Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wonder Woman And Batman

Hey, kids! COMICS!

Last weekend, I caught up on some comics and I wanted to discuss an ending and a beginning here.

The ending was the Wonder Woman run by writer Greg Rucka. The Rebirth of Wonder Woman has been an extraordinarily good run of comics. The book followed two timelines, Diana’s past when she first leaves Themysciria and journey’s to Man’s World and the present where Dina is challenged that the life and her history that she knew may be a deception. At first, the “year one’ issues were more interesting to me but as the series progressed, I began to see the pattern that Rucka was creating, how the past shaped the present and how the present was answering the questions of the past. Over the course of 12 months and 25 bi-weekly issues, Greg Rucka created a duo level narrative that dovetailed into an effective and satisfying conclusion. 

Diana’s biggest and best strength is her heart and compassion but she is still a more than capable warrior. What I find incredible is the consistency of approach to Diana’s character in both the comics and her recent hit movie. The Wonder Woman in the comics is recognizable to the one on the big screen. That is a remarkable feat for DC where Superman and Batman have not been so consistently presented. 

A word about the art: I was more impressed with Nicola Scott’s issues over the art of Liam Sharp. But Sharp’s work really began to grow on me over the last year and I’m going to miss his art on Wonder Woman. And let’s not forget Bilquis Evely who replaced Scott in the rotation and delivered an Amazon Princess that was beautiful and powerful; I hope we get to see more of her art somewhere in the future, preferably back again on Wonder Woman.

Art by Bilquis Evely  

While Greg Rucka was wrapping up his tenure on wonder Woman, Tom King is kicking off something new for Batman.  After Scott Snyder’s astonishing time as Batman’s writer during the New 52 era, whoever came next would face a daunting challenge to measure up and make their own mark. And Tom King has met that challenge over the last year with a series of stories that have challenged readers with deep and dark insights into Gotham’s Guardian.  The revelation that a young Bruce Wayne contemplated suicide ibn the aftermath of his parents’ murder was a shocking development but wholly understandable and gives another level to Bruce’s mission. The drive that would lead Bruce to becoming Batman is not just in answer to the death of his parents but saves his own life for this purpose, to save others from crime and loss where he can. 

Issue #24 finds Batman seeking to guide a recently cured Gotham Girl to face her future but she opens Bruce’s eyes as well to who he is and what he gets out of this life he has made for himself. It is an epitome that prompts Bruce to propose to Selina Kyle, using a ring made from th diamond she stole when Batman first encountered Catwoman. Now

that just too sweet for words.

Issuye #25 kicks off a storyline in Batman’s past, an epic and deadly war between the Joker and the Riddler. Mikel Janinn is back for this arc with a dark, unique style that powerfully displays the murderous violence of Batman’s two arch enemies. If you think Riddler is too second tier to be taking on the Joker, Tom King’s playing with the sinister twisted version that Scott Snyder created in his time on the book.  The War of Jokes and Riddles is seriously deadly stuff and God help anyone caught in the cross fire. 

Some very good stuff going on with Batman. And I hope James Robison can maintain the high marks set by Greg Rucka when he comes on board as Wonder Woman’s new writer.

And speaking of Batman AND Wonder Woman, I also got the conclusion of the Batman ‘66/Wonder Woman ’77 series and that was a fun wrap up with the characters from the Batman TV show 10 years older and interacting wityh Lynda Carter’s TV Wonder Woman in 1977. Batgirl is now Batwoman, Robin has become Nightwing and Bruce has retired as Batman. But Ra’s A Ghul and the League of Shadows are still causing trouble and Wonder Woman needs the help of all of Gotham’s heroes, including a certain former Caped Crusader. A most entertaining denouement to a very cleverly realized concept. 

And that is as they say is that for today's post.

Tomorrow, my daughter learns an important lesson about cars.  

Until next time, remember to be good to one another. It's what Batman and Wonder Woman would want you to do.  

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