Wonder Woman #613
Written by J. Michael Straczynski and Phil Hester
Art by Don Kramer and Travis Moore (pencils), Wayne Faucher, Walden Wong, and Drew Geraci (inks), Pete Pantazis (colors), Travis Lanham (letters), Lee Garbett, Dave Meikis, and Paul Mounts (cover)
The Odyssey, Part Thirteen: Nemesis
Released July 27, 2011
Rating: 3 out of 5
In this issue, we finally discover how this “new” Wonder Woman has come into existence and why some people seem to remember the original Wonder Woman. Nemesis (the Goddess of Revenge) wanted to destroy the world’s greatest warriors. She would have destroyed Wonder Woman, if only a portion of Diana’s soul had not been recast in a new life, in a new history in Man’s World. This was meant to leave Diana alone amongst the mortals, which would (in theory) turn her bitter and angry. It accomplished the opposite, and made her feel at home with the humans (a feeling that has long since eluded Diana, who never felt in the place in Man’s World). If there is one thing that I hope writers hold on to after this story arc is over (other than the pants), it’s this Diana’s closeness with the mortal world. Making her feel a part of “Man’s World” will go a long way to fixing some of the major problems that turn people away from Wonder Woman.
The penultimate issue of J. Michael Straczynski’s The Odyssey story-arc was certainly action packed, featuring Wonder Woman against, well, Wonder Woman. The writing for this story arc has gotten better as it has gone along, and this issue was no exception (which I feel is more a credit to Phil Hester becoming comfortable with the character than anything else). The explanations of what had happened were clear enough that I wasn’t left completely confused (though I don’t feel that everything has been completely explained) and the action didn’t feel drawn out or dull. The artwork for the battle scenes was pretty great. The area where the fight took place was dark, haunting and everything it should have been. The flashback scenes were not as great. I felt that there was too much focus on Wonder Woman’s ass in the flashback scenes. It was so often and so prominent that it frequently took me out of the experience of the story.
Overall, this was an interesting chapter in Diana’s life. I am looking forward to re-reading this entire story arc once it is complete.
DC Comics has been getting a lot of bad press lately. Mostly because of things like this:
A female fan told Didio that she counted and out of the twenty-eight solo character titles only six were women and only two were not connected to older male superheroes. “How do you justify calling that diversity?” the fan asked as the audience cheered. Didio told her it was an industry problem and then dodged the question, calling on the next fan.
DiDio then asked, “what would we have to do to change your mind?” The suggestion “Hire women!” got loud applause. When the fan asked why the rate of women in credits had gone from 12% to 1%, DiDio pressed him for names of who DC should hire. The fan’s suggestion was “Valentine” writer Alex De Campi, and other suggested Nicola Scott.
A fan dressed as Batgirl who had been at every DC panel over the weekend asked whether the publisher was committed to hiring more women. Didio said that they were working to put the best talent possible on the books. Morrison asked, “Do more women want to write DC superheroes?” and when many female fans responded “Yes!” he simply added “Then send your stuff in.”
Items like these have prompted DC to post this response on their official blog.
I understand that people want to see more female creators in the comic industry, especially the big publishers (Marvel and DC). And I think it’s great that DC actually seems interested in trying to get more female creators in their ranks. The big, burning question I have is: Why is no one demanding the same of Marvel? Marvel has way fewer female creators in their regular ranks than DC does, yet no one is making a big deal about that fact.
Why? Is it because Marvel has fewer recognizable female characters? Is it because Marvel’s female characters tend to be parts of groups, and very rarely have their own running series? How many Marvel heroines have their own running series at the moment? Judging from Marvel’s August 2011 solicitations, the answer is ZERO (unless you count Generation Hope; I don’t, because it’s a team book). How many DC heroines have their own series? From DC’s pre-New 52 August 2011 solicitations, I counted five female solo starring titles, the shortest of which has already passed the one-year mark. After the reset? Six solo titles for female characters, not counting female-centric teams like the Birds of Prey.
I’m all for female equality in every form. I truly believe that there should be more focus on female characters, and I believe that there should be more female creators in the industry. What I don’t understand is why no one has confronted Marvel about their “commitment to diversity.” Marvel has some truly great female characters (Storm, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Nico Minoru), yet none of them have their own solo books at the moment.
And while we’re at it, where are all the gay characters? DC’s doing an okay job in that respect (Batwoman, Midnighter, Apollo).
The final quote above, from Grant Morrison (“Do more women want to write DC Superheroes? Then send your stuff in.”) is a little unfair, considering “DC Comics does not accept unsolicited artwork or writing submissions.” (Link)
Retroactive: Wonder Woman – The 1970’s
Written by Dennis O’Neil
Art by J. Bone (interior and cover pencils and inks), Kevin Colden and Matthew Petz (colors), Dezi Sienty (letters), Carrie Strachan (cover colors)
Released July 20th, 2011
Rating: 3 out of 5
As a huge fan of the Diana Prince: Wonder Woman era of Wonder Woman comics, I had been anxiously awaiting this issue since it was announced at WonderCon ’11. For the most part, I feel like I am still waiting.
Wonder Woman comes to Paradise Island, only to find it sinking beneath the sea. She swims down to find out what happened and discovers an alien looking craft, beckoning her to enter. Inside, she discovers an object that claims to be The Voice of the Most High. Wonder Woman has sinned, gravely, by making herself less than she is (presumably by renouncing her powers during the Diana Prince: Wonder Woman years). She must redeem herself by completing three ordeals, lest Paradise Island be destroyed.
The writing is certainly evocative of the era it is styled after. It’s comedic and quick, yet very little is explained. Most of the adventure seems relatively arbitrary, and there is very little resolution to the story (much like the original Diana Prince: Wonder Woman run). I can understand why J. Bone was chosen for this issue. His style is a more modernized version of the art used in the 70s. Though, I did feel at times that it would have been more suited to a children’s line of comics, rather than this story. The issue was enjoyable if you can get past the rushed feeling of the ending and the fact that very little is explained.
This issue also reprints one of my favorite issues of Wonder Woman, volume 01 issue 201, The Fist of Flame. Diana and I-Ching are ambushed and are required to go to Tibet to seek out The Fist of Flame. There, Diana comes face to face with a master thief, The Catwoman! Written by Denny O’Neil with art by Dick Giordano and originally published in July 1972, this story is one of the highlights of the Diana Prince: Wonder Woman era.
Jim Lee redesign of Wonder Woman figure. Considering this will be only the third piece of merchandise featuring the pants costume, I will definitely be purchasing this (the other two items were the Wonder Woman #600 statue and a Heroclix figurine).
A couple of preview pages for the first issue of the New 52 Wonder Woman have started making the rounds. Check them out.
I know a lot of people were worried about artist Cliff Chiang. But, I liked his work. And these preview pages reassure me that the art on the new-new-new-Wonder Woman will be fantastic.
DC. Do you know how a costume becomes iconic? It starts with not changing your mind about it every year. Sure, people didn’t like Wonder Woman with the pants. But you know what? It worked. She was far more believable as a warrior and as a woman. How many women do you know that would go to battle, or anywhere other than the beach, in the outfit you have Wonder Woman in? You shouldn’t have backed down on the pants. People would warm up to them. And given time, it could have become more iconic than the bathing suit.
This is the originally solicited image for the cover of Wonder Woman #1 after DC’s big reset (or whatever). Art by Cliff Chang. I was really fond of this take on the outfit, and I was glad that she was still wearing the pants. However, when official preview artwork started making it’s way out, we were treated to a much different image.
Why did they change their mind? It’s probably because “fans” hated the new costume, hated their “beloved” character wearing PANTS! “Wonder Woman would never wear pants!” [Actual quote from a CBR forum member]. Wait, what? She’d never wear pants?
The truth is, the people in charge of DC Comics have never known what to do with the character of Wonder Woman. And this is just another example of them worrying more about what she looks about than telling good stories.
Sometimes, DC makes it really difficult to be a Wonder Woman fan though I will never give up on her.
People say Wonder Woman is not “viable” as a TV show/movie. The truth is that no one believes in her. Her “fans” are so busy bickering about her outfit that they let important opportunities go by. Well, I believe in Wonder Woman. And no matter how many times they try and fail to bring her to life, I know when it finally happens, it will be outstanding, because she’s outstanding. I BELIEVE IN WONDER WOMAN.