By Lvenger 21 Comments
Hi there guys and gals, this is Lvenger and Squalleon here. After a PM suggestion from my co-writer here, we've decided to do a weekly blog for the next few weeks where we detail our thoughts on a piece of comic book related news. It could be DC, Marvel, Image, films or games or anything else that takes our fancy. Since we're both big fans of Wonder Woman as well as a certain Man of Steel, we decided our first blog should be about the strangest yet pre-predicted (thanks to Bleeding Cool) creator change in comics since JRJR came to on DC. I am of course referring to Meredith and David Finch taking over the Wonder Woman series from #36 onwards. After another one of their recent interviews on CBR, we thought we'd write our first blog on this changing of the guard. Read on to see our thoughts!
1.Why the Finches?
Sq: If DC wanted to minimize potential losses they would go with writers and artists that have a fanbase behind them. David Finch while popular he is often critisized for his work on women's faces and proportions, so he certaintly isn't the artist you would think, when you think Wonder Woman. Although in David's defence, he said in SDCC he spends 75% of his time fixing his flaws,like females, which are the majority of the characters in a Wonder Woman comic. Meredith is almost -if not completely- unknown, very inexperienced to say the least. So this change doesn't make sense in a business perspective, it is a huge risk even with the good editors DC put behind them. But if everything works out this would be a double win for DC, fixing a known artist and potentially introducing a strong new writer, which DC has done very successfully in the recent past.
Lv:Though I definitely agree an unknown creative team might not be the best way to drum up support for a new run on Wonder Woman, there have been times when Finch's art does look good. For instance, his Siege one shot combined detailed pencils with gritty inking making for an aesthetically pleasing issue. And his early Batman stuff (before he did the writing as well) fitted the gothic, grim tone of the series well. And Wonder Woman has received a much darker, horror inspired twist since Azzarello took over so perhaps Finch's style might carry over to Azzarello and Chiang's vision for Wonder Woman. Having said this, one need look no further than Forever Evil to see how messy Finch's pencils can be.
2. Is it really a risk?
Sq: For DC to take such a risk they must either believe in their product or plain not caring. Considering how hard they are promoting WW now and considering that WW's popularity is very fragile at this point, I don't believe it is the second option. So Meredith must have a very strong vision for Diana and since she is a new writer she can be easily manipulated by the editorial(another double win for DC). By putting David an experienced artist who has worked in the industry for a long time, Meredith has a 24/7 editor to reach out too. The co-operation will be strong since they live together and they know each others weaknesses and strengths. So DC doesn't really have any humongous risk here I am pretty sure the editorial will have a strong grip over the final product until Meredith proves herself and some elements of the new creative direction show that, the moment DC sees that the new team isn't working they will make quick work of it and change the direction once more.
Lv: As for DC taking a risk, I can see why they might be willing to place so much trust on what Meredith Finch plans to do to Wonder Woman. But here's my main problem with this move, if you go to her Comicvine page, you can only see a grand total of 3 comics that she's written before. I repeat, 3 comics. Now maybe she has some writing experience outside of comics, I don't know. But for an inexperienced writer to be given the reins of one of DC's most iconic characters and one of the most well known female superheroes ever, it's just not something that you give to an unknown writer. I'm willing to bet that Finch's standing in DC helped push the move along a bit. And as my writing partner has already mentioned, there's a strong probability that editorial control will be ever present from the very beginning of Meredith's run. Azzarello negotiated a 3 year, uninterrupted arc for his take on the Wonder Woman mythos. Whilst I haven't stressed enough on here how beautifully brilliant Azz's run is, it's come at the cost that Wonder Woman has not interacted with the wider DCU in her own series. Something DC seem to want to fix given the preview pages for Wonder Woman #36 where the Justice League and Swamp Thing show up in a few pages.
Swamp Thing; jobbing since 1971!
3.Thoughts on Meredith
LV: I'm still teetering on the fence myself in regards to what Meredith will bring to Wonder Woman. Though in her defense, she does say some of the right things in a recent CBR interview such as her gaining an understanding for the voice of the character and combining the little girl idolisation of Wonder Woman as well as a human personality too. Whilst this treads on the toes of the best depiction of Superman, it is not a bad idea to have both an icon and a human combined into one. The best heroes are such combinations of mixes between fantasy and reality. Plus, as a huge Azzarello fan, Meredith does say that she'll continue to include some of the characters from Azz's run whilst also fleshing out her own story. I'm glad that this certain part of Wonder Woman is not being cast out in favour of a totally mainstream series. Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that one of Meredith's inspirations for her series, aka the 1970s Lynda Carter Wonder Woman TV show, is a highly outdated and corny take on Wonder Woman. Bringing it back to the comics does not equal character growth or development for Princess Diana.
Sq: Meredith mentioned she wants WW to be a character every woman can relate too, she is a working woman, a warrior, a hero, a loved one and a lover. For me thats great news, WW is someone who girls must admire and relate too and boys must fall for.But lately that has been lost to say the least and WW became a very fluctuating character, often staying alive only because of her iconic nature. Meredith could finally make her both a solid character but without losing her iconic, archetypal status. And maybe her being new to the industry is exactly what Wonder Woman needs. As someone new, she will not try to redefine WW like big names did for the last decade. Instead she might build on what came before and add to that. Characters that aren't rebooted regularly are the ones with the most stable fanbases in the industry and the ones you don't have to worry about for example Batman and Daredevil.
4. Wonder Woman in the DCU.
Lv: Moreover, it seems as if the Finches are being tasked with catching up on all the time the Wonder Woman series has been separated from the DCU. This will probably mean more inclusions of characters like Superman who's still in a relationship with Wonder Woman (ugh) as well as guest stars like Swamp Thing. My concern with this is that the transition could be too instantaneous and rushed not to mention that the original Azzarello tone of the series could be lost amid the race to connect Wonder Woman to the New 52 DCU. Not to mention all the possible crossovers -_-
Sq: I think a more DCU connected Wonder Woman could be a good thing. Trying to do what Azzarello did would only look like a bad immitation. Also we don't really know anything about Wonder Woman and her relationship with the world. Does the world respect her, fear her, hate her or doesn't care for her? And a more DCU connected direction is also good for Meredith's vision, without the general DCU you would have a really limited view on WW's roles in life, something Meredith wants to focus on. Plus including some big names here and there would really give WW a sales boost, which the Wonder Woman title will need, especially for those first issues until the Finches can find a balance and hit their stride.
5. What We want from Wonder Woman.
Sq: What I want from Wonder Woman is pretty simple: consistency. Wonder Woman is even worse than Superman when it comes to reboots and direction changes. What I hope Wonder Woman will try to accomplish is a consistent world for Diana to live in. Its pretty hard for the casual reader to stay in a character that is rebooted all the time, yes as weird as that sounds. Consistent characters are the ones with the most stable fanbases and the richest worlds. Take Daredevil for example, he hasn't been rebooted since Miller's spectacular run, of course the character had some dark times like all heroes had, with mediocre runs or forgettable ones but Marvel didn't instantly rebooted the franchise. An even better example is Batman. The character who has the most stable continuity in the comics world. His supporting cast may be the richest in the industry and the consistent continuity provided DC countless spin-offs to gain money from. But thats not all because the character is consistent, the writers have a pretty clear version of the character in their head as opposed to characters like Wonder Woman who are difficult to define and capture down to the core. This is a perfect opportunity for DC to stay consistent and give Wonder Woman a status quo. They have a version the general audience loved and Wonder Woman is on an all time high, throwing all that out would be a waste. Also I really like what I hear about Wonder Woman being a character that every female can relate too. Wonder Woman needs the female audience to love her for something more than her iconic nature. She is the ultimate female personification, its a shame if the people she was meant to reach out too, doesn't empathise with her.Lastly, I want David Finch to be awesome. The guy has done some very good mainstream art back in the day. I want him to channel that grittyness, he had back in the Moon Knight days. And finally fix the barbie heads on females :P
Lv: What I want from Wonder Woman can be boiled down to simply not throwing out the old when moving in with the new. Azzarello has paved the foundations for a new era of Wonder Woman and regardless of the puritan critics, Azzarello's run marks the beginning of something new for Wonder Woman. For too long in the Pre Flashpoint era, Wonder Woman has bounced around creative teams and directions with no anchor holding her down. Now that Azz and Chiang have crafted a new world and mythos for Wonder Woman to live in, it would be completely foolish to abandon this developments just to get Wonder Woman back to the mainstream canon. The best thing that can be done is to combine the two into a coherent mixture. Retain Azzarello's gritty, Greek Horror mythology inspired take on Wonder Woman whilst bringing in the Justice League, Swamp Thing and whoever else they want to crossover with Wonder Woman. Build upon what you have and bring the two together organically. Finally, hopefully Wonder Woman can be combined into an iconic character and with a human personality fans can connect to. Bring those two attributes together and Wonder Woman can still retain her literal God Like status whilst also exhibiting a personality, emotions, feelings and desires in the story. That's what Azzarello has achieved and this is what The Finches need to maintain in their run.
Well that wraps things up for our first blog of Super Speculations. Hope you enjoyed reading it and feel free to share your opinion in the comments below. See you next week for more Super Speculations!