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Review: Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1

Some Future State stories have dealt with dark, dystopian futures, but the lead story in Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1 takes it a step further with Diana, the remaining Amazons, and an aging Superman fighting to defend Swamp Thing, the Green, and basically the symbol of life on Earth from both Darkseid and the Anti-Life Equation. Writers Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad and spectacular artist Jen Bartel tell a story about fighting a war with love to the bitter end as Diana doesn’t want to fight for the dying Earth and instead start somewhere fresh with Swamp Thing and her sisters, but is overridden by the warlike Amazons as well as Darkseid popping in for one last chance to conquer Earth.

Cloonan and Conrad’s writing in Immortal Wonder Woman #1 can be described as truly poetic and matches the emotion-tinged visual from Bartel. The opening sequence has Diana interacting with a hologram of Batman and meditating on their relationship as part of DC’s Trinity’s with Batman telling her that she’s a true symbol of hope to rally around. However, Diana is also a realist about what’s going as she wistfully sees a star blink out of existence, and the story cuts to Apokolips where Darkseid realizes the end aka the Anti-Life Equation is near and abandons his empire, son Orion, and follower Big Barda and immediately heads to Earth. Bartel does a great job of contrasting the Amazons’ perspective of Earth with its reality using an almost beach vacation color palette for when the Amazons decide to defend the planet from an unknown threat to using a dark and rusty one for when Darkseid flies through space to the “husk”.

Jen Bartel is known for beautiful character design and capturing deep emotion out of her figures, but she can also draw one hell of a fight scene when Diana and Darkseid finally throw down with again Superman having one heroic moment and then getting flattened. She channels her inner Jack Kirby with colorful explosions and speed lines every time Darkseid lands a blow, or Diana kicks the Apokoliptian tyrant or gets a grip on him with her lasso. Bartel also uses interesting (or heartbreaking) panel shapes like when she lays one out that looks just like Darkseid’s Omega sanction and ends in a stark, panel of skulls on a stark background. On a more macro-level, Cloonan and Conrad keep the objective of the battle high, yet simple, Diana, the Amazons, and Superman have to protect Swamp Thing from Darkseid and the Anti-Life Equation for a chance at filling Earth (or maybe a new planet) with life again. The stakes of this comic are literally life and death.

The first story in Immortal Wonder Woman #1 is a Ragnarok for the DC Universe courtesy of Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, and Jen Bartel, who makes everyone look epic, pretty, and/or war worn while nailing the look and color palette of utter cosmic darkness too. It’s the last of the old gods battling the embodiment of utter evil with only a small chance for rebirth in the form of Swamp Thing, who is given a frail form and halting speech patterns. It’s also a masterclass in pacing with Cloonan and Conrad getting to the emotional breaking point before hitting that “To Be Continued” with literal tears streaming in the last panel that Bartel draws.

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1

The second story in Immortal Woman #1 is written by LL McKinney with art from Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales, and Emilio Lopez, is set earlier in the Future State timeline, and features Nubia, an Amazon who has taken up the mantle of Wonder Woman while an off-panel Diana is queen of Themiscyra. Like the lead story, its plot has a world-ending conflict as Grail, the daughter of Darkseid, is stealing parts of an artifact connected to various gods that if put together could rip a hole in time and space. Most of this is explained in many expository text boxes by McKinney, who seems to be trying to fit a 4-6 issue miniseries in two issues.

A feeling of being overstuffed aside, “Nubia” is not without its charms. Martinez and Morales are veteran storytellers, who excel at everything from an exciting bout of close quarters combat between Grail and Nubia with a poster-worthy splash of the protagonist saying, “I am Wonder Woman” to capturing Nubia’s pained facial expressions when Aunt Nancy asks her for a favor in return for helping her solve the mystery behind these artifact thefts. Speaking of Aunt Nancy, McKinney’s background writing YA urban fantasy comes in handy with some of the little world-building touches like having her run a night club called the Ebony Web with a spider on the door and with a (quite handsome) minotaur bouncer. With her punnish name, knowledge of almost everything, and propensity for single malt whisky, Aunt Nancy has a lot of personality and would be an intriguing permanent edition to Nubia’s supporting cast, or the Wonder Woman side of the DC Universe as it’s good to see a god from West African folklore pop up. Also, I think this might be the first time that the wonderful city of Atlanta has popped up in a DC comic that I’ve read.

However, Nubia’s heroism and Aunt Nancy’s charisma don’t completely make up for a story that is mostly telling and not showing with L.L. McKinney basically undercutting the two page vision that Alitha Martinez and Mark Morales draw earlier in the story by explaining it all in a wall of text. On more of a new reader front, she also doesn’t really introduce Grail except that’s she strong (By defeating Nubia in combat.), generically evil, and wants the artifacts. If I hadn’t (unfortunately) read Geoff Johns’ Justice League run, I wouldn’t know that she was Darkseid’s daughter and basically the Anti-Life version of Wonder Woman. I mean, this is the comic book equivalent of a two episode mini Big Bad arc on a CW show so we don’t need a super deep villain, but including this context could deepen the threat against Nubia and reality. I really wanted to like the Nubia story and look forward to McKinney’s graphic novel take on the character, but it was disappointed and definitely felt like a first published comic.

Overall, Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1 has one strong, epic story and another story with potential that it doesn’t fully live up to that also shows the difficulty of transitioning from prose fiction to comics. However, this book is definitely worth picking up for Jen Bartel’s career best take on the final battle between good and evil in the DC Universe with punches that make galaxies trembles and facial expressions that will make you tear up while Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad write a Diana, who is trying to cling onto hope in an utterly no-win situation.

Story: Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, L.L. McKinney
Art: Jen Bartel, Alitha Martinez with Mark Morales
Colors: Jen Bartel, Emilio Lopez
Letterer: Pat Brosseau, Becca Carey
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1

Written by: L.L. McKinney, Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Art by: Alitha Martinez, Jen Bartel

The Undoing are coming. Long past the Age of Heroes, few of Diana Prince’s friends survive, and most of her sisters have passed as well. As an immortal goddess, this is her lot. But then, a threat appears that even the mighty Darkseid can’t handle-and it’s up to Wonder Woman to take on the battle! It’s big action and high fantasy at the end of time, courtesy of Eisner Award-winning cartoonist Becky Cloonan (By Chance or Providence, Gotham Academy) and her Doom Patrol co-writer Michael W. Conrad, with the popular artist Jen Bartel (Blackbird) making her interior art debut for DC. Then, peer into a closer future as the original champion of Themyscira strikes out on her own. Things have not been stable on Paradise Island for some time, and Nubia has found a new home in Man’s World. Now, she is tasked with protecting it from the dangers of the world of myths and magic. The writer of DC’s Nubia: Real One, L.L. McKinney, takes this powerful Amazon to a whole new level.

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1

Around the Tubes

Future State: Harley Quinn #1

It’s a new week and we’ve got lots coming at you! We’re kicking it off with news and reviews from around the web you might have missed this past weekend.

The Beat – Announcing The Beat Comics Industry Person of the Year: Gene Luen Yang – Such a nice and fantastic individual! Congrats Gene!

The Ritz Herald – Award-Winning TV Producer Rodney Barnes Has Shifted Gears to Running a Comic Book Publishing Company – Some solid comics too.

Reviews

Talking Comics – The Eternals #1
The Geekiary – Future State: Harley Quinn #1
Batman News – Future State: The Next Batman #1
Talking Comics – Nottingham #1
Laughing Place – Star Wars: The High Republic #1
Collected Editions – Wonder Woman Vol. 3: Loveless

Preview: Sensational Wonder Woman #1

Sensational Wonder Woman #1

Written by Stephanie Phillips
Pencils Meghan Hetrick
Inks Meghan Hetrick
Colored by Marissa Louise
Cover by Yasmine Putri
Purchase: comiXologyAmazon

During a battle with Doctor Psycho, Wonder Woman sacrifices herself to stop the villain, only to be hit with a psychic blast that traps her in an alternate reality. With the help of Hawkgirl, Wonder Woman has to remember who she is before it’s too late.

Sensational Wonder Woman #1

Review: Sensational Wonder Woman #1

Sensational Wonder Woman #1

The new year kicks off with a new digital-first series from DC Comics. Sensational Wonder Woman #1 puts the focus on Wonder Woman with an intriguing comic that slowly builds. Wonder Woman stands for so much and part of that is against misogyny and the repression of women. Sensational Wonder Woman #1 knows that and puts that front and center for an entertaining debut that has us wanting to see what’s next.

Writer Stephanie Phillips takes a familiar route with Diana, aka Wonder Woman, in a situation where she’s dreaming. Is this a coma? Has she been beaten to this point? That’s not mentioned but something has happened. Phillips teases that with glimpses of Wonder Woman in the real world. That only makes the issue even more interesting, you want to find out more of what happened.

There’s also some interesting aspects to what Phillips puts forth. In Diana’s dream state, she’s depicted in a subservient domestic situation. She’s the stereotypical wife, expected to have dinner ready. While this is likely the influence of what has put her in this situation, it’s interesting her battle against this and it’s through pain she awakens from her state.

Meghan Hetrick‘s art is fantastic. The designs are awesome and with the color of Marissa Louise it all pops on my iPad. Wonder Woman’s classic costume is translated into an everyday outfit that fits that stereotypical time period but with a bit of a modern twist to it. There’s some great layouts and use of panels to emphasize the situation that Diana is in until that explosive finale that really delivers a punch.

Sensational Wonder Woman #1 is a solid start to the series. There’s a build-up to that ending with teasing of the situation through the comic. It’s an interesting comic that uses its visuals to really set up the situation and world and has me sucked in to find out more about what’s going on.

Story: Stephanie Phillips Art: Meghan Hetrick
Color: Marissa Louise Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Story: 8.45 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindle

Save Up to 84% off with the DC Holiday Sale

Save Up to 84% off with the DC Holiday Sale at comiXology.com! The sale is running now until January 4, 2021.

There’s over 3,000 comics on sale right now including JLA, Action Comics, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and so much more. Get some classic comics or discover something new!


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Save Up to 84% off with the DC Holiday Sale

Save Up to 84% off with the DC Holiday Sale at comiXology.com! The sale is running now until January 4, 2021.

There’s over 3,000 comics on sale right now including JLA, Action Comics, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and so much more. Get some classic comics or discover something new!


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Preview: Future State: Wonder Woman #1

Future State: Wonder Woman #1

Written by: Joëlle Jones
Art by: Joëlle Jones

Deep in the heart of the Amazon rainforest lies a hero of mythic legend…Wonder Woman! But in the absence of Diana, Yara Flor has risen out of obscurity to protect Man’s World from the magic that lies within it. Along with her trusty steed, she journeys to the Underworld to rescue one of her Themysciran sisters from the grasp of Hades. Will she unleash the wrath of this god in the process? You won’t want to miss this first appearance of a character who will change the history of Wonder Woman forever!

Future State: Wonder Woman #1

Movie Review: Wonder Woman 1984 Delivers Throwback Fun

Wonder Woman 1984

The much delayed and anticipated Wonder Woman 1984 has finally been released in an unprecedented roll of the dice and experiment by Warner Bros. and its parent company AT&T. Released on HBO Max and in theaters, the film has pivoted a few times due to the current pandemic and shifting needs of consumers. Taking advantage of my big-screen television and surround sound, and not wanting to risk COVID, I took advantage of my HBO Max subscription to watch the film and in doing so, I felt transported back decades to the early years of comic film adaptations. That’s both a good and bad thing in the end. But, the end result is a film that’ll be polarizing and over years most likely dissected, analyzed, and opinion will shift for the positive.

Shifting the setting decades from the original, Wonder Woman is now in 1984 living her dual life. Longing for the return of her Steve Trevor, she’s been lonely and somewhat isolated. Enter the dreamstone, a MacGuffin that can make wishes come true. A failed businessman, Maxwell Lord, also wants the statue in hopes that he’ll be able to turn around his ventures and become a worldwide business dynamo. What results is a film that examines the 80s while also upending superhero movies in many ways.

Directed by the returning Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman 1984 features a story by Jenkins and Geoff Johns with a screenplay by Jenkins, Johns, and Dave Callaham. The story and direction have their bumps but overall the film feels like a throwback to earlier years of superhero films both in tone and look. This isn’t a film filled with cynicism and negativity. Instead, it’s a story about hope, love, and a positive future. It’s bright at times and wears its pacifist leanings on its armored sleeve.

The biggest break from other superhero films is the lack of a villain with a motivation to cause harm. Played by Pedro Pascal, Maxwell Lord is Donald Trump mixed with 1980s television hucksters. It’s established early Lord is a fraud attempting to make money through a pyramid scheme. He wants a successful business not to rule anything and we see that through his actions.

In the end, the issue presented is desires uncontrolled. Lord’s plan spirals out of control putting the world on the brink of nuclear war. In that way, we get a very different story from DC and Marvel films of the past. This isn’t a nefarious plan so much as a mistake. It’s a scam that gets out of control and results in unintended consequences.

Jenkins attempts to have fun with that spiraling out of control world as things amp up slowly and then the avalanche. Lord wants more and uses his newfound powers in an attempt to enrich himself and at the same time also create some stability… which only creates more instability. We’ve seen a similar plot in Bruce Almighty. While that film stayed isolated to Buffalo, this takes it to a global scale.

The team slowly builds Lords out of control failure from his empty office, to the Middle East, to the White House, and then beyond. It’s a ramping up of an out of control power and a man desperate to figure out what to do next. He easily could have just made himself the ruler of the world but he doesn’t. He wants to be “the” businessman.

Jenkins attempts to bring an 80s vision to the film’s 1980s setting. That results in a mixed result. The tone of the film has much more in common with Richard Donner‘s Superman than it does with anything post-2000, the “modern superhero film era”. Its colors, lighting, and overall attitude are one of positivity. It has a light tone never taking itself too seriously and playing loose with the logic of the story. We’re treated to a finale that breaks from the traditional punching that crescendoes most comic films. It puts an exclamation point that the film attempts to do something different.

But what the film really does is remove itself from the meta-cinematic universe we come to expect. Yes, the film has the return of Steve Trevor from the first story but it has little direct impact on other DC films nor does it set up or continue a meta story that involves 20 other films. It’s a two-issue story arc giving us breaks between drawn-out “events”. It’s supposed to be a breezy popcorn film focused on fun and it generally succeeds.

The film absolutely has issues with its story. Trevor’s return has a lingering of rape due to how it’s done. Kristen Wiig‘s Barbara Minerva/Cheetah is underused. Some of the film could have been tightened up in the details. The film is loose with some fat to it. Minor changes would have made a leaner and tighter film. Special effects at times are rough and some fight sequences feel a bit uninspired. But, every comic film released has had problems none are perfect and there are modern releases that are in a far rougher shape than this.

The actors all bring some interesting aspects to the film. Gal Gadot is supposed to be front and center and while she plays alone very well, she doesn’t quite have the draw power she had in the first film. That’s partially because everyone else is so over the top in their performances that her Diana/Wonder Woman comes off as too serious and dour at times.

Returning is Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. Pine has the most fun of the actors continually being excited about the world he’s returned to. The joke happens over and over but Pine’s delivery never gets old and through him, the film gets to poke a lot of fun at the time period. Pine is our time capsule reminding us of the fashion, dances, and innovations of the decade.

Joining Gadot and Pine are Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva and Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord, the two “villains” of the film. I put that word in quotations because neither is truly evil.

Wiig plays the bookwormish Minerva who also works in the museum with Gadot’s Diana. In Diana she sees someone she inspires to be and her wish to do so brings unintended consequences. Wiig does a fantastic job of evolving from one thing to the other playing a convincing flower blooming. She does the stumbling nerd well and then the confident woman everyone wants to be around. There’s a lot of 80s John Hughes in the performance and it captures the decade well.

Pedro Pascal puts in an over the top performance tapping so much of what was wrong the decade. His scheming Lord is the insecure loser and con-artist we knew so many of the titans of the time were. Donald Trump, televangelists, late-night infomercials, Lord is all of these things in a bad wig. He’s the embodiment of everything wrong during that time period and does it with a delivery that emphasizes the slime. But, he also gives us a villain who isn’t so much one and as we learn someone the audience can relate to more than they want to admit.

Wonder Woman 1984 feels like the enjoyment will be directly inversed to how cynical one is. The more you are, the less you’ll like it. It’s a film that doesn’t take itself seriously and just roles with its ideas. The action sequences are enjoyable, performances a bit over the top, and a story that you just roll with. This is a popcorn film that wants you to not think and just go for the ride. It’s comic book escapism that takes its tone and look from comics delivering popcorn digital enjoyment.

Overall Rating: 8.0

Wonder Woman 3 is a Go with Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot Back

Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman 1984 is a success in the eyes of Warner Bros. and its parent company AT&T. Soon after the film’s release on Christmas Day, the film studio announced a third film has been greenlit. Director Patty Jenkins will return to complete the trilogy with Gal Gadot starring once again. The film “will have a traditional theatrical release”.

Wonder Woman 1984‘s release had a “strong opening weekend performance” according to Warner Bros. chief Toby Emmerich.

The film opened with $16.7 million domestically from 2,100 theaters and $68.3 million from the international box office. That’s one of the best debuts post-COVID.

The film opened in both theaters and the same day for HBO Max viewers. The film studio said that around half of the platform’s retail subscribers watched the film on Friday. Millions more viewed it through cable or wireless access. HBO Max is reported to have 12.6 million active users.

Those stats exceeded expectations in the first 24 hours on the service and the momentum is expected to continue well beyond that.

It’s unknown when the film will make it into production as Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot are working on a film about Cleopatra from PAramount and Jenkins is set to direct a Star Wars film, Rogue Squadron, which is slated for Chrismas 2023.

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