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  1. #301

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    Quote Originally Posted by An Ear In The Fireplace View Post
    I think somewhere along the line, a few people realized this was their chance to play office politics. I wouldn't be too quick to condemn Alan Gold, either. I suspect like most of the other DC editors he was being lied to, as well.
    I suspect you are probably right. I'm still working my way through the last lettercolumns, but one thing I meant to say in my last post about this is that it's possible that Mindy Newell may be mis-remembering some details regarding her taking over the title. After all, this was almost 30 years ago.

    It is kind of striking to me that in #328, there is a blurb at the end of the story saying that the next issue is the final issue of the series, but there's nothing whatsoever in the letter column. It kind of makes it seem like a bit of a surprise, you know? And in #329, when Gold does address the fact that it's the final issue, he takes pains to assure readers they have a great new relaunch being planned -- only the relaunch he talks about isn't by George Perez, it's by writer Greg Potter.

    So it's very possible or even likely that Gold himself was being kept in the dark at least to a degree, and also possible that Newell is mixing up some details 30 years after the fact about a situation she was very clearly unhappy with.

    Still, whether it was Gold himself or someone higher up, the way Crisis was handled in this particular series is pretty shoddy, and I gather form my still limited reading of other DC titles form the time that it was just about as badly handled everywhere else as well. A big damn mess for everyone involved.
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  2. #302
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    I have a vague memory of Perez saying that Wonder Woman's fate was very up in the air until the last minute so maybe it was just a late change of mind at DC as to what they were going to do, didn't Roy Thomas also have to change a lot of his plans - the cancelation of All Star Squadron was a late decision I think?

    I also remember a piece that I think Perez wrote for a Wonder Woman issue or a foreward to one of the TPB's saying that Potter had been assigned to the title before he was and he only initially agreed to do a short run to get the title going again.

    It's also possible DC were keeping things quiet until they had it sorted out as don't they have an agreement with the Marston Estate to keep the character in publication - wasn't that why they released the Busiek/Robbins mini series?

  3. #303

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    Now that I have had a chance to read the last three issues of the series as well as the lettercolumns, I have to say that I think I may have been too hard on Alan Gold. Going just by the lettercolumn in #325 and Mindy Newell's interview, it's hard to come to any conclusion other than that Gold and DC editorial was flat out lying to the readers. However, after reading the last couple issues and Gold's comments in the lettercolumn, I suspect that Newell may be mis-remembering some details. I'm starting to believe it is more likely that Gold was in the dark, possibly because he was being strung along by upper management but more likely because they had no clue what the hell they were doing.

    I will get into this more when I do the reviews for the last four issues, but there's definite anecdotal evidence to support this in #328. The story is very, very odd from a structural standpoint, which combined with the fact that Gold makes no mention at all in the lettercolumn of the series ending makes me think the story was changed at the last minute to set up the final issue. I'm just guessing, but I suspect this may also have been part of why Newell quit the book and was replaced by Conway, though she made no mention of this in her interview. But #328 just reads like they took the planned story and hacked it apart to fit in the Crisis tie-in.

    The real evidence for me that Gold was in the dark, though, is the note in #329 that I mentioned earlier where he hypes the upcoming relaunch by Greg Potter. We already know from the letter in #325 at this point that fans are clamoring for Perez and that perez is an acknowledged superstar. So if the Perez relaunch really were already in the planning stages as Newell remembers, why would Gold not be hyping it? Announcing a Perez relaunch would undoubtedly build up more excitement than announcing a Greg Potter relaunch. And since they are announcing it at all, it's clear that secrecy about their upcoming plans wasn't a factor. It just doesn't make sense to me that Gold wouldn't mention Perez at this point if that were at all in the cards.

    So I think I may have inadvertently given Gold the shaft based on the interviews I read yesterday. I suspect he was being strung along by an upper management that hadn't really made up their own minds about the direction they were taking post-Crisis. As for the other stuff Newell said in her interview about working with Alan Gold, I'll let that speak for itself. It's definitely an interview worth reading, one way or the other.
    Last edited by Scott Harris; 11-21-2012 at 07:48 AM.
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  4. #304

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    Yeah, when I read that interview with Newell a while back, some things didn't sound right. I think she could have been misremembering. Which isn't unusual, since just about every interview you read with some pro about the old days will contradict another's memory of the same history. Talk to ten people about the same experience and you will get ten different stories.

  5. #305

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    Wonder Woman #326
    Mindy Newell and Don Heck



    Synopsis: Tropidor! Lovely, scenic Tropidor. Two journalists are covering the civil war there when they run into a couple newcomers claiming to work for National Geographic: Keith Griggs and his new partner, Lauren Whatsername. Meanwhile, back in Washington, Diana is having breakfast when Etta storms in, pitches a royal fit, throws her hairbrush and storms out in a rage. Diana thinks, "something is not kosher in this kitchen." Very true.

    Back in Tropidor, Keith and Lauren leave to go find their contact, Montez. When they leave the bar, the journalists see the bartender make a hasty call; thinking something is up, the scruffier one of the pair decides to tail Keith. On Paradise Island, Antiope continues her scheme to dethrone Hippolyta. In Washington, Diana gets to the Pentagon and finds a top secret case file on her desk. She also is being watched by someone on a TV screen -- someone who knows Diana is Wonder Woman. Hmm.

    Tropidor! Keith and Lauren are attacked by gunmen, but they escape. In Washington, Lisa Abernathy meets up with Congressman Dbag and breaks up with him. Also, Diana reads the file, finds out about the Tropidor mission and heads off to our southern neighbors to extend some hospitality.

    Tropidor! Keith, Lauren and the journalist who was tailing them all end up getting captured and brought to an ancient pyramid. Hmm, sound familiar? They get taken inside, where Montez appears in a puff of magic light. Odd. While this is happening, Wonder Woman shows up in Tropidor and finds the other journalist, who explains what happened. Then Diana is attacked by more gunmen, whom she quickly thrashes. She uses her lasso to find where Montez is headquartered.

    But is it too late? Because, you see, Montez is actually... Tezcatlipoca! The mad jaguar god! And Keith and Lauren and random guy are doooooomed! noooooooooooo! To be continued!

    Notes: The transition to Newell is a little rough, I have to say, though it smooths out a bit as the issue goes along. But the first two sequences are a few pages of some random journalists who we've never seen before, followed by Etta Candy throwing a totally out of character snit fit. I was expecting there to be some mystical explanation for Etta's behavior, but it turned out she was just stressed because she had decided to go behind Darnell's back and give Diana the files on the Tropidor mission so Diana could help. No need to throw your hairbrush over that, chunky.

    Otherwise, though, the issue moves along. We get a little setup for future issues, both with Lisa Abernathy and her congressman guy -- which honestly, that little subplot has been sludging along for a long time now and I'm still not sure what the point of it is -- and with the introduction of this mystery woman who knows Diana is Wonder Woman. Will either of these subplots be resolved before the series ends in three issues? Here's a hint: no.

    We do get a couple glimpses of what Newll would like to do with the character. In her interview, she talked about wanting to write a powerful, butt kicking, more "butch" Wonder Woman. And she does employ a little militant feminism when she totally trashes the gunmen in Tropidor. I have to say, though, based on her interview and her conception of Wonder Woman, I'm not sure why they brought her onto the book exactly, as it doesn't really seem in step with what editorial was doing with the character. It's no wonder the union didn't work out at all.

    Someone named Paris drew the cover and frankly, I hate it. The cartoony Wonder Woman and the weird angle with the little army men, none of it works for me. Blah.

    In the lettercolumn, Alan gives more hints about what Mindy Newell is supposedly planning in future issues. This includes a spotlight feature on Steve -- which is a little ironic considering that in her interview, Newell goes off at length about how useless Steve is -- and long range plans to focus more on Diana's Pentagon job, with more espionage type missions. Again, there's some kind of major contradiction here; Newell remembers being hired just to finish off the series, while Gold makes it sound as though she is indeed a long term regular writer. She also remembers Gold forcing her to write his plots, while he describes a number of ideas Newell is supposedly developing. Something is being lost in translation here.

    Someone again writes in about the supposed Huntress mini-series they have been hyping for months, and Gold says it has been changed to a one-shot special, but he will have more details on her solo book next issue. Of course, by then I think it had been decided to destroy Earth-2 and Huntress with it, so... that counts as news I guess. It also is more circumstantial evidence suggesting the upper level of editorial had not yet figured out wtf they were doing with Crisis at this point.

    My Grade: B-. Things move along, but it's a bit of a jerky start. I am interested to see what happens in Tropidor, though, as this storyline has been building for awhile now.
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  6. #306

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    Wonder Woman #327
    Mindy Newell and Don Heck



    Synopsis: Tezcatlipoca is going to sacrifice Lauren! The journalist pulls out a gun to shoot Tezcatlipoca and keith is like, that is not going to work, moron. So they struggle over the gun and it goes off, hitting Lauren. Tezcatlipoca thinks this is a total riot. He then whips up a weird magical storm that whisks everyone off to... somewhere...

    Meanwhile, Diana is flying her jet to come save them all, when Crisis suddenly hits, turning the sky red and creating a huge red Crisis-storm that starts tossing her plane around like a rag doll. Back in Washington, Etta Candy broods about what's happening with her job; her boyfriend Howard comforts her, but he fills like a creep because that "comfort" is actually a ploy to keep her out of the office while his boss, Senator D-Bag, confronts Darnell. Yeah, Howard, that is a major creep move, you tool. The senator then tells Darnell that he knows about Tropidor and he's opening an investigation. Across town, Lisa Abernathy's boss demands she spill the beans on what she knows about the congressman and Darnell, because he also knows about Tropidor and is going to run a report on it. Plus: He's got pictures of Diana down there that the journalist from last issue took of her, and so everyone thinks she is officially working for the government in helping to overthrow the Tropidor ruling junta. Oy vey.

    Also: On Paradise Island, Anitope continues to plot Hippolyta's downfall.

    Meanwhile: The Crisis storm abates and Wonder Woman finds herself cast back in time. Aztecs... or whoever... bring her to the pyramid, where Tezcatlipoca is about to sacrifice Keith on an altar. Diana tries to stop him.. and can't. Keith dies. Then, time reverts and the same thing happens again. And Again. Finally, Diana realizes she is in a time loop (actually, Keith does too but he's tied to an altar and can't do anything about it) and she calls on Aphrodite to help her. Instead of trying to stop Tezcatlipoca from killing Keith, she just stands there. This enrages Tezcatlipoca; she's going off script! He gets so pissed he loses control and essentially blows himself up in a fit of madness. He also makes some cryptic comments about Crisis.

    With Tezcatlipoca gone, time reverses. Diana piles them all in her plane and they fly back to the present, where the sky is still red from Crisis. She has a bad feeling about this. Yeah, me too.

    Notes: An interesting issue in some ways. Crisis appears, in the form of a random red storm that tosses Diana around but otherwise does nothing. That's enough to slap the Crisis banner on the logo though, which seems unusually ironic sitting next to the special 50th anniversary DC logo.

    The Tezcatlipoca storyline that Newell was so unhappy about writing comes to an end in just two issues. It's not a great ending, either; the time loop stuff was kind of interesting, but the conclusion was a bit confusing and not very satisfying, as Tezcatlipoca basically just imploded for no reason. I'm not real interested in all this Aztec/Mayan/whatever stuff, but I do find Tezcatlipoca himself to be itneresting so I wonder if there might not have been some way to make him more relevant. With his society basically long forgotten and non-existent, it would be kind of interesting if he were brought into a more modern Mexican setting or something as a south of the border Loki; they would have to temper his madness slightly in favor of his scheming, but it might be interesting to see Tezcatlipoca as a god without portfolio.

    Keith Griggs is in this issue, but again, there's no resolution to his relationship with Diana. There is a lot of time spent with other plotlines, though; the congressional hearing stuff about Darnell and Tropidor is shaping up to be a major storyline, especially now that Wonder Woman is going to be directly implicated. That I find to be a plotline with a lot of potential. I will write a lot more about it when I get to next issue, but getting Wonder Woman caught up in congressional hearings about interceding in American covert affairs to undermine other governments -- even though her involvement was kind of accidental -- could be a very damaging thing to her mission to promote peace, harmony and the Amazon way. She has kind of gotten away from actively purusing that mission, so this could be a real conflict for her. If it happened. Which obviously, with Crisis about to end the book, it didn't. But more on this next issue.

    No mention at all in the lettercolumn about plans for the series to end. Someone does write in to ask why Don Heck never drew any covers for the series; Gold says he just never asked Don, though he doesn't say why. The answer is obvious though. Speaking of covers, this issue has a really good cover from Eduardo Barreto. I really dig this cover a lot. Excellent.

    My Grade: B-. As with a lot of the post-Thomas Wonder woman, there's some very interesting subplotting, while the main story ends up falling a bit flat. But with Crisis about to ruin all those subplots, it feels a little pointless, through no fault of Newell's.
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  7. #307
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Harris View Post
    No mention at all in the lettercolumn about plans for the series to end.

    Perhaps it wasn't decided yet? There's certainly evidence to suggest DC was making some of these decisions up as they went (and taking their time to do so -- did any of the Post-Crisis reboots start less than a year after the actual Crisis concluded?). Batman was certainly an example of this. I've argued in my reviews thread that Moench was writing at the time as if #392 would be a soft Post-Crisis reboot, seemingly unaware that O'Neil and Miller would ultimately step in a year later to kick him off and start anew.

    It's been my understanding that the Wonder Woman reboot was particularly problematic. I believe I read that there were major delays in lining up a creative team and approach (even before Potter walked off the project).
    Last edited by shaxper; 11-21-2012 at 10:15 AM.

  8. #308

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    Wonder Woman #328
    Mindy Newell, Don Heck and Pablo Marcos



    Preamble: This might be the strangest and most interesting issue in the whole series for reasons that have only a little to do with the actual contents. I'm going to try to carefully detail the plot developments in this issue because it's important in order to deconstruct the story -- and reconstruct what I think was actually intended for this truly weird comic. In fact, I am going to break it down by page, for reasons that will become clear when I get to the notes section.

    Synopsis

    Pages 1-3: Steve shows up for a meeting at the Pentagon. Etta, Lauren and Keith are there already and Keith explains what happened in Tropidor after the end of last issue. Fiding widespread death and chaos in the capital city, Keith was contacted by a witch who led him to the body of the real Montez, who had had his soul devoured by Tezcatlipoca. Is that the end of the uprising in Tropidor?

    Pages 4-5: We cut from this to General Darnell, who is doing his morning ablutions before the big Pentagon meeting. He goes into a flashback about how he enlisted in the air force after hearing about the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

    Pages 6-7: Back on Paradise Island, Antiope has called into session the Amazon congress. Hippolyta arrives and is shocked when Antiope and the others call for her to step down.

    Pages 8-9: Just as Hippolyta challenges Antiope to combat, the goddess Demeter appears before them. She says that Olympus itself is under attack from a swarm of Crisis shadow beasts. She magically arms and clothes all the amazons in armor and whisks them away to Olympus, where they immediately put aside their squabbles and join the defense.

    Pages 10-11: General Darnell is still lost in memory. he thinks about his time during World War II, flying as a pilot in China. There he met a beautiful woman whom he fell in love with. But something went wrong, though he doesn't say what.

    Pages 12-14: Diana shows up at the Pentagon for the big meeting, but no sooner does she get there than Hermes appears in a puff of smoke. He tells Diana to cast off her disguise, for Zeus himself commands her presence in Olympus. She turns into Wonder Woman, shocking Steve, Keith and Etta. Just then, a bunch of Weaponers of Quard, the Anti-Monitor's shock troops, appear and attack. Hermes and Diana defeat them, then fly off to Olympus, leaving the others behind to wonder wtf is happening. In Olympus, the shadows form one giant shadow beast; just before it is about to kill Hippolyta, Antiope sacrifices herself to save the queen.

    Pages 15-17: Darnell shows up for his meeting, except it isn't at the Pentagon at all, it's at the office of Congressman Dbag. Dbag puts his cards on the table and says they are going to destroy Darnell. Darnell says he's going to take the fall for everybody, but that's not good enough for Dbag's partner... Delilah, the woman Darnell met in China during World War II. We get in flashback the story of how Darnell's squadron destroyed her father and all their possessions (apparently because he was working with the Japanese) and how she has secretly built up an underground empire over the past 40 years and will now get her revenge. It should be noted, by the way, that Delilah is the same woman who was watching Diana in #326 and knows she is Wonder Woman, which is a big part of their plan to link Wonder Woman's activities to Darnell and the Pentagon, since she is a known agent of his.

    Pages 18-20: Diana arrives on Olympus and destroys the shadow beast. But Paradise Island is in ruins, Olympus is half destroyed and Hippolyta despairs. The end is here.

    Pages 21-22: Delilah says she is going to destroy everything Darnell has worked for, but he says her plan isn't going to work and he heads to the Pentagon. There, Steve, Keith, Etta and Lauren are listening to a tape he left behind where he explains how he is going to cover their asses by falling on his sword and taking all the blame. He says Steve will have to take over the office now.

    Page 23: The gods watch as Hippolyta despairs and Zeus says that without the help of the amazons, all hope is lost for everyone. To be continued!

    Notes: Okay, whew. I'm not sure where to even begin with this, but let's go to an unlikely place, the lettercolumn. It's notable because Gold makes no mention at all in it of the fact that the series has been canceled and next issue is the final issue. However, this does appear in a blurb at the bottom of the last page. Given how much Gold has talked about future plans and stuff before, like the series going to bi-monthly, it seems very odd that he would not mention this.

    So here's my theory, which I will try to back up with circumstantial evidence from the story: I think the decision to cancel Wonder Woman and end the series was made after most of the issue was already completed. I think they had to scramble at the last minute to piece together the story we see here and that because of this, Gold didn't have time to change the lettercolumn or make any comments about the cancellation. I think it was a last minute thing across the board.

    My main reason for thinking this is how utterly inexplicable this issue is otherwise. 12 and half of the pages in this story, or more than half of it, focus on General Darnell. This is a character who has been around since #272 and has received exactly no character development or solo time at all over all those years. It makes no sense in any way for the next to last issue of the series to suddenly devote half of its pages to an in-depth look at his backstory, motivations, history and subplots. Especially when you consider the fact that Darnell and this entire plotline are literally never going to appear again. This is it. The end.

    Then take a look at the page count and the credits. You'll note that I listed two artists. Don Heck, as it happens, drew pages 1-7 and 18-20. Pablo Marcos, meanwhile, drew pages 7-17 and 21-23. Now, the first seven pages of this story don't have anything to do with Crisis other than a bad rainstorm in the first panel. Instead, it's all about Tropidor, and then about Hippolyta facing the amazon congress. The first Crisis stuff, and massive change in direction, takes place right at the begging of oage 8, the first by Marcos.

    This is pure speculation on my part, but I would swear on a stack of Action #1's that the art was done for this issue -- or at least the first seven pages were done -- when they were told they had to end the series and set up the finale. I think the first seven pages are more or less what was planned, and then the rest of the issue is a mish-mash incorporating the previously planned plot about Darnell and Tropidor into this sudden Crisis-shadows-attack business.

    Honestly, there's just no other explanation for all this backstory conflict between Darnell and Delilah when, again, neither of these characters ever appears again. The setup where Delilah knows Diana is Wonder Woman? Gone. All the setup -- months and months and months of setup -- over Tropidor and the congressional hearings (which, you'll note, were cleverly being contrasted to congressional maneuverings on Paradise Island at the same time)? Gone. Whatever the hell happened between Keith and Diana and that entire subplot? Gone. In fact, I cuold be wrong, but I don't think Griggs even appears in the last issue.

    So if you're literally never going to show any of these characters again and this is the swan song for Wonder Woman after more than 30 years of publication, are you really going to devote half of the issue to the backstory of a supporting character and a subplot that will never be completed? No way, man. I am convinced this was a last minute switch and that they had to bring in Marcos to help re-draw some of the pages because of the massive time crunch. I'm here to tell you that a lot the pages by "Pablo Marcos" look suspiciously like Heck pencils to me; I bet he only redrew the Amazon/fight stuff and left all the Darnell stuff just as Heck had originally done.

    It's really a fascinatingly bizarre issue. It's also the last issue by Newell, and while she makes no mention of this being the cause of her departure, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if this kind of wholesale monkeying with her plots is what caused her to really lose her cool with Gold.

    More coming, post was too long for the boards...
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  9. #309

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    I also wanted to say that it's a bit disappointing that we never got to see where they were actually going with the big Tropidor plotline and the Hippolyta being overthrown subplot. The Tropidor thing has been percolating for over a dozen issues, but it's clear that the actual trip to Tropidor last issue wasn't the end but only the beginning of a bigger plot involving a congressional hearing, Darnell's disgrace, Delilah's revenge on Darnell and the undermining of Wonder Woman and Diana Prince. What's really fascinating for me about this is how amazingly timely this storyline would have been had it actually been done. One of Congressman Dbag's big things in this issue is that he knows Darnell has been secretly supplying weapons to the Tropidor rebels. This issue came out on August 29, 1985. It wasn't until one year later, in November of 1986, that the Iran-Contra affair was revealed. For those who don't know, this was a major scandal where a covert military group -- not at all unlike the one being run by Darnell -- began illegally selling weapons to Iran and sending the money to Nicaraguan rebels to fund their insurgency. In other words, except for the Iran part, it was basically the exact same scheme Darnell was trying to pull off in this plotline. Talk about your amazingly timely story ideas; this could have really been a big deal had this story still been coming out when Iran-Contra broke and given that Wonder Woman was bi-monthly at the time, it's very possible that would have been the case.

    Instead, this issue, as big of a frankenstory as it was, marks the end of the road for Darnell and company, though a couple of them make a brief cameo next issue. Among the subplots never completed: Tropidor, Delilah knowing Wonder Woman's secret identity, Etta's boyfriend secretly undermining her to support his boss, Keith and Diana's amazing one night stand or whatever the hell happened, who exactly Lauren is and why she was added to the cast, what Antiope and company were going to do once they took over Paradise Island from Hippolyta and for that matter what Hippolyta was going to do, Diana's relationship to Atalanta and the breakaway Amazons (who do appear next issue in a new role). And Etta Candy's mysterious Earth-2 French fiance, of course.

    What a truly bizarre but fascinating comic.

    My Grade: How am I supposed to grade this? Incomplete.
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  10. #310

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Perhaps it wasn't decided yet? There's certainly evidence to suggest DC was making some of these decisions up as they went (and taking their time to do so -- did any of the Post-Crisis reboots start less than a year after the actual Crisis concluded?). Batman was certainly an example of this. I've argued in my reviews thread that Moench was writing at the time as if #392 would be a soft Post-Crisis reboot, seemingly unaware that O'Neil and Miller would ultimately step in a year later to kick him off and start anew.

    It's been my understanding that the Wonder Woman reboot was particularly problematic. I believe I read that there were major delays in lining up a creative team and approach (even before Potter walked off the project).
    Oh, After reading the mess that is #328, I am sure it wasn't decided yet. It's just astonishing to me that with only two issues left in the series they still haven't figured out what the heck they are doing. Talk about your last minute decisions. DC's handling of Wonder Woman in Crisis is just an absolutely epic level clusterfudgsicle of gigantic proportions.

    And Crisis in general, to be honest. It's like they didn't realize until they actually read the issues when they came out that the entire universe was being destroyed. "Hey, did you guys read Crisis #9? The universe just got destroyed! I guess we have to cancel everything and start a new universe or something?"

    I mean, you would think there would be some kind of actual planning behind this sort of thing. The mind boggles at the high level editorial incompetence on display.
    Last edited by Scott Harris; 11-21-2012 at 11:04 AM.
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  11. #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Harris View Post
    an absolutely epic level clusterfudgsicle of gigantic proportions.
    I am so stealing this...

    And Crisis in general, to be honest. It's like they didn't realize until they actually read the issues when they came out that the entire universe was being destroyed. "Hey, did you guys read Crisis #9? The universe just got destroyed! I guess we have to cancel everything and start a new universe or something?"

    I mean, you would think there would be some kind of actual planning behind this sort of thing. The mind boggles at the high level editorial incompetence on display.
    Agreed. I think a lot of the Post-Crisis DCU worked out better than fans generally give it credit for, but the planning was inexcusably sloppy. How do you destroy the DCU and then take a full year to finally get around to rebooting it properly??

  12. #312

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    One thought does occur to me that Gold might have felt assured that the Wonder Woman title would continue, even without him as editor, since DC was locked into this agreement with the Marston estate to keep it going. Superman and Batman (and a few others) didn't end their runs (Superman just got changed to Adventures of Superman). So the plan might have been to keep WW going until a Year One type reboot was ready to go. In the end, after Wonder Woman was cancelled, they still had to produce a WW comic to keep the estate happy--The Legend of Wonder Woman by Kurt Busiek and Trina Robbins, with Alan Gold as editor--a four issue mini-series with yet another quasi-return to the Golden Age theme.

  13. #313

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    Quote Originally Posted by An Ear In The Fireplace View Post
    One thought does occur to me that Gold might have felt assured that the Wonder Woman title would continue, even without him as editor, since DC was locked into this agreement with the Marston estate to keep it going. Superman and Batman (and a few others) didn't end their runs (Superman just got changed to Adventures of Superman). So the plan might have been to keep WW going until a Year One type reboot was ready to go. In the end, after Wonder Woman was cancelled, they still had to produce a WW comic to keep the estate happy--The Legend of Wonder Woman by Kurt Busiek and Trina Robbins, with Alan Gold as editor--a four issue mini-series with yet another quasi-return to the Golden Age theme.
    It's possible. After reading #328, it seems clear to me that someone up the food chain at DC had their head very, very far up their rear. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Gold had been getting strung along.
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  14. #314

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    Wonder Woman #329
    Gerry Conway and Don Heck



    Synopsis: Okay, let's do this thing.

    In a prologue, Hades makes a deal with Ares to help him conquer Olympus. Back on Paradise Island, Hippolyta is in the throes of despair. Diana gives her a stern talking to about not being such a weenie. They also get a visit from the goddess Kore, wife of Hades. Just then, a horde of undead Amazons rises up and attacks them. Diana smashes a buch of them and then Kore shuts them down with a command, since she can do that as their ruler. Kore then warns Diana that Hades is in league with the Anti-Monitor and must be planning to destroy Olympus.

    Meanwhile, back in Washington, hell is breaking loose thanks to Crisis. A big chasm opens up and Lauren falls in it and dies. Guess we'll never know what her deal was. Etaa and Howard join Steve for some moping about the end of the world, then Wonder Woman shows up. She and Steve make out for a bit, then they fly off to Olympus together. Etta and Howard watch them leave, knowing they will never see them again. And we will never see Etta Candy again. Bye bye. At least the end of the world prevents her from finding out that Howard is kind of a backstabbing jerk.

    Diana and Steve arrive in Olympus to find it empty. The gods are missing. Hades and Ares show up with their undead army to claim it. Diana argues with Ares for a bit, but then the amazons attack! From both sides, as Kore has also recruited Atalanta and her splinter tribe to help. The tide momentarily seems to turn in the amazons favor, but since their enemies are undead, they just keep rising again and every time an amazon dies, she joins the enemy's ranks. It's bad news.

    Diana tells Steve he needs to find the gods, then she wades in and starts trashing everybody. Meanwhile, Kore has her own plan. She meets with her husband, who has been tricked by Anti-Monitor into thinking she betrayed him. She gives him a big kiss and it frees him from this compulsion. Realizing he has been duped Hades dispels his army, leaving Ares to fight alone.

    Ares and Diana have an epic one-on-one fight. It see-saws back and forth. Just at the climax, though, Steve topples a giant statue of Zeus and it crushes Ares. Steve realized that the souls of the gods were trapped in the statues; by breaking it, he frees Zeus, and the gods return. Ares is defeated and the Amazons have won.

    Realizing that this still doesn't solve the fact that Crisis is about to erase the universe, Diana proposes to Steve and Zeus marries them. They then share a lingering last embrace and the series ends after 44 years. The End, for serious.

    Notes: It's funny what deciding to erase the universe can do for a creative team. All of a sudden all that "illusion of change" goes out the window and you can actually write a real story where things happen and there's epic action that means something.

    On the other hand, it's also frustrating. There's honestly no reason why we couldn't have had large scale epic stories like this without Crisis and without the universe being erased and the series ending. Wonder Woman and the Amazons fighting an army of undead for the fate of Olympus is easily the most epic story I've reviewed and in fact one of the only ones that even attempted to do anything large scale. But why? Fighting Angle Man or some random supervillain is okay, but this is the kind of thing that Diana can do and other DC superheroes cannot. So why not have her do this sort of thing all the time? As that's just what made the Perez reboot so successful, you have to wonder why it took so damn long to figure out.

    For a final issue, this is pretty good, though it also leaves a lot of stuff unresolved. All of the supporting cast except for Steve is basically just brushed off. Finally having Steve and Diana marry is nice and I'm sure the five fans still buying the book at this point were excited. I dunno, it was good and emotionally satisfying, but I still think a little more could have been done, particularly with the supporting cast; there are like two dozen pages of straight up fighting in this issue, I think sacrificing a couple of those for some closure with the cast would have been worth it.

    Also, a note about Don Heck's art. My copy, anyway, suffers from a really bad color transfer, so in some panels the coloring is off. Plus, I don't know if his inks weren't as strong as usual, but for some reason in the printing process some of the lines were dropped out, making the work sketchier and almost unfinished looking in places. It feels like the whole issue suffers from bad printing quality, which is a real shame because Heck turns in some majorly awesome scenes in this story. There's a two-page spread of Diana trashing an army that is maybe the best thing he's done on this book. It's great. It's just ironic that a guy with a reputation for subpar art turns in a really good effort only to see it messed up by the printing.

    In the lettercolumn, Alan Gold has finally gotten the memo that this is the final issue, which is good, because this is the final issue. He mentions that they will be rebooting with Greg Potter, which obviously didn't happen. He also mentions for the first time the Trina Robbins mini-series, though there's no mention of Kurt Busiek's involvement. Other than that, he doesn't go into any details about why the series was canceled or anything like that. He just says to read Crisis because something big is going to happen. That's an understatement.

    Good cover from Garcia Lopez, but for some reason Diana looks a little as though she was drawn by John Byrne. Anyone else seeing that influence? Or am I nuts? Maybe it's the other way around and Byrne based his rendition of Diana on Garcia Lopez's work, but since Byrne's stuff all looks the same, that seems unlikely.

    My Grade: A-. But why did we have to wait until the series was canceled for someone to do an epic story with Diana?
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  15. #315
    You're Talkin' Gibberish! Kurt Busiek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Harris View Post
    He mentions that they will be rebooting with Greg Potter, which obviously didn't happen.
    Yes it did.

    Potter scripted and co-plotted the first two issues of the new WONDER WOMAN. All that business with the Amazons being the reincarnated spirits of women who died at the hands of men was Potter.

    Greg was on the WW reboot before George. George came on board, and things started moving more toward what George wanted and less toward what Greg wanted. Once they got going, it didn't take long before it was clear that they weren't pulling in the same direction, and DC wanted George more than Greg. So Greg left, George took over full plots with #3, and Len Wein dialogued the book through #16, after which George started writing it himself.

    So it's more accurate to say, perhaps, that they rebooted with Greg Potter, but he didn't stay part of it for very long.

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