Weekly Wonder Woman

Review: Wonder Woman #1

Wonder Woman #1

Poor old Wonder Woman. What a year – her 70th no less. She’s been having nothing but trouble. Let’s put to one side for a moment the problems of her intended TV adventures and look to her true home: comics.

Still trouble.

A year or so ago, lauded writer Gail Simone was just leaving the title. She’d left it in quite a nice state. Wonder Woman was getting to grips with “man’s world”, relationships, friendships, daughterhood, her new power (Zeus’s lightning bolts), et al. Achilles had settled down from his time as The Olympian. The Amazons were tickety-boo for a change. Everything seemed happy and all set for the next writer, J Michael Straczynski. They even reverted the numbering scheme for the comic back to #600 in celebration for the next issue.

Gail Simone's final page of Wonder Woman

(Forgive the gorillas – it’s a long story).

Then along comes JMS and everything gets shaken up. Everything Gail Simone did is thrown to one side. We get an alternative Wonder Woman with a new costume, who lives in a world where the Amazons are all dead, Wonder Woman is an orphan. Paradise Island is in ruins. The gods have gone. And she has a new costume, too. This wasn’t Wonder Woman as we knew it or her.

The cover to Wonder Woman #601

So lots of people stopped reading it, including me. By about issue #608, though, it soon became clear that Wonder Woman’s ‘Odyssey’ wasn’t exactly what everyone thought it was and in fact the major reboot was a bit more minor and Wonder Woman would in all likelihood get back to something like her normal self by the end of JMS’s run on the title. Which she did, although she got to keep her new costume.

The final page of JMS's run

I actually ended up going back over the run once it was done to read the earlier issues, because it was quite a clever subversion of the whole Wonder Woman mythos that led to something stronger. Trouble was, it took a year to do and at the end of it, turned out to be a little pointless.

Because DC had its own major reboot planned for no fewer than 52 of its titles, including Wonder Woman. Nothing was ever going to be the same again, just as at the end of the pan-DC ‘Infinite Crisis’ arc back in the 80s. The question was, how was everything going to be different? To be honest, no one yet knows and DC hasn’t exactly been forthcoming, beyond telling us everything was going to be different and every single comic was going to start from issue #1 again.

Wonder Woman senses the #52 are coming

It’s an easily satirisable position.

Now, four weeks into the relaunch, we have issue #1 of the all-new Wonder Woman. Has it all been worth it? Have there been many changes?

Well, Diana does have a new costume – again…

Continue reading “Review: Wonder Woman #1”

Sarah Michelle Gellar can see vampires

What with US soap opera All My Children finally being cancelled after all these years, loads of actors who got their break on the show are coming back to do cameos. Eva Larue from CSI: Miami is one – as is former Buffy Sarah Michelle Gellar. For her cameo, rather than playing the same character as before, she’s chosen to play a crazy person who can see vampires…

[via @alexromeo]

Classic TV

Old Gems: Blue Thunder (1984)

Blue Thunder

Made in 1983, Blue Thunder was a cracking little action movie. Directed by John Badham and starring Roy Scheider (Jaws), it questioned the increasing use of military-grade equipment by the police and the new powers of surveillance available to the police that technology was beginning to afford them.

The centrepiece of the film was ‘Blue Thunder’ as it was nicknamed, an armour-plated police helicopter with a 20mm chain cannon, infra-red cameras, the ability to hover almost silently and microphones that can listen through walls – famously, as an on-screen caption said at the beginning of the movie, technology that was all available in the US at that point.

The film’s message was clear: we have to be very careful about this technology because in the wrong hands, even those of the government, law and order could be subverted. And at the end of the movie, Scheider lands Blue Thunder in front of a train and lets it blow up so no one can use it against the citizens of the United States.

So irony indeed that following the success of the movie, ABC decided to make a TV show in which Blue Thunder is benevolently used by Scheider’s character (now played by James Farantino and called Frank Chaney rather than Frank Murphy) to stop criminals, aided by Dana “Wayne’s World” Carvey and Bubba “Police Academy” Smith.

Here’s the halfway decent titles of the TV series.

Continue reading “Old Gems: Blue Thunder (1984)”

Thursday’s “new Charlie” news

Doctor Who

  • Claire Skinner, Bill Bailey, Arabella Weir and Alexander Armstrong join the Christmas special [spoilers]

Books

Film

  • Don Cheadle and Bruce Greenwood join Robert Zemeckis’ Flight
  • Trailer for The Grey with Liam Neeson
  • Trailer for Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea with Rachel Weisz
  • Clip from Batman: Year One

British TV

  • The Body Farm beats 71 Degrees North in the ratings
  • Sky 1 to air Terra Nova a week after the US [subscription required]

US TV