Posts Tagged ‘Wonder Woman’

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #1 Review: Gothamazon Part 1

August 13, 2014

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The first installment of Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman, DC Comics’ new digital-first series starring the Amazing Amazon, debuted online today. The online issues will be collected three at a time as a monthly paper series starting on August 20, but I’ve decided to review them weekly as they’re released digitally every Wednesday, mostly because I am very excited for decent Wonder Woman comics and don’t want to wait.

Beloved Wonder Woman writer Gail Simone is back to launch the series, along with artist Ethan van Sciver. In what appears to be post-Crisis but pre-New 52 continuity, Gotham City has been besieged by a coterie of super-villains and, with all of Gotham’s heroes out of commission, Oracle decides to call in Wonder Woman to clean up the mess. Wonder Woman versus the Bat-villains is a fun idea, and overall the comic is quite enjoyable.

Simone’s writing in this issue was reminiscent of what I liked and didn’t like about her run on Wonder Woman a few years back. In terms of dialogue, I find Simone’s Wonder Woman too formal and stilted, like she just stepped off the invisible jet for the first time and hasn’t at all adapted to modern society. Wonder Woman should be an outsider, but I think that Simone leans into that a bit too much. However, Simone absolutely understands how bad ass and cool Wonder Woman should be. She battles Man-Bat, Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze with complete confidence, taunting them as she takes them down with relative ease. There’s a self-assuredness to Simone’s Wonder Woman that I absolutely love.

Simone also has a knack for big moments, and that last page is so much fun. I won’t spoil it in case you haven’t read it yet, but it’s a great way to end the book and a fantastic set up for Part Two of the story next week. The poor Bat-villains don’t even have a chance now.

Van Sciver’s art has never been my favourite. His sense of proportion is hit and miss, and I find that his faces sometimes don’t look quite right; they’re halfway between realistic and stylized and they just strike me as odd. While the issue wasn’t bad by any means, van Sciver’s just not my cup of tea and several pages felt a little rushed. On the plus side, the first appearance of Wonder Woman turned out quite nice:

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So well done on a killer reveal there.

In terms of the story itself, it was great to see Oracle again. She’s such a good character, and I’ve missed her in the DC universe since the New 52 began. Simone writes her wonderfully as well, so this was the ideal comeback for her.

That being said, this is the first issue of a new Wonder Woman comic, and it took a while for Wonder Woman to actually show up. We got a lot of Oracle and Bat-villain mayhem before Wonder Woman arrived to save the day. Once Wonder Woman shows up, she takes over the book entirely and starts busting up the bad guys in awesome fashion, but we don’t see her until halfway through the issue. Maybe if the first half had been more about building up Wonder Woman’s arrival it would have worked a little better. While there was some of that, there were also a lot of villain shenanigans.

I feel like this story will read a lot better once we’ve got the second part, which looks like it’s going to be an epic beat down of the Bat-villains by Wonder Woman and her associates. Given the way that digital comics are published, we’ve only got half the story here and it all might be better as a whole.

As it is, it’s a fun start to an exciting new series. I mean, it’s a comic where Wonder Woman beats up Mr. Freeze. Whatever other small qualms I have about the issue, what more could you want than that?   It’s a very good time, and the book is primed to be even more epic and enjoyable next week.

Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #1 is available online now. You should definitely go check it out!

Superman/Wonder Woman #11 Preview OR Didn’t Wonder Woman Used To Be In This Book?

August 12, 2014

I’m not entirely sure why they keep calling this book Superman/Wonder Woman when Wonder Woman is such a non-factor every month. Currently, she’s a background player in the big, Superman-centric “Doomed” storyline and in this five page preview of Superman/Wonder Woman #11 from 13th Dimension, she doesn’t even appear. Let’s take a look:

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Non and Mongul get a few pages, Superman and the Martian Manhunter are fixing to rescue some folks, and Wonder Woman is nowhere. Now, the book has fifteen more pages so I assume she’ll show up at some point, but the lack of Wonder Woman doing anything at all significant in this series is getting really tiresome.

We’ve also got some creator shake-ups this month. The book was originally solicited with Paulo Siqueira drawing it, but it looks like Thony Silas will be doing so instead. And the main cover is by Ed Benes instead of Tony S. Daniel, though Daniel did the selfie variant cover that I included above because I really like it. With Daniel moving to a new series, as far as I know DC still hasn’t revealed who will be the book’s primary artist moving forward, though perhaps the November solicits will give us some clues.

So yeah, “Doomed” continues on. Superman’s not infected now and is going to save his pals, while Wonder Woman is doing who knows what. You’ll have to pick up Superman/Wonder Woman #11 in stores or online tomorrow to find out if she gets anything to do this month.

Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #1 Preview: “Doomed” Rolls On

August 5, 2014

In an odd move that may irk some customers, DC Comics is continuing the ongoing “Doomed” crossover between Superman/Wonder Woman and Action Comics in a pair of $4.99 annuals this week. So to get the full story, you have to shell out another ten bucks on top of what you’re already paying to get both series each month. It’s a bizarre distribution method. I could see an epilogue or something in an annual, but a middle chapter of the story is unusual.

All that to say, Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #1 is out this week, written by Charles Soule with art by a team that includes Ed Benes, Tony S. Daniel, Pascal Alixe, and many more. Crave Online has a massive preview of the book, so let’s take a look:

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Annuals tend to be almost twice as long as a regular comic, which is probably why we got such a big chunk of the book. In terms of percentage, it’s about what we usually get in a preview.

Anyway, Superman is still all Doomsdayed up, but now he’s fighting Cyborg Superman. I have no idea what’s up with Cyborg Superman in the New 52; the whole past continuity with Doomsday and the Reign of the Supermen doesn’t exist, right? So I don’t know how we ended up with another Cyborg Superman. Or Steel, for that matter.

Wonder Woman is in three panels in this seven page preview, so that’s bothersome. Her name’s in the title, yet we’ve got two Supermen and barely any Wonder Woman at all. That seems a bit unbalanced. Hopefully she’ll have more to do in the rest of the issue. If she doesn’t, just go read Aquaman Annual #2 again; Wonder Woman had a bigger role there than she’s ever had in this series.

Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #1 is out in comic shops everywhere and online tomorrow, so if you’re following the “Doomed” crossover be sure to pick it up!

Aquaman Annual #2 Review OR The Wonder Woman And Mera Team Up Steals The Show

July 31, 2014

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Wonder Woman not only co-starred in yesterday’s Aquaman Annual #2, she was actually in the book more than Aquaman himself. The issue began with Diana and Arthur investigating a castle in France to track down the giant-born, a group of powerful monsters disguised as humans. The story was fine, but somewhat underwhelming. There were a lot of references to past events and characters in Aquaman, which I am not at all up on, but that’s my problem and not all the fault of the book.

What didn’t quite work for me was the somewhat adversarial relationship between Diana and Arthur. For Justice League teammates, they didn’t get along very well. Their styles were very different, with Aquaman holding back while Wonder Woman wanted to go at the monsters full tilt, and this caused some tension. There was also a lot of distrust, and while under the thrall of one of the monsters they revealed the core of their problems: Wonder Woman thinks that Aquaman doesn’t care enough about the surface world and Aquaman sees Wonder Woman as a murdering goddess who thinks herself above humanity. They reconciled when the brawling was done, of course, with both understanding that they truly didn’t mean what they said while enchanted, but there seemed to be a bit of a core of honesty in their critiques of each other.

The fighting in the story was pretty fun, but Wonder Woman and Aquaman were sidelined for a lot of it due to a long, heroless introduction and then several pages where they’d been turned into stone. They were a good time when they were on the page, but that was only about half the story. When I got to the end, I was a little bit disappointed with the book.

Then I turned the page and there was another story! This time, Wonder Woman teamed up with Mera, and it was awesome the whole way through. Mera’s regal warrior mentality meshed well with Wonder Woman, and after the monsters refused their offers of diplomacy and mercy, both women realized that the creatures they faced were cruel monsters who needed to be destroyed. And so they did just that.

The ensuing brawl was well choreographed and exciting. Mera conjured water sharks to attack the monsters while Wonder Woman flipped her way through the horde, taking down creatures left and right. The finishing move was especially great. I loved the plan of Wonder Woman diving down to the bottom of the ocean to smash through to the lava below and Mera removing all the water under the creatures so they fell into the volcanic abyss. It was all sorts of cool.

But what really sold me on this story was the chemistry between Wonder Woman and Mera. With the Aquaman story, even though they knew each other well it all felt a little stiff and awkward, even before they revealed their deep, dark opinions of each other. Their battle styles weren’t complimentary, and the whole team-up seemed out of sync. With Mera, Wonder Woman didn’t know her well at all, yet they instantly connected and were on the same page, fighting side by side and working together with ease. It was an effortless partnership, and their instant camaraderie made the story a real pleasure to read.

Jeff Parker’s writing was solid throughout, though again I enjoyed what he did with the second story much more than the first. Superhero conflicts aside, the leadoff story was a bit too heavy on exposition and side characters for me. Yvel Guichet, Jason Gorder, and Wayne Faucher drew the first story, and I thought the art was decent. The monsters were gruesome and cool, and both heroes looked about right.

Alvaro Martinez and Raul Fernandez drew the second story, and they captured Wonder Woman and Mera very nicely. They also depicted the action and the finishing move in an  exciting way that flowed well and was easy to follow, and throughout the story they elegantly displayed the strength and power of both heroes.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this comic, especially if you’re a Wonder Woman fan. She’s the real star of the book; Aquaman and Mera each get half the issue, but Wonder Woman is in the entire thing. Aquaman Annual #2 is in comic shops and online now, and while it’s priced at $4.99 the page count is much higher and you get almost twice the story of a regular comic book.

The Wonder Woman #34 Selfie Variant Cover Is The Best Thing

July 30, 2014

DC’s doing a line of selfie variant covers in August, and a lot of them look pretty fun. The Superman/Wonder Woman one, which I posted a few weeks back, is very cute, and Joe Quinones’ Batman ’66 selfie cover is hilarious. But my favourite so far, and I’m admittedly biased, is Terry and Rachel Dodson’s variant for Wonder Woman #34. If this doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will:

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It’s great to have the Dodson back drawing Wonder Woman again. They did a fantastic job during Allen Heinberg and Gail Simone’s runs on the book, and this cover is gorgeous and so much fun. If I’m not mistaken, Wonder Woman is taking a selfie with the statue of Athena that stands atop a pillar in front of the Athens Academy in Athens, Greece. The Dodsons draw a beautiful, regal Wonder Woman, but with this cover they’ve proved they can kill it with a silly Wonder Woman as well.

It’s so nice to see Wonder Woman having fun. Wonder Woman’s been a rather dark series, and Superman/Wonder Woman’s been angsty and now Diana’s all worried about Doomsday Superman. It’s a pleasure to see her goof around for a change. Sure, she’s a fierce warrior, but she can have a good time as well.

The New 52’s been so heavy and serious; DC seems to have forgotten that superheroes can be fun, too. I hope that these selfie variants are a first step in bringing some joy back to the DC universe. They’re just straight up silly, but that’s sort of why they work and why I’m enjoying them so much. The new Batgirl team and books like Gotham Academy, both out this October, seem to have a lighter tone, so maybe the tide is starting to turn somewhat and things won’t be so serious all the time.

This Wonder Woman #34 selfie variant will be available August 20. Talk to your local comic shop about getting a copy, because it will ship in smaller quantities than the regular (and also lovely) Cliff Chiang cover.

Aquaman Annual #2 Preview, Guest Starring Wonder Woman

July 29, 2014

July’s been a busy month for Wonder Woman, and she’s closing out the month by co-starring in Aquaman Annual #2 written by Jeff Parker with art by Yvel Guichet, Jason Gorder, and Wayne Faucher. Comic Book Resources has a preview of the issue, so let’s take a look:

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There’s not much Wonder Woman or Aquaman in these few pages, but don’t worry. Jeff Parker said on Twitter that “this issue’s title is ‘Aquaman and Wonder Woman Beat Down Monsters,’” so they should definitely be in the rest of the book, busting up dopey bad guys foolish enough to tangle with them.

I’m excited to check out this issue because Parker’s been doing a lot of great work lately. His Batman ’66 comics in particular have been fantastic and hilarious, and from what I’ve read of his other stuff he seems to bring a somewhat lighter tone than what we’re used to in the dark, serious New 52. An issue full of Wonder Woman and Aquaman fighting monsters is 100% up my alley, and I think it will be a fun read.

Look for the Aquaman Annual #2 in comic shops everywhere and online tomorrow. I might have a review of it in the next couple days if I have any interesting thoughts while reading it, so keep an eye out for that as well.

The First Image Of Gal Gadot As Wonder Woman In Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice

July 26, 2014

As I type, Warner Bros. is hosting a film panel in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, and they kicked off the show with Zack Snyder and the stars, a snippet of footage from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and, most relevant to my interests, a shot of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Let’s take a look:

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First off, this is definitely Wonder Woman, which is really good. She’s got a tiara, bracelets, a lasso, boots, all of the stuff we expect Wonder Woman to have. They haven’t screwed with the costume in any big ways, and any of the changes are about what you’d expect when a comic book costume is adapted for the big screen. They’ve stayed very faithful to the character, and I’m really glad about that.

They just put out a high resolution image, so let’s go through this with a fine tooth comb, starting at the top:

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I’ve got to be honest: I hate the tiara here. It’s needlessly complicated, and doesn’t look like Wonder Woman’s tiara should look. It’s a simple design that’s been roughly the same for 75 years. It comes to a point at the top, has no fancy adornments or lines or what have you, and there’s a red star in the middle. It’s rather iconic. This is not that, which I find a little bit disappointing. The tiara should scream “WONDER WOMAN!!” and this does not.

You’ll note there’s no choker, which is a change I do like. The choker’s she’s had since the New 52 began never really worked for me.

Let’s move down to the torso:

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The bodice is very much New 52 Wonder Woman, with a couple of tweaks I like. There’s also a belt/strap thing that I assume leads to a sheath for her sword or some such. It looks like they’ve gone with gold for the breast plate instead of silver, so hooray for the classic colouring, and they’ve opted for a smaller belt instead of a big plate sort of thing which looks good. They’re definitely going for an ancient armour vibe, and pulling it off nicely here. I think everything going on in the torso turned out really well.

To the skirt:

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It’s really, really short. They could have done briefs and we’d see just as much skin. But so it goes with Wonder Woman; you’re gonna get a lot of leg. And I like what they’ve done here. It looks functional and matches the bodice well, keeping that ancient armour aesthetic going, and while this picture has a general red/brown hue to it, it looks like the skirt is blue. There are no stars, but I really didn’t think there would be. It’s a tricky thing to have not look silly, especially given the ancient vibe they’re going for. Could be a little longer, but I like this too.

Now onto some classic Wonder Woman elements:

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The bracelets look really nice! I like the detailing, and the leather around the wrist. Straight, flat bracelets would probably be rather boring on screen, and these look cool, functional, and fit the rest of the outfit well. And there’s a lasso! I’m so glad there’s a lasso. It looks like a lasso should, and is on her hip where it should be. That’s very fun.

The sword is cool too. It’s looks a little stubby, but that may just be the angle she’s holding it. The metal’s a bit dull, but so is all of the metal in this picture. So it goes with a Zack Snyder movie, really.

Now the boots:

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It looks like they’ve gone for bracers more so than actual boots. The line down the middle is reminiscent of the white stripes that go down Wonder Woman’s boots, and I would have liked to see the white here, or something similar for a contrast, but these look cool. They match the rest of the costume, and look pretty bad ass.

My only real issue here is the heels. They’re not stiletto-esque, I suppose, which is something, but even as a sort of wedge heel it’s entirely impractical and unnecessary. After spending all this time constructing a cool, functional warrior outfit, the heels kind of undercut the effect. It’s really hard to fight in heels. It’s just not practical. The gal’s gonna twist her ankle.

But overall, I like it. The only thing I’m really irked about is the tiara, because I love the classic tiara and see it as such an iconic element of the character. I’m not wild about the colouring as well, but given how dull and grey Man of Steel was I’d have been an idiot to expect bright colours. This is just one picture, obviously, but the colours all sort of muddle into a brownish tone, and I hope that in the movie we’ll get more of a contrast between the red of the bodice, the blue of the skirt, the gold of the chest piece and belt, and what I assume is the silver of the bracelets (from this image, it’s hard to tell their exact colour). I think that Wonder Woman should be a bright character, but if you’re going to make Superman all dark and grayish then a less vibrant Wonder Woman continues that style.

I’m still super concerned about the movie as a whole. Man of Steel looked cool before it came out too, and then it was god awful. I also have serious reservations about Zack Snyder and David Goyer and how they approach female characters. But on the plus side, my bar for Batman v Superman is set so low that I now find myself pleasantly surprised when things turn out well. And I think that, all together, Wonder Woman’s costume turned out well. The outfit is good, and Gal Gadot looks pretty fierce and bad ass. I can’t wait to see her in action! The proof is in the pudding, and we’ve got a bit of a wait for that, but yeah, this picture makes me fairly happy.


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