Archive for the ‘WW Miscellany’ Category

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:

Photographer Dennis DiLaura Stylist Mary Jordan

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:

Photographer Dennis DiLaura Stylist Mary Jordan

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:

Photographer Dennis DiLaura Stylist Mary Jordan

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:

Photographer Dennis DiLaura Stylist Mary Jordan

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:

Photographer Randel Urbauer Stylist Lin

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:

Photographer Dennis DiLaura Stylist Mary Jordan

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:

Photographer Dennis DiLaura Stylist Mary Jordan

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.

Cover Reveal For New Wonder Woman YA Novel, Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

November 14, 2016

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We can all add another fun Wonder Woman property to our 2017 calendars! On top of the Wonder Woman movie coming out in June, there’s also a YA novel starring a young Diana set to hit bookstores on August 29, 2017. It’s called Wonder Woman: Warbringer and it’s written by Leigh Bardugo, the New York Times bestselling author of Six of Crows. You can see the lovely cover above, and here’s a description of the book with some comments from Bargudo, courtesy of Bustle:

“Diana means so much to so many people,” Leigh Bardugo tells Bustle. “That’s definitely daunting, but it’s also why I took on this novel in the first place—because I love her, too.”

In Bardugo’s tale, Diana is a girl on a mission to prove herself to her warrior sisters. But when the opportunity arises, she throws away her shot at glory and breaks Amazon law to save a mortal — a mysterious girl named Alia Keralis. But as Diana will quickly learn, her brash act could lead the world to doom and destruction.

Because what Diana doesn’t know is that Alia is a Warbringer, a direct descendant of Helen of Troy, and she is fated to bring about bloodshed and misery. Diana and Alia must stand together against their enemies — some of whom to destroy Alia; others who want to claim her for their own.

“I was brought on to tell my version of Diana’s evolution as a hero, and it’s been pretty thrilling to try to pull that off,” Bardugo says. “I don’t really think it’s about taking liberties, because there’s a varied canon already. I came to the project knowing I wanted to keep some essential elements of Wonder Woman lore intact, and that I wanted to preserve the strength and kindness at Diana’s core. But I also knew I had my own story to tell and my own spin I wanted to put on her mythology.”

I’m certainly intrigued. We’ve had a few comic book stories lately with a teen Diana that have been a lot of fun; James Tynion IV and Noelle Stevenson’s fantastic Sensation Comics tale springs to mind, as does Wonder Woman: The True Amazon. And, of course, the many Silver Age adventures of Wonder Girl. Bardugo seems to be doing her own thing here, which I’m down for. Wonder Woman’s canon is in disarray as of late, and I’m curious to see what she brings to the table in terms of establishing a new take on Diana for prose readers.

The mythology angle sounds fun, too. Diana tends to work well with a mortal buddy, and Wonder Woman facing off against destiny should be a blast. I’m excited to see her defend her new friend and prove the fates wrong. Wonder Woman’s not the type to just bow to some vague curse; if she believes in someone, she’ll have faith that they can overcome whatever past and baggage they’re saddled with, and that could make for both a good read and a good message.

I’m not familiar with Bardugo’s work, though I’m certainly going to check out a few of her books now in advance of Warbringer. The last time I did such a thing was when Gwenda Bond was announced as the writer of a Lois Lane YA novel, and that certainly worked out spectacularly. I tracked down her earlier work and enjoyed it immensely, and then her Lois novels were amazing. Fingers crossed that Bardugo’s work is just as fun. I know that Bond and several other writers I follow speak very highly of her work, which is a great sign.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer won’t be out for a while yet, but you can pre-order it now if you’re a keener. It looks like it’s going to be a fun way to cap off the summer; I’m certainly looking forward to kicking back with the book on Labour Day weekend and enjoying some Amazon fun.

Lynda Carter was on Supergirl Last Night, and it was THE BEST

October 25, 2016

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The second season of Supergirl has been off to a great start on The CW, continuing all of the joy and brightness of its first season. There’s nothing I love more than happy superheroes, and having Supergirl and The Flash on back-to-back nights is such a delightful way to start the week. The move to The CW hasn’t been entirely painless, though; Calista Flockhart is no longer a regular cast member, and her Cat Grant was a key part of the first season. But Supergirl has been working hard to counter her absence with an array of new, rad female characters, including the President of the United States, played by television’s first Wonder Woman. Lynda Carter.

It’s always great to see Lynda Carter, and having her on a female-led superhero show is just perfect. Even more perfect: Her character’s name is Olivia Marsdin, in what has to be a subtle shout out to William Moulton Marston and Olive Byrne, the creator of Wonder Woman and his live-in partner who influenced Wonder Woman’s creation. It’s a nice nod to Wonder Woman’s roots, and the first of several such references.

Also, a female president is timely given the current American election. Doubly so given that Supergirl observes, “How did anyone even vote for that other guy?” It seems that in both our world and the world of Supergirl, a woman ran against some dude who couldn’t hold a candle to her.

President Marsdin comes off well throughout the episode, and she definitely espouses the kindness and acceptance we’d expect from a former Wonder Woman, particularly in her Alien Amnesty Act. Earth is lousy with aliens on Supergirl, and the President wants to give them the same rights that humanity enjoys. And she’s got a big fan in Supergirl, who loves her from the get-go. Her excitement before meeting the President is straight up the cutest, and her affection for the President only grows after they meet. When Supergirl is excited about someone, you can’t help but like them even more.

Wonder Woman fun was sprinkled throughout the episode. When President Marsdin talked to Hank about her Amnesty Act and said, “I can think of no better time than the present to extend our hand in friendship,” my mind immediately leaped to this panel from Wonder Woman #25 in which Gail Simone penned what’s become a classic Wonder Woman line:

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I might be reading too much into the line, but it sprang to my mind instantaneously when I heard Lynda Carter say it.

We also get a classic spin move! When an angry alien bent on attacking the President lit Supergirl on fire, she put herself out with a spin:

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In what is clearly a reference to Wonder Woman’s iconic quick change spin move:

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And, in my very favourite moment of the entire show, after Supergirl mentions how cool it was to see Air Force One, the president replied:

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I mean, come on. How great is that?

Now, it wasn’t all fun and games with President Marsdin. But first:

SPOILER ALERT!!!

The end of the episode revealed a hidden side to the President. Namely, it looks like she’s an alien, with some shapeshifting abilities; her entire face distorted for a second into a distinctly non-human guise. She could be an alien double impersonating the President, or maybe the President’s been a deep cover alien all along! Either way, that’s definitely going to spell trouble. I’m curious to see where this startling reveal goes.

END SPOILERS!!!

President Marsdin wasn’t the only fun new character on tonight’s Supergirl. It was a cavalcade of awesomeness throughout the entire show: Mon-El finally woke up, Detective Maggie Sawyer popped in and had INSTANT chemistry with Alex, and Miss Martian revealed herself at the end of the episode. This season of Supergirl is adding a slew of fun new supporting characters, and I love the direction it’s going in.

I’m not sure when we’ll see Lynda Carter back on the program again. So far, I don’t think a return date has been announced, but given that reveal at the end of the show, I think it’s a safe bet that she’ll be back. Hopefully they’ll fit even more fun Wonder Woman references into that episode, too.

Wonder Woman Named Honorary UN Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls on her 75th Anniversary

October 21, 2016

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Happy 75th anniversary, Wonder Woman! On or about 75 years ago today, Wonder Woman debuted in All-Star Comics #8 in a brief story written by William Moulton Marston with art by H.G. Peter. The story introduced the utopian Paradise Island, home of the mythical Amazons who departed the world of men thousands of years ago because of the constant greed and wars of men. When an American pilot crash landed on the island, Athena and Aphrodite told Queen Hippolyte that an Amazon champion must be chosen to return him to America and help the Allies fight the Axis forces of tyranny. Diana, princess of the Amazons, became this champion, and the world’s most famous heroine was born.

Since then, Wonder Woman’s become a beloved icon the world over. As the best known female superhero in a genre dominated by men, she’s been the go-to favourite for generations of girls who grew up seeing her in comics and television shows. She’s a feminist icon as well. Wonder Woman was created to demonstrate the superiority of women, and embodied the strength inherent in women that Marston contended would soon lead to a matriarchal revolution in America. She later became a mascot of the women’s liberation movement when Ms. Magazine put her on its first cover in 1972, and she’s spent decades teaching her fans to be strong, kind, and brave.

In recognition of Wonder Woman’s iconic status, the United Nations celebrated Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary today by naming her an “Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls.” Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was on hand for the event, as were DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson, TV’s original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter, and star of the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, Gal Gadot. Both Wonder Women spoke at the ceremony, with Carter proclaiming that “Wonder Woman lives in every woman,” and Gadot saying that “Wonder Woman is a fighter, better than most, but it’s what she fights for that is important.”

The role is a good fit for Wonder Woman, who worked at the United Nations in the comics starting in Wonder Woman #204 in 1973. Here she is getting a job as a linguist from a dude who clearly wished one of the other, less dowdy gals was more qualified. Ah, sexism. Wonder Woman’s constant foe:

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As Wonder Woman, she’s made several comic book appearances at the UN in the decades since to speak about global issues and advocate for peace.

And now she’s a UN Ambassador for real, as part of their “Stand Up for the Empowerment of Women and Girls Everywhere” campaign. The program seeks to speak out against discrimination and limitations on women and girls, work against gender-based violence and abuse, support full and effective participation and equal opportunity for women and girls in leadership in all aspects of life, including the workplace, ensure all women and girls have access to quality learning, and celebrate women and girls who have and are making a difference every day. You can learn more about the campaign and what you can do to help at the United Nations website.

I think that Wonder Woman is a great choice to be the face of this campaign. Some have taken issue with her honorary appointment, arguing that her small outfit and her exaggerated proportions in certain incarnations make her a poor role model for young girls. But Wonder Woman has been inspiring women and girls for decades, and at her core she represents all of the values the campaign seeks to promote. There is a power in Wonder Woman that resonates all over the world, and it often serves to bring out the best in those who admire her and all she stands for.

With a great comic book on the stands and a movie on the horizon, it’s a fantastic time to be a Wonder Woman fan, and her UN appointment is a cherry on the top of what should be an excellent 75th year for Wonder Woman. All of the celebrations and attention are much deserved, and it’s wonderful to see that yet another generation of young fans will be inspired by Wonder Woman moving forward.

 


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