Posts Tagged ‘Wonder Woman’

Some Wonder Woman Comic Book Teases From Brian Azzarello At Fan Expo

September 2, 2014

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Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s three year run on Wonder Woman is coming to a close this October, with two full issues of Wonder Woman remaining (Wonder Woman #34 got pushed back from its usual spot in August to the first week of October) and her origin story in Secret Origins #6. That’s a lot of pages left for surprises and revelations, and during the “Champions of Justice” panel at Fan Expo in Toronto this past weekend, Brian Azzarello promised some of both.

Bleeding Cool and Comic Book Resources had full reports on the panel, where Azzarello reflected on the upcoming end of his Wonder Woman tenure. He said that they’re ending the book where they’d always planned to end it, and that, “We told the story we wanted to tell, and we maintained the character throughout.” The only plan Azzarello had that he didn’t get to explore was a romance for Wonder Woman with someone other than Superman, but once the Wonder Woman/Superman relationship began elsewhere in the New 52 universe his plan was off the table.

Wonder Woman has ended each “season” of this run with a big, crazy finale before the September event book break, and it sounds like the grand finale is going to be more of the same. Here’s what we can expect in the last few issues:

  • “There’s a revelation that’s never been touched on in her origin in the next issue.”
  • “A real big reveal in 34.”
  • “Then Secret Origin has a huge reveal.”

Not surprisingly, Azzarello was tight lipped about what any of those reveals might be. If you’re at all familiar with Wonder Woman‘s solicits and Azzarello’s interviews generally, the man doesn’t like to give anything away. However, he did unveil a pretty obvious scoop, stating:

“Come on, you guys know how this works. She’s not going to die. I mean, some characters will die in the finale, but she won’t be one of them.”

Azzarello also had some words of wisdom for Meredith and David Finch, who are taking over Wonder Woman in November. He said:

“You have to treat Wonder Woman different than you treat Superman or Batman or any other characters. Wonder Woman fans are really passionate about that character. You can mess up some of the other characters a bit more but that character deserves your respect. She represents things to people that have nothing to do with the comic book at all.”

Which is solid advice. I’m hoping that Azzarello learned from that himself and that some of the more unpleasant things he’s added to the Amazon’s history will be undone in these last couple of issues. I’m not holding my breath, though.

David Finch was at the panel as well, and he said that the book has been a challenge for him, both in larger ways, like creating a story that’s respectful to the character, and in smaller ways, like getting Wonder Woman’s hair right. Preview pages for the Finch’s first issue show the Justice League and Swamp Thing, but Finch said that Swamp Thing is only in the first issue and that the Justice League have only a minor role in the series. I remain very skeptical about this creative team, but I will say this: David Finch has definitely gotten better at talking about the book after his disastrous first few interviews.

So it sounds like we’re set for some big reveals and lots of excitement this October. Azzarello’s reveals haven’t sat well with a lot of Wonder Woman fans in the past, myself included, so I’m a little wary of more, and bigger, reveals, but hopefully he pulls it all together well. While I’ve had my qualms with his run, there’s been a lot of good too and I’m absolutely cheering for Azzarello to stick a great ending. Either way, we know it will be gorgeous with Cliff Chiang drawing it, and three Cliff Chiang stories in one month is just an embarrassment of riches.

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #3 Review: “Defender Of Truth” By Amanda Deibert And Cat Staggs

August 28, 2014

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Before we get into this week’s digital issue of Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman, first we’ve got a programming note. While the first two issues came out on a Wednesday, it looks like the book has moved to Thursday now; I’m not sure if this is just for this week or for the foreseeable future, but what we do know is that it won’t necessarily come out at the same time each week. But when it does, I’ll be here with a review.

Today’s story, “Defender of Truth” by Amanda Deibert and Cat Staggs, appeared in last week’s print issue of Sensation Comics, so this week’s digital release might feel a bit anticlimactic if you’ve already purchased the paper version. This will probably be the last time the paper book is ahead of the digital, though. With 4-5 weeks in a month and the print version collecting only 3 stories each month, before long there will be quite the backlog of digital stories waiting to see print.

Having the print version out first gives us an interesting comparison for this particular story. While I enjoyed it on paper, I found that the art was a little muddled and a lot of the subtler things Cat Staggs was doing seemed to get lost. The digital version was a lot crisper, and the bigger size and simpler page layout made the art look even better.

Staggs is no stranger to Wonder Woman, having illustrated the covers for Wonder Woman’s appearances in Smallville Season 11. She’s also done interior art for the series, but this is the first time she’s drawn a Wonder Woman story and she did a great job. Whereas the first two issues of Sensation Comics left me feeling like the artist didn’t bring his A-game, Staggs’ art in “Defender of Truth” is some of the best art I’ve seen from her. Her Wonder Woman is powerful and lovely without being sexualized, the costume looks like it’s made of real fabric and not painted on, and the action is well choreographed. While the story appears to be set in the New 52 universe, Staggs streamlines the costume somewhat and achieves a nice blend of her current incarnation and elements from her past costumes.

The story takes place in Washington, DC, where Circe is wreaking havoc, bringing gargoyles to life and turning mounted policemen into centaurs. Wonder Woman shows up to sort things out, and saves the day with aplomb. Amanda Deibert’s writing moved the story along and for the first few pages, as Wonder Woman takes down her foes, I thought that her work was fine if unremarkable. But then Deibert absolutely stuck the landing with a couple of great scenes to finish off the issue.

In the first, Wonder Woman has captured Circe and is playfully chiding her:

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The bit about “getting tied up” is obviously a reference to the bondage imagery that pervaded the early years of Wonder Woman comics back in the 1940s, but the way this panel is presented says a lot of things. On one level it’s a simple chastisement, with the classic “pick on someone your own size” reprimand. But Wonder Woman’s smile, nicely drawn by Staggs, suggests that yeah, Wonder Woman might be up for some bondage games with Circe. There’s a hint of flirtation there that we don’t usually see in Wonder Woman comics but that is very fitting given Wonder Woman’s Amazon heritage.

In the issue’s final scene, some young boys tease their friend for being a fan of Wonder Woman. As a guy who spent his vacation wearing a blue bathing suit with white stars, I very much identified with the young boy wearing Wonder Woman-inspired bracelets. Wonder Woman showing up to tell the boy he can like whatever he wants and to be true to himself is a lovely ending to the issue, as is the rest of the boys immediately changing their tune once they meet Wonder Woman.

All together, this story is a very good example of what Sensation Comics can, and what I hope it will, be. These stories, while short, can nonetheless showcase different facets of Wonder Woman, pairing strong character moments with enjoyable action scenes. Amanda Deibert and Cat Staggs each did great work, with the art and writing complimenting each other well. I’m glad this story got to be in the premiere print issue of the series, and I hope that Deibert and Staggs will get to do another Sensation Comics story in the future.

Marvel Studios Is Stealing All Of The Wonder Women

August 25, 2014

Over the past decade or so, there have been several attempts to bring a live action Wonder Woman to the movies and/or television. They’ve all failed spectacularly, because I guess maybe all of us Wonder Woman fans did something in a past life that we’re collectively paying for now? That could be it. That or institutionalized sexism in the entertainment industry and society at large. One or the other.

Throughout these abandoned projects, various actors have been linked to the titular role but nothing ever came of it. They all moved onto other projects, and we’re finally going to get a live action Wonder Woman in 2016 when Gal Gadot dons her brown costume in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But in the meantime, Marvel Studios has been snapping up several of these past potential Wonder Womans and giving them cool, kick ass roles in their own cinematic universe, all of which have or will hit the big screen before Wonder Woman ever does.

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First, Joss Whedon cast Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill in The Avengers, and she’s appeared throughout the Marvel franchise since. Way back, Whedon was hired to write a Wonder Woman movie that never came together, and when he announced he was leaving the project he hinted that Smulders was his first choice for Wonder Woman. Whedon later brought her into the fold when he directed the most successful superhero movie of all time (good work letting him walk away from Wonder Woman, Warner Bros.!), and she’s been an awesome Maria Hill throughout her many appearances on the big and small screen. Smulders is a great fit for the role, though every time I see her in it I lament that we never got to see her as Wonder Woman. I think she would have been fantastic.

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Around the time Whedon was working on his Wonder Woman script, Warner Bros. spoke to several actors about playing the lead and one of those women was Evangeline Lilly. The conversations never went anywhere, what with the movie falling apart, but she later booked some great roles in other epic action films. She was spectacular as Tauriel in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug last winter, and now she’s set to play Hope van Dyne in Marvel’s upcoming Ant-Man film. Plus, given her rad new haircut, it looks like she’s going to get to be the Wasp too, which is all sorts of cool. Lilly may have sadly missed out on Wonder Woman, but she’ll get to play a superhero for Marvel.

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Finally, Marvel’s grabbed Adrianne Palicki, who actually played Wonder Woman in David E. Kelley’s god awful pilot a couple of years back. The show was a complete mess, but Palicki was solid in the role and could have made a decent Wonder Woman on a better project. She’s since shown her action chops as Lady Jaye in GI Joe: Retaliation and recently had a very charming run on NBC’s About a Boy. Now she’s set to star as Bobbi Morse, ie. Mockingbird, in the upcoming season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., completing the Wonder Woman trifecta for Marvel Studios.

A live action Wonder Woman is coming, slowly but surely, but Warner Bros.’ list of failed projects has turned into a very strong casting sheet for Marvel Studios. While it would be nice for Marvel to put a female superhero in a lead role at some point, several women in the Marvel cinematic universe have had great, kick ass roles over the past few years, which is a lot more than we can say about DC’s superhero movie output. Our series of losses as Wonder Woman fans has turned into gains elsewhere, but I’d still trade a Maria Hill, the Wasp, and Mockingbird for a decent Wonder Woman any day of the week.

Wonder Woman By George Pérez Omnibus Coming In August 2015

August 22, 2014

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DC Comics has released their schedule for graphic novels and collections for the next year or so, and the item on the list that is most relevant to my interests is the Wonder Woman by George Pérez Omnibus coming on August 25, 2015. This 640 page hardcover collects Wonder Woman #1-24 and Wonder Woman Annual #1, covering the first two years of Pérez’s acclaimed relaunch of the series from the late 1980s. It’ll retail for about $75, which isn’t too bad for such a massive book.

This is exciting news for fans of Pérez’s iconic run, which has been out of print for several years now. DC released four paperback collections of Wonder Woman #1-24 in 2004 and 2005, but they haven’t been part of DC’s catalogue for a while; used copies of the first two volumes sell for upwards of $50 on Amazon, though the latter two are more affordable.

Pérez’s relaunch was a defining moment for Wonder Woman, and re-cemented her as one of DC’s top characters. Wonder Woman was a perennial poor seller throughout the 1980s, and the book became so toxic that no one wanted to touch tackling a new series after Wonder Woman’s “death” in Crisis on Infinite Earths. George Pérez was the only big name creator who was excited by the challenge. His Wonder Woman run embraced key aspects of her past incarnations while presenting a more modern, relevant take on the character, and the book was very popular with fans and critics. The writing and art are both some of the finest in Pérez’s storied career, and it’s an era for Wonder Woman that deserves to remain in print for future generations to enjoy.

The only disappointing note in this announcement is that “Wonder Woman by George Pérez Omnibus” is not followed by “Volume One.” That doesn’t mean that there won’t be a second volume, but tellingly the paperback collections and this omnibus both stop at the same point; after Wonder Woman #24, Pérez stopped drawing the series. He continued to write it for several years, with excellent art by Chris Marrinan, Colleen Doran, Jill Thompson, and a few others, but those issues weren’t collected in the paperback line. My fingers are crossed for a second and third omnibus that collect all 62 issues of Pérez’s run. There were a lot of great stories in the later issues of his tenure, and the art by Colleen Doran and Jill Thompson in particular is a fantastic showcase of these two great artists early in their careers.

But for now we’ve got a first omnibus for sure, and that is very exciting. It’ll be a whole year before we can buy it, but it will definitely be worth the wait. And if it does well, perhaps we’ll see more Wonder Woman collections like this in the future, from Pérez or even other creators. I would definitely be on board for a Wonder Woman by Phil Jimenez Omnibus. So mark your calendars for August 25, 2015, and let’s make the Wonder Woman by George Pérez Omnibus a hit!

Wonder Women Gal Gadot And Lynda Carter Take The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

August 21, 2014

If you are at all familiar with the internet as of late, you’ve undoubtedly seen videos of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Someone gets a bucket of ice water poured on them and challenges three friends to either do the same within 24 hours or donate money to the ALS Association, the leading group for research, care, and education for ALS. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects tens of thousands of people, limiting their motor functions and often eventually paralyzing them. There is currently no cure.

Those who are called out to do the Ice Bucket Challenge seem to be both accepting the challenge AND donating money. The internet is riddled with videos of people being doused in ice water, while donations to the ALS Association have gone through the roof, topping over $13 million over the past three weeks.

Two days ago, the Ice Bucket Challenge was accepted by Gal Gadot, who is playing Wonder Woman in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. She donated money to the ALS Association and was drenched in frigid water, and she also challenged the original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, to do the same:

Carter responded promptly, and posted her own video the next day. Her husband, Robert Altman, poured a bucket of cold water over her head, and she pledged to donate money to the ALS Association as soon as she dried off:

Lynda Carter also encouraged everyone who watched the videos to donate, and I think that’s a fantastic idea. With both live action Wonder Women stepping up to the plate, it’s only fitting that Wonder Woman fans do the same. If you want to join Gal Gadot, Lynda Carter, and thousands of others in donating to ALS research, you can do so via the ALS Association’s donation page. If, like me, you are in Canada, you can instead donate to ALS Canada via their donation page. It’s a great and worthy cause, and I hope everyone takes inspiration from these Wonder Women and chips in what they can!

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #2 Review: “Gothamazon” Part 2

August 20, 2014

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While the first print issue of Sensation Comics hits comic shops today, including the Amanda Deibert/Cat Staggs story that won’t be out digitally until next week, today we’re going to keep with the digital schedule and look at the finale to “Gothamazon” by Gail Simone and Ethan van Sciver. It’s available online today via Comixology for the low price of just 99₵.

The second half of the story further cemented my opinions from the first half: what I liked got even better, and what I didn’t like bothered me more. Let’s start with the positives, specifically the fact that this is a great story. Wonder Woman in Gotham City is an inherently fantastic idea, and Simone finds ways to add extra awesomeness to the story. Structurally, since it’s part two, the slow build of the first installment is in the past and Wonder Woman gets to dominate the story after sitting out the first half last week. More Wonder Woman is always a plus.

Even better is what Wonder Woman does in the story. First, after Catwoman and Harley Quinn show up to snarkily observe her attempts at saving the city, she enlists them in her fight against the villains, inspiring them by naming them honorary Amazons. Any other hero would have fought or ignored this duo, but Wonder Woman makes use of them and brings them to her side. It’s a spot on character moment for Wonder Woman, and a very cool use of Catwoman and Harley Quinn.

Simone also gives us a peek inside Wonder Woman’s head as she contemplates what to do with the Gotham villains. She could easily destroy them, ending their incessant reign of terror once and for all, dispatching them like she would any mythological monster who crossed her path. Instead, she realizes that such thoughts are just a reaction to the evil of the villains, who are challenging her and tempting her to change who she is. She decides to remain herself, and to handle the villains without killing them. The story reveals that some of the bad guys even reformed afterward due to Wonder Woman’s positive influence.

In taking such a turn, Simone highlights how Wonder Woman differs from Batman. Both face the darkness and are tempted to end it for good, but they resist and respond in different ways. Batman’s power is fear, which allows him to keep his enemies in check, while Wonder Woman’s power is mercy and compassion, which allows her to stop and even help her foes.

Overall, Simone has crafted a solid Wonder Woman story, and again has demonstrated how well she understands the character. Placing Wonder Woman in Batman’s world let Simone put Wonder Woman in a new light and focus on the heart of who she really is in contrast to both the heroes and the villains of the city. It was smart move by Simone, and one I enjoyed thoroughly.

The art, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired. A lot of it felt rushed, like van Sciver was on a very tight deadline. Little things were wonky; there were panels where Wonder Woman’s eyes weren’t quite level and the star in her tiara was off center. Some panels were more detailed and professional and resembled van Sciver’s usual work, while others looked rushed and haphazard with slapdash backgrounds and a lot of silhouettes. A couple pages were even drawn by someone else, which might also suggest a deadline crunch.

For the first issue of an exciting new series, I’d expect the art to be more polished. I realize that a digital first series may not have the prestige or audience of a top tier book, but it still deserves care and good work. This is doubly true for the much anticipated and overdue launch of a new Sensation Comics. I’m a little bit disappointed in van Sciver and the editorial team for the fairly weak artistic effort. It wasn’t bad enough to bring down Simone’s great story, but great artwork could have elevated it even further and made this a really fantastic first issue that will be a standout in Wonder Woman’s history. Instead, it’s a wonderful story with middling art.

All together, things could have been better on the art side, but the second issue of Sensation Comics was an excellent end to the “Gothamazon” story and a fun launch for the book. I’m excited to see the many new creators lined up in the weeks to come, and hopefully the book will continue on from its strong launch and find an enthusiastic and entertained audience.

Wonder Woman’s November 2014 Covers And Solicits, With All New Creators

August 19, 2014

All three Wonder Woman titles have new writers and artists in November, which marks the first major creative change for the character since the New 52 began. Sensation Comics always has different creators, being an anthology book and all, but both Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman have had the same creative teams, with slight variations here and there, since each title began. Let’s take a look at what the new creators are doing with Wonder Woman.

We’ll start with Wonder Woman #36:

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WONDER WOMAN #36
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and RICHARD FRIEND
Lego variant cover
1:50 B&W Variant cover by DAVID FINCH
1:100 variant cover by DAVID FINCH
Blank variant cover
On sale NOVEMBER 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Please welcome the new superstar creative team of writer Meredith Finch and artist David Finch! As this new epic begins, the fate of the Amazons is about to be revealed, major new characters will be introduced and a new villain will arrive with enough power to defeat the combined might of Wonder Woman and her Justice League teammates! Don’t miss the start of this story that guest stars Swamp Thing! It will define what it takes for Diana to fulfill her destiny as Wonder Woman!

As with a lot of solicits, that is a lot of words to say pretty much nothing. New story, new characters, new villains, all rather vague at this point. We do know from the preview pages that came out around ComicCon that the Justice League will appear in this issue, their first appearance in this book since the series began. And it looks like Swamp Thing will have a big role. Leaning so heavy on guest stars right away is an odd choice, but so is everything about this title. I still can’t believe that DC hired David Finch to draw Wonder Woman.

I’ve got serious qualms about the new creative team, but my plan is to try to forget my misgivings and approach the book with an open mind. We’ll see how that goes come November. It could be good, maybe? Probably not. But stranger things have happened.

Now to Superman/Wonder Woman #13:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #13
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art and cover by DOUG MAHNKE
Lego Variant cover
On sale NOVEMBER 12 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Welcome the new creative team of writer Peter J. Tomasi (BATMAN AND ROBIN) and Doug Mahnke (JUSTICE LEAGUE)! The unity between Superman and Wonder Woman will be tested as never before as a mysterious group of villains make their New 52 debut – but first, Atomic Skull and Major Disaster cause trouble for our favorite heroic couple!

We’ve got a couple of specifics with this solicit, at least. Atomic Skull and Major Disaster are going to be the bad guys, though Tomasi has said in interviews that they’re merely a prelude to a more serious foe. I’m always up for testing the unity of this relationship because it’s dumb and I want them to break up, and maybe Tomasi and Mahnke will be the folks who do it. Fingers crossed.

As I said when the news of the new creative team broke last Friday, I’m cautiously optimistic about Tomasi and Mahnke. The book has nowhere to go but up, and they might be a fun change. I’m much more excited for this than the Finches on Wonder Woman, that’s for sure.

Now the Wonder Woman book I actually look forward to, Sensation Comics #4:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #4
Written by NEIL KLEID, ROB WILLIAMS and OLLIE MASTERS
Art by DEAN HASPIEL, TOM LYLE and AMY MEBBERSON
Cover by ADAM HUGHES
On sale NOVEMBER 19 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Wonder Woman appears in a trio of tales with some offbeat guest stars! First, Diana and her friend Etta Candy are captured by Ra’s al Ghul, but he’s not the most surprising soul they meet. Then, a Thanagarian menace returns to Earth, and you won’t believe what Diana must do in her battle with Byth! Plus, the London police are confused as to why they caught Catwoman so easily. Fortunately, Wonder Woman is in town to take charge of the situation!

First off, this is not the cover. I’m guessing it’s Dean Haspiel art from the first story. The cover will be drawn by Adam Hughes, but it clearly wasn’t ready in time for the solicits. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for it as the release date approaches; I’m sure it will be gorgeous. Hughes has a knack for drawing a fantastic Wonder Woman.

As for the inside of the issue, it sounds SUPER fun. Diana and Etta vs. Ra’s al Ghul? Don’t mind if I do! Wonder Woman vs. winged Thanagarians? Sign me up! Wonder Woman and Catwoman, in London? Please, sir, I want some more! I like things that are fun, and this issue should be a blast. No moody relationship stuff, no serious destiny heaviness, just Wonder Woman and her pals taking out bad guys and being awesome. I am very into that, and I can’t wait to read these stories.

Finally, as a bonus, a flashback, Earth 2 Wonder Woman is on the cover of Worlds’ Finest #28:

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WORLDS’ FINEST #28
Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Art by JED DOUGHERTY
Cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
On sale NOVEMBER 12 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The secret history of Earth 2 continues! In this issue, jump back in time to a point when Superman and Batman were children! When a visitor from Apokolips attempts to confront the boys as part of a galactic prophesy, only one being can stand in their way: Wonder Woman!

This is a great cover by Emanuela Lupacchino. Really lovely stuff. I’m so glad she’s been getting so much work at DC lately. She’s one of my favourites.

Now, I have next to no idea what’s going on in the Earth 2 world, or why Wonder Woman is so much older than Superman or Batman, but based on the cover and solicit alone, I am intrigued. I might have to check this out. She looks a little different from the Wonder Woman I usually see in Earth 2 stuff; maybe it’s Hippolyta? We’ll find out in November, I suppose!

Look for all of these titles this November! It should be an interesting month.


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