Posts Tagged ‘George Perez’

The Comic Books To Read After You See Wonder Woman This Weekend

June 1, 2017

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Wonder Woman is hitting theaters tomorrow, with early showings tonight (I’M GOING TO SEE IT TONIGHT AND I’M SO EXCITED I CAN’T EVEN DEAL WITH IT), and soon lots of new Wonder Woman fans are going to be wondering what to read next. While I definitely suggest my book Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine, I’ve also put together this list of comic collections that I think best capture the history and the spirit of the character. Start here, new Wonder Woman enthusiasts! You’ve got so many fun comic book adventures head of you.

Here is the list, in chronological order:

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The Wonder Woman Chronicles, Volume 1, written by William Moulton Marston, art by H.G. Peter

It’s always good to start at the very beginning. While Wonder Woman’s early outings are also collected in Archive and Omnibus formats, the Chronicles line is the cheapest option. Marston and Peter imbued Wonder Woman with a unique brand of feminism that was central to the character from day one, and a lot of the core cast and elements in these comics have remained key to Wonder Woman for more than 75 years. The stories are often wacky and fantastical, but that’s part of the charm.

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Wonder Woman by George Perez, Volume 1, written and drawn by George Perez with others

We’re jumping a few decades here, but while Wonder Woman comics were interesting at times in the Silver and Bronze Age, they’re more deeper cuts than Wonder Woman 101. Perez’s relaunch of the character, though, was hugely influential, and remains a touchstone today. Even though it was a total reboot, in many ways it was a modern update of the original Wonder Woman that stayed true to her feminist core. And with fantastic art by Perez, these stories still hold up thirty years later.

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Wonder Woman: Paradise Lost, written and drawn by Phil Jimenez with others

While there were lots of good arcs in Wonder Woman in the 1990s and 2000s, this collection is my personal favourite. The “Gods of Gotham” storyline is just good fun; Batman, the Joker, and Poison Ivy get taken over by gods and Wonder Woman has to sort things out. It’s great. “Paradise Lost” is strong as well, but “She’s a Wonder!” is the best of the bunch, teaming up Diana and Lois Lane in a story that highlights the strengths of each character and shows the respect DC’s two leading ladies have for each other.

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DC: The New Frontier, written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke

This isn’t a Wonder Woman comic specifically; pretty near everyone in the DC universe stars in this story, which is set in the 1950s and explores the dawn of a new era of heroism. But Wonder Woman’s scenes in the book are ALL spectacular. She confronts both Superman and President Eisenhower, assembles a female army in Vietnam, and comes back from a major injury to lead the charge against a foe that threatens the entire Earth. Every single moment with Wonder Woman is fantastic and the rest of the book isn’t too bad either.

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Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman, Volume 2, by too many folks to list but they’re all great

We’re getting into recent stuff now, because the past few years have been an embarrassment of riches in terms of great Wonder Woman stories. Any volume of Sensation Comics could be on this list, really. They’re all standalone stories by different creative teams, and the majority of them are great. But this volume is probably the best one. Standouts include James Tynion IV and Noelle Stevenson’s tale of a young Wonder Woman visiting the outside world for the first time, and Lauren Beukes and Mike Maihack’s adorable tale of make believe. They’re all pretty fun, though.

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DC Comics Bombshells, Volume 1: Enlisted, written by Marguerite Bennett, art by Marguerite Sauvage and more

This is another ensemble book, and it’s just so much fun. The series is a retelling of World War II with DC’s female superheroes fighting the evil magical forces of the Nazis. No male superheroes are involved at all, and heroines like Batwoman, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman take center stage. It’s empowering and action packed and true to the characters, especially Wonder Woman, while being something totally unique and different. It’s also super queer, in all of the best ways. Few books capture the spirit of Wonder Woman as well as this.

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The Legend of Wonder Woman, Volume 1: Origins, written and drawn by Renae De Liz with Ray Dillon

I’m doubling up on recent World War II retellings here, but it can’t be helped. Both are just too good to pick only one. And this one is all about Wonder Woman, starting with young Diana growing up on Paradise Island and following her as she eventually leaves the island to save the world. It spends a lot of time with the Amazons, which is always fun, plus Etta Candy is a key player in the book, too. Also, it’s absolutely stunning. The art is lush and gorgeous and perfect for the era and the story. Do yourself a favour and check out this outstanding book.

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Wonder Woman, Volume 2: Year One, by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott

Greg Rucka has penned several excellent Wonder Woman stories, but this is far and away his best. It’s a modern retelling of Wonder Woman’s origins that draws from past incarnations of the character while simultaneously doing something fresh and exciting. And it’s straight up gorgeous, too. Nicola Scott was born to draw this book, and the heart and beauty she puts in every panel is an amazing thing to behold. This volume is the perfect gateway to the current Wonder Woman series, and is one of the best Wonder Woman stories ever told.

So definitely dig into all of these great collections! Most are still easy to find in print, and anything that’s not is available digitally (plus the bulk of them are on sale right now at Comixology!). And after you’ve checked out these books, keep digging! Wonder Woman’s got a fascinating history with more than 75 years of great comic books, and there are so many other fantastic volumes out there.

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Wonder Woman’s February 2017 Covers and Solicits

November 22, 2016

This February looks to be another busy month for Wonder Woman and her wider world, both in terms of single issues and some fun new collections. It continues to be an excellent time to be a Wonder Woman fan; the movie on the horizon really seems to be ramping up comic production at DC. So let’s take a look at what Wonder Woman is up to in February 2017, starting with her own series:

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WONDER WOMAN #16
Written by GREG RUCKA • Art and cover by BILQUIS EVELY • Variant cover by JENNY FRISON
“GODWATCH” part one! Since the moment Wonder Woman arrived in our world, Godwatch has been waiting. But who are they, and what do they want? Diana’s journey to the truth continues with the origin of what may prove to be her greatest enemies.
On sale FEBRUARY 8 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

WONDER WOMAN #17
Written by GREG RUCKA • Art and cover by LIAM SHARP • Variant cover by JENNY FRISON
“THE TRUTH” part two! As Wonder Woman picks up the pieces of her shattered psyche, Barbara Ann Minerva walks into the devil’s lair to defend her…or is she being led into Godwatch’s trap?
On sale FEBRUARY 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

How great is that Bilquis Evely cover? She did a spectacular job on the Barbara Ann Minerva special issue last month, and I’m so excited that she’ll be taking over the odd-numbered issues for “Godwatch” after “Year One” ends. Nicola Scott is going to be a tough act to follow, but Evely’s already shown that she’s got the goods to hold her own. We’ve got some gorgeous comics in store for us.

In terms of the plots, it will be fun to dig into Godwatch and find out what they’re all about. We know a few of the players now from “The Lies” but clearly there’s something large and sinister at work here. As for “The Truth,” the solicit is a bit vague, but I enjoy that Barbara is remaining a key player in the book. Between her and Etta, it’s great to see Wonder Woman have some female pals.

Onto the always gorgeous Trinity:

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TRINITY #6
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL • Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL • Variant cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
“Better Together” part six! The horror that kept our heroes trapped in nightmares of their own making is now loose in the world, and it’s taking possession of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman! When the spawn of Mongul holds the keys to the most powerful heroes in the DC Universe—no one is safe!
On sale FEBRUARY 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

I love this book. I’ve only read the first two issues, but they’re so stunningly gorgeous. The story is a lot of fun too. It’s kind of a chill team up, with the three heroes just being pals. I’m super into it. And it sounds like it’s building to something quite epic. Manapul’s knocking it out of the park so far with this series, and I’m looking forward to where it’s going.

Next up, The Odyssey of the Amazons:

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THE ODYSSEY OF THE AMAZONS #2
Written by KEVIN GREVIOUX
Art by RYAN BENJAMIN and RICHARD FRIEND
Cover by RYAN BENJAMIN
In the frigid lands to the north, Hessia and her Amazons find new allies: a band of Norsemen led by none other than Jon, the Viking Prince. Meanwhile, their captured Amazon sisters learn of the fate planned for them by Groa, Queen of the Storm Giants. And as Hessia and Jon prepare to launch a rescue, a new faction appears! Will these new players prove to be friend or foe?
On sale FEBRUARY 15 • 32 pg, FC, 2 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T

There’s still a lot of question marks on this one, and it very much feels like a book that should have come out a few years ago, before Rucka and co. revamped the Amazons. But still, it’s Amazons vs. Storm Giants, and that could be cool. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully the book is a pleasant surprise.

We’ve also got Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77:

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BATMAN ’66 MEETS WONDER WOMAN ’77 #2
Written by MARC ANDREYKO and JEFF PARKER
Art by DAVID HAHN and KARL KESEL
Cover by MICHAEL ALLRED
Bruce Wayne is only ten—and he’s already being hunted by Nazi soldiers and Ra’s al Ghul’s mysterious League of Shadows! Join the chase as he makes a discovery vital to his bat-future and watch what happens when Wonder Woman comes to the rescue!
On sale FEBRUARY 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E • DIGITAL FIRST

The comic appears to be picking up on the split nature of the Wonder Woman TV show; the first season was set in World War Two, while the second and third picked up in the 1970s. So we’ve got young Bruce interacting with season one Wonder Woman here, which is very cool. This is such a clever way to merge these different universes. I’m really looking forward to this series.

Finally, there are a couple of cool collections on the way:

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WONDER WOMAN AND THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA VOL. 1 TP
Written by DAN VADO and CHUCK DIXON
Art by MIKE COLLINS, KEVIN WEST, RICK BURCHETT, MARC CAMPOS and others • Cover by MIKE COLLINS and JOSE MARZAN JR.
In these never-before-collected stories from the 1990s, Wonder Woman takes over as leader of the Justice League of America, whether Green Lantern Guy Gardner, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle like it or not. Acting at the behest of the United Nations, the team must respond to a human rights crisis in a remote African nation, only to find the populace under the thumbs of the super-powered Extremists. The team then must jet to Norway, where the young superhero called Ice struggles to keep the nation out of the hands of her older brother. Collects JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #78-85, JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA ANNUAL #7 and GUY GARDNER #15.
On sale MARCH 15 • 264 pg, FC, $24.99 US

I often forget about Justice League America and Wonder Woman’s time leading the team, and I’m an expert on the character! Everyone remembers Justice League International and Morrison relaunching JLA, but in between that Justice League America ran for a long time and Wonder Woman was a key player. It’s very cool that this run is getting collected; it’s a fun period of Wonder Woman’s history that sometimes gets overlooked.

We’ve also got more collected George Perez:

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WONDER WOMAN BY GEORGE PEREZ OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC
Written by GEORGE PEREZ and others • Art by CHRIS MARRINAN, JILL THOMPSON, COLLEEN DORAN and others • Cover by CHRIS MARRINAN and GEORGE PEREZ
Following the events of INVASION, Wonder Woman and Captain Atom must locate the missing Steve Trevor, while the citizens of Themyscira witness the arrival of a new man on their island. This volume also includes the origins of both Cheetah and Silver Swan, the appearance of a lost tribe of Egyptian Amazons and more! Collects WONDER WOMAN #25-45 and ANNUAL #2.
On sale MAY 10 • 552 pg, FC, $99.99 US

I was hoping that DC would continue their omnibus collection of Perez’s Wonder Woman run past the first volume, and they are! Nearly two years after the first collection, but oh well. It’s continuing on, and that’s exciting, plus it bodes well for a third omnibus to finish the run. Save your pennies and clear some shelf space because this is going to be expensive and massive.

Well, that’s quite a month! It’s nice to have a slew of new Wonder Woman comics to look forward to.

Wonder Woman’s May 2016 Covers and Solicits

February 23, 2016

May is going to be another busy month for Wonder Woman, and will mark the end of her two mainline series. Wonder Woman is set to relaunch in June with a new #1 issue, while Superman/Wonder Woman will be done forever, thank goodness; that book never even got close to decent, despite three years of trying. But that’s June. In May, both series are wrapping up, plus Wonder Woman’s got a few other things in the mix, including a very cool surprise. Let’s take a look at what she’ll be up to in May, starting with Wonder Woman #52 and its two covers:

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WONDER WOMAN #52
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art by MIGUEL MENDOÇA
Cover by YANICK PAQUETTE
Variant cover by DAVID FINCH and MATT BANNING
On sale MAY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Hecate’s true motivations are revealed and Wonder Woman’s dream of a happy ending is called into question by the Amazon warrior herself. You can’t afford to miss the epic conclusion of the quest to save baby Zeke and the Olympians.

While we don’t have official confirmation on the new Wonder Woman creative team, all signs point to this being the last issue for Meredith and David Finch. And there was much rejoicing throughout the land. Their final outing wraps up the storyline of Zeke’s illness, and it sounds like Hecate might be up to no good. Really? The creepy looking witch goddess with the spikes coming out her head doesn’t have the purest of intentions? I did not see that coming (I actually did, in my review of the start of this arc last week. I think I was sarcastic about her then, too. That sounds like me).

Anyway, the Finches will be done and maybe the series will be good for a change from now on. Here’s hoping!

Onto Superman/Wonder Woman #29:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #29
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by KARL KERSCHL
On sale MAY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
It’s the penultimate chapter of “Super League”! When all the Supermen have fallen, it’s Supergirl to the rescue! But can Kara and Wonder Woman stop a villain who wants to end Clark’s hope for future Supermen?

This is a whole big crossover scene with all of the other Super-books, and seeing as I don’t buy any of those than I’m guessing this issue won’t make a lick of sense to me. But it’s a Wonder Woman/Supergirl team-up, and that could be fun. Plus a Karl Kerschl cover! This issue has some stuff going for it, certainly. Though it also sounds like a fitting end to this series that has consistently focused on Superman over Wonder Woman, with a Super-crossover that’s yet again all about the Man of Steel.

We’ve also got a double shipping Legend of Wonder Woman in May:

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THE LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN #5
Written by RENAE DE LIZ
Art by RENAE DE LIZ and RAY DILLON
Cover by RENAE DE LIZ
On sale MAY 4 • 40 pg, FC, 5 of 9, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Double shipping in May! In issue #5, the Holliday Girls are off to Boston! But while the girls go shopping, Etta and Diana have more dangerous errands to run. Diana visits the newspaper that published tales of the Duke of Deception…and discovers a new mission—perhaps she can save Themyscira by saving the people of Man’s World from him!

THE LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN #6
Written by RENAE DE LIZ
Art by RENAE DE LIZ and RAY DILLON
Cover by RENAE DE LIZ
On sale MAY 18 • 40 pg, FC, 6 of 9, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Double shipping in May! There’s a war devastating the outside world, and while Diana tries not to care, she cannot help but want to protect the many who are suffering. As she finally confronts the Duke of Deception and his minions, she must decide whether to chase her answers of home, or use her new strengths to defend the outsiders.

Double the shipping, double the fun! Two issues of the Legend of Wonder Woman sounds like a good deal to me. This book is so good, I’d gladly pay for it twice in one month. It’s the best Wonder Woman comic in years, by a considerable margin. We’ve seen the contents of the fifth issue already in digital form, and it’s super good; Diana and Etta hijinks are the best. And the next issue will finally have Diana going off to the war to battle the Duke of Deception, which should be an excellent time. It’s the best comic, gang. Buy it!

Finally, a fun surprise: A Wonder Woman coloring book!

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COLORING DC: WONDER WOMAN TP
Art by GEORGE PEREZ, PHIL JIMENEZ, DAVID FINCH and others
Cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
On sale JUNE 29 • 96 pg, B&W, $15.99 US
DC’s Amazon princess stars in a new coloring book focusing on her greatest covers, splash pages and more by some of comics’ top artists!

This sounds SO cool. Wonder Woman art by her classic artists will be so much fun to color, plus the book is 96 pages long! That’s a lot of coloring bang for your buck. I’m excited to see what pages and covers they include in the book, and I’m definitely going to pick this one up.

The solicits also listed several new Wonder Woman figures. We’ve discussed most of them before elsewhere on the site, but here are the details of when you can get them:

  • The DC Comics Icons Wonder Woman figure designed by Ivan Reis is out in September 2016 for $28 US.
  • The DC Designer Series: Greg Capullo line Wonder Woman figure is also out in September 2016 and also sells for $28 US.
  • The September 2016 fun continues with a Wonder Woman 3-pack of figures that includes her first Golden Age appearance, the Terry Dodson figure, and the New 52 figure. It sells for a surprisingly steep $75US.

Look for all of the comics in May, the coloring book in June, and the figures in September. Also, maybe start saving your pennies now because that’s a lot of things to buy!

Wonder Woman’s June 2015 Covers And Solicits

March 17, 2015

June is a big month for DC Comics, with 25 new series debuting and surprising changes for the rest of their ongoing series. We’ve already seen Wonder Woman’s new costume, which has gotten mixed reviews thus far, but let’s take a look at the solicits for Wonder Woman’s comics and find out what is up with the Amazing Amazon this June.

First up is Wonder Woman #41:

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WONDER WOMAN #41
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and
JONATHAN GLAPION
THE JOKER Variant cover by BRIAN BOLLAND
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US RATED T
A daring new direction begins with the arrival of a brand-new villain! But while he may be new to us, he’s not new to the world he seeks to tame. And speaking of villains, Donna Troy’s quest to destroy Wonder Woman ratchets up another gear (if that’s even possible!), while the games of the Gods bring dark portents to the ultimate Amazon!

So apparently Wonder Woman is $3.99 now. I hope that’s a misprint; Wonder Woman has been $2.99 since the New 52 relaunch.

We’re getting a new villain, and it sounds like it’s an original creation from the Finches with the whole “new to us” bit. That’s sort of ominous. Given how poorly they’ve done with beloved, established characters, I’m worried about what sort of new character the Finches will bring into Wonder Woman’s world. It also sounds like the gods will have a bigger role, which will be a big change. After being a constant presence in the Azzarello/Chiang run, the gods haven’t been much of a role since the Finches took over.

Next up is Superman/Wonder Woman #18:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #18

Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and others
Cover by PAULO SIQUEIRA
THE JOKER Variant cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
The epic new storyline “TRUTH” continues! As the pressure mounts, a relationship is tested!

While I don’t love the idea of Superman just wearing a t-shirt, I really like the t-shirt. I’d definitely wear that. The Fleischer’s Superman is all sorts of fun.

As for the story, this is a very vague solicit! The “Truth” storyline is running through Action Comics, Superman, and Batman Superman as well, and none of those solicits give any hints as to what this truth may be. Superman’s got some sort of secret, and that’s all we know. I’m not at all surprised to have Superman/Wonder Woman focusing on Superman and tying into the other Super-books again, though. God forbid they focus on Wonder Woman for any length of time.

We’ve also got Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #11:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #11
Written by JOSH ELDER
Art by JAMAL IGLE and JUAN CASTRO
Cover by STEPHANE ROUX
On sale JUNE 17 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Wonder Woman has always been both warrior and diplomat. Now she must stand against Ares, the god of war himself, if she is to bring peace to the central African nation of Itari, where a centuries-old tribal “Vendetta” threatens to plunge the nation into a bloody civil war.

It looks like we’ve got another three-part digital story that will become one full issue of the print version of Sensation Comics. That can be fun, if the story is able to carry the whole book. It worked great for Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman’s Apokalips story; that was great, and definitely warranted a full issue for itself. Hopefully this new story is similarly good. The creative team is decent, and a trip to Africa to fight Ares could be fun.

Finally, here are a couple of scheduling notes. First, Wonder Woman Annual #1, originally scheduled for April 1, has been moved to June 3. The annual is set to wrap up the current arc on Wonder Woman, but it looks like it won’t be done in time to be published before “Convergence” takes over DC for a couple of months.

Second, the Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus Volume 1 has been solicited, though it’s not out until August 19. It’s 640 pages for $75, and includes the first 24 issues of Perez’s legendary run. I’m also encouraged to see it listed as the first volume; it would be great to get more of Perez’s run in omnibus form. I’m really looking forward to this beast of a book!

Wonder Woman By George Pérez Omnibus Coming In August 2015

August 22, 2014

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DC Comics has released their schedule for graphic novels and collections for the next year or so, and the item on the list that is most relevant to my interests is the Wonder Woman by George Pérez Omnibus coming on August 25, 2015. This 640 page hardcover collects Wonder Woman #1-24 and Wonder Woman Annual #1, covering the first two years of Pérez’s acclaimed relaunch of the series from the late 1980s. It’ll retail for about $75, which isn’t too bad for such a massive book.

This is exciting news for fans of Pérez’s iconic run, which has been out of print for several years now. DC released four paperback collections of Wonder Woman #1-24 in 2004 and 2005, but they haven’t been part of DC’s catalogue for a while; used copies of the first two volumes sell for upwards of $50 on Amazon, though the latter two are more affordable.

Pérez’s relaunch was a defining moment for Wonder Woman, and re-cemented her as one of DC’s top characters. Wonder Woman was a perennial poor seller throughout the 1980s, and the book became so toxic that no one wanted to touch tackling a new series after Wonder Woman’s “death” in Crisis on Infinite Earths. George Pérez was the only big name creator who was excited by the challenge. His Wonder Woman run embraced key aspects of her past incarnations while presenting a more modern, relevant take on the character, and the book was very popular with fans and critics. The writing and art are both some of the finest in Pérez’s storied career, and it’s an era for Wonder Woman that deserves to remain in print for future generations to enjoy.

The only disappointing note in this announcement is that “Wonder Woman by George Pérez Omnibus” is not followed by “Volume One.” That doesn’t mean that there won’t be a second volume, but tellingly the paperback collections and this omnibus both stop at the same point; after Wonder Woman #24, Pérez stopped drawing the series. He continued to write it for several years, with excellent art by Chris Marrinan, Colleen Doran, Jill Thompson, and a few others, but those issues weren’t collected in the paperback line. My fingers are crossed for a second and third omnibus that collect all 62 issues of Pérez’s run. There were a lot of great stories in the later issues of his tenure, and the art by Colleen Doran and Jill Thompson in particular is a fantastic showcase of these two great artists early in their careers.

But for now we’ve got a first omnibus for sure, and that is very exciting. It’ll be a whole year before we can buy it, but it will definitely be worth the wait. And if it does well, perhaps we’ll see more Wonder Woman collections like this in the future, from Pérez or even other creators. I would definitely be on board for a Wonder Woman by Phil Jimenez Omnibus. So mark your calendars for August 25, 2015, and let’s make the Wonder Woman by George Pérez Omnibus a hit!

Wonder Woman Sales In The 1980s OR It’s No Wonder We Got The Perez Relaunch

April 30, 2013

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No one talks much about Wonder Woman in the late 1970s and into the 1980s.  After Ms. magazine and the TV show, the comic was just sort of there.  Wonder Woman shared her book with Huntress for a while, the editing position was a revolving door, and not much from that era lives on as classic Wonder Woman material apart from a few great Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez covers.

Recently, I came across some interesting sales numbers for this era, via several cool comics dudes: Matt Fraction’s tumblr to Chris Roberson’s tumblr to former Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter’s blog.  A few years ago, Shooter posted this sales analysis of DC’s comics released in November 1985:

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Crisis on Infinite Earths topped the charts at DC, albeit with numbers that don’t look so huge by today’s standards.  However, I believe these are just the newsstand numbers, so there’d be more copies sold through comics shops and subscriptions.  Anyway, Crisis on Infinite Earths was big.  In November 1985, we would’ve been about 8 or 9 issues in, so it was all getting very exciting.  Superman and Tales of the Teen Titans were pretty popular, and oddly enough books like Hawkman and Fury of Firestorm were doing solid numbers (not so much these days though).  Poor Batman was in the middle of the pack, outsold by the team book Batman and the Outsiders.  Hey, remember when they tried to bring that back a little while ago?  It had Cassandra Cain in it!

Anyway, as we move down to the bottom of the list, there we see Wonder Woman.  The lowest print run of all of DC’s titles (84,500), and the lowest sales (19,300).  By November 1985, the current version of the series wasn’t long for the world, and it ended very soon after.  You can see why.  These are terrible numbers.

Poor sales weren’t anything new for Wonder Woman.  The book was tanking in the 1960s, which led to the mod revamp.  That was a huge mess, but it got Wonder Woman on the cover of Ms. and she became a huge icon after that.  But her sales had petered out dramatically a decade later, and it sounds like they’d been bad for a while.  In his introduction to the first collected volume of his Wonder Woman run, George Perez talks about how the book had been a perennial poor seller and no big name creators wanted to go near it.  The last issue of the first volume of Wonder Woman had a cover date of February 1986, and it took a full year for DC to decide what to do with the character.

Luckily, we ended up with George Perez and a book that revitalized Wonder Woman and set the standard for years to come.  Sales in the 1990s and through the 2000s have never been massive, with only sporadic, short term jumps for new creative teams, but at least Wonder Woman hasn’t hit the bottom of DC’s charts since 1985.  The current run looks to be settling into the upper middle of the New 52 pack, and while we’d all love it to be higher, at least it’s not getting beat by a Blue Devil book.

Karen Berger’s Wonder Woman Legacy

December 5, 2012

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By the late 1980s, it had been a LONG time since Wonder Woman comics were relevant or any kind of bestseller.  She was very popular in the 1940s and drifted down from there.  With the mod revamp in the late 1960s and then the return to her Amazon roots and the TV show in the 1970s, Wonder Woman got some attention, but it didn’t really translate into comic sales or much acclaim for the series.  After Wonder Woman died in Crisis on Infinite Earths, the character needed something new and invigorating.

Enter George Perez and Karen Berger.  Perez gets pretty much all of the credit for the new Wonder Woman series that premiered in 1987, and he certainly deserves it, but you may not know that Karen Berger was the editor on the book for Perez’s entire run.  Berger is better known for her work on Sandman and the eventual creation of Vertigo, but she played a key role in making Wonder Woman relevant again.

The new Wonder Woman brought the character into the modern world, keeping key aspects of her Golden Age origin while updating and re-inventing other components.  The Amazons were more fleshed out, the gods became regular characters, Wonder Woman set up a new network of friends in Boston, and mythology became the core of the series’ stories.  It also dealt with real world issues, though, like feminism, racism, drug use, and teen suicide.  The book was extremely well-received, and for the first time in decades Wonder Woman made an impressive showing on the sales charts.  Perez’s writing and art really sold the book, but Berger’s editorial influence and insights shouldn’t be overlooked.

Another of Berger’s big contributions to Wonder Woman was the impressive number of female creators the series had while she was in charge.  Mindy Newell co-wrote over 10 issues in the middle of the Perez run, while Colleen Doran and Cynthia Martin each drew a couple.  Jill Thompson was Wonder Woman’s regular artist for the last two years of Perez’s tenure, before she jumped over to Sandman.  Tatjana Wood coloured the first few issues while Nansi Hoolahan coloured the last few, with Petra Scotese and Juliana Ferriter getting a colouring gig here and there in between.  For the last 27 issues of the 62 issue run, there wasn’t a single issue of Wonder Woman that didn’t have a female creator in some capacity.

Perez and Berger both left the book after Wonder Woman #62, and it had a bit of a rough go until Phil Jimenez came along and righted the ship.  Score another one for Karen Berger there.  When Berger’s departure from Vertigo was announced, Jimenez tweeted that she was one of the 2 or 3 people to whom he owes his career.  Berger may not have been involved with Wonder Woman anymore, but she was certainly involved in bringing along Phil Jimenez in the comic world.

Perez and Berger’s time on the book set a new standard for Wonder Woman, one that has inspired the creators that have followed.  They changed the game and made Wonder Woman relevant again, and the influence of their stories can be seen in the much lauded Greg Rucka and Gail Simone runs that came years down the road.

Of course, the DC universe has been relaunched now, and the new Wonder Woman is a far cry from the Perez era.  But guess what?  Karen Berger is still behind it all, however indirectly.  Writer Brian Azzarello established himself as a top creator at Vertigo with his run on Hellblazer and his own 100 Bullets, while artist Cliff Chiang was an editor at Vertigo before turning to art.  Vertigo also published some of his earliest work.  And when Cliff Chiang needs a break, who does DC turn to?  Tony Akins, best known for his work on Vertigo’s Jack of Fables.  Karen Berger’s influence knows no bounds!!

It’s an understatement to say that Wonder Woman wouldn’t be what she is today without Karen Berger.  Her influence on the early years of the new series, along with the many creators she’s shepherded through Vertigo, have made a lasting impression on the character.  It’s said that she’s leaving DC and Vertigo, but it’ll be exciting to see what fantastic things she does next!!


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