Posts Tagged ‘Giganta’

Wonder Woman #68 Review: The Big Friendly Giganta

April 10, 2019

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As often happens with superhero comic books, this cover is not necessarily an accurate reflection of what’s going on inside the book. Yes, Wonder Woman and Giganta get into a bit of a precarious scrap with some rock monsters. That much is true. But the tone here is all wrong. First, I’d say it’s wrong for Wonder Woman generally. She’s not going to be sarcastic like that, especially in a combat situation, no matter who she’s with. I don’t know who did this dialogue, but I feel like it may not have been G. Willow Wilson. Second, at no point in the book is Wonder Woman annoyed with Giganta like this. While there’s a degree of conflict, it’s subtler and far more interesting than this cover conveys. I mean, it’s a fun cover. The Dodsons are always a good time. It’s just not capturing what is compelling and excellent about the insides of the book. Which we’ll dig into now, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to tell you all of the things that happen in this comic!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

Also, be sure to read it!

This run is very good!

One of the things I like most about this run so far is that G. Willow Wilson didn’t come to play. Yeah, she’s got rad action and some enjoyable comedy and all of the things that make a superhero comic entertaining. But beyond that, she is digging into some heavy stuff. The word I keep coming back to when I review her issues is “interrogation.” The first arc with Ares was an interrogation of what it means to be a hero, and whether answering violence with violence is just perpetuating a damaging system. It was an arc that didn’t land on any firm answer, and it feels like we’re picking up on that theme again here, but with a slight, more specific alteration. Now we’re interrogating what it means to be a superhero.

With the realization that the rock giants aren’t sentient, Wonder Woman doesn’t need to hold back anymore. She can push her strength and her powers further, full on demolishing the creatures without fear of killing someone. And Giganta notices, because Giganta is smart. She’s seen through Wonder Woman from day one, noting the deeper motivations behind her actions. And now she’s got some thoughts. Namely, that Wonder Woman is scared of her own powers, and that if she wanted to she could use her powers to run the world. And, more incisively, in that holding back to supposedly protect the weak, Wonder Woman is lying to herself. Giganta suggests that Wonder Woman’s morality is a smoke screen to hide from her fear of herself, of what she could be if she embraced the depths of her powers. Wonder Woman disagrees, of course, but it’s clear that she’s a bit rattled. The comments resonate with her on some level.

Now, Giganta is hardly trustworthy here. Like Ares and Veronica Cale before her, Giganta is not someone with Wonder Woman’s best interests at heart. This is hardly a critique that is meant to encourage Wonder Woman to be her best self. If anything, it’s a reflection of Giganta’s own sense of powerlessness, of her yearning for what she could do with more power. Being in the Suicide Squad can’t be terribly fun, and seeing someone free yet holding back what they can do must be irksome to her.

And yet, Giganta gets to the heart of things in a way no one else has yet. Ares is all bluster and bloviating. Veronica Cale is all anger and blame. They don’t see Diana for who she is. Giganta does, though, in her own way. When Wonder Woman insists that her morality is not fake, Giganta replies, “Oh yeah? Then why aren’t you happy?” The line made me stop for a second, in part because it was very unexpected but also because it rang surprisingly true. Yeah, Diana’s got Steve and her friends and a swell gig saving the world, but there hasn’t been a lot of joy to this run. Even beyond the drama surrounding the Amazons, there’s a dearth of happiness. She’s not unhappy, really. It’s sort of a neutral. She’s purposeful in her actions, staying true to her beliefs and what makes her who she is. There’s just no buoyancy to it. Not to go all Marie Kondo on her, but Diana’s life doesn’t seem to be sparking a lot of joy for her right now.

What that means for her, I have no idea. And again, Giganta’s most definitely not trying to help Wonder Woman here. This may not be an observation Diana needs to take to heart. I thought it resonated, though, and I’m curious to see how it plays out. The finding of Antiope’s sword seems to have lifted Diana’s spirits, and we’ve got a fun new quest ahead of us now. But Giganta’s comments run deeper than the Amazon issue. Diana doesn’t need to find her family so much as she needs to find herself. And maybe finding her family is a necessary step on that journey.

We’ve got Cary Nord and Mick Gray back on art to start out the issue, but just when I was getting into their style and starting to enjoy their work, we only get them for half the book. Ronan Cliquet takes over in the second half, and his work is generally unremarkable. If he’s trying to do a Cary Nord impression, he’s not great at it. And what we end up with is run of the mill superhero fare. We’ve got Xermanico back in two weeks, however, and he was great last time around.

Also, a fun team up with a triumvirate of awesome ladies! There’s Wonder Woman leading the charge, Aphrodite and her cool swan, and Maggie with Antiope’s sword atop the pegasus Cadmus. They look super cool, and I can’t wait to see what kind of adventure they’re about to get into. Plus, Antiope’s got to show up sometime soon now! You can’t give us her sword and then no Antiope. She’s not been a huge part of Wonder Woman comics in the past, and I’m excited to see how G. Willow Wilson and the art team bring her to life in the wake of Robin Wright’s spectacular take on the character in the Wonder Woman movie. Should be fun!

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Wonder Woman #67 Review: Swords, Stones, and an Arthurian Twist

March 27, 2019

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This issue was everything I wanted it to be. Fun banter between Wonder Woman and Giganta? Yes. Busting up rock giants in awesome fight scenes? Yes. Enemies becoming friends as they worked together toward a common purpose? YES. It was all such a good time, epic in scope yet intimate in terms of its subtle relationship building. Road trips with Wonder Woman should be a thing from now on. Like a requirement for every run. Have her team up with one of her foes against a bigger foe, go off on an adventure, and before you know it they’re pals sharing a meal at a diner in Colorado. Make it a thing, DC! It doesn’t have to be rock monsters or Colorado every time either. Though the rock monsters were cool. Big things that Wonder Woman and her pals can beat on make for enjoyable comic books.

Let’s dig into all of the friendship fun, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Look away if you have not read this excellent issue!

It’s a delight, and you should go in unspoiled!

Invest your $3.99 in a good time!

So, the titans are a big problem. Or rather, not the titans? As Wonder Woman observes by the issue’s end, they’re not acting like gods, or even properly sentient beings. They certainly don’t have the faculties one would expect from the world’s original deities. Something else seems to be happening, something involving the sword that Maggie finds in the lake. Which I loved. Any time a story veers into lady + lake + sword, things are going right up my alley. I’m all about Arthurian lore, and I’m curious to see how much G. Willow Wilson is steering into it here. I suspect not too much, since we’ve got enough going on with the Olympians all cast down to Earth. But a little taste and a touch of borrowed iconography could definitely be a nice additional to this already great storyline.

But the sword wasn’t the focus of this issue. We’ll get into that in two weeks time. This week was about friendship! And it came together in a very cool way. The last issue was all about setting the parameters. Giganta was up front about her desire not to be friends, and Diana said that’s not why she brought her (though we all know it was, even if Diana doesn’t fully realize it). It was discussed directly and, apart from a nice moment at the end of the book, Giganta was adamant they were not going to become pals.

What I especially liked about this issue is that they don’t really talk about being friends. It just sort of happens through what they’re experiencing together and by the end they’ve developed a degree of trust and camaraderie that can’t help but bring them closer together. Things start off with Giganta still a bit snarky, being sarcastic about their situation and making fun of Diana’s attempts at humour. Then the fights start, and things quickly get out of hand, as battles with rock giants are wont to do. Giganta is a valiant warrior, but she can’t handle the rock giant alone. And when she needs help, Diana is there, instantly and with all her might, even if she is tiny and little more than an annoyance to these massive creatures.

Between the lines of all of this is where their relationship starts to grow. By working together they begin to trust each other, especially on Giganta’s end. She knows she’s there to be the muscle, since she’s the only one big enough to have any effect against the rock giants. And yet, Diana is there alongside her, totally outclassed but rushing in nonetheless to help her out and buy her the time she needs to get back into the fight. That’s how everyone makes friends, really. Not in rad fights against rock giants usually, but in that you meet someone with a common interest or goal and you have each other’s backs and learn to trust and appreciate each other.

Another great thing about this issue is that I felt like the art was much improved from the last outing. Not that Cary Nord and Mick Gray did a bad job by any means two weeks back, but I felt like the art and the writing weren’t meshing together well. Nord just wasn’t capturing the spirit of the script, or adding much to help tell the story apart from the essentials. This issue felt much more engaged and connected. For one thing, his characters were expressive in a whole spectrum of ways. Last time, I had to get everything from the dialogue. The art wasn’t telling me much at all. This time, I could see what the scene felt like before I even got to the words. He was communicating the emotions of each moment very clearly.

Also, the fights were nicely done. Everything felt suitably epic and cool. The scope of it was clear, with the massive rock giant against Giganta’s sizeable frame, and a little Wonder Woman darting in and out. Plus smaller moments like the way Giganta towered over the trees sold the scale of it beautifully. There was one small moment in particular that I loved, a panel where Giganta had been knocked down and Wonder Woman rushed in to help. She zooms in and punches the giant repeatedly, to no real damage. But you can get that sense of her racing in to assist her new friend, trying to do something to slow it down and help her out:

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It’s not the clearest, most detailed panel ever, but it communicates so much. I know I’ve been down on Nord a lot during this run, but he and Gray really hit it out of the park with this issue. It’s the best we’ve seen of them so far, for sure. And of course, series MVP Romulo Fajardo Jr. makes it all just sing. That dude is the best in the biz.

So in two weeks we’ve got the mystery of the sword to dig into! The rock giants are after it, so that could be a pickle for Maggie and the gang of Olympian creatures. And if it’s an Olympian sword of some sort, I’m wondering if it will give her special powers or abilities? That could be fun. We’ll see how it all unfolds!

Wonder Woman #66 Review: Go Big or Go Home

March 14, 2019

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I’m a day late on my Wonder Woman review again. Making a movie is a lot of work, gang! There’s so much on the go. And incidentally, you can check out my short film’s Kickstarter if you want to learn more! But back to the book. When I was late to the party two weeks back, I wasn’t too sad about it. As much as I love the writing, the art for the recent two-parter was decidedly subpar. I was excited for this one, though! Cary Nord is back, and I was curious to see how things would look as he tries to adapt to a bi-weekly schedule. The first attempt went south on him pretty quick.

And the results are fine, I guess. Nord’s Wonder Woman is still a bit scrawny and inconsistent. I don’t think he’s quite got a handle on the character yet. At times, it feels like he’s trying to channel Frank Miller (not a compliment). And other times, it feels like a cartoon, but one of the cool new ones, like She-Ra (this one’s a compliment). I don’t know if it’s the hasty schedule or Wonder Woman herself, but I came away from the issue thinking that Nord’s art was okay but that he might not be the right fit for this book.

Luckily, the writing is still excellent, even if the art isn’t all that exciting. We’ll dig into all the details, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to tell you everything that happened in this comic!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

But you should read it, even though I’m down on the art!

The writing is really good!

Whatever’s happened to Olympus and the divine realm continues to have reverberations on Earth, and this time quite literally so. Two giant rock monster titans duke it out in the Rockies, causing all manner of concussive destruction. And of course Wonder Woman arrives on the scene to sort it out, thanks to our mythological creature friends who have relocated to the wilderness. I’m glad to have Cadmus, Damon, and Eirene back in the mix. A little comic relief is always welcome, plus I just like them. G. Willow Wilson’s done a nice job integrating them into the series and giving them distinct personalities, allowing them to be an amusing diversion while also key to the larger plot.

Now, titans are very, very big. And Wonder Woman, while quite powerful, is very small, relatively speaking. No matter her strength, the mass just isn’t there to make her effective against towering rock monsters. The physics doesn’t work. Luckily, she’s got a friend. Or rather, not a friend at all, as Giganta makes quite clear. But she knows a gal, and she gets Giganta out of prison to help with the fight.

I love this relationship already. Wonder Woman’s got a history with Giganta, though not as much in this current continuity. Gail Simone wrote some good stuff with her and Wonder Woman back in the day if I’m recalling correctly, but the universe has been rebooted since then. Here, Giganta is leery of Wonder Woman, fearing that her entire plan is “some kind of earnest, dewy-eyed trick to get us to become best friends.” And honestly? Fair enough. That’s totally the sort of move that Diana would pull.

She swears she’s not, and that she just needs Giganta’s help to bust up the titans. And I believe her! She’s Wonder Woman. She’s not going to lie. Actually, let me amend that. I believe that Diana believes this isn’t some friend making scheme and that the mission is all that matters. But deep down, maybe so deep that she doesn’t even realize it, she wants to make friends with Giganta. It’s just in her nature. First off, she loves being pals with awesome, powerful ladies. And second, she loves getting to know a villain and helping them find a better path. Especially female villains. She totally wants to be besties with Giganta. She just hasn’t realized it.

But Giganta’s not having any of it. She’s glad to be out of prison, but if they’re going to keep titan hunting, she wants to get paid. Like, half a million dollars paid. Which seems like a lot, but fighting titans is a dangerous game. I can understand the high quote. Wonder Woman doesn’t have that kind of money, though. In this issue she’s basically just living this John Mulaney bit:

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And once Wonder Woman admits her general exasperation with her circumstances, not just the titans but EVERYTHING that’s going on in her life right now, Giganta decides to help. Because friendship?! Not quite yet, probably, but it’s totally on the way. And I look forward to watching it develop. These two are a fun pair. And now they’re on a road trip to track down more rock monsters. That’s just a recipe for enjoyable, relationship building hijinks.

So yeah, the story is a dang delight. I loved the writing in this issue. The artwork is just, I don’t know. It’s not objectively bad or anything. Nord and Mick Gray are telling the story in a clear, readable way. It’s just not enhancing the story, or showcasing it in a compelling way. It doesn’t capture the heart of it all, both in terms of the action and fun but also with emotion. Like when Diana admits to Giganta that she’s feeling a bit overwhelmed, Nord and Gray have her in silhouette. We can get the emotion from the text, because it’s well written, but the art isn’t conveying it. The pictures aren’t complementing the words, basically. They’re not bringing things down, but they’re not working together as well as this excellent writing deserves.

We have lots to look forward to nonetheless. Rock punching. Road tripping. Friendship! It’s going to be a good time. Whenever Wonder Woman teams up with another rad lady, even if she’s a villain, you know it’s going to be fun.

Check Out The New Wonder Woman’s Prequel Short For Justice League: Gods and Monsters

June 15, 2015

Last week, Warner Bros. and Machinima releases three prequel cartoons for the upcoming animated film Justice League: Gods and Monsters. Batman starred in the first one, where he stopped an even more deranged than usual Harley Quinn and then went all vampire on her. Superman got the second one, where he wore a trench coat, sported a goatee, and killed a cute little baby Brainiac who couldn’t control his powers. Wonder Woman is the focus of the third Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles episode, “Big”. Let’s take a look:

I’m on the fence about this short. I like a lot of it. This New Gods-based Wonder Woman is a total bad ass, with a cool sword that comes when she calls it and handy access to a boom tube whenever she needs it. Plus she’s definitely got attitude. Her standing back while Steve Trevor got the crap kicked out of him because he insisted that he could handle Giganta on his own was hilarious and great. I always enjoy a Wonder Woman story where Steve is completely useless and Wonder Woman defeats the bad guys with relative ease. I also liked Tamara Taylor’s take on Wonder Woman. She was aloof and tough in enjoyable ways.

I’m more mixed on the sexual aspects of the short. The costume is a tad too revealing for my taste, treading into defying physics territory in the breast area. I thought that the banter about Wonder Woman hooking up with Steve Trevor the night before was kind of amusing, but when she jumped him after the battle I was less amused. This was partly due to the fact that Steve was a dumb, useless jerk throughout the short. He was rude and arrogant, and just no help whatsoever. I’m not entirely sure what a warrior like this Wonder Woman clearly is sees in him, other than convenience.

There is, I suppose, an interesting angle of dominance that puts a twist on William Moulton Marston’s original vision for Wonder Woman that was rooted in women being in charge. Wonder Woman is in control of all of the various kinds of action in this short, and Steve is just along for the ride. At same time, it’s interesting that neither Batman or Superman’s shorts had anything sexual going on, while it came up a lot in Wonder Woman’s. That’s not a great sign for how they see the characters.

Still, she was super bad ass, and that sword is awesome. I’d happily watch her carve up bad dudes in a feature length animated film. After seeing all of the shorts, though, I’m somewhat less excited for the movie. I’d been looking forward to a new take on the Justice League, but it just looks like they’re going dark and gritty with it. By “new take” I wasn’t hoping for “it’s 1998 and superheroes are wearing trench coats and killing people.”

Justice League: Gods and Monsters will be released on DVD and online on July 28. It might be cool, it might not, but Bruce Timm is behind it all so that makes it worth checking out for me.

Wonder Woman ’77 #6 Review: “Who Is Wonder Woman? Part 3” by Marc Andreyko, Matt Haley, and Richard Ortiz

April 16, 2015

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The final issue of this Wonder Woman ’77 arc ends with a bang as Wonder Woman faces a gang of some of her fiercest villains in a battle royale. Sort of. As the end of last week’s issue revealed, Dr. Psycho was behind the appearance of a new Wonder Woman and Diana’s apparent depowering, controlling her mind with some sort of fiendish apparatus. This week, Dr. Psycho’s still got some mental sway, but not enough to overcome Wonder Woman.

He conjures up a group of foes for Wonder Woman, including Giganta, the Cheetah, Silver Swan, and Cathy Lee Crosby’s Wonder Woman. After a few pages of fighting, Wonder Woman realizes that the villains aren’t real and wraps herself in her own lasso so that she can see what’s actually going on. What she finds is a fleeing Dr. Psycho, who she quickly nabs with her lasso, using it to make him think a legion of Wonder Woman zombies are after him. She returns him to prison, and then skips out on a date with Steve to instead relax in the tub. The gal had a long day.

The issue is a fun conclusion to the series’ second arc, and I was glad to see so many villains in the mix, even if they weren’t real. The first arc was just about Silver Swan, which was good and all, but it was cool to see classic villains like Dr. Psycho, Giganta, and the Cheetah worked into Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman universe. I always wondered why the TV show didn’t make more use of Wonder Woman’s classic rogues gallery, so it’s fun that we finally get to see Lynda Carter face off against them, even if it’s in comic book form nearly 40 years later.

The writing is strong throughout the issue, though necessarily sparse. It’s the big final fight, so there’s really no need for exposition or a lot of chitchat. I love the assortment of villains that Marc Andreyko picked, and that he focused so much on female villains. I also love that his Cheetah is Priscilla Rich, harkening back to her Golden Age incarnation rather than the Barbara Minerva incarnation that most fans are more familiar with these days. You’ve got to enjoy a deep cut like that.

Matt Haley and Richard Ortiz do a good job with the issue. They capture all of the villains well, and continue a strong and accurate depiction of Lynda Carter. That’s the lynchpin of the whole series, really. Wonder Woman HAS to look like Lynda Carter, or else what’s even the point? If she doesn’t, then it becomes just another Wonder Woman comic. Haley and Ortiz do a very good Carter here, giving us fans what we want most. I also like the subdued take on Dr. Psycho. He’s not deformed or creepy or over-exaggerated, a trap I’ve seen several artists fall into. Haley and Ortiz make him villainous without making him into some sort of crazed ogre.

Overall, this was a fun arc, and I’m excited to check out the collection of the first two arcs of Wonder Woman ’77 when it hits stores soon. It will be very cool to have some Lynda Carter Wonder Woman comics in print form. Digital is great, but for me there’s nothing like paper. It adds something to the experience, I find. I do sort of wish they’d print Wonder Woman ’77 and Batman ’66 on the old style, cheap paper though, just for fun, to capture the retro vibe even more. While I doubt it would be the best showcase for today’s modern art and colouring, it would be so cool. But modern paper is good too. Look for the Wonder Woman ’77 Special #1 in comic shops everywhere on May 6.

This might be it for Wonder Woman ’77 for a while, and perhaps forever depending on sales. It’d be great to see more, but I’m not sure what the plans are. Next week, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman is back, promising some monsters and a great Emanuela Lupacchino cover!

The Lack Of Wonder Woman, And Women Generally, In The Robot Chicken DC Comics Special

September 11, 2012

The Robot Chicken DC Comics Special aired this weekend on Cartoon Network, and it was kind of meh for me.  I know comedy is all sorts of subjective, but usually Robot Chicken is amusing… their Star Wars stuff was funny.  DC is ripe for parody, but the show didn’t really amount to much other than some tired Aquaman jokes and Superman kissing dudes.  The Bane breaking Batman’s back gag was a little bit funny, but I don’t think I actually laughed out loud once.  The whole thing felt like a missed opportunity to me.

Comedy value aside, the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special also continued the troubling trend of not giving female characters much to do.  I know that being serious about a comedy show is never very fun, but we see this all the time with superheroes.  Female characters get marginalized, wherever they may appear.

Case in point, Wonder Woman.  First off, how they went a whole half hour without making a bondage joke I have NO idea.  Second, Wonder Woman is part of DC’s Big Three, and their most famous female character, and she only had four lines in the entire show.

In her first scene, she made fun of Aquaman with Superman and Green Lantern.  You can check out that scene here:

In her second scene, she again made fun of Aquaman with Superman.  Her two lines consisted of mocking cruise ship passengers and congratulating Superman on his Aquaman burn.

Finally, in the big brawl at the end of the show, Wonder Woman busted up a bunch of villains and exclaimed “Yeah, droppin’ motherf***ers!! Who’s next?!” while looking like this:

And that was it.

She was also in the background for a few other scenes, but she had very little to do in the show.  Mr. Freeze had more lines.  Mirror Master had more lines.  Firestorm had more lines.  The smelly guy from the mail room of the Legion of Doom headquarters had more lines.  Wonder Woman was little more than an afterthought.

This was true of all of the other female characters in the show.  Lois Lane had two lines setting up a bit where Superman kisses all of his villains to wipe their memories.  Abby Arcane had a line in a four second Swamp Thing bit.  Ice closed an all freeze-related villain sketch that went on for a few minutes with all male characters before she popped up to do the closing line.  Giganta stole Aquaman’s pants.  Cheetah called Catwoman a bitch.  Harley Quinn implied that the urine in the Joker’s flower that just sprayed Batman was, in fact, hers.  All quality bits…

All told, seven female characters spoke eleven lines of dialogue in the entire show.  A few more appeared in the background, like Catwoman and Zatanna and Stargirl (of course, since Geoff Johns was involved), but for the most part there weren’t many female characters and those who were there spoke very little.

Also, while most of the major male heroes were in the special, a lot of well-known female characters weren’t, particularly those headlining their own books.  Batgirl, Batwoman, Black Canary, Huntress, Power Girl, and Supergirl were nowhere to be found.  Nor was Hawkgirl, who a lot of people know from the Justice League cartoon.  The show was pretty much wall to wall male characters, some of them rather obscure, with a lady very occasionally.

Ultimately, it’s bad enough that the show wasn’t funny.  They didn’t need to do absolutely nothing with Wonder Woman and exclude female characters generally too.  And good lord, people, Aquaman jokes are PLAYED OUT.  Get some better, more diverse, material.


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