Weekly Wonder Woman: Justice League (2017), Wonder Woman #35

Wonder Woman on the Old Bailey

Yes, it’s Weekly Wonder Woman – keeping you up to date on pretty much anything involving DC Comics’ premier superheroine, including how badly her latest movie is doing

Movie news

Oh dear. Poor old DC/Warners. Last week, the signs were looking good for Justice League at the overseas box office. However, the US box office taking this past weekend has been below expectations: $96m, which although pretty good is the lowest ever opening for a DC Extended Universe movie. It also got a ‘40% rotten’ critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and is now projected to lose Warner somewhere between $50m and $100m.

Oops.

All is not lost, however, since it’s Thanksgiving week in the US, and Justice League did eventually hit its domestic mark after another day’s takings. It’s also done $185m outside the US and has an audience Rotten Tomatoes score of 85%, meaning audiences liked it twice as much as critics did – in fact, they liked it more than Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, although not quite as much as Wonder Woman, naturally.

Still, already everyone and their auntie is weighing in on what went wrong. Previously, director Zac Snyder had been universally blamed for all previous failings of DCEU movies. However, a personal tragedy meant that he departed the movie after shooting a big chunk of it, upon which Warner hired Joss Whedon (yes, that one) to do some rewrites and reshoots.

Weirdly, a whole bunch of people are therefore putting Justice League‘s perceived failings down to there being not enough Snyder and too much Whedon. There’s even a petition by fans to have a Snyder cut of the movie that the movie’s own cinematographer is backing. Someone even claims to have a list of all the changes Whedon made. All the hints in Batman v Superman as to the original plot of Justice League are probably out the window – or maybe they’ll turn up in Justice League 2 if that ever happens.

Want to know what I think of Justice League? Well, I’ll tell you after the jump. But first, let’s talk about comics…

Comics news

Batman and Wonder Woman

As previously mentioned, former Wonder Woman illustrator Liam Sharp is working on the first ever Batman-Wonder Woman title. But we now have some actual details:

It’s a six-issue mini-series called The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman, out on February 21st. One week earlier and people would talk. The series will mix Wonder Woman’s Amazonian mythology with the legends of Irish and Celtic gods. “The story would involve the death of an Irish god, and Wonder Woman would bring in Batman, the world’s greatest detective, to help investigate.”

Sharp said this new story will be a continuation of his Wonder Woman series with [Greg] Rucka, taking place not long after their final issue. He said Wonder Woman and her classic supporting character Steve Trevor are still a couple, but that he was tempted to add a little of the romantic spark that has existed between Batman and Wonder Woman over the years in various adaptations.

“There’s a moment [between Batman and Wonder Woman] in it. It’s more of a nod than anything else,” Sharp said. “I fell very much in love with the Steve and Diana story during the series with Greg. We felt like we gave him a certain richness to his personality that perhaps he’d lacked somewhat previously. There was a sense that the fanbase said this is right and this is how it should be. So I don’t want to spoil that. That’s the [Wonder Woman] that we created and that’s the dynamic that we created, but at the same time there is a [romantic] nod [to Batman].”

Should be fun. And well drawn.

Comic reviews

Wonder Woman #35

Wonder Woman #35

Plot

We learn how Wonder Woman’s brother Jason was born, raised and learned about his sister.

What does Diana do?

Appear on tele.

Diana on TV

Diana on tele again

Extra notes

I do have to wonder whether DC are deliberately doing this or are just complete klutzes when it comes to scheduling. Justice League out in cinemas? Wonder Woman prominent in all the advertising, Wonder Woman having been this summer’s blockbuster? Right. Let’s have a two-part story in her own comic in which she barely appears.

A long, slow hand-clap for DC editorial, please. Well done, guys. Well done.

But what about the story itself? As per issue #34, assuming we have a reliable narrator, issue #35 appears to take a whole bunch of things from the nu52, DCYou, Greg Rucka’s Rebirth storyline and even Wonder Woman, stick them in a liquidiser, and then serve up the result as an entirely new, moderately nutritious, completely contradictory story.

Jason’s story is as we assumed set in the modern day, not Roman times as we literally saw in previous comics. Jason’s born, but since he’s a bit harder to hide from Hera on an island of women, he’s given to former Argonaut Glaucus to raise as his own son.

Here, writer James Robinson does his usual trick. No, not writing an issue of Wonder Woman that doesn’t feature Wonder Woman – the other one. No, not borrowing a bunch of forgotten characters from the 70s and 90s – he does that later. I meant the other other one.

Yes, he starts us off in medias res and then fills in some back story:

Yes, he’s the son of Hippolyta and Zeus, just like Diana. You’ll notice that’s not exactly the nu52 Zeus mind, being a tad older and whiter, but at least it’s the dark-haired Hippolyta of Rebirth. We then see baby Jason being handed over to Glaucus through the Wonder Woman Themyscira cloaking device:

Themyscira cloaked

Hercules drops by from time to time to feel a bit guilty about all the things he did when he was young. Oh yes, and to train Jason in the art of war.

Hercules trains Jason

Jason’s inner hero will out though, even if he has to wear a ski mask:

The Olympian

The observant will notice The Olympian is down for the count there. Judging by the outfit, that’s the Gail Simone version of The Olympian, which means Achilles (yes, that one) might be alive and well in the Rebirth universe. Whether his backstory is the same is a different matter.

Robinson seems to love resurrecting old characters. As well as The Olympian and Hercules, Jason also gets to meet the Deep Six.

The Deep Six

Which is where our story ends. No suggestion yet as to how Grail managed to turn Jason to the dark side, which means we’ll be getting that next issue.

However, Robinson appears to be gender-mirroring Wonder Woman’s own upbringing, something hinted at by the cover. He’s raised entirely by men. He’s trained in war by Hercules, a man guilty of some bad man-crimes and whose cult in ancient times was one of the few male-only cults. He also uses his powers to woo women, so there’s a bit of an ego at work. Perhaps we’re going to get an allegory for feminism versus toxic masculinity?

Or not.

One final note: the scenes of Diana on TV are from the nu52’s Justice League #3, not from Diana’s official first appearance on TV in Greg Rucka’s ‘Truth and Lies’ storyline. She’s even wearing her nu52 outfit, not her Rebirth outfit. So was ‘Truth and Lies’ all a bunch of lies, was the nu52 real, is Jason making stuff up or are we in yet another reality? Or did no one give artist Emanuela Lipacchino the right reference material?

Was it any good?

Despite the continuing continuity headaches and Robinson starting to repeat his toolbox of narrative tricks, a generally enjoyable issue, albeit one that doesn’t really explain anything or advance the plot, just fill in a bit of Jason’s background.

Rating: 3/7 (Artwork: 4/7)

Movie reviews

The Justice League
Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher in Justice League (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

Justice League (2017)

Plot

New God Steppenwolf wants to reunite the three Motherboxes he’s left on Earth, so that he can convert the planet into a hell hole like his own. The Amazons have one Motherbox, the Atlanteans have another and Star Labs has the third. It’s up to Batman and Wonder Woman to recruit a new team of heroes, including the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg, to save the planet. And maybe, just maybe, they can help bring a somewhat dead hero back to life…

Is it any good?

In a word, no.

However, that does undersell it considerably because Justice League is actually a set of five pretty good movies that simply don’t work very well when squished together into a two-hour runtime where nothing really has the chance to have any impact.

BEWARE: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD

Diana – and Gal Gadot – are, of course, great. She’s fun and funny, she’s what holds the Justice League together, and she’s the one who knows the right thing to do. Indeed, unlike her neophyte self in Wonder Woman, here she’s the one who knows everything and is filling all the other heroes in on the plot. She can go toe-to-toe with the other heroes and with a New God, she gets to do bullet and bracelets against machine gun fire, she can fly, and she appears to be very, very rich. She also seems to like to spend her weekends fighting crime in Paris and London.

Diana’s a given. But take Aquaman. As a character, he’s never been cool. In fact, he’s frequently mocked by comic fans for being rubbish. He’s even mocked for being rubbish in his own comicTV versions of the character have been terrible, too. But in Justice League he is the epitome of cool. He’s Jason Momoa with tribal body tattoos, swilling whiskey from the bottle and lurking out among fishermen in Iceland. Sure, he can “talk to fish”, but he comes across more like a water elemental akin to Swamp Thing, he’s that cool. He makes Batman look like he’s wearing a Global Hypercolour T-shirt.

Speaking of Batman, he’s fun. He has some great moments as the only fully human member of the League, one who’s been fighting crime for 20 years and is now feeling his age. He gets bruised and beaten, but knows his limitations. Just like all the League, you feel his humanity for a change, not just his cowl.

The Flash is hysterical. The Speed Force effects are brilliant and make the Quicksilver effects in X-Men: Days of Future Past look like the BBC did them in the 1970s.

Cyborg’s great, with Ray Fisher giving a haunted performance akin to that of Lee Majors in the initial episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man – a former athlete brought back to life by technology against his wishes and who finds his cybernetic body changes with every passing moment in ways he can’t even control.

Superman’s in it, too. Gosh, was that a spoiler? I’m so sorry. Who could have known? And he’s great. He smiles. He’s fun, he makes jokes, there’s joy in him. He gets to use super-breath. Henry Cavill actually gets to be the Superman we know, a powerful alien who loves life and helping people, rather than some miserable quasi-god. He gets to be Clark Kent, too, which is a great touch. He’s also properly terrifying when angry.

Good support

Even the supporting cast get to be great. Amy Adams’ Lois Lane serves a function. She’s not there to be rescued. In fact, she does some rescuing herself. You’ll like this Lois Lane.

The Amazons show up. They get to fight alongside the Old Gods in a flashback, with Zeus and Artemis (and Ares according to the credit list but I think I must have blinked and missed him) getting to show off their powers, too. They fight a New God almost to a standstill in a long, impressive battle in modern times, too. Shame Diana’s got all the magic weapons with her, though…

New arrival Amber Heard is here as Mera, the queen of Atlantis. Now, speaking as someone who’s sat through a huge number of really terrible Amber Heard movies, I can confidently say she’s never been better. She’s actually great in this as Mera and the movie shows how powerful she’s going to be in Aquaman.

Everyone gets some great storylines. Everyone gets some great dialogue and some kick ass moments. There are some wonderful scenes, such as the throw-away mid-credits scene of Superman and The Flash having a race. Our superheroes may be fighting a New God who could kill them all, but they’re still going to take time out to save civilians – clearly, they’ve all seen Man of Steel and Batman v Superman and know better now.

Altogether now?

The trouble is when they’re together. Now, the set-piece of the movie is when Superman comes back to life a bit shook up and confused and the rest of the League have to fight him. That is genuinely cool and a real demonstration of everyone’s powers.

There are also some great character-developing conversations that make our heroes worthy of our concerns.

But that aside, together, everyone ends up being a guest in another genre in which they don’t quite work. Momoa’s Aquaman is going to be wonderful underwater and having flirty chats with Mera, but he’s a sulky dick with the rest of the League.

He’s not the only dick. Even when he comes to his senses, Superman’s rubbing his mightiness in everyone’s faces. The Flash may be able to rescue one family in a car, but look, there goes Superman carrying an entire building of them.

Diana, of course, has gone from being the centre of things in Wonder Woman, surrounded by Amazons and directed by a woman. Here, she’s the lone woman being directed by men. Off duty, she’s always wearing skin-tight trousers, while as Wonder Woman, her skirt’s a bit shorter and bottom-hugging. Maybe not a problem were it not for the fact that the camera seems to want to swoop low and follow her from behind the whole time. And while presumably she’s holding back a bit in the fight with Superman, she seems a little out-matched by him, which is never good – she might be faster than many speeding bullets but Superman’s the only one who’s able to keep up with the Flash.

She’s also forced to endure the “I accidentally sat on the Lasso, ‘Gosh you’re gorgeous. Why am I saying this?'” routine that so many superheroes have put her through over the years. Still, at least it makes you appreciate Patty Jenkins’ work so much more by contrast.

Unimportant

The quick runtime doesn’t help. Now, I have to admit to being excited when I heard that Justice League clocked in at a mere two hours. Remember, the ultimate edition of Batman V Superman was just over three hours. No human being should have to endure three hours of Batman v Superman.

But here, with so many characters, two hours is way too short. There’s just not enough time for even a basic Jesus metaphor, let alone to make much feel like it has import. Initial scenes about how everyone in the world is sad now Superman is dead get brushed away pretty quickly and never get fully developed. It takes about five minutes for the Justice League to come up with the idea of bringing Superman back to life using a Motherbox to actually bringing him back to life. Not even three days. Then we’re on to other things. Planet being terraformed? We’ll have that fixed for you in a jiffy. More trivially, it means all Snyder’s usual lingering, wonder-filled, moody shots just don’t have time to sink in.

Also not helping is that pretty much all the movie’s plot has been done before, usually by Marvel. Comparisons with The Avengers are obvious, but the Steppenwolf war backstory is the Asgardians v Ice Giants plot of Thor; assembling hidden alien artefacts is Captain America and everything involving the Infinity Stones; East European countries and their plucky inhabitants being decimated by aliens and rescued by heroic groups is Avengers: Age of Ultron; and terraforming by alien baddies is Man of Steel.

You really will have seen it all before.

CGI isn’t great either. Some of the fight scenes lack impact and feel as weightless as the superhero films of the early 2000s, but more noticeable are the shots of Henry Cavill where CGI has been used to remove the moustache he had during Whedon’s reshoots. He looks like a robot and that’s from the very first shot of the movie onwards. You won’t believe a man can shave.

The last odd choice is Danny Elfman. Elfman composed some great tunes in the 90s for Michael Keaton’s Batman, as well as The Flash on TV. He’s a good composer for jaunty little, quirky things. But going from Hans Zimmer’s superb, bombastic, hyper-important compositions to Elfman makes everything feel throwaway. With a Zimmer score, this cut of Justice League might have got away with its other problems; with Elfman, it can’t.

Conclusion

There is probably a better cut of this that could be done. While Snyder’s somewhat soulless and ponderous previous efforts don’t fill me with huge confidence, he’s a better director than Joss Whedon so I’d be interested to see what he could do with Whedon’s words.

But we have what we have and it’s… okay. It’s a Marvelising reboot of the DC cinematic universe that restores some semblance of fun to it. I’m probably damning with faint praise to say that it’s not great, but at least it’s not Batman v Superman bad, but that’s probably the best summing up of it I can muster.

Nevertheless, what it is good at is acting as a springboard for the next set of DC Extended Universe movies. I’m now properly looking forward to Aquaman and The Flash. I’m intrigued by Cyborg. Even a Batfleck movie wouldn’t be out of the question.

Wonder Woman’s in a good place at the end of the movie (even if that place appears to be a Sensation Comic) so even if Wonder Woman 2 isn’t a period piece but set in the modern day, that would work fine now. I’d love to see another Henry Cavill movie with him as this Superman – a romantic or a platonic Superman-Wonder Woman would be great, too.

But let’s see what we get.




  • Mark Carroll

    Well, that’s a strange green fellow she decapitates.

    Thank you for the “Justice League” summary; it accords with what else I’ve heard. Glad to hear it at least augurs well for the future.

    • “Well, that’s a strange green fellow she decapitates.”

      That’s a parademon. One of Darkseid’s hordes. They show up in the Justice League movie as well

  • MasterWitcher088

    Saw the Movie was not a fan of Diana’s treatment just as you said you REALLY can SEE the difference between Patty vs the boys. And that League vs Superman fight, that was some stanky stanky garbage. Though I enjoyed the scenes with the Amazons, don’t no why some people made a fuss, I still prefer Patty’s costumes but they weren’t portrayed as sexualized.

    ” Emanuela Lipacchino ”
    You know who she’s really good at drawing? Wonder Woman. You know who’s not in the book?

    “the nu52, DCYou, Greg Rucka’s Rebirth storyline and even Wonder Woman, stick them in a liquidiser, and then serve up the result as an entirely new, moderately nutritious, completely contradictory story.”

    Pretty sure Nu52 and Rebirth Diana are the same. Difference being she was never the God of War and she gets gifts/powers from her patrons on top of being Zeus’s Daughter. Which you’d think that would make her more powerful then Vol 2-3 and Nu52 combined but no.

    It’s quite pathetic actually, depowering her for no reason(probably cause of Superman me thinks). She should be DC’s Thor (but way faster).

    • The Amazon scenes were fine and I didn’t mention the costumes (again) because you barely noticed the new ones. Most Amazons were dressed relatively sensibly.

      “You know who she’s really good at drawing? Wonder Woman. You know who’s not in the book?”
      Shame that. At least she’s on TV. Again.

      “Pretty sure Nu52 and Rebirth Diana are the same”
      I think that’s the theory or at least originally was the theory. It doesn’t quite work though, since Diana’s memories are supposed to be the only ones affected (Steve’s are supposed to be all right, I think), yet we’ve now had Rebirth flashbacks/stories that directly contradict things that happened in the nu52 that involved those other characters. Even trivially, the costumes are compatible, but first meetings of characters, Diana’s ability to speak English, powers et al have all been different.

      You can fix it by assuming that aspects of Convergence, as well as whatever the Watchmen are doing and the unification of the nu52 and post-Crisis Superman have changed the timelines. But I’m not sure what everything’s getting fixed back to. For Diana, it seems to be mostly nu52 continuity, with a dash of Greg Rucka, rather than the other way round.

      “It’s quite pathetic actually, depowering her for no reason(probably cause of Superman me thinks).”

      Indeed. The Zeitgeist would suggest a superpowerful woman the match of Superman would be a good thing, but DC hasn’t yet noticed and Rebirth seems to be resetting everything back to a time that makes some old male fans happy.

      • MasterWitcher088

        “At least she’s on TV. Again.”
        Wielding that darn sword and shield again. At least its against parademons this time and not teammates.

        “as well as whatever the Watchmen are doing and the unification of the nu52 and post-Crisis Superman have changed the timelines.”

        I doubt it will effect Wonder Woman at all though. Johns never mentioned Diana in any of his interviews as I’m aware of and He’s the one pushing for Jason and the Daughter of Zeus origin.

        ” a superpowerful woman the match of Superman would be a good thing”

        Have you seen some Superman fans at their worst? the mere mention of Diana beating Kal in a story and they’ll call it Plot Induced Stupidity(PIS). They can’t stand the idea of her winning against him.
        You’d think a Goddess or Demi-Goddess (what ever DC decides that week) would be more powerful than a kryptonian?

        • “Wielding that darn sword and shield again.”

          They’re in Wonder Woman‘s most famous scene. They’re not going anywhere any time soon.

          “I doubt it will effect Wonder Woman at all though”

          She’s not in Doomsday Clock #1, but I imagine she’ll be in it at some point. Even if she isn’t, there’s bound to be something universe-changing that will affect her indirectly. Maybe not explicitly, but if somewhere further down the line there’s a continuity snafu, they’ll be able to say, “Ah, yes, but that’s because of Doomsday Clock.”

          “Have you seen some Superman fans at their worst? ”

          Supe fans, not so much. Lois Lane fans – yep. And Batfans, too. “But he’s smart and trained by ninjas. He’d outthink her. She’d never defeat him!” Yeah, sure.

          “You’d think a Goddess or Demi-Goddess (what ever DC decides that week) would be more powerful than a kryptonian?”

          You’d think. But even gods have a hard time against him, so apparently they’re not as powerful as you’d think either.

          • MasterWitcher088

            “They’re in Wonder Woman’s most famous scene. They’re not going anywhere any time soon.”

            I just wish artists were smarter about using them. Tends to get in the way of showing off her strength and speed. Why show her H2H skill when she can just swing a sword? or Why show her bullets and bracelets when she can just use her shield?

            (She’s not in Doomsday Clock #1, but I imagine she’ll be in it at some point. Even if she isn’t, there’s bound to be something universe-changing that will affect her indirectly. Maybe not explicitly, but if somewhere further down the line there’s a continuity snafu, they’ll be able to say, “Ah, yes, but that’s because of Doomsday Clock.”)

            I guess your more optimistic about it then I am. I still think DC has no idea what to do with her.

            ” But even gods have a hard time against him, so apparently they’re not as powerful as you’d think either.”

            New Gods maybe. But I’ve never seen Greek Gods/Goddess have any trouble with anyone but other Gods.(Nu52 be damned)

          • ” just wish artists were smarter about using them. Tends to get in the way of showing off her strength and speed”

            Very true.

            “I guess your more optimistic about it then I am. I still think DC has no idea what to do with her.”

            The latter point is certainly true, but it would be hard over 12 issues of the DC Universe-changing Doomsday Clock for the third member of the Trinity not to show up at all.

            “I’ve never seen Greek Gods/Goddess have any trouble with anyone but other Gods.(Nu52 be damned)”

            Superman/Wonder Woman obviously had Apollo v Superman and Diana was goddess of war, and had issues then.

            However, if nu52 be damned, it’s a bit harder to pin down since the gods barely show up outside Wonder Woman. I’ve forgotten what happens in War of the Gods (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Gods_(comics)) and whether anyone else has a tussle.

            But the New Gods certainly give the Old Gods a twatting in Volume 3 (doesn’t Granny Goodness abduct them all and then take over Olympus?) and if Superman can beat the New Gods then one can assume he must therefore have been able to give the Old Gods a pasting, too.

          • MasterWitcher088

            “but it would be hard over 12 issues of the DC Universe-changing Doomsday Clock for the third member of the Trinity not to show up at all.”

            I hope your right.

            “Diana was goddess of war, and had issues then.”

            She didn’t display any sort of upgrade to her power based on feats. She had communication with soldiers but that’s it. Meanwhile Sups is bench pressing the weight the earth for 5 days straight with only a drop of sweat to show for it.

            “But the New Gods certainly give the Old Gods a twatting in Volume 3 (doesn’t Granny Goodness abduct them all and then take over Olympus?) and if Superman can beat the New Gods then one can assume he must therefore have been able to give the Old Gods a pasting, too.”

            In that same Volume Ares traveled into the future killing everyone (Sups included) to create Genocide. The whole Genocide arch by Simone. That least I think she wrote in Vol-3.

            The incident with Goodness was weird. Before she was just the leader of the Furies then she got powerful enough to challenge universal reality warpers. Most fans that I’ve spoke to (New God fans and Greek God fans) don’t consider it as a legit showing or event that took place because of how drastically underpowered the Greek Gods were based on previous showings/Volumes.

            I mean Ares alone was insanely powerful.
            https://www.reddit.com/r/respectthreads/comments/2vckg5/respect_aresmars_pre52/

          • That’s the trouble, though, isn’t it – inconsistency? Different authors say different things and someone somewhere will use that difference to show that x or y is actually possible/less powerful and it’s canon because it’s been published by DC in main continuity. Fans may not like it, but there it is, in print, saying it happened. Until the next reboot, at least.

            Officially, Justice League/Power Rangers is mainstream DC continuity, I think. Diana and Superman together were powerful enough to fly into space carrying the entire Large Hadron Collider. Is she that powerful in her own title? Nope. Couple of punches from Jason and Grail and she’s down for the count.

            Best to just roll with it and assume the DC universe changes with every passing second.

          • MasterWitcher088

            “Best to just roll with it and assume the DC universe changes with every passing second.”

            LOL. I’m pretty sure that’s why PIS, CIS, and WIS were created.

          • “I’m pretty sure that’s why PIS, CIS, and WIS were created.”

            I’m also sure that often, it’s just DC not paying authors enough money or giving them enough time to do research. Theoretically, that’s what the editors are there for, but as WW doesn’t have an editor…

            “She’s going to be fighting Darkseid soon, so she will be way stronger then that.”

            Mini-Darkseid. And probably only on TV in the background while we see Etta Candy’s origin story.

          • MasterWitcher088

            “Mini-Darkseid. And probably only on TV in the background while we see Etta Candy’s origin story.”

            He looked back to his formal adult self in the cover page. My guess is Jason is going to over shadow her during the fight which will make me hate him even more.

          • I’ve given up relying on covers as any indication of what might be happening either in the issue or at some point in the future. Too misleading!

          • JustStark

            ‘How strong is Superman?’

            ‘Exactly as strong as the current plot requires him to be.’

            I assume the same is true of Wonder Woman.

          • Pretty much. With Superman, there’s usually an in-plot explanation (eg extra solar energy to make him stronger, kryptonite to make him weaker). Diana seems to be as strong as whatever her latest origin story makes her

          • JustStark

            With Superman, there’s usually an in-plot explanation (eg extra solar
            energy to make him stronger, kryptonite to make him weaker).

            I’m pretty sure there’s not. If he needs to not be able to lift something big at the beginning of the story or it’ll be over too soon, but then at the end he needs to be able to lift something much heavier, then he will, with no explanation.

            (Same as how if the Starship Enterprise needs to get somewhere with a vaccine it will take them just a little longer than they have got, but if they need to go a much farther distance to get to the next plot point, they can do it in no time.)

            But if course all of these are perfect models of consistency compared to what a modern sonic screwdriver can or can’t do…

          • I’m not an avid reader of the Superman comics. Maybe you could point me in the direction of some issues where that happens?

          • JustStark

            Damn you, you know I’ll have to ask the inter-net.

          • Superman comics are probably the one area that you can definitely rely on the Internet for accuracy

          • JustStark

            Why show her H2H skill when she can just swing a sword?

            Maybe if it was a proper sword that required some skill to use, instead of one of those ‘sharp club’ things that date from before metallurgy was advanced enough to do it right.

          • Her sword is made by Hephaestus himself. It’s supposed to be sharp enough to split an atom. I imagine it’s pretty good. Or at least it was. Maybe not now.

          • JustStark

            Then why is it not a proper sword, ie, a thrusting weapon rather than a slashy one?

            (Because stupid people think that’s what a sword looks like, because when they think of a sword they think of mediaeval knights in armour, not realising that that’s only because they didn’t have the technology then to make proper swords)

          • Magic

          • MasterWitcher088

            Its mainly a cool factor so I doubt we’ll see proper technique anytime soon. Most artist seem to make her use a sword just because rather then ask why she’s using it. I mean in Trinity she fought a possessed Superman with a sword, as if she would gut open her own teammate.

          • Maybe a nick or two. He heals so quickly. Remember that time she cut his throat open with her tiara?

          • MasterWitcher088

            “Remember that time she cut his throat open with her tiara?”

            As badass as that was it was the last resort, any closer and the Man o’ Steel’s head would’ve came clean off. Signifying its deadliness.

            DC constantly remind us that she can physically fight him and puts her in situations to prove that, but ever since Nu52 when push comes to shove, she uses lethal weaponry rather then her powers and H2H skill.

          • I’d be interested to see if someone could sit down and work out

            1) What hand-to-hand skills she might have had growing up as an Amazon (eg who were they preparing to fight hand-to-hand, given their greater strength, etc)
            2) What H2H skills might work on superpowered beings?

            As a starter, throws aren’t going to work against people who can fly; ditto most locks; super-speed neutralises most locks, too. And what would work against a guy with heat vision, too? And so on.

            It ends up basically being ability to strike hard, and all the various permutations around that, so I’d be curious to see if someone could come up with imaginative versions of that for Diana.

            But ultimately, most H2H martial arts are based around the idea that they’re a last resort once you’ve lost your weapon and that you’re much better off with a weapon; losing your weapon puts you at a severe disadvantage, so I’d be surprised if Diana’s Amazon training wasn’t largely about weapons-based combat and that would be her first choice in virtually all situations. And that she’d be amazingly precise with it, too.

          • JustStark

            throws aren’t going to work against people who can fly

            Hm, I think you’re going to have trouble trying to work out realistic logic based on something which breaks Newton’s laws of motion, like a superhero’s reactionless, inertialess flight.

          • It is both inertialess and interiafull, just to be annoying, isn’t it? There is some thinking about how to rationalise it (it’s not pure strength, etc, but the application of forcefields that makes Superman so strong, capable of flight, etc) but it’s not consistent and others can fly using magic and so on.

            Still, you can always dream.

          • MasterWitcher088

            “1) What hand-to-hand skills she might have had growing up as an Amazon (eg who were they preparing to fight hand-to-hand, given their greater strength, etc)
            2) What H2H skills might work on superpowered beings?”

            1) Greco-Roman wrestling/Pankration (though there virtually the same) perhaps some eastern martial arts, Athena is a war goddess just as much as Ares even better actually she could teach Diana practically everything tbh. Like how it should’ve been in Nu52.
            2)Well when both beings can pull/shatter planets and can easily see events happening at faster then light speeds the one who fights better and land the most/best strikes is going to win most of the time.

            “As a starter, throws aren’t going to work against people who can fly; ditto most locks; super-speed neutralises most locks, too.”

            Throw someone with enough force that they can’t stop themselves regardless if they can fly? Being strong enough to hold them down in that lock.Diana did that to Superman to prevent him from killing Batman in the Scrifice storyline.

            “And what would work against a guy with heat vision, too? And so on.”

            Blocks them, dodges them, or tanks them as she normally does.

            “I’d be surprised if Diana’s Amazon training wasn’t largely about weapons-based combat and that would be her first choice in virtually all situations. And that she’d be amazingly precise with it, too.”

            Well she should be a master of both armed and unarmed combat but she should use nonlethal tactics first. Swords, a shield, and other weapons shouldn’t be used on characters that aren’t immortal Gods or Monsters.

            You know, like leaving a loaded shotgun unused in a movie, don’t draw Diana with a weapon designed to kill if she’s not going to. It gets boring and stale. That’s my personal rule at least.

          • “1) Greco-Roman wrestling/Pankration (though there virtually the same) ”
            Not really, IMO. Although most texts describe it as combination of wrestling and boxing, Pankration’s a lot more like jiu jitsu from what I’ve seen. Certainly, you watch modern Pankration and think “Did you really copy that from old books and vases or did you simply borrow from jiu jitsu?” And, of course, you get the occasional Greek nationalist silly-billy who claims that Sinanju-style, Pankration is the source of all Eastern martial arts, since Alexander the Great took pankration to India, where it got taken to China and then to Japan.

            Still, I’m sure they would learn those things. But most (all?) martial arts assume you’re fighting a mortal human opponent of approximately the same size, weight and strength, within certain parameters, whose joints articulate in certain ways, nerves work in certain ways, have particular weak points and so on. So how do you use judo on a hydra? Can you use pressure points on Giganta? How do you pin down Clayface?

            So what opponents were the Amazons training to fight hand-to-hand (or hand-to-tentacle)? Maybe just human ones, in which case, Diana might be very skilled in those kinds of fights, possibly the best on the planet. But what techniques are going to work on one of the Hundred-Handed Ones? Tawara-gaeshi? I don’t think so.

            “2)Well when both beings can pull/shatter planets and can easily see events happening at faster then light speeds the one who fights better and land the most/best strikes is going to win most of the time.”

            Exactly. There’s no skill at all. It’s simply down to who’s faster, stronger, etc, rather than actual skill.

            “Throw someone with enough force that they can’t stop themselves regardless if they can fly? Being strong enough to hold them down in that lock.Diana did that to Superman to prevent him from killing Batman in the Scrifice storyline.”

            Okay, so a throw works like this

            1) You grab someone or are already holding them. This bit is hard if you’re talking about something like Doomsday who’s covered in spikes or the Flash or Martian Manhunter who can phase through you.
            2) You then manipulate them and their position so they lose balance. This bit is hard if your opponent has a low centre of gravity (eg Clayface pretending to be a pile of clay), 17 legs or is the size of the Atom.
            3) They fall over and gravity pulls them towards the ground. No use if they can fly because gravity’s of no concern to them – the same as trying to throw someone in zero g
            4) You throw them so quickly they can’t do anything while they’re being thrown to avoid the outcome (cf Superman, The Flash, shape-changers)
            5) That when they hit the ground, the reaction force from the ground causes them damage. Whereas Superman can fly through a mountain without sustaining much, if any damage. Throwing him should be like hurling him onto some bean bags on top of a pile of mattresses.
            6) That when the opponent is on the ground you then get some measure of tactical superiority/can run away. Which isn’t the case with someone who can get up quickly, spontaneously become fire, phase through the ground and so on.

            So throws are basically pointless. Locks have similar problems to throws (points 1 and 4) and probably worse. Say you put someone into ude gatame for example. Well done, you’ve armlocked them, they can’t move their arm. But if it’s Superman, he just looks at you and because your arms aren’t free to block his heat vision, he burns a hole in your head. Or if you’re pinning him to the floor (that floor he can easily fly through), he burns a hole in your feet.

            Then you look at atemi and wonder if Kryptonians have nerve clusters in their solar plexuses, for example (or if they even have solar plexuses). You’re pretty sure Elastic Man doesn’t, though.

            So ultimately, that just leaves punching and kicking. And I think everyone’s who has sat through Man of Steel’s Zod v Kal-El fight can agree that watching two indestructible, superhuman, super-powered opponents just punch and kick each other for 20 minutes with no winner in sight isn’t the most exciting way to spend your time.

            Sooner or later, these kinds of fight have to be about either crippling or killing your opponent if it’s to ever end. So you start with your magical, super-sharp, phase-proof, indestructible weaponry and go from there. Mortals? You’ve got a lasso for them and you can have them all trussed up in under 1 second, so why worry about fighting technique?

            That said, hand-to-hand skills can be done – Gail Simone does a nice (if not wholly convincing) fight between Diana and Powergirl. But you’re very close to basically writing a martial arts instruction manual if you’re not careful and they’re not the most fascinating things to read, to be honest. Or pleasant for kids (“If someone strikes at you, move to the outside and then yoko-geri their knee-cap to shatter it. However, if they lift their knee to avoid the kick, move round so that you can put your fingers into their eye sockets so you can take them to the ground with yoko-gake on their other leg or draw their head back so you can break their neck with…”) Plus you’re somewhat reliant on your artist being able to draw said techniques.

            So I reckon there’s far more mileage in showing Diana’s tactical skills. If you’re evenly matched with your opponent because they are more or less as strong, as fast, etc as you are and you’re just going to spend 15 pages twatting one another to no advantage, how can you neutralise them? Either cripple/kill them or you neutralise their advantages tactically. “The League of One” is a genuine classic for that, and I’d like to see far more actual thought going into it, since I think it works dramatically far more than punch/kick variations. After all the character is all about showing people the pointlessness of war and violence – what better what to do that than show it doesn’t matter how strong or fast you are, you can still be beaten in a fight without necessarily any blows being exchanged at all.

          • MasterWitcher088

            “Not really, IMO. Although most texts describe it as combination of wrestling and boxing, Pankration’s a lot more like jiu jitsu from what I’ve seen. Certainly, you watch modern Pankration and think “Did you really copy that from old books and vases or did you simply borrow from jiu jitsu?” And, of course, you get the occasional Greek nationalist silly-billy who claims that Sinanju-style, Pankration is the source of all Eastern martial arts, since Alexander the Great took pankration to India, where it got taken to China and then to Japan.”

            I did not know that.

            “So how do you use judo on a hydra?”
            “But what techniques are going to work on one of the Hundred-Handed Ones?”

            I did say I’d be fine with her using lethal weaponry on monsters.

            “Can you use pressure points on Giganta?”

            Maybe not, but didn’t she bring Giganta down in JLU by going for the knee joints?

            “How do you pin down Clayface?”

            Fair points. I get that there are some people you have to be creative vs skilled.

            “Exactly. There’s no skill at all. It’s simply down to who’s faster, stronger, etc, rather than actual skill.”

            I wouldn’t say no skill.

            “So ultimately, that just leaves punching and kicking. And I think everyone’s who has sat through Man of Steel’s Zod v Kal-El fight can agree that watching two indestructible, superhuman, super-powered opponents just punch and kick each other for 20 minutes with no winner in sight isn’t the most exciting way to spend your time.”

            Movies vs Comics, I guess. Diana and Kal are by no means indestructible, they can take a lot punishment true but they can be physically hurt by punches and kicks. Both are strong enough to hurt each other. I’d argue Diana has better pain tolerance then Kal but that’s it.

            “That said, hand-to-hand skills can be done – Gail Simone does a nice (if not wholly convincing) fight between Diana and Powergirl.”

            That’s what I mean. A fight between Superman and Wonder Woman should go down like that. Kal doesn’t have skill like Diana and is roughly the same size and strength. Diana is considered faster in a fight then Kal as well but that’s a speed advantage.

            “Either cripple/kill them or you neutralise their advantages tactically. “The League of One” is a genuine classic for that, and I’d like to see far more actual thought going into it, since I think it works dramatically far more than punch/kick variations.”

            I get what you’re saying here, I too would like to see her wisdom of Athena be played up more. I don’t get why “League of One ” is such a fan favorite it’s ultimately Tower of Babel for Wonder Woman, but that’s just me. I happen to enjoy some punch/kick comic fights if done well, Sacrifice fight between WW and SM for one.

            Overall I get your point, some enemies require more thought then skill. And I do want her intelligence to be shown, Athena’s wisdom et-all. But I argue what’s the point if DC calls her the best fighter on the team but never properly shows it, like they do with Batman.

          • “I did not know that.”

            I’ve wasted a lot of my life learning absolutely useless things. Learn from my example and don’t do as I do.

            “I did say I’d be fine with her using lethal weaponry on monsters.”

            Ah, yes, but who are the monsters? Should she go by appearances or assume that everyone’s going to be nice and leave her sword sheathed in a fight until she realises she needs non-lethal force. Oh, whoops, too late – spike in the gut from the retracting bone claw…

            “Maybe not, but didn’t she bring Giganta down in JLU by going for the knee joints?”

            Not sure that qualifies as skilled martial arts. Otherwise that makes Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War a skilled martial artist. Good tactician, yes. Skilled martial artist, no.

            “Diana and Kal are by no means indestructible, they can take a lot punishment true but they can be physically hurt by punches and kicks. Both are strong enough to hurt each other. I’d argue Diana has better pain tolerance then Kal but that’s it.”

            Which is what it’ll come down to – who can take more punches for longer and from whom. Plus what the fans of both camps will accept.

            “A fight between Superman and Wonder Woman should go down like that. Kal doesn’t have skill like Diana and is roughly the same size and strength.”

            Within artistic parameters. And editorial ones, too. I remember that Superman/Wonder Woman had an early storyline on this very subject in which Diana points out that Kal El doesn’t actually know how to fight, since he’s been able to get by on brawn and indestructibility. So she teaches him – we assume, as we never really get to see that go anywhere. Meredith Finch does pick it up later and has them still practising with one another but that’s it.

            Except… then there’s an issue of Superman (IIRC) where Superman and I think it’s Mongul or someone are having a fight and Kal-El basically does that entire speech at Mongul or someone (“You’ve always had powers whereas I had to learn how to fight when I was young and now my greater skill will wallop you” or something along those lines).

            And then the Supermans merged. Did Volume 2 Superman know Kryptonian martial arts? Did Diana complete nu52 Kal-El’s training? Who knows? And even if someone did, it would have changed by next month.

            ” But I argue what’s the point if DC calls her the best fighter on the team but never properly shows it, like they do with Batman.”

            It’s a fair point. They could definitely do more of that. Like I said, I genuinely would like to see someone sit down and work out what training Diana and the Amazons would have had against which enemies. Would pankration be the origin point, the basis from which they create alternative techniques for alternatively powered opponents? Or would it be completely bespoke?

            I’d love a scene, for example, where the entire Justice League turns up to fight a Chimera, gets precisely nowhere then Diana just flies in, punches it under its sixth dorsal fin and it falls over. “I spent seven years as a child learning the pressure points of the chimera.”

            Or she could develop her own martial arts. Why talk about how expert she is at Pankration or Capoeira when she could be a 10th dan at Wonder-do? She camps out in the Fortress of Solitude for a month, perusing medical manuals of Kryptonians to learn exactly how the joints articulate, where there are weaknesses in the skull or where the arteries run closest to the skin then invents appropriate strikes against them, so that she can knock out Zod.

            Or she could be the Justice League general, working out the pincer movements, flanking techniques and aerial assaults needed to quell the attack of parademons…

            Oh, would that DC spent even 10% as much time thinking of cool things to do with Wonder Woman as they do with Batman.

          • MasterWitcher088

            “Ah, yes, but who are the monsters? Should she go by appearances or assume that everyone’s going to be nice and leave her sword sheathed in a fight until she realises she needs non-lethal force. Oh, whoops, too late – spike in the gut from the retracting bone claw…”

            Monsters would be those that are instinct based with no sentience at all. Think drowners or neckers or any other creatures in that category from the Witcher series. Sentient creatures are a different story, It be nice to see DC’s take on many different creatures from myth and how they would live, hunt, act etc. Killing a Hydra? fine the monster is instinct based. I also think Diana would just know being able to communicate with creatures by the Blessing of Artemis.

            Can’t she summon her weaponry via her gauntlets? I know in Rebirth its not shown but its still there someone has to come in and actually use it. I’d argue the Shield is out first before any blade.

            “And then the Supermans merged. Did Volume 2 Superman know Kryptonian martial arts? Did Diana complete nu52 Kal-El’s training? Who knows? And even if someone did, it would have changed by next month.”

            My brain hurts just thinking about DC’s continuity problem. I do know that Superman fight though, it was against Wraith (it was a dumb story) but I’d argue Amazon training would be better then self-taught Martial arts.

            Pressure points on a kryptonian seem to be where human pressure points are based on my comic book knowledge.

            “Or she could be the Justice League general, working out the pincer movements, flanking techniques and aerial assaults needed to quell the attack of parademons…”

            I’m surprised that she’s never been the team leader in this day and age. Wisdom of Athena dictates she should be a better tactician then Batman but that would steal his spotlight unfortunately and DC can’t have that.

            “Oh, would that DC spent even 10% as much time thinking of cool things to do with Wonder Woman as they do with Batman.”

            Tell me about it, makes me wish Sensation Comics was back at least another team could be doing something better then Brother of Wonder Woman right now.

      • JustStark

        The Zeitgeist would suggest a superpowerful woman the match of Superman would be a good thing

        I thought the idea with these kind of comics was that everybody had to be The Best at something: so the Batman is The Best at being a detective, the Flash is The Best at being fast, and Superman is The Best at being strong.

        So what is Wonder Woman The Best at?

        • Fighting. And compassion. It’s an interesting combo.

          • JustStark

            Well that seems fair enough, if Superman can punch her out if he gets the drop on her, but if she gets the chance to use her fighty skills she can avoid his punches and tie him up in knots. Possibly literally given what one hears about her inventor-guy.

            Not quite sure how she brings him to his knees with compassion though.

          • JustStark

            (Basically the whole superhero genre is just a big, long-winded game of Top Trumps, isn’t it?)

          • With Jesus metaphors.

          • The general idea is (or at least was) that Superman and Wonder Woman were more or less evenly matched and that either could beat up the other on a good day.

            “Not quite sure how she brings him to his knees with compassion though.”

            She shows him the futility of war and that his need to fight stems from underlying issues stemming from patriarchy. Then he stops fighting and rescues a kitten instead

          • JustStark

            Then he stops fighting and rescues a kitten instead

            I thought Superman was like the fire brigade, he spends 90% of his time kitten-rescuing, he just has to be on call for the big disasters & that’s all anybody writes stories about.

          • Indeed. But clearly if he’s fighting Wonder Woman, the kittens are taking a back seat for some reason and he just needs to be reminded of his true calling in life

          • JustStark

            ‘Hang on, hang on… you don’t think that maybe we’re fighting each other because of some really contrived misunderstanding that shouldn’t stand up to a moment’s actual thought, do you?’

            ‘No! That has literally never happened! Ever!’

          • It’s usually mind-control of either or both characters in the fight. Or Elseworlds versions.