Posts Tagged ‘Wonder Woman’

Aaron Kuder And Cliff Chiang Variant Covers For Superman/Wonder Woman #1

September 17, 2013

Last week, Comic Vine posted an exclusive look at two variant covers for the upcoming Superman/ Wonder Woman #1, which I had totally forgot about until today so we’re going to look at them now.  We’ve seen the Tony Daniel cover several times already, but here are some alternatives for you to track down if you are so inclined.

First up is this Paradise Island themed cover by Aaron Kuder:

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I think the layout of this is very striking, with the shattered vase and Superman posed like a statue behind Wonder Woman.  It well captures the sadness Diana must associate with her home since her family was wiped out.

If you want something a little cheerier, Cliff Chiang has the duo flying through Metropolis:

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It’s very retro, and feels like an old movie poster.  It almost reminds me of posters I’ve seen for Metropolis, the 1927 film, which would be rather fitting.

So we’ve got two very nice variant covers for the series no one demanded and no one seems particularly enthused about.  I will say this though: I think the art will be good.  Tony Daniel has been growing as an artist over the past several years, evolving from a solid Jim Lee impression to having more of his own style and vibe.  I was genuinely excited for his run on Action Comics with Andy Diggle until that blew up spectacularly, and I think he could be a good fit for Superman/Wonder Woman.  So maybe it’ll be okay to look at least.  We’ll soon find out, because the book is out October 9, just three weeks from tomorrow.

Wonder Woman #23.1 The Cheetah Preview

September 13, 2013

The Mary Sue has put up a five page preview of the first of two Wonder Woman Villain Month titles, the awkwardly titled Wonder Woman #23.1 The Cheetah.  First off, I like when The Mary Sue gets previews; it’s smart of DC to reach out to the female fanbase.  I’m still annoyed about the time Maxim had a Wonder Woman preview, so this is nice to see.  Second, let’s look at the preview:

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Instead of the usual team of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, we’ve got John Ostrander and Victor Ibanez.  I’m curious to see how that goes because not a lot of people have had a chance to write Wonder Woman in the New 52 universe.  It’s been primarily Azzarello and Geoff Johns on Justice League, so it’ll be interesting to see someone else tackle her.

While the majority of the pages we have here are set in the present, I’m guessing that ultimately the book will be more flashback heavy and flesh out Barbara Minerva’s relationship with Wonder Woman and her transformation into the Cheetah.  We saw hints of that in the short Cheetah story back in Justice League #13 and #14, but there’s room to explore there.  Hopefully there’s more to the feud than Wonder Woman laughing at Barbara’s poor grasp of Amazon culture, though that would be a hilarious reason for turning into a super villain.  Also, Wonder Woman’s in no place to criticize people’s knowledge of Amazons ways; she didn’t even know they were rapists and murderers.

Look for Wonder Woman #23.1 The Cheetah this Wednesday in comic shops everywhere, or digitally if that’s your scene.

Smallville Season 11 #17 Review OR This Book Is Such A Blast

September 12, 2013

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I’m amused by the degree to which I am enjoying a comic book based on a hypothetical eleventh season of an often not so good CW show.  Smallville the show had a lot more misses than hits, and I had absolutely no interest in the comic until Wonder Woman showed up, and now I absolutely love it.  It’s the book I’m looking forward to most each month, I got my local library to order the first collection of the series for me, and I’m leaning towards continuing to pick it up even after the Wonder Woman run ends.  It’s been a very pleasant surprise.

The second issue in the “Olympus” arc (or fourth through sixth if you’re reading digitally) fills in a lot of the backstory that was only hinted at in the first issue, not only for Diana but for the rest of the cast as well.  We learn that the head of the DEO, Director Bones, who you may know from his DC universe incarnation in the current run of Batwoman, was part of a team during World War Two called Shadowpact that included Zatara and our villain, Felix Faust.  They gained unnaturally long life from one of their adventures, and Faust has since found a dark master and is powerful enough to intimidate even Director Bones.  This is bad news for Diana, since she turned herself into the DEO to find her mother, and Bones will likely turn her over to Faust.

The revelations concerning Hippolyta are a big change from the classic Wonder Woman story, but are interesting.  Last issue, the new twist was that Steve Trevor landed on Paradise Island as a young boy and befriended a young Diana.  This issue, we learn that not only did Hippolyta return Steve to America, she hasn’t returned to Paradise Island since.  Diana leaves Paradise Island to find both of them, and learns that Hippolyta stayed there to take care of the orphaned Steve.  However, he doesn’t know where she is either.  It turns out Faust has her locked away, and while no one knows this yet, I can’t imagine it’s going to end well for Faust once Diana finds out.

Big changes to the mythos aside, Bryan Q. Miller’s Smallville universe Diana really captures the essence of the character.  She volunteer’s at a shelter for displaced women (the amusingly named “Marston Home for Wayward Girls”), points out the inherent gender imbalance in American society, and, when necessary, takes down people who threaten her and her friends with great aplomb.

One scene perfectly captured Diana for me: When Director Bones threatens to open fire on Steve and Diana, Diana assures Steve that she won’t let them hurt him.  The two had just had an argument, and Steve quizzically responds “Thought you were mad”, to which Diana replies “That does not mean I do not care.”  Protecting people is always a top priority, as is loyalty to her friends, no matter the circumstances.  That line captures how Diana feels about the world a million times better than her “I love everyone” to Hades did back in Wonder Woman #10.

I also like that for a book starring Superman there was a lot of Diana.  Superman swooped in to grab the soldiers out of a tank Diana destroys, and catches a bullet just before it hits Steve, while Clark visits Diana and does some research on Faust, but Diana is in a sizeable portion of the book.  Lois gets some great moments as well, including the president being so scared of her journalistic prowess that he literally runs away from her.  Smallville Season 11 is a fantastic showcase for Lois Lane, and reminds us exactly what the New 52 is missing by having her largely sidelined.

My only complaint about the issue, and it’s a very minor one at that, is that we don’t spend a lot of time with young Diana on Paradise Island.  I loved those flashback sequences in the first issue, and we only got one here.  Hopefully there’s more in the future, but if there’s not, the present is still ridiculously entertaining too.

Reading these digital first stories all together in print is a fun and different experience than a regular comic.  They’re longer, for one, which is nice, but they’re also structured to originally work as three separate weekly stories.  Thus, a lot happens in each issue because it’s essentially three mini-issues in one, each of them building to a fun climax or reveal and trying to pack as much as they reasonably can into each shorter installment.  It’s not just the increased page count that makes the digital first print books a meatier read than a regular comic, but the format itself results in more compact yet eventful storytelling.  If you’re going to pay four bucks for a comic book, a digital first title is going to get you far more bang for your buck.

Ultimately, it was another great issue of what is quickly becoming my new favourite series.  The depiction of Diana is great, Superman/Clark and Lois are a lot of fun, the bad guys are evil and the stakes are high, and Diana flips over a tank in the middle of a city street.  Plus the writing is sharp and the art is fantastic.  I don’t know what else you could possibly want in a comic book.

Cover And Solicits For Wonder Woman #26 And Superman/Wonder Woman #3

September 10, 2013

DC Comics released their December 2013 solicits yesterday, breaking the big news that Geoff Johns is leaving Aquaman as well as a few other creative shuffles.  The Wonder Woman titles stayed about the same, though, so let’s take a look at what we’ll be reading in December, starting with a fantastic Cliff Chiang cover for Wonder Woman #26:

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WONDER WOMAN #26
Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art by GORAN SUDZUKA
Cover by CLIFF CHIANG
1:25 B&W Variant cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale DECEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Wonder Woman’s brother and sister are being held hostage by none other than Cassandra, the sadistic sibling she hasn’t even met yet! And speaking of hostages, we’re taking bets on how long chains can hold the First Born!

Oh, wait, what? The First Born might escape?  Even after Wonder Woman killed Ares and became the God of War to save the universe from his evil machinations?  A shocking development to be sure.  Seriously, though, she should have killed the First Born.

Anyway, my issues with the end of Wonder Woman #23 aside, good lord that is an amazing cover.  Cliff Chiang’s art skills are just ridiculous.  However, Goran Sudzuka is on interiors again for the third issue in a row, and I’m starting to wonder if this is a permanent change or if Chiang will be back in the new year?  I’m glad to have Sudzuka consistently on the title as opposed to the mishmash of artists we had earlier this year, but my first choice is always Chiang.

And now to Superman/Wonder Woman #3:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #3
Written by CHARLES SOULE
Art and cover by TONY S. DANIEL and BATT
1:25 Variant cover by GUILLEM MARCH
1:100 B&W Variant cover by TONY S. DANIEL and BATT
On sale DECEMBER 11 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Zod unleashed! Can Superman and Wonder Woman stop this madman before he gains full power under the Earth’s yellow sun? Guest-starring the JLA, and featuring a shocking conclusion that could mean the end of Superman and Wonder Woman together!

First Doomsday, now Zod.  They’re certainly bringing the heavy hitting villains to this book.  As much as I’m not looking forward to Superman/Wonder Woman, that Zod is appearing gives me hope that Faora might be in it, and I LOVE Faora.  If this issue features some sort of Faora/Wonder Woman fight, I’ll take back several of the bad things I’ve said about the series.  Not all of them, but a bunch for sure.

I’m assuming that break up talk is just a bunch of baloney to insert some conflict into the story and their relationship will stay intact, so I’m not even going to get excited about “the end of Superman and Wonder Woman.”

Look for Wonder Woman #26 on December 18 and Superman/Wonder Woman #3 on December 11.  Buy them for yourself, and maybe grab a few as holiday gifts!  They’d make great stocking stuffers.

Let’s All Cheer Up With A Preview of Smallville Season 11 #17

September 6, 2013

If you’re a fan of good, beautifully illustrated comics, you can’t be having the best day.  Yesterday, J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman announced that they’ll soon be leaving Batwoman due to some rather epic editorial interference, ending one of the few consistently enjoyable and interesting runs of the New 52 era.  I was going to do a post about that today, maybe start with a joke about how DC put absolutely no effort into garnering publicity for Kate and Maggie’s engagement but now damn near every major entertainment outlet is covering THIS story; you know, the usual snark that comes from being perpetually disappointed by the people who own your favourite characters.

But then I saw that Comicosity has a preview of Smallville Season 11 #17, and good lord do I love that book.  So instead, let’s accentuate the positive and take a peek at one of the most enjoyable comic stories of the year, brought to us by Bryan Q. Miller and Jorge Jimenez:

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What’s more fun than young Diana kicking that annoying Artemis in the stomach and jumping off a cliff in her homemade glider?  That’s just comics gold.  I love everything Miller and Jimenez are doing with this new, Smallville version of Wonder Woman.  And now it looks like she’s running a home for wayward girls, which is just fantastic.  If you didn’t read the first issue or follow along digitally, you are seriously missing out on some great comics.  So far, this is the best Wonder Woman story I’ve read in years, by leaps and bounds.

Look for Smallville Season 11 #17 in comic shops this Wednesday, or all of the digital issues are available right now as Smallville Season 11 #60-62.

Wonder Woman Has A New Look In Justice League: War Animated Movie

September 2, 2013

The animated version of the New 52 universe made its debut at the end of Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox this summer, and now DC is adapting Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s first Justice League arc from the New 52 era as Justice League: War.  Despite the many costumes changes brought by the New 52, Justice League: War looks to be mixing things up even further, including a new costume for Wonder Woman, voiced by Michelle Monaghan:

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Here’s another shot that I saw on Tumblr that looks like an official design, but I’m not 100% sure:

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She’s got sleeves, though not all the way up to her shoulders, and the top of her torso is covered.  This is rare; the Flashpoint movie replaced Wonder Woman’s full-bodied armour with a much more revealing outfit, and now they’re moving in the other direction.  Now that I think about it, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox basically copied her New 52 costume, so maybe that’s why we’ve got an adapted outfit now.

For comparison with the comics, here’s how the scene with Steve Trevor first looked in Justice League #3:

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Obviously, the movie version is covering a lot more skin, and we’ve lost that weird tiara that Jim Lee tried to make happen, to no avail.  Cliff Chiang drew the classic tiara from the get-go in the New 52 Wonder Woman series, and Jim Lee’s jacked up headband fell by the wayside as soon as he left the book.  I’m also glad to see the armband and choker are gone.  I don’t much care for them.  And Wonder Woman in a ponytail is not only a cool look, but sensible as well.

The only thing I don’t like about the new costume is its lack of detailing.  I quite like the lines and stars in the torso of the New 52 outfit, though more so when Chiang draws it; Lee makes it a little too busy.  I think it’s a cool look, especially with the simplification of the top of the bustier to a smaller, less obtrusive design from the past ornate eagles or stylized WWs.  In this new movie design, the breast design is even simpler, with just a plain sea of red underneath it.  I think I little bit of detailing there could have gone a long way.

Overall, it’s a cool new look for Wonder Woman, and I’m excited to see her in action in Justice League: War.  The Flashpoint movie, while weirdly dark and gory, felt like a big step up for the animated line in various ways, and I’m curious to see how they translate this story.  The new Wonder Woman costume is certainly going over well from everything I’ve heard thus far.  Everyone on Tumblr and Twitter seems rather enthused, and I’ve seen a substantial amount of fan art already for something that just was announced.

Superman/Wonder Woman Comic Aims For A Female, Twilight-Loving Demographic

August 26, 2013

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Last weekend was Fan Expo in Toronto, and Superman/Wonder Woman came up at the DC All Access panel with the book’s artist Tony S. Daniel and editor Brian Cunningham.  The Mary Sue has an excellent recap of what was said, with responses from those involved, that you should definitely go read, but the key quote was this, from Daniel:

I mentioned maybe, can we create a book that targets a little bit more of the female readership that’s been growing. And maybe a book that has a little bit of romance in it, a little big of sex appeal, you know, something that would, for lack of a better example, that hits on the Twilight audience.

Things went downhill from there.  When an audience question followed up on the Twilight comment, Daniel promised Superman butt shots to keep the objectification of the characters evened out.  The answers ended with a lot of assurances that the book would be awesome, without any specific reasons to back up that claim.

Now, we all say dumb things sometimes.  We’ll be trying to make a perfectly reasonable point but we’ll screw up how we phrase it, focus on the wrong thing, and the message gets lost.  The good news here is that Tony S. Daniel is interested in getting a female audience and talked to the DC higher-ups about it.  That’s definitely a positive thing.

The bad news is that the only frame of reference he could come up with was Twilight, and that his answer to the perpetual objectification of female characters isn’t to stop objectifying them but to do so to the men as well.  Daniel seems like a nice guy, and I’m sure he has good intentions, but I’m not sure that he gets it.  Not that I’m an expert on what women want out of a comic book either, but from the response I saw on Twitter this weekend they definitely don’t want a Twilight inspired series, and they’ve been rather unimpressed with this Wonder Woman/Superman relationship from the very beginning.  Reducing a powerful female character to a secondary role as someone’s girlfriend so you can put out a romance-laced comic book to reach a female audience seems to be a TERRIBLE plan for reaching a female audience.  Everyone wants another Wonder Woman comic, but I’ve yet to come across anyone who wants it like this.

So yeah, we all say dumb things.  It just seems that the people behind Superman/Wonder Woman have been saying dumb things almost exclusively since the book was announced.  Either they’re awful at PR and communicating their vision of what is actually going to be a strong and interesting comic book, or they’re making a really bad book.  I’m hoping it’s the former, but we’ve got to wait until October 9th to find out.  At some point before then, I’d really love to do a post about how one of the creator’s comments is cool and insightful and is giving me a spark of hope for the series, so get on that, Charles Soule and Tony S. Daniel!  Because everything I’ve heard so far is just bringing me down.


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