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New DC Bombshells Unlimited Series To Tackle Japanese Internment Camps

Written by Tim Midura on Monday, June 12 2017 and posted in News with Benefits

New DC Bombshells Unlimited Series To Tackle Japanese Internment Camps

The weekly digital first series starts August 25.

Source: Comics Beat

DC Bombshells will conclude its original run with the release of Bombshells #100 later this month, after six years. The series will relaunch as Bombshells United, a weekly digital first title, starting August 25. Marguerite Bennett is returning to write the new series, along with many of the original series artists. Bennett knew from the start where she wanted the original to go.

"I didn't want it to be a story where [the premise was] 'oh all the men are off and away, so I guess the women will have to do something,'" Bennett explained. "I just wanted to [start with the idea that] 'the women were here first.' No heroine is derivative of a male wasn't like Superman existed and then Supergirl [did]– it was going to be her first."

The first arc of the new Bombshells United deals with failure, America's failure to protect the rights of 12,000 Japanese Americans when they were imprisoned in internment camps during WWII. In exploring this, Bennett has cast Cassie Sandsmark and Donna Troy as second generation Japanese Americans whose friends and family are being held against their will. While Cassie and Donna are not Japanese in the mainstream DC Universe, according to Bennett, these are her universe's "definitive versions" of the characters.

Bennett was inspired by a lack of mention of the event in her cousin's history book. According to Bennett, the realization that this dark chapter of American history was being erased "inspired these feelings of horror and rage and...motivation, I suppose. If this was the kind of thing that was being ignored and scrubbed out of the story [of World War II]...if [the war] was being increasingly turned into good guys versus bad guys and one side is completely innocent and never did anything wrong...that needed to be addressed."

In researching the topic, she read "a variety of novels and history texts" and took several trips out to Manzanar, where she "took photos, walked around, and talked to some of the volunteers." She also talked to writers to "make sure what I was doing was respectful. It was just trying to learn as much as possible in order to convey this story that was honest, truthful, and drew heavily from the experiences of actual folk as opposed to doing something that was meant to either be sensational or so cut off from the actual human experiences that it would no longer resonate."

In the story, Wonder Woman will help Cassie and Donna to challenge the internment, but Bennett is aware of the reality. "Wonder Woman did not appear to intervene in the real story of Japanese-American internment. It was the actual communities that affected real change. The reading list will basically say that these are the books you can read, these are the places you can visit, and these are the people you can speak to to learn how it actually went down."

She wanted to make known that the Japanese American community is the one making the decision to summon Wonder Woman for help, skirting the issue of a white savior. She also explained the difference between the original series and this new one.

"In the first series, there was this sense of fun and excitement...with Bombshells United, we're refocusing the series around a different conceit: the historical failures of the war and the question of 'if you had had a second chance in life, what would you have done differently?' I want to draw attention to the actual historical events and encourage readers to go and discover what actually happened." Bennett said she hopes readers see the plights of the marginalized in Bombshells United and ask themselves "'what could we have done?' and 'what do we need to remember so that when this situation arises again, we don't make the same error?'"

The first arc is drawn by Marguerite Sauvage, with each subsequent artist sticking around for an arc instead of rotating artists.


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About the Author - Tim Midura

Born in the frozen tundra of Massachusetts, Tim Midura has long possessed a love for comic books and records. After stealing the beard of Zeus and inventing the pizza bagel, a much more heavily tattooed and bearded Tim Midura has finally settled in San Diego. He's the world's first comics journalist who doesn't want to become a comics writer. Find him on twitter, facebook or by email.

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