Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Top Doctor Poison, Queen Clea and Veronica Cale Covers

I often complain about the overuse of Circe, Cheetah, and Ares in Wonder Woman stories, but I must confess that I've shaved the barrel's bottom on character-themed cover countdowns far sooner than I would have expected for such an iconic heroine. Doctor Poison was a creepy cross-dressing member of the Axis in some Golden Age tales, was forgotten for decades, and has turned up here and there since her revival during Erik Luke's run in the '90s. Queen Clea is an evil Golden Age Atlantean who was brought back by Phil Jimenez pretty much solely to fill out Villainy Inc. Veronica Cale was created by Greg Rucka based on his career defining formula of being excruciatingly derivative and arbitrarily inserting at least one prominent female supporting character into every book. Cale is a female Lex Luthor, specifically the Marv Wolfman/John Byrne envious corporate tycoon version from the Post-Crisis years. I used to despise her, but other writers (specifically Keith Giffen) made her more palatable as a bureaucrat presiding over the mad science on Oolong Island. Below are their combined best covers, which fall well short of a top ten...

7) Wonder Woman #182 (August, 2002)

Whoever wins, perspective and framing loses.


6) 52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen #3 (December, 2007)

I never read this book, but I'm pretty sure that's a sketchy looking Cale in the background, unless Hillary Clinton made an uncredited cameo. Yeah, that's how this is going to go down.


5) 52 #46 (March, 2007)

Veronica Cale lacks any distinguishing characteristics when not portrayed by Elizabeth Hurley is an unaired TV pilot, but she's also the only attractive blond woman to mingle with DC's mad scientists, so I'll assume that's her in Black Adam's lighting bolt. That said, this cover is about Black Adam's lighting bolt, not so much mad scientists.


4) Wonder Woman #28 (March-April, 1948)

This cover is better than other covers because they're totally dropping a big rock while Diana is distracted playing bullets & bracelets. Rock beats Cale! This is almost certainly the top Eviless cover, I'm pretty sure I think. Cheetah and Giganta have seen better, though


3) 52 #26 (November, 2006)

I'm almost pretty sure that's also Veronica Cale, but again, I haven't read it, and she needs an eyepatch or stroke-related facial droop or something.


2) Wonder Woman #202 (May, 2004)

My rationale for crowning the top two covers is that I'm 85% confident that the characters I'm supposed to be referencing are actually on them. For instance, this is with a doubt the best Veronica Cale comic book cover, because I don't remember there being another blond woman in an evening gown around when I read this once eight years ago while half-interested at best. She looks catty over an insignificant matter. Must be Cale!


2) Wonder Woman #180 (June, 2002)

A bunch of head shots top the list of greatest Villainy Inc. covers! I flipped through this one several times before and after bagging and boarding it, and may have even read a few panels. It says something about Jimenez's writing that I made it through Byrne and Luke but couldn't overcome his scripts.

Cornucopia of Top Comic Covers

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

1993 Wonder Woman redesign doodle by Diabolu Frank



In the wake of "Reign of the Superman" and "Knightfall," I became fixated on my own design revamps of iconic DC heroes. I would do pages and pages of quasi-stick figure revisions in marker, and have sometimes featured them on my Martian Manhunter blog. Such an over-sharing occurred today, and since one of my Wonder Woman attempts was on the same page, I thought I'd crop it to spotlight here. Forgive the dismal quality, but depending on your viewing platform, the image is larger than original size. The elongated bracelets turned up in the Byrne period, and Perez did the thigh high boots on occasion in his day. Nothing new here, not even the basic image, which I believe I swiped from a Sal Velluto drawing.

Speaking of which, you might get a mild kick out of my 1994-1995 Swipe Collage or the rest of this page, offered on other blogs today.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

All The World Is Waiting For Nubia!



After several years as a de-powered urban adventurer in contemporary fashions, Diana Prince went back to being Princess Diana of Paradise Island in 1973. As part of the issue celebrating the rebirth of the costumed heroine Wonder Woman, a new character of seemingly great import was introduced. An armored warrior who appeared to be Diana's equal or better (taking into account that the Amazing Amazon was probably a bit rusty at super-battles) laid claim to the title of Wonder Woman.



Wonder Woman and her challenger began a contest at Paradise Island Stadium involving grabbing charging bulls by the horns and a sword fight in which the pair were tethered by their non-dominant wrists (the plaintiff was left-handed.) Diana was on her back and threatened with a deathblow, but her opponent hesitated, allowing Wonder Woman to deflect her sword and force a draw. Queen Hippolyta then bade the stranger remove her helmet to reveal herself. "I am Nubia! Wonder Woman of the Floating Island!"



It was soon revealed in a spectacularly blatant retcon that this was Nubia, Diana's literal soul sister sculpted from dark clay at the same time as Diana at the command of the goddess Aphrodite ("Afrodite?") Nubia was blessed by the goddesses as Diana was, and meant to be raised as her twin, until she was kidnapped in infancy by the war god Mars. Nubia was then raised to become Diana's adversary, and usurp her role as the champion of the Amazons.



"The Mystery of Nubia" was a five page solo back-up strip in the following issue that revealed the Floating Island seemed to be populated almost entirely by African tribesmen with spears and shields living in thatch huts. They dressed nearly identically, and engaged in mortal combat under Mars' law for the right to become Princess Nubia's mate. This Wonder Woman wished to be no man's possession, so when Goolah lost his match, Nubia fought the near-victor Kenyah for her own liberty. The match ended with Nubia's sword jammed into the ground inches from Kenyah's face. "A woman doesn't destroy life-- she cherishes it! She never forgets that once a life has been taken-- it can never return! Until men turn from war to peace-- and violence to love-- they will always remain in a murderous jungle!" Nubia then returned to her hut to cry in a "bottomless sea of loneliness."



In her final major appearance in her original incarnation, Nubia's full origin was revealed. The Floating Island was actually Mars' Slaughter Island, a mobile base with a volcano that could fire molten rock like cannonballs, which targeted Paradise Island. Princess Diana soon arrived to plug it up, but she was then tricked by the island's seeming ability to conjure illusions. Diana was set upon by a whole band of the island's warriors, who were defeated in short order. However, she was struck from behind by Nubia, and the two women began a protracted battle.



Diana recognized a ring Nubia wore from an experience in her youth that associated the jewelry with Mars. Wonder Woman flew her adversary high enough in the sky that reflected beams from the sun caused the ring to expand and fall off Nubia's finger. Despite being raised from birth to be Mars' instrument of vengeance against the Amazons, Nubia could only be fully controlled through the power of the ring, and immediately turned on her former master. Mars tried to ward the heroines off with an illusory monster, but was ultimately framed as a coward too terrified to attack the Amazons directly, and abandoned his assault now that he no longer had Nubia to do his dirty work.



Clearly, Nubia should have either become one of the great Wonder Woman foes, or her staunchest ally. You have to remember, when Wonder Girl was created, she was supposed to be Diana as a teenager. A mistake led to her joining the Teen Titans, and developing into an entirely separate being named Donna Troy. Wonder Girl was treated as a Titans character first, and was very much extant for most of her shared history with Wonder Woman. Steve Trevor was dead, Etta Candy forgotten, and there wasn't much in the way of prominent Amazons. Even if there had been, Diana Prince's sole companion for years was I-Ching, who was killed off in the very issue introducing Nubia. Beyond Queen Hippolyte, Wonder Woman was starting off with a blank slate in the supporting cast department.



Further, Wonder Woman hadn't dealt with her better known rogues in years, many were quite dated by the '70s, and they'd have to be reintroduced to readers. Meanwhile, Nubia had just appeared on a pair of fantastic, memorably covers and a story of some magnitude. By 1975, Nubia was set to be played by Teresa Graves, the first African-American actress to star in an hour long drama in the U.S., on the hit Wonder Woman television show. Nubia was introduced as "Wonder Woman's super-foe" as part of Mego's line of tie-in dolls, and the only opponent created for that set. She was the only "African" DC character to appear in the well-loved Mego line, and was only joined by The Falcon if you count the entire Marvel line, as well. Friend or enemy, Nubia was all set to be a big deal and a lasting addition to the Amazing Amazon's lore.



Or not. The Nubia character was dropped from the TV show before she was ever introduced after it made a switch in network and time period. The closest she ever came to television was commercials for the toys. The comic book character had a tainted origin where she was raised on an island of stereotypical tribesman, then had to defend her chastity and right to self-determination at sword point. Nubia was terribly lonely, and only fought Wonder Woman because of some evil spell instead of her own intentions. When Nubia appeared in a Supergirl story late in the year of her debut, she was depicted as Hipployta's "other" daughter who was incapable of protecting her long lost mother from radioactive sea mutants before falling victim to their poisonous bite. While Nubia convalesced, Hippolyta made a big show of adopting their mutual savior Supergirl as her (latest) new daughter. Nubia was dying, and in the absence of Wonder Woman (who was out of contact on a mission,) it was up to Supergirl to save her life a second time. Nubia spends most of the story laid up and entirely dependent on the kindness of blonde white women.



Six years later, when she was gifted a one page cameo in a Super Friends comic, she was made the leader of an African village. Why? She was raised by a Greek god on a traveling island. Oh wait, she's "Nubia," so she's off to Africa then. There, she fought a Wonder Woman driven temporarily power-mad by a villain, but the outcome of their fight was never revealed, and Nubia wasn't so much as mentioned again for two decades. Where was her grieving mother? Her welcoming sister? How does a warrior who could fight Wonder Woman to a standstill and had her own doll be allowed to be forgotten so swiftly and completely?



When Nubia finally was plucked from the deepest depths of obscurity, it was as part of a series of annuals called "JLApe" where the Justice League fought Grodd and his Gorilla City minions to reverse their becoming apes. No weird racial overtones there. Bypassing the obvious pun of rebranding her "Negress," the Post-Crisis "Nu'Bia" passed through a formidable egress into the bowels of Themyscira to defend Doom's Doorway from the inside. So wait, the negra Amazon is locked up in the cellar for centuries, essentially enduring hell while committing no crime, and only pokes her head out to fight monkeys? Merciful Minerva! A follow-up two-parter drawn by probably the least suitable artist for a Wonder Woman comic ever (the vulgar Irish comedian John McCrea) tied Nu'Bia into Zoroastrianism and saw her devote her life to resurrecting her godly boyfriend Ahura Mazda. This of course happened only after Joe Linsner had popularized Zoroastrianism (such as could be expected) through his Dawn series, so the premise was both derivative and a blow to feminism. As an added bonus, it was the brainchild of African-American writer Doselle Young, best known for alienating The Authority readers with his funky attempted spin-off The Monarchy alongside McCrea. I can't recall which came first, but nobody much dug either.



How did Nubia go from being the great character find of 1973 to a cautionary tale? Being published by DC Comics in the 1970s couldn't have helped, where Black Lightning couldn't survive a year when Luke Cage made it a decade, and The Vixen never got published at all (to this day!) Nubia's creators made a mess out of her origin and motivations coming out of the gate, and allowed her to immediately stall out. It's a shame, because Nubia had such potential to be the Wonder Woman for people of color, arriving just a year after Green Lantern John Stewart (and long before he was making regular appearances.) The Vixen hadn't even been created for her aborted pilot issue, so Nubia is arguably DC's first "African" heroine, not that you'd know it from her absence of stature.



Wonder Woman is a character that comes with a lot of baggage and forced regulations, where Nubia offers the opportunity to write a Wonder Woman with much greater freedom to experiment. Nubia could have been a sweet aspirational character, and in a world where Beyoncé Knowles was a serious contender to play Princess Diana in a movie, the character still has an audience in the waiting. Given how distastefully Diana has been handled in recent years, I'd vastly prefer some Nubia myself, either by taking up the sword chopping so that Diana could get back to her magic lasso or by assuming the role of peaceful ambassador that extreme portrayals have forced Diana to abandon. In the 21st Century, in order to reflect a black female audience hungry for heroism in swiftly expanding media platforms, DC Comics needs Nubia now more than ever.

Post-Racial DC Comics?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sensational Comics for February, 2013



Wonder Woman
YOUNG ROMANCE: A NEW 52 VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL #1
Written by ANDY DIGGLE, ANN NOCENTI, CECIL CASTELLUCCI, PETER MILLIGAN and others
Art by GENE HA, EMANUELLA LUPPICHINNO, BECKY CLOONAN, PHIL JIMENEZ, SANFORD GREEN and others
Cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
On sale FEBRUARY 6 • 64 pg, FC, $7.99 US • RATED T

• Romance is in the air in this very special Special!
• Wonder Woman consults Eros himself about her feelings for The Man of Steel.
• Barbara Gordon has always been too busy for romance, but could her role as Batgirl bring her back to the first guy she ever kissed?
• Following the events of “Death in the Family,” how can Catwoman ease Batman’s troubled soul?
• Aquaman makes waves as he treats his wife like a queen for a day.
• From the pages of STORMWATCH, Apollo and Midnighter celebrate Valentine’s Day separately but with each other in mind. Who—or what—stands between them?
• Dick Grayson and the daughter of Lucious Fox meet-cute!
• Plus: Perforated Valentine’s Day cards featuring the stars of these stories!
Not to slut shame, but that's kind of a whore-y pose, and I hate how the suddenly prominent blue makes Wonder Woman seem more complimentary as Superman's squeeze. Hate hate hate this development. Bitching aside, I love the premise of a super-hero valentine special, and it would be hot for Dick Grayson to get his interracial groove on. Then again, it reminds of that story about how Morgan Freeman was schtupping his granddaughter, which dumps a pale of ice water on that.
WONDER WOMAN #17
Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art by TONY AKINS and DAN GREEN
Cover by CLIFF CHIANG
1:25 B&W Variant cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale FEBRUARY 20 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

• Wonder Woman, War and Orion must join forces to save Zola’s baby from Hermes!
• Orion’s reasons for helping Wonder Woman lead to a disastrous betrayal!
• Plus: The truth about the dreaded First Born is revealed! Woe to the world...

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. The variant cover will feature the standard edition cover in a wraparound format.
I hope the simplicity of Orion's silhouette is misleading? With all the armored up heroes in the New 52, Orion is one of the few that such treatment would be appropriate and beneficial. His suit was always a tad too basic.
BATWOMAN #16
Written by J.H. WILLIAMS III and W. HADEN BLACKMAN
Art and cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III
1:25 B&W Variant cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III
On sale FEBRUARY 20 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

• It’s the massive conclusion to the current storyline as Batwoman and Wonder Woman struggle to defeat Medusa and a horde of villains!
• Don’t miss the start of a surprising new status quo for Batwoman!

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. The variant cover will feature the standard edition cover in a wraparound format.
Boy, that was a long guest spot.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #17
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
Variant cover by STEVE SKROCE
1:100 B&W Variant cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
On sale FEBRUARY 20 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US

• The epic, full-length conclusion to “THRONE OF ATLANTIS” hits as Aquaman and the League make a sinister discovery that changes both the outcome of the war and the future of the Justice League!
• What is THE GRID—and what does it mean to expanding the Justice League? This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.

Retailers: This issue will ship with four covers. Please see the order form for more information.
Whole lotta meh for the Aquaman creative team wrapping their run on one title by launching it in another. Talking out an inevitable-to-be-revealed DarkseidBot MacGuffin in no way ameliorates the JLA getting roughed up in turns by Cheetah, Ocean Master, and the late Peter Graves of Mission: Impossible fame. Nice to hear Steve Skroce is working in the mainstream again, though. I thought the Wachowski siblings had him bound in vinyl in their dungeon.

AQUAMAN #17
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by PAUL PELLETIER and ART THIBERT
1:25 B&W Variant cover by PAUL PELLETIER and ART THIBERT
On sale FEBRUARY 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

• A startling epilogue to “THRONE OF ATLANTIS”!
• With the secrets of Atlantis revealed, Aquaman is confronted by a horrible myth from Atlantis’s past that’s connected to his own. Plus: Mera confronts a longtime enemy.

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. The variant cover will feature the standard edition cover in a wraparound format.
I like Pelletier as much as the next guy, but following Ivan Reis is like Cockrum following Byrne on X-Men.

INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US #2
Written by TOM TAYLOR
Art and cover by JHEREMY RAAPACK
On sale FEBRUARY 27 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

• Based on the upcoming DC fighting game from NetherRealm Studios, the creators of Mortal Kombat.
• A new world order seizes the reins of power, forcing heroes to face each other in a fight to save humanity
• It’s hero versus hero in thunderous battles that decimate the world around them
How do you write the onomatopoeia sound Snoopy makes when he does not approve? "Bleah?"
THE ALL-NEW BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD — SMALL MIRACLES TP
Written by SHOLLY FISCH
Art by ROBERT POPE, SCOTT McRAE, RICK BURCHETT, STEWART McKENNY and DAN DAVIS Cover by RICK BURCHETT and DAN DAVIS
On sale MARCH 13 • 128 pg, FC, $12.99 US

• This all-ages title guest-stars DC Super Heroes including Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Martian Manhunter and more!
• Collects BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #15, 17 and THE ALL NEW BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #13-16.
I bought but don't recall having read a couple of these issues. Shame on me.
THE JACK KIRBY OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC
Written by JACK KIRBY, JOE SIMON, MICHAEL FLEISCHER, JOEY CAVALIERI and others
Art by JACK KIRBY, JOE SIMON, MIKE ROYER, WALLACE WOOD and others
Cover by JACK KIRBY
On sale APRIL 17 • 624 pg, FC, $39.99 US

• Collecting more of Jack Kirby’s epic tales from the 1970s and 1980s starring The Sandman, The Justice League, Atlas and many more.
• Collects BLACK MAGIC #1-9, 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL #1, 5 and 6, KUNG FU FIGHTER #3, THE SANDMAN #1-6, DC COMICS PRESENTS #84, SUPER POWERS VOL.1 #1-5 and SUPER POWERS VOL. 2 #1-6, and KOBRA #1.
Or more honestly, Kirby's Saddlestitched Brick O' Turd. Here is a master at his lowest ebb, generating misfires, filler, and licensing pap.
DAY OF JUDGMENT TP
Written by GEOFF JOHNS and SCOTT BEATTY
Art by MATT SMITH, STEVE MITCHELL, CHRISTOPHER JONES, JOHN McCREA and ANDREW CHIU Cover by MATT SMITH and STEVE MITCHELL
On sale MARCH 20 • 160 pg, FC, $14.99 US

• For the first time, DC collects DAY OF JUDGMENT, one of the first epics from superstar writer Geoff Johns, originally published in 1999! In the depths of Hell, the greatest supernatural power to challenge the JLA — the fallen angel Azmodel, suffers under imprisonment by Neron. But then, the Demon Etrigan offers Azmodel his freedom — and more! As humanity faces the ultimate threat and people’s long-lost loves and hates return from the dead to torment them amid demonic hellfire, DC’s greatest heroes must wage a war on three fronts!
• Collects Collects DAY OF JUDGMENT #1-5 and DAY OF JUDGMENT SECRET FILES.
You know why it took thirteen years to collect this? Because nobody liked it, since it wasn't very good.
THE DC UNIVERSE BY ALAN MOORE TP
Written by ALAN MOORE
Art by JIM APARO, PARIS CULLINS, GEORGE FREEMAN, DAVE GIBBONS, KLAUS JANSON, KEVIN O’NEILL, JOE ORLANDO, GEORGE PEREZ, KURT SCHAFFENBERGER, CURT SWAN, RICK VEITCH, AL WILLIAMSON, BILL WILLINGHAM, JIM BAIKIE, MICHAEL LOPEZ, AL RIO, TREVOR SCOTT and more
Cover by FRAZER IRVING
On sale MARCH 27 • 464 pg, FC, $24.99 US

• Alan Moore’s work on some of DC’s greatest characters is a benchmark for great stories with fresh approaches to iconic characters.
• Now available in trade paperback, this volume includes ACTION COMICS #583, BATMAN ANNUAL #11, DC COMICS PRESENTS #85, DETECTIVE COMICS #549-550, GREEN LANTERN #188, THE OMEGA MEN #26-27, SECRET ORIGINS #10, SUPERMAN #423, TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS ANNUAL #2 & 3, SUPERMAN ANNUAL #11, VIGILANTE #17-18, VOODOO #1-4 and DEATHBLOW: BY BLOWS #1-3!
I was going to whine about yet another Moore anthology collection, but this one is a beast, and vindicated for the multitude of Wildstorm inclusions.
CRISIS ON MULTIPLE EARTHS VOL. 6 TP
Written by GERRY CONWAY and ROY THOMAS
Art by GEORGE PEREZ, KEITH POLLARD, DON HECK and others Cover by GEORGE PEREZ
On sale MARCH 20 • 208 pg, FC, $19.99 US

• The JLA meet the JSA in this new collection in which the teams face Gorilla Grodd and the Secret Society of Super-Villains and battle the Crime Syndicate and the the Crime Champions of Earth-1.
• Collects JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #195-197, 207-209 and 219-220.
Sweet Perez art on this one, plus the stories are neat.
Wonder Girl


TEEN TITANS #17
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art by EDDY BARROWS and EBER FERREIRA
Cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
1:25 B&W Variant cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
On sale FEBRUARY 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

• Welcome aboard the new art team of EDDY BARROWS and EBER FERREIRA! • The team is finally reunited in the wake of “DEATH OF THE FAMILY”—but something is very wrong with Red Robin! What did The Joker do?

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. The variant cover will feature the standard edition cover in a wraparound format.
They put Barrows on this tripe instead of Aquaman? Idiots.
THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MAN #17
Written by DAN JURGENS
Art and cover by DAN JURGENS and RAY McCARTHY
On sale FEBRUARY 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

• Guest starring the TEEN TITANS!
• Are the Teen Titans here to help Firestorm—or will they use any means necessary to stop him from losing control of his powers?
Seeing a classicist like Jurgens draw the New 52 Titans costumes truly illustrates how dreadful they are. Helspont came off a lot better during his Superman run.
Steve Trevor

TEAM 7 #5
Written by JUSTIN JORDAN
Art by PASCAL ALIXE
Cover by GARY FRANK and CAM SMITH
On sale FEBRUARY 13 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

• The secret history of the DCU’s original Cyborg Program!
• Who is Spartan? And what is the threat of the Majestic Program?
• Slade Wilson takes his first steps down the path that will lead to his becoming Deathstroke!
Good to see the continued interweaving of DC and Wildstorm history. No idea how well it's being done, though.
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #17
Written by JEFF LEMIRE and RAY FAWKES
Art and by MIKEL JANIN
On sale FEBRUARY 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

• Constantine and the others are trapped on a world where magic has been outlawed, and Tim Hunter is king!
• Their only hope of returning home is in the hands of Colonel Steve Trevor—but will the A.R.G.U.S. chief decide to protect the Earth by leaving Team Dark where they are?
Donna Troy

THE NEW TEEN TITANS OMNIBUS VOL. 3 HC
Written by MARV WOLFMAN and GEORGE PEREZ
Art by GEORGE PEREZ, ROMEO TANGHAL, DAN JURGENS, MIKE DeCARLO, STEVE RUDE, AL GORDON, CARMINE INFANTINO, RICH BUCKLER, BOB SMITH, DICK GIORDANO, RON RANDALL, CHUCK PATTON and JOSE LUIS GARCIA-LOPEZ
Cover by GEORGE PEREZ
On sale APRIL 3 • 792 pg, FC, $75.00 US

• In this third massive collection of the hit 1980s series from the acclaimed team of writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez, the Teen battle the villainy of H.I.V.E., face the evil Dr. Light, witness the trial of Deathstroke, and try to rescue the dark hero known as Raven from her own father, Trigon.
• Collects TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #45- 61 and 66-67, NEW TEEN TITANS #38, NEW TEEN TITANS #1-6 and SECRET ORIGINS ANNUAL #3.
There are some strong stories here, especially Slade Wilson's time in the slammer with Gar plotting murder, and visual feast of Trigon's reign of terror.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day 2012



When Princess Diana came to Man's World, she bribed a similar looking nurse named Diana Prince to relinquish her identity to the Amazon. In both cases, the driving motivation for the switch was infatuation with a man, which is unfortunately non-feminist in retrospect. However, the ersatz Diana Prince joined the U.S. military, and her role as a female member of Army Intelligence was exceptional for the time. Across decades of service that included the wars in Korea and Vietnam, but most especially active participation in World War II, "Diana Prince" attained the rank of Major. From Revolutionary War soldier Deborah Sampson through to our current servicewomen, let's take a moment to think of those who have fought for their country, and by extension the advancement of their gender.

For more, perhaps you'd enjoy a Mademoiselle Marie adventure from today's DC Bloodlines post on The Brave and the Bold #52 (February/March 1964), or more such combat tales by following the trending topic #WarComicsMonth on on Twitter and Google+?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

2012 “Classic v. DCNU: Wonder Woman” by TJ Frias

Click To Enlarge


"By this time, you've probably had your fill of the DC relaunches. Maybe you love it and maybe you loathe it. But this series of sketches were inevitable. I present my "Classic Versus DCNU" series. Next we have both versions of the Amazon Princess: Classic Diana in her red, blue, and gold versus Jim Lee designed, sword-weilding Diana. Mech pencil on sketchbook."

I've made it pretty clear how a feel about Xiana Amazon Warrior Princess, which is a very particular, very minimizing and alienating interpretation of Wonder Woman with origins dating back as far as the Silver Age. However you feel about Azzarello and Chiang's run, I think we can all agree that this ain't your grandmother's Mujer Maravilla. I'm divorced enough that I don't even consider it a legitimate run, and prefer Geoff Johns' awful but franchise building work with the character in Justice League that the latest deconstruction of mythology from the eponymous comic. Anyway, all I've seen New 52 Wonder Woman do in her own book is run around slicing stuff with her sword, where on the team book she has powers, but either way I'd stack my Wonder Woman against New Coke any day of the week. Those bracelets can deflect a sword, and Classy Wonder Woman would just hogtie this pretender. The one compromise I will make is that, aside from requiring red boots and desperately needing to ditch the subservient collar, I do think the updated costume will translate better outside comics.

TJ Frias' Post-Crisis DC versus New 52