "Oracle" and becomes a digital spymaster to continue crime-fighting. Her role in the "Birds of Prey" is a crucial part of this character development and one of the best depictions of a disabled hero I have seen.

The series started in the 90s, featuring a partnership between Black Canary and Babs Gordon aka Batgirl aka Oracle. Then Gail Simone took over in 2003 and the rest is history. Throughout its run, it features a revolving roster of some of DC's lesser-known female heavy hitters, like Big Barda and Lady Blackhawk (not to be confused with Hawkgirl).

The most recent iteration was "Batgirl and The Birds of Prey," and all three volumes are available! Though this one features Babs as Batgirl and not Oracle, as indicated in the title.

Next time some snot-nosed gatekeeping troll decides to be a douchebag and asks you obscure "Batman" questions (as if he's read every single issue ever), you can come right back at him with "Huntress" trivia.

3. DC's "Bombshells"

This is definitely hailed as one of DC's most female-centric publications ever. It also has a mostly female creative team, so buying it means supporting women in the publishing industry!

The story is set in the 1940s, with each of the main characters trying to navigate their own small slice of the world. Supergirl and Stargirl are Soviet propaganda icons in the war effort, Wonder Woman is fighting Nazis, and Zatanna is trying to stop the destruction of the world. You know, the usual.

Also, Batwoman has a literal freaking bat. She uses it both for baseball and whacking baddies. It's great.

Yes, this is that series where the characters are all drawn to resemble pin-up models. But it is not in the least objectifying. Think more of a tongue-in-cheek callback to the legacy of sexualized women in all comics, but with the soft colors, complex relationships, multi-layered plot, and intricate backgrounds making it clear that this is so much more.

4. "Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell"

Zatanna is amazing. Black Canary is amazing. The two of them teaming up to investigate a series of occult murders that are possibly curse-induced is all kinds of awesome.

This comic is also predominantly female-driven. The main villains are also mostly women, and there is practically no gratuitous posing of any of the parties involved, thank you very much. All the characters also come fully equipped with mad skills and snappy dialogue, which is a joy to read. The art is also pretty cool, evoking a grungy, old-timey cabaret feel towards the end. The panels during the boss battle are particularly magical.

It's also a single trade or volume, so it shouldn't burn a hole in your pocket if you decide you want a copy of your own!

5. "Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death"

Is she a genius geneticist and botanist with multiple PhDs? Yes. Is she technically a villain? Also yes.

Poison Ivy (and basically any lady in the Batverse) is kind of a mixed bag because she has been written both very well and very poorly. This is one of the former, and it is not for the light-and-fluffy lovers. The art gets really gory and really dark, real fast. But what else is new for DC?

This story focuses on her efforts at starting a family. Specifically, bioengineering two adorable plant-babies and adopting a third. At first, it's all sunshine and roses (read the comic, then you'll get the pun), but once the little bitties become teenagers, poor Ivy realizes that motherhood is not some idealized happily-ever-after. It's a story about love, growing up, and letting go, with cannibal plants. I felt vaguely like crying at the end.

This one's also a single trade/volume, so short and bittersweet.

You should also check out the 2015 Harley Quinn comics if you want a really sweet Ivy/Harley relationship to cleanse your palette after all the nonsense with the Joker. Still only for older readers, though.

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Why Kirito Is The Worst Anime Character Ever

Talk about wish fulfillment.
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Kirito – most of us know this character. He’s the guy with the cool-looking dual swords from the 2012 anime "Sword Art Online." We’ve seen dozens of guys cosplay him at conventions, in all of his different forms and different story arcs. He’s a popular character from a popular series. But being popular or otherwise well-liked doesn’t always make a good character. For anyone who’s ever watched "Sword Art Online," let’s be honest – he sucks. He may be the best player in SAO (and ALO and GGO and every other virtual reality game ever), but when it comes to anime, he’s the worst. Here’s why.

He’s stupidly OP.

Seriously, he was at level 70 by the end of the third episode. And then, of course, he’s the only character who can dual wield in the game. There isn’t even a conflict when he eventually faces the main antagonist – he “dies” for dramatic effect, but within minutes, he comes right back and whoops the guy. You’d think that he’d have at least some kind of challenge in SAO II when he game jumps to Gun Gale Online, but nope – he’s still using an f’ing sword. Who cares about his stats – we all know that in a real fight, he'd be dead af.

He has no personality.

So edgy...

Clearly SAO writer Reki Kawahara spent way more time developing Kirito’s powers than his personality. There is nothing interesting about him whatsoever. NOTHING. I was more intrigued by some of the background characters than I was with the guy who’s supposed to be the main protagonist (shout out to that one kid who tried playing as a girl). He just fights enemies while being fawned over by girls, and that’s it. His only flaw was that he was too powerful – and the fact that he brought a sword to a gun fight – because basically, his sword skills define his character.

He’s a player… and I’m not talking about video games.

He can’t even stay focused on one girl! In addition to surviving virtual reality, "Sword Art Online" is supposed to be about the love story between Kirito and Asuna; so why does he need an entire harem? He spends the entire second half of SAO traveling and battling to rescue Asuna, and then in SAO II he’s in a cave all cozied up with Sinon during the Bullet of Bullets tournament (sucks that Asuna only calls him out on it in the light novel – come on girl, you can do way better). But yeah, someone has serious commitment issues here.

And that is why Kirito is the absolute worst. Here are a few things I think the writers could have done to improve his character:

Make him a noob: Obviously he doesn’t have to be a noob for the entire series, as characters are supposed to grow and progress throughout a story, but nobody should have maxed out stats after playing only a few levels. Show us the early stages when Kirito struggles to master basic skills and maybe even gets his butt handed to him a few times.

Make him a jerk: Something Witty Entertainment (SWE)'s "Sword Art Online Abridged" does this really well. Not only would he have a personality, but for the most part, he would have one unconventional trait for a typical hero. It was easy for them to make Kirito charming and affable, but he could have potentially been a really funny character with a sarcastic and obnoxious personality.

Make him a 40-year-old man: Holy major plot twist Batman! SAO could have possibly had the shocker of the century if Kirito had turned out to be anything other than a teen. That would of course throw the mirror effect out the window, but even losing that minor plot detail would have been worth it. Can you imagine the dynamic change between Kirito and Asuna?

Do you think that Kirito is the worst anime character? Or is he the wish fulfillment you always wanted to see? Answer in the comments!

Cover Image Credit: Tarmirel Vault

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If These 31 Marvel Heroes Slythered In To Hogwarts Houses, Here's Who Would Be Sorted Into What

31 of the best characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe meet the world of Harry Potter.

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When nerd worlds collide: the Harry Potter franchise and Marvel Cinematic Universe are some of the highest grossing fantasy worlds to date. From fantastic creatures and magic to superheroes and intergalactic battles, these two worlds are certainly not cut from exactly the same cloth.

With that said, the major characters in each do have a lot of the same qualities. Characteristic of the best heroes, many characters in the Marvel movies—and not just the Avengers—show exceptional bravery, loyalty, cleverness and a willingness to bend the rules for personal gain.

Obviously, while my girlfriend and I (both avid Potterheads since middle school) caught up on the movies before seeing Captain Marvel, we inevitably ended up sorting the main few, which snowballed into a full-blown Sorting Ceremony during which every Marvel character we could think of was assigned a House.

This was a lot of fun for both of us. However, each character was sorted with a complete understanding of their history and what happened to and because of them in the movies. Therefore, this list is equipped with many spoilers, so be forewarned as you venture forth into this excruciatingly deliberated list.

With that, we're going, to begin with the Ravenclaws, and yes, it is because I'm a Ravenclaw and extremely biased.

1. Tony Stark aka Iron Man: Ravenclaw

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At first blush, our first Avenger in the lineup would appear to be a Gryffindor with all the heroism. However, as his skills with technology are the vessel he uses to complete his heroics, he is the first Ravenclaw of the bunch.

2. Pepper Pots: Ravenclaw

Following closely behind her hubby is Ms. Pepper Pots, the on again-off again girlfriend of Tony Stark and CEO of Stark Industries. She's as brilliant as she is beautiful which makes them two little ravens in heaven.

3. Banner: Ravenclaw

Photo by Frankie on Youtube

Banner all-natural is one of the easiest pegs for a Ravenclaw. The man is obsessed with science, technology and learning and makes sure to use those qualities for the greater good.

4. Dr. Strange: Ravenclaw

Photo by Dr. Strange Official on Instagram

Another obvious pick for a Ravenclaw is Dr. Steven Strange. Even after leaving the medical field due to an injury he just devoted himself to a different type of study. Also, his cleverness seems to have had a major impact on the course of the infinity wars, which hopefully will be explained a little better in End Game.

5. Vision: Ravenclaw

Photo by Midqards on Instagram

Vision, literally created from the Mind Stone, is a no brainer (no pun intended? I think there's a pun in there.) Watching his development into a conscious humanoid was a beautiful process, and no one deserves justice more than him.

6. Gamora: Ravenclaw

Photo by Looper on Youtube

Gamora is one of the 5 of the Guardians of the Galaxy from the first and second movie, as well as the love interest of Star-Lord. I'll admit, I placed her in Slytherin first because of her connection to Thanos. It was my lovely girlfriend that made me reconsider, and I decided that she is more so clever by nature and just got dealt the worst of cards.

7. Clint Barton aka Hawkeye:  Ravenclaw

Photo by Filmic Box on Youtube

Clint is another that appears Gryffindor on the surface, but just like with Iron Man, it comes down to his fighting style. Hawkeye, besides the fact that he literally has a bird in his alter-ego name, is calculated and technical in his approach to archery and consistently uses brain along with his brawn.

8. Shuri: Ravenclaw

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Shuri is the sister of King T'Chala of Wakanda and first appeared in "Black Panther." She is truly the brains behind the whole operation—no one is a better wiz with the vibranium than that lady.

9. Wong: Ravenclaw

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Wong's first appearance was in the Dr. Strange movie as a keeper of the ancient texts of the Mystic Arts. His devotion to protecting the knowledge they possess and upholding the Kamar-Taj's mission leaves no doubt where he'd be sorted.

10. Nick Fury: Ravenclaw

Photo by Top Movie Clips on Youtube

The leader of the whole shabang: Fury almost got put in Slytherin, among others. The reasoning behind that was because he's got so much, well, fury. He's practically a force of nature. However, he ended up in Ravenclaw because of the position he holds. His job requires him to be analytical, selectively secretive, good at coordinating a lot of moving parts and pragmatic in how he allocates skill sets. He can also be considered an expert in his field, but the details of that are in Captain Marvel which I refuse to spoil for anyone.

11. Steve Rogers aka Captain America: Hufflepuff

Photo by Official_CaptainAmerica on Instagram

The official/unofficial leader of our Hufflepuffian crew is Captain America, embodying everything that makes up a true Hufflepuff. Cap. shows loyalty to anyone and everyone, even Iron Man after their battle in Civil War. His loyalty to Bucky and Peggy Carter transcends nearly a decade, and his leadership of the Avengers rivals only Tony.

12. Peter Parker aka Spider-Man: Hufflepuff

Photo by TomHollandCharm on Instagram

This adorable little munchkin earns a spot in this group for his friendship. Though he is both brave and extremely intelligent, he never loses his fun-loving devotion to the team and their efforts. This comprises of the bulk of his personality at this age, and was the youngest of the team...hopefully still is. We'll see in June.

13. Peter Quill aka Star Lord: Hufflepuff

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The first of the Guardians of the Galaxy is also the protagonist of the movies. Peter Quill is half human one that the Sorting Hat would've taken an extra minute or two on. Part of me wanted to put him in Slytherin for his lawless excursions, but he really is the glue that keeps the Guardians together, showing above par instincts for friendship and teamwork.

14. Groot: Hufflepuff

Photo by Filmic Box on Youtube

The next Guardian to fall under Hufflepuff, and one of my personal favorites of the whole franchise, shows his total devotion to his friends, compassion for living things and appreciation for life through his three-word large vocabulary. I hope I can speak for us all when I say, " We are Groot."

15. Drax: Hufflepuff

Photo by Ivar Ragnarsson

The final Guardian from the orignial 5 to earn the badgerish honor is Drax, and primarily for his heart breaking quest to avenge the death of his wife and child. He's not the only character in the franchise to be on this type of mission, but his devout perseverance in this light as well as his affection for his friends proves despite his fierce appearance that hes an under-cover softy.

16. Mantis: Hufflepuff

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Though she came a little late to the game, appearing for the first time in the second Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Mantis would be an easy pick for Hufflepuff merely from her powers as an empath. However, she thrives under the label even more because of her sensitivity and gigantic heart as a newer, softer side to this team of misfits.

17. Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow: Hufflepuff

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Black Widow, affectionately nicknamed "Nat," was another tricky one to organize. I thought a woman as murderous, skilled and resilient as that had to be a Slytherin. But, again, I was blinded by her past instead of judging her on her actions. I feel bad for her because she really does her best in Civil War, and always really, to keep the gang together. However, she shows particular devotion to her partner Hawkeye, Cap and Banner if her affections are returned even to the slightest degree.

18. Okoye: Hufflepuff

Photo by Black Panther on Instagram

The Wakandan general is far easier to place than a few of the others. She is self-admittedly entirely devoted to protecting her king and her country. This is proven time and time again, most devastatingly when she must let the former queen, S.H.E.I.L.D agent and princess Shuri venture into the wilderness alone, opting to stay behind and protect the community instead under the rule off Killmonger. Though, this beautiful quality makes the open wound that is Infinity Wars all the worse.

19. King T'Challa aka Black Panther: Gryffindor

Photo by Black Panther on Instagram

It seemed only fitting that this natural born leader follow his fierce general as the first of the Gryffindors. T'CHalla as a Gryffindor is a slam dunk. He's brave, instinctively takes charge, is virtuous, merciful and fair. He also has an obvious love for his country and the well being of all men, which is why his addition as a sort-of Avenger was a game changer.

20. Thor: Son of Oden: Gryffindor

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Another one of my personal favorites (although its because he looks like a big lesbian) is the king of Asgard and also another easy placement. I mean, he literally wears the Gryffindor colors for god's sake. Another selfless leader, skilled in combat and wise beyond his years, Marvel fans look forward to seeing how Thor overcomes all odds yet again to save more than just the Norse and Asgardians.

21. Heimdall: Gryffindor

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Heimdal is another mythological character from the realm of Thor and is one of the most faultless characters in the franchise. Practically every time he appears in a movie he sacrifices himself to protect others. He assists Thor in countless adventures and takes it upon himself to hide the Asgardians in Ragnarok totally of his own accord. He was an invaluable addition to the group and deserved better.

22. Bucky: Gryffindor

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Behind the literally tortured past and the absolute sh*t storm he endured, Bucky has roots in Gryffindor. In fact, its what bonds he and Rogers together so eternally. He readily joined the army before becoming the Winter Soldier and hated himself for the crimes he was forced to commit. Also, he never failed to stand up for Rogers and defend their friendship, which, as it turns out, it would appear he would do for anyone.

23. Sam Wilson aka Falcon: Gryffindor

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Wilson fell into this House for his morals. From his first appearance in Winter Soldier he had a strict moral compass that dictated all of his decision making. The eternal partner to Captain America, he unquestioningly follows Cap. in to battle merely because he believes in Cap's judgement and priorities. Although they may break a law or two in the process, Falcon's focus stays clear.

24. James Rhodes aka War Machine: Gryffindor

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The last of the Gryffindor fellows is the closest comrade of Iron Man, using a suit of his own whilst on retainer for the military, and also a total boy scout. He foils Wilson in that his devotion to the rules is not dictated by his own standards, but by the law of the land. In fact, he abandons Tony at one point and sides with the government instead. This can be seen as honorable from one perspective, but its why I'm not as fond of him as I am Falcon.

25. Loki: Slytherin

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The leader of the Slytherin tribe is the character that everybody loves to hate. He is a total butt head, and I'm not just saying that because my girlfriend has the biggest crush on Tom Hiddleston. He's known as the trickster and it totally motivated by his own but surprises even himself sometimes by showing acts of kindness when he's not faking his own death (which happens often.) If he were to pull out one more spectacular trick, I, for one, would not be mad.

26. Hulk: Slytherin

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I know what you're thinking, and no, its not just because he's green. I separated the Big Guy from Banner for a reason, and it's because they're two totally distinct and different characters. Ragnarok taught us that, too, among other things. He's a Slytherin for a few reasons, and most of them are easy to spot: he selfishly buries Banner for huge amounts of time to get some glory and fame, doesn't prioritize a fight even if it means saving people and is just a naturally angsty boy.

27. Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch: Slytherin

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This is one that's still being hotly debated by my girlfriend and me, but I'm stubbornly standing by my decision. For one, she did spend ample time on the dark side, and apparently enjoyed her time there. Though she feels guilt for the destruction she caused in Civil War and despairs over taking life, she still has a streak of self-preservation that can't be ignored.

This is reinforced in Infinity Wars with her obsessive protection of Vision, and while some may argue that this shows loyalty (cough, Melanie, cough cough) it is not extended to the rest of the group. Therefore, this is proof that she was still looking out for her own interests defending her man so desperately—and for someone who has lost as much as she, who can blame her for giving so much to the one sable loved one she has left?

28. Rocket: Slytherin

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This one isn't so hard to grasp, what with his history of thievery and being conniving. While he's got mad love for his other Guardians, he has a harder time accepting his place in society, and frankly hates himself a little bit. He, too, shows loyalty to a selective few and has moments where he deviates from character, but makes it clear time and time again that he'd put saving his own skin before anything else.

29. Scott Lang aka Ant Man: Slytherin

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Another that smoothly falls into place was Scott Lang, the ex-cat burglar. He mainly earned this spot for his almost inability to follows the rules. Although he shows his complexity as a character by working in a team on more than one occasion, at the same time he's usually getting something out of it in return. The ongoing battle for the rights to his daughter also reaffirm this classification, for he breaks rules to see and protect her despite his ex-wife's, the new husband's and the court's wishes.

P.S./Confessional: The Wasp is not included in the line up because I just have yet to see the squeal to the first "Ant Man." I apologize for my ineptitude.

30. Nebula: Slytherin

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Nebula is the second one my lady and I strongly disagree on. To put it plainly, I see her as a Slytherin purely because she came from the bad side, also a daughter of Thanos and sister to Gamora, and she definitely liked it. For a while there she was all for daddy's plan to wipe out half of all living beings. Even though she had a change of heart in the second Guardians movie, Snape in the Harry Potter series did the same and he was still a true Slytherin—some would say even the best thing to come from the House.

31: Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel: Gryffindor

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After we got through the bad Slytherins (I kid, I kid), I figured we'd end on a hopeful note, true to the most recent Avenger movie. the Captain is a ray of sunshine in these dark, dark days. I'll be careful not to put any spoilers here as the movie is so new, but she is easily a top contender for one of the most powerful and bad a*s heroes ever to come from the Universe. At first, I was a little peeved the Avengers had done so much work to protect the Earth and she was MIA the whole time, but her arrival is nothing short of timely, and I truly believe she has the leadership and ability to handle anything that End Game sends their way. For this, and many other reasons I won't name, she really is a true Gryffindor.

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