Welcome back to DC Rebirth One Year Later, where we look at DC books that are part of DC Comics’ Rebirth initiative one year after it began. And with this one, we’re looking at what quickly became one of the most anticipated books of the initiative after the creative team was announced: None other than the solo book of the Spirit of Truth and savior of the DC Extended Universe, Wonder Woman.
Once again, SPOILERS for anyone not caught up on the book, so turn back if you don’t wanna know what’s been going on without reading the book yourself. So, first off, I just wanna make clear that this book is SO cathartic for anyone who hated the New 52 Wonder Woman book. If you liked that book, and I know there were those who did, then I’m sorry, this book is probably not for you. But if you’ve been waiting for a return-to-form Wonder Woman, this is for you. And the decision to bring Greg Rucka back to write the book was a great choice by DC. Granted, I would’ve liked to see Gail Simone return to the book, but in hindsight, when it came to telling the opening stories of this book, Rucka was probably the better option. Hopefully, The Simone will return at a later point. Although, if you’ve been waiting for that moment as well, you might be interested to know that Gail Simone will be writing a Wonder Woman/Conan crossover book in the future, so there’s that.
So, again, this is very much return-to-form for Wonder Woman. During the events of Justice League’s Darkseid War, Diana learned that she had been deceived in regards to a great many things as it pertains to her past, which is further proven upon putting herself in the Lasso of Truth. To make a 24 (going on 25) issue story short, Diana never returned to Themyscira upon leaving it with Steve Trevor. The one we’ve seen her come back to in the New 52 is a fake, as have been the incarnations of the Greek Gods she’s encountered during that time. How and why this happened is still a little unclear, although I’m assuming this will be fully explained in #25 next week. What will also likely be explained is the true nature of Diana’s origins. The implication SEEMS to be that she was made from clay, but then how do you explain her apparent twin brother Jason (part of the revelation made in Darkseid War) being born on the same day, unless they were both made from clay? And what about the true nature of the fakes and their existence? They can’t simply be illusions, since Steve sees them too, and they created Donna Troy in the new continuity, and she’s very much real, but I’ll get into that when I talk about Titans.
Some people might see that as a cheap method of setting things back to the status quo, by implying that everything that’s happened with Wonder Woman in the New 52 no longer counts. I disagree. Other than the apparent retcon of her relationship with Superman due to events in his books (which I’ll get to when I talk about them), a lot of those stories still happened. The fact that she was interacting with people who weren’t necessarily real or genuine does not negate that fact. For better or worse, those events and how she handled them are a part of her history and contribute to her character development.
Wonder Woman, however, is not the only character being taken back to their core elements. Steve Trevor is back to his awesome-yet-constantly-needing-to-be-saved-by-Wonder-Woman self, and is reasserted as Diana’s primary love interest. Personally, I tend to prefer the idea that they USED to date, and that relationship helped better them as people before becoming just friends, but I can deal with them in a relationship far sooner than her and Superman. Etta Candy is sporting a new look wherein she’s still African-American like her New 52 self, but is also thicker and curvier. Also, she’s a hell of a lot more fun to read, which is a big point of interest for me, because I love when Etta Candy is a delight. Barbara Minerva’s backstory is made sympathetic again, and the tragedy of her transformation seems even more-so as it’s implied (if not outright stated) that she and Etta might have had feelings for each other. I DO have a bit of a nitpick in that I wish her design included the long red hair and a string bikini, perhaps similar to how she looks in Injustice 2 perhaps, but I at least get what they were doing with this look. The Amazons are also all brought back to their awesome selves, and it seems the idea of Hippolyta and Phillipus as a possible couple might be coming back, which is VERY appreciated. A lot of Diana’s rogues make returns, like Doctor Poison and Doctor Cyber, all of whom are appreciated. And then there’s Veronica Cale, and holy shit, does she work GREAT as one of the primary antagonists of this book. She’s just sympathetic enough in her character and the things that happen directly to her that you can at least understand some of the things she does, but man oh man, does she do some fucked up stuff to Diana and pretty much everyone who gets caught between them. There’s even a scene where she manages to get a leg up over Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor at an auction (long story for those who haven’t seen it), and it is glorious.
One thing that was a bit odd in terms of how this book has unfolded is that, because Wonder Woman was one of the books that would be released twice a month, Rucka was telling two different stories in the same book, with current events being told in the odd numbered issues, and past events being told in the even numbered issues. And while the end of each issue made clear which future issue would continue which story, it could prove confusing for anyone going into the book late and not knowing that. My advice? Wait for the trades to come out, since they collect the specific stories. And while it was released second, start with the Year One storyline, since it better explains everything. Plus, it’s probably my favourite arc of the book. Why? Wonder Woman’s origin story with Greg Rucka as the writer and Nicola Scott as the artist. That combination is, for a lack of a better term, wonderful.
…*sighs* But, now we gotta talk about where this book is going, and that’s where things get a bit murkier. If you haven’t read the most recent solicits from DC, it seems that James Robinson will be taking over as writer of the book in September, and that the first arc of his run will specifically be about Jason, the apparent twin brother of Wonder Woman. So, basically, we’re getting a Wonder Woman book…that is not actually ABOUT Wonder Woman, but a man. Granted, I fully expected the book would eventually get into explaining the existence of Diana’s brother, but if what we’ve heard and read about Robinson’s story is correct, then he is basically the star of this story, not Wonder Woman. This is more than a little problematic for many fans, for a few reasons. Even ignoring the fact that this is kind of a slap in the faces of the more feminist comic book fans, and Wonder Woman IS a feminist icon, so that IS a legitimate problem, I don’t care what anyone says, what the hell kind of sense does it make to have a book where the title character is not the MAIN character? I can only hope this arc doesn’t last long, because otherwise, there’s probably gonna be a SERIOUS drop in the book’s sales.
Other than that, though, where does the book go? Well, a lot of that is probably gonna depend on the outcome of next week’s issue, which will be Greg Rucka’s last on the book. Afterward, Shea Fontana will be getting a quick run on the book before Robinson takes over. After all that, though? Who knows. Hopefully, like I said, the Jason arc won’t last long, and then maybe we can eventually get Gail Simone back on the book. It just feels like it’s time, and we know she can write some awesome Wonder Woman stories. Even if it’s only for a little while, it’d still be appreciated.
Anyway, that’s pretty much all I have to say about the book so far, at least as a more general look at it. I MIGHT decide to give a more in-depth look at Wonder Woman: Year One someday down the road, though. For now, leave your own thoughts on the DC Rebirth Wonder Woman book before, and next, what say we round out the Trinity by going up, up, and away? ^_^ Ja né!
Well, the New 52 is just about at its end, with DC Rebirth coming up next week and the last of the New 52 books ending over the course of the next few months. And while the New 52 has become something of a punchline for many fans, let’s not forget the good times that came with it. Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that there WERE good books, as well as the bad. So, with that in mind, I’ve decided that, before I seriously rag on the New 52 one last time, I should really take a look at some of my favourite comics from this era. Now, keep in mind, these are JUST the ones that I read. I’m well aware of the fact that there were other good comics that came out during the past five years under the DC banner that won’t be on this list. As such, if your favourites aren’t on the list, by all means, feel free to place your own in the comments. Also, keep in mind that there are books that, while good, just weren’t the overall greats of this list. So, books like Justice League, while having arcs I liked, also had a bunch of arcs I DIDN’T like, so they just missed the cut…though I DO have a bonus round for them. lol And, of course, books that are not a part of the main line, like Sensation Comics feat. Wonder Woman don’t count. Why we couldn’t have more books like it and Legends of Wonder Woman in the main line, I dunno, but for now, let’s start with one that’s probably kinda obvious to anyone who’s read my blog for a while…
Yeah, not shocking anyone with this pick, I’m sure. Most definitely my favourite of the books starring the New 52 Superman, and it’s one of the reasons I’m actually sad to learn that he’s dying. Yes, he is arguably the most inherently flawed of the mainstream Supermen, but when you have a good writer with a good story writing him, those flaws are used in good ways. We see how this Superman is still an inspirational figure in spite of these flaws by never giving up and continuously trying to do the best he can for the world. So yeah, while I’m obviously overjoyed to see the pre-Flashpoint Superman return to active duty, along with his wife and son, there will always be a little part of me that gets nostalgic for the Superman who didn’t always get it right, but nonetheless kept trying his best, for truth and justice.
I actually feel bad because I initially was unwilling to give this book a try. Why? Because they’d seemingly undone Babs’ past as Oracle as a means to make her Batgirl again, thus taking the position away from Stephanie Brown, who was nowhere to be seen for a long time. But while all that is true, I can’t deny that this book has had some great moments. Granted, I HATED the Batgirl Wanted arc, and Black Canary’s characterization in the beginning of the Stewart/Fletcher era rubbed me the wrong way, but the rest of it has been highly enjoyable. Some of my favourite moments are probably Alysia’s wedding, the end of the Simone era when Babs called in damned near EVERY superheroine on Earth, ALL of her annuals, the tie-in to Future’s End, that time she and Strix took on vampires, it’s just been a hell of a ride, and I hope that the next volume is just as fun.
For those that never read this book, I’ll keep the recap brief: Shortly after the collapse of the government sanctioned JLA, which was secretly meant as a fail-safe against the Justice League, three of its members, Stargirl, Martian Manhunter, and Green Arrow, found themselves teaming with Supergirl, Adam and Alanna Strange, Animal Man, and newcomer Equinox, to form a new Justice League: the Justice League United, set up in Canada, and meant to protect the world from extraterrestrial and paranormal threats. Of course, right off the bat, I was excited, since…well, do you know how long I waited for my country to get their own Justice League? Was awesome. But beyond that, getting to see some of the character interactions without the dread present in the JLA book that came before it was great too (Green Arrow and Animal Man playing off each other made for some decent comedy), and there was a lot of more traditional superheroing. In the later stages of the book’s existence, the team began rotating members in and out in order to deal with different situations, regardless of which side of the law they were on. Anyone from Batgirl to Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing to Vandal Savage, and so on could be brought in depending on what the situation called for. Unfortunately, this didn’t last long before the book’s cancellation, but the JLU has since appeared during the Truth story-arc in the Superman books, giving me hope that they’ll one day return to action.
I should probably note that, when I say Convergence is a favourite of mine, I’m not talking about the main series. This is primarily because…well, I didn’t read it, and from what I’ve read, there’s not really much of anything that good, other than the restoration of the Multiverse. Oh, there’s some stuff involving the New 52 version of Earth 2, but unfortunately, that’s been a SERIOUSLY mixed bag. You wanna know more about that, go check out the blog Helena Wayne Huntress for more details. But no, what I’m referring to as one of my favourites of the New 52 is all the tie-in stuff. Granted, that could be seen as cheating for one simple reason: IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE NEW 52. The Convergence tie-ins are about giving resolution to stories that happened before the New 52, letting the heroes of ages past get one last hurrah, and even setting up for maybe a few of them to return later on. And they’re all awesome! Nightwing and Oracle get married and kick ass (not necessarily in that order, lol), Lian is brought back to life, Stephanie Brown suits up as Batgirl again, Lois and Clark have a child, the JSA return, it’s all amazing! Hell, even Scott freaking Lobdell turns in a good Blue Beetle book! I didn’t even think it was possible for him to put out anything of quality, but I guess mathematically speaking, it had to happen EVENTUALLY.
…Yyyeeeaaaahh, suppose this isn’t much of a surprise to anyone. lol While I wasn’t a fan of the story where Jim Gordon was Batman, and I found Joker to be WAY over the top in terms of unstoppable villainy is concerned, it’s really hard to not consider this book one the best of the past five years. Snyder and Capullo have simply been on fire for this era, and it’s sad to know that, at least for a while, that team of theirs is over. Although as hard as it is for me and other readers, I gotta imagine it’s even harder for them. But yeah, you guys should all know all of my favourite moments from this book, and if you don’t, I made a list of them just before the Superheavy story-arc. Point is, if you’re a Batman fan and you’ve been avoiding this book for the New 52 branding, don’t. It’s at least worth your time to check out.
So those are my favourite books of the New 52 in terms of overall quality. And now, the bonus round for all the arcs of books that I liked.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Huntress and Power Girl fighting a giant Irradiated Man in a Japanese harbour! All it needed was for Godzilla and Dragonzord to show up to make it the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen! XD
…Not to self: Review Darkseid War once the entire storyline is finished. It is easily my favourite story of the New 52 Justice League. Also, I thought Origin worked as an introduction to this new timeline, and the Amazo Virus was pretty awesome, too, and marked the point in which Geoff Johns finally found his groove with writing Wonder Woman’s character.
Cross World was great, and presented one of my all-time favourite images of Wonder Woman, and the stuff with Mongol and Toymaster is admittedly dumb fun that resolved in an awesome team-up involving Supergirl, Batgirl, Steel, Red Hood, and Krypto.
Y’know, DC, right after the engagement, I was totally gonna stick with this book. Then you called it off, the creative team left as a result, and then you did the stupid vampire thing. Just saying, you had a great thing gift-wrapped for you. I sincerely hope, though, that since Rebirth is apparently nixing the whole heroes-can’t-be-married thing, with the old Superman who is married to Lois Lane being back and Aquaman and Mera being engaged, that Batwoman finally is allowed to get married in Detective Comics.
Ultimately proved to be hit and miss, but I liked it for the most part. Could’ve done without Casey being damned near torn apart, but watching her make her badass comeback with a cybernetic arm-cannon was awesome. I mean, yeah, it’s another case of extreme violence against women in a comic, but it’s hard not to watch her in the hospital bed right after losing her arm and eye and not grin ear-to-ear when she’s still being like “Aw, fuck it, just put a giant arm-cannon on me, and I’ll fuck these guys up! And Calvin, you better make sure you haven’t completely screwed things up by the time I show up, or your ass is grass!” XD
I unfortunately can’t really justify putting Nightwing on the top 5, but that’s less to do with the quality of the stories told in it and more to do with the constantly changing status quo that was really only a thing strictly because of stuff happening in the other Bat Family books before ending due to events in Forever Evil. Oh, and as a side-note, SO glad to see that Nightwing is in blue again, but not sure where this is going with him as a member of the Court (or Parliament, I guess) of Owls.
I can’t say enough how much I adored the team-up with Power Girl. Was just great.
I feel like I MIGHT’VE put this on the list if I’d read through the entire thing and it didn’t delve into the cheesecake quite as much as it did, soooo…Eh, call it sixth, I guess. lol
Again, DC, you had me right up until Evil Superman working for Darkseid, and Thomas Wayne as Batman. Then you completely lost me. And THEN you pissed me off with World’s End and the first arc of Earth 2: Society. Seriously, like I said before, go read Helena Wayne Huntress’ blog for more details, but suffice to say, it’s been a MESS, one that I hope gets cleaned up soon. I DO recommend the Tower of Fate arc, though.
Problematic for me personally at times, but still enjoying it, and glad it’s here. 🙂
And that’s all my favourite stuff of the New 52. Like I said before, if you’ve got a book that you really liked from this era that wasn’t on here, by all means, leave your own list in the comments, and be sure to check back in the future when I go over the worst of this era. Ja né!
…SO, today was kinda nuts. Before I go in-depth on all of the big announcements, since I fully expect more news to come out soon enough, let’s instead take a look at some of the art revealed for the new books and a few quick notes I took for the different titles.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ll go more in depth soon enough, though. Lemme know your own thoughts below, and we’ll see how things pan out from now to May 25th, 2016. Ja né!
Spider-Gwen Announced – THANK YOU, MARVEL! :’D + News On Upcoming Wonder Woman Books + The Difference Between Marvel & DC
No, your eyes do NOT deceive you, Marvel has in fact listened to the fans and decided to give the Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman her own book. Apparently, it’ll be launching in February, under the name Spider-Gwen. Now, the name of the book is a little weird, but I’m guessing it’s because they already have a Spider-Woman book coming out, and unless they name it ‘Gwen Stacy: The Insert-Cool-Sounding-Adjective-Here Spider-Woman’, it’s gonna confuse people (actually, I think that would be the most awesomely hilarious name for a book EVER). So, I don’t mind the name.
What’s hilarious about this is that this news broke at the same time as myself and a group of my friends on Twitter were ranting about a cover advertised for an upcoming Wonder Woman book, as drawn by David Finch, where she looks…well, look.
…Yeah, pretty dumb, huh? And really shows why the Finchs are probably people that shouldn’t be doing Wonder Woman, because they don’t get the character. Although, on the flip side, check out the cover for the upcoming Wonder Woman ’77 book, drawn by Nicola Scott.
Pretty frakking epic. Really shows the difference between DC and Marvel. DC has these AMAZING digital first books that people love, and they take ZERO advantage of them, instead pushing the bleak as all heck New 52 books. Marvel sees that something sells well, they go “Hey, we’ve got a new product that sells great! So, let’s roll with it!” And maybe it won’t do as well as they hope, but the point is they’re giving it a try. They’re giving Silk a shot too. So we’ll have, on the Marvel side of things, female led books like Storm, Captain Marvel, Silk, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman, Ms. Marvel, Adjectiveless X-Men, Squirrel Girl (…no, seriously, it’s happening, lol), and so many more. In DC’s main line, their female led books are Supergirl (has been kind of a confusing mess lately), Batgirl (new team doing the book does awesome work in my opinion, but I’ve noticed that reaction to the new book is pretty divisive online), Gotham Academy (looks cool, but not my cup of tea), Harley Quinn (ruined Poison Ivy in the New 52, has an upcoming drug-scented book), Batwoman (was forced out of getting married and turned into a vampire anti-hero), and Wonder Woman (see above image, and the God awful relationship with Superman). Meanwhile, they have a HUGE roster of women they could push in their books! Aside from the ones I mentioned already, they have Raven, Wonder Girl, Troia, Stargirl, Spoiler, Bluebird, Poison Ivy, Mera, Aquawoman, Jesse Quick, Jade, Huntress, Power Girl, Fury, Equinox, the list goes on and on! And yeah, some of them are in books currently, but they’re hardly marketed by DC. They don’t know how to market their products, unless said product is involved with Batman, and they don’t know how to get people pumped for new stuff.
But anyway, I just wanna thank Marvel Comics, Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez, and everyone else involved in Spider-Gwen for bringing this to us. Lemme know your own thoughts on this upcoming book, and we’ll see how awesome this gets when it hits in February. Ja né!
So, tomorrow is Wednesday, and I plan to go to Heroes’ Beacon to buy some comics and talk about what I bought then and last Wednesday. However, before I get to that, there’s something I need to address, concerning a book I used to buy monthly that I am now dropping: Earth 2. This might come as a surprise, since Earth 2 was one of my favourite books, and while there are a lot of things I like about the initial run by James Robinson, there were problems as well, and those are only made worse by new problems. This is not a slam on Tom Taylor, who is taking over the book. This is just me saying why I am not buying the book. And for the record, as always, I’m not judging anybody for buying it. If you like it, great. Me, I cannot like this book as it is.
So, let’s start with one of the biggest things I do not like about where this plot is going: Red Tornado is actually Lois Lane. This is problematic for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that this means DC once again killed Lois Lane. Although, I suppose if she’s had her mind placed in an android’s body, at least she’s still active, and I’m actually not TOO against the idea of her as a superheroine. At least as a temporary thing. My hope is that they’ll eventually find a way to clone a new body for her and bring her back to normal. However, not only does that not seem likely, but it doesn’t matter much, as before that can happen, we get the clash I DO NOT WANT. AT ALL.
You might recall me mentioning at the end of my look at the last issue of Earth 2 that I bought that Brutaal, one of Darkseid‘s most powerful soldiers, was revealed to be Superman. Again, Superman being indoctrinated into working for Darkseid wouldn’t be as big a deal (at least to me, anyway), if not for the fact that this is now the fourth time, possibly more, we’ve seen Superman, be it in comics, video games, or movies, either turn evil or do something morally ambiguous or downright WRONG. And all of this in his 75th Anniversary. But, again, if not for that, I would’ve been fine with this…until the reveal of Lois Lane as Red Tornado. Now, it’s painfully clear that, at some point, Lois and Clark are going to fight, quite possibly to the death. And that is wrong, dammit. Clark Kent and Lois Lane should NEVER fight like this.
Then there’s the new Earth 2 Batman. The warning alarm was already going off in my head upon seeing that he killed people. But, I let it slide because it’s supposed to be Earth 2, the world of the Golden Age comics, and in the Golden Age, Batman killed people. So, I let it go. And then the leak happened. If you don’t know what I mean, basically, DC failed at social media and showed off an advertisement for the new Earth 2 figures on Twitter. And, for the figure for the new Earth 2 Batman, it listed him as Thomas Wayne. Now, I don’t know if it’s Thomas Wayne Sr. or Jr., but considering how a lot of the character who appear in the present of Earth 2 have no counterpart on the main DC Earth, it’s probably Thomas Wayne Sr.
…Okay, I’m aware this next sentence is gonna sound really hypocritical at first, considering my own works of fiction regarding Batman, but I will try my best to explain it. Thomas Wayne as Batman is a BAD idea here. Flashpoint was alright, as it was telling what might have been, and The First Batman was also okay, as it told a story of Thomas Wayne as Batman BEFORE Bruce while dressed in a costume for a charity ball. However, the idea of him REPLACING Bruce is just…no. Also, I would just like to point out that, following the leak, I contacted James Robinson on Twitter and asked if this was his idea or DC’s, and he took responsibility for it. So, make of that what you will.
And lastly, it’s been made clear in interviews that things won’t always end well for the good guys in Earth 2. In fact, things will often-times end VERY badly. Hell, it’s been suggested that Alan Scott MAY have been killed, not sure. This is HIGHLY problematic for me. I don’t like reading stories that leave little in the way of an optimistic future. Just my own little pet peeve. And before anyone says Batman, I will simply reply that you’d be surprised sometimes how much more optimistic Batman stories can be than others in the New 52. Things have gotten THAT BAD.
But yeah, those are my thoughts. I will say, though, that this probably works out for the best. Marvel has three new books, all with female leads, starting next year, and I’m gonna need to make some space for ’em. So, dropping Earth 2 will probably help a lot, as well as Fearless Defenders getting cancelled, and one other book I MIGHT be dropping (we’ll see). For now, leave a comment below about what you think of this direction with Earth 2, and I will see you tomorrow when I talk about…
- Top 10 Characters Needed For A Batman Versus Superman Movie (toptenz.net)
- 5 Batsuits We Might See in ‘Batman vs. Superman’ (screenrant.com)
- The 10 most insane alternate reality versions of popular superheroes (io9.com)
- Tom Taylor – An Exclusive House of Geekery Interview (houseofgeekery.com)
- Comic Review 11-06-2013 (goodkindofgeek.com)
- Too much of a good thing? (2andahalfnerds.com)
- 10 Relevant Hero & Villain Deaths (wasduk.com)
- Earth 2 #17 Review (comicsrefueled.wordpress.com)
- Exclusive: EARTH 2 #18 Variant Cover Reveal (comicvine.com)
- A Comic Fan Searches For A New Hero: Part 15, Superman (politicaljesus.com)