Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Wonder Woman!

Or  a brief look at Wonder Woman made for noobs, by a Wonder Woman Noob. 

Wonder Woman! She is as wonderful as Captain Marvel is marvellous, i.e. very.

I haven't read much Wonder Woman. But as a geek I recognise that even people who have not read any Wonder Woman at all will still regard her as one of the most iconic superheroes. Having recently read Azzarrelo's first volume of Wonder Woman (part of the New 52 reboot), I decided to have a look at her history thanks to a massive DC book of chronology I was given last Christmas.

In this blog entry I will be highlighting the stories that interest me in concept, even if I haven't  read like 99 percent of them lol. I will be concluding with a piece on the volume I have read, mentioned above.

1942: Sensation Comics #1:

This marked the first appearance (excluding a cameo in another issue) of Wonder Woman. Her creator, the psychologist William Moulton Marston wished to create a strong female heroine in a male dominated world. The issue itself dealt with Wonder Woman leaving her Amazonian home island to protect a crash landed US Army captain Steve Trevor from her Amazonian kinswomen who frankly weren't very fond of men. 

With the inspiration of her mother Queen Hippolyta, given the blessings of the goddesses Aphrodite and Athena, Wonder Woman travelled to America on her invisible jet. Graced with wonderful strength, speed, precise reflexes and armed with bullet deflecting bracelets, she boldly entered an alien land defeating criminals and buying herself the alter-ego Diana Prince, taking a day job as a nurse.

1943: Wonder Woman #6:

This marked the appearance of arguably Wonder Woman's archnemesis: Cheetah. 

1968: Wonder Woman #168:

This marked the beginning of what is arguably the most controversial Wonder Woman era. I don't bring my politics into my blogging so I will give a short description followed by suggestions of what it might have meant. In a nutshell this issue depowered Wonder Woman and put primary focus on her wardrobe. 

  • Was it DC being misogynistic? 
  • Was it DC just misguided and trying to appeal to a female audience?
  • Were DC actually giving a superhero a new challenge in dealing with situations while depowered?
  • Were DC jumping the bandwagon on the success of The Avengers (the TV series not the comic) and trying to gain fresh audience from that fan base?
  • Were they just doing their usual thing of rebooting?

2001: Wonder Woman (second series) #164:

Wonder Woman is most interesting when she encounters mythological figures, I personally don't give a crap if she is helping the JLA against Darkseid or any of the often boring DC so called new gods or I dunno' some random cosmic or even boring generic villain event. 

I am probably not going to be able to read Gods of Gotham since it isn't listed on the online website of my favourite shop, but it sounds interesting indeed. Phobos (the God of Fear), Eris (Goddess of Discord) and Deimos (God of Fear) possess the bodies of the Scarecrow, Poison Ivy and the Joker in the name of their father Ares (God of War), terrifying everyone in Gotham City be they good or evil. 

2009: Blackest Night:

A warning: I may lose my shit at this point, please be patient!

Alright time for me to stand up as Geordie Green Lantern, while trying to keep my politics out of it. 

First check this out: 

Isn't that awesome? Black Lantern Wonder Woman is awesome. 

Now comes the not awesome at all bit:

She looks like she well I don't want to say haha. However she is actually wearing more clothes than the average Star Sapphire. And that's all I am going to say on that, except one thing, which is probably my favourite Green Lantern page ever:

So enough about that. Before I move on to my final part of this blog entry, here is the design of Straczynski's Wonder Woman. By the way I haven't decided if I want to read his Wonder Woman yet, but her design is my favourite Wonder Woman design by far. 

Finally we come to a graphic novel I fell in love with and gave me a genuine drive to become a Wonder Woman fan. That graphic novel is Brian Azzarello's Wonder Woman volume 1: Blood.

I have a description of a trope that I call The "My" Doctor trope. Basically the trope refers to an era in a series that is cherished by a fan because it was their first, or at least the first where they really got into a series.  The trope name comes from Dr. Who, my first doctor was the 11th so the 11th will always be held highest in my heart, regardless of how good the other 10 actors may be. 

Anyway "My" Wonder Woman is Azzarello's, because it is the first I have read where I genuinely want to buy Wonder Woman, and not just read some out of boredom or the desire to say I have read the character. 

This is just guess work, since I am a Wonder Woman noob, so people may or may not have these at the front of their minds, but it is something that has been in my subconscious for a long time. 

Wonder Woman as pop art:

Wonder Woman as one of the Holy DC Trinity:

Wonder Woman as just another superhero:

To be fair I prefer superheroes on the whole solo with their own mythos for each character. Anyway the point I was making was Azzarello gets back to what makes it interesting to me: the mythology. I can't really say much about the graphic novel itself because I dislike spoilers, and I especially hate spoiling stuff I love.

Here's a quick list of what makes Azzarello's Wonder Woman (As of volume 1) good:

  • A return to the mythology. As much as I like mythos in stories, I prefer my mythologies with Gods thank you, not arguably metahumans or aliens lol
  • A focus on Wonder Woman and her world rather than Wonder Woman and her relation to the other big 2, the JLA etc
  • This is where i have to be careful what I say for spoilers, but deities who at first I wasn't sure of their character designs then saw their brilliance

And now for some pictures I liked, to round off this blog entry. 

And hopefully I added a little Wonder to your day! Over to you Norman Osborn!

Thank you Geordie Green Lantern. Today I approve of wonder and Wonder Woman. 

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