Posts Tagged ‘Jamal Igle’

Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #34 and #35 Review: “Vendetta, Parts 2 and 3” by Josh Elder, Jamal Igle, and Juan Castro

May 21, 2015

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I skipped my usual digital Sensation Comics review last week to instead just write about the story when it was wrapped up this week and do both issues at once. When writing my review for the first issue, my feelings were basically “Let’s see where this goes” so I decided to wait two weeks and see all of the places it went. And it turned out okay. I’d place “Vendetta” in the middle of the pack on the list of Sensation Comics stories we’ve had thus far, but it had some good moments.

One moment I particularly liked was the start of the second issue, when Ares stopped a UN convoy and challenged one of the peacekeepers to a duel. The defiant peacekeeper had no choice but to accept, but she bravely took on the god of war and managed to get in a couple of good shots, even though the fight ultimately ended in her death. It’s one thing for a superhero to take on a god; a superhero has a chance, at least. But the everyday heroics of an ordinary person thrust into an extraordinary situation, however futile they may be, is often a much more inspiring tale. I sometimes harp on Sensation Comics stories when they take the focus away from Wonder Woman and give the best moments to someone else, but I really loved this peacekeeper doing her damnedest to stop Ares. It was the highlight of the story for me.

Wonder Woman isn’t without her own action scenes, though. She chats it up a lot in the second issue, first working to negotiate a peace deal between an African country’s warring factions, and later talks with Ares, but she does get to bust through a bunch of dragonmen on her way to the god of war, at least. Then the final issue is the big battle, with Wonder Woman and Ares facing off in a fight that takes up most of part three. It’s a well plotted fight scene, with good back and forth momentum, culminating in a win for Wonder Woman, of course. It’s her comic book, after all. What I particularly enjoyed about the fight, aside from its inherent fun, was that seeing the destructive personification of war engaged in such fierce, damaging battle convinced the two leaders of the warring factions that peace would be a better option.

The art throughout the story is fine, but I don’t like Igle’s twist on Wonder Woman’s outfit anymore than I did when I read the first issue two weeks ago. The gold piece on her breastplate is distractingly large, the gloves just look weird, and the shield is a little too colourful for my taste; Captain America has the definitive comic book round shield, so doing anything close to it isn’t my jam. I think Wonder Woman should have something more unique. However, I do like the straps a lot. Wonder Woman’s outfit makes a lot more sense with straps. And Igle seems to have cut the volume of Wonder Woman’s skirt a lot in these later issues. It had a lot of poof at times in the first one.

Aside from the design, I think Igle did a good job choreographing the fight scenes and making the action fun. I also liked the way Ares dissolves into a flock of ravens from time to time; it’s a very cool visual. It would also look super awesome in a Wonder Woman movie, if Ares is ever a part of one, so keep that in mind, Patty Jenkins.

All together, “Vendetta” was a decent read. Looking back on it all, I feel like it might have worked better as a two parter than a three parter, particularly given the digital format. With such short installments, you really want to pack things in and make each installment read well on its own, not just as part of a whole. I think that things got stretched out a bit, especially with a lot of the setup in the first issue, and the story would be a lot tighter and more enjoyable if they’d done it in two instead. Printed all together, though, so that you can’t tell that there are different parts, the pacing may be less of a problem. Speaking of which, the print issue of this storyline will be out June 17, and will be the sole story in that month’s print Sensation Comics.

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Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #33 Review: “Vendetta, Part 1” by Josh Elder, Jamal Igle, and Juan Castro

May 7, 2015

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Before we dig into this issue, be advised that the description for this week’s Sensation Comics on Comixology isn’t what’s actually in the book. Comixology says the story is by Caitlin Kittredge and Scott Hampton and is about mythological monsters in Gotham City, which sounds like a fun read, but that’s not what you get when you buy the issue. Instead, it’s the first chapter of the three part “Vendetta” by Josh Elder, Jamal Igle, and Juan Castro. I assume that the Kittredge/Hampton story is coming at a later date, and that we’ll be getting the rest of “Vendetta” for the next two weeks.

So onto “Vendetta” itself. From what I’ve read of digital comics over the past couple years, three parters seem to be a bit of a tricky game. It’s hard to produce three issues that are each satisfying while also adding up to a whole story. At least one of the issues is inevitably a little slower and less fun than the others. I’m hoping that “Vendetta” got their slow issue out of the way first, because this week’s Sensation Comics is a lot of set up without a lot of action or excitement. The main focus is Wonder Woman telling Steve about the fighting she’s seen in the war-torn African nation of Itari. There are some flashbacks where Wonder Woman steps in, but all of the dialogue is either Steve and Wonder Woman catching up or Wonder Woman explaining the situation in Itari. Things pick up at the end of the issue when the real villain shows up and attacks a UN convoy, and I’m curious to see how much said villain takes over the next two issues. Hopefully all of the players introduced in this first part will have a significant role going forward, giving this issue a more meaningful feel in retrospect. That’d be more fun than this turning into just Wonder Woman vs. the big bad guy.

It’s hard to gauge an individual issue, especially ones so short as these digital installments, without knowing how things are going to play out. I’ve been thinking of moving from weekly reviews to reviews of full stories, so whatever the length of the full tale, whether it’s one issue or three, I review it as a whole. Today’s Sensation Comics is pushing me further in that direction because, while I didn’t love it, it may turn out to be important to how the story plays out and be much better all put together.

That being said, regardless of how I read this issue, I do know that design for Wonder Woman was distractingly weird. The eagle on her chest is oddly massive in several scenes, plus she’s wearing gloves for no discernible reason:

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The gloves also disappear occasionally but then come back. She certainly looks better without them; gloves do not go well with big bracelets like that. Her skirt design is hit and miss as well. It looks okay in the panel above, but there’s a double layer affect through the rest of the issue that can make it look comicly poofy. I’m all for people tweaking Wonder Woman’s outfits and trying new things, but those choices fell a little flat for me in this issue. I will say that I like the shield on her back look, with the straps and such. I think that can be cool.

So we’ve got a lot of setup of this African civil war, and a big bad that pops by at the end of the issue. I’m curious to see what that all leads to next week. If not much happens, I might just wait and review the last two parts of the story together in two weeks’ time, but hopefully next week’s installment will be exciting and interesting and I’ll be keen to blather on about it.

Wonder Woman’s June 2015 Covers And Solicits

March 17, 2015

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

First up is Wonder Woman #41:

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

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

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

Next up is Superman/Wonder Woman #18:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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