Category Archives: Comics/television

80 Glorious Years Of Wonder Woman!

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Hola and welcome, my absolutely astounding Amazon associates, to the 80th anniversary of the Themysciran Titan known as – Wonder Woman! That’s right, William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter’s groundbreaking fictional female first appeared in print exactly eight decades ago to this day, in the October 1941 issue of Sensation Comics #08.

If you’ve been a follower of the Precinct for awhile now, you more than likely know our affinity and adoration for Diana, in fact near forty percent of the post output here has been about the wondrous one’s myriad adventures. We have regaled you, dear reader, with comic and graphic novel reviews, psychological breakdowns of Diana’s mantra and impact, not only in the world of comics but also in real life situations of feminism, emancipation and acceptance, not to mention in-depth looks at her many allies, and foes, biographies of her creators, and the sundry stunning writers and artists who have depicted her over the decades.

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Wonder Woman is THE most important fictional female character ever committed to print, a shining beacon of hope and bastion of empowerment and equality, in the popular world of the superhero, she is the anomaly, relying on forgiveness, love and acceptance, rather than just the fist. That said, she is also a three millennium old Amazon warrior, who has been training, alongside her immortal sisters, in martial mastery since her illustrious and divine creation by a pantheon of Greek gods, so, if she needs to kick arse, let’s just say, very few can stand before her might.

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So, in celebration of Wondy’s eighty year reign, we would love to share with you a selection of our favourite Precinct1313 Wonder Woman posts from throughout the past eight years of this blog’s existence, that regale our love and admiration of the scintillating scion of the sublime. Enjoy, and… Happy 80th Anniversary Diana, we love ya!

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Wonder Woman: The True Amazon

Eisner Award winning writer/artist – Jill Thompson’s perfect parable of Diana’s earlier years is an alluring and sometimes provocative take on the Themysciran Titan, the storytelling contained within this terrific tome has a level of true emotional depth oft unfound in the medium, and you can re-visit our 2016 review – Right Here.

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Wonder Woman/Conan

The legendary pairing of the Themysciran Princess and sullen eyed Cimmerian – Conan the Barbarian is equalled in this titanic tale by the mythical mixing of it’s superstar creators – Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti. Simone’s slow but epic build up in the story allows us to richly immerse ourselves into Conan’s savage and tempestuous reality, of which you too can experience if you visit our glowing review from 2020 – Right Here!

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Wonder Woman: Rebirth

Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott’s Rebirth series was a phenomenon both visually and in it’s stellar story-telling, and world building, and has ended up with the distinction of being one of my absolute favourite ever takes on Gaea’s glorious gal, and you can find out why when you re-visit our 2016 post – Right Here.

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Why We Love Wonder Woman

A more recent post from July 2021, where we spend time reflecting on the core attributes about Zeus’ favoured daughter that initially attracted us to the classic character, and why we still hold her in such reverence. Why not wend your way over to this particularly poignant post – Right Here!

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Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed

Celebrated author – Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrator – Leila Del Luca provided a fresh and funky new take on Diana’s early upbringing on Paradise Island. A superb coming of age drama that’s not afraid to delve into the darker recesses of humankind, but is ultimately a tale of family, friends, love and emancipation. Indulge your senses in our review – Right Here.

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Diana – Princess Of The Amazons

Diana: Princess of the Amazons tells the tale of the wondrous one many years before she became the icon known as Wonder Woman. An eleven year old girl growing up on the idyllic paradise island of Themyscira. This fabulous fable is an uplifting tale about dealing with the inevitable growing pains that everyone ultimately experiences on their emotional journey into adulthood. A young adult novel that can be enjoyed by all ages, and you can start your very own voyage into this wildly wonderful world – Right Here!

Happy 80th Anniversary Diana! Just 20 More Years To The Centenary!!

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Happy Batman Day!

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Over eight decades ago, the smoking gun barrel of Joe Chill unleashed unto the unsuspecting denizens of Gotham City a nocturnal nightmare of which they had never seen. The tragic murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, before the innocent eyes of their young son, Bruce, created a force of vengeance and justice that has been preying on Gotham’s criminal underbelly with furious anger ever since… The Batman!

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Created by the peerless pairing of Bill Finger and Bob Kane, the creepy and curmudgeonly creature of the night’s first ever appearance was in DC Comics’ revered Detective Comics in May of 1939. Since that time, the dark and surly one has gone on to become, quite possibly, the most popular and renowned Superhero ever conceived, with his fame spreading across every single known entertainment medium, from comic-books through video-games, television shows, movies, toys, clothes, novelisations, and so, so much more, firmly cementing his place in heroic history!

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But what is it that compels readers to immerse themselves in a vengeance driven man-hunter, a being that has devoted his life to bringing his own brand of Bat-justice to a corrupt and dystopian city seething with criminal detritus? I absolutely believe that it’s his inherent vulnerability and pathos, you see, unlike the vast swathe of caped crusaders, Bruce is, ultimately, just a man in a costume… he can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, or deflect bullets with bracelets, he’s not capable of reaching the speed-force, or even talking to fish! but what he does possess is the inherent belief in his own righteousness and decency, it’s his integrity and moral fortitude that has enabled him to rise above the sea of costumed crimefighters and be the best he can be, no matter the adversity or lack of powers thereof… the mark of a true hero (of course, billions of dollars, an unsurpassed mastery of myriad martial arts, genius level intellect and a compendium of glorious gadgets also, sort of, helps!)

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And So… Happy Batman Day! What will you be doing to celebrate the Dark Knight? Why not sound off in the comments below, fellow Bat-fans.

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Precinct1313 Recommends: Doomsday Clock – The Complete Collection

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Never was a truer word said Doc… since DC Comics and comic-book author – Geoff Johns – once again returned us to the dystopian landscape of Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and John Higgins’ original groundbreaking ’80s maxi-series. 

I am a self confessed Watchmen fanboy, it is without a shadow of doubt my favourite comic-book series of all time. When I first consumed Alan Moore’s trailblazing series in 1986, I was blown away, it was a unique and contemporary take on the Superhero genre, a treatise on social anxiety, and a complete deconstruction of traditional Superhero conceptualisation, it was different in every single way possible to everything that came before it, and is almost single-handedly responsible for completely transforming the face of the comic-book medium for future creators, and readers. A veritable masterpiece.

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Since that time we have been regaled with scant few other forays into Moore’s apocalyptic vision, from Director – Zack Snyder’s masterful cinematic adaptation in 2009, a motion comic version of the original series released the same year to coincide with the movie’s release, through DC’s prequel series – Before Watchmen, released in 2012, and more recently, the superb HBO television saga by Damon Lindelof. And though some fans revelled in the new material presented to us (myself included) others believed that the original should have always have been left as a standalone project, with whom co-creator Alan Moore has always sided.

I personally believe that any beloved piece of creation, be it film, novel and comic-book should always be given a chance to grow and re-present itself to a new and modern audience, Snyder’s movie was the first instance of this for Watchmen, opening up the material to new fans, but at the same time being honest and respectful of Moore’s original vision. Watchmen is a world that has so many more tales to tell, and even more lessons to bestow upon it’s readership, and with Geoff Johns’ – Doomsday Clock series, DC did just that, oh and it also marked a return for irascible ink-blot masked vigilante – Rorschach, but not in the way anyone was expecting (I mean, Doc Manhattan did, literally, implode Rorschach at the end of the first series!!)

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Doomsday Clock actually counts as  our first foray back into the pandemonium that is the Watchmen as it’s a direct sequel to the iconic ’80s series, and as controversial as that seems to some fans, as I stated earlier in the post, I personally am more than happy to once again step into the chaotic and dystopian world of the titular Crimebusters. Sequels, movie adaptations, et al, do not dilute the original works, and if done with care and attention to the former work, can add more layers to the existing whole, plus if the idea of a Watchmen sequel is in any way sacrilegious to you, then you can always ignore it and continue to enjoy Moore’s superlative original story in all it’s well deserved glory.

Doomsday Clock is initially set just a few short years after the end of the original storyline, it’s 1992 and the world is still in turmoil after the events set in motion by Ozymandias, but with his scheme now laid bare, the world is once again on the brink of nuclear armageddon. With this premise, writer – Geoff Johns and artist – Gary Franks, effortlessly transport us back to the wonderfully dark and grimy world set up by Moore, stylistically the comic evokes the original material beautifully, from the dialogue set, through to the nine panel grid layout, visually this feels perfectly at home to it’s predecessor.

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Of course, I haven’t even touched upon the cross dimension interaction between the Crimebusters and DC’s regular pantheon of Superheroes, but let’s just say that the Batman/Rorschach team-up is as delightful as you can imagine, with some utterly fantastic dialogue between the two maniacal masked manhunters.

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If you’re fan of Watchmen and can get past the apparent controversy that a sequel to the seminal original exists, then the recently released Doomsday Clock: Complete Collection is an absolute must buy. Johns and co have presented us with an extremely well written dark, but at times amusing return to the world of masked vigilantes, chaos and deep rooted fear and anxiety, and I for one am more than happy to continue my stay in its fatalistic presence. Highly recommended.

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The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

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

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Jurnee Smollet To Reprise Black Canary Role In Solo Movie…

That’s right, fellow fans of fantastic fictional females in film, the canary is most definitely out of the cage as Birds of Prey star, Jurnee Smollet, confirms her return as dynamic Dinah Lance in a Black Canary solo movie entry for DC’s burgeoning cinematic universe. 

Making her dazzling debut as the superhero – Black Canary in the hit movie: Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn, Jurnee was a resounding success with fans as the crusading crimefighter with a killer voice. Writer and showrunner for Lovecraft Country – Misha Green is also attached to the project which will see her re-unite with Jurnee, who also starred in the popular television series. The film is slated to start filming soon, and will be exclusive to HBO Max alongside other DC Comics’ movie projects – Batgirl, Blue Beetle, and Green Lantern Corps.

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Ava DuVernay Confirms Season One Of DC Comics’ Character – Naomi Has Begun Filming…

Writer/director – Ava DuVernay has officially confirmed that she has started filming of the CW network’s adaptation of the fantastic DC Comics character. Kaci Walfall is headlining the series as the titular powerhouse – Naomi McDuffie, a character from a parallel universe who was sent to Earth Prime after destructive conqueror – Zumbado laid waste to her own version of the planet. Naomi’s spectacular power set include energy projection, flight, and superhuman strength and durability. Naomi’s surname pays tribute to the late, great comic-book author – Dwayne McDuffie, who is best known for creating the iconic African-American Superhero – Static, and was lead writer on many of DC’s animated shows.

Ava helmed the original pilot episode of Naomi for CW, and co-wrote the story with fellow write/producer – Jill Blankenship. The highly anticipated series is expected to air sometime in 2022.

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Why not join us again next time friends, for more Week In Geek!

Amazon Accoutrements: The Lasso Of Truth

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Over the nearly seven years that Precinct1313 has been a thing, we have posted, discussed and revealed the many fascinating and fantastic facets that make up the legend that is Wonder Woman, from her early beginnings courtesy of her genius architect – William Moulton Marston, through her sundry appearances in television, film, animation and, of course, comic-books.

We have regaled and radiated our adoration for the astonishing Amazon, poured praise upon the reasoning of why she is, and always shall be, the most important fictional female in literary history and shared with you, my astounding Amazonian associates, our very favourite manifold mythologies of the Themysciran Titan, be that through comic covers, reviews, news and just general gushing of our love for the character. So let us continue on that path through the philanthropic perfection that is Diana, with a brand new series of articles thusly titled – Amazon Accoutrements, with our very first episode devoted to the Lariat of Hestia, aka – the Lasso of Truth!

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Truth, justice, emancipation, empowerment, and forgiveness are the key traits to Wonder Woman’s psyche, these five character hallmarks form Diana as the benevolent being she is, a gracious goddess whose sole mission is to convey these admirable distinctions to humanity. The truth is integral to Diana’s persona, she is innately incapable of lying, but having to deal on a daily basis with the deceit and nefarious whims of “man’s world” Diana is blessed to have been furnished with the legendary Lariat of Hestia, a glorious golden goddess granted lasso that compels all ensnared within its bonds to tell the truth.

The Hellenic Herald’s titanic tether was originally a part of Aphrodite’s magical girdle, which in itself had the power to inspire passion and desire, with the Queen of the gods herself, Hera, occasionally borrowing it to influence bridal contests for suitors and to rejoin bickering spouses in love. This mystical adornment was gifted to the Amazon race which bequest them their fabled strength and immortality. It was the Amazon, Metala, under mandate by Queen Hippolyta, who was enraptured by the magical artifact, that she forge a golden rope from the graceful girdle, and thus was born the very first form of the righteous rope of veracity.

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In the tradition of the burgeoning DC Universe and it’s often shifting narrative and character mythos, the Lasso of Truth has also seen it’s beguiling backstory altered. The groundbreaking comic-book series – Crisis On Infinite Earths, by celebrated comic-book creators – George Perez and Marv Wolfman, posited that the lasso was forged by maestro of metallurgy and god of fire himself – Hephaestus. The bombastic blacksmith of the gods forged the lavish lariat from the Golden Girdle of Gaea, this mythological artifact was actually created by none other than Wonder Woman’s very own architect – William Moulton Marston, originally named by the esteemed doctor of psychology as the Magical Girdle of Aphrodite, an allegory for the power of female allure, and in Greek mythology – the mythic girdle was obtained by Heracles from Hippolyte as a key quest of his twelve labours.

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The ability to extract the truth though is but one of the powerful properties contained within the golden links of the lasso, it is also capable of translating spoken languages, the mere act of gripping the lasso will enable Diana and any other beings to universally understand each other and speak foreign tongues, the libertarian lariat is also adept at disseminating illusions and hallucinations, and other mental maladies. 

If you’ve had the good fortune of seeing the latest cinematic adaptation of Wonder Woman, you’ll recall seeing Gal Gadot’s Diana learning how to utilise her lasso and the wind currents to enable her ability to fly, this glorious gift wasn’t created for the fantastic film however, but was lifted from the very pages of the comic books themselves. When originally conceived, Diana was incapable of the fantastic feat of flight, but through experimentation of the lasso’s myriad powers, discovered that if she spun the lasso at great speeds, the oscillation would create currents of air she could then use to glide upon, mimicking the power of flight.

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The comic-book creation of the Lasso of Truth by William Moulton Marston was in direct correlation to the esteemed psychologists real life creation of the Systolic Blood Pressure Test, which eventually became one of the key components in the John Larson invented Polygraph. It was actually professor Marston’s wife – Elizabeth Holloway that first suggested a distinct connection between emotion and blood pressure differentiation, noting that whenever they got frustrated or emotional, their blood pressure would climb. 

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Thanks so much for dropping by the Precinct as we explored the history and profundity of Wonder Woman’s laudable and lavish lariat of the gods, next episode we shall be traversing the fictional (and mythological) Amazon annals to search out the history of Diana’s Bracelets of Submission, until that time I shall just say “apochairetismos” my absolutely awesome Amazonian affiliates!

Women In Comics Presents: Ramona Fradon

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The Comic-Book medium has always been seen as a mostly male dominated industry in both characters and creators, this is most likely due to a large percentage of the readership being of the male persuasion, though other more obvious reasons definitely prevail. The Superhero genre, as we know it today, arguably began with Lee Falk’s classic domino masked, amaranthine clad hero – The Phantom, who was followed a mere few years later by DC’s Superman and Batman, it wasn’t until esteemed Professor of psychology – the great William Moulton Marston entered this burgeoning market in 1941 with his iconic creation – Wonder Woman, that the tide began to (very slowly) turn towards a rather more inclusive market.

Of course, attitudes back during the Golden Age of comics were not at all what you would ever call diverse and inclusive, it was very much a male dominated industry and, yes indeed, world. It was Marston that initially fought back against this ideology with his casting of a strong but sensitive character in Diana of Themyscira, a positive female role model that could not only match her male counterparts, but even surpass them. Though Marston is accredited as the sole creator of Wonder Woman (though it should be noted that Harry G. Peter also had an underrated impact on the characters development) it was the women in his life both personal and those of whom he admired, that really had the biggest influence on Wonder Woman’s growth and eventual evolution, most notably – Elizabeth Holloway, Olive Byrne, and suffragist icon – Margaret Sanger.

If you’ve been a follower of Precinct1313 for awhile now you’ll have come to the realisation that not only am I a huge fan of Wonder Woman, but also many other female characters, and creators in not just comic-books but also film and video-games. I love strong female representations in my media, more so than male (sorry Batsy!) I think a lot of this is due to my being almost solely raised by mum from a very young age after my father passed away when I was around nine years old. I also have two sisters (and a brother, it’s ok, I didn’t forget you bro!) who were very independent and forthright, my mother instilled me throughout my formative years with a strong sense of virtue and morality. My mother is and always has been a feminist, she grew up in the 50’s and 60’s when discrimination against women was still very much rife, but actively fought against what was seen as the norm, and I will always be eternally grateful for the values she entrusted me with as I grew.

Now, with that lengthy preamble out of the way, let’s get to what you’re all here for – fantastic female comic-book creators, beginning with…

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Comic-Book artist supreme – Ramona Fradon first began her paradigmatic foray into the male dominated comic market in the early fifties, and she actually continues to draw and create characters even now, at the amazing age of 94! She landed her first paying assignment with DC Comics, illustrating – Shining Knight, and after that auspicious start, became regular penciller on Adventure Comics and Brave and the Bold, also for DC.

Ramona was born in October of 1942 in Chicago, yet spent most of early life in New York, where she moved with her family at age five. Her father was a commercial letterer and logo designer of which her brother also careered in, as well as her uncle. Her mother unfortunately passed away in 1952, when Ramona was a mere ten years of age, and it was her father that encouraged her to follow her dream and enrol in art school at the Parsons School Of Design located in Greenwich Village. After graduating from Parsons, Ramona met and married her husband, the cartoonist – Dana Fradon, who wholly supported and encouraged her career in cartooning. She pitched samples of her work to family friend, comic-book letterer – George Ward, which is what resulted in her first commission for DC Comics on the aforementioned – Shining Knight.

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After praise for her fantastic run on Shining Knight, DC then approached Ramona to continue working for them on a regular basis beginning with Adventure Comics, where she pencilled the back up story of Aquaman, which included her updating the character for the Silver Age, and also co-creating, alongside writer – Robert Bernstein, Aquaman’s trusty sidekick – Aqualad in 1960. She returned to DC to co-create (along with writer Bob Haney) another of their sixties classic creations – Metamorpho for the Brave and the Bold imprint. Ramona admitted to an almost perfect creative synergy with writer Haney, whom both referred to Metamorpho as their literary baby – “It was one of those wonderful collaborations that doesn’t happen very often” Ramona would later say.

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From 1965 through to 1972, Ramona briefly left comic-books to raise her young daughter, but returned once again to DC in late ’72 where she would take up the artistic reins on – Plastic Man, Super Friends and Freedom Fighters. She very briefly worked for Marvel, but admitted that structural differences between the two comic-book giants made it so she preferred working for DC, and soon departed Marvel after pencilling one issue of Fantastic Four and an unpublished issue of The Cat. After returning to DC she worked in conjunction with the legendary Joe Orlando, with whom she drew mystery comics. In 1980 she returned to college to study psychology and ancient religion, during this time she took over artistic responsibility on – Brenda Starr: Reporter, after its long term artist – Dale Messick retired.

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Ramona continued to draw Brenda Starr for an astonishing fifteen years until her own retirement in 1995. Though, even in retirement she would still accept the occasional pencilling assignment, most notably for Spongebob Comics, plus graphic novels – The Dinosaur That Got Tired Of Being Extinct, and – The Adventures Of Unemployed Man, amongst others. She will be returning to the company that she worked so many years for – DC Comics this year with an absolutely glorious cover for their 80th anniversary of Wonder Woman. Ramona Fradon is the pioneer for female artists in the comic-book format, and was recognised as such by being inducted into the prestigious – Will Eisner Comic-Book Hall Of Fame – in 2006, justly so!

Ace, Krypto, And Streaky Too!

Superheroes are awesome aren’t they… leaping tall buildings in a single bound, scowling atop shadowy gargoyles, extracting the truth with their golden lariats, ka-powing criminals, crushing crime and fighting hatred and oppression, yes indeedy, Superheroes are awesome! That said, for many, without their extensive network of sidekicks and allies would they really be as effective? Batman has Robin and his extended Bat-Family, Superman has Supergirl and Superboy, Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl, Green Arrow and Speedy, et al. Though it could be said (probably only by me) that the real power behind their thrones comes from the less heralded, yet equally as important… Super-Pets!

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Now then, if you’re not a comic-book fanatic, you may feel I’m barking mad, or that this post could end up being a cat-astrophe (sorry, I had to!) and yet, Batman, Superman, Supergirl and yes even Wonder Woman have an extensive history with their fearless furry friends that dates back decades, plus, believe it or not, said pets also don colourful costumes (y’know, just in case SuperVillain pets recognise them!), exhibit powers and, yep, fight crime! So why not join us as we peruse (and pet) our all time favourite super powered animals, from Krazy Kangaroos, through Soaring Cats and even a Bat-Cow!

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The origin of the Super-Pet dates way back to the 1940’s, specifically the 1942 release of Sensation Comics #6, which introduced us to Wonder Woman’s very own faithful furry friend. Now, you’d think with Diana’s extensive history and standing in Greek Mythology, that Pegasus would be the perfect equine entity to accompany her on her ongoing odyssey, failing that how about the mighty Minotaur, maybe three headed demonic dog Cerberus, or Zeus’ nurturing goat – Amalthea? Ha, well you’d be wrong oh fellow fans of fantastic fluffy fearless friends, for it was none other than… Jumpa, the Kangaroo!!  (Uh, well, of course it was!)

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I mean, you really have to wonder why Wondy’s incredibly talented creator, William Moulton Marston went with a Kangaroo over the suggestions I threw out there, but, that said, have you ever seen a Kangaroo up close before? those things are terrifying! One of these mammoth marsupials chasing you down with Wonder Woman on it’s back no less, would be the epitome of the good cop/bad cop trope!!

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Now, I know that this might put me in the dog house with the other Super-Pets, but Ace the Bat-hound has always been my personal favourite of this formidable furry force, I mean look at him, he wears a mask, and sometimes a cape and utility belt style collar (how on earth does he get the bat gadgets out of there without fingers? questions like this keep me up at night!) and his master is The Batman! so case closed.

Ace’s doggy debut was in the 1955 issue of Batman #92, and this canine crime-fighting conundrum has been a stalwart admission to the Bat mythos ever since. Originally a German Shepherd, Ace has been through many different Bat-breeds since his initial inception including an English Mastiff and Great Dane, though you’d think, with Batman being heralded as The World’s Greatest Detective that a Bloodhound would make the perfect canine companion for the Caped Crusader… Suffering Sappho, maybe DC should hire me to write their comics! (only joking, uuh, unless DC want to, then I’m not!) But, if you thought caped and cowled crime-fighting canines was the quintessence of strange, you ain’t seen nothing yet…

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Yep, it’s a cow! though not just any old cow of course, but a bodacious and bombastic Bat-bovine!

The legen-dairy ( the puns, they’re gonna get worse!) Bat-Cow made her first astonishing appearance in Batman Inc (vol 2) #1, whilst another version of the headstrong heifer appeared for a short while in Tiny Titans, after stealing Batman’s cape and cowl to fight crime and form the the League Of Just Us Cows, this variant was eventually put out to pasture after DC Comics rebooted her with a brand new origin story. During a raid on a slaughterhouse (which was a front for Talia Al Ghul’s Leviathan) Batman and Robin saved their bovine buddy and adopted her into their burgeoning Bat-Family, this also led to Robin embracing a vegetarian lifestyle. Of course, the idea of a crime-fighting cow is udderly ridiculous, but it has also made for some rather amoo-sing tales, still, as to not milk this segment any longer we shall be moo-ving on to…

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The canine crime-fighting capers continue with the Man of Steel’s very own good boy – Krypto the Superdog! Krypto has been lending a paw to Supes since his cuspid creation in Adventure Comics #210 in March 1955. 

Superman’s best friend also hails from Kal-El’s home planet of Krypton and as such shares a very similar power set to that of his master including flight, super strength and super-breath (gross, I mean dogs and super-breath should never, ever go together!) this four legged wonder’s power set marks him out as the ulti-mutt crime-fighting canine in the Legion of Superpets, which finds him constantly harassed by the pup-arazzi! (ok, ok, that one was fairly bad, just please don’t hound me over it!)

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Just when you are feline that the you’ve had enough of the bad animal puns along comes Supergirl’s favourite furry friend, the paw-some Streaky the Supercat! I’m not kitten around you know, Kara’s fur-midable feline made his debut in Action Comics #261 in February 1960.

Unlike his doggy buddy Krypto, Streaky hailed from Earth and gained his claw-some gifts after exposure to X-Kryptonite, which enabled him with purr-fect powers such as – flight, super-speed and enhanced visual abilities. Though DC contains a plethora of cats in its canon, including Power Girl’s Stinky the cat, and of course Catwoman’s clowder, Streaky though will go down in hiss-tory as a personal favourite of mine, as he has such a meow-tain of purr-sonality!

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All Hail The Legion Of Super-Pets Fur-ever!

Precinct1313’s Top Ten Favourite Comic-Book Covers Of All Time: No.09 – Wonder Woman 77 Special: Phil Jimenez Variant

Welcome back fellow fans of fantastic fiction to our top ten countdown of the Precinct’s absolute favourite comic-book covers of all time. With well over eight enthralling decades of comic-book publishing and literally millions of cool comic cover collectables, it’s been an arduous task picking out just ten (even the 12 labours of Hercules pale in comparison to this epic odyssey!) Our first perennial pick was Bill Sienkiewicz’s haunting variant for Frank Miller’s epic Batman return with Dark Knight III. However, this enraptured episode focuses on one of my favourite Wonder Woman artists of all time, the masterful Phil Jimenez and his esteemed take on the illustrious icon that is none other than sensational seventies superstar, the lovely Lynda Carter, with Wonder Woman 77 Special #1.

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The fantastic Phil Jimenez has been writing and drawing comics since 1991, and has spent a large swathe of his career working for DC Comics and has, over time, created some of their greatest ever storylines with absolutely astonishing paradigms including such gems as – Infinite Crisis, The Return Of Donna Troy and Teen Titans, but it is the Themysciran Titan that Phil’s outstanding oeuvre is still  staunchly synonymous with.

Phil is clearly influenced by his (and one of my) idol the great George Perez, and was delighted when he was taken onboard as the ongoing writer /artist for Wonder Woman beginning in issue #164 in 2001, and would continue in this creative capacity for a full two years, defining that run as one of the greatest in WW’s long and varied history. Phil is also an eternal enthusiast of Lynda Carter and her terrific take on Diana Prince, so was the definitive choice as the cover artist for this WW77 variant, and it is glorious!

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Why Not Join Us Again Next Time Fellow Agents Of Precinct1313 For Our Continuing Celebrative Countdown Of Commendably Cool Comic Cover Collectables!

 

Happy Holidays From Wonder Woman And Precinct1313…

Precinct1313 welcomes all it’s loyal agents to rousing revelry and much celebratory carousing in the majestic mansion of mystery’s ‘Great Hall of Quaffing’ (Eldritch, our resident carrion crow of woe will show you the way, it’s near the end of the Corridors of Collation, just take a left at the Comic-Book Crypts, if you reach the Mortuary of Movie Mayhem then you’ve definitely gone too far) But before we take our seats at the titanic table of terrific tales and indulge in holiday merriment how about a quick jaunt through the Ancient Amazon Archives to catch up with our favourite Themysciran Princess’ festive adventures.

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We have some absolutely Classic Wonder Woman here my astonishing Amazonian associates, Sensation Comics #38 was published in December 1944, written by WW’s genius creator William Moulton Marston and illustrated by the legendary Harry G. Peter. We follow our heroic Hellenic herald as she decides to play Santa in a notoriously poor and downtrodden neighbourhood, to bring some festive cheer to a local orphanage. Upon arrival the Themysciran Titan accidentally stumbles across a nefarious plot to rob the US treasury, with the events quickly escalating to a hostage situation involving the children themselves.

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December ’44 was a busy month for the delightfully dynamic duo of W.M Marston and H.G Peter as they also presented us with the festive edition of DC Comics’ timeless ‘Comic Cavalcade’, comprising three tenaciously terrific tales and a cadre of classic characters that includes The Flash (original Jay Garrick version) Green Lantern and, of course, our illustriously immortal idol Wonder Woman!

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Sensational seventies superstar Wonder Woman, the lovely Lynda Carter came face to face with ‘The Deadly Toys’ in a holiday themed episode of the scintillating seventies show that formed part of the second season and aired in 1979. Once again penned by Wondy’s ceaseless composer of creation W.M. Marston (writing under his oft used pen name of Charles Moulton.)

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This effervescent episode found the wondrous one investigating a suspicious toy maker (played by none other than sixties Batman villain – The Riddler’s Frank Gorshin) who had replaced three scientists with his own android creations after they refused to create a weapon of mass destruction known as Project XYZ. As Diana nears the source of her investigation, the dastardly Toy Maker whips up his own android version of Gaea’s Glorious Gal, and the two Wonder Women engage in a (delightfully camp) fracas, only in seventies Wondy can Hula Hoops become weapons of mass destruction!

Happy Holidays Fellow Agents Of Precinct1313, And How About We End With A Few Festive Felicitations From The Batman Himself…

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Well, What Did You Expect… it’s Batman!!

Happy Wonder Woman Day!

On this day on October 21 1941 an inspiration was born, Diana, Princess of the Amazons made her dynamic debut courtesy of her celebrated creator William Moulton Marston. And so in celebration of Wonder Woman Day, I present to you, my astonishing Amazonian Affiliates, an extra special instalment of ‘Comic Cover Of The Week’ a hearken back to my first ever encounter with the Themysciran Titan, way back in that glorious decade known as the 1980s!

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Ah the eighties, it was an interesting and rather revolutionary time in the UK. It had just gotten over the phenomenon that was Punk Rock, a rebellious anti-establishment movement that, really, was more about freedom of speech and giving voice to the people than it was about the music itself. I was actually way too young to appreciate the campaign for acceptance and diversity that Punk represented, but looking back on that era now, have come to realise how much Superheroes fit into the same mould as the punk rockers of the day, working outside of Government control, for the benefit of the people themselves.

I grew up in the greatest decade in the history of human kind (at least it was to me) the 1980’s. Icons from my era included such luminaries as Siouxsie and the Banshees (my all time favourite band… yes I was a Goth!) ridiculously over the top action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Wesley Snipes, Cynthia Rothrock and Moon Lee (my favourite female action stars.) Video Games began to really evolve from their previous very simplistic and basic look and premise in the seventies, adding more complexity and depth in both the graphics and gameplay. But even with all these wonderful new distractions available to me, Comic-Books were still my first love, my go to for escapism and ultimate reverie.

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It was the shadowy Masked ManhunterThe Batman, who initially introduced me into wonderful world of Superheroes. My first encounter with this iconic character was when I was six years of age, I was captivated by his world, so very different from my own (yet at times eerily similar.) Gotham was a terrible, seething place of corruption and murder, yet it had a redeemer, someone who swathed himself in darkness, and was scarier than even the worst denizens of this malevolent city… and yet, fought for good!btec

The character beguiled me, and it was through him that my love of not just comics, but also literature itself began. It wasn’t until I was nine that I experienced my first foray into the legendary world of the Amazons, I knew who Wonder Woman was of course, through the occasional crossover story in ‘Batman’ and ‘Detective Comics’ but had yet to branch out fully into other realms, feeling contented in my protracted residence in Gotham City.

Wonder Woman #271 was the first time I invested heavily in a character who didn’t have a cape, a cowl and a fatalistic outlook to the world around him. In fact the two characters are literally night and day, which is why I believe that I began to love the Themysciran Titan with the same amount of reverence as I did the Dark Knight, because they were so different. She offered hope, and an optimism that The Bat just didn’t have, a figure who inspired goodness in those around her, with the strength and fortitude to fight the evils of man, yet show compassion and kindness to those deserving (and those who also were not, thus is her leniency and benevolence.)

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I have always seen the two characters as my diametrically opposed halves, Batman represents my love of the darkness, gothicism (technically not a word, I know, but I like it) horror movies, the supernatural et al, and Wonder Woman has always constituted my hopes for the future, my work to forward animal rights, vegetarianism, and a general aspiration for betterment of myself and the world about me, and so…

Happy Wonder Woman Day!

Six Years In The Precinct… An Anniversary Special

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Well hey there fellow agents of Precinct1313, it’s fantastic to see you, and we’re so glad that you could make your way over to the majestic mansion of mystery in time to partake in our sixth anniversary celebrations. In a few moments we will wind our way down through the Precinct’s interminable depths as we head towards the infamous  ‘Halls Of Quaffing’ to celebrate in style. 

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Unfortunately our usual anniversary tour guide, the Precinct’s carrion crow of woe – Eldritch won’t be available to usher you through this arcane abode, as he’s still in the dog-house (uhh, crow house?) for leading us astray through a preternatural portal that lead to Raven’s Reach Sanitarium and a padded cell! (For more on that tantalising tale, why not click right HERE

But fear not, oh fellow fans of fantastic fiction, as I am able to stand in as the (distinctly human) Corvidae conductor for this sixth anniversary commemoration. And so, without further ado, let our peregrinations begin…

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The mystical mansion of mystery known as Precinct1313 first materialised unto this dimension in 2014, this paranormal palazzo, oft thought to be a sister building to the sinister House Of Secrets has housed many scribes throughout the countless alternate realities it has dwelled, and in 2014, I discovered it’s many dimensional delights when it revealed itself in terrifying fashion (which you can read about right HERE) and have been trapped within it’s herculean hallways and reality shifting structure ever since. Which actually turns out to be a good thing as it has given me copious amounts of time to relay to you, dear agents, the wonderful world of comic-books, cult movies and general geekery!

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And so, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, thanks to this mythical edifice’s psychokinetic power, we are able to transport you back in time (it doesn’t hurt too much, honest!) to visit our most popular posts of yore…

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As you are more than likely aware if you’ve been an agent of the Precinct for awhile, our absolute favourite comic-book creation of all time is the Themysciran Titan herself the glorious Wonder Woman, I first discovered the dynamic delight that is Diana, Princess of the Amazons when I was a mere nine years of age, and have been a super fan ever since. A myriad of reviews, overviews and gushing posts have ensued from the Precinct since its inception, and looking at the ol’ stats the most popular of these is… Wonder Woman #600

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Another mesmerising mainstay of the Precinct over the years (and my absolute favourite posts to write) has been the – World’s Finest: Interview – series, where each episode we invite one of our most treasured Superheroes, SuperVillains, Costumed Crimefighters, Dimension Dwelling Demons and Super-Pets to answer a quotient of quintessentially quirky questions about life, the universe and cake (’cause everyone loves cake) Such classic characters as Harley Quinn, Circe, and Cheetah, have darkened the Precinct’s media studio and have harassed, bludgeoned, nibbled, and vexed our poor hapless interviewer (why, at one point he was even turned into a worm! an actual worm!!) Checking that ol’ stats page again turns up that the most popular of these was… World’s Finest: An Exclusive Interview With V

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Another character that has helped form the foundings of the Precinct alongside Wondy has been Gotham’s grim guardian, the big bad bat! I have been a fan since the age of six, he was instrumental in ushering in my love of the comic-book medium and my fave company, DC Comics. And just like the Amazon Princess, I have written a multitudinous amount of material on his dark crusade to clean up Gotham and absolve himself of the guilt of his parents death by dressing up as a giant bat and beating seven shades out of crazy costumed villains. And, heading on back to that trusty ol’ stats screen, the most read of all those is… Comic Cover Of The Week: Batman Rebirth #22

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Phew! thanks so much fellow agents for joining us on that timely tour of the Precinct’s past, and as we near the Halls Of Quaffing for many a beer and celebration, may I just say a massive thank you to all of my fellow bloggers, followers and readers for making this blogging odyssey such a fantabulous experience, it is YOU that have made this journey worthwhile… now, beer!!

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Happy Batman Day!

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Who would have thought that eight decades after he punched his first ever villain squarely on the jaw that we’d still be celebrating this dark, surly, emotionally lost and solitary individual whom, upon watching his parents gunned down before his innocent young eyes, thought that the best course of action for that loathsome act would be to dress up as a giant bat and ruthlessly hunt down and mercilessly beat up a plethora of crazily costumed criminals, yet here we are… thankfully!

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Batman made his first astonishing appearance in the 1939 issue of Detective Comics #27 courtesy of his compelling creators Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Batsy has been punching and kicking his way through the DC Universe ever since, and yet, over eight decades later the character still feels as fresh and exciting as he did all those decades ago. I have personally been a fan of the big bad bat since I was six years old, initially courtesy of my Mum, who bought me my first ever Superhero comic-book – Detective Comics #466, where the caped crusader tangled with the one of his lesser known rogues -Signalman!

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From the printed page through television series, cinematic excursions, toys, video-game adaptations, collectables and more Gotham’s grim guardian has withstood the test of time and has become, arguably, the most widely recognised Superhero of all time (yeah, in your face Superman!) So here’s to another eight exquisite decades of his violent yet virtuous presence! Long Live The Bat!

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Happy Batman Day!

Batman is copyright – DC Comics.

Comic-Book Legend, Denny O’Neil Passes Away At Age 81

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It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of legendary comic-book writer, Dennis O’Neil who died of natural causes at his home on June 11.

Denny was best known for his iconic runs on DC Comics’ Batman, Green Arrow and Green Lantern, and was also the editor for DC’s entire range of Batman comics from 1986 to 2000. Though Denny gave us many wonderful tales of heroism over his formidable career, he is most fondly remembered as the author (alongside his mainstay artist, the fantastic Neil Adams) who ushered in Batman’s return to the dark side in the early seventies, following on from over a decade of camp silliness.

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Throughout his triumphant tenure on Batman, Denny also created some of the Dark Knight’s most memorable nemeses including such icons as Ra’s Al Ghul and his daughter Talia, and avenging angel – Azrael.

He was also responsible for revitalising DC’s foremost emerald dynamic duo (again alongside the great Neil Adams)  Green Lantern and Green Arrow of whom he teamed up to become one of comic’s first ever social justice warriors as they roamed the planet fighting inequality and societal ignorance.

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Denny also taught at the Manhattan School of Visual Arts, and wrote the didactic tome – The DC Guide To Writing Comics plus many, many other achievements too numerous to mention. In 2019, the city of Phoenix named May 25 “Denny O’Neil Day” in acknowledgement of his influence on the comic-book industry and his contribution to furthering the fight against unjust causes. Denny was a legend on and off the page, and we mourn his passing. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this time.

Happy 80th Anniversary Selina Kyle!

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Hey there fellow fans of fantastic fiction, and welcome to Precinct1313’s comprehensively capacious celebration of the capricious, captivating, and cunningly contradictory – Catwoman!

Cat burglar, criminal, anti-hero and lover of grim surly men who like to dress as giant bats, Selina Kyle has been liberating loot from the rich, powerful and undeserving for the past eight decades! Catwoman made her dynamic debut in Batman #1 which released unto the general populace on April 24 in 1940 courtesy of Batman’s bodacious birthers – Bill Finger and Bob Kane.

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Introduced in her origin issue as “The Cat” she was originally posited a super-villain and antagonist to the Caped Crusader, yet her identity and personality have evolved over the long decades to anti-hero status, but even more significantly, partner, lover and catty confidante to the Dark Knight Detective himself.

Over the eight decades since her initial conception Selina Kyle has flourished as a much beloved female icon, a strong independent woman with her own agenda and ideology, and aside from a ten year hiatus from print from 1954 to 1966 due to the unswerving and at times creatively unfair ruling of the then Comic Code Authority, Catwoman has been in continuous print, whether as a major character in many, many DC Comics series or in her very own frequent comic book runs.

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The Bat and the Cat… Forever!

Selina also holds the crown for most portrayed female character outside of comic print media, with more live action variants than any of her fictional female peers. Beginning her real life feline felony career with a recurring role on the classic sixties Adam West starring  Batman series, delineated through the exquisite talents of Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt.

Michelle Pfeiffer put in an impassioned performance in Tim Burton’s 1992 Batman Returns, whereas Halle Berry’s take in the 2004 standalone Catwoman movie proved to be a huge box office flop due to a rather lacklustre (and at times completely ridiculous) plot, and the fact that Halle’s version had virtually nothing to do with the original comic-book heroine, bar the titular name itself, holding up much better, and with a more definitive feel was Anne Hathaway’s performance in the 2012 Dark Knight Rises. Lili Simmons and Camren Bicondova both played Selina on the small screen in the 2014 Gotham TV show, rounding out with the most recent casting of our fave female Felis-Catus, who will be championed by Zoe Kravitz in the upcoming Matt Reeves’ epic – The Batman.

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Precinct1313’s Fave Live Action Catwomen (so Far)

In celebration of Catwoman’s ongoing octogenarian outings, DC Comics had planned a one hundred page super spectacular dedicated to the Princess of Plunder, due to release this week. Unfortunately owing to the current crisis affecting the planet, the print version has been put back until mid May at the earliest. But what we can share with you are a selection of the many oustandingly gorgeous variant covers commissioned for the delayed tome, with some of comicdom’s most accomplished artists coming together to celebrate one the longest running and important fictional females in history, puuuurfect!

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Happy 80th Birthday Selina, and with her nine lives still intact, you can be assured she’ll thankfully be with us for a loooong time to come… Cat-tastic!!

Catwoman is Copyright: DC Comics.

Wonder Woman #750: Celebrating An Icon

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Iconic is absolutely an apt terminology for William Moulton Marston’s legendary creation – Wonder Woman. Icon comes to us from the original ancient Hellenic word – Eika, and with Diana’s entire narrative background tied up (sometimes literally – the Amazons were famous for bondage games!) in Greek mythology, I could not think of a phrase that encapsulates the Amazon Princess any more effectively.

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Diana first leapt onto the pages of comic-books in the 1941 issue of All Star Comics #8, and from that point began her legendary odyssey through the annals of comic history with close to eight decades of epic storylines of emancipation, liberation and love.  Diana’s rich heritage is tied to her ability to empathise and forgive, traits not necessarily intrinsic to the majority of Superheroes, who tend to rely on fists, brute force and their overtly herculean super-powers to right any wrongs that present themselves.

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Wonder Woman was always cut from a different cloth, preferring to extend a hand in friendship rather than raise a fist in anger. Diana’s real life creation from her genius architect, the aforementioned William Marston is key to the character’s enduring legacy of liberation and amnesty. Marston’s ideal for the character came from his groundbreaking (especially for the era) work in the feminist and suffragette movements of the 1930’s and 40’s, with birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger, in particular her work – Woman and the New Race becoming a catalyst for Diana’s eventual fictional birth in 1941.

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An astonishing seventy nine years later, Wonder Woman is actually more popular now than she has probably ever been, with a whole new audience outside of her fervent comic-book fandom brought into her Amazonian ranks thanks to her recent and magnificent celluloid outing in Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins’ 2017 movie. She has been in continuous print since her iconic inception, is the original blueprint for virtually every female Superhero that has been created since her dazzling debut and is still THE fictional front woman for feminism and emancipation in the world today. I am sure Dr William Marston is looking down from his well deserved place on Mount Olympus and smiling, watching as his monumental creation continues to spread her message of hope and love to all the masses both fictional, and real.

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To celebrate Wondy’s 750th issue DC Comics have brought together some of the Themysciran Titans’ most revered story tellers and artists – George Perez, Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, Greg Rucka, Jenny Frison and Brian Bolland to name just a few are onboard for this 96 page prestige format tome. 

Nine exhilarating tales of the astonishing Amazon regale the reader with fabulous fables that represent her past, present and future, each allegorical piece fits, jigsaw like, into a whole that fundamentally represents everything we love about Wonder Woman, with our personal favourite from the selection being Gail Simone’s fabulous – ‘From Small Things, Mama’  though we are happy to report that not one of the other eight exceptional epics on offer are anything less than deserving of Diana’s halcyon heritage.

 

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Wonder Woman #750 is available from your local comic-book emporium right now! Make sure to show your love for the most important fictional female in history by buying this landmark issue, my astonishingly adroit amazonian associates.

 

Our dynamic duo of WW #750 variant covers were purchased from our absolute favourite comic-book emporium: Final Frontier.