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Wonder Woman #14 - 17 "The Circle" Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'DC Comics and Collectibles' started by James Harvey, Nov 14, 2007.

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  1. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    An electrifying new era begins for the world's greatest superheroine! Gail Simone joins the phenomenal art team of Terry and Rachel Dodson for what promises to be one of the most exciting Wonder Woman stories ever told!

    WONDER WOMAN #14

    [​IMG]

    Written by: Gail Simone
    Art and Cover by: Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson
    Variant cover by: Michael Golden

    What exactly is The Circle, and what deadly secret do they hold about Diana's birth? What familiar face from Wonder Woman's past returns with a mission to spy on Special Agent Diana Prince? Why is the Department of Metahuman Affairs on a collision course with the wounded remnants of the Society of Super-Villains? You won't want to miss any of this story that spans the globe and shakes Diana to her core!

    Comments?
     
  2. DisneyBoy

    DisneyBoy Searchin' My Soul

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    I believe a preview of this issue has been posted over at newsarama, but I may be wrong about the website.

    In any case, from what I saw, Diana seems to be sure of herself with a sense of humor and - of course - a warrior's heart.

    I haven't read the books lately, so I was a little thrown by the new look for Diana. Her face is certainly...not Perez's. I like that she at least seems to look more Greek now, though.
     
  3. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    Short version: OK, that was pretty cool. I have no idea what's going on, really, but it's still pretty cool.

    Longer version: I've said in the past that Wonder Woman is the character most likely to seek peaceful, diplomatic solutions to problems and successfully turn an opponent into an ally, and that this is what makes her distinct from Superman and Batman. So, seeing that Gail Simone pulls exactly this trick within the first 10 pages of her first issue just plain makes me happy.

    Beyond that, I have only the vaguest idea of what's supposed to be going on, but I get the gist at least and Simone makes it funny and intriguing enough that I don't really care much. I'll be on board for the trade, for sure.

    -- Ed
     
  4. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    The stunning "Circle" story arc ratchets to a new level of intensity as Wonder Woman's acclaimed new creative team deliver never-before-revealed secrets of Diana's origin!

    WONDER WOMAN #15

    [​IMG]

    Written by: Gail Simone
    Art by cover by: Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson

    Who tried to assassinate her on the night of her creation? Special Agent Diana Prince may not live to find out, as she faces a brutal Captain Nazi alone, unable to use her powers. And the re-forming army of the Society of Super Villains hunts her mother on Paradise Island! You've never seen a Wonder Woman like this!

    Comments?
     
  5. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    As good a place as any to put up this much-linked-to article about the marketplace challenges facing Wonder Woman and ballyhoo-ing the fact that an actual woman is writing the comics these days. I'm glad that Greg Rucka gives the most obvious reason why WW's never had much luck in the marketplace:

    I think that neatly sums up what really ticked me off about the Heinberg relaunch, in that it managed to select the worst of all of the preceeding story elements as its foundation. And I thought the comic itself really sucked badly and was a massive disappointment from Heinberg's high water mark on Young Avengers.

    There's also a page of a manga Wonder Woman proposal on The Beat, which strikes me as one of the greatest ideas I've ever seen, even if (or maybe especially if) the average superhero comic book geek who hasn't read Wonder Woman in years, if ever, sees it and gnashes his teeth in anguish, howling, "NOOO!! MANGA IS TEH SUXX0RZ!!!!" :evil:.

    -- Ed
     
  6. DisneyBoy

    DisneyBoy Searchin' My Soul

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    Ed (Ace - hey you changed your name!), thanks for that post. Really enjoyed reading the article and I agree - consistancy will win readers over in the long run.

    My hope is that Gail can make the book a quality read and eventually get things back to something coparable to the beginning of the 1st relaunch. I just want to read Wonder Woman comics again that are as good or better than the Perez stuff.

    So, I checked out the first issue and found that A) I liked the pacing of the story. It wasn't full of dull speaches and drama, and had some fun. I was really surprised by Diana's birthday party. A nice idea and well paired up with the Dodson's art. Their work comes across as serious and even possibly dark (a little Batman-y?), so to see the story having fun makes for a nice contrast. The Nazis really threw me. I don't know who these guys are really...any background on them, or are they new?

    I will say that on a few of the smaller panels, the Dodson art looked less detailed than I'd have hoped. But overall, I'm interested in seeing where this goes.

    I do wish the solicitations wouldn't oversell things so much. Folks are already interested. This kinda promoting is almost a turn-off.
     
  7. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    The storyline continues!

    WONDER WOMAN #16

    [​IMG]

    Written by: Gail Simone
    Art and Cover by: Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson

    The intensity ramps up in the third chapter of "The Circle," as the whole truth is revealed about the attempted murder of Diana on the night of her birth! And in the present day, Wonder Woman fights to prevent the destruction of not just her loved ones, but her entire culture. But whose standard is she wearing into battle, and does it mean she has abandoned the gods completely? No Wonder Woman fan should miss this story!

    Comments?
     
  8. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    The finale of "The Circle" pits Wonder Woman against the secret sect formed solely to prevent her birth!

    WONDER WOMAN #17

    [​IMG]

    Written by: Gail Simone
    Art and cover by: Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson

    To take down an ancient threat, Wonder Woman must find a way to return to Paradise Island, from which she was banned! Meanwhile, Nemesis is left alone to face the rampaging army of Captain Nazi!

    Comments?
     
  9. DisneyBoy

    DisneyBoy Searchin' My Soul

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    So I've picked up and read this entire arc...and despite really liking the first issue, I'm left a little cold by the end of the fourth.

    It's nice to see Hippolyta again. Right off the bat, that must be said. I (wisely) skipped out on Amazons Attack, so I have no real concept of how or why she's back from the dead, but it seems to be for real, which is rather nice. Her dynamic with Diana was always an interesting one, and having her restricted to the island is a new twist that works in my mind...since the last time I saw her she was cavorting around as Wonder Woman II (or technically the 1st, right?) and that was creating tension for Diana.

    I wasn't too thrilled to see the Dodson artwork phase in and out of the four issues. The other artists' work, while okay, couldn't compare, and it felt pretty unprofessional to me for Simone's run not to have a strong, one-artist start.

    I liked the apes, they were used well, but the Nazis confused me. Again, if anyone can tell me who Captain Nazi is in the grand scheme of things that would be cool.

    The Circle of Amazons is an interesting idea. It makes sense that some would have taken issue with Diana's creation, but - believe it or not - the Dodson art made it difficult for me to accept these "new" characters as having always been around. The designs just look so different from those Perez established at the beginning of the series, and coloring...it's just everywhere! Neon pinks and purples...! Why? It took me out of the story.

    In fact, the Dodson's artwork both pleased and frustrated me...because it looked so polished. It almost distractingly beautiful. Hard to read the story when you're just looking at how SHINY and SLEEK everything and everyone looks. Things needed to be a bit more functional and practical. I've seen less beautiful art that told the story a lot better.

    Art aside, I also took issue with the dialogue. Simone is bringing a modern, casual approach not only to Diana but the Nazis as they chat on the island. It's hard to accept this suddenly-relaxed-and-cocky-looking Diana after years and years of the reserved Princess being around.

    That being said, I love seeing Etta again, especially in a position higher than what Steve has (in terms of visibility in the comics). The Dodsons even make her nose flip up a bit like the actress who played her in the Carter series. Although, I guess they do that with everyone. Their art looks best on Diana, Hippolyta and Etta.

    I was a little annoyed that the lead Amazon's death wasn't clear. We see enough of the "did they survive?" endings. I'd prefer it being clearly established.

    I'm going to pick up the 25th issue's storyline (where Diana has to deal with a Wonder Woman movie, and apparently things start getting serious with Nemisis) to see if it all moves in a better direction.

    This wasn't the captivating start I was hoping for...there are things to work on, but it wasn't terrible by any means.

    ....like the relaunch of the book *ahem!*
     
  10. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    I'm about halfway through the TPB for this story arc, and already I think that if it doesn't end up as one of my favorite Wonder Woman story arcs anywhere, ever, I think Gail Simone would have to screw this up well past any capacity she has to screw anything up. I think she "gets" Wonder Woman at a bone-deep level, and is more than capable of bringing that to the printed page, with all the contradictions and challenges fully embraced and incorporated so naturally that you wonder, "Why hasn't anybody managed to do this before?"

    I love the way she is so casual about facing down a tribe of talking commando gorillas, and the cool and genuine reaction when she tells them, "You're using me as a trial to see if you can kill Superman? I'm honored." Then she kicks their butts right before she turns them into her friends, which is EXACTLY the kind of thing she should be doing. I love the fact that she does mostly the same thing with Captain Nazi, except for the whole "turning him into a friend" part and with a lot more face-kicking that I can totally get behind. Even so, she can still find some compassion in her heart even for a guy like him, but that compassion doesn't come with forgiveness or an ounce of acceptance for his noxious beliefs. I love the fact that she knows she revels in the thrill of combat while being mildly repulsed by that aspect of her character at the same time, which is also a subtle way to express the "truth" aspect to her character. Superman and Batman tell themselves the little lies we all tell ourselves that make their lives bearable. Wonder Woman can't. I love nearly everything about Etta Candy, hard-ass government operative.

    As for the main plot, it mostly involves an invasion of Themyscira and the return of four characters from out of the distant past, and I can get behind just about all of it. I think the Circle is logical and I like the way that they don't take the obvious step simply because they took an oath not to do it, even if that just pushes them into a far uglier alternative. I also liked the way the first few pages are structured, as Hippolyta visits each in turn and the page reflects their positions on the compass.

    Great, great stuff. Like I said, Gail Simone would have to screw this up well beyond her capacity to screw things up, and I think I'm going to have to get the HCs for the rest of her reprints so far once I'm done with this one.

    Also as good a place as any to link to 5 Questions With..., which is 5 questions with lots of Wonder Woman writers, artists, fans, and more. Great stuff there with the likes of Simone herself, Kurt Busiek, Mark Waid, Aaron Lopresti, Trina Robbins, Nicola Scott, WW cosplayer extraordinaire Margie Cox, and more. The one with Laeta Kalogridis just ends up making me really, really cheesed off at Hollywood (as if I needed MORE reasons for that), and the one with Phil Jimenez explains a WHOLE lot about why I found his stint on the title to run so hot and cold for me.
     
  11. DisneyBoy

    DisneyBoy Searchin' My Soul

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    I think she "gets" Wonder Woman at a bone-deep level, and is more than capable of bringing that to the printed page, with all the contradictions and challenges fully embraced and incorporated so naturally that you wonder, "Why hasn't anybody managed to do this before?"

    Bone-deep, eh? Wowsers. She's got a spell on youuuu....and now you're gone (Cathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica: Gone - Gone - So long!)

    No, it's cool that you feel she's totally nailed Diana, but I have to reply with a whhhaaaa...? I don't hear her talking like that in my head. Since when did she become so contemporary? I mean, yes...she's been in Man's World long enough...but I don't hear her that way. Not given all the duties she's had to deal with. Here she's so "Yeah, monkeys...whatcha gonna do?" :p Well, not quite to that extent...but to me, that's almost the effect.

    I love the way she is so casual about facing down a tribe of talking commando gorillas, and the cool and genuine reaction when she tells them, "You're using me as a trial to see if you can kill Superman? I'm honored."

    That part was fun, but a bit smug. I don't mind Diana having fun in battle, but being smug...it felt more like Simone was trying to start the book off right for the readers by giving them a fun-loving heroine rather than having Diana be perhaps a little more...oh I don't know. Honestly I like the start, I don't need to pick it apart much. I guess it's just hard at the start of any run, when you have to pretend the character isn't really dealing with any of the stuff that's just happened in their lives, because writer's change.

    In my mind...the last thing Diana went through was the Rucka stuff, before the OMAC project, which was annoying and something I try to block out. So my first thought is stuff like "How are things now that Hermes is alive again?" Silly me.

    Even so, she can still find some compassion in her heart even for a guy like him, but that compassion doesn't come with forgiveness or an ounce of acceptance for his noxious beliefs.

    See - that's not quite Diana to me. She isn't a super-judgemental person. How can you be when you get to see inside people? I thought that was what that scene was showing us, and I liked it for that...

    I love the fact that she knows she revels in the thrill of combat while being mildly repulsed by that aspect of her character at the same time, which is also a subtle way to express the "truth" aspect to her character.

    Didn't notice that. I appreciate that Simone brings layers like that to her writing.

    I love nearly everything about Etta Candy, hard-ass government operative.

    Yup - but what happened to hubbie Steve?

    Thanks for the awesome links! Will check those out. Enjoy the finale (and tell me if the two art styles pull you out of the story as much as they did me).
     
    #11 DisneyBoy, Nov 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2009
  12. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    I don't think she's smug as much as self-confident. To me, the gorillas are a bunch of drunk frat boys posturing outside a bar to a guy they don't realize is a sober Navy SEAL, who knows he can take them all out without breaking much of a sweat. It is smugness on some level, but I'd still be rooting for the Navy SEAL. She even kind of addresses that in the brief conversation with Nemesis in the following scene when she says something like, "What if she wasn't cocky as much as self-assured?" She's referring to the chess game, but it applies to her fight with the gorillas, too.
    I should clarify. She's completely and rightfully judgmental about Captain Nazi because, well, HE'S A NAZI. She calls his uniform "filth." If you can't be judgmental about a Nazi's beliefs, I think you really can't be judgmental about much of anything. She finds compassion for the damaged little boy she sees inside him, but that compassion does not prevent her from kicking his ass or the asses of all the damaged people he roped into invading Themyscira because they're Nazis and deserve to be judged harshly and to have their asses kicked.

    Can't say they did. I did vaguely notice that some of the pages didn't quite have the same flair that the Dodsons have for layout, although it wasn't enough to pull me out of the story.
     

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