Tag Archives: wonder woman

Review: Wonder Woman #41

ww041Convergence was a strange crossover for DC Comics.  While the story was perhaps passable, it didn’t really do much for most of the characters, and instead drove a wedge into the ongoing story lines of most characters.  While in most cases this hurt the flow of the stories or at least any momentum that they had, in the case or Wonder Woman, it might have been an unexpected gift.  Although no one had intended it as such, Convergence was supposed to be big as was the new creative team on Wonder Woman, it gave the Finch’s a change to reboot a little bit.  After all their first story arc for Wonder Woman started off strongly enough but devolved in a rapid enough fashion into a bit of a mess as the team seemingly tried to tackle too much of the character’s multi faceted life instead of just focusing on one aspect at a time.

While there seems to be a bit of the same approach here, it is also a bit more subdued.  The focus is still on Diana as queen of the Amazons, superhero and goddess of war, but there also seems to be a bit better focus.  Diana must deal with Donna Troy after the events from the Wonder Woman Annual (which closed off the first story arc), but she is more so engaged as a hero.  She is drawn to a loner who is planning to bomb a bridge unless he can talk with Wonder Woman.  Although others are concerned that she might be flooded with such threats if she responds, she acts as she would be expected to and approaches the loner to deal with him personally.  Things weren’t exactly as they seemed though and it turns out that this loner was much more interested in the heroine than the plot and for reasons which are a bit more menacing than might seem at first.

Hopefully this turn of events for Wonder Woman is proof that the creative team has calmed down a bit from the first story arc.  Instead of throwing what seemed like anything and everything into the story, the outlook here is a bit more subdued here, while moving forward what seems like an engaging story at a pace which makes sense.  The costume change for Diana might get the spotlight here (although it was handled well in story) but really this is a chance for a quick change of direction for the creative team and it seems to be well worth it here as there is positive momentum in this series again.

Story: Meredith Finch Art: David Finch
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Read

Review: Justice League of America #1

jla001The DC Comics Universe is in a bit of flux at the moment.  Superman has been depowered to a degree and Batman is presumed dead and Jim Gordon has replaced him.  With DC’s two most popular character out of commission, it makes the present continuity a little challenging, especially as a few of the other major characters are undergoing some changes as well.  Some simply don’t recognize these changes, as the Darkseid War in Justice League attests to, but other series are trying to stay current with the changes elsewhere.  This newest series of the Justice League acts as a bit of middle-of-the-road approach to giving fans the heroes that they are used to.  Superman is still Clark Kent in his secret identity at the Daily Planet, Batman is still alive, and Wonder Woman’s costume hasn’t changed.  In short this story is based sometime in since the founding of the Justice League and the beginning of the new 52, a period which is said to be five years but which has not been explored in great detail thus far since the DC relaunch.

This oversized issue has two basic plot points that are presumably somewhat linked together.  In the first Superman is dealing with a mysterious organization led by a mysterious scientist who is somehow pulling a dead or dying Superman out of the timestream, but on numerous occasions, and appeals to the present Superman to find answers.  Meanwhile the remainder of the Justice League has been drawn to a power plant in Metropolis as a supervillain unknowingly lies in ambush for them.  While the first half of the story adds a bit of intrigue, it is soon taken over by the second half and this quickly turns into an all out brawl that the League is best known for.  A relatively significant developments occur and the characters are left at the end to deal with a new threat.

The approach here is an interesting one.  While there is change underway with the heroes elsewhere at DC, this is evidently a case of “if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.”  By throwing the heroes back to an earlier time the die hard DC fan can get their dose of their favorite heroes while DC also tries to appeal to some new fans with the different versions of Batman and Superman in other places across its universe.  As it stands this works pretty well, a relatively common story for the Justice League, but also one which pulls out all the stops and goes for a big show as opposed to a slower approach.  It is big and brash but also a lot of fun, and worth a look for those that miss their usual heroes.

Story: Bryan Hitch Art: Wade Von Grawbadger and Bryan Hitch
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read

Review: Superman/Wonder Woman #18

sww018After a fairly mediocre turnout elsewhere, Truth finally arrives to this title.  This story arc/crossover is one which takes everything that we know about Superman and turns it on its side, as the still super Superman has to learn to deal with powers that aren’t as impressive as they once were.  Looking a lot more like the character from Action Comics #1 (the original), the character is seemingly meant to appeal more to the street level fans of comic books as he can now bleed and be hurt, and as his super strength is not quite what it once was.  At the same time it helps to highlight just what Superman does as a hero, that he won’t stop despite the odds, and while the story has been a bit cliched in this manner, it also hasn’t been a complete disappointment.

This issue is perhaps one of the weirdest as to how this all works out.  Superman has confronted Lois elsewhere as well as the stand-in Batman, but this issue is the first to show this non-powered Superman with Wonder Woman, who is arguably at her most powerful level ever in her publication.  Six months ago she was arguably more powerful than Superman, now it is without question, at least until he inevitably goes back to full strength.  This changes the dynamic a little bit for this series, but also surprisingly doesn’t as Wonder Woman as usual in this series takes the passenger seat to Clark’s adventures as they are drawn into a government cover-up/mystery in Smallville.  The reader is introduced to things which would likely have been part of the Superman mythos if they actually did exist before in comics, but the way in which they are introduced here is kind of sloppy as plot developments that don’t really follow, and as the cover-up gets to be weirder and weirder.

There are those that like the idea behind this series as they have always wanted to see what Superman and Wonder Woman would look like together, but in order for this to be more than a stunt and fanboy service they would also need to provide a story line that is worthy of the union, and so far in this series there hasn’t been one.  That this series is thrown into the mostly mediocre Truth crossover from Superman doesn’t help much either as it once again doesn’t give this series much to build on.  Instead the story here is about par for the course for this series, if not a bit worse, as Truth drags down a little bit what has mostly been an average series.

Story: Peter J. Tomasi Art: Doug Mahnke
Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

black-canary-1-promo-121636Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

Top Pick: Prez #1 (DC Comics) – A teenager is elected President by Twitter in this future send-up of the state of politics. Working in politics I found myself laughing, and cringing at how accurate the series was, especially in its more satirical moments. It hit close to home, which is a good thing. A fantastic send-up perfectly timed for the 2016 Presidential race.

The Kitchen #8 (DC Comics/Vertigo) – I’ve loved this series since the start. It’s a take on the mob genre, except set in the 70s, and it’s the women in charge. The last few issues have had twists and turns of double crosses and all sorts of deals. This final issue of the miniseries is going to be explosive and entertaining.

Letter 44 #17 (Oni Press) – It’s WWIII people!!! Writer Charles Soule has gone all out in this series focused on a President dealing with first contact with aliens, and the crew that’s doing so. The story has been amazing and when I think I have things down, the series throws a curve.

Princeless: Be Yourself #1 (Action Lab Entertainment) – It’s a new volume of the fantastic series that has a young princess saving herself, as well as her sisters. Destroying tropes, pointing out the idiocy of some accepted things in entertainment, and doing it while entertaining too!

Southern Bastards #9 (Image Comics) – One of the best (if not the best) comic on the market right now. The writing, the art, all of it is beyond amazing. It’s the homecoming game, but there’s also been a murder. It’s never too late to hop on and check out this Southern noir series.

 

Chris

Top Pick: Ei8ht # 5 (Dark Horse Comics) – Travelers lost in time, check. Selfless heroism, check. A merciless opposing force, check. This time travel thriller has its bases covered. The art style consisting essentially of black and white shading with contrasting color to provide surface texture may drive away those interested in other titles with bright colors and intense detail. However they would be missing out  on an intriguing tale of time travel where the character connection across time and place are more than meets the eye.

Archie vs. Predator #3 of 4 (Dark Horse Comics) – Even without reading the previous two issues this comic immediately called out to me as a must read. I have to admit that my love for Predator and comic mash-ups is to blame for that. Right away I could see this is not the Archie I was expecting. This issue has it all classic Archie humor,  blood and gore, and a captivating storyline complete with satirical introspective of those stuck in a horrific movie like situations.

Ghostbusters: Get Real #1 (IDW Publishing) – The beginning of a 4 part series where our heroes are unknowingly transported to an alternate dimension when the will of a God is thwarted. To return home they must work with their counterparts from this dimension who luckily just so happen to have experience with this sort of adventure. Reference Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / Ghostbusters. This issue lays the ground work for what I expect to be yet another great series from the Burnham, Schoeing and Delgado team over at IDW.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Casey & April #1 (IDW Publishing) – Love TMNT but tired of the Turtles then this comic is for you. Take all the turtle powered action and replace it with a teenage love story between Casey and April. While this reviewer is not regretting the time spent reading this issue, it did not rouse much more than a fleeting interest in the series. This issue is a definite pass in my book.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Prez #1 (DC Comics) –  DC is committed to trying something new, and while that hasn’t necessarily worked so far, this new #1 looks like an intriguing updates on the short-lived series from 1973, as a teenage twitter sensation becomes the next President of the United States.  Hopefully it is equal parts social commentary and Bartgirling.

Alex + Ada #15 (Image Comics) –  The finale to this engaging series is here and we get to find out the final fate of the unlikely lovers.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #4 (Marvel/Disney) –  Did you ever watch a Disney movie and think to yourself that it is pretty entertaining despite the G rating?  That same feeling permeates this series.

Doomed #1 (DC Comics) – Another DC #1, this series looks at a person that can change into Doomsday.  Part of the problem of the appeal of Superman stories is that they lack the street level outlook that some readers like (with the present Truth storyline only sort of helping that.)  Maybe this series is DC’s way of finally shaking up its Superman mythos.

Grimm Fairy Tales 10th Anniversary Special #2 Red Riding Hood (Zenescope) –  Zenescope’s least celebrated superhero, Britney Waters, gets another chance to shine here.  Just when will they give her an ongoing series?

 

Elana

Top Pick: Black Canary #1 (DC Comics) – Spinning off of the hip, young Batgirl series is a new series featuring one of the all time best characters in comics. It’s about time she gets a solo series. The book’s premise is that our super powered vocalist becomes the singer of a rock band, goes on tour and fights bad guys on the road. The awesome rock and roll outfits get my approval.

Wu’s art is hip as hell– the line at her booth at Special Edition was enormous.  Fletcher star is rising fast (see hits like Gotham Academy & Batgirl for starters). This is a creative, modern duo writing for an inclusive audience. The future of super hero comics. So I was pleasantly surprised to read in an interview with Fletcher that some of the legacy of the great Silver Age social issues comics series Green Lantern/Green Arrow is continued in this book. Here’s to a new generation’s “hard traveling heroes“.

Ms. Marvel #16 (Marvel) – The multiverse at stake so who will take care of Jersey City? Kamala is breaking my heart with this cover. Who needs a hug!?

Runaways #1 (Marvel) – Noelle Stevenson’s series Nimona is a runaway hit on the Internet that appeals to a younger and often female Fanbase. This is her big two debut. Her work on Lumber Janes is going to win an Eisner. Having her write a Runaways story about kids with super powers sounds like a match made in heaven. And boy do I miss these kids.

Secret Six #3 (DC Comics) – I need to know what the hell is happening! Gail’s original Secret Six series is kind of the best thing ever. The new series had a good premise but it’s been a rough go. I will keep giving this a series chance. I still have faith!

Thors #1 (Marvel) – Because unlike the Highlander there CAN’T be only one. Most excited for of course our female Thor and Storm. Cute detective story premise seals the deal.

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Thors #1 (Marvel) – Jason Aaron has been on fire lately and if he’s that good with one God of Thunder, I’m dying to see what he does with a whole roster! In brightest day, in blackest.. oh wait. Nope just pumped for this book! Go Thors!

Justice League of America #1 (DC Comics) – It’s by Bryan Hitch, the man who brought us the cinematic epic which was The Ultimates, I’d like him to take the true Ultimate team in comic books, let him cut loose and see what he can do.

Old Man Logan #2 (Marvel) – Wolverine is dead. Long live a more cranky, aged and badass version of Wolverine. Dystopian futures always bring me a semblance of hope. All I can say is, yes.. and SNIKT!!

Robin: Son of Batman #1 (DC Comics) – First off it’s got Damien Wayne, A Giant Pet Man-Bat, it’s written and drawn by Patrick Gleason. Umm did I mention a Giant Pet Man-Bat??

Wonder Woman #41 (DC Comics) – So far the Finch’s take on the Iconic Amazon have intrigued me. While I don’t think they are at the top of what they could do, I’d like to see what they have further in store. This book has been a guilty pleasure of mine and my gf Ms. B too. Plus, I hope to get some reasoning behind Diana’s new costume.

 

Pharoah

To Pick: Ms. Marvel #16 (Marvel) -This is my top pick of the week just because this character has been nothing but fun since she entered the universe, and it looks like Secret Wars, has come to Jersey City, definitely curious to see how Kamala Khan will be tested!!!

Astronauts In Trouble #1 (Image Comics) – As a company, Image is basically the Jerry Bruckheimer of the comics world, producing blockbuster after blockbuster, and with Charlie (Walking Dead) on this, it definitely has high hopes.

Black Canary #1 (DC Comics) – Brenden Fletcher (BATGIRL) and Annie Wu (HAWKEYE) bring this character to the forefront, after her much needed exposure on the show, Arrow, she finally gets her own shot in this DC reboot.

Mad Max: Fury Road: Furiosa #1 (DC Comics/Vertigo) – After watching the newest Mad Max movie, it definitely has one curious about that whole universe and this comic aims to explore the origin of The Furiosa and it definitely has cred, as it is written by mad Max creator, George Miller himself.

Ghostbusters: Get Real #1 (IDW Publishing) – this sounds so cool, as the film versions and cartoon versions become part of the same world in what can only be interesting chaos

Review: Justice League #41

jl41After a lead-in issue, the Darkseid War starts here, and for those that had been let down after looking for something more monumental in Convergence, there might be some salvation here.  The title is one that was least affected by Convergence, getting a one-month break as opposed to the two for most other titles.  The previous title introduced the fact that Darkseid and the anti-Monitor are a lot more closely related than previously indicated, and this issue builds on that and more as the steps to an all-out war come closer, a war that has been brewing since the first story arc of this new 52 title.

The action doesn’t start with the Justice League, even though it soon comes back to them.  Instead the story focuses on who is apparently going to be a defining character in this story arc, Mister Miracle.  As he weaves his way out of and then back into Apokolips, he gives insight into what is happening and what he hopes to accomplish.  Although the Terminator like sub-plot with Lashina and Kanto seems to be its own thing, it ties back into the Mister Miracle side of the story as well, with an equally great last minute reveal as happened in the lead-in issue.  This story also ties heavily into the one focused on the Crime Syndicate from Forever Evil, and builds well on this former crossover, tying the two together.

There are definitely a lot of players associated here, and while the issue does well enough to follow up on the developments of the previous issue, there is a bit of a dropoff in tone.  Part of this is the ease by which Darkseid’s daughter manages to lay waste to the Justice League, a common enough ploy to establish a new villain as particularly threatening, even if her demise is assured by the end of this story arc.  As it stands though this issue is saved by the role of Mister Miracle, as opposed to the relatively regular story of an alien invasion which the Justice League has to deal with, Mr. Miracle gives this story a heart that manages to keep it moving along through its disparate story elements.  There are certainly bigger fireworks to follow, but for the time being this issue manages to put all the players in place while also giving the reader someone new to cheer for.

Story: Geoff Johns Art: Jason Fabok
Story: 8.7 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Wonder Woman Annual #1

wwa001The run of the Finches on this title has been contentious from the start.  After taking over from Azzarello the two had a difficult task in front of them.  Although the beginning of their run looked to be heading in the right direction, it slowly descended into being somewhat confusing as to their approach to the character.  Diana had to be reintegrated into the mainstream of the DC Universe, and the problem was what to do with what had come before in the previous thirty plus issue in the series.  What first seemed to be this very story ended up being a bit too convoluted in its approach to the character, as the duo didn’t seem as though they could focus on Diana as a superhero, queen or goddess, and instead chose all three.

While the approach was always a bit confusing, it did accomplish a few things.  Chief among them was to reintroduce Donna Troy to the mainstream DC universe, though it was not the Donna Troy that most fans probably wanted.  This annual serves as the final installment in the first story arc for the new team, and it wraps up the few questions that remain.  The first is the problem with the aliens that have been causing environmental problems after being awoken from their sleep.  The second is how to deal with the murderous Donna that has killed the male Amazons that were given refuge on the island.

The solution to all the problems of the first story is a bit too easy here.  The aliens are bargained with and dealt with, and the battle between Diana and Donna ends as one might expect, save for a mild surprise or two.  It did not help the title that it was given a two month break from its mediocrity before being launched into this finale, as there was not as much for the fans to come back for.  In truth it still feels as though the creative team is getting its bearing on this title.  The backup story to the main features the back story to Donna’s actions which would have been better placed earlier in the story arc to give a bit more understanding of what was going on.  In the end the first story arc wraps up in a satisfactory way, and even fun at times with the battle between the two Amazons, but it still leaves the reader wanting a lot more.

Story: Meredith Finch Art: David Finch and Goran Sudzuka
Story: 7.2 Art: 7.2 Overall: 7.2 Recommendation: Pass

Review: Convergence Action Comics #2

cac002If there is one single issue which can be said to encapsulate the problems which have befallen Convergence then this issue could rightfully be said to be it.  Convergence has had many problems, but perhaps key among them have been the ripping off of previous standalone and standout Elseworlds titles as well as not taking the time nor the effort to ensure that these characters are treated correctly.  Though this issue is best read in sequence by following into an issue which came out two weeks ago (another strange out of continuity reading experience) it is also made worse by the reading of Convergence #8 in this same week.

As introduced in the last issue, a team of heroes, something like the pre-Crisis version of Superman and Power Girl are forced to fight against the Red Son version of Superman and Wonder Woman.  This has been a problem elsewhere during Convergence as characters which exist in other universes as analogies or allegories to what they mean as heroes, are thereafter reduced to alternate versions of themselves in slugfests in Convergence.  This issue has the same overall problem as the two heroes venture to the Elseworld where Superman is an agent of the Soviet Union, and where we learn that it is not wise to listen to either Lex Luthor or Joseph Stalin (which has to be one of the strangest lessons ever.)

In the end there are a host of problems with the entire series, and this part of Convergence is worse off for having been associated with it.   In a certain context it is interest to see all of these characters together, but especially when read with other Convergence titles and also when considering the plan for the future releases of DC Comics this summer, then we learn that this short two month interlude has really mostly meant nothing.  It never excelled and only acted as a distraction from the regular titles from DC.  This issue captures that, and it is too bad that it couldn’t have captured something better.

Story: Justin Gray Art: Claude St. Aubin
Story: 5.8 Art: 5.8 Overall: 5.8 Recommendation: Pass

Review: Convergence Wonder Woman #2

cww02Part of the underlying problem with Convergence is its relevance to the modern comic reader.  Though some fans are well read in terms of comics from years gone by, most aren’t, at least not to the degree required to make all of the connections.  In the case of the Convergence Wonder Woman, the series is tying together two separate pieces of DC Comic history.  One is the short lives period in the 1960s when Wonder Woman lost her powers and became a white-clad kung fu expert, and the other is the Red Rain version of Gotham City, an Elseworlds reality where Batman’s villains have become vampires and werewolves.

The action in this second issue follows that of the same format as the other Convergence stories.  With the cities released from their year under the dome, the heroes regain their powers but are immediately thrown into battle with champions from other cities.  Previously Wonder Woman was shown to be dealing with a cult-like group at a church who believed that angels would return to free them from the dome, but they met there at the same time that Red Rain’s champions came to fight Wonder Woman.  This results in a second issue in this Convergence tie-in which is mostly Wonder Woman against a cast of creatures.  Ostensibly these creatures might resemble the Joker, Poison Ivy and Catwoman, but there is little to distinguish them aside from their names.

This goes with the rushed nature of this series, that there is no time to establish these versions of the characters outside of the regular DC continuity, and thus the characters are more like caricatures of the regular versions as opposed to the interesting twists which took place in the alternate realities.  This doesn’t help as the problem on the whole with Convergence has been the mismatch of characters from different eras and inspirations and such is the case again here.   In the history of Wonder Woman, at least since the 1980s, the Joker actually shows up fairly often as an enemy of Wonder Woman, but he is not an arch-enemy, and his presence here feels artificial, especially for what is supposed to be such a huge crossover.  Once again this is a misfire for DC and Convergence, as its big crossover of the summer seems to be going nowhere.

Story: Lary Hama Art: Aaron Lopresti
Story: 6.7 Art: 6.7 Overall: 6.7 Recommendation: Pass

How Old are Comic Book Characters?

How Old Do I Look? is an interesting website where you can upload an image and it’ll guess your age and gender based on that. While it’s fun putting people you know in, it also works in some drawings. So, I decided to put in some comic characters to see what the site says.

As you can see, it’s a bit all over the place, hell it thinks I’m in my mid-50s.

Around the Tubes

It was new comic day yesterday. What’d everyone get? What are you getting this week?

Around the Tubes

ScreenCrush – ‘Wonder Woman’ Officially Hires Director Patty Jenkins – Well that happened quickly.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

The Beat – Archie vs. Predator #1

Bleeding Cool – Giant Days #2

BlogCritics – Gremlin Trouble

Talking Comics – Nutmeg #1

Talking Comics – RunLoveKill #1

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