Posts Tagged ‘Convergence’

Superman/Wonder Woman Post-Convergence Sneak Peek: Some Good News?

May 27, 2015

DC has been releasing original Sneak Peeks of their June comics in the back of May’s “Convergence” titles, and while it looks like Wonder Woman didn’t make the Sneak Peek cut, Superman/Wonder Woman has. Despite a massively underwhelming first arc, Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke are back on the book next month, but some big changes may be afoot.

The full preview is available to download for free at Comixology and will probably be up online at Comic Book Resources and whatnot soon enough, but here’s a brief run through. All of the Super-books are going to be part of the “Truth” storyline this June, digging into the fallout of Superman’s secret identity being exposed. In today’s Sneak Peek of Superman/Wonder Woman, we see the post-identity reveal Superman, ie. t-shirt and a buzz cut, all bloodied and staggering around the Justice League’s orbiting headquarters. Superman sucker punches the Flash and steals a spaceship to get near the sun and recharge his batteries, but Wonder Woman worries that this loose cannon Superman is overdoing it and literally flying too close to the sun, so she shoots off to stop him.

She snags Superman before his ship flies into the heart of the sun, and tries to sooth the troubled Man of Steel with a kiss, but he’s not having any of it. Instead, the book ends with this startling declaration:

sneakpeek

Oh snap! Is our long national nightmare finally over? Are Wonder Woman and Superman going to split up? It’s hard to say at this point. This Sneak Peek is a teaser, and is thus constructed to be shocking so as to entice you to pick up the comic next month. Plus Superman doesn’t seem to be in his right mind throughout the preview, so I don’t know how much stock we can put in this pronouncement.

I certainly hope it’s true. DC has been trying to make Wonder Woman and Superman work as a couple for three years now, and they’re just not clicking. No one’s been able to capture any real spark or chemistry between them, and the relationship has been particularly bad for Wonder Woman, who’s been stuck in a second fiddle role. I would not be sad if this “Truth” storyline is the last arc of Superman/Wonder Woman and then the book ends.

But it could all just be a fake out. You can put too much stock in a teaser. The “Truth” solicits are impressively vague, so they’re not giving us any info either. We’ll all have to tune in next month to find out what’s really going on. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a break up, though.

Convergence: Wonder Woman #2 Review OR A Pyrrhic Victory

May 20, 2015

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There’s nothing bad about Convergence: Wonder Woman #2, or the mini-series as a whole. It’s all fine, competent comic booking. The writing is okay, the art is decent, the characters mostly seem to be themselves. The only thing is, I’m not entirely sure why it exists. I mean, I understand why these two months of “Convergence” are happening; DC Comics is moving from New York to Los Angeles and they brought in some outside folks to arrange two months of comics to give them time to get sorted. What I don’t understand is why this Wonder Woman, why this story, and who it’s designed to appeal to. We’ll discuss this all momentarily, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal ALL of the major plotpoints in this comic!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

Last month I talked about how many of the “Convergence” mini-series were tapping into nostalgia. Fans have been missing their favourite characters since DC relaunched their superhero universe in 2011, and “Convergence” became a chance to revisit beloved characters, maybe tie up some loose ends, and give a little bit of closure to fans.

If you’re looking for nostalgic fun, Convergence: Wonder Woman is not the book for you. Not only is it set in an era that few, in any, were clamouring to visit again, it takes a pretty dark turn in its second issue. It was sort of fun to have Steve Trevor and Etta Candy back hanging out with Diana Prince in the first issue, but long story short by the end of this finale both Steve and Etta were turned into vampires and killed, and the book ends with a morose Wonder Woman reflecting on the costs of war. It’s really not a fun trip down memory lane.

It’s an okay book in terms of action. I liked Wonder Woman’s plan to beat the hell out of all of the vampires to impede them from attacking anyone; the vampires wouldn’t heal, but they wouldn’t die either, so she went to town rendering them immobile with sound thrashings. Then Athena showed up to give Wonder Woman free rein to kill all of the vampires, even her friends, because they’ve been turned into monsters and to end them would be a mercy. Wonder Woman does some pretty cool staking as she eliminates her Red Rain foes the Joker, Poison Ivy, and Werecatwoman.

There’s also a nice moment of the end where vampire Steve stops vampire Etta from attacking Wonder Woman, tackling her to both of their deaths into a deep dark chasm. I like the idea that Steve’s love for Wonder Woman would still endure even under the evil vampiric thrall of the Joker. But at the same time, what about Etta’s love for Wonder Woman? I feel like she should have been able to resist as well. Etta and Wonder Woman go way back. I mean, ovaries before brovaries, am I right?

In the end, I felt like this book lacked any sort of larger purpose other than having Wonder Woman bust up a bunch of vampires. I’m not sure how or if this book ties into the main series, but my guess is that the events here don’t play much of a pivotal role in how the primary Convergence arc goes down. It’s just all sort of a weird, dark fight between two generally unloved universes that ends with everybody dead but Wonder Woman.

Meanwhile, I’m seeing folks left and right online getting all emotional and excited about big moments in other “Convergence” books. In particular, Gail Simone’s Nightwing and Oracle title seems to be going over huge in terms of giving this incarnation of Barbara Gordon a lovely sendoff and depicting a fan favourite relationship. Ultimately, these are just fill in stories, basically. “Convergence” is not the sort of event that’s going to change the DC universe for years to come like so many comic events purport to do. It’s a decent idea for killing a couple of months. And that’s what Convergence: Wonder Woman is, a fine if uninspired interlude with no real ramifications or larger point. It’s just disappointing that several other “Convergence” books have found ways to make them something more, to elevate their two issues beyond the fill in that they are, while Convergence: Wonder Woman doesn’t. Again, it’s not a bad two issues. It’s more of a missed opportunity.

Convergence: Wonder Woman #2 Preview OR Fangs For The Memories

May 19, 2015

DC’s “Convergence” event comes to a close this month, with lots of inter-universal fighting building to some sort of battle-based finale, I assume. I’m not really following it too closely. I think I picked up four books, maybe? And there seemed to be lots of fighting in them, so I’m just guessing that’s what’s going on generally. Then it will end in some sort of epic fashion with no real ramifications for the wider DC universe because this was just a fill-in event to kill time while DC moved from New York to Los Angeles. It seems to be selling well, so good work, DC. I’m kind of impressed they made this work.

Convergence: Wonder Woman wraps up this week with the Wonder Woman of the 1970s (comics, not the TV show) facing off against the vampiric Joker of Red Rain. Here’s a preview of the book, courtesy of Nerdist:

conww2a conww2b conww2c conww2d conww2e conww2f

The obvious big change from the first issue is that Joshua Middleton has been replaced by Aaron Lopresti on art duties. Middleton’s issue was only okay last month, so I’m cool with the change. Lopresti is a Wonder Woman veteran so he knows how to handle the character, but here he seems to be channeling a little bit of a 70s era Neal Adams vibe. It’s a cool choice that fits the book’s setting well.

Storywise, it looks like Wonder Woman is going to go all Max Lord on the Joker, but with mixed results. That’s not how you kill a vampire, Wonder Woman! Though a snapped neck should be an inconvenience for the Clown Prince of Crime, at least. Meanwhile, Steve Trevor is trying to fend off a gang of vampires with a gun. These guys really know nothing about fighting vampires. I suppose they’re doing the best they can with what they’ve got.

Sidenote: Aren’t they in a church? So a) the vampires should be having a bad time of it to begin with, being on sacred ground and all of that, and b) there should be wooden crosses everywhere for easy crucifix stakings. Maybe Red Rain vampires work differently than classic vampires.

Anyway, Convergence: Wonder Woman #2 is out in comic shops and online tomorrow! The first one had some decent moments, and it’s easily been the best non-Sensation Comics Wonder Woman book that DC’s put out in a while. That’s an admittedly low bar, but still.

Convergence: Wonder Woman #1 Review OR Fangs For The Memories

April 22, 2015

conww1a

It’s Wonder Woman vs. vampires! Eventually, anyway. There’s a lot of set up here, and very little of it involves Wonder Woman doing fun Wonder Woman things. After a while, the 1970s Wonder Woman cast faces off against Joker and the vampire of Red Rain, and things get moderately interesting as the book jumps into the “Convergence” battle phase, where the various domed cities are pitted against each other in all out war. The issue is fine, but lacking the nostalgic fun that seems to be the core element of so many of the other “Convergence” titles. We’ll dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal pretty much everything that happens in this issue!

Who bites who, who shoots who!

Look away if you haven’t read this issue yet!

I think part of why I didn’t love this issue was because I’m not personally nostalgic for any of the universes involved in this particular storyline. I’m a Wonder Woman enthusiast, for sure, but the 1970s comics era of the character is pretty low on my list of favourite Wonder Woman incarnations. They tried a bunch of different angles then, none of which really worked, and it’s just a mishmash of things for me. It’s hard to be nostalgic for a mishmash, unless you grew up in that mishmash I suppose. I read it all over a couple days a few years ago, rather than looking forward to it month by month. As for Red Rain, I don’t really give a hoot about it one way or another; I don’t think I’ve ever read it, to be honest.

That’s not to say the book isn’t good just because it doesn’t match my particular nostalgia zones. Rather, my enjoyment of the book lacks the extra boost that nostalgia can bring. When a story is set in an era you’re a fan of and that you feel connected to, reading it comes with an inherent enthusiasm that can overlook average storytelling. Lacking any nostalgia at all for this book, I read it as it was and found it fine if a little bland.

I enjoyed Larry Hama’s take on Diana, especially her skepticism of the cult that believed angels were coming to rescue everyone from the dome. I was less impressed with Etta Candy; I think Etta’s smarter than to get wrapped in such nonsense like she did here. But I liked Hama’s Steve Trevor, and that’s rare for me. I usually just roll my eyes at Steve Trevor, so it was fun to have him treat Diana well and have some decently heroic inclinations here. It was a pleasant change of pace.

The problem with the angel cult storyline is that it takes up a lot of the issue, and I can’t imagine how it’s going to factor into the second issue seeing as most of the cult leaders have been turned into vampires now. There are a lot of pages of Diana and Etta at the cult, discussing it’s veracity and ultimately fighting with the cult leaders, and it seems like a big time investment for something that ultimately won’t matter. I suppose there’s a chance it will matter and my assumptions are way off the mark; we’ll find out next month. But as much as I’m not nostalgic for this era, I’d rather be enjoying some retro Wonder Woman action than getting involved in a random cult subplot. We’ve only got two issues here, so real estate is precious.

I will say that the lengthy cult storyline does have a fantastic payoff, one that’s almost worth the space it takes. The cult leaders are expecting angels to show up and save them, so when winged creatures arrive after the dome falls, they’re overjoyed until they see that they’re vampires, not angels. That’s a great, clever beat.

Once the vampires arrive, it’s about exactly what you’d expect. There’s some fighting, some taunts, and the various characters end the issue in precarious situations. Again, fine but normal, old school superheroing with nothing really new or interesting going on. It’s not bad in the slightest. It’s just straight down the middle, average and expected storytelling.

The art is decent, but somewhat underwhelming. I was really excited for Joshua Middleton, so my expectations were a little high. He does great covers, and I’ve enjoyed his art a lot in the past. His art here is as straight down the middle as the writing. It’s nice, and tells the story well. There are no bad panels or poor storytelling choices. It’s all okay, but just okay. There aren’t any cool or stunning panels, or layouts that make you go “Wow”. The colouring is pretty dull as well. Perhaps if Middleton had put a little more pop into the colours, the art would’ve had more impact.

All together, I wasn’t blown away with this issue by any means, but I didn’t hate it either. And I’ll admit, I’m a little bit curious to see what happens next month as Wonder Woman’s battle against the vampires begins in earnest. I doubt that it’s going to have a huge impact on “Convergence” in general, though I also doubt that “Convergence” is going to have a huge impact on DC’s comic book universe once the event is over. But Wonder Woman vs. vampire Joker might be fun. Middleton won’t be back next month, but Hama’s got some chops and the good moments in this issue have me intrigued to see how he finishes it off.

Convergence: Wonder Woman #1 Preview OR Under The Dome

April 21, 2015

I haven’t really been following DC’s “Convergence” event, so all I know are the basics. There’s some type of dome, and various heroes from DC’s past universes, and they’re all going to fight and then probably in the end work together to defeat whoever trapped them there. Brainiac, I think? The response to the first two weeks of “Convergence” tie-ins has seemed generally positive, partly because of nostalgia and the joy of having these characters back again but also because the books have apparently been pretty good. I haven’t gotten to my local comic shop yet to check out the few titles I’m interested in, but I’m glad that the reaction has been so positive. I had low expectations for a two month fill-in event, and now I’m excited to get reading.

The book I’m most looking forward to, of course, is Convergence: Wonder Woman, and it’s first issue is out tomorrow. Here’s a preview of the book, courtesy of Comic Book Resources:

conww1a conww1b conww1c conww1d conww1e conww1f

Generally speaking, I like to see Wonder Woman in a Wonder Woman preview, but there seem to be extenuating circumstances here. Has the dome taken Wonder Woman’s powers? Or are they doing that thing where she doesn’t have powers unless she’s transformed into Wonder Woman? Either way, it’s all Diana Prince so far. She’s shacking up with Steve Trevor (gasp!) and teaming up with cult enthusiast Etta Candy to help out elderly residents inconvenienced by the effects of the dome.

The cult angle seems like a weird choice here. With all of the past eras of Wonder Woman to choose from for “Convergence”, the 1970s Wonder Woman would have been at the bottom of my list to begin with, and having her deal with a religious cult is not exactly what I look for in a Wonder Woman comic. It could totally turn out cool, and I hope that it does. But on paper, I’m not really seeing anything that fans have been clamouring for like I am with Renee Montoya back as the Question or Cass and Steph back Batgirling. It all seems a little random, but there’s lots of story left to tell and I’m curious to see where it goes. The solicits keep saying vampires, though, which isn’t terribly encouraging.

The art here is okay, but not as exciting as I was expecting after enjoying Joshua Middleton’s covers for years. The colours are pretty flat and while the linework is decent enough, it’s hardly the best work that I’ve seen from him. I’m still looking forward to Diana going full Wonder Woman at some point, though, and I’m hoping things will be a little flashier then.

Convergence: Wonder Woman #1 is out tomorrow, and I’ll have a full review then. Check out the book online or pick it up at your local comic chop!

Wonder Woman’s May 2015 Covers and Solicits

February 20, 2015

May is the second half of DC’s two month “Convergence” event, so Wonder Woman’s solicits remain a little wonky. Instead of the usual Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman, she’s starring in only one “Convergence” title, though she appears to be guest starring in a bunch as well. First up, let’s take a look at Convergence: Wonder Woman #2:

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CONVERGENCE: WONDER WOMAN #2
Written by LARRY HAMA
Art by AARON LOPRESTI and MATT BANNING
Cover by JOSHUA MIDDLETON
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD
On sale MAY 20 • 40 pg, FC, 2 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T
STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! Diana Prince gets blood on her jumpsuit as she takes on vampire versions of The Joker and the rest of the Red Rain ghouls!

When we looked at last month’s solicits, I was very excited to have two issues of Joshua Middleton drawing Wonder Woman because I quite like his work. Turns out, he’s only doing the first one and Aaron Lopresti is drawing this issue. It’s not a bad change; I quite like Lopresti. But I’ve seen him do Wonder Woman before and I was really looking forward to seeing Joshua Middleton do it up.

I’ll be honest, though, the cover doesn’t look great and I’m not super curious about the story either. Wonder Woman vs. weird vampire versions of the DCU could be fun, but this looks all dark and moody and serious. Hopefully the book turns out to be entertaining and not just a violent bloodbath.

Versions of Wonder Woman are also popping up in several other “Convergence” titles. They are:

  • Flashpoint Wonder Woman in Convergence: Speed Force #2.
  • Red Son Wonder Woman in Convergence: Action Comics #2.
  • Kingdom Come Wonder Woman in Convergence: Justice League International #2.
  • DC One Million Wonder Woman in Convergence: Crime Syndicate #2.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if a few other versions pop up elsewhere across the line.

Also in May we’ve got Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #10:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #10
Written by SARA RYAN and AARON LOPRESTI
Art by CHRISTIAN DUCE and AARON LOPRESTI
Cover by MICHAEL ZULLI
On sale MAY 20 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Very few people know how to reach Wonder Woman directly, and when Clarice Anthony reaches out, Diana can’t deny her old friend the help she needs. But when that means going undercover as a pop-country starlet’s trainer, the world isn’t sure what to make of this new “VIP” persona! Then, the dragons of Sostratos became “Casualties of War” in a battle between Amazons and humans. Now, the sole survivor is taking his revenge on Diana!

Oof, that cover is rough stuff. But it’s a big month for Aaron Lopresti! He’s writing and drawing a story here, along with another by Sara Ryan and Christian Duce. The solicit says something about dragons, so you know I’m on board. I love a good dragon.

Look for all of these comics in May at comic shops everywhere!

Wonder Woman’s April 2015 Covers And Solicits

January 22, 2015

April is going to be a little different for Wonder Woman comics, with the “Convergence” event pre-empting her usual New 52 titles. While she’s got two books every month in the New 52, there will only be one Wonder Woman “Convergence” book. However, we’ve got two digital-first books to look forward to, so that’s a plus. Let’s dig into the solicits, starting with Convergence: Wonder Woman #1:

aprilww1

CONVERGENCE: WONDER WOMAN #1
Written by LARRY HAMA
Art and cover by JOSHUA MIDDLETON
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD
On sale APRIL 22 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T
STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! Diana Prince is in the grip of a Domesday cult when Steve Trevor leaps into the fray! But can he save Etta Candy from vampires of Red Rain?

This solicit is a lot about Steve Trevor and not so much about Wonder Woman, which I don’t love. But on the plus side, I do enjoy Joshua Middleton, and I’m very excited to see him do two issues of Wonder Woman interiors.

“Convergence” brings together a multitude of DC Comics’ universes, and this one look to be pre-Crisis. Giving Larry Hama’s writing it, I’m guessing the characters will be from the 1970s, Bronze Age era of Wonder Woman, but given the universe mashing each character may well be from a different time period. We’ll have to wait for April to find out.

Next up, we’ve got the print version of the Wonder Woman ’77 digital first series:

aprilww771

WONDER WOMAN ’77 SPECIAL #1
Written by MARC ANDREYKO
Art by DREW JOHNSON and MATT HALEY
Cover by NICOLA SCOTT
1: 25 Variant cover by PHIL JIMENEZ
One-shot • On sale APRIL 29 • 80 pg, FC, $7.99 US • RATED E • DIGITAL FIRST
Don’t miss this digital-first special based on the classic TV series starring Lynda Carter! Travel back to the sizzling ’70s as the undercover Amazon Princess joins forces with special agent Steve Trevor to defend America against Cold War-era criminals. A search for an escaped Soviet scientist brings Wonder Woman to the hottest disco of the day, Studio 52. A live stage act might prove more of a threat to Wonder Woman than the Russian Roller Derby girls out to bring the scientist home.

I’ve been enjoying the digital issues, and I think this print collection of the comics will work even better. The story seems better suited to be read all at once than in installments. It’ll look really nice too; Drew Johnson and Matt Haley have been doing a really good job with the art.

It seems that they’re going with a publication method sort of like Legends of the Dark Knight, where a bunch of stories are collected in a bigger volume instead of regular issue size. The solicit only mentions the current arc, which is just three issues long and thus should only take up 30 pages or so, and so I assume a second arc is on the way.

Finally, we’ve got another issue of Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman to look forward to as well:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #9
Written by CECIL CASTELLUCCI and LAUREN BEUKES
Art by CHRIS SPROUSE, KARL STORY and MIKE MAIHACK
Cover by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA
On sale APRIL 15 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • DIGITAL FIRST • RATED T
It’s a “Girls’ Day Out,” and Lois Lane doesn’t do “puff piece” interviews, which is fine, because Diana of Themyscira is not interested in being treated as fluff. But when they’re attacked by croco-aliens and robots, the situation really gets heated! Then, in “The Problem with Cats,” Wonder Woman has been summoned to the Isle of Cats to rescue her Justice League teammates, but can Diana save the day?

The art above looks to be a page from the Mike Maihack story and not the cover, so I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the reveal of Francesco Francavilla’s cover in the future. It’s sure to be lovely; the man is epic at covers.

Both of these stories sound fantastic! I am all about a Wonder Woman and Lois Lane team up, especially one involving aliens and robots, so that should be a fun a fun. And Mike Maihack is drawing a story! He’s great, as is Lauren Beukes, and I can’t wait to see what they’ve put together. I think it should be an excellent issue all around.

The solicits also include the upcoming Jae Lee designed action figure line, which has a very cool looking Wonder Woman.  They’ll be available in August 2015.

Look for all of these comic books this April in comic shops everywhere!


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