Posts Tagged ‘Holliday Girls’

The Legend of Wonder Woman #23 Review: Off To Battle, Superpowers Or Not

April 14, 2016


The new issue of The Legend of Wonder Woman was a bit delayed at Comixology today, so this is review is a little late, but better late than never! And this book is always worth the wait, of course. I mean, this issue has Wonder Woman and the Holliday Girls going off to fight the Duke of Deception and prevent the end of the world. What more do you want out of a comic book?

At the end of last week’s issue, Steve and the rest of the troops flew off to take on the Duke of Deception, not knowing they were about to face a Titan bent on destroying the planet. Unfortunately, Zeus had taken back Wonder Woman’s superpowers when she refused to help him allow the Titan to complete his task so Zeus could remake the world afterward, so Diana was stuck behind in France. This issue begins with Diana jonesing to get in on the fight, even without her powers, hoping to at least inspire the troops with Wonder Woman’s presence and perhaps turn herself over to the Duke to delay the Titan’s emergence. But she’s hundreds of miles away, with no way to get to the action.

Enter the Holliday Girls, and the fantastic Golden Age fun that Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon do so well. The way the story unfolded from here captured everything I love about the original Wonder Woman comics and the inventive ways De Liz and Dillon revisit the classic tales. Not only are the Holliday Girls in the thick of things in France, but they’ve been snooping around and have a line on a secret plane they could “borrow.” Also, there’s no way they were letting Diana go off by herself; if she’s going into a war zone, they’re all going.

This is the Golden Age Holliday Girls in a nutshell. They were forever following Wonder Woman into battle, coming up with inventive ways to get in on the action and help their friend. Going into a war zone is actually pretty tame relative to what they got up to in the 1940s. The Holliday Girls went deep underground to fight subterranean mole men, and far into space visiting a wide variety of planets. They really got around.

Their trip also marks the debut of one of the most classic Wonder Woman elements ever: Her invisible plane. Usually of Amazonian origin, it’s re-imagined in The Legend of Wonder Woman as the secret military plane that Diana and the Holliday Girls “borrow.” While looking for the radio button, Tillie hits a big red button marked “Danger, Untested Prototype” and the plane turns invisible around them. It’s a fun new twist on an iconic part of the Wonder Woman mythos, something classic yet different that also fits beautifully into the flow of the story.

I also really enjoyed that Diana tells the Holliday Girls to try not to kill any Germans, because there’s been enough death already. It would have been easy to let Wonder Woman and the Holliday Girls slip into the thick of battle and shoot down planes indiscriminately, as one is wont to do in a war zone. A story set during a war often has an expectation of killing the enemy built into it. But De Liz has chosen to highlight Wonder Woman’s compassion, and rather than an unremarked upon free for all, we get the Holliday Girls using their plane’s turrets to take out the wings of enemy planes and thus spare the pilots. It’s a small thing that speaks volumes about the heart of the characters.

It looks like things are going to start to get dicey for the gang next week now that they’re on the Duke of Deception’s doorstep, and the final battle will be especially interesting because Wonder Woman is about to jump into it with no superpowers at all. It’s going to be fun to watch everything play out over the four issues we have left! Wait, what? Only four issues? That’s heartbreaking. But dang, what a conclusion it’s building to be!

The Legend of Wonder Woman #22 Review: The Holliday Girls’ Showstopper

April 7, 2016


With this week’s digital first installment of The Legend of Wonder Woman, we’re into the start of what will be the penultimate issue of the print series. Usually with a mini-series, that would mean a ramp up to the grand finale, with all of the pieces falling into place for the battle royale that’s about to unfold. But with The Legend of Wonder Woman, the penultimate issue means a big performance number from the Holliday Girls, along with their pal Diana.  And if you’re not delighted by that, then I just feel sorry for you. This book has been a joy from start to finish, and I love that it’s maintaining its sense of fun and frivolity right to the end.

Not that the series can’t be serious, of course. The last issue got pretty heavy, what with Zeus trying to convince Wonder Woman to be his champion and allow the world to be destroyed and remade into something better. Diana refused to be part of such wanton death and destruction, and had her superpowers taken from her as a result; it was an ironic twist to have her lose her gifts at the moment she reached peak Wonder Woman with her valiant stance against violent patriarchal plans.

But rather than wallow in sadness or loss, Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon’s Diana embraces the change. Unlike other recent major superhero properties, this is not a story of glum, downcast heroes. Diana knows that she can still be useful to the world, even without her powers, and she also has developed a rich life outside of her superhero feats that is filled with friendship, romance, and meaning. So what does she do? She goes to a fancy party in Paris with Etta Candy and Steve Trevor, and tries to finagle some popcorn out of the snooty French chef.

The whole issue is similarly light. Etta’s feud with that hussy Pamela Smuthers continues to be an ongoing plotline; she really is the worst, trying to undercut Etta at every turn. Hopefully by the end of the run, Pamela will have learned that female rivalry is a fiendish tool of the patriarchy and come to appreciate the true value of sisterhood. But so far, not so much. She remains a total jerk.

We also get another cameo that hints at a wider superhero world beyond Wonder Woman, this time with Batman’s future butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Here he’s a nine year old scamp, looking for a shot in show business, and ends up playing a key role in the Holliday Girls’ performance. I really enjoy these little bits of world building, especially because it’s fun to figure out a potential timeline. With newly enlisted soldier Jonathan Kent a few issues back and now a child Alfred, it looks like we’re a good 30 or 40 years away from Batman or Superman, so it looks like De Liz will be going for a classic, All-American Comics Justice Society vibe for the book’s potential sequel (also, please go buy LOTS of this comic so we can get this sequel!).

Finally, we get a fantastic song from the Holliday Girls that shows the real heart of the story. It’s all about friendship, and how a woman doesn’t need a man when she’s got a best friend at her side. A man who wants a gal to be his “side objective” is just a “villain in disguise,” while “a true sister can help me along the path from danger to where I belong.” It’s a fun number, aided by Diana’s inadvertent entrance into the finale, and captures the core of the Holliday Girls and what they value beautifully.

The issue closes with trouble on the war front, as the Titan rears its ugly head and Steve runs off to fight it. I’m guessing that Diana will be close behind, regardless of her powers or lack thereof, and I’m excited to see how the finale will play out. Her lack of superpowers throws a real wrench into the works, one that adds some fun mystery to the upcoming conclusion. While I’m looking forward to watching the larger story with the gods play out, I also love that we got to pause for this fun moment with Diana and the Holliday girls. I’d read a book that was just those gals teaming up to have goofy, low stakes adventures, really. They’re all so much fun together.

The Legend of Wonder Woman #19 and #20 Review: Wonder Woman vs. the Duke of Deception!

March 24, 2016


I had a great time last week in Chicago, doing a variety of book events for Investigating Lois Lane, but the busyness of the trip meant that I missed out on one of my favourite weekly activities: reading and reviewing The Legend of Wonder Woman! But I’m back at it again this week, with a double review of last week AND this week’s digital issues. It’s twice the fun!

When we last left our intrepid heroine two weeks ago, she had just emerged in her iconic costume and took to the battlefield as Wonder Woman, turning the tide against the Germans and their nefarious ally, the Duke of Deception. Last week’s issue opened with a montage of her exploits since then, including a role in the liberation of Paris and offering support in several key military missions (including fighting alongside Canadian forces in Dieppe! Wonder Woman and Canadians, working together!). Wonder Woman’s arrival threw the Axis forces for a real loop, including their newly revealed ally: Priscilla Rich!

This information will probably not surprise any of my regular readers, but I LOVE Priscilla Rich. Later incarnations of the Cheetah are fine and all, but Priscilla Rich is my favourite by far. Her original Golden Age adventures revealed a psychologically fascinating character; she wasn’t evil so much as misguided, warped by jealousy into a villainous split personality. Plus she was crafty and smart. Later versions of the Cheetah tend to focus on her feral power and make her a sort of cat/human hybrid. Priscilla Rich had catlike reflexes because of her training as a dancer, but she was also clever and sneaky and very difficult to defeat. And now she’s in The Legend of Wonder Woman, working with the Axis but throwing serious shade at the German generals and even the Duke of Deception. Her snarky attitude is so delightful, and I can’t wait to see what role she plays in the rest of the series.

This week’s issue brings back the rest of the Holliday Girls, who come to Paris to perform with Etta at a gala celebration. Today’s release of the first look at the Amazons in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie illustrates yet again why this is such a special comic: It’s set in the 1940s and could have used any dumb excuse to be homogenously white, from history to the old comics, but Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon have chosen to present different ethnicities in their world. And at every level, from the Amazons on Themyscira to the American military to the Holliday Girls. The book contains people of all colours, while the upcoming film is all white Amazons thus far.

The issue ends with a dramatic confrontation between Wonder Woman and the Duke of Deception, and it does not go well for our stalwart heroine. The Duke is, unsurprisingly, deceptive. While Wonder Woman dispatches his dead souls with ease, their direct battle proves to be much more difficult. The Duke is never where he seems to be, and is constantly disappearing and popping up behind Diana to land a powerful strike, and the issue ends with the Duke clearly having the upper hand. Looking at the simple issue math, we’ve got seven digital installments yet, so I’m guessing the victor of this battle, whoever it may be, will not have won the war. Hopefully Wonder Woman can get away and recover, and perhaps mount another strike at her foes with Steve and the Holliday Girls in tow; I feel like Lita Little driving a soldier’s tank earlier in the issue (and crashing it!) might be a bit of a Chekhov’s tank, and the gals may take to the battlefield for real before the series is done.

It was another two great issues for The Legend of Wonder Woman, with De Liz and Dillon moving the story forward and approaching their conclusion while still adding fun new surprises into the mix. We’re into the last third of the series, and I’m sad it’s nearly done, but this is also shaping up to be one of the best Wonder Woman stories of all time and I’m excited to see how it comes together in the end.

The Legend of Wonder Woman #10 Review: THE HOLLIDAY GIRLS!

January 14, 2016


First off, did you all hit your local comic shop yesterday and buy the print version of The Legend of Wonder Woman #1? Renae De Liz recently mentioned on Twitter that she’s pitched a sequel, and for that to happen the book will need to do well, so let’s get on it and show DC that we want more of this Wonder Woman and her world. It’s so much more enjoyable than what she’s up to currently in DC’s main line.

Now to the issue at hand. When we left Diana last week, her ship had been attacked by a sea monster while she escorted Steve Trevor away from Themyscira, and someone who looked a lot like Poseidon stepped in and took her to Boston. This week, Diana is in the care of an elderly couple; the husband picked up Diana in his fishing boat, and the wife cared for her for days while she slept off her injuries.

The issue is a very quiet one. There are no fight scenes, no hustle and bustle of fish-out-of-water Diana wandering through a big city, no awe at skyscrapers and cars. In most of Wonder Woman’s origin stories, her first moments in America are urban chaos. Here, it’s just a small home by the sea and a kindly, talkative old woman who’s finally found someone to listen to her.

It’s an interesting choice, and one that works well. It’s always fun to zig when readers are expecting you to zag, and ending an issue with Boston and then starting the next issue in a remote home a few miles down shore was a big twist. I also like that the woman’s lengthy monologue, with occasional interjections from her husband, presented such a different account of the world than what Diana would have expected. She’d been raised to think that the outside world was a horrific place, torn apart by war and hate and cruelty, and here she ends up with a cute old couple who bicker but love each other dearly, and a grandmother talking about her grandson. Diana woke up in a place of kindness and love, and got a perspective on the world she may have missed in the hubbub of a big city. It wasn’t the most action packed issue, but we don’t always need action and I think that Diana’s time with the couple will inform how she sees this world in significant ways. While she still senses darkness in the world, now she knows that there is goodness too.

And then, after she left their home, the issue ended with Diana arriving at Holliday College, where a gal named Etta Candy is running for Summer Queen. We don’t get to see much of the Holliday Girls yet, but the final page reveal is a delightful tease. There are few things in the Wonder Woman mythos I love more than the Holliday Girls, especially in their earliest incarnations. Back in the original comics, the Holliday Girls get onboard with Wonder Woman right away, befriending her and teaming up with her to fight all manner of villain. They wholly embrace Wonder Woman’s message of female strength and power, and embody the benefits of looking up to Wonder Woman as an example of how to live. Plus they’re hilarious and fun (and weirdly kinky, though so was everyone in the Marston era). I can’t wait to see them more in the weeks to come.

The book also began with the tease of a possible new villain when a young man named Thomas Byde, grieving the death of his brother, gets lured by dark forces into jumping off a cliff. The details are few, but the scene is set up as a dream that wakes Diana as a start, and I assume that the force behind it all is connected to the war and the darkness in the world, and I’m wondering if it has something to do with the creepy dude we saw on Themyscira earlier in the run. Time will tell!

Next week is the Holliday Girls, and that alone would have me keen to keep reading, but there are lots of other intriguing elements in the mix as well. I’m excited to see what happens next!

The Legend Of Wonder Woman Trailer Reveals What’s Coming Up In The New Comic Series

November 13, 2015

Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon’s The Legend of Wonder Woman #1 premiered digitally yesterday, and if you’re waiting for its print debut in January, let me tell you: Get excited. It’s a fresh, fun new take on Wonder Woman that’s true to her roots, and the art is gorgeous too. The book is great on every level, and based on this first issue I can’t wait to see what happens next.

And now, thanks to Ray Dillon, we’ve all got a sneak peek at what’s coming for the series. He’s posted a trailer on his Youtube account with a motion comic feel that unveils bits of what’s coming for The Legend of Wonder Woman, and now I’m even more excited for this series. Take a look at this great trailer:

So here’s what we can look forward to:

  • A pegasus! Or, a winged horse, I suppose. I’m still not sure whether all winged horses are pegasuses or if it was just the one. Either way, they’re all sorts of rad.
  • KANGAS!! Nothing says Golden Age fun like Amazons riding kangas. Any story that can work in kangas, I am all for. It remains to be seen whether Wonder Woman will ride one into space like she did in the 1940s, but it’s fun to have them in the mix, no matter where they go.
  • The Holliday Girls! If you don’t love the Holliday Girls, then something is wrong with you. Etta Candy and the lot are fun loving, adventurous gals who are always up for sticking it to some bad guys. They’re Wonder Woman’s squad, if you will. More Holliday Girls is always a good thing.
  • Steve Trevor! He’s bland and kind of dull most of the time, but he serves a semi-important purpose and has been waiting for 75 years for someone to make him interesting. Maybe it’ll be Renae De Liz!
  • The setting? From the looks of the Holliday Girls’ dresses and a quick shot of a car, it seems that at least part of the series will be set in the past, perhaps in the World War Two era. There’s also what looks to be a panel of Diana as a nurse, in a similarly non-modern environment. I’m curious to see if this is the main setting for Wonder Woman after she leaves Themyscira, or just one of several time periods the book visits. De Liz has mentioned that it’ll be a pretty expansive run.

There are all kinds of other cool, little bits in the trailer, so take a close look and see what you can find. The previews of all of these moments have me looking forward to this series even more, and the stellar first issue bodes well for all of these elements being handled in fun, interesting ways. I can’t wait for next Thursday, and 25 more Thursdays after that!

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