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 Wonder Woman #3 (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.

Like anyone of you guys and gals reading this, I’ve been limited to staying mostly at home as a result of the community quarantine imposed by the local authorities in response to the Coronvirus disease COVID-19 that started in China and has since turned into a global pandemic. Many people lose their jobs and have no income. Varied industries have been shut down. People are struggling to follow local authorities while there are some depending on relief goods (food, water and essential supplies) released by their respective governments or by charitable organizations.

The pandemic affected the entertainment industry too. As such, the much-awaited threatrical opening of the Wonder Woman 1984 movie had to be delayed by Warner Bros. from June 2020 to August 2020.

While waiting for the big movie to come out, let’s take a nice look back at Wonder Woman #3 published by DC Comics in 1987 with a story co-written by the late Len Wein and the legendary George Perez who worked on the art (inked by Bruce D. Patterson).

Cover
The cover by George Perez.

Early story

The story begins with Wonder Woman and Hermes arriving in the City of Boston in the United States. While flying in the air, princess Diana expressed her amazement of the city finding it exquisite and yet so disturbing. Even as Hermes cautions her from judging the people of man’s world, he states that man appears to have lost his way on Earth which makes him afraid and vulnerable to the influence of Ares.

He tells Wonder Woman that he led her to man’s world so that she could end the madness Ares has been causing on the people. Together they fly off to pursue the next objective.

2
Wonder Woman and Hermes arrive in Boston.

Meanwhile at the Hanscom Air Force Base, a general arrives to check on Steve Trevor who is recovering from the incident that happened at Themyscira (in issue #2). As it turns out, Trevor is under arrest as he is wanted for questioning in relation to the shocking murder of another general. It was also stated that Trevor returned without the jet he used….

Quality

If there is anything that stood out for me personally in Wonder Woman #3, it is the wonder that comes with discovery which was greatly pulled off by Len Wein and George Perez. As Wonder Woman arrives in Boston, observes how strange the society is to her and how she adjusts to the place and people around her, I got very engaged along the way. What Wonder Woman discovers and learns, I discovered and learned as well. In some ways, her discovery of man’s world (through Boston) reminded me of what I experienced during my first arrival in San Francisco, California decades ago. It should be noted that the dialogue is very rich continuing nicely from what was started in issue #1.

9
Wonder Woman and Julia Kapatelis slowly communicating with each other. 

Like in the first two issues, there is also a nice build-up of suspense which is connected with the fusion of both fantasy elements and Greek mythology. This comic book cleverly reminds readers what is happening behind the scenes in the fantasy realm (within the story that is) just as Wonder Woman and the people in man’s world move on with their respective exploits. Such suspense is very well used on adding depth to the plot while paving the way for sub-plots.

Also worth mentioning here is the introduction of professor Julia Kapatelis and her teenage daughter Vanessa as supporting characters who will prove to be crucial to Wonder Woman’s adjustment into their society. Personally, I just love the way the creators showed that Wonder Woman does not speak English and had yet to learn the language which added some depth into her first encounter with Julia.

Conclusion

I really had a great time reading Wonder Woman #3. This is a significant comic book as it marked Wonder Woman’s first arrival in man’s world during the Post-Crisis era (after Crisis on Infinite Earths) and a true modernization of the icon as well as her literary story during the Reagan years. As many true Wonder Woman fans already know, George Perez’s leading on reintroducing Wonder Woman in the 1980s is better and more dramatic than the Golden Age Wonder Woman.

4
Steve Trevor recovering and Wonder Woman and Hermes arrive at Harvard University.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #3 (1987), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $24 while the newsstand edition’s near-mint copy is priced at $51. As for the edition that does not have the month printed on the cover, the near-mint copy is worth $77.

Overall, Wonder Woman #3 (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 #9 (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.

Very recently, Warner Bros. announced that due to the ongoing coronavirus disease COVID-19 pandemic, it has decided to reschedule the release of Wonder Woman 1984 to August 2020.

While fans, geeks and moviegoers have to wait a bit longer for the much-awaited movie, we can take time out to look back to the year 1987 when DC Comics published the comic book Wonder Woman #9 written (plot) and illustrated by the legendary George Perez with scripting done by the late Len Wein.

Remember seeing Dr. Barbara Minerva (Cheetah) played by Kristen Wiig in Wonder Woman 1984? This comic book marked the debut of the post-Crisis Cheetah whose civilian personality is Dr. Barbara Minerva (her literary debut was in Wonder Woman #7). To make history short, the original Cheetah that appeared in 1943’s Wonder Woman #6 was Priscilla Rich while the second Cheetah was Deborah Domaine (Priscilla Rich’s niece). Dr. Minerva is the third and arguably the most modernized and most popular Cheetah.

With the history talk over, here we go with Wonder Woman #9!

WW9a
The cover drawn by George Perez.

Early Story

The story begins with a ritual performed by a short, old man with a knife. He cuts the skin of a naked woman and collects some of her blood. He uses the blood to feed a plant he believes to be a god (the plant-god). Afterwards he returns to the naked woman and covers her with the cloth.

The next morning, at another location, Wonder Woman flies happily in the air. Below her were publicist Myndi Mayer, Julia (Diana’s host and personal educator) and teenager Vanessa.

It turns out, Wonder Woman, who strongly values honor, was happy to have received a letter from Dr. Barbara Minerva. Julia however is not confident and based on her research, she described Minerva as “shady as your average weeping willow.”

Myndi, who is looking for the next great scoop, dismisses Julia’s concern and remains focused on accompanying Wonder Woman to meeting Minerva.

Quality

Apart from marking the first appearance of Cheetah (no longer a lady wearing a silly costume) in the post-Crisis era of DC Comics, Wonder Woman #9 is still a very compelling and fun comic book to read. Its great quality combined with a solid concept can be attributed to George Perez.

On storytelling, Perez and Wein delivered a solid balance between spectacle, characterization, plotting and mystery. The presentation of Dr. Minerva as an accomplished yet arrogant archaeologist is a clever concept of having her involved with Wonder Woman who in turn also has a personal interest in relics and evidences of established cultures and societies (given the Amazonian society Diana came from). Minerva’s transformation and first action as Cheetah is indeed excellent to read.

WW9b
Diana/Wonder Woman and Dr. Minerva/Cheetah meet for the first time ever.

Being one of the greatest comic book illustrators ever, it is no surprise that this comic book still looks great! Even though Perez used a lot of panels per page, the amount of visual details as well as the maintenance of his art style remain high.

When it comes to the first-ever battle between Cheetah and Wonder Woman, Perez pulled no punches back with the spectacle. There is a good amount of brutal action which so enjoyable to see and I can only hope that director Patty Jenkins took inspiration from the comic’s action scenes for Wonder Woman 1984 (a conflict between the Queen of Superheroes and the animalistic villainess on the big screen is inevitable).

WW9c
Brutal action between Cheetah and Wonder Woman!

On characterization, this comic book continued to deliver the good and believable development of Wonder Woman who is still adjusting to Man’s World. To put it short, it is not exclusively focused on Cheetah and Wonder Woman (whose encounters were the highlights). You will get to see how much Diana adjusted with modern society, what she thought about how modern society’s members perceived her and how close she got with Julia and Vanessa while still keeping strong with her Amazonian values.

Going back to Cheetah, the development of Dr. Minerva changing into her animalistic form is very well handled by the creators. There are enough details that explained her physical transformation and her uncanny abilities, not to mention showing her being able to give Wonder Woman a good amount of trouble. This way of modernizing the literary Cheetah is, indeed, very compelling and definitive. By reading this comic book, you will realize why this particular version of Cheetah was chosen to be part of Wonder Woman 1984.

For the collectors reading this, if you are serious on getting an existing copy of Wonder Woman #9, be aware that, as of this writing, a near-mint copy costs $77 according to MileHighComics.com

Overall, Wonder Woman #9 (1987) is highly recommended! It’s a great collector’s item too!

In ending this, watch this first official movie trailer of Wonder Woman 1984.


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 (2017)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced by means of watching the movie and doing 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 just love watching superhero movies, especially the ones that were well crafted by the filmmakers complete with solid storytelling, sufficient spectacle as well as memorable performances by the hired talents (both behind and in front of the camera).

Of all the superhero movies made by the forces of Hollywood starting with 1978’s Superman, I can clearly say that 2017’s Wonder Woman is my favorite. Don’t get me wrong. I did not limit myself to just DC Comics superhero movies. I saw all the X-Men movies and their spinoffs, almost all the Spider-Man flicks, almost all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and even the obscure ones. Along the way, there were some great superhero flicks that became modern-day classics like Logan and Avengers: Infinity War.

Still it is the Gal Gadot-led, Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman that I loved watching the most.

Let’s start with my retro review of Wonder Woman, the one film that arguably saved the DC Comics Cinematic Universe for Warner Bros.

WWposter1
The Wonder Woman movie poster from 2017.

Early Story

The story begins sometime after the end of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice during which Diana finds a long lost photograph recovered by Bruce Wayne. Then she remembers her past in Themyscira where she grew up as the only little girl among the women called the Amazons and her mother is none other than Queen Hippolyta. Concerned that the wicked Aries is still alive, Hippolyta’s sister Antiope trains Diana (initially in secret until they were discovered) to be strong, brave and more capable than their fellow Amazon warriors.

One day, Steve Trevor arrives in Themyscira becoming the first-ever man Diana ever met. Tension rises when the Germans (from World War I Earth) arrive on their island causing the Amazons to fight in defense. A lot of people lost their lives, including someone very close to Diana.

While interrogated with the Lasso of Truth, Steve reveals who he is and what he has been doing. He states that back in his world, World War I is ravaging the world costing many people their lives. This causes Diana to stand up and stop the war somehow (she believes Aries is responsible). Queen Hippolyta disapproves of Diana’s analysis. After privately meeting with Steve, Diana then starts her move for a mission to stop the war in Man’s World.

Quality

Screenshot_20200228-213823_YouTube.jpg
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in the middle of German soldiers.

Let me start with the performances. Gal Gadot definitely IS Wonder Woman in this movie. Regardless of how many versions of Wonder Woman there are in comics, the Israeli actress truly captured the essence of Diana’s early development which includes her special place among the Amazons (note: she is the only Amazon who was born in Themyscira and grew up from infant into a mature woman), her fateful meeting with Steve Trevor, her entry into Man’s World and how she adapts with the events and people outside of Themyscira. Wonder Woman’s purity on saving the world, doing what is right and emphasizing love and compassion were all nicely translated into cinematic art by Gal Gadot. From doing the action scenes to saving people, speaking her mind among her fellow Amazons and interacting with others as she adapts with Man’s World, I really love Gadot’s work on bringing Wonder Woman to life. As her cinematic work is great, there is no doubt that Gadot will always be iconic to fans of the Queen of Superheroes and superhero enthusiasts in general in the decades to come right beside Lynda Carter (who played the icon on TV), Christopher Reeve (Superman), Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man) and Chris Evans (Captain America). Meanwhile, the portrayals of Diana as an 8-year-old girl as well as a 12-year-old were perfectly done by Lilly Aspell (who is truly skilled with horse riding) and Emily Carey.

QueenDaughter
Lilly Aspell as young Diana with Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta.

Chris Pine is excellent as Steve Trevor who is portrayed to be very dedicated to his work, brave in what he does and still shows compassion instead of arrogance towards others. He also has great chemistry with Gal Gadot and, like in the comic books, their relationship is nicely translated on the big screen. Pine’s performance here is, in my view, the best superhero movie supporting role to date.

Screenshot_20200228-213746_YouTube.jpg
Chris Pine as Steve Trevor with Gal Gadot as Diana in disguise.

Connie Nielsen meanwhile is great in playing Queen Hippolyta and all throughout, there is always a sense of leadership complete with a touch of motherly love just like in the comic books. Her sister Antiope was nicely portrayed by Robin Wright as the one Amazon who taught Diana to be brave, strong and highly capable as an Amazon warrior.

Danny Huston, who played the lead villain in the 2009 movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine, played yet another military bad guy here but this time he’s a World War I German officer. He’s a villain with a purpose who not only fights for the glory of Germany but also strongly believes that war is natural and inevitable for humanity. In some ways, Huston’s Ludendorff reminds me Michael Shannon’s General Zod in Man of Steel.

Antiope
Robin Wright is excellent as Antiope.

When it comes to presentation, this film is Patty Jenkins’ 2nd movie as director (her debut was way back in 2003) and the great turnout of Wonder Woman as a high quality movie (as opposed to being a critical and commercial success) only proved yet again that the old saying in Hollywood – The director’s second movie is his/her best movie – is true. Jenkins, who also worked on television, not only prepared a lot to make this movie but also researched Wonder Woman, developed ways to get the most out of the cast members, tweak the written story of the film (by Allan Heinberg, Zach Snyder and Jason Fuchs) and, most notably, she led the production with a lot of passion. To put it short, Wonder Woman is a labor of love (and the No Man’s Land scene is iconic) that not only resonated with fans of the Queen of Superheroes but also with the film critics and moviegoers.

Regarding storytelling, I noticed that a key story from Wonder Woman’s origin in the comics (the contest of the Amazons) did not happen at all in the film. While there were die-hard fans of the icon who complained about it, I felt that the contest of the Amazons would have made this movie more complicated and surely would have lessened the impact of World War I as a key story element. Since the purpose of this movie was to emphasize Diana’s origin and her entry into Man’s World with a major mission, I believe that the contest of the Amazons can be made cinematically later in a future movie.

The way the story was told cinematically, it also captured Diana’s reactions to the events that happened around her. The scene in which she saw the village destroyed showed how death and destruction compelled Wonder Woman to accomplish her mission even though others find ending the war impossible. Along the way, the actors – specifically Gal Gadot – really added life into the narrative with their strong performances.

When it comes to on-screen humor, which is popular among moviegoers and is almost a requirement for most new superhero movies that come out, having it done by supporting players Lucy Davis and Saïd Taghmaoui was a clever move since it allows Gal Gadot to portray Wonder Woman without any performance disruption. Considering her short screen time, Davis as Etta Candy is really funny. The amount of humor in this film, in my view, was just right and never annoying.

Spectacle? Wonder Woman is loaded with action, stunts and exciting stuff! The action involving Wonder Woman was brutal and satisfying to watch, and Patty Jenkins’ use of slow motion on key moments was great (even comparable to John Woo’s past work) and at the same time not too excessive. The Themyscira battle between the Germans and the Amazons at the beach was engaging and strategically filmed. Also, it was fitting that the action ramped up nicely starting with the iconic No Man’s Land sequence. The final battle in the film, unsurprisingly, had lots of computer-generated images (CGI) which is understandable considering the fantasy element of Wonder Woman.

More on the action, I love the way Patty Jenkins had Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen and Chris Pine perform the action themselves which all made their characters even more believable. Of course, there were certain moments in which stunt doubles were used to do the more dangerous moments on behalf of the actors.

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This happened just before the iconic No Man’s Land scene.

Apart from the core cast, a lot of the actresses playing the Amazons trained for several months not just to look the part but also to perform action sequences using weapons with actual skill. The stunt coordinators and specialists hired by the filmmakers deserve praise for contributing nicely on making the cinematic Amazons highly believable. This alone not only makes Wonder Woman stand out nicely among all Hollywood superhero movies but also reflects nicely what was portrayed in the comic books.

The production design is also top-notch. I love the scenic locations of Italy used for scenes set in Themyscira. The filmmakers also did a great job recapturing the look of World War I Europe from the historical pictures to the big screen. The costume designs were fantastic, and the standout designs were, unsurprisingly, the costumes of the Amazons which really made their fantasy culture look believable. The filmmakers decided to have much more colorful visuals instead of following the look of Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.

On the music, the work by Rupert Gregson-Williams was great. His rendition of the Wonder Woman theme was very lively to listen to. The same can be said about the music he provided in the memorable No Man’s Land scene which had a nice build-up as Wonder Woman made her first full appearance in costume on the field. Other tunes played in the film suited the scenes well.

If there were any weak spots in this movie, it would be certain shots of action that were not filmed with precision. I’m talking about filming action scenes way too close to the camera combined with music video-style editing that’s supposed to make film look flashy. It’s not only disorienting, it also took me out of the movie.

Conclusion

Overall, Wonder Woman is one of the best-ever superhero movies ever made and easily my favorite of them all. It has an excellent balance between storytelling, character development and spectacle, and Gal Gadot gave the performance of a lifetime not only by bringing Wonder Woman into life in cinematic form but also emphasizing what the Queen of Superheroes stood for. As part of the current DC Comics Cinematic Universe, this movie stood out by having optimism and heroism as core themes (as opposed to the dark, gritty and even cynical approach of Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad) and, more importantly, by focusing strongly on Wonder Woman instead of building up for the Justice League movie (which was released months after this one).

Apart from high-quality production values and a strong creative approach, the cast and cinematic performances are easily among the best in the superhero movie genre. Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor is an excellent example of a supporting role that is engaging without ever overshadowing the lead role. By the end of the film, you will realize the impact that Queen Hippolyta and Antiope had on Diana’s personal development.

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Connie Nielsen made a great queen and mother in this movie.

Being strongly focused on heroism with optimism, director Patty Jenkins and her crew succeeded in making this film without ever succumbing to the extreme views of the Political Left in Hollywood and the loudmouth social feminists. When I see the battle between the Amazons and the German soldiers on the beach of Themyscira happen, I simply saw armed women defending their homeland not from men who intend to rape them but rather men who had no right to intrude in the first place. Even as there were scenes showing men in power in World War I Europe (putting Diana in a powerless position), there still was no feminist-inspired hatred towards men. Also the bond between Steve and Diana developing from friendship into a romantic relationship literally shut the door on extreme feminism.

As a Wonder Woman-focused story, this film succeeded on emphasizing the Queen of Superheroes to both long-time fans and mainstream moviegoers. This movie also had a nice mix of having a fantasy setting with Themyscira moving on to a historic setting with World War I Europe. On the origins of Wonder Woman herself, I don’t mind at all that the contest of Amazons was not told because this movie’s concept is already great to begin with and its running time of 141 minutes was just right.

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Gal Gadot will be remembered for a very long time for her excellent portray of Wonder Woman in cinema.

With all the greatness it was made with, I kept coming back to Wonder Woman when replaying superhero movies here at the comfort of home. In the cinemas back in 2017, I saw the film three times. Ultimately, I can say out loud that Wonder Woman is highly recommended and it is truly essential!


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

If you are looking forward to Wonder Woman 1984, check out my preview and opinion about the first movie trailer.

What’s The Best Darna Costume Design for Jane De Leon?

It has been several months since ABS-CBN formally announced it hired actress Jane de Leon as the new cinematic Darna for their ongoing movie project. Since that time, there has not been much details about the Darna movie. To put things in perspective here, De Leon came in as a replacement for Liza Soberano.

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A Darna figure I photographed on the left, Jane de Leon on the right. (Jane de Leon picture from Belomed.com)

Apart from the news that De Leon met with TV Darna star Marian Rivera (who works for a rival TV network), took physical training consistently, confirmed filming will happen this year and responded to those who bashed her for just being a pretty face who cannot act, the filmmakers have so far kept details of the Darna movie secret.

Are they revising the script to accommodate De Leon’s talent? Are they rendering the visual effects with computers ahead of time? Is the production team having trouble scheduling filming with the many actors they hired? Are the filmmakers consulting with local comic book artists and writers to find ways to make the Darna movie fun and engaging?

So far, nothing could be confirmed. And this leads me to the next point – what will be the best Darna costume design for Jane de Leon?

In this ABS-CBN news video posted on November 27, 2019, De Leon confirmed that she has been working out for the role, read the script and stated the costume was being arranged. No details about the design of the costume were revealed.

For starters, it is easy to imagine De Leon wear the traditional Darna costume which has always been a two-piece swimsuit with a head dress (in recent times, a helmet), superhero boots, arm braces and a frontal cloth. Check out the photo I took of a Darna statuette during the 2019 Toycon below.

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I took this during last year’s Toycon.

If the filmmakers prefer to show the cinematic Darna with a new look of much less skin exposed while still maintaining the feminine figure, the lady’s armor design could be a useful alternative. Take a look at the armor of Faora in Man of Steel.

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The armored Faora in Man of Steel. (photo sourced from IMDB.com)

An armored Darna just might work in modernizing the look of the Philippine superhero icon with the 21st century in mind. While it can cover a lot of De Leon’s skin, it could use a little less metallic parts (compared to Faora’s armor in Man of Steel) to show more of the actress’ figure. Having the armor painted red with some parts in gold can help maintain the Darna look.

As of this writing, we don’t know yet what the filmmakers have in mind with the Darna costume for Jane de Leon. But once new updates about the costume and the film itself have been released, I’ll share and discuss them right here.

For the meantime, visit the Darna (2020) movie page right here.

For those of you who read this, what do you think is the best Darna costume design for Jane de Leon? How should it look? Feel free to post your answers with the comment tool below.


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