Personally, I like that he's sticking with gods, demigods and new gods; that's always one of the things I like most about WOnder Woman.. but I understand that it must be frustrating for readers who prefer to see supervillans, or a mix, in the comic. I think, though, that some runs have suffered the past (at least to my taste) by trying to be all things to all people. Moving quickly from gods to supervillains and back can make it hard to sustain a consistent tone and narrative momentum. And yes, you can remind me I said that, next time there's a superheroics run with no mythology.
Whether Azzarello is using mythology in a good way is for another post. I think he is, but here I'm just addressing the he idea that he uses mythology "too much."
Last edited by slvn; 05-07-2013 at 11:04 PM. Reason: Clarify and remove unintentional snottiness.
My beef with the gods is NOT coming from a like or dislike of Mythology. I find it quite fascinating in fact.
What I do NOT like about the gods is that over exposure (and sometimes any exposure at all) de-powers them. Gods should be used as an inspiration. See their deeds through small coincidences. See their deeds through answered prayers. See their deeds through influence. Treat or show them as Diana's religion. Show them in a book as they are now, and they are reduced to nothing more than super-villains. Well, that, plus the fact that 20+ issues of the same subject can be a little trying at such a slow pace per month ANYWAY.
My favorite food is Sushi, but I can't have it EVERY DAY!
I strongly agree with you about one thing: sushi is the best! But I think that a risk of mixing gods and supervillains in one run is that it can make for something like a meal with a nice unagi appetizer followed by a juicy cheeseburger--two great things in themselves, but not necessarily meant to be part of the same meal. I'm not saying it can't be done; it's been done well in some runs and poorly in others, IMO. But a typical supervillain stuck in the middle of Azz's mythological epic could easly seem out of place. Once the current epic, then yeah, at some point I'd expect to see some supervillains, whether Azz is still around or not.
It annoys me to see Azzarello's Wonder Woman called "sword and sandal"; it's nothing of the kind. Azzarello's gods wouldn't be at home in ancient Olympus; they belong in twentieth century Sicily if they belong anywhere. I'm not that big a fan of giallo or crime fiction; giallo is hyper-noir; think Sin City. I prefer Italian straight horror; films like Mario Bava's Black Sunday try to out-Hammer Hammer. Azzarello's Wonder Woman to me also seems more like a spaghetti western, with its heavy atmospherics and laconic characters. It's easier to redub into the several languages it's going to be distributed in; this was all assembly line filmmaking, which is what makes it great. It helps if the actors never face the camera when they talk.
One of the things that makes these things great motion picture entertainment is that they sometines seem to take themselves so seriously that their failure becomes amusing. Oh, look... there's Steve Reeves as Aeneas. (The Avenger, 1960). Big Steve was also Romulus, and, of course, Hercules.
I've also been a fan since the first Bob Layton miniseries of Marvel Hercules. Wonder Woman should have a little bit more Marvel Hercules in her: confidently happy to take on whatever the universe throws at her. Wonder Woman could also use a bit of She-Hulk, for that matter. (the real one.) She needs to unwind a bit. Azzarello's miserable story is not helping.
Superhero comic books only become art to the extent that their banal, unrealistic fantasy and garish styles go too far and become interesting. Attempts to ground them in reality can only ruin them.
BA's run is a reworking of the Olympian cycle of new gods replacing old gods - and that is in itself always an interesting story and BA tells it relatively well; but here in the context of Wonder Woman there really is no real good or evil in the story, it is a clash of the Olympian gods and their fate/destiny like the Norse gods who had Ragnarok - the Olympians must face death or at least being dethroned for a new "sky/king-god" will appear.
Last edited by slvn; 05-07-2013 at 11:11 PM.
I'm just hoping we haven't put Krunkeela off joining us further.
Irene Adler: “I would have you right here on this desk until you begged for mercy twice.”
Sherlock: “I’ve never begged for mercy in my life.”
**Just as a disclaimer, I have never, ever done that.**
Anyway, I agree with Rob insofar as the gods should be "felt" and not seen. Most of the time. I make an exception for Diana, as I feel her niche and role in the DCU is that of the mythological and magical. But anywhere else, I'd have to agree that the gods should not be used as characters. And even then, the story has to be right for the gods to show up in WW.
In the case of this particular run, I have few complaints. I'd love to see more of the mortal side of things. I'd love to see things moving at a faster pace. But the use of the gods here works really well for me. It feels like the next chapter in the Greek myths. Who said this was the Wonder Woman Greek version of Ragnarok? That seems like a pretty decent analogy. I can see how others are not digging it, but it works for me.
And Slvn made a good point too. Something I had never considered or noticed, but the mixing of the superhero and mythological has often been weird. Like, okay, Diana fights tooth and nail against the likes of Giganta, who's just a "common" supervillian. Then next arc she battles Ares, god of war, and doesnt struggle nearly as much. What is that about? That sort of combination makes for a pretty bad universe, really. That's the kind of thing where I'd rather not see the gods at all and leave them as the abstract concepts they're supposed to be. If Diana can "kill" Ares, then why hasnt someone like General Zod just up and taken over Olympus?
If Diana took off her cuffs and beat the snot out of Artemis, what could someone like Superman or Darkseid do to them ALL? Last issue we had the First Born basically choosing not to kill Poseidon because it fit his needs but he could've easily done it. The word "gods" has been reduced to nothing more than a description. I get and understand SLVN's point(s) but the gods are supposed to be powerful in more than just muscle-strength. This, to me, is really not the way a god should be portrayed:
To someone whom doesn't know, they could conceivably try to ID this guy as the old Black Lightning in civilian clothes.
Am I supposed to feel shocked when the First Born comes in and beats the living s*** out of them? No. At least I won't. I'm willing to bet that if WW had taken off the cuffs in THIS fight she might have kicked his arse too.
These are entities that are supposed to represent forces of nature.
Last edited by slvn; 05-08-2013 at 05:51 PM.
She IS Wonder Woman after all, with the Strength of Hercules and bla bla.
she knocked down trees. she beat up centaurs. she lifted a lil truck back in 5. Yes, she beat up Artemis, but that was a fist-fight which Azz could by his own admission live without. Plus, we didn't really get a feel of her power because we have no point of reference since Artemis is supposed to be a 'goddess', and again... their powers arent necessarily muscular. Obviously, Apollo is more powerful than Hera because he took her power away, but what does that really mean? How do we measure that?
There are ways to showcase power without sacrificing the quality feel of a well written story. Yes, I've read other comics where the writing showcases nothing but silly or coreographed and formulaic fights, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, I feel that there can be a balance between the two. Azz is way too much to one side. Let WONDER Woman do a little wonders here. Of course we love her compassion. Of course we love her generosity. But we sure as hell loved her also when Lynda Carter was doing impressive leaps and Amazon feats as well!
Putting Diana up against gods is not only altogether unrealistic (she shouldn't have been able to even move a muscle against Apollo) but it's also a little unsatisfying because it's all so vague with them.
Well, your not wrong. And I dont exactly disagree with you either.
I myself have been looking at fights like the one posted above and seeing that as, sort of, a metatextual expression of what is actually happening; that being combat on a higher dimension. Apollo isnt hitting Diana with a fist, he's hitting her with the *idea* of a fist, or whatever. And since this is superhero comics and we demand our fight scenes, we get....that.
In a perfect world, I wouldnt have to do that. Azzarello and Chiang would have found a way to get the requisite action scenes without making them look like standard superheroic troupes. Something like a cross between the Matrix and Promethea. But its not a perfect world, so I end up filling in my own details between the lines.
Another benefit of the new origin is that Diana is now one of the gods. Half-breed, yes, but half Amazon. I have an easier time believing her going toe-to-toe with them now than I used to. She's not just their champion, she's their cousin/niece/sister/whatever. So at least there is that. Before hand I never bought Diana beating Ares in a brawl. He was just too far above her. But now, I can buy it.
We do need a frame of reference though, as Rob said. Justice League is too....disconnected from this title, so it is really hard to tell where Diana's power levels lie here.
Honestly, I don't think we should; gods are supposed to be mysterious. Measuring and defining their powers and making them consistent would make them a lot less like the gods of myth.Obviously, Apollo is more powerful than Hera because he took her power away, but what does that really mean? How do we measure that?
Last edited by slvn; 05-09-2013 at 11:25 AM.