DC Super Hero Girls Begins To Roll Out With Wonder Woman Front And Center

October 5, 2015


Last week, the first webisode for DC Super Hero Girls debuted. It’s the first step in what’s going to be a massive line of media and products targeted towards young female fans; there’ll be shows, there’ll be books, there’ll be dolls and Lego and action figures. The plan sounds impressively comprehensive.

The first short serves as a welcome to superhero high:

While Wonder Woman isn’t in the main part of the webisode, she’s prominently featured in the show’s opening credits alongside Supergirl, Batgirl, Poison Ivy, Katana, Bumblebee, and Harley Quinn, so I imagine that she’ll have a big part to play in things moving forward.

USA Today got a first look at some of the DC Super Hero Girls merchandise, and Wonder Woman is definitely involved in that. Mattel is making doll and action figures, and here’s a sneak peek at the Wonder Woman doll, with Supergirl:


Chances are she’ll be part of the action figure line as well. DC Super Hero Girls is set to have a big presence at New York Comic-Con this weekend, so I expect we’ll see a full line up of everything soon. The dolls look cute, and I really like that they’ve got bendable limbs. My sister’s Barbie’s always had straight limbs and you couldn’t do a lot with them, playingwise. With more points of articulation, you can do rad superhero poses. Lisa McKnight, Mattel’s senior vice president for marketing, said that the dolls have “really strong, athletic physiques and have great qualities and represent female empowerment,” which is a great way to approach the line.

I also like that despite several tweaks to the costume, Wonder Woman is still definitely Wonder Woman. She’s got her tiara and her lasso, her silver bracelets, and the red boots, along with the classic colour scheme. I think kids will be really into it.

And just for fun, the DC Superhero Girls website has a personality quiz to determine “which Super Hero Girl is most like you?” I took the test and got Poison Ivy. At first I was bummed that I didn’t get Wonder Woman, but then I realized that of course I’m not Wonder Woman; I’m someone who writes ABOUT Wonder Woman. Poison Ivy’s description says, “You excel in school and don’t mind homework because information is knowledge in your book,” so yeah, that’s about right. It’s a pretty accurate quiz!

Keep your eyes peeled for more DC Super Hero Girls merchandise as the roll out continues, and stay tuned to NYCC coverage for full reports on everything there. And of course buy tons of it, maybe for yourself but also for all of the kids you know!

Wonder Woman ’77 #12 Review: “Celsia 451, Part 3” by Marc Andreyko and Cat Staggs

October 1, 2015


The second arc of this new round of Wonder Woman ’77 wrapped up today, concluding what has been the book’s best storyline so far. It’s like the whole team got together and decided to fix some of the issues that held back previous arcs. Instead of starting a story with one issue of fantastic arc and then closing out with two issues that weren’t as good, this arc brought in Cat Staggs to draw every issue and she provided consistent, great artwork throughout. Rather than relying on a formulaic three act structure of intro, small fight, big fight, writer Marc Andreyko took a new tack, throwing in the Atomic Knights at the end of last week’s issue for a fun twist that really mixed things up. Plus they kept the one thing that’s always worked like gangbusters: Nicola Scott’s’ fantastic covers.

The end result was a very enjoyable storyline, and a solid final issue this week. With the Atomic Knights in the mix, there was a lot going on. Wonder Woman was trying to capture Celsia, Celsia was trying to kill a senator, and the Atomic Knights were supposed to kill Wonder Woman AND Celsia. But the Atomic Knights weren’t monolithic; one of them had a conscience and refused to attack Wonder Woman. So there were a variety of players with different motivations, all fighting it out. It made for a much better read than a typical, simple Wonder Woman brawling with a bad guy finale. Andreyko had a lot of balls in the air, but made it all work.

I also enjoyed how everything was resolved. Wonder Woman is a hero who knows the difference between a real criminal and a misguided person who’s been wronged and is lashing out. I always like when Wonder Woman takes the time to understand the latter instead of just punching them out and carting them off to prison. Celsia did end up in prison, put on a much better path now that Wonder Woman ensured she would get justice for everyone harmed in the nuclear meltdown. It’s not hard to imagine a future where Wonder Woman stayed in touch with Celsia, and perhaps even sponsored her parole down the road and helped Celsia use her powers for good.

Another fun bit was Steve Trevor showing up only after Wonder Woman had sorted out everything. Friggin’ Steve Trevor. That guy is comically useless.

Cat Staggs finished the arc with yet another lovely issue. She had a lot to balance with so many players involved in the final battle, but she laid out everything with clarity and style. It was fun to see more of the Atomic Knights, too. I really like their design. Plus there was some laser deflecting from Wonder Woman with her bracelets! You know it’s a fun time when Wonder Woman is using her bracelets to deflect shots. Staggs has done fantastic work over this arc, and it was great to have an artist of her caliber onboard for the full story.

The previous Wonder Woman ’77 arcs weren’t bad by any means, but they were a little generic. “Celsia 451” broke out of the formula, and had consistently strong art to boot, leading to the book’s best storyline yet. Both of the last two arcs are collected in print in Wonder Woman ’77 Special #2, which came out yesterday. The special also includes a Halloween one-shot drawn by Jason Badower, which will be released digitally next week. Sensation Comics returns after that, unfortunately with its final storyline. It should be great though, with Trina Robbins writing! We’re set for an excellent few weeks on Wonder Woman digital fun, but that might be it for a while.

13′ Statue Of Gal Gadot As Wonder Woman Unveiled, Will Be Released In March

September 30, 2015

With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice now less than six months away, the merchandising machine is starting to ramp up, and today DC Collectibles announced a new piece. It’s a 13 inch resin statue of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in her movie costume, created by James Marsano, and it will be available this March for $150. It looks pretty nice, too, and Yahoo! Movies has an exclusive first look:


I want one! I doubt I’ll get one because that’s a lot of scratch, but still. It’s very lovely. It’s a solid likeness of Gadot, the costume looks good, and the colours are nice and bright. I’m really enjoying this costume outside of the film; in normal, real world light it looks great. It’s just in Zack Snyder’s desaturated cinematic world that it starts to look dingy.

The statue is part of a larger line; DC Collectibles announced some Batman and Superman statues from the film a couple of months back, though who cares about those dudes? Wonder Woman is where it’s at. Batman and Superman statues are like 90% cape anyway. You’re getting hosed. Plus Wonder Woman has majestic hair. And a sword! She makes for a far superior statue, for sure.

Anyway, start saving your pennies, for this statue and for the rest of the Wonder Woman merchandise onslaught that will hit us in the new year. It should be a lot of fun.

Sales For Wonder Woman Up 8% In August, Superman/Wonder Woman Up 6%

September 29, 2015


Wonder Woman #42 had a terrible July, tumbling almost 20% in the second month of DC’s mini-relaunch, while Superman/Wonder Woman #19 slipped down as well, falling 8%. But looking at the August sales numbers, things have improved for both series.

After selling 36,668 copies in July, Wonder Woman came in 39th place on the charts in August with 39,646 copies sold, an increase of 8%. Superman/Wonder Woman sold 36,666 copies in July, but came in at 41st place on the charts in August with 38,834 copies sold, an increase of 6%. Nothing substantially changed for either book; Wonder Woman had Ian Churchill on art, but the change was announced so late that I doubt the ordering was affected in any significant way. Superman/Wonder Woman had the exact same creative team, and both books continued their storylines that began with DC’s mini-relaunch in June.

Taking a look at the DC books around Wonder Woman on the chart, we see a similar trend. The Flash was up 11%, Action Comics rose 10%, and Green Lantern jumped 8%. Such consistent gains for these titles suggests something else is at play. It’s not that folks are suddenly getting interested in Wonder Woman’s current adventures, so much as there was a uniform gain for DC’s titles.

This may be a course correction as retailers try to figure out how many of each books to order, seeing as they’re just a couple of months into the mini-relaunch. Perhaps they under-ordered everything in July, and then increased all of their orders in August as they searched to find the right purchasing level. That might have had some influence on the sales numbers, but I think it was probably minimal.

Instead, I think the real source of these gains were the Bombshell variant covers, where DC heroes are drawn like World War Two era pin-ups. These covers are wildly popular, so much so that they’ve spawned their own series, DC Comics Bombshells (which premiered HUGE in August with 59,253 copies sold, an epic debut for a digital first series), as well as tons of merchandise. The second round of Bombshell variants ran in August, on all of the titles listed above, and so it seems likely that retailers upped their orders to get more of the covers for their enthusiastic customers.

Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #13 went without a variant cover, and dropped 4% to 10,175 copies sold. The book’s not long for the world now, with only four print issues left, and the low sales are a significant reason why. For some reason, all of these character-based digital-first book, like Legends of the Dark Knight and Adventures of Superman have petered out around this point.

Ultimately, the variant cover boost was a big help for Wonder Woman’s two mainline titles, but I doubt that the Green Lantern 75th anniversary variants in September will be quite as impactful. It’ll be interesting to see what next month’s numbers bring, and it should give us a better picture of where Wonder Woman’s books stand with readers.

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – December 2015 Solicits: 24 Women On 19 Books

September 28, 2015


For the first time in so long that I can’t even remember when this happened last, Marvel has more female creators in their solicits for a given month than DC. DC has had the better numbers for ages, but since their mini-relaunch in June their totals have dropped considerably. Marvel’s been up and down over this span, so their strong December total isn’t so much the result of consistent growth as it is just an abnormally good month. Nonetheless, there are some positive signs for more consistently good numbers moving forward. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at Marvel this December:

  • Amy Reeder: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #2 (co-writer, cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Silk #2 (variant cover)
  • Brittney Williams: Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat! #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Gwenpool Special #1 (variant cover), Starbrand & Nightmask #1 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2 (art and cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: A-Force #1 (writer), Ms. Marvel #2 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool Special #1 (interior art)
  • Helen Chen: Silk #2 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Max Ride: Ultimate Flight #2 (writer)
  • Kate Leth: Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat! #1 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Angela: Queen of Hel #3 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat! #1 (variant cover)
  • Ming Doyle: Spider-Woman #2 (variant cover)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #2 (interior art)
  • Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – Lady of Shadows #4 (co-writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Secret Wars #9 (variant cover)
  • Sophie Campbell: Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat! #1 (variant cover)
  • Stacey Lee: Silk #2 (interior art)
  • Stephanie Hans: Angela: Queen of Hel #3 (interior art, cover)
  • Tula Lotay: The Vision #2 (variant cover)
  • Vanesa Del Rey: Scarlet Witch #1 (interior art)
  • Veronica Fish: Howard the Duck #2 (art, variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Carnage #3 (variant cover), Invincible Iron Man #4 (variant cover), Karnak #3 (variant cover), Max Ride: Ultimate Flight #2 (cover), Starbrand & Nightmask #1 (cover)

All together, there are 24 different women set to work on 19 different books in December, a big jump from November’s 16 and 10. It’s also more than DC’s 20 and 18, respectively, this December. It’s not more by a lot, but it’s big considering how long Marvel’s been lagging behind DC.

In terms of the potential longevity of these number, there are some good signs. Kate Leth and Brittney Williams are launching Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat!, which looks absolutely delightful, while G. Willow Wilson is relaunching A-Force and Vanesa Del Rey is on Scarlet Witch. They join a variety of other relatively new titles with female creators in the mix, upping Marvel’s regular female creators ranks considerably.

At the same time, 7 of the women listed above are doing variant covers, which is only a one-time gig. Moreover, 9 of them are solely cover artists, main or variant, meaning only 15 women are actually doing work inside the comics. It’s great to have women drawing covers, but it would be nice to have more of them involved on a story level as well.

December is a great month for female characters, though. As I mentioned, Patsy Walker, Scarlet Witch, and the gals of A-Force all have new books. Also in the mix are a Gwenpool special, some ladies on the team books All-New Inhumans and Uncanny X-Men, and Mary Jane Watson appears set to become a big player in Invincible Iron Man. It’s been good to see more and more female characters in key roles over the past couple months of Marvel’s relaunch.

Overall, December looks very good for women at Marvel, real and fictional, and it will be interesting to see what January brings. If they can continue to add female creators to their regular ranks at the rate they’ve been going since the relaunch began in October, these numbers could stay steady and even improve. Inconsistent gigs like variant covers still make up a lot of Marvel’s female representation each month, but continuing these great variant covers with an ever-growing base of women working inside the books will bode well for Marvel’s numbers in the future, if they can keep it going.

Cover Revealed for Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette’s Wonder Woman: Earth One Graphic Novel

September 25, 2015

Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette’s Wonder Woman: Earth One has been in the works for several years now, and yesterday Harpy revealed the book’s cover for the first time. Let’s take a look:


And here’s the official synopsis:

From the masterful minds of Grant Morrison (FINAL CRISIS, THE MULTIVERSITY) and Yanick Paquette (SWAMP THING, BATMAN, INC.) comes the most provocative origin of Wonder Woman you’ve ever seen — a wholly unique retelling that still honors her origins.

For millennia, the Amazons of Paradise Island have created a thriving society away from the blight of man. One resident, however, is not satisfied with this secluded life — Diana, Princess of the Amazons, knows there is more in this world and wants to explore, only to be frustrated by her protective mother, Hippolyta. Diana finds her escape when Air Force pilot Steve Trevor, the first man she has ever seen, crashes onto their shores. With his life hanging in the balance, Diana ventures into the long forbidden world of men. The Amazons chase after her and bring her back to Paradise Island in chains to face trial for breaking their oldest law…staying separated from the world that wronged them.

Thought provoking yet reverent, thoroughly modern but still timeless, the power and courage of Paradise Island’s greatest champion — Wonder Woman — is introduced in this new addition to DC’s New York Times best selling Earth One original graphic novel series.

The cover is just okay for me. The pages that have been released look gorgeous, with clever layouts and lots of little fun details. This is plainer than I expected; I would have preferred something with a little more design to it rather than just a straight image.

They’ve tweaked the costume some, but not overly so. Basically, they just went more literal with it than usual, changing the classic eagle breastplate into something a bit more ornate and then continuing that look into the belt. Regular readers will know how I feel about tweaks to the tiara, though. I don’t see a star there and that bums me out a little.

What I really liked about the cover is everyone in the background. There’s Hippolyta and perhaps Philippus in the top left, and it looks like Donna Troy and Cassie Sandsmark, or at least people who look a lot like them, are in the mix too. And maybe Artemis with the red hair in the bottom right?

The chains look to be a reference to the bondage imagery common in the early years of Wonder Woman. Morrison’s seemed very focused on that in all of the interviews he’s done for the project, though he’s focused more on the kinky, sexual aspect than the matriarchal, female superiority message behind the bondage. I’ve been worried about how that will affect his vision of Wonder Woman. The kink is a part of it, for sure, but there was so much more going on with the bondage when William Moulton Marston originally wrote the book.

Anyway, I’m curious about this book but a little wary. I’m not a huge Morrison fan; he has a tendency to just burn everything down and do his own thing that I usually don’t enjoy. But Paquette is killer, and I’m sure the book will look great. Amazon has it listed for release this April, but that could change. It’s been delayed several time already. Hopefully it will keep on track and be available then!

Wonder Woman ’77 #11 Review: “Celsia 451, Part 2” by Marc Andreyko and Cat Staggs

September 24, 2015


Middle issues are probably the trickiest part of a comic arc to write. In the first issue, you set the stage and introduce everyone, in your last issue you have your final battle and resolve all of your plotlines, but the middle issue can sometimes feel like treading water. You’ve already done the setup but you can’t get to the conclusion yet. Wonder Woman ’77 hasn’t been great with middle issues; the book often falls into the usual formula of a minor battle with the primary villain leading to a “shocking” cliffhanger. But this week, the team mixed it up with enjoyable results.

There was still a battle with Celsia, the big bad, that was fairly typical middle issue fare. She attacked a party to capture a man who was behind a nuclear meltdown, Diana Prince quickly turned to Wonder Woman, and fighting ensued. All of that was fine, if a little typical. But then the end got interesting. Celsia escaped with her target and Wonder Woman gave chase, and I expected another skirmish leading to a conclusion where it appeared that Celsia had the upper hand, only to have Wonder Woman defeat her in next week’s issue.

But instead, someone else showed up! And provided less of a cliffhanger and more of a “Whaaaaaat?” moment. Marc Andreyko went for a deep cut here, bringing in the Atomic Knights to wrangle Celsia. Originally, the Atomic Knights were post-apocalyptic warriors who appeared in a regular feature in Strange Adventures in the early 1960s. They’ve been brought back a few times since then, but rarely for long. Andreyko’s clearly left behind the post-apocalyptic angle, moving them into the 1970s, but owing to the final page reveal, details about them are sparse.

And that’s what makes this a good middle issue. In all of those middle issues where the villain is about to defeat the hero, we know it’s going to turn around in the finale. Those cliffhangers lack any kind of punch, and telegraph the final issue. But here, with a new, obscure team brought it at the end of Wonder Woman ’77 #11, I have NO idea what’s going to happen next. I know they’re working for some guy who was at the party, but I don’t know if they’re good or bad, how Wonder Woman will react, or what their relationship is to Celsia. The finale is wide open now, and that’s the best way to go into a conclusion. Kudos to Andreyko for the fun curveball.

Also, Cat Staggs deserves a lot of credit too for selling the heck out of that final page reveal. The original Atomic Knights were kind of goofy, just some folks in irradiated armour riding big dogs around. Later incarnations have been all slick and modern. Staggs takes a new tack, making them look cool and suitably atomic while maintaining the 1970s sensibility. The costumes are something I could totally see on an old TV show, but a rad one with a great costume designer. They’ve got a great colour palette as well, the glowing logo makes for a cool look, and the overall effect results in an intriguing introduction:


With such cool costumes, I want to know all about them, and I’m excited to see more of them next week.

Staggs and colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr. do a nice job with the rest of the issue as well. I particularly liked Celsia’s fire and ice powers, both in terms of how they look on the character and how they manifest when she shoots them out. It’s a good looking issue all around.

While most of this issue is a fairly run of the mill middle issue adventure, the surprise at the end elevates the entire book and has me very curious about what’s going to happen next week. I’m glad to see Andreyko break away from the typical formula, and with the Atomic Knights looking so cool next week’s issue should be a fun read.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 693 other followers

%d bloggers like this: