Posts Tagged ‘Hermes’

Wonder Woman #35 Preview OR A Peek At Brian Azzarello And Cliff Chiang’s Epic Finale

October 28, 2014

After more than three years, Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s time on Wonder Woman is coming to a close tomorrow with Wonder Woman #35. It’s been quite a run, and despite my qualms with some aspects of the story, their tenure’s high points have been remarkable and certain issues will go down as some of the best in the history of Wonder Woman, I’m sure. I’ll talk more about their legacy in my review tomorrow, but first let’s take a look at what’s coming.

When we last left our intrepid heroine, she’d gone to Olympus with Hermes, Zola, and Zeke, and Poseidon had arrived to stop their plans. The preview picks up right where Wonder Woman #34 left off:

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Well, now I’m very worried about Hermes. He’s been one of my favourites characters from the very first issue; if you’ve kept up with my reviews, you’ll remember how I sad I was when he was on the outs with Wonder Woman during the second year and was barely in the book. Hopefully Olympus is a place of immortality, as he says, because I don’t want to lose such a great character.

Zola is looking ever more owly, which I think is significant given the owl/Athena connection. We’ll find out tomorrow if my theory is correct. If it is, we’ll see Zola revealed as a disguised Athena, and possible Zeke revealed as a disguised Zeus. I think I might be onto something here.

Finally, Wonder Woman’s “Um… no?” in reply to Poseidon’s demands is perfect and hilarious. I’m expecting a spectacular showcase for Wonder Woman in this final issue, with the vanquishing of foes and the triumph of good over evil and all of those things. This preview looks to be a good start on that road. I’m going to miss Cliff Chiang drawing Diana so much. For me, he draws the definitive Wonder Woman. He captures her exactly.

Wonder Woman #35 will be available in stores and online tomorrow. It should be pretty epic, so go check it out! I’ll be back with a full review sometime on Wednesday afternoon. I’m anticipating having a lot of feelings about the end of this run, and am looking forward to hearing all of your thoughts on the finale as well.

Wonder Woman #31 Preview OR No Boys Allowed

May 21, 2014

Maybe I should have gone with “All Hell Breaks Loose” for the title of this post, since the dead have all escaped Hades now that the First Born appears to have, somewhat ironically, killed the god of the underworld. If it’s a relevant plot point, perhaps I’ll use that for my review of the issue, which should be up tomorrow. Anyway, things are getting crazy! Let’s see what’s going on in Wonder Woman #31, in this preview from Buzzfeed:

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First off, like the title I did use says, the boys are on the outs. Hermes and Dionysus are sitting in a restaurant in London, unwelcome on Paradise Island where Wonder Woman is assembling her Amazon army to take down the First Born. Hermes is particularly put out by the misandry of it all; maybe he should trade his blue hat for a fedora. If there’s a scene where Wonder Woman tells him men aren’t allowed on Paradise Island and he responds “Not all men,” this issue will go down as the dudebro comic of the year.

Also, souls are floating around everywhere, but only the gods seem to notice. That’s a bad sign for Hades, and it looks like the First Born killed him at the end of the last issue. Gods are dropping like flies now.

Back on Paradise Island, Wonder Woman is rallying the troops in a somewhat dictatorial fashion. Remember when the Amazons trusted their queen implicitly and followed her wherever she led them because they were a society based on mutual respect and love? Good times. Now, not so much with the trust and respect. It looks like Wonder Woman’s convinced at least one of the Amazons, though, so that’s a start. It wouldn’t surprise me if Aleka challenged Diana again before the attack on the First Born is launched, but perhaps she’ll fall in line. To find out, I guess we’ll have to read the issue.

This will be easy to do, because it’s out today, online and in comic shops everywhere. Check it out, and enjoy the build up to what should be an epic final battle.

Wonder Woman #27 Preview OR The Search For Zola And Zeke Begins

January 22, 2014

Wonder Woman #27 is out already, but a decent preview wasn’t available until I got up this morning so here’s a peek inside the book.  You might want to click on that two page spread to get a bigger image:

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So Wonder Woman’s pretty bummed about Zola leaving, but looks to be teaming up with Hermes and Hera, and possibly more people if that last line is any indication, to go get her back.  I’m all for more Hermes in the book, so this should be fun.

Plus, Cliff Chiang is back!  Holy cats, these pages are gorgeous.  I wish Cliff Chiang could draw all the comics.  Batman by Cliff Chiang.  Avengers by Cliff Chiang.  Hellboy by Cliff Chiang.  Sex Criminals by Cliff Chiang.  I’d buy them all.

Wonder Woman #27 is available in stores and online today, though if you’re on the East coast and in the middle of this blizzard, online might be the way to go.  My local comic book store is closed for the day, and I suspect a lot of others are closed as well.  Stay safe, stay warm, and read comics on a screen if you can’t wait!  I’ll have a review of the book up tomorrow, and another fun post later today so keep your eyes peeled.

Wonder Woman #25 Preview OR A Suspended Cage Of Emotion

November 19, 2013

Wonder Woman #25 is out tomorrow, and Maxim has the exclusive preview.  Because that makes a lot of sense.  A Wonder Woman preview should definitely be right next to illuminating articles like “The Superhot Secrets of Lesbian Sex” and “TV’s 12 Hottest News Anchors.”  According to the blurb before the preview, everyone at Maxim is a big fan of this book, so congratulations Wonder Woman team!  The skeevy dudes at Maxim are super into what you’re doing.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the preview:

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So Strife is looking to take out Wonder Woman with some sort of magic pin, Cassandra has poor Milan trapped in a frightening cage, and Wonder Woman is still trying to sort out how she feels about Hermes when Orion shows up and just starts blowing stuff up.  People in this comic need to start pausing for a moment to take a deep breath before they react to things.  It would save a lot of wanton destruction.

Hopefully Hermes is okay.  He’s a god, I suppose.  He can probably survive a blast.  And if the cover is any indication, it looks like things are going to escalate quickly with Strife, so perhaps the Orion/Hermes fight will be brief.  We’ll find out soon enough!

Wonder Woman #25 is on sale in comic shops everywhere and also available online tomorrow.  After all of the pieces were set into place last issue, some stuff should start to go down this month.

Wonder Woman #24 Review OR Setting Things Up For The Coming Year

October 17, 2013

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Now that we’re done with all the lenticular covered fun of Villains Month, Wonder Woman is back on track, picking up where we left off in August.  Ares is dead, the First Born is captured, and Diana is the new god of war.  With this new status quo now established, there’s lots to play out in the coming year, and Wonder Woman #24 sets up the major plotlines.  It’s an uneventful issue, really, and somewhat awkward with so many pieces being put into place, but so it goes with set-up issues.  Let’s chat about what happened, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Everything that happened in this issue will be revealed!

Right after this warning, it will be spoiler city!

If you haven’t read the issue yet, stay away!

So let’s run through the threads this issue sets up for us.  The biggest one is Wonder Woman’s new status as the god of war, which she seems none too pleased about.  Apollo demands her presence at a meeting of the gods, and she’s very irritated to attend, half because Hermes was sent to bring her and half because of the intrusion into her day-to-day life.  She refuses to take Ares’ seat, and to participate at all unless Hera is re-instated as a god.  Apollo refuses, and Wonder Woman leaves in a huff.

This sets up one major plot: Apollo, through his oracles, knows a war is coming, and he decides that Olympus will face it without a god of war.  That may not be the best decision.  I’m curious to see what the war will be.  Things seem relatively settled among the gods themselves, so I think their opponent might be Cassandra and whatever she’s up to (more on that momentarily), particularly given her connection to the First Born.  He’s still alive, so you know he’ll get free and start some stuff at some point.  My second guess would be a war with New Genesis, since they seem like a militant bunch, but Orion isn’t even in this issue so it’s a distant second for me.

The other big plot to come out of Olympus is that Strife has sworn vengeance against Wonder Woman.  She’s planning to kill Wonder Woman and take the god of war mantle for herself.  We’ve seen Strife’s powers before, and they’re considerable, though now that Wonder Woman has tapped into her divine abilities AND is the god of war, she’ll be a formidable foe to take down.  And obviously, the book is called Wonder Woman so I doubt she’s going to die.  Strife is always fun, though, and it could be an entertaining rivalry.  Also, I’d love to see Strife as the god of war, through means other than Wonder Woman’s death.  Having her as an Olympian would add a chaotic dynamic to the mix.

Down on Earth, Cassandra obviously has some sort of plot on the go, and step one is capturing her brother, Milan.  He has the ability to see the future, so he’s a definite asset for any plan, nefarious or otherwise.  From what we know of Cassandra, she’s a bit of an unstable sadist, once forcing dozens of people to kill each other just for the fun of it.  Lennox pulled out her throat to prevent her from controlling people with her voice, and I don’t think we’ve seen any powers from her new mechanical throat, but my bet is that she’s definitely up to no good and is probably planning to spring the First Born and stick it to the Olympian gods.

Back in London, Diana, Zola, and Hera have found themselves a new apartment after their old one was blown up a few issues back.  I doubt a housewarming party of some sort will be a big plot point, but a considerable chunk of this issue was devoted to Hera and her lack of godhood.  Hera is still distraught about it, and Wonder Woman’s based her Olympian participation on her reinstatement, so I imagine this will be a recurring issue throughout the next year.

I’m also hoping that the rehabilitation of Hermes will be part of the book as well.  I loved Hermes during Wonder Woman’s first year, and wasn’t sad about him stealing Zeke so much as I was sad that he was in the book way less.  I understand why he did what he did, keeping the baby away from Hera, and he had been my favourite character since the book began.  I hope he gets to play a bigger role this year, and that he ends up part of Wonder Woman’s team again.

Hermes also played in a role in perpetuating some of Azzarello’s less enjoyable tendencies.  First, Wonder Woman only appeared in 11 of the book’s 20 pages.  On the one hand, there was a lot to set up in this issue, with a lot of different characters.  On the other hand, this happens ALL the time.  Wonder Woman is lucky to show up in half of her book on a regular basis.  I can’t think of another titular hero who so rarely graces the pages of their own series.

Second, we have yet another scene that makes Wonder Woman look bad.  I understand that Wonder Woman isn’t perfect, and that mistakes and imperfections make her human and help her grow, but it seems like there’s at least one scene per issue where she is tricked or outsmarted or smacked down by some harsh truth.  This time, it’s Hermes responding to Wonder Woman’s anger towards him.  She threatens him with swords, kicks him out of her apartment, and generally treats him with belligerence and fury in response to his calm, reasonable stance.  To Hermes, he was only protecting Zeke from Hera, fulfilling an oath he had sworn to Zeus, but Wonder Woman and Zola aren’t having any of it.  His response is rather damning:

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The annoying thing is, he’s 100% right.  Hera DESTROYED the Amazons.  Paradise Island is empty, except for snakes.  She also tried, repeatedly, to steal Zeke, fully intending to kill him when she did so.  But now they’re all pals, living together in London.  If Wonder Woman and Zola can get past all of that, surely they can have some mercy for Hermes.  That’s what so bothersome about the cutting remarks and verbal smackdowns Wonder Woman’s received during this run: They’re often rather accurate.  I don’t want a perfect Wonder Woman, but one who doesn’t need a man to reprimand her for her behavior or point out her hypocrisy every other issue would be nice.

All in all, it’s a set-up issue so not a lot happened.  I miss Cliff Chiang’s art because he always elevates the book, making a good story great and a meh, moving the pieces issue into something visually interesting at least.  Goran Sudzuka is fine, and I like his art better than Tony Akins so far, but he wasn’t given much to do in this issue apart from a lot of standing around and talking.  Things should pick up next month, though.  I hope Strife coming after Wonder Woman is the first arc because Strife always makes the book more fun.

Wonder Woman #24 Preview AKA House Hunters International

October 14, 2013

The Mary Sue seems to be the place to go for Wonder Woman related previews lately, and now they’ve got a peek at Wonder Woman #24.  Last we saw our intrepid hero, she had defeated the First Born and killed her mentor Ares, taking over his role as the God of War.  And now, it seems, she’s skipping out on her first day of godly work.  Let’s take a look:

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Hey, my favourite jacket is back!  I love that look for Diana; it’s all sorts of cool.  It looks like Azzarello is back to his old style of starting each issue with the gods conversing before moving on to Wonder Woman’s adventures, but it seems that now the two stories will quickly merge, since Hermes is there to take Wonder Woman to Mount Olympus for a family meeting.

Diana, Zola, and Hera are busy looking for a house in London, one that will fit their ever growing group.  With Diana being whisked off to Mount Olympus, you know what that means: Zola and Hera hijinks!  Hopefully they’ll get up to some fun shenanigans while Diana is off working her other job.

One last note: The cover lists the price of the comic as $3.99, when Wonder Woman is usually $2.99.  I don’t know if this is a misprint, or if DC had so much fun charging everyone four bucks for lame 3D covers last month that they’re going to keep doing it with their regular books.  The solicit lists the price as $2.99, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens when the book comes out on Wednesday.

Look for Wonder Woman #24 in comic shops everywhere this Wednesday, perhaps a little later in the day than usual if there are shipping delays from Columbus Day in the USA and Thanksgiving up here in Canada.  Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians, by the way!

Wonder Woman #18 Review OR Wonder Woman Plays A Minor Role In Some Big Story Resolution

March 21, 2013

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Something finally happened in Wonder Woman #18, which is a very nice change of pace.  Wonder Woman’s been looking for Zola’s baby since August, and now she’s finally got him back with his mother after months of what felt to me like a rather slow moving story.  So that’s good.  However, I’m of two minds on the execution.  We’ll get into it all momentarily, but first:

SPOILERS!!

Every twist and turn in this issue will be SPOILED if you read any further!!

ALL OF THEM!!

Okay, back to the book.  Let’s start with the callback to Orion slapping Wonder Woman on the rear last month, as it’s a good example of my general two-mindedness on this book.  Orion reveals that the slap was in fact a ruse to he could get some of Wonder Woman’s DNA and thus track her to Demeter’s lair in case Ares pulled something:

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In an interview with Newsarama’s Vaneta Rogers, Azzarello said that the slap was intentionally offensive and unresolved (ie. Wonder Woman didn’t retaliate) so as readers would remember it when the next issue came out.

It’s an interesting tactic, to be sure, and we can read it two ways.  First, Azzarello came up with a clever way for readers to remember an important plot point.  He was screwing with us, knowing everyone would get up in arms about it.  Second, it was kind of a cheap way to make us remember it.  Orion touching Wonder Woman so as to have her DNA could have been emphasized in any number of memorable ways, but Azzarello went with the ass slap.  Even as an elaborate ruse, Wonder Woman was still offensively touched in an unwanted way.  So which reading do we focus on?

Before we get to that, let’s look at a dual reading of this issue more broadly.  On the one hand, Wonder Woman and her team defeat Hermes and Demeter and rescue Zola’s baby, the task they’ve been working towards for months now.  Zola and her baby are reunited, and the issue ends with a very nice, heartwarming shot of the whole family sitting together.  Chiang does a great job with the page, and it’s lovely all around:

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On the other hand, Wonder Woman is the least effective part of this rescue.  She and Hermes are going toe to toe, and they’re very evenly matched.  But Hermes has the advantage of speed, and it’s not until Orion swoops in to save her that she has the means to slow down Hermes with a well placed sword stroke (Hermes is having the worst luck with leg injuries in this series).  While Wonder Woman distracts Hermes, Ares is the one who actually rescues Zola’s baby.  Wonder Woman is a diversion at best.  Orion’s speed and Ares’ sneakiness are what really save the baby.

Furthermore, Wonder Woman is entirely in the dark about what’s going on.  Unbeknownst to her, Orion tracked her to come save her bacon.  Then, when she learns that Ares has left with the baby, she’s distraught because she thinks Ares has stolen the baby for his own nefarious purposes.  She’s completely surprised to see that Ares has brought the baby back to Zola on his own.  Here’s Wonder Woman freaking out after she learns that Ares has taken the baby from Demeter:

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So are we glad that something finally happened and that Zola got her baby back, or are we annoyed that Wonder Woman was outshone by the men and completely unaware of what was actually happening?  It’s a little bit of both for me… things are rarely all that cut and dry.  I’m glad this story finally got resolved, and the last couple pages were great.  That being said, though, we’ve got yet ANOTHER issue where Wonder Woman is in the dark about some important things AND basically plays a background role in the actual goings on.  It’s getting really old.

While Wonder Woman is in the book more than usual, it’s in the context of another confrontation where her opponent talks shit about her.  This has been a common occurrence.  Wonder Woman doesn’t just fight people, she fights while getting harangued by her opponent the entire time.  I know she’s Wonder Woman and she can take it, but she’s WONDER WOMAN.  She doesn’t need to be perpetually behind the eight ball and talked down to every issue.  Do you know what people say when they fight Batman?  They say “Oh shit, it’s Batman!!” and try to run.  Even when he’s up against a bigger villain smack talking him, there’s usually a begrudging respect for Batman’s skill.  Perhaps because he can take down bad guys by himself, while Wonder Woman always needs help.

It would just be nice for Wonder Woman to be straight up awesome for an issue.  No getting duped, no help, just kicking ass and maybe even duping someone else.  Wonder Woman is smart and impressive, so I would really enjoy reading a comic where she got to be smart and impressive.  This constantly getting the rug pulled out from under her and such is driving me batty.

So ultimately, some things got resolved in this issue, which is nice, but it was the same old when it came to Wonder Woman.  I know the gods are all tricksy and powerful opponents, but I really miss the heroine from Wonder Woman #1 who busted up the centaurs, saved Zola, and was generally bad ass and cool.  It’s been downhill for her since then.

Elsewhere in the book this month, the First Born battled with Poseidon, and it looks like the First Born and his pal Cassandra both ended up swallowed by Poseidon.  Next month could be a Jonah and the whale adventure!!  If I were a giant fish creature, I would not want the First Born in my belly.  That dude is rough stuff.  It’s going to get unpleasant in there.

On the art side, the book did seem a little bit rushed this month, with three different art teams doing various sections, but overall I think it turned out a bit better than last month.  It looks like Matthew Wilson had a little more time to smooth out the colouring, which helped the look of the book a lot, and generally things felt a lot less roughed in on this issue.  Plus we got three pages of Cliff Chiang, which is always fun.  Hopefully we’ll see more of him next month.

Overall, I’m very glad that the baby searching story has been resolved and the ending was very nice and heartwarming, but the characterization and treatment of Wonder Woman still gets on my nerves.  They’re not doing anything egregious with her, but seeing the same annoying little things over and over with nothing else to counteract them is getting old.


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