Posts Tagged ‘Jae Lee’

Justice League: Gods and Monsters – Wonder Woman #1 Preview, Print Edition In Stores Today

August 5, 2015

The ramp up to the Justice League: Gods and Monsters animated film was substantial, including animated shorts and prequel comics, and now Wonder Woman’s comic has been collected in print form after coming out digitally a few weeks back. The timing is a little bit odd for a prequel comic, seeing as the film is out now, but the comic really has no bearing on the movie so it’s more of an extra story than anything key to the film itself. The movie provides a more detailed origin for Bekka that delves into her past on New Genesis, and the comic serves to fill some of the gap between the film’s past and present. Here’s a big preview of Justice League: Gods and Monsters – Wonder Woman #1, which hits comic stores in print form today:

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Here’s a variant cover by Darwyn Cooke that looks pretty nice too. Between this and the killer Jae Lee primary cover, I imagine folks are going to have a hard time picking which cover to go with:

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This is a book that takes some turns. I liked the first third the best, or what would have been the first digital issue, as Bekka explores her new world. After that she settles down into a commune scene and it’s fine but sort of predictable. The opening where she’s seeing the world was more fun, though I suppose it lacked much in the way of fights, supervillains, and the usual superhero flare after the dramatic beginning above. All together, it’s a decent comic with some cool, alternate universe takes on some classic Wonder Woman elements. It’s worth checking out.

The film itself was okay for me. I was thinking about writing a full review, but I don’t really have much more to say about it than that it was fine and I enjoyed it well enough. Wonder Woman was pretty cool, and though it was all a little dark for my taste, I liked it better than any of DC’s recent New 52 styles animated movies. That may be largely because Wonder Woman actually had a decent role in this one, even if it was a completely different version of the character. I’m split on whether to watch the follow up series when it begins because while I enjoy seeing new takes on characters, the movie didn’t leave me particularly keen to learn more about this new universe. Again, it was all fine. But there was nothing that I really got excited about.

Anyway, Justice League: Gods and Monsters – Wonder Woman #1 is in stores today, and is still available digitally in three parts if you prefer to get your comics that way. For print buyers, I don’t envy you the cover choice! I have no idea which way I’m going to go.

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Justice League: Gods and Monsters – Wonder Woman #1 Prequel Comic Premieres Today

July 7, 2015

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The massive ramp up to the upcoming animated film Justice League: Gods and Monsters continues with a new line of prequel comics. We’ve already had some animated shorts, but it seems like those were meant to give us a taste of the movie’s present. The comics take us into the past, setting up these new versions of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

Justice League: Gods and Monsters – Wonder Woman #1 debuted today on all of the digital outlets. Three part stories for Batman and Superman have already been released, and Wonder Woman will get two more digital issues over the next two days. The full Wonder Woman book will also be released as a single issue in print form on August 5.

This new Wonder Woman is Bekka of the New Gods, the granddaughter of Highfather, and this first issue reveals that she was transported to Earth via boom tube in the early 1960s. It seems a lot of versions of Wonder Woman are picking up on this idea of her as a hero that’s been around for while; there are rumours that this is the direction Batman v Superman is taking with her as well, a sort of immortal demigod wandering the Earth situation. I like it a lot better in this alternate version of the character than as allegedly the definitive film version.

I won’t spoil the comic, but it starts out with a rad fight with a giant lizard monster so if that’s your jam, and of course it is because everyone loves giant lizard monster battles, then this is the book for you. The story itself is interesting because it starts out hopeful and slowly veers into disillusionment. I’m curious to see where things go over the next couple of issues, and how much of this hope Wonder Woman can retain or restore. The Justice League: Gods and Monsters universe has seemed pretty dark thus far, but the Wonder Woman short was a lot more fun than the Batman or Superman ones, a huge romp of a fight instead of some sort of dark twist. I’m hoping that Wonder Woman will be the more hopeful, fun member of the team.

The comic also touches on something I didn’t love about the short, the sexual focus on the character. It’s such a tricky thing in this medium because while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a woman who likes sex, it’s been done so terribly so many times in the superhero world, ending up far more exploitive than empowering. I’m hoping they can strike a good balance with it, because it’s an interesting characteristic in the boldly taking what she wants sort of way they’ve been playing it. In the comic, it was one quick moment rather than something regularly referenced as it was in the short, and it made for an amusing scene in the comic that also informed the character. It’s a hard line to walk, and hopefully the film and the show that’s set to follow it will do so well.

Overall, it’s a decent comic, nicely written by J.M. DeMatteis and Bruce Timm with some enjoyable art by Rick Leonardi and Dan Green. Also, the cover by Jae Lee and June Chung is pretty dang gorgeous. It’s going to look fantastic on the comic racks, for sure. You can read it digitally now and over the next couple of days, wait for the print issue in August, or just watch the movie cold, I suppose.

Wonder Woman’s August 2015 Covers And Solicits

May 25, 2015

August will put us three months into DCYou, the recently revealed branding for DC’s June mini-relaunch, and Wonder Woman has a lot on the go. Along with her three regular series, she’s helping to launch a new book and is sort of the focus of a special one-shot. Let’s dig into the August 2015 solicits and see what Wonder Woman is up to, starting with Wonder Woman #43:

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WONDER WOMAN #43
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and JONATHAN GLAPION
Bombshells variant cover by ANT LUCIA
On sale AUGUST 19 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Donna Troy’s fate becomes more clear as she embarks on a journey that will either end her life or begin a new one, while Wonder Woman draws closer to the Amazon who tried to depose Diana as queen!

Is that Donna Troy out in the world of men, or is Wonder Woman just wearing a terrible outfit? Either way, this is a bit of a drab cover. And if it’s Donna, if her feelings on the Manazons are any indication, she’s going to HATE it in the world of men.

It’s hard to glean a lot from solicits, but the three solicits we have for DCYou Wonder Woman seem rather disconnected. Something different is going on every month, with no stated ties to what happened the month before. I’m sure it’ll tie more together in comic form, but it seems a little bit all over the place right now.

Moving onto Superman/Wonder Woman #20:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #20
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by PAULO SIQUEIRA
Bombshells Variant cover by TERRY DODSON
On sale AUGUST 19 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
“Truth” continues—and as Superman and Wonder Woman deal with the ramifications of his secret identity being blown, they dig deeper into the disappearance of Lana Lang and Steel, which force them to team up with an unexpected and dangerous nemesis.

This “Truth” storyline looks to be long and involved, spanning all of the Super-books for months, and it’s irksome to have this book so wrapped up in a Superman-centric story. There’s been barely any Wonder Woman-related stuff over the past twenty issues. We now know that the “Truth” storyline is about Superman’s secret identity being exposed, by Lois Lane no less, so the Super-books aren’t doing great with all of their female characters, basically.

And now, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #13:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #13
Written by BARBARA KESEL
Art by IRENE KOH, EMMA VIECELI and LAURA BRAGA
Cover by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
On sale AUGUST 19 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
In “Besties,” three artists take on the challenge of a lifetime as a trio of high school track stars face Wonder Woman in a foot race—and the afternoon gets even scarier when Superwoman shows up! By the time the epic battle concludes, Superwoman and the girls learn an important lesson: Nobody beats Diana!

This sounds very cool. Three different artists for what I’m assuming are the three different digital issues that will comprise the print book. Plus Superwoman! That’s very interesting. A couple of characters have had that mantle over the years, though they never stuck around for long, so I’m curious to see who and what they’re going with here. This could be a fun story.

Onto some new stuff:

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JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS – WONDER WOMAN #1
Written by J.M. DeMATTEIS and BRUCE TIMM
Art by RICK LEONARDI and DAN GREEN
Cover by JAE LEE
1:10 Variant cover by DARWYN COOKE
On sale AUGUST 5 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Prequel to the DC Universe movie Justice League: Gods & Monsters!
Earth in the 1960s—where a woman-warrior from a faraway world finds herself among a group of young idealists, seeking peace and love in a time of turbulence and upheaval. But Bekka of the New Gods finds her Aquarian dream abruptly shattered when she encounters the monstrous genius of Doctor Psycho and the Shock Exchange!

So it’s Wonder Woman, but not quite. This book is a prequel to Bruce Timm’s upcoming Justice League: Gods & Monsters animated film, a re-imagining of the DC universe that recasts all of its major players. Superman is the son of Zod, Batman is Kirk Langstrom, and Wonder Woman is Bekka of New Genesis. I like that even with a different Wonder Woman they’re playing off classic Wonder Woman villains by including a new take on Doctor Pyscho. I’m curious to check out this new world and see how it goes over with fans. The new Wonder Woman will also take part in a few other prequel comics with the whole team; they’re really going all out for this.

And finally:

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DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS #1
Written by MARGUERITE BENNETT
Art by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
Cover by ANT LUCIA
1:25 Variant cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
On sale AUGUST 12 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
The ultra-popular statues from DC Collectibles come to life in their own ongoing comic book series! Learn the story behind this alternate reality where the Second World War is fought by superpowered women on the front lines and behind the scenes! It all begins with the stories of Batwoman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl.

The Bombshells are spinning off into their own book, with Wonder Woman as one of the lead characters. I’m encouraged by the great creative team, and I love the idea of a new take on World War Two where female heroes are the originals and not derivatives of male heroes. This could be very cool, and I’m excited to check it out.

Look for all of these books this August in comic shops everywhere!

Wonder Woman’s March 2015 Covers and Solicits

December 16, 2014

Wonder Woman is headlining four different books in March, though she’s doing so in the most annoying of ways with the over-sized, higher priced annual that wraps up the storyline you’ve been reading in the main books. Such a jerk move. “Oh, you’ve been enjoying this story for $3 a month? Well, it’s going to cost you $5 to get the end of it.” Not cool. I assume the rush to the conclusion was because “Convergence” is debuting in April and DC wanted to get stuff wrapped up before then, but still. That’s not classy. Let’s dig into the books.

First up is Wonder Woman #40:

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WONDER WOMAN #40
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and BATT
MOVIE POSTER Variant cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
1:50 B&W Variant cover by DAVID FINCH and BATT
1:100 Variant cover by DAVID FINCH and BATT
On sale MARCH 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
It’s the penultimate chapter of the series-altering first story arc by the new creative team of writer Meredith Finch and penciller David Finch as Wonder Woman faces a challenger to her throne created solely to defeat her. But how can Diana stop a foe whose every strength is matched to her every weakness?

“First story arc” sort of bums me out because I was hoping that this would be the only story arc we got from the Finches and that we’d get a new creative team post-“Convergence.” That does not seem to be the case. Anyway, Diana’s fighting someone. I doubt it’s going to be a thrilling read, but hey, you never know. Maybe the book will get better after its disastrous first issue. Stranger things have happened.

The storyline line concludes in Wonder Woman Annual #1, at a much higher price:

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WONDER WOMAN ANNUAL #1
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and BATT
Backup story art by GORAN SUDZUKA
Advance solicit • On sale APRIL 1 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US RATED T
A story so big we couldn’t contain it in the monthly title! Wonder Woman faces off with the foe destined to become her ultimate nemesis in a battle that will determine the fate of Paradise Island! And in a backup tale that will alter the course of the Amazon Queen, an old face returns, and we mean VERY old! You couldn’t ask for more from Wonder Woman’s very first annual!

I almost don’t mind this cover. Wonder Woman still looks like a teenager, but at least it’s not all sexy and whatnot. Most of the Finch covers we’ve seen for Wonder Woman thus far have been pretty dull and/or sexy, so this somewhat okay cover is a nice change. As for the returning “old face”, I’m going to guess… Ares, maybe? Get rid of this dumb god of war thing by having him take it back? I’d be down for that. Or maybe Zeus will be back in full force.

Moving on to Superman/Wonder Woman #17:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #17
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by ED BENES
MOVIE POSTER Variant cover by GENE HA
On sale MARCH 11 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
It’s a bloody showdown as Circe and Magog attack the power couple! And the outcome will bring about a major change in Kal and Diana’s relationship.

Is Wonder Woman wearing hoop earrings on that cover? Wonder Woman doesn’t wear hoop earrings. They look weird. But “a major change” in the relationship sounds promising! Maybe they’ll break up. I must confess, when I heard that DC was cancelling a bunch of titles in March, I really hoped that this one would be on the list. But nope. Still going strong. Dang it.

Finally, the good Wonder Woman book, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #8:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #8
Written by JAMES TYNION IV and HEATHER NUHFER
Art by NOELLE STEVENSON and RYAN BENJAMIN
Cover by JAE LEE
On sale MARCH 18 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Teenaged Diana comes to Man’s World and discovers a “Wonder World” where she makes new friends. That part’s great, but her Amazon bodyguards are busy tracking her down and scaring everyone she meets! Then, in “Sabotage Is in the Stars,” Wonder Woman aids India’s space program, making it safe for them to launch their new SpaceCrops platform. But when Diana discovers that LexCorp caused the problem, she takes matters into her own hands!

I went on about my excitement for this issue last week, and I remain just as keen to check out this book. What a killer lineup, and a great cover too. This issue should be a blast all around. You’re definitely going to want to pick this up, gang.

Look for all of these Wonder Woman comics this March, except for the annual which is out the first week of April, just before “Convergence” kicks off in full force.

New Jae Lee Batman/Superman Action Figure Line Includes Wonder Woman

October 7, 2014

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For several years now, DC Collectibles has been creating action figure lines based on the artwork featured in some of DC’s better known comics. There’s a Jack Kirby “Fourth World” line, Jim Lee’s “Hush” collection was substantial, and lately figures from Greg Capullo’s Batman and Nicola Scott’s Earth 2 have come out. This week, DC has unveiled a new line featuring the artwork of Jae Lee, based on his current run on Batman/Superman. I heard rumours of these figures this summer from a pre-SDCC event and my interest was piqued. Lee’s got a cool style, and I was curious to see how it would translate to action figure form.

The line includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Catwoman, and you can get a closer look at all of them in this video:

I think the ladies come off a lot more interesting than the fellows here, particularly in the face. The lines they are using to capture Lee’s style look odd on Superman and Batman, while Wonder Woman and Catwoman both have a softer and more blended colouring. However, the cape work on the guys looks straight up amazing. Holy cats. That Superman may have a jacked up face, but his cape is impeccable.

The Wonder Woman figure looks pretty cool all around. Toy News International has posted a nice screengrab of the figure:

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She comes with a spear AND a sword, so that’s a lot of fun. I know absolutely nothing about this comic book, but given the outfit I’m going to guess that this is probably Earth 2 Wonder Woman? Or at the very least, not the primary universe Wonder Woman. She’s got a skirt, a golden tiara, silver boots, and some arm armour on one side that all seems very reminiscent of her Earth 2 outfit to me. The figure appears to capture Jae Lee’s artwork fairly well, though unfortunately she doesn’t get a cape. Can you imagine this figure with a Jae Lee cape? That would be spectacular.

Given her pale skin, dark hair, and heavy eye makeup, along with her somewhat dour expression, we appear to have a bit of a goth Wonder Woman. Which is cool; such is Jae Lee’s style. Catwoman’s got a similar vibe, along with the black outfit to match. All in all, this line presents a unique take on these characters, and it’s always cool to see something different on the toy shelves.

If you’re jonesing for these figures, you’ve got a long wait ahead of you. They’ll be out in Summer 2015. DC Collectibles figures usually price in the $19.95 to $24.95 range, and are easily available in comic book shops or online.

Before Watchmen Is Coming OR This Is Just Dumb

February 1, 2012

So they’re doing some Watchmen prequels.  Seven of them in fact, starting in Summer 2012.  Now, we all knew this was coming… this was the worst kept secret in comics.  We even knew a bunch of the creative teams.  But now it’s officially here and we can talk about it like it a real thing.

First off, and this is a completely random and not at all deep point, you do a prequel to the most famous graphic novel of ALL time and the best name you can come up with is Before Watchmen?  That’s just super boring.  You should have done some more brainstorming on that one, DC.

Second, I don’t like this.  I mean, I’m not going to cry to the heavens for Glycon to come and rain vengeance upon the folks at DC.  I’m not angry about it.  It just seems entirely uncalled for, and I’m sort disappointed in DC and, if I’m being totally honest, in the creators too.

These aren’t stories that need to be told.  The Watchmen prequels were IN Watchmen.  I’ve read the book a million times… I know what happened to everyone before the main story because it’s in there.  I really don’t need to know anything more about Rorshach or Nite Owl or anyone else.  I’ve got a rather well-rounded sense of them as characters.  I don’t know how much of the new series are going to be rehashes that expand on things already shown in the original, but I know the important bits of each character’s story.  I don’t need four issues of Dr. Osterman doing fun physics work or whatever they’re going to do.  The relevant bits of all of their stories have been told.  The idea of Watchmen prequels is just dumb.

I understand why Alan Moore is irked about it, though I’m not against the prequels on his behalf.  Alan Moore is amazing and pretty much the best comic book writer of all time so maybe we shouldn’t be doing shitty things with his awesome books all the damn time, but he doesn’t own Watchmen nor did he originate the characters.  They’re Charlton characters that he repurposed… none of them are his original creation.  Plus Moore’s done stories with tons of other creators’ characters, and these creators have gotten screwed over way worse than he has.  I mean, Moore’s written Superman… Siegel and Shuster had it FAR worse than Moore ever did.  Other people getting to play with the cool stuff you build is what happens when you do work for hire at a major publisher.

But what most bothers me about Before Watchmen is that it’s so obviously a money grab.  Yeah, I know all us nerds are freaking out on Twitter and forums and such, but they’re going to sell like hotcakes.  I think it’s a completely ridiculous idea, but I’ll probably still check out a couple of them.  The sales are going to be HUGE.  And then huger still when they’re released as collections.  Which on the one hand is smart… companies need to make money.  But on the other hand, is it the right kind of money?

Here’s what I mean: Lots of cities and states have been facing some harsh budget shortfalls lately during the recession, so they’ve started selling stuff.  Parks, building, parking meters… they’re cleaning everything out to balance the budget for THIS year.  In a lot of cases, they’re trading long term guaranteed income for a short term windfall (like with parking meters).  The result is that the budget will work out this year, but then next year you’ve got the same problems and nothing left to sell.

I feel like DC is doing the same thing.  They’re going after a short term money grab instead of a long term investment.  Before Watchmen is a limited bunch of series.  They’ll sell well as single issues and as trades, but it’ll peter off pretty quick after that.  There are a lot of good creators on the books, to be sure, but let’s face it: There’s not going to be a second Watchmen here.  The prequels won’t have anywhere near the longevity of the original.  But DC will make a lot of money right now. 

Here’s the thing: SO much effort is going to go into these prequels… these are big name creators, and you know DC is going to advertise like mad.  It’ll be a pricey big push on their end to put the books out there, which they’ll easily recoup.  But then what?  They make some money this year and that’s the end of it.

So what if they got big name creators to come up with new ideas that target new readers, and put some solid money behind that instead?  That could pay off for ages, with new characters and series and a broader audience.  Don’t put Brian Azzarello on some Rorshach prequel… put the advertising money behind the next 100 Bullets.  Don’t have Darwyn Cooke write a Silk Spectre book… invest in a cool and interesting take on a side character that gets you the new Catwoman.  Do new things and grow the brand instead of putting so much effort into a limited cash windfall.

I know that sounds very pie in the sky, but remember this: Watchmen wasn’t created to be the most famous graphic novel of all time.  It was just some maxi-series they did in the 80s, with no real expectations.  It came out of an environment where talented creators were given room to try out new things, with the support of their publisher.  And now, because of that, a) DC’s been making money for AGES off of it, b) comics have become a respected medium, and c) the bar was set higher for everyone, resulting in better comics.  Everybody wins!!

DC hasn’t been thinking long term lately.  Their recent relaunch was a lot like these prequels, a momentary burst aimed at the people who buy their stuff already, and the relaunch is already losing steam only five months in.  There are other examples too (PUT YOUR SHOWS ON NETFLIX, DC!!  GET THE KIDS HOOKED NOW!!) but I’ve blathered on long enough.  My point is that short term money grabs are not a sustainable way to run things.  It’s exciting to have something new and crazy every few months, with a flurry of discussion and anticipation and all of that, but slow and steady wins the race.  Before Watchmen is unnecessary as a story, and their money and support could be much better used elsewhere.

Finally, these books are going to be SUPER late, right?  Lee Bermejo, Jae Lee, Adam Hughes, J.G. Jones, and Amanda Conner are all fantastic artists, but they aren’t known for their speed.  The final issues of some of these minis might be coming out in 2014.


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