Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Top 5 Doctor Cyber Covers

Dr. Cyber, like Giganta, is another Wonder Woman villainess that persists in the consciousness of fans despite creators doing their level best to ignore her. In Giganta's case, she had stories dating back to World War II, and fans from the Superfriends cartoon, but didn't return with any regularity to the Post-Crisis comics until Phil Jimenez restored her relatively recently. Cyber didn't arrive until 1968, but she became the primary foe of Diana Prince during the depowered/white jumpsuit years.

Cyber was originally very much of the James Bond/Avengers threat mode, the head of an international, hi-tech criminal organization that caused earthquakes and such. When Cyber was disfigured during the collapse of one of her schemes, she erroneously blamed Prince, and set about evening things up. Whether through brain transplants or outright removing Wonder Woman's face, Cyber not only wanted her beauty restored, but her foe's destroyed, making her menace both very personal, horrifying in nature, subtextually potent.

Once Wonder Woman's powers were restored, Doctor Cyber also received an upgrade, wearing advanced armor that made her resemble a female Dr. Doom. Again, Cyber pits technology and the visible absence of humanity against the paganistic super-powers of the quite fleshy Amazing Amazon, serving as a perfect conceptual counterpoint for the heroine. Unfortunately, Dr. Cyber was cast aside after the Crisis, disappearing for a decade & a half, and returned as a b-villain in the Power Company series. Only recently has Dr. Cyber turned up in Wonder Woman's circles again, but with negligible prominence, so her supports continue to wait...

5) Wonder Woman #321 (November, 1984)

Cool cover, but Cyber is in a position of weakness.

4) Wonder Woman #188 (June, 1970)

I initially had this in the second spot, but Cyber is obscured to androgyny, there's no background, the colors are boring, Diana doesn't sell the bondage, and you have to read a bunch of dialogue to know what's going on.

3) Wonder Woman #320 (October, 1984)

There's a whole lot more Steve Trevor than is necessary, but this is the only cover of Dr. Cyber proactive in her armor.

2) Wonder Woman #221 (January, 1976)

Hawkman bleeds a lot of the tension, as does Cyber's Mother Bates dress, but this is terribly literal in a way #188 failed to be. Grotesque villainess wielding a scalpel against a bound Wonder Woman's face while forcing her to watched is seriously messed up, which is why it works.

1) Wonder Woman #200 (June, 1972)

This is kind of a terrible Wonder Woman cover, since the flowing gown represents neither the Amazing Amazon nor globe-trotting butt kicker Diana Prince. However, Dr. Cyber is all kinds of creepy, marrying her pre-and-post armored vibes. You know she's planning something gut-wrenching and awful, "The Beauty Hater" makes it clear what, and the Gothic atmosphere makes you afraid she just might do the deed!

Check out more spotlight countdowns of great art from the past 75 years of DC Comics Covers at DC75: Top Character Covers of the Dodranscentennial

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2010 Wonder Woman #302 Notebook and Twin Pocket Folder Style #3009DC

I just started full time nursing school yesterday, and worked all weekend to build up a catalog of posts here to help keep me current. I held off on posting any of them on Sunday because I wanted to do this appropriate piece on school supplies, but was too busy with school (already!) to get the job done Monday. Better late than never, here's a look at the Wonder Woman goodies my girlfriend got for me at Wall*Mart specifically, since that's the only place we've found them so far.

I've never read April 1983's Wonder Woman #302, but the cover by Ed Hannigan and Dick Giordano has always been popular with fans for decades. I love the juxtaposition between comic art and photo reference, and in this instance, the monochromatic background blurs the line between the two in a very appealing way.

All of the DC notebooks I've picked up this year have employed really basic, downright crude cropping techniques. I like that they cloned out the CCA advisory and went to the bother of replacing the old cover price with "ALL NEW!" Still, they cropped the bottom of Wonder Woman's symbol and the artist signatures, plus hacking the DC Bullet on two sides! I'm sure there's film of the original art, so why mangle a scan when they can simply remove and color over things like the UPC bar? The same vintage aesthetic that's given rise to increasingly "distressed" pre-fab clothing?

The notebook itself is great, with sturdy but flexible rubber binding that won't warp like my old aluminum ones did back in grade school. The covers are cardboard, and a tad then, but a quality glossy stock. The inside covers are black, with eighty wide ruled lined pages in between. Check out the back cover below.

Innovative Designs, LLC puts these out under the DC Comics Originals branding I've seen on a lot of their licensed clothing. You'll also note the small Warner Brothers shield and DC 75 logo.

Finally, there's the simple twin pocket folder employing the same art as the notebook. I couldn't fit the whole thing, even closed, onto my scanner. Instead, here's a picture of the opened exterior. In this instance, the cropping is nearly identical to the notebook, except the DC logo is allowed its full breadth. I love how the back covers on all of these are color synchronized with the front. However, I'm not going to scan close-ups just for color variations.

Here's a more detailed look at a twin pocket's back cover, this one for the Justice League of America #217 edition. There's a nice big DC 75th anniversary logo with art by Ed Benes and Jim Lee, plus a smaller version in the bottom left corner. The insides of the folders are plain, but continue the color scheme from outside.

I hope you enjoyed this review, and look out for another soon!

Friday, August 20, 2010

DC75: The New Wonder Woman is Here! (Wonder Woman #178, 1968)

For thirty years, Princess Diana had played the dual identity game. Wonder Woman was the super-heroine and object of Colonel Steve Trevor's affection, while Lieutenant Diana Prince allowed her access to sensitive government information, a mild alter ego, and close proximity to the man she loved. However, when Wonder Woman was forced to give damning testimony against a framed Trevor, Steve was found guilty, and the affection in his heart was gone. Diana decried her double life, snapping her show glasses in half, and swearing to save Steve as a whole woman.

For the next several years, Diana Prince would dress like a fashionable lady of the time and operate outside the aegis of "Wonder Woman." Those famous glasses and any pretense of a secret identity were cast off until the series setting returned to the World War II era. While the mousy military secretary would return in the present toward the end of the '70s, the revival would only last a few years before being discarded again for twenty-plus years. This was the dawn of a revolutionary new era...

Check out more highlights from the past 75 years of DC Comics at The Truly Most Memorable Moments of the DC Dodranscentennial

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sexism: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for Jun 18, 2008

Kristen Schaal on the Daily Show

Derek | MySpace Video

Kristen Schaal on Hillary Clinton's bowing out of the democratic race for President of the United States, and the media's *coughFOXcough* misogynistic attitude throughout her campaign, ends in a Wonder Woman moment.

There's a better quality video at Comedy Central, but it's tied to the Tolstoy of embed coding.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sensational Comics for November, 2010

Wonder Woman
Art and cover by DON KRAMER & JAY LEISTEN
1:10 Variant cover by ALEX GARNER
As Wonder Woman continues her quest to find out exactly what happened to her current reality and who is ultimately responsible, she encounters the first of the three most deadly gods known to man. Together, they comprise…the Morrigan!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
I've been reading places on the net with people clashing over whether this thing was happening. It's not. Shut up.

Cover by J. BONE
In this new SUPER FRIENDS volume featuring issues #15-21 of their monthly series, Batman must solve the mystery of the disappearing teammates, the team battles the frosty villains known as the Ice Pack, and then everyone races back to 1976 to stop Chronos from becoming president!
On sale DECEMBER 1 • 144 pg, FC, $12.99 US

Written by MATT WAGNER
Eisner Award-nominated artist Amy Reeder returns for the amazing series finale! Set in the New York City of 1966, Madame Xanadu and her new protégé, Charlotte Blackwood, ponder what the future may hold. According to The Phantom Stranger, they stand on the edge of a new age – and the coming of a familiar team of heroes…
I smell a cameo!

JLA/THE 99 #2
The groundbreaking crossover between DC Comics’ JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and Teshkeel Comics’ THE 99 continues…
Someone – or some thing – has taken over the minds of many of Earth’s civilian population. And to make matters worse, the JLA has also fallen victim! How CAN the 99 hope to stop an out-of-control Superman? Perhaps with Batman’s and Wonder Woman’s help, the young heroes of the 99 can actually make a difference!
On sale 24 • 2 of 6 • 32 pg, FC $3.99 US
I'm heartened by the possibility this could be JMS Wonder Woman in dress, only, and I like that hopeful cover.

Written by TONY DANIEL
Art and cover by TONY DANIEL
Welcome back Tony Daniel as regular writer/artist on BATMAN!
Bruce Wayne may have returned, 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 Triad gang has taken root. Guest-starring I-Ching!
On sale NOVEMBER 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

You read that right. I-f'n-Ching is back. W to the T to the F.

Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark)
Written by J.T. KRUL
1:10 Variant cover by FRANK QUITELY
Heads up, Teen Titans! There’s a new hero in town, and while Damian might not want to join you, he’s more than happy to lead you! There should always be a Robin on the team, but if Damian is their only available option, maybe they’ll pass on having a Boy Wonder. Hopefully he’ll be able to help against the terrible menace of the rising villain, Headcase!
Retailers please note: This issue ships with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

How many "regular" writers has this book had in just the last couple years? Four?

Collecting some of YOUNG JUSTICE’s greatest hits, as previously seen in the pages of YOUNG JUSTICE SECRET FILES, YOUNG JUSTICE: THE SECRET #1 and YOUNG JUSTICE IN NO MAN’S LAND #1!
On sale 24 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US

Wonder Girl (Donna Troy)
1:10 Variant cover by DAVID MACK
In “Justice League: Omega” part 2, as the battle between the JLA and the Crime Syndicate within the Hall of Justice explodes into the streets of Washington D.C., a new villain bent on his own form of conquest prevents any other heroes from helping save the nation’s capital. It’s up to five members of the Justice League to save the city’s people, with serious repercussions for one Leaguer, who may turn to the dark side. In order to help their teammates, Bill and Mikaal must begin an odyssey across the world that will evoke memories of Prometheus.
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale 17 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
I can't decide if JLofA needs more or less monkeys and alien bisexuals to make it interesting to me. Probably more. Maybe Donna could bring the bondage, and Dick could go sexually ambiguous again? No wait, Mark Millar can't/won't get work at DC anymore.

Written by GAIL SIMONE
The confrontation you never thought would happen is here! It’s Bane vs. Scandal in a time-lost world, as the two Secret Six teams find themselves on opposite sides of a vicious war that could destroy Skartaris!
On sale 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

The Huntress
Written by GAIL SIMONE
Dinah Lance struggles to clear herself of murder charges, leaving Huntress and Lady Blackhawk in Thailand to face the invincible Shiva without the aid of the Black Canary! And a major moment occurs in the lives of Hawk and Dove!
On sale 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
I dig it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Top 20 Donna Troy Covers

Who is Donna Troy? She's everything Wonder Woman can't be. From teen sexpot object of the entire Titans team's affections to wife and mother, you can actually do stuff with Troy without protesters taking to the streets. Of course, that only worked when Donna was an accidentally created Titans property, rather than being Wonder Girl. Wonder Woman was an absentee "sister" for the better part of thirty years before her revised continuity and creators misguided need to drag Donna into it ruined the character for the last quarter-century. They tried everything, none of it worked, and made such a mess that now nobody can do anything with her.

Dishonorable Mention:
The New Titans #92 (November, 1992)

Of course conceiving a child with Terry Long would result in a mass murdering psychotic demi-god, but did Donna have to go and invest in her own gold lamé goddess suit. 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Think This Went All Wrong, especially the part where Troia gave up her powers to become a housewife and den mother to the Team Titans.

Obligatory Mention:
The Brave and The Bold #60 (July, 1965)

Once again, the obligatory first appearance cover rears its ugly head, fending off objectively better but less heralded pieces.

20) Firestorm #19 (January, 2006)

Donna Troy: happy, free, and leading a purposeful life. That won't happen much on this list.

19) Teen Titans #21 (June, 1969)

Who is Donna Troy? She's just the girl-- the Wonder Girl-- the girl U want! It really can be that simple, guys.

18) Titans #20 (February, 2010)

A sexy, mature Donna Troy in her trademark red. We don't get anywhere near enough of this.

17) Titans #23-25 (January-March, 2001)

I'm counting this triptych as one cover, not only because it's one image broken up into three, but because they're all boring and indistinguishable from one another. Phil Jimenez, when will you learn that less is more? Your covers are choked to death by excessive detail that congeal into one mass of blah. Your attempts to reconcile Donna Troy's many contradictory elements had the same effect. Also, thanks for sticking Donna in that ink blot of a costume, thoroughly concealing her girlie parts.

16) Teen Titans #22 (August, 1969)

Imagine "those things" are Wonder Woman's editorial office, and the true horror sets in that the Titans boys lost their grip on Donna as a viable character.

15) Wonder Woman #135 (July, 1998)

Okay, Wonder Girl Diana didn't have a playmate, so one was created from her mirror reflection. An evil sorceress who was mad at Hippolyta accidentally kidnapped the duplicate Diana and subjected her to countless traumatic lives as a weird sort of torture. One such life became Donna Troy, who was unmade and recreated from the memories of Wally West. There! Fixed! Right? No? Awww...

14) Blackest Night: Titans #2 (November, 2009)

A baby ate my dingo! Wasn't Robert Long a toddler when he died? Anyway, zombie babies biting their mothers is memorably jacked-up.

13) Teen Titans: Year One #5 (July, 2008)

Were we ever this young?

12) Teen Titans #26 (April, 1970)

The habit of Titans' stripping off their costumes and walking away started here, but screw the symbolism with that high hard heinie on display.

11) Teen Titans Go! #36 (October, 2006)

This is just groovy enough to break the top ten. It's okay to be Twiggy in a cartoon that embraces heroine chic in all character design.

10) Countdown to Final Crisis #1 (April 23, 2008)

Donna Troy as the central figure and leader of a super group that doesn't entirely suck, paving the way for the next big DC crossover epic. Well alright, there is Jimmy Olson, and plainclothes Batman hangers-on, and whatever that robot thing is. Look, nobody who read this thing, myself excluded, wants to remember the grisly details. Let's just focus on the Kubert and the blessed end!

9) Darkstars #26 (November, 1994)

This cover has no significance. It's just really badass, in your face, Donna and Kory blasting the hell out of something x-treme '90s goodness.

8) Wonder Woman #134 (June, 1998)

A great big blank surrounded by more together super-heroes and the words "Who is Donna Troy?" Apropos of something...

7) The New Titans #55 (June, 1989)

We all love George Pérez to death, but he's a terrible character designer, isn't he? All those dated and excessively ornate looks! I mean, everybody loved drawing sexy Wonder Girl on Titans covers, but as soon as this dreadful Troia get-up made the scene, even Pérez himself abandoned her to necessary interiors only. Barely over a year later, Troia got stuffed into a refrigerator for another year, came out a temporary goddess in monochromatic gold and soon a full-time nothin'. Nobody wanted to draw this thing, but it's a nice enough cover swiping Troy's first major costume change.

6) Darkstars #23 (August, 1994)

The return of Donna Troy as a super-heroine after the gymnastics in explaining her lack of ties to the rebooted Wonder Woman became so unhealthy that she lost her old identity altogether.Goodbye husband and child, hello space adventures, a vastly reworked Titans team, and a romance with Green Lantern Kyle Rayner.

5) Action Comics #584 (January, 1987)

The Titans versus Superman, drawn by John Byrne, with Wonder Girl the last woman standing! Plus, those pants are really tight and flow so deliciously into her boots...

4) The New Teen Titans #38 (January, 1984)

Meant to finally put to rest the relationship between Wonder Girl II and Wonder Woman, the only satisfying answer to the question of "Who Is Donna Troy" was undone just a few years later. Now, this serves a reminder of the question that never ceases to be asked to this day.

3) Tales of the Teen Titans #50 (February, 1985)

A detailed but uncluttered and lovely wedding picture. Not enough comic books can rein in their baser impulses long enough to get this right, with Reed and Sue getting the finger for the shenanigans standard. Shame about the groom.

2) Solo #7 (December, 2005)

I somehow missed this outstanding Mike Allredcover on my first attempt, but I updated the entire list to rectify. Batusi!

1) Teen Titans #23 (October, 1969)

The exciting debut of the first wholly Donna Troy costume, visually setting this Wonder Girl apart from Princess Diana. Also signifies her transition from pre-teen to jailbait, fulfilling her Bronze Age defining role as "the hot chick." If only Donna could break free of the drama and crippling continuity cock-ups as easily as she burst through that portrait!

Honorable Mention:
Teen Titans #31 (1966)
Teen Titans #44 (1976)
Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe Vol.XXVI
The New Teen Titans #20 (1984)
Teen Titans Spotlight #12
The New Titans #50
The New Titans #51
Wonder Woman #47 (1987)
Green Lantern #69 (1990)
Green Lantern #70 (1990)
Green Lantern #74 (1990)
Wonder Woman: Donna Troy #1 (1998)
Green Lantern #118 (1990)
Titans #6 (1999)
JLA/Titans #3
Outsiders #31 (2003)
DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy #1
DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy #3
Teen Titans: Year One #1
Teen Titans: Year One #3
Wonder Woman #27 (2006)

Check out more spotlight countdowns of great art from the past 75 years of DC Comics Covers at DC75: Top Character Covers of the Dodranscentennial

Friday, August 13, 2010

1998 Wonder Woman Six Flags Over Texas Life-Sized Statue Photo

From 1993 until 1996 or so, Wonder Woman was my favorite comic book character. I collected most of her 1987 series in those years, continuing through to the bitter end, and accumulated a good deal of other Amazing Amazon stuff along the way. I obviously still love the character, but my interest was tempered by reading lots of terrible comics about the heroine over the past seventeen years.

When I had my comic shop, the woman I ran it with was aware of my affection for Diana Prince, and routinely gifted me whatever random oddities passed her way. While on a trip to Six Flags Over Texas, this life size statue of Wonder Woman was spotted in a shop window, and her husband snapped a  picture. I'm not certain of the year, but because it was bagged & boarded with a couple of promotional items from 1998, I'd say that year's a safe bet. I dug this out with the intention to post a while back, and ran an extensive web search in hopes of titling the picture as accurately as possible. While I found a surprising number of other nigh-full scale statues of the Amazon Princess, my photo is the only one I could find of this exact model.

The statue is based on the costume redesign by John Byrne, which Wonder Woman wore from 1995-1997. Although I believe this style was the "official" costume in 1998, Queen Hippolyta wore a variation of the Golden Age dress while substituting for Princess Diana for most of that year. By 1999, a new creative team saw Diana restored to her George Pérez design from 1987.

I never had any serious issues with Byrne's mild reworking, and it translated nicely to statue form. The extended gauntlets didn't make the trip very faithfully though, with that odd swirling airbrushing. The pose is a bit stiff, and the hands poorly scuplted, but I otherwise like this statue very much. I appreciate her gentle eyes and soft smile, which are counterbalanced by probably the most extreme musculature I've ever seen on an official Wonder Woman likeness.

Time Warner Entertainment managed Six Flags from 1991-1998, and the relationship saw lots of promotion of Looney Tunes and DC properties at the park. I doubt this statue survived the change in ownership, and wonder what's become of her.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ten Reasons No One Cares About Wonder Woman

A Topless Robot columnist listed Ten Reasons No One Cares About Wonder Woman. I offered a rebuttal. Foul language was involved...

1) Writer Alicia Ashby believes that Wonder Woman's exposed legs, which once represented athleticism, are now just an excuse for Ed Benes' Wonder Thong ass cleavage. I couldn't agree more. Yeah, I've seen too many pictures from Olympic women's volleyball and gymnastics teams to dismiss the look as completely impractical and sexist-- but still kinda, right? My thought is that most women who want to dress like Wonder Woman for Halloween while the fellas are rockin' Spidey and Bat costumes add to the suit. Skirts, capes-- if our national dress-like-a-whore day celebration has little room for the heroine's comic book costume, something has gone terribly wrong here. Finally, Wonder Woman's look is just too busy for my taste. There are too many colors running through her general appearance, and all that exposed flesh just becomes another awkward addition to that overwhelming combination. The multi-colored knee pads and such sometimes added in the comics don't help.

2) Ashby feels there are no great Wonder Woman stories to introduce her to new readers comparable to "Dark Knight Returns" or "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" Well jeez, why not throw in "Maus" or "Watchmen" as well? Batman and Superman have appeared in some of the greatest super-hero comic stories ever told, because DC has treated them as their most important properties for three-quarters of a century. There are few comic book heroes who have a "Killing Joke" under their belt. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman has been treated like three day old fish for most of her publishing history, and is still a national treasure recognized the world over. Seriously, I wasted most of my weekend pouring over foreign reprint covers online for an unrelated project, and Wonder Woman was everywhere, like the Brian Bolland British piece running above. This is why DC has finally begun to push the character with the same fervor as licensors have for decades, and why she rates in a "Trinity." I'd recommend any of the following stories, most available in trade paperback:
  • "Diana Prince: Wonder Woman" Volumes 1-3 by Mike Sekowsky, Denny O'Neil & Dick Giordano
    A lot of people are critical of these stories, but compared to the Superman comics of the day, they're the bee's knees. After years as a lovestruck weakling fool, Wonder Woman starts earning the name, even without her powers or traditional costume.

  • "Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals" by George Pérez, Greg Potter & Len Wein
    Do I like that Paradise Island was turned into a low-tech shelter for immortal rape victims? No, but it made for a heavy story worthy of consideration, especially when placed against the comparatively slight Byrne "Man of Steel." Are we now at the point where George Pérez's incredible art is to be taken for granted?

  • "Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Gods" by George Pérez & Len Wein
    The best Wonder Woman story of the 1980's. Includes the wonderful, text-driven "Time Passages," reflecting on people's initial reaction to a Princess of the Amazons in Man's World. Also, the suspenseful introduction of a dynamic new Cheetah and the titular epic.

  • Wonder Woman #66-71 by William Messner-Loebs and Paris Cullins
    Diana is cast in a "women in prison" movie, which proves an insightful character study of the heroine; while also mixing the mythological, science fantasy, and BDSM favored by Wonder Woman's creator with an exciting modern presentation.

  • Wonder Woman #72-75 by William Messner-Loebs and Lee Moder
    Humorous, humbling and humanistic, these stories serve as an excellent primer to the Wonder Woman mythos, as well as offering her most relatable representation ever.

  • "JLA: A League of One" by Christopher Moeller
    A "back door" fully painted Wonder Woman graphic novel, in which she's forced by fate to battle each of her fellow iconic heroes in turn. Gorgeous and well crafted.

3) I can't argue with the opinion that "Most Wonder Woman Comics Are Completely Terrible." It is true. I own her entire Post-Crisis run, and reading it has caused me emotional distress. Many of the Pérez illustrated issues suffer from Pérez scripts, which became a full-on blight once he quit art chores. The second half of Messner-Loebs' run read like self-parody, only "enhanced" by the bad girl art. The only thing worse than John Byrne was most of Eric Luke's run. Phil Jimenez made Pérez's writing seem like Alan Moore by comparison. Rucka was at best serviceable, and as always completely derivative, but in this company a highlight.

4) I think that "Charles Moulton" and Harry Peters are an acquired taste, preferably with lots of wine to go with the cheese and crackers.

5) Personally, I think the Lasso of Truth is a grand conception with a wealth of meaning. I think the main problem with it is the avoidance of bondage and submission references in present tales. Subversive femdom philosophy is at the heart of the character. It is as essential to Wonder Woman as the empowerment fantasy of Superman and the fascistic underpinnings of Batman. Used correctly, the lasso makes a Batarang look like child's play. Speaking of which, weaponized razor sharp tiaras and phallic swords in Wonder Woman's hands are truly, remarkably obtuse.

6) Hating the Invisible Plane/Jet is hating Wonder Woman, and I will not abide. Allowing Wonder Woman to fly under her own power makes her Superman with tits. Part of the point of the character is that she is meant to carry others with her on her missions. All Aquaman did in all the years Super Friends was on the air was sit in the Invisible Jet while Wonder Woman showed how a super-heroine kicked ass. Girls have hundreds of heroines to choose from who fly like Supergirl, but only one they can imagine themselves as while pretending to pilot an imaginary aircraft. One of the best scenes in New Frontier was Diana piloting a jet made partially visible by her own splattered blood! The lack of an Invisible Jet is part of what makes the Lasso of Truth seem stupid, because why rope something when you can just grab it-- exactly like Superman does?!?

7) Alicia Ashby has varying degrees of merit to her arguments, but virtually none when she proclaims all Wonder Woman foes terrible. On what grounds? She offers none! She just keeps calling them all "lame-asses" and "shit," with no explanation.
  • Cheetah: Ashby offers a scan from an early Cheetah story that plays out almost exactly the same as Sam Raimi/Willem Dafoe's take on Green Goblin from the first "Spider-Man" movie. That seemed to play to the tune of what, $400,000,000? Cheetah was great on the Super Friends and Justice League Unlimited animated series, which ran for years. The Pérez reworking of the villainess was all the better. The fuck?
  • Circe: "doesn’t count - she sucks?" Elaborate some, maybe? A Circe stand-in was used in one of the best JLU episodes! The notion of a sorceress who can turn men into animals and must kill Wonder Woman to insure her immortality is crap for what reason exactly?
  • Dr. Psycho: a misogynistic midget who casts illusions? Forget the Joker-- I want to see Peter Dinklage accept an Oscar for his stunning portrayal in the motion picture! Best. Villain. Ever!
  • Ares/Mars: The God of War! When has the Flash ever fought a God of War?
  • Dr. Cyber: an international queenpin of crime turned hideously disfigured super-scientist out to swap her brain into Wonder Woman's body? Sold!

8) Everyone does hate Steve Trevor, but for two totally different reasons. Golden Age fans hated him because he was such a little wuss, he just didn't measure up as a love interest or companion. When the Candy Girls pown you, get out. Silver Age fans hated him because Robert Kanigher reversed the dynamic by turning Wonder Woman into his bitch, disparaging the heroine. Modern Age fans don't really know the guy anymore, but he left a vacuum that recast Diana as a frigid ice queen rubbing herself off to Superman's picture every night. Wonder Woman needs a redefined Steve Trevor, or she needs to become a lesbian.

9) Wonder Woman needs a supporting cast like Legion of Super-Heroes needs a deboot. It isn't that she hasn't had good prospects in the past, but every incoming writer "shakes things up" by dumping everyone. On the plus side, that means there's been no Jimmy Olson to deal with, but on the minus side, no Alfred either. Memo to DC-- please reintroduce and remodel the following at your soonest convenience: Queen Hippolyta, Steve Trevor, Etta Candy (fat only,) I-Ching, Tim Trench, Nubia, Donna Troy, Julia & Vanessa Kapatelis, Phillipus, Ed Indelicato, Artemis, Joanna & Cassie Sandsmark...

10) Since "We Already Have Superman," let's focus on what has made Wonder Woman unique over the years, rather than tear her to pieces and homogenize her. This includes: the warrior/evangelist dichotomy/symmetry, rigid adherence to a message of innate (if "loving") superiority of women over men, the military/intelligence community background, Invisible Jet, lack of invulnerability, Lasso of Truth, the steampunk-style mysti-science, the routine presence of confederates on adventures, conflicting world myth/religions in contemporary or unusual settings, ideologically motivated foes, the overbearing and ever-present authority figures, the heroine as lusty adventurer or subversive element rather than crime buster, and on and on. See, given just a bit of thought, I think it's pretty clear Wonder Woman owes no more to Superman than any other super-hero. In fact it was Superman who adopted much of Wonder Woman's personality and tropes going into the Silver Age that eggs on these comparisons in the first place!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

DC75: Princess Diana--Diana Prince (Sensation Comics #1, 1942)

Wonder Woman had flown Captain Steve Trevor from Paradise Island back to the States for medical observation. Immediately, the Amazing Amazon's appearance attracted attention. After a foiled robbery and automobile chase, Wonder Woman ended up earning money in a stage act. No one remembers any of this, though.

What you may recall, if you remember the days before the George Pérez revamp, was that Princess Diana met an Army nurse named Diana Prince and talked her into switching places. Each woman could be with the man they loved, Wonder Woman would gain a civilian identity, and the real Diana Prince would get-- a health bribe?!? Forgot about that part, too...

Check out more highlights from the past 75 years of DC Comics at The Truly Most Memorable Moments of the DC Dodranscentennial

Thursday, August 5, 2010

DC75: There's a MAN on Paradise Island! (All-Star Comics #8, 1941)

A World War is raging, and ladies wearing pants is still frowned upon. Imagine what a shock it must have been to visit an island made up exclusively of scantily clad warrior women with the strength to pick up a grown man! It wouldn't be long before Wonder Woman could run, jump, punch and toss goons into other goons just as well as any Superman. Every messed up misandric/misogynistic Amazon story begins here, as does the forbidden romance of Diana and Steve Trevor.

For the full story, read Introducing Wonder Woman (December-January, 1941), or check out more highlights from the past 75 years of DC Comics at The Truly Most Memorable Moments of the DC Dodranscentennial

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

DC75: The Pygmalion Birth of Princess Diana (Wonder Woman #1, 1942)

I've been following Comics Should Be Good's 75 Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History, and have found it so wanting, I'll be posting my own alternatives across multiple blogs and linking them through DC Bloodline's Truly Most Memorable Moments of the Dodranscentennial.

Pygmalion hated women, until he carved one out of ivory and fell in love with his statue. Aphrodite brought the statue to life, just as she would bestow a daughter upon Queen Hippolyte through the same means. Readers must have been as startled as the new mother when her molding of an infant was made flesh and sprang into her arms! Hundreds of creators may have traded ivory for clay and throttled readers with one devolution of Wonder Woman story after another, but we all remember this moment.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Justice #4 (April, 2006)

The Legion of Doom’s membership had begun working to vastly improve the world as we know it through charity and scientific breakthroughs. They also publicly attacked the character of the Justice League of America, while privately attempting to murder the super-heroes in their secret identities.

Having finished her convention speech, Princess Diana walked backstage, where she sensed “Priscilla?”

“Who’s Priscilla,” the Cheetah answered, as she plunged from above. Snarling, the villainess slashed Diana’s left cheek with her claws. “Listen to me, Priscilla. We don’t have to fight. What’s wrong with you?” Diana defended herself against additional cuts with her bulletproof bracelets, as she stripped off her diplomatic robes to reveal her costume underneath. “I swear, Priscilla, I will help you. You’ve given yourself over to the dark gods again—why? I don’t understand! It doesn’t have to be this way.” Wonder Woman loosed her Lasso of Truth, but it failed to catch her foe, who tore at the right side of the Amazon Princess’ face. Wonder Woman fell to the ground on her side, a tear in her eye. “This… is wrong… Have to get to the JLA Satellite. What’s going on? Hera help me.”

In the first Justice trade paperback, an introductory piece was written in which Superman considered his fellows in the Justice League. Superman noted of Wonder Woman:
Diana is one of the Amazons of myth. For some, slavery can breed hatred, but not for her. Diana's love of freedom is so great that she fights for it at all costs, using all manner of Amazonian weaponry at her disposal.

Diana is perfect. She doesn't know it. And that just makes her more perfect.

"Chapter Four" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.

Continue the story through these character-specific posts: