24 Oct 2012

Wednesday New Comic Day – Wonder Woman

Me and the wife were looking at comics and comparing how they visually look. We discussed the over sexualized women in comics today. I pointed out Brett Booth who draws women with normal sized breasts, Tony Harris who draws woman of every shape and size, and Kaare Andrews who shows some real talent with Kitty Pride on the cover of Ultimate Comics: X-Men #6.

So after reading a few more reviews I offered up the ‘new 52’ Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman is so iconic due to the TV series and the over fifty years of history. The 'new 52' is a prefect platform to remake the character who needs a refresh more then most. Outside of some brilliant storys by John Byrne and the great writing given to the DC Animated Universe Wonder Womand, she had quite the floundering over the years and never quite getting my attention oiutside of her getting pants. No really, Jim Lee's image change by adding pants was news worthy across the world and the backlash from 'fans' was simply stupifying. I don't understand why pants made her angry, I'm not sure what time I was in but it felt stupid. I felt sad that such a long lived character in the DC portfolio was being used so poorly.

I'm looking at history here and not what the character is now. Now Wonder Woman is somthing new and unique with a new lease in life.  

- Art -

The style of Cliff Chiang is less detail focused and more on motion and had a old school serial aspect to his thick but smooth lines. There is no feel or a pencils presence in the art unlike Jim Lee and David Finch. His pop art influence is more subdued compared to Mike Allred. His takes on the Greek Pantheon is very fantastic. Hades looks so out of place but his presence as a deity come through the absurd and alien nature of his appearance. Hermes looks great and the idea behind Ares bloody foot prints creates an awesome effect. Poseidon I feel was the least creative twist on the Greek god, while his steeds looks great, his look on page just screamed at me ‘Fish, really big Fish’.

- Story -

Brain Azzarello is known for his layered and sharp writing. There is a feeling of something is always going on in the pages and outside of the pages. You feel that the world he’s crafted has a sense of real time to the work. When characters meet, readers have a feeling of something has been happening since we last seen them in book but we were focused on something else. This in the past has been a strong point for my two favourite works of his; 100 Bullets and the 12 issue collaboration with Jim Lee in the story arc Superman: For Tomorrow.

Now when I read his work, I always need to re-read the work because so much is happening I always miss something. When I do go back and re-read the story I always find a nice new morsel that feels like it was saved just for me so I’d enjoy the story more this time around.

I’m not having that feeling with Wonder Woman. The end game gambit in Issue 6 still makes no sense to me and I have no idea what was accomplished outside of pissing off Hades. I’ve gone back a few times and I’m still not sure what happened.

Other then this one portion that has failed to grasp my understanding, the rest of the book reads slick and smooth, very much complimenting the style of Chiang. The characters have a natural flow to them and nothing feels forced or broken. The writing is solid.

- Score -

Wonder Woman is another of the characters that is getting the full revamp treatment from the ‘new 52’ just like Flash and Aquaman. Her background is redone completely and the fresh take is one of the best uses of the Greek Pantheon I’ve seen in a long time. I’m looking forward to seeing the connection to the rise of the New Gods. The eventual link up with the Wonder Woman seen in Justice League, how one becomes the other since they seem to be two different characters.

Wonder Woman gets a score of 3. Chiang’s smooth art and Axxarello’s unforced dialogue merge well into a great book but the end of the current arc leaves me with a bad taste. I’d give a higher score but the final moments of a story arc should make sense to a reader who’s desperately trying to figure it out, while this version of the character is almost completely different to the Justice League version creates a rift I’m unable to ignore.

The work is good and I’m hoping it only gets better through issues 7-12. Take a look and see if this would be for you, it is very much worth a look if nothing else.