Thursday, June 14, 2012
Comic Reviews: Wonder Woman: Blood & 28 Days Later: London Calling
Wonder Woman Volume 1
Wonder Woman is one of those characters I really, really want to like. I mean, I loved the show when I was a kid, and Lynda Carter was one of my childhood crushes. And I love powerful women who don’t take guff. What could be better than an Amazon warrior who is strong and brave enough to be one of the three titans of the DC Universe, along with Batman and Superman. So, why isn’t she a character I like? Well, it all goes back to writing. In the old comics, she got tied up in her own rope more often than anything else, ending up at the mercy of her enemies and needing to be rescued by her non-super boyfriend. In cartoons she usually doesn’t have much personality, taking a back seat to Batman and Superman, and often every other hero to show up. The TV show? Well, it doesn’t live up to my childhood memories. And costume change after costume change, she just never seems to embody the right balance of woman and warrior. So, when they re-launched the various DC lines with The New 52, put Brian Azzarello on Wonder Woman, and the early reviews were glowing, I was pretty jazzed. Perhaps they would finally make Wonder Woman the character I know she can be.
Alas, no. Getting past Cliff Chiang’s artwork, which I’m just gonna come right out and say is ugly as sin, the characters all feel like they stepped out of an episode of Xena if it were written by Neil Gaiman. Everything feels subtly wrong, nothing rings especially true, and when you get right down to it, Wonder Woman has no personality. As with so many female characters (and none too few male ones), she seems to spend all her time reacting, not acting.
Perhaps I’m being too harsh on this. I don’t know. But I could not get into the book at any point. I didn’t care what was happening or who it was happening to. Strife and Hermes literally look like they stepped out of the pages of Sandman (and I know, that comic is beloved, but I do not like it at all). I genuinely believe this could be a great comic character. However, once again, I’m disappointed by mediocrity of the handling. I know Azzarello can write, but he missed the mark on this one.
Wonder Woman Volume 1: Blood
Author: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Cliff Chiang & Tony Akins
Publisher: DC Comics
28 Days Later Volume 1
28 Days Later was a movie I enjoyed the heck out of. Cool apocalyptic adventure in an interesting setting (the UK) with some pretty good characters. There was a lot of potential for further stories, but when 28 Weeks Later came out, they totally blew it. Just a bad film, with bad characters. So, I was never all that excited about Boom!’s tie-in comic series, especially considering how rare it is for a media based comic to be good.
Color me shocked when I sat down and immediately got right into this volume. The art pretty rough, but totally fit’s the mood. The writing isn’t bad, though there are several kind of stupid characters. But, like Kirkman on The Walking Dead, Michael Alan Nelson isn’t shy about killing and maiming characters, and very, very few make it out of this volume.
I enjoyed it a heck of a lot more than the sequel film, and think that perhaps this is a better place for the story to continue. I’ll be looking for volume 2 at my local comic shop in the next week or two, I recon. If you’re a fan of the first film, and enjoy grim appocolyptic stories, or maybe just want something else in the spirit of The Walking Dead, check this one out. I’ll tell you, Boom! doesn’t always hit the mark, but they sure make the attempt. And once in a while they do real good.
28 Days Later Volume 1: London Calling
Author Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Declan Shalvey
Publisher: Boom! Studios