Starman: The Mist
While the staffs of DC Comics and Marvel can be blamed for a number of ill-fated storylines in the late 1990s, one thing they can’t be faulted for is a willingness to take risks. It’s what led Marvel to hire mid-list comic artists and give them free rein with some of its B-list heroes in Marvel Knights, and DC to give Wildstorm the leeway to allow the creation of The Authority. One lesser-known outburst from around that time that holds a special place in my comics-lovin’ heart is DC’s “Girlfrenzy!” — a Fifth Week initiative in which female characters took over seven titles for one issue.
This 1998 event was comprised of Batman: Batgirl, Birds of Prey: Ravens, JLA: Tomorrow Woman, Starman: The Mist, Superman: Lois Lane, Wonder Woman: Donna Troy and Young Justice: Secret. Some of the titles were totally forgettable, but the Lois Lane story, by a young Gail Simone and Amanda Conner, and the Mist story, by James Robinson and John Lucas, hold up well for me and are worth tracking down.
Although the thrust of the event — “We don’t normally cover female heroes, but we’ll do it just this once!” — is a bit iffy, it did give these seven characters/teams a chance to break through that glass ceiling and deliver some more diverse storytelling.