New Wonder Woman Comic Written by Communication Professor Rider
Sheena Howard’s Story Featured in New ‘Wonder Woman Black & Gold’ Anthology Series
Sheena Howard, a professor in the Department of Communications, Journalism, and Media at Rider University, is the author of a new Woman Wonder comic.
His story appears in Wonder Woman Black & Gold #6, the final installation in a new anthology series that marks the superhero’s 80th anniversary. DC Comics will release the comic on November 23.
To craft the story, Howard delved into his Greek mythology and delved into the expansive history of Wonder Woman, which dates back to October 1941. The standalone story is set in Center City, Philadelphia against the backdrop of a environmental disaster. . It features Wonder Woman leaning on her sister, Nubia, to save her from the hands of Poseidon and Athena.
“There’s still a lot to do with Wonder Woman because her story is very flexible,” Howard says. “All the gender dynamics that she represents, there’s a lot to play out there – and especially you can play with those dynamics as they change in society.”
Howard’s Comic Book Writing Credits Already Include Co-Writing Superb, one of the first comics to feature a superhero with Down syndrome, but Black gold represents the first time she wrote the iconic Wonder Woman. The black and gold theme pays homage to Wonder Woman’s famous Golden Lasso of Truth. The visual style was brought to life through art by Jamal Campbell and lettering by Pat Brosseau, with Jamie S. Rich as editor.
For this project, Howard knew she wanted to feature Nubia, who has been portrayed over the years as a sister or non-family ally to Wonder Woman. Nubia is recognized as one of DC Comic’s first black superheroines. “Coming in, I knew I wanted those elements – Nubia and Wonder Woman working together and having sibling banter in a story set in Philadelphia,” Howard said.
His biggest challenge was limiting the story to eight pages. How to include a beginning, a middle and an end in such a small space? “Comics can’t be too wordy — they’re more about images and how words interact with those images,” says Howard. “They are not a term paper.”
It was a thesis, however, that gave Howard his comic book debut. His doctoral dissertation at Howard University analyzed the work of Aaron McGruder Bled Comic. After earning a doctorate in communication and culture, she quickly became the first black woman to win an Eisner Award, the comics industry’s highest honor, when she received the award for her debut book, Black Comics: The Politics of Race and Representation.
Three years later, she published Black Comics Encyclopedia with a foreword by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
As established as Howard had become as an academic, she felt like something was missing in his ability to discuss comics. “I couldn’t talk about it as an insider,” she says. “Now I can talk about comics as both a creator and an academic. It’s a blessing to me. What an honor it was to have the opportunity to write comics.
Howard embraced such opportunities with a healthy dose of self-awareness (“You never want to be that person who studies hip hop and then goes on to make a terrible rap album,” she laughs) but also fearlessly. . These qualities have been present through the multiple ways it has expanded into new areas and genres.
In September, she presented a TEDx Talk on empowerment. In 2016, she wrote, produced and directed a documentary, Remix Colorblind, a study of higher education and how it shapes our perceptions of race. She is also the editor of a collection of essays on Black Panther called Why Wakanda Matters. For his efforts, Howard twice received a proclamation from the city of Philadelphia.
“Every year something even crazier happens to me,” Howard says. “I never thought I would ever write Wonder Woman, but now I really want to do more.”