Wonder Woman’s July 2015 Covers And Solicits

April 24, 2015

July is going to be a very busy month for Wonder Woman. Between her own titles, team books, and guest appearances, it sounds like she’s going to be around a lot. This could get expensive for all the completist collectors out there! Let’s take a look at what Wonder Woman will be up to in July, starting with her eponymous series:

julyww42

WONDER WOMAN #42
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and JONATHAN GLAPION
TEEN TITANS GO! Variant cover by BEN CALDWELL
On sale JULY 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
To replace Ares as the God of War, Wonder Woman must better understand him – and that means a journey to Ares’ home! You can just imagine what that entails! Plus, learn who is behind the attacks on Paradise Island!

This costume still does nothing for me. Nor does Wonder Woman getting into a fight with this heavily pouched soldier person. Ares’ home is a thing that could be cool in theory but probably won’t in execution. And the attacks on Paradise Island must be a new thing we haven’t gotten to yet, unless it’s the attacks on the Manazons from last issue, but we already know who did those. Anyway, not much to look forward to here, but such will be the case so long as the Finches are on the book, I fear.

Onto Superman/Wonder Woman #19:

julysww19

SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #19
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art and cover by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
TEEN TITANS GO! Variant cover by SEAN “CHEEKS” GALLOWAY
On sale JULY 15 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
The Superman epic you never expected – “TRUTH” continues! Is there truth in madness? Harley Quinn and the Suicide Squad guest-star!

Details are still very sparse on this “Truth” storyline, though some spoilers have come out this morning that might shed some light on things. And it sounds awful. I won’t spoil it here, but go check out Bleeding Cool. Anyway, Wonder Woman seems involved not just in this book, but in most of the Superman line as “Truth” crosses over with at least four series. Technically I could list all of Super-books, really, but the solicits are all equally vague. If this is a story that piques your interest, just buy all the books.

Now to Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #12:

julysensation12

SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #12
Written by DEREK FRIDOLFS and MATTHEW K. MANNING
Art by TOM FOWLER, GEORGES JEANTY and KARL STORY
Cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
On sale JULY 15 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Diana’s visit to Paradise Island’s harvest festival is interrupted by monsters! Typhon, the last son of Gaia, is breaking free of imprisonment and his minions have already begun wreaking havoc. Help is coming from another woman with connections to the Earth Mother, but will Wonder Woman accept aid from Poison Ivy? Then, Batman sends Diana on a vacation in the mountains, hoping that “A Moment of Peace” will help her adjust to life in Man’s World.

The Fridolfs/Fowler story started digitally yesterday, and it is GREAT. So be sure to pick up this issue. It sounds like it’s going to be a good one, plus that Emanuela Lupacchino cover is pretty rad. She always does great work.

Wonder Woman is also front and center on the cover of Justice League #42:

julyjl42

JUSTICE LEAGUE #42
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by JASON FABOK
TEEN TITANS GO! Variant cover by DAN HIPP
On sale JULY 15 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
The epic “Darkseid War” event storyline continues with the critically acclaimed team of Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok! As Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor maneuver toward inevitable war, Wonder Woman leads the Justice League against a force that holds the answers on how to stop it – but the price might be Batman’s soul! Meanwhile, Mister Miracle faces off against a mysterious hero who has been fighting in the shadows for decades!

Wonder Woman is in the book every month, but I usually only spotlight it when she gets a good cover spot. I’m not reading the series, but from what I’ve seen of Jason Fabok’s take on her and her costume, I really like it. He seems to have a good grasp of the character. Also, in further spoiler news, it sounds like the Amazons may have a role in the upcoming “Darkseid War”, though not in a good way. Again, no direct spoilers here; head over to Bleeding Cool if you want to know what’s up.

Finally, Wonder Woman has a few guest spots lined up in July, but the one where she’s most prominently featured is Deathstroke #8:

julydeathstroke8

DEATHSTROKE #8
Written by TONY S. DANIEL and JIM BONNY
Art and cover by TONY S. DANIEL
TEEN TITANS GO! Variant cover by SEAN “CHEEKS” GALLOWAY
On sale JULY 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
“Godkiller” continues! Get ready for divine brutality when Slade’s contract on the Gods sends him smashing into combat against the one and only Wonder Woman!

The book is written and drawn by Tony Daniel, who spent some time with Wonder Woman when he helped launch Superman/Wonder Woman a while back. It’s not a terribly auspicious association with the character, and she looks oddly crazed here, but at least it’s nice to see Wonder Woman getting so much exposure in July. Weird she’s not in the new costume, though.

You better start saving up now to buy all these Wonder Woman comics in July! It could put a serious dent in your wallet.

Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #31 Review: “Return to Gaia” by Derek Fridolfs and Tom Fowler

April 23, 2015

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While it was fun to dive into Wonder Woman ’77 over the past few weeks, it’s nice to have Sensation Comics back again. With Wonder Woman ’77, you know you’re going to get an enjoyable Lynda Carter adventure, but every new storyline in Sensation Comics is a little bit of a mystery, and I like that. It’s sort of like the excitement of a new #1 issue, but on a regular basis, and that element of exploring something new is a good time.

It’s especially fun when you get a great story out of it, and such is the case with this week’s Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #31. It says a lot about this story that the description promises monsters and we don’t even get to see any of them but it’s still a good read. The issue is the first of a two-parter, so it’s a lot of build-up, but it’s build-up with fun characters in a story that’s set up for what should be an epic ending next week.

The book begins with some disturbances on Themyscira, and Wonder Woman and Hippolyta flying off to find the cause. Hippolyta is riding a pegasus, so the book starts off all sorts of rad. They find a group of Amazon soldiers wrapped up in roots, with an unexpected foe behind it all: Poison Ivy. There’s the usual superhero/supervillain posturing for a bit before Wonder Woman and Poison Ivy realize that they’re on the same team and that Gaia, the earth mother, is warning them that her son Typhon, the father of all monsters, is about to escape from the depths of the Earth. The book turns into a team-up, with Wonder Woman and Poison Ivy armouring up to face Typhon in next week’s conclusion.

Derek Fridolfs writing is strong, and his familiarity with the digital format really shows. He packs a lot into this issue without overcrowding the issue, and moves the story along well. I love having Poison Ivy on Paradise Island. She’s one of those villains that could conceivably pop up anywhere there are plants, really, and digging into her connection to Gaia via her plant powers was a very cool angle to take. Fridolfs writes a noble, heroic Wonder Woman and a menacing but ultimately amenable Poison Ivy; she’s tough, but there to fight for the Earth, not against the Amazons.

Tom Fowler’s art is fantastic, from the composition and page layouts to costume choices and expression. I’m not terribly familiar with his work, but his style reminds me a little bit of Paul Pope with maybe some George O’Connor mixed in, while still being very much his own thing. I think my favourite part of the art was the armour he gives Wonder Woman and Poison Ivy. Here’s a look at their headgear:

sensation31a

Poison Ivy gets decked out in an almost Groot-like battle suit made of tree materials. It looks strong and tough, like good armour should be, but I love how Fowler uses the tree forms to make the armour look cool, particularly with the hornlike branches on the helmet. It’s a killer design, plus she’s got big leafy wings too! It’s pretty bad ass all around. Wonder Woman’s armour is simpler, but elegant. It’s clearly a take on her Kingdom Come armour, aka. the chicken armour, but it’s more streamlined and minimal. It evokes it’s eagle inspiration without being a straight up eagle head. I think it’s gorgeous, and I’d love to see it more in other comics. The folks making the Wonder Woman would be wise to look at a lot of Fowler’s design choices here, really. He creates a great Themyscira, and all of the outfits look very sharp.

All together, I enjoyed this book a lot, and next week is going to be armoured Wonder Woman and Poison Ivy fighting Typhon, and I am totally on board for that. It should be a spectacular battle, and I can’t wait to see what Fowler does with the father of monsters. This story will be in the July 15 print edition of the book, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #12, so be sure to pick that up!

Convergence: Wonder Woman #1 Review OR Fangs For The Memories

April 22, 2015

conww1a

It’s Wonder Woman vs. vampires! Eventually, anyway. There’s a lot of set up here, and very little of it involves Wonder Woman doing fun Wonder Woman things. After a while, the 1970s Wonder Woman cast faces off against Joker and the vampire of Red Rain, and things get moderately interesting as the book jumps into the “Convergence” battle phase, where the various domed cities are pitted against each other in all out war. The issue is fine, but lacking the nostalgic fun that seems to be the core element of so many of the other “Convergence” titles. We’ll dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal pretty much everything that happens in this issue!

Who bites who, who shoots who!

Look away if you haven’t read this issue yet!

I think part of why I didn’t love this issue was because I’m not personally nostalgic for any of the universes involved in this particular storyline. I’m a Wonder Woman enthusiast, for sure, but the 1970s comics era of the character is pretty low on my list of favourite Wonder Woman incarnations. They tried a bunch of different angles then, none of which really worked, and it’s just a mishmash of things for me. It’s hard to be nostalgic for a mishmash, unless you grew up in that mishmash I suppose. I read it all over a couple days a few years ago, rather than looking forward to it month by month. As for Red Rain, I don’t really give a hoot about it one way or another; I don’t think I’ve ever read it, to be honest.

That’s not to say the book isn’t good just because it doesn’t match my particular nostalgia zones. Rather, my enjoyment of the book lacks the extra boost that nostalgia can bring. When a story is set in an era you’re a fan of and that you feel connected to, reading it comes with an inherent enthusiasm that can overlook average storytelling. Lacking any nostalgia at all for this book, I read it as it was and found it fine if a little bland.

I enjoyed Larry Hama’s take on Diana, especially her skepticism of the cult that believed angels were coming to rescue everyone from the dome. I was less impressed with Etta Candy; I think Etta’s smarter than to get wrapped in such nonsense like she did here. But I liked Hama’s Steve Trevor, and that’s rare for me. I usually just roll my eyes at Steve Trevor, so it was fun to have him treat Diana well and have some decently heroic inclinations here. It was a pleasant change of pace.

The problem with the angel cult storyline is that it takes up a lot of the issue, and I can’t imagine how it’s going to factor into the second issue seeing as most of the cult leaders have been turned into vampires now. There are a lot of pages of Diana and Etta at the cult, discussing it’s veracity and ultimately fighting with the cult leaders, and it seems like a big time investment for something that ultimately won’t matter. I suppose there’s a chance it will matter and my assumptions are way off the mark; we’ll find out next month. But as much as I’m not nostalgic for this era, I’d rather be enjoying some retro Wonder Woman action than getting involved in a random cult subplot. We’ve only got two issues here, so real estate is precious.

I will say that the lengthy cult storyline does have a fantastic payoff, one that’s almost worth the space it takes. The cult leaders are expecting angels to show up and save them, so when winged creatures arrive after the dome falls, they’re overjoyed until they see that they’re vampires, not angels. That’s a great, clever beat.

Once the vampires arrive, it’s about exactly what you’d expect. There’s some fighting, some taunts, and the various characters end the issue in precarious situations. Again, fine but normal, old school superheroing with nothing really new or interesting going on. It’s not bad in the slightest. It’s just straight down the middle, average and expected storytelling.

The art is decent, but somewhat underwhelming. I was really excited for Joshua Middleton, so my expectations were a little high. He does great covers, and I’ve enjoyed his art a lot in the past. His art here is as straight down the middle as the writing. It’s nice, and tells the story well. There are no bad panels or poor storytelling choices. It’s all okay, but just okay. There aren’t any cool or stunning panels, or layouts that make you go “Wow”. The colouring is pretty dull as well. Perhaps if Middleton had put a little more pop into the colours, the art would’ve had more impact.

All together, I wasn’t blown away with this issue by any means, but I didn’t hate it either. And I’ll admit, I’m a little bit curious to see what happens next month as Wonder Woman’s battle against the vampires begins in earnest. I doubt that it’s going to have a huge impact on “Convergence” in general, though I also doubt that “Convergence” is going to have a huge impact on DC’s comic book universe once the event is over. But Wonder Woman vs. vampire Joker might be fun. Middleton won’t be back next month, but Hama’s got some chops and the good moments in this issue have me intrigued to see how he finishes it off.

Convergence: Wonder Woman #1 Preview OR Under The Dome

April 21, 2015

I haven’t really been following DC’s “Convergence” event, so all I know are the basics. There’s some type of dome, and various heroes from DC’s past universes, and they’re all going to fight and then probably in the end work together to defeat whoever trapped them there. Brainiac, I think? The response to the first two weeks of “Convergence” tie-ins has seemed generally positive, partly because of nostalgia and the joy of having these characters back again but also because the books have apparently been pretty good. I haven’t gotten to my local comic shop yet to check out the few titles I’m interested in, but I’m glad that the reaction has been so positive. I had low expectations for a two month fill-in event, and now I’m excited to get reading.

The book I’m most looking forward to, of course, is Convergence: Wonder Woman, and it’s first issue is out tomorrow. Here’s a preview of the book, courtesy of Comic Book Resources:

conww1a conww1b conww1c conww1d conww1e conww1f

Generally speaking, I like to see Wonder Woman in a Wonder Woman preview, but there seem to be extenuating circumstances here. Has the dome taken Wonder Woman’s powers? Or are they doing that thing where she doesn’t have powers unless she’s transformed into Wonder Woman? Either way, it’s all Diana Prince so far. She’s shacking up with Steve Trevor (gasp!) and teaming up with cult enthusiast Etta Candy to help out elderly residents inconvenienced by the effects of the dome.

The cult angle seems like a weird choice here. With all of the past eras of Wonder Woman to choose from for “Convergence”, the 1970s Wonder Woman would have been at the bottom of my list to begin with, and having her deal with a religious cult is not exactly what I look for in a Wonder Woman comic. It could totally turn out cool, and I hope that it does. But on paper, I’m not really seeing anything that fans have been clamouring for like I am with Renee Montoya back as the Question or Cass and Steph back Batgirling. It all seems a little random, but there’s lots of story left to tell and I’m curious to see where it goes. The solicits keep saying vampires, though, which isn’t terribly encouraging.

The art here is okay, but not as exciting as I was expecting after enjoying Joshua Middleton’s covers for years. The colours are pretty flat and while the linework is decent enough, it’s hardly the best work that I’ve seen from him. I’m still looking forward to Diana going full Wonder Woman at some point, though, and I’m hoping things will be a little flashier then.

Convergence: Wonder Woman #1 is out tomorrow, and I’ll have a full review then. Check out the book online or pick it up at your local comic chop!

New Look At Wonder Woman’s Costume From Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Shows Actual Colours

April 21, 2015

When we got our first look at Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman costume for the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it was underwhelming to say the least. And brown. So very brown. Most people suspected that the photo’s colours had been manipulated and that the actual suit would be far less monochromatic, and that seems to be the case. We got a quick peek at the outfit in Bleacher Report’s recent video where basketball player DeAndre Jordan got to check out the new Batmobile, and now we’ve got a full picture:

wwmoviecostume

Colours! Colour makes me happy. I still don’t love the costume; it’s a little too soldiery for my Wonder Woman tastes, and I still hate that tiara. But I like the colour choices a lot and I think it looks much better not brown. Lord knows why they made the first image so ridiculously dull. I think the reaction would have been a lot more positive if they’d stuck closer to how the costume actually looks rather than washing it out so much. That weird skirt is growing on me, though, especially now that it’s actually blue like it should be, and the torso is a pretty decent Wonder Woman look. The boots could use a bit of colour too, instead of being all metal, but they’re still decent. I have very little faith that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be any good, especially after that god awful first trailer, but at least Wonder Woman should look sort of cool. Hopefully the movie isn’t so grey and dull that we barely get to enjoy these nice colours.

Wonder Woman’s Teen Titans Go! Variant Covers Coming In July 2015

April 20, 2015

DC Comics loves their monthly variant cover themes, but after June’s Joker covers caused quite a stir with a Killing Joke-inspired Batgirl cover, they’re going a little more family-friendly this time. July’s variant covers are all inspired by the hit animated series Teen Titans Go!, so the vibe is far more cute. Wonder Woman appears on several of the covers, starting with Wonder Woman #42 by Ben Caldwell:

titansww

I love this so much. Wonder Woman, the Cheetah, and Artemis living it up in the invisible jet is such a good time, and the art is adorable, from the Cheetah’s sharp teeth to Wonder Woman’s huge grin. I’m totally going to try to get this cover. It’s fantastic.

Next up is the variant for Superman/Wonder Woman #19 by Sean Galloway:

titanssww

Again, so cute. And I love that Wonder Woman is fighting the Cheetah while Superman, Cyborg, and Raven get ice cream. Superman’s going big, too, with a four scooper. Though maybe that’s for Wonder Woman, because she’ll be famished after that big fight.

Finally, Wonder Woman is part of the Justice League #42 variant cover by Dan Hipp:

titansjl

It seems that the Justice League is having a dance party while Darkseid looks on, probably jealous that he’s missing out on the fun. Wonder Woman’s busy lassoing Superman, and while she’s the only female character on the cover, that’s more the fault of the book’s line-up than of the artist.

After the Joker variant controversy, I think the only trouble DC might get into in July is someone thinking that these variant covers are reflective of what’s inside the book. The kid who picks up that adorable Wonder Woman cover and finds Amazons raping and murdering some dudes inside is going to be unpleasantly surprised. However, I’m sure most stores know how variant covers work, and will advise their clientele accordingly. Speaking of which, if you’re keen on any of these covers, talk to your local shop before they come out to reserve a copy.

Wonder Woman ’77 #6 Review: “Who Is Wonder Woman? Part 3″ by Marc Andreyko, Matt Haley, and Richard Ortiz

April 16, 2015

wonderwoman776

The final issue of this Wonder Woman ’77 arc ends with a bang as Wonder Woman faces a gang of some of her fiercest villains in a battle royale. Sort of. As the end of last week’s issue revealed, Dr. Psycho was behind the appearance of a new Wonder Woman and Diana’s apparent depowering, controlling her mind with some sort of fiendish apparatus. This week, Dr. Psycho’s still got some mental sway, but not enough to overcome Wonder Woman.

He conjures up a group of foes for Wonder Woman, including Giganta, the Cheetah, Silver Swan, and Cathy Lee Crosby’s Wonder Woman. After a few pages of fighting, Wonder Woman realizes that the villains aren’t real and wraps herself in her own lasso so that she can see what’s actually going on. What she finds is a fleeing Dr. Psycho, who she quickly nabs with her lasso, using it to make him think a legion of Wonder Woman zombies are after him. She returns him to prison, and then skips out on a date with Steve to instead relax in the tub. The gal had a long day.

The issue is a fun conclusion to the series’ second arc, and I was glad to see so many villains in the mix, even if they weren’t real. The first arc was just about Silver Swan, which was good and all, but it was cool to see classic villains like Dr. Psycho, Giganta, and the Cheetah worked into Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman universe. I always wondered why the TV show didn’t make more use of Wonder Woman’s classic rogues gallery, so it’s fun that we finally get to see Lynda Carter face off against them, even if it’s in comic book form nearly 40 years later.

The writing is strong throughout the issue, though necessarily sparse. It’s the big final fight, so there’s really no need for exposition or a lot of chitchat. I love the assortment of villains that Marc Andreyko picked, and that he focused so much on female villains. I also love that his Cheetah is Priscilla Rich, harkening back to her Golden Age incarnation rather than the Barbara Minerva incarnation that most fans are more familiar with these days. You’ve got to enjoy a deep cut like that.

Matt Haley and Richard Ortiz do a good job with the issue. They capture all of the villains well, and continue a strong and accurate depiction of Lynda Carter. That’s the lynchpin of the whole series, really. Wonder Woman HAS to look like Lynda Carter, or else what’s even the point? If she doesn’t, then it becomes just another Wonder Woman comic. Haley and Ortiz do a very good Carter here, giving us fans what we want most. I also like the subdued take on Dr. Psycho. He’s not deformed or creepy or over-exaggerated, a trap I’ve seen several artists fall into. Haley and Ortiz make him villainous without making him into some sort of crazed ogre.

Overall, this was a fun arc, and I’m excited to check out the collection of the first two arcs of Wonder Woman ’77 when it hits stores soon. It will be very cool to have some Lynda Carter Wonder Woman comics in print form. Digital is great, but for me there’s nothing like paper. It adds something to the experience, I find. I do sort of wish they’d print Wonder Woman ’77 and Batman ’66 on the old style, cheap paper though, just for fun, to capture the retro vibe even more. While I doubt it would be the best showcase for today’s modern art and colouring, it would be so cool. But modern paper is good too. Look for the Wonder Woman ’77 Special #1 in comic shops everywhere on May 6.

This might be it for Wonder Woman ’77 for a while, and perhaps forever depending on sales. It’d be great to see more, but I’m not sure what the plans are. Next week, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman is back, promising some monsters and a great Emanuela Lupacchino cover!


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