Posts Tagged ‘Wonder Woman’

Wonder Woman Sales: #25 Down 2.3% But Up 17 Spots

January 3, 2014

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The November sales numbers came out late, and then it was Christmas and everything, so we’re getting to the Wonder Woman sales a little late this time.  It was an interesting month, with Wonder Woman continuing to drift down slowly in copies sold but also making a huge jump on the charts.  In November 2013, Wonder Woman #25 was in 60th place on the sales chart with 33,532 copies sold, a loss of 2.3%.  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 198 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.

Falling 2.3% is about what we’re used to with Wonder Woman now. It’s settled firmly into standard attrition, as most series do without creative changes or special events, and the book is holding remarkably steady.  The low 30,000 range isn’t great, but it’s pretty good, especially for a book that’s been doing the same thing for more than two years now.

And wow, is it ever holding its own on the charts.  After last month’s big dip, Wonder Woman jumped up 17 spots.  Among DC’s titles, Wonder Woman rose 9 spots, from 32nd in October to 23rd in November.  It was helped by a lack of annuals and a few big selling titles from October not shipping in November, but Wonder Woman also straight up passed a few titles by staying relatively steady while the other books dropped.  Several DC books were bolstered by a “Zero Year” tie-in as well, but Wonder Woman rose 9 spots at DC without any such benefits.  It’s an impressively consistent book in a frequently inconsistent market.

Wonder Woman’s other title, Superman/Wonder Woman, had a less auspicious second issue, however.  The book fell 36.6%, selling 60,185 copies, a drop of more than 34,000 copies from October.  Second issues usually have big drops, but this is especially steep.  For example, Damian: Son of Batman #2 came out in November, and fell only 18.3% from its first issue.  Superman/Wonder Woman was also spectacularly outshone by Harley Quinn #0, which premiered with 114,212 copies sold, 20,000 more than the first issue of Superman/Wonder Woman.  Hopefully things will level out more with the third issue, but such a massive second issue drop is troubling.

But Wonder Woman is doing very well, and December doesn’t look to be too eventful for new books to steal away interest.  Plus, Wonder Woman came out the third week of December, avoiding the Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve releases later in the month that, while fun (it was cool to get new comics on Christmas Eve!), probably didn’t sell as much as a normal issue of those series just because people were less likely to be in shops.  Wonder Woman seems set up for a decent December to close out the year.

Prediction For Next Month: I was too optimistic last month, so let’s just take a look at the charts and follow the pattern.  It’s been 1.3%, 2.2%, 1.3%, and 2.3% for the past four months, so we’re set up for another 1.3%.  Let’s go with that, a prediction of 33,096 copies sold. Check back next month to see how I did!

Gal Gadot Talks Wonder Woman And Critics OR I Like This Gal

December 30, 2013

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I don’t know how well Gal Gadot will capture Wonder Woman in the Man of Steel sequel, and we won’t know for sure until the movie comes out in a year a half, but I’m definitely starting to like Gal Gadot herself.  Her backstory is all sorts of interesting; she’s a former Israeli soldier, a model, an actor, and a mom, which is a fun and unique combination.  And now she’s talked about playing Wonder Woman for the first time, and had some great responses for her critics.

Gadot was on Good Evening with Gai Pines, a popular TV show in Israel, and while the interview was conducted in Hebrew it’s been translated at Batman News.  Here are her comments for those who say she doesn’t have the right body for Wonder Woman:

It’s been said that you’re too skinny for the part. Wonder Woman is large-breasted, is that going to change?

Hmm. I represent the Wonder Woman of the new world. Breasts… anyone can buy for 9,000 shekels and everything is fine. By the way, Wonder Woman is Amazonian, and historically accurate Amazonian women actually had only one breast. So, if I’d really go “by the book”…it’d be problematic.

So you’re not going to gain a little weight and start eating carbs before filming begins?

It’s the physical preparations that I’m starting now. A very serious training regimen – Kung Fu, kickboxing, swords, jujutsu, Brazilian…1,000 and 1 things…I’ll gain body mass.

She knows her Amazon mythology, which is cool.  That, or she’s read Y: The Last Man.  Either way, it’s a fantastic reply to those who are saying she has to look a certain way to play Wonder Woman.  There have been lots of different interpretations of what the Amazons looked like, and of Wonder Woman herself, and Gal Gadot’s body is the last thing anyone should be concerned about.  Wonder Woman should definitely be able to fight, though, and it sounds like Gadot is about to learn an impressive assortment of fighting styles.  Zack Snyder, for all his many faults, is great at getting his actors ready for his always intense and numerous action scenes, and given Gadot’s military background I’m sure she’ll take to it all really well.

There’s still lots to be nervous about with this big screen Wonder Woman, the terribleness of Man of Steel being first on that list, but Gal Gadot herself seems pretty cool.  I’m excited to hear more from her as the film preparation continues.

Homemade Superhero Christmas Tree Ornaments

December 23, 2013

It’s very nearly Christmas, so things will be pretty quiet around here this week, but before I get too wrapped up in festive fun I thought I’d post these Christmas tree ornaments I made.  I went to Target a couple weeks back to try to buy some, but a) they were out of Wonder Woman, and b) the remaining ornaments they had looked really cheap.  So I made my own!  I used a cool paper rolling technique I found online and added some of my favourite art from my favourite comics, and here’s what I came up with:

A Hawkeye ornament, with David Aja cover art:

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Some Jim Lee Batman, from All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, I think:

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Felipe Andrade’s Captain Marvel:

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An Ed McGuinness Superman:

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A Cliff Chiang Wonder Woman, of course:

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A New 52 Batgirl from an Adam Hughes cover:

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Lois Lane and Superman, by Gary Frank:

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A really cool Superman and Batman piece by Michael Cho:

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A pink Wonder Woman for my mom:

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More Cliff Chiang Wonder Woman:

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Fiona Staples’ The Will and Lying Cat from Saga:

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They were fun and easy to make, and now my tree is way cooler and nerdier.  And sort of exclusive; I doubt there are many Christmas trees out there rocking a Lying Cat ornament.

So happy holidays everyone!  Enjoy your various celebrations.  If you’re still looking for some last minute gifts, I know a good book you can pre-order.  Just make them a nice gift certificate.  Heck, if you actually pre-order my book for someone this Christmas, I’LL make you a gift certificate you can print out.  Just tell me in the comments and I’ll get on it right away.  Happy holidays!

Wonder Woman #26 Review OR Wonder Woman And Greek Tragedy

December 18, 2013

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Wonder Woman can never win.  That seems to be the constant theme of the series under Brian Azzarello.  Even when she saves someone’s life, or a city, or the world, it comes with a cost that undermines her victory.  Every decision she makes leads to further complications, putting her constantly on the defensive.  I don’t think the woman’s had a moment to relax for two years now without some past action coming back to haunt her.  We’ll talk about all of this in relation to Greek tragedy momentarily, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am going to spoil this entire comic book!

Reading further will rob you of joy if you haven’t read the issue yet!

Bad things happening to people for no good reason is a staple of Greek tragedy, and of Greek myth generally.  Past decisions and actions, however virtuous and well-intentioned, tend to have unforeseen consequences that ruin lives.  Even things entirely beyond human control, like parentage, come around to destroy people.  It’s tough to be a Greek hero.  Victories are pyrrhic and fleeting, and are only followed by more troubles.  Odysseus helps the Greeks win the Trojan War, but he has to fight for ten years and then spend another ten years trying to get home.  Oedipus unwittingly fulfills a damaging prophecy despite his parents’ best efforts to avoid it.

Basically, the gods will always screw you over.  The fates are aligned against you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  The ancient Greeks were kind of a dark group.

Greek tragedy is different from Shakespearean tragedy because it’s completely unavoidable.  In Shakespearean tragedy, you bring your downfall upon yourself.  Your tragic flaw leads to your doom.  In Greek tragedy, you’re hosed to begin with.  You can be the best, most heroic person in the world and tragedy will still befall you.

Which brings us to Wonder Woman.  Wonder Woman is relentlessly heroic, always doing everything she can to help not just her friends but also her enemies.  In this current run, she doesn’t really have a tragic flaw.  We could perhaps view her constantly jumping into the fray, often without a plan, to protect others as a semi-tragic flaw, but really that’s just altruism.  She’s not Lady Macbeth.  She’s a hero.

And yet, even when things go right for her, they go wrong.  She, Hermes, Siracca, and Orion all converged on Cassandra’s base in Chernobyl to rescue Milan, and they did.  However, she gave Cassandra the information Milan refused to divulge about the First Born’s location, making Milan feel useless in his own heroism:

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Plus, they didn’t get there soon enough; Cassandra attached a bomb to Milan, and Orion shot off to New Genesis with Milan to try to defuse it.  Milan’s life still hangs in the balance, and Wonder Woman has lost a valuable member of her team.

Her heroism came back to bite her in another way as well.  When she hastily set off after Milan last issue, she left Strife with Zola and Zeke.  When she returned from Chernobyl, Zola was gone because Strife had talked her into leaving, convincing her that she was responsible for the deaths their group had incurred.  The issue ended with Wonder Woman finding Zola’s goodbye letter and Zola meeting up with Dionysus, Apollo’s lap dog.

Throughout this entire run, Wonder Woman’s victory’s have been hollow.  At the end of the first year, she defeated the gods on Mount Olympus and saved Zeke, only to be betrayed by Hermes and lose the baby.  At the end of the second year, she defeated the First Born, but at the cost of killing Ares and getting saddled with the mantle of the god of war.  In almost every single issue, some decision or action goes awry and things go sideways for her.  We can easily read Wonder Woman as a tragic hero in the Greek tradition.

Even though she’s now a god, Wonder Woman’s connection to humanity furthers this reading.  Greek tragic heroes are mortals, the playthings of the gods and the fates, pawns in their games.  Even the demigods can’t escape their fiendish machinations so long as the walk the Earth.  By eschewing her title as the god of war and remaining with her friends on Earth, Wonder Woman becomes just as subject to the inherent, cruel fatalism of the world.

If this is what Azzarello is going for, it’s an interesting idea.  It’s somewhat fitting, considering Wonder Woman’s origins in Greek mythology, but ultimately I don’t think it works, either in concept or execution.

Superheroes are our new legendary heroes.  In the same way the ancient Greeks told stories of Heracles and Perseus, so do we tell stories of Superman and Batman.  The problem is, our universe is so much bigger.  Heracles cleaned stables and stole a belt, and briefly held up the sky for Atlas, but Superman can fly through the air and throw planets.  The superhero cosmogony is so much bigger.  In the DC Comics universe, the Olympian gods are but one of several families of gods, paling in comparison to the epic powers of the New Gods, or beings like the Spectre.  The sway of their manipulations and the powers of their fates are small potatoes now.  Our modern mythology has superseded the scope of Greek myth.

In terms of execution, what we’ve got is 26 issues of Wonder Woman where Wonder Woman can’t catch a break, where characters regularly point out the ways she’s failed, and where the reader is forced to constantly questions her decisions and actions because we’ve learned that they never go well.  There’s a lot of good stuff in Azzarello’s Wonder Woman run, some fantastic new characters and fun re-interpretations of old favourites, but ultimately his treatment of Wonder Woman, whether it’s a Greek tragedy conceit or something else, frequently undermines the character.  Wonder Woman should get a win sometimes without the rug being pulled out from under her.  She’s the hero of the book, after all.

So yeah, this issue was okay.  The Chernobyl stuff was cool, and it sets up some big problems for Wonder Woman moving forward.  I just wish she could get a clean win at some point, without the gut punch of Milan’s reaction or Zola taking off, because when we keep getting things like that ALL the time it weakens the character.  Give the woman a break, man.

Wonder Woman #26 Preview OR Wonder Woman ‘n Orion: Rescue Rangers

December 16, 2013

Wonder Woman #26 comes out this Wednesday, and Uproxx’s “Gamma Squad” has an exclusive preview of the book.  Let’s take a look:

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First off, that is a fantastic cover.  I like it even better all done up with the Wonder Woman header and whatnot.  I’m missing Chiang on the interior art something fierce, but he’s been killing it with his covers lately.

Second, everyone’s arrived in Chernobyl to rescue Milan.  Orion got there first and went all Red Ross on the weird jackal people, with Wonder Woman, Hermes, and Siracca following behind and finding a fight outside of the evil lair.  If all goes well, they should come together and escape with Milan, but things rarely go well when these folks team up.  Something usually goes awry.

Finally, I think the idea of Wonder Woman not liking Chernobyl because it makes her feel like she could be wrong about humanity’s potential is an interesting idea, but having her say it outright in the most blatant, non-subtle way possible is just shoddy writing.  Before he came on Wonder Woman, I thought Azzarello was one of the best wordsmiths in comics, with interesting dialogue that always had multiple levels.  That’s been sorely lacking in Wonder Woman, though, especially with Wonder Woman herself.  The Chernobyl thing is a cool idea, but poorly executed.

Wonder Woman #26 is in comic shops everywhere and available online this Wednesday.  Pick it up, or ask Santa to bring it for you.

Cover And Solicits For Wonder Woman #29 And Superman/Wonder Woman #6

December 13, 2013

Everyone’s beaten DC to the punch with solicits this week, which may be why they’re announcing everything on a Friday instead of on Monday like they usually do.  I expected the solicits to come out last Monday, but we’ve got them now.  Wonder Woman’s in two books in March, so let’s take a look.

First up is Wonder Woman #29, with a cover by Cliff Chiang:

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WONDER WOMAN #29
Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art and cover by CLIFF CHIANG
1:25 Robot Chicken Variant cover
On sale MARCH 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
If the helmet fits…then it’s time to play God!

This isn’t the most detailed solicit, but it sounds like Wonder Woman is finally embracing her new role as the god of war.  Why she’s doing so is the bigger question, whether it’s to fight the First Born, fight the Olympian gods, or for some other purpose.  My money’s on something First Born related, but we’ll have to wait until March to find out.

Next up is Superman/Wonder Woman #6:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #6
Written by CHARLES SOULE
Art and cover by TONY S. DANIEL and BATT
1:25 Robot Chicken Variant cover
On sale MARCH 12 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
When the Phantom Zone is breached by Zod, Superman and Wonder Woman are forced to do the unthinkable to stop the tyrant from global destruction. But can they do what must be done – and will the world forgive them?

At least Wonder Woman is on the cover this time.  When the book started out with Doomsday in the first issue, Apollo and Strife in the second, and Zod in the third, I thought we’d be getting a back and forth sort of thing between Superman and Wonder Woman villains, but this Zod storyline seems to be sticking around for a while.

Wonder Woman #29 is available on March 19 and Superman/Wonder Woman #6 is out March 12.  Both have a Robot Chicken variant cover, so that probably means action figures with a goofy mouth stuck on their face, so keep your eyes peeled for those if that is your sort of thing.

Beyoncé Surprises Everyone With A New Album AND Roller Skates In A Wonder Woman T-Shirt In “Blow” Video

December 13, 2013

Everybody loves Beyoncé.  She’s pretty much the biggest star in the universe, and she just released a new album that no one knew was coming late last night.  Simply titled Beyoncé, the album features 14 new songs and a video for every single one.

The video for “Blow” is directed by Hype Williams and has a 1970s sort of vibe.  Set primarily at a roller rink, Beyoncé skates around the rink, looking super cool in a Wonder Woman t-shirt.  Beyoncé’s been associated with Wonder Woman since she mentioned wanting to play her a few years ago, and she obviously really loves the character.  You can see a quick preview of the video here, but it doesn’t have the Wonder Woman part:

I tried to get some screen grabs of the actual video, but the definition wasn’t too good AND since she’s on roller skates she’s constantly moving which adds a bit of a blur.  I did my best:

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If you want to see more, you have to buy the whole album on iTunes.  From what I’ve heard so far, it’s pretty good.  “Blow” is a fun, catchy song that’s winkingly dirty for a bit and then pretty much full on dirty by the end, but in that Beyoncé sort of way where she’s entirely in charge and completely owns her sexuality.  You can download the album now, or wait a few days for it to show up in stores.


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