Wonder Woman Volume 1: Blood


Over the holiday I decided to give the new Wonder Woman series a shot and read Wonder Woman Volume 1: Blood to check out the New 52’s Diana. So how was it?

I really didn’t know what to expect with Brian Azzarello writing. I enjoyed a lot of his work, especially 100 Bullets, and seem to have him pigeonholed in my mind as being more of a crime comics writer. So I was doubly surprised to see him not only writing a Wonder Woman book but one that wound up being very mythology based.

The plot was a little confusing for me at first, but it reads more like a family soap opera based in Greek mythology. Zeus rules this family and is a bit of a man whore; he’s had countless children with random gods, mortals and demigods. The latest woman to carry a Zeus baby is a Virginian named Zola, who is wanted dead by Zeus’ wife Hera and son Apollo. Wonder Woman gets swept up into this after she herself finds out her true origin; she wasn’t made from clay but is the product of a one night stand between her mother Hippolyta and Zeus! It’s up to her and her half-god brother Hermes to protect Zola and the unborn child. Along the way she  also has to confront her mother–and the rest of the Amazonians–about her true parentage.

Reading this, it felt like there was a lot going on and took a few re-reads to pick up on everything. It was very well written, but I just had too hard of a time getting it to click. On the art side, Cliff Chiang’s art is always amazing and I loved every page.

I’m going to give this book a thumbs up, even though it wasn’t for me. If you like mythology or intertwining family drama, this is the book for you.

12 Gifts of Christmas: Wonder Woman Blender

Wonder Woman is a hero to the world, but is she a hero in the kitchen? We will never no for sure, but she can at least help you. Kitchen Aid has this really cool Wonder Woman themed blender/mixer that makes an awesome conversation piece for your kitchen.

Unfortunately this might be a little too difficult to get for a last minute gift, as its only available in Brazil. But if your seeing a Wonder Woman fan after the holidays….

Wonder Woman: Amazon. Hero. Icon.


I love coffee table books. And you all know I love comics. That said, I was happy to look at Bob Greenberger’s Wonder Woman: Amazon. Hero. Icon.

The book takes a widescreen look at arguably the most important female super hero in the history of comics.

The book is filled with large prints of Wonder Woman artwork and comics pages, both of which are the hallmark of a good coffee table book. But if you’re looking to find out why Wonder Woman is so important, this book doesn’t necessarily share that.

Don’t get me wrong. Greenberger’s research on the topic is well done. The early chapters which chronicle the life of William Moulton Marston are fascinating and worth a read for them alone. The problem with this book is the subject itself; Wonder Woman just isn’t that interesting.

And it really pains me to say that. I mean, I did enjoy reading it and learned some new things. The art was beautiful. But what it made me realize that Wonder Woman hasn’t really had that many poignant or memorable stories over the years. She just kind of happens to be along for the ride in the DC Universe. It’s a shame that such an important and strong character has been perpetually the second–and usually third–fiddle.

Before you all pull the “well you just don’t like lady super hero card” let me remind you that this is someone who has an extensive collection of Dazzler, Spider-Woman and Power Girl comics. Don’t go there. You won’t win.

It left me with the feeling that the most important thing about Wonder Woman isn’t so much the character itself but what it symbolizes: strong, independent women everywhere. It just annoys me that there isn’t this great legacy of strong material, which should be fitting for such a good character.

If there is, please let me know what I’ve been missing out on.

Wonder Woman: The Odyssey, Volume 1

I want to talk about Wonder Woman today. I usually don’t spend too much time with this character, but I just finished reading Wonder Woman: The Odyssey Volume 1. And you know what? I enjoyed it.

The Odyssey is a story by mega writer J. Michael Straczynski and Phil Hester (who I pretty much link to his awesome time as penciller on Green Arrow) and deals with Wonder Woman realizing that everything is wrong with her life. Know, she didn’t have a bad date with Steve Trevor. But everything is different.

Her history has changed drastically and its up to Wonder Woman to find out how to fix it. Things are a lot more different than she is used to. The Amazons are hiding out in the slummier parts of New York City, as their home of Paradise Island has been destroyed and their queen Hippolyta is dead. To make things worse, the Morrigan–the war-goddess responsible for this–will not rest till every last Amazon is dead! You can see how this is a problem for Wonder Woman.

This was the first half of the story, and it was compelling enough for me to want to track down the second half. I can’t be the only one to like this. The New York Times had this ranked as the number one bestselling hardcover fiction book back on June 26. Good job, JMS and Hester!

What’s noticeable about this comic is the new costume designed by Jim Lee. It’s a lot more functional than her traditional gear, and the idea of Wonder Woman wearing long pants and a bomber jacket seemed to be too much for many fans. At first I wasn’t necessarily sold on the look, but Don Kramer made it work in this book. I like the new look, although her gauntlets look a little awkward due to her rolled up sleeves. Anyway, this was a fun read.

So what did you think?

30 Things I Like About Comics—#13 Mike Deodato

Mike Deodato sketching at New York Comic-Con 2009

Mike Deodato sketching at New York Comic-Con 2009 (courtesy http://www.flickr.com/excalipoor)

Brazil can lay claim to being the home to the samba dance, the capoeira fighting style, Max Cavalera and his thrash metal bands Sepultura and Soulfly, and Mike Deodato, who happens to be one of my favorite comic book artists.

One of the things that separates him from his peers and puts him closer to artists like Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock is that Deodao has distinct phases of his career.

If you look at his work from the 1990s, it really fits the Image Comics style that was all the rage. There is a strong influence of Jim Lee, especially in the way he constructs his figures. On the clothing side, he takes some fashion tips from Rob Liefeld in his designs. Some people think that this part of his carer, although good, is dated. I don’t agree with that. There is a certain amount of motion and detail in his work from this period that will always stand out. Some of his best work from this period is the “Worldengine” story in Thor with Warren Ellis. His versions of the Asgardians and their world were breathtaking. He also had a really good run on Wonder Woman with William Mesner-Loebs.

Deodato seemed to have disappeared from the comics world for a while and came back to Marvel with a vengeance in the mid 2000s. His new/current style involves a lot of negative space and shadows, creating a dark and moody environment for the characters. Even the way he draws people has changed, going to a much more photo-realistic style reminiscent of Brian Hitch. Primarily he has been working on Avengers related books, like New Avengers, Secret Avengers and Thunderbolts, and even had a really good run on Amazing Spider-Man as well. This new style debuted on a run of Incredible Hulk with Bruce Jones, which was more espionage than action/adventure. This new look was perfect.

For more information, pictures of some of his recent work and art sales, visit Glass House Graphics.

So let’s talk about the new Justice League

Justice League of America in 2011 by Jim LeeThis new picture of the new Justice League by Jim Lee has been circulating around today. The lineup has been known for some time now, but this is a better look at their modified character designs.

Aquaman looks the same as ever and so does Flash and Green Lantern. The one big thing on all these costumes is all the piping that makes it look like they’re wearing some sort of armor. That reminds me of how the DCU characters looked in the Mortal Kombat vs. DC game a few years back.

The big three seem to have the most changes. Wonder Woman is still wearing something similar to her recent revamp, except this new look has no yellow or the jacket. She’s also back to her more traditional style books as opposed to the 1980s stirrup biker pants. Also note the lack of American flag motifs, which I wonder (haha!) was a conscious effort to broaden her global appeal.

Superman and Batman really look like they bought their costumes together. They’ve both dropped wearing underwear on the outside, and Superman seems to be sporting a utility belt of some sort. Maybe its so he can carry his allergy medicine; I’ve heard pollen is just as bad as kryptonite.

And poor Cyborg, well, he looks like he’s wearing Lex Luthor armor. Sorry dude.

The other interesting thing is that in that picture is that there seem to be other JLA types on either side. In the blue panel, its Deadman, Atom, Element Woman (thank Bleeding Cool for identifying who it was; I had no idea) and Firestorm. For those who don’t know, Element Woman is a new character, pretty much a female version of Elemento, who debuted in the Flashpoint miniseries. I guess she survives it.

On the right, a red panel consisting of Green Arrow (you would thin that him being a life-long liberal would put him on the blue/left side ;)), Black Canaray, Hawkman and Mera, Aquaman’s wife.

I wonder what the significance of these two groups are; maybe something with the new guard vs. the old guard. Who knows.