Confident, powerful, and sensual; these are the key elements to being a Bombshell. In a world where Wonder Woman, Batwoman, and many other female heroes reign supreme, Marguerite Bennett would feel right at home. I didn’t know what to expect when I first saw her. Most comic creators don’t really stand out at first, other than having their name displayed above their head, or if they are drawing. They typically are sitting, wear a T-shirt, or a sweater, the odd creator might wear a dress shirt and vest. Ms. Bennett was something else.
In line with her Bombshells, she stood out. She was standing, smiling, and looking at everyone. She had a confidence about her that invited you to say hello, unlike some of the others who were busy drawing. She was dressed brightly and had a bunch of her comics in front of her. Immediately it was clear that she could have walked off the page of her comics. She spoke extremely well and with the upmost in confidence. Not to mention, she was honestly, one of the sweetest people I got to talk with. She was so happy to talk about her work and answer my questions.
Who’s your favourite Bombshell to write?
Batwoman, Kate Kane. I love her so much and originally when we were launching the series there was so much surprise. I mean, Wonder Woman, naturally, should be the character to lead the series. but simultaneously, Wonder Woman’s origin has this isolated, disconnected from humanity beginning, where as Batwoman is a Jewish, lesbian, with a very direct cause to hate the Nazis and to be very emotionally and humanly engaged in this conflict. So, from the get-go, we knew Batwoman needed to be the person to carry our title.
Do you have complete freedom for the stories you tell? Or does DC steer the direction you take things in?
Oh, DC has been very supportive and generous as far as the reinventions [of these characters]. That’s something that I try to consider and reconsider as we’re going through, you know. In some cases, you want to be loyal to the origins of the characters but in some cases, since we’ve seen origin stories so many times, you want to see something that’s very different or something that you haven’t seen before.
One of the things that we did recently was with Killer Croc, actually, who shows up in our Bombshells Annual. So, in this version, Killer Croc’s environment, even though he’s a giant reptile man, he’s been sort of embraced by this Louisiana swamp community. He hasn’t been driven into the sewers, he hasn’t been turned into this brutal cannibal, he hasn’t undergone the experiences that turned him into a villain yet. So, he’s kind of like a ladies man, a charmer, [giggling] and you know, he’s flirtin’ with the women all the time and they love it.
So, it comes into this debate as far as, nature versus nurture and are the characters defined by their innate personalities or the experiences that happen to them. So the innate personalities remain, but the experiences that have helped contribute and define them in the main DC continuity has not necessarily occurred in the Bombshells universe.
Do you find it weird or awkward at times, that you are portraying these women in a very powerful way, you have some of the greatest DC characters out there, but you’re showing them in a way that is very objectifying?
I don’t think that sexuality necessarily equates to objectification. One of the major things that I have been so drawn to Ant Lucia’s art honestly, was the sense of power and person hood that went into it. With Wonder Woman, she’s shattering the chains, there’s such a sense of strength and grace and personality. It would have been objectification if every character had been depicted in the same passive style, or you know, if they had sort of denied that sense of agency.
But even characters down to…, like Poison Ivy, in the entire line is the character in the most passive where she’s reclining, you know she’s in lingerie, but the expression on her face is inviting you to look. It’s not that you’re looking and she doesn’t want you to, or there’s a sense of distress as if you’re peeking in on her in some gross way. She’s inviting you to look but the expression there is such a sense of, “If you do more than look, I will strangle you and enjoy it,” (in sexy voice). So it really, you know, that was one of the things, and the market we’ve tried to hit. Always, just a sense of power and personhood in combination with sensuality and humanity.
Last but not least, what do you want your fans to know going forward and what should we look out for from you?
Oh Gosh, so the Bombshells Annual just came out last week, It’s a great jumping on point. Essentially all you need to know is that Amanda Waller is in charge of the Bombshells. It’s a great one-shot adventure, you get some really fun new characters that you haven’t seen before. This new arc we have launching, we are moving out of the European theatre of combat, and into Northern Africa. We’re going to see Vixen, Hawk-Girl, Catwoman, Batwoman, Renee Montoya, Cheetah, and a lot more villains to come. We’re going to intercut between past and present so you don’t necessarily need to have been reading before now because the relevant back story we will get in flashbacks and pieces of conversation. So we’re going to be able to bring everyone up to speed and have a very fun, very exciting time.
It sounds like the fans of DC Comics Bombshells have a lot to look forward to with a whole host of new heroines and villains coming into the books. With the confident and amazing Marguerite Bennett at the helm, there is no doubt that these characters will feel as human and full of personality as possible. Be sure to get your copy of Bombshells Annual now!