Blog Archives

Wonder Woman’s Gallery Of Foes

“Oh… hi there, it’s great to see you, I hope you didn’t have a particularly hard time finding your way down here, the majestic mansion of mystery known as Precinct1313 certainly is a notoriously convoluted place… infinite in fact. So kudos for locating this particular annex. Usually, of course, the Precinct’s resident Carrion Crow Of Woe – Eldritch would have guided you here, but, he’s been feeling rather nonplussed since his recent encounter with Supergirl’s cat Streaky, so he is on a rather lengthy corvidae sabbatical right now… “

streaky12

Though, as long as you followed my implicit instructions, it wasn’t necessarily a huge task to navigate – turn left at the Movie Mausoleum, head directly forward until you reach the Comic Crypts and then turn right and head into the boundless Ancient Amazon Archives, whereupon you will find an additional wing that leads ceremoniously unto the art gallery of the atavistic Greek gods themselves. A small part of which contains an extensive exhibition of malice and enmity, of beings whose one purpose in life is to oppose that which is truth, hope and love… the aspirations that ultimately transform into a celestial persona known as Wonder Woman.

ww v - Edited.jpg

Now, it’s well known throughout comic-book circles that Gotham’s grim guardian – The Batman has the greatest and most eclectic gallery of foes, and without a doubt the most famous of all SuperVillains reside within their ranks, even non comic-book fans have heard of the likes of the Penguin, Riddler, Two Face, and of course the medium’s most memorable and malevolently maniacal nemesis – The Joker.

With that said, the Themysciran Titan also possesses a wild array of distinctive adversaries to challenge her ongoing mission of peace, though maybe lesser known outside of comicdom, they are still most certainly as iconic and maliciously menacing as Batsy’s archive of antagonists.

cheetah ww.jpg

Silver Swans, Gods Of War, Cheetahs, Psycho Doctors and malevolent Witches, Wonder Woman’s eclectic cast of foes really are as wild and diverse as the Caped Crusader’s… in fact, when you really delve headlong into their malign and pernicious psyche they are a hell of a lot more distinct and disparate than almost any enemies the pointy eared vigilante has in his antagonistic ranks.

ARES – GOD OF WAR

ares.jpgOf course, with Ares having been the prime villain in the 2017 Wonder Woman film he has rocketed up the ranks of Diana’s nemeses, though, if you have been a fan of Ms Prince’s comic for many a year (or literally decades, a la moi) then he has always been one of her most enduring and dangerous foes.

In Greek mythology, Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera and one of the twelve Olympian Gods. Designated as the God of War, Ares revels in the savagery and bloodletting of eternal human combat from whence he derives his power. In the Wonder Woman mythos, Ares (in the post crisis DC Universe) was Diana’s greatest enemy, it was through the actions of this barbaric god that Diana left her home of Themyscira so she could resist Ares’ threat on human kind, as he poised to unleash World War III upon the planet. Ares mercilessly opposed the creation of the Amazon race, who were championed by his own half sister – Artemis, who chose to preach the peaceful idylls of the earth goddess Gaea to the fledgling Amazon race, much to the chagrin of Ares who vowed to corrupt and destroy the immortal sisterhood.

CHEETAH

ww-ch

My personal favourite Wonder Woman villain of all time is most assuredly Diana’s principal nemesis – The Cheetah, but did you know that the current holder of that appellation, one Barbara Ann Minerva, is actually just one of many that have held that titular title over the years? no? well read on fellow fans of ferocious felines.

Making her first ever appearance in Wonder Woman #6 was the original variant of the capricious cat – Priscilla Rich, created by the awesome alumni of William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter way back in 1943. This golden age version of Cheetah was a spoilt rich girl with an inferiority complex and split personality, who when shown up by Wonder Woman at a charity event, attempted yet failed to take the life of Diana. Later, falling into the mire of her dissociative identity disorder, Priscilla donned a colourful costume and became the first Cheetah.

Cheetah 2.0 was actually Priscilla’s very own niece – Debbie Domaine, who was very much removed from her aunt personality wise, being an ecology activist and fast friend with Wonder Woman herself. After Priscilla passes away, Debbie was kidnapped by the cult of Kobra, her aunt’s former villainous identity is revealed and through torture and insidious indoctrination, Debbie became the new embodiment of Cheetah.

ch1

Currently chowing down on hapless humans and ruining Wondy’s day is Barbara Ann Minerva – former British archaeologist and heiress. Babs inherited her predatory powers from the ancient plant god – Urzkartaga, who, trapped for aeons in the Urzari jungle sought a champion to free him of his imprisonment and herald his way to ultimately raise an army and conquer the known world – this avaricious avatar ended up being Babs Minerva. First appearing in Wonder Woman (volume 2) #170, Babs continues to create chaos for the Themysciran Titan to this day, and recently was the main villain in the celluloid classic that is Wonder Woman 1984. (We also interviewed her a couple of years back – right here)

CIRCE

c13131

Witch-Goddess – Circe is next in our iniquitous inventory of villainy, first ushered unto the DC Universe in the 1949 issue of Wonder Woman #37, this original (pre-crisis) version of the character, created by Robert Kanigher and Harry G. Peter was a centuries old sorceress who acquired her immortality from a rare elixir named Vitae, and was eventually banished to an uninhabited island in space known as Sorca, for her crimes against the Amazon race.

Post the DC Comics shake up of their universe in the Crisis storyline, Circe’s previous history was re-written by the great George Perez, though the core of her characterisation remained similar. In this revision of her mythos, Circe is the daughter of the Greek Titans – Hyperion and Perseis and is an immortal sorceress and former princess of the isle of Colchis (legendary resting place of the Golden Fleece) An advocate of the goddess – Hecate for millennia, her powers are myriad including the ability to change and reform reality and matter, she can control minds and raise the dead to fight for her, on top of the more mundane and everyday powers (at least in the comic-book world) of flight and strength. We also interviewed the malefic Circe a few years back – Right Here, though our poor hapless interviewer would really rather forget his calamitous conference with the witchy wonder!

Silver Swan

swan

Like felonious feline – Cheetah, the capricious cygnet known as Silver Swan has been inhabited by three very different persona over the decades. A trio of women have inherited the majestic yet melancholic moniker of The Silver Swan, beginning with the tragic tale of Helen Alexandros. Helen was a talented ballet dancer, who oft found herself bereft of balletic opportunities because (or so she believed) of her average looks and physique. Striking a pact with Ares for angelic beauty, Helen was gifted the exquisite form she so desired  on the proviso that she destoyed the Amazon champion, Wonder Woman. Mystically enhanced by Ares, she became the Silver Swan, and was granted the powers of flight, super strength and the capacity to unleash powerful sonic blasts using her voice.

Second in line to ruffle her feathers at Diana was Valerie Beaudry, a lonely and dejected personality with low self esteem and severe social anxiety problems. In fact her only connection to societal structure came in the form of a pen pal – Henry Armbruster, industrial head of Armbruster International. Upon meeting for the first time, Henry exploited Valerie’s longing for acceptance and friendship by choosing her for his secretive Silver Swan project. Through experimentation, Valerie emerged as the new face of the Silver Swan, retaining all the powers of the previous Alexandros avian variant. With the succour of wonder Woman, Valerie gradually broke free from the manipulative control of Armbruster, and in due course became an agent of justice, initially joining the meta-human team – The Captains of Industry, and a brief stint in The Suicide Squad.

swan3

The swan song of this group of volatile volitants and current holder of the sonic scream is Vanessa Kapatelis, a former adherent and eventual friend of Diana. Yet, Vanessa’s friendship with Wondy and her inherent insecurities were perniciously preyed upon by Witch-Goddess – Circe, who utilised Vanessa’s diffident personality and slowly turned her against the Amazon princess. With the assistance of the diabolical Doctor Psycho, Circe conditioned and transformed the insecure former friend of Diana into the latest form of the Silver Swan. Even after Wonder Woman defeated Circe and released Vanessa from her thrall, her unjustified torment continued as she was summarily kidnapped from recovery at a Buenos Aries hospital by deceitful pharmaceutical mogul – Veronica Cale. Cale modified Vanessa through cybernetic implants and sent her out, once more, to fight her former friend, Diana. With her eventual defeat again at the hands of Wonder Woman, Vanessa retreated to the paradise isle of Themyscira for rehabilitation and solace.

Phew! and that, my astounding Amazonian associates is just the literal tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the astonishing Amazon’s array of aggressive antagonists, I mean I could go on (an on) but this post is already reaching near encyclopedic proportions! Yet, with Wonder Woman’s 80th anniversary on the near horizon (October 21, Wondy fact fans) you can be sure that there’ll be plenty more posts emanating from the Precinct’s Ancient Amazon Archives, celebrating not just our favourite Hellenic herald but also her nearest and not so dearest…

Merciful Minerva! DC Comics Honour Eight Decades Of Wonder Woman With Twelve New Titanic Tomes!

Wondy80 2

Suffering Sappho! DC Comics titanic twelve tome testament to the Themysciran Titan will include brand new series launches, anthology specials, free comics and more…

WW80

That’s right, my astonishing Amazon affiliates, DC Comics, the bastion of superlative superheroes, will be honouring Diana’s long lasting legacy as the world’s foremost female freedom fighter with an absolutely astounding array of anthologies and albums commencing on October 21 with a 100 page super spectacular featuring thrilling tales of the Themysciran Titan’s timeless acts of hope and empowerment.This terrific tome is brought to you by acclaimed auteurs such as – Amy Reeder, Becky Cloonan, Jim Lee, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Laura Braga and many, many more. The collectable comic will also feature a veritable virtuoso of variant covers that spotlight Wondy across her many different incredible incarnations throughout the Gold, Silver, and Bronze ages of comicdom.

WW World

Wonderful Women Of The World brings together a perfect plethora of talented artists and writers to celebrate the many international female role models across the globe. With Wondy standing for truth, justice and equality, she has been a superlative source of inspiration to real life pioneers in the world of activism, science, sport, and diplomacy and this new title will include visionaries such as – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Greta Thunberg, Serena Williams and Malala Yousafzai amongst others. With a colossal cover by the fantastic Nicola Scott, and spearheaded by best selling author – Laurie Halse Anderson, this terrific title will be available to purchase on September 28.

WWHistoria

Of all the titles so far announced, the one I’m personally most hyped for is the Phil Jimenez and Kelly Sue DeConnick collaboration – Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons. Millennia ago, Queen Hera and the goddesses of the Olympian pantheon grew greatly dissatisfied with their male counterparts, and far from their sight, put a plan into action. A new society was born, one never before seen on Earth, capable of wondrous but also terrible things, yet their existence would not stay secret for long. When a woman in despair, named Hippolyta crosses the Amazons path, a series of events is set in motion that will ultimately lead to an outright war in Olympus, and the creation of Earth’s greatest guardian! Phil Jimenez is one of my absolute favourite WW artists/writers of all time, and his work on this first issue is looking sumptuous and spectacular! Wonder Woman Historia unleashes on October 19.

Nubia

From October 5th you can follow in the fantastic footsteps of Nubia and the Amazons. Spiralling out of the thrilling Infinite Frontier storyline, this marvellous mini-series by Vita Ayala, Stephanie Williams and Alitha Martinez finds Nubia embracing the role of Queen of Themyscira, but with this prestigious position comes climactic challenges! With the unexpected arrival of new Amazons, Nubia is forced to confront her past and forge a new path forward for her beloved sisters. Though, little does she know, that a great evil grows beneath the idyllic island of Themyscira, and it’s now up to the former guardian of Doom’s Doorway to unite the tribe before their perfect paradise is lost, forever!

Phew! and that’s just a few of the myriad titles available to celebrate Wondy’s eightieth anniversary, so why not join us in October, oh fellow fans of fantastic female fiction, where we shall once again bask in the alluring beauty of the legendary isle of the immortals and their harmonious Hellenic herald – Wonder Woman!

Why We Love Wonder Woman…

untitled-design-2

It is 1941, and eminent psychology professor and inventor, William Moulton Marston, radically shakes up the male dominated market of Superhero comics with his charismatic and compelling creation – Wonder Woman, unleashed in the progressive pages of All Star Comics #8, Diana was an instant hit, and less than a year later the seminal character received her very own ongoing comic-book series, which is still being published monthly to this day, almost eight decades on from her groundbreaking inception.

It is 1982, and a nine year old Batman fanatic opens his eyes to a whole new and enlightening world outside of the grimy, corrupt streets of Gotham City, transcending the grim, driven, dark angel of justice known as The Batman, and accepting into his other (comic book) reality a much more virtuous and progressive character. A simple gift from his mum would ultimately turn into a lifelong (but wholesome) obsession, with Wonder Woman helping to not only sate a young imagination with fantastic tales of heroism, mythological monsters and warrior women, but ultimately also help guide his future precepts, and tenets.

bw

I, of course, am that nine year old Batfan, and though the above statement of receiving guidance from a fictional character on moral precepts may sound corny, it’s also true! You see, even though much of our growth mentally and morally is instigated through parentage, friendships and schooling, we are also heavily influenced by (especially now) the fictional worlds we reside in, be that video-games, novels, movies and, of course comic-books.

My comic-book upbringing, strangely, mirrors that of my actual upbringing, and, no, that does not mean my dad ran around in tights, a pointy eared mask and fought crime, but he did share similarities to the caped crusader. He was a driven, but kind man, a member of the British parachute regiment who received the military cross for his act of heroism in rescuing injured members of his squad from a minefield, like the Batman, he was a hero that I looked up to. My mum, again has always been a kind and gentle soul with a love of animals and people, whom has never a bad word to say about anyone, she is also a feminist and rights activist, she also is my hero. Batsy and Wondy have always felt like perfect fictional counterparts to my parents, and that connection between real world and fiction has what’s really led to comic-books holding a special place in my essence.

untitled-design-1

My adoration of the Themysciran Titan not only derives from my affection for comic-books and a long-standing fascination of Greek mythology, but also my love of strong women in all forms of narrative fiction, and reality, in fact I have always preferred kick-arse female fighters in my video-games and movies and most certainly comics. I have over the years here in the Precinct written about the female influences in my life, my love of martial arts films stems mostly from my youth and watching fantastic fighting female furies like Moon Lee and Cynthia Rothrock reverse the tropes and kick everyone’s arses in film, and don’t get me started on the myriad female superheroes outside of Diana that I adore.

Ultimately though, I look up to Wonder Woman because she stands for everything I personally believe in, social justice, diversity and equity. Fairness, equality and emancipation are tenets that we should all aspire to, and Wonder Woman was, is, and always shall be a golden beacon of hope held up to shine her light on the philosophical theory of a fair and equal society. Long may she reign!

ww9

Precinct1313 Recommends: Wonder Woman – Black And Gold #1

ww bg1

Felicitations fellow fans of fantastic female fiction, and welcome to another efficacious and ebullient episode of Precinct1313 Recommends, and ‘Suffering Sappho’ this impeccable instalment is most assuredly a gift from the glorious gods of Olympus themselves as they deliver a dynamic and dazzling design designation deity in the form of Diana – Princess of Themyscira, with Wonder Woman: Black And Gold.

wwbg3

In honour of hallowed Hellenic herald – Wonder Woman’s upcoming 80th anniversary, DC Comics have commissioned this superb and scintillating six issue mini-series, an astounding anthology album embellished in magnificent monochromatic hues of gold and black! This astonishing analect comprises tenacious tales of the Themysciran Titan by comic-book alums – John Arcudi, Nadia Shammas, AJ Mendez, Becky Cloonan, Amy Reeder, Ming Doyle, Ramona Fradon, Joshua Middleton, Ryan Sook, Warren Louw, David Mack Jen Bartel, Morgan Beem, Sandra Hope and Carla Cohen… phew! a classic and compelling cadre of charismatic comic creatives! 

Featuring five fabulous fables that run the glorious gamut of Diana’s eight decade history – John Arcudi and Ryan Sook combine to weave a thrilling tale of Diana’s illustrious immortality, while Becky Cloonan imparts an indomitable account of Wondy’s most valuable weapon against the darkness of man’s world. Amazing Amy Reeder transports us back to the Golden Age of comics for a riotous and rambunctious romp with edacious Etta Candy, then AJ Mendez and Ming Doyle whisk us away to Themyscira for a terse and tense family reunion and finally, Nadia Shammas and Morgan Beem present a prescient parable of Diana’s past failures returning to haunt her.

wwbg2

Wonder Woman: Black And Gold #1 is a tremendous tribute to Gaea’s glorious gal, with a stunning monochrome visual design inspired by Diana’s golden lasso. Five fabulous tales impart the many fascinating facets that encompass the powerful yet passionate princess of Themyscira, and with a veritable virtuoso of vaunted variant covers to collect (including a return from artistic auteur – Ramona Fradon) Wonder Woman: Black and Gold comes highly recommended.

Seven Years In The Precinct – An Anniversary Special

7 years 1313 (1)

Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to our sensational seventh year of existence! That’s right, it’s been an ebullient eighty four months since the majestic mansion of mystery materialised unto this plane of existence. Our mission (which we chose to accept) was to provide you with some decidedly delectable DC Comics documentation, whilst behind the scenes we continued to map out the labyrinthian corridors, herculean hallways and colossal comic crypts that encompass this runic and recondite residence. And as we make our way merrily down through the interminable depths of this endless edifice on our way to commemorate at the infamous Halls of Quaffing to celebrate in style, why not join us in geeky remembrance of some of our favourite past posts emanating from the zenith of this arcane abode.

Our first port of call shall be the abstruse anomaly known as The Scrying Chamber, whence sits, upon a single stone table, a stygian black crystal ball, so join me fellow agents as we stare deeply into its sanguine depths and re-live our personal favourite posts from the past seven scintillating years…league of superpets Banner

Ace, Krypto and Streaky Too!

Our most recent and without a doubt most fun to write fictional foray was this post dedicated to the awesome and adorable animals that populate the DC Universe. These super-powered pets include such dynamic delights as flying felines, detective deducing dogs and, yep, even a Bat-Cow! And you can peruse (and pet) this perky post – Right Here.

mm2

Mister Miracle – Tom King/Mitch Gerads Review

Emotional, poignant, groundbreaking are just some of the superlatives we used to describe this phenomenal piece of comic-book fiction by King and Gerads, a fitting return to Jack Kirby’s Fourth World saga, and a superlative homecoming for our personal favourite Kirby created character, the titular Mister Miracle himself. In fact we loved this series so much we hailed it as – The Greatest Comic-Book Series Since Watchmen! – visit the post – Right Here – to find out why.

temto

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed Review

As you’re all probably bored of hearing right now, ’cause we never, ever shut up about it (and never shall!) we love Wondy here in Precinct1313, she is our favourite comic book creation of all time! And just recently the glorious gods of Olympus once more bestowed upon us mere mortals yet another thrilling tale of the Themysciran Titan with the fabulous Laurie Halse Anderson penned opus – Tempest Tossed – a sublime celebration of the wondrous one, and you can read our rapturous review of this titanic tome – Right Here.

b13

The Bat Loves The Cat – Comics’ Greatest Love Story

The Bat most assuredly does love the cat, in fact they’ve been dancing around each other emotionally for the past eight decades! Yep, that’s eighty years of perfect passion procrastination! No character has had a more emotive impact on the Dark Knight’s melancholic life than sultry Selina Kyle aka -Catwoman! Why not re-live their tender tale of romance – Right Here

Phew, thanks for sticking with us as we shared some of our personal favourite posts we have submitted to the WordPress world over the past seven years, and as we near the great Halls of Quaffing for mucho merriment, allow me to say a massive THANK YOU to all of the Precinct’s followers, readers and fellow bloggers… it is YOU that makes this joyous journey worthwhile. Hopefully the majestic mansion will  be here for another seven years, so we can continue to share our love and passion for DC Comics and general geekdom!

13-2

Oh, And As Ever – Make Mine DC!

1313-mmdc-2-1

Amazon Accoutrements: The Lasso Of Truth

Lasso of Truth banner

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!

Lasso of Truth classic0.5

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.

Lasso of Truth classic1

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.

Lasso of Truth 1

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.

Lasso of Truth GG

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. 

Lasso of Truth 3

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: The Incredible Art Of Jenny Frison

Women In Comics banner (1)

Comic books as an art form have always been incredibly overlooked in comparison to other forms of the visual medium, and even when comics themselves are actually celebrated as a bona-fide entry into the long history of fine art, the kudos oft goes to the (admittedly terrifically talented) writers, with the artists and inkers routinely sidelined in deference to the authors. It’s true, of course, that no amount of vivacious visuals will really matter if the writing sucks (case in point: Frank Miller and Jim Lee collaboration – All Star Batman and Robin) but the same can be said for the reversal of this point.

Comic-book series live and die off of a mutual synergy between all included creators, this also includes the almost always forgotten aforementioned inkers and letterers, though what originally enraptured me,  way back when, as a six year old newbie to comics, was the dazzling and dynamic drawings of these sundry artistic auteurs, and over the many years that I’ve been enjoying comics as a true form of art, very few have bedazzled me as much as the astonishing visual virtuoso that is – Jenny Frison.

Jenny Frison banner

Jenny Frison is an American comic-book artist who first became beguiled by the medium after discovering the astonishing Amazon – Wonder Woman, as a young girl. She was an art student at the Northern Illinois University, where she majored in illustration before enrolling at the prestigious Kubert School Of Art. During this tenure, she decided to focus her inordinate artistic talents towards comic covers, an incredibly important art form in the wonderful world that is comics, for it is often the cover image itself that will ultimately sell the content within the pages, and draw in potential purchasers.

It was thanks to writer Tim Seeley that Jenny was given her inaugural start in comic-books after he approached her to draw a cover for Image Comics’ horror series – Hack/Slash, they went on to become good friends and continue to share a workspace at Four Star Studios in Chicago.

Jenny Frison1

Jenny’s personal artistic process begins with a pencilled illustration before moving on to a tonal version of the sketch on grey paper. This image is then in turn digitally coloured using Photoshop. Jenny has a very distinct and instantly recognisable style that helps her stand out from a sea of artists working in the comic-book medium, and because of her focus on single imagery in the form of covers, the resulting illustrations are always incredibly rendered and detailed, with spectacular colours that radiate warmth and depth.

For me personally it was her tenacious tenure as cover artist for the Wonder Woman Rebirth arc that sold me on her astounding artistic aesthetic, where she was tasked with representing the amazing Amazon from issue #9 right through to issue #61, with each and every image a magnificent masterpiece, with most of her outstanding output oeuvre on the Themysciran Titan being some of my absolute favourite visual representations of Diana, ever!

Jenny Frison3

Jenny Frison2

Jenny has been nominated twice in the Harvey Awards for best comic cover artist and continues to pour her prodigious talent into sumptuous cover classics for DC Comics and also friendly rivals – IDW, Dynamite Comics, Dark Horse and Marvel.

Jenny Frison4

Comic Cover(s) Of The Week: Wonder Girl #01

wg1 jen bartel

Welcome, fellow fans of fantastic female fiction, to another cool and captivating cornucopia of comic cover collectables! This weeks radiant rendering contains not one but two impassionately illuminating illustrations of DC’s newest version of the fabulous Wonder Girl -Yara Flor!

wg1 carla cohen

The newest variant of Diana’s closest crime-fighting companion actually holds the dynamic distinction of being an Amazon from the Amazon! That’s right, Wondy’s new scintillating sidekick hails from the Amazon rain forests of Brazil, though she’s yet to discover her rightful roots after being raised by her aunt and uncle in Idaho for the majority of her young existence.

Yara Flor holds several distinctions as the newest member to the Wonder Woman mythos, she is the first Amazon to be solely created by a female, the terrifically talented – Joelle Jones, and also, equally as important – the very first Wonder Girl of colour. Our tantalising twosome of creatively charming covers are brought to you by awesome artistic auteurs – Jen Bartel and Carla Cohen, with another stunning six vaunted variants by impeccable illustrators including – Bilquis Evely, Kendrick Lim, J. Scott Campbell and creative visionary Joelle Jones.

wg1 various

The marvellous mythos of Yara Flor begins here! Raised by her aunt and uncle in Boise, Idaho, Yara has always felt that something was missing from her life – and is now heading to her birthplace of Brazil, to ultimately discover what that is. Yet, little does she know that her auspicious arrival will set off a series of events that will change the world of Wonder Woman forever. Her momentous return has been prophesied, and with this prognostication comes the undivided attention of the benevolent gods from pantheons beyond.

Wonder Girl #01 Is Available To Buy At Your Local Comic-Book Emporium Right Now!

Comic Cover Of The Week: Wonder Woman #771

771 wondy cover

Welcome fellow fans of fantastic fiction to another cool and captivating cornucopia of comic cover collectables! This week’s impressive image heralds from Wonder Woman #771, and is radiantly rendered by irrepressibly impressive illustrator – Joshua Middleton.

Wonder Woman’s ongoing odyssey through the Sphere of the Gods persists, as she embarks on a quest with the devious Ratatosk, to search for answers. Something appears to be changing the Norse afterlife, and it’s up to the Themysciran Titan to set things right. And in doing so, she must face warriors and beasts of mythological proportions, beginning with Nidhogg! Can our Amazon ambassador survive this surly serpent? Meanwhile in a seemingly simpler time in our heraldic hero’s life, a young Diana continues her journey to uncover the secret behind the scriptures that pertain to hold the hidden history of Themyscira. But is she actually ready to behold the truth, or will it ultimately change her perception of paradise forever?

771 wondy cover1

As our heroic herald continues her perilous passage through the Norse afterlife of Valhalla, she finally encounters the cantankerous god of thunder himself – Thor, who unsurprisingly turns out to be a bit of an arse – a sententious, arrogant and misogynistic drunkard, of whom Diana takes great pleasure in verbally ripping to shreds. Not only does she impressively invalidate the God of Thunder, she also memorably mingles with Odin, climbs the sacred tree of Ygdrassil, and strikes up a bargain with the World Serpent – Naghini.

771 wondy

The backup tale to this illustrious issue continues with another captivating chapter of young Diana, by collective creators, Jordie Bellaire and Paulina Ganucheau, with the most noteworthy part of the tale (for this Wondy fan at least) being the return of Golden Age super-pet – Jumpa the Kanga! (of whom we wrote about recently – right here!) A fun little tale with absolutely gorgeous and energetic artwork by the talented Ganucheau.

Wonder Woman #771 Is Available From Your Local Comic-Book Emporium Right Now!

Women In Comics Presents: Ramona Fradon

Women In Comics banner (1)

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…

Ramona Fradon banner

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.

Ramona Fradon WW

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.

Ramona Fradon metamorpho01

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.

Ramona Fradon photo

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!

Joye Hummel Murchison – The First Woman Commissioned To Write Wonder Woman Comics In The 1940’s, Passes Away At 97.

JHM 3

It is with great sadness that we pass on the news that Wonder Woman and Comic-Book author, Joye Hummel Murchison passed away at the age of 97 years old on April 5th. Joye was the ghost writer of many classic golden age Wonder Woman tales between the years of 1944 and 1947, with her first ever script appearing in the spring 1945 issue of Wonder Woman #12, after the Wondy creator and mainstay writer – William Moulton Marston fell terminally ill.

Joye was first offered the role of authoring the ongoing adventures of the wondrous one in March of 1944 by Professor Marston himself, who was a tutor of psychology at the Katharine Gibbs school in Manhattan, where Joye was a pupil. Professor Marston, over dinner, invited Joye to co-author the further adventures of the Themysciran Titan. At this point, Joye had not only never read Wonder Woman, but indeed any comic-books whatsoever, though she accepted the position through her respect and admiration of Marston and his varying works that included not just comic-book writing but also psychology, invention (he co-invented the lie detector, which gave way in the comics to Wondy’s Lasso of Truth) and unyielding support of women’s rights and the Suffragist movement.

JHM 1

Joye worked on Wonder Woman’s continuing adventures for three years as a ghost-writer, yet was never accredited much attention until the Jill Lepore penned – The Secret History Of Wonder Woman – was released in 2014. Four years after historian Lepore’s book was released, Joye was awarded one of the most prestigious comic-book awards – The Bill Finger Award – primarily given to oft underappreciated and overlooked comic creators.

Our thought go out to her family and friends at this time, and our eternal thanks to Joye for the many wonderful tales of Diana’s golden age adventures she regaled her many fans with.

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

wig-banner

 

Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another enticing 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…

WondyBanner

DC Celebrate 80 Years Of Wonder…

Merciful Minerva! can you believe it’s been almost eight decades since the Themysciran Titan was first ushered into existence! That’s right fellow fans of fantastic female fiction, the wondrous one will shortly be celebrating her astounding amazonian anniversary, and DC Comics are inviting you along to partake in this astonishing achievement by releasing a cavalcade of cool comic-book collectables.

First and foremost, a 100 page super spectacular will be released on October 21, which marks the date of Wondy’s first ever appearance in All Star Comics #8. This terrific tribute tome will feature all new stories and artwork by some of Diana’s most accomplished artists and sensational scribes, with a cover by the Eisner award winning artist Yanick Paquette.

Wondy80 1

Plus if you’re still craving even more of the Amazon Princess’ astonishing adventures (and let’s be honest, who isn’t) then you’re going to want to head on down to your local comic-book emporium in June to pick up the new six issue anthology series – Wonder Woman: Black And Gold. This limited series forms a major part of Diana’s eightieth celebration, and will include titanic tales of not just our favourite fictional female but also her friends, allies and enemies including Cheetah, Amethyst, and, of course, the ever entertaining Etta Candy.

Wondy80 3

Wonder Woman: Black and Gold #1 will have various writers and artists lending their formidable talents to the legend of Themyscira’s favourite daughter including the likes of Amy Reeder, Ryan Sook Becky Cloonan, Ming Doyle and many, many more. There will also be a veritable virtuoso of variant cover to delect and delight in from Joshua Middleton, Yanick Paquette, and the amazing Ramona Fradon!

Wondy80 2

GA 80Banner

Green Arrow Also Celebrates 80 Years Of Bombastic Bowmanship…

Hot on the heels of Diana’s celebrated creation comes the Emerald Archer himself, Green Arrow! Ostentatious Oliver Queen made his dynamic debut in – More Fun Comics #73, in November 1941, created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp. To commemorate the battling bowman’s octogenarian outings, DC will release a 100 page emerald extravaganza to pay tribute to continuing legacy of GA, his allies, and arch-enemies. Similar to Wonder Woman’s own anniversary anthology, Green Arrow’s very own 100 page super spectacular will bring together some of the marvellous mainstays of Oliver’s past and present. Artists and writers include – the marvellous Mike Grell, Tom Taylor, Jeff Lemire, Nicola Scott, Laura Braga, Mariko Tamaki and many more. 

GA 80

The main cover itself will be by Detective Comics’ artist – Dan Mora, plus there will be an entire quiver of valiant variants depicting the vaunted vigilante throughout his formidable reign as the worlds greatest bowman – from a 1940’s style illustration by Michael Cho, a 50’s one by Daniel Warren Johnson, with the 1960’s version by the amazing Neal Adams, 70’s by Derrick Chew, 80’s from Gary Frank, 90’s variation by Howard Peter, 2000’s by Jen Bartel, rounding off with a 2010 cover by Simone Di Meo… phew! The Green Arrow Anthology celebrations begin on June 29.

Why Not Join Us Again Next Time, For More Week In Geek!

Precinct1313’s Top Ten Favourite Comic-Book Covers Of All Time: No.01 – Wonder Woman #72 – Brian Bolland

Welcome once again, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, as our classic comic cover crusade reaches its culminating crescendo! In our previous post we introduced you to the astounding artistic antics of Amanda Conner and her stunning and sassy Starfire cover, this iconic instalment we present the superior skills of the bodacious Brian Bolland and his tantalising tribute to the Themysciran Titan with Wonder Woman #72.

wtt cover main

The bombastic Brian Bolland was one of a wave of UK comic creators that during the pinnacle of the popular British comic-book scene in the ’80s was snapped up by larger American comic publishers, such as DC Comics, for their alternate and even irreverent approach to the comic-book medium. Bolland along with other British greats, the likes of Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, had impacted the popular caped crusading format by adding a darker edge to characterisation, and a satirical approach to storytelling underlined with a scorn for politics and a strong anti-authoritarian vibe. 

wtt cover multi

Brian Bolland is probably best known in the UK for his stellar work on Britain’s biggest selling anthology comic 2000AD, especially his authoritative take on Judge Dredd, for whom his work on said character, for me, will always be the definitive take visually. Inspired at a young age by artistic greats like Carmine Infantino and Gil Kane, Brian would go on to be one of the most widely sought after artists in the USA, with classics under his utility belt such as Batman: The Killing Joke and Camelot 3000 for DC Comics. It was, however, his run as comic cover artist for DC in the ’80s and ’90s that he is most fondly remembered, especially his phenomenal run on Wonder Woman, in fact, like the previous post on Starfire, Brian’s cover illustration for Wonder Woman #72 proved so popular with the fans that a limited edition statue was produced in celebration of his vicarious vision!

ww tt last

Thanks For Sticking With Us Throughout This Capacious Comic Cover Cavalcade, Fellow Agents Of Precinct1313, Which Of Our Posted Ten Is Your Favourite, Why Not Sound Off In The Comments Below…

Precinct1313’s Top Ten Favourite Comic-Book Covers Of All Time: No.05 – Wonder Woman #51 – Stanley Lau

Welcome once more, oh fellow fans of fantastic fiction, to the Precinct’s capacious and compelling continuous countdown of cool comic cover collectables. If you partook in our previous post, you’ll remember that we celebrated the titanic talents of the astounding Amy Reeder Hadley, and her radiant rendering of Madame Xanadu. This inspirational instalment we shall acquaint you with the sublime skills of Stanley Lau, one of the very finest artists currently working in the field of comic art, and his stellar take on the Themysciran Titan with – Wonder Woman #51.

ww51

Astonishing artistic auteur Stanley (Artgerm) Lau is a Hong Kong born illustrator and designer and co-founder of Imaginary Friends Studio, an acclaimed art studio that has produced work for the likes of DC Comics, Capcom and Marvel. Stanley is best known by his sobriquet – Artgerm, with his art faultlessly blending both eastern and western art styles, giving his wonderful work a unique and easily recognised quality almost unmatched by his peers.

As a cover artist, Artgerm has been both lauded and loathed by yours truly… lauded because every single time I see a new cover by this maestro, I just have to buy it, because it’s gorgeous! and loathed because every single time I see a new cover by the sagacious scribbler, I just have to buy it, and it’s getting really bloody expensive! The Wonder Woman #51 cover is without a doubt my absolute fave cover by Artgerm, that said it was a close tie with three other covers (pictured below), all depicting the great Kara Zor-El (better known as Supergirl) he seems to capture the carefree, insouciant charm that Kara exudes better than any other artist I’ve ever encountered, and we are honoured to induct him into the Precinct’s top ten comic-cover hall of fame!

sg Why Not Join Us Again Next Time, Fellow Agents Of Precinct1313, For Our Continuing Celebratory Countdown Of Cool And Crazy Comic Cover Collectables!

Precinct1313’s End Of The Year Geekstravaganza…

Rsch banner1313

Well hey there fellow agents of Precinct1313, and welcome once again to our annual Geekstravaganza! Our celebratory destination is, as ever, the Precincts famous ‘Halls of Quaffing’ where we shall ultimately gather to rid ourselves of what, lets be honest, was an interminably intense and excruciating year. But, let’s forget about that for now and make our way down through this majestic mansion of mystery’s convoluted and ever changing corridors and chambers and stop by the colossal Comic Crypts to celebrate the year of glorious geekdom!

Our Favourite Comic-Book Series: Wonder Woman – Dead Earth

ww-de1

DC Comics’ Black Label series has been a fantastic phenomenon, a line of limited series aimed at the more mature market that began with the bombastic Batman: Damned, and then continued to build upon that success by regaling us with even more classic characters in this distinctly adult line, with this particular stunning series focusing on our absolutely favourite hallowed Hellenic herald, Wonder Woman.

13wondy

Wonder Woman: Dead Earth is a four issue mini-series written and illustrated by Daniel Warren Johnson, and is my first ever encounter with the writer/artist, and I must say after this seminal series, I am now a huge fan. This comic is the perfect parable for the world we reside in today, encompassing climate change, oppression, racism and tribe like mentality, with even Wondy herself struggling to stifle the causes of these worrisome traits. Grim, dark and gritty, but ultimately a tale of optimism and mutual respect for the planet that nurtures us and our fellow species. Highly recommended!

(Fave comic-book runners up – Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed, Zatanna and the House of Secrets)

Favourite Comic-Book Movie: Birds Of Prey

bop3

That’s right fellow fans of fantastic fiction, the hellacious Harley Quinn teamed up with the bad-ass Birds of Prey for Cathy Yan’s glorious take on one of DC’s most beloved franchises. Margot Robbie was born to play the role of the clown princess of crime and once again gives a remarkable and laugh out loud turn as the long suffering sociopath, ably supported by Mary Elizabeth Winstead as The Huntress, and a perfect performance by Jurnee Smollet-Bell as Black Canary, plus, if that wasn’t enough of a geek overload, narcissistic psychopathic crime-lord Black Mask was expertly brought to vivid life by brilliant British thesp, Ewan McGregor. A deliriously fun and fourth wall breaking delight, Birds of Prey is an absolute must watch! (May I just say, at time of writing this, I haven’t yet seen Wonder Woman 84, due to pandemics and closed cinemas, but will hopefully reverse this in early 2021)

Favourite Statue/Toy I Personally Purchased: Bombshells Death Statue

toys!1313

You know what, I have way too many statues, action figures and toys, so many in fact that some are still retained in their boxes through lack of space. It’s a shame I know to keep such gloriously geeky works of art in their packaging, but I have literally zero willpower, and whenever I encounter another cool collectable, all reasoning and monetary value goes out the window as my inner child takes over, and I buy yet another awesome addition to add to my overwhelming pile of geek. That said, the Death statue was whipped out of her protective polystyrene tout suite, because it is quite possibly one of the most beautiful pieces I have yet laid eyes upon. Based upon the Endless version of the Grim Reaper, Death is a favoured character of mine, so she now resides upon the fabled Superlative Shelf of Superhero Statues alongside the other spectacularly sublime sculpts. And just how much geeky toy goodness have I managed to stuff the Precinct with, see below for just a small glimpse into my fevered collecting brain…

EIsisurWwAA2vWA (1)

ssss13

And there you have it fellow agents of Precinct1313, a few of the things that have helped me personally cope with this torrid year. What has brought you personal joy throughout 2020? why not sound off in the comments below. May I just say a huge thank you to everyone who has visited, commented and followed the Precinct over the past twelve months, it’s really, really appreciated. And so… Happy New Year!

Oh, And As Ever… Make Mine DC!

1313-mmdc-2-1