Welcome back to our Women’s History Month extravaganza, where we commemorate and celebrate the important contributions of Women throughout Human history… a special event set up by the scintillating and sensational scribe, and bombastic blogging buddy – Cupcakes and Machetes.
And, whilst you’re here, why don’t you join me in basking in the illuminatingly illustrious illustrations of the nuanced and non-comparable Nicola Scott! Nicola truly is an absolutely astonishing artist and is one of my personal favourite illustrators in comics today, her recent work on the Wonder Woman Rebirth series, alongside fellow artist Liam Sharp, was seriously breathtaking… as is her cover for Mera: Queen Of Atlantis #1, a new six issue mini-series from DC Comics.
Unfortunately Nicola’s involvement in the comic itself stops at the cover… fortunately, interior artist – Lans Medina is a rather wonderful penciller in his own right, so the visuals throughout are great.
Writer Dan Abnett has been absolutely killing it with his fantastic run on DC’s Aquaman recently, which makes him the obvious choice as lead on Mera’s first ever solo series. Aquaman has beautifully blended both political intrigue and action, which now sees the once King of Atlantis removed from his throne and leading a resistance force against the tyrannical and despotic new leader. Mera because of the coup finds herself cut off from her Atlantean people, ostensibly a Queen in exile, and to add insult to injury, due to magical intervention, she also finds her powers weakened and has seemingly lost her innate ability to survive underwater.
As the brutal Atlantean civil war rages on, Mera finds herself thrust into the position of keeping the peace between the surface world and Atlantis as the newly anointed Queen in exile. But when Aquaman’s brother Orm, a.k.a The Ocean Master, learns of the fate that besets his homeland, he will let nothing deter him from returning to Atlantis as it’s King and saviour.
Dan Abnett and Lans Medina present a tense and action packed first issue, with some lovely art, great pacing and an intriguing protagonist. Mera is long overdue her time in the limelight. So with this six issue mini-series and her recent small but momentous role in last years Justice League movie (with the Atlantis Queen ably portrayed by actress Amber Heard) plus the fact that we’ll be seeing a lot more of Amber’s take on the Atlantean with a significantly larger part in December with DC’s Aquaman movie hitting the big screen, you could say the tide has finally turned for Mera, she’s really started making waves… (sorry!)
Mera is copyright: DC Comics
The Truth is finally laid bare before Diana, in this enthralling last instalment of Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp’s mythological masterpiece ‘The Lies’. This issue marks the sad departure of Liam Sharp’s astounding artwork, as he moves on to other projects for DC Comics, with Bilquis Evely taking over artistic duties for issues #24 and #25.
“The conclusion to Diana’s search for the truth takes her on a journey into darkness, but the price of understanding may be one sacrifice too many for Wonder Woman…”
Sensational scribe Greg Rucka’s run on Wonder Woman Rebirth has been astounding, his alternating storylines have offered up some of the most exceptional tales of Amazonian ancestry since the great George Perez. Alongside Greg have been two of comicdom’s most prolific and talented artists, Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott, with both wowing us on a monthly basis with their vivacious visuals and astonishing attention to detail, making each and every issue a literal masterpiece.
Making every month a pricey one for this particular comic-book collector are Jenny Frison’s absolutely beautiful variant covers, they are so resplendently gorgeous, that I have literally no choice but to purchase them alongside the regular covers which feature Liam and Nicola’s equally scintillating cover imagery.
Wonder Woman Rebirth #23 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now.
You may have noticed that we spend a lot of our time here in Precinct1313’s legendary comic crypts discussing the awesome Amazon – Wonder Woman, in fact well over 50% of the articles emanating from these creative catacombs are about the Themysciran Titan, due to the fact that she is, without a shadow of a doubt, our favourite comic-book character.
In the past few days we have received several PM’s from readers asking us for our opinion on the recent news that the venerable Princess of Themyscira is bisexual. Of course our quick answer to this question would be, “Great Hera, where have you been for the past 75 years, this is not new, Diana has always been bisexual”. It may have been implied more often than actually spoken out loud, but the signs were always there, both from her humble beginnings in the 1940’s (where, let’s be honest the allusions were so obvious, you’d have to be blind to miss them) to the actual Greek mythology that she originates from.
If you don’t necessarily closely follow the comic book scene, allow us to enlighten you on recent events that have led up to this, frankly ridiculous furore. DC Comics, that bastion of scintillating superheroes, recently softly rebooted it’s universe of characters with an event known as ‘Rebirth’.
This event has been a huge success for the company, thanks not only to fantastic storylines, great art and a reverence for their characters lengthy history, but also because they had actually listened to their fans, who had been very vocal over the direction the company had been taking the heroes and villains over the years, some missteps had been made, and Rebirth was their attempt to bring their much loved characters back to a time when their popularity soared like the Man of Steel himself.
In fact Rebirth has turned out to be the most popular and profitable event in comics since forever, with DC Comics currently holding a huge market share in the comic book industry and soundly trumping their closest rival Marvel month in and out, they are currently holding 44% share in total comics sold worldwide, with Marvel sitting at 32%.
And one of their biggest hits has been the Rebirth issues of our favourite Hellenic Herald. Wonder Woman: Rebirth has been getting rave reviews each and every issue, the storyline by sensational scribe Greg Rucka has been sublime, alternating each issue between her origin story and modern day adventures, with awe inspiring art from Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott making every issue a majestic masterpiece.
Greg Rucka has recently proclaimed that ‘Yes, Diana has had same sex relationships’, in an interview with Comicosity he stated – “It’s supposed to be paradise (her home island of Themyscira) You’re supposed to be able to live happily, in a context where one can live happily, and part of what an individual needs for that happiness is to have a partner, to have a fulfilling, romantic and sexual relationship, and in this case the only options are women. But an Amazon doesn’t look at another Amazon and say ‘you’re gay’ they don’t know the concept exists”
The link to the full interview is above and if you have the time, it’s an interesting read. The context has always been clear though, Diana, though her origin has changed slightly over the years (child of clay or daughter of Zeus) spent millennia on an isolated island populated by just women. She had never met a man, so it was obvious that she would have had same sex relations with other Amazons, as stated earlier, this was always implied, and in some cases (Grant Morrison’s Wonder Woman: Earth One being the most recent) was actually written about.
In the 1940’s when Wonder Woman was first unleashed onto the world, the suffragette movement was beginning to gain tract and Diana who emerged triumphantly from the mind of her creator William Moulton Marston was at the forefront of this. Marston specifically created a female superhero to counter the dominant male oriented comic book market, as strong and smart as her male counterparts but filled with compassion and love of nature and the world around her, basically a deeper more rounded creation than any of the male superheroes.
It was in fact Marston’s wife Elizabeth, and Olive Byrne (who lived with them, in an extended relationship) that inspired the creation of Diana. Marston was a psychologist as well as a writer, and it was through this that he determined that women overall were more honest than men in certain situations, and could work faster and more accurately.
In an interview in a 1943 issue of ‘The American Scholar’ Marston wrote – “Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender and peace loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of perceived weakness. The answer was to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman, plus the allure of a good and beautiful woman”
Wonder Woman being bisexual doesn’t change the character in any way whatsoever, it has always been part of her make up, it’s her heritage and should have zero bearing on whether people derive enjoyment from her continuing tales of fortitude and heroism. DC Comics are not jumping on a bandwagon, they haven’t all of a sudden decided to make Diana bisexual to be hip and trendy, this is what she has always been. Wonder Woman is an extraordinarily important character, the original female Superhero, THE progenitor in her field, a shining example of inclusivity and empowerment and her sexual orientation should hold no relevance in this.
Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of ‘Comic Cover Of The Week’ and this week’s wonderfully wrought cover is brought to you by the fantabulous Frank Cho.
Wonder Woman Rebirth has been a rather wondrous soft reboot of DC Comics’ premier Superheroine. After nearly 75 years in print, Diana’s history has become rather convoluted, in comparison to her Trinity stablemates – Batman & Superman, the amazing Amazon’s past has been, at times, in conflict with itself. Is she the daughter of Zeus? or was she formed of clay and brought to life by a pantheon of Greek gods? These questions and many more have been asked by the fans over the last seven and a half decades of her virtual existence.
Her byzantine history is finally being definitively addressed through DC’s ‘Rebirth’ a soft reboot of their entire universe of characters, that will finally provide an answer to those many questions posed by her faithful fans.
The Rebirth series is split into two alternating titles, written by the groundbreaking Greg Rucka, with rotational art duties performed by nifty Nicola Scott and luminous Liam Sharp. Wonder Woman Rebirth expertly focuses on two halves of her life, her ongoing adventures during the modern era and her ‘Year One’ origin story.
Wonder Woman #6 finds the awesome Amazon encountering the world outside her paradise home of Themyscira for the first time, alongside her cicerone, Steve Trevor. Unable to understand the language or customs of these outsiders, Diana’s day becomes increasingly embroiled in mishap and misunderstanding.
Wonder Woman Rebirth #6 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now.
This week’s outstanding cover heads back to the halcyon days when the amazing Amazon looked a lot like actress, Lynda Carter. That’s right friends, this fantastic comic cover celebrates the glorious 70’s television series that introduced Wonder Woman to a whole new medium, and pushed her popularity to even greater heights.
Join Diana Prince and her alter ego, Wonder Woman as she and government agent, Steve Trevor fight against Cold-war era criminal masterminds. A search for an escaped Soviet scientist brings Wonder Woman to the hottest disco in town, Studio-52, where she clashes with the Russian Roller Derby Girls, who are determined to take the scientist back with them to the USSR.
This 80 page spectacular is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Marc Andreyko. Cover art by: Nicola Scott. Variant cover by: Phil Jimenez. Interior art by: Matt Haley and Drew Johnson.
This weeks captivating comic cover is; Convergence: New Teen Titans #1, this particular issue has a real nostalgic resonance for me, starring my personal favourite line up of this classic super team. A return to the mid 70’s version of the Teen Titans, Nightwing, Starfire, Cyborg, Donna Troy and Beast boy, the heroes of Crisis on Infinite Earths, come together to take on the Tangent Universe’s Doom Patrol.
The amazing cover is drawn by one of my favourite artists of all time, the fantastic Nicola Scott, and is written by the legendary Marv Wolfman, this is certainly an issue no DC fan should be without!
Convergence: New Teen Titans #1 is available from your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Marv Wolfman. Cover and interior art by: Nicola Scott and Marc Deering. Variant cover by: Chip Kidd.