Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Inglorious Return of Biker Slut Wondy

The new Black Canary Wonder Woman costume debuted today, and we now know what happened to Brian Bolland's short-lived EXTREME '90s jacket & bike shorts get-up from when Diana was replaced by Artemis. It had indiscriminate fabric sex with Spider-Man's symbiote suit from Secret Wars, and brought the discarded accessories from Troia's first outfit along as party favors. It comes with The Phantom-riffing facial disfiguration threaded bracelets, a dainty tiara, inadequate spaghetti straps, a Whattaburger employee badge, a goth whore choker, a Phoenix belt her mom bought for her at a Southwestern roadside gift shop, and some o-ring boot straps Lita Ford was hawking on QVC. Kim Kardashian approves! I also really dig the way Wonder Woman's origin is now exactly like Superman, and how she punches the blood out of goons left and right. My heroine!

Honestly, no decent actress would ever want to be seen in public wearing the more familiar "costume" guys like Mike Deodato Jr. and Ed Benes implied while drawing acres of naked flesh. I believe it's time for a change, because good girls wouldn't dress that way, and bad girls wouldn't want to give folks the impression they were that good. If you're going to drag Jim Lee into this, why not have him essentially give Wonder Woman his usual treatment? Turn her thong into full leggings, hike up her boots over her knees, and extend her top to cover from her neck to her shoulders. That would get lots more positive attention, remain true to the character, and translate to film. Instead, she looks like a cougar stumbling out of a country & western bar in Shreveport. Coupled with the latest terrible reboot/continuity fart, I'll continue to stay away from this rancid book, thanks.

  • Notice to DC Comics: Stop letting Jim Lee design things. Anything. Seriously. His crimes against couture are countless. If Jim Lee were gay, he'd be fashion senseless gay, like Liberace or Richard Simmons. Let me count the ways is which Jim Lee (re)designing a character constitutes a hate crime in 17 states.
    1. Hush: Bandaged face, gloves, guns and a trench coat. Joker wept.
    2. Grifter: Rag on face,  plumbers gloves, laser guns and a trench coat.
    3. Union, Majestic: The men who would be Superman, if the Man of Steel traded in his diaper for bondage fetish gear. 7uperman, anyone?
    4. Wolverine: From earth-toned woodland hunter back to traffic sign yellow and metallic blue. I guess the kids prefer their homicidal maniacs more vibrantly attired.
    5. Hazard: A trench coat and a shotgun.
    6. Green Lantern Kyle Rayner: The dog collar. You know.
    7. Stormwatch: Describe any two of their costumes without there being any overlap.
    8. Psylocke: a.k.a. Elektra without being so overdressed.
    9. Equus: The thing with the ripped pants and the tubes and the pointy bits from that terrible Superman run.
    10. Zod: The one in black with all the spikes trying to make up for his micropenis from that terrible Superman run.
    11. Killer Croc: a.k.a. the Lizard without the distinctive lab coat and purple pants.
    12. Huntress: Street vigilante with an exposed abdomen and a square foot of face mask? 
    13. Dr. Doom: with the Jonah Hex flesh buckles.
    14. Gambit: A trench coat, headgear and speedo underwear. Inspired by Prince circa Dirty Mind?
    15. Omega Red: a.k.a. Colossus by way of tentacle porn with samurai hair.
    16. Warblade: a.k.a. Omega Red without the hentai and with a dye job.
    17. The X-Men: Everybody gets a bomber jacket and random useless buckles. Alternately, revised bee-colored school uniforms with butt floss, for girls and boys alike.
    18. Deathblow: A do-rag, jeans, no shirt and face paint that makes him feel pretty. Occasional trench coat.
    19. Divine Right: Describe a single character's costume from memory. Pizza boy delivery uniform doesn't count.
    20. The Punisher: Introduced Frank Castle to headbands and muscle shirts.
    21. Alpha Flight: Describe any of them without referencing the Canadian flag, straps or bomber jackets.
    22. WildC.A.T.S: Would benefit from association with Canadian flag. Fought the Brood and Ghost Rider in drag.
    23. Gen13: That should about do it, right?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Justice League of America #13-15 (11/07- 1/08)

The Batman briefly managed to escape captivity at the Hall of Doom, but was almost immediately recaptured by Cheetah, the Joker, Lex Luthor, Gorilla Grodd and Dr. Light. Not long after, Cheetah joined Light and Grodd in another ambush, at the same warehouse where she'd nearly killed Firestorm. Vixen and Black Canary made short work of Cheetah's comrades without Superman lifting a finger. "This is awkward."
"What it's going to be is painful, unless you start telling us everything you know."

As luck would have it, Parasite was also among the villains, and managed to take out the Lady Fox and Man of Steel. This left Black Canary to Cheetah's hardly tender mercies. "Now, then. I believe you were saying something about pain... This won't be quick" Cheetah got a nasty slash in, but was electrocuted by Black Lightning before the fight could continue. Parasite triggered a teleportation beam that removed everyone but Lightning and Superman from the scene.

Lex Luthor saw to the bondage and torture of Wonder Woman and her teammates, which was being filmed for future use. Gorilla Grodd got carried away "tenderizing" a stray super-hero, Geo-Force, so Cheetah had to summon Luthor to call the gorilla off. Inevitably, Superman tracked the Hall of Doom to swampland in the Florida Everglades, and the rescue commenced. Black Lightning took out Cheshire, Poison Ivy and the Joker, prompting Cheetah to order Killer Frost to retaliate. "I'm not touching him! You take him out!" It was actually Fatality who did the honors. Dr. Light, Frost and Fatality then piled on Superman, who was rescued by a recovered Firestorm. En route, the Nuclear Man had helped Batman get free, who released the rest of the League.

Wonder Woman joined her teammates on the offensive, but was called back from pursuing escaping crooks like Deathstroke by Black Canary. The team's leader felt the League was enough of an underdog in the fight to not have members to spare. "Your call, Dinah-- but after we're secure, I intend to hunt down every last one of them. The Amazing Amazon then smashed into Killer Frost, pounded Gorilla Grodd and grappled with a new Shaggy Man.

Cheetah tried to use Black Lightning as a hostage, but he shocked any thought out of her system for the time being. Giganta was brought low by a Canary Cry, after which Dinah criticized her lack of underwear.

Cheetah awoke to "help" Dr. Light escape... this mortal coil. Minerva couldn't stomach working with a rapist again, but was stopped short of murder by Wonder Woman. "As much as I may agree with you, there are rules. For today, at least, you're going to abide by them." Cheetah tried to argue otherwise, but a Nuclear Blast took the fight out of her. The rest of the matches wrapped up, and Wonder Woman welcomed Firestorm to the Justice League.

The Injustice League" was by Dwayne McDuffie, Joe Benitez, Ed Benes, Victor Llamas and Sandra Hope.

You can read this story from different perspectives at the following blogs:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Justice League of America Wedding Special #1 (November, 2007)

At the mysterious Hall of Injustice, Cheetah was engaged in a tiff with the Joker, who wouldn't stop staring at her breasts.
"I'm not to be trifled with, clown."
"Lighten up, funbags. Everyone's to be trifled with."
"...One more childish joke at my expense and I'll slit his throat."

Despite her protestations, Cheetah would do no such thing, as she instead continued debating with the Joker over the merits of various super-villains. You see, Lex Luthor had decided to follow the Justice League's recent example of allowing a core trinity to meticulously select a new super-group with which to surrounds themselves. I imagine Cheetah was easier to manage than Circe had been in Luthor's previous Injustice Gang, as he for instance convinced her to allow the inclusion of rapist and murderer Dr. Light to the swelling collective.

The trio took a trip to Manhattan, to collect prospective addition Killer Frost from her recent captor, Firestorm. Luthor temporarily stripped the Nuclear Man of his powers, the Joker subdued him with a laughing toxin, and Cheetah began ripping him to shreds with her claws. Luthor had to pull Cheetah off the young hero, feeling enough was enough. "Matter of opinion."

Leaving Firestorm for dead, the quartet teleported to the newly constructed Hall of Doom, where Killer Frost could join the assembled Injustice League Unlimited. Scores of villains were involved, including the Wonder Woman foes Giganta, Circe, and Dr. Psycho, although they ended up only appearing in the background or on promotional materials. The collective were then sold on a protection racket of Lex Luthor's, where the group would take care of its own for a profit share, as well as preemptively assault super-heroes, like poor Firestorm.

Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl were at the strip club bachelorette party for Black Canary when they were asked to step outside by one of the male dancers. He explained his sister, a nurse, had told him St. Vincent's Hospital was treating the gravely injured Firestorm. The pair headed for the hospital in Greenwich Village, where Kendra expressed concern that Jason Rusch's alter ego would be exposed by this incident. Diana assured her that medical personnel typically "respect the cowl," as in "Doctors tend to treat super heroes without compromising our identities." Firestorm's condition was improving at an encouraging rate, and he was conscious to explain his circumstances to the heroines.

Soon, the pair were attacked at the hospital by Killer Frost, who managed to trap Wonder Woman in ice, and Dr. Light, who fired a laser through Hawkgirl's shoulder. Cheetah also raked the Amazon's back at one point. Kendra drew blood of her own while stabbing Light in the thigh, but at the urging of Diana, escaped to seek help. Everyone involved knew Hawkgirl was allowed to leave, in order to warn the Justice League with that personal touch...

"Unlimited, Chapter 1: Injustice League" was by Dwayne McDuffie, Mike McKone and Andy Lanning.

You can read this story from different perspectives at the following blogs:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wonder Woman #1 (February, 1987)

30,000 B.C.
The first woman(?) to be slain at the (remaining) hand of a (precursor to) man took her unborn child with her into the afterlife.

1,200 B.C.
In a hearing with Zeus, Artemis pleaded for blessing to create a new race of warrior women in order to lead mankind in devoted worship to the Greek Pantheon. Ares argued the ladies were "babbling fools," their plan "lunacy," and that he should instead be allowed to go down to Earth and force everyone into submission. "Force is all men understand! Force is all they worship! And I am force incarnate!" Only Apollo openly sided with the advocating goddesses. Zeus left the "trifling matter" to others and the meeting in a huff, while Hera washed her hands of it all to avoid raising her husband's ire.

With neither Zeus’ grace nor forbiddance, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Hestia and Aphrodite pressed on. Hermes carried the goddesses to Hades, where they were ferried by Charon to the Cavern of Souls. "It is the womb of Gaea-- mother of us all!" The swirling tornado of lost spirits within were released to rain down on the earth… save for one with a special destiny to come. From out of water sprang a mass of nude females, fully grown as they walked upon the shore. These Amazons were given life with purpose, and they would be ruled by Hippolyte and her sister Antiope, each given a mystical Gaea’s Girdle. "You are a chosen race-- born to lead humanity in the ways of virtue-- the way of Gaea! Through you, all men shall know us better-- and worship us always!" Athena granted the Amazons wisdom, Artemis hunting skills, Demeter fruitful fields, Aphrodite love, and Hestia would build them a great city to call home.

At first, the poets sang of the compassion and justice to be found in Themyscira, until jealous kings threatened and bribed them to instead spread lies of murder, war, and theft. The Amazons became hated and feared outcasts of Greek society.

Ares plotted against the Amazons, taunting Heracles through a prostitute prior to his decreed labor to steal a girdle from Hippolyte. Previously maddened by Hera and indentured to the ruler Eurystheus, Heracles led an army in pursuit of this task. Flanked by Amazon archers hidden in a forest, Heracles was met by their queen, who asked the men to join them in peace and the betterment of mankind. "You expect men to follow women? Heracles is your better, harlot queen!" Heracles engaged Hippolyte, and though no man was stronger than he, the Amazon queen bested him in combat. "Men! Lay back! The Amazons are worthy allies indeed!"

The twin forces got along famously that night, until Heracles drugged and beat Hippolyte, signaling his men to duplicate the betrayal. The Amazons were raped and placed into bondage, while Heracles took Gaea's Girdle and continued on his way. Left nude and chained in a dungeon, Hippolyte was visited by Athena. "Once, the Amazons dreamed of leading makind! But you chose to withdraw from humanity-- to ignore the purpose for which you were created-- and you grew bitter and corrupt." Athena warned Hippolyte off of vengeance, and commanded she cleanse her soul and rededicate herself to Gaea if she wished to be free. Hippolyte lured her guard close with the promise of sex, then beat him and swiftly liberated her Anazons. However, the queen was horrified once she witnessed the bloodlust of her people, as they commenced with a blasphemous massacre. Antiope especially took pleasure in the killings, and following the battle, intended to pursue Heracles for slaughter.

Hippolyte declared, "No, Antiope. Never vengeance-- never again! Athena has spoken to me. She waits for us by the shores of the Aegean." Antiope renounced the goddess for allowing half her sisters to be slain and the Amazons to ever be defamed in the first place, and demanded the same from others. Menalippe argued that was the way of the dark god Ares, but Antiope had already embraced his path. "Ares is not our enemy! We need the god of war merely to survive!" Antiope gave Hippolyte her Girdle of Gaea, as "from this day forward, I take nothing from Olympus." With a kiss goodbye, Antiope and her followers divided the Amazons.

Having failed the goddesses, the Amazons' patrons punished them with a new responsibility. An island which acted as a prison for unspeakable evil would now serve as Themyscira, the Amazons granted immortality to save as eternal jailers. The Amazons would continue to wear the cuff of their bounds as bracelets, reminders to never err again. Poseidon parted the seas to allow the Amazons passage to walk three months to their island paradise, where they could construct their ideal society in isolation. The world without changed greatly over the centuries, and their gods' voices grew ever more distant, but their duty and insular progress continued unabated.

Eventually, Hippolyte felt the "call of a great destiny," as Menalippe explained "Know that you-- and all the original Amazons-- are reincarnations! All of us knew life before the midwives plucked us from Gaea's womb. But only you, my queen, were pregnant at the time of your death! Now, you hear the call of your unborn child!" Hippolyte later kneaded the form of an infant while kneeling in the Clay of Paradise and prayed to her goddesses. Returned to the Cavern of Souls, her patrons blessed the last remaining spirit within. Demeter granted "power and strength-- like that of the earth itself," Aphrodite "great beauty, and a loving heart," Athena again offered wisdom, Artemis "the eye of the hunter and unity with the beasts," Hestia "sisterhood with the fire-- that it may open men's hearts to her," and Hermes was present to add "speed and the power of flight." Finally came "great Gaea's gift... LIFE!" The empowered spirit turned clay to flesh in a flash of light, and Hippolyte held up her newborn daughter. "Then shall Hippolyte honor her with the name of a great and holy warrior! She shall be... Diana!" The first Amazon child in 30 centuries, Diana knew a thousand mothers, and was taught by the most learned scholars.

Years later, Philippus and her guard answered a scream from the oracle Menalippe, who had a vision of an insane Ares having gained power enough to wipe out all the Earth. A champion had to be chosen from amongst the Amazons to face the threat, and the young woman Diana wished to be included in the selection. Hippolyte forbade it, though Diana yearned for a life of purpose beyond paradise. Athena herself confirmed to Diana that her time had come. Over 250 Amazons would gather to compete for the honor of service, each masked to insure everyone would confront their sisters anonymously and to their fullest ability. Secretly among them was Diana, who bested all her elders, then revealed her identity. Hippolyte still wished to deny Diana, but Menalippe explained "The Princess won her place rightfully. You cannot fight the will of the gods."

Diana was presented with new, silver bracelets to face her final test, the Flashing Thunder. Philippus drew an anachronistic .45 automatic handgun, and fired three rounds at Diana. Each was deflected by the princess' speed and gauntlets. The origins of the weapon were not to be revealed at this time, nor was the fate of Diana's namesake, whose red, white & blue standard would now be worn by the champion. Menalippe proclaimed, "Now is the plan of the goddesses clear, Diana! You were born into the world to be the most honored among all Amazons!" Today, Wonder Woman was born, to the cheers of a thousand Amazons. "Only Hippolyte smiles not-- for her thoughts are of Ares-- and of the words she spoke just days before... 'How can even the best of us succeed... where the gods dare not go?'"

"The Princess and the Power!" was scripted by Greg Potter, co-plotted and penciled by George Pérez, with inks by Bruce Patterson

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

2010 DC Comics Wonder Woman Logo Bandz

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All your favorite DC Comics characters are getting the Silly Bandz treatment via Logo Bandz -- Superman, Green Lantern, the Justice League, Batman, Batman Villains, and DC Heroines. Each Logo Bandz pack usually includes five different shapes and twenty rubber band bracelets!
MSRP: $5.99

Monday, June 21, 2010

1998 DC Direct "Faces of the DC Universe" Wonder Woman Mouse Pad

Purchased on its day of release (I ran the dang shop) even before I had a computer (WebTV,) this lovely mouse pad has been in use since 2002. It measures 8" x 9 1/2", which gave me a respectable amount of room to work with. The pad's face has a resilient textured finish, sort of like matte. This mutes the colors, but it has only begun to tear at the edges in recent months. The back side has solid traction, and a slight bit of weight to it at a notch under a centimeter thick. I tried to clean up the scan in MS Paint, as my pad has numerous dimples and a large vertical "beauty mark" at the left corner of her mouth. The art is by José Luis García-López, and was originally produced for the cover of December 1997's Wonder Woman #128. I don't recall its original retail price, but I'd guess it was around $10-15. I love this thing, and if anyone knows more about it or where I could get a replacement (God forbid,) please let me know in the comments.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

2010 DC Heroes Wonder Woman Comic Cover Tin Sign

Classic Golden Age covers of DC Comics' greatest characters are reproduced on a series of heavy-guage tin signs that measure 7 1/4' x 11', perfect for mounting to a wall. Choose from Superman (from Superman #9), Wonder Woman (from Sensation Comics #11), or Batman (from Batman #1).
Release Date: July 28, 2010
MSRP: $9.99

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

All-Star Comics #8: “Introducing Wonder Woman” (December-January, 1941)

At last, in a world torn by the hatreds and wars of men, appears a woman to whom the problems and feats of men are mere child’s play—a woman whose identity is known to none, but whose sensational feats are outstanding in a fast-moving world! With a hundred times the agility and strength of our best male athletes and strongest wrestlers, she appears as though from nowhere to avenge an injustice or right a wrong! As lovely as Aphrodite—as wise as Athena— with the speed of Mercury and the strength of Hercules—she is known only as Wonder Woman, but who she is, or whence she came, nobody knows!

To begin the story, a World War II era propeller plane sputtered out of gas and crash landed on an uncharted isle amidst a vast ocean. Two beautiful inhabitants spied the accident, and rushed to survey the scene. The blonde Amazon Mala was startled to find a male pilot, while her raven-haired princess pulled the man from the wreckage. The Princess rushed the pilot to the local hospital on foot, carrying the grown man through ancient Grecian streets as though he were but a boy. Toga clad Amazons looked on in disbelief that a man was on their island, and the Queen was alerted.

The doctor, wearing a fabulous skin-bearing white dress and squared diamond shaped eyeglasses determined that the pilot had a concussion, and could not be moved for days. Just then, Queen Hippolyte arrived, full of questions. The doctor explained everything up to the present, and provided her queen with documents found on the pilot’s person. The papers revealed him to be Captain Steven Trevor of the United States Army Intelligence Service. Hippolyte ordered Trevor’s eyes covered, so that he would learn nothing of the island on waking, and requested Trevor receive the best possible care. The Queen also ordered Trevor’s plane be repaired, so that he could leave the island as soon as possible.

The Queen’s only daughter remained at Trevor’s bedside, helping the doctor on fourteen-plus hour shifts to see to the pilot’s care. After a number of days, the doctor asked that the Princess be disallowed from the hospital due to her strange behavior around the ailing man, which Hippolyte recognized as love. “I was afraid of that! You are quite right, Doctor. I shall take steps immediately.”

The Princess was barred from the hospital, and begged her mother to explain why she would put up barriers between herself and the only man she could recall ever seeing. Queen Hippolyte explained that in Ancient Greece centuries past, their people ruled the foremost nation in all the world, Amazonia. One day, the demigod Hercules was taunted into landing an attack force on the Amazons’ shores. With the help of Hippolyte’s Magic Girdle, a gift from the goddess Aphrodite, the Queen defeated Hercules in combat. However, Hercules later used “deceit and trickery” to secure the Magic Girdle for himself, and enslaved the Amazons. Angry that her people had “succumbed to the wiles of men,” Aphrodite turned from the Amazons in their time of need. After submitting to the men for an unendurable time, Hippolyte successfully appealed to Aphrodite, and had the Magic Girdle restored to her possession. Empowered, the Queen and her Amazons swiftly turned the tables on their masters, and then sailed off on Hercules’ ships to a new shore. Aphrodite had demanded as a condition of their release that the Amazons take up residence on an isolated island bereft of men, and that they forevermore wear the liberated shackles of their former captors as bracelets, reminders “that we must always keep aloof from men.”

After some time on the seas, the Amazons located and settled on Paradise Island-- so fertile a land that there would never be cause for conflict amongst one another. Further, the island granted the Amazons tindeed a race of Wonder Women!” Such was the promise of Aphrodite, while the Goddess of Wisdom Athena graced the Amazons with a gift of her own just after they defeated the Herculeans. Through the Magic Sphere, an incongruously flat viewing portal to events across time and space, the Amazons were able to keep up with developments in the outside world “and even, at times, forecast the future! That is why we Amazons have been able to far surpass the inventions of the so-called man-made civilization! We are not only stronger and wiser than men—but our weapons are better—our flying machines are further advanced!” Hippolyte had also used the sphere to teach her daughter “all the arts and sciences and languages of modern as well as ancient times!”

Hippolyte completed her history lesson for her daughter, then employed the Magic Sphere to see the events leading up to Captain Trevor’s arrival. Although his superior officer felt Trevor was Army Intelligence’s most valuable man, Steve insisted he alone be allowed to pursue a vital clue that could bring down a spy ring in the U.S.A. Trevor managed to get the drop on their Teutonic leader, Von Storm, but was knocked out by Fritz the driver’s crashing their vehicle into a tree. Trevor was then dumped in a robot plane which was used to launch an air strike against an American hanger. Trevor was roused early into the assault and wrested control of the plane, flying it in pursuit of an enemy bomber over the ocean. Pushing the plane to its limits, Trevor crashed on Paradise Island.

The Princess insisted Trevor must be returned to America to complete his mission, but the Queen needed to consult her goddesses first. The young lady thought, “It wouldn’t be any trick at all for me to fly him back myself, but mother would never hear of it.” Aphrodite and Athena bade Hippolyte to defend American liberty and freedom through her strongest and wisest Amazon, as the U.S. was the last citadel of democracy and equality in the world’s war against the forces of hatred and oppression. The gods had decreed the arrival of Captain Trevor to set the wheels in motion, and Hippolyte would call all but one of her Amazons to a tournament with which to determine their champion. Only her daughter was forbidden. “The winner must take this man back to America, and never return, and I couldn’t bear to have you leave me forever!”

The Great Day was upon the Amazons, as each wore a number and took part in tests to prove their speed, strength and agility. The final contestants were Number 12, the Princess’ friend Mala, and No. 7, the mysterious Masked Maiden. The pair’s final and greatest test would be “Bullets and Bracelets,” in which five shots would be fired from a handgun at each finalist. They would have to deflect every shot, or else be wounded and lose by default. The Masked Maiden defended herself against each shot, while Mala was fast, but not fast enough to avoid a strike to her shoulder. Queen Hippolyte congratulated Number Seven, and asked the Masked Maiden to reveal herself as the strongest and most agile of all the Amazons. Hippolyte “knew it—I felt it,” but still exclaimed “DAUGHTER! YOU!” Acknowledging it was too late to change the results now, “You’ve won and I’m proud of you! In America you’ll indeed be a ‘Wonder Woman’… Let yourself be known as Diana, after your godmother, the goddess of the moon! And here is a costume I have designed to be used by the winner, to wear in America!” The Princess exclaimed “Why mother, it’s lovely!”

And so Diana, the Wonder Woman, giving up her heritage, and her right to Eternal Life, leaves Paradise Island to take the man she loves back to America—the land she learns to love and protect, and adopts as her own!

Can you imagine being a boy in late 1941, reading 67 pages of Justice Society of America related stories in All-Star Comics #8, and finding this nine page gem stashed at the very back? A time when you could actually be misled into believing that Queen Hippolyte was perhaps this mysterious "Wonder Woman," given that the only other brunette is her unnamed lovesick daughter? How about all those girls in just brassieres and short skirts? Or the strip being interrupted two pages in by a couple of pages of heavy text with small illustrations, telling the history of these Amazons? What a trip! It even works both ways, as one notices the unnamed cameos (General Darnell, Dr. Althea,) the absence of Diana's birth legend or Lasso of Truth, and the only action being driven by Steve Trevor. I think the "Masked Maiden" alias is given more often than Diana's name, revealed only in the next-to-last panel in such a way it could lead one to wonder if it was also an alias. Heck, with all those Amazons vying for the title "Wonder Woman" over the years, you'd think at least one would have settled for "The Masked Maiden."

Regardless, the first appearance of Wonder Woman is an engrossing read, making up with some of William Moulton Marston's storytelling deficits with fascinating details and the uniqueness of the premise. Harry G. Peter's art is technically crude, but undeniably dynamic, and he packs a lot of story into some seriously tiny panels (some roughly and inch & a half square!) It's also worth noting that the Wonder Woman figure in the splash panel is nearly identical to the one featured on the cover to Sensation Comics #1, aside from a thicker outline and a thinner face for Diana. All in all, a most impressive debut!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sensational Comics for September, 2010

Sorry for the posting delay, but I got tied up (rimshot!) Look for our first story synopsizes this week!

Wonder Woman
1:10 “DC 75th Anniversary” Variant cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III
Diana discovers that the men out to kill her and the other surviving Amazons are only the tip of the iceberg...but can even Wonder Woman survive her battle with the horrific creatures called the Keres?
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. See the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale SEPTEMBER 29 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Nice cover, but I'm really looking forward to that variant.
Written by GAIL SIMONE
Five mysterious young men with a dark and terrible secret have arrived on Paradise Island with one mission: to kill Wonder Woman! Plus, Wonder Woman battles Power Girl and more in these stories from issues #40-44!
On sale October 13 • 128 pg, FC, $14.99 US

Tossing through these issues, I'm glad I dropped the trades.

In this latest deluxe edition HC collecting JLA #34 and 36-41, plus JLA CLASSIFIED #1-3, the team is up against a new, deadly Injustice Gang led by Lex Luthor. With Prometheus, the man who almost single-handedly defeated the JLA, as well as the General and Queen Bee, it looks as if the Justice League may lose even if they win.
This amazing new title also includes JLA: EARTH II, featuring the art of Frank Quitely, in which Ultraman, Owlman, Power Ring and Johnny Quick rule an alternate earth without mercy or opposition.
On sale November 10 • 368 pg, FC, 7.0625” x 10.875”, $34.99 US
A pretty lousy adventure for the Amazing Amazon, but what else is new? Once again working from the sidelines. Huntress also comes off less than stellar here...

Cover by ED BENES
The heroes of Milestone Comics return to battle the Justice League in this title collecting JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #27, 28 and 30-34, now in paperback!
On sale October 20 • 176 pg, FC, $14.99 US
I've never read this. Not sure I'm gonna.

Icons: The DC Comics & Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee [Hardcover]
One of the most successful and popular artists to work in comics, Jim Lee is revered by fans worldwide thanks to his hyper-dynamic artwork and innovative character and costume design.

Now, his work on Batman and Superman — not to mention his legion of WildStorm heroes including WildC.A.T.s, Divine Right and Deathblow — is celebrated in this beautiful hardback, which includes an exclusive interview with Jim Lee, a tour of his studio and hundreds of full-colour illustrations and pencils spanning his entire career!

Plus an all-new cover by Lee and an exclusive, all-new eight-page comic strip, written by Paul Levitz (Legion of Super-Heroes) with art by Lee!
# Hardcover: 296 pages
# Publisher: Titan Books (August 17, 2010)
I like Lee, and hopefully someday we'll get some long form Wonder Woman work out of him... but only with a decent writer, please.

DC Super Heroes Ultimate Pop Up Book Deluxe Limited Edition
W/A) Matthew Reinhart Critically acclaimed pop-up engineer Matthew Reinhart celebrates the history, heroes, and villains of the DC Universe in this ultimate 3-D masterpiece! Bursting with over 25 impressive pop-ups, this deluxe format features a variety of unique novelty elements-including a light-up Bat-Signal, a cosmic Justice League of America battle scene, a twirling Lasso of Truth, and a transparent Invisible Jet! Starring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and many more favorite DC characters, this momentous pop-up exploration releases just in time for DC Comics' 75th Anniversary! Signed and numbered by Matthew, this stunning special edition also features a cloth slipcase and an exclusive extra pop-up, making it an absolute must-have for die-hard DC Super Hero fans of all ages! Limited to 250 copies worldwide!
MSRP: $250.00
Estimated to ship in Oct-2010
Um... no. Are you kidding? It's a pop-up book, not a hip, arty coffee table thing.

DC Comics: The 75th Anniversary Poster Book [Paperback]
Here are 100 of the most important, most incredible, and most bizarre comic-book covers from DC's incredible archives—all perforated and ready to display in your apartment, dorm room, or cubicle. From Action Comics #1 and Batman #1 to lesser-known heroes like Mister District Attorney, this oversized compilation features every major milestone in DC's extraordinary history: Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, Watchmen, Fables, 100 Bullets, and much more.

On the reverse of each poster are images of related covers and entertaining commentary, often with remarks from the cover artists themselves. Complete with a foreword from longtime DC Comics veteran Paul Levitz, this amazing anthology is a must-have item for any comic-book fan.
208 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books (September 15, 2010)
$40.00 US
DC Adventures RPG Hero's Handbook: Super-Hero Roleplaying in the DC Universe [Hardcover]
Join the never-ending battle for truth and justice in the world's greatest super-hero universe, using the world's greatest super-hero roleplaying game! The DC Adventures Hero's Handbook is a complete super-hero RPG, based on the award-winning Mutants & Masterminds system. Take on the roles of legendary DC heroes like Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman, or create your own! Get started right away with a wide selection of hero archetypes, or build from scratch using a comprehensive creation system. The Hero's Handbook provides everything you need for hours of adventure in the DC Universe, including all the rules of the game, an overview of the original comic-book setting, and details on major heroes and villains, complete with game information. It's all presented in gorgeous full-color, with art by some of DC's most famous illustrators. Experience super-hero adventure in the world that defined the genre: Become a hero of legend with the DC Adventures Hero's Handbook!
On sale August 31, 2010 • 256 pages, $39.95 US

Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark)
Co-feature written by REX OGLE
Co-feature art by TED NAIFEH
The conclusion to “The Hunt for Raven” has arrived! The quest has ended, but what damage has it dealt to the Teen Titans? Who is left standing, and who is ready to walk away?
In the co-feature, the time has come for the Coven of Three to make their final choice: take the wishes they’ve earned and run – or save the world and lose everything forever!
On sale SEPTEMBER 29 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

This damned book just keeps on trucking, eh?

Art and cover by ART BALTAZAR
Enter the new kid at Sidekick City Elementary – Kalibak! Will he fit in? Will he join the Titans in the treehouse or hang out with the Fearsome Five on the playground? And what would Kalibak’s father, Lunch Lady Darkseid, say about all of this?
On sale SEPTEMBER 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Wonder Girl (Donna Troy)
Wraparound cover by GEORGE PÉREZ
Twenty years in the making, TEEN TITANS: GAMES is a can’t-miss for fans new and old. Harking back to the era when NEW TEEN TITANS was the best-selling monthly comic series comes this lost tale from legendary creators Marv Wolfman (CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS) and George Perez (FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS) starring their fan-favorite characters just in time for the NEW TEEN TITANS’ 30th anniversary!
Set in the 1980s during the height of the New Teen Titans popularity, this stand–alone hardcover features a mysterious villain playing a deadly game with New York City as the game board–and the Teen Titans as the pieces! Like something out of a time capsule, this never-before-seen epic is the New Teen Titans story from their original creators that has never been told...until now!
On sale NOVEMBER 3 • 144 pg, FC, $24.99 US
My eyes bugged at this. Man, the Games ball has been dropped so many times, I never thought it would be completed. Shame I'm at least fifteen years out from caring.
1:10 Variant cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
The BRIGHTEST DAY shines a spotlight on Jade as she adjusts to the repercussions of the JLA/JSA crossover. She and Donna Troy head to the San Francisco Bay area to make themselves a new home but are confronted with old and new threats – including the New Teen Titans!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale SEPTEMBER 22 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
I keep forgetting that the Titans are now the JLA, and the Brotherhood of Evil is now the Titans.
Written by LEN WEIN
1:25 Variant cover by WALTER SIMONSON
Red Skies hang over the entire DC Universe as each and every hero on Earth gathers for what will be the first in a series of universe-spanning Crises!
Meanwhile, Walter Simonson helps us shift the focus from Earth to the heroes of outer space – and beyond!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale SEPTEMBER 15 • 5 of 10 • 40 pg, FC $3.99 US
I'm not 100% sure whether Wonder Woman existed at this point or not. She was in the actual COIE, but retroactively removed in Legends, then Hippolyta would have taken her place after Byrne, but Dan Didio now says there was no Golden Age Wonder Woman after all. Diana seemed to be restored as a JLA founder following Infinite Crisis but who knows? In an amazing turnabout, Donna's clearly in continuity here.

Written by GAIL SIMONE
This is the showdown you’ve been waiting for, as two Secret Six teams head for a nasty collision! Who is left standing, and will there even be a Secret Six when the dust settles? Bad guy guests galore in this explosive issue!
On sale SEPTEMBER 1 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Another Wonder Woman foe making the rounds outside her book? Well cool then.

The Huntress
Written by GAIL SIMONE
Join writer Gail Simone and guest artist Alvin Lee as two Birds track down a missing team member in Thailand...where someone is hunting them to make sure they never return! Plus, the shocking events of BRIGHTEST DAY continue to rock Hawk and Dove, the newest recruits to Oracle’s organization!
On sale SEPTEMBER 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
I'm afraid I missed Huntress last month, but I'll keep her regular from now on.

Monday, June 7, 2010

May 25th, 2010 "Let's Be Friends Again" Web Comic Strip

Last week, Luke @ El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker emailed me a webcomic strip about Wonder Woman that you may need to take a second to think about before "getting." I know I did. Anyway, "Let's Be Friends Again" is a bi-weekly joint by Curt Franklin & Chris Haley. You should check it out...

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Top 5 Dr. Psycho Covers

A midget misogynist with mind-bending powers, Dr. Psycho is one of the creepiest cretins in Princess Diana's rogues gallery. Like most longstanding Wonder Woman foes, Dr. Psycho has appeared erratically over the years, with vast expanses of absence interrupted by gluts. Although created in the Golden Age, Psycho sat out much of the Silver years, preferring to plop down for a spell during the latter Bronze period. After that early '80s run, Dr. Psycho took the rest of the decade off, resurfacing toward the end of George Pérez's lengthy run in the early '90s. Psycho was used sparingly thereafter, usually once per writer, until Greg Rucka popularized the character in the mid-00s. Today, Dr. Psycho is among the Amazon Princess' best known and most feared foes...

5) Wonder Woman #6 (June, 1943)

4) Manhunter #20 (May, 2006)

3) Secret Six #5 (December, 2006)

2) Wonder Woman #55 (June, 1991)

1) Wonder Woman #65 (August, 1992)

Earning his name by psychologically torturing a teenaged friend of Diana's over the course of several real time years, contributing to her becoming a super-villainess.

Honorable Mentions:
Sensation Comics #36
Villains United #1
Wonder Woman #289
Wonder Woman #323

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Top 10 Cheetah Covers

I like Cheetah alright, but she's never been an especially effective adversary. "Fast and scratchy" doesn't really cut it against Wonder Woman, especially when four decades worth of it involved wearing animal print pajamas. Barbara Minerva is the most lethal-- to random underlings and dudes who aspire to be the Cheetah themselves. Various fixes have been applied, but any villainess who bounces to Catwoman on her off nights has effectively neutered herself as a threat in her day job.

If after this you still find yourself fancying kitty, hop over to my Justice League Detroit blog and check out The Top Ten Vixen Covers

10)Wonder Woman #3 (March, 2006)

Once again, bad coloring ruined what could have been a Grade-A image. The deep shadows drown the background figures.

9)Wonder Woman #28 (March, 2009)

The coloring on this is also problematic, but in the opposite direction-- too garish instead of too washed out. I'm not feeling the heat, either.

8)Wonder Woman #31 (June, 1989)

Diana and the moon are great, but Cheetah is forced to rely on posture and a tail, making her the weak element.

7)Wonder Woman #222 (December, 2005)

Pretty, but static, and I can't get excited about Wonder Woman so clearly dominating her foe.

6)Sensation Comics #22 (October, 1943)

How weird is that octopus frame? I love the fear in Diana's eyes as the off-panel Cheetah lunges at her.

5)Wonder Woman #160 (February, 1966)

Grabbing Cheetah by the tail and using her to beat a pile on monkeys with human faces? Priceless.

4)Wonder Woman #6 (September, 1943)

The first appearance of Cheetah, and among the more terrifying. What is with those feet? The enormous tail? I dig the leaping, the hair pulling, the big phallic sword-- all to the good.

3)Catwoman #78 (June, 2008)

I've come to realize battles with Cheetah are all about fulfilling violent cat/prison fight fantasies, and that lip bite so goes there.

2)Wonder Woman #230 (April, 1977)

An intentional throwback image to the forties, but all the elements work so well together, who cares about the setting?

1)Wonder Woman #9 (October, 1987)

A callback to my second choice, but on an elevated scale. The debut of the modern incarnation makes an impression for sure!

Honorable Mentions:
Adventures in the DC Universe #3
Justice League of America #195
The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman (Leaf)
Super Friends #1
Wonder Woman #275 (1942 Series)
Wonder Woman #28 (1987 Series)
Wonder Woman #29 (1987 Series)
Wonder Woman #119 (1987 Series)
Wonder Woman #187 (1987 Series)