Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Top Doctor Poison, Queen Clea and Veronica Cale Covers

I often complain about the overuse of Circe, Cheetah, and Ares in Wonder Woman stories, but I must confess that I've shaved the barrel's bottom on character-themed cover countdowns far sooner than I would have expected for such an iconic heroine. Doctor Poison was a creepy cross-dressing member of the Axis in some Golden Age tales, was forgotten for decades, and has turned up here and there since her revival during Erik Luke's run in the '90s. Queen Clea is an evil Golden Age Atlantean who was brought back by Phil Jimenez pretty much solely to fill out Villainy Inc. Veronica Cale was created by Greg Rucka based on his career defining formula of being excruciatingly derivative and arbitrarily inserting at least one prominent female supporting character into every book. Cale is a female Lex Luthor, specifically the Marv Wolfman/John Byrne envious corporate tycoon version from the Post-Crisis years. I used to despise her, but other writers (specifically Keith Giffen) made her more palatable as a bureaucrat presiding over the mad science on Oolong Island. Below are their combined best covers, which fall well short of a top ten...

7) Wonder Woman #182 (August, 2002)

Whoever wins, perspective and framing loses.

6) 52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen #3 (December, 2007)

I never read this book, but I'm pretty sure that's a sketchy looking Cale in the background, unless Hillary Clinton made an uncredited cameo. Yeah, that's how this is going to go down.

5) 52 #46 (March, 2007)

Veronica Cale lacks any distinguishing characteristics when not portrayed by Elizabeth Hurley is an unaired TV pilot, but she's also the only attractive blond woman to mingle with DC's mad scientists, so I'll assume that's her in Black Adam's lighting bolt. That said, this cover is about Black Adam's lighting bolt, not so much mad scientists.

4) Wonder Woman #28 (March-April, 1948)

This cover is better than other covers because they're totally dropping a big rock while Diana is distracted playing bullets & bracelets. Rock beats Cale! This is almost certainly the top Eviless cover, I'm pretty sure I think. Cheetah and Giganta have seen better, though

3) 52 #26 (November, 2006)

I'm almost pretty sure that's also Veronica Cale, but again, I haven't read it, and she needs an eyepatch or stroke-related facial droop or something.

2) Wonder Woman #202 (May, 2004)

My rationale for crowning the top two covers is that I'm 85% confident that the characters I'm supposed to be referencing are actually on them. For instance, this is with a doubt the best Veronica Cale comic book cover, because I don't remember there being another blond woman in an evening gown around when I read this once eight years ago while half-interested at best. She looks catty over an insignificant matter. Must be Cale!

2) Wonder Woman #180 (June, 2002)

A bunch of head shots top the list of greatest Villainy Inc. covers! I flipped through this one several times before and after bagging and boarding it, and may have even read a few panels. It says something about Jimenez's writing that I made it through Byrne and Luke but couldn't overcome his scripts.

Cornucopia of Top Comic Covers

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