Axel-In-Charge: Navigating the "Civil War II" Landscape, Bringing DMC to Marvel
The Internet is littered with the corpses of dead Wonder Woman movie pitches; heck, just within the last couple of weeks, Chronicle writer Max Landis let it be known during a Reddit AMA session that he intends to approach Warner Bros. soon. This morning, U.K. comics creator Nigel Auchterlounie posted this on his blog, linking to it on Twitter with the wise words “I’ve worked out how to do a #WonderWoman, took half an hour. DC could probably do better if they spent all day on it”.
For 30 minutes’ work, it’s not bad at all. That opening image reminded me of Zenith Book One: Tygers, so I asked him if it was a deliberate reference. He replied, “No. It must have been a subconscious thing. I loved Zenith so it is up there somewhere.” Auchterlounie stresses that this isn’t the movie the studio should make, but if he can come up with this on the spot in one morning, how hard can it be for Warner Bros. to figure it out with people working on the project full time? It’s a fair point: Both Warner’s television and movie wings have crashed multiple versions of Wonder Woman in recent years. Clearly people there have developed a severe case of the Yips over this character, while every comic reader slaps their forehead in disbelief.
I do love Auchterlounie’s work: His book Spleenal came out a few years ago from Blank Slate, and is absolutely brilliant. His cute cartooning style can hide a sophisticated writer: Spleenal tied a Robert Crumb-esque depiction of the sexually transgressive thinking at the back of a married man’s psyche to freewheeling science fiction story engines.
Amazingly, he also has a parallel comics career with DC Thomson, working on some of the oldest and best-loved children’s characters in UK comics history in their 75-year-old anthology The Beano. I’m looking forward to his next Blank Slate book, Weak As I Am, which is a superhero story, after a fashion. It was originally serialized on his blog, but has had nearly all traces removed for the book’s release in November. It’s another work in the style of Spleenal, where the normal domestic life of the book’s cast gets distorted and complicated hugely by the introduction of sci-fi/fantasy elements. The first chapter is still posted, and now works as a teaser for the upcoming physical edition.