Posts Tagged ‘Charles Soule’

Superman/Wonder Woman #12 Preview OR Charles Soule Says Goodbye With Flower Power

October 6, 2014

This week’s issue of Superman/Wonder Woman is an epilogue to the “Doomed” storyline that I assume ended at some point in a book that was not Superman/Wonder Woman. I didn’t follow it in any of the other titles, so I missed half of what happened and the entire ending it seems. If someone wants to spoil the ending in the comments for those of us who only buy this book because it says “Wonder Woman” on it, I’d be much obliged.

Anyway, the “Doomed” stuff seems sorted, Superman is rocking a beard, and it looks like Wonder Woman and Superman are set to fight a flower creature. Let’s take a look at this preview of Superman/Wonder Woman #12 from Comicosity:

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That’s a lot of recapping and scintillating romance. These two just do not work together for me at all. I find the romance stuff so awkward. But a fight against a giant plant creature might be fun. I’m always game for a cool fight.

On the behind the scenes side of things, this is Charles Soule’s last issue of Superman/Wonder Woman. He’s signed an exclusive deal with Marvel, where’s he writing books like She-Hulk and The Death of Wolverine, so all of his DC work is wrapping up. Soule’s last issue is also artist Jack Herbert’s first issue on the series proper. He worked on the annual this summer, and drew bits of the “Doomed” storyline in other books. They’ll both be replaced next month by the series’ new creative team, Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke.

Look for Superman/Wonder Woman #12 in comic shops or online this Wednesday as we all bid a fond farewell to Charles Soule. Superman/Wonder Woman hasn’t been my cup of tea, but Soule seems like a swell guy and I wish him all the best at Marvel!

Double Review: Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 And Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End #1

September 19, 2014

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This week, as part of DC Comic’s September “Futures End” event, we got a two-part story from writer Charles Soule that spanned Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 and Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End #1. It involved a lengthy dream and a time travelling Superman, and was set in a hypothetical future that exists only to give DC another weekly series that won’t at all matter or probably ever come up again once it’s done. In short, these two issues were a colossal waste of time. I’ll explain why momentarily, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am going to discuss significant plot details from these two issues!

Don’t read any further unless you’ve read the issues!

Unless you’re skipping the issues but are curious about what happened. I can understand that.

Let’s begin with Wonder Woman, where Wonder Woman was engaged in a war in some sort of mystical realm with an entity called Nemesis. Wonder Woman commanded legions of dead soldiers via her god of war powers, and had a council of generals that included Alexander the Great and Napoleon, the latter of which was traitor who was summarily dispatched. She rescued a trapped platoon, met with her council and killed the fake Napoleon, and then decided to go full berserker god of war and take the fight straight to Nemesis, at which point Superman showed up. That was the end of the issue.

So I opened Superman/Wonder Woman, and guess what? That whole adventure was just a dream. Nemesis had trapped Wonder Woman in Tartarus, where she was fighting demons as an apocalyptic battle played in her head. Superman, time-travelling for some reason, snapped her out of her fog and the two escaped Tartarus and returned to Paradise Island. Wonder Woman then defeated Nemesis by transforming into a white-clad god of peace. The end.

Both issues were aggressively bad. The Wonder Woman issue not only made very little sense, it was rendered immediately pointless by Superman/Wonder Woman. Nothing that happened in Wonder Woman mattered, at all. Not one bit. Which is sort of the theme of all of “Futures End”, I suppose, but still. It was a completely pointless issue to set up a similarly pointless issue of Superman/Wonder Woman that accomplished pretty much nothing but a costume change. Nemesis was defeated, sure, but Nemesis was only a threat so that this two-part story could exist. I have no idea if this time travelling Superman plays a role in the wider “Futures End” event or if god of peace Wonder Woman will have a significant role now, but as a two issue storyline this was just a mess.

The writing wasn’t good, as evidenced by the bizarre structure and poor storytelling, and the art didn’t help things either. The art in Wonder Woman was serviceable at times but generally dull, lifeless, and oddly coloured. The art in Superman/Wonder Woman was slapdash and unappealing. There was just nothing enjoyable going on in either book, from the covers through to the end.

And here’s the thing: I am absolutely fine with stories that are completely pointless and will never come up again, so long as they are good. On a whim, I picked up Batgirl: Futures End #1, Gail Simone’s final issue writing the character. It was set in this “Futures End” world that, again, will no longer matter at all once this storyline is over, and had a story that really had no bearing on anything outside of the book itself. And it was WEIRD. A Bane-inspired Barbara Gordon managed a troupe of Batgirls after her brother killing her husband sent her on a quest to infiltrate and learn from some of the world’s top criminals. But guess what? It was really, really good. Simone’s writing was sharp, hitting the emotions of the dark moments while bringing in humour and making all of the crazy goings on work somehow. And the art was fantastic; the book looked great, from the cover through the entire story. And while it’s as pointless and ephemeral as these Wonder Woman stories, it offered something fun for fans, namely Stephanie Brown in a Batgirl suit again and the long awaited return, however fleeting, of Cassandra Cain. It took what should be a throwaway issue and made it mean something, plus it was just a really good, enjoyable read.

Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman combined didn’t have a fraction of the heart, fun, or style that Batgirl had. In terms of craft, they were poor. In terms of entertainment, they barely registered. In terms of giving the fans some small thing to be excited about, they had nothing. They just felt like really bad filler.

Let’s end this review on a positive note, because I’ve been trashing these books pretty hard. I do like the god of peace outfit. The white with the gold accents looks sharp, I dig the tall boots, and it’s a look I’d be interested in seeing more of in some capacity elsewhere. I don’t know where or how, I just know that I like the costume. And if you’re going to have only one interesting page over the course of two issues, I suppose you may as well make it the last one so you can go out on a high note.

Apart from that one page, basically what I’m saying here is skip those two issue. And go do yourself a personal favour and pick up Batgirl: Futures End #1 because it is a delight. It’s a big, complete story in 20 pages with lots of fan favourite characters and great moments, and it’s a wonderful cap to Simone’s run on the book. It will bring you joy.

Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 Preview OR Now That Wonder Woman Issue Makes A Little More Sense

September 17, 2014

Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 is on sale today, along with Wonder Woman: Futures End #1, and Comic Book Resources has a peek at the book. The preview sheds a lot of light on the mysterious Wonder Woman preview I posted on Monday, but none of it yet sounds particularly interesting. Let’s take a look:

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So all of that craziness in the Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 preview was just a weird dream that Wonder Woman was having. That seems like a waste of an issue, though I haven’t read it yet. Perhaps there’s more to it.

It sounds like Wonder Woman and Superman’s relationship went south at some point between now and five years in the future, which is the one thing I like about this “Futures End” thing so far. However, Superman’s still got some feelings for Wonder Woman, so perhaps their love will be rekindled as they escape Tartarus together. We can only hope.

This issue was originally solicited to have art by Tom Raney, but instead Bart Sears has taken over the interiors and Raney has only drawn the cover. From what I’m seeing here, neither look particularly great, which is a shame. For all of its faults, Superman/Wonder Woman‘s usually had decent art. It seems silly of DC to throw a big event and then have lower tier artists draw most of it. That’s got to hurt the brand on some level.

Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 is available in comic shops and online today! I’ll be back on Friday with a combination review of both issues, seeing as they tie together (tomorrow will be the usual Sensation Comics review. Why Sensation Comics first? Because I like it better).

Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 Preview OR I Have No Idea What’s Happening Here

September 15, 2014

DC’s “Futures End” event is entering its third week, and I haven’t got a clue what’s going on because I don’t particularly care about a hypothetical future that’s not going to happen and that looks, quite frankly, generally bad. But this week we’re getting a double shot of Wonder Woman with both Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman coming out in a sort of two-parter written by Charles Soule, and I always read the Wonder Woman books.

We’ve got a preview of Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 from Man Cave Daily; I feel like I’ve complained about putting a Wonder Woman preview on a website called Man Cave Daily before, so I’ll spare you all the redundant tirade. Anyway, here’s a six page look at the book, available this Wednesday with a fancy motion cover:

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First things first, this is inarguably the most boring Wonder Woman costume of all time. It’s jeans and a tank top, drawn as dully and uninterestingly as possible. Moreover, the art seems out of sync with how we know Wonder Woman works. For example, when Wonder Woman manifests her swords we should get a cool, blue Kirby krackle, not flames. The art here is generally uninspiring.

Also, I don’t know what is happening here. I have no idea where or what Koronoor is, I don’t know why Wonder Woman is dressed so badly, I don’t know why she’s fighting alongside a Viking and a World War Two soldier, and I don’t know what those black monsters are. Based on the solicits, I assume the monsters work for Nemesis, the big bad of Wonder Woman’s Futures End arc, but other than that I am all sorts of lost. This may be my own fault, seeing as I’m not keeping up with any of the other books or the weekly series. But as a casual reader of this event, I’m very confused.

What’s worse, I’m not particularly interested in reading the rest of the issue. Six pages is a lot of space to grab a reader, and I am entirely ungrabbed. The art is bland, the writing is not at all helping me understand what is happening and why, and given that this is a story that will never actually happen in real continuity, everything about it is screaming “You don’t need to care about this!” I’ll get it anyway, of course. I’m a Wonder Woman enthusiast, occasionally to my own detriment. But this preview has had the opposite effect on me that a preview should ideally have.

Hopefully the rest of the book picks up from here and things start making sense soon. Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 is also out this week to shed further light on these mysterious circumstances. We don’t have a preview for that yet, but maybe that’ll come tomorrow. Both comics are available on Wednesday, as is the print version of Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #2, so at least I’ve got one Wonder Woman book to look forward to.

Introducing Superman/Wonder Woman’s New Creative Team: Peter Tomasi And Doug Mahnke

August 15, 2014

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With Tony S. Daniel departing Superman/Wonder Woman for a new Deathstroke title, I assumed that we’d get an announcement about a new artist for the series sometime soon. Instead, we got a whole new creative team. Writer Charles Soule is leaving the book as well, and Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke are taking over the title in November.

Tomasi is probably best known for his current run on Batman and Robin, which has received solid reviews, but he also had a very good run on Green Lantern Corps and was an editor at DC before he turned to writing. Mahnke’s illustrated several top DC books, including Green Lantern, Justice League, Final Crisis, and many more. For the past few years, he’s been the go-to guy to fill in for high profile DC books when the assigned artist is running a bit behind.

Tomasi spoke to USA Today about taking over the title, and said:

“I want to stare hard into the heart of both of these characters and their true love and see what that love means to us, the DC Universe and the people of Earth,” Tomasi says. “Does it pose a danger or a threat? If two people like that are together and in love, where is the drama in that, and what repercussions does it have?”

The initial villains for the run will be Atomic Skull and Major Disaster, but Tomasi states that:

“Something wicked this way comes,” he says. “It’s really the initial salvo, and we’ll see these characters are the shock troops — they’re hitting the front line first, and there’s a lot bigger stuff behind them.”

I’m very excited to have a new creative team on the book. I haven’t been a big fan of Soule and Daniel’s run, in part because I don’t care for this relationship but also because I didn’t think either creator handled it particularly well. Wonder Woman’s role was minimal and often limited to blathering about her relationship, and the book focused largely on Superman’s villains before putting the full focus on the Man of Steel with the “Doomed” crossover with Action Comics. Soule and Daniel had the odd habit of putting very little on each page; the book was full of splash pages, plus several pages with two or three panels, all with barely any text. It made for a quick and unsatisfying read. Daniel’s art had flashes of greatness, but with so few panels he didn’t actually draw all that much, and it took him a while to get a decent handle on Wonder Woman. Even then, he had a tendency to objectify the character somewhat.

So yes, I am very ready for some new creators. My problems with the relationship itself remain, but perhaps Tomasi and Mahnke will have a different spin on it. I’ve enjoyed Tomasi’s work over the years, though I’m not a huge fan of Mahnke. I find his characters look harsh, and his Superman is particularly menacing, but on the plus side his Wonder Woman on the cover above is probably my favourite version of her that I’ve seen him do. That’s a very positive sign.

Tomasi and Mahnke start in Superman/Wonder Woman #13, out this November, and I for one am very happy to see a change. Hopefully it’s one for the better. Frankly, as a Wonder Woman fan, I don’t see how the book could get much worse.

Superman/Wonder Woman #11 Preview OR Didn’t Wonder Woman Used To Be In This Book?

August 12, 2014

I’m not entirely sure why they keep calling this book Superman/Wonder Woman when Wonder Woman is such a non-factor every month. Currently, she’s a background player in the big, Superman-centric “Doomed” storyline and in this five page preview of Superman/Wonder Woman #11 from 13th Dimension, she doesn’t even appear. Let’s take a look:

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Non and Mongul get a few pages, Superman and the Martian Manhunter are fixing to rescue some folks, and Wonder Woman is nowhere. Now, the book has fifteen more pages so I assume she’ll show up at some point, but the lack of Wonder Woman doing anything at all significant in this series is getting really tiresome.

We’ve also got some creator shake-ups this month. The book was originally solicited with Paulo Siqueira drawing it, but it looks like Thony Silas will be doing so instead. And the main cover is by Ed Benes instead of Tony S. Daniel, though Daniel did the selfie variant cover that I included above because I really like it. With Daniel moving to a new series, as far as I know DC still hasn’t revealed who will be the book’s primary artist moving forward, though perhaps the November solicits will give us some clues.

So yeah, “Doomed” continues on. Superman’s not infected now and is going to save his pals, while Wonder Woman is doing who knows what. You’ll have to pick up Superman/Wonder Woman #11 in stores or online tomorrow to find out if she gets anything to do this month.

Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #1 Preview: “Doomed” Rolls On

August 5, 2014

In an odd move that may irk some customers, DC Comics is continuing the ongoing “Doomed” crossover between Superman/Wonder Woman and Action Comics in a pair of $4.99 annuals this week. So to get the full story, you have to shell out another ten bucks on top of what you’re already paying to get both series each month. It’s a bizarre distribution method. I could see an epilogue or something in an annual, but a middle chapter of the story is unusual.

All that to say, Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #1 is out this week, written by Charles Soule with art by a team that includes Ed Benes, Tony S. Daniel, Pascal Alixe, and many more. Crave Online has a massive preview of the book, so let’s take a look:

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Annuals tend to be almost twice as long as a regular comic, which is probably why we got such a big chunk of the book. In terms of percentage, it’s about what we usually get in a preview.

Anyway, Superman is still all Doomsdayed up, but now he’s fighting Cyborg Superman. I have no idea what’s up with Cyborg Superman in the New 52; the whole past continuity with Doomsday and the Reign of the Supermen doesn’t exist, right? So I don’t know how we ended up with another Cyborg Superman. Or Steel, for that matter.

Wonder Woman is in three panels in this seven page preview, so that’s bothersome. Her name’s in the title, yet we’ve got two Supermen and barely any Wonder Woman at all. That seems a bit unbalanced. Hopefully she’ll have more to do in the rest of the issue. If she doesn’t, just go read Aquaman Annual #2 again; Wonder Woman had a bigger role there than she’s ever had in this series.

Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #1 is out in comic shops everywhere and online tomorrow, so if you’re following the “Doomed” crossover be sure to pick it up!


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