Author Archives: ArcaneHalloween

“By Athena’s Shield!” – The New Wonder Woman: Gotham City Garage Statue Truly Is A Gift From Olympus Itself…

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Suffering Sappho! Why do you keep doing this to me DC? constantly releasing the most mind-shatteringly awesome toys and collectables… I have zero willpower, and a sentient wallet that rails against my purchase of yet more Wondy products! Yet once again you release another objet d’art that is so incredible, it seems only the Greek Gods themselves could have created it (and once more… my wallet cries sweet tears of pain and joy.)

ww8 (1) The Gotham City Garage range of statues have encompassed several iconic female heroes and villains since it’s genius introduction including seminal characters Catwoman and Harley Quinn, these, of course, pale to insignificance now that the leader of the pack has been revealed – the Themysciran Titan Wonder Woman!

The fabulous sculpt encompasses everything we love about the Amazon Princess liberally borrowing from her paradigmatic mythology to deliver a stunning statue worthy of the Greek Gods themselves.

The bike and outfit reflecting Wondy’s classic red, white, and blue styling and the transparent fairing evoking Diana’s other favoured form of transport, her quintessential invisible plane. The intricate details don’t end there though, for as we delve further, other iconic details surface including, Diana’s crash helmet which is an obvious nod back to the one worn by Lynda Carter in the original  seventies TV series, with the number 41 on the top signifying Wondy’s comic-book  debut in 1941.

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Gaea’s gift of amazing Amazon memorable motorbilia measures an astonishing 13.5″ wide x 10″ high x 8″ deep and comes with an appropriately detailed base that conveys Diana’s heritage with the crumbling Greek columns. This highly detailed piece was sculpted by Irene Matar and Adam Ross from an original design by Keron Grant. 

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Keron Grant’s Original Design Sketch

And, just as I was writing this piece, news hit that DC Comics are actually turning their awesome range of motorcycle heroines into a bona-fide comic book series along the lines of their successful Bombshells series! Penned by writers – Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, with a rotating roster of artists beginning with Brian Ching.

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Set in an alternate timeline, where evil mastermind Lex Luthor prevails over Gotham City which he has renamed “The Garden.” In return for bringing peace and contentment to this idyll, Lex expects a resolute loyalty from his subjects, but this is surreptitiously achieved through Lex’s new technology that nexus’ everyone into a hive mind. Any discontent by the populace is quickly deterred by his overseer team led by The Batman! 

This sounds fantastic, more news as we hear it fellow fans of fantastic fiction.

Precinct1313 Recommends: Supergirl – Being Super

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Let’s be honest, origin tales have been spectacularly overused in both the comic-book scene and their spin off movie counterparts. How many times do we really need to witness Spiderman being bitten by a radioactive wall crawler, or Batman losing his parents to the gun barrel of Joe Chill… these characters are now so iconic that virtually everyone, comic book fan or not, is overtly familiar with their raison d’etre.

With all that said, you may be feeling slightly bemused that I’m recommending a series that dynamically delves into the past of Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El, but there is a very good reason behind that… this series is fantastic. As a matter of fact it’s not only one of the greatest Supergirl comics to have ever been released, but one of the greatest comic-book series ever published… period!

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Kara has found herself back in mainstream public consciousness thanks mainly to the extremely successful (and brilliant) CW television show, and with the really rather rousing Steve Orlando “Supergirl Rebirth” comic book run, Superman’s Kryptonian cousin is finally receiving the attention she deserves. 

Which brings us to Kara’s most recent triumph, the astonishingly awesome “Supergirl:Being Super” the Mariko Tamaki penned opus that transcends previous Kara Danvers origins by offering us a fresh take that focuses more upon her relationships, trials and tribulations of everyday life as a teenager growing up in a small american town. It’s definitely a slower burn as a comic book, less super heroics but more angst, sass and quirky dialogue as we follow Kara in an exceptionally engaging and fantastically well written coming of age story.

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If you approach this series with atypical expectations of explosions, super speed and heat vision, you’re going to go away disappointed, this is a tale that spotlights the character behind the iconic “S” symbol and it’s all the better for it. Supergirl: Being Super is a revelation in Superhero storytelling, and probably the greatest iteration of the classic character to date. Highly recommended.

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World’s Finest – An Exclusive Interview With Etta Candy

Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to yet another exhilarating episode of World’s Finest, a series of exclusive interviews that aims to introduce you to some of our very favourite convocation of comic-book characters, of… all… time.

Each episode we cordially invite one of our most treasured Superheroes, SuperVillains, Costumed Crimefighters, Dimension Dwelling Demons, and of course… Super Pets (there was a bit of drama earlier actually, when Streaky, Supergirl’s pet cat, came face to beak with the Precinct’s resident carrion crow of woe, Eldritch… unfortunately for Eldritch, Streaky can also fly!) Each episode our very special guests will be answering a quotient of quintessentially quirky questions about life, the universe, and cake (’cause everyone loves cake)

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You Tell Him Kara!

And so, let’s welcome to Precinct1313’s sedentary sanguine sofa of superbly scintillating superheroes, the effervescently eclectic and endearingly edacious… Etta Candy.

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Precinct1313: Hi Etta, and thanks for joining us on this week’s episode of World’s Finest.

Etta Candy: I appreciate the invite, though it was quite the jaunt to get here, luckily Diana dropped me off in her invisible plane.

Precinct1313: Really!? damn, I wish I knew that, I have always wanted to see her famous jet.

Etta Candy: Uuuuuh, it’s invisible!

Precinct1313: I, Ummm, knew that… moving swiftly on, you and Diana have been best friends for many years now I believe.

Etta Candy: Yes indeed we have, since 1942 in fact, Diana’s a swell gal.

Precinct1313: Heh, Gal… that’s a good one.

Etta Candy: I’m sorry?

Precinct1313: You know, Gal, as in Gal Gadot… the actress who’s currently playing Wonder Woman.

Etta Candy: I have literally no idea what you are talking about, I mean Wonder Woman’s name is Diana, and she’s definitely not an actress, next you’ll be telling me that, oooooh I don’t know, that Lucy Davis was cast as me in a movie!

Precinct1313: Funny you should say that… basically though Etta, Precinct1313 exists between dimensions which is how we are able to interview fictional beings such as yourself, breaking that proverbial fourth wall if you like.

Etta Candy: Fourth wall?… wait a minute, did you just say I was fictional?

Precinct1313: Why yes, of course, you were created in 1942 by Wonder Woman’s mastermind, William Moulton Marsten.

Etta Candy: ………….

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Precinct1313: Soooooo, as you have already mentioned, you have known Diana since the early forties, what do you think it was that made you become such close and firm friends, I mean you really are like chalk and cheese… or should that be chalk and candy… heh.

Etta Candy: I guess most people initially thought of me as comic relief, you know, what with my goofy catchphrases like “Woo Woo” and “For the love of chocolate” but despite my inherent zaniness, Diana and I are actually very alike.

Precinct1313: Interesting, in which ways do you perceive your similarities?

Etta Candy: We’re both outspoken, forthright and confident… we’re also both not adverse to the ol’ fisticuffs should the need arise…

Precinct1313: Oh yeah, that’s right, didn’t you actually form a fighting force from your sorority ‘The Holliday Girls’ and kick Nazi butt during WWII?

Etta Candy: Yes indeedy, Diana needed our help whilst battling the infamous Dr Poison, so I recruited one hundred brave girls from my unofficial sorority and, as you just said, kicked major butt… Woo-Woo!

Precinct1313: Cool! plus, if my knowledge of your long and varied history is correct, you have even saved Wondy’s life on a few occasions too.

Etta Candy: Oh my yes, once or twice, the most memorable was the time I deflected a bullet with my trusty box of candy!

Precinct1313: Wow! I’ve heard of death by chocolate, but life by candy is so much cooler!

Etta Candy: Ha ha.

Precinct1313: You also have the distinction of being one of the very few to be given honourary Amazon status.

Etta Candy: Yes, alongside Supergirl and Starfire to name but two, they cited my bravery and supreme confidence as major factors in their decision to make me one of their sisters… a true honour indeed.

Precinct1313: Well Etta I have to say it’s been an absolute pleasure having you visit us here in the Precinct… oh and the next time you see Diana could you mention that we would love to interview her.

Etta Candy: She’s rather busy, y’know saving the world and all, but I’ll see what I can do, Woo-Woo!

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The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

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Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of  ‘The Week In Geek’  where we love to share our favourite – Comic Book, Video-Game, and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure. And so once more unto the geek dear agents, once more…

Who Watches The Watchmen?

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HBO are, once again, hinting that they are attempting to bring Alan Moore’s seminal comic book series ‘Watchmen’ to the small screen. The groundbreaking 80’s series published by DC Comics is one of the greatest pieces of Superhero fiction ever wrought, and was previously brought to life through Zack Snyder’s masterful 2009 cinematic adaptation.

HBO have approached Damon Lindelof, the creator of shows such as ‘Lost’ and ‘The Leftovers’ to take the reins of the series. Lindelof told Comic Book Resources in 2009 that Watchmen had “influenced his writing style more than anything else he had ever read”, so he seems like an excellent choice for reuniting us with it’s iconic cast of misfit Superheroes and masked vigilantes.

Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm Returns In All New HD Remaster…

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Well finally… the stunning 1993 animated movie ‘Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm’ will release on Blu-Ray next month in an all new 1080p high definition remaster.  Warner Bros 90’s classic is a favourite amongst Bat-fans, and for good reason, it’s one of the best interpretations of Gotham’s guardian outside of the comic books themselves. The film successfully drives home the pain and sacrifice that Bruce Wayne has had to endure to become the justice seeking creature of the night that haunts the dreams of Gotham’s many miscreants and malefactors. 

‘When the city’s most feared gangsters are systematically eliminated, the Caped Crusader is initially blamed. But prowling the Gotham night is a shadowy new villain – The Phantasm, a sinister figure with links to Batman’s past. Can the Dark Knight elude the Police, capture the Phantasm, and clear his own name?’

Wonderful Art For A Wonderful Woman…

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With the excellent Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot ‘Wonder Woman’ movie still breaking records at the box office and finally showing the world that a female led Superhero movie is not only viable, but essential, let’s celebrate the Themysciran Titan’s triumph with some fantastic poster art images that have been released in the wake of the stunning movie by Poster Posse. 

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Images are copyright – Poster Posse

Why not join us again next time friends for more ‘Week In Geek’

Comic Cover Of The Week: Batman Rebirth #24

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The Bat, The Cat… And Wedding Bells!

Where exactly do Superheroes get married anyway?… mmmmmm, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of Comic Cover Of The Week, and this week our splendiferous spotlight of excellence falls upon Batman Rebirth #24. This illustriously illustrated issue is brought to you by those ceaseless composers of comic-book craft – Tom King, Danny Miki and David Finch.

Writer Tom King sure knows how to weave a compelling tale or two, it has to be said, his run on the the Rebirth Batman title has been nothing less than astonishing. His prodigious writing talents run the gamut of horror, thriller, good old fashioned heroics and comedy… narrative-wise, he really is the King (pun most definitely intended!)

Batman #24 is an emotionally charged issue from beginning through to emotive end, the Bat, the Cat and wedding bells? it’s certainly a possibility as Gotham’s grim guardian sensationally gets down on one knee to propose to the feisty feline felon known as Catwoman. So will this mean a happy denouement to the trials and tribulations of the dark and scary one’s overtly complicated and melancholic life? Maybe, but I wouldn’t hold your breath, this is the Batman we’re talking about here, when has his life ever involved anything more than tragedy and vicissitude.

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“Aftermath!” Gotham City is at peace… but a war is coming. Armed with the terrifying knowledge gained from the mysterious button, Batman must prepare for the coming storm by making a proposition to one of his enemies… one that may change everything for the Dark Knight and his allies.”

Batman #24 is available at your local comic book emporium right now.

Three Years In The Precinct – A 1313 Anniversary Special

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Excerpt Taken From – ‘In Pursuit Of Precinct1313 – Chapter One’

The storm raged tempestuously around us as we made our way through the treacherous and foreboding woodland intent on finding our prize, a long sought after structure of otherworldly power. We had been searching for this mythical edifice since we first heard whispers of its existence years earlier. Pushing ever deeper into the dense thicket, stopping only to cut our way through the tangle of overgrown trees and foliage, which in this storm moved and weaved almost as if attempting to drive us back. Craning my head up into the driving rain and winds, I noticed my colleague, who was a few feet ahead of me, had come to a stop, his gaze transfixed on something ahead.

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“Pete?” I said, placing my hand on his right shoulder, “What’s up dude?,” Pete turned his face towards me, his expression was a mix of both elation and fear, a strange combination to be sure. He motioned a nod forwards and it was then that I noticed, not more than maybe twenty or so feet ahead, a dark and ominous building that strangely felt like it was looking, right back, at me!  “I, uh, think this might be it” I said in a rather flustered tone, I was rattled believe me, the storm had almost immediately stopped as we had, which in itself was extremely unsettling. Pete and I looked at each other and then uniformly moved warily forward into what was now an almost deafeningly disquieting silence. 

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The impressive structure loomed towards us like a brooding nightmare from a Lovecraftian novel. Pete hastened up the stone steps stopping at the entrance portentously, I arrived at his side just as he was reaching for the handle. The large oak doors slowly creaked open, and suddenly, some ‘thing’ from inside, invisible to our eyes, pushed violently through us… “Free,” it uttered, “Free, at last.” Pete, strangely unperturbed by the freakish phenomena, moved forward into the darkened halls ahead, and, with a little more trepidation, I followed…

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Excerpt Taken From – “In Pursuit Of Precinct1313 – Chapter Two” 

“Damn, this place is a serious enigma, I mean look at it, three years down the line and we’re still discovering new rooms and annexes. The really odd thing is though, I could have sworn we’ve been down here before, yet I do not recognise that rather large vault door”  I looked towards Pete, who stood silently in front of the prodigious round door, running his hands inquisitively over the smooth metallic surface.

“I don’t either” Pete remarked back, “there doesn’t seem to be any way of getting through it though… no handles, locks, nothing” Pete backed up, surveying the door curiously. “Eldritch?” Pete asked, looking towards me, I nodded silently and made my way back through the Precinct’s darkened hallways, Eldritch usually could be found perched silently in the mausoleum.

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Eldritch had been with us since we had first discovered the Precinct, three years previous. He served as a silent guardian and guide to the mysterious mansion, a Carrion Crow of woe, whose ultimate purpose was unbeknownst to myself or Pete. Eldritch cocked his head towards me as I entered through the mausoleum’s ornate doorway, his onyx eyes glinting with a perceived menace. He focused his full attention towards me, almost as if he were gazing directly into my fragile psyche, before taking flight towards the inaccessible vault door.

I arrived a few moments later… the vault door was open, darkness filled it’s void, Pete nor Eldritch weren’t anywhere to be seen. I cautiously approached the perplexing lacuna, it’s darkness seemingly impenetrable, “Pete?” I whispered into the inky blackness, there came no reply… steeling myself, I stepped through…

Welcome fellow Agents of Precinct1313, to our anniversary special. That’s right, the malefic mansion of mystery enters into it’s third year of existence, and we still find ourselves trapped within it’s vast depths. So, whilst we pursue the zenith of this delphic abode, we shall endeavour to bring you, our loyal Special Agents, our continuing in depth look at the wonderful world of DC Comics and beyond…

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Many, many thanks to everyone who have, over the past three years – followed, liked, read and commented on our DC Comics-centric ramblings here in the Precinct… it is ‘YOU’ who make this entire endeavour worthwhile. batman (1) 

The Pursuit Of Precinct1313 Will Continue…

Ancient Amazon Archives Revisited – Act VIII

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Our Olympian Odyssey through the ancient Amazon archives continues expeditiously as we leave behind the Herculean Amphitheatre of knowledge we surreptitiously unearthed in our previous instalment, and guide ourselves through a small vestibule daedally draped in silken banners that portray the subjugation and eventual emancipation of the deific Amazons from their ancient adversary Hercules.

Upon closer inspection of the various Vexillum we notice one of them softly swaying back and forth, possessed of a zephyr of air from an unknown source. Pushing aside the intricate pennant we discover a set of majestic marble steps that lead upwards, twisting and turning erratically, triumphantly obscuring our vision of their eventual end.

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After what feels like an eternity of elevation our perpetual pace comes to cessation as we find our progress halted by a lavishly engraved bronze Mycenaean style Lion Gate. Incisively running our fingers across a prominent carving of a Lioness, we discover a hasp ingeniously masquerading as one of it’s intricate incisors. Pulling the hasp towards us causes the Lion Gate to slowly open… instantly we move our hands to shield our eyes as blinding sunlight pores in through the now unlatched gateway, after months spent scouring the archives under scant torchlight, the suddenness of the solar rays scorch our eyes.

With the colossal Amazon archives now behind us, does this mark the end of our epic odyssey? or is it symbolic of a new beginning for Wonder Woman? these questions and more can only be answered through… ‘Classic Wonder Woman’  Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Diana of Themyscira.

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A new day does indeed dawn on the paradise island known as Themyscira, as our Hellenic Herald embraces a new origin story, and siblings of Godlike stature. In September 2011, DC Comics relaunched it’s entire line of comic books, with the elaborate event being named ‘The New 52’  – fifty two titles each following a classic DC character. Diana was no longer birthed from clay, moulded by her mother Queen Hippolyta, and given life by a pantheon of Greek Gods, but instead is the demi-goddess daughter of Zeus himself. Her original origin is revealed to be nothing more than an elaborate cover story to protect her from the preconceived wrath of Zeus‘ wife Hera.

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DC brought on board sensational scribe Brian Azzarello to pen her ongoing tales of fantastic fiction, and astounding artist Cliff Chiang to bring her virtual soul to life. Together they succeeded in producing one of the most celebrated runs in Wonder Woman‘s long and varied history.

Join us again next time for more ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ my accomplished Amazonian associates!

Ancient Amazon Archives Revisited – Act VII

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Our ongoing odyssey through the ancient Amazon archives has begat many magnificent and momentous tales of bravery, heroism and valour as we have pedantically pursued the scintillating sisterhood of antediluvian Amazon warriors, and their champion, Diana of Themyscira.

As we proceed in negotiating the vast annals of knowledge, our perpetual path brings us ever closer to the ultimate truth behind the legends of Gods, and monsters, sacrifice and salvation and the hellenic herald who would lead her sisters into the light of a new world and, in the fullness of time, become the emancipator of humanity itself.

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As we continue apace the corridors of collation, we glimpse, in our peripheral vision, an evanescent trail of golden light that guides us to a small crevice located in the ancestral archive walls. Reaching cautiously into the cleft our hand alights upon a small but infinitely intricate lever, pulling this down causes the walls to slowly unveil their secrets, folding in of themselves to reveal a hitherto unseen amphitheatre of Herculean magnitude, with every inch of this precious structure overflowing with vast volumes of lore pertaining to the revered history of Hera’s adopted daughters.

Once more, as if Zeus himself guides our path, we happen upon a volume so elaborate that it is hard to believe that even the Olympic Gods themselves could ever forge such a magnificent tome, a book so mysterious and rich in power that it could only ever be translated through… ‘Classic Wonder Woman’  Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Diana Prince.

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Welcome my fellow comic book loving compatriots to another astonishing advent in Amazon lore, an intense, illuminating issue that is brought to you by those luminary lights of cosmic creation – J.Michael Straczynski, Phil Hester, Eduardo Pansica, and Alex Sinclair. Wonder Woman #608 was unleashed in April 2011.

Wonder Woman #608 continues the ‘Odyssey’ storyline that began in the anniversary special Wonder Woman #600, which rebooted our heroic herald with a new backstory and costume. Though the lengthy fourteen part epic tale by master scribe J.Michael Straczynski was a well structured and finely wrought piece of narrative, the fundamental changes made to Diana during this saga, never sat well with fans, and was ultimately rebooted soon after, when DC Comics began the ‘New 52′ complete overhaul of it’s entire multiverse.

Join us again next time for more ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ my adroit Amazonian associates!

Ancient Amazon Archives Revisited – Act VI

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Our effervescent expedition through the ancient Amazon archives continues apace as we descend yet another level into what is a seemingly infinite array of chambers and corridors, with each and every recess literally crammed with untold millennia of encyclopedic knowledge pertaining to the deific Amazon race.

This new tier though appears more majestic than the three previous floors we negotiated, the palatial surroundings are bathed under an ethereal light that transcends even the anterior archives in elegance. Diaphanous silks drape across the walls, and each turn of the interminable passageways present us with an exquisite effigy of one of the founding Gods of Olympus, layered in gold and precious stones that denotes their importance to the noble race of warriors and artisans.

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The hellenic architecture of the passages give way to an extraordinarily large Propylae gate that forms the entrance to an elegant repository that house the largest collection of tomes and parchments we have yet seen in our ongoing odyssey. One wall though contains a single volume, bound in leather and embossed in gold leaf this intricate book shimmers under the luminescent glow of the nearby torches. Carefully opening the tome, our eyes alight upon the magnificence of the interior narrative, an elaborate exposition that can only be translated through… Classic Wonder Woman’  Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Diana Prince.

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A scintillating six hundred issues into the astonishing adventures of the amazing Amazon, and DC merge the previous three volumes and return Diana’s foray into man’s world to its original numbering. This oversized anniversary special brings together a legion of tantalising talent to create a commemorative comic of epic proportion.

The cadre of comic-book composers gathered together for this illustrious issue include – George Perez, Amanda Conner, Gail Simone, Phil Jimenez, Jock, Adam Hughes, J. Michael Strazczynski, Nicola Scott and many, many more. Plus, an incomparable introduction by stunning seventies superstar of the original Wonder Woman TV series, the lovely Lynda Carter!

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The anniversary issue comprises five different tales of the Themysciran Titan, with the highlight for this fevered fan being the short tale written and drawn by the amazing Amanda Conner. We find Wonder Woman teaming up with Power Girl and one time Batgirl Cassandra Cain to battle the inexplicable Egg-Fu! It also touches upon a power we rarely see used by Diana, her innate ability to empathise and to some extent converse with animals, as she gives Power Girl a look into why her pet cat is out of sorts in a heartfelt and amusing tale.

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Join us again next time for more ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ my adventurous Amazonian associates!

Ancient Amazon Archives Revisited – Act V

 

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Pushing ever deeper into the cavernous chambers of the ancient Amazon archives we happen across an expertly crafted statue of Queen Hippolyta, the intricate design is so meticulous that it could only have been created by the Gods of Olympus themselves.

Tracing our fingers across the elaborate effigy we notice that the grandiose Sarissa spear that the likeness of the Amazonian Queen clutches in its left hand has a small catch hidden just below the tip. Lifting the catch cautiously causes the graven image of Hippolyta to suddenly drop the Aspis shield it was wielding. Upon retrieving the heavy bronze Aspis from the dusty chamber floors we notice, secreted behind the leather interior of the shield, a slender tome, that can only be translated through… ‘Classic Wonder Woman’  Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of the Titan of Themyscira.

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Once more unto the breach my astonishing Amazonian affiliates as we celebrate yet another illustrious issue from those ceaseless composers of fantastic fiction – Gail Simone, Aaron Lopresti & Matt RyanWonder Woman (volume 3) #41 was released in April 2010.

This compelling comic showcases a literal Clash of the Titans, as two of DC’s heavy hitters collide head on.  Kryptonian Power Girl is the Earth 2 variant of Supergirl and possesses the same powers and skills as her parallel dimensional cousin, super strength and speed, near invulnerability, flight and more, making her a very ferocious foe to her rogues gallery of enemies. Unfortunately for the amazing Amazon, today, all of Power Girls focus is directly on taking down Diana, in a battle royale of epic proportion.

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Possessed by the offspring of AresPower Girl believes Diana to be a fake and instantly sets about exposing the truth by attempting to pummel the Themysciran Princess with all her immeasurable might. Though the two powerhouses are equals in both strength and fortitude, Power Girl is not an Amazon and with millennia of training and combat expertise, Diana is more than a match for the raging Kryptonian.

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Another fantastic issue from Simone and Lopresti that pits two of DC Comics’ most beloved heroines. Standout moments of this two part tale entitled ‘A Murder Of Crows’ are, Wonder Woman extolling that she is “A Little Peeved” (after getting swatted by a down town bus that Power Girl is hefting like a baseball bat) and Power Girl punching Diana so hard… she ends up across the border in Canada!!

Join us again next time for more Classic Wonder Woman, my adroit Amazonian associates!

Happy Wonder Woman Day

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Wonder Woman weekend is upon us my astounding Amazonian associates, triumphantly commencing yesterday with the release of Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkin’s stunning cinematic adaptation (oh and believe me folks, it definitely lives up to the hype, review incoming soon) and continuing through today, which DC Comics have officially declared – Wonder Woman Day!

Hera’s heraldic hero of hope has been with us for an astonishing 75 years now and in that time has immersed herself in all forms of entertainment media from comic-books, animation, novelisations, television series, and beyond. So here’s three ways that you can join in the celebration of the world’s most important fictional female…

Indulge In The Fantastic 2009 Animated Origin Tale…

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Patty Jenkin’s fantastic adaptation might be Wondy’s first cinematic live action solo debut, but the Themysciran Titan has headlined her own movie previous to this in the amazing 2009 animated tale.

The film, which was written by Gail Simone and Michael Jelenic gave us a George Perez inspired origin tale, that takes us from the golden shores of Themyscira and Diana’s complex relationships with her mother, Queen Hippolyta and sister Amazons, to the dangerous and uncertainty of the world outside of the Amazon’s paradise island. With a star studded voice cast that includes – Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Virginia Madsen, Alfred Molina, Rosario Dawson and David McCallum, this is one of the best adaptations of Diana Prince outside of the comic books themselves… highly recommended.

Read Wonder Woman Rebirth…

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DC Comic’s recent Rebirth shake up of it’s iconic universe of characters has been a massive hit with fans across the globe. The 2016 relaunch heralded the end of their New52  run and returned the DCU to a time before the Flashpoint Paradox but retained the history and continuity of what came before.

Wonder Woman Rebirth has been a stunning adaptation of Zeus’ favoured daughter, alternating each issue between her present and past, with a retelling of her canonical origin story in the “Year One” chapters by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott, and the contemporary tale of Diana’s trials and tribulations to discover the truth behind “The Lies” by Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp. Diana’s world was brought to glorious and evocative life through the talent of these individuals presenting us with quite possibly the greatest WW run of issues since the glory days of the great George Perez. 

Continue Your Odyssey Through The Ancient Amazon Archives…

Our Herculean Odyssey through the Ancient Amazon Archives was a particularly big hit for Precinct1313 last year, and in anticipation of Gal Gadot’s solo escapades as the Amazon Herald we have been revisiting the archives from it’s humble beginnings through to it’s thrilling denouement… and Act IV begins right here. Happy Wonder Woman Day, my astoundingly awesome Amazonian affiliates!

Ancient Amazon Archives Revisited – Act IV

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Our torches flicker white hot incandescence across the walls of the ancient Amazon archives as we continue our research into the millennia long annals of the Olympus created Amazon race. We have descended vast depths since beginning this investigation, floor after floor of extensive libraries detailing every facet of the venerable Amazons and their feats of great valour, which are then regaled to you through – Classic Wonder Woman’  Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Zeus’ favoured daughter.

This weeks tantalising tome is brought to you by those veracious virtuosi of comic book excellence – Gail Simone, Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan. Released in September 2009.

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After her titanic struggle against the unremitting foe Genocide and a sorrowful departure from her home of Themyscira, Diana returns to her apartment in Washington DC. It is here she learns that Genocide is still alive, though broken, and is being harboured by Dr Psycho in Japan, Psycho is using an underground Meta-Human fight arena as cover whilst he sets about returning Genocide (who is actually the corpse of Wonder Woman, stolen by Ares in the future and corrupted to become Genocide) to full power.

Diana consults fellow Justice League member Dinah Lance (better known as Black Canary) about her dealings with illegal operations such as Psycho’s fight den, who gleefully agrees to join Diana on her mission to infiltrate the Meta-Human arena as competitors. Cue another fantastically written tale by the talented Gail Simone, the quirky story follows our two celebrated heroines on a journey through zany Japanese culture and even comparisons of Super female bust sizes(!?)

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I love this run of Wonder Woman by Gail Simone, in my opinion it rivals all the greats that came before and after it including George Perez and the more recent saga by BrianAzzarello. Simone just ‘gets’ the character like no other, it helps also that her talent runs the gamut of both deep dramatism and incredibly funny comedy. Rounding this series off perfectly are Aaron Lopresti’s fantastic visuals, his characters exhibit real emotion and his articulation of facial expressions in his art is worthy of the great Keith Giffen himself, and that is high praise indeed.

Join us again next time for more Classic Wonder Woman, my astonishing Amazonian associates!

Ancient Amazon Archives Revisited – Act III

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Pushing ever deeper into the ancient Amazon archives we discover a seemingly forgotten pathway, heavily shrouded in near impenetrable darkness and coated in a fine layer of dust and cobwebs. Beyond this hidden path lies a small ornate room illuminated from some unknown and otherworldly source, and at its centre lies a magnificent manuscript that can only be translated through – “Classic Wonder Woman” Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Princess Diana of Themyscira.

Today’s tantalising tome is brought to you by those boundless bastions of comic book creation – Gail Simone, Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan. Released in July 2008.

The startling story secreted behind the colossal cover is the first part of a four issue mini-series entitled “Ends Of The Earth” and marks the beginning of Gail Simone’s legendary run on the awesome Amazon’s adventures.

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Diana must brave the mystical demonic real known as the Black Horizon, this desolate plane has devoured many a great warrior whom have encountered its perilous landscape. Bereft of most of her powers and fighting a growing bloodlust in her veins, Diana must journey through this dangerous dimension to reclaim her soul from a demon lord who resides at the edge of existence.

Join us again next time for more Classic Wonder Woman, my astute Amazonian associates!

Ancient Amazon Archives Revisited – Act II

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The ornate chambers of the Amazon archives are vast, stretching as far as any mortal’s eyes can see. We make our way deeper into the legendary library, stopping occasionally to survey the various parchments and tomes, the millennia long annals of Amazon deeds and accomplishments are contained within this sacred place, and conveyed to you through – ‘Classic Wonder Woman’  Precinct1313’s comic cover coundown to the 75th anniversary of the Themysciran legend.

This week’s tenacious tome is brought to you by those mythical maestros of comic book creation – J. Torres, Julian Lopez, & Marta Martinez. With the classic cover rapturously rendered by – Terry & Rachel Dodson. Released: December 2007.

Thirteen issues into Volume 3 of Diana’s daring adventures brings you a startling story entitled “Mothers and Daughters”, a crossover issue in conjunction with the mini-series “Amazons Attack”. After the cataclysmic events of Infinite Crisis, the Amazons return to Earth to find their Princess, Diana, unlawfully held in detention by the United States Government.

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Led by their Queen, Hippolyta and her adviser Circe, and joined by mythic Greek creatures that includes, Pegasus, Hydra, and Cyclops, the Amazons attack the USA, with Hippolyta hellbent on destroying the world of men. Unbeknown to the Queen and her sister Amazons however is that the whole event was orchestrated by Circe, who is using the war as a means to destroy the Amazons and their fabled home of Themyscira.

Join us again next time for more Classic Wonder Woman, my astonishing Amazonian associates!

Ancient Amazon Archives Revisited…

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The first official reviews are in for the Wonder Woman movie, and by ‘The Mighty Chariot of Zeus’ they are universally in praise of the Themysciran Titan’s first outing on the silver screen. Currently holding a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it makes Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins’ comic-book translated opus the highest rated Superhero movie ever… that’s right, my amazing Amazonian associates, EVER!

Now, if you are a veteran agent of Precinct1313, you will no doubt be aware that we adore the Amazon Herald, with well over 50% of the posts emanating from this Malefic Mansion of Mystery centered around the exploits of Zeus’ favoured daughterWith the recent influx of new agents to the Precinct (many thanks, and welcome by the way) and with not only the highly anticipated film releasing this Friday, but also Saturday June 3 being DC’s official Wonder Woman day, we believe now is the perfect time to repost our epic journey through the Ancient Amazon Archives that took place last year (and ended up being our most successful series of articles.) It began as a fun way to introduce our WW 75th anniversary comic cover countdown, but grew into something much grander as the series went on.

Over the next few days we shall relive that Herculean Odyssey from it’s humble beginnings. So don your stoutest walking boots, for we are about to journey into Amazon history…

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A warm breeze caresses our face as we cross a small river that quietly flows its way through the centre of the paradise island known as Themyscira. Just up ahead lies the intricately carved gateway that leads down to the ancient Amazon archives, where great tales of heroism and legends may be found, and retold in “Classic Wonder Woman” Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Diana Prince.

This weeks colossal cover celebrates the beginning of a new chapter for the Amazon Herald, as we join Donna Troy as the new holder of the title of Wonder Woman, in the very first issue of volume-3 of the awesome Amazon’s continuing adventures. This terrific tome is brought to you by – Writer: Allan Heinberg. Artists: Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, and Alex Sinclair, with the colossal cover by Terry Dodson. Released: August 2006.

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The tantalising tale secreted behind the captivating cover is titled “Who Is WonderWoman” and picks up one year after the catastrophic events of Infinite Crisis. Diana has stepped away from the role of Wonder Woman, passing the mantle unto Donna Troy. Donna was once known as Wonder Girl and is Diana’s exact duplicate, brought to life by the Sorceress Magala originally as a playmate for the Themysciran Princess. Donna made her first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #60″ in 1965. Created by Bob Haney and Bruno Premiani. She is most fondly remembered as a founding member of The Teen Titans, though she has also allied herself with, The Justice League, Darkstars and the WhiteLantern Corps.

Join us again next time for another classic WW cover, my affable Amazonian associates!

Precinct1313’s Heroes From The Dark Side: Rorschach

Warning: Contains spoilers for the original comic series and movie adaptation.’

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“Because there is good and there is evil, and evil must be punished, even in the face of Armageddon I shall not compromise in this” – Rorschach, 1985.

 

Comics changed inextricably in the 1980’s, they matured into a more complex and intricate form of literature. Now this isn’t to say that previous to the eighties the stories and characters contained within the pages of this popular graphic medium were badly written or simplistic, there are many instances of fantastic character depth and sagacity from earlier decades.

Yet, the 1980’s was a significant time of fundamental change in the way people approached not only the entertainment medium, but also politics and their place in the world itself. Here in the UK the revolutionary, anti-establishment Punk Rock movement, which rose out of the peoples’ inherent distrust of their government and the way the country was being run opened a lot of eyes to what the average person could actually do to show their frustration and disappointment of the direction their lives were being taken. I truly believe that the maturation of comic books themselves began here in Britain, thanks to Punk, and the general feeling that the population had with their governance. 

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It was the weekly anthology comic 2000 AD that initially led the way, thanks to characters like Judge Dredd, who were directly influenced by politics and social movements of the late seventies and early eighties within the United Kingdom. Both writers and artists began to use the medium to more freely explore their attitudes and perspective on the way the real world was unfolding before them. Arguably the most famous and outspoken was Alan Moore, this literary genius has bestowed upon us such luminary and dissenting works as V for Vendetta (which unreservedly drew upon the 70’s Punk rebellion and previous anti establishment works such as George Orwell’s dystopian “1984”), and of course the seminal Watchmen.

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Watchmen originated from the mind of comic-book writer extraordinaire, Alan Moore in 1986 with artwork by Dave Gibbons and John Higgins. Published by DC Comics, the project was originally submitted to them using the Charlton comics characters that they had recently acquired the rights to – Captain Atom, Blue Beetle and the Question amongst others were going to be the basis of the Watchmen themselves, but DC were reluctant to use any of it’s current characters outside of their existing timeline. Instead executive editor at DC at the time, Dick Giordano proposed the creation of new characters for the story and so, Captain Atom became Dr Manhattan, Blue Beetle became Nite- Owl, and the Question gave birth to the ‘paranoid, sociopathic’ masked vigilante… Rorschach. 

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Rorschach is the lead protagonist of the Watchmen, with the audience following along with him throughout the story through the use of both his monologues and regular diary entries. You could say that of all the Watchmen Rorschach is the true hero of the piece, though at only a cursory glance he seems a very one note character, callous and sociopathic.

Rorschach initially comes across as an unapologetic vigilante who perceives the world around him in very black & white terms, there is only right and wrong, no middle ground, though under the surface he is very much a deeper character. Rorschach is the most relatable and empathetic of the group, the downtrodden everyman who has finally reached the point where he’s had enough of the cruelty, unjust and indifference of society at large, deciding to fight back and adopting a persona that would enable him to do just that.

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Rorschach was born Walter Kovacs in 1940, his father was unknown to him and he lived solely with his mother Sylvia. His mother was a prostitute who regularly entertained her ‘clients’ in their run-down home, she was abusive to her son both physically and mentally. At the age of eleven Walter got into a fight with two local neighbourhood bullies, unwilling to tolerate their abuse anymore, Walter fought back for the first time in his life, battering the two older bullies, leaving them hospitalised and in one case permanently scarred. Upon looking into Walter’s home life, the authorities saw the conditions that he was forced to live under and removed him from his mother’s care, and he was resettled in a local boys home.

Walter excelled from a young age at sports and was also a very gifted boxer. He left the boys home at the age of sixteen, and found a job in a dress shop where he would cut and fashion fabric for the clothing, it was here that he came across the unique fabric that would eventually become his famous ink blot mask.

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Throughout the 1960’s Walter would fight crime as the masked vigilante Rorschach, and though his methodology was ruthless, he never killed any of the criminals, they would end up most of the time brutally beaten and hospitalised, but very much alive. The incident that changed Rorschach and ultimately sent him down the path of his own destruction was the kidnapping case of  Blair Roche. Tracking the killer to an abandoned shop, Rorschach found the the young girl’s charred clothing in a stove and observed the killer’s two dogs chewing on a human bone. This was a turning point for Walter’s fragile psyche, unable to hold in his rage and having no belief in the justice system at large, he killed the girl’s murderer and would from that point on continue to do so to all of the most violent of criminals he encountered.

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Rorschach occasionally teamed up with another costumed crime-fighter, Dan Dreiberg, aka Nite-Owl to take down more prolific and dangerous criminals and organisations, and then eventually alongside Nite-Owl he joined the newly formed superhero team- the Crimebusters. This group reintroduced the idea of a team of crime-fighters, the first mass team up since the original Minute-men team from the 1940’s, the Crimebusters consisted of Dr Manhattan, Ozymandias, Captain Metropolis, Silk Spectre, the Comedian, Nite-Owl and of course Rorschach

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After a public outcry against masked vigilantes, the government eventually passed the Keene act which outlawed unsanctioned crime-fighters, the Crimebusters disbanded, except, of course, Rorschach himself who refused to give up the mask and retire from crime-fighting, both Dr Manhattan and the Comedian would continue to work covertly as government agents in various conflicts and war zones around the world.

Whilst investigating the murder of Edward Blake, Rorschach discovers that Blake was actually the civilian persona of the Comedian, concluding that he was probably killed in revenge for his role as a member of the Crimebusters. Convinced there is a ‘mask killer’ on the loose, Rorschach decides to warn his ex team-mates and investigate the case further. During this investigation, Rorschach is framed by the killer of the Comedian after an unknown tip places him at the home of murdered reformed Super-Villain, Moloch. Rorschach is captured by the police and incarcerated.

A dangerous place for any crime-fighter, especially Rorschach, considering half of the current inmates were interned here through his direct actions, this sequence of events is what elicits Rorschach’s famous and much loved quote – “None of you seem to understand, I’m not locked in here with you, you are locked in here, with me!” When the prison erupts into a violent uprising, Rorschach uses the resulting confusion and chaos to escape, with the help of recently out of retirement Crimebusters, Nite-Owl and Silk Spectre.

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Rorschach, reunited with his crime busting partner Nite-Owl, continued his investigation into Blake’s death, which would lead him not only to the shocking truth of who was actually behind the murder, but eventually his own demise. Rorschach left the world as he entered, uncompromising and implacable. A violent, pitiable man, shaped by his unfortunate past who fought for what he perceived was right and just. He is the epitome of the anti-hero archetype, a self righteous persona residing in a morally grey area of vehemence and rage, though through his often inexcusable actions he did manage to offer some hope and aspiration to a world seething in corruption and deceit, and ultimately ended his life… A Hero.