Archive for October, 2008
Filed Under wonder woman
Sensation Comics #1 picks up right where All Star Comics #8 (Wonder Woman’s introduction) left off. It opens with Diana’s transporting the still-unconscious Steve Trevor back to the US. There she plans to help save the world from the Nazis and the threat they pose to the Amazonian ideals of freedom, democracy, and equality.
We also get our first look at Wonder Woman’s plane, though here it’s not invisible, but merely “transparent.” I guess that plastic version in the TV show was more accurate than I thought.
She lands in an abandoned field outside of Washington and finds a place to hide her plane, then she delivers Trevor to the military hospital.
Shortly after that she foils a robbery and draws enough attention to herself that she gets an offer to perform her “Bullets and Bracelets” act before an audience. She makes a bit of dough that way, but when she reads in the paper that Trevor’s recovering, she quits the act and goes to the hospital.
It’s disconcerting to see, but she really does seem to be smitten with Trevor. Like, lovesick smitten. She stands outside the hospital and thinks about how she’s going to get past security. “Steve… Steve… I’ve got to see him – be near him – but how?”
I don’t know why that bothers me like it does. I guess, deep down, I don’t want Wonder Woman to need anyone that badly. But what’s the harm really? Is it weakness to be in love? I don’t believe so. And Trevor really is a good, capable guy (at least at this point in the comic).
Probably though, I’m reacting to Diana’s not knowing Trevor at all. She’s all ga-ga over him, but she’s never actually talked to him. And all he’s said to her was some delusional mumbling about her being an angel who rescued him.
Then again, he’s the first guy she’s ever seen and she’s clearly heterosexual. Maybe it’s natural that she thinks she’s in love with him. It’s just different from the modern Wonder Woman I’ve gotten to know. Then again again, contrasting those differences is a big part of my reason for going back and reading these early adventures.
Anyway, she decides to try to get into the hospital.
I always thought that Diana Prince was a name Wonder Woman created for herself, but she bought it from this gal and replaced her in society. That’s weird. I wonder if they ever followed up on the real Diana Prince.
Anyway, once Steve Trevor wakes up, he learns about a Nazi plot to bomb Americans with a new poison gas and discharges himself from the hospital. Wonder Woman finds out about it too and decides to help.
“The impetuous darling.” She really is giddy about him, isn’t she?
Trevor bravely flies his plane into the poison gas bomber and bales out at the last minute. His ‘chute doesn’t open, but fortunately Wonder Woman is close by.
Together they defeat the Nazis, though Trevor is injured again in the process. Back in the hospital, he can’t stop talking to his new nurse Diana about his infatuation with Wonder Woman.
And so we have another fake love-triangle like the one between Lois Lane, Superman, and Clark Kent. This one’s a bit easier to take than Superman’s though, at least at first. Diana needs to disguise herself to stay close to Trevor. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if Wonder Woman was hanging around all the time, but the hospital might.
As the series progresses though, I imagine it’ll be more and more difficult to explain why she keeps up this ruse. We’ll see.
Next time: Wonder Woman gets her first recurring supervillain.
Filed Under wonder woman
(The first three images are all from the Wonder Woman Day 3 site. There’s more stuff there that’s just as good, so check it out.)
No Companion for Wonder Woman
Illustration by Mauricio Dias.
While trying to get more information on this Wonder Woman Companion book that Johanna mentioned, I checked the author’s webpage and learned that it’s been cancelled with no further information. Which is really, really disappointing, because it sounded great from Johanna’s post.
Wonder Woman movie Dos and Don’ts
Illustration by Guy Davis.
SciFi Scanner has a list of things they’d like to see and not see in a potential Wonder Woman movie. I disagree with every single one of them.
Wonder Woman’s origin story is a mess, but that’s exactly why it would be cool to define it for the screen version.
I agree that the current comics are great and that it couldn’t hurt to draw inspiration from them, but adapting them directly? I’d rather see something new. No complaints from me if they want to throw in some talking gorilla knights though.
And why all the hatred for the invisible jet? It’s not just SciFi Scanner; I see this a lot. The invisible jet is cool. Way cooler than just having her fly around by herself like every other superhero.
The worst though is the suggestion to give her pants (or leggings?!). Just take the red underwear off the outside of Superman’s costume while you’re at it. And that cape of his is so impractical.
Wonder Woman Delineated
Illustration by Mark Bloodworth.
Here’s an article that’s infinitely more useful. The Fractal Hall Journal admits to not knowing everything there is to know about Wonder Woman, but they’re incredibly insightful about her anyway. After scratching their heads over how best to capitalize on her fantasy connections, they offer some wonderful suggestions about what a good Wonder Woman story (movie, comic, or otherwise) should focus on.
A) Truth. Truth truth truth truth truth.
B) The hunt.
C) Magical gadgets
D) Super-strong, super-fast.
Factor A is more subtext than explicit, but I think it’s fair to say that any Wonder Woman story has to have a theme of honesty or a counter-theme of dishonesty to it. I say this is because a lot of her stories can be a bit unfocused; she needs something to define her. It’s unfortunately easier with the others in the ‘Trinity’ thanks to their admirably efficient origins (baby in a rocket, super-rich orphan). I’d argue that B is absolutely essential, although we don’t seem to see much of it in Wonder Woman stories. Yet it’s right there in her name: the goddess of the hunt. It’s what superheroes do, and Wonder Woman should embody it. Hunting crooks- uncovering the truth of their deeds- make A and B her method of putting her antagonists into context. C and D become her method of interacting with them.
That bit about the hunt is frickin genius. There’s so much more to the article than that, but you should click through and read the rest. As much as I disagree with SciFi Scanner above, this one is dead on.
This just makes me sad.
Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg has created a line of Wonder Woman-inspired clothes and accessories, but that’s not the sad part. The sad part is the comic that goes along with the line and shows how Wonder Woman can inspire women to get major-label record deals after a night of karaoke and win cooking contests by hiring babysitters. Go, Women!
Filed Under jessica hickman, wonder woman
I can’t believe it’s been a year since the last Wonder Woman Day, but it has. Tomorrow is Wonder Woman Day 3. In honor of this awesome cause, today’s gallery is all Wonder Woman. Click either of those Wonder Woman Day links for even more.
Filed Under keira knightley, peter pan, pirates, the phantom
10. Dodgeball (2004)
I know, I know. I’m starting off with a cheat. But the only reason that Dodgeball is this low on the list is that it isn’t really about pirates. It’s just about one, awesome pirate named Steve played by Wash from Firefly. That’s good enough to bump it above most “real” pirate flicks. Garrr!
9. Blackbeard’s Ghost (1968)
I’ve got no objectivity when it comes to Peter Ustinov’s Blackbeard trying to help Dean Jones and a bunch of old ladies save an ancient, pirate-themed inn from being destroyed by crooked landlords. This was one of my favorite childhood movies, but it does hold up fairly well. There’s lots of goofy slapstick and Ustinov is thoroughly charming. And Disney doesn’t spare any expense on the awesome, old, pirate inn.
8. Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952)
Dude, it’s Abbott and Costello. That’s all you really need to know. And Charles Laughton is surprisingly hilarious reprising his role from the much less fun Captain Kidd. Anyone who can hold his own against Lou Costello deserves some recognition. It’s too bad it’s not available on DVD.
7. Tie: Disney’s Peter Pan (1953)/Peter Pan (2003)
If I really had to pick between the two I’d choose Disney’s version because it’s awesome and it defines Peter Pan for so many people. But man, you can’t ignore Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook. You just can’t.
6. Treasure Planet (2002)
I don’t care what everyone says about this being the movie that killed traditional animation at Disney for a while. It wasn’t because Treasure Planet was bad, it was because Disney had been releasing too much stuff and folks were just getting tired of it. Treasure Planet is actually an awesome, well-designed, faithful adaptation of Treasure Island. Or as faithful as it can be and still be set in outer space. It got a raw deal is all I’m saying.
5. The Phantom (1996)
This might be another cheat, but the Singh Brotherhood are undeniably pirates – and very piratey pirates at that – so I’m counting it (even if it is impossible to find pictures of the pirates online). This is another movie that gets a bum rap by people who have no souls. It’s better than every Indiana Jones movie except Raiders of the Lost Ark. I seriously don’t get the negative reputation.
4. The Princess Bride (1987)
At last one we can all agree on. Cary Elwes held onto the title of World’s Coolest Pirate for a nice, long time and there’s no dishonor in having it taken away by Johnny Freakin Depp.
3. Treasure Island (1950)
Classic. Robert Newton’s Long John Silver defined the word “pirate” for everyone who came after him.
2. Captain Blood (1935)
Of course, Errol Flynn defined “pirate” for everyone who came before Newton. Newton may be more influential over the popular perception of pirates, but Flynn’s a lot more fun (and that’s saying something, because Newton is fun). Plus, Flynn gets to smooch Olivia de Haviland.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy (2003-2007)
They took everything I ever loved about pirates and sea adventures and rolled it all into three awesome films. Sure, it would’ve been cool if they’d added another hour to At World’s End and shown some other stuff I wanted to see, but they more than made up for it, all things considered.
Filed Under cephalopods, fountain of youth, pirates, voodoo
On Stranger Tides
Artist James Gurney talks about how he created the new cover to Tim Powers’ 1987 pirate novel On Stranger Tides. Publishers Weekly describes the book as a dark fantasy about a puppeteer who’s forced to join a pirate crew and eventually encounters Blackbeard, voodoo, and the Fountain of Youth.
Yep. I’ll be getting that.
“Pieces of 8ight”
Another shanty to sing around the tavern.
Compensation for Missing Limbs
When you get a break in your singing, please take a moment to review our corporate guidelines on financial remuneration for lost appendages.
The Ghosts of Pirate Cove
You still have about a week to get to Newport, Kentucky (right across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio) for the Newport Aquarium’s Ghosts of Pirate Cove event. I have but three words for you: Underwater Sword Fighting.
Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds. Just in a completely different way. You’re an octopus and you have to keep a bunch of pirate treasure in the air.
Homemade Pirate Haunted House
I love those families who turn their homes into haunted houses and let people come through. They’re even better when they’re pirate-themed.
Treasure Island art
Golden Age Comic Book Stories has a ton of Frank Godwin’s illustrations for Treasure Island.
Filed Under dan taylor, keira knightley, kelly sue deconnick, pirates, zeppelins
It’s been a while since we’ve talked about pirates and we’ve had an International Talk Like a Pirate Day since, so lots of pirate stuff to link to. Which means that I’ll be doing this again tomorrow. Arr.
One of the nice things about Talk Like a Pirate Day is that people also like to talk about pirates. And make pirate lists. Like this one of the Top 10 Pirate Movies of All Time. I’m going to disagree with his (admittedly half-hearted) inclusion of Hook, but he certainly got Number One right. No Treasure Island, though? That’s just wrong. I’m gonna have to make my own list.
Pirates of the Caribbean 4
I know everyone knows about this already, but I can’t very well not mention it, no matter how late I’m getting to it. Johnny Depp has signed up for another Pirates of the Caribbean movie. And I’m hearing rumors that they’ve got Geoffrey Rush as well.
It’s strange, but shortly before this news, I was reading about how Keira Knightley isn’t interested in any more Pirates films. I thought that was kind of a stupid story at the time. Sort of like asking Carrie Fisher if she’s up for another Star Wars film. What’s she going to say? “Oh, yes, I’d love to be in this hypothetical movie that’ll likely never get made.”
Now, the Keira story doesn’t seem as stupid anymore. Which makes me sad, because as cool as Jack is, Elizabeth was my favorite part of those films.
Pirates 4 isn’t the only new pirate flick planned. One of the guys behind Men in Black is planning a biography of Edward Teach’s life.
Another Talk Like a Pirate Day post. Imagekind has a cool gallery of pirate-inspired art.
Because she’s cool and because it’s Halloween, my friend Kelly Sue has a pirate mirror.
Yet another Talk Like a Pirate Day list. This time it’s Scholastic with a list of pirate books they publish, including Airborn, which has sky pirates.
Wanna know how Dan Taylor’s Pirat Tales comic is? It’s really darn good.
Filed Under sinbad
So we’re three issues in and I absolutely love the story Dan Wickline is telling in his Sinbad comic. It’s only fair to tell you that Wickline’s a pal of mine, but if I didn’t like Sinbad, I just wouldn’t post about it. I’m telling you about Sinbad because I think you’re missing out on an awesome story if you’re not reading it.
It strikes all the right notes that I’m looking for in a Sinbad story: mystic artifacts, strange creatures, a diverse crew with various supernatural powers, a roguish hero, double-crosses, hidden islands, and lots of beautiful women.
I’m not as fond of the art on the first couple of issues as I am of the writing though. Paolo Pantalena has an angular, stylized look that I’m not sure was right for the story. As soon as I type this I’ll think of an exception, but my favorite fantasy comics are usually ones that ground the wildness of the setting in a straightforward style. That’s not to say that every fantasy comic should be drawn like Cary Nord – art doesn’t have to be realistic to be grounded – but Pantalena’s work is unsettling in its exoticness. I was never able to sit back and just enjoy the story. I always felt like I was interpreting his pictures.
Still, the man draws some awesome action sequences. He’s dynamic as hell.
But back in the negative column, Pantalena’s Sinbad sometimes looks malevolent when I think he’s supposed to be cocksure. I saw this same expression on Sinbad a lot in Pantalena’s issues.
Sinbad looks like his ideas may have as much to do with carving her up and dressing in her skin as they do with fooling around with her. Rest assured though, he’s thinking about fooling around.
As you might expect from a Zenescope comic, the series is pretty bawdy. There are lots of barely dressed women and plenty of leering and groping from the fellas. That’s not a complaint – it is what it is and the women give as good as they get in the series – but since most of the stuff I talk about here is fairly kid-friendly, I thought I should mention that this isn’t. But even though I wouldn’t read it to my six-year-old, it’s great fun for me.
I mentioned the diverse crew with supernatural abilities. One of the main ones is Wilhelm, a cursed sailor whom Pantalena draws beautifully. Witness this entrance:
That’s a great design. I’d buy a Wilhelm series if Pantalena drew it.
For the most part though, I prefer Tone Rodriguez’s art in the third issue. He’s got a more realistic style and he also gets Sinbad’s grin right.
There’s still some danger to that smile, but it doesn’t look like he’s about to cook and eat you.
Some of my fondness for the third issue may also have to do with the action’s really picking up in it. There’s nothing wrong with the pacing of the first two, but Sinbad and his crew do spend a lot of time sneaking around and gathering information. It’s necessary and Wickline makes it interesting with lots of sword-play and intrigue and secret passages and whatnot; it’s just especially nice when the dragons and flying lions show up in #3.
All-in-all it’s a cool series. There are more artistic changes coming in future issues and I’d like to see Zenescope get that settled quickly, but Wickline’s story is awesome. I’ll be sticking with it.
Filed Under argonauts
Definitely not the Argo, but a cool ship nonetheless.
There’s another Argonauts project in the works in addition to the two Argonaut movies we learned about a couple of months ago. This one is a green-screen TV series developed by NBC.
I don’t know what all the Argonauts to-do is lately, but I’m not complaining.
Filed Under frankenstein
Apparently, Guillermo del Toro’s Frankenstein movie isn’t an adaptation of the book. It’s an adventure movie about the continuing saga of the Monster.
I’m down with it. The world doesn’t really need another adaptation of the novel and it sounds like del Toro has a story he wants to tell. I’d like to hear it.
I tend to like Further Adventures-style storytelling anyway. Although it doesn’t always work out well…
Still, I’m looking forward to seeing del Toro’s interpretation of the Monster.
He also promises that unlike Kenneth Branagh, he will not appear shirtless in his version.
Filed Under giant monsters, giant robots, kill all monsters
By Steve Epting.
By Chris Appelhans.
They’re both heart-stoppingly beautiful pieces, but in a fight I don’t think there’s much of a contest.
I don’t know though. I bet that monster absolutely snaps when he’s hurt.