Tag Archives: New 52

DC Steampunk Variants for February 2014

CBR has just released an exclusive first look at DC’s Steampunk variants for February 2014. Two of them feature Wonder Woman! Take a look!

Justice League #28 - Steampunk Variant - Art by Dan Panosian

Justice League #28 – Steampunk Variant – Cover by Dan Panosian

Superman/Wonder Woman #04 - Steampunk Variant - Cover by Dan Panosian

Superman/Wonder Woman #04 – Steampunk Variant – Cover by Dan Panosian

What do you think? I honestly think that both of the Wonder Woman images are a little…meh. They rely too heavily on saloon girl-style clichés. The Superman/Wonder Woman variant is a little better. I wonder if DC will release a Wonder Woman variant. I like that the bodice/corset Diana is wearing in Justice League looks a lot like the Amazonia corset.

EDIT: Hitflix has released more covers, including one for Wonder Woman #28.

Wonder Woman v4 #28 - Steampunk Variant - Cover by J.G. Jones and Trish Mulvihill

Wonder Woman v4 #28 – Steampunk Variant – Cover by J.G. Jones and Trish Mulvihill

Hey! Look at that! More direct saloon girl clichés! Wonderful!

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Wonder Woman Solicitations – December 2013

Potential Spoilers!

wwv4026

Wonder Woman #26
(Volume 04 – Issue #640 overall)

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

“Wonder Woman’s brother and sister are being held hostage by none other than Cassandra, the sadistic sibling she hasn’t even met yet! And speaking of hostages, we’re taking bets on how long chains can hold the First Born!”

I really like the simplicity of this cover. Cassandra returns; does Diana finally meet this sibling? And I still don’t get Cassandra’s intense desire to help the First Born.

smww03

Superman/Wonder Woman #03

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

“Zod unleashed! Can Superman and Wonder Woman stop this madman before he gains full power under the Earth’s yellow sun? Guest-starring the JLA, and featuring a shocking conclusion that could mean the end of Superman and Wonder Woman together!”

I’m all for a second series starring Wonder Woman. I’m still not totally sold on Diana and Clark’s relationship, but maybe this book can change my mind (I hope so). But this seems to be another Superman-centric issue. Are they rotating between Superman-centric issue, then Wonder Woman-centric issue (November’s seemed to be Wonder Woman-centric). Or, is the bulk of the book going to be Superman, and “Oh yeah, Wonder Woman’s here.” I guess we’ll find out when the series begins in October.

Alternate Universes

jla300re

Justice League 3000 #01
(Resolicited)

Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Art and cover by Howard Porter

“The new series starring the heroes of today—tomorrow is resolicited, now with legendary artist Howard Porter (JLA) on board! But what are these heroes doing in the year 3000? And who (or what) brought them there? Get ready for a dose of wonder from the writing team of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis!”

Originally solicited for October 2013, the book seems to have lost artist Kevin Maguire and gained Howard Porter and a new cover. We still don’t know much about this book. Are these our Justice League members? Clones? Future people who just took up the titles? Perhaps we’ll find out in December.

Other Stuff

The Forever Evil event seems to feature Wonder Woman almost never. No mention of her in Forever Evil #4 or Justice League #26 (which features the Crime Syndicate on the cover). I did notice this:

feargus03

Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. #03

“Steve Trevor and his small band of surviving A.R.G.U.S. agents track down the deadly Cheetah, who has Wonder Woman’s lasso in her possession. That lasso could be the only hope of freeing the Justice League!”

I don’t have plans on picking up the entire run of FE:Argus, but I may pick up this issue. It seems to center on the search for Diana’s lasso, which I would certainly be interested in.

That’s pretty much it for Diana in December. I am looking forward to the end of Forever Evil, honestly. December is only the half-way point.

CBR Interview with Brian Azzarello – First Born

wwv4023p2

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 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 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.

Mythology: Wonder Woman v4 Issue 01 – The Visitation

One of my favorite aspects of the Wonder Woman series has always been her link to Greek mythology. The first issue of volume four of Wonder Woman (the new 52) is resplendent with mythological aspects. Let’s examine some of them, shall we?

I do not claim to be an expert on Greek mythology, but I’ve always been fascinated. This is giving me a chance to research and learn more about the aspects of the mythology that effect Wonder Woman.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS

Apollo at night - Art by Cliff Chiang

Apollo at night – Art by Cliff Chiang

The first mythological aspect that we see is Apollo himself. Though it is never explicitly stated in the issue that he is Apollo, the dialogue in this image (“I’m the Sun of a King”), heavily implies it, with Sun being a play on words (Apollo is the son of Zeus and the Sun God). [Note: There was a character design image released by DC Comics that clearly states that this is Apollo.]

Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto. His twin sister is Artemis, the Goddess of the Hunt. “Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, medicine, healing, plague, music, poetry, arts, archery, and more.” [Wikipedia]

This is a very interesting interpretation of Apollo. He starts out with dark skin and hair, almost like molten rock. As the sun starts to rise throughout the issue, he gets brighter until this:

Daytime Apollo - Art by Cliff Chiang

Daytime Apollo – Art by Cliff Chiang

Peacock cloaked woman - Art by Cliff Chiang

Peacock cloaked woman – Art by Cliff Chiang

Next we see someone (seemingly female) cloaked in peacock feathers. We never get a look at this person beyond an arm, a leg, and a silhouette. The peacock has long been associated with Hera, queen of the Gods [*]. She is frequently shown as being very jealous of her husband Zeus’ many lovers. If she knows that Zola is pregnant with Zeus’ child (as revealed at the end of issue 01), it makes sense that Hera (or perhaps an agent of Hera) would attempt to kill Zola.

Hermes - Art by Cliff Chiang

Hermes – Art by Cliff Chiang

Next we see Hermes, the messenger of the Gods. In George Perez’s reboot of Wonder Woman in 1987, Hermes is the God who gifted Diana with speed and flight. Here we see him with winged bird feet and a helmet similar to the one he wore during George Perez’s run [**]. No caduceus in sight.

Centaurs - Art by Cliff Chiang

Centaurs – Art by Cliff Chiang

Centaurs! Body of a horse with the torso and head of a human. There are two different origins for centaurs, both of which have connections to happenings in this issue. In one, centaurs were born of Ixion (son of Ares) and Nephele (a cloud nymph in the form of Hera [***]). In the other, all centaurs are descended from Centaurus. Centaurus is either the child of Ixion and Nephele, or the child of Apollo with Stilbe (a water nymph and daughter of River God Peneus). Whether connected through Apollo or Hera (or even not at all), centaurs play a heavy role in Greek mythology. It makes sense that Wonder Woman would come across them.

Oracles - Art by Cliff Chiang

Oracles – Art by Cliff Chiang

Finally, we have these three. Though these three start out as regular human women, they seem to be Oracles of some kind. It is possible they were nothing more than regular oracles (perhaps even imbued with the power of Apollo). However, the fact that there are three of them and they speak in turn could be a reference to the Moirae, the spinners of fate. The women could have been channeling the Moirae. It is unclear exactly who they were and why they could foretell the future.

That’s all for this issue! Come back next month when we examine mythological aspects of issue two!

[*] The story of Hera’s association with the peacocks revolves around Zeus’ affair with Io.

[**] George Perez’s Hermes can be seen here. This image was from Wonder Woman (v2) issue 07.

[***] Nephele was made by Zeus in the image of Hera to test Ixion’s integrity. Ixion has shown lust for Hera. He failed Zeus’ test and mated with Nephele (whom he believed to be Hera). And thus, the centaurs were born.

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 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

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!