Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dragon*Con 2010 Circe as Wonder Woman Cosplayer

Click To Enlarge

I've mostly been doing these cosplay posts based on pictures taken by Shag Matthews of Once Upon A Geek, including the second shot here, but he didn't have any close-up shots of the lady playing Circe. Thankfully, while working on a post about DJ Spider's Zatanna Blue Sorceress Cosplay, I found a nice Circe picture in her folder. The costume here is derived from the initial story arc of the current volume of Wonder Woman wherein our heroines' great adversary briefly usurped her role. Dare to compare below:

Shag caught a few shots of Circe lording it over a host of fallen heroes, which I assume Destiny was chronicling...

Click To Enlarge

Thanks to DJ Spider and Shag for the images, which enlarge and often expand when you click 'em!

More Cosplay of the Day:

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Huntress becomes The Prey

My first favorite characters were usual guys introduced to me through the media. Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, in something like that order. As I began reading comics, my interest in those initial heroes faded, and I embraced the Marvel Universe. Burning out in the early '90s, I changed horses for DC. For much of that decade, Wonder Woman was my favorite again, but years of terrible stories and a spike in interest for the Martian Manhunter saw me devote a web site to that character. That lasted a few years, and since I had a strong scholarly investment in J'Onn J'Onzz, returning to him was the reason why I started my first blog. I created a second blog, ...nurgh..., for everything else under the sun that interested me, as well as a Justice League Detroit blog, mostly as an early means of helping me organize the Martian Manhunter blog.

I had a high concept blog crossover idea almost a year back, and knowing my favorite Atom blog was long out of commission, I wanted to build a temporary replacement to participate in the event. I figured since I'd built the thing, I could knock out a post once a week or so, make the joint my own, and that's how Power of the Atom was born. However, as much as I like the Mighty Mite, it literally galled me to have an Atom blog and not have one for Wonder Woman. With the possible exception of the Martian Manhunter, there is no other super-hero I have more comic books about or swag for in my collection. I was compelled to create this blog, and I haven't touched the tip of the iceberg here yet.

Therein lies the problem. My Martian Manhunter blog touches on plenty of related topics, from J'Onn's supporting cast to whatever other aliens have crossed his path. The Motor City Justice League blog took on a life of its own, focusing heavily on Zatanna and Aquaman, but spending whatever time with Vixen, Gypsy, Elongated Man, Steel and Vibe that I could find. Many have borne the Atom name, or are related in other ways, but I've still had room enough for Captain Atom and his Charlton Comics cohorts there as well. ...nurgh... meanwhile proved too time consuming and too schizophrenic, trying to set mainstream all-ages DC Comics material alongside some downright scandalous elements from other media. Blue Devil and Black Emanuelle proved too strange a pair of bedfellows, so I started my final blog for the next year or twelve.

DC Bloodlines is intended to be my everything & the kitchen sink DC Comics blog. Whoever doesn't fit into one of my other blogs, or most people's blogs in general, have a home there. My personal emphasis is on cool obscure characters I like, and I'm also trying to keep it culturally diverse. So far, I've spent a lot of time with African-American heroes, but I'm trying to work in more of everybody else. It's also been important to me to have a strong heroine play a role on the blog. Supergirl was an option, but there's already several blogs/sites devoted to her out there, and I didn't want a character so directly derivative of a male counterpart. Power Girl is more independent, but I have a limited selection of books about her, and she's something of a magnet for criticism of sexist portrayals. I don't feel I have the passion to devote to Black Canary, Big Barda, or any of the Batgirls. I've spent some time on Lady Shiva, but she's hardly a role model. Everyone else worthwhile I could think of was already "taken" by another one of my blogs.

Meanwhile, I announced my intention to give the Huntress coverage on this blog, but at my present thrice-weekly posting schedule, the Wonder Woman family has eaten up all available slots. Further, despite my connection of the Huntress and Wonder Woman through the former's having been a longstanding backup in the latter's book when I was growing up, the two characters have little else in common besides their gender. While connected to the Batman Family, the Huntress stands on her own as a unique and compelling super-heroine I would love to devote more time to that her role here seems to allow. Plus, a lot of the DC Bloodlines characters are more street-level, as opposed to the godlings typically roaming these halls. So, rather than continuing to keep the Huntress shuttered here, this bird has flown to another blog. Please adjust your bookmarks/following accordingly, and know the Huntress will stalk DC Bloodlines with greater prominence and regularity than I've managed here...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sensational Comics for December, 2010

Wonder Woman
Art and cover by DON KRAMER & JAY LEISTEN
1:10 Variant cover by ALEX GARNER
J. Michael Straczynski’s blockbuster re-imagining of the Amazon Princess continues with a vengeance! Deep beneath the city, Diana tracks the Morrigan to their lair. And what she finds there will astonish you!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale DECEMBER 29 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
That's actually a pretty bitchin' cover. Maybe if I started referring to her as Vitruvian Woman...? Waitaminnit! JMS had this exact same iconography on Spider-Man: The Other! Diana's eating leftovers!

1:10 Variant cover by SAMI BASRI
The epic “Grounded” story arc brings The Man of Steel to Des Moines, Iowa! A chance encounter there, however, suddenly thrusts Superman back in time. So somehow he’s Superboy again, the world is on the brink of nuclear Armageddon and it’s all his fault!
Retailers please note: This issue’s content was previously solicited for issue #705. Also, this issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale DECEMBER 15 • 32 pg, FC $2.99 US
Oh "goody." A second dose of JMS crapping-up icons, garnished with one of the lamest Cassaday covers I've seen.

Written by JUDD WINICK
Issue #15 art by JOE BENNETT
Issue #16 art by FERNANDO DAGNINO
1:10 Variant covers by KEVIN MAGUIRE
DC’s biweekly JUSTICE LEAGUE event continues!
In issue #15, the world blames the Justice League International for the recent Chicago death toll and the death of a hero. As our team deals with the fallout, Captain Atom returns from a dark future with information on Max Lord’s ultimate plan – and Wonder Woman plays a major part in it!
In issue #16, the Creature Commandos have attacked the JLI and one of the team lies dying. Meanwhile, Power Girl swears vengeance on the JLI for her friend’s death, but Batman suspects foul play.
Retailers please note: : These issues will ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #15 on sale DECEMBER 8
Issue #16 on sale DECEMBER 22
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
It's seems odd to pair off the Modern Age Captain Atom and Wonder Woman for stories, but in their Silver Age stories, it would feel so perfectly natural.

In this never-before-reprinted tale from JLA #91-93, the team finds itself in a dilemma when a mysterious, shapeshifting creature from another planet gets blasted into our solar system. But is it friend or foe? Plus, Wonder Woman and Batman examine their relationship in a tale from issue #90 that spins out of “The Obsidian Age.”
On sale DECEMBER 29 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US
Who was like, "yeah, let's reprint the one with the monkeys that nobody like. There's a reason this never made it to trade.

JLA/THE 99 #3
The first-ever meeting between DC Comics’ Justice League of America and Teshkeel Comics’ the 99 continues! Hawkman joins three members of The 99 on a flight to Brazil where earthquakes and devastation suggest the existence of another Noor Stone and another new addition to the 99’s team! Can Hafiz harness the stone’s power before he destroys everything? And why is Firestorm acting so . . . oddly?
On sale DECEMBER 29 • 3 of 6 • 32 pg, FC $3.99 US
In this new volume collecting JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL ANNUAL #2-3 and JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE #1-6, the team is reborn as Justice League International, featuring The Flash, Power Girl, Metamorpho, Animal Man and The Elongated Man.
On sale JANUARY 19 • 240 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Wonder Woman was a member of this team for a panel or two before Perez yanked her without so much as a notice of resignation.

WildStorm’s most enigmatic team returns in this special edition collecting two stories fans won’t want to miss!
First, during an investigation of The Authority, the post-human pantheon intrudes in one of Planetary’s old cases. Then we introduce the new Planetary field crew – Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince? The WildStorm Universe’s mystery-tackling team collides with the DC Universe’s Greatest Heroes in the most unexpected way! Featuring art by Phil Jimenez (INFINITE CRISIS, Amazing Spider-Man) and Jerry Ordway and written by superstar Warren Ellis (AUTHORITY, TRANSMETROPOLITAN)!
On sale DECEMBER 8 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US

Written by TONY DANIEL
Art and cover by TONY DANIEL
Batman joins forces with a new hero who’s as dangerous as she is beautiful. When members of a secret order turn up dead and tortured in Gotham City’s Chinatown district, I-Ching informs Batman that he fears an ancient relic is the target. Batman connects this case to that of a missing satellite architect. With few clues to go by and the stakes getting higher, Batman races to locate the surviving members of the order before it’s too late.
On sale DECEMBER 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Yes, this is still happening. Yes, it's still weird. Yes, if it continues, I-Ching will eventually appear in more Batman comics than Wonder Woman ones. Repeat from beginning of paragraph.

Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark)
Written by J.T. KRUL
1:10 Variant cover by KARL KERSCHL
It’s mayhem at the cafeteria as Headcase and the Feral Boys run wild! Can the Teen Titans pull themselves together long enough to overcome this combined threat – or will Damian once again be their downfall?
Retailers please note: This issue ships with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale DECEMBER 29 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
The origins of the members of Young Justice are revealed in these tales from the SECRET ORIGINS 80-PAGE GIANT! And Wonder Girl and Arrowette clash with their moms in a story from YOUNG JUSTICE #7.
On sale DECEMBER 22 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US
If they're just going to keep churning these out every month, why not just start issuing proper trade paperbacks? Are these actually going to his a newsstand/toy store somewhere? And why doesn't DC have a digital copy of this cover like they had for their website when the damned books originally came out? Don't they at least have decent scanning equipment? Jeebus!

Wonder Girl (Donna Troy)
1:10 Variant cover by DAVID MACK
With Washington, D.C. in the hands of The Omega Man and the full extent of his horrific power revealed, the JLA is forced to make a difficult decision. Is there no choice for the World’s Greatest Heroes but to team with the World’s Worst Villains – the Crime Syndicate – in order to save both Earths? How will this desperate action be affected by Ultra Man’s betrayal of everyone. . . and the reappearance of Dark Supergirl?
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale DECEMBER 22 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Art and cover by ART BALTAZAR
The crossover event of the millennium takes a turn for the magical as Sabrina the Witch and Raven take center stage, causing everything in the world of the Tiny Titans and Little Archie to get mixed up more than ever! And Veronica finally brings the other little kid with an “R” on his shirt home to meet her father. Can Robin’s utility belt help him in this kind of situation? And who is responsible for that mess in the Batcave? Archie can’t blame the penguins this time!
Join us for the Earth-shaking conclusion to this climactic event! Aw yeah, epic!
On sale DECEMBER 8 • 3 of 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Art and cover by ART BALTAZAR
Tiny Titans from Multiple Earths! It’s a crisis! Or is it? When the Tiny Titans discover a “mirror” universe, they have to figure out if the new Mirror Titans are friends or foes. Or do they just want a bowl of Aqua-Oh’s? Don’t let their opposite colors confuse you! Aw yeah, multiples!
On sale DECEMBER 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by GAIL SIMONE
The pedal-to-the-metal conclusion of the “Reptile Brain” storyline is here as the survivors of the two warring factions of the Secret Six face a danger even more horrifying and revolting than each other! And if this is Skartaris, who’s playing Warlord?
On sale DECEMBER 1 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Tradeworthy Giganta appearances? Anyone?

The Huntress
Written by GAIL SIMONE
One of Oracle’s fiercest enemies finds her alone and far from her allies and safe houses – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg as Batman returns! Rising star artist Ardian Syaf (BRIGHEST DAY) makes his BIRDS OF PREY debut in a story you must not miss, which we’re calling ”The Death of Oracle”!
On sale DECEMBER 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
I'm still kind of pissed this is #7 instead of a build up toward #150.

Written by GREG RUCKA
Art and cover by CULLY HAMNER
Greg Rucka returns to write the adventures of Renee Montoya – the character he helped transform into The Question – as a gun-running scheme threatens Gotham City in stories from DETECTIVE COMICS #854-863. Features the art of Cully Hamner (RED)!
On sale JANUARY 26 • 128 pg, FC, $14.99 US
Anybody read this? It would be funny if Montoya got her swerve on with Helena. And by funny I mean kinda hot.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Top 20 Wonder Woman Covers of the 1970s

Honorary Mention: Ms. Magazine #1 (1972)
I remembered this at the last minute, and it's technically not a comic book cover, but there's serious historic and aesthetic value here.

20) Justice League of America #128 (March, 1976)

This one almost made my top ‘70s Atom cover list, because I love that little guy at everyone’s feet pointing at a “dead” Wonder Woman. It only just made this list, because Hawkman’s manner is just so damned considerate of our girl.

19) Diana Prince as The New Wonder Woman #189 (August, 1970)

I don’t imagine most people think “Wonder Woman” when they see a lady garbed in white oriental dress firing an anti-aircraft weapon at an attacking plane. Well, the book was called “Diana Prince,” and she’s got a full cartridge of leaden STFU if you don’t like it.

18) Wonder Woman #230 (April, 1977)

One of the great Cheetah covers, which counts for a lot, because Wonder Woman is just sort of ducking out of the way. No points for swerving, y’know?

17) It Aint Me Babe (July 1970)

Feminist commix by Trina Robbins, who eventually did work on “real” Wonder Woman books. I’m not sure it helps an argument to include Bessie the Cow amongst a group of heroines, and I guess Olive Oyl is supposed to finally be fightin’ the man. Brutus is gonna eat rat poison if he’s not careful. I love that song, by the way.

16) Wonder Woman #260 (October, 1979)

Speaking of which, we don’t get enough of Wonder Woman getting prosecuted on account of being demonstrably insane. Usually she’s either falsely accused or crazy without consequence. I guess it’s the virgin/whore thing again.

15) DC 100-Page Super Spectacular #6: World's Greatest Super-Heroes! (1971)

This was on three of the four cover countdowns I’m running today, but in this instance it isn’t by default amongst a bad lot. Wonder Woman is center spotlight, arm-in-arm with the World’s Finest.

14) DC Special Series: Wonder Woman Spectacular #9 (1978)

No, she's not saluting the Nazi flag, but that's how you'll remember it.

13) Adventure Comics #459 (September 1978)

I love Jim Aparo in general, and this is a rare instance of his drawing the Amazing Amazon. Additionally, she’s right up front with a great looking Flash and well ahead of an adequate Green Lantern. Put that on your button, DC! (Not on your button: Deadman or Elongated Man, but they’re looking fine here. Not so much Darkseid’s severed head.)

12) Wonder Woman #206 (July, 1977)

Let me break this down for people: It’s okay for black people to be villainous, so long as they are a) competent and b) balanced out by equally competent black heroes somewhere down the line. I don’t think anyone’s impressed with Nu’bya or whatever her name is as a Post-Crisis third rate heroic Amazon, but a badass Nubia competing as an adversary against Wonder Woman puts the best of Bronze in the Age. Besides, she got a doll. Did Cheetah get a doll? Either way, that makes Nubia one of the Wonder Woman villains for Generation X fans, at least in the mainstream. Think Black Manta, not Rocket Racer.

11) Wonder Woman #250 (December, 1978)

I’ve never read this comic, and I don’t know who that short-lived “new” strawberry blond Wonder Woman is. What I do know is that Princess Diana is straight up battered and trembling on that cover, which is a big deal.

10) Wonder Woman #219 (September, 1975)

I don’t care how “helpless” she claims to be-- she's about to beat that whole lot down.

9) Justice League of America #143 (June, 1977)

Superman just cannot be bitch slapped enough for my taste.

8) Wonder Woman #240 (February, 1978)

This made my top Steve Trevor covers list, because JLG-L is a champion, and the story just writes itself. Once again, the trembling says so much.

7) Limited Collectors' Edition #C-41: Super Friends (December, 1975)

More people watched Super-Friends that have ever read a single Wonder Woman comic in her entire history, and this is one of the single most iconic images related to that show. If it wasn't for Wendy & Marvin, Diana would be the foremost figure.

6) Amazing World of DC Comics #15 (August, 1977)

Mike Nasser, ladies and gentlemen. Also technically a magazine, but one about comics with comic art and, most importantly, pinkness. You can see this cover on the newsstand from the tenth floor.

5) World's Finest Comics #204 (August, 1971)

Once again, the blog has "Diana Prince" in the name, so I love the White Age of Wonder Woman. Plus, it's Neal Adams, who takes up two spots on this list, with another eight by artists working under his influence. Across all my '70s cover lists, Adams makes prominent showings. Bonus points for social relevance!

4) Wonder Woman #196 (November, 1971)

Sekowsky! This cover is just so f'd up, that once seen it cannot be unseen. If you look at it for more than a minute you a) can trick your eyes into seeing the inverse image projected against a white wall b)are probable perverted.

3) DC Special Series: Secret Origins of Super-Heroes #19 (Fall, 1979)

Everybody is cheering and elevating Wonder Woman to her proper stature. We need this image everywhere yesterday.

2) Wonder Woman #249 (November, 1978)

Something tickles me about that "Plus: Amazons!" It's like selling a football game with "Plus: Cheerleaders!" It's completely unnecessary, but you can't fault them for selling the goods. Also, Wonder Woman looks lovely and dynamic, she's got a back-up super-heroine, and there's peril creeping up from behind. This one has been used in merchandising, a rare exception from this list.

1) All-New Collectors' Edition #C-54 (1978)

Super-People tangling with Superman makes for good cover. José Luis García-López is even more reliable in that respect. Let the battle of the sexes begin!

More of Today's 1970s-tastic Cover Countdowns!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dragon*Con 2010 Donna Troy Cosplay

There was a surprisingly lovely and varied number of Donna Troy cosplayers at this year's Atlanta, GA Dragon*Con 2010. Shag Matthews of Once Upon A Geek snapped some sensational shots of the ladies, and has offered up his treasury of photos for the use of several fellow bloggers. I've got a lot of blogs, which has resulted in my having to turn out waves of themed posts just to cover my end of the comic book spectrum. In the meantime, Shag has made his own use of the images as a photojournal of Dragon*Con 2010 Recap – My Weekend of Insanity, which I recommend reading.

The Donnas got a lot of attention in my first post of this series Wonder Woman & the Wonder Girls. In the comments, Shag informed me of something regarding his favorite of the lot, pictured above. "I was surprised to find out this young lady is actually George Perez's niece! Keeping it in the family!" So there's George himself, sandwiched between a George Pérez creation and a George Pérez relation. It amuses me that this Donna Troy is wearing the Nick Cardy designed "new" Wonder Girl costume from the 1960s, rather than her uncle's reworking.

*Update* Cynthia, the Pérez-style Donna from the bottom pic, has informed me that both Cardy-Donna & Terra are George's nieces. Read more here

George Pérez co-created Blackfire, the Titan Starfire's evil sister, pictured above. He was also responsible for the Wonder Woman reboot that demolished Donna Troy's origin, so Pérez later joined Marv Wolfman in attempting to recreate Troy from the ground up as Troia. However, Pérez's complicated costume design went over like a lead balloon. After years in creative limbo, acolyte Phil Jimenez took Pérez's star pattern uniform and turned it into the suit above, which lasted until Donna's first "death" at the end of the Titans series.

All that black muted Donna's sex appeal, and the problem extends to Troia's costume here, made unnecessarily frumpy by the reflective material used. There are a bunch of pictures where this cosplayer seems to be trying to make up for it by popping her butt up, as if to say "It's not me! It's the material!" She otherwise looks fabulous, with awesome accessories.

That's about it for Donna Troy, but there's still a ton of Cassie Sandsmark stuff for me to offer here, plus a surprise or two. Until then, I'd like to revisit a Donna Troy from a previous post, to see that she gets her due credit in the Troia realm. Also, there's a link list following of posts that are part of this round of cosplay coverage, so give them a click!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dragon*Con 2010 Black Lantern Wonder Woman Cosplay

Click To Enlarge

Get this-- there were two excellent Black Lantern Wonder Woman cosplayers photographed at DragonCon 2010 by the esteemed and generous Irredeemable Shag! However, one happened to be standing next to an undead Aquaman, so I shunted her over to another blog. Check the links below for that, but right here, I really dig the sad zombies eyes on this one, like the nun from Romero's Dawn of the Dead. She's also standing next to that seriously creepy Flash, which is cool. Now let me hurry up and get out of here before I make a Black Lantern Nubia crack. D'oh! Too late! Shame on me!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dragon*Con 2010 Wonder Woman & the Wonder Girls Cosplay

Every comic book-related convention draws its share of Wonder Woman costumed players, and I wouldn't want things any other way. Besides my love for the Amazing Amazon, Princess Diana belongs to the world of popular culture, and should be as well represented as any of the great four-color heroes at one of these shindigs. Dragon*Con 2010 was exceptional in that respect, because it not only featured a host of the usual DC super-heroes and Amazon Princesses, but a veritable dynasty of Wonder Woman characters and variations.

Shag Matthews of Once Upon A Geek did an outstanding job of photographing the spectacle, and has offered a number of bloggers the opportunity to raid his DragonCon 2010 Photos for material. There is seriously so much to sift through, it'll take me much of this week and perhaps some of the next to get to everyone in detail.

I believe all of these pics are of the same Princess Diana, but there were several roaming the convention halls, just not where a solid shot was taken. As you can see above, there were quite a few Wonder Girls as well, and Shag did snag quite a few of them, photographically speaking.

Wonder Woman herself was usually part of a sea of cosplayers in these photos, and even though she was usually up front, I've most avoided cropping many shots of her. Instead, I've cherry-picked a few favorites, and you can expert her to "guest star" in other spotlights to come. Above is a detail from an crowd shot, in which a quizzical Diana and was paired off with a battle ready Hawkgirl. Although the latter is wearing the deceased Kendra Saunders' costume, her built and stance makes her look more like Shayera Thal to me.

Pull back a bit, and you can see Brainiac-5 checking out Hawkgirl's tail feathers, and Coneheadhunter J'Onn J'Onzz taking in a star-spangled derriere. No matter the planet of origin or the shade of skin, men are men.

I prefer the headlining group shot above, because pretty girls should always smile. Sorry-- I've been watching a lot of Madmen recently. Anyway, this variation on the stances is a lot less sunny. Wonder Woman has pursed lips and the sun in her eyes. The Nick Cardy-style Donna Troy has a discreetly mischievous look, while the Pérez-style Donna Troy-Long seems to be distracted by something off panel. Cassie Sandsmark is consistently pissy, as is Sarah Gilbert,  the star of  Rosanne and Poison Ivy, who delighted con-goers as a third Donna.

This was my intended headlining picture, because a think it's freaking awesome, but I ended up having to go a different way. It's still one of my favs, not just here, but of all of Shag's shot. Not to be outdone by TV's Sarah Gilbert, the Donna Troy-Long cosplayer is working that leg!

Here's another great aside-- the Bronze Age Manhunter from Mars and the One Year Later Martian Manhunter totally hitting on Ame-Comi Wonder Girl (is that legal?) and an amused but unreceptive Wonder Woman. Careful J'Onn-- those trunks don't hide much! The Alien Atlas and stars from my other blogs also got the Shag treatment, so look for a link list at the bottom of this post. Until then, here's a final variation on the "family picture," with extra saturation to bring out the reds and pitch the blacks...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Top 20 Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark) Covers

Cassandra "Cassie" Sandsmark is a character I respect, but don't care too much about. None of the Wonder Girls have ever been especially important to Wonder Woman, aside from the string of young Princess Diana tales that inspired their creation. Donna Troy hasn't been right since the Post-Crisis reboot demolished her origin, and I was already howling about how terrible John Byrne's run was even before he jettisoned the Kapatelis in favor of the carbon copy Sandsmarks.

In retrospect, I can kind of see how Cassie's really secret origin (she didn't even know it for years) would invalidate Vanessa as a potential Wonder Girl, but it took a while to shake the sense of her arbitrary inclusion. It didn't help that I was very protective of the Pérez/Messner-Loebs Diana at the time, and that Cassie never really became a proper supporting cast member. She was out the door, bound for Young Justice even before she had a real costume, still wearing that hideous black wig to hide her very boyish looks. It was through that book and the relaunched Teen Titans that Cassie came into her own. However, it was because she's benefited from the same segregated existence as Donna Troy enjoyed for two decades that encounters with Wonder Woman make me tense. Wonder Woman is a terrible matriarch, and her continuity has run roughshod over her "dynasty characters," while I've yet to find a Wonder Woman comic enhanced by Cassie's presence. Basically, they're too great tastes that taste funky together.

Still, Wonder Girl has blossomed in a team setting, has had some strong solo showcases, and I hope no one screws her up. In many ways, she's everything Wonder Woman could never be to the JLA, since she's always stuck being a feminist icon first and a character third or fourth after "merchandising machine."

Obligatory Mention:
Wonder Woman #105 (January, 1996)

The first appearance of Cassie Sandsmark, even if she does look like more of a "Chad" or "Chuckie." Gee, I guess that innocent bystander's presence on that cover wasn't so random after all.

20) Teen Titans #48 (August, 2007)

Stiff and boring, but prominence must be considered.

19) DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy #3 (October, 2005)

It kind of sucks when your predecessor in a role kicks your ass for no good reason, especially when they abandoned their legacy a decade before you were even born. No wonder Cassie ditched the riding boots and red costume.

18) Teen Titans #69 (May, 2009)

A hopeful cover, but you're looking at the team, not any individuals.

17) Adventure Comics #7 (April, 2010)

Oh noes, it zombie boyfriend! Still matters more than Donna Troy, though.

16) Adventure Comics #2 (November, 2009)

The variant cover to this one was also nice, but I like how the isolation is both romantic and indicative of Wonder Girl's cooling heart after suffering and healing from Conner's death.

15) Teen Titans Annual #1 (June, 2009)

Not much going on here, but it's an appealing team shot with a smiling Wonder Girl at the fore.

14) Teen Titans #73 (September, 2009)

Why yes, let's reference prisonsploitation movies with a sixteen year old super-heroine...?

13) Young Justice #4 (January, 1999)

Once again, the girls were late to the party on founding a youth team (although the Secret was instrumental in its motivation,) but this was Wonder Girl & Arrowette's induction.

12) Amazons Attack! #3 (August, 2007)

A striking image, but the bifurcation kind of puts baby in a corner. It's always tough to compete with Supergirl, but especially so in glorified street clothes.

11) Teen Titans #64 (December, 2008)

Brutal, but noticeable.

10) Teen Titans Annual #1 (May, 2006)

The one where Cassie gave it up to Superboy right before he died, but aside from the ick factor, the cover is crowded with dynastic centerpieces, and everyone looks like they're molded in plastic.

9) Wonder Girl #6 (April, 2008)

I think this was the first ever book titled "Wonder Girl," and certainly the longest lasting, but I've never heard anyone reference this story. The covers were all rather weak, but fighting Wonder Woman is always worthy consideration.

8) Wonder Woman #186 (December, 2002)

Not the biggest shot, but the company and quality of art makes the difference.

7) Wonder Woman #153 (February, 2000)

Nice cover, but despite logo-obscuring heights, Wonder Girl is still overshadowed by Diana's cleavage.

6) Teen Titans #3 (November, 2003)

A solid solo cover, marred by unrelated background figures and an ugly costume. This was during Cassie's awkward adjustment period from 'tween to teen, when she was trying to be Donna, and failing miserably.

5) Wonder Woman #158 (July, 2000)

This cover kind of skeeves me out, because half a year earlier Adam Hughes portrayed a grinning prepubescent, and here he insists on working pokies into the shirt of a thirteen year old. Still, the get-up was a massive improvement, Hughes otherwise interpreted it well, and nothing says a girl is growing up like sparking her bracelets against the Amazing Amazon.

4) Teen Titans #75 (September, 2009)

Wonder Girl leading the charge of a team for which she was the only remaining founder, and essentially its heart and soul. What's great about Cassie is that despite being the "Wonder Woman" of the junior JLA, she was always her own distinct self. She was allowed to grow from a very literal girl to teenager in a progressive, believable manner. Further, from her parentage to the source of her powers to her training under Artemis, Cassie has the foundation to exist entirely independent of Wonder Woman, as well as Young Justice/the Teen Titans. Donna was created as a flashback to Diana as a teen, has cycled through one nonsensically convoluted back story after another, and has never worked outside the framework of "senior chickie of the Titans." A cover like this reminds that while this team book is Cassie's primary showcase, it is not the whole of her being, or else she couldn't have become such a prominent presence. Plus, for a team that started out as a boy's club, look at the equality on display here.

3) Teen Titans #75 #35 (June, 2006)

The debut of casual dress Wonder Girl, a.k.a. "The Day She Stopped Trying." You've got to give it to her for having a complete different fashion sense from the rest of the Wonder Women, and at least she hasn't descended into sweatpants yet.

2) Wonder Woman #113 (September, 1996)

The debut of the modern age Wonder Girl was... fourteen years ago? God, I'm getting old. Anyway, Cassie started out as a goofy, geeky fangirl essentially cosplaying with whatever she had lying around. She's asexual at this point, if not flat out androgynous, but you can already see her first steps of transformation toward both woman and wonderhood. I really did not care for Byrne's Wonder Girl, but I have to congratulate him on an initiative that others developed into someone really worthwhile.

1) Young Justice #47 (September, 2002)

Cassie as an out front leader, a role she's clearly more comfortable in than Donna, and one she'd again assume in the Teen Titans. This is probably my favorite stage of Wonder Girl, because despite the red jeans, she's clearly out of both Donna and Diana's shadows. She's old enough to display developing femininity, but still a tomboy that accurately reflects the "girl" part of her name.