Tuesday, May 29, 2012

2006 Wonder Woman Art Book Piece by Brandon Peterson

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Love the marriage of high tech and ancient imagery, well suiting classic Paradise Island. Really fantastic level of detail here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

1992 Wonder Woman Corner Box Figure by Brian Bolland

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For their first few decades, Marvel Comics intermittently offered a small figure of the titular hero(ine) of a book on the upper left hand corner of their covers. I assume it was meant to strengthen brand recognition in the days of spinner racks, where only the upper third (or less) of a cover would be visible, unless a prospective reader was enticed to pick it up and have a proper look. DC dabbled in this practice at times, and had George Pérez do one for Wonder Woman in 1989, beginning with #40. It only appeared on about half of the covers through until Pérez's acrimonious departure from the series a couple of years later with #62. The title disappeared for a few months, and then this new figure from replacement cover artist Brian Bolland debuted on Wonder Woman Special #1 (although the actual cover was by Jill Thompson, with Bolland taking over on the next regular issue.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Huntress #6 (May, 2012)

Mustafa Ibn Hassan was angry that Italy could no more protect his father than it did Moretti, both dead by the hand of "the mask." However, the vigilante had finally been identified as the Huntress, and photographs made it clear that Helena was a suspect.

A roadblock led to a foot chase of the woman along a mountain road, but Helena escaped by converting a power line into a makeshift zip cord with her belt. The theft of a boat insured her safety for the time being. Helena called her reporter contact, who informed her that the N.S.A. were tapping his lines. Mr. Exposition offered one last bit of business, that the Huntress had a billion euro price on her head...

The Huntress scaled a cliff and braved a sewer to break into Hassan's fortress, erupting from a swimming pool to take out more cannon fodder guards. Invading Mustafa's bedroom with a loaded crossbow, Huntress acknowledged that he was not as evil as his father, and accepted his plea for continued life in exchange for social reforms in Kufra. Huntress took Ibn Hassan's bounty as a compliment, and allowed him to maintain it, so long as he promised two billion to charities for abused women if she continued to live for a year. "If you've kept your promises, I won't kill you. Bye."

Helena was pursued by police at the airport, but wouldn't dream of losing the challenge thrown down. However, she ran into a friend named Kara who flew her to safety. After spending the last few years incognito, the girl was finally ready to embrace her secret power. Of course, she'd ride in a Starr airplane with Helena for a more comfortable trans-Atlantic flight back to the States...

"Crossbow at the Crossroads: Part Six" was by Paul Levitz, Marcus To and John Dell. Well, I enjoyed this one more than most, thanks to things finally wrapping up. After sixteen alright if rote and slightly padded pages, the main story effectively ended. The last four pages were an epilogue that revealed the whole mini-series to be a backdoor pilot for a team book that I won't buy because I have to assume the disparity between great art and lousy storytelling will be that much more pronounced. Ultimately, this was a one-to-two issue inventory story for an anthology titled drawn out to exasperation. Where's Ivory Madison when you need her? Not on World's Finest: Huntress & Power Girl...

New 52's Day

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sensational Comics for August, 2012

Wonder Woman
Art and cover by CLIFF CHIANG
1:25 B&W Variant cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale AUGUST 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. The variant cover will feature the standard edition cover in a wraparound format.

• WONDER WOMAN faces a choice: Defend ZEUS’S throne from APOLLO – or defend her closest friend!
• Plus: Zola gives birth to something completely unexpected!
Wonder Woman kissing on a cover!?!? SQUEE!!! And it's a rather... um... negroid gentleman? That's the most exciting thing happening this month, and nobody bothered to upload the lovely image to Comic Vine so I could swipe it? D'oh!

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
Variant cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
1:100 B&W Variant cover by JIM LEE
On sale AUGUST 15 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for more information.

• ”THE VILLAIN’S JOURNEY” part four!
• The team struggles to stay together as they try to combat their newest foe.
• A shocking last page that will have the world talking about this issue!
This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.
Superman executes the villain? Wonder Woman sleeps with a teammate? If they mean the actual real world, shock options are few.

Art and cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III
1:25 B&W Variant cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III
On sale AUGUST 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. The variant cover will feature the standard edition cover in a wraparound format.

• J.H. WILLIAMS III returns as artist on this new story!
• An adventure of epic proportions begins here, with BATWOMAN and the werebeast zealot, ABBOTT, hot on the trail of the urban legend BLOODY MARY. The trail leads to a twisted carnival and an abandoned HALL OF MIRRORS, where they face nightmarish versions of themselves…
• Batwoman seeks an unexpected ally: WONDER WOMAN!
Actually, an Azzarelloed WW drawn by J.H. Williams is so, so obvious...

Wonder Girl
Backup story written by FABIAN NICIEZA
Art and cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
Backup story art by CHRISCROSS
1:25 B&W Variant cover by BRETT BOOTH
On sale AUGUST 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. The variant cover will feature the standard edition cover in a wraparound format.

• Lookout, RED ROBIN and SUPERBOY! The power of WONDER GIRL’S armor has been unleashed!
• Introducing DIESEL – is he WONDER GIRL’S new boyfriend, or worse?
• And in the backup story, the fate of the prehistoric visitors from MYSTERY ISLAND rest with KID FLASH. Will they become extinct, too?
The Revolting Armor Epic continues...
On sale SEPTEMBER 5 • 168 pg, FC, $14.99 US

• SCOTT LOBDELL and BRETT BOOTH usher in a new era for the TEEN TITANS!
• Meet a new TITANS team, including new members SKITTER and BUNKER!
• Collecting TEEN TITANS #1-7!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

1995 Wonder Woman #95 Unused Cover Concept Art by Brian Bolland

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So DC had this storyline where Diana loses a re-staged contest to Artemis, and with it her mantle as Wonder Woman. She then donned a terrible '90s costume out of scraps from an Exposé video. Fine, whatever. Next, they had her fight a bad girl troika of Cheetah, Cheshire and Poison Ivy...

Wait. Wonder Woman still had her powers, and routinely used Cheetah as a punching bag. What the hell were two non-powered villainesses supposed to bring to the table? Poisoned fingernails? 'Shrooms. Please. I have trouble seeing these chicas menacing anyone respectable, and they seemed silly leaping out of stage left (woodland set) in the published cover. Cheetah may look like she's trying to give birth from a standing squat in the unpublished version, but at least Diana's being chained up evens the odds somewhat.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wonder Woman #10 (August, 2007)

The Lincoln Memorial was decapitated. The Capitol Building was smoking. The super-heroes were off fighting mythological beasts. The Amazons were like the Taliban with penises*. Oh yeah, this is going to be a travesty.

Wonder Woman decided to start truly living her life by grabbing spears out of the air to swing at other spears in the air. Disarmed, her fellow Amazons just blew off further hostilities. Diana and Hippolyta talked crap about how the humans had to be squashed for their Circe, maneuvers against Themyscira, and how Diana liked humans and would live her life as she pleased. Tom kept being a miserable flirt and being saved seemingly endlessly by Wonder Woman. Comic book readers regurgitated into their mouths, debating a spit or a reswallow. Decisions varied.

Tom impersonated Hippolyta, and tried to peek into the box containing their secret weapon. Stygian Killer Hornets emerged, stabbing Tom twice with their slow acting poison stingers. This prompted Tom to admit he had figured out Princess Diana and Diana Prince were one in the same, because duh.

Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Hawkgirl tried to help. A big showdown between Diana and Hippolyta involved the supposed mother trying to stab her daughter. Diana won, but allowed Hippolyta to hold a dagger to her throat. “Not long ago you asked me if I would die for these humans you once sent me to protect… and I tell you now that I would. But this is no longer what you should be asking. The question isn’t what I’d be willing to lose… The question is, mother… would you kill me to win?

*I wrote this back in October, and don't recall if it was a typo or not. I decided to leave it in, since the statement makes me pause for more thoughtful consideration than went into this tripe, "Love and Murder, Part 5" by Jodi Picoult & Paco Diaz. It led directly into Amazons Attack, which was like that series where the freed Kryptonians from Kandor City attacked Earth, but with Amazons attacking instead. I assume they were both very (at)tacky. I won't be reading either anytime soon, thanks. As I understand it, Hippolyta ended up being controlled by Circe, and Granny Goodness was somebody in disguise. Whatever. I'm done here. Whistling as I walk away...>

Brave New World

Monday, May 7, 2012

2008 Batgirl & Wonder Woman painting by Brian Stelfreeze

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I'm a big fan of Brian Stelfreeze, and wish he updated his blog more regularly (moribund two years and counting.) At least when he was publishing, he did a series on his creative process on a work in progress Barbara Gordon and Princess Diana commission. Starting from a thumbnail, he then outlines Batgirl before properly dressing her up. From there comes the Amazing Amazon, transformed from clay to fully fleshed out. Finally, the completed piece. Lovely!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wonder Woman #9 (July, 2007)

Continuing from last issue, Hippolyta petitioned the goddesses for help against the humans, but realizing peace never comes from war and no good crossovers ever spin out of a Wonder Woman book, they blew her off. The Amazons busted the Washington Monument in half, and it was noted that the action was symbolic, because of course it was. Superman was on hand to provide the stone peen with as safe landing. Batman and Black Canary were also on seen, and though the blame was laid at Hippolyta’s feet, nobody really believed it was actually her. Tom Tresser tried to flirt with Dinah, but came off sleazy.

Diana met with Hippolyta, who clearly knew too much, and was proven in league with Circe. Tom Tressor was captured by Sarge Steel, but then impersonated him. Somehow, the real Sarge Steel ended up being interrogated with the fake Sarge Steel, who turned out to be Everyman, a shapeshifter from another book. I don’t know how Tom ended up not being the fake Sarge Steel, or whether there were three fakes and one real. All I know is that the real Steel stabbed the fake one with a ballpoint pen in his fake steel hand, then Everyman teleported away. Oh wait, Tom was the “real Steel,” and learned missiles were being aimed at where Themyscira would be once Circe opened a portal.

Circe showed up, so she fought Wonder Woman. Tom managed to escape a government facility and drive back to where the Amazons were. Hippolyta stabbed Circe through the chest with a spear, then the Amazons hurled a barrage of spears at their princess and Tom Tressor, because they’re just mindless robots with breasts or something.

"Love and Murder, Part 4" was by Jodi Picoult, Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson. Gee, DC throwing away all this continuity for the New 52 seems so sensible, all of the sudden.

Brave New World