Posts Tagged ‘Rick Leonardi’

Wonder Woman #47 Review: At Least the Art is Decent

May 23, 2018

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We’ve got four issues of this mess left, gang. An annual next week, then three more issues to get us to Wonder Woman #50 and the end of this god awful run. After that, new creators! And a writer who is actually good at both dialogue and plotting. I’m so looking forward to it. These past few months have been a real slog, and I’m optimistic that Wonder Woman will be readable once again come late July. Maybe enjoyable, even? I’ve got a good feeling about Steve Orlando, and Laura Braga and ACO on art should be a lot of fun.

But for now, we’re still in the middle of James Robinson’s foolishness. And dang, is it hard to care about this story. It’s just bad, and is building on all of the bad arcs that preceded it. It’s terrible all the way down. Jason’s still around, and he’s both the worst character AND the worst idea for a character I’ve seen in some time. And there are some Dark Gods that are doing something or other? We’re two issues in now, and we still don’t know much about them. It’s all so underwhelming. So let’s talk about it! But first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Look away if you have not read this issue yet!

Unless you, unlike me, are sensible and have dropped the series and are just reading this to keep yourself in the loop of what’s going on!

I can understand that!

And I envy you your spare $3.99!

This issue is centered mainly on a fight between Wonder Woman and Supergirl, as we can see from the main cover. Kudos to Emanuela Lupacchino and the cover gang for the old school word balloons here. That’s a nice, classic touch. However, you should take a peek at Jenny Frison’s lovely variant cover for the issue:

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Ice cream fun with Diana and Kara! And you know they’re having a good time because a) they’re smiling and laughing, and b) they splurged on waffle cones, the most delicious form of cone. This is the story I’d much rather be reading, two superheroines out having a fun day, enjoying some ice cream. Something will inevitably go awry, of course, and they’ll shoot off to save the day. It sounds like a delightful issue! And I appreciate Jenny Frison giving me the opportunity to imagine such a pleasant story.

The actual issue is less pleasant. It begins with Supergirl, crazed by the Dark Gods, picking a fight with a flummoxed Wonder Woman. Much like the Cheetah battle two weeks back, Stephen Segovia does a solid job with the fight choreography, with some breakdown help from Rick Leonardi. The scene is dynamically rendered, with lots of action and velocity. And style, as well. I really like how he draws Supergirl’s heat rays with a bit of flair, and the entire flying battle is a master class in cape crumpling as she whips through the air. The whole thing is a good time.

Well, a good time until you read the words. Also much like last issue’s Cheetah battle, the fine visuals are undercut by some embarrassingly poor writing. The dialogue and narration are poor, and any sort of explanation for the fight is non-existent.

I will say, though, kudos to Saida Temofonte. Yes, most of the words are quite bad, but she does an excellent job laying them out on the page. I don’t talk about her lettering skills enough, partly because I spend most of my time rolling my eyes at the story and partly because when a letterer is good their work is so seamless that you almost don’t notice it. Temofonte is excellent, and has been doing a fine job on the book for months now. Her skills are on display particularly well during the fight scene. She stays out of the way of the action while still following along with the direction of the art, even across several two pages spreads. It makes everything easy to read and follow, which is exactly what you want in lettering.

If only they’d let her put in good words, instead of the bad ones James Robinson keeps choosing. He’s come up with an interesting fight scene here, and then sucks all the fun out of it with his writing. Every word he puts in Wonder Woman’s mouth, every caption that shows her thoughts, rings absolutely false. She just doesn’t feel like Wonder Woman. Supergirl’s got the excuse of being wacky with the Dark Gods’ influence; her dialogue should be wonky. But Wonder Woman’s in her right mind, yet she hasn’t seemed like herself for months.

Then we cut to Jason, who’s hanging out with the Fates because, I don’t know? Glaucus knows them, I guess? Anyway, we learn that his fancy new armor was meant for Diana, not him, and he still dons the armor anyway to go face the bizarre stone monoliths that have appeared in the sky. Kind of a jerk move, really. If Zeus wanted Diana to have it, he should probably stop using it.

I will say, I was mildly amused by the issue’s conclusion. Star Sapphires appear out of nowhere to take Wonder Woman off to Zamaron for next week’s Wonder Woman Annual #2, just as the battle with the Dark Gods is about to begin. The annual is going to suck, most likely, since James Robinson is writing it, but that ending is such a classic comic book move that I almost have to respect it a little bit. I love an out of the blue whisk away for a special issue.

This leaves us with a bigger problem, though. It sounds like the next issue of Wonder Woman proper is going to be Jason vs. the Dark Gods, and I do not want to spend four dollars on that shizz. When I go to buy Wonder Woman and her dopey brother is the star of the book instead, I get very, very, very annoyed. If we get little to no Wonder Woman in that issue, my review might just be “Nope. Nope nope nope.” Time will tell. But next week, Zamaron!

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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.

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!


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