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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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Wonder Woman Solicitations – December 2013

Potential Spoilers!

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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.

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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

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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:

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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.

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.