Posts Tagged ‘Wonder Woman’

Wonder Woman’s June 2015 Covers And Solicits

March 17, 2015

June is a big month for DC Comics, with 25 new series debuting and surprising changes for the rest of their ongoing series. We’ve already seen Wonder Woman’s new costume, which has gotten mixed reviews thus far, but let’s take a look at the solicits for Wonder Woman’s comics and find out what is up with the Amazing Amazon this June.

First up is Wonder Woman #41:

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WONDER WOMAN #41
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and
JONATHAN GLAPION
THE JOKER Variant cover by BRIAN BOLLAND
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US RATED T
A daring new direction begins with the arrival of a brand-new villain! But while he may be new to us, he’s not new to the world he seeks to tame. And speaking of villains, Donna Troy’s quest to destroy Wonder Woman ratchets up another gear (if that’s even possible!), while the games of the Gods bring dark portents to the ultimate Amazon!

So apparently Wonder Woman is $3.99 now. I hope that’s a misprint; Wonder Woman has been $2.99 since the New 52 relaunch.

We’re getting a new villain, and it sounds like it’s an original creation from the Finches with the whole “new to us” bit. That’s sort of ominous. Given how poorly they’ve done with beloved, established characters, I’m worried about what sort of new character the Finches will bring into Wonder Woman’s world. It also sounds like the gods will have a bigger role, which will be a big change. After being a constant presence in the Azzarello/Chiang run, the gods haven’t been much of a role since the Finches took over.

Next up is Superman/Wonder Woman #18:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #18

Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and others
Cover by PAULO SIQUEIRA
THE JOKER Variant cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
The epic new storyline “TRUTH” continues! As the pressure mounts, a relationship is tested!

While I don’t love the idea of Superman just wearing a t-shirt, I really like the t-shirt. I’d definitely wear that. The Fleischer’s Superman is all sorts of fun.

As for the story, this is a very vague solicit! The “Truth” storyline is running through Action Comics, Superman, and Batman Superman as well, and none of those solicits give any hints as to what this truth may be. Superman’s got some sort of secret, and that’s all we know. I’m not at all surprised to have Superman/Wonder Woman focusing on Superman and tying into the other Super-books again, though. God forbid they focus on Wonder Woman for any length of time.

We’ve also got Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #11:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #11
Written by JOSH ELDER
Art by JAMAL IGLE and JUAN CASTRO
Cover by STEPHANE ROUX
On sale JUNE 17 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Wonder Woman has always been both warrior and diplomat. Now she must stand against Ares, the god of war himself, if she is to bring peace to the central African nation of Itari, where a centuries-old tribal “Vendetta” threatens to plunge the nation into a bloody civil war.

It looks like we’ve got another three-part digital story that will become one full issue of the print version of Sensation Comics. That can be fun, if the story is able to carry the whole book. It worked great for Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman’s Apokalips story; that was great, and definitely warranted a full issue for itself. Hopefully this new story is similarly good. The creative team is decent, and a trip to Africa to fight Ares could be fun.

Finally, here are a couple of scheduling notes. First, Wonder Woman Annual #1, originally scheduled for April 1, has been moved to June 3. The annual is set to wrap up the current arc on Wonder Woman, but it looks like it won’t be done in time to be published before “Convergence” takes over DC for a couple of months.

Second, the Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus Volume 1 has been solicited, though it’s not out until August 19. It’s 640 pages for $75, and includes the first 24 issues of Perez’s legendary run. I’m also encouraged to see it listed as the first volume; it would be great to get more of Perez’s run in omnibus form. I’m really looking forward to this beast of a book!

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Some Old Comic Creator Dudes Think The New Wonder Woman Costume Is Taliban-Esque And The Result Of A “Vocal Minority”

March 16, 2015

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So some comics bros said some dumb things this weekend. That’s not a rare occurrence, really; you could devote a whole blog to such things if you were so inclined. But the ridiculousness this weekend centered on Wonder Woman, and some odd responses to her new costume. Neither Erik Larsen or J. Scott Campbell like the new outfit, which I can understand. I don’t like it either. It’s their reasons for why they don’t like it that made their comments so bizarre.

Larsen, clearly offended at the new Wonder Woman costume as well as several recent outfit changes for female characters, declared on Twitter:

I’m tired of the big two placating a vocal minority at the expense of the rest of the paying audience by making more practical women outfits.

He added:

It’s weird enough when they layer more clothes on a character like Wonder Woman but Spider-Woman & Batgirl were already covered head-to-toe.

In response to the idea that these outfits are more practical, Larsen suggested that they aren’t actually practical at all, pointing to “the many athletes who participate in sports and wear considerably less.” What’s fascinating about this outrage and line of reasoning is that it seems to only apply to women. He’s not upset that male superheroes have been covered head-to-toe for 75 years now. No, he’s upset that women are getting covered up more lately, and moving from skin tight outfits to looser fitting clothes. Clearly he prefers his female characters more sexily clad.

But apparently a “vocal minority” is ruining all his fun. And by “vocal minority”, it seems that he means the flood of new women readers the comic book industry has seen over the past decade who tend to prefer female characters who look like people rather than sexed up embodiments of the male gaze. You know, all those folks who’ve responded enthusiastically to a lot of the new outfits and takes on female characters and whose excitement has led to some very solid sales and helped grow the industry. That pesky vocal minority, aka. the future of the industry that’s saving it from slowly dying from a stagnant audience.

J. Scott Campbell chimed in on Wonder Woman’s new outfit as well, writing:

I rarely comment about comic book industry matters on my personal FB page, but I gotta say, shoulder pads, especially big bulky metal ones NEVER look good on women. Everything about them is unfeminine and lacks style. No grace to this approach at all.

And on a side note, I find the continued knee-jerk reaction to internet message board critics demands to keep female heroines covered from head to toe in fabric an overreaction. She’s an Amazon Warrior, she’s NOT in the *Taliban!

First, to be fair to Campbell, the Taliban bit was a flippant, dumb joke. Nonetheless, he seems to think that there are scores of fans who want female heroes to be fully covered, and that’s just not the case. There are a lot of people who’d like female characters to be less exposed, myself among them, but there’s a whole lot of wiggle room between having everything on display and covering up a woman entirely.

Campbell went on to call Wonder Woman’s new costume “political correctness by committee” and then got irked at the angry feminists who were obviously taking everything he said the wrong way. What I find interesting is that my reaction to the costume, and the reaction of most feminist fans I know who want to see better representations of women in comics, has been generally negative. There hasn’t been much enthusiasm for it all, and those who speak positively about it seem to be coming from an angle of, “It’s nice that Wonder Woman has pants for a change, but the whole look isn’t great.” This isn’t Batgirl or Captain Marvel, whose new costumes got near universally rave reviews when they debuted (the “vocal minority” really loved those ones). The reviews for the new Wonder Woman are mixed at best, and more bad than good. I don’t know what group of people Campbell is referring to who loves this new outfit and wants to see all women fully covered.

Furthermore, the new costume is designed by David Finch, who loves to draw scantily clad women and has shown time and again that he really doesn’t care about feminism in the slightest. THAT is where the design is coming from. No fans were clamouring for it, we didn’t storm DC’s offices demanding Wonder Woman be covered. DC clearly wanted a new look for their June mini-relaunch, and this is what Finch came up with.

And the weird thing is, I agree with Larsen and Campbell that Wonder Woman’s new costume is ugly and cumbersome. I really don’t care for it. It doesn’t work for her at all, and I think that Wonder Woman is a character who doesn’t necessarily need to be fully covered. But there’s a big leap between “I don’t like this” and “It’s the fault of a vocal minority/message board critics/feminists.” Larsen and Campbell come off like they’re mad at women for making DC and Marvel take all the boobs away, which is a) ridiculous, and b) not the case at all. Sorry comics aren’t going to be as exploitive of women as they used to be, guys. Get used to it, because the “vocal minority” isn’t going away.

Check Out These Wonder Woman Covers From DC’s Joker Variant Line For June 2015

March 13, 2015

DC Comics sure loves its monthly variant themes. From steam punk to movie posters to “Hey, let’s just let Darwyn Cooke do a bunch”, their variant cover themes have been a generally fun promotion. There are some stinkers in the mix, sure, but a lot of them have been quite nice, especially on Wonder Woman comics. Frankly, given the rough patch Wonder Woman’s been in as of late, there have been a lot of months where I’ve enjoyed the variant cover more than the actual book.

DC’s newest variant line, set for June, is based on the Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime will appear alongside many of DC’s heroes, including Wonder Woman. Let’s take a look, starting with Wonder Woman #41 by Brian Bolland:

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The use of black is kind of clever here. I like that. It doesn’t do much for me, generally, though. I’d much rather see the inevitable end of this scene, where Wonder Woman punches out the Joker. Also, her hair is super flat. Did she just come in from a rain storm or something?

Next up is Superman/Wonder Woman #18 by Cliff Chiang:

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I’m always a sucker for a Cliff Chiang Wonder Woman, but this is just fantastic all around. The children’s book vibe is clever, and the art captures everyone perfectly. Plus of course the Joker would love Wonder Woman! Who wouldn’t. This is super cute and fun, and I look forward to picking it up.

Wonder Woman is also on the cover for Justice League #41 by David Finch, Jonathan Glapion, and Brad Anderson. Oh great, more David Finch. Just what Wonder Woman needs:

jokerjl

It’s the Justice League with Joker smiles. A little obvious. I mean, compared to what Bolland and Chiang came up with, this is pretty unimaginative.

Finally, Wonder Woman’s on the cover for Justice League of America #1 by Howard Porter and Hi-Fi:

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Again, a little unimaginative with the giant Joker and such. You’ve got to think outside of the box a bit, gang. Do something fun with it.

All of these covers will be available in June, but maybe make sure you to talk to your retailer before they come out so that they can set aside a copy for you if there’s any you really like. Variants can go quickly. You don’t want the joke to be on you!

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #28 Review: “Casualties of War” by Aaron Lopresti

March 12, 2015

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I love dragons and I love Wonder Woman so I was particularly looking forward to this issue of Sensation Comics, but the book didn’t do a lot for me this week. While nothing was particularly bad, nothing was particularly exciting or well executed either. It was a ho-hum issue all around that failed to deliver on an interesting premise.

The story begins with a dragon attacking New York City, killing a bunch of people, and then hiding in a subway tunnel. Wonder Woman is on the scene, and learns that the dragon is in fact after her. Centuries earlier, the Amazons wiped out the people and dragons of the island of Sostratos, and the dragon was the sole survivor. Spurred by a vision of the dragon god, the dragon set to get his revenge. It turns out that the people of Sostratos were murderous pirates who refused all of the Amazons attempts at peaceful negotiation, and the dragon god was just Ares in disguise trying to stick it to Wonder Woman, but the dragon didn’t believe Wonder Woman when she tried to explain what happened. So battle ensued, and Wonder Woman slayed the dragon.

Aaron Lopresti is well known to Wonder Woman fans from his time drawing the series during Gail Simone’s run, and he wrote and drew this issue. The story is fairly bland and kind of a downer, with the dragon failing to listen to reason and ultimately getting killed. Lopresti’s going for an angle where the dragon tries to paint Wonder Woman as just as much of a monster as he is, what with her warrior background and the Amazons’ body count over the centuries, but it really doesn’t work. Maybe if the dragon was more sympathetic and less obviously dumb and deceived this approach may have come off better, but as is he just comes off as a big dopey dragon who won’t listen to reason and gets himself killed.

I don’t love Wonder Woman killing the dragon either. If anyone should know how to dispatch a mythological creature in a safe, non-lethal manner, it’s Wonder Woman. Plus the dragon is sentient; it’s not some raging beast, lashing out based on animal extinct. Killing it should have been a last resort, not a speedy end to the situation. I feel like Wonder Woman would have been able to figure out a better way to resolve the situation.

The art is okay, but subpar for Lopresti. His work on Wonder Woman in the past was a lot more crisp and detailed. This feels a little rushed, and lacks his usual sharpness. With his Wonder Woman in particular, she looked fine but somewhat generic. During Lopresti’s Wonder Woman run, his Diana always had spark and detail, and that’s missing here. The dragon was okay, but pretty standard, run of the mill stuff. Lopresti really didn’t bring much new to the table with it.

The dragon wasn’t helped by the colouring, done by Hi-Fi Colours. It was all red and blue and yellow, with little in the way of blending or texture. It looked not terrible down in the shadows of the subway, but flying out in the light of day it came off rather garish.

Also, the dragon god was literally a dragon in a robe. Like a basic human form in a robe, with a dragon head and hands and a tail coming out the back. It was a particularly uninspired touch, and just sort of ridiculous. I feel like Lopresti is capable of much more interesting and innovative work.

Ultimately, this one wasn’t great, and Sensation Comics has hit a bit of a rut these past few weeks. Hopefully things turn around next week. It’s the beginning of a two-parter that seems to involve a band or something. Could be fun!

A New Costume For Wonder Woman Debuts In June’s Wonder Woman #41, And It’s Kind Of Terrible

March 12, 2015

It’s just not fair, you guys. All of the other female characters are getting cool costumes and rad creative teams and fun new directions, while Wonder Woman keeps getting the shaft. First, Meredith and Finch are returning after the “Convergence” event for a second arc, even though the book’s been straight up terrible since they took over. And not only that, today DC Comics revealed a new look for Wonder Woman at HitFix. This is the cover for June’s Wonder Woman #41:

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This is pretty bad. But first, let’s find something positive to say about it. The gold is back! I definitely prefer gold with Wonder Woman’s outfit. The silver she’s been sporting since the New 52 relaunch is not my favourite. Gold suits her much better. So yeah, that’s a plus.

The rest is just awful. Let’s start at the top and work our way down. The tiara is the tiara; that bit’s okay. But what is up with that blue, high collared shirt situation? That is not a good look. And the weird shoulder pad things aren’t helping it look cooler. She’s not a football player.

The torso bit I don’t mind, because it’s a decent blend of the classic look and the new look, but I hate the weird bracelet swords. Wonder Woman doesn’t need weird bracelet swords. Her preferred fighting style should not be slicing people up. That’s why she has a lasso: To subdue people, not murder them.

Whatever’s going on in her crotch area with the dangling fabric and such is a mess. That is some wonky, unappealing design work. And then we’ve got pants just like the new shirt, so I guess Wonder Woman got a sweet deal on long underwear or something? Finally, her boots come up to mid-thigh now, which seems unnecessary. Especially when she’s got pants on. Also, super ugly.

All together, this is not a fun look. It’s a bizarre mishmash of old and new and random with some entirely ridiculous additions. Seriously, retractable swords? So stupid. At first I assumed that this look wasn’t going to stick, partly because it’s too terrible for anyone else to want to draw it, and partly because she’s got her usual costume on in Justice League #41. But then I saw the cover for Superman/Wonder Woman #18 by Paulo Siqueira, courtesy of Uproxx:

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And yeah, it looks like it’s going to be a thing for a while. Also, why is Superman wearing a t-shirt again? He’s a superhero. He should dress accordingly.

Anyway, this all looks very stupid. And just cruel for long-suffering Wonder Woman fans, seeing as all of the other gals are getting cool new outfits. Captain Marvel, Spider-Woman, Batgirl, Starfire. Everybody’s rocking awesome costumes now, while Wonder Woman just looks like a dope. I don’t even understand what the influence is here. It’s not Amazonian in the slightest, or god of war-like at all. Nothing about it suggests Wonder Woman or her mythos to me.

I’m not at all against Wonder Woman getting a new costume or updating her look, but this is just bland and weird fails to capture the character in any way. And it’s not exciting. Remember how when the new Batgirl costume was unveiled, fans instantaneously bought yellow Doc Marten boots in droves? No one’s going to go load up on dark blue long underwear and gold shoulder pads for this. It’s entirely uninspiring. I don’t understand how DC can get it right with the designs for so many other female characters and inspire such excitement, and then get it so wrong with Wonder Woman. She’s been around for 75 years; they should have a handle on how she works by now.

Sensations Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #27 Review: “Girls’ Day Out, Part 2” by Cecil Castellucci, Chris Sprouse, and Karl Story

March 5, 2015

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Last week’s opening installment of “Girls’ Day Out” was rather underwhelming, and failed to make use of the massive fun potential of a Wonder Woman and Lois Lane team-up. This week’s conclusion is no better, and perhaps worse, both in terms of structure and story. It’s a disappointing finish to a story I had very high hopes for.

Structurally, this issue was an even quicker read than last week’s. Not a single page has more than two panels, and altogether there are 31 panels spread across 20 pages. Almost half of the book is unnecessary full page spreads. You can read it all in about a minute. The writing is minimal, and the art seems lazy; when Lois saves the day with a flash mob armed with potted plants, we only see maybe 3 or 4 different people, hardly “mob” standards. It just doesn’t feel like anybody but a lot of effort into this story.

The story itself isn’t great either, and my major problem with it revolves around a scene where Lois is ensnared in Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth. First, Lois starts spitting out secrets left and right, which is just silly. I don’t think the lasso should automatically compel people to blurt out every secret they have, but that’s just being a nitpicky fan. I much prefer a take on the lasso where Wonder Woman controls the person in its grasp, and can force them to tell the truth if she so chooses.

Apart from my nitpicking, though, my bigger issue is with the truths that Lois reveals. Let’s go through them quickly:

  • “I feel insecure around you.” – This tired angle has been a constant for pretty much every Wonder Woman/Lois interaction. Can’t we just have them be friends who respect each other?
  • “I color my hair!” – So do most women. Why is this even a thing? Pointing it out like it’s some sort of juicy secret seems dumb.
  • “I’m worried about my career!” – Lois Lane? I don’t think so.
  • “I think you’re going to fail and we’re going to die!” – Again, Lois Lane? Not so much. Lois knows there’s always a way to beat the bad guys.
  • “I don’t believe superheroes will save the day!” – One last time, Lois Lane? Come on. Lois is all about superheroes, and sees the good in them even when the world doesn’t trust them.
  • “I think Clark Kent is kind of cute.” – Okay, this one I’m on board with. This is the only one that seems like a truth Lois would try to keep hidden.

Overall, this sequence is just a poor display of understanding Lois. It’s also indicative of the story’s approach to Lois as a whole; she never feels quite right.

In the end, the monsters are defeated and Lois gets to do a proper interview with Wonder Woman, which is a nice way to close the issue, but there’s just no meat on the bones of this two-parter. The characters don’t seem like themselves, the story is painfully short and rushed, and the whole thing is a forgettable waste of what should have been a great team-up. This easily could have been just one digital issue; it still wouldn’t have been good, but at least it would feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. Sensation Comics has been on a great run, but this was a misstep on every level. Next week’s issue is an Aaron Lopresti story with dragons, so let’s hope that turns out awesome.

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #26 Review: “Girls’ Day Out” by Cecil Castellucci, Chris Sprouse, and Karl Story

February 26, 2015

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Wonder Woman and Lois Lane are two of my favourite characters ever, so I was very excited to dive into this week’s digital issue of Sensation Comics. Their team ups over the decades have been hit and miss. Phil Jimenez had a good Lois story during his Wonder Woman run and George Perez brought her to Paradise Island for a fun arc, but petty jealousy and fighting over Superman have been the norm for a lot of their interactions dating back to the 1960s. There have been a lot of rough moments, for sure, and I had high hopes for a more modern, enjoyable team up here.

What we got in the first part of “Girls’ Day Out” was fine, if unremarkable. There was no cringe-inducing jealousy, nor did they come to blows battling for Superman’s affection, so that puts it way ahead of several of Wonder Woman and Lois’ past meetings. However, the whole issue was a little bit bland, largely owing to a poor use of the digital format.

It opened well enough, with Cecil Castellucci capturing what everyone should feel when they’re sitting across from Lois Lane: Fear. Wonder Woman thinks to herself, “I have faced gods in battle… yet somehow this seems harder.” It’s always a good call to highlight Lois’ reporting prowess. But the interview that follows is a puff piece for some undisclosed reason, with Lois asking if there are cat fights on Paradise Island and which superhero is hottest.

The scene is illustrated with a lot of repetitive art. Over multiple pages, Chris Sprouse and Karl Story use the same image of Wonder Woman over and over. It seems like this repetition of Wonder Woman’s frustrated face is supposed to be funny, but seven panels of basically the same piece of art over three pages instead comes off as lazy and flat. Lois changes, at least, but it’s Wonder Woman’s comic book. She should have more than one expression.

Things pick up a bit after this scene when a giant robot attacks them. Nothing breaks up the doldrums like a giant robot hand smashing through the window. Wonder Woman immediately takes on the robot, and Lois runs after her to cover the story and even starts fighting the robot herself. After the robot is defeated, weird creatures that were incubating inside start pouring out, setting up another battle in a cliffhanger ending. The robot fight is a fun idea, and I enjoy that Lois got involved, but the entire scene flies by. The fight takes up 15 pages, and there are only 20 different panels across this span. Furthermore, there are only 16 pieces of dialogue, either spoken or thought, over the same span. It’s a lot of full page spreads, and the sparse art is not balanced out by dialogue at all. Of course, not every page needs to have a bunch of panels or scads of word balloons, but a stark lack of both means that you can read the issue in about a minute and a half. You’re not getting much story at all.

The art itself is fine, but far from the best that I’ve seen from Sprouse or Story. Plus, with so few panels and so many full page spreads, you expect the art to be epic and justify taking up so much space, but it’s all just okay. It’s not bad art by any means. It’s just underwhelming for the amount of space that’s dedicated to it. Even the colouring is a little flat and uninspired, and Jordie Bellaire coloured the book! She’s one of the best colourists in the world, and the book still feels fairly bland.

Overall, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #26 is an average, somewhat uninspired story that fails to utilize the massive fun potential of a Wonder Woman and Lois Lane team up. Part two is coming up next week, and hopefully they’ll stick the landing and give us a more exciting tale that plays to both women’s strengths. If it’s 20 full page spreads of them busting up the creatures that spilled out of the robot, I’m not going to be impressed. The print version of this story will be out on April 15.


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