Posts Tagged ‘Jason Badower’

Wonder Woman ’77 #13 Review: “Wisdom of Solomon” by Marc Andreyko and Jason Badower

October 9, 2015

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Wonder Woman ’77 ended its current run this week with a Halloween oneshot. After two three-issue arcs, the oneshot, was a quick, fun conclusion to the run with an unusual “villain” in the mix. After bringing classic Wonder Woman comic villains to the world of the Lynda Carter with the first three arcs, Wonder Woman ’77 debuted an original villain in its latest arc. This week, the book features Solomon Grundy, the monstrous, often misunderstood beast who really doesn’t belong to any particular hero, though he’s often been part of Batman’s world as of late.

The book began in an amusing fashion, with Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor attending a fair on Halloween. I never get tired of Wonder Woman showing up chauvinistic dudes, so I very much enjoyed her blasting the milk bottles with a baseball at a prize booth, much to the surprise of the man running the booth. Then the issue looked like it was going to turn into a battle between Wonder Woman and Solomon Grundy when the massive creature appeared at the fair, but Andreyko added a twist. Grundy wasn’t there to hurt anyone, he was there to protect a member of his family, a woman who was being abused by her boyfriend. Wonder Woman quickly figured out his intent, and once the boyfriend was arrested, Grundy calmly left the fair.

I appreciated the book’s positive message, and the way that Wonder Woman encouraged the abused women to testify against her abuser and seek help from a women’s shelter. Those are good things to promote. However, it’s a tricky topic to get into without being too on the nose and taking on an after school special vibe. I think Andreyko found an okay balance here; while those particular scenes treaded into that tone a bit, the rest of the book was fun enough to even things out. In particular, Wonder Woman and Steve provided a lot of humour that countered the heavy message. I particularly enjoyed when Wonder Woman told Steve to get people to safety once Grundy appeared, and Steve replied, “No argument here!” Oh, Steve Trevor. So useless, but at least he knows it here.

The art was decent, and it’s very fun to have Jason Badower drawing Wonder Woman again. His Sensation Comics issue was a big hit a while back, and he’s done great work on Wonder Woman ’77 before. There were some fantastic moments in this book, but the inconsistent colouring made for an uneven read.

Badower’s art looks best when he’s got a colorist who can add lots of texture and shading to his linework; his linework is fantastic, and he’s especially great at capturing a likeness, but he doesn’t do a ton of shading or shaping with his inks. Instead, he provides a great framework for the colorist to complete the job. Some of the panels in the book are great, with Brett Smith going all out with details and shading to make the artwork look gorgeous and realistic. But he doesn’t do this for everyone. He focuses mainly on Wonder Woman, probably a wise call given that she’s the book’s protagonist, but when Smith uses traditional colouring for the rest of the book, everything looks a little bit flat. Badower coloured his own work in his recent Sensation Comics story and it turned out lovely, but with someone else on colors the artwork was uneven.

Ultimately, Wonder Woman ’77 #13 was a fun, quick story with some enjoyable moments, especially with Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor. I enjoyed it. If you read the book in print and got Wonder Woman ’77 Special #2 when it came out last week, then you’ve already seen this story as it was part of that collection. If you missed the special but want to read it in print, head to your local comic shop! Next week, Sensation Comics returns for the beginning of the end of the series.

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Wonder Woman’s November 2015 Covers and Solicits

August 25, 2015

November is looking like another busy month for Wonder Woman, with a variety of books that could be a lot of fun. Of course, her main series isn’t great, but the rest of her titles sound intriguing. Yes, even Superman/Wonder Woman. I know, I’m surprised too. So let’s see what Wonder Woman will be up to this November, starting with Wonder Woman #46:

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WONDER WOMAN #46
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH
LOONEY TUNES Variant cover by TERRY DODSON, RACHEL DODSON and Warner Bros. Animation
On sale NOVEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Diana finds herself trapped between Donna Troy and Aegeus in a battle that will redefine the role of the Amazon queen!

I really hope that this isn’t the cover, because it’s not great. Finch has used this style for covers before, though, I think. I seem to recall something like this on one of his Batman books. Anyway, I’m not feeling it.

The solicit is very vague, but also predictable. Since Donna Troy and Aegeus are the two primary side characters in the book’s current arc, it would make sense that things come to a head with the both of them in the mix. This issue is the sixth since the DC mini-relaunch began in June, which often marks the end of an arc, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Usually DC’s previews hype up a big finale more. Perhaps the current story will wrap in December, and maybe in January the book will be onto something new.

Next up, Superman/ Wonder Woman #23:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #23
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
LOONEY TUNES variant cover by KARL KERSCHL and Warner Bros. Animation
On sale NOVEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Clark Kent must go to extreme measures to try to restore his power, while Diana, Lois and Lana team up to learn exactly who is behind a new threat to Superman!

I’m kind of looking forward to this? Given the book’s track record, this issue could be absolutely terrible. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if it sucked. But a team up of Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, and Lana Lang has epic fun potential. It’ll be hard to screw up a story with that much awesomeness in the mix. Plus it doesn’t say anything about the overarching “Truth” storyline, which is a good sign, because that whole scene has been uniformly dull thus far. So yeah, this could be cool! I’m mildly optimistic.

Now to Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #16:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #16
Written by CAITLIN KITTREDGE and JASON BADOWER
Art by SCOTT HAMPTON and JASON BADOWER
Cover by DOUG MAHNKE and CHRISTIAN ALAMY
On sale NOVEMBER 4 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
The streets of Gotham City are dangerous at night, but not for Diana of Themyscira. When she sees Echidna, Mother of Monsters, attacking a local thug, she jumps into the fray—though she never expected to take Echidna’s side. And stick around as Clark Kent’s exposé “A Day in our Lives” hits the Daily Planet!

This is going to be a really good issue. The Kittredge/Hampton story is creepy but fun, with a good, moody Gotham City and some excellent guest appearances. The Badower story is a well done day in the life of Wonder Woman, with a smart take on Wonder Woman’s approach to avoiding violence. Together, this is one of the better one-two punches in Sensation Comics in a while, and I highly recommend picking it up, even though the Mahnke cover is a little gruesome and doesn’t at all reflect anything inside the book. I really don’t understand how they decide on covers for this series.

Finally, DC Comics Bombshells #5:

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DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS #5
Written by MARGUERITE BENNETT
Art by BILQUIS EVELY, LAURA BRAGA and MIRKA ANDOLFO
Cover by ANT LUCIA
On sale NOVEMBER 25 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Shipping twice in November! While Wonder Woman leads an American infantry division in an attack on an Axis battalion, Harley makes a none-too-graceful landing in France, where she encounters a woman with a strange affinity for plants. Plus, Supergirl and Stargirl fly home to protect their parents, only to be attacked by a fearsome forest spirit known as the Swamp Thing.

As the solicit points out, this book is double shipping in November. This issue has Wonder Woman on the cover, though, so that’s the one we care about more. Wonder Woman in the middle of the second World War was fun in the 1940s and it’s still fun now! Plus it sounds like they’re bringing in Poison Ivy, which is very cool. This should be an enjoyable read all around.

Look for all of these comics this November! Though if you’re jonesing for those Sensation Comics stories, you can just read them now digitally at Comixology.

Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #48 Review: “A Day in our Lives” by Jason Badower

August 21, 2015

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As the title of this story promises, this week’s issue of Sensation Comics gives us a day in the life of Wonder Woman, and she’s certainly a busy woman. She’s stopping invasions from different dimensions, protecting disputed territory for the UN, smashing up dams, and officiating a wedding. The latter has made a lot of news this week because the wedding is for two women, and I think Jason Badower, pulling double duty as the book’s writer and artist, handled the moment beautifully.

This isn’t a very special issue of Sensation Comics that makes a big deal about gay marriage and preaches to the reader. Instead, the marriage takes up just a page and a half, and is discussed in a way that is very true to Wonder Woman. One of the brides is a volunteer Wonder Woman had worked with all over the globe, and so she was happy to come officiate her wedding. Plus, as Wonder Woman explains to Clark, “My country is all women. To us, it’s not ‘gay’ marriage. It’s just marriage.” The scene is grounded in who Wonder Woman is while it presents a very common sense approach to an issue some people like to make more complicated than it needs to me. For Wonder Woman, her friends were in love and that’s all that mattered, and there is a lot of wisdom in that simplicity. Then, with the wedding done, Wonder Woman moves on to other things, further cementing the normalcy of two women getting married. It’s not a big deal; it’s just another moment in the day.

The rest of the issue is pretty strong as well. In particular, I liked Wonder Woman stopping a general and his army who were trying to move into disputed Siberian tundra. She didn’t fight the army. Instead, she told them that they had to leave, let them shoot everything that they had at her when they wouldn’t, and then emerged unscathed and reiterated her demands to a general who suddenly seemed more willing to listen. It was a well crafted scene, with an approach to superheroism that I’d like to see more of. Superheroes don’t need to fight back as often as they do. They can take what’s coming at them, and avoiding violence as much as possible strikes me as a much more heroic way to roll. I really liked how Badower had Wonder Woman not only preach a non-violent approach whenever possible, but also had her demonstrate it in a way that made for an exciting, striking scene and that also made a lot of sense.

There were a few moments that fell a little flat for me. Superman lamenting not having any friends as a kid, and then choking back tears when Wonder Woman called him her brother was pretty corny, though one of the panels in that sequence looked like Wonder Woman was rolling her eyes at the sappy Man of Steel. That bit was amusing. Still, it was all a bit schmaltzy.

Badower’s art is quite remarkable. His linework is strong and he colours it beautifully to add a lot of texture and realism. He did an issue of Wonder Woman ’77 a while back that was absolutely gorgeous, and his work here is similarly impressive. I didn’t love some of his costuming choices, though. I prefer a bigger tiara without a forehead gap, and he structured the top of the costume a little weirdly so that red fabric showed over the gold “WW” crest, and did so inconsistently. But that’s just nitpicky stuff based on my own personal preferences. The art is great, plus it looks like he based his Superman on Chris Pine, which is kind of fun.

All together, this was a very good issue of Sensation Comics, and one I’m excited to see in print. The book won’t be out until November 4, but it’ll be paired with that cool, creepy Caitlin Kittredge and Scott Hampton story that came out of a few weeks back, so that should be an excellent issue all around. Keep your eyes peeled for that!

Wonder Woman’s October 2015 Covers and Solicits, Plus Monster Variants

July 15, 2015

October is looking like another busy month for our favourite Amazon, with all of the usual fun plus a returning special I’m very much looking forward to. DC is also doing monster themed variants for many of their titles, just like they did in October last year. It’s good Halloween fun, and two of Wonder Woman’s titles will be part of the line. So let’s see what Wonder Woman will be up to in October!

First up, Wonder Woman #45:

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WONDER WOMAN #45
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art by DAVID FINCH and JONATHAN GLAPION
Cover by DAVID FINCH
Monsters Variant cover by CLAIRE WENDLING
On sale OCTOBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
With the Fates dead and Donna Troy still on the run, Wonder Woman must confront the sins of her past and a new, growing threat that’s closing in on the Queen of the Amazons!

I don’t imagine that the Finch cover is actually the final cover, but you never know. It just looks like a panel, and those blue bars don’t look great. I’m not sure whether Claire Wendling’s variant is the final cover or just a sketch either, but I’m super into it. I hope it is the final cover; I like the rougher aspects of it.

Anyway, the Finches carry on with their uninspired tenure on Wonder Woman. Apparently the Fates are dead. Thanks for the spoiler alert, because they haven’t even shown up in the comic yet. Also, Donna Troy hasn’t broken out of prison in the comics that have been published so far, but several solicits have told us she’s going to. You almost don’t have to read the comics, really. Just follow along with the solicits and you’ll get all the highlights.

Next up, Superman/Wonder Woman #22:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #22
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by CARY NORD
Monsters variant cover by J.P. LEON
On sale OCTOBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Following a shocking betrayal, Kal has lost faith in justice. Now, he’s embarking on a dangerous quest to restore his powers, while Wonder Woman makes unexpected allies of Lois Lane and Lana Lang.

The insides of this series have never done anything for me, but what I do love is it’s proud tradition of excellent variant covers. This one by John Paul Leon is fantastic. It’s a great idea for the monster theme, and is just all sorts of gorgeous. I’ll be glad to put this with my collection of Superman/Wonder Woman issues I’ll never read again but I keep to enjoy the lovely covers.

Man, Superman is really out of sorts, eh? Losing his faith in justice?! That’s a third of what he stands for! In theory I’m excited for a Wonder Woman/Lois/Lana team up, but being familiar with the quality of this book I’m not overly optimistic that it will go well.

We’ve also got Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #15:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #15
Written by ADAM BEECHEN and CARLA SPEED McNEIL
Art by JOSE LUIS GARCIA-LOPEZ, KEVIN NOWLAN, SCOTT HANNA and CARLA SPEED McNEIL
Cover by JENNY FRISON
On sale OCTOBER 7 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
In “Our Little Dance,” when the well-meaning members of Debbi Domaine’s family argue that Cheetah needs rehabilitation more than incarceration, Wonder Woman is dragged into court! And Diana teaches a young thug a lesson about how having a pet forces you to train “Both Ends of the Leash.”

To be honest with you all, I wasn’t a big fan of either of these stories when they came out digitally, but I do love this cover. It’s lovely work by Jenny Frison, and will look amazing on the stands. The stories inside are pretty average, but neither of them are bad. They’re also very different stories, so chances are you might find something you’ll like.

Finally, Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman is back with Wonder Woman ’77 Special #2:

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WONDER WOMAN ‘77 SPECIAL #2
Written by MARC ANDREYKO
Art by CAT STAGGS, RICHARD ORTIZ, DREW JOHNSON and JASON BADOWER
Cover by NICOLA SCOTT
RETROSOLICIT • On sale SEPTEMBER 30 • 80 pg, FC, $7.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Get ready for three new stories based on the classic television series starring Lynda Carter! A scientist who is intensely jealous of Wonder Woman becomes empowered by an ancient artifact and Cheetah is born! A woman with the powers of both fire and ice seeks revenge against a corrupt politician. And, Halloween finds the princess up against an undead adversary.

So many stories! Plus the Cheetah and zombies, presumably. This should be a fun book. None of the stories have been released digitally yet, though I anticipate that they’ll be out soon. That’s a great lineup of artists, and Marc Andreyko did a fine job with the first few Wonder Woman ’77 stories so I’m glad to have him back. Nicola Scott’s cover looks fantastic as well. This will actually be out at the end of September instead of October, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

There’s a lot of Wonder Woman fun to be had this fall, and a lot of great covers. Remember to ask your local comic shop ahead of time if you’re keen to get a variant cover; they can go quickly.

Wonder Woman ’77 #4 and #5 Review: “Who Is Wonder Woman?” by Marc Andreyko, Jason Badower, and Matt Haley

April 9, 2015

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I was out of town last week and thus didn’t get to do my usual Wonder Woman digital comic review. I was disappointed to not dig into the first issue of the new Wonder Woman ’77 arc, but now that I’ve read the first two together, I’m glad that I waited. The reveal at the end of the second issue is not only a lot of fun, it totally explains away what would have been my only real criticism of these two issues.

Wonder Woman ’77 #4 begins with a dazed Diana Prince, unsure of what’s happened to her. She’s snapped out of her stupor by a cry for help, but her attempted spin change into Wonder Woman doesn’t do anything and instead another Wonder Woman shows up to save the day. Amusingly but somewhat confusingly, it’s Cathy Lee Crosby’s Wonder Woman from the little-watched 1974 television movie, a bit of a deep cut.

At first I thought this was an odd choice.   Not only is the Crosby Wonder Woman not very well known, this series is only four issues in.   We haven’t gotten that much Lynda Carter Wonder Woman yet, and we’re already swapping her out for a lesser known incarnation? I was further perplexed when an appearance from Hippolyta and Drusilla turned out to be Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis, Wonder Woman’s surrogate family from the George Perez years of Wonder Woman in the late 1980s. It all seemed like a mishmash of different eras of Wonder Woman, with not a lot of the Wonder Woman who was supposed to be headlining the book.

Eventually, the Lynda Carter version of Diana began to fight back against an angry Crosby Wonder Woman, and she soon emerged in the classic star spangled outfit and tiara we all love. That precipitated the big twist ending of Wonder Woman ’77 #5, a reveal so fun that I’m not going to spoil it here. Just go read the book. It’s classic Wonder Woman villain goodness and it will make you happy. Everything I was a little concerned about was immediately set aside, and the final issue in this arc is poised for a great conclusion.

While the different characters and twists were all a lot of fun, in general I am really impressed with how writer Marc Andreyko has adapted to digital comics. His first Wonder Woman #77 arc was enjoyable but a quick read that didn’t play to the strengths of the medium. This arc has had much more on the go thus far, and takes advantage of the digital format well. The result is a far more satisfying read. I had high hopes for Andreyko’s second arc, and I’m glad to see that he upped his game so well.

The art is also fantastic. Wonder Woman ’77 #4 in particular, drawn by Jason Badower, is gorgeous. He captures Lynda Carter beautifully and with great detail, and some of the panels are absolutely stunning. Romulo Fajardo Jr.’s colours perfectly compliment the line work, and really bring Carter to life. I mean, look at this spectacular Lynda Carter:

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The first issue is worth reading solely for the art; that the story is fun too is an added bonus. Matt Haley takes over with the second issue of the arc, and while his art is less detailed than Badower’s, it’s still solid work. Haley illustrated the latter half of the first storyline as well; he’s the go-to guy when the more detailed, initial artist seems to fall off schedule, and it looks like he’ll be back next week to finish the arc. Haley is a good artist, but it would’ve been nice to have complete Drew Johnson art in the first run and complete Jason Badower work in the second; these aren’t lengthy gigs, and it’s disappointing that for whatever reason they’ve had to be replaced.

Overall, these first two issues are a lot of fun, with a great twist that should set up an epic finale. Andreyko’s clearly steeped in the history of Wonder Woman, and while it seemed a bit haphazard at first it’s all came together at the end of today’s issue and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. The final issue of this arc of Wonder Woman ’77 is scheduled for next Thursday, with Sensation Comics returning the following week, and the print version of this story will be collected in print in Wonder Woman ’77 Special #1 on April 29. Be sure to pick it up!


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