Batman: The Merciless 1: Discussion

by Michael DeLaney and Mark Mitchell

This article containers SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Michael: Remember when Superman and Wonder Woman were an item and how boring that was? Same. As a fan who was raised on the DCAU, I’ve always preferred the Trinity pairing of Batman and Wonder Woman. And since the events of Batman: The Merciless 1 hinge on Bruce mourning the loss of his beloved Diana, I’d say Pete Tomasi agrees with me. Continue reading

Wonder Woman 21

Today, Mark and Spencer are discussing Wonder Woman 21, originally released April 26th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Mark: Wonder Woman 21 is a showcase for the whole of Wonder Woman — from her physical strength to her compassion for those in need — that continues Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp, and company’s holistic rehabilitation of the character. And after Diana has taken the backseat in the past few even-numbered issues, it feels appropriate to have her front-and-center as the narrative loop begins to close. Continue reading

Wonder Woman 12

wonder-woman-12

Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Wonder Woman 12, originally released December 14th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Michael: There was a lot of emotions on both sides of the recent U.N. decision to drop Wonder Woman as an honorary ambassador. Detractors believed that the fictional character was “the epitome of a pin-up girl,” while lifelong fans see her as a figure of peace and equality. Regardless of your personal feelings, when you step back and look at the whole thing, it’s just another example of us defining what Wonder Woman – and women in general – are allowed to be. In both “Year One” and “The Lies,” Greg Rucka has been exploring how we have historically defined Wonder Woman, while building towards what she is today. Continue reading

Wonder Woman 34

wonder woman 34Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Wonder Woman 34, originally released October 1st, 2014

“Hey mouse, say cheese.”
<Bart takes a picture of the Itchy robot, scrambling its circuits.>
“With a dry cool wit like that, I could be an action hero.”

Bart Simpson, Itchy & Scratchy Land

Patrick: It’s a good thing all of our action heroes have a team of writers working quietly behind them, because audiences hold this irrational expectation that heroic actions be punctuated by hilarious, insightful, precise quips. This is a trend that I’ve come to hate, largely because those pure little micro-tweets are so seldom earned. How do you put a character through the paces so thoroughly that acerbic wit feels natural tumbling out of their victorious mouths? They’re not poets or comedians or scholars — they’re warriors, but somehow they know to belch out a characteristically perfect “Yippy-kai-yay, motherfucker” or a “Welcome to Earth” or even a “get away from her, you bitch!” Thing is: those three examples all work because we’re there with Bruce Willis, Will Smith and Sigourney Weaver. It’s not just about having the dry cool wit, but waiting until the audience and the character need the release of such a quip, instead of handing them out willy-nilly. As Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang narrow in on their epic Wonder Woman conclusion, they’re cashing in on all those cheesy action movie beats. And they’ve earned every damn second — the result is unadulterated climax, satisfying on just about every level. Continue reading

Wonder Woman 23

wonder woman 23

Today, Shelby and guest writer Nate are discussing Wonder Woman 23, originally released August 21st, 2013.

Shelby: Remember 22 issues ago, when Brian Azzarello relaunched Wonder Woman with the question: where is Zeus? We are no closer to answering that question, but honestly I don’t care in the least. Azz has flawlessly incorporated the Greek pantheon into this contemporary story, and has along the way crafted complex, believable, interesting characters. This issue feels like the cumulation of all that character work. We have the death of one god and the birth of another, and who knows what the repercussions will be for these characters we’ve grown so very fond of.

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Wonder Woman 20

wonder woman 20

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

Wonder Woman 14

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).

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Wonder Woman 13

Alternating Currents: Wonder Woman 13, Taylor and Scott

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.

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Wonder Woman 0

Alternating Currents: Wonder Woman 0, Drew and TaylorToday, 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