Posts Tagged ‘Wonder Woman’

Wonder Woman’s Bombshell Pin-Up Variant Covers OR Do We Really Need These?

May 9, 2014

In June, DC is releasing a series of bombshell, pin-up variants, a tie-in to a line of statues they produce. The covers for Wonder Woman’s books have been released, so let’s take a look.

First up is Wonder Woman #32, with a cover by Ant Lucia:

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And we’ve also got Superman/Wonder Woman #9, with a cover drawn by Emanuela Lupacchino with colours by Fabio Mantovani:

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I’m of two minds about this entire line of covers. Let me say first that these two Wonder Woman covers are quite nice, and the rest of the line looks pretty good as well. They capture the pin-up style of the 1940s well, and I enjoy the reworking of the costumes. Turning Wonder Woman’s tiara into a bandanna is a nice touch, and the engraved bracelets look really cool. It’s a fun look for Wonder Woman.

That being said, it’s irksome that DC only seems to spotlight their female characters in objectifying ways. They can’t just do a month of female hero variants, or the women of DC in the 1940s. It has to be pin-ups, a celebration of the art form that aided so many self-pleasuring young men in the 1940s and 1950s. And, of course, there is no male equivalent, no sexy man month. I’d be okay with equal opportunity sexiness. But highlighting female characters only serves to reinforce the idea that comics are for men.

Now, as far as sexy covers go, these are very tame and tasteful, and nicely executed. We’ve definitely seen far more raunchy and cringeworthy depictions of women at DC over the past few years. Every recent appearance of Starfire springs to mind, as does the early issues of the New 52 Catwoman, and Wonder Girl on the new Teen Titans cover. There’s no lack of exploitive images featuring DC heroines, month after month, and these bombshell pin-ups are much more pleasant in comparison.

But is that something we actually want to celebrate? What a sorry state we’re in if we’re happy that a comic book publisher has sexualized their female characters somewhat less than usual. As well-executed as these covers may be, ultimately what they do is highlight that DC sees their male heroes as actual heroes and their female heroes as sex objects. I highly doubt that DC will follow bombshell pin-up variant month with something like Playgirl centerfold variant month, because they don’t treat their male characters that way. They only objectify the women. And it’s getting really old.

So yeah, they’re nice covers, but the last thing this industry is lacking is heroines in pin-up poses. If these covers were a change of pace from how DC usually treats their female characters, I’d be far more inclined to like them, but instead it’s only a retro version of the same old.  I’m not upset about them, but I’m just not interested.  Why not put these women in an actual story, have them fight bad guys, and be characters who DO things, rather than posing them like objects? These women are heroes, they’re characters, not models. Treat them as such.

Great Wonder Woman Art By Emanuela Lupacchino From Comicdom Con Athens 2014

May 8, 2014

Emanuela Lupacchino is a fantastic Italian artist whose profile definitely seems to be on the rise in the mainstream North American comic book industry. Recently, she’s done a lot of work for DC, including covers for Worlds’ Finest, and interior art for Supergirl and the recent Lois Lane oneshot. She’s also got a great name that is tricky to spell, but since I type is so often doing my “Women at DC Comics Watch” posts, I’ve got it down now. One P, two Cs. Easy peasy.

I’m a huge fan of Lupacchino’s art, and recently she did a promotional piece featuring Wonder Woman for Comicdom Con Athens 2014, which was held last month in Greece. Wonder Woman is a smart choice for a convention in Athens, what with the Greek connections, and she definitely brought an Ancient Greek feel to this piece:

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I really like this piece. It’s got a sort of an Adam Hughes vibe to it, but is still very much Lupacchino’s own style. I always enjoy alternate takes on Wonder Woman’s tiara, and I like what she did here, almost turning it into a crown. It’s a cool take on the boots as well, giving them a more old school feel. Plus, it’s nice to see Wonder Woman’s costume accented in gold; the silver of the New 52 is growing on me, but the gold is so iconic, and warmer as well. I find that the silver makes the outfit feel harsh and cold sometimes.

The Comicdom Con Athens 2014 site also has an interview with Lupacchino that is, quite literally, all Greek to me, so here’s a slightly awkward Google translation of it. You can see Emanuela Lupacchino next in Supergirl #31, out from DC Comics in a couple of weeks.

The Annie Jump Cannon “Wonder Women of History” Strip Is Now On Display Beside The Great Refractor Telescope At The Harvard College Observatory

May 6, 2014

Last week, after Annie Jump Cannon was profiled on Cosmos, I posted a three page “Wonder Women of History” strip about Cannon from Wonder Woman #33 in January 1949. “Wonder Women of History” was a regular feature in Wonder Woman that profiled notable historical women from a variety of nationalities and professions. The strip described Cannon’s great achievements in identifying and classifying stars, and showed the Harvard College Observatory where she worked:

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And the Great Refractor telescope with which Cannon classified thousands of stars:

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The post was reblogged by some science sites and tweeted around, and ultimately caught the attention of astronomer Jonathan McDowell, who works at Harvard. He liked the strip, and now it is on display next to the actual telescope that Annie Jump Cannon used.

Here is the telescope today:

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And here, in an alcove beneath the dome wheel, is Annie Jump Cannon’s “Wonder Women of History strip:

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Jonathan tells me that they are planning to spruce up the place later this year, and that he hopes that the strip will be put in a permanent display, but just having it next to the Great Refractor telescope is ridiculously cool. I’m glad that the post was popular and that so many people have enjoyed this strip already, and it’s wonderful that it’s now officially part of the observatory where Cannon worked and where it can be seen by everyone who visits there. “Wonder Women of History” was a great strip that inspired countless young readers of Wonder Woman in the 1940s, and it’s fantastic to see the strip still inspiring people today.

Wonder Woman Sales: #29 Down 5 Spots, Drops Only 1.5%

May 2, 2014

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March was yet another solid month for Wonder Woman, which just keeps trucking along with impressively stable sales. In March 2014, Wonder Woman #29 was in 65th place on the charts with 30,989 copies sold, a tiny drop of 1.5%. Here are the numbers for the issue, and the five issues previous:

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NOTE: The average sales total is based on all of the available sales data, which currently comprises every issue of the series since September 1996, for 202 issues in total.  The average rank isn’t given because rank is dependent on what other books came out that month, and that’s such a variable that an average really wouldn’t mean anything.

Here’s an interesting fact about how well Wonder Woman is doing on the sales charts: 11 brand new series premiered ahead of Wonder Woman in March, but Wonder Woman only dropped 4 spots on the chart. That means that 7 books fell below Wonder Woman, which remained relatively steady. Losing only 1.5% is so small that, given the downward drifting nature of all comic book series, it’s practically no change at all.

Wonder Woman improved among DC Comics titles as well, rising one spot to 21st place as Justice League 3000 slipped below it. I’m not particularly optimistic about that book’s chances; it’s dropping at an alarming rate. Of DC’s Top 25 titles, only 6 books had a better month than Wonder Woman, and several of those were bolstered by special promotions and crossovers.

Superman/Wonder Woman appears to be leveling out as well, with March bringing a fairly reasonable drop for a title that’s six issues in. Let’s look at the numbers:

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A loss of 3.4% is really quite normal, perhaps a bit higher than a publisher would like to see but not worryingly so. The sales drops for new series tend to level out after a few issues, and Superman/Wonder Woman appears to be settling into the 40,000 range. The book will probably see some gains in the near future once the “Doomed” crossover begins in earnest, but I doubt they’ll be huge. It’s a crossover with Action Comics and Superman, which are selling lower than Superman/Wonder Woman currently. I’m very curious to see how it all plays out.

All together, Wonder Woman’s books are doing fairly decently right now. Wonder Woman has leveled out, albeit not at a huge number, while Superman/Wonder Woman appears to be doing the same, and at a somewhat higher level. Not too shabby.

Prediction For Next Month: I was only off by 139 copies last month, which isn’t too bad. For April, I predict sales of 30,450, a drop of roughly 1.8%. Check back next month to see how I did!

Check Out Mike Allred’s Variant Covers For Wonder Woman #31 And Superman/Wonder Woman #8

May 1, 2014

DC Comics is celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary in a variety of ways this year, but my favourite so far is a series of variant covers by Mike Allred done in the style of the 1966 Batman TV show. Allred has been doing the covers for the comic based on the show, Batman ’66, and they’ve been an absolute blast; the stories inside have been fantastic too. Now Allred is drawing the rest of the DC universe this May, and Comics Alliance posted a peek at some of his covers, including both of Wonder Woman’s titles.

Allred has drawn Wonder Woman before, most notably in the campaign for MAC’s Wonder Woman cosmetics line a few years ago. I assume that all of his covers are coloured by Laura Allred, his usual collaborator, but DC’s solicits never credit colorists. It’s a pretty safe bet, though.

Their first cover is Wonder Woman #31, where Wonder Woman appears to have taken issue with a rock group:

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It looks like Wonder Woman’s plugged her golden lasso into the electrical guitar. I don’t know what sort of sound quality you’d get from that, but it might make the guitar unable to play the wrong notes, maybe? That would be handy.

Next up is Superman/Wonder Woman #8, where the Allreds take a more romantic angle:

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Not caring much for the romance, this cover doesn’t do a ton for me, but it’s lovely nonetheless. Plus it’s always nice to see the old costumes.

I’m not sure what the ratios for these variant covers are. DC usually goes 1 in 25, so if you’re looking to grab one you should talk to your local comic shop beforehand and get them to set one aside for you. Superman/Wonder Woman #8 is out May 14, and Wonder Woman #31 follows on May 21.

Annie Jump Cannon, Featured On Last Week’s Cosmos, As Profiled In “Wonder Women of History”

April 29, 2014

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If you’re not watching Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey every Sunday on Fox, you are seriously missing out. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is everybody’s favourite scientist, and the show is both gorgeously shot and does a fantastic job explaining big scientific concepts. It’s a lot of fun to watch.

Last weekend, Cosmos profiled Annie Jump Cannon, famous for counting and classifying thousands of stars. It was great to see Cosmos spotlight female scientists, and it reminded me that Annie Jump Cannon was profiled decades ago in Wonder Woman as part of the regular “Wonder Women of History” feature.

In the Golden Age, each issue of Wonder Woman profiled a notable historical woman in a 3-4 page strip. There were several astronomers spotlighted, including Cannon, Caroline Herschel, and Maria Mitchell; the latter two are famous for their work in comets. In Wonder Woman #33, dated January 1949, Annie Jump Cannon was the focus of “Wonder Women of History” in a strip written by Julius Schwartz, pencilled by Paul Reinman, and inked by Bernard Sachs. Let’s take a look:

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Imagine how cool it must have been to get a comic with several Wonder Woman stories and a strip like this in each issue, and all for a dime. Imagine as well, with so many male superheroes dominating the newsstands and men dominating every level of society generally, how inspirational it must have been for young girls in the 1940s to not just have Wonder Woman as a hero, but also scores of real life women to look up to.

“Wonder Women of History” was a fantastic feature; it profiled a wide array of women, and was drawn by some of the Golden Age’s best artists. I’d love to see DC collect the strips in one volume. They’re a great piece of comic book history that’s gone forgotten for far too long, and I think that people would really enjoy them and learn a lot.

According To Warner Bros., A Wonder Woman Film “Could Be Viable” OR Such Enthusiasm

April 28, 2014

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Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Zack Snyder has officially signed on to direct a Justice League movie, which will begin production soon after the shooting of the Man of Steel sequel wraps up. The article says Justice League won’t be out until 2018, but I’ve seen some other sites suggest that it might be sooner. Snyder’s involvement in the film was pretty much a given, seeing as the Man of Steel sequel is set to feature most of the Justice League already, but now it’s official.

I’m not overly enthused about this, partly because Man of Steel was god awful, partly because Snyder is terrible with female characters and I’d like Wonder Woman’s first big screen appearance to actually be good and fun, and partly because Justice League following the Man of Steel sequel pushes back a possible Wonder Woman movie quite a ways. We’re talking 2020 territory now.

Speaking of which, the Wall Street Journal had some absolutely tepid quotes from Warner Bros.’ executives about Wonder Woman’s potential solo film. They write:

And while there are no plans yet for a “Justice League” spinoff featuring Ms. Gadot’s “Wonder Woman,” Warner executives said they are warm to the idea.

“That is our hope,” said Sue Kroll, president of worldwide marketing. “With the right script, that could be viable. The world is ready for her.”

You can feel the enthusiasm radiating from these comments. There sure are a lot of qualifiers in that short statement from Kroll. “With the right script” and “could be viable” are some big ifs. And “no plans yet” is particularly damning. Consider the Marvel movie universe; the man in charge of Marvel’s cinematic adventures, Kevin Feige, recently said that they had plans for films through 2028. Now, most of those aren’t set in stone yet, but you can be sure that Marvel is actively working on more films than they’ve officially announced (maybe even one or two starring a lady!). From the sound of this quote, getting the ball rolling on the earliest stages of a Wonder Woman movie seems like something that won’t even start until they see how she goes over in the Man of Steel sequel and Justice League.

In the meantime, Warner Bros. is actively developing other DC properties into films, including Shazam and the Metal Men. Furthermore, Dwayne Johnson is rumoured to have a part in Justice League, maybe as the Martian Manhunter or Green Lantern, and seeing as he’s a much more bankable star than Gal Gadot, it seems likely that they’d put together a movie for him first before Wonder Woman. I assume they’re looking to do more Batman movies as well, again with a more bankable star in Ben Affleck.

So it’s not sounding great for a Wonder Woman solo film in the near future. Maybe sometime in the 2020s, providing the follow-ups to Man of Steel do well enough to warrant further expansion. Meanwhile, the Hunger Games franchise is making a bajillion dollars, and a movie about a kick ass magical princess is now the sixth most successful film of all time. But yeah, take your time, Warner Bros. You don’t want to rush into anything. Make sure it’s viable first.


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