Monthly Archives: August, 2011

CBR Interview with Azzarello and Chiang

Comic Book Resources has an interview with both writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang about their upcoming run on Wonder Woman.

Check out these highlights:

What drew you specifically to “Wonder Woman” as opposed to the other DC characters?

Azzarello: What drove me to Wonder Woman? Because I had a good story I could tell about her — that’s what drives me to any character. I don’t get wrapped up in characters unless I have something to say about them. Cliff and I came up with this mythology and I said, “All right, let’s do it, let’s see if we can pull this off!” I’m not writing this just because it’s Wonder Woman. Here’s the take on this, looking at this character a little bit differently, and I feel it’s going to resonate with fans.

I really like hearing this from writers. Not “I was assigned this job.” Rather “I had a story to tell.” You can definitely tell the writers who are assigned books and just run with it versus writers who truly want to tell stories starting a certain character.

Chiang: I mean the tricky thing with Wonder Woman is that she’s so iconic. If you ask five different people about Wonder Woman you are going to get five different versions of it, and one is a warrior who kicks ass, and one is going to be this compassionate person who prefers negotiating before fighting, etc. Trying to make everybody happy just dilutes the character, so we just have to pick a direction and go with it. As long as we’re coming from a really sincere place with our story and the things we want to do with her the fans will love it and I think they’ll come along for the ride.

This is one thing that has been more obvious to me with Wonder Woman fans over other fandoms. It seems like, for the most part, Wonder Woman fans want her to be this or that. Exactly what they think is best for the character. Exactly the version of the character they liked most. Never growing. Never evolving. That is what makes characters stale and boring. I love Wonder Woman. And there are certainly stories starring her and versions of her that I prefer over others. But Wonder Woman is a character that I love. So no matter what different version is shown, or what changes people make, I’ll read the stories. The important thing is that the stories are great and that she evolves as a character and a person.

Brian, a lot of the work you’ve done before has been realistic with a violent and gritty tone to it. Is that something you’re still keeping with this “Wonder Woman?” Are you making her a little grittier and horror-inspired than before?

Azzarello: Not with her. Definitely the world around her and the Gods, I’m definitely bringing that take to the pantheon. And it’s been a blast getting rid of those damn togas!

People have touched on this in the past, but I’m glad to see Azzarello playing with the Gods’ dark side. He seems to be going away from the Diana’s Friendly Protectors Who Occasionally Ruin Her Life version and more towards Angry Gods. I’m fascinated.

Chiang: …it’s a challenge and a honor to be handling a character like Wonder Woman and being responsible for really polishing up this image and making her a character that will really resonate with people. I feel there are times her costume is better known than the character herself.

This quote from Cliff Chiang was the highlight of the interview for me. I love when people consider it an honor to work on Wonder Woman. Those are the people that tend to do some of my favorite work.

Read the entire interview at Comic Book Resources. It’s a pretty great interview, and there are no spoilers!


Brief Reference to Wonder Pants at BCC 2011

At this year’s Baltimore Comic-Con, a lot of writers and artists of DC comics sat down to discuss their works and the changes DC is making. One interesting quote really stood out to me.

Getting back to the costumes, [Greg] Capullo [upcoming artist on Batman] pointed out that a lot of the changes readers will see flow organically from the stories being told. Wonder Woman was specifically called out as a character whose outfit changes are explained as a part of her story.

I’m really happy to hear that. I am sure we all dislike when changes are made with no explanation.

You can read the full article on the panel over at ComicBookResources.

Coventry Telegraph interview with Brian Azzarello

Coventry Telegraph’s geek blog The Geek Files as an interview with Brian Azzarello about Wonder Woman and other upcoming projects.

Some excerpts:

“You just touched on something as far as the Trinity goes; there’s no such thing as the trinity. That’s invented you know. There’s Superman and there’s Batman and there’s everybody else,” he says.

But that’s not the way he intends to leave it: “So what I want to do, I want to create that damn trinity. I want it to mean something.”

It seems like this question always comes up to anyone who has written Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. The Trinity. How do you feel about the Trinity? And the answer always seems to be the same. “What Trinity? It’s Superman and Batman, and then the rest of the DC Universe.” It’s good to see that he’s interested in bringing her to the forefront (though, at this point, that is a generic platitude of anyone who writes Wonder Woman). But…

He then adds, with a little reassurance and a laugh: “People need to relax, she’s not wearing pants. But it’s not going to be a superhero book. I can guarantee you that, it’s not a superhero book. It’s a horror book.”

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this. It’ll be nice to see a different take on Wonder Woman’s adventures, I suppose. But a horror book? I guess we’ll see how it goes.

I know Brian Azzarello is a talented writer. But I’ve also heard (extensively) that his superhero books are severely lacking. Having never read any of them, I picked up Superman: For Tomorrow and Batman: Broken City. I have faith that Broken City will be good, since Azzarello is well known for gritty detective stories. But we’ll have to see how Superman turns out.

You can read the entire interview on The Geek Files.

DC’s New 52 Trailer motion comic

I just realized this today. On DC’s main page, they have a motion comics style trailer for the New 52. Included in the video is motion comic versions of the Wonder Woman promo art we’ve seen previously. However, it also featured one shot of Wonder Woman I hadn’t seen before:

DC motion comic preview of Wonder Woman v4 #01

DC motion comic preview of Wonder Woman v4 #01

(This image is a screen cap directly from the video).

really like this image. I can’t wait for the full issue!

The trailer for the New 52 can be seen on DC’s main page.

Review: DC Retroactive: Wonder Woman – The 1990s – Wonder Girls

Cover art by Lee Moder and Wes Hartman.

Cover art by Lee Moder and Wes Hartman.

DC Retroactive: Wonder Woman – The 90s
Written by:
 William Messner-Loebs (credited as Bill Messner-Loebs)
Art by: Lee Moder (interior and cover), Daniel Green (ink), Chris Beckett (interior color), Wes Hartman (cover color), Dezi Sienty (letters)
Wonder Girls
August 17, 2011
DC Comics
Rating: 3.6 out of 5

Diana is put in charge of a girls club, five young girls who call themselves the Girl Blossoms. The girls normally just spend their time reading magazines, listening to music, and shopping. But Diana has different plans for them. In an attempt to show the girls what it was like for her growing up, Diana makes them run, swim, jump, and generally be a lot more active than they are accustomed. Later, when Etta Candy points out that Diana is sort of bullying the girls, Diana attempts to do what the girls want (play with dolls, read magazines). But the girls will have none of that!

Diana plays house

Diana plays house.

When I first read this issue, I found it to be…very fluffy. It felt like 100% filler, with no real purpose. But upon reading it a second time, I realized that I really liked it. These young girls are pushed out of their comfort zone and find out of what they are truly capable. The writing was strong and the story taught a valuable lesson. My biggest complaint is that, at times, it felt very much like Wonder Woman’s After-School Special. Perhaps that was the message they were going for? The art in this issue was honestly some of the best work from the DC Retroactive run. Though I haven’t been exposed to any of Lee Moder’s previous work, I am now really interested. The fact that he has a run on Wonder Woman certainly helps.

Yup, that's a shoe.

Yup, that’s a shoe.

I really loved Diana in this issue. There are rarely times that I don’t like her, but this issue featured some great moments (two of which I’ve included here). A lot of writers choose to make her very serious all time time. Some writers try to keep her solely as the Regal Princess and Warrior. Not a lot of writers are prepared to show her humorous side. But William Messner-Loebs isn’t afraid. I wish we could see more of Diana’s humor.

Wonder Woman Solicitations – November 2011

DC just released their official solicitations for November 2011. Let’s take a look at Wonder Woman related items!

New 52 Justice League #03 - Cover by Jim Lee

New 52 Justice League #03 – Cover by Jim Lee

From the solicit text: “The superstar team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee continue to make history as they unleash the amazing Amazon, Wonder Woman, who joins the battle against a bizarre threat! And the not-yet World’s Greatest Heroes need all the help they can get!”

Aside from the fact that we see Wonder Woman on the cover of issue one, it seems from this text that she doesn’t actually appear until issue three. Hmmm…

Judging solely from the solicitations, issue one seems focused on Batman. Issue two seems focused on Superman. Issue three seems focused on Wonder Woman. Yet in the preview for issue one that DC has circulating, we see Green Lantern. Geoff Johns has said in the past that he doesn’t think Wonder Woman really belongs in DC’s Trinity, and feels that Green Lantern is more appropriate for the third spot (with Batman and Superman). I’m interested to see how he handles the Justice League when starting mostly from the beginning.

Wonder Woman v4 issue 03 - Cover by Cliff Chiang

Wonder Woman v4 issue 03 – Cover by Cliff Chiang

I’m still not crazy about the outfit, but I honestly really like this cover. And her hair seems shorter, which is pretty cool. I’m excited to see how she is introduced into the JLA, so I am really looking forward to this particular issue.

Solicit Text: Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons, has kept a secret from her daughter all her life – and when it’s revealed, Wonder Woman’s life will shatter like brittle clay. The only one more shocked than Diana by this revelation? Bloodthirsty Hera herself – so why is her sinister daughter, Strife, so eager for the truth to be told?

Interesting. Cliff Chiang’s art aside (which I love), I’m not crazy about the cover. It just feels very….dull. If I were not a Wonder Woman fan, this cover would not draw my attention. Still, I’m sure the interior art will be fantastic, and I’m hoping the writing is excellent. Brian Azzarello can be pretty hit-or-miss when it comes to super hero comics.

Justice League Heroes and Foes

Justice League Heroes and Foes

DC also solicited a new line of action figures, called DC: Heroes and Foes. The first line features a Wonder Woman figure that I will certainly buy. It’s interesting though. In the image, she’s wearing pants (a la The Odyssey story arc), but she’s wearing a more Dodson-esque top. Not quite the top she had in Odyssey. Still, it’s a great looking figure.

The only other Wonder Woman related item solicited was Showcase Presents: Wonder Woman #04 (collecting issues #157-177 of volume 01 of Wonder Woman in a cheap, black and white format). I’d be a lot more excited about this if it were in color, but I know a lot of people love the Showcase books. They’re cheap, and usually the only way to read stories from those time periods.

Hopefully next month we’ll get a solicit for The Odyssey, Volume 02 hardcover. The final issue comes out very soon.

Review: DC Retroactive: Wonder Woman – The 1980s – Double, Double…

DC Retroactive 1980s - Cover by Rich Buckler and Kevin Colden

DC Retroactive 1980s – Cover by Rich Buckler and Kevin Colden

Retroactive: Wonder Woman – The 1980’s
Written by
 Roy Thomas
Art by Rich Buckler, Tim Smith III and Carlos Rodriguez (pencils), Joe Rubinstein, Jack Purcell, Norman Lee, and Carlos Rodriguez (pencils), Kevin Colden (colors), Travis Lanham (letters), Rich Buckler, and Kevin Colden (cover)
Double, Double…
Released August 03, 2011
DC Comics
Rating: 3.8 out of 5

I’m not very familiar with Roy Thomas’ work on Wonder Woman in the 1980s. In fact, when I heard that the Retroactive – 1980s issue of Wonder Woman was notGeorge Perez, I was a little hesitant. As it turns out, there was no reason to be.

A young girl is almost run over by a limo running a red light, but is saved by Wonder Woman. Or is it? The woman is especially violent and angry, and can *fly* (something Wonder Woman had never been able to do at that point). Diana Prince arrives at work at the Pentagon in time to see a news report that Wonder Woman was spotted moments ago hoisting a car above her head. Surprised that her alternate identity could be doing anything without her, Diana changes into Wonder Woman and searches for the culprit. Turns out Doctor Psycho and the Silver Swan are up to no good!

Perhaps because I have less knowledge of this era of Wonder Woman than I do of the 1970s era, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I enjoyed Retroactive: Wonder Woman – The 1970s. The story was interesting and fun to read. The dialogue felt very much like the characters. The writing certainly reflected the 80s era. I did find the ending a little…shall we say, odd. It seems like Wonder Woman is uncharacteristically nonchalant about death. Perhaps that was how she was in the 80s? I guess we’ll see when I get that far into my reading. The important part is, unlike the Retroactive 1970s issue, this story is complete and actually has a conclusion!

The art…well, there were three different artists for this one issue. As such, the art tends to fluctuate. Rich Buckler’s pages were very detailed and action-packed. Though there were a couple of shots of Wonder Woman that bordered on terrible, the story manages to explain it. There were some panels that I absolutely loved. Buckler’s art was certainly the highlight of the issue (pages 1-14). Tim Smith III’s art (pages 15, 19-26) were a bit sillier. Though pretty, they tended to take a more anime inspired approach. At times, that can be a good thing. Here, it just falls incredibly short and took me a bit out of the experience. Carlos Rodriguez’s (pages 16-18) art really should have been used for the entire climax of the book, rather than just three pages. These three pages are some of the best looking in the book, and the action scenes really shine.

My comic shop owner kind of implied that he did not expect me to enjoy this issue, so I was a little surprised to find out I did. The issue was very enjoyable and certainly made me want to read more of the 1980s pre-Crisis Wonder Woman. The inclusion of a reprint of Roy Thomas’ first issue of Wonder Woman (1982’s issue 288 – “Swan Song,” featuring the origins of the first Silver Swan) was also an enjoyable read. It’s really a shame that DC doesn’t make it a point to have more Wonder Woman stories from pre-Crisis released in trade format.

It’s Official – She Has No Pants

New 52 Justice League #01 official cover; Art by Jim Lee

New 52 Justice League #01 official cover; Art by Jim Lee

It’s official. Wonder Woman is, once again, pantless. The “final” covers for August’s Justice League #1 were posted on DC’s The Source blog. The only difference? Wonder Woman is no longer wearing pants.

New 52 Justice League #01 Variant by David Finch.

New 52 Justice League #01 Variant by David Finch.

Also released today was this image, David Finch’s variant for Justice League #1. I think this particular image is ridiculous. Wonder Woman is short, and standing like there is something inside of her that shouldn’t be.

The original release of the image, which also adorned bags at Comic-Con was:

Originally solicited New 52 Justice League #01 art by Jim Lee.

Originally solicited New 52 Justice League #01 art by Jim Lee.

My only question: If they were going to change her back to the swimsuit, why did they even bother drawing up the pants versions of Justice League #1 and Wonder Woman #1? It seems like a huge waste of time.

This whole past year and two months of her new costume (which I loved) was just a minor blip in her life. The issues 600-614 Wonder Woman outfit will probably never be seen again in continuity. And I mourn the loss.