Posts Tagged ‘Wonder Woman’

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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Wonder Woman Movie To Start Shooting In The Fall?

February 24, 2015

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Pretty much every entertainment news site is reporting that Wonder Woman, helmed by Michelle MacLaren and starring Gal Gadot, will begin filming in the fall. All of these sites trace back to Deadline, who had the exclusive announcement that Gadot is co-starring in Keeping Up With The Joneses, directed by Greg Mottola and starring Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, and Jon Hamm. That’s actually a great lineup; I may have to check this movie out. But buried at the end of this announcement was this:

Gadot will next be seen in Lionsgate’s Criminal in August and in September the movie Triple Nine. She plays Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and then films Wonder Woman in the fall.

This confused a lot of folks because it’s been reported elsewhere that Wonder Woman has yet to be receive an official greenlight from Warner Bros. The details here are sparse, so it’s tough to know what’s going on for sure, particularly since Warner Bros. or Gadot hasn’t commented on this news yet. It might be a scoop, but it might just be a sort of placeholder statement because she’s planning to film Wonder Woman at some point in the future.

As a sidenote, everyone seems to be assuming it’s the fall of this year, but the wording of the statement could suggest a different timeline. Dawn of Justice comes out in 2016, so if she stars in that and “then films Wonder Woman in the fall”, that might make it the fall of 2016.

Also, a lot of entertainment sites are parroting the rumour that there will be a Wonder Woman trilogy, with the first one set in the 1920s, the second during World War Two, and the third in the present day. The Deadline article doesn’t mention this at all, and this still has yet to be confirmed by Warner Bros. Furthermore, the rumour predates the hiring of Michelle MacLaren as a director and Jason Fuchs as the film’s writer. Plus, it’s a god awful idea and they really shouldn’t do it. Anyway, this remains just a rumour at this point.

So we’ve got some news, but it might be overblown news. In general, it’s always a good idea to just wait for official word on things from the studio, and this is doubly true for Wonder Woman. There have been several projects in development for ages that have sparked tons of rumours and breaking news and nothing concrete ever came of any of them. I’ll believe that Warner Bros. is actually making a Wonder Woman movie when they say they’re actually making a Wonder Woman movie and it’s not just in development. If being a Wonder Woman fan has taught me anything, it’s to take news from Hollywood with a massive grain of salt.

Wonder Woman’s May 2015 Covers and Solicits

February 20, 2015

May is the second half of DC’s two month “Convergence” event, so Wonder Woman’s solicits remain a little wonky. Instead of the usual Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman, she’s starring in only one “Convergence” title, though she appears to be guest starring in a bunch as well. First up, let’s take a look at Convergence: Wonder Woman #2:

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CONVERGENCE: WONDER WOMAN #2
Written by LARRY HAMA
Art by AARON LOPRESTI and MATT BANNING
Cover by JOSHUA MIDDLETON
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD
On sale MAY 20 • 40 pg, FC, 2 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T
STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! Diana Prince gets blood on her jumpsuit as she takes on vampire versions of The Joker and the rest of the Red Rain ghouls!

When we looked at last month’s solicits, I was very excited to have two issues of Joshua Middleton drawing Wonder Woman because I quite like his work. Turns out, he’s only doing the first one and Aaron Lopresti is drawing this issue. It’s not a bad change; I quite like Lopresti. But I’ve seen him do Wonder Woman before and I was really looking forward to seeing Joshua Middleton do it up.

I’ll be honest, though, the cover doesn’t look great and I’m not super curious about the story either. Wonder Woman vs. weird vampire versions of the DCU could be fun, but this looks all dark and moody and serious. Hopefully the book turns out to be entertaining and not just a violent bloodbath.

Versions of Wonder Woman are also popping up in several other “Convergence” titles. They are:

  • Flashpoint Wonder Woman in Convergence: Speed Force #2.
  • Red Son Wonder Woman in Convergence: Action Comics #2.
  • Kingdom Come Wonder Woman in Convergence: Justice League International #2.
  • DC One Million Wonder Woman in Convergence: Crime Syndicate #2.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if a few other versions pop up elsewhere across the line.

Also in May we’ve got Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #10:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #10
Written by SARA RYAN and AARON LOPRESTI
Art by CHRISTIAN DUCE and AARON LOPRESTI
Cover by MICHAEL ZULLI
On sale MAY 20 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Very few people know how to reach Wonder Woman directly, and when Clarice Anthony reaches out, Diana can’t deny her old friend the help she needs. But when that means going undercover as a pop-country starlet’s trainer, the world isn’t sure what to make of this new “VIP” persona! Then, the dragons of Sostratos became “Casualties of War” in a battle between Amazons and humans. Now, the sole survivor is taking his revenge on Diana!

Oof, that cover is rough stuff. But it’s a big month for Aaron Lopresti! He’s writing and drawing a story here, along with another by Sara Ryan and Christian Duce. The solicit says something about dragons, so you know I’m on board. I love a good dragon.

Look for all of these comics in May at comic shops everywhere!

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #25 Review: “Sabotage is in the Stars” by Heather Nuhfer and Ryan Benjamin

February 19, 2015

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Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #25 is easily the best Wonder Woman comic I’ve read this week, though it’s a fairly low bar. Both Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman put out bad issues yesterday, so today’s Sensation Comics felt like a breath of fresh air. It’s not the strongest outing that the series has produced, but it was a fun read and an excellent palette cleanser after a rough Wednesday for our favourite Amazon.

The story begins with Wonder Woman saving an Indian space exploration laboratory from a meteorite strike and learning that LexCorp was behind the attack. Wonder Woman spends the rest of the issue preventing LexCorp from derailing the launch of India’s newest space mission. She stops Luthor’s sabotage, while the shuttle’s female pilot safely executes the mission despite Luthor’s attempts at interference.

It’s a fun story, though it feels somewhat overstuffed. One digital issue isn’t a lot of space, and while Heather Nuhfer puts in a lot of good moments, there are also a lot of sharp jumps and confusing transitions that make it a bit of a jarring read. Space is at a premium in such a short book, and there are a few odd choices that use up a lot of valuable real estate. For example, dedicating two pages to Lex sabotaging the shuttle is more than necessary, and some of that space could have been perhaps better used finessing what is an awkward transition into LexCorp robots attacking Wonder Woman’s invisible jet. You’ve got to maximize the space available.

At the same time, though, the book’s best sequence is the four opening pages dedicated to Wonder Woman destroying the meteorite that’s heading towards the laboratory. It’s a fantastic showcase of Wonder Woman’s strength, and Wonder Woman’s annoyed question, “Why can’t this ever happen over an empty field?” is a particularly nice touch. This scene doesn’t maximize the book’s limited real estate at all; it’s eight panels spread out over the four pages. But it works like gangbusters. It’s a dynamite way to open a comic book, and it shows that sometimes you’ve just got to explore the space a bit, even though the book feels a bit cramped from then on.

The meteorite sequence’s effectiveness is largely due to artist Ryan Benjamin, who does a stellar job with this opening scene. The issue’s first page shows Wonder Woman flying at the reader fist first, teeth gritted, fixing to smash apart the meteorite, and it’s absolutely gorgeous, but my favourite bit of the sequence is more subtle. Wonder Woman is trying to destroy the last bit of the meteor that’s getting dangerously close to the lab, and she finally gets a hold on it:

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I love the focus on her eye that shows she’s seeing the full situation and has it handled; there’s no panic or fear, just a look back to make sure she’s still got the space she needs. And the blur with the sparks to show the fieriness and speed of the meteorite look so cool, and serve as a great frame for her laser focused eye. All of the choices in the this panel work beautifully.

Benjamin’s art throughout the rest of the book is strong as well. He draws a great Wonder Woman and a sinister Lex Luthor, and does a good job with the evil robots and their space shenanigans. Benjamin colours the book as well, and makes a few odd choices. The overall tone is perhaps a bit too yellow for my taste. It’s in a mid-range between a bold stylistic choice and normal colouring, and I think he’d have been better served by either colouring the book realistically or going full on stylistic. However, the colouring on that spectacular opening sequence is fantastic, especially the way Benjamin communicates the heat and speed of it all.

Overall, this week’s Sensation Comics was a fun outing with some good moments. It was a bit rushed, but so it goes with digital oneshots. It’s just not a lot of space. The print version of this story hits stores on March 18 in what should be a great issue all around, so definitely keep your eyes peeled for that.

Wonder Woman #39 Review OR The Inevitable Meltdown Arrives

February 18, 2015

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I so dislike Meredith and David Finch’s take on Wonder Woman that I’m currently cheering for the bad guys. I am full on Team Donna Troy at this point. I don’t like the Manazons, and she doesn’t like them either. I don’t like this Bizarro version of Diana, and Donna dislikes her so much that she’s deposed her as queen of the Amazons. Plus she’s got a super rad costume. I feel like we’ve got a lot in common, evil sorceress origins aside. This Wonder Woman is an unlikeable hot mess, and so I’ve gone to the other side. Let’s dig into this terrible issue, after the requisite:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to spoil this ENTIRE comic book!

Turn away if you haven’t read it yet!

Unless you’re reading this review because you can’t bring yourself to buy such a terrible comic! In that case, read on! I can understand that!

So Wonder Woman #39 is a doozy. Last month, I still thought that the book was terrible but I found both the writing and art to be slightly less awful than usual. It was a step in the right direction, however minimal. This month, it’s just the worst.

The book opens with a full page spread of Wonder Woman and Batman that David Finch can probably sell for some decent cash. In terms of storytelling, it’s quite useless. It doesn’t even tell us where the scene takes place, who they’re looking for, or what’s happening. To know any of that, you have to remember that at the end of the previous issue the Justice League was investigating a missing village and Superman went into a cave to look around. As this issue begins, presumably he hasn’t come out yet and so Wonder Woman and Batman have gone in to find him.

Which they do. They also find a gross cocoon of mangled humans, and Wonder Woman full on flips out. She sees the dude responsible, some sort of weird, alien looking guy, and launches herself at him. They sword fight for a bit, with Wonder Woman being all, “I’m the god of war, so back off, sucker!” I’m paraphrasing, but this dialogue isn’t actually worse than what’s in the book. Ultimately, Wonder Woman stabs him through the chest and is about to deal him a death blow when Batman steps in to stop her from killing the guy. Her emotions all riled up, Wonder Woman then tells Batman and Superman, “I really just need to be alone right now” and sits down to have a cry. Seriously, that’s how the scene ends:

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I’ve got a lot of problems with this scene, the first and foremost among them being the lazy hysterical woman trope. A gal going off the rails, a guy having to stop her from taking things to far, and the subsequent overwhelmed sobfest is all such tired cliché. It was sexist junk back when the mod Wonder Woman was doing the same thing in the late 1960s, and it’s just as bad now nearly fifty years later. So much for progress, it seems.

Furthermore, things quickly turn to familiar territory when Batman chastises Wonder Woman for almost killing the villain and Wonder Woman argues that some villains deserve to be killed. All of this was explored in “Sacrifice” in the lead up to Infinite Crisis, when Wonder Woman killed Max Lord because it was the only way to stop him from controlling Superman’s mind. Meredith Finch has said that she didn’t read a lot of Wonder Woman comics in preparation for this gig in hopes of bringing a fresh take to the character, but here’s an instance where some knowledge of the character’s history would go a long way. Someone else has already done this story, and much better.

Then Wonder Woman returns to Paradise Island, and runs into her mother’s ghost or some such. Apparently being clay rooted her to the island, and she’s still connected to it even after they left her statue out in the rain and it melted. Hippolyta tells Diana that her decisions weren’t made because she’s the god of war; instead, she explains that “Amazons are taught to channel their fear into battle rage.” And that sentence encapsulates everything wrong with the current take on the Amazons. Historically, if anything, Amazons are taught to channel their fear into compassion. If they’re scared of something, they try to understand it and find a peaceful solution to the problem, and if that doesn’t work THEN they fight it. They’re not a bunch of berserkers, with their rage constantly cranked up so they can leap into battle at any time. Amazons should be happy and controlled, capable of excellence in battle but only when it’s clearly called for and all other options have been exhausted. From their earliest days, the Amazons have been all about love, not rage.

But these Amazons are sure angry. Donna Troy, who apparently became their new queen with relative ease after showing up out of nowhere at the end of the last issue, has the Amazons all riled up to go kill the Manazons and rid their island of men. Wonder Woman shows up to tell her that the men are under her protection, Donna doesn’t give a hoot, and the issue ends with them about to fight each other. Again, I’m totally on Donna Troy’s side now. I’d depose this mopey, ineffectual Diana too.

All in all, this issue was yet another fine example of a creative team who just doesn’t understand Wonder Woman or her mythos in the slightest. She’s an absolute mess of a character right now, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The Finches are unintentionally rehashing old storylines that have been done better and tired tropes that need to stay buried. It’s just painful to read at this point.

Superman/Wonder Woman #16 Preview OR One Seriously Messed Up Double Date

February 17, 2015

It’s a busy week for Wonder Woman enthusiasts. Yesterday I posted the preview for Wonder Woman #39, and today we’ve got a look at Superman/Wonder Woman #16, both of which come out tomorrow. The print version of Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #7 hits stores tomorrow as well, so at least there’ll be one good Wonder Woman book. This month’s issue of Superman/Wonder Woman pits the eponymous duo against Magog and Circe in pretty much the worst double date of all time. SIDENOTE: How fun would this book be if it was a legit double date with Superman/Wonder Woman and Magog/Circe? What Silver Age style convolutions could bring that together? Now that’s a comic I’d want to read.

Anyway, let’s take a peek at Superman/Wonder Woman #16, courtesy of AV Club:

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The art breakdown appears to be the same as the last issue, with Doug Mahnke handling the present while Ed Benes draws Magog’s past. Benes has drawn the cover as well. Mahnke and Benes strike me as somewhat of an odd pairing, since their styles are fairly different, but I suppose it’s nice to have a contrast.

This is the sort of preview that annoys me because now we’re already a full quarter into the book and we have barely any new information at all. The three page flashback adds very little to what we already know about Magog. Basically the only progress we’ve made from the end of the last issue is that where that ended with Circe attacking, now we’ve hastily reached a standoff. I don’t want to sound like a grousing pennypincher, but this comic book costs four dollars. If you’re going to spend the first five pages on a superfluous flashback and an overblown double page spread, people are going to take their business elsewhere to books that give them more comic bang for their buck.

Superman/Wonder Woman #16 is available in comic shops and online tomorrow, but so is Sensation Comics #7. It’s fun and has some lovely art and well-constructed stories. If you’re going to buy one Wonder Woman book this week, pick up Sensation Comics. If you’re going to buy two or three, you’ll probably end up disappointed. But hey! You can get this lovely Francis Manapul variant cover at least:

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It’s very nice. Though isn’t it sad when a variant cover is better and more interesting than anything in the actual book?

Wonder Woman #39 Preview OR Gross Bugs And Stuff

February 16, 2015

After last month’s issue of Wonder Woman ended with Donna Troy presumably becoming the new queen on the Amazons, the preview for this month’s Wonder Woman #39 gives us none of that whatsoever. Instead, it focuses on the disappearing villages that Wonder Woman and the Justice League have been tracking, ie. the plot device that allowed Diana to vent her life frustrations at various league members over the past few issues. But now it’s built up to something, and that something is a gross cocoon of mangled humans. Let’s take a look at the preview, courtesy of Comic Book Resources:

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Well that sure turned nasty. But I will admit, I’m morbidly curious to see how this weird bug stuff ties into the rest of the book and Wonder Woman’s other travails. Though maybe it doesn’t; usually things tie together in stories, but Meredith Finch is new to the story writing game. It could just be its own little subplot that doesn’t tie into anything. However, I’ve got a feeling that it’s god of war related in some way or another.

I’m amused that the Justice League have been in every issue of the Finches’ Wonder Woman run thus far after they didn’t appear at all during Azzarello and Chiang’s tenure. The Finches seem to have kept the worst elements of the preceding run, the darkness and the squabbling, unpleasant Amazons, and lost all of the good bits, like Zola and Hermes and no Justice League. It’s a bad scene.

I did like one thing, though! Emanuela Lupacchino’s done a variant cover for the issue, with Wonder Woman and Donna Troy in her new, cool costume. I think it’s quite nice:

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So there’s that, at least.

Look for this nice variant cover at your comic shop this Wednesday, though if you’re going to skip the issue because of what’s inside, I’ll have a full review the same day that’ll give you all the details.


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