Friday, December 20, 2013

2013 Wonder Woman Movie Fan Casting: Pauley Perrette as Doctor Poison

With Gal Gadot cast as Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder's 2015 sequel to Man of Steel, and more pre-Justice League actors being lined up for cameos, my old fan casting project is becoming ever more irrelevant (even in the inherently ephemeral context of fan casting.) I figure I better try to make this a more regular affair than seasonal/twice-yearly if I want to throw out surprisingly time consuming filler material say my piece before the film industry materializes actual performers.

To that end, I'll steal a suggestion from regular commentator karl (from 2011!) and offer NCIS featured player Pauley Perrette as the original Golden Age Wonder Woman's first masked super-villainess, Dr. Poison. Princess Maru was a cross-dressing Japanese spy who took part in Villainy Inc. before being forgotten for half a century. She was reinvented in the modern era as an extra creepy mad scientist who experimented on herself to create a death's head grin that would not allow her to betray emotions or intentions through expression. Then she created monstrous Japanimation body horror threats to attack the Amazing Amazon before taking part in Villainy Inc. and being forgotten for another decade.

I'm not especially fond of Dr. Poison, but she's visually striking, and I certainly see the potential in her. Perrette has been playing a quirky goth forensic specialist on television since 2003, and has a rock band on the side, so going full evil wouldn't be much of a stretch. At 44, you'd think she'd be game to wear the gimp mask if it meant exposure in a big franchise flick, but she's earning $175,000 a week on TV, verses the $250,000 Marvel's paying members of the Guardians of the Galaxy for a months long shoot. Noelle Dubois did a solid Abby Sciuto impersonation on the Cinemax softcore sci-fi mini-series Forbidden Science, if we need to go Dave Batista on this role.

Diabolic Movie Fan Casting

Sunday, December 15, 2013

2013 “131 Ares” by ColourOnly85

Click To Enlarge

Part of "The 215 Project 200 DC Characters."

I Want to be Evil

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Justice #12 (August, 2007)

"I head the team that goes to Cheetah's city. Superman should not have put me in charge of this. I don't know how long I have left. How long before the Centaur's Poison undoes the blessing of the gods?" Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Batgirl, the Flash and Plastic Man went with Wonder Woman to the African-style plain, but she sent them away to evacuate. Diana sensed that they were being hunted, and wished to draw out and distract the Cheetah while the others did good.

The former Priscilla Rich lunged at the former Amazing Amazon, tearing her armor. Diana removed her helmet to show the poison's handiwork, giving her cracked obsidian "skin" like molten rock and a wicked case of alopecia. "You can't hurt me anymore, Priscilla... Did you really think I would be patient forever? Did you really think I would let you take away the very people I left Paradise Island to serve? Did you... Cheetah?"

See what she did there? See, Brainiac was going to turn everyone in the cities into Coluan organic robot thingees and Diana had all this compassion for Priscilla's mental breakdown but then the villainess crossed the line and Diana called her by her evil name and ooo sick burn! Also, Diana blocked one swipe of Cheetah's claws with her bracelets, then headbutted her unconscious, implying that Cheetah was a wimp who had only succeeded in the initial poisoning through Diana's misplaced grace. Way to neuter the kitty cat.

The Flash helped Wonder Woman walk across a Plastic Man bridge as they led the exodus from Cheetah's city. "We'll stop this curse, Diana. We always do. We'll figure out a way. You don't have to die."
"They're safe, Flash. Don't worry about me. They're safe."

Nine pages later, Wonder Woman reappeared in a spread located on a Paradise Island beach. Diana had suffered death by reversion to clay #34, so Queen Hippolyte prayed to the gods, who restored Diana as part of a fresh mound of pale clay, leaving a black ol' husk behind. If the subtext is troubling, add to it the fact that Superman had spent the prior two pages reviving a helpless Zatanna through CPR after she nearly died in outer space. Were any male heroes rescued from certain death by heroines? Heck, there weren't even any non-female heroes at the brink of death in the rest of the series. Aquaman had a chunk of his brain carved out and just grew it back while laying on an operating room table. I should also mention that Diana 2 was of course naked, and that neither Steve Trevor nor Donna Troy were present at the revival ceremony, because it's all about maintaining the integrity of the character with these guys.

"Chapter Twelve" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite. I guess the moral of the story was that Diana was naive to think Cheetah's soul was salvageable, so once Diana was willing to give Priscilla up to damnation, the princess could herself be saved. All, she's selfless and stuff and things. Gods, what I'd give to re-segregate the DC Universe and allow creator's concepts to remain true to their intent. Praise Hestia I don't have to read any more of this pretty ugly self-important vacancy.

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

2006 Wonder Woman: From Bruce Wayne's private files in the Batcomputer

Pencil art by Doug Braithwaite painted over by Alex Ross from the back pages of Justice #5 (June, 2006.) Text by Jim Krueger writing as Batman:

Her name is Princess Diana. Sometimes she hides her nature and identity, if such a thing were possible, under the name Diana Prince. By combat and contest she was chosen to represent an island nation of Amazon women who claim to be descendants of the Greek gods. She was one of the first members of the Justice League of America, and lives not to fight, but to work for peace. It is a mistake many make to categorize her as a warrior. She is far more than her training and skill suggest.

Evidence of her divine lineage includes a number of gifts, like those in myth, given by the gods. She carries a 'Golden Lasso." It is unbreakable, and those confined by it are compelled to speak the truth. Its nature, by my inspection, is not scientific, but mysterious. I can find no reason for its properties. She wears bulletproof bracelets that she uses to defend herself, and has an invisible jet that allows her to travel the globe undetected, even by radar or heat-sensitive tracking devices.

Some have suggested that she is a perfect woman. And it is easy to see why popular speculation would see her as a possible mate for Superman. But I do not believe such a pairing ever to be possible. She understands too well the role we have chosen. She knows, unlike many in the League itself, that we cannot risk loved ones. They could become targets, our vulnerabilities.

GAH! I hate this series so much! Krueger just listed Diana's powers and accessories for two paragraphs, then turned it over to a shipping discussion. There's no insight into the character here, aside from being defined by her (lack of) prospect as a Superman love interest. ARGH!

The Batcomputer Files

Monday, October 28, 2013

2013 Wonder Woman Movie Fan Casting: Rhona Mitra as The Cheetah

Rhona Mitra is an actress who has often been fan-cast as Wonder Woman, which works on a purely superficial level. She has toned model looks with a sculpted face and action movie chops. Unfortunately, she's just not very charismatic or inspiring, which I think are far more essential qualities for the Amazing Amazon. Mitra is also prone to "good guy" roles, which just makes her subdued personality come across that much flatter. I honestly think she needs a nice, ridiculous, over the top villainess role to get in touch with her inner Liz Hurley. Mitra would probably most enjoy Barbara Minerva, so she could put on glasses and fake intellectual for a few scenes to feel better about hamming it up for the cat suit. I'd prefer her as the Alex Ross version of Priscilla Rich. That way, if the performance gets dicey, the creepy suit can do more of the acting for her.

Diabolic Movie Fan Casting

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Justice #11 (June, 2007)

Metamorpho, Red Tornado and Martian Manhunter all teamed up on Giganta, but she would not fall, and instead took the battle outside with Hawkman and Hawkgirl joining the fray. Green Lantern John Stewart freed everyone from Brainiac's mind controlling bugs, including Wonder Girl. Giganta persevered, until Elasti-Girl sucker punched her.

Wonder Woman didn't visibly contribute to the burly brawl, and it even looked like Superman freed her from some rubble at one point. The Armored Amazon almost tangled with Solomon Grundy, but Green Lantern's destruction of Brainiac's mind-controlling technology removed the need. Wonder Woman was consoled by the rescued Steve Trevor, but did not remove her armor. Per Princess Diana's standard operating procedure, Donna Troy was nowhere near her. Wonder Girl joined the Teen Titans and other heroes in liberating the innocents trapped in Scarecrow's creepy city, instead.

"Chapter Eleven" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite. Call Justice what you like (I'd use "stupid, boring, pretentious, ponderous, and overall amateurish" in regards to the storytelling) but at least it respected Wonder Woman's villains. Cheetah was scary in earlier issues, and Giganta took on a whole host of JLA-listers. Too bad the Amazing Amazon herself was butchered in this series, overcompensating for her hawkishness in Kingdom Come through victimization here.

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Justice #10 (April, 2007)

"This is a costly and compromised war. You are like me, but must disguise yourself as one of them. It disgusts me to look at you." Giganta was dressing in a black evening gown for a formal celebration of the Legion of Doom's presumed victory, as Gorilla Grodd continued to lecture her. Soon enough, the Hall of Doom was raided by heroes garbed in protective armor against Brainiac's miniature mind-controlling robotic worms. Wonder Woman's was especially hideous amongst a motley collection of fashion faux pas, and further couture demerits for Giganta destroying her elegant wear in favor of growing into her usual leopard print. At least Giganta was in the fight for the duration, whereas Cheetah joined other lesser Legionnaires in being tied up with Plastic Man (literally.)

Outside, possessed teen heroes, including Wonder Girl, fought the Doom Patrol. Donna choked Elasti-Girl with her lasso. Wonder Woman spent some time tangled up in Clayface before he was called away on another matter, and Cheetah managed to evacuate to the city she controlled via transport tube.

"Chapter Ten" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite. The issue demonstrates the difficulty of juggling so many characters and plot elements. Wonder Woman pretty much drops out of the story from here, save two limp moments in as many issues, and Wonder Girl is just trotted out for a cameo.

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:

Friday, October 11, 2013

Justice Volume Two (2007)

"The first name I ever knew was 'daughter.' I remember my mother holding me in the dawn. I remember the sea. And I remember her telling me that I was a gift. And that I was beautiful." Hippolyta never wanted Diana to compete in the contest to become Wonder Woman-- Amazonian ambassador and champion for the world. Against the queen's wishes, her princess donned a mask and won the contest, but also broke her mother's heart with the deceit and the dangers ahead. "I swore I'd never wear a mask again."

In battle with the Cheetah, Wonder Woman's face had been slashed open in three places by claws dipped in the centaur's poison called "Heracles' Lament." Cheetah had exchanged some of her own blood for it from the goddess of the underworld Persephone. Princess Diana struggled against claws and fangs at her backside, until she reached her Lasso of Truth and ensnared her foe. A tear fell from Priscilla Rich's eye as her humanity was briefly restored, but the cat soon loosed itself from the leash. Wonder Woman had repeatedly reached out to Priscilla, trying to help, but failing that, she kicked the kitty across the alley. The Cheetah fled, but Diana could already feel an unmaking sickness within herself.

Giganta was responsible for two attempts on the Atom's life, before receiving a small comeuppance. The Mighty Mite then contacted Wonder Woman in her invisible jet, who explained the situation and asked that he join her at a secret League meeting place. Diana then landed in a jungle, and used her Lasso of Truth to guide her through an illusory stone wall into a cave. As it turned out, this was the Batcave, now infested by jungle vines and other greenery. The Amazing Amazon found the Dark Knight bound to a tree, and learned this was Poison Ivy's doing.

Attacked by a giant Venus flytrap and thorn-firing roses, Wonder Woman commented, "How much like men with guns you are, Poison Ivy," to no small offense. Creepers crawling on Diana, the villainess warned, "You snap one of those vines, and I'll snap your neck. By the way, I like the new look." The Amazon Princess tore herself loose, and freed her ally besides. Batman unexpectedly began electrocuting Diana with special gauntlets, her fresh facial wounds from the Cheetah glowing orange against the blue arc. The Amazon looped her lasso around the Caped Crusader's neck. Ivy cracked, "Is it too much to hope that you'll kill each other?" It was, as a spiritually freed Batman cold-cocked her. Wonder Woman survived the attack, and everyone was loaded onto the invisible jet.

While flying a lassoed but mentally liberated Batman to the outskirts of the Fortress of Solitude in her invisible jet, Wonder Woman received late word from Doc Magnus and the rebuilt Red Tornado about the Caped Crusader's mischief while mind-controlled.

While the pair waited for Superman's arrival to unlock the door, other heroes began to gather outside. The Flash asked Wonder Woman about the damage dealt to her face. "Cheetah's scars are nothing, Barry. Somehow our enemies discovered who we are..." This led the Flash to be concerned about the welfare of his wife, but the arriving Captain Marvel and Superman warned that mental domination awaited the Scarlet Speedster if he struck out on his own. Instead, the world's greatest heroes stepped into Superman's parlor to plan their response as a team...

Wonder Woman attended a meeting where Batman laid out all the information collected about the Legion of Doom's plot. Afterword, Captain Marvel gave Wonder Woman a hug, and asked what had happened to her. "We are both beings of magic, Bill. That is also where we are most vulnerable. And I've been cursed. I'm going to die from the same poison that killed Hercules."

"The centaur's blood?"

"But where Hercules' death returned him to the glory which was his by right of birth... I am returning to my origins. These scars are baking me from within. I was clay once, formed by my mother's hands. The goddess made me real in answer to my mother's prayer. I am becoming unreal again. I don't have much time left."

Batman was finally freed of the mind-controlling worms, and returned the Lasso of Truth with a thank you. "Of course, Bruce. I'm glad you're back."

Soon after, the League learned their supporting casts, including Steve Trevor, had been kidnapped. Further, they were held captive my mind-controlled teen heroes, including Wonder Girl Donna Troy...

"Justice, Vol. 2," collecting issues #5-8 of the 2005 mini-series, was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Justice Volume One (2006)

Missiles streaked through the skies, striking major cities the world over, killing everything in their eruption's wake. In Metropolis, Superman barely saved Lois Lane before setting her somewhere safe... except no place was safe, and Superman's Girlfriend was soon no more. The Man of Steel called on his super friends.

Wonder Woman, holding back a wall from collapsing on children, answered "I hear you, Superman. The same thing's happening in Rome. I don't know. I don't..." The Amazing Amazon's legs began to turn into stone, and the malady continued upward, until her face was a mass of fissures. "Hera help me. S-superman...?" Diana died first among her fellows, her smoldering corpse still leveraged against the wall.

An omniscient commentator criticized the heroes' performance as the Earth itself perished:

Some might say that I am being unfair. That mankind molded you into the beings you are. We made you into gods, like a potter would a piece of clay. You did not claim this for yourself. But I ask you, what were reasonable men to do in your presence?

Priscilla Rich awoke from her nightmare, nude in a luxurious circular bed, her twin cheetah companions unstirred in the penthouse suite they shared. Rich also shared the dream-- each of her compatriots in the Legion of Doom troubled by their nocturnal vision. Action would have to be taken, to save all of humanity from the coming failure of the Justice League of America...

A Wonder Woman conference was being held at the Meredith Hotel, and Priscilla Rich looked to be attending. Clerks at the front desk gossiped that “She’s just become one of the biggest supporters of the protection of animals in the world.” In a broad leopard print hat and trench coat, Rich seemed to be the one being protected, by the pair of cheetahs walking ahead of her on leashes. “Well, that’s one way to spend your money, I suppose. If she’s come to hear Wonder Woman, she better hurry.”

In her swank hotel room, the now nude Priscilla Rich knelt by the body of one of her cheetahs. She stroked its fur, and offered a prayer as she took a ceremonial dagger to the big cat, marking her face with its blood. “I call upon your spirit… I call with your blood to make a way for me… Blood for spirit. Flesh for eyes… So that the Cheetah can be reborn.”

In a ballroom downstairs, Wonder Woman gave the gathered female fans an empowering motivational speech about bettering the world. Outside, in the bushes, Priscilla Rich stalked-- wearing the skin of her feline companion…

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.

"Justice, Vol. 1," collecting the first four issues of the 2005 mini-series, was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.

Monday, September 30, 2013

2013 Wonder Woman Spec Short by Rainfall Films

Director: Sam Balcomb
Producer: Jesse Soff
Production Co: Rainfall Films

The Amazon warrior from Themyscira does battle with men and monsters in this new short project from Rainfall Films. Starring Rileah Vanderbilt, the film was a passion project from all involved; a unique take on the DC superhero beloved and respected by millions around the world.
I came upon this through a write-up by Devin Faraci, and agreed with his assessment.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2013 DC Super-Pets Character Encyclopedia! Jumpa Entry

Kangas were giant space kangaroos that could leap from planet to planet. Smaller kangas were ridden like horses by the Amazons of Paradise Island. Wonder Woman's kanga was named Jumpa, and was were created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter in Sensation Comics #6 (1942.) More recently, Jumpa has become Princess Diana's representative in the DC Super-Pets children's book series, starring in "The Fastest Pet on Earth." Her entry above was written by Steven Korté and drawn by Art Baltazar. The full color magazine sized 128-page book is available for just $7.95 in paperback or $18.95 in hardcover from Picture Window Books, a capstone imprint.

DC Super-Pets!
  • Skitters @ DC Bloodlines
  • Spot @ Power of the Atom
  • Tibbar @ Justice League Detroit
  • Zook @ The Idol-Head of Diabolu

Monday, September 9, 2013

What a Wonder Woman Full World

Friday, September 6, 2013

DragonCon 2013 Wonder Woman Cosplay photo by Pat Loika

Click To Enlarge

Click for full gallery. There's some fun group and "versus" shots where this model battles Marvel's Hercules, plus parade shots of another cosplayer.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What a Wonder Woman Full World

Courtesy of The Chive (which may not be safe for work, depending on their handbra policy.)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

2012 Wonder Woman color art by Stjepan Šejić

Click To Enlarge

"this one is a weird mix of a strangely sucessful body rendering versus supremely lazy designwork on my sied.. but hey... got work to do so the newxt few days imma be burying myself in ghosts n stuff... also.. shes got yer can opener right there!...FOR A CAN OF WHOOP-ASS!"
Stjepan Šejić

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Justice League of America #2 (May, 2013)

Colonel Steve Trevor had gone to great lengths to create the Dark Hunter cover identity for Oliver Queen, and hoped his swift turn of bad fortune could be chalked up to bad luck rather than a leak. A.R.G.U.S. found Queen near dead at the edge of the Kielder Forest in Northumberland, England after a twelve hour communications blackout, and he didn't convey much of his findings before passing into a coma. Amanda Waller insisted that facing the Secret Society of Super-Villains would be the perfect trial by fire for the new Justice League of America. Trevor worried for the safety and unity of an untested team, not to mention that they'd at least have more intel if they waited for Queen to come out of surgery. Tensions and accusations mounted, with Waller determined that the JLofA was needed immediately and if Trevor couldn't follow orders, she would find someone who would.

Most of the members of the new Justice League of America met at their new headquarters in Washington, D.C. Hawkman turned up covered in someone's blood, so Trevor told him to get cleaned up before the press conference where the President Barack Obama was set to introduce the team. Stargirl interjected "That's so exciting! I would've voted for him. If I were old enough." Col. Trevor started the short briefing without Simon Baz, who might have been the only Green Lantern that Amanda Waller could "put on a leash," but was still off in outer space.

Catwoman wasn't allowed at the press conference, so as the rest of the team started off to their appointment, she gave Trevor a big ol' kiss. She claimed it was for luck, but Steve ordered "Don't do that again." She'd actually picked his pocket, but found only a license, $30, a coupon for Chinese takeout, and a picture with Diana in better times. Steve's getting dumped by Wonder Woman reminded Catwoman of Batman's dismissal of their relationship. At the conference, Stargirl gave a sappy speech about Johnny Appleseed that barely related to the team's debut, but likely won the crowd.

Steve Trevor asked the Martian Manhunter to telepathically probe Oliver Queen's mind to learn as much as possible about the Secret Society, and was shocked when J'Onzz offered to make some behavioral adjustments. "What? No. Read his mind, don't change it. You haven't really done that, have you? Not to anyone I know, at least?" No answer was forthcoming, and beyond the circumstances of "Dark Hunter's" escape, no further information could be safely extracted.

Queen awoke briefly, at a vague point following his encounter with the Manhunter. Steve explained that while Green Arrow had uncovered the Society, the situation had gotten too big for them to handle, and that Amanda Waller had disallowed Queen to join the team. Ollie called Steve a sell-out, while Trevor protested, "I'm the guy who rebels against authority!"

The Justice League of America landed their jet a mile outside the forest in England, then traveled on foot. Katana vanished from the group, so Trevor asked the Manhunter to get a lock on her. Not only was J'Onzz's telepathy blocked, but Catwoman disappeared next. A golden lasso caught Trevor around the neck like a noose. "Steve," said a figure who appeared to be Wonder Woman, "You shouldn't have come here." She was flanked by approximations of Superman and Batman...

"World's Most Dangerous, Chapter Two" was by Geoff Johns & David Finch. Boy, Finch's proportions were awful in some scenes, but I'll still take his dark mood and detailing over most of the flashier Image-style artists DC now employs. I've always had a fondness for the Secret Society of Super-Villains, so I'm happy to see them get a steady, ominous reveal, as opposed to the bait and switch that was Villains United almost (God help me) a decade back. Besides missing Amanda Waller's girth and her ability to walk the fine line of anti-heroism without falling off, it also seems like a good portion of her brains went M.I.A. as well. In a world with a finite number of powerful, viable super-heroes that the government could wrangle to serve their purposes, you don't throw a whole team at a wall to see who sticks versus splatters against unknown hostiles. A lot of that seems to be in service to rebuilding Steve Trevor, so I'm torn between being glad a classic himbo is back in the game and one of the few female African-American comic book icons being ruined in favor of a blue-eyed, blond haired white male. The lead story is rife with "because" with insufficient "why," and what's the point in teasing a conflict with the main Justice League if you draw their facsimiles as obvious robots?

New 52's Day

Saturday, August 10, 2013

2013 “Death And Return Of Superman Pitch” by Max Landis

Writer/Director Max Landis' fan film "The Death and Return of Superman" was an internet hit, not to mention very funny and ultimately insightful. A year after its release, Landis claims to have been approached by DC to do an actual comic version of the basic premise for the New 52 as a weekly series with Greg Pak, but scheduling got in the way. Instead, Landis shared his aborted ideas for the project in a forty-three minute verbal telling (with NSFW language.)

I get a kick out of Landis' YouTube videos, because he's a natural raconteur with a gift for telling a story conversationally. On the other hand, I'm glad the project never made it further than this, because while there are some neat touches, this tale falls into the same trap as most Doomsday stories. In essence, the entire DC Universe gets thrown under the bus to make Superman look better than anyone else, but since that only works when you game the plot, picking apart the holes is child's play.

Also, to pass judgment on Superman creators, they rarely have the imagination to come up with a credible resolution. I mean, they choose to write the most magnificentest super-duper dude with every power who can't be hurt, so their main job is to find ways to forestall an inevitability. Landis made a big show of mocking the "fratboy punch face" from the original 1992 story, but he has Superman pick up a bit of unfinished business from Wonder Woman and tag-out Doomsday. Worse, the story goes on from there, without even the illusion of a death and resurrection for the Man of Steel, plus a second anticlimax as an additional foe is introduced. I liked Chronicle as much as the next guy, but no, you don't get to breeze out of Hollywood, break Wonder Woman like a twig, jump on Superman's jock, and collect an Eisner.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

2012 Derby City Comic Con Wonder Woman sketch by Mike Norton

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"Great sketch from Derby City Comic-Con in Louisville, KY on June 30, 2012."
Mike Norton

Friday, August 2, 2013

Wonderwear I

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Since I've been torturing readers of my Martian Manhunter blog with my horrible old redesign attempts for months now, I decided it was about time that I inflict the same trauma across my other blogs. Above is a series of tiny color tests for different Wonder Woman costumes, as well as a slew of wretched reworking of her breastplate/symbol. Though undated, the text at left is a complete list of characters introduced in the 1993 "Bloodlines" crossover through that year's DC annuals (including the Batman ones left out of the trading card set because that license was at another company.)

Pooping on the DCU

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Justice League of America #1 (April, 2013)

Five years ago in London, Professor Ivo met with a mysterious figure to discuss all the "super-heroes;" the Justice League, Green Arrow, Zatanna, Hawkman; that were turning up with increasing routine. "Well, then. I guess they'll call us super-villains..."

Cut to the present, as "The Dark Hunter" ran through the Kielder Forest in Northumberland, England. He had been skewered by a tree branch, and was pursued by what appeared to be a Justice League intent on his death. The Dark Hunter was convinced that he was going to die, but not yet. "I never believed I'd amount to anything worthwhile. I played right into what the world said about me. But I can prove everyone wrong. I can do better. I've been trying to." The fugitive entered hypovolemic shock, and asked a greater power for help that didn't come. "So I do what I did the last time. I tell god to go screw himself. I'll find my own way home."

Years ago, U.S. Homeland Security tasked Colonel Steve Trevor with establishing the Advanced Research Group Uniting Super Humans to police metahuman activity. Trevor had acted as A.R.G.U.S. liaison to the Justice League until his ex-girlfriend Wonder Woman requested his removal, and been replaced by Amanda Waller. The (slender, non-supporting) "Wall" felt Trevor had gotten too close to the League, and far out of his depth.

"Possessed by Starro, physically shattered by Despero and most recently almost beaten to death by Mr. Graves." Waller thought Steve was lovesick, and Trevor thought Amanda treated people as disposable since their last days together on Team 7. No one could replace the heroes of the Justice League, but Waller insisted that a branch loyal to American interests was needed. Booster Gold had uncovered a romance between Superman and Wonder Woman, only to disappear without a trace. What if they had kids, a bad break-up, or Princess Diana convinced the Man of Steel to become as destabilizing a world changing force as herself? Steve Trevor was hesitant to assume a Rick Flagg type role as point man for a team designed to take down the current Justice League if necessary, but being in that position was the only way he could continue to protect the Princess he loved. "I was the one who brought her to this screw-up world."

Waller subscribed to a low-tech records keeping approach, since anything placed on a computer could potentially be found by Cyborg. The first recruit in her file folder was Hawkman, who was getting deeper in dutch with authorities for his vigilante activities. Waller would grant him diplomatic immunity as "Katar Hol," a "police officer from the planet Thanagar," and classify the human criminals he brutalized as "alien fugitives" so that Hawkman could continue to be as savage in his dispensation of justice as he pleased.

Tatsu Toro vied with Deathstroke for the title of world's deadliest assassin as determined by the U.S. government. Her husband, Maseo Yamashiro, was the previous title holder before his murder. Waller knew who his killers were, and this information would attract Katana to JLA membership.

Five years ago, during the Apokolipsian incursion on Earth, Cisco Ramon was caught in the event horizon of a Boom Tube. One of Cisco's brothers died freeing him from its wake, and Ramon was left "out of sync with the rest of the world." He had been using his vibratory powers to deal with local petty crime, but Waller saw bigger things for him.

Stargirl had the highest Q Score for any active super-hero, relentlessly positive and massively helpful. "In less than a year, she's saved over four hundred people..." Seemingly perfect, while receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she spied a supernatural pentagram appear in a nearby fire. Courtney Whitmore appeared to suffer night terrors over the fate of the previous bearer of the Cosmic Staff, "Pemberton." Waller planned to blackmail her into participation with the identity of her biological father.

Little was offered on their Green Lantern prospect, except that he "was arrested, not convicted." Trevor protested Green Arrow's inclusion, feeling that he was the wrong candidate for "the most important spot on the JLA." Trevor suggested Catwoman, who he confronted during her break-in at a hotel room registered in the name of "Selina Kyle." Catwoman attacked "Wonder Woman's boy-toy," who rolled over, but persuaded Catwoman with information on the woman who had stolen her identity. "Her enemies came after you. You almost lost your life because of her. I know her real name." Waller thought she was more like Suicide Squad material, and her criminal history meant she couldn't publicly join the team, but Trevor felt she was the best option to take down Batman in the event of a clash between Leagues. After all, the secret, primary role of the American League was to have a strike team in place should the original unit go rogue. Katanna was Wonder Woman deterrent, Vibe Flash's, Stargirl Cyborg's, Hawkman Aquaman's, and Simon Baz was meant to check Hal Jordan.

The Superman killer was the final piece, to Trevor's dismay. He'd worked with the Martian Manhunter during the Alien Atlas' disastrous stint with the main Justice League team, and felt that he couldn't be trusted, but Waller needed his raw power to complete her team. Trevor knew that it was enough for someone in his circles to mention J'Onn's name, and the suspicious alien would hear. J'Onzz agreed to join, but with the stern warning that he would mindwipe all of A.R.G.U.S. if they betrayed him.

"The Dark Hunter" was lost in the forest for days until his beacon finally started working. Etta Candy thought something might have been interfering with it. Near death, the disguised Green Arrow had been discovered as a plant even faster than he and Steve had feared. The villains called themselves "The Secret Society," but Ollie passed out before he could identify their leader...

"World's Most Dangerous, Chapter One" was by Geoff Johns & David Finch. As usual in the modern age of decompressed storytelling, there was a lot more sizzle than steak. Most of the book is two people having a meeting in an office while looking at photographs. It doesn't help that one of those people is the anorexic New 52 Amanda Waller, nor that the once robust Etta Candy could now be easily mistaken for the former "Wall" turned pole. The individual team member vignettes are nice teaser trailers for whoever they're meant to be for the purposes of the book. I can't say that I'm exactly excited about this title, but I'm not put off by the debut issue either, which is something of a victory with a New 52 offering.

I also have to say that one thing set right by the reboot was the restoration of Steve Trevor. It's okay for Batman to have a James Bond type of impermanence with regard to his love interests, and even Superman shouldn't necessarily be tied down to Lois Lane, so long as she remains generally prominent in comics. Steve Trevor though is arguably as central a figure in Wonder Woman's origin as Diana herself, since he was the impetus and ongoing motivation for the Princess' abandoning Paradise Island to combat the evils of Man's World, and remained so until the 1970s. For nearly a quarter century, Wonder Woman didn't quite make sense as a character because Steve Trevor had been cast aside for past sins with nothing more than vague altruism and wanderlust left in his place (DC strongly squelching any emphasis on that "lust" part.) Returning him to prominence fixes a broken element of the DC Universe, and his being the rejected party in a past affair humbles and humanizes the once abusive figure. Further, that element of romance, even lost, enlivens Wonder Woman and ensures that Trevor won't join the long list of Nick Fury proxies.

New 52's Day

Sunday, July 28, 2013

2007 Cheetah color art by Terry Huddleston

Click To Enlarge

"Super Friends Cheetah."
The Great Wall of Villains

Thursday, July 18, 2013

2013 "First Impressions" short film

What happens when your day job gets in the way of your new relationship?

Starring Hailey Bright, Chester See and Doug Jones

Directed by Leo Kei Angeleos

Written by George H. Ruiz & Leo Kei Angelos

Produced by George H Ruiz

Original music by Glen Cheney

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wonder Woman in “The Time Traveler of Terror!” (August, 1960)

In a vast library at Military Intelligence, Col. Steve Trevor showed Lt. Diana Prince a book of disasters, including the sinking of Atlantis, the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in Pompeii, the 1871 Chicago Fire, and the 1889 Johnstown Flood. Each picture happened to feature a devious onlooker—a lean man with a disproportionally large bald head, prominent apple cheeks, goatee, and arched eyebrows. The often underestimated Trevor shows his brilliance here, as this will be totally relevant to the story, and not just a convenient narrative device to prepare readers for the book’s second-half adventure. It just so happens Steve has to leave “Di” to meet with Wonder Woman, who can’t quite put her finger on something fishy about the pictures, unintentionally shaming military “intelligence.”

The Amazing Amazon and Col. Trevor flew in her transparent robot plane, wherein he fake proposed and she claimed she’d be glad to, “When I’m no longer needed to combat evil!” Ladies, use that line the next time you’re faced with an aggravating suitor at the club. Anyway, the pair were off to a vital experimental base to view preparation for the launch of the world’s largest space exploratory rocket yet. The figures below the plane were quite small, but I’m fairly certain Capt. Adam and Sgt. Gunner were down there somewhere.

Wonder Woman was introduced to the famous scientist Prof. Andro, who she still couldn’t place as the man in all those disaster pictures, because this book ain’t called Detective Comics. The Camera Fluent Amazon snapped Andro’s picture, flew back with Steve to Military Intelligence, developed the picture of the creepiest smile in recorded human history, revisited the library, and wasted a whole afternoon comparing the picture of Andro’s creepy smile to those in the book. Wonder Woman even bragged about her photographic memory while doing so, which eventually prompted Steve to pretend he was amused by the coincidence after the first comparison, but ready to head back to the launching grounds. The genius Steve humored and patronized Wonder Woman through each unnecessary example of what he already knew, since he showed Lt. Prince (whose double identity he obviously also knew, because she’s just Wonder Woman with clothing) the book in the first place. Steve even let Diana slowly, painfully deduce Prof. Andro was a time traveling terrorist, which was blatant from his creepiest smile in recorded human history, before getting frustrated and telling her outright that anyone with such advanced technology could also be behind the disasters, not to mention the ability to trim their goatee and eyebrows so malevolently.

Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor flew back to present “their” findings to Gen. Darnell, who dismissed them and was about to schedule drug testing when Prof. Andro showed up, positively challenging the general to dig up dirt on him instead. Andro pissed clean, as Darnell explained to the stupids that the professor could never have set foot on the base in the first place without a rigorous background check. Wonder Woman was all “duh, of course futureboy could fake credentials” while Steve cursed their powerlessness and erectile dysfunction (where applicable.)

Not content, Prof. Andro showed up with such a diabolically gleeful expression it made me poo myself a little bit, telepathically admitting his guilt while freezing them in place. “You can’t touch me! My super-will prevents you! Just as it enables me to travel through time or space by Mentotravel! Or cause volcanoes, earthquakes, fire or flood by Mentoforce! HA HA!” Prof. Andro released the duo so they could fully appreciate the horror he was about to rain down on the Earth through the rocket. Best Wonder Woman villain ever? So far as I can tell!

Wonder Woman and Steve couldn’t directly confront Andro due to his potency, but fate caused the site’s official photographer to fall ill. Gen. Darnell knew the Amazing Amazon was an expert photog, and with the help of a device from her plane, this was just the opportunity Diana needed! A Flashlight Paralysis Ray emitted during the camera strobe froze everyone in place, except a crystal being from another world sprang out of Andro’s body! As the rocket flew into the sky and Wonder Woman followed by catapulting “on an updraft,” the flying being taunted that the S-Time Bomb planted on the rocket would create the “greatest catastrophe since time began!”

Through the lightning and rain, the Amazing Amazon tried to lasso the villain, but his willpower caused it to fall away. Wonder Woman stripped off her tiara made of the hardest metal known, amazonium, and flung it to no effect. Then came her bracelets—then ahhhhh—her shoes—and—and—oh wait, my fantasy kicked in there, but she did look kinda bare without her weapons. Nothing was working, so Wonder Woman flew around the rocket with the creature in pursuit until she lured him into shattering contact with lightning.

The rocket flew on, as Wonder Woman fretted about its potentially detonating in Earth atmosphere, but it thankfully made it into space before exploding. Thankfully, I said, as Wonder Woman just kinda floated and watched. Steve Trevor declared, “You did it again, Angel—saved the Earth! With the guidance of my Machiavellian manipulation, of course!” Meanwhile, off to the side, Captain Adam was shaking off that camera flash, and was all like, “But the rocket--? Why couldn’t she have saved the rocket? Where were my atomic powers when I needed them most?” Or maybe Adam blew up on that rocket, which might explain his quantum leaping, with the S-Time Bomb and all. I can’t keep all this retroactive continuity straight.

“The Time Traveler of Terror!” by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru & Mike Esposito was the second story in Wonder Woman #116 (August, 1960.)

DC Comics Presents

Saturday, July 13, 2013

2012 Will's War Episode 7- "Wonder Woman: How To Make A Kick-Ass Movie After Justice League"

This is a solid enough plea, if a bit broad, base and oversimplified. Then again, my own take was a bloated manifesto, so what do I know?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sensational Comics for October, 2013

Click To Enlarge

Wonder Woman

1:25 Superman Variant cover by CLIFF CHIANG
1:25 Wonder Woman Variant cover by AARON KUDER
1:100 B&W Variant cover by TONY S. DANIEL
“We Can Be Heroes” Blank variant cover available
On sale OCTOBER 9 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will ship with six covers. Please see the order form for more information.

Beginning a bold new series that details the relationship between The Man of Steel and the Warrior Princess as rising star writer Charles Soule is joined by fan favorite artist Tony S. Daniel to tell the tale of a romance that will shake the stars themselves. These two super-beings love each other, but not everyone shares their joy. Some fear it, some test it—and some will try to kill for it. Some say love is a battlefield, but where Superman and Wonder Woman are concerned it spells Doomsday! This issue features an amazing wraparound gatefold cover that opens up to a triptych with Superman and Wonder Woman in the center! This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.
In order to get a series set in the mainstream New 52 continuity, Diana has to take second billing and put her mouth on the Man of Steel's steely man parts? Empowering?
1:25 B&W Variant cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale OCTOBER 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

After the shocking events of issue #23, Wonder Woman’s life has changed forever…but what if she refuses to walk the path the gods—and her mentor—have laid out for her? A strange new era of WONDER WOMAN begins here!
She's moving to Dynamite and being written by Gail Simone again?
Written by BRYAN Q. MILLER
On sale OCTOBER 9 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST

Diana’s mysterious past may hold the key to helping Superman stop Faust in the present—but the warlock isn’t working alone! Enter Hades, Lord of the Underworld! “Olympus” continues in part 3 of 4.

Cover by ED BENES
On sale OCTOBER 23 • 32 pg, FC, 3 of 6, $2.99 US • RATED T

After the shocking ending to issue #2, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe find themselves hunted by the Justice League. In the midst of the chaos, Skeletor’s plan moves into its next, dangerous phase!
Written by TOM TAYLOR
1:10 DC Collectibles Photo cover
On sale OCTOBER 23 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information. Hoping to stop Batman’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering, Superman has decided to take him out of the game. He’s going to go worldwide with the news that the Caped Crusader is really Bruce Wayne. But at the last minute, Batman plays his one remaining ace. He’s about to turn off the lights on the JLA’s satellite headquarters.

On sale OCTOBER 16 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST

Three new Ame-Comi Girls go on three separate solo missions to wrap up the series. Big Barda provokes a head-to-head confrontation with Darkseid, White Canary evens the odds in Vegas, and Mera defends Seattle from an attack by her evil half-sister, Black Manta.
Art and cover by KEVIN MAGUIRE
1:50 B&W Variant cover by KEVIN MAGUIRE
On sale OCTOBER 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

Don’t miss the debut of the new series starring the heroes of today—tomorrow! But what are they doing in the year 3000? And who (or what) brought them there? Get ready for a double dose of wonder as only the stellar creative team of Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire can deliver!
I adore this creative team, but my patience is being tried here.
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
1:25 Villain A variant cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER
1:25 Villain B variant cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER
1:25 Villain C variant cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER
1:200 B&W Variant cover by DAVID FINCH and RICHARD FRIEND
On sale OCTOBER 2 • 32 pg, FC, 2 of 7, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will ship with six covers. Please see the order form for more information.

The villains have taken over the world! The Teen Titans fight back! Can the inexperienced teen heroes do what the adults could not? (Answer: Nope. It goes very poorly.) This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue

Steve Trevor

Written by MATT KINDT
1:25 B&W Variant cover by BRETT BOOTH and MARK IRWIN
On sale OCTOBER 23 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

The villains have killed the Justice League and decimated A.R.G.U.S.’s headquarters. Only Steve Trevor and the surviving A.R.G.U.S. agents can pick up the pieces and save the civilian populace from unthinkable evil!

Wonder Girl Cassie Sandsmark

1:25 B&W Variant cover by EDDY BARROWS and EBER FERREIRA
On sale OCTOBER 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

As Forever Evil spreads across the world, where have the Teen Titans gone? Find out when they are and why the Titans definitely aren’t together!
Weeeee are never, ever, ever getting back together! You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me...
On sale OCTOBER 30 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T

Leading into next month’s landmark issue #25, the Teen Titans continue their trip through time as the team must confront Jon Lane Kent, the Superboy of the future, who could one day wipe out the most powerful heroes on Earth. Can the Titan's Superboy defeat the man he was cloned from by Harvest?

Dr. Psycho

Written by JUSTIN JORDAN Art by ROBSON ROCHA Cover by BRETT BOOTH On sale OCTOBER 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T Superboy faces a foe he cannot begin to beat! The battle will tear him apart and reveal the truth of what Dr. Psycho has been secretly planning all along!
Did you know that a new bald scarred version of Dr. Psycho has been appearing in this book since around #18. I didn't, and I'm not pleased, least of all with it happening in a friggin' Superboy comic.


Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH
On sale OCTOBER 2 • 64 pg, FC, $5.99 US • RATED T

Reprinting the first issue of the world-shaking new miniseries, this issue showcases David Finch’s stunning pencil artwork, accompanied by the original script by Geoff Johns
Resolicit • On sale DECEMBER 11 • 728 pg, FC, $75.00 US

The entire JUST IMAGINE STAN LEE CREATING THE DC UNIVERSE event from 2001 is collected in hardcover for the first time! Don’t miss Stan “The Man” Lee’s startlingly different visions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, The Sandman, the Justice League of America and more, in collaboration with cowriter Michael Uslan and dozens of top comics artists!

Retailers: This title is resolicited. All previous orders are cancelled.
Art and cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale OCTOBER 16 • 64 pg, FC, $1.00 US • RATED T

In this first DC Comics—The New 52 WONDER WOMAN issue, the gods walk among us! Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, has kept a secret from her daughter all her life – and when Wonder Woman learns who her father is, her life will shatter like brittle clay. Beginning a stunning new direction for Wonder Woman!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con 2013 Wonder Woman color commission by Johnny J. Segura III

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"A commission I got at Wizard World New Orleans. I was asked to do my own version of Wonder Woman."
I got myself a Miss Martian commission at this year's Comicpalooza, if you're interested. If you'd prefer to keep it Amazonian, another piece I found online that's a bit too saucy/NSFW to post here, but that you may like: Heroine Twister Commission.