Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wizard: The Comics Magazine #136: Ultimate DC Wonder Woman (January, 2003)

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THE ORIGIN: Born on the cloaked Mediterranean island of Themyscira, Princess Diana was trained since birth as an Amazon, using evolved Greek technology in its art of warfare. Blessed with her native Amazon abilities of superhuman strength and durability, the athletic princess earns the right through trial by combat to be the one to enter Man's World. But her office as emissary of peace is a ruse. Wonder Woman hasn't come to Man's World to foster relations, she's come as an advance spy for an Amazonian race bent on conquering it!

THE CHARACTER: Meet the ultimate warrior. Diana was trained not only as an Amazon soldier but also in the ways of the people she plans to deceive. In fact, her own battle gear has been purposely modeled after the U.S. flag's colors, to further endear her to the world's superpower nation.

SUPPORTING CAST: Steve Trevor, U.S. delegate to the United Nations, hires Diana as an advisor on international relations. The job perfectly suits Diana's mission as it's a means to not only survey the world's defenses but as a way to meet and access its top leaders.

THE FIRST ARC: Leaving Themyscira for the first time in her life, Diana comes to New York and is an immediate cultural icon to its people. But as Diana grows closer and more in touch with the outside world, she's not sure if she can carry out her Amazon duties. Nicknamed Wonder Woman by Trevor when she's seen in action, Diana slowly finds herself stepping in as guardian to a race she has vowed to conquer.

THE BIG PICTURE: After deciding that Man's World isn't as big a blight as her fellow Amazon's believe, Diana's forced to choose a side: fight alongside her new allies in the JLA or with the legions of her Amazon sisters? And how will her Justice League teammates—and the world—react when the truth behind the disappearance of men from Themyscira is revealed?

The art is by Christian Zanier and Draxhall Jump Studios, the former now primarily an illustrator of erotic comics, the latter dissolved. I pretty much hate everything about this design. From the flat headpiece to the cheap RenFest bodice to the bedazzled loincloth to the lasso as tassel on a friggin' ax. It's instantly recognizable as every bad idea that always seems to be applied to Wonder Woman by people who don't get the character in the least. No wonder an image search of Zanier's work brings up blowjob comics.

The text was written by the Wizard Staff. The story is the typical evil Amazons crap one would expect from the patriarchal attitudes of Man's World (a.k.a. power-tripping dorks.) Christopher Priest had come up with a logical explanation for a Wakandan king joining an American super-hero team by revealing that he was spying on the U.S.' heroes, so I assume that angle was lifted here. Otherwise, it was taken from about every fourth sci-fi movie, and would have been better applied to the Martian Manhunter because of it.

There was also an Ultimate Donna Troy, an escaped Amazon calling herself Power Girl to avoid trademark infringement with Wonder Woman. That mattered because Troy was trying to keep her presence in Man's World a secret, even though she decides to join a commercial super-team created by Lex Luthor, the Ultimate Teen Titans.

Ultimate DC Day continues here...
Ultimate Atom @ Power of the Atom
Ultimate Batman and Aquaman
Ultimate Green Lantern, Flash, and Superman @ DC Bloodlines
Ultimate JLA @ The Idol-Head of Diabolu

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