Thursday, September 29, 2011

2010 DC Universe Vol.3: The Wards Wonder Girl art by alexmax

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"The Wards, the pupils, the squires. The teenaged relatives or partners of the big guns. Less teen titans and more Young Justice, with Supergirl and Batgirl acting as chaperones to the teen heroes...

Wonder Girl: A little of everything for her. She changes uniforms every couple of years, so I picked and chose what I liked from all the different versions."


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wonder Woman #289 (March, 1982)

While flying over the Bermuda Triangle, Wonder Woman spotted a Russian fishing boat being attacked by a "gigantic, many-armed Kraken." She lassoed a tentacle while riding the wing of her jet, hoping to compel the beast to her will. The Kraken proved too brainless to be controlled, but still managed to catch Diana with another tentacle. The Amazing Amazon ripped herself free, then dove into the ocean to take the fight to the monster. It began to flee, but she wasn't done teaching the Kraken a lesson, tying one of its tentacles into a knot. As for the Russians, "If you want to thank me, comrade, you can ask your government to cut down its trawling activities a little-- so that you and the Japanese leave a little sea food for the rest of the planet. Hola... and fare well!" Diana of course spoke their native tongue.

The invisible robot plane continued on to Paradise Island, obscured at the heart of the triangle. Hippolyta and Paula were giving their kangas some exercise, or in the queen's case, Diana's neglected Jumpa. The Princess feared her beloved Steve Trevor might be dying, and a surprised Hippolyta demanded that she bring him to the island at once for treatment under Paula's purple healing ray. This permission was exactly why Diana had made the trip.

Back in Washington, D.C., Wonder Woman dove off the wing of her robot plane and soared through her bedroom window. As Captain Diana Prince, our heroine learned from Etta Candy that new roommate Helen Alexandros was a great cook before the three headed to the hospital to check on Steve. Prince was shocked to learn Colonel Trevor had been signed over to a private doctor by the top brass. A nurse explained that he was "A real weirdie, Captain... 'Doctor Psycho'! Funny-lookin' little guy, too!" Etta and Helen shared a cab home, the former wanting to catch An American Werewolf in London, the latter bowing out of the cab early. Diana Prince had a plane to catch...

In the hills of Virginia sat a veritable castle owned by Doctor Psycho, his surname created when "a semi-literate immigration officer shortened my grandfather's Greek name..." This was apparently the first Earth-One version of the villain, who thirty years earlier was the butt of schoolboy mockery and schoolgirl sneers. Even onto his brilliant medical school career, he was still looked upon as a freak. Lovely Marva had screamed slightly on first encountering him, but eventually embraced Psycho as a friend. The Doctor wanted more, and through his mesmeric research, managed to hypnotize her into loving him...

"That's when I discovered I had the unique power to use Marva as a medium-- one through whom I could bring living substance out of the spirit world!" Psycho could create tangible ectoplasmic illusions using matter from the spirit world. Dr. Psycho became handsome to all-- so long as Marva was in his presence. "Perhaps I did come to hate Marva a bit, because I was so dependent on her, even for my self-esteem. I weeped when she died, though... so I couldn't have caused her death, now, could I? It was she who stepped in front of that car... I was nowhere around. Even the jury that acquitted me saw how grief-stricken I was over her demise." Dr. Psycho mesmerized other women, either with his hypnotism or his checking account, but it was never the same. That was, until he located another medium: Colonel Steve Trevor! Working with his hunchbacked assistant Melvin, Psycho planned to use Trevor in a test run of his Electroplasmotron device.

Batting aside heavily armed guards, Wonder Woman burst onto the scene. Having heard everything with her Amazon-trained hearing, Princess Diana was fighting mad. However, with Psycho's machine in operation, the Doctor transformed himself into an idealized version of Steve Trevor garbed in a (somewhat) masculine version of Wonder Woman's costume. "Captain Wonder" had all the power Trevor thought Wonder Woman had, which meant his construct was actually stronger than the real thing. Worse, Wonder Wonder woman kept pulling her punches against this vision of the man she loved. Regardless, the Amazing Amazon was the better fighter and strategist, hurling Captain Wonder into the Electroplasmotron. Besides disabling the device, it also woke Steve Trevor up, evaporating Psycho's illusion. Just as Dr. Psycho was under control and Steve Trevor free, Silver Swan burst onto the scene, intent on murder!

"His Name is Psycho!" was by Roy Thomas, Gene Colan, and Romeo Tanghal. Aside from the new, peculiar origin of Dr. Psycho, there really wasn't much going on in this issue. As much as I enjoyed all the balls tossed up in the air last issue, veering off into the Psycho story felt like a distraction from the Silver Swan one, and obviously the kraken was thrown in as filler. That trip to Paradise Island was just plain dumb, which explained Hippolyta's incredulous reaction, and reflects poorly on Wonder Woman. The plot has overwhelmed her time management skills and good sense!

The Bronze Age

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sensational Comics for December, 2011

Wonder Woman
Art and cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale DECEMBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Wonder Woman has left Paradise Island behind, but Hera is just arriving. Without the Amazons’ most powerful daughter to protect them, can they withstand the wrath of a God who once favored them? And why would Zola want Diana to march right back into the eye of the storm?
A screaming Diana's reflection in a pool of blood? Man, pretty positive Chang is wasted on this crap.

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
1:25 Variant cover by ANDY KUBERT
1:200 B&W Variant cover by JIM LEE
On sale DECEMBER 21 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for more information.

The superstar team of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee continue the origin of the Justice League as The World’s Greatest Heroes face the might of Apokolips – and find aid in an unlikely hero, as Cyborg is created! Plus, Andy Kubert returns an amazing variant cover – his first new work after the smash-hit FLASHPOINT!

This issue is also offered as a special combo pack edition, polybagged with a redemption code for a digital download of the issue.
I'm all for people kicking Hal Jordan's ass, especially Aquaman, but I do hope Diana gets her turn. I'm sure Huntress and Lady Blackhawk would appreciate it.

Cover #19 by MIKE S. MILLER
With Brainiac’s final play revealed, the Justice League – minus Superman – must find a way to stop this final threat to Earth. Can the newly empowered civilians from The Daily Planet building help? Where will Earth turn in this dark hour?
As Brainiac’s invading force prepares for combat, Batman must make a deadly decision that may put him at odds with the entire JLA. It’s a decision that could save the Earth, and the Dark Knight will stop at nothing – even fighting his allies – to guarantee success...but can anyone save him from himself?
#19 on sale DECEMBER 14
#20 on sale DECEMBER 28
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
You know, it's inevitable that I'm going to read at least a trade's worth of this someday, and I'll just as surely regret it. Working on this crap shows how far Howard Porter's star has fallen, but I'm glad Mike S. Miller has come back strong, even with the homophobia.

Written by VARIOUS
Montage cover
On sale FEBRUARY 22 • 320 pg, FC, $39.99 US
The classic Silver Age titles are collected in hardcover for the first time, including SECRET ORIGINS #1, MORE SECRET ORIGINS #1, EVEN MORE SECRET ORIGINS #1 and WEIRD SECRET ORIGINS #1! Don’t miss the origins of Wonder Woman, the Superman/Batman team, The Challengers of the Unknown, Martian Manhunter, the Justice League of America, Aquaman, The Flash, The Atom, Bizarro and more!


Written by ALAN MOORE
On sale FEBRUARY 8 • 304 pg, FC, $39.99 US

The work of Alan Moore (WATCHMEN, V FOR VENDETTA, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN) during the 1980s is a benchmark for great stories with fresh approaches to iconic characters. Collected in this volume are all of Moore’s Superman and Batman stories, including ACTION COMICS #583, BATMAN ANNUAL #11, BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE, DC COMICS PRESENTS #85, DETECTIVE COMICS #549-550, GREEN LANTERN #188, THE OMEGA MEN #26-27, SECRET ORIGINS #10, SUPERMAN #423, TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS ANNUAL #2 & 3, SUPERMAN ANNUAL #11 and VIGILANTE #17-18, plus VOODOO #1-4, DEATHBLOW: BY BLOWS #1-3 and more!
I was sighing "again" until I realized this was treading into new (reprint) territory with the Wildstorm stuff. If you have a version of this already, let me say you're not missing anything. Maybe if they'd thrown in Spawn/WildC.A.T.S...

Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark)
Art and cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
On sale DECEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Wonder Girl has come to New York City to find Red Robin and fill him in on what she’s learned about N.O.W.H.E.R.E., but it turns out she’s going to have to go through the mysterious Superboy first! As two of DC’s most powerful young metahumans battle over the streets of Times Square on New Year’s Eve, Red Robin assembles his team to help Wonder Girl.

Wonder Girl (Donna Troy)
Art and cover by ART BALTAZAR
On sale DECEMBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E
It’s Mrs. Atom’s turn to babysit the Baby Titans – Damien, Arthur Jr., Smidgen, Kid Devil and Jason Toddler. Can she do it alone? Maybe Miss Martian can help! What happens when our heroes get…lost in Metropolis?! Find out in this awesome baby-packed issue!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

2011 Wonder Woman Unreleased NBC Pilot Pictorial Review

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Thanks to Luke of El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker and the Hawkman blog Being Carter Hall, I finally got around to seeing the unaired NBC Wonder Woman TV pilot about six weeks back. I had as thorough a synopsis as I could find online ready for this blog within two weeks, but sat on it for another month while I finished up school and tried in vain to give similar treatments to some tie-in projects on other blogs. This article will only get colder, so I figure I should just pull the trigger already. After the network passed on it, early reviews of the leaked pilot started hitting the internet in late May, so four months seems sufficient duration for me to miss the bandwagon, as usual. Maybe I've waited long enough for the folks sick of hearing about it to give a second pass, eh?

An African-American teenager tells his family he's gotten his acceptance letter into college... right before collapsing and hyperventilating with blood flowing out of every orifice.

A bald white guy with near superhuman speed is chased down Hollywood Boulevard by Wonder Woman. The pair run over and jump across cars, with the footage sped up a few frames per second shy of a Keystone Cops short. Diana gets hit by a car, tearing up its front end and briefly putting her on her ass. A lasso to the throat stops the guy cold, and then Diana jabs him in the neck with a syringe to extract a blood sample. The cops show, forcing Diana to give up the cueball, but not before she spins him across the floor. The first words out of her mouth, protesting that the dude would just "lawyer up," make it clear actress Adrianne Palicki isn't remotely correct casting in the vocal department.

Cue silly logo with "pitchu! pitchu! pitchu!" sound effect.

While Wonder Woman landed her weird white microjetship thing on the roof of Themyscira Industries, two members of her supporting cast watch "Alan Dershowitz" complain on TV about the heroine's constant violation of civil rights (wiretapping, assault, etc.) Nancy Grace likes her, though. Dr. Phil thinks she's nuts. Diana walks with a limp, so suit #1 Henry Johns (Cary Elwes) presses her to visit the infirmary. Suit #2 is a lean black Etta Candy In Name Only (Tracie Thoms,) an enabler. Diana changes into her '80s teen movie "frumpy" Diana Prince identity with the glasses, which Henry Johns describes as "self-induced schizophrenia." He's right, and the rationale of leaving for the night with early morning business meetings awaiting as Princess Diana of Themyscira because she needs to feel "human" is mighty dumb.

Diana Prince checks her mail, eats potato chips, watches soaps, and promises her cat that this false identity will get her Facebook profile built tonight. She flashes back to the dinner where, after two years of living with Steve Trevor (Justin Bruening,) she breaks the news that she's decided that she can do the most good for the world by moving to the West Coast. Now she's all sad and alone in her stupid fake glasses, making Clark Kent seem less pathetic.

The next morning, Etta offers a rapid fire itinerary to which Henry adds a press conference to push back against media criticism with a new Wonder Woman doll hitting stores in a month. That all goes out the window when the mother of the bleeding kid asks to speak with Diana. We learn that her son was a junkie, and that the man Wonder Woman captured was probably his dealer. The mother, Janine, wants to see those responsible killed. Diana explains that Janine has three other children at home to care for, so leave the vengeance to her. "I'm kinda good at it." Adrianne Palicki's delivery and body language is rather awkward, but at least she conveys Diana's empathy with regular folk without being at all patronizing. On her knees in front of the mother, Diana confirms that she knows who is at the head of the super-drug trafficking network, and that she's "about to tell everybody."

At the press conference, Diana fingers Veronica Cale of Cale-Anderson Pharmaceuticals for distributing the body building supplement that had killed six young black athletes "from ghettos, by the way." The Great White Hope promises Cale that if the law doesn't get her for illegally using humans as guinea pigs in advance of FDA approval, Wonder Woman would. All of these statements were made without hard evidence, meaning the lawyers in the audience could shudder as hard as the rest of us when Diana stopped just short of addressing "the plight of the negro" or somesuch. David E. Kelly has no street card to pull. Afterward, Veronica Cale (Elizabeth Hurley) defends herself in the media through smack talk and bad acting. Etta explains to Diana what an idiot move she's made, especially in light of her blood sample from the pusher, John O'Quinn, coming back negative.

Diana is stressed out about not making headway on the Cale case, and takes it out on an overly endowed Wonder Woman doll in a board meeting. Diana shouts the word "tits," so Etta points out that Wonder Woman isn't vulgar. In a fit of unattractive self pity, Diana laments Wonder Woman's perfect tits, ass, teeth, and her never making mistakes. Later, Henry explains that all of Wonder Woman's crime fighting resources come from merchandising, including those ridiculous dolls, so it's a matter in need of resolution. Also, he prompts another flashback to why Diana dumped Steve Trevor-- fear of her loved ones being targeted by her enemies, and what she would become if domesticated.

Veronica Cale pays a visit, expressing her view that Diana is envious of the athletes she can produce with strength to rival Wonder Woman's. Cale also points out how she and the pharmaceutical industry have the government by the balls, which could lead to all sort of officially sanctioned hell falling on Diana's head if she continues pursuing Cale. Both actresses deliver gut-wrenching dialogue with little finesse, and I wonder if Lorenzo Lamas is going to turn up at some point.

Wonder Woman flies her goofy wittle jet-a-ma-bob to the hospital where bleeding kid Willis Parks (B.J. Britt) is recovering. Willis smiles and talks about "truth, justice and the American Way" in an "inspirational" moment where we're all supposed to forget that's a Superman line and that he was using illegal performance enhancing substances to land in the hospital. Know who else is there? Drug dealer John O'Quinn (Joseph Gatt) in police protective custody.

Wonder Woman manages to talk Inspector Ed Indelicato into giving her five minutes alone with the suspect, but can't convince Pedro Pascal to not be the worst actor in the show so far. The lasso of truth seems not to be all it's cracked up to be, as a) it looks like it came from Hobby Lobby and b) Diana has to physically torture information out of O'Quinn while audibly torturing the audience with tuff gal dialogue delivered unconvincingly. I'd be miffed if Diana had any business being a friend o'Chaney in the first place.

Cale plans to sell the super-steroid to an increasingly privatized military, even though its side effects include deformities. Wonder Woman knows the location of Cale's underground laboratory, but any evidence found there would be poisonous fruit in court. Indelicato is facing heat from his superiors, just as a senator friendly to Cale shows up looking to have dinner with Diana. Wonder Woman "cools her... jet." Henry recognizes that if Wonder Woman faces criminal charges, the Rico act could also bring down Themyscira Industries. Is it really an industry if all you produce is a license and some in-house merchandise? Henry called the senator a prick, so I'm sure the network would have loved running the super-hero show at 10 0'clock to appease censors.

Poor Edward Herrmann plays Senator Warren with a southern accent, because this show is set on making even decent actors look bad (see also: Tracie Thoms' nasal Condi Rice impression.) The senator offers a veiled threat in asking why an inhuman vigilante had not been investigated for her criminal activity, to which Diana replies that the government should be more worried about double wars, double dip recession, and double digit unemployment. I kept waiting for a zinger about her DDs, but it never came. Diana did call him on making the American taxpayer cover their $700 bottle of wine, and whether he'd ever "probed" Veronica Cale.

Willis Parks dies, so Wonder Woman suits up (at the local discount costume store?) Henry has Etta contact Ed Indelicato, who never finagled a search warrant. However, he would move in with police as pseudo-back-up once Diana's trespassing turned the underground lab into a crime scene. Cale figures that if Wonder Woman gets in, everyone involved will be arrested, which makes about as much sense as Indelicato's logic. Her chief preventative measure is a crew of super-roided guards, with head beefcake McRaven (Geoff Meed) curiously the best actor on the show. Wonder Woman bursts into their warehouse, and by burst I mean she pulls up the garage door with a girlie flapping of her arms while the film sped up for unintentional added comedic effect. Inexplicably, she's also decided that now is the time to run around with exposed legs.

McRaven is a fan, but figures twenty-to-one odds should more than even out a fight with Wonder Woman. A lasso around the neck is the initial evidence in disproving this theory. The stunt/wire work that follows seriously kicks ass, easily vindicating the existence of the otherwise south-of-mediocre show. The CGI lasso looks way better than the physical one, even if Wonder Woman only ever uses it as a whip to choke dudes by the neck.

Dudes get crushed by storage containers, bullets meet bracelets, and a lead pipe gets tossed into a security guard's neck. Day-um. I'm a noted critic of the Diana Warrior Princess school, but even I have to admit action this rad tells Batman that he can eat Wonder Woman until the sun rises over Gotham City. The coordinator on this has my kudos.

Veronica Cale confronts Wonder Woman with video footage and the might of the criminal justice system, so Diana lasso chokes and body slams her. I think she may have snapped into a Slim Jim at some point, as well. Wonder Woman finds the mutated lab rats as the police find her. Somehow, Wonder Woman goes free while Cale is arrested, like that'll last, and hundreds of Themyscira Industries employees are on hand in the middle of the night to give the returning Wonder Woman a round of applause. It's great when some random tenor tells them all to get "back to work." Those logs won't saw themselves, and sheep can't count themselves. Also, the Justice Department investigator sent by the corrupt senator to the company for a late night interrogation? Steve Trevor. Yes, really. He's a handsome guy generally, but in that lighting, gots Down Syndrome eyes. Anyway, he'd been transferred to Cali from New York six months earlier, but hadn't called on account of having gotten married, because Wonder Woman is Ally McBeal now.

Diana Prince built that Facebook page. Her only friend is Sylvester the cat. No credits, but there is a WB shield and that David E. Kelly Productions thing where the TV knocks over the old lady. I've read enthusiastic reviews and others that hilariously equate it to brain cancer. It falls somewhere closer to the middle, as the script and acting are uniformly bad, but it's shot reasonably well with decent production values and a sweet fight scene. I think we can all agree that David E. Kelly needs to stay far away from genre television, but the show could have been salvageable with better writers and actors informed to knock off the accents. Let's face it, the '70s show was also pretty lousy, getting by on it sweet nature, and I friggin' hated the direct to DVD cartoon from a few years ago. This was comparatively inoffensive, though I won't shed any tears for it, either.

A few final bullet points...

The Bad:
  • The Lasso of Truth being nothing more than a cheap looking rip-off of Catwoman's whip used solely to chokeabitch.
  • I can roll with black Etta Candy, but all the skinny versions of her miss the point. Melissa McCarthy would have been perfect ten years or so back.
  • We needed a better Steve and no Henry Johns at all.
  • In some respects, Diana Prince was cooler than Wonder Woman. She typically dressed way better, and who doesn't dig a cutie in glasses? Prince was never a loser, and her worst crime was her pining for Steve in the '50s and '60s while still being active in the military. Clara Kent needed to get gone.
  • Veronica Cale as an ongoing threat just would not have worked, nor would an endless stream of military-industrial complex asses. We need deformed midgets and catsuits, stat!

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The Good:
  • I'm glad the plane got in there. I really miss the plane, invisible or not. Batman flies one all the damn time, and he was a comparative Johnny Come Lately in that respect.
  • Themyscira Industries looked really nice inside and out. It's not the way I would have gone (too Bruce Wayne,) but having gone there, it was well put together. 
  • I really liked the noblesse oblige on display, not so much in Wonder Woman's swagger as her sense of empathetic duty to the common man.
  • Aside from the lethal level of super-violence, I can't say enough about the action choreography. So freakin' rad, especially by TV standards.
  • Worts and all, it's worth seeing by any Wonder Woman fan with a sense of humor about it. Hopefully, the wirework will get CG'd out and we'll get a DVD release down the line. I'd pay $9.95.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dragon*Con 2011 Wonder Girl Donna Troy Cosplay

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Copyright © Brent Allen Thale

In a repeat from last year, here's George Pérez's niece in Nick Cardy's redesign of the Wonder Girl costume. I didn't get a clear shot of her sweet custom necklace before, so kudos to Mr. Thale. The lovely young lady also posed as Supergirl, who was snapped among a slew of same by Shag Matthews of Once Upon A Geek (starting on page 2, I believe.)

Dragon*Con 2011 CosPlay

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2011 Wonder Woman art by Ivan Camelo

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wonder Woman #8 (Late June, 2007)

Hippolyta was back from the dead, asking Circe where her daughter was, rather than “Why am I not dead?” or “ Where is Imperiex?” or “What is your evil sorceress bitch-ass doing on my island?” Meanwhile, Wonder Woman remained trapped in an energy cell while the U.S. government tried to extort information of Themysciran weapons technology. Also, Tom Tresser had a boner for Wonder Woman (unlike his dumb old partner; a stunning, statuesque brunette in skintight white leather) as he explained to the V & V bartender and Sarge Steel, toward whom Tom seemed rather insubordinate and resignation prone (without saying the actual words.)

Circe visited Diana to make a “morality is relative” argument to try to corrupt… need I really go on? Do you not already know Tom Tressor used his mastery of disguise to impersonate Sarge Steel and bust Wonder Woman loose? Diana punched Tom to try to cover for his actions, but since the agency wasn’t full of morons, that didn’t work. Instead, they both escaped, only to learn Amazons were laying siege to Washington D.C. It all went back to Circe conspiring with Sarge Steel… maybe.

"Love and Murder, Part 3" was by Jodi Picoult, Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson. I'm out of gripes. It's like "What If... Jeph Loeb had a run?" My circuits have overloaded.

Brave New World

Friday, September 9, 2011

2011 Rejected DCnÜ Wonder Girl Concept Art by Brett Booth

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"This one almost made it through... until it got Vetoed;) Oh and the other lasso with the pokie things on it isn't barbed wire, it's thorny vines.



Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2011 DC Fifty-TOO! Wonder Woman #1 by Nathan Fox

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You might have heard DC Comics was rebooting everything in their line at issue #1 as part of their "New 52" titles. This inspired Washington-based cartoonist Jon Morris to fire off some emails. "Fifty-two artists (and then some) responded, and that brings us here - DC FIFTY-TOO, The New DC Universe as imagined by fifty-two independent cartoonists." One such artist is Nathan Fox, who seems to understand how thoroughly everything goes out the window for the Amazing Amazon in these reboots. Diana seems to have about the same attitude about that as the rest of us.

Fox writes...
"As a father of two daughters, one of which idolizes Wonder Woman - even before she can independently read a comic book - it is my hope that whomever picks up the torch from her on out, will give due justice and respect to the women characters in comics as well as the female readers of comics. "Men", for lack of a better term, will always be "served", but when strong female characters take the lead among men and carry the torch, as a father AND artist, it is something truly remarkable to behold. When you witness that kind of iconic inspiration on paper reflected in an anxious and impressionable girls eyes (guys too...). Anything becomes possible at that age and as long as "she" (The hero and the reader) is in the right and not wrong, she never has to take "no" for an answer, be backed into a corner or be ashamed of who she is, where she comes from or what she can become. Wonder Woman is an american icon as much as she is a role model, a beautiful amazon woman and kicker of much evil ass. I hope she never fades - as much as I hope she will continue to evolve and inspire millions."

Fox continues, and offers a detailed biography, at DC Fifty-TOO!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wonder Woman #7 (Early June, 2007)

Circe hung Tom Tresser off chains from the ceiling of the dusty Wonder Woman museum, and wrapped his body in serpents. The Amazing Amazon followed the trail, tore some snakes in half, beat up on Circe and got the old “we’re not so different/ you’re a killer deep down” speech. Circe then vanished into a mirror, leaving the princess to glare at her own cracked reflection. Yes, really. Wonder Woman freed Tressor, and even after just noting that he had lost a lot of blood from torture, she dropped him on the ground after a piggish comment for comedic effect. Afterward, fearing a hospital with her fugitive status (like she couldn’t drop him at an ER and fly out,) the princess broke into a veterinarian’s office to treat Tom’s wounds. Tom snacked on a dog biscuit. Wah-wah.

The pair returned to the Villains & Vixens Bar, a dive where super-villains get drunk in costume. A miscolored Brainiac, a Sivana with antennae, Psimon, Icicle, Ocean Master, Icicle and the rapist Dr. Light were all present. The Scarecrow was apparently not alone in loving the Jessica and Ashlee (Simpson) discs on the jukebox. Laughing yet? The dikey bartender was a big Wonder Woman fan. The princess found Circe hanging out in the bathroom, the pair fought, Catwoman apologized for interrupting, and Circe dove through another mirror, leaving Wonder Woman with her grim reflection again. This time, it turned out Sarge Steel and his storm troopers had a tracer planted in Tressor’s uniform the entire time, and used it to catch Wonder Woman in a trap. The princess went along quietly, only to be held without charge or representation until such time as she would be willing to turn over the secrets of her “Purple Death Ray.”

Meanwhile, Circe cut a deal with a mysterious entity to allow her entry to the dimensionally exiled Themyscira. “You may go… but for a price… Be aware: we may call in our marker anytime, anywhere.” Circe then cast a spell to resurrect the deceased Hippolyta.

"Love and Murder, Part 2" was by Jodi Picoult & Drew Johnson with Ray Snyder & Rodney Ramos.

When I first started writing in grade school, I had a teacher who got me to read my short stories in class. I gained an unearned reputation as a slasher film fan (although I later qualified,) and at the urging of fellow students, tried to write something about Freddy and Jason in complete ignorance. The only part of that thing I remember is Jason knocking off Freddy’s hat. My teacher read it, noted my obvious unfamiliarity with the subjects, and gave me a brief “write what you know” speech that has stuck with me ever since.

This comic reads like Jodi Picoult never got that speech. Worse, I think she was coached to reach a variety of editorially mandated plot points to set up a future risible crossover by other hands. In between those points are trite character moments that make no narrative sense. I mean, why don’t Sarge Steel and his team burst into the Wonder Woman Museum, where they already knew Tom had been taken? So that we could have the stupid little scene where Tom eats dog biscuits like Riggs in Lethal Weapon 3. The dialogue in this thing is also seriously cringe inducing. Stop. Just stop.

Brave New World