Posts Tagged ‘Wonder Woman’

Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 Preview OR Now That Wonder Woman Issue Makes A Little More Sense

September 17, 2014

Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 is on sale today, along with Wonder Woman: Futures End #1, and Comic Book Resources has a peek at the book. The preview sheds a lot of light on the mysterious Wonder Woman preview I posted on Monday, but none of it yet sounds particularly interesting. Let’s take a look:

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So all of that craziness in the Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 preview was just a weird dream that Wonder Woman was having. That seems like a waste of an issue, though I haven’t read it yet. Perhaps there’s more to it.

It sounds like Wonder Woman and Superman’s relationship went south at some point between now and five years in the future, which is the one thing I like about this “Futures End” thing so far. However, Superman’s still got some feelings for Wonder Woman, so perhaps their love will be rekindled as they escape Tartarus together. We can only hope.

This issue was originally solicited to have art by Tom Raney, but instead Bart Sears has taken over the interiors and Raney has only drawn the cover. From what I’m seeing here, neither look particularly great, which is a shame. For all of its faults, Superman/Wonder Woman‘s usually had decent art. It seems silly of DC to throw a big event and then have lower tier artists draw most of it. That’s got to hurt the brand on some level.

Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 is available in comic shops and online today! I’ll be back on Friday with a combination review of both issues, seeing as they tie together (tomorrow will be the usual Sensation Comics review. Why Sensation Comics first? Because I like it better).

Wonder Woman’s December 2014 Comic Covers And Solicits

September 16, 2014

DC Comics’ full December solicits came out yesterday, so it’s time to check in on what we’ll be seeing from Wonder Woman as we count down the days until Santa comes to bring us more Wonder Woman goodies. Also, for Jewish readers, Hanukkah is very well timed this year and you can get the new issue of Wonder Woman on the second night. Speaking of which, let’s start there.

Here’s what is coming up in Wonder Woman #37:

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WONDER WOMAN #37
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and RICHARD FRIEND
Variant cover by DARWYN COOKE
1:50 B&W Variant cover by DAVID FINCH and RICHARD FRIEND
1:100 Variant cover by DAVID FINCH
On sale DECEMBER 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Superman arrives on Paradise Island to support Wonder Woman in her darkest hour, but their bond may be breaking apart! No time for Diana to think, though, as a mythological force seemingly tied to Wonder Woman’s role as War attacks the Amazons!

I’m usually a very nice person, but I’ll admit that when I read “Superman arrives on Paradise Island to support Wonder Woman,” I definitely flipped double birds at my computer screen. Wonder Woman has been a refuge from their dull and ridiculous relationship during Azzarello and Chiang’s tenure on the book, but now with the Finches in charge it’s only taken two issues to get Superman not only into the book but on Paradise Island. I am not pleased about this.

Apart from that, we don’t have a lot of information here concerning this issue. Something is going to attack the Amazons, and based on the cover it’s presumably a flock of Clash of the Titans looking birds, but other than that we’re in the dark. Maybe those birds will cart off Superman and Wonder Woman can have her book back.

On to Superman/Wonder Woman #14:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #14
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art and cover by DOUG MAHNKE
Variant cover by DARWYN COOKE
On sale DECEMBER 10 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
It’s no surprise that after recent events, Superman and Wonder Woman are cautious about the appearance of the new hero who calls himself Wonderstar. But this mysterious hero seems to be asking for nothing more than their guidance in dealing with his strange, erratic powers – and for their help in protecting his loved ones and his secret identity! The only problem is that his past is a blank slate. He doesn’t know who he is, where he comes from – or why is feels a strange connection to the Man of Steel and the Amazon Warrior!

What kind of world are we living in where I am more interested in the new issue of Superman/Wonder Woman than the new Wonder Woman? This actually sounds sort of good. I’m really digging Mahnke’s art; the covers we’ve seen thus far seem like a cool break from his usual style, and I’m very curious to see how that plays out inside the book. And we’ve got a mystery! So Wonder Woman and Superman can actually go investigate together instead of blathering on about their relationship. I mean, obviously Lois and Superman would be the better team up for solving a mystery, but that’s not going to happen. Regardless, I’m intrigued by this new creative team. It’s going to be hard to overcome the lameness of this relationship, but everything I’ve seen so far has me more interested in the book than I’ve ever been.

And finally, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #5:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #5
Written by CORINNA BECHKO and GABRIEL HARDMAN
Art by GABRIEL HARDMAN
Cover by LAWRENCE REYNOLDS
On sale DECEMBER 17 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Wonder Woman has accepted a covert mission from Queen Hippolyta: infiltrate Apokolips, find a group of Amazons imprisoned there by Darkseid, and bring them home alive. But a battle with the Female Furies almost proves fatal and throws Diana’s plans into chaos!

This cover looks like a Superman/Wonder Woman back up cover that DC had kicking around and decided to stick on Sensation Comics. I’m not saying that’s what happened, but that’s what it looks like. It’s all very New 52, and Superman is on it despite not being mentioned in the solicit.

However, I enjoy Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, and Wonder Woman vs. the Female Furies on Apokolips is definitely a story I am interested in reading. And seeing as we’ve only got one creative team listed here, it looks like it will be a big tale, spanning three digital issues. I’m optimistic that Bechko and Hardman will make it suitably epic. You can’t go wrong with the evil hordes of Darkseid.

Look for all three books this December, and don’t forget that Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman both have pretty swell Darwyn Cooke variant covers that you might want to pre-order so you don’t miss out.

Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 Preview OR I Have No Idea What’s Happening Here

September 15, 2014

DC’s “Futures End” event is entering its third week, and I haven’t got a clue what’s going on because I don’t particularly care about a hypothetical future that’s not going to happen and that looks, quite frankly, generally bad. But this week we’re getting a double shot of Wonder Woman with both Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman coming out in a sort of two-parter written by Charles Soule, and I always read the Wonder Woman books.

We’ve got a preview of Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 from Man Cave Daily; I feel like I’ve complained about putting a Wonder Woman preview on a website called Man Cave Daily before, so I’ll spare you all the redundant tirade. Anyway, here’s a six page look at the book, available this Wednesday with a fancy motion cover:

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First things first, this is inarguably the most boring Wonder Woman costume of all time. It’s jeans and a tank top, drawn as dully and uninterestingly as possible. Moreover, the art seems out of sync with how we know Wonder Woman works. For example, when Wonder Woman manifests her swords we should get a cool, blue Kirby krackle, not flames. The art here is generally uninspiring.

Also, I don’t know what is happening here. I have no idea where or what Koronoor is, I don’t know why Wonder Woman is dressed so badly, I don’t know why she’s fighting alongside a Viking and a World War Two soldier, and I don’t know what those black monsters are. Based on the solicits, I assume the monsters work for Nemesis, the big bad of Wonder Woman’s Futures End arc, but other than that I am all sorts of lost. This may be my own fault, seeing as I’m not keeping up with any of the other books or the weekly series. But as a casual reader of this event, I’m very confused.

What’s worse, I’m not particularly interested in reading the rest of the issue. Six pages is a lot of space to grab a reader, and I am entirely ungrabbed. The art is bland, the writing is not at all helping me understand what is happening and why, and given that this is a story that will never actually happen in real continuity, everything about it is screaming “You don’t need to care about this!” I’ll get it anyway, of course. I’m a Wonder Woman enthusiast, occasionally to my own detriment. But this preview has had the opposite effect on me that a preview should ideally have.

Hopefully the rest of the book picks up from here and things start making sense soon. Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 is also out this week to shed further light on these mysterious circumstances. We don’t have a preview for that yet, but maybe that’ll come tomorrow. Both comics are available on Wednesday, as is the print version of Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #2, so at least I’ve got one Wonder Woman book to look forward to.

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #5 Review: “Taketh Away, Part One” By Ivan Cohen And Marcus To

September 11, 2014

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It’s tricky to review half of a story, especially when that first part amounts to only ten full pages of comic book material. It’s not a lot to go on, plus the more exciting bits of a comic tend to come toward the end of a story and you get to see how bits of the first part pay off. So let’s call this a tentative review, because a lot could change once part two comes out next week.

That being said, I definitely have some thoughts about this week’s digital issue of Sensation Comics regardless of how it ends later. On pretty much every level, it didn’t do much for me. I didn’t dislike it, but it was a decidedly average outing from a book that’s had a very strong beginning.

Let’s start with what I did like, which was the overall premise of the issue. Because Wonder Woman is an accepting and open-minded person, she states in a television interview that while she believes in the Greek gods, she’s not here to proselytize on their behalf. The gods, quick to anger as always, feel like Wonder Woman has denounced them and thus take away her powers. That’s a solid premise, and I’m curious to see how it plays out in the story’s finale.

However, the execution of this premise was fairly mundane. Ivan Cohen’s done a lot of great kids books for DC Comics, so maybe I was expecting more humour and fun from the story, but the writing was a little bit flat. Wonder Woman’s interview seemed unnecessarily long, with odd turns and no real pep, despite a bit of a cliffhanger that I assume will come up in some capacity next week. Wonder Woman’s interaction with an armed hostage taker was similarly uneventful. Cohen makes the gunman sexist, but in a very obvious way, and the scene’s attempt at a joke was mildly amusing at best. The dialogue throughout was okay, but there was no snap; there was no fire to Wonder Woman’s outrage, no cleverness from anyone, no real fun to any of it.

Wonder Woman’s loss of powers was also very telegraphed. She doesn’t realize that it’s happened until the last page, but earlier in the story when she wonders if there will be any repercussions from the gods for her statement, it’s clear that there will be. When she gets confused about where she’s going to stop a shooting and then fails to deflect a bullet, it’s obvious what is happening, though confirmation doesn’t come until the last page when Wonder Woman figures out what any reader could have put together pages before.

Marcus To’s art didn’t add a lot to the story, either. I’m a fan of To, but his work here matched Cohen’s writing in its middle of the roadness. Part of the reason the dialogue read so flat was because the characters didn’t have a lot of expression. The art felt very static and posed, lacking a sense of action and dynamism. Even when Wonder Woman fought some drakons at the end of the issue in a scene that felt needlessly tacked on to add a fight to the book, it was a fairly lifeless battle that was not helped by a white light that increasingly washed out the panels. The overwhelming light is on the colorist, but the rote art that accompanied it is on To.

The art also failed at a key moment in the issue’s cliffhanger ending. Wonder Woman realizes that the gods have forsaken her by looking in a mirror and seeing that her beauty, one of her gifts from the gods, is gone. The trouble is, in that panel she looks pretty much exactly like she did throughout the rest of the book. The only difference is a slight indication of bags under her eyes. She doesn’t look ugly, or even just average. She looks like a somewhat tired version of herself. It’s a pivotal moment in the story that the art doesn’t sell, at all.

Now, this isn’t a bad comic book at all. It’s okay albeit unexciting, and it’s failings are hardly catastrophic. It is, however, firmly average. Nothing’s terrible, but nothing is great or stands out as a really strong bit of writing or art. I’m hoping that next week’s finale will remedy this, and offer a good conclusion to a fun premise that just lacked a solid execution. Ideally, some of the things that read as mundane or dull in this first part will pay off in clever ways in part two, and my opinion of the story as a whole will shift firmly to the positive. I’ll be back next week to talk all about it, with the highest of hopes.

Check Out Darwyn Cooke’s Four Wonder Woman-Centric Variant Covers Coming This December

September 10, 2014

Continuing their now regular variant cover themes for each month, DC has announced that their December variant theme will be widescreen Darwyn Cooke art. Cooke is the acclaimed multi-award winning artist of DC: The New Frontier and more recently his Parker adaptations, and his superhero art is often a gorgeous Silver Age homage combined with his own tweaks to the characters.

Of the 23 covers Cooke is drawing, 4 feature part of the Wonder Woman mythos in some capacity, mainly Wonder Woman herself but also another fun gal. So let’s take a look at what we’ll be searching frantically for in December because they’ve all sold out instantaneously. I’ve gotten the covers from Comics Alliance, who in turn got the covers from the variety of sites where DC debuted them.

First up, here’s Cooke’s cover for Wonder Woman #37:

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The covers will fold out, thus their odd shape as compared to normal cover size. I like this cover a lot; I’m always up for cool changes to Wonder Woman’s costume so long as she still looks like Wonder Woman, and she most definitely does here. And what’s more fun than Wonder Woman fighting a bunch of minotaurs? I don’t love the lasso, though. The hard black line and the lack of glow and detail is leaving me a bit cold. But that’s just being nitpicky.

Next up is Superman/Wonder Woman #14:

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The variant covers for this series have sold me more on this relationship than the contents of the book ever have. Last month’s selfie variant was just adorable, and this is a lovely, cozy depiction with more warmth and charm than DC has yet been able to muster out of these two in the comics. Using Superman’s cape as an intergalactic picnic blanket is an especially nice touch. Wonder Woman’s bracelets are the wrong colour but again, nitpicky.

Wonder Woman is also part of the cover for Justice League #37:

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It’s a nice group portrait, and it’s good to see Wonder Woman in a prominent position. And smiling; a lot of the guys are trying to look like tough dudes. As a Justice League portrait, it would’ve been nice to see Zatanna or another female character to add more ladies to the mix, seeing as 8 of the 10 characters are male. But yet again, a nitpick.

Finally, Wonder Girl shows up in Cooke’s Teen Titans #5 variant:

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Remember when the Teen Titans were fun and not angsty and dark all the time? I miss those days. As does Darwyn Cooke, apparently. Wonder Girl, also missed in the current New 52 universe, is front and center on the cover, rocking out with the rest of the team. Plus the bracelets are the right colour and everything! No nitpicks here.

All of these covers will be available throughout the month of December. If you want to pick them up, I’d recommend talking to your local comic shop now about getting them set aside for you, because I wouldn’t be surprised if the demand was through the roof.

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #4 Review: “Brace Yourself” By Jason Bischoff And David Williams

September 5, 2014

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I’m a day late with this review because I was on road the all day yesterday, but this week’s digital issue of Sensation Comics was definitely worth the wait. The story is a one-shot by Jason Bischoff and David Williams, two creators I’m not particularly familiar with but whose work I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for in the future based on the strength of this issue. This was my favourite issue of the nascent series thus far.

The story begins on Themyscira, with a young Diana undergoing an Amazon ritual. The tale is a fun twist on the usual Amazon origin, where the Amazons wear bracelets as a reminder of their captivity after Hercules’ attack and of the cruelty of men in general. In “Brace Yourself,” an Amazon gets one bracelet just for being an Amazon, but has to earn the other bracelet by defeating the Amazon’s greatest warrior: Queen Hippolyta.

Young Diana sets out to defeat her mother and earn her second bracelet straight away, and the montage of the girl’s attempts is both hilarious and adorable. Diana hiding under the bed, helmet on, lying in wait to sneak attack Hippolyta with her wooden sword is very cute, but snorkelling Diana is probably my favourite of her failed attempts.

Bischoff is clever in his finale to Diana’s quest, tying it into the classic competition of the Amazons battling to get to be the champion who returns Steve Trevor to America. In most tellings of this story, Diana beats her fellow Amazons and wins the tournament. Here, after defeating her sisters handily, Diana has to then defeat her mother in one on one combat.

What I most loved about this story is the way it blended two aspects of Amazon culture that a lot of writers have trouble marrying together: the competitive, warrior aspect and the loving, familial aspect. With Hippolyta especially, many writers have trouble reconciling the two; Hippolyta is often an aloof, regal figure, concerned with ruling and battle, or she’s a friendly, peace-loving, nurturing character. She’s rarely both.

“Brace Yourself” is one of the best stories I’ve ever read in terms of capturing Hippolyta as a mother AND an Amazon. Her interactions with the young Diana are nurturing and patient, but she never lets Diana win. When it comes to their final battle, Hippolyta remains as unrelenting as ever, giving her all to defeat her daughter in combat. Diana, too, battles fiercely, fighting as hard as she can to force her mother to yield.

Hippolyta’s reaction when she loses is just sheer perfection. A shadowed Diana stands over her fallen mother in a pose that usually brings to mind a harsh, painful defeat. But instead, Hippolyta smiles broadly and leaps up to embrace her daughter, caring not at all that she was beaten and overjoyed for Diana’s achievement. “Brace Yourself” is a good Diana story, but it’s a great Hippolyta story.

Jason Bischoff’s writing is strong throughout. It’s paced well, is both funny and touching, and Hippolyta’s narrative propels the story along without overwhelming it. He also walks the fine line of giving the Amazons a more formal brand of dialogue without leaning too far into the archaic style; it’s very easy to go too formal and have the dialogue feel sort of caricature-like and off-putting, but Bischoff has a solid handle on it.

While David Williams art is occasionally hit and miss technically, he absolutely nails the emotion of every scene he draws. His characters are expressive, both facially and physically, and he sells both the humour and the touching finale with aplomb. Unlike last week’s issue, which I thought looked better on screen than it did on paper, I think this story will look better on the page where it will be smaller and we won’t be so zoomed in on each panel. Sometimes pulling back a little lets the art shine more.

Overall, while the series is still young, this has been my favourite issue of Sensation Comics so far. I loved the clever tweaks to the Amazon mythos, and more importantly I loved how these changes let us see new sides of Diana and especially Hippolyta. The issue was well executed on every level, and I think it will be a hit both with hardcore Wonder Woman fans who already love the characters and with new readers who experiencing a Wonder Woman origin story for the first time.

Some Wonder Woman Comic Book Teases From Brian Azzarello At Fan Expo

September 2, 2014

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Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s three year run on Wonder Woman is coming to a close this October, with two full issues of Wonder Woman remaining (Wonder Woman #34 got pushed back from its usual spot in August to the first week of October) and her origin story in Secret Origins #6. That’s a lot of pages left for surprises and revelations, and during the “Champions of Justice” panel at Fan Expo in Toronto this past weekend, Brian Azzarello promised some of both.

Bleeding Cool and Comic Book Resources had full reports on the panel, where Azzarello reflected on the upcoming end of his Wonder Woman tenure. He said that they’re ending the book where they’d always planned to end it, and that, “We told the story we wanted to tell, and we maintained the character throughout.” The only plan Azzarello had that he didn’t get to explore was a romance for Wonder Woman with someone other than Superman, but once the Wonder Woman/Superman relationship began elsewhere in the New 52 universe his plan was off the table.

Wonder Woman has ended each “season” of this run with a big, crazy finale before the September event book break, and it sounds like the grand finale is going to be more of the same. Here’s what we can expect in the last few issues:

  • “There’s a revelation that’s never been touched on in her origin in the next issue.”
  • “A real big reveal in 34.”
  • “Then Secret Origin has a huge reveal.”

Not surprisingly, Azzarello was tight lipped about what any of those reveals might be. If you’re at all familiar with Wonder Woman‘s solicits and Azzarello’s interviews generally, the man doesn’t like to give anything away. However, he did unveil a pretty obvious scoop, stating:

“Come on, you guys know how this works. She’s not going to die. I mean, some characters will die in the finale, but she won’t be one of them.”

Azzarello also had some words of wisdom for Meredith and David Finch, who are taking over Wonder Woman in November. He said:

“You have to treat Wonder Woman different than you treat Superman or Batman or any other characters. Wonder Woman fans are really passionate about that character. You can mess up some of the other characters a bit more but that character deserves your respect. She represents things to people that have nothing to do with the comic book at all.”

Which is solid advice. I’m hoping that Azzarello learned from that himself and that some of the more unpleasant things he’s added to the Amazon’s history will be undone in these last couple of issues. I’m not holding my breath, though.

David Finch was at the panel as well, and he said that the book has been a challenge for him, both in larger ways, like creating a story that’s respectful to the character, and in smaller ways, like getting Wonder Woman’s hair right. Preview pages for the Finch’s first issue show the Justice League and Swamp Thing, but Finch said that Swamp Thing is only in the first issue and that the Justice League have only a minor role in the series. I remain very skeptical about this creative team, but I will say this: David Finch has definitely gotten better at talking about the book after his disastrous first few interviews.

So it sounds like we’re set for some big reveals and lots of excitement this October. Azzarello’s reveals haven’t sat well with a lot of Wonder Woman fans in the past, myself included, so I’m a little wary of more, and bigger, reveals, but hopefully he pulls it all together well. While I’ve had my qualms with his run, there’s been a lot of good too and I’m absolutely cheering for Azzarello to stick a great ending. Either way, we know it will be gorgeous with Cliff Chiang drawing it, and three Cliff Chiang stories in one month is just an embarrassment of riches.


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