Posts Tagged ‘Ares’

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.

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.

Wonder Woman #14 Review: The Grand Finale of “Year One”

January 11, 2017

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It’s been so long since we’ve had an in-continuity Wonder Woman story that was this good. Outside of continuity, there have been some great Wonder Woman tales over the past few years; The Legend of Wonder Woman was amazing, while there were some absolutely stellar issues of Sensation Comics over the course of its run. But in terms of the proper mainline Wonder Woman title itself, things haven’t been great for a while now. There were cool moments here and there, but the book has lacked a sustained start to finish arc that tells a good story and captures the essence of who Wonder Woman is, what she means, and why she’s important. Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott have given us such a tale, and it’s been a joy to read each issue. Today’s finale was a fitting close to the arc, one that stands on its own as a distillation of the heart of the character while also tying into everything else going on in “The Lies,” “The Truth,” and “Godwatch.” Let’s dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal all of the details in this exciting conclusion!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

Also, go read it! It’s really good!

When we last left our intrepid heroine, the god of war had appeared at the military installation where Wonder Woman was staying, and he seemed to be in a bad mood. His poor attitude wasn’t terribly surprising; Ares is known to have a rather foul disposition. But now we know what he was after: He wanted the location of the home of the Amazons, and he was going to take it by force if he had to.

Wonder Woman wasn’t interested in force, however. She battered Ares around a bit initially, but then took a different tack, and the scene that ensued captured everything I love about Rucka and Scott’s approach to Wonder Woman. First, she realized that fighting the god of war WITH war, i.e. confronting him directly and violently, wasn’t going to end well for anyone. He’s war incarnate, after all. He’s very good at it. So instead, she decided to talk to him, and supplicated herself before him.

Second, she then appealed to what is best in Ares. She didn’t insult him or try some kind of trickery. Instead, she gave him an honourable out when she told him, “Show us thine courage in mercy.” Wonder Woman recognized his power and offered him a way to use it that would make him look good while avoiding any bloodshed. It was a tactical move on her part, to be sure, but it also showed how Wonder Woman sees the best in everyone, understands their potential for good, and tries to help them achieve that. She met Ares on his own terms, and tried to turn him onto a path that would be for the good of all, himself included. And she was willing to humble herself to do so.

Third, Wonder Woman gave herself up for her friends. Kneeling before Ares is kind of a terrible idea. Exposing herself to the god of war, defenseless, could easily have taken a grisly turn. But she was willing to take that risk, put herself on the line, and trade whatever she could in order to find a peaceful solution to what could have been a violent conflict that endangered her friends. Her new friends, at that, and beyond. She barely knew Steve, Etta, and Barbara, and she’d been exposed to the evils of this outside world, and still she was willing to give herself up to keep them, and the wider world, safe.

Fourth, when all else failed and Ares didn’t get what he wanted, Wonder Woman knew how and where to hit him. She didn’t punch him, thus avoiding playing the game on his terms. Instead, she wrapped him in the lasso of truth and used its power to defeat him. Interestingly, while the lasso has retained its classic truth revealing elements in this incarnation of Wonder Woman, its added something new: Understanding. Wrapping themselves in the lasso is how Diana, Steve, Etta, and Barbara overcame their language barrier. It united them in a manner that allowed them to understand each other perfectly, despite their many differences. It may seem a little corny, but I absolutely love a story in which truth and understanding is the weapon the hero uses to defeat hate and war.

The rest of the issue was fun as well. Athena stepped in and revealed Ares’ fiendish master plan, so Wonder Woman and Steve went off and took care of that with ease. This resulted in another great scene for Diana; she was overcome with anger while fighting a group of terrorists and almost gave into a murderous impulse, but then she wrapped herself in her own lasso and the truth steeled her against the power of Ares’ lies. The fun continued in other ways as well, with the Etta/Barbara romantic subplot developing nicely, and for readers interested in some male eye candy, Nicola Scott had a lot of shirtless Steve Trevor in this issue. There was something for everyone, really. And the issue ended with a nice nod to Wonder Woman’s past, with an array of newspapers naming her “Wonder Woman” using different fonts that harkened back to the scripts used on the covers of Wonder Woman over the course of the series’ history.

All together, it was an excellent conclusion to a fantastic run that will go down as one of the best Wonder Woman stories of all time. It was well written and absolutely gorgeous, and it set the tone for who Wonder Woman is and what she means in today’s world. With such a good beginning, I can’t wait to see what’s next. Bilquis Evely, who drew the wonderful Barbara Ann Minerva standalone issue, is taking over the art for Scott on the new arc, “Godwatch,” a transition so perfect that it lessens the blow of Scott’s departure considerably. Wonder Woman‘s going to be good for a while, gang. It’s exciting times.

Wonder Woman #12 Review: The Penultimate Issue of “Year One”

December 14, 2016

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Unsurprisingly, “Year One” continues to be a joy to read. Between the four previous main issues and the special Barbara Ann Minerva outing, this storyline has resulted in one of the best Wonder Woman runs in recent memory, and perhaps of all time. Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott are in top form, and they’ve captured something in Diana that’s been missing for several years, even before the New 52 relaunch. While Wonder Woman #12 is perhaps the least exciting or interesting issue of “Year One” thus far, that’s only because it’s been preceded by such amazing issues; it’s still extremely good. Let’s dig into it, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal all of the things that happened in this issue!

Go read it first!

You’ll like it!

Let’s start with how this issue didn’t work as well as past outings for me. It was chock full of discussions of the Sear Group, what their objective might be, and who is behind them. Like, in depth. It took up most of the issue. Wonder Woman even interrogated the terrorists with her lasso to find the real truth of what was going on. It was all fine, but it was also a lengthy, involved set up. Then the book ended with the reveal that Ares and his destructive ways were behind it all. The thing is, of course he was. Dudes are wantonly killing innocent people in a Wonder Woman origin comic book? It’s going to be Ares.

Also, and more annoyingly, he’s on the cover. That’s what you call a dead giveaway. I don’t mind the cover revealing who the issue’s villain is going to be; it’s nice to know who your hero will be facing off against. But when you’ve got 19 pages of your characters wringing their hands over who this villain could possibly be and then you set up you final page like it’s some kind of shocking reveal, maybe don’t put the bad guy on the cover. Because when you put him on the cover, the issue’s investigation becomes less of a compelling putting together of the puzzle pieces and more of a “Dang, when are these dopes going to figure this out. We already know it’s Ares.” Devoting an entire issue to characters figuring out something the reader already knows and making it seem like this is a rad cliffhanger is not the best storytelling.

But despite the anticlimactic conclusion, this was still a good, enjoyable issue. I mean, it’s as gorgeous as ever. Nicola Scott is doing the best work of her career, and Romulo Fajardo Jr.’s color work is just spectacular. I’ve enjoyed his work for years; he brings such texture and depth to the page. And with this detailed coloring on top of Scott’s fantastic, clean linework, the pages just sing. In particular, the double page spread of Wonder Woman flying, lifting tanks, and deflecting bullets is so joyous and lovely. It all looks amazing.

Scott excels at expression as well, especially in subtle moments. There’s a scene in which Barbara Minerva and Etta Candy discuss the poetry of Sappho, an ancient Greek poet from the island of Lesbos who is the root of the terms “sapphic” and “lesbian.” When Etta mentions that she’s “quite familiar” with this poetry, there’s a glance between the woman that is small but so telling. There’s a sense of a secret being communicated between them, along with a hint of flirtation. The text suggests it, but the looks we get from Etta really sell it.

Also, I think we’ve got a queer Etta Candy? How fantastic! And perhaps a queer Barbara Minerva, if her flustered response to Etta’s flirtation is any indication. But a queer Etta seems pretty clear here. Which is very cool, and fitting for the character. If you go way back to the Golden Age, Etta was the head of a bondage-heavy sorority that, given William Moulton Marston’s association of bondage with sexual pleasure, had queer implications between the lines. She was straigt throughout the Modern Age, and was with Steve Trevor for most of it, but the New 52 Etta is a completely different character and they seem to be taking her in a new direction.

We also get a confirmation of Wonder Woman’s queerness that was very good to see. Much has been made of the article in which Greg Rucka confirmed that his Wonder Woman was queer, but many fans, myself included, noted that while it’s great to publicly say so, it needs to be in the text as well. If it’s not canon, it can easily be ignored or undone. This issue gives us that canonical confirmation when Steve asks Diana if she left anyone “special” behind when she left her home, and Diana responded that she’d left someone named Kasia. It’s not the bold confirmation that some folks were hoping for, but the implication is pretty clear. Still, great as this is, I hope that Rucka continues to keep Wonder Woman’s queerness part of her story. Something a bit more direct wouldn’t hurt to help cement this aspect of her character.

Overall, this was an enjoyable outing that, while not perfectly executed, was still a delight to look at and a fun read despite its overly telegraphed conclusion. It also sets the arc up for what should be an exciting finale next month. Ares seems to be spoiling for a fight, and Wonder Woman’s been exploring her powers with Steve, so this could be quite a battle. I’m curious to see what form as takes. As much as the issue dug through the Sear Group and what they were up to, we still don’t know much about Ares other than that he doesn’t care for Amazons. Perhaps there’s something larger at play that will tie into “The Lies” and “The Truth” or perhaps the dude’s just a straight up hater and Wonder Woman will punch him out. Whatever the case, we’ll find out next month!

Wonder Woman Footage From Last Night’s “Dawn of the Justice League” Special

January 20, 2016

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The CW aired a look at DC’s upcoming movie slate last night, hosted by Kevin Smith because for some reason Warner Bros. thinks that Kevin Smith is someone that people want to listen to? I don’t know what was up with that. We got more footage from each of this year’s new releases; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice still looks pretty dumb and Suicide Squad still looks intriguing. I’d be far more interested in the latter than the former, if Wonder Woman wasn’t in the former, looking so dang cool.

Speaking of which, they showed a few seconds of Wonder Woman footage from the upcoming film currently shooting in England! And it looked pretty good, too. Here’s the full clip of their Wonder Woman segment:

And here are most of the key moments in GIF mode:

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There weren’t a ton of details in the footage, but it all looked cool. I thought that the foggy, wooded scenes were maybe Themyscira, but I’m pretty sure it’s just England, given the dudes in the mix on the horses. Plus, they JUST cast Hippolyta, so I doubt they’ve even shot any Themyscira scenes yet. There’s a fight scene with some soldiers that was very fun, and Diana is classy and fun in her old school garb and glasses. Gal Gadot really does look great as Wonder Woman all around. All of the snippets of footage we’ve seen of her in Batman v Superman and Wonder Woman have been fantastic.

We got some insight into how they’re approaching the character as well. Her film is going to be an origin story, though we didn’t get information about which one; rumours are it will be her New 52 origin, but everyone was vague. Gal Gadot said of the film, “We’re gonna see her coming of age, the entire history, what’s her mission,” so it should establish her roots pretty solidly, whatever they may be in this incarnation.

On the Amazons, Geoff Johns explained that:

The Amazons were once created to protect man’s world but they since abandoned it, and Diana is asking constantly, “Why don’t we go do what we were created to do and protect man?” and they say, “Because they’re not worth it.” And this takes her on a journey into our world.

Which I have mixed feelings about. The “created to protect man’s world” thing isn’t something we haven’t seen a lot. It was sort of an angle in the George Perez era in the 80s, but there was more too them then that. And “they’re not worth it” feels overly simplistic; the Amazons always leave the world of men under unpleasant, complicated circumstances. I may be reading too much into a brief and obviously heavily edited snippet, but I don’t think that Johns captured the essence of the Amazons well there.

Johns also doubles down on the martial angle we’ve been seeing with her constant sword wielding:

She’s an Amazon warrior, she’s the best fighter in the DC universe. She has strength and speed and she’s been training her whole life for war.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love an ass kicking Wonder Woman, but there’s so much more to the character than that. Luckily, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins gets it:

The greatest thing about Wonder Woman is how good and kind and loving she is, yet none of that negates any of her power.

High five to Patty Jenkins for GETTING IT. This was the most encouraging bit of the segment for me. I love that the film has someone at the helm who understands that Wonder Woman is more than just a warrior, and that love and kindness are her primary motivations. I feel like that bodes well for the movie.

Also, Chris Pine remains a delight. I didn’t love his casting originally, but he is SO on board with making Wonder Woman the awesome hero he should be. In all of his press lately he seems excited and proud to get to be a part of the film, and in the special he said, “Telling a story like this now is pivotal and important, this story of a very powerful woman.”

Finally, while the segment was pretty vague on plot details for Wonder Woman, I think I caught something that might have showed who the villain is. In a segment where Kevin Smith and Geoff Johns talked about DC villains, they showed artwork of the bad guys, all of them connected to either Batman v Superman or Suicide Squad, but there was also this brief image:

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That’s Ares, the God of War, as drawn by George Perez. And Wonder Woman, of course. Since everyone else they showed is connected to a movie in some way, presumably Ares is going to play a part in Wonder Woman. Which makes sense, given the World War One setting; it’s an environment ideal for a God of War.

Overall, everything I saw has me cautiously optimistic about Wonder Woman! I still think that the World War One setting is weird, and I don’t love making her the old, wise one instead of someone more modern and identifiable for audiences, specifically young girls, but nonetheless it’s a new angle for the character that could prove interesting. Gal Gadot looks the part, the brief action was cool, and Patty Jenkins seems like a great choice to direct the project. I’m still shocked and delighted that this is actually happening, and all of the clips from the special have me excited for what’s to come.

Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #34 and #35 Review: “Vendetta, Parts 2 and 3” by Josh Elder, Jamal Igle, and Juan Castro

May 21, 2015

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I skipped my usual digital Sensation Comics review last week to instead just write about the story when it was wrapped up this week and do both issues at once. When writing my review for the first issue, my feelings were basically “Let’s see where this goes” so I decided to wait two weeks and see all of the places it went. And it turned out okay. I’d place “Vendetta” in the middle of the pack on the list of Sensation Comics stories we’ve had thus far, but it had some good moments.

One moment I particularly liked was the start of the second issue, when Ares stopped a UN convoy and challenged one of the peacekeepers to a duel. The defiant peacekeeper had no choice but to accept, but she bravely took on the god of war and managed to get in a couple of good shots, even though the fight ultimately ended in her death. It’s one thing for a superhero to take on a god; a superhero has a chance, at least. But the everyday heroics of an ordinary person thrust into an extraordinary situation, however futile they may be, is often a much more inspiring tale. I sometimes harp on Sensation Comics stories when they take the focus away from Wonder Woman and give the best moments to someone else, but I really loved this peacekeeper doing her damnedest to stop Ares. It was the highlight of the story for me.

Wonder Woman isn’t without her own action scenes, though. She chats it up a lot in the second issue, first working to negotiate a peace deal between an African country’s warring factions, and later talks with Ares, but she does get to bust through a bunch of dragonmen on her way to the god of war, at least. Then the final issue is the big battle, with Wonder Woman and Ares facing off in a fight that takes up most of part three. It’s a well plotted fight scene, with good back and forth momentum, culminating in a win for Wonder Woman, of course. It’s her comic book, after all. What I particularly enjoyed about the fight, aside from its inherent fun, was that seeing the destructive personification of war engaged in such fierce, damaging battle convinced the two leaders of the warring factions that peace would be a better option.

The art throughout the story is fine, but I don’t like Igle’s twist on Wonder Woman’s outfit anymore than I did when I read the first issue two weeks ago. The gold piece on her breastplate is distractingly large, the gloves just look weird, and the shield is a little too colourful for my taste; Captain America has the definitive comic book round shield, so doing anything close to it isn’t my jam. I think Wonder Woman should have something more unique. However, I do like the straps a lot. Wonder Woman’s outfit makes a lot more sense with straps. And Igle seems to have cut the volume of Wonder Woman’s skirt a lot in these later issues. It had a lot of poof at times in the first one.

Aside from the design, I think Igle did a good job choreographing the fight scenes and making the action fun. I also liked the way Ares dissolves into a flock of ravens from time to time; it’s a very cool visual. It would also look super awesome in a Wonder Woman movie, if Ares is ever a part of one, so keep that in mind, Patty Jenkins.

All together, “Vendetta” was a decent read. Looking back on it all, I feel like it might have worked better as a two parter than a three parter, particularly given the digital format. With such short installments, you really want to pack things in and make each installment read well on its own, not just as part of a whole. I think that things got stretched out a bit, especially with a lot of the setup in the first issue, and the story would be a lot tighter and more enjoyable if they’d done it in two instead. Printed all together, though, so that you can’t tell that there are different parts, the pacing may be less of a problem. Speaking of which, the print issue of this storyline will be out June 17, and will be the sole story in that month’s print Sensation Comics.

Wonder Woman #23 Review OR An Unsatisfying, But Not Unusual, End To An Uneven Year

August 22, 2013

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Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang have been working on Wonder Woman for two years now, and while the series has had some great moments, the treatment of Wonder Woman herself has been bugging me for a while.  Chiang always draws her magnificently, and my issue is less with him than with the way she’s written, and Wonder Woman #23 was the culmination of a lot of my concerns about how Azzarello has done so.  I’ll try not to make this review the greatest hits of stuff I’ve complained about already over the past two years, but a lot of it came up in this issue, and in big ways.  But first…

SPOILER ALERT!!

This is the BIG FINALE!!

You’re going to want to read it yourself!!

I know I don’t sound enthused about it, but it’s really pretty at least!!

So go check it out!!

Okay, back to reviewing.

First off, I totally called it!  I’ve been saying for a while now that Ares was going to die and Wonder Woman would become the god of war, and that’s exactly what happened.  This is huge because I’m NEVER right at this sort of thing.  I am usually completely oblivious when it comes to plot prediction, to such a degree that my friends tease me about it.  So yeah, this is either a minor miracle, or they telegraphed the ending so obviously that even I could figure it out.

This issue was the big finale battle with the First Born, and there was lots of action.  Everyone took their shot at the First Born; Ares had his ghost army, Orion just punched him for a bit, and Wonder Woman went bonkers and then finally impaled him (and Ares) on a spear.  The good guys won, the world is saved, hooray.

Except that, yet again, Wonder Woman does not come off well at all.  Have you ever read the mod Diana Prince comics from the late 1960s, when Diana was perpetually hysterical and beating the hell out of people while her mentor, I Ching, tried to calm her down?  This issue reminded me of that, with Ares in the I Ching role.  Wonder Woman took off her bracelets and went full on Zeus-powered berserker to fight the First Born, while Ares tried to tell her it wasn’t a good plan.  And, of course, Ares was right and Wonder Woman got beat down, because in the New 52 Wonder Woman men are always correct and Wonder Woman always makes the wrong, irrational decision.

As a sidenote, however, Chiang does some great work with half-crazed Wonder Woman.  Take a look at these panels where she fights the First Born in mid-air, and specifically note her hair:

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Chiang usually draws her hair in smooth waves, but here it takes on a jagged, triangular sort of appearance that mimics the harsh, jagged nature of the First Born’s cloak.  Notice as well that Matthew Wilson has coloured the hair and the cloak with the same blue.  This mirroring cleverly highlights how an uncontrolled Wonder Woman is as wild, angry, and violent as the First Born.  And then the dialogue unsubtly hammers that home on the next page.  The dialogue in this issue was not so great, as you can tell from the panels above.

After Wonder Woman gets smashed into the ground, Hera and Zola’s escape is hindered by the First Born (I love that they’re such pals now; that relationship is one of the best things Azzarello has done in the series), but Ares distracts him, buying Wonder Woman enough time to get up, grab a spear, and run them both through.  I have several problems with this.

First, while I don’t mind Wonder Woman killing people (I am a firm supporter of killing Max Lord), this just seems unnecessary.  Ares is little and skinny.  The First Born is big and wide.  There was no other trajectory that would avoid impaling Ares while hitting the First Born?  That’s rather unlikely given the size disparity here.  Wonder Woman should kill only when she HAS to kill.  This incidental impaling seems silly.

Second, if she’s willing to kill Ares to stop the First Born, why not go all the way and kill the First Born?  The line’s been crossed already, and obviously if the First Born isn’t dealt with he’s just going to do this again, kill a bunch more people, and Ares’ death is going to be in vain.  Obviously, the conventions of superhero storytelling require the villain to never die so they can come back over and over and over, which is fine, but don’t then have Wonder Woman kill a dude to momentarily pause this tidal wave of destruction.  Again, silly.  Find a better ending.

Third, Ares is proud of the choice Wonder Woman made, and the GOD OF WAR should never, ever be proud of Wonder Woman.  He should be annoyed by her perpetually looking for a peaceful alternative.  This whole mentor role for Ares has felt like a wrong fit to me since the beginning, in part because he’s a man and what’s cool about Wonder Woman is that she’s an AMAZON and thus is both an amazing diplomat and warrior (when necessary) because of their training, but also because the god of war and Diana shouldn’t be friends.  They should be oil and water.  The first time they met, Diana should have said “There’s nothing I can learn from you that I can’t learn better from my Amazon sisters” and that should have been the end of it.  If Ares is proud of Wonder Woman, something has gone wrong with your story.

Which leads us to this: Now Wonder Woman is the god of war.  I guess if you kill him, you get the title.  As I just mentioned, Wonder Woman and the god of war is a poor fit.  Which I’m sure will be explored moving forward, and I know that her first act as the god of war was not killing the First Born, dumb as that was.  She’s not going to be some bloodthirsty fiend or anything.  This just seems to pull us farther away from what I think Wonder Woman should be, which is just my own opinion and one that’s obviously not shared by Azzarello.  Plus it’s another example of uh oh, Wonder Woman’s accidentally gotten herself into another sticky situation.

Ironically, while taking on the mantle of a god should make Wonder Woman ridiculously powerful, I think that this is a very weak incarnation of the character.  She entirely lacks control, as evidenced by her berserker attack but also by the fact that she is perpetually reacting instead of driving the action herself, always backed into a corner by her own poor decisions.  She shouldn’t have had to kill Ares, she shouldn’t be the god of war, but she screwed it all up (again) so here we are.  Wonder Woman should be smarter, Wonder Woman should be more capable, Wonder Woman should have found another way.

This moment, however, I quite liked.  At least Zola is still freaking awesome:

ww23zola


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