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had acted as A.R.G.U.S. liaison to the Justice League until his ex-girlfriend Wonder Woman requested his removal, and been replaced by Amanda Waller.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

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"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

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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.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wonder Woman: The Motion Picture (or Else!)

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Jeff Chapman

According to The Wrap, Warner Brothers are "kicking the tires on films for Wonder Woman and Aquaman" No. Shut up. I've had enough of your crap, Bros. You're making the first ever Wonder Woman feature film before the decade is out. Batman got his in 1966, Superman got his in 1978, and instead of following the natural progression to the Amazing Amazon you've had fail up in your face greenlighting Supergirl, Steel, Catwoman, Jonah Hex & Green Lantern.* Your karma smells like dookey. Make things right and build a proper DC Comics cinematic universe out of your trinity of best loved and most broadly marketable super-heroes, a.s.a.p. you s.o.b.s.

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Jeff Chapman

Lions Gate Entertainment essentially went all in on The Hunger Games, staking the future of the company to raise the $88,000,000 production budget, and won big with earnings near $700m and robust home video sales. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Charlie's Angels, Salt, Kill Bill, and the Alien, Resident Evil, & Underworld franchises have all proven that you can make serious money off female-led action movies. Besides being the most globally recognized power fantasy figure for girls, there's a sizable gay following and surely as many men would turn out for the Amazon Princess as did for Captain America: The First Avenger (since the patriotic hero struggled internationally when compared to Thor.) With a reasonable budget (say $125-150 million,) a strong profit would be guaranteed, unless you want to roll the dice on another $200 million vehicle for a b-lister whose only advantage is "toycentricity" with the boys (you soulless moneygrubbers.) It's not like you couldn't find Superman Returns merch by the caseload at 99¢ Only Stores, and I'm pretty confident a property like the Flash would swiftly join him there.

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Jeff Chapman

The Screenplay

Whatever Joss Whedon wrote, you film. I don't actually know what he wrote, or if it's any good, but do it anyway. Warner Brothers, I've seen his movies and I've seen yours, and I have way more confidence in him. You guys can't even handle Superman and Batman half the time, and you think David Goyer is bacon when he's really lettuce. If there isn't an actual script (the words "draft" and "outline" pops up more in my research than "satisfying completed screenplay,") hire Marti Noxon and/or Jane Espenson to create the Whedonest script they can, and you promote the movie as "story by the visionary director of Marvel's The Avengers" because it's so money.

I've heard good things about the script by Matthew Jennison and Brent Strickland, but it's a World War II period piece involving Nazis, and the whole entire world is over that. We need a modern age pic, and Whedon already worked out a lot of bugs related to that. What the picture really needs is the classic origin story, which has never been committed to film, and therefore does not need to be jazzed up for jaded audiences like that crap Brian Azzarello pulled.

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Jeff Chapman

Cool secret agent/pilot Steve Trevor crash lands on an island full of heroic amazons. He's rescued by Princess Diana, who then anonymously competes in a contest to decide who will journey to the outside world with Trevor to confront a mythological force (Zeus? Ares? Heracles?) attempting to trigger World War III. Invisible plane optional, but bracelets and Lasso (not lynch) of Truth essential. Do not kill off Queen Hippolyta, or reveal the Amazons get all rapey and traffic their male babies for weaponry. It's gross, and Wonder Woman should be idealized the way Donner did Superman's world in its first go.

Given the casualties in Man of Steel, I like what Whedon said about making Diana a conscientious objector instead of the violent emasculating she-bitch with a sword your shitty comic book division keeps pushing. For the last time, Kingdom Come wasn't as great as you dumb asses thought it was, which is why we're still talking about Marvelman despite it being out of print for decades while Alex Ross is shilling for Nick Barrucci. The moment has passed.

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Jeff Chapman

The Characters

Wonder Woman, Queen Hippolyta, and Steve Trevor are locked. In a cinescape with ponderous, smug Superman and growly hermit Batman, how about we let Princess Diana be a down-to-earth personable humanitarian who doesn't callously toss bad guys into populated areas? Instead of a straw feminist ball buster, let her shine by being the one who recognizes that there are fragile human beings caught up in these epic confrontations. Since you're shaking in your boots over Superman being perceived as a big blue boyscout, let Diana be the one who smiles sweetly, pulls kittens off high tree limbs, and kisses skinned knees. I'll happily jump on the Gina Carano bandwagon if she looks to diplomacy first and intense, contained close combat last. I got more of a thrill out of seeing her tangle with Michael Fassbender in a hotel room and Channing Tatum across a few square feet of a diner in Haywire that the entire third act of Man of Steel. Throw in Kathryn Bigelow on a tentpole instead of low budget Oscar bait and this could end up being the the most visceral super-hero action spectacle ever, regardless of Diana's demeanor.

Hippolyta is more flexible in the big picture/casualties department, which creates a vastly different dynamic with her daughter than Jor-El/Kal-El or Bruce/Alfred. The Queen can be dogged/brutal, while Diana is the good conscience for mom and the other two points in the Trinity.

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Jeff Chapman

Steve Trevor has the easy part of being the slick, sexy eye candy who plays 2nd (3rd? 4th?) fiddle to Wonder Woman. Re-pair Carano and Tatum, y'think? It would also be smart to leave the first picture with Agent Diana Prince active in the intelligence community in some fashion, to ground her for sequels. Maybe once she finishes taking down the ancient but restless Greco-Roman deities here, she picks up the trail on some New Gods?

You figure the origin will take up a third or even half of the movie, so further casting should probably skew Amazon. There aren't a lot of memorable Amazons from the comics, so you're kind of stuck with Phillipus and Artemis, who were merged into one character for the 2009 animated feature. Phillipus was a military leader and confidant to Hippolyta, but a bit stock, so you might want to pepper a bit of Nubia into the character. Artemis was from a rival tribe of Amazons, and was antagonistic toward Diana for a long time. She'd be good competition in the Contest, and maybe goes AWOL from Paradise Island to involve herself in the larger plot.

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Jeff Chapman

Etta Candy was a long time supporting player/comic relief once the action shifted to the U.S., and it's too bad Melissa McCarthy is now too old for the role, as she might have been a draw. Who was the other one in Bridesmaids? Rebel Wilson? So Rebel Wilson then.

Once you leave Themyscira, unless you try to settle into a domestic scene for a bit to establish a home base for sequels, you're mostly looking at CGI set pieces involving creatures of lore. If Wonder Woman must grab sharp objects and get all stab n' hack, it's best if they're all hydra/cyclops/Medusa type stuff. Whoever your big bad is can chew scenery, maybe there will be some Clash of the Titans tasks, then a final battle and wrap.

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Jeff Chapman

Paradise Island

David S. Goyer said "I think Wonder Woman is a very difficult character to crack. More difficult than Superman, who is also more difficult than Batman." I just did that. It wasn't hard at all. He's just a stupid-head. Don't make things out to be more difficult than they are. Wonder Woman is super-confident and caring instead of being a naive foreigner or emotionally unbalanced jealous schoolgirl or bloodthirsty or a misandrist. Get over the virgin/whore complex and simply write a character without an overwrought arc. Steve Trevor is a typical action movie hero out of his depth, just like the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in Avengers, except he gets saved occasionally like Lois Lane. Also, there's hot athletic chicks wrasslin' in togas. It's not rocket science.

Probably the trickiest part is Paradise Island, which is understandable, because no writer in the 6½ decades since creator William Moulton Marston died has gotten that right. It's like how feminism is by definition organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests in pursuit of the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. Equality. Conniving pundits have managed to make "feminazis" a societal ill disowned by generations of women whose lives were overwhelmingly benefited by feminists. Even if a woman chooses to stay home and spit out a kid every year that they have the capacity for gestation, it's now a choice, rather than a dictate of the male members of her family. Honestly, your only options as a human being are to be a feminist or bigot.

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Jeff Chapman

That said, William Moulton Marston was a bigot, except his bigotry favored femdom over the patriarchy. You have to approach Paradise Island the way it was conceived: idyllic propaganda from a proponent of loving submission to the innate goodness and superiority of women. It's a nonnegotiable central tenant of writing Wonder Woman stories correctly. You have good women, misguided women who oppose the good but are still redeemable, decent guys, and evil guys.

Themyscira cannot be depicted as anything but a feminine utopia populated by intelligent, physically fit demigoddesses. It isn't Krypton, nor Gotham City, and if that sounds boring get the hell off the island as soon as you can, but don't screw it up in search of drama. The Amazons are not perfect, but they are not especially flawed either-- just different in ways that can sometimes produce conflict amongst themselves or with others. I didn't make the place up, but I've read enough stories by Marston and everyone else to know that it's best to just accept the concept as intended and move past it as needed or Amazons Attack happens. If you missed the memo, Amazons Attack is plot herpes, and no amount of Valtrex will cure you once you've caught it.

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Jeff Chapman

The Camp

Wonder Woman has only ever had one solo media outlet, three seasons of a live action TV show that was a thick slice of disco era cheese. As when Tim Burton was trying to make people take Batman seriously in 1989 after the wacky wave of '60s Batmania, it would be understandable if you want to approach a feature in sober fashion. The Amazon Princess can manage that tonal shift, but please don't forget the humor and heart that defined Wonder Woman for a generation.

If you thought folks reacted badly to the end of Man of Steel, imagine how well Princess Diana dismembering creatures would play with parents. Getting by with a lariat, wits, and muscle is much more heroic. The Invisible Plane might be goofier than simply having Diana fly, but it's iconic, a potential toy/accessory, and could be very useful in giving fellow Justice Leaguers a lift (see: Super Friends.) In a team movie, you'll want a variety of fighting styles, and it'll be cooler if a non-flying Amazon has to take on a Kryptonian like Faora at a disadvantage, plus it makes the lasso more useful. We're all about showing off the bracelets and lasso. They're toycentric.

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Jeff Chapman

Silly as it may seem, spinning into a costume was to girls of my generation as wrapping a towel around your neck was to boys. It's part of the magic that connects young viewers with the characters they idolize. More important than whether to use Cheetah or Circe in a sequel and hows to bleed this feature into a JLA one is in making Wonder Woman a character people want to spend time with or live vicariously through. Don't give into the bleakness of the Nolanverse. Allow Wonder Woman to be a beacon of hope that stands beside Superman, Batman, and the rest, but doesn't wallow in their miseries. Wonder Woman isn't a problem to solve-- a story to crack-- but a beautiful premise that brings guidance, security and joy into people's lives. Please don't forget that, and please release Wonder Woman from the shackles of outdated thinking so that she can sour into her long overdue motion picture!

DC Comics Cinematic Universe
*Nobody know how well Swamp Thing did, and it was farmed out to Embassy Pictures besides. Watchmen did okay, if below expectations.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What a Wonder Woman Full World