Monday, August 23, 2021

2021 “Justice League Extreme #1” Artemis fanfic commission art by Brad Green

Make no mistake, this piece was an extremely complicated ask. I've gotten a ton of commissions over the years, and part of why that usually works out for me is that I don't give a lot of "art direction." I trust the artist, and I'm looking to see their vision manifested through my chosen subject. I only expect them to have fun and give me something that will make me happy, which happens more often than not. This was entirely different. I've done several jams, which requires a lot more specificity, and there's usually several contributors who get stuff wrong or simply muck things up. While more involved, that's still usually down to "keep your part in scale with everyone else and have your subject otherwise interact well with the others." Regardless, there's typically one or more parts that have to get buried by better work, or else stand out like a sore-- something. But this commission was different from that as well. It was one guy, trying to do all that I ask from solo & jam commissions, spread out across seven subjects, plus background & colors. On top of that, because it's for a fan fiction project with a dense, arcane continuity, I'm layering a bunch of weird alterations without any existing reference on top of everything else. Huge ask.

1994's "The Challenge of Artemis" saw Diana replaced in the pages of Justice League America for a few issues during one of its least popular periods, until the Bana-Mighdall was killed off at the end of the story arc. During this period, Diana was running around in a much-maligned jacket and bike shorts ensemble designed by Brian Bolland. Artemis never really had a proper costume, wearing generic Amazon garb in her earliest appearances, the classic Wonder Woman suit for a few months, an unfortunate green number in a little read literal revival mini-series, and mix-and-match variations since. Artemis is mostly defined by an enormous "Blond Ambition Tour" ponytail, arched eyebrows, and melee weapons (favoring a battle ax or bow & arrows.) While Diana's C + C Music Factory look was dated-on-arrival, it's firmly grounded in the period I wanted referenced. So, I forced Artemis into the second hand thrift store threads, using her one-time nom de puella mala of Requiem.

If you look at the initial thumbnail, while being at the technical center of the image, Artemis is easily the most minor element in the drawing. She's a modest portion of whipped sour cream cheese filling in a spiral of beef, all breast and rump. I otherwise liked the layout, but I specifically requested that Artemis be given more prominence and dynamism. The artist complied by moving Artemis up to the front row and giving her a lasso, seeming ready to choke a beh. I was content with the change, though Artemis was still oddly passive, and I suspect the artist thought so, too. Unprompted, Green ditched the lasso (barely touched dangling off her belt for most of Artemis' Wonder Woman tenure, except for when the White Magician killed her with it) and shifted her pose a third time. For reference, most of the postures were set in the thumbnail, with only the Eradicator flipping positions (as a direct result of the changes made to Artemis.) I think Green recognized that Artemis mattered to me more than most, and I also feel that he wanted to keep at her until she finally felt "right." I'm happiest with this final take, offering more of Artemis' confidence and attitude, battle ready, and better reflecting her continuity.

“Justice League Extreme #1” by Brad Green

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Year of the Cheetah: Priscilla Rich in The Silver Age

Episode #21

Look for us on iTunes, ShoutEngine or the Internet Archive, where you can also directly download an art-tagged MP3.

Frank returns after a mere five months off to post an actual second episode in the same "Year of the Cheetah," featuring another guest cameo from Wonder Woman: Warrior for Peace podcast's Angela! The 2019 release of Wonder Woman 1984 is looking more like 2021, so we guess Warner Brothers plans to hold out until we at least finish covering the appearances of the original incarnation of the Cheetah. Gee, we hope it doesn't hurt their pocket money in the meantime. Our coverage includes Priscilla Rich's two published stories set on Earth-One during the Silver Age of Comics, Wonder Woman #160 & 166...

We don't have a Magic Sphere, so if you want to communicate with us about the podcast...

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Year of the Cheetah: Priscilla Rich in The Golden Age

Episode #20

Look for us on iTunes, ShoutEngine or the Internet Archive, where you can also directly download an art-tagged MP3.

Frank returns after another year & a half's sabbatical to find... the Wonder Woman: Warrior for Peace podcast had returned from its own year of absence. To celebrate our both running again, Angela has an opening cameo to foreshadow her continuing appearances in a series of Cheetah-centric episodes to tide you over while Wonder Woman 1984 keeps being delayed. I bet Warner Brothers wish they'd just released the sequel back in November of 2019 as originally planned. But we're more interested in prequels today, as we travel back to the earliest stories of the original incarnation of the Cheetah. We cover every one of Priscilla Rich's published Golden Age stories set on Earth-Two, including Sensation Comics #22 & 36, Wonder Woman #6, 28, 196, & 230, Comic Cavalcade #11, Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 & 9, and DC Special #3. Most especially, we survey the Wonder Woman newspaper strip from November 20, 1944-March 30,1945, the most exhaustive and involved version of the initial Cheetah saga.

We don't have a Magic Sphere, so if you want to communicate with us about the podcast...

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Cheetah Unleashed: Barbara Minerva in the Post-Crisis DC Universe

Episode #19

Look for us on iTunes, ShoutEngine or the Internet Archive, where you can also directly download an art-tagged MP3.

Frank returns after a year's sabbatical to find... most of the other Amazing Amazon comics podcasters have podfaded and the movie sequel pushed back seven months to 2020? Perhaps now more than ever, the world is waiting for a Barbara Minerva / The Cheetah III podcast! This episode covers nearly every Cheetah story from 1986-2011, from her debut to her origin and overall career prior to the New 52 reboot! Included is Underworld Unleashed, a well regarded event mini-series from 1995, which a group of bloggers/podcasters join us in exploring for a crossover all our own!

Underworld Unleashed #BestEventEver We don't have a Magic Sphere, so if you want to communicate with us about the podcast...
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  • Sunday, September 2, 2018

    DC Comics 1993 Editorial Presentation: Justice League America

    There wasn't much related to the DC Trinity featured in "1993: The Year of Change" editorial presentation that didn't get published, and thus is readily available for anyone looking for it. Diana's entry featured Lee Moder's “Experience The Majesty” and a reasonably accurate description of the year's stories, although the promised Demon Etrigan and Supergirl guest appearances failed to materialize.

    Ditto Justice League America, wherein the Amazing Amazon had already taken over as team leader in the wake of Superman's "death." The earlier, better J.L.A. stories were incongruously reprinted in Superman and The Justice League of America Vol. 2 (despite his perishing in a non-reprinted comic set two issues into the trade.) I suppose the gambit paid off, because the sales on that trade were good enough to warrant a continuation into Wonder Woman and Justice League America Vol. 1 & even more incredibly Vol. 2 (which would more accurately but less commercially be considered a "Judgment Day" crossover collection.) These are unfortunately among the worst regarded League stories ever published, and the covers to the original issues were so bad (and non-Wonder Woman-centric) that DC actually sprung for Tom Grummett to draw two new ones (common in the old days for collections, but a rarity now.) I dig the first one especially, so I'm not sorry DC neglected to use the Dan Jurgens/Rick Burchett promo image above. I'm not aware if it ever appeared anywhere else.

    DC Comics 1993 Editorial Presentation

    Saturday, September 1, 2018

    1993 Wonder Woman “Experience The Majesty” house ad

    Heralding the arrival of Lee Moder as new (and relatively short-lived) artist on the book (before he bailed/was pushed out and replaced by the more infamous Mike Deodato Jr.) Also reintroducing William Messner-Loebs after a rocky start with "Operation: Cheetah" and the controversial Noble Pyrates arc by retelling Diana's origins and revisiting Themyscira.

    Thursday, May 31, 2018

    “Wonder Girl's Mystery Suitor!” (July, 2000)

    On a shore of Paradise Island, Queen Hippolyta looked on as her teenage daughter Diana used her Amazon bracelets to deflect lightning bolts during a rainstorm. Aphrodite appeared in the heavens to condemn this frivolous use of the pantheon's gifts, and ordered Diana to find an appropriate suitor by sundown to prove herself worthy of the Goddess of Love's continued patronage. Diana was swiftly propositioned by her Silver Age beaus Mer-Boy and Bird-Boy, but she only had eyes for a beautiful new arrival, Centaur-Boy. This suitor demonstrated great powers, but was also terribly conceited, only wishing to talk about himself. Though she struggled with her desire for him, Diana ultimately lassoed him to demand the truth. "Your beauty is only skin deep, Centaur-- and I could never love anyone whose flaws outweighed his charm! You're part of Aphrodite's test, aren't you?"

    And so it went that Centaur-Boy was a mere illusion, and Aphrodite congratulated Diana's passing the true test to gauge her understanding of "the value of the love that powers you... No matter what the threat, you must always be true to your heart-- and never give it to one unworthy!" Centaur-Boy vanished, leaving Wonder Girl to contemplate whether she would someday choose between Mer-Boy and Bird-Boy.

    “Wonder Girl's Mystery Suitor!” was a short back-up story in Silver Age 80-Page Giant #1 by Mark Waid & Ty Templeton