Posts Tagged ‘Andres Guinaldo’

Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #42 Review: “Nine Days, Parts 2 and 3″ by Karen Traviss, Andres Guinaldo, and Raúl Fernández

July 23, 2015

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The three part “Nine Days” wrapped in today’s Sensation Comics, bringing to a close a story that never seemed to find its footing. There was a lot going on, with Strife and Eris, two sides of the same goddess, interfering in diplomatic relations between two hostile, neighbouring countries, with Wonder Woman in the middle trying to negotiate peace. Despite the many factors at play, the results were entirely predictable. The goddess of strife caused strife, the cartoonish leaders of each nation both reacted as you’d expect over one getting oil and not the other, and Wonder Woman literally had to throw them in a room together and make them sort out their differences. Oh, and there was sort of a fight in the middle.

When the reader knows how the broad strokes of a story are going to play out after the first installment, it’s not a particularly enjoyable read. If you’re going to follow an abundantly obvious formula, it better be the best version of that formula ever put to paper, or in this case to the screen, or the reader is going to be bored. We all know that superheroes are going to win in the end; that’s a given. But writers have to set up real stakes beyond that, invest the reader in the outcome of every character, and throw some twists and turns in along the way. “Nine Days” failed to do any of that.

The story’s awkward art only made things worse. It wasn’t terrible, but things never looked quite right to the point that it became a constant distraction, especially with Wonder Woman. For example, Guinaldo and Fernandez gave Diana oddly shaped glasses that never seemed to sit properly on her face. As Wonder Woman, her bangs shot off at odd angles in a way that gave her a bit of a mullet vibe. Little things like this added up to make the art an unpleasant reading experience. Combined with the obtrusive narration and a hit and miss colouring job, the book left a lot to be desired, visually.

I don’t want to keep going on about how this was a badly put together story because it’s not bad in an offensive way, just subpar across the board, so it’s nothing worth getting worked up over. I don’t really have anything nice to say about it, so I’m just not going to say anything more. The full story will be out in print form in September, so if you didn’t read it digitally, check out the book and see if you agree or disagree with my assessment! Sensation Comics will be back with a new storyline next week with what looks to be an Earth 3 crossover, the evil Superwoman vs. our favourite Amazon.

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Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #42 Review: “Nine Days, Part 1” by Karen Travis, Andres Guinaldo, and Raúl Fernández

July 9, 2015

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First off, things got busy last week and I didn’t have a chance to write a review of Sensation Comics #41, the finale to “Our Little Dance” by Adam Beechen and José Luis Garcia-López. It was fine. If you read the first issue, the second issue concluded about how you would expect. Wonder Woman had a big fight with the Cheetah, things got crazy for a bit, and ultimately Wonder Woman won. The tone at the end was perhaps a bit more cynical than you’d expect in a Wonder Woman comic, but the fight played to Garcia-López’s strengths and ultimately it was all a decent enough story.

Now we’re back on track, review-wise, with a new three-parter by Karen Travis, Andres Guinaldo, and Raúl Fernández. Three-parters are always tricky because if you don’t love it, you’re stuck with it for three weeks either way. With a bad one-shot, you’ll get something new next week. Not so with the lengthier tales. Unfortunately for me and my next two Thursdays, the first issue of “Nine Days” didn’t do much for me.

This issue had a lot of set-up, as one would expect from a part one, but it was lengthy and involved and barely showcased Wonder Woman at all. This version of Wonder Woman has a day job as the Themysciran ambassador at the United Nations, and she’s been asked to help settle a conflict between two bickering neighbour countries because Themyscira is a neutral party. Both countries have different things going on, and it’s even more complicated by an oddly dual Strife/Eris secretly getting involved in the process for yet to be disclosed reasons. This isn’t the whacky, cruel, yet delightful Strife from Azzarello and Chiang’s recent Wonder Woman run, but instead a completely different take on the character. I don’t know that it was wise to go this route with the fantastic job Azzarello and Chiang did with their Strife still fresh in everyone’s mind.

The structure of the book was a little offputting as well. Narration from the goddess Nyx runs through the entire story, often creating a bothersome back and forth where you read a panel’s narration, then the dialogue, then it’s a new panel and you’re now wrapped up in the dialogue and you go back to the narration and have to remember what she was talking about, and then back to the dialogue and you’ve got the same problem again. I find dual storytelling like that irksome unless very well handled, and this all came off a bit muddled.

The art was fine, with hints of something better that never really went anywhere. There were big, cosmic scenes with lovely bits to them, but they didn’t add up to anything particularly wowing. Also, how an artist draws Wonder Woman is usually a big factor in how I judge their work, seeing as she’s the star of the book, and while we got a fair amount of Diana, Wonder Woman didn’t have a lot to do here. I did like what little I saw, and I’m hoping that we’ll get to see Wonder Woman in action next week.

The art wasn’t at all helped by the colouring, which alternated between flat and sort of garish. The everyday scenes were dully coloured, while anything more colourful often involved unpleasant contrasts and a colour palette that just didn’t work. Excellent colour work can often elevate average art, but bad colouring can really bring down a book, and there was too much of that here.

Ultimately, nothing was really terrible in this issue, but nothing was particularly good. There are two more issues to come in this storyline, and while I hope that things pick up I’m also somewhat concerned that it’ll all play out rather expectedly. I feel like the first issue telegraphs how the rest of the plot will unfold; things will go bad for Wonder Woman in the second issue and probably end in a dramatic cliffhanger, and then she’ll fix everything up in the finale. Fingers crossed for twists and turns and some fun surprises, though. Two issues is a lot of space to turn things around after a ho-hum start.

Wonder Woman’s September 2015 Covers and Solicits, Plus Green Lantern Variants

June 19, 2015

Wonder Woman is keeping busy yet again in September. It’s nice to have Wonder Woman showing up in a variety of books as of late. While the quality of these books may be hit and miss, more books means a higher likelihood of good stories. A couple years ago, Wonder Woman had just one book, and if you didn’t like it you were hosed for the month. Now she’s got four books, and every fan should be able to find something they like in at least one of them. So let’s see what Wonder Woman is up to in September.

First up is Wonder Woman #44; here’s the regular cover and a variant cover celebrating Green Lantern’s 75th anniversary:

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WONDER WOMAN #44
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and JONATHAN GLAPION
GREEN LANTERN 75 Variant cover by TERRY DODSON and RACHEL DODSON
On sale SEPTEMBER 16 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Wonder Woman is on the trail of Donna Troy, who seeks refuge in London from both Diana and her past. But a new friend may be more trouble than help for the fleeing Amazon outcast!

Strife! I enjoy Strife, so to see her shadow on the cover is a good sign. Whether the Finches’ can do her justice is a whole other question, but Strife brings some potential for fun, at least. Also, Donna Troy is on the lam and Diana makes a new friend, which isn’t a terribly exciting solicit, but hey, Strife!

What I really want to talk about is how rad the Dodsons’ variant cover is. I love that it’s Green Lantern month but the Dodsons stuck him way in the back and just focused on Wonder Woman looking cool in her invisible jet. The Dodsons drawing Wonder Woman is always a good time, and I’m glad that DC’s constant variant lines bring them back to the character on a regular basis.

Next up, Superman/Wonder Woman #21 and it’s Green Lantern variant:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #21
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by PAULO SIQUEIRA
GREEN LANTERN 75 Variant cover by JOE QUINONES
On sale SEPTEMBER 16 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US RATED T
The epic “Truth” arc hits close to the heart as dark secrets come to light, forcing Superman and Wonder Woman to question whether their relationship can work in this new world of identities revealed and questionable actions.

That costume doesn’t do a whole lot for me. I feel like the god of war’s outfit should be cooler; more bad ass than warrior hobo. The solicit isn’t giving us a lot to go on, which has been the case ever since the “Truth” storyline began. They keep teasing us with a possible break up, but it’s turning into the boy who cried wolf at this point.

However, the variant cover is a lot of fun! Sometimes the variant covers are the only enjoyable part of Wonder Woman’s mainline books. A lot of times, lately. It’s been fun to watch Joe Quinones blow up over the past year, and I like his Wonder Woman a lot.

We’ve also got Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #14:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #14
Written by KAREN TRAVISS
Art by ANDRES GUINALDO and RAUL FERNANDEZ
Cover by NEI RUFFINO
On sale SEPTEMBER 16 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
It takes “Nine Days,” the gods say, for an anvil to fall to Earth from Olympus. But what happens when it strikes the world of men? Nyx, primordial goddess of night, is indifferent to the fate of the mortals below when she decides to teach her daughter Strife a lesson. Diana has nine days to step between two warring factions of godhood and stave off a disaster for those caught in the crossfire.

It looks like we’ve got another three parter digitally, which will comprise a whole print issue. That’s always a bit of a risk for an anthology book. If the story isn’t great, it’s all you’re getting! But Sensation Comics has been far more hit than miss, and Karen Traviss is a really good writer. The story sounds like a lot of fun, and I’m excited to check it out.

Finally, Wonder Woman co-stars in DC Comics Bombshells #2:

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DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS #2
Written by MARGUERITE BENNETT
Art by BILQUIS EVELY and STEPHEN MOONEY
Cover by ANT LUCIA
1:25 Variant cover by KEVIN WADA
On sale SEPTEMBER 2 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Wonder Woman defies her mother’s orders and attempts to break Captain Steve Trevor out of his prison cell on Themyscira. But to accomplish this, she’s going to summon a little help from the deep in the form of Mera, Princess of Atlanta. Meanwhile, in Russia, two new heroes are about to be created to serve the Soviet Union: Supergirl and Stargirl!

Wonder Woman and Mera are teaming up for a prison break, so this issue sounds like the best thing ever. Also, I’m assuming that Mera is the Princess of Atlantis, not the Princess of Atlanta like the solicit suggests, unless they’ve radically changed her origin story. I’m intrigued that there are new artists on board. I love Marguerite Sauvage, but rotating artists could be cool too. I’m looking forward to this book a lot.

Look for all of these comics this September in comic shops and online!


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