Today, Drew and Scott are discussing Wonder Woman 20, originally released May 15th, 2013.
I said, war, huh Good God, y’all What is it good for Absolutely nothing Say it again
– Edwin Starr
Drew: War is ugly. There’s death, there’s destruction, there’s misery, but I think the ugliest thing about war is that we’ll never be free of it — it’s in our nature. Things quickly escalate from the desire to protect the people and things we care about, to a “the best defense is a good offense” mentality, to tit-for-tat reciprocity. It’s all too easy to see how vast groups of people — motivated only to do what is right for their loved ones — could be compelled to all-out war. In his Wonder Woman run, Brian Azzarello has traced this trajectory with grim fascination, simmering the tension along as the situation slowly escalates. This month finds that tension boiling over with three factions engaged in war — with the added complication that War itself is also a character. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Scott are discussing Wonder Woman 19, originally released April 17th, 2013.
Drew: Wonder Woman 18 ended on an atypically happy note — Zola was reunited with her baby, Diana and Ares seemed to have patched things up, Hera had found a bottle of wine — but the end of those good times is lurking around every corner. Unfortunately, Diana and friends may be caught unawares, mistaking their recent battles for the coming war. Indeed, when wagering on the outcome of that war, Poseidon discounts Diana, suggesting that he “always bet[s] against a player who doesn’t know they’re in the game.” Poseidon has made the mistake of underestimating Diana before, but he may have a point: while her adversaries are arming themselves, Diana seems to be distracted by more basic team maintenance. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Scott are discussing Wonder Woman 18, originally released March 20th, 2013.
Drew: Wonder Woman is a hard title to pin down, which makes sense, given that its hero is equally slippery. Detractors might cite Diana’s unknowability as weak characterization, but as we saw in issue 9, that distance may be the sharpest weapon in writer Brian Azzarello’s arsenal. Azzarello seems to relish ambiguity, focusing on heroes that are anything but predictable. Issue 18 multiplies this effect, capitalizing on his large cast of equally oblique characters to produce a staggering parade of surprises.
Today, Scott and Taylor are discussing Wonder Woman 16, originally released February 20th, 2013.
Scott: Early on in Wonder Woman 17, Lennox calls Diana out for the ever-expanding “motley crew” she surrounds herself with. It’s a moment of self-awareness on the part of Brian Azzarello, who gets a lot of attention for his habit of constantly incorporating new characters into the Wonder Woman universe. It’s something that can be off-putting for readers who are not immersed in the universe, and it’s a daring move in a medium that published monthly. I’m sure some casual readers flipped through this issue and found it thoroughly confusing and, save for the giant shark attack, kind of boring. But for readers who have kept up with the series, this issue did not have a dull moment.
Today, Shelby and guest writer James D’Amato are discussing Wonder Woman 16, originally released January 23rd, 2012.
Shelby: Gods, gods everywhere. Brian Azzarello does not take a “less is more” approach when it comes to the pantheon; we’ve got old gods, older gods, demigods, new gods, and non-gods. Not to mention ice giants and cyborg women. If it all sounds a little confusing, well, it is; Azzarello is juggling a lot of chainsaws with Wonder Woman. On top of it all, we’ve still got the $64,000 question that everyone seems to have forgotten about: where is Zeus? Continue reading →
We generally avoid quantifying our enthusiasm around here — we’ll gladly praise or condemn comics as our tastes dictate, but turning that into a grade or a score makes us uncomfortable. As there are in our pull-list, there are holes in this ‘Best of’ list. Mea culpa. We’ve had some great experiences with comics this year, and these are the series that were consistently fun, thoughtful and beautiful. Too subjective for a year-end list? Ignore the rankings. Any way you slice it, these are fantastic series that deserve the scrutiny we heap on everything. Each is a rewarding read and well worth your attention. Our picks for the top 12 series of 2012:
Today, Drew and Scott are discussing Wonder Woman 15, originally released December 19th, 2012.
Drew: We’ve said it before, and I’m sure we’ll say it again: comic books are modern mythology. This is an idea Brian Azzarello has devoted Wonder Woman to exploring. I always like when art self-reflects in this way, but Azzarello never does anything so simply. The intersection of ancient mythology and comics mythology has proven to be fertile ground for essays on the nature of myth, but has tied the discussion to the world of fiction. In Wonder Woman 15, Azzarello confronts us with mythologized characters from reality, opening up the whole world of art-imitating-life-imitating-art discussions. It’s a strange, complicated arena of thought, but with Azzarello at the helm, I’m sure it will be a satisfying one. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Taylor are discussing Wonder Woman 14, originally released November 21st, 2012.
Scott: ‘Tis the season for excess. We eat too much, spend too much, we eat too much again and, when things start feeling a little hectic, we tend to think too much. So, as I sit here debating whether to have more stuffing or more mashed potatoes, I can’t help but wonder if Wonder Woman is biting off more than it can chew. Of course, that’s silly; this comic has proven time and time again that it is one of the most clever and well thought-out series around. So the fact that this issue followed four separate storylines in four distant locations shouldn’t worry me, right? But if Wonder Woman is going to turn into the great meal I know it can be, at some point all of these different ingredients are going to have to come together on one plate, so to speak (I don’t know if I’m trying too hard to make this into a Thanksgiving analogy, or not hard enough).
Today, Taylor and Scott are discussing Wonder Woman 13, originally released October 17th, 2012.
Taylor: Continuity is a something I appreciate. I enjoy waking up in the morning having a fairly good sense of who I am, where I am, what I’ve been doing and what I need to do during the coming day. I also appreciate continuity in its more mundane and nuanced forms; I appreciate the fact that I can expect my coffee to taste a certain way and even that I can expect the people I know to behave and think in a similar to fashion to that of the day before. Most days I can appreciate the regularity of the subway that takes me to work every morning, but as happens every so often (or more often than not lately), that continuity and expectation of service is broken. Whether it’s an equipment malfunction, signal failures, or a sick passenger, the Red Line of the CTA has a knack for failing to deliver on its promised, regular service that drives me to absolute madness. Maybe I appreciate regularity more than the normal person, but I think most people can appreciate a certain amount of continuity in their life, whether it’s in their daily commute or their comic books. Wonder Woman is a title that garners a fair amount of its strength from consistency, which by no means is a bad thing.
Today, Drew and (guest writer) Taylor Anderson are discussing Wonder Woman 0, originally released September 19th, 2012. Wonder Woman 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Drew: There’s a lot we take for granted in art. We accept the two-dimensionality of the canvas or the artificiality of a omniscient narrator as givens. It often takes an artist commenting on the arbitrariness of those boundaries for us to notice them at all, but that in itself has become almost expected. In comics, those expectations manifest in creative layouts and narrative devices, but it’s rarer that a creative team might challenge the arbitrariness of their tone. In Wonder Woman 0, writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chaing set out to do just that, delivering a brilliant deconstruction of modern comics via an apparent deconstruction of the Silver Age. Continue reading →