Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2005 Wonder Woman Commission by Phil Hester

Click To Enlarge


Man, this piece makes me wish Hester was drawing Wonder Woman instead of just writing it! Is that Zip-A-Tone? Love it!

Tuesday With Hester

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
WONDER WOMAN: SPIRIT OF TRUTH OVERSIZED SC

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.

WONDER WOMAN #176
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.

JLA: GATEKEEPER #2
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.

JLA/HAVEN: ARRIVAL
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.

JLA: INCARNATIONS #7
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.

JLA: RIDDLE OF THE BEAST HC
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.

JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVENTURES #1
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)
YOUNG JUSTICE #39
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 creature...run!!! 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)
THE TITANS #35
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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bizarro Comics: "Wonder Girl vs. Wonder Tot" (2001)



Wonder Girl, with a yawn, was flying at the crack of dawn toward Paradise Island. She spotted Wonder Tot making the same trip up ahead of her. Both were on their way to breakfast with Diana, but there was only one seat available next to her, and it was Tot's turn.
"It depends."
"On what?"
"On who gets there first!"

A red-faced Wonder Tot pursued Wonder Girl, who couldn't resist a premature victory lap, affording Tot the advantage. Wonder Girl caught up, but the force of their flight began knocking over pillars and generally wrecking havoc. Wonder Girl finally gave in, proclaiming Tot the fastest, but the little kid couldn't stop herself from speeding toward the ground. Wonder Girl managed to catch her by the ankle at the last second. After the race, all of the Amazons were sore, so both girls were placed on serving detail before receiving their own breakfast.

I wasn't won over by this story from Andi Watson and Mark Crilley. The art was nice enough, as was the coloring by Lee Loughridge, but it was mostly just a bunch of silent panels without any comedic punch. Also, the nerd in me must point out that neither character could fly in the source comics so much as glide on wind currents, plus at least one if not both of them were younger versions of Diana herself, so what was the big deal?


ElseWednesday

Sunday, May 22, 2011

2005 Wonder Woman Meets Swamp Thing Commission by Phil Hester

Click To Enlarge


Part of gallery owner Joel Thingvall's series of commissions "Characters made of or utilizing the elements Earth, Wind, Fire or Water."

Sunday With Hester
2007 Wizard World Texas Convention Sketch by Phil Hester @ The Idol-Head of Diabolu
2006 The Question Mo-Kan Comics Conspiracy Commission @ DC Bloodlines
2009 Red Tornado & the Atom Planet Comicon Sketch @ Power of the Atom
Zatanna @ Justice League Detroit

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wonder Woman: The Blue Amazon (2003)



Seven years earlier, writers Randy & Jean-Marc Lofficier with artist Ted McKeever had begun a series of Elseworlds prestige one-shots imagining the DC Trinity through the lens of German Expressionist cinema from the early 20th Century. The first was pretty obvious, setting Superman in Metropolis, one of the earliest and most revered science fiction movies. No one knew if a book with such idiosyncratic talent would take off, so it was fairly self contained. Batman was tied to Nosferatu, one of the earliest and most feared horror movies, as well as the classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Superman's lore intruded heavily on Batman's, but it was still the Dark Knight's book. Finally, there's Wonder Woman merged with The Blue Angel, a non-expressionist talkie that introduced the world to Marlene Dietrich as a cantina singer/whore who lures a schoolteacher to ruin. What in the high holy if you see Kay were these douchebags thinking? To further drench this project in excrement, the narrative is entirely dependent on Superman and Batman, while Wonder Woman is actually far more passive and certainly more victimized than the opportunist for whom this project was named. The creators might as well have all gotten together to gangbang an actual Wonder Woman comic book and suffer through their well deserved paper/staple cuts.

Rather than a pilot, "Trevor-Son" was an architect who worked to preserve the legacy of Metropolis' grant designer, Jon Kent. The significant other of Jon's son, Lois Lane, helped the architect search for texts from before "the time of smoke and soot." Lois discovered evidence that beyond Kent and his partner Lutor, there was a third designer, "a beautiful woman, with eyes of ice, but the text has faded..." Rather than continue searching out this mystery, Trevor-Son had to excuse himself for his twice weekly trip to Dr. Psykho's Palace of Sin for the burlesque performance of his beloved Blue Amazon. After her performance, literal clowns (the evil, creepy kind) kept patrons at bay. Roses were hurled to Diana, as she made her way backstage. Trevor-Son managed to talk his way through the clowns, as Diana liked him. "I have seen you. Every night you have come to watch me sing. Yet you are not like the others. You listen with your soul, with your eyes closed. Thank you. Diana gave him a hug.



Out on the city rooftops, an animal stalked. "As the Cheetah prepared to move, she smelled the men. The Cheetah had never known fear. In fact, she had never known men. She knew only immediate wrath and fury in the face of aggression. She struck, smiling, almost not knowing she did it. She felt like singing. With a swipe, a man was beheaded, blood shooting from the stump of his neck. More deaths, male and female, followed.

Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler was another stated influence on the project, most embodied by Dr. Psykho, who might as well have channeled the creators, as well. Trevor-Son followed Diana and Dr. Psykho down a spiraled staircase through infernal dens of opium and lust for sale. Reaching its bowels, grinning spectators watched as Diana was whipped onstage. Diana did not moan of whimper at this assault while she shed her clothes for the amusement of sadists. Afterward, Trevor-Son tried to help Diana escape, but they were captured by Dr. Psykho and his clowns. Dr. Psykho revealed that he had been given Diana by the late Lutor for safekeeping, but despite his hypnotic powers, he had been unable to break Diana's will to learn why she was so precious.

The Nosferatu (Batman) caught up with the Cheetah during her massacre, and didn't last long himself against her claws. Slinking off into the dark, the distraction made way for the Cheetah to burst in on Dr. Psykho and company through a window. However swiftly she dispatched the clowns, Cheetah fell under the spell of Dr. Psykho's gaze, and old secrets were finally revealed. Being a good and proper super-villain, Dr. Psykho proceeded to explain the whole convoluted story in his moment of triumph.



The third "savanti" was Paula Von Gunther, the "Life-Giver." Paula and Lutor quarreled during the construction of Metropolis, so Von Gunther struck out on her own to create Heaven, a floating island. The scientist created new, were-form "angels" for her Heaven, even though the authors offered no attribution to The Island of Dr. Moreau. Cheetah was first among equals in Heaven, but not a true daughter to Queen Paula, who created Diana to serve that role. Eventually, the Amazons suffered from genetic fragmentation, behaving erratically and engaging in mutual strife. Diana was sent to Lutor in search of male seed to replenish the gene pool, and was gullible enough to meet the blunt end of a rifle. Lutor reprogrammed Diana as he had Jon Kent, and sent her to Dr. Psykho for safekeeping. Meanwhile, bloody war raged in Heaven, with the Cheetah killing Paula Von Gunther herself.

The Cheetah needed Diana to activate the purple ray that created new Amazons, as only her genes would do. Dr. Psykho cut a deal with the Cheetah to hand Diana over if the beast would be so good as to kill the Super-Man. Trevor-Son was to be killed, now that he served no clear purpose (not that he ever did) while Dr. Psykho used his newfound information to psychically probe Diana. He should have waited five minutes, since Trevor-Son managed a well placed kick, which magically restored Diana's psyche. The Wonder-Woman broke free of her bonds, and the rest of Dr. Psykho's story was relegated to a footnote 21 pages later.

The Cheetah gave the Super-Man a good fight before the Amazons descended from Heaven on wings en masse to not manage to kill the Super-Man, even with that en masse part and the part where the Cheetah alone was dealing damage. However, the Super-Man was not alone, as Nosferatu opened up his asylum to create an army of cybernetically enhanced inmates to do his bidding. That's right, the scrawny geeks Batman usually fights (without any serious period redesign) plus friggin' Bane and some nigh imperceptible steampunk affectations versus Amazons in a junkyard rumble. At least the Super-Man and Nosferatu double-teaming still wasn't enough to take the Cheetah down. Can I please lay off all the hyphens and the's before every name?



No. The Wonder-Woman showed up, on page 57, to battle the Cheetah to the death after she had already been softened up. Super. For someone whose life had been saved by the Cheetah, the Wonder-Woman engaging in mortal combat for the throne fairly reeked of ingratitude. "You raped and killed our mother! You tore Heaven apart! What you could not rend with your claws, you poisoned with your lies!" Um... I don't remember that stuff. I just remember Lutor and Dr. Psykho owning this book while Diana was a submissive plaything and the Cheetah was the only powerful female kicking any ass. So of course she's a wretched abomination who refuses surrender and dies bu suicide, skewered on a bunch of phallic rods.

In the end, Lutor's evil was once again acknowledged as being at the heart of this mess, because women can't have their own story or make their own troubles. Diana noted, "His lust for the woman that spurned him made us all his puppets." Then Diana carried Trevor-Son off to Heaven so that he could "father a new race on Angels," because narrow genealogy wasn't what caused a lot of this trouble, and one good man is the solution to all of the woes of women. Dr. Psykho was placed in The Cabinet of Dr. Wayne-Son with whatever other loonies survived the Amazons, while the last page was devoted to the Super-Man and Lois Lane looking at a mural of Lutor, Jon Kent, and a woman identified as Paula Von Gunther even though she looks completely different from her depiction in flashbacks, so it's probably Marta, Superman's mom. Yeah, let's ditch the titular star of this book two pages earlier, because it's not like she got in much heroism in this book. God, I want to punch this book in its stupid ugly face, if I didn't think it would shoot a load in its trousers like a dirty boy. Dirty, dirty boys!

ElseWednesday featuring Wildstorm!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sensational Comics for August, 2011



I was looking forward to running another "Imaginary Wednesday," but one of my Photobucket accounts is down for repairs, leaving my Wonder Woman and (Captain) Atom blogs a mess. Therefore, you get solicits! Yay?

Wonder Woman
DC RETROACTIVE: WONDER WOMAN – THE ‘80S #1
Written by ROY THOMAS
Art and cover by RICH BUCKLER
In a new adventure written by 1980s WW scribe Roy Thomas, Wonder Woman battles the sinister Silver Swan to protect her secret identity from being revealed. And don’t miss a classic tale from that era, also written by Thomas!
ONE-SHOT • On sale AUGUST 3 • 56 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T
For some damned reason, the Wonder Woman books are the only Retro-Actives not to feature new cover art in the solicitations.

DC RETROACTIVE: WONDER WOMAN – THE ‘90S #1
Written by WILLIAM MESSNER-LOEBS
Art and cover by PARIS CULLINS
It’s a defining tale of Wonder Woman from the creators who crafted her courageous career in the 1990s, as she shows young women everywhere what it means to be Princess of the Amazons. Plus: a classic 1990s tale also written by Messner-Loebs.
ONE-SHOT • On sale AUGUST 17 • 56 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T
It would have been pretty awesome to get Bolland back, but Cullins didn't get to do any his own covers, and I'm not sure he's done any for Wonder Woman since the early '80s.

WONDER WOMAN #614
Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI and PHIL HESTER
Art by DON KRAMER and WAYNE FAUCHER
Cover by JOSHUA MIDDLETON
1:10 Variant cover by ALEX GARNER
The all-new Wonder Woman reaches the end of her epic “Odyssey” and comes face-to-face with the malevolent force behind it all! But the only way to defeat her nemesis may be to become her – giving her own powers over to an all-consuming hatred for life on Earth! Is Diana strong enough to control a force that seeks vengeance on all mankind, or will the warrior within her condemn her to a life of eternal bloodshed?
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale AUGUST 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
This damned well better mean I'm done looking at that ugly costume. You know, the one they used as a model for the failed TV pilot that will never air? Lick it up, baby... lick, it. up.

FLASHPOINT #4-5
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art by ANDY KUBERT and SANDRA HOPE
Covers by ANDY KUBERT and SANDRA HOPE
1:25 Black and white variant covers A by ANDY KUBERT
Issue #4 Variant cover B by IVAN REIS and GEORGE PEREZ
Issue #5 Variant cover B by RAGS MORALES
FLASH FACT: The war between the Amazons and the Atlantians has arrived. The battle between Diana of Themyscira and Emperor Aquaman will tear this world apart – unless The Flash can fix it!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Because of its impact on the DC Universe, FLASHPOINT #5 is the only title that DC Comics is soliciting in this catalogue to arrive in stores on August 31.
Retailers please note: These issues will ship with three covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #4 on sale AUGUST 3
Issue #5 on sale AUGUST 31
4 and 5 of 5, 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
I haven't read the first issue yet, but if it really comes down to Amazons versus Atlantis, how likely is the general public to care? It's a no-win for Paradise Island, since losing to Atlantis would be an enormous black eye, and winning just means they beat up the one nation more prone to decimation that Themyscira.

FLASHPOINT: EMPEROR AQUAMAN #3

Written by TONY BEDARD
Art and cover by ARDIAN SYAF and VICENTE CIFUENTES
FLASH FACT: Arthur Curry’s rage has sunk countries, killed millions, and begun a world war. But as the end approaches, he will have to gather the ferocity needed to destroy his enemy utterly.
On sale AUGUST 10 • 3 of 3, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Any idea how many times Wonder Woman has to step on Batman's neck to make up for Aquaman doing her even once?

FLASHPOINT: HAL JORDAN #3

Written by ADAM SCHLAGMAN
Art by BEN OLIVER
Cover by J.G. JONES
FLASH FACT: This will be Hal Jordan’s greatest moment: delivering the bomb known as the Green Arrow. If he fails, it’s all over.
On sale AUGUST 24 • 3 of 3, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
No really, I think Hal Jordan is Dickish Steve Trevor reincarnated.

FLASHPOINT: WONDER WOMAN AND THE FURIES #3
Written by DAN ABNETT and ANDY LANNING
Art and cover by SCOTT CLARK and DAVE BEATY
FLASH FACT: The secrets behind Queen Hippolyta’s death and the start of the world war are revealed.
On sale AUGUST 17 • 3 of 3, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
That's a whole lot of Aquaman fighting for one month, huh?

FLASHPOINT: LOIS LANE AND THE RESISTANCE #3
Written by DAN ABNETT and ANDY LANNING
Art by EDDIE NUNEZ
Cover by EDDIE NUNEZ and SANDRA HOPE
FLASH FACT: The Resistance has found Britain’s last great hope, the enigmatic and immensely powerful Brittania. It’s time to take back England!
On sale AUGUST 24 • 3 of 3, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
What an ugly comic book. Is it 1997 again?

FLASHPOINT: WORLD OF FLASHPOINT #3
Written by REX OGLE
Art by EDUARDO FRANCISCO
Cover by BRETT BOOTH
FLASH FACT: As the war between Amazons and Atlanteans rages on the battlefield around her, Traci must find the strength to stop her father before he rips the world asunder.
On sale AUGUST 3 • 3 of 3, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US RATED T
...zzzzzzzzzz...

DC UNIVERSE ONLINE LEGENDS #13-14
Written by MARV WOLFMAN and TONY BEDARD
Art by MIKE S. MILLER, HOWARD PORTER and LIVESAY
Cover #13 by HOWARD PORTER and LIVESAY
Cover #14 by IVAN REIS and OCLAIR ALBERT
Superman’s power fluctuations are out of control, and while he’s battling everyone around him in a mass of confusion, a surprising figure tries to intervene! But can anyone – or anything – stop an enraged Kryptonian?
And in issue #14, it’s a tale of tragic proportions as an unexpected character falls in the line of duty...but who and how will forever change the course of the series.
Issue #13 on sale AUGUST 3
Issue #14 on sale AUGUST 17
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Woof. Anybody still buying this? If so, why?

DC COMICS PRESENTS JLA: HEAVEN’S LADDER #1
Written by MARK WAID and RON MARZ
Art and cover by BRYAN HITCH, PAUL NEARY and ANDY LANNING
The powerful graphic novel from 2000 is reprinted, along with GREEN LANTERN #1,000,000!
When the Earth is wrenched from its orbit and transported into a massive alien craft, The Justice League quickly begins an investigation to discover the identity of the culprit and his scheme. Earth’s greatest heroes soon learn that an eons-old race of scientists on the verge of extinction is acquiring planets in the hopes of finding a homeworld. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and The Atom must save these disparate worlds while aiding the godlike race in their quest.
And in the story from GL #1,000,000, also illustrated by Bryan Hitch, Kyle Rayner must adapt to a challenge in the 857th century when a rampaging interstellar menagerie is set loose. During the struggle, Kyle learns that there’s a traitor among the future JLA!
On sale AUGUST 24 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US
Good Lord, this will be my heaviest ordering month in a while. This came out when I still had my shop. I sold out before reading it, sold through my reorders, and never bothered to buy a copy for myself. I hate the unwieldy Treasury format, so I'll finally buy this thing as a standard comic (even with the unnecessary Green Lantern issue, especially when Martian Manhunter #11 would have been a better choice.)

JLA VOL. 1 TP
Written by GRANT MORRISON and MARK MILLAR
Art by HOWARD PORTER, JOHN DELL, OSCAR JIMENEZ and others
Cover by HOWARD PORTER and JOHN DELL
The legendary 1990s JLA series written by comics mastermind Grant Morrison (FINAL CRISIS) with stunning art by Howard Porter and others is now collected in trade paperback, including issues #1-9 and JLA SECRET FILES #1.
The action begins as the JLA reunites to stop the Hyperclan, who have come to Earth posing as a new group of Super Heroes. But as their true nature comes to light, only the World’s Greatest Super Heroes can stop them! Standing side by side, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern and the Martian Manhunter take on alien posers and come to realize that Earth needs a protectorate made up of only the mightiest icons.
This new trade paperback includes several issues written by Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Ultimate Fantastic Four) that were not collected in the hardcover JLA DELUXE EDITION series.
On sale SEPTEMBER 28 • 256 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Diana was not especially well treated in this series, but that was at least in part due to John Byrne's meddling, and they're great stories regardless.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: ALL-STAR COMICS VOL. 1 TP
Written by PAUL LEVITZ and GERRY CONWAY • Art by WALLACE WOOD, JOE STATON and others • Cover by BRIAN BOLLAND
The JSA’s 1970s adventures from ALL-STAR COMICS #58-74 and ADVENTURE COMICS #461-466 are collected in a value-priced Showcase edition! Don’t miss the team’s battles with the Psycho-Pirate, Vandal Savage, the Injustice Society and more.
On sale SEPTEMBER 21 • 448 pg, B&W, $19.99 US
Any other month, I'd have been tempted, but I'm drowning in books here!

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST VOL. 2 HC
Written by JUDD WINICK
Art by AARON LOPRESTI, FERNANDO DAGNINO, JOE BENNETT and others
Cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN
In this second JLGL collection featuring issues #13-24 of the twice-monthly series, the U.N. revokes Checkmate’s charter, Captain Atom is wanted for murder, and Blue Beetle is . . . dead? Don’t miss the second half of this can’t-miss epic!
On sale OCTOBER 12 • 320 pg, FC, $39.99 US
Despite featuring a bunch of characters I like, I wouldn't go near this series.

Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark)
TEEN TITANS #99-100
Written by J.T. KRUL
Issue #99 art by JOSE LUIS and SANDRO RIBEIRO
Issue #100 art by NICOLA SCOTT and DOUG HAZLEWOOD
Covers by NICOLA SCOTT and DOUG HAZLEWOOD
Issue #100 1:10 Variant cover by PHIL JIMENEZ
Superboy Prime makes his move against the Titans, which means the return of some familiar faces. Can our heroes handle an all-new Legion of Doom?
Then, in the bonus-sized 100th issue of TEEN TITANS, It’s all-out war as Titans old and new come together to face the greatest threat to their existence. Can anyone stop Superboy Prime from destroying everything the team stands for?
Retailers please note: Issue #100 will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #99 on sale AUGUST 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Issue #100 on sale AUGUST 24 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T
Did this Solstice thing pan out? I was expecting a Brightest Day tie-in there that never came about.

Wonder Girl (Donna Troy)
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #60
Written by JAMES ROBINSON
Art by DANIEL SAMPERE
Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
1:10 Variant cover by DAVID MACK
In the aftermath of “Eclipso Rising,” the team faces an uncertain future. Be here for a tale of love, friendship and heroism when this incarnation of the JLA must decide whether they have anything left to offer the DC Universe. And the mystery of Jesse Quick’s wavering speed powers is solved in a revelation that will shock everyone.
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale AUGUST 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
I only count three penises, and only one is human, strictly speaking. I suppose we'll be seeing more following Flashpoint, and that they'll be white and Silver.
DC COMICS PRESENTS THE TEEN TITANS #1
Written by BOB HANEY, MICHAEL ALLRED and LEE ALLRED • Art by JAY STEPHENS and MICHAEL ALLRED • Cover by MICHAEL ALLRED
The original Teen Titans go on a secret space adventure at the behest of President Kennedy in this reprint of the LOST ANNUAL! Plus, it’s the Teen Titans vs. the Doom Patrol and more from SOLO #7!
On sale AUGUST 17 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US
How am I going to afford all of these books? There's so much good stuff out this month!
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: TEAM HISTORY TP
Written by JAMES ROBINSON
Art and cover by MARK BAGLEY and ROB HUNTER
Now in trade paperback!
In this first volume collecting stories by James Robinson and Mark Bagley from issues #38-43, the JLA is reborn with a new roster of heroes: Batman, Green Lantern, The Atom, Green Arrow, Donna Troy, The Guardian, Cyborg, Mon-El, Starfire and Congorilla. Also in this volume, the BLACKEST NIGHT darkens the skies over the Justice League. Can the team get it together in time to survive the return of the undead, villainous Dr. Light?
On sale SEPTEMBER 14 • 192 pg, FC, $17.99 US
This line-up lasted nanoseconds.

I-Ching
BATMAN: EYE OF THE BEHOLDER HC
Written by TONY DANIEL
Art by TONY DANIEL and others
Cover by TONY DANIEL
Bruce Wayne may have returned to Gotham City, but when an aging but wealthy technology developer comes to Gotham with his beautiful daughter, it turns out he’s in search of a joint project with WayneTech. DNA tracking is the name of his game, and there are others interested in his proposal. But when the developer goes missing, Batman finds that his tracks stop in the city’s violent Chinatown neighborhood, where a new deadly gang has taken hold. Collecting BATMAN #704-710!
On sale OCTOBER 5 • 168 pg, FC, $22.99 US

Jonny Double
VERTIGO RESURRECTED: JONNY DOUBLE #1
Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO • Art by EDUARDO RISSO
Cover by DAVE JOHNSON
In a story by the creators of 100 BULLETS, San Francisco P.I. Jonny Double is hired to watch over a rich man’s rebellious daughter. But after being seduced by the girl, Jonny finds himself mixed up in a scheme to plunder an old bank account that belonged to Al Capone.
On sale AUGUST 10 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US • MATURE READERS
Folks may not recall, but Jonny Double was brought into Diana Prince is the New Wonder Woman's supporting cast for the last few issues. It's a shame Vertigo didn't throw in his debut in Showcase.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

1995 Wonder Woman Unused Cover Concept Rough by Brian Bolland

Click To Enlarge


I'm not certain where this image was planned for use, or even the year it was crafted. My best guess would be 1995's Wonder Woman #100, based on her short, straight hair and pissed off look. My belief is that this was already going to be an alternate cover, so that DC could have a lousy foil edition with only text and a silhouette. Maybe Bolland was going to play coy by alluding to Diana regaining her tiara, but not necessarily her costume. Either way, Bolland was exiting the title, so that we could suffer through John Byrne's run. I was pretty pissed myself at the time.

Brian Bolland Roughs Day

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Justice League of America #144 (July, 1977)



Green Arrow, having spent some time reading through old League journals, allowed his detective mind to activate his knee-jerk reactivism. It seemed that the date the League was said to have formed was seven months prior to Hal Jordan's having become Green Lantern, much less his starting working with other heroes. Ollie felt like he'd been lied to, and let Hal have it, but the also-present Superman stepped up. "Okay, Arrow! You've caught us red-handed-- and I, for one, am just as glad the secret's out." Superman led the pair to a viewing room on the League Satellite, where Ollie watched a video recorded by J'Onn J'Onzz before he left the team. "As you listen, please understand why we had to hide the truth! It wasn't you we feared-- it was the times!"

J'Onzz related the story of his arrival on Earth in 1955, with much of the dialogue and layouts taken directly from Detective Comics #225. Caught up in the McCarthy era paranoia of 1959, Jones had to deal with the arrival of his nemesis Commander Blanx, with the invading Martians setting off a national panic. Jones was captured by the evil Pale Martians, leaving his future associates Flash, Superman, Batman, and Robin to investigate the goings-on. Roy Raymond, TV Detective, reported on incidents in Jones' city of Middletown, attracting a veritable army of contemporaneous adventurers.

Batman had this most super of groups divide into teams and spread out to monitor the globe. Jimmy Olsen, Plastic Man and the Blackhawks chased a red herring that led them to nearly discover Rip Hunter: Time Master and his partner Jeff's secret operation. Lois Lane, Robotman, Congo Bill, Vigilante, and the Challengers of the Unknown nearly foiled Adam Strange's catching a Zeta-Beam back to Rann and his ladylove Alanna. Only the World's Finest trio, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, Roy Raymond and Rex the Wonder Dog headed in the right direction. It seems Ferris Aircraft was involved with a satellite launch at Cape Canaveral, and a test pilot on site, Hal Jordan, had been shot from ambush by a ray-gun. Everyone was impressed he was still on his feet to show the lot where the dirty business had gone down.

At the launch pad, Rex scented trouble, so Superman used heat vision to flush the invisible Martians. "Hera help us! It's raining Martians!" Commander Blanx put up a decent fight against Superman. Wonder Woman enjoyed pitting her Amazon strength against the aliens, while Flash helped Aquaman with a hydration issue, giving the Sea King power enough to flatten a Martian. Robin noted water-droplets on the rocket took the form of a once "invisible man," so the caped crusaders climbed up to gently release J'onn J'onzz. "Thank you, my friends! Had you not intervened, I would have been shot into space with this satellite tomorrow-- to my death!" Robin asked, "Gosh! But aren't you a Martian, too!" J'onzz J'onzz confirmed, "I am, lad-- yet not a Martian such as they! And to prove it, I'll tell you the most closely-guarded secret to any Martian-- our one fatal weakness!" One reveal, and heat vision did the rest.

The Pale Martians were sent back to their home planet, while the benevolent J'onn J'onzz was allowed to stay on Earth. Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Superman all agreed that given six months for things to calm down, and with their full support as a club, the Martian Manhunter could be accepted by the public as part of a new group they thought about forming. Batman wished to remain a loner, which didn't work for Flash. "But, Batman-- a league against evil! Our purpose would be to uphold justice against whatever danger threatens it!" Superman also asked that the Caped Crusader take time to think it over, while Raymond did his part by vowing to a press blackout on the affair.

"And so it was decided! All of us swore silence!" The world chalked the Martian invasion to mass hysteria. "It was several months after-- when I lost my ability to use my powers while invisible-- that we had our first official case-- the case we maintained first brought us together! Of course, Robin, Roy, and Hal weren't members-- but a new hero, Green Lantern, was! Still, we've always celebrated the original day! I hope, now, you understand-- because it opened this world for me!" Green Arrow felt he should be "teed off," but knew "It was a nice thing you did for Ol' J'onn! I'm kinda sorry I missed him when he was on Earth recently! Now lemme outa here! I got somethin' in my eye!"

Steve Englehart, Dick Dillin, and Frank McLaughlin created one of the most influential DC Comics ever with this tale. While retroactive continuity was nothing new even then, writing such a massive crossover of isolated features into a pre-origin tale filled with cross-referenced minutia, "first meetings," and other rampant revisionism? This was truly the Marvel Age of DC Comics! A truly great work, and as such endlessly copied, but rarely duplicated.

For a much more detailed version of this story from the Martian perspective, look here and here.