The internet let out a collective roar today as it was announced that Wonder Woman would indeed play a role in the upcoming Superman sequel. That roar intensified when it was announced that Gal Gadot, formerly of the Fast and Furious franchise would be stepping in to fill Diana’s bracelets. Speculation as to whether or not Wonder Woman would be in the film had been running rampant recently but today rumor gave way to a press release and now fanboys can start arguing whether Ms Gadot will be any good in the film sight unseen.
There is still plenty up in the air at this point though; how big a part is she playing? What sort of angle are they going for with the origin? What is the costume going to look like? Are they going to try to shoehorn a love triangle with her vs. Bruce and Clark?
At this point all we can do is really wait and see.
I have been more than a little harsh towards DC lately. I feel like they just don’t know how to communicate with their audience in a way that doesn’t come off as condescending anymore. Their PR campaigns and their outreach to the folks that buy, read, and love their books leave a lot to be desired. The publicity for Superman/Wonder Woman for example, just seemed off message from the get-go, as if DC didn’t understand what audience they were reaching to with this one. DiDio’s comparison of trying to appeal to the Twilight audience angered many of DC’s loyal fans, a great example of how out of touch the company is with most of its publications. I think that the books should speak for themselves in most cases, but part of the publishing game is talking up your product and that is one of DC’s recent failings. They just aren’t very good at being their own hype-man.
This is unfortunate considering that Superman/Wonder Woman is a surprisingly well-written, beautifully drawn book. I did not have high hopes for the first issue because the DC hype machine made me feel that I wasn’t in the target audience and that the writing would likely not be in line with what the characters are experiencing in their own titles. I am happy to say that I was proven wrong. Writer Charles Soule, who has been making a name for himself in recent months, gives Diana and Clark some real depth here. Obviously the crux of the story is their relationship, and he uses that coupling as an excuse to better explore the character traits of each of the heroes as individuals. Like a mathmatic equation, we get to see the individual parts that comprise the eventual answer that is their relationship. It isn’t melodrama in the way I was expecting. I am quite impressed with how well everything gels together. The bouncing back and forth between Clark and Diana in their civilian lives and in the midst of a crisis gives the reader varied perspectives that also make the narrative flow smoothly.
Let me also state for the record that this is probably Tony Daniel’s finest work. His pencils are clean and strong with the ink and color work making every panel pop in a way that I haven’t seen from his artwork thus far. I may have been dismissive of him at times, which I now regret because if this is his A-game it is easy to see why he has become a top-tier artist.
Simply put, this is a major home run for DC. One they desperately needed.
It would appear that since this article was published NBC decided not to pick up the series after all. Which actually makes more sense considering the negative buzz coming out of the screenings of the pilot. I’m not all too bummed about this because it gives a frame of reference for what the producers were doing that fans were not enjoying and they can fix those when they decide it might be easier just to do a standalone film. Thor opening big might make them realize that mythology based heroes can work on the big screen as long as they handle the material correctly.
We can only hope…
In a move that allowed Wonder Woman fans to breathe a sigh of relief following news that the pilot was not tracking all too well for a fall pick up by NBC, the news was released today that David E. Kelley’s Harry’s Law would be renewed for a second season and Wonder Woman had indeed been picked up for a series as well. This comes on the heels of news that Fox had cancelled their own comic-adaptation series of Human Target and failed to give the green light to an adaptation of Locke and Key which by all accounts was damn brilliant and fans are praying to whatever deity that will listen to have some other network pick it up.
With Smallville ending this week I am hoping that Wonder Woman can pick up the slack in the laughibly ludicrous TV comic book adaptation genre. Everything I’ve seen has me thinking that it’s going to be entertaining on a “what the?” level due to the conflicting tone and overall silliness that is going on in the scripts. I could be wrong but having honed my ability to avoid trainwrecks simply by the cut of their trailer I do not anticipate Wonder Woman being something I will enjoy on any sort of straightforward level. Ironically? Perhaps. But I don’t want to be accused of being a hipster.
Anybody who knows me probably knows how I feel about Wonder Woman as a property. I believe that it is one of the most damaged brands in the comics world as it stands right now and it’s mostly the fault of the fans.
There, I said it.
Never has there been a fanbase, that I can think of anyway, that is so divided and prone to bickering as with Wonder Woman. That’s saying something considering the sort of esteem I hold Batman fans in. Those guys are sane and reasonable compared to fans of Ms. Prince. The problem is that seemingly every fan of Wonder Woman became a fan at a different point in her development, thereby attaching themselves to a depiction of the character as it was at one point and then getting offended with every subsequent change to her convoluted continuity. This happens every other month it seems.
I am a fan of Wonder Woman in theory. I think she has the potential for amazing stories, as evidenced by the fact that there are some amazing runs on her title that are prime examples of what can be done with a strong female character in the comics medium. Greg Rucka is probably my favorite Wonder Woman writer (all due respect to Gail Simone and George Perez) and I know there are people who agree with me. There are also people who refuse to accept anything not written by George Perez. There are also people who would probably spit in JMS’ face for what he did during his stint. The different factions tend to be at odds over Wonder Woman’s character on a base level. It’s a testament to the character that such detailed discussion can be held on a level that allows for such dissection of the essence of what defines her beyond costume or continuity. It’s a far cry from the discussions of Batman where people mostly seem to argue over whether or not he needs a yellow oval. Batman draws from a very basic premise for his establishment; the death of his parents. Wonder Woman has the Greek mythology aspect as well as the American diplomat angle among others and nobody can quite agree what defines Wonder Woman at her core.
So now we come to the new TV show where we get the costume pictured to the left. It’s not horrible. It looks a little cheap, like it was bought from a Halloween costume shop for a theme party, but it’s recognizable as a Wonder Woman costume. The only nitpick I have is that the boots need to be red to break up the color scheme a bit.
Adrianne Palicki looks a bit awkward in the suit but from what I’ve gathered that may because it’s a photoshop manipulation of a prototype. The shots of her in civilian clothes have her looking far more comfortable and at ease, whereas here she looks a bit stiff and unsure of what sort of look she needs to project. That and the red lipstick is a bit overpowering.
My point here is to appeal to Wonder Woman fans by saying that this new version may very well be the definitive version for some young fan who is introduced to the character through the show. Don’t cut it down because it doesn’t fit your mold. Be glad that they’re getting anything right at all, as it’s more than can be said for some comic adaptations and at least with TV there’s a lot more room for evolution than if it were a standalone film. There will be growing pains, but all TV shows grow if they expect to survive. I think this one will, if only because Smallville has lasted ten seasons and that show is more offensive to continuity than anything I’ve seen for this project. That’s enough for me.
So we have a Wonder Woman. Adrianne Palicki (which is a last name sure to invite nerd-drooling innuendo for the foreseeable future) has been reportedly cast as the Amazonian princess in David Kelley’s adaptation of Wonder Woman set to air on NBC. Palicki stands at 5’11” and has the build necessary to pull off the character believably though she’s going to have to spend some time with a dye pack to get her hair to the jet-black sheen we’re used to seeing with Wonder Woman. All that truly is in question right now is how well she will be able to portray the character. I do not have any real idea of how well she can play the part as I honestly haven’t seen her in anything live-action, my only experience with her in any form is from her voice work in bits on Robot Chicken and Titan Maximum. Apparently she was in an episode of Smallville once upon a time but nothing about that show really left much of an impression on me other than how badly I want to make out with Allison Mack, because let’s face it, that woman is amazing.
So now we have our Wonder Woman, and the vocal Wondy fans will likely spend the next few months complaining about it as I’ve learned that Wonder Woman fans are 90% psychotic. Their obsession with the minutia of her character is unparalleled and this is equally insane due to the fact that Wonder Woman has to be the least consistent character in the DC universe, paling only in comparison to Donna Troy who herself is part of the Wonder Woman continuity clusterfuck. I’m not saying I don’t like the character, as I’ve got a pretty much a full run of her issues from the moment George Perez took over following the first Crisis through Rucka’s run up through Simone’s and even currently through this current JMS debacle but I’ll be damned if I ever met a Wonder Woman fan who didn’t make me raise my eyebrows and inch for the door just ever so slightly.
According to the official DCU newsblog, JMS will be taking his leave from the Superman and Wonder Woman monthly titles citing a need to prioritize the release of the next Earth One graphic novel as well as his recent healthy issues as the reasons for his early departure. Those concerned about whether or not the current storylines will be left dangling will be happy to hear that oncoming Superman writer Chris Roberson (of iZombie and Cinderella fame) as well as new Wonder Woman scribe Phil Hester will both be working off of Stracynski’s plot outlines. Those of you hoping that the storylines would be abandoned are out of luck. I would argue that the premeses behind the current direction of both books were sound and interesting, simply not being taken in the right direction due to Stracynski’s understanding of the characters being deeply flawed.
I’m sure some overzealous fanboys will be quick to theorize that this has something to do with the critical reaction to the series but the truth is JMS got mainstream exposure for the title, so whether or not the faithful drank his kool-aid was not a concern of the people publishing the books. He isn’t being forced off because of his failures, if anything it seems like they want to replicate the amazing success of Earth One as soon as possible considering the buzz on the first installment seems to be mostly positive.
The thing to take away from this is that both new writers for Superman and Wonder Woman are ASTOUNDING talents who I personally cannot wait to see tackle the characters. Especially Phil Hester. I have a sketch of Green Arrow he drew for me hanging framed in my office. He’s awesome. You should share my enthusiasm. I have enough to go around.
It’s Friday. Time for the final installment of the costume showcase theme. I’ve saved…whatever I had left for last.