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Women of Marvel

Girls Gone Comics

The women behind GIRL COMICS dish on their stories in the upcoming first issue

By TJ Dietsch

Continuing the year-long Women of Marvel celebration, the brand new, three-issue anthology GIRL COMICS launches on March 3 featuring stories by the most talented women in the industry. The first issue alone boasts the writing talents of Colleen Coover, Valerie D'Orazio, Devin Grayson, Lucy Knisley, Trina Robbins and G. Willow Wilson with art by Coover, Knisley, Ming Doyle, Stephanie Buscema, Agnes Garbowska, Nikki Cook and Emma Rios; the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and just about everybody in between put in appearances in the process.

Kicking things off each issue will be Coover, who will write and draw character-packed intros.

"They're actually not so much an introduction as they are a forward, or maybe a mission statement," Coover clarifies. "They work on two levels; on one hand explaining why heroes do what they do, and on the other hand why we artists, writers and publishers create comics. Each could be read by itself, but they work together as a three-part piece."

GIRL COMICS #1 preview art by Ming Doyle
Meanwhile Wilson and Doyle team up on a tale starring everyone's favorite swashbuckling teleporter Nightcrawler.

"The story takes place in a Berlin cabaret theatre, where Nightcrawler clashes with a sinister MC," Wilson says. "Nightcrawler has only a single line, and it's in German. I wanted to do something different and fresh, relying on visual storytelling rather than writing lots of dialog like I usually do."

Venus-the Greek god not the Agent of Atlas-gets her turn in the spotlight thanks to Robbins and Buscema.

In my story, up on Mount Olympus, Venus gets tired of listening to Hercules' boasting about his super hero adventures and reminds the  gods that she was a super hero too, back in the 1950's," Robbins explains. "She makes a bet with them that she can fight the bad guys, using her own methods, just as well as Herc. Then she floats down to Earth in 1969 and joins the staff of her old magazine, 'Beauty.' I won't give anything away, but Venus wins her bet by doing what goddesses do."

Robbins went on to explain her interest in the character thusly: "I chose Venus because I love the Golden Age Venus, especially as she was written and drawn by the great Bill Everett.  It's so cool to have a goddess as a super heroine!  I'd love to see her brought back-as written by me, of course!"

Illustrator and writer Knisley turns her eye towards Doctor Octopus.

GIRL COMICS #1 preview art by Lucy Knisley
"The comic is a short glimpse into the good doctor's daily tribulations," Knisley says. "I'm a big fan of Doc Ock because he's this short, chubby nerd with a bowl cut, and it's impossible for me not to sympathize a little when he yearns to destroy that cocky little spidery bastard."

The children of the Fantastic Four, Valeria and Franklin get some love in a tale written by Furth and drawn by Garbowska. The story takes a cue from Neil Gaiman comics with a little Tim Burton thrown in for a very twisted fairy tale vibe according to Furth.

"Since Franklin and Val are brother and sister, playing with the story of Hansel and Gretel just felt right," she notes. "I won't say too much more, but after adding in a little bit of monstrous clockwork, we had our story. Agnes created such amazing artwork that I found it incredibly inspiring. I'd hand in a draft, Agnes would do some pages, I'd rewrite, Agnes would redraw, and we kept going like that until we had our final draft."

Even the Punisher gets in on the action thanks to D'Orazio and Cook's story, which follows Frank Castle on an undercover assignment after a target that puts him in a very similar situation as his prey.

GIRL COMICS #1 preview art by Nikki Cook
"I think the particular assignment the Punisher pursues lends him a strange, almost immediately comical vulnerability," D'Orazio explains. "There is a big contrast between his established iconic persona and the one he chooses, for the sake of his assignment, to temporarily identify with. And the contrast is so extreme that it sort of loops around at the other end and makes a tremendous amount of sense."

Finally, Grayson and Rios take a look at one of the most famous love triangles in all of comic between Cyclops, Jean Grey and Wolverine. Taking place before Days of Future Past, the story gives readers Cyclops' point of view.

"I have yet to wake up with an uncontrollable mutant power or a moral imperative to save the world before noon, but I've certainly worried about romantic relationships and discrimination and the complexities of living with a large group of people," Grayson says. "Jean is one of the smartest and most grounded of the super heroines, and one of the few with a powerful, super hero love interest who nonetheless avoids ever being referred to simply as 'Cyclop's girlfriend/ wife.' And Wolvie? He's got it all. Invulnerability, the capacity to unleash untold quantities of whoop-ass, and, beneath it all, a tortured, complex, and at times even tender emotional life."


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