The pairing of two of fictions most legendary and popular warriors seems like a fantastic idea, throw into the mix superstar writer Gail Simone and equally talented artist Aaron Lopresti and you most certainly have a match made in Olympus, or in the case of this tantalisingly titanic tale – Hyboria.
A decade before our favourite Themysciran Princess first debuted unto the World stage, a Cimmerian, black haired and sullen eyed, sword in hand and ready to tread the jewelled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet first appeared, his name was Conan – thief, warrior, reaver and slayer. Robert E. Howard’s cult character became a huge hit and has spawned myriad novels, comics and movie adaptations since his first appearance in December 1932. This virtually superhuman barbarian has crushed all who have stood before his powerful presence, man and beast has befallen his blade, but has he finally met his match in the form of Zeus’ favoured champion – Wonder Woman?
And since we’re talking legendary pairings, how about the venerable pairing of acclaimed scribe Gail Simone and prestigious penciller Aaron Lopresti, coming together once more to bestow upon us, humble comic fans, another glorious interpretation of the Themysciran Titan. Their previous collaboration on Wonder Woman a few years back was literally one of the greatest runs in comic-book history, and lo, once more their particular brand of magic artistry brings forth yet another astonishingly epic saga.
Now, at first glance the idea of teaming up Wonder Woman – the poster child of female liberation and emancipation, a shining emblem for feminism with a character in whose reality treated women often in the tired damsel in distress trope may seem like an odd pairing, but it’s for these exact reasons that this comic works so well, like popular heroine Red Sonja before her, Diana is able to turn the tables on the barbaric Cimmerian to prove that, not only can she match him in strength and fortitude, but ably surpass him.
Simone’s deliberate slow build up in the story allows us to richly immerse ourselves in Conan’s world, she is the Queen of immersion and deftly drags the readers into his cold and savagely tempestuous reality. Alongside Gail’s impressive writing talents stands Aaron’s always astonishing artwork, these two creators compliment each others work like no other, and Aaron’s pencilling is some of the best I’ve seen in comics for years.
“What makes one a legend? How do legends carve their name into history when countless others are forgotten? Wonder Woman and Conan the Barbarian are destined by the fates to be legendary, but when their stories collide, will both emerge victorious or will the fickle Gods cut their lives short?
The collected version of Wondy/Conan is available in both soft and hardcover variants from your local comic-book emporium.
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.
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!
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 slim tome that can only be translated through… ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of the Titan of Themyscira.
Once more unto the breach my Amazonian affiliates as we celebrate yet another illustrious issue from those ceaseless composers of fantastic fiction – Gail Simone, Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan. Wonder 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 Girl‘s focus is directly on taking down Diana, in a battle royale of epic proportion.
Possessed by the offspring of Ares, Power 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.
Another fantastic issue from Simone and Lopresti that pits two of DC Comics’ most loved 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!
Our torches flicker white hot incandescence across the walls of the ancient Amazon archives as we continue our research into the millenia 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.
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 tale follows our two celebrated heroines on a journey through zany Japanese culture and even comparisons of Super female bust sizes(!?)… Of which the plentiful Power Girl comes out on top… of course!
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 Brian Azzarello. 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!