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Top 8 Lady Led Comics of 2013

If you read this blog often you’ll know that I like lady comics. To commemorate some of the great lady led solo titles of 2013, here is a list of my top seven favorite lady led comics. Before you get your panties/boxer-briefs in a twist – this list does not include team books. I’ll make a list of my favorite lady team-up books later this week, but until then here’s a great list by Andrea Shea over at Geek and Sundry to tide you over. Ahem. Back to the awesome solo ladies.

1.)

Writer: Joe Keatinge Art: Ross Campbell

Writer: Joe Keatinge
Art: Ross Campbell

Glory gets to be #1 on the list because it is one of the first comics I read. The cover of issue 33 caught my eye on of the first times I was in a comic shop, and I’ve been an addict ever since.The recent run of Glory by Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell gave life to an otherwise dull, stereotyped sexy warrior woman character. In Keatinge and Campbell’s run, Glory turns into a hyper-muscular BAMF, whose proportions and feelings are effervescent and complex.  The short story arc is not without its flaws, but the art and heartfelt story of Gloriana Demeter will quench your thirst for violence while bringing you to tears.

2.)

Writer: Kelley Sue DeConnick Artists: Various

Writer: Kelley Sue DeConnick
Artists: Various

While Glory got me into comics, Captain Marvel is why I keep reading them. I keep a stock of Captain Marvel #1 in my house, to hand out to any friends that I think need encouragement. Kelley Sue has fleshed out the character of Carol Danvers and revitalized the life of this lady avenger, as well as spawned an entire fandom devoted to her in the form of the Carol Corps. As an avenger, this title is a bit more action-packed than some I read, but Kelley Sue has done a great job of balancing action and downtime in this comic. This comic promises to be especially interesting this year as it deals with Carol’s loss of memory and the introduction of a new Miss Marvel!

3.)

Writer: Ed Brubaker Artist: Sean Phillips

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips

Fatale takes us away from super heroines, and into the brilliant noir world of Brubaker and Phillips. This series should have borrowed its title from Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events as every time Josephine meets a man, you know its going to end badly. Josephine has been a fascinating character to follow, as she can be both the femme fatale and the “good girl”  simultaneously. The series leaves me with more questions than answers, and a protagonist who I would never be friends with in real life, and I love every second of it.

4.)

Writer: Gail Simone Art: WalterGeovani Cover Art: Jenny Frison

Writer: Gail Simone
Art: WalterGeovani
Cover Art: Jenny Frison

With the current run of Red Sonja, Gail Simone has performed a miracle – she has gotten me to purposefully read a book with a half-naked lady on the cover. Joking aside, Simone’s tenure on Red Sonja has infused the comic with life and broadened Sonja’s appeal to men and women. The most recent story arc gave us important glimpses into Sonja’s past, while also keeping things light with massive alcohol consumption. Simone and Geovani have struck an amazing balance with the storytelling and art, managing to make Sonja sexy without making that the whole point of the comic. While I would still probably wear full body armor if I needed to go out into battle, Red Sonja is clearly menacing enough that she doesn’t need to.

5.)

Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick Artist: Chris Sebela/Phil Noto

Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist: Chris Sebela/Phil Noto

Okay, I’m double-dipping on Kelly Sue’s work, and I’m okay with that. This year has been full of resurrecting/revitalizing older female characters, and Kelly Sue did a marvelous job with this in Ghost: In the Smoke and Din. The first issue in the new ongoing series came out in December, and I’m very interested to see how this will play out. It’s still a very new series, though it has long historical ties with the Dark Horse universe, but it’s promising. Also, I just love the costume.

6.)  TIE!

Writer: Steve Horton Artist: Michael Dialynas

Writer: Steve Horton
Artist: Michael Dialynas

So for position six on this list, I have a tie between two little known but equally awesome titles, I love Trouble and Amala’s Blade. They do share three things in common – both feature women of colors as the main characters, both characters assassinate people, and both characters have pet monkeys of the ghost/hallucination variety. Amala’s blade follows the story of Amala, as she assassinates her way through a political war with the help of the ghosts of people she has slain. Her story involves pirates, magic, and a mechanical dragon, so all your major adventure bases are covered. The art and coloring of this comic is also superb, demonstrated in the cover to issue 3.  It’s a great book overall, and something to look into for adolescent readers.

Writer: Kel Symons Artist: Mark A. Robinson

Writer: Kel Symons
Artist: Mark A. Robinson

I Love Trouble, on the other hand, is not safe for younger readers. This comic involves a healthy dose of cynicism, psychological decay (did I mention the monkey hallucination?) and violence. This dark comic follows the path of Felicia, as she finds out she has the power of teleportation, gets hired by a shady mega-corporation, and starts killing people for money. This story is dark, the art a bit flashy, and overall it’s a phenomenal look into what developing powers might actually do to a girl. The world that Symons and Robinson have created remains enigmatic, and I hope they get to return to it in the future and populate it with more characters.

7.)

Writer: Brian Wood Artist: Ming Doyle

Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Ming Doyle

Mara is a bit different. One day, while playing volleyball, she discovers she has all the powers of a superhuman, with no explanation as to why. In the world Wood and Doyle have created, Mara Prince is the first super-powered human to exist, which inevitably means people do terrible things to try and exploit her. It’s a strange read, but Wood and Doyle make the story worth it with great art, and a fascinating tale of alienation.

Honorable mentions: Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, Thumbprint by Joe Hill and Vic Malhotra, and Rachel Rising by the inestimable Terry Moore.

Let’s hear it for the ladies of 2013! If you think I missed an important lady led book, please let me know in the comments!

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9 comments on “Top 8 Lady Led Comics of 2013

  1. Fearless Defenders!

  2. comicreviewers
    January 9, 2014

    Definitely! I’m going to do a lady team up post tomorrow 🙂

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