Posts Tagged ‘Smallville Season 11’

Wonder Woman #32 And Superman/Wonder Woman #9 Cover And Solicits

March 18, 2014

DC Comics have released the covers and solicits for all of their June 2014 comics, so let’s take a look at what Wonder Woman will be up to when the summer begins.

First up is Wonder Woman #32, which I assume will be the next to penultimate issue of Azzarello and Chiang’s run:


DC Collectibles Bombshells variant cover by ANT LUCIA
On sale JUNE 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The casualties are mounting as Wonder Woman’s divine family tears itself apart – and Diana prepares to make everyone feel her power as the God of War!

The solicits for Wonder Woman seem to be increasingly vague as the series goes on and this arc builds toward its conclusion.  What we do know is that characters are going to die as the gods war with each other (that Zeke is tied to Wonder Woman’s back makes me worry about Zola!), and that the bondage minotaur is still around.  I thought that a minotaur in bondage gear was going to be a one-off joke, but nope; he’s a major character, it seems.

As a completely random sidenote, where’s Athena in all of this?  She’s a VERY important deity in the Greek pantheon, and yet she’s been nowhere to be seen in this book, though there have been occasional owl sightings.  I’m going to go on record and predict a deus ex machina ending for this arc in the form of Athena showing up at some point and doing something cool.  She’s got to show up, right?  Her absence is very conspicuous to me.

Also, this issue has a Bombshells variant cover by Ant Lucia, which might be cool.  Those bombshell statues are fun and retro, and not gross or terribly exploitive like a lot of DC’s other female statues.  Or June’s Red Hood and the Outlaws cover; did you see that thing?  It’s AWFUL.  Anyway, if DC wants to do sexy gals, Bombshells is far and away their least offensive method for doing so.  I don’t love the idea, but it could have been WAY worse.

Superman/Wonder Woman #9 has a Bombshells cover as well, along with Red Lantern Supergirl and a still Doomsdayed Superman:


Art and cover by TONY S. DANIEL
DC Collectibles Bombshells variant cover by ANT LUCIA
On sale JUNE 11 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
“SUPERMAN: DOOMED” continues with “ENEMY OF THE STATE”! As things get more dire on Earth for him, the Man of Steel may have to go into exile in space, but the self-proclaimed protectors of Sector 2814, the Red Lanterns, don’t want him there either! Don’t miss this deadly face-off between Kal and Kara!

Hey, heroes are going to fight each other.  Haven’t seen that before.  I wonder if after they fight they’ll then set aside their differences and work together to fix the problem and defeat the real bad guys?  I don’t know, I’m just spitballing here.

The “Doomed” crossover continues in June, but it seems to just be crossing over with Action Comics now.  Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. are taking over Superman and doing their own thing, and while Supergirl is on the cover of this issue, Supergirl the comic is in the middle of a different story.

Anyway, Superman’s doing some stuff and Wonder Woman’s there too, I guess? She’s not mentioned in the solicit, so it’s hard to know what she’s up to.

Finally, the Wonder Woman arc continues in Batman Beyond Universe #11, out June 25, AND Wonder Woman is back in Smallville Season 11: Lantern #3, out June 11, which is AWESOME.  I love that Wonder Woman!  She’s not on the cover of either book so they aren’t pictured, but both should be a fun read.

Look for all of these comics this June, online or in comic shops everywhere.

Wonder Woman Wednesday Interview #7: Yale Stewart And Cat Staggs

March 5, 2014


It’s week seven of our interview series leading up to the publication of Wonder Woman Unbound, where we talk to cool and interesting people about their favourite versions of Wonder Woman and how she relates to their particular fields and interests. This week we’ve got two fantastic comic creators who have been involved in two unique takes on Wonder Woman, Yale Stewart and Cat Staggs!

First up is Yale, the writer and artist of the fantastic webcomic JL8.  The series is about the adventures of the Justice League in elementary school, and it’s adorable, hilarious, and far and away the best Justice League comic out there today, even if it is unsanctioned.  He’s also the writer and artist of the upcoming, and fully licensed, The Amazing Adventures of Superman, which comes out this summer.

Yale chatted with me about Wonder Woman and his young Diana:

Tim Hanley: What was your very first encounter with Wonder Woman?

Yale Stewart: That’s a good question. I’d probably assume it was through comics. Mark Waid and Alex Ross’s Kingdom Come, to be specific. If it wasn’t that, it would’ve been the Justice League cartoon that aired on Cartoon Network, but I’d put my money on Kingdom Come.

TH: What is your favourite version of Wonder Woman?

YS: I’m not sure if I really have a “favorite.” I don’t think I’ve ever read anything that she was in and saw it as hugely definitive, in the way that I viewed Batman: The Animated Series or something. However, her portrayal in both Kingdom Come and the two Justice League shows –the original and then Justice League Unlimited — have been the most informative in how I perceive the character.

TH: For those who aren’t familiar with JL8, can you tell us about your Diana?

YS: Diana in JL8, is just that: she’s Diana (not yet Wonder Woman), an 8-year-old Amazonian who resents the fact that she’s a princess, because of how she believes she’d be perceived by society if people discovered her lineage. She’s loyal, blunt, a little bit stubborn and she can be fierce when she needs to be.


Diana is unimpressed with Bruce’s behavior at her birthday party in JL8 #108.

TH: What past versions of the character informed your take on Diana?  Were there any other, non-comic inspirations for her?

YS: I’ve already mentioned Kingdom Come and the Justice League shows. I’d probably toss in New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke, at least in terms of attitude. Aesthetically, I just really wanted to make sure she came across as Greek, so I wanted to make sure her skin was a little more olive and she had a broader nose that is seen on a lot of Greek sculpture. Her outfit is a fairly straightforward re-imagining of the traditional Wonder Woman costume, so there’s nothing too notable there. I think that’s about all there is to it.


Diana ignores the Flash and Green Lantern’s shenanigans in JL8 #144.

TH: Lately there’s been a considerable lack of all-ages comics for Wonder Woman, and for superheroes more broadly. Why do you think this is, particularly given how successful JL8 has been? Do you think it’s detrimental to the industry?

YS: I honestly don’t know. I’ve thought long and hard on this and simply don’t have an answer. I’d probably be lying if I said I DIDN’T think it was detrimental. Obviously the industry isn’t collapsing from a lack of all-ages titles, but I’m a very firm believer in the strength and importance of variety. To me, it just makes sense to have comics for a wide range of audiences, and when you’re not producing all-ages content, you’re cutting off an audience. That’s how I see it.

TH: Finally, if Wonder Woman were to leave Paradise Island and come to our world for the first time today, what do you think she’d find most surprising about it?

YS: Haha, this is a little tricky because I’m not that familiar with the mythology of Paradise Island, which is to say I don’t know what they do and don’t have or are or aren’t exposed to. If they don’t have any modern technology on the Island (which I’m assuming they don’t), I think the Internet or a smartphone would be pretty mind-blowing. Or just modern technology in general, I suppose.

* * * * *

Big thanks to Yale Stewart!  Yale is @YaleStewart on Twitter and you can learn more about his projects at his website.

Next up is Cat Staggs!  Cat has been the cover artist for Smallville Season 11, including the recent Olympus arc which introduced Wonder Woman to the Smallville universe.  She’s also done interior art for several issues of the series, and has worked on DC’s The Vampire Diaries series and IDW’s Star Trek series.

Cat talked with me about Wonder Woman and what it was like to draw her:

Tim Hanley: What was your very first encounter with Wonder Woman?

Cat Staggs: Definitely Wonder Woman from Super Friends. My brother and I had a strict Saturday morning ritual which included Super Friends and bowls of Cookie Crisp cereal.

Honorable mention to the Super Friends waterski show at SeaWorld Florida when I was four… that was pretty amazing and a big influence on me getting a Wonder Woman bathing suit.

TH: What is your favourite version of Wonder Woman?

CS: Lynda Carter from the Wonder Woman television series. I grew up with her and she had a huge impact on my feelings about Wonder Woman… and women in general.

I also still want the entire Diana Prince wardrobe from that series.

TH: What is the best part of drawing Wonder Woman? The hardest part?

CS: Officially getting to draw Wonder Woman.

Officially getting to draw Wonder Woman.


Cat Staggs’ Wonder Woman covers from the “Olympus” arc of Smallville Season 11.

TH: What qualities do you aim to capture when you draw Wonder Woman, and how do you do so?

CS: The important thing to me is capturing the fact that she is an Amazon, which means *muscles* and beauty. I try to focus on giving her a muscular frame and strong poses… and great hair.


A great Wonder Woman piece by Cat Staggs.

TH: If you could draw your dream Wonder Woman comic, what would it be about?

CS: Honestly, I feel spoiled because I feel like I actually got to draw covers for my dream Wonder Woman. Brian Q. Miller wrote a fantastic arc. I loved how he connected her into the Smallville universe without compromising her mythos.

My other dream would be to draw a Gail Simone Wonder Woman story, because, duh.

TH: Finally, if Wonder Woman were to leave Paradise Island and come to our world for the first time today, what do you think she’d find most surprising about it?

CS: I think the sad shocking thing for her would be how much we aren’t taking care of the rest of the world. That, and the constant wars… and smart phones… smart phones are amazing.

* * * * *

Big thanks to Cat Staggs!  Cat is @CatStaggs on Twitter, and you can learn more about her projects at her website.

The interview series continues next week with Molly McIsaac!  Look for the next Wonder Woman Unbound preview panel this Monday, and the book itself is available for pre-order now, online or at your local comic shop.

My Three Favourite Comic Book Panels From 2013, Up Now At Bleeding Cool

December 31, 2013

Bleeding Cool has compiled a list of the best comic book panels of 2013, based on the votes of their columnists and other writers.  And I’m a columnist!  So I’ve got three panels in the list.  It was fun to think back over the year and pick some of my favourite comic moments.  I considered a lot of different panels from a lot of different books, but finally I went with these three:




If you don’t recognize them, head over to Bleeding Cool for the full information and why I chose them as the best of the year.  There are lots of other great panels as well, including some of my almost favourites.

It’s fun to close out the year remembering some of my favourite moments.  It was a great year for comics, with lots of cool, new books and returning gems.  Happy New Year to all of you, and best wishes for a fantastic 2014!

My 10 Favourite Comic Book Things Of 2013

December 10, 2013

These aren’t my favourite comic book series or graphic novels or creators or comic moments of 2013, these are ALL of those categories combined into one list.  There’d be a ton of overlap if I divided them up by category, so listing all of my favourites from the year under the vague heading of “things” is how we’ll roll.

It was a great year for comics, with lots of exciting new titles.  Now, I still love everything from last year’s list; Saga and Hawkeye remain two of the best books out there today, but in the interest of mixing it up I’m trying not to duplicate my past favourites.  So here are my 10 favourite comic book things of 2013:

10) Clark Kent (@CK1Blogs)


I’m not much for joke Twitter accounts, but this one is amazing.  In current New 52 continuity, Clark Kent has quit the Daily Planet to start his own website, so some genius has set up this account where he mostly talks about Panera Bread and plaintively tries to connect with Lois Lane.  It is completely hilarious, and far and away the best take on Superman from this past year.

9) FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics by Simon Oliver and Robbi Rodriguez


I was worried about Vertigo after Karen Berger left, but they’ve had a strong year and FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics is my favourite of their new titles.  In a world where physics has gone haywire, a governmental department of rather morally compromised individuals does their past to sort out dangerous fluctuations in gravity.  It’s very different, and very cool, and the entire team (Simon Oliver writing, Robbi Rodriguez drawing, Nathan Fox on covers) is killing it each month.

8) Faith Erin Hicks


Faith Erin Hicks has been doing fantastic work for a while now, but this was a huge year for her with some high profile projects.  Her art on the Last of Us comic looked amazing, but what really floored me was her art in the very enjoyable Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong.  She just keeps getting better and better, which is rather impressive considering how good she was to begin with!

7) Afterlife With Archie by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla


This book shouldn’t work.  It’s a straight up horror comic, too dark and too heavy for the happy go lucky gang from Riverdale.  Some of your favourite characters are killed and become gross, creepy zombies in the very first issue.  It is MESSED UP.  And I LOVE it.  Somehow, it still feels like an Archie comic to me, even though it’s so far outside the realm of what Archie usually does.  They’ve done it just right, and it’s so much fun.

6) The Lying Cat/Sophie Page from Saga #14


Oh man.  So good.  It’s just a quiet little moment in the midst of all of the usual Saga craziness, and if it didn’t demolish you than you are a robot without a soul.  The art is perfect, the writing is heartbreakingly beautiful, and the entire idea of the scene and how much it says about these characters in just a few panels is astounding.  Top notch comic booking right there.

5) Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky


Do I feel weird buying a book called Sex Criminals?  A little bit, yes.  Does tweeting about it put me on some kind of a watchlist?  Probably.  Is it hilarious and romantic and somehow dirty in a nice, endearing way?  It sure is.  This is a great book, with a ton of jokes and a lot of heart.  It’s very much about sex, but never in an exploitive or gross way, and is more about love and relationships.  Don’t be off put by the title; it’s super good.

4) Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios


Sometimes when you’ve been anticipating a book for a long time, it’s hard for the book to live up to the hype.  But Pretty Deadly launched this year and it is SO GOOD.  Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios are doing the best work I’ve ever seen from either of them.  The book is dark and charming, sort of a weird, Western fairy tale with a sensibility all of its own.  And it’s selling like hotcakes, which is just awesome.

3) Marble Season by Gilbert Hernandez


I’ll admit that I’m not super into the Hernandez Bros.’ stuff; much as I respect it all, it’s just not my scene.  This, however, was absolutely wonderful.  It’s a semi-autobiographical story about a kid in the 1960s, and features an eclectic and often hilarious cast of characters.  It perfectly captures the many little joys and heartbreaks of childhood, and the only word I can think of that sums it up is delightful.  Reading this book will make you happy.

2) Brian Michael Bendis’ X-Books


This year, I finally got into Bendis.  His Avengers stuff never did much for me, and I don’t at all care for Peter Parker, and for the past decade or so I just haven’t dug his stuff.  But this year, I caught up on the Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man, which I really liked, and checked out Bendis’ All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men, which I absolutely loved.  Bringing back the original X-team could have easily been terrible, but it’s working like gangbusters for me.  It took Bendis a long time to move to the X-books, but I think he’s a fantastic fit there.  The books are funny, action-packed, and exciting, and he brings the most out of each character.  This was a surprise favourite for me.

1) Wonder Woman in Smallville Season 11


If you read this site at all, you’ve probably seen me going on about this book.  Frankly, I thought it was going to be terrible, but it turned into my favourite take on Wonder Woman in years.  Bryan Q. Miller’s writing was sharp and he brought a whole new angle to the Wonder Woman mythos, and Jorge Jimenez’s art suited the story, and Diana, beautifully.  This book might have been my favourite of the year for young Diana and her pet boy Steve alone, but the rest of story was just as much fun.  The book was such a blast to read.

So there are my favourite comic book things from 2013!  I’ve undoubtedly forgotten some that I’ll remember five seconds after I post this, but so it goes.  Stay tuned for my favourite non-comic book things from 2013 list later in the week!

Smallville Season 11 #19 Review OR Superman Takes The Spotlight

November 14, 2013


Sadly, we’ve reached the end of Smallville Season 11’s “Olympus” arc.  It’s one of the best Wonder Woman comics I’ve read in years, a doubly impressive feat considering that this is actually a Superman book.  Bryan Q. Miller and Jorge Jimenez’s take on Diana has been refreshing and entertaining, a nice break from the darker tone of the New 52 universe.  While the finale was a bit light on Wonder Woman, it’s been a great arc.  We’ll get into that in a minute, but first:


If you read this review before you read this comic, you will rob yourself of joy!

Read the comic first!

There was a lot of Wonder Woman in the first three issues of this arc, and I suppose it was inevitable that Superman would come to the fore at some point.  It’s HIS series, after all.  This isn’t Superman/Wonder Woman, where you’d expect a balance of representation for the characters (and be disappointed by the lack thereof…).  It’s a book about Superman in which Wonder Woman was guest starring, so ultimately Superman got to save the world.

And in an enjoyable way.  Hades’ siege of Washington, DC ended with Superman flying him into space and threatening to leave him there in the void, a brutal, kingdomless state for someone who so craves power.  Hades ultimately agrees to return to Tartarus, to rule his own kingdom and leave the Earth alone rather than have no kingdom at all.  It’s a very Superman way to solve a problem, and he didn’t even have to kill the bad guy to do so (coffcoffManofSteelsuckscoffcoff).

Wonder Woman didn’t have a lot to do in this issue, what with Superman taking the lead.  She did slice her way through the hordes of Hades’ reanimated army in a pretty bad ass fashion, and she had a fantastic confrontation with the conquering god: Diana refuses to kneel before Hades even though he’s captured Steve Trevor, and Hades is surprised that an Amazon is defying a god to honor a man.  Wonder Woman replies:

I do not fight for this man — I FIGHT FOR ALL MANKIND!!!

While busting through some undead soldiers and landing in front of Hades, ready to face him herself.

Then Superman shows up and sorts things out, but it’s still a great Wonder Woman moment.

We also learn where she ends up when the threat is gone.  She decides to stay in America, defending the world as Wonder Woman AND as Diana Prince, the newest agent of the DEO:


She tells Superman:

I will prove to the world — man and woman alike — that any who act on their beliefs in pursuit of truth and justice can make a difference.

I enjoy how Bryan Q. Miller writes Wonder Woman.

As for Steve Trevor, he becomes director of the DEO.  Plus, the pilot tasked with returning Hippolyta to Paradise Island is a gal named “Candy”, a fun reference for any Wonder Woman fan.

The end of the issue sets up the next big story for the Smallville universe, with Superman revealing to the president, and presumably the world, that he’s an alien.  While the series is set to carry on without Wonder Woman, I hope that she comes back soon.  Now that Batman and Wonder Woman have been established in the Smallville universe, a proper Justice League team up seems like a no-brainer.  I know I’d read that in a heartbeat.  Miller has done an excellent job retaining the good bits of the Smallville TV show, continuing to grow Clark, Lois, and the other established characters while creating a bigger world around them.  I always enjoy a good alternate universe, and from what I’ve read so far this one seems like a blast.

I doubt that this Wonder Woman is going to get the spinoff that I so badly want now, on account of DC Comics only seems interested in additional Wonder Woman books where she’s Superman’s girlfriend, but I’d love to see Miller write Wonder Woman again in the future, in the Smallville universe or elsewhere.  He really gets the character, making her both fun and noble.  I’d love to see more art from Jorge Jimenez as well, on Wonder Woman or any other book.  He’s got a cool style, and I think he’d fit well on any superhero title.  It’d be great to have him back for the inevitable Smallville: Justice League arc down the road so I could see him draw the rest of Smallville’s superhero cast.

This book has been the biggest surprise of 2013 for me, and I’m sad this arc is over.  I look forward to seeing more from everyone involved!

Preview For The Wonder Woman Finale In Smallville Season 11 #19

November 12, 2013

Zap2It has a preview of Smallville Season 11 #19, the final issue of the Wonder Woman co-starring “Olympus” arc.  The book is so much fun, and if you haven’t read the past three issues I recommend them highly.  They’re good comics all around, but in particular they are fantastic Wonder Woman comics.

We’ve got a big preview here, with Superman, Lois, and Diana fighting the hordes of Hades who are laying waste to Washington DC.  It looks like a pretty epic finale:







smallville19gSmallville Season 11 #19 is out tomorrow, and if you like good comics you should do yourself a personal favour and pick it up.  You’ll thank yourself if you do.

Smallville Season 11 #18 Review OR All Hell Breaks Loose, Literally

October 10, 2013


Well, that escalated quickly.  What started out as a few easily stopped shenanigans from Felix Faust has turned into the hordes of Hades invading Washington, DC.  Oh, and zombies.  There are zombies in there too.  Things are pretty bonkers, so let’s discuss after the usual warning:


If you haven’t read this comic, don’t read any further!

And if you aren’t reading this comic, go check it out!

It’s really quite good.  I think you’ll like it.

So Faust has successfully released Hades, who is none too impressed with the progresses of humanity since he was last free and immediately sets about tearing it all down.  Faust accomplished what Bones was loathe to do, a failure that resulted in his bizarre skeletal state.  While Bones is hardly the good guy here, at least he’s not as evil as Faust, who quite literally made a deal with the devil in return for long life.  Hades is unleashed, his zombie army is roaming Washington, DC, the Washington monument is crumbling, and a giant monster is bursting out of the ground at the National Mall.  It’s a bad scene.

Luckily for the world, someone else has been unleashed as well.  It turns out Hippolyta wasn’t captured by Faust, as I thought when I read the last issue, but rather was held by Bones and the DEO in their secret base.  Clark Kent infiltrated the base, scanning it with his X-ray vision while pretending to take notes for a Daily Planet story, and found Hippolyta hidden in the Black Room in some sort of suspended animation.  Once freed, she wanted to go home with Diana, but Diana chose to stay and fight alongside her new friends, donning her mother’s armor to take on Hades:


This book is just so bonkers.  In between all of that overarching plot, Faust broke into DEO headquarters with a giant sea monster, Superman saved Lois and Steve from some zombies, and a new, Asian Cameron Chase showed up.  They really do pack a lot of stuff into these digital first books.

The Superman stuff was fine, and I liked Clark infiltrating the DEO base in plain sight, but Bryan Q. Miller and Jorge Jimenez’s take on Diana is what I love most about this book.  After she surrendered to Bones last issue, he had her placed in some sort of torture apparatus meant to electrocute her so he could test her powers.  The machine barely tickled Diana, who chatted amiably with Bones and found out the full story of what was going on with Faust and his connection to Hades.  When Diana hears that her mother has been found and that Faust is attacking the base, she busts out of the apparatus with ease and rushes to help.  Then, with Hades rampaging through Washington, she armors up to go fight him.

This Diana is tough and determined, ferocious but clear-headed, and smart to boot.  When her mother just wants to return home, Diana sees that Hades won’t stop with Washington and that Paradise Island would soon be a target.  She decides to deal with him now, and help millions of innocents in the process, rather than just waiting for the inevitable attack at home.

Her New 52 counterpart is presumably much older and more experienced, but it’s this Smallville Wonder Woman who comes off as the more mature and together hero.  The New 52 Wonder Woman is all over the place, making poor decisions and getting duped at nearly every turn, while the Smallville Wonder Woman is perpetually in control.  Even things that seem like a setback, like Bones taking her into custody in the previous issue, are well-managed and ultimately beneficial.  The torture has no effect, she learns what she needs to know from Bones, breaks free when she wants to, and gets her mother back.  This Wonder Woman knows what she’s doing.

Smallville Season 11 continues to impress me on every level.  Bryan Q. Miller’s writing is sharp and the story is entertaining and moves along quickly.  Jorge Jimenez’s art is fantastic, and he seems more interested in having his own take on the characters than rigidly adhering to resembling the actors from the show.  Carrie Strachan’s colouring and Saida Temofonte’s lettering are solid, and work in the best way possible: You don’t notice them.  It’s an odd compliment, but the best colouring and lettering is seamless, showcasing and elevating the art and moving the story along with ease so that each page flows and works like it should.  Poor colouring and lettering is jarring, sticking out like a sore thumb and disrupting the reading experience while in a well put together book, like this one, everything works together beautifully.

I’m excited to see how the story concludes next month, but I’m also very sad that it’s going to be over.  I really enjoy this Wonder Woman, and it’s one of my favourite versions of the character I’ve ever seen.  I’d love to read a book about her every month, and it’s a bummer that the most we’ll get is sporadic guest appearances in future Smallville issues.  It’s a Superman series, but Wonder Woman absolutely steals the book, which is a refreshing change of pace from the New 52 where Wonder Woman is often overshadowed by her enjoyably colourful supporting cast.  If someone has the power to give Bryan Q. Miller a regular Wonder Woman series, please do so.

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