CBR Interview with Brian Azzarello – First Born

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I must warn you, if you are planning to read this interview, make sure you have read Wonder Woman #23 first!! Spoilers abound!

CBR has a new interview with Brian Azzarello regarding The First Born and the events of Wonder Woman issue #23. The interview includes some interesting insights into the character of the First Born creation.

The one quote that interested me the most, and is entirely SPOILER-FREE is:

CBR: How long will the mission last? Do you have an end date to your run on “Wonder Woman” planned?

Azzarello: [Laughs] You’ll have to wait. I don’t want to give you a number, but I do have an ending.

More News About Morrison’s Wonder Woman

Grant Morrison's The Trial of Diana PrinceOn Kevin Smith’s Podcast Fatman on Batman episode #44, posted on August 14, 2013, Smith interviewed Grant Morrison. They discussed many topics, mostly revolving around Batman. However, at about the 30 minute mark, they started talking about Morrison’s upcoming Wonder Woman: Earth One book.

Grant Morrison announced that the title for the book is now The Trial of Diana Prince. It is speculated that the official title is still Wonder Woman: Earth One and that The Trial of Diana Prince is simply a subtitle.

Through the interview and like every interview he’s done, Morrison spends quite a bit of time obsessing over the sex lives of William Moulton Marston, his wife, and their lover. He talks extensively about the bondage elements, coming off seeming like bondage is the single most important element of the character.

Instantly, for me, I’m looking… You’ve got Batman, and Batman fights crime. And Superman’s sci-fi and social realism in the early days. Wonder Woman is about sex and alternative sexuality.

Really? Okay. So Wonder Woman is to alternative sexuality as Superman is to science fiction. That’s… That seems to be focusing on the wrong elements of what makes Wonder Woman such an interesting character, but okay Grant.

You’ve got like… 7,000 years, these women, they’ve been enslaved by Hercules and the greeks. They break out, they kill all the dudes. They head off and said “We’re going to create our own society free from the curse of men.” And they create Paradise Island…. And 7,000 years later, the same women are still alive cause they’ve conquered death. And the only new one that’s been born is Diana, the princess, Wonder Woman. So the idea is like… what happens like… a hundred years in, they’ve all fucked each other and they’ve built the buildings….

Smith and Morrison discuss how these women are frozen in basically the “same afternoon” because there is no masculinity. Their architecture is “haunted by the phallic memory of Hercules and the men.”

At this point in the interview, they finally start discussing the story. Diana discovers Steve Trevor crashed on the island and she runs away to “Man’s World” with him. She soon discovers it’s not just Man’s World any more; it’s men and women. However, the Amazons soon unleash the Gorgon on Diana to bring her back to Paradise Island to stand trial for her crimes. Apparently during the trial, Steve Trevor has to explain why men like porn…?

Morrison also says that he deals with Diana’s “birthed from clay” elements, since he felt that origin made her too remote from us. No spoilers on what he’s done with it. He also calls it a Disney Princess type story.

Yanick Paquette has finished 20 of the 120 pages for the story, and thus far the artwork is absolutely gorgeous.

The Guardian has another interview with Morrison about this project, where he once again goes on and on about the creator’s sex lives and Wonder Woman’s bondage elements. He explains why he’s “resurrecting Wonder Woman,” as if she hasn’t been published since the 1940s.

 

The more I hear about the story, the more I feel it is focusing on all the wrong elements of Wonder Woman. Yes, these are elements that were really important to the creation of the character, and who she was in the 1940s. But this just isn’t what she is now. I just don’t think this is going to be the story that brings Wonder Woman to the forefront of the public eye like Morrison seems to believe. And to be honest, I haven’t enjoyed any of the Earth One graphic novels thus far.

I’ll definitely buy Wonder Woman: Earth One. The story sounds interesting enough, despite focusing on archaic elements of her creation. But even if the story is complete nonsense, Paquette’s artwork alone will be worth the price of the book.

And my honest opinion: If this book makes anyone out there decide to delve deeper into Wonder Woman and her stories, it’ll be a success in my eyes. Anything that brings more people to Wonder Woman is good.

Still, I am worried.

No official date for it yet, especially considering Yanick Paquette still has 100 pages left to draw (in addition to his normal monthly duties). Hopefully we’ll see this book early 2014.

Wonder Woman Soliciations – November 2013

Potential Spoilers!

wwv4025Wonder Woman #25
(Volume 04 – Issue #639 overall)

Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Goran Sudzuka
Cover by Cliff Chiang

“There’s no time for Wonder Woman to fully comprehend the fallout from last issue’s shocking turn of events as her family gathers to prepare for an assault on Olympus!”

Still hinting at “shocking events” for issue #24. I guess it makes sense that Azzarello would cap his second full-year on the title with a big issue. I’m looking forward to seeing what it is and what follows. An assault on Olympus?! Exciting!

smww02Superman/Wonder Woman #02

Written by Charles Soule
Art and cover by Tony S. Daniel and Batt

“Whom the gods destroy, first they piss off! Seeking help against Doomsday, Diana turns to her brother Hephaestus for weapons—but a more immediate threat is Apollo and the other gods. They do not approve of Superman as a consort to Diana, and he will have to prove himself in combat!”

I can’t even begin to say how excited I am to see Wonder Woman’s supporting cast/Rogue’s gallery on the cover of this issue. Everything that has been said about this series has been all about Superman and how everything is about Superman. It’s nice to see that, with her name in the title, Wonder Woman will actually get some focus in this book.

With all of the Forever Evil stuff going on, there’s no telling whether or not Diana will appear in Justice League #24. There’s no specific mention of her. I guess it all depends on how Trinity War plays out. Other than that, there is DCE Essentials $1 reprint of Justice League #01 (from the New 52). Though Diana is not actually in the issue (she didn’t appear until Justice League #03), she is on the cover.

Alternate Universes

smallville19Smallville Season 11 #19

Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Jorge Jimenez
Cover by Cat Staggs

“With Washington, D.C., on lockdown, Air Force One under attack and the dead rising from the grave, Superman and a newly armored “Wonder Woman” take the fight to Hades and Faust. Plus, as “Olympus” concludes, Clark’s journey as Superman takes a dramatic turn!”

Newly armored Wonder Woman. I’m not sure how I feel about the costume on the cover (though I always prefer silver to gold on Diana). But I’ll be interested in seeing how this plays out in their universe. It’ll be an exciting story arc regardless.

Other Stuff

Since Diana in all her various incarnations will be included in Scribblenauts Unmasked, she will be included as part of the Scribblenauts Unmasked mini-figures series 01. Unfortunately, the toys are blind-boxed (SO ANNOYING). I may end up having to buy a million to get Wonder Woman.

Wow. November is a very sad month for Wonder Woman. Ah well…

Azzarello at Boston Comic-Con

I’ll be the first to admit that Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman is not my favorite run on Wonder Woman. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the series. I think he’s crafting a fantastic story. And his vision of Wonder Woman is much, MUCH closer to who she really is than any other portrayals of Diana in the New 52. But hearing about this exchange at Boston Comic-Con really improved my general opinion of Azzarello:

From BleedingCool:

Brian Azzarello told Boston that he sees Wonder Woman radically differently to the rest of DC Comics. And her comic is certainly evidence of that. When DiDio asked him how he felt about the whole Wonder Woman/Superman romance in light of the groundwork he was laying with Orion, he responded, “Clearly not the way DC feels about it.”

Absolutely true.

What I find interesting is that the same panel also mentioned that we will be seeing Doomsday and Zod in the Superman/Wonder Woman series. Oh yeah? We’ll be seeing Superman villains? What about a single mention of a single Wonder Woman villain, or secondary character?

Ugh.

Wonder Woman: Earth One [News, Images, So on]

wwe104The first promo image by Yanick Paquette. Click for a larger version!

This blog had not been set up when Wonder Woman: Earth One was initially announced. Since it is set up now, I thought I would collect all of the information and art previews I could find on this book to be your one-stop source on WW: Earth One!

Teased back in March, officially announced May 10, 2013, Wonder Woman: Earth One will be a new original graphic novel set in the same universe as Superman: Earth One (J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis) and Batman: Earth One (Geoff Johns and Gary Frank) written by Grant Morrison with art by Yanick Paquette.

Grant Morrison told EW.com:

This is some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time, because it’s a completely different type of comic book. Usually I don’t do masses of research, but for Wonder Woman, I’ve actually been working my way through the entire history of feminism. I want this to be f—ing serious, you know? I want this to be really, really good, to reflect not only what women think, but what men think of women. I’m trying to do something really different from what’s been done with the character before. That one’s been amazing fun, because it’s nothing like anything I’ve ever done before.

Morrison told L.A. Times Hero Complex:

It’s not a comic about superheroes punching each other. It’s about the sexes and how we feel about one another, and what a society of women cut off from the rest of the world for 3,000 years might look like, and what kind of sexuality, what kind of philosophy, what kind of science would that have developed, and how would that impact our world if it actually suddenly became apparent that these women existed.

We’re also going to deal with the notion of Wonder Woman having a costume, which I think is almost ridiculous. So we’re playing with that a little bit and doing something different from that, which surprisingly nobody has ever done. We’re going to do something with how she looks, which is quite different.

Speaking to USAToday, Morrison says:

I’m really focusing a lot more on the mother and daughter story in it between Hippolyta and Diana. I want it to be that kind of book, a story about women.

Diana’s a lot more defiant in it and she’s not sent to man’s world — she runs away to it so there’s a very different dynamic between her and Hippolyta, and the entire thing basically takes place around a trial.

I always felt one of the fundamentals of Wonder Woman in at least the last two decades is that she always seems to be on trial, and I don’t mean that in a story sense. Everyone’s always saying, “Why does nobody buy Wonder Woman? Why isn’t she any good?” (Laughs) it seems like she’s always on trial, so I thought if I literalized that and made the story basically the Amazons bringing her back home after her first adventure away and putting her on trial, it’d be different from anything else you might see. The Amazons have their own ways of doing things.

It’s kind of asking Wonder Woman to justify herself, which I feel has almost been what the character’s had to do for a long time.

In the same USAToday Interview, Morrison was asked “We’ve had endless versions of Superman and Batman in media. On the other hand, we’ve had one Wonder Woman show in the 1970s and, more recently, a TV pilot that didn’t get to series. Is the character just that tricky to pull off in an on-screen fashion?” To which he replied:

People have just convinced themselves that that’s true. I know Warner Bros. isn’t particularly keen on launching movies with female leads, and most of the big studios aren’t. It’s just a thing in Hollywood — they have fears about this. They also believe the audience is composed mainly of 18- to 30-year-old men who don’t want to know about women. (Laughs)

There are certain attitudes that have been around for a while and I think people just don’t question them anymore, and things like Wonder Woman always fall prey to it. I think you could have easily made an amazing Wonder Woman film if you had Angelina Jolie in her prime doing it. I think it would have done well, but I don’t know if there’s a big-name actress who can do it now.

The executives just run these things over in their heads and say, “I don’t know if it’s worth putting money into this. It’s not a surefire hit. The boys want to see Batman brooding.” Believe me, that’s what they think: “Boys don’t want to see a bunch of Amazons running around.”

The book doesn’t have a firm release date right now (“sometime”), but is scheduled to be 120 pages.

And now, the fun part… More artwork by Yanick Paquette! Click for larger size:

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Preview Clip 3 – When Can I See the Whole Thing?!

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Here is a third clip from the DC Nation Wonder Woman short.

Anyone know when we’re getting the full thing?

Full Cover for Superman/Wonder Woman #01

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The full Tony Daniel three-page cover spread for Superman/Wonder Woman #01.

Click for the full image.

Kotobukiya Bishoujo Wonder Woman – Armored

A while back, statue/figure creators Kotobukiya revealed this illustration by Shunya Yamashita for an upcoming Wonder Woman statue.

wwbishoujoarmoredpromoMuch like the Art of War statue, this seems to be a take on Jim Lee’s version of Wonder Woman from the Superman: For Tomorrow story arc.

CoolToyReview.com had this image from Comic-Con 2013 of a prototype of the statue:

wwbishoujoarmoredInteresting, I say. It looks a lot cooler than the previous Bishoujo Wonder Woman statue (seen in the background).

New Images/Info of Wonder Woman – Art of War statue

CoolToyReview.com has a couple of new images of the Wonder Woman – Art of War statue.

wwartofwarstatue02 wwartofwarstatue03DC Collectibles also revealed that is absolutely based on Jim Lee’s designs for Wonder Woman, and that the statue would be 10.5″. Still no official word on price or release date. I’d venture a guess that the price will hover around $125.

Opinion: CCI: Will Wonder Woman get any attention? Probably not.

With Comic-Con International on Day 2 right now, I’m mildly curious if there will be any Wonder Woman related news. DC tends to use these panels as a way to share and expand on information they’ve previously released on their own terms. Very rarely are there any announcements of any importance. Even more rarely are there announcements about Wonder Woman.

I’m not expecting this year to be any different. DC considers Wonder Woman one of their “Trinity,” but they’ve never shown her the level of respect I feel she deserves. I’m not saying that I expect huge Wonder Woman specific announcements every year. Simply recognizing her as a character in their universe would be nice. How hard is it to say “On Wonder Woman, Brian Azzarello has some great stuff planned for his third year writing the book. We don’t currently have any plans of re-tooling the book and kicking him off.”

DC doesn’t view Wonder Woman as a priority. She’s further down on the list than a lot of B-List characters. I think that is a huge mistake. The truth is Wonder Woman is never doing as well as they think she should be doing. However, with such wildly different portrayals of Diana between books, and almost no advertising, it’s hard to expect people who are not already reading the book to get interested.

If DC were really smart, they’d launch a second Wonder Woman title, Sensation Comics. Like the 25 Bat-titles or 3 or 4 Superman titles, this book could function to get larger visibility for the Amazing Amazon. Sensation could focus on the more typical superhero fare that many people miss about Wonder Woman, while allowing Brian Azzarello to continue his story uninterrupted in Wonder Woman. It would allow for a Wonder Woman title to be included in crossover events, again without interrupting the main title. This book could have more action, more character development, and more typical comic story arcs. It could introduce more of Diana’s villains (where’s Circe?!) and have her take on The Cheetah (introduced in JLA), as well as introduce more of her secondary cast (we know what happened to the Amazons, but Diana hasn’t even paused for a moment to care).

Having Sensation Comics be a secondary Wonder Woman title would also allow for eventual Wonder Woman-centric event books. Think about it. In the last 25 years, Wonder Woman has been the star of two events, War of the Gods in 1991 and Amazons Attack in 2007. War of the Gods was meant to celebrate Wonder Woman’s 50th Anniversary as a comic character. Instead, DC under-advertised (as they usually do), released books late and out of order, didn’t flag some books as tie-ins when they actually were, and generally caused George Perez to grow tired of putting a lot of effort into a character that DC was just going to crap all over. Amazons Attack, as we all remember, is basically just a huge mess, and perpetuated the stereotype that all the Amazons want to do is murder everything. Beyond that, Diana has been involved in events, but never central to them.

DC considers the crossover/event book formula to be a huge success, as evidenced by their intense need to have an event every 20 minutes. Just since the start of the New 52, Batman has already had two major “events.” Superman has had one. Aquaman has had one. Green Lantern has had two. Teen Titans has had one. Animal Man and Swamp Thing have had a major crossover. Justice League Dark has been involved in a crossover with I, Vampire and the major event Trinity War. I know Wonder Woman is present for Trinity War (and Throne of Atlantis), but she is not a major player in either of these stories. And the version of Diana that Geoff Johns is writing is HORRIBLE, but that’s a post for another day.

I don’t want the main Wonder Woman title to be shoe-horned into an event where she doesn’t belong. I think, for the most part, Azzarello is crafting a strong story in his book. A large part of why he’s able to do that is because he’s being left alone to do it. But if DC really believes these events and crossovers help character and brand visibility, it’s really telling that they don’t even bother attempting to create one for Wonder Woman.

But, as we all know, Wonder Woman is not a priority for DC.

Okay. So this rant came out of nowhere, but since it’s how I feel, I won’t delete it. What do you think?