Posts Tagged ‘Wonder Woman’

Noelle Stevenson, Of Nimona And Lumberjanes Fame, To Draw Wonder Woman In Sensation Comics

December 12, 2014

The March issue of Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman looks like it’s going to be fantastic. Not only does it have a story by Heather Nuhfer and Ryan Benjamin, it’s also got one written by James Tynion IV with art by one of my favourite creators in all of comics, Noelle Stevenson. Here’s the solicit, via Comic Vine:

SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #8

Written by James Tynion IV and Heather Nuhfer; Art by Noelle Stevenson and Ryan Benjamin

Cover by Jae Lee

Teenage Diana comes to Man’s World, and discovers a “Wonder World” where she makes new friends. That part’s great, but her Amazon bodyguards are busy tracking her down and scaring everyone she meets! Then, “Sabotage Is in the Stars,” as Wonder Woman aids India’s space program, making it safe for them to launch their new SpaceCrops platform. But when Diana discovers LexCorp caused the problem, she takes matters into her own hands!

It looks like the Tynion/Stevenson story will be the first one, with a teenage Diana and her Amazon bodyguards. Tynion posted this sketch of all of the characters that Stevenson designed for the story, which looks so fun:

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All of the creators on this issue are wonderful, but I’ve been a huge fan of Noelle Stevenson for years. I first heard about her when she started her “Broship of the Rings” art, a series of drawings and eventually a short comic that reimagined characters from the Lord of the Rings as modern dudes. Biker chick Eowyn was probably my favourite, though hipster hobbits were a close second. Her career has since exploded from there. Her webcomic, Nimona, wrapped up recently and is being published next year, and she’s part of the amazing team behind Lumberjanes, one of the best comic books on the stands right now. She’s also got a day job at Disney and wrote a story in an upcoming Thor annual. I’m so excited for Noelle Stevenson to draw a Wonder Woman story partly because I love her art and partly because she is exactly the sort of creator that the Big Two needs right now. Stevenson is the future of comics, and while I adore her own original stuff, I hope we get a lot of superhero stories out of her too.

I feel sort of bad talking up Noelle Stevenson when everyone else on the book is super good as well. It’s going to be a great issue all around! She’s just one of my very favourite creators, so I’m super excited. You should definitely pick up the book in March, and the stories should be available digitally before then.

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #18 Review: “Dig for Fire, Part 3” by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman

December 11, 2014

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Well, that was a twist! The second part of “Dig for Fire” had us all set up for a thrilling adventure where Wonder Woman and her newly freed Amazon sisters escaped Apokalips, but it took a hard left turn when the Amazons’ true plan was revealed. Unbeknownst to Queen Hippolyta or Wonder Woman, the gals had teamed up with Lex Luthor and were planning to destroy Apokalips once and for all with a LexCorp bomb that would make the planet implode. Needless to say, Wonder Woman was not onboard.

I really enjoyed how Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman threw in this twist, and how everything played out from there. The issue started with some standard Amazon butt kicking, as they all teamed up to use the golden lasso and collapse a tunnel on top of a horde of parademons. It was exactly the sort of fare I was expecting in this final issue, and then we learned that the Amazons had gone rogue. It was a cool turn that led to a lot of great moments.

First, we got to see Wonder Woman facing off with Darkseid. Her Amazon sisters took off with the bomb after the Furies showed up, capturing Diana, and she was brought to Darkseid in chains. Then, in a great scene, she talked herself out of them. Darkseid was trying to be all cool and aloof and “Take her away,” but Wonder Woman not only convinced him that there was a bomb, but that she should be the one to stop it. It’s rare to strike a deal with Darkseid, but Wonder Woman pulled it off.

Plus, the panel of her diving into the depths of Apokalips in a heatsuit while riding atop a robot is super cool:

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This is what superhero comics are for, crazy scenes like his. I love it.

Wonder Woman stopped the bomb, of course. She’s Wonder Woman. That’s what she does. And Darkseid killed the two Amazons who brought the bomb, because that’s what he does. However, Wonder Woman was allowed to leave. He actually kept his deal with her, that’s how awesome Wonder Woman is. If anyone’s going to screw you over, it’s Darkseid, but even he wouldn’t cross Wonder Woman.

Now that we’ve got all three parts of the story, it’s cool to look back and see how Bechko and Hardman set all of the pieces up. The first issue introduced the Furies, who captured Wonder Woman in the third issue. The second issue brought in the scavengers and a mysterious package box from LexCorp, which were key parts of the finale. The writers did a great job creating issues that were enjoyable on their own, with good characters and a fun cliffhanger, while putting everything in place for it to come together at the end. I think it was a very nicely constructed story that made excellent use of the format.

Bechko and Hardman also have a great grasp of Wonder Woman. She is on task and to the point, and firm in her convictions. When her Amazon sisters tried to sell her on their plan to destroy Apokalips, she wasn’t having ANY of it. Not for a second. Even on the most evil planet in the universe, protecting innocent lives comes first. The end of the final issue also showed how Wonder Woman’s presence inspired the citizens of Apokalips; they saw someone stand up to Darkseid and leave alive. Wonder Woman didn’t give a big speech or anything like that. She just inspired them with her actions, which is how I think Wonder Woman would roll. I don’t see her as intentionally trying to inspire people, but rather just doing so inadvertently because of who she is and how she affects people.

All together, this was a great three issue run for Sensation Comics and I hope that Bechko and Hardman will get to write Wonder Woman again. They did a great job here, and the book was especially enjoyable because it came in the midst of a rough time for Wonder Woman comics in the New 52. I’d much rather see Bechko and Hardman at the helm of a Wonder Woman comic book than anyone who’s working on one now.

Don’t forget to pick up the print version of this story in Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #5, out next Wednesday.

Wonder Woman Movie Finds Writer: Jason Fuchs, Writer Of Pan And Ice Age: Continental Drift

December 5, 2014

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After making an excellent choice in hiring Michelle MacLaren to direct Wonder Woman, Warner Bros. has announced that the film will be written by Jason Fuchs. He has a pretty thin resumé, with only two big screen credits: Pan, which is out next summer, and Ice Age: Continental Drift, the fourth film in the franchise which came out in 2012. His only other credits are two television movies and a short. So he’s not exactly prolific. Nor can we get much of a sense of this style, with so few credits.

The one thing that has me concerned about his hiring is that Pan is an origin story for Peter Pan that doesn’t appear to rely much on source material. It features a young Hook, and Blackbeard for some reason, and seems to be making up a lot of new stuff rather than relying on the classic Peter Pan stories. Also, the movie looks really bad.

The significance of this is that there are rumours that Warner Bros. is changing Wonder Woman’s origins in a lot of ways for the film, doing something new instead of her usual origin. There are reports that the first film is set in the 1920s and features an Amazon civil war, neither of which are features of even her earliest origin. I’m hoping these rumours aren’t true, because it sounds like an absolutely awful idea to me. It’s bad enough that they’re using the New 52 origin where Diana is the daughter of Zeus. But if Warner Bros. is planning to reinvent Wonder Woman’s origin from whole cloth, it makes sense that they’d hire the guy who did just the same for Peter Pan. Thus I am worried.

It’d be nice to know MacLaren’s vision for the film, because she’s going to have a lot of input on the script and develop the story along with Fuchs. I’m hoping she’ll have the sense to stick closer to Wonder Woman’s traditional origins, but this also might be a case where the Snyders and the studio are dictating significant elements of the film. It’s hard to know this early in the game.

Anyway, I’m pretty ambivalent about this news. It would’ve been cool to have a woman writing the movie too; I love the idea of an all-lady made Wonder Woman. The guy they’ve hired doesn’t strike me as particularly impressive, and from what I’ve seen elsewhere across the internet, no one else seems overly enthused about it either. It’s a lot of “Who?”, basically. This movie has been a rollercoaster thus far, with the highs of hiring MacLaren, the lows of the New 52 origin, and long boring straight stretch of hiring Fuchs. I’ve got my fingers crossed for more highs than lows, but I can also imagine this rollercoaster going right off the rails.

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #17 Review: “Dig for Fire, Part 2” by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman

December 4, 2014

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After a very strong first issue last week, part two of “Dig for Fire” continued the fun times on Apokalips and added even more mystery to the story. When we last left our Amazon princess, she’d been defeated by a group of Furies and faced certain doom when she was thrown into a fire pit. She was a goner, story’s over, no point in a part two, right? Wrong! Wonder Woman was saved by a scavenger robot operated by a clever society of workers who live underground and salvage weapons and other discarded items to resell them.

The underground scavengers were happy to save Wonder Woman, but were too scared of Darkseid to help her save her Amazon sisters. One, however, was kind enough to put her in the direction of where they’d be. In the end, Wonder Woman was able to save her sisters from execution, but the issue ended with the trio being hotly pursued by the evil hordes of Apokalips.

The story was a great read from start to finish, and also added some extra elements into the mix outside of the rescue plan. The scavengers seem like they might be back next week to play a part in the finale, and while Wonder Woman was with them she saw some items marked LexCorp, which hints at an ominous connection between two of DC’s biggest bad guys. Only having part three left might not be enough time to dig into the Luthor/Apokalips connection too much, but perhaps Bechko and Hardman will return down the road for a second adventure back on Earth where Wonder Woman confronts Luthor. I’d be super down for that.

The writing continues to be strong. It’s also to the point in a way I find very enjoyable. It’s not spartan, but it’s definitely making the most of the limited story length to pack in as much as possible. It’s got big, epic moments and awesome fights without losing the smaller, conversational moments that flesh out the world and the characters. The story has been very solidly constructed thus far.

The art continues to be great, not surprisingly given that the first issue looked very nice. Hardman’s style fits Apokalips well, and he also excels at giving characters their own style and look. Superhero comics can sometimes look homogenous, with almost interchangeable faces and body shapes, but Hardman is good at depicting a whole spectrum of characters.

I also love the shading in the issue. I’m not sure if it was Hardman or colorist Jordan Boyd, but the use of halftone dots for shading instead of simply darker colours adds such a cool style to the book. Marrying this old school colouring technique with Hardman’s modern style makes for a great look. I like sleek colouring as much as the next guy, but it’s fun when people mix it up. I mean, check out this cool scavenger robot:

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It’s nice on its own, but I think the stylistic shading really elevates what is already a very solid drawing.

All together, I’m enjoying this story a lot and I’m glad that Bechko and Hardman were given three issues to really get into it. I think it’s one of the best stories we’ve seen in Sensation Comics thus far, and I can’t wait to find out how it ends next week.

Finally, as a reminder, the paper version of this story will be in comics shop everywhere on December 17. I definitely recommend checking it out!

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #16 Review: “Dig for Fire, Part 1” by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman

November 27, 2014

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Today is American Thanksgiving, though up here in Canada it’s just a normal Thursday with football on all day. Nonetheless, I am definitely thankful for one thing today: decent Wonder Woman comics. They are currently quite rare in the New 52, but every week we get a cool new Wonder Woman story from Sensation Comics. Some are better than others, of course, but thus far it’s been a consistently fun series and a pleasant respite from Wonder Woman’s dark adventures and awkward romance in the New 52.

This week’s story is such a treat that I suggest American readers enjoy it with their post-meal pie (conveniently, if the story sucked I also could have said it was a real turkey; Thanksgiving is handy for comic reviews). Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman take our favourite Amazon to Apokalips, which is template for all kinds of fun. It’s just the first of three parts, so there was a lot of setup, but it was excellent setup and I can’t wait to read the rest of the story over the next few weeks.

The plot is pretty simple: Wonder Woman goes to Apokalips to rescue a pair of missing Amazon spies, and gets into a big fight. But everything about it is so much fun. First, this is a world where Queen Hippolyta regularly sends Amazon spies to Apokalips to report on Darkseid’s evil plans. How fantastic is that? I love the idea of Hippolyta having Amazons scouts she can send to worrisome places to collect intelligence. I would definitely read a regular comic book about their adventures; it’s the coolest idea. When such a rad thing is just a jumping off point for the rest of the book, you know it’s going to be an awesome story.

So Wonder Woman goes to Apokalips, beats up a couple parademons and steals the armour from one of them so she can blend in, gets the scoop on her Amazons sisters from an untrustworthy shopkeeper, and then gets in a fight with a bunch of Furies. If that’s not the sort of comic book you want to read, then I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Wonder Woman infiltrating Apokalips is so entirely my jam.

The fight with the Furies ultimately goes south. Wonder Woman handles the first three with ease, but then a fourth shows up and shoot her with an explosive dart. You can hardly expect folks to fight fair on Apokalips. The issue ends with Wonder Woman being thrown into a fire pit, but given that there’s more issues of this storyline coming I’m going to assume she survives. Nonetheless, being thrown into the fiery depths of Apokalips is a pretty cool cliffhanger.

Bechko and Hardman have crafted a fun story, with so many great elements that Hardman illustrates well. He’s particularly good at capturing the harshness of Apokalips and its constant smoke and grime; it looks like an awful, alien, industrial wasteland, which exactly what you want out of Apokalips. My favourite bit is Wonder Woman disguised as a parademon, though. There’s something very enjoyable about a parademon with a golden lasso flying through Apokalips:

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I love it. What’s great about Sensation Comics is that creators can go to town and come up with whatever crazy stuff they’d like to see, and Bechko and Hardman are embracing this entirely.

The only part of the issue I didn’t like is the cover. The cover rarely has anything to do with what’s going on inside, though there appear to be parademons reflected in Wonder Woman’s bracelets, so I’m hoping Superman doesn’t show up later in the story. I’m always annoyed when Wonder Woman has to share a cover with that dude, and that overly polished digital art rarely does much for me. Sensation Comics isn’t on a great run in terms of the covers accurately reflecting the fun going on inside the pages of the book.

But cover aside, this is a great issue, and should make for an awesome few weeks of stories. If you’re waiting on the print version, this full story will be available December 17. I heartily recommend picking it up; I can comfortably predict that it will be the best Wonder Woman comic on the stands that month, and by a considerable margin.

DC Comics Announces Wonder Woman Mini-Series In Third Wave Of Convergence Tie-Ins

November 26, 2014

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DC Comics continues to roll out their line of 40 two-part mini-series that will tie into this spring’s Convergence event, and Wonder Woman going’s to headline her own title. Different versions of the character have been mentioned here and there on other books, but this is the first, and perhaps only, book where she’s the star. The two-part book, simply titled Wonder Woman, will be written by Larry Hama with art by Josh Middleton. Here’s a brief description:

White-jumpsuit-clad Diana Prince is in the grips of a Domesday cult when her lover Steve Trevor leaps into the fray to save Etta Candy from vampires of Red Rain.

“White jumpsuit” and “Diana Prince” usually mean we’re going back to the mod era of Wonder Woman from the late 1960s and early 1970s. This was the period when Wonder Woman gave up her superpowers, learned martial arts, and travelled the world fighting bad guys. Oddly, the main story from this era centered on Diana avenging the death of Steve Trevor, and Etta Candy was nowhere to be found during the mod years, so perhaps this book is a bit of a reimagining of this era. That, or Diana’s found a Steve and an Etta from a different universe inside this weird dome thing everyone appears to be trapped in.

Larry Hama is certainly familiar with Wonder Woman, having edited her series for a couple of years in the late 1970s. He’s better known for his work at Marvel, but he’s a writer who knows his stuff and hopefully he’ll bring something cool to the book. Josh Middleton is an artist whose work I’ve always enjoyed, though I’m much more used to seeing him on covers than interiors. It’ll be fun to see him tackle Wonder Woman for two full issues.

The Convergence event begins in April in place of DC’s usual titles as the publisher moves from New York to Los Angeles, and Wonder Woman will run in April and May.

Michelle MacLaren Is Going To Develop And Direct The Wonder Woman Movie

November 25, 2014

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In a move that appears to be universally cheered across the fan and film communities, Michelle MacLaren has signed on to direct Wonder Woman, which stars Gal Gadot and will be released in 2017. MacLaren is an accomplished television director, doing her most notable work on wildly popular series like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. She’s going to develop Wonder Woman as well, working with the currently unnamed writers as they craft the film.

I’m very excited about this. When news broke that Warner Bros. wanted a female director for Wonder Woman, MacLaren was at the top of almost everyone’s list, including mine. Her experience with Breaking Bad and Games of Thrones, as well as other programs like The X-Files and The Walking Dead, give her a great background in drama and action, and she’s been nominated for a variety of awards for her work. Plus she’s a Canadian, and that’s always a good sign.

Zack and Deborah Snyder are going to produce the movie, which is a bummer but expected. They’re all over Batman v Superman and Justice League, and are likely going to be producing most of the connected titles. Hopefully in a hands off manner; I’d really like to see MacLaren and the writers develop their own take on the character that’s not necessarily beholden to Snyder’s bleak and dour approach to superheroes. Everything we’ve heard about the plot thus far has all been rumours, and hopefully untrue ones, and it might be a while before any real, official plot points emerge, especially since MacLaren just signed on and will probably now have input on the project.

I remain concerned about Wonder Woman and the DC Comics cinematic universe generally, just because it’s been so dark thus far, but Michelle MacLaren directing Wonder Woman is a huge positive. She’s extremely talented, and I’m very curious to hear about her approach to the character. Hopefully we’ll get some interviews soon, and maybe some hints of what we can expect from the film. So yeah, well done, Warner Bros.! You finally hired somebody good! Keep it up.


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