Shelby: Often times for me, the hardest part about writing any of these posts is this very intro. I always want to find some overarching theme in the issue, or one relevant anecdote from my past to broadly introduce the issue. I used to write the intro last on a regular basis, so I could find that one theme as I was writing. I couldn’t possibly use that approach with this post, however. Brian Azzarello has given me so many individual moments to get excited about this issue, the best I can do at coming up with a unifying theme is to marvel at how beautifully the pieces fit together to create the whole.
Scott: Why are Superman and Wonder Woman together? Anyone remotely tuned in to the DC Universe has wondered this at some point in the past several months. On the surface, it seems perhaps too convenient, or little more than an attention-grabbing ploy. Realistically though, doesn’t the relationship make perfect sense? People date the people they spend the most time with. A 20 year old college student is most likely to date another 20 year old who goes to the same college. So, in a time when Justice League duties seem to be dominating many heroes’ lives, it’s only appropriate that Clark and Diana, the two most similar Justice Leaguers, would get together. The real question is, what does their relationship have to offer us as readers? If Clark and Diana are going to be spending a lot of time together just by the nature of their jobs, does a romantic relationship add anything to the story? With Superman/Wonder Woman 6, Charles Soule sets the record straight — the relationship and, thus, this book, is more than the sum of it’s parts.
Today, Mikyzptlk and Drew are discussing Wonder Woman 25, originally released November 20th, 2013
Mikyzptlk: Strife. We’ve all felt it at one point or another. It has a way of seeping into us whether we want it to or not. No matter how patient or level-headed we try to be, we all succumb to the effects of strife every now and then. Dealing with Gods of “stuff,” Brian Azzarello has been able to use his divine characters to push his story forward in a number of ways. As you might have guessed, Azzarello uses issue 25 of Wonder Woman to place a particularly heavy focus on the character of Strife and her manipulative plans. Little does she know, Azzarello and Wonder Woman may just have plans of their own.
Today, Shelby and Scott are discussing Superman/Wonder Woman 2, originally released November 13th, 2013
Shelby: I know I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series for quite some time. Since it was not unusual for more than a year to pass between books, when a new volume was released I would frequently re-read a book or two that had come before to remember where the story was. I noticed that each new book would have to devote a solid chunk of pages to re-hashing basic concepts, presumably to familiarize new readers with way this world worked, just in case someone decided to jump right in at book 7, I guess. I’m sure there was an element of reminding the long-time readers as well, but I always skim through those parts with some annoyance. I understand the purpose and the necessity of the quick recap (hell, we do it here), but if I don’t need it I just want to skip it and get to the meat of the story. Charles Soule finds himself with a similar situation on his hands; he’s got to find a way to tie together the disparate worlds of Superman and Wonder Woman, using the existing New 52 framework, while telling his own story of these two characters. A Herculean task, to be sure.
Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Justice League of America 6 originally released July 17th, 2013. This issue is part of the Trinity War crossover event. Click here for our complete Trinity War coverage.
Patrick: Did any of you guys ever play Warhammer? If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a table top war game where you assemble an army from your race of choice and battle against your friends’ armies. It’s the least pick-up-and-play game you could ever imagine – understanding the basic rules means reading a 100+ page manual, and keeping a cheat sheet with charts and tables with you at all times. And then there’s understanding your own army, for which you need yet other book completely dedicated to that race. Then you need the little metal figures to represent the members of your army (sold separately), and if you’re really hardcore you can paint them. Then you need a surface large enough to play on – one time my friends and I took a door off its hinges and used that when we were denied the dining room table. Ideally, this surface will be populated with trees and terrain and stuff like that. Setting up the Trinity War has felt an awful lot like setting up a Warhammer game. Everyone’s been reading extra books they don’t really want to read just so they can play in the big game. Now the event is actually here and I can’t believe I’m surprised that all the characters feel like pieces in a game. Continue reading
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.
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, Shelby and Drew are discussing Wonder Woman 9, originally released May 16th, 2012.
Shelby: I love weddings. I love Greek mythology. I love comic books. I think I even love Brian Azzarello. Wonder Woman 9 has all of these things: therefore, I love it.