Posts Tagged ‘Nicola Scott’

Wonder Woman’s November 2016 Covers and Solicits

August 23, 2016

It looks like November is going to be a quieter month for Wonder Woman. The past few rounds of solicits have featured a variety of new collections of old Wonder Woman material, but either DC is taking a break this time or they’re waiting to see how those books do before continuing with more stuff. Either way, it’s just some floppy issues this November (apart from a trade paperback collection of Superman/Wonder Woman, but I’m doing my best to forget that that book ever existed).

So let’s see what Wonder Woman is up to in November 2016, starting with Wonder Woman #10 and #11:

novww10

WONDER WOMAN #10
Written by GREG RUCKA
Art and cover by NICOLA SCOTT
Variant cover by JENNY FRISON
“YEAR ONE” part five! The world is finally introduced to the Wonder Woman, and adversaries—both ancient and new—take note. This story was previously scheduled to appear in issue #8.
On sale NOVEMBER 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

WONDER WOMAN #11
Written by GREG RUCKA
Art and cover by LIAM SHARP
Variant cover by JENNY FRISON
“THE LIES” part six! In the conclusion to this epic tale, the lie is revealed as Wonder Woman returns to Themyscira in the company of Steve Trevor to find that nothing has changed—and everything is wrong.
On sale NOVEMBER 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Nicola Scott gets the cover this month and it’s a gorgeous one as always. She really is doing phenomenal work with “Year One;” Scott’s always been a great artist, but this run is the best I’ve ever seen of her.

The solicit shows that Wonder Woman #10 contains the story originally solicited in Wonder Woman #8, so I went to DC’s page to see what’s up and #8 is now a “Year One Interlude” focusing on a younger Barbara Ann Minerva. Greg Rucka is still writing it, but the art will be done by Bilquis Evely. It seems that Scott might have gotten a bit behind and needed a fill in issue, which isn’t surprising. Her work is very detailed, and in past monthly books she’s usually been 3 on, 1 off. I like that they’re just doing a new one off story instead of getting a different artist to draw “Year One,” and Bilquis Evely is great and should be a lot of fun.

As for “The Lies,” the slow build thus far seems to because we don’t actually find out what the lies are until November? That is some decompressed storytelling. Maybe it should be called “The Lies, Eventually.” I mean, the Cheetah and Steve stuff is fine and all, but not what I thought I was getting. Hopefully we’ll get more hints at what the lies are in the coming months at least.

Wonder Woman’s also appearing in Trinity #3:

novtrinity3

TRINITY #3
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL
Art and cover by CLAY MANN
Variant cover by STEVE EPTING
“BETTER TOGETHER” part three! The deadly White Mercy has Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman in its terrifying grasp! But who would dare to orchestrate this attack—and why? All will be revealed as the three most powerful heroes in the DC Universe fight for their very souls!
On sale NOVEMBER 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Francis Manapul is taking the month off on art, but Clay Mann looks to be a solid replacement. That’s a fantastic cover, and the best I’ve seen Mann’s art ever look. I’m really excited for this book to start in September. It looks like it’s going to be gorgeous, and the story sounds like a fun team up.

Finally, Wonder Woman is appearing in the new Super Powers #1:

novsuperpowers1

SUPER POWERS #1
Written by ART BALTAZAR and FRANCO
Art and cover by ART BALTAZAR
Variant cover by FRANCO
Aw yeah, the World’s Greatest Heroes are back in a new, all-ages miniseries—except for Batman! Superman helps out by cleaning up in Gotham City, where he discovers a clue that sends Wonder Woman into space to find the Caped Crusader. Her journey brings her a step closer to Batman, but can she uncover the truth behind his disappearance? From the award-winning creative team that brought you TINY TITANS and SUPERMAN FAMILY ADVENTURES!
On sale NOVEMBER 23 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $2.99 US • RATED E

AW YEAH, Art Baltazar and Franco! Their team ups are always delightful. Plus I love that their books are great for young readers but also entertaining if you’re an adult. This mini-series should be a lot of fun, and it’s collected edition will be a great intro to the DC universe for kids, I’m sure. It’ll be under a lot of Christmas trees in 2017.

Look for all of these fun new comics this November!

Wonder Woman #4 Review: This Comic Is So Dang Good I Want To Hug It

August 10, 2016

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Wonder Woman #4 is pretty much perfect. Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott retell a key moment of Diana’s history, the tournament that leads to her becoming Wonder Woman, and it’s iconic while making a few key changes to the classic narrative that add a lot to the story. The issue is well written and gorgeous and captures the heart of who the Amazons are in ways we haven’t seen in a long time. It’s just delightful from start to finish. We’ll dig into it all momentarily, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

If you haven’t read the issue yet, do yourself a personal favour and go buy it!

Then read the review AFTER you’ve read the comic!

Almost every version of the contest component of Wonder Woman’s origin has included a degree of conflict. In the classic 1940s origin, Queen Hippolyte forbids her daughter from participating in the contest, and this has been a common occurrence in most of the versions of it that we’ve seen since. There’s also been a lot of jealousy and rivalry, Amazons who are envious of Diana’s strengths, irked about past conflicts, or mad at her for leaving them. For a supposedly utopian society, the selection of Wonder Woman often comes with some strife.

Rucka and Scott retell the story without conflict, but not without intrigue. Hippolyta and her council of advisors debate what the arrival of Steve Trevor means, and while there are differing opinions in the room, they are respectful and all ultimately yield to the queen’s wisdom. Philippus, ever the general, fears that he is the forerunner of a military strike. Castalia, more in tune with the gods, notes that Steve can only be on the island through the will of the gods and that there must be a bigger plan. The discussions are well-written and fascinating; it’s cool to see the Amazons debate what Steve’s uniform insignias and weaponry mean from the perspective of total outsiders. It’s also great to see a multi-racial group, with every woman a different hue, representing a variety of different ethnicities.

Ultimately, Hippolyta decides that Steve must be here for a reason and should be returned by an Amazon, and decides that this champion will be chosen through a tournament. In other versions, goddesses appear to Hippolyta to tell her what to do, but here she carefully examines the evidence and decides her own course. It’s a smart change that illustrates the self-sufficiency of the Amazons. They don’t need deities to tell them what to do. They can figure out what signs mean for themselves, especially when they work together.

Instead of forbidding Diana to enter the contest, Hippolyta suggests to her daughter that if she’s still not fully recovered from the snake bite she got in the last issue, no one would fault her for sitting out the tournament. It’s a caring plea, delivered with futile hope, that illustrates Hippolyta’s love for her daughter in hoping she’ll stay but her respect for her daughter in knowing that she likely won’t. Nicola Scott’s depiction of this scene, and all of the Hippolyta/Diana scenes thus far, captures the love between them so well. You don’t even need the text to understand the warmth and depth of their relationship.

They hold the tournament and of course Diana wins, and Rucka goes the classic bullets and bracelets route with a fun twist. Usually writers have to come up with some convoluted reason why the Amazons have a gun in the first place; the Perez relaunch was particularly over the top with this and had a lengthy backstory that unfolded several issues later. Here, Hippolyta simply decides that if an Amazon is to go out in the world of men, she should be able to defend against the weapons men carry, and brings out Steve’s gun. It’s an elegant solution that works flawlessly within the story. A couple of other Amazons get shot before Diana deflects the bullets to win the day.

Diana’s debut as Wonder Woman is spectacularly done. It’s a full page spread beautifully rendered by Nicola Scott, with Romulo Fajardo Jr.’s colours really making it sing; I mean, his stonework alone is amazing. Scott draws a powerful, purposeful Diana, with maybe just the hint of something else in her eyes; sorrow, perhaps, or maybe a hint of trepidation before she leaves her home for good. She’s striding forward, embracing her destiny, but that note of something slightly melancholic on her face tells an interesting story that adds a lot of depth to the scene Scott has set. She draws the Amazons in celebration mode, raising their swords and throwing flowers, cheering on their champion. And the text is so good it made me tear up: Hippolyta declares, “Behold, our gift to the world!”

Alongside all of the fantastic Amazon stuff, Steve is well presented in this issue as well. His sorrow for his dead fallen soldiers says a lot about him, as does his appreciation to the Amazons at the end of the issue when they bring him their bodies so that he can take them home. It also makes an impression on Diana, who sees the same love in Steve’s sadness for his brothers that she feels for her Amazon sisters. Diana’s explanation of this to her mother is both touching and funny, because she can’t remember the word “brother” on account of the Amazons never having to use it. She calls it, “Like sisters but of men,” which cracked me up. Steve provides some comic relief through the issue as well. He has no clue what’s going on around him, but the tall women seem nice so he just rolls with it. The regular looks of bewilderment that Scott gives him are spot on.

I’ll say it again: this issue is pretty much perfect. It gets the Amazons so right, has Diana become Wonder Woman in a beautifully written and rendered manner, and showcases great character work for everyone involved. Rucka and Scott are doing an amazing job with “Year One,” and although I’m sad to leave the Amazons behind because they’ve been so well done, I’m excited to see what adventures Diana and Steve are about to get into in the world of men. My fingers are crossed for Etta Candy! For me, this storyline is the best of DC’s entire “Rebirth” line so far, and one of the best comic stories of the year, anywhere.

Wonder Woman #4 Preview: A Man? On Paradise Island? What?!

August 8, 2016

While I’ve been enjoying “The Lies,” Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp’s current story that’s running in the odd numbered issues of the newly relaunched Wonder Woman, “Year One” is the highlight of the book for me thus far, and of the entire “Rebirth” initiative. The first issue of Rucka and Nicola Scott’s retelling of Wonder Woman’s origin story was absolutely fantastic. For me, it was a perfect distillation of everything I love about the Amazons. It was also made doubly enjoyable by the fact that the Amazons have been so ill-treated at DC for years. Having them back in a classic, recognizable way was just delightful.

And now the second issue is coming out this week! Wonder Woman #4 is out this Wednesday, and Comics Alliance has posted a preview. Let’s take a look:

ww4aww4bww4cww4dww4eww4f

I love all of this. I love Hippolyta carefully deliberating and assessing every angle of men crashing on Paradise Island and what their intention could be, I love a Steve Trevor who’s distraught over the loss of his fellow soldiers, I love Diana sympathizing with him even though a) he’s a man and b) she doesn’t even know him. The characterizations are so on point, across the board.

This is a very encouraging start to the second installment of this arc, and I can’t wait to read the rest on Wednesday. And to see where it all goes! I know we’ve got some iconic moments ahead of us, presumably a tournament to choose an Amazon champion and Diana donning her costume for the first time, but probably a lot of new stuff as well, especially once she leaves her home and goes to America. If Rucka and Scott can maintain the joy and beauty of the first issue of “Year One” through the whole run, this’ll be one of the best Wonder Woman stories of all time.

Wonder Woman #4 will be available in comic shops and online this Wednesday! Go pick it up; you won’t be sorry!

Women at DC Comics Watch – October 2016 Solicits, 28 Women on 24 Books

July 29, 2016

womenatdcOCT.png

NOTE: This post has been substantially edited because I am a dope who missed Cecil Castellucci while doing my first count. It is now accurate and correct.

DC finally had some solid female representation in their September solicits, their first relatively decent month since “Rebirth” relaunched in June. For whatever reason, whenever DC knows they’ll be selling a lot of comics with a new initiative, they want to have as few women as possible in the mix; this has been the trend with every big move they’ve made since the New 52 relaunch. But now we’re several months in and things are beginning to improve. The number of women working on DC books in October hit the same level as September, and stayed well above their previous “Rebirth” levels. Let’s take a look at who is doing what this October at DC Comics:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #5 (cover, co-writer), Harley Quinn #6 (cover, co-writer), Harley’s Little Black Book #6 (cover, co-writer)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #2 (co-writer), Shade, The Changing Girl #1 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Astro City #40 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #1 (writer)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (interior art)
  • Elena Casagrande: The Vigilante: Southland #1 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #8 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #9 (variant cover), Superwoman #3 (penciller)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #13 (writer), Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1 (writer)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #11 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #4 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #13 (cover), Wonder Woman #8 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #9 (variant cover)
  • Joelle Jones: The Lost Boys #1 (variant cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #18 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #18 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Girl #1 (interior art)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #12 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #18 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #2 (color)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #8 (art and cover), Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1 (variant cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: Superwoman #3 (variant cover)
  • Renae De Liz: Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1 (co-writer, interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: Cyborg #2 (inker), Cyborg #3 (inker), Gotham Academy: Second Semester #2 (inker)
  • Sarah Vaughn: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 (writer)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (co-writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #2 (cover), Shade, The Changing Girl #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 28 different female creators set to work on 24 different comic books in October, matching September’s 28 different women and gaining on September’s 21 different books. Basically, there’s some slight growth in representation here, which is good news considering how poor the “Rebirth” solicits had been in the months previous. More female creators would always be better, of course, but not falling back to past levels is a plus. Hopefully things have stabilized and now can continue to move forward.

We’ve got a few returning, and perhaps new, names in the mix this month. Elena Casagrande is drawing a new mini-series; I’m sure if she’s worked on DC before, but she’s done a lot of Marvel stuff. Sarah Vaughn may be new to DC as well, though she’s written elsewhere, and Cecil Castellucci has done some stuff for DC is back with a new gig now on Shade, the Changing Girl (she did a story for Sensation Comics a while back, and perhaps more?). Joelle Jones and Marley Zarcone are returning to DC after brief absences, and Jones especially should be around a lot more in the future because she’s just signed an exclusive deal with DC.

In terms of new female characters, Gerard Way’s “Young Animal” imprint is continuing to unfold, and has brought with it Shade, the Changing Girl. The books also features a handful of female creators, and there should be more coming as new books debut. We’ve also got a new Teen Titans title that appears to be predominantly male, as most teams are, but Starfire and Raven are also in the mix. We’re also getting a special over-sized issue celebrating Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary with a lot of great creators in the mix. And a bunch of books starring dudes, but meh.

Overall, it looks to be an okay month for women at DC. A bit higher in total than September and better than the months previous, but still below DC’s past highs and Marvel’s current levels. DC’s penchant for dropping their numbers considerably every year or so is making long term growth a frustrating process; it’s two steps forward and one step back, over and over. So DC’s now back up to where they were a while ago. Ideally, they’ll grow and get even further ahead before the next inevitable step back.

Wonder Woman’s October 2016 Covers and Solicits

July 19, 2016

There’s some cool stuff on the way for Wonder Woman this October, from her regular bi-monthly series to a fun special to some intriguing collections. Between Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary and the upcoming film, the character’s profile is sky high and we’ve been getting a pretty nice selection of Wonder Woman products announced each month. It’s an exciting (and often expensive!) time to be a Wonder Woman fan.

So let’s see what Wonder Woman is up to in October, starting with her regular series:

octww9

WONDER WOMAN #8
Written by GREG RUCKA • Art and cover by NICOLA SCOTT • Variant covers by JENNY FRISON • “Year One” part four! The world is finally introduced to Wonder Woman, and adversaries—both ancient and new—take note.
On sale OCTOBER 12 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

WONDER WOMAN #9
Written by GREG RUCKA • Art and cover by LIAM SHARP • Variant covers by JENNY FRISON • “THE LIES” part five! Diana takes another step closer to discovering the truth…and the mysterious Godwatch responds!
On sale OCTOBER 26 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

As usual, we’re only getting one of the covers, and this month it’s the Sharp one. I don’t love it, to be honest. Is it just me, or does Steve sort of look like a creep here? He’s weirding me out a little.

But, in fun news, Frank Cho is no longer doing the variant covers, and in his place we’ve got Jenny Frison, which is a huge upgrade. Cho’s covers weren’t terrible, but Cho’s a twit who seems to love to stir up sexist anger among his followers, so I’m not sad to see him go. His brand wasn’t a good fit for the book. And Frison is an amazing cover artist, so this should be very cool!

As for the insides, Rucka sure does love vague solicits. Wonder Woman is set to meet the world for the first time in “Year One”, while in “The Lies” Wonder Woman is moving slightly closer to the truth. Not a lot of information, but the series has been solid so far so I’m looking forward to it all nonetheless.

Next up, the second issue of the gorgeous looking team up, Trinity:

octtrinity2

TRINITY #2
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL • Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL • Variant cover by FRANK CHO
“BETTER TOGETHER” part two! Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman have uncovered a window into their very souls: and the power of temptation proves to be stronger than any villain they could battle! The bonds of friendship and trust between the most formidable heroes on the planet will be tested to their breaking point, with the lives of innocents hanging in the balance!
On sale OCTOBER 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

I mean, look at that cover! I am going to buy this book based on the cover alone; it’s just so pretty. And Manapul’s doing the insides too! It’s going to look so nice. The story sounds weird in ways that could be cool. I like that the book focuses on their friendship and testing them all together; it’s a premise I can get behind. I’m keen for this book to start.

Hilariously, Frank Cho seems to have landed here with a new variant cover gig. We can’t catch a dang break! But really, who’s going to want a Cho cover when they can get that Manapul cover? It’s just too good.

We’ve also got an exciting special:

octwwspecial

WONDER WOMAN 75TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL #1
Story and art by various • Cover by JIM LEE • Variant cover by NICOLA SCOTT • Variant cover by LIAM SHARP
An immense special issue celebrating seventy-five years of the Amazing Amazon, through phenomenal new stories, art, and stand-alone illustrations! Featuring a roster of incredible creators—some who’ve laid down legendary runs with the character, and some who’ve never drawn her before—including Rafael Albuquerque, Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, Renae De Liz, Brenden Fletcher, Adam Hughes, Karl Kerschl, Gail Simone, and many, many more to be announced!
On sale OCTOBER 26 • 80 pg, FC, $7.99 US • RATED T

Eighty pages of Wonder Woman fun, by some killer creative teams! I’m particularly excited for Fletcher and Kerschl to do a Wonder Woman story, though more Renae De Liz is super awesome, and Adam Hughes always does a great Diana. Plus Cliff Chiang! I love Cliff Chiang so much. I’m curious to see who else gets announced; it’d be great to see some more women in the mix here. I think this book could be a blast, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Now to some collections, including a fancy absolute edition:

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ABSOLUTE WONDER WOMAN BY BRIAN AZZARELLO AND CLIFF CHIANG VOL. 1 HC
Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art by CLIFF CHIANG, TONY AKINS, DAN GREEN and KANO
Cover by CLIFF CHIANG
In these tales from the start of DC—The New 52, Wonder Woman learns that Queen Hippolyta has kept a secret from her daughter all her life—and when Diana learns who her father is, her life will shatter like brittle clay. The only one more shocked than Diana by this revelation? Bloodthirsty Hera—so why is her sinister daughter, Strife, so eager for the truth to be told? This Absolute edition collects WONDER WOMAN #1-18 and #0.
On sale FEBRUARY 1 • 484 pg, FC, 8.25” x 12.5”, $125.00 US

I have mixed feelings on this. While the first six issues of this run are AMAZING, it does go downhill somewhat after that. I’d say that about 90% of my affection for this era of Wonder Woman is tied directly to Cliff Chiang’s spectacular art, and seeing it oversized like this would be so fun, but there were a lot of fill ins too that were often only just passable. I’m not sure whether I’ll pick this up or not, especially at such a steep price. But I might; I just love Chiang too much, you guys.

Finally, the collection we’ve all been waiting for:

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THE LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN HC
Written by RENAE DE LIZ
Art and cover by RENAE DE LIZ and RAY DILLON
The new WONDER WOMAN 9-issue miniseries written and pencilled by Renae De Liz is collected here! In the beginning there was only chaos. But Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, saw a better future—and eventually her daughter would be destined to bring that new world to life! Before her ultimate fate unfolds though, Diana of Themyscira must learn the important lessons of an Amazonian childhood!
On sale DECEMBER 7 • 288 pg, FC, $29.99 US

BEST OF WONDER WOMANS!! If for some reason you were crazy enough to not read this digitally and THEN not read this in single issues, pull yourself together and mark December 7, 2016, on your calendar because you need to get this book. It’s the best Wonder Woman story I’ve read in ages; it’s gorgeous and fun, and simultaneously classic and fresh. It’s just ridiculously good on every level. You’ve got to check it out, and if you’ve got the single issues already, get some of these for your friends. I mean, talk about a perfect holiday gift!

So October should be a lot of fun for single issues, and the collections that come out further down the road are looking cool too. Remember a few months back when all we got was the Finches on Wonder Woman and a terrible Superman/Wonder Woman series? We are living the high life now, gang!

Wonder Woman #2 Review: A New Yet Iconic Origin

July 14, 2016

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Sometimes a comic book just feels right. It taps into what you love about a character and captures a sense of her and her world in a way that fits perfectly with your view of both. We’ve gotten lots of different versions of Wonder Woman over years in lots of different continuities and, like most fans, my vision of the character isn’t connected to any particular incarnation but is rather an amalgam of aspects of many of them; a little Marston, a little Perez, a hint of Simone and Jimenez. A bit of Lynda Carter and a bit of Susan Eisenberg. It all adds up in my mind to something that doesn’t exist in full form in the real world, yet is THE Wonder Woman in my head. Wonder Woman #2 captured a lot of that for me. This felt like Paradise Island, the women captured who I think the Amazons are, and Diana was who I always want her to be. It was a great start to this “Year One” story that I’ve been very much looking forward too, and we’ll discuss it all momentarily but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal many of the major plot elements in this comic book!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

And go buy it; it’s great!

This isn’t like the old days when Wonder Woman sucked and it was easier to just read a review than subject yourself to a crappy comic each month!

Go read it and enjoy it!

I liked Wonder Woman #1, but it was good not great for me. It got the ball rolling on a bunch of things, but it was a pretty laid back, spacious first issue. While Wonder Woman #2 isn’t particularly jam packed either, there’s a lot more going on even if it a lot of it might not be particularly plot based. What happened can be summed up pretty quickly: Diana’s a princess of the Amazons, she wants to see the outside world, and one night Steve Trevor crash lands on Paradise Island. It’s all fairly standard Wonder Woman origin stuff. But the world building and character building behind it all is what makes this comic great.

Let’s start with Steve Trevor, for a change. I always find it hard to give a hoot about Steve Trevor, but Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott make him an instantly likeable character with just a few pages that flash through moments in the years leading up to his arrival on Paradise Island. The scenes go through Steve’s military training and his friendship with a fellow soldier named Nick, who actually gets a fuller arc; we see him on his first date with his future wife, then his wedding, then the birth of his first child, then his tragic death in the plane crash that brings Steve to Diana. Through Nick’s story, we get a sense of the man Steve is, a good friend, a good soldier, and an all around good man. He’s still not the most exciting guy in the world; I don’t think he ever could be, really. The man is doomed to be overshadowed by Wonder Woman, after all. But the story establishes that Steve is a guy worth rooting for.

With Diana, Rucka and Scott establish several of the hallmarks of the character. She’s kind and funny, a great warrior, and a wonderful daughter. She also wants to get the hell out of paradise, though not in a petulant, brooding way. Her entire existence has been confined to this island, while all of her sisters have spent time in the outside world before the Amazons departed it. She’s curious, and while she clearly loves her home and her sisters, she wants more.

We also get canonical acknowledgement of same-sex relationships on Paradise Island, particularly some involving Diana herself. It seems that she’s had a variety of paramours over the years, and that many of her fellow Amazons are interested in her; she’s the cool girl that everyone has a crush on. We’ve seen same-sex relationships among the Amazons before, most recently in Wonder Woman: Earth One and The Legend of Wonder Woman, but it’s good to see Diana in the mix too. And in a way that comes off well. There’s not much in the way of jealousy and strife among her would-be suitors, just earnest longing. It stands in stark contrast to Wonder Woman: Earth One, in which her relationship with Mala was a rather toxic and uncaring.

The most intriguing part of the issue for me was the mysterious snake that bites Diana and renders her ill, seemingly for some time. The snake appears in a bizarre tree that Diana has never seen before, and has glowing red eyes. Its bite knocks Diana unconscious, and her recovery takes a while. The snake and the tree aren’t discussed much, but it’s clear that they’ll play a role moving forward. Perhaps this may be one of the connections to the story in the odd-numbered issues that Rucka has hinted at, some sort of link to the lies that plague Diana in the present day.

But back in the past, she’s just a curious gal who wants to see the world. It’s understandable, even though Scott has built a spectacularly gorgeous world around her. Her rendering of the island feels like the platonic ideal of Paradise Island to me; it’s classic but unique, with a beautiful city area and lush surroundings. It’s everything I think of when I imagine the home of the Amazons.

Scott also does a phenomenal job with the island’s residents. While Scott has drawn Wonder Woman before, and did an excellent job when she did, her work is even better now. She’s definitely grown as an artist over the years, and I think it shows most in the clear yet subtle emotion she brings to her characters. Diana’s interactions with her mother demonstrate this particularly well; even without the dialogue, you can see the warmth and love they have for each other as clear as day, and the characters are expressive but not overly so. It feels natural and real, something that’s tricky to achieve in artwork.

The colors enhance the beauty of the book as well, and I’m so glad to see Romulo Fajardo Jr. will be coloring this half of the series. His work on Wonder Woman ’77 was phenomenal, and often brought the book to live, even when he didn’t have the best art to work with. Paired with Scott’s fantastic linework, Fajardo’s colors make the book sing. It’s a gorgeous issue from start to finish, and while I very much wanted to devour it to see what happens next, the artwork drew my attention and kept me poring over each page.

All together, this first issue of “Year One” was a great start. It could perhaps be called slow or even “decompressed”, but it was so in a way that I think it needed to be to establish a new tone for Paradise Island and the Amazons. The New 52 run diminished both considerably, degrading them and turning this noble group of women into a bunch of hateful rapists and murderers. Rucka and Scott bring joy and peace and kindness back to the Amazons here, and establish a new status quo that overwrites the errors of the past. We still don’t have much insight into how Wonder Woman remembers two pasts or who is behind “The Lies” that are being pursued in the odd-numbered arc, but we do have the classic Amazons back and that’s what I was hoping for above all else in this run.

Wonder Woman #2 Preview: Year One Begins!

July 12, 2016

I. AM. SO. EXCITED. FOR. THIS.

I’ve been waiting for this book for years, ever since Greg Rucka revealed that he was originally tapped to write the Wonder Woman: Earth One graphic novel, with art by J.H. Williams III (DC changed their minds and gave it to Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette instead). He’s mentioned a few story details over the years, and they all sounded amazing; Diana looking out at the horizon instead of up in the sky in this preview was one of those scenes. And now Rucka’s telling his Wonder Woman origin story, with Nicola Scott on art, and I can’t wait to read it!

The A.V. Club has posted a preview of the story, which debuts in Wonder Woman #2 and will run in every other issue of the series for the next six months, so let’s take a look:

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It delights me to no end to see happy Amazons. We’ve had a long run of cold, vicious, awful Amazons, so seeing love and warmth on Paradise Island is a lovely change of pace. The final page of the preview, with Diana and her mother, warms my heart immeasurably, doubly so since Hippolyta’s been dead for several years now since the New 52 reboot. But, as we learned with Wonder Woman #1, Diana’s New 52 family was all a lie, the details of which are slowly unfolding in the odd numbered issues of the new series.

I’m so excited to pick this issue up tomorrow! I should have a review up at some point, though I’m going to be on a train all afternoon and my wifi might be spotty. But I’ll do my best to have my thoughts up then. If not, it’ll be up on Thursday. Be sure to hit your local comic shop or Comixology tomorrow to get this issue!


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