A Look Back at Superman #423 (1986)

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.

How do you end an entire era of a major pop culture icon like Superman? You end it with a very great story described as imaginary and leave it up to the readers to decide if the events never happened or had happened. The famous author Alan Moore wrote such a story (in two parts actually) to help DC Comics conclude the real-life legend of Superman as they transitioned from the original DC multiverse age (1938-1986, concluded with Crisis on Infinite Earths) into a new era of superhero comic book publishing back in 1986 (the post-Crisis era).

For those who were not able to read Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985-1986, there was a time when DC Comics’ superhero universe started simple in the late 1930s and became too convoluted and confusing in the decades that followed. There were different universes in existence resulting not only different realms of existence but also different versions of the superheroes. Even Superman had different versions and there was also Superboy who went back and forth to the 30th century joining that era’s Legion of Superheroes. As Crisis on Infinite Earths concluded the old DC Comics multiverse, a fitting conclusion for Superman became inevitable so the publisher assembled Moore and other great talents to work on a definitive storyline.

If you are ready to look at what Superman was like long before Zack Snyder directed Man of Steel and long before the New 52 and DC Rebirth happened, here is a look back at Superman #423, published by DC Comics in 1986 with a story written by Alan Moore and drawn by Curt Swan with ink work done by George Perez. This is the first chapter of the storyline Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the then-future of 1997 when a journalist from the Daily Planet visiting the home of Lois Lane who is now identified as Mrs. Lois Elliot. The journalist is Tim Crane and his assignment is to interview her for their newspaper’s upcoming Superman memorial edition.

Crane starts asking Lois about the years leading up to Superman’s disappearance and presumed death. Lois recalls the time when Superman’s arch-nemesis Lex Luthor laid low as well as the pounding of Brainiac’s last organic metal body into a state beyond repair. She remembers Superman recovering every fragment except for the head of the creature. Then two other super villains (Terra-Man and Parasite) destroyed each other due to a lack of people to fight with and Superman eventually worked in space helping the government do their research.

As it turned out, the events only led to what was the first taste of the carnage that was to follow. Some years prior, Superman arrived in a heavily damaged Metropolis. Lois told him that Bizarro caused it and Jimmy Olsen stated that the super villain retreated into a nearby department store and still has not come out since. Superman then walks into the department store to face off with Bizarro…

Quality

A classic moment of Superman saving Lois Lane.

I’ll start by saying that the writing done by Alan Moore here is very great to read and clearly he made in-depth research on Superman’s extensive history, exploring the personalities and traits of the supporting characters and super villains, and, most notably, he went on to create a lot of compelling and intriguing stuff to tell. The result was a clear creative challenge towards the conventional thinking of Superman fans of the time and Moore even managed to add some adulterated themes into the narrative without making the comic book going over the edge. For one thing, a certain super villain here concluded his pre-Crisis existence with elements of genocide, homicide and suicide. There was also a scene in which Superman, in his most vulnerable portrayal, expressed his view that nuances from his past were coming back as killers which made him fear for the lives of the people he cared for.

The interview-flashback format to tell the narrative is indeed excellent in form and Moore told each flashback in great detail while capturing the essence of not just Superman but also those of the supporting characters as well as Lex Luthor, Brainiac and others. Even as the stories get told, Moore managed to pull off some great twists which you my readers should find out for yourselves. I personally enjoyed these twists and I am sure you will.

Visually, Curt Swan went all out in making great art and his decades-long experience of drawing Superman and all the related characters really show it. Swan’s art in the final page is very powerful and dramatic to look at.

Conclusion

The interview-flashback format used is great and so was the storytelling itself.

Very clearly, Superman #423 (1986) is not only a great Superman story but also one of the greatest superhero comic books ever made! This is illustrated literature with gold quality all over it and the funny thing is that this happens to be only the first part of the storyline Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? The creative team of Moore and Swan produced the most striking and most engaging Superman work from start to finish. I should state that this one made me rethink and remember what I read about Superman in comic books before Crisis on Infinite Earths happened. The good news is that I enjoyed every bit of what was told in this comic book and it truly is a definitive way to conclude an age of Superman (and this is only the first chapter of the concluding storyline).

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Superman #423 (1986), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $120 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $240. A signed-copy in near-mint condition costs $240.

Overall, Superman #423 (1986) 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 #12 (1988)

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.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors and fans of Wonder Woman and DC Comics! Happy New Year to you all as well! To start 2021, I have another Wonder Woman retro comic book review here.

Before getting to the review, I want to ask if you were able to watch Wonder Woman 1984? I have not seen it yet as the local cinemas in our part of Metro Manila still have not reopened. I have no intention to stream the new movie at all. Big movie productions like the one starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine were clearly made for the big screens in the cinemas and I am patiently waiting for the golden opportunity to watch Wonder Woman 1984 in a theater. If the nearest local cinemas won’t reopen due to this ongoing pandemic, the next best option for me is to get the movie in its future 4K Blu-ray release.

Going back to the Wonder Woman comic series of the post-Crisis DC Comics era, I reviewed issue #11 recently which saw Princess Diana enter the forbidden zone of Themyscira as she struggles to fulfil the challenge of Olympus’ deities. Meanwhile, Queen Hippolyte decides to take action by following and search for her daughter. This naturally troubles the Amazons who themselves are uncertain about what the deities have in plan for them.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Wonder Woman #12, published in 1988 by DC Comics with a story written George Perez and Len Wein. Perez illustrated the comic book with ink work done by Bruce D. Patterson.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with the armored Queen Hippolyte making her way down into the forbidden zone, with a feathered companion flying just near her. Suddenly a horde of bats surround her compelling her to defend herself. She notices that the vulture made no effort to help her which convinces her that it is there to guide.

Over at Oklahoma, Steve Trevor sits by his very old father and apologizes to him for failing to be there sooner. Tearfully he remembers the demise of his mother and the times he spent with his father growing up. Downstairs, Etta Candy examines a framed photo of Steve’s mother.

Deep within the forbidden zone, Wonder Woman is struck with disbelief as she just encountered in the flesh the one mysterious warrior whom she was named after which Queen Hippolyte and the Amazons did not discuss with her…

The mysterious warrior tells Princess Diana: I’ve waited this day far longer than you could imagine—-but if there’s anything I’ve learned here, it’s that life on the mortal coil follows a grand design! We were faither to meet, child—from the day you were born!

Quality

This comic book showed more of Queen Hippolyte’s side of the story than the previous issue.

Once again, this is another high-quality work of art and literature done by the creative team led by the Perez-Wein duo and considering the way things were structured, this proves that they really planned this storyline early and this very comic book happens to be full of revelations relating to a notable event in the past of the Amazons.

In this particular chapter of the Challenge of the God’s storyline, Wonder Woman’s significance (in connection with events that took place before her birth) and her special bond with Steve Trevor (in relation to issues #2, #3, #4, #5 and #6) were deeply emphasized through the story of the mysterious warrior whose name is also Diana and also a native from man’s world. The mysterious warrior’s personal story and discovery of Themyscira were excellently dramatized by Perez-Wein, which is not surprising, and the narrative was carefully paced giving readers breathing space to learn the details.

Picking up from the previous issue, this comic book’s focus on Queen Hippolyte has grown larger effectively creating what is technically a solo adventure for her within the forbidden zone. Compared to her daughter, Queen Hippolyte has deeper knowledge of the history of the place and is naturally cautious with her search for Diana. I should state that the dialogue style written for the queen was very cleverly crafted. Meanwhile, the Olympus deity Pan was clearly portrayed to be the evil manipulator and clearly the Satan figure of the story.

Conclusion

Princess Diana meets the other Diana whose past is linked with the Amazons.

Wonder Woman #12 (1988) is another excellent work by the Perez-Wein creative team. It is more than just a Wonder Woman story and more than just a well-told fantasy of the DC Comics universe, it is filled with very profound revelations that further deepen the legacy of the Amazons and Wonder Woman’s significance. As for the influences behind the design and symbols on Wonder Woman’s costume, those have been revealed in this comic book as well.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #12 (1988), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $30 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $60.

Overall, Wonder Woman #12 (1988) 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 #11 (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.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors and fans of Wonder Woman! Previously I reviewed a story in which the stakes were raised for Wonder Woman and her fellow Amazons as a result of egos among the deities of Olympus with Zeus being reckless to show himself to Diana. Eventually the deities issued their challenge which Diana accepted but the effects were not limited to her alone. Queen Hippolyte is very disturbed by the challenge issued to her daughter as she believes that as ruler of the Amazons, she should be the one to meet the challenge. The queen expressed her view the the goddesses who bore the Amazons surrender to every whim of Zeus. While Hippolyte remains very uneasy, the Amazons support Wonder Woman’s mission and escorted her to the demonic lair beneath their island.

That being said, the Challenge of the Gods storyline continues in this look back at Wonder Woman #11, published in 1987 by DC Comics with a story written by George Perez and the late Len Wein. Perez’s art was inked by Bruce D. Patterson.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins deep within the lair as Wonder Woman encounters the large 7-headed beast called Hydra. Zeus and the other deities of Olympus carefully watch the conflict happen. Zeus thinks Wonder Woman won’t survive the encounter and Pan (the Satan-like figure) states that the destruction of the Amazon will make her sisters more compliant to Zeus’ wishes. Queen Hera however believes Diana would not fail.

As the conflict underneath Themyscira goes on, the deities discuss what would happen should Wonder Woman fail or succeed. In the heat of battle, Diana analyzes carefully her situation and strives hard to defeat Hydra which is blocking the portal to her next destination…

Quality

Wonder Woman’s mother takes action!

I can start by saying that the story here is more spectacular in terms of presentation highlighted with a strong sense of discovery and wonder mixed with high-octane action here and there. To put it short, this comic book is yet another big pay-off executed following the intense build-up in the previous issue. The Challenge of the Gods storyline really started to move in high-gear with the spectacle while successfully defining the fantasy and mythology elements in Wonder Woman’s realm. This is not your typical superhero tale rather it is presented with a much strong element of fantasy laced with suspense and even a bit of horror. As the story unfolds, you will not only witness Wonder Woman struggle with the challenge of the deities, you will also relate with her on a personal level.

Along the way, the creators made one page that followed the experiences of Steve Trevor who in the post-Crisis universe is a much older character still serving in the military. The slow Steve Trevor scene provided a short break from the high-tension of Wonder Woman’s scenes. Not to be outdone in sharing the spotlight is Queen Hippolyte who takes action in connection to the challenge Wonder Woman is handling. Through the queen, her views and personality got developed even further by the Perez-Wein and her struggle on leading the Amazons while being a mother made more sense literally.  

Conclusion

Now this is a really striking set of images.

As it was made with the usual high-quality from the Perez-Wein creative team, Wonder Woman #11 (1987) is a very dramatic, action-heavy and dynamic read that kept on defining the Queen of Superheroes (and even Queen Hippolyte) while keeping the narrative fresh with revealing fantasy elements. Wonder Woman’s bravery here is really tested a whole lot, and her uncompromising desire to accomplish the challenge of the deities. While this comic book is a great pay-off to the build-up done in issue #10, it also builds up to something very unexpected on the final page. I should also state that the story is very unpredictable and at times it played on my expectations.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #11 (1987), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $30 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $60.

Overall, Wonder Woman #11 (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 #10 (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 reviewed the first nine issues of the 2nd Wonder Woman monthly series (1987-2011) that was handled with care initially by great creators George Perez and Len Wein, I can say that the Queen of Superheroes herself was redefined not only for the readers of the post-Crisis era but in general. Under the Perez-Wein team, Wonder Woman was portrayed to be human and compassionate as she gradually discovers what her destiny is just as she takes part in the struggles and affairs of her fellow Amazons led by her mother Queen Hippolyte.

Also told along the way was the story of the deities of Olympus headed by Zeus. In their realm, the deities are divided and each has his or her own ego and agenda. Because they have tremendous power, they are able to manipulate events on the physical world and make mortals struggle. Under them, the Amazons have struggled and even people of Earth got affected as well.  

When I reviewed the ninth issue, it was the full debut of the modern Cheetah who proved to be a worthy adversary for Wonder Woman. By the way, Cheetah is the antagonist in the new film Wonder Woman 1984 portrayed by Kristen Wiig. By the end of issue #9, Wonder Woman returned home to Themyscira leaving her American friends Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis in tears.

So what happened next? We can all find out in this look back at Wonder Woman #10, published in 1987 by DC Comics with a story written by George Perez and Len Wein. Perez did the art with inkwork by Bruce Patterson. This is the first chapter of the Challenge of the Gods storyline.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the realm of the deities. They noticed Pan has been joyful recently and Zeus states that has been the case since Wonder Woman thwarted the scheme of Ares. Pan approaches Zeus and followed-up on him regarding a past conversation they had. Zeus then looks Themyscira, finding it secluded yet a true paradise. A paradise worthy of his personal favor.

On Themyscira, Princess Diana/Wonder Woman and a fellow Amazon ride horses not knowing Zeus and the others are watching them. Pan tells Zeus that as Heracles (Zeus’ son) once favored Queen Hippolyte (Diana’s mother), it is only fitting that Diana should be the first among the Amazons to experience his manly grace. Zeus then decides to come to the Amazons and tells Pan to play a love song.

Hestia and Artemis notice Zeus’ decision. An angry Artemis makes her move stating that Paradise Island (Themyscira) will be no one’s brothel.

Diana and Euboea talk while riding their horses slowly on a beach. She states that it is good to be home. She learned so much from the world of men finding its people so different and yet so much the same, that the Amazons all could learn from one another.

Meanwhile the Amazons’ council of justice discuss the gifts and records Diana brought home. Queen Hippolyte is in attendance…

Quality

Wearing armor and a helmet, Wonder Woman prepares to start taking on the challenge of the deities.

I can say that this story not only marked the beginning of a new Wonder Woman storyline but also it marked a new turning point not just for the Queen of Superheroes but also for her fellow Amazons as this involves the Olympus deities a whole lot more. The good news here is that the script is of high-quality writing and has special care made on it by the Perez-Wein creative team. As the story is more focused on Themyscira and Olympus, more details about the history and legacy of the Amazons is revealed and it is all done with a deep amount of engagement. The way the details and events were handled, it looked like Perez and Wein had these story elements planned ahead of time as they continued to develop and redefine Wonder Woman in the post-Crisis era of DC Comics.

At the heart of the first chapter of the Challenge of the Gods storyline is the link between the Amazons (who rely on Wonder Woman to represent them) and the divided deities of Olympus. With very compelling writing and visuals, you will get to see how fragile Diana, Queen Hippolyte and their Amazon sisters really are when facing the deities. In relation to that, it is a unique reading experience to see Wonder Woman struggle with interacting with Zeus and the other deities directly.

Conclusion

Princess Diana, her mother Queen Hippolyte and the Amazons analyze their situation.

Wonder Woman #10 (1987) is clearly a great comic book to read and it marked the continued excellence done by George Perez, Len Wein and their creative team.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #10 (1987), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $60 while the near-mint copies of the fold-out edition and the newsstand edition cost $30 and $120 respectively.

Overall, Wonder Woman #10 (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

Wonder Woman 1984 opening in the Philippines TENTATIVELY set for January 8, 2021

I am a long-time Wonder Woman fan. I deeply love watching the 2017 movie that starred Gal Gadot. I saw that movie thrice in movie theaters here in the Philippines, the first screening of which was inside the local IMAX cinema.

Gal Gadot as the armored Wonder Woman.

Like anyone else, I am excited that the much-awaited sequel Wonder Woman 1984 has been scheduled for a Philippine release date of January 8, 2021 although I am cautious too. Why?

That’s because after experiencing the initial excitement of the international release dates published by Variety, I decided to verify with Warner Bros. Pictures directly via their official page on Facebook. In a November 26, 2020 FB post of theirs, I asked them directly (plus about IMAX) and they actually replied. Below is the screenshot.

As you can see above, Warner Bros. Pictures pointed to the Variety article (about the global release schedules) and with regards to the Philippines, the supposed launch of Wonder Woman 1984 in cinemas hangs in the balance because until now many cinemas – at least in the National Capital Region – remain closed even though restrictions (related to community quarantine) have been eased over the past several months as local authorities monitored the developments related to the current pandemic. This means that the Wonder Woman 1984 opening for the Philippines remains tentative at best. Warner Bros. did not say anything about IMAX.

For those who are based outside the Philippines, Metro Manila (with multiple cities and a high number of movie theaters combined) is under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status until December 31, 2020. Under GCQ, more people are allowed to report to work, more business are allowed to operate albeit less than 100% (depending on the business nature) and people are able to visit shopping malls but without minors (their children).

What the status for Metro Manila will be come January 1, 2021 remains unknown. Speaking of movie theaters, I have yet to find any signs or confirmation that local movie theater operators are lobbying/appealing to the authorities to allow them to resume operations.

Again, the Philippines opening date for Wonder Woman 1984 is tentative. Whether the Patty Jenkins-directed movie will open on January 8, 2021 or be delayed, I will make it a point to watch the movie on the big screen. I will not stream Wonder Woman 1984. As far as watching the movie at home later is concerned, I’d rather watch it on Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray. Paying for streaming will help the service but NOT the people who made the newest Wonder Woman movie.

While waiting for solid updates about Wonder Woman 1984’s opening here in the Philippines, check out my review of the 2017 movie, my review of the literary classic Wonder Woman #1 (1987), my review of Wonder Woman #9 (1987) which is the essential read before watching the new movie, and my most recent review of Wonder Woman Gallery (1996).

In ending this, here are some Wonder Woman-related videos for your amusement.

+++++

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 Gallery (1996)

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.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors and fans of Wonder Woman! I should say that this is the most unusual comic book I have reviewed so far due to its main presentation of varied artworks featuring the Queen of all Superheroes herself – Wonder Woman!

For the newcomers reading this, there were several comic books back in the 1990s that did not really tell stories but showcased artworks of varied superheroes done by several artists. Such publications were in the form of swimsuit specials, apparently inspired by Sports Illustrated’s own publications. There were WildStorm Swimsuit Special #1, Ballistic Studios Swimsuit Special #1, Homage Studios Swimsuit Special #1, Lady Death Swimsuit Special #1 and the Avengelyne/Glory: Swimsuit Special #1 to name some.

The 1990s saw a rise of eroticism in superhero comic books. Not even the Wonder Woman monthly series of that time was spared from the trend. There was a time when DC Comics hired Mike Deodato to illustrate a number of Wonder Woman comic books in the mid-1990s which resulted a more eroticized look of Diana/Wonder Woman and her fellow Amazons. John Byrne took over after Deodato and his stint was not an improvement.

While the 1990s was a weak decade of Wonder Woman comics for me personally, not all was doom and gloom. Around twenty years before Gal Gadot debuted on the big screen as the cinematic Wonder Woman, DC Comics published an art gallery of the Queen of Superheroes in the form of a comic book.

With the details established, here is a look back at Wonder Woman Gallery, published by DC Comics in 1996 featuring the works of multiple artists.

The cover.

What it is

Wonder Woman Gallery is a showcase of thirty-two artworks done by George Perez, Stuart Immonen, Mike Wieringo and Richard Case, Brent Anderson, Howard Porter and John Dell, Jim Balent (misspelled as Jim Balant), Amanda Conner, Chuck Wojtkiewicz and Will Blyberg, Howard Chaykin, Steve Lightle and 22 others.

As this is an art gallery, there is clearly no story to tell. It is all artwork showcasing the different talents of the artists (and the inkers who helped them) on presenting Wonder Woman (note: the only exception here is a solo image of the forgettable WW replacement Artemis).

This artistic contribution by Phil Jimenez looks great.
Jill Thompson’s inspired take on Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman by Howard Porter and John Dell.
Wonder Woman by Ivan Reis and Barbara Kaalberg.

Quality

As this is an art showcase, the overall quality of the collected art here varies. Such a collection of different art styles will appeal to Wonder Woman fans depending on how they like their favorite superhero presented visually.

In my honest opinion, I always love the art style done by George Perez on Wonder Woman, her fellow Amazons, the supporting characters and more. His presentation here is flawless and timeless. What surprised me here in this collection is the contribution of Phil Jimenez whose quality and art style seem inspired by George Perez’s Wonder Woman legacy. As many of us know already, Jimenez later went on to become one of the top illustrators of DC Comics in the 2000s and his work here is nice to look.

There were a few artworks that showed Wonder Woman with a very cartoony look. Among them is the Wonder Woman piece done in the very distinct style of Sergio Aragones. Some art pieces here showed WW with a bizarre look and then there were a few others whose take on the Queen of Superheroes turned out good.

Conclusion

This work by George Perez is my favorite in this collection.

I can say that Wonder Woman Gallery (1996) is a published work that Wonder Woman fans will enjoy for as long as they are willing to accept images of their favorite superhero with styles ranging from realistic to cartoony, obscure and simple. Art styles aside, there is a lot here that fans will marvel at again and again, while art enthusiasts (who are not necessarily fans of the Queen of Superheroes) could find something eye-catching here.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman Gallery (1996), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $40.

Overall, Wonder Woman Gallery (1996) 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

My Observations: Wonder Woman 1984 is coming to BOTH movie theaters and HBO Max streaming service on Christmas Day

The news has spread like wildfire in such a short time and unsurprisingly hashtags like #WonderWoman and #WW84 got really active again on social media. It has officially been announced that the much-delayed Wonder Woman 1984 (starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and Kristen Wiig) will indeed open in movie theaters in America on Christmas Day PLUS debut also via Warner Bros. own streaming service HBO Max.

Watch the confirming video below…

Already cinema chain AMC is supportive of the movie’s scheduled theatrical release.

“We hope movie lovers enjoy ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ during the holidays this year at AMC,” AMC Entertainment CEO and President Adam Aron stated.

Personally, I am surprised that Warner Bros. decided to do the simultaneous theater-and-streaming approach because the move is pretty risky in terms of doing business as well as reaching out to the many millions of fans willing to pay to watch the movie. It is a fact that a lot of movie theaters in America remain closed and families are forced to stay at home especially in states where the state governments strictly implemented lockdowns due to the COVID-19 crisis.

It is also a fact that HBO Max is not exactly massively large with its subscribers. According to a Variety report, HBO Max users grew to 8.6 million at the end of the 3rd quarter of 2020. Also reported was 28.7 million customers described to be eligible to avail of the mentioned streaming service. Combined subscribers of standalone HBO and HBO Max in the United States reached 38 million as of the end of September. When it comes to the global scale, 57 million subscribers of both HBO and the streaming service were reported. The numbers look big but there is no guarantee that 100% of standalone HBO subscribers will actually avail of HBO Max for WW84. There is also the issue of generating a lot of funds to help Warner Bros. recover their investment in making and marketing Wonder Woman 1984.

As I stated before, the best way to watch Wonder Woman 1984 is still in the movie theater for it is a fact that it is such a very big production as a whole and it has certain sequences filmed with IMAX cameras (the highest quality visuals of which will not be captured perfectly via streaming). While it is a fact that way below 100% of movie theaters worldwide are open for business, it is now high time for Wonder Woman fans, superhero movie enthusiasts and geeks to contact their local cinema operators and find out once and for all if they will screen Wonder Woman 1984. Don’t just sit down waiting for something to come to you, take action by reaching out to the movie theaters online or by the phone if you really want to watch the movie!

If there is an AMC theater near you operating (or planning to open for the Christmas holiday), you are fortunate because WW84 will be screened. If there is an IMAX cinema near you that will really play the movie, go for the movie there for the best visual experience!

While I noticed online that there are a lot of self-described Wonder Woman fans who arrogantly disregard movie theater operators only because they selfishly want WW84 to be streamed directly to them, I myself will not avail of the movie via streaming because there is a better option for home viewing that has yet to be announced…Wonder Woman 1984 on Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray. Personally, I don’t have anything against VOD streaming services but when it comes to enjoying movies at home with the HDTV, I prefer Blu-ray over streaming anytime! Blu-ray has undeniable advantages over streaming!

What I intend to do on watching Wonder Woman 1984 is quite simple: movie theater first followed by Blu-ray months later. Really, I’m not rushing to avail HBO Max this Christmas.

Going back to movie theaters, Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins announced via social media a program is in development to allow moviegoers, fans and other people to be able to rent their own theaters out to screen the movie with group safety in mind.

“We will try to help to bring it to as many of you as we can and thank you all for your support,” Jenkins stated via Twitter.

For its part, AMC Entertainment made moves to not only screen Wonder Woman 1984 but also ensure safety and reducing health risks. Check out the full statement of AMC CEO and President Aron below:

Movie fans across the United States, Europe and the Middle East will be excited to learn that the release of Wonder Woman 1984 this holiday season is right around the corner, and that AMC will show this eagerly awaited movie on our big screens all across our global network.

For many months, AMC has been in active and deep dialogue with Warner Brothers to figure out how best this cinematic blockbuster could be seen at AMC Theatres in these unprecedented times. Given that atypical circumstances call for atypical economic relationships between studios and theatres, and atypical windows and releasing strategies, AMC is fully onboard for Warner Brothers’ announcement today.

AMC continues to believe that exclusive theatrical releases benefit consumers, filmmakers, studios and exhibitors. Even so, we also have clearly demonstrated this year that we are flexible and remain open to evolving long-standing business models, provided that we do so in ways that improve the industry ecosystem for all players. We have instituted novel approaches with other movie studios this year. We are doing so again, this time with Warner Brothers to facilitate the specific release of this important movie.  We hope movie lovers enjoy Wonder Woman 1984 during the holidays this year at AMC.

In showcasing Wonder Woman 1984, we especially note AMC’s commitment to the safety and health of our moviegoing guests and associates at our theatres. Our comprehensive and extensive AMC Safe & Clean protocols were unveiled this summer, having been designed in consultation with current and former faculty of Harvard University’s prestigious School of Public Health and in partnership with Clorox. Our commitment to AMC Safe & Clean already has allowed us to responsibly and safely welcome literally millions of moviegoers to enjoy seeing movies at AMC Theatres.

To put things in perspective, AMC has around one thousand movie theaters and over 10,000 screens worldwide. That being said, their support to screen Wonder Woman 1984 is crucial not only for Warner Bros. and the fans but for the movie industry as a whole. Also I am confident that other cinema operators (who are already struggling financially and have been trying to retain their employees) are observing and may decide soon to follow AMC’s move. The more movie screens for Wonder Woman 1984, the better!

In ending this piece, here are some Wonder Woman-related videos for your enjoyment. Also check out my retro reviews of the George Perez-drawn Wonder Woman comic books such as issue #1 and issue #9 (required reading as it includes Cheetah). Check out also my review of the 2017 movie as well as my feature of the No Man’s Land scene.

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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. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. 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 Prime #12 (1994)

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 Ultraverse fans and superhero comic book enthusiasts! Are you ready for another tale of Prime? What I am about to review is one of the anniversary Ultraverse issues published by Malibu Comics.

What could be new or special to justify the anniversary of the Prime monthly series? We can all find out in this look back at Prime #12, published by Malibu Comics with a story written by Len Strazweski and Gerard Jones, and drawn by the late Norm Breyfogle.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with a young guy named Kuttner who tests his deadly ability to easily cut through solid objects with his powered blades on his hands. He is driven to get revenge against Prime who broke his hand previously. Kuttner, whose career in entertainment had declined, thinks he can establish a new career for himself as a powered being and Prime is his first target.

Meanwhile at school, Kevin Green (Prime) is struggling with the stress over his parents’ separation which he is guilty of. He finds it very weird to be back in school after everything he went through such as his struggles with Colonel Samuels, the Federal Government, Break-Thru and more. After slamming his locker shut, students begin to move away from him…

Quality

Symbolically, Prime meets Norm Breyfogle.

To begin with, the writing by Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones is very solid as expected. That being said, the real heart of the story in this comic book is Kevin Green’s personal struggle with life not just with the difficulty of balancing himself between his personal life and being a superhero, but also his place in local society being tainted as a result of his acts as Prime. The way that the events of the previous issues affected (in negative ways) the local community’s perception of Kevin was very compelling and straight to the point.

The strong writing, unsurprisingly, worked very well with the character development. Kevin was presented to be struggling with making the right decisions and he struggles to analyze what would happen if he presents himself to others as Prime or as simply himself. As for the scene between Prime and Kelly’s mother, there was that touch of awkwardness (through Prime) that was present as the scene raised the disturbing idea of the two possibly getting involved sexually.

When it comes to the spectacle of action, there is little to be seen here but the good news is that Norm Breyfogle illustrated them to be energetic and eye-catching. The late illustrator really knew hot to ramp up the energy for the readers making the most out of what it is limited.

Conclusion

The tremendous strength of Prime!

Prime #12 is a pretty engaging read. Was it worth the anniversary promotion? It is indeed! If you look back at Prime #1 and read all the succeeding issues leading to this one, you will notice how much Kevin Green changed as well as how his personal growth moved. In a way, Prime #12 symbolizes the growing-up pains Kevin keeps on having.

It should be stated that being 64-pages, Prime #12 is actually one of Malibu’s flip issues. The other side of this comic book is Ultraverse Premiere #3 which contains standalone short stories of Prime, War Strike and a certain villain. This comic book also has “A Primo Farewell” which is a nice tribute (by today’s standards) to Norm Breyfogle. For the newcomers reading this, Breyfogle was one of outstanding comic book artists in America and before joining Malibu Comics, he worked for other publishers like Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Eclipse Comics and First Comics. At DC Comics, his work on their icon Batman is widely remembered. Breyfogle passed away in 2018.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prime #12 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $8.

Overall, Prime #12 (1994) is highly recommended!

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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 WildC.A.T.s: Covert Action Teams #1 (1992)

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 he became the co-publisher of DC Comics, the great Jim Lee made his debut in the comic book industry as an illustrator for Marvel Comics. Just a few short years after that, he became a fan-favorite of X-Men fans and was a major factor in the massive sales success of 1991’s X-Men #1 (Volume 2). Not only did that particular comic book established a long-lasting sales record for all comic books, Lee’s designs and visual concepts for the X-Men were adapted by the producers and creators of the fan-favorite X-Men: The Animated Series (1992-1997).

For the newcomers reading this, Jim Lee’s tenure with Marvel Comics ended in December 1991 when he, Rob Liefeld and Todd McFarlane met with the publisher and expressed that Marvel’s policies toward them were unfair and they were not rewarded well for their work. To put things in perspective, Jim Lee’s X-Men #1, Rob Liefeld’s X-Force #1 and Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man #1 were respectively million-sellers. As such, Lee, Liefeld, McFarlane plus some more creators left Marvel and went on to establish Image Comics (which involved a production and distribution deal with Malibu Comics).

In 1992, Jim Lee’s dream project – with concepts first created in 1986 – came through free from the constraints he endured from Marvel’s editorial team and strict policies. That’s dream project was WildC.A.T.s: Covert Action Teams #1, which is the feature of this retro comic book review.

But before we start the review, here’s a quick look back at the conceptual history of WildC.A.T.s as written by Jim Lee himself.

“I created my first ‘professional’ comic book submission in the summer of 1986 entitled The Wild Boys involving an espionage agency called International Operations. The co-writer of that sublime piece of work was coincidentally enough – Brandon Choi – who at the time was still in college getting a double major in history and politics,” Lee wrote in the comic book’s intro.

Now that we’re done with the history, here is a look back at WildC.A.T.s: Covert Action Teams #1, published in 1992 through Image Comics with a story co-written by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi. Lee illustrated the comic book with ink work done by Scott Williams.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in Antarctica in 1986. There, two men braved the cold weather searching for something with information they learned from IO (International Operations). Suddenly an orb rises from the snow and then an image of a lady wearing silver tights and wielding energy appears in front of them. After demanding them to let her have the orb, she and the energy field fade away.

In 1992, at the crisis control facility of IO in Virginia, IO’s executives carefully view video footage of Georgetown which was hit by an explosion. They suspect rogue C.A.T.s (covert action teams) could have been involved. Suddenly, the same energy field from six years earlier forms in their presence with the same lady appearing for a few moments. The energy field fades away.

In the present day, a dwarf named Jacob Marlowe wakes up in the middle of garbage in an alley. After getting hurt by two troublemakers, the same silver lady from the past appears and uses her energetic power to save Jacob. She introduces her to him as Void, claiming he came for him and she knows he was once a lord named Emp. She tells him the Cabal is a threat to humans on Earth…

Quality

Clearly Jim Lee took inspiration from John Woo’s action movies.

When it comes to the presentation of the story, the comic book starts in a deliberately cryptic way. It’s like having very short prologues back to back and, fortunately, it works well to capture attention while building up slowly its concept. The story really begins when Jacob Marlowe arrives at his headquarters with Void as his enduring advisor and executor. The introductions of each of the team’s members – Spartan, Warblade, Maul, Grifter, Zealot and Voodoo – were decently done and never felt rushed as Jim Lee and Brandon Choi carefully paced the storytelling and really tried to balance exposition and spectacle. That being said, similar results happened with regards to the comic book’s spotlight on the Cabal and its evil leader.

With regards to the presentation of the classic conflict between good and evil, Lee and Choi came up with the concept of planet Earth being slowly infiltrated by Daemonites (who originated in outer space) with the Cabal serving like an anchor with an organized set-up for domination. Over at the WildC.A.T.s, Marlowe formed a team to fight and stop the Cabal since the lives of the people of Earth are at stake. This is a really nice concept serving as the foundation, and the irony is that, in this comic book specifically, IO was on the sideline.

When it comes to the visuals, Jim Lee must have enjoyed the liberty he had in illustrating this comic book…free from the editorial interference from Marvel and free too from the restrictions of the Comics Code Authority (CCA). The result here is a visual presentation showing more Lee’s creativity and a style different somewhat from his final works on X-Men. He clearly took more inspiration from action movies and the violence is somewhat more mature to look at. It should be noted that Scott Williams helped Lee’s art shine.

Conclusion

These two pages remind me somewhat of the X-Men, their jet and the Danger Room.

By today’s standards, WildC.A.T.s: Covert Action Teams #1 is surprisingly still a good superhero team comic book to read. It’s not a literary classic but it proved to be compelling and fun enough to read from start to finish. It has a decent amount of action here and there which is understandable since Choi and Lee had to build up the concepts and the plot. If there were any weak spots, this comic book is almost devoid of character development and the clear lack of a lead character (which is still needed even for a superhero team comic book).

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of WildC.A.T.s: Covert Action Teams #1 (1992), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $5 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition is priced at $16. The near-mint copy of the 3D edition costs $9 while the near-mint copy of the gold cover edition is priced at $42.

Overall, WildC.A.T.s: Covert Action Teams #1 (1992) is recommended.

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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 Batman versus Predator II #4 (1995)

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.

Do you happen to have any comic books of the Batman versus Predator II crossover in your collection? According to MileHighComics.com, their near-mint copies are valuable and you can sell them to make some much-needed money in this time of pandemic, government overreach and economic hardship.

Right now, I am about to finally end my review of the Batman versus Predator II mini-series and so far, I have enjoyed it a lot. To find out if this mini-series will come to a satisfying end, here is my retro review of Batman versus Predator II #4, published in 1995 by DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics with a story written by Doug Moench and drawn by Paul Gulacy.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the bat cave with Batman and Alfred discussing what happened lately. As it turned out, there were two other Predators on the lose apparently sent to stop the first one (who killed one of the mentioned two). Batman also mentioned the deaths of Song Sung and Terraro. Now there are two hunters remaining who may not know that the man who issued their contracts is dead.

Just before leaving with the motorcycle, Batman receives a call from Commissioner Gordon through the special line. Afterwards, he leaves.

In the city, a thug on a motorcycle starts chasing Batman which catches the attention of the local police…

Quality

From the final encounter with the hunter from space.

This comic book is a satisfying conclusion to the mini-series. In terms of writing, issue #4 delivered the payoff for what was built-up in issue #3. This results the return of Batman’s trusted ally as well as some more involvement of the police force as the stakes were raised in issue #3 with the involvement of more than one Predator. The hunter Predator – the one Batman and Huntress encountered in the first two issues – was indeed present and it was very interesting to see it pursue its encounter with the two heroes even though he was being hunted by a fellow Predator.

Having more than one Predator was initially confusing but the confusion did not last too long which readers will find relieving. As expected, the Huntress joined Batman in the final encounter and served nicely as a fighting partner whose assistance proved to be valuable. If there is any weak spot in the presentation, it’s the element of the gang and human hunters who only served to add to the death toll.

As with the first three issues of this mini-series, the action here remains very intense and quite uncompromising with its violence. Expect gunshot wounds and decapitations here and there. The hard action presented, especially in the encounters with the Predator, was indeed satisfying. I should state that the final encounter inside the space ship is very thrilling.

Conclusion

The Bat signal is an attraction to the Predator.

Batman versus Predator II #4 (1995) is a pretty solid read. What was built-up previously, got paid off nicely here. With regards to raising the stakes and making this mini-series different from its predecessor, the creative team succeeded with the resolutions they came up with. In addition, Batman and the Huntress make a solid duo and their interactions together were compelling.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Batman versus Predator II #4 (1995) be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $50.

Overall, Batman versus Predator II #4 (1995) is highly recommended!

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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