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September 24, 2012

Review: Wonder Woman #0/Earth 2 #0/Ame-Comi Girls #1-2

Posted on September 24, 2012 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

WW #0

Although DC's nu-52 so far can hardly be described as epic in its sensibilities, it has at least one thing in common with Homer: it began its stories 'in medias res' - that is, in the middle of the action. There were no origin stories, no explanations for what had happened before each issue. Instead, we were thrust into the stories, assuming we would learn later on what was going on.

And so it is this month, 12 months after the first of the nu52 titles came out, that DC has released issue #0s for a whole range of both its surviving titles and its forthcoming titles. For the most part, these have been simple origin stories - Catwoman explains how Selina Kyle lost her memory and became a criminal, Supergirl explores why her parents sent her away from Krypton, Batgirl looks at how Barbara Gordon became Batgirl and lost her ability to walk, Batwoman looks at how Kate Kane was trained by her father and so on. Even Justice League #0 is merely about how Billy Batson gets the power of Shazam.

The thing is, we know nu52 Wonder Woman's origin already: born on the island of the Amazons to Queen Hippolyta, her father the god Zeus - that much is clear and has already been (infamously) spelt out in issue #3. True, we've not really seen Steve Trevor crashing on Paradise Island, but we've had that reasonably well covered in Justice League #12, which only really left a couple of possible elements that needed covering: 'the Contest' among the Amazons to be the one to take Trevor back to the outside world and the point at which Wonder Woman decides to stay and fight for mortals against gods and monsters.

So leave it to Brian Azzarello to do something completely different. His #0 is a far more interesting affair: a story that takes an affectionate look at the Silver Age with an alleged tale from All-Girl Adventure Tales For Men #41 to explore just how Wonder Girl became Wonder Woman, and more importantly, given it's Wonder Woman, how she learnt there's more to being a warrior than killing.

We also learn exactly what DC thinks of Wonder Woman and what their master plan is.

So after the jump, let's look at Wonder Woman #0, as well as Earth 2 #0, in which an alternative universe Wonder Woman appears to have no romantic interest in Superman, Action Comics #10, in which in retrospect the nu-52 Wonder Woman actually does appear to have some romantic interest in Superman, Justice League International Annual, in which the nu-52 Wonder Woman and Superman very much have a romantic interest in one another (and the superheroes of the future are not best happy about that), and Ame-Comi Girls, in which an alternative universe Wonder Woman proves that she's the strongest superhero of them all - and is definitely not interested in Supergirl.

Incidentally, Cliff Chiang had already drawn a cover for Wonder Woman #0, before all the #0 issues were standardised on the 'burst' motif. Wouldn't this have been just so much better?

Cliff Chiang's alternative cover for Wonder Woman #0

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September 24, 2012

Review: Doctor Who - 7x4 - The Power of Three

Posted on September 24, 2012 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Power of Three

In the UK: Saturdays, BBC1. Now available on iPlayer
In the US: Saturdays, BBC America

Ah, pathos, tears, romance, cameos by famous people, a domestic UK setting, characterisation, a big hand-wavey, 30-second sonic screwdriver way out of a massive alien invasion, menacing kids, families, an emoting, lonely Doctor, voiceovers, continuity references and more - isn't it great that Russell T Davies came back to write an episode of Doctor Who for Steven Moffat, bringing with him all his writing trademarks?

What's that Sootie? Rusty didn't write The Power of Three? Then who did?

Who???

You're shitting me, Sootie. Chris Chibnall wrote that? Well, colour me surprised.

Yes, the man responsible for Cyberwoman, Countrycide, Adrift, Exit Wounds, The Hungry Earth and Camelot, to name but a few, most of which have been banned by Geneva Conventions, has finally turned in his indisputable masterpiece - by the simple mechanism of instead of merely copying every B-movie he's ever watched (with perhaps the exception of Super 8), pretending to be Russell T Davies.

Shame it didn't have a proper ending and the plot was nonsense, but that's what happens when you copy Rusty.

Here's a trailer.

Continue reading "Review: Doctor Who - 7x4 - The Power of Three"

September 20, 2012

Preview: Elementary 1x1 (CBS/Sky Living)

Posted on September 20, 2012 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Elementary

In the US: Thursdays, 10/9c, CBS. Starts September 27
In the UK: Acquired by Sky Living for October broadcast

You will recall that not so long ago, Steven Moffat was extremely dischuffed. "Pourquoi?" you might ask if you were French. Well, my francophone friend, because as well as being the showrunner for Doctor Who, Stevie is also the showrunner and indeed co-creator of a little known show called Sherlock, an updating of Conan Doyle's famous consulting detective. After pitching an updated version to the American TV network CBS, he became seriously dischuffed when he heard that CBS was going to do their own version without the benefit of his wisdom.

And here it comes: Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes, a former consultant to Scotland Yard, who moves to New York to get away from his father and to help US cop Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) with his enquiries. Of course, since he doesn't get paid for his work, he needs his father's money to keep him in little things like food and lodgings, and since our Sherlock also had a bit of a drug habit, as a condition of continued support, daddy dearest gives him a live-in 'sober companion', a therapist who stays with Sherlock night and day to make sure he doesn't revert to old habits. That would be one Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu).

Sound much like Sherlock? No.

Stevie need not have worried.

In fact, Elementary, even putting aside the change in location of the stories, gender of Dr Watson and promotion of Inspector Gregson, is possibly the loosest adaptation of Conan Doyle's classics there's ever been. Well, apart from that manga one and that one set in space. And while it's a perfectly functional procedural, efficiently told and competently made, with an intriguingly quirky performance from Miller, it's also the blandest adaptation of Conan Doyle's classics there's even been. Yes, even including Young Sherlock - The Mystery of the Manor House.

Here's a trailer. It's basically a four-minute precis of the pilot.

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