Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing The Wicked + The Divine 1831 1, originally released September 21st, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
Spencer: The Wicked + The Divine‘s Pantheon live in a perpetual cycle of rebirth: as the opening scrawl reminds us, these deities are reborn every 90 years, whether they like it or not. It’s unclear exactly how much the Pantheon can remember of their previous incarnations — if they remember anything at all — but I get the impression that however much they remember, it’s not enough. Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans use The Wicked + The Divine 1831 to give readers their first extended glimpse at a previous Pantheon, and it proves to be enlightening in many ways. Turns out the Pantheon are caught in quite a few perpetual cycles, and most of them are far more destructive than their rebirths. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Drew are discussing Wonder Woman 31, originally released May 21st, 2014.
“What kind of madness?”
“Men sometimes generate a good kind…you’ll see.”
Aleka and Zola, Wonder Woman 31
Scott: Zola issues this reassurance to the Amazons, whose world is about to be turned upside down by the arrival of men on Paradise Island. It’s interesting that Zola feels this way; most of the trouble in her life has been caused by men. She was impregnated by Zeus (who’s still missing, by the way), held captive by Hades, and had her baby nearly killed by Apollo. She could easily have turned against men, but she’s wise enough to realize these are anomalies, and far more men have helped her along the way. Men, like many other groups, often get a bad rap because of the actions of a select few. As Wonder Woman 31 shows, sometimes those actions are unspeakably horrific, but prejudice will do nothing to overcome them. The good, both men and women, must unite to defeat the evil.
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Wonder Woman 26, originally released December 18th, 2013.
Patrick: On Brian Azzarello’s Mount Olympus, the gods and demigods all serve very specific purposes. When he shows up out of nowhere at the end of the issue, Dio identifies himself as the god of “the truffle harvest, tragedies, luxuries, parks and galleries.” That’s a weird concept, but one we always embrace when discussing mythological creatures: sure, I get why we need a god of the hunt (or wine or sword making or whatever). But, like, it’s a nonsense conceit, made all the more explicit by Zola asking “what’s a truffle?” Beyond being avatars of various nouns, the gods are also a family, and the roles they play within that family are just as indicative of the parts they play in this on-going drama. They are victims and bullies, martyrs and defenders, cousins, long-lost-sisters and little brothers. The mix of the divine and the human is sublime, making every turn of this series as surprising as it is inevitable. Continue reading →
What comes before anything? What have we always said is the most important thing?
Michael Bluth, Arrested Development
Drew: Family. What would we be without them? No, seriously: they’re there from the start, and they have a profound effect on the people we eventually become. For better or for worse, who they are and how they interact with us largely shape who we are and how we act. The same can be said of who they aren’t — perhaps in spite of what we want them to be — which can have just as significant effect on the people we become. As a character, the First Born is far more defined by the absence of his family, but how that manifests is just as subtle and specific as any other family dynamic. Continue reading →
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.
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 (special guest writer) Siri Hellerman are discussing Wonder Woman 10, originally released June 20th, 2012.
Drew: Fantasy is always going to have an exposition problem. It’s hard enough establishing who everyone is and what their motivations are elegantly without having to explain the rules of various magics or the politics between various races. This is especially true of myths, where the stories are often distilled down to their essence, such that any details (which could otherwise be written off as just adding color) bears obvious narrative significance, as if Chekov himself were pointing them out for you. Brian Azzarello manages to side-step this issue both by relying on pre-esstablished myths (voiding any need for exposition), and by mirthfully keeping us in the dark regarding much of those telling details. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Wonder Woman 8, originally released April 18th, 2012.
Patrick: Last month, we were promised a trip to Hell. Given all the characters in-play in Wonder Woman, I foolishly assumed we’d get something of an Orpheus story. But that assumption proved too narrow and too literal: Brian Azzarello may have been given license to explicitly alter the Wonder Woman mythos, but he takes the same liberties with Greek mythology. The result is a trippy adventure through the underworld that is recognizably epic (in both the traditional and modern sense of the word) and wholly, boldly new. Continue reading →