Posts Tagged ‘Wonder Woman’

Wonder Woman #34 Review OR Robot Elephants vs. Vengeful Gods

October 1, 2014

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I liked a lot of things in this penultimate issue of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s Wonder Woman run, but I also wasn’t keen on parts of it. Luckily, the things I didn’t like were more at the beginning and everything got crazy and twisty and fun toward the end. Plus, I think the mystery surrounding a conspicuous absence that I’ve been harping about for a couple years now might be on the verge of being addressed. Before we dig into all of that, though, first I should declare:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal every cool moment in this comic book!

Go read it first! It’s Cliff Chiang’s second last issue! It’s so pretty!

Okay, so let’s start with what I didn’t like. First, I wasn’t keen on the dialogue. Azzarello is known for his stylized dialogue. He’s done a lot of clever things with the way he writes people talking, both in the construction of the language and how he transitions from scene to scene. At its best, like in 100 Bullets, it’s almost poetic, and a lot of fun to read. During his Wonder Woman run, he’s reined that in a bit, until this issue where it is on full display and not in a good way.

Several scenes read almost like a parody of Azzarello. I mean, Strife literally says that she brought Wonder Woman home to where she was raised so she could watch it get razed. That’s not good stuff. Nor was Hera’s reply to Zola when she said Hera turned the jackal people into glass: “It’s crystal. Clear?” Come on. I’m all for fun wordplay, but this is rough. Azzarello is usually much better at this sort of thing.

Also, Wonder Woman almost calls Strife a bitch again. Luckily, her mother cut her off before she could finish her sentence. The last time Wonder Woman called her a bitch I railed about it for about a thousand words, so I’ll spare you a lengthy rant here. Suffice it to say, “bitch” is not a word that Wonder Woman should ever say. It’s a gendered insult that denigrates women and she would have no part of that. Plus, Wonder Woman is clever. She can come up with a better insult.

I still hate the Manazons, but I have to admit that the robot elephants were pretty cool. But Hephaestus could have just dropped by with some sweet robot elephants and we could’ve skipped the whole Manazon thing, because it is dumb dumb dumb.

What I do like about the Manazons, and this issue in general, is that all of the people Wonder Woman has interacted with over the course of this run, showing them mercy and offering them help, have come together to fight alongside her and defeat the First Born. Orion’s been in the mix since last issue, and Milan’s now swooped in to help. Hera looked to be heading back to capricious god status, but changed her mind and helped out Zola. Even Strife helped out, if only to rob Wonder Woman of the peace that death would bring her. Wonder Woman’s amassed a weird, dysfunctional family over the past three years, and now they’re all rallying behind her.

All this talk about Wonder Woman’s family brings us to Zola, who journeyed to Olympus with Wonder Woman at the issue’s end to put Zeke on the throne and rob the First Born of a lot of his power. When she arrived, Zola collapsed in pain and her eyes went all weird:

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So here’s my theory about what’s up. For years now, I’ve been repeatedly bringing up the conspicuous lack of Athena in Wonder Woman. Pretty much every other Olympian god has been in the book, and with a substantial role, but we haven’t seen Athena at all (apart from maybe an owl that popped up a few times in Wonder Woman #0). My main theory about Zeke has long been that Zeke is actually Zeus; there’s the Z-name connection, plus his MASSIVE powers that manifest sporadically. Mythologically, Zeus birthed Athena; technically, she sprang fully formed from the head of Zeus, but you get what I’m saying. So what if Athena is returning the favour? If Zeus is Zeke, maybe Athena is Zola, disguised and perhaps memory wiped in order to hide her father and protect him from the dangers he knew were coming. Look at the eyes in the panel above. They look like owl eyes, and owls are the animal most commonly associated with Athena. She’s usually depicted with one on her shoulder. So maybe Athena’s been in the book the whole time and we, and probably she, didn’t know it. That would be pretty cool. I suppose I’d be bummed to lose Zola as a character, though. She’s a lot of fun.

Finally, the big reveal at the end of the issue was Poseidon emerging from the pool of blood in Olympus, though his intentions were vague. His pronouncements seemed ominous, but final page reveals are usually tricksy. We’ve got a number of options here. Poseidon might be working with the First Born, and thus is set to fight Wonder Woman and her pals. Poseidon might be angling for the throne of Olympus for himself, and thus working against the First Born but also against Wonder Woman and her pals. Or maybe Poseidon is just being bombastic and came to actually help Wonder Woman and her pals, though that one seems a bit unlikely. Either way, he’s poised to be an important player when we get the conclusion of this run in a few weeks times.

So the end is almost here, and I’m very curious to see how it all comes together in the last issue. Wonder Woman #34 had some bits and style choices that bugged me, but ultimately I enjoyed how everyone came together and I’m intrigued by the implications of the last couple pages. And I feel like I’m onto something with this Zola/Athena thing. We’ll find out soon enough, I suppose.

Wonder Woman #34 Preview OR The Penultimate Issue For Azzarello And Chiang

September 30, 2014

After skipping its original August release date, presumably to give Chiang time to draw all of this issue and the next, Wonder Woman #34 will hit stores this Wednesday, followed by Wonder Woman #35 later this month. This is the second last issue of Azzarello and Chiang’s three year run, and everything looks to be coming to a head. AV Club has a five page preview of the issue, so let’s take a look:

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I’m so glad that Hippolyta is back, even if it’s just in statue form. She’s not taking ANY of the First Born’s guff at all. I have the feeling that if she’d been around for this run, the whole First Born thing would have been over a lot sooner. She’s one fierce lady.

Poor Wonder Woman is still tied up in the First Born’s gross lair, hallucinating and whatnot, and Strife showing up could go either way. She’s been trying to kill Wonder Woman for a while now, but deep down I think she likes her. I hope she helps Wonder Woman, because that would be a nice moment for a character I really enjoy. Wonder Woman will figure out how to take her down and escape if she has to, though, I’m sure.

Hera being so uncool is bumming me out. It’s absolutely the right call, of course; if this story has taught us anything, it’s that gods are capricious fiends. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a redemptive, heroic moment for Hera at some point, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t get one. It would be fitting not to. It’s a dark book.

Also, with just two issues left, where is Athena?! She hasn’t shown up yet, and I’m still thinking there might be a deus ex machina with her at some point in these last couple issues. Her absence is very conspicuous.

Look for Wonder Woman #34 in stores and online tomorrow. Only two issues left before the Finches! Enjoy it while you can.

Some Fun Alternatives To DC Comics’ Terrible New Superman/Wonder Woman Shirt

September 30, 2014

Yesterday, I did a post about an awful new shirt featuring Superman and Wonder Woman. This terrible shirt is a real thing, available for purchase now:

I then mocked up a bunch of fake shirts, poking fun at DC’s penchant for sexist clothing, attempting to make each shirt more offensive than the last. Turns out, DC products are so generally ridiculous that a few people were confused as to whether my intentionally awful shirts were real or fake, which is a sad commentary on DC’s shirt line.

While making my bad shirts, I kept having ideas for fun shirts, so I mocked up a bunch of those and put them on Twitter. They went over pretty well, so I’ve collected them here.

First up was this alternative to DC’s “Training to be Batman’s wife” shirt:

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This turned out to be similar to a real shirt that DC makes, and that sits on shelves next to their horribly sexist offerings.

Next was Lois Lane’s reaction to DC’s Superman/Wonder Woman shirt:

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Then something with the Bat-ladies:

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Mera speaking her mind:

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Wonder Woman’s morning routine:

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And finally, Supergirl shaking it off:

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I really wish that last one was real. I would definitely wear that.

Anyway, call me DC! I will happily sell you my designs so you can stop putting out such offensive apparel, and for a reasonable fee, I promise. I’ll even give you the last one for free, because I want it to be real. Hit me up!

Here Are Some Of DC Comics’ New Shirt Designs, Inspired By Their Hit New Superman/Wonder Woman Shirt

September 29, 2014

Yesterday, DC Women Kicking Ass pointed out a new t-shirt design featuring Wonder Woman and Superman engaging in a romantic embrace. Here’s what it looks like:

This is a real shirt. You can buy it for $19.99.

So if it wasn’t bad enough that DC is attempting to introduce the stupid Superman/Wonder Woman romance to a wider audience, they’re doing so in this gross, bro-centric fashion. Both DC Comics and whoever they licensed to make shirts for them need to have their heads examined, because this is awful.

And, sadly, not terribly out of place. DC has licensed shirts for girls with the Superman logo and the line, “I only date heroes”, while a line of workout gear for women includes a shirt that reads, “Training to be Batman’s wife.” It seems that women can’t be superheroes themselves, but maybe they’ll be lucky and some day kiss, date, or even marry a superhero. These shirts all have terrible messages, and I’m particularly incensed about the diminishment of Wonder Woman in the kiss shirt above. By turning her into Superman’s “score” they make her only a sexual object, and negate all of her superheroism and power.

However, DC Comics seems poised to double down on their horrendous Superman/Wonder Woman shirts with some new designs that should debut shortly. These are definitely 100% real shirts and not something I whipped up this afternoon in my favourite knock off Photoshop program to make fun of DC Comics and their penchant for sexist products. I would never, ever do that. I am far too respectful.

*WINK*

First up, DC is keen to get Batman in on the action as well, so here he is putting the moves on everyone’s favourite feline fatale. Expect to see dudes wearing this at comic conventions across the country soon:

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And they can’t leave the Flash out! This new shirt design features the Flash and his lady friend, Iris West. It’s a little crass for my tastes, but DC is pretty keen on this one:

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DC also wants to reach a female audience, so they’ve made this shirt for the ladies inspired by the New 52’s characterization of Starfire. While I’m not so sure that this is the message that female fans will want to communicate, DC is very confident that they know how to appeal to women:

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Finally, DC Comics wants to honour the legacy of “women in refrigerators” by immortalizing the moment that inspired Gail Simone’s original coining of the term. I’m not 100% sure that DC is going about this the right way, but DC really thinks this shirt will strike a chord with feminists while appealing to their dudebro audience. I don’t know, DC. You may be going too far with this one:

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I hope you all enjoyed this sneak peak at these shirts that aim to continue the message of DC Comics’ hit new Superman/Wonder Woman shirt. They’re certainly in line with products that DC is currently selling in stores right now, and isn’t that just the saddest thing.

Tonner Unveils New 16′ Diana Prince Doll Collection

September 26, 2014

A year or so ago, I did a post about a 16′ Wonder Woman doll produced by Tonner. It was part of their DC Stars Collection, and had Wonder Woman in a finely detailed New 52 costume. The doll looked pretty impressive, albeit prohibitively pricey for me anyway. However, it sounds like it was a big hit with some folks with deep pockets, because now Tonner has an entire Diana Prince line that, while expensive, looks quite nice.

You can start with the Diana Prince basic doll for $119.99. It’s the standard 16′ doll, finely sculpted and all of that jazz, with a simple camisole and briefs:

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But you can build from there. You can get the New 52 Wonder Woman outfit for $99.99. Yeah, that’s a hundred bucks for a costume for a 16′ doll. You could buy several outfits for a full size human person for a hundred bucks. I mean, I assume it’s tricky to make things look nice at such a small scale, but wow that’s a lot of money for a very small amount of fabric. Anyway, this is the outfit you get:

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There’s also a Beyond the Stars pantsuit, again just the outfit, not the doll, for $99.99:

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And a fancy Modern Day Princess gown, again just the gown, for $109.99:

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There are also three more Diana Prince dolls with different outfits. These are pricier, but the doll is included. First up is a lovely evening gown doll for $179.99:

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Then a weird “Undercover” blonde doll that doesn’t look like Wonder Woman at all for $189.99:

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And finally, my favourite of the set, the Princess of Paradise Island doll for $199.99:

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That’s really quite nice. If I had a couple hundred bucks I didn’t need for, you know, general life expenses, I’d probably get that doll. It’s really impressive.

The final three dolls are available currently, while the other basic doll and its outfits should be available in the next couple weeks and you can pre-order them now. These things are investments, right? I assume they appreciate in value? I’m having trouble wrapping my head around why people pay a couple hundred bucks for a doll. I feel like a Rockefeller when I drop $20 on a DC Direct Wonder Woman action figure.

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #7 Review: “Bullets And Bracelets” By Sean E. Williams And Marguerite Sauvage

September 25, 2014

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Hot dang, you guys, this book is pretty. I haven’t been overly impressed with a lot of the art we’ve gotten thus far in Sensation Comics, but this week’s digital issue is absolutely gorgeous. Plus, it’s got Wonder Woman in a rock band, so what more could you want out of a comic? It was a fun, one and done issue that made excellent use of the series’ eschewing of continuity to present a cool new take on Wonder Woman.

Rock star Wonder Woman is something we’ve seen a lot of here and there over the past few years, though just in sketches and prints. Cliff Chiang’s done a couple of great pieces, and other artists have followed suit. It’s a big month for superhero rock stars generally; the new Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman in Edge of Spider-Verse #2 is in a rock band called The Mary Janes.

I’m glad that someone’s finally picked up on the concept’s popularity and done a story about it, though there’s not much to the band part other than beginning the show at a concert. After a couple pages, Wonder Woman’s off without her band, having her own adventures. Nonetheless, the first few pages were pretty rad.

Sean E. Williams’ has crafted a fairly simple story with some nice moments. Wonder Woman meets some fans and they have dinner together, before Wonder Woman takes down a dude who’s harassing her. I liked the way the story addressed Wonder Woman’s autonomy and self-confidence. When a heckler told her that she corrupting children with her skimpy outfit, another guy told him to back off because Wonder Woman was hot. She then informed them both that she doesn’t care about either of their opinions and that she dresses for herself, not to impress or provoke anyone. Later, the guy who called Wonder Woman hot returned and got aggressive, and when he touched her she made very clear that you should never touch a woman without her permission.

Both of the scenes were perhaps slightly on the nose, but they worked for me. I think these kinds of stories that flat out declare the rights of women and the importance of being yourself for yourself are important. While adults might not always like this more blatant approach, these are good messages to communicate directly to younger readers, and they suit the book. This is a story with fun art where Wonder Woman is in a rock band; this book is made for little girls.

The handling of the girl who can’t eat at the diner because she’s too poor was less effective for me because Wonder Woman’s solution was far too basic. Buying her a meal was a momentary solution, not any kind of meaningful, impactful change, and I think Wonder Woman would be the type of gal who went a little deeper into things. The girl’s mom worked three jobs and could barely make ends meet; buying her one dinner is not particularly helpful. I know ending a comic book with something like a rally to increase the minimum wage is hardly exciting superhero adventures, but that would be the kind of response this problems needs, not a free meal.

The book tells a small but enjoyable story, but the art is what really makes this a stand out issue. Marguerite Sauvage absolutely killed it, both with the art and the colouring. The line art itself is fantastic. Sauvage’s characters are expressive and beautifully rendered, and while this is a different take on the character with the whole rock star angle, Sauvage definitely captures the grace and power of Wonder Woman. Plus, the clothes are really cool. A lot of comic book artists aren’t great with casual clothes, but Sauvage nailed it. She tweaked Wonder Woman’s costume to give her more of a rock star vibe, but also gave her a cool jacket for walking around. And the kids looked like kids, wearing fun outfits that you’d see anywhere. It all felt very modern and fresh.  Take a peek:

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The colouring is lovely as well. The characters were all well done, but even more interesting was how Sauvage did the backgrounds. Rather than colouring each individual thing in the background, she used a blanket colour over everything and it worked really well, especially against the more detailed colour work in the foreground. She also used this background colour to communicate the mood of the scene, at times even bleeding it into the characters. When the man touched Wonder Woman in an unwanted way, Wonder Woman had more of a red tone. Sauvage used red again when the man pulled out a shotgun, capturing his anger, but when Wonder Woman bent back his fun and sent him running, the panel was coloured yellow to show his fear. It’s really beautiful work, and the whole issue was quite stunning to look at.

This was definitely one of my favourite issues of the series thus far, in large part due to the gorgeous art. If you’ve got daughters or nieces or what have you, I think this would be a great Wonder Woman story to show them. The story is a lot of fun and the art is modern and cool, plus it’s got some good messages as well. I was really pleased to see such a different take on Wonder Woman, and I hope that Sensation Comics continues to mix it up like this.

The Idiots At Fox News Say Dumb Things About Wonder Woman (And Other Things As Well)

September 22, 2014

It must have been a slow news day, because this weekend on Fox & Friends, co-anchors Tucker Carlson, Anna Kooiman, and Clayton Morris were digging deep to find something to be outraged about. As Bleeding Cool reports, the program had a segment on terrible goings-on in the entertainment industry. They started by blasting leaked footage of a new Popeye cartoon in which Popeye is not smoking a pipe, decrying the wussification of the character. Then they took issue with the new female Thor because, well, they really didn’t have a reason for that other than they don’t like girls, I guess.

And then they turned their gaze to Wonder Woman. You can watch the full segment here, if you’re a masochist, but I’ll break it all down for you after the video:

First, they got upset about Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman costume because it didn’t have the halter top and short shorts that they liked, or the patriot markings of the classic outfit. Then, somewhat bizarrely, they also took issue with the dark colour scheme and the fact that Wonder Woman has to share her movie debut with Superman and Batman, which was an odd moment for me to say the least. Hearing people on Fox News say things I actually agreed with made me re-evaluate my entire life and every decision I’ve ever made, but after that life crisis I continued on with the video and things got ridiculous again.

Clayton Morris got all upset about the way Wonder Woman is drawn in the comic books right now, but instead of showing some Cliff Chiang art from Wonder Woman or perhaps some Tony Daniel art from Superman/Wonder Woman, he trotted out Jim Lee’s re-design of Wonder Woman’s outfit from 2010. This was for the “Odyssey” storyline that’s not only four years old but is also from an entirely different universe since the New 52 reboot. She hasn’t worn pants and a leather jacket in quite some time, but that didn’t stop the folks at Fox & Friends from getting all in a tizzy about it. Here’s a sample:

Morris: They’ve taken her from the beautiful, you know the short shorts, like that you might wear rollerblading, I don’t know, and they’ve stuck her in a pantsuit. Look at this, like she’s on her way to an accountant’s office.

Kooiman: Some people would say that this is an important thing, that we’re not sexualizing these women so much, right? There she’s definitely more covered in the other one at least.

Carlson: That’s a good Islamic point, I think you’re making. We should cover them, we should cover the women because otherwise it just incites the men.

Morris: I want to see Wonder Woman in that outfit!

Carlson: It’s immodest as we say in Sharia, so you know…

Morris: Is it wrong for me to say that I want to see that, I want to see Wonder Woman in the original short shorts and the halter top.

Kooiman: Nah, I don’t think so. I think she looks great. I actually like that outfit better.

Carlson: I want to see her in a burqa, and not smoking.

Morris: If you’ve got the body, flaunt it. That’s what I always say.

Kooiman: I’m a woman, hear me roar.

There’s so much stupidity in this exchange that I don’t even want to unpack it. It just makes me too sad that there are people who actually listen to these morons. Kudos to Anna Kooiman, though, for doing her best here, and throughout the segment, to offer counterpoints and not be wholly foolish. I feel nothing but compassion for her, having to sit between those two idiots every weekend.

Anyway, that was some great work by Fox News, getting outraged about a comic story from four years ago in the most offensive and sexist ways possible. I don’t understand why these people have a network. Why do you let them talk, America? I mean, I understand free speech and all, but they’re just so goddamn dumb.


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