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    DC's original speedster is one of the most important superheroes in comic book history. Here's a flash course in Jay Garrick.

    Feature Mike Cecchini
    May 23, 2017

    This article contains spoilers for The Flash season 2.

    Jay Garrick's arrival on The Flash was a foregone conclusion since the very first episode of season one. The minute that newspaper headline from the future was revealed, letting fans know that there's a "Crisis on Infinite Earths" of some kind in the not-too-distant future of this show, then it was only natural that we'd meet the first, most important of those infinite worlds, Earth-2.

    And there's no more iconic symbol of Earth-2 than Jay Garrick, the original Flash.

    Flash Comics #1 first hit newsstands in late 1939 (don't be fooled by the 1940 date on the cover), and it's handily one of the most important single issues ever published by DC Comics (long before the company went by that name). Superman had arrived in early 1938 in Action Comics #1, bringing forth a slew of caped imitators, not the least of whom being Batman, who made his pointy-eared bow in Detective Comics #27 in mid 1939. The superhero arms race was on, and most of 'em had capes.

    Watch The Flash Season 3 on Amazon

    But Flash Comics #1 put someone a little different on the cover. Here we had a mercury helmeted speedster in a capeless, but no less snazzy costume, catching a bullet in mid-flight. Boasting just as much primary color appeal as Superman, Jay Garrick took one of those most elemental superpowers, the ability to run really frakkin' fast, and melded it with the still nascent superhero genre.

    But Jay's origin story was also one of the more well-rounded ones of the era. In the space of 15 pages, Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert introduced us to Jay Garrick, college football benchwarmer and mediocre science student, his girlfriend (and future wife) Joan, Joan's scientist dad, and a crew of evildoers with the modest name of the Faultless Four. Jay gets his super speed not by anything remotely as sexy as a lightning bolt or particle accelerator, but from the fumes of "hard water" which he accidentally inhales after knocking over vial while relaxing with a cigarette. 

    Special note that has nothing to do with anything else! I don't think any Golden Age superhero comic features as much cigarette smoking as early Flash stories. Holy moley, all these people do is light up. Anyway...back to the important stuff.

    Jay recovers from a coma, discovers his speed, puts on a costume, and rescues Joan's pop in remarkably economic fashion, all in a story slightly better drawn than many of the other Superman and/or Flash Gordon knockoffs. In fact, aside from the "Flash" name, like most superhero costumes, Jay's owes quite a bit to Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon (for that matter, so does virtually every other superhero of the era, but that's a story for another time), who routinely wore striking outfits like a red shirt, and blue pants, emblazoned with yellow lightning bolts. But it's Jay's winged helmet and boots, tributes to the Greek god Hermes, known for his swiftness, that set him apart from his peers.

    Special note #2. You know who else first appeared in Flash Comics #1? Hawkman and Hawkgirl, two characters that we also spent a lot of time with on the first seasn of Legends of Tomorrow

    Jay proved popular enough to start making appearances in All-Star Comics, where he was a founding member and chairman of the first superhero team, the Justice Society of America, who he would be associated with for the rest of his career. He was one of the few superheroes (alongside Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, and Captain America) to break free of the anthology format prevalent at the time, and was granted his own title, appropriately known as All-Flash.

    But interest in superhero comics dropped dramatically in the years following World War II, and by 1951, Jay and most of the rest of the Justice Society had faded away, presumably never to be heard from again.

    Well, almost.

    Jay next appeared in none other than Showcase#4 in 1956, in the same story that introduced Barry Allen to the world. But here, we only see him on the cover of a comic book that Barry's reading, and it's Barry's love of this superhero from a bygone era that ultimately inspires him to put on a costume and adopt the Flash name. But make no mistake, in Barry's world, Jay Garrick was just a fictional character.

    Well, at least he was...until The Flash #123 in 1961. "Flash of Two Worlds" revealed that Jay Garrick was actually a Flash from another dimension (affectionately known as Earth-2, despite the fact that it came first), and when Flashcomic book writer Gardner Fox didn't write his adventures, he was unkowingly channeling "real" events from Jay's dimension. It was a wild concept, and one that stuck. Jay and Barry team-ups became yearly occurrences in The Flash, and soon the tradition spread to the Justice Society and the Justice League, in stories that often had titles like "Crisis on Earth-3." 

    This ultimately led to a proliferation of alternate worlds, and DC had to do a massive housecleaning, known as Crisis on Infinite Earths, which (among countless other things) merged the histories of Earth-1 and Earth-2, meaning that Jay operated as the Flash of decades past, before Barry picked up the legacy, and so on down the line. There's way too much about Flash's connection to Crisis(and its potential impact on the future of DC movies and TV) to get into here, but I wrote a whole article about it a while back. See for yourself. 

    During this period, the JSA re-formed, and thanks to some funny business involving how the Golden Age heroes had aged (don't ask), Jay was able to serve as a mentor to other young speedsters in the DC Universe. During most of his time on "our" Earth in DC's present, Jay helped Wally West out during his extended run as the "main" Flash, and served as the backbone of a new JSA that also consisted of newer "legacy" heroes in the DC Universe.

    There was a version of Jay introduced during DC's New 52 period, who rocked a snazzy new costume but was pretty different from his original interpretation. The classic Mercury-helmeted version has so far been absent from DC's current line of rebirth comics. He's bound to be reintroduced, though, along with the rest of the Justice Society, it's just a matter of time.

    After a season 2 fake-out which saw Teddy Sears introduced as the Jay Garrick of Earth-2 only to be revealed as the villain of the season, Zoom, we met the real Jay, the Flash of Earth-3, played by none other than original TV Flash, John Wesley Shipp. This version of the character has taken on the traditional role as Barry's occasional mentor, and he's as fully heroic as his comic book counterpart. Seeing John Wesley shipp in a smartly updated costume and that iconic helmet actually brought some happy tears to my eyes.

    I may update this article with some additional context about Jay Garrick and his world as we get more info on the TV version throughout The Flash season 3 and beyond! Until then, you can try and keep up with me on Twitter!

    A version of this article first appeared in October of 2015. It has been updated with new information.


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    We're looking for every DC Comics reference and DCEU easter egg in the Wonder Woman movie!

    Feature Mike Cecchini
    Jun 1, 2017

    This article consists of nothing but Wonder Woman spoilers. We have a spoiler-free review here if you prefer.

    The Wonder Woman movie is here, and it expands the DCEU in new and exciting ways. It also draws on all elements of the over 75 year history of Wonder Woman to tell a fresh, exciting origin story. And oh yeah, it's packed with DC Comics references.

    So, here's how this works...other than the intro (which I decided to do on its own), this isn't chronological, I'm just making connections where I can. Now, it's entirely likely there are things I missed, and that's where you come in! If you spotted any cool DC Comics references or DCEU Easter eggs that aren't in this article, drop 'em in the comments or give me a holler on Twitter. Together, we can make this the most comprehensive list of Wonder Woman coolness around!

    THE INTRO 

    The opening of this movie, with a shot of planet Earth and Diana talking about how much she loves our world, is reminiscent of the opening pages of DC Universe: Rebirth. That story featured a different character's monologue but it still contained a similar message. Whether this is coincidental or not (it probably is), Wonder Woman as a movie serves the same purpose as DC Universe: Rebirth did - it restores a sense of hope, optimism, and heroism to the DCEU.

    She also mentions a “Great Darkness” that’s surrounding the world. Again, this reminds me of Rebirth, but it also calls to mind the villains of the upcoming Justice League movie. The Justice League will fight Steppenwolf in that film, but he’s the advance agent of Darkseid, the cosmic despot of the planet Apokolips. When Darkseid had been absent from the universe for hundreds of years and reappeared in the distant future in the pages of Legion of Super-Heroes, the story was called… ”The Great Darkness Saga.” While that story has nothing to do with Wonder Woman, it’s awesome and you should read it.

    You may notice that the license plate on the Wayne Enterprises armored car starts with the letters JL. (It’s JL-828-VZM to be exact). That’s JL, as in "Justice League" and it's amusing since Bruce is basically using Wayne vehicles to carry out unofficial Justice League business by delivering this photo (first seen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) to Diana.

    Wonder Woman Movie Setting

    I love the fact that they set this movie against the backdrop of World War I. For one thing, it helps give the DCEU some real flavor and takes us further back than we’ve seen screen superhero narratives ever attempt (the natural fit is usually World War II, which we saw in Captain America: The First Avenger and the first season of the 1970s Wonder Woman TV series).

    Characters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman all came of age during World War II, but setting this movie there would have drawn comparisons to Captain America: The First Avenger. World War I was, meanwhile, especially senseless with no clear “villain” and its legacy would, well, inspire a follow-up. The exceptional brutality of World War I is the perfect counterpoint to Diana’s relative innocence.

    Wonder Woman Movie Heroes

    Wonder Woman has been around almost as long as Batman and Superman, first appearing in All-Star Comics#8 in 1940 where she was created by Dr. William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter. How powerful was Wonder Woman? By the 1950s, when superhero comics were in steep decline, only three DC superheroes maintained continuous publication, and one of ‘em was Diana. You can guess who the other two were.

    That same story introduced Steve Trevor. Etta Candy didn’t come along until about two years later in Sensation Comics #2. Incidentally, the civilian version of Etta that we meet here is more in line with those early comics. In more recent DC history, Etta is a military woman and quite the badass.

    There had been some speculation that Steve’s ragtag band of good guys would end up being the World War I equivalent of the Blackhawks, but there was nothing in the movie to indicate that. For one thing, nobody flies a plane. As far as I can tell, these were all characters invented for the movie.

    But let’s talk about that origin story for a minute...

    THE ORIGIN STORY

    OK, Wonder Woman’s origin story is a tricky thing, because there have been a few different versions, but they all follow the broad strokes we see here in this movie. In the original comics, Diana was indeed sculpted from clay and given life by the gods. Here, it’s just a story Hippolyta tells Diana to mask the fact that she’s actually a demi-god, and the daughter of Zeus.

    That Zeus wrinkle is a fairly recent addition to the lore, coming into play when DC relaunched their entire publishing line with The New 52 initiative in 2011, which reset significant elements of continuity. A lot of people don’t love this change, but I’ve always been kinda down with it. But historically, all of Diana's gifts came from an assortment of goddesses that gave her clay form life and power.

    Overall, the way they streamline lots of different elements of the comic book history in this movie is really great and reminds me of the best big screen superhero origins like Superman: The Movie, Batman Begins, or even Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man.

    - The expositional animation that explains why there aren’t any gods hanging around the DCEU these days is really clever and feels like a callback to the equally visually impressive animation that told Krypton’s history in Man of Steel.

    - The “there are no children on Paradise Island” thing is basically as old as Wonder Woman herself, but I just want to mention that later in the movie when Diana sees a baby in London? I react the same way, except with doggies. I’m going to get my typing fingers bitten off petting strange dogs one day.

    - The idea of Antiope as Hippolyta’s sister came from the character’s second DC Comics incarnation, which happens to be from the comics that inspired this movie the most: George Perez’s time as writer/artist in the ‘80s. For real, if you seek out one volume of Wonder Woman comics because of this movie, make it this one.

    As for Antiope's on-screen death, the only time I know of her dying in the comics was in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths, which had nothing to do with Germans or the pursuit of Steve Trevor.

    - When Diana is on her quest to sneak the God Killer sword out, and she starts climbing up the tower wall, I was reminded of John Badham’s underrated Dracula movie from 1979, which featured a spooky as hell scene of Frank Langella as the Count scurrying along a wall at night. A more likely influence however is old adventure epics like The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) where Errol Flynn does much the same thing to steal a kiss with Maid Marian.

    Speaking of that God Killer sword, that is indeed something from DC Comics, but it isn’t a weapon of Wonder Woman. Instead, that boon was granted to Slade “Deathstroke” Wilson by Hephaestus because he wanted Slade to kill the titan, Lapetus.

    Wonder Woman Movie Villains

    Ares has been a factor in Wonder Woman’s life since some of her earliest appearances, notably Wonder Woman #1 in 1942. But the version we see in this movie, like so much else in the film, owes the most to Diana’s 1987 reinvention at the hands of the brilliant George Perez.

    In that initial story arc (available here), which is set in modern times, we do see Ares possessing military figures and forcing them to do his bidding, although there, he was also aided by his nephews, Phobos and Deimos. Maybe they'll be the villains of Wonder Woman 2...

    Dr. Poison/Dr. Maru is one of Wonder Woman’s earliest comic book foes, first appearing in 1942’s Sensation Comics #2. Like Diana, Steve, and Etta, she was created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter. She worked for the Nazis in those days, and her poisons were less explicitly the kind of horrific chemical warfare deployed during World War I, but I have to say, she’s a perfect fit for this movie.

    I don’t recognize the symbol on her notebook as anything particularly relevant to the DCU or Wonder Woman history, but if I’m wrong, please correct me in the comments!

    Miscellanous Cool DC Stuff

    - Wonder Woman’s secret identity of “Diana Prince” has fallen by the wayside over the decade or so as DC instead focuses on the mythic elements of the character rather than disposable superhero tropes like a secret identity. Fun to hear it mentioned here, and the bit where she gets glasses (and Etta Candy’s remark about it) is both a nod to Superman and the fact that Diana Prince often wore specs, particularly when Lynda Carter played her on the legendary TV series from the 1970s.

    - The imagery of Wonder Woman with sword and shield, especially the shield, I really associate with the George Perez comics (although it has been heavily utilized since then by many creators). That, in my mind, was the evolution of Diana from traditional superhero to more aggressive mythical heroine, and the sword and shield are two key components of that. It might have been Phil Jimenez who brought the sword to the forefront, and he's another brilliant Wonder Woman artist.

    - There are strong Superman: The Movie vibes throughout this film, notably in how it takes its time establishing the main character’s origins, but also in the snappy dialogue, and the comedic elements when our “alien” character first makes it to the big city.

    But nowhere is that more apparent than in the alleyway where Diana and Steve are accosted by German spies. This is a lovely homage to Christopher Reeve’s Clark Kent catching a mugger’s bullet meant for Margot Kidder. But the way this bit kicks off, with Diana and Steve ducking into the alley right down to a gun appearing in frame from behind a wall, is a perfect nod to Superman: The Movie.

    - Diana trying ice cream for the first time and telling the vendor he should be proud of his creation is almost right out of Justice League (2011) #1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee.

    Steve brings everyone Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. Burroughs is famously the writer behind Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, two characters who have kind of fallen out of the spotlight. But at the time, this was cutting edge stuff, making Burroughs somewhat like the DC and Marvel of his day. Both Tarzan and Jon Carter have light parallels with Diana’s story as well since they both ended up being a “stranger in a strange land” (that’s a book that Burroughs didn’t write, but you knew that already).

    That shot of Diana hoisting a tank over her head reminds me a lot of Superman in The Dark Knight Returns. I’m sure there’s probably a Diana-specific image that’s appropriate, especially considering how active superheroes were advancing the war effort during World War II, I’m sure there are examples I’m missing, I just can’t think of any offhand right now. Please feel free to correct me in the comments.

    So what did you spot, DCEU fans? Let me know what I missed, and if it checks out, I'll update this article. Shout 'em out in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!


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    The Passage, Fox’s TV adaptation of Justin Cronin’s vampire novels, will see Mark-Paul Gosselaar headline the announced cast.

    News Joseph Baxter
    Jun 2, 2017

    Fox’s ambitious television forays into genre television – notably exemplified by its upcoming Marvel Comics X-Men spinoff series The Gifted– will also consist of a grandiose small screen serial adaptation of The Passage, Justin Cronin’s popular 2010-2016 trilogy of vampire apocalypse novels, as announced earlier this year. Accordingly, the series is making vampire-powered progress, with the first reports of its cast members, including a toplining Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

    The Passage will, indeed, see Gosselaar, who stands freshly cast off from his co-starring role on Fox’s recently cancelled first-woman-in-baseball drama Pitch, atop the marquee for the series. Gosselaar, of course, brings nostalgic gravitas as the fourth-wall breaking star of the 1980s/90s teen sitcom Saved by the Bell, as well as his run on legendary police drama NYPD Blue and legal drama Franklin & Bash.

    The Passage story centers on a bleak future in which humanity has been overrun by virus-imbued vampires created after an ill-conceived secret U.S. government experiment to create super soldiers called Project Noah. Gosselaar will play a Brad Wolgast, an FBI agent who, initially tasked with bringing the viral patient zero – a 10-year-old girl named Amy Bellafonte – to her experimenters, has a crisis of conscience and instead rescues the girl from her fate as a test subject, leaving both on the run from the irate bureaucrats. However, just as in Cronin’s novels, Fox’s The Passage will tell its story across multiple timelines, following Wolgast and Amy in the prime/present timeline and a flashback timeline, explaining the origin of the viral vampires through Amy’s eyes.

    Saniyya Sidney will play a crucial co-lead role as the messianic, super-powered, immortal patient zero of The Passage’s vampire apocalypse, Amy Bellafonte. The prodigious actress has been making the rounds on increasingly prestigious projects in the short span of a year, going from the 2016 Roots television remake to a role in Season 6 of FX’s American Horror Story, graduating to the awards season stratosphere by appearing in Oscar-nominated films FencesandHidden Figures (a duo of films whose concurrent Oscar nods became the source of a legendary award show flub). Besides The Passage, Sidney is set to appear in the comedic TV movie Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History and the 2018 sci-fi drama Fast Color.

    Helping Wolgast and Amy fight the virus in the present timeline are the rest of The Passage cast, consisting of Genesis Rodriguez (Time After Time, Big Hero 6) as Alicia, B.J. Britt (Antoine Triplett from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Pitch) as Peter and Jennifer Ferrin (Hell on Wheels, Time After Time) as Sarah. Additionally, Brianne Howey (Fox’s The Exorcist, Horrible Bosses 2) plays test subject Shauna.

    The Passage arrives under the purview of Alien visionary Ridley Scott, who initially acquired the rights to Cronin’s literary epic with intent to make movies. Scott boards the Fox series as an executive producer alongside another well-known visionary in Matt Reeves, director of 2008’s Cloverfield and current writing and directorial steward of the Planet of the Apes film franchise, with the third outing of the current iteration, War for the Planet of the Apes, set to hit in July. Reeves also happens to be attached as director to the somewhat embattled Ben Affleck-starring Batman solo spinoff film The Batman.

    The Passage has redefined, reinvigorated and, arguably, redeemed the vampire genre in the literary world, presenting them as nuanced and dangerous, erasing memories of Twilight-like sparkly fang-wielders. While its multiple timeline format should lend itself well as a television series, it will be interesting to see if it can mesh well enough with the content and format limitations typically attributed to network primetime series.


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    Wonder Woman has faced down some of the most interesting villains in DC Comics history.

    Feature Marc Buxton
    Jun 2, 2017

    There could be no doubt that Wonder Woman is one of the greatest superheroes in history. But her villains? Not so much.

    After World War II, at times, DC Comics had a difficult time finding a consistent direction for its leading lady. That’s not to say that Wonder Woman hasn't enjoyed many successful creative runs since William Moulton Marston came up with character in 1940 (creators like George Perez, Gail Simone, Phil Jimenez, and Greg Rucka spring to mind right away). But those inconsistent directions have impacted the quality of villains Diana has faced. While there have been many stand out rogues that took on Diana there have also been those that, shall we say, were kind of strange. 

    Let's start with the classics, though...

    13. Eviless

    Wonder Woman has had some great one off villains over the decades and we’d love to pay tribute to one right here. Meet Eviless, a woman so evil her name is Eviless.

    What makes Eviless so memorable? Well, she only appeared once, but in her single life and death battle against Wonder Woman, Eviless formed Villainy Inc., one of the very first super villain teams in comics! Eviless’ Villainy Inc. consisted of Queen Clea, Cyborgirl, Doctor Poison, Giganta, Jinx, Trinity, Blue Snowman, Cheetah, Hypnota, and the evil Zara. We may not have covered all these baddies, but believe us, this was one stunning collection of evildoers, especially for the Golden Age when super villain teams just weren’t a thing.

    As for Eviless herself, the Villainy Inc. founder originally hailed from Saturn and was a slaver who was defeated by Wonder Woman when she tried to invade Earth. Eviless was taken to a place called Transformation Island, where former criminals would be brainwashed and rehabilitated (morality, shmorality). Eviless used her mind powers to re-evil the Wonder Woman rogues and set them upon Diana and the Amazons. Wonder Woman, of course, defeated Eviless’ team, but, the Saturn slaver will always be remembered for creating a villain team that served as sort of a prototype for future teams like the Legion of Doom.

    Plus, Eviless is important to DC lore as her look and powers served as something of an inspiration for future Legion of Super Heroes member Saturn Girl. You barely knew her, but damn, Eviless is one important villain in comic book lore.

    12. Baroness Von Gunther

    First appearance Sensation Comics #4 (1942)

    Created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter

    Meet Baroness Von Gunther, Wonder Woman’s first recurring foe. Paula Von Gunther was an anti-Wonder Woman of sorts. She was a Gestapo agent that used her Amazonian training and bracelets to become of the Third Reich’s deadliest agents. She also kept a small group of women as slaves. During one memorable story, Gunther used mind control and drugs to force American girls to become Nazi spies. Gunther murdered countless innocents but when it was revealed that the Nazis forced the Baroness into servitude by holding her daughter Greta captive, Wonder Woman helped her sworn enemy and helped the Baroness reform. From there, Von Gunther became the Amazons' chief science officer and never mind the innocents she murdered.

    In the modern age, Von Gunther was reimagined as Dark Angel and played a key role in the origin of one Donna Troy: Wonder Girl.

    11. Angle Man

    First appearance Wonder Woman #70 (1954)

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Harry G. Peter

    In the Golden and Silver Age, Angle Man was a crook with the ability to see all the angles of a job before he committed a crime. He was a master planner but pretty darn generic. After going through his Golden and Silver Age growing pains the Man with all the Angles got himself a for real super villain costume and a sick cool weapon created by none other than Darkseid his owndamnself. That’s right, after his time as Golden and Silver age dweeb like annoyance, Angelo Bend returned with a triangle that could warp space and time and became the costumed rogue Angle Man. With his new green and yellow costume and the most powerful triangle in the galaxy designed by the Lord of Apokolips, Angle Man became one of Diana’s greatest traditional rogues.

    Now think about it, the new Angle Man had a geometric shape that could allow him to teleport and warp time to suit his criminal needs (and you thought geometry was dull). With this Angler, Angle Man became a potent Wonder Woman foe and went on a crime spree that defined him as one of Wonder Woman’s most potent and consistent foes of the '70s and '80s. Angle Man would return in the modern era as a rakish thief that used his Angler to get in all sorts of mischief until Wonder Woman and Donna Troy teamed up to put an end to his obtuse crimes (angle joke!).

    10. The Duke of Deception

    First appearance Wonder Woman #2 (1942)

    Created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter

    Listen, if you’re name is The Duke of Deception, you’re probably going to be a villain. And indeed this God of Deceit is just that: a lying, conniving, murderous rogue that fought Wonder Woman throughout the '40s, '50s, and '60s.  

    The Duke of Deception was once a minion of Wonder Woman’s arch foe Mars/Ares and served the god of war with gleeful gusto. As an underling of Mars, The Duke of Deception uses his masterful craft at lies and, well, deception, to create war and strife throughout the human world. In the Golden Age, it was revealed that The Duke of Deception convinced Japan to attack Pearl Harbor and also convinced Hitler to break Germany’s peace treaty with Russia! What a douche! Later, The Duke of Deception abandoned Mars and went off on his own. From his base on Mars known as the Lie Factory (FOX News?), The Duke of Deception plotted against mankind. But our Princess Diana always found a way to stop the spread of the Duke’s falsehoods and save humanity from this early recurring foe.

    9. Doctor Cyber

    First appearance Wonder Woman #179 (1968)

    Created by Dennis O'Neil, Mike Sekowsky, and Dick Giordano

    At the Emma Peel point in Wonder Woman history, Doctor Cyber was Diana’s greatest foe. Cyber was once a beautiful but evil woman named Cylvia Cyber. When Cyber was disfigured during a battle with Wonder Woman, she donned a creepy ass mask and cyber suit and swore to gain revenge on Diana for the loss of her beauty. Cyber became obsessed with switching bodies with Wonder Woman and that might be the most 1960s plot ever!

    In recent years, Doctor Cyber became the cybernetic assistant of Veronica Cale, a villain who we’ll get to in a bit. And I don’t know about you, but at this point of our list, I just can’t stop thinking about how perfect Diana Rigg would have been in the role if they had made a Wonder Woman TV series in the '60s.

    8. Giganta

    First appearance Wonder Woman #9 (1944)

    Created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter

    If two words describe Wonder Woman’s Golden Age adventures, those words would be – very weird. And no character was weirder than Giganta. Fans of a certain age should be familiar with Giganta from her inclusion in The Legion of Doom on TV’s Challenge of the Super Friends, but this villainess was also one of WW’s earliest foes.

    You see (and strap in for this one kids), Giganta was a gorilla that was evolved into a strong woman by a mad scientist named Professor Zuul. Zuul then devolves the world into a primitive state as Giganta used her great strength to lead a tribe of primitive humans against Wonder Woman and her friends.

    So yeah, an evolved gorilla in the form of a super woman that can grow to tremendous size. That’s like a whole bunch of 1950s B-movies all mashed together. Giganta has returned many times over the years and has been a constant giant thorn in Diana’s side. But always remember, behind that leopard print bathing suit and stories of womanhood, there lies a savage monkey ready to rend you limb from limb. How has Giganta and Grodd not been shipped together yet. Grodanta?

    7. Doctor Poison

    First appearance (Princess Maru) Sensation Comics #2 (1942) (Marina Maru) Wonder Woman #151 (Vol. 2) (1999)

    Created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter

    You know how evil Doctor Poison was? Well, first off, her name is Doctor Poison, so right there you know she’s pretty evil. But other than her nom de poison, this Wonder Woman rogue was so evil that she was the chief of the Nazi Poison Division. Now look at that, not just poison, Nazi poison! Now that’s evil.

    Doctor Poison also invented a mind control substance that would compel those infected to do the opposite of their nature. So like, let’s say you hated yogurt, one dose of Doctor Poison’s mid altering drug and you’d totally be gulping down yogurt by the barrel. Like we said, evil. But in all seriousness, Doctor Poison and her signature gender hiding armor returned to bedevil Diana many times in the Golden Age. Poison is a hideously deformed woman whose outside appearance matches her murderous nature.

    Poison has been a Wonder Woman foe for 77 years (granted, there was a long time between comic book appearances after the Golden Age) now in the movie, played by Elena Anaya, Doctor Poison will show moviegoers the true face of evil.

    6. Veronica Cale

    First appearance Wonder Woman #196 (2003)

    Created by Greg Rucka and Drew Johnson

    Veronica Cale is Wonder Woman’s version of Lex Luthor, a brilliant and sociopathic scientist and billionaire who is dedicated to destroying Wonder Woman. Cale, always wearing her signature string of black pearls, has teamed with Doctor Psycho, Circe, and was responsible for the creation of the modern Silver Swan. Cale finds Wonder Woman and her mission simplistic, naïve, and dangerous to feminism and the continued development of humankind. Cale is Wonder Woman’s greatest enemy in the press and uses her rhetorical skills to do battle with Wonder Woman in the media. Cale thinks that demanding peace is simple if you’re an ultra-powerful Amazonian demi-goddess, but mortals have to do more to achieve understanding.

    Cale is a perfect foil for Diana and a fascinating, unpowered threat that stand against everything Diana represents. She is the perfect modern day foe for Wonder Woman, a media savvy, brilliant mind that feels Wonder Woman needs to fall so humanity can rise.

    5. Silver Swan

    First appearance Wonder Woman #288 (1982)

    Created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colon

    Silver Swan is a modern addition to the Wonder Woman greatest foe list. She is also one of the most tragic WW foes in history.

    The first Silver Swan was a ballerina named Helen Alexandros who was rejected from becoming a famed dancer due to her plainness so, as one does, she prayed to Ares for intervention. The God of War gave Alexandros great beauty and the power of flight, strength, and a terrible sonic scream that made this new Silver Swan a deadly enemy for all the heroes of the DC Universe.

    The other Silver Swans were just as tragic. The second Swan was a deformed little girl enhanced and tortured by scientists, leaving her beautiful and unstable. The third Silver Swan was one of Diana’s best friends Vanessa Kapatelis. The former confidant of Wonder Woman was kidnapped and twisted into the Silver Swan by Circe and Doctor Psycho. After the transformation, Diana had a fight to the death on her hands against a woman she once called sister.

    All the Silver Swans were elegant and unstable women who used their sonic powers and might to become some of the most dangerous mortals Wonder Woman ever faced.

    4. Doctor Psycho

    First appearance Wonder Woman #5 (1943)

    Created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter

    He might not be as well-known as the Clown Prince of Crime, but Doctor Psycho is to Wonder as Joker as to Batman, an evil and vile force of nature that will do anything to have his way with his arch nemesis. Doctor Psycho, real name Edgar Cizko, was mocked for his diminutive stature early in life. This constant cruelty forced the brilliant mind to snap, and Cizko became a raging misogynist and sexist (you know, like half of internet comment sections) and used his brilliant mind to strike out against women everywhere. Psycho is an unmatched occultist who uses mind control and mesmerism to make women (and anyone else) do his bidding. At first, Psycho was a minion of the Duke of Deception but has surpassed the Duke for sheer evil and has developed into Wonder Woman’s most terrifying foe.

    Fun fact, Doctor Psycho was patterned after Lon Chaney and William Moulton Marston’s undergraduate professor Hugo Münsterberg. Munsterberg despised feminism and gender equality and went out of his way to demean women. Of course, Marston was a hyper-feminist and just couldn’t resist patterning Wonder Woman’s creepiest villain after his sexist advisor. 

    3. Circe

    First appearance (Historical) Wonder Woman #37 (Modern) Wonder Woman #18 (1988)

    Created by (Historical) Robert Kanigher and Harry G. Peter (Modern) George Pérez

    Well of course Circe, one of the most infamous and dangerous women in Greek lore, is one of Wonder Woman’s greatest enemies. Wonder Woman first faced Circe in the Golden Age but the rivalry did not become fully fueled until the 1980s where Circe stepped up to really test the Amazing Amazon. Of course, Circe was a prominent figure in Greek myth known for her passion, temper, and her penchant for turning people into animals. She brought those attributes into DC Comics when she faced WW early in Diana’s career.

    Decades later, Circe became one of Diana's most consistent foes, returning again and again to plague Diana and the Amazons. She has teamed with many DC villains and transformed many DC heroes into a menagerie of beasts proving herself to be one of the most troubling and dangerous women in the DCU. You can bet it’s only a matter of time until the trickster Circe appears in a Wonder Woman movie because you just can’t beat the classics.

    2. Cheetah

    First appearance (Rich) Wonder Woman #6 (1943) (Domaine) Wonder Woman #274 (1980) (Minerva) Wonder Woman #7 (1987) (Ballesteros) Wonder Woman #170 (2001)

    Created by (Rich) William Moulton Marston and  H. G. Peter (Domaine) Gerry Conway and Jose Delbo (Minerva) Len Wein and George Pérez (Ballesteros) Phil Jimenez and Joe Kelly

    The most purr-fect of all Wonder Woman’s human enemies, we have the Cheetah, another rogue familiar to fans via Super Friends and countless battles with Diana. The original, Golden Age Cheetah was named Priscilla Rich, a drop dead gorgeous and talented dancer and charitable millionaire who developed this weird obsession with Diana. Whenever Rich felt overshadowed by Wonder Woman’s glory, she would develop an evil persona known as the Cheetah, don her iconic cat costume and commit crimes to outwit her Amazon nemesis. Rich and her identity disorder appeared throughout the Golden and Silver Ages.

    In the '80s, DC introduced Rich’s niece who was tortured and transformed into a second Cheetah by the terrorist organization known as Kobra (not the GI Joe one, the other one).

    In the modern era, Barbara Minerva, a famed archeologist and scientist, sold her soul to the plant god Urtzkartaga in exchange for tremendous power and immortality.  Why a plant god would turn someone into a cheetah is beyond me but I guess having Wonder Woman fight the Fern wouldn’t really be all that badass. The third Cheetah was more lycanthrope than costumed jewel thief and had many feral battles against Wonder Woman and the heroes of the DCU.

    The fourth and final Cheetah was actually a male, an Argentinian billionaire named Sebastian Ballesteros. Ballesteros stole the Cheetah powers from Minerva, but oh, you better believe Minerva got them back and made Ballesteros pay. Minerva is like a Lara Croft that can transform into a raging were-cat and eat your damn face, a fact that Ballesteros found out the hard way.

    It’s inevitable that the Cheetah will make her big screen debut in a future Wonder Woman film, but will we get the period era Rich or the modern day terror Minerva? Truly, a film battle between Wonder Woman and Cheetah is one DC fans have been dreaming about for generations.

    1. Ares

    First appearance Pre-Crisis: Wonder Woman #1 (1942)

    Post-Crisis: Wonder Woman #1 Created by William Moulton Marston; reinterpreted post-Crisis by George Pérez

    In both great eras of Wonder Woman, the Golden Age and the Modern Age, Ares made his debut in each era's Wonder Woman #1. And how appropriate is that? Of course Wonder Woman, a warrior of peace and love, would be locked into an eternal struggle with the God of War. It’s a conflict of love versus brutality whenever Wonder Woman goes bracelets to battle ax with Ares.

    In the Golden Age, Ares appeared as both the Greek God of War and as the Roman deity Mars. In the modern age, Ares’ attempts to bring about World War III led to Diana leaving Themyscira and coming to Man’s World to become Wonder Woman. Whatever the name, Ares’ attempts to bring war to the world has led Wonder Woman to fight Ares with all her might and all her heart. In Ares, mythology has provided the perfect arch foe for Wonder Woman.

    So you've seen the best, hit page 2 to see some of the stranger, more offbeat, and less memorable villains in Diana's history...

    1496437180877

    Now let's move on to the wonderfully strange and weird, completely nutzoid villains that seem to follow Wonder Woman around like a herd of cats following a salmon truck. Now remember, we mean no disrespect because we love comic book history. But some of these villains are just so freakin’ odd, we just had to pay tribute to them in a loving, if rather sarcastic, way.

    10. The Blue Snowman

    First appearance Sensation Comics #59 (1946) 

    Created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter

    The Blue Snowman is really Byrna Brilyant (yup), the daughter of a scientist who created a compound called "blue snow." The invention was supposed to help humanity do - something - but when papa died, Byrna used his invention to freeze crops and blackmail farmers by forcing them to pay for the blue snow antidote. When Wonder Woman got involved, Byrna donned a cybernetic suit to enhance her strength, conceal her gender, and hide her identity. Wonder Woman beat the Blue Snowman but the blackmailing lady would return a few times in the Golden Age.

    We’re just happy Byrna’s father didn’t invent yellow snow because that opens doors that we would rather remain closed. The blue snow and the cybernetic suit were both pretty powerful, we just wonder why Byrna’s masterplan was to blackmail wheat farmers. Just sell the patent to the invention!

    9. Mouse Man and Fireworks Man

    First appearance Wonder Woman #141 (1963)

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru

    We’re allowing these two not so potent villains to share an entry because they first appeared together and tried their level best to use their, shall we say, unique powers to bring down Wonder Woman. When Angle Man (more on him in a bit) lures Diana to a Super Villain Convention (Dragon Con?), Fireworks Man and Mouse Man both take a crack at bringing down the Daughter of Themyscira.

    So Ares, the legit Greek god of war failed to take down Diana but there two clowns think they have a chances? Also, why Fireworks Man? Why plural? Why not Firework man? Fireworks man can turn into - you guessed it - fireworks and to no one’s surprise, failed utterly in his explosive attempt to take down Wonder Woman. And Mouse Man? I mean we love ourselves some Atom and Ant-Man, but did he really think dressing like a yellow mouse and shrinking was going to frighten a woman that can lift Pawtucket? Unsurprisingly Mouse Man and Fireworks Man failed and faded into obscurity. We do understand that these days Fireworks Man frequently teams up with Blown Off Fingers Lad.

    8. American Adolph

    First Appearance Sensation Comics #21 (1943)

    Created by William Moulton Marston

    So yeah, American Adolph was a criminal who penned his manifesto, My War Against Society, while in prison and then inspired a gang of thugs to follow his every whim. When Adolph got out, he tried to form a nation within a nation of criminals and overthrow the American government. Sound familiar?

    In Wonder Woman’s world, does every nation have some evil schmuck named Adolph going through these same motions? Chilean Adolph? New Zealand Adolph? The mind boggles. Yup, Wonder Woman once fought American Hitler and beat the ever loving crap out of him. 

    7. Paper Man

    First appearance Wonder Woman #165 (October 1966)

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru

    Superman has steel hard skin. Wolverine has unbreakable adamantium bones. And then there’s this guy, Paper Man! No, there is no Scissor Man or Rock Man, but there is Paper Man, and man, are we happy about it! Look at this guy, he’s not just any type of paper... he’s newspaper!

    You see, when Diana and Steve Trevor tour a newspaper press, a timid worked named Horace falls in a bunch of paper making chemicals (you probably saw that coming). Transformed into a being of paper, Horace is mocked by his coworkers because people are dicks. Not being a dick, Wonder Woman takes pity on Horace and the newly formed Paper Man falls in love with her. Paper Man commits crimes to buy her expensive gifts until finally Wonder Woman uses her mighty breath to blow Paper Man into a printing press and is torn apart and made into a pile of newspapers.

    Wait, what? Wonder Woman kills the poor shmuck? He is torn apart and distributed all over the city by newsboys? That’s horrific!

    He should have teamed with Styrofoam Man and Marshmallow Man to form the Legion of Harmless Dopes.

    6. THEM!

    First appearance Wonder Woman #185, (1969)

    Created by Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano

    Sadly, the evil gang known as THEM! is not made up of a giant mutated ants, nor is it Van Morrison's awesome garage rock band from before he became a celebrated solo artist. No, THEM! is a group of violent and evil hippies that fought Wonder Woman during her white suit Diana Rigg look era. THEM! (they?) first appeared in the 1960s, during an era where Wonder Woman was depowered, wore a sharp white jumpsuit and basically became Emma Peel. During this era, known by some as the White Jumpsuit Era, Wonder Woman travelled the globe and used her brains and fighting skill to continue to fight the good fight against evil.

    And some of the evil was THEM!, a team that was made up of Top Hat, a dude that looks like a cross between a 1960s pimp and a part timer at a Ren faire, Moose Mamma a leather lady that possessed great brute strength, and Pinto a cosplay cowboy that did cowboy things. No, this wasn’t a Village People opening act, this was THEM! and THEM! was weird. Diana defeated THEM! even without her powers and she remains the only DC hero to take down a gang of evil hippies.

    Was there an evil Woodstock? Were evil hippies supportive of the Vietnam War? So many questions?

    5. Crimson Centipede

    First appearance Wonder Woman #169 (1967)

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru

    Boy, Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru created some lulus, huh? We should mention that both creators are two of the greatest minds of the Silver Age and should be adored for their contributions to the medium. With that said, Kanigher and Andru sure liked to bring out the strange for ol' Diana.

    Take the Crimson Centipede for example. This insect of alliteration was created by Ares to destabilize man’s world. Crimson Centipede tried to do just that... by committing mundane crimes. But, at least he did it dressed like a bug, and bugs are icky. But not to Wonder Woman who squished this bug like the pest that he was. Well, she didn’t really squash him, she just kind of arrested him. And Crimson Centipede’s crimes weren’t all that bad. He probably got like six years with time served for good behavior. At least Crimson Centipede had lots of hands so he could high five himself when he got out.

    4. Human Tank

    First appearance Wonder Woman #63 (1954)

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Harry G. Peter

    When you first read the name Human Tank, you probably get an image in your head of some beatstick with a cannon for a face, treads for limbs, and a badass motor on his bank. You probably picture Wonder Woman throwing down with a human Panzer in the ultimate battle of flesh versus machine.

    Nope, Human Tank was some dick that had enhanced strength and dressed like a football player. 1959 Wonder Woman kicked his ass. Next!

    3. The Glop

    First appearance Wonder Woman #151 (January 1965)

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru

    Didja notice the Silver Age was an odd era for Wonder Woman? Didja? Didja notice that? Anyway, here’s The Glop, an amorphous something or other that fought the original Wonder Girl.

    Now for those of you not in the know, originally, Wonder Girl was not the Donna Troy character DC fans have known and loved for decades (and let’s all hope Donna pops up in the movies one day). The original Wonder Girl was simply the adult Wonder Woman’s fantasies of being a teenage girl! After all, Diana was crafted from clay and never had a childhood (Wonder Woman also had daydream adventures of being a baby and thus Wonder Tot was born and no, I’m not kidding).

    Wonder Girl fought The Glop in the mid-Silver Age, and by God, look at that thing. It’s like an evil smear of baby poop. Now get this, The Glop can absorb the properties of anything it ingests and during the story, it absorbs 100 sappy rock and roll records AND their lyrics. So it falls in love with Wonder Girl but thankfully, even though the whole thing is a day dream, they never copulate because comic books would have ended right then and there.

    Let’s get this straight, The Glop is a wad of sentient caramel that loves a hypothetical version of teenage Wonder Woman and has its emotions manipulated by absorbing music. Imagine if it absorbed Slayer and Danzig records. That would be the most metal thing ever! So yeah you guys, The Glop.

    2. Gaucho

    First appearance Wonder Woman #263 (1980)

    Created by Gerry Conway and Jose Delbo

    Wonder Woman has fought Nazis, gods, mythological beasts, human master criminals, and alien overlords. So I guess a semi-racist caricature of a South American riding a robot horse and using bolos is just a natural addition to that list.

    No wait, it really, really isn’t.

    Meet Gaucho, assassin for hire who thought enhanced projectiles and a robot steed would succeed in destroying Wonder Woman when the freakin’ God of freakin’ War failed. Gaucho and his facial hair was hired by a villain named the Prime Planner to take down Wonder Woman. On the cover, Gaucho proclaimed that Diana had no chance against a “real man.” Well, she had more than a chance and Gaucho, his bolos, his robot hood, his bad accent, and his machismo all faded into obscurity.

    1. Egg Fu

    First appearance Wonder Woman #157 (1965)

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru

    And then there’s Egg Fu. Egg Fu is a giant egg. With a mustache that he uses as a whip. That speaks in horrific broken pigeon English and in general is a miserable example of comic book stereotyping. Kanigher and Andru never gave an origin to their strangest creation, but rest assured, he’s a giant egg with weaponized facial hair. Oh yeah, Egg Fu is also a devout Communist.

    No, we were never introduced to a socialist waffle or Marxist bacon, but Egg Fu returned a number of times to devil (get it?) Wonder Woman. Things were never over easy when Wonder Woman had to fight Egg Fu and she often had her brains scrambled by his mustache whip. But things would be sunny side up again because Diana always found a way to beat this egg into submission. Yes, I’m making egg puns so I don’t have to focus on what a horrific racist character Egg Fu really was. There were a few other versions of Egg Fu over the years including one that took the name Dr. Yes (after Dr. No) and fought the Metal Men.

    In recent years, DC has made Egg Fu into a more MODOK like creature because the DC Universe really does need a sentient egg running around without the blatant racism. These days Eggy hangs out with Harley Quinn because of course he does. But there you go, an egg with a killer mustache. You’re drunk 1965 DC Comics, go home.


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    Wonder Woman is a throwback to classic superhero movies and war melodramas like Casablanca, but with a very smart feminist touch.

    Feature David Crow
    Jun 2, 2017

    This article contains Wonder Woman spoilers.

    There is a scene almost exactly midway through Patty Jenkins’ triumphant Wonder Woman that divides the picture. It’s a before and after moment, one in which we transition from watching a young woman learning her place in a chaotic world to then bearing witness at the Wonder Woman finally come to life and made flesh. A pop culture icon who after the better part of a century is at last taking her spotlight and running with it all the way to Germany.

    It’s a transcendent moment that will likely forever be enshrined in fan culture the same way that Christopher Reeve catching Margot Kidder in one hand and a helicopter in the other is, or how Michael Keaton hissing to a thug, “I’m Batman,” has become scripture. But the trick isn’t just about audiences finally getting to see Gal Gadot in the Wonder Woman costume doing battle; it’s that the entire movie has built up to this moment, and it is very much the payoff of both fan expectations and an expertly crafted passion project. One that was unconcerned with setting up sequels, teasing villains six years out, or even just winking at the fanbase by having Samuel L. Jackson crack a smile.

    In fact, other than the cute (and superfluous) bookends set in 2017, Wonder Woman is a decided throwback to when superhero movies and summer spectacles were allowed to stand on their own. Where the most thrilling moment is the grandeur before your eyes, and not in a fleeting post-credits sting. Like the aforementioned Superman: The Movie, or even Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, Wonder Woman is a full cinematic meal that’s informed by greater old-fashioned influences than Dick Donner and Marlon Brando. Albeit, it is now being viewed through a modern and refreshingly feminist prism.

    When we spoke with Patty Jenkins last March during a Wonder Woman edit bay visit, I saw a rough cut of the No Man’s Land scene where Diana runs across a battlefield after being told that no man can even try. And the director explicitly talked about what makes the scene so different—and ultimately satisfying—from other superhero action sequences.

    “Not a lot of people understood what I wanted with No Man’s Land,” Jenkins said after screening the scene. “It’s like, ‘What is she going to do? How many bullets can she block?’ And I was saying it’s not about that. It’s not about action or fighting. It’s about her. It’s about ‘I’m going to do this thing’ and then getting her way across…. As a result, I storyboarded and treated it very much like I would a dramatic scene. It’s this rhythm, you know?”

    Jenkins isn't wrong. Unlike most superhero movies these days, and perhaps most notoriously those directed by her DCEU peer Zack Snyder, the action in Wonder Woman is not about how much CG-exhaustion the audience can be distracted by (or buried in); the fighting for Jenkins is usually told from the perspective of Diana Prince and informs her journey. Whether it be the horror of seeing war for the first time when Germans arrive on her mythical paradise island, Themyscira, the thrill of self-actualization discovered with every mortar blast that bounces off her shield in Belgium, or the acute pain that comes with realizing violence and fighting only begets more destruction and death at the end of the picture… it is always part of Diana Prince’s story.

    So while the dazzle of action is very much up to our modern cutting-edge standards, the emphasis on drama, character, and classical storytelling is not. These elements are as old-fashioned as the many other types of movies that are clear influences on Wonder Woman, even if they’re ones not so blatantly obvious to the most comic book devout.

    Throughout Wonder Woman, I was reminded time and again of old school Hollywood melodramas set in the backdrops of war, and typically World War II at that. While the film wisely moves its conflict to the morally ambiguous final days of November 1918, when the first Great War to end all wars dragged on with nearly 10 million dead (counting only soldiers), the picture is nonetheless informed by the 1940s era which first gave life to the Wonder Woman character in comic books.

    Like 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, Wonder Woman is a period piece. But unlike The First Avenger, it is in no hurry to rush its story toward a modern day team-up movie, nor is it afraid to actually embrace the cinematic lexicon of its roots.

    Wonder Woman moves like a ‘40s adventure story at times, with a hero—or in this case, heroine—realizing there is a greater sense of duty and service that calls her to take her head out of the sand and to join the fight. This is implicit in the scene where Diana saves the life of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), an American spy who inadvertently crash landed his biplane on Themyscira.

    Visually, the image of Diana leaning over a dazed and confused Steve while on a beach is straight out of From Here to Eternity (1953), a WWII-set melodrama that among other things features Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr making passionate love in the Hawaiian surf on the eve of war and the Pearl Harbor attack. While this sequence is not a necessarily romantic one in Wonder Woman (or at least no more so than the also similar moment in Disney’s The Little Mermaid), it signals Jenkins’ desire to make an old-fashioned epic that winds up to the grimness of a war that will challenge and perhaps destroy her characters. Like Eternity, not everyone in Wonder Woman walks away from this historic catastrophe.

    Indeed, Wonder Woman is littered with allusions to these kind of movies, and the fellow films they inspired, such as Steven Spielberg’s crackerjack entertainments in the Indiana Jones saga. This becomes most visible in a London scene where spies follow Diana and Steve into an alleyway. The actual bullet-catching confrontation intentionally echoes another iconic sequence in Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie, but it also is evocative of Raiders of the Lost Ark where bespectacled German spies stalk fedora-adorned heroes and their female companions, only now it is the said female companion who is the hero, and the masculine fedora is a damsel.

    This reversal of expectation becomes most pronounced in the movie’s finale where Steve Trevor must board a plane that’ll take him away from Diana forever. This is an unsubtle and fascinating inverse of the iconic ending to the greatest wartime melodrama of them all: Casablanca (1942). In that masterpiece, Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine forces a reluctant Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) onto a plane that’ll take her out of the city of Casablanca and Rick’s life forevermore. She was married to a dead French Resistance fighter (Paul Henreid) when she met Rick, but her husband turned out not to be dead, and though she loves Rick more, her spouse needs her and Rick can best serve the cause of the war by operating as a spy right here in North Africa, alone… well other than for the delightful company of Claude Rains, of course.

    In Wonder Woman, it is the man who must get on the plane because, as he happily tells Diana, he can save this day and their current cause, but Diana can go on to save the world. As Ilsa loves Rick, so does Steve love Diana, but the problems of a few little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, so he gives himself up to a bigger cause, which in this case involves self-immolation.

    It’s the kind of grand movie moment that is so devoid of snark or self-awareness that it would never risk occurring in a modern Marvel Studios production, and its earnest classicalism allows Jenkins’ movie to stand apart.

    As Jenkins told me in March, “I ended up being very ‘Superman meets Casablanca. [Those] came up a lot, and Indiana Jones. It was those three films where I was like, ‘It’s a classic film. We are making a classic film.’ We care about humor, we care about epic, we care about heroism, we care about arc and story, and [we] make it elegant.”

    She accomplished all of that, but she added one other element: She made it modern.

    All of these classical Hollywood influences are more than welcome in Wonder Woman; they are a blessed relief from the blockbuster drudgery that comprised the May 2017 releases. But for all its old-fashionedness, Wonder Woman is not antiquated or regressive. It updates all of these ideas with a sense of 21st century femininity.

    Is Patty Jenkins’ movie an old school melodrama and even romance in the context of a larger war story? Yes, but this time it is the woman who is the hero, realizing she can’t refuse the call to action and remain an isolationist. Diana’s mother Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) might be more than a wee bit wary of men—she does tell her daughter, “They do not deserve you”—but she’d likely have gotten along pretty well with Casablanca’s Rick. In that movie’s first act he states, “I stick my neck out for nobody.”

    Like Rick, Diana learns that isolationism doesn’t work, and the war will come to you whether you want it or not. But it is her strength and conviction that can tip the balance, as opposed to Steve. Steve dies a hero’s death, but Diana lives a superhero’s life. She will make the difference, and she makes it through traits that are traditionally associated with the feminine: compassion, rationality, and empathy.

    Whereas Zack Snyder’s meatheaded version of Superman snapped his villain’s neck at the first opportunity in Man of Steel (2013), Diana spares the life of Dr. Maru (Elena Anaya), a German scientist whose weapons have likely killed tens of thousands if not more. She also comes to the conclusion that this is not a war about victors or losers, but one about those suffering on all sides, like the refugees she saw at the battlefield of No Man’s Land. Victory is to make the war simply stop. Period.

    This not normally the goal of classic wartime melodramas where winning is everything, but that is the secret to Wonder Woman’s biggest victory of all: making a classic that is entirely appropriate to modern feminist ideals. And it does so while looking good as those bullets and mortar shells bounce off her bracelets like so many impotent tweets. It’s a scene built to last. For generations.


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    We've got everything you need to know about the Justice League movie right here.

    NewsDen Of Geek Staff
    Jun 2, 2017

    Page 1 of 3Justice League Trailer, Release Date, Cast, News, and More

    This article contains some Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice spoilers.

    This is the one that the DC Extended Universe is building towards. Five years after The Avengers showed us that it was possible to pull off a non-mutant superhero team on the big screen, we'll finally see a JusticeLeaguemovie. Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder has wrapped filming on Justice League, from a script by Batman v Superman's Chris Terrio. 

    Justice League Trailer

    Here's all the footage that has been released so far...

    And here's a look at the first footage that arrived at SDCC 2016! This was our first glimpse of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman working together on the big screen.

    We did a full analysis on this footage right here.

    Justice League Movie Release Date

    Justice League is scheduled for a November 17th, 2017 release. The complete DC superhero movie release calendar can be found here.

    Justice League Movie Villain

    In order for the Justice League to form, they need a threat with power levels that only a team of heroes could take down, right? 

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made it pretty explicit that Darkseid is on his way to this world, and there were several visual cues for those who are interested. We broke those down (along with lots more comic references in the movie) right here. But he isn't the villain of the Justice League movie. A deleted scene from Batman v Superman released online offered a look at a monstrous creature on a Kryptonian ship, who turned out to be another Fourth World related despot (and Jack Kirby creation), Steppenwolf.

    Steppenwolf is basically Darkseid's cousin, a powerful warrior from Apokolips who wields a pretty crazy energy axe. 

    Ciaran Hinds (you may know him as Mance Rayder on Game of Thrones which makes him a particularly cool choice for this part) is playing Steppenwolf in the film, and the actor spoke about how they got him into character. "Basically they’re going to construct something, digitally, and then they will use my eyes and mouth,"the actor told The Independent. Hinds describes Steppenwolf as "old, tired, still trying to get out of his own enslavement to Darkseid, [but] he has to keep on this line to try and take over worlds.”

    Here's what Steppenwolf looked like in that Batman v Superman deleted scene:

    And here's Ciaran Hinds as Mance Rayder. You may start your Photoshop engines accordingly...

    It's still inevitable that we'll see Darkseid in these movies, and he'll probably still be a presence in the first one. DC Comics used him as the catalyst for the formation of the Justice League in the current comic book series. He's a pretty big gun to burn this early, though, so holding him back for Justice League Part Two sound about as logical as anything else we've heard.

    Page 1 of 3Justice League Trailer, Release Date, Cast, News, and More


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    Mortal Engines, a film written by Peter Jackson, now has some imaginative concept art to showcase.

    News Joseph Baxter
    May 26, 2017

    The 2018 film adaptation of Philip Reeve’s popular teen-aimed apocalyptic novel series Mortal Engines appears to be running on all cylinders. With the legendary visionary of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies Peter Jackson working on the script with his repertory team of (his wife) Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, we know the screenplay is being tackled by a trio who understand what it takes to adapt epic fantasies.

    Here's everything we know so far!

    Mortal Engines Latest News

    Peter Jackson is stoking the Mortal Engines fire by taking to Facebook to post a piece of concept art from the upcoming film. The art, presumably depicting protagonist Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar), noticeably carries a Dark Tower vibe in its aesthetic approach as the figure in question gazes upon a post-apocalyptic metropolis in the background that also evokes memories of Minas Tirith from Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

    Mortal Engines Cast

    Hera Hilmar headlines Mortal Engines as protagonist Hester Shaw. The actress was notably seen on Starz’s 3-season run of Da Vinci’s Demons, Discovery miniseries Harley and the Davidsons and in films such as The Fifth Estate, Anna Karenina and the March release of The Ottoman Lieutenant, opposite Game of Thrones actor Michiel Huisman (who also starred in the Harley miniseries), which also features Ben Kingsely and Josh Hartnett.

    Robert Sheehan is her co-star, playing Tom Natsworthy. Sheehan has been seen on the just-released second season of Amazon drama Fortitude opposite Dennis Quaid. He’s also appeared in notable projects such as the mystery thriller The Messenger, comedy Moonwalkers opposite Rupert Grint and Ron Perlman and this film’s name-similar Freeform show-spawning box-office bomb counterpart The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

    Hugo Weaving will play a character named Thaddeus Valentine. Weaving joining the project yields a reunion that should delight fans of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth Sextet, in which he played the mission-making ancient elven Lord of Rivendale Elrond in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and its prequels The Hobbit Trilogy.

    Weaving has also fielded a variety of iconic signature roles in his career outside of Middle Earth, first establishing himself as a household name with his villainous performance as Agent Smith in The Matrix Trilogy, the crimson-faced A-list villain Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger, the masked anarchist vigilante in 2005’s V for Vendetta and was the voice of Decepticon big bad Megatron in director Michael Bay’s Transformers films, amongst an array of other great roles.

    And the Rest...

    Mortal Engines' supporting cast consists of names like Stephen Lang (Avatar and its upcoming sequels) as Chryslar Peavy, Ronan Raftery (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) as Bevis Pod, Jihae (Mars) as Anna Fang, Aaron Jackson (Pete’s Dragon) as Gench, Kee Chan (Red Dog: True Blue) as Governor Kwan and Leila George (Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?) as Katherine Valentine.

    Mortal Engines Story

    Beginning with Reeve’s 2001 original novel, continuing with three subsequent sequels, Mortal Engines is set thousands of years in the future in the aftermath of a global catastrophe that left the world decimated on a geological level. To escape the constant threat of earthquakes and volcanoes, which apparently left North America uninhabitable, the city of London was transferred onto a massive wheeled vehicle called a Traction City and resort to roving the world, raiding the waning resources of other cities in a dynamic called “Municipal Darwinism.”

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    Amidst this bleak backdrop, the story of Mortal Engines focuses on two young cast away characters looking to get themselves away from the desolation. The story centers on Hester Shaw (Hilmar), a revenge-seeking drifter who finds common cause with Tom Natsworthy (Sheehan), combining their efforts to find and board the massive predatory vehicle that is London.

    Mortal Engines Crew

    In the director’s chair for Mortal Engines (not“Instruments,”) is Christian Rivers, a longtime acquaintance of the Jackson/Walsh/Boyens power trio who was part of the visual effects department for many of their films, going back to the Rings Trilogy, who worked as a splinter unit director on the last two entries of The Hobbit Trilogy. Rivers recently ran second unit for director David Lowery on 2016’s Pete’s Dragon. Jackson, Walsh and Boyens are credited producers on Mortal Engines along with Amanda Walker, Deborah Forte and Ken Kamins.

    Mortal Engines Release Date

    Production was reportedly set to start in New Zealand in spring 2017, with a release date of December 14th, 2018.


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    We know that the Avengers will wage war on Thanos, but what about Captain Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy?

    Feature Gavin Jasper
    May 27, 2017

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in the middle of some crazy momentum right now. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is once again exceeding expectations at the box office, and Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok will follow in July and November, respectively. On the small screen, we'll get The Defenders in August and Inhumans in September, and we may still get The Punisher before the end of the year. But those still feel like appetizers before Avengers: Infinity War opens in May 2019.

    Avengers: Infinity War is likely to serve as a kind of "season finale" for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it. Sure, we’ll still get movies after it, but big names like Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and, of course, Robert Downey Jr. are all nearing the end of their Marvel contracts and may want to pursue other roles. Regardless, 20 years from now, you know you’re going to have a bunch of grizzled nerds looking back and saying, “They should have just ended it with Infinity War,” while waiting on line for Speedball 3: Atlantis Attacks.

    Everything has been building up towards this throwdown with the Mad Titan, Thanos. While Iron ManIncredible Hulk, and Iron Man 2 were about building towards the Avengers as a concept, Thor and Captain America laid down the first seeds for Infinity War with Avengers ramping it into gear.

    Even then, Marvel has taken its time with it, which is pretty impressive. They skipped over Thanos for Avengers: Age of Ultron and have been treating him like Emperor Palpatine, showing up briefly here and there and spoken about in hushed tones. The writing has been on the wall for years that the third Avengers movie would be about Thanos and the Infinity Gems, and it's possible that the (currently untitled) fourth movie will deal with this as well.

    Of course, none of the superhero movies these days are word-for-word faithful to the comics they borrow their titles from. Still, the mining of source material has still been strong enough, whether it was how Dark Knight Rises was a hybrid of Dark Knight ReturnsKnightfall, and No Man’s Land or how Captain America: The Winter Soldier was close to the comic in all the ways that mattered. Then again, Avengers: Age of Ultron thankfully had absolutely nothing to do with the comic with the same name.

    If nothing else, we can look at Jim Starlin and Ron Lim’s Infinity Gauntlet as providing at least some of the inspiration for Avengers: Infinity War. If so, it’s a really good thing that they won't follow the book too closely because while the idea of Infinity Gauntlet is awesome, the movie-going audience would turn on it if they went with the comic’s story.

    Anyway, it can't be too close to Infinity Gauntlet comic, because one of the key players in that, Adam Warlock, won't be introduced until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which won't turn up until at least a year after Infinity War hits theaters. It's difficult, but not impossible to tell that story, though. It says a lot that there have been multiple attempts since then to rewrite the Infinity Gauntlet story without Adam Warlock saving the day while all the Avengers and their ilk are reduced to dust. I mean, Brian Clevinger, Lee Black, and Brian Churilla did Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet, where instead of the Avengers being massacred by the big, purple, space genie, they have Thanos get crushed with a space truck.

    Look forward to US-Ace showing up in the post-credits of Thor: Ragnarok.

    If there’s one casualty you can count on, it’s Vision. Of the four Infinity Stones introduced throughout the movies so far, there isn’t much drama in Thanos getting his hands on them outside of a quick showing of power, a yelling of, “YOINK!” and a smile. Vision, on the other hand, is housing the Mind Stone on his own head. It's literally part of who he is. Maybe removing it will kill him. Maybe it won’t. What’s for sure is that Vision, the current heavy hitter of the Avengers in terms of sheer power level, is going to get wrecked as part of Thanos' path to omnipotence.

    Poor Scarlet Witch can’t catch a break.

    There is one aspect of the Infinity Gauntlet series that has an incredibly good chance of being remolded for the movie-going audience. In the series, Thanos is advised by Mephisto (Marvel’s Devil-who-is-not-actually-the-Devil-but-let’s-be-honest-he’s-the-Devil) in how to best use his ultimate power. Naturally, Mephisto is trying to use his forked tongue to play things his way. I highly doubt we’ll see him show up on the big screen, but it should be obvious that this role is absolutely perfect for Loki.

    Ever since Avengers came out, people have been speculating that Loki – being Thanos’ underling in The Avengers – would be thrust into the Mephisto role. Considering the character’s massive popularity, it seems more and more likely.

    Much like Age of Ultron, I wouldn’t expect much to come out of the movie being named after the actual Marvel miniseries Infinity War. After Infinity Gauntlet, Jim Starlin continued to write a bunch of Warlock/Thanos stories with “Infinity” in the title, but they go off the rails and wouldn’t jibe with an Avengers movie.

    For one thing, Earth heroes have less and less to do with the main plot. Second, the heroes’ main obstacle during this time is to fight evil versions of themselves, which would be incredibly lazy, especially since heroes fighting dark versions of themselves is a major criticized trope in these movies as is. We already had Iron Man vs. Evil Iron Man, Captain America vs. Evil Captain America, and Hulk vs. Evil Hulk. We’re good.

    Then there’s the fact that they’ve been spending years building up Thanos as the ultimate bad guy. After Gauntlet, Starlin started to write Thanos as something of an anti-hero and that’s not going to work here. He’s THE threat. Whether the movies end with him being frozen into a statue, blown to smithereens, or reduced to a farmer, it needs to be about everyone vs. Thanos. 

    Marvel – both as a studio and a comic company – has been sketching the architecture of these movies for a long time. There’s a reason why the Guardians of the Galaxy showed up on the Avengers cartoon years before the movie came out. The Captain Marvel movie has been in the cards for a long time. Long enough that they’ve been trying to increase Carol Danvers’ importance and make her the premiere female hero in the comics...especially since mutant heroes (and Sue Storm) are off the cinematic menu.

    Here’s something interesting, though. There have been ongoing plans to introduce Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel in the movies, with Joss Whedon initially hoping to introduce her at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. But her origin is tied to another key piece of cosmic Marvel lore, as she gets her powers from Mar-Vell, the Kree soldier who is the MU's first character with the name. Could Mar-Vell show up in Infinity War, with his downfall leading into Carol’s rise in Captain Marvel, which would then funnel back into whatever the next movie is?

    The original Captain Marvel took on Thanos several times and the Starlin-penned story from Captain Marvel #31-33 in the '70s is like a more streamlined version of Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos is even done in the same way: he gets ultimate power, becomes one with the cosmos itself, but forgets that the very device that made him so powerful is now left out in the open.

    Then there’s the Inhumans, another superhero property Marvel’s been trying to build up over time. Long planned as a movie, it's now a TV series premiering in September 2017. The whole Inhuman concept has been built up on Agents of SHIELD with Skye being an Inhuman herself and the entire concept serving as the focus for the third season of the show. But with the Inhumans now getting established before Infinity War, it opens the door to a particulary interesting Avengers vs. Thanos tale: Infinity.

    While I love the story to death, Infinity is a mess to explain, mainly because it’s merely a climax to the first act in Jonathan Hickman’s complicated Avengers/New Avengers run and that’s a whole can of worms in itself. The comic goes out of its way to make Thanos more like the little we’ve seen on his movie incarnation, in the sense that we first see him sitting on a throne in space with followers bowing down to him and handing out exposition while he merely smiles.

    Speaking of thrones, Thanos finds himself at odds with the Inhumans halfway into the story, leading to a balls-out awesome confrontation with Black Bolt...

    Certain characters are introduced through this story, such as Thanos’ major henchmen. For the sake of giving the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy someone to fight against, I wouldn’t doubt seeing the likes of Proxima Midnight, Black Dwarf, Ebony Maw, and Supergiant on the big screen. More importantly, this story brings in Thane, the son of Thanos and a woman of the Inhuman bloodline. He’s yet to truly make an impact in Marvel outside of the finale of Infinity and the X-Men/Guardians crossover Black Vortex, but the company definitely has some plans for him. 

    It’s still a year until Avengers: Infinity War makes its first step into theaters, but it's still fun to speculate. In the end, I expect a foundation of Infinity Gauntlet with cherry-picked aspects of Infinity thrown in there, along with Kree warrior Captain Mar-Vell showing up. While we know the Guardians of the Galaxy will show up, as badass as Annihilation was, I doubt we’ll see anything resembling that story, sadly. I’d love to see Drax the Destroyer tear out Thanos’ heart and show it to him before he dies as much as the next guy, but I don’t think they can swing a PG-13 rating with that.

    Gavin Jasper is hoping for the cinematic debut of the Thanoscopter from Spidey Super StoriesFollow him on Twitter!


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    Where do you start with Wonder Woman comics? We have a reader's guide to the character's over 75 year history!

    The ListsMarc Buxton
    May 28, 2017

    Wonder Woman made quite an impression in her big screen debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last year. And with the character finally about to headline her own movie for the first time, there's no better time to get familiar with the comics and stories that shaped Wonder Woman over the years.

    Wonder Woman has long been an American icon, but not many people are aware of her diverse and sometimes very strange publishing history. Here are some must reads for fans, from her earliest stories all the way through to the modern era!

    Wonder Woman Chronicles

    Writer Dr. William Martson (Charles Moulton) Artist: Harry G. Peter

    To fully understand who Wonder Woman is and what she stands for, one must experience the original Golden Age stories by writer Dr. William Martson (Charles Moulton) and artist Harry G. Peter. Many of comics' original Golden Age stories are clunky and hard to swallow by modern standards, but not Dr. Marston's work on Wonder Woman.

    Originally meant as a reaction to the budding male dominated super-hero movement of the late '30s and early '40s, Wonder Woman was an exercise that turned early comic book gender expectations on their ear. In the original Wonder Woman strips, it was the woman who did the saving every time Steve Trevor got in a bind (as he frequently did).

    In this first volume, Wonder Woman journeys from her home of Paradise Island to fight Nazis, crush a black market milk trade, and fight to improve working conditions for female factory workers. The early Wonder Woman tales are a perfect dichotomy of innocence and naughtiness, suitable for young readers but with just a hint of kink and counterculture. Marston was a well-known sexual adventurer who lived in an almost lifelong polyamorous relationship with two women, his own personal island of the Amazons.

    The stories are almost playful parodies of the superhero genre, but the foundation they set up was so powerfully effective that the modern Wonder Woman morphed into a feminine icon from these original fun tales. Without the stories in this volume, there would be no Wonder Woman and these wholly unique works need to be experienced to be believed.

    Buy Wonder Woman Chronicles Volume 1 on Amazon

    Wonder Woman: Down to Earth (2004)

    Writer: Greg Rucka Artists: Drew Johnson, Eric Shanower, and Brian Stelfreeze

    When novelist Greg Rucka took over Wonder Woman in the mid-2000s, fans knew big changes were in store. What they didn't realize was that Rucka’s work would be so good as to redefine Marston’s creation for a new century. Using the lens of Marston’s sociopolitical beliefs, Rucka crafted a Wonder Woman that was sensitive to the issues of a modern world and who also kicked plenty of ass.

    Down to Earth sees Diana publish a series of memoirs about her philosophies on morality in the modern world, a book that makes her a political enemy to those that stand in the way of progress and gender equality. It manages to be poignant without being preachy, but don't think it is all stolid political commentary. There's plenty of classic comic book action with the introduction of Veronica Cale, a villain designed to be Diana’s own Lex Luthor, and a character that the movies would be wise to remember for any future Wonder Woman projects.

    Wonder Woman’s memoir acts as the catalyst for this volume’s key conflicts, but there is plenty of action to satisfy the hardened super-hero fans as well as the newcomer to the world of Wonder Woman. Fans of Brian K. Vaughn and Tony Harris' Ex Machina will love the political bent of this book as will fans looking for the their first exposure to Diana’s world.

    Buy Wonder Woman: Down to Earth on Amazon

    Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth

    Writer: Paul Dini Artist: Alex Ross (2001)

    While just a single oversized 64 page story, Spirit of Truth defines everything great about the character. With lush painted art by Alex Ross that perfectly captures Diana’s power, grace, and beauty, Spirit of Truth is a treatise on why Wonder Woman is so enduring and inspiring.

    Spirit of Truth is a look at Diana the woman, filled with understated moments rendered by Ross of Diana and Clark Kent having coffee, and Wonder Woman, the hero, with bombastic and powerfully rendered double page spreads of the Amazon Warrior lifting tanks, taking on subjugating armies, and fighting for the rights of women the world over.

    Each page is a loving tribute to Wonder Woman’s legacy and a powerful reminder on why she endures.

    Buy Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth on Amazon

    Wonder Woman: Blood

    Writer: Brian Azzarello Artist: Cliff Chiang (2012)

    When DC decided to reboot its universe in 2011, one of the most extreme character makeovers was to Wonder Woman. Her costume, mission statement, tone, and lineage all changed, but Diana’s bravery and inspiring message stayed the same.  

    Using constant horror imagery and motifs, Brian Azzarrelo and Cliff Chiang created a dark world around Diana but never dimmed her spirit. This new take on Diana creates a new Wonder Woman who isn't afraid to kill for the right cause.

    Make no mistake, the New 52 Diana is no Punisher, but she's an unrelenting force for good in a complex and dark world. Blood redefines the Greek gods, beings that play a vital role in Diana’s origins, giving them an aloof alien like resonance. Azzarello and Chiang up the ante, introducing some truly disturbing horror elements to Wonder Woman’s world, but in the darkness, Diana shines all the brighter.

    Buy Wonder Woman: Blood on Amazon

    Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia (2003)

    Writer: Greg Rucka Artists: J.G. Jones, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Dave Stewart

    The Hiketeia is a powerful look at the ancient idea of justice in the modern world. When Diana meets Danielle Wellys, Danielle evokes the ancient right of Hiketeia, bonding herself to Diana as a supplicant and ensuring Diana’s protection. Little does Diana realize that Danielle has been on a murder spree to avenger her slain sister, an act which brings her into conflict with the vengeance seeking Furies of Greek myth and Batman himself.

    The story is a perfect look at what makes Wonder Woman tick, her obsession with fairness and justice and her unwillingness to bend in the face of adversity. It's also is a meditation on the relationship of Batman and Wonder Woman, two thirds of DC’s trinity. Their interactions and respectful but adversarial relationship should be a perfect guide as Batman and Wonder Woman interact more on the screen in the future.

    Buy Wonder Woman: The Hikiteia on Amazon

    Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals (2004)

    Writers: George Perez, Len Wein, and George Potter Artist: George Perez

    Between the time of Marston's seminal Golden Age run and Crisis on Infinite Earths, the quality of Wonder Woman stories was a mixed bag. For decades, capable writers struggled to find a direction for Diana, some of the attempts downright insulting. After her creator's death, the familiar gender roles of comics reared their ugly heads in Wonder Woman, with Diana now regularly being saved by Steve Trevor and other male character foils and, worse, a number of male characters became objects of desire for Wonder Woman to pursue. For a time, she even had the ignominious position of becoming the secretary of the Justice League, not a member of equal standing.

    All this changed with the post-Crisis arrival of George Perez to the relaunched Wonder Woman title.

    Gone were any sort of trappings of silliness, gone was the sense that Wonder Woman was the marginalized member of a boy’s club. In Perez’s world, Diana stood on her own. Her character reverted to her feminist roots as Marston envisioned, as regular supporting characters Steve Trevor and Etta Candy became rich and layered characters in their own right.

    Perez added a sense of fatalistic realism, as he revealed that the Amazons put themselves in a self-imposed exile after Wonder Woman’s mother, Queen Hippolyta, was put into bondage and raped by Hercules. The real world politics and gender issues were front and center when Wonder Woman arrived to man’s world and became an ambassador of peace.

    Continuity wise, the book removed Diana from the history of the Justice Society and the Justice League, but this allowed her to stand on her own, to not need DC’s male pantheon to support her and give her importance. For the first time in years, Diana stood alone with her beliefs, strength, and heart as her sword and shield, and she never looked better, as Perez was putting out the best pencils of his career.

    At this time, the Greek gods became regular and fascinating supporting characters to Diana. Their characterizations ripped right from Greek myth, Diana questioned and inspired their world just as deeply as she did the world of mortal men. With the arrival of Perez, Wonder Woman was changed forever. 

    Buy the George Perez Wonder Woman Omnibus on Amazon

    Sensation Comics

    Each of these sensational Wonder Woman tales first appeared online, but DC packaged these tales in Sensation Comics a monthly comic dedicated to every iteration of the Amazing Amazon.

    Written and drawn by some of the finest creators in the industry, Sensation Comics is a look at Wonder Woman in every age. From the modern age warrior to the feminist crusader of years past to the ambassador of peace and love of the '80s and '90s, all these interpretations of Wonder Woman are front and center in Sensation Comics.

    Every issue was a grab bag of goodness that took Diana to every corner of reality and beyond. This book also serves as a primer for many of Wonder Woman's villains and supporting characters so Sensation Comics really is where you might want to go to meet some of Wonder Woman's nearest and dearest (and most hated) before they take Hollywood by storm.

    Buy Sensation Comics on Amazon

    Wonder Woman '77

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice isn't the first time a live action Wonder Woman has taken the world by storm. In 1977, Wonder Woman hit the network airwaves. Suddenly, the superhero who had been fighting so long in the pages of DC comics had become a national phenomenon, and in turn, actress Lynda Carter and her nylon tights became pop culture icons.

    In truth, Carter was so perfect as Wonder Woman, it's almost hard to imagine anyone else wielding the magic lasso. Wonder Woman '77. followed on the success of the Adam West inspired Batman '66, DC turned to the great Lynda Carter tales of yesteryear to deliver some classic action to legions of fans who remember when Wonder Woman fought crime under the bright lights of disco balls. And you know what? Despite the campiness and bell bottomed nostalgia, or perhaps because of it, Wonder Woman '77 truly delivers some great Diana stories.

    The tales in these collections are so gleefully aware of what they are that it is impossible not to fall in love with the whole anachronistic package. Wonder Woman '77 proves that in any era, Wonder Woman is timeless.

    Buy Wonder Woman '77 on Amazon


    Wonder Woman: Earth One

    Brilliant and always quirky writer Grant Morrison takes Wonder Woman back to her roots in this must read alternative take on the Wonder Woman mythos. Earth One combines modern day super hero storytelling with sexual fetishism and post-modern feminism to create possibly the only modern Wonder Woman story true to Marston’s original vision of the character. With plenty of action, the story presents the idea that submission to peace is the only solution to violent dominion in this feminist take on comics’ leading lady. And oh, that art. Paquette’s renderings of Diana and her world are achingly beautiful. 

    Buy Wonder Woman: Earth One on Amazon

    Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Lies

    Some of the big problems that fans and creators have had to deal with over the years is the many reboots, reimaginings, and retcons, that Wonder Woman has had to endure over the years. But DC tries to fix all that in The Lies, the first volume of the Rebirth era of Wonder Woman. For those of you not in the know, Rebirth was DC’s attempt to restore classical elements to its pantheon of characters after the wholesale changes of the New 52. Some of the New 52 Wonder Woman stuff was pretty darn compelling, but if Diana was going to return to her roots, some origin exploration and explanation had to be made. Sounds complex, right? Not with Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp at the helm.

    The Lies is the story of a powerful and mythic Amazon Princess who is determined to uncover the truth of her fractured past. Rucka did some amazing things with his run on Diana in the early 2000s, and with Rebirth, he proves that he is indeed the greatest WW writer of this generation. The Lies takes Diana on a journey to break through her false pasts to find the real hero of the Rebirth era.

    Buy Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Lies on Amazon

    Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Year One 

    While Diana searches for her true origins in The Lies, Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott present her past to readers in Wonder Woman: Year One, a perfect amalgamation of Diana’s many past origin tales.

    Year One is a story of war and sacrifice that is a perfect primer for those that need an introduction to how Wonder Woman is represented in modern comics. It’s fascinating to read Year One and Earth One together to see how malleable and timeless the story of Wonder Woman can be. And Nicola Scott’s artwork! Diana never looked more regal!

    Buy Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Year One on Amazon


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    George Miller's almost-made Justice League movie from 2007, Justice League: Mortal, could have been one of the greats.

    Feature Mike Cecchini
    Jun 4, 2017

    Mad Max: Fury Roaddirector, George Miller, was once set to helm a Justice League movie nearly a decade ago. The project was known as Justice League: Mortal and it was far more than an unproduced script. A full cast was in place, sets and costumes were in production from Weta Workshop, and filming was all set to begin in Australia before things got...complicated.

    It's a shame, too. Based on the script I read, Justice League: Mortal would have been a fairly impressive, very recognizable representation of DC's flagship super team. It also would have beaten The Avengers to the big screen by at least a couple of years.

    I took a careful look at the Justice League: Mortal script and rounded up some of the other available information out there. We even spoke with George Miller about what it was like to have the plug pulled on a $250 million superhero movie just days before shooting was scheduled to begin.

    Only have a couple of minutes? We can give you a video breakdown of the project to get you started. But if you want more detail, you can read the whole article!

    Let's get going...

    Justice League Mortal Script

    Michele and Kiernan Mulroney (who went on to pen Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadowsafter this movie failed to materialize) wrote the Justice League: Mortalscript, and all things considered, it's a fun, breezy read. The script was handed over to Warner Bros. in June of 2007 and received a positive response from executives, and it's easy to see why.

    The characters are in costume and in action on virtually every single page from the get-go, and there's plenty of opportunity for merchandising between the heroes and the endless array of robotic bad guys they square off with. Everyone (yes, even Aquaman) gets a chance to shine, and the idea of introducing a new DC cinematic universe with all of the characters together and then spinning them off into their own films certainly must have seemed attractive, even in those pre-Marvel Studios days.

    While it's refreshing to see these characters presented pretty much exactly as you would want to see them, with little in the way in deconstructionism or even soul-searching on display, it does make the proceedings feel a little lightweight. Justice League: Mortal sometimes reads more like an extended episode of the Justice League Unlimited animated series. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but things move along a little too easily considering how many characters need to be introduced.

    The film is bookended with a funeral sequence for a hero, although we don't find out who it's for until the end. Once that shocking opening is out of the way, it's made clear that superheroes are already well-established on Earth. In fact, they're so well-established that Wonder Woman is addressing the UN to discuss the fact that humanity (with the help of their superpowered protectors) appears to have achieved world peace. Even Bruce Wayne's faithful aide, Alfred, tells Bruce that crime in Gotham City has been reduced to a "nuisance."

    It's an interesting opening gambit, almost like a far-reaching, optimistic version of Watchmen, but it's glossed over so quickly (Wonder Woman's speech to the UN is broadcasting on a TV in the background of a restaurant where Barry Allen and Iris West are eating), and referred to so infrequently afterwards, that it's almost inconsequential. It makes for a nice change of pace from the origin story addiction on display in most superhero movies, and the novelty is more in how these characters get together and interact rather than how they came to be in the first place.

    It's never made quite clear how long superheroes have been operating, but I figure five years is a safe bet, especially for Batman, who has probably been operating longer than any of them. The world's superhumans have never teamed up on a large scale, but some of them appear to have met before.

    The Flash functions as the POV character of the film. Despite his great power, he's the joking everyman, constantly in awe of the other heroes around him. It's not necessarily the most in tune with traditional depictions of Barry Allen (although one could argue that Grant Gustin's version of the character could slot right in here), and Barry's sense of humor is similar to how the Flash of the Justice League animated series (although on that show, he's Wally West) was presented. The fact that a 17 year old Wally West is also hanging around makes things a little distracting, as his personality is almost indistinguishable from that of his Uncle's.

    Wonder Woman, on the other hand, is the most "outgoing" member of the team. I mean that inasmuch as she has apparently already met/worked with Superman (they're on a first name, not codename basis), Aquaman (who she has some romantic tension with), and possibly Martian Manhunter. She's also the public voice of the metahuman community. When we first meet her, she's addressing the United Nations in that television broadcast, which is a nice way to set up Diana as an ambassador, although little is made of her Amazon background. It's safe to assume that's all in place, though.

    In short order we're introduced to the rest of the team once the Martian Manhunter finds himself the victim of a mysterious attack that leaves him in the uncomfortable position of bursting into flames whenever he's exposed to oxygen. As each member of the team goes to his rescue, they each find themselves compromised by nanotechnology that exploits their weaknesses.

    Why is this happening? Because Batman's been hacked, and his files on how to take out assorted superhumans if they ever got out of line are now being exploited by Bruce Wayne's buddy Maxwell Lord, who is also playing around with the government's super secret OMAC technology.

    How did this happen? Because Talia al Ghul slipped some tracking tech into Batman's shorts during one of their romantic interludes.

    Why is that happening? Because Maxwell Lord wants revenge on the world for horrible experiments done to him as a child as part of the OMAC Project, which left him with some low-level psychic abilities. Simple, right?

    Eventually, everyone gets back on their feet, they make their peace with Batman despite the fact that he's a pointy-headed, paranoid, fascist dick, and get ready to take on Maxwell Lord and the OMAC cyborgs...who unfortunately have innocent people inside them. In the course of this, Superman ends up mind-controlled and the team has to deal with a Kryptonian running amok on top of everything else.

    Remember what I said about Flash getting the most screen time? Well, he also gets the most dramatic moment. See...remember how I said this is bookended with a funeral?

    Barry Allen sacrifices himself to get rid of Maxwell Lord (who has become a cybernetic doomsday device) by basically running so fast he merges with the Speed Force and sucks the giant OMAC into oblivion with him. Ummmm...it actually reads a lot better than I make it sound. Wally West then takes up his Uncle's heroic mantle and joins the team at the end. All the Flash stuff is handled really well throughout the movie, from representations of how Barry sees the world when he's moving at full speed to his relationship with Iris West. His death definitely would have hit an unspoiled audience pretty hard, since he's by far the most likeable character in the movie. 

    The Comic Book Influences

    What's remarkable about Justice League: Mortal is how utterly faithful to the source material it is. It's not just an unashamed representation of the DC superheroes that make up the team's roster, it's almost slavishly devoted to the Justice League stories of the early 21st century.

    The core team consists of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman (complete with his prosthetic "water hand"), Green Lantern (John Stewart), and J'onn J'onzz (The Martian Manhunter), with an assist from Wally West. If the team sounds familiar, that's because it's virtually identical to the core team that made up the (still excellent and well worth your time) Justice League animated series. All you have to do is swap Wally West's Flash for Barry Allen's, and try and get Hawkgirl in the mix somewhere. 

    Comic fans who read my (admittedly kinda perfunctory) summation of the script's events will probably recognize a bunch of story elements from Justice League comics of the era, too.

    The first is JLA: Tower of Babelby Mark Waid and Howard Porter. This is the now infamous tale where the Justice League are defeated because someone gets a hold of Batman's files on everybody's weakness. It's a great comic, although an early symptom of the "with enough prep time, Batman could defeat god" problem. In the hands of less talented writers it's an irritating trope that cheapens everyone involved. Tower of Babel, incidentally, was adapted as a truly awful DC Animated Universe film called Justice League: Doomed. While many of those DCAU movies are a really good time, avoid that one.

    The other is The OMAC Project by Greg Rucka and Jesus Saiz. This was another matter of Batman's good/bad intentions backfiring, as a satellite of his ("Brother Eye") that was built to monitor the Justice League ends up activating cybernetic sleeper agents all over the world (OMACs), at the behest of Maxwell Lord. In the comics, Wonder Woman decides that Maxwell Lord is too dangerous to live and snaps his neck as assuredly as lazy writing in a modern Superman movie, whereas in Justice League: Mortal, Superman and Wonder Woman refuse to do the deed, but Batman, ever the douchebag, is happy to.

    The funeral sequence that bookends the film is reminiscent of Identity Crisis (although it wasn't the same character taking the dirt nap in that one). And since that funeral is for the Flash (and, for real, this movie isn't ever getting made, so please don't yell at me about spoilers), his death sequence is quite similar to how he exited our realm in Crisis on Infinite Earths, right down to the empty costume fluttering to the ground once he vanishes.

    It also packs enough DC Comics Easter eggs per page to make even a Marvel Studios exec say "you might want to take that down a notch." In the course of its 128 pages we're treated to references to offscreen DC supervillains like Scarecrow, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Parasite, Solomon Grundy, and Catwoman, Batman love-interests like Julie Madison, Silver St. Cloud, and Vicki Vale, plus DC landmarks like Arkham Asylum, The Slab, and Stryker's Island prison. Even the "Planet Krypton" restaurant chain from DC's post-Kingdom Comeexperiments with the continuity altering "hypertime" plot device shows up a few times, and there's a reference to a "Hal Jordan Memorial Park" that Green Lantern John Stewart is designing in his day job as an architect.

    There's a fun closing sequence with the newly-formed team rushing off to fight Starro, the intergalactic menace that brought the original Justice League together in the first place in the Brave and the Bold #28 way the hell back in 1960.

    Justice League Mortal Cast

    Justice League: Mortal had an ensemble cast that would have consisted of Adam Brody (The Flash), Armie Hammer (Batman), Common (Green Lantern), DJ Cotrona (Superman), Megan Gale (Wonder Woman), Hugh Keays-Byrne (Martian Manhunter), Santiago Cabrera (Aquaman), with Zoe Kasan as Iris Allen. On the villainous side we had Jay Baruchel as Maxwell Lord and Teresa Palmer as Talia al Ghul.

    The above cast photo by the way, is (according to the good folks at Comics Alliance who pointed it out to us) "Hammer in the back row, Cotrona directly in front of him, Cabrera, Brody, Palmer, Van Borssum and Osborne in the second row from the front, and Miller, Baruchel, and Keays-Byrne in front. The woman to the left of Cotrona may be Wonder Woman actress Megan Gale. The man to the right of Cotrona has not been identified."

    There are still some fun superhero connections to be made here, too...

    Armie Hammer (sort of) got to play a superhero in Disney's ill-fated The Lone Rangermovie and his name did briefly resurface in connection with Batman once Christian Bale hung up the pointy cowl. DJ Cotrona never got to play Superman, but he did play Flint in GI Joe: Retaliation. Common recently spoke about the possibility of giving Green Lantern another go before taking on a mystery role in the Suicide Squad movie. Megan Gale, by the way, can be seen in Mad Max: Fury Roadas the Valkyrie along with Hugh Keays-Byrne as Immortan Joe.


    Justice League

    Why Didn't it Happen?

    There are several reasons, some are creative, while others are just a question of beauracracy and economics. Timing was definitely a factor.

    By some accounts, Justice League: Mortal was mere days away from filming, with Weta having built nearly everything from sets to props and costumes, with special effects pre-vis already set to go. I've exhausted myself trying to track down images of the costumes that Weta designed for this film, but there's very little out there other than some concept art which you can see below. By all accounts, they were rather remarkable. There's a fun video of Armie Hammer freaking out a little bit over how cool his Batman costume "with all the carbon fiber and mechanics and springs and pistons" on it (there's an appropriate story purpose for that stuff, by the way, Batman is injured and is wearing high tech arm and knee braces) would have looked.

    Adam Brody remembers trying on an early version of the Flash costume. He told MTV that “It was kinda what you’d think, without [certain features]; it was the first, rough-draft version...We were in Australia for some table reads and fittings and whatnot for a few weeks with George Miller and his camp, and that was a great experience. I don’t regret a second of it; I had a really good time and a lot of positive things came from that.”

    Our own Don Kaye had a chance to ask George Miller about why Justice League: Mortal had its plug pulled at the last minute. "Well," he began, "it's weird." We don't doubt it.

    He did clarify things, though:

    "There was a writers strike. There was some legislation with a tax rebate to make it in Australia. It was the first film that came up, and there was a debate about whether it was Australian content even though I was driving it. It didn’t have to be Australian content, but Australian control. But there was a board that no longer exists that the government cobbled together from people who knew nothing about the film industry. And they voted -- they struck it down by one vote. We were all ready. Once that happened and then the writers’ strike happened…it fell apart."

    (you can and should read the rest of Don's interview with George Miller right here)

    But there's always the lingering issue of whether Warner Bros. was comfortable having different versions of its own characters competing with each other for audience dollars. Superman Returns had opened in 2006 with Brandon Routh in the title role, and while it underperformed at the box office, a sequel had been penciled in for 2009. Smallvillewas in the middle of some of its most successful seasons. DJ Cotrona would have made the third live-action Superman vying for attention at the same time. 

    Adam Brody believed that Warner Bros. "just didn’t want to cross their streams with a whole bunch of Batmans in the universe and all the other reasons they didn’t make it." Justice League: Mortal would have been in production while the promotional machine for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight was in full gear, and with the third film in that Batman trilogy on the horizon, an "unassociated" Batman might not have been welcome. Meanwhile, the big screen Batman of the era, Christian Bale, seemed less than enthused by the whole affair, saying "It’d be better if it doesn’t tread on the toes of what we’re doing," and "it would be better if it comes out after Batman 3."

    I also have to wonder how Christopher Nolan felt about the whole thing. By the time "Batman 3" (which we know as The Dark Knight Risesthese days) was in production, Warner Bros. was already making impatient noises about competing with Marvel Studios' shared universe model, and that was a game that Mr. Nolan wasn't at all interested in playing with his Batman films.

    So, now that the world has had a good dose of Mad Max: Fury Road, which appears antithetical to many of the traditional CGI-laden superhero movie aesthetics we've become accustomed to over the last few years, the question remains: would George Miller ever want to try again?

    "I mean I’m a DC man," Mr. Miller told us. "Like a lot of these things, of course, they're deeply rooted in Greek mythology, and I’m very into mythology and so on. But I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate and not enough time to do it. If it was something I’d be interested in…If I could do it so it felt fresh, that’s my biggest thing."

    We suspect he could. Too bad he didn't get his chance with Justice League: Mortal.

    Justice League: Mortal Concept Art

    There are some folks making the documentary about George Miller's Justice League movie (apparently called Miller's Justice League: Mortal) and they gave fans our first taste of what they might have in store for everyone, via Twitter. Check out some concept art and costume designs from the movie...


    The above image comes from around the film's climax.

    Get a look at Aquaman right here. It's a more traditional take than what we're seeing with Jason Momoa in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Note his "water hand."

    And then here's one more image of Wonder Woman to close things out. If we see more, we'll post them here!

    Mike Cecchini has read more unproduced superhero scripts than your average studio executive. Make fun of him on Twitter.

    This article originally ran on May 29th, 2015.


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    Wednesday tries to convince Vulcan to join the war, while Laura, Mad, and Salim road trip across America.

    This American Gods review contains spoilers.

    American Gods Episode 6

    If American Gods wasn't so consistently amazing, I would think the Shadow/Wednesday plot was just an excuse to make poignant, gutting short films about religion, immigration, and racism in America. As good as the main plot of American Gods' episodes tend to be, the brief "Coming to America" vignettes are often my favorite part of the entire hour.

    This week, we see Mexican Jesus (previously mentioned by Wednesday as one of the many incarnations of Jesus) helping some desperate Mexican men, women, and children illegally cross a river border into America. The stakes seem anxiously high from the very beginning. The woman leading the group tells those gathered that the current is strong and they should not attempt to cross if they cannot swim. We can tell from the non-verbal body language of one family that the father/husband cannot swim. He goes anyway, so desperate is he to have a chance at a new life in America.

    When the man starts to drown, the tragedy of this story seems apparent. This man will die. His faith saves him, however. Jesus comes along (walking on water, as he is wont to do), and pulls the man from the depths and safely to shore. For a long, relieved moment, everyone is safe.

    Then, the vigilante border patrol shows up in their trucks with their guns and begins picking off men, women, and children like animals. This is a thing that actually happens in real life. I'll let that sit with you for a moment. It's also something that hardly ever gets show in TV or film — or, when it does, it is not shown from the immigrants' perspective. (Logan is a film that deals with some of these themes through a less specific, but no less poignant genre lens.)

    Jesus sacrifices himself to save the family previously mentioned. Who knows if they will survive past this moment, but the camera lingers on a dead Jesus, gunshots through his hands in the style of the crucification. While we don't see the faces of the gunmen, but we do see the crucifixes they wield. That's the tragically, frustratingly ironic thing: these gunmen believe in the same god as the people they are gunning down. Jesus may manifest in many different versions within American Gods (because, as Wednesday says, there is a lot of need for Jesus), but they are all part of the same faith.

    Unlike last week's "Coming to America" vignette, this week's segued well thematically into the main plot of the episode, which introduced us to Vulcan, the god of weaponry and fire. A deity created specifically for the TV show, Vulcan may be an Old God, but he has weathered the storm of modernity considerably better than most of his Old God friends. Unfortunately, bullets are very in right now. Just ask the "Coming to America" vignette we saw in the episode's introduction. Those vigilantes may worship some form of Jesus, but they worship Vulcan, too.

    Vulcan preys on the worst America has to offer: the America of white supremacy and frustrated entitlement expressed through violence. Vulcan casually asks Shadow if he has ever seen a man lynched, shows him his hanging tree, and pointedly doesn't offer him a drink. It's not such a surprise that Vulcan can't be trusted, but it might be a surprise to see Wednesday slice his throat and push him into a vat of his own molten fire. Vulcan may grow stronger through violence, but Wednesday also accepts blood sacrifices (as we saw in American Gods' very first "Coming to America" vignette). It's no wonder they're old friends.

    Shadow has the best, most relatable reactions to Wednesday's murder of Vulcan. Up until this point, Wednesday has been more fluffy earmuffed capers than he has been grisly murder, but it might not be as much a surprise to the audience. We saw that "Coming to America" vignette. We noticed Wednesday purposefully leave Laura behind. We've seen him risk his own life and others for the sake of his larger war. Something tells me we haven't seen nothing yet. (Especially now that Wednesday has a sword that can kill gods.)

    While the Wednesday/Shadow may have the odd couple road trip dynamic down, they have some delightful competition in the form of Laura, Mad, and Salim, who are now making their way across the country together in Salim's cab. (Well, kind of Salim's cab.) They all have separate missions. Laura wants to find Shadow (and possibly her own resurrection). Salim wants to find the Jinn. Mad just wants his coin back.

    While Mad and Laura's interactions may be acerbicly hilarious, it's Salim and Laura's conversations that really make this dynamic worth watching. While Mad whispers doubts into Laura's mind about her love for Shadow (and his love for her), Salim has abandoned his old life to follow the Jinn, a man he spent just one night with. If there's a true love story in American Gods, this might be it, and it's a testament to the diverse tones of this show that it manages to have such a sweet story amongst the much more cynical moments.

    "Life is great," Salim and Laura can agree. In so many ways, they are different people. One believes so fervently in his god. His prayers are ones of gratitude rather than requests. Laura, on the other hand, lived her life believing in nothing, seemingly ungrateful even for the things she did have (Shadow's love, for instance). Now, they have both been given new leases on life (or, in Laura's case, death). What they choose to do with them is one of the great explorations of this episode.

    In many ways, "A Murder of Gods" feels like the calm before the storm. Wednesday's murder of Vulcan feels like it could be a tipping point for the brewing battle. For now, however, it's just enough to see these fascinating characters interact as they make their way across an equally fascinating and diverse America.

    ReviewKayti Burt
    Jun 4, 2017

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    We have your first look at Dixon & Nolan's return to Bane!

    NewsJim Dandy
    Jun 4, 2017

    DC sent along an exclusive preview for Bane: Conquest #2, and as someone who was 11 when Knightfall came out, I of course said yes. Here's what they have to say about the issue.

    I'm fairly sure that Knightfall was actually the third trade paperback I ever bought (the first two were the death of and funeral for Superman), so having Dixon and Nolan come back to their creation was like putting on a comfy sweatshirt that is also violent. Nolan's art was ahead of his time then, and looks great now, and Dixon (unsurprisingly) has a handle not only on Bane's voice, but on how to surround him with characters who help build the story. 

    And speaking of Bird, Trogg and Zombie: the first issue came on the heels of Tom King and David Finch's "I am Bane" storyarc in the main Batman book, which was (spoilers) basically reverse Knightfall. It had Trogg and Bird and Zombie, only it also had Bane fighting all of Batman's villains while trying to break INTO Arkham. God, what a time to be a comics fan.

    Check out the preview pages:

    Here's the official solicitation info:

    BANE: CONQUEST #2

    Written by CHUCK DIXON

    Art and cover by GRAHAM NOLAN

    Bane’s been captured by the charismatic cult leader Damocles, the man building a criminal empire to rival his own! But just ask anyone from his childhood home of Peña Duro…trying to keep Bane in a prison rarely ends well!

    Bane Conquest #2 is in shops this Wednesday.


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    Professor Marston & the Wonder Women, a biopic about Wonder Woman's creators, stars Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote.

    News Joseph Baxter
    Jun 5, 2017

    Coming off a dominant $100 million opening weekend, Wonder Woman is clearly ready to wrap her Golden Lasso of Truth around popular culture in a big way. Indeed, director Patty Jenkins's triumphant Wonder Woman solo film, starring on Gal Gadot’s version of the heralded heroine, has effectively opened wider audiences than typical comic book movies while serving as a zeitgeist education about the character’s Greek mythological origins. However, soon set to ride the Wonder Woman movie momentum is Professor Marston & the Wonder Women, a biopic telling the fascinating tale of the trio who created the character back in 1941.

    Now, the first teaser trailer for this most intriguing of real-life comic book industry stories has arrived.

    Professor Marston & the Wonder Women Trailer

    Professor Marston & the Wonder Women has released its first teaser trailer; something that you may have caught if you arrived at theaters early enough for Wonder Woman. While short on substance, some dialogue can be heard, hinting at the historical (gender-norm-centric) societal implications that the trio of Dr. William Marston, his wife Elizabeth and his student Olive Byrne will face upon their 1941 collaborative creation of the most important female superhero of all time in Wonder Woman. This aspect is compounded by the fact that William, Elizabeth and Olive secretly maintain a polyamorous relationship.

    Additionally, the teaser sends you to the URL professorm.movie, which, for now, is a bare-bones viral promotion site for the film, showcasing an intriguing comic-book-style portrait of the cast and clickable word bubbles that play lines from the film.

    Professor Marston & the Wonder Women Cast

    Professor Marston & the Wonder Women, centers on the life of Dr. William Moulton Marston, a Harvard psychologist, lawyer and inventor who also went on the create one of the world’s most famous and venerable comic book superheroes in Wonder Woman (under the nom de plume Charles Moulton). The film's primary trio consists of Luke Evans as Marston, Rebecca Hall as his wife and professional peer Elizabeth and Bella Heathcote as Marston’s former student Olive Byrne, who attains a unique connection to the couple.

    Indeed, the focus of Professor Marston on the creative process in which Wonder Woman was conceived will manifest through William’s relationship with wife Elizabeth and Olive, with whom the couple engages in a polyamorous relationship; one that would ultimately prove enduring. Moreover, William drew inspiration from Elizabeth and Olive during the process of creating Wonder Woman, imbuing the character with confident and autonomous attributes that would be considered feminist at a time (the early 1940’s) before such a concept was even widespread.

    However, the crux of the film seems to be the societal predicament that William’s comic creation placed upon the threesome. While publicly having to defend Wonder Woman from contemporaneously alarmist accusations of sinister gender-identity influences that would lead girls on a path to sexual confusion, the Marstons and Olive had to maintain a tight balance to keep their polyamorous relationship a secret, lest it be made public and validate the homophobic seeds that were already sowing from the mere concept of a female comic book superhero.

    Connie Britton, Maggie Castle, Christopher Paul Richards, Allie Gallerani, Chris Conroy and JJ Feild also co-star in the film.

    Professor Marston & the Wonder Women Crew

    The intriguing Wonder-Woman-related film project will be the directorial and written brainchild of Angela Robinson. Her body of work includes films such as the 2004 action comedy D.E.B.S., 2005 Lindsay Lohan-starring Disney reboot vehicle Herbie Fully Loaded, a television run with The L Word and individual episodes of Charlie’s Angels (2011 reboot) and True Blood.

    Professor Marston & the Wonder Women Release Date

    Professor Marston & the Wonder Women hasn’t locked down a release date, but it does seem to be telegraphing a date in 2017. With Wonder Woman having arrived at theaters on June 2, 2017, it’s probably a safe bet that Professor Marston will be arriving not too far after that release.


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    The hunt for a Suicide Squad 2 director continues, but Warner Bros. expects to shoot in 2018.

    News Mike Cecchini
    Jun 6, 2017

    While David Ayer's next DC Universe movie priority appears to be the Harley Quinn led Gotham City Sirens movie, there are still plans for a sequel to the movie that introduced her to the big screen. Warner Bros. is still game for Suicide Squad 2. Considering the first film broke August box office records and took in an impressive $745 million worldwide, this shouldn't be a surprise. Adam Cozad, who recently wrote The Legend of Tarzan for the studio, is writing Suicide Squad 2

    The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Joel Kinnaman, who plays Rick Flagg in the film, to ask about its progress. "As far as I know they're writing the script and I think the plan is to shoot it sometime in 2018, but that could change," Kinnaman said. "I think I'll definitely come back for it."

    It looks like they're serious about getting this one together sooner rather than later, and the hunt for a director is still ongoing.

    Mel Gibson had apparently been in "early talks" with Warner Bros. for the Suicide Squad 2 directing job. It's almost tough to imagine Gibson going from the weighty themes of Hacksaw Ridgeand its subsequent acclaim to a sequel to a movie that received a critical savaging in 2016, but here we are. Gibson confirmed the talks to Entertainment Tonight, saying, "I just met some guys about story points. It's not a done deal or anything. But it's just fun to shoot the bull when it comes to stories. And if we can elevate any kind of concept it's good. We'll see."

    Gibson is far from the only director being discussed, either. Life director Danny Espinosa is also reportedly in the mix, and there will probably be more names surfacing shortly. Variety adds Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) to that mix, too.

    But the fact that WB is considering a director like Gibson does underline their commitment to director focused projects, even with the currently struggling DC Extended Universe. They replaced Ben Affleck with the well-regarded Matt Reeves on The Batman recently, and other names that were mentioned in connection with that project included George Miller and even Ridley Scott. Maybe Gibson makes sense after all.

    Guy Ritchie of Snatch and King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword was interested at one point, as well.

    “I quite fancy doing Suicide Squad 2," he told Variety's Playback podcast, "because I thought I could do a good job with it. I can’t do it because I’m doing something else, but I’ve felt I could really do something with that." Given the tone of the first one, he would seem like a good fit for a sequel, and his name would be consistent with WB's quest to get distinctive directors for their superhero franchises.

    We'll let you know when there are more details on the director front.

    Suicide Squad 2 Release Date

    There's no release date yet for Suicide Squad 2, and it seems that Gotham City Sirens is the higher priority for the studio at the moment. But you'll get your next taste of the DCEU with Justice League on November 17, 2017. There are some unclaimed dates on the calendar, though, including June 14, 2019 and November 1, 2019. Maybe one of those will go to Suicide Squad 2. The full DC superhero movie release schedule can be found here.



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    The Gotham Season 3 finale introduced major elements of Batman lore.

    FeatureMarc Buxton
    Jun 6, 2017

    Every week, we've been breaking down the Gothameaster eggs that you might have missed, whether it was a Batman reference or something dealing with the wider DC Universe. Now that the season is finished, we look at everything you might have missed in the Gotham Season 3 finale!

    Let's get started...but beware of spoilers! Click the episode titles to go to full reviews.

    Gotham Season 3 Episodes 21 and 22

    The big intro in the Gotham season 3 finale is the arrival of Ra’s Al Ghul. We all knew The Demon’s Head was coming the second we saw snowy mountain peaks and monasteries, but this week, Ra’s finally arrives as played by Alexander Siddig. We truly are living in a Ra’s Al Ghul renaissance as Siddig’s Demon’s Head is the third live action Ra’s that we’ve seen in the last decade. Of course, Liam Neeson played Ra’s in Batman Begins while Matt Nable played the character on Arrow. That’s a lot of Ra’s for one generation! If the DC Cinematic Universe includes a Ra’s in a future film, that would be a fourth, and you know Warners is just dying to have a classic Ra’s versus Batfleck throw down.

    Ra’s Al Ghul was first introduced in Batman #232 (1971), and was created by Julius Schwartz, Dennis O’Neil, and Neal Adams. Instantly, Ra’s upped the ante when it comes to Bat foes. Before Ra’s and his League of Assassins were introduced, Bat villains were pretty much gimmicky gangsters and bank robbers. Even when the Bat Rogues began to darken in purpose in the early Bronze Age, they still weren't much of a threat outside the confines of Gotham City. But with Ra’s Al Ghul, Batman was facing an international, James Bond type threat. Batman had to travel the world to foil Ra’s plans for world domination, and really, Ra’s was a sign to comic readers that Batman had grown up from the camp of the 1966 TV series and the kid-friendly shenanigans of the Silver Age.

    Ra’s has become Batman’s greatest foe not named Joker and has a unique mentor/villain relationship with Bruce Wayne. You know it’s only a matter of time until Gotham introduces a young Talia and really doubles down on the Ra’s inclusion. The idea of a pre-Batman Bruce Wayne being courted by Ra’s was first introduced in Batman Begins. Gotham has the Bruce Ra’s relationship beginning quite early, but that’s really par for the course for this series. Having Ra’s around should heat things up in Gotham moving forward and raise the stakes considerably.

    And where Ra’s Al Ghul goes the Lazarus Pit follows. The Lazarus Pits are hidden, mystical bodies of water that gift whoever bathes in them immortality. We saw Alfred receive a Pit’s gift this week. Of course, a Lazarus Pit has paid a huge role on Arrow and I suspect one of the many characters that died in this episode will take a bath in a Lazarus Pit in Gotham Season 4.

    - Speaking of the fallen, we see the death of Butch this week and surprise, surprise Butch was never truly the big lug’s real name as it is revealed that Butch’s actual moniker is Cyrus Gold. Comic historians will tell you that Cyrus Gold is none other than the long time DC villain Solomon Grundy!

    Grundy first appeared way back in All-American Comics #61 (1944) and was created by Alfred Bester and Paul Reinman. When two criminals murdered Gold, the thugs hide his body in a swamp. Fifty years later, the swamp’s mystical waters and gasses revive Gold as the shambling and murderous beast known as Solomon Grundy.

    Grundy first fought the Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott, but hey, guess what, the Golden Age GL’s adventures took place in Gotham City! So it’s totally appropriate to have Butch Grundy smash up TV’s Gotham. Plus, Solomon Grundy kind of became a Bat villain by proxy when Jeff Loeb and Tim Sale included the swamp zombie in Batman: The Long Halloween. As I said, one has to wonder if Butch will became the almost unstoppable Grundy from exposure to a Lazarus Pit. It really would all blend together nicely. One also has to speculate if the suddenly deceased Barbara could also have a Lazarus revival in her future.

    - In a week filled with iconic imagery, we get to see Bruce Wayne’s first time busting up a criminal in a dark alley and taking to the rooftops. This sequence mirrored Bruce’s time as a ski mask wearing vigilante in Batman: Year One. Bruce was an adult in Frank Miller’s classic, but there was definitely a Year One feel to Bruce’s first vigilante excursion.

    - Young Selina Kyle picks up her famous whip for the first time this week as the iconography continues. Of course, the whip has long been the weapon of choice for Catwoman.  

    - The old lady at the beginning of this week’s episode going nutso in the bank reminds me of Ma Parker from the Batman'66 TV series. Ma Parker was played by the great Shelley Winters and appeared in a two part episode where she and her rowdy gang of offspring gave Batman and Robin some headaches.

    - The finale also saw the first mention of Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge. In the comics, the Iceberg Lounge has long been the Penguin’s HQ and a center off criminal activity in Gotham. It’s like the Gotham City version of Tony Soprano's Bada Bing.

    Watch Gotham Season 3 on Amazon

    - Once again Lucius Fox was able to find a cure for a debilitating psycho disease. It seems like Fox’s only function this past decade and a half is to find antidotes and disarm bombs.

    - We should start a drinking game next season. Every time GCPD headquarters gets attacked or destroyed, take a drink. We’d all have liver problems by the fifth episode.

    Spot anything we missed? Tell us in the comments! Hit the drop down menu to check out easter eggs from other episodes, too!

    Hit the next pages for the previous episodes!


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    The Wonder Woman movie is here, and that's just the beginning of the DCEU goodness awaiting us, from Justice League to Batman and more!

    Feature Mike Cecchini
    May 31, 2017

    With Man of SteelBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad now in the books, the DC Extended Universe is in full swing. The Wonder Woman movie is nearly here, and it's all leading up to the Justice League movie in November of 2017. 

    So, it's time to take a look at all of the DC superhero movies that will be released over the next few years. And trust us, there are a ton of them on the way, and we expect more details will be announced as we go forward. 

    We have all the release dates for every one of 'em right here, as well as official details, the most interesting rumors, and suggestions for further reading where appropriate. 

    Click the blue links to go to articles containing everything you need to know about the movies!

    Here's how this works, because the schedule is getting a little weird. We're starting with the dates that we know Warner Bros. has reserved specifically for DC superhero movies. You'll find that in some cases, there isn't officially a project attached to that date yet. Then we'll get into the stuff that we know for 100% certain is in development, but that don't have release dates. Then we'll get into some of the long shots at the bottom.

    June 2nd, 2017 - Wonder Woman

    Here's an excerpt from our review:

    Wonder Woman takes a page from, dare we say it, the Marvel Cinematic Universe playbook by telling a mostly straightforward origin story. While it is somewhat predictable in its basic structure, the movie also provides the kind of satisfying narrative and character arc missing from its predecessors. And for possibly the first time since the DCEU officially started with 2013’s Man of Steel, the movie features a lead character who unambiguously embraces the call instead of refusing it with aspects of that character’s own personality and history creating more organic conflicts later on. There is also genuine warmth in the relationships that the movie sets up, creating the kind of empathy that was sorely missing from the more nihilistic BvS and Suicide Squad.

    Amazon has all your Wonder Woman needs.

    November 17th, 2017 - Justice League

    Zack Snyder will direct Justice League, and BvS co-writer Chris Terrio is back. The villain of this one is Steppenwolf, one of Darkseid's relatives, and it focuses on Batman building a team to confront him.

    Here's the official synopsis:

    Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat.  But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

    Buy Justice League Stuff on Amazon

    This one will also introduce Aquaman's Queen Mera (played by Amber Heard), which would make sense considering that the Aquamanmovie will follow the next fall.

    March 16, 2018 - The Flash

    At this point, there's zero chance this makes that March release date. After losing two directors/writers in Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) wrote a screenplay, and Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) this one needs some work, and potential directors now include Matthew Vaughn and Robert Zemeckis. The latest is that it's being completely rewritten by Joby Harold. 

    Watch The Flash on Amazon

    Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Madame Bovary) is playing Barry Allen, but probably a very different Barry Allen than the one we currently love on TV. Billy Crudup will play Dr. Henry Allen, with Kiersey Clemons as Iris West. Ray Fisher (Cyborg in Batman v Superman and Justice League) will also appear.

    Now, about that release date change...there's now an empty space in July that Warner had previously reserved for a different DC superhero movie...


    July 27th, 2018 - Unknown

    This was formerly the date occupied by the Aquaman movie, but that was bumped to October, and then December. At one point we thought this could end up being the debut of Ben Affleck's Batmansolo movie but that film has just hit its own production problems, with Mr. Affleck bowing out as director, Matt Reeves coming on board, and a complete rewrite of the script looming. 

    Maybe The Flash, which is likely about to hit some production delays will just get a few months of breathing room? Or will Warner Bros. just use this for something else entirely that has nothing to do with superheroes? That seems like the most likely scenario, and I doubt we'll see The Batman before 2019. We'll probably find out very soon.

    December 21, 2018 - Aquaman

    Jason Momoa is playing Aquaman. There's no doubt that they've been taking Aquaman very seriously. Amber Heard will also appear as Queen Mera. Patrick Wilson is Ocean Master and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is Black Manta.

    James Wan (Furious 7) will direct from a script by Kurt Johnstad (300: Rise of an Empire).

    April 5th, 2019 - Shazam

    Shazamhas both a writer (Henry Gayden, of Earth to Echo fame) and a star (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the villainous Black Adam) announced. If we end up getting to see Henry Cavill's Superman fight Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam some day, it's tough to imagine anyone would complain. Lights Out director David F. Sandberg is in the mix to direct this one, but hasn't been confirmed yet.

    [related article: Why the Shazam Movie is Important]

    But like other projects on this calendar, this doesn't seem to be on the fast track, and with a recently announced Black Adam solo movie with Dwayne Johnson now in development (more on that in a bit), it's not clear what that means for the immediate future of Shazam. The fact that Dwayne Johnson is just about the busiest man in Hollywood doesn't help, either.

    June 14th, 2019 - Unknown

    This was long ago announced as the Justice League 2 release date, but this is apparently about to change. Director Zack Snyder would like to take on another project, and there are recent indications that Warner Bros is prioritizing the Batmansolo movie over this, and that this could end up being that film's date instead.

    It's also possible that this could end up being David Ayer's Gotham City Sirens movie as part of a four movie 80th anniversary Batman celebration, and we have more on that down below.

    November 1st, 2019 - Untitled DC Film

    No information has yet been given as to the story or what characters will be featured in the film. Man of Steel 2is back in active development at the studio. Could this be it? It's yet another potential landing date for Ben Affleck's Batman solo movie, too. In fact, given that movie's ongoing troubles, this is probably its most likely arrival date.

    November is a safer month for high profile releases than October, and this could be where the now-rescheduled Justice League 2 ends up, although we suspect it will be a bit longer than that.

    The truth is that we just don't know what DC has planned for Nov. 2019, so we'll just have to wait and see. 

    April 3rd, 2020 - Cyborg

    And this one is the biggest surprise of them all. Ray Fisher made his first (very brief) appearance as Vic Stone/Cyborg in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and will clearly have a crucial role to play in both Justice League films if they're grooming him for a solo film. He's going to feature in The Flash solo movie, too.

    No other details are presently available, and there are also rumors that this one might be reworked into a movie that would introduce the Teen Titans to the big screen. 

    July 24th, 2020 - Green Lantern Corps

    Fairly or unfairly, Green Lantern has the most working against him. The 2011 film failed to kickstart the DC Universe as planned, and received a lukewarm (at best) critical and box-office reception. There are, of course, ways around this.

    One way is to simply not make Hal Jordan the central Green Lantern of the movie. It was revealed at SDCC 2015 that the Green Lantern movie is now called Green Lantern Corps, and this one may focus on as many as three Green Lanterns, likely with John Stewart as the main Green Lantern of Sector 2814. David Goyer and Justin Rhodes are writing the script, but there's no director in place yet. There's a slim chance that Goyer could end up directing, though.

    We've heard bits and pieces indicating that Green Lantern won't even show up until the end of Justice League, or possibly even Justice League 2. By the time 2020 rolls around, a decade will have passed, and by then the character won't be considered so radioactive by studio execs. 

    Now, let's get into the projects that are in the works, but don't have release dates yet. We've grouped these roughly in the order we expect to see them based on how far along they are.

    Gotham City Sirens

    Harley Quinn isn't just for the Suicide Squad. Warner Bros. has tapped David Ayer to direct Gotham City Sirens, which will team Harley Quinn up with other female DC villain, most likely including Poison Ivy and Catwoman. It's not totally clear if this is replacing a Harley Quinn solo movie, which we have a few details on here.

    This one is on the fast-track, so it could take over that June 14th, 2019 release date vacated by Justice League 2. There are really thin rumors that Warner Bros. wants to release four Batman themed movies in 2019: Gotham City Sirens, Nightwing, Batgirl, and that Batman solo movie they keep promising us. I wouldn't put too much stock in that just yet.

    But let's talk about two of those other Bat-themed movies for a moment...

    Nightwing

    The Lego Batman movie director Chris McKay has been tapped to direct a Nightwing movie. Bill Dubuque (The Accountant) is working on a script. No other details are currently available, and this one doesn't have a release date yet, although there are rumors of a 2019 window. We wrote more about it here.

    Batgirl

    Joss Whedon will write, direct, and produce a Batgirl movie, one that is reportedly based on Gail Simone's recent New 52 take on the character. We have some more details here, but there's no casting or release date to report yet. This is another one where there are rumors of 2019 in the wind, but don't put any stock in that yet.

    Suicide Squad 2

    While the critical response to the first film wasn't so hot, the box office was blazing, so Suicide Squad 2 is definitely happening. David Ayer going to be too busy with Gotham City Sirens until further notice, though, and possible directors include Mel Gibson, Danny Espinosa, and Jonathan Levine. Adam Cozad, who wrote The Legend of Tarzan, is working on a script.


    Justice League 2

    Don't be fooled by the fact that this lost its 2019 release date, Warner Bros. is still planning a second installment, since the first one is bound to make all kinds of bank. Things will stay quiet on this for a few more months.

    Black Adam

    Shazam doesn't have a director or a star to play its title character yet, but it sure does have a villain. And that villain, who will be played by Dwayne Johnson, is certainly strong enough to sustain his own movie. There's no release date set for the Black Adammovie, and this is the kind of thing that could work as a nifty prequel to set up the mystical world of Shazam if they choose to go that route. We're currently on the lookout for more info.

    Booster Gold (and maybe Blue Beetle)

    Flash and Arrow executive producer Greg Berlanti is going to executive produce and possibly direct a Booster Gold movie. Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men: First Class, a recent episode of CW's The Flash TV series) will write the script.

    Early reports described this as a "superhero buddy cop movie" that would involve Blue Beetle. We'll get you more updates on this as they become available.

    And now for the long shots...projects mentioned, rumored, or that haven't had any movement in a while.

    Deadshot

    Warner Bros. knows they have one of the biggest stars in the world already in costume, so they're reportedly considering a Deadshotsolo movie, as well.


    Lobo

    Back on the schedule after years of being dormant, the Lobo movie may attempt to be the DCEU equivalent of Deadpool. Jason Fuchs must have impressed Warner Bros. with his work on Wonder Woman, because he's on board to write the script for this one.

    We'll update this with more information as we get it, but it should be a fun ride.

    Sandman

    Sandmanisn't a superhero movie, so the fact that he wasn't involved in an announcement that primarily focused on high-profile franchises (along with the superhero slate, Warner Bros. focused on Lego movies and Harry Potter spinoffs). It isn't a DC Universe movie that will have any bearing on future Justice League films. But it is one of the most successful, enduring comics of all time. 

    The latest news on this isn't encouraging, though. It appears to be a dead project.

    [related article: Sandman - The Essential Horror Comic of the '90s]

    Dark Universe

    Dark Universe might be more familiar to comic book fans under its comic name, Justice League Dark. This one will feature the supernatural characters from the DC Universe. Characters like Swamp Thing, Demon, Deadman, Zatanna, and possibly even John Constantine.

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    Guillermo del Toro was attached to this one for quite some time, but had to leave the project. Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) will now direct.

    Legion of Super-Heroes

    This one came as a big surprise when the rumor surfaced a couple of years ago. The word is that Warner Bros., perhaps inspired by the runaway success of Guardians of the Galaxy, is looking to put together their own superheroic space opera. Nobody has been hired. Warner Bros. have simply placed this one on the table as a DC property potentially worth developing, and are inviting writers to make pitches.

    Metal Men

    Perhaps the longest of the long-shots, the Metal Men movie is something that's been in discussion as far back as 2007. It's the most bizarre concept of the bunch, involving a mad scientist and his group of sentient elemental robots, but like Suicide Squadand Legion of Super-Heroes, perhaps that uniqueness is what makes this one so appealing. Warner Bros. can't be seen to copy the Marvel model too closely, so veering away from solo outings for traditional heroes and into this kind of territory might be the very best thing they can do for the brand.

    The Metal Men recently received a New 52 facelift at the hands of writer Geoff Johns, the co-chair of DC Films. If they're a favorite of DC Entertainment's Chief Creative Officer, it would be wrong to count the Metal Men out, even if there's been no public movement on this project in recent memory.

    We'll keep updating this with new information as we get it!


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  • 05/31/17--14:52: Quarry Cancelled by Cinemax
  • Cinemax cancels its dark crime drama Quarry and co-creator Michael D. Fuller provides post-mortem thoughts.

    News Joseph Baxter
    May 31, 2017

    Quarry viewers just received some long-awaited news and it is not good. After several months of speculation, Cinemax has decided to cancel its monumentally morose, pathos-driven crime drama after just one season.

    The announcement of Quarry’s cancellation was confirmed today by Michael D. Fuller, who co-created the series with Graham Gordy. The move gives closure to fans of the series after its fate was left hanging in the balance after the September-October 2016 run of its 8-episode inaugural (now only) season had concluded. According to Fuller, despite solid ratings and reception, Quarry has become a casualty of “several factors,” notably the increasingly used explanation of a network looking to “re-brand” its dramatic lineup.

    Quarry, adapting the prolific 1976-present novel series of the same name by Max Allan Collins, is set in 1972 and stars Logan Marshall Green as Mac Conway, a Marine sniper Vietnam War vet. After a rough transition to civilian life upon returning home to Memphis, Mac finds himself thrust into the orbit of a clandestine “Dixie Mafia,” who wish to use his talents for wetwork that’s locally sourced. Interlaced with war flashbacks, the series is a dark character showcase of an already-tortured man’s painful arc leading into the world of contract killing. The series also co-stars Jodi Balfour, Peter Mullan, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Damon Herriman.

    In his confirmation of Cinemax’s cancellation of Quarry, co-creator Fuller, clearly in mourning for his passion project, laments on his blog how a half-decade-long process ultimately amounted to so very little, stating:

    “My writing partner on the project (and one of my best friends of nearly 20 years) Graham Gordy and I first came across Max Allan Collins’ Quarry novels in December of 2011. We then worked on Season 1 of Rectify and spent the rest of 2012 developing Quarry w/ Anonymous Content writing the pilot and the series bible. We sold the show to Cinemax in the spring of 2013, shot the original pilot in the summer of 2013, received the series greenlight in summer of 2014, went into production in the spring of 2015 and aired in the fall of 2016. Half-a-decade for what ultimately amounted to one season of television that I am immensely proud of personally and professionally.”

    Indeed, the cancellation leaves a Quarry quandary for the viewers who tuned into the series and expected to learn about the fate of Mac, who was last seen in possession of a mysterious toiletry bag, stripping down and swimming across the mighty Mississippi River. Regarding the unrealized Quarry Season 2 and Cinemax’s unfortunate intervention, Fuller states:

    "Season 2 was going to be set in 1973 and see Mac fully immersed in The Broker’s network, the arrival of Mac and Arthur’s war buddy Hall Prewitt and the trouble coming w/ him, Buddy asserting his individuality, all w/ the specter of Watergate looming. We actually wrote the entire second season, 6 episodes, before receiving word that Cinemax was going in a different direction w/ their branding and content. Since we didn’t get a Season 2, let’s just speculate as to if Mac actually made it to the other side of the river.) It’s a sadness I will carry w/ me for the rest of my life, but there’s a tremendous measure of solace in the fact that I had the opportunity to work w/ some of the most immeasurably talented people in the world on something we all believed in and deeply, abidingly cared about. A Memphis-BBQ-platter sized thanks is due to our wonderful cast and crew who made our writing better than it had any business being, and to Max Allan Collins himself, who trusted us w/ a character he’s lived w/ for 40 years: thank you, sir. I hope we didn’t mess it up too badly.”

    Thus, Quarry will have to stand as an 8-episode curiosity that posterity might be able to enjoy via streaming outlets. Of course, Max Allan Collins’s Quarry novel series shows no signs of losing steam, with the 14th novel, appropriately titled Quarry’s Climax, set to hit shelves this October. Indeed, the television series, in its brief life, can at least be seen as a live-action gateway for fans into that deep, decades-spanning literary mythology.


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    The Passage, Fox’s TV adaptation of Justin Cronin’s vampire novels, will see Mark-Paul Gosselaar headline the announced cast.

    News Joseph Baxter
    Jun 2, 2017

    Fox’s ambitious television forays into genre television – notably exemplified by its upcoming Marvel Comics X-Men spinoff series The Gifted– will also consist of a grandiose small screen serial adaptation of The Passage, Justin Cronin’s popular 2010-2016 trilogy of vampire apocalypse novels, as announced earlier this year. Accordingly, the series is making vampire-powered progress, with the first reports of its cast members, including a toplining Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

    The Passage will, indeed, see Gosselaar, who stands freshly cast off from his co-starring role on Fox’s recently cancelled first-woman-in-baseball drama Pitch, atop the marquee for the series. Gosselaar, of course, brings nostalgic gravitas as the fourth-wall breaking star of the 1980s/90s teen sitcom Saved by the Bell, as well as his run on legendary police drama NYPD Blue and legal drama Franklin & Bash.

    The Passage story centers on a bleak future in which humanity has been overrun by virus-imbued vampires created after an ill-conceived secret U.S. government experiment to create super soldiers called Project Noah. Gosselaar will play a Brad Wolgast, an FBI agent who, initially tasked with bringing the viral patient zero – a 10-year-old girl named Amy Bellafonte – to her experimenters, has a crisis of conscience and instead rescues the girl from her fate as a test subject, leaving both on the run from the irate bureaucrats. However, just as in Cronin’s novels, Fox’s The Passage will tell its story across multiple timelines, following Wolgast and Amy in the prime/present timeline and a flashback timeline, explaining the origin of the viral vampires through Amy’s eyes.

    Saniyya Sidney will play a crucial co-lead role as the messianic, super-powered, immortal patient zero of The Passage’s vampire apocalypse, Amy Bellafonte. The prodigious actress has been making the rounds on increasingly prestigious projects in the short span of a year, going from the 2016 Roots television remake to a role in Season 6 of FX’s American Horror Story, graduating to the awards season stratosphere by appearing in Oscar-nominated films FencesandHidden Figures (a duo of films whose concurrent Oscar nods became the source of a legendary award show flub). Besides The Passage, Sidney is set to appear in the comedic TV movie Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History and the 2018 sci-fi drama Fast Color.

    Helping Wolgast and Amy fight the virus in the present timeline are the rest of The Passage cast, consisting of Genesis Rodriguez (Time After Time, Big Hero 6) as Alicia, B.J. Britt (Antoine Triplett from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Pitch) as Peter and Jennifer Ferrin (Hell on Wheels, Time After Time) as Sarah. Additionally, Brianne Howey (Fox’s The Exorcist, Horrible Bosses 2) plays test subject Shauna.

    The Passage arrives under the purview of Alien visionary Ridley Scott, who initially acquired the rights to Cronin’s literary epic with intent to make movies. Scott boards the Fox series as an executive producer alongside another well-known visionary in Matt Reeves, director of 2008’s Cloverfield and current writing and directorial steward of the Planet of the Apes film franchise, with the third outing of the current iteration, War for the Planet of the Apes, set to hit in July. Reeves also happens to be attached as director to the somewhat embattled Ben Affleck-starring Batman solo spinoff film The Batman.

    The Passage has redefined, reinvigorated and, arguably, redeemed the vampire genre in the literary world, presenting them as nuanced and dangerous, erasing memories of Twilight-like sparkly fang-wielders. While its multiple timeline format should lend itself well as a television series, it will be interesting to see if it can mesh well enough with the content and format limitations typically attributed to network primetime series.


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    Rowell is teaming up with Kris Anka to launch a new chapter in Marvel's Runaways comic.

    NewsKayti Burt
    Jun 2, 2017

    Fan-friendly YA author Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl, Carry On, Eleanor & Park) will be writing the next Runaways series for Marvel, with Kris Anka (All New X-Men, Star-Lord) doing the art for the project.

    "The Runaways are down on their luck at the beginning of this story," Rowell said of the new storyline for Runaways' super-teens Nico, Chase, Karolina, and Molly. "I mean, a fair number of them are missing or dead… And the ones who are still standing feel lost. After their parents died in the original series, all they had was each other. What do they have now? Who are they on their own?"

    Rowell also teased that the series will begin with Chase making a big mistake that will also drag Nico "into his mess," leading the group to ask the questions: "Are they a team? Are they a family? Do they have any reason to get back together?"

    Rowell's addition to the Marvel Comics family is great news from where we're standing. Rowell has proven herself a moving storyteller who knows how to work within and in response to already-established works. Her YA novel Fangirl, about a college girl who writes fanfiction about a popular set of wizarding books, is a meta, multi-level story that proves it understands fandom culture better than most mainstream stuff out there.

    Carry On, the sequel-of-sorts-but-not-really to Fangirl is set in the fandom world Rowell created for Fangirl. It's a loving, yet challenging response to the Harry Potter story and "Chosen One" stories in general that stands on its own. (It's also one of the 7 Harry Potter Spin-Off Movies We'd Like To See.)

    This won't be the first time Rowell has ventured into the comic book world. Back in 2014, it was announced that she would be collaborating with cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks on a graphic novel for First Second. The title has not yet been released, but this kind of lead time is not uncommon for the graphic novel publisher.

    We'll keep you updated on Rowell's Runaways! The comic is set to premiere in September.


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    Wonder Woman has faced down some of the most interesting villains in DC Comics history.

    Feature Marc Buxton
    Jun 2, 2017

    There could be no doubt that Wonder Woman is one of the greatest superheroes in history. But her villains? Not so much.

    After World War II, at times, DC Comics had a difficult time finding a consistent direction for its leading lady. That’s not to say that Wonder Woman hasn't enjoyed many successful creative runs since William Moulton Marston came up with character in 1940 (creators like George Perez, Gail Simone, Phil Jimenez, and Greg Rucka spring to mind right away). But those inconsistent directions have impacted the quality of villains Diana has faced. While there have been many stand out rogues that took on Diana there have also been those that, shall we say, were kind of strange. 

    Let's start with the classics, though...

    13. Eviless

    Wonder Woman has had some great one off villains over the decades and we’d love to pay tribute to one right here. Meet Eviless, a woman so evil her name is Eviless.

    What makes Eviless so memorable? Well, she only appeared once, but in her single life and death battle against Wonder Woman, Eviless formed Villainy Inc., one of the very first super villain teams in comics! Eviless’ Villainy Inc. consisted of Queen Clea, Cyborgirl, Doctor Poison, Giganta, Jinx, Trinity, Blue Snowman, Cheetah, Hypnota, and the evil Zara. We may not have covered all these baddies, but believe us, this was one stunning collection of evildoers, especially for the Golden Age when super villain teams just weren’t a thing.

    As for Eviless herself, the Villainy Inc. founder originally hailed from Saturn and was a slaver who was defeated by Wonder Woman when she tried to invade Earth. Eviless was taken to a place called Transformation Island, where former criminals would be brainwashed and rehabilitated (morality, shmorality). Eviless used her mind powers to re-evil the Wonder Woman rogues and set them upon Diana and the Amazons. Wonder Woman, of course, defeated Eviless’ team, but, the Saturn slaver will always be remembered for creating a villain team that served as sort of a prototype for future teams like the Legion of Doom.

    Plus, Eviless is important to DC lore as her look and powers served as something of an inspiration for future Legion of Super Heroes member Saturn Girl. You barely knew her, but damn, Eviless is one important villain in comic book lore.

    12. Baroness Von Gunther

    First appearance Sensation Comics #4 (1942)

    Created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter

    Meet Baroness Von Gunther, Wonder Woman’s first recurring foe. Paula Von Gunther was an anti-Wonder Woman of sorts. She was a Gestapo agent that used her Amazonian training and bracelets to become of the Third Reich’s deadliest agents. She also kept a small group of women as slaves. During one memorable story, Gunther used mind control and drugs to force American girls to become Nazi spies. Gunther murdered countless innocents but when it was revealed that the Nazis forced the Baroness into servitude by holding her daughter Greta captive, Wonder Woman helped her sworn enemy and helped the Baroness reform. From there, Von Gunther became the Amazons' chief science officer and never mind the innocents she murdered.

    In the modern age, Von Gunther was reimagined as Dark Angel and played a key role in the origin of one Donna Troy: Wonder Girl.

    11. Angle Man

    First appearance Wonder Woman #70 (1954)

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Harry G. Peter

    In the Golden and Silver Age, Angle Man was a crook with the ability to see all the angles of a job before he committed a crime. He was a master planner but pretty darn generic. After going through his Golden and Silver Age growing pains the Man with all the Angles got himself a for real super villain costume and a sick cool weapon created by none other than Darkseid his owndamnself. That’s right, after his time as Golden and Silver age dweeb like annoyance, Angelo Bend returned with a triangle that could warp space and time and became the costumed rogue Angle Man. With his new green and yellow costume and the most powerful triangle in the galaxy designed by the Lord of Apokolips, Angle Man became one of Diana’s greatest traditional rogues.

    Now think about it, the new Angle Man had a geometric shape that could allow him to teleport and warp time to suit his criminal needs (and you thought geometry was dull). With this Angler, Angle Man became a potent Wonder Woman foe and went on a crime spree that defined him as one of Wonder Woman’s most potent and consistent foes of the '70s and '80s. Angle Man would return in the modern era as a rakish thief that used his Angler to get in all sorts of mischief until Wonder Woman and Donna Troy teamed up to put an end to his obtuse crimes (angle joke!).

    10. The Duke of Deception

    First appearance Wonder Woman #2 (1942)

    Created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter

    Listen, if you’re name is The Duke of Deception, you’re probably going to be a villain. And indeed this God of Deceit is just that: a lying, conniving, murderous rogue that fought Wonder Woman throughout the '40s, '50s, and '60s.  

    The Duke of Deception was once a minion of Wonder Woman’s arch foe Mars/Ares and served the god of war with gleeful gusto. As an underling of Mars, The Duke of Deception uses his masterful craft at lies and, well, deception, to create war and strife throughout the human world. In the Golden Age, it was revealed that The Duke of Deception convinced Japan to attack Pearl Harbor and also convinced Hitler to break Germany’s peace treaty with Russia! What a douche! Later, The Duke of Deception abandoned Mars and went off on his own. From his base on Mars known as the Lie Factory (FOX News?), The Duke of Deception plotted against mankind. But our Princess Diana always found a way to stop the spread of the Duke’s falsehoods and save humanity from this early recurring foe.

    9. Doctor Cyber

    First appearance Wonder Woman #179 (1968)

    Created by Dennis O'Neil, Mike Sekowsky, and Dick Giordano

    At the Emma Peel point in Wonder Woman history, Doctor Cyber was Diana’s greatest foe. Cyber was once a beautiful but evil woman named Cylvia Cyber. When Cyber was disfigured during a battle with Wonder Woman, she donned a creepy ass mask and cyber suit and swore to gain revenge on Diana for the loss of her beauty. Cyber became obsessed with switching bodies with Wonder Woman and that might be the most 1960s plot ever!

    In recent years, Doctor Cyber became the cybernetic assistant of Veronica Cale, a villain who we’ll get to in a bit. And I don’t know about you, but at this point of our list, I just can’t stop thinking about how perfect Diana Rigg would have been in the role if they had made a Wonder Woman TV series in the '60s.

    8. Giganta

    First appearance Wonder Woman #9 (1944)

    Created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter

    If two words describe Wonder Woman’s Golden Age adventures, those words would be – very weird. And no character was weirder than Giganta. Fans of a certain age should be familiar with Giganta from her inclusion in The Legion of Doom on TV’s Challenge of the Super Friends, but this villainess was also one of WW’s earliest foes.

    You see (and strap in for this one kids), Giganta was a gorilla that was evolved into a strong woman by a mad scientist named Professor Zuul. Zuul then devolves the world into a primitive state as Giganta used her great strength to lead a tribe of primitive humans against Wonder Woman and her friends.

    So yeah, an evolved gorilla in the form of a super woman that can grow to tremendous size. That’s like a whole bunch of 1950s B-movies all mashed together. Giganta has returned many times over the years and has been a constant giant thorn in Diana’s side. But always remember, behind that leopard print bathing suit and stories of womanhood, there lies a savage monkey ready to rend you limb from limb. How has Giganta and Grodd not been shipped together yet. Grodanta?

    7. Doctor Poison

    First appearance (Princess Maru) Sensation Comics #2 (1942) (Marina Maru) Wonder Woman #151 (Vol. 2) (1999)

    Created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter

    You know how evil Doctor Poison was? Well, first off, her name is Doctor Poison, so right there you know she’s pretty evil. But other than her nom de poison, this Wonder Woman rogue was so evil that she was the chief of the Nazi Poison Division. Now look at that, not just poison, Nazi poison! Now that’s evil.

    Doctor Poison also invented a mind control substance that would compel those infected to do the opposite of their nature. So like, let’s say you hated yogurt, one dose of Doctor Poison’s mid altering drug and you’d totally be gulping down yogurt by the barrel. Like we said, evil. But in all seriousness, Doctor Poison and her signature gender hiding armor returned to bedevil Diana many times in the Golden Age. Poison is a hideously deformed woman whose outside appearance matches her murderous nature.

    Poison has been a Wonder Woman foe for 77 years (granted, there was a long time between comic book appearances after the Golden Age) now in the movie, played by Elena Anaya, Doctor Poison will show moviegoers the true face of evil.

    6. Veronica Cale

    First appearance Wonder Woman #196 (2003)

    Created by Greg Rucka and Drew Johnson

    Veronica Cale is Wonder Woman’s version of Lex Luthor, a brilliant and sociopathic scientist and billionaire who is dedicated to destroying Wonder Woman. Cale, always wearing her signature string of black pearls, has teamed with Doctor Psycho, Circe, and was responsible for the creation of the modern Silver Swan. Cale finds Wonder Woman and her mission simplistic, naïve, and dangerous to feminism and the continued development of humankind. Cale is Wonder Woman’s greatest enemy in the press and uses her rhetorical skills to do battle with Wonder Woman in the media. Cale thinks that demanding peace is simple if you’re an ultra-powerful Amazonian demi-goddess, but mortals have to do more to achieve understanding.

    Cale is a perfect foil for Diana and a fascinating, unpowered threat that stand against everything Diana represents. She is the perfect modern day foe for Wonder Woman, a media savvy, brilliant mind that feels Wonder Woman needs to fall so humanity can rise.

    5. Silver Swan

    First appearance Wonder Woman #288 (1982)

    Created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colon

    Silver Swan is a modern addition to the Wonder Woman greatest foe list. She is also one of the most tragic WW foes in history.

    The first Silver Swan was a ballerina named Helen Alexandros who was rejected from becoming a famed dancer due to her plainness so, as one does, she prayed to Ares for intervention. The God of War gave Alexandros great beauty and the power of flight, strength, and a terrible sonic scream that made this new Silver Swan a deadly enemy for all the heroes of the DC Universe.

    The other Silver Swans were just as tragic. The second Swan was a deformed little girl enhanced and tortured by scientists, leaving her beautiful and unstable. The third Silver Swan was one of Diana’s best friends Vanessa Kapatelis. The former confidant of Wonder Woman was kidnapped and twisted into the Silver Swan by Circe and Doctor Psycho. After the transformation, Diana had a fight to the death on her hands against a woman she once called sister.

    All the Silver Swans were elegant and unstable women who used their sonic powers and might to become some of the most dangerous mortals Wonder Woman ever faced.

    4. Doctor Psycho

    First appearance Wonder Woman #5 (1943)

    Created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter

    He might not be as well-known as the Clown Prince of Crime, but Doctor Psycho is to Wonder as Joker as to Batman, an evil and vile force of nature that will do anything to have his way with his arch nemesis. Doctor Psycho, real name Edgar Cizko, was mocked for his diminutive stature early in life. This constant cruelty forced the brilliant mind to snap, and Cizko became a raging misogynist and sexist (you know, like half of internet comment sections) and used his brilliant mind to strike out against women everywhere. Psycho is an unmatched occultist who uses mind control and mesmerism to make women (and anyone else) do his bidding. At first, Psycho was a minion of the Duke of Deception but has surpassed the Duke for sheer evil and has developed into Wonder Woman’s most terrifying foe.

    Fun fact, Doctor Psycho was patterned after Lon Chaney and William Moulton Marston’s undergraduate professor Hugo Münsterberg. Munsterberg despised feminism and gender equality and went out of his way to demean women. Of course, Marston was a hyper-feminist and just couldn’t resist patterning Wonder Woman’s creepiest villain after his sexist advisor. 

    3. Circe

    First appearance (Historical) Wonder Woman #37 (Modern) Wonder Woman #18 (1988)

    Created by (Historical) Robert Kanigher and Harry G. Peter (Modern) George Pérez

    Well of course Circe, one of the most infamous and dangerous women in Greek lore, is one of Wonder Woman’s greatest enemies. Wonder Woman first faced Circe in the Golden Age but the rivalry did not become fully fueled until the 1980s where Circe stepped up to really test the Amazing Amazon. Of course, Circe was a prominent figure in Greek myth known for her passion, temper, and her penchant for turning people into animals. She brought those attributes into DC Comics when she faced WW early in Diana’s career.

    Decades later, Circe became one of Diana's most consistent foes, returning again and again to plague Diana and the Amazons. She has teamed with many DC villains and transformed many DC heroes into a menagerie of beasts proving herself to be one of the most troubling and dangerous women in the DCU. You can bet it’s only a matter of time until the trickster Circe appears in a Wonder Woman movie because you just can’t beat the classics.

    2. Cheetah

    First appearance (Rich) Wonder Woman #6 (1943) (Domaine) Wonder Woman #274 (1980) (Minerva) Wonder Woman #7 (1987) (Ballesteros) Wonder Woman #170 (2001)

    Created by (Rich) William Moulton Marston and  H. G. Peter (Domaine) Gerry Conway and Jose Delbo (Minerva) Len Wein and George Pérez (Ballesteros) Phil Jimenez and Joe Kelly

    The most purr-fect of all Wonder Woman’s human enemies, we have the Cheetah, another rogue familiar to fans via Super Friends and countless battles with Diana. The original, Golden Age Cheetah was named Priscilla Rich, a drop dead gorgeous and talented dancer and charitable millionaire who developed this weird obsession with Diana. Whenever Rich felt overshadowed by Wonder Woman’s glory, she would develop an evil persona known as the Cheetah, don her iconic cat costume and commit crimes to outwit her Amazon nemesis. Rich and her identity disorder appeared throughout the Golden and Silver Ages.

    In the '80s, DC introduced Rich’s niece who was tortured and transformed into a second Cheetah by the terrorist organization known as Kobra (not the GI Joe one, the other one).

    In the modern era, Barbara Minerva, a famed archeologist and scientist, sold her soul to the plant god Urtzkartaga in exchange for tremendous power and immortality.  Why a plant god would turn someone into a cheetah is beyond me but I guess having Wonder Woman fight the Fern wouldn’t really be all that badass. The third Cheetah was more lycanthrope than costumed jewel thief and had many feral battles against Wonder Woman and the heroes of the DCU.

    The fourth and final Cheetah was actually a male, an Argentinian billionaire named Sebastian Ballesteros. Ballesteros stole the Cheetah powers from Minerva, but oh, you better believe Minerva got them back and made Ballesteros pay. Minerva is like a Lara Croft that can transform into a raging were-cat and eat your damn face, a fact that Ballesteros found out the hard way.

    It’s inevitable that the Cheetah will make her big screen debut in a future Wonder Woman film, but will we get the period era Rich or the modern day terror Minerva? Truly, a film battle between Wonder Woman and Cheetah is one DC fans have been dreaming about for generations.

    1. Ares

    First appearance Pre-Crisis: Wonder Woman #1 (1942)

    Post-Crisis: Wonder Woman #1 Created by William Moulton Marston; reinterpreted post-Crisis by George Pérez

    In both great eras of Wonder Woman, the Golden Age and the Modern Age, Ares made his debut in each era's Wonder Woman #1. And how appropriate is that? Of course Wonder Woman, a warrior of peace and love, would be locked into an eternal struggle with the God of War. It’s a conflict of love versus brutality whenever Wonder Woman goes bracelets to battle ax with Ares.

    In the Golden Age, Ares appeared as both the Greek God of War and as the Roman deity Mars. In the modern age, Ares’ attempts to bring about World War III led to Diana leaving Themyscira and coming to Man’s World to become Wonder Woman. Whatever the name, Ares’ attempts to bring war to the world has led Wonder Woman to fight Ares with all her might and all her heart. In Ares, mythology has provided the perfect arch foe for Wonder Woman.

    So you've seen the best, hit page 2 to see some of the stranger, more offbeat, and less memorable villains in Diana's history...

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    Now let's move on to the wonderfully strange and weird, completely nutzoid villains that seem to follow Wonder Woman around like a herd of cats following a salmon truck. Now remember, we mean no disrespect because we love comic book history. But some of these villains are just so freakin’ odd, we just had to pay tribute to them in a loving, if rather sarcastic, way.

    10. The Blue Snowman

    First appearance Sensation Comics #59 (1946) 

    Created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter

    The Blue Snowman is really Byrna Brilyant (yup), the daughter of a scientist who created a compound called "blue snow." The invention was supposed to help humanity do - something - but when papa died, Byrna used his invention to freeze crops and blackmail farmers by forcing them to pay for the blue snow antidote. When Wonder Woman got involved, Byrna donned a cybernetic suit to enhance her strength, conceal her gender, and hide her identity. Wonder Woman beat the Blue Snowman but the blackmailing lady would return a few times in the Golden Age.

    We’re just happy Byrna’s father didn’t invent yellow snow because that opens doors that we would rather remain closed. The blue snow and the cybernetic suit were both pretty powerful, we just wonder why Byrna’s masterplan was to blackmail wheat farmers. Just sell the patent to the invention!

    9. Mouse Man and Fireworks Man

    First appearance Wonder Woman #141 (1963)

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru

    We’re allowing these two not so potent villains to share an entry because they first appeared together and tried their level best to use their, shall we say, unique powers to bring down Wonder Woman. When Angle Man (more on him in a bit) lures Diana to a Super Villain Convention (Dragon Con?), Fireworks Man and Mouse Man both take a crack at bringing down the Daughter of Themyscira.

    So Ares, the legit Greek god of war failed to take down Diana but there two clowns think they have a chances? Also, why Fireworks Man? Why plural? Why not Firework man? Fireworks man can turn into - you guessed it - fireworks and to no one’s surprise, failed utterly in his explosive attempt to take down Wonder Woman. And Mouse Man? I mean we love ourselves some Atom and Ant-Man, but did he really think dressing like a yellow mouse and shrinking was going to frighten a woman that can lift Pawtucket? Unsurprisingly Mouse Man and Fireworks Man failed and faded into obscurity. We do understand that these days Fireworks Man frequently teams up with Blown Off Fingers Lad.

    8. American Adolph

    First Appearance Sensation Comics #21 (1943)

    Created by William Moulton Marston

    So yeah, American Adolph was a criminal who penned his manifesto, My War Against Society, while in prison and then inspired a gang of thugs to follow his every whim. When Adolph got out, he tried to form a nation within a nation of criminals and overthrow the American government. Sound familiar?

    In Wonder Woman’s world, does every nation have some evil schmuck named Adolph going through these same motions? Chilean Adolph? New Zealand Adolph? The mind boggles. Yup, Wonder Woman once fought American Hitler and beat the ever loving crap out of him. 

    7. Paper Man

    First appearance Wonder Woman #165 (October 1966)

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru

    Superman has steel hard skin. Wolverine has unbreakable adamantium bones. And then there’s this guy, Paper Man! No, there is no Scissor Man or Rock Man, but there is Paper Man, and man, are we happy about it! Look at this guy, he’s not just any type of paper... he’s newspaper!

    You see, when Diana and Steve Trevor tour a newspaper press, a timid worked named Horace falls in a bunch of paper making chemicals (you probably saw that coming). Transformed into a being of paper, Horace is mocked by his coworkers because people are dicks. Not being a dick, Wonder Woman takes pity on Horace and the newly formed Paper Man falls in love with her. Paper Man commits crimes to buy her expensive gifts until finally Wonder Woman uses her mighty breath to blow Paper Man into a printing press and is torn apart and made into a pile of newspapers.

    Wait, what? Wonder Woman kills the poor shmuck? He is torn apart and distributed all over the city by newsboys? That’s horrific!

    He should have teamed with Styrofoam Man and Marshmallow Man to form the Legion of Harmless Dopes.

    6. THEM!

    First appearance Wonder Woman #185, (1969)

    Created by Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano

    Sadly, the evil gang known as THEM! is not made up of a giant mutated ants, nor is it Van Morrison's awesome garage rock band from before he became a celebrated solo artist. No, THEM! is a group of violent and evil hippies that fought Wonder Woman during her white suit Diana Rigg look era. THEM! (they?) first appeared in the 1960s, during an era where Wonder Woman was depowered, wore a sharp white jumpsuit and basically became Emma Peel. During this era, known by some as the White Jumpsuit Era, Wonder Woman travelled the globe and used her brains and fighting skill to continue to fight the good fight against evil.

    And some of the evil was THEM!, a team that was made up of Top Hat, a dude that looks like a cross between a 1960s pimp and a part timer at a Ren faire, Moose Mamma a leather lady that possessed great brute strength, and Pinto a cosplay cowboy that did cowboy things. No, this wasn’t a Village People opening act, this was THEM! and THEM! was weird. Diana defeated THEM! even without her powers and she remains the only DC hero to take down a gang of evil hippies.

    Was there an evil Woodstock? Were evil hippies supportive of the Vietnam War? So many questions?

    5. Crimson Centipede

    First appearance Wonder Woman #169 (1967)

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru

    Boy, Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru created some lulus, huh? We should mention that both creators are two of the greatest minds of the Silver Age and should be adored for their contributions to the medium. With that said, Kanigher and Andru sure liked to bring out the strange for ol' Diana.

    Take the Crimson Centipede for example. This insect of alliteration was created by Ares to destabilize man’s world. Crimson Centipede tried to do just that... by committing mundane crimes. But, at least he did it dressed like a bug, and bugs are icky. But not to Wonder Woman who squished this bug like the pest that he was. Well, she didn’t really squash him, she just kind of arrested him. And Crimson Centipede’s crimes weren’t all that bad. He probably got like six years with time served for good behavior. At least Crimson Centipede had lots of hands so he could high five himself when he got out.

    4. Human Tank

    First appearance Wonder Woman #63 (1954)

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Harry G. Peter

    When you first read the name Human Tank, you probably get an image in your head of some beatstick with a cannon for a face, treads for limbs, and a badass motor on his bank. You probably picture Wonder Woman throwing down with a human Panzer in the ultimate battle of flesh versus machine.

    Nope, Human Tank was some dick that had enhanced strength and dressed like a football player. 1959 Wonder Woman kicked his ass. Next!

    3. The Glop

    First appearance Wonder Woman #151 (January 1965)

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru

    Didja notice the Silver Age was an odd era for Wonder Woman? Didja? Didja notice that? Anyway, here’s The Glop, an amorphous something or other that fought the original Wonder Girl.

    Now for those of you not in the know, originally, Wonder Girl was not the Donna Troy character DC fans have known and loved for decades (and let’s all hope Donna pops up in the movies one day). The original Wonder Girl was simply the adult Wonder Woman’s fantasies of being a teenage girl! After all, Diana was crafted from clay and never had a childhood (Wonder Woman also had daydream adventures of being a baby and thus Wonder Tot was born and no, I’m not kidding).

    Wonder Girl fought The Glop in the mid-Silver Age, and by God, look at that thing. It’s like an evil smear of baby poop. Now get this, The Glop can absorb the properties of anything it ingests and during the story, it absorbs 100 sappy rock and roll records AND their lyrics. So it falls in love with Wonder Girl but thankfully, even though the whole thing is a day dream, they never copulate because comic books would have ended right then and there.

    Let’s get this straight, The Glop is a wad of sentient caramel that loves a hypothetical version of teenage Wonder Woman and has its emotions manipulated by absorbing music. Imagine if it absorbed Slayer and Danzig records. That would be the most metal thing ever! So yeah you guys, The Glop.

    2. Gaucho

    First appearance Wonder Woman #263 (1980)

    Created by Gerry Conway and Jose Delbo

    Wonder Woman has fought Nazis, gods, mythological beasts, human master criminals, and alien overlords. So I guess a semi-racist caricature of a South American riding a robot horse and using bolos is just a natural addition to that list.

    No wait, it really, really isn’t.

    Meet Gaucho, assassin for hire who thought enhanced projectiles and a robot steed would succeed in destroying Wonder Woman when the freakin’ God of freakin’ War failed. Gaucho and his facial hair was hired by a villain named the Prime Planner to take down Wonder Woman. On the cover, Gaucho proclaimed that Diana had no chance against a “real man.” Well, she had more than a chance and Gaucho, his bolos, his robot hood, his bad accent, and his machismo all faded into obscurity.

    1. Egg Fu

    First appearance Wonder Woman #157 (1965)

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru

    And then there’s Egg Fu. Egg Fu is a giant egg. With a mustache that he uses as a whip. That speaks in horrific broken pigeon English and in general is a miserable example of comic book stereotyping. Kanigher and Andru never gave an origin to their strangest creation, but rest assured, he’s a giant egg with weaponized facial hair. Oh yeah, Egg Fu is also a devout Communist.

    No, we were never introduced to a socialist waffle or Marxist bacon, but Egg Fu returned a number of times to devil (get it?) Wonder Woman. Things were never over easy when Wonder Woman had to fight Egg Fu and she often had her brains scrambled by his mustache whip. But things would be sunny side up again because Diana always found a way to beat this egg into submission. Yes, I’m making egg puns so I don’t have to focus on what a horrific racist character Egg Fu really was. There were a few other versions of Egg Fu over the years including one that took the name Dr. Yes (after Dr. No) and fought the Metal Men.

    In recent years, DC has made Egg Fu into a more MODOK like creature because the DC Universe really does need a sentient egg running around without the blatant racism. These days Eggy hangs out with Harley Quinn because of course he does. But there you go, an egg with a killer mustache. You’re drunk 1965 DC Comics, go home.


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