Posts Tagged ‘Diana Prince’

Wonder Woman ’77 Meets The Bionic Woman #1 Review: A Team Up Forty Years in the Making!

December 7, 2016

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We’ve been seeing a lot of interesting crossovers at DC Comics lately, from Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Green Lantern and Star Trek. It’s always fun when two different publishers get together and do something cool and unique with their licensed properties.  And now we’ve got a great new team up between DC and Dynamite that brings together two of the most famous heroines of 1970s television, Wonder Woman and the Bionic Woman. Their solo TV series aired at the same time, but they never met on screen. Now they’re doing so in comic book form.

Wonder Woman ’77 Meets the Bionic Woman is penned by noted writer and famed Wonder Woman enthusiast Andy Mangels, with art from a great newcomer Judit Tondora. The six issue mini-series is set during the third season of each television show, and features the likenesses of both series’ stars, including Lynda Carter and Lindsay Wagner.

I’m pretty familiar with Carter’s Wonder Woman and her TV show, but the only things I know about Wagner’s Bionic Woman is that 1) it was a spinoff of The Six Million Dollar Man, which I also know very little about, 2) NBC did a reboot a few years back that wasn’t particularly good, and 3) Bill Haverchuck dressed up as Jaime Sommers on the Halloween episode of Freaks and Geeks. So I came in as half-knowledgeable and half-newbie. The knowledgeable part of me was glad to see so many characters and elements from the Wonder Woman television show in the mix; Mangels clearly knows his stuff, and has populated the book with a variety of enjoyable cameos and references. We’ve got Steve Trevor, of course, but also several less famous characters.

The newbie part of me recognized none of the many characters and things associated with The Bionic Woman, but googling various elements informed me that Mangels has created just as detailed a recreation of her world as he has with Wonder Woman’s, which will be very fun for fans of the program. Also, despite my complete lack of knowledge of half of the book, I still understood everything that was going on and my enjoyment of the book wasn’t at all impaired because I was out of The Bionic Woman loop. You don’t have to be a superfan of either to understand or enjoy this book. If you are, you may well have an even richer experience reading it, but it also works well if you’re coming in cold.

The story itself was classic team-up fare. Both woman’s respective spy agencies came together to stop a serious threat, Bionic Woman villain Ivan Karp and the paramilitary cabal known as CASTRA. The “cabal” bit was especially fun, because it promises more villains down the road, perhaps a combination of both the Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman rogues galleries. Diana Prince and Jaime Sommers were appointed as the protective detail for one of CASTRA’s targets, and a Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman team-up inevitably assumed.

What I really liked about this book was that both women were immediately on the same team, fighting bad guys together. They meet up even before their agencies officially liaise, and there’s mutual respect and acceptance straight away. Each recognizes that the other is a brave woman fighting on the right side of things, and they began to work together like it’s second nature. So many superhero team-ups these days start out with a misunderstanding and subsequent brawl, but Wonder Woman and the Bionic Woman are too smart for that. Instead, they just get to work being heroes.

This respect continues throughout the issue, including a scene where it seems that Jaime Sommers recognizes that Diana Prince is Wonder Woman. Diana brushes it off, and Jaime doesn’t press the issue. I’m guessing this will come up again as the series goes on, but for now Jaime trusts Diana enough to let her keep her secret. Plus there were more important things to deal with; you can’t be digging into secret identity shenanigans where there’s an evil cabal out there hatching fiendish plans!

DC’s Wonder Woman ’77 comic series has been hit and miss for me, artwise. Sometimes it’s spectacular, with spot on likenesses and gorgeous renderings of Wonder Woman and her 1970s world. Other times, it’s clunky and rough. Judit Tondora’s artwork here is definitely on the positive end of this spectrum. Her likenesses are solid, and she has a good handle on executing a variety of action packed scenes. The book lacks the detail that characterizes some of Wonder Woman ’77‘s best outings, but it’s a nicely drawn issue nonetheless, and the colors from Michael Bartolo and Stuart Chaifetz compliment Tondora’s linework well.

The book closes with a good cliffhanger ending, and there are a lot of interesting ways the series could go from here. I’m curious to see how Mangels and Tondora decide to roll with the Wonder Woman side of things; Wonder Woman ’77 has brought in several comic book villains who never appeared on the show, so it will be interesting to see if Wonder Woman ’77 Meets the Bionic Woman does the same or hews to the classic television ensemble. One scene in particular makes me think they may be going in the former direction, but I won’t give any spoilers here so suffice it to say, very vaguely, that someone made me think of someone not associated with the show. Time will tell. But for now, the team has put together a good first issue that’s worthy of the two icons it pairs up. The book is available in comic shops today, so check it out if you’re a fan of either of the television shows or of Wonder Woman in general.

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Wonder Woman Retro Action Figures Coming In 2016 From Figures Toy Company

July 1, 2015

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Figures Toy Company has announced that they’re working on a new line of Wonder Woman retro action figures, set to debut in 2016. The line includes Wonder Woman, Diana Prince, Steve Trevor, and Silver Swan, and the heads have been sculpted by Danny “The Farrow” Anniello. I have no idea who that is, but the announcement makes it sound like that’s a big get, so presumably he’s a pretty rad sculptor. The inclusion of Silver Swan makes me think that they’ll be going for a 1970s era Wonder Woman, and I’m guessing the costumes and outfits will fit that period of the comics.

The retro action figures made by Figures Toy Company are like the classic Mego figures. They’re generally about eight inches tall, have plastic bodies, real clothes, and the female characters usually have actual fake hair instead of a plastic hair sculpt. Here’s a look at a Figures Toy Company Wonder Woman figure from an earlier line:

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The new Wonder Woman figure will have a new face sculpt, and presumably a new outfit as well. This is an older figure, and looking at Figures Toy Company’s latest lines, they’ve really upped their game. I’m not usually into this type of action figure, but their Batman Classic TV Series figure line is really quite impressive. There’s a lot of great detail, and the quality of the clothing, sculpts, and accessories is high. If they can bring this same level of detail to their Wonder Woman line, it should be a great set.

The announcement doesn’t say anything about Lynda Carter or the Wonder Woman TV show, so I think it’s a fair assumption that this set won’t be based on that, unlike their current Batman line which is very much based on the 1960s Batman TV show. So I wouldn’t expect the Wonder Woman or Diana Prince figures to look like Carter, or Steve Trevor to look like Lyle Waggoner. The comics will be the likely source of inspiration here.

None of the figures have been revealed yet, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled and hopefully we’ll get a good look at them soon.

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:

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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 ’77 #1 Review OR A Fun Start To This New Digital First Series

January 8, 2015

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Wonder Woman ’77, a new digital first series based on the Lynda Carter television show, was announced this fall at New York Comic-Con, and then was pretty much never mentioned again by DC Comics until yesterday when a preview went up in advance of its release today. So now it’s here! Albeit with little fanfare. You’d think they would have hyped this up some more, especially with the success of Batman ’66. But regardless, we’ve got a fun new Wonder Woman comic book to read and that is always a good thing.

The comic, much like the show on which it’s based, is set in the 1970s, with Wonder Woman fighting crime and Diana Prince working at Inter-Agency Defense Command with Steve Trevor. After a gang of Soviet roller derby ladies tried to kidnap a scientist who defected to America (and were thwarted by Wonder Woman, of course), Diana and Steve set out to rescue another high profile defector. The scientist embraced American life in the 1970s and was a fixture at the city’s hottest discotheque, Studio 52, so Diana and Steve put on their disco finery and hit the club only to find the villainous Silver Swan in a cliffhanger ending.

Obviously, all of that sounds fantastic. I mean, Wonder Woman beating up a Soviet roller derby girl gang? Diana Prince at a disco? That’s just great stuff, and writer Marc Andreyko does a solid job of turning these fun premises into a good story. The book is campy, but not too over the top, and captures the vibe of the television show well. I also like that the series in bringing classic Wonder Woman comic book villains into the show’s universe. The show was usually its own thing, and a lot of elements from the comics didn’t make their way to the small screen, so it’s cool to see Lynda Carter tackling iconic Wonder Woman foes. The Silver Swan is a particularly good choice for a disco-themed story; that outfit screams 1970s.

The art is excellent as well. First, Nicola Scott’s cover is absolutely amazing. Is this going to be a poster? It should be a poster, or at least a print. I want to hang it on my wall. Second, Drew Johnson’s interior art is fantastic too. Johnson is no stranger to Wonder Woman, having drawn her series during Greg Rucka’s run and most recently a fill-in story of his from a few years back was repurposed into an enjoyable two-issue Sensation Comics arc. He transitions from the comic Wonder Woman to television Wonder Woman beautifully, capturing Lynda Carter’s likeness really well. His Lyle Waggoner could still use a little work, but frankly no one has even cared about Steve Trevor.

Johnson also does a good job portraying the era. Everything feels very 1970s, and he really goes all out when it’s called for, like in the scenes set at the disco. Check out the outfits that Diana and Steve are rocking:

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They are both era appropriate and character appropriate. Diana’s outfit is nice but somewhat demure for such a happening disco (and the all white is reminiscent of the mod era of Wonder Woman), as befitting her less flamboyant alter ego, while the confident lothario Steve Trevor’s wearing a shirt open almost down to his navel. It’s also a fun switch-up from typical superhero fare; most times, the man is more covered up and the woman’s got the navel plunging neckline.

All together, this is a fun book that captures the television show in a variety of ways while also exploring beyond the limitations of the program. I have a feeling that it will read better in print form than in digital; the pacing is a little slower, and indicative of a team writing and drawing for it to be read all at once rather than to maximize each digital issue. Nonetheless, it’s still an excellent first issue, and a great addition to Wonder Woman’s impressively good and ever-growing digital library.

Speaking of which, it looks like Sensation Comics is going to be on hiatus while Wonder Woman ’77 comes out. As I understand it, Wonder Woman ’77 is going to come out in chunks rather than continuously, and I’m hearing that Sensation Comics will be back at the end of the month, so my guess is that we’ll get the full three parts of this Wonder Woman ’77 and then it will be back to Sensation Comics on Thursday until we get another few weeks of 1970s hijinks. I have no idea when the print issue of this story will available, because I don’t think it’s been solicited yet. It will be April at the earliest, I assume.

Tonner Unveils New 16′ Diana Prince Doll Collection

September 26, 2014

A year or so ago, I did a post about a 16′ Wonder Woman doll produced by Tonner. It was part of their DC Stars Collection, and had Wonder Woman in a finely detailed New 52 costume. The doll looked pretty impressive, albeit prohibitively pricey for me anyway. However, it sounds like it was a big hit with some folks with deep pockets, because now Tonner has an entire Diana Prince line that, while expensive, looks quite nice.

You can start with the Diana Prince basic doll for $119.99. It’s the standard 16′ doll, finely sculpted and all of that jazz, with a simple camisole and briefs:

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But you can build from there. You can get the New 52 Wonder Woman outfit for $99.99. Yeah, that’s a hundred bucks for a costume for a 16′ doll. You could buy several outfits for a full size human person for a hundred bucks. I mean, I assume it’s tricky to make things look nice at such a small scale, but wow that’s a lot of money for a very small amount of fabric. Anyway, this is the outfit you get:

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There’s also a Beyond the Stars pantsuit, again just the outfit, not the doll, for $99.99:

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And a fancy Modern Day Princess gown, again just the gown, for $109.99:

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There are also three more Diana Prince dolls with different outfits. These are pricier, but the doll is included. First up is a lovely evening gown doll for $179.99:

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Then a weird “Undercover” blonde doll that doesn’t look like Wonder Woman at all for $189.99:

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And finally, my favourite of the set, the Princess of Paradise Island doll for $199.99:

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That’s really quite nice. If I had a couple hundred bucks I didn’t need for, you know, general life expenses, I’d probably get that doll. It’s really impressive.

The final three dolls are available currently, while the other basic doll and its outfits should be available in the next couple weeks and you can pre-order them now. These things are investments, right? I assume they appreciate in value? I’m having trouble wrapping my head around why people pay a couple hundred bucks for a doll. I feel like a Rockefeller when I drop $20 on a DC Direct Wonder Woman action figure.

Wonder Woman Unbound Preview #10: Too Darn Human

March 17, 2014

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Every Monday until Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine comes out this April, we’re taking a look at a comic panel that captures a key moment in Wonder Woman’s history and highlights an important point from each chapter.

Last week we looked at Wonder Woman’s mod makeover, where Wonder Woman gave up her superpowers for some trendy fashions and kung fu training as she travelled the world trying to avenge Steve’s death.  Along the way, the now human Diana Prince met a lot of new guys.  They took quite a shine to her, and she to them, though it never ended well.

In Wonder Woman #182 in May 1969, Diana was in London with her new friend, Reginald Hyde-White, who she’d just met the day before.  Reggie bought Diana some new clothes, and afterward he declared his love for her and tried to kiss her.  Even though her boyfriend, Steve, had only been dead for a couple of days, Diana kissed Reggie passionately.  She later reflected on the kiss in this panel:

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The implication was that if she still had her Amazon powers, she never would have kissed Reggie.  But because she was just a normal human, she was unable to resist; her emotions got the better of her.  This lack of emotional control was a hallmark of the mod era.  Whether she was making out with a guy she just met or tearfully beating him half to death when he inevitably betrayed her (as Reggie did later in the issue), Diana was an emotional rollercoaster.  Denny O’Neil and Mike Sekowsky were trying to portray a modern woman, but their idea of a modern woman seemed to involve hysterics, fickle behavior, violent mood swings, and a love of clothing.  In short, Diana Prince was a variety of well-worn stereotypes masquerading as a character.

To read more, you’ll have to wait until Wonder Woman Unbound comes out this April!  Be sure to come back next Monday, when we’ll talk about Diana’s return to her Amazon roots, and also check out the eighth installment of my Wonder Woman interview series this Wednesday; we’ll be talking with Chris Sims!

Wonder Unbound Unbound is available for pre-order now, online or at your local comic shop.

Smallville Season 11 #19 Review OR Superman Takes The Spotlight

November 14, 2013

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Sadly, we’ve reached the end of Smallville Season 11’s “Olympus” arc.  It’s one of the best Wonder Woman comics I’ve read in years, a doubly impressive feat considering that this is actually a Superman book.  Bryan Q. Miller and Jorge Jimenez’s take on Diana has been refreshing and entertaining, a nice break from the darker tone of the New 52 universe.  While the finale was a bit light on Wonder Woman, it’s been a great arc.  We’ll get into that in a minute, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

If you read this review before you read this comic, you will rob yourself of joy!

Read the comic first!

There was a lot of Wonder Woman in the first three issues of this arc, and I suppose it was inevitable that Superman would come to the fore at some point.  It’s HIS series, after all.  This isn’t Superman/Wonder Woman, where you’d expect a balance of representation for the characters (and be disappointed by the lack thereof…).  It’s a book about Superman in which Wonder Woman was guest starring, so ultimately Superman got to save the world.

And in an enjoyable way.  Hades’ siege of Washington, DC ended with Superman flying him into space and threatening to leave him there in the void, a brutal, kingdomless state for someone who so craves power.  Hades ultimately agrees to return to Tartarus, to rule his own kingdom and leave the Earth alone rather than have no kingdom at all.  It’s a very Superman way to solve a problem, and he didn’t even have to kill the bad guy to do so (coffcoffManofSteelsuckscoffcoff).

Wonder Woman didn’t have a lot to do in this issue, what with Superman taking the lead.  She did slice her way through the hordes of Hades’ reanimated army in a pretty bad ass fashion, and she had a fantastic confrontation with the conquering god: Diana refuses to kneel before Hades even though he’s captured Steve Trevor, and Hades is surprised that an Amazon is defying a god to honor a man.  Wonder Woman replies:

I do not fight for this man — I FIGHT FOR ALL MANKIND!!!

While busting through some undead soldiers and landing in front of Hades, ready to face him herself.

Then Superman shows up and sorts things out, but it’s still a great Wonder Woman moment.

We also learn where she ends up when the threat is gone.  She decides to stay in America, defending the world as Wonder Woman AND as Diana Prince, the newest agent of the DEO:

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She tells Superman:

I will prove to the world — man and woman alike — that any who act on their beliefs in pursuit of truth and justice can make a difference.

I enjoy how Bryan Q. Miller writes Wonder Woman.

As for Steve Trevor, he becomes director of the DEO.  Plus, the pilot tasked with returning Hippolyta to Paradise Island is a gal named “Candy”, a fun reference for any Wonder Woman fan.

The end of the issue sets up the next big story for the Smallville universe, with Superman revealing to the president, and presumably the world, that he’s an alien.  While the series is set to carry on without Wonder Woman, I hope that she comes back soon.  Now that Batman and Wonder Woman have been established in the Smallville universe, a proper Justice League team up seems like a no-brainer.  I know I’d read that in a heartbeat.  Miller has done an excellent job retaining the good bits of the Smallville TV show, continuing to grow Clark, Lois, and the other established characters while creating a bigger world around them.  I always enjoy a good alternate universe, and from what I’ve read so far this one seems like a blast.

I doubt that this Wonder Woman is going to get the spinoff that I so badly want now, on account of DC Comics only seems interested in additional Wonder Woman books where she’s Superman’s girlfriend, but I’d love to see Miller write Wonder Woman again in the future, in the Smallville universe or elsewhere.  He really gets the character, making her both fun and noble.  I’d love to see more art from Jorge Jimenez as well, on Wonder Woman or any other book.  He’s got a cool style, and I think he’d fit well on any superhero title.  It’d be great to have him back for the inevitable Smallville: Justice League arc down the road so I could see him draw the rest of Smallville’s superhero cast.

This book has been the biggest surprise of 2013 for me, and I’m sad this arc is over.  I look forward to seeing more from everyone involved!


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