"DC Comics: Bombshells" is a weekly, 10-page digital comic that features alternate-reality stories starring popular DC heroines. We spoke with "Bombshells" writer Marguerite Bennett during New York Comic Con about how the series comes together and why she considers the book her dream job.
You’ve called DC COMICS: BOMBSHELLS your “dream project.” Tell me why.
MARGUERITE BENNETT: It’s just the level of scale. I get to create a universe with characters I grew up on – characters who are iconic, not only in my heart but in terms of female heroes that have been created in the last 70 years! Getting to do something that is that enormous, I feel really blessed.
Then I also get to create this entire universe, you know? Different lands, different times, different relationships and friendships and interactions. One of the big conceits of BOMBSHELLS is thatwe focus on a different heroine each chapter. And each one of the heroines is always influenced by a specific genre from the 30’s and 40’s: Wonder Woman is a war story; Batwoman is this pulpy, radio serial adventure; Supergirl is a propaganda film; Harley Quinn is Looney Toons; Zatanna is like a Hammer horror movie. We just get to keep going like that.
So I got to create a whole, vivid universe that feels complete to me because it’s not just a single tone or a single note. I get to have a symphony.
Are you happy so far with how the book’s been received?
BENNETT: My gosh, I love it! I mean, the series exists in the first place because of the fans. There have been cosplayers since the original statues came out, but then when DC did their Bombshell Variants month in August 2014, there was such demand for those covers. A variety of audiences responded to them, and DC really took notice that this is something people truly love. It was something where people met up, and there were a lot of different interests that came to find each other. And they progressed from there.
The fact that this is a digital-first [comic] that started based on a line of collectibles, and is built on an alternate history WWII, and we sold-out 60,000 issues …that’s insane! I love it.
Coming in, which of the characters was your favorite – and is that character still your favorite?
BENNETT: Well, Batwoman – Kate Kane – is always going to be my favorite. I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed writing Zatanna, though. I discovered this streak in her that I really enjoy. She’s a heroine who screws up a lot, who’ll bite off more than she can chew and wind up in hot water. Getting to write someone who has to be an aspirational character, but was permitted to screw up and still be one of the good guys, was very important to me.
Because it’s a different publishing schedule [ten pages a week vs. 22 pages a month], how does that does that change your approach? What’s the schedule like for you?
BENNETT: I work on it every day. So, I might have a script going Friday, and then by Monday I’ve got the breakdowns in from the artist. By Tuesday, the first pencils show up, and then we get like a page of pencils a day. So then, ten days later I’ll do a final lettering draft, and the next day I’ve got a lettering script review. Then we see colors, and it goes out, but because we’ve got a sort of waterfall going on, I’ll have that every day for each of the chapters, and they’ll start piling up. So I’ll work on three different BOMBSHELLS stories – or some aspect of them – every day, whether it’s taking a bit to look over the colors or it takes me hours and hours to write a full script. But you know, I love it. Again, I’m so blessed to get to enjoy what I do, and to have a project where no matter what surprise comes down the chute today, I know I’ll enjoy the challenge.
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