Tag Archives: wonder woman

A Sword as Sharp – Science vs. The Sword

wwswoComic book writers mostly aren’t scientists, but sometimes they say things that make then sound like scientists.  Sometimes the things they say sound cool enough that it becomes repeated enough for a character or concept and then it becomes a fact.  When Mark Waid and Alex Ross depicted Wonder Woman in their landmark series Kingdom Come they gave her a sword which was said to be able to shave electrons off of atoms.  Since the new 52, the sword has become a common accoutrement of the  Amazon heroine, and so too has the fact that it can either shave off the electrons or cleave atoms in two.

Is that really as impressive as it sounds though?  From a physical chemistry perspective in fact it doesn’t really mean much.  As one of the basic building blocks of matter, the atom is made up of three basic particles (in addition to a lot of not-so-basic particles) – the proton, the neutron and the electron.  Protons and neutrons make up the nucleus, with the electrons spinning around them in valance shells.  These are roughly circular regions around the atom in which the electrons orbit the nucleus, and the combination of the three form an atom.  Is it so difficult to get an electron away from an atom?  Not necessarily, but a lot of elements lend their electrons away quite easily, which is the basis for the prevalence of modern electricity among many other applications.  Even so, electrons are not even particularly hard to move.  In the Rutherford gold foil experiment it was shown  that a piece of metal foil could be easily penetrated by a stream of electrons, in which case electrons passed through the valance shells of other atoms, both in and out, many mostly unaltered from their original path.  Equally some chemists will regard all electrons in the universe to be in the valance shells of essentially every other atom, only by degree of relative proximity does an electron belong to an atom.  By comparison then, shaving an electron off of an atom is not very impressive.

wwswo001What this therefore comes down to is a kind of pseudo-scientific way of saying that the sword is very very sharp.  By being able to slice one of the smallest pieces of matter, it means that something would have to be very sharp.  Does it need to be that sharp?  In terms of the heavy hitters in the comic worlds, most of them are invulnerable, meaning that bullets bounce off of them.  A really sharp sword in this case would be somewhat useless, thus a really sharp sword would only be useful against someone that was actually vulnerable to it.  In terms of what a sword would need to be able to cut, there are few parts of normal humans that cannot be cut by a regular sword made of regular steel.  However, the cutting ability of a surface is a combination of two things, its sharpness and its pressure.  As Wonder Woman is both ridiculously strong and fast, the amount of pressure that he could put on a cutting edge would be immense.  She wouldn’t need a sharp sword to cut, she could do so with a lot of blunt objects.  The sharpness of the word might be important for a weak character, but outfitting one of the strongest characters in comics with a sharp sword is redundant.  Also being sharp is not the equivalent of being hard, and Wonder Woman would need a durable sword much more than a sharp one, because after a few blows, the blade would be dull or broken if the material used to create the sword was weak.

The medium of comics is often one of superlatives, where things are unbreakable and where people become planet-busters, invulnerable or faster than light.  While the superlatives invoke great powers, sometimes the superlatives mean actually very little, such as the sword that can slice atoms, and it can be interesting to think about such claims in the face of real science.

About these ads

Around the Tubes

It’s a quick week around here as we count down to Thanksgiving! What comics remind you of the holiday?

Around the Tubes

The Boar – Comic books: not just for teenage boys – Good to see articles like this.

The Daily – Who needs a hero: Diversity in comic books – Also good to see.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – The Amazing Spider-Man #10

CBR – Wonder Woman #36

Around the Tubes

It was new comic day was yesterday! What did you all get?

Around the Tubes

The Beat – Thanks, Obamacomics! – Got my copy! Probably should read it now.

ICv2 – White Fox Joining Marvel Universe – Very cool!

The Beat – Which job at West Coast DC are YOU going to apply for? – Hmmm, maybe a career change?

The Spire – The British Comic Award Winners 2014 – Congrats to all!

Kotaku – When Superheroes Fight Game Characters, Things Get Painful – Ha!

Kotaku – ​LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham: The Kotaku Review – Can’t wait to play it.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – The Amazing Spider-Man #10

Comic Vine – AXIS: Carnage #2

Comic Vine – Batman and Robin #36

Comic Vine – Batwoman #36

Comic Vine – Black Widow #12

Talking Comics – Black Widow #12

Comic Vine – Daredevil #10

Comic Vine – Deadpool #37

Comic Vine – Elektra #8

Comic Vine – Fantastic Four #13

Comic Vine – Guardians of the Galaxy #21

CBR – Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream

Comic Vine – Moon Knight #9

Comic Vine – The Multiversity: Pax Americana

Comic Vine – New Avengers #26

Comic Vine – Teen Titans: Earth One HC

Comic Vine – Wonder Woman #36

Talking Comics – Wonder Woman #36

Comic Vine – X-O Manowar #30

Review: Wonder Woman #36

ww0036covThe Wonder Woman series takes a different turn starting with this issue.  So far since the new 52, the character has been controlled by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, but with this issue the new team of married couple David and Meredith Finch, the series is undergoing a change.  Since the launch of the new 52, the series has been one of the standouts for DC Comics, and many fans of the character list the previous 35 issues as some of the favorites in the character’s long publication history, rivaling those of George Peres and Gail Simone.  If there had been one criticism of the new series, it is that it was mostly as a standalone from the remainder of the DC Universe.  There was the occasional cameo by others, but mostly the series kept to itself and told its own story.  With the new creative team, the emphasis is now on how to balance what is now comic canon from the previous run in regards to her modified origin and history, while also trying to reintegrate the character into the mainstream DC Universe.

This doesn’t take long, after a nearly poetic entrance, and a short interlude by the Amazons, Diana is shown immediately surrounded by her allies from the Justice League.  No sooner is she appraised of the situation than she is off to investigate the disappearance of numerous villages around the globe.  This gives a chance for a short (and possibly out-of-place) fight scene, but the character of Wonder Woman is handled well throughout, as her true nature is shown versus the other characters.  She may be the Goddess of War, but as the Futures End series demonstrated, she is probably better suited to be the Goddess of Peace.  Seemingly the creative team didn’t want to thrust the character back into the DC Universe entirely, and so by the end of the issue she is back to Themyscira for a problem now rooted back into those of the mythology from which she is born.

Overall the issue does what it needs to have done.  Wonder Woman is thrown back into the main DC Universe with careful intention, and yet the ties to her stories so far in the new 52 are not simply forgotten.  Much was made about David Finch’s comment about the character and feminism, but those were apparently taken out of context, and really he does a great job drawing female characters (though I might point out that his male characters tend to be a bit boxy).  Focusing on the feminine is not a bad thing for this book, as long as it is not exploitative, and with one issue into this new direction, the creative team seems to at least be on the right track.

Story: Meredith Finch Art: David Finch
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Matchett’s Musings: Here Come the Girls Part 1

Here Come the Girls Part 1: Female characters

Good day folks, after a brief hiatus courtesy of a wonderful honeymoon I’m back with more of my thoughts.  For the first few articles I talked a little about launching my own comic and some thoughts from behind the comic creator curtain.  Today I wanted to take a break talk about some issues in the comic industry that are getting a lot of attention.

There are things I feel should be said that aren’t and if no one else is saying them I might as well do it.

Something that has been a major issue in comics for nearly as long as they’ve been around is gender and the balance between female characters vs. male characters and female creators vs. male creators.   Both are subjects that come up time and time again and I’d like talk about both, starting with female characters and how they are perceived/treated in the past, present and future.

Okay, hands up who can tell me who the character above is?  Don’t rush all at once now.  That’s right its Wonder Woman who is not only one of DC’s earliest characters (she was created way back in 1941) but is presented as one of their biggest.  Indeed it could be argued that Wonder Woman is one of the most recognizable fictional characters ever.

Show an image of the character to most people in the world and would at least be able to identify her as Wonder Woman.  This is because she is presented as one of DC’s ‘trinity’ alongside Batman and Superman.  She has featured in TV shows, cartoons and a lot of merchandising.  She’s also been a fairly regular member of the Justice League even at times when Batman and Superman weren’t.

The reason I talk about her now is that despite the fact she is so recognizable and she is represented by DC as a major character, her past often has her playing second fiddle to her main counterparts.  Despite being DC’s third most recognizable character, Wonder Woman has never quite had the same exposure in comics as Batman and Superman.

Almost since their creation, Batman and Superman have had at least two titles each per month and often, a lot more.  Usually Wonder Woman has one book that is her own, a title that in the past has had minimal sales success.  This is not for lack of trying on DC’s part. The company has tried everything from big name creators to relaunching to even having mainstream novelists take over writing duties to raise sales.  To date, every attempt has ultimately met with the same minimal success.

Even today, the Wonder Woman title is coming to the end of a creative run that has not only been critically acclaimed but commercially successful compared to past years.  Whether this will continue after the current team leaves is uncertain but the most recent issue’s sales numbers was available were from July 2014, when the title ranked 77, selling 37,431.

The third most recognizable character DC has to offer and she was outperformed by 76 other books that included the likes of Moon Knight and Archie.  I’m not here just to talk about Wonder Woman but I feel that she is the best way of illustrating my overall point.

No matter how well known they are it seems that female characters are almost treated as secondary to male leads.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t books out there that feature female leads that sell very well because there are lots of those.  However these books generally feature said leads as part of an ensemble cast.  Books like Justice League, Saga, Avenger’s, X-Men and Walking Dead all feature great female characters.  They are however associated with the overall brand rather than the main stars.  Even Wonder Woman’s own book is outsold by one where she is mentioned in the cover but gets second billing next to the books co-star Superman.

Currently the highest selling book that stars a female lead and presents itself as such is DC’s Harley Quinn which in August 2014 (leaving out September due to DC’s wacky 3D variants) number 7 on the chart and sold 71,522 copies on its most recent issue.  This meant that the female fan favorite outsold most of Batman’s books, Wolverine, Deadpool and the Guardians of the Galaxy among many others.

Harley Quinn has been a character that has always played against the odds and won.  A very good friend of mine and talented creator in his own right, Ray Goldfield once said ‘For every Harley Quinn you get 1000 Poochie’s.’  I agree that a female character with adoring fans like Harley is especially rare   The fact that her book is performing so fell on such a consistent basis is a surprise to many.

However, the next female led title is Batgirl which is a whopping fifty-three places below Harley’s Top Ten book at number Sixty, selling 34,590.  Below her is where we find Ms. Marvel at sixty-six and so on and so forth.  In-between are the books that feature female characters primarily as part of an ensemble cast.

For as long as I’ve been reading comics I’ve been hearing the same thing and I’m sure you have heard it too, ‘There should be more female characters in comics!’  Well there are many that feature in a variety of books but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of support for them.

To their credit both Marvel and DC have made quite the effort to have more female led title’s in recent years.  Along with Harley Quinn we’ve also had books like Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Spider-Woman and more.  At the New York Comic Con it seemed that Marvel was intent on announcing a treasure trove of new female-led books because people are asking for them.  They’re even giving obscure characters like Squirrel Girl and new characters like Spider-Gwen/Silk their own titles to meet a demand that people insist is there and that the figures achieved by Harley Quinn would indicate.

Yet with the demand not supported by sales, Marvel has already announced the cancellation of She-Hulk after twelve issues and it could be a similar story for Captain Marvel/Black Widow (although either or both could be relaunched).

Title’s that have a female lead are certainly headline grabbers and do get a good bit of buzz initially.  It seems like a bit of an event when a new female book is announced…almost a novelty.  I think that’s what I find most strange about how female characters are often marketed.  No one would bat an eye if a character like say…Cyborg got his own book but if Thor gets a gender switch it’s time to stop the presses.

I have been fortunate enough to be complimented many times on my handling of female characters in Sparks and Living With Death.  Both books were created with female leads in mind and almost in every interview I’ve been asked ‘How do you write women well?’  I suppose the answer to this is the same reason that I’m writing this article.  I love female characters because I love characters period.  Some of my favorite characters just happen to be women, just like some of my favorite characters happen to be males.

Writer of Game Of Thrones (among many other things) George R.R Martin once said something I really liked when asked how he can embody characters like Daenery’s and Ayra with such life and power.  He simply said ‘I’ve always thought of women as people’.

I think that says it all.  To me we will truly have achieved equal standing for male and female characters when it isn’t talked about anymore.  There will be no headlines about Thor being a women or that Captain Marvel is getting her own movie.  It will just be considered part of the norm and that’s what I want to see., a comic market where female characters are treated the same as male characters.  It will no longer be a big deal that Marvel, DC, Image or anyone has a book with a female lead; it’ll simply be them launching a book like any other.  No one raises an eyebrow when Batman gets a new book but if Wonder Woman got a secondary title there would probably be national headlines.  That is not how it could, or should be.

In closing, yes things are changing.  There are now more female led titles than in the past but it has taken us nearly Seventy years to get to the point where these books are given a chance .  I don’t want to wait another Seventy for comics to take the next step.

Next:  Female creators

Many thanks to Mary Sheridan for helping me put this together!

Got any comments, suggestions or questions? Let me know! Also follow me on Twitter @glenn_matchett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Around the Tubes

It’s a new week! What has everyone excited? We’ve got all goods of stuff on tap for today, so come back often.

Around the Tubes

Bleeding Cool – Disney’s Frozen Graphic Novel Gets Over 100,000 Preorders – Glad to see something. Massive fail overall.

The Mary Sue – Hasbro To Help “Operation” Board-Game Inventor Afford $25,000 Medical Procedure – Good to see the company stepping up.

ICv2 – Stan Lee Media Loses Twice – How are they not paying the other team’s lawyers fees now? How much is being spent on all of this!?

PSFK – Chilling Graphic Novel Unfolds Exclusively on Instagram – Very cool!

National Post – Rare ‘Jewish War Heroes’ comic from 1944 found in box of donated used books – Very cool to see. A nice piece of history.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Moviepilot – Arkham Manor #1

Talking Comics - C.O.W.L. Vol. 1

CBR – Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. #1

ComicBook.com – Miracleman #12

CBR – Saga #24

Talking Comics – Wonder Woman #35

Warner Bros. Announces their DC Comics Movie Schedule

New-DC-Logo_BlueDuring a shareholder meeting Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara announced plans for Warner Bros.’ plans for movies based on DC Comics, ending months (years?) of speculation and rumors. This is the list of movies to expect post Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

August 5, 2016: Suicide Squad“four A-listers are currently in talks to star,” and the film will be directed by David Ayer.

June 23, 2017: Wonder WomanGal Gadot spins off into her on film.

November 23, 2017: Justice League Part 1 – the first part of Zack Snyder‘s two part film brings back the cast of Batman v Superman with man more added.

March 23, 2018: The FlashEzra Miller will suit up as the scarlet speedster, instead of the television show’s Grant Gustin

July 27, 2018: Aquaman – the studio has confirmed that Jason Momoa will star.

April 5, 2019: ShazamDwayne “The Rock” Johnson is attached to the film.

June 14, 2019: Justice League Part 2

April 3, 2020:  Cyborg – the film will star Ray Fisher.

June 19, 2020: Green Lantern

There also more solo Batman and Superman films in the works. Also announced was The Lego Batman Movie in 2017, directed by Chris McKay, and The Lego Movie 2 in 2018.

In August a list of ten movie release dates was posted by BoxOfficeMojo. Here’s how those dates match up.

  • Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – 3/25/16
  • Untitled DC Film (June 2020) – 6/19/20 – Green Lantern above.
  • Untitled DC Film (April 2020) – 4/3/20 – Cyborg above
  • Untitled DC Film (June 2019) – 6/14/19 – Justice League Part 2 above.
  • Untitled DC Film (April 2019) – 4/5/19 - Shazam above.
  • Untitled DC Film (July 2018) – 7/27/18 - Aquaman above.
  • Untitled DC Film (March 2018) – 3/23/18 – The Flash above.
  • Untitled DC Film (Nov. 2017) – 11/17/17 – probably Justice League, thought it’s shifted by a week.
  • Untitled DC Film (June 2017) – 6/23/17 – Wonder Woman above.
  • Untitled DC Film (2016) – 8/5/16 – Suicide Squad above.

All the dates match up, except one which is shifted one week.

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic day! What has everyone excited this week?

Around the Tubes

The Beat – DC is hiring some VPs in sales and manufacturing – Anyone need a job?

Albuquerque Journal – Pair tried to sell stolen comic books worth $9,000, police say – Uh…

Kotaku – The Coolest Cosplay from Geek Girl Con – This is amazing.

Kotaku – Cool Dad Builds The Best Version of Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet – We laughed.

Kotaku – Avengers Wedding Proposal Gets Black Widow, Hawkeye Together – Awe…

LogoTV – Fans Turn The Tables On Sexism In Comic Books – A bit late on the story, but still good to see coverage.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Injustice: Year Three #3

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow. What are folks looking forward to? What do folks think of all of the New York Comic Con announcements?

Around the Tubes

iO9 – We’re Getting A LEGO Movie Spinoff About Batman! Darkness! No Parents! – Hells yes!

Kotaku – Conan O’Brien? The Green Loontern? LEGO Batman 3 Keeps Getting Better – Nice!

The Spire - NYCC’14: DC Spin Round Really Fast, Suddenly Reveal Wonder Woman ’77 Series – Can’t wait. DC is starting to do it right?

The Spire – NYCC’14: Lemire and Perez Relaunch Hawkeye, Spencer and Rosanas Launch Ant-Man – Good to see it’s still going, and not shocking on Ant-Man.

The Star – York police superhero flick aimed at diverting kids from a life of crime – Some nice thinking.

The New York Times – So What’s the Big Idée? – We want one here in DC!

ICv2 – NYCC Bigger than San Diego Comic-Con – Hmmmm.

The Clarion Ledger – Graphic novel of John Lewis’ life going to students – This should be required reading for all students.

ICv2 – Fox Opts for a Full Season of ‘Gotham’ – Cool.

The Beat – Cosplay, Consent and Signs of the Times – Maybe part of the reason the crowd has gotten so big? Inclusion?

Five Thirty Eight – Comic Books Are Still Made By Men, For Men And About Men – Nice of them to reach out to us for content…. or not.

The Mary Sue – Dawn of Justice Producer Confirms Wonder Woman Will Have New 52 Origin Story – Huh.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #1

CBR – Batman #35

Talking Comics - Batman #35

The Michigan Times – Batman #35

Around the Tubes

So some big comics debuted yesterday. What do you all think?

Around the Tubes

ICv2 – Darabont Wins Motions in ‘Walking Dead’ Lawsuit – Doh.

Kotaku – Who Is Kevin Smith Playing In LEGO Batman 3? Hint: It’s Kevin Smith. – Still need to pre-order this.

ICv2 – DC Apologizes for Sexist Superhero Shirts – Good on them.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #1

Comic Vine – Death of Wolverine #3

ICv2 – Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird

Comic Vine – Edge of Spider-Verse #4

Comic Vine – Fantastic Four Annual #1

CBR – Fiction Squad #1

Comic Vine – Green Arrow #35

Comic Vine – Green Lantern/New Gods: Godhead #1

Comic Vine – Justice League #34

Comic Vine – Lobo #1

The Herts – Loki: Agent of Asgard: Trust Me

Comic Vine – Nailbiter #6

Comic Vine – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #38

Comic Vine – Wonder Woman #34

« Older Entries