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If I’m going to use a cover from this series, let it be the one with kangas.

§ September 14th, 2022 § Filed under dc comics, multiverse talk, publishing, wonder woman § 8 Comments

Cassandra presents

“Mike, the main reason Wonder Woman survived into the 50s has to do with the terms of the original contract between AA/National and Marston. If there came a period where she didn’t appear in a comic published for a certain length of time (I’ve heard two months), the rights would revert to the Marston estate. So, Wonder Woman might be the first comic that continued to be published solely for a rights issue!”

If I recall correctly, it was Kurt Busiek who first unleashed this knowledge onto the world…some kind of deal where he mentioned “oh yeah that post-Crisis, pre-Perez series mini I wrote was done else DC lose the Wonder Woman rights” and the rest of the funnybook resident was all “…wait, run that by me again?”

Now that’s entirely paraphrasing, but it was something along those lines. The Legend of Wonder Woman, scripted by Busiek and illustrated by Trina Robbins, was released in the year-long interim between the cancellation of the original Wonder Woman series and the George Perez/Greg Potter relaunch. Apparently, without that mini being rushed into production and released, that publishing gap would indeed have been enough to trigger whatever contractual clause existed to revert all Wonder Woman rights to the Marston estate. Last month’s issue of Back Issue, the ’80s DC Mini-Series issue, features a good interview with Busiek and Robbins about the series.

One of the details I believe I learned from that interview was that it had to be specifically a title starring Wonder Woman. Guest-appearances in other comics, or even just being a member of the Justice League, wasn’t enough to keep the shepherd’s crook at bay and yanking her offstage.

Now I’d assumed after that close call, as the series was rushed into production after someone realized that contractual issue, that DC/Warners went to the Marston estate, pulled out the checkbook, sighed and asked “…okay, how much?” I presume that was the situation when DC nailed down the Shazam!/Captain Marvel rights a couple/three decades back instead of just continuing to license the characters from Fawcett. Anyway, in that Back Issue interview Busiek said he wasn’t sure what the situation was regarding the Wonder Woman contract, and whether that clause was still in effect. If there’s been clarification on this since then, I’d like to know.

As I noted in the post upon which Cassandra was commenting, in that otherwise superhero-less gap between the Golden and Silver Ages, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman continued to be published because they were still money-makers. In Wonder Woman’s case, yes, that title was still making money via all the toys and such DC was able to license, which certainly gave them incentive to keep the title going. Not just to encourage more licensing, but to keep their mitts on the property so they could continue making that toy-and-costume scratch.

Now as to whether or not any other titles continued on solely to retain the rights…well, technically, that’s the deal with pretty much any licensed property, but I know what you mean, Cassandra! There was that aforementioned licensing arrangement DC had with Fawcett over usage of the Shazam! family of characters, but I don’t believe that would’ve been a “use it or lose it” kind of deal. I don’t think there were too many long gaps with DC’s usage of Captain Marvel anyway, so I don’t believe that to be entirely analogous. But I can’t think of anything else that’s quite the same. Something to look into, perhaps!

Also, I should note that I’m filing this under the “Multiverse Talk” category not just to continue the conintuity of converssation, but also because the Legend of Wonder Woman mini includes a nicely appropriate send-off to the Earth-2 Wonder Woman!

In your CGI tights/fighting for your rights.

§ December 28th, 2020 § Filed under movie reviews, wonder woman § 30 Comments

As I’m sure you’re probably aware, the new Wonder Woman film, AKA WW1984, has been released for home streaming for HBO Max subscribers (along with a limited theatrical release). While I did end up watching the movie, I hadn’t really planned on doing any kind of extended discussion/review here, but in response to some of my tweetery on the topic, someone noted they’d wait for my Spoiler Discussion Zone…so, what the hey, here you go. Opinions seem to be pretty varied (from the more rational commentators, not counting the “g-g-g-irls!?” or “I hate all DC movies!” reactions from usual suspects who, from all appearances, may not have even seen the film in the first place), so I’d be curious what my readers here have to say.

My spoiler-free review…perfectly acceptable superhero film, though one wishes the Wonder Woman action was spread a little more evenly throughout the film, rather than primarily at the beginning and end. Generally light and optimistic in tone, with a resolution to the main conflict that manages to escape the slugfest/”giant thing exploding” solutions upon which most special effects epics (including the previous Wonder Woman film) tend to rely.

Okay, SPOILERS AHOY between these two screenshots I pulled from the trailer, and in the comments section to follow, so avert your eyes if you don’t want to know that Ares’ mustache survived the first film and has returned to exact vengeance upon the Amazons:

Okay, like I said, I didn’t watch the film with plans to write about it here, so here are just a few comments on what I saw.

The most impressive thing about the movie, as I alluded to above, is that it wasn’t Wonder Woman beating the tar out of Maxwell Lord. If you wanted your superhero vs. supervillain punchout, you got it the CGI-riffic Cheetah fight just prior (and you can tell how much confidence filmmakers have in a particular CGI effect based on how dark the lighting is), but Diana speaking to Lord (and through him, the world) trying to talk everyone down and renouncing their wishes…that was far more satisfying than having, I don’t know, Lord’s building exploding or whatever.

Also, that Lord’s apparent punishment at the end of the film is not being exploded along with a building, or dying in regret, or whatever the usual fate is for a bad guy. Instead, he begs forgiveness from his young son, openly admitting to him his failures. It’s an emotional punishment, and a hopeful one for a better future for the both of them.

Another nice nod to the comics was Lord occasionally dabbing at a bleeding nose after using his wish-granting powers (as comics Lord would do after psychically “pushing” someone). Yes, I know the ghost of Dr. Polite Scott would have some words about this (mostly along the lines of “brain trauma much”) but it was still a “hey, I remember that!” moment.

Speaking of character resolutions, I don’t recall seeing a post-Cheetah transformation Barbara at the end of the story. Did I miss her? I feel like she’d be the one with the most to resolve emotionally post-battle, trying to reconcile who she was with what she’d become once she had some power in her hands.

And so long as we’re at the end of the movie…literally the very second the “missing Amazon” was mentioned earlier in the story, I knew 1) who was going to play her, and 2) who the post or mid-credits scene would feature. I won’t note it here, just in case you haven’t seen the flick and are trying to spoil it for yourself by reading these comments…but c’mon, it doesn’t take a genius to guess just who I’m talkin’ about. Don’t know if this is just a nod to fans or if she’ll actually take part in the next film…frankly, I think just making it a one-off thing is fine. It was cutre, and I was glad to see it.

Some folks wondered about the 1980s setting, and I’m guessing a big part is the whole business involving the actual President of the United States may have been a big part of it. Having this as a period piece with an only sorta half-convincing Ronald Reagan, and playing on his Cold War involvement) probably goes over easier than a modern day film featuring a Trump impersonator (which would have been distracting and divisive no matter how he was portrayed) or the usual gambit of Old White Guy As A Fictional President (which may have taken folks out of a story about magical wishes and a strong lady in a star-spangled outfit). Also, can you imagine the opening mall fight in modern times? She wouldn’t have bothered having to take out the security cameras, because who was going to see her?

Plus, if we’re still pretending there’s a DC Comics Cinematic Universe, putting it in 1984 gets around the whole “where are Superman and Batman?” question. Okay, maybe it doesn’t avoid the “where’s the Challengers of the Unknown/Crimson Avenger/Doctor Occult/Scribbly” question, but…all right, you got me, I don’t really have a point here, I just wanted to namedrop Scribbly.

One thing I kept waiting for…look, it’s nice to have Chris Pine back as Steve Trevor. I liked him as Steve Trevor, a character in the comics that’s had a…mixed history, shall we say. And a character in the comics where, for years, was kind of a running gag in that he’d kept being killed off/written out and then brought back again. I presume that kinda went away when George Perez revamped the title in the ’80s, but I haven’t kept up lately and kind of hope they’ve reestablished that trope. Just aint’ Steve Trevor unless he keeps getting removed ‘n’ revived every few years.

Anyhoo, having Diana wish him back into existence is…well, it’s certainly a way to get him back. And it brings a bit of personal sacrifice into having to renounce her wish in order to save the day. (There’s a whole bit of business about a cost to getting one’s wishes granted…in this case, Diana’s wish for the return of Steve seemed to reduce her superpowered abilities, but Barbara’s wish to be like Diana also was implied to have taken her powers? I wasn’t clear on that, maybe I missed something.) But Steve is brought back, Deadman-style, possessing another dude’s body…which is barely addressed by anybody in the film. I mean, there are jokes about his apartment, but not a whole lot about “we’re totally hijacking this poor dude’s life here.” So that was all a bit uncomfortable. I do like that Steve departing that fella’s body was left offscreen once Diana renounced her wish.

I hope they find a way to bring Steve back for the third film. And in every film thereafter, as long as they’re making these. Just a different wild way every single time.

And while we’re on the topic of characters from the first movie…yes, that was definitely an old Etta Candy in that photo in Diana’s apartment, confirmed by Lucy “Etta” Davis her own self. I think few people would deny Etta was a real highlight of that movie, a delightful character that, in the comics, did not have the most dignified of origins. (“Ate A Candy,” indeed…geez louise.)

And one more thing about the conclusion of the film…while everyone’s wishes were renounced and undone, it’s made pretty clear a giant reset button wasn’t necessarily pushed, putting everyone and everything back to how it was. The wishes were granted, things happened, then suddenly things…didn’t exactly unhappen, but mostly just stopped happening. Yes, the woman who was wished dead came back to life, that was just straight up undone, but it’s not like the U.S. and Russia didn’t launch missiles at each other, whether or not those missiles disappeared. Seems like there are still consequences of those wishes existing in the world as left at the end of the story. That’s the main sticking point in the redemption of Maxwell Lord…he still screwed things up for everyone good ‘n’ proper.

Oh, and Simon Stagg is a character in the movie. Unlike his CW TV counterpart (killed off in Green Arrow or something) he survived, so there’s still hope for a big-budget Metamorpho movie. Don’t say you wouldn’t want to see this. DON’T YOU LIE TO ME.

And I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but I’ll let you folks in the comments remind me, as I’m sure you will!

…And can you believe how the Robot Kanga army took out Angle Man? Brutal.

Those were just a few thoughts I had…I may follow up in a future post if you folks remind me of anything (or if I see the movie again, which I may soon, since it’s leaving HBO Max in a month). And speaking of the future, please sign my petition to have the next Wonder Woman movie take place in the year 2050, just to mess with people. Also, the villain should be Doctor Psycho. Specifically, the version in the Harley Quinn cartoon. Ol’ WW giving a foul-mouthed misogynist what-for…it’s what he world needs.

Honestly, that picture of my hand is in, like, the top three best pictures ever taken of me.

§ November 2nd, 2018 § Filed under green lantern, video, wonder woman § 1 Comment

I’ve had a long day, so I’m keepin’ it short and sweet for this post right here, including some stuff you may have already seen on one of my other social media platforms (like the Twitterers). Sorry about that, but I should have a new End of Civilization next week to make up for it!

First, reader Sir A1! dropped this into the comments of Wednesday’s post, and I gotta share it on the main page here: a bit of a Badger fanfilm he worked on some time ago. Some NSFW language in there, so be warned:

Second, just look at this tiny book…or conversely, look at this giant hand:


You don’t say.

NOTE: Official stance of this website is that girls are NOT — repeat NOT — yucky.

§ June 26th, 2017 § Filed under advertising, brat finks, dc comics, wonder woman § 9 Comments

So I took in a fairly sizable collection of comics, ranging from the 1960s to the far-flung future of circa 2005, and therein was a copy of Brave and the Bold #63 from 1966:

…which, in the decades I’ve been at this, have only actually seen in person a relative handful of times. On the Twitters, I suggested I’ve seen a copy of this comic only about once a decade, and I don’t think that’s too far off. I’ve seen lots of copies of Brave and the Bold issues around it, but not this specific one. Not sure why…just fewer copies out there in the wild, I guess, at least in our general area. I don’t know if people are just holding onto them in their collections, or maybe the actual issue just didn’t sell well at the time. I mean, maybe some (not all…some) young boys looking at the shelves trying to find something to read would pass on the comic that stars a couple of yucky ol’ girls, so is that a reason for reduced availability now? I’m not sure.

At any rate, I don’t see this issue very often, but I’ve been wanting to read the darn thing for years, so I took it home to peruse prior to putting it back out for sale. Hey, look, I gets my perks where I can. And, as a professional funnybook handler, I can flip through this periodical without any significant reduction in condition or resale value.

Okay, I’m writing this post instead of reading the comic, but I’ll get to it. I did flip through it long enough to find the thesis statement for this visual essay:

…so I’m looking forward to what is almost certainly going to be a whirlwind experience. At the very least, let’s look at that cover…I love how huge and eye-catching those logos for Supergirl and Wonder Woman are, even with their disembodied, worried-looking faces hanging out at the edges there. This must have been something else to see brand new on the rack, which that shiny red background behind the logos glaring out at you.

The issue was also filled with those quarter-to-half page house ads for DC Comics, including one for the very comic we’re looking at right here:

…and boy, did 1960s DC like the word “chicks.” And the phrasing that they’re teamed up in “the super-est romance of all time” — well, “Suffering Sappho!” I guess.

Here’s an ad for Jimmy Olsen getting up to his usual weird-ass stuff in his own comic:

Was James Bond really known for being boastful? Sardonic, maybe, but I never thought he was that much of a braggart. But then it does say Jimmy is more boastful, so I guess Bond doesn’t really have to be so much.

I don’t really have much to say about this ad except it’s for Ultra the Multi-Alien, who is, of course, awesome:

…and well-played on the “you’ll be drawn to his magnetic force!” blurb.

There’s a lot going on in this Fox and the Crow ad, ballyhooing the debut of Stanley and His Monster:

and if you want to learn more about the Brat Finks, why friends, you find yourself on probably the only comics blog in the world with a “brat finks” category you can click on and enjoy.

Whoops, meant to put up a post on Wednesday.

§ November 20th, 2014 § Filed under swamp thing, wonder woman § 8 Comments

Well, these things happen. Sorry, gang.

Let me remind you that I’m doing question time again, so toss your questions into that comments section (not the comments for this post, but that previous one I linked) and I’ll give you answers. Some of them possibly truthful! I’ll probably start taking a crack at them this coming Monday, so for God’s sake, clear your calendars.

In other news, this week saw the release of the greatest Wonder Woman comic of all time, in that it guest-starred Swamp Thing:

…or at least something that vaguely looked like Swamp Thing while still being called “Swamp Thing,” and I’ve bought worse things for worse reasons so, you know, don’t think you can shame me on this. Also, making thing worse, pictured there is the variant cover for the issue, with Swampy and Wondy posin’ pretty for the camera, and silly me, I thought that was the 1 in 25 variant. Nope, that’s the 1/100 variant, so only those elite retailers who bought 100 copies of the regular cover got a copy of this darned thing. Well, don’t look at me, since I just started a brand new shop, I ain’t ordering a hundred copies of anything yet.

And because it’s brand new, it’s currently going for stupid prices on the eBay, so I’ll have to wait a few weeks where, like most of its variant cover brethren and sisteren, the hotness eventually cools off and prices will be lowered to the “please for the love of all that’s holy take these off our hands” levels. Of course, with my luck, this will be the exception and will hold its collectible value, at which point I’ll have no choice but to sell my blood and the blood of a few “volunteers” in order to afford it.

Look, I own Swamp Thing slippers. I’ll stop at nothing to maintain the Swamp Thing collection.

Wonder Woman versus Jean-Paul Sartre.

§ April 29th, 2012 § Filed under wonder woman § 6 Comments

image from Wonder Woman #208 by Robert Kanigher, Ric Estrada & Vince Colletta

“I know no one THAT rude or THAT narrow-minded.”

§ November 1st, 2010 § Filed under letters of comment, wonder woman § 9 Comments

I’m not familiar enough with the Wonder Woman series to know how long this was the name of its letters column:

…but I do know this is an awesome letter o’complaint, printed in issue #209 (Dec ’73/Jan ’74):

And the response, from the above-cited Mr. Robert Kanigher:

I have to admit, I find myself intrigued by what may have been replaced by all the “(CENSORED)” edits. Like “no one, be they Amazon or human can (CENSORED).” Can what? “Can kiss their own elbows?” Not sure why that would be censored, unless of course it wasn’t “elbows.”

Anyway…awesome letter. Didn’t see stuff like that in the old letter columns too often. Pretty much par for the course now, in some corners of the nerdinet.