I was going to open with some snotty Wow, the holidays went by super-quickly! comment, but then I read the first issue of Justice League in seven weeks. Sometimes DC gets ahead of itself; sometimes it’s a little behind. Happens to the best of us — sometimes you do two solicitation roundups in three weeks….
Anyway, with the January solicitations, the New-52 books each turn five issues old. Series wrapping up their first arcs this month include Blackhawks, Batwoman, Animal Man, and the Deadman feature in DC Universe Presents. (Not to worry about the latter, because there is a lot of Deadman in these solicits.) I’m not sure why five issues is such a wonky number for story arcs — there are five-issue miniseries all the time and they collect just fine. Still, I expected most of the New-52 books to take six issues for their introductory stories, and most of them may yet do that. Only a few books look to finish their first arcs after December’s issue #4s (Hawkman and Frankenstein, probably OMAC, maybe Batgirl), and those plus this month’s are barely an eighth of the relaunched line. It makes next month’s solicits more intriguing, I suppose.
Regardless, we live in the now (as it were…) so — onward to January!
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It’s perhaps a little fitting that Wonder Woman’s first post-relaunch visit to Themyscira, a magical, hidden island that can teleport to any location or time, should have echoes of Lost. In the preview of this week’s Wonder Woman #2, from the Maxim magazine website of all places, we get our first exposure to the (re-) rebranded Paradise Island, complete with unnerving, and downright threatening, whispers, and Others Amazons emerging from the shadows of the jungle.
Also worth noting: Queen Hippolyta is blonde again, for the firs time since, when, the 1987 relaunch? Wonder Woman #2, by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, goes on sale Wednesday.
DC Comics has begun parceling out its January solicitations ahead of the full release this afternoon, revealing Tony Akins as the first fill-in artist for Wonder Woman. As noted last week, Cliff Chiang will still provide the cover for Issue 5, which finds Diana back home in London dealing with “two of the most powerful deities of the pantheon.”
Chiang and Wonder Woman writer Brian Azzarello had one of the most acclaimed debuts in DC’s New 52.
Beyond that, the creative teams in the Justice League, Superman and Batman groups, the only solicitations released so far, appear stable in the fifth month of DC’s relaunch. The covers range from dazzling — Wonder Woman by Chiang, Batwoman by J.H. Williams III and Batgirl by Adam Hughes are particularly noteworthy – to confounding. Starfire appears to be bleeding from her hair on Red Hood and the Outlaws (damned cheap Tamaranian dye jobs), while the covers of Detective Comics and Superman employ some oddly executed split images.
And then there’s the enormous demonic creature gnawing on Nightwing …
Check out some of the highlights, and lowlights, below, and visit Comic Book Resources at 2 p.m. PT to see DC’s full solicitations for January.
Shirts For A Cure, a project started by the Syrentha J. Savio Endowment to raise money in their efforts to provide financial assistance to underprivileged women who cannot afford breast cancer medicine and therapy, sells exclusive shirts for various bands and musical artists on their site. And they’ll be at the New York Comic Con this weekend selling shirts created by artists like Mike Cavallaro (his design is shown above), Molly Crabapple and Brian Ewing.
And even if you can’t attend the con, go check out their site … they’ve got some cool shirts for a great cause.
New York Comic Con may not kick off for another couple of days, but DC Comics is already parceling out some of its big announcements. On Sunday, there was news that Andy Kubert will join Grant Morrison for two issues of Action Comics, and now comes word that another major change is in store for Wonder Woman.
The New York Post reports that after nearly 70 years, the Amazing Amazon will receive … a father. Warning: Spoilers!
I like Wonder Woman. She’s one of the relatively few superheroes I genuinely root for. Not in a “I hope she defeats this villain” or “I hope she doesn’t get killed during the course of this dangerous adventure” sort of way, of course, because she is a superhero, and therefore always concludes her adventures safely and successfully.
Rather, I root for the character in the real world, in a “I hope this comic book of hers turns out good” or “I hope this is the take on Wonder Woman that catches on, and proves to folks that she’s just as good a character as Superman and Batman, her caretakers have just lost their way over the years.”
That’s why I get really excited when I see something like Ben Caldwell‘s too-crowded and laid-out but otherwise pitch-perfect Wednesday Comics strip, or proposals for YA and manga-influenced Wonder Woman comics from the likes of Caldwell and Tintin Pantojo or, hell, even just a really nice Wonder Woman drawing or character design in an unofficial venue (that is, one that’s not paid for and published by DC).
Personally, the release of Wonder Woman #1 was the comic of “The New 52″ I was therefore most excited about.
As an observer of DC, I don’t think it’s the most important offering, which would probably have been Justice League, as DC’s flagship title and declaration of intent written and drawn by two-thirds of the folks responsible for the relaunch/reboot. And/or perhaps Action Comics and Detective Comics, as DC’s two foundational books given historical renumberings as a sign of how serious the company is about starting over. And/or, from a fan perspective, even Batgirl, as a barometer of how the company would deal with continuity, which, in Barbara Gordon’s case, was an anyway-you-look-at-it positive, rather than baggage (And baggage is how continuity is usually perceived, although I’d argue that perception really reflects an accumulation of bad stories, not the longevity of a narrative in general).
But Wonder Woman is a comic and concept badly in need a ground-up reinvention of the sort several characters seem to be getting (like Green Arrow, for example), as evidenced by the fits and starts of the title over the last few years, and DC’s noticeable confusion of what to do with her.
With another wave of debuts for DC Comics’ New 52 — including Batman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Legion of Super-Heroes — comes another round of previews, interviews and assorted articles. Here are some of the highlights.
• Vulture previews the highly anticipated debut of Batman, by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, and chats briefly with the writer about the appeal of the Caped Crusader: “What appeals to me, no matter who’s in the cowl, is how Gotham City challenges them. Gotham is almost a nightmare generator, filled with villains that seem to represent an extension of Batman’s greatest fears. A lot of his greatest villains feel like mirrors: the Joker is who Batman would be if he broke his rule and fell into madness; Two Face is a mockery of the duality of his life. But what I love about Bruce in particular, and the reason I’m so excited to be doing Batman, is he’s a superhero that has no powers. He takes it upon himself to go out every night, punish himself, and be the best out there. To me, that is both incredibly heroic and exciting, but also really pathological and obsessive.”
DC editor Chris Conroy took over DC’s Twitter feed today, and he’s been sharing concept art, pages and tidbits about some of his books all day. Conroy edits Superboy, Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, Legion of Super-Heroes and Demon Knights, and here are a few of the tidbits he’s shared:
–Mike Choi will draw Demon Knights #4 (that’s his cover at the top of the post).
–Walt Simonson will draw Legion of Super-Heroes #5.
–The red-head in Superboy #1 is who most people seem to think it is.
–Cliff Chiang’s original artwork from Wonder Woman will be on display at Bergen Street Comics in Brooklyn beginning Sept. 24.
–Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder have “big plans” for when Animal Man and Swamp Thing meet up.
And after the jump you’ll find a whole bunch of art, which I’ll update if he posts more.
A lovely new piece of art popped up last night on Tumblr for Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s upcoming run on Wonder Woman. New to us, in any case, as Chiang writes that it’s actually “an early promo image we cooked up to visualize our take on Wonder Woman. The original version has pants!”
Wonder Woman #1, by Azzarello and Chiang, arrives Sept. 21.
If you’ve been worrying about what direction DC Comics’ beleaguered Wonder Woman title might take with the September relaunch, writer Brian Azzarello offers reassurance that likely will either leave you screeching with joy, or clutching your heart.
“People need to relax, she’s not wearing pants,” he tells the Coventry Telegraph. “But it’s not going to be a superhero book. I can guarantee you that, it’s not a superhero book. It’s a horror book.”
That, of course, puts into perspective the solicitation text for the first three issues of the series, by Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang, which has been sprinkled with … well, let’s call it foreboding. Plus, there’s the cover for November’s Issue 3.
However, if the idea of Wonder Woman as horror doesn’t exactly instill you with confidence — I’m intrigued by the possibility — there’s the insistence by Azzarello that this is a “soft reboot,” meaning he and Chiang aren’t jettisoning the character’s history. But more importantly, there’s his assertion that DC’s “Trinity” concept hasn’t really worked — “There’s Superman and there’s Batman and there’s everybody else” — but that it can.
“The first issue’s all done and we’re running right up to the edge, as far as what we can get away with,” Azzarello tells the newspaper. “We’re pushing the envelope with this one. I firmly believe that that’s what this character needs right now.”
Wonder Woman #1 arrives in stores on Sept. 21.
Cosmic Book News continues to parcel out scans from the DC Comics: The New 52 preview, offering a look at a page from Aquaman #1 by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis and Joe Prado, as well as penciled art from Wonder Woman #1, by Cliff Chiang and Brian Azzarello (see the full pages at Cosmic Book News). It’s worth noting that the latter provides further confirmation that the star-spangled shorts are indeed returning.
Check out the Aquaman art after the break. DC Comics: The New 52 preview will be available later today at Comic-Con International in San Diego and in comic stores nationwide. Wonder Woman #1 goes on sale Sept. 21, followed a week later by Aquaman #1.
Despite her depictions on promotional materials and the covers for the debut issues of Justice League and her own title, it appears as if Wonder Woman will once again don star-spangled shorts come DC Comics’ September relaunch.
The evidence emerged this morning with the announcement of the DC Comics: The New 52 preview book that will be released next Wednesday in comic shops and at Comic-Con International in San Diego. In the upper left-hand corner of the cover is a slightly modified version of Cliff Chiang’s art for Wonder Woman #1, with the Amazon Princess now sporting shorts for the first time in more than a year — when Jim Lee’s divisive costume redesign was introduced as part of J. Michael Straczynski’s short-lived new direction for the character.
Wonder Woman #1, by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, will be released on Sept. 21.
I already have one Cliff Chiang shirt in my wardrobe, and hopefully come San Diego I’ll have another — the above shirt from Epic Proportions, a Comic-Con exclusive. EP has a whole line of signature tees by artists like Walt Simonson and Geof Darrow, so hopefully this will just be the first of many from Chiang.
For more on the shirt and Chiang’s upcoming run on Wonder Woman, head over to PopCultureShock for an interview.
[Note: This post was written Wednesday night, before the latest round of announcements.]
I was barely into the back yard when the lawn mower exploded.
This mower was far from new. My wife had owned it since a few years before we met, and it may have been old when she got it. It had cut the grass of at least four different addresses in three different states, and had been maintained and serviced fairly faithfully throughout its life. This summer, however, its persistent little engine had been making ominous noises that my amateur care could not entirely mitigate. When it ran over that big limb, which it tried mightily to shred as it had so many others, the stresses proved to be too much. The next thing I knew, there was a puff of smoke, a spray of oil, and a silver-dollar-sized hole in the mower’s side.
I pointed that out to my wife, to drive home the extent of the damage. “See that in the hole? That’s the piston.”
“We’ll take it to Sears in the morning,” was her reply.
Well, needless to say, by this point we were talking about an ex-mower. The most the Sears mechanics could suggest was to order a part that would cost more than a new mower. This was the tipping point for my wife, when practicality superseded sentiment. Indeed, the new mower is remarkably efficient by comparison, atomizing clippings and leaving a uniform green carpet in its wake. It is cool and bloodless, like a Secret Service agent or an athlete in prime condition. With luck, it will serve us as long and as well as its predecessor.
Now, clearly I am not telling you about my lawn mower because this has turned into “Grumpy Old Garden.” Neither am I saying DC had a gaping hole in its superhero line and we readers thought it could be simply patched. There was, and is, no simple solution — not even starting over entirely — to DC’s array of small and large ailments. A few weeks ago I talked about the relationships we readers form with these characters over time, and I can see a couple of ways to roll back whatever Flashpoint facilitates.
Still, after a week’s worth of pondering September’s lineup, I have decided it is time to embrace the new.
… I’d be down with that. But while that may not be the case, this piece featuring Wonder Woman and other DC heroines in a Runaways-esque pose drawn by Cliff Chiang will be included in the HeroesCon art auction this weekend. Which is pretty rockin’.