Posts Tagged ‘The Legend of Wonder Woman’

The Legend of Wonder Woman #21 Review: The Wrath of Zeus

March 31, 2016

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The Legend of Wonder Woman is a mini-series, and one that is in the back stretch of its run. It’s scheduled to go for 27 digital installments, and we’re at 21 now, so things are coming to a close pretty soon. I’ve read enough comic book mini-series to know that at this point the story is usually on cruise control; everything’s been established, the twists and surprises are out of the way, and everything is escalating to the final conflict with the big bad in which the hero will emerge triumphant. There’s usually a formula to these things, and while there’s often a final twist or shock at some point, a mini-series this far into the game has it’s ending semi-telegraphed just by virtue of being so far into the story.

But it turns out that The Legend of Wonder Woman isn’t following this formula, and I am loving it. Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon, with two print issues still ahead of them, have thrown a massive wrench into things, leaving me totally unsure of how the story will wrap up. It could go any number of ways now, and I’ve got to assume we’ll end up with a triumphant heroine when the story is done, but how we get there? I’ve got no idea. It’s so much fun.

So last week’s issue ended with the Duke of Deception getting the best of Wonder Woman in a one-on-one battle. We pick up there for a couple of pages, with Wonder Woman using her visions of the young boy connected to the Duke’s past life to try to dissuade him from his villainous ways. He’s not having it, but then WHOOSH Wonder Woman is whisked away to some other realm where Alcippe is waiting, along with Zeus! Zeus delivers a lengthy spiel about the Titan (which is an alien!) and the gods splitting, with Ares and Hades teaming up to release the Titan, destroy the world, and remake their own. Zeus wants Wonder Woman to be his champion to challenge their evil plan, so cool right? Nope. He wants to destroy and then remake the world too, into something better, but now that Diana has seen the world, she refused to be part of its destruction. Cut to: Diana wakes up in her bed, her divine accessories now rendered powerless, with a very different life as a normal human potentially ahead of her.

I love the boldness of this move. First off, I am always on board for Zeus as a bad guy. One of the very few reservations I’ve had about the book is the Amazons’ devotion to Zeus and other male deities rather than just the female deities, as is their usual way. Zeus is always a questionable character to me. And it turns out, he still is. Moreover, Diana is wise enough to recognize this and to not be part of his genocidal plan. There’s nothing better than Wonder Woman staring down a god, and this time it’s extra powerful given that she’s been raised to respect Zeus above all of the gods. De Liz drawing Diana as a child at times during their conversation is a wonderful touch, and her switching back to being a grown woman as she defies Zeus is such a cool way to illustrate her personal growth.

Second, The Legend of Wonder Woman has been a distillation of Wonder Woman’s history in many ways, and now it seems like we might be getting a taste of what’s usually called her “mod era” from 1968-1972, in which she gave up her superpowers and became a normal human woman. This wasn’t a great time for Wonder Woman, but I’m fully confident that De Liz and Dillon will do something cool and interesting with it. Plus, the mod era was followed by Wonder Woman’s return to her powers and her emergence as a feminist icon, so if De Liz and Dillon follow that path then the ending should be amazing.

So the game has been changed, and with only six digital issues left we’re nearing the end of the series, but what will this ending be? I don’t have a clue. I see so many different ways it could go, but with Diana’s new status quo there’s no obvious path to any particular grand finale right now. I have a bunch of theories, and I can’t wait until next week to see where De Liz and Dillon are taking things!

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The Legend of Wonder Woman #19 and #20 Review: Wonder Woman vs. the Duke of Deception!

March 24, 2016

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I had a great time last week in Chicago, doing a variety of book events for Investigating Lois Lane, but the busyness of the trip meant that I missed out on one of my favourite weekly activities: reading and reviewing The Legend of Wonder Woman! But I’m back at it again this week, with a double review of last week AND this week’s digital issues. It’s twice the fun!

When we last left our intrepid heroine two weeks ago, she had just emerged in her iconic costume and took to the battlefield as Wonder Woman, turning the tide against the Germans and their nefarious ally, the Duke of Deception. Last week’s issue opened with a montage of her exploits since then, including a role in the liberation of Paris and offering support in several key military missions (including fighting alongside Canadian forces in Dieppe! Wonder Woman and Canadians, working together!). Wonder Woman’s arrival threw the Axis forces for a real loop, including their newly revealed ally: Priscilla Rich!

This information will probably not surprise any of my regular readers, but I LOVE Priscilla Rich. Later incarnations of the Cheetah are fine and all, but Priscilla Rich is my favourite by far. Her original Golden Age adventures revealed a psychologically fascinating character; she wasn’t evil so much as misguided, warped by jealousy into a villainous split personality. Plus she was crafty and smart. Later versions of the Cheetah tend to focus on her feral power and make her a sort of cat/human hybrid. Priscilla Rich had catlike reflexes because of her training as a dancer, but she was also clever and sneaky and very difficult to defeat. And now she’s in The Legend of Wonder Woman, working with the Axis but throwing serious shade at the German generals and even the Duke of Deception. Her snarky attitude is so delightful, and I can’t wait to see what role she plays in the rest of the series.

This week’s issue brings back the rest of the Holliday Girls, who come to Paris to perform with Etta at a gala celebration. Today’s release of the first look at the Amazons in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie illustrates yet again why this is such a special comic: It’s set in the 1940s and could have used any dumb excuse to be homogenously white, from history to the old comics, but Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon have chosen to present different ethnicities in their world. And at every level, from the Amazons on Themyscira to the American military to the Holliday Girls. The book contains people of all colours, while the upcoming film is all white Amazons thus far.

The issue ends with a dramatic confrontation between Wonder Woman and the Duke of Deception, and it does not go well for our stalwart heroine. The Duke is, unsurprisingly, deceptive. While Wonder Woman dispatches his dead souls with ease, their direct battle proves to be much more difficult. The Duke is never where he seems to be, and is constantly disappearing and popping up behind Diana to land a powerful strike, and the issue ends with the Duke clearly having the upper hand. Looking at the simple issue math, we’ve got seven digital installments yet, so I’m guessing the victor of this battle, whoever it may be, will not have won the war. Hopefully Wonder Woman can get away and recover, and perhaps mount another strike at her foes with Steve and the Holliday Girls in tow; I feel like Lita Little driving a soldier’s tank earlier in the issue (and crashing it!) might be a bit of a Chekhov’s tank, and the gals may take to the battlefield for real before the series is done.

It was another two great issues for The Legend of Wonder Woman, with De Liz and Dillon moving the story forward and approaching their conclusion while still adding fun new surprises into the mix. We’re into the last third of the series, and I’m sad it’s nearly done, but this is also shaping up to be one of the best Wonder Woman stories of all time and I’m excited to see how it comes together in the end.

The Legend of Wonder Woman #18 Review OR The Costume Comes Together!

March 10, 2016

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Etta Candy has had Diana’s back from the second she arrived in America, helping out the confused Diana just because she’s friendly, aiding her in tracking down news on the Duke of Deception, and following her to the front lines of the war in Europe.  Etta’s done this all without knowing very much about Diana; despite Etta’s many kindnesses, Diana’s remained tight-lipped about her true origins.  But Etta has a line, and apparently it’s watching her pal fly out of a window.  So in today’s digital issue of The Legend of Wonder Woman, Diana finally lays her cards on the table with Etta.  And, of course, Etta is super on board.

But first,  the book picked up where it left off last week, with Diana on the battlefield fighting the Duke of Deception’s twisted army.  Diana won, of course.  That’s what she does.  But the method in which she won was noteworthy for the way that it captured the essence of Wonder Woman.  Rather than punching her way through the undead soldiers, Diana took out her magic lasso and used its truth powers to disperse the hordes.  The Duke of Deception harnessed the souls of the dead to animate the corpses of the battlefield, but the lasso’s truth reminded the souls that they belonged to the land of the dead, not the living, and so they returned to where they belonged.  The fight was won, with no punching, just the power of truth!

Diana returned home to find Etta waiting for her, and Etta made Diana spill all of the beans about who she really was.  And Etta believed “every cock-a-mamie, deranged word of it,” in part because she’s a good friend and in part because she’s always up for an adventure and Diana’s kookiness certainly promised a lot of that.  I’m glad that everything is out in the open now, save for Diana’s encounter with Steve, which she kept to herself.  The women’s friendship, while fun and endearing, has been a little one-sided, with a lot of give from Etta and a lot of take from Diana.  But now they’re on the level, and can be partners in what comes next.  In fact, it was Etta who came up for the idea of the dowdy Diana Price taking on the new, flamboyant identity of Wonder Woman.

A makeover ensued, with hilarious results in perfect montage form.  Etta’s first idea for a costume involved shoulder pads and a lot of pouches, a clear shout out to superhero outfits of the 90s, but Etta discarded it for being “maybe a bit before its time.”  Diana rejected Etta’s suggestion of high heels in a fun nod to the never-ending debate over whether its practical for female superheroes to fight in heels.  They both agree that Diana should start to wear glasses to further conceal her identity, though.

After hours of work, the costume was finally finished.  And it was a mess!  Eagle wings under the arm, Diana’s hair in a bun, a weird red vest.  Etta was distraught at her failure.  Luckily, she spied the American flag that Diana was given when she first landed in America and stayed with the older couple who found her and nursed her back to health.  Inspired anew, Etta designed yet another costume, and the issue ended with hints of Wonder Woman’s iconic look but not a full reveal just yet.

The whole design scene was a blast.  I love a good makeover montage, and all of the in-jokes and references were funny and on point.  Wonder Woman rarely gets this kind of fun in her origins; she typically just shows up in costume and starts superheroing, so it was an enjoyable change to have her and Etta work to design her look from scratch.  Plus it’s so cool that it’s the two of them who come up with the idea and look for Wonder Woman, a melding of the perspectives of an Amazon woman and an American woman to create an icon of female power.

Also, we get confirmation that there’s a Justice Society, which is rad!  I’m all about the World War Two era Justice Society, fighting Nazis and saving the world.  I don’t know if we’ll see much of them in this book, but hopefully we’ll get a sequel that will expand Wonder Woman’s world to include some superhero pals.

So yeah, Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon have done it yet again.  From the battlefields of France to a fun makeover, this issue really does have everything.  Etta also says the line, “I’d be angrier than a barn cat on a corn griddle,” which is delightful.  It’s just the best book!  Go check out this issue now, and be sure to pick up the third print issue of The Legend of Wonder Woman, which hit stores yesterday!

The Print Edition of The Legend of Wonder Woman #3 is Out Today; Here’s a Meta-Review

March 9, 2016

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The third print issue of The Legend of Wonder Woman hits comic shops today, and you’re going to want to pick this one up.  After two fantastic issues covering the adventures of a young Diana, Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon dig into some classic elements of the Wonder Woman mythos in this outing.  Steve Trevor crash lands on Themyscira, drama ensues, and then there’s a tournament to decide who will be the Amazons’ champion.  It’s all a lot of fun, and absolutely gorgeous.

If you’re a Wonder Woman fan and you’re not reading The Legend of Wonder Woman, you are missing out on the best Wonder Woman story in years.  It’s a classic, World War Two era take on Wonder Woman’s origins that harkens back to her original Golden Age adventures while being fresh and new and surprising at every turn.  It’s such a blast to read, and easily one of my favourite comics coming out right now.

Once you’ve checked out this third issue, if you’re jonesing for a review here are my reviews of the digital issues that comprise the print book:

(The first review is a double review because Chapter 7 came out on Christmas Eve, so I reviews two issues the next week).

Go buy this comic book!  You won’t be disappointed, I guarantee it.  The writing is sharp, the art is amazing, the creators clearly care about the characters and understand the core of who Wonder Woman is.  You’re going to love it.  Check it out!

The Legend of Wonder Woman #17 Review: Wonder Woman Debuts! Sort Of…

March 3, 2016

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Let’s get right to it: This issue kicked some serious ass. It’s a testament to Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon’s storytelling skills that we’re seventeen issues into the series, digitally, and we haven’t had much in the way of fight scenes. Fight scenes are the lifeblood of superhero comics in a lot of ways; heck, the next two big superhero movies are pitting the heroes against each other so as to have even more fight scenes. Everybody loves crazy action. But The Legend of Wonder Woman hasn’t gone that route. There have been a few skirmishes here and there, but the story has moved along at its own pace, building relationships and developing the characters in non-combative ways. And it’s been absolutely fantastic.

But now the Duke of Deception is almost on top of the Allied forces in Europe, and someone’s got to step in and stop him. Enter Wonder Woman! Or rather, almost Wonder Woman. She hasn’t got the whole look together yet, and De Liz has continued the slow build to her emergence in a very cool way. When Diana left Themyscira, she wasn’t given the classic Wonder Woman uniform. Instead, she was given golden artifacts: The boots of Hermes (more sandals, really) that allowed to glide on the winds, the girdle of Zeus to enhance her physical strength, the tiara of Athena to heighten the strength of her mind, and the impenetrable bracers of Artemis.

Diana put on all of the separate artifacts before heading out to the battlefield, without the usual red top and star spangled bottoms to tie it all together. Instead, she just wore them underneath a military uniform, and it looked pretty rad. I mean, check this out:

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This comic is worth buying for that bad ass pose alone. Also, could we please make this book a hit so that I can get an action figure of this?

I love how The Legend of Wonder Woman is building up to Wonder Woman, step by step, and it’s so fun that she gets this sort of intermediate stage. It’s such a common plot point in the origin stories of other heroes, and it’s one I really enjoy, that first time that they go out to fight bad guys but they don’t have their uniform together quite yet and sort of don’t know what they’re doing. Think Bruce Wayne disguising himself as a street tough in Batman: Year One, or Iron Man’s clunky first suit from the Iron Man movie. Wonder Woman tends to just emerge fully formed in her origin stories, and I’m really enjoying seeing her grow and evolve into the role here.

And, as always, I love the callbacks. In the Golden Age, Wonder Woman couldn’t fly; thus the invisible plane. Then, in the Silver Age, she learned how to fly by gliding on air currents, just as she’s doing in the panel above. It’s great to see yet another reference to her history. The way this series builds on classic Wonder Woman stories while being wholly its own new, fresh thing delights me to no end.

Also, things happened! I’ve spent so much time talking about the costume that I’ve forgotten the plot. Diana is finally face to face with the Duke of Deception, and it seems that they have some kind of connection. She can see into his past, and he knows to be wary of her, like he was expecting her. It’s a curious situation that I assume will be explored in the issues to come as their battle continues. There are ten digital issues to go, so I don’t expect things to be resolved any time soon. If anything, I’m guessing this current battle will just be their first skirmish, with more to come later on.

So we’ve got yet another great issue of The Legend of Wonder Woman, adding yet another enjoyable twist to Wonder Woman’s origin. She looks so cool! And is super bad ass, deflecting bullets and zipping around the battlefield. This book is such a blast.

The Legend of Wonder Woman #16 Review: Diana Prince, Volunteer Nurse

February 25, 2016

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Diana Prince and her pal Etta Candy have made the long trek across the Atlantic Ocean and are now set up in Normandy, France. Diana’s just finished her nurse training and Etta is preparing for her first big solo show to entertain the troops, but there’s a darkness hanging over everything. There’s the war itself, of course, but more than that there is the Duke of Deception, stalking the battlefields of Europe and sending untold soldiers to their graves as he marches across the continent.

The legions of casualties are certainly keeping Diana busy at her new nursing gig. I really like that Renae De Liz has made Diana a nurse again; I’m all about a Golden Age callback, and when Diana first arrived in America in 1941 she became a nurse to take care of her charge, Steve Trevor, before becoming his secretary after he was well enough to leave the hospital. The original Diana was stateside with a fairly leisurely post, but De Liz stays true to the classic stories while adding some more excitement to the mix by posting Diana in Normandy, near the front lines.

Historically speaking, it was certainly a chaotic time to be in France. The date at the start of today’s installment of The Legend of Wonder Woman is July 3, 1944, about a month after the D-Day landings brought Allied troops to the shore of Normandy to begin the push back against Nazi forces. While D-Day was a roaring success, the Allies didn’t just march straight to Berlin. Months of arduous battle followed. Today, you can drive from Normandy to Berlin in about twelve hours; it’s a pretty easy trip. The Nazis didn’t surrender until May 1945, and the toll was high over those eleven months of conflict across the continent.

The comic makes what was a terrible situation even worse with the addition of the Duke of Deception. Few who face him survive to tell the world about it, which is why Diana wants to be near the front lines. Those who do survive rarely live for long, but being in the nursing unit allows her to gather information on the Duke from the injured soldiers before they succumb to their wounds. It’s an unpleasant place for Diana to be, and having to view the brutality of war and see people die clearly takes a toll on Diana.

This too is a departure from Wonder Woman’s original Golden Age adventures. Back then, the price of war never really came up. Wonder Woman was constantly in the thick of battle, but was breezy and carefree, throwing around quips as she defeated enemy soldiers with ease. She even sunk an entire fleet of Axis ships in one issue. In the middle of the war itself, there wasn’t much in the way of reflecting on the cost of the conflict and the horrible loss of life; it was all “Rah rah, beat the Axis!” I like that, from the get-go, De Liz is keeping Diana away from that kind of patriotic propaganda and is exploring the harsh reality of war.

The book isn’t all dark and dreary, though! Far from it. Etta’s there with Diana to cheer her up and take her out to her show, where they promptly run into their old friend Steve Trevor. Etta slyly leaves the two of them together to get to know each other better while she heads on stage to try to top Pamela Smuthers. Yes, friggin’ Pamela Smuthers is there too! They thought they’d left her in London, but nope. They can’t get away from her. So yeah, there’s a lot of fun in the mix, and perhaps the blossoming of some romantic feelings between Diana and Steve. They almost got to dance together before more casualties from the Duke of Deception had Diana rushing back to the nursing station.

All together, it was yet another great issue of this fantastic series. After the light fun of America, we’re now in the thick of the war itself and moving toward what should be an epic confrontation between Diana and the Duke of Deception. Having seen the horrors of war firsthand now, I very much doubt that Diana will be able to remain on the sidelines for long.

Wonder Woman’s May 2016 Covers and Solicits

February 23, 2016

May is going to be another busy month for Wonder Woman, and will mark the end of her two mainline series. Wonder Woman is set to relaunch in June with a new #1 issue, while Superman/Wonder Woman will be done forever, thank goodness; that book never even got close to decent, despite three years of trying. But that’s June. In May, both series are wrapping up, plus Wonder Woman’s got a few other things in the mix, including a very cool surprise. Let’s take a look at what she’ll be up to in May, starting with Wonder Woman #52 and its two covers:

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WONDER WOMAN #52
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art by MIGUEL MENDOÇA
Cover by YANICK PAQUETTE
Variant cover by DAVID FINCH and MATT BANNING
On sale MAY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Hecate’s true motivations are revealed and Wonder Woman’s dream of a happy ending is called into question by the Amazon warrior herself. You can’t afford to miss the epic conclusion of the quest to save baby Zeke and the Olympians.

While we don’t have official confirmation on the new Wonder Woman creative team, all signs point to this being the last issue for Meredith and David Finch. And there was much rejoicing throughout the land. Their final outing wraps up the storyline of Zeke’s illness, and it sounds like Hecate might be up to no good. Really? The creepy looking witch goddess with the spikes coming out her head doesn’t have the purest of intentions? I did not see that coming (I actually did, in my review of the start of this arc last week. I think I was sarcastic about her then, too. That sounds like me).

Anyway, the Finches will be done and maybe the series will be good for a change from now on. Here’s hoping!

Onto Superman/Wonder Woman #29:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #29
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by KARL KERSCHL
On sale MAY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
It’s the penultimate chapter of “Super League”! When all the Supermen have fallen, it’s Supergirl to the rescue! But can Kara and Wonder Woman stop a villain who wants to end Clark’s hope for future Supermen?

This is a whole big crossover scene with all of the other Super-books, and seeing as I don’t buy any of those than I’m guessing this issue won’t make a lick of sense to me. But it’s a Wonder Woman/Supergirl team-up, and that could be fun. Plus a Karl Kerschl cover! This issue has some stuff going for it, certainly. Though it also sounds like a fitting end to this series that has consistently focused on Superman over Wonder Woman, with a Super-crossover that’s yet again all about the Man of Steel.

We’ve also got a double shipping Legend of Wonder Woman in May:

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THE LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN #5
Written by RENAE DE LIZ
Art by RENAE DE LIZ and RAY DILLON
Cover by RENAE DE LIZ
On sale MAY 4 • 40 pg, FC, 5 of 9, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Double shipping in May! In issue #5, the Holliday Girls are off to Boston! But while the girls go shopping, Etta and Diana have more dangerous errands to run. Diana visits the newspaper that published tales of the Duke of Deception…and discovers a new mission—perhaps she can save Themyscira by saving the people of Man’s World from him!

THE LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN #6
Written by RENAE DE LIZ
Art by RENAE DE LIZ and RAY DILLON
Cover by RENAE DE LIZ
On sale MAY 18 • 40 pg, FC, 6 of 9, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Double shipping in May! There’s a war devastating the outside world, and while Diana tries not to care, she cannot help but want to protect the many who are suffering. As she finally confronts the Duke of Deception and his minions, she must decide whether to chase her answers of home, or use her new strengths to defend the outsiders.

Double the shipping, double the fun! Two issues of the Legend of Wonder Woman sounds like a good deal to me. This book is so good, I’d gladly pay for it twice in one month. It’s the best Wonder Woman comic in years, by a considerable margin. We’ve seen the contents of the fifth issue already in digital form, and it’s super good; Diana and Etta hijinks are the best. And the next issue will finally have Diana going off to the war to battle the Duke of Deception, which should be an excellent time. It’s the best comic, gang. Buy it!

Finally, a fun surprise: A Wonder Woman coloring book!

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COLORING DC: WONDER WOMAN TP
Art by GEORGE PEREZ, PHIL JIMENEZ, DAVID FINCH and others
Cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
On sale JUNE 29 • 96 pg, B&W, $15.99 US
DC’s Amazon princess stars in a new coloring book focusing on her greatest covers, splash pages and more by some of comics’ top artists!

This sounds SO cool. Wonder Woman art by her classic artists will be so much fun to color, plus the book is 96 pages long! That’s a lot of coloring bang for your buck. I’m excited to see what pages and covers they include in the book, and I’m definitely going to pick this one up.

The solicits also listed several new Wonder Woman figures. We’ve discussed most of them before elsewhere on the site, but here are the details of when you can get them:

  • The DC Comics Icons Wonder Woman figure designed by Ivan Reis is out in September 2016 for $28 US.
  • The DC Designer Series: Greg Capullo line Wonder Woman figure is also out in September 2016 and also sells for $28 US.
  • The September 2016 fun continues with a Wonder Woman 3-pack of figures that includes her first Golden Age appearance, the Terry Dodson figure, and the New 52 figure. It sells for a surprisingly steep $75US.

Look for all of the comics in May, the coloring book in June, and the figures in September. Also, maybe start saving your pennies now because that’s a lot of things to buy!


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