Geek Out: 10 kickass lady-led comics you should read this summer

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Welcome to Geek Out, your (soon-to-be) go-to space for the most female-friendly nerd discussions on the great big Internet! On Thursdays, we’re going to Apparate here and chat about whatever geek-ish business has captured the hearts/imaginations of gay ladies during the week. Fantasy movies! Sci-fi TV! Comic books! Regular books! Video games! All the best things! To kick it off, I’ve made a handy list of 10 comic books you should read this summer. Take ‘em to the beach, read ‘em by the pool, enjoy ‘em in the shade with a shandy.

With new lady-led comic books popping up, rumored Wonder Woman and Black Widow solo movies on the way, and an Agent Carter TV spin-off in the works, there’s never been a better time for women to get involved in the comics world. Here’s where to start:

Batwoman

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The new creative team hasn’t managed to sustain the momentum or capture the voice of the original writers and artists, but Kate Kane is still the only lesbian superhero with a Big Two title — and even though DC made it clear  they won’t allow Kate and her fiance, Detective Maggie Sawyer, to tie the knot, the new incarnation of Batwoman features their relationship struggles fairly prominently. It’s no longer a monthly pull for me, but I’ll stay caught up with the trade paperbacks.

She-Hulk

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Marvel relaunched She-Hulk’s solo title in February, so now is the perfect time to jump on board! She-Hulk splits its time beautifully between the lawyer Jennifer Walters and her superhero alter-ego. In fact, there’s so much lawyer-speak that it’s one of the most cerebral books on shelves right now. Walters is refreshingly unapologetic about her legal prowess, and remarkably unabashed about her Avengers kick-assery. Plus, Hellcat hijinks abound after Issue #2!

Lumberjanes

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BOOM! Studios just announced that Lumberjanes has been promoted from eight-book miniseries to ongoing series, which is the best comic book news I have heard in at least a year. Lumberjanes is my favorite series right now, and if you don’t believe me about how awesome it is, check out Elaine Atwell‘s full review. It’s everything your 12-year-old self ever wanted to read.

Ms. Marvel

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I’ll admit  the first issue of the new Ms. Marvel left me super-duper cold. After promising the very first Muslim teenage superhero, the book ended with a splash page of Kamala Khan shape-shifting into the blonde-haired, blue-eyed, white-skinned, unattainable-bodied Ms. Marvel we’ve known for years. But boy, was my worry in vain. Writer G. Willow Wilson was doing the exact opposite thing I was afraid she was doing. Instead of positing that a dark-skinned Muslim teenager can only be a hero if she transforms into a voluptuous white woman, Wilson is exploring Kamala’s psyche, asking, “Why, when she can shape-shift into anything, does Kamala choose to be a white pin-up girl?” And, by extension, “What happens when minorities don’t see themselves reflected in modern media?” It’s a fun, incisive book with breathtaking artwork by Adrian Alphona.

How to Be Happy

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This 144-page anthology of collected comics from indie darling Eleanor Davis doesn’t hit shelves until August, but it’s a must-have once it’s available. Davis’ relentless feminism makes her a real-life hero, and even if her writing style doesn’t grab you (you monster!), her lush watercolor illustrations will transport you.

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