Friday, May 27, 2011

Sensational Comics for November, 2001

I've been following order catalog solicitations since the early '90s, and online ones since late in that decade. I tossed out all me old catalogs in the early 2000s, and I've noticed that online queues tend to dry up and blow away after a while. As both a means of preservation and an easy generator of daily content, I think I'll begin reaching back as far as I can for Martian Sightings before I started doing them in 2007...

Wonder Woman

Written by Paul Dini; painted art and cover by Alex Ross
In stores November 14.

The fourth book in the best-selling and multiple award-winning series by Paul Dini and Alex Ross finds the Amazon Princess at an impasse. To advance her mission in Man's World, Wonder Woman must seek the counsel of the only one she can trust. Just as her lasso reveals falsehood and fabrication on the part of her enemies, Wonder Woman comes to uncover the truth behind who she is, what she represents, and the task ahead of her. For more information, see the feature article.

The art linked from CBR is totally not from this book, but instead Chip Kidd's hardcover devotional to the character. Anyway, the two page origin sequence is worth the cover price. Diana's story has been revised and overcomplicated so often, even I as a serious fan of the character cannot think of a clearer, more concise and appealing telling of her basic story than this. It looks fantastic, mythical, and has the indispensable lines, "Weary of constant warfare, we beseeched our patron Goddess for sanctuary. The will of gentle Aphrodite guided us away from the battlefields to the shores of Paradise Island." Something said so simply, but I felt my understanding of the Amazons magnified with that statement. It erased every bias and misconception of Themyscira from my mind. "Amazons Attack," in my world, never happened. A blessing for certain!

Diana's story also worked better than the rest of the Dini/Ross tabloid one-shots, as her goals and means have always been more ambiguous than the rest, and solutions therefore more elusive. Gone is the harsh and frankly repulsive Wonder Woman of previous Ross efforts, hewing closer to a Lynda Carter grace without sacrificing formidably. Despite misgivings about Paul Dini's work at times, I mourn his lack of input into Wonder Woman's characterization in the Justice League cartoon. I loved the invisible jet effects, and the fear/distrust Wonder Woman's appearance inspires. Folks, I sold comics for eight years, and rare is the female reader who likes, much less relates to, Wonder Woman. Metatext aplenty here. Aside from the problems faced by the nature of the project and sameness of it all, I must also note my hatred for the inclusion of Clark Kent. For some reason, Wonder Woman is the only book compromised by the inclusion of another super-hero, and this man serves as a mentor to our heroine. Screw that, as is it was entirely unnecessary, and robbed our lead of vision and self-determination.

Written by Phil Jimenez; art by Jimenez and Andy Lanning; cover by Adam Hughes
In stores November 28.

Part 3 of the 3-part "The Witch and the Warrior," featuring a terrifying triple threat! A final showdown erupts in New York City between Wonder Woman and Circe as the whole world watches. Meanwhile, Wonder Girl faces off against the Silver Swan, and Troia begins to discover the mystery of the new Cheetah.
FC, 32 pg. $2.25
This was a busy story that tried to cram in every DC super-heroine and villainess possible. Not bad, but the shared art chores made the look really inconsistent.

Written and illustrated by Tim Truman; painted cover by Truman
In stores November 21.

The bold new miniseries continues! The JLA must battle its way to the heart of an ages-old netherworld, fighting demons that have revealed themselves as old ghosts from the past - having scourged Atlantis, tormented the gods of Olympus, and even besieged a young Krypton. Now, with Superman weakened without the aid of a yellow sun, and Aquaman parched to the point of exhaustion, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Batman must fight these fiendish villains against all odds for the sake of the world.
I was rather burnt out on Wonder Woman by this point, and I rarely like book Truman writes for himself. Sala debuted in a Green Lantern annual I didn't particularly care for, and his JLA looked kind of gnarled up, so I passed.

JLA #60
Written by Mark Waid; art and cover by Cliff Rathburn and Paul Neary
In stores November 28.

After much anticipation, and in celebration of the holiday season, the League finally elects a new member. It's daring Yuletide action for the World's Greatest Heroes' newest teammate…Santa Claus?!? But will the Red-Nosed Ranger pay the ultimate price on his first mission? Only Plastic Man knows for sure. Find out in a story we could only call "Merry Christmas JLA...Now Die!"
For some reason (maybe the Last Laugh crossover) I stopped reading this book for a few months before the Joe Kelly run started. This has been sitting unread in a box for almost a decade.

Written by Ashley-Jayne Nicolaus and Matthew P. Schuster; art and cover by Ariel Olivetti
In stores November 7.

A new era for the DC Universe begins here! When a city filled with alien super-beings crash-lands in California, only the World's Greatest Super-Heroes can hope to contain the damage. Struggling to control their path across hundreds of miles of cities and towns, where can the combined heroes of Earth and Haven find a safe place for the space-born city to stop its incredible journey? For more information, see the feature article.
FC, 48 pg. Prestige Format $5.95
I really dug this series, but I don't recall Wonder Woman having a significant role in it.

Written by John Ostrander; art and cover by Val Semeiks and Prentis Rollins
In stores November 14.

The current (and some would say greatest) incarnation of the World's Greatest Super-Heroes is the focus of our climactic issue! The newest League faces the JLA's oldest threat: the shape-changing Appelaxians, the very first foes the JLA ever faced! At the same time, the Earth is being overwhelmed with natural disasters as Gaea, the spirit of the earth, sick of being poisoned by humanity, declares war. Earthquakes, floods, tidal waves all threaten to scour humanity from the Earth. It's epic action as only the modern day JLA can bring you!
FC, 48 pg. (7 of 7) $3.50
I gave up on this series halfway through, because I hated the art and the wimpy continuity tweaks within. I did finally buy this issue for about twenty cents a while back, but haven't read it.

Written by Alan Grant; painted art by Carl Critchlow, Simon Davis, Glenn Fabry, Jon Foster, Rafael Garres, Doug Alexander Gregory, Alex Horley, Herman Mejia, Jim Murray, Andrew Robinson, Liam McCormick Sharpe, Gregg Staples, Saverio Tenuta, John Watson, and Martin T. Williams; designs by Michael Wm. Kaluta; painted cover by Justin Sweet
ELSEWORLDS. Advance-solicited; in stores December 5.

A fully-painted hardcover featuring fantastical recreations of the JLA! In a universe of darkness, a world without a name struggles to heal itself after generations of war. And against murderous odds, a solitary boy must lay claim to his heritage, and topple walls of ignorance and fear in order to save his home. For more information, see the feature article.
FC, 104 pg. Hardcover $24.95
I covered this book here. I don't recall liking it very much, as it was a poor fantasy story with DC characters inserted willy-nilly.

Written by Ty Templeton; art by Min S. Ku and Dan Davis; cover by Bruce Timm and Alex Ross
In stores November 14.

A new ongoing series based on the Justice League animated show on Cartoon Network begins! When a meteor lands in an American suburb, the League is called on to investigate. Soon they are drawn into an intergalactic conflict, but it seems as if the real threat may be one of their own…Green Lantern! For more information, see the feature article.
Check out the original Bruce Timm pencils, before Alex Ross painted over them! This was an okay series.

Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark)
Written by Peter David; art and cover by Todd Nauck and Lary Stucker
In stores November 7.

Lesson one: Never accept gifts from your schoolmate. Lesson two: Never accept a flower that comes from New Genesis. Lesson three: When that flower turns into a big, giant plant!!! Plus, Superboy and Lobo deal with their new team member.
FC, 32 pg. $2.50
Did this Solstice thing pan out? I was expecting a Brightest Day tie-in there that never came about.

Wonder Girl (Donna Troy)
Written by Jay Faerber; art by Peter Grau and Bud LaRosa; cover by Kia Asamiya
In stores November 21.

Beast Boy and Flamebird roll into town on a "secret mission" - but it doesn't take much counter intelligence to realize that Beast Boy wants the kids to come back to California with him so he can exert full leadership control of the next version of Titans West. Meanwhile, Jesse's mom's new fiance is unexpectedly found dead in bed. Any idea who killed him?
FC, 32 pg. $2.50

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