Archive for Wonder Woman

Up on the Housetop


Ms. Marvel #11

It’s the final showdown between Ms. Marvel and the Inventor. The cloned Edison-brained super-genius in the body of an oversized parakeet has, well, genius and robots on his side — Ms. Marvel has a few normal allies, Lockjaw, and her own shapeshifting powers on her side. And it still may not be enough…

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a punch-up, with a few interesting twists in it, including a bendy girl wedged inside a robot, a teleporting dog, and a bunch of normal hero-worshiping kids underfoot. It’s a fun story with great art and a nice focus on Kamala’s growing reputation as a hero.


Sensation Comics #6

Our first story follows Diana’s attempt to obtain a phoenix egg as a birthday gift for Queen Hippolyta — with a devastating ambush by the Cheetah to complicate things. Our second story gives Wonder Woman and Big Barda a chance to beat up a bunch of robots — and to tangle with the Brain and Monsieur Mallah. Can Diana find a peaceful way through the crisis?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Really nice art on both stories. The first one reads like a full-length storyarc in less than a full issue, and it’s pretty great. The second one is shorter, but maybe more fun — it’s wonderful to see these classic characters, all in a story that makes sense.

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Campfire Tales


Lumberjanes #9

The Lumberjanes are trying to earn a new merit badge for telling ghost stories, so we get a variety of wacked-out, odd stories, illustrated by luminaries like Faith Erin Hicks, Becca Tobin, Felicia Choo, Carolyn Nowak, and more. Will they all earn their badge? Will they all scare each other silly? Is there something more terrifying waiting and watching them all?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of great stories and lots of great art — and as always, lots of weird, hilarious stuff. Looking forward to the next storyarc of this series.


Sensation Comics #5

Wonder Woman has been sent on a mission to retrieve a couple of Amazons who’ve journeyed into Apokolips. It’s not long before she tangles with the Female Furies and gets rescued by a group of scavengers. But can they help Diana find the missing Amazons? And what were they doing on Apokolips in the first place?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a good done-in-one story with a fun combination of superheroics and superspy intrigue.


The Sandman: Overture #4

Morpheus is traveling with a small girl named Hope and a version of himself that is a cat. He meets up with his father to see if he’ll help save the universe, but his dad is generally unhelpful. We learn how Dream created this crisis — by refusing to destroy a dream vortex until she’d inadvertantly driven an entire planet insane and then refusing to destroy the sun powering the planet, he’d driven the sun into madness and instilled within it a desire to extinguish everything in existence. And with his allies either distant and aloof or completely deleted from the world, Dream finds himself imprisoned somewhere he cannot escape.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Beautiful art, excellent writing, wonderful tension. I do wish this was being produced on a more regular basis — as it is, it would probably be preferable to just collect this into a single graphic novel, rather than collecting the individual issues.

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Wonder of Wonders


Sensation Comics #4

Another three stories here — first, we get the continuation of Gilbert Hernandez’s story from last issue. I didn’t enjoy the first part much, but this one is basically Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Mary Marvel knocking each other around for a half-dozen pages, and it’s basically so over-the-top, it’s completely hilarious. Our second story features Diana grown to a several hundred feet tall to fight a giant monster. And in the third, Wonder Woman, Etta Candy, and Deadman team up to battle Ra’s Al-Ghul.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Again, Hernandez’s story has so many ridiculous punches, and it all ends up so funny. Yeah, Wondy’s arms are maybe a bit too massive, but I found myself a lot more accepting of that when the story was so funny. The other stories are pretty good, too, and they all star pre-Reboot versions of all the characters, which I always approve of.


Revival #25

The bulk of this issue focuses on the facility the feds are using to secretly imprison revivers. The weird reviver cult stages a public protest to publicize its existence, and that leads Sheriff Cypress and his deputies to learn about it, too. Dana learns that Ibrahaim knew about the facility, too, which puts a serious crimp in their developing relationship. Plus the burned assassin reviver attends his daughter’s funeral, and the cult members start nailing themselves to crosses.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not the greatest issue in the world, but not too shabby either. It’ll be interesting to see what happens now that the government’s plans for the revivers has become more public knowledge.


The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1

Welcome to Earth-4, where the heroes from the old Charlton Comics live, like the Question, Blue Beetle, the Peacemaker, Captain Atom, and Nightshade. But what’s got everyone so upset here is that President Harley has just been assassinated — by the Peacemaker. No one seems to know why, and he isn’t talking. Captain Atom is impossibly aloof and more than a little mad because he can see outside of time and space, and the rest of the heroes are useless in the crisis, spending most of their time in pointless squabbles. Why was the president killed? How much of the murder was President Harley’s own idea?

Verdict: Man, I don’t know. It’s a deeply opaque and moderately irritating story — but really, the whole point here is watching Grant Morrison create his own version of Alan Moore’s Watchmen, right down to the intricate panel/page designs, using the very characters that DC wouldn’t let Moore use for his epic. Is it great storytelling? Is it quasi-ironic postmodernism? Is it just one comics genius sniping at another? I wish I could tell you. But I will say that Frank Quitely’s art is, as always, dang fun to look at.

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Boot Hill


Atomic Robo and the Knights of the Golden Circle #5

Helsingard’s zeppelin, the War Machine Basilisk, is on the move, and Atomic Robo, Marshall Bass Reeves, and Doc Holliday are aboard trying to fight off wave of cyborg outlaw soldiers to bring it down. A few problems: Reeves and Holliday are armed with six-shooters, which are not as effective as they’d like, and Robo’s atomic batteries are just about to run bone-dry on him. Can they stop Helsingard’s plans of conquest? Well, that’s a pretty sure thing, actually, since history didn’t show that Helsingard won. But where does this all leave Robo? Nowhere good, either in the past or the present.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Trying not to give away any spoilers — but could Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener maybe start the next series right now? Like, seriously, right now? Because after this cliffhanger, I really, really can’t wait.


Groo vs. Conan #4

Everyone seems to think either Groo or Conan has been slain, but it just ain’t so — their battle continues, with neither able to gain the upper hand. Groo’s stupidity keeps frustrating Conan, while Groo continues trying to destroy the bakery. Elsewhere, Sergio is still hopped up on pills and thinking he’s Conan — and the friendly neighborhood comic shop may still be torn down! Can any hero solve all these problems?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s been a really cool series, very much in the vein of “Archie Meets the Punisher,” with the cartoony Groo meeting up with the more realistic Conan. Lots of good jokes, ranging from the expected stuff from Groo to gags about MAD Magazine — and even Conan gets a few subtle jokes in here and there. Definitely worth picking up the collected edition, whenever it comes out, if you haven’t yet read the series.


Sensation Comics #3

A trio of stories in this one. First, Wonder Woman is a combination of superhero and rock star, meeting fans and confronting bullies; second, Wonder Woman meets up with Catwoman, whose scheme to steal the Golden Fleece has Diana facing a dragon; third, Gilbert Hernandez of “Love and Rockets” writes and illustrates a tale in which Wonder Woman is captured and hypnotized by Kanjar Ro.

Verdict: Thumbs down. None of these stories was particularly well-written. The first one is crammed to the gills with illogic, strawmen, and clumsy dialogue and interaction. The second was full of situations where Wonder Woman does the dumbest possible thing every time. (Take Catwoman out of police HQ? Take her to a cafe? Lug around the loot she stole without leaving it in police custody and without even checking to see what it was? Sure, Diana would do all that stuff.) And the third featured sometimes clumsy artwork and Diana being captured way, way too easily by the aliens.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • The lack of any plans to make movies about the Hulk and Black Widow is really the weirdest thing about the recent Marvel movie announcements. No Hulk movie for Mark Ruffalo? No Black Widow movie starring one of the most bankable actresses and action stars of the decade? What is Marvel smoking?
  • This really is kinda spectacular: the Internet Arcade has a few hundred classic arcade video games you can download and play.
  • Tumblr users seem to take a lot of flack, but they often bring the funny better than anyone else.
  • How ’bout one final Halloween video? This one’s even based on a comic book.

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Purple Prose


Daredevil #8

Matt Murdock meets Kirsten McDuffie’s parents — and they have a business proposition for him. Her dad works in publishing, and he wants Matt to write a tell-all autobiography. It would solve a lot of money problems, but is it really the right thing to do for Daredevil? Meanwhile, the Purple Man — for my money, the absolute rottenest, most vile supervillain in the Marvel Universe — is in San Francisco, collecting the illegitimate children he’s fathered over the years, hoping to turn them into his elite minions — and hoping to finally get the love he craves from them. But it turns out that no one, not even the Purple Man, can resist a bunch of cute little kids…

Verdict: Thumbs up. The Purple Man is an absolutely terrible person, as far as fictional people go. And that makes this issue fun, partly because we get to watch him being absolutely terrible, and partly because we also get to watch absolutely terrible things happen to him.


Sensation Comics #2

Two very nice stories in this one, both set pre-Reboot for added awesomeness. In the first, Wonder Woman discovers that she’s losing her powers, apparently because the gods have abandoned her. Can she stop even routine muggers with fading powers, much less heavy-hitters like the Cheetah?

The second story focuses on Diana’s childhood, where over the course of several years, she attempts to defeat her mother in battle, by hook or by crook, so she can claim one of the silver bracelets she wears.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Neither one of the stories in this issue is bad. Excellent art, fun storytelling — I sure hope they keep this up, ’cause I’d love the whole series to be readable.


Manifest Destiny #10

Turns out those monster mosquitos use humans as incubators, which puts the hosts in jeopardy, but doesn’t tend to kill them. And it gives Clark a chance to capture one of the monsters and determine how to kill it. Meanwhile, it’s been discovered that one of the soldiers raped one of the villagers — Mrs. Boniface wants the man killed, but Lewis, surprisingly, argues for letting him live, primarily because in this hostile territory, they need every able-bodied person to be able to contribute to the group’s survival. Can the group combat the gigantic skeeters? Can they defeat the monster keeping the boat stranded? Will the tensions finally boil over?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very nice horror, hitting everything from pure grossness to simple tension to moral quandries, all lit by nice, bright sunlight.

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Friday Night Fights: Wonder Whupass!

We’re gonna keep this short. If things turn out right, I’ll have gotten the closing done on the new house. If things don’t turn out right, it’s getting pushed back, which will make it harder to get all my stuff moved. Either way, things are about to be too busy for a whole lot of jibber-jabba. So here’s… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from February 1997’s JLA #2 by Grant Morrison, Howard Porter, and John Dell, as Wonder Woman meets up with Fluxus of the villainous Hyperclan.




That’ll do it. I should be able to post on Monday, but things will get good and busy after that. There’s a decent chance I’ll be too busy to come up with a post for Wednesday, but I’ll do what I can. At any rate, y’all have a great weekend.

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Across the Multiverse


Multiversity #1

Nix Uotan is the last Monitor, operating as a multiversal superhero called Superjudge. While answering a distress call from Earth-7 with his sidekick, Mr. Stubbs the Pirate Monkey, he finds a world ruined, with only one superhero left, the Thunderer, an Aboriginal Australian and thunder god laboring under intense psychic attack by transdimensional monsters called the Gentry. Uotan sends the Thunderer to a place called the House of Heroes while he prepares to battle the Gentry.

Far away, on Earth-23, Superman (also known as the President of the United States, which has got to be the world’s worst secret identity) gets teleported to the House of Heroes, where he meets up with Captain Carrot, the Thunderer, Dino-Cop, Aqua-Woman, Red Racer, and heroes from across the Multiverse. They travel to Earth-8, home of Lord Havok and the Extremists, as well as a bunch of superheroes from Marvel — excuse me, from Major Comics. Lord Havok is about to hatch something terrible from the Genesis Egg — but what horror is going to emerge?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s Grant Morrison writing a cosmic story about weird alternate-universe superheroes, with only a slight connection to the New 52, so he’s going to be playing with a bunch of wild characters and concepts. Superman may be our lead hero, but Captain Carrot is where all the fun is. As I’ve said plenty of times before, I’d love to see a revival — a non-dark-and-gritty revival — of Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew.


Sensation Comics #1

Much like “Legends of the Dark Knight” and the more recent “Adventures of Superman,” this is an anthology series of not-necessarily-in-continuity tales, this time entirely focusing on Wonder Woman.

Our first tale, written by Gail Simone and illustrated mostly by Ethan van Sciver, is set gloriously in the pre-Reboot DC Universe. It has Gotham City’s villains teaming up to (temporarily) take down Batman. Looking for a hero to help get Gotham back under control, Oracle (Yes! Oracle!) gets on the phone and calls in Wonder Woman, who comes in throwing actual Wonderangs. But the villains in Gotham are a lot more uncontrolled than most bad guys, and they don’t generally consider anyone less terrifying than Batman to be a real threat. Can Diana put the scare in Gotham’s villains? Or will she find a third way forward?

The second story is, unfortunately, a much more pedestrian battle against Circe.

Verdict: Thumbs up. That first Gail Simone story is really pretty awesome. And not just because it doesn’t have a single whiff of the New 52 about it. Every bit of it is gloriously put together, and it’s really fun to see Diana out of her element and getting challenged by Batman’s mostly-unpowered rogues gallery. If more of the stories in this series are like Gail’s and less like the predictable and dull Circe slugfest, this is going to really be a great series.


Ms. Marvel #7

Kamala and Wolverine narrowly survive an attack by the Inventor’s gigantic sewer alligator and then start making their way out of the sewer. But it turns out the mad genius wasn’t done with them yet and was just luring them into another trap. Can they escape? Can they free the Inventor’s other victims? And what’s gonna happen after Wolverine deduces her true origin?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Some good action, but most of this issue is pleasantly talky, with Wolverine coaxing more of Kamala’s background out of her. The art is a bit odd in places — a little like the Teen Titans cartoon — but in others, it’s really fun to watch how the dialogue will go crawling up a page as the two heroes climb out of the sewer.


Mighty Avengers #13

The immortal wizard-gods called the Deathwalkers are back, and they have a plan to destroy the world using Blade’s blood. Can Blade break free from confinement? Can Power Man track down where he’s being held? Can the combined forces of the Mighty Avengers of the 1970s and the Mighty Avengers of 2014 defeat the boundless evil of the Deathwalkers and their minions? Or is it already too late for the human race?

Verdict: Thumbs up. For starters, no Greg Land on the art! We’ve got Salvador Larroca, who’s way, way better. The rest of the story is fine, but probably not blow-up-the-house awesome.

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Friday Night Fights: Lazarus Punted!

Busy days ’round here, not much time for rigmarole, so let’s just jump right into it. It’s time for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from March 2006’s Plastic Man #20 by Kyle Baker. Plas and company are way in the background, ’cause all the action in this one is between Wonder Woman and Ra’s al-Ghul.






Busy weeks and months ahead — anyone willing to sell me a refrigerator, washer, and drier for cheap? How am I ever gonna get moved into that dang house?

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The Last of Batwoman


Batwoman #24

We know the background of this, do we not? J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman became the latest in a very, very, very long line of comics creators who announced they were going to leave their current comic because of ongoing, insulting, useless, and relentlessly dorky interference from DC Comics brass. While they planned to stay on the book ’til Issue #26, DC decided to go the childish and spiteful route and throw them out the door at Issue #24. Which is where we are now.

So the D.E.O. has decided they want to know who Batman is, and they’re going to use Batwoman to find out his secret identity. First they unleash a bunch of Gotham City’s supervillains on the city. After the Bat-family clears the villains out, Batman goes after Director Bones, and Batwoman steps in to fight the Dark Knight. Meanwhile, Hawkfire is invading one of the D.E.O.’s safehouses so she can rescue Kate’s sister, the former (maybe current) supervillain Alice. And it pretty much ends there, with no real resolution.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nah, I don’t blame Williams and Blackman for the fact that we may never learn how this was going to end. What we get here is good stuff. Lots of action and drama, suspense, two different fast-moving storylines, nice art from Trevor McCarthy, too. It’s a good comic, and I wish it’d been a good comic in the middle of the creators’ final storyarc, instead of an awkward ending. I don’t know if the storyline will be continued. If I were new writer Marc Andreyko, I think I might be tempted to just leave it unfinished, rather than screw with someone else’s story.

Anyway, this is the last week I’ll be buying DC’s mainstream comics. I’ve decided to keep reading Vertigo books — most of them are at least creator-owned — as well as “Batman: Li’l Gotham,” which has the benefit of being funny, cool, and starring characters from before the Reboot. But everything else, including some series I really enjoy, like “Batgirl” and “Batman ’66,” are being left behind. As I’ve said before, I’m tired of seeing creators, characters, and readers disrespected by this company, and I’d rather do what I can to reduce the monetary support that company gets from me.

Of course, I still picked up some other DC books this week, and I’m more than willing to review them while I still can…


Wonder Woman #24

Well, that’s certainly a nicely heavy metal cover, isn’t it?

Apollo has called the other gods together, and since Wonder Woman killed the God of War last issue, that makes her the new God of War now. There’s quite a lot of the kind of backstabbing intrigue we’ve come to expect from gods. The First Born is kinda pointlessly imprisoned right there in front of everyone, and Hera is all weepy over being mortal. There’s really not a whole lot that goes on.

Verdict: Ehh, it’s really not a bad comic at all. I enjoyed most of it just fine. It’s just — there really isn’t a lot that goes on, unless you really groove on gods playing mind games with each other.

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A Little Bit of Hell


Itty Bitty Hellboy #2

Art Baltazar and Franco’s tribute to Mike Mignola’s pulpiest creations continues, as Lobster Johnson arrives on the scene, with his talking blue pet Lobster Smith. They’re on the lookout for the Sasquatch, so all the Hellboy kids gleefully offer to help out. Apparently, looking for Sasquatch involves doing lots and lots of yelling, which bothers Johnson more and more as time goes by. Meanwhile, the bad guys disguise themselves as woodland creatures, Liz starts some fires, and Roger’s underwear continues to be hilarious.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The only thing I have to say about this one is that it’s adorable and funny and awesome. If you loved Tiny Titans or Superman Family Adventures or Patrick the Wolf Boy, you should definitely be reading this.


Young Avengers #10

Mother, the horrible interdimensional parasite who has bedeviled the Young Avengers, matches wits against Loki, gets fairly freaked out by the zombiepuppet version of Patriot, and plots with Leah, who, in her guise as Hulkling’s counselor, works to lead the teen shapeshifter astray.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A very interesting focus on different characters — Mother and Teddy are the two who get most of our attention, but the brief snippets of Loki’s devious mind and Leah’s ruthless deceitfulness are also quite enjoyable. And the art is beautifully done, as is the case in every issue of this series.


Wonder Woman #23.2

Apollo turns some L.A. gangsta girls into his oracles so he can see the full history of the First Born. Basically, he was Zeus and Hera’s first kid, they threw him out of Olympus, he built his own empire of pain and murder, and then the gods laid the smackdown on him.

Verdict: Thumbs down. This could’ve been told within the regular Wonder Woman comics. And it should’ve been, too.

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