Tag Archives: cliff chiang

Wonder Woman is IGN’s Best Comic Series of 2013!

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This has to be, in my opinion, one of the coolest bits of Wonder Woman news. For the first time (in my memory, anyway), Wonder Woman was named by IGN as the Best Comics Series of 2013! IGN had this to say:

It refused to do things so many other mainstream comics do. It didn’t crossover with other books. It never changed course to take part in an event. Wonder Woman’s characterization wasn’t altered to fit the more boisterous version in Justice League. Simply put, writer Brian Azzarello and artists Cliff Chiang, Matthew Wilson, Tony Akins, and Goran Sudzuka were allowed to stick to their guns, and it paid off magnificently. … Heart, humor, and hard knocks aplenty, all under the banner of one of those females they always say can’t sell comic books. There just aren’t any other comics on the stands as entertaining, consistent, and epic as Wonder Woman, and that’s why it’s the clear winner for the best series of 2013.

Wonder Woman was also nominated for quite a few other things:

  • Best Comic Moment of the Year (for the events of issue 23, pictured above) – Lost to DC’s Green Lantern
  • Best Single Comic Issue (again for issue 23) – Lost to Vertigo’s Trillium #01
  • Best Comic Story Arc (for War) – Lost to Ragnarok Now from Marvel’s Uncanny Avengers
  • Best Comic Art Team (Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson) – Lost to Fiona Staples of Image’s Saga

It’s incredibly awesome for the book to have been nominated. I’m really excited that Wonder Woman is being finally being recognized for the outstanding quality of her stories.

Here’s to 2014 and beyond! May Diana’s star continue to rise!

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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.

Wonder Woman Solicitations – October 2013

Potential Spoilers!

wwv4024Wonder Woman #24
(Volume 04 – Issue #638 overall)

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

“After the shocking events of issue #23, Wonder Woman’s life has changed forever…but what if she refuses to walk the path the gods—and her mentor—have laid out for her? A strange new era of WONDER WOMAN begins here!”

Of course, the thing I am most excited for: Wonder Woman! This issue is being billed as the beginning of “a strange new era of Wonder Woman!” Not entirely sure what that means, but the cover image certainly lends a few clues.

Sudzuka is a better fill in artist than Tony Akins (whose art I find terrible), but I still wish Cliff Chiang had it in him to do the art for the entire series. Still, this cover implies there are some great things in store for Wonder Woman, following the end of Brian Azzarello’s second year on the book.

smww01Superman/Wonder Woman #01

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

Beginning a bold new series that details the relationship between The Man of Steel and the Warrior Princess as rising star writer Charles Soule is joined by fan favorite artist Tony S. Daniel to tell the tale of a romance that will shake the stars themselves. These two super-beings love each other, but not everyone shares their joy. Some fear it, some test it—and some will try to kill for it. Some say love is a battlefield, but where Superman and Wonder Woman are concerned it spells Doomsday!

This issue features an amazing wraparound gatefold cover that opens up to a triptych with Superman and Wonder Woman in the center!

This is a book I’m a little on the fence about. Don’t get me wrong, I will buy it. Seeing Wonder Woman in multiple titles every month is awesome. But I’m trepidatious. I’m not completely sold on the relationship between Diana and Clark, largely because it has been under-explored (shown repeatedly, but not truly developed). This book is certainly the chance for DC to do that, while also giving Wonder Woman fans a more action oriented book every month.

Written by Charles Soule, with whom I have very little experience (largely because he has not written that many comics). I’m okay with this choice because I don’t have a bias going into the book. Someone new can give some fresh insight into these characters.

On top of these, we also have Justice League #24. As it is aftermath of the Trinity War, the solicitations are very sparse, with very little info and placeholder images. Whether or not Diana will actually even be in Justice League #24, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Alternate Universes

jl3000001Justice League 3000 #01

Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Art and cover by Kevin Maguire

Don’t miss the debut of the new series starring the heroes of today—tomorrow! But what are they doing in the year 3000? And who (or what) brought them there? Get ready for a double dose of wonder as only the stellar creative team of Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire can deliver!

I am really looking forward to this book. I love these future/alternate reality takes on characters that I love. And look at Diana! Her lasso has become a mace? Is that even the same Diana we’re used to? Who are these people? Why do they come together? So many questions!

smallville18Smallville Season 11 #18

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

Diana’s mysterious past may hold the key to helping Superman stop Faust in the present—but the warlock isn’t working alone! Enter Hades, Lord of the Underworld! “Olympus” continues in part 3 of 4.

Not only is Smallville introducing their version of Wonder Woman, but now they’re adding their version of Hades?! Sold. I think Bryan Q. Miller is a very talented writer, so I look forward to his take on my favorite character: Wonder Woman!

Other Stuff

In October, DC will release “DCE Essentials” $1 reprints of some popular issues, including the New 52 Wonder Woman #01.

DC also resolicited the Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating the DC Universe Omnibus HC, which includes his take on Wonder Woman. The book has been rescheduled for December, with a price of $75. December will also bring a Villain’s Month Omnibus hardcover, which will feature Wonder Woman 23.1 and 23.2, the villain issues focusing on The Cheetah and the First Born. I imagine these issues will also be collected in Wonder Woman collections next year, for those that don’t want to shell out $150 for this omnibus of mostly unrelated issues.

That’s it for Wonder Woman in October. I’m really hoping that Superman/Wonder Woman will be good, so we finally have a second Wonder Woman-focused title.

Wonder Woman Solicitations – July 2013

Here are the Wonder Woman related releases set for July 2013!

Potential Spoilers Ahead! Be warned!

Let’s start with the most important of the solicitations.

wwv4022Wonder Woman #022
(Volume 04 – Issue #636 overall)

Written by Brian Azzarello
Art and cover by Cliff Chaing

Welcome to New Genesis! Wonder Woman makes her first visit to Orion’s homeworld and comes face to face with the Highfather…and sees the strange hold he has over his uncontrollable son!

The moment people have been waiting for is finally arriving: New Genesis! It seems like there are a lot of people who only read Wonder Woman for the New Gods content. While that’s a little sad to me, I’m also excited to see Orion, the Highfather, and this new take on the New Gods! This issue looks to be diving into the New Gods story full-force. Looking forward to it.

Trinity War jl22Justice League #22

Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado

TRINITY WAR, the action-mystery event of the summer, begins with a full-length epic adventure! The death of a hero ignites a violent war among the Justice Leagues! It’s League vs. League vs. League as an impending darkness approaches the DC Universe. But the truth behind it all will lead to an evil that threatens every hero on the planet. And what does the Secret Society of Super-Villains have to with this? Everything.

jla06Justice League of America #06

Written by Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire
Art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy
Cover by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado

TRINITY WAR CHAPTER 2! The War of the Justice Leagues continues as one hero is arrested and another goes rogue. Who is responsible for the evil that has infected the League? And who is the true killer? Only the Question knows the answer…

jld22Justice League Dark #22

Written by Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes
Art by Mikel Janin
Cover by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado

TRINITY WAR CHAPTER 3! A member of the Justice League defects to Justice League Dark. But what does Constantine know about this murder that he isn’t telling? And what dark secret does one of our Leaguers hold that could turn the tide of this Justice League War?

Trinity War is in full-effect in July. I’m not sure how large a role Diana will play in the events of Trinity War (knowing Geoff Johns, not a large role). I’ve never been impressed with the way Geoff Johns has written Wonder Woman, including this run of Justice League. He doesn’t understand the character, and doesn’t even make an attempt to understand her. Perhaps the smaller her role in Trinity War, the better.

Other Stuff

Though Diana is not on the cover nor mentioned in the solicitation text, in July we will receive Ame-Comi Girls #05. A surprisingly adept alternate universe take on characters we all love, Diana has played a major role in the earlier issues.

July’s solicitations also brought us information about other Wonder Woman related products coming in the following months. September will see the release the New 52 Trinity action figure box set, a single collection of the New 52 Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman action figures previously released. We’ll also be getting this statue in September:

wwsmkissstatueTitled “The Kiss”, the statue, designed by Jim Lee, is based on the moment in Justice League #12 where Wonder Woman and Superman kiss. Strangely, the moment in the book looks nothing like this statue:

wondiesupeskissArtistic license, I guess. I’m still torn about the statue, since I’m not entirely convinced that I find their relationship compelling.

In September, we’ll also get hardcover releases of three Wonder Woman related stories. The first is Volume 03 of her own series, titled Iron. This hardcover collects Wonder Woman v4 issues 00, 13-18. DC is also releasing Batwoman Volume 03 – World’s Finest hardcover, which collects Batwoman #12-17 and 00. This is the story arc where Batwoman teamed up with Wonder Woman. It was very well done, with gorgeous art, so I look forward to being able to read it again and again. Finally, Justice League Volume 03 – Throne of Atlantis, collecting Justice League 13-17 and Aquaman #15-16. Though much more of an Aquaman-centric story, Diana does play a role in this arc. We also get to see Diana and Clark go out on a date.

July is looking to be a pretty sparse month for Wonder Woman. But hopefully Wonder Woman #22 will make up for the lack of other appearances!

Review: Wonder Woman v1 #01 – The Visitation

SPOILER WARNING: This review contains spoilers!

Wonder Woman v4 Issue 01 (New 52) - Cover by Cliff Chiang

Wonder Woman v4 Issue 01 (New 52) – Cover by Cliff Chiang

Wonder Woman #01
Written by: Brian Azzarello
Art by: Cliff Chiang (interior art and cover), Matthew Wilson (colors), Jared K. Fletcher (letters)
Story Title: The Visitation
Release Date: September 21, 2011
DC Comics
Ratings: 4.5 out of 5

Dusk, on the rooftop terrace of a skyscraper in Singapore, Apollo and three young human women are talking. In Virginia, a humanoid (presumably female) draped in a cloak of peacock feathers in a horse stable takes a scythe and uses it to cut the heads off of two horse. Where their heads were arms and a head start to grow. In a nearby house, we see a young woman pointing a shotgun at a bird-footed, blue skinned humanoid. He is trying to protect her, but the young woman, Zola, doesn’t believe him. The horses have turned into centaurs and are attacking Zola’s home. The man takes an arrow for her and gives her a key. The key teleports her to London and the bedroom of Diana, the Wonder Woman. While Diana and Zola teleport back to Zola’s house to face the centaurs, Apollo is being told his fortune by the three women (who have become Oracles). The man from earlier is revealed to be Hermes, and he beckons Diana to take Zola and run “to the ends of the Earth. Protect her, or the Queen will see her dead.” Hermes reveals that Zola is pregnant with Zeus’ child. The prophecy of the Oracles reveals that one of Zeus’ children will murder another and take their place.

I’m very impressed with this issue. A lot of the DC New 52 stuff really suffered from premiere-itis. The stories fell a little short when weighed down with introducing a new origin, or they were confusing as to when they took place in relation to other appearances of the same character (I’m looking at you Superman). Wonder Woman did not have that problem. The world knows who Wonder Woman is (at the very least, Zola instantly recognized her). The Gods of Olympus are active and alive. There were no lingering continuity or origin related questions from this issue.

Brian Azzarello did a fantastic job of setting up the future of this new series without sacrificing telling a good story in this issue. That can be a very tough task for writers, but not Azzarello. Cliff Chiang’s art really shines here, with the help of very crisp and beautiful colors by Matthew Wilson. Everything really comes together to create what I feel is the strongest premiere issue of a run of Wonder Woman in a very long time. I can’t wait to read this book every month, and I hope Brian Azzarello sticks around for many years to tell some great stories.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to long-time Wonder Woman fans and new readers alike.

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!

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.

Preview Art – Wonder Woman (vol. 04) Issue #01

A couple of preview pages for the first issue of the New 52 Wonder Woman have started making the rounds. Check them out.

Art by Cliff Chiang

Art by Cliff Chiang

Art by Cliff Chiang

Art by Cliff Chiang

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.