Posts Tagged ‘Wonder Woman’

Wonder Woman #40 Preview OR Sister v Sister: Donna Justice!

March 31, 2015

Yeah, I know that Sister v Sister: Donna Justice is stupid, but it amused me. Anyway, Wonder Woman #40 is out tomorrow, giving us the penultimate chapter of David and Meredith Finch’s first arc; it will wrap up this June in Wonder Woman Annual #1 after “Convergence”. Donna Troy is the new queen of the Amazons and Wonder Woman isn’t too pleased about that, so a fight ensues! Here’s a peek at the first few pages of the book, from ComicBook.com:

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I am totally Team Donna on this one. The Finches’ Wonder Woman is king of terrible, and Donna is super bad ass and has a rad outfit. That being said, a challenge for Wonder Woman to prove that she’s worthy of being the queen of the Amazons could be fun. I mean, it’ll probably be pretty bad, seeing as the book has been not great since the Finches took over, but you never know. It’s not an inherently awful idea, at least, and I suppose that’s a step in the right direction.

Also, Wonder Woman saying that all this strife is getting to her sounds like a good set up for Strife to pop by and stir things up. Now, as much as I love Strife, lord knows how she’ll be in the hands of this creative team, but again, it’s not an inherently bad idea to bring Strife in. She can be a lot of fun. We’ll see how the execution goes, but I’m at least curious about the direction this issue is going.

Look for Wonder Woman #40 in stores and online everywhere tomorrow!

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Wonder Woman: The Very Selfish Princess by Jill Thompson and Wonder Woman: Earth One by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette Coming This Fall

March 30, 2015

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It’s going to be an interesting autumn for Wonder Woman fans, with two new graphic novels starring the Amazing Amazons hitting the shelves. The first is Wonder Woman: The Very Selfish Princess by Jill Thompson. Here is the book’s synopsis:

WONDER WOMAN: THE VERY SELFISH PRINCESS is Jill Thompson’s storybook style reimagining of the early years of the Amazon Princess Diana, who would grow up to become Wonder Woman. This fully painted graphic novel is unlike any Wonder Woman tale you have ever read, told as only Eisner Award-winning writer/artist Thomspon could. When young Diana has the fawning attention of a nation, she soon grows spoiled. But a series of tragic events take their toll, and Diana must learn to grow up, take responsibility, and seize her destiny.

Steeped in the mythology of this iconic character’s original conception, WONDER WOMAN: THE VERY SELFISH PRINCESS is designed to appeal to a wide range of readers. It’s a fresh, stand alone interpretation of the most famous and iconic female super-hero of all time and the fulfillment of a dream project by one of contemporary comics’ most acclaimed creators.

So this sounds pretty rad. Thompson was an artist on Wonder Woman during the George Perez years, and is very familiar with the character. I love the idea of a painted, storybook style take on Diana’s early years, too. I’ve always thought that DC would be smart to play up the princess angle of Wonder Woman for younger readers, and it looks like they’re doing that here.

It looks like the book will be released in twelve digital installments first, probably sometime in the summer, and then collected in book form. It should be a lot of fun and I’m curious to see how Thompson reinvents Wonder Woman. The book will be gorgeous, for sure, so that will be an excellent time. Amazon has it listed for September 8, but it’ll probably be out in comic shops before then.

The other new Wonder Woman graphic novel coming this fall is the long awaited Wonder Woman: Earth One by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette. I’ve expressed my trepidation about this book on several occasions, and nothing I’ve heard about it in the several years since this book was announced have eased my concerns. In all of the interviews I’ve read, Morrison seems far too wrapped up in the sexual bondage elements of the original Wonder Woman, and is perhaps missing the feminist forest for the bondage trees, if that makes any sense at all. The bondage element of Wonder Woman is a fascinating aspect of her past, but not what I’d consider the best starting point to reinvent her for the 21st century. Plus it’s a Morrison book and he tends to blow everything up and leave beloved mythos in tatters that barely resemble their former selves, so I’m not looking forward to Wonder Woman getting that sort of treatment. The Amazon synopsis reads:

Critically acclaimed, best-selling writer Grant Morrison (All-Star Superman, Batman, Inc.) once again pushes the boundaries of the graphic novel page in his mind-bending new take on the most powerful woman in the DC Universe. With stunning art by Yanick Paquette (Swamp Thing), Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 1 is an easily accessible jumping on point for new readers.

“Pushes the boundaries of the graphic novel page”? Come on. I don’t generally care for Grant Morrison’s work, if you can’t tell. That being said, I do quite like Yanick Paquette, so it should be a lovely book at least. And Morrison is always a crapshoot. It might turn out great. It’s hard to know what that dude is going to do.

Wonder Woman: Earth One is scheduled to be released on November 10, though they’ve been promising the book for quite some time and I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if that date got bumped. We’ll see what happens.

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman Review: “VIP, Part 2” by Sara Ryan and Christian Duce

March 26, 2015

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I really enjoyed the first part of this story last week, with its non-linear narrative and various mysteries, but the conclusion this week was a little more straight forward and telegraphed. However, this is a comic where Wonder Woman says, “The lasso compels truth, but it can’t stop mansplaining,” and that’s just fantastic. All together, this was a decent issue of a story that I think will read very well all together. While the opening was stronger than the close, it’s still a lot of fun.

Everything worked out like I thought it would in this issue. After last week’s story, I was worried about the fans getting VIP passes, and it turns out they could have died were it not for Wonder Woman. I was also pretty sure the skeevy head of security was up to something shady, and today we find out that he’s the one behind the VIPs near-death dilemmas. There really wasn’t much in the way of surprises or twists in this conclusion.

It’s also a much quicker read than last week’s issue. Part one had a lot for the reader to unpack and put together as they went through the book and figured out who was who and how they were connected. It was all very cleverly structured. The structure this week is a lot simpler and far more linear. There are no time jumps and the scene changes are much more organic. It’s also less dense, with far less dialogue and no real mystery to the words being spoken. Several of the scenes last week started not just mid-conversation but mid-sentence. Everything about this issue is much more straight forward.

That’s not to say that this issue was bad in any way. It was just put together differently than I expected, and it was still a lot fun. I particularly enjoyed the head of security’s speech about why he sabotaged the concert. There was a bit of nuance to it where he ALMOST had a decent point to make about how our culture sexualizes and objectifies young stars and how he didn’t want Esperanza to go in that direction, but then it turned into a weird puritanical angle where he wanted girls to stay girls so that men could stay men and it got gross again. I enjoyed that Sara Ryan gave him a slight smidge of a halfway decent point to make before taking the turn into him just being a patronizing ass with antiquated ideas about gender. Then Esperanza punched him out, which was fun.

Christian Duce’s art was solid again. This may seem like a weird, random thing to focus on, but I like that Duce make’s the star on Wonder Woman’s tiara big. I find a lot of artists make it too small or too skinny; I am bizarrely particular about her tiara, and Duce does a very nice job keeping the star prominent.

Ultimately, this week’s Sensation Comics is a decent end to a great beginning. Once all of the pieces were set up in part one, it makes sense that part two would be less twisty as everything came to a close. One fun thing to come out of this issue is that I’ve got a new author to check out! Sara Ryan’s written a bunch of comics as well as some YA novels, and her work here has me intrigued so I’m definitely going to check out some of her other stuff.

For all of you print folks, this story will be available in comic shops on May 20. It’s a fun one; I recommend checking it out.

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #29 Review: “VIP, Part 1” by Sara Ryan and Christian Duce

March 19, 2015

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The description for this issue says that Wonder Woman is “going undercover as a pop-country starlet’s trainer”, so I thought that this might be a Wonder Woman meets Taylor Swift sort of thing, which would have been fun. I was expecting something light and breezy, but this issue went in the opposite direction in some very interesting ways. It’s a first issue that really drew me in and left me curious and excited to find out what happens next week.

The story centers on Esperanza, a young music star who is on tour and getting some creepy and dangerous threats. Her teacher/bodyguard has a past connection with Wonder Woman, and so she asks for Diana’s help in handling the situation. Wonder Woman decides to pitch in and help, joining Esperanza’s team as a “trainer” while she’s secretly there to protect the starlet. There’s also a sketchy record company executive in the mix, as well as a couple of teens who get upgraded to VIP status, though I fear that may have some ominous implications for them.

The plot doesn’t sound too complex on paper, but the structure of the story is very cool. It jumps around a lot, visiting several characters and going back in time to explain their relationships with each other and to tease their role in the situation with Esperanza. Unlike some past issues of Sensation Comics that you can fly through in a minute or so, this issue requires you to pay attention and keep track of who’s who, which is a nice change of pace. New scenes often start mid-conversation, without a lot of explanation. It is both sparse and detailed, and the non-linear structure isn’t confusing so much as it keeps you engaged as you start to put the pieces together. I really like how Sara Ryan constructed the story here.

I also love how Ryan set up Wonder Woman’s relationship with Esperanza’s teacher (who I don’t think is named in this issue?). They met ten years ago at a women’s shelter where Wonder Woman was teaching self defense, and it seems that they kept in touch over the years. The issue doesn’t go into the details of the teacher’s situation back then, nor does it have some sort of on the nose soliloquy about the importance of women’s shelters and such. Instead, through simply showing Wonder Woman’s relationship with the teacher and the changes in her life from where she was then to where she is now, it subtly demonstrates the importance of women’s shelters as well as her strength in overcoming whatever her situation may have been.

The relationship captures Wonder Woman beautifully as well. Of course she teaches self defense at a women’s shelter, and of course she stays in touch with her students and jumps to help them if they need it, even a decade later. That is exactly what Wonder Woman would do with her spare time, and exactly how she would react when a friend is in need.

The art is good, and does a nice job of communicating each new setting and time period. The jumping narrative could have gotten muddled with poor art, but Christian Duce keeps things focused and moving along well. Plus there are fun little moments interspersed through the story that he nails. In particular, a two page scene where Wonder Woman is on the phone with Esperanza’s teacher could have been dull, but instead Wonder Woman is fighting some bad guy while talking on the phone, nailing him with a sweet tiara boomerang shot. It’s a fun scene, and Duce does a great job capturing the bad assness of Wonder Woman.

The issue doesn’t end with a dramatic cliffhanger so much as it just stops and says “To Be Continued” but I was definitely intrigued by the story and am looking forward to seeing how it all plays out. I don’t trust that executive guy, and I’m worried about the teens at the concert, though I also know that it’s a Wonder Woman comic and she’ll sort it out all out because that’s what she does. I’m excited to see how she does it, though. If it’s anywhere near as interesting and clever as this issue, it should be a very fun finale.

If you’re waiting to read this story on paper, the print issue will be out May 20. You should definitely pick this one up.

Wonder Woman Sales Rise In February, Probably For Reasons Other Than The Finches

March 18, 2015

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The comic book sales figures for February 2015 are out now, and Wonder Woman #39 had a decent month. After Wonder Woman #37 dropped 27% from the debut issue of Meredith and David Finch and Wonder Woman #38 fell an additional 8%, sales for Wonder Woman #39 actually rose to 42,634 copies sold, an increase of about 7%. This is a pretty sizeable jump, given how the book was trending, and I think that it had a lot more to do with what was on the outside of the book than what was in it.

Several of DC’s February comics had a Harley Quinn variant cover, and Harley Quinn is ridiculously popular right now. She’s in the middle of an impressive renaissance, with her own title selling gangbusters and a spin-off on the way. While at first glance it might seem like the Finches are catching on with readers and thus sales improved, I think that the Harley Quinn variant cover is a much larger factor, largely because sales went up for most of the titles who were part of the variant line.

Last time we checked the sales of Superman/Wonder Woman, it had dropped 6% and then 11% since the new creative team took over in November. In February, sales of Superman/Wonder Woman #16 rose to 38,550, an increase of 4%. That’s a big jump for a book that was on a steady decline.

Superman/Wonder Woman #16 also had a Harley Quinn variant cover. In fact, when you look at all of the other DC titles in the same range of the sales charts as Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman, they all sold a few thousand more issues in February and they all had Harley Quinn variant covers too. It’s a very consistent trend, with Harley as the only common denominator for all of the titles.

Sales jumps for both Wonder Woman books due to outside factors makes it hard to ascertain how the titles are going over with readers. Both books were declining, but the February numbers are just a big question mark because we can’t know how big an impact the variant covers had. We’ll have to wait for the March numbers to see where things stand; the movie themed variants DC is putting out this month look cool, but I doubt they’ll have the impact of Harley Quinn and so we’ll likely get more accurate numbers for March’s comics. The only conclusive fact we can pull out of the February numbers is that folks sure do love Harley Quinn.

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!

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.


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