In their origination, superhero comics were invariably built on male fantasies, and they are still predominantly written by men. But over several fraught decades, female writers from Ann Nocenti and Louise Simonson to Gail Simone and Kathryn Immonen have risen to increasingly powerful positions at the mainstream houses, Marvel and DC. Against deeply entrenched editorial habits, they have gradually made superhero comics—first almost imperceptibly and then gaining momentum—a more habitable space for female readers, as well as male ones emotionally older than 16.
Almost no one right now is carrying that mantle as influentially as Kelly Sue DeConnick. For Marvel, DeConnick writes Avengers Assemble as well as one of the publishing giant's flagship titles, Captain Marvel. The book stars Carol Danvers, a long-running Marvel heroine whose relative empowerment was always undermined by her plunging neckline and code-name "Ms. Marvel." DeConnick got rid of the name and the revealing costume for her 2012 relaunch of the character, creating a broadly appealing title that deals out high-octane action, character development and vivid storytelling rather than pinups of unnaturally thrust bosoms.
DeConnick signs books from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., with a writing workshop, a Q&A, and a second signing to follow at 6 p.m.—Brian Howe