Archive for the ‘WW Miscellany’ Category

New Wonder Woman Movie Trailer Explores Her Origins

March 13, 2017

A new trailer for Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman debuted this weekend, and I’m happy to report that the movie is still looking great. We got a lot of new footage in this one, including a decent amount of time spent on Themyscira, and I really liked a lot of what I saw. Now, of course, this is the DCEU; good trailers don’t necessarily mean good movies. But so far, Wonder Woman has been hitting it out of the park and that has me cautiously optimistic about the film.

Warner Bros. describes the video as the “Origin Trailer” and thus we got a good look at the Amazons. They remain super bad ass and cool, and I like the design of the island and the Amazons themselves a lot. We also get some flashbacks, including a peek at a young Diana who is just adorable:

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I’m hoping we get a few scenes with her because she seems cute and fun.

Little Diana is staring at the “god killer” sword there, and I do remain irked at how much attention the sword is getting. Wonder Woman’s never been a character who wields a sword until very recently; she’s got a golden lasso that she’s rather famed for, and I wish that’s what young Diana was eying rather than a sword. To me, sword fighting just isn’t who the character is. But I was pleased to see the lasso play a key role as the trailer progressed, including this rad takedown:

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Hopefully Wonder Woman’s real weapon gets its due throughout the movie as well.

On top of that lasso scene, we got a bunch of other cool action shots too. I think Wonder Woman is going to have some epic fight scenes. Everything we’ve seen so far looks very cool, and Wonder Woman’s fighting scenes in Batman v Superman were easily the most entertaining part of that movie. All of the action clips we’ve seen thus far in Wonder Woman trailers look exciting and well-shot, and it’s going to be a blast to see the full scenes.

One thing I’m particularly glad to see every trailer has included is humour, and this new one is no exception. Gal Gadot’s fish-out-of-water Diana shtick looks like it should be entertaining, Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor seems good for some wisecracks, and Lucy Davis’ Etta Candy looks like she’s poised to steal the whole show. I liked her trying to dissuade Diana from carrying her sword in public:

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The humour in DCEU movies hasn’t been great, at all, and it’s nice to see some genuinely funny bits  are coming with Wonder Woman.

Finally, the trailer appears to confirm the daughter of Zeus origin story. Hippolyta ominously tells Antiope that Diana “must never know the truth about what she is,” which sounds like it might be a Zeus-related secret given this lightning display later on in the trailer:

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I don’t care for the Zeus origin at all. I much prefer the clay origin, in which no men are involved and Diana’s origins are distinctly female and feminist. Making her a demigod who gets her powers from a man is boring, dumb, and kind of misses the point of the character. I’m hoping it’s not a huge point of focus for the movie, and that Zeus doesn’t come up too much.

So yeah, Wonder Woman looks pretty great. And in ways that seem to be addressing how DC’s other movies have been not at all great, which is encouraging. This could be really cool. And we’re less than three months away now! Can you believe it? Wonder Woman’s finally getting her own movie! And just when we need her the most.

Happy International Women’s Day AND A Day Without a Woman!

March 8, 2017

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Today is International Women’s Day, a day to recognize the achievements of women everywhere while also acknowledging the systemic oppression they continue to face across the world. As always, I’m celebrating International Women’s Day with the women that I’ve written books about: Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, and now Catwoman!

All three women could definitely get behind this year’s official theme on the International Women’s Day website, which is #BeBoldForChange. They explain:

Each one of us – with women, men and non-binary people joining forces – can be a leader within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity. Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over.

The United Nations celebrates International Women’s Day as well, and their theme for the year is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.” The UN has a variety of goals for their 2030 Agenda, including:

  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and Goal-4 effective learning outcomes.
  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they are ready for primary education.
  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

It’s a bold list, to be sure, and one very much worth pursuing.

This year, the folks behind the fantastic Women’s March last January are getting in on the International Women’s Day fun as well by holding “A Day Without A Woman” to recognize the value of women. It’s a three pronged event which you can support in these ways:

  • Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
  • Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
  • Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

Some people can’t take the day off, of course, which is why it’s great to see that they’ve got a solidarity option. Wearing red is a clear and simple way to express your support for women across the world, and our three comic book heroines are definitely on board.

Wonder Woman’s been wearing red since her very first appearance in 1941. It’s her go-to color choice for bustiers and boots, as we can see here at the end of her debut in All-Star Comics #8:

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Lois Lane’s commitment to wearing red goes back even further, to her own first appearance back in 1938. She was wearing red at the office when Clark Kent asked her on a date:

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And she was wearing red later that evening when a goon tried to dance with her. She wasn’t in any mood for it; she didn’t even want to be out with Clark, much less have some other dope get all up in her space:

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While Wonder Woman and Lois Lane have been showing solidarity for ages with their red outfits, Catwoman’s never been much for red. She’s worn a lot of black and purple, and even green and orange at times, but red has never been her primary color. She has used it for accessories, though. In Batman #210 in 1969, Catwoman debuted a new pair of red goggles:

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The outfit didn’t last for long, but the red has recently returned to the lenses of her goggles, as we can see on this cover from last year’s Catwoman #48:

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She’s subtle about it, but Catwoman’s on board for “A Day Without a Woman” too!

Happy International Women’s Day everyone, and cheers to all of the women participating in today’s general strike as well as all of those who can’t but who are nonetheless showing their solidarity!

Wonder Woman Movie’s Mattel Figures PLUS Build-a-Figure Revealed at Toy Fair

February 21, 2017

Toy Fair 2017 was this weekend in New York City, and it provided us our first official look at Mattel’s upcoming Wonder Woman movie action figures. We saw some action figure/doll hybrids last week that were very cool, but these are the official 6 inch action figures that are part of DC’s larger “Multiverse” line. And they look good! There are only four of them plus a larger “Collect & Connect” figure you can build with parts that come with each of the primary figures, but there is some fun stuff in the mix.

Let’s take a look at them, thanks to the excellent reporting of Toy Ark; it’s my favourite toy news site, and their coverage of Toy Fair was great as always this year. We’ll start with Diana on Themyscira:

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We’ve seen a blurry picture of this toy before, which didn’t do it justice. This one looks very cool, and is a solid likeness of Gal Gadot. Plus it’s got a lot of points of articulation, which should make her easy to position in rad action poses. The only accessory appears to be a sword; I’d like to have seen a lasso as well. But still, I like it.

Next up is Wonder Woman in a cloak:

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I’m guessing that they did this cloaked figure because the “Multiverse” line has already released a standard Wonder Woman figure as part of their Batman v Superman run. Rather than duplicate that, it seems that they decided to go with this slightly different take. I understand the why of it, but this is sort of weird figure. The cloak is going to get in the way of doing anything cool with it, and it doesn’t appear to be removable. It’s kind of a bummer that they went this direction with the only proper Wonder Woman figure in the line; I’m worried this is going to be the trench coat Batman of the line, i.e. the figure every store in America has 472 of because NO ONE buys it since it’s just a superhero in a coat.

Hippolyta, however, looks amazing:

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First, how great is it that we’re getting a Hippolyta action figure? Plus she’s dual weaponed! We get a sword AND a spear. The sculpt looks great as well, and the cloak doesn’t seem nearly as cumbersome as Wonder Woman’s. I’m excited to pick this one up, and for Connie Nielsen’s Hippolyta in general; I can’t wait to see her on the big screen!

Next up, good old Steve Trevor:

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I remain underwhelmed by the texture, coloring, and all around look of this figure. It feels too action figure-y, if that makes any sense. The rest have a touch of realism to them, but this one looks kind of flat all around. I’m glad we’re getting a Steve, I just wish it was a little more detailed and capture Chris Pine a bit better.

Finally, all of the parts included with each figure add up to Ares:

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This is our first decent peek at how Ares will look in Wonder Woman, and it’s not bad. It’s got touches of the classic, Perez-style Ares with the darker, more ominous angle that’s characterized the DCEU movies thus far. I don’t know if I love the helmet, but I can see how it might look cool on the big screen. I’m curious if there’s a face in there or if it’s all just helmet. The figure also comes with a red sword and a shield, which is fun. Though in my mind, Ares should have a proper long cape; I’m too steeped in Perez comics not to want to see that!

So overall, it’s a cool line. Diana and Hippolyta are the standouts for me, and the Ares is kind of cool. I’m not sold on the cloaked Wonder Woman and the Steve is a bit underwhelming, but they could both still be cool. Only four figures is a bit of a letdown, though. Perhaps we’ll see more in another wave. I’d love to get an Etta Candy, and the movie’s take on Dr. Poison looks rad and action figure worthy. Keep your eyes peeled for the figures; they should start to hit stores later this spring.

More Wonder Woman Movie Toys Revealed, And They Look Super Fun

February 15, 2017

We got an illicit look at a couple of action figures from the upcoming Wonder Woman film a couple weeks back and they were intriguing, but now we’re getting some official images of upcoming Wonder Woman toys. And they’re kind of awesome! Mattel’s got a full line that looks to be a mix between and action figure and a Barbie; the figures are poseable and have the joints you’d expect from an action figure, but also have the hair and clothes you usually get with a doll. Entertainment Weekly had the first look at the toys, and let’s run through them now.

First up, we’ve got a fully armored Wonder Woman:

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I don’t know that the resemblance to Gal Gadot is spot on, but it kind of looks like her. And getting the full array of weaponry is very cool. I’m definitely interested in this one.

Next is Diana in her Themyscira garb:

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This one is fun as well. Also, I’m impressed with the braid; I hope it holds, because if it comes undone I have no idea how to rebraid it! The bow looks a little dinky in terms of scale, but arrow shooting action is pretty rad.

This one is a lot like the first one:

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But without all the extra stuff? It’s a cheaper, bare bones figure, I guess. It does retail for $5 less.

Next up we get Diana in her formal wear:

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This is from the scene in the trailer where she has the sword hidden in her dress, and apparently you can do the same with this figure. Glamorous AND dangerous!

Hey, there’s one with a majestic horse:

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It looks like the first figure, plus a cloak and a dang horse! This might be the best deal of the bunch, really. You get the Wonder Woman figure and all of the accessories as well as a cool horse for her to ride on. It’s only $29.99 too; that’s a deal. I proclaim this the bargain of the bunch!

Hipployta’s got a horse too:

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Hers is white, and also majestic. She’s also got her own unique weapons and armor, just like Connie Nielsen in the movie. This is pretty rad. I love that there are going to be Hippolyta toys! And even better, she looks really cool. I may end up getting the horse pair, really. Mother daughter horse adventures!

Finally, a two pack:

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Steve and Diana, in their island garb. Chris Pine’s even got a wool turtleneck. And it looks like the Diana figure is a version of that second figure, but with a cloth outfit, which is neat. I like this set.

Entertainment Weekly also lists a bunch of accessories you can get, like a sword, Nerf bow and arrow, and a tiara. They are probably kid sized instead of grown up sized, which is a bummer; the sword looks rad. But that’s how toys go. Dang kids, getting all the fun.

With Toy Far just around the corner, I expect we’ll see even more of the Wonder Woman toy line this weekend, including the rest of the action figure line we got a peek at two weeks back. I’m going to go broke, gang. There’s just too much cool stuff.

Two Mattel Wonder Woman Movie Figures Revealed, Plus a Spoiler for the Film

February 3, 2017

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I love action figures. When I am a fan of something, I buy every associated action figure I can because they are just so much fun. Young Tim had a slew of Star Trek figures, somewhat less young Tim got nearly all of the Lord of the Rings movie figures, and now my current self has been saving money specifically to go nuts on all of the upcoming Wonder Woman movie figures and merchandise. I. AM. PSYCHED.

And now, we’ve got a sneak peek at two of the figures in Mattel’s upcoming line from the movie, courtesy of Twitter user @ablouzada. The pictures aren’t great, but they do the job. Let’s start with Gal Gadot’s Diana:

wwfigure1This one’s called “Diana of Themyscira” and it gives us Diana in the golden Amazon outfit we’ve seen her sporting in the trailer. It looks like it comes with a sword and her lasso; while I’m not thrilled with her sword being so front and center in her DCEU incarnation, I’m glad the lasso has remained a big part of the character too. This looks like a decent figure, and one I’ll definitely be picking up (obviously). I assume we’re going to get Diana in her Wonder Woman outfit as well, which is rad because it’s rare to get two takes on Wonder Woman in an action figure line. We may even get three! I wouldn’t be surprised to see a “Diana Prince” figure with her in her 1910s England outfit.

Next up is Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor:

wwfigure2First let me just say, as an action figure enthusiast, that outfit is weak sauce. Add some texture and some different colours, Mattel! Having collected Lord of the Rings movie figures, my standards are high; those things are epic with texture and colour. This Steve Trevor feels a little dull and plasticky. I know he literally is plastic, but still.

Anyway, he’s got a rifle and maybe something else? Perhaps a bag of some sort? I can’t tell if the item in the upper right goes with him or the larger figure you can assemble. It might be the head that goes with that torso. Back to Steve, this isn’t the best picture, but all in all this one seems a little underwhelming. Hopefully it’s nicer in person.

And now, the spoiler you may have noticed already: Each figure comes with a piece of a larger figure that you can connect and build, and the resulting giant figure is Ares. I can’t remember if Ares’ role in Wonder Woman has been officially confirmed or not, but it’s been leaked and expected for a while. And now we know for sure.

So, what else might we expect in this line? It’ll probably consist of five or six figures, and we’ve only got two of them. I’m hoping for an Etta Candy, but I’m not holding my breath. And a Dr. Poison or a Hippolyta would be awesome. Knowing how toy companies work, we’ll probably end up getting more dudes, perhaps whoever Danny Huston is playing along with someone from Steve’s gang. Time will tell. Toy Fair is in a couple of weeks, and I’m guessing that the full line will make their debut then. I’m excited to find out who we’ll get! And then to go broke buying them all.

RIP Pete Marston, the Son of Wonder Woman Creator William Moulton Marston

January 19, 2017

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Moulton “Pete” Marston, the son of Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston and Elizabeth Holloway Marston, passed away on Tuesday. He was 88 years old. Aside from his parental connection to Wonder Woman, in recent years Pete had become well known in the fan community for his Wonder Woman Museum, comprised of a massive collection of memorabilia. Some items were old treasures from Pete’s own collection, but he was an avid collector as well and assembled a wide array of new material. Currently, there are nearly 4,000 items housed in the Wonder Woman Museum at his home in Bethel, Connecticut.

Outside of his impressive Wonder Woman collection, Pete spent most of his working years as a realtor, and he also built and renovated homes and worked in a variety of construction trades. He spent time in the merchant marine as well. Pete is survived by his wife, Olive Louise Marston, two siblings, three children, and five grandchildren.

A note from Pete’s brother Byrne in his official obituary offers an inside peek at Pete’s role in early Wonder Woman comics:

My brother Pete was always a man of enormous imagination. As a kid, he was a dreamer. When we were teenagers our dad, who was often under pressure to produce scripts for his Wonder Woman superheroine, offered $100 to anyone writing a usable scenario for a Wonder Woman episode. Though $100 was a fortune at that time, Pete was the only one of us who could dream them up.

Pete seemed to have had a good relationship with his father. On top of pitching plots for Wonder Woman, Pete also left Harvard in the mid-1940s to return home and help care for his father. William Moulton Marston had polio and cancer, and passed away in 1947. It’s lovely that Pete created such a testament to his father’s creation with his Wonder Woman Museum. The museum is also a testament to the women who raised him; Pete’s mother, Elizabeth, gave Marston the idea to create a female superhero, and the Marstons lived in a polyamorous relationship with Olive Byrne, who raised the kids (Marston had two with each woman) and also inspired key elements of Wonder Woman’s look and personality.

Regrettably, I never got the chance to interact with Pete directly, though his daughter Christie was a great help when I was researching Wonder Woman Unbound and I know that Pete had a big hand in the materials that she sent me and the recollections that she was able to share. By all accounts, he was a kind and warm man; everyone who visited the museum (a guest list that included Lynda Carter herself!) seemed to come away with an appreciation and affection not just for its myriad wonderful items but also for the man who assembled it all.

My deepest condolences to the Marston family during this sad time, and I hope that their grief is tempered somewhat by the knowledge that Pete lived a long and interesting life and that he’s remembered so fondly by Wonder Woman fans the world over. In lieu of flowers, Pete would like to have donations in his memory sent to the Bethel Police Benevolent Association (PBA), P.O. Box 169, Bethel CT 06801.

Wonder Woman Is No Longer An Honorary UN Ambassador, And That’s Some BS

December 13, 2016

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A month and a half ago, Wonder Woman was named an Honorary United Nations Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls in a special ceremony in New York City. The event tied in with the character’s 75th anniversary and was a big to-do all around; it marked the beginning of a great initiative to empower girls all over the world, and Lynda Carter, Gal Gadot, and Patty Jenkins were all on hand to celebrate Wonder Woman’s appointment. Current Wonder Woman artist Nicola Scott also drew a gorgeous piece that was used as a key part of the new campaign. It was all very lovely, and there was talk of big plans for Wonder Woman and the campaign throughout 2017. Then yesterday, news broke that Wonder Woman was out as an honorary ambassador.

Many have pointed out that honorary ambassadorships tend to have a short shelf life; a climate change campaign earlier this year that featured one of the Angry Birds barely lasted two days. But most articles seem to be placing the blame for Wonder Woman’s removal on a group of UN staffers who started a petition against her appointment. The October ceremony itself was protested, and the petition went on to gather nearly 45,000 signatures. The petition said in part:

Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent “warrior” woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots –the epitome of a “pin-up” girl.

Now, I can see their point on certain issues. Superheroes are very much an American genre, and making a white woman bedecked in elements of American symbolism the face of a global initiative isn’t without its issues. She’s become a global symbol over the decades, with her upcoming film set to push that even further, but I understand that at first glance people might just see her star spangled outfit and white skin and decide she’s a poor fit for a global issue.

However, “at first glance” is the key phrase here. This is a petition written by some ill-informed folks who appear to have done little more than google image searched Wonder Woman and perhaps scanned her Wikipedia article for a second. Beyond the American imagery, Wonder Woman is very much a citizen of the world who represents the values of the United Nations. She’s not even American; she’s an immigrant. And her superhero domain is global. She’s not Spider-Man, swinging around New York City all the time. Wonder Woman’s adventures constantly take her all over the world. Moreover, she’s actually been a UN ambassador in the comics, making her an ideal icon for the organization.

And the “large breasted,” “thigh-baring,” “pin-up girl” angle is just foolishness. While there have been incarnations of Wonder Woman that depicted her in an exaggerated, overly sexualized manner, that is most definitely not the core of the character. Especially right now, with Bilquis Evely, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp drawing Wonder Woman. And as much as there have been occasional rough patches with the art, the public’s image of Wonder Woman is more based in adaptations. Lynda Carter brought grace and elegance to the character and her costume, while Gal Gadot brings a regal strength. These characters aren’t real; they are only what we make of them. And by choosing to focus on poor depictions of Wonder Woman and describing her in these terms, the authors of this petition are reducing the character solely to her physical appearance and completely missing who she is and what she means. It’s a disappointingly sexist angle and wholly uninformed.

(Also, Tinkerbell was named an honorary UN ambassador a few years back without protest and her costume covers the same amount of area as Wonder Woman’s, so come on).

The United Nations is currently in the midst of some controversy about female representation, with a man being named the next Secretary General yet again, and people there are understandably irked. But this is the wrong place to channel that frustration. Of all the stands to take in the face of real world sexism, taking down a fictional character who’s inspired fans for decades seems rather silly. Wonder Woman is THE female superhero. She’s an icon of feminism and female strength and power. Regardless of the degree that this petition affected the end of her ambassadorship, it’s sad that the petition exists in the first place and that it’s getting increased attention now. Wonder Woman is a great character and her honorary ambassadorship was a fitting, exciting appointment, and it’s just disappointing that it’s over so soon.


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