Posts Tagged ‘Wonder Woman’

Wonder Woman #22 Review OR An Enjoyable Prelude To Next Month’s Big Conclusion

July 18, 2013

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Wonder Woman #22 was the definition of a setup issue.  Not in a bad way, just in that its purpose was to take a breather from last issue’s huge fight, rearrange the pieces a bit, and get everything in place for next issue’s even bigger fight.  And if you’re going to do an issue like that, setting most of it on a bombed out utopian planet is a pretty fun way to go.  We’ll dig into the issue in a second, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Everything that happened in this issue will soon be revealed!!

In detail!!

It will ruin EVERYTHING if you haven’t read it yet!!

Okay, back to the issue.

While Wonder Woman was on almost every page of this issue, a lovely change of pace from her recent tendency to only show up in half of her own series, this issue was really all about Orion.  We learn a bit about his backstory, see him come into his own a bit, and ultimately it humanizes a character I haven’t particularly cared for so far.

Now, an issue focusing on Orion when we regularly get so little of Wonder Woman is sort of annoying.  If you’re going to take an issue to pause and fill in a character a bit, maybe do that with your MAIN character.  There are still tons of unanswered questions about the New 52 Wonder Woman and her past that I’d have much rather delved into.  Maybe boom tube the gang to Paradise Island and Wonder Woman tells Zola about why she left, or talks more about her relationship with her mother.  I feel like that would have been a better use of our time.

That being said, it was still a decent issue, partly because New Genesis is inherently cool and interesting and partly because I like how Wonder Woman was used in helping Orion grow.

Azzarello and Chiang have given us an unusual take on New Genesis, one that seems more raw from the scars of the war with Apokalips than we’ve seen before.  The planet’s cities are destroyed and uninhabited, and instead the citizens of New Genesis live on a floating city in the sky ruled by an authoritarian Highfather.  This militaristic regime is a far cry from the more laid back take on New Genesis we had pre-New 52, but there are also seeds of how it could mellow into the world we’re used to.  Highfather may act like a dictator and be hard on Orion, but I think that there was a purpose to it, to encourage Orion to take his own path.  He seemed pleased when Orion disobeyed and returned to Earth with Zeke and the gang, and with time I can see him mellowing into the more shaman warrior commune leader of his past incarnation.

My knowledge of the original New Gods isn’t great, but I do know that Orion was actually Darkseid’s son, traded at the end of the war as part of the peace pact.  I can’t tell if the New 52 Orion is Darkseid’s son or not, but I suspect he is.  He refers to himself as Highfather’s son, but doesn’t specify whether it’s biological or adopted.  Certainly his angry face bore a strong resemblance to Darkseid, and the fact that he has these deep wells of fiery anger inside him seems to be another Apokaliptan connection.  I would guess that either Orion doesn’t yet know that he’s actually Darkseid’s son, and that this might come up down the road to throw him for a loop, or he knows but he’s not telling Wonder Woman due to her past battles with Darkseid and the hordes of Apokalips, which also might come up down the road to throw her for a loop.  Either way, it’s a cool story to pick up on later.

The design of New Genesis was great, with its futuristic sky city and lush wilderness below.  Chiang captured the spirit of Kirby’s Fourth World while updating it for a new story and a modern audience, giving it a cohesive aesthetic.  The sky city was clean and bright, while the destroyed cities were overgrown and haunting, particularly with the splash page of Orion meditating in the middle of a ruined metropolis.  Matthew Wilson’s colours complimented Chiang’s designs beautifully, and the whole book had a great visual quality, including the return to a bombed out London.

Wonder Woman didn’t have a lot to do in this issue, and the book almost fell into a familiar rut, but I think Azzarello pulled it off this time.  After being in a medically induced coma for three days, Wonder Woman broke out in a rather bad ass fashion and set about figuring out what’s what.  Her conversation with Orion could have come off as clichéd; it was all about him accepting who he is, trying to be better instead of perfect, and how she believes in him and that he’ll do the right thing.  This could have easily slipped into “I love everybody” territory like the quite lame finale to the Hades adventure, but I think it worked.  Wonder Woman may not particularly like Orion at times, but she respects him for helping her and she understands his struggles.  She better than anyone knows the difficulties inherent in being the ruler’s child.

Actually, the parallel goes further, thought it’s not acknowledged directly.  Diana was always different on Paradise Island, teased for being made of clay but in fact the daughter of a detested deity.  So too is Orion different, with his disfiguring anger issues while in fact he’s the son of their hated enemy.  Diana and Orion have more in common than they realize, and I could see the series exploring that down the road.

Ultimately, when Highfather orders Orion to take Zeke and send Wonder Woman and the gang back to Earth, Orion disobeys and returns Zeke to Zola, going with them all to fight the First Born.  This could be seen as yet another example of the man saving the day while Wonder Woman stands by, helpless, but clearly Orion’s actions sprang from his conversation with Wonder Woman.  Because of her support, Orion was able to stand up to his father, so in the end she had a definite hand in saving the day.  Wonder Woman works so much better when everyone is a team, working together and helping each other, than it does when Wonder Woman screws up and one of the guys sorts it out.

Now the big setup part: London is destroyed and the First Born is sitting on the throne at Westminster Abbey with a bunch of weird jackal men, fixing for a fight.  Oh, and Lennox is dead, but I kind of doubt that he is.  An off-panel demise seems a weak sendoff for someone who’s been a big part of the book.  If Lennox is dead, then he went out pretty well, saving the gang last week, but I have a feeling he’ll be back.  He’s got weird physiology; his head might pop back on like a Lego man or something.

So yeah, the big battle is next month!  Wonder Woman, Orion, Hera, Ares, Zola, and Zeke against the First Born and his jackal minions!  Apparently it’s going to have a crazy ending, because the solicits talk about a strange new direction for the series when it’s back in October after the Forever Evil villain month break.  Where this issue was more a quiet character study, expect the complete opposite in August.    It should be mayhem.

A Peek At Tony Daniels’ Full Wraparound Cover For Superman/Wonder Woman #1

July 17, 2013

I’m dreading this book, yet I keep talking about it.  I must be some kind of a masochist.  This post will be cheerier, though.  Or neutral at least.  I can definitely hit neutral.

Tony S. Daniel has posted the full inked original art for his wraparound cover for Superman/Wonder Woman #1.  We only saw part of it in the solicit, so now we can see who all is on Wonder Woman’s side:

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Let’s start at Zola and go clockwise in a sort of spiral.  We’ve got Zola, Hermes, Wonder Woman, Orion, Ares, what I’m guessing is the First Born, Hephaestus, then down to Apollo, Strife, Hippolyta, Lennox, and my best guess is Hera for the gal in the middle.  We can’t see the whole thing, so maybe Demeter and/or Artemis is off to the side.

So that’s about everyone we’re used to seeing in Wonder Woman, with a few minor omissions.  It’s nice to see Hippolyta again.  It would be fun if she came back to life soon.  And Strife is always a good time; if anyone needs a wider presence at DC, it’s Strife.  That gal is a hoot.

Also, it looks like Faora is on the Superman side, which is very fun.  Faora was the only decent thing about Man of Steel, and I’m hoping that she gets a bigger comic book presence soon.

Anyway, all of these folks being on a wraparound cover is no guarantee they’ll be in the book.  So far, the only ones we can be sure of are Wonder Woman, Superman, and Doomsday.  But it stands to reason that the cast of Wonder Woman will pop up in this new title and become more integrated in the wider New 52 universe.  Though if I was Charles Soule, I’d stick Superman, Wonder Woman, and their romantic shenanigans in the background and make Strife the star of the book, like a bait and switch, secret Strife spinoff!  Now that I would be excited for.

Wonder Woman #22 Preview OR Fun Times On New Genesis

July 15, 2013

The folks at IGN have a preview of Wonder Woman #22, out this Wednesday in comic shops everywhere.  When we last left our intrepid heroes, they were boom tubing their way out of London and landed in New Genesis, Orion’s home planet.  Let’s take a look at what happens next:

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First off, we’ve got Chiang for a whole issue again, which is awesome.  Doubly so considering that his take on New Genesis looks super cool.  Chiang going to town redesigning New Genesis should be a blast.

This new New Genesis is intriguing all around.  It seems more authoritarian than past versions, with a less idyllic, utopian vibe than I’m used to seeing.  Chiang is clearly channeling Soviet propaganda with the cover, and Highfather seems a mix of iron-fisted and benevolent from what we can see here.  I’m curious to get a sense of the wider world in this issue, and the role it will play moving forward.

I do quite like Highfather’s outfit.  It’s very Big Barda, which is kind of cool.  Man, I hope Big Barda is in this issue.  Every comic could use more Big Barda.

Anyway, this issue looks like it’ll be a fun one!  I’m excited to see more of what Azzarello and Chiang have cooked up for this offworld adventure.

Preview Of DC Nation’s New Wonder Woman Animated Short

July 12, 2013

This is just ridiculously cool.  During the DC Nation block of Saturday morning cartoons, Cartoon Network usually airs a short cartoon or two created by noteworthy animators.  Lauren Faust’s Super Best Friends Forever, starring Batgirl, Supergirl, and Wonder Girl, has been a hit, and there’s been lots of other neat interpretations of DC characters.  And now we get a Wonder Woman one!

Robert Valley, a comic book artist and animator recently on TRON: Uprising, has put together a Wonder Woman short that looks absolutely fantastic.  Wonder Woman’s traded her usual star spangled outfit for shorts and a t-shirt, and swapped out the invisible jet for a classy invisible car.  Here’s a preview of the 1970s styled short:

This looks like so much fun.  I can’t wait to see the rest!  The full short should air tomorrow during the DC Nation block on Cartoon Network, and probably be on the internet at some point soon.  You should check it out; it might be the only Wonder Woman we’ll see on a screen for a while.

Cover And Solicits For Wonder Woman #24 And Superman/Wonder Woman #1

July 9, 2013

It was solicits day yesterday, so we’ve all got a look at what’s coming out from DC including, for the first time in ages, two books with “Wonder Woman” in the title.  First up is Wonder Woman #24:

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WONDER WOMAN #24
Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art by GORAN SUDZUKA
Cover by CLIFF CHIANG
1:25 B&W Variant cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale OCTOBER 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
After the shocking events of issue #23, Wonder Woman’s life has changed forever…but what if she refuses to walk the path the gods—and her mentor—have laid out for her? A strange new era of WONDER WOMAN begins here!

I’m perhaps more concerned about this than I should be, but after the rollercoaster of quality we’ve seen on Wonder Woman since the relaunch, “a strange new era” gives me more of a feeling of trepidation than excitement.  It might also be because Wonder Woman is riding a creepy horse over a bunch of skulls, wearing what looks to be Ares’ cloak, as if she’s taken on the mantle of god of war.  That would just be weird.  It’s well drawn cover, but it just doesn’t feel like Wonder Woman to me.  I’m curious to see what’s going on inside the book.

And now, the book I’d been hoping was just some bad dream I had but it’s actually real, Superman/Wonder Woman #1:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #1
Written by CHARLES SOULE
Art by TONY S. DANIEL and BATT
Cover by TONY S. DANIEL
1:25 Superman Variant cover by CLIFF CHIANG
1:25 Wonder Woman Variant cover by AARON KUDER
1:100 B&W Variant cover by TONY S. DANIEL
“We Can Be Heroes” Blank variant cover available
On sale OCTOBER 9 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Beginning a bold new series that details the relationship between The Man of Steel and the Warrior Princess as rising star writer Charles Soule is joined by fan favorite artist Tony S. Daniel to tell the tale of a romance that will shake the stars themselves. These two super-beings love each other, but not everyone shares their joy. Some fear it, some test it—and some will try to kill for it. Some say love is a battlefield, but where Superman and Wonder Woman are concerned it spells Doomsday!
This issue features an amazing wraparound gatefold cover that opens up to a triptych with Superman and Wonder Woman in the center!

Yep, it’s happening.  Let’s start with a good thing: Cliff Chiang is drawing a Superman variant cover and I love when Cliff Chiang draws Superman.  He captures him so well.  So that’s a plus.

Now to what I am concerned about.  First, if this fancy triptych cover is any indication, they’re combining the wider universes of the books here.  Superman’s got Lois and Jimmy while Wonder Woman’s got Zola, Hermes, and what looks like Orion.  So all of the cool things Azzarello has built are going to be mashed into what’s been a rather subpar, sloppily handled Superman universe since the relaunch, which I’m not looking forward to.

Second, the bad guy is Doomsday.  It’s REALLY hard to make Doomsday interesting.  You just have to punch him a lot, and Superman and Wonder Woman trading flirty banter over a brawl with Doomsday is something I really don’t want to ever read.

Third, UGH this is just the worst idea.

Fourth, “love is a battlefield”?  Come on.

Anyway, rather than allaying my fears, this solicit has only exacerbated my concerns about this book.  Of course, you never know what it’s going to be like until you actually read it and I’ll withhold any judgment until then, but a solicit is supposed to get you excited for a book and this is decidedly not doing that.

Look for Wonder Woman #24 on October 16 and Superman/Wonder Woman #1 on October 9.  I’ll be reviewing both of them, Wonder Woman as always and Superman/Wonder Woman if I can handle it.  I hope it’s good, but I’m not super optimistic.

A Peek At Wonder Woman In The Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Animated Movie

July 8, 2013

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Newsarama has some images from the upcoming Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox animated movie, out July 30, and as you can see, they’ve made some interesting choices with Wonder Woman.  First, it looks like she’s eating a lemon.  And her head seems bizarrely small.  But the big change is that they’ve completely abandoned her cool, original Flashpoint costume:

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Instead, we’ve got a jacked up version of the current New 52 design, complete with the silver, red, and blue colour scheme and the shape of the bird breastplate.  Literally no element of the original Flashpoint costume has survived.  Even the sword is completely different.  The thing that’s closest to the same is that the fins on the original Flashpoint helmet have been turned into a spiky sort of crown.  It’s an odd choice for a movie that seems to generally be sticking to the other designs from the comics based on what I’ve seen so far.

Personally, I prefer the original Flashpoint comic version.  It’s fun to see Wonder Woman in a completely different outfit with all of those cool armour elements.  Tweaks on what we see all the time are far less interesting.  Also, not that Wonder Woman needs to be covered all the time or anything, but I think it’s interesting that we’ve gone from a fully clothed and covered Wonder Woman to one showing the usual amount of skin.

On the plus side, if anyone’s missing Artemis she seems to be right there on Wonder Woman’s right.  And fully armoured, unlike most of the background Amazons.  Not covering their bellies may not end well for them in battle.

Anyway, Lois looks cool at least:

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Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is out on July 30 in various formats.  I’m still excited to see it, and I think it could make for a cool movie, but the Wonder Woman design is a little bit disappointing.

Upset About The Lack Of Adam Hughes’ All Star Wonder Woman? It Seems It’s All Before Watchmen’s Fault

June 28, 2013

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Before the Earth One books, All Star was the designation for alternate takes on our favourite heroes.  We got All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder by Frank Miller and Jim Lee starting in 2005 and then shipping ridiculously late with 10 issues over the next 3 years, and then All Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely starting in 2006.  There were rumours of future All Star series, like an All Star Batgirl by Geoff Johns and J.G. Jones, but if I recall correctly the only other officially announced title was All Star Wonder Woman, written and drawn by Wonder Woman cover artist extraordinaire, Adam Hughes.

Then it never happened.  We’d get sporadic updates that it was being worked on and coming along, but now 7 years later it hasn’t seen print and the All Star line has been dead for some time.  So what killed the book?

According to Bleeding Cool, it was DC’s lack of interest in more All Star books and their undying passion to make Before Watchmen happen.  Adam Hughes’ partner Allison Sohn posted in the Bleeding Cool forums:

All-Star was not as successful a series of titles as they’d hoped, and they suggested Adam replace All-Star Wonder Woman in his exclusive contract with Before Watchmen. This was 2 or 3 years before Before Watchmen was announced. There’s so much of this stuff that goes on behind the scenes that we never talk about, and in fact often can’t talk about. In my brief experience being involved in comics, I’ve found that whatever something looks like on the surface (in comics, at least) it’s never, ever that simple.

This is yet another reason that Before Watchmen is one of the worst things to happen to comics.  Yeah, that’s a bit of hyperbole, but All Star Wonder Woman would have been such a lovely book!  DC pulled Hughes off All Star Wonder Woman ages ago in anticipation of eventually putting him on a Before Watchmen book years down the road because if there’s two things DC loves to do it’s ignoring Wonder Woman and infuriating Alan Moore.  And now with Wonder Woman: Earth One on the horizon, it seems extremely unlikely that we’ll see Adam Hughes on any kind of Wonder Woman book in the near future.

Oh well.  Even if DC did announce Hughes on a new Wonder Woman book, they’d just cancel it and put him on Before V For Vendetta or something.


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