Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Bad New Era Dawns for Wonder Woman?

It's been a very bad year to be a Wonder Woman fan. First, Joseph Michael Straczynski decided to completely jack with her continuity, making her a a mid-90s "bad girl" fifteen years late. Then Straczynski got bored and distracted less than halfway through, requiring writer Phil Hester to continue a poorly received revision hamstrung by "story notes" and a shifting schedule. The full story was accompanied by a widely panned costume by historically awful designer Jim Lee. This suit went on to inspire the failed David E. Kelly television pilot, which either had its questionable potential crushed or will deliver Montezuma's Convention Bootleg Revenge for generations. Given the disparity in reviews, I'm pretty sure one of those guys followed Smallville religiously. Apparently, TV Diana would back Cheney on waterboarding, but he didn't go far enough for her liking.

Now, we're getting a new Justice League, in a newish continuity... with a slightly worse variation on the Jim Lee redesign. We get exceptional artist Cliff Chiang stuck drawing the thing in a new ongoing series. That series will be written by Brian Azzarello, responsible for the ponderous Superman arc "For Tomorrow" that is best known for being "No 'Hush,'" and a lot of hardboiled Vertigo stuff that would indicate more Xenafied Amazon hard ass bitchiness. Joy.

As an added bonus, it looks like Donna Troy will be joining Justice League International in possibly her least imaginative costume yet. I'm hoping that it's either a placeholder for something better, or that it maybe isn't Donna at all. I mean, it makes me sad to think Donna went from one of the iconic Teen Titans of the '60s-'90s, only to become a bit player on a second string Justice League team as an adult. What's next, a midlife spread in Playboy?

Finally, there's no firm word yet on Cassie Sandsmark, but it looks like Brett Booth is involved with a new Teen Titans. That strikes me as a good combination, so it's a shame Fabian Nicieza has been confirmed as not being involved. More griping as the opportunity presents itself...


Ryan said...

Diana Prince: Vampire Hunter!

I've hated the Jim Lee redesign since the beginning and I wasn't wild about the prospect of him redesigning 49 other costumes for September. However, I really like Cliff Chiang and Azzarello has produced some really great stories, so I'll be cautiously optimistic about this one.

Diabolu Frank said...

My understanding is that Wonder Woman #1 will be part of a retailer incentive plan involving massive discounts (75% ish,) returnability, and variant covers. I figure that should translates to my being able to get a copy of at least that first issue for cheap. I'll use that to gauge its trade worthiness. I love Cliff Chang, but that bloody sword in her hand goes directly to my nerves. I'd be more open-minded if I liked anything by Azzarello outside crime noir, and heck, I might even give him the benefit of the doubt if he went O'Neil/Sekowsky Diana Prince on it. Drop her in a white pantsuit and have her solving mysteries, and I'll try to roll with it. It's the castrating amazon element I can dig.

Diabolu Frank said...

Can Not dig. D'oh!

Ryan said...

I agree that Azzarello's strength as a storyteller is in the realm of crime and dark realism--not at all what you would expect (or want) from a Wonder Woman story. But... I would have said the exact same thing about Greg Rucka a couple years ago, and he told some of my favorite Diana stories during his run.

I was wanting J. Michael Straczynski to take over Wonder Woman's book six months before it was announced that he would. And then the costume and first issue of his run dropped and I ran away in terror. I'm not sure DC knows what makes a good version of Wonder Woman right now, but, as I said, I'll give this new team a shot and hope because she is one of my top three favorite comic characters.

Also: Frank, why can't I post to your Martian Manhunter blog without a blog account or something like that? That blog doesn't offer the Name/URL/Anonymous options for posting.

Diabolu Frank said...

I guess a writer can't show me what they're capable of if I pigeonhole them, but I'm less than welcoming of experimentation with a character I'm as protective of as Wonder Woman. Catch-22, that. Even seemingly certain choices like Gail Simone left me flat, so who's to see who the person for the job is until they're given the chance?

Me, that's who! I'm thinking Roger Landridge, Marc Andreyko, Grant Morrison or J.M. DeMatteis would all be attractive fits.

All of my blogs used to have every comment moderated like this one, so that I could read and reply to everything while keeping spam out. At the Idol-Head, I felt that was stifling readers, so I opened it up to unfettered commenting for Google/Open ID accounts. So far, yours was the first complaint, but I don't believe in turning anyone away. I'll give "open all" with word verification a try, but I'll expect to be hearing from you over there. ;)