A Look Back at Robin III #3

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Before I start this retro comic book review of Robin III #3, let me explain that the illustrator of the comic book, Tom Lyle, passed away last November over health-related reasons. Before dying, he had a surgery in October 2019 to remove a blood clot in his brain and subsequently fell into a coma. Apart from drawing comics, Tom Lyle was a professor of art at Georgia’s Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). For a look at Lyle’s expertise, watch the video from 2017 below.

When it comes to the comic book industry, Lyle started his career with AC Comics and Eclipse Comics back in the 1980s. In 1988, he worked on the art of Starman for DC Comics and went on to work on the company’s other properties and played a major role with the publishing of the three mini-series featuring Batman’s sidekick Robin (Tim Drake specifically).

After leaving DC Comics, he joined Marvel Comics as one of their illustrators on the Spider-Man monthly series. He quickly got involved in the Maximum Carnage crossover and made bigger waves with Spider-Man readers with the Clone Saga. Lyle is widely credited for designing the Scarlet Spider. With regards to his death, Marvel Comics published online a tribute for him.

Now that the short history lesson is over, let’s take a look back at Robin III #3 published by DC Comics in 1993 with a story by Chuck Dixon and art by Tom Lyle.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins in school where Tim Drake/Robin gets confronted by his superior who noticed the bruises he got. As Tim tries to keep his secrets, the superior Ms. Hollingsworth knows that he was cared for by Bruce Wayne (Batman) while his father was in a coma. She also knows that he lives on a property bordering the estate of Wayne. She makes clear that he can speak openly to her and Tim simply denies that Bruce would never hit him. He states: “An upperclassman…a senior…I think…big kid.”

Eventually the meeting ended and Tim leaves struggling over thinking about the complications he is experiencing with his double life as a student and as a crime fighter. Since he cannot get involved with Batman and Alfred, he spends some time with Harold (who was so busy working on a machine) and eventually goes home. His father notices Tim’s bruises and states that he spends too much time at Wayne’s. This leaves Tim more conflicted within.

Elsewhere, a muscular man called Sir Edmund easily beats up his loyal followers in a bout of combat. His assistant Lynx arrives and informs him that their turf is in danger with the arrival of Russians with KGBeast involved.

In the evening, Robin meets the Huntress and start their next mission…

Quality

13
Hard action with a smooth flow of sequence by Tom Lyle.

For a story set within the realm of Batman and, at the same time, does not have Batman at all, this Robin-centered comic book is well written and engaging. To say the least, showing Tim Drake struggling with his civilian life and crime-fighting life made Robin a literary symbol about the false maturity that youth in real life often experience. That false maturity is nicely portrayed with the superhero aesthetics and fantasy elements.

Quite predictably, Robin performs detective work and analyzes crime situations like Batman only this time, he gets involved with the Huntress (note: this mini-series carries the storyline title of “Cry of the Huntress”) to find out more answers and solve the crime problem. Being a product of the early 1990s, it is no surprise that the story has fictional portrayals about the Russians (with KGBeast leading the so-called invasion of the city) and even mentioning Afghans.

14
Hurting Robin on the head led to hard reactions.

Apart from the storytelling, the art by Tom Lyle here remains good to look at. Each scene, whether is it a talking scene or an action scene, looks good and Lyle has a nice touch on drawing facial expressions. When it comes to the spectacle, Lyle really shows how good he is with drawing hard-hitting physical action. I should also state how smooth the sequencing of action is drawn by him.

Conclusion

16
Robin and the Huntress make an odd crime-fighting duo.

To make things clear, Robin III #3 is the first-ever Tom Lyle-drawn comic book I ever bought and read. By today’s standards, the comic book is still fun to read and it is compelling enough to make readers interested to read more of the mini-series. However, if seeing more of Robin fighting crime by himself is your type of Robin story, then this may not be compelling for you.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Robin III #3, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition and the newsstand edition of the direct version costs $4 and $6 respectively. Meanwhile, the near-mint copy of the bagged edition and the unbagged edition of the deluxe version costs $4. To be clear, the deluxe version of Robin III #3 in bagged form comes with a moving cover, a second reversible cover and additional artwork.

Overall, Robin III #3 is recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Wonder Woman #1 (1987)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Hey Wonder Woman and superhero fans! By now, many of you are aware that I wrote and published several retro comic book reviews about the Post-Crisis Wonder Woman specifically the comic books that involved the legendary George Perez, Greg Potter and the late Len Wein. For today, I’ll be reviewing Wonder Woman #1 (1987), the landmark comic book that marked the start of what was back then the new age of greatness of Wonder Woman, the Queen of all Superheroes!

Before starting my review, let’s take a short look back at the publishing history with the online research I did.

In the mid-1980s, DC Comics published the maxi-series Crisis on Infinite Earths to not only celebrate their 50th anniversary but also to conclude what was the original multi-verse (multiple universes) of the publisher. Written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by George Perez, Crisis on Infinte Earths became critically acclaimed and a major seller as the saga saw the deaths of hundreds of characters, destruction of worlds and ultimately paved the way for DC Comics to reboot their superhero universe entirely.

And then the post-Crisis era of DC Comics happened. After Superman and Batman were successfully reintroduced, the Queen of all Superheroes herself – Wonder Woman – was up for a relaunch.

Behind the scenes at DC Comics, brainstorming for rebooting Wonder Woman took place initially with editor Janice Race and writer Greg Potter. The ideas of presenting the Amazons as reincarnated beings of women who previously died and having the story set in the City of Boston came from Potter.

Eventually George Perez got involved. The famed illustrator perceived Wonder Woman as more of a fantasy character.

“That was the background of the Wonder Woman character, which I felt was also the thing that made her unique as a character, and I thought that it had been downplayed in order to make her more of a standard superhero,” Perez stated.

Perez and Potter were co-writers. Perez himself conducted research on mythology which served as the foundation of the fantasy element of the planed post-Crisis Wonder Woman monthly series. This involved portrayals of deities of Olympus whose acts affect the Amazons living in the flesh. Apart from the fantasy and mythology, Perez implemented some key elements (specifically involving feminism and humanism) thanks to his discussion with Wonder Woman editor Karen Berger.

“A lot of research went into this first issue, and my bookshelves are full of reference material on mythology, Greek hairstyles, armor, clothing and even attitudes of the time. Some compromises were made where different references contradicted each other, but no decision was made without thought. We all have fallen in love with this project and want everyone to share in our excitement,” Perez wrote in the introduction in Wonder Woman #1 (1987).

Now that the history lesson is over, we can now all take a look back at Wonder Woman #1, published in 1987 by DC Comics with a story co-written by Greg Potter and George Perez. The art was done by Perez supported by the ink work of Bruce Patterson.

Cover
A very magnificent looking cover by George Perez.

Early story

The story begins in the distant past of 30,000 B.C. Inside a cave, a man hits a pregnant woman’s head with his club instantly killing her and the unborn child.

In 1,200 B.C. at Mount Olympus, the god of war Ares tells his father Zeus (with the presence of other deities watching) that if Olympus truly desires to own the hearts of men and gain power, they should let him descend upon mortals. Ares views the mortals as weak and stressed that he could crush them all into eternal submission.

But Artemis (Ares’ half-sister), whose plan to create a new race of mortals on Earth was vehemently opposed by the god of war, responded by stressing that violence will make men fear them and not follow them. She stressed that the intention behind the plan was to set an example by showing man and woman’s true place with each other. The new race of mortals was planned to be female. Zeus, who is aware of the plan, leaves and tells the others to settle the plan among themselves. For his part, Ares leaves Olympus laughing.

With the many souls stuck in limbo for generations available to them, the deities Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Hestia and Demeter create the Amazons who appeared with adult bodies. The first to come out among them all was Hippolyte, the mother of Diana/Wonder Woman. In the presence of the many Amazons, Hippolyte was declared queen by the deities…

Quality

27
Diana was the only child to grow up with the Amazons.

When it comes to quality of storytelling, art, characterization and spectacle, Wonder Woman #1 is unquestionably an excellent comic book even by today’s standards! For the story, Greg Potter and George Perez crafted an epic fantasy tale retelling the origin of not only Wonder Woman but also of the Amazons complete with a very inspired portrayal of the deities of Olympus who actions and decisions affect the mortals. I should mention here that the portrayal of the mother-and-daughter relationship between Queen Hippolyte and Princess Diana really was compelling to see. Not only that, there were also elements of gender conflict, intrigue and worship portrayed.

It is clear that Perez really studied mythology and Greek culture to create a story that is still believable when it comes to emphasizing Wonder Woman for what was back then the modern readers of 1987 from the superhero geeks to long-time Wonder Woman fans and to girls and women in general. More than that, this story is timeless and clearly it is an illustrated literature classic on its own right.

24
This is how the Amazons built their society in Themyscira.

The comic book has over thirty pages of story and art, with the pace ranging from medium to fast. As such, it managed to completely tell the stories of the Amazons and Princess Diana in just one comic book. By the time I finished this comic book, I got enlightened about the background of the Amazons and Wonder Woman herself.

When it comes to the art, each and every page of Wonder Woman #1 is very beautifully drawn by George Perez. His research on Greek culture and mythology is nicely reflected in his drawings. Just look at how he visualizes Olympus, the armor worn by soldiers, the clothes, the hairstyles, the coliseum, the architecture and more complete with a good amount of details visualized. The final page Perez drew remains very stunning, inspiring and heroic!

Conclusion

5
The deities of Olympus.

There is no doubt in my mind that Wonder Woman #1 of 1987 is truly one of the greatest superhero comic books ever published. The creative team succeeded in not only reintroducing Wonder Woman, her people and their part in the post-Crisis DC Comics universe, they also succeeded in modernizing them as well as dramatizing their origins altogether within the 32 pages of this comic book.

While it is a fact that a lot of people nowadays are highly familiar with the cinematic Wonder Woman (memorably played by Gal Gadot), for me the post-Crisis version of the Queen of Superheroes remains the definitive version and I can only wish that director Patty Jenkins would adapt more elements from this. It should be noted that this particular rebooted Wonder Woman is believable and can be taken more seriously among all superheroes.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #1 (1987), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $51. The near-mint copies of the newsstand edition and the edition without a month printed cost$102 and $153 respectively.

Overall, Wonder Woman #1 (1987) is highly recommended! 


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Wonder Woman #8 (1987)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

With the combined talents of George Perez, Len Wein, Greg Potter plus others, the reintroduction of Wonder Woman during the early stage of the Post-Crisis era of DC Comics is not only great but an essential read and a true superhero literature classic! When it comes to the presentation, the origin of not only Wonder Woman but also the Amazons was retold with a stronger emphasis on Greek mythology.

To put things in perspective, Wonder Woman #6 saw Ares’ plan on completely ruining man’s world defeated while Wonder Woman #7 saw the revival of Princess Diana as the deities of Olympus bless her and the Amazons. Where could George Perez, Len Wein and the creative team take the post-Crisis Wonder Woman story to?

That we will precisely find out in this look back at Wonder Woman #8, published by DC Comics in 1987 with a story written by George Perez and Len Wein. The art was done by Perez and inked by Bruce D. Patterson.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins in Boston, specifically at the Harvard University office of academic veteran Julia Kapatelis. She starts typing her recollections about Diana who, by this time, became a celebrated figure with the public thanks in part to Myndi Mayer’s publicity engine. Julia expressed how astonished she was with Wonder Woman’s ability to assimilate a lot of information so quickly (note: when she first arrived in man’s world, she did not even know how to speak English).

She recalled during their time at the United Nations that there were some nations that refused to listen to her and that the delegate from Russia protested Wonder Woman’s star-spangled costume on political grounds.

While Wonder Woman is loved by the public, there still were those who opposed her. Julia recalls the national campaign to outlaw all superheroes launched by the psychologist G. Gordon Godfrey who even won the support of some of America’s political figures. Julia also noticed the effects of Godfrey’s campaign on the minds of some of her students and the division that followed.

Wonder Women went on to interact with other superheroes as she strived to do good and save people. She even got invited to join the newly reformed Justice League with Superman, Batman, the Flash and many others present…

Quality

16
Wonder Woman as recalled by Vanessa.

Before describing the quality of this comic book, I should state that Wonder Woman #8 is not your typical superhero comic book at all. In reality, to reflect the title Time Passages, this one is technically a collection of journals that efficiently showed how much has changed for Wonder Woman and the people around her since after the Ares Affair happened.

When it comes to quality, each journal fictionally authored by Julia Kapatelis, Etta Candy, Vanessa Kapatelis and Myndi Mayer, was well-written by Perez and Wein. Apart from describing what happened and how much had changed with Wonder Woman in their presence, each character’s journal had its own distinct view apart from style of writing. Each journal is important to read and through them you will realize how much impact Wonder Woman had on their society and on themselves.

Still on the writing, there were some pages that provided relief to readers. In between the journals are story pages focused on Dr. Barbara Minerva and her short male companion which served as the build-up leading to the first appearance of the post-Crisis Cheetah.

And there is all the beautiful art provided by Perez. Each page of a fictional journal has artwork that visualize what was told. There are also whole pages highlighting the passage of time and the characters who made each journal. Even with the unusual format used, this is still very good looking comic book to see!

Conclusion

10
The test of Wonder Woman with the military as recalled by Etta Candy.

To describe it bluntly, Wonder Woman #8 is an exposition-heavy, very wordy, time-passing comic book that succeeds in what it was meant to achieve: move Wonder Woman’s post-Crisis development forward efficiently (note: without having to create multiple comic books reflecting the events told) while emphasizing how people look at her, how she connects with other DC Comics superheroes and the like. It was nicely crafted by Perez and the creative team and each page showed that a lot of special care was done. With regards to modernizing Wonder Woman for the 1980s, this comic book is a success.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #8 (1987), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $26 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $51.

Overall, Wonder Woman #8 (1987) is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Wonder Woman #7 (1987)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Having seen Wonder Woman in cinemas in 2017 and having reviewed the comic book Wonder Woman #6 of 1987 recently, I can say that I enjoyed the two different battles between the Queen of Superheroes and the war deity Ares. Both battles had their respective styles of art and presentation and there were a few similarities between them.

I like both conflicts equally and that’s in relation to very different formats used – cinematic and comic book. Also, the Wonder Woman-Ares battles served as effective story turning points on both the big screen and the comic book. In the case of the Post-Crisis era of DC Comics, the major battle was the climax of the brewing, global military aggression (due to Ares influencing people of man’s world to destroy each other) in which Wonder Woman got involved not only with the Cold War but also with the connections between man’s world, Themyscira and Olympus.

That being said, now is time to move forward with the Post-Crisis Wonder Woman saga with this look back at Wonder Woman #7, published in 1987 by DC Comics with a story co-written by George Perez and Len Wein. Perez drew the story which was inked by Bruce D. Patterson.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins in Olympus with Hermes spreading the news that the threat by Ares has ended. Zeus declares the news are true and issues a decree of a feast of celebration. The others smiled in reaction. As others make merry to the music of the spheres, Athena reminds Zeus that Prince Diana/Wonder Woman lies at death’s threshold emphasizing the her victory of Ares came at such a high price. Realizing the Amazons’ value, Zeus decides to keep a closer look at them.

Over at Themyscira, the Amazons (under the watch of Queen Hippolyte) perform a ritual of revival for their fallen sister Diana. They noticed no progress has been made. From high above, Zeus and his fellow deities watch…

Quality

9
A mother-daughter scene.

Top-notch quality once again achieved by the creative team led by George Perez and Len Wein. While the previous two issues had high fantasy concepts with battles as the highlights, Wonder Woman #7 is much more character-driven showing Wonder Woman’s recovery from the great battle and how the Greek deities’ view of the Amazons changed as a result of Ares’ defeat. Specifically, there is a lot of richness emphasizing Wonder Woman’s continued development as the daughter of Queen Hippolyte and as the continued doer of missions as her people’s representative in man’s world. I also like the way the comic book creators explored the divisions between the deities of Olympus.

Without spoiling all the details, this story resolved the crisis on the part of Vanessa, the young daughter of Julia Kapatelis and it also added to Diana’s evolution as a loving and caring superhero. The academic professional Julia – who has grown into a close friend of Wonder Woman’s – also was developed nicely here. And then there is the introduction of someone who is very savvy with the media.

In stark contrast to issues #4, #5 and #6, Wonder Woman #7 does not have any superhero action as it was much more focused on character development. That’s not to say that it is all just characters talking several lines of dialogue and looking dramatic. This story still has that epic fantasy look as it provides readers a good look at Olympus. This comic book really pushed the narrative far more than the three previous issues.

Conclusion

8
The deities in the spiritual realm.

Another great comic book this truly is. Then again, it should not be a surprise at all considering the great talents of George Perez and Len Wein combined. By the time I finished reviewing Wonder Woman #7, I am convinced that the creative team in-charge of this Post-Crisis version of the Queen of Superheroes not only worked with a high level of confidence but also carefully crafted their plans on reintroducing Wonder Woman with the 1980s in mind and making her much more relevant with the public. Storywise, this comic book marks a turning point in the Wonder Woman monthly series.

Other than being another great Wonder Woman story, Wonder Woman #7 also marks the first-ever appearance of Dr. Barbara Minerva (in civilian form specifically) who would later become the Post-Crisis era’s Cheetah a few issues later. For the newcomers reading this, Barbara Minerva/Cheetah was portrayed by Kristen Wiig in the upcoming superhero movie Wonder Woman 1984. With regards to that movie, reading Wonder Woman #9 is a must!

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #7 (1987), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $77 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $153.

Overall, Wonder Woman #7 (1987) is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Action Comics #545

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Action Comics #544 was, indeed, a very memorable comic book to read. For a comic book about Superman and the celebration of his 45th anniversary, Action Comics #544 was more about the drastic reform (and improvement) of the super villains Lex Luthor (gaining a powered suit of armor) and Brainiac (becoming fully robotic). That particular issue ended with Superman actually getting defeated and knocked down during his first encounter with the now metallic Brainiac (who also had a huge squid-like space ship of his own).

The story continues with this look back at Action Comics #545, published by DC Comics in 1983 with a story written by Marv Wolfman and illustrated by Gil Kane.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Superman already down on the ground on an alien world in the presence of Brainiac and the strange beings (natives of the planet) standing near him. Braniac explains to him that his red-sun missile brought him down and states: With but the merest thought I can and will destroy you! For only with your death can I be victorious in my battle against he-who-created-us-all! With you dead, this universe and all others will be mine to rule!

After much talking, Brainiac puts the weakened Superman into his small ship and brings into him the main ship (Brainiac’s flyer). Before departing, Brainiac’s flyer fires a powerful blast killing many of the planet’s natives.

Superman is conscious but is too weak to get up. Brainiac then starts analyzing him using his ship’s state-of-the-art equipment…

Quality

11
The new Brainiac’s power is felt all over.

Let me start with the story. Written by the legendary Marv Wolfman (who went on to author Crisis on Infinite Earths), Action Comics #545 is the highly compelling extension of the first encounter between Superman and the highly enhanced Brainiac. Continuing from the events that took place in issue #544, this comic book further emphasizes Brainiac’s new technology and new capabilities complete with revisions in his programming which make him even deadlier than his previous form. While Brainiac is cold and very calculating like a computer, there are still threads of humanity in him, mainly in the form of expressions.

Along the way, Superman is portrayed to be very vulnerable and in more danger than usual. The situation is so bad for him, Superman realizes that attacking Brainiac would be suicidal. Since he could not afford to take the risk to defeat Brainiac, the Man of Steel relied more on his instinct and observations to solve problems.

On the art, Gil Kane delivered pretty good visuals. While his take on Superman makes the icon recognizable, it is his art on Brainiac and the futuristic technologies that really shined. Even by today’s standards of comic book art and sci-fi concepts, Brainiac, his ship and all other forms of technology still look futuristic!

Conclusion

4
A very vulnerable Superman being scanned by Brainiac.

Very entertaining and compelling! That’s how I describe Action Comics #545 and it definitely is a great continuation of the Brainiac story that was featured in issue #544. Lots of action spectacle and intrigue all through the story. While Brainiac’s new abilities and revamped personality were compelling to read, it should be noted that Superman in this comic book thinks more, becomes more strategic and makes decisions knowing he has been weakened. This is a Superman who strives to survive.

As for Brainiac, this comic book shows his rise as one of the premier super villains of DC Comics leading to the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. The ending here has a very powerful image!

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Action Comics #545, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $18 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $36.

Overall, Action Comics #545 is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Henry Cavill in talks to return as the cinematic Superman!

Shortly after the launch of this website, I published an article expressing what I’d like to see in a Man of Steel sequel. Among the key things I mentioned was that I wanted to see Henry Cavill play Superman as a more inspiring and optimistic superhero. That was back in January 2019.

superman1
Henry Cavill in 2013’s Man of Steel.

Today there is a lot of buzz online about the return of Cavill as Superman (note: he last played him in the Justice League movie which in turn will be presented in Zack Snyder’s own vision next year on HBO Max) got reported by Deadline.com and Variety.com

Both hot reports shared similar key details but I found Deadline’s content more helpful. Here’s an excerpt from Deadline.com in italicized blue text.

While there is not a Man of Steel sequel in the works, we’re hearing that Henry Cavill is in talks to reprise his role as Superman in the Warner Bros. DC Universe.

We hear Cavill could come back in a couple of different ways, not a standalone film, but there are plans to put him back in the big red cape again sources with knowledge tell us.

Warner Bros. is not developing a Man of Steel sequel, and Wonder Woman 1984, Suicide Squad are in the can, and Superman isn’t expected to make a cameo in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Other projects where Cavill could make a cameo are Shazam 2, Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam or Aquaman 2, which are the next productions to be prepped once COVID-19 safety restrictions lift.

Previously in a Men’s Health interview, the British actor stated he had not given up on the role even though the last time he played the DC Comics icon was in late-2017 in the Justice League movie. The Superman who appeared in the Shazam movie of 2019 was NOT played by Cavill.

In relation to the Warner Bros. superhero movies mentioned in the excerpt above, it seems that integrating Cavill’s Superman in the ongoing DC Comics cinematic universe will take a while and it is understandable that a standalone movie featuring Superman still has not been planned. It will take a few more years for a Superman movie project to be made to say the least and that includes financing, writing the best screenplay possible, hiring/rehiring actors and finding the right director (I hope they hire James Wan) who could get the most out of Cavill.

As such, the best that Warner Bros. could do with the cinematic Superman is have him in short appearances or cameos in future DC Comics movies about Shazam (the sequel), Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson’s vehicle) and Aquaman (the sequel).

Speaking of Shazam and Black Adam, it would be nice to see Cavill’s Superman in those characters’ respective films. I don’t mean Cavill sharing the spotlight with Zachary Levi and Dwayne Johnson, but having his cinematic Superman appear with Shazam and Black Adam with sufficient screen time to satisfy the fans. Considering the literary history Superman has with Shazam and Black Adam, cinematic cameo appearances would be insufficient in my view. Of course, the Shazam sequel and the Black Adam movie have their respective concepts by now and accommodating Superman will be limited at best.

As such, when it comes to making a true standalone Superman movie in the years to come, I would love to see Henry Cavill and Dwayne Johnson clash as Superman and Black Adam! That concept would be great for the much-delayed Man of Steel sequel! For such a project, I would insist that Warner Bros. hire James Wan to direct.

As for the cinematic Superman possibly appearing in the Aquaman sequel, that would be nice even if it will end up as a short appearance. I honestly believe that Cavill and Jason Momoa can work well together on the big screen with a more focused screenplay.

If there is a breakthrough regarding the talks between Henry Cavill and Warner Bros., I’ll update you readers. Right now, even though the world has been set back by the COVID-19 crisis, Warner Bros. is in a better position to be more competitive when it comes to superhero movies. Cavill’s return as Superman will add more punch once it has been finalized.

In ending this, here are a few Cavill Superman videos for your enjoyment.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Wonder Woman #6 (1987)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Remember the final conflict between Wonder Woman and Ares in the 2017 movie? You will see their literary conflict in this old Wonder Woman comic book drawn by the legendary George Perez which I’m about to review.

Before getting to the review, Ares in real life is the Greek deity of war and one of the Twelve Olympians. Within the realm of DC Comics’ superhero universe, the character was very similar to the real-life counterpart and made the first literary appearance in Wonder Woman #1 way back in the early 1940s.

In 1987, when Wonder Woman got rebooted along with the rest of the superhero universe of DC Comics (the Post-Crisis era), George Perez led a revision of the Wonder Woman mythos with a stronger emphasis of Greek mythology in mind. In Wonder Woman #1 of the Post-Crisis era, the deities of Greece were introduced and Ares stood out clearly among them given his nature for conflict. As if that was not enough, Ares appeared in a dark battle armor with a helmet clearly hiding his face (with red-colored eyes) which easily made him the most menacing deity of them all in Olympus.

Having reviewed Wonder Woman #5 (1987) which showed how Ares and his forces influence people of man’s world to engage in war with each other, the stage is set for Wonder Woman and Ares’ featured encounter in Wonder Woman #6 published in 1987 by DC Comics with a story co-written by George Perez and Len Wein. Perez illustrated the story with ink work done by Bruce D. Patterson.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story opens with a television news broadcast about the brewing tension that could lead to a war. The public is informed about the sudden takeover of a federal missile base organized by renegade military personnel led by an Air Force general. Over at the Soviet Union, a similar takeover of a missile facility got reported.

The narrative then shifts at the American military base where Wonder Woman, Julia Kapatelis, Steve Trevor, Etta Candy and Matthew Michaelis just witnessed the arrival of Ares whom the traitorous general Samuel Tolliver referred to as master. Tolliver has several renegade soldiers carefully watching the heroes with guns pointed. Michaelis find the situation getting more insane which draws a response from Ares.

Julia (who researched a lot about foreign cultures and deities), Etta and Steve struggle to believe what they just witnessed. The presence of Ares, the deity of war in Olympus, is too much for them. As Diana whispers to Julia, Ares responds referring to her as Queen Hippolyte’s daughter. As soon as Areas disappears into thin air, Tolliver tells everyone that he will launch the doomsday missiles once he reaches the master control room.

Very quietly, Etta Candy opens a pouch behind Steve Trevor and pulls out to handy canisters. She passes one to Michaelis…

Quality

6
Follow Wonder Woman’s journey into the unknown!

I’m pleased to say that the high quality of storytelling, characterization, art and spectacle that started since issue #1 has been well maintained here. Like the previous issue, this one is loaded with spectacle as it is a continuing story about tackling Ares and his influence on people engaging more in conflict instead of being calm and reasonable. When it comes to spectacle, there is a nice mix of fantasy battles and military action.

The highlight here, as already made obvious by the cover of this comic book, is the battle between Wonder Woman and Ares. To make things clear without spoiling the story, I should say that their battle together was executed differently from what was showcased in the 2017 live-action movie. To describe it here, I’d say it has a strong fantasy approach on presentation plus emphasis on Greek mythology. If there were any similarities between the literary Wonder Woman-Ares battle and their cinematic battle, it would be exposition done by Ares explaining details to Wonder Woman why he is doing what he’s pursuing, complete with visuals of how his influence impacts the people of man’s world. Ares’ poison of conflict also has a Cold War flavor here which is not surprising since this comic book was published during the 1980s.

Conclusion

4
Wonder Woman acts before the situation grows worse.

Wonder Woman #6 is a great read! There simply was no slowdown nor a single hiccup with the engagement level of this comic book. With a little over twenty pages of content, this one was loaded with great stuff and its concept was indeed epic. If the battle between Wonder Woman and Ares in the 2017 movie astonished, then their conflict in this comic book will deliver the same impact to you. This one is a true Wonder Woman literary classic and its story even raised the stakes when it comes to Princess Diana’s existence and her mission in man’s world.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #6, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition and the newsstand edition cost $25 and $51 respectively.

Overall, Wonder Woman #6 (1987) is highly recommended! The conflict between Wonder Woman and Ares should encourage you to replay the acclaimed Wonder Woman movie of 2017.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Wonder Woman #5 (1987)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

There is nothing like witnessing the development of a pop culture icon like Wonder Woman with modern society in mind. After completing Crisis on Infinite Earths in the mid-1980s, DC Comics restarted their entire superhero universe opening lots of opportunities to reintroduce their superheroes, super villains and other characters to readers updated with the times. The Post-Crisis Wonder Woman involving the legendary George Perez and other creators saw the Queen of Superheroes updated with the 1980s in mind.

Even though Princess Diana and her fellow Amazons clearly expressed themselves in English to use readers, it turned out within the comic series that English was not their native language. In fact, Wonder Woman and her Amazon sisters all spoke Themysciran which is derived from Greek. Fortunately for Diana, she met someone who could understand her and communicate well. The language barrier is just one of the challenges Diana had to go through as she discovers man’s world.

We can now rejoin Wonder Woman and her journey of discovery in man’s world with this look back at Wonder Woman #5, published by DC Comics in 1987 with a story co-written by George Perez and Len Wein. Perez’s art was inked by Bruce D. Patterson.

Cover
A really striking cover by George Perez.

Early story

The story begins in Themyscira where the Amazons wait as Menalippe (their oracle) tries communion with their deities. One of the women expressed worry that the god of War – Ares – continues to gain power across the world. Even as she tries, Menalippe could not figure out the signs from their gods and Queen Hippolyte is eager to find out something about her daughter Diana.

Beneath Mount Olympus, Apollo remains in dreamless sleep. The women, in the presence of Hermes, remain uncertain about what has been going on. An ancient is near them.

In man’s world, war and chaos spreads. Steve Trevor appears in the television news as a rumored spy of the Soviet Union. At the same time, Wonder Woman makes waves in the news as a result of her battle with Decay

Quality

4
Wonder Woman and the supporting players.

Unsurprisingly, the very high quality of art, storytelling and characterization that started since issue #1 is well maintained by the creators in this comic book. What I love in Wonder Woman #5 aside from her continued journey of discovering more of man’s world and interacting with more with Steve Trevor (plus Etta Candy and other supporting characters) is the strong shift into the realm of fantasy which is full of action and other forms of spectacle!

For the plot, George Perez and Len Wein made a fascinating story that had a nice mix of Greek culture, fantasy and contemporary military battles. There were layers of intrigue as the creators made clear how Ares and his minions from the spiritual realm (related to Olympus and their deities) influenced mortals to fight each other so fiercely without even pausing to be clam and reasonable. This raises the stakes for Wonder Woman who is still adjusting to man’s world.

On characterization, each character here is well-written and clearly defined as believable individuals. The interactions between Wonder Woman and the others (plus their interactions in between themselves) are very rich to read and analyze.

When it comes to spectacle, this one is really loaded and, at the same time, much more imaginative! The shift from man’s world into the realm of fantasy (specifically a location often inaccessible to mortals) gave this comic book a fantastic atmosphere! There is a lot to enjoy here.

While it is not surprising that George Perez excellently illustrated this comic book, I should mention that his use of multiple panels per page here is quite clever. While using more than five panels per page is considered excessive by today’s standards, Perez managed to tell clearly the story and took time to control the pace. The spectacle scenes are fast but never disorienting. The character development and worldview scenes are never boring to look at.

Conclusion

6
One of Ares’ sons influencing the world into war.

Undoubtedly, Wonder Woman #5 is a great comic book. Elements of militarism, fantasy and Greek mythology were excellently blended here and ultimately it presented Wonder Woman’s personal development and interaction with the supporting players with a lot of depth. At this stage, her interaction with Steve Trevor as well as Julia Kapatelis really blossomed here.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #5 (1987), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition and the newsstand edition costs $26 and $51 respectively.

Overall, Wonder Woman #5 (1987) is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Wonder Woman #4 (1987)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

There is no doubt that George Perez’s famous handling of Wonder Woman (that became a key part of the Post-Crisis era of DC Comics) is influential for other creators. Over at Comic Book Resources, I read a 2017 article in which Wonder Woman movie director Patty Jenkins confirmed that Perez’s work on the Queen of Superheroes helped influence the movie.

Below is what Jenkins said in response to CBR’s question involving George Perez:

I think it was the fact that he expanded the role of the gods. It was always there — nothing he did contradicted what William Marston did and created, I think it only expanded upon and fleshed out who the gods are. What that relationship is, and how that works. What was a wonderful thing for us to take from.

I personally love the Wonder Woman movie and truly Gal Gadot IS Wonder Woman! As George Perez’s work on the Queen of Superheroes was influential to the director, it is clear that he set the standard on presenting Wonder Woman to the world.

With the movie and history talk over, we can now proceed on revisiting the Post-Crisis era of DC Comics with this look back at Wonder Woman #4, published in 1987 by DC Comics with a story by George Perez and Len Wein (script) and art by Perez (inked by Bruce D. Patterson).

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Wonder Woman carrying Julia Kapatelis and her daughter Vanessa moving away from the villainess Decay (daughter of Medusa) as a huge portion of the Kapatelis home collapses. As expected, the next-door neighbors got disturbed and went out of their homes to see what’s going on.

While taking a break just out of the rubble, Julia checks on Vanessa and asks: “What has that monster done to her?”

Suddenly, Decay rises from the rubble and answers Julia’s question directly stating she will do the same thing to her and Wonder Woman. Decay has Wonder Woman’s tiara with her.

Decay’s appearance scares many onlookers. Wonder Woman tells Julia to keep the neighbors back. Decay says that she came only for the symbol of Wonder Woman’s power (the tiara specifically) which she will use to symbolize her power. Decay then flies away.

Before flying off, Wonder Woman tells Julia that she will return with a cure for her teenage daughter whose body got heavily wrinkled by Decay…

Quality

9
I hope Wonder Woman 1984 and future Wonder Woman live-action movies will have more hard-hitting action scenes like this.

Once again, George Perez and Len Wein crafted another excellent Wonder Woman comic book that is timeless and symbolic. While Wonder Woman #3 marked Princess Diana’s arrival in man’s world, this comic book marked her first-ever battle in the same world complete with disturbance on the local society. Take note that at this point, Wonder Woman still has yet to understand and speak English and she has not fully adjusted to the local culture and society. She also just befriended Julia, the university professor and only person who could communicate with her by talking in Greek. Even with all the trouble caused by Decay, Wonder Woman’s heroism laced with love and compassion backed by her Amazon values remains intact and this aspect alone makes this comic book worth reading.

Apart from focusing on Wonder Woman and the supporting players, the comic book gives a close look at what has been happening at Mount Olympus where the Greek gods and goddesses discuss the situation of Princess Diana. There are also a few scenes set in the American military base wherein Lieutenant Etta Candy secretly does detective work to find out what caused the anomaly that led the higher-ups to suspect Steve Trevor of wrongdoing.

As for the artwork, George Perez’s work here is excellent as expected. When destruction is shown, there is a strong sense of danger. When hard superhero action occurs, there is a lot of impact shown! I just love looking at scenes showing Wonder Woman saving people from certain death. Also there were some really powerful executions of action here (involving Wonder Woman) that I wish future Wonder Woman movies will someday replicate.

Conclusion

4
Wonder Woman striving hard to go after Decay, the monster responsible for the destruction seen here.

Wonder Woman #4 of 1987 is excellent! Apart showing the first time ever that Wonder Woman engaged in battle in man’s world, this comic book also has an intimate look on how Princess Diana struggles with focusing on her mission while adjusting to the local culture and making sure that evil beings from her culture would not succeed in destroying the people of man’s world.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #4, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition and the newsstand edition cost $25 and $51 respectively.

Overall, Wonder Woman #4 (1987) is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Catwoman #50 (1997)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

I want to make things clear that I’m not really a fan of Catwoman, nor am I a big fan of Batman and other DC Comics characters related to the Dark Knight. While it is a fact that I grew up reading comic books and watching some episodes of the live-action TV series as well as varied animated series featuring Batman, I did not see much of him encountering Catwoman.

I got to watch the movie Batman Returns in 1992 showing Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer as Batman and Catwoman. Unsurprisingly Catwoman gained prominence in pop culture as a result of that movie. In 1993, DC Comics launched the monthly series of Catwoman.

Recently, I reviewed Web of Spider-Man #100 which showcased the iconic Spider-Man wearing a suit of armor. As the 1990s was a decade of excess which includes armors as a superhero comic book trend (or fashion craze), it was no surprise that DC Comics had Catwoman featured in armored form.

That being said, we can now take a look back at Catwoman #50, published by DC Comics in 1997 with a story written by Doug Moench and drawn by Jim Balent.

Early story

The story begins with Catwoman moving on the rooftop at night. Suddenly a small rocket is fired hitting a chimney near her knocking her out temporarily. After recovering and checking the area near her, she gets hit by Cyber-Cat (first appeared in Catwoman #42). As it turns out, Catwoman knew something about her having worked with Syntex but Cyber-Cat tells her that she’s worker for herself.

Driven by deep anger, Cyber-Cat moves at Catwoman who tries to escape. Catwoman gets hit and suffers slashes on her skin as a result of Cyber-Cat’s vicious attacks. Now losing some blood, Catwoman makes a desperate leap to another building across the street and barely makes it leaving Cyber-Cat behind.

5
Cyber-Cat viciously attacks Catwoman!

“Run, thief—but your run can’t last forever! I found you once, and I won’t rest until I do it agains—to finish what this night started! And remember –every time you cast your cowardly shadow across a roof…you’ll never know which gargoyle might come to sudden life,” Cyber-Cat tells Catwoman across the gap. “You’re finished, thief! Dead already!”

Badly wounded, Catwoman manages to find her motorcycle at an alley and drives on the way back to her hideout…

Quality

21
The money shot by Jim Balent! Check out the unrealistic look of the armor.

I should say that Catwoman #50 surprisingly has depth and a nice combination of spectacle, characterization, intrigue and even some detective story elements. Don’t let the cover fool you into thinking this is a shallow and terrible comic book.

For one thing, Doug Moench carefully crafted a story bringing Catwoman and Cyber-Cat back for a new conflict together, only this time the stakes are much higher given the fact that in the previous encounter, Catwoman put Cyber-Cat to shame. This explains why Cyber-Cat is not only more determined to kill Catwoman but also train harder and use cybernetic means more efficiently.

Rivalry aside, this comic book provides a nice look as to what would happen when a professional thief like Catwoman gets involved with a technology company and causes a disturbance not only in the tech sector but also with industry investigators. Doug Moench managed to insert some scenes exploring Selina Kyle/Catwoman’s social life and her involvement with a cop (who does not even know her secret criminal identity).

As for the Catwoman armor highlighted on the cover, I really like the way the creators efficiently implemented the “Batman approach” to preparation when it comes to assembling the armor done by Catwoman’s friend. While it is predictable that the armor helped improve her ability to fight and keep up with high-tech measures used against her, I found it rather unbelievable that she is able to maintain quick reflexes, move around fast like before and still look like she’s wearing tights (same problem with Cyber-Cat who is actually Christina Chiles behind the suit).

While the realism is not really a factor here, I should confirm that this comic book sure has a lot of action scenes and attractive visuals in the expected big battle between Cyber-Cat and the armored Catwoman. Artist Jim Balent, who helped start this monthly series, confidently paced the action and delivered lots of dynamic shots of hard action.

Conclusion

18
Selina Kyle the civilian.

Catwoman #50 is surprisingly fun to read and has enough depth to its story. It’s far from being brainless, really. With almost 30 pages of story and art, the creative team paced themselves to tell a cohesive story, add a bit of character development and then have Catwoman suited up for the big fight against the obsessive Cyber-Cat.

When it comes to executing the concept of having a hero or a villain using armor for a big conflict or special mission, Catwoman #50 easily beats the stuffing out of Web of Spider-Man #100 big time! Compared to that very disappointing Spider-Man comic book (featuring an armored Spider-Man), Catwoman #50 has more depth, is paced better, paid closer attention to detail (right down to the features of Catwoman’s armor), and has spectacle that is executed and presented better.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Catwoman #50 (1997), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $9. The near-mint copies of the deluxe, the newsstand deluxe and the newsstand editions cost $10, $22 and $17 respectively.

Overall, Catwoman #50 (1997) is recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com