This week, I’m posting lists of my favorite stories that have female protagonists or POVs. Today I’m featuring comics, including series and individual books. Leave your recommendations in the comments, especially if they’re nothing like these, and check back Friday for open discussion on strong female characters!
Comics can be hard to get into if you don’t know where to start. If I’m recommending a character rather than a book, I’ll include some title recommendations!
Abadazad by J. M. DeMatteis – A combo prose children’s book and graphic novel. I have no words for how great it is… There are three in the series, and the third one is really hard to find, and I spent an exorbitant amount of money (fifty dollars? sixty?) to get it from eBay at the age of 20.
Batwoman – Kathy Kane was a prominent lesbian character in DC and she was supposed to marry her girlfriend recently, but the editors shot that down and the writers resigned. So, I’m pretty pissed. That said, the early volumes are really great! Start with Batwoman: Elegy.
Catwoman – One of my favorite villains… And heroines! Try Catwoman: When in Rome or Catwoman Vol. 1: Dark End of the Street.
Dramacon by Svetlana Chmakova – The first manga I ever read! It’s about an aspiring artist at a con, with some romantic elements. Complete in three volumes.
Fray by Joss Whedon – For Buffy fans, this is a great comic Joss wrote about a slayer in the far future.
Hark! A Vagrant – Come on, it’s a classic. The whole comic is great, but this is the relevant one: http://harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=311
I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly – A one-volume story about a girl, bullying, and parents dying. I cried.
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson – I do monthly reviews of this ongoing comic. Suffice it to say it’s amazeballs.
The Plain Janes by Cecil Castelluci – Jane and her friends do art attacks. I think they also cope with some terrorist attacks, struggling with comparisons to themselves, but that may be the sequel.
Power Girl – I like this collection: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1401209688/. It’s got some of the major turning points in Power Girl’s history, and the quote that made me love her. (Read to the last panel). I also like the Gray/Palmiotta/Conner series.
Promethea by Alan Moore – Artists and writers can call up the spirit of Promethea, an ancient goddess, and either become her or sort of “bestow” her on their muses. It gets really boring and pseudo-philosophical in later volumes, but I really liked the first one.
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan – Clever, strange, over-the-top space opera, with an awesome married couple. I love a good married couple because it’s so rare, and the woman herself is both a mother and a soldier. The art is colorful and embraces the strangeness. Basically it’s really good sci-fi!
Ultra: Seven Days by the Luna brothers – In Ultra, superheroes straddle the line between crime fighters and celebrities. It adds something to the superhero conversation, especially since the main characters are women. I wish they had looked more physically different from each other, but their personalities are varied, and the concept of superheroes-as-celebrities was believable and well done. Complete in one volume.
Wonder Woman – The New 52 Wonder Woman brings her back to her Greek mythology roots, with updated gods and goddesses and a plot that seems like mythology but isn’t. It starts with Volume 1: Blood. And if you already like that version, try the one-volume story Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia!
Tomorrow: TV shows!