Category Archives: Interviews

CBR Interview with Dan Didio

CBR has just released an interview with DC Publisher Dan Didio. The interview was conducted at Fan Expo Toronto in August, shortly before DC’s relaunch officially began (with Justice League #1). Dan had this to say about Wonder Woman:

CBR: Shifting topics a bit, let’s discuss Wonder Woman. There’s a sense from fans that DC hasn’t been happy with her in a long time. In recent years, she’s received a lot of makeovers, shall we say, especially considering the past year with both the infamous pants re-design and the [14]-issue run by J. Michael Straczynski and Phil Hester.

Didio: Again, if you look at the history of the character, she has constantly changed. She has gone from the early ’40s version, there was a definite interpretation during the ’60s and they tried to stretch her out in almost the same way they did Superman, with Wonder Tot and Wonder Girl. They tried to rebuild the franchise in that fashion. Then, you get into the late ’60s and she takes on, as we call it, the “Emma Peel” look, where she loses the powers and puts on the jump suit. You get past that, and what’s Wonder Woman in the ’70s? Well, then she gets her powers back, and she goes to the Goddess thing, but then she goes to World War II, and she comes back from World War II. Then we have a couple more changes along the way. We get a little more stability when George Perez comes in in the ’80s, and that seems to hold for a while, but even then, we have the changes that take place with Artemis, and she’s working [at] Taco Bell or wherever else she’s working at that time, so you have a lot of changes there too. Then we roll through the ’90s and we get into 2000. Now, we have much more of a warrior woman and a social diplomat. We’ve had Hippolyta alive, we’ve had Hippolyta dead, we’ve had Paradise Island there — it’s one of those things that’s constant evolving.

There are a lot of key things that we wanted to address in the [New 52 Wonder Woman] concept. The good part about the relaunch is that Brian Azzarello is addressing a lot of things at the core. There are people in her life, but she’s never had that strong rogues gallery as existed with other heroes, and she’s never really had that strong supporting cast. You had Steve Trevor, you had Etta Candy, you had a couple of the Amazons, but for a character who’s had almost a 70-year history, that’s not a real big well to draw from. We’re trying to fill that well now.

CBR: So that was a big factor — introducing new characters?

Didio: Oh yes, absolutely. Without getting into too much detail, you’re going to be finding and meeting Wonder Woman’s family.

CBR: Having seen the cover of issue #3, people have been suggesting online that perhaps the reveal that will be pissing Hera off is that Diana is Zeus’ illegitimate daughter.

Didio: [Laughs] Well, if anybody knows, it’s — well, let’s put it this way: there are a lot of twists and turns in the future of “Wonder Woman.”

CBR: I wanted to ask how you felt about the “Odyssey” storyline from this past year, beginning with the fact that DC renumbered Wonder Woman to issue 600…

Didio: Yeah.

CBR: Fans were excited…

Didio: Yup!

CBR: Then it went straight out the window…

Didio: Yup!

CBR: And people’s first reactions were to be, frankly, pissed.

Didio: I was disappointed with how it went, but I was encouraged by how much effort was put into trying to keep it on track as much as possible. [The] problem was that Joe Straczynski was over-committed. Joe tried to work with us, and he made his plots and his storylines available to us to keep it going. But it’s always difficult to implement other people’s visions, because he had a very distinct vision for what he had planned for Wonder Woman. I think Phil [Hester] did a wonderful job taking what he had and trying to make it his own. We had a lot of things that were just working against us. For everybody that was involved in that project, from Joe and Phil through all the artists that were involved, everybody gave it their full effort. Some things work, some things don’t work, but our main goal is looking forward right now and concentrating on how to make sure everything’s as strong as it can be.

That’s all to be said about Wonder Woman, but you can read the full interview over at CBR!

The post from CBR also shows off this piece of Wonder Woman art from Cliff Chiang:

Art by Cliff Chiang

Art by Cliff Chiang

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Newsarama’s Interview with Brian Azzarello

Newsarama posted an interview pertaining to the Wonder Woman series with Brian Azzarello. A lot of the same stuff that we have been hearing in the Coventry Telegraph interview and CBR’s Interview. The most interesting bit for me:

Newsrama: who is Wonder Woman as you start her series? Is she the character we know, the Wonder Woman who is recognizable by the public?

Azzarello: She’s very recognizable in this universe. This isn’t a hard reboot. It’s a soft reboot. Her history’s intact. She’s still an Amazon. She’s still from Paradise Island. She’s tough. She’s prepared. She’s Wonder Woman.

I find it a little disconcerting that I’ve only heard Brian Azzarello refer to Themyscira as Paradise Island. I know Paradise Island is the original name, and that the name Themyscira wasn’t introduced until the 80s reboot. I know that even after the reboot, people still referred to it as Paradise Island. But I am very fond of the name Themyscira. I really hope that it’s still called Themyscira.

Read the entire interview on Newsarama!

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!

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.