Help Wanted: DC Women

A few weeks ago, as I’m sure some of you following our twitter account (@girlsreadcomics) remember, Dee and I got a little incensed as we counted out how many Marvel titles will actually have women starring in them by February. I think our final estimate was about three titles that would be sure to last, and weren’t team books.

On the other hand, though I don’t read DC regularly, I can count up to five titles that star women: Wonder Woman, Power Girl, Batgirl, Birds of Prey and Supergirl. It’s ridiculous, to say the least, but that’s a post for another day.

What I’d like right now, is some advice on where to start reading up on these women. The most DC reading I’ve done lately was the Palmiotti/Gray/Conner run of Power Girl (which I love) and the last 40 or so issues of Wonder Woman before the 600 renumbering. Oh, and the current run of Birds of Prey.

So, where’s a good place to jump in for Supergirl (and is it a good series)? What do I need to find to read up on Barbara Gordon before she was Oracle (that isn’t The Killing Joke)? Is Zatanna more than just a chick who talks backwards?

Help me out, girls (and guys)!

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About Chantaal

A book reading, nail polish hoarding, makeup loving, TV marathoning, comic book talking Philosophy major. I want to be Rashida Jones when I grow up.
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18 Responses to Help Wanted: DC Women

  1. Dee says:

    Batwoman elegy is a collection of the batwoman story arc from derective comics by Greg Rucka. With the title about launch in January you want to check it out!

    Batgirl year one and Huntress year one are great points for Barbara Gordon and Helena Bertinelli. Also Gail’s old run of BoP is sensational.

    Check out the Cass Cain Batgirl issues, as well as the current run by Bryan Q Miller. So awesome.

    I’d also recommend teen titans since Krul took over and Secret Six which is a 50/50 team.

  2. I checked Zatanna out in issue 5 which was mid arc and ended in issue 6. I stopped there because I was going, “Crap, I should read this in a compilation instead” because it was getting addictive.

    I DID have the same conviction of “Huh, what DOES Zatanna do? Be a magic consultant for Batman?” but apparently it’s much cooler than that! Her issues read like a visual version of an urban fantasy series so I don’t know if you’re into that genre. Demons and magic.

    @sarahcoldheart

    • Chantaal says:

      That is awesome to hear about Zatanna, as I’ve been genuinely curious to find out more about her ever since I read Brave and the Bold #33. I’ll definitely check out her series now.

  3. Sheila Stahl says:

    Dear Chantaal,
    I have everything Gail Simone’s ever written and would be glad to loan whatever you want from the collection. That is, as long as you return them when finished with your research. I’m not one of those “no-touch” collectors keeping issues pristine for re-sale. So, don’t spill your coffee on them or have sex on them – which I have heard happens – but read to your hearts content.
    Love, Sheila

    BTW – people that have sex on comics are weird

    • Chantaal says:

      That’s a really kind offer, Sheila, and I’d love to take you up on it when I get home after the holidays. I’ll get back to you on it in a few weeks!

      (How can anyone have sex on comics? All I can think about are papercuts in unfortunate places, yeesh.)

  4. Dave says:

    Batwoman Elegy is a must read. Looking forward to the launch of the ongoing series soon. I like Zatanna, but that is because I really enjoy the supernatural side of things.

    I would also pick up The Question trade by Greg Rucka.
    Simone is awesome, too.

  5. Greg Rucka’s Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood is a great story about Huntress.

    And add yes, to everyone everyone else has recommended.

  6. Anything by Greg Rucka can be relied upon to have great female characters. If you like his Question series (as someone suggested you read above) I’d recommend his Gotham Central series from a few years back which show Renee Montoya (former police officer, current Question) and her GCPD colleagues trying to stop crime the legal way in Batman’s town.

    Any Teen Titans run is usually good for female characters (I can’t get enough of Ravager right now) but I’d avoid Judd Winnick’s run on Titans, which reunited the older generation of Titans and made three of my all time favourite female characters seriously dull. I second the suggestions for Secret Six (my favourite title at the moment) and Bryan Q Miller’s Batgirl series (just got Batgirl Rising for Christmas and loved it). Haven’t read Batwoman Elegy, but after reading everyone’s comments here I think it’s gone to the top of my Must Read list!

  7. JoeMD says:

    I found Supergirl to be a very mixed book. I’ve read, stopped, come back to, stopped reading a whole slew of times. Not read anything of the current team’s work though.

    Zatanna, though, is BRILLIANT! My personal favorite DC book at the moment I’ve loved every issue. The writing is great, the art wonderful and it’s smart and funny.

  8. Daniel says:

    I read a large portion of the sterling gates run on Supergirl in one night.
    I couldn’t put it down.

    I heard that the run on Kara immediately following her arrival in Superman/Batman: Supergirl was sort of directionless, but I can’t verifyably speak for it.

    Here’s a list of the material I’ve read and can recommend:

    Superman/Batman: Supergirl (Or the “Apocalypse” movie that just came out.)
    Supergirl: Beyond Good and Evil
    (Maybe the “Way of the World” trade right after it.)
    Then begins NEW KRYPTON
    Superman: Brainiac (Featured her prominently)
    Superman New Krypton Volume 2 (and Volume 1 for context if you prefer)
    Who is Superwoman?
    Superman: Codename Patriot
    Supergirl: Friends and Fugitives
    Supergirl: Death and the Family

    After this is “Last Stand of New Krypton” and “War of the Supermen”, but I haven’t read those yet.

    Good hunting.

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